Katya and Cyrus Time Pilgrims [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Dennis Higgins
eBook Category: Fantasy/Science Fiction
eBook Description: When the Callahans found Katya they soon discovered that she was the most powerful Time Pilgrim they'd ever employed at their time research facility, National. However, they soon discover she's plagued with a condition known as temporal amnesia. She can't remember what year she's from and is trying to locate her roots. Because of Katya's time displacement, she's not matured physically beyond the age of twenty, although she's much older. She becomes a sponge in every time period she visits, soaking up the culture and instantly becoming one with the period. Katya and Cyrus--the Callahans' son--develop a love interest along with a powerful time travel partnership. Before Katya came into his life, Cyrus was all business. Katya shows him that time can sometimes be traveled just for the sheer fun of it, while still trying to fight off temporal attacks by Sundial, an adversarial time organization.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Published: 2012
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2012
* * * *
Katya pointed out the logo on the wall to her new partner, Eli. It was the familiar triple-diamond-shaped globes suspended above the letters WTC. She took note of a nearby clock. During what should have been a routine time pilgrimage, the two pilgrims had inadvertently found themselves in the North Tower of the famous skyscraper overlooking Manhattan.
"World Trade Center," she began. "It's September 11, 2001, at 8:44 in the morning." As she noted this, she gazed out the window, gasping as their predicament became apparent. A Boeing 767 was heading straight for them. Katya knew from history that the aircraft was the hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 coming out of Boston.
"Oh my God, these poor people," Katya said. "How can we help them, Eli? What can we do?" She looked at Eli and saw that he had turned white as a bleached sheet.
"Katya, we have to go. Oh my God, we have to go now--I don't want to die like this. Please, we have to make the jump!" Eli had become hysterical and clawed at her like a drowning person clutches desperately to his rescuer. Katya worried about getting him out in time. She knew if he couldn't focus, he'd be stuck. She pushed him back and slapped him across the face as hard as she could.
Katya Sevnik was unique among her fellow time pilgrims in that she was time displaced and had a condition known as "temporal amnesia." Whereas people with normal amnesia can't remember where they are from, Katya had no memory as to when she was from. Everyone who met her noticed an unusual accent and speech pattern, but even though her name was of Russian descent, Katya Sevnik was all American. She had come to the National Time Research Center--NTRC--of Waltham, Massachusetts nearly three years before. While most time travel had to be done in pairs, Katya was the only pilgrim to come to the Center who could easily travel solo.
It was a well-known fact that Katya marched to the beat of her own drum and often had to be reprimanded by the Center's founders, the Callahans. Such was the case the day she was sent with her partner, Eli Ingraham, on a routine fact-finding pilgrimage to investigate America's major storms and hurricanes. It was discovered that in nearly every case, water and electrical activities in the air during these storms caused active and often unpredictable temporal phenomena. One example of this occurred back in 2011, nearly twenty-five years previously, when the horrific Japanese earthquake and resulting tsunami caused temporal glitches that were felt worldwide.
On this particular trip, Eli and Katya were supposed to be headed to Cape Cod to take air and soil samples along with special temporal readings from a tropical storm and hurricane from the year 2001. They were scheduled to investigate Tropical Storm Dean and Hurricane Humberto, but they had strict orders to skip Hurricanes Erin and Felix that took place between the two targets. But as she often did, Katya ignored those warnings. At the last minute, she decided to skip Tropical Storm Dean and go right for the major hurricane of Erin. Erin would have caused more damage than the historic Hurricane Katrina had it not dissipated before reaching land up toward Nova Scotia.
As they prepared to travel, she grabbed hold of Eli's hand and reminded him of the date and details to concentrate on as he'd been trained. Eli was a new pilgrim but had proven to be a good time traveler as long as he had a strong partner connection.
They felt the familiar tingling as the cape and ocean faded from their sight, transporting them in time. Hurricanes were usually easy to travel to because of their destructive nature, as devastation had powerful effects on time travel. Eli wasn't able to pinpoint his travels as well as Katya, and what neither of them had realized was that another disaster along that time period severely trumped Hurricane Erin. So instead of transporting to the same spot in 2001, Katya and Eli found themselves in an unoccupied office overlooking Manhattan Island. Immediately, Katya realized something was very wrong, as only in rare cases did time travel move you in space as well as time. It was a beautiful sunny day and Katya quickly assessed that it was morning. She looked at the clock on the wall and confirmed that it was 8:44 a.m.
"Radical chill" were the only words Eli muttered when he saw the Manhattan skyline and began looking around the office.
"Not so cool," said Katya. "Look!"
She pointed to the logo on the wall, and Eli followed her gaze back out the window where he saw the Boeing aircraft heading straight for them.
When Eli became hysterical, Katya worried about getting him out in time. She knew that if he couldn't focus, he'd be stuck. She also was concerned that they would be transported to the next disaster, which as history recorded, would commence eighteen minutes later at the South Tower. She pushed him back and slapped him across the face.
Turning him away from the window and the approaching aircraft, she made deep eye contact with him and held his face so he couldn't look away. "We have to focus on going farther into the past." He stared at her with eyes wide as saucers as she continued, "We have to go backward or we'll transport ninety floors up in midair. After this day, there will be no building here for many years to come. Now, Eli, concentrate on the year 1970."
She grabbed both his hands as she watched the jetliner approach close enough that she could make out scratches on its nose. She could see the hijacker in the pilot's seat; his eyes were shut tightly. Her thoughts raced in those few moments. Right now, in this one second in time, the people of New York were calm and happy. In the following hours, there would be nothing but chaos, tragedy, and grief. She felt a wave of sadness as the familiar tingling came.
In an instant, they were standing in the same office space but now with blank walls around them and no furniture. They could smell fresh paint and new carpeting. Eli wiped tears from his face as they walked toward the thankfully operational elevator. A couple of union workers on ladders looked at them strangely as their radio blared out the song "Hey There Lonely Girl" by Eddie Holman with much too much distortion.
Present day, 2036
"I'm sorry," Katya said as she sat in a very angry Cheryl Callahan's office. Cheryl was co-founder of the NTRC with her husband Kevin. This was her Waltham office.
"We have these rules for a reason, Miss Sevnik," the normally calm, middle-aged Cheryl yelled. "I don't care if you thought you were doing the right thing. You could have been killed and you could have killed Mr. Ingraham along with you. He and his wife have a baby on the way. How could you forget what happened on 9-11 that year, aside from the mostly forgotten Hurricane Erin?"
"I'm really sorry, Cheryl. Please forgive me," Katya begged. "I promise I will never do it again. It wouldn't have been so bad if I had been alone. I do much better by myself."
"You know the rules," Cheryl replied. "No pilgrimages without a partner."
"Then I would like to request a new partner," Katya said. "Eli just isn't at the same level as me."
"Nobody is at your level, Katya, but you won't be doing any more pilgrimages for a while."
"What? But..." Katya stammered.
"No buts about it, young lady. You're grounded from further missions until I can figure out what to do with you. You will be transcribing reports for us and working in the lab. Oh, and you're also being transferred to Elgin where Kevin and I can keep an eye on you."
"Yes, ma'am," Katya said in a defeated voice. This made her sad. Although she didn't know when she was from and had no idea how to find her parents, she considered Boston her hometown and commuted to Waltham from there. Somehow she knew she was originally from a small town near Boston that was either renamed or no longer existed.
* * * *
Three days later
Katya looked at the old observatory as she walked past it on Watch Street in the old section of Elgin. She knew that the observatory was built for the Elgin National Watch Factory, which once stood proudly just a block away. The small observatory was built to track time via the planets and stars. The factory fell victim to the wrecking ball in 1964 but had employed thousands of people over the course of a hundred years. This was the very site in which the Callahans had built their research center. It seemed fitting that it was on the exact spot that had been obsessed with time for well over a century.
Katya had never met her other boss, co-founder Kevin Callahan, but had corresponded with him via his wife, Cheryl, and video mail. She wondered how working here at the original NTRC--called National for short--would turn out. Perhaps her new co-workers could help her remember from whence she came.
On her own, Katya had jumped around in time often in her young life, sometimes staying in one time period for years. For the usual time pilgrim, there's a built-in set point for their own present--nature's way of helping them get back home to just the right moment after a jump. The Center was helping Katya stay in this present by having her create an imitation set point connected directly to it. It was the longest she'd ever stayed in one time period, but Katya firmly believed she wasn't originally from this here and now, at least from the Callahans' point of view.
As the attendant walked her through the building and toward the offices used by the Callahans, everyone was watching her. The employees rarely got to see new faces at the Center. They were also very curious about this "Power Pilgrim" as she'd been dubbed. She glanced at them as she passed, but Katya's gaze quickly landed on a handsome young man with bright blue eyes. She flashed him a flirtatious smile.
The dual offices of the Callahans were not as big or as decadent as Katya had imagined. They were normal-sized, messy, and down-to-earth. She thought that they didn't match their room names: the Lord Elgin and Lady Elgin. She was afraid that Kevin would be cross over the 9-11 incident, but he smiled largely and made her feel right at ease.
"Good morning, Katya," he began. "It's so good to finally, ah...meet you." Kevin didn't want to tell her that he'd met her in the past once before, because from Katya's point of view, it hadn't happened yet. "I know she'll be mad at me for telling you this, but you're Cheryl's favorite pilgrim."
Katya reached for his outstretched hand. "Good to know ya, Joe," she said. "You say that I am Mrs. Callahan's favorite? I thought she hated me."
"Heavens, no," said Kevin. "She's just tough on you because she sees so much potential in you." He leaned in close and said with a whisper, "She also sees a young Cheryl Bachman in you. That probably scares her a little."
Kevin looked her over, trying to time frame his one-time meeting with her. She was average height with a blonde bob, perhaps dyed, fair, and feminine with dark brown eyes.
Their brief meeting had taken place during his and Cheryl's first time pilgrimage, which occurred while traveling down Route 66 to save his grandmother's life. His Grandma Kate had gone missing right after giving birth to his father, Sean. Kevin and Cheryl saved her and changed history. This was also when he had discovered the secrets of time travel and the key role that water plays in all of it. Katya and her future partner would one day be curious about that moment and appear before the Callahans in 1946, just before Kevin and Cheryl made the jump back to their own time. For Kevin, this happened nearly twenty-five years ago.
Katya looked around the office nervously. She noticed a cabinet in the corner containing a collection of pocket watches.
"Groovy watch collection you have here," she blurted. "May I have a look-see?"
"Sure, be my guest," Kevin replied.
"Wow, you have a Yankee and some Elgins and Walthams...these are terriff!" She looked back at him.
"Thanks!" Kevin replied. "Do you see the one Elgin watch in the center? That one belonged to my grandfather."
She looked at it closely. It was displayed with the case opened. She noticed a beautiful woman pictured on the inside cover. "Kevin," she began. "Is that your grandmother, Katherine Callahan?" Everyone at both Center locations knew the tale of the Callahans and how Kevin had discovered time travel. The story was famous.
"Yup, that's my Grandma Kate," he answered. "That watch helped me concentrate on her. Add the water from the storms and the electrical field, and time pilgrimages were born."
"And now the government helps fund us to perfect it." Kevin and Katya turned toward the voice as Cheryl entered the room. "But we won't let them control it, will we, darling?" She bent down to kiss her husband. "Good morning, Katya. Welcome to National. When will your belongings arrive? We have a nice little house on the West Side purchased for you."
Katya stood to hug her. "Cheryl, as always, friendship is a sheltering tree."
Cheryl was getting used to Katya's sometimes strange greetings and speech patterns, but Kevin looked puzzled.
Katya continued. "They told me that my possessions would arrive before I got here."
"Good, then, you will have a nice house to go home to tonight after work," Cheryl said. "Speaking of which, I'll call for someone to show you to your office and take you around to meet the folks in the lab."
Katya looked confused. "You mean, I get my own office?"
"Don't let it go to your head, Miss Sevnik," Cheryl answered. "It's only a small one and we have the room here. All of our frequent traveling pilgrims get one."
Katya looked over at Kevin, who gave her a wink as he reached in his pocket and handed Cheryl his mini-tablet. She laid it flat on the desk and touched the screen, bringing up the 3D projection. She took her fingers and made the view bigger, and soon an image of a young, pretty African American woman floated above the tablet. She had a pleasant speaking voice.
"Yes, Cheryl, Dawn here."
"Hello, Dawn," said Cheryl. "Can you come to Kevin's office? I'd like you to take our new girl and show her around."
"Sure thing, Mrs. C. Be right there." Before Cheryl could even hand the tablet back to her husband, Dawn was standing in the office doorway. She was young and cute, and wore glasses. Her straight short hair framed her round face.
"Dawn, I'd like you to meet Katya Sevnik. Katya, this is Dawn Knight. She'll show you the ropes and I'm quite sure will get you in loads of trouble. Not that you need any help in that area."
"I've nothing to offer, so it's friendship I'll send if you care to receive it," Katya said as she shook Dawn's hand.
"Damn, you talk funny," Dawn answered. "I like it. Come on, let's go. What would you like to see first?"
"I don't know. How about the lab? Cheryl says that's where I'll be working until I'm off being grounded."
"Sure thing, Miss K," said Dawn. "Hey, what did you do that got you in trouble?"
Katya answered without a pause, "I accidentally brought my partner to Ground Zero in New York, only it was seconds before it was to become Ground Zero. He panicked and almost got us killed, and it's me who gets in trouble."
"Whoa, dude, that's some scary stuff," Dawn answered.
"Did you just call me a dude?" Katya asked. "Oh, never mind--what's in this room?"
Dawn led Katya into a medium-sized room named the Clock Tower Room, which contained what looked like appliances on the workbenches. Two men and a woman were working on them, while another man was working on the image projected from his tablet computer.
"Once developed, this is how we'll be able to fund our own research. That way, we won't have to rely so heavily on government funding." Dawn brought Katya around to meet one of the workers. "Howie, this is our new girl, Katya, from Waltham. Tell her what you're working on."
"Sure, nice to meet you, Katya." Howie smiled.
"Likewise, I'm sure," Katya replied.
Howie continued. "This here is a food preserver--well, it will be if we can ever get it to work consistently over long periods of time. It does work for about ten consecutive days, though. Check it out."
The appliance looked like a small microwave oven. Howie opened the door and pulled out a bunch of bananas. They were almost ripe with a touch of green yet. "These bananas are nine days old."
"Far out," said Katya.
"They're right there in front of you," answered Howie, a little confused, but then continued, "It uses temporal technology. It runs on common house current and water."
"Neat-o, but how do you deal with the concentrated brain power needed for time travel?" asked Katya.
"Well, that's the problem. The machine picks up on our vibes, since this is what we live and breathe while we work," answered Howie. "But it loses the energy on extended weekends away."
Katya thought for a second. "Why don't you just duplicate the brain energy with a simple AI circuit?"
"An artificial intelligence circuit? Wow!" said Howie excitedly. "That could work, but I certainly don't see it as simple."
"Sure it is," answered Katya with a lilting voice. "It's common World War III technology. I could help you with it."
"World War III?" the woman in the corner asked. Dawn just shrugged because she knew that there had been no documented cases of anyone being able to travel to the future. The Callahans had taught them that it was impossible. This is why they secretly questioned if Katya truly was lost in time, because if she was from the past, she would have had to travel forward to be where she was now. It was also considered unlikely that she was from the future, since the present was believed to be natural time. Of course, they all realized that this was just a theory and that there was still much to be discovered about time travel.
"What about you, Dawn?" Katya asked as they left the appliance room. "Are you a TP?"
Dawn's nose wrinkled. "Toilet paper?"
"No, silly, are you a time pilgrim?" Katya corrected with a laugh.
"Not yet," said Dawn. "Oh, I can travel some--that's why I'm here. But I'm still in training. Unstable, you know. I move more in space than in time. Once I tried to travel on my own to the assassination of Dr. King but ended up in Memphis, just three minutes before I left."
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?" Katya asked.
"Uh-huh! I had to explain that one to Cheryl and ask for plane fare back."
As they approached the main lab, Katya saw that it was similar to the lab in Waltham, only bigger. Dawn introduced her to several people whose names Katya wouldn't remember until she got to know them better.
She asked Dawn if she could see her new office. As they walked down a long corridor, Katya noticed the young blue-eyed guy she'd seen earlier. He was sitting at his desk, looking at the projection emitted above his tablet computer.
"Dawn," she whispered, "who's that good-looking guy in there?" She pointed toward the occupied office.
"You mean in there?" Dawn asked. "That's the Callahans' own baby boy, Cyrus."
"Ah, I heard they had a son," Katya said. "I had no idea he worked here."
"Oh, he works here; he's our most skilled pilgrim. He knows it, too--just ask him. You wanna meet him? Hey, Cyrus, get yourself decent; I'm bringing in the new girl."
Katya looked at her.
"Oh, I'm just fooling with him," Dawn said with a smile.
But when they looked in the office, it was totally empty. As Katya stuck her nose in farther, she heard a male voice behind her.
"So you're the Waltham girl I've heard so much about," the voice said.
Katya turned around and there was nobody behind her. She turned back to the office and there was Cyrus, sitting in his chair
"Cyrus, now you stop messing with her or I'll tell your mom on you," scolded Dawn. "He loves that time trick. He's the only one who's mastered it, but we all know we ain't allowed no unauthorized travel during work hours. He's such a show-off."
"Just trying to make a good first impression," Cyrus said as he stood to greet her. "I'm Cyrus Callahan; you must be Katya. It's so nice to meet you."
Katya extended her hand to shake, but when Cyrus started for it, he heard her voice behind him.
"A friend is one who knows us but loves us anyway," the female voice said.
And then from his right: "Good to know you, Cyrus."
And again from his left: "Lovely to make your acquaintance."
Cyrus stepped back in shock as he saw four Katyas in his office, all smiling at him. His mouth dropped, and then suddenly there was one Katya left, still smiling.
Dawn started laughing. "Cy, ol' boy, I would have to say that you've met your match and she has completely whupped your--"
"Come on, Dawn," Katya said as she grabbed her by the arm. "Let's go see my office now. Hope to see you again, Cyrus."
Katya and Dawn left a dumbfounded Cyrus behind and walked into the delight of her new office. It was small but bright and happy. It had a fresh new coat of yellow paint. Her windows overlooked the Fox River, where she could see the old riverboat casino.
"Katya, my new friend," Dawn finally said, "how the heck did you do that trick back there? The look on Cyrus' face was priceless."
"Oh, that was nothing. Not good for much really, but great for tricking people. I had a lot of fun with it on All Hallows' Eve when I was a kid."
"Well, it was fantastic," said Dawn. "Cyrus is a nice guy, but I think he needed to be shown that he can't always be the top dog around here. Folks already think he has an advantage for being a Callahan and all."
"Well, I hope I didn't make my first enemy around here. He's so cute."
Katya spent the rest of the morning arranging her office and unpacking the boxes sent from Waltham. She'd had only a small desk in Massachusetts, so there wasn't much to unpack. She knew that when she got home, it would be a different story. She tended to be a bit of a pack rat. She already missed her old apartment and the cities of Boston and Waltham.
As she worked, she started to feel sad about her original life. She could remember her family: her mom and dad and two sisters. She just couldn't remember what time she left them in. She wondered why her research couldn't uncover their whereabouts. When she brought them to memory, she couldn't see any identifiable time references, such as clothing style or technology. She could just see their faces and hear their voices.
She was deep in thought when she heard a knock on her opened office door. There stood Cyrus.
"Hey, it's lunchtime," he said. "How about I show you where the cafeteria is? Besides, I'd like to have a word with you."
"Sure thing," she answered. "I am a little hungry. Is the food any good in there?"
"It's actually not bad," Cyrus answered. "My parents believe that good nutrition helps, especially for us pilgrims."
As they walked toward the cafeteria, which was located in a part of the building Katya had not yet seen, she was surprised to see a black automobile on display. It was a vintage black Chevy HHR, in mint condition.
"What's with the motor carriage?" Katya asked.
"Oh, that's my dad's. It is believed to be the first car to travel back in time. It's the car that went back to 1946 to save my great-grandmother, Katherine. Man, I would have loved to meet her."
"Why don't you?" Katya suggested.
"I don't think my parents would approve of that. I really admire them for what they have accomplished."
"Me, too," said Katya. "You'll never know how much I appreciate all they've done for me."
"Hey, there's Seth," Cyrus commented as they watched a young man walk quickly down the corridor. Seth turned the corner, out of their sight. "He's my best friend, but it looks like I'll have to introduce him to you later."
"Seth? Seth Thomas? I've met him, but why is he in such a hurry?" she asked.
"Oh, he's going on a pilgrimage overseas--England, I believe." Cyrus stopped at the entrance to the cafeteria. "Well, here's the fine restaurant I like to call Cafe Temporal."
"You're funny, Cyrus. It looks like a lovely canteen."
Katya picked out a veggie burger, while Cyrus had a chicken platter. They seated themselves near the window.
"Katya, I hope we didn't get off on the wrong foot. I didn't mean to ruffle your feathers with my trick."
"Oh, you didn't," she answered. "I was just playing along."
"Yeah, about that," Cyrus continued. "I have to know how you did that stunt. It seems to me it can only be done if a person can travel forward, you know, to the future."
"Oh?" she asked.
"Well, can you?" he questioned.
"Can I what?"
"Can you travel to the future?"
"I don't know," she answered.
"So how did you do the trick?" he asked, pushing on.
"How did you do yours, Cyrus? It was sort of the same. Wouldn't you have had to travel to the future to get behind me?"
"No," he answered. "I have to set it all up from the past. When you saw me in my office the first time, I was traveling backward. It was the same when I was behind you. The only time I was in the present was the last time in the chair. That's the trick: it's all an illusion where I have to carefully set up seconds in the past."
"Nifty--it sounds complicated," she said.
"It is, but then how did you do your trick?" he asked, curious.
"I don't know. I just do it; I don't think about it."
"But you didn't set it up beforehand, which means you had to have traveled to the future."
Katya could see the frustration growing in him, but she didn't understand why. "Your parents say that travel to the future is impossible."
"I know, that's why I'm asking," he said through gritted teeth.
"Well, then, maybe I do it the same way you do, just faster. I'm sorry, Cyrus; I just don't know how I do it."
"Well, it was a great trick," Cyrus said, taking a big bite of his chicken. "Hey, Kat...you mind being called Kat?"
"Not by you," she said with twinkling eyes.
He blushed, then continued. "Is it true that you can't remember when you're from?"
"Sadly, affirmative," she answered. "I don't think this is my time line, but ever since I met your mom, Cheryl, I've been able to stay here--or I should say, return here after a pilgrimage. I used to jump around and never know where I was going to end up next."
Dawn walked up with a plate of food. "Mind if I join you guys?"
"Sure," said Katya, "sit--take a load off."
Cyrus continued. "Would you go back to your own time line if you knew when it was?"
"Sure I would; I miss my family," she said.
"But odds are, it will be a time in which National doesn't exist."
"Yeah," Dawn jumped in. "Then you wouldn't be here with us...me, your new best friend, and him, your biggest competitor."
"Cyrus and I are not in competition," Katya said with a smile. "I'm way smarter and far more talented."
"Not to mention better looking." Cyrus laughed.
"Hmm," said Dawn, "I'm starting to see, yes, very clearly, I think."
"I believe you think too much, Miss Knight," sneered Cyrus.
"Yeah, sure I do," Dawn answered. "Anyway, Mama Callahan asked me to tell Katya that she doesn't have to stay all day. She can cut out early to tend to her new house." Dawn turned to Katya. "She said you'll like it. It's on the West Side, and the courier will drive you any time you'd like to head out."
"Out of sight," Katya answered.
"Sure," said Dawn. "He'll drive you out of sight and all the way there."
Katya didn't know what to expect when the driver pulled into the old subdivision named Sunset Park. It was built after World War II to house the returning veterans and their families. The neighborhood was constructed entirely with identical prefab, Cape Cod--style homes. It had been Elgin's first subdivision. Katya marveled at how every house had been built exactly the same, yet people over the years had made them all truly unique. Some had added dormers, the paint colors all varied, and the little houses were all adorned differently. The Callahans had bought up several homes to use for their top pilgrims, and Katya felt extremely honored to be thought of so highly. She'd even been told she'd be issued a company car. Like the house, it would be modest and small.
After the driver dropped her off and drove away, Katya started to cry at the thought of her very own little house, even though technically the Callahans owned it. It was painted gray with burgundy trim and looked to be in excellent condition. It had a garage and a nicely-kept lawn bordered by an array of perennial and annual flowers in assorted colors. She noticed an air conditioner unit running on the side. She took note of the day: August 15, 2036.
Inside, she was even more surprised to see that all her belongings were set up. All she would have to do was arrange everything to her tastes, for every box was unpacked. Her dishes and cookware were all stocked in the kitchen cupboards; there was even limited food in her fridge. Her clothes were hung in closets and packed neatly in drawers, and even her toothbrush was placed in the medicine cabinet. The Callahans had thought of everything. Katya decided that she would enjoy living and working in Elgin. She would make this little house her very own, and her first order of business was to throw away that toothbrush.