The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

“Damn,” said Dahms.
Sam stepped closer. "Where's your other tank?"
“We only found one.”
Suddenly, to the right, they heard a peculiar shuffling noise, and then brilliant green lights appeared in the
"What the . . . ?
It didn't take Gaal anytime at all. "They’re Gorgs," he said quickly. “We've got to get the hell out of here."
He scrambled around the corner heading along the left hand tunnel as fast as he could go bending over and
stumbling through the dark. Dahms was on his heels with Sam not far behind and Ben taking the rear position.
Ben had studied Gorgs in an archaehistorian class in college. It was the professor’s intent to prepare his
students for strange and unusual creatures, which they might encounter on a dig in unexplored territories.
“Always be prepared,” he said. “It’s not good to be killed unexpectedly by a horrible monster.” He made his
point by showing a movie of the Gorgs living in captivity.
The damn things were scary. They lived on some obscure planet in a distant part of the Galaxy, on an
unexplored continent with dense jungles and low mountains full of caves. They were as tall as humans and the
same shape, but their bodies were covered with thick heavy scales, which caused them to be slow moving
creatures. Because of the scales and a thick hide underneath, it was nearly impossible to kill them, except with
several shots from a phasor. Not even a phasor set on stun would bring down a Gorg. Their huge arms could
rend a person in two with little effort. They lived mostly underground, but would come out occasionally at
night to hunt food. Since they were carnivorous, and since they weren't selective, humans were on the list.
Gorgs were first discovered when an expedition of scientists went into the deep jungles of their planet to
study the plant life in that region. During the night the entire group of men and women disappeared with no
trace and no sign of a struggle. When the next group of scientists, along with a military escort, went to the
abandoned campsite to investigate the strange and sudden disappearance, they put up a system of alarms and
bright lights around the camp that would be activated if anything passed through the laser beams. That night it
was the Gorgs’ turn to be decimated as the military phasor fire opened on them.
Ben knew that without phasors they had no chance against the Gorgs. He followed behind Sam all the while
listening as he could hear the sound of the Gorgs becoming fainter in the distance. He was hoping there weren’t
any Gorgs ahead of them when Gaal yelled, "I see daylight." And a moment later the four of them ran out of
the tunnel and onto a ledge with a sheer cliff in front.
The safe house was to the right, and thirty feet below, lapping at the cliff was the water, which Ben had
expected. The body of water extended a quarter of a mile to the other side where the next safety chamber sat on
a white sandy beach.
"Look," said Sam. He pointed at a stone wall, which was in the water thirty yards from the cliff. It ran
parallel to the shoreline. It stood about a foot out of the water and traversed the entire width of the lake.
Another wall similar to the first was four hundred yards away, and in the body of water between the two walls
something was swimming. And Ben had a good idea what that something was. He could see a number of large
fins protruding from the water and moving slowly in random directions.
"What’s that?”
"Sharks," said Ben. "A carnivorous sea predator found on ancient Earth . . . actually they're still found in the
seas of Earth to this day.
Ben watched the sharks swimming with their fins breaking the water like a knife slicing meat.
"Carnivorous,” said Dahms. “And you can bet Hurd keeps them hungry.
"Can they be killed?" asked Sam.
Gaal looked puzzled for a moment. "I'm not sure.”
“They can be killed,” said Ben, “but not with knives and swords.”
Dahms shifted the tank under her left arm and put her right hand on Sam's shoulder. "I'd really like to get a
drink, but I don't think we can risk the safety chamber. If the Gorgs get here while we’re inside, we won’t be
able to get out.”
"Yeah,” said Sam. “I guess they aren't that far behind.”
Ben noticed a look between Sam and Dahms and was wondering what else happened in the lair of the spider.
A strange place for a romantic hookup, he thought.
"We've only got three tanks," said Dahms. "which means two of us will have to share one.” She looked at
Ben. “Since Sam and I are physically smaller than the two of you, it will have to be us. We’ll be using less air.