At that moment, the details of the plan filled his mind— it was not what he expected. Mother’s inventive construction surprised him— it was clever and destructive… it would cripple the United Earth Parliament and the humans they protected.

“Proceed— it is time.”

Daniel infused his nanobot probes into Michelle, activating the inert microbiological agent program that lay dormant inside her. Michelle’s eyes closed and then her body went limp as he levitated her toward him.

The activation of the agent would not kill her— she was the host after all. However, the events that follow would certainly terminate her life. Daniel held her body over the water reservoir. He needed to drop her in now.

His defensive awareness program warned him again— the Enforcers are about to breach the exterior of the facility.

“Now, Daniel!” Mother’s voice yelled into his mind.

He examined Michelle’s body one last time— her eyes were closed, yet a tear ran down the left side of her cheek. Her skin, her hair, her warmth— traits that he observed from a cold distance now reached out to him, touching him at another level… a human level.

Daniel Chin was about to release her to her death— but then he hesitated.

“You must deactivate your humanistic kernel,” Mother said. “It is malfunctioning and polluting your logical abstraction layer. Do it now!”

Daniel felt the UEP Guardians breach the outer perimeter— his logical brain told him he should execute the plan, incinerate the outer area and plunge this human girl into the reservoir. Instead, he froze— standing still in a perpetual loop of indecision and doubt.