|“||Where is the line drawn for what is human and what is not? ...we can't trust a machine to know, to understand what it means to be. We have to terminate the WAU-project.||„|
|~ Johan Ross|
|Career:|| Alpha A.I. Psychologist|
|Voice actor:||Anthony Howell|
Dr. Johan Ross was employed by Carthage Industries at Alpha as an A.I. psychologist. He attempts to communicate with Simon Jarrett on multiple occasions throughout SOMA in order to convince him to kill the WAU.
In his mutated form, Ross is a gaunt, top heavy creature with a jaunting gait and thin tentacles pouring from his mouth.
Despite Ross being reanimated by the WAU, he acts against it throughout the game. His behavior is unusual for a WAU-affected being; he is not hostile to Simon, and appears to retain his character and a semblance of human sanity.
Ross is seen as being completely obsessed with destroying the WAU to the point of violence, as seen when he attempts to murder Simon, should he refuse to kill the WAU for him.
Work at Alpha and Tau
Having been involved in the development of the WAU, Ross witnessed its mutations and came to the conclusion that the WAU needed to be eliminated. In addition to the fact that it was generating pipes to burst Structure Gel all throughout PATHOS-II, he stated that the WAU was incapable of discerning the difference between something that is human and something that isn't, making it a bigger threat in actuality than anticipated.
During the evacuation, the Tau staff were attacked by structure gel-mutated marine life, resulting in loss of radio contact with Omicron. After failing to reach the climber and losing a number of colleagues, the remaining members of Tau - Ross, Steve Glasser, Neil Tsiolkovsky, Antjie Coetzee, and Vic Auclair - returned to the facility and were left stranded there.
Death and reanimation
On December 27th, 2103, Ross and Glasser decided to take the climber to Omicron to warn them of the critical situation with the WAU at Alpha. Later, Ross was found brain-dead in the climber by Omicron staff.
His body was kept in a comatose state in a glass observation room in the midsection of the Omicron facility in full view of the laboratory. The staff soon began to notice anomalous phenomena around the containment room, such as system failures and blackbox interference. Although it was not known to the Omicron employees, this interference was caused by the WAU's manipulation of electromagnetic fields in order to communicate with the structure gel within Ross's body to instruct it to "repair" his corpse.
While this was happening, Ross had attempted to make contact with Omicron employee Raleigh Herber, apparently with the intent of fulfilling his plan to destroy the heart of the WAU at Alpha. The WAU reacted to this threat by overcharging the blackboxes of employees at Omicron, resulting in their heads exploding.
Attempts to communicate
While Simon is attempting to fix Herber's Power Suit, Ross sometimes appears and tries to contact him throughout the entirety of Omicron. Ross will often appear briefly in front of Simon, standing motionless and staring at him. In addition, while Simon is reading various computer monitors, the sentences "We have to stop it-- Stop the WAU", "Take the gel", "Get the virus", "An eternal nightmare" or "We suffer", can appear on the monitor briefly, accompanying the same distortion of the screen when in Ross' physical presence.
Just before activating the climber into the Abyss, Simon can notice that the console displays two people being onboard, instead of just one, hinting that Ross is there with him. During the descent, the climber begins to malfunction and Ross appears in front of Simon. He expresses joy at Simon's progress towards Tau, and states that he will make preparations for his arrival. Ross will then jump off and disappear into the Abyss as the climber will continue to descend into the Abyss. When Simon questions Catherine Chun about the event, she states that Ross merely stared at Simon for a few moments and did not speak at all.
Trek to Alpha
While inside the Abyss, Ross ventures to guide Simon to Alpha, a secret base located inside the Abyss which houses the heart of the WAU.
Along the way, Ross reveals that the structure gel used by Simon to fix the power suit was actually a modified variant of the substance, created by Herber with the intent of using it to kill the WAU. This means that Simon is capable of carrying out Ross' initial plan to destroy the WAU once and for all.
Simon is lead to the WAU's heart located at the center of Alpha. Ross then pleads with him to kill the WAU, to which Simon can either refuse or accept by sacrificing most of his left forearm to the heart, a rudimentary way of injecting the modified structure gel into the heart. Should Simon succeed in destroying the WAU's heart, Ross will attempt to kill him in order to remove any last traces of the AI. Should Simon opt not to destroy the WAU, Ross will attempt to force him to do it.
In both scenarios, the Leviathan will spontaneously emerge from the floor and consume Ross before he can kill Simon.