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La Fiamma

Posted on Jan 09, 2017 @ 4:35pm by Marie-Claire Martine & Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Jan 09, 2017 @ 4:37pm

Mission: Aftermath

“La Fiamma”

(“The Flame” -- translated from Italian)

Continued from Phillip’s ““EMOTIONAL MOMENTS & ONE PINATA”


Location: VULCAN

Scene: Hussein Karimi’s Offices -- Xana’s Office

SD: 2.17.0109.0042

Xana Bonviva was known for her loyalty; right, wrong, or indifferent, she was loyal. She had a job, she brought along people with her, in so much as it was possible. And while she could explain that as practical -- it was a way to spot and groom talent early on; a way to give back to the Federation. Quite frankly though, the Bolian/Human just liked creating her own little communities of people she could trust and be a part of. So when she got the green light to hire people to fill out the staff, she reached out to those who had worked for her before and she liked.

And then one name came back quickly with a notation that was a blow to her heart:

[[Hiram, John -- deceased]]

Sitting alone at her desk, Xana pulled up the file. John Hiram, the young man who had started out in her GATEWAY office when she was a diplomat as an intern, and had worked for her for years in a variety of positions. There wasn’t a job that John had shied away from; his knowledge was earned the hard way, from living in the front office, then the dark, smoky, back offices of a diplomat-turned-politician in the Gamma Quadrant then the Alpha Quadrant. He was smart, funny, and just quirky enough to get by in politics.

Xana felt the sting of tears before she knew what was happening and then the trail that went down her face before she could understand. It had started out as an after school internship for him, for her it was meant to be to get free labor, so long ago. And for both of them, they learned so much from each other.

When Marie-Claire came in the office, Xana pulled herself together enough to ask the other woman about it. “I need to know, what happened to John Hiram?”

Martine’s face shifted into discomfort, remembering. The horrors of war always seemed to have a way of coming back up when they were least expected to. She sank into the nearest chair. “He was in the Council Hall at the time Edgerton’s explosion decimated both the building and everyone in it. I was in my office trying to work certain aspects of the game. Things were going downhill- três rapidement. I asked John to attend the meeting as my proxy, never knowing I would be trading my life for his. I’m sorry... I never told you.”

Xana shook her head, her hand over her mouth for a long period of time. “You didn’t owe me an explanation,” she said softly. “I had known John since he was a teenager and even though he was a man...I guess some part of me still thought of him as that young kid who used to copy my signature for kicks,” she smiled wanly. There was another long pause before she said, “He loved serving the Federation. Thank you Marie-Claire for telling me.”

“But you- the campaign, could use him now,” M-C said apologetically. “Instead you’re stuck with the ex-Secretary of…” her voice drifted off as she realized who she was talking to. “Well, merde... wait a minute.”

“I think I just heard the sound of someone’s head exploding.”

Martine’s blue eyes narrowed in. “You were the Secretary of Starfleet before me.”

“Si,” Xana admitted. Looking around she mused, “Did I leave a muffin around here?”

“Will you focus?” Marie-Claire asked. “This is important.”

“So’s my stomach, I missed lunch,” Xana sighed. Turning back she said, “Yes, we were both Secretaries of Starfleet. Now we’re working on Karimi’s staff. “If we manage to hire Garo Beerrex,” she said referring to her predecessor, “or the poor fool who they confirm as your successor we’ll have the most over-qualified staff.”

Marie-Claire tapped her foot. “Why did you leave?”

Xana straightened up. “It was a quixotic quest to save my marriage. Thank you ever so much for bringing that up. I also have an old injury from the Second Dominion War if you’d like to kick me there too,” she replied more tartly than she intended, the pain evident on her face.

“Je suis désolé,” M-C murmured.

“Grazie.” The azure woman rubbed her face. “Not your fault,” she sighed. There was a pause before she asked, “Why did you ask why I quit being Secretary?”

Martine thought about things for a moment before replying. “You were Secretary and left of your own volition for...we’ll say family matters.”

“I was with my...then husband and family on the PHOENIX,” Xana said quietly, still tripping over how to refer to Jake.

Martine nodded and continued on, “Where did you go next?”

“BOLARUS IX to help in their war effort,” Xana replied. Looking at the other woman she asked, “Where are we going with this?”

Martine held up a hand. “I don’t know who the top leaders of the EARTH are, but any top 20 list would include you and I. And from what you told me of Karimi so far, and what I’ve seen, what we’re promoting, is… the safe choice. Honestly, do you think he’s in the top 20?”

“He has a solid track record. He’s never shirked a task. He hasn’t gone off half-cocked on what passes for social media nowadays.”

“You didn’t answer my question, Xana.”

The platinum-haired woman had been rummaging through items on a side table found a cardboard box with some pastries still left from this morning. She grabbed what looked like an apple cinnamon muffin, but she wasn’t feeling especially hungry anymore. “No… he’s not.”

“Highly electable people rarely are the best. The best are too much of a pain in the ass… just look at us,” Martine joked.

Something about her employer had been bothering Xana, ever since he had given her carte blanche to handle the missing Bolian reparation funds on her own. “Where is his passion? He just wants to get elected.”

“Xana. I didn’t always think of myself as the spokeswoman for the Human condition. Truthfully, I still don’t. I always thought my actions were in the best interests of the Federation as a whole. But things changed while we were out running around in space. They obviously changed more for Sardak than they did for me, but regardless, the world we came back to was not the same one we left.”

“What are you saying, Marie-Claire?”

“Karimi is not the best we might have to offer. But he is the best choice to get elected. Maybe if we can show the Federation that not every Terran is opinionated and proud to the point of conflict, or some ruthless megalomaniac, we can repair our image and our standing. But I can understand if that’s not what you were signed up for.”

Xana sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose. “I shouldn’t have to feel like -- *humanity* -- should not have to feel like they have to feel like they are picking the safe choice because it’s what we give them. Passion, yes, can be a vice, but it can be a virtue. Passion is what caused humans to go beyond the cave and to build cities that touched the sky, to build rockets and make first contact with the Vulcans. Yes, sometimes passion can lead to deadly consequences but-but-to have nothing, to live a life of safe choices, or worse to attempt to satisfy everyone is not really a representation of what the best of Humanity.” Sighing she said, “He’s missing la fiamma. Humanity has la fiamma -- and he has none. Except for winning.”

“Hold that thought. If he doesn’t have that spark, that flame, can one be lit under him?”

“How do you mean?”

“How many times did you have to convince someone to see things your way in that corner office in Paris?”

Xana smiled a little. “More times than I can count.”

“As have I. I’d say that makes us two pretty persuasive women.”

“The most.”

“There has to be something, some cause we can urge, I mean suggest- him to champion. Make him a little less vanilla? See where his underpinnings lie? At worst we’ll see the weaknesses we’ll have to downplay in the coming weeks. At best, we might actually find a soul under all that solidly boring viable candidacy.”

Xana finally took a bite of muffin. Existential crisis averted. “So I guess you’re sticking around? I never did think to ask you, I always assumed you would.”

“I have nowhere better to go,” Martine replied. “Besides, I like being part of such an exclusive club.”


NRPG: Just a little exploration on why some of the characters are uneasy with Karimi but are still pushing forward with him.

Many thanks to Susan who graciously helped with this post when all I started with was a "Hey can I bounce ideas off you?" :)


Susan Ledbetter

Marie-Claire Martine


Sarah Albertini-Bond

~writing for~

Xana Bonviva

Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.

-Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


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