3. Keep Me Hanging On

Priss’ motorcycle is feeling a little choppy- a perfect excuse to head to K’s garage and see mechanic Nigel Kirkland. But Priss doesn’t just want to talk about her bike; she’s also there to tell Nigel that Sylia wants him to build a new hardsuit.

Meanwhile, at AD Police HQ, Leon is determined to dig up all the info he can on the Knight Sabers. A trip to see Nene results in her inevitably calling him “Leon-poo”, but eventually he manages to get her to run a search; however, Nene manages to get away without showing Leon too much- and he easily falls for her story about mysterious blackouts every time the Knight Sabers show up.

At work, Linna can’t help but be preoccupied by her experience in the simulator. Now that she knows the full significance of what it means to be a Knight Saber, she is not sure whether she will really be up to fighting rogue boomers. Confused and unsure, she decides to turn to Nene for advice.

Whilst Linna ponders her future, Sylia is already preparing for her to become a full Knight Saber. Nigel has come over to work on the new hardsuit, a new design that will take advantage of Linna’s athletic physique, and incorporate some new ideas that Nigel wants to try out. As Sylia looks on, Nigel first assembles what looks like a clunky grey robot. Then, by inserting a grey cylinder with the design specs on it, the construct almost magically transforms into a form-fitting green hardsuit. But just why was Sylia so concerned that Nigel had removed “the core”, and why is she hanging around in a revealing red dress? It looks like Sylia and Nigel share a very close, albeit unromantic, relationship.

After work, Nene and Linna head to a café for a talk. Nene explains to Linna that she met Sylia after catching her trying to hack into Genom’s computer system. After showing Sylia some hacking tips, Nene was asked to join- and she accepted, after all, it looked like an interesting job.

Their conversation is interrupted by a disturbance in the café. A female waitress boomer has just spilt coffee over a customer’s trousers, and he wants reparation. The waitress says that the management will pay for the damages, but for this guy, that just isn’t good enough. He orders the boomer to lick the coffee off of his trouser leg, and, as per her programming, she complies. When an outraged Linna intervenes, the customer leaves in a huff.

Leaving the café, Nene advises Linna that now is the best time to back out if she has any doubts. When she puts on her hardsuit, she will need to be committed to her task. Things move pretty fast in battle, and a hesitant rookie can only be a hindrance- at least, that’s what Priss would say. But Linna has made up her mind- she still wants to be on the team.

Elsewhere in the city, Quincy and Mason are having another meeting. Mason fears that the public will find out about the fatal flaws in the boomers, but Quincy is confident that they are safe. After all, with the Knight Sabers destroying all the rogue boomers, there is no troublesome evidence around- and with a group as incompetent as the AD Police in charge of handling rogue boomers, no one is likely to discover anything untoward. They appear to be safe for now.

Even as they speak, however, another boomer is about to go rogue. Back at the café, the waitress boomer is in the back room, relentlessly licking one of the aprons…

Nene and Linna head to the Silky Doll, where Nigel has just finished Linna’s hardsuit, and had time to spend a few minutes alone with Sylia. Linna is eager to try on her new hardsuit, which has been designed to fit her like a second skin. After putting on a skin-tight undergarment that transmits impulses to the hardsuit, Linna suits up and tests the new hardware.

Whilst Linna is learning to move around in her suit, Priss is riding through town when she sees a crowd at the café where the others visited earlier. The waitress boomer has gone fully rogue, with her grossly distended tongue now a deadly weapon against innocent customers. Sending a call to Sylia for help, Priss rushes in to rescue those trapped inside, whilst Leon and Daley also find themselves called into action.

Protesting at the idea of fighting alone, Nene is shocked to learn that Sylia will be sending Linna with her. It is a baptism of fire for Linna as, only minutes after first putting on her suit, she and Nene are ejected out into the city.

As the two rush to the scene, Linna shows a natural talent for using the hardsuit’s thrusters to leap from building to building, even doing better than Nene. But when it comes to the crunch, will she be able to perform as well in battle? With Priss now trapped in the café, and the AD Police already on the scene, there will be no margin for error…