Time to go

Marthe stared fixedly at a mass of figures scrolling down a computer screen, and her look was grave when she said, “I think the first problem didn’t go away, the stupid uproar of the Behemoth Wars diverted our attention from it, that’s all. I’m afraid to say it, but it looks like Rachael’s Cataclysm has been born, and has come among us with a vengeance. We must get to Astar quickly, it’s our only chance. A point of no return has truly passed.”

“We’re lucky,” said Louis, “we’ve been given advance warning, courtesy of the Tinklers of Preston’s valley and our own monitoring equipment, but most people won’t get that break. In fact there isn’t anything most of the world’s populations can do, situated as they are in the broad central belts on either side of the Equator.”
“One exception being Preston’s valley,” Marthe pointed out.
“Exactly there, and only there,” said Louis with grim finality.
Then with his old firmness and authority he went on. “It is time to go; we must leave here in the next few hours, and hope for the best.
“Marthe, Alain, explain what has happened to Rosa and the boys, tell them to get ready. Michelle, you and I must stay here to close down the computers and secure the most important records. We must let the staff know what we plan to do with their money and their jobs. We must prepare for who knows what will happen…”
Michelle suddenly cut into her father’s conversation.
“Let’s go home, Papa, we can do what we have to from there. Let’s do everything as a family, Rosa showed us that much about ourselves last night.”
Louis caught her round the shoulders and gave her a strong squeeze.
“You’re right, let’s go home.”

“This hole in the Earth is happening now, right this minute?” Rosa cried out from behind her hand that had instantly flown to her mouth. Her skin was deathly pale and her eyes darkened to a very deep blue with shock and disbelief. There was anger in them too, as she glanced at everyone watching her. She seriously didn’t want to believe what she’d been told, or that she was the butt of a chancy joke. Like her father, Alain, Rosa wondered if there wasn’t too much drama and fear-mongering. But there was nothing on their solemn faces to relieve her growing anxiety. She had to take their fantastic story seriously.
“Has everyone been warned?” she asked.

Cataclysm’s Day: First Book of The Gatherers Trilogy.


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