About ectypes: (possible spoilers!)
ectype. [ek′tīp′], noun. Greek. 1. a reproduction of an original, copy. 2. as distinguished from a prototype. 3. architecture; a cast embossed or in relief. 4.technology; a living human organism descended asexually from a single ancestor, possessing a modified, artificial nervous system based upon positronic impulses as opposed to organic neuro-chemical processes. —Random House Webster’s New World Dictionary.
Civil Rights Affirmation Act of 2183, 1571 United Nations Code Sec. 191-4a: “Equal access. All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, advantages, accomodations, education, remedies, funding, citizenship, property ownership, employment, marriage, travel, medical care, or any other rights, benefits, or privileges, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, colour, age, disability, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, neural status, or birth origin.”
1. The Three Laws of Robotics do not apply to ectypes, as they are seen (by most, not all) as human once they are integrated into society.
2. Ectypes are essentially fully formed adult human clones, built/developed/grown around a central, artificial nervous system consisting of a positronic (thank you, Asimov) brain, a control center, a spinal cable and major nerve bundles. Nerve endings and smaller nerves are organic, and they connect up via an organic/positronic synaptic gap where organic impulses (Na/K) are converted to electrical impulses and vice versa.
3. Ectypes have all of the same rights, privileges, and other benefits of society as humans.
4. Ectypes cannot physically reproduce, but they are sexual beings, like humans.
5. Ectypes’ bodies use blood much the same way a human body does, but the brain does not require oxygen, and there is no cerebrospinal fluid, rather a synthetic lubricant. Ectypes do not autonomically breathe as regularly as humans do, but they can inhale and exhale as needed to speak or to express emotion, and do draw enough oxygen into the body on a semi-regular basis (i.e. every five minutes or otherwise depending upon the processing lot) to maintain the rest of the bodily organs. The blood is sufficiently oxygenated by this process.
6. Ectypes eat, sleep (“shutdown”), drink, and undergo many other bodily processes. While they require sleep, they require far less than a human.
7. Ectypes are emotional, like humans, and can love, hate, despair, and develop relationships, memories, and intelligence, either by way of artificial engram programming (i.e. implanted memories and data) or by way of natural relationships and education. (i.e. like a human).
8. Ectypes are generally stronger, faster, and smarter than humans, and can survive for short periods in extremes of heat, cold, and vacuum that humans cannot.
9. It is unknown why, but ectypes are either empathetic or telepathic in various levels. Depending upon the makeup of the positronic network, ectypes can either sense emotion in humans, read a human’s thoughts, and in very rare cases, can communicate by way of the mind.
10. Ectypes can communicate quite easily with each other by way of the mind.
11. Ectypes have self-diagnostic systems for use in case of injury, and the data can be shared from one to another. Illness is rare, as the positronic network has safeguards against and nano-kills for most viruses and bacteria.
12. Ectypes have the option (at cost) to store their personalities and experiences in backup centres. In case of fatal injury to their bodies, they may be re-integrated into another ectype.
13. Ectypes are created in processing lots, no more than ten of each, as the DNA sequencing degrades slightly with each copy. Males are designated with a number, a given name, and a common surname, females are designated with a given name, a number, and then a common surname.
14. The life span of an ectype is unknown. Ectypes do not age at the same rate humans do. Much slower.
15. Ectypes have a positronic brain because scientists have yet to be able to properly clone a fully-functioning human brain. All attempts to do so have resulted in lack of function, severe dysfunction, or death. Therefore, in order to create a fully functional person, scientists replaced the organic brain with a synthetic one during the replication process, resulting in success.
16. Humans may commission ectypes in their own image and/or with their own personalities, talents, or information. This, however, is an extremely expensive proposition and is therefore fiscally impossible for all but a few. Even with that, such ectypes cannot be created without prior approval. The approval process is veiled in secrecy; and thus far, only one human has been approved for ectype duplication.
17. Ectypes have a “shutdown” process, where they can render themselves completely inert of positronic impulses for a pre-set amount of time (or permanently, if they so desire, but their instinct for self-preservation would likely so prevent that). Even during a shutdown, an ectype can be reactivated by another ectype, but one ectype cannot deactivate another (without severe criminal consequences). There are some humans who know how to deactivate an ectype remotely, but there are no criminal repercussions for that.
18. If programmed and/or engrammed correctly, an ectype is fully functional as an adult person from the moment of activation. They can walk, talk, run, interact, eat, work, and otherwise completely function from moment one.
19. They can be deactivated by humans… those in the know. If things get out of hand with them, they can be shut down remotely.
20. There are few of them. Enough to expand their rights generally but they are a small population. Mainly residing on the lunar base.