|Books character||TV character|
Laurens Bancroft is a native of Earth and a powerful figure on the political stage. Born in 2019, Bancroft suffered a long, successive series of resleeving in order to continue living even after the biological degradation of his body reached a critical point. He is one of the first founding Meths, and over 360 years old. In 2384, he was seemingly murdered. After his consciousness was re-imprinted back into a new sleeve, he hired former CTAC trooper and Envoy Takeshi Kovacs to elucidate the mystery.
Laurens Bancroft was born in London before moving to the United States of America as a young man. One of the first Meths, Bancroft is the CEO of Bancroft Industries, living in Suntouch House on The Aerium above Bay City. He married Miriam Bancroft a hundred years ago, and she gave him twenty-one children including Isaac and Naomi
Throughout the series
Laurens Bancroft possesses an extreme megalomaniacal personality due his extreme wealth, influence, and long life, stating that "God is dead, we've taken his place". This god complex and need for control resonates within his own family as well as the "grounder" society. His will prevents his family from inheriting anything in the event of his "real death" and he keeps his son, Isaac Bancroft, in a younger sleeve to prevent him from developing into manhood and surpassing his father. He often visits the grounder society, specifically quarantined areas where infected dying citizens are kept locked away, and gives them gifts, blankets, food and other treats and comforts, exposing himself to their various diseases and experiencing sleeve death only to be needlecast into a new sleeve and eventually return to the ground with more gifts, perpetuating the belief that Meths are the new gods. Laurens maintains older clone sleeves of himself, stating the gods that commanded supreme respect and power such as Zeus, Jupiter, etc. took the form of older men. He prides himself that there is one line he will not cross, which is to truly kill another human being. When he indulges in his vices with prostitutes, he sometimes practices "consensual death", where he will kill a prostitute's sleeve and replace it with an upgrade, often with enhanced physical traits such as augmented breasts. Laurens' pride and archaic streak hide a deeper sense of shame and cowardice. When he killed a prostitute by destroying her Cortical Stack his shame caused him to kill/"real-death" himself, destroying his stack minutes before his D.H.F. backup to prevent the memory of this event from transferring to his backup stack. Upon learning the truth of what his former self had done, Laurence reacted with shock and shame, causing him to turn himself in and pass on his estate to his son Isaac, accepting the punishment of the justice system.
“I admire a man that can look over the edge without flinching.”