Setting Up Shop, Part II

Stuart Compound

Connor Benjamin

The buzzer sounded. “Connor, it’s Kara and BJ,” came in over the speakers as he buzzed her in. He headed up the stairs.

“Right this way,” he ushered the two down into the command center. Elana passed them going up the stairs and went to secure the door (not that anything was getting anywhere near it).

“The system’s up and running. It’s just like training. Remember, the computer needs human approval to for the towers to go active, but after that anything that moves, dies. All colonists know to stay away from here, and everyone’s skipping town anyway, so that shouldn’t be a problem. You’ve got a hardline to Liberty Hall, Hanna’s and the Lab, but other than that stay dark. If anything changes I’ll be in touch.” He paused, looking at her. “But…?”

“I already know all that. We’ve drilled this dozens of times. We’re good, now do what you’ve got to do.” Kara responded.

Connor laughed. “I suppose you did. I’ll see you soon,” he extended his hand towards Kara’s partner, “BJ.”

Connor turned to his two girls, kneeling in front of them.

“Aya, Arra, I’ve got to go work for a while. It’s dangerous work, but I want you both to know that I love you sooo much, and I always, always will.” He hugged them both close, kissing them tenderly on their foreheads.

“We know Dad,” Arra started. Aya continued, “you’re going to fight, to protect everyone. Be safe,” then Arra finished, “ok Dad?”

“I will, I promise. I’ve got to go now. Look after the little ones.” He was looking his daughters right in the eyes, on the verge of crying himself.

“We will. We love you Dad,” Aya said, with Arra ending, “very, very much.” Then they both kissed him and hugged him, and then turned and went to watch over the babies so he could leave.

He stood slowly and, looking over his shoulder just once, ran up the stairs and then into the night and the beginning of his second war.

Kara

“I can’t believe I agreed to this,” Kara said aloud, to no one in particular.

“It’ll be fine,” said BJ, “we’re safer here than anywhere else.”

“I know. I just can’t it’s with the kids,” Kara muttered.

BJ looked puzzled. “What? What’s wrong with the kids?”

“Huh? Nothing,” Kara replied, hoping it was said smoothly, as if she had meant nothing by the comment. “I’ll check on the computers,” she said as she moved towards the control room. “Good one, Kara. All you need ,” she thought.

Everything looked in order at the computers. She took her time reviewing all the screens, and then admitted she couldn’t stay away any longer, so she went back to the common room. She stood staring at everyone, trying to take it all in. What they had all been preparing for was finally happening.

Kara’s stomach was in knots. She was physically exhausted from the trek from the Inn, mentally exhausted from worrying about what was happening “up there,” and terrified of what was happening “down here.” Goonies, an enemy we know, would be bad enough, but now aliens too? Who knows what they’re capable of. “Frak” was all that could come to mind.

BJ came over and put his arm around her. “I think one of the kids needs changing.”

“You’ve got to be kidding. I can’t worry about defending this place and change diapers at the same time,” she said as one of the babies started crying. “I can’t believe…” she let it trail off this time. Lucky for Kara & BJ, Aya and Arra tended to the crying baby, talking to him in their quirky fashion.

Kara breathed a sigh of relief. “So,” BJ started, “not big on the kids are you?”

“That obvious?” Kara asked.

“You look as comfortable as Andy would in a tutu,” BJ surmised, which started Kara laughing.

“I didn’t even think those two words could go into the same sentence,” Kara said through her laughter. As they stood watching, Kara asked, fearing the answer, “So…..is that a problem?”

“Well, I never imagined life without a family of my own.” BJ started, while Kara’s stomach knots grew worse. “But then, I never thought I’d be living on another planet, 8 feet deep in snow, with aliens attacking us with the help of humans, and everything else that’s happened. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since agreeing to this trip, it’s to take life as it comes, and to give up all expectations. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and worry about kids. Hell, nothing personal but I don’t know if I want to even marry you yet!”

“Yeah, good, ’cause I don’t know if I’d want to marry you!” Kara sassed back, noticing that BJ’s arm was still around her. She leaned into him, and just tried to enjoy what they had, while they had it. “Now all we need is a poodle.”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

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