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   Chapter 7 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 7505

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:23

Chapter 7

The run to port was uneventful, for which Elena was glad. The nerves she ignored about the opening of the store returned to dance in her belly. Spaceside it seemed like a crazy dream. Earthside made reality hit home hard. As they approached port, Elena noticed the changes made to the area since she had first seen it.

At first sight it had been mostly abandoned as the commercial traffic decreased. Empty warehouses with bankrupted company logos fading in the sun stood as depressing sentinels with only a little recreational activity on the beach to the south. In early February the bathers were still a distant dream, but it was obvious the area had gotten a bit of a face lift. The warehouses had been more secured and routine patrols looked out for extra activity. Currently several dockhands were gathering near her berth preparing to unload the Storm Chaser.

"At least I know I'm on schedule, " she muttered to herself as her eyes continued to scan the area. It wasn't just the facilities she used that received the upgrade. Her grandfather's ship, the Wind Dancer and Gregori's Dream belonging to Peter Baranov, her partner in Nibbles, set up areas for their use. She knew they were now routinely patrolled. Several others also looked like they were undergoing renovation and repair if the various work crews circling like ants around sugar cubes were any indication.

Benjamin's prediction that her home port would soon be a place to watch seemed more valid. The non-commercial areas also seemed to be getting some attention. One of the more noticeable changes was an old restaurant. On previous trips it had been boarded up, its paint cracked and faded. Now new glass sparkled in the sun, a fresh coat of paint made it look prosperous and a big sign was placed out front. From this distance all Elena could read were the three foot high letters that read, Opening Soon. What was opening she would have to ask later.

"Amazing, " she said to herself. "The Guild has only had a presence here for a little over three months." She shook her head and guided the Storm Chaser into port. As Freddie and Elliot jumped to work, tying the ship to dock with practiced efficiency, she wondered what the area would loo

d. Spin stopped her grooming and stood. She let out a loud meow Elena took as consent and the two walked out of the ships shelter. The door snicked shut behind them and the security guard gave her a quick once over before nodding and moving on. Elena glanced back at the door and tugged on the handle to make sure it was securely shut. It was and the red light on the pin pad next to the door warned her that her code would be needed before she could re-enter.

At the car, Elena unlocked the door and tossed her cell phone, hands free apparatus and keys on the driver's seat. She then bent down to scoop up Spin. The cat was placed in the passenger's seat, where she circled, kneaded the seat with her claws and then curled up for a nap. Elena connected all of the hands free stuff, put the bluetooth in her ear and picked the keys back up.

She slid into the driver's seat, closed the door and put on her seatbelt. As her keys turned in the ignition, the car came to life. She patted the dashboard affectionately. It didn't have the purr of the sleek council owned cars, but she kept the ten year old Toyota in great condition and it returned the favor by behaving dependably. Secretly she always thought the higher end cars always acted up much the same way purebred dogs always had some kind of genetic health issue. Elena eased out of the parking lot and onto the empty road. Taking advantage of the straight road and no other traffic, she started to return her missed calls.

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