In the 23rd Century in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, Kim Fortune was the first surviving experimental enhanced human—a regenerate. Aged fifteen, he escaped the lab and years later, his failings as a regenerate and the suspicion of regular humans, leave him lonely and lacking in self-worth. Stranded on an abandoned planet, the arrival of a stricken ship and its crew give him hope that he may finally find what he always longed for—love.
Christian Novak is a successful regenerate with all the intended attributes—including lack of human emotion. Despite their immediate attraction to each other, Kim's failing confidence, and Christian's inability to empathize are a recipe for disaster. But war, imprisonment, and danger throw them together, and after each saves the other's life, their feelings begin to change.
Can a seemingly unsuitable pair ever find love, or is a future together destined to fail?
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A few hundred meters above, a ship turned in a slow flat spin, its underside parallel to the ground. The stricken ship shuddered ominously, tilted one way, then leveled out again. The vehicle appeared similar to the Explorer 9—one of the more recent models, with its smooth curves and reflective surfaces, powered by the same laser propulsion system as its predecessor. Its struggle continued for several minutes with the gap between land and ship gradually lessening. My heart in my mouth, I waited for the imminent crash, hoping the travelers would make it safely and that their ship wouldn't be too badly damaged. After six months, finally a possibility of escape had arrived.
In a few more seconds it was over. The craft rolled to the side and dropped out of sight behind the facility, its impact making the ground tremble beneath my feet. I imagined the possible damage to the ship. It hadn't fallen far and the Explorer series was designed to withstand heavy impact. Surely the craft would still be serviceable, and its crew reasonably unharmed.
I gazed around me as a flurry of yellowish clouds scurried ahead of the wind. In a minute or two they’d block the sun. If any panthers were in the vicinity, they’d smell flesh and come looking for its source. I stayed where I was and waited, wondering what the ship’s inhabitants’ chances of survival were when they emerged from the vehicle.
I considered fetching more weapons and heading out to meet them, but I had no way of knowing who they were, or where they'd come from. Walking into potential danger didn't appeal, as desperate as I was for company and transport.
The sky darkened and I moved back into the doorway. Priming my pistol to prepare for potential attack, I repeatedly glanced left and right. There was no sign of the cats yet, but the cloud cover was set to stay for a while, and it was only a matter of time before one or more of them came out.
Eventually, I heard a sound, faint above the howl of the wind. Voices, thin and disjointed, reached my straining ears. The first figure appeared around the far corner of the building, moving in a low crouch in an effort not to be blown over in the gale. I couldn’t make out whether it was a male or female, but as it made its way along the side of the structure, several more followed. I counted five in total—a surprisingly small crew for an Explorer. Perhaps some had died in the crash. The relief was that they clearly weren't soldiers. Even after so many years, I still feared I'd be found one day, and punished for my escape from my creators.
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.
Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing "hobby" more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.