“Well, I can’t say I’m surprised.”
“I don’t appreciate the tone.” Telloc folded his arms and analyzed the scene. The torn sheets and shattered splinters of wood confirmed there was a struggle. Splashes of blood, from both Chloe and her attacker, littered the room. Telloc reached under the flipped cot and retrieved the small knife the attacker used. He smiled when he realized it had more of the attacker’s blood on it than Chloe’s. She was a survivor.
“I just thought it would have happened sooner.” Marna examined a piece of cloth that had snagged on the doorframe.
“Is anyone missing?” Telloc asked one of the other workers.
“Not that I know of, sir, but I’ll ask around.”
When the other technician was done, Telloc took one last look before shutting and locking the door behind him. All through the morning, everyone was at a loss. The laughter that normally filled the dining hall was replaced by quiet whispers. Some were glad they weren’t sharing a roof with a parasite anymore. Others, like Haren, were sad, because repairs still needed doing on just about everything. Garren seemed happy. Telloc and Marna buried themselves in work to avoid the increasingly annoying feeling deep in their stomachs. Later that night, Telloc was tending a broken arm when Marna barged through the infirmary.
“I swear I’m going to kill him.”
Telloc sighed under his breath and finished his stitching, well aware that Marna was behind him tapping her foot repeatedly against the stone floor. “There you go, Mrs. Bara. Should be all good to go.”
“Telloc, we have a confirmation.”
Marna waited for Telloc to lead her to his office. Once there she looked around to make sure no one was watching them. Finally she leaned forward and whispered. “It was Garren.”
“You’re sure? Where is he now?” Telloc definitely remembered seeing him a few hours ago.
“Disappeared. Must have taken off earlier. I have no idea how to tell the rest of them.”
Telloc ran a hand through his hair. “Like ripping off a bandage. Do we have any idea where Garren was planning on taking her?”
Marna pulled an envelope out of her back pocket. “It was hard to rinse out the blood stains but we think we recovered most of the original message.”
Telloc scanned the three lines over and over, refusing to believe they were true. “Fools, you truly thought you actually had a chance against us. Her head will rot on a spike for eternity next to Alara’s when we are through with them. Then we will come for you and the rest of this planet’s filth.”
Marna struggled to keep her skin from going pale. “How much time do you think we have?”
Telloc jumped and pressed the bright red button near the office door. Loud sirens wailed and bright crimson light flashed through the whole compound. In the dining room, the whole colony rushed about to pack up everything for the move.
Marna and Telloc stayed in his office. Marna crossed her arms. “What about the plan?”
Telloc clenched his hands into fists. “It will continue. There’ll just be an extra rescue mission. Are your people ready?”
“You bet they are.”
“Good. Because tomorrow night either they die, or we will.”
Author’s Note: As most of you can probably tell from today’s date, the Oredigger will only have one more issue this semester after this one. This story is nowhere near its end so Alara will continue in the fall. I just wanted to say thank you to all my readers for their amazing support and I apologize for the three month hiatus.