Just thinking of her hurt and in some other bastard Cyborg's arms made rage course through his veins. Every single protective instinct had been raised and was battling its way throughout his system.
It was difficult to concentrate, difficult to think and create a plan of action. His mind was going crazy with the thought of losing her, and it affected his concentration, refused to allow him to plan a way of bringing her back to his side.
Staring blindly at the rubble surrounding him, he set a body scan running. When he reached 99.9% health, he stopped the nano-bots and stood to stretch out his frame.
He inhaled deeply and sought calm and collectedness. He knew that if Brooke had been here and seen him in this state of panic, she would have been shocked. His ability to always appear cool in any situation had always pissed her off. To see him like this would have probably frightened her.
What she'd never realized was that she was the only person who could ever make him lose his cool. Any threat or danger to her could make him lose it. She was his weakness but rather than being frustrated by that, he'd embraced it for what it was--the one thing about his humanity that he had thought lost to him forever. Love.
At this moment in time, it wasn't helping, though, and it took him a while to realize that the only way he would ever find her location was to hack into the Cyborg's database and see where the bastard who'd taken her was situated.
He set up an outgoing call, his system calling a friend of his who had the ability to hack into heavily protected databases. The one program he needed logged every single Cyborg's location and gave off peripheral details of recent actions. Taking a girl captive would be logged, and he needed his friend to search through the Cyborgs for one who'd been in this area and had taken a woman hostage.
The call was accepted. He couldn't restrain the impatience in his voice. "Lydo?"
"Zeno! Man, how are you?"
"Totally fucked. My ward, Brooke Aldrea, has been taken by a fucking warrior."
"Shit. Damn fool warriors. I swear the blood lust has fucked up their minds and deleted their thought processes. What happened? I can't imagine you letting Brooke be in any situation where she could be taken!"
"The damn building we were in collapsed while we were sleeping. A piece of rubble hit me, nearly severed all the wires of my neck, and knocked me completely senseless. By the time my sorry security program registered the need for repair, she was already gone, taken. It could have been hours ago. There's no recent traces of body heat in any part of the building. I need a favor, Lydo, can you help?"
"Of course, you know me."
"I need you to hack into the collective memory database and see if there has been a Cyborg in this location, one that's taken a girl captive."
"I'll try my best. Stay on the line. It shouldn't take long to find out. I augmented my processor again last week. My systems are running four thousand percent faster than they were before."
Silence reigned for a few minutes as the other Cyborg worked to locate Brooke.
He had faith in Lydo's capabilities and knew that if any Cyborg could find his woman that Lydo could.
The curse was quiet and more poignant because of that.
"What? She's not dead, is she?"
Despite himself, Zeno felt fear and desperation begin to assail him. He felt panic begin to rock his system and a tremble of terror grip his heart in a vice.
"You'll never believe who took her. Fuck. I didn't even realize he went on raids anymore!"
"Yes. I tell you it's him. In your neck of the woods, about three hours ago, he took one woman who's in her late twenties. I know it's Deltra because the way she looked registered on his log. It shocked him into listing her details. She has long black hair, gray eyes, and is nearly six foot, with olive skin from a mixed heritage. He logged traces of Polynesian and Caucasian blood in her make up."
"That's not a detailed description! It could be anyone," Zeno growled, struggling to dismiss the possibility.
"It doesn't stop there. He projected her image. It's her."
"Fuck. Not Deltra!" he groaned despondently.
"I know. Tell me about it."
"I thought being the Cyborg leader would have taken up enough of his energies without having to raid a small cluster of human townships." It wasn't a question but a statement.
"Obviously, that's not the case. We both know the Robots are losing. Evidently they're losing faster than we thought. Maybe he was bored."
"Bastard. I hate that mother fucker."
"Yeah, your history was never that great."
"Tell me about it. I almost killed the fucker, wish like hell I'd succeeded now," Zeno spat.
"What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to go get her back, of course!"
"But she'll be in his domain. She'll be surrounded by his warriors."
"Don't you think I know that, Lydo? What do you expect me to do? You want me to just leave her there . . . with him? No fucking way. She's my woman and that bastard should never have taken her."
Lydo snorted. "Like any of that matters to him. He makes up the rules as he goes along."
"Yeah, well, not any more he doesn't. He's taken the wrong girl this time. Stupid bastard. He knows I'm from the same batch as him and I'm an earlier model."
"I never knew that," Lydo said, his voice sounding intrigued.