"That's my Q" #130 "Nothing seems, in life and dreams .. "

".. Like what was meant to be .."


<Castle Bathory, Hungary, 1614>

It had been three years. Three whole years, since the farce that was her trial. She had been forced to witness the deaths of three of her four servants - the fourth died later, in solitary confinement. She could steal hear their screams, their crying, the brightness of the flames that eventually claimed the lives of those she once loved. But she didn't care anymore.

Two years of nothing but her chambers. Two years of nothing but the same old clothes, and no way to clean them. Two years of no way to wash herself. The filth had caked to her skin by now, falling off whenever she walked - weakly so. Two years of nothing but the most horrid of food, tablescraps not fit for a dog, shoved into her chambers through a hole in the wall, barely large enough for her hand to fit through.

Two years of living in her own waste - the smell - she couldn't smell it anymore. She didn't care anymore. At first she tried to keep it all in one corner, wanting to atleast maintain a measure of her nobility, combined with Kristiana's will to remain a presentable Starfleet officer, maintaining a measure of professionality. But over time, she had stopped caring.

She had stopped caring about anything.

All that remained was just a shallow shadow of both women - immeasurably strong in their primes, both Erszebeth Bathory as well as Kristiana Petrova - now a mere shadow. So filthy, so weak, so tired, that even the most disease-ridden beggar looked like a King or Queen compared to her.

Her furniture was in shambles. She had destroyed it a long time ago, in various fits of rage. Her shoulder, crooked, unusable - she had shattered it trying to break down the brick wall that separated her from freedom, during a fit of insanity - and without access to a doctor, it had failed to heal properly, now a constant source of pain.

Many times the woman know as Erszebeth cursed the universe, the Gods, the Devil and all what lay in between. Many times the woman known as Kristiana cursed a single entity, known only as Q - but never out loud. Even in this situation, she maintained some of her pride, some of her resiliance - besides, Q wasn't known for taking pity on those he tormented, and she had sworn that she wouldn't give him the pleasure of surrendering .. To the situation he had thrust her in, perhaps .. but not to him. Never to Him.

But she was tired. Tired of being tired. Tired of being filthy. Tired of not caring. Each movement brought great pain, each labored, wheezing breath came only after great effort. She had curled up in a corner, on the remnants of her once clean, intact, expensive mattress, and there - she had decided - she would remain.

Hearing the sound of a guard shoving another filthy plate of goop vaguely resembling something edible through the hole again, she didn't even bother to get up. The next bowl of glop that was brought to her barely even registered in her fading, failing mind. No more conscious sense of the passing of time, it could've been two minutes between the feedings, or two decades - she didn't know, not did she care.

The next feeding passed by completely unheard, unnoticed. And in the corner lay now not a mass murderess, not the Executive Officer of a proud Federation Starbase ..

.. but just another dead body.


Kristiana Petrova.