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Captured by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol
Sometimes the biggest risk is to one’s heart….
An ex-Cyber Operations field agent, Dale Homme has kissed danger and betrayal more times than he cares to count. Now he runs a clandestine factory beneath the surface of the moon Deceptio, where confidentiality and security matter more than anything. When a beautiful young woman arrives seeking a job, Dale knows within minutes she’s lying. Everything about her is false: her past, the people she claims to know, her reason for being on Deceptio. Illumina Smith? Even her name is an alias.
Logic says send her packing. His gut says she’s in trouble. She needs him. So he’ll do anything to keep her safe….even if it means keeping her captive.
Captured by the Cyborg is third in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series but is written to be read as a stand-alone novella.
Captured by the Cyborg: character sketch
By Cara Bristol
There’s a reason why they call physical attraction “chemistry.” If you put the right two characters together, like mixing two reactive chemical agents, stuff happens. Sparks ignite. Labs blow up. In my new science fiction romance release, Captured by the Cyborg, I paired two individuals who should probably avoid each other, but find they can’t resist one another. Here’s a snapshot of who they are:
Name: Dale Homme
Occupation: owner of a spacecraft remanufacturing factory.
Prior occupation: field operative with Cyber Operations, a covert paramilitary force.
Special abilities: Many. He’s a cyborg, an enhanced human with a microprocessor embedded in his brain. He’s exceptionally strong and muscular.
What’s most important to him: The security of his secret operation beneath the surface of the moon Deceptio.
His greatest strength: His intuition and ability to read people.
What he values most: The truth.
His greatest weakness: He’s a sucker for an underdog. And hair. God, look at her hair!
Alias: Illumina Smith.
Previous occupation and education: Doesn’t matter. It’s all falsified anyway.
Distinguishing characteristic: Waves of silvery blonde hair.
Special abilities: She’s a computer sensate. A computer system doesn’t exist that she can’t hack into.
Why she came to work at Deceptio: She needs a place to hide.
Her greatest weakness: Her employer. A cyborg, with a computer chip in his brain. She can’t get involved with the boss! She can’t!
Captured by the Cyborg Excerpt
(In this scene, hero Dale Homme is interviewing heroine Illumina for a position at his spacecraft manufacturing plant)
“Do you understand how isolated you’ll be if I hire you for this position? You won’t be able to leave the facility until your furlough. You’ll work here—and live in the employee barracks. For months at a time, you won’t see sunlight, hear a bird chirp or an insect sing, or feel the wind on your face. You’ll be stuck with the same people day in and day out—and, by the way, there will be no natural rotation to mark the time. Day and night are controlled by artificial lighting and work schedules. The only visitors to Deceptio are pre-approved buyers or sellers. For security reasons, you won’t be permitted contact with any outsiders, including your family.”
Her lips twitched with a slight smile. “You make it sound so appealing.”
“Many people can’t handle the isolation. We lose a lot of good employees to moon fever.” He opened up a hailing frequency in his cyberbrain and fired off a couple of messages.
“That won’t happen with me, Mr. Homme.”
“They all say that,” he said.
She leaned forward. “I mean it.”
Why would a young woman leave a prestigious, lucrative job to live in an artificial environment beneath the surface of a barren moon? Moonbeam paid as much if not more than Infinity, and offered generous leave, but that was the extent of the perks. For a programmer starting out in her career, Infinity was the better choice.
Which led him to believe she was running from something, rather than to something. “Tell me about your educational background.”
She eased back, but her spine didn’t touch the frame of the chair. “I graduated with honors from TCI.”
“I got that from your CV. What was your favorite class?”
“I was on the computer security track, but I also mastered all the computer languages.” A response, but not the answer to his question.
Ping! Ping! Both his messages came back with replies. He read them while continuing the interview. Multitasking was a cinch for a cyborg. “You must have taken Professor Annabel Harriot’s class. She’s a friend of mine.”
Illumina nodded, her face flashing that luminescence that caused her to glow like a pearl. “I learned so much from her. She’s….tough, but respected.”
“So you think you can handle this job?”
“I’m confident I can.”
“And the isolation?”
“Won’t be a problem.”
“If I were to offer you the position, when could you start?”
“Immediately. I, um, brought my suitcase. I don’t even need to return home.”
Interplanetary hiring laws dictated what an employer could or couldn’t ask a prospective job seeker. Dale knew the rules, but he hadn’t gotten where he was by following them. Cyberoperatives worked outside the law, as did spacecraft chop shop owners, so he had no qualms about asking whatever he needed to gather the necessary info to facilitate his decision. “What species are you exactly?”
“Ter—” She dropped her gaze to her lap, where her hands locked together. She raised her eyes and bit her lip.
“Faria,” she admitted in a low voice.
It was one of the few truths she’d uttered during the entire interview.
Annabel Harriot did not exist; he had made her up. The professor was as fictitious as the qualifications on Illumina’s CV. His contacts at TCI and Infinity had reported they’d never heard of Illumina Smith. To their recollection, she’d never attended the institute or been employed by the AI corporation.
Cara Bristol Bio and Links
Cara Bristol website | New Release Newsletter | Amazon Author page
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