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    The Sea of Tranquility 2.0,             Book One

An exasperated high school social science teacher with half her senior class failing, resorts to a drastic measure, resulting in The Sea of Tranquility 2.0. Four of her students come up with a radical project to help slow rising sea levels and provide a homeland for some of the millions of refugees set adrift by wars, failing economies, and gang violence.

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      From Chapter Fifteen

Monica rocked along on her camel, close behind Sikandar, while Roc brought up the rear.

The walkie crackled to life.

“Hello, base camp,” Monica said into the mouthpiece.

“Just doing a radio check,” Adora said. “How’s it going out there in the wilderness?”

“Good so far. We should find that oasis pretty soon.”

“Yeah, it’s been almost three hours.”

“We’re just coming to the top of a huge sand dune. Hey, there it—”

Sikandar jerked his camel to a stop and pulled his rifle from the leather scabbard.

KABLAM!

“Sikandar!” Monica yelled.

“What the hell?”

“Was that a gunshot!!??” Panic crept into Adora’s voice.

Sikandar kicked his camel into a trot, then into a run, down the sand dune.

Monica clicked off the walkie-talkie and shoved it into her saddlebag.

“Has he gone nuts?” Roc asked.

“I don’t know, but we’ve got to help him.”

“Help him? There’s eight guys down there! They’ve got rifles, and we don’t.”

“Yeah, but they don’t know that. Come on.” She kicked her camel into a run down the dune.

“Good God.” Roc urged his camel on, following Monica.

The eight men stared at the three riders galloping toward them for a moment before jumping on their camels and riding away in the opposite direction.

Monica caught up with Sikandar as they came into the shade of the palm trees. She tried to catch her breath as they watched the eight men ride over the top of a dune and disappear.

Sikandar pulled his camel to a stop and grinned as he held out his fist for a bump.

She bumped his fist with hers. “You’re one…” she stopped to breathe, “…crazy nomad.”

After he put away his rifle, he pointed at the water hole, then to himself.

“Ah…this is your oasis.”

Roc came to a skidding halt. “What was that all about?”

“It appears those crooks were stealing Sikandar’s water.”

“Well, we sure put a stop to that.”

“We?”

“I was backing you guys up.”

Monica laughed.

The walkie rang to life.

“Hello. Sikandar’s Oasis. Leave a message at the beep.”

“Was that a gunshot?”

“Yeah, we had a little skirmish. But no worries. We won.”

“What was he shooting at?”

“Eight water thieves.”

“Holy crap! Did they have weapons?”

“Yeah, armed to the teeth.”

“Aren’t you scared?”

“Not with a guy who doesn’t hesitate to charge into a fight when he’s outnumbered eight to one.”

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