The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
bastard. God damn you, not my daughter."
He jerked out the phasor and fired, but the red ray bounced harmlessly off the shield and burned a hole in the
A split second later a blue ray flashed out from the corner and hit Juez full on the shoulder. Hurd's
bodyguard had been quick to react.
Hurd turned off the field and walked around the desk. He stood over Juez. "Your whole body is paralyzed,
but you can still hear me." He turned him over with his foot so he could look him in the eye. "This outburst of
yours will cost your son and daughter one week of hard labor in the pits." He pointed a finger at Juez. "You're
a foolish man, Juez. You don't want me dead. If anything happens to me, the warden has his orders to kill them
both. So you’re going to be like a second body guard, keeping me happy and alive." Hurd pulled at his long
black mustache. "One more fact, Juez, your daughter hasn't been caught yet, but it won't be long. You see, the
Galaef wants her as bad as I do."
He looked at his bodyguard. "Have someone take him home. And have the secretary send someone in to fix
this hole. He pointed at the charred plastic in the ceiling. "When you're finished I'll be in the council
Hurd chuckled to himself. His worst opposition was now his best asset. Antagonist turned comrade. The
people of the city would no longer have their champion. The sheep would no longer have their watchdog. Yes,
he had defeated the white knight. He became mirthful and laughed out loud. Indeed, this was a good day.
He stepped through the door and walked down the hall. Now it was time for the council meeting.
Young Bo Whimple, perhaps the quietest of the three councilmen, was sitting behind the long rectangular
desk with a cup of Arian coffee in his left hand and a pencil in his right, which he slowly and methodically
tapped on the metallic surface of the desk. In his mind he was in a turmoil of emotions. He hated Hurd and
what he stood for, and yet he had to pretend to agree with his plans. He had to protect his family.
He shifted his weight in the form-fitting chair and set the pencil down in front of him. He knew there would
be another fight today between Juez and Hurd. Among the minor squabbles there was always one of two issues
which would become a heated feud between the two of them—either the raising of city taxes or the building of
an army and an air force.
Neither of them would give in, so every week one of these two issues was put on the agenda and brought up
Bo thought about Hurd's shouting tantrums which never did any good since Juez would always have the
upper hand. The law was written such that it took a unanimous decision by the council to pass changes in the
constitution or changes which dealt with taxes, and since Juez was holding out, Hurd would never get his
motions passed, unless, of course, he found a way to get rid of Juez. And it surprised Bo that this hadn't already
Twelve years ago Bo was nothing more than a stock boy, not even a glorified stock boy, on the third floor of
the tower. He was scraping out a living with a meager wage by running errands, keeping the secretaries stocked
with office supplies, and by keeping the stockroom in order and up to date. Then one day Hurd stepped off the
etron mover on the third floor, looked around at the personnel, saw Bo, and called him over. "I've heard good
things about you, son—you're intelligent, you have a good personality, and most importantly, you get along
with those around you, and you always do what you're told."
"Yes sir," stammered Bo, not knowing how to respond to the most powerful man in the government.
"I guess you've heard the bad news about Councilman Hy Landers?"
The corners of Hurd's mouth turned down. "Early this morning Mr. Landers met with an unfortunate
accident, either that or he committed suicide. Either way, he fell thirty stories to his death." He paused for a
moment of silence as a show of respect for the recently departed, and then he continued. "An hour later two of
the other councilmen resigned. I guess they couldn't stand the stress of big city business." He put his hand on
Bo's shoulder. "Anyway, out of bad things oftentimes come good things, and this is good for you because I'm
making you one of the new councilmen."