Here’s a short short posted for a writing prompt at https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/116559659196021786692/stream/c803c377-d47b-493b-a9df-7c7c8706eb2d
In case the link doesn’t work:
The Invasion had begun and Tara knew that they had run out of time. If they found her, she’d never again see the bioluminescent coral that held the city-dome in its warm emerald glow. Her body shuddered at nightmares of never again watching the playful dance of the Scorpionfish outside the Great Dome.
The Ashkani Empire invaded using Reapers, cybernetic troopers that eradicated all life-forms without remorse or hesitation. They moved through each city-dome like a wave, killing, burning, wiping out anything in their path.
Tara watched helplessly as everyone she knew was hunted and killed; Gabriel whisking her away from every attack. She hated it, but knew her Guardian could never allow any harm to come to her.
Gabriel was CyberGuard, bio-engineered for her at birth, a perfect fusion of man and machine, programmed to accomplish one directive: to protect Tara. The Reapers hadn’t found them and, for that, she loved her…“bodyguard.” A name he hated, but one she used just to smolder his bio-circuits.
Hiding amongst the scattered bones of a blown-out housing unit, they tried to get as much troubled sleep as they could.
“Tara, we gotta go – NOW!” Gabriel’s sensors could only pick up comm signals now. Their last “close encounter” knocked out his proximity sensors which allowed the Reapers to get close – too close.
And now, their eyes, like glowing rubies, hung eerily in the misty emerald twilight just outside the courtyard. He drew his plasma-sword; the disruptor circuit lining the blade made it shimmer in the jadelight.
“How do they keep findin’ us?” Tara asked.
“Damn!” he sighed, realizing that they were tracking his bio-circuitry’s EM radiation. They’re finding her by tracking him.
“What’s goin’ on, Gabe?” Tara slid into the shadow of the wall, just as he taught her to do.
A victim of their own destructive success, the Reapers could no longer move effectively through the city, while their victims had ample cover amidst the rubble.
“Stay down.” Gabriel needed to stop them before they found her. His safety wasn’t important. Tara was all that mattered.
“I can’t believe they found us again,” Tara remarked.
“It’s my fault.”
“What d’ya mean? You’re the only reason I’m still alive.”
“They are homing in on…my systems are putting you at risk and I’m going to get you killed.” Thousands of calculations raced through his processors until he found the best course of action.
“Nonsense,” she could hear the Reapers now. “You are the-“
The sound of his plasma-blade powering up froze the words in her throat. She turned to see him plunge the blade through the neuro-cluster in his head, forever silencing the signal the Reapers were tracking.
“Nooo!” Tara saw his body fall as the top half of his head rolled into her foot.
She picked up what was left of her friend, her only companion.
“Why?” Tara peered into Gabriel’s lifeless eyes searching for any glimmer of life. “I…n-never told you…I love…”
A single dark tear ran down her cheek.