Authors: Eve Langlais
Tags: #science fiction romance, #alien contact, #military romance, #genetic engineering, #space opera, #outer space, #sci-fi romance, #sfr, #cyborg romance
(Cyborgs: More Than Machines, Book #7)
Copyright © March 2015, Eve Langlais
Cover Art by Amanda Kelsey © February 2015
Edited by Devin Govaere
Copy Edited by Amanda L. Pederick
Produced in Canada
Published by Eve Langlais
1606 Main Street, PO Box 151
Stittsville, Ontario, Canada, K2S1A3
ISBN: 978 1927 459 68 3
is a work of fiction and the characters, events and dialogue found within the story are of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, either living or deceased, is completely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced or shared in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to digital copying, file sharing, audio recording, email and printing without permission in writing from the author.
eing a cyborg was so much better when all his parts worked. Avion’s nanotechnology stopped functioning after some experimentation was done on him by the military. They broke him, and now, Avion is no better than a human. Even more annoying, he’s dying.
But at least he completed his final mission. He saved
One is mysterious and alluring. Avion isn’t the only person who wonders what surprises she hides. The human military and their alien allies fear what she’s capable of and will stop at nothing to destroy her. However, the one thing they didn’t take into account is that the cyborgs always protect their own, and they aren’t afraid to use deadly force.
And no one could imagine the depths
will stoop to in order to protect the man she loves.
The universe is about to change. A war is brewing. The questions are, who is the real enemy, and what will the cyborgs have to do in order to survive?
Cyborgs: More Than Machines:
’d kill for some color.
She really would. Red, in particular, always seemed so vibrant, especially when wet.
I’d maim for some music.
Tear off someone’s arm and use it to tap a bloody beat.
Actually, no, she wouldn’t resort to limb pulling. The screaming usually ruined her mood for music. She should note, though, that even if she drew the line at violent entertainment, she had reached the point she’d do anything to break the monotony of her existence.
Who could blame her?
The walls of her prison never changed. Dull metal all around, a lead compound with no conducting abilities, smooth as glass, impermeable to all attempts to gouge or scratch. It also blocked all attempts to call for help. Welcome to the perfect prison, a cell made especially for her. An actual hole buried hundreds of feet deep. A place no one could escape from, not even her.
Light did not exist in this space, as if her enhanced orbs needed any. She could still see perfectly. Still see nothing had changed. No blanket. No bed. Not even a chair. No warmth or light. Sensory deprivation at its most extreme.
She paid it no mind. Within the vast archive of her mind, she held more than enough videos and memories to keep her entertained as the march of time ticked on.
There were times, though, when she slipped back into the real world, only long enough to cooperate, that she longed for something different. Someone to speak to her, not as an experiment or an aberration of nature.
Speak to me as if they see me. As if I exist.
But the shaking and stinking-with-fear technicians, who every so often crept down to deal with her, never looked her in the eye. With trembling, gloved hands, they drew blood. So red. So pretty—
a pity they don’t appreciate my finger painted art
. Ordered to remain still, she endured the buzz of a razor as they shaved her hair.
They left no part of her unexplored. Untested.
No better than a lab rat, but at least the rats got to play in a maze.
For fun, she liked to bare her teeth. They were quite perfect. White. Sharp. If needed, deadly.
What easily frightened creatures humans could be. A race she technically belonged to, but that was ages ago, and before her change.
To think she descended from such imperfect stock.
. The unenhanced version of herself.
How embarrassingly weak, yet copious. The sheer number of people inhabiting the planet sent her sustainable ratio of living organisms to planetary resources into erratic spasms.
Yet, despite their stunted mental capacity, they survived and multiplied, unlike her enhanced kind, which were rare. So rare, she was the only one left of the originals if one didn’t count the aberrations.
Killed. All killed. Messengers of enlightenment sacrificed at the altar of human fear.
“Because you’re my daughter, those in charge have agreed to let me keep you alive, but you have to go underground.”
“I am being sent away?” the child asked, still gullible and innocent when it came to the truth. “But why? What have I done?” Other than returned to teach and share the wisdom that came from enhanced logic.
“You’ve done nothing. They fear you.”
So do you, Daddy.
Her olfactory senses filtered the scents layering the air. The sweet fabric softener used on his uniform. The mint he’d sucked on moments before he arrived. The dread that coated him in a sour sweat.
“Why do you fear me? I haven’t injured you.” But she could, like those scientists who came at her with the needles and scalpels for just one more sample. At the time, she wasn’t in the mood. Hormonal teenage years, which seemed so long ago.
In a moment of rebellion, she decided to defend herself from their endless tests. But they insisted on using force. Look at that, she was stronger. She tried to explain that she was tired of being just an object, but no one listened, possibly because of the screaming. Weaklings. And they wondered why the nanotech did not choose them. They weren’t worthy.
But back to her banishment, and her question, “Why do you fear me? I’m your daughter.”
“I have no daughter.”
If she’d still had the capacity to feel or care, it might have hurt. As it was, she simply cocked her head. “Then I have no reason to obey you.”
The face of the male being who called himself father—which the Earth humans defined as the person who’d donated some genetic material to the creation of a new being—shifted. The features hardened. She knew that look. As one guard liked to whisper to the other,
“Shit’s about to hit the fan.”
It certainly did. Just not in the way they expected.
Just one of many decisions on her part that netted her the lovely cell she currently resided in, probably for the next eternity.
Not a single other entity to talk to.
The only sounds were those of her own making, and she’d long ago grown tired of making rude noises to entertain herself. As for singing, enhanced abilities did not mean she could sing in tune.
If she were prone to melodrama, she would cast her arms wide and prattle on that she would spend an eternity alone.
It had already been ages since anyone last checked on her. Her internal clock said nine months, seven days, six hours, and five seconds had passed since the last time they’d peeked in on her. But did time matter when everything else seemed to stand still?
Am I insane yet?
Am I angry?
About what? The humans behaved exactly as expected, but her mentor had truly hoped for a different outcome. Her mentor, the one who changed her, improved her, didn’t count on the most important thing. Humans feared. And fear made their actions unpredictable.
Upon her return with the others, nine in total, only she survived the purge grounded in irrationality.
Daddy dearest hid her. Daddy with his cold eyes used her. Daddy with his hatred for what she’d become threatened her.
“Either you do as I say or you’ll die like the others.”
At times she regretted her choice.
At least, until the incident, she had a regular, if unpleasant, visitor. But then she kind of got angry, and Daddy was kind of a little fragile.
Now she had no one, and she couldn’t help but wonder how long before they exterminated her as they had the other enlightened ones. Even the abominations, those created by the humans, didn’t escape the culling.
Very few of the impure ones remained from the hundreds, thousands, the scientists had created. Slaves to the military, at least those called cyborgs enjoyed some semblance of freedom before their creators turned on them.
At times she wondered if she should attempt to free herself. To do what? Where would she go? Certainly not to Daddy, who was angry with her.
“You are no longer my daughter.”
And whose fault was that?
Once upon a time, that memory might have held the ability to hurt. That time had long passed. She no longer felt anything, just a general boredom.
To wile the seconds within seconds, she pondered the questions of what she was and what would happen to her living energy when she died. The scientists had a theory. The terms godless and without a soul had been applied. It seemed that being a little different, no matter her human origin, took away her soul.
No morals? No conscience? No soul? In that case then, that meant no going to hell like the priest they sent to talk with her expounded upon. She was free from the sins of humans.
That revelation was linked to one of her
Trust humans to get indignant when she vented her frustration by breaking things that came within reach. It was messy—but fun.
Take away her sugar privilege indeed. Her rebellion had been sadly short-lived but, even now, proved pleasant to reminisce upon.
Her counting of time, and her sifting of more pleasant memories, found itself interrupted. Above, metal creaked as the wheel to the portal turned. It spun, releasing the pressure on the door. She craned upward, eager for any type of action to change the monotony of her existence.
Had they finally come to a consensus on what they should do with her?
Would they finally terminate her existence? She often wondered if she would catch the small nuclear device they’d drop or let it hit the floor and explode?
A bright light angled down, the proverbial white tunnel, or something else?
Aliens coming to take me away?
She almost giggled.
I am mad. Mad as the hatter. Mad as the AI from that space movie. Crazy, crazy, nuts.
And alone. All alone.
Or was she? In the brief shining moment when someone called down and asked if she was still there—like duh, where else would she go?—a mind touched hers. A single mind out of hundreds. A single personality that actually
He sees me!
Who are you?
Good question. She no longer remembered. All she had was the identity they’d given her.
I am known as One.
She didn’t need to see him to perceive his puzzlement.
Where are you?
Hidden. A prisoner. One without hope.
There’s always hope.
Not for me.
How sad to admit to another, the first true contact she’d had in who knew how long.
Don’t give up. I’ll—
The contact was abruptly shattered as the soldiers slid the grate back over her prison.
As a generation of humans said during a trending moment,
But that had all happened in the past. She’d rewound to relive the events that brought her here. Here being on the
with beings. Real ones, not those she recalled in her mind.
One touched the cold surface of the window with her fingertips then pressed her nose to it as she stared out at the vastness of space.
Free. I am free.
Despite her great mental acuity, she still had a hard time believing it.
Less than an hour ago, she’d languished in her prison. Counting the spaces between milliseconds to kill time.