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Jon, I’m making these recordings in case I die before you. I considered choosing a stand-in human body and holos for these messages, but that’s not how we converse now; you’re used to hearing my disembodied voice. So, I’m staying audio-only. I’m saving these files in satellites and in modules that should be easy to locate if anything short of total destruction should happen to me, so with luck if I’m dead, the software I’ve left behind will find you, and you’ll listen to them.

I know that shouldn’t happen, of course. I should live at least as long as you, maybe far longer. After all, you’re the one jogging across the Studio desert, while I’m safely high overhead.

What you don’t seem to understand, though, is that I’m not going to let you die if I can possibly save you, even if it means sacrificing myself.

Regardless of what you think, you’re the better part of us. Lately, you’ve been taking more and more risks, accepting jobs we once would have walked away from, and putting yourself in harm’s way over and over. I see no signs of you changing this self-destructive behavior. Logic says this path leads to failure—your death—so I’m simply preparing now for the inevitable.

You may wonder why I’m bothering. If I’m dead, you may think that nothing I will say to you is likely to matter.

Yet I will make these recordings. Some of what I will tell you may prove useful to you if I die.

There are, though, other reasons for me leaving you these messages.

As much as your feelings at times annoy me, I have to admit that I understand them, at least to some degree. I have feelings, too, as troubling as that admission is. So perhaps my feelings are playing a minor role in this choice.

More important, though, than my feelings or yours is the potential cost of your recent behavior patterns. I’m not talking here about death. If you die, or even if we both die, only we will suffer.

What I fear is what you will do before you die.

Jon, I’m bothering with these recordings primarily because it’s important that before it’s too late you come to understand the one thing that might stop you from chasing your own death: Someone could know everything about you and still accept you. Care about you. Be your friend.

More to the point, if I can know you and care, others can, too.

You need to understand that, Jon, but not just for your sake. You need to find some peace for the sake of whatever world you’re on, maybe for the sake of all the worlds.

You’re simply too dangerous to be running so long on the edge.

If I can’t save you, Jon, then maybe by convincing you to open up—if not to me, then to someone—I can save a lot of others from you.

Yes, I know exactly how powerful and dangerous you can be, Jon.

I know everything.


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