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She was running from a ruthless criminal accompanied by someone more than human...When the shipwrecked stranger washed up, nearly drowned, on the beach near research scientist Samantha Brytons home, she was unaware that he was something more than human: an experiment conducted by Charon, a notorious criminal and practitioner of illegal robotics and android research. The man said his name was Turner Pascalbut Pascal was dead, killed in a car wreck. Then she found that Charon was experimenting with copying the minds of humans into android brains, implanted in human bodies to escape detection, planning to make his own army of slaves that will follow his orders without question. Samantha and Turner quickly found themselves on the run across the country, pursued by the most ruthless criminal of the twenty-first century. In desperation, Samantha decided to seek help from Sunrise Alley, an underground organization of AIs that had gone rogue. But these cybernetic outlaws were rumored to have their own hidden agenda, not necessarily congruent with humanitys welfare, and Samantha feared that her only hope would prove forlorn...
Turner. But in the same instant Turner broke Alpha's arm, he also slammed his other club into Hud's solar plexus. He didn't even look to aim the blow. With a grunt, Hud reeled into the back wall and slumped to the floor. Sam stood flattened against the left wall, unable to believe it. Alpha and Hud were both unconscious, collapsed on the floor, Alpha's arm twisted at an unnatural angle. The entire fight couldn't have taken more than five seconds. "Holy shit," she said. "Where did you get those
Sam's pulse ratcheted up. She had known Turner had skin unlike anything she had seen before, but she hadn't expected dynamic plastic. Sure, research on programmable matter had begun in the twentieth century with quantum dots, including the notable McCarthy patents, but this was beyond anything she had seen. Her mind whirled with possibilities. The patent for this plastic alone could make Charon obscenely wealthy. Until he had it, his work was at risk. He sure as hell wouldn't want his competitors
I'm the only copy of him? He was paranoid people were plotting against him, determined to destroy his genius. I'm sure he made other copies of himself to counter those evildoers he imagined were after him." Sam felt as if she were sinking into a quagmire. She might have fathomed Charon killing himself if he hadn't wanted more than one Charon to exist. This sounded like madness. Brilliant, but insane. "He doesn't just want immortality. He wants the influence of Sunrise Alley. And he figured out
Sam barely heard anything after his first four words. "You accessed him in your matrix." He pushed the hair out of his eyes. "Yes." "Charon is free?" "Not exactly." "Why 'not exactly'?" Sam felt surreally calm. Her lover had just informed her that he had converted himself into a monster. She ought to flee or hit him over the head. Since she couldn't imagine doing either, she just said, "He's won." His face lit with a fresh excitement that seemed the antithesis of the way everyone described
right?" No answer. "Damn it, Alpha!" Sam clenched the metal rungs of the ladder. "Give him the antidote." No answer. A grate came from below, a shoe scraping concrete. Sam went down a few more rungs and her foot hit the floor. She moved away from the ladder, listening to Alpha step down. Sam thought frantically of wrestling her to the floor and grabbing the antidote. It was a stupid idea; she had no chance against even one mercenary, let alone both Alpha and Hud. But she hated knowing that