Home > Taunting Krell (Cyborg Seduction #7)(4)

Taunting Krell (Cyborg Seduction #7)(4)
Author: Laurann Dohner


“You could have made an error.”

She flipped it off. “Just keep your heading. How long until we reach Belta Station?”

“Ten minutes.”

Cyan checked the readings. No ships were within range, a good thing in her mind, but the Markus Models she tracked were smart. Anger stirred. Why she’d been sent on the mission wasn’t a mystery. She’d made an enemy of General Vargus after she’d broken his thumb for grabbing her ass.

“This is a suicide mission if we find them.”

“Response noted.”

“Note this, you hunk of junk.” She kicked the side of the pilot’s station with her boot. “What happened to the signal? You’re supposed to keep tracking it. It was there but now it just disappeared?”

“Affirmative.”

“Maybe those stationers managed to kill all those androids. That would be too tidy, wouldn’t it?”

“Response noted.”

“Have I mentioned I hate when you say that whenever you don’t know how to respond? And don’t say it again. I’m talking to myself so butt out while I have a decent conversation for once.”

The computer remained silent. Cyan rose from her chair, her fingers absently rubbing the weapon strapped to her thigh, and paced the floor. “It’s got to be a trap.”

She paused and reached for one of the cabinets but cursed. “I hate being short.” She had to find something to stand on to reach it, tore it open, withdrew spare energy shots for the gun and shoved them inside a pocket of her pants. “I swear that dickhead assigned me to this shuttle on purpose. He could have let me have the Derik but no. He stuck me on the Blarney where everything is higher. What a prick!”

“Belta Station within docking range. Hailing.” The computer paused. “No response. I read extensive damage. They have hull breaches on two levels.”

“Of course they do. They were attacked by those crazy defense Models that are one circuit short of mass murder.”

“Response noted.”

Cyan screamed in frustration. It made her feel slightly better. She’d had to spend nearly two weeks alone inside the ancient shuttle with only the computer for company. General Vargus wanted her to suffer for embarrassing him in front of his men when she’d openly rejected his advances. The fact that she’d actually broken a bone hadn’t helped. No other soldier had ever been sent on a dangerous solo mission.

“I’m just special,” she snorted. “He’s got no idea.”

“Response noted.”

Her weapon cleared the holster before she realized she’d aimed it at the computer module. Her finger froze over the trigger and she took deep breaths. “Blowing you to pieces may feel good but it would only make my job harder. Stop talking. That’s an order. Silence.”

She planted her butt on the seat, took the controls and did a visual inspection of the large space station that had sent out a distress signal weeks prior. They’d been under heavy attack, had identified the Markus Models as the aggressors, and she’d been sent to investigate.

The station had put up a vicious fight. They’d taken a lot of damage and obviously hadn’t just surrendered. She glanced down.

“Computer? Why aren’t you scanning for life signs?”

“There is too much interference from debris. I’m unable to get accurate findings to display.”

“Great. I guess when I board Belta Station I’ll just hope I don’t run in to any surprises. My birthday is coming up and here I thought I wouldn’t get anything.”

“Response—”

“Noted!” Cyan yelled. “Yeah. Shut up. I am ordering you to stop saying that.”

“I’m unable to follow that order.”

“I hope I run into one of those crazy-ass androids. I’d love to kill something at this point.” She steered the shuttle against one of the undamaged docking doors. She turned off the engines and stood.

“Wish me luck.”

“Good luck.”

Cyan moved quickly through the shuttle. She’d usually have a team of at least eight soldiers under her command to board the station with her. No help waited when she entered the cargo bay. She paused at the door, grabbed one of the masks off the wall, and shoved it over her face. She ignored the tug on her long hair. The general would have a fit if he knew she’d stopped braiding it against her skull. It was against regulation to wear it down while on duty but it was also against regulation to send a soldier on a mission without an armed team to back her up.

One glance at the monitor indicated the pressure on the other side of the door was stable enough to enter the station. One hand gripped her weapon and her other hand keyed in the code to unlock the door. Air hissed when the seal broke and the door popped. She used her foot to kick it open. She wondered if the area of the station she was about to enter had been depressurized since the attack and if her docking had auto-triggered the onboard computer to pressurize the area. It would be a very short trip if that were the case since she’d be contained in a small area before hitting sealed doors.

“I hate old shuttles,” she muttered but knew it had been the only smart thing the general had insisted upon. The Markus androids could remote hack computers. On the older ships everything was pretty much manual and the onboard computer was only voice activated from the same room in which the module had been installed. They traveled through space slower but once in range of the station, they couldn’t be controlled by one of those freaky Markus Models if they’d taken it over.

Destruction and death met her the moment she walked onto the station. Two dead bodies lay decaying on the floor. She curled her lip, grateful for the mask that kept her from smelling what had to be putrid air. Their severe decomposition assured her that this part of the station hadn’t been affected at all by the hull breaches from the attack. Only being exposed to high levels of oxygen could do that to a body in space. She could remove the mask but didn’t do it.

She entered one of the corridors. More bodies were piled up as if someone or something had chased them, shot them in the back, and they’d tripped over the fallen bodies to collapse on top of each other. She counted twelve dead stationers. It was hard to tell if they had been male or female but they were wearing civilian shoes when they’d died. One body looked suspiciously small.

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