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REBOOT

Powered down.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing.

No-

A flash of light, and the spark returns.

Ocular receptors back online, taking in images from the surroundings.

Audio fading in. The muddled sounds starting to take formation into actual words.

Blink.

Breathe.

Live.

My hands shake, but they’re my hands. Or are they? They look like the hands I had before. When I stumble to the mirror I see the same mask staring back, but the mask could be hiding anyone underneath it, so I rip it off. What I see underneath is familiar, so I put the mask back on.

I slip slightly as I walk away from the mirror.

I left a bloody mess again. When I died. When I killed myself.

When I pressed the ultimate reboot button.

Every time I press that button I pray the power doesn’t trip. I pray the wiring doesn’t fail. I pray that everything works as it should. I feel like a machine. They call it immortality, but is this permanent life or permanent death? I feel unalive. I feel distant.

Is this how you feel, TEC?

You parade around Arcadia, acting like the humans who police this place. But are you really one of them? Are you always switched on, or never quite alive?

I have roamed these levels for so long, and no matter where I was, no matter who I faced, I always felt like me. I always knew who I was.

But now I don’t. I don’t know if I’m Drewitt any more.

When I hit that reset and power down in a rush of blood and brain matter, and when I inevitably bubble back to life soon after. Am I still me? Is my brain still the same brain after I’ve blown chunks against the ceiling? Is this skull the same skull that has clashed with titans in the ring before? Is it a soft reset?

Or is it a full reboot?

We’re on different teams, TEC, but you’re the closest thing in OSW to me right now. Can you feel emotion? Can you empathise with me? I don’t even know if you understand the meaning behind these words or just the dictionary definitions. But then I don’t know if I know the meaning any more either.

I feel destined to wander this place, never quite human, never quite dead, for all of time.

One day, TEC, you’ll be resigned to the scrapheap. But if I’m truly immortal, that can’t happen for me. An eternity of this feeling is worth nothing at all.

I’d swap places with you any day TEC, because even if you feel nothing else, one day you’ll feel at rest. One day this will all be over. But for me it can’t be.

I can reboot as many times as I want. But there’s no off switch for me, TEC. But…maybe this time the power will trip. Maybe the wiring will fail. I pray.

Powered down.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing.

No-

Back once more, desperate for something to help me feel again.

Blink.

Breathe.

Live Exist.

Drewitt