The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
"Relax Hurd. The plan won't fail. And as you were about to say we'll both be rich."
"But I don't want to die a horrible death!" cried Hurd.
"It won't fail," said Thorne in an irritated tone.
"It's a horrible death," whined Hurd. "A horrible death."
Thorne was amazed by Hurd's out pour of fear. "If you're so afraid, carry a suicide pill."
Hurd calmed down a little. "Yeah," he gulped audibly. "I will." He leaned back against the desk and wiped
the perspiration from his forehead. "I will," he said again. “That makes good sense.” It seemed that the idea
presented by Thorne had made him feel a little easier about the situation. "Tell me about the plan," he said in a
Thorne rose from the chair. "There will be a meeting tomorrow at three o'clock in this office." Thorne
glared at him. "Be here. And don't bring your body guard."
Hurd walked around the desk and sat down. "Who else will be here?" he asked. There was a slight tremor in
"The Galaef, myself, and Myra. Which means, if you haven't figured it out yet, the takeover is tomorrow."
"But . . . "
"There are lots of but's, and they've all been dealt with."
"I don't understand how you can take over, even with the Galaef dead." For clarification of his question he
added, "The Federation computers will never respond to your voice pattern."
"Taken care of," said Thorne. "Everything is taken care of." He knew that aboard the Commander he had
the holder of the key.
"If that's true, if all the details have been worked out . . . ." Hurd’s mouth turned into a greedy smile.
Hurd flicked off the computer's read out screen. The odds of Thorne's success of overthrowing the Galaef
and taking over the Galactic Empire were better than he had anticipated. He leaned back, and with his foot he
spun his chair one hundred and eighty degrees until he was looking up at Teddy Roosevelt. He sat stroking his
mustache. With the knowledge at hand, the computers gave Thorne an eighty-five point six three three per cent
chance of success, and if this were an accurate read-out, and if Thorne was able to step into the position of
Galaef, that would mean Hurd would rise in power too. Thorne would be grateful for his help, and he might
give him the entire solar system or maybe a galactic sector.
He heard a slight hum and spun his chair back in time to see a small red light flashing on one of the control
panels. He pushed a button. "Yes?"
"It's your wife on line one, sir," said his secretary's voice over the speaker.
"Very good," said Hurd. He pushed another button. "Hello Sweetie Pie," he said in a honey-dripping voice.
. . . . .
"He did? That darn little pooch. I'll give him a good talking to when I get home."
. . . . .
"No, I won't be home 'til later this afternoon."
. . . . .
"It's not that Honey Pie. I have to take care of some business—you know, some of those darn, nasty rebels."
. . . . .
"Okay Sweetie. I'll see you later this afternoon. Bye bye."
Hurd rang off and pushed the button which signaled his secretary. "Send Juez in when he gets here."
"He's here, sir," she replied.
"Okay, send him in."
If something went wrong with Thorne's plan, he'd pop the pill—a painless way to bail out. And indeed a
much better way out than the traitor's death, which involved torture and mutilation or even worse, the zi pits.
At that moment, Juez walked through the doorway. He was a tall man with white hair, brown skin, and a
dignified look. If ever Hurd had met a man’s man , it was Juez. He walked across the room and came to a halt
a couple of feet from Hurd's desk. "What do you want?" he asked.
Hurd looked Juez in the eye and snickered. Here was the people's champion, always trying to help those in