This is only my interpretation of how the powersuit works. If you have different ideas please feel free to let me know, maybe we can discuss them. I don't cover everything, but I hit on a lot of major points. Maybe I'll do more chapters in the future covering some of the suits other gadgets if I have enough material and ideas to go on.
Samus Aran, famed bounty hunter of the Galactic Federation, and nemesis to the Space Pirates, sat on her stool alone in a dim bar on a broken and run down back water station on the far end of the Epsilon sector. She sat staring blankly at the half drank glass of liquor in her hand, watching as the ice melted and sank in the glass suddenly. She saw him approaching in the glass' reflection, walking confidently up to her as if he knew he'd reel her in. She sighed in annoyance.
"Hi," he said as he sat beside her. "Name's Mitch."
She didn't respond, other than giving him a sideways glance.
"I noticed you drinking alone and thought you could use some company."
"Not interested pal, you're barking up the wrong tree."
"You're... not my type."
"Oh! No, no. I wasn't hitting on you..." He held up his hand with his fingers spread, showing off a wedding band. "See, married."
"Wouldn't stop some people," she said before taking a swig of her drink.
"I guess not. But still I wasn't... Um... you are Samus Aran, right?"
"Hmh. Rare that someone recognizes me like this. You're not a stalker now are you?"
"Oh no, not at all. But I have seen you before. I was there when those BSL guys brought you in after your accident with the X."
"Oh..." she said dismissively as she finished her drink.
"I'm a technician. I used to work there, but not any more... I was wondering, if you don't mind, could we talk for a while?"
"Well it's always been sort of a hobby of mine... but I'm absolutely fascinated with Chozo technology."
"Oh..." she was dismissive again, she rolled her eyes.
"Would you mind telling me a bit about it? I mean I don't think there's a person alive in the entire galaxy that has more experience with actual working Chozo tech than you do."
"Err... I really should be going."
"Please... Come on. I'll buy you a drink. Bartender!" He knocked on the counter.
"Ugh..."she sighed. "I'll have another." She held up her empty glass. "He's buying," she said tossing her head in Mitch's direction.
She looked to him expectantly. "Well...? What do you want to know?"
"Hmm... Ok, for starters, it's really been bugging me but, how come your suit changed so drastically when you were given the Metroid vaccine? I've been wracking my brain ever since then but I couldn't figure it out."
"It has to do with the suit's upgrade system."
"Upgrade? What do you mean?"
"Well it's modularly upgradeable. Each upgrade module is actually a data package that instructs the suit how to reconfigure itself. The thing is it's not really picky about how it gets that data. The Chozo usually stored the upgrade data as a holographic matrix, but it can come from anything really. Binary data for example. That's how you guys were able to transmit upgrades to me while I was on BSL."
"I see... It can also be genetic data as well. Right?"
"Exactly. The suit interpreted the DNA in the Metroid's cells as an upgrade and reconfigured itself accordingly. I was also able to recover upgrades directly from the X by absorbing one of them that had cloned the DNA from one of my upgrades."
"I get it. Hmm... but why doesn't it... I mean I'm sure you've come in contact with lots of creatures whose blood you spill. Has your suit ever taken on the characteristics of one of them?"
"No. It wouldn't unless I inject myself with their blood. Only because I specifically had the ability to absorb X could I get the data from them externally. Regardless of what form the data is in when it's received, the suit will naturally convert it and store the data as a genetic package deposited into my blood stream."
"So by injecting Metroid cells into your blood..."
"That's right. It's a useful feature... On this one mission I lost my power suit when my ship went down. But fortunately I was able to recover another one from the Chozo ruins on that planet. Even though the original suit was lost I kept all the upgrades I had because the data stayed with me, and the new one picked up on that."
Mitch nodded. "That's handy... so no matter what you'll keep those upgrades permanently."
"Actually no. The genetic packet isn't merged into my own DNA. It's a separate package just free floating around my blood stream. There is a problem though; the suit was designed for use by Chozo, only those with Chozo blood can use it; most of their technology is like that. So they modified me genetically to be more like them. I am part Chozo, but I'm still mostly human. So my immune system will clean out those foreign genetic markers after a while." Samus said and took a swig of her drink. "And then I lose the upgrade... even the Metroid abilities."
"Hmm... So how is it powered?"
"Who knows..." Samus shrugged. "I haven't been able to figure that one out yet. None of their technology seems to have an obvious power source. When I was growing up I asked about it once. They said something about a 'quantum leach'. I have no idea what that means."
"Quantum leach? Oh! That's something that extracts energy out of the quantum structure of matter... but that can't be it... Many years ago there were experiments with special types of ceramics that if a voltage was applied you would get a larger current out than you put in... But it was hugely impractical. It took tens of thousands of volts and a block of ceramic the size of a room and only netted a few microvolt over the input. The projects were dropped and deemed failures." Mitch looked over to see a confused looking Samus. "You have no idea what I'm talking about do you?"
"Hey. It works. That's all I need to know," she said taking another sip of her drink; she was starting to feel its effects now.
"Ok, there's another thing that's been bothering me... Pieces of your armor were removed when the doctors couldn't figure out how to make the whole thing come off. I wasn't there for the entire procedure, but it seemed whole after that. Do you keep spare pieces or something?"
"It can regenerate."
"How does metal... unless it's not..."
"It's made out of some kind of dense organic polymer; it resembles metal, but it isn't."
"Organic... so that's how the SA-X was born, I was wondering about that too."
"How do you know about the SA-X.? I thought the Federation buried that information."
"I know the same way I know about the..." Mitch leaned closer, "the Metroid program," he whispered, "and that the reason you were never charged with the stations destruction was because the Federation didn't want to risk a trial where all this info would come out."
Samus leaned back with a raised eyebrow.
"A buddy of mine is a computer tech who works in data maintenance."
Samus knocked back the rest of her drink. "That's a dangerous game to be playing."
"Possibly. Want another?" he said referring to the drink.
"Sure, why the hell not." She waved to the bartender. "But anyway... you're right. That's how the X cloned my suit; because it's made from organic material. And that's how it regenerates."
"Hmm... but an organic polymer isn't the same thing as living cells. By what mechanism does it regenerate itself?"
"Huh...? Oh, you mean micro-machines. That's a common mistake by laypeople."
"No, I mean actual nano-machines."
"Seriously? Hmm... Well this is Chozo technology we're talking about."
"Impressive stuff, Nano-machines."
"They're used on me if I get injured too."
"Fascinating. I didn't know it had automated medical systems. Tell me about that."
"Well... anytime the armor is compromised and I actually get injured the medical systems will automatically engage. If it's just a flesh wound the nano-machines are sufficient to fix the damage. But if an organ is damaged the suit will take over function for it until the nano-machines can rebuild it."
"Take over its function? For example..."
"Well, if say... my heart is destroyed completely. The suit will connect up tubes to my arteries and start pumping blood in its place. Or if a lung is pierced it will attempt to oxygenate my blood. Whatever's necessary to keep me combat operational."
"Wow... you're pretty much invincible in that thing."
Samus sipped her drink. "Hardly."
"Well... I guess if you take a hit to the head it's all over."
"Not exactly... My brain is no different than any other tissue; the nano-machines can repair that as well. And the suit's computer will make a backup copy of my memories every ten seconds or so. It's never happened before but if I ever do get a brain injury it'll just be repaired and then the computer will load back in the latest scan of my brain."
"So you really are un-killable."
"No... I'm really not. All that regeneration uses a lot of power. If the suit is too taxed or is too badly damaged itself then it really will be over for me."
Mitch finished the last of his own drink, then looked inquisitively to Samus. "So how do you operate it? Some kind of internal pressure sensing system... or is it a neuromuscular interface thing?"
"Nothing so crude. There's a sensor in the collar. All signals going through my spine are monitored and translated into motion by the suit's actuators. It's bidirectional too."
"You mean it has tactile receptors? It lets you feel the outside world."
"What about the helmet? How are its functions controlled? Signals from the brain to the head don't pass through the spine."
"Ocular interface with the visor; it's controlled by my eye movements."
"Oh... like the system on the M-111 star fighter."
"Probably... but lots more advanced, I'd bet."
"Hmm..." Mitch seemed lost in thought now.
Samus downed the last of her third round.
"Even an organic polymer, no matter how dense, isn't a whole lot of protection against most modern weapons. The suit must have some sort of energy shielding right?"
"Yes... and no. Not exactly... I'm drunk..." Samus put her hand to her head. "Uh it's more like a... what's it called... matter enforced field, not a regular deflector shield."
"Oh, you mean material reinforcement field. I get it. The atomic structure of the armor is actively reinforced by putting a current across it. The bonds between the molecules are strengthened and the polymer becomes stronger."
"Huh... I guess... if you say so..."
"I've read about research into advanced polymers that can increase their strength, thirty, even fifty fold by applying power to them. But it's all just experimental now... I guess for the Chozo it would have been a simple matter."
"Yeah... they were advanced..." Samus slurred.
"Hey! Is... is that how it reconfigures itself for an upgrade? If the structure can be changed to become stronger in that way then it can be changed in other ways as well."
"Don't know... I'm just the bounty hunter... you're the scientist... probably has to do with the nano... somethings also."
"Right... Nano-machines and a variable polymer would make for a highly adaptable armor."
"Oh!" Samus exclaimed, "and that other thing too. That probably helps too."
"What other thing?"
"You know, the..." Samus made a flittering gesture with her fingers. "Turns stuff into energy."
"A matter-energy converter?"
Samus touched her nose and smiled. "How do you think I fit it in this thing?" She placed an object on the counter but still kept her hand securely on top of it. It was a small gold and orange disk.
"Ah. So the suit is dematerialized and stored in this." His eyes lit up when he saw it. Real Chozo technology right there in front of him. And it was still working! "So it can use that same system to rearrange its molecules too. Dematerialize a piece of the suit then re-materialize it in a different configuration," he said and reached for it instinctively.
"Mine," Samus said grumpily then quickly hid the device away again. "Get me another." She banged the counter.
"Don't you think you've had enough?"
"I don't think you should be thinking about how much I've had to think... er drink..." She went to stand and wobbled considerably. "Maybe you're right." As she staggered back, she gave him a military salute, neither of them was sure why though. "Cover my tab will ya'," she said as she stumbled out of the bar.
"Hmm... wouldn't have figured her as the type who couldn't hold her liquor. How much do I owe you?" Mitch said to the bartender as he opened his wallet.
Samus and Metroid owned by Nintendo, not me. Don't sue, I have no money to begin with.
Thanks to Rikaishi for proof reading, he was an enormous help.
If you want to contact me do so here: G3Rain1 at Gmail com