Taking a break from assisting with Rylan and Emilie’s growing brood, Ziva accepts an invitation from Damiren, a man she met at an Alien night. He and his wife, Jennix chose Willow Creek, a vacation taking advantage of the lush green parks and bright sunshine missing from their home plant of Sixam. Damiren had developed a love for simple human food, barbecuing baked potatoes. Ziva listened, deep fascination, Damiren’s job, situated amongst the stars, saw him developing relations and assisting in negotiations and tracking down interstellar smugglers. Space Rangers, the galactic police, sounded like a plot featured in her brother’s novels. Her eyes widened, aside from her lack of fitness, the technical, logistical skills required to support space missions and exploration sound like the challenge she wanted to get her teeth into. Being a Tech Guru had lost the shine and excitement she felt in her twenties, the problem she was mid-forties, and Ziva wondered if a career change would be possible.
Inspired, Ziva committed herself to this fitness kick by joining a gym, she eyed the spacious room, weights and treadmills, sat dauntingly awaiting their next victim. The open space, the sand routes she took near her home were unjudging of her curvy figure, here she worried, that shape would receive glares, disgusted as it jiggled and wobbled or find herself surrounded with grunting muscles intent on making her feel inadequate. She veered, resistance training unnerved her, a temporary decision, Ziva wanted to brave them, but that bravery failed her today. Despite her knowledge of computers, the array of buttons on the treadmill had her in a panic. Ziva glanced, people, each in their zone, self-contained bubbles, on their own, with a friend, taking a deep breath Ziva pressed start.
Fiona’s adventurous spirit came with a nasty side effect, she followed her nose into mischief, tasting rubbish they found along the coast. She made Ziva panic when the chocolate Eliza gave her had a bite missing, it was Asher, who vomited on the sofa. Nevertheless, Ziva kept a close eye on her companion, and a trip to the vet was a must. The pup wagged excited, the vet practice situated opposite the dog park, Fiona loved hiding in the tunnels or sitting on the ramp. She pulled the leash, the clinical smell frightened her, dogs and cats in abundance had stepped through those doors. Stiffening Ziva carried Fiona, placed her on the table, Vet Michael had the vaccinations prepared, he distracted Fiona with treats, one for each injection, praising her. A run through the tunnels made Fiona forget her ordeal, and extra treats stopped her sniffing for items unsuitable for her.
At home Ziva kept watch, sweeping the porch ready for a new coat of paint. Patches had her usual spot, warming under sunbeams, Asher found a pinecone that needed attacking and Fiona had sulked, her head down, tail limp and she sniffed the food, uninterested. Ziva believed the vet experience upset Fiona, jabbed with a needle had been stressful, although she seemed fine after running through the park. The trouble is Fiona was… missing!
Ziva shouted, running with blind panic to the beach, their usual haunts, Fiona had vanished. Knocking on doors proved fruitless, she posted on local forums, Jerome and Supriya assisted the search and returned without news. She perched on her bed, deep sadness, one eye on her phone praying for news. Patches curled next to her, soft purrs offered some comfort. The morning brought silences, both cats felt the absence and kept to themselves, Ziva took a vacation day, Fiona was in Brindleton Bay somewhere.