The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
"Oh no," replied Augy. "I can't lie. My program won't allow it."
Ben, with an aggravated tone in his voice said, "Well then I think your programmer has a weird sense of
"I don't understand," said Augy.
"Never mind. I have one request."
"Tell me what you know about Lyil."
"Lyil? Lyil who?"
"Lyil, the redhead who checked me out before I was interviewed by the Galaef. You know. She's a G-staff
member. She's about five foot seven and . . . "
"Oh, you mean Lyil Zornburst. I'm sorry I'm not allowed to divulge information about G-staff members."
"Well, if you can't, you can't. It's been nice talking to you." He switched off the Robo Conversation. "You
gave me a lot of information I already know, and now you won't tell me what I don't know and want to know."
Ben stepped off the transport and started down the hallway toward his suite thinking about the Outer City. It
wasn't the gambling and the shows that interested him. It was the tournaments.
When the survivors of Tarmore restructured their civilization, they kept swording as their planetary sport (It
had been very big on their home planet). Eventually they built an arena on the Northeast edge of the city. It
contained exactly 100 combat platforms, which included warm-up and competition. And the complex had the
capacity to hold more than seven hundred thousand spectators. The main arena, alone, had a hundred thousand
seats. It was the largest swordsman complex in the Galaxy.
At first, it appeared that the Tarmorians had been overly optimistic in building such a large complex;
especially since their population was not allowed to grow to more than one million.
But as it turned out, with all the huge hotels and other types of tourist housing, the city's population was
continually close to two million. The city directors held tournaments four times a year, and they always had a
large number of spectators, consisting of Tarmorians and tourists. There was even a large number of G-staff
who had an interest in swording.
Since the guaranteed prize money was high, there were usually one or two of the Galaxy's top swordsmen
competing. This brought an even larger turn out of spectators. Swording was one of the major sporting events
on a large number of planets throughout the Galaxy, and people would come from all over to see top
swordsmen; especially swordsmen who had placed in the Galactic Games.
The money was nice, but that wasn't Ben's motivation for wanting to compete in one of the Tarmorian's
tournaments. Over the years the competition had become high level and therefore the prestige had grown until
it was finally considered the elite of all the swording competitions (with the exception of the Galactic Games).
He had heard of these matches when he was a child, and it became a dream of his to compete and win in a
Ben always stayed current with the major swording events, and because of that he knew a tournament had
just started in the Outer City. Since he had to wait for the results of the Galaef's research team, he thought he
would see about entering.
Lyil, while looking at Ben with an expression of friendliness, touched the palm lock with her fingertips, and
then smiled as the door slid open. "Would you like to come in?" she asked in her usual, calm manner.
In anticipation of his answer, she walked in ahead of him and turned on the lights.
Without saying 'yes,' Ben followed her lead and stepped through the doorway and into her apartment.
This was the second time during his first three nights on Galactus that Lyil had asked him into her apartment.
From her actions on the first night, it appeared there was no sexual intention. She liked him, and Ben could
sense an attraction, but Lyil wasn't willing to go any further than a goodnight kiss, a friendly smile, and a
handshake. It was evident she didn't want to get involved romantically, and instead considered him a friend and
enjoyed his company.
Ben understood it, or at least he thought he did, and he accepted it, with a slight disappointment. Certainly
she was a beautiful woman, but it was more than that that caused him to feel a letdown. During the two nights