The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
He must be having an off day, thought Ben as he passed the two guards and entered the room.
An Ensign looked up from behind a desk. "Professor Hillar?" she asked.
"You may go right in."
Ben stepped through the doorway on the far side of the room and into the Galaef’s office, which was
identical to his office in the Galactic Federation castle, with the exception of no window overlooking the Inner
or Outer City. The Galaef was sitting in a chair behind a large desk. Again, readout screens and keyboards
were to his immediate left and right.
Thorne was standing near the right wall. His shoulders were straight, his demeanor was one of indifference,
and his eyes were cold, as they seemed to stare right through Ben's heart.
Jordan was sitting at a desk ten feet behind Thorne, and Mordrous was, again, to the Galaef’s left and five
meters in front of him.
Myra was sitting to the Galaef's right. She was holding a recording device.
Ben looked at her and realized she was too beautiful and too magnetic to be real. She was like the reborn
Phoenix—beautiful in all its splendor, but real only in mythology.
The Galaef turned as Ben came to a stop and said, “We have access to the computer complex," he gave Ben
a hearty smile. "I have decided," he continued, "that instead of having yourself and a team of scientists
searching for months, in that very large complex, it will be much more expedient for a large number of men to
start at the top and work toward the bottom."
Ben frowned slightly, but almost as if the Galaef were reading his mind, he said, "However, for the sake of
science, the men will be ordered to touch nothing except that which is necessary."
Ben nodded his approval.
As he watched the Galaef he noticed, through his peripheral vision, a look of contempt come over Thorne's
face. It seemed to be directed toward the Galaef.
He wondered how he could be the only one to notice Thorne's attitude.
"They will be looking for two things, the power supply room and a man in a suspended animation chamber.
"I would like to know if you have any suggestions that may help in this search."
Ben considered the situation. "How many men will be searching?" he asked.
"Two thousand men will be shuttled to the complex. We have a systematic, computer-planned search that
they'll be following.”
"Since you have that many men, I would start half of them searching from the top down and the other half
from the bottom up. If there is a man in a suspended animation chamber, they probably placed him deep in the
complex." He paused. "As far as the power supply room is concerned I could do no more than make a guess."
The Galaef looked pleased. "Thank you Professor. We'll let you know as soon as we find anything."
Assuming formality was still not a consideration, Ben turned and left without first bowing.
The lid was transparent.
The three men stood looking down at the man floating in some kind of liquid inside a coffin shaped chamber.
Hundreds of little black tubes protruding from the chamber pedestal, entered through the lid and attached to the
man's skin one per every square inch. There were so many of them, it was difficult to discern his features.
“It’s not possible," whispered the doctor.
"Yeah, it surprises the hell out of me, too," said Ben looking at the man in awe. And then he added in
thought, to say the least.
The man was totally nude, except for the black tubes, and his muscular frame measured close to six feet three
inches in length. The long, black hair, from his face and head, floated freely in the fluid, like strings of black
algae in a tropical fish tank.
"Of course it's possible," said the Galaef. "There he is." He spoke in such a loud voice, it seemed as though
he were being irreverent in a holy place.
"It's just hard to believe," said the doctor quietly. “I knew what we would be looking for when we left
Galactus VII, but I never expected to find a living being in a suspended animation chamber. Usually there is