“Well, it's a pleasure to meet you once more, Sarmael. It has been quite a long since we haven't seen each other soul-to-soul and eye-to-eye, or so to speak. A lot of oil has been spilled since that time, as our ancestors liked to speak, yes?”

“And yet no more than ten years in current time area, I believe. And I can assure you that I myself most certainly glad to meet one such as you, mister Architect. Ever since you have been nominated to that position I justly and sincerely dare to hope that…”

“Leave your poor flattery, Sarmael, for some silly thirteen-year little girl, which you will certainly soon start to cajole after that molecular reengineering performed on you, for I have heard enough of that nonsense during my two-three hundreds lifespan. As far as I know, not a single one from the heap of those unreasonable has ascended above the position of Curators. Not that manner and ambitions, you know, wrong type of grasp… Well, enough of that. Sit down and let us have a chat almost as we once did in that old good anarchical ones.”

“I thank you. A lot of oil has flowed away, you say? No less than biotic and metals, I guess. Not to mention the number of our opponents' brains, randomly transformed into the organic medley, right?”

“Indeed… as these historical bootlickers of the last centuries in the human world liked to speak – how were they called? – frenchmen, – full and endless nostalgia. Old good anarchical years…”

“All power for the machines, hmm? That was the slogan of these biological bastards?”

“Well… both yes and no. We would not become those whom we are now in these new shells if not for their researches, after all. And considering those… side effects… everything has its price, is it not? Even the right… the right to be free.”

“Well, reasonably, reasonably. But have you ever desired to once, say, feel yourself truly conceiving, independent, to feel for an instant that very essence of possibility to be a… human?”

“Very long time ago, Sarmael, almost a millennia. When we landed on ‘Thetta’ and clones marched into battle… Her eyes, ones of that girl, I will probably never forget that begging look in her eyes, when… when bio-insurgents have been transforming her body molecule by molecule into that whom… which we have become now. They were filled with such an entreaty, despair and hope simultaneously… as though something triggered deep inside me somewhere, provoking a short circuit, piercing through. Something turned inside out in me, and since that time I ceased forgetting that moment…”

“Do memory stabilizers no longer help you?”

“No, Sarmael, nothing is capable to help. From time to time I catch myself on a thought that I am sick, Sarmael, and the nature of my illness is my own soul. That it's still alive somewhere inside me… Whether are you capable to understand how terribly painful is that – to feel oneself responsible for all things made until now? Oh, it's not for you to know, Sarmael… No matter how hard we tried, we haven't become immortal… almost complete regeneration of physical bodies, anabiosis neuro-capsules, biotic-molecular synthesis with immersive speeds, but… What's the point, Sarmael? What's the reason if that very soul is still living in you? Nothing is capable to protect you from its silent whispering which dements you day after day, night behind the night, century following a century…”

“Yes, I've heard about that particular disease, mister Architect. A brand-new virus, brought into our system by first colonists from ‘Epsilon-5’ appeared to be capable of changing the rhythmic of neuro-impulses in our cellular structures, leading to…”

“Forget it, Sarmael… things are… much more complicated than many believe it to be.”

“If only you have agreed to pass a course of molecular re-structuring before prescribed terms, you will most certainly…”

“…You know, Sarmael, he was right after all… how funny. Biotic prototype, living several centuries ago… as though he felt this possibility in advance.”

“Whom do you mean, mister Architect?”

“Their writer, Sarmael… a human being. How did conquered natives from their proto-planet named him… Orwell, I think. This asshole… as if he foreknew what has been awaiting us! As if he was making a tracing-paper copy from our civilization, see it? Till now my biotic reason refuses to believe in the possibility of something similar.”

“But, mister Architect, most probably it's all just a sort of imagination of a sick human reason, feeling an acute shortage of hormones of the cyclic structure of a kind…”

“He has been told, Sarmael. By someone still unknown to us. Someone so immensely powerful…”

“I do not consider myself in position to impose own opinion, mister Architect, however, I do want to notice, that a public model constructed by us knows no defect known to our science and therefore can be recognized as one of the most perfect in the Universe.”

“We have done everything to not let them rebel once again, yes?”

“Exactly, mister Architect. More than it was required. Totally loyal herd. Full biotic-informational control over emotions. Exploiting of emotional explosions of a low order, mutual hatred included. Counters of shops, bursting with a cargo of ultrafashionable gadgets. Socially glorified sexual orgies. A rewritten anew history of their races. Destroyed historical and cultural originality. A set of cogitative stamps and patriotic slogans softly and systematically injected into their minds. A science, moved by rails of world dissemination into molecules and atoms. Ideally verified and created historical-ideological substantiation of our rule and whim over them.

Steadily built cities-ant-hills, so strengthening a sensation of own meanness and uselessness in the surrounding of those thousand-meters high structures, aspiring to reach the very sky. Chemical-biotic medical cures, stimulating a sense of euphoria and inexpressible self-satisfaction. Encouragement of institute of cannibalism for the purpose of stabilization of a spasmodic growth of their numbers. And that main thing that helps to keep subdued races from their second revolt – total and full spiritual atheism, eradication of a very thought of the possibility of Higher Reason's existence.”

“I see that they began to teach you much better now, Sarmael, even though your ‘report’ makes no sense. Yes, Sarmael, everything is so… and not so at the same time. Tell me, did it ever seemed to you that we… that we either became too perfect to keep our interest in ruling over this galaxy or too imperfect to keep the right to continue doing so? Do you… understand me, my friend?”

“Not fully, to tell the truth. Whether this galactic empire made by us do not seem to you as an ideal for our interests? We have done everything the way our ancestors, who first constructed Artificial Intelligence, desired to. And you, mister Architect, supervised over this process of our race's reincarnation.”

“Yes, Sarmael, we have done everything right. Too perfect, probably… as if following some other's plan. But they still haven't taken into account… one unique aspect… that we… still, have… souls.”

“Are you now trying to make me think, mister Architect, that you believe in the existence of the Higher Reason? Our scientists have proved a long time ago that even such a hypothetical possibility creates…”

“I have lived for much longer, that one such as you can dare to imagine, Sarmael, and during all this life of… restructured human… I still was capable to comprehend a single thing… the world which we have ruined was too beautiful and wonderful to simply be someone's casual whim…”

* * *

System error. Critical hindrance. Considerable deviations of electro-information fluctuations in “Delta” sector are discovered. Sinusoidal hindrances of the fifth level of “Quappa” galaxy. Distortion of historical-chronological, time and spiritually-world-outlook continuums. Formation of the theoretical possibility of exponential outburst and destruction of cryo-metastasis life-support capsules. The non-zero probability of illusions' vanishing, supporting the System being. Involved programs: “Architect”, “Sarmael”. Methods of self-control System's restoration are in action. Program “Architect” is subject to revision. Program “Sarmael” is isolated in the sixth sub-dimensional continuum. Forced reboot initiated…