The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
more clearly. She wanted to run to Samsung, but he was in a state of stun, and she knew he was too heavy to
carry. She wanted to warn Sam and Everette.
They probably heard her scream, but maybe not. She raced down the tunnel toward their location, sweeping
the handbeam back and forth as she went.
She had only gone a short distance when her light swept across two patrollers sneaking up the tracks. She
swept it back again, and there they were holding phasors, ready to fire.
They saw her light, and one of them spun around searching for her. He shone his light in her direction.
As his handbeam lit her up she suddenly felt like she was standing in a spotlight, but not for a song and
dance number. And just then a red phasor bolt went beaming past her head. It wasn't from the patroller, which
meant either Sam or Everette had fired the shot.
Damn, she thought, one of them almost put my lights out—for good.
The two patrollers started firing back, and just like that phasor bolts were being shot in both directions. They
were lighting up the tunnel walls in demon-fire red and aqua-sky blue.
To go forward would be suicide, as she would be in the middle of a shootout. And it wasn’t necessary
anyway. Sam and Everette had been warned, and they could fend for themselves. She turned and started racing
toward the patroller who had held her in his grasp. She knew that across the tracks from him and down the
main tunnel about twenty paces was an access tunnel.
It was only a short distance before she would be upon him. She jumped down to the tracks and kept running.
He would see the light from her handbeam, but she had no choice except to keep shining it forward in the black
of the tunnel. It wouldn’t be a good thing to trip over one of the railroad ties.
Just then she heard more patrollers coming up the tunnel.
She ran faster. She jumped over three sets of tracks as she ran to the far side. She kept sweeping the light in
front of her, and then along the side of the main tunnel. She was looking for her only means of escape. And
then there it was—the access tunnel.
She crouched lower as she darted for it. She sprinted up the metal ladder, started across the walkway, and
was almost there when suddenly a blue light reflected off the walls, and a phasor-bolt hit the doorway just
above her head.
The man, no longer hopping around in pain, but lying on the ground, had squeezed off a shot, and then
another as several more patrollers rounded the bend.
The second shot missed, and Viella ducked inside the access tunnel. As she started down the tunnel, she
heard the guard yell out, “The bitch broke my foot. Go get her!”
They were catching up, and she could hear the echoes of their footfalls. A phasor bolt hit the tunnel wall
beside her and dissipated in a brilliant, red flash. They switched to ‘kill,’ she thought. They no longer want to
capture me. From the sounds of boot leather hitting the floor she estimated they were forty yards behind in the
low, dark tunnel.
Unexpectedly she came to a dead end. Her heart leapt into her throat as she believed the tunnel had ended
and all was lost, but then she saw the bend and the tunnel continued into the dark.
She lengthened her pace and tried to speed up her stride, but running wasn’t easy, even with her short stature.
The tunnel, no more than five feet from the floor to the ceiling and had been carved through solid rock.
Explosives had to be used causing the tunnel to be roughly hewn. It was irregular with abrupt turns.
She ran hard in a crouched position. Her head was bent while trying to look ahead. She avoided stepping on
chunks of rock lying on the tunnel floor. She crouched lower as she jumped over a large patch of slimy, orange
fungus expanding the width of the tunnel and growing up the walls.
She knew the men behind her had the same problem with running and even more since they were taller and
had to stoop lower. The sound of their running, which echoed through the tunnel, grew fainter. She was putting
distance between her and them.
For only a moment she took her light off the floor and shone it ahead trying to see the opening into the
workman's tunnel, but this quick glance turned out to be a painful mistake. She didn't see the rock in time,
stepped on it, and went sprawling to the ground. An excruciating pain shot up her leg, and she felt a warm