Mid Week Tease: Degree of Resistance #MidWeekTease #MWTease
Hello, folks, and welcome to Mid Week Tease hosted by Angelica Dawson! So, Degree of Resistance (Pacifica Rising 1), is now out and available for purchase. Today’s scene is where Evie first sees the graphic evidence of what the Pacifica Protectorate did to Ben. Next week we’re back to sexytimes, I promise.
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
A perfect society hiding a terrible secret. A betrayed man forced into mindless slavery. A woman willing to break all the rules to set him free.
Freelance tech Evie Contreras is part of the Employee class of the Pacifica Protectorate, the “perfect society” that rose on the West Coast after the breakup of the United States. But Evie knows all about Pacifica’s festering core and the secrets that keep it in power. And when she discovers that her fiancé has been turned into a cyborg slave by a sadistic protectorate officer, she will risk everything to rescue him.
The nurse pointed down the hallway. “Go down, turn left at the nurse’s station, then left again at the restrooms. It’s behind the big blue security doors—you can’t miss it.”
“Thanks.” She followed the directions to the doors that were marked “ICU—authorized medical personnel only.” If they were locked and controlled by Lilith, would the AI let her through? And even if she got through the doors, someone might challenge her.
Act like you belong. That was easy enough; she was already wearing scrubs. For added verisimilitude she grabbed a pile of sheets from a small cart as a prop, plopping the tablet on top. Taking a breath, she pushed at one of the doors. It opened and she stepped through.
A short hallway beyond ended at a circular nurse’s station manned by a handsome and clearly bored man in surgical blue scrubs. His curly black hair had been cut short, and he needed a shave judging by the heavy five o’clock shadow, but his eyes lit up when he saw her.
“Hel-lo,” he said in a drawled British accent. “Did someone finally hear my plea for more help?”
“That’s what I was told,” Evie said. “I’m Ally. Where do you need me?”
“Oh, my.” The man gave her a slow up and down that was too deliberately over the top to be offensive. “Don’t ask me questions like that, love. I’m still on call for two more hours.”
She snorted, glancing at the whiteboard propped up on the station’s counter. It had to be a list of patient rooms. “I bet you say that to all the staff members.”
“Only the ones who’ve stolen my heart.” He plunked his hand over his breastbone. “Promise me I’ll see you later, Ally. It may be the only thing that gets me through this deathly dull shift.”
This one was a charmer, which made things easier and harder at the same time. Easier because he’d let her slide past. Harder because he’d undoubtedly check out her ass as she walked away. “No promises—”
“Samir. Dr. Samir Haddad.” Something on his console beeped and he grimaced. “Damn. Duty calls, love. I’ll catch you later?”
“You can try.” Giving him a smile, she walked around the station, resisting the urge to hurry.
The nurse’s station sat at the crosspoint of four corridors like a bull’s eye. Luck and left-to-right reading habits were with her and B corridor was immediately opposite. She headed down there, counting rooms until she came to B4.
The board had Drake, B printed neatly next to the B4 slot. Licking dry lips, she grabbed the door handle. The worst they would do was kick her out, maybe yell at her for coming in without authorization, right? She’d take that if she could just see him for a minute, make sure he was all right, maybe even talk to him.
She opened the door, ready to smile.
Her mind couldn’t comprehend the form that was on the hospital bed. It was as if someone had made a lifelike mannequin of Ben, then removed both arms and everything below the middle of its chest. The holes in the trunk and arms had been sealed neatly with some sort of gelatinous caps, and a variety of tubes and wires ran from them to a combination of equipment arranged around the bed. Some of it she recognized from her own work, like the rounded white med droid with the spidery arms that stood in the corner. The rest appeared to be high-tech hospital equipment, all of it keeping what was on the bed alive.
She’d known intellectually what a cyborg was. Artificial arms, legs, internal organs; she could accept that. She thought she could accept that. But this was something that bypassed rational thought and went straight to the primitive brain, terrifying it.
She gasped a little when he opened his eyes. “Ben?” It was a whispered prayer.
But he heard her. Those grey-blue eyes opened, blinking a few times before he could focus on her. It broke her heart when he smiled. “Evie?”
Go to him. Touch him, tell him it’s going to be all right.
She couldn’t move.
His smile faded. He glanced down, craning his neck. His eyes went wide, filling with horror. “No. Oh, God, no!”
She choked back a sob, shaking her head.
Fierce color flooded his face. The horror disappeared, replaced by incandescent fury. “Get out!” he shouted, raising his head off the bed far enough to jostle some of the wires and tubes. Somewhere an alarm began to bleep. “Goddamn you, Evie, don’t look at me! Get out!”
She wanted to. She didn’t want to see any of this. Screwing her eyes shut, she fumbled for the door handle behind her.
There it was. She stepped backwards, away from the raging half-man screaming at her from the bed.
And backed into someone. When she turned, Samir glowered down at her. “I think we need to have a chat, Ally.”
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Posted on March 1, 2017, in Degree of Resistance, Mid Week Tease and tagged cyborg, Degree of Resistance, Mid Week Tease, nicola cameron, post-apocalyptic, romance, science fiction. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.