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The Advocate And The Secret Keeper

Posted on Jul 25, 2017 @ 6:02am by Iphigenia Bonviva
Edited on on Jul 25, 2017 @ 6:03am

Mission: The Romulan Way

“The Advocate and the Secret Keeper”

Assistant Counselor Lysander Elgin’s Notes:

I know I’m not objective. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. We all have our roles to play.

Eve is the cool organizer. Owen is more clinical. Smooshy is soothing. I like to think this makes me the advocate; I can talk for people when they can’t say what it is they need. Together we’re a well organized unit.

But today...well I wasn’t objective.


Scene: Sickbay

Dr. Sofia Andersson looked at the two Bynares who were speaking in a combination of binary and Federation. With a puzzled look she said, “I don’t understand.”

The Bynares threw up their hands, showing off their arms and their sparkly bracelets.


“is sick--010101--”

“10101--but not--”


The blonde doctor thought through what she heard. The head chef was sick. The ship could easily live off replicators; however if something was happening to the food in the Vulgar Tribble, then that was something she needed to know now. “What is she like?” she asked. When she got more binary and broken words, it was clear that the Bynares were too broken up to be of use. “Never mind,” Sofia decided. “Medical transport,” she said tapping her commbadge. “Iphie Bonviva to Sickbay.”

There familiar blue shimmer and suddenly the cerulean woman with pink hair in pigtails dressed in a chef’s jacket and white slacks came into sickbay and was immediately placed onto a biobed. Looking around she spied her Bynare assistants. “I said no to “Addiction Thursdays” and you two idiots decided that I needed to come to Sickbay?”

Sofia wasn’t sure what happened then but there was a burst of binary from the two Bynares, as Iphie curled up on the biobed.

“You don’t come to Sickbay for that,” Iphie said softly to the Bynares waving them off.

The doctor came over, checking out the normally bubbly woman. Her vitals checked out so she asked quietly, “Where do you need to go?” When the chef said nothing she tried again, “Why did Calvin and Hobbes think you were sick?”

Iphie Bonviva rubbed her face at that. “It’s hard to explain. I don’t have this happen very often, so I’m sure it just confused them. I’m just feeling...not interested in anything. I’m not hungry, which I *know* set them off. I know why it came about, it was after the Baron Broccoli--”

“Who?” Sofia asked as she stopped her note taking.

Iphie snapped her fingers trying to place the name. “You know.” When Sofia widened her warm chocolate eyes at that, the chef sat up and tried to place the name. “Nice guy, explained to me the whole thing going on with the Romulans. Anyway it was after the Arboretum guy--”

“Ensign Arak?

“See you do know him,” Iphie smiled wanly. Swinging up she continued on, “Anyway he explained about the Romulans doing their typical recon and how among the things that were decided it was not important to get was…*my* stuff.”

A tall red-headed man standing at the edge of Sickbay who had been there for far longer than anyone had realized said quietly. “But no one had asked you, did they?”

Iphie said nothing.

Lysander Elgin nodded at that. Raising a finger in a motion for patience, he turned to the Bynares he did something that most people didn’t do in their presence. He opened up his mouth and began to speak in a language that only two people could understand but was technically Federation Standard:


Iphie and Sofia dropped their jaws at listening to Lysander rattle off binary, and simultaneously watching Calvin and Hobbes’ faces light up with what could only be described as incandescent joy.

“It was--”

“--our pleasure.”

“We have it from here,” Lysander nodded to the Bynares.

The Bynares sighed, waved, and toddled off. With that the tall Counselor turned to the two women, looking over at them.

“You know binary?” Iphie asked.

Lysander shrugged at that, as if that was unremarkable. “Everyone has to take a language in high school. And I figured I’d keep up with it if I’m going to start a way for everyone to be engaged in the arts,” he explained as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Not seeing the jaws coming un-slack, the Counselor tried to re-steer the conversation. “Iphie...did anyone ask you about your feelings or thoughts about using *your* files for the Romulan--”

Sofia cleared her throat as she became uncomfortable. As a doctor, she was duty bound to treat anyone who came to her. However, it sounded like that Counselor Elgin was probing Iphie to see if she was uncomfortable or unsure about that. If so, first of all it would be a breach of patient-counselor confidentiality. Second of all, Sofia didn’t want to know about it. “Perhaps this would go better in the Counseling Center?”

“No I’m good,” Iphie continued on blithely. Looking over at Lysander she said, “No, no one asked me.”

“Why should anyone ask?” Sofia asked. Repressed visions, and with it smells and sounds, came flooding back, of Paris no matter how hard she tried to suppress.

“Long hours at school, always up early and staying awake in the wee hours into the night, away from family, all in a service job,” Lysander said quietly. “Serving away from home. Hardly any appreciation for what you do. Constantly having to work under difficult conditions, having to stay on top of an ever-evolving field that involves a changing landscape. Have I started to sum it up?”

“You have a better understanding of what my job is than most,” Sofia sighed.

Lysander nodded at that. “I do, Dr. Andersson. But in this case, I was talking to Chef Bonviva.” Looking at the brightly haired woman he said, “Your training was arduous and no less difficult and painful than what many here went through. Hours on your feet, hauling heavy items on your feet. I looked it up, you went to one of the best culinary schools in the Federation. You could have your pick of restaurants to work in and eventually own. And’ve always served in StarFleet; even as a civilian.”

Iphie said nothing for a moment. “I’ve got a record,” she said quietly. “Most places wouldn’t hire me.”

“That wouldn’t matter,” Lysander said. When Iphie and Sofia gave him looks he sighed. “Asta made me watch “Cooking with the Stars” one too many times.”

“Wait,” Sofia pointed out. Holding up a hand she said, “Iphie didn’t take the Starfleet oath.” Looking over she said, “Are you prepared to support and defend the Constitution of the United Federation of Planets against all enemies, foreign and domestic?”

The Bolian/Human chef thought about that. “Tell me...when those enemies discover that you sent them my recipe for Margarita Sangria instead of Cap’n Homie’s diary--”

“You mean the Captain’s logs,” Lysander interrupted.

“That too,” Iphie agreed. “Tell me when someone finds that out. The Romulans, the Borg Cube when they find out we have Cy the Metal Butt, or what the hell even if the bugs come back. Tell me what happens? When we get attacked or invaded what will happen? Will they avoid me because I’m the Chef? Will they say “No, let’s leave her alone because she serves out nice drinks?”.” Listening to the silence she said, “No I thought not.”

Looking at Sofia she said, “I like the Romulans because they were always *honest* with me. They gave me a few credits in exchange for information and food or drink. I knew where I stood with them. It worked for *years*. I could tell you who the Tal Shiar agents were, and they were fine with it. They knew me as a source. They never pretended to like me and then offer me up if it served some higher goal.” Iphie shook her head sadly. “Give me honesty over a flag and anthem anyday.”

“You are not being sacrificed, I promise,” Lysander told Iphie.


Assistant Counselor Lysander Elgin’s Notes:

I need to learn to stop making promises. Or at least the big ones. Seriously.

Scene: ExO’s Office -> Bridge

Having learned from Eve Daziel’s unfortunate “incident” (as it was referred below decks) with Jake Crichton and discussing personal information on the bridge, Lysander asked quietly if he could speak for just a few minutes with the ExO in his office. The ExO did not look pleased but since nothing was going on, he agreed to the *very* brief meeting in his office.

Once they were inside, Jake Crichton took a seat. “Speak, Counselor.”

Lysander thought carefully about how to approach this. He didn’t want to bring up Iphie’s name if he had to, although she had waived her right to having her situation brought up in light of what was going on. “I know the situation we’re in, Sir. However, isn’t there something *else* we can send to the Romulans if they come into our systems--”

Jake looked puzzled for a moment before his mind cleared up. “What do you suggest? Your notes from Counseling session? Medical records?”

Lysander sighed. “No of course not.”

“Engineering records?” Jake asked. “Scientific discoveries?”

None of this was acceptable, and that was the very point. “Chef Bonviva had no agency. She was not consulted. The decision was made for her, as if she was a minor or incapacitated, when clearly she is neither.”

“She chose to store her records on a Federation vessel, therefore they are the property of StarFleet,” Jake pointed out. “If we use them to distract for a few minutes then it’s worth it.”

Lysander looked like he was going to disagree. “May I inform Chef Bonviva of your decision?”

“You can tell Iphie, sure,” Jake said as he got up.

“Chef Bonviva,” Lysander corrected.

“What?” Jake said.

Lysander looked over at him. “We call everyone else on this ship by a rank, even if they don’t want it, when they’re on duty. It’s only when they’re off-duty do we refer to them by their given name. And yet for someone who has had the most training in her field did we decide we shouldn’t use her title because it wasn’t the same as our own. We removed the agency from her from the moment she stepped aboard and we’ve been doing it every day since then. I’m trying to give it back to her.” Finally realizing he was on the other end of Jake’s icy blue stare, the Counselor ended his impassioned speech with, “Sir.”

There were other reasons for the ranks, the need for chain of command, Jake thought to himself. But this was time for a lesson in hierarchy and the need to figure out where you fit into the ship. So there was a moment of silence before Jake said, “Dismissed.”

Both men walked out to the Bridge and the Executive Officer saw the Counselor duck into the turbolift, presumably to tell Iphie that her recipes would still be used. Moving back to his chair, Jake thought about the conversation. “Report,” he said to Byte.

{{Situation remains unchanged,}} Byte reported back.

Jake waited and watched.

Scene: Vulgar Tribble

“I’m sorry,” Lysander said softly as he sat at the bar.

Iphie waved him off. “I appreciate it,” she smiled sadly. “I knew he wouldn’t go for it.” Refilling his water she said, “Don’t you have to go Counsel now?”

Lysander smiled. “Something like that.” Sipping his water he asked, “Can I ask you something?”

“You just did,” Iphie smiled. “But I’ll let you ask another question too.”

Laughing at that the Counselor shook his head. “Did you really know the Tal Shiar?” When Iphie nodded he leaned in and whispered. “What could you tell them?”

The azure woman crooked her finger in and whispered, “Lysander...the Tal Shiar are not the only ones who can keep secrets.”

With a wink Iphie went back to work, and Lysander wondered how she became a secret keeper.

NRPG: And with that, that wraps up Iphie’s thoughts on her recipes being used for the Romulan bait!

Alix/Shawn/Tiffany: Hopefully I did ok with hijacking your characters! Please let me know if you have any concerns :)


Sarah Albertini-Bond
~writing for~
Chef Iphie Bonviva - friend of the Tal Shiar ;)

Recipe for Margarita Sangria


1 750 ml bottle dry white wine (like a sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)
1 1/2 cup (375 ml) tequila
1 cup (250 ml) triple sec
1 cup (250 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup (125 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 orange, sliced
2 limes, sliced
A few stems of cilantro (see Note)
Coarse salt, for glass rims
Crushed ice, for serving.


In a large pitcher combine the white wine, tequila, triple sec, orange juice and lime juice. Add the orange slices and lime slices, and the cilantro.
Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve over ice. Salt the rims of the glasses, if desired.

Note: the longer the sangria sits with the cilantro, the stronger the flavor will be. You can also add the cilantro right before serving.


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