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object:James S A Corey
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QUOTES [6 / 6 - 46 / 46]


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   6 James S A Corey

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   40 James S A Corey
   6 James S A Corey

1:In the twelve years she had been at this desk, in this room, everything had changed. The alliance between Earth and its upstart brother had been an eternal, unshakable thing once. The Belt had been an annoyance and a haven for tiny cells of renegades and troublemakers as likely to die of a ship malfunction as to be called to justice. Humanity had been alone in the universe.
And then the secret discovery that Phoebe, idiosyncratic moon of Saturn, had been an alien weapon, launched at earth when life here was hardly more than an interesting idea wrapped in a lipid bilayer. How could anything be the same after that? ~ James S A Corey, Caliban's War,
2:The ship creaked and gravity shifted a degree to Miller's right. Course correction. Nothing interesting. Miller closed his eyes and tried to will himself to sleep. His mind was full of dead men and Julie and love and sex. There was something Holden had said about the war that was important, but he couldn't make the pieces fit. They kept changing. Miller sighed, shifted his weight so that he blocked one of his drainage tubes and had to shift back to stop the alarm.
When the blood pressure cuff fired off again, it was Julie holding him, pulling herself so close her lips brushed his ear. His eyes opened, his mind seeing both the imaginary girl and the monitors that she would have blocked if she'd really been there.
I love you too, she said, and I will take care of you.
He smiled at seeing the numbers change as his heart raced. ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,
3:"Oi, Pampaw," Diogo said as the door to the public hall slid open. "You hear that Eros started talking?"
Miller lifted himself to one elbow.
"Sí," Diogo said. "Whatever that shit is, it started broadcasting. There's even words and shit. I've got a feed. You want a listen?"
No, Miller thought. No, I have seen those corridors. What's happened to those people almost happened to me. I don't want anything to do with that abomination.
"Sure," he said.
Diogo scooped up his own hand terminal and keyed in something. Miller's terminal chimed that it had received the new feed route. "Chica perdída in ops been mixing a bunch of it to bhangra," Diogo said, making a shifting dance move with his hips. "Hard-core, eh?"
Diogo and the other OPA irregulars had breached a high-value research station, faced down one of the most powerful and evil corporations in a history of power and evil. And now they were making music from the screams of the dying. Of the dead. They were dancing to it in the low-rent clubs. What it must be like, Miller thought, to be young and soulless. ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,
4:"So," she said. "I've been thinking of it as a computing problem. If the virus or nanomachine or protomolecule or whatever was designed, it has a purpose, right?"
"Definitely," Holden said.
"And it seems like it's trying to do something-something complex. It doesn't make sense to go to all that trouble just to kill people. Those changes it makes look intentional, just... not complete, to me."
"I can see that," Holden said. Alex and Amos nodded along with him but stayed quiet.
"So maybe the issue is that the protomolecule isn't smart enough yet. You can compress a lot of data down pretty small, but unless it's a quantum computer, processing takes space. The easiest way to get that processing in tiny machines is through distribution. Maybe the protomolecule isn't finishing its job because it just isn't smart enough to. Yet."
"Not enough of them," Alex said.
"Right," Naomi said, dropping the towel into a bin under the sink. "So you give them a lot of biomass to work with, and see what it is they are ultimately made to do."
"According to that guy in the video, they were made to hijack life on Earth and wipe us out," Miller said.
"And that," Holden said, "is why Eros is perfect. Lots of biomass in a vacuum-sealed test tube. And if it gets out of hand, there's already a war going on. A lot of ships and missiles can be used for nuking Eros into glass if the threat seems real. Nothing to make us forget our differences like a new player butting in." ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,
5:More often, he listened to the voice of Eros. Sometimes he watched the video feeds too, but usually, he just listened. Over the hours and days, he began to hear, if not patterns, at least common structures. Some of the voices spooling out of the dying station were consistent-broadcasters and entertainers who were overrepresented in the audio files archives, he guessed. There seemed to be some specific tendencies in, for want of a better term, the music of it too. Hours of random, fluting static and snatched bits of phrases would give way, and Eros would latch on to some word or phrase, fixating on it with greater and greater intensity until it broke apart and the randomness poured back in.
"... are, are, are, ARE, ARE, ARE... "
Aren't, Miller thought, and the ship suddenly shoved itself up, leaving Miller's stomach about half a foot from where it had been. A series of loud clanks followed, and then the brief wail of a Klaxon. "Dieu! Dieu!" someone shouted. "Bombs son vamen roja! Going to fry it! Fry us toda!"
There was the usual polite chuckle that the same joke had occasioned over the course of the trip, and the boy who'd made it-a pimply Belter no more than fifteen years old-grinned with pleasure at his own wit. If he didn't stop that shit, someone was going to beat him with a crowbar before they got back to Tycho. But Miller figured that someone wasn't him.
A massive jolt forward pushed him hard into the couch, and then gravity was back, the familiar 0.3 g. Maybe a little more. Except that with the airlocks pointing toward ship's down, the pilot had to grapple the spinning skin of Eros' belly first. The spin gravity made what had been the ceiling the new floor; the lowest rank of couches was now the top; and while they rigged the fusion bombs to the docks, they were all going to have to climb up onto a cold, dark rock that was trying to fling them off into the vacuum.
Such were the joys of sabotage. ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,
6:Of course we do." Dresden's voice was cutting. "But you're thinking too small. Building humanity's greatest empire is like building the world's largest anthill. Insignificant. There is a civilization out there that built the protomolecule and hurled it at us over two billion years ago. They were already gods at that point. What have they become since then? With another two billion years to advance?"
With a growing dread, Holden listened to Dresden speak. This speech had the air of something spoken before. Perhaps many times. And it had worked. It had convinced powerful people. It was why Protogen had stealth ships from the Earth shipyards and seemingly limitless behind-the-scenes support.
"We have a terrifying amount of catching up to do, gentlemen," Dresden was saying. "But fortunately we have the tool of our enemy to use in doing it."
"Catching up?" a soldier to Holden's left said. Dresden nodded at the man and smiled.
"The protomolecule can alter the host organism at the molecular level; it can create genetic change on the fly. Not just DNA, but any stable replicatoR But it is only a machine. It doesn't think. It follows instructions. If we learn how to alter that programming, then we become the architects of that change."
Holden interrupted. "If it was supposed to wipe out life on Earth and replace it with whatever the protomolecule's creators wanted, why turn it loose?"
"Excellent question," Dresden said, holding up one finger like a college professor about to deliver a lecture. "The protomolecule doesn't come with a user's manual. In fact, we've never before been able to actually watch it carry out its program. The molecule requires significant mass before it develops enough processing power to fulfill its directives. Whatever they are."
Dresden pointed at the screens covered with data around them.
"We are going to watch it at work. See what it intends to do. How it goes about doing it. And, hopefully, learn how to change that program in the process."
"You could do that with a vat of bacteria," Holden said.
"I'm not interested in remaking bacteria," Dresden said.
"You're fucking insane," Amos said, and took another step toward Dresden. Holden put a hand on the big mechanic's shoulder.
"So," Holden said. "You figure out how the bug works, and then what?"
"Then everything. Belters who can work outside a ship without wearing a suit. Humans capable of sleeping for hundreds of years at a time flying colony ships to the stars. No longer being bound to the millions of years of evolution inside one atmosphere of pressure at one g, slaves to oxygen and water. We decide what we want to be, and we reprogram ourselves to be that. That's what the protomolecule gives us."

Dresden had stood back up as he'd delivered this speech, his face shining with the zeal of a prophet.
"What we are doing is the best and only hope of humanity's survival. When we go out there, we will be facing gods."
"And if we don't go out?" Fred asked. He sounded thoughtful.
"They've already fired a doomsday weapon at us once," Dresden said.
The room was silent for a moment. Holden felt his certainty slip. He hated everything about Dresden's argument, but he couldn't quite see his way past it. He knew in his bones that something about it was dead wrong, but he couldn't find the words. Naomi's voice startled him.
"Did it convince them?" she asked.
"Excuse me?" Dresden said.
"The scientists. The technicians. Everyone you needed to make it happen. They actually had to do this. They had to watch the video of people dying all over Eros. They had to design those radioactive murder chambers. So unless you managed to round up every serial killer in the solar system and send them through a postgraduate program, how did you do this?"
"We modified our science team to remove ethical restraints."
Half a dozen clues clicked into place in Holden's head. ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Stars are better off without us. ~ James S A Corey
2:I can’t fight pirates without coffee. ~ James S A Corey
3:No monkey ever reheated a frozen burrito. ~ James S A Corey
4:No rest for the wicked, no peace for the good. ~ James S A Corey
5:Optimism expressed as conservation of delta V. ~ James S A Corey
6:Too many dots," Miller said. "Not enough lines. ~ James S A Corey
7:You're the predator right up until you're prey. ~ James S A Corey
8:Humans can be better than they are, so let’s do that. ~ James S A Corey
9:Violence is what people do when they run out of good ideas. ~ James S A Corey
10:The massive radiation exposure had failed to give him superpowers. ~ James S A Corey
11:Right,” Holden said. “No coffee. This is a terrible, terrible planet. ~ James S A Corey
12:Nothing ever killed more people than being afraid to look like a sissy. ~ James S A Corey
13:He hadn’t been aware he’d felt wrong until he suddenly felt right again. ~ James S A Corey
14:Last man standing," Amos replied with another grin. "It's in my job description. ~ James S A Corey
15:If life transcends death, then I will seek for you there. If not, then there too. ~ James S A Corey
16:Good, because I don’t use sex as a weapon,” Bobbie said. “I use weapons as weapons. ~ James S A Corey
17:Theological anthropology is a lot simpler when humans are the only ones with souls. ~ James S A Corey
18:The problem with living with miracles was that they made everything seem plausible. ~ James S A Corey
19:Liquor doesn’t make you feel better. Just makes you not so worried about feeling bad. ~ James S A Corey
20:No one can blather on like a holy man with a trapped audience. Well, maybe a politician. ~ James S A Corey
21:You can tell you’ve found a really interesting question when nobody wants you to answer it. ~ James S A Corey
22:If life transcends death

Then I will seek for you there

If not, then there too ~ James S A Corey
23:Miller was staring at him like an entomologist trying to figure out exactly where the pin went. ~ James S A Corey
24:And ... and what is civilisation if it isn't people talking to each other over a goddamned beer? ~ James S A Corey
25:Heroism is a label most people get for doing shit they’d never do if they were really thinking about it. ~ James S A Corey
26:Later, when you're wishing we had this stuff, I am going to be merciless in my mockery. And then we'll die. ~ James S A Corey
27:I keep warning you. Doors and corners, kid. That's where they get you. Humans are too fucking stupid to listen. ~ James S A Corey
28:What kind of half-assed apocalypse are they running down there?” Amos said. “Give ’em a break. It’s their first. ~ James S A Corey
29:There was a button," Holden said. "I pushed it."
"Jesus Christ. That really is how you go through life, isn't it? ~ James S A Corey
30:Looking back through history, there are a lot more men who thought they were Alexander the Great than men who actually were. ~ James S A Corey
31:His parents had raised him to believe that sex was something you did in private not because it was embarrassing, but because it was intimate. ~ James S A Corey
32:There's a right thing to do," Holden said. "You don't have a right thing, friend," Miller said. "You've got a whole plateful of maybe a little less wrong. ~ James S A Corey
33:There's a right thing to do," Holden said.
"You don't have a right thing, friend," Miller said. "You've got a whole plateful of maybe a little less wrong. ~ James S A Corey
34:First off, get your shit together. Panic doesn’t help. It never helps. Deep breaths, figure this out, make the right moves. Fear is the mind-killer. Ha. Geek. ~ James S A Corey
35:This is as good as it gets. Can’t expect everyone to be on the same page. We’re still humans after all. Some percentage of us are always going to be assholes. ~ James S A Corey
36:It was a real book— onionskin pages bound in what might have been actual leather. Miller had seen pictures of them before; the idea of that much weight for a single megabyte of data struck him as decadent. ~ James S A Corey
37:I thought if you told people facts, they'd draw their conclusions, and because the facts were true, the conclusions mostly would be too. But we don't run on facts. We run on stories about things. About people. ~ James S A Corey
38:Violence is what people do when they run out of good ideas. It's attractive because it's simple, it's direct, it's almost always available as an option. When you can't think of a good rebuttal for your opponent's argument, you can always punch them in the face. ~ James S A Corey
39:Science had given mankind many gifts, and she valued it. But the one important thing it had taken away was the value of subjective, personal experience. That had been replaced with the idea that only measurable and testable concepts had value. But humans didn't work that way. ~ James S A Corey
40:It killed humans, therefore it was a weapon. But radiation killed humans, and a medical X-ray machine wasn’t intended as a weapon. Holden was starting to feel like they were all monkeys playing with a microwave. Push a button, a light comes on inside, so it’s a light. Push a different button and stick your hand inside, it burns you, so it’s a weapon. Learn to open and close the door, it’s a place to hide things. Never grasping what it actually did, and maybe not even having the framework necessary to figure it out. No monkey ever reheated a frozen burrito. ~ James S A Corey
41:In the twelve years she had been at this desk, in this room, everything had changed. The alliance between Earth and its upstart brother had been an eternal, unshakable thing once. The Belt had been an annoyance and a haven for tiny cells of renegades and troublemakers as likely to die of a ship malfunction as to be called to justice. Humanity had been alone in the universe.
And then the secret discovery that Phoebe, idiosyncratic moon of Saturn, had been an alien weapon, launched at earth when life here was hardly more than an interesting idea wrapped in a lipid bilayer. How could anything be the same after that? ~ James S A Corey, Caliban's War,
42:The ship creaked and gravity shifted a degree to Miller's right. Course correction. Nothing interesting. Miller closed his eyes and tried to will himself to sleep. His mind was full of dead men and Julie and love and sex. There was something Holden had said about the war that was important, but he couldn't make the pieces fit. They kept changing. Miller sighed, shifted his weight so that he blocked one of his drainage tubes and had to shift back to stop the alarm.
When the blood pressure cuff fired off again, it was Julie holding him, pulling herself so close her lips brushed his ear. His eyes opened, his mind seeing both the imaginary girl and the monitors that she would have blocked if she'd really been there.
I love you too, she said, and I will take care of you.
He smiled at seeing the numbers change as his heart raced. ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,
43:"Oi, Pampaw," Diogo said as the door to the public hall slid open. "You hear that Eros started talking?"
Miller lifted himself to one elbow.
"Sí," Diogo said. "Whatever that shit is, it started broadcasting. There's even words and shit. I've got a feed. You want a listen?"
No, Miller thought. No, I have seen those corridors. What's happened to those people almost happened to me. I don't want anything to do with that abomination.
"Sure," he said.
Diogo scooped up his own hand terminal and keyed in something. Miller's terminal chimed that it had received the new feed route. "Chica perdída in ops been mixing a bunch of it to bhangra," Diogo said, making a shifting dance move with his hips. "Hard-core, eh?"
Diogo and the other OPA irregulars had breached a high-value research station, faced down one of the most powerful and evil corporations in a history of power and evil. And now they were making music from the screams of the dying. Of the dead. They were dancing to it in the low-rent clubs. What it must be like, Miller thought, to be young and soulless. ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,
44:"So," she said. "I've been thinking of it as a computing problem. If the virus or nanomachine or protomolecule or whatever was designed, it has a purpose, right?"
"Definitely," Holden said.
"And it seems like it's trying to do something-something complex. It doesn't make sense to go to all that trouble just to kill people. Those changes it makes look intentional, just... not complete, to me."
"I can see that," Holden said. Alex and Amos nodded along with him but stayed quiet.
"So maybe the issue is that the protomolecule isn't smart enough yet. You can compress a lot of data down pretty small, but unless it's a quantum computer, processing takes space. The easiest way to get that processing in tiny machines is through distribution. Maybe the protomolecule isn't finishing its job because it just isn't smart enough to. Yet."
"Not enough of them," Alex said.
"Right," Naomi said, dropping the towel into a bin under the sink. "So you give them a lot of biomass to work with, and see what it is they are ultimately made to do."
"According to that guy in the video, they were made to hijack life on Earth and wipe us out," Miller said.
"And that," Holden said, "is why Eros is perfect. Lots of biomass in a vacuum-sealed test tube. And if it gets out of hand, there's already a war going on. A lot of ships and missiles can be used for nuking Eros into glass if the threat seems real. Nothing to make us forget our differences like a new player butting in." ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,
45:More often, he listened to the voice of Eros. Sometimes he watched the video feeds too, but usually, he just listened. Over the hours and days, he began to hear, if not patterns, at least common structures. Some of the voices spooling out of the dying station were consistent-broadcasters and entertainers who were overrepresented in the audio files archives, he guessed. There seemed to be some specific tendencies in, for want of a better term, the music of it too. Hours of random, fluting static and snatched bits of phrases would give way, and Eros would latch on to some word or phrase, fixating on it with greater and greater intensity until it broke apart and the randomness poured back in.
"... are, are, are, ARE, ARE, ARE... "
Aren't, Miller thought, and the ship suddenly shoved itself up, leaving Miller's stomach about half a foot from where it had been. A series of loud clanks followed, and then the brief wail of a Klaxon. "Dieu! Dieu!" someone shouted. "Bombs son vamen roja! Going to fry it! Fry us toda!"
There was the usual polite chuckle that the same joke had occasioned over the course of the trip, and the boy who'd made it-a pimply Belter no more than fifteen years old-grinned with pleasure at his own wit. If he didn't stop that shit, someone was going to beat him with a crowbar before they got back to Tycho. But Miller figured that someone wasn't him.
A massive jolt forward pushed him hard into the couch, and then gravity was back, the familiar 0.3 g. Maybe a little more. Except that with the airlocks pointing toward ship's down, the pilot had to grapple the spinning skin of Eros' belly first. The spin gravity made what had been the ceiling the new floor; the lowest rank of couches was now the top; and while they rigged the fusion bombs to the docks, they were all going to have to climb up onto a cold, dark rock that was trying to fling them off into the vacuum.
Such were the joys of sabotage. ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,
46:Of course we do." Dresden's voice was cutting. "But you're thinking too small. Building humanity's greatest empire is like building the world's largest anthill. Insignificant. There is a civilization out there that built the protomolecule and hurled it at us over two billion years ago. They were already gods at that point. What have they become since then? With another two billion years to advance?"
With a growing dread, Holden listened to Dresden speak. This speech had the air of something spoken before. Perhaps many times. And it had worked. It had convinced powerful people. It was why Protogen had stealth ships from the Earth shipyards and seemingly limitless behind-the-scenes support.
"We have a terrifying amount of catching up to do, gentlemen," Dresden was saying. "But fortunately we have the tool of our enemy to use in doing it."
"Catching up?" a soldier to Holden's left said. Dresden nodded at the man and smiled.
"The protomolecule can alter the host organism at the molecular level; it can create genetic change on the fly. Not just DNA, but any stable replicatoR But it is only a machine. It doesn't think. It follows instructions. If we learn how to alter that programming, then we become the architects of that change."
Holden interrupted. "If it was supposed to wipe out life on Earth and replace it with whatever the protomolecule's creators wanted, why turn it loose?"
"Excellent question," Dresden said, holding up one finger like a college professor about to deliver a lecture. "The protomolecule doesn't come with a user's manual. In fact, we've never before been able to actually watch it carry out its program. The molecule requires significant mass before it develops enough processing power to fulfill its directives. Whatever they are."
Dresden pointed at the screens covered with data around them.
"We are going to watch it at work. See what it intends to do. How it goes about doing it. And, hopefully, learn how to change that program in the process."
"You could do that with a vat of bacteria," Holden said.
"I'm not interested in remaking bacteria," Dresden said.
"You're fucking insane," Amos said, and took another step toward Dresden. Holden put a hand on the big mechanic's shoulder.
"So," Holden said. "You figure out how the bug works, and then what?"
"Then everything. Belters who can work outside a ship without wearing a suit. Humans capable of sleeping for hundreds of years at a time flying colony ships to the stars. No longer being bound to the millions of years of evolution inside one atmosphere of pressure at one g, slaves to oxygen and water. We decide what we want to be, and we reprogram ourselves to be that. That's what the protomolecule gives us."

Dresden had stood back up as he'd delivered this speech, his face shining with the zeal of a prophet.
"What we are doing is the best and only hope of humanity's survival. When we go out there, we will be facing gods."
"And if we don't go out?" Fred asked. He sounded thoughtful.
"They've already fired a doomsday weapon at us once," Dresden said.
The room was silent for a moment. Holden felt his certainty slip. He hated everything about Dresden's argument, but he couldn't quite see his way past it. He knew in his bones that something about it was dead wrong, but he couldn't find the words. Naomi's voice startled him.
"Did it convince them?" she asked.
"Excuse me?" Dresden said.
"The scientists. The technicians. Everyone you needed to make it happen. They actually had to do this. They had to watch the video of people dying all over Eros. They had to design those radioactive murder chambers. So unless you managed to round up every serial killer in the solar system and send them through a postgraduate program, how did you do this?"
"We modified our science team to remove ethical restraints."
Half a dozen clues clicked into place in Holden's head. ~ James S A Corey, Leviathan Wakes,

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