written for Gen Fic Day
for Vala Alphabet Soup.
Words are mightier than the sword as Vala finds out.781 words. No spoilers to mention. Thanks to Denny.
Zee is For Zany
Vala had been called many, many things in her life. Monster, thief, con artist, fallen angel, goddess, but being dismissed as zany
hurt the most.
It had started all so innocently. Sashaying into Daniel’s office smile a mile wide, Vala wanted company to pass the time of day, and he was always good for a laugh. What she got however, was a painful reminder of where she was, who she was, and why she was there.
Some lessons were always painful to learn.
“Daniel? This alphabet soup I bought, what’s its purpose?” Vala spooned some of the soup onto the desk top and poked at it suspiciously.
“Mm? You bought that crap? Oh, well, parents buy it as a treat for their kids I suppose. All the letters of the alphabet are swimming around in a salt ridden, chemically enhanced bowl of gruel. See, there’s a Z, or is it an N sideways?”
“Z? As in?”
“Z as is zany! Like you, zany! Now, please, wipe that disgusting mess from my desk and drink it somewhere else!”
Daniel had called her zany in a teasing voice and couldn’t have known the distress it caused her. Zany? Nope, that wasn’t her at all, not by a long shot.
“Oh, right, sorry about that. Yes, you read that important book about the dead. Who needs to worry about the feelings of the living?”
“What? What did you say?”
“Nothing, it’s just me being zany
Walking out without a backward glance, Vala dumped the mug of chicken soup into Daniel’s trash can, ignoring his squawk of protest. She’d suddenly lost her appetite.
Vala was a born survivor; but then she’d had little choice in the matter. From an early age she’d learned looking like a fool could be an easy way to throw people off guard, and considered it a small price to pay. Motherless, ignored by her father and despised by his new wife, the lonely little girl decided no one would ever be allowed to know the real Vala Mal Doran, no matter how much they pried.
Zany? No, that was a façade. Vala knew things that no person should ever have to know.
She had slipped up once, though. As a young woman, she’d wanted to love and to be loved, but circumstances so terrible tore her away from his arms. Taken by an evil she’d been powerless to control, she lived a nightmare for years until finally being liberated. The Goa’uld, Qetesh, was removed and Vala returned from the dead. Freed from her slavery at last, she looked to her lover’s eyes and flinched at the loathing she saw there. Throwing her shoulders back, she hardened her heart and fled once more. Love was overrated, and she had no use for it.
She found refuge on a planet she ruled and, with casual cruelty, continued the deception. If the Goa’uld could use her, then why not repay the favor? Vala masqueraded as Qetesh once more, and honed her skills as a survivor, thief, and fallen angel to perfection. But, every plan has its weaknesses and Vala was forced to flee, leaving raised fists and loathing behind her once more. Another chink in her armour, but what choice did she have? She had to survive, and so, she did what was needed. Hardly the actions of a zany woman, and the naquadah in her blood meant she became adept at using Goa’uld technology. Vala Mal Doran was well aware that she’d turned into a woman to be reckoned with.
The void left by the demise of the Goa’uld meant more evil surfaced, and while she never joined the Lucian Alliance, she had been happy to do business with them. Right and wrong blurred for her, but she considered herself choice less. A girl had to do what a girl had to do, no matter how distasteful, and if not the Lucian Alliance, Vala figured another evil would take their place.
And she’d been right. If she’d thought the Goa’uld to be monsters, she could never have imagined the menace the Ori would bring to her universe. More fanatics, more evil, more of the same.
Vala grew weary, but still she raised her dukes to the world and fought on.
Finally, she’d found herself a home. She was with people who liked her, even trusted her, but, did they respect her? Did they understand her? Did they realize the road she’d been forced to travel to get where she was? The sacrifices she’d made along the way? Never allowing herself to trust a man, let alone love one.
Zany? Is that what they thought of her? Vala lowered her head and wept.