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   Chapter 18 Councilor

Councilor: Book Six of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 15729

Updated: 2018-02-26 16:45

Chapter 18

Elena tried not to let her worries about her family show as she moved through town heading towards Evan and the crossroads. The trip was slow as Elena found herself often stopped along the way. Now that the rains were gone and the skies clear, people were everywhere. It seemed everyone wanted to get things done before the next squall hit. It also seemed that at least half of the population wanted to talk to her.

Sometimes there were questions, most of the time it was simply a welcome home comment. After spending the last few weeks under surveillance, it felt good, if a little strange, to have so many people happy to see her. She also found herself grateful that Benjamin was keeping track of her schedule so she could direct all those wanting a meeting his way.

"Good thing breakfast with grandfather was really early, " she thought as she finally made it to the scriptorium. "At least this way I'll actually make it back to Riko's by lunchtime."

Elena knew that Evan often spent a great deal of time in the scriptorium and that even if he was elsewhere she could find someone who could direct her towards his current location. Elena pushed open the heavy door and stepped inside.

As she stepped into the stone building, the temperature dropped noticeably and Elena felt goose bumps rise on her arms from the temperature difference. From where she stood, she could see into two of the rooms.

In the room to her right, the Librarians were working. Some were sitting at a long worktable, rebinding manuscripts and making various repairs. There were also smaller individual desks where Librarians were bent over aging manuscripts, copying them onto newer pages. Elena knew that they had a digital database, but the Librarians believed in keeping a hardcopy that could be perused by interested parties. Once when she was smaller, she had asked why and had been handed a copy of the classic novel 1984 by George Orwell in response.

Elena smiled, pausing for a moment to watch the Librarians work. There was something oddly steadying about it. The types of pens and paper may have changed over time, but the act of copying remained essentially the same for hundreds of years and was little likely to change anytime soon. The continuity was something she found comforting. Evan was not in the room so she left the Librarians to work. She turned to her left and saw that one of the rooms was turned into a class room. Today a group of small children were learning their ABCs. Towards the back was a young blonde boy she thought looked vaguely familiar.

"He might have been brought aboard the Storm Chaser during the evacuation, " she thought as that was one of the few places she recently came in contact with any children. His brow furrowed as he neatly printed his letters on the lined paper with what looked to Elena like an oversized pencil. "Maybe it just looks big because his hands are so small."

The boy's shoelaces were untied and he swung his feet as he worked, the laces slapping the chair in front of him and irritating a girl with lopsided pigtails, which Elena thought might be the point as he grinned every time she scowled at him. He looked up from his paper and saw her in the hallway. He smiled broadly showing a gap where he lost a tooth and waved. Elena smiled, waved back and decided to move on before she caused too much of a classroom disturbance.

Since Evan wasn't in either room, she knew she would have to ask for him in the atrium.

She proceeded down the hall and stopped as the corridor widened into open space. She remembered visiting the building when it was long abandoned. While the Librarians made some changes to adapt the building for their own use, they left most of the internal architecture intact. While the outer spaces were honeycombed with smaller rooms, the center atrium was an open column. One could stand in it, look up and have an un-obstructed view of the sky when looking up through the skylight.

The fact that the opening showed no signs that it was ever covered and was always supposed to be open to the sky, was a source for much debate. Some believed that it was open for the light and that during the rainy season there was either a temporary cover or some system for catching water that rotted away over the years. Others believed that maybe those who built the buildings had wings. The debates ranged from plausible archaeological based speculation to fantastical tales that Elena felt certain would make their way into campfire stories at some point.

Unable to resist, Elena looked up as she entered the atrium. The Librarians closed off the skylight, filling it in with a clear glass or a gl

y told him of Mateo and Kiera's deaths.

"And you didn't know of the child before the dream?" He asked when she was through. Elena shook her head. "That explains the search of Elizabeth's trade agreements." Slowly he began to question her of the dream, ferreting out little details. "And it was just as hazy as the second one?" he concluded.

"Yeah, it was as though I could have one or the other and my actions would determine which came to pass."

"And the second dream?" Evan asked. Again Elena related her dream in as much detail as she could remember. It was easier as the images were less horrific. Again when she was through, Evan questioned her thoroughly. When he was done, he leaned back in his chair, steepled his fingers and gazed off into space for a moment.

"I think we will help you in your…project, " he told her. "Although perhaps it would be best if your lawyer friend Lisa was involved as she has a flair for this sort of thing. We can only help with logistics, research and wording however. You must deal with the Council. While I don't think any of them would block such a change as many have lived through the devastation and familial chaos that open Council seats create and would see the additional power in being allowed to vote a new Councilor from a larger pool of applicants, I doubt many of them would be willing to step down from a seat of power of their own volition."

"True, " Elena said thinking of the Council. "They also wouldn't vote for anything that allowed another to unseat them before they were ready. But I think I might be able to explain to them that it would be nice to have the option of retirement rather than immediately going straight to decimation and bloodshed."

"Yes, that would be a nice option, " he agreed sighing a little. "Send Lisa to me when there is a chance, " he told her as he stood. Elena stood with him and walked to the door as he began to extinguish the oil lamps. "It will be a pleasure to work with her and I have been told there is a chance to meet her husband as well, as he joined her on this trip."

Elena opened the door and Evan blew out the last of the lamps. "Yes, he is currently taking in Haven's hottest tourist spots, as is their pug."

"Ah the estimable Ladybug of whom I have heard many tales." Evan said with a chuckle.

"We'll if you'd like to see both man and dog in person, you are welcome to come by for dinner tonight."

"Well I do need to thank Lisa for the book she sent on and I did find something she might like. I'll have to download it and bring it with me. It might also be nice to find out what tourist sights we actually have." Evan walked her to the main entrance and promised to come by for dinner. As Elena left him and headed back towards town and her meeting with Riko, she realized she felt much lighter than when she had started out.

"Maybe because it's not just me anymore, " she thought. "And if I have to share a heavy burden, the Librarians are good choice to share it with." She smiled and nodded politely as someone she passed welcomed her home. "I suppose it's time to see what Riko wants of me."

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