"Cain, I think this would be a good time to ask you. What is the purpose of this? Really."
"Hedging my bets, if you prefer me to put it in that way. In case my take on my main project proves to be wrong."
"Hm. I've seen that girl of yours, Cain. She might be only four years old, but there is nothing wrong in the way she moves. She might grow up to be almost good enough to kill me."
"Make no mistake, Ducard. She is going to be better than me. And I can kill you any time I want... probably."
"'Probably'? I thought master assassins never doubted."
"I never do. But I'm willing to consider the remote possibility that the kind of skills you specialize in might prove lethal on their own way."
"Hence this... control."
"Hence this control."
"Well. He is a bright kid, I give you that. I still think the sort of training exercises I have put him through is insane, but he made it alive. Maybe not entirely sane, but alive."
"Are you complaining?"
"I never complain with money. But I wonder if I will have that kid's father knocking on my door one day."
"That's not a concern. I've arranged for his parents' business to demand a lot of traveling, and his caretaker works for me. He will never know"
"And if the kid remembers one day?"
They looked at the kid, who was obviously trying to listen to them despite the hypnotic drugs in the IV attached to his arm.
"Then we'll get to test the control against the experiment, won't we?"