Sister Miriam Godwinson: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden. He drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Army Platoon: [singing] I don't know what I've been told/Deirdre's got a Network Node
Sheng-Ji Yang: We hold life to be sacred, but we also know the foundation of life consists in a stream of codes not so different from the successive frames of a watchvid. Why then cannot we cut one code short here, and start another there? Is life so fragile that it can withstand no tampering? Does the sacred brook no improvement?
Chairman Morgan: Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill.
Sister Miriam Godwinson: The righteous need not cower before the drumbeat of human progress. Though the song of yesterday fades into the challenge of tomorrow, God still watches and judges us. Evil lurks in the datalinks as it lurked in the streets of yesteryear. But it was never the streets that were evil.
Pravin Lal: Scientific theories are judged by the coherence they lend to our natural experience and the simplicity with which they do so. The grand principle of the heavens balances on the razor's edge of truth.
Pravin Lal: Once a man has changed the relationship between himself and his environment, he cannot return to the blissful ignorance he left. Motion, of necessity, involves a change in perspective.
Prokhor Zakharov: There are two kinds of scientific progress: the methodical experimentation and categorization which gradually extend the boundaries of knowledge, and the revolutionary leap of genius which redefines and transcends those boundaries. Acknowledging our debt to the former, we yearn nonetheless for the latter.
Prokhor Zakharov: The substructure of the universe regresses infinitely towards smaller and smaller components. Behind atoms we find electrons, and behind electrons quarks. Each layer unraveled reveals new secrets, but also new mysteries.
Corazon Santiago: Man has killed man from the beginning of time, and each new frontier has brought new ways and new places to die. Why should the future be different?
Sheng-Ji Yang: I maintain nonetheless that yin-yang dualism can be overcome. With sufficient enlightenment we can give substance to any distinction: mind without body, north without south, pleasure without pain. Remember, enlightenment is a function of willpower, not of physical strength.
Sister Miriam Godwinson: Beware, you who seek first and final principles, for you are trampling the garden of an angry God and he awaits you just beyond the last theorem.
Sheng-Ji Yang: Technological advance is an inherently iterative process. One does not simply take sand from the beach and produce a Dataprobe. We use crude tools to fashion better tools, and then our better tools to fashion more precise tools, and so on. Each minor refinement is a step in the process, and all of the steps must be taken.
Chairman Morgan: What goes up - better doggone well stay up!
Sister Miriam Godwinson: Some would ask, how could a perfect God create a universe filled with so much that is evil. They have missed a greater conundrum: why would a perfect God create a universe at all?
Sheng-Ji Yang: Einstein would turn over in his grave. Not only does God play dice, the dice are loaded.
Sheng-Ji Yang: If our society seems more nihilistic than that of previous eras, perhaps this is simply a sign of our maturity as a sentient species. As our collective consciousness expands beyond a crucial point, we are at last ready to accept life's fundamental truth: that life's only purpose is life itself.
Corazon Santiago: A ship at sea is its own world. To be the captain of a ship is to be the unquestioned ruler of that world and requires all of the leadership skills of a prince or minister.
Prokhor Zakharov: Man's unfailing capacity to believe what he prefers to be true rather than what the evidence shows to be likely and possible has always astounded me. We long for a caring Universe which will save us from our childish mistakes, and in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary we will pin all our hopes on the slimmest of doubts. God has not been proven not to exist, therefore he must exist.
Chairman Morgan: Objects once measured in meters have become so small that they cannot be seen by the naked eye, with revolutionary applications across the board. Gentlemen, forget what your courtesans have told you: size does matter!
Prokhor Zakharov: The genetic code does not, and cannot, specify the nature and position of every capillary in the body or every neuron in the brain. What it can do is describe the underlying fractal pattern which creates them.
Sheng-Ji Yang: Why do you insist that the human genetic code is sacred or taboo? It is a chemical process and nothing more. For that matter we are chemical processes and nothing more. If you deny yourself a useful tool simply because it reminds you uncomfortably of your mortality, you have uselessly and pointlessly crippled yourself.
Pravin Lal: I loved my chosen. How then to face the day when she left me? So I took from her body a single cell, perhaps to love her again.
Sister Miriam Godwinson: The Morgans fear what may not be purchased, for a trader cannot comprehend a thing that is priceless.
Sister Miriam Godwinson: And so we return again to the holy void. Some say this is simply our destiny, but I would have you remember always that the void EXISTS, just as surely as you or I. Is nothingness any less a miracle than substance?
T.M. Morgan-Reilly: Organic Superlube? Oh, it's great stuff, great stuff. You really have to keep an eye on it, though. It'll try and slide away from you the first chance it gets.
Sister Miriam Godwinson: Men in their arrogance claim to understand the nature of creation, and devise elaborate theories to describe its behavior. But always they discover in the end that God was quite a bit more clever than they thought.
Mwabudike Morgan: Energy is the currency of the future.
Prokhor Zakharov: We have reached an informational threshold which can only be crossed by harnessing the speed of light directly. The quickest computations require the fastest possible particles moving along the shortest paths. Since the capability now exists to take our information directly from photons travelling molecular distances, the final act of the information revolution will soon be upon us.
Deirdre Skye: Eternity lies ahead of us, and behind. Have you drunk your fill?
Prokhor Zakharov: To map the very stuff of life; to look into the genetic mirror and watch a million generations march past. That, friends, is both our curse and our proudest achievement. For it is in reaching to our beginnings that we begin to learn who we truly are.
Gaian Acolyte: [praying] I shall not confront Planet as an enemy, but shall accept its mysteries as gifts to be cherished. Nor shall I crudely seek to peel the layers away like the skin from an onion. Instead I shall gather them together as the tree gathers the breeze. The wind shall blow and I shall bend. The sky shall open and I shall drink my fill.
Mwabudike Morgan: Human behavior is economic behavior. The particulars may vary, but competition for limited resources remains a constant. Need as well as greed have followed us to the stars, and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming of our common pulse.
Sheng-Ji Yang: What do I care for your suffering? Pain, even agony, is no more than information before the senses, data fed to the computer of the mind. The lesson is simple: you have received the information, now act on it. Take control of the input and you shall become master of the output.
Sister Miriam Godwinson: As distances vanish and the people can flow freely from place to place, society will cross a psychological specific heat boundary and enter a new state. No longer a solid or liquid, we have become as a vapor and will expand to fill all available space. And like a gas, we shall not be easily contained.
Deirdre Skye: I believe Planet will talk to us if we are willing to listen. These fungal stalks behave as multistate relays: taken together, the neural net connectivity must be staggering. Can a planet be said to have achieved sentience?
Pravin Lal: As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
Sheng-Ji Yang: Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outward, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendent, and to embrace them is to achieve enlightenment.
Mwabudike Morgan: I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I'd settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice.
Corazon Santiago: We shall take only the greatest minds, the finest soldiers, the most faithful servants. We shall multiply them a thousandfold and release them to usher in a new era of glory.