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   Chapter 7 Haven

Haven: Book Four of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 16215

Updated: 2018-02-26 16:00


Chapter 7

Breakfast wrapped up and hugs were passed around. Elena promised to take a fair share of them back with her for Mateo and Lucas when she saw them. She would send the details of the next run to Catherine and Ambra by the end of the day so they could plan.

Remembering that she promised Lisa to pick up some information about changes in the Council, Elena turned her steps towards the DF library. She skirted the edge of the market and refused to be drawn in by those looking to haggle. She did however catch random glimpses of the stalls and found herself frowning a little at the sight.

The market was a crowded affair where shop owners jockeyed for even the tiniest of spaces. Nearly every season there was some sort of ruckus with arguing merchants or merchant families over the shifting of moveable walls and retaliation for overlaps that got out of hand. Some of them became legendary feuds lasting generations and were often retold over the dinner table as cautionary tales.

As Elena walked, she thought she saw entire stalls that appeared to be abandoned. She planned to go to the market to speak with the merchants she set deals with once she was finished with the library, but decided she would take a longer walk through when she was done so that she could get a better understanding of where things stood.

'There can't be that many routes blocked, ' she thought as she walked. Elena tried to remember how many trade routes went through Theran space as she walked. She was still frowning when she entered the library. As always the library left her breathless. Since all of the information stored here was a digital copy with the originals remaining safely on the archive ships, there were no shelved books and scents of leather and paper.

Instead, thousands of small drawers, each containing the stored information filled the walls around the room. The drawers were each about an inch square and labeled with the number of the file. These files served as backup copies on the off chance that those stored in the central computer were damaged. In the center of the room was a computer that served as an electronic card catalog and downloading station. She pulled out her data storage device which was circular and had enough ports of varying types to be connected to nearly every piece of electronic equipment she chose.

Elena set the storage device on the table next to the computer and looked up before typing her code to begin her search. The ceiling of the library was composed of some see through material, much tougher than glass, but serving the same purpose as a window.

The vista this window looked out upon varied based on the DF's rotation. Currently, Elena could see part of the blue gray planet of Hecfa and a myriad of constellations she couldn't name. No matter what the view, Elena always found it fascinating. She tore her attention away from the sky and typed her library code into the computer.

The DF's library had long since done away with standard library cards and simply issued codes. She knew they kept track of what people read, which bothered her a little when she thought about it, and she was reasonably sure that different people were given different levels of access.

She only recently come to that conclusion and was still turning it over in her mind. Truth be told, she never thought of it when she was younger. Of course at that time she was more interested in downloading the daring feats of long dead pilots, who behaved more like pirates in some cases, than anyone she knew. It wasn't until after she made a deal with the Librarians that she began to suspect that there were different levels and that her access level changed.

Unable to sleep one night, Elena decided to download a couple of her old favorites as easy reads. Over the years she pulled up the same listing for adventure tales more times than she could count. Occasionally a new one would be added and she would eagerly download it for reading. After her parents were killed, she found that reading until her eyes closed over the words kept nightmares at bay. She long since ran through all of the listed tales and could practically recite the list available. When she went back after making her deal with the Librarians, she found the list of available files more than doubled.

At first she thought that as her age changed, the restrictions of childhood fell away and perhaps that could account for some of the titles. But many of the accounts were not in the same high adventure fiction style she saw before. They were actual accounts and there were many more of them, some marked with Council codes. These she avoided.

Elena thought about asking Evan about her change in status, but was unsure if she wanted to know the truth. She already had several secrets that were hidden from

thing more turned up. To her surprise, several more documents appeared, many of them looked to be Council records.

She frowned and wondered if that is why the Councilor had scrolled through her data. It would make sense for Siobhan to know about Riko as they served together and had to balance out each other's personal agendas for the good of the Guild. Had she been checking to see what information Elena had access to?

"Yet another thing to worry about, " Elena muttered to herself. "I guess I will need to talk to Evan." She downloaded the extra information on Riko, even the documents marked by Council codes and searched for anything tied to the word Volna, as Siobhan had suggested.

Three documents appeared all dated to the right time frame and Elena downloaded them, wondering what Siobhan wanted her to find out. She noticed that when Siobhan spoke in Council, she wrapped her hands around a mug of tea to keep them from moving. Elena thought about the Councilor's hand movements.

"Her hands looked like they wanted to claw when she saw Riko's name, " Elena thought. It was not a good indication of friendliness. Unfortunately, she didn't know enough about the woman to guess at the specific meaning other than to see her hands as a contrast to her carefully modulated voice. She thought about downloading information on Siobhan to see what her relationship with Riko actually was but decided against it for the moment. Council documents on Riko contained enough Council politics and machinations for one day.

Once the information on Riko was completely downloaded, Elena searched out documents related to The Calling, figuring that if nothing else the documents would serve as background source material for the Council's research.

As Elena waited for the information to download, she wondered if there was anything else she needed from the library. She already nixed the idea of snooping on Siobhan and decided against downloading her grandfather's file as well. She knew however, that with everything going on it might be a while before she had the leisure to spend time pulling documents from the library. On a whim she typed Alexandra Nelson into the search engine, not really expecting to find anything, after all, why would there be information from her dream in the library. She was surprised when four separate documents appeared.

"Who knew?" Elena asked. She added them to her collection and then decided to type in something she had not looked up in the archives since she was a teenager. She typed her mother's name into the search engine and held her breath as the computer thought about it. Her heart was pounding and Elena prayed that no-one would walk in.

Before when she searched, no documents had popped up. This time fourteen separated documents appeared. All had the Council stamp on them. She let her breath out in a whoosh as though she were punched in the stomach. Her hands were shaking as she downloaded the documents. When they were in her portable storage, Elena pocketed the device, cleared her search history and logged out. Feeling as though she was making a getaway from a bank heist, Elena left the library, hardly daring to breathe until she entered the market.

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