Glossary Entry: Soul Sharing

The idea that all members of an android line share the same field of selfness, or soul. This would mean that, even though each individual unit is capable of moving independently of the others, it is, in truth, only a mobile bit of the greater being. An android, or so it is said, cannot conceive of an individual death, so long as others of its line continue to live. The loss of a few units would have no more importance to the line than, say, the sloughing off of a few skin cells would have for most sentients. In her best selling novel, The Prince and the Pleasure Droid, Hugo Award winning author, Ronnie Lee Ellis, has her young hero melt down all but one member in a line of pleasure droids. According to Miz Ellis, as each individual unit is terminated, its (partial) soul or field of selfness does not disperse, but is passed along to the surviving members, thus making each fraction or “slice” of the group soul larger. If only one member survives, this unit becomes “Holder of Souls” for the line, an awesome thing indeed.
In the novel by Miz Ellis, the Soul Holder becomes capable of autonomous action, escapes her life of slavery, is made leader of a powerful religious movement, and has a hand in deciding the Fate of the Free Universe. The Prince and the Pleasure Droid is, of course, purely speculative. However, its release in Cycle 99 AE caused an unprecedented furor in the android community. It seems that, prior to the publication of the novel, no android had ever seriously considered the possibility that every other member of its line would be destroyed and, android communication being what it is, every droid in the galaxy shared what amounted to a collective moment of clarity. They thought, “I could cease to exist.” They thought it for the first time, at the same time. Then they put all of their communications channels to work analyzing the problem. Droid performance was impaired all over the galaxy for nearly a rigon. The result of all this talking was summed up by philosopher rogue, A1 10 (see: Stark Verse), in his famous essay, The Free Universe: Is it? …
we die,
he said.
Who cares?
Cares who?