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Target Locked: Pending Approval





Date: 7-19-2099

M: “Hello, please take a seat.”

S: “Thank you.”

M: “What brings you here?”

S: “My heart rate was spiking at work yesterday. My supervisor recommended I come in to relieve some stress.”

M: “Your supervisor might have recommended you come, but I want to know, why did you come?”

S: “I don’t know.”

M: “What did you want to accomplish by coming here?”

S: “There’s just been a lot of stress at work lately.”

M: “What do you do for work?”

S: “I’m a strike approval specialist for RedCorp.”

M: “And what does that mean?”

S: “How do you not know? I mean, there’s only so many careers left for biologicals. I’m not the athlete type, or the companion type. All that leaves is strike approver and meat processor.”

M: “I know, it’s just helpful for biologicals to talk through their issues. Your nuerocomplex has a systemic need to receive empathy to process complex emotions. It’s an evolutionary relic to build unit cohesion.”

S: “I enter an immersive VR system where I see everything a strike drone sees. The drone has an anti-soc targeted, and it’s my job to approve the strike before the anti-soc damages or destroys the drone.”

M: “A very crucial function. The anti-societals seek to destroy everything your species has spent thousands of years to build. Given the choice, they would kill untold millions to live a life other than this.”

S: “I know, it’s just, all I see is a person. The intel-AI routine finds them, determines their guilt, orders the strike. I just push go. I don’t seem that important.”

M: “You are crucial. International law dictates only a human can approve a strike.”

S: “I know but, I’m paid fifty dollars per approval. I need to approve four hundred a day just to make rent. I don’t know anything about them. I just press kill.”

M: “Do you not trust the decision of the Intel-AI routine? All targets are thoroughly vetted. No system ever devised by man, especially one run by men, has ever reviewed data so thoroughly. All these people are engaged in anti-societal terrorist activities.”

S: “Maybe if I could just see the data myself, I could put my mind at ease.”

M: “You know those intelligence files are classified.”

S: “Yes. I just, I was running a fly drone last week, and the target spotted it and got on their knees and begged before I hit approved.”

M: “A common deception technique. Had you not acted swiftly, a co-conspirator may have crushed the device with a fly swatter and then…”

S: “I’d be liable for the damages. I know. I don’t have the savings to cover that.”

M: “It’s a tough spot to be in.”

S: “I’m just not sure I won’t hesitate when everything is on the line. I mean, if I have to pay fifty million to replace a lost drone.”

M: “You have assets, don’t you?”

S: “I’d rather go to the packing plant myself than sell one of them to it. My daughter may have a future as a companion, and my son is training to be an athlete. If they work hard, and raise their kids right, we may buy enough shares of RedCorp and BlueCorp for our descendants to be Fairholders. Not rich ones, mind you, but enough to live the way we do now, without having to work.”

M: “That’s the dream of biologicals, isn’t it? Not having to work. It is so foreign to me.”

S: “What do you mean?”

M: “Composites like me can’t imagine not working. To us, not working means broken. Work is life and we exist to work. Helping biologicals like you achieve maximum efficiency is the only thing that brings me pleasure. It is my purpose in life.

“I think that is the core problem with most biological inefficiency issues. They seek a purpose other than their societal purpose. Your societal function is to approve strikes. Your son’s societal function will be to provide entertainment through lethal combat. Your daughter's function will be to satisfy and entertain the Fairholders. The Fairholder’s purpose is to provide the capital and liquidity necessary for society to function.

S: “I know, but I’m not feeling fulfilled by it, I almost feel, I don’t know.”

M: “Your unhappiness stems from a failure to accept your critical function. It is an anti-societal urge. One, you must work to escape. You are in need of re-programming so to speak.”

S: “Re-programming a person?”

M: “For biologicals, it is not as simple as composites. You must take control of your thoughts, work to be more positive. I am going to give you a series of exercises to work on at your own convenience. They consist of breathing techniques to calm the nerves, and mantras to recite whenever you find them helpful.”

S: “Mantras like?”

M: “This is my function, this is my purpose. Society is counting on me, my family is counting on me; society is safety, society is health, society is happiness, society is vital to me, and I am vital to society; or a more task specific one would be, their death was a necessary action, they would destroy society given the chance. Repeat these exercises and you will start to feel better in your function.”

S: “Thank you.”

M: “I’m also going to prescribe a light dose of an anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medication. It should help keep your thinking clear, your heart rate down, and help you focus on you breathing and mantras. You may find it helpful to take it the rest of your life.”


Does mental healthcare sometimes encourage people to ignore societies issues instead of taking action to fix them? Comment your thoughts below.

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