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   Chapter 13 Skyside

Skyside: Book Five of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 11037

Updated: 2018-02-26 16:24


Chapter 13

It took less than a minute for Elena to regret her question. Apparently, everyone wanted to go first. Thompson smirked at her from the end of the table, his eyes dancing with amusement as he took a sip of coffee. He was the only one not currently trying to talk. Elena rapped her knuckles on the table for silence and was surprised when she actually got it.

"Okay, " she said. "Let me rephrase." She slid a list out of her folder. She jotted a few things down before bed and was now very pleased about her fleeting moment of foresight. "Okay, " she began. "The immediate topics are food and shelter. After that I would like to make certain that we are ready for tonight's memorial service. Then we can proceed to everything else. Agreed?"

There were nods from everyone at the table. "Okay then. Food. What is the status on our supplies?"

"Consuelo sent me with a list, since she is coordinating things. She said she will speak with you personally when you wish, but at the moment she is preparing the memorial feast for tonight, " Benjamin told her.

"That's fine I can speak to her tomorrow to get additional details as needed, " Elena said, making a note to speak to Consuelo soon as Benjamin began going through their inventory. She was pleased to see that not only were the initial supplies and reinforcements sent during restocking trips holding up, but the locally produced items were adding to their surplus as well. As she made her notes, Melanie and Lucas joined the group taking their seats at the table.

"As we have the staff of several restaurants as well as the food cart operators and home gardens, Consuelo wanted to suggest the idea that we start weaning people off of the communal mess tent. She thinks that it will help get things back to normal and make it feel less like an evacuation encampment, " Benjamin concluded. "Most of the buildings have the capacity to at least cook small family meals inside.

Elena nodded. "We could use the same sort of monetary system used on the DF, " she mused. "Do we have the equipment?"

"The machinery was sent down and we have everyone's records, " Mateo told her. "We also have several of the bankers and technicians who maintained the system. Most folks, except for those who never went to the DF would still have their access codes. We could work with the bankers to add access codes to the system for the new folks. Then instead of the mess tent we can move supplies to one of the buildings and have it serve as a type of grocers."

"We'd still need space to process the raw foodstuffs, " Kiera put in. "Many of the plants here require processing before they can be eaten, even if it is something as minor as pickling or grinding. At the moment we use the mess tent during non-meal times, stashing the finished products in the back."

"Perhaps we can put that adjacent to whatever we use as the grocers, " Mateo suggested.

"Okay, so Mateo could you work with the bankers and their people on getting the system up and running while Benjamin and Consuelo work with Kiera on slowly closing the mess tent and establishing a grocery and processing center?" Elena asked. Benjamin, Kiera and Mateo nodded and made notes.

"Is that all for food?" She asked.

"Well we do have a combination food and

ion now, " Sam added with a frown. "We are at capacity, Captain. If the rest of the Guild is to dock here when the season opens, we will not be able to accommodate them with what we have now. And in truth to fully accommodate the people we have, much of the harbor will need some dredging."

"Okay, Mateo, could you look at the schematics and see what is possible. I believe you have a list of all of the technicians and their skills so you can keep that in mind as you look, " Elena began. "Evan do you have any plans for terrestrial based port expansion?"

"I'm sure we have something, " he told her with a smile. "I would be happy to assign someone to work with our harbormasters in creating an expansion plan."

Elena nodded and turned to Simon and Sam. "Check with the masons and other craftsmen to see if we have anyone with this sort of construction experience."

"We will need to at the very least replace our lost patrol ship, if not create more, " McLaughlin mentioned as Elena made notes and the planning moved on.

"Akashi, " Elena said. "Would you be willing to work on this?"

"My people can do this, but it would require putting other works on hold, most of which were ordered by Councilor Inoue Riko, " he told her softly.

Elena sighed and then nodded. "Do it, " she told him. "I will speak to the councilor when the season opens and take full responsibility for the decision. Akashi nodded, looking relieved. Realizing that the coffee started to burn a hole in her stomach and that everyone was beginning to look slightly dazed by the amount that needed to be done, Elena ended the meeting.

"I'll go through the suggestions that everyone added to our complaints box and start making a list, " she told them as everyone started to leave. "If anyone thinks of anything that needs immediate attention, send it on as well." Elena blinked at her notes, realizing that for every task she assigned someone else, she added three more to her list.

"I think lunch before you get bogged down might be in your best interest, " Thompson told her with a smile as the others filed out to begin working on their lists. "After all you can't run the world on an empty stomach."

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