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   Chapter 53 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 8088

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:50


Chapter 53

The trip back to the channel went smoothly and the ship slipped from the ocean into space like a dream. Elena smiled with relief as the Storm Chaser headed towards home.

"One less problem to worry about, " She said. Mentally she listed the other issues. Chief among them was the hope that another pilot with the Calling would be able to open the same channel she had. Maria was never officially grounded and still had her ship, now docked at Grant's Inlet near the Storm Chaser's berth. Elena tapped the console in thought.

"Two pilots would be better, " she mused. With another channel rider she could leave a crew with a second ship on the planet while she went to the Docking Facility with her proposals. Riko and the Council would both want proof that she was providing legitimate information so she would have to return planet side with a councilor on board.

"Just one pilot planet side is too risky, " she said thinking of her crew's legitimate fears. "Jasmine has made real progress. The trick would be to keep her out of Riko's sight." Elena didn't think Riko would have a problem seeing her former family member, but Jasmine certainly would. "If Jasmine were to ride along with Maria she could serve as an extra pilot and just stay hidden during the Council visit. As long as one of the pilots always stayed on the ship it wouldn't be too much of a problem." Elena smiled to herself. "Not a bad solution if they are willing."

The distance to the Marta from the new channel was not great which was a plus in Elena's mind and they very quickly approached the channel mouth. As the channel came into sight so did the outline of another ship. It wasn't moving like a channel rider and had a similar profile to the previously encountered military ship.

"Ah, hell, " she muttered. Elena clicked on the ship's intercom. "We have company, " she said into the microphone. Immediately the galley door opened and Benjamin stalked out. He was quickly followed by everyone else. Andre still had half a sandwich in his hand. They looked to her and she pointed. All heads swiveled to see what she spotted. Elena opened the window and called down.

"You might want to make sure the cargo hold is locked down, " she said. Mateo flashed her a thumbs up and he and Andre retreated to make sure their samples were all under lock and key. Kiera and Benjamin joined her in the pilot house.

"A

. It was a deep blue with not even a wisp of cloud to mark it. She sighed with relief.

"No storm this time thank God." Elena flipped on the radio. She wondered if they had turned theirs back on yet.

"This is the Storm Chaser to unidentified craft, " She began feeling like she was in a bad movie. There was no response. Elena turned on the sonar. Sure enough the two small ships had company. She waited a minute and repeated her message. This time she got a response.

"Unnamed craft to the Storm Chaser we read you." Elena rolled her eyes.

"Do you require further assistance?" She asked.

"We are all clear, " came the response. She sighed.

"Good to hear. I don't suppose you would mind unhooking my tow line then? I'd hate to lose it." There was no response, but through the window she could see one of the men move to the deck and unhook the line. Mateo ran the winch to haul the line up.

"Thanks, " she replied. Deciding sticking around was not a great option; Elena engaged the engines and began to pull away. The radio crackled to life. On the sonar she could see the marked leviathan begin to surface. Off starboard the water rippled as first the antenna broke the surface followed by the rest of the submarine. Benjamin and Mateo joined her in the pilot house.

"This is the USS Maine to vessel Storm Chaser, do you copy." Elena sighed.

"I don't suppose there is a chance that they just want to offer us lobster rolls as a thank you is there?" She asked.

"I wouldn't hold my breath, " Mateo said.

"I figured as much. Well, I suppose we had better see what they want."

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