The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
Mandril was a friend, but sometimes she was too motherly. "You don't understand what?" Lyil started
shuffling through the Thorne file, but was having a difficult time concentrating. Her mind was going a hundred
different directions all at once.
"Why do you turn down the best looking guys in the Inner City, far better looking than this . . . what's his
"Ben Hillar. And I know you know his name."
Again Mandril ignored her statement. "You turn down a guy like Hast, who is better looking, probably has
more money, and even more importantly, lives right here on Galactus, and yet you go out with this offworlder,
Ben. He lives on the other side of the Galaxy, millions of light years from here."
“Not quite on the other side of the Galaxy, and I told you, I don't have a relationship with him. And that's
one of the reasons we can't get involved, he lives too far away."
Phil shifted his chair to the left so his monitor wouldn’t block his view. He said, “You’re going out with an
offworlder? How did you meet him, and I’m hoping he’s a tourist and not somebody you interviewed.”
“Don’t you have work to do?” asked Lyil.
Phil ignored her and sat back in his chair.
Mandril started musing. "I never could understand why you turned down Manne. He's not only good
looking and has a great personality, but he's got position." She pointed up, "you know, one of the Galaef's top
Lyil looked at the top sheet of the next Thorne interview. "Lyil-red. Pull up a file on Lorin Windover, I.D.
number, top: 641 3972; bottom XZdMA 721798561, red-red-yellow-blue-red-green-green-green-blue-yellow.
over. I'm not looking for a man with position. I just want a man who feels right. And Manne is a nice guy, but
he’s not my type."
“What about Jarad? I know he’s a noncom, but he’s good-looking, and he’s from your solar system. Plus
you have gone out with him in the past. Maybe you should go out with him again and see what develops.”
“I like Jarad, but he’s just a friend, to be truthful we don’t have much in common.”
Mandril thought for a moment. "So you think there's a spark with this offworlder?
"He's fun to be with, but I haven't noticed a spark."
"I don't think you're being honest with yourself. If there's no spark, why are you still going out with him?"
"I just told you, he's fun to be with."
"It may be fun, but if you keep going out with him, it's liable to become more than just fun. In fact, I’m sure
"No it won't."
"And what do you know about him?"
Lyil reflected for a moment, then said, "He's intelligent. He's . . ."
"No. I mean his past history."
"You've read his personal files, not me." She paused, "But I do know he's a swordsman."
“Hell,” said Phil, “I haven’t even met this man, and I’m already starting to like him.”
“Don’t encourage her,” said Mandril. “She has enough going on without becoming involved with a man
who lives a hundred million light years from here.”
Lyil stopped listening to the two of them. It occurred to her if Ben lost his three o'clock match she might
never get to see him in competition. "He has a match this afternoon," she said out loud, but mostly to herself.
She was beginning to think she should take a vacation. Why not? She had accumulated enough time, and
there weren’t any wars going on between any of the planets, which meant G-staff wasn't on an emergency alert
status. She leaned forward and punched a number into her viewer.
There was a slight intermittent hum, which lasted several seconds. Then Tam's face appeared on the screen.
"Hi Lyil," she said. "What's up?"
Lyil leaned forward. "I've decided to go to the matches this afternoon."
"I thought you were planning to be here this evening?"
"I was, but I have a friend who has a match at three o'clock."
"Your off-world friend?"
"Well let's get together. If you could come a little earlier, we could watch Rand in his match. You know he's
dueling against Doog?"
"Yes," she answered. Lyil knew how excited Tam was. This was the furthermost Rand had ever made it in a