T C Southwell Books

The Cyber Chronicles II - Death Zone

Freed from the miniature AI embedded in his control unit, Sabre is now in charge of his own destiny for the first time. He continues to help the young queen whose plight brought him to the post-holocaust planet of Omega Five, partly because he has grown attached to the high-spirited girl and partly because the AI is still able to punish him for disobeying her.

Sabre is forced to take Tassin into the Badlands in order to escape her enemies, much to her horror and despite her protests. At the centre of the radioactive desert, a legacy of the nuclear war centuries ago, is the Death Zone, and no one who has ventured into it has survived to tell the tale. Mutated monsters prowl the ever-changing Flux-realities within the Zone, where slices of alien worlds sweep through at irregular intervals. Sabre’s scanners do not work, hampering him, but his peerless fighting skills ensure Tassin’s safety, although hardships take their toll.

A furry form-shifting denizen of the Zone befriends and guides them, but Flux-reality becomes increasingly dangerous as they venture further in. Sabre finds that he must not only protect the strong-willed young queen from the Zone’s dangers, but also the pint-sized girl’s conviction that she is a warrior queen and able to take on massive monsters with nothing more than a dagger – since the sword she stole is too heavy for her – and an overabundance of courage.

By the time they emerge on the far side of the Zone, Tassin is gravely ill, and Sabre is forced to carry her across the other side of the desert to the strange lands beyond, where more wonders, strange cultures and dangers abound. Sabre’s attachment to the sometimes irritating girl confuses him, for cybers are not supposed to have feelings, and he never has before. Besides, he is just a damaged cyborg.

On top of everything else, however, Tassin’s enemies have not entirely given up, and the worst of them, King Torrian, has sent his mage to hunt the two fugitives down, with the aid of a giant warrior and an enchanted wolf. Tassin does her best to hide her feelings for Sabre, whose sweet, gentle nature is so at odds with his lethal skills, and finds his apparent lack of interest galling, to say the least.