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"I Am The Modern Man" [version.Upgrade]

Goner pulled back the hood. The side of his head was metal. The edges laced with fine-circuitry that flickered faintly, red, blue, green.

"Okay," Max said.

Goner unzipped his jacket and took it off. His left arm was also metal, highlighted with the same almost ethereal wiring. 

Max glanced at Goner's pants. "Is that everything?" he asked, lightly, trying to relieve the tension.

Goner smirked. It felt like Max hadn't seen him in a long while, but Goner somehow looked younger. It reminded Max of the time he first recruited him; or the time he first remembered recruiting him. It was a memory that they shared in most versions.

"What do I need to know?" Max asked next.

Goner cleared his throat. Looked around at the trees, leaves catching sunlight, casting shadows. They had arranged to meet outside the city, for safety.

"I chose it," he began. "It was my call." He looked down at his metal hand. "It feels sorta real, sorta... something else. Kind of like everything else has since that day."

Max smiled. The fact that Goner was remembering the same thing as him made him relax. 

"I guess I never felt like I had really committed to this. Even when I was a soldier, then working for the private security teams, I was never really all in. And after I died... Well, I still don't really understand everything about that, or how I came back, but I know I was scared for a long time, that it would happen again. And now, with whatever is brewing with this whole System revelation... I know things are going to get weird and probably bad. I wanted to be ready. I wanted to be able to help. To really make a difference."

Max nodded. "Thanks Goner." He gave it a moment. "Do I need to know how you got it done? Who you went to for the work?"

Goner looked briefly conflicted. Max noted that the circuitry on the cybernetic modifications didn't flicker in sync with Goner's reactions, which was good; it would be too big of a tell.

"No," Goner said. "Not yet anyway."

"Ok, cool. Let's try and get in touch with Frank and Angst. They missed you."