Rising from the deadDisclaimer: none of the characters are mine; Halfrek belongs to Josh Whedon and Dr. Viciy to Sci-Fi (and James Hickox, perhaps).
The Rocky Mountains stood still (naturally), the pines and other trees swinging from the breeze. Halfrek, D’Hoffryn’s second best employer, walked despondently through the wood-covered slopes: she was not an outdoors-person, and if there were any blood-sucking mosquitoes or biting flies around, she’d be leaving.
...Oh, whom did she kid? She couldn’t leave, if D’Hoffryn ever found out that she left such a lovely source of anguish, hate (or was self-hate?) and misery die out without taking advantage of it, he’d have her fired – into the burning core of Mercury or the now-dormant volcanoes of Mars, most likely.
But where was it? Where was the person who was emanating such a cocktail of negative emotions? Halfrek hoped that it was a human, and not some local nature spirit instead – that could get troublesome.
And then Halfrek turned round the bend – and she found the source. The good thing was, it was a human and a woman (bonus points because Anyanka had made scorned women extremely popular with the vengeance demons), the bad thing – the woman dying, having been ravaged and partially eaten by some large creature, a mountain lion perhaps, or a bear.
“Drat,” Halfrek cursed her luck and carefully kneeled next to the almost-dead woman ignoring the fact that she was kneeling the woman’s blood and other internal liquids. “Miss, miss, can you hear me?”
“She, he, they both turned on them, I wanted to save her and she turned on me,” the woman muttered. “Robert... he’s just so stupid... had no vision...”
“Yes, yes, but do you wish
for something?” Halfrek whispered urgently, almost hovering over the woman’s face. “Like to get better to exact your vengeance, perhaps?” Once the woman wasn’t dying – thanks to Halfrek’s powers – she’d be in a better condition to ask for an appropriately-themed wish upon that Robert fellow and his new girlfriend or whoever.
“Wish... wish...” the woman gasped. “I wish for vengeance, I desire revenge, I wish for a new life!”
“Granted!” Halfrek instinctively replied, before she realized that the woman’s wish was too vague for anything specific, which was dangerous to Halfrek herself-
The magic shuddered down from the skies, struck the woman’s half-dead and quarter-eaten body and spun it around like a tornado. Halfrek, who was kneeling next to her, was flung away, losing bits of her essence in the process. To make matters worse, she hit a tree hard enough to be knocked out and lost her consciousness.
Maybe it was for the best, for the magic Halfrek called upon wasn’t done yet. It lashed out, leeching some more of Halfrek’s own essence, but then it lashed-out upon the sabretooth’s still warm corpse...and absorbed it completely into its funnel instead, before dispelling.
“I...am...alive!” former Dr. Catherine Viciy shouted, causing the birds to flee from their perches and fly away from the vicinity as fast as they were able. Halfrek, however, didn’t even recover consciousness, but simply fell on one of her sides and just lay there instead.
“Hmm,” Viciy gazed upon the prone demoness, whose true visage lay open for everyone to see (i.e. Viciy and only her at the moment). “I don’t know who you are, or what you are, or if you were involved in this somehow, but thanks if you have. I owe you a big favour for this
! But for now – my own plans await!”
And with a leap of her new, powerful legs, the ex-scientist was off to carry out her vengeance.