"It's so easy to keep from thinking. Wake up, eat, sleep, surf the Feed, do your job, and before you know it—you're dead. The whole human species is just the same. We pretend to build and move, but really we're just standing still—humans dying, humanity destroying."

"But, species join the Assembly of their own free will!" said Chase.

"If the Assembly were to ever show weakness, every planet in every system we've colonized would revolt. They join out of fear."

"Don't they want peace?" he pleaded. "It's insane to hope for war."

"It's worse to remain complacent to injustice."

"And so you want change through war and death? You said those indicated freedom; now it sounds like they embody it."

"Can you have the sickness without the symptoms?"

"But freedom isn't a sickness!" My twin jumped out of his seat as he shouted.

"The Assembly thought it was. We all did. Humans created the Assembly to treat the symptoms and, in doing so, we killed our freedom. Of course I'd have change without them if I thought it was possible."

"But you don't." He sounded exhausted.

"I don't know."

Chase took a deep breath and stared into the vast, never-ending space. "I think we can."

"I hope you're right." But I didn't really believe it.

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