Gun Brookes Advent Calendar 2012

Star Trek Voyager /Devil Wear Prada – Crossover

Dangerous by Design


 

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Door 23

 

Tal stood motionless on the transporter dais where she’d rematerialized with the others. Andy looked completely mystified and the way she looked at her lover did not bode well. She hardly dared to look over at Nash. Surely she was fuming and ready to pull some concealed weapon and slit Tal’s throat?

Miranda stepped off the dais first and nodded briskly to Janeway who stood there, gazing solemnly at them behind the computer console. “Not the way we planned, Admiral, but results are results nonetheless.”

“We? We?” Andy joined Miranda, her eyebrows knitted and low. “What’s going on?”

“Darling. Soon, all right?” Miranda gripped Andy’s hand for a moment, her eyes going from ice to imploring warmth for a few seconds. “Andrea?”

“Okay. Soon.” Andy relaxed visibly, but remained close to Miranda as if she thought her lover needed protection or something.

“So now I’m the unwilling guest of the Brilliance and Admiral Janeway. Fabulous.” Nash joined the others, hands on her hips and with a disdainful toss of her impressive hair. “Anyone care to tell me why? I was under the impression that Tal was not all that eager to rekindle our friendship and that begs the question, what do you need from me? Am I far off topic if I think it’s about my boss?”

“Not that far off.” Janeway glanced over at Tal. “You all right, Tal?”

“Yes, Admiral.”

“I’m not a patient woman,” Nash continued. “Unless you’re about to brief me, I’m transporting back—“

“I wouldn’t recommend that. Those men, they were Maladorian’s, weren’t they?” Miranda spoke politely. “They were no doubt there to make sure you didn’t speak to anyone he did not approve of. Or…” She squinted. “Or you are here at your own initiative and he has had you followed as you didn’t tell him where you were going.”

“You’re very perceptive,” Nash said through her teeth.

“I have more perceptions where that one came from, but I suggest we move to the Admiral’s ready room, or perhaps a conference room.”

“Absolutely. As I don’t want anyone to see us together, we’re using a site-to-site transport.” Janeway gave the voice command and Tal felt the familiar tingle before she found herself in Janeway’s ready room where Seven met them.

“Of course, where Janeway goes, there goes her Borg.” Nash smirked joylessly.

“Or vice versa,” Janeway said lightly. “Take a seat everybody. Anyone require something to drink.”

“Coffee. No foam latte, triple espresso.” Miranda sat down on the couch.

“You get the show on the road and I’ll prepare the replicator if that’s all right, Kathryn?” Andy fidgeted. Her eyes were darker than normal and Tal guessed she needed something to do, to cope.

“Thank you, Andy.” Janeway squeezed the young woman’s arm as she passed her and took a seat as well. “Seven? Join me?”

Seven followed suit and Tal sat down too before her legs gave in from all the emotional turmoil. Nash seemed reluctant, but eventually chose the arm chair across from everyone else. Her eyes, normally so cool and calculating, was the only thing that gave away some of the fury Tal could sense emanating from Nash.

“First of all,” Janeway said in an amicable tone, “I want to know how much of your boss’ extracurricular activities you are aware of.”

“And why would I tell you anything about my boss. He’s the one who pay me, not you.”

“Because I would surmise he’s hidden the worst part from you. Would you agree with me, Tal?” Janeway changed her gaze to meet Tal’s.

“Yes. When I read the report on his track record, I knew there was no way Nash knew about the full extent.”

Nash snorted.

“Don’t dismiss this so fast, Nash.” Angry now, Tal spoke distinctly. “I left you because of him, and the fact that you work for him, and because I thought you’d never change. I was certain of it. Now that I know more about Maladorian, I have changed my mind. I don’t think you could ever stand behind a man guilty of such atrocities. The thieving, the looting, and smuggling, yes, but being responsible for so much death…”

“You’re wrong,” Nash interrupted. “You couldn’t be more wrong. I know exactly who he is, what he’s done and what he intends to do in the near future. I made it my business to know.”

Shocked, Tal stared at her former lover. “W-what? It’s not possible…you…you’re not like that. Like him.” Her stomach was trembling as what was left of her heart began to crack.

“Guess you didn’t know me as well as you thought. I can only say the same. Not really a cage-dancer-turned-model, huh?”

“Yes, but not only that.” Tal glanced at Janeway who nodded. “I’m also Star Fleet intelligence.”

Nash actually blinked a few times at that information. “Really. Your parents’ death sent you on that route?”

“Not only that.” Tal muttered to herself.

“So you claim that you work for Maladorian knowing full well the extent of his crimes?” Janeway leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees. “I find that hard to believe, given your own history.”

“Leave my history out of it, Admiral.”

“Impossible.” Janeway accepted a mug of coffee from Andy who now knelt on the floor next to the coffee table. “Thank you.”

Miranda regarded Andy with a slightly uneasy expression and then refocused on Nash. “I’m sure there is a vast amount of intel to add to the dossier we’re keeping on you, Natasha, but we know one thing that indicates you could be a useful double-agent.”

Tal flinched. Natasha? Why had Nash never disclosed her full name?

“What so called truth do you think you know?” Nash sneered. “And I go by Nash. Only.”

“Ridiculous,” Miranda said with a superior tone. “We know Maladorian was behind the near complete destruction of the terraforming plant on Geyo 2. His evil deed resulted in the death of more than two thousand people, including—“

“Stop.” Nash’s throat worked and her complexion turned into a greyish green. “Just stop.”

“It killed your sister, her husband, and—“

“And her two children. Aydis and Natasha.” Nash’s sounded ghostly, as if she’d left her body and was in hiding. Somewhere away from the particular pain that Tal knew only too well.

“I’m sorry he did that to you, to all those people. This seems to be his M.O.” Janeway’s compassionate voice was like a blanket around Tal. She remembered this voice, this larger-than-life attitude of the woman who brought Voyager back through thousands of light-years of hostile space. She worried that Nash couldn’t use this particular memory to soothe her pain. This kind of pain, of losing it all, everything you looked on as yours. Your history, your family, your past—all of it eradicated by the action of a despicable individual. Tal also knew the encompassing fury that took you over, the urge for vengeance. A lust for retaliation that consumed every cell of your being filled your days and haunted you in the night.

Not really thinking of how it might look to the other or how it would be received by Nash, Tal shifted until she knelt by the armchair. She placed her hands gently on Nash’s trembling arms. Those tremors weren’t from fear. Tal knew this for certain. These were like the pre-tremors around a volcano ready to explode and pour it’s magma over everything and everybody within range.

“I know, Nash. I know exactly. I told you my parents passed away not long ago. I didn’t tell you they resided on the colony of Logg’s Prime.”

Nash blanched. “Logg’s Prime. Maladorian…”

“Yes. He killed my family too. We share the same grief and the same anger.”

Standing up, Nash walked over to the viewport and Tal held her breath as the woman she always thought had a wildness inside, turned to face them.

“Very well.” Nash bared her teeth in what appeared to be meant as a smile of sorts. “I’ll help you kill him.”

 


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