by Alicia Michaels
The Bionics Novels, Book 1
Published: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Coarse language, mild sexual innuendo
Recommended Age: 16+
All Blythe Sol ever wanted was to be a normal girl. Yet, her dreams of following in her father’s footsteps by joining the military after graduation are crushed when nuclear war comes to the United States in the year 4006. Tens of thousands are killed in a series of attacks on many major cities, while thousands more are left injured from the devastation of the blasts, or terminally ill from the effects of radiation.
When the government offers the sick and injured a second chance as part of the Restoration Project, how could they refuse? Hoping to put her life back together after the blasts take both her arm and her eye, Blythe enrolls in the program filled with hope. She never expects that the bionic additions will change her life so drastically. When it is discovered that those outfitted with the robotic parts have become enhanced beyond the limits of ordinary human ability, normal can never exist for her again.
The Bionics become targets of the government, as fear of them spreads across the nation, further enflamed by media propaganda and political conspiracy. Forced to go into hiding or face execution, society’s outcasts band together to form the Restoration Resistance—an underground rebellion which Blythe becomes a part of in order to survive. She could never imagine that joining them would thrust her at the forefront of an imminent revolution, or that it would put her in a confusing tug-of-war between two of her fellow soldiers—Gage Bronson, the mysterious new addition to the Resistance, and Dax Janner, her best friend. Even though Gage is rapidly capturing her heart, she is forced to face the possibility that her feelings for Dax might just go beyond friendship. However, with impending war and the threat of death hanging over her head, Blythe hardly has time to worry about anything as trivial as a love life…
I met Blythe on one of the hottest days of the year 4008. Even though we’d just had snow the day before, the temperature is now a blazing 110 degrees in Atlanta, and Georgia’s characteristic humidity is at an all-time high. It is a sign of the times we live in—melted snow streaming down the street in slushy chunks as people in tank tops, shorts, and sandals saunter the sidewalk covered in a glistening sheen of sweat.
I’d give anything to be wearing shorts right now, but I can’t let my legs show. The linen pants I’m wearing are thin, but everything feels like a turtleneck and a pair of corduroys in this heat. I’m walking through a well-to-do neighborhood in northern Atlanta, heading toward a safe house for Bios I’m sharing with about fifteen other people. The safe house is run by an old man we call Pops, and he is not one of us. He lost most of his family in the blasts and just wants to help in any way he can. Little do we know that on this day, the hottest day of 4008, we will lose our only friend and protection from the world in a raid.
It is because of this raid that I encounter a girl with a bionic eye, who sits on the lawn in front of a sprawling, three story house with a white picket fence, crying as she stares down the barrel of a gun. Somehow, everything else ceases to exist in that moment. The groceries I’m carrying fall to the ground and the paper sacks rip, spilling the contents across the pavement. I faintly register the smell of fire and smoke coming from deeper in the neighborhood, and in my mind I know they’ve discovered our safe house and possibly several others.
Families line the street, many of them crying and screaming as MPs cart off their loved ones, shoving them into the back of the hovercrafts lining the street. These crafts are headed for Stonehead and everyone knows once you go in, there is no coming out.
Why this one girl should pull on my heart strings when there are others suffering nearby, I am not sure. Maybe it’s because of the three bodies strewn across the lawn behind her; two adults and a child no older than five, all dead. Maybe it’s because instead of arresting her for due process, three jackass MPs are taunting her over just having killed her family, and threatening to kill her for fighting back as they dragged her from the house.
As I run to her, she looks up and her eyes connect with mine. I know I have to save her.
It all happens so fast. Within the span of a minute, I’ve kicked loose one of the boards of the white picket fence and used it as a weapon against the three MPs. Despite my broken past, this is the first time I will ever kill. I feel no remorse as I shove the pointed fencepost through the face shield of the last officer standing, feel no pity as his blood bathes my neck and shoulders. I feel only primal satisfaction for finally fighting back.
I am tired of running.
The girl is in the fetal position on the ground, clutching dead child against her chest and sobbing in a way I’ve never heard anyone sob before. The sound will haunt my dreams for the rest of my life.
By now we’ve caught the attention of others, who have seen what I’ve done. A riot breaks out on the street, with Bios fighting alongside their families, desperate to save themselves and each other, tired of taking shit from the government.
In the midst of the fray is Blythe, broken, beaten and grieving, lying in the grass like a kicked puppy, waiting to die.
I won’t let her.
Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.
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