Eric becomes the scapegoat found by the scientists and the leaders, he would become collateral damage. An AI somehow trap twenty plus people in its terminal, siphoning their memories and talents making them brain dead.
His family decided to put him out when the scientists decided to log him in the terminal, he would become the body—the sacrifice.
Then, something big happens, the AI somehow look into his memories and see how the scientists plan to exterminate him to the moment he would occupy his body. He doesn't know that he had that memory in him, it might be that his brain process it and store it to his mind when he somehow becomes conscious. He has been in and out of a coma for many years now.
Then the miracle happens. Together with his Wristwatch/computer. He decided to live in this dimension, his youth which he wasted on laying down, he would start again, this time, as a normal and healthy physique and with his talent in like a hacker.