Luke rolled his eyes again and leaned back in his seat. "Geez, you little federal fortune cookie, which is it? I know so much, or I know so little? I know everything, I know nothing. Wax on, wax off. I've seen schizophrenics who had less trouble making up their minds!" Jayden walked across the room, speaking again, and Nirvana detected the formation of a particle shield surrounding the dojo. Luke grinned and shrugged. 'We still have other weapons, 'Ana. I'd wager this asshole wouldn't shrug off a couple of anti-matter charges as easily as he did the fusion grenades, and we can always deploy the medichines' sarin reserves.'
Before he could reply again, a piercing, ringing sound stabbed into his head and drowned out Nirvana's voice. The tone sent him reeling and crashing to the floor, and he barely managed to remain on his knees until the sound ceased. In an instant, Nirvana's cries returned to fill his head, and she began running full diagnostics on Luke's vitals. 'A subsonic aural pacification device. Clever bastard. We should have thought of that; why the hell didn't I think of that?!' 'It's alright, Luke; there's no lasting damage, and I've implemented safeguards in your auditory canals. He won't catch us with that trick again.'
Luke staggered back to his feet and cleared his head, slightly out of breath. He turned and stared at Jayden, his taunting smile gone from his lips. "Alright, tough guy. So I'm a murderer. I'm a monster. And what the fuck are you, Tin Man? A goddamned savior? How many people's lives have you ruined, you and your precious fucking government? You and your Agency? How many people did you destroy-not just kill, but completely shatter-in the pursuit of your sacred fucking duty? You're right, I've killed hundreds of people. But the worst I've ever offered is a quick and easy death. I didn't twist their existence into some kind of sick, perverted puppet show for my own ends. I don't warp peoples' minds and corrupt their souls. And I never allowed children to be treated like the playthings of an army of fucking war criminals, pal. So don't you fucking dare try and act like your conscience is the driven fucking snow, Gearhead. You knew every goddamn thing that was going on, and you didn't lift more than a token fucking finger to help them until you were good and ready. Until it served your purposes to do so."
He paused to take a breath, and stepped a little closer to Jayden. "And as for my reasons for existing? I'll be happy to show you, asshole." 'Nirvana, did you pick up any open frequencies we can use for a mindcast?' 'There are a few minimally shielded channels, but all we could do is introduce a moderate video feed.' 'That's fine. Prepare a signal and deactivate psychometric protocols #35-9443 through #66-2859. We're going to give this bastard a taste of our reality.'
Luke's thoughts raced as he struggled to regain control over his consciousness. It had been a while since he'd had to sift through the dimensions, and it took him a few moments longer than he wished to find his targets. When he found what he was looking for, he gathered as much information as Nirvana could comfortably store, less than a dozen petabytes, and jammed as much as he could into Jayden's mind. The Agent's brain flooded with knowlege, and it was his turn to drop to his knees and cry out in pain.
'You want to know why I stay alive, motherfucker? This is why. Because I intend to create a world like this.' Luke's voice rumbled in Jayden's head as images of a beautiful, sunlit world flashed in his mind. Jayden saw children laughing and playing with their parents, people smiling and enjoying the beautiful weather, workers busying themselves happily with the tasks of their daily lives. He knew, somehow, that there was no crime, there was no sickness or violence in this world. That it was free of greed, and hatred, and pain. The sheer, unabashed joy that permeated that world's existence was almost too much for him to bear, and tears filled his eyes.
'And this is what I'm trying to stop.' Luke's voice sounded again, and Jayden was ripped away from his view of paradise and shown something very, very different.
New images clouded his mind, and Jayden saw the bodies of men, women, children littering the streets. Buildings, or what was left of them, smoldered and collapsed, and even though there was no sound Jayden knew there were still people somewhere in this world, screaming and pleading and begging for death. The sky was a dead, ashen grey, and smoke billowed up for as far as the eye could see. Tongues of flame licked at the earth from great, cavernous holes gouged in the ground. And just as Jayden had known there was nothing but peace and happiness in the other world, so he knew that this world offered nothing but anguish and misery. 'You're the one who doesn't know shit, Jayden. You're so focused on your one, pathetic little world and its petty little problems. I work on a higher scale. I see so much more than you could ever imagine. Your pitiful little 'secrets' and 'lies' are absolutely meaningless, Jayden. And so are your worthless little wars.'
~Nihon Urbs, Alice's Dojo~
Luke withdrew from Jayden's mind and stood over him as he lay on the floor, clutching at the carpet. For a moment, he paid the Agent no attention, allowing Nirvana to reinstate her control protocols and put his mind back in order. When she finished, Luke kneeled beside Jayden and leaned in close, speaking softly. He could tell the man was awake, and conscious, but he knew from experience it would take him several minutes at the very least to regain full control of himself.
"So. Now you know. Now you have an idea of just how close we really are to Heaven. And Hell. All I did was show you a few pictures, so don't worry about finding any left over surprises. I didn't bother. You're honestly not worth it. I just want you to understand, Jayden. I answer to a higher authority than your precious law. So, I'll kill, when I must. So, I'll destroy, when it's necessary. Because Eden is just like any other garden: sometimes you have to prune away some plants to let others grow."
Luke rose to his feet, turned and walked out of the room, leaving Jayden alone with his thoughts.