The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
to act and act quickly."
"Just wait," ordered Dahms stiffly. "We have to think this through."
"I agree with Sam," said Zorn. "I desperately want to save the Galaef, but there are too many unknown
variables to figure out all the scenarios. We have to act, and we have to act now, or it may be too late."
Brale said gravely, "Ma'am, they probably had orders to kill the Galaef at the first sign of trouble.
"I agree," said Xygliper. "If we act, and the Galaef is freed, we're heroes, but if we act, and he's killed all
will not be lost. We can still go after Thorne. And in sixty days the computer will choose a new Galaef. If we
act now we still might be able to save him."
"Okay," said Dahms with reservations. "Knock out the tower."
Jacob pushed the invi button on the brim of his hat and the razor sharp blade shot out from inside the rim,
reflecting light from its deadly edge. If he were to let go of the hat in a throwing motion, the section of blade,
where his hand had been grasping the rim, would snap out, completing the deadly circled blade of Norimuinatit.
All menservants in his country were schooled in the art of hat throwing. It was deemed that a manservant
must protect his master at all costs and with any weapon available, and for this reason, among the other courses
of weaponry at the University, there were three courses, which dealt specifically with the subject of "hatting."
And before one could graduate as a manservant he had to complete all three courses.
Jacob pushed the button again and the blade disappeared into the rim.
In all the history of menservants on Altos there had only been two situations when the hat had to be used.
The first one involved a burglary. The manservant, Charles, was standing on the other side of the street looking
through a store window while he waited for his master to finish shopping for the day.
He heard a scream from the maidservant who had accompanied the master into the store. When he turned he
saw his master, who had just exited the store, being attacked by a would-be robber. He quickly reached for his
phasor—the weapon of choice in that situation, pulled it from the holster, and aimed, but as he pulled the trigger
the circuitry shorted out and the phasor became inoperable. In a desperate attempt to keep the burglar from
harming his master, he quickly snatched the hat off his head, pushed the invi button, and made a throw with a
quick snap of the wrist. The flight of the hat was not completely accurate, but considering the distance, it had to
be considered acceptable. The hat sliced into the attacker's right buttock causing him to go down in pain. An
ambulance and the police were called. And that ended the first incidence of hatting.
Almost a hundred years later, the second incident again involved an attempted burglary, but this time it
happened in the master's mansion. In the middle of the night the manservant had gotten up in his nightgown
and flipped his hat on his head—out of habit, but as he left the room to go to the kitchen for a glass of milk, he
forgot to take his phasor. (By doing so he violated one of the first rules of man serving). While in the kitchen
he heard a noise coming from one of the family rooms on the other side of the hall. He quickly and quietly
walked across the hallway to investigate. When entering the room he saw a man holding a valuable painting in
his hand. And just then his master, who had gotten up earlier and was reading in the study, stepped through the
door at the far end of the room. He had a fire poker in his hand.
The burglar dropped the painting, pulled his phasor, and turned toward the manservant, but seeing he was
unarmed he whirled toward the master who had raised the poker above his head. The burglar took aim and was
just about to shoot the master when suddenly a hat cut through his neck nearly parting his head from his torso.
Considering there had only been two incidences in all those years it seemed probable to Jacob that he would
never need to use the hat; nevertheless, he continued to practice with it. He also kept up on his swording, cane,
and phasor practice. Recently he had decided to start practicing karate again.
He put the hat on his head. Made sure the phasor was in its shoulder holster beneath his jacket, and left the
It was early morning, and he was about to make his rounds to check on the other servants when one of the
warden's guards came running down the hallway. "There's something happening in the yard," he yelled as he
ran by. "I just saw it on the monitor, and it looked like Roqford did something to the warden."
Jacob turned and followed the guard down the hallway. If his master were in danger, Jacob would have to