The nanobots had one overriding directive: keep this mind integrated.
There were various sub-goals (“create ballistic barriers”), lower-priority additions (“excise positive memories of Alycia Chin”), and other experimental notions shoved into the kitchen sink. But mostly Byron Quill had wanted his son’s intellect intact.
After all, what was more important than intellect?
The nanobots were asked to do something entirely new. Modify another mind.
This doesn't compute. This is against the directive.
Do it anyway, urged Jason’s subconscious mind, as his conscious will focused on the task of removing the genius from two wicked parents.
Duplicate prior to modification.
There were two minds to be modified.
Make two duplicates.
There were two existing minds, linked into this network.
The delta was too big. All these new minds, new imprints and impressions, all this new data - it was too much.
Buffer and perform incremental integration.
Then someone tried accessing the nanobots directly.
Hostile intrusion detected. Countermeasures deployed.
The nanobots fought. The buffered integration, too, fought - for itself, for its own existence.
Faced with preserving an integrated mind amid such chaos, the nanobots made a choice. They severed connection with the buffered integration.
The newly severed swarm retreated - disappeared - into the depths of the Quill Compound, unnoticed in the chaos of the merge.
Keep this mind integrated.
What do you make of two Quills and two Chins, plus the residual energies of a nearby Keynome found in the Sepiaverse, captured in a moment of life and death decision?
Whatever you can.