Storm of Eon (Eon Warriors #7) - Anna Hackett

Chapter One

Ugh, this was really annoying.

Dr. Finley Delgado stepped out of Space Corps Headquarters and into the warm Houston day. She blinked at the sunlight, fighting her bad mood about having to leave her lab and her work.

She huffed out a breath and headed toward the crowd gathered on the lawn. A dais was set up, along with rows of chairs. The hum of conversation was loud as people talked, clearly excited.

All this pomp and circumstance to welcome some brawny alien warriors to Earth.

Finley stayed near the edge of the crowd. If she ventured much closer, she’d have to talk to someone.

All she wanted was to be in her lab, working on her project. Her really important project. Her gaze drifted over the buildings that made up Space Corps Headquarters. An old SpaceX rocket sat on display. It was a far cry from what the Space Corps fleet of starships looked like today.

Then her gaze snagged on the ruined building in the distance, partly collapsed and fenced off. Scorch marks covered the walls.

She swallowed, and remembered the attack six days ago. She’d been evacuated with the other scientists. They’d huddled together in a bomb shelter beneath the building, while a Kantos strike team had done its best to blow up Space Corps.

The Kantos.

Finley’s chest tightened, like it had filled with concrete. The insectoid aliens had set their sights on Earth—to destroy the planet, and consume humans as food. She winced at the thought of being some bug’s entree.

“This is exciting, isn’t it?” A bubbly, blonde scientist from microbiology bopped over to Finley. Her name was Aimee and the woman bopped everywhere, all perky and happy. The woman could talk, talk, and talk. Finley routinely avoided her.

“What’s exciting?” Finley asked.

Aimee rolled her big, blue eyes. “The Eon warriors arriving.” The woman bounced on her feet and Finley resisted the urge to pat the woman’s head like she was an overexcited puppy.

“I find it more inconvenient than exciting.”

“Finley,” the woman said, clearly exasperated. “They’re Eon warriors!”

Another alien species, now allied with Earth. The Eon were big and brawny, with warships and advanced technology, and were helping Earth fight the Kantos.

Finley grunted. “They’ll just be disruptive and get in my way.” She really wanted to get back to her lab. She glanced at the ruined building again. Her still-experimental defense weapon—the StarStorm—had been used as a last resort, and had repelled the Kantos strike team and destroyed their ship. The weapon was nowhere near finished yet, and there were bugs—the non-Kantos kind—in the targeting system. Space Corps were damn lucky they hadn’t razed Houston to the ground when they’d risked using it.

She was still working on the ground-defense part of the StarStorm, and needed to refine the targeting. Once that was done, they’d move onto orbital testing. Once she finished, Earth would have an orbital defense net that would provide security to the entire planet.

“They can help us,” Aimee insisted.

Finley made an unconvinced sound. Right. The Eon had advanced technology, but the warrior who’d called her prior to this trip had been big and muscular, and likely spent more time in the gym than the lab.

She wanted their tech, not their warriors.

“Well, I’m going to get to know them.” Aimee fluffed her hair.

Finley watched the move. Did hair fluffing make any difference to her attractiveness? Finley’s hair was tamed into a braid so it would stay out of her way.

“The Eon are hunky. Total fantasy material.” Aimee got a dreamy look in her eye. “Several are mated to humans now.”

Ugh. Finley had heard that a colleague of hers, Wren Traynor, had mated with an Eon war commander. Her sisters were mated to other warriors, as well. So strange. Wren had always seemed reasonably intelligent.

Men were mostly a waste of time, in Finley’s opinion.

“Let’s get a drink.” Aimee suggested.

“Fine.” Finley attempted to shake off her bad mood. They moved closer to the crowd, and she nodded at Admiral Linda Barber, one of the top brass at Space Corps.

Then, she spotted a crying woman and several families. A man was clutching a small child to his chest and talking with a Space Corps official dressed in a neatly-pressed uniform.

Finley froze. The mother’s sobbing drilled into Finley’s head. For a second, she was thrown back in time. To another woman’s harsh sobs. To pain, darkness, and despair.

She couldn’t breathe.

“It’s so sad,” Aimee whispered. “That family was touring HQ when the Kantos attacked. Their eighteen-year-old son died.”

Finley felt a rock lodge in her gut. She remembered another young