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by Gabriella Bradley
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Fantasy
Description: Haven Drew is about to blow the whistle on a genetically damaging by-product of the Dahkhar Mining Corporation when she is thrust from her safe white-collar life into the mine itself. Her analytical skills are used by the very corporation she wanted to expose. Lives are placed in her hands and in front of her guns, daily. Trapped in a vortex of rage and shame, she's confronted by two familiar faces housed in her cell. Josias and Isan had been investigating the disappearance of personnel at the Corporation headquarters when they were relieved of their duties and assigned to positions in the mine. It might not be love at first sight, but biology is powerful and with her mates at her side, there's nothing they can't do. Risking life and limb isn't an ideal honeymoon, but they manage to work together toward their goal of launching themselves into space and to a colony infected by disaster. How romantic can you get?
eBook Publisher: eXtasy eBooks/eXtasybooks, 2012 2012
eBookwise Release Date: August 2012
7 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [123 KB]
Reading time: 75-105 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
"Haven Drew, prisoner one-zero-one-eight-eight. Present yourself for processing." The hostility of the guard was palpable and she trembled with shock while doing as he told her. "This is your uniform, don't be caught without it. It's punishable by death."
A quick glance at the black tights and ugly green tunic told her why. ID badges with her number on it in huge red lettering were sewn into the fabric in no less than five places. Even the underwear and boots they issued her were marked with her number. She wasn't going anywhere unless she traveled naked. At the order to strip, she peeled off her pristine business suit and silk underwear. Then, distastefully, she pulled on the garb of a prisoner of the Dahkhar Mining Corporation, their corporate offices, which were her former place of employment. Last, she drew her thigh-length blonde hair back and wrapped it around her head in order to put on the tight cap that would hide her golden locks. The cap was green, to match the tunic.
The board of directors had sentenced her by acclamation, all because she was too damned good at her job. She'd been shocked out of her mind at the accusations. Though she pled innocence, she knew fighting the system would only end up getting her banished to another distant alien planet to work in one of the mineral mines, or get her killed. They didn't believe her, and here she was.
"Speed it up, Drew. This isn't a coffee break." A not so gentle prod by the guard made her stagger. She finished pulling on the horrid boots and rubbed her ribs absentmindedly.
She didn't see the fist coming. The impact knocked her into the door of the shuttle and she stayed down. Fear raced through her in a cold wave. Her ribs ached in protest. This was the farthest from okay she'd ever been in her life.
"You will speak only when spoken to, Drew."
Her guard didn't look kind, but didn't show any of the contempt she'd expected.
"If you remember what I've told you, you may just live long enough to hate the fact you haven't died." She took the hand he extended and cautiously stood up.
"Welcome to the Dahkhar Mines."
When the door hissed open, Haven started to wish dying had been an option.
* * * *
Soon after arriving at the prison, she'd discovered if she talked to any of the other prisoners, they were interrogated at length and suffered for having contact with her. Keeping to herself was her only alternative.
Assigning her to the very facility where she'd first noticed the accounting discrepancy was a cruel irony. Her orders were to program the slag drops on worlds in the early stages of colonization, and to destroy any ships that didn't have proper clearance. It made her sick to her stomach. The mining slag would increase growth disproportionately in new crops. Its toxicity would also dramatically increase the level of mutation in the colonists, decreasing their intelligence and increasing their strength. Perfect farmers by design. Who cared if the colonists had migrated to the planets for a new start? Instead of a new beginning on a supposedly untainted planet, they were dooming their descendants. It was all in the name of profit, and now Haven was part of it.
"Dahkhar Mining Station to transport nine. Do you have security confirmation?" The sound of her own voice made her cringe. The cold tone she'd adopted was part and parcel of her new persona, prisoner 10188.
The ship she'd hailed was on approach. With a flick of her fingers, she focused the guns on it. "Repeat! Security confirmation required. Respond." When the ship continued in silence, she double-checked all frequencies for a reply. When none was forthcoming, she hit the guns. The shuttlecraft fired back, but was woefully outgunned. Within seconds, nothing remained of the craft but pieces of debris drifting into space.
"Transport nine destroyed as per contact protocols by prisoner one-zero-one-eight-eight."
"Destruction recorded and protocols confirmed. A safety bonus in rations and upgrade in accommodations has been recorded," the computerized voice answered in a monotone.
Nine life forms had shown on her screen. She would cry for the lost lives later. She was only grateful security didn't know exactly how aware she was, or she'd have been dead long ago. She knew the board of directors thought she had only been curious about the loss of the two heads of security that'd disappeared mysteriously, though she knew they would be suspicious about her having any further knowledge. To this day, they hauled her in for supposed orientation, only to subject her to additional interrogation for an hour or more. They didn't know she had uncovered their entire poisoning project. Thanks to her enhancement, they never would.