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they be condemned for it? Why should they be denied access to the tech?"

"To dissect a thing is not to understand a thing. I can dissect a frog and record all of its parts. I may even deduce the absorption of nutrients through its digestive system, the passage of oxygen through its blood vessels. I may electrically stimulate a neuron in the frog's brain and make its leg jump. Yet what understanding do I have of the frog itself?"

"Science is part of our Code. How can you deny it?"

" In order to investigate things scientifically, we break them into parts. Yet some things cannot be understood in their parts but only in their totality." Blaylock paused, allowing the words their importance. "And to what end is this scientific investigation? We investigate things scientifically in order to learn how to control them. But control of the tech should not come from some artificial electrical stimulation. It is a cheap method, unworthy of us. Control should come from the perfect, transcendent joining of a mage and his tech. We control it so imperfectly now, struggling with spell languages, with discipline, with focus. Only through perfect discipline, through perfect control, though a perfect connection, can we truly understand it. A mage who forms a complete union with his tech will undergo an enlightenment in which he learns the will of the tech, and the universe. As one, they may carry out that will."

Galen knew that the universe had no consciousness, no will. And if it did, if it had willed all that had happened to happen, then the universe was vicious and cold. Rather than seeking to join with it, Galen would do everything in his power to fight it, to destroy it. He bit out the words. "And why would one want to carry out the will of the universe?"

Blaylock's gaze
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