“Being human is the apex of life. It’s the top, not the bottom.”
Yumi is pretty sure someone’s trying to kill her… and she can’t remember who. Undercover and alone in one of the most dangerous cities on the Southern Continent, she’s struggling to live through every day until she can find her new allies and get back to Rin. But when the mission goes wrong and Rin is kidnapped and held for ransom, Yumi must act fast. Not only are the yakuza on her tail, but the fearsome Fukusha Model Eight androids are after her too. With her short-term memory failing and war just around the corner, she can only stay alive by determining who’s telling the truth and who will do anything to lie to her and steal everything she has, including her life.
FUKUSHA MODEL EIGHT is the third book in the Hikoboshi Series, an action adventure, space opera series that explores the worlds settled by the Japanese who fled Earth a century ago. Culture, history, technology, and swords clash in a fast-paced future society on the brink of war.
Genre: Science Fiction Action Adventure / Space Opera
Series: The Hikoboshi Series
Rating: Rated R for language (profanity), sexual situations, and violence.
Publishing Date: May 18, 2018
Chop, chop, chop.
I learned a lot from Kay, the android metronome, at K&G Noodles.
Saki and I stand next to each other and chop vegetables for tomorrow’s shift. Better to stay late and prep for the next day rather than come in early. The lunch and evening shifts were hectic, and my feet hurt standing in the clogs I bought in Shin-Osaka. I pause, looking past my pile of carrots on the counter to my shoes. Where did I buy these again? I had been fed up with Kotashi and Gina, and I went on a spending spree, but I remember nothing about the store I shopped in.
“What’s up?” Saki asks, also pausing. She picks up her beer and takes a generous gulp. “You look confused. Missing something?”
“Yeah. Memories. I’ve noticed parts of my shorter-term memory are fading.” I grab my beer from next to the pile of unpeeled carrots. “I think I’m a little young to be dealing with memory loss.”
Saki shrugs. “Maybe you’re becoming senile in your old age.”
“If twenty-six is old, then you must be ancient.”
She laughs, throwing back her head. “I walked straight into that.” She returns to her pile of green onions. “I wouldn’t worry too much. It probably has something to do with lack of sleep and a poor diet.”
I want to argue with her, tell her about the three concussions I’ve sustained in the last year, the crippling migraines, and how the crazy weather systems here fuck with my head. But I can’t tell her any of that. Every time I’ve had a migraine here in Kitakyushu, I’ve called in sick to work and dealt with it on my own. Well, I had Ninjin’s help, but he’s not as attentive as Kazuo or Rin. I was docked pay for the days I couldn’t come in, but my boss is flexible and hasn’t threatened to fire me yet.
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” I say, grabbing a handful of the carrot scraps. Out the back door, I take a break with my beer and feed Ninjin his daily supply of carrots.
“I promise to buy a bag of dog food tomorrow,” I remind him as he rests his head on my lap. “It’s been two weeks, so I think I can get away with it.”
Atsumi locks up my funds every week because I’m supposed to be poor. It seems immoral to starve my dog because I have to keep up with appearances, but that’s why he comes to work with me. No one cares if the scraps end up in his belly or in the compost.
The back door opens again, and the rest of the kitchen staff joins me. They’re a nice group of people to work with. I have no complaints except that I still feel lost here every day. I’m not supposed to be slinging noodles and waiting tables. I’m supposed to be finding Shiroi Nami or hoping they find me. I’m supposed to be taking care of my people. I’m supposed to be with Rin. Where is he?
S. J. Pajonas is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.