“Well, the nanites can learn. They can adapt. But they’re also very complex; each one is subtly different. That’s why we observe their behavior in the simulation, why we occasionally interact with them–if they perform poorly, how can they be expected to repair living tissue? They have to be destroyed.”

Chris raised an eyebrow. “How do you destroy a machine a mew molecules wide? They don’t make wreaking balls that small.”

Ramirez narrowed his eyes. “Plasma incinerator, smartass. We take out the good ones and put ‘em to good use, and burn the bad ones.”

“A plasma incinerator smartass? What’ll they think up next? What an age we live in!”