Major Arturo Contrera hovered somewhere between reality and dreams. He could feel electrical impulses running through his fingers, curling around his bones and rolling up through the nerves that connected to his spinal column, joining with a hundred thousand other impulses spiking up through his body and flowing through his brain stem. The implants in his mind sorted out the incoming data, turning it into visual and auditory input.
"Damocles Alpha-Two, all clear." The words that escaped his mouth were as much data as they were actual audible tones, sent back through the feeds running into his skin and out through the machine.
Within Contrera's brain was a second, colder line of thought, a mind of acidic logic and unyielding metal. The personal EVA that lurked inside the system with him controlled the flow of impulses and data, regulating the machinery and delicate systems within the one hundred and thirty tons of metal, ceramic, and plastic that loomed over the landscape.
"Copy Alpha-Two," Damocles Actual answered. "Scimitar Seven-Nine reports contact at Potomac river crossing. Remain on alert."
"Understood and acknowledged, Actual," the major replied, searching the cityscape before him with the myriad of sensors mounted within the glittering red optics array set into the front of his Avatar.
Contrera's Avatar was as much a part of him as his own arms and legs. Sitting in the chair at the heart of the Avatar, with hundreds of individual electrical feeds running into carefully implanted sockets and nodes in his body, Contrera was as much a machine as he was a person. With the EVA unit in his suit occupying the same cyberspace as his own mind, Contrera lingered in an alien landscape of incoming data that was shaped into a virtual existence. It was a surreal vision of the real world: twenty different types of incoming sensor data superimposed on one another yet filtered into individual interpretations of reality that he saw all at once, with numerical values drifting next to every object and sensor reading worth noting.
There was no other way to pilot such a machine. The crude mecha in the Second Tiberium War had suffered in that the man and the machine were not sufficiently integrated to control the walker's delicate movements. The Brotherhood had corrected that failing by making man and machine inseparable.
—Tiberium Wars, Chapter XVII
The interface between the human brain and the horrifically complicated unison of the organic, the arcane and the machine that was the Magi could not be properly utilised if there was another barrier between them. Inside the Magi, the foibles of the human mind, its inability to comprehend higher dimensional objects, its tendency to get confused by a mere hypercube; all those were washed away by the Magi. The mind-machine interface which the Magi used was another spin-off from the Evangelion Project, a parallel evolution to the Engel Synthesis Interface implanted into the central nervous system of every single Engel pilot on the planet. With it, the brain was no longer restricted to its component neurons; tasks could be instead be performed by the Magi.
Maya removed the grafted synthflesh from her scalp, exposing the sub-dermal interface layer below. With great care, the synthflesh and the hair that grew from the engineered organism was placed in her storage facility. She winced slightly as she ran her hands over the ceramic composite that was bonded directly to her skull, warmed to body temperature yet so alien in feel to flesh. Underneath the hard outer layer, where the top of her skull should have been, lay layers of microelectronics, cortical jacks hanging down into her brain tissue like silver icicles.
— Aeon Natum Engel, Chapter 10 What Must be Done to Win?