Harrigan had me checked over again. Visual inspection this time, given the incident with the nanosurgeon. Whatever else it had done, the nanosurgeon had fully optimized the implants. It wasn’t a weld; it was better. They released me with a provisional clean bill.

I woke my station and closed my eyes, taking deep breaths. Lines of code continued to play across my eyelids. We’d already cleared the buffers half a dozen times since the incident began. A phenomenal amount of data was being written every second, and we were fast running into storage problems.

I had a theory that the sabotage had been a ruse, a clever hoodwink to manipulate a convenient target to the nanosurgeon, itself infected with malware during the original onslaught, to make whatever changes it had to the implants, all to establish the current environment. It was my job now to figure out why before our systems became completely mired. I already had a pretty good idea.

“It’s an operating system,” I murmured. And somehow, I was the conduit.

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