Agartha's Castaway - Book 9 (The conclusion of series)
good way, like when she worked out to her Celebrity Fit video at home.
“Stop struggling,” said the soldier. “You're just making it harder on yourself.”
Or on him. Maybe he’s having trouble pinning me to the spot? Granted, it was a long shot
and probably based on pure wishful thinking, but being annoying was better than doing nothing.
“I am?” Casey grinned and twisted, pushing her weight down like she'd learned in karate class.
The sensei had said that move would get her out of any trouble, and now she could put it to the
test. “You'll pay for all of this, Tio, you sick jerk.”
Hands grabbed Casey's shoulders from behind and shoved her down to her knees. Pain shot
up through her legs. “Show respect to our leader!” the soldier said.
She peered around in mock confusion as much as her straining neck would allow. “Leader?
What leader? Oh, him?” She nodded toward a frowning Commander Tio. “He isn't my leader.”
“You didn't dare.” Tio's face turned into a cold mask, his eyes blazing with fury. Whatever
Thorn had said about his hatred for humans was no exaggeration. “I feel so bad for your
mother,” Tio continued, pointing. “The poor thing looks so upset, and the bad things haven't
even started happening to her yet. She'll never make it past the first experiment like you.”
Casey turned, and her blood turned to ice. Her mom's sobs echoed across the room. At the
same moment, her father collapsed on the floor, with a grinning soldier standing behind him. She
opened her mouth to call his name, her legs kicking in a frenzy as she stumbled to her feet.
“Oh no, you're not going anywhere,” said the commander. “Did you really think you could
sneak aboard my ship, steal my prisoners, foil my plans, and destroy my property?”
“Is that wrong?” she snapped.
The scream caught in her throat when a boot hit her in the pit of her stomach, making her
fall backward, only to land with a thud on the floor. She swallowed down the pain.
Tio laughed as he scanned the room, his eyes lingering on her parents for a second too long.
“Maybe I should shoot them where they are.”
“What's wrong with you? Leave them alone.” Her voice sounded low and coarse,
unrecognizable. She thought she tasted blood on her tongue, but it couldn't be unless she had
bitten it. “My parents didn't do anything to you, you jerk!”
Tio narrowed his gaze. “I don't like you, human—not one little bit.”
She lifted her head off the hard floor and forced herself up on her elbows, a smile playing on
her lips. “Kind of figured that when you put me in a glass cage to be tossed into space.”
“You're strong and feisty,” he said. “You might just live past the second experiment I have
“You're insane.” Heart pounding, she scrambled up and lurched at the commander like a
crazy woman. She spat on him as soldiers caught her midair and forced her back. “Hope you
enjoy a sample of my DNA.”
Tio met her gaze and laughed. “I wouldn't expect anything less. You'll definitely make it
past the first three experiments.”
“Put her with the others,” Tio ordered.
Two soldiers grabbed her by each arm. “No way!” she shouted as she squirmed and kicked
with every ounce of her strength.
In spite of her efforts, they dragged her over to the end of the line.
“Just shoot me and get it over with,” she yelled, raising her glance to catch a glimpse of her
parents, regretting it instantly.
Her mom stood frozen to the spot, with her face pale and her eyes filled with unshed tears.