In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, the not-quite-human Six offers water to the immortal king.
Six slid their canteen off over his head and held it out to Pietas.
Accepting anything from a human, an altered one at that, had violated every instinct at first. To take from an enemy, yes. Always. Let one give you something as if you needed it? Admit a weakness before an enemy?
But this was Six.
Pietas took it.
Ultras could go days without water, but they consumed it when they had it. He wiped one dusty hand across his mouth. The satisfaction of assuaged thirst never failed to please. What simple things in life brought pleasure! In captivity, he’d dreamed of even a drop to cool his tongue. He’d sworn he’d never take water for granted again.
Six had offered it to their companions during the climb, but the entire lot refused anything a mortal’s lips had touched. Yes, Six was a quasi-immortal, but to the others, that gave him even less status.
Pietas wavered on few things, but on this? Should he call the man human, mortal, quasi-immortal, or ghost? He’d elected to choose as the mood struck. But one in particular annoyed Six.
“Thanks, ghost.” He thrust the canteen against Six’s chest.
Staggering, he swore in Spanish. “Find another name for me.”
“Tell me your mortal name then.”
“You know I can’t.” Six scratched his cheek. “Gotta protect my family. If your kind knew who they were, they’d slaughter them. You wouldn’t, but them?”
Now they were getting somewhere. “So you do trust me?”
“Pi, there’s more honor in your left big toe than your entire race combined.” He tipped up the canteen but then paused. “No offense.”
“None taken. But we’re stranded, my friend. Unless a miracle happens, by the time we get off this world, your family will be long dead.” He added, “No offense.”
Six finished his drink and plugged the canteen. “None taken. Sorry. Can’t do it.” He lifted the strap back over his head and settled it onto his shoulder, the canteen at his back. “Seriously, Pi, your people hear you call me you-know-what, it’ll give away I was Ghost Corps. We both know what they’ll do to me.”
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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