Enemy AI

The magic is in the software, not the machine, but it's the machine you hate.

The software is everywhere and nowhere. The “Cloud," the "smart room," even a tiny bit in your glasses and your phone. The machine is in your hand, shiny, nimble, quicker than the eye, more knowledgeable than the old libraries where you studied, even if what you studied was no longer in paper.

It didn't matter what you studied or where. The worth you expected to have is the machine's now. You don't earn what you had expected to, you don't have the respect you sacrificed so much for.

You still save lives, you tell yourself at night. During the day you know the machine saves them.

Sometimes, as you hold the machine in your hand, you think about smashing it. You know it would destroy nothing but your career, such as it is.

Sometimes, as you hold the machine in your hand, you think about using it to kill yourself. You know the smart scalpel wouldn't let you.

Even at the worst of your despair your hands keep steady during surgery. They only shake later, when you let yourself remember that it wouldn’t have mattered.