-Good versus Evil
-Trope Play (Sci Fi)—nano tech, interspecies romance, mutants/body mod, dystopian, air leak
Jamie shot upright in bed as the station shuttered. That wasn’t good. Space didn’t have bumps unless it meant impending death. Although, sometimes, it meant immediate death.
His heart pounded hard, and his shaky limbs met the cold, metal floor. The carpet didn’t help as much as he wished. Not with his overly hot and sensitive skin.
Body aching to sprout fur and claws, Jamie pulled on his worn uniform pants and the jacket without the shirt. That was wet and soaking in his utility sink—blood thanks to the damn mutant that got loose in the bottom floors of the station.
His door opened to Getty, one of the few female humans left on the crew. Those big blue eyes always swam with a jumble of emotion, unless she was ready to tear into him. She could be unbelievably clear when she was man enough to throw out threats. Now, fear and frustration and something else human mingled there.
“Section twelve-b and thirteen-f are leaking, and the mechanics and engineers are kicking chickens. I can’t get anyone down there to help me with the real problem in eight-h, so strap up and let’s get after it.” Getty let her gaze dip to his unzipped jacket and his burnt caramel skin before it bounced away. Her human colloquialisms were what paused him.
“I’ll be less than a minute.”
She nodded, and Jamie laced up his shoes and strapped on his gear, most of which were long-range weapons since he didn’t need anything for close proximity. Not with the claws he could unleash in a swipe.
Getty looked him over again.
She stomped off, light and stormy, and the standard clean soap masked her sweet and earthy scent. Something distinctly Getty. He could find her in any room, regardless of how many other beings packed into the space.
People swarmed when they hit the lower floors.
“Are you going to fill me in?”
Her dark blonde hair flew through the artificial gravity as she pegged him with a look. “Does it look like I know what’s going on? All I know is that an alarm went off in eight-h, and that’s my sector. Do I need to tell you anything else?”
“I mean, it would be helpful.”
Her aggravated sigh made Jamie smile to himself.
They dropped another few floors via the stairs this time, and she bounced like a pixie, although he’d never say so.
Getty tapped on the security pad to eight-h—her birthday—and pushed open the door with a whoosh.
Jamie grabbed her by the shoulder to stop her entrance.
“What the hell?”
“You came to get me, and you didn’t do that to follow you into danger.”
“Let me go first.”
That stopped her, and her arms crossed over her stomach.
Jamie took the lead, stepping into the dark hallway, lined with doors. His moves were slow and steady, and he could feel Getty at his back. Her warmth was nice and new.
Knocking had him turn left at the end of the junction, and Jamie held a hand out to her, claws extending without his command. She paused, gave him some more space, but didn’t allow him to leave her behind. He liked that about her.
Animal musk and perversion filled the air, and Jamie’s wolf genes sprouted hair along his back. Something had gotten out, and since Getty worked with clones, mutants, and body modifications. What she did with them all, other than create new tools for fighting the rebellion.
Jamie braced before the attack and met the solid body of a mutant. It was a mix of reptile and bear and human, making it sturdy, fast, and deadly. But they weren’t as smart as him. Didn’t have the training, only the instincts.
Fists and teeth and claws clashed. Pain erupted in Jamie’s shoulder and left side.
The beast fell in less than a minute.
Getty whimpered behind him. “Try not to kill them all.”
“Only if I have to.” Jamie’s growl vibrated in his voice before a snarl tore through him.
She pressed her hand over his ribs and frowned at him. “It’s just a med patch.”
The cool relief of localized pain killers distracted him from the buzz of the nanobots mending his injuries. He grumbled his thanks.
Another wave hit the station, and they had to be under attack.
“If it’s the rebels, we should redirect them.”
“And do you have a plan for that?” Getty folded her arms across her stomach again, and Jamie wanted her to touch him again instead. Even if it caused him pain.
With the mutants and other modified weapons redirected. Jamie escorted Getty back to her room, grip firm on her arm above the elbow as she stomped beside him.
“You are not very good at covert.”
“I do not want to be stuck in my room when I can be helpful.”
They turned the corner to her hallway, and he tapped her room open with a simple command before shoving her inside.
Her eyes widened with surprise when he followed and the door closed behind him. “And I don’t want to worry about you while I’m out there.”
“Like my room is any safer?” Getty poked him in the chest, and her sweet, earthy scent mingled with her sweat. That jumble of fear and anger and something else in her eyes again.
“Yes. Being in a room you can lock down is safer than running off to meet the rebels.”
She huffed and poked him again. “You are so unbelievably modified male.”
Jame took her hand on the last poke and turned her into the wall. Her fear amplified, but the anger slipped away.
Getty’s mouth parted as she panted into the small space between them. She hadn’t made him, but she had studied and worked beside him for more than a year.
“You are mad that I want to protect you?”
Her face tipped up to challenge him, her nose brushing his with a spark of heat and ice. “Yes.”
Fucking maddening. Her mouth was so close that he could easy dip the inch to kiss her, and she seemed to be daring him to.
Jamie’s breath came hard, fighting back the wolf in him. He didn’t want his claws to come out.
The station rocked again, and she gasped, hands finding purchase on him.
He seized her mouth.
Her soft little moan made him press in tighter, and Getty kissed him back, fingers sinking into his hair like she might climb him.
Groaning, Jamie wished they had the time to make the most of this, to lift her in his arms and wrap her legs around his waist. To explore the desperate and hot need that went deeper than he’d let himself acknowledge before.
When he finally pulled away, her fingers twisted in his shirt. “You think I’m going to stay behind now, and you’re fooling yourself.”
His snarl only made her smile, her hands smoothing down the front of him.
“Give me your laser, and let me watch your back. I promise to not go running off on my own.”
Jamie unhooked his two lasers in their holsters and attached them to her utility belt. The intimacy that pulsed between them with every small move and touch charged him with protective instincts.
Getty’s gaze glowed with determination. “Let’s go save our home.”
Her pat had him moving again, opening her door, and scanning the hall before he stepped out. She followed, and they made their way to the lower sectors, where most of the commotion seemed to take place.
The dead lined the floor, and he hated every step over them, his claws out and nose tracking the scents home to their satellite and their people. Jamie jumped out as two engaged in close combat. An engineer in red and an invading rebel in black made his moves easy, extorting an opening the other man could not, and slicing his claws through the man’s middle. Red and white guts spilled from the black cloth.
The engineer jumped back, trembling before he saw Getty. Nodding, he disappeared into a corridor that bleeped and buzzed with error codes.
Let him take care of their station. Jamie had the enemy.
Each new corner seemed to hold a victim to his claws and teeth, speed and strength. He sprayed blood across the walls, and spilled innards across the floor. His pile of dead bodies began to match the ones he’d stumbled upon to begin with.
He was so sure he’d conquered them all, when he heard the soft, whimpering cry behind him. Getty’s eyes were round and clear, but blood dribbled from between her lips and down her chin until she collapsed.
A rebel wiped her blood clean on his black uniform. “You don’t have to fight for her anymore. She doesn’t have to control you or tinker with your parts anymore.”
Jamie roared at him with the rage of loss.
“Take your freedom, or take your death.” The rebel slogan.
“I will take your life for hers.”
The man blinked and shook his head, sad and resigned. “She had her claws deeper in you than I thought. Damn corruption at every level.”
“Getty was not corrupt.” She was the most innocent of them all. The sweetest. The human. And this man murdered her for the sake of some ideology that wouldn’t trickle down to the lower dregs like him any better than the ones in power now.
And he’d die for it. Jamie would see to that.
The fight wasn’t a fair one. Not for the man. Not this close up. Jamie’s claws pierced his flesh as easily as the man’s weapon opened Jamie up.
Once the man’s arms stopped swinging, the rise of his chest sputtering and failing, Jamie tore him open to scatter his insides around in a fury. Until his own breath labored and the pain hit in full.
Crawling to Getty, he stroked her pale cheek, spreading gore across her perfect face, and he curled around her as the black cosmos swooped in to claim him for a final time.
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