The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

tossed away from the evil scent. Her mind was befuddled. She squirmed and fought to turn her body ever so
slightly and then she saw the man's face, confident with a powerful look in his eyes. Why was he here? Who
was he? Perhaps a fellow rebel. But it didn't matter. Now two, instead of one, would die a horrible death being
mutilated with razor-sharp blades. All the lanes of escape were impossible to reach. The doors of the fabric
houses, the food centers, the department stores, and all the public buildings were locked. There was no way in.
In desperation she grasped his muscular arm and felt his strength—arms of steel, but the power of sinew
wouldn’t save them now. If he had arrived in a transport, there would be a means of escape, but as she quickly
looked around, to her added horror she didn't see one. The only other means of escape were the unlocked doors
of the residential buildings, which were too far away for them to outrun the slicing horror of the scent.
Together then, they would die. She felt sorrow for this stranger that he should die too. Yet, for some reason,
which she didn't understand, she felt easier about dying. Perhaps knowing that there is company makes it
easier. She felt an instant comradery with him. Even though they were about to die, and even though she felt
sad that he was going to die too, she had an easier feeling not being alone.
She could tell from his movements that he was swift, and as he swept her up and moved toward the door, his
agility seemed greater than that of most men his size, but it didn't matter. The sorrow she felt increased. She
could feel his confidence unbounded, but all for naught.
As she looked over his shoulder she could see the scent arcing toward them. It was close enough now that
she could see the double circular sheen from the razor sharp blades glinting light in the night. The sound of the
magnetic motor was louder. She could already taste the steel of the scent as the blades cut through her flesh,
bones, and muscles.
The man put his hand on the palm lock of the fabric house door.
Only a key would open this door.
Oh my God, she thought, I should have chosen the crystal pits. In death there is no hope. In the pits, there is
always that possibility of escape or rescue. And if the revolution is started, the possibility of escape is even
greater. She had made a fatal mistake, and now she would end up a pile of mutilated flesh.
Then the unexpected, she heard the subtle whoosh of a sliding door, and in another instant the man was
running down the main aisle of the store with her tucked under his arm. "My God," she said in a voice of
wonder. "How did you open the door?"
The death-seeking scent appeared in the doorway just as the door was sliding shut. A hacking sound erupted
as the whirling blades chopped against the door and then there was a loud thud. One of the razor-sharp blades
was caught between the door and the doorjamb. The thing beat itself several times against the side of the
building and then a small wisp of smoke appeared from the blade slot just before the blade finally broke. The
scent fell to the ground and rolled lifelessly into the street.
The door was wedged open with the blade protruding into the store, like the sickle of death reaching for its
prey. The night air rushed in.
Viella breathed a sigh of relief. "You can put me down now," she said softly to the man who had saved her
He lowered her until her feet touched the floor, and then let go. When she turned and looked up at him she
was startled by the glassy sheen of his eyes. It almost appeared that there was a feint light radiating from the
pupils. Viella knew it couldn’t be so. "Who are you?" she asked.
The man said nothing.
The light in the store was dim, but her eyes became accustomed, and she could make out his countenance.
He was a large man, almost as large as the pictures of the Galaef, which she had seen on the home viewer. He
had long dark hair hanging to his shoulders and surrounding the supple features of his handsome face. It looked
recently shaven. His frame was thin, but not too thin. His muscles rippled and his stomach was flat.
Maybe he’s an android, she thought. Androids have inhuman strength. She dismissed the idea. She had
seen the bloody cut on his forehead and had felt the warmth of his skin. Androids don’t have blood, at least, not
red blood.
Maybe he’s an off-worlder.
She looked at his thighs, and at that moment she realized he was standing totally naked. She admired his
pose, but at the same time her face turned red.
"Who are you?" she asked again almost in a whisper.
He said nothing.
Maybe God had sent him specifically for her rescue. He appeared out of nowhere and whisked her to safety.