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   Chapter 13 Pilot

Pilot: Book One of the Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 8972

Updated: 2018-02-02 13:05

Elena stood in the doorway of her assigned suite and blinked. For a moment she felt as though she stepped into a 1950s movie set. Looking around she half expected Marilyn Monroe or Jane Russell to walk by. She shut the door behind her and began taking stock. Everything was polished to a high gloss. To the right of the doorway was a wet bar inset into the wall. She opened the cabinet above and found a wide assortment of liquors. They had been poured from their store bought containers into crystal decanters of varying in shapes and all had little silver nameplates proclaiming their contents. The decanters themselves were fitted into cushioned forms to provide stability and to keep the bottles from clinking together even in rough weather. Elena closed the cabinet.

In the corner sat a mahogany desk. It had a leather edged blotter, with matching penholder. Stationary emblazoned with a raised golden L sat atop the blotter. Elena pulled a pen from the holder and tugged off the cap. As she suspected the pen was a fountain pen rather than a ballpoint. She replaced the cap and returned it to its holder.

"Apparently they aren't really worried about the guests stealing the portable items." She said picking up a large silver lighter. "More like a paperweight, " she mused flicking the lighter on. "Looks like something Humphrey Bogart would use." She replaced it on the desk. Elena didn't bother to open the cigarette case beside it, but the small canister behind it interested her. It was the size and shape of a cotton swab holder. It was silver, like the rest of the smoking set and had a little knob on the top of its lid. She pulled the knob and the lid rose. It had a rod attached to the center of it and leading to a fitted base. When it slid up, matches fanned out around the center rod.

"Interesting, " she said closing the match case. She vaguely recalled seeing something like it in The Maltese Falcon. "I think that one was for cigarettes though. I wonder why you would have matches and a lighter?" She flipped open the box placed at the corner of the desk and found it full of cigars. Dimly she recalled her grandfather saying something about always lighting cigars with matches. "Something about the taste, " She muttered. Elena shrugged, closed the cigar box and moved away from the desk. As she didn't smoke either cigarettes or cigars, they were of little use to her.

She opened the door next to the desk and found it to be a closet. Padded satin covered hangers were placed on the bar and a rack for her luggage was placed below. The few clothes she brought for this trip were hung up on the hangars and her empty bag was on th

e as I could with a regular channel.' Elena looked at her words and thought about scratching them out. They seemed so silly. After all that isn't the way the channels worked. A pilot didn't just create channels; they piloted the existing ones.

The paragraph she placed in the notebook was brief and somewhat disappointing. She shrugged off the disappointment. She knew better than to think all of life's great mysteries would be solved in one sitting. Elena closed the book and decided to see if any coffee was available to dull the pain in her head. She dressed in the new under garments and the clothes she had brought with her. She packed the rest of her belongings and hefted the bag to her shoulder. Elena figured they would soon be leaving and she could just as easily tuck the bag under the table during breakfast.

"Not that I actually feel like eating, " she muttered to herself. Along with the usual headache, the morning had re-awakened all her nervousness about the upcoming military confrontation. Elena made her way to the dining area. The coffee area was set up but no one had yet arrived. She poured herself a cup and settled into one of the chairs. The caffeine worked its magic and her headache began to slowly ebb. By the time she was halfway though her second cup it was almost completely gone.

"You might want to get a to-go cup for that, " Peter said walking into the room and gesturing towards her. "The car is ready and we need to be on our way." The muscles in Elena's stomach knotted.

'Great, ' she thought, 'not only do I have to deal with the military, I have to spend the entire day alone with Peter and his bodyguard.' She set the cup down on the table. 'This should be interesting.' She picked up her bag and followed him out the door.

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