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   Chapter 51 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 10260

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:49


Chapter 51

The wait was long and when she finished adding notes to her log book, Elena switched to working on her proposals. There were actually three she had to write. One for an alliance with Riko, one for Council approval and a final one if she planned to get the Librarians involved. Elena mentally weighed the pros and cons of involving the Librarians. The biggest con she found was that she didn't know them well enough to know what working with them entailed. She knew they settled disputes and were looking for a place to set up a permanent berth.

Elena understood they collected knowledge, but never really gave them that much thought. On the pro side however was the balance they might bring to her alliance with Riko. The alliance would allow Elena to take most of the risks while Riko committed some of her more established resources and received compensation. Elena had the feeling Riko would be pushing for as high a profit margin as possible. With the Librarians taking up residence on the planet, the dynamic would shift somewhat and it would no longer be about making fast cash.

"It would be about creating something sustainable, " Elena tapped her pencil on the page and looked out of the window. The captain's quarters didn't offer as broad a view as the pilot house, but it was wide enough to still see the land. As she watched a brown sea bird dove into the waves and carted off a glistening prize. She thought of all the things a permanent community would need. Clean water and a ready food supply topped the list.

"Shelter isn't too far behind, " she mused. She shook her head to clear her thoughts. Thinking ahead was fine, but until she had details it was simple musing. "And who would have thought I'd be musing about the basic necessities?" She realized from the angle of light that the trio would be back soon and she closed her notebook and returned to the deck. As she turned her eyes towards the pier she saw the party making its way back towards the dinghy.

"Looks like they found some things to bring back, " Benjamin said. He stepped from the door of the galley and was wiping something yellow off his hands and onto the apron. The breeze carried the scent of curry.

"Looks like, " she said turning back to the party. They were slowly climbing down into the boat. The steep steps were more difficult to descend than ascend. In addition to the sea slick steps, each member seemed rather heavily laden. She remembered Mateo adding several empty bags to the dinghy's load. They now appeared to be full.

When they reached the side of the ship, Elena lowered the hooks. Mateo fastened one to the bow while Andre clipped one to the stern. They signaled the all clear and Elena turned on the winch. The small boat lifted out of the water and returned to its holding cradle. Its passengers, exited, hauling their treasures to the deck. Elena noticed the wide grins and excitement and wondered if Christopher Columbus' crew once wore identical expressions.

"So did you find anything?" She asked in her most

the equation, " Mateo said, somewhat recovered.

"True, " Elena agreed. "I was hoping that instead I could offer to grant permanent berth to the Librarians as my kick back to the Council." Elena smiled. "I mean as my proper contribution back to the Guild as a whole for being allowed the privilege of passage, of course."

"Smart, " Benjamin said thoughtfully. "Very smart. Riko would bulldoze in and take what she could as quickly as possible. The Librarians won't. They will want to study the archaeological evidence and add it to their knowledge base."

"And if they are looking for a home they won't want it trashed." Mateo added.

"And they are powerful enough to give even Riko pause, " Elena said. The two men nodded.

"They sound like an interesting group, " Kiera said.

"I don't know too much about them to be honest, " Elena said. "I just know they are powerful, secretive, and collect knowledge."

"Isn't that enough?" Mateo said.

"I hope so, " Elena answered. "I am putting together an offer for them. "If you find any buildings this trip that you think might be suitable I'll have to take a quick look."

"That's sort of dangerous, " Mateo said. "If anything happens to you we are all sort of stuck here."

"I know, " Elena said. "Which is why I'm not going on any of the other exploratory trips. But if I am to speak with the Librarians then I have to be able to say that I saw the place I am talking about with my own eyes instead of just in a photo or report."

"I still don't think that is wise, " Mateo said.

"Maybe not, " Benjamin added. "But necessary."

"I know, " Mateo conceded.

"I'll be careful, " Elena told him. "I don't want anyone stranded with no way home. Especially since I would have to be killed for that to happen." She paused and took another bite. "So, " she continued after swallowing. "You'll keep an eye out for potentially useful buildings?"

"Yeah, " Mateo told her while the others nodded in agreement. "Along with potential hazards."

"Fair enough, " Elena agreed.

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