Meli answered the door to find Ken waiting in the hall. She gave him a warm smile that didn’t hide the sadness in her eyes, and noted he was wearing his uniform. This wasn’t a social visit. “Home already and right back to work, huh?” Continue reading
Gloved hands trembled as Rett reached for the clothes the guard dropped off earlier that morning. They told him the Alfath held him for over six weeks. He’d spent another three locked up in Ananke while Dawn’s Light tried to determine if the Alfath were able to break him. He’d cooperated fully with the interviews and interrogations, eager to put it all behind him and go home. But now that he was finally cleared, he hesitated. He felt himself balancing on a precipice, afraid to move lest he go tumbling back into Hell. Continue reading
Sitting at a table before the review committee, Ken and Rett exuded quiet, respectful confidence. They had answered all the questions promptly, correctly, and their skills were legendary. Everyone on the committee was familiar with their story: the orphaned boys of extraordinary power who had grown up in Arion Valley. Arete had unofficially started their training shortly after Ken’s fourteenth birthday, and both officially joined Dawn’s Light the day after he turned eighteen. They both sailed through recruit and commander training programs in record time. Continue reading
The chime at the door took Ken by surprise, prompting him to pause in his work. He briefly closed his eyes and focused his thoughts, then chuckled softly as he went to open the door.
“Happy birthday, Ken.” Rett grinned at him. The two men embraced tightly before Ken stepped aside to let Rett into his home. Continue reading
She never intended to let herself get attached to anyone. It wasn’t that she was cold or aloof — she enjoyed socializing and counted a number of her associates as friends. But deep attachments to other people were, quite simply, impractical. Arete had no desire to pass on her bloodline or heritage. She had no desire to reproduce, no mothering instinct demanding to be fulfilled. She was content to let her legacy be one of deeds and achievements. She was happy to fully devote her life to her duty. She credited that devotion to duty for leading to this moment. Continue reading