Keily: Human. Curvy. Independent. An intense, do-good activist who’s never without a cause to throw her limitless energy into. She likes her sex hot and impersonal. She doesn’t have time for silly romantic dalliances. She has a planet full of Battle Rats to save!
Ryker: Cyborg. Scarred. Cynical. Rejected by the females of Terras Five, he becomes one of the most sought-after mercenaries in the galaxy. But when he accepts a contract to capture a female activist he finds out not all females find his scars terrifying. One particular human female finds them incredibly sexy.
Engine failure, hastily terminated jumps, and a fluffy stowaway challenge the unlikely pair to work together to find their way home and into each other’s hearts.
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Her Cyborg Captor (Terras Five 7)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Anne Kane
Keily’s fingers flashed across the keyboard as she composed a message to her allies on the Alliance’s Supreme Court. It had been a long and exhausting fight, but it looked like her hard work was about to pay off. She’d managed to raise enough awareness among the citizenry of the Alliance that the courts could no longer ignore the Battle Rats, or pretend that the little creatures were mere animals without the rights granted all sentient beings.
Battle Rats were the only sentient beings residing on the planet designated as Kepler Seven Six Nine since recorded time began and as such, they had a hereditary claim to its resources. All of the resources, both above and below the surface. Very little was known about the creatures since they rarely interacted with the rest of the beings in the galaxy. They went about their lives quietly, and for the most part, ignored and were ignored by human and Cyborg alike. Since their society didn’t buy or sell anything, traders traditionally ignored Kepler Seven Six Nine entirely. Until that is, a roving miner realized just what lay beneath the surface of Kepler Seven Six Nine.
Emeritite commanded the highest price of any mineral in the galaxy. Extremely hard when applied to the outer skins of space-faring vessels, it resisted damaging gamma rays and direct hits by most weapons arrays. Those attributes, added to its ability to withstand temperatures in the thousands of degrees, made it the most coveted substance in the shipbuilding sectors. Until now, the only known source had been an asteroid field on the far fringes of the Alliance territories. The asteroids were small and scattered, making mining a slow and expensive proposition. Independent miners with their own equipment collected and sold the small amounts they managed to gather for prices approaching a king’s ransom.
Due to both technical and logistical reasons, it wasn’t feasible to set up a large-scale operation in the volatile field of ever moving space rocks. The risks were just too high, even for the anticipated returns. Consequently, only the very elite of the galaxy could afford to have their ships outfitted with the coveted metal.
The find on Kepler Seven Six Nine could change that forever if the Conglomerate managed to gain control of the planet. It was a big if. In order to set up a commercial mining operation, they would have to convince the Alliance and the Cyborg ruling council that their interests were more important than the Battle Rats’ reclusive way of life.
She hit the Send button and settled back into her seat, a feeling of accomplishment washing over her as her message, complete with visuals of the Battle Rats in their native habitat, hurtled its way through the data stream.
A loud crash from the direction of the airlock broke into her reverie. She turned quickly to glance at the surveillance array. For just a fraction of a second, the one on the far left showed an image of something that looked like a cross between a very large man and a giant robot before it flashed out to a blank screen.
She blinked, trying to process what she’d just seen. What the hell was that thing? A flash of spine-tingling fear froze her as realization hit.
Whatever it was, it was here. Inside her base camp. With her.
Scrambling into action, she hit the Lock button on the entrance panels. That might slow it down for a few seconds, although she wasn’t sure. It looked big. And strong. And scary.
Where the hell had she left her thazere? And her evac suit? She needed to get out of here ASAP, and her little shuttle was a couple hundred yards away. The surface of the moon didn’t have enough oxygen in its atmosphere to support human life. Could she hold her breath long enough to reach it?
It had seemed like a practical idea when she’d parked it there. Keep enough distance in case something went wrong with the cut-rate, secondhand hastily assembled base camp building. No point in connecting her living quarters and her only means of escape in an emergency. She couldn’t afford to replace both of them.
Like most activists, she budgeted on a wing and a prayer, and trusted the universe to make sure she always managed to get what she needed to survive. So far, the universe had obliged and she liked to think it approved of her endless parade of good causes.
Keily yanked open a storage hatch and spotted the thazere. She heard another loud crash. The thing must have breached the outer door seals. To hell with the evac suit. She’d take her chances with the atmosphere.
Checking the charge in the thazere, she was relieved to see it was almost at maximum. She tucked the weapon into her belt and turned to face the doorway. Whatever the hell that thing was, it would come through this door. She could hear it now, getting louder as it approached. What the hell made that much noise moving through a building?
A brief silence, then the doors exploded inward, rendering the reinforced materials into flying projectiles. Keily ducked behind the solid desk, shielding her face with her hands.
“Surrender and save us both the bother of a fight you can’t win.” His voice was loud and incredibly deep, vibrating through the room with menacing intent.
Keily risked a quick peek over the desk. He looked just as intimidating as he sounded. Big. No other way to describe him. And Cyborg, but not the pass-for-human at first glance Cyborgs you saw in every corner of the galaxy. No, this guy looked like something out of an ancient holo-vid where the Cyborgs were part robot and part organic human. His left arm shone metallic in the harsh artificial light, and a wide scar ran down the left side of his face from temple to chin. The overall effect was terrifying.
"What do you want?" Best defense was a good offense, right?