'Remove them.'

'Yes, sir.'

'You know, I'm doing this world a great favor.'

There was a hesitation. No answer came. At times like these, it was hard to tell whether an answer was necessary, or even wanted. Or mandatory. Thinking wasn't his job though, so he simply kept silent. At the same time though, he tensed, preparing for the consequences if an answer was expected.

The other figure in the room turned from he window for a moment, noticing the obvious discomfort on the others face. 'Do you have any thoughts?

The answer came quicker, surer. 'It is not my place to think.'

'Are you human?'

Another hesitation. 'Sir... Yes... I suppose so. Yes, sir.'

'You suppose so?'

'Yes, sir, I am.'

'Then you should be thinking. You know, before me, many of the philosophers believe thought was the one thing separating us from animals.

The other man blinked, looked up for a second, then quickly glanced back down to avoid the eyes of the man at the window. He contemplated this. The word 'philosophers' was foreign to him. Another clue to the past handed to him by the man in front of him. The emperor was very hard to figure out at times like this. 'Yes, sir.'

The emperor sighed. 'Why do I keep you around,' he muttered, more to himself than the other.

'To safeguard your security and the security of all this race, which has been entrusted to you by the celestial powers.'

'There are no powers in this world that have given me anything.' He hadn't expected an answer, and it didn't surprise him that the answer he did receive was mindless following. For once, he only needed someone to follow orders. The lack of thought on his security chief's part was welcome. 'You have been reading the Forbidden Book again.'

'When you gave it to me... I thought it was for me to read it. To understand how wrong the past was, and how truly magnificent you are.'

'As you have said, thought is not your place.'

'Yes, sir.' The security chief wouldn't dare point out the obvious contradiction in what was just told to him.

Because what he didn't understand was, it was intentional.

The emperor's look was grave. The time would come for this man eventually. Soon. Too soon. 'You are dismissed.'

'Yes, Lord.' The agent bowed, then took his leave from the emperor's chambers.