Home > Taunting Krell (Cyborg Seduction #7)(6)

Taunting Krell (Cyborg Seduction #7)(6)
Author: Laurann Dohner


The body jerked and smoke rose. The report of her weapon sounded unusually loud inside the otherwise silent control room. She watched as the eyes turned white, the mouth dropped open, and it totally ceased functioning.

“Oh, just for shits and giggles.” She fired one more energy shot into the thing. “Better to be safe than sorry. I hope you keep burning in computer hell for killing all those people.”

Cyan walked over to the monitoring station that still appeared operational while she holstered her weapons. She paused but then frowned. Two docking doors registered in use. The Blarney accounted for one. The survivor would have used the same door to flee if another ship had been docked when the attack happened.

The color drained from her face at the implication. “Computer, emergency response,” she whispered to override most of its protocols. “State the times when the docking locations were activated.”

The computer responded. “Twenty-three minutes and forty seconds.” It paused. “Ten minutes and nineteen seconds.”

Cyan spun, her weapons clearing their holsters, gripped in each hand, and her heart raced. Someone had docked after she had. She wasn’t alone on the station anymore. She swallowed hard. She’d found one Markus, which meant at least seven more androids were unaccounted for. She had a really bad feeling that she’d just found them or worse, they’d found her.

“Either way, I’m so screwed,” she whispered. She needed to return to her shuttle if they hadn’t already entered it. She cursed the age of the Blarney again. No way would she be able to outrun one of the newer shuttles the androids had stolen when they’d fled Earth. She rubbed her leg, the energy shots a bumpy mass inside her pocket, to assure herself she wouldn’t run out if it came down to a battle. Dread twisted inside her belly, knowing she’d have to retrace her steps to reach her shuttle.

She eased into the main hall, kept close to the wall, and her gaze darted around, watching for any sign of movement. She inspected each body on the floor before she passed it. She didn’t want one to rise up—an android using the dead to fool her—and continued to head for the section her shuttle had docked to. Hope flared that she might make it out of this mess alive.

She reached the final corridor and glanced around the corner where her shuttle awaited. One look made her teeth clench. The door to her shuttle was closed. She’d left it open.

Screwed, she mouthed silently.

Scenarios formed inside her mind. They were either waiting on her shuttle to kill her there or they’d sealed it from the outside to trap her when she tried to enter. She glanced behind her to make sure nothing sneaked up. The corridor remained clear of movement.

She took deep breaths, hated the way her mask fogged under her nose, and knew she had to do something. She peeked around the corner again. Large crates were stacked near the far wall. They could be hiding behind them.

She glanced back and knew she was trapped either way. They could come at her from both directions if they’d split up. She decided to do something nuts. It might work. She knew they’d tried to negotiate with Earth Government to have their line of android Models released. They called each other brothers, as if that made them more real.

“Earth Government sent me,” she called out loudly. “We want to negotiate.”

Silence greeted that statement. “I’m their ambassador,” she lied. “That’s why I came alone if you checked my shuttle. I’m here to talk about settling our differences peacefully.” She paused, trying to think up something they might want to hear. General Vargus would have a heart attack if he knew she’d stated this bullshit but he’d sent her on the mission alone. She wanted to save her own ass since he’d been determined to get her killed. “I have the authority to make a deal with you.”

They didn’t respond. So much for that plan. It was crazy, she admitted.

“Throw down your weapons,” a deep male voice commanded. “We will negotiate.”

She hesitated. “Okay. I’m just a woman. That’s why they sent me. I’m only five foot three.” For once it seemed a good thing she’d ended up so short. “I’m no threat,” she lied.

It hurt her to toss her weapons. Both of them slid on the metal floor before she took a deep breath, blew it out and lifted her hands over her head. She made sure they could see her palms and spread fingers. She stepped out slowly, her gaze darting around the docking bay.

Two of them stood from behind the crates and the door to her shuttle opened. They’d been waiting in both places. She didn’t even flinch when she heard boots strike the floor behind her. They’d even managed to creep up behind her. She’d had no chance whatsoever. She did frown as she stared at the full pressure suits they wore that shielded their faces with reflective glass. Markus Models wouldn’t need space suits yet they wore them.

One of the men approached her and she knew she paled when she got a bead on his height. He wasn’t just a hair under six feet tall the way Markus Models had been designed. He had to be six foot three, at least. She lowered her attention to his feet, hoping for a platform heel under his boots, but they seemed standard. She jerked her gaze to the tinted, mirrored shield covering his features. She saw her reflection staring back at her.

“Wow. I look pale, don’t I?” She knew the humor would be lost on whoever they were but they weren’t her missing Markus Models. She wasn’t sure how much trouble she’d just landed in but whoever they were, it boded well for her. She could fight pirates hand to hand. “And this mask isn’t too attractive, is it?”

The suited-up male stopped just short of walking into her. “You’re from Earth Government?”

“Yes.”

She’d already stated that and her assumption they were pirates grew. The uniform she wore should have told him she was a soldier if he was familiar with Earth. Most pirates had left the planet decades before to live on ships that leaked radiation and made them breathe stale recycled air. It mutated them in a matter of years. Insanity also ravaged their kind. She decided to speak slower since the guy had asked her what she’d already told them. His memory obviously wasn’t good.

“You came to negotiate with us?”

“Sure.” She forced a smile. Her clear mask showed her every facial expression and gave her a bit of a blurry view of what was going on behind her. She envied him the mirrored shield. “That’s what I said. What are your demands? Do you want a puppy?”

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