SIX WAKES x ORPHAN BLACK Rather than face the specter of his divorce, a detective takes an impossible case: find a stolen reality-breaking stardrive. Deep in unregulated space, he’ll need the help of a flamboyant privateer and the ghost haunting her ship to solve the mystery— before a technofascist uses the drive to wage galactic war.
The first explosion shook Proxima Station, and halfway down the docking ring corridor, Verity stumbled. The abrupt peal of the emergency klaxon pulsed in her chest. Her whole being rebelled at every dragging step toward the airlock, gripped by an overpowering impulse to turn and run back toward the habitat. She fought it, panting.
No, not an impulse. A compulsion.
Programming. It was only programming. An if-then statement in a line of code, a failsafe. But naming its source didn’t weaken the governor implant’s hold on her. Not even a scalpel in the hands of the installation surgeons could do that now. It nestled deep in her basal ganglia, cybernetic fibers entwined around her own neuronal wetware, impossible to disentangle. A manual uninstall would leave her brain-dead.
Or downright dead.
Another storm of negative feedback flooded her mind and drove her to her knees. They’d upgraded the implant’s settings to discourage self-harm after a previous Galatea had taken that way out.
Verity shuddered. She retched. Her fingers clenched and splayed on the segmented plastisteel floor panels. She pushed herself back to her feet, swayed for the space of a breath.
One foot in front of the other. Only fifteen meters to the docking arm’s junction now. Twenty more from the junction to the airlock where the prototype ship waited.
A single surveillance camera guarded the joint of the corridor. She raised her stolen ion pistol and took aim.