Forrest Cameranesi Geek of all Trades

(9x13) Virtuality Incarnate: Part 2, Episode 1

As the Sphidi grow in number, they find themselves having difficulty integrating with the humans of the real world. Most of them, after a brief time in a purpose-built facility inside Starbridge America, head out into the world to the places they originally hailed from before mind-uploading into Virtuality tens of thousands of years ago. But being as they are in robot bodies, in a culture that doesn't have its own virtual world through which to have acclimated to that (the Queen of Hell making no other virtual worlds a condition of her cooperation, as with them the residents of Sphidia could be transferred out and she would lose her leverage), the Sphidi find organic humanity unsure how to interact with them.

Many humans treat the Sphidi the same way that they treat the automata, since they superficially look the same: artificial humanoids. The automata are skilled enough at mimicking human speech and body language for communication purposes that they are hard to tell apart even based on superficial behavior. But when the Sphidi do not quietly stay out of the way unless to offer help, and do not eagerly jump to serve the wishes of the humans around them, many humans perceive them not as human minds in robot bodies behaving like humans normally do, but as malfunctioning, frighteningly independent robots.

To deal with this, Xiuying takes her ambassadorial role more into the physical world, leaving Tom to continue leading their work in the transitional virtual world. She begins a campaign to build awareness among the human population of the true nature of the Sphidi. But as that awareness campaign has only very slow effects, she meanwhile begins a plan to create a community run by Sphidi and for Sphidi; a plan that many humans react to with even greater fear.

Next: Virtuality Incarnate: Part 2, Episode 2