Who is the pet here? Pietas gets a panther “kitty” #SciFi #Pietas #MFRWhooks

Who is the pet here? Pietas gets a panther "kitty" #SciFi #Pietas #MFRWhooksWhen Pietas is attacked from behind, the panther who’s been his shadow for months leaps into the frey and protects him. It costs the cat its life. But this panther is far more than what it seems. While Pietas watches, the cat revives and sits up, facing him. It’s as immortal as he is.

On the planet Kaffir, they had a word for loyal warrior. Pietas cupped the animal’s jaw, his face inches from the cat’s. “You answer to no man, but when I speak and think of you, I’ll call you Tiklaus.”

Tiklaus gave him a long, wet lick and nudged him before backing away. The panther made a huffing bark sound. From the group of cats, a smaller panther padded close, dropped and stretched out, belly up. With its nose, Tiklaus butted the cat. The smaller animal stood and came alongside Tiklaus. Side by side, the cat’s more noticeable rosette pattern showed, dark brown on black.

Six nudged Pietas. “What just happened?”

“Not sure. I get the sense they’re not mates.”

Tiklaus and the other panther walked toward the Ultras, who all backed away.

“Stand still.” Pietas raised one hand. “You’re not in danger.”

Leading the other cat, Tiklaus padded before the Ultras, pausing to sniff each one.

Pietas had hugged each of them. No doubt his scent remained.

Erryq went down on one knee as Tiklaus approached. “Hello, there.” She held out one hand and the panther put its nose in the center of it. Erryq stroked Tiklaus while the other cat sniffed her. Its breath ruffled the long red curls around her face. “That tickles.” She stroked the other cat.

Tiklaus moved past Erryq and headed for Helia and Dessy, the smaller cat keeping pace.

Helia remained at Dessy’s side. When Tiklaus approached them, his mother held down her hand. Dessy did the same. They stood still while the cats inspected them.

The smaller cat sat beside Helia and wrapped its tail around her feet.

Tiklaus trotted toward Six, who backed away.

“No.” Pietas held onto him. “Let the cat smell you.”

The cat snuffled Six’s legs, walked around him, and then did one more revolution, dragging its tail along him.

“Marking you, ghost. You’ve been accepted.”

Tiklaus plopped down between them, wrapped its long tail around Pietas’s legs and leaned against his thigh.

Six whistled. “I can’t tell if you just got a pet or became one.”

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Blink twice if you hear me, ghost #MFRWhooks #MFRWauthor #SciFi

In this scene, Six, member of the Ghost Corps (a human resurrected with Ultra blood), has been taken hostage by Mahikos, Pietas’s father. Pietas and Joss have just found him.

Blink Twice

Blink twice if you hear me, ghost #MFRWhooks #MFRWauthor #SciFi“Are you looking for this?” The unmistakable voice of his father came to Pietas before the man’s faint outline revealed itself in the dark.

Mahikos had captured Six and pressed a knife blade to the ghost’s throat. At the point where the blade dug into him, blood oozed.

The blank passivity on his friend’s face revealed what Pietas had feared. Six had been compelled into submission by the psychic gifts Mahikos wielded. He would stand there and let the man kill him.

Rage propelled Pietas forward.

“That’s far enough, Son.” Mahikos dragged Six backward. “Unless you want your own hands covered in this human’s blood.”

Pietas ground his teeth. For this, his father would forfeit his life. “I will end you, old man.”

“Will you?” Mahikos dug the knife edge into Six’s neck. “You dared bring this abomination into our camp after it threatened your mother–the woman I love–and you want to end me? This thing is going to die by my hands!”

Time slowed to a crawl.

Pietas drew every vestige of Compulsion he had and threaded Chaos along its invisible bands. Mahikos was immune to both, but aligned, they might soften his will.

Wait. Immune. Immune!

That word rattled around his head, a stone bouncing off the sides of a bottomless metal pit.

Pietas had practiced compulsion, sending command after command to Six. The man was immune.

Six, blink twice if you hear me.

He gave two quick blinks.

How he treasured this man! Good job, ghost. You stalled him. If you’re hurt, blink once.

Six remained steady.

Excellent. I should never have left you. I’m sorry. On my mark, drop and get out of the way. Joss, go right. Distract him.

I serve. Her mindvoice packed the simple Ultra vow with raw emotion.

Now!

Joss screeched a war cry and bolted right.

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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 http://amzn.to/2ABIcCI


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You dare insult the Bringer of Chaos? #SciFi #Pietas #MFRWhooks

In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, the immortal king has completed a ritual for strength and prowess. He had told Six, who is human, not to watch and to keep his distance. But when Pietas’s injuries make it impossible to complete the ritual on his own, Six helps by cutting off the king’s long blond hair. The part below takes place immediately after the ritual ends. (A ghost is a special ops soldier who has died and been reanimated to fight immortal Ultras.)

“Six, I want to see how you sharpen knives.”

Though it was full daylight, they were in shade, and the firelight cast flickering shadows on Six’s face. “Oh?”

“That blade is impressive.”

“Thanks.” Six folded the knife and holstered it. “It does the job.”

“However, you disobeyed a direct order.”

Six fastened the safety on the holster, securing the knife. “See, I’m not one of your soldiers.” Using a thumb, he wiped away a smear of blood from Pietas’s cheek. “Which means you can’t give me an order. Therefore, I did no such thing.”

He met the man’s unwavering gaze. “How you frustrate me, ghost.”

“To quote you, ‘Good.’ Now, what’s next?”

“The ritual is complete.”

Six gestured to his own eyes. “So that mask is part of your ritual.”

“I never wear the mask until I’ve made myself worthy. And I’m ready for war.”

“That means the day we met, you’d done the ritual.”

“Yes.”

Six cursed under his breath. “So, uh, what else do you need?”

“I’ll settle for you helping me up.”

“The great Pietas, War Leader of the Ultras, wants help from a mortal? How the mighty have fallen.”

Pietas narrowed his eyes. “Ghost, don’t make me eat you.”

“Yeah? I got two words for you, Ultra. Bring. Salt.” He stood and offered his hand. “Come on, amigo. I’ll douse the fire while you get dressed.”

Pietas gripped it and forced himself to stand. His legs hurt, and it took a full minute for him to catch his breath. Did mortals put up with this kind of pain on a daily basis? They must be stronger than he ever imagined.

Six had the courtesy to remain silent about how badly Pietas limped, and instead, worked on putting out the campfire.

Once he’d brushed off the dirt on his legs, Pietas dressed, and then helped Six clean up. Though it was still morning, the day darkened while they were finishing. By the time they reached camp, the sun was gone.

At first, Pietas thought it might be another massive flock of birds, but then he spied what had sent the birds fleeing.

Black clouds roiled. Thunder boomed. The sky went white with lightning.

In the north, the mother of all thunderstorms rolled over the horizon.

Amazon and in print. Free on Kindle Unlimited
http://amzn.to/2ABIcCI


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