Chapter 36

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Ravki watched Bor as he stared at the sleeping cyborg.

The girl had cried herself into a deep sleep an hour ago. Seeing the young hunter pacing outside his lab Ravki allowed him to look at her without disturbance. Guilt rolled off the youngblood in waves and Ravki could not help but feel a trace of pity for the hunter. Betrayal ran deep through the girl. Ravki had been forced to listen as she cried out her frustrations about her mate, a fact Bor also failed to tell her. By the time she finally fell asleep, Ravki considered his own frustration with the young yautja.

Looking at Bor now, Ravki's eyes narrowed as he noted the change not only in the hunter. He recalled the image of Bor as he accepted the mission Justice and her mate informed him about.

Jarak, Justice's mate, had taken the youngblood under his wing in his training. The mission had been Jarak's idea. A mission that would act as a final push for the floundering hunter and serve to bring one of Justice's lost sisters home. There were many who doubted Bor. Ojibwe's leader, Rakkah, and Jarak were not among the doubters. The two seasoned hunters were well aware of Bor's abilities and were unsurprised to see the young hunter standing taller and stronger than when he left despite his injury.

The only thing they did not expect was his newfound mate. Nor the sheer power she possessed. Bor had relayed what he saw on that island. How her arm transformed into a blade with the help of the nanites that ran through her like blood. With all of the data they could find on the cyborg and the new information, Izara surpassed their expectations. With the ability to completely transform not only her entire body into a regenerative weapon but her mind as well, she was literally a killing machine. A fully sentient weapon of destruction. Unfortunately, the flaw in her design was as glaring as she was profound.

From the notes of her creation, the berserker class cyborg had no long-term success. Once fully activated the uncontrollable anger and unbalanced need for violence infected the mind leaving the previous three berserker cyborgs mindless unmanageable weapons that were subsequently put out of commission. But Izara was different, she had gone into her berserk mode once before during her first field test in open warfare. Some would probably look at the footage of the young girl savagely decimating hundreds of enemies single-handedly as a great achievement, a display of strength.

Yet there was nothing about the mask of anger on the young Izara's face that was worthy of praise. Examining the footage, Ravki could see the tears streaming down her face. She may not have been fully cognizant back then but deep down on some level she had been in agony. It had been that fact that had swayed their leader, Rakkah, to approve of retrieving the girl. That and the girl was able to be subdued once unlike her other berserker sisters. Her memories had been the cost but she could be controlled.

Ravki looked at Bor's still figure and back to the girl. On the island, she had been close--too close. He doubted she could survive another complete blackout.

###

For four days Bor tried to visit his mate and for four days she turned him away using Ravki to relay the message.

On the fourth day, he nearly sank his claws into the older hunter's throat if it were not for Jarak. Pulling him away, the massive hunter whom he looked up to had forced Bor out of the pyramidal palace into the jungle to train.

The distraction did not serve its purpose. All he thought of was her. Shock, confusion, betrayal, and anger all emotions he once had a hard time discerning on a human's face. Not anymore. The expressions which were so far from a smile and now they were forever ingrained in his mind. He was lost without her by his side. Nothing felt normal or right. A feeling like madness crept over his nerves at the loss of her by his side.

For the thousandth time, he cursed himself for not telling her sooner.

Turning away from Jarak, Bor made his own way deep into the jungle and knew the older hunter would not follow him. Running he let the branches of the thick tropical forest swipe at his face as he made his own path through. He ran for miles and stopped only when the ground ran out and he found himself on a craggy overhang staring down at more verdant jungle below. It reminded him of the cliffs on that island and looking down at the blue water with Izara. He did not want to expose her to the truth about herself then, not without the support she needed.

Bor thought of her hurt expression in the lab once the truth was laid bare before her and threw his head back with a roar of frustration. Birds shot out from the tops of the trees around him at the sound. It was not supposed to be this way!

He wanted his mate to find answers to herself on Ojibwe. He wanted her to see that there was more of her. Kin waiting for her. He thought of her smile back on the island and thought of her wide hurt eyes staring back at him in the lab. He should have grabbed her then and forced her then and there to see his reasonings, he thought savagely.

Everything was slipping through his fingers like sand. He was losing her.

Turning around abruptly, Bor glared in the direction of the lab.

No. He would not lose her. Only death would separate them. 

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