Read Purity (Pure and Tainted) Online

Authors: Evangeline Anderson

Purity (Pure and Tainted)

Purity

 

Evangeline Anderson

 
 

KINDLE EDITION

 

* * * * *

 

PUBLISHED BY:

Evangeline
Anderson on Kindle

 

Purity

Copyright ©
2013 by Evangeline Anderson

 

Amazon
Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your
personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other
people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please
purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're
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you for respecting the author's work.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Author's Note:

Hi and thanks to
everyone who is giving Purity a chance. I know you're all waiting for Ruby
Shadows, the next Born to Darkness book and I promise
it's
coming—I hope to have it out this fall. I'm even including a snippet of it to
keep you going. Look for it at the end of the book.

As always I would ask
you to please not pirate my work. I keep the prices low so everyone can enjoy
my books but this is how I make my living. If you're stealing my work or
selling it or giving it away for free to strangers, you're taking money out of
my pocket and harming my ability to care for my family. Please don't do that and
if you see anyone else doing it, please e-mail me at [email protected] and
let me know about it so I can stop it.

A final note here—Purity
is not a book of the Kindred series but it IS science fiction erotic romance.
So if you like the Kindred, I'm reasonably sure you'll enjoy Purity as well. It
was supposed to be a stand alone novel—just something for my muse to work on
between Kindred and Born to Darkness books. But as I was writing the epilogue,
I realized that I was, in fact, working on the first chapter of the next book.
Go figure. So while Purity is not the start of a new series, it will at least
have one sequel, titled Tainted, which I hope to put out by the end of 2013 or
the beginning of 2014.

Well, that's all for
now except to say thank you to all my loyal readers, especially those of you
who care enough to leave reviews or write me personally to let me know my work
has touched your life. I always say that I write and read to escape and if you
are able to open one of my books and get away from your troubles and the real
world for a little while, then I'm doing my job right.

Hugs and happy reading
to you all!

Evangeline on August
2013

 
 

Chapter One

 
 

K knew she was dead the minute she woke up.

Her death sentence was written in the neat row of black stitches
marching along her inner thigh like orderly insects. The fact that she could
see her own thigh—that it wasn’t obscured by the black mesh of her skinsuit—was
her first clue, but stitches in her flesh clinched it.

She had been contaminated—maybe fatally so. Still, she hoped. She
prayed to Purity that she might still remain untouched. She couldn’t remember
anything—not the way she’d gotten the wound, or the person who had sewed it up.
She didn’t even know how she’d ended up on a table in the small bare room with
battered metal cabinets and chipped white countertops.

She only knew her head throbbed like a rotten melon about to burst
and her suit was gone, leaving her helpless.

Get hold of yourself, K. You’re a
fourth level Paladin. You can handle this. You can handle anything.
Even being naked and alone,
stripped of her weapons and defenses?
Yes.
She raised her chin and tried to examine the room where she found herself,
though her vision kept wavering in and out of focus alarmingly.
You’re not defenseless,
she reminded herself.

Paladins went through rigorous physical training from the time
they could walk and K was no exception. Looking down at herself she could see
that her body, which she hadn’t seen nude since childhood when she had first
been fitted for her skinsuit, was strong and lean. In fact, other than being
considerably bigger—she was almost two meters, tall for a female—it looked much
the same as it had back then.

Her chest was flat as a Paladin’s should be. Breasts only got in
the way during combat, presenting the enemy with a sensitive target. She
thanked Purity that hers were almost nonexistent, the nipples a pale, innocent
pink that blended into the white of her skin. Glancing further down she noted
that her hips were narrow and strong and her sex was barely noticeable—a
colorless slit between her thighs. This was as it should be. Her body was
strong—fit to fight—and that was all K ever asked of it. Nothing else was
required.

K looked around. There was a flat metal panel bolted to one wall
of the room.
A viewscreen?
It wasn’t transmitting
anything at the moment and in its shiny surface she saw her face. The image
staring back at her seemed strangely vulnerable without the cowl of the
skinsuit to frame it. The thick blue-black cable of her hair—the only soft part
of her—was still coiled in a braid at the back of her neck and her
black-on-black eyes marked her level and achievements.

All Purists had black irises—it was a trait of their people. But
as they progressed toward true Purity the black bled outward, obscuring the
white sclera. It was a slow process and painful—it had cost K much to get where
she was today with only a thin white ring around the outer perimeter of her
eyes. When she reached the fifth level and surrendered herself completely to
Purity even that would be gone. She would be as cold and empty as space itself,
hollow inside. A vessel filled with holy nothingness. It was what every Purist
worked for tirelessly, though few achieved it.

There was one who had achieved it though—the High Sentinel. He had
taken an early interest in K, making her his protégé despite her routine
origin, a fact that would have pleased her immensely if she had still been
subject to strong emotions. A Paladin of her level was not, however.

The capacity for feelings was lessened as the black within a
Paladin’s eyes grew until only cool, pure reason remained. Being devoid of
violent emotions kept one from making rash decisions in battle or giving in to
hysteria. At the moment K was grateful for the cool nothingness she felt
within. That and her training were the only things that kept her from leaping off
the table she found herself on and running from the room in a blind panic.

K took a deep breath and tried to think steadying thoughts. The
High Sentinel came to mind again, as well as the last words he had said to her.
Her head throbbed as the memory came back in a rush…

 

“You appear to have everything in order, Commander K.” The
Sentinel’s pale face looked up at K from the com-link on her wrist. Though he
was a Paladin of the highest level he wore no skinsuit. He needed none—his eyes
had been completely black since before K had been expelled from the artificial
womb that had birthed her in the newlife center.

“I thank you, Sentinel.” K inclined her head to him, a mark of
respect. “My squad is ready and the ship is primed to attack.”

“You have the Erian filth in your sites?’

“We do. Our sensors show a small party only and the ship has no
weapons—they should present no major difficulties. We will board them shortly.”

“Good. Kill on contact, Commander. Take no prisoners.”

K raised an eyebrow. All her life she had been taught that the
natives of Eros were evil, decadent, depraved. Why else were the Purists at war
with them?
But to enter an unarmed ship and slaughter all
those aboard…

“Forgive me, Sentinel,” she said, trying to pick her words
carefully. “But they are, as I said, unarmed. There would be no honor in the
kills.”

“No honor except ridding the universe of more Erian filth. They
must be purged in order for Purity to expand—
all
of them.” His eyes flashed in what might have been anger had he
still been capable of feeling or displaying such an emotion.

K tried once more. “The
pshalite mines on Midas need new
workers. If we engage our hyperdrive we can deliver them in less than—”

“No!” His vehemence surprised her.
“The Erians
must
be purged. They are debauched. Not even fit to be slaves. They
would corrupt and contaminate all who came in contact with them. In fact,” He
frowned slightly, a white indentation appearing between his black-on-black
eyes. “I wish you to take special care, Commander K. You must not even speak to
them or allow them to see your face.”

K felt a mild surprise at his orders which seemed extreme. “I
will, of course, avoid contamination at all costs, Sentinel.”

“See that you do.” His eyes burned into hers. “I have great plans
for you, K. You are the most promising Paladin I have seen come up through the
ranks in too many cycles to count.”

“Thank you. I am most gratified by your trust in me.” K felt a
mild pleasure and then wished she had not. A Paladin of her level ought to be
able to hear the grimmest news or most lavish praise without even a hint of
emotion. Still, she would get there soon if she progressed as the Sentinel
expected.

“You have earned it. When you return to Athena I think you will be
ready to take the fifth level trials.”

Another faint surge of pleasure made her clench her jaw. “I had
not thought to be ready for that for another two cycles.”

“Oh, you’re ready, K. You must be. We can wait no longer for—” He
broke off abruptly. “Just see that you dispatch the Erians quickly and with
minimal contact. Then set a course back to Athena.”

“I will do as you say.” K nodded again.

“Very well.
Do not fail me, Commander K.
Sentinel out.” His image flickered and disappeared with a faint hum.

K closed the com-link and stepped into the command area of her
ship to look at the vessel on the viewscreen. It was clearly from Eros. The
sleek pink sides made of gallixium, a metal found only on the fifth planet from
the Prometheus system’s yellow sun, glimmered softly in the cool black of
space. What it was doing here, on the far side of Minotaur which was mostly
inhabited by ravenous reptilian beasts, was a mystery. But mystery or not, it
was not Purist and therefore must be purged.

“Get ready to engage,” K told her pilot. “Our orders are to kill
on contact and leave no survivors.”

The pilot turned, clearly surprised.
“But,
Commander.
The pshalite mines—we were told that every available slave is
needed.”

“You heard me, Six.” K gave him a slight frown to signal her
displeasure. “These orders come directly from the High Sentinel himself. Purge
them all.”

There was a faint murmur around the command area as the rest of the
purge squad took this in. It wasn’t the killing that bothered them—K was certain
of that. Paladins were trained to kill without mercy or emotion from an early
age. Waste, however, was shameful and not in keeping with the concept of
Purity.

At the moment there was a push for more pshalite, the mineral that
fueled the hyperdrives of most interstellar ships. Rumors filtering down
through the ranks spoke of a massive campaign in the making.
Possibly
one that would encompass the entire Prometheus system.
K didn’t know
about that—it was not her place to know. She only knew that she must follow the
High Sentinel’s orders without question. To do anything less meant both
dishonor and death.

“Four and Five,” she snapped at her gunners. “When we board them
I’ll want you on my right flank.
Three and Two on the left.
One, you’re bringing up the rear. Six will remain with the ship as always and
plot a course for home.” She nodded at her pilot. “Take us the fastest route
possible, Six. I want a straight line trajectory back to Athena.”

The pilot frowned slightly. “Your pardon, Commander K, but that
will take us much closer to Colossus than is safe. Maybe if we were to detour
and pass by Pan instead—”

“I said the fastest route, not the safest route, Six,” K admonished
him. “Do you fear the giants so much you would yield to cowardice?”

His chin snapped up and he glared at her. “I fear nothing. I
feel
nothing, Commander.”
The Paladin’s code.

“Clearly you do or you wouldn’t keep questioning my orders, Six.
Plot the course and be ready to engage the moment we finish with the Erian
vessel.”

“Commander, please, I do not fear for myself. But you are too
valuable to risk. I—” Six had risen from his seat and now he took a step toward
her. His eyes were full of some emotion K couldn’t read and his hand…his hand was
outstretched as though to
touch
her.

Though the thick black webbing of their skinsuits covered both his
hand and her arm the gesture was still completely unacceptable. Contact was
forbidden, a fact that was drummed into every Paladin, male or female, from the
moment they were assisted from the artificial womb by the birthing mechanoid.
That Six would even
think
of touching
her, let alone act to do so, was a grave offense.

“Remember your place, Paladin.” K amplified her commanding
contralto through her suit, making it sharp enough to cause pain. “You dare to
approach me so?”

“Forgive me, Commander. It was only my regard for you that made me
forget
myself
.” Six stopped abruptly, his hand
dropping to his side. His cowl was down and K could see that his cheeks and the
tips of his ears were red with embarrassment.

“Allowing yourself such emotions, even for your commander, is unbecoming
and inappropriate,” she told him. “Admitting them aloud is even more shameful.
Return to your seat, Six and let’s hear no more about it.”

He nodded silently and did as she commanded. K watched, frowning
slightly. She wouldn’t have tolerated such a show of emotion or his endless
questioning if it were not for his extraordinary skills as a pilot. It was
strange since the rest of the squad had all been part of his birthgroup and
none of them showed much ability at flying. However, it happened so sometimes.
K herself was the eleventh of twenty-six and though all of her birthgroup had
been genetically engineered for leadership, she had far surpassed the others—those
that had survived to adulthood, anyway. None of the rest of them was more than
a second level Paladin and none had their own purge squad as she did.

The High Sentinel’s voice rang in her head.
I have great plans for you, K.
Yes, and she intended to be worthy
of those plans and his trust in her.

“Now.”
She nodded at
Six
again. “Bring us in fast. They won’t know what hit them.” There was the faint
vibration as their ion grappling hooks dug into the sides of the Erian vessel
and began to pull it close. “Shields up,” K barked but there was no reaction
from the pale pink vessel. It floated in their grasp inactive, glistening like
a polished shell in the black void, waiting for K’s next move.

K allowed herself a frown of concern. This wasn’t right—wasn’t
normal. The Erian ship should be a bubbling cauldron of frantic activity. They
should be hailing her ship and suing for peace or at the very least calling for
help but the sensors didn’t detect so much as a single distress cry.

K thought of hailing them herself but no, the High Sentinel had
specifically warned against face-to-face contact. She wasn’t sure why since the
Erians were descended from the inhabitants of Earth-that-was, the same as the
Purists. Though they were clearly inferior stock and had allowed
themselves
to become wanton and excessive as the Purists had
not, K didn’t think their depravity could spread through viewscreen contact and
a few words exchanged. Still, the High Sentinel’s word was law.

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