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They Want You (Chapter Three)

Posted on Aug 14, 2018 @ 12:15am by Captain Siobhan Reardon & Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Aug 14, 2018 @ 12:16am

Mission: Blue Planet

"They Want You -- Chapter 3"

=/\=

Location: MARS
Scene: Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards


Xana Bonviva walked along the gangplank, her black pants billowing in the gentle breeze of the workers below causing a ripple of air to float upwards. Finding a railway to lean against, she watched the people below work together to build the future of Starfleet. The sleek silver lines, with its windows open to the stars that it hungrily reached out to, inspired both poetry and exploration.

“Councilwoman Bonviva,” came the gentle voice next to her.

The azure woman studied the gentle curve of the bow of the ship that was being constructed; it was clearly being designed to withstand pressure of deep space and fighting. “Yes,” she replied off-handedly, her violet eyes mesmerized by the sight below her.

“The Secretary apologizes for not being able to meet with you personally but an urgent matter has come up and I have been dispatched,” came the cool, dispassionate voice from her left side.

Xana never turned to acknowledge to the voice next to her. “Tell me when did this ship below get authorized?” she asked abruptly.

“Ma’am?” the light voice asked.

The Bolian Councilwoman turned to see an Arcadian Lieutenant Commander standing nearby with a PADD at the ready. “My question was straightforward enough: when was this ship below authorized to be built?”

The Arcadian’s deep onyx eyes stared back at the woman’s violet eyes and answered. “I was not aware that the Councilwoman was here to speak about ship building.”

There was a beat or two of silence between the tall blue woman with her white hair pulled back into a neat chignon and the doll like Arcadian that was only punctured by the whirl of noise below of a metal clanging and plasma whirling. “I’m not sure whatever gave me the idea to discuss shipbuilding, and yet here I felt compelled to ask about it,” Xana said dryly as she leaned on the railing not even looking at the activity below her.

“Indeed,” the Lt. Commander replied. Straightening up the assistant to the Secretary to Starfleet replied. “Let me begin again. I am Lt. Commander Espath. I am here to convey the Secretary of Starfleet’s apologies--”

“For not telling the Council that there’s a new warship?” Xana said dryly.

“What warship?” Lt. Commander Espath asked calmly.

The Bolian Councilwoman resisted the urge to pull a move like her teenage daughter and roll her eyes. Instead she rolled her head to the side and looked down and then looked up again.

“I see no warship,” the Lt. Commander replied.

Xana sighed and folded her arms. “That’s not a galaxy-class,” she pointed out.

“The Secretary is apologizing for asking you to come here for a meeting and then having another meeting supercede it, namely a meeting he is having now with the Vice President.” Looking down at the PADD, the Arcadian Lt. Commander said, “But yes, let’s talk about galaxy-class ships. As a high ranking member of a the Federation government; you are entitled to an escort on a ship. Typically you have requested an escort on our galaxy-class ship, the USS PHOENIX--”

“Remove that from my record, it’s no longer required,” Xana replied with a wave of her hand.

“Why,” Lt. Commander Espath asked obliquely, blinking the fathomless eyes.

The officer was perhaps one of the few who would dare ask the question but now it was out there. Xana pushed up from the railing and sighed. “Are you a Counselor, Espath?” she inquired with a tone that teetered between interest and boredom.

The Lt. Commander briefly shook its head. “No, I am a highly trained Engineer with a secondary degree Xenolinguistics, Councilwoman Bonviva.”

“Lovely,” Xana drawled. “When you get a degree in marital counseling or family counseling or any kind of counseling for that matter, then we can revisit my decision to go back on the USS PHOENIX. Until then, I don’t care what position I hold in this government, I am not going back there. However, I am taking a mission on behalf of this government and will require a ride to ELANDIPOLE.” While the Lt. Commander frantically typed away on the PADD she continued on, “And while you’re typing away, continue noting that I’m going to investigate why a warship is being developed without the Federation Council’s knowledge.”

“Ma’am--” the Arcadian began. Not receiving a response the assistant looked up and saw the Bolian Councilwoman was walking away. Chasing after the azure woman. “Wait! I found a ship that can take you. It’s not the PHOENIX.” When the Bolian Councilwoman stopped walking and pivoted, the Arcadian supplied, “It’s the BHUTTO.”

“That’s acceptable,” Bonviva nodded. “And did you note any of the other things I said?”

“What other things?” the Arcadian asked placidly.

Xana sighed and said, “When you’re done here, look me up, Lt. Commander Espath. You’ll have a wonderful second career politics.” With that she spun on her toes and left.

=/\=

Location: EARTH, San Francisco
Scene: Commander Marshall Smith’s Quarters


The only light in the room was indirect- it either came from either the small kitchenette inside, or the city lights that were partially filtered by the curtains that covered the windows along the back wall of the apartment. The only noise was provided by two consenting adults who were cuddled in bed, making out like a couple of teenagers.

“Aren’t you tired?” she asked, stifling a giggle. “Because I’m exhausted.”

“Uh huh,” he mumbled, kissing her, smiling mid lip-lock. “But I don’t care.”

“Mhmm.” She brushed the hair out of his eyes as they kissed again. “Would it kill you to get a haircut?” she joked.

“Overrated.” He caressed her cheek. “If my boss doesn’t care if I get one, neither should you- even if you outrank me.”

“Haircuts are overrated?” she asked as they lay next to one another.

“I can always get a haircut,” Marsh reasoned, “but what are the odds of us both being in town at the same time?”

She smiled, her green eyes bright, her face flushed. “How long has it been- six months?”

He squeezed her hand. “More like eight, but who’s counting?”

She leaned in and kissed him once more. “Don’t you go getting all sentimental on me, Dallas.” It was his nickname.

“Never.” Despite their playfulness, that was mostly the truth. They were betrothed to their careers, meeting purely by chance last year when their paths crossed. There was no talk about future, or about commitment. There was only a series of cryptic subspace communications between a Section 31 operative and the Captain of the USS BENAZIR BHUTTO, and time spent together when their schedules would allow it. They were living in the moment. “What does your tomorrow look like?”

She peered at the chronometer on the bedside table. “It’s after midnight.”

He chuckled. “Okay. What does your later today look like?”

“Breakfast with my son, and then we disembark. You?”

“Orders- already?”

She nodded in the semi-dark. “Rear Admiral T’Sen delivered the assignment less than three hours after we docked. I’m not sure if they were waiting for us, or if we drew the short straw.”

“What is it?”

Siobhan Reardon smiled. "Providing a diplomatic escort to one of the colonies. So it's definitely in our wheelhouse, but it strikes me as something lacking in planning, which isn’t T’Sen’s style. They wouldn’t tell me who or where, although I was promised to have that information tomorrow... well, later today. So I have Summer on full bug-out mode making sure the whole ship gets the white glove treatment.” The woman paused, suddenly quiet.

Marsh rolled over so he was facing her and kissed her again, running his hands through her wild mane of auburn hair. “Is something wrong, Sio?”

She inclined her body into his, returning his affection. The night was theirs, and it wasn’t over. “Nothing a little more time with you won’t fix.”

=/\=

Location: USS BHUTTO
Scene: Transporter Room 1


After the familiar, if disorientating, sensation of being disassembled and reassembled in a matter of moments, the Bolian Councilwoman found herself standing on a Starfleet transporter pad. “Permission to come aboard, Captain?” she asked.

Captain Sio Reardon, leaning cooly against the rear wall, quirked an eyebrow at that question as if to silently point out the logical absurdity of asking the question *after* already being transported on the ship. Instead she smiled and said, “Welcome to the BHUTTO, Councilwoman.”

Xana smiled at that while hoisting a loose black shoulder bag on her right shoulder and grabbed her bag as two Security officers came towards her. “I’m a politician, untrustworthy, I know; but I’m not a threat to the BHUTTO’s security,” she replied with a charming smile to the Security officers as she stepped off the platform.

These officers were better than she was; they were immune to charm. “Standard protocol for high ranking government officials--” one of the officers explained as they reached for her bag.

“I got it,” Xana reassured the Andorian officer. “I will be a good visitor, check into quarters, do my official check in at Sickbay to make sure I’m not the social incubating disease wanton I’ve been accused of--”

From her vantage point at the back of the room, Siobhan Reardon would later note that several things seemingly happened at once as these things often did. While Xana was doing her best walk-talk to distract everyone in the room from the Transporter Chief and the junior Security guard, it did not distract either Sio or the senior Security Officer. Now, Sio knew she wasn’t distracted because she knew the azure woman for *years* and was both amused and baffled by the performance (because it was that, no doubt). Xana was doing her best to seem cheerful, but keep Sio at a (literal and figurative) arm’s length; and since when did Xana volunteer to do things by the book? No, Siobhan was mulling over this right as the senior Security officer was politely, if firmly, prying the black shoulder bag off Xana so he could take it; to be both polite and do a quick check.

CLING-CLANG-BANG went the hypos that went flying out of Xana’s black shoulder bag all over Transporter Room 1.

Xana, perhaps expecting this or having dealt with this before, recovered first as she surveyed the damage of dozens of hypos on the floor. “Well...this is unfortunate.” Looking up, Xana’s voice changed timbre. “Siobhan, we need to talk.”

“Indeed,” the Captain nodded. “Everyone, clear the room. And not a word about this,” she ordered as she pushed herself off the wall. After her staff filed out, Siobhan looked over at Xana who was watching the door where the staff had left. “What have you brought onto my ship?”

The azure woman turned back. “210 hypos,” she replied guilelessly. Bending down she sighed and began to pick up the hypos. “I need 10 hypos a day; this is my standard for a 3 week tour.”

Siobhan walked over, knelt down next to her friend, and looked at the hypos. They were standard medical issue, but aside from various colors, there was no other markings. “Is this illegal?” she asked quietly.

Xana looked over seriously. “Gods above and below, Siobhan...no it’s not illegal,” she hissed. Shaking her head she kept piling her hypos into her bag, “I love you, but you’d not even be my first choice for an illegal drug run.”

“Thank you? I think?” Siobhan muttered. Still studying the hypos she held it, trying to divine why her friend needed 210 hypos, all unmarked. “Is it immoral?”

The politician huffed out an exasperated breath then, making her white hair dance up. “If you’re going to start asking me that *now* after all these years--”

“Just don’t continue that,” Sio agreed holding up a hand. Waving a hypo around she admitted, “I give up. What do you need all these hypos for?”

Scooting back to the steps of the transporter pad, Xana sat down and dug into her black shoulder bag, until she reached the bottom. “I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to go do my official check-in at Sickbay.” Passing over at PADD she explained, “I’m dying, Siobhan. These hypos help keep me alive; well some of them. The others help keep some of the nastier side effects at bay.”

Siobhan ignored the outstretched PADD. “Is this like a philosophical ‘We’re all dying…’?”

“This is like my days are numbered and I am being propped up by the best in medicine.” Waving her arms around she said, “This is it.” Xana left the PADD down on a step and folded her arms on her knees. “I know you have questions. It’s normal. I’ll answer them. But if this is too much, then I’ll find another ride--”

“Social-disease incubating wanton?” Siobhan blurted out as she sat cross-legged on the floor.

Xana smiled wanly. “I go to the doctor *a lot*,” she admitted. “My office had to come up with some reason why I was so tired, why I was so sick. Instead of admitting anything...we let innuendos and old rumors speak for itself. I believe in some of the gossip columns I’m dying from some interesting combination of socially transmitted diseases instead of a progressive, degenerative, genetic disease that I am actually am dying of.” Sighing she said, “People believe what they want to believe. They won’t waste much brain power on a dying politician anyway.”

The Commanding Officer gathered up some hypos for her friend. “Admittedly, I heard the rumors. I didn’t believe you were *dying*,” she said softly. “But I had hoped that meant you were enjoying your were newly single life.”

The azure woman shook her head as she went back to stacking the hypos in the bag, not meeting her friend’s kind eyes. “I am not dating. I’m loathe to date someone when I have a ticking chrono over my head as it were.” A hoarse dry chuckle came out as she said, “I always hated the rumors of me being so crazy dating...I was a damn serial monogamist. Now that rumor is protecting the privacy of my family and me; somewhat.”

Sio sighed as she kept stacking the hypos in the bag, one by one. “The merchant from RISA?” After a pause, she continued on. “The poet laureate from BOLARUS IX? The upcoming political operative from EARTH? The actor from--”

Xana smiled wanly. “All those people got something, usually publicity or a government ear. But not a date, sadly.” Chuckling she said, “Glad to know someone read along.”

The Captain thought about it for a minute. “I was rooting for the poet.”

“The actor is a nice guy actually,” Xana admittedly off-handedly. “But it’s a no-go, not with...well this," shaking her head she said quietly. "I had wonderful and I wrecked it. No need to try again with all this baggage."

Several minutes passed as the women finished cleaning up Transporter Room 1. “That’s it, Captain Reardon,” Xana said softly, having used the time to swallow her anger and looking far more presentable. Looking up from her spot on the floor she asked, this time far more sincerely, “Permission to come aboard?”

Siobhan sighed. “Permission granted.”

=/\=

Sarah Albertini-Bond
~writing for~
Councilwoman Xana Bonviva
BOLARUS IX

with a cameo by

Susan Ledbetter
~writing for~
Captain Siobhan Reardon
USS BHUTTO


I walk on water
But I ain’t no Jesus
I walk on water
But only when it freezes
Cause I’m only human
Just like you
Making my mistakes
Oh if you only knew
I don’t think you should believe in me
That way that you do
Cause I’m terrified
To let you down...
--From Eminem with Beyonce’s “Walk on Water”

 

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