Friday, September 20, 2013

Series Spotlight: The Bionics Series by Alicia Michaels


The year is 4010.

Nuclear war and the wasteful nature of humans have all but destroyed the United States. A new government regime rules the day with strict laws, rationed food, and careful control. When those injured in the nuclear blasts that rocked many of the nations largest cities are offered another chance by the Restoration Project, how could they refuse?

Little do they know that the robotic additions to their body will paint targets on their backs once the government decides that they are dangerous. At the forefront of the resistance is a girl with a bionic eye, Blythe Sol, who wants nothing more than to be a normal girl. Blythe has yet to realize that normal will never exist again for her, or anyone else.

The Revolution has begun...

All I ever wanted was to be a normal girl. I had dreams of joining the ranks of the Military Police and making my family proud. But the nuclear war that laid waste to our country destroyed any hope I had of being normal ever again. They took everything away from me, including my humanity. I am now half-human, half-machine, part of the never-ending freak show that is the Restoration Project.

They hate what they created and they fear us for being powerful.

And so they hunt us, destroying our lives so that they can bury what they built. What they don’t know is this: there is a Resistance out there and The Bionics aren’t going down without a fight.


“I wish that I had died that day,” I admit, unable to look away from his gaze no matter how much my mind tells me that I need to. “I wish that all the time.”

He inches closer to me on the bed. “Is it really so bad? Professor Hinkley gave you and the others a second chance at life. It’s not fair that the government has decided you and others like you pose a threat.”

I think about a news broadcast I saw a couple of weeks ago, showing a surveillance video of a man with an arm identical to mine smashing in the window of someone’s car and beating them to a bloody pulp for no reason, before pulling a limp body from the driver’s seat and driving off in the stolen vehicle. Of course the thief was found and immediately executed; no trail, no jury, no questions asked.

“Some of us are dangerous,” I answer, and of course, it’s the truth.

“Some people are dangerous,” he insists. “Bionics are still people….just modified.”

“Right now your blood pressure is 124/90, your heart rate is an elevated 70 beats per minute; not bad, but still high for a healthy male that I assume is athletic. You have a tattoo on your left arm of an eagle, and a fractured rib.”

“That is amazing.”

I shrug. “It’s my eye. It is capable of reading a person’s body heat signature as well as their vital statistics. It allows me to pull away individual layers, such as clothing, skin, and muscle to expose what’s underneath. It’s how I knew about the rib.”

I reach out with my bionic arm and poke the rib for emphasis, raising my eyebrows as he winces in pain. “Still think I’m human?”

Gage reaches for my arm—my robotic arm—and grabs it by the hand. I can’t feel it, or his hand circling the wrist above it. His eyebrows wrinkle as he turns my arm over, inside facing up. He traces the inside of my arm, his fingers sliding over the cool metal and, for the first time since I woke up with that hunk of machinery on the other end of my elbow, I am wishing that I could feel the damn thing.

“Cold,” he murmurs as he draws circles on the metal. His fingers stop on the inside of my elbow, on the line where the titanium ends and I begin. I hear his breath catch in his throat and another noisy swallow as the pad of his index finger slides over my skin. I gasp as he trails it up the inside of my arm, flesh now on flesh. The human contact that I’ve denied myself for years has left me sensitive to every touch, and I feel as if I’m being caressed for the first time.

Of course Dax has held my hand from time to time; he’s even held me against him some nights when the nightmares get particularly bad until I fall back asleep. But he’s never touched me like this, and while I’m no virgin I certainly feel like one right now. A thousand emotions are exploding in me at one time and just as many sensations are following the path his finger traces up to my shoulder, pausing at the strap of my tank top.

“Warm,” he says with a smile. “Only about….what…ten percent of you is metal. When I got past your elbow, I felt skin, blood flowing through veins, muscle, and…goose bumps?”

He says that last bit with a smile, forcing me to look away in embarrassment. He holds his arm out toward me, pulling up the sleeve of his shirt and revealing a tanned arm sprinkled with light blond hair, which is standing on end. He leaves the sleeve above his elbow and holds his arm out in front of me.

“See?” he says gently, his head way too close to mine, his breath brushing my cheek. “I have them too.”

I reach out with my human hand and touch his arm. His opposite hand comes up to cover mine.

“If anything,” he says, his fingers gripping mine tightly, “the additions to your body give you character. They tell a story about where you’ve been.”

He pauses, leaning in so close that locks of his hair brush my forehead. “Where have you been, Blythe?”

I know he’s referring to the screams and my nightmare. I wonder if I can put him off like I do the others, but quickly realize by the glint in his eyes that he’s not letting me off that easy. I clear my throat and open my mouth, but no sound comes out. Gage leans forward and presses his lips to mine, taking advantage of my open mouth to nibble on my lower lip.

With a soft sigh, he closes the distance between us and cups my face in his hands, taking my breath away with the simple act of molding his mouth to mine. My hands resting on his thick thighs, I come up on my knees on the bed, leaning into him, trembling both inwardly and outwardly, unsure of what I’m doing or why I’m doing it, but know that I can’t stop. Kissing Gage feels like walking down the street used to be before the government labeled Bionics as dangerous. It feels like freedom.

“Hey Blythe, I couldn’t sleep and I was thinking…”

Dax’s voice trails off as the door to the bathroom we share knocks against the wall, pushed open by my bone-headed best friend who never knocks because he knows I’m never doing anything he can’t see me doing.

Except this time.

This time, guilt propels me away from Gage and back against the headboard, my lowered eyelids shielding me from Dax’s dark glare.

“Sorry,” he says, sounding anything but. “Didn’t realize you’d have a visitor at three o’clock in the goddamn morning.”

Part of me wants to rip Dax a new asshole for being such a jerk. What right does he have being mad at me when I know he’s screwed Olivia on several occasions, and who knows what other groupies he’s got salivating over him in both Mosley and Hexley Halls? Another part of me feels like I just got caught doing something unforgiveable, although I’m not sure if it was that I kissed someone, or if it’s just the fact that the someone I kissed happens to be Gage.



We stand on the brink of a double rescue mission, a plan so foolhardy that even our bravest men are quaking inside with fear. Storm the capitol, free the prisoners, don’t get killed. It seems like a suicide mission, but not a single one of us has anything to lose.

In my past life, I was a scoundrel; a drug peddling street thug who cared nothing for anyone because I had no one to care for me. The nuclear blasts of 4006 reminded me of the value of life, and a girl with the saddest eyes I’ve ever gazed into gave me someone to care for. Now, as we embark on our most dangerous enterprise, I can only hope that we make it out alive and that those we have lost can be recovered.

Foolishness … fear … hope … These are the elements that threw our revolution into motion. As the momentum of the Resistance continues to build, we can only pray that hope continues grow larger than our fear.


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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