Title – The Last City
Author – RMGilmour
Genre – SciFi-Romance
Publisher – Self-published through Bookbaby
A battle approaches Threa - a war of wills, one driven to control it, and the other to destroy it.
While immersed in their history, Lydia learns of the overwhelming threat to the planet and its people. And even though she was brought to Threa by her soulmate Jordan, it has come to be her home. And she will not let it go.
Every day Lydia trains with Lena and Dax, but she doubts she will ever be as strong as they need her to be. She is determined however, to be strong enough, to be ready, should she ever again, be confronted by an enemy.
But what she can’t fight, are Jordan’s memories. With each step that he takes toward the past, Lydia feels him pulling away, closing himself off.
As the war rages, Lydia is determined to stay strong when her faith in Jordan is challenged. But is she strong enough to survive her own fears? Or will his ties to the past sever the unbreakable bond between them?
Lena barely made a sound when the noise of her bones crunching in a way bones shouldn't, reached my ears. She sucked back her breath, and then exhaled it away.
And that was all.
She was even still standing.
"Good job," she said, without a hint of strain in her voice. "I didn't think you would."
"Lena," I could barely speak. My stomach was already turning, and my hands fluttered toward her. "I'm s-sorry."
She glared at me in annoyance, and I knew that was the wrong thing to say to her. Thank you, would have been more appropriate. But those words were more out of place, than the fact that I'd managed to accomplish such a disconcerting act of aggression against her.
I tried to wrap one of her arms around my shoulder, to help her to the medic room, but she brushed me off.
"You can't walk there by yourself. Your leg is..." but I couldn't finish my sentence. When I looked down, I saw bone poking through her warrior suit, and a small puddle of red had begun to accumulate around her foot. The sight was more than I could take. I'd done that. I'd hurt her. And I could feel the blood draining from my face. I grabbed her hand and forced her arm around my shoulder, and then closed my eyes, trying not to let the black spots become a dark void. And we hobbled from the room, one shaky step at a time.
We didn't get far however, before I realized that there was pain in one of my own feet, the one I'd used upon her leg. The spike that traveled through my foot and up my leg had begun as not much more than a dull throb, but with each step the throb turned into a sharp pressure. And the more I thought about the pain, and felt it as we walked, I couldn't help but wonder if I'd broken something myself.
Once I was sure I wasn't going to pass out, I opened my eyes again, but I didn't look down. If I saw what was wrong with me, there was a chance I would turn the pain into something worse than what it had a right to be. I would just let Haize fix it.
"Better now?" she asked me, through a barely audible grunt of discomfort. I hoped her suit was diminishing some of what she was feeling, as it was designed to. I almost certainly would have passed out after the simulated ward's attack, if not for the suit's technology.
And yet, here she was, broken leg and still managing to stay upright. I internally gaped at her fortitude and wondered how bad it would have to be before her pain would register for others to bear witness to. She was the toughest person, I was sure, I would ever meet. The strongest of the warriors, the most undefeated. She was the force I wished to live up to.
"Lena," Dax groaned as we entered the room. He ran to her other side, to take her from me, and helped her onto a table. The look she gave him, indicated she was both annoyed and amused by his offer to assist her.
Jordan beamed at me. "You did it," he said, as he assisted me to a table, where I waited my turn to be healed.
Haize set about her screens, correcting the damage to Lena's leg. Dax only glared at me, as though he wanted to tear my heart out.
"Pain for pain," I murmured in his direction, and then clamped my mouth shut, remembering where I'd heard the expression. It was what the ward had said to me, his reason for hurting me, because I'd hurt him first.
"She cheated," Lena said, then winced and sucked back her breath as Haize righted her leg.
"What?" Jordan and I called in unison.
"How?" I asked, confused. She couldn't have meant because she'd let me hurt her. For why would she let me in the first place, if she was only going to accuse me of cheating afterward. "What are you talking about?"
"You couldn't look me in the eye," she said, through a brief flicker of pain.
The guilt once more began to well up within me. I couldn't help but feel as though my hurting her - a real person, not just a simulation - had violated something sacred.
"How else did you expect me to accomplish that," I argued, and flicked my hand toward her. I could feel the emotion building within me and I swallowed hard to keep it all down. "You're my best friend, I can't just go around breaking you for no good reason!"
I had no idea where that came from. I don't believe that thought had ever crossed my mind before.
She gasped and cocked her head to the side. No doubt as surprised as I was by my revelation. It was however, the truth. I'd never even come close to having a best friend before. Growing up, I was a loner. I had my brother, but I'd felt no need for other friends; those encounters were always awkward and mostly silent.
Lena was the one person, girl-person, that I ever felt like I'd connected with, in an honest way. My friendship for Rebecca was similar, but it was more protective, as though she was my little sister, despite her being three hundred years older than me.
Lena smiled. And for a moment I expected a sarcastic retort from her, but I was relieved when it didn't come.
"You're forgiven," she responded, still smiling. And it was genuine. It felt good to see that emotion on her face.
I could only nod.
"This one time only," she added, her smile gone. She then turned back to Haize.
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Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, RMGilmour currently resides in Florida, USA, with her two children, two cats, and a turtle. She enjoys filling blank pages with Sci-Fi-Romance, Sci-Fi-Fantasy, both novel length as well as short stories.
Social Media Links:
My website: www.rmgilmour.com
(The first five chapters of The Colony, and the first chapter of The Last City, as well as two short stories from The Colony, are available on my website.)