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Posted on Aug 17, 2020 @ 4:35am by Lieutenant Eve Dalziel & Iphigenia Bonviva
Edited on on Aug 17, 2020 @ 4:36am

Mission: Dog Days Of Summer


(Continued from “The Fall of Jake Crichton”)


“Anything that makes you happy can make you sad” -- Patrick Jones


Scene: The Vulgar Tribble

Lt. Mackenzie Proctor did not like this part of her job. She did her job, did it well, but that didn’t mean she had to like all parts of it equally.

Scanning The Vulgar Tribble, which was packed for midday rush, the Security Officer looked around until she saw the Bolian/Human chef/bartender who was at the counter who was ordering the Bynares to clean up as she was prepping lunch for the busy crowd. Hundreds of officers and a crew of 3; Proctor didn’t know how they did it but the crew moved efficiently.

Moving her way to the counter, the Security officer flagged the officer Chef and said, “Bonviva. I need to talk to you.”

"Hey Mac,” Iphie said congenially. “You know what to do. Put ya order in and--”

“I’m on the job,” the Security officer said.

“I’ll do it to go,” Iphie nodded as she continued to chop some lettuce.

“I need to speak to you,” Proctor said. When Iphie didn’t raise her head she said, “Now. Alone.”

Iphie rolled her eyes and called over the Bynares and gave some rapid fire instructructions which were met with Binary. The chef ended that with, “I don’t care which one of you does this, so long as you don’t end up in Sickbay again! It’s not like we get a punch PADD for every 9 visits, our 10th gets us a new margarita machine.”

Finally Iphie threw down her dishrag on the counter and waved Proctor into the back of The Vulgar Tribble. As they walked into the back, Iphie began talking, “Look if this is about that shipment of Romulan ale, my runner made sure it went through CALDER first--”

“What? What Romulan ale,” Proctor asked. Shaking her head she said, “No I’m not here about any shipments. Should I be?”

“Who said anything about shipments?” Iphie asked as she grabbed a carrot to nosh on. “So what’s up?”

Proctor eyed the chef before she just sighed. “You are the agreed upon back up guardian of Dahlia Bonviva-McInnis. I’m here to let you know--”

“We’re in drydock,” Iphie interrupted. “Where is her stepfather? Is he sick?” Folding her arms over her chest she glared at Sec/Tac she said, “What did he do, hit his head on a HCARS?”

“He’s in the brig,” Mac explained.

Iphie looked at the Sec/Tac. “Has anyone told her?” When Mac shook her head, the chef went out to The Vulgar Tribble and climbed on the bar. “Everyone get your food and get out. We’re closed.” Over the groans she continued on, “Look, it’s either me or the food replicator and now I’m taking off. So there ya go. There’s the door, don’t let it hit ya on the ass on the way out. There ya go, buh-bye, I’ll miss you too. I know, I know, I suck. Thank you, miss you too.”

After she waved everyone off, Iphie instructed the Bynares to wipe everything down and close it all down. Seeing only Mackenzie still standing there, Iphie asked, “Didn’t you hear me kick everyone out?”

“I did,” the Sec/Tac admitted. “But I’m confused. Why?”

As Iphie watched the Bynares wipe down everything before turning around to go to her niece. “Twenty years ago, I showed up on my sister’s doorstep. I had been kicked out of our parent’s house, and our grandparents were too elderly to take me in. So my sister, just starting out in Starfleet, became my guardian and let me live with her.” Looking over at a confused Sec/Tac Iphie explained, “Put it this way, I’ve stayed on this ship, making my ex-brother-in-law and I uncomfortable to make sure that if my niece and nephew ever needed me I’d be there. Because I’ve known what it's like to not have your parents be there. So it’s time for me to make good and scoop up Dahlia.”


Scene: Crichton’s Quarters

"I don’t understand,” Dahlia repeated.

Iphie sighed as she stood at the edge of Dahlia’s room. Folding her arms she leaned in the doorway. “There’s no easy way to do this,” she said.

“So do it the hard way,” Dahlia yelled. Throwing a PADD across the room she said, “I am NOT a kid anymore.”

If she was the type of person who did big drawn out apologies, Iphie would have apologized to Xana for all she did to her elder sister years ago. Instead Iphie figured dealing with Xana’s teenage daughter was the penance. Rubbing her face, Iphie tried again. “Dahlia, I explained to you. Jake has been arrested. You’re going to live with me until we can get you to your mom. Security needs to go through Jake’s quarters--”

“No,” Dahlia replied. Looking over at Iphie the teenager said, “He’s the Executive Officer. It’s a misunderstanding.” Walking out of her room, right past her aunt, the teenager went into the living room area to where the Security Officers were going through their items and said, “I need to speak to my stepfather.”

Iphie walked out as she saw that Dahlia, who dreamed of following in her parents’ and stepfather’s footsteps by going to SFA, was now facing off against 3 Security Officers. The aunt couldn’t decide if it was foolhardy or admirable; perhaps a little of both.

“This is my home,” Dahlia argued. “I can’t be kicked out.” When the Security Officers stared her down she flipped her back over her shoulder in a move reminiscent of her mother and said, “Captain Kane promised my mom and stepdad that I would always have a place here on the PHOENIX.”

Lt. Proctor was really trying, but so far this whole situation was just more than she could bear. “That place does not have to be these quarters,” she pointed out with a firm kindness.

“Jake did nothing wrong,” Dahlia argued. At 14, she was nearly eye-to-eye with the Security Officer which she used to her advantage. “Jake’s been wrongfully arrested before; I’m sure that’s the same here!”

Mac looked over at Iphie who just shrugged and nodded in mute resignation. The Security Officer said, “It’s not the same,” the Security Officer said. “These are not trumped up charges. There are witnesses. We know that Commander Crichton committed insubordination, illegal control of Federation property, and...endangerment of a minor.”

Dahlia stood there, hands on hips still, but clearly the wind was out of her sails. The fourteen year old suddenly appeared very unsure of herself as she considered the words of the Security Officer. “Endangerment of a minor?” she muttered.

“It means hurting a kid,” another officer offered up.

“I know what it means,” the teenager snapped. “But I’m fine,” she muttered. Suddenly it all came into place for her, and the tears pooled in the corners of her eyes. “He’d been ignoring me for the last few days, but I thought that was because he was sad...that we hadn’t figured out where Ben was. I didn’t think that would mean he would *hurt* Billy.”

Iphie came over at that point and wrapped an arm over her niece. “Come on, let’s go,” she whispered. Looking over at Mackenzie Proctor she said, “We’ll come by later for her room.”

Mackenzie Proctor sighed. “We’ll pack it up and bring it to you,” she decided.

Dahlia and Iphie walked to the door. As they got to the edge, Dahlia turned around. “Can you tell Jake something for me, Lt. Proctor?” When Mac nodded, the teenager thought about it and said, “Tell him if he won’t pick me, then I won’t pick him.”

Iphie closed her eyes at that. “Come on, Dahlia, you don’t mean that.”

The teenager looked at her aunt. “I do. He didn’t pick me when mom and him got married and he went out. Then he didn’t pick me when he and mom got divorced. Now, he picked finding Ben over me during this when *I was still here*. I’m tired of being last. I’m *done*,” she said.

Then Dahlia burst into tears as Iphie held her.


Scene: Dalziel’s Office

The scuttlebutt about what happened to Jake Crichton hadn’t taken long to reach Eve and her staff. Captain Kane had his hands full with Billy, even more so since the trauma in the transporter room, so Eve offered to contact Ambassador Bonviva regarding this turn of events.

There was a part of Eve that wanted to go see Jake, to try and unravel exactly what the hell had happened to him. His actions had been dangerous and insubordinate, and had endangered a minor child, which was not like the person she knew. Was this just the reaction of a man desperate to find his son, or was it something more? Without having children of her own, Eve knew she was at a disadvantage to truly understand. That had weighed heavily on her when she first decided to provide a guardian for Billy. This cemented that she had made the right decision, but she now wondered if there had been anything more she could have done for Jake… before this. Could this have been prevented?

“Computer, please open a secure channel to Ambassador Xana Bonviva.”

As the computer began its interface, Eve rehearsed the message she was going to leave. So, when the calm face of her intended recipient appeared on the viewscreen within thirty seconds, the dark-haired woman temporarily lost her shit.

{{Bonviva here.}}

Eve stared blankly. Now that she was seeing the Ambassador in person, her carefully thought out words no longer made any sense to her.

{{Counselor? Can you hear me?}}

“This is Eve Dalziel from the PHOENIX,” Eve began unnecessarily as she tried to find her voice. “Ambassador Bonviva, I don’t know how to say this,” the Counselor added.

{{It’s not Dahlia, is it?}} Xana asked without hesitation.

“She’s fine. Iphie is with her. It’s Jake. He’s been arrested.”

{{Arrested for what?}}

“He tried to commandeer a transporter room aboard the ship.”

{{If he was going to commit mutiny, wouldn’t the bridge have been a better option?}} Even divorced, Xana knew that when Jake had a scheme to get something accomplished, she was still the one to suggest a more effective way to do it. Old habits died hard.

“He wasn’t trying to commit mutiny,” Eve answered, even though she wasn’t sure if that was true. “He was trying to find Billy’s home universe with the hope of finding Ben. He believes somehow they traded places.”

Xana’s expression, while still imbued with years of dealing with difficult situations, could not conceal her anger and frustration. {{Incazzato! Are you *serious*?}}

Eve wasn’t sure where this was going, but before she had a chance to speak, Xana continued.

{{Even while being in the *middle* of a *civil war* in another *universe*, I still can manage to keep up with my subspace messages. I can’t be the only one capable of that!}} she opined. {{I already advised Captain Kane that *I* had Ben!}}

“H-how?” Eve stammered.

Xana sighed. There wasn’t enough pinot noir in the world to make her want to re-hash the last mission. So she went with the quick version. {{He was kidnapped, and fortunately brought to me shortly after. Which is what I *told* Kane in response to his communication to me. Along with the fact that I would be making arrangements to pick up Dahlia due to this obvious act of neglect on my ex-husband’s part! I have petitioned for full custody.}}

The Counselor sighed. Nothing about this had been easy. And it wasn’t over. “I don’t think any of us expected something like this to happen. But the only question I can ask now, is how can I help make this easier in the transition?”

The Ambassador sat back in the darkened room she was in and suddenly appeared to be far away, at least mentally. {{I had been thinking would have been our 12th wedding anniversary if we had stayed married. When we got married it was the end of a war, we were so happy, Dahlia was there, and we were planning on starting a family….the Jake Crichton you’ve described, the one I filed for custody against....doesn’t sound like the same man I was married to all those years. Look, it’s been sometime I’ve seen him, I know that. I’m sure that...well I’m sure someone knows him better than I do now. Still I can’t reconcile the funny, warm man I spent all those years with someone who would endanger one child, ignore another child and hijack Federation property.}} Tears appeared briefly in the azure woman’s violet eyes before she looked away. {{That man went out of his way to make other people happy, somewhere deep is a good heart….I’m not sure how much good an ex-wife’s word does but I don’t want to imagine that Jake Crichton is so lost.}} Xana looked back at the terminal to finish her thought, {{Because if that’s the case then what are we all doing out here? What then is the cost of protecting the Federation if we lose Jake along the way?}}

Eve shrugged, slightly relieved that she wasn’t the only one perplexed by Jake’s behavior. Somehow, without directly answering her question, Xana had given the best response she could. “If I remember, that’s how I got into this business. To help the ‘casualties’ not caused by phaser fire or exploding starships.”

{{Starbase 228.}}

“What?” Eve asked, not understanding the gist of Xana’s brief instructions.

{{Sorry. Iphie needs to get there with Dahlia. It’s the closest rendezvous point that I will be able to meet with them. It’s near KANTARE.}}

“The PHOENIX is out of commission at the moment with the upgrade,” Eve thought aloud, realizing the distance wasn’t something that could be handled by shuttlecraft. If it had been, the Cns wouldn’t have hesitated to offer her services to help Dahlia and her aunt.

Xana shook her head. It was pretty obvious that Kane was nearly as distracted as Jake was. Even if the flagship had been operational, she wouldn’t want to call in a favor like that. But she wasn’t out of options, yet. {{I’ve got an idea. But, I need a little time.}}

“We’re not going anywhere,” Eve reiterated. It almost sounded like an apology. “I can be your point of contact, if you’d prefer.”

{{I will be in touch with either you, or my sister, as soon as I can be.}}

Eve looked a little embarrassed. In one breath she was mentioning Iphie, and the next she was forgetting that she was a blood relative to Dahlia and capable of caring for her. “Of course. Is there anything else?”

Xana looked suddenly tired. {{No. Thank you for reaching out.}} The screen turned back into the familiar delta logo.

A minute or two later Lysander Elgin entered, Smooshy following close behind. “How did it go?” he asked, as Eve slumped back into her seat.

“Ben’s alive and safe,” Eve said with relief. “But it might be too late to have found that out.”


A Joint Post by

Sarah Albertini-Bond
Chef Iphie Bonviva
Proprietor/Bartender for The Vulgar Tribble


Ambassador Xana Bonviva


Susan Ledbetter
Lieutenant Eve Dalziel


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