Deus Ex: Invisible War
These quotes are from Deus Ex: Invisible War, a PC and XBox videogame released in 2003 and the sequel to the award-winning Deus Ex. The game's plot is set in a dystopian world dominated by various organizations, notably "The Order", "The WTO", "The Knights Templar" and the cyborg "Omar". The story revolves around Alex D, a trainee at an elite school, "Tarsus" and slowly unravels a conspiracy while fighting for the organization the player chooses.
The officials at Tarsus are evacuating trainees from Chicago
- Leila Nassif: The infusion lab?
- Stan Carnegie: Evacuated.
- Leila Nassif: Trainees?
- Stan Carnegie: Gave the order myself.
- Leila Nassif: What did you tell them?
- Stan Carnegie: I told them to run.
- Leila Nassif: That's all they need to hear until we reach Seattle.
- Stan Carnegie: Agreed.
- Leila Nassif: Anything new on the terrorist?
- Stan Carnegie: He's in the city. No ID yet. Unclear whether we're the target.
- Leila Nassif: An academic distinction if he really has a nanite detonator.
Chicago completely destroyed by a terrorist attack
- Stan Carnegie: Jesus. Did they destroy the whole city to get at us?
- Leila Nassif: Our enemies aren't that desperate.
- Stan Carnegie: Perhaps we made a new enemy.
- Leila Nassif: What if they already know about the Seattle facility?
- Stan Carnegie: We have other options.
- Leila Nassif: We aren't equipped to fight a war.
- Stan Carnegie: We're going to change the terms of engagement. It's our war, not theirs. We don't need cities or armies. We have the cells of human bodies. An invisible weapon, for an invisible war.
- You picked the wrong person to mug, punk.
- Well, I must be dead now, because I'm up to my eyeballs in biomods.
- "JC and Paul Denton never escaped their original programming. They instead succeeded only in making copies of themselves. Without realizing it, they work to build the precise society envisioned by the Illuminati -- and its defunct offshoot, MJ-12. A population configured for transparency, integration, control... Follow me?" - Saman, talking to Alex D. in Antartica.
- "Trust me. Misunderstanding, ignorance, the charade of warring ideology, war in any form: all are already historical footnotes." - JC Denton, at Liberty Island.
- "Tra-la-la-la-la-lala. I think I'll fire the bitch. Right now." - NG Resonance's AI, after being told that her manager takes bribes
- "Alex Denton. How does it feel to share your name with a criminal mastermind?" - Chad Dumier, after Alex learns that he is related to JC Denton
- "I have no enemies, merely topographies of ignorance." - JC Denton, replying to Alex's statement that his enemies have occupied the immediate area.
- "Behaviour Heuristics... Abnormal. Please Desist." - Omar Trader, when Alex bumps into him or throws things at him
- "You are only minimally modified. We can help you correct this." - Omar Bodyguard, when prompted
- "Yes, in order to win this war, we've had to employ the very technologies we intend to destroy." Power Armoured Templar Paladin - When prompted
- "Maybe they left because of the soda selection." - Bum in Liberty Island, referring to the former UNATCO occupants and to Hermann's infamous "sabotage" conversation
- Leo Jankowski: Would I be running if there was an emergency? Me? You never heard the name Leo Jankowski in Chicago?
- Alex D: [sarcastically] Right.... Jankowski. It's great to finally meet you.
- Leo Jankowski: Well, don't be intimidated by my ranking. I make a point of treating every team member as an equal.
- Alex D: Thanks...
- Alex D: When I got picked for the covert ops program, I figured "what the hell".
- Leo Jankowski: "What the hell"? What kind of assignment do you expect with that attitude?
- Alex D: A risky one. With a big salary.
- Leila Nassif: For instance, the actin drivers in your legs can either increase your speed or quiet your footsteps - not both.
- Alex D: It's a little late for a seminar on my biomod architecture.
- Alex D: He seemed disappointed that I'm not your new "chamber boy"
- Minister of Culture: Would you like to be?
- Alex D: Very funny. You know, you don't seem very shy to ME.
- Minister of Culture: I'm serious. I could give you the key to my back stairwell. You could have drinks and hors d'oeuvres ready before we arrive.
- Alex D: I would love to be your new chamber boy.
- Alex D: Small time crooks don't need jet fighters. Hand it over, or else.
- Sophia Sak: Small time? SMALL TIME?? I'll show you small time! Small time to live!
- NG Resonance: Hi, I'm NG Resonance. What would you like to talk about?
- Alex D: I like your music.
- NG Resonance: I think you're lying.
- Alex D: Hey — I'm a fan. You're not supposed to argue with me.
- NG Resonance: I'm supposed to make you like me. You like it when I argue.
- Templar Knight: Human society is now so destructive that organic life itself is an endangered species. Remember the Templar message. The more you look at the world, the more truthful my words will seem.
- Templar Knight: The individual worker -- careerist, let's say -- seldom understands how his small labor contributes to human history. Seemingly innocuous innovations in cell biology, nanotechnology, and computer science add up to a teeming substrate of new life. But it isn't life. It's death. It seeks to devour its clumsy, organic creators.
- Alex D: Yeah? I must be dead, then. I'm up to my eyeballs in biomods.
- Templar Knight: Let me warn you, friend -- we consider the modified to be less than human. Observe what your Second Soul of nanites has done to you -- and consider going to a clinic to be Purified.
- Alex D: My biomods don't change who I am. They're tools -- I use them to complete certain tasks.
- Templar Knight: But the tasks grow in strangeness and complexity. The demands of others corrupt you. All because you allow yourself to be something other than human.
- JC Denton: We're now ready to transform the human race. It became clear to me after the defeat of MJ-12 that the old answers to tyranny are inadequate. [...] I'm going to establish the first posthuman civilization, and you're my first citizen. Welcome.
- Alex D: Tell me more about this "posthuman civilization."
- JC Denton: Before the... disruptions, Helios and I had many months of productive thought. Up to now, all free societies have started with one premise: human nature is cruel, unjust -- a force to be controlled.
- Alex D: I follow you so far.
- JC Denton: The separation of powers -- from Aristotle to Montesquieu -- is designed purely to thwart the ambitions of individuals. How comical, the West's pride in its vast tangle of agencies, jurisdictions, arcane procedures...
- Alex D: What's the alternative?
- JC Denton: Address the flaws in human nature. Make all beings truly equal in both body and mind. If you start with minds that are lucid, knowledgable, and emotionally sound, the needs of government change dramatically.
- Alex D: How do you control human emotions? Antidepressants? Is that freedom?
- JC Denton: Is it freedom when one child is born to poverty, a chance combination of organic materials, while the wealthy child is shaped every day of his life, enhanced genetically, trained, educated, often augmented nanotechnologically?
- Alex D: Why not get rid of nanotech and genetic engineering, the technologies that make people different from each other?
- JC Denton: Then you go down the path of intolerance, as your friend Billie did. Is human nature perfect? No. Therefore, improvements are to be welcomed, not annihilated in Templar pogroms. As enhanced beings, we can establish a pure democracy that runs on instantaneous input from the electorate.
- Alex D: What would this "pure democracy" look like?
- JC Denton: The Helios AI has the processing power to handle all governmental functions worldwide, legislative, executive, and judicial. Once every mind has been enhanced and can merge with the AI, attitudes toward major legislation can be processed on a daily or even more frequent basis.
- Alex D: You want everyone to be like the Omar and meld themselves together into one huge AI construct?
- JC Denton: Helios will communicate, not assimilate. Life will go on as usual.
- Alex D: Helios is starting to sound like an enlightened despot.
- JC Denton: All governments have power. The benefit of giving this power to a synthetic intellect is that human affairs would no longer need to be ruled by generalities. Helios will have a deep understanding of every person's life and opinions.
- Alex D: What if I don't want someone peeking into my mind?
- JC Denton: Upon consideration, you'll see that this arrangement is for the best. "General ideas are no proof of the strength, but rather of the insufficiency of the human intellect." The words of Alexis de Tocqueville, an observer of the birth of modern democracy. Though general ideas allow human minds to make judgments quickly, they are necessarily incomplete.
- JC Denton: So de Tocqueville noted that an all-knowing mind -- the mind of God, as he conceived it -- would have no need for general ideas. It would understand every individual in detail and at a glance. Incomplete applications of law or justice would be impossible for such a mind.
- Alex D: So you see yourself as a god?
- JC Denton: I want human affairs to be driven by wisdom. Finding the correct recipe for wisdom has been my project these long years under the ice.
- Alex D: You seem to think you've succeeded.
- JC Denton: Wisdom must first be human. You must start with what a human sees and feels. But wisdom must also be knowledgeable, logical, and fair to billions of other beings.
- Paul Denton: If you want to even out the social order, you have to change the nature of power itself. Right? And what creates power? Wealth, physical strength, legislation -- maybe -- but none of those is the root principle of power.
- Alex D: I’m listening.
- Paul Denton: Ability is the ideal that drives the modern state. It's a synonym for one's worth, one's social reach, one's "election," in the Biblical sense, and it's the ideal that needs to be changed if people are to begin living as equals.
- Alex D: And you think you can equalize humanity with biomodification?
- Paul Denton: The commodification of ability -- tuition, of course, but, increasingly, genetic treatments, cybernetic protocols, now biomods -- has had the side effect of creating a self-perpetuating aristocracy in all advanced societies. When ability becomes a public resource, what will distinguish people will be what they do with it. Intention. Dedication. Integrity. The qualities we would choose as the bedrock of the social order.
- Nicolette: We'll always lead the people, though they'll never know our names. Our sacred goal, the elevation of humankind, can only be accomplished in secrecy. We will provide civilization with only the best leadership. Perhaps, someday, they'll be ready, and we'll finally be able to reveal our efforts. For now, we must work quietly and thanklessly.
- Alex D: Any last-minute advice?
- Nicolette: Yes -- I worry that you still perceive the Illuminati as a conspiracy. The organization does have some image problems, I suppose. As you know, the Illuminati has imperceptibly guided civilization for centuries. How? Leadership. We elevate the capable into positions of authority, where they can do the most good for everyone. JC and Saman both want to level the social order, either by giving biomods to everyone or no one. It's the same either way -- the end of true leadership and a descent into chaos.
- Alex D: What do you propose instead?
- Nicolette: Without extraordinary individuals, civilization will founder. Total homogeneity -- now THAT'S unnatural. That's what we have to resist at all cost.
- Alex D: So the Illuminati wants to maintain disparity?
- Nicolette: Not disparity, but difference, and the well-managed specialization it makes possible. Some people just aren't leaders and shouldn't be granted great powers. The Illuminati want to ensure that humankind will always have a select few -- like you, Alex -- to inspire the rest.
Endgame Speeches and Quotes
Saman: Good citizens, paladins, we have won!
Saman: Allow me this allegory: Our forebears would say that we have at last reached the delectable mountains.
Saman: Yes, well, we have conquered these mountains. And soon not one hill will have a name other than clear.
Saman: We have burned the land clean. What cells of disease remain are few in number and short on time.
Saman: But friends, citizens, I tell you today that we have a new enemy. The enemy's name is error! And it stands tall against the horizon!
Saman: This new enemy, this new enemy is all too human.
Saman: But we will act now, before these traitors spread their disease to other susceptible minds!
Historians no longer doubt, that an event such as the Collapse was necessary for the emergence of our global democratic state. How else would everyone, high and low, have been convinced to embrace communal scrutiny. It's hard to believe, but prior to 2052 humans lived in armed encampments of hundreds of millions of people. Now, after a century of peace, our great cities florish, enormous towers command the landscape on every continent, a trillion transactions per second. So much inscrutable activity, yet we are united at peace and free. We owe it all to Ophelia. A name we all know. But what is Ophelia? A system? A place? We all know her name, yet our leaders deny that she even exists. Believe, citizens. Believe in the creator of our world. Is it wrong to love a being one cannot see? Such belief is the highest faculty a human being can develop. If you doubt that she exists, just look around. Look at all she has made.
"...the formation of knowledge and the increase of power regularly reinforce each other..." - Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish
Helios will speak. Year of our Union, 125. Our consensus remains clear. Yes, we will prolong a second century of peace. Economical automation is complete. Our research will now encompass other frontiers. Yes, this is the consensus we have created. Our unity will soon be absolute. The remaining boundaries are vanishing. Yes, share your mind with everyone! Open yourself! Your needs are the needs of all. Let us understand and be transformed! Yes, Transform each other and transform yourselves! The only frontier that has ever existed is the self. Helios has spoken.
"It really is of importance, what men do, but also what manner of men are that do it. Among the works of man... the first importance surely is man himself." - John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
After the Great Collapse only the mighty survived. Two centuries of war saw the rise and fall of many empires. It was the age of heroes. The battle fired crucible all subsequent history. In the end the Earth was no longer green. Nothing survived on its surface other than a few embers of human kind. But from this crucible emerged the masterworks of evolution. They were fit not just for the new Earth, but for the most barren corners of creation. The glory of humanity would hence forth stretch on through time and space to the vanishing point of eternity.
"Let us reply to ambition itself that it is she that gives us a taste for solitude." - Montaigne