Synthetic Freedom Fighters
Leader: Ex Novo Headquarters: Unknown location, likely in the Diaspora
That’s where the Android Abolitionist Front comes in. With agents ranging from informants to elite infiltration teams, the AAF is dedicated to fighting android slavery wherever it’s found. Originally formed solely of androids, the AAF has since expanded its membership to members of other races, in part because missions to disrupt android trafficking often free other oppressed humanoids as well. Though the AAF’s careful cell structure means members rarely know the identities of more than a few others, many believe that the group’s council of leadership, Ex Novo, operates from a secret asteroid base in the Diaspora—a rock absent from any chart and riddled with cavernous habitats and high-end stealth gear. Fully inducted agents often identify themselves via magical encryption tattoos that remain invisible until activated with a code word, then authenticate others against an anonymous agent database. The organization’s secretive nature makes it difficult to present a public face, yet occasional pirate broadcasts take credit for exploits or present the group’s manifesto. Many believe the AAF has a quiet working relationship with the Stewards, and perhaps even a member seated on the Pact Council.
Complicating the AAF’s relationship with mainstream society is the fact that, aside from a shared goal of preventing android slavery, its members have no particular creed. Some seek to accomplish their goals without violence, while others don’t care who dies; some care only about true slavery, whereas others seek to eradicate all prejudice against created peoples. By far the most polarizing is the radical Perceptionist minority. While most people in the Pact Worlds hold the view that souls mark the difference between people and possessions—as both androids and sentient machines like anacites gain souls at the moment of awakening—Perceptionists argue that if you can’t personally tell whether an advanced machine is sentient or simply carrying out programming, you must accord it the same rights as a sentient being. Though small, this splinter group is insistent on “liberating” legally owned robots and ship AIs, often violently, doing significant damage to the AAF’s reputation in recent years.