Adam and E-V-E
E-V-E, or Emergency Violator Equalizer, is an enhanced woman with a computer chip in her head that makes her the ultimate fighting machine. When faced with a Cerillion robot, she's more than annoyed to have to fight along side an unenhanced human...especially one who brings out her human side.
Lieutenant Adam B'Luven wants to protect the last few Earth inhabitants without the aid of a machine like E.V.E. that's making the human Army obsolete. But in order to save the humans, he'll have to drop his prejudices...and his pants.
"Eve, at some point you're going to have to listen to me," Adam shouted over the whirring and whizzing sounds of his KN-47 weapon.
The over-forty-foot tall steel robot in front of them with its round body, solid titanium legs and modified claws for all four feet, raised another metallic shield over its exoskeleton. It showed no sign of stopping its assault.
E-V-E, or as she preferred to be called, Emergency Violator Equalizer, stood with her back to the thick steel door protecting the last few humans on planet Earth.
Although basically human, with tissues, organs, muscles and nerves, she thought of herself as a robot, a computer, no different than the thing in front of her that she wanted to take down. A sophisticated computer chip existed in her brain, implanted at conception and remaining until today, her twenty-fifth year.
She'd been trained to be a killing machine. With one hand-chop to the throat at the right angle, she could crush a man's windpipe and leave him gasping for air until he curled into a ball to die. With an upward thrust of her hand, she could shove the cartilage in any human attacker's nose into his brain, killing him within milliseconds. Endless hours of combat training had guaranteed that she would never need weapons. But in a case like this, where the attacker wasn't human, she'd be foolish to discard them in favor of fighting with her bare hands.
E-V-E squeezed her finger on the trigger of her assault rifle, firing off several rounds. The shots landed around what could be considered the knee joint on machine.
The physics of the contraption astounded E-V-E. The shot should have taken it down. She was an expert at spotting weakness, since it had filled her training schedule from the beginning.
Her regimented and practiced skills thrived while protecting those who couldn't fend for themselves--humans--against all outside forces determined to take over. The last thing she needed was to take advice--no, orders--from a man, especially one that made her question herself.
This was the gratitude E-V-E got for surviving beyond a few years. Leaders of the Federation offered her a role in their Army. She could have had her own troops to lead. But she'd chosen to work alone, at least that was what she'd wanted.
Peering over at Adam in his now tattered pants and opened jacket, she took in a long, haggard breath and jerked her attention back to the advancing monster. However, the image of his muscled thighs and the honey-colored skin of his thick neck and smooth, barrel chest invaded her thoughts until she had to swallow the saliva gathering in her mouth.
Her reactions didn't compute. Once she took this spherical giant down, E-V-E would have to defrag her computer chip. Seemed to be about that time anyway.
As soon as the Cerillions had entered the Earth's atmosphere three months ago, E-V-E's internal sensors had been on alert. Three rapid beeps every five minutes for the entire three months had given her a not-so-gentle reminder to remain alert until the attack. Sleep mattered little to her until she could ascertain the cause of her protective signal. When it had finally stopped, the robot appeared.
Why Adam, this human, had to tag along, made no sense. She'd been told he was sent to assist her because he was the best in the squadron unit.
But E-V-E had been told she was the best. Period.
She recognized a babysitter when she saw one. But at least he offered a pleasant diversion from looking at the flat, rusty Earth all day.
"Adam, get inside," E-V-E demanded. "I'll stay here and hold off this thing until you can get the inhabitants to the tunnels."
"All twenty thousand of them? Not likely." He took a precise shot at the underside of the predator's carriage. Good to see that he remembered the basics of his robot-defense training. Go for the weakest spot.
The thing didn't falter. It took another step closer, shaking the ground until both E-V-E and Adam fell into one another. Adam put his arm around her shoulders to steady her.
As though he willed her to do so, E-V-E turned her attention to Adam when the robotic intruder stopped its attack, righting its clunky posture and lowering its rifles as if at ease.
"What's going on? A truce?" E-V-E asked.
She'd never known a Cerillion to give up. It had to have been a trick.
"That's what I've been trying to tell you." Adam held his gun at the being and managed to turn E-V-E around to face him. "I figured something out and I think it'll work."
E-V-E glanced at the robot, which started to hoist its guns back up for a second wave of attack. She asked quickly, "What? We don't have much time to--"
Before she could finish, Adam pressed his firm lips on hers. Keeping her eyes open, she glared at the lieutenant. Her pulse quickened and that scared her more than the attacker. The loss of her senses reminded her of her training days when her programmers took over her body during exercises. When she felt herself lowering her gun, she pulled back.
"What are you doing?" she asked, holding on to his muscled arm.
He nodded toward the gatecrasher. "Take a look."
Turning her head, she noticed that not only had the robot lowered its weapons, it started to shake uncontrollably as though on a self-destruction mode. When she turned back to Adam, he kissed her again, passionately.
His hand pressed against the small of her back as he held her even closer. Sweat rolled down the side of her face, a first. She turned to break from the embrace. If Adam wasn't trying to pass secret documents from mouth to mouth, then this action proved futile. But her slight struggle caused him to hold her tighter.
E-V-E took in his masculine scent, a combination of red clay dust, salty sweat and ammonia, the last a permanent aroma that constantly wafted through the atmosphere. Her hand snaked up to the back of his neck as she took in the kiss, another first.
When Adam broke from her, he asked, "How was that?" He peered over at the robot, which still vibrated violently but struggled to hold its gun to them. "Say it now. Say it fast."
"What are you talking about?"
"Christ, Eve. For a computer, you sure aren't the fastest processor in the lot."
"I'll have you know that I'm able to compute multiple--"
A laser shot blasted over their heads, denting the door and burning a small hole in its wake.
"Don't argue with me," Adam said as he moved her over to avoid the molten steel pouring down the door as a result of the gun blast. "It's reacting to conflict."
E-V-E blinked. "Which is why we need to continue our rifle assault."
"Not that kind of conflict." He waved his hand between the two of them. "Us. Our fighting is causing that thing to fire on us."
She didn't have a chance to ask why. Without warning and with no hesitation, Adam pressed her back against the door, the smoldering hole over their heads a reminder that they weren't doing a practice attack. He paused for a moment, then did something she'd never thought he would do as long as she'd known him: he dropped his weapon.
"What are you doing, Lieutenant?" she demanded. "We have an intruder in our midst!" Standing on the tips of her toes in her class five work boots, she peered over his shoulder to see the Cerillion attacker gearing up for another battering. "Pick up your weapon!"