Ghosts Have No Name
In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, the not-quite-human Six offers water to the immortal king, Pietas. But the king wants what Six cannot give. Ghosts have no name...
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?
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. A dead human soldier who'd been resurrected and enhanced with Ultra blood. A "ghost." 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.
Staggering, he swore in Spanish. "Find another name for me."
"Tell me your mortal name then."
"You know I can't." Six scratched his cheek. "Ghosts have no name. Gotta protect my family. If your kind knew who they were, they'd slaughter them. You wouldn't, but them?"
Now they were getting somewhere. "So you do trust me?"
"Pi, there's more honor in your left big toe than your entire race combined." He tipped up the canteen but then paused. "No offense."
"None taken. But we're stranded, my friend. Unless a miracle happens, by the time we get off this world, your family will be long dead." He added, "No offense."
Six finished his drink and plugged the canteen. "None taken. Sorry. Can't do it." He lifted the strap back over his head and settled it onto his shoulder, the canteen at his back. "Seriously, Pi, your people hear you call me you-know-what, it'll give away I was Ghost Corps. If they do, we both know what they'll do to me."
Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped in their pods and it's up to Pietas to rescue them.
A human abandoned with him has become a trusted friend. But before Pietas can save his people, he must reconcile them to the human and 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...
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