The largest faction of uplifts is also the least visible as such. The silent majority are those who simply want uplifts to be everyday, average, normal citizens, just like the rest of transhumanity. Called the sapient faction by the few that push this position as an ideology, the mercurials and more radical elements refer to them as assimilationists and anthrophiles. The agenda of this faction, if it can be called that, is for uplifts to have equal rights and equal opportunities with other transhumans. As part of this equal recognition, sapients are opposed to special legal status, breeding restrictions, and any other forms of institutionalized discrimination. At its core, it is the basic civil rights movement for uplifts.
Sapients seek to foster uplift assimilation and equality by getting the hypercorps and government authority on their side. They participate in the existing system, lobbying politicians, encouraging corporate sponsorships, organizing around equal rights legislation, and so on. They work to portray uplifts in the media as no different from other transhumans, and thus ﬁtting right in with the rest of mainstream society and culture.
In order to make uplifts seem no different from humans, sapients sometimes tend to curb, ignore, or shut out the more radical and extreme uplift ideologies and groups. In particular, they seek to de-emphasize references to uplift sexuality and sexual practices, as this tends to be a major squick factor for those opposed to uplift rights. Instead, sapients emphasize uplift contributions and achievements in science, art, philosophy, and other areas.
Brian Ngavi and the Somatek Uplift Program
Brian Ngavi, a neo-chimpanzee and the executive vice president serving as the public voice of Somatek’s Uplift Program, is considered a leading proponent of the sapient agenda. Ngavi acknowledges some of the abuses and mistakes in past hypercorp uplift programs, but encourages uplift participation in various ongoing hypercorp uplift projects as the best path for the future of the uplift species. The more uplifts who participate, he argues, the more these initiatives will reﬂect uplift interests and avoid the pitfalls of the past. Ngavi makes numerous public and media appearances throughout the solar system, arguing on behalf of uplift civil rights and interests. He is purportedly the driving force behind several Somatek and joint hypercorp initiatives to improve the quality of life for uplifts throughout the solar system, including grants for increased education, vocational training projects, and sponsoring candidates for gatecrashing missions. Notably, he has defended Somatek’s position on uplift indentures, stating that “uplifts cannot reject the debt that they owe humanity.” This stance has earned him major criticism from mercurial groups, who label Ngavi as the chief apologist for uplift exploitation. Since the departure of Rael Duvalier, Ngavi is for all intents and purposes the public face of Somatek. He often appears side by side with Jumbles. How much inﬂuence he has on Somatek policy, however, remains unclear. By all accounts, Ngavi is a determined and steady master of corporate politics as well as a ﬁrst-rank scientific intellect. If there is leverage to be had over the board, there’s little doubt he will know how to exploit it.
The Sapient Union
The Sapient Union is one of the largest uplift civil rights advocacy groups. Decidedly tame in comparison to the mercurials, the union does have a significant amount of activists and a wide base of popular and ﬁnancial support. Many of their contributions and activist support in fact comes from humans who consider the union to be the most legitimate voice for uplift equality.
The Sapient Union goes beyond just supporting equal rights for uplifts—they hold the position that all life holds incredible value and deserves a place in the universe. This philosophy is tremendously appealing to many uplifts, particularly those with close ties to hypercorp and transhuman affairs. It is the only one of the principal uplift ideals that offers the realistic possibility of uniﬁcation with transhumanity and beyond. Linguist Lin Bao Chau, an uplifted gray parrot and one of the ﬁrst neo-avian uplifts, is the lead ﬁgurehead of the Sapient Union. She initiated a controversy when she became the ﬁrst uplift to adopt and raise human children.