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.
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
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
displayed leadership qualities valued by those in command and moved up in the
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.
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.
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.
“I need you
to finish the Farringay Starport project for me, Axel,” Jolt said through our
responded in surprise. I didn’t see that coming. “We’re not even half-finished,
and you still call me Newbie.”
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?”
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.”
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.”
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
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
get everyone out we can so they don’t get forced into serving in the brothels
or the fight clubs.”
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.
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
“I think I
would like that whether I find my female or not,” I said.
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
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
“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.”
“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?”
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?
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.
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
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
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
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
“Is she dead?”
“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
“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.
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