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   Chapter 14 Councilor

Councilor: Book Six of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 12966

Updated: 2018-02-26 16:42

Chapter 14

The two weeks before Elena set sail again were filled with shopping trips, approving cargo and double checking schedules. David Johns, when Elena connected with him, was eager to move in and get started. He passed the interview with Roger's approval. Apparently, there was no strange vibes emanating from the man in his estimation. He radiated competency and eagerness with a clean cut look to him that made you think 'boy next door'. Elena wondered if her knowledge was making her think Eddie Haskell instead of hardworking professional or if everyone would see him that way.

"Doesn't really matter anyway, " she told herself after offering him the job on a conditional basis and letting Roger handle the more detailed arrangements. "I would have hired him regardless. I suppose it is good Roger is happy though."

With the new designer settling in, Elena threw herself into all of the other items swirling on her to do list, trying not to think about David Johns sneaking downstairs after the store closed to rifle through files and inspect inventory. Thinking about it made her twitchy.

In her apartment, Elena found herself going through drawers and closets ferreting out all of her random notebooks to destroy incriminating to do lists, adding items to be shipped and disposing of things that didn't need to stay.

"No need for anyone to find these, " She told herself as she picked out duck and soy sauce packets from her silverware drawer to throw away. Despite her precautions, she knew there was always the possibility she would not return and that someone else would end up going through her apartment either to search things out or to ready it for a new occupant.

"No need for anyone to know how much take out I eat." She decided. "And we did need a good clean out." To the discarded sauce packets, she and Jennifer both added tags and disposable packaging from all new items. After all, here there was regular trash pick-up and a disposal facility, which Haven was lacking. As she had no desire to create a Haven city dump, extreme recycling practices went into practice there with items finding many 'not intended by manufacturer' uses instead of becoming trash.

As Elena began to sort through things, gradually her closets and shelves thinned out. Following Thompson's advice, she shifted things around so the shelves looked a little less bare. She was fairly certain when he visited, Thompson did some tweaking of the books and knickknacks as well to better cover the missing items. She also noticed that he often brought a bag to add to the pile to be shipped out and wondered how long he was preparing to stay skyside. Somehow she couldn't bring herself to ask him knowing that once he left Haven, he might not return.

In the office, Lisa passed bags for both her and Bob to Victor for shipping. Although Elena knew they weren't planning on spending too long a time skyside, she encouraged them to bring extra. The bulk of the luggage was going to be moved separately so it looked like just a normal trip skyside when they left. Even though Lisa looked as though she were indulging Elena's paranoid streak, she did as asked. She knew Lisa thought it was just in case Tina and friends needed to be avoided, but Elena figured there was the all too real possibility that the rest of the Council would soon decide she knew too much of the Guild to leave Haven until the all clear was given.

In her dreams, Elena dreamed of sheep repeatedly although she could never quite hear the agreement and find out why exactly she wanted the carnivorous sheep. In fact, she was never quite certain from one dream to the next if she was brokering a deal for the sheep or just for their wool. It seemed to change between the two options. In between dreams of sheep, Elena found herself dreaming of unopened channels. Each morning she recorded the loca

Spin nosed the door open. Despite having all of her claws, she made no sound as she padded into the pilothouse. Elena smiled as she realized the source of the clicking was Ladybug's nails on the wood. On deck, Elena saw Lisa looking around. She slid the small window open in front.

"Ladybug is up here with me. She'll be safe during the crossing." Elena looked up as Lisa nodded with relief. The Marta was close. "Channel entry in five, " she called.

Thompson ushered the last of the folks into the galley and quickly joined her in the pilot house, closing the door firmly behind him in case Ladybug decided to wander.

"I figured if the animals went crazy you could use a hand, " he told her.

"Thanks, " she said turning her attention to the channel. She dismissed everything else as she focused on the task at hand. The world faded away and the Storm Chaser slipped into the channel. All around them the world fractured into ribbons of multicolored light, swirling and streaming around them becoming brighter and brighter until they were white. There was a flash or what her eyes processed as a flash when the channel opened into space and the white became a vast black glittering with stars.

Elena blinked her eyes clear and heard a low whine. She turned to find Ladybug huddled and shaking in the corner. As she looked Spin rubbed against the scared dog companionably purring. The dog seemed to settle somewhat. Elena turned back to the window.

"All clear, " she called in a loud voice. Jennifer, who was left in charge of the passengers opened the door and let everyone back out on deck. Elena smiled as she watched the events from her dream play out. Stephen walked around, science warring with wonder as he looked. Alex, Thompson's father was spinning around as he tried to take it all in at once and Lisa was leading Bob around as though she were an old hand with channel riding.

"You might want to look after your father, " Elena told Thompson.

"Probably right, " He gave her a quick kiss and left to make sure his father didn't fall over board. Spin followed close on his heels and Ladybug looked torn as though unsure whether to stay where she thought she was safe or follow her new buddy Spin.

"You can always stay with me, " she told the somewhat settled, but still uncertain looking pug. She reached down and gave Ladybug a comforting pet. Deciding she was good where she was, Ladybug settled in with Elena.

"At least someone likes me." She returned to the wheel and adjusted their course, heading for the next channel crossing.

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