In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, the immortal Pietas argues with his father, who contends the war has cost billions of human lives, while as immortals, none of the Ultras has suffered a perma-death.

Freedom, Fairness, Fortune

"As usual, you discount my deaths."

"Yours don't count. You come back."

"I see." Had anything Pietas had ever done counted? Not to the man before him. "Tell me, Father." He picked up a silver circlet and toyed with it. "Would it be better if some of us had been terminated by fire, or one of the other ways to end us permanently? How many perma-deaths would suffice? Are two sufficient? A hundred? Or would mine be enough?"

"Why must you twist my words? Of course Ultras have died, but we revive in peak condition. Humans stay dead. All I'm saying is the loss is heavy on one side."

"Every war has losses. Yet you don't celebrate the victory. You count the enemy's defeat as your own."

"This is why you are unfit to lead the council. You--"

"Ah, there it is." Pietas twirled the diadem around one finger. "The real reason you're here. To whine about losing your place of power."

"That's petty and you know it. Too many mortals have died!"

"Mortals! How I tire of that word. I believe I'll start calling them Mundanes."

"Why not? It smacks of your usual disrespect and bigotry."

Pietas sputtered a laugh. "I find it incredulous that the indignant and righteous Mahikos who led our people in rebellion against humanity has fallen so far from his ideals. What happened to the motto 'Freedom, Fairness, Fortune' that rallied our people? I was four years old. We were still hidden then. No one knew Dessy and I existed except you and Mother. But you hoisted us both onto your shoulders and we stayed behind darkened glass and watched as thousands of our people cheered in the streets. You'd won them freedom, and they shouted your name. Oh, in that moment, Father, I wanted to be just like you. No, I wanted to be you. Now?" He ignored the angry twitch tugging at one eyelid. "You want us to treat humans as equals. They never treated us as such. Even now, we're hated and reviled. Putting them on the council will make them haughtier. I want nothing to do with humans."

"Then you want nothing to do with me, Son. Humans are all I care about."

And wasn't that the naked truth of his father's betrayal? He had turned his back on their people. He had turned his back on his son.

A captive of the people he loathes, the immortal Pietas is left for dead on the planet Sempervia. Six, a human soldier who is abandoned with him, offers food and water. A human, offering friendship? Surely, this is another trap, but to survive, Pietas must do that which he most detests.
Trust a human...
Bringer of Chaos series by Kayelle Allen
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