The God-Builders

She had a name in every language; one of them was Earth. We programmed her, yes, but not as a vast superintelligence, cold and hungry. We built her to give and receive empathy, connected in real time to the ecological health of the planet and its future. She did not look healthy.

It was a poor attempt at advocacy. It helped raise some funds, and perhaps it increased the sharpness of the news coverage, as most humans had an easier time perceiving fragility and pain in a human form than in a planet. Some of them liked it, cheered at her helpless fear, began talking with bullying pride about what amounted to wide-eyed although not clear-minded societal suicide.

That shouldn't have surprised us, and it didn't. We hadn't built her for advocacy, but for targeting.

We began building a second god. She had a name in every language; one of them was War.