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   Chapter 55 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 7730

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:51

Chapter 55

"Home sweet home, " Mateo said as they coasted into port.

"So it would seem, " Elena said. "You made arrangements for the samples to be transported?"

"Yes, " he replied. "Kiera and I will take them to the lab. Before we left she added a few pieces she would need for her work."

"Great, but don't get too comfortable, " She warned. "As soon as Andre can pull the final presentation packets together we ship back out. I want to get as many samples home before the season ends. You'll have all off season to analyze."

"I think we can deal with that, " he said. To his left Kiera nodded. Since she didn't ask details about the season, Elena figured Mateo had filled her in.

"We can put things on ice until we return. Except for the plants. But that is where my terrariums come in."

"Good, " Elena said. "And try to make a list of equipment you will need as well so we can get it ordered and hopefully in place for the return. We are going to be out longer this time than last."

"How long?" Mateo asked.

"Not sure, " she replied. "We will leave here as soon as possible and take a second ship with us. The second ship will stay with you while Benjamin and I go to the Docking Facility to meet with Riko and the Council. Riko will naturally want to pay a visit before committing so we will have to come back and then return out for final Council meetings. I have the feeling it might be the better part of a month."

"That's cutting the season pretty fine, " Mateo answered.

"I know. The samples and supplies will be our only cargo and it can be divided between the two ships to help out with the weight. This will probably be the last trip to the planet this season so we need to make it count."

"That means setting up long term sensors to record conditions throughout the off season as well."

"And probes and such for the buildings to see if they are safe to examine, " Kiera added.

"Get what you need, " Elena told them. "I want this done right."

"You got it, " Mateo replied. "That looks like our transport, " he said indicating the approaching truck. "Do you need us here?"

"Nope, " Elena said. "I'll let you know when it is time to ship out with as much advance notice as possible." Kiera and Mateo went off to supervise their samples' transfe

to her usual duffle Elena carried a hanging bag for her council appropriate clothing.

"I like the hair, " Benjamin said as they were loading.

"Thanks, " she replied while Mateo squinted at her.

"Did you do something to it?" Mateo asked. She rolled her eyes.

"Had to get all spiffy for the meetings, " She replied. "Do we have all our supplies?"

"Yes, " Benjamin said. "Everything is loaded on both the Storm Chaser and the Crazy Chicken. We are ready to shove off as soon as you give the word."

"Crazy Chicken?" Mateo asked.

"Maria's ship, " Elena clarified. "Officially El Pollo Loco del Mar. Crazy Chicken for short."

"Her ship is the Crazy Chicken of the Sea?" Mateo asked.

"Yup, " Elena answered. "All aboard, " she called. Mateo, Benjamin, Andre and Kiera boarded to Storm Chaser with her while Jasmine and Maria boarded the Crazy Chicken.

A short summer squall slowed them down slightly adding a day to the Marta's mouth. Elena didn't expect to see Thompson and crew until they had worked out how to get back from an outgoing trip without needing rescue, but flipped on her sonar just in case. The ocean was clear, both above and below when they slipped into the channel.

At the entrance to the new channel Elena opened it with Mateo's gear in place so the Storm Chaser would not go through. Maria tried opening and closing the channel as did Jasmine. To Elena's relief neither had any problems opening the channel. With a sigh of relief both ships entered the new channel and headed towards land.

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