‘A good place as any.’
Sar let the bus slow down on its own, then got off the road leading through the savannah to make a circle from the ten segments of the hundred metre long bus.
Ilsi put her hand on Sar’s shoulder. ‘I’ll check the wheels.’ she said and went to the back.
‘Thanks.’ Sar said while he followed the shutdown procedure.
Ilsi stepped out the side door on the outside of the circle, seeing the rest of the community step out and start putting up the side tents while the youngest children explored the site.
‘Ilsi, I saw wildlife in the distance.’ said Gusta, the lead hunter and cook, while he pulled out the framework attached to this bus segment. ‘I’ll take Karessa and Wil and see what we can bag for dinner.’
‘Great. Good luck.’ Ilsi said and went around the bus, checking the condition of the electric powered wheels at each joint and greeting the people.
She heard the click and hiss of the solar roof as it extended sideways, doubling its surface. The roof itself would provide enough capacity for driving, but with the extention they had enough power for the equipment used by the groups of students and professors who often travelled with them.
The long jouneys to every corner on this planet covered almost entirely by land was a great opportunity for scientific fieldwork. There was hardly any bus driving around the planet which had no scientist on board.
Ilsi stepped inside the aft side door and into the kitchen. Everything looked fine and she stepped further back into the last segment which held their supplies. She grabbed a bottle of water from the cooler for Sar and went back out to the inside of the circle.
Professor Sung Lee waved at her while his students set up the communication dish and their meteorologic equipment. She waved back and started on her check of the wheels on this side.
All the side tents had been set up already and people started making themselves comfortable in their shelters. Gerrie unpacked her painting supplies, which was how she made her living. Muska joined her with his portable for writing and Ilsi smiled. She had seen his romantic interest in Gerrie before he had realised it himself.
‘No problems.’ Ilsi said when Sar joined her and tossed him the bottle. ‘Here.’
‘Thanks.’ he said and kissed her before taking a drink. ‘Looks like a good place to stay for a while. The kids will love having a lake to swim in.’
‘And you won’t?’ she said with a smirk.
‘Only when we can go for some private skinny dipping.’ he said, giving her a poke and making her giggle.
They saw Gusta, Karessa and Wil taking out the cycles and prepare for the hunt. The older children gathered around them, helping them until they’d be old enough to join the hunt for larger wildlife.
By the time everyone had eaten from a successful hunt and was relaxing around the fire set up in the middle of the circle, the first sign of dusk had arrived at the horizon. Sar and Ilsi stood at the lake shore, enjoying the view and breeze of cool air, listening to the sounds of indigenous insects.
‘Peaceful.’ whispered Ilsi.
Sar squeezed her hand lightly as he looked up. ‘Makes me wonder if nomads have always felt like this too.’