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A Bright Girdle Furled

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Kiriko paused as she settled the Drive Driver around her waist. It was exhilarating, she thought, to finally get to this moment and finally transform. If nothing else, she would be able to undo some of her father's legacy of destruction and chaos.

She inserted the Shift Car into the brace. "Let's go, Mr. Belt," she said, pulling the little car forward and back. The armor settled on her, and after a moment she had to smile. The test had been successful; she had become Drive.

"Excellent," Mr. Belt said, and she nodded.

"The transformation's holding!" Rinna said, from her workstation. "Looks good!"

The readouts on the visor told her her heartrate and other vitals. She didn't have a weapon yet, but she knew that would come soon, and then she would be able to fight.

But for the moment, it felt wonderful to be in armor.

She had to let the armor stay for at least five more minutes, she knew, just so that Rinna could run her tests and make sure everything was all right. Some part of her wanted to run in joy around the room, let the Shift Cars chase her. They were protective of her, she knew, because she was Banno's daughter, and in some way responsible for them, too.

Mad Doctor beeped at her from his perch. Her perch? It was hard to tell. The Shift Cars were neither male nor female, but they did have masculine and feminine traits. Mad Doctor just wanted to make sure she was all right, being an ambulance. They all did, but Mad Doctor was the medic of the group. Mad Doctor had tried to do something about her arm that had been broken so many times by her father, but couldn't do much, and she knew that it was annoyed by that.

"Okay, you can dehenshin now," Rinna said, and Kiriko did so, letting the Shift Cars Swirl around her and Mad Doctor land on the palm of her outstretched hand. Mad Doctor beeped happily, as did the others, and Kiriko felt as if she had, at last, been reborn.