I just realized that I hadn't posted the tentative date for Striker's release. >.< I apologize. I received the first round of edits at the same time and jumped right into them. I came across a couple of comments from the editor last night that just tickled me pink. I wanted to post one and realized I hadn't posted anything on Striker for a while.
June 4th is the tentative date given to me. Yay!
I've looked at this short except trying to think if it gave away any spoilers. I don't think that it does but if you don't want to chance it then hurry, close your eyes and quickly close the browser window!
The very kind comment the editor left was simply: "What an awesome moment. Gave me goosebumps!!"
When I'm writing, it is hard to tell if a reader will read what I wrote and feel what I do. I can only hope to be articulate enough to convey what I see and hear in my head when I put pen to paper.
Note: I will admit that I cut a little from the excerpt so I didn't disclose their whereabouts or to whom Zeus spoke with at the end of the excerpt. ^_^ Removing the possible spoilers and all that.
Before he could formally greet Athena she talked over him. "How do you expect me to go when you stay? When mother and father separated us, I did my duty. I went with father and in doing so, I lost all of my family. The cost is too high."
"No, Zeus, I will not leave you again."
"I will be fine."
"No! Do you think I did not hear when you told Hadon that staying could mean death? I know what is coming. You will send nearly every last warrior to protect us and keep a handful for yourself. You cannot fight such odds alone!"
"The people need you to lead them." He held Athena's shimmering gaze. "I will do my very best to make it out of this situation alive but you must do your duty, again, just as I must mine." He could see her warring with several different emotions, her face so easy for him to read.
The Fal'Amorics incapable of making the journey on foot began to file into the bay. The weakest among them were assisted down the ramp to the waiting shuttle. The sight was a reminder to Athena that Zeus stayed to make sure the infirm were able to escape.
"I will lead the people to safety as you say. But if you do not hurry, I will return with an army," she warned.
She quickly kissed his cheek and left to help a limping male shuffle down the ramp. Zeus grinned after her, scooping up two toddling younglings, and followed. They loaded as many people as they could onto the shuttle. Several ignored the safety protocols by sitting in the aisles, cradling the young.
Standing at a safe distance, Zeus watched the shuttle lift straight off the ground, rotating as it rose. Once the vessel reached a good altitude it sped away. The sound of the engines left behind an echo even after the ship disappeared.
His gaze roamed over the cliffs behind the Oethra 7. Gaex was correct when he said he set down close to the sheer rock wall. There was maybe two meters between the ship and the vertical rock face. A path of packed dirt instead of paving stones led to the pass.
If he remembered his studies correctly, all the land this side of the wall belonged to Athena's people. Zeus took in the flat plain with grass tall enough to brush his knees, topped with pink fluffy puffs. Not far away, maybe half a kilometer, the jungle began. The noise of insects, chirping and buzzing, proclaimed the area full of unseen life. To the left, the blue-green swells of the sea caressed yellow sand.
The guards said nothing when he moved toward the water. The smell of salt and kelp reminded him of home. The moisture in the air caressed his exposed skin and all he wanted to do was toss away his clothes and run naked into the surf and swim. Even though he could not frolic like a youngling, the water beckoned to him.
Standing on the edge, the sea almost touched his boots before withdrawing, only to return as if reaching out. Zeus crouched to sit on his heels, mesmerized, unable to look away as the water withdrew then stretched toward him and—he touched the edge of the water. All else fell away, time slowed and then came to a halt.
"Say my name."
He could see each diamond burst of sunlight reflected off the water, every rounded foam bubble, how clear the water was around his submerged fingers.
"If I am to die here today, I will not bring another to share death with me. Already too many will stay," he whispered.
"Say my name."
"Brother, I would spare you—please."
"Say. My. Name."
If he could save another life, he would. He could not call upon someone now, not when he had no hope of seeing the sun rise tomorrow.
"I have enough hope for the both of us. Trust me. Now, call my name."