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Save The Tribble Society

Posted on Oct 10, 2017 @ 4:59am by Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Oct 10, 2017 @ 5:01am

Mission: Aftermath

“Save The Tribble Society”

=/\=
Location: VULCAN
Scene: Bonviva Home


Immediately after telling the three children that lived at home with her -- and then her eldest who was off on Bolarus IX -- about her terminal condition it felt as if a great psychic weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Not that Xana wanted to burden her children with this knowledge; but lying to them was so much worse. But she had answered their questions, was continuing to do so, and thought that after an initial rough transition that they were adjusting to the “new normal”.

The message she received that morning indicated perhaps that she had jumped the phaser in that thinking.

TO: XANA BONVIVA, COUNCILWOMAN

FROM: BANK OF BOLIAS

RE: ACCOUNT OF GAVROSH BONVIVA

THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT THE ABOVE NAMED ACCOUNT THAT YOU CO-OWN HAS BEEN OVERDRAWN. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR A LISTING OF WITHDRAWS AND PLEASE SUBMIT A DEPOSIT WITHIN 2-4 BOLIAN DAYS--

Reading through the listing of withdrawal statements it was clear her son wasn’t trying to eek out a living but was clearly living the high life.

While trying to get ahold of her eldest, to let him know what she thought of *that* in no uncertain terms, she heard her three youngest children arguing in the outside rooms.

“BEN! MOM IS GONNA KILL YOU!”

“DON’T TELL HER!”

“BOTH OF YOU SHUT UP!”

There was a stampede of feet as Xana kept her eyes glued to the console and prayed the same prayer that every parent did when they heard their beloved children fighting: “Dear Gods, don’t let the kids find me,” she muttered to herself as she rubbed her weary head.

The bedroom door flung open and in tumbled Erika, her blonde hair flying around in a whiplash as she put her hands on her slim pink leggings which were over her white tank top, and quick on her heels was Ben who glared up at his sister with sharp blue eyes as he folded his arms over his .

“Mom, you need to see--”

“Mom, don’t listen--”

Dahila stomped in after her brother and sister and glared at them; she was still in what her mother referred to “flirting with death” phase so she in head-to-toe black including large black steel boots and today to complete the look she had neatly shaved her head. “SHUT UP,’ she roared at her brother and sister again.

Conceding that the kids found her and weren’t going to leave her until she intervened, Xana put aside for a moment Gavi’s reckless behavior to focus on the matter here under her roof. “What is going on?”

There was a cacophony of words and voices (including Xana was really sad to admit, screeching) until finally she was finally able to decipher there was something going on in Ben’s room and Ben quite simply didn’t want them to go in.

“Benito,” she warned using her best “Mom” voice.

For the first time she realized her youngest no longer had the round cheeks that she associated with him; his face had become leaner and his eyes were no longer wide at the warning tone. Instead he walked up and gave a very charming smile as he leaned in. “Mom, why would you want to go in my room? It’s messy and full of stuff you hate.”

Xana made some noncommittal sounds while thinking this through; it was true, she hardly went into Ben’s room. It was messy, and normally he was up before her, and now he often put himself to bed unlike when he was little.

Then she saw that smile. She *knew* that smile; she just *divorced* that smile. There was an adult version of that smile somewhere off in deep space probably charming the hell out of someone. Damn it all to 99 hells, that smile on his father was how she wound up with Benito in the first place.

Getting up she walked out of her room over her son’s groan. “You don’t trust me?”

“I love you, Benito,” she answered while walking down the hallway. Standing at the door to Ben’s room (which he used to share with Gavi before his brother moved out) she paused a moment before opening it, not sure of what she find--

Tribbles. Gods above and below, there was six tribbles tumbling around her feet; she was somewhat fearful to find out if there were more behind or under the mess in her son’s room. “No, Benito, I didn’t trust you.”

“WAIT! That’s Sir Giggles-A-Lot,” Ben announced, all pretenses dropped, as he went running down towards his mother. Scooping up the Tribble he rubbed the ball of toast-colored creature until there was a pleasant humming coming out. Grinning up at his mother he said, “This one has the deepest purr.”

Sliding down the wall of the hallway, Xana looked as the Tribbles came tumbling around and she counted. “Benito, you have six Tribbles?”

Ben nodded. “One for each of us,” he explained. Seeing his mother’s face wince he explained. “But see I’m part of STS--



“You’re part of what now?” Xana now.

Erika smirked at that, propped herself up against the wall and said, “This is good, just wait.”

“Save the Tribble Society,” Ben explained. “They usually don’t let kids as little as me in but they made an exception.”

“You are something else,” Dahlia muttered while rolling her eyes.

Ben ignored that and focused on his mother while petting Sir Giggles-A-Lot. “These are special Tribbles,” he said as seriously as he ever got. “They’ve been ah--what was the word Dee and Erika?”

“Neutered and Spayed,” the sisters replied in unison.

Ben nodded at that. “It means they can’t have babies,” he whispered to his mother.

“I know what it means,” Xana whispered back. She raised an eyebrow as a particularly fluffy and rotund Tribble bounced over into her lap.

“That’s Sassy,” Ben explained.

Xana thought about that and asked her son. “You named your Tribbles after your spelling words?”

“Not all of them,” he said affronted. Looking around he held up one and said, “I named this one after my comic book, this is Ashix the Avenger.”

“Ok, so now we have 6 Tribbles who are spayed and neutered in our home, why?” Xana asked.

Ben started petting Sir Giggles-A-Lot and Ashix the Avenger as he thought about this, ignoring his two sisters’ exasperated sighs and his mother’s pointed look. “The Tribbles need saving,” he finally said. When his mother kept looking at him, he still kept his blue gaze down. “There were lots of Tribbles here to visit the school. But they had to be spayed and neutered cause the school didn’t want babies. But then the school was gonna send them back ‘cause no one else wanted them. So the STS was founded, we were gonna get them homes, cause to send the Tribbles back means that bad lizards would eat them.”

“That’s life, Ben,” Dahlia pointed out.

Ben frowned at that as he kept petting the Tribbles. “Someone has to save the Tribbles,” he said plaintively. “I have to save them. They’re gonna die. It’s not right that they just die and that’s it.”

Xana swallowed the lump in her throat as she conceded that maybe her things weren’t going so well at home. Instead she kept petting Sassy the Tribble who was rolling around in her lap.

“Besides Erika is going to help me,” Ben finished off cheerfully, “now that she’s not going to drama school.”

Pulled out of her daze, the mother looked at her dramatic teenager. “Say what now?”

The Bajoran/Human teenage girl twirled a hand in the air in a careless fashion. “I’m not going to some overblown school. What’s good acting? I mean it doesn’t ya know help home or stuff.” When Xana kept staring at her, waving her hands around to encourage further discussion, the elder blonde teen young woman shrugged. “And that’s that,” she concluded.

“And that was stunning, but totally unconvincing,” Xana replied.

Dahlia rolled her eyes as she studied her nails. “Told you Mom wouldn’t buy it,” she muttered under her breath.

“Dahlia are you contributing to this conversation?” Xana asked.

The Bajoran/Bolian/Human teenager shrugged at that and was seemingly about to get off scot-free when Erika raised an eyebrow at her sister. “Yes, please contribute *Dahlia* how you’ve been inquiring at SFA about an early admission,” Erika said with a false honey-sweetness. “How you’ve been throwing around your mother, father, my mother and your stepfather’s names around to anyone who will listen and then trying to figure out how to get extra courses now to get into SFA *years* early.” Dahlia said nothing at first, but her golden eyes were murderous towards her sister, as she balled up her fists. Still Erika smiled at her younger sister. “Or did I overhear all those calls incorrectly?”

Xana paused for a moment; she had seen some requests come in from SFA for Dahlia. Admittedly Xana probably could have done a better job of staying on top of the notices but she figured these were the typical recruiting and informational notices. And yes, Dahlia certainly had a certain pedigree that some Admissions officers salivated over. The Councilwoman knew that when the time came that between her grades and her background, Dahlia might have an easier time getting certain doors opened to her at SFA. It was so jarring to hear that Dahlia wanted that time table pushed up by *years*.

“What am I staying home for?” Dahlia asked shrugging finally looking at her mother, not realizing her words were slashing her mother’s heart. “I’ve always known I want to go to the Academy then why delay the inevitable?”

Looking at Ben cradling Tribbles, then over to Erika who was shucking her dreams, then at Dahlia who was running off faster than she was ready, and thinking about Gavi who was on a collision course on Bolarus IX it seemed that her children were burning out; this year had been rough on them and now she was only piling more on them.

The Bolian/Human woman looked down at her hands, which were shaking ever so slightly despite the fact that she couldn’t feel them fully, and realized that her capacity to solve problems were hampered.

As she opened her mouth to say something -- what she couldn’t have said -- she was mercifully interrupted by the beeps that indicated there was a breaking story. At least in this her children were united: they all groaned.

Tucking Sassy the Tribble into the crook of her arm, Xana got up and wandered out to the living space and turned on the holo to see an anchor in the news studio.

{{Thank you for joining FNN. We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you breaking news from our field reporting. Our reporters have been tracking down shipments of gray market shipments. For more we go to--}}

Xana watched as a field reporter she wasn’t familiar with started reporting, the first of several reports she explained, a dizzying path of shell corporations and legitimate corporations that all led to this moment: the reveal of what it was they were hiding.

{{Bramatine. But what is it? And why the deception? Well initial reports from our embedded reporter, who is undercover, suggests that it has medicinal purposes,}} the reporter in the studio explained.

The second anchor chimed in. {{One person who could use a new medicine according to our next story is Councilwoman Xana Bonviva of Bolarus IX. FNN has the exclusive story that come the next Council session an ethics inquiry may come up against the Councilwoman, indicating that she hid a dire medical condition thus calling into question all her votes and recent trade deals like the ones with Bajor and Betazed.}}

Suddenly Xana was aware her kids, who had been doing anything else slowly crept into the room where she was and watched as their mother was metaphorically dragged through the news. “So...you’re going to lose your seat aren’t you?” Erika asked.

She was about to say “yes” because now this was real. An ethics investigation was nothing to laught at; good Councilmembers had been taken down for less.

Then she saw the fear on her kids faces; the fear of the unknown; the fear of having to move again; of seeing another parent being hurt again…

“Nah, this is just another day at the office,” Xana blithely lied as she turned off the news report and knew she was going to have to figure this out if it was the last thing she did.

=/\=

Scene: Outside the Desert Hotel

Normally press did not cover political events with breathless abandon. But in the course of a week the following had happened:

Two Councilmembers (Kevak and Karimi) were rumored, and certainly doing all they could, to be running for President of the Federation as they each had used the break to visit a dizzying amount of planets

Another Councilmember (Gavaar) was implicated in gray market scheme

A final Councilmember (Bonviva) was under a cloud of ethics suspicion for hiding a medical condition


For the first time since all the Council had gone on break, they were reconvening under the guise of a gala celebrating freedom of the press in the Federation. One by one, the Councilmembers walked up a long carpet, answering questions from various press members. Most of Council wore formal clothes in the style of their home planets or whatever was comfortable. There was plenty of elegant dresses and formal tunics and suits. However, as the politicians made their way down the rope line (an outdated term that had endured) there was a theme to the questions: upcoming Presidential election and ethical inquiries into fellow Councilmembers.

Gavaar, for his part, was holding court at the far end of the rope line. “Pantheos Pathways is a small business, just like any number of the billions of small businesses in the Federation. This is just another assault on small business by our overreaching government--”

Garshor, the Denobulan Councilmember, walked over to his Tellarite associate and whispered in his ear, “You may want to note who finally arrived at the rope line.”

Gavaar knew who arrived, there was only one more Councilmember to come. Still he darted his ebony eyes to the right to see the azure Bolian Councilwoman strutting down the rope line, ignoring the calls from the press while giving a coy smile over her shoulder while her white hair billowed out behind her. As she came closer, it was obvious that the azure woman’s choice of attire was more daring than that of her colleagues; she wore a burgundy lace plunging top that was attached to a same-color satin asymmetrical skirt that was high enough in the front so you could see her long legs seemingly march towards the inevitable.

The message was clear: this was not a dress that a sick woman wore.

Waving her long fingers in a careless wave to the crowd as she got closer to her colleagues, Xana tried to dart around them but was stymied by Gavaar who blocked her. “What’s the rush?” he asked with an oily smile. “We’re here to celebrate the press. How better to do that than by answering their questions?”

“We have so many press and I’m sure so many questions to answer,” Xana smiled gamely. Pivoting to the press beyond the rope line she said, “Go press pool, those of you not getting the good dinner tonight, any questions?”

A young Bajoran press pool reporter leaned forward. “Councilwoman Bonviva, FNN here. How do you respond to the charges that you have a medical condition? Charges that could result in an ethics inquiry?”

Xana smiled at that. “First of all, there are no charges. There are unsubstantiated, uncorroborated rumors. But to set people’s minds at ease, let me give you something,” she said as she swept a hand out to her aggrieved hand out to her Chief of Staff who looked pissed at doing menial work. “I had a physical this morning; feel free to review. Scintillating review,” she commented dryly.

“For those of us who haven’t yet read it, care to sum up?” A FedComm reporter called out.

The Bolian Councilwoman smiled at the easy question. “Blood pressure normal, I eat too much chocolate but that isn’t going to stop, shockingly I have some headaches but nothing out of the ordinary. I’m healthy enough to serve at the pleasure of the Federation and the Bolian people. Not to mention be a single mother to 4 children, 3 of whom are still with me and now more than a handful Tribbles thanks to my youngest.” Smiling at the press pool she asked gamely, “I don’t suppose any of you want to help my son save the Tribbles?” Over the groans and shakes of heads from the press, the azure woman grinned and winked at the press as she wrapped up the impromptu press questions. “At least I tried. Thanks--.”

By this time, Gavaar and Garshor were working their way down the line and were almost inside but did hear the last question lobbed to their colleague.

“One more question, Councilwoman Bonviva. In your bio it’s mentioned that you own a small business. What do you think about Councilman Gavaar’s recent comments that the Federation overreaches to businesses? This is in light of FNN’s reporting into grey market reporting along some trade routes which his business is implicated,” a FNN reporter called out.

The press line became quiet, as the reporters all leaned in to capture the quote, and Gavaar who was at the end of the other of the line stopped his march inside stopped just short of the doorway to hear what his adversary would say.

The azure woman pursed her lips and tilting her head to the side in apparent consideration. “As I was just saying, I serve at the pleasure of the Federation. I’ve been fortunate that it’s been in a number of roles including business owner. Yes, there are a myriad of regulations to follow, and at best they change frequently and at worst they appear outdated. I agree we should look at improving business regulations in an agile and free society. However, no one’s rights should come at the expense of someone else’s.” Raising her head while leveling her violet gaze at the questioner she clarified, “Let me put it this way, as a Bolian woman I can tell you an inconvenience as a business owner is far better than suppression of rights, where you have to fight your way out of a hole because you are being taken over. I wouldn’t wish the latter on anyone.”

“You said she was sick,” Gavaar whispered.

The Denobulan Councilman thought about that as he watched the press pool chat with the Bolian Councilwoman; she was going with the approach of out-talking them. Any other Councilmember, the Denobulan would have bet on the Press but a Bolian Councilmember...the Denobulan Councilman knew better. “It’s not the kind of illness that would show up on a basic physical,” he replied. “She’s going talk them away from the physical until her health gets buried at the bottom of their stories.”

Gavaar and Garshor stood in the shadows; waiting and watching the impromptu press briefing unfold as they considered their options.

=/\=

TI: Later on during the gala

There was food, liquor, music, and whatever celebrity they could drag out to Vulcan. The main ballroom was decorated more than the typical Vulcan event; that is to say there *were* decorations. The Federation symbol holo was displayed from the ceiling in the center of the room, and all the tables either had blue or white tablecloths.

At the Bolian delegation’s, Xana sat with her Chief of Staff, Yalar Traras, her Security Chief, Traxx, her “aide”, Selyara (why she wanted to come, Xana was unsure but the Vulcan/Betazoid insisted on it), along with some press from her home planet and a few Bolian celebrities including the poet laureate, Haxor Borette.

“I have to admit to being out of my element,” Haxor whispered to her as he smiled.

Xana smiled back at him; it was very clear that the man was used to being at an ivory tower and now mixing it up at a political party was very much out of his element. “You’re doing fine,” she whispered back. “If you get stuck, just ask a politician a question about the next bill or a reporter a question about their upcoming article and let them talk.” Sipping her wine she asked, “Now I have to admit, I don’t talk to poets every day so I’m lost about what to ask you, or any other poets in the room.”

Haxor thought about that as he nibbled his salad. Brightening up so that his bifurcated ridge rippled he said, “Poets, or any other artists really, love talking about how their art contributes to the well-being of society. Start with that.”

Chuckling at that Xana was about to take his advice when Hussein Karimi sidled up to the table. “My dear Xana!”

Given the sudden silence at the Bolian delegation table, it was clear that the appearance of Councilman Karimi was unexpected and unwanted. Still they were (mostly) politicians so they recovered. Turning around in her chair, Xana smiled at her former boss. “Hello Hussein,” she said mostly to needle him by using his first name and putting them on equal footing.

The Terran Councilman twisted his lips but never lost focus. “There are a few of us that were stuck on a question for our trade bill and we were hoping you could help out.”

Xana stared up at Karimi, wondering what game he was playing. His face, however, was a mask of calm and there was no one around him that she could immediately tie to his inner circle in the otherwise festive ballroom. Dabbing her mouth with the napkin, she placed it down on the table, pushed her chair back. “Excuse me,” she said to her table. As the table all excused her, she nodded to Karimi to lead on.

Karimi said nothing about the obvious lie of a request as he led her through the tables filled with glamorous people, then into a corridor past waiters and help staff, past rooms that were holding private meetings. Finally after they reached a room and Karimi said, “Go in here.”

Xana stared at her former boss and former colleague. “Do you ever regret it?” she asked quietly.

The Human Councilman shook his head in apparent disgust, a soft sigh escaping his lips as he turned to leave.

The azure woman walked in through the doors into a room that was only illuminated by an old fashioned fireplace. Sitting in front of the fireplace, in a large wingback soft green chair, was the Tellarite Councilman, Gavaar. “You look lost. Of course you are. I studied interplanetary theology, and I remember Bolian gods. You must think your gods are punishing you. As a result the life you had not that long ago is gone but perhaps your gods were just guiding you towards me,” Gavaar mused.

The Bolian/Human woman walked across the carpet, her black shoes never making a sound, as she made her way across from Gavaar. She thought about the life she thought she’d have now; the life she did have now. Images of what she thought she’d have now versus what reality was played like a kaleidoscope in her mind. Then she stared hard at the smug smile across from her. “That’s a hells of a guiding,” Xana replied, not sitting but leaning on the chair across from Gavaar.

“I admire you, Xana, inspite of what you think. Everything we’ve managed to throw at you, you more or less get out of,” Gavaar admitted quietly as he raised an amber glass. At the raised eyebrow from the azure woman he nodded. “I may not like you but I admire you. Now, you may not be able to see it now but Karimi will win. Don’t get me wrong, you picked a very good candidate in Kevak.”

“Who says Kevak is running?” Xana replied.

Gavaar shook his head. “Come on, I’m not Karimi. Kevak didn’t visit Bajor, Betazed and Delta within a week if you weren’t trying to shore up votes. It was a smart choice but you won’t win. Karimi will get the Presidency. And when that happens, I’ll advance. So when that time comes, I’ll need a trustworthy person to handle affairs, you were the first and quite frankly only person I could think of. I don’t want you to think this is a small offer. It’s not just with my little business but in all my endeavors.” Gavaar sipped his drink as he watched the woman. “All I ask for is honest diligence and obedience in all things.”

“That’s all,” Xana murmured.

“It’s a small thing really,” Gavaar pointed out. Looking at Xana he pointed out, “Would you want me as your adversary or helping you? And really with me helping you, your Bolarus gets their resources. Plus so long as I get my diligence and obedience you can have what you want.”

The Bolian/Human woman was genuinely confused. “What I want?”

Gavaar waved a hand in a magnanimous gesture, “You want retribution on your ex-husband, we can arrange that. I’ve never had a divorce go amicably, doubt anyone has. We still have friends in Starfleet. You could be Secretary again if you wanted, or install whomever you wanted. You want to arrange the Council however you want, go for it. Just give me what I want.”

“Diligence and obedience,” Xana repeated quietly as she nodded. Turning over everything in her mind she stared at the fireplace for a long time. Finally she turned her head back to Gavaar. “I never thanked you; you taught me. I thought I knew politics before I came to the Council. Politics maybe a compromise between beggars, but there can be no compromise where people’s lives are on the line. I had thought I long ago lost any idealism to life and ambition. Turns out I still may have some left in me. So thank you.”

With that Bolian Councilwoman turned around to walk out of the room but behind her Gavaar called out, “You know this means that we’re not done with you.”

For once, Xana Bonviva truly had no comment.

=/\=

NRPG: Politics are back in full swing between Su’s post and this one! :) Here’s this sum up:

Character drama (the various kids are breaking down in their own ways)

The news reports on the following:

Grey market trading (events in Su’s post) and starts to link it to Pangeos Pathways

There’s story about Xana covering up her health (although what she has is not revealed in the news)

There’s a political gala where the following happens:

Kevak (Andorian Councilman) and Karimi (Terran Councilman) are in the run-up to Federation President election and have been doing all the right things for it including chatting up the other Councilmembers and traveling

Gavaar (Tellarite Councilman and owner of Pangeos Pathways) talks to the news outlets trying to push back against the news story that his organization is corrupt

Xana shows up to the gala looking *not sick* and passes out her physical.

Garshor (Denobulan Councilman who knows she is sick) whispers to Gavaar that Xana’s condition wouldn’t show up on a physical so she’s bought time in the press

Xana also comments on Gavaar’s situation, without mentioning him by name, and pushes back on his narrative that the Federation is too harsh on business owners

Gavaar later on tries to persuade Xana to come to his side by explaining that Kavak will lose the Presidential election. Xana walks out but not before Gavaar threatens her one more time.


Let me know if you have questions!

=/\=

Sarah Albertini-Bond

Councilwoman Xana Bonviva


“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”

-Malcolm X
***********************************

 

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