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I Spy With My Eye...

Posted on Aug 22, 2017 @ 1:27am by Selyara Chen & Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Aug 22, 2017 @ 1:30am

Mission: Aftermath

"I Spy With My Eye..."


=/\=
“The bedfellows politics made are never strange. It only seems that way to those who have not watched the courtship.”

-Marcel Achard
=/\=

Location: VULCAN
Scene: “Federation Port Lost and Found/Missing Luggage” Center


Moving was never a smooth transition, but this time, it seemed as though it was rougher than usual. Naturally, somewhere along the line a crate had gone missing, and naturally, it contained a stuffed Sehlat plushie that Benito had never once played with, but had somehow now become ‘his most favorite toy’ and a reason for anguish, tears, and general temper tantrums. So here Xana was, desperately trying to see if it could be found.

Or rather, she would be desperately trying to see if it could be found if she wasn’t waiting in line. The Vulcan behind the counter was moving at a glacial pace. There had been quite a line when the office had opened, but they had thinned out to only a handful of dedicated souls as people realized that they could well be waiting in line for hours.

Finally it was her turn. She stepped up to the counter.

“Hello, I was supposed to have a shipment of crates arrive from Bolarus, but they seem to have disappeared-” Xana began.

“Form 3478b,” the female Vulcan behind the counter said in an expressionless tone.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Do you have form 3478b? I need it, in triplicate, with you tracking codes, and signed by the cargomaster general of the port of origination, the quartermaster of the cargoship your crate was supposed to arrive in, and the Vulcan cargomaster general,” the Vulcan woman pushed a padd with the indicated form towards Xana. “I will also need a full description of the crate you are looking for, full documentation of the contents of the crate, and proof of ownership of said items.”

“I have the original shipping confirmation- and what do you mean, a description of the crate, it was a crate! I don’t know what exactly was in it, the moving company-”

“You mean to say you did not pack your crate yourself?” The Vulcan sat upright, her voice slightly sharp. “In that case, you’re going to need to also get form 78889-z filled out by the company that packed your crate, provide liability insurance of that company, and you will need to prove that the items in the said crate are irreplaceable.”

“What? That doesn’t even make sense-”

“Ma’am. It would be highly illogical for us to spend the manpower to look for your missing luggage, if it can be replicated. As you did not pack the crate yourself, we have no way of verifying that they are indeed irreplaceable,” the woman said patronizingly.

“Listen-” Xana peered down at the woman’s name tag. “Listen, Sevka, I have a six-year-old boy who is crying his eyes out because his favorite stuffed animal is missing, if you could please just try to find it-”

“Ma’am, the rules exist for a reason, and I must stop you there. You are no doubt intending to tell me what is colloquially known as a ‘sob’ story in an attempt to elicit an emotional response, however I must point out that I am a Vulcan, and you are wasting your time. A immature child whose prefrontal cortex has not finished developing and is unable to control himself is hardly a reason to disregard an entire, highly efficient, system. Now, please come back when you have the-”

“Do you know who I am?” It was a desperate straw, and Xana knew it.

“Ma’am, it doesn’t matter to me one way or another who you are-” for just a second, the Vulcan’s eyes narrowed in what could only be described as irritation. The expression was familiar, she’d seen it enough, that time on Risa.

“Selyara?” Xana asked, surprise in her voice. The irritated look cemented itself on Selyara’s face.

“Oh look. It’s lunch time. Everyone out! We’re closed for lunch. Get out,” Selyara produced a sign saying ‘closed for lunch’ and smacked it onto the counter in front of it. The people behind Xana grumbled and made noises as Selyara flapped her hands imperiously at them. Xana didn’t move. Selyara grabbed her by her shoulders, turned her around, and started to push her towards the door. “That includes you, ma’am. Come back when you have the-” Selyara was strong, due to her Vulcan heritage, but her strength wasn’t much of a match for Xana’ s stubbornness. Selyara sighed and threw her hands in the air. “Fine, if you’re going to do this, let’s at least take it into the back.”

Xana followed her into a nondescript room. Standing in the middle of a room she looked around past what appeared to be...crates. Yes, there appeared to be actually very many crates, suitcases, and bags.

“I should have know you’d manage to cause trouble,” Selyara said accusatorily as she bustled into the room, the demeanor of the bored bureaucrat cast off like a pair of uncomfortable shoes.

“Hello to you too, Selyara,” the Councilwoman said softly. “What in the galaxy are you doing here?”

“Not finding people’s lost luggage,” Selyara said insouciantly.

“You aren’t here to cause trouble are you?” Xana felt bad even suggesting it, but she couldn’t figure out what the woman was doing here, and the job was clearly beneath her.

The Betazoid/Vulcan gave no indication that did appreciate this, or even cared. Instead she frankly appraised the other woman. “You were the first to arrive at the Council today and the last to leave.”

So, Selyara still had eyes and ears everywhere, that at least was comforting.

Xana was fascinated by the room, and it appeared that Selyara wasn’t going to stop her from looking around. When the azure woman received the message to go to the “Federation Port Lost and Found/Missing Luggage” Center she assumed it was a ruse. She had no idea it was a real place. Poking around the crates and boxes she admitted, “Well I am industrious if for nothing else.” Suddenly coming up to Selyara who had stealthily moved up besides her, the azure woman was startled. Cursing softly she said, “Dear Gods, you do move quietly.”

Selyara did not even raise an eyebrow at that. “We all have our qualities.”

Sighing as she figured that she was well and truly in a room full of luggage, Xana straightened up and tried another way. “So how long has it been since we’ve seen each other?”

“Since I’ve seen you or since you’ve seen me?”

“Touche,” the azure woman admitted. Nodding she went along with it. “Fine, I can admit the last time I saw you was a few years ago on Risa when you helped me find my children during that Rawyvin Seth mess.”

There was a mocking turn of lips, far from a smile, on the other woman’s lips. “And see I saw you on Bolarus IX getting attacked after being announced as a Councilwoman.”

“Saw me with your own eyes?” When Selyara said nothing to that, Xana rolled her own violet eyes and continued her own hunting for Benito’s stuffed toy while trying to figure out what it was that Selyara and her had in common.

The Betazoid/Vulcan woman watched carefully the azure woman poking around the crates. Normally Selyara had two modes: force or wait it out. Forcing Xana Bonviva was not going to work; she needed Xana to be amenable for what she wanted. Waiting it out was most likely going to be an exercise in futility; Selyara did not have that kind of patience. “What is it that you want?” she finally asked.

Inspecting each of the crates and suitcases, along with the bills of ladings that were attached, Xana absentmindedly said, “I told you I’m looking for a crate from Bolarus IX.”

The only sign of “I can’t believe this crap” that came from the head of Section 31 was the brief, sharp inhale through her nostrils. After a moment Selyara gathered herself and then said with a jerk of her head, “That corner, that’s where you’ll find any crates from that sector.” Watching the otherwise put together woman pull off her heels and climb over boxes she asked, “What are you getting?”

Xana sighed as she climbed over the boxes slowly, not wanting to slip up. “Honestly? It’s a damn stuffed animal for my youngest son. I don’t know why he had to throw up a fuss *now* but he did and now I’m climbing through this mess.” Shimmying into a corner that would have been fine 10 years ago but now was a bit too snug and caused a tell-tale rip indicating her suit would be no more after today, the azure woman muttered several curses that may have involved selling off her children. Pushing back her hair, she looked over at Selyara and said, “Well I’m not here to discuss my hellions nor to provide entertainment. So while I’m trapped, let’s talk.”

Selyara never moved. “You were sent to the Council with one goal in mind: get funds freed up for Bolarus IX.”

Xana shrugged at that; that was not particularly deep insight. “Those eyes you own clearly have ears as well. Or you’ve become a political analyst for FedComm. But yes, that’s what I why I was appointed by President Xall.”

“You need help,” Selyara nudged verbally, even as she never moved.

Sensing the direction of the conversation, Xana went back to looking at the crates, trying to find hers. “True. My staff right now is light and is very focused either on my own personal security needs or on Bolarus’ needs. That’s not bad, but I need assistance on threading our way through the Council.” Picking up a particularly small crate, the Councilwoman frowned as she read the bill of lading and continued her thoughts, “But if we’re going to be successful, I can’t be the only one who is thinking on a larger Federation level. Quite frankly the staff I have isn’t prepared for that.”

“I agree,” Selyara nodded, as if she had already come to this conclusion and was waiting for Xana to join her. “Which is why I’ve agreed to work with you.” Seeing that Xana was so startled at this that the crate she was holding was starting to slip she mentioned dryly, “You may not want to drop that; it doesn’t have what you’re looking for.”

The azure Councilwoman barely caught the crate, set it down, and thought quickly how to answer this. “I’m flattered--”

“You should be.”

Xana chuckled at that. “Right well uhm...I’m just going to say this. Once you’ve gotten used to working on your own, and I’m speaking from experience here, it’s hard to work for someone else.” When Selyara just stared at her, the azure woman rubbed her face and said, “Oh damn it all to 99 hells, do you realize that you’d be working *for me*?”

“I’m not sure I’d see it like that,” Selyara replied, picking imaginary lint off her jumpsuit.

Xana raised an eyebrow at that. “I see it like that.” Tilting her head to the side she asked, “And where is this coming from?”

Selyara gave a hard stare back. “What?”

“This devotion to Bolarus IX’s future? I know you didn’t wake up this morning was like, “You know I haven’t seen Xana in several years, I think I want to go work for her”.”

“With her,” Selyara clarified.

“For her. For me,” Xana shot back. Sighing, the Bolian/Human woman leaned back against a crate that seemed mostly stable. “Look at the end of the day, I’m the one who took the oath of office. It’s on me if this fails. And right now, much as I hate to say it, it’s looking like it’s going to fail. I can’t get people to invest their planets’ resources in Bolarus IX if they think their planets already invested. And I’m not seeing what you’re getting out of this. So...enlighten me.”

“I suppose you’re a council member and have the appropriate clearances,” Selyara crossed her arms. “I’m the director of Section 31- A new Section 31, very de-clawed, naturally. Typical isn’t it? A man makes a mess of things, and then they bring a woman to clean up.”

“I’m assuming you’re using the phrase clean up in a… euphemistic way.”

Selyara didn't even raise an eyebrow. “I don't provide maid service.”

“I figured,” Xana grinned. Her thoughts ping-ponged back and forth before settling on, “You could be helpful and I know I’ve made worse decisions. What the hells, let’s do it. Besides this is when you say I have no choice anyway.” When Selyara said nothing but raised an eyebrow towards a plain gray crate, Xana grinned and picked it up. Opening it up she saw Benito’s blasted stuffed animal. Twirling it in the air she said, “I have no choice, I got it.”


=/\=

NRPG: Taa-dah! The author of the mysterious notes, as well as the influencer of Bolians to help Xana (and now Gods help her someone “working" for her) is none other than Selyara. Of course Selyara is doing this for her own purpose ;-)

Thank you Alix for all your help :-)

=/\=

Alix Fowler
As
Selyara

Head of Section 31 and the Head of Federation Port Lost and Found/Missing Luggage Center ;-)

AND

Sarah Albertini-Bond
Councilmember Xana Bonviva - Bolarus IX

 

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