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JL | RAdm Hawk, Danielle Atarah | "Summons"

Posted on 241709.07 @ 8:18am by Danielle Atarah & Rear Admiral Indi Hawk

Mission: Non-Plot Log

"Hm." Dani muttered, her eyes unfocused in front of her, her finger tracing a line on the sheet. She was in bed, lazily going over her messages, Zett napping next to her below the plush blankets. She’s been using the bracelet she built for her initial Earth rescue mission, the one that interfaced with her implants. It took a while to get used to, but once she had, reading messages and going over data that was projected directly in front of her vision was not a bad way to absorb information.

She lifted her bracelet-free arm to her lips, sipping from a steaming mug of coffee, examining the message that had just arrived with a shake of her head and another harumph.

"Hm? Anything important?" Zett stirred sleepily, her fingers curling slowly on top of Dani’s skin. Dani shuddered, her cup shaking above her. "Yeesh," she yelped, lifting Zett’s arm from her chest, balancing the cup with her other arm. "Careful, Z. I almost spilled coffee all over myself."

"Hm. And you know what that would make you." Zett smiled with eyes that started opening only slightly, and Dani knew that smile too well.

"Oh, no no, Kal, Don--"

"Hot and wet."

Dani exhaled, shaking her head in dismay, but couldn’t hold back the smirk that developed on her lips. "That was bad, Kal. Even for you."

"Was it really?" Zett smiled, releasing her arm from Dani’s protective grip, stretching it on the covers instead.

"Yeah, you leave the jokes to me," Dani chuckled, and released the message from the queue with a flick of her bracelet-wearing palm. "You stick with being pretty."

Zett snorted, waking up more fully now, and looked up, her palm, which started making its way towards the other side of the bed, stopped. "Pretty?"

"You are pretty awesome." Dani smiled winningly and Zett laughed, this time she was shaking her head. "Augh. No. That was not better."

"It’s all in the delivery," Dani smirked, and flicked a finger, reading the next message. Zett laughed and rolled over, draping herself across Dani’s lap. Dani gave up on holding her cup upright and reached to place it gently on the side table, her eyes unfocusing again as she read the message that was superimposed over reality. She paused for a moment, her eyes narrowing slightly, then straightened, her free hand resting by default on Zett’s flowing rainbow hair. "Ha. I’ve been summoned to Starfleet security."

Zett’s head lifted, her eyes looking at Dani questioningly.

"Oh, don’t worry. It’s probably the Admiral getting reports from Earth police. I figured that would happen at some point."

"Did you." Zett muttered, and lowered herself back again, placing her head on Dani’s chest like a pillow. "Anything we should be worried about?"

"Nah," Dani shrugged and started lifting herself out of bed, stretching, "I’ll be fine. If we were in trouble, we’d have detectives knocking on our door."

Zett snorted.

Dani smirked and slipped out from under the sleepy Trill, bending to kiss her forehead. "I’ll be back quickly."

Zett sighed into the sheets, then smiled, her eyes closing. "If you don’t, I might have Mira replace you."

Dani laughed and walked towards the wardrobe, picking out the outfit of the day. "I told you Kal, seriously," she picked a shirt and a pair of pants, glancing at the woman in the bed, "leave the jokes to me."

=/\= Spacedock =/\=

Getting through a message queue was hard enough on any given day. Today however, a lot of those messages had been about an apparent Syndicate war on Earth. As soon as Indi had finished reading about half of her messages, it was clear to her that her dream of the night before and the messages were related somehow. If they were related, it also meant that Dani was involved somehow. A lot of 'somehow's she wanted an answer to.

As her Yeoman peered around the corner and announced that a 'woman who doesn't appear to belong here' wanted to see her, she couldn't entirely suppress the chuckle she felt. "Dani! C'mon in!" she called over the Yeoman's shoulder. He looked disgruntled at having been skipped, but had enough sense left in him to not say so out loud. Instead, he nodded at Indi and made sure the door closed after Dani had stepped inside.

"Indi," Dani's lips stretched in her normal lopsided smirk, as she walked in, winking at the Yeoman, and hopped over the chair, plopping into it masterfully, looking at Indi with amusement in her eyes. "Good to see you up and about. Doctors released you, I gather?"

"A couple of days ago," Indi nodded her confirmation. As if Dani didn't keep tabs on her and already long knew about this. Their dance continued. Only, Indi wasn't in much of a mood to dance. It was too early in the morning for that. "What are you up to, kid?" she asked instead.

Dani's smirk expanded, unfolding into a chuckle. "Oh, same thing I do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world[*]." She grinned, amused with herself, not sure -- and not quite caring -- if Indi got the reference. Then, after a moment of amused uncertainty, she shrugged, unable to hide her satisfaction, both from her own joke, and generally, from life. Life was good right now, and she will hold on to that as long as she can.

Indi's eyes narrowed at Dani's cocky response. She knew she was right and she knew Dani knew she knew she was right. A lot of knowledge in the room. Between the two of them, it made for an uncomfortable pair. She shook her head - not sure if it was to shake off a chuckle of her own, or because of a mild annoyance - and headed to the replicator for another coke. Her third one, way too early in the morning. "Want anything?"

Dani watched Indi's reactions carefully, her smile remaining solid on her face. "I'm good, I just had hot coffee." 'hot and wet' she thought, remembering Zett's joke, and her smile shifted to a snort she shook away with a quick nod.

She allowed herself a quick amused moment, and then shook her head. "What's up, Indi? It's way too early in the morning for a game of hint-a ping pong. How about you just ask what is burning on your mind to ask me." The smile didn't go away, but it shifted, the knowing amusement, reaching her eyes, crinkling their edges.

With the coke in hand, Indi headed to the window to gaze out into space. She didn't want to dance and Dani didn't want to play ping pong. If this was the kind of conversation they'd be having from now on, there wouldn't be much fun left. Both on such opposite sides of the universe, happy in their own little bubble. Or were they? Happy? "I don't like the way you're setting yourself up in my backyard," she finally spoke, still looking out.

"Oohh," Dani marveled, huffing a chuckle. "Wow. I thought you'd be thrilled to have me here, Admiral," the rank. The rank, because that's what she sounded like now -- like authority. Like Starfleet authority. Well. Dani can play that game. "I'll have you know we can be amazing neighbors. We do pot luck on Sundays, at Golden Gate park. I make a mean chili... you wouldn't guess it, but Smith makes these delightful little macaroons, they melt in your mouth. You should come." Her eyes didn't shift from Indi, not for a moment.

Indi turned around in one quick movement, her eyes blazing the kind of fire that wasn't quelled by her implants. "What the fuck are you doing, Dani?! This isn't a game, you know?" her voice was raised far higher than she'd intended it. Biting the inside of her lip, she shook her head once more, looking directly at Dani now. "You're putting me in an impossible position," she sighed, deflated as quickly as the fire had risen.

Dani didn't flinch, but her smile hardened, her eyes narrowed, slightly, remaining on the woman's face. "What position is that?"

"I'm the head of Starfleet Security for the entire quadrant. What position do you think?!" Indi grumbled. Yes, back to the dancing and the ping pong they were. It seemed like the only way the two of them could carry a conversation. It sucked. Her mood was plowing down rapidly.

Dani nodded slowly, thoughtfully, her smile not fading completely, remaining on the edges of her lips and in her eyes. She considered her opponent, because that's what she seemed to be right now, and wondered, briefly, if the Admiral actually expects her to admit to anything. That would be fairly absurd, friend or not. Was she aware, did she have something? Or was she fishing...

"You know, I never envied you high rankers. This responsibility not only having to live by the rules, but having them dominate your entire existence. That must be a heavy burden to carry, keeping peace in the sector. An incredible responsibility that requires time. Sacrifice. Patience, despite the odds." Don't make me tell you what you already know; what I can't admit to. She smiled slightly, but without humor, the game shifting to what she hoped Indi would understand, and play well. There was no other choice but the game. Not with either of them on different sides of the equation.

"I bet there are things you wished you didn't have to do." She looked at her, waiting for the actual questions. For the information she seemed to have, or was fishing for, that won't be confirmed.

Indi wanted to punch Dani right there and right then. Only the restraint of what Dani called the 'high rankers' kept her from acting on her desire. Yayy, she'd grown so much over the years. Years ago, she wouldn't have hesitated to throw a punch. To be called into Sha'mers office and have to explain why someone or the other had to be treated by Jasmin. She smiled slightly at the memories. Such a long time ago, and yet it seemed like it was yesterday.

After a few moments during which she allowed herself to reminisce, she dragged herself back to the present and back to looking at Dani. "I don't care much for your sarcasm," she sighed, finally making her way back to her chair. It was true. This game was always paired with so much sarcasm that it dripped off the walls. It made her head hurt. Of course she could play this game, but that didn't make her want to any more. "This conversation isn't going to get us anywhere, is it?" she asked in an afterthought. Actually, it was the foremost thought on her mind. Perhaps she shouldn't have asked Dani to come. She could've known better. Should've known better. Dani had messed with her head and Indi hated herself for letting it happen.

Dani shrugged, straightening in her chair, her confusion skidding. "I don't know, Indi. I guess it depends where you expected this to go. Did you invite me here for some sort of confession? An apology? An explanation for things you seem to already know the answer to? What do you want from me?"

That was a very good question. And one Indi couldn't answer. What did she want from Dani? Why had she asked her to join her? Because she wanted confirmation? She'd never get it and she knew that. She'd known that even before she had sent Dani the message to come to her office. To let Dani know she knew? Perhaps. Then again, Dani already knew that, too. "I'm not much of a space person," she finally spoke, swiveling her chair to look out once more. "I've always had a planet side office. You could see the clouds, the sun, the rain. Here is nothing but the darkness of space."

Dani nodded slowly, playing the game, though she was no longer sure of the rules of the objective. "I'm sure you can find an office down at the Starfleet compound?" her smile lopsided once more, attempting, testing the water, making sense of this conversation, "those ranks must be good for something."

Indi didn't understand Dani's aversion to ranks. To Starfleet. Sure, she knew some of the woman's history. She knew where she'd come from and where she'd landed again now. But still, it was a concept Indi was unable to grasp. It made this dance all the harder for it. Once you could get into the head of your sparring partner, you could anticipate moves and get ahead. But if you couldn't even imagine their strategy, their thoughts and ideas, well, it was a whole other ball game. She felt like she was running in circles, trying to catch a bad guy that was always ten steps ahead of her. Then again, was it really a bad guy? This entire situation was confusing.

"When did you get your throat cut?" she asked eventually. She knew she was right about that, too, but it didn't make sense as Dani was sitting in perfect health across from her.

Dani blinked, her brows furrowing, her smile vanishing, slowly, ensync with her growing eyes. "What?"

From Dani's unspoken reaction alone, Indi knew she had been right. Fishing? Perhaps. But she had been right anyway. "You heard me," she shrugged. She wasn't about to volunteer more information. She had just received the confirmation she had been seeking.

Dani continued staring, her expression more concerned. Did they have a mole? Was there a security hole in their growing enterprise? Was one of her victims so desperate they came running to Starfleet security?

"Where did you read this?" she managed slowly, suspiciously.

Indi shrugged. This time, she had the advantage. She wasn't about to relinquish it that easily. "I didn't," she replied truthfully.

Dani kept her gaze steady, thinking, examining, wondering about the implications of this conversation and where it seemed to lead. She chewed on the inside of her cheek for a moment, then nodded, more to herself than Indi, making a decision.

"Look, Indi, if what you need is a way to explain the recent couple of days, I have all the official paperwork you need already in your database; the official statement about the gas leak explosion at our headquarters building, the hefty fine we paid to the city, and the plan to fix the faulty piping that led to..." she took a breath, "to this unfortunate accident." She looked at Indi carefully, her smile vanishing with her words, her eyes turning bright and colder, tinting of Zett's cold stare.

"But let's put things plain on the table here, shall we? I'm not in your back yard, Admiral," she almost spat that out, but her voice remained calm, the remnant of a smile - a cold, quiet one - dancing in her eyes dangerously.

"I'm on your front lawn, parking a huge fucking truck with a construction tent, while I build my house in the lot I just emptied next to yours. And trust me," her head dipped, making a point that was much less casual and much more serious than her entrance, "I'm a much better neighbor than the guy that used to live there. And," she continued, quietly now, almost a warning, "I'm a much more cooperative and friendly neighbor than the tenants that just lost their bid."

It was a force like a hurricane that hit Indi. She made it a conscious movement to put the glass to her lips and carefully, slowly but steadily, emptying it completely. Only then did she put it back on the desk. She didn't like what she'd just heard. There was a threat implied that she didn't like. There was an edge to their friendship that wouldn't easily be mended. As long as they had to keep meeting as Admiral and Syndicate Owner, things would never be good between them. It was a sacrifice Indi wasn't necessarily willing to make, but she didn't see how she had any other choice.

"I think we're done here," she spoke at last. She had no sensible thing to say to the neighbor speech. Dani wasn't a neighbor, she was a criminal who belonged in jail. Indi knew better than to speak that out loud though. If Dani was really convinced they were on equal footing, things would be.. interesting.. in the future.

Dani waited a moment, staring at the woman at the window, feeling her headache - the one that didn't truly vanish since their last meeting - intensify, penetrating deep into her skull. She blinked slowly, digesting the way the meeting went, not entirely sure how things were so idiotically ignored, not believing the woman in front of her was so blind to alternatives.

"Fine." She sighed, rising from the chair. "Just remember, Indi. I'm not your enemy. Whatever you saw - whatever you've read, or heard, or witnessed - that was the good outcome. That was the outcome that meant less bloodshed in this sector, less fucked up crimes that happened under your fucking nose. You think I'm bad? You take me down, you'll see what bad actually looks like." She turned. She made her pitch, more than once, more than twice, this was it. If that wasn't enough - nothing will ever be. Gods help them all.

And with that, she walked towards the door, leaving the room behind her, not looking back.


Rear Admiral Indira Hawk
Alpha Quadrant Security

Danielle Atarah
Earth Syndicate


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