Obligations, Chapt. 1-2

Posted: August 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

I’m going to post a few chapters a week, with a one day overlap, let me know what you think,

obligations cover

Obligations is published by Six Point Press
Copyright 2014 by Cheryce Clayton
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the Publisher, except for short quotes used for review or promotion.
Art by Michael Shaudis

Chapter One – Wergol – 1998 pg8 – available 8/8/15 – 8/15/15
Chapter Two – Bystocc – 2011 pg12 -available 8/8/15 – 8/15/15

Chapter Three – Bystocc – 2012 pg22 – available 8/14
Chapter Four – Earth – 1995 pg30 – available 8/14
Chapter Five – Bystocc – 2012 pg32 – available 8/14
Chapter Six – Sheresuan – 2004 pg47
Chapter Seven – Bystocc – 2012 pg50
Chapter Eight – Bystocc – 2012 pg56
Chapter Nine – Sheresuan – 2012 pg73
Chapter Ten – Earth – 1997 pg77
Chapter Eleven – Sheresuan – 2012 pg81
Chapter Twelve – Bystocc – 2012 pg89
Chapter Thirteen – Sheresuan – 2012 pg104
Chapter Fourteen – Bystocc – 2012 pg113
Chapter Fifteen – Wergol – 2012 pg127
Chapter Sixteen – Earth: Taiwan – 1995 pg134
Chapter Seventeen – Bystocc – 2012 pg143
Chapter Eighteen – Wergol – 2012 pg155
Chapter Nineteen – Bystocc – 2012 pg161
Chapter Twenty – Wergol – 2012 pg173
Chapter Twenty One – Earth 1998 pg185
Chapter Twenty-Two – Bystocc – 2012 pg202
Chapter Twenty-Three – Sheresuan – 2012 pg210
Chapter Twenty-Four – Earth – 1995 pg213
Chapter Twenty-Five – Sheresuan – 2012 pg216
Chapter Twenty-Six – Wergol – 2012 pg229
Chapter Twenty-Seven – Space – 2012 pg233
Chapter Twenty-Eight – Bystocc – 2012 pg242
Chapter Twenty-Nine – Earth – 1995 pg250
Chapter Thirty – Bystocc – 2012 pg252
Chapter Thirty One – Bystocc – 2013 pg256
Epilogue – Wergol – 2013 pg263
Thank you for reading. pg266

Obligations

Chapter One – Wergol – 1998
“Nobody panic, now,” Morgan heard Greg say from behind her. “I don’t know what Tim was going to say, but take a lesson from my people. Do whatever it takes to survive, and plan your freedom carefully.”

Morgan twisted around to look up at the black man who now loomed over her. Twenty-eight years old, and the closest thing to an adult their make-believe family ever had, Greg was talking. As much to keep himself from panicking as anyone else, Morgan thought, with a glance about the room.

It was an auditorium, larger than her school’s, but less than half-filled. They were on a raised circular stage fifteen feet wide.

Several of the gray robed aliens Greg had described from their capture were also on the stage, standing about the edges.

Many other species could be seen scattered throughout the room, including several humans.

“I hear you, man, pride slaughtered my ancestors,” Sam said from above Morgan.

As Sam helped her to stand, Morgan looked into his midnight eyes and remembered the television westerns she loved watching when he wasn’t around. The memory of feathers and war paint threatened to block out his face, and she blinked her eyes to clear her conscience.

“Human female. Step forward.”

Morgan held her breath, thinking they meant her.

One of the robed aliens moved a step closer to them and flicked a whip at the dazed and still sitting Denise. The teen screamed in pain as the pink flesh on her bare arm went white and blossomed into a vivid red welt.

“Damn you!” Tim shouted and lunged for the alien. He never got close; a whip hit him hard to the chest, and he staggered backwards, to be caught by Sam.

“You okay, man?” Greg whispered, his deep black face gone gray as he eyed the robed aliens.

“Yeah,” Tim said, with a brisk shrug to shed Sam’s hands, and moved to stand beside Morgan.

Morgan tipped her head back to look up at him, and ignored everything around her as she tried to memorize Tim’s face.

Brown skin; not black, not white, just dark, even with his tan beginning to fade. His eyes were a green no contact lens could fake, rimmed with thick, black lashes. His mustache had grown thicker, and a faint beard now outlined his thin chapped lips. Morgan refused to drop her gaze from his mouth as she blinked tears away. The room’s silence brought her attention back to Denise.

“Female friend. Sold.”

The whip again moved toward the crying Denise, but this time did not connect. Denise looked at Tim and then the others, in panic, before she stepped forward one very small step.

“What, what do you want?” Denise cried out in a high-pitched whine.

One member of the auditorium crowd moved up the stairs to the stage. Her buyer was human: a very tall man with Middle Eastern clothing. He smiled in answer to her question and threw a small pouch at the robed alien auctioneer.

“I don’t understand, Tim. Tim?” Denise turned her frightened gaze back to her friends.

“World’s oldest profession, baby,” Greg called to her when it became evident that Tim was not going to answer her.

The buyer put his arm around her shoulder and gently forced her to the steps.

Morgan closed her eyes as she grasped the older girl’s situation.

“I can’t, I won’t.” Denise resisted her buyer, and stared from Tim who refused to meet her gaze, to Greg who just shrugged without further comment.

Her half-formed protests were stilled when her purchaser paused. He stroked his hand along her cheek before he pulled her dirty, bleached blonde hair from one side of her face, and pinned it in place. Denise pulled the pin from her hair. It was shaped like a snowflake that was crafted of white metal and brilliant gemstones. The man smiled one last time before he placed his arm around her shoulders and directed Denise down the stairs.

“Woo-ee. Looks like she fell into a pampered pet position. Let’s hope we all do as well.” Greg didn’t smile when he spoke.
Morgan felt Tim move to hold her in response, his large hands over her small shoulders; thumbs circling the top of her neck, his hands encasing her chest with an external set of ribs, but this one made of fingers.

“Humans. Males, step forward.”

Once more the whip flicked out, this time catching Tim on the wrist, and Morgan’s ear burned as the whip retracted.

Tim clenched her shoulders tight but did not move.

“Humans, separate. Child pain.”

Tim stepped to the side of Morgan when their keeper pulled back to strike again.

“I love you,” Morgan whispered, staring at his back as he stepped forward to join Greg and Sam.

“Man, we are popular,” Greg said as the sound level in the room increased. Where one had bid for Denise, nearly every person in the room was bidding now.

“I love you too,” Tim said, but never turned to look at Morgan.

She thought he might be afraid of what would happen if his resolve broke. Afraid he would get them all killed.

“Mercenaries sold. The House Medori. Bow.”

“At least we know where we stand,” Greg said to the room, which had grown silent as four short, orange aliens moved towards the stage.

Only one climbed the stairs. It was of a fur bearing species, with visibly pointed teeth. “Yes, you do. Follow me,” their buyer said in accented English as it handed a large pouch to the auctioneer.

“Wait, buy Morgan,” Tim called out and moved towards his new owner. “Please.”

Morgan saw no hesitation in his step even when a whip caught him hard across the cheek.

“The infant? I think not.”

Tim lunged halfway down the stairs at this pronouncement. Repeated applications of the whips prevented him from reaching their new owner.

Morgan bit her lip as Tim fell the rest of the way down the steps.

“Carry him.” Their owner made eye contact with Greg before turning and walking away. “Next time he dies,” was said over a retreating shoulder.

“Come on.” Greg moved past the still-silent Sam and bent to pick up the unconscious Tim.

Neither looked to meet Morgan’s gaze.

“Human, child. Step forward.”

Morgan moved to the edge of the stage and watched Greg and Sam carry Tim from the room. She continued to stare at the door they exited without noticing the silence in the room.

“Ship rat. Sold.”

Morgan pried her eyes from the door and stared at the creature that moved towards her up the stairs. It was short, maybe half a foot taller than her own four feet. But there the similarity ended. Morgan gasped in horror as a rancid odor reached her; even the robed slavers kept their distance from the obese, filthy alien, allowing its pouch of money to fall to the floor untouched.

Chapter Two – Bystocc – 2011
“Was it really necessary?” Morgan asked from where she stood framed by broken glass. She stared down out of the window at the carnage and destruction just beginning to be repaired.

Two young Sansheren could be seen studying a pile of rubble across the street, and Morgan squinted to see the bright green danger flag they placed before walking to the next pile. It was the symbol for unexploded ordnance, she realized without surprise. Her eyes followed the road and the warning signs, so many that they reminded her of prayer flags waving in the breeze, and she closed her eyes to block the memory of Earth.

“Two months since the cease-fire, and not a single hospital in operation for the natives,” Neavillii said, forcing Morgan’s attention to her friend and aide. A mature Sansheren, Neavillii was short, orange, and every bit a bored predator.

“The sewers and water are still out in every major city, half of a continent has been reduced to glowing craters, and the Ouosin’s own people whisper of torture and brutality. I guarantee their beloved Twelve will not risk another House’s neutrality,” Neavillii finished in a soft voice that soothed Morgan’s own nervous fear as she stared out at the city once more.

Below on the street, new flags marked a buried body, unexploded ordinance, and radioactive debris. The rules of war had not been broken, they had been ignored, and Morgan wondered if memories of her human childhood were coloring her mood.

“And yet, I find myself unready for this confrontation,” Morgan said, and turned from the window to eye the large dining room where she had been left to await Tadesde, a Twelfth level Sansadee, leader of the conquering force. As a new Ninth level Sansadee, Morgan’s own party numbered ten: eight security, her aide, and herself. The Sansheren in the room were orange with hints of green, a muscular people who trusted to their own fur for warmth. Morgan wore a long black scarf draped across her shoulders and wished for thicker material. Her security stood in a cluster between her and the platforms where the meal would be served. The Arbitration papers lay ignored beside an empty seat in the center of the largest platform.

“My adopted father, Neadesto, should have sent her beautiful daughter Iedonea. At least with the rank of an Eleventh she could have pretended peerage with Tadesde. As Neadesto’s adopted –“

“You are Tadesde’s equal,” Neavillii insisted. “It matters not your species.”

Morgan tilted her head toward her aide, Neavillii, in question. “I know the stories of Tadesde’s inception, but dare I call her an Ouosin and discover the rumors false?”

Neavillii moved nearer, and reached up with her claws sheathed to begin massaging Morgan’s tense shoulders. “Her own people claim peerage to her, and few are even your rank. I am honored to attend this meal, and I will hold my head high,” Neavillii said, and Morgan twisted around to smile.

More than thirty retainers swept into the room; at their lead was a bannerless Sansheren who was so young that Morgan was startled by the green fur that still dominated the other’s adult orange. “Tadesde?” Morgan whispered, and knew she must be wrong. Tadesde’s archetype was marked by a reddish coloring and narrow features, and the other did not match any of the descriptions of the young leader Morgan was waiting for.

“Have you any questions for our Lady?” asked a voice from the crowd as Morgan motioned her people to approach the platforms.

“I find the extent of the damage appalling,” Morgan said while studying the cluster of Sansheren in front of her. “Can there be a reason for such brutality?” None present bore the banner of Sansadee, and she knew insult was intended as those facing her sat without waiting for her bow. Herself a Ninth-ranked Sansadee, Morgan was an independent leader and by her own choice Neadesto’s servant. The fact that none facing her across the platform could claim even her own rank was apparent in the banners they wore.

“There was resistance, even after the cease-fire was negotiated. The alien mercenaries refused to surrender for ransom, your Ladyship. Their species has no sense of honor or peerage,” a new voice said, but Morgan could see no one bow.

“Perhaps you set the ransom too high,” Morgan replied, not quite ignoring the second insult, being as human as the slandered mercenaries.

“But if our House is to gain any profit from this experience we must demand full restoration and reconstruction of the prize,” another Sansheren said, and this time Morgan spotted the speaker. The woman was not the youngest present, and yet she was still far too young to wear the banners that proclaimed her rank of Twelfth in the order of Gulardee, a soldier. She was the same soldier who escorted Morgan on her recent tour as Arbitrator for the devastated planet, and Morgan paused to collect her thoughts as she noted the scar on the woman’s shoulder and stain on her House banner that proved that she had jumped from Tenth ranked to Twelfth overnight and wasn’t a sister or cousin.

“Traditionally, a mercenary’s ransom does not exceed twenty percent of the time involved in the original conflict. Your own demands are in excess of one hundred and thirty percent,” Morgan said with a smile. She knew she was toying with the powerful young soldier. “Why?” she asked, and retainers on both sides of the room tensed as the military leader stood and flexed her fingers, unsheathing her claws.

“As my wonderful friend said,” the first voice interjected, “there was resistance after the cease-fire. We should be reimbursed at one hundred percent for this time. We also feel that we should be granted a bonus of half of the traditional time to discourage such dishonorable actions in the future.” The woman who stood to calm the Gulardee was old and nearing retirement.

Morgan blinked when she noticed that the other’s chest banners betrayed her as a Tamsatel, and little more than the head of Tadesde’s House’s domestic pyramid. “No, the traditional ransom was set to discourage such destruction of the prize as we see here,” Morgan replied. “Your House acted against the better interests of this planet in pursuing the battle after the original cease-fire was negotiated. The new nuclear bombardment of the Western Continent only proves my-”

“But, most honorable Arbitrator, we have already informed you that the mercenary Captain, Timone, was responsible for all of the nuclear weapons that ravaged the Western Continent,” the Gulardee leader challenged.
Morgan was distracted for a moment by the Sansheren’s pronunciation of the mercenary leader’s name, Tim-o-nee, and how her name always became Mor-gan-aye. She remembered Neavillii once telling her that a one-or two–syllable name was as unnatural as a one- or two-sided triangle.

“You cannot plan to penalize our wonderful and benevolent leader Tadesde, she who holds the Twelfth rank in the order of the Sansadee? It is Timone you should punish!” the Tamsatel shouted her disbelief as the others in the party sat glaring at Morgan.

“Am I to be forced into accepting your honor as to what occurred?” Morgan asked, and allowed her growing disgust at Tadesde’s treatment of the planet to surface in her voice. “How convenient Timone did not survive. Ransom will stand at twenty percent of the time involved. Mercenaries will be provided the option to purchase their debt, and medical care will be provided for any who need it, native or mercenary. As punishment for the use of nuclear weapons, I insist that any mercenary or native found to be dying by radiation contamination or exotic poison can expect full family benefits for the length of their lives, plus family status for up to ten whom they choose to record,” Morgan finished, and felt guilty at the amount of pleasure she received from handing down such a harsh judgment. Watching the two standing, Morgan saw the young Gulardee’s look of protest shift to one of fear and hatred. Glancing around the room, she noted that none of Tadesde’s retainers would accept eye contact. Among her own people, Neavillii was smiling at her, and Morgan almost laughed when she realized the very human smile that played on her own face.

“Will you sign the judgment papers for your mistress?” Morgan used an intimate inflection on the traditional compliment to return the insults offered earlier with a twist. The young soldier was too far beneath her, regardless of rank, but Tadesde was not and Morgan enjoyed the look of irritation that crossed the other woman’s face at the childish slur.

“It is said that the House of Sheresuan is the most neutral and honorable, this is why we asked your own love, Neadesto of the Twelfth and highest rank of Sansadee, to send us one of her daughters to arbitrate the ransom. Dare we risk another House deciding worse? I will send for my most loved Sansadee of the House Dejymo, Tadesde. She will have the honor of signing the papers herself. I look forward to dining with you when she arrives,” the young Gulardee said, and without a bow, turned and stalked out of the room.

Morgan waited a minute and watched as Tadesde’s retainers shifted in their seats before moving to reclaim her own.
“Tadesde,” Neavillii said.

Her whisper caught Morgan half-way beginning to sit. The rapidness with which the other leader appeared surprised Morgan as she shifted to bow.

“Do not bow to me, child,” Tadesde said with a smile. “We are equals, you and I.”

Morgan had a difficult time covering her surprise at the undeserved compliment. “You jest at my expense,” Morgan said in a soft whisper meant for the other woman and finished her bow. “You have obtained the Twelfth rank of Sansadee, and I am new to the Ninth; surely the only equality between us would be found in a bedroom?”

“A proposal, Arbitrator?” Tadesde asked with a smile and took her place opposite Morgan on the large platform, moving the Arbitration papers aside without reading them.

“Only truth,” Morgan replied and sat.

“A compliment, then,” Tadesde said, her smile fading. “I had heard that you boiled your meat and served it in broth as a toothless old woman would prefer. I did not believe this rumor, but, as my dear wife Meshari of the Twelfth rank of Gulardee reminded me, you are alien,” Tadesde said, and shared a smile with the young soldier who had represented her. “I ordered my chef to fix such a dish especially for you. You do put vegetables in this dish, do you not?” Tadesde – leader of the conquering forces, Twelfth rank Sansadee, and ruler of two planets – asked as she offered a feral grin to Morgan. The Arbitration papers sat ignored as native servants placed deep plates of liquid before each diner.

“I eat your food as an invited guest,” Morgan said. “Why do you bare your teeth?”

Neavillii placed her hand on Morgan’s leg, sharp claws penetrating silk pants by way of warning, and Morgan remembered Neadesto’s advice before leaving on the mission: “Do not allow her to anger you. You can only lose from such emotion. She will try to establish a case for bias.”

Morgan sampled the soup before her. “This is the best hot and sour broth I have tasted since leaving my first planet.” Morgan smiled without showing her teeth as the soup’s spices burned their way down her throat. “I must ask your chef for the recipe.”

Neavillii leaned away and picked up her own spoon. The small ladle was awkward in her grasp.

“No,” Morgan whispered. “It’s too hot”. She could see the other leader smiling, watching their exchange, and not sampling her own broth.

“I prefer more traditional fare, myself,” Neavillii said as she looked at the spoon and set it back down with a sneer.

“And I as well,” Tadesde said as the tall, native servants stooped to place platters of meat and breads before each diner. The planet’s natives stood more than seven feet tall, and the dining platforms were less than two feet high, forcing the natives to bend both sets of knees and their back as they worked.

Morgan watched as Tadesde picked up a large bone-in piece of meat and began to laugh while eating. The meat’s cooking juices ran down her bare chin, soiling her banners of House and order, and matting the thick orange fur that covered her midriff.

Morgan eyed the conquered natives with a bitter sympathy as she ate the soup. Their feathers were frayed and faded, their metal garments pitted with rust and worse. Morgan dropped her gaze to her plate to keep from making eye contact with one.

She didn’t want to bring anyone to Tadesde’s personal attention, and while enslaving the natives was allowed, the custom had lapsed into disrepute long ago. And the reports of brutality were still sharp in Morgan’s mind.

The meal passed in silent agony, and by its end Morgan was glad she had eaten the soup. The meats were tough and chewy, the rancid smelling breads were gummy, and Tadesde’s manners were not the worst at the dinner. The only pleasant part of the meal was seeing Tadesde’s irritation when Morgan accepted Neavillii’s bowl of soup to eat.

“I would appreciate the recipe for the delicious broth you honored me with,” Morgan said, and hoped her smile didn’t show.

Tadesde leaned back from her food as the servants began to remove the dishes, and met Morgan’s eye with a fierce scowl that betrayed a growing rage. “Yes, I would take this moment to speak with the cook myself,” Tadesde said and nodded to one of her aides. Then, grinning, she used a claw-tip to pick pieces of dinner from between her sharpened teeth. Probing at a spot of decay that was visible to all, Tadesde grinned toward Morgan once more.

“The broth was delicious,” Morgan said when the aide returned trailed by the reluctant cook. “It was just as my grandmother used to make. Tell me, was there red root or just spice berries?” Morgan asked of the ancient woman who stood at the end of the platform wearing a soiled apron over her new banner of House and faded banner of order.

“Oh! Both, definitely both,” the old Sansheren muttered. “I was uncomfortable that you would not enjoy it. I am glad that my most benevolent Lady was right about people of your unusual species receiving pleasure from consuming painful foods. Should I have my aide bring you the recipe?”

“Yes, do have your aide bring out the recipe,” Tadesde said in a voice as soft as the cook’s. “Tell me, is this the same aide who requisitioned the ingredients for this feast?”

“Oh, yes, your Ladyship, yes,” the cook stuttered, bowing and backing up.

“Then I would definitely speak with her,” Tadesde said, the grin now etched upon her face as she paced to the window and back without sitting.

Morgan and Neavillii exchanged a look as they watched Tadesde’s people and the natives avoided eye contact.

“You sent for me, most kind and beautiful Lady?” The cook’s aide was young enough to be mistaken for an apprentice, her fur showing more than a few traces of green throughout her orange and red stripes of maturity.

“What foul plot have you hatched against me?” Tadesde interrupted, and moved to stand beside the platform. “Did you deliberately set to cause me shame? Surely there was acceptable fare upon this worthless planet? Am I to be convinced that nothing of quality could be found? What of the animals we saw grazing in the fields as we approached this forgettable city?” Tadesde demanded, her voice harsh as she swept her gaze across the room to meet Morgan’s eyes.

“But my most wonderful and intelligent Lady, surely your own personal aides have informed you of the radioactive granules that the vile Mercenaries spread upon this city not one year ago?” The younger cook’s voice was calm, but her large eyes were wide with fear. “I dared not expose your most sensuous body to the minutest risk of radiation, so I was forced to resort to foods packaged before the onset of hostilities.”

“Could this be the truth?” Tadesde demanded of those seated on her side of a large platform. “Were the Mercenaries so utterly without honor to use such a vile and unforgiving poison? And why are we meeting here then, if this city is so very dangerous? I have no desire to be so vulnerable before such a ruthless and unemotional a tyrant as radium.” Tadesde’s flamboyance was not missed by those present as she jumped back onto the platform.

“Did your aides not tell you?” Morgan asked from where she still sat. “We meet here because the radioactive granules present the least of the poisonings this planet has endured. The Western Continent is destroyed, and the prevailing winds have forced the depopulation of entire latitudes. The desert regions of the Southeastern Continent were subject to a scorched retreat policy, I am told by the Mercenaries before they could secure a route to safety,” she said. Her own voice mirrored the sarcastic tone Tadesde had affected. “I do not understand how Mercenaries with such a reckless and dishonorable Captain could succeed in holding your family forces at bay for seven years. Luck must have followed their every escape.” Morgan made no move to sit but offered her comments as if it were a joke between friends.

“Luck?” Tadesde shouted. “I have long suspected other Houses of supplying this vile planet. My intelligence informed me of the financial weakness of this miserable rock when I decided to make it mine. There is no way that the pathetic creatures born here could have afforded to pay for their defense beyond the first year!” She punctuated her sentence by picking up the writing pen from atop the Arbitration papers, and throwing it at a native servant across the room. The pen skidded to a stop as Tadesde slammed her fist against the top of the platform, and spun to face Morgan once more.

“I know a House must have plotted against me, using this puny planet as cover. They did not succeed! I am triumphant! My enemies will feel true terror when they realize that I will build my armies anew to challenge them in their beds. I pledge my honor: those who plot to destroy me will feed my children!” The room was silent as Tadesde, teeth bared, finished speaking with a pant.
Morgan thought of the intelligence information concerning several of the older Houses and hired mercenaries she alone had been given before leaving on her mission. “Indeed, then, I am glad my chosen father, Neadesto of the ancient House Sheresuan, took a vow of neutrality so long ago.” Morgan turned her face away from Tadesde and met Neavillii’s gaze before asking her aide: “Do you have any evidence that would implicate an individual House or species?”

“I do not need evidence!” Tadesde said in a near-shout before appearing to calm herself. “The circumstances bear me witness. A battle that should have taken months has only been ended after years of pain. The planet is no longer habitable by any civilized person, and now you, my lovely alien Arbitrator, have ruled that I shall see no profit from this venture. I begin to suspect that even you are against me, for why else would you rule so harshly when it was the mercenaries who caused this destruction?” Tadesde asked as she forced her lips to cover her teeth.

Morgan tensed until Tadesde looked away to drink from a glass. The retainers from each party shifted about, and Morgan felt Neavillii’s hand once more upon her leg.

“I will not bankrupt my House trying to make this world profitable, and I will not sign your ruling,” Tadesde said, and her anger faded. “I would instead honor you with a gift. I would hope you do not take offense at the presumptuousness of my present. Some, less honorable than we, will consider it a gift to the order of Ouosin. You shall be recorded as the only Sansadee of the Ninth rank to obtain your own planet,” Tadesde said with a soft laugh, before swallowing the last of her wine. “I give to you, the Arbitrator Morganea, the ruins of the planet Bystocc and all who dwell upon it. And I will include all of the captured mercenaries and natives; for you will need all the help you can find in restoring this cinder. I do not know what possessed me to think it was a prize worth taking,” and with that said, Tadesde threw her empty glass at an unsuspecting servant, and swept toward the exit.

Tadesde’s entourage were slow to follow, leaving a stunned Morgan with her own people. Sansheren history gave few examples of refused arbitrations, ancient history from the First Houses’ Wars. And when arbitration was refused, history spoke most often of the renewal of war and rarely of defaulting to the arbitrator. Morgan knew that she was now expected to honor all of the terms in her own harsh arbitration; she just didn’t know how she would do it.

—————

Thank you for reading.

The full book can be found here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OFEE5SA?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

I have a webcomic:
http://zombpocalypse.cartoonistsleague.org/
https://www.facebook.com/TalesfromtheZombieApocalypse
And you can find me on FaceBook at:
https://www.facebook.com/cheryceclayton

The artist can be contacted at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/JinxMedic-Studios/154366657980647

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