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   Chapter 30 Pilot

Pilot: Book One of the Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 13187

Updated: 2018-02-02 13:17

Elena stretched herself awake and smiled. Waking up without an alarm clock screaming in her ear was her favorite part of Sunday morning. She glanced over at the clock. 9:38, a decadently late hour for one used to rising early. Elena sat up and rubbed her eyes. The room seemed brighter than usual and she slid out of bed and looked out of her bedroom window. She winced at the blinding wash of sun bouncing off of the white blanket coating everything.

"I wonder how much snow we got?" Elena's belly rumbled, reminding her she had ignored dinner the night before. "Yeah, yeah, " she told it. She sat down on the edge of the bed and pulled on a thick pair of socks. Her eyes rested on the leather notebook and she remembered her dream from the night before. "No headache this morning either, " she said thoughtfully. Elena picked up the notebook and took it into the kitchen. She set it on the kitchen table while she measured coffee and filled the carafe with water. She sliced a bagel in half and popped it into the toaster.

'Maybe it was a real dream and not a part of the Calling, ' she thought. It was possible. Not everything had to have deeper meaning. 'That would explain the lack of headache.' Her bagel popped up and she spread a thick layer of cream cheese over it. She placed it on a plate, poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. As she ate she dissected the dream. It had all of the earmarks that linked it to the earlier dreams.

"Perhaps paying attention actually helps, " she said aloud. "Who knew?" Elena finished her bagel and set the plate aside. She pulled the notebook to her and began recording the dream. "After all it can't hurt, " she muttered. When the recording was complete, Elena closed the notebook and refilled her coffee mug. A rumble outside startled her and she walked towards the window. A snowplow was making its way down the center of the street, pushing heaps of fluffy whiteness to the sides. Elena felt a moment of pity for those who were parked on the street.

"They are going to have fun digging themselves out, " she said. She was pleased that her seldom-used car was safely parked in the garage at the rear of the building. "Hopefully someone will dig that door open by tomorrow night." She thought of her meeting with the military and then deliberately shifted it out of her mind. Today was her one-day off. She may have to go through a business call with Peter and review Andre's resume and portfolio, but she was not going to think about Smith.

Elena walked over towards the television set and picked up the remote control she hat left on top of it. She clicked the set on and turned it to the weather channel. Information spread across the country. Florida got rain. New Mexico was sunny. North Dakota was colder than she cared to contemplate. Finally, her weather popped up. They had gotten eight inches of snow in the night and it looked like more might be heading their way.

"Pretty impressive for the first snow of the year, " she said. She glanced out of the window and looked up at the sky. The bright sun she had seen upon waking disappeared behind a wall of gray. Oddly enough the sky looked like the color of slush while the snow still looked like white puffy clouds. "That won't last." She turned from the window, thinking the weather channel was probably right. Given that sky there was a good possibility of more snow on the way.

"I'll need my snow gear in the morning, " she said, walking to the kitchen to refill her coffee mug. She mentally rifled through her closets, trying to remember where she stashed her boots, hat, gloves and scarf. She thought they were in the front hall closet.

"I'll check later so I'm not scrambling in the morning." She took her fresh cup of coffee into the living room and curled up on the couch. She clicked through the television channels and came across the movie Bringing up Bab

e time. May I contact and approach in a preliminary fashion the chef I mentioned?" Elena realized he was asking her permission as the person in charge of decision making for their enterprise. The thought left her dizzy.

"That sounds like a good idea, for preliminaries, " she answered cautiously. "May I ask who you have in mind?"

"Consuelo McCracken, " he answered. Elena blinked.

"The head chef of Grazos?"

"The former head chef of Grazos, " Peter corrected. "She had some sort of family issue earth-side and needed to be closer to her family for a while. Apparently the limited range of ingredients is making her a bit cranky. I thought this might be a good solution."

"I see." Consuelo McCracken had not been born of the families. In fact, no one was certain where she was born and most suspected the name was assumed. She was a large, rather eccentric woman and her hair color changed with her moods, green and purple being the two most often featured. She had piercing blue eyes that rarely missed a detail and was more than willing to use a cooking implement to rap someone across the knuckles. The owner of Grazos, one of the finest eating establishments in the Docking Facility, had come across her one evening, sampled her food and offered her a job instantly. Or so the story went. Elena had trouble picturing the family of this woman. "I didn't know she had family."

"Neither did anyone else actually. I will be able to let you know how these ventures fair later in the week. Also I would like to hear about the outcome of the first military meeting. It would help to know where their line of reasoning takes them. Perhaps it will enable us to keep one step ahead. Or at least break even. Is there an evening that would work for you?" Elena thought of her schedule in her head.

"This week Thursday should work. Around 8ish maybe?"

"Sounds fine to me. I will call you then." Elena hung up the phone and heaved a sigh of relief. Having people thinking she was gunning for a Council seat was very high on her Not to Do list. In fact it was circled in red and underlined. Twice. Elena shut down her computer and went back in the living room.

Thinking about the unthinkable was not a good way to spend the rest of her day off. Elena made herself a sandwich and took it to the living room. She pressed the power button on the remote control and the television sprung to life. It was still on the movie channel and midway through the Philadelphia Story. They were running a Katherine Hepburn marathon. Elena settled in, willing to enter someone else's reality for a little while.

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