She will never turn her back on a friend
She is always there to defend
She is the one on whom we can depend
Sailor Moon theme
Swept along through the blackness of the Void, Fandora Hunter had a split second to adjust herself before she was back. The spirit was strong in her, bolstering her confidence. She was in a living room, a rather nice one if you ignored the screaming child held by her hands by a large man in leathers, bald with a snake tattoo writhing over his shaven skull. He was leering over at the other, another guy, black and huge in fine red silk shirt and dark slacks. His hair was short and neat, well groomed. If not for the knife he was holding to the throat of a naked black woman, held by a third thug, he would almost look respectable.
"Now… Latoya baby… tell Charlie the truth now baby… don' wanna have ta-" He paused, noticing the woman looking over his shoulder and turned to face Fandora. She stood tall, still dressed in only her t-shirt and swimsuit, but something had changed. Her expression was fierce, eyes blazing with righteous fury. A faint gold sheen seemed to surround her head, making her hair looked lighter, almost silvered. Where Fandora was slight and developing she now had more of a build, her body firmer and more mature. "Who the fuck?" Charlie blinked.
Taking the instant of distraction Fandora focused her will and let her consciousness merge with the Spirit, "Rutia, Light of Justice." Her voice carried power, no longer the soft tones of a young girl. In a shimmering she was enclosed in the silver plate of the Armour of Righteousness, bearing on her left arm the golden Shield of Virtue and carrying the slim, narrow Sword of Truth, with its plain blade and quillions. Her armour and weapons gleamed with a mirror-like hue, the plating hugging her body like a coating of mercury. A weapons expert would spot the mottling that seemed to go centimetres into the blade, knowing it meant the finest of weapons.
"Put the child down and leave the woman alone," she said as her blade flashed out, slicing a silver arc through air. It was Fandora's force of will alone that curbed the Spirit, guiding the blade away from the man's throat. Charlie brought the bowie knife up in a crude parry and it was hewn through in a shower of sparks. "Or the next stroke cuts off your head."
Charlie drew back the stub of his knife, eyes widened. Who the fuck is this crazy bitch… don't matter if she's Mary fuckin' mother a God… nobody talks to me like that… no bitch in particular. Howling at the top of his lungs he hurled himself at Rutia, massive arms outstretched. Rutia sidestepped his clumsy charge with catlike agility, bringing her blade up defensively. The one holding the child had been ogling the scene, slack jawed and was quite surprised when the little girl sunk her teeth in his hand.
Howling, he released her, and she ran to her mother. "MOMMA!" Galvanised by the sudden appearance of Rutia, the woman jerked in her captor's grip, twisting her arms free and driving her elbow into his mid section, knocking the wind from him.
"Run Baby… run now!" she screamed to the child before taking a brutal backhand from her captor that send her reeling.
The child needs the protection more. She put herself between the girl and the thugs, saying as she did, "Run, child. I will keep your mother safe."
Never having taken her eyes from Charlie, "Know the pain you have earned, worker of evil," and her stare catches him, forcing him to feel the pain he will know in his next life. He is no longer "Charlie;" he is a girl, 10 years old, homeless, freezing, in rags, her stomach empty for too long. A man in a car opens the door for her. She knows what he wants. She's said no for so long. Tried to be good. With a quiet sob of despair, she gets in the car. The man takes her home, feeds her, lets her bathe, and she pays the price for his favours. It is very high.
The vision hammered into Charlie's head like a nail. Pain for pain, suffering for suffering, all in the instant he looked into her burning eyes. Screaming in denial and rage he tore his gaze away from her, clutching at his head. Justice… burn in the fires of your own Hell. The alien thought whispered in Fandora's mind urging her to speed him along to his reward. Rutia's rage burned brighter though her mortal shell, her beauty and sheer majesty growing fierce. The girl, woman, even the thugs were staring, scarcely believing.
Wiping a trickle of blood from her chin, the woman murmurs, "Sweet Jesus…"
The images burning in his mind, Charlie thought desperately. It was her… something… bitch… make her stop… He swung at Rutia desperately, lunging. His fist caught Rutia a glancing blow in her midsection. She scarcely felt it.
"Leave, and your thugs with you. An ye return, I shall chastise you further." She slashed her sword, whisking it close to Charlie's throat to emphasise her point.
Charlie stared his eyes wide and feral, nearly mad. Fear was a new feeling to him and he reacted instinctively, with blind animal rage. Bellowing he charged Rutia. Finish him, the Spirit whispered in Fandora's mind. The woman hurled herself at the other thug tackling him and sent them both toppling over the sofa. Looking from the Angel to her struggling mother… the girl finally broke and ran to hide under table, burying her head in her hands.
She would waste no more words on this fool, but neither would she slay him. Even so miserable a soul as he deserved a chance to redeem himself. She grabbed the side of his head and showed him a later point in his next life. She was no longer starving, cold and ragged. She was warm all the time, had all she could want to eat, and never wore castoffs - unless, of course, her Master wanted it so. For that was the price of luxury: servitude. He owned her, mind, body and spirit. Tonight, he was having a party and she would serve the guests. Attired in her uniform of collar, wrist and ankle bindings, and connecting chains, her bare body was the subject of much commentary. She burned with shame, but dared not protest. Later, the guests took turns at her, with the leash, and the lash, and the lingam. She was 13.
Again he met Rutia's gaze, his mind filling with horrid images… images of a fate unavoidable. He screamed, falling to floor and lay there whimpering. Baldie backed away… heading for the door… Charlie was down… what the hell was this… what the fuck… his feeble mind raced… some bitch dressed in metal, he reach for the pistol in his jacket yanking it free and firing in a blind panic. The shot went wide shattering a television set in a shower of sparks. "Die… die die die!"
Again the Sword flashed out, and again Fandora bent her will to leash the Spirit. The blade flashed up and across, slicing the pistol in two. "Your boss has learned. Leave now, or share his punishment. Go!"
The sword bit into the gun, cleaving it. But the Spirit had its price in pain. Two fingers fell alongside the pieces of the weapon. The bald punk screamed, clutching his mangled hand and ran for the door, leaving a scarlet trail. Charlie staggered after him, his eyes empty and dazed, stumbling along after the other. The third stood, shoving the black woman off him and kicking her viciously in the stomach. She doubled over in pain. She stagger a bit and grabbed a lamp from the table and brought it down savagely on her attacker, smashing it over his head and shoulder. He fell back, blood trickling through the blonde buzz cut he sported and into his eyes.
The Sword and Shield now gone, faded back to the ether, Rutia hauled the last thug out the door. Too dazed to truly struggle against her, he fell out after his companions, hand to his head. She then turned back to the woman and child. The woman had made her way to the girl and was trying to coax her out from under the table. The girl fell into her arms, embracing her tightly. Now Fandora could see the resemblance, but the child's face held none of the hard edges of the mother's; only a purity that touched her and stirred the Spirit within. She watched them for a moment then knelt by the black woman, silver armour fading away.
The woman shied away, holding her daughter to her bosom tightly. "What… are you… ?" she whispered, seeing Rutia still lingering in the girl before her, fearing her on an instinctual level. The little girl spoke up. "You don' have ta be scared Momma… she's an angel… " Smiling she looked at Rutia, "ain' that right?"
"Yes," she replied, her energies reaching out to the mother. Perhaps she was not a true innocent, but it didn't matter; she was the victim of evil and needed help. Back in her swimsuit and T-shirt, the Spirit's ascendance was still evident; her hair was dark blonde instead of black, and she looked firmer and more mature than her 15 years. She tried not to think about the black woman's nakedness and her own minimal clothing as she laid her hands on the woman. A sudden warmth flooded the woman and she gasped at the shock and pleasure of it. Rutia's power boosted her own life energies exponentially. She had never felt so purely and joyously alive in her life. The ugly purple bruises marring her dark skin faded away, the slight cuts healing in an instant. Restored and invigorated by the touch, the woman's natural beauty came to the fore, leanly muscled and sleek, she was striking.
She lowered her head,"I… I don't deserve it… Blessed Lord I know I don'… thank you… I'll change… forgive me… " Tears welled up in her dark eyes, spattering on the girl, who could only hold her mother tighter and wonder why she cried.
"My faith teaches us to enjoy life, and do good whenever we can. But if you feel you owe me, then perhaps… bus fare? Or a ride to Mars on 3rd?" Grinning warmly at the little girl, "Even angels need help getting around sometimes."
She giggled, reaching over to touch Fandora's cheek. The Spirit faded, its presence no longer greatly needed. The older woman blinked, staring at the young girl kneeling beside her. She felt her cheeks flush. It's just a kid, and you were prayin' to her like she was Jesus Christ… but where's all that other shit… the metal suit and all that? She shook her head. She was trippin' again… like earlier when that white guy… did whatever he did to Ice. "Um… yeah… look I don' really have no money… but when my friend Belle… " Shit. She was gonna lose it when she saw this place… "gets back… she can take ya… how'd you get in here anyway?"
The little girl was playing with Fandora's now black hair. "God sent her."
"Relax… Latoya, did he say? And who are you, little one?"
The girl glanced at her her mother, who nodded numbly, then replied, "Shanisa."
"Hello Shanisa. I'm Fandora. And no, you weren't hallucinating. I'm not an angel; I'm a Wiccan priestess. What you saw was technically called 'an incarnate manifestation of a bonded spirit.'" Seeing that she had lost the woman with that, Fandora tried again. "Think of it as being ridden by one of the loa. The spirit within me grants me great power, and responsibility. It brought me here to help you and your daughter."
Latoya was stunned, too much to speak. The girl was talking weird shit… loa… that was Vodoun… her gran talked about it sometimes. "Yeah… ok… " All three looked up as as the door swung wider and a massive figure stepped into the doorway. She was huge, Fandora had to gape, she had to be over 7 feet tall. She was dressed in a brief leather string bikini bottom and a leather halter top, barely dressed might have been a better term. But she couldn't really say anything on that.