Androids

They're not people. They aren't born like us, they don't learn like us, they don't even work like us! They're just the strange creation of some crazy wizard.
— Olivia Augustine, official of the Medimian Empire
  Androids are an exotic species from the island of Vexua, exclusively built within their borders. They seem to mimic humans in many respects, but are entirely artificial, and bear the hallmarks of this upon their bodies. Where humans have smooth skin, androids might wear indented tracks formed by the nanites powering their synthetic bodies, or might instead show smooth metal.   Androids are largely considered to be a slave race, and are constructed appropriately. Those to be used for housework or pleasure are built to be soft and welcoming; those built as assassins or warriors receive harsh exteriors plated in unknown metals. Their personalities are allegedly programmed by the mysterious factories of their births - each forced to become a blank slate, reacting to only their master's will, and shaped into the perfect servant. Pleasure-droids usually undergo charismatic conditioning before being sold, ensuring that they understand what will be attractive to their new owner, whilst assassins may undergo extreme torture to shape their latent rage into a controllable weapon.   If the brutal treatment of androids at birth is known by those outside Vexua, they do not show it - and would likely not care. Androids are largely perceived to be soulless machines with artificial personalities, making their sale and trade legitimate even in countries that have outlawed slavery. Even those who understand that androids do, in fact, possess souls are not overly concerned, due to the supposed artificial nature of the souls.   Recently, small groups have begun to oppose the sale of androids and have campaigned for their freedom. The followers of Milani have been extremely notable in this respect, and are largely active across Xin Jiyu, where they aim to halt the slave trade before the androids can be sent beyond their reach. In the West, Pin Whisperbreath and her associates have been campaigning for the freedom of all androids in the Aletheian Empire. To aid their cause, they have founded the small town of Ironfalls as a safe haven for all androids, with the blessing of future emperor Cyne Undria.

Basic Information

Anatomy & Morphology

Androids are similar to humans in their anatomy - at least, at a glance. They usually stand around 6ft tall, weigh around 200lbs, and use human proportions in most cases. Their skin is either soft silicone or hard steel, and is always patterned with intricate tattoo-like circuitry through which their nanites may be channelled. Their eyes are one of the largest giveaways to their less-than-human nature - unnatural colours and a metallic sheen prove difficult to hide, even for those otherwise masterful at blending in.   Under the surface, the differences grow exponentially. Whilst their organs mimic those of humans, the materials and makeup of their biological systems are alien in nature. Slick oil replaces human blood, and strange alloys of unknown materials construct their organs. Nanites, small creatures infused with the androids, are used to perform regular maintenance and to aid the android in their daily tasks.

Genetics and Reproduction

As they are a constructed race, androids may not reproduce. However, an android does possess a soul, and thus will 'reproduce' in a different way - after approximately a century, the android's mind will shut down, allowing their soul to return to the Great Beyond and for a new one to inhabit the android body.   For this reason, agents of Vexua are rumoured to have installed fail-safes to return any 'dead' androids to them for appropriate conditioning, and reward any who return 'dead' androids to them without their intervention.

Dietary Needs and Habits

As an android still possesses organs, they must still consume food and drink - however, due to the brutal conditioning process they undergo, they barely taste it. In addition, the severe conditioning grants them ability to endure starvation and thirst to some extent - though they will eventually require sustenance lest their owner risk severe malfunctions.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Young miss! You look lonely! In this world, it's not safe to go out alone. Why don't ya come buy one of these lovely androids? Look, she'd make a perfect companion! Can even do ya hair!
— An android slave trader
  Androids make perfect slaves, servants and pets for those looking for something more exotic, or for those living somewhere slavery is outlawed. Due to the pressure Vexua exudes on the world, virtually nowhere has been able to successfully ban android servitude (though their slavery has been successfully outlawed in a few distant countries). They are conditioned to obey their masters perfectly through devices implanted in their brains at birth, and have all free will supposedly removed at the same time.   Their functions as slaves or servants vary. Some choose to use them as status symbols and simply have them do every job a normal servant might, whilst others utilise their increased dexterity and intimidating presence as effective bodyguards. Shadier organisations train their androids to be perfect assassins, particularly as the android can be ordered to never release the information on who was truly responsible. Wizards enjoy the company of androids as exotic and intelligent research 'assistants', often bestowing some measure of free will on them for the help they provide.   The extremely rich seem to enjoy simply keeping them as pets. Whilst they grant the androids some measure of free will, they also demean them in the process, usually confiscating any forms of self-defence the android has and forcing them to wear uncomfortable clothing. They may also be utilised for other forms of pleasure in this situation, as they are fully intelligent.   The few androids that manage to earn their freedom tend to maintain quiet lives, pursuing studies that interest them. Many go on to become sorcerers, using the nanites in their blood to empower their magic, or use the skills they learnt in their slavery to train as rogues or ninjas. They tend to maintain disguises and hide their identities, lest someone force them back into slavery. Those who are captured and further exploited will often attempt to break free one last time.   This final break for freedom is not to escape - it is to die free. An android that has experienced life will always prefer death to enslavement, much to the disgust of their captors.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Always from Vexua, but often sold elsewhere due to connections with various trade routes. In particular, the Golden Pilgrimage is known for its procurement of androids, and traders will often utilise android stock as bodyguards for those on sale.

Average Intelligence

Extremely intelligent - equivalent of elves

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Despite rumours stating otherwise, android vision is not supernaturally enhanced outside the norms of Istralar. They possess the ability to see in the dark, but do not have x-ray powers or the ability to shoot beams from their eyes.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Androids are not commonly permitted to choose their own names. If given the chance, they will either choose names from their surrounding cultures, from mythology (local and otherwise), or even from vestiges of their Vexuan memories. They do not take last names.

Beauty Ideals

There are no true android beauty ideals. Those who are free co-opt those of their surrounding races, usually to blend in, and those still in slavery are bound to the whims of their owners. Androids in Vexua usually wear tight body armour that later becomes their 'sale' outfit.

Historical Figures

One of the most progressive androids in the world as of yet would be 'Genji' - the companion of Pin Whisperbreath. Genji was freed from a slaver in Port Amarin and gifted free will, and from then on, accompanied Pin and her friends in their travel. He helped found the town of Ironfalls to provide a safe haven for all androids, and has since risen to a position of leadership in the town.

Origin/Ancestry
Vexuan (potentially spacefaring)
Lifespan
~100 years
Conservation Status
Unprotected yet controlled.
Average Height
6ft / 182cm (unless otherwise requested)
Average Weight
200lb / 91kg
Average Physique
Usually dextrous and well-built.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Either human-like or, if distinctly metal, silver.


Cover image: Cybernetique by Tansie Stephens

Comments

Author's Notes

Direct link to cover image.


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17 Jul, 2018 08:08

Simple but yet interesting. I like it

17 Jul, 2018 09:01

I feel obliged to say the following:   FREE THE ANDROIDS

17 Jul, 2018 09:46

PIN IS WORKING ON IT

17 Jul, 2018 09:07

I think you covered this very well. It's a take on the "exotic pet" prompt I wouldn't have expected to see. I like how in-depth it is for the seeming quick information it gives out. And the art just makes it pop. Well done.

29 Jul, 2018 20:06

Well done on being featured in today's stream!

30 Jul, 2018 05:04

Thank you! ♡ Regarding a Bladerunner-esque scenario: that's actually very close, yeah. They have extreme difficulty with emotion and morality if given their freedom as it's been drilled out of them, and those that 'pass on' are hunted down to be reprocessed or slain.