WARNING: This book is an Erotic Sci-fi Romance with multiple explicit sex scenes and some mentions of rape. While it contains erotic sex scenes, it is not erotica. It also contains incidents of graphic violence. If these are triggers for you, please do not buy or read this book.
Blaze Savage stood on the observation deck looking at the blue and white ball, in the distance, Earth home. He hadn’t been back since his awakening over nine decades before. Barely a second passed and the burly cyborg accessed his central processor to recall the specific amount of time. He’d left Earth 97 years, 5 months, 18 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes, 25.7 seconds ago.
He had two reasons for coming back to Earth. After several years decompressing on Phantom, the cyborg planet, after the war, he wanted to put his talents to better use in Vyken Dark’s new Cyborg Ranger project. The other reason was to find his genetic mate.
Blaze was returning to Earth with five other cyborgs, who had volunteered for the program. Even though the genetic mating project only about one in ten cyborgs had found the mates that were promised at the end of their service in the war. That was partly because only females in Enclave territories got tested.
Of millions of cyborgs on Phantom, few had mates. Only a small percentage of the population were female. Most of them were mated female cyborgs.
When Commander Dark contacted him with plans to restore order west of the enclave territories, it sounded like Blaze’s kind of job. Blaze and the other five were Cyborg Rangers who went on some of the most dangerous missions in the war. Dark thought this team would be better suited to the challenges of restoring civilization to the territories south and west of the Enclave and its Annex.
The Mesaarkans bombed the major cities on every continent, most of the towns and rural areas were untouched. Some were autonomous, while others were ruled by gangs and overlords. Those ruled by the overlords held their ordinary residents hostage in their own communities with gangers enforcing their whims. Farringay was off limits, but the west was open for restoration.
The Enclave decided to pull as much of that territory as possible into the fold. Vyken Dark could have sent any number of virtually trained, newly Awakened cyborgs. But their training was AI generated while they were in stasis. The Cyborg Rangers were real time, experienced combat specialists. They would do the recon before Vyken sent in the newbie protectors for the rangers to supervise. The territory would be divided among the six rangers.
Also, on the transport bringing them to Earth were a couple of lucky cyborgs who were genetically matched to women in the Enclave databank. All the cyborgs produced both at the Enclave and the Peruvian facility were maintained there. No additions to the civilian genetic databank had been added since the war.
The Rangers would add to that databank in their travels while newbie Dagger Jack was collecting data in the current Enclave territories. Somewhere in between, Blaze hoped he could find his mate. Meanwhile, he would have plenty to keep him busy.
Blaze watched Earth grow in his line of vision as they got closer to orbit. It was almost time for him to board the shuttle to New Chicago the only city restored in the territory. His duffle lay on the floor at his feet.
He picked it up and slung it over his shoulder as the order to go to the shuttle came through the internal cyborg network. Fifteen minutes later Blaze and his cohorts Shadow Hawk, Max Steel, Darken Wolf, Stalker Knight, and Falcon Rader were debarking from the shuttle and striding to the transport to the Enclave south of the city.
New Chicago was smaller than the original, reflecting the reduction in population of the entire world by the Mesaarkans’ sneak attack just over a century before. The new city was ultra-modern comprised of gleaming sky scrapers and assorted smaller buildings with multiple green spaces.
The cyborgs had their own base near the underground facility which had been converted to residences and a small hospital. It was just a ten-minute flit from the space shuttle port in the low flying hover craft.
The six brawny cyborgs all over six feet tall made an impressive sight as they strode purposely toward the cyborg base with their duffels slung over their shoulders. They were all dressed in identical in the black cargo pants and snug fitting khaki t-shirts. A few women working on the grounds paused to gaze at them, but the cyborg males barely noticed them.
It didn’t matter how attractive the females were, they weren’t mates for any of the cyborgs. The enhance Cyborg Rangers were focused on their mission briefing with Commander Dark.
“Welcome back to Earth gentlemen. I know it wasn’t what we were promised, but those who made those promises no longer exist,” Vyken said when they were all seated around the table in the conference room. “We’re the only ones left to clean up the remnants of civilization left after the initial attack by the Mesaarkans. We’ve done multiple fly overs for recon but we didn’t want to send newbies to deal with frustrated naturals. You have the uploads of the maps we compiled of the most significant populated areas.
“Your primary job is to investigate and intervene where civilians are in danger from gangs or forced into human trafficking.” Dark continued. “Once you’ve established the state of their communities, the Enclave will send representatives to invite them into the Enclave. We couldn’t do anything about Farringay and Alexander Berke’s holdings, but the Federation is giving us free rein on the western territories. Any questions?”
“Did your recon show any troublesome activity?” Blaze asked.
“The largest cities in your territory are in ruins and run by overlords with ganger enforcers. You won’t be able to take them back on your own, so don’t even try. The best thing we can do is evacuate the innocents that you find. Report back to us and we will send in teams and transport to move them to safe locations.” Commander Dark replied. “Anyone else?” He paused for a few seconds then said, “Your hovercycles are waiting for you in the transport garage. While they are about as old as we are, they have all been refurbished with crystal drives and their nanite technology allows you to shift them into personal flyers. They are synchronized with your internal processor so no one else can operate them. Ping me any time if you need anything. You are all dismissed.”
With that, all the cyborgs stood and headed out of the building to claim their assigned vehicles. Each cycle was numbered and they already knew which was theirs from the infodump they received when they volunteered for this assignment.
The sky cycles were strictly two person vehicles, that resembled old style water jet skis more than motorcycles, but longer. Behind the riders’ seats was a compartment to carry their small duffels and spare weapons. There was also a sling on the right side for an ion rifle, and each cycle was loaded with one.
Blaze pulled his weapons belt from his duffle and strapped it on over his lean hips. It contained a blaster, half a dozen throwing knives and a large combat knife. He added a smaller laser pistol to his boot holster, then pulled on a black, synthetic leather jacket. While it looked, felt and smelled like real leather, it was man made.
Lastly, he pulled on his replica of an Australian bush hat that they had adopted as part of their Ranger regalia. The only indications of their authority were the Cyborg Ranger patches on the fronts of their jackets.
Blaze climbed on his sky cycle, started the motor and connected with the onboard AI to extend the wings and form the cockpit. He pulled slowly out of the garage and raised the craft vertically into the sky. When he reached the desired height then set off like a jet southward to his territory, formerly know and Texas.
The sun was shining in a cloudless blue sky. Below the Earth was verdant and green, and he found joy in racing across the sky in this fully refurbished multipurpose craft. Blaze hadn’t been back to Earth since he shipped out to war barely a week after he was taken out of stasis.
He’d blamed the world for everything that happened to him in the war. The ninety-seven days in a Mesaarkan prison, the loss of his team. He’d been tortured repeatedly, injected with drugs, beaten, tormented with shock sticks to give them intel on the Federation. The irony was that Blaze didn’t have the information to give. They wouldn’t accept that he couldn’t lie.
Vyken Dark and his team had gotten Blaze out of that prison and took out that whole Mesaarkan stronghold. He got three months to recover before they put him back out into the war. He fought one campaign after another on dozens of planets for the next sixty-five years.
They treated cyborgs like they were machines, granted, their emotions were dampened through programing and conditioning. Despite his enhancements Blaze was more human than machine. When Vyken Dark contacted him with this new job offer, he didn’t hesitate.
Commander Dark pointed out that the people who made them and sent them to war were gone. Now was the time cyborgs could get the lives they were promised after the war, a mate and a chance for a family. His life had new purpose
Phoebe Brooks was hoeing out rows in her vegetable garden when she saw four men on horses galloping toward her homestead. Martin Stone’s men. He called himself the mayor of Grafton, but he was a gangster overlord who wanted her.
She dropped the hoe handle and pulled the ancient Glock from its holster to double check that it was fully loaded. She put it back in the holster and ran to her house where her shotgun was standing in the corner by the back door.
The riders hadn’t reached her yard before she yanked open the back door and lunged inside. She didn’t need to check the that the long gun was loaded as she reloaded it every time, she shot it.
She took it up and marched out onto the back porch, pointed the gun at the four horsemen that pulled their horses to the stop in her back yard. Phoebe didn’t know all their names, but she recognized them as Martin Stone’s thugs. Clade Joseph was the leader of this pack.
Phoebe thought maybe she should be honored that Stone thought enough of her to send his number one to relay whatever reason they’d ridden all the way from town to see her.
“Now, Phoebe, no need to shoot the messenger,” Clade said. “Mr. Stone would like you to be his guest for dinner on Saturday. He asked me to deliver this note.”
“It took four of you to deliver one note?” Phoebe blurted in a snarky tone. Her rifle aimed at Clade’s chest.
Clade shrugged. “It’s a long ride. One can’t be too careful.”
“Well, you can tell Stone I’m not going anywhere. It’s planting season and I’ve got too much work to do to run around socializing. And who is going to watch the place so scavengers won’t steal everything I’ve got?”
“He could send someone out to watch your place with the escort he sends to fetch you. You wouldn’t need to do any of this if you’d just accept his proposal and come live in town.” Clade reminded.
“Don’t even start with that again. Just leave the note, and get off my land.”
Clade urged his horse forward.
“Don’t come any closer.” Phoebe motioned with her shotgun. “Just drop it, and I will pick it up after you leave.”
“I need an answer before I leave.”
“You got my answer. I’m not coming to dinner. I don’t want to see Stone, and I don’t want to marry him.”
“I don’t know what all he said in his note. But maybe if you read it, you’d change your mind.” Clade held it up.
“Fine, drop it on the ground and I will pick it up after you leave. You already have my answer. I’m not going to dinner Saturday or any other time,” she repeated.
“Well, ma’am, Mr. Stone can be just as stubborn as you. If you won’t come to him, he will come to you.”
“And he won’t be any more welcome than you. The answer is no. I just want to be left alone.”
Clade sailed the paper note through the air toward Phoebe, then turned his horse around and rode back the way he’d come with his three sidekicks. Only when they were tiny on the horizon did she lower her shotgun and go to pick up the piece of paper from the grass.
Holding her shotgun under her arm, pointed at the ground, she unfolded it and read the neatly hand printed message:
I know we’ve had our differences, but it has never changed the way I feel about you. It worries me greatly to think of you alone out on your ranch so far from town. I want to take care of you and protect you.
Won’t you please grant me the honor of your company for dinner on Saturday so that we can discuss our future.”
Phoebe closed her eyes and shook her head. “Give it up, Martin. You don’t want a wife you want an obedient submissive to play your sadistic sex games.”
She crumpled the letter and stalked back into her house with it squeezed in a ball. After she, returned the shotgun to the corner by the door, she opened the door of her wood cookstove and tossed the wadded note into the embers and closed the door. Even as it caught fire, she knew this wouldn’t be the end of it. When sweet sincerity didn’t work, he would use force.
Clade and company would be back to grab her for Martin. Then she would be his prisoner. She hated to leave the home that had been in her family since before the Mesaarkan War. Its remote location is what saved it and the town of Graffton, population 6343. Not a high enough body count to rate one of their bombs left the town unscathed.
Phoebe couldn’t see any other way out; she had to get away. She blinked as tears welled in her eyes. She’d made a good life for herself here with her goats and chickens, her garden and her big fluffy dog Brandi. Her dog would come with her, but she had no choice but to leave the other animals to fend for themselves. Her horse Sherry was the only transportation she had. That would limit what she could carry.
She would have to live off the land for the most part, but that didn’t worry her. Leaving her homestead unguarded was risking to lose it. When Martin learned she was gone, he would probably destroy it. He didn’t take rejection well, especially since she had fallen for his charming facade once. He didn’t love her; he just wanted to own her and use her to satisfy his perversions.
Phoebe was open minded about sex, but Martin took dominance and submission to a torturous level. He had a secret room full of devices he used for sexual torture to punish her when she displeased him. The last time was the worst. She finally escaped. Ever since, she had been wary of anyone who approached her isolated homestead.
The few that stopped in passing were harmless. But she no longer trusted anyone. She met them all at gunpoint. Martin had a whole gang of thugs, and she knew she couldn’t fight them all with a shotgun and a Glock. They could even come back today, once they told Martin how she’d greeted them.
What if they didn’t go all the way back to town? Maybe they just rode away to make her drop her guard, and they would be back to take her by force. She couldn’t rule that out. It was almost midday and she didn’t have much time. She went to the linen closet and pulled out two of her sturdiest pillow cases and She packed three changes of clothes, soap, a small face cloth, and towel.
She found an old sleeping bag rolled up on a shelf in the back of her bedroom closet. Taking up the sleeping bag and pillow cases, she raced to the kitchen pantry and packed as much dried vegetables, dry beans and fruit as she could carry. Rummaging in the kitchen cupboards, she found an old mess kit for cooking and a canteen for water.
Phoebe didn’t stop to check if everything was contained within. She couldn’t shake the urgency to get away before Stone’s men came back. At the back door, she added a small fishing kit, her hunting knife and all her spare ammo for her guns were the last things she added.
Tying the two pillow cases together to serve as saddle bags. Everything seemed to take so long, and she berated herself for not preparing in case she had to run. Martin had left her alone for the whole winter. Phoebe had begun to relax, thinking he’d accepted the fact that she didn’t want to be with him.
It wasn’t like he couldn’t find someone else. Martin was handsome and powerful. He could be very charming when he was trying to get laid. He lost his charm when he showed his other side in his secret room.
Phoebe shuddered involuntarily at the memory. She had never screamed so much in her life, and it wasn’t from pleasure. She vowed never to let him touch her again. She didn’t want to see him or even think about him.
She managed to grab her jacket and shotgun, carrying everything to the barn in one trip. Her mare Sherry came into the barn expecting her grain ration. Phoebe poured a scoop into the bucket hanging on the side of the stall. Sherry stood contentedly munching on the grain while Phoebe put on her saddle blanket, smoothed it out and added the saddle followed by her supplies and her shotgun.
Phoebe never went anywhere unarmed, even before the threat of Martin trying to charm his way back into her life. No amount of charm would make her forget that horrendous three days he had punished her for merely speaking to one of his men.
Sherry had finished her grain by the time she was ready to take off the halter and bridle the horse. Finally, ready, Phoebe led the horse from the barn. She was about to mount, when she remembered the goats and the chickens. She ran to the pasture, opened the gate and then to the chicken pen.
They would probably all be gone if she ever came back but she couldn’t let Martin or his men catch her. She couldn’t worry about them; she had to get away.
Phoebe mounted the horse and urged her into a canter headed east, away from Grafton and away from Martin.
Blaze spent the first few days flying over old Texas, exploring the territory. The cities were in ruin as he’d expected, with smaller communities, farms, and ranches scattered in between the cities. There was activity around the farms and ranches but greatly reduced compared to the pre-war archives.
With the loss of the power grid, farm machinery couldn’t be recharged. Not everyone had wind and solar generators. Those were clearly marked with disabled farm machinery sitting idle in the middle of fields with tall grass and weeds around them. Without the use of their automated systems, farms and ranches were forced to used methods such as those used in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Horses were again used as a mode of transportation. In just the few days he’d been patrolling his territory, Blaze had seen many horses used for travel. He’d been fully briefed on the state of the old USA. It would surely take more than a few cyborg rangers to bring order back in the territories between the pockets of civilization.
He was flying over east Texas heading for the Dallas ruins when he saw a lone horse and rider being chased down a rural road by a group of riders.
Blaze slowed his hover cycle and retracted the wing as he took the craft just above ground level and flew the cycle near enough to the loan rider to see she was female. He brought the cycle to a halt and pivoted in midair to face the five male riders chasing her.
Pulling out his ion rifle he raised the butt to his shoulder and aimed it at the male riders approaching. “Stop right there, gentlemen.”
The men pulled up their horses about fifty feet from where Blaze hovered his cycle.
“Who the hell are you?” demanded the apparent leader.
“Captain Blaze Savage, Federation Cyborg Rangers. What did the female do to make the five of you race after her?”
“Well, I don’t think that’s any of your business,” said the man who seemed to be in charge. He was the best dressed and sat on a superior horse.”
“If she has committed a crime, it is my business. If you are harassing her and attempting to deprive her of her freedom, that is also my business.”
“My name is Martin Stone. I am the Mayor of Grafton. The woman is Phoebe Brooks, my girlfriend. We had a misunderstanding, and I am trying to catch up to her so we can work it out,” he said smoothly.
But his accelerated heart rate told Blaze he was lying about something. “The fact that she was running makes me think she doesn’t want to see you.” With his enhanced vision, he could see that the horse was running full out. Whatever happened between her and the man in front of him was more than a misunderstanding. It looked more like she was running for her life.
“I just want to talk to her,” Stone insisted.
That didn’t ring true either. “I don’t think she wants to hear you right now. It shouldn’t take five men to get a lone woman to stop and listen. I think I need to hear her side of this story.” Blaze hadn’t lowered his rifle as he spoke to them. “Until I do, I am ordering you to stand down and go back to your town.”
“As you pointed out there are five of us, and one of you,” Stone said in a thinly veiled threat. As if on cue, the four men flanking him pulled out semi-automatic pistols and pointed them at Blaze.
He almost laughed. One sweep of his ion rifle and they would all be dead. He didn’t even need the rifle. The bullets from their guns would hurt, even make him bleed but his nanites would quickly repair the damage. He had faced far worse in the war… And lived to file report on it.
“You do know that I’m a cyborg? I can drop you all with this ion rifle before you can fire a shot. You look doubtful. Do you want to try me?”
“Fuck this!” Martin Stone growled. “Let’s go.” He turned his horse back the way they had come, and holstering their guns his men turned their horses and followed him.
When Blaze was satisfied, they would keep going, he returned his ion rifle to its holder and turned his hover cycle around to follow Phoebe Brooks. He hovered over the crumbling pavement at the modest speed of 85mph.
He caught up to her within a few minutes, though she had gotten farther than he expected. Slowing his cycle well before he reached her, he glided along beside her. Although his vehicle was almost silent running at that slow speed, the horse shied and reared.
Phoebe tried valiantly to maintain her seat, but gravity was stronger.
Blaze stopped the cycle and leapt to catch her before she hit the ground. He couldn’t get his balance in time to grasp her and remain standing. He could only cushion her fall as she landed on top of him.
They lay together on the highway stunned for a minute. Blaze was even more stunned as he inhaled her heady, delightful scent, and his cock twitched. It took him several seconds to make himself form words, while his mind filled with one single word: Mine.
“Are—are you, all right?” he asked.
“Thanks to you, but your machine made my horse shy and throw me in the first place.”
“I know, I didn’t expect that.” Blaze sat up with Phoebe on his lap and gazed at her with such intensity that she averted her eyes. Then she struggled to get up, and he gripped her waist to help and rose to his feet as well.”
“What made you follow me?” she asked, gazing up at him.
Well over six feet, the top of her head was almost even with his shoulder. Blaze had no trouble understanding why Martin Stone wanted her. She was exquisite with expressive brown eyes and long dark hair tied back at the nape of her neck. Her curvy figure was just shy of voluptuous. Her mouth was full and looked soft and kissable.
He was so taken by her beauty that he didn’t answer right away. “Those men following you. I stopped them to see why they were chasing you. The man Martin Stone claimed it was a misunderstanding.”
“Oh, that bastard! There is no misunderstanding. He can’t take no for an answer. I’ll kill him if he comes near me,” she vowed. “But, why did you get in the middle of this?”
“I’m a Federation Cyborg Ranger, assigned to uphold the laws that once governed this territory. The name is Blaze Savage.”
“What’s a cyborg?”
“A genetically enhanced human with an onboard computer interface in my brain. We were created to fight the war,” he explained, not taking his eyes from her face.
“You mean like a superhero?”
“More like a super soldier… stronger, faster, more resilient than natural born humans,” he said. “But, tell me more about the circumstances with Stone.”
“He’s an abusive, sadistic pervert. He held me prisoner in his own personal torture chamber. I got away, but not before he put me through three days of pure hell.”
Blaze’s eyes flashed a look of murderous rage. “He hurt you?” He’s a dead man walking.
Phoebe nodded solemnly. “That was last fall. He stayed away all winter, then he sent his men with a charming little invitation for dinner to discuss our future a week ago. I packed up and abandoned my home as soon as they were out of sight. They almost caught me… If you hadn’t stopped them…”
She shuddered with the nightmare memories of her last encounter with Martin Stone. She would have said more, but her throat tightened as angry tears threatened.
Blaze finally gave in to the temptation, stepping close and wrapping her in his arms. Holding her was the most wonderful thing he’d ever felt. The wave of emotion that engulfed him was almost overwhelming.
End of Preview
Available from AMAZON will be in Kindle Unlimited after release on 2/14.
Soliv Four is Part One of a series that continues in the next book. Each book will highlight a separate romance with some of the romances occurring concurrently. While the story will continue through three or more books, each romance will conclude at a happy-for-now point.
The split second, the starting gun sounded; Angie set off sprinting through the jungle. Run! Run! Run! Her feet pounded the dirt path, and her arms pumped in rhythm with every stride. A quarter span head start didn’t mean much when they were sending four burly males, each vying to claim her as their own.
Two of them only bore a passing resemblance to humans. They were reptilian and blue with tails. Number three had a face like a bulldog with a lion type mane and a heavily muscled body covered in short, smooth fur. He had been salivating as he raked her curvy body with his eyes.
Number four, Mr. Sexy Eyes looked human, and it did things to her insides when their gazes met. What were the chances he would find her first? One in four?
She kept running, veering off onto side paths of the jungle maze. Angie was sweating profusely within minutes in the humid tropical heat.
She ran until each breath felt like a stab through her chest, and she nearly doubled over from the stitch in her side. Stopping to listen, she could hear pounding footfalls from the way she had just come. She had to hide. Those big, fearsome males would catch up to her in seconds if she stayed on the path.
No way was this what she signed up for. The way they had looked at her was sinister. The looks passing between three non-humans, just before she left on her head start, made her think they had made a pact together… to share if one of them caught her.
She couldn’t catch her breath enough to run anymore, and she felt slightly nauseous. Something wasn’t right. Her head felt like she had a hangover, she was queasy, and she felt… Horny? Her female parts clamored for attention.
They did this to her, those assholes who set her up for a one-way trip to this hell hole. Whoever caught her first would probably fuck her on the spot. The mere thought of release made her almost want to let it happen.
Angie mentally shook herself. She wasn’t a xenophobe. Lizards and dogs just didn’t appeal to her sexually.
If she could stay hidden until the clock ran out, she would pick her mate. IF…
Carefully parting the thick foliage, she slipped into the jungle off the dirt path. The hard-packed earth was trampled over so many times, just that day; her pursuers might not notice she had gone off the trail. If she crept and didn’t disturb the plants near the path, no one would be able to see her a few feet in.
As she moved slowly further into the foliage, she breathed in and out as quietly as possible, fighting the urge to gasp repeatedly. The air smelled of wet earth and vegetation, so humid that she was surrounded by a fine mist. She kept pushing through the thicket until she could go no further.
Sitting down amid the plant life to rest, Angie used her forearm to wipe the sweat from her brow. She sucked in air and blew it out as quietly as possible, hoping what sounded like birds chirping high in the canopy would cover the sound.
One or more of the males would catch her eventually. They gave her a knife, supposedly to defend herself. What a joke! She was a biotech. What did she know about fighting?
The hunt was utterly barbaric. Worse, people all over the sector actually paid to watch the games the warden and keepers played with the prisoners. This one was immensely popular.
She would belong to one of them by the end of the hunt. Angie didn’t know anything about them except they were convicts. All of them had been there more than a star span without female companionship. If she could evade them for the three spans allotted for the hunt, it would be her choice. She wasn’t counting on that.
There were no rules that would stop those males from raping her on the spot when they caught her, or all taking turns. It may have even been encouraged for better ratings. Strangely, she felt her nipples tighten, and her pussy clench at the thought. But she didn’t think of it as rape; it was three of them giving her pleasure.
Damn, she wished she hadn’t gone there. The need for release throbbed in her nipples and her clit. For a moment, everything around her became distorted and a little blurry for a few seconds. She had no doubt she’d been drugged with a powerful aphrodisiac. Why would they do such a thing? The only reason she could think was so she would be amenable for what was coming.
She squirmed and squeezed her legs together. The ache there was getting worse.
Hoping she had covered her trail well enough; she finally caught her breath. Uncertain how long she had been there, she heard rustling through the thick foliage coming toward her. Angie stood and took a giant step into the undergrowth, then turned to see that it closed after her. She took two more and stopped to listen, leaning against a green tree trunk.
The rustling sound was getting closer. Angie froze and took slow breaths as quietly as she could, listening. The movements sounded softer, but it was hard to tell if they were moving away or not. She still didn’t see anyone.
A scaled hand clamped over her mouth, and she was pulled tight against a hard chest. She bit his hand and screamed when he grunted in pain and pulled away. She tried and failed to break his iron hold around her waist.
“Let me go! Let me go!” she screamed and twisted, kicking at his legs.
“Stop fighting, or I will hurt you,” he rumbled in her ear. Then he held a knife up so she could see it.
Angie shuddered. Reptilians were OK from a distance, but she didn’t want to mate one even though her body betrayed her.
No, no, no, no, no! This wasn’t happening. It had to be a dream. Wake up now. But she knew it wasn’t, even though it was like a nightmare that started when she boarded the ship for Soliv Four.
Then, as suddenly as the alien had grabbed her, he grunted and let her go. She bolted, crashing through the jungle without bothering to hide her trail. It was so obvious; a child could follow it. After several minutes, she stopped and listened. The only sound was the chirping in the canopy.
Angie started moving again, parting the dense greenery carefully and taking a giant step ahead, letting it close behind her, barely disturbed. She paused to listen every few feet and resumed picking her way through. Finally, she broke through the thick vegetation to one of the dirt paths of the maze.
Looking both ways and listening carefully, she took off running down the path until she came to a dead end. Satisfied that she was alone on the trail, she plowed back into the undergrowth several feet, backing out very carefully as she left the false trail.
She quickly crossed the path and slipped into the jungle foliage on the other side, letting it close behind her.
Three spans, she had to stay hidden for three spans. One span was roughly equivalent to one-hundred minutes. Three spans were about five hours. Angie had no idea how much time had passed since this new nightmare had begun, but it was passing almost as slowly as each rotation span on the prison transport ship to Soliv Four…
This wasn’t what she signed up for.
Tomak Bah’rin and Coraz Da’koff watched as one of their team sparred in the cage with an alien named Jax. They had finished their training regimen and were just passing the time. They stood at the barrier between the observation seating and the training ring.
“I don’t get it, Boss,” Coraz said. “Why are you going on the hunt if none of the females are your fated?”
Tomak Bah’rin shrugged. “The warden said it was good for ratings… and he hinted that there would be consequences if I didn’t participate.”
“You don’t really think we have a chance of finding a true mate here?”
“Maybe a small one. If things were different, I would simply pick one I would enjoy. But we are in prison; we could be killed any rotation. It’s been three star-orbits, and no one has come for us.”
“We always knew it could come to this. Breaking us out of this prison would be an act of war. If the situation were reversed, I’m not sure we could extract an entire team from this place.”
“It would take at least two teams, and there would be collateral damage. I’ve come to accept it’s probably not going to happen,” said Tomak.
“Even in this place, it would be nice to have a warm, willing female to share your bed.”
“They are all willing, with the drug they are given. It’s gotten a few of them killed from being gang fucked too roughly by all four males in the hunt. I go to make sure that doesn’t happen. That damn drug makes the females beg for it.”
“I know; that’s sick.”
“Management doesn’t care. They only care about the credits the hunts bring. I am surprised that they are sending so many females to prison for life.”
“Maybe they are stealing them.”
“Considering what they put us through, I wouldn’t be surprised. We were played, and someone got a big payoff,” Tomak responded ruefully. “Nothing we can do about it now. I will just run the hunt tomorrow and eliminate the males who are most likely to abuse the female.”
“I think when my turn comes around, I will take a female. If it doesn’t work out, she can choose someone else. At least I can enjoy her until the libido drug wears off.”
“I can’t say I wasn’t tempted, but once you have had the pleasures of her body, it would be hard to give that up.”
“Then you could still be challenged for her by one of the other warriors,” Tomak reminded.
“Who of this lot can take anything from one of us?”
“Yeah, but it could still be an annoying interruption.”
The soft whine of a shuttle engine drew their attention as it was coming into land. Tomak pushed off the barrier and started heading for the fence that separated the prisoner’s yard from the landing pad. “Let’s have a look at the new batch of females.”
“Might as well. It’s too hot to train outdoors anymore.” Coraz fell into step beside him, and they ambled across the soft green moss that covered the open areas around the compound.
The grounds were beautiful despite the chain-link fences that divided it. That’s because Zekrain, a small island continent, was the jewel of Soliv Four Prison Planet. This was the only part of the prison; they showed the outer worlds.
This part of the island contained three compounds in one plus the training arena and the competition arena. The men’s barracks were adjacent to the training arena, and the female dorm was on the far side of the landing pad.
Tomak and Coraz arrived at the fence just as the shuttle ramp door opened. The first thing they noticed was the chains tying them together. They all looked scared as they were lined up, almost as though they were about to be executed by firing squad.
Tomak frowned at their demeanor, wondering what they had done to deserve this. Once they stood side by side, the attendant went down the line and removed the chains from their necks. As soon as he returned to the shuttle, the ramp closed, and the shuttle lifted off.
There were fifteen in this group, some humans and some humanoid. Even the plainer ones had nice bodies. Tomak and Coraz bantered quietly back and forth, assessing the virtues of each one while Tomak was considering which ones he would cast his lots for. Four males competed in the hunts for each female.
The prison compound occupied only a small portion of the continent. A much larger part was a tropical jungle. Part of it was sectioned off for the female competition, and a maze of dirt paths had been carved out by inmate laborers star orbits before Tomak’s arrival with his black ops team.
“Any to your liking?” Coraz asked.
“They are all attractive, but none I would claim.”
“I didn’t scent mine, either. But you are taking the hunt anyway?”
“The promoter says they get better ratings when I do when any of the squad does.”
“Bloodthirsty lechers. They like it when you kill somebody.”
“That is what we were trained and conditioned for. Some of them deserve to die for things they have done to land here, and some have injured the females.”
“Some of these thugs don’t care,” said Coraz. “Have we seen enough?”
“Yeah. It’s almost time for the drawings.” Tomak nodded.
More men had gathered at the fence to view the women. Tomak and Coraz had to push their way through the growing crowd. With fifteen women, sixty men could compete for them. Those men were chosen according to their ranking in the games.
Tomak and the squad usually ranked high and participated. Only a couple had taken females from the hunt by default. They killed the competition, and they were the only ones left to claim the female. They weren’t descended from the original Drapan colony as Tomak. They couldn’t scent a fated mate as he could. There was just something that would not allow his men to stand by and let another claim those females.
The next day, Tomak was in the first hunt with three humanoid aliens from a rival gang. He watched their faces as the female for their contest was introduced. She was a humanoid with copper skin, platinum hair, and large blue eyes that dominated her elfin features.
The event host brought her to stand a short distance away from the four males who would try to capture her. Tomak watched as she looked them over. Her gaze seemed to rest on one of the other three, with a hopeful expression. Her reaction to Tomak seemed neutral.
The male she favored was named Frellag. He was a humanoid covered in short, smooth hair in black and white stripes except for his black face. His black and white mane hair looked like a long Mohawk ending at the base of his neck.
It appeared to Tomak; the striped male and their female prey had made an unspoken connection. That told him how he would play his part in this hunt.
The males went back to sit in their assigned seats to down electrolyte laced beverages, while the female was led to the starting mark. Momentarily, a sound device produced a loud bang like a small explosive that signaled the start of the hunt.
She jumped at the sound then started running down the dirt path into the jungle while the men waited out the required quarter span lead. If Tomak wanted, he knew he could easily pick up her trail with his keen sense of smell and capture her. In fact, he was in his element in the jungle. He’d led his team through jungles on several planets to get to mission locations. They had gone through training maneuvers on Drapus many times.
Except for the Frellag, the others had only ever been in this jungle on hunts. By the time the announcer called them, they had all finished their drinks. They lined up at the designated spot. When the start signal sounded, three sprinted down the trail while Tomak jogged casually behind them.
He was surprised at how far down the main trail she had gone before veering off on a side trail to the left. If she were smart, she would hide in the thick foliage off the path.
Sometime later, Tomak was sure he had found where she went off the trail into the jungle. He followed the scent, moving stealthily through the vegetation. He followed the trail until it broke through to another path. Circling the area, he sniffed the air until he caught her scent again.
Tomak had followed her trail through the jungle, down another path, and through more of the jungle. He didn’t hurry because it was a long time until the clock ran out. He knew he would catch up to her sooner or later. Then he heard a scream, and cries of “No… Stop… Let me go.”
That made him realize his mistake. Management dosed the females with a libido-enhancing drug to make them want sex with any male who accosts her. Maybe it didn’t work on her race.
Tomak paused to listen until he determined where she was. Soon as he did, he set off at a dead run. He found them just off a path in the jungle where the plants were tramped down to form a small clearing. The two goons from a rival gang had the female between them.
They had ripped off her clothes and held her naked between them. One held her under her arms with his big hands clutching at her breasts. The other stood between her parted thighs, trying to push his cock into her opening.
Running up behind the brute who had the female’s legs, Tomak pulled out his long hunting knife. He drove the blade between two vertebrae in the back of the male’s neck, severing his spine. The humanoid made a gagging sound and let go of the female and crumpled to the ground, breathing his last.
The other male, a Perarin name Rako roared at Tomak as he saw the other male succumb. He pushed the female aside and charged Tomak, who dodged at the last second. The would-be rapist lost his balance and caught himself by grabbing a tree trunk and keeping himself upright.
The same two inmates had killed a female in another hunt by being too rough fucking her. She hadn’t even fought them. That was all the reason Tomak needed to kill them. This one was going to put up a fight. That was okay; Tomak had time to kill. The female crawled away as the brute pulled out his long knife, a mate for the one Tomak carried.
They sparred a couple minutes while trying to stick their knives into each other. Rako moved in to stab him, and Tomak kicked him in the abdomen, but it hardly fazed him. It only slowed him down enough so Tomak could whirl out of striking distance.
Rako moved to strike again, catching Tomak in the side, dragging the tip across his left ribs in a shallow cut. Tomak plunged his knife into the other man’s side. The wound hardly slowed him down, as he tried to punch Tomak in the face before he would pull out the knife.
Tomak dodged and retreated, watching and waiting, to anticipate his next move. Rako lunged at him again with his knife. Tomak went low and thrust his knife under Rako’s sternum. That was the killing wound, but Rako had stuck his knife into Tomak’s deltoid muscle. It hurt like hell, but no severe damage was done.
Rako gasped and first sank to his knees, then fell forward, smashing his face on the ground.
Blood soaked the front, and the left shoulder of Tomak’s shirt looking worse than it really was. He went over to the female on her hands and knees, crying over her shredded clothing. It was just a pair of pull-on shorts and a shapeless shirt. But now, she was naked.
As Tomak approached, Ferllag burst onto the scene with a roar, his knife raised.
“Easy, Ferlag. I was just trying to help her.” Tomak sheathed his knife and backed away. “But now you’re here, so I will leave her in your capable hands.”
Ferlag sheathed his knife and pulled off his shirt over his head, squatting down beside the female. “Don’t cry, little one. Put this on, and I will take you out of here.”
“My name is Lizara,” she sat back on her legs and held up her arms for him to slip the shirt on over her head. Then Ferlag gently picked her up and held her against his chest.
Lizara wrapped her arms and legs around his and rested her head against his shoulder. Ferlag gave Tomak a curt nod and marched out of the jungle carrying his prize.
Tomak smiled wryly and ambled after them, glad he’d gotten there in time.
Continued in the book. Coming Soon!
Like most authors, I rue the 1 and 2 star reviews. This book is FREE everywhere and someone gave it 1 star after reading 4% of the book which is like three and a half pages. This seems unfair because three and a half pages barely sets the first scene in the story! A couple other people implied that it didn’t feel like a whole story.
So I asked my go-to critical reader to help me figure out what is wrong. She had been unavailable when Dagger was due to release. She pointed out that Dagger’s story was more of an epilogue to the series, and specifically Axel Rex.
Somewhere in the middle of writing it, I realized the series had come to a point where civilization was well on its way to revival within Enclave territories. Most of the conflict that made the stories interesting, had been resolved. Yet, I wanted to resolve Dagger’s fate as it was left hanging after the incident that ‘killed’ him. This is how the novella essentially became a long epilogue for the series.
I made it free, hoping it would draw the new readers to go back and read the rest of the series. The plan was partially successful, but the way I presented it in the blurb apparently lead new readers to expect more than it was meant to be. So, made a few small revisions in the story and revised the blurb i.e. the description seen below.
I am considering a spin off series set in the same time period but outside the reclaimed Enclave territory with cyborgs helping people as they find them. That’s one of the things I have on the back burner.
New Dagger Blurb
Dagger Jack is a spinoff novella about a peripheral character introduced in Axel Rex. He was left clinically dead with catastrophic injuries sustained in an ambush by rogue cyborgs.
When he was awakened at the cyborg production facility south of Chicago, his life was mapped out for him. After he helped rebuild a city and a starport destroyed during an interstellar war, he would become a Protector in one of the rural communities reclaimed from the overlords in the east.
When he awakens the second time, he doesn’t want to be a protector. Just before he went down, he scented his female. He wants to go back to find her before he has fully recovered.
He was made for war but only her love would make him whole again.
Note: This book can be read as a standalone, but reading the previous books in the series will enhance reading this story.
Dagger Jack got the name from fellow cyborgs because he used to juggle five daggers at once before throwing them one at a time at a target. He was awakened to help rebuild Chicago, then transferred to Farringay to demolitions of the ruins to make way for a new Starport on Earth. He had virtual training in demolitions, construction and as a Law Enforcement Protector. Once the Starport was finished, he would become a protector in one of the towns west of Farringay.
Ambushed by rogue cyborgs, catastrophic injuries left Dagger clinically dead and they rebuilt him. That changed everything. When he awakens the second time he doesn’t want to be a protector.
Something was missing besides the memories he lost. He was made for war but only love would make him whole again.
Dagger Jack is the Series Finale of Cyborg Awakenings, and we are offering it FREE everywhere except Amazon until we can get a price match to make it free there too. Not to worry, though, there are thousands more cyborgs on their home planet of Phantom, and more cyborgs still searching for their mates.
Pre order Bargain Sale
Roran, Book 3 of the Farseek Warrior Series is released for pre-order on Amazon at 99¢, 67% of the regular price of $2.99 which it will be on release day April 1st. AMAZON
Passionate romance combines with science fiction adventure.
After the Sargans bombed his world and abducted the survivors, Roran sets out to locate his missing family. Instead he finds Becca Clayton, abducted by the Chavilians, about to be sold on the Sargan auction block as a slave.
He immediately recognizes she’s his soulmate. But rescuing her means taking her with him on a dangerous mission that could get them both killed.
Emotionally wounded by their situations, they indulge in the sizzling attraction between them even though they are barely acquainted. It lets them forget the pain for a while, and the physical intimacy promotes their bonding.
As their feelings grow, Roran worries. There is nothing he fears more than losing Becca. Can he keep them alive so they can make a life together?
Read an excerpt of Roran HERE
Narzek is a passionate sexy romance set in space opera where a small fleet of Farseek Warriors enter enemy space to retrieve people abducted from their world after a sneak attack. Love doesn’t always come when it’s convenient, but it’s worth fighting for when it feels this right.
On her way to a desert war zone Cayla Fox was abducted from Earth by alien slavers.
Sold into slavery she worked long hours for a hard bed and barely enough food. After a year, she has lost hope of ever regaining her freedom or going home.
Until the alien warrior comes to rescue her and the others abducted from various worlds. A shock of attraction flashes between them that draws her to him.
The gorgeous alien calls her solmatuandsends her to his warship instead of the passenger ship with the rest of the rescued slaves. Though Cayla would be safer, she is his soul mate. Neither can deny the attraction between them. As the heat of passion rises between them, so does the danger level of their mission.
Narzek feels guilty for exposing his soul mate to the dangers he faces.
Yet from the first kiss, he can’t find the will to let her go. From the day she was abducted Cayla longed to go home, but how can she leave the man she is growing to love?
Will they even survive long enough for their dream of a future together to come true?
Narzek went live and shortly received 5 and 4 star reviews from ARC readers. The book is now available in Kindle Unlimited as well as for sale. To read a sample of the work, click HERE .