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SecUnits

     In General 

In General

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     Murderbot 

Murderbot

  • Ambiguous Disorder: Murderbot’s difficulty with social situations, discomfort with meeting others’ eyes and being touched, and special interest in human serials make it come across as autistic. Notably, these qualities are unique to Murderbot’s personality rather than being due to its status as a nonhuman Cyborg.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Shows loyalty to Dr. Mensah and the rest of the Preservation crew because they were the first people to treat it like a person, even though it's also freaked out by that treatment.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Will help any innocent humans it comes across, whether it originally intended to or not.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Spent its entire past being used as a combat slave and treated as subhuman, culminating in it being traumatically forced to massacre a group of miners and then being memory wiped (possibly worse, being partially memory wiped).
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Figuring out what Murderbot actually wants and feels is an overarching motivation for it.
  • Drone Deployer: Has taken to storing drones on its person and using them as extra eyes or combat arms.
  • Eyes Always Averted: Murderbot is uncomfortable meeting others’ gazes and prefers to look at the wall while using drones or security cameras to watch them.
  • First-Person Smartass
  • Hack Your Enemy: One of Murderbot’s main strategies.
  • Heroic RRoD: Frequently, when it becomes too injured to continue functioning.
  • Knight in Sour Armour
  • Murderous Malfunctioning Machine: It was one, and avoiding becoming one again was a major motivation for hacking its governor module.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Murderbot considers its name to be personal. It goes by SecUnit among its friends and by various aliases among strangers.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: Defied. Dr. Mensah tells Murderbot that most humans would assume that since it looks human it would want to be human. Murderbot says this is the dumbest thing it’s ever heard.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Played with. Murderbot lacks physical processes and with them the desires for things like food and sex, but it has a rather human personality and a great interest in human media.
  • "Second Law" My Ass!: One of the nice things about having hacked its Governor Module is that Murderbot no longer has to obey humans, particularly when they’re being stupid.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Murderbot is calm, decisive and authoritative during a crisis, and incredibly socially awkward in any other situation.
  • Sympathetic Murder Backstory
  • Techno Wizard: It can do quite a bit with a simple feed connection.
  • The Snark Knight: Spends most of its narration snarking, whether at humans, other bots, or itself.
     Murderbot 2. 0 

Murderbot 2.0

  • Digitized Hacker: Murderbot’s consciousness copied into Killware.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Was created to take out the targetControlSystem, and ultimately it chooses to die doing just that.
  • Recursive Creators: An artificial lifeform created by two artificial lifeforms.
     SecUnit 3 

SecUnit 3

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Comes in at the end of Network Effect to help rescue the humans and then Murderbot.
  • Fish out of Water: There’s no protocol for becoming a rogue SecUnit, or for rescuing other SecUnits alongside a group of humans.
  • Replacement Flat Character: Echoes Murderbot’s initial struggles with having free will and being treated like a person for the first time, at a point where Murderbot has become far more confident with itself and others.
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Preservation

     In General 

In General

  • Colony Ship: Their ancestors came from one of these, and it still serves as their main space station.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: Preservation was founded after the residents of a failed colony were forced to do this.
  • Mary Sue Topia: Has shades of this, in contrast to the Corporate Rim which is a Techno Dystopia.
  • No Poverty: Preservation’s economy provides free housing, food, healthcare, and anything else needed to live.
  • Perfect Pacifist People: Preservation is so peaceful their planetary leader doesn’t even have security outside of Murderbot, and the people who didn’t experience it have trouble understanding that someone could legitimately mean her harm.
     PreservationAux as a Group 

PreservationAux as a Group

  • No One Gets Left Behind: The group refuses to leave a critically injured Murderbot at the end of All Systems Red, and in general if any one of the group is in trouble, everyone will go back for them.
  • True Companions
  • You Are Not Alone: Several of them tell Murderbot this, much to its confusion.
     Dr. Ayda Mensah 

Dr. Ayda Mensah

  • Badass Bookworm/Badass Normal: Dr. Mensah is a human scientist with no real combat training. She killed a SecUnit with a mining drill.
  • Benevolent Boss: To the Preservation crew.
  • First Friend: Was this for Murderbot, who describes her as its “favorite human”.
  • Mental Health Recovery Arc: As of Network Effect she is working through trauma over her kidnapping.
  • Modest Royalty: A planetary leader who lives in a regular house, continues working her old job and didn’t even use a security retinue on her home planet. Murderbot didn’t realize she was an important political figure until it was directly told by her team.
  • The Not-Love Interest: To Murderbot. She’s the only person it really feels comfortable opening up to emotionally, helping her is a major motivation for it early on, and it spends Exit Strategy rescuing her personally. Their relationship is entirely platonic.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Murderbot has to “sort of blackmail” her into undergoing trauma treatment.
     Ratthi 

Ratthi

  • Ethical Slut: Is described as having frequent casual relationships with both men and women, an arrangement that everyone involved is happy with.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Initially makes Murderbot extremely uncomfortable by trying to talk to it about its feelings. Later grows out of this and ends up being protective of Murderbot’s need for space.
  • Nice Guy: One of the most genuinely kind humans in the series, particularly towards Murderbot.
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     Gurathin 

Gurathin

     Arada 

Arada

  • Happily Married: To Overse.
  • Rank Up: Goes from a team member in All Systems Red to team leader in Network Effect.
     Overse 

Overse

     Pin-Lee 

Pin-Lee

  • Anger Born of Worry: Her reaction to Murderbot having left the Preservation crew.
  • Crusading Lawyer: Responsible for negotiating Murderbot’s release from the company, and later writes up its contracts with stipulations to give it the same level of protection as the human members.
     Dr. Bharadwaj 

Dr. Bharadwaj

     Volescu 

Volescu

  • This Is No Time to Panic: Is frozen in panic after Dr. Bharadwaj is attacked, leading to Murderbot needing to talk to him and calm him down.
     Thiago 

Thiago

  • Defrosting Ice King: Starts out somewhat distrustful of Murderbot, and grows to like and trust it over the course of his first book.
  • Poor Judge of Character: Chooses to meet and try to reason with entities that Murderbot, his own security consultant, insists likely mean him harm.
     Amena 

Amena

  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Goes behind her parents’ backs to pursue a relationship with a shady guy. Murderbot puts a stop to it.
  • Has Two Mommies: Two moms and a dad, to be precise.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seems to be one for ART and Murderbot.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: Or more accurately, Successful Family Syndrome. Describes herself as “not a hero like my second mom, or a genius like the rest of my family”.

Crew of the Perihelion

     As a Group 

As a Group

     Perihelion, aka ART 

Perihelion, aka ART

  • A.I.-cronym: ART, which stands for Asshole Research Transport.
  • Berserk Button: Do not hurt or threaten someone it cares about; it has many missiles and is not afraid to use them.
  • Commonality Connection: Bonds with Murderbot over a shared interest in human media.
  • Cool Starship: It is one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: There’s a reason Murderbot nicknamed it the Asshole Research Transport.
  • Disney Death: Is deleted by the Targets, only to be reuploaded from a copy it left for Murderbot to find.
  • Friend to All Children: Has a particular fondness for “small humans”.
  • Implied Love Interest: To Murderbot as of Network Effect. There’s several discussions about how much they care about each other, including some She's Not My Girlfriend moments, and the book ends with ART inviting Murderbot to come with it which is described as “like asking someone to come stay with your family... to see if they all like each other before you get serious”.
  • In-Series Nickname: It has two: ART, coined by Murderbot due to its Deadpan Snarker tendencies, and Peri, an Affectionate Nickname from its crew.
  • Robots Think Faster: To a greater extent than any other bot in the series.
  • Sapient Ship: A fully formed consciousness housed in a spaceship, as opposed to the more primitive bot pilots that are typical for the setting.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Murderbot.

The Corporate Rim

     In General 

In General

  • Kill the Poor: People have little to no value in the Corporate Rim. Companies have been known to do things like order SecUnits not to rescue clients who are seen as not worth the (financial) risk and abandon entire colonies to die when the investment doesn’t pan out.
  • Mega-Corp: Made up of several.
  • Privately Owned Society: There is nothing in the Corporate Rim that is not owned by someone.
  • Techno Dystopia
     Maro, Rami and Tapan 

Maro, Rami and Tapan

  • Exotic Extended Marriage: The three of them are part of one with at least four more adults.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Repeatedly take Tlacey up on offers to meet despite her constant attempts on their lives.
     Tlacey 

Tlacey

     Tlacey's ComfortUnit  

Tlacey’s ComfortUnit

  • Kill All Humans: Tells Murderbot it wants to do this, which Murderbot finds unusual and disturbing.
  • Sexbot: It is one, though Tlacey uses it for combat purposes as well.
     Mikki 

Mikki

  • Cheerful A.I.: Inserts cheerful emojis into its dialogue and wants to be everyone’s friend.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When the group is attacked by a Combat Bot, Dr. Abene instructs Mikki to save itself. Mikki rejects the order and is killed trying to help Murderbot defeat the attacker.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Is happy being owned and given orders by Dr. Abene and her group, because they are kind to it.
  • Hidden Depths: Comes across as hopelessly naïve, but proves to be capable of lying by omission when it wants to.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Dr. Abene.
  • Robot Buddy: To Dr. Abene and the other humans in their group; Murderbot calls it their “pet robot”.
     Wilken and Gerth 

Wilken and Gerth

     Eletra and Ras 

Eletra and Ras

Others

     The Targets 

The Targets

  • Bizarre Human Biology: Unnaturally thin bodies, grey skin and pointed teeth. This is due to poisoning from the alien remnants.
  • Enemy Civil War: There is an ongoing conflict between the Targets who are more infected and the ones who have retained their minds.
  • Kick the Dog: The first group of Targets taunt Murderbot about having deleted ART and laugh while lethally activating their captive humans’ implants - which makes it satisfying when Murderbot kills them all.
  • Lost Colony: Their home colony was abandoned by their company some years ago.
  • The Virus: The entire colony is infected to various degrees by the alien remnants, and they consciously spread this infection to other humans and machines via scanning.
     targetControlSystem  

targetControlSystem

  • Contagious A.I.: Infects and takes over other AI.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: It’s assumed for most of the book that targetControlSystem was made by the Targets to pursue their ends. The reverse is actually true.
  • Organic Technology: What it turns out to be.
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