(OOC: Time is a little fluid for the purposes of this Worth subplot.
I've gotten a little out of practice, so please bear with me. I
envisioned about a week having passed since Worth - Part One...for
what it's worth.)
"Worth – Part Two"
= Lieutenant Kerak's Quarters =
Waqas Jilani sat quietly in the quarters of Vasad Kerak, sipping on
the steaming cup of Moog that the Betazoid engineering officer had
served him. Vasad Kerak was an unremarkable man, certainly nothing
like the Andorian woman who had become his mate. He was soft spoken,
with a long nose and balding hair. Unlike Taal Thera, Vasad Kerak had
never been marked for a great career, simply an adequate one. Unlike
is wife, he was not maimed but had never been beautiful.
When he spoke of Taal, however, there was something special in his
tone, in his eyes, his very being. She had left him two years ago and
he had followed. For all that time, she had not spoken to him. Yet
he still followed.
An unremarkable man.
Vasad spoke for a long courtship due to his clumsy words and
uncertainty in the face of romance. He spoke of a Betazoid wedding on
the shores of an obscure lake on his planet. He spoke of a long
honeymoon followed by a happy marriage followed by Taal's mission to
an outlying Federation Colony, under attack by an alien race that
still remained unknown. Taal was injured in one of their attacks, but
whoever the unknown adversaries were, they had seen her worth and
restored her body, augmenting it with their technology.
Taal Thera, however, remained ingrained with old Andorian ideas, born
from a culture and biology dependent upon delicate antennae. Though
Taal's had been spared, she felt as if she were crippled, violated.
When the technology could not safely be withdrawn, she mourned the
loss of her beauty and no assurances of his love assuaged her. Vasad
watched the woman he had fallen in love with diminish and then pull
away. He had followed her from to the Charon.
"What you have done for her is incredible. She Is doing well with the
marines. She always was one who loved combat."
"The foundation was laid long before I arrived," Waqas replied, "She
has had good therapists, even if she did not respond to them. She
absorbed a lot of what they were trying to tell her. I just provided
a kick in the pants. Anyway, I am not done with her."
Vasad gave him a small smile. "Yes. You are done."
"You don't even know what I am planning."
"Like all the other telepaths, I may be feeling ill, Counselor, but I
have no lost my abilities. What you are planning is cruel."
"Yes. That it is."
"And I would see my wife spared it. You have given her enough."
"I have given her something to work for, Vasad. It is time we give
her something to live for. And only you can do that."
"I told you already, I am no artisan with words."
"I am," Jilani replied with a smirk, "And you are a telepath. Tell
me, do you remember what she was wearing when she first met you."
= Later =
They broke into Taal Thera's quarters with Waqas Jilani, five men all
wearing masks, the activation of the shower in her quarters their cue.
When she emerged in her towel, they fell upon her, the counselor
watching impassively, a small dress dangling limply in his hand. She
struggled and screamed. No one had seen her uncovered like this since
her injury. No one had seen the alien, dull gold, wiry metal strands
that formed her left arm, ribs, hip and leg. No one had seen the odd
greenish hue in them, the sinister looking technology merging into her
soft blue skin.
It was not clear how long she struggled and wept. Ultimately, she was
pinned against a wall by the guards, hanging limply, looking up at
Jilani with her beautiful, tear stained face.
He tossed the dress at her feet.
It was the kind of thing that she would have worn before her injury.
Short, revealing…. Her green eyes lit up with recognition after a
moment. It was exactly….
"Where?" She asked, her voice hoarse from her screaming.
"Wear it." Jilani repeated.
"You will either wear the dress," Waqas stated simply, "Or I will have
you dragged naked through the entire ship."
"That would be the end of you."
Jilani shrugged his usual, easy shrug. "Wouldn't be the first one."
"What kind of man has a woman attacked by others?"
"A man who knows his limits. Wear the dress."
She did. And she followed quietly as she led her to the Eris deck,
where in a center of the room, Vasad Kerak sat at a table waiting for
her. This was the moment she had avoided for two years, her true form
revealed to prying eyes and exposed to cold whispers.
And in the face of all her fears becoming reality, she found that she
did not care for anything but the unremarkable man who was waiting for
her here, standing to welcome her.
People were whispering but she didn't hear them.
All she could hear was his mind against the drumbeat of her own thoughts.
People were staring.
All she could feel was his gaze upon her and his certainty that she
was beautiful, that she was wanted and loved.
Tears flowing freely now, Taal ran to Vasad Kerak as she had longed to
do for years and felt his arms around her once again. She did not
know how long she cried into his shoulder or how long her held her.
It did not matter. Nothing mattered except for him and it amazed Taal
that she had ever thought it did.
She was not aware of much, but she could be certain she heard Waqas
Jilani comment to someone glibly, "Well…that was easy…."
And she laughed for the second time in a week even as she cried. And
this time her laughter was not bitter. Neither were her tears.
= End Log =
Lieutenant Waqas Jilani