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   Chapter 14 Pilot

Pilot: Book One of the Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 9748

Updated: 2018-02-02 13:07

Elena followed Peter onto the deck and was handed into the skiff she had come to the ship in by the same unnamed man who had brought them. Peter introduced him as Thomas and she got the impression he served Peter in the same capacity as Marcus served her grandfather. The ride to the shore was quiet, and Elena basked in the scent of the sea. When she ceased piloting, she moved inland, away from the temptation the sea represented. She missed it.

She looked around as they moved but could still see no markings to tell her exactly where she was. It was simply a port. Elena was certain their approach was intentional. Once on shore, she followed Peter and Thomas to a black sedan. Thomas took her bag and placed it in the trunk while Peter opened the door for her. She slid into the back of the car. Peter joined her while Thomas got behind the wheel to drive. Elena felt her nerves start to jump. He may have been nice to her and technically on her side at the moment, but Peter had a ruthless reputation.

'Best not give him a chance to show me if the rumors are true or not, ' She thought.

"There is no need to be nervous, " Peter said with a smile. She wondered if he could read her mind.

"So you know exactly how you are going to deal with the military? You have some sort of clue as to how you will manage to get them to back off?" She asked.

"Of course, " he replied.

"I don't suppose you would care to share this information?"

"Its really quite simple, " he said with a smile. The smile didn't make him look friendly. It somehow made him look dangerous, like a shark smelling blood. "We are going to give them just enough information to let them know their plans are not feasible."

"And they are just going to look at you and say, Golly, gee thanks Mister for setting us straight. We won't be bothering you any more."

"Not exactly, " Peter said laughing. "Especially as I don't think anyone would actually say golly gee without a sarcastic undertone. We are going to invite them to join us on a trip through the channels."

Elena stared at him, dumbfounded. "Could you repeat that?"

"We are going to allow them to go through one of the channels, " he repeated slowly. "And that no one says golly gee." Elena frowned at him.

"I thought that is what you said, " Elena tapped her thumb on her knee. "And this is going to make them not want to go back into space? They are going to see our ports and the trade routes and they are going to want no part of it?"

"Oh, I'm sure they will want a part of it. But we will show them that for the purposes they are no doubt trying to use the channels, they are completely unsuited."

"I see, " Elena said hesitantly. Obviously, she was in the presence of a madman.

"You are humoring me, " he said. "Don't worry it will all be taken care of." Peter cleared his throat. "I should warn you though, we would like you to

e little overlap. Will you consider it?"

"I will consider it, " she told him. "However I would like to get this pesky little problem taken care of before I start a new venture."

"Of course, of course." They lapsed into silence. She looked at him wondering what else needed to be said. Peter started as if he had just received a jolt then reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his cell phone.

"Vibrate, " he told her. "Do you mind?" he asked before answering.

"No go ahead, " she told him, pleased that he had the manners to ask before answering. Very few people did anymore. He answered the call and began speaking in rapid Russian to whoever was on the other end of the line. Elena didn't speak Russian, but figured even if she had learned he would be going too fast for her.

Elena turned to look out of the window. They were driving down a long stretch of highway with tall trees lining both sides of the road, making it a long corridor of greens and browns with no distinguishing features. Secretly Elena hoped Peter's call took a long time. They had several hours left in the car and her head was already too full to take any more. Besides, what exactly was she supposed to talk to him about? Random questions popped into her head, but they weren't the sorts of things she could ask. She doubted he would answer anyway.

'And if he did, the answers wouldn't be ones I would want to hear.' She thought. While it might be interesting to know how to keep a torture victim conscious throughout the process, it was not comforting to be locked in a car with someone who had that knowledge. She shifted her sight so that she was looking at Peter's reflection in the glass rather than the outside scenery.

'Well I did ask for the dangerously attractive leading man, ' she thought. 'I ought to be more careful when sending wishes out into the universe, ' she thought. 'You never knew when it was actually listening.'

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