A character interview with Dale Homme of Captured by the Cyborg #SFR
By Cara Bristol
Dale Homme is the cyborg hero of Captured by the Cyborg. Cyborgs tend to be rather secretive and publicity-averse, but I was able to get Dale to sit down for an interview.
Cara: So, Dale, I heard you piloted a spacecraft onto an enemy space station to rescue a buddy.
Dale: Yes, Kai is a buddy and a cyber operative who’d gone undercover posing as an android. His mission went south. I was able to sneak aboard the space station in the nick of time.
Cara: Wow, that’s friendship.
Dale: It was the most fun I’d had in a long time—since I left Cyber Operations.
Cara: So you’re a cyborg too. Were you born that way?
Dale [chuckling]: Cyborgs are made, not born. [Sobers] I was an archeologist. My team was on a dig when we were attacked by the Lamis-Odg terrorists. My team mates died, I was rescued by Cy-Ops, but had to undergo extensive surgery and rehab. I was given the option of standard prosthetics or becoming a cyborg. I chose to become a cyborg. I have a computer chip in brain, and both my legs are biomimetic, although they look biological.
Cara: And then you joined Cyber Operations, the paramilitary organization that had rescued you. Why did you leave?
Dale: A informant we all trusted betrayed my unit. A couple of my cyborg brothers were killed. I didn’t handle my rage very well. Before I screwed up and endangered my unit, I quit. I channeled my rage into ambition.
Cara: How so?
Dale: I’d always loved to fly and loved spacecraft of all kinds, so I built a spacecraft remanufacturing plant—a chop shop—below ground on the moon Deceptio. I can take a pleasure cruiser and turn it into a military fighter. I’ve supplied ships to Cyber Operations, and I have one I’m trying to get ready to deliver to the emperor of Xenia. [Sighs heavily]
Dale: There’s something wrong with Baby—that’s what we call the Xenian emperor’s ship. She does well in test flights, but then stalls out. If we can’t get her performing to spec soon, we can kiss goodbye future contracts with Xenia. I’ll be conducting interviews today with computer troubleshooters who hopefully can find the glitch in time to save our asses.
Cara: I’d like to go back to something you said. You’re underground? On a moon?
Dale: Yes, we’re a kilometer beneath the surface of Deceptio. Security is super-tight. Employees don’t even know where they are. They’re shuttled to and from Deceptio under blackout conditions and are only allowed off-moon for furloughs. No one enters or leaves Deceptio without my permission.
Cara: Why is that kind of security necessary?
Dale: Moonbeam is a remanufacturing plant, a chop shop. We’ve bought ships from sketchy individuals. Not everyone we work with is on the right side of their planet’s law. Plus, we’ve developed cloaking technology that Lamis-Odg would love to get their hands on. That can’t happen.
Cara: So It’s fair to say you’re a rule breaker.
Dale: I prefer to think of it as living up to the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law. If you have no more questions, I have to run. My assistant has just buzzed me that he’s sending up the first job candidate.
An excerpt from Captured by the Cyborg
(In this scene hero Dale Homme is interviewing job candidates. He just met the heroine, Illumina Smith.)
The woman’s head didn’t reach his shoulder. But what she lacked in stature, she compensated for with hair.
Shimmering, silvery-blonde waves of it tumbled to her hips. The platinum shade didn’t reflect light, it radiated it, almost as if the individual strands were composed of fibers of light itself. Although women could and did take chemical supplements to alter pigment at the cellular level, and platinum hair was not unusual, the combined effect of the color and shine was. Striking under the harsh artificial illumination—what would it look like in moonlight?
In a complete violation of propriety, he reached out to touch. He caught himself and snapped his hand to his side, calling upon his nanocytes to stamp out the kindling of desire. Turned on by a job candidate’s hair. This is what happened when you didn’t get laid often enough. Not entirely his fault though. He’d planned to visit the Darius 4 pleasure resort, until Lamis-Odg terrorists had destroyed the place. Under reconstruction, reopening hadn’t been scheduled yet.
He forced his attention away from her hair.
And noticed her clothing. What the hell was she wearing? Masculine, almost military-style trousers in a fabric mottled in various shades of tan led to clunky coyote-brown boots. A loose-fitting jacket in the same variegated pattern covered her top half. Fatigues—but from what century? The twenty-first maybe? Where had she acquired the getup?
“Mr. Homme?” Gray eyes met his in a direct stare. “I’m Illumina Smith. Thank you for seeing me.” Her voice tinkled like chimes blowing in a gentle wind, but the hand that seized his gripped like a steel clamp.
It’s not an arm wrestling match. He hid his amusement while noting the slenderness of her bone structure. His thumb and index finger would overlap if he were to encircle her wrist. “Come in. Have a seat.” He gestured.
She lurched with a jerky, awkward gait to the chair and sat, her posture rigid. Her robotic movement was so opposite the grace he’d expected, he ran a quick scan. No, not android. An organic, sentient life-form, but not human either.
“Your name is very unusual.” He plopped into his sensa-chair, which immediately conformed to the shape of his body and began a massage.
A tiny furrow creased her forehead. “Smith is a common Terran surname.”
If she was Terran, he was a six-eyed, webbed-handed Arcanian. “I meant Illumina.”
Sometimes the biggest risk is to one’s heart….
An ex-Cyber Operations field agent, Dale Homme has kissed danger and betrayal more times than he cares to count. Now he runs a clandestine factory beneath the surface of the moon Deceptio, where confidentiality and security matter more than anything. When a beautiful young woman arrives seeking a job, Dale knows within minutes she’s lying. Everything about her is false: her past, the people she claims to know, her reason for being on Deceptio. Illumina Smith? Even her name is an alias.
Logic says send her packing. His gut says she’s in trouble. She needs him. So he’ll do anything to keep her safe….even if it means keeping her captive.
Captured by the Cyborg is third in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series but is written to be read as a stand-alone novella.
Captured by the Cyborg is available in ebook and paperback.
USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has published more than twenty-five erotic romance titles, including contemporary and science fiction romance. No matter what the subgenre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling.