Ellie Quin Book 01: The Legend of Ellie Quin

Ellie Quin Book 01: The Legend of Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow Read Free Book Online

Book: Ellie Quin Book 01: The Legend of Ellie Quin by Alex Scarrow Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alex Scarrow
    Ellie applied the welder along the remaining seam. The plastic sizzled and bonded instantly.
    He rapped the patch with his knuckles. ‘Good as new. See? Easy, huh?’
    ‘And strangely fun.’
    ‘Great. I’ll get us another welder for your birthday then.’
    Ellie laughed, ‘okay, to be clear…not that much fun.’
    He stood up. ‘Come on. More holes to fill.’
    The pair of them walked slowly, scanning the base of Booster and periodically stopping to stick on a patch. A good half-hour passed in silence as they slowly broiled in the hot morning sun.
    ‘We’re going to be okay, aren’t we Dad?’ Ellie asked suddenly as she wiped a bead of sweat from her brow.
    ‘Okay? What are you talking about?’
    ‘The future, the way things are heading in the long run. I just want to know that things will be okay.’
    Jacob turned to Ellie, ‘has someone been feeding you scare stories?’
    Ellie didn’t answer.
    ‘Let me guess…Sean?.
    Ellie nodded reluctantly.
    ‘Well don’t worry about letting on and dropping him in it. His father gave me the same lecture as Sean has given you, I’m sure.’
    ‘And?’ she asked.
    ‘And…it’s annoying having everyone tell you how to run your agri-plot. But to answer your question though, things are going to be fine in the long-run. I’m going to think about trying a meat crop again.’
    Ellie smiled and gave him a thumbs-up.
    ‘But, if we do go ahead and change the crop,’ he continued, ‘it’s going to cost us a fair bit to adjust. We’ll need to tighten our belts over the next few years.’
    Ellie slapped him proudly on the back. ‘Well done Dad. I know how hard a decision that was for you.’
    Jacob Quin shook his head sadly. ‘I’ve been an oxygen man since before you were born. I guess we all knew the business wouldn’t last forever.’
    ‘That’s right. We’ve done well out of tubweed, haven’t we? I mean, you own the farm, we have a home, we’re not in debt. Things are fine aren’t they Dad?’
    ‘Yup, things are fine. I guess it’s just that after all these years of learning how to grow the stupid things, rigging the domes to just the right temperature and moisture, you know? Getting It Right. And now I’ve got to start over.’
    Ellie knew how stubborn her father was, how difficult it was for him to adjust when needs required it. In her mind’s eye she had seen her father farming tubweed to the end of his days and steering them all inexorably towards bankruptcy and a tough life of subsistence and making do. Since talking to Sean at the fair she’d nursed a residual concern about leaving them for New Haven; a worry that the family business would soon begin to be affected by the distant, as yet, but inevitable, O2 industry recession.
    ‘So anyway, why are you so interested all of a sudden? Not that I mind you showing an interest.’
    Ellie shrugged, ‘I just wanted to be sure things’re going to be alright.’
    ‘Why? You going someplace?’
    She froze. She looked at him. He was being flippant. ‘Nah…just watching out for my inheritance.’
    Jacob winked at her. ‘Good girl.’ He reached out and ruffled her hair. She went through a stage of hating gestures like that; being treated like a son, a tom-boy. A favorite farm hand. But right now she relished it; this one last moment of connection with Dad. Savored it and knew there’d be a time soon enough that she’d miss it.
    ‘We’ll be fine Ellie.’
    She smiled. ‘I know.’
    The pair of them finished the weekly inspection tour half an hour later and went in gasping for something ice-cold to drink. Jacob split a can of beer with her without a second thought and despite disliking its metallic taste, she proudly chugged it down in several manly gulps.

    Ted had the habit of sleepwalking around the central dome in just his underwear. It bugged the hell out of Ellie, particularly when he decided to amble into her cabin unannounced.
    ‘Shit! Hey, Ted!…ever heard of

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