Skyquakers

Skyquakers Read Online Free PDF Page A

Book: Skyquakers Read Online Free PDF
Author: A.J. Conway
turned and glared directly at him through their
masks.
    Ned ducked and scurried backwards on his belly, until he was
partially down the side of the mound, hidden again. He felt his heart race. Did
they see him?
    It was impossible to judge what the Skyquakers were, where they had come from, or what they were looking for, but instantly Ned
knew he was no longer safe in this town. He began to see the big picture now:
these beams were clearing the land of the former inhabitants to make way for something; something new and intrusive. This new construction was
undoubtedly only the first in a series of warehouses which could soon spring up
around the area, and very soon Ned could find himself surrounded. These were
not the only Quakers he would ever see; more were coming. They had come from
the sky to establish something here on the ground: perhaps a new colony, a city
of their own, or even a military base to attack the rest of the world. They wanted
something from this place, and things like Ned were simply in their way.

 
    After that, Ned considered leaving town for good. If there
was no one here, and not much food left other than piles of cans, then there
was little point in staying. He did not want to go; he was certain with these
new beams that change was occurring and he did not want to miss a second of it,
but they were far too close for his liking. Any Quaker who dared to wander
closer to town may find evidence of him living here, sparking alerts and
resulting in more thorough hunting parties. He may as well get out while he
could.
    Besides, somewhere out there, somewhere in the whole of
Australia, there had to be another idiot who locked himself in a fridge and
survived. Lonely Lily was one survivor, so there had to be more. Getting out of
Wyndham safely, though, was going to be problematic. Manoeuvring through the
town was not an issue; every home had a fridge to keep him safe in an
emergency. On the dusty highways and open bushland, with hundreds of kilometres
between townships, however, he would be exposed to the sky, without shelter or
barriers to keep him safe from being abducted. There was no telling how far he
would get.
    Ned made his decision after careful planning and
deliberation. He found a street directory and calculated how long it would take
to hop between here and the next town. Hours – days – of walking in the heat did not sound enjoyable, especially if he
planned to take some less-travelled bush routes to keep his movements unpredictable.
The Great Northern Highway was basically the one and only road out of Wyndham,
which led south directly into a realm called the Kununurra .
The Kununurra was a desert: a dead, flat, unforgiving
place with no shade and no water in the heat of summer. In the wet season, it
transformed into a flourishing wetland, but this season was very brief, and Ned
could not wait around another few months just for the hope of rain. The highway
cut through the desert, but the trail was so horribly exposed, offering nowhere
to rest or hide from the blistering sun, and given its length and unpaved
roads, it was often not attempted without a 4WD. Ned was going on foot, so to
not draw attention to himself, and he was already dreading the journey ahead.
The Kununurra was not going to be merciful, but where
else was there to go? West, there was Broome, over 1,000 kilometres away. East,
Darwin was just about the same distance. In the desert, he would have no water,
no food, and no relief from the flies and the heat. On foot, it would take him
two days to reach the other side. He could ride his bicycle, but it would not
make it over the rocks or through the sand. It was going to be painful either
way, but eventually he would reach a river called the Ord, and on the other side
he would find greenery and a flourishing farming town in the country’s desolate
centre. He aimed to reach this new world as though it was some sort of
forgotten Eden, and the thought of arriving to a town of welcoming
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