"In its first active life, the object you're looking at lay on the cold ocean floor, maybe twenty kilometers down in the benthic zone where the lights are always out. Tasked with conveying tens of terabits of information per second, once it was part of something hundreds of miles long, its snaky black parent. Now it's a short chopped length, cross-sectioned so that its pragmatic constellation of interior wiring can be seen. Once its veins pulsed and thrummed, carried thousands of volts, and connected people in the lighted world above. Now, it's fiber-optic sushi".