This novella is my first entry in the Cyborg Awakening series which happens in the prehistory of Christine Myers’ Aledan Series. In that series, Hankura goes to Earth to find his psion mate Michelle Marlow (Chelle). In that series, Farringay was still under the control of gang and overlords. It never became part of the Enclave Territory that the cyborgs helped build.
While collaborating on the writing of Jolt Somber, I suggested writing the next in the series about Talia and Bodee who were introduced in Jolt’s story. Bodee Flint was one of the recently awakened cyborgs put into service to build the Farringay starport. Although he was made to be a warrior, he had never been to war.
The story opens with Jolt’s arrival at Talia’s homestead told from her point of view.
He is a newbie who had only ever lived in AI generated virtual reality while he was in stasis for over 80 years after he was spawned. When Jolt brings Talia to Farringay to meet the cyborgs who might have the right DNA to mate with her, Bodee has had little real time experience with unenhanced humans.
His sexual education occurred in virtual reality with a pseudo mate that represented his one true mate. Bodee was pre-conditioned to love his mate, and he falls for Talia pretty quickly.
Talia is not convinced she will love this gorgeous young cyborg; he seems so young and inexperienced. But the sexual attraction is almost immediate. She decides to accept him because good men are few and far between. The can’t face another winter alone in the mountains at her isolated homestead.
Though Bodee wants her “almost more than his next breath,” he promised Talia he won’t breed with her until she asks. She thinks she is going to take her time to get to know him, but she is too attracted to him to wait.
Things heat up from there. Warning: Talia’s Cyborg contains explicit sex scenes. No cheating and HEA. There are also a couple violent scenes not between the main characters.
The following is an excerpt from Talia’s Cyborg.
Talia held the shotgun with the stock braced under her right arm and loaded five shells into it. She put five more into the pocket of her light jacket. They were birdshot reloads she made herself. With any luck, she would bring back a couple squirrels, or maybe a rabbit so she and her dog Edson could have meat for dinner.
She started toward the kitchen door when Edson began to bark. Then she heard a whining noise; she didn’t recognize. What the hell?
Pushing aside the curtain on the kitchen door window, her eyes widened. It was a vehicle she had never seen before, and a tall, gorgeous man climbed out. He wore some kind of weapon in a holster on his right hip. Talia started to tremble, not noticing the woman that was moving to accompany him. What could he want?
Slowly, she opened the kitchen door and fired a warning shot into the ground to the right of the man. Then she saw the woman that he shoved protectively behind him.
“You in the house,” Jolt called out. “We are not here to harm you. I’m from the Federation. The war is over. I stopped to see if you need food, medicine, or a medic.”
“Oh crap!” Talia snapped. She had just shot at a Federation agent. Taking a deep breath and letting it out, her mind raced for a plausible explanation. She opened the door and stepped out holding the shotgun pointed at the ground. Then she got a good look at the man on her lawn. Now she was in trouble. He wasn’t just a Federation agent.
“Cyborg. You’re a cyborg!” she exclaimed. “My father told me they made you for the war.” He’d also told her they could kill a man with their bare hands. “I never expected to see one in my front yard.”
“Why did you shoot at us?”
Talia’s brows knit slightly, and she said the first thing that popped into her head. “If I were shooting at you, I would have hit you. I thought you were Nick Jester coming back to talk his way into my life again.” She shrugged and sighed. “Now, I can see you’re not…”
“I don’t know him,” Jolt said, glancing around as he searched his memory bank.
“Just the jerk down the road that wants to screw me. Edson doesn’t like him.” She nodded at the dog that sat quietly beside her, “That’s good enough for me.”
As Jolt looked at her, he found it understandable that a man wanted her. He suspected one of his brethren would be thrilled to discover she was their female. She was a tall, attractive woman with flame red hair and sparkling blue eyes.
“I am Jolt Somber, and this is Iris Bloom,” he said and she moved to stand beside him. “We came on behalf of the Enclave near New Chicago to offer help if you need it.”
“I get by on my own, but I wouldn’t mind finding the right mate,” she said. “Jester comes around every so often to offer his services, but that lazy bastard just wants me to keep him for the winter. He knows I got food stored up in the root cellar and wood for the stove.”
Talia smiled when Iris laughed and continued, “Next time he comes around I just might shoot the fucker,” she asserted with a grimace. “Anyway, I’m pleased to meet you. Nice to meet someone who wants to help rather than trying to take what I got. I’m Talia Cannon. Does the Federation have any more like you?” She looked at Jolt hopefully. He was one of the best-looking males she had ever seen.
“We have hundreds of cyborgs working to rebuild the Farringay Starport. One of them could be your mate, but they would not know until they met you.” Jolt explained.
“Could you arrange such a meeting?” Talia asked.
“You could come with us to Farringay. But we cannot offer any private quarters at our base,” Jolt said. “We have women camping out in a separate wing waiting for transport to the Enclave at New Chicago.”
“Can I bring Edson? He must approve any mate I would take.”
Jolt eyed the dog sitting calmly at her side. “I see no harm. We are going to Farringay, now. You will not need your weapon.”
“I believe you, but I’d rather not leave it behind to get stolen,” Talia said. “I can unload it before we get into your flier.”
Jolt nodded his ascent.
“Edson put the goats and chickens in the barn.” The dog barked and ran to the barnyard. He continued barking as he rounded up the animals and herded them to the barn opening.”
“My ancestors, are from Farringay, and my cabin was their vacation home before the war. They fled to the mountains when the aliens bombed the city,” said Talia. “I am the last of my line unless I find a mate to make a child with.”
As she spoke, she unloaded the weapon and put the bullets in the shoulder bag she carried. “I will grab a change of clothes and lock up.”
While they were speaking, Jolt had confirmed the plan with Commander Dark in case one of the Farringay cyborgs was her male. He would release that male if he wished to return to Talia’s mountain home with her. Both he and Jolt believed the best way to help Talia was to help find her a mate.
Few cyborgs would be hard to replace at Farringay since most of them were newbies less than a year out of stasis. Vyken could awaken more whenever they needed them. Building families was a key factor of rebuilding civilization on Earth. Finding Talia’s male would be a small step.
Talia returned just a few minutes later with a larger cross the body cloth bag. Jolt showed her where to put her things behind the rear passenger seats. She stowed them and went back to the barn to close the door.
Jolt and Iris waited by the flyer while Talia closed and latched the barn door, then walked to the flier with Edson. He seemed to know without being told to get in after his mistress and sit in the rear passenger seat beside her. If she was nervous about flying, she didn’t show it. They arrived at the complex about twenty minutes later, it would have taken Talia four to five days to walk it.
The building wasn’t much to look at, but it was a stable structure with more than enough room for the 500 cyborgs it housed. Jolt had notified Lieutenant Commander Axel Rex that he was bringing in Talia, so he wasn’t surprised when a significant number of cyborgs met them at the doorway. They all sought a mate and were there to determine if Talia was their female.
Jolt and Iris stood with her at the doorway while cyborgs entered and paused in front of Talia. Each one seemed hopeful, but there was no sign of recognition.
Talia had never seen so many people in one place in her life, nor so many handsome men, living her isolated life on her mountain homestead. They all looked so young, not that she was so old. Even Jolt who was getting close to ninety only looked about twenty-five.
So many cyborgs passed with no sign of awareness, and Talia was giving up hope that any of them would be her mate. Then a few stragglers strode in, and Edson’s nostrils flared, and he gave a soft bark.
Flanked by his friends the cyborg called Bodee looked up and zeroed in on Talia. His usual stoic expression converted into pleased grin. He was a classic tall dark and handsome, broad-shouldered with solid muscle as all the cyborgs. His intense green eyes were lit in delight. He looked at least as young as Jolt, maybe even a couple years younger.
The tall cyborg strode across the room to stand in front of Talia and offered his hands to her. When she looked up into his eyes, and suddenly it was hard to breathe. A frisson of attraction flowed through her body like an incoming tide. He was the one! She put her hands in his.
“This is Talia Cannon,” Jolt told him. The other cyborg never took his eyes from hers.
“Talia Cannon, I am your male, Bodee Flint. Will you become my femalesaid and inclined his head as a sign of respect as he gripped her hands.
She was tall, about 5’10” to his 6’8”, and they made a striking couple.
“I’m pleased to meet you, Bodee,” Talia told him with a raised eyebrow. “Shall we go for a walk outside and talk.” With that, he took her hand, and they went outdoors for some privacy.
Talia was nervous and excited. Every cyborg she saw that day was gorgeous, but only Bodee attracted her.
“How old are you?” Talia asked as they walked.
“Eighty years, six months, three weeks, two days, twelve hours and fifty-seven minutes…” Bodee replied. “Is that relevant?” He inclined his head studying her face.
“You look so damn young like I might be at least ten years older than you.”
“How old are you?” he asked.
“Well, okay, that’s fair. I’m thirty-one.”
“Your age and my age are not relevant. We are adults, and you are my female,” he said. “Will you decline to be my mate because you think I look younger than you?”
“I didn’t say that. I was thinking out loud.” She glanced up at him giving him a tentative smile. “I won’t get a better offer in these parts. There are not many single men, and they are not that good.”
Bodee and Talia walked along the crumbled access road that surrounded the old industrial building until they were alone. They stopped under the shade of an old tree with its leaves ablaze with shades of yellow, orange and red. Bodee still held her hand, turning to face her. He brought it to his lips and kissed the back of it, watching her face.
“Cyborgs only have one female .” He smiled down at her like he couldn’t get enough of looking at her. “We all dream of finding our female. You are as beautiful as I could have imagined.” He couldn’t resist reaching up to touch her wavy, long red hair. I can be a good mate for you. I learned how to pleasure a woman in my virtual life.”
“Virtual life? What’s that?” Talia wondered with a puzzled expression.
“It’s a complex AI simulation that runs through our internal computer, simulating life experiences and training to stimulate our minds while we are in stasis.”
“Okay, but how do you know that I am your woman? What if we don’t get along together? I can be stubborn and unreasonable… And just plain bitchy. I can’t sense it the way you can, but I am attracted to you. You seem nice, and you’re a fine looking man.” She smiled up at him.
“I know I can make offspring with you by your scent. I can adapt to your needs and care for you.” Bodee held her hand against his chest, his eyes full of wonder and eagerness to please her. “I want to be your male. Will you accept me?”
Talia looked up into his green eyes, taking in the features of his handsome face. Although she thought Bodee looked about twenty-two, something about him made her believe that she needed him. She wondered how a computer simulation could prepare him for life on an off-the-grid homestead.
Her gaze lingered on his full lips. She wanted to know if they would feel as good as they looked.
“Please kiss me.” She pointed to her lips with her free hand.
He smiled then lowered his mouth to hers in what started as a light touch of their lips. She opened for him and slid the tip of her tongue between his lips. That was all the invitation he needed to swirl his tongue around hers and stake his claim inside her mouth. Passion flared, and Bodee pressed her against him.
Talia delighted in the feel of his big, hard body in her arms. Her nipples tightened against his firm chest. She felt a flutter in her core as he deepened the kiss, and his erection pressed against her belly. It also told her; he wanted her… And he could kiss like a pro.
When the kiss ended, they were both breathless with arousal. “Oh, yes, Bodee you can be my mate,” she assured him. “I had to be sure we had chemistry. Jolt said if one of you were my male you can come and live with me in the mountains at my homestead. Do you agree to do that?”
“I would do anything for you, Talia. When we get there will we breed and make offspring?” Bodee asked with a hopeful expression, still holding her.
“After we get better acquainted,” she told him. “To make sure you don’t want to change your mind about being my male.”
“That will never happen. I know you are my one female.” He gently gripped her upper arms, holding her gaze.
Bodee looked so earnest as he spoke, and there was an innocence about him. Most of the cyborgs were like that, as Talia thought about it. The common thread was that they had never been to war, but Jolt assured her they trained while in stasis. We refreshed their training when we awakened them for the Farringay Starport construction.
“I believe you,” she said with a slight smile. “So, you didn’t answer my question.”
“I’m sorry, I was looping on the pleasure of holding you pressed against me and kissing you,” he admitted. “Yes, I will go with you to your homestead, and help you with the work. I will care for you and protect you, and you will tell me when you wish to breed and make offspring.”
Talia grinned at him as he still held her close. “I liked it too. How soon can we leave?”
“Commander Somber is off duty. I will check with Lieutenant Rex.” Bodee paused for a few seconds. “They will take us on the way to New Chicago tomorrow. Lieutenant Rex told me to download law enforcement protocols so I can help protect the other homesteaders in your mountains.”
“I don’t think you will need to do much protecting. Things are peaceful up there, except for Nick Jester and a few that come around looking for a handout or to stir things up sometimes.” Talia said.
“Who is Nick Jester?” Bodee asked.
Talia looked away and sighed. She was embarrassed that she was ever involved with him. That she had slept with him, but she was damned lonely then. She thought she had to settle for him because he was all there was. And I used him.
“We were a couple a few years back. Then he left without a word. Months later in the late fall, he showed up and wanted me to take him back. It didn’t take me long to figure out his game. He acted like he still cared… Helped me with the harvest. He even told me he loved me. …Stayed with me all winter, then left in the spring, just before planting time. …Never came back until after harvest in the fall after I’d put everything up for winter.”
“He didn’t love you, or he wouldn’t have left you alone all that time.” Bodee frowned.
“No. Nick thought I was stupid or something. That was three years ago. I have been doing alright on my own since then, but he comes back every fall and tries to sweet talk me into letting him stay,” she said. “Last year I ran him off at gunpoint and fired off a couple rounds to hurry him along.”
“Do you want me to kill him for you?” Bodee sounded hopeful.
Talia blinked, and her mouth dropped open as she registered his earnest expression. He meant it.
“No, I don’t think you need to kill him. I think he’ll give it up when he sees I have you. But if he tries to hurt you, then you can defend yourself.”
“Even if I am damaged, I heal fast. I am bringing my weapon, and a com tablet for you when we go to your homestead.”
“Will you teach me how to use that? I learned to read from my parents, but we had no tech.”
“I will teach you.” Bodee stared down into her face as she looked up at him. “Can I kiss you again?”
“We better not,” she said and sighed. “My body is still all excited from that first kiss. I don’t know what might happen if we do it again.”
“Because you will want to breed with me?”
Talia paused. She was busted. With his muscular body pressed against hers and his hardon clearly outlined against her belly, she already wanted him.
Finally, she said, “Yes, but my mind isn’t there yet.” Then, her stomach growled.
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