The Soulgiven are a synthetic artificial species created by the Faeru to prove the greatness of the Faerin peoples. The very notion that one could create an entire race seems kind of maddening. And yet the Faeru can and do it all the time. The Genespun are an entire subspecies of Faeru made by their own kind to suit various needs. It is perhaps the highest act of hubris and temptation. Many might wonder why the Soulgiven were created, and part of that was the notion of rebellion and identity.
So You were Grown in a Tube
How does a species quantify itself when they are produced on a large industrial scale. The Cylons seemed to respond to this notion that their creators were horrible sinful people and thus bombed the Twelve Tribes of Kobol back to the stone age. An internal sense of conflict is a given in most stories dealing with organic versus mechanic. However, how does this change when one becomes organic in nature? The Soulgiven are a mixture of Organic, mechanic and artificial beings. One subspecies is even holographic (the TALOS)!
Being articial according to Tropes.com has historically usually seen the Artificial Human being bonded with a kind hearted soul, or filled with angst. Well, that’s not how the Triad works. In the Five Star Stories by Mamaru Nagano, the artificial humans are a mix of slave and necessary hardware. The Mecha, or Mortarheadds of the Joker Cluster can only be piloted by two people (neural handshake means Drift time)! The pilot or Headdliner teams with a “Fatima” who then controls the guidance and weapon systems. This bond of blood and mind is what created the idea of the artificial humans in LiTS to be mistreated, but necessary to pilot the grandest weapons in the game.
This means that not only are the Soulgiven filled with angst, they are given purpose. Some are likely simply going to be slaves, or even pampered friends. Others will be seen as tools and it is this notion of skewed chattel versus required tool is an interesting duology to face.
The Replicants of Blade Runner are en excellent example of why an artificial race is interesting to play with. To create something that looks, acts, and even thinks it is “human” or in this case “faerin” on some level. The issue here then arises when the artificial species while looking like its creators is uncannily just not who they appear to be. They are stronger; they can think faster; and they are slaves to a race that doesn’t they they are worth more than the money for their core materials. In the Blade Runner movie the only way to tell someone is a Replicant is through a test. In some Anime the artificial humans have special ears, or their hair is a special color. Soulgiven have weird eerie eyes; they have a slight wrongness to their appearance (its too fake look almost plastic) so that even the semi-organic Homunculi have problems.
When you are made there are other complications. Artificiality means that your sense of self is far different than if you are raised “naturally” in a family or by someone other than your ‘creator’. Data in Star Trek took his lack of feeling and his intense levels of intelligence as a challenge to feel more human. The Replicants just wanted to live longer and ended up killing their creator. Cylons committed mass holocaust and the Soulgiven rebelled only to lose. All of this is a reaction to what the creators impinge upon their creations. That because they were made that their status was lesser than that of themselves.
So what does that mean for the race themselves? Cylons had feelings, but Data does not. The Soulgiven as a species are strange in that their very sense of self is born from their external experiences much like that of everyday people. They never grow up though so they lack a childhood and never understand the desire to reproduce. This makes things quite interest as even their sense of gender is born from what their owners attach to them. Imagine simply being told you were something and that was that. No questions ask; no chance to even get in a word edgewise! And not only did that say matter the person could change who you are and swap out your body if they so please (this is extremely expensive).
It was this lack of power and questioning of the self that I wanted people to think of when they play an artificial person. The age old notion of “what makes a man”. In Kingsman they say “Manners Maketh Man”, but is that true? Data was perfectly mannered and so was Lore, and Lore ended up killing hundreds of people. Some would say the very definition of humanity is some level of free choice. Others would say its the consideration of how your choices are made. A truly moral dilemma.