When I wrote Bringer of Chaos, I knew the hero would not be a sympathetic character. I didn’t expect him to change, but as I wrote, trying to understand him, I began to see my initial perception was false. He is an anti-hero but there is a nobility about him that I never suspected. In the scene below, the Ultra Council has agreed to meet on a neutral starport for peace talks with humans. No one will believe him when he warns it’s a trap, so Pietas decides to push the humans into showing their hand.
Emotions Bombarded Pietas
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.
His sister, 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 stolen after the ritual they’d performed. She’d interwoven it into 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 sting of emotions bombarded Pietas from all angles. His skin twitched and he rubbed his arms as if cold. What hid within the jumbled emotions?
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 didn’t need weapons. They were weapons.
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