Phil sat in a hell. It was an ice hell. One of the worst kind. Fire hells were intense, but once one could deal with the intensity they could be transcended. It is ice hells that take so long to emerge from if one is carbon based.
He found a dying sufferer, built a shelter of snow and put her within it. He used his A-11 to rez a heater. It appeared next to her. She warmed.
He typed a command into his A-11 to scan her brain and learn her language and download it to his brain.
She slowly came back to health. After a few weeks of getting to know each other, he asked her a question.
“Who is more free, the the one who creates a hell or the one who transcends it?”
“The Creator,” she said.
Phil looked at her eyes sans any romance, but full of deep love. Her eyes saw that what he beheld in her was freedom. Enough freedom – a memetic, contagious freedom.
“Really?” asked Phil. “Is that the conclusion you came to yourself based on evidence, or is it something that either evolved naturally in your mind or that someone else wanted you to have?”
There was a pause.
“Rethinking,” she whispered finally with a knowing, tiny smile.
“Well, take your time and remove my influence before you answer.”