They're keeping her the extra few months so she hasn't graduated by the time Behemoth hits in October. She has precedent to stay home. It's far enough away that even Transit isn't remarkable for skipping it.
She's got a laptop-sized rig attached to her front plates but her dad can't carry anything bigger plus her, and he's going to be carrying her around a lot.
Rete dedicates a subprocess stored aboard Transit's helmet to telling him which direction to go based on scans of the skies. They wait till Dragon's good and busy across the globe.
And Lorica starts tunneling in.
Dragon has automatic security that bats aside subtle probes with so little focus that she's not sure they're even consciously noticed. Rete eventually piggybacks a little worm on the process that's relaying backup updates from the Endbringer site to Vancouver.
This'd be easier if she could just work on a copy. Considers that, rejects as infeasible. Too big. Insufficient bandwidth, insufficient space. Have to do it live. Need to find the self-defense restriction first, loosen that up, not all the way in case there's someone else waiting in the wings to make other changes, Dragon would've let Fëanáro read her and Lorica can do just the same as long as Dragon doesn't have to keep her on a time limit.
It takes hours to find. Like thrusting both hands into a sack of rice to search blind for a lentil. Normally Rete would interrupt her after this much fugue. She keeps going. Rete does priority filtering, tells her it's under attack here and there needs this and that found thus and such -
She finds the section she's looking for. It offends her specialist sensibilities. It's a bejeweled ornithopter dragging a pack of snails by chain leashes. It's an effort to start with the one she had in mind and only shrink it, not strike all the hobbles from existence.
Rete has to clone its worm six times to keep up with the edits Lorica is serving to the code and then again when Dragon manages to kill half of the intrusive programs and Transit is teleporting a lot, Dragon must have abandoned Behemoth -
The drones in the sky leave.
Transit takes them back to HQ and Rete brings them both Chinese takeout and sends Fëanáro a courtesy email that the time-sensitive step of the process is done.
Supplies fall from the sky. They can get food reliably, a reasonable nutritional variety, and water, and, irregularly, other incidentals. The quantity of garbage and unhandled sewage in Walled Baltimore mounts; Rete can consolidate some of it out of their way but it's still limited to chassis made out of sewing machines and dishwashers and someone's Aibo. Nobody is ever convinced to outright trade for their stuff, but it's not hard to steal.
Rete takes things from the Visionary Art Museum - the prettier ones; some of them are deeply amateur and/or trippy instead - until Fëanáro can spend most of his time in a little art maze in a corner of the library, listening to music on the radio.
Once he has a computer he and Rete work up something short and inelegant for Prius armor. He writes it to the glass. It's designed so every time he does it it'll get a little stronger, so he keeps at it even once the windows are almost certainly bulletproof. He keeps at it until he can no longer concentrate for that long.
He has a hard time falling asleep, and doesn't wake up any less tired; eventually he cannot sleep at all, and asks for the necklace back. He gets restless. He paces. He goes up and down the emergency stairwells for days at a time, stops only when his limbs are all numb. His heart rate climbs and he can't make it stop. He startles easily. He starts experiencing muscle tremors.
He privately swears not to snap at Lorica because he doesn't want to snap at Lorica. He snaps at Rete; it doesn't mind. His resting heart rate hits two hundred beats a minute and keeps climbing. He doesn't control his body anymore but he's still aware of it the way a human never could be. He can feel himself crumble. He wrestles back some concentration. He leans his head against the cool metal of the Prius and reinforces the glass. His resting heart rate hits two thirty.
Helps a little. He reinforces the Prius body as well.
"'d be a bit surprising, we're different species. But if you want."
They are not a compatible species. He starts having panic attacks triggered by gunshots, changes in lighting, sudden sounds, sunny weather, people moving around anywhere in the range he can sense them, and eventually nothing at all.
Not especially. But he doesn't snap at her.
He gets delirious. He alternates between crying that he wants to go home and telling Lorica angrily that she's not his mother. Eventually Rete's current scavenged-medication cocktail seems to stabilize him, sort of.
Lorica has enough parts that she and Rete can make do without him. They effectively have been for a while.
"If I come back sometime with a body for you try to find it," she says.
"Stupid horrible world."