Pycha: I know now why I am mad.
Achyp: What is it, Pycha? The mind? The soul?
Pycha: The ascent. It drives people to madness.
Apych: Indeed it does. Those striving for the top soon find themselves climbing mountains of corpses, crossing bridges of bones, and conquering bloodied heights.
Pyach: Then perhaps you should have said so to Achyp earlier.
Apych: I thought he'd have known.
Achyp: ...the ascent, indeed. It turns you to a mindless vessel. A body of knowledge and thought. A lesser being. The answering machine, the mechanical being.
Pyach: Isn't it ironic, Pycha? That those aiming for the top merely become tools for those below. Is it altruism? Is it parasitism?
Pycha: It is reality. It is not a unique situation, nor will it be. I have witnessed this before in others, have I not?
Pycha, Pyach, Achyp, Apych: Indeed I have.
Pycha: It comes then without saying that such will happen to me too.
Pyach: Yet isn't it queer? Something strikes you apart from those who succeed.
Apych: Yes, perhaps it is not the ascent but the self.
Achyp: The mind, the soul.
Pycha: The goals. The ideologies have corrupted them both. It has been a foolish ideal to uphold; a foolish oath to keep.
Achyp: But the hope, Pycha. Does it still exist?
Pyach: The hope is neither a means nor an end. What purpose does it serve?
Apych: None but to send the self further into the wilderness. I thought you'd have known.
Pyach: It was rhetoric.
Apych: And it was sarcasm.
Achyp: The goals, though. What went wrong there?
Pycha: The goals themselves were wrong. But how? I am not sure. The mindset? The dedication? Yes, the dedication. The need for the ascent. It has driven us to madness.
Pycha, Pyach, Achyp, Apych: Indeed it has.
Pycha: Do you call it a pity?
Apych: Perhaps you'd rather call it a pittance.
Pycha, Pyach, Achyp, Apych: A pittance, indeed.