In this scene from the military science fiction novel Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, the hero, Pietas, has discovered a familiar item on an alien world. He points it out to Six, explaining in detail so his friend will understand.
Explaining isn’t always easy
Not far from the waterfall, they found sandy soil and the start of shrub with orange blossoms.
“Look, Six.” Pietas stooped to run a finger across the plant’s dense florets.
“It’s like a cross between daisies and sunflowers. What is it?”
“Helichrysum. There are over six hundred species of this plant on Earth. They come in every color except blue, although my mother’s been working on that. You’d know it as Strawflower or Immortelle. It’s edible as a seasoning.” He picked a leaf, sniffed it, held it for Six to smell.
“Reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen. Like rosemary.”
“The oil is good for arthritis. Joint pain. Clear skin.” Standing, Pietas brushed off his hands. “There’s a break in the growth up ahead.” He approached and went down on one knee.
Six squatted beside him, boots crunching the dry soil. “You know, we’d have made it here a lot quicker if you didn’t have to study every plant we came across.”
“I don’t study them. I identify them. But I’m not looking at plants here.” He pointed. “This is a trail. The tracks are from ungulates. Popular with terraformers. They put them on every colonized world. These are artiodactyla, to be precise. Bovidae. Probably a derivative of aepyceros melampus.“
“You know, Pi, when you say things like that, you think you’re explaining, but you’re really not.”
“Animals with split hooves. Even-toed. Lightweight impalas. Antelopes.”
“What, you couldn’t say antelopes?”
“I just did.” Pietas got up, dusted off his ragged pants.
Six stood. “So, this is how it’s going to be?”
The other immortals had gathered a small distance away. Pietas shot them a glare and they scattered, pretending not to listen.
He returned his attention to Six. “How what’s going to be?”
“You’re back among your own people, so you talk like them. Showing off your three thousand years of education.”
“Hard to do since I’m not yet two thousand. My mother was chief scientist in the terraforming industry. She fed me taxonomy along with my milk.”
“Classification of organisms by structure and origin. As in, I’m Ceramin perpetualis. You’re Humanus originalis. Or you were. Your metamorphosis makes you Humanus pseudo-perpetualis, or something similar. I thought mortals taught this.”
“Well, excuse me! But my fourteen years of school didn’t quite prepare me for the level of science you take for granted.”
“You have that much education?”
Six’s dark eyes narrowed in a warning.
Despite himself, Pietas laughed. Drawing Six away from the others, he leaned in close. “I apologize. I was showing off.”
“Thank you. My point.”
“No, no. I wasn’t apologizing for speaking above your level of understanding. I teach you. Do I not?”
“Well, yeah, so what’s the apology for?”
“Showing off in front of my people.”
“Showing off how?”
“Banter. Joking with you. Most of them,” he nodded toward the four immortals, “have never had what I have.”
Did the man not see it? Pietas smiled. “A human friend.”
Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire
Rated PG13 for violence (no explicit content or profanity)
Humans created a genetically enhanced race to defend mankind. Instead, the Ultras became humanity’s greatest threat. With the help of traitors, humans captured half a million of them.
Exiled to an alien world with no tech, tools, or resources, their leader, Pietas, must unite them. Before he can, he must regain command from a ruthless adversary he’s fought for centuries–his brutal, merciless father.
Ultras are immortal, and no matter how they die, they come back. Reviving after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some injuries heal instantly. A few take time. The pain of battered trust and a broken heart, though… That lasts forever.
This book will be released soon and is subject to final edits. The final version may be slightly different from the one presented here. Please join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group — you’ll get four free books right away and be the first to know when the book is available.
Read book 1: Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, available free on Kindle Unlimited
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