Here is the first chapter of the book. I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 1 – Arez
It was so close Arez could almost taste it.
His whole body vibrated in anticipation and he could feel the steady pulse of his heart in his chest. Staring out the window of his battle speeder, his eyes were fixed on the enemy fleet before him. Rows and rows of large, dark, Krezlian spaceships filled his field of vision, each of them decorated in the grisly green colors of the gruesome reptiles.
The ships stood still, completely unmoving, positioned around the planet he was defending.
Arez’s hands tightened on the controls of the speeder, impatience building inside him. He breathed evenly, calmly, trying to keep his emotions under control as he watched the fleet before him.
Nothing moved around him. Not the enemy. Not the Alliance troops. Nothing.
It was just as dead quiet as one would imagine space to be. Vast. Silent. Completely still. It was the calm before the storm. He had learned a long time ago that space was never really as quiet as people imagined. And he knew it wouldn’t remain quiet for long now either.
No… Any moment now… Any moment, the Alliance would give them the order to attack. To fight off the Krezlians. His makers.
Bile rose in his throat at the thought and a low growl escaped his lips. This was the moment he had been waiting for his entire life. Except that he had never known it would actually happen. That it was even possible. To sit here, facing his makers, on the brink of war, ready to kill them on command.
He had looked forward to this mission in Agaria – to finally joining the military and becoming a MR-01 classified military official in the Alliance. But he could not have predicted just how good this mission would turn out to be. Never, even in his wildest dreams, had he imagined his scaly little creators declaring war against the newly joined Alliance planet.
But when they had, all his dreams had come true at once.
This… This would be the sweetest kind of revenge. To kill the very species that had created his kind. Made them in a lab. Tortured them. Experimented. Trained them to kill…
Arez bared his teeth at the battleship before him. He could see his reflection dimly in the glass window of his speeder: his sharp white teeth that shone brightly back at him, his dark gray skin, pitch black eyes, and the massive horns that protruded from his head.
Just like the Krezlians had wanted them. Scary, big monsters to become a part of their army. A mix of animal and alien DNA.
He wondered… Had the Krezlians known that one day, they would be fighting against their own creations – fighting against the very army they had made and trained?
He didn’t think so.
Just as he had never imagined this day to come, he was sure that the Krezlians had never imagined that their little pets would one day fight against them.
After all, the Krezlians had never thought much of them. They had always seen themselves as superior in every way – they had made his kind, after all. His people had never been anything more than disposable to the Krezlians. Creatures that lived and died for their benefit.
Arez huffed out a bitter laugh. They probably still saw them just like that. Even though his people had been saved by the Alliance several cycles ago and now worked for the organization… the Krezlians probably still saw them as their inferior creations.
He wondered if the reptiles even considered the possibility that one of his kind might kill them. He didn’t think so. They probably weren’t thinking of dying at all, least of all at the hands of their own creations. No… Dying wasn’t on their agenda this day. They only had one goal, and one goal only. Getting his people back at any cost.
Arez gritted his teeth at his reflection. He gripped the controls of the speeder so hard that his knuckles turned white.
That wouldn’t happen. If he had any say in it – and he did, because he was sitting in the cockpit of a battle speeder – he wouldn’t let that happen.
He had suffered enough at the hands of his makers for the first two decades of his life. His scars and tattoos reminded him of that every day. Reminded him of his previous existence.
No more… No more would he suffer.
When the Alliance had freed his people, he had been given new hope. A new life. A whole new beginning.
And now… It was time for payback.
He didn’t care if he died here today, if he lost his life in a battle against his makers. No, even if it meant his own death, he would speed right ahead into the lizards’ nest and blow it up from the inside out.
Hands shaking on the controls, his fingers itched to move closer to the red button before him so he could launch the missiles as soon as the command came. His heart pounded in his chest and adrenaline pulsed in his veins. He could feel a trail of sweat dripping down his back.
Come on, you bastards…
Arez ground his teeth in frustration. He didn’t know how long he had been at his post already, staring at the Krezlians before him. It must have been hours, and the order to attack had yet to come. The situation was at a stalemate and nothing was happening. For the past hours he had been here, nobody had moved.
If only the Alliance would hurry up and give the command…
Arez growled in frustration.
This was his dream. This was what he had been living for all along. To make the Krezlians feel just as much pain as they had made his people feel – made him feel.
This time, it would be the Krezlians who would suffer. For all they did, they would suffer.
He would destroy them. For good.
A sudden beep in the cabin of his speeder pulled him back from his thoughts. An orange light turned on to the left of him, indicating the communication system had activated, and a familiar male voice filled the small cockpit around him.
“Tick tock, Arez. Time for a switch.”
Arez grunted, cursing in his mind. He took the first deep breath he had taken for hours and closed his eyes, taking them off the Krezlian fleet before him for the first time since he had arrived in his position.
He knew Drezon was already right behind him, ready to relieve him of his duties and take his position, but he didn’t want to go. Not like this, not before the battle.
A deep sigh escaped his lungs. It was no use…
Slowly, ever so reluctantly, he removed his hands from the controls, his fingers brushing past the missile launch button, moving away from it.
Not today then…
He navigated the speeder out of position and toward the docking bay. He flew as slowly as he could get away with without anyone noticing, still holding onto the hope that the Alliance command might come before he was back on the surface of Efain, Agaria’s green moon and the site of the newly built Alliance headquarters.
But no command came to send him back to the Krezlian-filled airspace.
Frowning, he docked the speeder on the platform and hopped out. But before he even had the chance to grab a cold drink and try to think about something other than the fact that his makers were only a speeder’s flight away, his wristband started beeping.
His heart leaped in his chest at the high-pitched sound.
The command? Could it be?
Arez glanced down toward his wrist, his heart pounding. The screen flashed red and white, indicating a message of high importance. He swiped impatiently, read the message that appeared, and immediately groaned.
It was just a request for pilot duty. And not even to take over a military shift, but a fucking passenger ship. Sitting in the cockpit of a passenger ship to make sure the autopilot was working was one of the most mind-numbingly boring jobs.
This wasn’t what he had signed up for.
He cursed aloud. A nearby Alliance pilot who had been jogging toward a speeder stopped to look at him with concern – or maybe disapproval – in his expression. Arez just glared. The pilot moved on.
Begrudgingly, Arez began to march toward the middle of the platform where the passenger ships departed. He thought about how the request had been marked high importance. Why would a passenger flight be so critical?
Maybe there was a chance this assignment wouldn’t be boring after all.