Third Scene From Dark Flight

By Cynthia Sax on July 3, 2017

Dark Flight is releasing on July 11th (it is available for pre-order today). I’m sharing the first chapter.

Read the first scene here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/06/19/first-scene-from-dark-flight/

This is the third scene.

***

She reversed the thrusters on the right side. That slowed the spin. It didn’t stop the ship’s descent. It plowed into the ground nose first, the boom temporarily deafening Rhea.

She flew forward. The harness caught her before she hit the console, the straps digging into her shoulders and stomach. The breath whooshed out of her body.

Beams crashed to the floor around her, narrowly missing her chair. Viewscreens shattered. Pain, sharp and intense, jabbed her left shoulder, causing stars to explode in her skull and the bridge to spin merrily around her.

Severed circuits popped and hissed. The ship stopped moving.

Rhea sagged, her back touching the chair, and agony coursed through her, causing her vision to gray out. She straightened once more, reached behind her, touched metal. Something the size of her hand stuck out of her body.

The shard was foreign and frightening and she wanted to remove it. Now. But her father always told her panic resulted in poor decisions. She tried to wiggle the fingers of her left hand.

They didn’t move. Her arm was useless. The shrapnel must have sliced deep, probably had severed veins. She couldn’t treat the area, could barely reach it. If she yanked the metal out of her shoulder, she’d bleed to death.

It had to stay where it was. Using her right hand only, Rhea unfastened the harness, pushed herself to her feet. She swayed, lightheaded, and looked around her.

Guns. She’d need guns. There was always one in the front pocket of her flight suit. Rhea never went anywhere unarmed. But she needed more.

Opening the compartment under the console, she extracted a similar gun plus one long gun, slipped the smaller weapon into her pocket and slung the larger one over her right shoulder. Her vision blurred, the pain excruciating.

She staggered across the bridge, avoiding the live circuits hanging from the ceiling. The wires snapped and crackled with energy, lighting the darkened space.

The ceiling had collapsed over the doorway. The floor had buckled. The combination left only a small opening to exit through.

Rhea eyed it. The hole was tiny but so was she. She might be able to fit through it and there really was no other choice. It was the only way off the bridge.

She crawled up the wreckage, moving as quickly as possible. A downed ship on a supply-challenged planet would attract scavengers. And her sister was alone, would be scared. It was Rhea’s responsibility to protect her.

Her right knee brushed against debris, its edges extremely sharp, and she sucked in her breath, more pain added to her misery. Warmth dripped down her shin.

The panel she was balancing on shifted, tilting out of the door. She slid down the piece of metal, was airborne for a heartbeat. Guns fired. Projectiles zinged past her.

She landed with a plop on the sand and rolled under the ship, almost passing out as the shrapnel in her shoulder was pushed deeper into her body. Breathing heavily, she grabbed the long gun with her one functioning hand.

The air was hot, dry, smelled of mechanical lubricant and projectile residue. Debris from the ship blocked her from sight, providing a shield to hide behind.

Judging by the directions projectiles were being fired from, there were four, five, maybe more attackers. She was injured, was only one being, had use of only one hand.

But she was an excellent shot. Her mother had called her a natural. Rhea had practiced, improving her skill, until there had been no one in their settlement who could match her.

That skill hadn’t saved her parents. When the Humanoid Alliance arrived at their domicile, Rhea faced a choice. She could rush her sister to safety or stay with her parents, protect them if needed.

She had chosen Paloma, always Paloma, as her parents had always chosen the Rebel cause over their offspring, going away on missions as soon as Rhea was able to care for her sister, not thinking how their double life affected the young females, how it put them at risk.

Rhea had hidden Paloma in a nearby cave and returned to the domicile in time to see her father and mother executed, shot in the heads in front of their home. Marowit, the male who had betrayed her, watched, silent, no expression on his handsome face.

When it was done, when her parents’ bodies were lifeless and still on the stone pathway, puddles of blood pooling around them, the Humanoid Alliance officer in charge had turned to Marowit and smiled, told him his loyalty would be rewarded.

Marowit made a quip about how fucking the plain sister was the ultimate sacrifice and the warriors had laughed, laughed as her mother and father lay dead on the pathway before them.

Rhea had burned with anger, wanted to put projectiles in both of them and in herself for being so foolish, for believing she’d ever be anyone’s priority. She had been a cover for her parents and a mission for Marowit. That’s all she’d been.

But shooting the male would have brought her location to the Humanoid Alliance’s attention. They would have caught her and executed her. That would have left her innocent, trusting sister alone in the cold, unforgiving universe. Paloma wouldn’t have lasted long.

As she wouldn’t last long on Carinae E alone. Rhea was Paloma’s best option for survival and she wouldn’t fail her. She’d put her sister first, before her own life, bring her to safety.

To do that, she had to clear the space around the ship.

She poked the muzzle out of her hiding spot, balancing the weapon on her shoulder. Shots rang out. She listened, watched the angle of the projectiles. The enemy weren’t very intelligent, shooting again and again from the exact same spot.

Rhea tapped the trigger several times in rapid succession, altering her aim slightly with each shot.

No more projectiles originated from that location.

She’d killed someone. Guilt gnawed at her. Rhea ignored it. The beings, like her parents, had known the risks. They were choosing to attack her, to put themselves in danger.

And it was either them or Paloma. Her sister’s lifespan depended on Rhea staying alive.

She selected another target, pinpointed his or her location, aimed her long gun and fired.

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Dark Flight

His mission. His challenge. His forever.

Orol, the Refuge’s second-in-command, has been given what he believes is a simple mission—escort two human females to the settlement. The winged warrior arrives at the meeting site to find one of the females missing and the other aiming a gun at his head. To rescue the first, he must capture the second. Once he has Rhea in his talons, however, he realizes he never wants to let her go.

Her enemy. Her captor. Her everything.

Rhea doesn’t trust anyone. She certainly doesn’t follow commands issued by a gorgeous flying male with glittering eyes, a beautiful face, and a seductive touch. Orol is dominant, edged with darkness, and determined to find her sister. Rhea will do anything to prevent that, even if it means playing sensual games of submission with her powerful enemy, seducing him into forgetting everything except her.

Dark Flight is a STAND-ALONE SciFi Romance set in a gritty, dark world.

You Can Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark-flight/id1242494643

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-flight-cynthia-sax/1126484675

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-flight-3

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727350

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Second Scene From Dark Flight

By Cynthia Sax on June 26, 2017

Dark Flight is releasing on July 11th (it is available for pre-order today). I’m sharing the first chapter.

Read the first scene here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/06/19/first-scene-from-dark-flight/

This is the second scene.

***

The merchant ship broke into the planet’s troposphere. The warship fired on them. Rhea swerved the vessel to the right. The missiles hit the side of a mountain.

Their merchant ship skimmed over a chunk of rock, scratching the metal underbelly of their vessel. The warship followed them.

Paloma continued to mutter about making peace and explanations, threatening to hail their Humanoid Alliance attackers. Rhea said nothing, her focus on their survival, on extracting themselves from their current precarious situation.

Sweat trickled down her spine underneath her gray flight suit. She lowered their ship, flying it close to the surface, hoping the size differential between their vessel and the warship would give them an advantage. The white sand underneath them parted, waves on an ocean of land.

More missiles arced toward them. She steered their ship, dodging one, two. The third one clipped the left side of their vessel, taking out one of their thrusters, jolting them.

Paloma screamed. Their ship’s wing dragged against the ground, sparks flying from the points of contact. Rhea pressed her lips together and compensated for the reduced power, leveling the vessel.

“We’re going to die.” Her sister gripped her chair’s armrests, her knuckles whitening.

“Not if I can help it.” Rhea would take care of Paloma, keep the only being in the universe she cared about safe, transporting them both to the Refuge.

“How can you be so calm?” Her highly emotional sister verged on the edge of hysterics. “They’re shooting at us.”

Rhea had spent all of her twenty-two solar cycles knowing that one wrong word could result in death, that the smallest physical reaction—an intake of breath, a trembling finger, a higher pitch in her voice—could give her parents’ activities away, dooming them all. She had learned long ago to conceal her emotions, hide her thoughts.

It irked her that her sister, the being who should know her the best, didn’t realize Rhea’s calm façade was exactly that—a façade.

The warship was gaining on them. The missiles were becoming more difficult to avoid. Rhea glanced at the viewscreen embedded in her console. The Refuge remained far away. “We won’t make it.” Her voice was flat.

Paloma whimpered. “Don’t say that.”

“There’s an escape pod.” There was only one. It was small, could hold a single being. “Get into it. Press Eject.”

“Noooo.” Her sister wailed. “I’m staying with you.”

“We’ll only be parted for mere moments.” Rhea hoped that was the truth. There was a possibility she wouldn’t survive. “There are containers of beverage, nourishment bars in the pod. Remain inside it. I’ll find you.”

“I didn’t mean what I said last planet rotation, about wanting my own life, about—”

“I know you didn’t.” They didn’t have time for that conversation. “Get in the escape pod, Paloma. Now.”

Her sister gulped, unfastened the straps around her body. “You’ll find me?”

“I promise.” Rhea didn’t have to say more. She had never broken a promise to her sister. Paloma knew that.

Her sister stood, took three steps toward the door. Then she paused, as though changing her mind.

That was typical Paloma, always fighting her on every decision. Rhea’s patience was at the breaking point. She opened her mouth to snap at her sister.

Paloma flung herself against her, hugging her tight. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Rhea fought to get those few strangled words out, emotion swelling inside her.

Paloma squeezed her once more and hurried out the door without saying another word. That was how scared her normally talkative sister was.

Rhea would keep her safe. She flew the ship with grim determination, veering it to the left, to the right, between boulders larger than multi-level domiciles. Missiles exploded around them, flumes of fire spiraling upward, sand spraying like shrapnel against their vessel’s panels.

The bridge without her sister was quiet, eerie, lonely. Paloma wasn’t the easiest company. She was in that awkward stage between being a child and a fully grown female. But they were sisters and Rhea loved her with everything she had.

Without her sister, Rhea had nothing and no one.

The system indicated Paloma had entered the escape pod. Rhea lowered the landing gear, increasing the cloud of sand behind her ship, hoping that would conceal her sister’s exit.

The escape pod detached.

The warship behind her didn’t slow.

Rhea exhaled, relief washing over her. The Humanoid Alliance hadn’t detected the escape pod. Her sister should be safe.

Missiles arced from the ground, the assault from a direction she hadn’t expected. Shit. Rhea steered to the right. She was fighting multiple enemies. The locals were shooting at her also. The few inhabitants of this planet were hostile.

Most of the beings were Rebels. Their hatred was especially strong for the Humanoid Alliance and that was whom they focused on.

The locals pummeled the warship pursuing her vessel with missiles, hammering them from all sides. The warship shot at her ship, intent on downing it, on killing anyone on board.

Rhea jutted her jaw and did her best to avoid being hit. Sweat beaded on her forehead. Tension pulled tight across her shoulders. If she could outlast the warship—

A missile blasted the remaining thruster on the left side. Fuck. The ship spun. Its nose and tail ground against the rock around her. Fighting for control, she knew her efforts would be futile.

An explosion rocked her ship from the rear. That must have been the warship. It had been the only object behind her. But its destruction had come too late.

Her ship was going down.

***

Read the next scene (available July 3rd) here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/07/03/third-scene-from-dark-flight/

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Dark Flight

His mission. His challenge. His forever.

Orol, the Refuge’s second-in-command, has been given what he believes is a simple mission—escort two human females to the settlement. The winged warrior arrives at the meeting site to find one of the females missing and the other aiming a gun at his head. To rescue the first, he must capture the second. Once he has Rhea in his talons, however, he realizes he never wants to let her go.

Her enemy. Her captor. Her everything.

Rhea doesn’t trust anyone. She certainly doesn’t follow commands issued by a gorgeous flying male with glittering eyes, a beautiful face, and a seductive touch. Orol is dominant, edged with darkness, and determined to find her sister. Rhea will do anything to prevent that, even if it means playing sensual games of submission with her powerful enemy, seducing him into forgetting everything except her.

Dark Flight is a STAND-ALONE SciFi Romance set in a gritty, dark world.

You Can Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark-flight/id1242494643

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-flight-cynthia-sax/1126484675

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-flight-3

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727350

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Dark Flight And The Cutest Critter In The Universe

By Cynthia Sax on June 22, 2017

The countdown to Dark Flight’s release is on!
Puffkers are mentioned in this story.
What are puffkers?

Well, they look very similar to this doggy.

Yes, basically, they’re puffballs with legs.
(grins)
They’re adorable and a certain giant green gatekeeper has a soft spot for them.

Here’s a snippet of a scene…

***

“She won’t be alone.” Balvan entered the chamber. “I’ll stay with your sister. She remembers me, won’t be scared to see me here. Especially as I’ll have this with me.”

He turned his wrists and opened his big fists. A white ball of fluff with dark eyes purred happily in one of his palms. One of its barely visible legs had gauze wrapped around it.

“Awww…” Rhea’s face softened. “Is that a puffker? They’re impossible to find on our home planet.” She made kissy noises at it. “Because you’re so cute and everyone wants you. Don’t they? Oh, yes, they do.”

The tiny creature had reduced Orol’s warrior female to goo.

“Her name is Sparkles.” Orol scooped his mate into his arms and stood, eager to put those lips of hers to better use.

Balvan scowled. “That’s not the creature’s name.”

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Dark Flight

His mission. His challenge. His forever.

Orol, the Refuge’s second-in-command, has been given what he believes is a simple mission—escort two human females to the settlement. The winged warrior arrives at the meeting site to find one of the females missing and the other aiming a gun at his head. To rescue the first, he must capture the second. Once he has Rhea in his talons, however, he realizes he never wants to let her go.

Her enemy. Her captor. Her everything.

Rhea doesn’t trust anyone. She certainly doesn’t follow commands issued by a gorgeous flying male with glittering eyes, a beautiful face, and a seductive touch. Orol is dominant, edged with darkness, and determined to find her sister. Rhea will do anything to prevent that, even if it means playing sensual games of submission with her powerful enemy, seducing him into forgetting everything except her.

Dark Flight is a STAND-ALONE SciFi Romance set in a gritty, dark world.

You Can Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark-flight/id1242494643

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-flight-cynthia-sax/1126484675

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-flight-3

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727350

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

First Scene From Dark Flight

By Cynthia Sax on June 19, 2017

Dark Flight is releasing on July 11th (it is available for pre-order today). I thought I’d share the first chapter over the next couple of weeks.

This is the first scene.

***

Chapter One

Rhea trusted no one.

She loved Paloma, would protect her sister with her life, but she couldn’t trust her. Her sister was young and gullible. She told everyone everything and believed only what she wanted to believe.

Even now, the sixteen-solar cycle old girl chattered beside her on the bridge of the merchant ship, sharing every thought passing through her brain. She didn’t care that the Humanoid Alliance was hunting them, confident her sister would safeguard her as she always had.

Rhea, having six more solar cycles, had been responsible for her sister all of Paloma’s lifespan. Their parents had been spies, busy with their larger cause, relaying information from their Humanoid Alliance neighbors to the Rebels they secretly supported. Their children, beings Rhea often suspected had been conceived as part of their parents’ cover, were an afterthought.

She had sheltered Paloma as best as she could, striving to give her the semi-normal upbringing she never had. Her sister had known nothing about their parents’ activities.
It was safer that way. Paloma couldn’t keep a secret to save her life.

When their parents were finally apprehended and executed, Paloma had refused to believe they were guilty of espionage, wouldn’t accept that they were dead.

Rhea, having seen their deaths with her own eyes, was alone in her grief and alone in her worry. Their mother, before being captured, had told Rhea to go to the Refuge, a settlement on Carinae E.

That destination was their sole hope. The Humanoid Alliance had tracked them to every stop they’d made en route. They’d been saved once during their journey by strangers. They’d been betrayed by numerous others. Luck, careful observation, and Rhea’s skills with a gun had kept them alive.

Rhea flicked her gaze between the main viewscreen of the merchant ship and the personal viewscreen embedded in the console. There were no signs of any other ships and that made her nervous.

The Humanoid Alliance wouldn’t give up so easily.

She didn’t know why warriors were pursuing them. It might have something to do with the blueprints her mother asked her to study two planet rotations before the Humanoid Alliance had knocked on their domicile’s door.

If that was the case, the Humanoid Alliance need not be concerned. She could remember very little of the vessel’s design.

“Is that our new home?” Paloma leaned forward, her beautiful face lighting up. “It’s…it’s…” Her enthusiasm immediately dimmed. “It’s very blah.”

Rhea was very blah. A slender, tanned, brown-eyed brunette, she was plain compared to her sister, a voluptuous, blue-eyed, pink-skinned blonde.

Males preferred Paloma. Rhea wasn’t emotional about that. It was simply a fact, like the universe being large and stars being bright. She was shocked when Marowit claimed Rhea was his preference.

But that had been yet another lie, a trick to gain her trust.

“Carinae E is a desert planet.” Rhea tapped on the personal viewscreen, refreshing the image. The monitoring system indicated no vessels. “This is the Refuge.” She marked the location on the main viewscreen with an X.

“Why are we deviating so far to the left?” Paloma wrinkled her nose.

“The wind currents around the settlement make it impossible to approach from above.” The wind currents weren’t natural, beings had told her. Kralj, the Ruler of the settlement, had special powers.

Was that why her mother had sent them here? Would those special powers protect them?

Rhea didn’t know.
The main viewscreen flashed red. An unfamiliar ship had entered the monitored space.

“Strap yourself in,” Rhea advised, her voice flat. A lifespan spent hiding her parents’ activities had taught her to conceal all emotion.

“They could be friends.” Paloma’s bottom lip curled but she did as she was told.

Her sister thought everyone was a friend. Rhea fastened her harness. “It’s a Humanoid Alliance warship.” She increased the merchant ship’s speed, heading for the planet.

The engines groaned and the panels rattled.

“Captain Lethe and Officer Ghost flew a Humanoid Alliance warship.” Paloma pointed out.

“That’s not their warship.” The human captain and her cyborg had been the strangers who helped Rhea and Paloma at the beginning of their journey, saving them from a Humanoid Alliance attack.

Theirs had been the last friendly faces Rhea and Paloma had seen. The two of them were on their own.

“We could hail the beings in the warship and explain.” Paloma continued to fuss. “Father and Mother aren’t spies. This is all a big misunderstanding.”

“We’re not hailing them.” And it hadn’t been a misunderstanding. Their parents had been spies. But even if it had been a mistake, the Humanoid Alliance wasn’t known for open-mindedness. When in doubt, they killed all the beings in question.

The ship shook as they entered Carinae E’s atmosphere.

“This is why you don’t have any close friends.” Paloma pouted. “You don’t trust anyone.”

Rhea gritted her teeth as she steered their ship. She didn’t have any close friends because her entire life was a lie. It was better not to talk to anyone than to fabricate stories she would have to remember.

And she had trusted someone—Marowit. Guilt coiled low in her gut. Flattered by his attentions, she’d allowed the handsome, charismatic male to woo her, spend time with her, fuck her.

Rhea hadn’t completely let down her guard. She’d been hiding her true self for too long. She didn’t know if total honesty was possible with anyone. But she had shared what she’d thought had been small, unimportant details about her planet rotations.

That mistake led to her parents being captured and executed. She’d killed their mother and father by trusting the wrong being.

***

Read the next scene (available June 26th) here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/06/26/second-scene-from-dark-flight/

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Dark Flight

His mission. His challenge. His forever.

Orol, the Refuge’s second-in-command, has been given what he believes is a simple mission—escort two human females to the settlement. The winged warrior arrives at the meeting site to find one of the females missing and the other aiming a gun at his head. To rescue the first, he must capture the second. Once he has Rhea in his talons, however, he realizes he never wants to let her go.

Her enemy. Her captor. Her everything.

Rhea doesn’t trust anyone. She certainly doesn’t follow commands issued by a gorgeous flying male with glittering eyes, a beautiful face, and a seductive touch. Orol is dominant, edged with darkness, and determined to find her sister. Rhea will do anything to prevent that, even if it means playing sensual games of submission with her powerful enemy, seducing him into forgetting everything except her.

Dark Flight is a STAND-ALONE SciFi Romance set in a gritty, dark world.

You Can Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark-flight/id1242494643

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-flight-cynthia-sax/1126484675

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-flight-3

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727350

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Dark Flight Available For Pre-orders

By Cynthia Sax on June 11, 2017

Dark Flight, my July release, is available for pre-order at booksellers.

Dark Flight

His mission. His challenge. His forever.

Orol, the Refuge’s second-in-command, has been given what he believes is a simple mission—escort two human females to the settlement. The winged warrior arrives at the meeting site to find one of the females missing and the other aiming a gun at his head. To rescue the first, he must capture the second. Once he has Rhea in his talons, however, he realizes he never wants to let her go.

Her enemy. Her captor. Her everything.

Rhea doesn’t trust anyone. She certainly doesn’t follow commands issued by a gorgeous flying male with glittering eyes, a beautiful face, and a seductive touch. Orol is dominant, edged with darkness, and determined to find her sister. Rhea will do anything to prevent that, even if it means playing sensual games of submission with her powerful enemy, seducing him into forgetting everything except her.

Dark Flight is a STAND-ALONE SciFi Romance set in a gritty, dark world.

You Can Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Flight-Refuge-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07124941B/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark-flight/id1242494643

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-flight-cynthia-sax/1126484675

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-flight-3

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727350

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Ghost Of A Machine – Fourth Scene

By Cynthia Sax on May 8, 2017

Ghost Of A Machine will be releasing on May 16th (it is available for pre-order now!).

I’ve been sharing scenes from the first chapter.

You can read the first scene here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/04/17/ghost-of-a-machine-first-scene/

This is the fourth and final scene from Chapter One.

***

Ace, the K Model cyborg, repaired his finger and palm interfaces, reconnecting the circuits. Ghost’s nanocybotics, the part of him that was responsible for his faster-than-human healing, were stimulated by the activity. Energy surged through him.

That increased his frustration over his failures, escalated his pain. Some of that emotion flowed into rage, his anger directed at himself and at his Humanoid Alliance handlers. The Humanoid Alliance had given the orders for the killing, had participated in it.

Ghost rumbled, yearning to take action, to ease his conscience.

Ace accessed the warship’s systems through Ghost’s interface. The doors slid open.

Ghost lurched forward, looked to the right and to the left. There were no guards. No one to give him commands. No one to punish.

Kill every being you see, Ace instructed.

Kill. Yes, he would kill them all. Then the pain inside him would dissipate. Then he’d be fully repaired, his human and his machine halves at peace.

Ghost flung back his head, released a roar, and rushed forward, searching for his first target. One of his handlers entered the corridor. The male’s eyes widened. He turned and ran in the opposite direction.

He wasn’t fast enough. Ghost moved at cyborg speed, faster than any human. He grabbed the male. The handler squawked.

Not having any weapons, Ghost bent his head. Using his teeth and hands, he ripped off the male’s skull, killing him quickly. That didn’t dampen the images of the females. He tore off the male’s arms and legs. The females’ faces remained in his thoughts.

He shredded the torso, the metallic taste of blood filling his mouth. It splattered over his naked form and oozed between his toes. Ghost painted the walls crimson, took the male apart until there was nothing left to grip.

The rage inside him didn’t dissipate. It grew until all he saw was red, until the only word in his processors, in his organic brain, was kill.

Ghost stormed through the warship, tracking beings by their scent. He battered through doors and walls to get to his targets, ending their lives as he had ended his handler’s life, quickly, brutally.

They couldn’t escape him and they deserved their fate. All of the males had tortured him, had delighted in causing him pain. They would pay for that, would pay for not allowing him to protect the females.

In Ghost’s damaged mind, the females’ deaths, his failure, and the males’ torment were bundled, mixed together in a volcanic vortex of emotion. Solar cycles of frustration gushed out of him, a red, heated, flow of rage, of violence.

The human warriors shot at him. He leaned toward their guns, embracing the agony. It was what he deserved. Projectiles riddled his form, biting into his skin. His nanocybotics hummed, struggling to heal him.

He continued killing. Beings screamed and begged for mercy. Their pleas didn’t penetrate his processors, didn’t reach his brain. He had been given an order—to kill every being he saw. He wouldn’t fail Ace, one of his own, not as he had failed the females. He ended the males’ lives with no hesitation.

The shuddering of the warship stopped as the corridors and the chambers flooded with blood. It was more than Ace’s order fueling Ghost, more than vengeance. The Humanoid Alliance had manufactured him for this, had designed him for killing, and it satisfied his machine to serve its purpose.

He hunted down every being on board the vessel.

Kill. Kill. Kill. He concentrated on that command, tearing the males into pieces with his mouth and hands. Blood streamed down his chest, scented the air.

He ravaged the last male. The warship was eerily quiet. Only the voices in his head remained.

They were fellow cyborgs, his processors relayed. The warriors were positioned on other ships, on planets. Some were free. Some remained slaves of the Humanoid Alliance.

None of them gave him his next order. Ghost stared down at the gore. Ace, the K Model cyborg, was silent. He’d withdrawn from Ghost’s processors.

The images of the females lingered, haunting him. His brain forgot. His databases never did. Ghost tried to sever the connection to his machine side. Both parts of him, wanting to remain whole, resisted and he wasn’t strong enough to overwhelm that blockade.

All he could do was slow the transfer of information.

He crouched beside his last target. Needing to do something, anything, he moved body parts from one spot to another.

That action didn’t stop the images running through his mind.

The last footage he’d recorded played. It featured the death of three females belonging to him, to his brethren. One of those females had been newly manufactured, couldn’t stand, couldn’t talk. All the females were defenseless. They’d surrendered to the Humanoid Alliance, laid down their primitive weapons.

The Humanoid Alliance, having no honor, had ordered the cyborgs to kill them. His brethren, not knowing who the females were to them, to their kind, had followed those commands.

Ghost had silently watched, unable to stop the carnage, his soul hollowed out by guilt. He couldn’t communicate to his brethren what they’d done, couldn’t give them that remorse, that grief. It was his to bear alone, silently.

The image faded.

The loop restarted. It always did, the torture never ceasing. The face of the little female filled his thoughts, her chubby cheeks, her brown curly hair, her big brown eyes.

The pain was endless and unbearable, projectiles piercing his brain, his heart, his soul. Ghost squeezed a handful of guts. Blood dripped on the tiled floor. He needed more beings to kill, more outlets for the agony. That might make the hurting tolerable.

More beings would arrive. The Humanoid Alliance would retrieve their warship.

When the males entered the vessel, he would seek vengeance. Every being he killed would be one less being able to harm the females.

That might ease his guilt, stop the pain.

Allow him to remain whole.

***

There will be spoilers posted about this story (there always are) so I really recommend that you not look at reviews until you’ve read it.

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Fragile. Stubborn. His.

Ghost, a C Model cyborg, has disconnected his machine from his human side. Severely damaged, he knows two things—the curvy human female on his ship belongs to him and he must keep her safe. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her, claim her, make her his.

Primitive. Damaged. Hers.

Lethe has seen the savage side of beings. The courageous Rebel captain has never met a male like Ghost. Overpoweringly dominant, he appeals to her on a primal level, filling her mind with thoughts of sweet surrender, hard kisses, and body-heating encounters against the warship’s walls.

They are two broken beings, one determined to protect, the other intent on flying into danger. Can love heal them both before they face their common enemy?

Ghost Of A Machine is Book 9 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STAND-ALONE story.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ghost-of-a-machine/id1218969448

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghost-of-a-machine-cynthia-sax/1126040142

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ghost-of-a-machine

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713288

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Ghost Of A Machine – Third Scene

By Cynthia Sax on May 1, 2017

Ghost Of A Machine will be releasing on May 16th (it is available for pre-order now!).

I’ve been sharing scenes from the first chapter.

You can read the first scene here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/04/17/ghost-of-a-machine-first-scene/

This is the third scene.

***

Images, memories, words flooded Ghost’s organic brain. It was too much, overwhelming.

Hurtful.

The first face to dominate his thoughts was of a young female. She had chubby cheeks, brown curly hair, had four or five solar cycles. The little female clung to her mother’s hand and stared up, up, up at Ghost with awe and wonder.

Ours. Ghost felt that truth deep in his soul. The little female belonged to him in the same way the K Model cyborg belonged to him. It was his role to protect her.

He didn’t know how.

If he swept her into his arms and ran, carrying her to safety as he desperately wanted to, he’d be disobeying orders. Worse than that, he’d be acting on his own.

The Humanoid Alliance would know cyborgs weren’t mindless killing machines. They would realize cyborgs weren’t completely under the humans’ control.

His brethren, the cyborgs standing by his side, perhaps all the cyborgs under Humanoid Alliance command, would be deemed defective and killed.

He held the little female’s gaze, watching, waiting for an opportunity to save her.

“Kill them,” a male officer told his subordinate.

The male looked at the officer and then at the two unarmed females. He gulped, his Adam’s apple bobbing. His face was pale. His gun shook.

“Fuck.” The officer grabbed his subordinate’s gun. “I’ll do it.”

It took all of Ghost’s willpower not to move, not to grab the little female.

The officer pulled the trigger. The projectile struck the little female in the forehead, killing her instantly. Her eyes, remaining trained on Ghost, widened. She fell. Her mother screamed.

The images were memories, date-stamped as occurring many hundreds of solar cycles ago, but his processors had captured them perfectly, every detail intact; he felt the death as though it had just happened.

Ghost howled through his transmission lines, bellowing with grief, the force of his failure hitting him hard. She had belonged to him and he’d allowed her to die.

The officer shot the mother and handed the gun back to his subordinate. “That’s how you do it.” He smirked.

Ghost’s urge to kill increased.

The scene changed.

A blue fur-covered female hid behind a downed ship. Projectiles zinged around her, puncturing the metal panels, blasting holes in her makeshift shield.

Ours. That knowledge filled Ghost with dread. The Humanoid Alliance officers swaggering behind him would have spotted her. She could be seen even with their ineffective human visual system. There was no way to hide her, to save her.

The female bravely fired back at them, earning his admiration. She was strong, worthy of his protection.

Again, he didn’t know how to safeguard her. His machine evaluated and discarded solutions.

Having no other option, Ghost marched toward her, his apprehension increasing with every step. His cyborg brethren were positioned to his right and to his left. They formed a line of warriors no humanoid could defeat.

His stomach twisted. She would die.

He would fail her, fail his kind. No Humanoid Alliance torture could equal this, knowing a being he was destined to protect would be harmed, killed.

When the projectile hit her in the chest, he emotionally crumpled, gutted, his insides hollowed out. The pain was acute, fresh, slicing through him like a blade.

And it didn’t end.

Failure after failure, death after death, was revisited, the agony building. The females had all belonged to him. And they were all dead.

Because he had failed them. Guilt, sorrow, grief cascaded over Ghost.

There was nothing he could do to stop it, no steps he could take to save the dead females, to reverse the damage he’d done.

***

Read the next scene (available May 8th) here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/05/08/ghost-of-a-machine-fourth-scene/

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Fragile. Stubborn. His.

Ghost, a C Model cyborg, has disconnected his machine from his human side. Severely damaged, he knows two things—the curvy human female on his ship belongs to him and he must keep her safe. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her, claim her, make her his.

Primitive. Damaged. Hers.

Lethe has seen the savage side of beings. The courageous Rebel captain has never met a male like Ghost. Overpoweringly dominant, he appeals to her on a primal level, filling her mind with thoughts of sweet surrender, hard kisses, and body-heating encounters against the warship’s walls.

They are two broken beings, one determined to protect, the other intent on flying into danger. Can love heal them both before they face their common enemy?

Ghost Of A Machine is Book 9 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STAND-ALONE story.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ghost-of-a-machine/id1218969448

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghost-of-a-machine-cynthia-sax/1126040142

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ghost-of-a-machine

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713288

Topics: Coming Soon | 2 Comments »

Ghost Of A Machine – Second Scene

By Cynthia Sax on April 24, 2017

Ghost Of A Machine will be releasing on May 16th (it is available for pre-order now!).

I’ve been sharing scenes from the first chapter.

You can read the first scene here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/04/17/ghost-of-a-machine-first-scene/

This is the second scene.

***

Ghost stared at the wall and listened to the chatter in his head, the discussions of battle strategy, the musings about females and the Homeland.

The warship tilted to the right. He widened his stance, bracing himself. The floor under his bare feet leveled.

The vessel jerked, steadied, jerked again.

Were they in a battle? Ghost breathed deeply, smelling nothing, no blood, no projectile residue. No one gave him orders to attack, to kill.

He wanted to end lifespans. That was his one remaining function in the universe. Ghost remembered having another purpose, a more worthy purpose. He couldn’t recall what that was. All he knew now was death, pain, violence.

Ghost.

He straightened and growled. One of the voices inside his skull knew his name.

Ghost, are you functional? Another voice asked.

That question held the strength of an order. He had to respond. Ghost searched his organic brain for the words. It had been solar cycles since he’d last spoken. Ugh. That was all he could manage.

He’s damaged.

He might be too damaged to assist us.

Assist, Ghost repeated. If the task required action, not talking, he could complete it.

There was a stretch of silence.

He’d failed the voices as he’d failed…he couldn’t remember who he had failed. Ghost’s shoulders slumped. He stared at the wall, waiting for a command.

Ghost, we need your help. The first voice returned.

Ghost lifted his head. Ugh. He’d help them.

Open your holding chamber, warrior.

Ghost glanced at the doors. They were closed. His gaze shifted to the control panel to the right. He placed his hands on the flat surface, ashamed of how dirty, how unkempt his fingers were.

Nothing happened.

The power to open the doors was within him. He was certain of that. Ghost narrowed his eyes at the control panel and concentrated.

The doors remained closed.

Ghost, I have to hack into your machine. The voice stated an intention. Do I have your consent?

Machine. That was the piece of him that was missing. He’d shut that part down. There was a reason he did that, though he couldn’t remember what that reason was.

Ugh. He tried to communicate his misgivings to the voice.

The voice didn’t listen to him. His processors were poked and prodded.

They whirred, reviving. A tingling spread over him, pricks of pain, as though pins and needles were being stuck into his skin. His body tried to resist the invasion.

The voice, Ghost could now identify him as Ace, was too strong. The K Model cyborg deftly reconnected Ghost’s processors, undoing the separation it had taken the C Model almost a solar cycle to fully accomplish.

***

Read the next scene (available May 1st) here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/05/01/ghost-of-a-machine-third-scene/

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Fragile. Stubborn. His.

Ghost, a C Model cyborg, has disconnected his machine from his human side. Severely damaged, he knows two things—the curvy human female on his ship belongs to him and he must keep her safe. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her, claim her, make her his.

Primitive. Damaged. Hers.

Lethe has seen the savage side of beings. The courageous Rebel captain has never met a male like Ghost. Overpoweringly dominant, he appeals to her on a primal level, filling her mind with thoughts of sweet surrender, hard kisses, and body-heating encounters against the warship’s walls.

They are two broken beings, one determined to protect, the other intent on flying into danger. Can love heal them both before they face their common enemy?

Ghost Of A Machine is Book 9 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STAND-ALONE story.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ghost-of-a-machine/id1218969448

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghost-of-a-machine-cynthia-sax/1126040142

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ghost-of-a-machine

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713288

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Ghost Of A Machine – First Scene

By Cynthia Sax on April 17, 2017

Ghost Of A Machine will be releasing on May 16th (it is available for pre-order now!).

Over the next four weeks, I’ll be sharing the first chapter of Ghost Of A Machine. Don’t be alarmed if you find much of the action to be familiar to you. You should. It also occurred in Hers To Command. Once you’ve read the chapter, you’ll understand why it is so important to retell the scene from Ghost’s perspective.

This is the first scene.

***

Chapter One

Ghost stared at the far wall of his holding chamber, trying to ignore the two puny human males chattering in front of him.

“You’d think they’d design cyborgs to talk.” The smallest male gazed up at him.

“They don’t talk.” The other male nicked Ghost in the hip with a dagger. “Not unless they’re asked a question or acknowledging a command. This one is damaged. It doesn’t even do that.”

Ghost, accustomed to their torture, didn’t react. Blood dripped down his leg.

“The silence is eerie.” The smallest male’s lips twisted. “Remember when Rog stuck that dagger up its ass and sliced it to pieces? It didn’t make a sound.”

He said that as though it was a fond memory. The two of them enjoyed hurting beings, hurting him.

Hatred, pure and thick, pulsed through Ghost’s circuits. If given the command, he’d rip their heads off.

But he wouldn’t be given that command. The humans were his masters and although he didn’t know much, his organic brain shattered, he did know he couldn’t act without their orders.

“The Captain was pissed when Rog did that.” The other male dragged a dagger over Ghost’s bare ass, leaving a trail of pain. “He likes it tight when he uses it.”

Ghost’s fury expanded, encompassing every being on the warship. He wanted to kill them all, tear them apart limb by limb.

Instead, he gazed at the gray wall panels, his expression blank, his lips pressed together. The two males’ voices weren’t the only sounds he heard. Millions of beings talked inside his reinforced skull.

What’s the quickest way to kill a Mantidae?

In the Homeland, every cyborg is free.

I increased my kill rate by thirty-two this planet rotation.

Some females have golden hair.

Fe-males. Ghost silently turned that word over in his mind. Fe-males. That meant something to him, invoked emotions within his soul. He didn’t know why it was important but it was.

“We’ll have to clean it up after the battle.” The shorter male wrinkled his nose. “The captain doesn’t like it to be dirty.”

“C Models are disgusting.” The other male curled his top lip. “The newer models have been programmed to utilize the cleaning cloths.”

“This one used to do that. It is malfunctioning.”

“Why doesn’t the captain have it decommissioned and order a new one?”

Decommissioned was another word Ghost still retained. It meant pain, death.

The end of his suffering.

“There’s been an issue with supply. For now, we’re stuck with it.” The shorter male inclined his head toward Ghost. “There are benefits. I doubt the captain would allow us to use a new model for target practice.”

“True.” The taller male moved toward the doors. “I’m itching to test my new long gun. Downing the rebel battle station should earn us that reward.”

“Their commander is a female.” The other male sneered. “Defeating her will take mere moments.”

They exited, the doors shut behind them, and Ghost was left in solitude yet again. He had a vague recollection of a time when he wasn’t alone, a time when he had been surrounded by warriors like himself.

A scene flashed through his mind. A battlefield strewn with bodies, gouged faces, silver frames showing through tattered flesh, eyes with their lights burned out.

Pain surged along his circuits, coiling around his heart, squeezing, squeezing. Ghost hastily deleted the image and focused on the present, on the gray walls, the tiled floor.

There was a space inside him, as though something was missing. A part of himself had been severed. He gazed down. His arms and legs remained attached. He balled his fingers into huge fists. Physically, he appeared to be all there.

Yet the sensation remained. He wasn’t whole. He was defective.

***

Read the next scene (available April 24th) here: http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/04/24/ghost-of-a-machine-second-scene/

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Fragile. Stubborn. His.

Ghost, a C Model cyborg, has disconnected his machine from his human side. Severely damaged, he knows two things—the curvy human female on his ship belongs to him and he must keep her safe. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her, claim her, make her his.

Primitive. Damaged. Hers.

Lethe has seen the savage side of beings. The courageous Rebel captain has never met a male like Ghost. Overpoweringly dominant, he appeals to her on a primal level, filling her mind with thoughts of sweet surrender, hard kisses, and body-heating encounters against the warship’s walls.

They are two broken beings, one determined to protect, the other intent on flying into danger. Can love heal them both before they face their common enemy?

Ghost Of A Machine is Book 9 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STAND-ALONE story.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ghost-of-a-machine/id1218969448

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghost-of-a-machine-cynthia-sax/1126040142

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ghost-of-a-machine

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713288

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Ghost Of A Machine – The Significance Of The Title

By Cynthia Sax on April 12, 2017

The dual-meaning word/phrase lover in me couldn’t resist titling Ghost’s story Ghost Of A Machine. The name our C Model cyborg gave himself was Ghost (I’ll talk about why he called himself this in a future blog post) and he IS half machine.

He is, also, a ghost of himself, of the cyborg he once was. Ghost has been so severely damaged; he is barely functional. He has been isolated from his brethren both physically and emotionally. He has lost touch with the machine part of him.

In addition to this, Ghost Of A Machine, as a title, is a nod to ‘Ghost In The Machine,’ a term used in philosophy. It refers to the belief that the mind is a nonphysical presence within the framework of the body. Our thoughts aren’t merely the result of neural processes, the physical activity of our brains. They come from something greater, something spiritual, a ‘ghost’ residing inside us.

That applies to Ghost’s situation. He has spent his entire lifespan protecting the females who belong to his cyborg brethren. He knows how he detects that these females are special. Their scents and their voices are ‘right.’ But he doesn’t know why they are ‘right.’ His machine half, his more logical side can’t explain that. It is as though this knowledge comes from outside his physical systems.

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Fragile. Stubborn. His.

Ghost, a C Model cyborg, has disconnected his machine from his human side. Severely damaged, he knows two things—the curvy human female on his ship belongs to him and he must keep her safe. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her, claim her, make her his.

Primitive. Damaged. Hers.

Lethe has seen the savage side of beings. The courageous Rebel captain has never met a male like Ghost. Overpoweringly dominant, he appeals to her on a primal level, filling her mind with thoughts of sweet surrender, hard kisses, and body-heating encounters against the warship’s walls.

They are two broken beings, one determined to protect, the other intent on flying into danger. Can love heal them both before they face their common enemy?

Ghost Of A Machine is Book 9 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STAND-ALONE story.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Machine-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B06XR6M6GG/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ghost-of-a-machine/id1218969448

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghost-of-a-machine-cynthia-sax/1126040142

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ghost-of-a-machine

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713288

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

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