Author: Rhiannon Frater Humanity teeters on the brink of extinction…
Title: The Last Mission of the Living
Published On: August 28th 2014
Series: The Last Bastion #2
Genres: Apocalyptic/Post Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Vanguard Lindsay Rooney has faced the undead hordes of Inferi Scourge and lived to tell the tale, but she has also suffered horrible losses. Like millions of other civilians, she had hoped that The Bastion would recover after a team of modified soldiers eradicated the undead hordes of Inferi Scourge that infested their valley. Yet the city still crumbles around them, along with any chance of survival.
Lindsey’s growing friendship with Torran MacDonald, an officer with the Science Warfare division, is her only solace as the decline of the city continues. When food riots fill the streets, martial law is enacted, and the upper echelons of government battle for control of the city, Lindsey is conscripted by her superiors to embark on a dangerous mission into the dead world beyond The Bastion. To add even more complications, Torran and the SWD join the squad.
Soon, Lindsey realizes that her mission is more than what it seems, and there are secrets that could both destroy The Bastion and take her life.
Humanity teeters on the brink of extinction…
Lindsey awoke with a start. It took her a second to comprehend it was her wristlet vibrating that had awakened her. Activating the screen, she saw the message was incoming from her secret program. Instantly, her heart started to beat wildly with excitement. Still a little tipsy from the tequila, she edged out from beneath Torran’s long leg and arm and scooted to the ladder.
Once on the main floor, she sat at her computer array beneath the elevated bed, and she logged into the program. After several long, excruciating seconds, the message downloaded. It was from Maria. Gnawing on her bottom lip, Lindsey quickly scrolled through it. The message was short, but worrying.
Lindsey, Dwayne and I need to talk to you and Commandant Pierce ASAP. Call tomorrow at exactly 1600 hours.
Realizing she needed to be careful with how many times she contacted Maria, Lindsey hesitated, weighing whether or not she should respond or just wait until the designated time. Finally, she typed in a short note signaling she’d received the message and logged out of the program. Gnawing on her thumbnail, she stared at the screens. She wanted to hack into the SWD and government sites and search out information on the new Legatus, but didn’t dare do it while Torran was around.
“You look worried.”
Lindsey gazed upward to see Torran peering at her over the rail of her bed.
“I’m always worried in the back of my mind.” With a sheepish smile, she shrugged slightly. “Well, not worried exactly. I’m always got some fixation back in the gray matter.”
“Sort of like you got a computer program running in the back of your mind sorting things out?” Torran ventured.
Surprised that he got it so right, Lindsey gazed at him in awe.
“You get a look in your eyes. Like you’re processing something.” Torran slipped over the side of the bed and dropped down. “Considering your very nice computer display, I’m going to guess that you’re good at working with them, too.”
“My father was a programmer. He taught me everything I know.”
“But you had the natural talent, too, huh?”
“You can say that.” Lindsey uneasily shifted her weight on her chair, not willing to let Torran too far into her personal headspace.
“But you’re a grunt. Not a programmer.”
Lindsey swiveled toward him and shrugged. “I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to follow in someone else’s footsteps but make my own path.”
With a slight nod, Torran rested his hands on the edge of her bed and stretched. It was very provocative and she was distracted by the muscles shifting beneath his skin. She wanted to be distracted. Fear was a tight knot in her gut.
“And you don’t want to talk about it.”
“Is this where we draw lines?” Torran asked, tilting his head.
“Yep.” Lindsey slid to her feet and ran her hands down his chest. “We’re getting to know each other. We’re getting to be friends. But not only did I lose the stupid ex, but my best friend. I need a new friend.”
“A friend with benefits.” Torran stared into her eyes somberly. “I’m there with you.”
“Are you?” Lindsey really hoped he was, because she liked him.
“This life is too uncertain,” he said at last. “Better to keep things simple. Uncomplicated.”
“Let’s enjoy the rest of the night before we have to go back to the real world.” Lindsey rubbed her lips against his chin softly.
Torran cupped her face and kissed her lightly. “I better go.”
“No, Lindsey. I should. You see, if I stay any longer I won’t want to go back to the real world.”
Frowning, she feared she’d made a misstep with him.
“The thing is this… you’re a great girl. And I think we’re going to be great friends. But we need boundaries. Sleeping here tonight… a little too much over the line.”
“So don’t sleep.” Lindsey gave him the beguiling look that seemed to affect him so much.
“Oh, that’s playing so dirty.” Torran laughed.
“One more time, then you can go home.” Lindsey turned up her flirty look, her fingers lightly touching his hip.
“Fine. But… boundaries.”
His kiss rendered her breathless.