The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

Xilil looked at Dahms. "Looks like we're down to one destroyer." He turned back to the screen. "Okay.
You might as well shut it down and join us over here."
"Right," said Zorn. The screen flicked off.
"Wait," said Dahms. "I still don't know who I can trust." She looked at Xilil and then Sam.
Sam shrugged his shoulders. "In my opinion, they've already earned our trust."
"I suppose your right. It's just that it's so critical that we free the Galaef."
"And Viella," added Sam. "But there comes a time when you have to trust someone. And these men know
how to operate this destroyer, and we don't."
"Okay." She made up her mind. "Take the Captain, and that one," she pointed at Bradon, "down to the
sleeping quarters and secure them with magnetic wrist and ankle locks."
"That won't be necessary," said Xilil. "We have a brig on board. And it'll keep these two traitors from going
Dahms stood to one side of the portal watching and waiting as the door slid open. She was surprised, which
made her a little wary, that any of these men weren't Thorne supporters. It must have been difficult for Thorne
to find enough men to go along with his scheme. He undoubtedly raised the two commanders to their position
of rank and then put them in charge of the two destroyers.
Or so it seemed. It was still possible that some of these men were good actors, and because of this she wasn't
going to take any chances. She had Sam standing at the other side of the entrance with his phasor in the ready
position. And Xilil was there to talk the two men into giving up their phasors.
Zorn was the first to step through the hatch. At first glance it was obvious he was shaken by the recent
events. His face was pale and there were little beads of sweat, which had formed on his forehead—on this
bitter-cold night.
"What the hell is going on?" asked Zorn as he stepped onto the entrance grid. "Three men, including the
commander, on my cruiser are now dead. And you're trying to tell me that the Galaef is a prisoner?" His face
started to grow a little red. He was angry and frustrated at the same time.
His phasor was holstered, but he had his hand on the butt.
"Damn it," he said, "Jos was a long time friend of mine." His voice cracked, and the last word of his sentence
was almost inaudible.
"We've all lost friends," said Dahms warily as she watched Zorn's hand tighten on the butt of his phasor.
"And who the hell are you?" asked Zorn as he looked at Dahms.
"I'm second in command of the Newusa underground," she said. "I don't suppose you know much about
Newusa. The fact is we have a tyrannical, self-appointed Head Councilman who kills people without thought in
order to satisfy his greed.
"Several years ago, myself and several others formed an underground movement with the purpose of
overthrowing our city government." She looked down the hall of the cruiser. "Now I find myself in the middle
of a Galactic crisis. Something I didn't ask for, but here I am. And I'm going to do whatever it takes to save the
"With all due respect Ma'am, I don't buy the story of the Galaef being a prisoner in that prison."
Dahms understood his skepticism. Only a fool would try to overthrow the Galaef. And for good reason.
There were too many safety nets to cut through. "I'm sticking my neck out by telling you this, but the leader of
the Newusa underground is a city councilman. I won't go as far as to tell you who, but because of his position
he has access to a lot of privileged information. And when he tells me the Galaef is a prisoner in this prison,"
she gestured through the wall of the ship with her hand, "I listen. And when he tells me to free the Galaef and
put him back in command of the Galactic Empire, like you, I follow orders."
"You have to admit," added Xilil, "both of the commanders acted irrationally when confronted with this
information. And now one of them is dead."
"Yeah," agreed Zorn.
Dahms could tell Zorn wasn't completely convinced.
Zorn moved forward a step, and Brale moved beside him. He also had his hand on the butt of his phasor.