Home > Taunting Krell (Cyborg Seduction #7)(3)

Taunting Krell (Cyborg Seduction #7)(3)
Author: Laurann Dohner

She barely took note when large groups of cyborgs rushed out onto the tarmacs to fill the shuttles. She didn’t have time to appreciate that wonderful sight. Someone tried to hack into the system to lock her out.

“Shit.” They know I’m here but it doesn’t matter. She pushed back her thoughts, concentrating instead on preventing them from gaining control. They’d try to access the automatic weapons. No way would she allow that to happen. “You’re good, fellow hacker,” she muttered. “But I’m better.”

A popping noise sounded behind her, someone blowing the lock she’d sealed, and the door to her office suddenly opened hard enough to slam loudly into the wall. Her gaze flickered to the monitor that revealed the camera feed trained behind her back. Two security officers rushed inside.

“Stop what you’re doing,” one of them demanded. “Turn off your computers.”

She ignored them, initiating a reboot of the system that would keep everyone, including her, from being able to use the auto systems for at least three minutes to give the cyborgs more time and ordered it to launch before a loud noise gave her a start.

Red splattered her main screen. She stared at it, uncomprehending for two blinks of her eyes. Blood. Her chin lowered until she could see her chest. Bright, wet red soaked her shirt, ran into her lap, and she licked her lips.

“You shot me.”

A rough hand grabbed her shoulder and her body was thrown from her chair to the floor. Pain, as much as the shock from what they’d done, nearly made her pass out. They really shot me. She opened her eyes and glanced at her monitors. She couldn’t see all of them but caught enough of one to see it scrolling codes. A smile curved her lips. She’d triggered the reboot of the system. The hacker would be locked out.

“Did you stop her?” a loud voice boomed. “Fuck! You shot her? Shit! Get a medic. What the hell were you thinking? I told you to stop her, not kill her. Goddamn it! Move! Get a medic! We can’t let her die. Her father will have our asses.”

Craig Summers, the head of security, dropped to his knees next to Emily. His big hand gripped her jaw to force her to peer up at him. “Why did you do it? Goddamn it, Emily. Your father is going to go insane when he finds out you helped them escape. I knew it had to be you. No one else can break through our security measures.”

Breathing hurt. She dragged in air, found it tough to do and understood the bullet must have pierced a lung when the taste of blood filled her mouth. She cleared her throat.

“Did they get all the shuttles away?”

Anger, and finally sadness, filled the older man’s pale-green eyes. She’d known Craig most of her life. He and her father were friends. “Yeah, baby. They did. Not that it’s going to help them. When they reach space the ships up there are going to blow them to kingdom come.”

She chuckled, coughed, and choked on blood. “No.”

His hand tightened on her face. “You made sure of that, didn’t you? What were you thinking? They are dangerous. They are going to attack Earth, kill us all, and you made it possible.”

“Emily!” her father’s panicked voice yelled. “Oh my God. What did you do?”

Craig released her, moved out of the way and rose to his feet. “I didn’t shoot her, Edward. I swear. Two of the guys did it. I’m so sorry. It’s terminal.”

Her eyes closed. She choked on blood, knew she wasn’t going to survive, but the cyborgs had made it off the surface. A sense of peace filled her. She’d finally done one wonderful, meaningful thing with the short life she’d been given.

* * * * *

“Stay with me, Emily Rose,” a familiar voice demanded.

Her eyes opened and she stared in confusion at her father’s face inches above her own. He looked haggard, his normally neat white hair messed up as if he’d teased it, and she realized they were inside his lab when she took note of the ceiling above his head. It confused her to still be alive. She knew she’d been shot. With her sick, weakened body, it shouldn’t be possible for her to have made it from the floor of her office to his lab two buildings away.

“Hurry up,” he yelled at someone, turning his face away. “We’re losing her again. I don’t know if I can revive her a third time.”

“This isn’t going to work,” a female voice sobbed, one Emily recognized as her father’s longtime assistant, Bella. “Her heart is damaged, both lungs, and I think we fractured her spine when we just scooped her up and ran with her, Eddie.”

“It can work.” Her father’s voice broke and he leaned over her. “Stay with me. Just a few minutes more, sweetie. I’ve been working on a project for the past three years just for you. I knew your body would fail eventually and I don’t want to lose you.”

“Damn it, this is insane. It’s just a theory that it could work, not something we’ve ever tried, and we’re not gods. We thought we had more time before she’d start to die. We’re not ready!” The male voice hissed the warning.

“She’s out of time.” Her father ran his fingers through her hair to rub her scalp. His tears dampened her face where they fell on her cheeks. “We’ve got nothing to lose at this point. We can work the kinks out later but we need to save her first. Just do it. Is the prototype ready?”

Doctor Percy Olson, her father’s longtime friend and research assistant, suddenly hovered over Emily. He met her gaze and she saw fear on his aged features, regret. “Yeah. It’s out. This is going to hurt her a lot.”

“Do it,” her father sobbed. “She’s lost to us for certain if we don’t try.”

She’d grown up with Percy. He was like an uncle to her. His daughter happened to be her best friend. She saw tears swim in his eyes before he looked away. Something hot and agonizing pieced her skull.

She screamed and fell into nothingness.



Chapter One

Present time, decades later


“Systems check,” Cyan ordered the computer.

“Everything is fine,” it responded.

Frustration rose. “Then why aren’t you responding the way you should?”

“Perhaps it is an operator failure on your end.”

“Damn hunk of junk,” she muttered under her breath. “I’m fine.”

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