Hunting The Snark: An Alice in Deadland Adventure (Alice, No. 4) (17 page)

BOOK: Hunting The Snark: An Alice in Deadland Adventure (Alice, No. 4)
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When she confronted Konrath, he had explained that it was
insurance. The Executive Committee was still holed up in its nuclear-proof
bunkers in the Cheyenne Mountains, and Zeus was still a formidable armed force.
Possessing nuclear-tipped missiles gave the resistance a chance to negotiate a
peace from a position of strength, and indeed the Executive Committee had
opened up direct channels of communications with Konrath. Bellman had now
largely recovered, and Konrath had enlisted her help to maintain and to fire
the missiles if necessary.

Alice wasn’t interested in the details, as the whole affair
didn’t really make sense to her. Why would you shed so much blood, make so many
sacrifices to fight against an enemy only to pretend to have a peaceful
settlement later? Was such a perverted peace ever one that lasted? Konrath
assured her that it would, but when Alice looked at where similar political
wrangling had led the world before The Rising, she had her doubts.

Cynthia made her way towards her as Alice headed for the
door.

‘No way you’d consider staying? General Konrath is going to
be the first President of the United States in over fifteen years, and we are
going to really start afresh.’

Alice looked at her, a smile on her face.

‘This is now a place for politicians, not for the likes of
me. Anyways, I need to get home. I’ve been away too long.’

Alice walked out to the runway, where Bunny Ears was waiting
for her. He had suffered more wounds in the battle and his face was now covered
in scars. Alice didn’t look much better herself, but she was well beyond the
point where she cared about how she looked. One more of the many things that
had changed in her since she began this adventure as a fifteen-year-old girl in
the Deadland.

As she walked towards the waiting plane, she felt ever more
keenly all the friends she had lost. Vince and Satish, who had accompanied her
from Wonderland, had perished, joining hundreds of others she had known and
fought side by side with, only to lose them in battle. A normal girl of her age
would not think of such things, but with all she had been through, Alice keenly
felt her own mortality. Soon, any day, it would be her turn to join her parents
and her friends. All it would take was one lucky shot or one placed bullet.
What happened then? Her parents had once told her about how humans went to
Heaven when they died. What happened to Biters and indeed, what happened to
her, who was neither fully human nor Biter?

She sat in the plane and the pilot waved to her. Konrath and
the others stood by the runway. Konrath seemed like he had good intentions, but
Alice had learnt that the moment one man or a group of people got so much
power, the temptation to misuse it was strong. Indeed, the biggest danger came
not from Biters, or distant tyrants, but from the evil that lay coiled in the
heart of every man. She hoped that Konrath would have the wisdom to use his
newly found power for good and to keep that evil contained.

She closed her eyes as the plane taxied down the runway. For
now she would go back to being just Alice, living with her friends in
Wonderland, away from the bloodshed and loss that had accompanied her for so
many years of her young life. She would see Wonderland grow, and its people
continue to rebuild their lives and human society. She would go back to
repairing the chasm between humans and Biters and keep in touch with Konrath’s
scientists to see if the virus that turned people into Biters could be
reversed. For now, Alice would live a life of peace. For now, she would put
aside her gun and knife.

For now.

 

***

 

CREDITS

 

Coming up with the idea for a novel and writing it is often
a solitary exercise, but bringing it to readers as a finished book is always a
team effort. I’d like to thank the following for their help in producing the
book you now hold in your hands. They, and others like them, make independent publishing
much more enriching and rewarding for both authors and readers.

 

Cover design by
Joseph Simmons

(
http://www.jsimmonsillustration.com
)

 

Editing by
R.J.Locksley

(
http://www.rjlocksley.blogspot.com
)

 

eBook and Print
formatting by Rebecca

(
http://www.indiemobi.wordpress.com
)

BOOK: Hunting The Snark: An Alice in Deadland Adventure (Alice, No. 4)
10.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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