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[CONCLAVE BROADCASTING NETWORK] Council of Six Passes Sentient Rights Bill

The camera displays a fairly attractive middle aged man sitting at a desk in a TV studio, he pauses for a moment before beginning to speak.

“Welcome to CBN! Today's top story concerns the new Sentient Rights bill, which was passed today by the Council of Six in a unanimous decision after nearly a month of heated debate concerning the subject. Councilman Aglatine appeared on nationwide television today to announce the decision. Let’s see that footage now.”

The camera changes to show a view of the outside of the Capitol building in Obsidian City. It then cuts to a close-up of a stage outside the building, and a well dressed but otherwise unassuming man. The man clears his throat for a moment before stepping up to the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you today to share news of great significance. Over the past month, as you know, the Council of Six has engaged in rigorous debate over the topic of sentient rights and their protections. As all of us know well, this is a topic critical to our nation’s future.”

“Our nation was built by refugees of all stripes seeking a more just society; many fled from the far west, where our way of life was disrupted by invaders from the stars who sought to control our society. We fled to seek a society ungoverned by those who were not of our own. Many more joined us, seeking a more equal society that they felt they could not find elsewhere. They found that more equal society in the Conclave.”

“And let us not forget the many Synthetics who make up the ranks of our citizenry. While built, not born, they are the best and brightest of us; working side by side with naturals for a brighter future. Synthetics in the New Dusk Conclave enjoy some of the greatest rights anywhere in the sector, but for too long we have neglected to secure these freedoms.”

The councilman folded his hands behind his back for a moment. “Corporations, often unbeholden to the government, manufacture synthetics of their own. Of question, then, is whether these synthetics are truly granted the rights that the Conclave strives to guarantee to its synthetic peoples. Can a synthetic truly have their rights as guaranteed under our constitution if implanted with a desire to work for their builders? Are their minds truly private? Are their wills their own?”

The councilman placed his hands on the podium.

“The council has elected unanimously to restrict the ability of corporations operating within Conclave space to manufacture sentient synthetics, as measured by the Myers-Siska sentience test. Any synthetic manufactured by a corporation will be entitled to a mind scan, if they wish, to detect any subconscious directives implanted by their manufactures and may request for these directives to be removed.”

The camera cuts away, moving back to a view of the studio.

“The council’s announcement has met with mixed reception. Many anti-authority groups claim that the council is moving to consolidate political power for the Archduchess and the new aristocracy, while pro-rights groups have praised the action. Three corporations have also made a statement following the announcement, let's start with the Mining Guild's statement.”

“The Mining Guild agrees with the protection of Synthetic rights: they are our neighbors, friends, wives, husbands, even children. They are a part of society, and are supposed to be treated as any other being. The Mining Guild is interested in hiring Synthetics, and paying them as well.”

“Noval Heavy Industries, best known for its luxury products, also issued a statement to the press shortly after the council’s announcement.”

“The Noval brand has always stood for freedom of choice. Our partnership with the New Dusk Conclave, including our decision to locate our headquarters within its space, stems partly from a belief that the governing powers share our belief in that most important of freedoms,”

“Regardless of origin, whether it be the iconic Operator Initiative or otherwise, the NDC has made it clear that all sentients are equal within this territory. Noval prides itself on its diversity and we are proud to consider ourselves one of the Archduchess' supporters in this matter.”

“In a surprise move Default, an industrial tools and construction company, also spoke on the matter.”

"At Default, we're honored to be part of the effort to build a better future for the peoples of this territory. We think our company is representative of those peoples, made up of immigrants of all kinds, synthetics, and naturals. While the challenges ahead of us are great, they are not so great that we can turn our back on one of the values that the Conclave was founded on - the right of all sentients to live without fear of enslavement. The better future we're working towards is one that we can all participate in."
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