(9x16) Virtuality Incarnate: Part 3, Episode 1
With the Sphidi in control of their own hardware, Tom realizes that he can now push to resolve an issue he has been thinking about for some time now but didn't wait to raise in the midst of all the more important political turmoil. Being physically embodied again, he has been displeased with being again stuck in a morphologically fixed body even though he's still an uploaded mind, missing the morphological freedom that was his original impetus to adopt Virtuality all those tens of thousands of years ago.
So he begins a program to provide the closest alternative to the full freedom of virtual avatars that can be afforded in the physical world: greater hardware customization for their artificial bodies. Working with the automata that by now once again drive the world economy, he establishes facilities where Sphidi can hot-swap components of their synthetic bodies, including components that can make some limited adjustments on the fly (skin and eyes that can change color; hair that can change color, length, and texture; bones that can change length; "fatty" padding that can swell or deflate; etc), and eventually even the option to keep multiple entire bodies on hand and switch out their connection from one of them to another.
Though many Sphidi welcome this increased freedom, it causes further strife with organic humanity, who still haven't fully overcome their prejudice against the Sphidi. They find the idea of people who don't always look like the same people even more disturbing than synthetic people who at least always look the same, and paranoia begins to arise that any random stranger might be a Sphidi "in disguise".
Next: Virtuality Incarnate: Part 3, Episode 2