The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

do anything necessary to save him, even if it meant putting his life on the line.
They ran up the stairs to the entrance of the crossover tube. The guard punched in the code and as the door
started to slide back they squeezed through the opening and started running down the walkway.
When they got to the other end, the guard punched in the code and the door slid back. They stepped out of
the tube and onto the prison-wall walkway. The phasors were firing random shots and melting whatever they
hit including the ground. The prisoners were below the rim on the embankment of the pit holding on for life.
The guards on the wall were running for their lives as Roqford sauntered along behind them. The guards
weren't stupid enough to try to fire on Roqford. It was known that these cats from a distance of thirty feet and
sometimes further depending on their size were so fast and so maneuverable that they could have you in their
jaws before you could pull the trigger. And if you did pull the trigger it wasn't likely that you would hit
anything but air.
To the left, about ten feet away, the warden was lying on the walkway with his head partly turned to the left.
There was a large pool of blood forming under his neck and chest, and running over the side.
The first thing Jacob thought as he looked at the warden was, unemployed. He wasn't sure, but he didn't
think he had enough money to get back to his home planet.
What have you done? he asked Roqford. And then he added, You've gotten yourself into a terrible mess.
Don't worry, answered Roqford. In actuality, I have saved the warden from a long and horrible death in the
Zi Pitsss. He stopped, turned, and laid down with his head hanging over the edge, facing the prisoners.
Jacob and the guard watched the firing phasors. Jacob wondered what started the whole affair and then
wondered why Roqford was so confident. And what did he mean he had saved the warden from a long and
horrible death?
And then the tower disappeared.
The top of it, along with the men inside, was gone instantly and then the rest of it, like a sandcastle beneath a
wave, crumbled into nothingness. And the phasors blinked out.
"By the curse of the Zorg," whispered Jacob. He didn't normally talk with this kind of language—being a
dignified manservant, but at the moment he was in the middle of a battle with phasor bolts flying everywhere.
His master was dead. He had been unable to save him, and more than that a friend of his was the culprit who
killed him.
"What now?" asked the guard.
"Yeah," answered Jacob. "What now?" He didn't know what to do. At the moment he was without a
So, the two of them just stood and watched.
Frostadeem, a tall, but lithe and agile man, was watching out the window as the sonic bomb disintegrated the
control tower. He was alarmed when the phasors first started firing at the prisoners and shocked when the cat
ripped out the warden's throat, but when the tower fell into a little pile of fine powder, he knew that the time he
had dreaded and hoped would never come had now arrived. He could not stop the movement of fate, and now
he would have to take action—dangerous action.
As his hand slipped to the butt of his phasor his finger inched its way up to the safety catch and flipped it off.
Frosty, as his friends called him, was not afraid, for he knew about danger and had known about danger his
entire life. By the time he was eight years old he was being trained by his father to be an asteroid miner.
When he was older his mother told him that people would gasp in horror when they heard that an eight-year-
old boy was being taken to the asteroid fields. But that was his father's way. "Teach 'em young and let them
become learned in the ways of life and in the ways of their profession, then they'll be successful, like me."
In terms of asteroid miners his father had been very successful. Most miners were able to eke out a living,
but would seldom hit the big one. His father, on the other hand, hit it big, not once, but twice and had enough
money put away to keep his family comfortable for three generations. So why did he keep mining? Because, as
he put it, "I love my work."
But Frosty knew that what he really loved was the danger. The asteroid belt, which is not common to most
solar systems, orbited between the fourth and fifth planet and contained hundreds of millions of asteroids. It