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Fatal ~ Exception

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RAX unit has taken critical damage, going offline for emergency maintenance.

He remembered falling, convulsing in agony, after the sad-eyed ethereal being's last blow that seemed to come from nowhere, faster than his already dangerously overclocked sensors could possibly track. Sparks showered, electricity wracking him with more pain as the feedback from his battered cybernetic limbs filled every nerve.

The entity had whispered something about being sorry, how something or other wouldn't work and there had to be another way. Then everything had gone black...

ERROR: File integrity compromised. Irreparable core data damage detected. Cannot load from backup.

Panic filled him. His phantom heartbeat went wild, his ravaged digital mind remembering every single sensation of real, cold dread, how his chest tightened until he wanted to throw up, just like it had been on that day. He had flashbacks sometimes and it was like being trapped in the worst, most vivid waking nightmare. Right now it was even worse because it really was happening again. Back then, someone had done something to his cortical backup, probably the same megacorp who designed his cyberware in the first place, who practically controlled him, who set him up in that last fight. He'd been told the fight was straight this time but it had gone and happened again. He cursed his own naivety. He had emergency auxiliary backups scattered all over the place but it was still terrifying to trust yourself to a backup file when you had no idea how old it was, how much of your life you'd lose, or worse, that it wasn't corrupted or missing or also hacked in some nasty way. And then there was the matter of finding a new body, one that wasn't a complete piece of trash...

Besides, there was some primal terror inside him, the same as meat-death used to hold for people a long time ago, or possibly worse: there'd always been the concept of an immortal soul, some kind of memories that survived death and were infinitely more vital to one's existence, and now something like that existed, right there and then, free for every dodgy bastard to mess with in all sorts of previously unimagined horrible ways.

Still, the damn thing always, impossibly, endured. He had a reputation for that. DigitalPhoenix000, that'd been his hacker handle back when he was a pretentious teenager. Good God, maybe that was where he'd restore to! After all, he had to be running out of backups really damn fast...

Now that last thought was something he really didn't want to dwell upon...

Scanning for available auxiliary restore points... connection interrupted... rescanning... hacking detected, activating maximum firewalls... rescanning...

Restore point detected...
Beginning transfer...