In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, the immortal king, Pietas, is surveying the alien world where he’s been exiled. Sempervia is a beautiful planet, but it’s not fully terraformed and it harbors dark secrets of its own.
Sempervia, year 1 in exile
The summit lay a good distance ahead, but they had left the forest. Scant grasses and scrubby bushes dotted the landscape.
Pietas pushed further up the mountain, where hand over hand, he climbed up among black boulders. Their pockmarked texture stung his palms but did no harm to his feet. He’d hiked half the planet barefoot. Panting from the quick exertion, he turned to take in the view.
Across plains to the east, low-scudding clouds skimmed a fringe of mist-shrouded mountains, no more than blue smudges on the horizon. Their white tips implied great height. North, the lazy river they’d followed from its source snaked its way across the savannah, a necklace of shimmering gold. The path took seconds to trace with his gaze but had taken them weeks to walk. As it wended its way further south, the confluence of its mighty waters with another river turned its gold to muddy brown.
What worried him were the sheets of gray in the northwest. A storm marched straight toward them. The heavy, pelting rain on Sempervia so saturated the air one could drown on land.
They did not dare it catch them in the open. They needed to cross the summit and reach shelter.
He braced both hands on his knees. How galling to need a break. He’d hiked less than five hours. Was he no better than a mortal?
Before his exile, Pietas would have run–not walked–up this mountain without a single pause. When mortals and traitors among his kind imprisoned him in an unpowered life pod and left him to rot for over a year, it broke his health and shattered his stamina.
Had it not been for his friend, Six, what sanity Pietas possessed would have been as beaten and battered as dirt clods trampled in a horse paddock. Though unable to free Pietas, Six had stayed with him day and night, talking, whistling, singing songs, sharing life and light through his tales.
Long after Pietas could no longer respond.
Broken in body as he was, his will, determination, and drive survived intact, as had his undying thirst for revenge. Having endured the worst his enemies could muster, he now feared pain even less.
Forged in Fire…
What if you were a soldier marooned on an undeveloped planet?
What if you had no food and few survival tools? What if you’d been genetically engineered? No matter how agonizing the wound, you’d survive. No matter how you died, you’d come back.
It could be worse. You could be here alone. But that’s the problem. You’re not.
On one hand, there’s a tribe of sentient panthers who protect you. Although you hate humans, the one who was dumped on this planet with you has become a trusted friend. The beautiful telepathic warrior you’ve loved since forever is at your side.
On the other hand, half a million people who depend on you are trapped inside stasis pods, waiting for you to save them. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could wake up a few at a time. But the traitors who abandoned you and your followers set the timers to release all half million.
At the same time.
You’re facing an ecological disaster and over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortal warriors.
Worse still, before you can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, you must take back command from a ruthless enemy you’ve fought for centuries.
Your brutal, merciless father.
Talk about being forged in fire…
Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever.
Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire has no profanity or explicit content, but lots of angst, a little humor, some sweet romance, and a ton of betrayal with plenty of vengeance. Oh, and let’s not forget–one ginormous black “kitty”.
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Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.
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