Special Delivery chapter of work in progress by Iris Carden
Angela and Martha picked Maria up after work, then they drove to the cruise ship terminal.
The shops were empty, windows smashed where people had accessed products they needed. There were no ships in port.
“I wonder what we’re looking for,” Angela said to the others.
A voice behind her answered, “A friend, maybe?”
She spun around. The other women followed suit.
She spun around, the other women following suit. Eric stepped out through a broken glass door. “Jamie and the rugrats send their love. Charlie here, and I need a place to hide out for a day or two, and somewhere to store some hardware.”
A second man stepped out behind Eric. “Are these the women we’re supposed to train to be bombers?” He had a New Zealand accent.
“Yes,” Angela said. “We have a place for you to hide out, and to store hardware, and yes, we are indeed the women who want to learn about bombs.”
In the journey back to Angela’s parent’s house, the soldiers explained they were one of a number of two person teams sneaking back into Brisbane, with weapons and explosives. They were going to set explosives in a number of key places, all set to explode at the same time, as the Australian and New Zealand forces landed, to retake the city. The same was happening in all the other capitals where the Zaratins had taken over. The plan was to quickly retake the capitals, before the Zaratins had the opportunity to spread out further into the regional areas.
Martha shook her head. “So much destruction already, and we’re going to be part of more.”
“We didn’t ask for war,” Eric said, “but we’re not just giving our country away.”
“We’re going to need a vehicle,” Eric said. “Something that isn’t conspicuous.”
“I guess we’re stopping at a car hire place on the way home,” Angela said. “Go for electric, we can recharge easily at home.”
They went home, via a used car yard.
With the newly-acquired car in the garage alongside the minibus, Angela opened the secret door and led the two soldiers into the bunker. She showed them the second exit in the forest as well.
“I’m afraid it could get crowded. This is where Mum and Dad hide if the Zaratins drop by. It’s that or a reeducation camp, or whatever they’re calling it.”
They decided to move Barry’s comic book stash to the stable, with other stored items, to make room for the explosives and weapons the soldiers had brought with them.
Over dinner that night, the soldiers repeated their plan, about spreading out over the city and setting explosives in strategic places, so they could all be detonated remotely as the military landed.
“It turns out, it’s not that hard to cross back over the border,” Eric said. “Zaratins aren’t patrolling the water or the air. They have access to everything on our bases and aren’t using it. We don’t think they know how. They’ve got these amazing space ships in each of the capital cities, with the beam weapons that can take down buildings, and they’ve got hand-held or tentacle-held weapons that are devastating, but they don’t seem to understand planes, cars, ships, trains, any of the things we take for granted.”
“That tracks with their financial understanding,” Angela added, “They have no concept of money. Everything is direct barter. They’re trying to contact other countries on Earth to begin trade negotiations, but they don’t understand currency, and no-one’s willing to talk to them. They don’t have private ownership. Everything belongs to the empire and is controlled by the empire.”
“If it helps anything at all, they don’t understand human physiology, or the structure of an organisation like a hospital. Every human there is a ‘healer’ and they think we can all treat any human injury or illness. They don’t understand that some roles are specialised. They have their own ‘healers’ who are apparently still on the space ship,” Maria said.
“I don’t think they understand complex structures of any sort,” Martha added. “They might claim to be ‘excellent students’, but much of our ancient history is beyond them. What I’ve learned from them is they have a senior official with them, and everyone else is pretty equal. Is there any chance one of those bombs could go in the senior official’s office?”
“I’ve met him, her, or it, whatever,” Angela said. “Their office is at the opposite end of the corridor from mine. I’ll find a way to get in there.”
“They seem to have very limited idea of how things should be, and are very inflexible. When I talked to my class about leaders who had to adapt to circumstances, they didn’t understand. They tell me there is a right way to do things, and things must be made to work that way.”
“They might be horrible octopus things, but they’ve got that right at least. There’s a right way to do things,” Mary said.
“Oh dear God,” Angela said. “We’ve been invaded by petty bureaucrats.”
“Yes, and our army ran away,” Edward said, looking pointedly at Eric.
“And where are the Americans?” Mary added.
“What Americans?” Charlie asked.
“You know, the ANZUS treaty. The Americans are supposed to come!”
“Ah, yeah. They’re not coming. You’ve got Australian and New Zealand forces. No-one else is coming. But don’t worry. We know what we’re doing.”
Angela had a horrible thought. “The Zaratins don’t understand our transport, they don’t understand medicine or currency, or complicated social structures. Despite all that, they have advanced space craft and weapons, and launched a co-ordinated attack on our state capitals, and effectively caused the military to retreat initially. Does anyone think they may have got their weapons, and their attack plans from someone else, someone we haven’t encountered yet who is very much smarter?”
Chapters of Colony
- Chapter 1 Supply Run
- Chapter 2 Fever Dream
- Chapter 3 Time to Leave
- Chapter 4 Homecoming
- Chapter 5 Maria and Adam
- Chapter 6 Communications Systems
- Chapter 7 Jamie’s Email
- Chapter 8 Census
- Chapter 9 Bunker
- Chapter 10 Work Allocation
- Chapter 11 Starting Work
- Chapter 12 Special Delivery
- Chapter 13 Claire
- Chapter 14 Betrayed
- Chapter 15 Bang!
- Chapter 16 Cats
- Chapter 17 Withdrawal (published soon)
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..