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Trauma Of Bolarus IX

Posted on Sep 10, 2017 @ 7:40am by Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Sep 10, 2017 @ 7:40am

Mission: Aftermath

"Trauma of Bolarus IX"

=/\=

Location: VULCAN
Scene: Councilman Kevak’s Office



Xana Bonviva sat on a stiff red sofa, the utilitarian rhombus shaped white tea mug cooling on a nearby table the steam floating up to dance in the air only to float dissipate. Across from her, sitting in a straight gray wingback chair, was the older Andorian Councilmember, who was one of the most revered members of the Federation Council; staring her down. The final member of this triumvirate was the orchestrator of this meeting, the Zakdorn Councilmember, who stood with his back to the wide windows as he stared at the other two Councilmembers who were staring off at each other.

“Stubborn asses,” Betello muttered while gulping his brandy. The Zakdorn put his flask down, with mournful eyes, and then glared at the two other occupants. “Bonviva, you wanted access.” Turning to his friend he said, “Kevak, we need to start moving forward and she can help with that.”

The Andorian elder Statesman hardly moved in his chair. “What makes you think I want to do anything more than what I’m doing? Or that I need help?”

Xana shrugged at that and picked up her mug, raising it to her lips to take a sip.

“You need funds for Bolarus,” Betello pointed out to the Bolian/Human woman.

The Bolian Councilwoman nodded at that, as her mouth filled up with piping hot silver rain Andorian tea. Swallowing the liquid as the warmth of the mug filled her hands she conceded, “That’s nothing new.”

“Funds were sent to Bolarus,” Kevak pointed out. Leaning further into his chair he said, “If Bolians can’t manage with what was sent that is on them.”

“The funds didn’t make it to the people. The planet is still decimated, there is no infrastructure and at this rate the planet will never get to where it was,” Xana pointed out. “Those funds didn’t even make it to the government officials on Bolarus IX.” When silence descended upon the room she continued on, “They never even left Councilmember hands. So yes, I’m here to press the case for more funds.”

Betello and Kevak exchanged a glance at that. “That’s an interesting theory,” Kevak mused. His long antennae swayed as he appeared to consider that. “There’s another. That you, like most of your fellow Bolians, are suffering from some kind of trauma from the recent incursion--”

Suddenly the back of azure woman’s neck felt electrified, and while she was peripherally aware that she was in Councilman Kevak’s office, in her mind she was catapulted back to Bolarus over a year ago to during the Incursion.

~~

"More of them down that way. A dozen, at least." Traxx dropped out of the fog, into his usual place, taking the left. They were two against that many. Long odds.

She picked a target--one in front, where his friends would see him die--and threw a small crude grenade. The bravo collapsed with a sucking, bubbling neck wound. The familiar stink of death rose in the alley.

The thugs hesitated, sending glances back and forth, fingering the disruptors and chains, not sure where who was attacking. Attack or retreat. It could go either way.

Then one man broke ranks and went running for a glint of silver in the night not knowing it was a dog but knowing it wasn’t one of theirs.

If this lasts long, he'll get killed, Xana thought, what a reason to come home. Then the thought went quickly out of her head. "Mine on the right." She shot and glanced off a collar bone.

One man down. One wounded. "Where are the others, Vara?”

“Not responding,” Traxx cursed.

Her last grenade was in her boot. Then there was the knife in the other boot. Not for throwing. This one was for killing up close.

She forced her mind to the pattern the attackers wove, trying to spot the leader. Kill the leader and the others might scatter. Xana danced a path through the bullyboys, breaking bones with that lead-weighted chain that she often disguised as Angus’ leash.

Angus stayed in her shadow, using her as a shield, growling as people got too close. He's been in fights before; it’s just been too long, for both of us, she thought.

Then she didn't think about her dog at all. A chain whistled past. She grabbed it and jerked the man off balance and drove his knife through a gap in the leather waistcoat, up under the breastbone, to the heart.

For an instant she stood locked, face to face, with the man she'd just killed--a thickset blue skinned Bolian...and vicious, gleeful, mad blue eyes. Outrage and disbelief pulsed out at him . . . and drained away. The eyes went blank.

Then the dead bastard thrashed, rolled with the knife, and took it down with him as he fell.

No time to get it back. A bright shot of pain cracked down on her shoulder with it came a sour, copper pain. She fell, dodged a boot, and rolled away as Traxx faced on Xana’s attackers.

Angus bared his teeth.

Traxx was swearing a blue streak; Xana would have swore if she didn’t feel blood filling up her mouth.

Amid the chaos, she heard a monstrous racket of hovercraft coming. A goods shipment came around.

Romulan and Bolian broke out. Shouts back and forth. Limping, dragging their wounded with them, the gang pressed on now that a tall figure came out. Traxx tried to take on three but two were holding him back and another was using him as a shooting range. Up. She had to get up. She staggered up through madness and confusion, fog and pain.

The man leading the charge out of the goods wagon indicated that this was the leader that Xana had been looking for; she had simply been too early. He had the blue skin of a Bolian but pointed ears that was not native and his fluency in Romulan gave some clue as to the other half of his origin. Seeing Xana across the way he raised his disruptor and shot her with accuracy, sending her flying back against the cobblestones.

She lay huddled on her side, as if sleeping, covered with blood and mud, her black uniform halfway off her. Her hand lay up curled on the cobblestones, open to the falling rain. Sliding the other grenade out of her boot, she threw it as best she could behind Eldok. If she couldn’t take him out then the rest of his team could go.

“Oh my other hybrid,” the Bolian/Romulan man snarled, jerking close. Two hybrids fighting over a xenophobic home world gone mad. As the rain fell over both them, Xana tried to will herself up but the pain was washing over her with every drop. “It would be you.”

“Eldok,” she spat.

Kneeling down over her, he snarled as he yanked up her. “It’s going to be a pleasure to take this from you as I kill you.”

The last noise Xana heard was a growl and the sound of flesh tearing as her world went black.

~~

“--and of course it’s so unfortunate because as our attentions were diverted to dealing with Starfleet,” Betello was explaining, yanking her momentarily back to the present. Her head swayed slightly, as she became aware of a heaviness in her body, almost as if she was unable to control her own the tightness around her ribcage. She stared at the mug of tea that was in sitting in her lap, as she willed her hands to raise it up, unable to do so. Instead all her mind seemed able to do was raise up memories buried, memories she had worked so hard to avoid...

"What is it?"

~~

Towers wasn't looking at her; he was staring down at his boots. Xana could sense his hesitation - not something she'd often seen coming from the stoic marine - and it filled her stomach with a fluttering, indistinct worry. Eventually, Towers looked up at her, his brow furrowed, his normally piercing eyes distant.

"I was ordered..." he started, then trailed off.

"Is there a point to this visit, colonel? You look like someone walked over your grave."

"What do you know about Richard Edgerton?"

The question caught Xana off guard. "The admiral? I know he's a lunatic with delusions of grandeur. I know he's the reason my husband is a fugitive, and that his days in power are numbered."

"I was sent here to extract you," Towers said. "I was told my team was rescuing a high value diplomatic asset, living almost on the front lines of the Romulan invasion. Nobody said it was going to be you, but our orders were clear: get you out safe."

"If Edgerton wants me back on Earth, it's not because he's concerned for my safety," Xana said. "I'll be arrested the second we beam down."

But Towers was shaking his head. "No. He doesn't even want you to make it that far."

Xana blinked. "What do you mean?"

"My unit received new orders," Towers said, his eyes dropping to the floor again. "We're supposed to execute you, and the surviving members of your team."

~~

Xana blinked her violet eyes, willing for the moisture that was building up behind her eyes to just stay still, and by some kindness of the universe, the tears stayed put. Trying to focus on the other Councilmembers in the room, she tried to look over at Betello. The Zakdorn was looking out the window, drinking his brandy; darting her eyes to the Andorian she saw he was still sitting in his chair studying her. “I-I missed the question,” she said softly, her hands still wrapped around the mug, gripping it tightly, afraid to let go for fear of her shaking hands.

“I asked where do we go from here,” Kevak said.

~~

“BOLARUS IX isn’t the only one hurting,” Jake pointed out softly, without recrimination, just raw honesty.

The azure woman with her shocking white hair turned her head to stare at her husband. “I know,” she said softly. “But if I follow you again then we’re stuck in the same position that we were a year ago. That wasn’t good for us. You know it wasn’t. And you’re not in a position to leave, I know better than to ask.”

Jake shook his head. “Xana, this time it’s--”

"I’m not having this fight,” Xana sighed. Leaning her head on his shoulder she said quietly, “I’m sorry. I thought I could give you anything, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do this.”

Briefly Jake closed his eyes. “I was planning to make it my turn this time.”

Xana smiled at that wistfully. “Oh Jacob.”

“I could have done it.”

“I’m not pregnant.”

“What's that got to do with anything?”

“That’s the last time you did it.” And Xana finally was able to laugh, “And you took a posting right after the Master of the Universe was born.” Twisting her head up she said, “I love you, Jake, but let’s be honest: you would have poked your eyes out with a spoon.”

As Jake sighed while wrapping an arm around Xana, he said “I meant it.” They sat in companionable silence before Jake sighed, “The universe has changed. I know we keep saying that but it has. I... I have to stay in the ‘Fleet."

"I know."

"You were ‘Fleet, once,” Jake continued.

“And I was a Federation Ambassador, and then I was the Secretary to Starfleet. Now I’m the Director of Bolian Office of Protection. I’ve always served at the pleasure of the Federation,” she shrugged. Looking over at Jake she said, “You do the same, just in a different capacity.”

"And neither of us can give that up."

"No," Xana said quietly. "I suppose we can't."

Jake was very quiet as he watched some of the kids go, and some more come in, watching with interest at how Dahlia and Ben interacted as “the new kids”....And then, finally: “How do we do this?"

Xana closed her eyes; she recognized this voice. It was Jake’s “engineering voice”. The “we have a problem and I won’t be happy until I’ve torn it apart and have fixed it ten ways to the Delta Quadrant” voice. “Jake...did you ever think that not every problem has a solution? Or maybe not a solution that we like?”

“Yes, I've thought of that.”

Xana opened her eyes to look at Jake and realized he had come to the same conclusion that she had. It broke her heart, to see her grim certainty reflected in his eyes (**pale blue,** she thought fleetingly), but she could hardly fault him for it….

It was time to stop pretending.

"The kids..." Xana started, blinking away the tears that had already started welling up in her eyes. She wiped them away absently. "This isn't the best place for them, I know... my work here should be almost done, once we get some real Federation aid. Maybe you could keep them until I move back to Earth. Then I... we..."

But the tears were still coming, and a sob racked her chest. Jake held her close.

"Shhh," he said, his lips against her temple. "Shhh. It's okay."

"Gods, Jake..." she whispered. "Is this really how it ends? Is this the story of us?"

~~

“I asked you what you think,” Kevak asked, shattering the mosaic of thoughts that dominated her immediate existence.

Counting slowly in her mind, down from ten to one, as she had been taught until the feeling returned to her limbs, if only a little at a time, pinprick by pinprick. With each number that she counted silently, slowly her surroundings came into focus a little clearer.

“I lost my home. I lost my family. I was assaulted by the Romulan leader I was tracking down. When I woke up a Starfleet officer stood over my bed and told me he was there to assassinate me and my team. There was more...but when the war was over, I saw my marriage dissipate before my eyes.”

Her hands shook, the tea spilled over the sides of the white mug over her blue fingers sliding down onto her gray suit, but Xana was able to lift it finally to her lips. The amber liquid was lukewarm but it finally quenched her parched throat. She didn’t loosen the vice-grip she had on the mug but lowered it after a moment.

“If this only happened to me, or my team, that would be one thing. But it wasn’t. Everyday, Bolians wake up thinking they are forgotten. They close their eyes, to turn away from the horror of their lives only to relive it in their dreams. And now I’m here, only to listen to “We already gave but by the way can I have your vote?”. No, I think not. That vote is the only thing I have and I will not trade it in return for nothing.”

“He’s not Karimi,” Betello pointed out.

Her limbs felt heavy, something she wasn’t willing to betray, so she persevered in spite of the pain that weighed her down. “Voting *for* someone is different that voting *inspite* of someone. I only know why I don’t why I don’t want to vote for Karimi,” she reasoned to Betello as she turned in her seat to face the Zakdorn Councilmember. Turning to Kevak she said to the Andorian, “Quite simply, why am I voting for you?”

“I have a long and distinguished career,” Kevak pointed out in an even tone.

The azure woman felt more on stable ground here. “I was Secretary of Starfleet under President Moray. But I remember when he ran for President he didn’t say “Look at what I did” and end the conversation there. Elections aren’t about the past, they’re about hope for the future. Karimi is only offering up himself as hope for the future, however quixotic that is. So far only you’ve given me is a glimpse is the past. And for many, whether it's Bolians or reminders of Humanity, the past is too hard to look back on.”

Setting down the mug with more force than she intended on the table, Xana Bonviva said softly, “And trust me no one is more sorry about that than I am.”

With a strength she did not know she possessed, the azure woman forced herself to get up, slower than she wished, but finally she stood and walked slowly, softly across the carpet to the door.

Only when Bonviva was at the door did Kevak quietly speak up. “You’re the one who gave Karimi a platform.” When she didn’t respond he continued on, “You gave a man with no voice a platform, a strong one. You’ve done it before.”

Xana said nothing to that, but stood there, her hand on the doorframe, grazing the smooth silver metal. Turning her head to the side she said quietly, “Surely you can find another political consultant besides the Bolian Councilwoman.”

“Advisor then,” Kevak offered.

Bonviva thought about that for a moment. Looking at her hand that was gripping the doorframe, as if her life depended upon it, the azure knuckled had lightened as she gripped the frame. Turning 90 degrees to face the men in the room she said. “I’ll take the position with this unofficial committee.” As the Councilmen nodded at that she stared at them and said, “Well then in my official first advisory capacity is this: have a plan and make steps *now* to clean up the Federation. There’s corruption within the government; inaction everywhere you look and cronyism. Not to mention an established world that hasn’t been rebuilt and distrust of Starfleet and Federation Government at an all time high. It’s ripe for you come in and turn it around.”

Kevak looked at Bonviva; his antennae bowed in thought. “Save Bolarus, rebuild trust in Humanity, while removing the scourge that is on Starfleet and the Federation Government,” he said softly.

“You’d take any cause that Karimi could have claimed,” Xana nodded.

Betello emptying out his flask of brandy admitted, “He’d pick up several votes. That’s a platform good for trade, military, and feel good. It’s a competitive race suddenly.”

“Would I have your vote?” Kevak asked.

The memories were there, floating under the surface, threatening as always to take her under; still she pushed them down again until the next time they forced themselves up. “If you can do that, yes,” Xana said.

Nodding at her colleagues she tossed back her white hair, walked out of the office with measured steps, met Selyara out in the outer offices and left the Andorian Councilman’s office.

=/\=

NRPG: I thought I’d explore the impact that the Incursion of Bolarus had on Xana’s daily life, specifically her meeting with the Presidential candidate -- Councilman Kevak of Andoria.

Notes:

Flashbacks are all from the JP I did with Shawn (“Terminus”). As always thanks to Shawn for such awesome writing!

Xana’s reference to her stint is from being Sec. of SF and working for President Moray is from the first time I brought Xana back to FRPG. See posts like “Sucker Punches”, etc.

=/\=

Sarah Albertini-Bond
Councilwoman Xana Bonviva

with help from (hey those flashbacks didn't write themselves)

Shawn Putnam
A.k.a.
Jake Crichton
Executive Officer
USS PHOENIX

Rise up
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
When’s it gonna get me?
In my sleep, seven feet ahead of me?

-From “My Shot” in “Hamilton”

 

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