FGI 5: The Master of Metal - Book cover

FGI 5: The Master of Metal

F.R. Black

Chapter 2

I take a calming breath.

The smile on Pierce’s face is like lighter fluid, igniting the burning torch that is my soul. I walk into the large arena where four girls sit with wide stares.

I can’t believe this is happening.


I couldn’t think of a worse person for this fall-in-love, happily-ever-after fantasy.

My eyes lock with the unsuspecting women, having no idea what they are getting themselves into by participating.

I hope Zora told them that this gets dangerous. It’s not all about sparkles and a dashing prince’s true love’s kiss. I nod to Zora, who was in the middle of talking, and she points to me.

The room quiets.

“Everyone, this is Zoya, one of our own.” She claps along with Pierce like they are taunting me. I don’t smile as I sit in a plush white chair. Pierce goes to stand by Zora, nodding at some girls.

The large screen behind them shows the planet and tons of small pictures of the massive city—nightlife, parties, dancing, extravagance, and perfect hair and clothing.

A pinup girl’s dream.

“She works here?” a girl with caramel skin and blond hair says in my direction.

I give her a dry look, having no motivation to answer her. The headache that I have been dreading is tapping on my shoulder.

“Yes.” Pierce winks at me. “It seems that Fate is making this interesting for us. But do not fret, Alexa, you will have the same advantages as Zoya. You all will, and also experience your own set of obstacles.”

Oh yay.


Happy to be here.

“Doesn’t that give her more of an advantage? Having worked on the inside?” she asks, her voice sounding like she is suppressing a very undesirable attitude.

I wonder if Zora showed them a pic of Dion Le’ Rose.

Claws will come out.

I don’t even glance her way. My eyes just fix on the screenshots of this world. It looks like the perfect place if you enjoy having fun.

My idea of fun is not this, but I’m not saying it’s not intriguing. I’m not a corpse, and I do enjoy some things. Really. I just don’t really like people is all, nothing against anyone specific.

“Do people break out in song and dance here?” I ask in a monotone voice, preparing myself to take headache meds with me.

Zora flips through her Idoc pad and looks at me.

“Oh, Zoya, it’s not as bad as you think. Only bots do that, and the tunes are really quite catchy.” She waves her hand over herself. “They have inspired my fashion for a while.”

She looks like an elegant Barbie, but with gray hair.

I pinch the bridge of my nose.

I wonder if they have punching bags there.

“I’m sooo excited!” The closest girl to me glances at me, and I can hear murmurs from the other girls. “I’m Alicia.”

I look at her, and I hope I’m not frowning, but sometimes I can’t help it. I would try to smile, but it might seem like a snarl. Alicia has bright red hair and freckles, the southern drawl spiking my sub-par attitude into a rotten one.


She tilts her head at me. “You’re not a people person, are you?” she drawls

I smile at her, and it hurts. “I just don’t like stupid people.”

Her mouth drops open, and she laughs, covering her mouth.

“Zoya,” the Fairy Godmother chides with a brow raise like she is my mother. “We are all on the same team, remember that.”

I clamp my mouth shut.

I know that because I work here.


“The girls have been briefed on this world,” Pierce says, apparently loving my pain judging by his smile.

“Seeing how you are late, we can go over the basics. Your tantrum cost you an hour and seventeen minutes.”

All eyes on me.

It was not a tantrum.

I will the blush to be gone with determination.

“No,” I wave my hand, “just get on with it. Zora hates to be late.”

Pierce winks at me then glances at Zora. “Start with the positions,” he says, just loud enough for me to hear.

Pierce always gives me a hard time, knowing how easily I boil over. But I think he secretly knows everyone’s weakness and loves to push them to the brink.

“Ladies, this is exciting, do not be afraid,” she says, her sparkling jewelry catching the light as she walks. Her grey and red dress is elegant and perfect. “Get in line. Make haste, please!”

Everyone gets up.

I curse, still in a state of denial.

“Zoya . . . ” Pierce encourages.

I roll my eyes and get up, walking to the end of the line. What on Earth will I get? My mind spins, my pulse jumping slightly.

I really pray that I didn’t land in a position that will require lots of time and effort. I don’t mind being a double agent, helping out the girls. But I don’t want drama.

“First,” Pierce reads. “Alexa Garrido.”

She’s pretty, with brown skin and blond hair—tiny, probably about 5′1″ to my 5′10″ height. I mentally shrug—all these girls are cute in their own way. I’m sure this mission will be a success.

She places her hands in the Bowl of Destiny.

I look towards the screen as it reads: Daughter of a wealthy family, close family friends with Saffo Le’ Rose.

Everyone claps.

“Good,” Pierce says. “Very good.” He motions for the next girl. “Selena Tamayo.”

I exhale, noting that she is also cute with her pale skin and Betty Boop hairstyle. She places her hands in the substance and holds her breath.

The screen reads: Daughter of a big investor to Le’ Rose Enterprises.

“Very good! Keep in mind that these are very complex parts and you will be given details after this,” he adds, and motions for the next girl. “Telah Knight.”

A pretty Black girl almost the same height as me walks up, looking like a pop star. The blond ombre harmonizes with her smooth skin tone perfectly, and her light eyes are stunning.

These girls should have no problem hooking Dion.

The screen reads: Dancer at the Moonlight Lounge.

She smiles at that, the excitement evident on her face.

Pierce points to her. “Dion’s family owns the Moonlight Lounge.”

“Awesome,” she says.

Some jealous looks are going her way. Not me, I would hate that role.

The redheaded bumpkin is next, and I mean she is out there, smiling from cheek to cheek. If there were ever a complete opposite of me, it would be her.

“Alicia Bradley,” Pierce says, and nods to her.

“I can’t even right now,” she squeals, and puts her hands into the Waters of Misery. She is breathing hard as she waits, then the screen reads: A bot hybrid in Dion Le’ Rose’s laboratory.

She frowns.

“Details will be given out later, but this is an excellent position,” Pierce assures her, but we all know a crap roll when we see it.

She nods, cheeks reddening.

A bot?

Uh. That would suck.

“Zoya.” Pierce pulls me out of my thoughts.

“Right,” I mutter. I walk up to the bowl of metallic waters, having seen this done a hundred times. And now I’m finally the one to do it.

I push down the nerves that want to bubble up to remind myself that I am only human too.

My hands sink into the cold substance, and I can’t help but feel tingly and nervous.

I expel a breath as the large screen reads in bold letters: Undercover FBI agent—posing as a bot in Dion Le’ Rose’s laboratory.

My mouth falls open.

I hear lots of murmurs before Pierce pipes up. “That is a vital role. You will have inside information that will be valuable.”

I close my eyes.

I have been working here for years, and I know a complicated position when I see it. This will not be a leisurely role, for it nearly screams danger. I don’t say anything as I walk up to Pierce.

“I want to pick my agent,” I say quietly.

“Of course,” he says, then looks past me. “Ladies! Off to your briefing rooms, and congratulations. This is going to be an adventure!”

I’m in tunnel-vision mode.

I don’t even remember getting to my briefing room.


I snap out of my brain fog and focus on Pierce sitting on the white table in front of me.

“Your position is perfect.”

“Yeah?” I deadpan.

Pierce chuckles. “You are his secretary.”

My eyes widen. “Seriously?”

“Brilliant. I knew you would have a great role,” he continues as he flips through his virtual pad. “You’re also a hybrid, obviously, because you are only posing as a bot to take down Dion.”

“But we don’t want to take him down,” I say carefully.

“Yes, you have to keep him out of trouble and lead the FBI away from him.” Pierce gives me a pointed look. “We need to save him, make him head over heels for one of our girls.”

“Shit,” I mutter.

“Alicia will be working with you, but she is a hybrid. Hybrids are able to be transformed back into humans without the addition of robotics.

“This is what Dion is under investigation for, merging humans with his technology,” he says, and puts on his glasses.

“I see. So normal bots are okay.”

“Yes. Combining the two is unethical and illegal.”

“Does he know I’m a hybrid?”

“He thinks you are a full bot, but I’m assuming he will find out differently in time.” He gives me a wink.

I narrow my gaze on him. “What? You think I’m going to mess this up?”

He tilts his head with a look.

“Pierce,” I warn, “I know that look. You know something.”

“I’m just saying it’s hard to be a bot, they have no emotion.”

I laugh. “Have you seen me? I’m practically a robot.”

“Yes, I have seen you, and you are full of emotion, my dear.”

I frown.

He gives me a look. “You’re a hothead.”

“What?!” I blurt in a loud voice, then redden.

Pierce is laughing now.

I take a calming breath and gaze around the sterile room. “I want Ash for my agent.”


All agents are weird—but Ash is slick and moves like he is in a 007 movie.

Pierce makes a sound and crosses his arms.

“What? Ash is awesome-ish.”

“Didn’t say he wasn’t.”

We both stare at each other, the smell of his cologne slightly distracting me. I grit my teeth as his vivid blue gaze pins me.

“You think of someone better, then?”

“Yes, but what do I know?”

I close my eyes. “Seriously?”

“Ash is too much like you, and in this bright and colorful world, you need help. Ash would have you using your lifelines in the first week—both of you together is too much.” Pierce smiles at me. “Trust me?”

“You said I could pick.”

“You can, but—”

We both finish his sentence, “This is not your first rodeo.”

“Who then?” I hold up my hand after I rummage through my brain. “I feel like I already know.”

I do agent screening. I should know Pierce’s way of thinking.

Pierce claps his hands, and in saunters the exact agent I was dreading, and a groan escapes me. “Uuuhhh!” My eyes fix on . . . “Mama.”

She winks at me and looks at Pierce. “Hmm, hey, handsome.” She laughs, and it’s throaty. Mama S for Sexay.

She is the known MILF agent, always getting knocked up. Who knows how many kids she has, but I think a few of them are my age and in agent training.

Mama is in her fifties, though you wouldn’t know it. Her short black hair is teased and hair sprayed to the maximum, and her face has seen a lot of plastic surgery.

She is exceptionally curvy with a bust size that’s slightly obscene, highlighted by her low-cut pink sweater.

“Pierce,” I get out.

“She will be the best guide in fitting in with this world. You need her.” Pierce eyes me. “Mama, you got this?”

“I do,” she purrs, putting on some bright pink lipstick. “Zoya, the sour pussycat, definitely needs my help if she wants that hot piece—Dion. Delicious, that boy.”

“I don’t want him,” I deadpan.

Mama and Pierce share a good laugh.

I feel my headache growing.

“What do you say, kitty cat?” Mama’s blue gaze pins me. “You won’t last two minutes in this world without me.”

I hate to admit that Pierce may be right. I grit my teeth.


“Perfect!” Pierce cheers, and points at Mama. “Mama, help with her wishes.”

And then he is gone.

I lean back in my chair and expel a breath, minutes passing. “If we are to work together, then no funny business.”

She sits on the table and raises a perfect black brow at me. “Honey, you’re going to have to lighten up. Bruno Dawson is your boss, from the FBI. You will automatically know your role and how to be Dion’s secretary.”

I raise a brow. “Bruno?”

She raises her brows over and over. “Yeah. I’d do him, but he’s a mean SOB. Hates Dion with a passion—well, the whole Le’ Rose family.”

“Okay,” I say, realizing that Mama may not be the nitwit that I thought. “I’m not changing anything physically.”

I already get terrorized by the accounting department.

She laughs. “Kitty cat, you don’t need to. You have perfect perky breasts and a face to die for, hun.”

I look down then back up.

“Then what?”

“Honey—dancing! If you don’t know how to dance, you will not last.” She shimmies, her large breasts shaking back and forth.

I close my eyes, trying to remove that image from my brain.

“Fine. Next?”

“In shape?”

“No, I run five miles a day. Next.”

Mama makes a face. “Being really smart.” She points at me. “It might make Dion all hot and bothered if you, like, can do some math. I’m always telling my girls to read a damn book every once in a while.”

She fluffs her hair with an eye roll.

I think about that. “Fine.”

Not bad.

Really good.

Not that I want him hot and bothered.


“Hell no.”

Mama taps her chin. “Fighting, self-defense? The thugs can get dangerous.”

“Yyyyyes,” I say with a slight smile.

She holds up her hand. “Yeah, girl! Let’s go get that nice, tight ass of Dion’s.”

“I’m not high-fiving to that.”

She laughs. “Zoya, I didn’t know you were a secret prude!”

“I’m not . . . ”

Pierce walks back in and checks his watch. “Let’s go.” He looks at us both. “We’re late.”

I roll my eyes. “We are always late.”

He points at me. “True.”

I get up, and the experience of getting my three wishes leaves me foggy and dizzy. The pod opens with a loud sound, and my vision dots with white and pink spots, my heart beating wildly.

I always wondered how it felt to be changed and have FGI airbrushing.

I hold my head, knowing so many dance moves now.


“Zoya? Are you okay? Great choices, by the way.”

I look down at my hands and legs, then look up into the long mirror. “Whoa.” Mama’s head is right next to me, her face at my waist.

“Kitty cat’s going to make him drop dead! Your legs go on for miles,” she purrs right next to me. Pierce’s head is on the other side of me, looking into the mirror too.

My skin is flawless, heightening my physical beauty.

If only it was reflected on the inside.

I will probably die alone with twenty cats.

“Zoya, are you ready for this?”

I swallow.



I have to spin.

Another thing I wondered how it felt. I close my eyes and spin, my heart pounding, my brain taking a backseat.

I gasp, my whole body tingling and feeling hot as waves of dizziness wash over me, followed by a white flash.

Pierce steadies me and I gasp. “Shit, that hurt!”

He laughs. “I cut your hair. You look ravishing.”


No more tight bun.

My eyes are having a hard time processing what I’m seeing. My golden hair is styled in an ideal fifties fashion—chin-length, Marilyn Monroe vibes, tons of volume and bounce.

I’m dressed in a tight yellow button-up with a black fifties-style skirt—exquisite. I close my eyes for a second, then open them. The pink silk tie and the pearls around my neck complete the look.

And with my black stilettos, my legs look impossibly long.

“Sex-re-tarrrry.” Mama nods.

I do look like I could be some naughty secretary in a porno.

I curse.

“Your name is Luna 24.”

I look at Pierce in the mirror. “This is going to hurt.”

“It might sting just a little.”

I sigh. “Which part? The experience or the beaming?”

“Both.” He looks at Mama. “You will have to shape-shift a lot to help her, but you are a low-grade bot in the lab when you can be.”

She rolls her eyes. “Got it.”

“In 5 . . . ”

“Pierce . . . ” I get out, feeling my crashing nerves.


“Where’s four?!”


“F. Me,” I mutter, and close my eyes.


I think I scream before everything goes black.

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