Pawn

The Turner Chronicles

by Mark Eller



This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious and are a product of the author's imagination. Any similarity to persons living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.



Copyright © 2012 by Mark Eller

White Wolf Press, LLC

Rutherfordton, NC 28139

Smashwords Edition

Prologue


"Make the straps tighter."

"But the sores are worse," Mu Lei protested. "You need time to heal."

Helmet Klein scowled, and Mu Lei knew why. A man of pride, he had learned to accept his worthless body years earlier but refused to look the fool. According to Helmet, arms and legs that flopped loose or fell free were signs begging for pity. A pitied emperor soon lost control of his empire.

"Take care of your body," Samuel Aybarra reprimanded. "It won't last forever."

"It won't last a year," Klein snapped. "Probably less than half that. I'm under a deadline, so tell me what you've got."

"Not much," Aybarra admitted. "He's disappeared."

Mu Lei rubbed Helmet's neck gently, knowing he appreciated the gesture, one sign of caring he could still feel. She was the only person allowed to sooth him. Such was her privilege as the emperor's only wife. True, her attachment to a cripple was onerous, but it was a chore she gladly accepted. Being the wife of Helmet Klein was more honor than she had expected in this life. She sometimes regretted the lack of children, but some honors were worth any price.

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