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The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival


"No. I mean what's wrong with your arm.”
"Oh. . . . Yeah, that too," said Sam. “I should have let go of the tank before I hit the water. The damn thing
wrenched my shoulder, and it hurts like a bitch, but I’m going to pretend it didn’t happen. With three zones left
it could mean my downfall.” He handed his tank to Gaal and grabbed the wall with his right hand. "Hold the
tank while I strap it on my back." Sam slipped his good arm through one of the loops and then gingerly slipped
his left arm through the other one. He grabbed the two straps, pulled them around his chest, and fastened the
buckle.
Ben had taken classes and had scuba dived many times on his home planet. He hefted the tank above his
head, slipped his arms through the straps, and let the tank slid down his back into place.
“Looks like you’re ready to go,” said Sam.
“Yeah,” replied Ben. “Can hardly contain myself.”
Dahms was holding the third tank as she held onto the wall. “I remember that certain species of sharks are
extremely aggressive when attacking their prey. And I’m sure that Hurd chose the killers. So, can we swim
underwater with those sharks?”
“No,” said Ben. “There must be another way.” He propped his elbows on the wall and pulled himself high
enough that he could look into the water on the other side. “I don’t see anything except a lot of hungry sharks,”
he said as he continued to watch. “We wouldn’t last a minute in there.”
“I’m sure you’re right,” said Dahms. “If this zone is anything like zone two, then there will be another way.”
Dahms told Gaal to turn around, then she helped him put his arms through the loops. He turned to face her
and she buckled the straps. “You have to put this in your mouth, and when we're underwater I’ll be swimming
next to you to help you along."
"I don’t think I can do it,” said Gaal. He didn’t look happy.
"Would you rather swim with the sharks," she said indicating the other side of the wall with a nod of her
head.
"That would be impossible since I can't swim."
Sam sounded frustrated. "Look," he said, "the main difference between a good swimmer and a beginner is a
good swimmer isn't afraid to get his face wet. So, just get it in your mind that you love getting your face in the
water, and you're already past the beginning stage."
"You're so full of shit," retorted Gaal.
"No. Really," replied Sam. "Just get it into your brain that you don't mind getting your face wet. That's all
there is to it."
Dahms looked a bit amused by Sam's twenty-second swimming instruction, which was meant to take Gaal
from the beginner's level to the intermediate level. "Well maybe that's not quite all there is to it," she replied,
"but actually swimming under water is easier than swimming on top, because the tank will be supplying the
air."
Gaal's face went white at the idea of it. "You must be joking," he said.
"We're not joking," yelled Sam. "By God man, you've got to do it, or stay here and shrivel up like a prune in
this salt water."
"He's right," said Dahms. "We don't have the time it takes to teach someone how to swim, but from what
I've seen, you're a natural athlete. I mean you have the physique and the coordination of a good athlete. You've
done well in battle, and you have the courage. So, now you need to get the right mental frame about swimming.
Just relax, and we'll help you."
Gaal looked at Ben. “You said you’d teach me how to swim.”
“I said it would be a quick lesson, and you’ve had it. Besides, they’re right—when you’re under water you
don’t have to worry about having air. The only thing you have to know is when you want to go forward you put
your hands in front of you, cup them, and pull the water toward you, and when you want to stop, keep your
arms beside you. Think you can do that?”
“Yeah, I guess,” said Gaal.
Dahms looked at the walls surrounding the lake. “You don’t suppose there’s a path that we can walk, do
you?”
“No,” said Sam. “If that were so, then we wouldn’t need the tanks, and secondly this is a more difficult zone
than the zone with the snakes.” He paused a moment, then said, “Maybe there’s a trapdoor on the bottom of the
lake.”
Ben was still propped up on the wall and was thinking that Sam’s theory sounded plausible. “Yeah,” said
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