I remember Dr Matthews. He was a teacher on my Comp Sci degree, a module called "Biomechanical Integration". He was a cyberfreak, heck half the course was, more metal than flesh on most of the students. I never went into that stuff - creeped me out, you know?
But I got on with Dr. Matthews. He was a good guy. Taught us fair and straight, respected my opinions and had a few good debates about the ethics of it all.
I was in that class when the fall hit. We were all jacked into to the Uni network, and then suddenly I couldn't get out, and I was virtually alone. I had no idea what happened at first, or where they'd all gone. I did what everyone else did, run and hide and scream and fight and I was lucky enough to survive.
It was only later, talking with others, I realized the Cybers hadn't made it in. I felt kinda sad. Quite a few people on that course were my friends, and though I lost a lot of friends that day, losing so many without a fight was somehow worse.
That was years ago. Ancient history, right? But, just last season, I saw him again. Dr. Matthews.
I was lost in the wastelands - I'd taken a bad link, got thrown into some random site, far from my crew. I was dead - surrounded by a pack of ravening cybers, with Virii close behind, just waiting to feast. And then I heard a voice. "Come now Christopher, pay attention. This will be on the test."
I turn and there he is. Or, at least it looked like him. There was nothing there and yet, it was like a silhouette in the code, a shape naturally emerging from the flowing symbols. He smiled, and snapped his fingers.
The Cybers and Virii...well, decohered. They just fell apart. There was no damage to their firewalls, no script set off. They just lost any connection to themselves, and collapsed. When I looked back, Dr. Matthews was gone. Couple of days later, I was back in civilization, and the whole thing seemed like a dream.
But I know it wasn't. I know, somewhere, they're looking out for us. The fallen, the lost, they're still there. Gives me hope man. It helps me sleep at night.
Proof? Well, you know that trick with the code decoherence? I can do it. Here, watch...