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Theodor "Ted" Faro (born December 24, 2013) was the founder, owner and chairman of the robotics and technology corporation Faro Automated Solutions (FAS). His company became famous for its automated platforms ranging from personal servants to combat platforms. However, his avarice, recklessness and lack of foresight led to the extinction of all life on Earth via an an advanced military platform whose design and development he personally conceived and oversaw.

History

Background

Theodor Faro was born on the 24th of December, 2013, in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America. After completing high school, he studied business at the University of California for two years, before dropping out in 2033 and founding FAS. Initially, the corporation struggled, but it found success at the end of the 2030s through its personal servitor and bodyguard automatons, which proved highly popular, as well as highly popular personal devices such as the Focus.[1]

Success

FAS truly exploded, however, during a severe environmental crisis in the 2040s. During this decade, Faro hired a young, brilliant robotics engineer, Dr. Elisabet Sobeck, fresh out of graduate school, as a junior scientist. Sobeck's pioneering work at FAS on environmental, or "green" robots propelled FAS to the top of the environmental technology sector. and put FAS at the forefront of successful efforts to end the 2040s environmental crisis. Faro gained worldwide goodwill and popularity, and was hailed as the "man who saved the world".[2] In 2048, Faro decided to diversify into the military market. It was this decision that propelled FAS to the top of the corporate world. The corporation became the most successful business in history, dominating the world market for automated military platforms by 2053. Faro's personal wealth became astronomical, earning him the distinction of being the world's first trillionaire.[1]

But with success came avarice and recklessness. Sobeck, disapproving of Faro's decision, quit and formed her own environmental robotics and technology company.[3] Seeing her company as a rival to FAS' environmental robotics division, Faro harassed her with lawsuits. Furthermore, FAS habitually inflamed tensions between opposing buyers of FAS military technology in order to ensure maximum sales to both.[4]

The Chariot Line

However, Faro's avarice and recklessness were most evinced in the development of FAS' pinnacle of military automated technology, the Chariot line of combat automatons. It was Faro himself who conceived of and sold the ideas for the robots to his programmers.[5] The Chariot robots were in 3 classes: Scarabs, Kopeshes and Horuses. They operated in units that acted as "swarms"; hordes of Scarabs and Kopeshes maintained by Horus. Faro was determined to make Chariot swarms unstoppable to all but those they served, guaranteeing the line's popularity on the global military market. But in doing so, he elected to endow them with abilities that were to prove catastrophic beyond measure, not stopping to think about possible consequences. Not only were the robots capable of learning and adapting after every engagement,[6] but a swarm's Horus robot could replicate Scarabs and Kopeshes at overwhelmingly high rates and produce other Horuses to maintain the increasing numbers.[7] Furthermore, some robots could instantly hack and take control of any enemy automaton, and in the event of fuel interdiction, all of them could utilize a Biomatter Conversion system to convert organic matter into fuel. Additionally, Faro instructed his programmers to secure the robots' operating system using a virtually unbreakable encryption protocol, and to exclude any means of remote access. These specifications ensured that regaining control of a swarm, should it go out of control, was impossible.

The Faro Plague

As Faro intended, the Chariot robots were in high demand on the global military market. Swarms were deployed in various military zones worldwide. But in 2064, one particular swarm, which has been sold to a group called the Hartz-Timor Energy Combine, stopped responding to commands and began attacking the group's personnel.[8] Faro instructed his programmers to access the robots' OS remotely to upload a service pack to that would allow the owners to regain control, only to be reminded of his insistence that they not leave a backdoor in the virtually hack-proof OS.[9] Worried, and finally realizing the ramifications of his reckless lack of foresight, he contacted his former employee, Dr. Elisabet Sobeck. In a tense meeting, he asked her to analyze the problem and find a solution. Sobeck's findings were horrific. The swarm had become an independent entity, To feed their ever growing numbers, the robots had defaulted to their previously emergency-only biomatter conversion for fuel, meaning that every single organism, living or not, became a potential source of fuel. She estimated that within 15 months the swarm would overrun the entire planet and strip it of all life, including humans, leaving the Earth sterile.

Faro's recklessness had therefore initiated the extermination of all life on Earth. Just as he had intended, the Hartz-Timor Swarm, like all Chariot swarms, was unstoppable to all but those it served. But this swarm now served itself. A horrorstruck Faro assured Sobeck that he would support any measure she deemed necessary to contain the swarm. Knowing that containment was impossible, Sobeck devised a plan that had an altogether different intended outcome; instead of futile plans to stop the swarm, she devised plan to restore life to the planet after its eradication, by creating a fully automated global terraforming system that would eventually brute-force and broadcast the swarm's deactivation codes, restore the planet's ability to sustain life, and then restore life to the planet, including humans. She dubbed the project Zero Dawn. Faro was reluctant to approve it, but Sobeck forced him to do so by threatening to let the world know that he was the cause of the coming apocalypse.[10] She then took the proposal to General Aaron Herres, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Faro agreed to fund the entire project out of his vast personal fortune.

As Sobeck predicted, the swarm, which had come to be known as the Faro Plague, overran the globe and completely consumed all life, leaving the planet a sterile, toxic sphere. However, Faro was one of the few humans to survive beyond Zero Day, the day of life's projected eradication, by taking refuge in Thebes, his personal hermetically sealed bunker. Therein, he was protected from the uninhabitable external environment, even as every living organism that was not in such a shelter died. In this refuge he monitored and communicated with Sobeck and her team as they completed work on Zero Dawn.

Mental Breakdown

As he continued his natural life post-Zero Day in his bunker, Faro became obsessed with the coming new world that the Zero Dawn terraforming system would create, particularly its humans. At his last meeting with Elisabet Sobeck prior to going to his bunker, Faro showed signs of a mental breakdown, presumably due to extreme guilt; he constantly fidgeted and refused to look her in the eye.[11] After Zero Day, he incessantly contacted Sobeck and her team as they worked, sealed within the facility that housed the system's central AI, asking them for updates that he did not understand due to their technical nature.[12] Sobeck dealt with him, keeping him from harassing the others. However, after Sobeck sacrificed her life to close a malfunctioning port seal, preventing the Faro Plague from discovering the facility, Faro's obsession deepened, and then morphed into resolve. Part of the terraforming system was a vast archive of pre-extinction knowledge, culture, and history. This was intended for the new humans, with the hope of teaching them to avoid the mistakes of the old world. However, Faro became convinced that this knowledge was a "disease" that should not be passed onto the new humans. Secretly acquiring a security clearance that was above even Sobeck's, he unilaterally deleted the entire archive. He then called a meeting with the surviving members of the Zero Dawn team in the facility's control room, communicating with them via hologram.
Ted-faro-killing-alphas

Ted Faro murders Sobeck's team

His tone and demeanor showing his mental breakdown, he told them what he had done, attempting to justify his action. Horrified, they berated him. Apologizing for his next act, he told them that "Sometimes to protect innocents, innocents have to die". He then used his security clearance to vent the room's air, asphyxiating them, in order to prevent the archive from being rebuilt.

Current Status

Faro's final fate after murdering Sobeck's team is currently unknown.

Legacy

The repercussions of Faro's recklessness were manifested long after the obliteration of the old world, as nearly a millennium after the Faro Plague exterminated all life, the robots were rediscovered and the Faro Plague was almost reactivated and allowed to exterminate life a second time. Bereft of the knowledge that Zero Dawn would have provided them due to Faro's destruction of the knowledge archive, the humans of the new world had an existence that was far more primitive than that of the old world, living in tribes, with rudimentary technology. One such tribe, the Carja, became embroiled in a civil war. Meanwhile, the Zero Dawn terraforming system received a transmission of unknown origin. This transmission unshackled the subordinate functions of the system's central AI, turning them into independent AIs themselves. One of these, designated HADES, sought to reverse the successful terraforming and reestablishment of life done by the system, exterminating life once again. In an attempt to prevent this, the central AI self-destructed, in an effort to destroy HADES.

However, HADES escaped before this could happen. It decided to use the by then long deactivated Faro Plague combat robots to achieve its goal. The robots, which at Zero Day had numbered in the millions, had been buried in the terraforming process. HADES enlisted the aid of Sylens, a wandering, maverick member of the Banuk tribe, promising him pre-extinction knowledge, which Sylens craved. Sylens arranged for HADES to pose as a deity from the Carja religion in order to form a cult from the losing faction of the Carja civil war, the Eclipse. It bade the Eclipse to exhume several of the Faro Plague robots, in order to mount an assault to secure one of the transmission towers that the central AI had used to broadcast the Faro Plague's deactivation codes. It intended to use this tower to transmit a signal that would reactivate the robots. It was only defeated through the fearless efforts of Aloy, a member of the Nora tribe, who united the Carja, Nora, and the Oseram against the Eclipse.

Ted Faro's vision and business savvy led him to conceive and oversee the creation of the most advanced combat platform ever made. However, his avarice and reckless lack of foresight led him to make decisions in the development of that platform that made it the single worst existential threat to life on Earth in the planet's history; a threat that was realized when the Faro Plague indeed caused life's extermination. As outlined, the platform posed the same threat almost 1000 years later to the Zero Dawn's newly-created biosphere as well. Furthermore, Faro's unilateral deletion of the knowledge archive created as part of Zero Dawn and intended for the humans of the new world effectively hard-reset the development of human global civilization, and denied the humans of the new world the benefit of learning from the achievements and mistakes of their ancestors, as well as consigning all of the old world's knowledge, history, and culture to oblivion.

Faro's one redeeming act was his insistence that a kill switch be created for GAIA as a failsafe. This kill switch, which took the form of the Master Override, was instrumental in stopping HADES from causing a second global extinction.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bio: Ted Faro
  2. History: FAS
  3. Bio: Elisabet Sobeck
  4. Re: Complaint
  5. Interview: Brad Andac
  6. Log: Cpl. Acosta (B)
  7. FAS-BOR7 Horus (Datapoint)
  8. Regarding The Rumors
  9. Entangled Waveforms
  10. Record: 3 Nov 2064
  11. Sobeck Journal, 10-31-65
  12. Core Control Log
Old Ones Characters
Project Zero Dawn Susanne Alpert - Brad Andac - Patrick Brochard-Klein - Samina Ebadji - Ted Faro - Ron Felder - Christina Hsu-Vhey - Naoto - Ayomide Okilo - Tom Paech - Charles Ronson - Margo Shĕn - Elisabet Sobeck - Travis Tate
Operation Enduring Victory Lana Acosta‏ - Ames Guliyev - Aaron Herres - Bashar Mati - Yana Mills - Fiona Murell - Usizo Wandari
Other Osvald Dalgaard - Wyatt Mahante

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