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About the author:
C.E. Kilgore (1981 – ) has always had a love of romantic stories and science fiction. Although active in the writing community during her undergraduate studies, she chose to focus on her love of history and culture. Graduating with an HBA in History and a BA in Cultural Anthropology, she puts a deep emphasis on creating characters and environments within her writing that are full of both culture and history. The relationship development between characters and the worlds they live in is also an important aspect of her stories. Sarcasm, comedy, hidden “modern” references and subtle hints at underlined universal meanings are common within her writing style, but there is always plenty of action and a darker side lurking just around the corner.
What inspired you to write your book?
I have a deep love for Science Fiction and the exploration of the many facets of love. My series will use each book to explore different types of love, from fast falls head-over-heels, to friends growing into lovers, to unrequited love, to even the obsessive love that can develop into something violent and dangerous. In the first book, I sought to explore how two individuals who both thought themselves incapable of love would deal with an intense, immediate connection and attraction. Would they accept it? Would they run from it? This exploration is taken further by having the male protagonist being a Mechatronic Automaton (a human like android) who struggles with emotions as a whole.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Even when he slept, he was awake.
The mind of a Mechatronic Automaton, which was comprised of a network of constantly firing electrical synaptic pulses that connected the multiple processors required to operate a being as complex as he was, wasn’t prone to going offline. At least not completely.
He often wondered if the mental activities that occurred while he was in a state of sleep were akin to the dreaming minds of those who were not machines, often referred to as Organics or Breathers, depending on how polite you were intending to be. He, however, never dreamed of walks on the beach, monsters lurking from the shadows, or giving speeches in the nude. Unlike the dreams of Breathers, his thought processes were, what he liked to boast, much more logical. He could spend an entire recharge session working on a calculation needed for improving the intake ratio of their ship’s engine, or mapping the best route to their current destination down to the very smallest speck of space junk floating in the vast void of empty darkness.
It seemed, to him at least, to be a much better use of time than thinking about some imagined scenario that would, probability speaking, never happen.
Despite the differences he liked to focus on between his “dreams” and those of the Breathers, one similarity seemed to be undeniable. Being woken up and pulled out of your current thoughts by the insistent beeping of a communicator was one of the biggest annoyances in the universe.
With a fumbling hand searching for the connect button, the communicator was pushed off the nightstand and onto the pile of clothes below. A muffled voice emanated from the inside of the pant leg where the communicator had landed.
“Ethan? Are you there?” The male voice on the other end of the communicator was more than a little perturbed. “Ethan? C’mon you big hunk o’scrap, pick up the damn line.”
Ethan moved his head over to the edge of the bed and looked down at the communicator in his pant leg. He smirked and wondered if he should tell his Captain to kiss his ass while he was in there. Thinking better of it, he reached in and fished out the communicator. Leaning up on one elbow, he looked into the view-screen with a few long calibration blinks of his sapphire blue eyes. “A bit early in the morning to be tossing insults, isn’t it Hank?”
“Never.” Hankarron Eros’s unshaven face appeared as tired as Ethan felt. The young Captain looked as if he had a bit of a wild night, which was not unusual after being out in space for a few months on assignment. Hank was also a bit of a playboy on the surface, even if Ethan knew it was all a cover. The fact that he looked the part, with his light brown wavy hair, puppy-dog brown eyes and a well-practiced impish smile that made the girls blush, made the guise all the harder to question. Most port guards didn’t think to look twice at a flamboyant spice trader with a well-endowed giggling girl on each arm.
Sometimes drawing attention to yourself is the most effective way to stay hidden.
Hank rubbed the stubble on his chin and surveyed the Mecha on the other end of the com unit. He had known Ethan now for twenty-four years. The first day was when he had gotten free of his nursemaid and stumbled onto the bridge of his Uncle Jhonis’s ship. He had bumped head first into Ethan’s leg and the Mecha had picked him up by the seat of his overalls, lifting him over six and a half feet in the air to his eye-level and smirked at him. Since that day, they had gotten into and out of more trouble together than he could count. After Jhonis died, Hank took over the family “business” and Ethan stayed by his side.
He didn’t give a geffarion shit if Ethan was a machine dressed in a synthetic skin to look like a man. With all the poor excuses for men he’d seen in his life, Hank was convinced Ethan was a better man than most, including himself. “You look like shit. Did you not plug in last night?”
“You’re one to talk.” Ethan rolled into a seating position at the edge of the bed and set the communicator back onto the nightstand, propping it up against the base of a lamp. He planted both feet flat on the hard white tile floor and wiggled his toes. Scratching the back of his neck where his black rooted, dark blue hair started, he looked around and tried to regain his bearings.
Sleeping in a console seat on a spaceship ninety-nine percent of the time made waking up in a soft bed on a natural gravitational planet a disorienting experience. Flashes of the night before erupted from his memory bank and the smirk re-appeared on his grey-blue lips. “And define ‘plug in’.”
Hank shook his head and gave a gruff laugh. “Uh-hu, I figured as much. The blonde you left with from the bar?”
“Red head from the hotel lobby.”
“Red… geeze, Ethan, you’re worse than I am, you know that?”
“I should hope so. I’ve been doing this for about fifty years longer.” Ethan stretched his arms out and then up, careful not to knock over the lamp. His inner graphene wrapped, titanium composite core skeletal structure felt stiff, and he found that the muscular bands responsible for his motor functions were operating at less than optimal response times.
Damn. Perhaps plugging in to a charge station would have been a brighter idea than plugging into the red head.
He glanced over his shoulder to the other side of the bed and wasn’t surprised to find it not-recently vacated. The infrared heat sensors in his eyes told him it hadn’t been slept in for at least four hours. The faint outline of where the red head’s curvaceous body had been was still visible, but the owner of the outline was long-gone. Her curiosity had been satisfied and the embarrassment, or perhaps the revulsion, had set in and she had fled before she had to look the machine next to her in the eyes again.
“Well, get your ass dressed and meet me at the station. Our meeting with Central is in an hour and traffic this time of day on the express is a bitch.”
“Aye aye, Captain.” Ethan gave the com unit a mock salute as Hank’s face faded into the black glossy screen. Without a second glance to the empty spot beside him on the bed, he stood, stepped into the legs of his casual black pants and pulled them up. He slipped his communicator into his pocket and refocused his eyes on the rest of the small hotel room. It took him a few moments longer to locate his shirt, a white tight fitting long sleeved pullover made from the same breathable and flexible poly-blend nanotech fiber as his pants. He found his black jacket still hanging from the corner of a high back chair near the entrance of the hotel room. All were Central issued garments; a casual comfort blended with protection against tracking, body scanning and the occasional small class firearms.
After zipping up the sides of his thick soled boots and drawing the cuff of his pant legs down over them, he strode over to the chair and reached for his jacket. He checked all the pockets for their designated contents before slipping it on. His important identification credentials were all logged with an ocular scan, but his civilian identification was still the commonly used One Pass that everyone carried these days.
One Pass – Recognized in fourteen systems and growing!
He cursed under his breath. Now that jingle would be stuck in his head for hours.
The One Pass was still in his left inside jacket pocket and his sunglasses were still in his right. One hundred and twenty-three partners as of last night, and not a single one had ever robbed him of anything except seeing their face in the morning. One hundred and twenty-three, and each one had been gone when he woke up, not that he cared. They had used him to satisfy a curiosity most of the women he encountered seemed to have.
Were Mecha any different, or any better than an Organic?
He liked to think so.
He knew he was no more innocent. He didn’t take girls into his bed to satisfy the primal needs that Breathers seemed utterly incapable of ignoring. For him, it was all part of his study of the ways of Organics. He did the expected motions; caressed their skin, kissed their lips and performed, what he believed, was probably the best sex they would ever have. All the right moves and he was rewarded with their moans and sighs. Still, he knew from the looks in their half-closed eyes that something was still missing. There was still something he wasn’t able to provide. He doubted he would ever be able to understand what that something was, no matter how many girls he bedded.
His eyes glanced back at the empty bed one more time. He admitted that it might be nice to wake up one day to someone willingly lying beside him, no matter how unlikely the probability of that happening was. He guessed that was as close to a dream as he would ever get.
One Pass – For when your credentials need knowing!
“Fuck sakes.” Ethan put on his sunglasses and stepped out into morning light of the glass-enclosed hallway.