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Part of USS Luna: Contests

Found Blood

Earth, Outside Mexico City
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—- Sánchez Family Winery —-

 

With the USS Seattle at Starbase 415 Captain Adriana Cruz had made the journey back to Earth and back to Mexico where she was from. She’d spent the first half of her life in the former country and one of the biggest cities on Earth. While it was dwarfed by other cities on other planets the hustle and bustle was a feeling she’d missed since going north to San Francisco and Starfleet Academy. Life aboard the USS Seattle, with its ninety crew members was also a lot more sedate.

As the shuttle craft left her at the winery’s main gate she felt her stomach flip, flop with nervousness. She’d grown up with a mother, and no father not knowing anything about him. It was only this year that she’d discovered that not only was her father a local man, but he was quite well off and owned one of the largest wineries in Mexico. She’d also discovered her half-brother Andrés Sánchez who’d briefly become her First Officer before retiring from Starfleet to run the family Winery. He’d extended invitation after invitation to her, but she’d always felt like a fraud. Cruz had grown up poor, or at least disadvantaged in the post-scarcity society. She’d stolen things, been in a gang in Mexico City and now she was half owner of a winery. 

It was quite the change.

The small woman who opened the door to her was angry, but then as far as Cruz had understood and experienced she was always angry. Her mother-in-law, the woman who’d realized after his death that her husband had fathered another child out of wedlock and was having to deal with Cruz. The woman muttered under her breath in Spanish which given that Cruz was a native Spanish speaker and had a universal translator was no way of hiding it. Not that Cruz figured the woman intended to.

”Hello Mrs. Sánchez,” Cruz said politely taking her duffle back and following the woman. She was not sure how she’d feel in the woman’s position, but none of this had been easy for anyone. She’d suddenly found out that her father had been someone she could have known her whole life and yet because of her mother she’d never gotten a chance to know him. She’d found out that she could have been well off, rather than scrambling for everything she had often stealing it. Life would have been very different for both women had they known.

Her half-brother Andrés came out of an office and held his hands up as if he intended to hug Captain Cruz which he promptly did. The pair had not been loving siblings aboard the USS Seattle, though they’d gotten along fine. Now though that Andrés was no longer a Commander in Starfleet the awkwardness of rank was no longer preventing him from being expressive. So as much as Cruz herself was not a hugger, she found herself in his embrace and lifted off the floor.

”Sister you’ve made it to Earth from Starbase 72,” Sánchez said as he spun her around, then set the Captain on the floor and released her, his hands moving to her shoulders

”Starbase 415 we’ve been transferred but yes I’m here,” Cruz said, not wanting to get into the challenges that lay ahead with her ship’s transfer into Task Force 86 or the work she was having to do to crew it up in a new way to meet the challenges they’d soon be facing.

“You should get a job on Earth, you could live here in your winery, in your home,” Andrés said happily.

”It’s not really my home,” Cruz said, though she owned half of all the property she’d never lived here and the thought of calling this a home was foreign to her. Her and her mother had lived in a small one room apartment in Mexico City, not too much bigger than her quarters on the Seattle. She was not quite ready to live in a sprawling place like this home.

”What are you doing while you’re here?” Andrés said, gesturing her to follow him as he lead her to her room.

Bringing her bag with her Cruz answered, “I’m scheduled to give a talk at a high school in Seattle later this week. The city, apparently they’re proud of a ship called the USS Seattle. I’m also doing a talk at my former high school in two days, I guess not a lot of graduates become starship captains. I’m also trying to find a First Officer, might check with a few Professors I know at the Academy.”

Andrés opened a door and lead her into the large guest bedroom which she’d previously stayed. She set her bag down next to the bed and he smiled.

”Well dinner tonight, I’ve invited friends you can meet. Maybe make your own friends,” he said with a smile.

”Hey rich boy I have friends, just Starfleet friends mainly,” Cruz said in her own defense.

In a sense they both wanted different things from this relationship. While Cruz wanted nothing to do with any of it, to Andrés it was clear that not only had he found a sister, but in a way a partner and that he was not going to let go easily. Cruz was more embarrassed than anything by it and felt vaguely useless being a wealthy heir to a winery. She was not some French fop who knew anything about grapes, and how to grow them.

Still it was nice, the dinner and Andrés’ friends. They were not nearly as bad as she had expected even if she’d dedicated her life to Starfleet and that was a hard thing for civilians to grasp some times. Still wine, a bonfire, and good food was a welcome diversion from the hurriedly eaten replicator meals in her Ready Room. 

Sitting in a recliner chair outside savoring her glass of wine, she made conversation with a handsome young man named Ernesto that was a friend of her half-brother’s. He was good looking, a bit older than her, and clearly like everyone else her from the so called good side of the tracks. 

“So your brother told me about you,” Ernesto said.

”Half-brother,” Cruz corrected him.

”That’s important to you?” Ernesto asked, curious.

”It is. This isn’t me, it’s as alien as anything I experience back on the USS Seattle, I didn’t grow up being told I would own a winery or even that I’d be a Starfleet captain. I kind of thought I’d end up in a penal colony somewhere,” Cruz said.

Ernesto laughed then seeing as she was not joking grew more serious, “The winery maybe is a fortune of chance but you being who you are, being a Captain in Starfleet that was all you. I have never met a Captain before. I have never left Earth before even.”

Cruz had not meant to, not until she’d gotten arrested stealing a shuttle craft and the arresting officer suggested Starfleet for her. From there it seemed the natural extension to go to space and now it was the Earth that seemed alien to her. 

“So when do you go back, ship out or whatever they call it?” he asked.

”Just over two weeks,” Cruz said.

”So I can see you again?” 

“I think that can be arranged,” Cruz said.