The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
“That sounds right,” agreed Ben. “And if you run out of air, then you’ll be sharing with me and Gaal.
Gaal frowned. "Share air? If you're talking about those tanks, I have no idea how use one of those things.
“As I said before, we’ll show you how,” said Ben. He dropped the handbeam over the edge of the cliff and
watched as it fell the thirty feet. It made a small splash as it hit the water. “We’re not going to need those
anymore,” he said. Then he said to Gaal, “Give me the tank. If you’re not used to the water, you’re not going
to want to jump with it in your arms.”
As he took the tank from Gaal he suddenly had a strange feeling that caused him to look over his shoulder.
The Gorgs were out of the tunnel and coming toward them. Walking quietly they were not more than six feet
behind—a trait of stealth and sneakiness, which the professor had forgotten to mentioned.
"Jump!" he yelled. And the next moment he was flying through the air.
Ben held onto the strap of the tank in one hand and the narrow sword in the other. He was soaring through
the air like a parachutist who hadn't yet pulled the chord, speeding crazily toward the surface. Just before he hit
the water he flung the tank away from him.
The water parted and closed quickly as he speared into the depths, then he slowed, and holding his breath, he
kicked toward the surface. His head burst out of the lake. He spit water and sucked in a large breathe of air.
He went under again and grabbed the tank as it was slowly floating toward the bottom. He came up holding the
strap. He sheathed his sword.
Dahms' head popped through the surface of the water. "Yuk," she said spitting a mouthful. "It’s salty."
Just then Gaal shot through the surface like a bullet through a mirror, and then, as if in slow motion, he came
to a stop and fell back toward the surface. His arms flailed outward and started flopping up and down to keep
him from sinking into the depths. "Help me," he said rather urgently. There was calmness in his voice, but not
in his eyes. "Help me. I can't swim."
"What the hell do you mean, you can't swim?" asked Sam who had just surfaced a few moments before.
Gaal's head disappeared beneath the water, but Ben could still see his eyes, which were wide open, and his
mouth, which was turned down in a look of horror. His arms kept flopping up and down, but he wasn't making
Ben reached over, grabbed him by the chin, and pulled his head out of the water.
Sam was several feet away treading water. "What the hell do you mean, you can't swim?" he repeated.
Gaal coughed out a mouthful of water and took a deep breath. Then breathing easier, he said, "It's not like
there are oceans and lakes on Ar where a family can take a picnic lunch and teach their kids to swim."
"Ever hear of the public swimming pool?"
“Yeah, for the rich.”
"Enough of this foolish banter," said Dahms. "Let's get to the wall and then we'll decide what we're going to
do." She turned and started swimming.
Ben followed with Gaal in tow.
They reached the wall at the same time.
“Hang on to the wall,” said Ben as he let go of Gaal.
Sam was swimming slow and grimacing as he made his way toward them. “Last week,” he yelled out, “at
this time I was happily at work, drinking coffee and punching numbers into a computer. Sure, I was part of the
underground, and my thoughts were frequently on the overthrow of Hurd, a most despised man who has
plunged the majority of the city population into poverty, and near starvation; and sure, I’ve taken chances in the
past by smuggling arms and attending secret meetings in the underground rooms, and sure there have been
many rebels who have been caught and either sent to the run or the pits; sure it can happen to others, but it can
never happen to you—and then it does. And here I am.”
"Won’t do any good to complain" said Dahms, and then, as Sam grabbed hold of the wall, she asked,
"What's wrong?" He glared balefully at the ceiling. "What's wrong?" He repeated. "We're in a city being
run by a maniac. We're in a lake full of fish that want to eat us. And we have a friend who can't swim. And
you ask me 'what's wrong?’"