her body back again, to beat out the perfect, flawless march, to shriek the red ecstasy of fire. She and the machine must be one: a great engine of chaos and destruction.
Beside her, she sensed such a machine. Its touch promised all she desired. She must have it.
His breath suddenly became deeper, pain stabbing at his side with each inhalation. Deeper breaths, she judged, were more efficient. His chest rose and fell with hers. The heel of his hand was pressed against her neck, and through it, he felt the eager beat of her pulse. His own pounded in synchrony. His mind's eye flashed with a rapid series of sensor readings, lists of systems and programs stored within him. His leg tingled, and he realized she had discovered the damage and was speeding his organelles in their repair. His control was slipping away, a startling, unnerving sensation.
G'Leel had turned her gun on the aliens. Their black eyes were staring at him.
As if of its own will, his free hand rose, and he watched as it moved toward the other side of her head. She would coordinate his systems, serve as the central processing unit of his body. The bond between them must be made more efficient and complete.
Galen forced his mind's eye to go blank, and with all his will he yanked his hand free. "No!" He stumbled back, the connection suddenly broken.
She reached for him, fingers straining.
Galen found he'd backed against the wall. Yet she no longer frightened him. She'd had no chance of retaining control once he resisted. She was meant to be a slave, while he'd been trained to be a master.
Her dark eyes were consumed with emptiness and hunger.
They had removed her from the wreckage. They were going to wire her into the excavated ship. That connection was what she most wanted.