The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival
the dishes hadn't been done so she offered to do them. The old man readily accepted, jumped up, grabbed his
tools, and went off to the diggings.
The android got up and went outside. It was the first time he had done anything on his own, except fight,
since she had met him the night before. She watched to see what he was doing, but he just stood on the porch
and stared into space.
After she finished the dishes she decided to lie down and get a little more sleep. The previous day had
drained her of most of her energy, both physically and mentally, and also the old man had gotten them up quite
She laid on the bed and instantly fell asleep. At one point during her nap she awoke just long enough to see
the stranger sitting at the table, still staring vacantly into space. That's all she remembered until the old man
came shuffling into the shack.
"Viella!" he yelled in a high-pitched tone. "Viella!"
"What?" she asked as she sat up from a deep sleep. There was a look of bewilderment on her face. She
couldn't remember where she was. "What?" she asked again. Then suddenly in nightmare torrents it all came
flooding back. "What?" she asked for the third time.
"Ya know that crystal I been talkin' 'bout?"
"Yes," she said in the middle of a yawn.
"Well, I found it."
"Yeah, I did. And now I can move ta the city an' have all those comforts I been talk'n' 'bout, good food, an'
nice clothes, an' sof' beds, an' all those things."
"That's great," she said as she stood up. "Where did you find it?"
He looked at her with a peculiar smile on his face. A smile such as a little boy would have had after doing
something naughty, but fun. "Well, really I found it yesterday," he said.
"You see, I lied about the radio."
"Yeah, I knew it was you when I first saw ya. How could I miss the description, a man six feet three and a
woman just over five feet. They were blabbing that description all day long. Whether ya know it or not you're
the two most wanted outlaws on the planet, maybe in the whole Galaxy. The sum of money they offered fer ya
is huge. I'll never be able ta spend it all."
The horror of what he was saying struck deep. "You sold us out," she said anticipating the worst . She ran
over and looked out the door. "You sold us out!"
"I had ta," he said. "I'm down ta my last crumbs. Another month an' I'd be starvin' ta death."
"Don't you know what you've done?" she yelled. "I'll be spending the rest of my short life in the pits. You're
evil. You're a wicked old man," she said between gritted teeth.
"Don' be callin' me evil," he screeched. "I'm not the rebel here. I'm not the one who's broken the laws. If ya
don' like a gover'ment ya change it the slow way or ya leave it, but ya don' break the laws an' go aroun' killin'
"Sometimes a rebellion is the only alternative," she yelled.
"Never. Thas never the way." He stared at her for a moment. "We better go out now. They're waitin' fer
us." The old man walked to the front door.
Viella took the stranger by the hand.
"Not him," said the old man. "They want him ta come out last. They got their stunners set on half power,
which would kill any normal folk. They don' want ya in the line of fire in case they gotta use 'em."
"What difference does it make?" she asked. "Now or later."
"Come on, thas dumb." He took her by the arm and pulled her out the front door.
Surrounding the shack there were between twenty-five and thirty uniformed men. It was a type of uniform
she had never seen, and the insignia was different, too. No. That’s not true, she thought. She had seen them
once before on the home viewer. "That's the Galaef's personal body guard," she said as more of a question.
"Thas right," said Nahum. "That fella ya got in there is a pritty important fella. If it wasn't fer him you'd
probably be on your way ta the moun'n folk right now." He pulled her in the direction of a waving guard.
"When they’s talking about him on ta radio they called him 'M.'" said Nahum. "I ne'er heard a no ‘M,’ but
they's talking as though he were someone famous."