I don’t remember the precise point at which I ceased being human. It happens so gradually. It kind of creeps up on you, I guess you could say. The little mechanisms get into your system and work away so unobtrusively that you’d never suspect anything was happening. Nanobots come out to play, nanobots are here to stay.
They’re nasty little fuckers when it comes down to it. Nothing nice about them at all. That’s what I used to think anyway; it doesn’t matter so much to me now. It doesn’t bother me so much these days, for obvious reasons. Nothing much does! Nanobots come out to play, nanobots are here. To stay. It’s weird the way no one actually notices though. You’d think they would. Hey look, that guy isn’t human anymore. He used to be. He’s been replaced. He’s been got at. The dirty little nanobots have got to him…
Society’s nanobots. Sociobots. Society’s little reconstructors. They’ll reconstruct you from the inside out – who needs laws and regulations when you can have all these numberless swarms of nanobots? They’re in the food you eat, the water you drink. It used to be fluoride, now it’s the little fellas. They’re in the air you breathe – society’s little builders. Every time they spot an error they fix it. Every time they detect a dodgy bit of code they replace it. They build you again – they rebuild you every time you break. It’s hard to go off the tracks with all this cellular supervision going on. It’s hard to go wrong. You can’t get fucked up, no matter how hard you try!
They used to be strictly medical of course. Mankind’s greatest invention: medical nanobots which can fix you from the inside. Universal healthcare in the form of self-replicating molecular robots. You bet the old right wingers won’t like that – communist robots that are invading all our cells! Eroding all those class distinctions. We’re all equal in the eyes of a medical nanobot; we’re all just collections of code to be fixed. Rebuilt. No longer do you have to be a top tier professional to have top-notch healthcare – hurts doesn’t it? Scandalous stuff. Even a wino on the street can have the best health-care money can buy. A new liver every day.
A new brain, if necessary. Little crawlers crawling their way down every axon, inspecting every dendrite. Brain-crawlers modifying your neural pathways. The guy who mows your lawn can quote Plato to you in the original Greek. Or any other philosopher you like. In any language. The girl at the checkout in your local supermarket can programme quantum computers. Hard to be an elite in a world like this! It upsets everything we hold dear. God made us unequal and we’re supposed to stay that way… As I say, mankind’s greatest achievement – Universal Medical Nanobots.
Then the social engineers got their dirty paws on the hardware. It didn’t take long for them to realize that molecular robots gave them the ultimate form of social control – control from the inside. We can rebuild you as an infinitely obedient social machine. Sealed narcissistic units. Tell you what to think, how to behave. Every administrator’s dream come true. Every man and every woman replaced by a perfectly healthy sociopath-machine. What every society has been aiming at from the beginning of time – no more humans…