The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

Ben shook the man’s hand and let go. “So,” he said, “you’re Lyil’s sparing partner.”
“That’s right,” said Hast with a smile. It was obvious he was pleased that Lyil had been talking about him.
“And you just happened to be hiding behind that bush.”
The smile quickly left his face. “I wasn’t hiding,” he said. “I was lying down enjoying the night air and
looking at the stars—how beautiful they are.”
Ben was thinking about pointing out that if he was lying down looking at the stars, then how could he see
Lyil coming down the path,—but why push it? He didn’t need to make enemies with any of the G-staff.
“So how are things?” asked Hast looking at Lyil.
“No different than they were this morning when we worked out.”
“Right,” said Hast. He looked Ben up and down. “I understand you’re going on an expedition to find a
living myth.”
“I don’t know where you got that idea, but it’s light years past the boundary of truth,” replied Ben. Hast was
beginning to annoy him—and he had only known him for a few minutes. “We’re doing an archaeological dig.
When we’re looking for artifacts, which are more than six hundred years old, we don’t expect to find anyone
living from that time. In fact, throughout the recorded history of the Galactic Empire it has never happened.”
“Right,” said Hast. “What are you going to do if you find a dead man in your dig?”
“Shake his hand,” quipped Ben. What the hell do you think!?” Ben was starting to wonder how this man
ever made it into G-staff.
It was obvious Hast was irritating Ben, so Lyil intervened. “It’s getting late,” she said, “and you have to get
up early.”
“Right,” said Hast. “Well, you two have a good evening, and I’ll see you in the morning, Lyil.” He turned
and walked down the artificial path.
“That was weird,” said Ben. “The way he popped up and asked those questions.”
“I believe he’s jealous. He keeps asking me to go on a date with him.”
“That’s not it,” said Ben. “For some reason he was feeling me out, and it had nothing to do with you. The
whole time he was talking to me he never looked at you.” Ben was quick to add, “That doesn’t mean he’s not
interested in you. I’m sure he is, but now I’m wondering if he’s in someway involved with these fake
Ben and Lyil started down the walkway toward her apartment.
“I’m sure he has nothing to do with anything. He doesn’t have a bad bone in his body.”
Ben wasn’t convinced, but he was sure it didn’t matter, so he dropped it.
Lyil’s apartment was on the third floor of a twenty-story building, which had been built for the upper echelon
G-staff, the best of the best.
She touched the palm lock and the door slid open, then she reached out and grabbed Ben's hand, and for the
third time in the last four days she asked him to come in.
Considering the time, Ben was surprised, but again, he didn't hesitate to say, "Yes." And since she asked
him in for the third time, he was hoping that this time they would break the routine. He couldn’t help it, he was
starting to like her more than he wanted, which he felt was most unfortunate considering the circumstances. He
walked into the living room and, instead of sitting in the chair, he sat on the couch, which would give her plenty
of room to sit next to him.
But she continued as usual.
She went to the bar and poured him a non-alcoholic drink without asking him what he wanted. She handed it
to him and sat down in a chair across from the couch. "Why didn't you tell me you placed number three in the
Galactic Games?"
He swirled his drink with a little plastic stick. "I started to, but . . . ."
“But I interrupted you."
"That sounds about right,” said Ben, “however, we could be nice and say you changed the subject."
"Yes," agreed Lyil, "That would be kind, but I've known for a long time, since I was a little girl, that I have a
bad habit of interrupting when others are talking. My friends and family, especially my mother, would tell me I
never let anybody finish a sentence. Of course, that was an exaggeration, and I'm not as bad now as I was then,
but still I . . . "
"Well don't let it happen again," interrupted Ben.
Lyil laughed momentarily, then she took a sip of her drink. She set her glass on the coffee table and an
awkward silence fell over them like a fog covering an unknown territory in the fields of expectations. Ben was