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ISBN-10: 1-77115-094-7
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 165 Pages
Published: April 2013

Total Readers: 3

From inside the flap

Another day, another pile of junk littering the workshop; thatís my life aboard the Destiny. Iím Emily, the designated fix-it chick. Wouldnít be such a bad job if the crew would stop ogling me. Especially Commander Black, who just canít get it through his head that weíre no longer together. Thatís what I get being the only woman on this third-class space barge. Unless of course you count the wardroid, Thirty-two Eighty. Though a soldier drone refitted to be a sex slave isnít exactly good company. The worst part is that I canít remember my past, though the thought of it fills me with fear. Then, in the middle of the night, the wardroid grabs me and takes me to a dangerous planet, a war-torn world where no human in her right mind would ever go: Earth.

Wardroids (Excerpt)


Thirty two-Eighty

My jetpack propels me forward through an empty stretch of space, the distant stars muted by Jupiterís orange glow. The gas giant encompasses the better part of the sky, casting its light on everything and giving my normally pale skin a tangerine hue.

I rely mostly on inertia now, though the planetís gravity gently tugs me off course, away from the promethium-rich cluster of asteroids where I will touch down.

As I approach the largest of the porous rocks, I use my thrusters more and more, guiding my way. I clip the large drill off my belt, preparing to work as soon as I land.

Without warning, myleft manoeuvering thruster fails.

I compensate with my right.

In a wild centrifuge-like spin, I plummet toward the asteroid.

The stars streak by my vision.

The promethium drill threatens to slip from my grasp. The experience would be enough to disorient a human.

But I am not human.

I hit the asteroid with enough force to tear loose the soft nano-skin on my arm, revealing a silvery musculature and skeleton beneath. Only the helmet-part of the space suit I must wear to access instrumentation-shields the fibre optics in my brain from damage.

The instruments on my helmet light up, detecting the presence of promethium, along with some explosive gases the computer classifies as dangerous.

I activate the drill and its laser blasts into the rock.

The third-class mining ship Destiny, which resembles an ancient cinderblock, hovers at a safe distance. No unnecessary damage will befall the vessel should I cause an explosion.

Using the computer in my helmet as a guide, I drill through to the promethium. I can now see the metalís phosphorescent glow visible under the surface.

The drill becomes sluggish as the battery dies, so I let the energy from my body flow through my arm into the device, a feature that was originally designed to power weapons instead of tools. I donít want to have to return to the ship before my task is complete.

An alarm sounds in my ears as the drill comes dangerously close to hitting a pocket of gas. I ignore it, continuing to release the promethium. I must finish my task quickly, or I will miss my meeting with the Prototype. Just a few more cuts left, then the Destinyís grappling arm can pull the deposit into the cargo chamber.

The alarm sounds again, too late. I see a bright flash as I am flung skyward. This time my helmet cannot protect me.

Commander Adam Black

A locker room wouldíve been nice, or even a bench to sit on as Iím trying to stuff myself into this puffy jumpsuit, made to fit someone two inches shorter. Instead Iím jumping around in this echoing metal hallway, trying to pull eighty pounds of padding over my knees.

The wardroid has blown herself up six times since she came aboard a year ago. Sheís boosted morale, though, partly because she does all the dangerous work, but mostly because sheís one of the refitted models. She looks almost like a human woman and can fuck even better.

I finally get my legs in the space pants when I notice Boris Neptuniczny standing there. Heís built like me, broad shoulders, tree-trunk legs, but heís a couple of inches shorter. The suit would fit him fine. "Yes?" I ask.

"Oh, donít mind me, Commander," he says. "Iím just enjoying watching you."

My toes are all scrunched in these goddamned space boots and Iím really not in the mood. "You have a report for me or something?" Boris is in charge of internal control, kind of like a cop only without the authority and respect. Anything happens on this ship, he writes a report about it and gives it to me. Usually theyíre pretty good for a laugh.

"Nah, nothing," Boris says. "Just hoping you and me could cut out early and hit the lounge."

"Sure," I say.


"No not really! The goddamned wardroid blew herself up again and I have to dress up like a marshmallow and go pick up the pieces."

"Youíre the Commander. Get someone else to do it."

I hand him the suitís helmet. "Here, go nuts," I tell him.

"I didnít mean me," Boris says as he pushes the helmet away. "I meant whoeverís manning the grappler."

"Wallace," I say, shoving my right arm into its puffy gloved sleeve.

"And he wouldnít do it?" he asks. "Typical. You should fire that guy."

"Because he wouldnít risk his ass for a glorified sex toy? Well, I just asked you to do it, so by that logic I should fire you."

"Not my department." Boris shakes his head. "But the guy working the grappling arm is also the spotter for the drill man. Thatís the way it always worked when there was a human doing the job."

"I know that. Iíve worked this barge longer than you. This is different." I try to pull my other arm into the suit, but with my right hand gloved itís next to impossible. Truth is, I didnít even ask Wallace to put on the space suit. The last man who worked the drill got killed, the main reason we got the droid. I couldnít send someone else out there after that.

Boris grins. "I think youíre doing it for the fix-it chick."

Emily Reid. As soon as he mentions her, I have an image in my mind of her soft pale skin, freckled from head to toe, and her fire-coloured curls falling around her breasts. She does most of the maintenance work around here, so Iíll have to take the wardroid to her workshop to get it fixed. An excuse to go see her, sure, but what good would it do when she hates my guts? I still canít figure out what I did. One minute Iím the man, making love to this beautiful woman whenever I like, the next minute she shits on my heart and the whole crew knows it.

Suddenly, I could really use a drink. "Iíll meet you in the lounge when Iím done here," I tell Boris. Boris helps me yank the suit on the rest of the way and clicks the helmet in place. He says something that he clearly thinks is hilarious, but I canít hear now that my headís in a fishbowl.