The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
Going this way wasn't a choice she wanted to make, but now it was the only way remaining. If she had to,
she would escape into the park, which was further from the apartment complexes than was safe for anyone out
after curfew. She knew that the danger on the streets was potentially worse than being caught by the patrollers.
Her only hope was to get to the middle passage, and spend the night at the bottom of the ladder. In the
morning, when the scents were shut down and locked away, she could emerge into the park and be on her way
The revolutionaries had been using the passages quite a bit, and the footprints in the dust and fungus were
leading in all directions, because of this they wouldn't be able to track her, and they might figure she had made
her escape before the other two patrollers had arrived in the main. Her hand, groping along the wall, suddenly
touched nothing but air. It was the middle passage. She turned to her right and continued into the dark.
She walked toward an iron ladder, which would take her up to the metal hatch. Pushing it open, she would
climb into the small city park. The park was only a block long and contained high reaching trees near the
periphery. The grass was short and never grew more than an inch in height. There were no insects and no
birds, the flowers were never pollinated, and the trees never lost their leaves. It reminded Viella of Nature
She thought back when several weeks before, uniformed men had arrived in the park with a lot of equipment.
It was rumored they were the Galaef's men on a secret mission, but what they were doing, no one knew. They
had used heavy duty disintegrators to dig two holes about fifty feet apart, and finally, when the digging was
done, they covered the holes with small domes and placed armed guards at the doorways.
The structures looked strange, protruding from the green grass of the park like two huge cream-colored
mushrooms with doors in their stems and transparent windows in their heads. They were protecting something
valuable, but no one knew what. It was rumored that an ancient underground building had been discovered.
Perhaps all those men, who went in and out, were scientists exploring an archeological find. She wondered
about one man in particular. He had smiled at her as he stepped out of one of the domes. Smiles were rare in
Newusa, especially from those who considered themselves important. He was not much taller than average, but
he had broad shoulders with well-formed muscles. His brown curly hair fell on his forehead. She thought that
she would like to know him better.
Just then she struck a rock with her foot bringing her thoughts back to her present situation.
Her groping didn't last long. She reached the metal ladder and sat down to rest.
Hopefully the patrollers wouldn't follow her down this passage. If they did, she would either have to give up
or flee into the night, which would mean she would be taking a chance of meeting with a horrible death. The
choice would be a difficult one to make. If it had to be, she hoped it would be the right one.
She waited for at least an hour. Her eyes were growing heavy, and she was beginning to nod. It seemed they
had lost her. Good, she thought, only half conscious. She slipped further into a light sleep, knowing that in the
morning everything would be okay.
Abruptly, she was startled out of her light slumber. Voices were coming down the passage. She stood up
and listened, trying to convince herself she had dreamed it, but again, the voices, and this time louder. And they
were coming her way. She put her hand on the ladder. Now was the time to make her decision. She thought
for only a moment, then started up the ladder. This way she had a chance. In the crystal pits there was no
chance. She lifted the metal lid and emerged into the park. She waited. She listened.
She walked cautiously toward one of the trees.
Her friend's apartment was only eight blocks away. She had a good chance of getting there unhurt.
She walked across the grass, then between two of the trees on the edge of the park, and across the street to
the front of a large department store. The apartment complexes would be her haven of safety. The doors would
be unlocked, and she would be able to get in from the danger of the night.
She began running. She had to hurry. Only seven more blocks and her worries would be over. She ran
across the street and down the next block.
Somewhere in the back of her mind a nagging fear told her to go back. It told her that because of the
distance there was no hope in her mad dash. Her decision to run for the apartment complexes was wrong. No
one went outside at nighttime with the intent of traveling more than two blocks, or three at the very most.
Death was almost always imminent.
Just then, as if fate had decided to prove her right with a horrible sense of irony, from above, like the soft