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Writing Excuses with Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler
Ovalkwiki - The Official Schlock Mercenary Encyclopedia
One Cobble at a Time - the official site for Sandra Tayler's writings
NARRATOR: Outside the operating theater...
SHODAN: Nick, there's nothing to be afraid of.
NICK: Sorry, Lieutenant Commander. I just can't.
SHODAN: Corporal Nicholson, this will cost you your job. You know that, right?
NICK: Sacrifices gotta be made. For the objective, you know?
SHODAN: What objective? Nick, tell me what's going on!
NICK: I haven't had a girlfriend since I was sixteen. At least not until last month, when I met Liz at Mall-One.
But I've met lots of girls. Is Liz that different from them? Or is it me that's different?
NICK: If the U.N.S. messed around in my brain, maybe I am different. And maybe I'm better this way. Happier.
And if I'm better and happier, isn't that objective worth some sacrifice?
SHODAN: Nick... This is the most thought I've ever seen you put into something. I can see you're serious. You're really being smart about this.
SHODAN: But do you really believe the U.N.S. messed with you in order to make you a better, happier person? They're not that competent, much less that benign.
NICK: Be nine of what?
SHODAN: See, that's more like your usual level of cognition, Corporal. I'm confident that down deep you're the same person you've always been.
NICK: Nine of what?
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