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Humans really do boot up pretty fast, Chrysalis thinks. Adult life navigation is a sophisticated task to restart every twenty-four hours, but they manage to get the basic motor skills running within seconds of ending their somnoparalytic hallucinations, and executive function shortly thereafter. Maybe there’s some kind of quantum-entangled optimization under the hood? It’s not like they’re shooting chemical messages around that quickly. She’ll have to map it out.

“It’s certainly the best system I’ve seen designed by accident,” she tells the new one admiringly. “You should be proud!”

“HEEEAAAAGHH,” it says, but that’s probably just from the probe.