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Hands Dirty

Posted on Aug 27, 2017 @ 7:24am by Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Aug 27, 2017 @ 7:24am

Mission: Aftermath

"Hands Dirty"



=/\=
Location: Vulcan
Scene: Voroth Sea


Contrary to the popular belief of most of the Councilmembers, there was some kind of naturally occurring water on Vulcan. That, of course, was the difference between having the Council on Earth versus Vulcan: Terrans were all too happy to tell you all about their planet. The Vulcans did not; it was almost as if they hoped to keep the Council corralled off in the government center to be ignored by both Vulcan and the universe at large.

However, since the beginning of time, people had left the small dwellings they were in, and once they found food and conquered the land they were on, looked past the next hill and said, “What is next?”. So to it went even for bureaucrats stuck on Vulcan. Or those involved in less than noble pursuits.

Alone on the beach was a Tellarite man wearing a gray tunic and slacks, walking up and down the coast, appearing to be studying the bright horizon. He seemed so intent on the horizon that he didn’t turn when a Vulcan/Betazoid man dragged a Denobulan man by the collar down the beach to where he was. Still he said, “Thank you, T’Kem. You can go, but please not too far.”

The Vulcan/Betazoid man, if aggrieved at being summarily dismissed, tossed the Denobulan man to the sand, dusted himself off, pivoted, and walked down the shore.

The Denobulan man, Councilman to be precise, was still on the shore. Looking up he said to his fellow Councilman, “I wasn’t expecting this, Gavaar.”

Gavaar kept his eyes to the expansive sea before him. “It’s rare that things work out the way we expect them to.”

Councilman Garshor from Denobula stood up, and looked around. This section of the beach was fairly empty, except for him, Gavaar, and T’Kem. Uncomfortable with the lack of people and the sheer openness of it all, the Denobulan sighed and looked around. “You didn’t have to bring me out here--”

The Tellarite held out a hand as he watched the horizon when suddenly to the south-south-east a massive bioluminescent figure broke through the waves, made a large baritone somber sound, before diving under. “Magnificent isn’t it?” Gavaar sighed, as if entranced. “You can only find them here.” Finally deigning himself to looking at Garshor he said, “I’ve been waiting to see them for a long time. See they interest me because what they can do for me.”

Garshor shook his head. If he wasn’t so far in he would have walked away. “What do you want?”

“That’s an interesting question,” Gavaar mused. “Some people want fame, fortune...I’ve even heard of people wanting to live forever.”

The Denobulan looked over. “If you say you’re in this for altruistic reasons, I’m leaving.”

Gavaar smiled at that, truly smiled. “See that’s why I liked you. So few people understand me.”

“Understand you? I made you,” Garshor sighed. “Except I got tired of this.” He missed his family, his home. What he did not miss was doing this, that’s why he passed this off to Gavaar; or Gavaar took it, whichever version of history you preferred. “I thought you had this in hand but clearly not if you felt the need to have one of your minions have me brought here. What do you want?”

“We have a new enemy,” Gavaar said.

Garshor sighed, glaring at the other man, receiving only the back of his head. “Since when have you become dramatic? I think I preferred you when you were more business like.”

The Tellarite turned and looked head on at the Denobulan. “Fine, I’ll put it in so plain terms that you understand. There’s a problem and we need it resolved.”

Garshor shook his head. “We? No, you do. I’m just, I don’t know what you’d call me? Founding member?”

The Tellarite gave a long look; his Denobulan colleague liked to pretend to be innocent but in truth Garshor had started this. “Well, founding member, there is an issue,” Gavaar said. “And for all that you like to act noble and above the fray, you and yours are in this too.” The Tellarite’s charcoal eyes narrowed at that; he finally had the Denobulan’s attention.

“What’s the issue?” Garshor sighed. He thought through the operations of the enterprise. “You had control of shipping and storage, I provided medical facilities, you said your golden boy Karimi arranged the deal with the Acamar government so it wouldn’t come back. And Drass let us use the Bank of Bolias to funnel everything. From where I stand, we need to make our own arrangements for funneling but that shouldn’t be too hard--”

“It’s not that, I’ve begun those arrangements,” Gavaar said with a wave of his hand. “It’s Bonviva.”

“Our new Councilmember, Karimi’s former assistant,” Garshor murmured. Pacing along the beach he thought through the implications, and tried to see if there was a way to fit the Bolian Councilwoman into their scheme. “Can we add her in?”

“She’s former Starfleet,” Gavaar scowled.

Garshor shrugged. “Never has stopped us before.” Turning around he looked at his former protege, “And I take it this is the person you were worried who could connect everything.”

“She’s already begun,” Gavaar shot back. “One of my pilots has reported strange people following her.”

Garshor sighed. “And did *you* investigate?” As Gavaar opened up his mouth the Denobulan held up a hand, “Or did you send another lackey?” Shaking his head his mouth made a mockingly sad smile. “You didn’t. You took it on the word of an associate.”

“My people know better than to lie to me,” Gavaar replied confidently staring down Garshor. The older Denobulan might have made him; but he was no longer indebted to him.

The Councilman from Denobula stood there studying Gavaar before shaking his head. “Your shipping business. My medical facilities. The late Drass’ connections to the Bank of Bolias and the late Rennan to keep us honest. Let us not forget we have Karimi to tie us all together to make the deal. And you think I’m going to trust one of your brain damaged pilots that you got on the cheap? Not when I can go squash this on my own?” Giving a look he said, “Some of us aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.”

Gavaar watched as Garshor walked away. He remembered the day a few years ago, they were less concerned with ideals and more with their united goals…

=/\=

Location: EARTH

Scene: Ulugh Beg Observatory - Samarkand, Uzbekistan

TI: SEVERAL YEARS AGO - BEFORE THE INCURSION OF BOLARUS AND MOVE OF THE FEDERATION GOVERNMENT TO VULCAN

In the 15th century of Earth, one of the greatest astronomers on Earth at that time, Ulugh Beg, looked up into the heavens and dared to dream that not only could he understand the heavens but so too could others. So he set out to build a center for astronomy -- a madrasah -- and then set forth to invite and approve those scholars who would add to the caliber of the academy. Even after Ulugh Beg’s assassination, his staff continued on his work, making many notable celestial observations until zealots attacked the observatory. The observatory then was nearly destroyed and lost to history until the early 20th century when it was brought up from the dust of history.

From the 20th century onwards Ulugh Beg Observatory became a museum to commemorate astronomy and Ulug Beg’s vision of the heavens, his desire to reach out beyond of terra firma to grasp the stars.

However, on this day in 25th century the men from the stars (and one from Earth) had locked down Ulugh Beg Observatory not for any intellectual pursuits but for more personal and pecuniary goals.

Walking on the pale pink bricks past the guards who stood at the entrance, which had the sweeping blue and gold inlaid mosaics, Gavaar walked into the observatory-turned-museum. Ignoring the signs for the store and panels for history lessons, he walked down the very old fashioned stairs, quietly amazed that there even still stairs made of stone on Earth. At the bottom of the stairs, he followed a series of corridors until he made it to a narrow corridor with a curved ceiling; the ceiling still had its glorious mosaics of dark honeyed amber but the walls were worn down and now were exposed rocks. The floors, however, smooth but in the center there was a drop in the center of no more than a few feet.

“It’s amazing,” Karimi was explaining to clearly bored Drass, “evidently ancient Humans used this trench with some kind of instrument to tell time.”

The fat Bolian Councilman, who was barely squeezing into the corridor, patted his bifurcated forehead. “Fascinating,” he lied.

“Isn’t it?” Karimi nodded. “There’s more I can tell you--”

Rennan, the Councilman from Betazed, was leaning towards the doorway watching that scene with a disinterested eye. “Say the word, and I can pop the pup’s enthusiasm,” he drawled softly.

Garshor shrugged. “Karimi is Gavaar’s pet, let him decide.”

The Tellarite, realizing he was the last to arrive, frowned at the scene. This was not how this was supposed to go. “Let’s just get started.”

“Gentlemen,” Garshor announced. “We’re here because we all have a piece of universe. It’s done well for us individually. But together we would be stronger.”

Drass frowned at that. “I’m not backing another scheme from Starfleet. As it is Edgerton has been a damn disaster and now we’re on the losing side of history.” Looking at Karimi he said, “No offense but you may not be here tomorrow, I’m not even sure what you’re doing here today.”

“I’ll be here tomorrow as will Earth,” Karimi promised.

Rennan snickered at that. “Where do you find these puppies, Gavaar?” he asked.

Garshor held up a hand. “We’re getting off-track. We will not get involved with Starfleet this time,” he promised. “At least not *directly*.” Passing out PADDs he said, “Read these and let me know your thoughts.”

The gentlemen, save Garshor and Gavaar, read the PADDs. Drass responded first. “You think Bolarus is going to lose?”

Garshor tried not to hit his head against the stone wall. “Against the Romulans? Of course you will. We don’t even need to help that, but if we do we will. But our first step is stir up emotion, and we will set up our Fund for Bolarus which will deposit its fund into the Bank of Bolarus.”

“Conveniently which my family has the controlling shares of,” Drass supplied. “We can change the credits to latinum or whatever else you need. But what will you need it for?”

Garshor smiled. “Think, Starfleet is now essentially fighting a civil war. They will depleted when they’re done. They will be in the market for a new bio-chemical supplies. One that Veloxis Pharmaceuticals can supply.”

The Betazoid Councilman filled in the silence. “That would be our fellow Councilman from Denobula’s company. Or some member from his family; I can’t keep it straight.” Looking over he said, “So I understand supply and demand. Starfleet will be hurting, we will supply them with this newly enhanced medicine that will be made on the cheap and obviously has cut corners and probably doesn’t do what it says. I’m going to guess we’re going to use Gavaar’s shipping company.” When the Tellarite nodded, the Betazed looked around and asked, “So I’m confused. Why is the puppy here?”

There was a look exchanged between Gavaar and Garshor before Gavaar finally spoke. “Mr. Karimi here is the only one with the contacts on Acamar. He’s also the only with the contacts in Starfleet Medical. We’ll need him to make this deal.”

“Ah yes Acamar, the last source of bramatine. The planet we destroy because we can. Don’t glare me, I’m here just as much as any of you,” Rennan replied rolling his charcoal eyes. “You need me to make this deal, he’s just a conduit.”

Garshor cleared his throat. “Gentlemen, you have your assignments.”

“And we report to you,” Drass sighed, well used to the program.

“No, you report to me,” Gavaar said quietly but with unmistakable firmness. “Garshor is stepping back and I will be leading this one. We will move forward with Project Glitter under my direction.”

=/\=

Location: VULCAN

Scene: Bonviva Home

TI: Present Day

“That last clue you gave was wrong.”



Erika shook her head at that. She could tell when her stepmother was getting wound up (like tonight, and every previous night since becoming Councilwoman) but yet here she was acting like everything was fine, getting dinner ready and making sure things like homework was done. And she was on a call that she claimed was of the utmost importance.



[[Clue number 77?]]



“Yes, clue number 77 was wrong,” Xana replied. “You're spelling his name wrong. Rixx has 2 x's at the end.”



[[We're spelling it wrong?]] the customer service rep asked with a combination of boredom and incredulousness.



“Yes, you're spelling it wrong,” the blue woman sighed as she tried to clean up the clutter on the table. “No come on guys let's clean up and put away our shoes,” she murmured to told her kids.



[[And ma'am what is your name?]]



“Eh?” Xana asked the customer service rep. “What does that matter?”



[[We need it for our records,]] the operator explained.



“It doesn't matter,” Xana replied motioning with her hands that Erika should clean up. “I am an ordinary citizen who relies on the FNN quiz show for stimulation. And I'm telling you you're spelling Zane Rixx's name wrong. I've met the man on several occasions, recommended

any number of pre-emptive measures against him when I was Secretary of Starfleet an eon and a day ago, so I'm pretty damn sure I know how to spell--”



And then the line had a very audible clicking sound.



“They hung up on me,” Xana said incredulously. “They hang up on me every time.”



“That's almost hard to believe,” Erika smirked.

Benito and Dahlia walked in from the back of the house, debating about who should put away things and whose turn it was to clean up the dishes. Suddenly her young son sprinted ahead of his sister and went flying for the sofa in an attempt to beat both of his sisters for the coveted spot. However, he over-estimated velocity of the leap and the sheer bounce from the sofa so he went flying off the sofa, into the air and then landed first on the coffee table (with a *crash*) and then rolled off onto the floor. There was a moment of silence before the young boy held up a hand and yelled, “I’m okay!”

Dahlia rolled her eyes and flopped down on the sofa, while Erika took a nearby chair; as Ben popped up his head he groaned realized that his acrobatics were for nothing. “Moooom! I have nowhere to sit!”

“Life is unfair,” Xana nodded.

Suddenly the doorbell rang and all four heads turned towards the door; it was a school night and the thought that there would be an unexpected visitor that got past security was intriguing. The youngest member of the family went running for the door. Hitting open the panel he saw a well-dressed older Denobulan man. Stifling a groan he said, “Nice to meet you.”

The Denobulan man said, “I’m Councilman Garshor. I’m here for Councilwoman Bonviva. Is she your mother?”

Benito nodded. Pivoting he yelled, “MOM!”

Xana walked over to the doorway in her home, instinctively dusting off her yoga pants and tunic that she had on. “Thank you, Benito. Why don’t you and your sisters go in back and watch a movie?”

“I’m good,” Ben nodded. When his mother raised an eyebrow at him, Ben tried the same move back at her, not quite pulling it off. Sighing and dropping his shoulders he went running for Dahlia and Erika while yelling, “Mom said I can pick out a movie for us to watch in her room!”

Xana took a moment to watch her kids go off while trying to figure out why the Denobulan Councilmember showed up, unannounced, at her home. Smiling she turned back to him, “Please come in. May I offer you anything?”

“No, I’m sorry to have intruded on family time,” Garshor said apologetically. “It’s been so long since I’ve had little ones I’ve forgotten what it’s like.”

The Bolian/Human woman walked into her house, leading her guest into the living room. Sitting on the sofa that Dahlia had just vacated she offered the seat that Erika had vacated and asked, “How may I help you this evening?”

Garshor smiled. “Well first of all I wanted to reach out. I understand you’re doing the typical rounds that all new Councilmembers do. The meet-and-greets, get to know the Council. And even though some of us worked with you before, it’s different now. Anyway I thought I’d make it easier on you by coming here.”

Leaning back into the plush gray sofa the azure woman felt a sense of unease come over her but she had gotten very good over the last few years at keeping that out of her voice, although there was a flash momentarily in her violet eyes. Congeniality was not a known quality in the Federation Council; especially with a Councilmember who (from what Xana understood) was at one point close to Councilmember Gavaar. “That’s kind of you,” she said. Thinking through her options she decided to go with the role he wanted to put her in -- new Councilmember -- to see if she could figure out his game. “Of course, I always appreciate when anyone wants to take time out of their busy schedule to help me and through that, Bolarus.”

The Denobulan smiled at that as he leaned back. “We’re all here to help each other, aren’t we? I mean if we don’t then the Federation only gets weaker. We can’t have that.”

“I agree,” Xana nodded.

Scratching his chin an absent-minded manner, Garshor mused, “I thought you might. I mean you’re a Starfleet veteran, Secretary even. And then did that work for our Karimi. Smart enough to figure out that there was something in it for you.” When Xana said nothing, Garshor got up and looked around until he saw the small replicator. Helping himself to a glass of water he turned back around and said, “Karimi was not my choice. I want to make that clear. That was Gavaar’s. Now if you want a slice, well we have that slice that was Drass’. I know the others were hoping for a bigger slice but we can get it for you.”

Xana watched the Denobulan, standing there in her home, helping himself to her goods. Inhaling she said, “You think this is about your little consortium?”

Garshor smiled at that. “Little consortium? I like that. You’ve sent investigators after Gavaar to the point he’s afraid to go to the bathroom and that’s all you’ve uncovered? Keep talking, I won’t have to give you Drass’ entire share.”

The azure woman stared at her fellow Councilmember. “I need to get funds for Bolarus; my planet needs to get rebuilt. Everyone seems to have forgotten about that. Even Starfleet, which I love, which I’ve bled for and have sacrificed multiple members of my family to, seems to have forgotten about it. Well that is my only goal -- to get Bolarus up and running.”

The Denobulan held up a hand. “I know, I know, otherwise President Xall will not even let you run for Councilwoman. Sad but true story. Not sure then why you wouldn’t want to secure funds for yourself?” When Xana said nothing, Garshor walked back over the replicator to dispose of his glass as he said, “Or at the very least for your children.”

“Really, if you think throwing around my children is going to help you--” Xana sighed in a bored tone, as she thought frantically where the Denobulan was going with this.

The Councilman turned around. “My family owns a pharmaceutical company; there are very few people who would understand what those drugs you’re taking are for. But I do. Now you do know that they’re not going to help for long. That you’re still going to die, and probably soon given the quantities you’re taking.” When Xana said nothing, seething silently at her medical records being violated, Garshor continued on, “I would think a single mother would want to make sure that her entire family is set up. But like I said it’s been sometime since I had young ones.”

Most days Xana’s legs trembled, or at the very least the pain was unbearable. It was why she had taken to wearing pants and taking so much medication. However, with a strength she wasn’t sure that she still had, the azure woman stood up and stared down the Denobulan. “Get out of my house,” she said in a low angry voice.

“I’ve overstayed my welcome, I understand,” Garshor said amiably, ignoring Bonviva’s wrath. He ambled towards the door, seemingly lost in his own thoughts; however, just a few steps shy of the door he stopped and turned around. “Wait. Was this why you’ve started seeing Councilman Noellex? Are you looking to replace the children’s father?”

Two lunch dates, both were nice but neither of which got her what she needed for Bolarus, and now she had to deal with this. “I said get *out*,” Xana snapped.

Garshor chuckled. “Dying people often lash out towards the end. Take a tip from me. Make your last days comfortable. Be with the ones you love. Think about my offer.” Giving a thoughtful look he said, “Unless you’re ready to tell your story to Bolarus about how you’ve not been able to help them rebuild because you’re too busy dating and dying?”

In her mind Xana could see everything collapsing -- her family, her home, her career -- all because Garshor knew her secrets and had no compunction about telling everyone.

“You have two options: take my offer or tell the universe what you are doing. The choice is yours Councilwoman Bonviva,” Garshor said quietly as he left.

The house was blissfully quiet as Xana stared at the door, unsure what to do with her swirling emotions and her racing brain.

“Mom, are you really dying?”

Xana turned to see Dahlia standing behind her, a confused look on her face making her appear to be much younger than the teenager she was. Erika was next to her, her mouth slung open, but with no words coming out.

Ben, who was sitting down on the floor, appeared to be less shocked by this news; perhaps because of all the kids he was the one with Xana the most and had seen her fall the most and had (even without her realizing it) seen her take her medication. Still out of their snooping there was one bit that had caught him off guard. “You’re replacing Dad? Does that mean you’re replacing us too?”

Realizing this was going to be the most difficult conversation of her life, Xana sighed. “I’m not replacing anyone -- your father or you.” Walking over to the sofa she sat down waiting for the kids to join her.

“So you’re not dying?” Dahlia asked hopefully as she leaned over the sofa, as if she was afraid to get too close.

Looking at the 3 of her 4 children that were here, Xana shook her head. “That part was true. I am dying.”

=/\=

NRPG: Hope that worked for everyone :) This post did 3 things:

Establish that Gavaar is not the true head of the Federation Council machinations -- the “Founding Member” of the chaos is Councilmember Garshor (from Denobula whose family owns Veloxis Pharmaceuticals. This company first came up in “Ladies’ Choice”.)

The second scene is a flash-back (pre-the Federation Government move to Vulcan or even the end of the siege of Bolarus and its while Edgerton is still alive). This scene establishes the Councilmember cabal that we’ve been following all along in the Aftermath posts. It establishes motivation for all the Councilmembers.

Back to present day. Councilmember Garshor (Denobula) visits Bonviva and gives her an offer: take Drass’ share or be exposed for lying about her health (also she’s not secured anything for Bolarus yet which won’t look good). After Bonviva kicks out Garshor, her 3 youngest children having overheard the conversation, question Bonviva on the veracity of what they heard. She denies that she is remarrying but confirms that she is dying.


=/\=

Sarah Albertini-Bond

~writing for~

Councilmember Xana Bonviva




“I thought about how there are two types of secrets: the kind you want to keep in, and the kind you don't dare to let out.”

--Ally Carter


 

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