Colony Chapter Nine

Drawing of a beam coming from a flying saucer, causing fire. Caption reads: "Colony Work in progress."

Bunker chapter of work in progress by Iris Carden

The daily message on the tv advised that all humans would receive their work allocation in the next few days.  Those who had been assessed as being unable to work would be transported to institutions, where they would learn skills if they were able, and if they were unable their illness or disability that made them unable would be treated.

Angela suggested once more that her parents might be better being smuggled out if the “underground railway” came to fruition.  Her parents once more insisted that they were not leaving their home.

“”Institutions’, sounds like they mean concentration camps,” Angela said. “Surely you’d rather escape than go to one.”

“I will not be driven out of my home!” her father responded.

“Alternatively, we’re going to have to come up with a way to hide you both from the Zaratins, because they know you are here and will come looking for you,” Martha said.

“We could always hide in Barry’s bunker,” Mary said.

“Barry’s bunker?” Angela asked. “Barry had a bunker? You have got to be kidding me.”

“Who is Barry?” Martha asked.

“Barry was my brother.  He was very troubled.  Paranoid schizophrenia.  I tried to help him.  Took him to the hospital.  They said he was a danger to himself and others.  The hospital committed him and tried to get him to accept treatment.  Mum and Dad got a lawyer and they managed to get him free.  He survived two days after he left the hospital.”  Angela didn’t look up at anyone while she told the story.

“You should never have taken him to that awful place,” Mary said.  “You were just jealous he was always smarter than you, that he didn’t need a fancy education like you, he was an entrepreneur. He was going places, and you were jealous.”

“He was always sure aliens were coming to bring on the apocalypse, in the end he actually wore aluminium foil wrapped around his head so they couldn’t read his thoughts,” Angela said.

“And he was right,” Edward said.  “The aliens were coming! They’re here now.”

“But they weren’t reading his thoughts and speaking to him through his cornflakes,” Angela insisted.

“How do you know?” Edward said.  “My son is dead because you took him to that place where they broke his spirit, just because you were such a spiteful brat.”

Martha put her arm around Angela’s shoulders.  

“I think the important thing here and now, is where is this bunker, and what state is it in?” Adam said.  “Is it a secure place you can stay if the Zaratins come to round you up?”

“It’s just up the hill, behind the house.  There’s an entrance, covered by leaf litter in the forest,” Edward said.  “It’s three years since anyone was there, but he had it planned and equipped by experts.  My Barry was a brilliant young man, and he was expert at planning things like this.”

“Well, let’s go take a look,” Adam said.

“I’ll have to stay here, “ Martha said,  “I won’t make it walking through the forest.”

“Or you could go through the door in the garage,” Mary said.

“There’s a door in the garage?” Angela asked.  “How did I not know about it?”

“It’s in the storage area, in the garage, behind the shelves.  It was built after you moved out,” Mary said.  “You didn’t think life here just stopped when you left, did you?”

They all went to the garage, the older members of the group using the lift.  

In the storage area at the back of the garage was a set of shelves, containing the assorted brick-a-brack that gathers in such places.  Edward pulled the shelf forward. It slid easily, and was shown to be a concealed door.

Behind that was a metal door with a keypad beside it.  Edward typed in the numbers: 1, 2, 3 ,4, 5. 

Angela shook her head, convinced her parents were just as unwell as her brother had been. The metal door swung open, and revealed a large room built into the hill behind the house.  

“There’s this room, here, it’s the lounge, then there’s the kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms, and a store room,” Edward said.  “Barry wanted two bedrooms, so Mary and I could be safe along with him when the aliens came.”

“Where do power, water and air come from?” Adam asked.

“Oh, it’s all tied into the house supply,” Edward said.  “So it uses the solar and battery from the house, the water and sewerage connections, and the ducted air conditioning from the house continues on in here. Barry thought of everything.”

“So if the Zaratins destroyed the house the same way they destroyed most of the buildings in the city, this would all be useless?” Angela said.

“Why would they destroy the house?” Mary asked.

“Why would they do anything?” Angela asked.

“It might not be a good shelter if the house was destroyed,” Martha said, “but it could be a very good hiding place for Edward and Mary to evade transportation to an institution.  Even if Zaratins searched the house, it would be unlikely they would find this door, especially if Angela had Luci patrolling the garage. It might also be a good hiding place for anyone involved in this underground railway if it gets under way.  I think we should check what supplies are in the store room, in case they are needed.”

A check of supplies showed that what Barry had stored in case of invasion was a large supply of comic books, potato chips and lollies.  The chips were out of date.  Fortunately, they only planned to count on the bunker as a short-term hiding space, and supplies needed could come from the house or the stockpile in the old stable.

Please note: these chapters are the very raw first draft, what appears in the final book may be different. The working title has changed from Survival to Colony, as has the draft cover art, and they may or may not change again before I finish writing the book..

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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