The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version

Bo was shocked by this sudden turn of events, "I thought councilmen had to be elected."
"Actually," said Hurd with a tone of serious business in his voice, "we've passed a new law which allows the
head councilman to appoint new members to the council."
And that was that.
Later Bo was to realize that Hurd had never read a file on him nor had he ever seen him before that day.
Here was a timid looking stock boy who would be easy to manipulate, easy to bully into passing any new law
which Hurd saw as an enhancement to his station. But what Hurd didn't know, and maybe it didn't matter since
Bo did everything Hurd wanted, was that Bo hated him as much or more than anybody in the city because of
what he was doing to the people. And, in spite of his unexpected and greatly undeserving raise in position—
being a city councilman, and in spite of his greatly increased salary, and his elevated status, Bo had decided a
long time ago to do everything in his power to bring Hurd down as hard and as low as possible.
As Bo sat thinking about the past and whether or not it would be possible to overthrow Hurd, the other two
councilmen in the room, Went Chen and Tylr Rono were discussing the ramifications of creating an army and
an air force for the city.
At no surprise to Bo, Went, playing his role well, was arguing that they should do exactly what Hurd wanted.
He was like a dog licking at Hurd's heels and waiting to perform his every command. He pretended to jump,
lie, sit, play dead, kill that woman and her baby. It didn't matter what it was, Went would do it.
On the other hand, even though Tylr did whatever Hurd wanted, he still believed it was logical to consider all
the alternatives.
Just then the door slid open and Hurd stood in the doorway with a frown on his face. As he surveyed the
councilmen he walked across the room and sat in his seat at the head of the council table. "I talked to Juez only
a few minutes ago, and he told me he won't be able to make it to the meeting, something about his daughter.
So, we'll have the meeting without him." He looked at Went and nodded. "So, let's get started."
Went looked at the agenda sheet in front of him. "The first order of business," he said, "is the Mountain
Men. Two days ago one of the clans was attacked on the Pike two miles from the spaceport by armed bandits
and every one of them was robbed and killed."
"So what's the order of business?" asked Hurd in a mild surprise, almost bordering on amusement.
"Once again, Everette, the leader of the Unified Clans is requesting an armed escort for the pack trains to and
from the space port."
Hurd looked at the three councilmen. "Does anyone have a comment?"
Bo said, "It doesn't seem to be an unreasonable request."
"Nonsense," boomed Hurd. "We have enough problems of our own without taking on those of the renegade
Mountain Clans. If we start financing an armed guard along the pike, then we'll have to more than double the
city taxes." Hurd paused for a moment, then lowered his voice. "I'm only thinking of the people of our fair
city. If the Mountain men want more protection, let them pay for it themselves, after all they have the money."
Hurd paused. "Any more comments?"
Since no one said anything Hurd asked for a vote to have the Mountain Clans pay for their own protection
along the Pike. Everyone raised their hand except Bo, who slowly raised his hand after a glare from Hurd.
"Good," said Hurd. "Now, what's next on the agenda?"
Went looked at his sheet. "Memorial services will be held in two days for the policemen who were killed
while capturing the rebels two weeks ago. Eulogies will be given at the Earth Christ Church and, as usual,
black arm bands will be required."
Hurd slapped his hand on the desk. "They were good men, damn it, doing their jobs, keeping these nasty
rebels at bay, and keeping them from their desire of tearing our great city apart." He looked solemn for a
moment. "Damn those rebels,—they were great men. And who had to inform the wives of their deaths? Why,
me, of course."
Went scribbled on the sheet. "Will you be attending the services, sir?"
"Of course I will, as will all of you," said Hurd firmly. He looked from one councilman to the next as they
nodded in agreement. "Now what's next on the agenda?"
"The plans to build an army and an air force, sir."
"Ah," exclaimed Hurd. "I have good news. Juez told me today that he will give his consent to build the
armed forces. He feels, like me, that we need the means to protect ourselves from any possible invasion from
foreign powers."
Went clapped his hands several times.