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Authors: Rebellion

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Eve Vaughn

BOOK: Eve Vaughn

Children of the Dust 3: Rebellion

Eve Vaughn

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2007

Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is
illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary
gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison
and a fine of $250,000.

ISBN: 978-1-59596-666-7

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Changeling Press LLC

PO Box 1046

Martinsburg, WV 25402-1046

Editor: Crystal Esau

Cover Artist: Karen Fox


This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some
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Holly’s discovered one that could cost her her life. The Cyrellians are siphoning off
all Earth’s natural resources, preparing to leave humanity to die in the dust. Before
she can share what she knows, the Cyrellians see that Holly is locked away, safely
out of sight. After all, who would believe the tales of a crazy woman?

One man would. Chase, the Freedom Fighter she’s tried so hard to forget. Haunted by
dreams of one sweet moment with a voluptuous redhead, Chase vows to risk life and
limb to free Holly and keep her where she belongs -- in his arms. Though their
attraction burns red hot for each other, Holly isn’t so sure she can trust the hunky
blond Freedom Fighter. Chase, however, is determined to make her his at all costs.


Chapter One

Holly paced the length of her living room, plotting her next move. Who could she turn to with what she’d learned in these past few days? And most importantly would they believe her? With her two best friends, Bella and Sydney, missing in action, she had never felt more alone in her life.

How would she find the strength to fight the alien threat when her support system was gone? Bella could be goodness knows where, possibly dead. And Sydney was on the run from the law. Her face was on every bulletin board in the city. Holly could only hope she was somewhere safe. Her head began to throb as tension coursed through her body.

“Think, Holly, think,” she muttered to herself. Why couldn’t she figure out what to do? She had nothing.

The tele-communicator let out a shrill ring, jarring her out of her thoughts. She walked to the control panel on her wall and pressed the button to turn on the screen.

Clea Storm, her boss at the plant nursery, appeared, and judging from the tight-lipped expression on her pale face, she wasn’t happy. “Holly, I suppose you know why I’m calling?”

Holly coughed in response. “I’m sorry, Ms. Storm. I’m still not feeling well. I might not be back to work until next week.”

Her boss’s eyes narrowed to dark slits, disbelief stamped on her face. “You look fine to me.”

“I get dizzy spells when I stand for long periods of time.” The words sounded like a lie even to Holly’s ears.

“Then I suggest you visit a clinic. I hope you realize the policy for being out sick more than three consecutive days.”


“I know. A doctor’s note is required. To be honest I haven’t visited my physician.

I figured my condition was due to fatigue and some rest was what I needed most.” Judging from the stony expression on the other woman’s face, Holly’s excuses weren’t doing any good. “While I sympathize, I suggest you report to work tomorrow or provide a letter from a medical facilitator upon your return. Otherwise, I’ll be forced to terminate your employment. You’re a hard worker and I value you as a team member at Green Thumbs, but I can’t grant you preferential treatment.” Holly closed her eyes and sighed. She understood Ms. Storm’s position, but how could she focus on work when there was already so much turmoil in her life? But she realized she couldn’t give up her job just yet, especially when being there put Holly in close proximity to the waste management center. Raising her lids once again, she noticed the vein throbbing in her boss’s temple signaling her impatience. “Okay, I’ll be there on time tomorrow.”

Ms. Storm relaxed her expression to a smile. “I’m glad to hear it. I look forward to seeing you then.” Without waiting for Holly to reply, she signed off. The screen went black.

Damn. Now she’d committed to going to work when she didn’t feel like it. But maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. In fact, it was probably for the best. What better way to bring the Cyrellians down than obtaining more evidence against them?

Before she’d gone on the run, Sydney had left her a file obtained from Cryo Cor, the largest food manufacturer on the planet. It contained information about a potent, addictive drug called GXT. This chemical was being put into food produced by Cryo Cor. Apparently its side-effects included an immediate craving for more of the food, and eventually caused a yellowish tint to the skin. When ingested in large quantities it was poisonous.

To Holly, the scariest part was people didn’t realize they were getting sick from eating the products manufactured by this company until they were on their deathbeds.

It was bad enough the Cyrellians were poisoning humans with their food, but their packaged meats were actually made from human flesh. As sickening as this discovery



was, she wasn’t the least bit surprised. She’d long suspected all wasn’t right with their alien benefactors.

Several months back, her boss had relocated the shop to a different section of town. The new building was situated next to a waste management facility. Holly hadn’t thought much about it until one night when she’d been asked to stay late to help fill a large order that had needed to go out the following morning.

She and another florist had worked well past close. Noticing her colleague looked tired, Holly had offered to stay and finish up. By the time she’d finished, it was pitch black outside. In this area of the neighborhood there weren’t many heliolamps illuminating the streets, which she’d found odd. Until she’d made a strange discovery.

As she was heading out from work that night, she saw a strange glow coming from the building next to Green Thumbs. It wasn’t odd for that type of business to run twenty-four hours a day, but that iridescent, greenish light radiating from the windows didn’t seem right.

Though she tried to ignore its beckoning sheen as she made her way to her hovercar, curiosity had gotten the better of her. She’d been told she was nosy, and Holly feared that assessment was correct. Turning away from her vehicle, Holly made her way toward the waste management center.

Careful not to be seen in case someone came out of the building, she lurked in the shadows, making sure it was safe to get closer. Finally when she was sure no one was coming, she found a window to peek through. Her gaze was pulled toward the source of her wonder.

There was lots of machinery as she’d expected to see, but something seemed strange about it. Instead of machinery for recycling garbage or purifying water, there was a large space craft in what looked like the center of a landing pad. The weird illumination was coming from the boosters.

A group of Cyrellians, at least fifty by her estimation, were loading the ship with boxes of material. She couldn’t quite make out what they were carrying, but where



were the humans? As she stood there trying to figure out what was going on, one of the aliens looked in her direction.

Holly had quickly ducked, hoping she wouldn’t be spotted. Then she raced away from the building, not stopping until she was in the confines of her hovercar. From that moment on, she realized something weird was going on. She began making inquires about the plant, but no one seemed to know much about it beyond it being a place where their recycled products and garbage were sent. Stranger still, Holly didn’t know of any human working there. It had never occurred to her before because she had no reason to think about it.

Her uneasiness with the entire situation only increased, until one night she decided to hang around the shop and wait for nightfall. Again, Holly saw that greenish glow. This time, she chose a different location to spy from. In this area, Cyrellian workers were packing boxes, the same kind she’d seen them loading onto the ship.

They were filling them with gold, silver, coal, quartz, copper, other minerals, and ore.

But why?

For what reason could they be taking the land’s resources and loading them on a ship to goodness knows where? Holly remained where she was for a few hours, watching them pack the material. Occasionally a large truck would come and dump more items into a pile where they were immediately sorted.

Once the items were put in the boxes, they were labeled then taken to another section -- where the ship was to be loaded. She knew she’d have to somehow get inside the building to find out exactly what was going on.

The next day, during her lunch break, she walked over to the waste management center on the ruse of looking for employment. She got no further than the front desk where she was immediately turned away by the seemingly friendly, but unbending Cyrellian receptionist. Holly then asked for a tour on the inside and was promptly told unauthorized personnel were not allowed beyond the front desk. It served to fuel her suspicion.





Around that time, her friend Bella had received a letter in the mail about a new surgery that would cure hearing loss. Already suspicious of the Cyrellians, something didn’t quite sit well with Holly, and now not only was Bella missing, but so was Sydney.

There was no way she could go another day without letting everyone know exactly what the aliens were up to. The only problem was would she be able to do it before they got to her too?

* * *

Chase found it difficult to remain still, especially when he didn’t know if the tiny space craft that was about to land contained friends or foes.

“Stop fidgeting,” Jack muttered. “You’re making me nervous.” Chase rested his fingers against his sidepiece, ready to take the weapon out of its holster if needed. “I wouldn’t be this way if we could verify who’s on board. All we can tell is they need help, but it could be a trick.”

“But the signal we received was clearly one of distress. And their technology seems even more advanced than that of the Cyrellians. Besides, the language the message came in was like no other I’ve heard before. It wasn’t Cyrellian and it definitely wasn’t Spengnese. Am I being paranoid to think this is some ploy?”

“No. Considering what they’ve done to our people, I’d put nothing past them, which is why I’ve taken these precautions.” Jack motioned to seven other Freedom Fighters, all armed, he’d brought along with them. They had also chosen to meet the ship a few miles away from their main base in case this was some trick.

“I guess I’ll feel better when we can verify who’s on board,” Chase finished with a sigh.

Jack lifted his eye patch to reveal the bionic eye underneath. Even after all this time, that thing still creeped Chase out a little. He couldn’t imagine what it was like for his friend to live with it. The artificial eye served to remind them of what the Cyrellians were capable of. On the other hand, it gave Jack superhuman sight.





Jack narrowed his eyes. “I’m zooming in to take a closer look at the thing. It’s just touched down, so I’ll give it a couple minutes before the passengers get off.”

“What do you see?” Chase asked after a few moments had passed.

“The hatch is opening.” He motioned for their other companions to come closer.

“Draw your weapons.”

Chase squinted, trying to get a better look ahead, but the ship was too far away for him to see anything other than what appeared to be a slight motion. “What do you see, Jack?”

After a brief pause, Jack finally answered. “It’s a man… but he’s not like us.”

“Another alien?”

“Yes. But not a Cyrellian. If it weren’t for his strange coloring, I’d say he was human.”

“What do you mean by that? What color is he?”

“Dark gold.”

“Are you sure it’s not a really deep tan?”

Jack shook his head. “Positive. Wait a minute; he’s helping someone else off the ship, a woman this time.”

“Is she gold too?” Chase asked, frustrated he couldn’t see what was happening.

Jack frowned and then craned his neck almost as though he were trying to verify what he’d just seen. “No. A human. And she’s hugging the golden man. There’s one more passenger.” Suddenly he stiffened, and shook his head.

“What is it?” Chase demanded.

“The third person is David.”


“Don’t you remember me telling you about him? He was kept prisoner along with me -- the one they sent away. Lower your weapons.” Jack turned to the rest of the group. “I think these guys will be on our side.”

“How can you be certain? It may still be a trap.” Chase wasn’t ready to lower his guard. He didn’t put anything past those alien bastards when it came to setting traps.





Jack shook his head. “No. It’s not. There’s no way David would be working for the Cyrellians, especially after what they did to him.” Chase bit his lip to hold back the words hovering on his tongue. He’d have to trust Jack’s judgment. His friend was usually a good judge of character. He only hoped those instincts weren’t incorrect now because it could cost them their lives.

“You guys stay back. Chase and I will make contact with the crew and let you know when it’s all right to approach.” Jack pulled his eye patch in place. “Let’s go.” He started walking without waiting for a reply.

Chase practically jogged to keep up with him. As they drew closer to the ship, he was able to make out the people for himself. They were just as Jack had described them.

The large gold alien had to be at least seven feet tall. He was muscularly built and Chase knew it would take more than one man or a considerable amount of skills to take him down.

The golden man, seeing them, pushed the petite human female behind him, almost as if he were protecting her. The other male shuffled from side to side with a nervous gait. He seemed to be holding a weapon of some sort and Chase, taking precautions, automatically went for his.

The gold alien stepped forward, holding out his palms. Chase figured he was doing this to show there was no threat. He stilled, keeping his hand on the weapon strapped to his waist.

“Jack? Is that you?” David came forward and dropped the device when recognition dawned on his pale face.

Jack stepped forward, his lips tilting into a smile. “David. I thought it was you, but I couldn’t be sure. Who are your traveling companions?”

“These are my friends, Dar and Bella.”

“Bella, you said?” A frown creased Jack’s forehead.

“Yes, we met on Flamryl. It’s a planet in another galaxy, but that’s a long story.” Jack nodded. “There will be time enough to get into that. We’ll need to get the three of you back to our base. I’m sure you could benefit from some rest and you can



tell us all about your plight once you’re settled. This is Chase Hudson, my second in command. I think the cause would be lost without him.” Chase shook the other man’s hand and nodded in the direction of the other two.

“Pleased to meet you.”

Introductions were soon made, and Chase noticed how the green-eyed brunette clung to the alien as though afraid he’d leave her. Whenever someone was talking she focused on their lips and David seemed to make it a point to face her whenever he spoke. It occurred to him that she was deaf. As Dar’s Spengnese was limited, David served as interpreter.

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