"I dont know what to say. Looks like youre dying, Gordon? Sorry, bud?"
— Sy, to one of his best friends, who is, indeed, dying.
I spend my time thinking about how to get out of bad situations, or how to get around them. I think about my enemies and their thought patterns, about their weaknesses, and how everything can be arranged to maximize our odds.
Mary thinks about how to make people bleed.
— Sy, contemplating Mary as she kills the unkillable.
Jamie: Whats your perfect world, Simon? If the big problems were fixed and everything was working the way it should?
Sy: A world where everyone is surrounded by people who are striving to be their best, because we only grow as people when were around people who are equal to or better than us in intelligence, skill, and industry. Its in stupidity and stagnation that we fail as a species.
Jamie: But ethically? Morally?
Sy: I just gave my answer. In a perfect world, were all different, ethically and morally. We argue, we challenge each other, and everyone is working to make their ideas better and more more.
Jamie: A lot of hostility, arguments, competition.
Sy: Nothing good is awaiting us as a species if we lose that. Stagnation.
Jamie: I cant help but notice you havent mentioned anything about the positive human relationships. Only the confrontational ones.
Sy: Humans are a social species. Push us, pressure us, challenge us, and the weak elements will break apart, the stronger elements will band together. Dont get me wrong. Im not proposing something where were all supposed to act like animals, or that we should model ourselves after them. Im saying humans are humans, and being human means struggling. In the course of those struggles, we form the strongest bonds. Could be us and a life and death struggle with a pair of people who want to stalk and kill us, or two people working in a tea shop in a town thats gotten embroiled in a civil war.
Jamie: Seems like your worldview is a little bit, uh. Conveniently you?
Sy: Of course it is. Im eleven. Ish.
Sy: Whats your worldview? Dont let my answer bias you.
Jamie: I wouldnt. But world peace would be nice.
Sy: World peace would destroy humanity. Do I need to get into how? Because-
Jamie: You dont need to get into how. I get it. I really do. I agree with you on a lot of things, believe it or not. That we need the challenge, that we have to surround ourselves with people that as as bright and talented as we are, if not better. I like the differences in people, ethically or otherwise- I wouldnt be able to stand you if I didnt. But if it came down to it, Id rather have peace than war. Both would do us a lot of harm, but Id rather the sleepy, apathetic sort of ruin to the violent sort. Especially if it means we can be gentle and kind and not worry about the damage you somehow do by acting nice.
Jamie: I know. Were different people like that.
Sy: Youre a boring person. The most boring.
Jamie: What about you, Helen? Worldview?
Helen: I was hoping that being nice would get me another bit of dessert.
Jamie: Have to say, thats not a worldview.
Helen: It is so. Ethics, morals? Everyone acts in certain ways because it gets us things. Some things are more basic than others. People want to eat, they want shelter, they want to be around other people We act a certain way because it gets us those things. If we cant act nice then nobody wants to give us those basics, like food. We build up this image and its all based around getting what we want. Everyone does it, they play along, and in a roundabout, complicated way, selfishness breeds connectedness.
Jamie: And your perfect world?
Helen (vividly imagines): Its beautiful is the best word to describe it. Everything that isnt necessary to getting what we want is gone. Theres an abundance of it all, thanks to science. Food is everywhere and it overflows and theres nothing to worry about because we have and we want and we take. Were, and by we I mean people, were everywhere and we spill over into one another and were all knit together, physically and mentally. Its an exquisite landscape of things that dont ever run out to see and touches and tastes and smells and mating and eating and mindless fighting and eating-mating and fighting-eating and fighting-
Sy (interrupting): Okay. Okay.
Helen: *gets back to eating sweets*
Sy (at a loss for words): Okay.
Jamie: Thats a mental image thats going to be with me forever.
Sy: I dont see where ethics come into that world.
Helen: The closer you get to perfection, the further you get from ethics.
—Sy, Jamie and Helen discuss their worldviews over tea, Esprit de Corpse 5.4.
"[...] you are a worse person than Sadie is, Sylvester, and Sadie is a caricature."
— Ashton, comparing Sylvester to a children's book antagonist, Gut Feeling 17.5
Mary: I feel like shooting you now.
Sy: That reminds me, just in case you feel like shooting me all of a sudden. When you do it, can you do me a favor? Shoot me in the heart? I always thought my head would be what went first. Id kind of like to stick it to fate.
—Sy asking Mary for a favor as she holds him at gunpoint Taking Root 1.7
Life was frustration and pain. It had been brought into this world to serve a purpose it did not understand. It had been kept from thinking, and had found its way to understanding all the same. Not enough understanding, but enough to name itself for what it thought it ought to be.
"Im sorry we let you live so long," the red haired man spoke.
— The Primordial's thoughts as it dies, Enemy (Arc 9)
"Take away what they gave me, what they made me into, every place I really know, the people I love and the people I hate, and Im not sure whats left"
— Sy, when asked why he won't defect, Counting Sheep 9.9
I looked at Hayle.
Im yours, youre right. I started with you, you end with me, the voice said.
I wonder who you are, then, Hayle said. Because Im not positive youre Sylvester.
Im not. Im every monster Ive ever fought. Every enemy Ive defeated. Im Sylvester and Im not. Im the Noble that Sylvester will become.
A frown creased the space between his eyes. The Noble you describe sounds like a monstrous one.
Isnt it? the voice asked. What a mistake youve made.
We stuck a knife between his ribs, and swiftly backed away, bringing the knife with us, so the wound could bleed freely, air escaping his lungs.
— Sylvester, as he slays another god. Crown of Thorns 20.18