Fandom: Star Trek XI
Word Count: 366
A.N: Written for the Where No Drabble Has Gone Before challenge.
The stars are shining when the Excelsior drops out of warp near Vulcan.
Gaila manages to catch a glimpse of them through the viewscreen before the first of Nero's missiles catches them and punches a hole straight through the floor of the bridge.
"What was it like being smuggled out? Was it exciting?" One particularly stupid Earth girl once asked Gaila when the subject of the underground Orion railroad had come up.
Gaila had simply stared the girl down and walked away. Getting smuggled out, she sometimes wishes she'd said, was boring.
Life as a slave was anything but exciting. It was more of the same, day after day, maybe with different people, but people who looked at her the same way and touched her the same way and never realized that she was anything but a pleasurable little pet. And she never had any adventures, never did anything that could be remotely considered exciting, because those ways led to danger, and even then Gaila was too valuable a commodity to lose.
If anything, her life as a slave had been...safe.
Once she was free, things were different. Harder, in a way, because she had to learn how to protect herself where before there had always been someone making sure no outside harm came to her. But she loved it, every second of it.
"Look," she'd told Nyota one time when they'd gotten drunk and snuck onto the roof of the astrophysics lab in their pajamas. Gaila flung out her arm and pointed at the stars that hung like glittering little jewels in the sky. "I can visit them all, when I want, if I want, and I could die and no one's gonna save me but myself."
"Isn't that AWESOME?"
The stars are shining when the Excelsior drops out of warp near Vulcan, and they're shining when Nero's first salvo tears dozens of holes through the bridge deck, and they're shining still, like glittery little gems, when Gaila's body hurtles out of the pilot's seat and out, out into the big black void of space, arms flung out as if she can almost reach them.
That life was safe.
This life is beautiful.