Haunting Blackie Page 2

“I need you.”

She stared into his eyes and cupped his face with one hand. “You have no idea how much I want you too. I’ve never rescued anyone who tempted me more, Handsome. I’ll make you a promise. I’ll meet you when we leave the planet in three weeks. We’ll finish this then. Don’t you dare hook up with anyone else. It’s going to be me and you, okay? We’ll be bunk buddies.”

He was confused and it must have shown.

“Living quarters will be cramped on the ships and I know they’ll assign at least two to a room. I’m going to find you, Handsome. You and I will get to know each other really well.” She leaned forward and brushed her soft lips over his. “That’s my promise to you. Now promise me you won’t lose your heart to one of those upgraded models. You’re mine.”

The experience of that teasing kiss only made him want more. His mouth tingled where she’d touched him and her enjoyable feminine scent filled his nose as he inhaled. He’d agree to anything she asked of him if he could just continue to be close to her. “Yes.”

She shifted on him and reached behind her back. Something sharp pinched his leg, causing him to look down. She’d plunged a syringe into his thigh.

“Sorry. It won’t last long. I don’t want you to fight them when they come up here. They’ll be tracking all movement and know someone went to the roof. You have four objectives now. Take out the pilot. Flee. Find 895589.” She brushed her lips over his again and stared deeply into his frozen gaze. “And don’t lose your heart to anyone but me. I’ll be safe. Remember that. I’ll be seeing you soon, Handsome. Don’t play hero. You can’t beat the odds. They’ll kill you on sight so get the hell out of here and don’t worry about me.”

She climbed off him, dropping the used syringe next to his leg. He couldn’t move to stop her, his body paralyzed by whatever drug she’d injected him with. The woman rushed around the metal box he sat behind. He caught a glimpse of her reflection on a shiny area of another box nearby as she ran to the lift that had brought them to the roof.

The doors opened before she reached it and armed guards rushed out. She paused and put her hands up. “Hello, boys. Would you believe I just wanted to gaze up at the stars? It’s a beautiful night.”

“What have you done?” One of the guards stormed closer to her. “You bitch! Its blood is on you. Where is it?”

“He’s gone,” she taunted. “You just missed the transport but he didn’t.”

He helplessly watched as the guard struck the woman hard with the back of his hand. She went down from the blow, sprawling out of his sight line. The sound would have made him jerk if he’d been able to move.

“You allowed the cyborg to escape?” The guard bent then straightened, pulling the woman up. He gripped her throat, towering over her by half a foot. “I told Cameron to kill you.”

Red smeared her mouth—he knew it was her blood—and rage gripped him. The guard had hurt her. He tried to go to her defense but his body failed to respond.

“You know that’s never going to happen, Mike. Cameron won’t allow me to die until he gets what he wants. Hell hasn’t frozen over yet. You can huff and puff but you can’t blow me away.”

“I can f**king hurt you, at least.”

The guard spun and threw the woman. She hit the wall next to the lift with a sickening thud. Rage gripped him but the injection held him still. He couldn’t see her but was able to watch the guard move toward where she’d disappeared. In seconds he saw her motionless body hefted over the shoulder of the man he silently swore to kill.

They took her into the lift and it closed. Minutes passed and his fingers twitched. He regained the ability to move and stood. Each step was a labored attempt as he tried to go after the woman to save her. The lift refused to open for him no matter how many buttons he pushed. Frustration rose but the sound of an approaching engine caught his attention.

A light in the sky drew closer and he moved, hiding again. A big vehicle touched down inside the red circle and the engines died. The pilot climbed out but took time to grab some kind of case from the interior.

Indecision warred within him. Flee or go after the woman? He inched along the wall, staying in the shadows, feeling every injury now that his focus wasn’t on sex. He was weak and the shot she’d used to paralyze him made his limbs heavy.

You have four objectives, her voice echoed inside his mind. Take out the pilot. Flee. Find 895589. And don’t lose your heart to anyone but me. She’d said they wouldn’t kill her. Don’t be a hero. He focused solely on her instructions and acted before he changed his mind.

He moved slower than he intended but the pilot seemed distracted, playing with the zipper of his flight suit instead of watching where he walked. The man must have sensed him or perhaps seen something out of the corner of his eye because his head turned. One hand reached for the weapon strapped to his right hip.

The human’s eyes widened for a split second when he squeezed the pilot’s throat. This time there was no hesitation. He tightened his fingers as he lifted his opponent, who tried to free his gun from its holster. One violent twist and bone snapped. He dropped the dead man at his feet, stepped over the corpse and limped to the vehicle.

You know how to fly it. Trust your instincts if your mind is fuzzy. The woman’s words repeated inside his mind as if she whispered them into his ear.

Familiarity tugged at his subconscious when he climbed inside, closed the door, and the dash automatically lit when it registered the presence of a pilot. His fingers moved before he gave it thought, flipping switches. It was sobering when he realized he knew what to do but had no memory of ever being inside a vehicle like the one he now commanded. The engines came to life and he flew high above the roof, his hands on the controls.

Link to it and it will tell you where to go. You have active receptors that make it possible for your mind to talk to computers.

He examined the rounded hub near the ceiling where he assumed the main access to the onboard computer would be, focused on it, and a strange tingling began at the back of his head.


It wasn’t audible but he heard the computerized voice inside his mind. Locate 895589. He thought it instead of speaking the words.

Images flashed through his brain and he knew where to go. His hands controlled the shuttle as he sped higher into the sky and away from where he’d been held prisoner. The woman’s features lingered in his mind.

* * * * *

He knew he’d reached his location. The buildings were old and no sign of life could be seen from the windows as he landed the craft directly in front of the largest structure. Streetlights were on as he peered around but most of them had been damaged. It was dark, there were tons of places someone could hide, but he remained there with the engine running. He wasn’t sure what to do.

Locate 895589, he commanded the computer.

He is here, it responded. Shut down the engines and walk inside. He waits.

Call signal 895589 was an individual. That surprised him. He’d thought it was a place. He followed instructions, shut down the engines, climbed out and approached the building cautiously.

The door opened before he reached it and he paused, alert. He fisted his hands, ready to fight if need be. A tall man stepped out into the dim light and surprise reverberated through him. He stared at the male, glanced down at his arms, before looking back up.

“That’s right,” the deep voice stated, “we’re both cyborgs.” He tilted his head. “You’re damaged. Come inside. They have air drones that fly over this area every hour.” The cyborg motioned with a hand. “Fleet, get rid of that transport before they realize it’s gone and begin tracking it. The scrambling program will only work for so long before they are able to lock on.”

Another gray-skinned cyborg, wearing all black, stepped out of the darkness, barely spared him a glance, then jogged to the parked shuttle. The engine came on before he reached it.

“I am called Freedom. It’s what I give. What are you called?”

He paused, thinking. “I don’t know.”

“You’re black and blue with bruising. For now we’ll call you Blackie. It fits with your injuries and your hair color. Come inside quickly. You are safe.”

The name didn’t matter. “I thought you were 895589.”

“It’s a code we put together for this mission. Come with me now.”

He followed the other cyborg inside and the second the door closed the dark interior changed as lights began to snap on overhead. He stared at the dozens of other gray-skinned individuals. A few were female but mostly they were male. Cots were neatly placed along one wall where they obviously slept. They silently watched him.

“This is one of many safe houses, or in this case it is an abandoned warehouse. These are others who have been rescued, as you were.” Freedom studied him. “We’ll get you clothes and medical attention. You’ll feel better when you’ve rested. We shouldn’t be here too long. We move often to avoid detection. The countdown ends in twenty-two days.”

“What countdown?”

“We are escaping Earth.”


A woman approached. “They did a number on you. I have the ability to download information. Prepare.”

Images were thrust inside his mind. He staggered as they assaulted him. He saw cyborgs such as himself being killed by the dozens. They had been created by Earth Government for the military, to function as expendable soldiers and to work dangerous jobs. A female cyborg was surrounded by seven pale-skinned human men. They attacked her and tore at her clothes. She fought back, killing two before one of them drew a weapon. She died after being struck by explosive bullets, big holes tearing apart her chest.

Someone grabbed him around his waist to hold him up.

“Enough, Jazel. He’s weakened,” Freedom ordered. “You know better than to force a link. It’s a form of assault. Don’t do it again.”

“I apologize. He asked why.” The horrible image of the dead cyborg female faded instantly as he opened his eyes to stare at the one who had put it there. “That is why we must leave Earth.” She blinked at him. “They plan to kill all of us.”

“Damn it, Jazel.” Freedom shook his head. “You could have just told him that Earth Government has ordered our mass destruction and we have decided to live. Turn off your emotions until you learn better control.”

The woman backed away, dropped her chin, before returning to the group. “He needs information, not coddling.”

“I’m sorry,” Freedom rasped. “She’s angry. We all are. We have inside help from some humans who are freeing cyborgs when they are able. You will begin remembering more once you’re stronger. They auto-load us with information during our growth periods.”

Blackie managed to regain his footing once he caught his breath. “The guards attacked the woman who helped me escape. We need to go back and rescue her.”

“Hellfire is fine. They won’t kill her. You aren’t the first she’s led to safety and you won’t be the last.”


“That’s her code name. She will plan her own escape before the countdown has ended. She will be fine and join us when we flee Earth.”

“She’s not a cyborg.”

Freedom chuckled. “She saved your life. That’s all you should be concerned about.” He released Blackie. “Have a seat on one of the bunks without bedding. We’ll get you tended to.”

Chapter One

The present

Blackie sat up sharply in his bunk and smacked his head on metal. “Fuck!”

The cot above his squeaked and Gene’s head appeared upside down to his left. “I bet you won’t do that again.”

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