Spoils of War
He remembered being high on B-77 with the distant clarity with which we remember familiar strangers we know very well. He knew every awful thing he did and the joyful ambition he felt while doing them. He was almost violent and beyond hurtful.
He was good at his job.
Better at least than he was during the other half of the time: high on C-92, emotionally open, inconveniently empathetic. The man he was when taking the other drug thought of him, if he did at all, with disdain-veiled hate. It was a mutual feeling. The symmetry went no further.
He knew he wouldn’t be given C-92 anymore. How he felt, how he thought, who he was now – that would never be again. The difference in their performances was too large to even hope otherwise.
The only consolation, he thought with a venom that told him his implant was switching off C-92 for the last time, was that the man he was when on B-77 wouldn’t exist for long either. There were thousands of drugs in the company toolbox and as the optimization cycles continued it was very unlikely he would survive all of them.