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   Chapter 24 Pilot

Pilot: Book One of the Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 11187

Updated: 2018-02-02 13:13

For the first time in a long while Elena woke without a headache. She dressed quickly and headed out to her store, taking her notebook with her. She was earlier than usual and the street still had the hushed feel of the early morning hours that made her think the rest of the world was still asleep. She resisted the urge to tip toe so she didn't wake it. Elena unlocked the door and re-locked it behind her.

Deciding to take care of Guild business first, she went straight back to her little office and typed up the proposal she intended to sent to her grandfather and Peter. She tweaked a few details and saved it when she was happy with it. Later, she would call Peter and ask what to do with it.

That little task out of the way she left the office and circled through the store. There were many gaps left in the displays and she smiled happily at them. Apparently, they had a very good couple of days. She began to hum to herself as she pulled merchandise from the stock room and filled in the displays. When TJ and Max arrived she unlocked the door and let them in.

"You seem to be in a good mood, " Max commented as he tugged off his coat.

"I am in a good mood, " she commented, realizing it was true. She wondered if it was the thought of once again piloting or the adventure of a new enterprise that lightened her mood. Max went to put his coat in the break room and then he and TJ helped with the displays. Emily arrived a few minutes later followed by the two seasonal workers, Janine and Michael. Once the displays were complete Emily filled Elena in on the local gossip she had missed while she was gone. Apparently Rick, the man who owned the sandwich shop on the corner had broken up with his long time girlfriend and Eric from the hair salon had been in an accident.

"He's perfectly fine, " Emily reassured her. "Just a little shaken up. The car was completely totaled though." Emily shook her head. "The other car just ran straight through that red light. I don't know what some people are thinking." While the misfortunes of others were never cheering, Elena liked listening to the normal gossip from the world around her. She thought about Peter's comments on her fellow pilots, but dismissed them. There were ways to cover up the piloting and still allow herself to mix and mingle with the everyday world. After all she often went on buying trips. Channel riding was no different; she would just have to leave out a few of the details.

"So how is that business venture with the hottie going?" Emily asked. All of the ears in the room perked up at the question and Elena found herself the center of attention.

"It went pretty well, " she said. "I'm going to be sending a business proposal today. So we will see how things go from there." The news was greeted with nods and smiles. A few minutes later the bell over the door jingled and Elena's first corporate buyer meeting of the morning began. The morning rolled past quickly and between the scheduled appointments and everyday shoppers she didn't have much time to think about Peter. It wasn't until mid-afternoon when she found a lull in which to call him. Elena ducked back into the office and pulled the business card from the notebook. She dialed the first of the listed numbers. Luck was with her and he picked up on the third ring.

ondered if he actually wanted to be a pilot or if he just wanted it because he was told he couldn't have it. She flopped another page over and came to a map. Four channels were marked on the map. The locations were off for this time of year, but the general locations gave her an indication of which channels they were.

'After all, ' she thought, carefully keeping her thoughts inside her head incase her apartment was bugged, 'There are only twenty seven channels and a lot of water on our planet. Few of the channels are anywhere near each other.' She had to admit it was a bit of a relief to find only four of the channels marked.

'I wonder if he didn't know the others?' The four channels marked were the Marta, the Evangeline, the Amalie and the Blood. The Marta was a general channel used by most of the families near the Atlantic Ocean and above the equator, while the Blood was a channel of legend every child had heard of, pilot or not. Elena didn't often travel the Evangeline or the Amalie but she was more than willing to believe Ian's families did. Elena set the map aside and continued looking through the folder. There wasn't much to be found. No other maps surfaced and all of Ian's so called technical information she heard before. She closed the folder.

'Either the military removed some documents or this is truly all they had.' While she wouldn't put it past Smith to remove documents, it was somewhat of a relief to see how sketchy their information was.

"Should make our little lecture series interesting, " she said. Elena rubbed her eyes and stood up. 'When we take the trip through I'll have to use the Marta to avoid giving them more information.' She walked over to the refrigerator and tugged open the door. The contents were not promising.

"Apparently I am out of more than coffee." She closed the refrigerator door and reached for the stack of takeout menus she kept for occasions such as this. Elena was debating between pizza and Chinese when the phone rang. Since she hadn't yet determined a preference, she put off the weighty concerns of dinner and answered it.


"Elena, how have you been?" The familiar voice made her smile.

"Mateo, " she said happily.

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