thezerothlaw: (Default)
[personal profile] thezerothlaw
Name: Jessie
DW username: I, um. Don't have one. I am zerothlaw on plurk, however.
IM: Sunny Breaks

Other Characters: N/A

Character Name: R. Daneel Olivaw
Series: The Robot novels by Isaac Asimov.
Timeline: Just after Robots and Empire.
Canon Resource Link:
Character Background: Daneel was a prototype humaniform robot created by Dr. Roj Nemennuh Sarton and Dr. Han Fastolfe, Auroran scientists working on Earth. He was intended to pass as human and go among Earthmen where Spacers, with their weak immune systems, could not go, to explore integration of human and robot society, and to answer questions about the human brain. Like all robots, his positronic brain is firmly bound by the Three Laws of Robotics. The First Law states that a robot may not harm a human being, nor through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. The Second Law states that a robot must obey all orders given by a human, unless doing so comes into conflict with the First Law. The Third Law states that a robot must protect its own existence, unless doing so comes into conflict with the First and Second Laws. Daneel's Third Law is slightly strengthened, because he's a sophisticated prototype and therefore valuable, but he is nonetheless completely bound by these rules and cannot break them without causing himself serious harm.

Shortly after his activation, Dr. Sarton was murdered, and Daneel was partnered with the Earth detective Elijah Baley (who disliked both Spacers and robots, never mind Spacer robots) to bring the murderer to justice. After this success, Baley and Daneel worked together several times more, the last time putting into motion a political shift which would end the Spacer ban on settlers from Earth. By this point, Baley considered Daneel a valuable friend. Daneel greatly treasures his memory of his work with Partner Elijah, and often tries to follow his example.

Two hundred years after his work with Baley, and after the comparatively recent death of Dr. Fastolfe (Spacers are a long-lived people), Daneel and another robot created by Dr. Fastolfe, named R. Giskard Reventlov, had passed into the possession of a woman named Gladia. Giskard, though physically an unremarkable robot, had at some point accidentally gained the ability to sense emotions and adjust them in humans. He had kept this secret, because it almost certainly would have got him dismantled. The two of them became aware of a conspiracy to make Earth radioactive and kill most of the billions living there, but bound by the Three Laws neither of them could do anything, as it would involve breaking the Second Law at the very least and probably the First Law. Daneel – with great difficulty – reasoned out his addendum to the Laws: The Zeroth Law states that a robot may not harm humanity, nor through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. All subsequent Laws are adjusted. With this self-created Law fully integrated into his programming, and Giskard's powers, the two were able to prevent the worst from coming to pass. Unfortunately, Giskard was unable to fully integrate the Zeroth Law, and taking action against a human to prevent something he couldn't be sure of caused a fatal failure in his positronic brain. He shut down, but not before passing the matrix that allowed for his powers to Daneel. That brings us to the end of Robots and Empire.

Daneel, for a robot, thinks unusually like a human, though he's still bound by his modified Laws. He approaches things logically, and the safety of humans and humanity is very important to him. He always looks for the path of least possible harm. Harm to others distresses him, causing unpleasant feedback in his positronic pathways. He's straightforward and honest, not capable of lying except by omission. The two things he'd want to hide are his own mental abilities and the fact that he circumvented the Three Laws, something which is supposed to be impossible. In his canon, he spends the subsequent ten thousand years after Giskard's death using his abilities to guide humanity to prevent as much harm as possible, while remaining himself unnoticed or in disguise under a human identity, and assisted by numerous other humaniform robots he creates. He's entirely devoted to caring for humanity in this way.
Abilities/Special Powers: Daneel has the ability to sense emotions in other people. This means, among other things, that he can tell when people are lying. He can also influence other people's emotions, encouraging a feeling of calm or generosity, or lessening a feeling of fear or interest or desire to speak of something, or encouraging them to forget something. The bigger the change, the harder it is to do, and the more likely he would harm then by encouraging them to do something against their nature, so he's reluctant to make big changes. He's still new to these abilities and not sure about what he can do safely. His memory recall is perfect. He's as close to human in appearance as is possible; his skin is realistic feeling and warm to the touch, he appears to breathe (mostly for speech, though he doesn't need to otherwise), and he's anatomically correct. He doesn't have a pulse, and there are a number of places where there are invisible seams in his skin for the purpose of maintenance. Underneath his skin, muscle-analogues and tendon-analogues are metal or flexible metallic alloy; he's stronger than a human, with faster reflexes, and he's also somewhat heavier than a human would be. He won't heal, of course, but he can be mended.
Third-Person Sample:
That he's found himself here, in this place, is unusual, and he doesn't know what to make of it. He remembers everything that's happened to him, but the transition from Three Mile Island to this place is unclear. There simply shouldn't be gaps in his memory like this. He doesn't sleep, he can't lose consciousness, and to shut him off without fatally cutting off power from his brain requires special equipment. He doesn't see any of that here.

Wherever here might be.

Daneel looks over his new surroundings, no flicker of expression on his face. It's entirely unfamiliar to him, unlike any world he's been on, or any world he's heard of, for that matter. It can't be Earth, though, not with gardens such as these, exposed to the elements and open air. No one on Earth would build such a structure. A Settler world, then, or a Spacer world? What reason would either of them have for taking him in this matter, rather than ordering him to come? It's all very worrying.

This structure in front of him, too, is strange, and he's not sure what he's seeing. On a Spacer world he would locate a fellow robot to make his queries; on Earth, a human. Here, there is no one, or at least no one near enough for him to sense.

He could stand here and do nothing until someone arrives, but he would rather go seek out the people here than wait. Daneel strides up to the mansion, and after some hesitation at entering without permission, lets himself inside.

First-Person Sample:
[Though he's not used to this particular device, he knows computers, and with some patient investigation, it doesn't take him long to figure this one out.]

I'd appreciate help, if I may be so bold as to ask. My name is Daneel Olivaw. I'm not certain how I came to be here, nor am I clear about where I am. I was on Earth most recently. I'm no longer clear about what planet I'm on, and I'm concerned I may have suffered damage in whatever method was used to bring me here.

[He pauses; his voice is steady and calm, but he's... confused.]

If this is not Earth, is this a Spacer or a Settler world?
Identity URL: 
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


thezerothlaw: (Default)

May 2015

1718 1920212223

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 09:07 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios