The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

lingered a little longer than the night before.
"Good night," she said as they parted. "See you tomorrow."
"Good night."
Ben could still feel her long, wavy red hair in his hands as he left her apartment and walked into the pleasant
night air.
Lyil had stayed up too late with Ben, and because of that she had slept in, past her built in alarm clock, and
now she was running behind schedule. She jumped out of bed, dressed in her workout clothes, ate a quick
breakfast, strapped her phasor to her right hip, hooked her backpack over her shoulders and moments later was
jogging toward the athletic complex.
As her toes landed softly but steadily upon the artificial pathway and then sprung her forward toward her
destination, she started thinking about Ben. She hadn’t known him long enough to form any kind of emotional
attachment, and she didn’t believe in love at first sight. No, there had to be a long time involvement, at least a
year, before two people could really determine if their relationship was the real thing, if it was going to last, and
if it was going to be worth the effort it takes to maintain a relationship, and yet, there was something about Ben
that attracted her to him. She knew it was there, and she could feel it. But what was it?
. In a small, unsure way she hoped they would have enough time together to get to know each other.
She rounded the corner of the path, breathing hard, and peered ahead at the grey tinted windows of the
athletic complex. They seemed to be staring back at her with a cold, steely sheen as if to say, ‘Jog faster. Work
out. Learn the art of combat. Someday you will be fighting for your life.’
The athletic complex was designed to keep G-staff personnel in a physical state of combat readiness. There
were phasor-firing ranges; wrestling, boxing, and Situ arenas; swimming pools; half-mile tracks with steep
incline runs; obstacle courses; different sports complexes which included, among others, hand-to-hand dagger
combat, dagger throw, and archery; and, of course, lounges, viewing rooms, snack-bar areas, and locker rooms
with showering facilities. The only in-close fighting sport, which was not practiced, was swording. The
combat experts and the computer predicted it would never be used in actual combat situations, that is,
considering the other types of weapons and the hand to hand combat already being taught and practiced.
Overall the complex was constructed for and utilized by G-staff members only, with the exception that
sometimes crewmembers off the smaller spaceships of the Galactic Armada would use it. (The smaller ships
did not have the space for workout equipment.)
During the course of the ten-day workweek on Galactus, G-staff personnel were required to workout two
hours every day. For this reason Lyil always got up early as she liked to do her work-out in the morning before
going to work. But the problem was finding one of her friends who would workout with her. None of them
liked to get up that early. Mandril wouldn't. So, she finally had to settle for Hast, and it occurred to her that he
was only doing it because he wanted to date her.
Today they were going to practice Situ defense, a type of combat in which Lyil excelled. It was referred to
as a defense, probably because of the way it first started eons ago. In reality, however, there was as much
offense as defense, and with the right moves, a master of this form of combat could easily kill the adversary.
This particular form of combat has only a little dependency on strength. For this reason, women, who are
quicker and more agile than most men, usually fair better. Unlike wrestling or boxing, which are strictly hand
to hand, with no artificial help, the Situ Defense utilizes electronics to perform many of the holds before
executing the throws. Two pliable, metallic finger caps fit over the first digit of the forefinger and thumb on
each hand. Inside the caps are microscopic power supplies with electronic circuitry, which provide the energy
needed to cause severe muscle contraction in the opponent’s body. The moves are quite varied and many, but
most of them involve grasping a muscle of the opponent such that the finger and thumb are in close enough
proximity as to create a complete circuit between the finger cap and the thumb cap. The resulting muscle spasm
is so severe as to cause complete loss of function of that limb or that part of the body. At that time the person
with the muscle contraction can be thrown or moved into position for the kill.
Hast, who was not even fast for a man (or, at least, was slow compared to most G-staff men), and who had
little interest in combat or war, was seemingly inefficient when it came to Situ. He had gained his master status