THE COST OF DESTINY

 
 

By Carol Sandford

 
 

Chapter 30

 
 

"Wha....what? Deanna stammered, not quite sure that she heard him right. Was he telling her to beg for her life to stop him from slaughtering her, or did he mean call home and beg for rescue?

Her question evoked a violent response from him as he swung his mighty arm back and slapped her heavily across the face, sending her spinning on the spot before crumbling to the floor at his feet. Deanna felt the distinct taste of blood trail down from her nose onto her arid and cracked lips, making the bile rise from her gut at the smell. Blood had never been a favourite sight of Deanna?s. It always seemed to signify death and pain, and at that moment, both seemed to sweep through her senses with such magnitude, that for a very brief second, she welcomed the calm serenity of death. Anything. Anything was better than feeling the way that she did right then as her head, her senses swam, threatening to send her off to oblivion in a dead faint.

But she didn?t dare. The fear of a similar fate happening to her like the dead man kept her from doing what she most wanted to do; sleep the nightmare away, only waking when she was safe back home with her loved ones. Lifting a trembling hand to her swelling nose and mouth, Deanna dared to look up at the towering man before her, her pain and confusion written all over her face.

Planting both hands upon his hips he bent over and stared her down, his face even more menacing, if that was possible, than before. "I want you to call your planet and get the remainder of the pathetic scum that tried to outwit us, to come and rescue you."

Deanna remained silent for a long time as she took in what he was saying. He wanted Betazed?s only protection to come after her and the rest of the captives and lead them to certain death. Who knows where they were heading, or how many other Sindareen ships were out there, waiting. She couldn?t do it. Even though she knew in her heart that Will wouldn?t be amongst them, she couldn?t willingly sacrifice so many men. An ancient Vulcan saying that she remembered from her schooling flitted through her mind. ? The needs of the few outweighed the needs of the many?

There was only maybe a dozen people huddled back in the ship?s hold. There had got to be at least a hundred or more service men back on Betazed. And then of course, there was the rest of her planet. Take away their defences, and her people, her friends, her family would be left open to attack. She couldn?t do it.

"I can?t," she said with a smidgen of bravado in her voice. "I won?t do it. I won?t let you kill anymore of my people."

Without even turning around he spoke to the guard hovering by the doorway, the same guard that had thrown the poor dead man out of the hatch, "Araak, kill the man that this bitch was with. I?ll let you have the option of how you chose to do it."

"NO! NO! DON?T!" Deanna cried, leaping to her feet. She didn?t know if he meant it, or if he was bluffing. All she knew was that he was a mean bastard without an ounce of heart and he didn?t give a damn whether they lived or died. What he wanted went beyond a few meagre captives held in the grotty bowels of his ship. What he wanted was the Federation army, whatever it took, whatever it cost. And at that moment, Deanna realized that she had the fate of her whole planet laying in her tiny hands.

Dropping her chin to her chest, her grief poured from her soul as she muttered, utterly defeated and wretched, "I?ll do it. Just don?t harm anybody else, please."

He sneered knowingly at her, completely unashamed of revealing his barbaric tactics to her. He was aware that she wouldn?t tolerate him hurting another living soul, whatever the price. Using her companion was simply the quickest way of getting what he wanted. He could have toyed with one of the others, but he was losing time, and patience. He wanted retribution, and he wanted it now.

He wanted to be rid of his unwanted cargo, and he didn?t care whether they lived or died. But when he?d overheard the woman before talking about a man - it had to be a man, probably a Federation man at that, he knew he couldn?t lose the chance of having another stab at ridding the universe of a formidable force.

Taking on the mighty Federation was a huge undertaking, but he figured he could do it, if he was crafty enough. And using the woman was a small stroke of genius. He?s sensed something about her when he?d attacked the college that she attended. Watching her standing there whilst everyone around her went berserk instantly told him that she was different.

Stronger.

And he liked that in a female, even if it wasn?t one of his own kind. Even now as she stood before him with tears streaming down her face, he knew it wasn?t because she was scared - not woman scared. It was because she was about to betray her people. Her home. He had a hunch that her man was Federation, and that made it all the more sweeter. It meant that he would sacrifice himself for her.

He was going to enjoy watching their reunion when it finally happened.

 
     
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