The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

standing not more than ten feet behind him. “What the hell, doesn’t anyone follow orders?”
Dahms ran over to him and grabbed Sam’s hand. "It wasn't supposed to happen this way," she said. "We
were supposed to have had a little help. I don’t know what happened."
"There's no help now," said Sam. “You should have run for the door like I told you.”
o o o o o
Hurd watched in awe of the woman and the three men. Never before had a runner excelled as these four had
today. It was the first time in the history of the run that a Toral had been slain with a sword, or, as far as he
knew, in the history of Ar. Together these four warriors had gone through six zones and a good deal into the
seventh. Two or three of them could have made it to the last door, which, of course, would not have opened to
freedom, but rather a squad of patrollers would have been ready to take them to a secret cell in the city prison—
at least it would be better than death in the pits.
He frowned. He stroked his mustache solemnly. It was terrible that these four incredible athletes had to die.
Well, maybe not Ben—the scoundrel that he was. But the other three, if only they had been on his side. They
would have made great warriors in his army. And the fight they put up, and there was even romance for the
viewers. This was the greatest day the run had ever seen. Probably no one would ever do better. And now the
end was about to come.
It occurred to Hurd if he could stop it, he would give them an easy job in the pits, keep them alive until they
could see that his rule was right for the people, but it was too late, the other Toral were already speeding toward
their prey.
Ben was gripping his short sword—his other one was buried in the lead Toral’s chest. Gaal was standing
beside Ben waving his sword back and forth—a city patroller—how could he have become disloyal? Dahms
ran over and was holding Sam's hand. Hurd knew there were only a few seconds left.
And then he saw something dangling in front of the screen. For a moment he was puzzled. “What . . . ?” he
started to say.
Then he realized what it was and jumped out of his seat. "Where the hell did that rope come from!?" he
Of course, none of the councilmen answered.
"The rebels have infiltrated the stadium!" He was in a fit of rage.
o o o o o
Suddenly there was a rope hanging in front of Ben’s face, then three more appeared out of nowhere with the
ends falling to the ground. Ben looked up and saw nine men in the rafters.
“At last, they’re here,” yelled Dahms.
“By God if they aren’t.” Sam grabbed a rope and told Dahms to go. Just then two red streaks came from
above and knocked down the two Toral in the lead.
"That was a little too close," Dahms yelled while looking up. “What the hell took you so long?” She
grabbed the rope and started up.
A voice yelled down from the rafters, “We had a problem with the guards.”
Another red streak and one more Toral went down.
Sam grabbed a rope and started to climb, but fell back to the ground. "I can't climb with this arm," he
"Tie the rope around your waist.” Dahms yelled.
Ben took the end of the rope and pulled it around Sam's torso. He tied it off and looked up at the men
standing on top of the rafters. "Haul him up.”
Sam suddenly shot up like a puppet on a string.
Gaal was going up one of the other ropes hand over hand and moving fast.
The stairway to freedom, thought Ben. He had just started up the rope when three city patrollers came
running through the exit door. Two of the patrollers took aim with their phasors and squeezed the triggers.
Blue bolts streaked the air bringing down the last two toral in stun. At the same time the other patroller started
shooting at the men in the rafters. Red and blue streaks lit up the air as the rebels and the city patrollers started
shooting at each other. Two of the patrollers were hit and went down either dead or injured, Ben couldn’t tell