The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
The warden was so bound up in his hate that the event, at first, eluded him. He wondered what the cat was
doing. He didn't realize he was dying until his head plopped forward on a torrent of blood, which was gushing
from the gaping hole where his throat had previously been. His lips swept back in a look of horror, and his
bulging eyes popped open. Why had Roqford done this evil act? What had he done to him? The warden fell
forward and was dead before his fat face plowed into the smooth plastic on the wall's walkway. His jowls
quivered a couple of times, and then he lay still.
Zorn and Phist stood outside the bars of the brig looking in at Commander Mace and Bradon. Zorn shook
his head. "What made you do it?" he asked as he looked at Mace.
"Do what?" retorted Mace in a commanding voice. "We haven't done anything, but you have. And once we
get back to the Flagship, you'll be court-martialed and sent away for the rest of your life."
"There’s too much evidence that says you’re a liar," said Zorn. "So, here's the deal," he said as he pulled his
phasor from its holster. He aimed and pulled the trigger. The blue ray struck Bradon full in the chest and
knocked him against the wall. He went down with a look of stupefaction glued to his face.
Mace was startled and jumped back in fear. "What the . . ."
"I'm not finished," interrupted Zorn. "Here's the deal. You make your call to the Flagship this morning as
usual with no secret signals, and I'll let you live." He unlocked the bars and motioned for Mace to follow him.
Sam and Xyg followed from behind holding a phasor on them.
Zorn lessened his pace, and when Mace came closer Zorn quickly turned and hit him in the stomach as hard
as he could. "That one's for the Galaef," he said with a tone of anger, and then he doubled his fist and hit him
on the side the head. "And that one's for me, you bastard." He didn't dare hit him in the face. There had to be
no look of trouble when Mace made his call.
Zorn grabbed him by the collar and pulled him groggy and stumbling toward the elevator.
Once they reached the conference room Zorn pushed him through the doorway with such force that he wasn't
able to stop until he hit the conference table.
"Commander Mace, we meet again," said Dahms.
"I don't know who you are lady, but you're going to pay for this, and you're going to pay hard."
"Commander Mace, hasn't everything been explained to you? If you don't make a correct call, that is if you
send any kind of signal that something is wrong, then you're going to die along with the rest of us." She paused.
"Do you understand that? You'll be dead and then it won't matter what Thorne does or what the Galaef does.
You'll be gone, and you'll never be coming back."
A look of resignation crossed Mace’s face. He said, "You don't get it lady, if the Galaef is freed I'll be sent
to the Zi pits—the most horrifying death known to mankind. I would rather take my chances of being killed by
a sonic bomb with the rest of you."
Now Dahms had a problem. Mace might be right, but she had to make him think there was hope for him so
he would make the call with no tricks. "You know as well as I and everyone in this room . . . hell everyone in
the Galaxy knows Thorne can't take over as Galaef—too many failsafe systems. So, if you switch over to our
side now, I assure you the Galaef will never know you were involved in a plot to overthrow him. And if by
some off chance he finds out about your part in this, I will personally stand up for you. I will explain that if it
hadn't been for you, we could have never saved him." She paused and then said, "And you know I won't be
lying, and he'll know it too, because without your help right now there's no way we can save the Galaef."
"That puts me in a hell of a spot, doesn't it?"
"There's no spot at all,” answered Dahms. "If you help Thorne, he'll hit us with a sonic bomb and you'll be
dead. If you help the Galaef, you have a chance of surviving and looking like a hero. It doesn't take a genius to
figure out which is the best way to go." Dahms looked at the clock. "Time's running out," she said. "It's four
minutes after eight."
Mace rubbed the side of his head where the knot had formed. He pondered for a moment. "I guess your
right," he finally said. He walked over to the communicator and dialed in the number, and then put on the
headphones as he waited.
A moment later he started talking. "This is Commander Mace." . . . Pause . . . "I'm reporting in." . . . Pause .