The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
he decided to go off planet to get as far away from his problems as possible, which meant he had to get away
from his father’s chastisement and his degrading comments on his ability to be a superior manservant. He knew
he was running away, and later he found out that there is truth in the statement that you can never run away
from your problems. There will always be new ones. You have to learn how to deal with them. You have to
learn that happiness is a state of mind and that you can have it when ever you want it. You will always have
problems. But you need to confront them. Resolve them if you can. Keep yourself in a good state of mind.
And keep on kicking.
Now he was sorry he hadn't made up with his father and taken that job. Many were the times when he
thought he could have said, "Look father, I have learned Situ even as you asked. Karate is just an
extracurricular activity which may help me if ever I need to defend my master."
They could have made up and surely his father could have gotten him this greatly sought after and
prestigious job, which would have enhanced the family reputation. But no, he had to go running away, slinking
off into space, to some obscure little planet by the name of Ar, simply because he was angry with his father and
not man enough nor wise enough to stand up to this small problem, this small bump in the road of life.
Instead, when he came across the ad that the warden had run looking for a manservant, Jacob immediately
put in an application, and ironically enough, since there were many applicants, it was his experience in karate
that got him the job. He was the only one who put 'Will travel. Trained in hat, cane, phasor, karate, and situ' on
his applications and for some reason it greatly pleased the warden. (Now he knew why. The warden was
continually afraid for his life.)
He never thought he would be serving a man, actually a slob, whom he detested as much as this one.
Fortunately, he had less than one galactic year left on his contract and then he was going to go home and
apologize. He missed his mother, father, and brother.
But until then he would do the best job he could, and he knew that meant protecting the warden's life, even
dying for him if he had to.
It was the end of the fifth day, grueling and agonizing. Ben was once again filing slowly along in a single
file formation around the pit and toward the cellblock with the rest of the prisoners. He had been working hard
everyday, not as hard as the pickers, but hard enough to bring a continual sweat to his brow throughout the
freezing fourteen-hour work shift. The loading, pushing the cart, and unloading the crystals at the bottom of the
pit was tiring and his muscles had become sore. But it wasn't the work that caused him to feel tired and weak.
In fact, he knew, as an athlete, that this kind of work would firm him up and put him in top condition for any
athletic event. No, it wasn't the work. It was the lack of food. He was actually burning more calories than he
was consuming with the ten measly food pellets they gave him everyday.
Shuffling along, he started to step over a rock, but instead kicked it out of the way at the last second. As he
watched it roll toward the prison wall he noticed out of the corner of his eye two guards near the front gate. As
he continued to watch, they walked through the lock and made their way toward the prisoners.
When the guards were close enough, one of them called out, "Ben Hillar, step out of formation."
Ben walked out of the ragged line of prisoners and came to a stop. It was the same corporeal who had talked
to him two days ago, and with him was a woman with Lieutenant’s stripes on her sleeve.
"Hello Ben," said the corporeal quietly. "This is Sharpie."
She looked closely at Ben's face. "Jobbe said you were a prisoner, but I didn't believe it—not until now."
She paused. "It is you, isn't it?"
Ben started to say something sarcastic, but thought better of it and said, "If you mean am I Ben Hillar the
fourth sword of the Galactic Games, then yes, it's me."
Sharpie whistled softly under her breath and then asked, "How did you get thrown into this rat hole? And
don't tell me you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I want a few more details."
Ben shrugged in obvious frustration and then said, "I came to Ar with the Galaef on an archaeological
expedition. We . . . "
Sharpie's eyes started blinking rapidly. "The Galaef of the Galactic Federation?" she asked in shocked