Donald is an aging computer scientist and past friend of Joseph and Lula. He is loquacious and forgetful, often losing track of conversations in his own maze of words. He first appears in Act III. He also shows up in Lula's recordings in Limits and Demonstrations, and sits in the audience of The Entertainment.
Donald was once a friend and reseach partner of Joseph and Lula. After the team ran out of funds, they moved their project, an artificial intelligence they named Xanadu, to Bedquilt Cave, but quickly became lost in the sprawling tunnels and stumbled upon "strangers" from Hard Times. Frightened by the skeletal apparitions, Joseph and Lula fled, leaving Donald alone with Xanadu. Donald then set up his lab in a large cavern on the edge of the Zero, hired lab assistants from the university forums, and spent his time working on the project and sleeping. He discovered the black mold growing among its circuitboards gave Xanadu a sort of unpredictable sentience, but the Hard Times workers would come to scrape the boards clean. Eventually one of his assistants, Weaver, went to speak to the workers. She did not return, but neither did they. Xanadu was left to disintegrate under layers of neglect and age.
On Joseph's computer at Equus Oils, Conway may come across an email from Donald suggesting that he is close to a discovery. He asks Joseph to join him, then apologizes and wistfully reminisces about past times.
Donald can be found at the back of the Hall of the Mountain King, softly singing, rambling, and smoking the black mold found in the caves. After some meandering chatting, he invites Conway and friends to inspect the malfunctioning remains of Xanadu. When the group returns with questions about the machine's indecipherable mentions of Lula, Donald asks that they search out the "strangers" for advice on how to fix it.
When Lula later arrives at the Hall, she has Donald process the files on Dogwood Drive.