Archive for October, 2015

Review of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by Dawn Ross

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression

I know I have a difficult time showing rather than telling my characters’ emotions. And I know I tend to describe emotions the same way every time even though each scene and each character might be different. The last chapter with Terk and Jako is a perfect example. So when the book The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression was recommended to me, I ordered it right away.

COMMON PROBLEMS TO WRITING EMOTIONS
Telling
Before the book gets into the emotions, it gives some tips for avoiding common problems with writing emotions. The problem I have was listed first, which is basically telling rather than showing. In chapter 11 of part two, a sentence reads, “He glowered at Jako and the weasel of a man finally had the sense to begin feeling uneasy.” Even though Terk can sense emotions, it might be more beneficial for the reader if I showed this part rather than just stated it.

Clichés
Another problem The Emotion Thesaurus mentions is with clichéd emotions. Grinning ear-to-ear is an example the book presents. So when a writer wants to show that a character has a wide grin, perhaps they should try to show it in a different way, or at least a way that is not overly common. My problem isn’t so much a trouble with clichés as it is with using the same expression too much. For example, chapter 11 seems to have a lot of scowling and glowering.

Not Balanced
Too much reliance on either dialogue or non-verbal expression is another problem The Emotion Thesaurus mentions. A writer needs to have both well balanced together. My problem is that my dialogue isn’t balanced well enough with the non-verbal expressions. In other words, the characters talk, but no one feels anything. Or if they do feel something, it is barely mentioned.

The Emotion Thesaurus mentions two more common problems with writing emotions, but I’ll let you buy the book and learn about them for yourself. The book also gives some very good examples of each problem and how to fix them.

THE EMOTION THESAURUS
The rest of the book is the emotions part of the thesaurus. Emotions are listed in alphabetical order from adoration to worry. There are 75 emotions total and each one is broken down into the following parts:

Definition
The definition is first. Some emotions, like embarrassment and shame, are synonyms. But there may be some slight differences that are important for a writer to distinguish between.

Physical Signals
The next section is the emotion’s physical signals. These are the signals that other people can see. There are a number of physical signals for anger including flaring nostrils, glaring, baring one’s teeth, turning red, pounding fist, and so on. Terk was partially angry and he showed it with his glaring and he smacked his hand down. But I could show a little more. He was also annoyed that Jako wasn’t afraid of him. I stated this, but perhaps this thesaurus can help me show it instead.

Internal Sensations
The next section is on internal sensations. These are things a character feels but doesn’t necessarily show. Depending on how angry a character is, their internal sensations can include sweating, quivering muscles, and more.

Mental Responses
The Emotion Thesaurus also lists the mental responses for a character. A character who is angry might also be irritable or irrational, among other things.

Long Term Consequences
If a character feels an emotion for a long period of time, The Emotion Thesaurus lists the cues for this as well. So someone who is angry for a long time, for example, might develop a problem with getting angry over little things, develop hypertension, or escalate into rage.

Suppressed Emotion
But what if a character feels an emotion but tries to suppress it? The Emotion Thesaurus covers this as well. Jori and Terk both have a tendency to try to hide their emotions. So if Terk wanted to suppress his anger, he might try to carefully control his tone, avoid eye contact, or clench his fists behind his back so someone like his father doesn’t notice.

Writing Tip
Each emotion ends with an additional writing tip. Some of the tips are specific to the emotion just presented while other tips can be applied in a number of situations.

CONCLUSION
For me, the three issues first mentioned all boil down to the fact that I do not show my characters’ emotions to the reader well enough. My writing isn’t balanced because I don’t show it and I tend to rely too much on common expressions. I really think The Emotion Thesaurus can help me. Rewriting part one with this in mind might make a huge difference when it comes to developing my characters better. But before I go back that far, I am going to rewrite chapter 11 of part two. Come back next week to see if I’ve made a noticeable difference. In the meantime, buy The Emotion Thesaurus from my Amazon A-Store.

The Kavakian Empire – Part Two Emperor Ch11

Posted in Sci-Fi Part 2, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2015 by Dawn Ross

The Kavakian Empire

A Space Opera by Dawn Ross

Part Two – The Emperor

Chapter 11

(Wow, we’re at chapter 11 of part two already. If you missed the previous chapters of this novella and missed part one of the story, you can catch up by browsing the links on the right sidebar of the home page. Or you can email me at naturebydawn at aol dot com and ask me to send you what I have completed in this science fiction story so far.)

Terk hadn’t had time to confront Jako before he went to his father. After J.T.’s interrogation, Terk called Jako for a private meeting. His father had gone to bed so Terk sat in his father’s chair behind the desk of the ready room.

When Jako entered, he didn’t look at all nervous. It’s just me, after all, Terk thought with annoyance. He glowered at Jako angrily and the weasel of a man finally had the sense to begin feeling uneasy. Good.

“Do you know why you’re here?” Terk said.

“No, my Lord. I’m doing the best I can considering the inferiority I have to work with.”

“My father just proved the Alliance crewmen know what they’re doing, and that they’re cooperating.”

“Really?”

“Do you doubt him?” Terk leaned forward to emphasize his angry scowl.

“N-no. Of course not, my Lord. It’s just that, well, I don’t see how it is possible.”

Terk pretended to consider Jako’s words. “So you think they’re completely worthless.”

“Completely, my Lord.” Jako puffed out his lean chest and lifted his chin with confidence.

“So you can complete this laser on your own?”

Jako’s nervousness returned, but not enough for Terk’s liking. “Um, y—“

“Don’t lie to me, Jako. You know I will know.”

Jako paled. “Well… no,” he said slowly. More quickly he added, “I can do it with more help. With real help.”

“This help you speak of is not available.”

“But these men are useless,” Jako said.

“Wrong.” Terk slapped the desk hard and stood up quickly. Jako flinched and took a wary step back. “They can help you.”

“How?”

Terk put his hands behind his back and strode from behind the desk. He didn’t look at Jako, rather he pretended to be in thought. “Let’s pretend we kill the Alliance men now. And when the laser can’t be fixed…” Terk met Jako’s eyes as he stood directly in front of the man. “Who is my father going to blame?”

Jako’s eyes went wide and Terk could sense his increased apprehension. “B-but it won’t be my fault. I don’t have enough help.”

“Who else is he going to blame? My father might put some of the fault onto Jori, but of the two of you, who is more expendable?”

Terk noticed Jako’s adam’s apple bob up and down. Finally, he is afraid, Terk thought. But still of my father and not of me.

“This is what I propose,” Terk continued. “Even if these Alliance men might not know all of what they’re doing, let’s try to squeeze as much usefulness out of them as we can. Who knows, perhaps we’ll get lucky. And if not, much of the blame can be laid at their feet instead of yours.”

Jako let out a breath. “Yes, Sir,” he said.

Terk felt the man’s anxiety fall away again. I can’t have that, now can I, Terk thought. “One more thing, though,” he said.

“My Lord?”

Terk leaned in nose-to-nose with Jako and gave the man his most menacing glare. “Jori is your immediate superior in this.” Jako took a step back and Terk took a step forward.
“You report any problems you have to him. If he thinks it is important enough, he will come to me and I will go to our father.” Another step back and another forward. “If you ever go over my head again, I will open the air-lock and let you out. Do you understand me?”

Jako hit his head on the back wall as he tried to take another step back. Terk held his glare and tried not to let his triumph show on his face.

“Yes, S-sir.”

Terk pulled back. “Good. I’m glad we’ve cleared this up. Dismissed.”

Jako stood straight and tried to regain his composure. Terk went to sit back behind his father’s desk.

“Sir, one thing, though,” Jako said.

Terk could tell the man was trying to muster up some bravery. Damn, I should’ve stayed standing there, Terk thought.

“I’m worried because it seems the young lord is helping the prisoners.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Terk said. His brow furrowed angrily again.

“I swear, Sir. He’s always—“

“I’ll take care of it,” Terk said.

“But—“

Terk slapped his hand down on the desk again. “I said I’ll take care of it.” He stood swiftly and held Jako’s eyes as he made is way forward again. “And if you breathe even a whisper of this ridiculous accusation to my father, I won’t kill you.”

“You won’t?” Jako shifted from one foot to the other as if trying to decide whether to be afraid or relieved.

“No. I’ll send you to Ankgar and tell him to keep you alive indefinitely.”

Jako turned even whiter than he had before. Everyone knew what Ankgar did. And everyone had seen the results of Ankgar’s undying victims.

Finally, the fear I deserve, Terk thought with satisfaction, ignoring the fact that Jako was actually afraid of Ankgar and not him directly. Jako, fool though he may be, won’t be foolish enough to go behind my back again.

 

Please comment below to tell me what you thought of this chapter. I’m an amateur writer and am in desperate need of constructive criticism.

(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright October, 2015 by Dawn Ross

You may share this sci-fi novella so long as you link back to this website and mention, The Kavakian Empire by Dawn Ross.

The Kavakian Empire – Part Two Emperor Ch10

Posted in Sci-Fi Part 2, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2015 by Dawn Ross

The Kavakian Empire

A Space Opera by Dawn Ross

Part Two – The Emperor

Chapter 10

(If you started reading this science fiction story from the middle and want to read it from the beginning without having to sift through posts, please email me, the author, at naturebydawn at aol dot com. I will be happy to provide you with the story all in one document. I may also be able to provide you with specific doc types so you can read it on your e-reader.)

J.T. was working when two big warriors approached. The biggest man jerked his arm painfully and turned him away from his task.

“Come with us now,” he said. The smell of his breath made J.T. step back, and the man took it as noncompliance. Both men grabbed him by his arms, clenching him harder than necessary. J.T.’s heart pounded in his chest as he was escorted out. He’d gotten to know these two men a little. They both seemed to have a special hatred for J.T. and his crew. They liked to bully the Alliance prisoners whenever Jori wasn’t around, sometimes to the point of violence.

They know. J.T. had been noticing the deepening look of suspicion in Jako’s eyes. The man looked over his shoulder constantly, making J.T. nervous. It didn’t help that he hadn’t slept well with all the studying he had been doing in his cell. Some things were starting to make more sense but many aspects still kept eluding him.

J.T. suppressed a sigh of relief when they reached the door to the small room he had first been taken to meet Jori. Perhaps Jori needed to speak to him again. But then he remembered who was escorting him. It was highly unlikely that Jori would let these men in on their secret.

The door opened and J.T. was practically thrown in. He stumbled and nearly fell, but one of the warriors still had him by the arm. J.T. was spun to the side and forced into the torture chair.

It was then that J.T. noticed the emperor. His heart skipped a beat at the intensity of the man’s deep dark eyes. The emperor stood silently as the warriors clamped J.T.’s wrists to the chair, but the way his jaw clenched and nostrils flared made him look like he was ready to explode.

The emperor wore a black armored uniform that somewhat resembled the one Terk and Jori wore except with many more metal spikes and a few gold trimmings. His bare arms bulged with muscle and he towered over his two sons, who stood on either side of him.

J.T. met Terk and Jori’s eyes. As usual, both of them held a neutral look. J.T. had gotten to know them well enough, though, that he was sure he saw worry in their eyes.

He didn’t let his eyes linger for long for fear that the emperor would suspect something more. Maybe he already knows they’re in on it, J.T. thought. But he discarded the idea. If that were true, the boys would probably be the object of their father’s dark glare rather than be standing beside him.

It was then that J.T. noticed there was someone else in the room. The person was standing just behind Terk and the emperor and wearing light blue, of all colors. J.T.’s brow furrowed in confusion. Every single crewman he had seen on the Dragon thus far wore brown, dark grey, or black. But blue?

“Do it,” the emperor said.

Terk stepped aside and J.T. was surprised to see a woman. She was tall, about Terk’s height, but not as tall as the emperor. Her shoulders were broad but so were her hips, giving her a nice curvy figure. But it wasn’t her figure that caught J.T.’s breath. She was beautiful. She had jet black hair, olive skin, full lips and dark narrow eyes.

Her light blue dress swished as she came forward. J.T. realized his jaw was hanging down and he clamped his mouth shut. She seemed not to notice. It was his eyes she was looking at, and he was looking into hers. He couldn’t look away. He was so absorbed into them that he didn’t even flinch when she touched his forehead, causing a slight inaudible buzzing in his head.

“You will answer all questions truthfully,” the woman said.

She was still touching him when the emperor began to ask questions. “Do you or your men have the required knowledge to complete this laser?”

A shock of not-quite-pain but certainly discomfort came through the woman’s touch. J.T. winced. His fear sharpened. Is this woman a Truth Seeker? He didn’t know. He’d met one before but they didn’t try their little tricks on him so wasn’t sure if this was what it felt like. The buzzing in his head was certainly something he’d never felt before. And there was something else too. He could have sworn he heard a whisper, lie.

“Yes, I believe we do,” he said. The lie came easier than he expected. Did I really hear what I think I heard?

J.T. noticed Jori’s stony face give way to a look of relief. The boy glanced at his father to see if he noticed but the emperor was too busy glaring at J.T. The man’s scowl deepened. “Do you intend to fix the laser?”

Lie. The whisper was in his head and so light, he still wasn’t sure. “We have no choice,” J.T. replied.

“Answer the question, yes or no.”

J.T. hesitated. The strange feeling from the woman’s touch sharpened again. Lie. “Yes,” he said.

“So there is no plan to escape?”

Lie. J.T. was sure he heard it this time, but he assumed it was his own thought magnified by whatever the woman was doing to make his head buzz. Lie. But J.T. thought it would be foolish to lie and say no. He wanted to tell the truth this time because he knew the truth would make his lies more believable. At the same time, though, he felt compelled to lie. I need to tell the truth, he thought.

Then inexplicably, the buzzing in his head stopped. J.T. answered the emperor truthfully. “We’ve planned, but so far have discarded any ideas.”

“Why?”

“Impossibility. Your men are too attentive. And we’re scientists, not warriors.” J.T. swallowed hard. He might have overplayed that last part.

The emperor glared at him, as if trying to read him. “Is he telling the truth?” He was looking at J.T., but the question was not directed at him.

“Yes,” the woman said.

“I sense no lies in him,” Jori said.

“He’s too afraid,” Terk added.

“Is there a chance he can resist your touch?” the emperor asked the woman.

“I feel no indication that he has this kind of training, my Lord.”

“Yes or no, Woman.”

“No, there’s no chance he is resisting.”

The emperor nodded to the woman and she stepped back. Her eyes went downcast. Now that J.T. was broken by her spell, a flash of recognition hit him. Jori had those same eyes.

He glanced at the four of them several times. Jori had other facial features that resembled hers. At the same time, Jori and Terk looked very much alike. And they both resembled their father, but Terk more so.

And then another realization hit him. Jori had said once that he was a low-level reader. Did he get this skill from this woman who is possibly his mother? And if so, is she a Truth Seeker? And is Jori also a Truth Seeker? The thought gave him chills. A Truth Seeker could not only pull thoughts from people the way a high-level reader could, they could also implant thoughts. So maybe it was her voice I heard in my head.

J.T. was not allowed to contemplate this for long. “You will now answer some questions testing your knowledge,” the emperor said.

Jori asked a series of questions. J.T.’s anxiety subsided as he answered each of Jori’s questions correctly. He knew the answers, too, from what he had learned so far. The answers weren’t being put into his head.

When Jori was done, the emperor was still frowning but he looked satisfied rather than angry. The enraged look returned, though, when the emperor put himself right in front of J.T. and bent face to face. J.T. could feel the heat of his hatred.

“You will finish this laser. And if I see any hesitance in you, or any indication that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, I will have this woman turn your mind to make you think you’re a dog. From there, you will be my loyal servant, groveling at my feet, licking my boots, sucking my dick, and doing whatever else I ask of you, no matter how painful, unpleasant, or humiliating.”

J.T. swallowed hard but there was nothing to swallow. His mouth was dry. “I believe you.”

The emperor turned away abruptly and headed towards the door. “Get him back to work, now,” he said to the two boys. “Woman, with me.”

The woman nodded meekly. At first, she followed him out with her eyes looking down at her feet. But just before she stepped out of view, she turned and looked at Jori with a slight smile and winked.

 

Please comment below to tell me what you thought of this chapter. I’m an amateur writer and am in desperate need of constructive criticism.

(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright October, 2015 by Dawn Ross

You may share this sci-fi novella so long as you link back to this website and mention, The Kavakian Empire by Dawn Ross.

The Kavakian Empire – Part Two Emperor Ch9c

Posted in Sci-Fi Part 2, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2015 by Dawn Ross

The Kavakian Empire

A Space Opera by Dawn Ross

Part Two – The Emperor

Chapter 9c

Note from the author: This chapter is a little longer than I intended. I think there is too much inner contemplation from Terk and not enough action or tension. What do you think? Please feel free to provide some feedback. I believe this sci-fi story is a great one, but as an amateur writer I need all the help I can get in making sure it is written that way.

Terk sat in his father’s chair on the bridge. His father was not there, which meant Terk was in charge. He wan’t completely in charge, though. General Trevine would take command if he felt Terk couldn’t handle it. Trevine, or tree trunk as many called him, generally left Terk alone, but only because most tasks on the bridge were routine. If there was an emergency, Trevine would take over and completely ignore any of Terk’s suggestions.

This day was as mundane as usual. Terk could sense Trevine’s boredom. The man often was. Trevine was a warrior and like to be constantly active. He was intelligent enough to work the bridge, but he had learned by experience rather than through an education like Terk’s. Terk had tried to argue for more hands-on experience with both Trevine and his father. They agreed, but neither were willing to let go of their authority. Trevine was much like is father in stubbornness and arrogance. It irritated Terk to no end, but there was little he could do about it other than complain. And complaining wasn’t something his father tolerated.

Terk was looking over the engine stats to make sure everything was operating within parameters. Dekel did well enough, but he sometimes forgot to keep an eye on the ___________ sensor. It was difficult to tell whether it was too high or too low because a high number didn’t always mean it was high. The measurement had to be compared mathematically with three other components, which also tended to fluctuate. Biskol was supposed to devise a program to make it easier to tell whether the ____________ reading was normal, but although programming ships was his specialty, he really wasn’t all that good at it. Tredons were not known for making intellectual pursuits a priority. Only lords tended to opt for a formal education and usually had to travel abroad, or in Terk’s case have teachers brought in from abroad, to get it.

Terk was considered highly intelligent, but Jori was the true genius. He absorbed everything he was taught, including aspects of warfare. And he studied even more subjects on his own. If Jori could find the time, he could probably write a program for gauging the _____________. But their father kept them both rather busy. And the more Jori learned, the busier he became because the ship desperately needed the expertise.

His brother was better than him at most things, but Terk wasn’t jealous. There was a time when he was, but Jori was too likeable. And he didn’t have an ounce of ambition in him, other than his desire to learn and learn some more. Kavakian siblings had been known to kill one another off in order to become heir. Terk had seen a couple of his elder brothers do it. And his father had gotten his status in this way.

Although there was once a half-brother Terk considered killing, he would never harm Jori. When Terk became emperor, Jori would be by his side. Terk would handle the leadership and martial aspects of his job while Jori would handle the administrative and technological aspects. Dividing duties in this way would certainly make things much easier. Terk’s father juggled all the duties, except the technological because there wasn’t much of a technological aspect. His father was doing administrative work now, which was why Terk had command of the bridge.

Terk’s musings were interrupted with a beep from the vidcomm. The corner of the bridge window indicated it was Captain General Brevak of the Basilisk.

Terk pressed the answer button on his chair and stood up. Although he could have remained sitting, Terk felt that addressing a high-ranking official in such a way made him look lazy and arrogant. Standing was a mark of Terk’s authority as well as a sign of respect towards the man’s status.

“Brevak, I trust your ship has been repaired and all is well,” he said when the captain general’s face popped up on the screen.

“Yes, my Lord,” Brevak replied.

Brevak was rather young for a captain general, mid-forties, but he was quite capable. He was probably one of the best warrior-leaders of his father’s fleet, at least according to Terk and Jori. He came from a family long dedicated to the Kavakian Empire. But unlike many of the lords who tended to get lazy and leave the work of fighting to lesser-born men, Brevak’s family maintained a strong warrior heritage. They learned their skills both at home and abroad and in many different forms. Brevak was the master of all the basic weapon types and several forms of master arts, was greatly skilled in space combat, and did very well in strategic planning.

His skills were not what Terk and Jori admired most about him, though. Nor was it his unwavering loyalty to the Kavaks. Brevak was an exceptional leader and his men loved him. Terk and Jori had tried to determine what it was about Brevak that made it so, but weren’t around Brevak enough to find out. All Terk knew was that while his father’s men grumbled and complained but did as they were told, Brevak’s men seemed to celebrate their leader.

Terk had tried to get father to send him to the Basilisk so he could tutor under Brevak. But although his father trusted Brevak’s skills and loyalty, Terk sensed a wariness in him.

“However,” Brevak continued, “we engaged with a couple of Alliance ships just before crossing the border and suffered additional damage.”

“Repairable?”

“Yes, my Lord. Within the hour.”

“Injuries to your crew?”

“No one this time.”

“And what of the Alliance ships?” Terk asked.

“I’m sure they sustained more damage, but I doubt it was significant. They didn’t follow us over, although I think they could have. I will need backup, Sir, if you want me to go back over to destroy them.”

“Backup is a few day cycles away yet. Repair your ship and monitor the borders to make sure they don’t sneak in.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

Terk disconnected the communication and the window went back to its view of space. He sat back down in his chair but was careful not to make it look like it was with relief. There had been a time when he would have relished the idea of going to war with the Alliance. But after nearly dying and being rescued by them a few periods back, he had a difficult time seeing them as his enemies.

While Terk didn’t like the idea of Jori endangering himself in order to save them, he did hope they wouldn’t have to die. He especially hoped he wouldn’t have to be the one to kill them. Terk didn’t enjoy killing the way some of his father’s men seemed to. But he had no trouble with killing when it was necessary, although he suspected killing J.T. would bother him. Not to mention that Jori would never forgive me.

Jori came onto the bridge before Terk could contemplate the problem of the Alliance crew further. His brother was apprehensive, though lately that was nothing unusual.

“What are you doing here?” Terk asked.

“Father summoned us.”

“What about?”

“I don’t know,” Jori replied.

Terk felt a spike in brother’s his nervousness. “I’m sure it’s nothing,” he replied as he and Jori made their way to their father’s ready room.

When they entered, their father was focused on his work screen. Terk sensed he was deep in thought and didn’t seem to be in a foul mood.

Good, Terk thought. He still knows nothing.

Terk’s hopes were dashed, though, when his father looked up at him with his piercing dark eyes. Terk felt a mental stab when his father’s anger spiked.

“Jako came to me with a disturbing complaint,” father said.

Shit, Terk thought, blood draining from his face. He had meant to speak to Jako as soon as his shift was over. Now it was too late.

“He says the Alliance crew members don’t know what they’re doing,” he continued.

“Some are more knowledgeable than others,” Jori replied with a calm Terk knew he didn’t feel. Their nervousness had intensified, though neither let it show on their face. Their father couldn’t sense emotions like they could so their ability to hide how they felt was a strong advantage.

The man must have suspected something, though, because his jaw clenched and his nostrils flared. “He seems to think they’re faking it.”

Shit! Terk tried to think of an excuse but his brother beat him to it.

“If they are lying, we’d sense it.”

“How can you be sure? You barely know what you’re doing.”

“I know more than Jako,” Jori said, trying not to sound defensive.

“Terk?” his father said. “Have you sensed any deception in them?”

“No …” His voice cracked. “No, Sir.”

His father glared at them each in turn. Terk suppressed the urge to swallow and held his breath as his father scrutinized them. Both brothers stood stiff in an at-ease stance in hopes of reflecting calm and confidence.

“Just to be sure,” he finally said, “get Derianna … now.”

Shit, shit, shit! Terk thought but kept his face straight. Both brother’s acknowledged their father’s command while keeping their composure, although both were a hundred times more tense than they had been just a moment before.

Derianna was their mother and her ability to sense emotions and lies was much more precise than Terk and Jori’s. Plus she had another skill, one that kept her close while the other concubines tended to get passed on to the men when their father got bored with them.

“Shit!” Terk said out loud once he and his brother were clear of their father’s ready room. If father finds out about our ruse, he’ll be beyond pissed. Terk wanted to be angry at his little brother, and at the Alliance, for getting him into this mess. But the truth was, he was worried. And not worried for himself, worried for Jori.

Their father only had two surviving sons and an assassination attempt that corrupted his DNA kept him from being able to procreate more. But having two sons meant one was expendable.

Terk had been sensing his father’s increased impatience and annoyance with Jori. Although Jori was better than Terk at just about everything, he was very stubborn about certain things. The one annoying father the most was that Jori refused to torture or murder anyone. Oh, he would kill if he had to, but never murder. To make matters worse, rather than simply refuse to do what father told him, Jori often argued with him about it. Although Jori’s reasoning seemed logical, it only served to infuriate their father. Terk was afraid that one of these days his father would lose his temper and take Jori’s punishments too far. It wouldn’t be the first time their father had killed one of their brothers.

Terk pushed these dire thoughts out of his mind. He and Jori would get through this and they would get through it together.

“Warn them quickly,” he said to his brother in their secret language. “I’ll talk to mother.”

Before they could get far, Jori stopped short and held the comm button by his ear. Terk sensed a sharp panic from him. “Yes, Sir,” Jori said.

“What is it?” he asked.

Jori’s face was pale. “Father just called me back. I can’t warn them.”

“Did he say what he wanted?”

“No.”

Shit. Terk tried to think of something but nothing came to mind. When father called for them, there was no delaying. “I’m sorry, Little Brother, but this might be the end of it.”

“Maybe Mother…”

“Maybe. Or maybe we’ll get caught, dammit.” Terk glowered, daring his brother to protest.

Jori didn’t say a word, but the look on his face and the emotions emanating from him said it all.

“Dammit!” Terk said. He turned away in a huff and headed towards the harem. Anyone looking at him would have thought he was in a furious mood, but inside his gut churned with worry.

 

So what do you think of this chapter? Constructive criticism is welcome.

(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright September, 2015 by Dawn Ross

You may share this sci-fi novella so long as you link back to this website and mention, The Kavakian Empire by Dawn Ross.