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*Sneak Peek* The Offering


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Okay I'm uploading this again after editing it. I need to know if the voice and pace is working and if it's a good first chapter. Thanks.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

The planet Spirit was the setting for a long-awaited ceremony. The bonding of two of their most cherishes leaders Lord Omar Zahur, the ruler of Spirit and Prince Eka Dumas of the Spirit Walkers. Invites to every citizens to watch from a high point down onto a circular valley for all to see. The flawless weather shined as the high priestess recite the words to the two men as they faced one another holding hands. Perfection surrounded them as hails praised until both recited their… I do’s.

“My Lords!” A young male ran up frantic. “Fire is bursting through the hills my Lords.” He scanned the surrounding crowd. “Fire is consuming Spirit!” The silence was deafening as all eyes turned to Omar.

Omar glanced around as his heart seized up in his chest when his eyes landed on Eka, who stared back with trust and admiration. Eka, who still held Omar’s hands gave them a small squeeze and gave his soulmate a slight nod. Omar understood the jester as he released Eka’s hands.

“My subjects—hear me! We must act with care. Go home and gather one small carrier bag of your most valued possessions and go to the escape vessels.” The crowd erupted in chatter as Omar raised his hands to steady them all to silence. “Please my people do as I say…” Sharp cries echoed around them as panic spread throughout the gatherers. Explosions surround them as Omar subjects scattered from harm’s way as flaming debris came raining down on them. Omar watched in horror as flames engulfed his subjects. Their cries burned Omar’s ears as they pulled him from harm’s way.

“Hear me Omar,” said Eka. Omar obeyed. “We have to get everyone to safety that means…”

“We have to split up,” said Omar.

“Yes. Your subjects need you to be strong, and so do I. There’s little time to waste so go.”

“Eka.”

“Omar, those people need you right now and you need to sacrifice your needs for theirs.” Omar swallowed his fears and agreed with a nod to Eka. Nothing more is said except for a shared kiss so deep that Omar feared it was their last.

Ships get boarded as the people of Spirit bid goodbye to their home world. Omar immerses himself into of the full evacuation. Word of a supernova; Omar needs everyone to get at a safe distance. All the transports ready and in working order; supplied with provision for at least three months. They set a course for a rendezvous as ships took to the skies.

“Ambassador Toady,” said Omar waving his trusted friend over was in care and traveling with children separated from their families. He held an electronic pad logging their names; at least the ones who could speak. He approached his lordship ready to aid him.

“My Lord Omar?”

“Toady have Eka called in yet?”

“The last I heard he went to his village my Lord.”

“What? They need to be here boarding to leave.” Ambassador Toady gave a sorrowful look. “They aren’t coming are they? And Eka--Eka plans on staying with them.”

“I fear so my Lord.” Omar tried to compose himself as he knew his people needed him. His heart shredded at the thought of never seeing Eka again. He blinked away his sorrow as he took in a breath.

“Thank you, Toady. Please journey with the children and keep them safe we owe their families that much. And we will meet again, my friend.” Omar held out a hand to Toady, who saw in Omar’s gaze the truth. Toady embraced the boy he helped raise into the man before him. Omar squeezed a little harder as his tear betrayed him.

*************

“Eka!” Omar’s voice echoed as he ran through the forest towards his lover’s family village. The trees of Spirit splintered and fell around him, the planet Omar called home most his life, was dying. The planet’s core was close to eruption and evacuation of his people was underway. “Eka!” he wanted his voice to reach him. He wanted to hold him one last time because Eka would never part with him. He would tell him his place is with his people who’ll also refused to leave. Omar knew all of this even without Eka saying a word. But he didn’t care, he would stay with Eka and kiss him one last time and hope to see him in the afterlife.

As the village came into view, Omar increased his haste. Explosions erupted around him as the ground bulked, and parts of the crust collapsed into a sinkhole. A wind kicked in around him forcing Omar to shield his eye from the flying debris. He continued to move forward when he felt a sudden weightlessness about him then an explosion. When his eyes cleared, he stood on a ship surrounded by a few of his subjects. The ship broke the atmosphere traveling with other escape vessels to a safe distances.

“No, please we have to go back,” said Omar to the surrounding people.

“Please my Lord we can’t. We lost Ambassador Toady—we can’t risk you as well,” said a servant holding Omar’s arm.

“Toady’s gone?” asked Omar.

“There wasn’t enough room, so he gave up his place to another citizen.”

“Toady.” Omar understood he had to ignore his desires for the sake of his people no matter the cost. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Inform the captain I wish to see him for an alternative route.”

The territory of the Collective was vast as Omar’s fleet entered its boundaries. They granted Omar and his people permission to use the Slip Jet to reach the galaxy, Sovereign Ivan Tova, a close friend to Omar lived. Ivan greeted Omar’s fleets with his flagship. Ivan invited Omar over to negotiate the terms for passage. Omar teleported to Ivan, who embraced his long distance friend Omar surrendered his pain onto Ivan’s shoulder.

“Now, now my friend. All is well. You’re alive.”

“Without Toady—and Eka.”

“Their sacrifice was for the greater good. You and your surviving citizens will be comfortable until a decision to integrating them into Zion’s society.”

Omar didn’t like how Ivan phrased integrating, something Ivan wanted for a long time. But Omar had nowhere else to go.

They ignored Omar’s customs and separated his people giving them new duties on Zion. Ivan took Omar into his home embracing his friend in his time of sorrow.

The first evening in Sovereign Ivan’s palace, Omar gets pampered with a relaxing bath, tranquil massage, and a rich meal in Ivan’s private dining room. Omar nibbled on his meal as Ivan’s servants fussed over their liege. Ivan noticed his friend’s aloofness. He waved away his servants giving his full attention to Omar.

“Omar,” said Ivan. Omar glanced up still jabbing his fork at his meal. “Talk to me my friend.”

“I don’t have the strength Ivan,” confessed Omar. Ivan sighed and looked at the waiting servants around them.

“Everyone out,” he snapped. No one hesitated as the room cleared leaving the two men alone. Omar watched the people scrambled to obey Ivan’s wish. When they shut the door, Omar returned his gaze to his unfinished plate then placed his fork down sitting back in his seat and locking eyes with Ivan.

“You’re an intimidating man. Your people are afraid of you.”

“You’re wrong. My people love me.” He pointed at the door his servant excited. “They fear me.”

“They are your people.”

“No, they’re not. They are nothing but servants. Property, which can be bought and sold.”

“How can you talk about them like that?”

“Omar, you will come to learn the roles of the Zion elite. You are a born Sovereign and should reflect that.”

“I know how to act as a leader.”

“You were too soft Omar. I can tell you that now because…”

“I’m at your mercy?”

“No Omar here on Zion things are different. You have to adapt to our ways.”

“What you’re saying is my ways are dead?” Ivan paused as he re-approached the subject.

“The citizens of Zion would not understand your ways so to keep the peace its best your people follow the rules.” Omar looked away as Ivan stood and walked over to him kneeling by his side. “Omar, I beg you, try Zion’s ways for now. You might agree with them. And remember if it weren't for you this solar system wouldn’t be here. All three planets are thriving because of you.”

“Ivan.”

“No Omar trust me. When the Offering come you will change your mind I just need you to trust me.” Omar pushed his doubted aside and decided to trust Ivan after all he didn’t give his people sanctuary.

“All right Ivan I’ll follow your lead.”

“That’s all I ask my friend and I promise you will not regret your decision.”

 

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