"Father! Help the men who live at your machines!"
"I cannot help them," said the brain of Metropolis. "Nobody can help them. They are where they must be. They are what they must be. They are not fitted for anything more or anything different."
"I do not know for what they are fitted," said Freder, expressionlessly: his head fell upon his breast as though almost severed from his neck. "I only know what I saw - and that it was dreadful to look upon… I went through the machine rooms - they were like temples. All the great gods were living in white temples. I saw Baal and Moloch, Huitzilopochtli and Durgha; some frightfully companionable, some terribly solitary. I saw Juggernaut's divine car and the Towers of Silence, Mahomet's curved sword and the crosses of Golgotha. And all machines, machines, which confined to their pedestals, like deities to their temple thrones, from the resting places which bore them, lived their god-like lives: Eyeless but seeing all, earless but hearing all, without speech, yet in themselves, a proclaiming mouth - not man, not woman, and yet engendering, receptive, and productive - lifeless yet shaking the air of their temples with the never expiring breath of their vitality. And near the god-machines, the slaves of the god-machines: the men who were as though crushed between machine companionability and machine solitude...
And the machine, having neither head nor brain, with the tension of its watchfulness, sucks and sucks out the brain from the paralysed skull of its watchman, and does not stay, and sucks, and does not stay until a being is hanging to the sucked-out skull, no longer a man and not yet a machine, pumped dry, hollowed out, used up. And the machine which has sucked out and gulped down the spinal marrow and brain of the man and has wiped out the hollows in his skull with the soft, long tongue of its soft, long hissing, the maching gleams in its silver-velvet radiance, anointed with oil, beautiful, infallible - Baal and Moloch, Huitzilopochtli and Durgha…"