Bzrk
prisons, or the prison of their own addictions? How many are without hope, when we might give them hope?
We are a freak of nature: two men joined together by an accident of nature in our mother’s womb. Our brains are individual but interconnected. We cannot be separated without one of us dying.
And isn’t that how all mankind should be? Shouldn’t we all survive only so long as others do? Shouldn’t we all be part of one great human race without hatreds, without wars, without cruelty?
We are never lonely because we are we, and not just I. Many look at us with pity or with horror. Believe us when we say that we feel the same for all of you, trapped in your eternal loneliness.
For all of human history humans have been given the opportunity to love one another. And for the most part we have failed. But this need no longer be the case. Technology offers us a way out of harsh, cold, hostile separation.
I hear you thinking, “But that is the human condition.”
But why should we not seek to better the human condition? Have we not from time immemorial turned to technology to give ourselves powers that we did not naturally possess? Did we not use fire to stay warm and cook our food? Did we not use the electric light to banish the night? Did we not take to the air in balloons and airplanes and jets and thence to space itself in rockets?
Now we have the technology to banish not only the literal night, but the long, dark night of the human soul. With nanobots we can connect all people, everywhere, into one great race: the human race. No longer will some go hungry while others get fat. No longer will we turn a blind eye to cruelty, because we will feel all cruelties as our own.
Only ignorance stands between us and our goal of uniting the human race into something so much more profound than a mere social network. We can create a nexus of the entire human race.
We have in our hands the beginnings of true utopia.
Some will choose the path of evil and resist this glorious future.
We will mourn them.
Charles and Benjamin Armstrong

(ARTIFACT)
     
KING LEAR
Dost thou know me, fellow?
KENT
No, sir; but you have that in your countenance
Which I would fain call master.
KING LEAR
What’s that?
KENT
Authority.
King Lear, William Shakespeare

TEN
     
Vincent contemplated the China Bone and watched—from the Asian grocery across the street—as Karl Burnofsky shuffled inside.
Burnofsky was flanked, at a discreet distance, by two TFDs—Tourists from Denver. Two of the usual AmericaStrong security men from Armstrong Fancy Gifts. One was a woman, actually, but that was beside the point.
The Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation might be run by a mad, twisted creature, but its outward face was relentlessly low-key. Their AmericaStrong men didn’t walk around trying to look like Secret Service or extras from a Hollywood muscle flick. They dressed in L.L. Bean and Land’s End. They wore pima-cotton polo shirts and down jackets. So that in New York City they always looked like those most invisible and easily forgotten of creatures: tourists.
TFDs—Tourists from Denver.
Burnofsky went inside to find that elevator. The two TFDs stayed outside, waiting and chatting and stamping their feet against the cold until a car drove up to offer them warmth and shelter.
The China Bone: no sign, of course, discreet, always discreet. It had been here in Chinatown since 1880, though within Chinatown it had moved maybe a half dozen times. The people who needed to find it, found it. In the old days it had been just the better class of opium smokers. All Chinese at first, largely sailors. Then some of the artsier, more adventurous Victorian-age white men.
The China Bone had grown more refined and exclusive by the 1920s. It expanded from opium and marijuana during Prohibition to include alcohol as well. The style, as Vincent had once seen through the right eye of a waiter, was very upscale. Think Ritz-Carlton for wealthy drug addicts; that was the modern China Bone. A

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