The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
"You stupid Mesmalian beast, who do you think we've been guarding all this time?"
"What!?" asked Bale. "You're telling me it is the Galaef?”
“I haven’t known for sure, but I’ve had my suspicions.”
“And you’re calling me the stupid?" Bale yelled toward the door. "You've got to believe me Frosty. I had
no idea the Galaef was the mystery prisoner. I'm putting down my weapon." He looked at Shast and Cronlin.
"If you're not the idiots I think you are, you'll do the same thing."
"Yeah," agreed Shast, "Let's put 'em down."
Ben and the other prisoners lay in the soft dirt, eight or nine paces from the top of the rim. Their fingers and
toes were dug in deep to keep from sliding into the open-mine p—where Em had minutes before heaved Og to a
quick and unexpected death.
Fast and furious, the phasors continued to fire their deadly bolts in a random pattern, every now and then
hitting a few feet from the top of the rim or just several paces above the prisoners.
This was not a design by accident. Roqford had once told Ben in his slow mental speech, If ever the
phasorsss start firing get to the slopesss of the pit. When the prison was first built, it was decided, in order to
squelch a prison riot, random phasor shotsss would be used, but in order to keep from killing the majority of the
prisonersss there should be a small safety area, which will hem the rebelliousss prisonersss into a corner. The
design isss meant to keep the prisonersss in the pit until more guardsss can arrive.
Ben turned and looked down the slope searching for Samsung, and there he was holding onto Keegan's
wrists to keep him from sliding over the edge. Keegan's legs were hanging into the abyss up to his thighs.
There was a glassy look in his eyes and blood was running out of his mouth as he feebly hung unto Samsung's
grip. Slowly, inch by inch, they were sliding further into the hole as there was not enough traction in the soft
dirt. Samsung attempted to jam his toes deeper into the dirt, but to no avail. The two of them were slowly
losing ground, and it wouldn't be long until Samsung would have to let go or be pulled to his death along with
The loose gravel around Samsung’s toes gave way, and they slid another foot and a half in an instant.
Keegan was up to his waist in the pit, and his legs were no longer in sight. They were sliding faster.
"Hang on," yelled Ben exhorting Samsung to dig deeper. "I'm coming." He turned and did a swimming
motion in the soft dirt until he was just above them. He grabbed Samsung's ankles and started pulling. He
grunted and pulled harder, but they were still slipping. With Ben's help the decent into the pit had slowed, but
hadn’t completely stopped. Keegan was too far over the edge. "Keegan, you've got to help. Push against the
side of the pit with your feet."
But Keegan was too week, and it seemed he was slipping in and out of consciousness. They were loosing
ground. "Come on, Keegan. You're not helping," yelled Ben. He pulled harder. He knew in another few
seconds he and Samsung would have to let go. "Keegan, push!" he yelled.
Someone grabbed Ben's ankles and with a mighty yank, pulled Ben, Samsung, and Keegan up the side of the
embankment. Without looking Ben knew it was Em. His strength was unnatural.
Ben righted himself, as did Samsung, and they pulled Keegan up to their level. Ben studied Keegan's look.
His face was ashen. His eyes had a glassy stare. Blood was running from his mouth. "Damn," growled Ben,
"we have to get you to the hospital."
Samsung was lying on the other side of Keegan holding on to him. He wiped the dirt and blood from
Keegan’s face and talked softly trying to encourage Keegan to hold onto his life.
Ben started up the incline.
"Where are you going?" asked Viella. "You can't go up there."
"I'll be okay," he said in a quiet voice as if sneakiness would keep the phasors away.
He stuck his head over the rim. Three feet to his right a phasor bolt hit the dirt causing the soil to steam and
As he looked around he saw prisoners strewn about the yard like a scene in a ghastly war movie, except this
was real, and they were really dead, dying, or wounded. And the wounded wouldn’t be alive much longer with
the phasors tearing into them with random shots. He could see the guards in the yard standing near the wall.