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…
When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that’s the problem. He’s not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped in their pods and it’s up to Pietas to rescue them. Before he can save his people, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he’s fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father. Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever…
Amazon and in print. Free on Kindle Unlimited
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 panther “kitty.”
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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