Rhyn, a soldier desperate to prove she belongs to her family's legacy despite her chronic illness, must transport the galaxy’s most powerful superweapon to Earth. When mercenaries attack, she discovers the weapon is a woman—Zara, who only became a cyborg for cash. Together, they need to race across the stars, outrunning bounty hunters, the AI consuming Zara’s consciousness, and their growing attraction to one another.
The rifle in my hands floods with potential as I load the plasma cartridge into the magazine. Cold seeps through my fatigues where my knees dig into the steel floor of the armored car idling in the hangar. The massive metal case dominates the center of the transport bay. This is my last chance to prove I belong in Ground Forces.
Callum secures the cryptic cargo with a trio of offensively bright yellow slacklines, a loud contrast to our midnight uniforms. He smirks, smug features limned in the soft light seeping between the case’s metal plates. “Nervous, VonDehren?”
“No.” A lie, but a necessary one. This mission isn’t just a shot at a promotion to a better arm of the United Star Systems Federation. It’s my chance to show I belong here—even with the crimson tattoo marking me as a Red Shift blazing on my wrist.
The red ink peeks out from the sleeve of my uniform jacket fit snugly over body armor. I tug the cloth down before Callum notices. The deep scarlet pattern’s been stamped on my wrist since I was a kid, diagnosed with this scourge of an illness I’ve kept secret for years. If Callum and Garret find out about my Red Shift status, they’ll lose all respect for me.
Only Commander Harwood knows about my condition. He was the one who forged my physical results in the first place.