From The Girl With Acrylic Eyes, Greg Krojac's explosive new novel.
Coppélia was just a robot. She was expendable.
Rachel knew she might sound a little crazy, but continued her thought process.
“What if Coppélia’s some new kind of super-weapon? Maybe someone’s planning to create an army of Coppélias, super-strong androids able to think on their feet and learn, adapt, and evolve to meet any situation and threat without requiring programming updates? I mean, I know the Terminator films are just movies, but what if Coppélia is the first of a breed of killer androids? I know it sounds mad, I keep telling myself it’s stupid. It’s something out of science fiction, but, then again, everything is science fiction – until it becomes reality.”
Karen looked at a photo of the android that she kept on her handheld digital photo album.
“She looks so harmless. But we’ve both seen her strength with our own eyes. And then Stumpy –.”
Rachel had no idea who Stumpy was.
“The technician who was going to replace Coppélia’s face. He said he’d never seen anything like her before. She’s constructed differently to any other android, and the materials appear to be hybrid in nature, giving her superior body strength and resistance to damage. I don’t know how she managed to cut herself, but that’s not important right now. Who knows what’s going on under her skin, or what she’s capable of mentally. If her body is constructed using the most advanced materials and techniques, imagine what her AI must be like.”
Karen’s mind flashed back to the first time that she’d met the android, sensing a difference between the Coppélia she met that day and the Coppélia that now laughed at Luke’s lame jokes and joined in the banter of the team. How can an android understand humour? Her interactions with humans seemed so natural. It was as if the android’s personality was evolving – even in such a short space of time. She put the photo album back in her pocket and looked at her Detective Sergeant.
“I’m sorry, Rachel.”
“For what, ma’am?”
“For involving you – you and the team – in something that I should maybe have left alone. Our job is to catch criminals, not to follow the white rabbit.”
Rachel shook her head.
“Are you kidding ma’am? This is the biggest adventure I’ve had in my life. Well, after marrying Dylan and having our daughter, Lydia. It makes all the boring stuff – like auditing sexdroid clubs – worthwhile. And I’m sure the others feel the same.”
Karen was relieved. It had been a nagging doubt.
“Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure, ma’am. I can’t wait to see where this leads us.”
“But what if it gets dangerous?”
“Ma’am, with all due respect, we’re cops. It goes with the job. And if there is an army of killer super-robots out there – even government sponsored – it could well be up to us to stop it from happening. We’ll be stars of our very own Terminator movie.”
The Girl With Acrylic Eyes was released on 7 July and is available now!
Greg was born in 1957 and grew up in Maidenhead, Berkshire. He is the author of six published novels: the Recarn Chronicles trilogy (comprising of Revelation, Revolution, and Resolution), Reality Sandwich, The Schrödinger Enigma, and now The Girl With Acrylic Eyes.
He currently lives just outside the city of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil with Eliene and their cat, Tabitha. When he’s not writing, he teaches English to Brazilian students and watches English football club Tottenham Hotspur matches on TV.
Oh, and he lives in the Tropics so it would be rude not to go to the beach now and then.
A Bite of... Greg Krojac
Q1: How much of you is in your hero?
I have an active social conscience and am a humanitarian, so I think I may well have interacted with the android in a similar way to how Detective Inspector Karen Chambers interacts with her. The main theme of the book questions what consitutes a sapient life form and should that sapience mean that the life form should be afforded certain rights, such as those that we humans expect to be given. I believe that I would side with Karen’s conclusion.
Q2: Name the four people you would most like to invite to a dinner party.
The first guest would be Michael Palin, as I love travelling and think he would have a lot of fascinating tales to tell.
The second was going to be Neil deGrasse Tyson but then I remembered that the guests don’t have to be currently alive. So, with that in mind, I’d invite Carl Sagan. He was such a visionary and such an intelligent man – we could all learn a lot from him.
While he was alive, Robin Williams gave so much pleasure to so many people. Celebrities die every day, but his death actually hit me quite hard. He was a very funny, warm, and compassionate man and fills chair number three.
I would like to have invited Tottenham (Spurs) and England footballer Harry Kane, but I realise I have no women in this group, so I’ll remedy that now. The final guest would be Marina Sirtis who played Counselor Deanna Troi on the science fiction series STTNG (Star Trek The Next Generation). I’ve had brief conversations with her via Twitter and she would be able to chat about two of my favourite things; STTNG and Spurs. She’s from London and is a passionate Spurs fan. And she’s a very funny woman too.
I think that the four of them would make for a very entertaining dinner party.
Q3: Why do you write?
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t write in the hope of earning decent money through my books, but that’s not the only reason. I also write for the sense of acheivement I feel when I publish a book coupled with the fact that I’ve created a legacy that will survive me after my death. Plus I enjoy writing and, being a ‘pantser’ (someone who doesn’t plan his stories in great detail before writing them), I love being as surprised as the reader hopefully is, when a story takes an unexpected turn.
You can find Greg Krojac on Twitter, Goodreads and his own website.