The Council will not believe Pietas when he warns of a trap, so he decides to push the humans into showing their hand.
Power up the guns
At the appointed time, Pietas entered the elevator with the council, ignoring the warning looks from his father. His mother tugged his father to the rear of the elevator, and cast a hopeful smile at her son. Seeing the two of them together, with his father newly reborn and his mother aged, reflected their differences. He had always been hot-tempered; she, wise.
Pietas turned away, wishing he did not have to disappoint her, but he could not in good conscience carry out the council’s command. Lock his people into a treaty with these oath breakers? Never.
The entire council would be furious with him. As usual.
Dessy arrived as the doors were closing, and slid into place on his right as second-in-command.
On her bosom sat an oval-shaped gold and black brooch, the glass front of which revealed a plait of his hair interwoven in a complex pattern. His sister said nothing, but he felt her empathic outpouring of assent. Yet despite her emotional support, she had voted against him.
Would he never understand this woman? Shoulder to shoulder they faced front.
The closed car meant the sting of emotions in the small space bombarded him from all angles. His skin twitched, and he rubbed his arms as if cold.
A cadre of humans waited in the assigned receiving chamber. Ten humans would be given in exchange for ten members of the Ultra Council, as Mahikos and the council had requested. While the Ultras were on board Enderium Six, the humans would act as hostages. If anything happened to the Ultras, the humans would die lingering deaths.
A crawling-ant sensation on his skin escalated to a sting. These creatures hid some secret he did not yet fathom. Pietas bit the inside of his cheek, fighting the urge to lash out, to rip away the life of these mortals.
As agreed, the council members had come unarmed. Ultras had no need to carry weapons. They were weapons.
“You!” He gestured toward the human who approached. “I want more.”
“I beg your pardon?” The man stopped, and looked up at him. Average height for a human, he was over a foot shorter than Pietas, and clothed in nondescript gray from head to toe. The dark-skinned man gave him a quizzical look. “More what?”
“More hostages. Ten for ten implies you are our equals. You are not. I want thirty. That will not come close to matching the worth of one of our warriors. Since I doubt you have more than thirty brave enough to face our wrath if you fail, that will suffice.”
Grimacing, the man looked over his shoulder. A woman in the group gave an almost imperceptible nod. He turned back. “Very well. We’ll need more time.”
“You have ten minutes.”
“It will take longer than–”
Pietas lifted a hand. “Power up the guns.”
Mahikos came up beside him, and flickers of heat traced over Pietas’s skin. His father’s emotions announced his displeasure, but a council member who interfered with negotiations risked being banned from service.
A hum in the background escalated, and lights on the wall panels switched over to red. “Activated,” replied a robotic voice.
“You can’t do this!” The human emissary stretched out both hands. “There are half a million souls on board. You said you’d come in peace. We can’t–”
“Please!” The man raised the hands in a placating gesture. “Please. Give us thirty minutes. “We need thirty minutes to find–”
“Your repetition bores me. Do you need thirty minutes because you include children among your hostages?”
A cold smile tightened the man’s bland features. “We sent all the civilians and their families off station five days ago, knowing you were coming.”
This underscored what Pietas had said all along. Why would the council not believe this was a trap? They had believed none of his warnings. He would have to get them out of this on his own.
“So you feared me, did you? First intelligent thing you’ve said today. If laying waste to this station will kill human soldiers, so much the better.”
Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas
Two enemy warriors: one human, one immortal. Different in belief, alike in spirit, marooned together on an alien world.
Imprisoned and in isolation over a year without food or water, the immortal Pietas survives. Though broken in body, his intellect and will are intact, thanks to Six, the special ops warrior who captured him, but kept him sane. The warrior had no hand in his deprivation and, like Pietas, was betrayed by his own kind. When Pietas is abandoned on an alien world with nothing but his honor–and Six–he must find and rejoin other immortal exiles. After centuries of war, Pietas detests humans and kills them on sight, but he is too damaged to continue on his own. Though he despises needing help, he allows Six to nurture and restore him to full strength, and then accompany him. As they cross the planet together on foot, the immortal begins to wonder if he has found his first human friend, or if Six is loyal only because Pietas could keep the others from tearing him to shreds. This human will either be his closest living friend, or the one whose betrayal will trigger all-out vengeance by the most powerful immortal ever born.
Immortal. Warrior. Outcasts. Traitors took everything. Except their honor.
Heat level: PG13
Genre: YA (older young adult), action adventure, science fiction, space opera, military science fiction, space marine, genetic engineering
Giveaway – Free Download
Download and print three PDF Bookmarks. The first features Six, the human warrior. The second is Pietas, the immortal warrior. The third is the two, back to back.
Pietas and Six https://kayelleallen.com/media/boc-bookmark-pietas6.pdf
Download a free adult coloring book you can print and share. Relax and color with friends. It’s fun! https://kayelleallen.com/media/pietas-coloring-book.pdf
Kayelle Allen is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and get two free books, plus a copy of Thirty Days of Chaos: Illustrated Quotes of Pietas on May 1st. Follow Kayelle Amazon ~ Twitter ~ Facebook.