MAC, the computer that controls the SkyRyder Corp
discovers that soldiers within its ranks wish to stop its Breeding Project to
make superior flyers. When a great many of these special talents are murdered
over a two-week span, MAC quickly gathers the remaining assets, modifies their
fingerprints and alters their looks, then sends them to the last place in the
world that anyone would look for them.
to Fort Dismal, Alaska,
absolute worst fort in the Americas.
A month later, the doctors declared Eliza fit to leave.
Eliza was so pleased she wanted to leap from the bed and run out the door, but
she feared that would only change their mind.
They lectured Colonel Polanski on a thousand things she was
not ready to do yet. She stopped listening after they ran through every
possible sex act. Clearly, the doctors were not happy men and did not wish
anyone else to be happy either.
When he handed her a fly suit with the zipper in the back,
she looked up at him. “Will I be riding on your back.”
“Very good.” He smiled. “What else can you deduce from your
She studied the fabric intensely. It felt odd…almost
metallic. She petted the fabric across his groin and pulled her hand away
before he could remove it. “I don’t think I’ll be saying good-bye to anyone.”
Angie and she would never get to say good-bye.
“I’m sorry, but you won’t. The doctors have cleared you to
leave tomorrow morning, but we’ll be leaving now. How did you know?”
“The suits…I think they must be the ones that turn
“Right again,” he said. “Anything else?”
“This face mask has oxygen feeds. So, we must be going
somewhere far away, and we’ll be flying the high winds to get there in a single
He kissed her on her lips. “That is an impressive brain
hiding behind that beautiful face.”
“Not so beautiful anymore,” she complained. The doctors had
reconstructed her face, but it was a very different face than she previously
had. She did not mind the dark skin, but she preferred her prior perky nose and
round eyes to her current narrow eyes and wide flat nose.
He gently caressed her cheek with his massive hand. “You’ll
never stop being beautiful to me.”
She laughed and petted his eyes closed. “Poor Colonel, you
truly must be besotted then.”
He nipped her hand playfully. “I am completely besotted with
you, but fortunately that played to my favor. It meant MAC chose me to protect
“I expect it was all those badges that impressed MAC, not
your capitulation under torture.”
He laughed. “Probably true.”
Eliza smiled. “I have a gift for you.”
His brows furrowed. “Is it small?”
“Then bring it with you. We have to leave now.”
Eliza sighed, disappointed she could not present it first,
but she did as he commanded. However, her suit had no pockets in the front, so
she had nowhere to put it. She handed it to him. “Will you hold it for me?”
He took the small package and studied it. “May I peek at it
She shook her head, not wanting the opening of the present
to be rushed.
Tucking it into his pocket, he handed her gloves and a
facemask. He helped her put on her mask, taking great effort not to hurt her
tender nose in the process.
With her hand securely in his, he disappeared right before
her eyes. She reached out and touched him, laughing because her hand was as
invisible as his arm.
“No more giggles,” he warned her. “You must remain
completely quiet.” He then opened the door and led her out in the darkened
halls. It was past midnight and there was no one around except for the security
guard at the desk.
The colonel slowly nudged a pen off the edge of the desk and
when the security guard leaned over to retrieve it, the colonel pushed a button
on the panel. He then led her to the door and waited…and waited.
Eliza worried they’d stand here all night. Finally, the
guard rose and locked down his board. He then walked down the hall on his
Colonel Polanski triggered the door to open and the invisible
colonel tugged her through the opening. Once outside, he caressed her body, and
while his friskiness surprised her, she liked it. A moment later, he lifted her
into his arms. Determining the location of his neck, she wrapped her arms
around him and held on tight as he jogged across the field with her in his
arms. When he almost tripped, she whispered in his ear, “I could ride on your
back or run on my own.”
He stopped and guided her to his back and then continued to
run. She was glad she had suggested the change. He would have killed them both
if his hands had not been free when he leapt across the ravine. Even so, she
thought it the eeriest experience in her life, to fly across the ravine on the
colonel’s invisible back.
She could hear his breath only faintly when they finally
arrived at the edge of the woods. He lowered her to the ground. Suddenly a snap
of a twig alerted her they weren’t alone.
“Sloppy approach,” he chided someone.
“Sorry,” muttered the reply.
Someone touched her shoulder. “Well, I’ve found the package,
but where are you?” the voice complained.
She felt the colonel move away from her. Next, she heard the
clanking of gear. She suspected by the shuffling noise, that the colonel was
putting on his flight gear.
Someone touched her breast, then worked his way to her arm.
Upon realizing the person was trying to assist her into her own gear, she helped
as much as she could. Still, she found it very hard to attach her halter
without being able to see it. Frustrated, she muttered soft curses. Soon
someone with warm calloused hands took over the job.
Eliza liked the feel of invisible hands running over her
chest, verifying all the straps lay flat and the belt properly buckled. It was
only when the person helped her onto the colonel’s back and clipped her in,
that she realized the hands had not belonged to the colonel. Finally, the
invisible person located her right ear and placed an earpiece inside the canal.
Then an oxygen mask covered her face.
Someone whispered in her ear, asking if she could breathe.
She started to nod but realized no one could see her. Amused
at her own silliness, she replied verbally that she could breathe.
Finally, someone declared her good, and a second later, she
rose into the sky.
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog
Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow.
Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ,
hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive
with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, skydive
in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener,
amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet
throughout her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing