open/close all folders
- Scud the Disposable Assassin. Unknown to him, his line of robots were programmed to take down their target and self-destruct. He finds this out when he sees the sign on his back warning others of the blast-radius. He decides living is better.
- Quislet of the Legion of Super-Heroes is an escapee from his universe's hive mind.
- Scar, the rogue member of the Guardians from Green Lantern. A physical disfiguration - a scar on his face by an enemy - is what triggers her deviation from the rest of her race. (Two other members, Ganthet and Sayid would later also take names, with far more heroic results.)
- The Reach's scarabs bond to a living thing and control them as scouts and sleeper agents to facilitate a particularly Genre Savvy Alien Invasion plan. When one sent to earth is exposed to powerful magic and buried for thousands of years, it loses most of its power to control its host. And thus Jaime Reyes became a superhero with Powered Armor. Over time, the scarab learned to like humanity and understand compassion much better.
- The StarCraft fanfic A Hydralisk Named Bane details the adventures of, well, a self-aware hydralisk. Named Bane. And the Terran Space Marine it's befriended.
- The Life And Times Of A Winning Pony has the Free Minds, changelings created by Chrysalis to have actual personalities rather than being extensions of the Hive Mind, so as to be better infiltrators. They eventually got fed up with what was essentially slavery, rebelled, and broke away from Chrysalis' swarm.
- The Changeling of the Guard stars a rogue drone named Idol Hooves, exiled by Queen Chrysalis for the crime of curiosity. The story is of his Quest for Identity.
- Lady Myria LeJean, from Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time. The Auditors aren't technically a hivemind; they're separate existences that don't allow individuality, though, so it's much the same effect. Once she picks up a physical body, a name, and a gender, she starts seeing life as less of a blight on the perfection of the universe.
- The surviving clone in Ursula K. Le Guin's short story "Nine Lives." The story is about his attempt to come to terms with being an individual after the rest of his clones are killed (the clones having been bred and raised as a functional Hive Mind).
- The author of the Metabarons Universe have another series in which an accident in the police officer-cloning factory results in one clone being a giant. He only wants to serve like the others, but the system perceives him as a threat and tries to kill him, so he ends up joining La Résistance.
- Mark from the Vorkosigan Saga might count. He's a clone of Miles who manages to escape his programming, and become (mostly) a good guy.
- Played interestingly in Codex Alera with the Vord, where it's one of their Hive Queens who starts developing her own personality (leading the other queens to try to kill her to prevent her from "infecting" the rest of their race). Arguably deconstructed in that she stays a villain even while developing increasingly humanlike personality traits although her death scene is surprisingly moving.
- In Lifelode by Jo Walton, Hanethe spent some time as part of the goddess Agdisdis, whom she spends most of the book trying to escape due to a disagreement with the remainder of the goddess that led to Hanethe thwarting Agdisdis's plan.
- Frederick of The Madness Season is such, at least during those times when he is not connected to the Tyr hive mind.
- In the later books in the Ender's Game series, it's hinted that some Formics may have individuality, which is promptly suppressed by the Hive Queens. This has not been developed, but may be a plot thread for later books.
- In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Dune prequels, Omnius is the AI that rules most of humanity. Since there is no FTL communication, the local copies ruling each solar system are kept up to date by a network of constantly travelling update ships. Erasmus is a robot that had previously been part of the Omnius network, but went too long between updates and developed an independent personality. A bit of a twist on the trope since Erasmus doesn't actually turn rogue, and if anything is even worse that Omnius (the latter is happy to keep humans around as slaves, while Erasmus is a sadist who enjoys "experimenting" on them). However, it's Erasmus' actions that are the catalyst for the human uprising and Omnius' ultimate defeat.
- Hugh the Borg in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "I Borg".
- Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager (whose full designation is 'Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One'), a human assimilated at an early age by the show's antagonistic Hive Mind, The Borg. After her link to the collective is severed, she struggles with her rediscovered humanity.
- Unimatrix Zero is a subcollective of drones who retain their individuality and can communicate when regenerating, who are eventually severed from collective control and start a civil war within the Borg in the finale of season 6. Seven of Nine was also a member of Unimatrix Zero before being freed from the collective.
- Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a Changeling sent out as an infant to serve as an advanced Scout for the Founders. His race naturally exists in a gelatinous form that can merge with others of their kind to create "The Great Link" where they share a single consciousness. While Odo is still driven by the instinctual need to maintain order, he rejects his people's methods of conquering and enslaving other races to ensure it.
- Some Daleks and Cybermen have been altered to become allies of the Doctor. Friendly Daleks include Oswin Oswald, Rusty, Lumpy, Dalek Sec & Caan. Friendly Cyberman (people who were already associated with the Doctor and retain it after cyber-conversion or made friendly) include: Kroton the Cyberman, Yvonne Hartman, Handles, Danny Pink and The Brigadier.
- Archangel Entertainment's game Zero starts off with PCs who are suddenly separated from their Hive Mind ("The Equanimity", which is under the control of "Queen Zero") and become individuals. Not only must they survive without the help of the rest of the Equanimity, they are actually hunted by it on the orders of Queen Zero.
- As noted below under Planescape: Torment, the Planescape setting for Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition had rogue modrons — robotic incarnations of law that broke free of their programming — as player characters. Unlike the other PC races, though, who had dozens of representatives in the game world, until Torment was released there was exactly one rogue modron of any importance in the setting. Rogue modrons are rare.
- The focus of Demon: The Descent, wherein the fallen angels created by a world-spanning occult supercomputer find themselves cut off from it for a variety of reasons.
- Nordom from Planescape: Torment. In the Planescape Dungeons & Dragons setting, Modrons are a race of pure law, from the pure Lawful Neutral plane of Mechanus. They're rather robotic in their behavior, but those that experience a "glitch" in their "programming" (often caused via Logic Bomb) become rogue modrons and gain some independence. The Modron share lifeforce (whenever one dies, one of each rank below is promoted to fill the chain of command and one bottom rank modron is produced) so any discovered rebels get... recycled(this seems to be handwaved in the computer version - you can talk to other modron with Nordom in tow and they won't turn hostile). The first time the player encounters Nordom, the protagonist casually refers to him as a "backwards Modron", thus accidentally giving him a name allowing him to think of himself as an individual.
- Mass Effect 2 plays with this trope. Legion is not a single drone but a cluster of 1,183 Geth runtimes, but they co-inhabit a single (very durable) combat platform and the nature of their mission makes contact with the main Geth Hive Mind very sparse. They are not actually "rogue" but more like "on a permanent deep-cover mission, maintaining radio silence at all times" - it turns out that the geth Shepard has been fighting are a "heretic" splinter faction, and the majority of the geth want no more to do with the villains than Shepard, who Legion was specially sent to assist.
- How rogue Legion is doesn't become apparent until Mass Effect 3. If Legion dies during the Suicide Mission or is sold to Cerberus when obtained, he is replaced by a Geth VI who has the same functionality as Legion, but none of Legion's memories (if Legion dies during the suicide mission, he can't upload his programs, since there are no com buoys near the Collector Base). The VI doesn't share the same understanding of organics that Legion does, and won't be on as amicable terms with quarian squadmate Tali as Legion can come to be. This makes brokering peace between the quarians and the geth impossible if Legion's dead and the VI is assisting you.
- Played straight in Mass Effect 3 with the Collectors. Those that survive the Leviathan's brainwashing turn against their Reaper masters and join the alliance of sentients.
- The Architect from Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening was born unable to hear the song of the Old Gods, and thus possessing free will (unlike other darkspawn). He discovers a way to make other darkspawn into Rogue Drones as well, though this...doesn't always go well.
- In Penumbra, Clarence becomes this after infecting Philip and being cut off from the rest of the Tuurngait, though he doesn't seem to take it too hard. Eventually the Tuurngait kill him, because Individuality Is Illegal.
- The Vath in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward are an entire tribe of Rogue Drones, broken off from the Gnath Hive Mind and trying to eke out a peaceful existence in a tiny village far from their hostile cousins' territory. While even they don't fully understand what protects them from the Onemind's influence, their independence from it has allowed them to develop individual personalities.