A perfect silence, not even disturbed by the slightest hum of solar wind, passing over little motes of cosmic dust. The roaring purr of the engines were far off, unheard in the gelseat cockpit the pilot was suited in. The powerful form the woman's body was locked inside seemed part of her, a living agregate of machine and humanity. A perfect example of what a future Pilot should be.
Dark and silent was this far off plane of half-life. A floating membrane wrapped around her, pulsing with slumbering life. A slender headpiece fitting over the woman's head, full of short, silvery-blue hair that fell over her shut eyes, blocking out the world.
She liked it like this. The quiet times when the pilot wasn't sure she existed anymore. Inside the cockpit it was warm, and the gentle blue light seemed to fill every crevice as the machine woke up. It gave a rumbling squeal, the engine starting as synesthesia kicked. Smell and taste were traded for three levels of sight around her. The small headpiece grew in a flurry of lights and wires, wrapping itself around the naked form and becoming a tight body suit, filled with plugs soon becoming attached into the very heart of the machine itself. Sensors were scattered, glowing micro-computers that picked up every movement and bodily information, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
Then, with a slow exhale, the woman reached out into the silence. Her hands grasped hold of a holographic board in her mind, and carried it around the field of vision. Sharp bursts of data flooded out from her, showing her every information about her Suit. The blue-haired woman's quick eyes darted back and forth over the imaginary board, quickly gathering all that was needed for the mission. Cranky and stiff, her limbs dragged themselves up from their comfortable position and readied themselves for fighting. As her body uncurled, the machine's burning core became near-deafingly loud; its iron limbs copied her every moment, after all.
Standing (or floating, being in space and all) four stories tall and half wide, the majestic black chariot was a fine piece of engineering. Built more for fashion than many newer models, the classic machination was no obsolote tool. It looked far more typically "human" than the more efficient Suits of recent years; however, Lyla believed that to be a certain charm of the creation. Much like a mighty General standing before his troops, the machine had a regal look. Black armor placed over its space-alloy frame, and trimmed with golden stylings and sharp angles all worked together to show off an intimidating, distinctly masculine robot.
As Lyla's hand reached through empty space, the giant robotic hand reached out to the star-filled blackness, mimicking the girl inside the core at macroscale. Her fingers - their fingers - flexed and moved waking reassurance. It had been a long time since the two were together; thus, as Lyla missed her Suit, the robot missed her. The sensors worked and buzzed, reading movements of tendon and muscle, copying joint motion with expert, godly accuracy. The feedback of two bodies was always a welcome shock to her. The novice could see from the 'eyes' of the suit through the giant visor infront of her, behind it from another imaginary board, and through another vision filled only with data of the machine's current system specs, power output, and a live feed with the other pilots and trainers on Station #17.
"Pilot M3P280, Lyla Granbury. Current Frame: Z-13 Wyndom XP Blackstar. Reporting for duty, Sirs." The young woman said, mentally activating the boosters of the large suit, sending it into a neat little spiral, sunlight from distant galaxies reflecting brillantly off the dark metallic edges of the suit. Deep crimson and an eternal black were shot off into the sensor arrays of the bots recording her progress.
It was the girl's first official test run, and she was lucky enough to be taking out a high-level mech on her first attempt. Though she had piloted it before, that was a massive criminal offense for which Lyla would only be pardoned if she agreed come to this 'academy' for Suit pilots. It was due on part to the other basic mobile frames being out in actual combat, and a pressure being put on her from the captain of the unit she was about to be assigned to. Since the blue-haired woman piloted the machine so well the first time, the Higher Ups were granting a special privelage. She hadn't yet met the man, and would be sure to thank him once introduced in person.
She shook her head, knocking off the other thoughts and focusing all her attention on just controlling the machine. Ten tonnes of tubular metal flying at several dozen kilometers per hour through an asteroid field was not something one took lightly. Swirling a little finger in the cockpit, it activated the release of a standard issue rifle with nanobot rounds, designed for quickly breaking down enemy Suits in mere moments, laser-guided to the slightest breadth of a hair. The gun was pinpoint accurate to micrometers, even if her aim wasn't. That's what practice was for, after all.
The target came into view. It appeared from behind a large rock in the distance, and jettisoned toward the pilot at high velocity. A small, rotating droid with flailing arms meant to maim through metal; luckily, it was obviously telegraphed, giving more than enough time for her reaction to take place. Her augmented eyes created a small target over the unmanned probe. The gold-and-black frame placed the rifle against its shoulder, holding like skilled marksman, quickly shooting off two rounds. The first one barely missed, scraping by on one of the four clawed arms of the droid, but the second got it straight on center. The bullet disintegrated inside the hull, releasing the nanobots and letting them work. If noise could be heard in the vacuum, it would be a terrible scraping noise as the metal swelled, collapsing into tattered shrapnel within mere seconds. Once it was consumed, the micromachines self-terminated, as was their purpose, before dispersing and becoming one with the dust of the universe.
"Target destroyed. Sending out wave two now." The computer said in its monotone voice, finishing with a slight click before three more droids, identical to the first, came at the frame from all directions. They were testing her various levels of sight at this stage, the pilot saw. Timing and precision were the important factors of this whole field day. Might as well put on a little show. With lightning-quick reaction, the robotic hand squeezed the trigger while the boosters simaltaneously sent the mecha upward and spiraling, sending off three more rounds at the droids below. Hit one, hit two, and.. scrape. Seeing her error, the pilot shot one more round, the nanobots instantly setting off on deteriorating the metal shell of its target. The little buggers were a piece of cake compared to the first run with the machine. Lyla was glad to see that the computer was able to make up for the human errors and do what she wanted, and not exactly what she ordered it to. Otherwise, all the shots would have most certainly missed.
"Congratulations, M3P280. You passed the first test. It's hard moving that thing around at your current level, is it not? Come back to Station #17." Another click in that fake happy voice the computer gave her and every other pilot. Annoying.
Lyla sighed, floating back gingerly to the large ship floating in the depths of the void. Anything would be better than having to disconnect from the machine right now. If it wasn't for the failsafe put inside it, a remote lockdown, the pilot would run off right then. She was far enough away to get a good hiding place, after all. With grudging obedience, the young woman pulled into the docking elevator, before performing the shut-down sequence. Slowly, module by invisible board, her sights receded back into flavor. Colors dissipated into simple smells, chemical and cold. The machine's gelseat, only moments ago home, felt cold and comfortless. The wires and sensors receded, fading back into the compact space of the large head-piece holding her silvery-blue hair.
Hovering in the gelatinous membrane, the blue light faded off into darkness, leaving only the quiet silence of nonexistance. The stress just from being connected to the powerful machine had left its toll on her small body, as she curled up once the engines died off and the hum of intelligence ceased.
The next few moments as she crawled out of the machine, replaced the official uniform on her body, and skulked by the other student pilots through the sterile hallways were a long, lonely blur. It wasn't until collapsing to the bed in her personal quarters that the woman felt better. Lyla's frail body seemed so much incredibly weaker compared to the might of the robotic Suit she was connected to.
Lyla's gentle eyes closed, body heavy and dull from overstimulation. Finally, she could rest again; here, all her senses shut down and body slipped into nothing. A rest not even disturbed by the slighest rumble of dust, disturbed by the tiniest hum of a gentle wind or air purifier..