Cyborgs were in the development stages before the interstellar war with the Mesaarkans to augment the Federation defense force.
They were the Vikings of the future, part man and part machine designed, bred and conditioned to find the darkness in their souls to kill the enemies of mankind.
They fought a hundred-year war that left Earth in ruin. Although they were bred to kill, Admiral Carson Gregor, a man of vision, believed they could be repurposed. So, cyborg Vyken Dark came back with a few of his brothers to help rebuild civilization on Earth.
When he returned, he discovered thousands of cyborgs created as he was still in stasis ready and waiting to be awakened. Educated and trained via virtual reality while in stasis, they would provide the manpower for the monumental task of rebuilding Earth.
Axel Rex was one of those cyborgs awakened for the job. In the first weeks after his awakening he had been awed by Vyken Dark and his brothers who had fought in the interstellar war. They were legendary to those cyborgs in virtual reality. His first year in life in the real world started with mundane farming tasks for the Enclave of New
Chicago. He displayed leadership qualities valued by those in command and moved up in the ranks.
Axel Rex Personal Log:
I am a cyborg, a cybernetically enhance human being, created from a human embryo. My brain is enhanced with a fully integrated biocomputer, scanners, enhanced sight, hearing and olfactory senses. My skeleton is made from a metal alloy.
I was made to fight the interstellar war with the Mesaarkans that destroyed almost every major city on Earth, but I remained in stasis for 80 years until the war ended. I lived in virtual reality while in stasis, educated and trained for war, but I was finally awakened after the war ended and four cyborg brothers returned to Earth to help rebuild. On awakening I was additionally programmed for the rebuilding and to maintain law and order.
I spent a year working for the Civil Restoration Enclave in old Chicago. We rescued the people living in the ruins then demolished the tattered buildings and moved away the wreckage to rebuild the city. Thousands of cyborgs were awakened that year to help.
When the United Galactic Federation of Worlds asked us to build an interstellar spaceport in a city called Farringay to the east, none of the cyborgs agreed with that location. We wanted it built in New Chicago. But Cyborg Command made it an order.
Cyborg Jolt Somber, who was put in charge of the project, chose me to become second in command. A few months into the project, Commander Somber found his female Iris beaten, raped and left for dead in the ruins. Unfortunately, that was their first meeting. Jolt found her in time, but there were other complications.
Two Months Ago
“I need you to finish the Farringay Starport project for me, Axel,” Jolt said through our Cyborg-net.
“Sir?” I responded in surprise. I didn’t see that coming. “We’re not even half-finished, and you still call me Newbie.”
“You were trained for this in your new programming. There is no reason you can’t take over. The Federation is sending engineers to supervise the construction. Your job will be to supervise the cyborgs.”
“May I ask where you will be?”
“I’m taking Iris to live in the mountains. She is a dawning psion, and the growing population at the Enclave is too much for her psyche to handle before she learns to shut out other people’s random thoughts.” Jolt explained. “I won’t risk Iris’s sanity for the damn starport project that should never have been started in Farringay.”
“It has always seemed strange to me, as well. New Chicago is better situated to support and run it. They are not making any improvements to the city outside the compound… Not even to clear away the ruins and reclaim the land.”
“If I had to guess, I’d say that Alexander Berke has something to do with this. Vyken and I both think he has someone high up in the Federation Council in his pocket. That’s the only way to make sense out of putting an interstellar spaceport in the middle of a ruined city without rebuilding it.”
“Except for Berke’s compound was barely half a klick away. He was going to provide the spaceport with a myriad of vices to satisfy the eclectic desires of space travelers of whatever species that come this way,” I said. “Before we razed it.”
“I seriously doubt we’ve seen the last of him. He was long gone before his place was demolished. I’d wager he is hiding out somewhere regrouping his enforcers and looking for backers to rebuild,” Jolt said. “And we won’t be sanctioned to stop him.”
“But we’ll get everyone out we can so they don’t get forced into serving in the brothels or the fight clubs.”
“That would be my plan. The Enclave says they can take all who want to come. They just have to agree to do their share of the work.”
“So, what are you going to do? Hide out in the mountains?”
“Iris is my number one priority. Once she gets control of her ability, I will be running protective services for the Eastern rural communities of the Enclave. Bodee Flint will be trained to become my second in command,” Jolt related.
“That lucky bugger! Not only does he get a gorgeous female when he’s not even looking, but a new job dropped into his lap. I’ve been out a whole year longer than he was, and I get this nightmare project.”
“He had at least one chance in 500, just like the rest of you. The female needed a mate, and Bodee was expendable, so to speak. A cyborg laborer is not that hard to replace, but the kid has potential. You could still find your female in the ruins somewhere. If not, when you finish the starport complex you can come work for me.”
“I think I would like that whether I find my female or not,” I said.
“I’ll keep that in mind. If all goes well, you should finish in about four months.”
I don’t see
that happening, but I will do my best.
“Sir, the female in that old apartment building refuses to vacate and we are ready to throw in the demolition grenades.” Sparks Jammer reported over the cyborg net that connected them.
“Then she must be removed,” Axel replied. “Can’t any of you remove one female from a building? She can’t hurt you while you are wearing full battle armor.”
“But we could hurt her without even meaning to. None of us have ever touched a live female before.”
Axel frowned inside his own armor. He had never touched a live one either. Most females would just run out of the buildings once they announced eminent destruction. “I will go,” he said.
He found the young woman hiding behind what was left of a support wall on the ground floor. Axel moved in stealth mode so she never heard him coming. She screamed when he gripped her upper arm without warning. He was very careful he didn’t grip too tightly, otherwise he could break her arm with the cybernetic gloves attached to his armor.
She screamed and tried to wrench her arm from his grip as he pulled her from her hiding place.
“Let me go you fucking robot! I live here… I didn’t do anything! Let me go!” the female screamed as Axel Rex escorted her from the building.
“I am not a robot,” he corrected. “I am a cyborg in full battle armor.”
“I don’t care who you fucking are. You have no right,” she hissed. “I don’t wanna go anywhere. Let go of my arm.”
“I apologize if I have caused you pain. If you are in that building when we demolish it, you will die.” Axel didn’t stop until he had her outside the building.
“No, you can’t! Sammy’s in there. You have to let me get him. Please don’t kill my cat. He’s my best friend,” she pleaded.
Axel retracted the helmet of his armor and looked down at the disheveled and dirty female in his grasp. Her amber flecked green eyes shimmered with the hint of tears as she said the last, and something stirred in him as her scent reached his nostrils. Even under the smell of her unwashed body, he noted a more subtle scent that put his body on alert.
The foul-mouthed female in his grasp was his female. He blinked and wondered if fate was playing a joke on him. My female? This is my female!
For a moment, the utter joy of the discovery stunned him. He sniffed to catch the scent again to be sure he wasn’t mistaken. He wasn’t.
“Please, you can’t kill my cat,” she cried, trying to wrench her arm from his grasp.
“Your cat?” he said, frowning as he stared down at her, thinking she might be attractive under that stringy dark hair and layers of dirt.
“Yes. I’ve had Sammy since he was a baby.”
Axel looked back at the tattered building he was about to destroy and scanned it with his internal sensors. There was a small feline hiding in some rubble at ground level. From previous observations, he knew that people living in the city ruins valued their animal companions.
“I have orders to destroy all the buildings in this area. I will let you go back to get your cat if you agree to come back out,” Axel told her. “Do you also have belongings you wish to recover?”
She shook her head, staring up at him. “Nothing worth saving except Sammy. But where are we going to live if you destroy my building?”
“Go get your cat, and we will talk about it.” He released her, and she nodded. He watched her pick her way through the rubble as another shock of excitement raced through his mind and body. Mine, he thought.
Her body was lean and graceful, a bit too lean, but not surprising considering how people lived in the ruins of Farringay. Her hips swayed just a bit, clad in a ragged pair of shorts that barely covered her ass. Her muscular legs were shapely and her back straight. Her stringy brownish hair hung to her shoulders.
Axel’s mind was racing as joy continued erupting inside him. He didn’t even know her name yet, and he was wondering how to break it to her that she was his. At least she wasn’t gravely injured and defiled as Jolt Somber’s mate had been. But he didn’t think this claiming would be so easy as Bodee Flint’s had been either. Bodee’s mate had come looking for him.
Axel used his cybernetic internal scanner to follow her progress, waiting patiently for her to emerge with the cat she claimed. She picked up the cat from its hiding place, only instead of coming back to where Axel waited for her, she exited through a window at the back of the building.
“Spark,” Axel called over the internal cyborg network. “The female is running. I’m going after her. The building is clear. Take it down.”
“Yes, sir,” his lieutenant responded. If his second in command wondered why he was going after the female, he didn’t ask. Axel wasn’t surprised. People frequently ran when the cyborgs commanded them to leave the ruins of buildings, they called home. Axel had never gone after any of them. None of them had been his female.
Axel ran in a parallel direction from the female, calculating where he could intersect with her route. He cut through an alley just ahead of her, stepping out in time to catch her before she ran smack into him.
She squealed as his hands gripped her upper arms. “Let me go,” she screamed. “Let me go.” Her eyes sparkled with anger as she stared up at him, clutching a big yellow tiger cat to her chest.
“I can’t. I won’t hurt you,” Axel asserted, staring down at her. “But someone else might. I can protect you.”
“I’ve done fine by myself until now,” she muttered. “I run fast and hide well. I don’t need your help.”
“Yes, you do. Where are you going to live? What are you going to eat? You are only one female. You have no weapons. If the gangers catch you, they just might kill you after they all rape you.”
“It hasn’t happened yet.”
“But it has happened to other females here. I can take you to a safe place where you can get food and shelter.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t want to go with you. Why do you even care, cyborg?”
“Clearly you don’t sense it the way I do, or you wouldn’t ask.” Axel hesitated. If he just blurted it out, she probably wouldn’t believe him. “Just come back to the barracks with me, and I will explain it to you while you have something to eat. Then, you can get cleaned up.”
“And if I don’t want to stay?”
“I hope I can convince you that you do.” He gave her a faint grin and loosened his hold on her arms. “Will you tell me your name?”
She caught her breath as she looked up into his steel-grey eyes. The faint smile he gave her softened his features and stirred things inside her that she didn’t know she could feel. …Things she didn’t want to feel for the big cyborg. A man like him could kill in the blink of an eye with no weapons. Would he do that to her if she didn’t do what he asked?
“L-Layna Rose,” she stammered. The way he was looking at her made her realize that killing her was not what he had in mind. He wanted her, and he wasn’t going to let her go. That excited her almost as much as it frightened her. “Can I bring Sammy?”
“As you wish,” he said. “Come, our transport isn’t far from here.”
Just then, an explosion sounded from one of the buildings being demolished. Layna’s cat startled and dug his claws into her arm, trying to get away. “Sammy, no. Shh, it won’t hurt you.”
“We should go,” Axel said. “There will be more explosions. We have to clear ten square kilometers from this area for the new starport and employee residences.”
“Where are all those people going to go?”
“There is an Enclave near New Chicago. We have been transporting people to join one of their communities out there,” Axel explained. “This way.” Axel pointed and rested a gloved hand low on her back to urge her to walk with him.
While they were walking, he summoned the pilot for the hover transport to take them back to the industrial complex that served as their base for the starport project. It was the closest building intact near Farringay that was large enough to hold the 500 cyborgs who were doing the demolition work and securing the perimeter of the project area. Axel was more than capable of flying the transport, but his crews would need it to return to base at sunset.
He didn’t want to leave Layna on her own until he settled some things with her. As they boarded the vehicle, Axel considered that it might all go better after she had a meal, a shower, and fresh clothes.
Ten minutes later, they were landing at the cyborg base. The old industrial complex consisted of four enormous connected buildings set in a rectangle with a once-grand courtyard in the center. The courtyard was overgrown with weeds and tall grass.
The cyborgs made little effort to improve the place. It only needed to serve them for several months while they demolished the ruins and built the starport, with housing for the employees, and support businesses for the community. It would be a gated community with security.
“It’s not much to look at,” Axel said as they went inside. “But it’s safe here. Do you want some food before you get cleaned up?”
“Yes, I do. I haven’t eaten since yesterday, and all Sammy had was a small mouse he caught,” she said to him.”
“Okay,” he said, “I will take you to the mess station after we stop at the armory so I can remove my armor.”
They had entered through a door by the hovercraft bay, and he guided her across it to a second door that opened into a long corridor. Axel stopped at the first room on the right. It was filled with rows of open storage chambers. The cyborg stopped at the first one, turned and backed into it.
His armor pulled away from his body as if by magic and attached itself to the walls inside, leaving him stark naked. It didn’t occur to him that he should have warned Layna until he saw her staring like she couldn’t look away. He suppressed a smirk, knowing his body was perfectly toned and proportioned with well-defined muscles, and he was amply hung.
He wasted no time taking his khaki cargo pants from the shelf on his right and pulling them on. He pulled on a black t-shirt over his head and tucked it into his pants. He stepped out of the chamber, fully dressed and steered Layna back out into the hallway.
The wide corridor was lined with large rooms on both sides that were filled with rows of bunks stacked two high. The mess area was located in the open area past the bunk rooms. Food processors were set near the wall to the right with six rows of long tables set back from the bank of food dispensers.
Axel led Layna to the food line. “Can you read, Layna?”
“Only a little. My mom started to teach me, but she was gone before I learned more than basic words.”
“Is she dead?” Axel asked.
“I don’t know. Mom disappeared one day and never came back,” Layna said with a sigh. “I’m sure something happened that she couldn’t come back or she would have. She could be dead.”
“I am sorry for your loss,” Axel said sincerely. “What would you like to eat?”
“I mostly eat meat, whatever I can catch or kill, mostly small animals: squirrels, rats, rabbits. I find greens and fruit sometimes in the growing season.”
“Here we have cultured meat and eggs, vegetables, and fruit, pasta and various mixtures of everything. We also have coffee, tea, and various fruit drinks.”
Layna looked up at him and shrugged. “Pick something that you think is good. And some meat for Sammy.” She set the cat on the floor.
“Aren’t you afraid your cat will run away?” he asked, but that cat simply sat on the floor by her chair.
“No, he usually follows me wherever I go. There is no blasting here to scare him,” she said.
END OF SAMPLE