Aether didn't want to be an enemy, but the dumb sentrai couldn't see that. It only knew what it was programmed to do. I realized the malvirai wouldn't get to choose; eventually she would have to fight and, if her smooth and effortless dodges hinted at anything, I didn't expect the sentrai would last very long against the class A3.
The thought wasn't so comforting when one of the sentrai's attacks deflected dangerously close to my data space. A good chunk of the construct's operating code had simply been deleted. I tried to move. Then, one of the lightning attacks fired in my direction - the sentrai having made me its target. I dodged the attack, feeling the shocks of fizzling HNADC connectors nearby.
Aether made her first attack, damaging the module or appendage or whatever the sentrai used to attack me. It was a minor hit, meant to keep the heat on her. In spite of her attempts to cancel them out, some of the sentrai's attacks were deflecting onto the construct's modules. Everything I knew about computers said the operating code could only take so much corruption. I moved near to Scott's energy, not knowing what I could do to protect him. Since he was moving in harmony with the construct's energy, if an attack came toward him, I thought, I couldn't help him dodge it. I wondered how badly I could get hurt, thinking if I took a hit for Scott my real body might not be affected.
Small shocks, vibrations, began coming though the connectors. The sentrai was attacking the construct itself - some part of it that was connected to everything. Aether attempted to deflect the attacks, but could not control where they ended up going. She finally went for the offensive.
A pulse shot out from her and seized a portion of the sentrai's energy, whatever it was had a neutralizing effect and its energy pattern began to resemble Aether's more than its own. The sentrai retaliated and managed to scramble part of Aether's energy. I moved fast to prevent the weakening connectors from bringing down the Nova Deck and its inhabitant. I wasn't even sure how I'd done it. It was as if thinking about strengthening or energizing something either gave me the knowledge or caused it to happen on its own.
The malvirai still held back, still refused to give in to her devilish programming; but her benevolent will could not withstand what the sentrai did next.