The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
Ben looked aghast. "You want me to be second in command of the Galactic Empire?"
"Take your time and let me know. You've got five seconds."
Ben thought for a moment and realized he didn't want the job. In the first place he wasn't qualified and in the
second place he hated politics.
Then the next second he was thinking, on the other hand, it seemed the Galaef needed his help, and also if he
didn't take the job, Taul might choose another fool like Thorne. "Okay," said Ben, "I'll take it."
Much to Ben's chagrin the Galaef patted him on the back and said, "I knew you would."
The sun had risen and was shining its feeble rays upon the landscape of the red planet. Like reflective liquid
the sun’s light formed in pools on the barren landscape to the east bringing about the misconception of shallow
bodies of water—a substance most lacking on Ar. It continued with its magical pretense of red steam rising in
the air from the pools.
To the south between the prison and the employee’s city grew the trees which were the tell-tale sign of the
toral. Those closer to the prison had been cut down to keep the beasts away.
The Galaef, with Ben next to him, stood in a regal manner on top of the prison wall watching Curt the
Captain of the Guard who had formed his men into ranks and was ready to advance on the prison compound.
Behind Curt was a row of officers—two commanders and seven lieutenants. The five hundred guards behind
them, both men and women, were dressed in brilliant-red uniforms, and were wearing black boots, black belts
on which their black holsters with phasors were attached, and black-billed caps. They all stood at attention
holding long-range phasor rifles close to their sides.
It was obvious Curt had received information that the warden had been killed resulting in a blood-bath and
that the prisoners had revolted, but by the time he was ready to advance his men, the tower had been
disintegrated, which would be a deterrent to any leader, and now the Galaef was standing on the wall in plain
sight. Curt was smart enough to hold his men back.
“Are they a threat?” asked the Galaef indicating Curt and the five hundred guard who were standing at
“Only if you’re worried about being blinded by their uniforms,” said Ben. “Other than that, the contact I’ve
had with them tells me they are our allies. In fact, I’ve had personal and up-close conversations with the
Captain of the guard and his girlfriend, a Lieutenant by the name of Sharpie,” Ben pointed at Curt standing at
the front of the formation. “They found out you were a prisoner, and they were already formulating plans to get
you out. And all the other guards I talked to hate Hurd as much as the rebels.”
“If that’s the case, then why are they working here.”
“It’s a matter of survival. It’s one of the better paying jobs, and if you ever got a good look at how the
people in Newusa are living—in squalor and very little food, you’d understand.”
“That is unfortunate,” said the Galaef. “But in a way it’s good for us. It’ll make it easier to acquire a
following—an army of sorts.”
“Now that we’ve taken over the prison and apparently the G15’s, we can start our plans to get you back on
the throne, and put Thorne someplace where no one will ever see him again.”
“I like your eagerness,” said the Galaef.
Ben knew it wasn’t so much eagerness as it was his fear of what Thorne might do, and what many of the
planets might do once they found out the throne had been usurped. “Part of it is the safety of two million
inhabited planets—making sure Thorne doesn’t upset the balance,” said Ben, “and the other part is personal.”
The Galaef continued to stand in his regal manner. “By personal, do you mean revenge because of what
Thorne did to you, or do you mean a particular red head on Galactus VII?”
“The latter,” said Ben without hesitation. He squeezed the grip on the phasor. “I don’t like her odds now
that Thorne is taking over the palace. There is no way to know what he will do to the men and women who are
loyal to you. He has proven that he has no regard for life.”
“Yes, it could be a problem.” He turned and looked down at the gates of the prison yard—two sets of double
doors. He motioned to Lieutenant Lasitor. "You," commanded the Galaef.