Zero: 'Where to begin? We've had many discussions in our Lab about the future of the children. The plan was simple: to raise the kids to the physical age to be 'frozen' in. Then, to venture into space and reach other places where mankind can live, long after our known world ceases to exist.

Antoine Gill loved the idea of going into space. Our transport was long ready, but we needed many more years to prepare the children, both physically and mentally, for their exodus. What we did not see coming is that Gill simply had no patience to wait any longer. So he released the clearly threatening Nano-trails and initiated the lift-off, only to persuade us all to leave with him at once. He did not count on Bokor and me locking ourselves in the Lab and neither did he foresee Nada and you staying behind because of Askr and Embla.

So he left them in your care and took off with the rest of the children. Right now, they are out there, heaven knows where and there's nothing we can do to stop him. And I guess there's no point in that now.

At least now you understand what we were preparing the children for. Not only for immortality, but eventually for space exploration. Gill and the four children may finally do what the rest of mankind can only dream of, to travel to other solar systems and even galaxies.

Gill is now entirely nanofied in a way that makes it possible to recycle everything in his body, using only solar power. They have no need for supplies of food or water and can easily go into a very long hyper-sleep, for many light years if they want, as they are now immortal. Only Gill may die eventually, but he will be the first and possibly even only mortal that will make it out of our solar system.'

Nada: 'The only thing we regret is the fact that the children will have little support from Gill when it comes to dealing with their immortality. This is where you and me would have made made a difference. Even though I never intended to embark on their journey, I needed more time to prepare the children. I'm sorry that you came all this way and now they are gone and it's all for nothing.'

Manko: 'I don't feel that way. During the 'sleep' we were in, I was thinking and I therefore I existed, but to truly feel alive, I realized I needed to feel something, anything. Nanofied life offers wondeful sensations and an overwhelming feeling of being alive as I have experienced at dinner. This nanofied state may well be the ultimate in ecstasy.

Nada: 'But even with the experiences like we had at dinner, we'll be ultimately bored by endless ecstasy. Even the richest man on earth will gladly relinquish everything he has in exchange for something that truly matters in his never-ending life.'

Zero: 'On the one hand, with nanotechnology, our physical needs are met and safety is assured. On the other end, developing yourself can also be mastered, given the abundance of time and technology to master anything from athletics to language.

Nada: 'So what else is there to live for?'

Manko: 'While I was in the vacuum, I have thought about the lack of death and in my opinion it makes our life a 'still life'.

Nada: 'I can see your point. Even though everyone would have unlimited time to save up for an interstellar trip, some may decide to make the best of their time on this finite earth and leave it at that. And there is no reason why they should not, as the earth offers all that we look for on other planets. They'll say to those that want to leave the earth: good riddance!'

Manko: 'I can imagine dying with the earth. I don't know how long that is going to take, but I can imagine that's enough time for me to have given real meaning to my life on this planet.'

Nada: 'For Askr and Embla, I think it is our responsibility to raise them to the age at which they are ready to choose for themselves where to go and spend their lives. But we need to be there for them.'

Manko: 'I will help. But I also want to pick up making artworks again. I think I've seen enough of this dungeon. I want to see the sun.'

Nada: 'The children have never seen it.'

Manko: 'You and the kids can stay over in my atelier back in Paris. Get used to life among mortals.'

Nada: 'Which atelier? Paris or New York?'

Manko: 'Paris'

Nada smiled.

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