Colony Chapter Fourteen

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

Betrayed chapter of work in progress by Iris Carden

Angela was anxious as she walked into work.  In her bag she carried six of the bombs.  Martha had another four.  As the went their seperate ways, they held each other’s gaze for an extra couple of seconds.

Throughout the day, Angela sought out the best places to place the boxes.  She left one in a file drawer in her own office, hoping she would not be present when it was detonated.  

Later, she was able to slip one in a drawer in the office next to the senior Zaratin official’s office. Others, she hid throughout the building. 

She was at her desk, still with no actual work to do as there were no actual trade agreements between the Zaratins and anyone, when she received a text from Martha with one word: “Run.”

She picked up her bag, and casually made her way towards the exit, while texting Adam: “Red alert.”

She was almost at the exit when a tentacle grabbed her arm.  “Angela James, who records trades, you will come now,” the machine voice of a Zaratin behind her said. 

A second Zaratin approached from the other end of the hallway. Still not knowing which of the things on their belts were weapons or what the weapons were capable of, Angela decided it was not worth fighting to try to get away.  She meekly went with them to an office where she found Martha already seated opposite another Zaratin.  Angela took the seat beside Martha.  

Shortly after, Maria was brought in by another Zaratin.  “They’ve got human drivers now,” Maria said, as she sat down.

One of the octopods said, “The Zaratin Empire has information you are planning an attack on the Empire.”

Angela shrugged, “No, not me.  Not planning anything. You Martha? Maria?”

The other women shook their heads and announced they were not planning anything either. 

“The Zaratin Empire has information you are carrying weapons.”

All three women emptied their handbags and explained the purposes of chapsticks, tissues and the other items they carried.  Neither Angela nor Martha had any of the bombs with them.

“The Zaratin Empire has information you are hiding invaders in the residence where you live.”

Again they shrugged, and denied knowledge of any such thing. 

“You will accompany Zaratin officials to the residence.”

Angela drove the minibus, with all three women, and a Zaratin on board. Another Zaratin official followed in a second car with a human driver. 

Adam opened the gate, and then the front door for them all. The Zaratins went straight to the garage, and pulled out the shelf, to reveal a blank wall behind. 

Trying to hide her surprise, Angela glanced at Adam, to see him wink.

“I don’t know where you got your information from,” Angela said, “but it was bad information.”

“I think someone has been lying to you,” Martha said.  “They made up a story to trick you.  I don’t think I’d trust that person again if I were you.”

Adam asked why the Zaratins hadn’t detained Claire as well, since she also lived there now.  

“Claire Moody advised the Zaratin Empire about the weapons and the hidden invaders.”

“Well,” Martha said, “I wonder if she did that to distract you from something she was doing?  Perhaps she’s doing something untoward now while all your attention is on us.”

Angela was sure the Zaratins seemed uneasy while they processed this information.  

“So, do we have to go back to work now, or do we get the rest of the day off?” she asked. 

The two Zaratins stood close together making no sound, but apparently conferring somehow.

One spoke via the electronic voice, “You do not need to go back to work today.  Zaratin officials will leave now.”

Once the gate was closed behind their car, Adam said, “I really wasn’t sure the plaster would dry that fast.  It was a close call. I’m glad we didn’t tell Claire about the forest entrance.”

The soldiers were out, and Adam said they’d indicated they would not be back.  Mary and Edward were let out of the bunker via the forest entrance.  Neither was happy that they had to walk through the forest.  Angela suggested they could just stay long-term in the bunker, but they liked that option even less than they liked the bush walk. 

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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