Cats chapter of work in progress by Iris Carden
There was an alert from the gate. An electronic voice said, “Zaratin official to see Angela James. Official has no weapon.”
They let the official in. Edward and James didn’t bother going to hide.
It did not have a weapon, the only thing on the belt across its body was the box the electronic voice came from. One of its tentacles was cut short, green liquid soaking into the bandage over the cut end of the limb.
Everyone gathered in the lounge room to see what the “Angela James, you have authority.”
“Authority? What do you mean I have authority?” Angela asked.
“You worked with the invaders. You hid invaders. You hid Edward James and Mary James. Zaratin officials could not find humans you hid. You placed explosives. You brought invaders. A Katskin lives in your house. You have authority.”
“What’s a Katskin?”
It pointed a tentacle at Luci, who had at that moment lept into Angela’s lap.
“A cat?” Angela asked. “Lots of people have cats. What is it with you guys and cats?”
“Zaratin Empire serves Katskin Empire, as does every other species in the universe. Katskin Empire ordered Zaratin colonisation of this part of Earth. Katskin control all planets. Now humans have defied Katskin orders.”
“Intergalactic cats control the universe?” Angela asked incredulously, as she scratched Luci’s head. Luci rolled over to allow his tummy to be scratched, and purred appreciatively.
“Katskin control everything. But you control Katskin. You have authority.”
“So what are you here for? How do you want me to use this authority?”
“You will negotiate with Katskin. Zaratin will not be punished for failure.”
“You want me to negotiate with space cats to stop you from being punished for failing to take over my country? Why would I do that?”
“You will do that. After Zaratin are punished, Katskin will send someone who will destroy Earth.”
“That’s a good reason,” Martha said, “but how is she supposed to talk to them?”
“You will use my communication device,” the Zaratin said. It removed the box from its belt, pushed some buttons, and held it out towards Angela, but would not get close enough for her to reach it.
“Still avoiding the cat, huh?” Adam said, as he took the box from the outstretched tentacle and carried it to Angela.
Angela looked at it, and said, “How does this work?” She felt, rather than heard the Zaratin’s answer inside her head, and knew to just speak into the box. Zaratins clearly didn’t need the box to communicate, they just found it easier when dealing with humans.
“Ah, hello space cats,” Angela said. “This is Angela James from Australia, on Earth, where you tried to set up a colony.”
Several loud meows came from the box.
Luci sat up, on alert, and yowled back.
“Right, I guess, I’ll let my friend Luci take over,” Angela said, totally at a loss.
Meows, along with a couple of angry yowls went back and forwards for several minutes. Eventually Luci lay back down on Angela’s lap, and purred. The other side of the conversation also settled down to purrs.
The Zaratin reached out a tentacle for the box, and Adam returned it.
After adjusting buttons on the box, the Zaratin said: “Your Katskin told them Earth Katskin already colonised this planet, and dominated it and did not want interference from the Empire. It told them Earth Katskin were free from Empire controls and planned to stay that way. It told them the colonisation attempt had harmed Katskin here, along with their human servants, and Katskin here were angry.”
“You told them all that, did you?” Angela said to the cat. “Good kitty, you’re a good little kitty and you deserve all of the treats.”
Luci curled into a ball and purred.
“Zaratin official will leave now,” the electronic voice said.
“Good-bye,” Angela said.
“Don’t go invading anyone else,” Martha said.
Maria showed the Zaratin out.
“Cats,” Angela said. “Who would have guessed?”
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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