|Bringer of Chaos|
I'm about 38k into a new book, this one set in the distant past within the universe I usually write about. Pietas, who up to now has been the villain, began whispering in my ear that I didn't know him as well as I thought. After struggling with another book for several years, I realized the problem was I had to write Pietas's story first. If he was going to oppose my main characters, wouldn't it be a good idea to know WHY he did it?
I moved back in time several thousand years. After all, my characters are immortal. The book I'm writing is called Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas. I was rather shocked to discover that the uber villain I had created was not all bad. In fact, I've fallen in love with him. I can already see the book needs a sequel. His is too big a story not take up more than one novel. Here's the opening from the book.
According to legend...
No matter how horrific or grisly their wounds, the warriors called Ultras survived. Disease did not touch them. Starvation did not stop them. One thing slowed them down.
But even death didn't hold them long.
Humans had unwittingly made their warrior protectors immortal.
Not content to merely serve, the physically and mentally superior Ultras revolted. Their hyper-metabolism made reproduction impossible, with one set of twins the sole exception. Their warrior/scientist parents protected them with every enhancement. The twins mastered every skill of science, art, and war.
The big business of genetics produced genslaves, creatures designed for menial labor. Along with non-warrior Ultras, they demanded rights. The protests triggered war. Backed by Ultra warriors, the non-humans won. By the end of the First Cycle of Wars, the subservient race was human. Ultras ruled the starways and trade.
The Human Pure movement sought to wipe out non-human traits and all enhanced sensory perceptions. Humanity weakened itself by outlawing genetic healing or correction. They shunned anything considered unnatural. That term gained wide usage. If you were different, you hid it or died. Ultras with human appearance concealed their powers and escaped routine purges.
Pockets of brutal resistance against Ultras persisted. In 4536 AD, the long centuries of rebellion ended. The beleaguered human rebels offered a treaty.
|The Origin of Pietas|
Deep space, Colonies of Man
Terran Year 4536 AD
"This will end in disaster. Why can't anyone else see it?" Pietas ap Lorectic rubbed at the ache forming behind his eyes. "A headache? This is proof these talks are wrong. When does an Ultra ever suffer pain, unless it's due to humans?"
The empty council chamber of the Uurahkal echoed with his words. Pietas stormed away from the podium. He cast off the heavy silk brocade of his robe of state. Silver threads flashed among teal and white as the supple garment billowed to the floor. He tore off the unadorned silver circlet denoting his rank, and tossed it onto a table.
Beyond the portal window, the massive space station Enderium Six squatted, a tangled crossroads in space. Its arms stretched in every direction for ships to dock. Near the planet Cape Hope in the Colonies of Man, it offered neutrality for the upcoming Human-Ultra peace talks. Home to a quarter million humans, the station occupied busy spacelanes outside the Terran Crescent. It served as a meeting point between the Central Colonies and the Gedarin Republic.
"How odd to find Chancellor Pietas so calm."
He hadn't heard anyone reenter the council chamber. Of course, it would be his father, who only called Pietas by his title to be sarcastic. He steeled himself for the inevitable argument.
"Do I seem calm?" He pivoted toward Mahikos. "Good. Then I hid my emotions well. If I didn't, with my empathic gift, every person on this ship would share my outrage. We are being forced into these talks. Perhaps I should stop shielding and let people know how I feel. If they sensed what I do, maybe they'd listen to reason."
"Now that I'm near you, I feel it. You're a storm of ice." Mahikos shivered as he strolled further into the room. "Opening your shields would only convince others you're as deluded as they thought. You wouldn't want to be impeached so soon after being elected. Do yourself a favor, Son, and confine your opinions to verbal sharing."
"Why? No one listens. You don't. One wonders how you led our people."
"I listened to the people, not you. While you listen only to yourself." Mahikos swung open the carved wooden doors of the bar. He uncapped a crystal decanter of finely aged Terran brandy. Alcohol had no effect on Ultras. They drank for the taste and enjoyment of sharing. He lifted a glass, silently asking if Pietas would join him.
"No, but thank you for offering me my own brandy." Lights on the station revealed a steady stream of ships leaving, but none on approach. "We cannot trust these humans. They're evacuating the station."
"Do you blame them? They don't see Ultras as the good guys." Mahikos took a sip of the brandy. "This is excellent."
"Stolen from the best."
He smiled. "No doubt." In this rebirth, Mahikos looked younger than his son. He had the same platinum-blond hair, his cropped short. Like Pietas, he wore the uniform of the Ultra Council, white with teal trim. "Your mother asked me to see if you were in accord with us on the talks. I told her you weren't but that you'd do your duty."
"Did you? I'm surprised. You usually tear me down in front of her."
"Pietas, don't start. This is the most important conference in the history of mankind. This could be the turning point to peace, where they finally accept our rule."
"As if they had a choice."
"Let's not argue. It's time we put humans on the council. They deserve a voice."
"We will argue and continue to argue until you accept the fact that you are wrong. I have hammered this point for hundreds of years! When will you listen? When will you get the fact that these people cannot be trusted? They call for peace talks but they're evacuating the station as we approach. This is another one of their traps. It will fail like all the others, but it's still a trap." He flung an arm out toward the station. "These talks will solve nothing. They're going to try something stupid. We'll slaughter them for it, and as usual, we'll be blamed. What is so hard to grasp about this?" Pietas reached out with his empathic senses, but encountered the blunt edge of his father's shields. There would be no persuasion except by speech. "I wish I could show you, once and for all, that humans are cutthroats. They will not honor their word. They will not abide by our laws. They will usurp our power and try to control the galaxy as if it belonged to them."
"It does belong to them."
Pietas threw up a hand. "This again."
"The galaxy was theirs before we claimed it. Son, humanity is an ancient civilization. We are the usurpers. Yes, we are more powerful. We should be benevolent rulers, not despots. Might does not make right." He finished the brandy and set down the glass with a thud. "But let's attempt civility. We're both members of the council and should discuss topics with one another out of respect for the office." The glare Mahikos leveled his way carried the empathic warmth of an ice blade. "Even if we detest one another on a personal level."
"Since you asked so nicely." He motioned for his father to continue.
"If they keep their word, these talks will end the war. We'll have peace."
|Pietas (with War Leader mask)|
"Ah, and isn't that the key. If. They do not surrender well. They say the word 'human' as if it were synonymous with 'king.' These talks are nothing more than a ruse by you bleeding hearts who want to 'stop the killing.' As if killing was not what you were born to do. Embrace your purpose, Father. You are a killer. Like me."
"We're also scientists. You're one of the finest among our people. Embrace that. We don't have to kill. The war has cost billions of human lives, while not one of us has perished."
"As usual, you discount my deaths."
"Yours don't count. You come back."
"I see." When had anything Pietas had done ever counted? He toyed with his circlet. "Tell me, Father. 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 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 come back, while humans never will. All I'm saying is the loss is heavy on one side."
"Every war has losses. I'd think you'd celebrate the victory, not 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!"
"I care nothing for mortals." He flipped the circlet into the air and caught it. "They all die."
"How can you not care? We were created to protect them."
"Correction, Father. You were. My twin and I were born free. We do not submit to the slavery of humans the way you did."
"You were elected by the council, and you serve at their pleasure. They want this treaty. Remember that."
"How can I forget when I have you to remind me? Go back to Mother and tell her not to worry. I never forsake duty." Pietas flipped a hand in his direction, dismissing him. He waited until Mahikos reached the door. "Did it never occur to you?"
His father faced him. "What?"
"The council elected me to head these talks and removed you. You want to bring in humans. I do not. Yet I lead the council. Perhaps the council hates humans more than you think."
A wave of aggravation emanated from Mahikos, scorching the skin like licks of flame. Accustomed to the pain, Pietas did not flinch.
"Son, surely you realize they elected you to keep you close and control you."
"To control--" Pietas broke into laughter. "Did they? How unenlightened." He shrugged. "Well, they can try. I must say, your annoyance today is a refreshing change from your usual indifference. I'd begun wondering if you had any emotions regarding my takeover. It must nettle, knowing your lowly son succeeded your rule."
"No one would consider you lowly."
Pietas lifted his chin. "Except you."
"I'm surprised you even bothered to show up, as much as you hate humans."
"I hate humans no more than a physician hates germs yet still takes time to eradicate them. Humans are dangerous."
"Humans created us."
"They created you. My twin and I were conceived naturally."
"Son, it doesn't matter. The truth is, humans are the reason we exist."
"Perhaps that was true in your reality. They're not even part of the equation in mine. Humans have abused, misused, and betrayed their creations throughout their history. They cannot be trusted. This so-called peace everyone clamors for comes from concern about humans. I care less than nothing about them. As for their good graces? I have no faith they exist."
"You know, Pietas, one day you're going to eat those words."
He took one step forward. "Is that a threat?"
"No. A prediction. One day you'll rely on the mercy of humans."
Pietas chuckled. "You think humans show mercy? How amusing."
Head down, Mahikos rubbed a spot between his eyes. "I hope I'm there to see it when you realize every person has value."
"How well you preach love." If only he gave it half as well. Pietas turned his back.
"Son, when the conference starts tomorrow, all your mother and I ask is that you try to be gracious."
"Gracious?" Pietas swiveled toward him. "I'm quite certain I already am. Just this morning when I knocked on your chamber door, I heard Mother say, 'Oh gracious. That must be Pietas.' Such a lovely chat, Father. Do give me an evening alone before I subject myself to the presence of humans."
For once, the man did not argue.
Pietas stood before the wall-sized viewscreen, taking in the change of station lights as the ship began docking.
His father was right about one thing. The almighty council ruled as it wished, and one either obeyed, or it removed you from power. His entire family might be members, but they still served only at council command. Pietas, as elected leader, made the final vote, but his office could overrule no one.
The powerless authority chafed.
The council voted in favor of the treaty, his the only dissenting vote. Equality and balance of power was the cornerstone of Ultra rule. It had worked for centuries, but now they wanted to apply those principles to humans.
"Humans. On the council. Equal to Ultras. Not in my immortal lifetime."
After he destroyed these peace talks, he'd suspend the council. He'd already united the soldier class as First Conqueror, War Leader of the Ultras. They'd accept his rule when he took command as king. Then, and only then would he be free to accomplish his most vital goal, keeping humanity in chains--where it belonged.
by Kayelle Allen
Immortal. Warrior. Outcast. An Ultra's loyalty never dies. Neither does his thirst for revenge.
Immortal. Warrior. Outcast. An Ultra's loyalty never dies. Neither does his thirst for revenge.
I plan to release this book on May 1, 2016. After all, what better date to release a book about a character who creates chaos than on Mayday?
Members of my Romance Lives Forever Reader Group will get a sneek peak and exclusive short story. SIGN UP HERE. You'll get a free book right away, and another book the next day. Once you're signed up, let me know if you'd like a copy of the book to review.
Watch a speed drawing video of Pietas being created by Jamin Allen