Parting the fronds, he peered into a clearing.
A Faria lay motionless on the ground, her silvery wings torn and bloodied, one bent at an unnatural angle. Her clothing hung in shreds on her battered body. Deep wounds crisscrossed her arms, legs, and abdomen. She looked broken.
Don’t be dead.
Guy had rescued many people—but had lost even more. Some he hadn’t been able to get to in time; others were alive, but later succumbed. Though intellectually he knew saving everyone was outside his control, each death scarred him. For the ones lost, he fought harder to save the ones he could. He sensed losing this little Faria would be the greatest loss of all.
He cocked an ear for the Ka-Tȇ then, hearing nothing, sprinted into the clearing. A shimmer revealed an electro-cage surrounded the Faria, the force field beamed from a half-buried unit. To his knowledge, the Ka-Tȇ didn’t have the technology to create a containment field—but Quasar did. Pressing his lips together, Guy fired his blaster at a molehill-sized mound. The energy field collapsed with a crackle.
Silvery, luminous skin had dulled to gray. Gaping wounds had bled into the dirt, darkening the soil around the Faria. There was no telling how much blood she’d lost. He cursed himself for not bringing an emergency medi-kit. Pressing his fingers to her throat, he sought a pulse. Too faint, but there.
He tucked his blaster into the holster so he could ease an arm under her shoulders. She moaned in pain.
“I know, sweetheart. I’m going to get you out of here,” he murmured. He hoped he wasn’t too late. When he started to lift her, her eyes flew open. She cried out and jerked, her good wing spasming. “Hey, hey, it’s okay,” he murmured. “My name is Guy. I’m here to help. What’s your name, sweetheart?”
The fear in her eyes muted. “So-Solia,” she answered. Silvery tears welled. “R-Rachel never gave up hope we’d be rescued until the end. B-but then she did…”
“There’s someone else here?” Had the computer missed one? Unusual, but possible, considering the density of the vegetation. He’d take Solia to the ship and then come back for the other survivor.
She shook her head. “No, they’re all dead. The Ka-Tȇ killed them, except for Rachel. She took her own life.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, recognizing her need to process the horrors she’d witnessed. “I wish we had time to talk, but we don’t. I’m going to carry you so we can move fast and get out of here. Okay?”
As he moved to scoop her up, the hair on his nape prickled. He whipped around. A Ka-Tȇ sprang at him out of nowhere like it had been catapulted.
Rescued by the Cyborg blurb
A cyborg with haunted past, a woman with a clouded future…
Battered and broken, hostage and sole survivor Solia waits for death at the hands of vicious predatory aliens when Cy-Ops agent Guy Roarke disobeys orders, charges in, and rescues her. A former medic, he initiates emergency medical procedures before rushing her to Cybermed, in hopes of saving her wing so she can fly again. He’s taken with the delicate, brave Faria, but his best intentions result in unfortunate consequences that place her in greater jeopardy. Can he overcome the guilt of past mistakes in time to save her life?
Available for preorder from your favorite online bookseller: https://books2read.com/u/3k0d8g
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Rescued by the Cyborg was originally published in the anthology Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2. It is being re-released as a single title novella. Rescued by the Cyborg is Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 5.5 and fits between book 5 (Claimed by the Cyborg) and book 6 (Hunted by the Cyborg). However, all the series books are standalones with an HEA and no cliffhangers. You can read them in any order.