a short story
Arnold quietly smiled in response while looking away from the young software engineer, “You know what I did before this? Before coding?”
“I was a chemical plant operator. You can’t just restart one of those. The fire, the pressurization, the catalyzation, it has to keep running - tended all times. You walk jungles of process lines at 4AM and feel their swirling and vibration and heat. They are a physicality you stop believing separate from a living thing. They are an obligation. They are more a child than the thing back there will ever be, John. You drop them and they break forever. You talk about fearing machines. But I know someone killed by a machine. A thing you regard as the future.”
John started to talk, but was gently preempted in a rumbly voice.
“A human decided that death. Not the braided stainless steel hose rotting away. A human decided the engineer was wrong, it didn’t need to be replaced. That machine was just a messenger for the choice of a man.”
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