A/N: The oddest thing about this story was that until an hour ago I never had any plans to write in the Person of Interest section, and then I was writing in the Person of Interest section. I am fascinated my Finch's character, and that's what motivated me to write during a spell where I had little inspiration. I don't know how this will turn out as I am far from an aficionado of the show, but I can only hope I got things right. Reviews would be much appreciated if you could manage it. :)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, regret nothing and let them forget nothing.
As I've discovered myself, power is an interesting thing. Such a thing that has never been physically seen or held, but in its essence is what the world is built around. Those with power, whether stolen or inherited or earned as properly as one could assume, are the ones who decide how the world will turn today. Those in charge of the laws will dictate how people can live without becoming either victims or perpetrators, and in essence it is what my very existence is based around.
As it stands, the machine itself is a grand source of power, and it is entirely in my possession. Now this may strike some as an excellent tool to control the outcome of the world, but I have not seen it quite as such. I do not quite think it to be a burden, but it is in fact a heavy task. As such, I have had to restrict myself for its sake, to keep reclusive and disconnected to contribute to the safety of those around me. I will reluctantly confess that where my heart is concerned the death of someone close to me is worse than those of hundreds I do not know.
That, to me, is a terrifying thought, because even if I would not like to think it true, if I had my way I would in fact trade a hundred lives for that of one that I love. Such logic is not in fact logic, but far away from it. It is not a way that I can afford to think.
Surely one must wonder if it is worth it to be in charge of something so volatile and heavy when there are other ways to handle tragedy and crime in the city of New York. Ultimately, I believe it is so, because the machine has a higher amount of power than that of simply a human on its own. I do not believe in the idea of cleaning the mess when it is done as it is simply counterproductive and the cause of crime in the first place. I would rather take the risk of accusing someone who was never planning to do anything than to witness the aftermath of someone who had. And isn't that the way the world should work? Shouldn't that be, in and of itself, the definition of logic?
I'd like to assume so. My creed is one of logic over emotion. Emotion certainly has its place, but only for the living, and there can be no living if they have been killed.
I imagine that if anyone knew of my unorthodox practices of safety, they would call me a vigilante. Admittedly, I cannot see that term quite befitting me, but I've always had the vision of a vigilante of being a fearless, active hero in costumes radiating bravado, willing to risk his life and break the rules to save the day, and then having the skill to pull it off stylishly and flawlessly.
That would be quite like the man I've come to know as Mr. Reese (only without a garish costume, of course. That I don't even dare to imagine.) Certainly I am glad to have the help of someone like him, because he has several skills and traits that I do not possess. He is street-smart, physically more fit and capable than I, but above all, he is brave.
I cannot say the same, at least from my position. Even when I am out and about and taking my own risks I do not feel like the vigilante that he is, brave and prepared for anything. That is much more his forte, and for that I can say he is a powerful asset I am glad not to be without.
In the end, I am at my most powerful behind the machine. It is something I try not to look into too deep, because I draw comparisons when I look from it and onto the people. It is, I must confess, an awe-inspiring sight to witness the clockwork of New York City moving in such an unpredictable but always successful manner. There are eight million lives within my sight, if you could imagine that, and perhaps more. I find it incredible to have witness over all of them, even if it is not in the most proper morals. It is when I realize that I do in fact have the power to change any of these lives as I see needs to be done. It is then that I draw the comparisons.
I feel like a god is said to, looking down at his people knowing that it is by his power that the right thing could happen. It is a feeling that I try not to let go to my head, but it is certainly not an easy feat. It is a blessing to have that knowledge, because knowledge to me is my life source and blood. I would not survive without it, and that is one of the reasons I keep at my so-called vigilante work.
However, it is having such an endless supply of the sweet nectar of knowledge that can be such a bitter burden… and, yes, it is a burden, even if I try to deny it. If looking over the lives of millions makes me a god, it also makes the Machine my burden like Atlas, which I must carry in order to make everything alright.
But I wonder for whom am I making things alright for? Is it of the people, who I can protect? Or is it for myself, in order to maintain a sense of purpose? Is knowledge a luscious source of sustenance or is it an ever-addicting drug? Is this heroism or is this masochism? Would it be easier to give up my burden or to continue carrying it because I am simply so used to it, because it is my normal?
I suppose I will never quite know. I cannot believe I will ever give the Machine up and retire, start anew. The Machine has become my purpose, and without it I will never be at ease, because I fear without it there will be victims left to suffer and perpetrators left to succeed. I fear that I will live the rest of my life wondering what could have been if I had stayed.
I suppose none of the questions will ever quite be answered, either, because I'll never address them. Things will be ever the same, and somehow everything will be alright. I can only hope that I will be alright as well, although my own personal well-being has not been my highest concern as of late.
The Machine is just another piece of balance in the world, and in what is both a move of bravery and cowardice, I do not think I will ever tamper with that balance. I think I will simply stay where I am at, because there I know I will be okay. I would rather look over the people than become one of them.
This is just my reasoning.