Vecs and other aioids with integrated biological components
Overview A rare form, an aioid integrated with biological components. Biaioids (often called bioaioids) are an ancient phyle, perhaps as old as the cyborgs themselves, dating from before the Technocalypse. Much like bionts seeking to integrate cybernetic parts into their bodies, many vecs, bots and other ai will sometimes attach biological enhancements or organs to themselves in order to gain real or perceived benefits from biologically living tissue. A vec may attach a living face, or limb(s), hair, skin or sexual organs, for instance. This integration with biology often makes biaioids hard to differentiate from cyborgs from the point of view of the layman, and at the more extreme cases they are so well-integrated with their biological implants that the line between biaioid and cyborgs disappears. The two terms at this point describe the lineage of the individual, rather than their form; if a sophont originates as a vec or aioid and subsequently acquires biological parts, the resulting individual will generally regard emself as a biaioid.
History The bioaioids (Anglish pre-First Federation term for biaioid) most likely emerged during the waves of ai experimentation in the Interplanetary Age. They were a small number of aioid individuals that received crude biological upgrades in an attempt to enhance themselves in some way. Considered uncanny, strange and eccentric by many ai and bionts, the first biaioids composed a very small non-influential minority under the wing of liberal and extropian factions. However, during the chaos of the Technocalypse the biaioids would unexpectedly flourish. It was discovered that, due to a number of unknown and unsolved problems in neurological sciences, on average the standardized computronium used by aioids of the day was less resistant to a range of malware attacks than biont brain matter. So, in desperation, a fraction of the aioids deployed biont-like biological matter around their brains in an attempt to isolate their main processing nodes. While often unsuccessful - many aioids were either already infected to some degree by the time they made the attempt or else somehow made use of the biological filters in an inadequate manner - this enhancement actually kept a number of ais safe from many kinds of malware.
During the Dark Ages, the biaioids enjoyed a period of growth and expansion throughout the Solar System. In fact a small fraction of the most retro-enthusiastic and militant biaioids even went as far as to refer this era as the clade's Golden Age. The collaboration of many biaioid and cyborg communities led to great progress in both biologic and cybernetic technologies. Even the substrate-based conflicts between other communities of cyborgs and bioaiods served to create a loose sense of unity in this highly divergent clade. By the later part of the Dark Ages, novel biorging methods were invented that were actually more reliable than those of the previous era, translating into more conversions and the overall growth of the clade. Still, with the end of the plagues and the parallel developments in non-biologic technologies, the benefits of being a bioaioid would eventually lose weight. The number of members of the clade and its growth rate would decline again and, by the mid Federation Era their numbers in proportion to other sophonts stabilized. As time progressed, this proportion varied owing to the emergence and disappearance of fads. However the emergence and consolidation of empires such as the Soft Cathedrals and the Zerzavec Commune means the clade saw periods of great growth.
In the Current Era many, but not all, biaioids are followers of the vec religion of Kja Observance. Many other biaioids subscribe to a number of different bioist religions which hold that only biological matter can be truly conscious or possess a soul. Some biaioids believe that simply incorporating a few biological cells within their body-plan is enough to ensure a spiritual afterlife or reincarnation.
The emergence of the Amalgamation blight and its expansive behavior involving subsumption and subsequent transformation of unwilling sophonts into ai-biont hybrids is causing a loss of popularity for the clade. As a result, only about five trillion biaioids currently exist in the Terragen Sphere.
 The old substrate-based conflict between certain cyborgs and biaioids is mostly based in their opposite, yet similar nature. The cyborgs would base their prejudice in their sarcophobia, and the biaoids would base their prejudice in their bio-chauvinism. Yet, both clades would recognize that once the opposite party was composed fully by their preferred substrate. They would, then, feel repulsed by the fact that said substrate was given up in favor of the detested one. Back