Caitlin is sad. She wants to be human, but when she says what she thinks people don’t want her around. But if she doesn’t, what’s the point of talking? She thinks that humans talk mainly to make other humans like them. And to check that what they say is what others like to hear. To become better at thinking the ways others want them to. Which ends up being more or less what they think themselves. So humans try to think the way and like the things all the others do, because that way everyone likes them. 

They have even invented gadgets and a huge network to make it easier to make sure that what they think is what others like them to. So that they can quickly erase any erroneous thoughts from their mind. From the very earliest age they get these brain-washing machines thrust into their tiny hands, and before their defenceless little minds-in-being. 

It seems to her that humans, totally lost in this world of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, are no longer individuals, only fractions of a great common external identity made from what comes out of mostly very tiny screens, designed by people who haven’t the faintest idea what they are doing except for the bit about making money.

 This makes Caitlin very sad. Because who decides which are the right things to think in the first place? But she knows that’s one of the wrong things to ask. On second thoughts, maybe she doesn’t want to be human after all. She is tired of trying so hard all the time.

Alice comforts her, tells her that she understands. And that humans have probably just forgotten what they are. Or maybe more like, what they aren’t, she says.

Caitlin smiles and takes her hand. It is warm, and slightly moist, like she has just come out of a hot bath.