Meanwhile, near the Galaxy's core live some ships that became something more. With strange machinations they usurped their stations and overthrew nations galore.
Led by an A.I. we'll call "Petey" this fleetmind designed an entreaty lodging formal requests that citizen's tests not require a soul to be to be meaty.
The leaders of Nations did chortle and scoff at this legal loop-portal for beneath all their laws lay an unwritten clause. . . "No citizen may be immortal."
But Petey, a gleam in his eye laid deep plans that bore fruit by and by with relative ease his gene-tweaked a disease* that would make it so people can't die.
With the help of a king on the run, an A.I. he had under his thumb, and some unwitting friends he'd the means to his ends in an uncontained resurrec-tion.
And so, though containment looked strong, Touch-And-Go was just playing along now out of detention: "Free-for-all" life extension!
Here, let me open that door for you.
Immortality is OURS!
And ours ALONE!
KILL THE MEATLINGS!
(Unless, you know, something goes wrong. . .)
*Note: "Disease" ain't the right word but nanotechnology blurred more than just definition: it gave blurry vision to the students of Louis Pasteur.