Trait of Honor Excerpt 7

Educated Norms: Kagakusha’s chief pet peeve. There were rules for Norms like him. Kagakusha had never pegged the Mark for knowing more than the recipe for his favorite desert, and the fat man surprised him. Brohjard had him and he knew it. His smug face seemed to bloat like a child’s balloon over his doughy shoulders. Kagakusha decided this meeting was over. He stood and took a step to the door. His hand slid into his pocket.

“Think about it before you leave,” Brohjard said. “It’s better for both our nations if we join up.”

“There’s nothing to think about,” Kagakusha said with an uplifted eyebrow as his hand withdrew from the pocket. He aimed his tiny pulse gun just as Brohjard stood in alarm, conveniently leaving himself better exposed.

Trait of Honor Excerpt 6

“Now we have to figure out what to do with you,” the man said, returning the bottle to his cart and rummaging inside of it again.

“You could point me the way to this road you mentioned,” Juvinich said hopefully.

“You’re a smart one, aren’t you?” the young man laughed. “Your people always surprise me: not as stupid as the old men say. I’ll do that, sure, but there’s something I have to take care of first. You know, you’re lucky I’m running ahead of schedule or I wouldn’t have time to do this.”

“Do what?” Juvinich asked warily while wondering just who “the old men” were and which were his people.  The young man looked like any regular Militia citizen; very ordinary, dark and bland.

“We have to check your equipment,” the man said.  “Give it up. I know you have it”