“I scavenged the arms from other suits of TI-42 battle armor,” said Kial. The six arms whirled around her as she spoke, making it impossible to tell which were her true arms and which were empty armor shells. “There were plenty on the battlefield after the annihilation.”

“And then you were able to get the neural connections to work even without limbs in them?” said Amar. “Impressive. Which are your real arms?”

“They are all my real arms,” Kial snapped. “I only take off the suit for maintenance.”

“What about maintenance? What about fuel?” Amal pressed. “Even with a battlefield to scavenge, powered armor is resource-hungry, yours probably even moreso.

“I take what I can find. And I take what I can’t,” said Kial airily. “Now, if you leave me with everything I demand, you may go in peace.”

“And if not?”

In a flash, each of Kial’s six arms was armed, brandishing the collapsible MP-696 machine pistols that every TI-42 operator had carried for emergencies.

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