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Untangling Webs

Posted on Jul 12, 2020 @ 6:56am by Ambassador Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Jul 12, 2020 @ 6:56am

Mission: Dog Days Of Summer

“Untangling Webs”


Courage isn’t having the strength to go on -
It is going on when you don’t have strength.



Location: USS BASTET, Ten Forward
Stardate: [2.2] 0712.0038

This was not a normal counseling session. Then again this was not a normal Counselor, nor was this a normal patient.

The Counselor was also a Junior Ambassador and the patient was a minor who had a strawberry milk mustache. It was taking place in a secluded portion of the Ten Forward; the Counselor didn’t have an office here. That was ok, the parent felt that the Counseling Session was needed more than the formality of an office.

“Are you sure you don’t want a strawberry milk, Junior Ambassador?” Ben asked.

Adriana smiled as she sipped her Risan honey tea. “I’m good, thanks.” She allowed the sweet tea swirl in her mouth as she thought about her next question. “How do you feel about being on a ship right now?”

Ben screwed up his face as he thought about that. “Well ships aren’t my favorite things. I’m more of a planet kinda guy,” he explained. “But this is not a bad ship.”

“Noted,” Adriana nodded as she smiled slightly. “Why don’t you like ships, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Red alerts,” he confided. Looking down at the tabletop he admitted softly, “They scare me.”

Xana, who was a few tables away, was going through her reports and generally keeping the area clear. Most of her reports were pro forma, and she filed what she had to the Diplomatic Corp and with the Federation Government.

However there were 2 items in her inbox that were personal, and concerning.

The first was from Captain Michael Turlough Kane of the USS PHOENIX.

For years, Xana had dreaded ever seeing something coming through to her from Kane. She did not have a warm, pleasant, or what one could call civil relationship with the man, which was unfortunate considering her family including her (then) husband (now ex) and at times her children were on his ship. If Kane was sending her a message, it had to be dire. The very thought sent a shiver down her spine. Ben was here with her; but Dahlia, her brilliant, beautiful, hell-raising daughter was still on the PHOENIX. The daughter of her first husband, her best friend for so many years. Her first husband sacrificed his life so their daughter could live. Xana had tried her best to raise their daughter in the best way to honor his memory.

A mother wasn’t supposed to outlive her child.

But why was this message coming from Captain Kane if something happened to Dahlia? Why wouldn’t it come from Jake? Presumably if something happened to Dahlia, Jake would have written to her. Wouldn’t he? Unless something happened to him too…? For years she had feared this. That Jake’s blind devotion to being *that guy*; the hero would be his downfall and leave her behind. It did leave her behind; and she left him behind to be fair as she tried to find her own place to help the Federation. Except now it may have gotten him killed.

It was the message she had feared for over 10 years. The divorce, which she thought would inoculate her, did not. This message was still going to crush her.

Suddenly the lump in her throat was the size of the Delta Quadrant. Her violet eyes flitted over to Ben, as her mind raced. How would she explain to her son if something happened to his sister and father?

Swallowing down the bile that was beginning to choke her, the mother and survivor knew that she had to press “play” on the message. Slipping the earbud in her ear so as to not burden anyone else in Ten Forward, she leaned forward to watch the message, her eyes half-opened, afraid of what she’d see from Captain Kane and knowing she was helpless to do anything but watch and listen.

After a few seconds of the Federation logo, the apprehensive face of Michael Turlogh Kane appeared on a video feed. {{Ambassador Bonviva, I hope this communication finds you well.}} He fidgeted with his hands, finally settling on steepled fingers as his arms rested on the desk in his ready room.

Each micro pause was like an eternity. “Seven hells,” Xana muttered. This wasn’t helping her anxiety level.

{{There’s no easy way to say this.}} While Kane’s face had its usual placid expression, it was obvious he was struggling. {{Your son, Ben, disappeared for a short time. We are currently docked at Starbase 56, which is where he was found within a few hours’ time. However, since his rescue, some of his behavior has indicated he may have been exposed to some type of trauma. We are exhausting every resource in order to find out what happened, but at this time there are no leads. Ben, who now refers to himself as Billy, is undergoing a series of tests overseen by the Medical and Counseling departments, which we are awaiting the results of. If and when we hear anything further, I will advise you. Kane out.}}

Xana sighed. She had Ben. She even knew why he had been on the Starbase. Ben had mentioned a boy that looked like him; that would explain what the PHOENIX might be dealing with, possibly some sort of mirror child that could be confused or a also a pawn in this whole mess. But she could feel the irritation rise to take the place of the anxiety that was there moments ago. Why hadn’t Jake tried to notify her?

The next message was startling brief in its simplicity, but it was no more shocking.






This is a review of custodial parent arrangements, specifically to determine the fitness of parent JACOB CRICHTON and the minor children, BENITO WILLIAM BONVIVA-CRICHTON and DAHLIA ALIX BONVIVA-MCINNIS.

The child presented was not BENITO WILLIAM BONVIVA-CRICHTON and was insistent he was WILLIAM BENITO BONVIVA-CRICHTON. Medical exams confirm that the child presented was not BENITO WILLIAM BONVIVA-CRICHTON (please see attachment 1).

At this time, it is our professional opinions that WILLIAM BENITO BONVIVA-CRICHTON be removed from JACOB CRICHTON’s custody. Alternate custody will be made for this minor until his parents can be found or he can be placed with a permanent home. DAHLIA ALIX BONVIVA-MCINNIS does not appear to be in any imminent danger and may remain in her current residence with the aforementioned co-parent or until other arrangements can be made. When BENITO WILLIAM BONVIVA-CRICHTON is recovered, this Counseling and Medical team, or another Federation team, may make a recommendation as to which parent should have custody.


Xana turned the PADD, folded her hands and looked out the stars. She had imagined this whole time the terror her ex-husband had gone when he realized Ben was missing. What she had not even dreamt of was the utter disregard for her that he would not even tell her himself that their son was missing.

That pained her; but it also acted as a clarifier. She knew exactly where she stood, what she had to do, and nothing was going to stand in her way.

Leaning forward, she pressed record on the PADD and said, “Computer, send a message to Captain Michael Turlough Kane, USS PHOENIX”

She waited for the countdown beeps and then began her message. Calmly, with a measured tone she began to dictate her response, folding her hands in front of her. “Captain Kane, thank you for reaching out. Apologies for not responding sooner, I had been away on a mission. Ben is with me. His kidnapper brought him to me. It was not something I asked for, nor ever sought; however, I am grateful that Providence made it so. He is unhurt physically and is currently seeing a Counselor to assist him in processing what happened. I also know how he got to be on the Starbase in the first place, as Ben told me this. I would suggest that someone talk to my daughter, Dahlia. I believe she could shed some light on this, as she was the one who took Ben to the Starbase. I am going now to discuss with the Command Staff as to when it would be best for me to take a detour to the PHOENIX so I may pick her up, but at the very least you are aware of the facts of the situation. Please know I am in your debt, and my sincerest apologies for any disturbance my children have caused. Safe travels. Bonviva out.”

There was one more message she had to send out.






This is an application for solo custody, XANA BONVIVA, from co-parent with JACOB CRICHTON. The reason for this change of application is (select reason):

X co-parent is unfit parent


After that filing, Xana shut off the PADD, took out the earpiece and stuck it in the pockets of her slacks. Walking over to Adriana and Ben, she waited at a discrete distance while they talked. Finally, Adriana caught Xana’s nod and got up. “Ben seems ok, but you don’t,” she admitted. “What’s up?”

“We owe each other drinks,” Xana admitted. “But I wanted to check on Ben. He’s ok?”

“Yes,” Adriana nodded.

“Don’t feel like then you have to stay with him,” Xana said. “He knows the rule of a ship. His commbadge is keyed so it only lets him into public areas like here and he can only use the holodeck for a limited duration for programs I’ve chosen--”

“With my input!” Ben interjected.

Xana shared a wry glance with Adriana. “Adult drinks,” she promised. Walking over she gave a hug to Ben and he hugged her back. “I’ll be back,” she promised. “I need to take care of something first.”


Scene: Corridor

The ExO of the ANUBIS was known (infamous almost) for many things. But even she had to admit this may have been a first.

“A custody dispute?” the small woman asked quietly after she listened to everything. “You know, even I didn’t see this coming.” Pausing she said, “It was my understanding you had an amicable understanding with your ex.”

“Had is the key word,” Xana said as she walked side-by-side with Shar’El.

The Ullian looked over at the azure woman. The Ambassador was a passionate woman who used that passion as a tool when necessary, or kept it under lock and key when necessary. But this incident struck at her; as a result, the Ambassador was angry and looking to strike out.

Shar’El paused, deciding her next words carefully. “Are you sure?”

“Unless Jacob Crichton was dead, or in a coma, once our son was missing or there was something wrong, he should have contacted me. And he wasn’t. He didn’t know I had Ben. Instead, he had his Captain, someone who doesn’t like me and was clearly uncomfortable contacting me, tell me that our son went missing and the boy who was there was acting out. Think about that: my ex-husband had so little respect for me, the mother of his children, that he couldn’t pause to tell me information about our son,” Xana said as she stopped in the corridor.

Shar’El had also stopped walking and considered the words. But it wasn’t just the words she considered. There were emotions flowing out of Xana, emotions she probably wasn’t even aware of -- anger, exhaustion, and...hurt. The Bolian/Human woman was so hurt by the lack of communication. It was clear that whatever kindness or fondness she had, was burned.

“Shar’El, I understand....if you and Captain Morningstar say that ANUBIS isn’t right for children...if I need to leave...I will understand. Trust me, I will always be grateful for what you all have done for me. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for all of you,” Xana whispered. “And I have no right to ask for another favor. But I have to get my daughter. I have to secure solo custody of my children. At any cost. And I will need every bit of help I can get. Please, I’m begging. And you are the only one I know of who knows how to get anything done.”


NRPG: Figured you all should see the results of the "Ben/Billy" posting! Here is Captain Kane's message to Xana, the Counseling/Medical report, and Xana's responses to it all. Have fun!

Su: Thank you so much for your help!!


Sarah Albertini-Bond
Ambassador Xana Bonviva


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