Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Erotic Romance, #Paranormal, #Shapeshifter, #Science Ficton Opera
Shiver is perfect, Gaze is new to vision and there is nothing wrong with what she sees when she gets him out of his armour.
Gaze has recently discovered the joy of vision and the scientists gave her every type that they could think of. She is partnered with the
and together, they retrieve Guardians in diplomatic service and drop them at their next destination.
Shiver is a multi-shifter who knows his ideal woman when he sees her. Too bad she has no idea what he truly is or has she seen straight through his disguise and his armour.
is a perky and helpful ship with her mind on getting her pilot a mate and keeping him in good working order. Work. Work. Work.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 Viola Grace
Cover art by Martine Jardin
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A Terran Times Tale
Gwyn Gwendolyn stood at attention in the conference chamber. She was acting as world-to-world transport for the Guardian Naturan. He was convinced that everyone needed to eat nothing but vegetation and live a life of harmony.
To Gwyn, he was nothing but a pain in the ass.
She idly flicked her vision with every blink. Her eyes were her favourite part of the adjustments that the Nyal Imperium made. The world was full of colours and textures that she had never imagined before they had taken her out of the darkness and brought her the light.
After creating the optic connection that nature had not provided her with, the researchers had wired in heat vision, night vision, weapon sensing and a life watch. As she blinked, she could literally switch from regular to exotic sight.
As for her regular sight, it had been amusing that after a lifetime of being useless and dark, she was near-sighted. All those implants and she still needed Lasik surgery.
It was perverse that one of her first sights was the red and yellow of the laser across her eyes, correcting the shape of her lens and making the rest of the enhanced vision adjustments work like they were supposed to.
Naturan finished his lecture about sustainable green environments, and the representatives from local worlds looked at each other. One raised their hand. “What if we cannot afford to reduce our production? My people are supplying grain for worlds that are on the fine edge of starvation. Should we embrace your new methods to repair our world in the short term and kill them?”
Gwyn started walking, putting her Gaze expression on her face. She was putting her hand on the door when Naturan turned the seminar into a mob.
Naturan lifted his face. “True harmony with nature has no price.”
The crowd started to move, so Gaze headed through the door, trotting toward her ship. The
had told her that this was a bad idea, but they had to obey orders.
Gaze grabbed a public-use skimmer and used her security override to lift it twenty feet above regular traffic as she made a beeline for the star port and her patient ship.
Naturan was on his own. He had made no secret of his consideration of her as an abomination of science and a perversion of the natural order. He could take the beating they were going to hand out, and she would get him to his next destination.
Whistling to herself, she landed the skimmer next to the security desk, ran through the departure regulations and headed for her glowing blue and silver darling.
The door opened and a stairway extended. She patted the ship as she entered. “Afternoon, baby.”
The ship retracted the stairs and locked the door behind her.
Calmly, Gaze headed up to the command deck and took her throne, patching into the security cameras. Naturan was running for the spaceport, his clothing was torn, his eye was bleeding and he was clutching one arm while a mob surged after him.
“Huh, he is a nimble little minx.” Gaze admired how light on his feet the odious Guardian was.
“This is Gaze to Dispatch.” She waited.
“Dispatch, go ahead Gaze. How is Naturan?”
“Running from an angry mob. Should I intervene?” Gaze added. “He has been injured.”
Nitza cleared her throat. “Protocol dictates that you cannot leave the spaceport once you have begun takeoff procedures, so we are going to abide by the rules. I am sure he would be delighted that you were law abiding. However, prepare to lift off the moment he is inside.”
“Understood. Where am I taking him?”
Nitza rapidly entered information. “The med centre on Orbital Wenya, and Gaze, I am so sorry you got stuck with this ass.”
“Thanks, Dispatch. I am hoping that my next transport assignment will be more entertaining and less of a pain in my implants.”
“I have an interesting one for you next. He’s a Nishan shapeshifter and has recently joined our ranks. Shiver is his name, and I will send you the pickup coordinates.”
“Dossier as well?”
“Of course. You will get a complete upload of everything we know about him. He is acting as ambassador for the Guardians and attempting to get strategic worlds to accept them and set up an outpost.”
“Nice. Oh, I have to go. Naturan made it to the shuttle.” She grinned as she disconnected the call and sent the signal for the
to open the door and lower the stairs.
Naturan stumbled onto her decks, and she filed for flight clearance while sealing the ship. Just for good measure, she electrified the surface of the shuttle in case one of the pursuing crowd decided to strike at her baby.
made his way up to the command deck. “Where were you?”
“What do you mean?” Clearance came through and she started to lift off.
“You were supposed to protect me!”
She laughed and looked at him through her lashes. “No, I am supposed to transport you. You were the moron who decided that since I am a cyborg, I am built for battle. Surprise. I am not. I saw you preparing to insult the gathering of farmers and supply coordinators, and I went to get the ship ready for your escape.”
“You knew how they would react, and you still let me go in?”
He was bristling with energy, and she was pretty sure that if she had been in
sister ship, the
, stuff would be blooming everywhere and vines would be trying to kill her. It was Naturan’s only power. He could make plant life aggressive.
She kept her gaze passive but looked directly at him. She used the optic zoom that every device back on earth had built in. When they had asked her if there were any features that she wanted, she had opted for the optic zoom. Now that she could see, she knew what the fuss was all about. She could see right into his pores.
“Stop staring at me, freak!” He snarled and lunged for her.
The ship wasn’t having any of that. The
cut the gravity.
Naturan clutched at the command chair and missed. He floated loose, tumbling end over end.
Gaze snorted. “I hope you had a light lunch, because the
has decided that you are going without gravity until we get to the station and drop you off.”
Naturan gripped the ceiling and pivoted around. “You are supposed to be my transport.”
“Change of plans. I only transport Guardians in good standing. You now have a price on your head and are being moved to a safe world where you can patrol the peas and trees to your heart’s content.”
“You can’t do this to me.”
“I am not doing it. The
is doing it; I am simply not requesting that she stop. Plant life is not the only sort of life worth preserving. Intelligent life is all around you and worthy of respect if you just get your head out of your ass.” She hummed and sent a jet of oxygen through the centre of the command deck, blowing him along the wall and back toward the staircase. She got a silent update from Nitza about destination and sighed with relief.
“I can’t spend the trip like this, Gaze! Put me down!”
“Gravity will return when you have locked yourself in your quarters. The moment you are in, we will route power to the food and beverage station. You will be able to live comfortably and file all the complaints with my dispatcher and the Nyal Imperium that you wish. I will be getting you to Cahroosikan Station. They are expecting you.”
He muttered as he pulled himself along the walls and down the staircase.
Gaze smirked. She was firmly attached to her ship and strapped down by means of the implants that linked her to her ship. Gravity didn’t mean much when you were already tied down, and since she has suggested this tactic to her baby, she had had a light lunch.
Having a portion of her mind blended with a ship had seemed insane, but it was part of her life that she not only got used to, but also enjoyed. The ship’s mind loved to look out through her eyes and experience life through her touch. It learned and enjoyed everything, but no one messed with the pilot of the
within her hull. The ship could, and would, use violent means to defend her, and the
had an armament that would make a tank blush.
She kept her sensors aimed at Naturan, but he did indeed lock himself in his room before he began using the com system, trying to get her punished for the rescue in the nick of time.
Gwyn snickered, it seemed that he had forgotten all about his breaks and bruises.
The coordinates that Nitza had given the ship were close. Apparently, dumping this pompous windbag was high on her dispatcher’s priorities as well.
She watched the stars pass as the
accelerated through the dark sky. When the jump site was close, Gwyn opened her eyes wide and took the step from place to place.
She loved watching the space between jumps. There was nothing like it.
was in an excellent mood. Gwyn was treated to the peculiar sensation of doing a spiral through space as her delighted ship corkscrewed through the shipping lane.
“Baby, I know you are happy, but we are on a deadline. We have a new Guardian waiting for us. Can we please go in a straight line?” Gwyn flexed against the implants linking her to the ship.
A glowing blue light formed in front of her and mimicked the corkscrew pattern.
“Yes, honey bunny. I know that it is more fun to fly in spirals, but we are on the clock now. I don’t want to put the pressure on, but I will hold you to our deadline. You agreed to it after all.”
The blue light darkened and dropped until it was inches from the floor.
“Don’t pout, baby blue. We can go play when we get rid of this next Guardian. Shiver is our duty, and we both know we agreed to play out our duty.”
The blue spot lightened and increased its elevation until it was even with Gwyn’s nose.
Gwyn felt the warmth of the ship’s intensity in her mind. Blue was burning hot and bright today. She was excited about something. Perhaps it was the incoming arrival.
A new Guardian was always exciting, but they were down a guest room courtesy of Naturan. They had to seal off his room and do a power scrub on it, but the bots weren’t done yet. Hopefully, they would finish with the room in a few days. It took time to repair the destruction that one man could do to the ceilings when he was weightless.
took her to the jump site, and Gwyn looked through space before she triggered the engine that took the ship with them. She saw through space and smiled as her mind saw something that she had once only dreamed of.
Seeing with the implants was different than regular vision, but she didn’t have a basis for comparison. This was the only sensory input that she had gotten that didn’t come through her skin, ears, or nose and mouth. Her hearing and touch had compensated for a lot, but nothing could have prepared her for the sights she was treated to when she opened her eyes that first time.