Heat: Empathy? Or was that the fire? #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks

In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, the immortal Pietas, grievously ill and unable to fend for himself, has asked the human, Six, to go find the other immortals. How dare this lowly human refuse him? Pietas is about to get a lesson in humility...

Heat: Empathy? Or was that the fire?

"How can you not do this, Six? What if my family and the council members are in the same shape I was in? Trapped, helpless, and injured?"

"No, no, and no." Six sat cross-legged by the fire, filet knife in hand, scraping scales off a fish. The fire sparked as the scales hit. "I'm not looking for your people. Look," he gestured at him with the knife, "you promised not to kill me. Not them. And to clarify, when it comes down to who ain't killing who, I promised not to kill you. Them? They're another story."

A hint of heat tingled against Pietas's face, and then a deeper warmth. Were his empathic senses returning, or was that the fire? "You are afraid." It sounded more accusatory than he'd intended.

Six glared at him. "Of course I am! You think I'm an idiot? I'm the only human on Sempervia. You know what a bunch of Ultras are gonna do if a human walks into camp? Nope." He spread his hands, the dead fish flopping as he did. "Not going. You get better, and I'll go with you, but I ain't going alone."

"I can't believe you."

"Sorry to disappoint." In one slice, he split the fish and then gutted it. He tossed the guts into the flames.

"You evince no sorrow whatsoever."

Six speared him with a dark look. "Evince? That some Naro swear word?"

"It's standard Etymis everyone speaks, ghost. It means to express. Empaths read the emotions that others evince."

"Fine. I don't evince any sorrow. Not one bit sorry about not taking on such a harebrained mission. Look what happened to the last one I accepted." He threaded the fish onto a long stick and set it over the coals' heat. "I might be dead, but I'm an animated dead, thank you. I intend to stay that way."

Pietas shut his eyes, jaws clenched. If he could heal faster by focusing anger, he'd have shot straight to good-as-new.

While Six worked on a second fish, Pietas considered what other tacks to try. The ghost was all about duty. "I'm accustomed to obedience from my men."

Six's mouth twisted into a wry grin. "Two things I'm starting to regret right now." He did not continue.

Pietas prompted him. "Such as?"

"One, that I didn't go AWOL when I heard about the mission to capture you."

Curiosity won over, and he broke the silence. "And the second?"

"That you got your voice back."

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? This must be another trap,
Pietas must do the one thing he detests. Trust a human...
Bringer of Chaos series by Kayelle Allen
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About Kayelle Allen

Kayelle Allen did a tour in the US Navy, where she climbed around airplanes (on the ground of course) fixing black boxes that helped pilots find their way home. She wrote her first science fiction novel at 18, and to this day, it's hidden under the bed, where she vows it will remain. Gems from it, though, launched several series in her galaxy-wide universe of stories. From childhood, Kayelle was the victim of an overactive imagination and inherited the Irish gift of gab from her mother. From her father, she got a healthy respect for mechanical things. No wonder she writes Science Fiction and Fantasy peopled with crazy androids, mythic heroes and warriors who purr.
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6 Responses to Heat: Empathy? Or was that the fire? #SpaceOpera #MFRWhooks

  1. Very interesting interaction between these two. I very much like Six’s attitude.

  2. Now I am curious!

  3. janwal says:

    Gave me a chuckle at the end. Broke the tension of the scene nicely.