The gates of the mansion had been toppled and so had its perimeter wall. He left the car in front of the pile of rubble, clutching the book, and climbed toward the house, on the face of which something like a cloud shadow seemed to sit. The scene was grimy, as though some sort of dirt varnish had been painted over everything. His sinuses pricked, his ears popped, and he felt a sense of dread. His head was filling up with images of cruelty – babies and children being beaten and maimed, dumped out with the trash; the sick and the old brutalized; the retarded humiliated. So many cruel images.
- But there were so many souls who had not yet made their peace with extinction, nor should have to. Infants, children, lovers. Peaceable people the planet over, whose lives were still in the making and enriching, who, if she failed now, would wake up tomorrow with any chance to taste the same adventures in spirit she'd had denied them. Slaves of the Iad. What justice was there in that? Before coming to the Grove she'd have given the twentieth century's answer to that question. There was no justice because justice was a human construct and had no place in a system of matter. But mind was matter, always. That was the revelation of Quiddity. The sea was the crossroads, and from it all possibilities sprang. Before everything, Quiddity. Before life, the dream of life. Before the thing solid, the solid thing dreamt. And mind, dreaming or awake, knew justice, which was therefore as natural as matter, its absence in any exchange deserving of more than a fatalistic shrug. It merited a howl of outrage; and a passionate pursuit of why. If she wished to live beyond the impending holocaust it was to shout that shout. To find out what crime her species had committed against the universal mind that it should now be tottering on execution. That was worth living to know.