“Grey goo. Don’t worry; it’s not dangerous. It’s not that kind of goo.”

“What powers it, then?”

“Sunlight. Ambient background radiation. Trace elements extracted from the environment. Micro-changes in air density.”

“That sounds suspiciously similar to perpetual motion.”

“Nothing perpetual about it; when there’s no more suns, or radiation, or trace elements, or density, it stops working.”

“So, the heat death of the universe?”

“Or a total, artificial vacuum, whichever comes first.”

“You said not to worry, though.”

“That’s right.”

“Why?”

“It’s just an empty vessel. Well, an almost uncountable number of empty vessels networked together. But without an animating force…”

“A soul?”

“I didn’t say that. But yes.”

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