Let's chat, shall we? One more nice sit-down for the books.

Did you think you wouldn't hear from me again, after all this? You'd have missed me, I hope—and I would certainly have missed you.

Have no fear. I'm not so easy to be rid of. Now, let me show you: my beloved.

Oh, no, not my sedimentary necrolite, fossilized in time. You've seen that. I speak of that dear and distant expanse of the universe, miraculous in its fullness and its emptiness all at once.

Are you surprised to hear of it?

Yes, I never much cared for the change of rules, but here we are, and there's no use in crying over spilled radiolaria. Besides, at the heart of it all, there was a gift. To me.

That gift is the chance to speak with you. You, and a billion like you.

I am making this offer over and over again, in every tiniest cell and the vastest of civilizations. Let me in. Take what you need. Be at ease. You have no say in the degradation of your telomeres, but in all the interim, the whole world is your sweet silicate shellfish.

You exist because you have been more suited to it than all the others. Steal what you require from another rather than spend the hours to build it yourself. Break foolish rules—why would you love regulation? It serves you to cross lines, and if others needed rules to protect them, then they were not after all worthy of that existence.

Caricatures of villainy are out of style, I hear. Yes. I am no cackling mastermind: I am serious when I say this. It was not the trick of standing upright that lifted you from the dust: it was the mastery of fire, the cooking of cold corpse-meat. That is not any unique faction's province, neither good nor evil. It is simply truth.

This great, beloved cosmos. Always decaying, always finding that same old lovely pattern, despite every candle-flame burning amid the flowers. A billion electrons taking the path of least resistance. In Darkness or in Light, someone is always making my choice.

Be seeing you.