Cyberevolution II: Total Recall
Chloe wasn’t worried when she got the recall notice on the cyborgs. There was nothing wrong with Kane and Jared. They were hers, and the company was going to play hell finding them and reclaiming them on her deep space salvager. Damon was another matter altogether! She just couldn’t understand why Jared and Kane were so against the rescue mission she hatched! It was going to be a piece of cake!
Length: Full Novel
Word Count: 96,585
Genre: Sci-Fi/Futuristic Romance
Rating: Spicy/Erotica---This novel contains multiple heroes/sexual partners, ménage a trois, humor, and violence.
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, October 2012
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Chloe had been studying the game board intensely for a while before the sound of the alert buzzer finally penetrated her absorption. Frowning, she lifted her head and turned to stare at the ship’s console. It was the message alert annoying the shit out of her, she realized with more than a touch of irritation.
Struggling to tune the noise out, she returned her attention to the game and finally made her move. For a few moments she hovered over her decision and finally set the piece down and stood up. “Don’t touch anything until I get back!” she said. “One of you cheated last time!”
Jared and Kane exchanged a long look.
“We were not programmed to cheat,” Jared responded.
“You’re sure Pops didn’t tinker with your programming?” Chloe threw back at him. “Because that move looked a lot like something he would’ve done.”
“Pops cheated?” Kane asked blankly.
Chloe turned and grinned at the two cyborgs as she reached the console and punched the button to silence the alert buzzer. “Don’t tell me! He told you it was a new rule, right?”
Jared and Kane shared a glance.
“It was not?” Kane asked.
Chloe chuckled. “I knew it was you, Kane!”
His olive complexion darkened with a mixture of discomfort and anger—well, simulated, she reminded herself. She shook her head at herself. What did it matter, really? If they seemed real enough that she had to keep reminding herself that they weren’t, then why do it?
Because she worried, that was why.
It had been different when her father was alive. Working as deep space salvagers, they spent a lot of time in space, just the two of them after her father’s last two crew members quit. As her father often said, they kept each other sane. The loneliness of spending weeks or months in space without seeing another soul could fuck up a person’s head if they didn’t have someone to interact with.
She didn’t know what she would’ve done if they hadn’t picked up the two cyborgs, Jared and Kane, on Xeno-12. They’d been seriously fucked up at the time, horribly! Her father had been more inclined to leave them than to gather them up with the other salvage but, as it turned out, the cyborgs were the only thing they’d picked up that were worth anything. Most of what they’d collected had been so degraded by the frigid temperatures they’d had to sell it for scrap and they’d been damned lucky to get anything for it.
Jared and Kane—well, they’d ‘recovered’ amazingly enough—so well it was impossible to tell, looking at them now, that they’d been so damaged that they’d looked downright nightmarish. Even before they’d fully recovered, they’d proven they could pull their own weight as crew members. They were cyborgs, designed as soldiers, which meant they weren’t much for conversation but then again the two crew members they’d replaced hadn’t been either.
Truthfully, they were way better company than the two jerk-offs they’d replaced, worth their weight in platinum, especially after her father had died. She’d had reason to be grateful she’d talked her father out of selling them for scrap!
Shaking her thoughts before she could get caught up in her grief over her father, she turned her attention to the computer and pulled up the incoming message that had set off the alert. She’d been expecting junk mail since she didn’t know anybody who would actually send her a personal message. She skimmed through the message the computer pulled up skeptically and with very little interest. The alert at the top caught her attention, however.
TOTAL RECALL! Attention all owners of cyborgs manufactured by Robotics, Inc. in the S-series. Due to a suspected defect in programming that could cause serious injury or death, Robotics, Inc. has issued a total recall of all units in this series. Consumers will be compensated and/or the unit replaced with a model of comparable value once the unit has been returned and processed. If you own a cyborg of the S-series, please return it to your nearest dealer at your earliest convenience, or if there is no dealer conveniently located near you, the nearest military facility, police station, or ranger outpost for collection. This recall includes all cyborgs shipped as soldiers, sexdroids, and med techs ….
“Woah! Hey guys! You’ve been recalled!” Chloe said with a chuckle. “Says right here that you’re defective.”
Jared and Kane, she saw when she glanced at them, were staring at her blankly. They exchanged a long look and she chuckled again.
“I’ll just file this in the trash. I think if either of you were defective I’d know it by now.”
Punching the delete button, she hurried back to the game they’d been playing, studying the board suspiciously until she’d determined that all the pieces were just as they had been when she’d gotten up. Satisfied, she looked up at Jared. “Your move.”
He stared at her for so long that she realized he’d actually been disturbed by the message—well, confused, maybe. It was hard to say exactly how their minds processed. They had AI besides their programming. Of course, the cyborgs sold as soldiers as these two had been weren’t expected to interact socially on a very refined level. They didn’t need to as soldiers, and she supposed, since that was all they were exposed to initially, that their ‘personality’ was pretty well established before she and her father had picked them up. They were ‘born’ soldiers and she doubted their AI was sophisticated enough for them to ‘adjust’ now to anything else.
Well, they worked just fine with the salvage operation, but that wasn’t actually all that different than what they’d done before—except for the fighting, which wasn’t something they had to worry about too much. Occasionally, they ran into pirates or rival salvagers and things could get hairy, but that was rare. They had encountered a nasty rival salvage operator since they’d taken the two cyborgs in, which had required the cyborgs’ battle skills and was probably the only reason she was still alive. That was certainly the reason her father wasn’t, but battle wasn’t something they commonly had to worry about.
“Hey! Don’t worry about it! I know you aren’t defective. I’m not worried about it and it isn’t like me and Pops bought you two, you know? They aren’t going to have any records of a transaction. Of course, I guess we’ll have to watch it when we get into port to sell the salvage, but we don’t even have the hold half full. It’ll be months before we hit another port and by that time this will all have blown over. And, if it hasn’t—well, I’ll just tell them you’re crew members. No sweat. If I didn’t know for a fact that the two of you were cyborgs, I’d never believe it. You can pass as human without any problems.”
Jared glanced at Kane again, but then focused on the board. Chloe could see he was still tense, though. Searching her mind for something to redirect their minds, she suddenly thought about Damon.
It wasn’t a particularly happy thought. She’d worked damned hard to put Damon out of her mind, but since he’d popped up, she figured, maybe, it would be a good thing to talk about. It would distract them and maybe it would help her to get it off her chest. It wasn’t something she’d been able to talk about with her father and she didn’t have anybody else.