The Girls From Alcyone
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Sigrid stood in the center of what had once been the Academy grounds on Alcyone. Now, all that remained were the burned and collapsed remnants of the school and dormitories. Smoke still wisped up from the blackened piles of lumber and debris. The stench was raw and acrid, threatening to overwhelm her sensors.
"There's no way Independents did this," Christian said. "It looks like a whole battalion landed here."
Frantic, Sigrid scanned the area again, searching desperately for signs of the girls, but nothing turned up in her sensory modes. She tried calling out with her comlink. If they were in range, they'd pick up the signal. But there was still nothing. Not even the orbital satellites showed any sign of the girls, or survivors for that matter. Whoever had done this had been brutal and thorough.
Sigrid knew she would kill them.
Sigrid and Suko are two girls from the impoverished and crime-infested streets of 24th century Earth. Sold into slavery to save their families from financial ruin, the girls are forced to live out their lives in service to the Kimura Corporation, a prestigious mercenary clan with a lineage stretching back long before the formation of the Federated Corporations.
Known only to Kimura, the two girls share startling secret—a rare genetic structure not found in tens of millions of other girls.
But when their secret becomes known, Sigrid and Suko quickly find themselves at the center of a struggle for power. Now, hunted by men who would seek to control them, Sigrid and Suko are forced to fight for their own survival, and for the freedom of the girls from Alcyone.
Kimura said. "Welcome to Medea. What took you so long?" CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR New Home June 21, 2348 Lady Hitomi Kimura stared up into the sky at Medea's newest satellite. Construction on the new Warp Relay was nearly complete, and the 400 meter-wide structure could clearly be seen through the pair of binoculars she carried. She watched for a few minutes as the Daedalus crews began maneuvering the last of the sections into position before handing the binoculars back to the man at her
weapon-systems and loading ordnance. Her crew was already on board; she'd hired a number of specialists from a list of available officers and crew. She'd also requested, and was granted, further use of both Lieutenant Lopez and Ensign Melissa Greenway. Sigrid heard a signal over her comlink; Christian's voice sounded, tinny, in her head. "Your passengers have arrived." "Thank you, Lieutenant." Sigrid watched as a long string of black Kimura ground-cars approached at speed. The sleek-looking
seems, are conspiring against us, and rather quickly. I fear much of this is my fault." "Yours, Mistress?" "Long before the first attack on Alcyone, I demanded more protection for you and your sisters. But the Board denied me at every step." "But—they sent the company of soldiers—" Hitomi barked a laugh. "That? Hardly adequate for guarding a cargo of wheat. Sigrid, I know you don't believe it, but you're far more important than you can possibly imagine, and not just to Kimura—or to me…"
take the chance that someone could trace you here to me. Not now." Tarsus stared at him in disbelief. "Then this…this is just…" "I have a job for you, Karl. Whatever else would we be here to discuss." Karl gaped at him a long moment and then laughed, a huge belly laugh. Then, the menace returned to his eyes. "Work for you? I'll kill you." "That would serve neither of us. Besides, who pays you better than I do? Let's save time and dispense with the games." Smith threw a pad onto Tarsus' lap;
from Sigrid's lap. "Don't be a stranger," she said, giving her a wink and blowing her a kiss before retreating into the darkened bar. "Is it wrong that I found that hot?" Christian asked. Karen swatted him on the shoulder. "Come on," she said, taking Sigrid's hand and leading her through the crowd. The four of them made their way to the stage just as Honey finished one of her songs. Sigrid waved and called out, "Honey!" Honey smiled down at them from the stage. "One sec, sweetie." Honey made