The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
The corners of her mouth turned up in a foxy smile. "My husband's best friend works in communications,"
Ben smiled with her. It amused him to think that classified information wasn't so classified on the
Commander. "So, I imagine word gets around quickly," he said with an insidious look on his face.
"Oh yes. I'm sure that the entire crew knows about it by now."
"Has anything new come in?" He realized she might already know what the Galaef was about to tell him.
"Yes. A message came in right after we dropped out of hyperspace."
"Really?" asked Ben raising his eyebrows in an inquisitive manner. There was no doubt that he was probing
for news, but the Lieutenant didn't seem to mind.
"Because of the political unrest in the city of Newusa, they would have rather sunk the shafts on the outside
of the city's hemi dome, but because of the Toral, they couldn't."
She paused, and then said, "I think they should exterminate those beasts."
"But that would upset the balance of Nature," replied Ben voicing the concern of true scientists everywhere.
“Nature has a difficult time on Ar without eliminating part of the system.”
Ben had used Lyil’s C-net to study the terrain and life forms on planet Ar. During his studies he came across
a description of the toral. They were ferocious animals, and they would never hesitate to attack humans.
The Toral was a huge beast standing sometimes seven feet from the ground to the top of his head. He was a
four-legged animal with a bobbed tail. His back legs were a foot shorter than his front legs. This gave him a
sloping appearance and a loping run, which looked awkward, but indeed the Toral was very swift. His short fur
was dull brown in color, all except his large white chest. His paws had long sharp claws and his mouth had
long sharp teeth, two of which protruded from his upper jaw and curved slightly over his lower lip.
The Toral lived in small colonies, ten to fifteen to a group. The largest and most aggressive was always the
leader of the pack. Oftentimes the leader was a female. She could growl the loudest and throw dirt into the air
with her claws higher than the rest, and, when needed, she could give the nastiest bite.
At night, the Toral slept under the fruit trees, and during the day they roamed the boundaries of their marked
territory. Once in awhile they would wander into the territory of another pride causing bloody battles, and
sometimes three or four Toral would be killed before the fight ended.
Within the pack, the Toral were easy-going creatures, enjoying a laid back life. Seldom did they anger, and
they enjoyed sleeping seventy percent of the time beneath the limbs of the fruit tree. It was only when they
scented a human that they became outrageously ferocious.
From the literature Ben knew that the history of the Toral had a tremendous impact on the colonization of
Ar. The animal was found living on all the plains on the surface of Ar, and for this reason the city people feared
the plains, and they taught their children to fear them as well. Behind the city walls was safety, on the other
side, was death.
"I suppose," said the Lieutenant answering Ben’s comment on Nature. "Anyway, they successfully sunk the
shafts in the city park. They have domes covering them, and armed guards are posted on the entrances."
"Is the trouble that bad?"
"The rebels probably don't care about the shafts, but you know how curious other people can be. I'm sure
they don't want to take any chances that anybody will disturb anything."
Ben nodded in agreement with her logic.
"What about the shafts?" he asked.
"They're both the same—they each contain a stairwell in case of an emergency, and they each contain an
etron mover." She paused as if trying to remember. "They had to dig down about fifty feet before they reached
the top of the computer complex. At that point they cut holes in the top and ended the shafts on the top floor.
“Now they're waiting for further orders."
The Lieutenant stopped in front of a door with two armed guards on either side. “He’s cleared to enter,” she
said to the guards, and then to Ben, she said, "Right through here. I really wish you the best of luck." She
turned and started back the way she had come. "Good-bye." She called over her shoulder.
“Yeah, Large,” muttered Ben. The door slid into its recess, and Ben started to enter when he noticed the
guard on the right was the same guard he had talked to in the Center Tower before entering the Galaef’s private
office. What did he say his name was? It was . . . . It was . . . . Oh, yeah, Frostadeem.
“Hello Frostadeem. Here we are again.”
The guard’s eyes met Ben’s, but he looked ahead and remained silent. There seemed to be a scowl on his