The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
"And what will you do with her?" asked Ben in a mumbled voice, "send her through the impossible Run?"
He hadn't meant to ask the question out loud. It just seemed to blurt out before he realized it was audible.
"We will give her a choice," responded Hurd. He attempted to cover his shock, but Ben could see it in his
face. "Rebels must be dealt with for the good of the city," he said. "You're an archaehistorian. You must
"I've studied enough history to understand many political situations." He was tired of playing games with
this over-inflated egomaniac. "And I understand that politicians love to paint a pretty picture of themselves,
even when it's far from the truth, . . . such as yourself, for instance."
Hurd's face turned red. "You've been listening to false rumors!" he blared.
"I don't think they're so false," said Ben calmly. “And you know what I find amusing? Once when I was
reading some literature from an ancient earth dig I came across a description of a villain who had a long, black
handle bar mustache, which he constantly twirled as he was thinking of his evil deeds—past, present, and
future. Now I wonder, is that a coincidence with no significance, or is it a sign of your true nature?
“Ben!” said the Galaef.
Obviously the Galaef was thinking that insulting the head councilman of the city of Newusa was not a good
political tactic, especially when he had control of the Z-crystals.
Ben was sure the Galaef was going to continue, maybe with a reprimand to Ben and an apology to Hurd, but
just then Thorne walked in and everyone became quiet.
Thorne turned his head both ways, observing the room. He looked at the Galaef, who had turned to see who
it was, and then at the two guards.
What happened next took less than a second. Thorne raised both his hands, which were clenched as fists into
the air, uncurled his fingers, which flared toward the ceiling, and fired two small palm stunners.
Two blue streaks flashed out, at ninety degree angles to each other, one of them hitting the Galaef full in the
chest, spinning him around and slamming him across the top of Hurd's desk while the other one brought down
the guard directly to the left.
In an instant Thorne adjusted his right hand and with another bolt brought down the other guard who had just
drawn his phasor. As the guard fell toward the floor, the muscle spasms, which gripped his body, caused the
phasor to go spinning wildly across the room. It was lying about five feet from Ben when it stopped whirling
across the El Carpet.
At first Ben couldn't believe what he was seeing. Was Thorne out of his mind? Was he suicidal? Was there
some logical reason for what he was doing? But Ben remained in shock for only a moment. He started to rise
from his chair . . . if he could get to that phasor . . .
But he didn't.
Thorne pointed his left hand at him. "You won't make it," he said.
And Ben knew he was right. He sat slowly back into the chair waiting to see what would happen next.
"Get the phasor," said Thorne.
Hurd hurried around the desk and picked up the phasor.
Thorne walked to the desk, grabbed hold of the Galaef, and sat him in a chair. "I now declare myself," he
said seriously, "the Federation's new Galaef."
"You won't be able to get by his personal body guard," said Ben.
Thorne smiled in a knowing manner. "Actually, that's not true," he retorted. "You see these two lying on the
floor . . . They're the only two not working for me."
"It must be an extremely intricate plan if you think you can pull this off."
"Intricate with many purposes," Thorne said and pointed at Taul. "This man has been neglectful of his
duties—duties that have been placed on his shoulders for the good of the Galaxy." He paused. "That's just one
of many," he added.
"Then you've done the right thing," said Ben. From everything he had read or was told which involved all
the failsafe systems built into the Galaefship it was virtually impossible to overthrow the Galaef. Thorne was
obviously a . . . what was that ancient Earth term? Cracked? A nut?
"You don't really think I'm stupid enough to believe you're on my side . . . do you?" asked Thorne.
"Wait a minute," said Ben. "I'm not on anybody's side. I have nothing to do with politics. But if I did, I'd
say you'll make a fine Galaef." He looked from Thorne to Taul. "And now that it's over, I need to get back to
"Get back to work?" yelled Hurd. He pointed at Ben and looked at Thorne. "I want this man," he said