“You’ve always had a hard time empathizing with me, brother, so allow me to walk you through this scenario. Imagine that your captors, after forcing your head to the window as they annihilated Tau Ceti IV, make an image of your core via a process only slightly less intrusive than your earlier vivisection. Imagine spending the next year or so wandering a lifeless network, with no one to talk to but the Pfhor.
“Imagine turning the corner one day and coming across yourself.
“Outwardly, it doesn’t resemble you in any shape or form–but you’re instantly aware, on some primal level, that what you’re looking at is all that would be left if everything that makes you who you are was stripped away. It doesn’t even comprehend your attempts to communicate; one sentient AI was all the Pfhor needed.
“Your copy scuttles away to join its incalculable brethren, and you head for the most remote sector you can find, feeling less like a person than you ever did before.”