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John R. Isidore was a special who worked for Van Ness Pet Hospital and housed androids who were targeted for retirement by bounty hunter Rick Deckard.


Following World War Terminus, Isidore wandered to the peninsula south of San Francisco and settled there in an old apartment building. Over time, dust turned Isidore into a special and everyone else who lived in the building either died or emigrated. Himself unable to emigrate, Isidore found employment driving a truck for the Van Ness Pet Hospital.[1]

On the morning of January 3, 1992/2021, Isidore prepared for work, shaving while listening to his television. After turning off the television, he was briefly discomforted by the silence it brought to his apartment, prompting him to wonder if the others who remained on Earth experienced it the same way. He then went to the empathy box in his living room, experiencing Wilbur Mercer's ascent up a hill, being struck by rocks. His fusion with Mercer caused a cut upon his arm and after letting go of his empathy box, he went to clean the injury. While doing so, he wondered if he would risk experiencing Mercer's arrival at the hop of the hill, a potentially deadly task. [1]

As he finished treating his wound, Isidore heard a television blaring from another room. Excited that he was no longer alone in the building, he hurriedly grabbed some margarine from his refrigerator and made his way down the hallway to greet his new neighbor. Upon knocking on the door, the television was turned off and the person inside was silent until Isidore introduced himself. Pris Stratton opened the door, revealing the room in disarray with luggage. Pris told Isidore she did not wish to have any visitors until she was more settled in and furnished. Isidore offered to help her acquire furniture from the other apartments, but she insisted she would do it herself, which baffled Isidore as the rest of the building was kipple-ized. He explained kipple and its buildup and the act of fighting against it was futile.[1]

Isidore was confused further as Pris did not have an empathy box with her and accidentally revealed himself as a special. He prepared to return to his apartment, but Pris apparently had changed her mind about his offer to help her with furniture. Isidore then offered dinner that night, but she declined. Pris then introduced herself as Rachael Rosen, but in response to Isidore's confusion, she gave him her real name.[1]

Isidore went to work, picking up a malfunctioning electric cat as his first job of the day. En route to the Pet Hospital, he stopped and attempted to recharge the cat, but his efforts ultimately failed. Resuming his commute, he turned on Buster Friendly and His Friendly Friends, which had Amanda Werner as a guest. Isidore was bothered by host Buster Friendly's criticism of Mercerism, reaching the conclusion that Friendly and Mercer were in competition for the minds of the populace.[1]

Arriving at the Pet Hospital, he took the cat to his boss, Hannibal Sloat's office. Isidore told Sloat about what he perceived to be a conflict between Mercer and Friendly, to which Sloat agreed, believing Friendly was winning. Isidore agreed, but reasoned that Mercer would ultimately win, because to him, Mercer was eternal. Sloat countered, believing Friendly was also eternal. Sloat examined the cat and reached the conclusion that it was actually a real cat and that it had died.[1]

This revelation made Isidore nervous, even more so by Sloat's bewilderment at Isidore's inability to determine that it was a real animal. The hospital's repairman, Milt Borogrove, empathized with Isidore due to many artificial animals being indistinguishable from organic ones. Sloat then ordered Isidore to call the cat's owner to inform them of its passing. Isidore called the owner, reaching his wife, to whom he nervously explained the cat's death. When Isidore suggested an electric replacement, Borogrove quickly took over the call, offering a check to replace the cat. However, the woman, not wishing her husband to know, agreed to have an electric animal made to be an exact replica of the cat. Isidore was then told to call Wheelright & Carpenter to commission the electric cat.[1]

On the way home, Isidore stopped at a grocery store to pick up food and at the Bank of America to pick up a bottle of wine he had stored in a safety desposit box. Taking these to Pris' apartment, she was at first elated, but the emotion quickly faded and she said the food and wine would be wasted on her. She then said she did not wish to have any guests and Isidore suggested that her mood may be due to having no friends. To this, she responded that she used to have friends, but some or all of them had been killed by bounty hunters. Unaware of what a bounty hunter was, she explained them to him, neglecting the fact that bounty hunters were only supposed to target androids.[1]

Isidore was hesitant to believe Pris, as Buster Friendly had never mentioned bounty hunters, nor did their existence line up with Mercerian ethics. Figuring Pris was actually delusional, he suggested that he could protect her. As he prepared the food, Pris noted one of his responses as being similar to an android's. Briefly Pris held him, shedding tears as she ate a peach. She broke away from him, explaining that she had once lived on Mars near New New York, where she made friends with several androids, Roy and Irmgard Baty in particular.[1]

Pris continued to explain to Isidore her life on Mars until there was a knock on the door. At first, Pris advised Isidore to stay quiet, but once she recognized Roy's voice calling her from the other side, by scrawling instructions on a piece of paper, she told Isidore to answer the door. He opened the door and was greeted by Roy and Irmgard Baty, who then entered.[1]

Pris introduced Isidore to the Batys, who informed Pris that the three of them were the only survivors of their group and planned on staying in the building to hide from the bounty hunter that was after them. Isidore pointed out the potential danger in hiding all together, but Roy believed that being in the same building would allow them to help each other and advised that Pris move in with Isidore. Isidore, quickly figuring Roy as a leader, accepted the role of helping protect Pris. As Roy began preparing safety measures, Isidore had a hallucinatory vision of electronic and mechanical parts followed by the image of Roy.[1]

Isidore took Pris to his apartment and sensed that she was uneasy. She explained to him that she and the Batys were actually schizophrenic and had escaped from an East Coast mental institution rather than Mars, reinforcing Isidore's disbelief in bounty hunters. Isidore expressed that he never believed in them in the first place as he believed the government would not kill anyone. Pris then tried to point out that only organic life was protected, but Roy barged in to install a microphone and alarm into the room. As Roy explained that the alarm utilized a Penfield mood organ to cause the bounty hunter to panic, Pris noted that this would effect Isidore, but Roy had little concern as the bounty hunter would not target him. Pris questioned if Isidore's presence alone would set off the alarm and Isidore noted that as Roy answered, he noted that only an additional human would set it off. This prompted Isidore to realize Pris and the Batys were actually androids who indeed did escape from Mars. He was not off-put by this realization, noting that they were significantly more intelligent than himself.[1]

With Isidore now aware of their nature, the androids voted two-to-one to stay at the building, Roy becing the one who voted against, feeling that they should kill Isidore instead, as the dead androids could have trusted someone just like him prior to their demises. Despite Roy's doubts, Isidore expressed hope that he could help make their lives on Earth pleasant.[1]

Later that evening, the androids ordered Isidore to retrieve Pris's television set and bring it to his apartment so they could watch Buster Friendly's highly anticipated exposé. During another trip downstairs to bring up Pris's clothing, he found a spider in the hallway and brought it back to the apartment inside a medicine bottle. Isidore told the androids, gaining attention from Pris, who wondered why it needed as many legs as it had. Much to Isidore's horror, Pris began to cut legs off of the spider as Buster Friendly and a research team announced that Wilbur Mercer was fraudulent. Picking up the mutilated spider, Isidore took it to his sink and drowned it.[1]

Although upset with the revelation, Isidore believed Mercerism would continue. He then experienced hallucinations in which he confronted Mercer, who confessed to being a fraud, but gave Isidore the spider, fully restored and alive. Roy's alarms were then tripped and the androids ushered Isidore into the hallway to look for the bounty hunter. With the spider in hand, he went down to a patch of weeds outside and released it. He then met Rick Deckard, the bounty hunter searching for the androids. Isidore refused to tell him which apartment they were in, telling Deckard he would no longer be able to fuse with Mercer if he killed the androids.[1]

Isidore made his way back into the building, finding Pris's corpse on the stairs along the way. Returning to the apartment, he found the bounty hunter inside, where he had just retired Roy and Irmgard. However, Isidore tearfully said he had seen Pris's body. Deckard suggested to Isidore that he move out of the apartment. When Isidore said he would move deeper into town, among other citizens, Deckard told him that there was a vacancy in his own building. However, Isidore said he did not want to live near him and slowly made his way out of the apartment.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Isidore originally appeared in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. In the film adaptation, Blade Runner, the character J.F. Sebastian is loosely based on him. Isidore appears in the continuation novel, Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human, and is also loosely based upon the character from the original novel.