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   Chapter 27 Pilot

Pilot: Book One of the Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 14591

Updated: 2018-02-02 13:15

By mid afternoon the next day, the copies of the schematics were ready and Elena took her lunch break to swing by the copy center to pick them up. She dropped one in the overnight mailbox the copy center had on hand and took the other two back to the office with her. Back in the store she tucked them into the office and promptly forgot about them. Other than that her day was the normal mix of daily business worries. There were no phone calls from relatives not seen in years or drop bys made by military personnel. It was somewhat a relief to face the day surrounded only by normality.

After work she went grocery shopping, restocking her fridge and her coffee pot as well as running a couple of other errands. She checked her e-mail when she got home and received a reminder of a housewarming she had agreed to go to Friday night. She smiled smugly at the bottle of wine and flowerpot of miniature roses she picked up while she was out in anticipation of the event. She frowned at the fact that there were no e-mails from either Peter or her grandfather, but figured they were probably still pre-occupied with Ian. Idly she wondered what was happening to him. She wondered if Smith would ask when she met with him.

"Maybe someone will tell me by then?" she asked aloud. Elena bit her lip at the sound of her own voice and looked guiltily around. She was trying to remember not to talk to herself in case the apartment was bugged. In fact, she hadn't realized how much she normally did talk to herself until she tried to stop. Now without her own voice the apartment sounded too empty. She sighed, shut down her computer and walked over to her stereo. She ran her eyes down the stack of cds next to it and decided the Pixies would be an excellent way to fill the silence. She placed it in the stereo and let it play. She smiled at the sound.

"Silence all gone, " she said softly, wondering if the music would cover up whispers. She decided to use the lull between all-encompassing events to once again restore order to her apartment. Elena put away the laundry she washed the day before and not yet gotten into the closet and tidied up the apartment. Papers were filed, sheets were folded, and dishes were washed. When the Pixies ended she replaced them with the Dead Kennedys and tackled the bathroom with a foaming scrub. By the time the last note clicked into silence her apartment was clean and she was ready for bed. She showered, slipped into her pajamas and slid into bed. She sighed, there really was nothing like a little normality after several days of whirlwind chaos.

Two more days of normality passed and instead of feeling relieved Elena was beginning to feel anxious. Had something happened? Was that why no one was calling her? Images of the Lorenzo being sunk by a torpedo swam through her vision. The man sent with Ian could have had a tracking device on him, probably did. Why wasn't he searched as well as blindfolded? She snorted at the stupidity and re-arranged a display that didn't actually need it. Perhaps the Council made a ruling the military didn't like. Mentally she replaced the sunken ship with a ship being swarmed by armed men intent on taking prisoners. Her grandfather could be hurt in the struggle, taken to a hospital or interrogated. Why wasn't anyone calling her?

"I'm sure they are going to love the business plan, " Max said interrupting her thoughts of gloom and doom. "How could they not?"

"You didn't even see the business plan, " she commented with a smile, letting thoughts of evil slide away. Max snorted.

"I don't have to; I remember when this place was just an abandoned wreck." Elena glanced around the store with a tender smile. It hadn't been much more then four bare walls when she took it over. Now it was a place of her own that filled her with pride.

"You are right Max, " she said with a grin. "After all who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to sell mini slug monsters from the planet Krypton?" Max rolled his eyes.

"Superman was from Krypton, slug monsters are from Krull, " he informed her.

"I thought conquerors were from Krull, " she replied.

"No. Krull was a conqueror. I don't know what planet he was from."

"Well, it is good you were here to clear things up for me, " she replied. "I'd hate to mis-mark the bill of sale." The coil inside Elena r

light snapped on in Elena's mind.

"Is there any reason you can't release him to the military until his hearing?" She asked. "It would go a long way towards helping them believe everything was on the up and up and they would then be responsible for his safety. I doubt they would just let him disappear when they have so much to gain by good relations." There was silence on the other end. "Peter?"

"Yes, I'm still here, " he said. "You know that might not be a bad plan. You know you are almost devious enough to be Council Elena."

"But no desire to be, " she pointed out quickly. He laughed.

"Of course not, " he said. "And I have no desire to press you to be, especially when I stand to make a bundle off this new venture of ours."

"Does that mean you read over my proposal?"

"It does. Actually both Alexandro and I have read over it. I think it is brilliant and he is about to burst with pride. I'm sending over some paperwork for you to go over. We hashed out a good deal of the legalese over here. That is what took so long. It should be to you in the morning sometime before noon."

"My apartment or the store?"

"The store, we figured you wouldn't be home during the day. I liked your list of goods and the way you've presented them. Obviously they come from the Calebrese travels and

There are several from our end we would like to see incorporated."

"Of course, however that is going to have to wait, I'm afraid I am not in a place to discuss business." Lisa escorted another guest back to drop off a coat and Elena caught the sound of her friend Tina commenting on the décor.

"You are not at home?"

"No, I'm at a party. Is there a time maybe tomorrow evening or Sunday that would work for you?"

"Sunday would work, around 2 pm your time?"

"That would be great, " Elena said as the two women entered the room. "I'll talk to you then." She hung up on Peter as Tina broke out into a grin.

"Please tell me that was the devilishly attractive man from the restaurant and not a business call."

"Can't it be both?" Elena asked with a laugh, giving her friend a hug. "You look great, love the dress."

"Uh huh, trying to change the subject, " Tina commented to Lisa.

"So I see, " Lisa said with an eyebrow waggle. "Must be juicy."

"Not juicy, Business." Elena said. "I have a new business venture."

"Really?" Lisa asked. "Details, we want details." The doorbell rang and Lisa rolled her eyes. "Okay, I want details later." The three of them walked back into the living room. Mentally Elena juggled facts and figures in her head. She could rejoin the Guild and still maintain a place in the non-guild oriented world. It would just take some serious word considerations. She accepted a glass of wine from one of Bob's friends who had been dragooned into playing bartender for the night. Elena smiled. She always had liked a challenge.

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