Raven is on a suicide mission. Jex is a biomech on a mission to save humanity. They discover their mutual passion to destroy the enemy isn’t their only desire.
A war against the Darch has raged for years, and humanity is on the verge of extinction. Scientists have created biomechs to supplement as warriors, but it’s just a temporary fix on what appears an insurmountable problem. One desperate scientist injects JXS241, a biomech warrior, with what he hopes is the solution for mankind’s survival. But the biomech is captured by the enemy.
Raven Nirvanni survives on the fringes of a shattered culture. While on a self-imposed suicide mission to annihilate an enemy destroyer, she encounters the imprisoned biomech. Deciding the fate of humanity far outweighs the destruction of a single ship, she recues him and decides to ensure he reaches his destination.
With the enemy anticipating their every move, Raven is completely taken aback when she realizes she’s falling for JXS241. But can she really love a machine? And if so, can he reciprocate?
About the Authors:
L.J. Garland is a husband-wife writing team who has thrived within their own romance for over 20 years. One of their favorite things to do is get into a hot bubble bath and brainstorm story ideas. Amid their long list of hobbies and interests, two activities stand above the rest. They are both licensed helicopter pilots with hundreds of hours of flight time, and they practice with a variety of weaponry from long bows to high-powered combat rifles. This, along with years of military experience, gives their books a heightened sense of reality. They enjoy their life together in a house filled with love, laughter, and adventure along with their three cats, whistling guinea pig, and three boisterous sons—who conspire to ensure there’s never a dull moment. They love hearing from readers who’ve enjoyed their stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The needle slid between the third and fourth vertebrae in his neck. A flash of heat shot through him. More pressure was exerted to penetrate the synthetic cartilage of his neurospine. Accessing his internal response center, he raised the pain threshold, but not so high he couldn’t monitor the procedure. Immobile, he waited for it to be finished.
“Done.” The doctor stepped back. “JXS241, system check?”
“No change,” he said, and reset his pain threshold. “As you said, Doctor Mechins. Just a pinch.”
“Good.” The doctor made a note on his techpad. “There are three biomechs just outside the lab, waiting to escort you and the information I implanted into your neurospine to the planet Altaiga.”
“Give me a ship, doctor. I’ll get myself to Altaiga.” Taking three biomechs away from the war to act as escort was a waste of resources.
“The information you carry is critical to the war effort.” Dr. Mechins tapped the techpad. “You’ll take the escort.”
JXS241 rose from his chair. The decision was illogical, but sometimes humans determined situations based on feelings rather than sound military strategy. He yanked a black shirt over his head and shrugged into his military-issue jacket.
The science lab shook, equipment toppled, and assorted paraphernalia crashed to the floor. Alarms barked to life, an alert that the base was under attack. Dr. Mechins’ reserved manner morphed to terror. His gaze rolled toward the ceiling.
“They’ve discovered us.” He grabbed JXS241’s arm, dragged him to the lab door. “You’ve got to get out of here. Take the other biomechs, commandeer a ship, and get to Altaiga. The fate of humanity may very well depend on you.”
JXS241 stepped through the doorway. Three heavily armed escorts awaited him. One shoved a pulse rifle into his hands. He grasped the familiar weapon, glanced at it, and toggled the setting to kill.
“Wait.” The doctor clutched his shoulder. “You may notice some changes—”
The lab exploded. Hot twisted metal and glass missiled through the air, spiking everything in its path. A rush of heat shoved Dr. Mechins against JXS241, and they tumbled into the outer hallway.
Hands grabbed the biomech, lifted him to his feet, and propelled him away from the lab. On the floor lay the doctor, ripped metal and shards of glass jutting from his back, blood pooling beneath him.
“Medic required at lab, level seven,” the tallest biomech said into his com-band. His gaze shifted from the doctor to JXS241. “In line, soldier. Primary objective is to obtain a ship and fly out.”
JXS241 moved behind the other biomechs, and they hastened to the hangar where pilots scrambled to their fighters.
Scattered throughout the bay, sparks of light appeared and stretched into beings. Six-and-a-half to seven-foot men and women materialized. Graced with flaxen hair, and beatific smiles, immense gossamer wings protruded from their backs. With a serene facade they surveyed the hangar.
The enemy had arrived.