"It was wrong," she says to me in my mind. Always being the Conscience for us.
"No!", she yells in response with only me hearing her. "They put those kids in peril! Not us!" Responsibility often dominates the dialog.
"It was us," the calm, soothing voice says, barely audible in my head, but growing in volume. "Accept it. We should be asking what we do about it." Reason… she always takes Responsibility's side in our frequent arguments.
"Kill them all," an angry voice answers. "They are beneath us. Barely worth mentioning!" Vengeance. He is nothing if not predictable.
"Our responsibility is to change them. Help them evolve. Be better." Responsibility pauses for a moment and the others remain quiet. "That does not include saving each and every one of them. Our responsibility is greater than any one of them-"
Reason quietly interrupts Responsibility, "Except for children. We have argued this point before and we consider this an inviolate rule."
Responsibility scoffs, "Yes, not children. But the adults should know better."
"And they never do," Vengeance agrees barely audible as if to himself.
"Of course not," as Benevolence enters the conversation. "How could they? As weak and dull as their species is. But killing the ignorant, no matter their crimes, should not be the focus here." Her voice is not heard often, but always seems to echo over and over again.
A chorus of voices say, "yes" and agree.
"We did not save all the children, we realize this, yes?" Reason reminds.
"And it was the fault of those adults either inept and unable to save their young or the violence of those adults who care little of the lives of their species." Responsibility pauses, not wishing to pontificate.
"But, they must pay for their crimes," Justice says jumping in. He always stood inflexibly, as was his nature.
"Exactly!" Vengeance shouts. "Have we forgotten that our own wife and daughter died because of their collective incompetence? Have we forgotten that we were imprisoned because we valued their lives over the bureaucratic nonsense of their societal rules? We could have saved both if not for THEM!"
"Their shackling of us leading to the death of Helen and Essence is not justification for indiscriminate murder-" Conscious says until she is interrupted, as is often the case in such inevitable arguments.
"The hell it isn't!" Vengeance booms.
"But," interrupts Benevolence, "what is there to be gained by killing them?"
"Agreed", says Responsibility.
"Logically," Reason adds, "our primary goal is to help them evolve into a much better type of being. Of course, casualties are inevitable and their ignorance will put us at odds with the very race we seek to help."
"Yes, excellent point," Justice says. "To be just, we must kill only when they interfere with our efforts to improve them."
A new voice snickers. "Where's the fun in THAT?" Malevolence says, his voice having a needling quality, always uncomfortable to many of the voices, but so comforting to Vengeance, the loudest of the group.
Vengeance laughs, "Count on the others to suck the joy out of everything!"
"That's counterproductive," Responsibility says flatly, her voice always admonishing.
"FINE", Vengeance relents. "We will follow the plan. For now."
"Hopefully not for too long," Malevolence teases. "but I think we can all agree to one thing…"
In the medical bay, Goodman paces back and forth, mumbling incomprehensibly under his breath, his arms gesticulating. Only one phrase is heard clearly when he stops: "Stupid humans."