Pets in Space is a brand new science fiction romance anthology in which I and eight other authors have stories about – pets in space!
We authors are trading blog posts . . . and here Cara Bristol tells us about her story.
Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased.
After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.
Spark of Attraction is a science fiction romance between the captain of military warship and a young woman, an archivist for New Utopia. Aliens attacked the New Utopian settlement, killing most of the colonists. As the nearest spaceship, the Crimson Hawk responded to distress call and rescued the remaining survivors.
Miranda’s sole possession is a cute-as-a button robotic dog named Sparky. He has electrically charged teeth and bites the captain when Miranda first meets him. The romance is short and sweet with a touch of heat and an HEA, but the ending is suspenseful and action-packed. I guarantee readers will be surprised.
If you can honestly say you are not surprised by the ending of Spark of Attraction, email me at carabristol50 (at) yahoo (dot) com and tell me what happens at the end of book, and I’ll post a picture on my blog of me dressed as an alien. (Note these restrictions: saying the hero/heroine end up together does not count as “the ending.” Spark of Attraction is a romance; there’s going to be an HEA. That is not the surprise. This challenge expires Oct. 30, 2016.)
An excerpt from Spark of Attraction, Pets in Space
“Sparky, no!” Miranda grabbed her robotic dog and tried to pull him off the captain. This was awful. Stone would airlock him for sure. “Release, Sparky, release!” she cried, but the companion-model robot hung on. “Let go!”
The captain bent, and gripping the dog’s upper and lower jaws, began to pry its mouth open with his bare hands.
“Don’t hurt Sparky!” He was all she had left, and the captain could break him, dislocate his jaw.
“Hurt him?” He peered up at her. “Might I remind you its teeth are imbedded in my leg?”
She reached under the collar for the power switch on the dog’s nape. He jerked, released the captain’s ankle, and fell over. Still. Silent. “I’m so sorry,” she apologized, wringing her hands. “He’s programmed to protect me, and he perceived you as a threat.” Maybe if she’d explained at the start her dog was a canine artificial intelligence model, all of this could have been avoided—but at the captain’s edict, she had panicked.
She scooped him up and clutched him protectively to her chest, stroking his soft synthetic fur. He looked and acted so lifelike, sometimes she forgot he was a robot. They’d have to eject her from the ship before she’d allow them to remove him. If they put him on a pod, how could she be sure she’d get him back?
He hadn’t been bothering anything.
Well, not until he bit the captain.
If Stone’s eyes had been cold before, they were positively flinty now. She’d never seen such a dark scowl.
Blood stained his pants leg, and he pulled it up to reveal a lacerated ankle. For all its small size, the K9-500 had a jaw like a vise and sharp metal teeth. If the bot had attacked a human, the damage could have been severe. Rumor had it Dante Stone was a cyborg, a computer-enhanced human with biomimetic parts. She’d heard cyborgs were immune to pain and practically indestructible.
“I’m sorry,” she repeated. “It doesn’t hurt much, though, right?”
“Of course, it hurts!” he snapped. “Why would you think it doesn’t?”
“Don’t you have those nano thingees?”
Her fellow colonists were staring, watching the interchange, waiting to see what would happen. Would the captain toss her into the brig? Airlock poor Sparky?
USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has written more than twenty-five books, which include two science fiction romance series: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series and Breeder.