The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

She was lying, panting in the dust, gingerly feeling her knee where she had injured it when crashing to the
tunnel floor. It was skinned and raw just below the kneecap with the blood slowly congealing around the edge,
but still leaking from the center. Just then, a new pain suddenly bit into her consciousness, and she could feel
her shoulder burning from the phasor bolt. She explored the wound and found that blisters had already formed.
It was painful for her to move her arm in any direction. The skin was seared and made a slight crackling sound
when she pushed on it with her fingers. If the bolt had been a few inches lower, she would have been in the
hands of the patrollers, being cared for so they could send her to the crystal pits to die a slow death.
She sat up wondering about her pursuers. If they had enough stored energy remaining in their power packs,
it would take them at least half an hour with their phasors set on low power to burn through the door, or if they
decided to go back through the nearest access tunnel into the main and then along the tracks to the station and to
the tunnel she was in, it would still take them fifteen minutes, unless they ran all the way, which she knew they
She had time and if she was going to make an escape, it had to be now.
With a lot of effort she stood to her feet and began groping along the wall. The tunnel was pitch black
making her progress slow. She put one foot in front of the other, being careful not to trip over any debris. The
main tunnel was about a hundred yards ahead. If she could make it that far with no nasty surprises, and if there
were no patrollers in the underground station, she could escape to her friend's apartment and spend the night
They hadn't recognized her—she was sure of that. They hadn't had time to scan her with a body analyzer.
And they hadn't taken any pictures. If they captured her brother, he wouldn't tell them anything. If she knew
her brother, he would name off one of the councilman's wives. She was fairly certain Everette wouldn't name
her, since he had already had a family member tortured and put to death by Hurd, and besides, he was a
mountain man—true and loyal to his friends. She didn’t know about Samsung, but she sensed that he was a
fierce and honorable warrior and that he would say nothing. And as far as a mind melt, they wouldn’t go to that
expense for one rebel, nor would they take the chance of permanent brain damage—after all Hurd wanted men
for the ‘run,’ and he needed men to mine his crystals.
Yes, she would fit back into society with no one suspecting her. And if her brother, Everette, and Samsung
were captured, she would do what she could to help them escape.
She remembered that there was a middle passage somewhere ahead on the left, which traversed about fifty
yards to a ladder taking anyone who climbed it into the park. It was a possible route of escape, but because of
the scent, she would use this means of escape only as a last resort.
Instead of groping for the opening into the passage, she kept her hand on the wall to the right and moved on.
As she approached the large tunnel, her hopes began to crumble. There were new voices, and they were
talking in excited tones. Since an all out revolution hadn't started yet, this was probably the most excitement
they had had in weeks.
She moved closer until the voices were clear enough to hear.
"So far they've only caught one of them," said a gruff voice.
"Yeah, but I don't think the other three will get far," said a more moderate, optimistic voice.
"I hope not. If they get away, Hurd might take it out on us."
"I don't think so," replied the other voice. "If anything he would take it out on the Captain, maybe bust him
down to a Sergeant."
"Maybe, but sometimes Hurd's in a bad mood, and he takes it out on everybody involved. Just a couple
years ago he sent a whole squad to the pits. You remember that?"
"Sure. But that was different."
"There ain't no difference when he's in a bad mood." The gruff voice was obviously not happy with the
"I still don't think . . ."
Viella had heard enough. Samsung had been caught, but there was nothing she could do about that. She had
to think. The two patrollers were too close for her to escape through the main tunnel. She assumed they were
posted at this location in case one of the revolutionaries made it back this far. She carefully turned around
moving slowly so as not to make any noise and started toward the middle passage.