Home > Melting Iron (Cyborg Seduction #3)

Melting Iron (Cyborg Seduction #3)
Author: Laurann Dohner

Cyborg Seduction series

Chapter One

Not knowing what would happen to her was the worst. Dawn swallowed the water from the bottle she held in her hand, studying Cathy. They were the last two women left in the cage. Five women had been shoved into the large cell but in the past few days, three of them had been taken away one at a time.

“It’s going to be fine,” Dawn lied. “They are ransoming us. That’s why they come and take us one at a time.”

Cathy was young, just twenty, new to outer space, the harshness of it, and terrified.

“You really think so? Earth will pay theses pirates for us, right?”

Dawn hated lying, but she wanted to comfort the younger woman, so she just nodded. She couldn’t say that big of a lie aloud knowing damn well that Earth Government wouldn’t pay money for lowly, off-world workers. The men who had boarded their shuttle to take them weren’t pirates. Dawn was certain of what they really were. She’d heard the stories, had talked to witnesses firsthand, and their metallic-colored skin was a dead giveaway.

“Okay,” Cathy sniffed. “Thanks, Dawn. I’m really afraid. I thought those men took our coworkers away to kill them.”

Terror ate at her. She couldn’t look at Cathy again without revealing it. Dawn looked away to stare through the bars at the small cargo area where the cage had been placed. It was a ten-by-ten-foot cage with solid bars. Sleeping bags had been tossed in, along with some food and water. The only other addition was a portable toilet in the corner. There was another smaller cage in the room, an empty one that had housed an injured woman not from their shuttle but kidnapped from somewhere else. They’d taken her away too.

The men who’d boarded the shuttle were all over six-feet tall, had varying shades of metallic-gray skin, but looked human. Some pirates were radiation-mutated humans who refused to live on Earth or the other governed colonies. Living in space on old ships was dangerous long term, and radiation leaks on them were common under those conditions, poisoning and mutating all life aboard. They weren’t really sane, for the most part, and in a civilized setting they would have been imprisoned for their unstable behavior. Space pirates were usually considered the worst of humanity.

But the large gray men were something far worse.

Dawn had worked at the Vonder Station for eight years. It was a deep space station that orbited Arian Nine, a carbon-based planet that was nearing humanoid life standards, thanks to lots of hard work. Arian Nine had low oxygen content so Dawn had overseen the maintenance of the machines that produced mass vegetation plantation on the surface. The oxygen levels had slowly increased and were now just a 6


Melting Iron

year away from being stable for colonization. For all that time Dawn had traveled back and forth between Earth and the Vonder and had heard the stories passed around by the crews of the many space vessels. And she knew a little of the history of their creation on her home planet. Those big gray men were cyborgs.

Dawn almost whimpered as she eyed the cargo area again. The ship she was on was the Rally. Once, two years ago, she’d been on this very jumper shuttle, doing the welding. She stared up at the blast doors, knowing it was her work.

The Rally had sent a distress signal to Vonder Station, saying they’d been attacked by cyborgs. For the three days they’d been aboard the station, the survivors had told horror stories they’d heard during their travels. It was rumored that the gray-skinned monsters were body-parts stealers who kidnapped humans to harvest them for spare parts. They had been lucky to escape with their lives.

The Rally had been crippled still when it had left Vonder Station but it had been patched up enough to make it back to Earth. Unfortunately it had disappeared in space.

Now Dawn knew what had happened to it.

Hot tears filled Dawn’s eyes but she blinked them back. She’d welded that very wall where it had been damaged, to seal the rupture and make the cargo area sound.

The cyborgs had obviously waited for the Rally to leave Vonder Station to attack it again. She could guess the fate of the shuttle’s crew since the cyborgs had captured the Rally. Her fate would be the same as those men. She was destined to be killed for spare parts.

“Do you think we’ll be ransomed soon?” Cathy sounded less frightened.

Dawn forced a smile while she turned toward the younger, clueless woman. “I’m sure it’s all going to be over very soon. Just think happy thoughts, kiddo.”

Cathy nodded. “I’m going to get some shuteye. I’m wiped out.”

Dawn watched Cathy settle down but then her attention returned to the weld scar of her repair. It was ironic that she’d patched the same shuttle that now held her prisoner.

* * * * *

The doors opened to the main area of the shuttle. Dawn tensed, her gaze

automatically going to the other woman, who still slept. Dawn stood to glare at the tall, black-haired cyborg who walked in. He met her anger-filled gaze before his focus fixed on Cathy as he reached for the keys on his belt.

Dawn moved between the door and Cathy. “Take me instead.”

The cyborg frowned and opened the door as their gazes met. The cyborg was a light-skinned male with hair chopped short to his head and dark brown eyes. He was at least six-foot-one, wide shouldered, and muscular. All of the cyborgs she’d seen so far wore black leather uniforms with heavy-duty black boots.

“No. I want her. Move aside. If you try to escape, you won’t get far.”



Laurann Dohner

Dawn tensed in anger. At thirty-six she was in good shape. She’d had to be to do her job. It was very physically demanding. She worked twelve- to fourteen-hour shifts to keep the equipment going, spending months at a time on Vonder Station. Sometimes, if she’d needed the money bad enough, she’d spent six-month stretches working, then a few weeks on Earth for a break before she returned to her shifts again.

“I said, take me. This is her first time in space and she’s innocent. She doesn’t know what you are and she has no damn idea what’s in store for her. Please.” Dawn took a step toward him. “Take me instead.”

The man ran his gaze up and down her body. “You’re too small for what I am looking for. Besides, one has already claimed you. He will come for you later when Doc has time to do your procedure. Move aside.”

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