((Be warned: this post is also long.))
Quirinius V'tala shook Kallic's hand amicably. She was absolutely astounded at how much he knew--not merely in a technical or factual sense, but also in the ways of the world. She was quite heartened that he had not taken her skeptical and curious glance as an insult. I know I would have, if someone looked that way at me, she thought to herself. Many an opponent back on Omega gave me the same exact appraisal. I should know better than to treat others in kind, but as I've heard humans say, 'old habits die hard'.
Old habits die...hard... The asari fell into reverie once more, and this time her ruminations were not pleasant ones. Before her sordid life on Omega had begun, she had been a promising candidate as mate to a stunningly beautiful woman. Diana had been her name: Diana Cassindra Velian. Even though Quirinius was far older than she, Diana seemed to be the more mature of the two. Her beauty was only 'the icing on the cake', as humans also said from time to time. She was resolute, determined, and strong, unlike her cerulean paramour. Where Quirinius doubted, Diana remained stalwart. Where Quiri faltered, Diana stood firm. Most of all, where Quiri failed, Diana succeeded.
I thought that a woman like her needed no one except herself, the asari mused. Her heart seemed as closed and locked as the Omega 4 relay. However, I discovered that what she needed most was love. Unconditonal acceptance. It sounds like a cliche, I know, but in Diana's case it was true. Or, so I naively convinced myself... Shivers crawled down Quirinius' spine.
She worked for Cerberus. Diana said she worked for a privately-funded scientific cabal, but wouldn't tell me its name. Not until the very end.
"The very end" came when Diana revealed the final condition for Quiri to become her partner: in exchange for "embracing eternity", the asari would have to consent to biological experimentation by one certain Cerberus employee. The human race, Diana said, absolutely had to find out the final secret to controlling the flow of space-time, which Quirinius knew already.
"No!" she cried. "I don't! There are others far more biotically advanced--!"
"Not in your own special way," her partner had smirked. Almost sneered. "You can influence the fabric of this universe in a way that no other biotic can. Fifteen seconds last an hour in your eyes. I know. You've given me a taste of that, a preview of your melder's protective power. I want it. If you want me, then you'll have to give it to me. Let me operate. You won't feel a thing..."
Hardly. At that moment, Quiri had felt her heart shear itself in half.
She had fled from Diana, from the Cerberus research facility to which she'd been taken under pretense of seeing her for a "secret rendezvous." She'd killed many a guard and felt no guilt over slaying them. In the span of a few minutes, she'd turned from Maiden to monster.
I enjoyed it. Each second that blood spilled, I was closer to freedom...
Diana is still alive. I know it. She's out there, and if she's still the same as when I knew her, she'll stop at absolutely nothing to get what she wants. Either for herself or Cerberus. Exchange? Ha! She's utterly playing to win--
Out loud, all she rasped was "Cerberus. Don't let them anywhere near you."
Last edited by Tysyacha; 02-23-2011 at 03:53 PM.