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Night of the Aurora (Salmon Run - Book 1)

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Author's Note: 

"Night of the Aurora" is the first novella in the "Salmon Run" series. It is available as an ebook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Omnilit, Smashwords, the iBookstore, Sony, Diesel, Kobo, and other online retailers..

Other available titles in the "Salmon Run" series are, in order:

Alien Winter

The Singing Lakes

Secret Illusions

Enjoy your visit. The people and aliens of Salmon Run welcome you!

 

Chapter One

 

"It's freezing."

Hawk Callahan stopped the luggage trolley outside the door of the ferry office to find his son, Zach, trying to stick his chin down into the collar of his coat.

A long flight to the Anchorage International Airport, a train to Whittier, a ferry to Cordova, Alaska, through bone-chilling cold and the trip wasn't even finished yet. Instead of agreeing and possibly inspire more complaints, Hawk said, "Welcome to Alaska in winter."

He reached out to push one of the boxes back onto the luggage trolley. He could see another dock further south and a few more buildings, but they definitely weren't near the city center. He eyed the luggage. It would take a lot of work, but they might be able to carry it all.

Zach let go of the luggage handle to stuff his hands deeper into the pockets. "It can warm up now."

"It's only January. I think we'll have to wait a while."

"What great weather!" a voice said from behind them. "Need a ride?"

Hawk wanted to groan like Zach did. A seven hour ferry ride with the self-professed amateur guide 'to the wonders of Prince William Sound' was a memory he would soon forget. But no, Mr. Phinney was still lurking.

Hawk reached out to pull at the trolley and shouted without looking in the direction of the voice, "No thank you. We have it handled."

Zach picked up the fallen suitcase and followed as Hawk made all possible speed towards the only taxi in sight. "I thought we were trying to save money?"

"Right now I'm trying to save sanity." Hawk grabbed tighter to the handle of the trolley as his feet started slipping out from under him.

The driver of the cab jumped out, shuffling around the cab at a speed Hawk was sure would result in a fall. But the young man made it around still upright, helping him drag the trolley towards the trunk of the dirty taxi.

"Good afternoon. Welcome to Cordova," the man said. "Midnight Sun Taxi Service at your service. Where can I take you?"

Hawk passed the luggage to the man who then stuffed them in the trunk. "Mr. Regis Pelson, Attorney at Law. I understand the Chamber of Commerce isn't far away."

"No, not at all. You can walk it easy." He took the last suitcase and nodded towards the taxi, "I'll put this one in the back with your boy."

Hawk slipped and slid his way back into the ferry office to return the trolley. He ran as fast as he could back to the taxi before Mr. Phinney could find him.

Blessed warmth filled the inside of the taxi. In stark contrast to the outside, the inside was clean and well taken care of. Zach sat on the passenger side of the back seat, still looking like he was cold.

"To Mr. Pelson's office it is." The driver turned the taxi away from the ferry office.

Dirty snow berms lined the drive to the main road. No sidewalks along the main road, either. Hawk frowned. "Is the Solar Express train terminal very far from his office?"

"The Solar Express? Where you heading to?"

"We’re moving to Salmon Run. I would like to be there by tonight." Hawk paused, finding that he was being studied from head to toe.

The driver returned his attention to the road. "You moved up here in the middle of winter?"

"Is there something wrong with that?"

The man shrugged, "Most greenhorns don't last out their first winter, but they have a better chance of it if they can settle in before the snow flies."

"Greenhorn?" Zach asked.

The driver laughed. "That's what we call people new to Alaska. Get used to it. You'll be hearing it a lot."

Hawk leaned back in the seat, not at all sure he liked the terminology. "Unfortunately, the disposition of my Uncle's Will means we move in now."

"Which is why you need to talk to ole Regis." The man jerked up straight, almost hitting his head on the roof. "Salmon Run? Uncle? Will? Are you talking about George Callahan's place?"

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