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Contagion

The Elron Files: Episode 1

By SL Beaumont



Copyright © 2017 SL Beaumont

All rights reserved.


Paperback Writers Publishing

Auckland, New Zealand


This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real.

Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is fictionalised or coincidence.


No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.



Chapter 1

Two figures stood on the crest of the long extinct volcanic cone of North Head, overlooking the village below, waiting for the sun to rise. Behind them the lights of the city twinkled in the distance. It was warm in the pre-dawn and a gentle breeze blew in from the coast. The figure on the right stood still. The one on the left raised her arms above her head, stretched and sighed with contentment.

I love it up here, it’s so beautiful,” she murmured looking out over the houses still shrouded in sleep, illuminated by street lights, to the sea beyond, shimmering and silvery in the glow of the fast fading moon. Several kilometres offshore, the volcanic island of Rangitoto looked majestic, the shield-like shape of its summit and slopes sharp against the first rays of sunlight to touch the horizon beyond its rocky shore. “All of these people living here.”

Ignorant of the danger living among them,” her brother responded, his voice clear in her mind, as though he’d spoken aloud.

She turned to him. “Do you not feel any kinship with these humans, Tom?” she asked in silence.

We cannot afford to, Jules. You shouldn’t get too attached to Sam or to any of them.”

Why are you so grumpy this morning?”

Tom sighed. “My research has thrown up a disturbing anomaly, that’s all,” he said. He stared out towards the island, his chin tilted and eyes raised to look at the sky.

Jules studied him for a moment before placing a hand on his arm. “Do I need to be concerned?”

Tom shook his head as the horizon began to glow behind the island. “It’s time.” His expressionless voice echoed in her mind. He turned towards her with his palm raised outward. She matched it with her own and closed her eyes as a warm energy surged through their joined hands.

They were transported to a vast open space; a barren, rocky volcanic plateau which had stood dormant ever since bursting violently to life many years earlier. The sky above them was dark and shot with streaks of orange and purple as the planet’s suns dipped low in the distance. Jules shivered in the cool air. A crowd of around five hundred beings were assembled, all humanoid in shape, their outlines moving and shifting, shrouded in a soft glowing mist of varying hues. On a raised platform four figures stood observing the crowd. Behind them, lines of heavily armed troops stood to attention. One of the four stepped forward and raised a hand.

The time has come. The invasion of Earth will commence after our third sunrise.”

The speaker’s cold gaze softened as she looked towards Jules and Tom standing near the front of the crowd.

It took a moment for the announcement to register, and then those assembled started talking over one another.

Mother, we need to talk,” Tom called to the woman on the platform.

She gave a slight shake of her head and turned away. The crowd surged forward towards the platform, closing around Jules and Tom. Their connection flickered and the throng faded from view before they were back standing alone on the grassy hillside. On the beach below, a dog barked at several early morning joggers running along the sand at the water’s edge.

Jules stumbled, breaking her link with Tom and bent over gasping for breath. She looked up at her brother, her face stricken.

No,” she exclaimed aloud. “I’m not ready.”

Tom shook his head, his jaw clenched. “You heard the Leaders, we have no choice.” He reached for her hand. “Come on, let’s go. I have much to do.”

***

Jules dropped her human form as soon as the front door of their apartment closed behind them, shutting out the world. A glowing white haze covered her long limbs and moved with her as she strode across the room. The apartment was small and modern with two bedrooms, a bathroom and an open plan kitchen living room. Jules slumped down on the sofa.


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