Lawson is a powerful businessman who was obsessed with securing a way to make his mark on history - namely, by creating a "genetic dynasty". Rather than have a normal family, Henry took his own DNA and doubled his X chromosome to create a daughter, Miranda, whom he ensured would have "desirable traits." Miranda was not the first offspring engineered in such a way, but she was the first one Henry kept.
Henry spoiled Miranda growing up, giving her everything she wanted, but there was always a hook, an angle designed to fit his long term plan for her. Eventually, Henry grew dissatisfied with Miranda and used her DNA to create a more ideal heiress, Oriana. Miranda rebelled, taking Oriana and fleeing after a violent shootout with Henry's guards. When Miranda went to Cerberus for protection, Henry withdrew his support for the organization.
Mass Effect 2 Edit
- See also: Miranda: The Prodigal
Though Henry was smart enough to not attempt to come after Miranda while she was under the Illusive Man's protection, he continued to search for Oriana. In 2185, he contacts a childhood acquaintance of Miranda, Niket, and entrusts him to find Oriana. Niket finds Oriana's adoptive family on Illium, and hires Eclipse to capture Oriana. However, this plan is foiled by Commander Shepard and Miranda, and Niket is killed, either by Miranda or Captain Enyala.
Mass Effect 3 Edit
Following Miranda's defection from Cerberus (or death on the Collector Base), Henry renews his support for Cerberus and sets up a base on Horizon, dubbed Sanctuary, luring hapless refugees as subjects for experimentation to study husks and the effects of Reaper indoctrination as a means to control them. Henry believes that his work would immortalize himself as the "savior" of humanity. Though he is able to copy the signal that could control the husks, he believes that applying similar techniques on the Reapers themselves will be much more difficult.
Besides performing work for Cerberus, he kidnaps Oriana. However, the Reapers discover his work, due to Henry underestimating the strength of the Reaper signal, and assault Sanctuary. At the same time, Commander Shepard discovers the true face of Sanctuary while tracking Kai Leng. The Illusive Man sends Kai Leng to Sanctuary to retrieve Henry's research data, which Leng does but leaves Henry to die. Abandoned by Cerberus and running out of options, Henry holes up deep in his laboratories and holds Oriana as a human shield, trying to bargain his way out.
When Shepard confronts him, Henry mentions that Oriana tried to shoot him, which he attributes to her elder sister's "poisonous influence". Shepard can either shoot Henry or talk him down, and gain another opportunity to kill him after Oriana has been released. However, if Miranda is still alive, she will kill him. If Shepard fails to talk him down, and does not shoot him, Miranda will still kill him, but will be shot and die shortly after.