Aug 10 2016
Two enemy warriors–one human, one immortal–marooned together on an alien world. Different in belief, alike in spirit, each must depend on the other for survival. Bred to be enemies, fate made them friends. When love shatters the unbreakable, it is chaos.
From Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas:
This scene takes place on the planet Sempervia, a few days after the human warrior, Six, freed Pietas from a lifepod. Held captive over a year without food or water, Pietas survived, but his body is wasted and shriveled. Slowly, the Ultra comes back from near death. However, instead of being grateful for Six’s help, he has stubbornly clung to his former prejudices about humans. After insisting Six find the other Ultras (who would likely kill him), and then refusing to apologize for asking, Pietas has been left to fend for himself. (Six is referred to as a ghost, because he is a special ops warrior who died, but has been reanimated with secret technology revealed later in the book.)
Pietas woke to the smell of fish cooking. He tried, but could no longer turn his head. A body-deep lethargy stole his breath, and he lacked energy to cough, or speak. His stomach cramped from hunger.
If his people found him, they would make this ghost pay for–
Pietas had given his word he would not allow his people to harm Six. Though the ghost had let him starve, Pietas would keep his word. His honor set him apart from humans, who broke their oaths with complete disregard for the sanctity of vows.
If Ultras encountered Six while the ghost was out hunting, he could be killed. If the others came here, Pietas lacked the strength to tell them anything.
Why wouldn’t this ghost unbend his stubborn neck and listen to reason. Humans are impossible!
“Excuse me?” Six, squatting beside the fire, pivoted on one foot. “Did you say humans are impossible? Try dealing with the king of the Ultras.”
Pietas had not spoken aloud. His throat had closed so much it hurt to breathe. The ghost had heard his thoughts.
Could Six be telepathic? Or perhaps when angry, Pietas overcame his inability to reach others. It would explain how Six had known Pietas was awake aboard ship, and his comment about language the day before. Surely, Six was not the single person to whom he could mind-speak. Surely not.
He tried reaching out. Six!
The ghost stood at once, and came over to him. With alarm in his eyes, he dropped to one knee. Bending over him, Six lifted one of Pietas’s eyelids. “You stubborn, pig-headed Ultra. You’re dehydrated.” He left, and came back with a steel cup. “Drink this.” He held it for him.
Water cascaded through Pietas’s mouth and across his tongue. His teeth stopped sticking to the inside of his mouth.
“Look, I’m sorry, Pietas. I shouldn’t have ignored you. Considering what you’ve been through, that was wrong. I’m sorry. I will never do that again. From now on, you don’t ever have to ask me for anything, you got that? I’ll be here.” Six helped him sit up. “I know you like being right, but you don’t have to be right all the time.”
Pietas rested against him. “Not…right. Perfect.”
“Man. Nobody’s perfect. Not even you.” He held the water for him. “You’re worse than a kid having a tantrum.”
Before Pietas could react to the insult, the words sparked a long-ignored memory.
He was nine, and learning one of many languages his father insisted he master. The work was easy, which bored him. He much preferred a challenge. That night, his father came to check on him. Pietas was eager to show him what he’d learned. Mahikos held an extended discussion with him in the language.
“Good enough. Language is one of your strengths. You must learn to speak as many as possible. Begin another.” Mahikos left the room without further comment.
Having spent days memorizing the hundreds of verb forms of the language and how to use them, the sparse praise irritated.
Pietas kicked the table leg. With his superior strength, the leg broke. The table canted over, dumping everything onto the floor. Liquid spilled on scattering papers. Glass broke. He cut himself picking it up, and popped the injured finger into his mouth.
His mother entered, took in the damage, and came over to examine his hand.
“It doesn’t hurt.” He pulled it away from her.
“Tell me what happened.” When he told her, she cupped his chin in her hand, and kissed his brow. “Pietas.” She sat beside him, and drew him into her arms. “Son, when someone has a tantrum, people always gets hurt. More often than not, it’s the person who threw the tantrum. You were born to be a leader. Train yourself to think before you act. Always set an example. If your soldiers you see you out of control, they will be. You can never afford to indulge your temper.” She kissed his brow. “You were born to rule. You must be above pettiness and anger.”
“Father is always angry.”
“Do you want to be no better than your father?”
Pietas tilted his head. “Six?”
He moved to where Pietas could see his face. “Yeah?”
A smile eased across the ghost’s face, as wondrous as any sunrise. “Listen, that’s all right, I–”
“Six.” Pietas nudged his chin toward the water, and Six gave him more. He wet his throat. “I have never apologized to a human before, so please give this the attention it deserves.”
The ghost looked everywhere but at Pietas. “Okay.”
“You were right. We’ll wait until I’m better, and then we’ll go together. If you were alone, and my people found you, and killed you, I’d feel guilty the rest of my life. That’s too long to feel bad over some dead human getting what he deserves.”
“Uh huh.” Nodding, Six bit his lower lip. “That’s how you want to play this?”
Pietas narrowed his eyes. “That’s how it is. You stay with me and help me heal. In exchange, I will not ask you to be my servant, or one of my men. In addition, you will remain under my protection. I cannot prevent my people from harming you if you are not with me.”
“So in exchange for me feeding you, giving you water, and taking care of you while you plump back up, I get to live if your people show up.”
He considered Six’s words. Even without his gift of empathy, Pietas absorbed the man’s amusement. The ghost understood Pietas was salvaging his pride, and wasn’t offended. How priceless was that?
Pietas cleared his throat. “That’s the best I can offer.”
“You drive a hard bargain, Ultra.” Six scrubbed one hand back through his hair, which hid his face–but not his smile. “You got yourself a deal.”
Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas
by Kayelle Allen
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.
When love shatters the unbreakable, it is chaos.
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Listen to the opening lines of Bringer of Chaos, read by voiceover artist Marcus Watson.
About Kayelle Allen
Kayelle Allen is the best selling author of the conflict-driven military scifi Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas. When love shatters the unbreakable, it is chaos.
Romance Lives Forever Reader Group https://kayelleallen.com/bro