Kahlia has fought a few battles for the survival of innocents on Allishan 9, but her primary concern is her life as a designer. On one of the school trips that her sister badgered her into chaperoning, she meets her destiny, and her doom. Rupture is a member of the Sector Guard and he has his eyes on the woman stepping out of the battle suit. With the holes in the exterior and interior, she was either inside the suit or a helluva magician. Either way, he is going to bring her back to Udell base, by any means necessary. He sets his personality to charm, but it is the facts that draw her attention…and agreement.
A voice in the interior com had her concentrating on how to respond. Eventually, she figured out the com system. "Phase, how are you doing?"
In her mechanical voice, she replied. "Feels weird, but I am fairly comfortable. You?"
"I am fine. Just catching bugs in my teeth."
She popped the pilot hatch. "Come inside. I am not using the chair."
"What? Where are you?"
"Everywhere that is part of the mech. Come inside."
His long limbs slid through the hatch and the part of her that felt a surge of lust was squelched as she kept striding through the forest. He certainly was pretty. Perhaps a deep violet for a team colour. That would suit them both, as well as provide a dark colour for concealment before battle.
"You are serious. You really aren't in here."
"I beg to differ. I am everywhere and you are now behind the strongest shields this suit can manage." The steps of the suit became less jarring with every stride. She made the shocks as effective as she could.
"How bad was the suit?"
"It was neglected and it was unarmed. I have corrected that."
He grinned, breaking the Rupture mask that he wore. "How do you do that? We couldn't figure it out at the museum."
"I think it has to do with molecular transfer. The same as my ability to become one with objects."
He leaned back in the pilot's chair and put his feet up on the console. "Explain it to me."
"I really can't. It isn't the sort of thing I could have analyzed. I touch something and feel the intent in the object, the love or care that it needs or wants, then I step into it and give it what it needs to be the best it can be."
"That is fascinating. You can do this with anything?"
"Well. It has to be large enough for me to walk into, but after that, it seems to be fairly open. At the museum, there was a tank I could have used, but it was filled with a dark energy by its previous occupants. It wanted to kill and there were children in the way. I wouldn't use that."
He looked surprised. "They have emotions?"
She thought about it as the mech climbed a hill. "More or less. They are left behind by the owners, operators or the assemblers. Traces of their thoughts and purpose."
"How are you speaking to me?"
"I have altered the com unit. You are hearing thought to voice."
"How does it feel to have me inside you?"