Read All The Things!
Summer is officially over and The SFR Brigade Showcase is back!
Since I just got new covers for my Diaspora Worlds series, I thought I would share from my oldest SFR book, Her Cyborg Awakes.
Sabralia spent a nervous day in the woods, not daring to go down to the beach for a swim. Qy sat on a small rise some distance away, watching the beach and distant palace. A few ships blasted into orbit from the spaceport on the far side of the forest, the roar filling the woods and making her heart thunder. What is happening?
Towards evening they saw smoke rising, either on the far side of the palace or one of the outbuildings just beyond.
“Should I investigate?” Qy asked. “Alfyt has not summoned me for duty all day.”
“No, Qy, it looks like more unrest. Alfyt must have other duties in an emergency. I think you should remain with me. Perhaps my soldier will come and tell us what is happening.”
The sun went down. The smell of smoke was stronger for awhile, until the cool evening breeze from the sea pushed the smoke farther away. Sabralia wondered what was happening to the women—were they safe? Were they dead? None had come along the beach. Exhausted, she finally slept, wrapped in the blankets and her cyborg’s arms.
Kaistril dreamed. A woman was in his arms…his Mistress Sabralia, with her dark hair, dark blue eyes, and white soft skin. His cock roared into hardness. He tightened his arms around the woman, pulling her closer…she was so sweet, smelling of flowers, her soft bottom cradled his straining member…
Something is wrong. His eyes snapped open in a starless night and he sat up so fast he swayed, dizzy. They were on a cushioned pallet in thick woods. A body was pressed tight against him and he knew it was his Mistress Sabralia. They were hiding from…unrest.
Something is wrong.
My name is Kaistril.
No! I am Qy, in service to my mistress.
He couldn’t remember…but Kaistril seemed right.
He shook his head to try and clear his confusion. The air reeked of smoke. The fire, soldiers, danger, weapons… His head ached, as did his stomach. He was thirsty. He reached into Sabralia’s food basket and got a fruit drink, which helped a little, but his mind was still clouded.
They were in the woods…a fire at the palace…
Something is wrong.
Breathe deeply, calm yourself, a voice he recognized as being from his past told him. He closed his eyes and breathed in through his mouth and out through his nose, concentrating.
There was a sound. It was important. He listened.
Far away, so far away, he could only feel the vibrations through the earth—death! He slid off the pillows onto the forest floor and placed his palms on the ground—
—The Strafe, attacking his Tier, the entire contingent in their observation units, dying. Burning, blinding white flashes, men falling dead in an instant, dead bodies everywhere…
He knew it well. It had killed his men. The Strafe was coming!
“Wake. Wake.” He hauled the sleeping woman into his arms. “We need to get down to the beach, to one of the caves!”
A timer went off in his brain, the timer he was to obey, for his nightly maintenance. He groaned with confusion .
No—the caves! He threw the queen over his shoulder with her blankets over her, and loped toward the beach, ignoring her protests and squirms. She was round and soft, not strong, not a warrior woman, and he was able to subdue her struggles easily without harming her. In the far distance the Strafe slashed through the air, lighting the way with its killing white light, and the woman screamed in shock, her whole body going tight.
“Underground. The Strafe,” he grunted. She probably had no idea what the Strafe was. But he knew. He remembered. Fierce triumph filled him. He remembered, and they would not kill this warrior, or his queen.
“What’s wrong?” she cried.
The soft voice of his mistress sent a shiver down his spine. His body was still hard, clamoring for her touch, despite the raging light. The danger, the excitement flooding his body, his memories, the woman in his arms. He paused for a moment, suddenly overwhelmed with confusion.
The Strafe moved closer so its individual tines of killing light were visible.
“We need to get to one of the tidal caves. The Strafe will kill us.”
“The Strafe.” Comprehension colored her words. He sat her down, pulled the blanket from her face, then grabbed her hand, and they raced down the beach.
Kaistril found the section of beach with shallow caves. They’d explored them before, collecting shells. Once inside, he shoved her against the back wall of the cave and covered her body with his own.
“The Strafe doesn’t go through soil. We might live if we…” His words trailed off. She was staring at him, mouth agape, eyes huge and dark in the night.
“You are different.” His mistress sounded faint.
“Yes. There is no time. Close your eyes,” he said. “The light can damage your vision.” He pulled the blanket over them, holding it cupped to her eyes with one hand while he did the Kaistril listened carefully but could hear nothing now except their breathing, heavy with fear. The Strafe was concentrating on populated areas, though it would eventually sweep outlying areas for strays.
Bright, deadly tines stroked the beach and suddenly clashed around them, lighting even their closed, blanket-covered eyes. They sank to the ground as the light sizzled just a few feet from them, close enough they could feel its strange heat. It disappeared, though they could still hear it.
Kaistril ran out of their shelter. The Strafe had returned to the Palace area. “Come on. It has gone straight back to the city. This is our chance!”
He grabbed her by the hand and ran up the beach, dragging her along.
“Qy, where are we going?” she wailed.
He paused for a split second, then continued pulling her along.
“Staying alive is the plan,” was all he said. No need to tell her it’s a gamble. Soon the Harvesters will be here to kill those that remain alive…
Her breath was ragged and her legs refused to pull her any further along the beach. Kaistril threw her over his shoulder with a grunt. She was no warrior.
“Almost there, I think.” He cut through the woods, and was soon parallel to the fence surrounding Sirn’s spaceport. Eventually they came through the woods to a paved road and an open gate with guard towers. There were no guards.
Kaistril set her on her feet but again grabbed her hand.
“We want to find the smaller spacecrafts,” he said as they passed Sirn’s mid-grade war ships that most of the officer’s arrived in. Sirn’s largest ships did not make landing, of course, but stayed in space.