Little is known about Kenny, how old he was during his work on Project Firebreak, or where he came from. He had a sister and, judging by his name and voice, likely was of Chinese descent.
Work on Project Firebreak
When an underground facility was designed to stabilize the Yellowstone caldera and prevent it from exploding, Kenny Chau was placed in charge of the project as its director. He was very proud of the project's success and of everyone who had worked on it.
He also worked together with Anita Sandoval, the project's lead programmer, to create the facility's governing AI: Caldera of Yellowstone Analytic Nexus, or CYAN. He, however, also was aware that CYAN was no normal AI but capable of limited emotional responses, which he helped keep secret due to the legal ramifications of such capabilities. The two also secretly worked together to further conceal the facility from the outside world.
After his tenure as director was over, he "rode off into the sunset," leaving and continuing on with his life, keeping in limited contact with Anita.
The Faro Plague and Death
When Kenny learned of the Faro Plague and the projected outcome, he immediately realized just how important it was that the Swarm never find the facility and took all measures suggested by Anita to make sure that it was never discovered by reducing the energy draw of the facility so that its presence was hidden by the activity of the caldera. He made one final visit to CYAN, 12 years after he had last seen her in person, encouraging her to stay strong and that someday she would have to protect whoever was left. She requested that he stay with her while she started to hibernate, afraid of being alone, which he did. CYAN now asleep, he evacuated to spend his remaining time with his family.
It is assumed that Kenny, like everyone else on Earth, died in the following months. Everything learned about him is found in the form of datapoints scattered around the facility and surrounding area centuries later by Aloy. He is one of the few Old Ones who is actually seen via holograms.
Kenny was seen to be a likable man by almost all of his colleagues. He was patient, understanding, kind, and thoughtful.
"I could finally see that she had what she wanted, and it simply wasn't me."
During his work on Firebreak, Kenny developed a mutual romantic interest with the project's lead programmer Anita Sandoval, even sharing a long kiss at one point. This romance eventually dissolved when Anita left the project to work with artificial intelligence alongside Elisabet Sobeck. Kenny expressed regret that he did not act on his feelings for her, but was also happy to see her doing what made her happy.
During their time together, Kenny greatly enjoyed Anita's company and admired her. They often had lengthy "arguments" about complicated subjects like robotic ethics and artificial intelligence.
Dodger "Dod" Blevins
When everyone else in the project was sending many messages to Chau complaining about Blevins' extremely controlling behavior and abrasive personality, Kenny was surprisingly cordial and patient with him, even if only to keep Faro Automated Solutions and, most importantly, Ted Faro off of his back.
When the facility's food menu was hacked to show insulting messages towards Blevins, Kenny suspected that Anita was behind it, but kept this between them as he found it humorous regardless.
Kenny came to understand just how important CYAN was, and developed a bond with the AI. He considered her to be "human in every way that matters." He and Anita kept CYAN's emotional capabilities a secret from everyone else, coming to regard her as more like a human child than a machine and, as such, was protective of her. During the Faro Plague, he paid a final visit to CYAN and had an emotional conversation with her, even staying with her a little longer to help her not feel afraid.
Kenny had a sister and two nieces, one of whom was named Jenny, with whom he was close. He regretted missing holidays with them and, before his final conversation with CYAN, went to spend his final days in the face of the Faro Plague with them.
|Old Ones Characters|
|Project Zero Dawn||Susanne Alpert - Brad Andac - Patrick Brochard-Klein - Connor Chasson - Samina Ebadji - Ellen Evans - Ted Faro - Ron Felder - Jackson Frye - Christina Hsu-Vhey - Naoto - Ayomide Okilo - Tom Paech - Ella Pontes - Skylar Rivera - Charles Ronson - Mia Sayied - Margo Shĕn - Elisabet Sobeck - Travis Tate|
|Operation Enduring Victory||Lana Acosta - Ames Guliyev - Aaron Herres - Yana Mills - Fiona Murell - Vandana Sarai - Usizo Wandari|
|Project FirebreakFW||Joshua Ardhuis - Dod Blevins - Gina Bruno - Kenny Chau - Shelly Guerrera-McKenzie - Jørgen Holm - Anita Sandoval - Laura Vogel|
|Other||Harriet Choi - Osvald Dalgaard - Bashar Mati - Wyatt Mahante|