Claire chapter of work in progress by Iris Carden
There was a Zaratin official at the gate. The soldiers, Edward and Mary all headed to the bunker.
Angela went to greet the official at the front door.
It was not one, but two Zaratins, and they were dragging a badly beaten woman. Angela recognised her as the woman with the megaphone from the protest.
One of the Zaratins said: “This residence has space for more humans. The human Claire Moody has been assigned to live here. Claire Moody will report for her assigned work at nine tomorrow morning.
Without waiting for response, the Zaratins left. Angela was always horribly fascinated that they didn’t turn around. As if they had no front or back, they simply dragged themselves out with the tentacles which faced in that direction.
She reflected that without land-based transport, they must “walk” incredible distances.
Maria got the first aid kit and began attending to Claire Moody’s wounds.
“Can we trust you?” Martha asked the injured woman.
“Can you trust me? Why should I trust you? You’re collaborators,” the woman answered. She obviously remembered Angela and Martha.
“I don’t think we have a choice,” Angela said. “I don’t know how we hide anything from someone in our house.”
“I’ll go get the others,” Adam said.
When everyone from the bunker was in the room, introductions were made.
Mary and Edward were ignored when they protested about yet another uninvited guest in their house.
Claire didn’t seem to quite yet understand what was happening. Maria suspected she had a concussion.
“Where will you be working?” Angela asked.
“I’m not working with collaborators!”
“Where were you assigned to work?”
“You can’t interrogate me.”
Angela shrugged. “OK, well, maybe when you feel better. Bombs, anyone?”
Eric and Charlie began explaining that the bombs they’d brought were remote activated and all Angela and Martha would need to do was to place them where they’d cause the most disruption to the Zaratins, as a distraction for the military coming in.
Charlie brought a bomb out of the bunker. It was a small, square cardboard box that gave no indication of its contents.
“It’s totally safe until the signal is sent for it to detonate,” he said. “You can drop it, throw it, kick it. Whatever you want. Just don’t put it in a rubbish compactor, and don’t be anywhere near it when the detonation signal’s sent.”
“We’ll tell you when it’s going to go off,” Eric added, “or if we’re somewhere else, you’ll get an email from Jamie. We’ll give you plenty of warning.”
It had taken a while, but things finally seemed to click for Claire. “You’re not collaborators. It’s a front. You’re rebels.”
“Yes,” said Angela, “so are you meant to be working anywhere important to the Zaratins?”
“What will my group think of me, if I go to a job the invaders assign to me?”
“Exactly what you thought of us when you saw us going to work at Parliament House,” Martha said. “But they will be wrong, just as you were wrong.”
“I was a tv producer,” Claire said. “I’m supposed to help them get their stupid announcements on air, and get some other programming back, so humans will be distracted from what’s happening.”
Eric smiled. “When the time comes, would you be able to get a message from the military out to people? If you went to work?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know how much of the studio is still working, or how everything’s being organised now. I guess I could try.”
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
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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