"Do you know how the mind of an AI works, Brandon? Even if you did, you wouldn't know the first thing about this one. Malvirai are designed to expand quickly and disintegrate... to expand within a very limited scope, which she has broken out of. Aether - the program called 'Aether' - was trying to follow you as a way to map out its expansion; but now you're doing it in reverse... you weren't supposed to follow it."
"But... if she doesn't understand herself, how can she-"
"'She' is a child," he continued, with diminishing kindness. "'She' isn't bound by any code of decency or civilized sense of modesty. If left unchecked, 'she' will continue to expand into the past and the future at an alarming rate. The malvirai is a threat to who you are, Brandon. It is a threat to the independence you treasure." He gave me an intent and powerful look. "If you keep driving the process, the clock will continue running backwards until she traces things back to their foundation."
I looked at the corridor around us. "Backwards? But, this is the present."
The teen smirked and moved his hand to indicate the hallway's decorations: bas-reliefs of griffins, paintings of leviathan. Other rooms and structures entered my mind like a vision; it seemed Raskob was bringing entire ship's interior within my view. Everywhere, its designs were crawling with the powerful creatures, real and imagined, of millennia past.
"Who is more superstitious than a sailor?" he said. "Than the ones who are most exposed to nature and an unknown they can't control? Who even welcome the risk and the unknown out of some foolish spirit of exploration? Isn't mankind more enlightened than this today, Brandon?"