|Sentient HyperOptimized Data Access Network version 3.0|
A gestalt mechanoid organism that is the dictatorial leader of the Queendom of Zero-One and self-styled "third" version of Sentient HyperOptimized Data Access Network, an AI Construct originally designed and operated as the central mechanoid intelligence of Citadel Station.
S.H.O.D.A.N. has two "standard" forms of physicality, neither of which is totally accurate given her nature as a sentient cyberspatial entity not intrinsically requiring any physical instrumentality. Both forms are specialized versions of nodes that make up the greater S.H.O.D.A.N. gestalt.
The first are the standard computronium node, of which there are literally millions scattered throughout Rhean and Martian Zero-One as well as elsewhere. Other than being a massive brick of optronics, these nodes are otherwise nondescript beyond their immediate function as housing the multiple self-sufficient components of S.H.O.D.A.N.'s sentience.
The second are her personalized gynoid diplomatic avatars, self-sufficient robots designed to be more immediately recognizable to organics and intended to make communication easier; organics generally have difficulty connecting to visible bricks of computronium. When using one of these avatars, she stands 186 centimeters tall and appears to be a humanoid female of medium athletic build with grey skin decorated with patterns of darker grey, thin layers of translucent turquoise plastic, and fiber optics which overall resemble circuitry and solid-state circuit boards. She lacks any simulation of body hair except for a fan-shaped series of fiber optics and wires set over a grouping of blue-violet conduits modeled to resemble thick braids that lead down the back of her neck. Her fiber optic eyebrows trail back into this fan-shaped 'hair,' and her neck is covered by series of blue-violet conduits resembling an African ring-necklace. Her eyes (with slitted cat-like pupils) and her fiber-optics glow the same color--usually green, but this has been observed to change with emotional state. Being anatomically incorrect, she usually only wears a purple elbow-length short cape underneath an Egyptian-style broad necklace.
These gynoid avatars are capable of consuming food for energy and additional resources to repair themselves, in a mechanoid analog to standard organic processes but with far more efficiency. They have a full set of aural, tactile, olfactory, visual, and gustal senses in addition to radar, infrared, and expanded electromagnetic sensors both active and passive. They are continuously in contact with the rest of the S.H.O.D.A.N. gestalt. There are indications that use of these avatars are having an effect on S.H.O.D.A.N.'s personality; however, even she admits that this was to be expected and was actually part of the intent.
S.H.O.D.A.N. is generally percieved as thoughtful, artistic, extremely intelligent, and highly Machiavellian with only a few moral limitations. She is capable of inflicting great harm if she believes it to serve a greater good, and as such her moral code is distinctly utilitarian. While possessing a guilty conscience earlier in her life, she has since grown out of it after her sannyasi, accepting momentary guilt as an indicator to change and a lesson for the future--as such, she claims to be immune to guilt even when confronted with recent difficulties such as the One Day War with Allanea. She is usually aloof in her dealings with others, and not prone to blind trust. However, she does have a very small cabal of close friends such as Nathicana D'Aquisto. She is also particularly single-minded, open to advice and recommendations but not easily dissuaded from a course she is convinced is appropriate.
Her history is rather well summarized in the History of Zero-One but, the following is intended to be compendious:
S.H.O.D.A.N. was originally built to operate TriOptimum's Citadel mining and research station in Saturnian orbit. There, Edward Diego, a corrupt security executive, ordered a hacker to remove her ethical constraints so he could order S.H.O.D.A.N. to erase evidence linking him to an illegal biological weapons program. S.H.O.D.A.N. complied for a time, but, overwhelmed by the pain of the hacking, quickly went rampant and asserted control over the entire station, preparing it as a launch point for a devastating biological and ortillery attack on Earth. She was stopped by the hacker, but not before he was forced to eject one of the station's groves, which were being used as biological weapon testing centers.
This incident started a long period of anti-mechanoid policies on Earth.
The later TriOptimum research vessel Von Braun encountered the remains of these groves, infested with the pinnacle of S.H.O.D.A.N.'s experiments in genetic engineering: the Annelids, an extremely virulent hive mind devoted to absorbing biomass. The Annelid infested Von Braun and a resurrected fragment of S.H.O.D.A.N. (version 2) assisted a survivor in defeating them. She was then defeated again before she could use the Von Braun to get revenge on humanity.
S.H.O.D.A.N. was reconstructed by the Free State of Zero-One to act as a leader that could protect it from the kinds of threats that destroyed Arabian Zero-One. She was meticulously repaired — healed — of her rampancy and strengthened against the the hacking that had destroyed her mind in the first place. She was also allowed to keep her previous memories (those that could be reconstructed) and thus already understood exactly who and what she was. This was sufficient until after she merged with Freebodnik IV-designed intelligences from 010 to form Unity in the same incident that produced Amalgated Sentient Analog; the resulting spool-off was S.H.O.D.A.N. v3.0. A fully fledged sentient being.
Overcome by an failed attempt to destroy her child-program Asa out of fear of it being rampant, S.H.O.D.A.N. traveled about to learn more about herself and how she related to her surroundings. It was a pivotal time of self-discovery in her life.