The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

the run. If not, they choose the pits." He leaned back in his chair. "It makes no difference to me. Either way
we get rid of a rebel."
“The rebels, according to my reports, are increasing in number. It's been estimated that they've tripled since
last year."
Hurd’s mouth turned into a frown. "I have spies everywhere," he said. "I know all their plans before they've
even finished working out the details."
"Nevertheless," replied Thorne, "it would probably be beneficial to your cause and mine if you would tighten
your hold. Perhaps step up your rate of arrests."
Hurd glared at Thorne. "Believe me," he retorted, "we have the rebels under control. And if I ever need help
you'll be the first to hear me yell."
Thorne was sure he would.
"How are the plans for the new air force progressing?" Thorne was wondering how much money, through
black market crystals, he would have to donate to this new project.
Hurd ignored his question and eyed him suspiciously. "It seems to me that there is something more
important than the affairs of the city on your mind." He gave a nervous cough and cleared his throat.
Thorne smiled, but not with happiness in mind. It was a fact that he had never visited Hurd in person. Their
deals had always been made over the telecom or by way of couriers. He could tell Hurd was suspicious. He
leaned forward placing his elbows on his knees and looked Hurd in the eye. This last statement by Hurd
irritated him, as he wasn't quite ready to reveal his plan. First, he wanted to initiate a sense of need in Hurd.
From this point he would maneuver Hurd into accepting his takeover.
"You're too impatient, Hurd," said Thorne in a threatening tone. He stood up and walked over to the desk.
"Someday that might be your downfall," he said as he leaned on the desk.
Just then Hurd's bodyguard became alert. He shifted his stance and dropped his hand to the butt of his
Thorne was aware of the guard's movements, but he remained calm and seemingly very still as he leaned
closer toward Hurd.
Hurd again started twirling his mustache. "I have to take care of some rebels later this week," he said. He
signaled his bodyguard to relax. "And I have a council meeting in half an hour," he paused in contemplation.
"But if you wish it, I can cancel all my afternoon business."
"That won't be necessary. What I have to say won't take that long," said Thorne. He slipped the palm
stunner back under the sleeve of his body suit.
"What you have to say?" asked Hurd in mimicry.
Thorne straightened up. "We need complete privacy," he said.
"Yes, of course." Hurd made a gesture for his bodyguard to leave.
"Now," said Thorne as the guard exited and the door slid shut, "for the past several years my men have been
working on a plan that involves myself and the Federation. It also involves perfect timing." Thorne started
pacing the El carpet and then stopped. "However, the plan will no longer work." A flash of irritation penetrated
his expression. "The Galaef became so involved with that childish myth that he didn't even go home for the
annual Federation reports." Thorne started calmly pacing again.
"What is . . . or was your plan?" asked Hurd.
"You fool," said Thorne quietly. And then a little louder, "My plan is to take over as the new Galaef of the
Galactic Federation.
Hurd became almost silent with stupefaction. "You're going to overthrow the Galaef?" he asked in a
whisper. "That's not only impossible, it's unthinkable."
"No it's not," said Thorne. "Not when I have some of the best minds in the galaxy working for me." He
stopped in front of the desk and stared down at Hurd.
"It must have been a good plan for such a high risk."
"It was, but as I said the plan will no longer work." He smiled down at Hurd. "So it has been revised. You
see, all the key personnel are in place. Now it's just a matter of location." He slowly lowered himself into a
chair as he watched Hurd's face. He waited for the realization to set in.
"I hope your plan works." He paused while twirling his mustache. "You'll be the new Galaef. I won't have
to smuggle crystals anymore." The corners of his mouth turned up. "We'll both make . . . ." A look of terror
suddenly dominated his face. He jumped up from behind the desk. "You're telling me because I'm part of the
plan! Is that right?" He ran around the desk shaking with fright. "I'm part of the plan. Is that right?"