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Variance & Violations

So does Clarice really want to serve God? Or does she want to be God? She stares at him, totally offended, but honestly: Right question, wrong words. There was never a martyr that didn't have a messiah complex. Activists are terrible people, by and large, because they let their one thing consume them -- atheism, the cause, the religion, whatever it is -- and they use that one thing in place of a personality. The thing that sets people apart from angels is singularity of purpose, of task; no gaps, no contradictions, no anything but the cause, the task. People have free will, but angels can fly. Angels do, people are.

But without activists, and martyrs, and messiahs -- without terrorists, without angels -- nothing would ever change. You're basically agreeing to burn up yourself, and all you own, and all you are, all the possibilities of your own future, for the sake of everybody else's. For the world, and its children. It's disgusting and crazy, but it's also very beautiful -- transcendent self-importance taking the shape of self-annihilation; a way of making yourself God, which is what "apotheosis" actually means -- and it's a way of being that is not accessible for sane people.

Cyrus explains to Daniel about the melting down plan, and admits he's still waiting for Zoe to wake up, "like a coma patient in a TV movie." Daniel gets in the grip of a tizz about how Vergis is fucking everything up, and Cyrus is like, "Weeelllllll, I mean, he's making the robots. Not because of anything he did, but because of how Zoe blew herself up in that truck and suddenly they could make copies of her chip even though it wouldn't boot up." Or something, I got a little lost there. (Also, hilarious: Daniel getting trapped for a second in the curtains when they head back inside.) But apparently the MCP can now be copied, just not as awesomely as the original was. "They don't score in the sentient range," he says, breaking Daniel's heart a little more. "But they shoot and fight. That's enough for the military."

Daniel takes umbrage with every word of that last couple lines, because suddenly he's better than this whole business plan he himself invented: "We were going to create life, and now you've settled for 'shooting' and 'fighting' and soldierbots? Under Tomas Vergis? Please." Used to the whining and ranting, Cyrus just quietly points out that he hasn't "settled" for shit, and in fact is right here committing some kind of industrial espionage by warning Daniel about melting down his daughter for scrap, and how the defense contracts are going. Daniel apologizes, shuts down almost completely, heads back to the booze, and Cyrus feels sorry for his crazy ass. "You never really let me in, Daniel," he says, waiting for the conversation to go there, so they can really superteam up, but Daniel's already in a superteam that Cyrus doesn't need to know about yet. "You should go. But Cyrus? Just keep your head down, okay?" Which is all Cyrus needs to hear, because those words usually mean a coup is coming.

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