Blinding flash of light: his enemy peered down #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Blinding flash of light: his enemy peered down #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks

In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, the hero is trapped in darkness within a lifepod without one spark of light. Rather than being put into stasis, his captors have left him to rot. But there's one small problem: Pietas is immortal.

Facing Blinding Flash of Light

The infernal, cheerful whistling began again. Pietas tried in vain to escape the sound. Shackled at the ankles, hands bound behind him, he remained flat on his back. There were no comfort choices inside his pod.

No. Not his pod. He would never claim such a place.

The prison pod. The nightmare pod. A casket for the living.

Would that whistling never end?

Whoever guarded him whistled, night and day. He must have lips made of steel. How a human kept that up day after day was beyond him. Or perhaps... Did an Ultra guard him? Had one of his people come to free him?

Pietas opened his mouth to call out, and clamped it shut.

If it were one of his people, he needed to wait for them to act. They would do so when the time was right. For now, he suffered bouts of agony as feeling returned to his hands and then left in repeating cycles. His metabolism healed him, but brought pain. He focused on that, accepted the pain, welcomed it, and examined every step of its journey through his body. What one understood, one could bear.

An Ultra does not seek to escape pain. If one inflicts pain, one must bear it. Pain must be borne. Pain is a warrior's ally.

He hovered in a nightmare-filled, windowless, endless monotony of thirst and hunger.

Punctuated with unending lilts of bouncy, alert, happy, chipper whistling.

At first, he'd welcomed the sound. The rising and falling notes broke the tedium of everlasting darkness. It stopped for brief periods, but began again soon after.

He'd considered calling out and asking them to stop. He had gone so far as to open his mouth. But asking implied weakness. He acknowledged no tool of torture.

Beg mercy from humans? Never.

This was not stasis. Stasis meant cessation of thought. Of emotion. A dreamless kind of sleep. The end of awareness. A not-time.

They'd frozen his people in these pods, but they'd imprisoned him.

Or perhaps his blood ran so hot, no human force could freeze him.

The tune changed.

For the love of all that's holy, will you shut up!

Blessed silence fell. But then a blinding flash of light blared in his face like a blast of horns.

What fresh perdition was this? They'd tortured him with darkness. Now they'd torture him with light?

Pietas tried to force his eyes open, to face the torture, but after so long in darkness, the light stabbed his eyes. He twisted his head to avoid it.

"You-- you're awake?" The startled voice hovered close, muffled by the pod. "Security! Security! Prisoner Six-Six-Six is out of stasis! I say again, Prisoner Six-Six-Six is out of stasis!"

The alarm in the male voice gave Pietas a measure of pride. Even imprisoned, he engendered fear. They had taken away his name, and given him a number that among humans meant a demonic beast.

Let the legend of Pietas--by name or by number--bring fear straight into the heart of man. No... let it bring terror.

His eyes adjusted to the light, and he focused on the face hovering over the small window above him.

Was that...Ghost Six?

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 inside their pods and it's up to Pietas to free them. He can't release one at a time. It's all or nothing. Over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals will call on him for rescue and he has no way to answer.

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The galaxy will never be safe for humans #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks

The galaxy will never be safe for humans #SciFi #SpaceOpera

His people permit him no choice. He must attend insipid peace talks on Enderium Six and what's worse, be polite. To humans.

In this scene, Pietas has been betrayed and trapped, and now they're coercing him to enter a lifepod.

Humans!

The leaders of his people gathered in sleep around Pietas, sealed inside their curved, steel stasis tubes.

He folded his arms. "Feast your eyes, vultures." He lifted his chin. "You think to imprison me? You think to bring me down like a hunted animal?" He indicated the other life-pods. "I will not cower before you. I will not bow. I will not kneel. I will not serve. I will never submit. Humans were made to be ruled, not by my people, but by me."

The silhouettes above him contrasted with the bright light behind them. One by one, they slipped away, until one remained.

"Fighting us accomplishes nothing." The disembodied voice echoed in the chamber. "Enter the pod, Pietas, or we'll siphon the air. You'll die."

"I'll revive. I've died countless times. I do not fear death. Death fears me."

"So be it. Since you're so set on dying, have it your way. I told you if you didn't cooperate, I would detonate the bombs within the hostages you took aboard your ship. See for yourself."

On the opposite wall, an image of his ship sparkled into life, and a bloom of light filled the screen. A mass of debris shot in all directions.

"Your crew has ceased to exist."

"That image is a farce. You would not dare to destroy the council's flagship, and you will not destroy the council. You are cowards. You lock us away in a barren room and threaten our people. This is why humans do not deserve freedom. You are worthless, miserable liars."

"Believe me, your crew is quite dead. The universe is a safer place for it."

"Untrue. It will never be safe for humans. Especially for you."

Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas by Kayelle Allen


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Take from an enemy? A human? Never. #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks

Take from an enemy? A human? Never. #SpaceOpera #SciFi

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...

Take from an enemy...

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?

Never.

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.


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Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

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