In this excerpt, Pietas and the search party sent to find him have become lost and have walked for hours. When he realizes they’re near a summit that will allow him to see the valley they searched for, he heads for it. Joss, the telepath and warrior he loves tries to keep him from going, insisting she has a better vantage point. Pietas suspects a trick.
“Joss. The truth this time.”
While she studied him, he remained motionless. The gentle prod of her mind across his shields reminded him she’d seen his thoughts despite his best efforts. Or perhaps she’d allowed him to be aware. In the past, he’d noticed such intrusion during training but not outside it.
“Pietas, if you want to see the caldera from this point, I can’t stop you, but once you see what’s out there, you can’t un-see it. I want to spare you the devastation until you’ve had a chance to see the good side. If I take you in through the pass, you can appreciate the true beauty of this place first. Maybe come up with a way we can make it work here. Survive.”
According to Joss, half a million of his people lay in helpless cryosleep within lifepods on the other side of that hill. Over three thousand pods had been damaged beyond saving. The frozen immortals within them shattered.
A short hike above, the summit waited. In two short minutes he could see for himself. “How long would your route take us?”
“Less than a half hour.”
Once more, the short distance to the actual summit drew his attention. How many steps?
“Pi?” Six nudged him. “Is that even a blink in the life of an immortal?”
“No, ghost, it’s not.” How grateful he was for this man. “Besides, I’m patient.”
His sister scoffed. “You?” Turning to the twins, she pointed at Pietas. “That is not my brother.”
No, he was not. He was far better. His sister could see the change. Why would she not accept it? Resisting the urge to respond with cynicism, Pietas shut his mouth.
He indicated the route Joss wanted to take. “Let’s go your way.”
“Thank you for listening to me.” Joss took Pietas by the hand, reached up, and dragged a fingertip down the cleft in his chin. “This place is stunning. I hate that so much of it will be spoiled by our being here.”
“Why? Has Mother released environmental impact studies?”
“No, she–” The look Joss sent his way resembled pity. “You’ll see. Not far now.”
“You’ve been saying ‘not far’ for hours. Did I not teach you to mark trails?”
“I’m sorry, Pietas. It won’t happen again.”
Oh, but it would. She wouldn’t mean for it to happen, but it would. He’d tried for centuries to teach her how to find her way, to no avail. He kissed her cheek and drew her into his arms, savoring her warmth.
“Joss.” He placed his mouth near her ear. “You couldn’t find your way out of a round room with one door.”
She jerked up her head and looked at him, eyes wide.
“And I adore you for it.”
Forged in Fire…
What if you were marooned on a barren world? What if you had no food and few survival tools? What if you’d been genetically engineered and no matter how agonizing the wound, you’d survive.
It could be worse. You could be here alone. But that’s the problem. You’re not.
You’re trapped with a ruthless enemy you’ve fought for centuries.
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”.
Available for preorder on Amazon Nov 11-Dec 28. Purchase on Dec 29, 2017
Free on Kindle Unlimited
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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