Disclaimer: Do not own, MGM does. I just play with the characters, settings and plotlines.

"Why do you hate the Ori, mother?"

Vala blinked twice. The question had come out of nowhere to slap her squarely in the face.


"I do not understand your ingrained hatred for them. They wish to offer you knowledge and enlightenment."

"Well, you tell me. You can read my mind," replied Vala obstinately, clearly avoiding her daughter's inquiry.

"You do not hate them because you believe they take away your freedom of choice. You have another reason. I do not understand."

Vala pondered the question silently, wondering if it were some cleverly masked joke. But one glance at Adria's seemingly earnest eyes, eager for some sort of answer confirmed the contrary. Should she tell her the truth?

"I hate them because of what they've done to you."

Adria's eyebrows shot up in confusion. Then she laughed incredulously. "Are you blind, mother? The Ori have blessed me with the strength and power to command their armies. They have given me knowledge to unlock the secrets of the universe. How can you believe they have done me any harm?"

Vala was silent. She let her eyes wander to the floor of the cave, avoiding Adria's gaze at all costs. But Adria still managed to reach into her mother's mind, and wrench out the truth.

"You hate the Ori because you believe they have prevented you from raising me as your child. But mother, do you really believe you can teach me anything beyond the knowledge the Ori have granted me? "

Vala snorted loudly. "You, my dear, might possess the knowledge of ages, but you don't really know anything."

"I know everything," said Adria petulantly, tossing her head back and placing an icy emphasis on each word.

"Not everything," stressed Vala. Seeing Adria about to protest again, Vala hastily continued: "Do you know what the sands of Quedessa feel like beneath your feet? Have you ever seen its silvery ocean?"

"I …" began Adria, clearly ignorant of the answer. Not wanting to appear defeated, she dug deep into her well of knowledge and fished out any relevant tidbit of information: "I know that Quedessa, also known as Queda Rosus, is the fifth planet of the Rosthus solar system, and that it is mostly covered by water."

"Don't recite facts back at me Adria. They are of no interest to me. I want to hear whether you know what the Astorian creamberry delight tastes like. What the sunset over Kayan's largest volcano looks like. Do you know the sound of the Selerian marsh flute? Do you know the icy winters of Penstat, or the tropical summers of Vontrell?"

The tiniest hint of irritation on Adria's face was growing by the minute, causing her cheeks to flush a deep red. Never before had Vala seen her daughter so flustered. Adria opened her mouth to answer, but Vala cut her short, relentless in her interrogation.

"Do you know the relief of confiding in a friend? The excitement of a novel idea? The exhilaration of a new discovery? Do you know hope? Do you know forgiveness?"

"Enough!" exploded Adria, her voice echoing throughout the cave's empty chambers. She looked surprised by her own outbreak, and struggled to compose herself. Using the calmest voice she could muster, Adria addressed her mother: "These are all trivial matters, details of little consequence. They have no relevance to the question I have asked you."

Vala sighed deeply.

"I had once, foolishly, dreamed about teaching my daughter all these 'trivial matters' as you may call them. But the Ori have stolen that chance away from me … away from her." Vala paused, then turned to look deep into her daughter's eyes: "They have robbed her of her childhood, of her right to seek out the real knowledge in this universe. They have molded her character long before she was born, and hence killed her innocence and her curiosity. As such, they deserve nothing but my sincerest, and deepest contempt."

Adria's didn't break her mother's gaze. A shadow of indecision crept across her face, as though she were questioning her beliefs for the first time. Vala hoped that she had, for a second, gotten through to her daughter. But, in an instant, Adria's lips curled up in a contemptuous smile: "You surprise me, mother. I would have never thought you so overly sentimental."

Vala closed her eyes, exhaling in defeat. She could try again. But before she had the chance, Sam returned to retrieve them, with news that Daniel had found a way through the wall of fire.

A/N: A relatively short prologue for things to come. I for one have been disappointed with the quality of dialogue between Adria and Vala as seen on the show. So I've taken things into my own hands :D. Thanks to everyone who's reviewed my last story, and hope to hear your thoughts on this one.