Beauty Effulgent

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First Rule of Vengeance: Know Your Dimensions

“Anyanka, get back to work or I’ll dock your pay!”

Anya thought she recognized the voice as she turned around in her chair, but found herself face to face with a demon with enormous ears, whose race she couldn’t identify. Wait, not a demon: an alien.

“Have you gone deaf?” the Ferengi continued. “There are customers waiting at the Dabo tables.”

Every time Anya took a different persona, there was a moment of disorientation. She stood and looked around her surroundings. Everything was somewhat familiar, but she knew she’d never been here before. She felt the Ferengi prod her in the back toward an elevated area where a group of men were staring at her, impatience clear on their faces.

“I, um, don’t remember what I’m supposed to do.”

“Do I look like I want to hear your excuses? Go to the table, look pretty and spin the wheel. It’s not like I’m asking you to balance my ledgers, for the Nagus’s sake.”

Anya made her way to the table and smiled to the customers. She’d begun to spin the wheel when the Ferengi pushed pass her and stopped it.

“You have to take the bets first.” Then to the customers he continued, “Gentlemen, forgive my new Dabo girl’s behavior. Apparently she has the memory of a Talosian spider.” The men snickered. Anya didn’t get the joke. “Please place your bets.”

The alien, Quark, she remembered, stayed with her through the first round of the game, showing her what she was supposed to do. It was relatively easy, a game of chance created to give the illusion that the customers were winning, although in the end, the house always won.

Once Quark was satisfied that Anya could handle the job, he went to the bar and berated one of his Ferengi waiters. So it wasn’t just her.

Ten hours later, another Dabo girl finally came to relieve her. Anya was exhausted. She went to the bar and ordered a drink.

She sat with the beer between her fingers trying to remember how she had gotten here and where here was, exactly. This wasn’t the first time she had found herself caught in a strange place, in a strange new persona.


Anya went to the restroom to wash her hands. She gasped when she saw herself in the mirror. She was surprised to see herself in demon form again. It had been a long time. She looked closer, admiring the way her lesions brought out the highlights in her hair.

This is me, she thought. Like D’Hoffryn often said, this is my true self, not the simpering human who felt completely lost when Xander left her at the altar. She liked the fact that, in this universe, everyone just accepted her outer appearance.

She was exhausted. Her feet felt like they were exploding. The dress she wore felt like one of those uncomfortable corsets she had worn centuries before.

She sighed, finding she could barely let the air out, much less breathe it back in. She needed to find this new persona’s quarters, and quickly. Using a comm panel, she located her name and station and made her way to the habitat ring.

She opened the door to her quarters and took in her surroundings. It was a one room habitation, the furnishings very Spartan in nature: one bed, one desk with computer console, one chair, a type of replicating device and a bathroom.

Anya lay on the bed and tried to relax. Unfortunately, the dress she was wearing not only prevented her from breathing deeply, it was covered in fake jewels that looked like someone had gotten crazy with a bedazzler. She slipped off the dress and lay back down.

Suddenly, she heard the whine of a transporter beam and opened her eyes to see a familiar face. She started to reach for the thin bed cover, but shrugged, letting it fall. If D’Hoffryn hadn’t made a pass at her in a 1000 years, a little nakedness now wasn’t going to tip the scales.

“Anyanka,” the large horned demon began, “why have you spent so much time here? You were sent into this alternate reality in order to correct your mistake.”

Anya closed her eyes and groaned as she remembered her ‘mistake’. She’d tried to explain to D’Hoffryn that she was rusty, but in typical form, he would not listen. He’d just transported her and that’s when she’d found herself in Quark’s bar. Now, she had to face D’Hoffryn again.

“D’Hoffryn, these things take time. Besides, when you sent me to this universe, my persona was just beginning her shift at the Ferengi’s bar.”

“You have one day to get this right.”

“Is that the 24 hours of Earth or the 26 hours of Bajor?”

Another transporter whine and Anya never got her answer. She decided to assume 24 hours.

“Computer, what time is it?” she asked.

“2500 hours.”

Anya tried to calculate what 24 hours later would be, but with the additional two hours of the station and her hatred of military time, she finally just estimated that she had until 2100 hours the next day. Surely she had enough time for short nap. She took a deep breath and lay back down and within a few moments, she had fallen asleep.


When she awoke, Anya consulted the computer for the time. It was 0800 hours. She only had thirteen hours left. She went to the closet and discovered that every item of clothing was as constricting and bejeweled as the uncomfortable dress she had been wearing the previous night.

She chose one at random and took it to the bathroom. As she stood in the sonic shower, she thought about how she was going to fix this mistake. She’d only been a vengeance demon again for a month, it wasn’t her fault that she was out of practice.

She re-examined what had happened.

A woman in Sunnydale named Mary Jo was married to a large bald man named Ron, who had a tendency to ignore her and take her for granted. He had demanded that she keep the house clean and that she always have dinner ready for him when he got home from work, even though she worked a full-time job as well. He had even expected her to serve him dinner, as if she were a house slave.

Mary Jo had begun to spend a lot of her time on the computer to avoid dealing with him. Mostly, she enjoyed reading a form of fiction called slash in which a fan of a show took two characters of the same sex and put them together in intimate situations. Anya had never heard of this genre of literature before, but she had decided to try her hand at it once she had some free time.

Mary Jo had hidden what she was reading from Ron because she knew how homophobic he was and she knew he could never understand why she’d be interested in slash.

And then Ron had come home and discovered the house dirty and no dinner on the table. He had found Mary Jo asleep on the bed, the laptop sitting on the nightstand. He had read what was pulled up on the screen and was appalled at what he was reading. Geordi LaForge and Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation were in a holodeck fantasy and they were rolling around on the beach, touching each other.

“What the hell is this!” he yelled, waking her up. She tried to explain, but he continued, “not only are you reading about queers, but you’ve ruined my favorite TV show!”

Ron picked up the laptop and threw it across the room. The computer hit a wall, pieces falling to the ground. Mary Jo began to cry, which only infuriated him more. He went out the door and slammed it behind him. Mary Jo then heard the car start and peal out of the driveway.

She stood and peeked out the blinds to make sure he had left. This reaction of his was nothing new. Whenever Ron got mad, he’d throw something, slam the door and drive away. But this time she felt as if he had taken a part of her and shattered it, as well.

“I wish you would get sucked into a bad fanfic universe of,” she tried to think of his least favorite show and then said, “Deep Space Nine,” which Ron always said was the most confusing Star Trek spin-off ever.

When the fight had begun, Anya had felt the potential for vengeance and immediately transported herself to Mary Jo’s house. She’d been standing outside listening and waiting. Often she didn’t have to prod the woman into making the wish; they did it of their own volition. This was one such case.

Anya granted Mary Jo’s wish and Ron was immediately sent to this Deep Space Nine reality created by a bad fanfic writer.

A few days later, Anya had gotten the call from D’Hoffryn stating that the vengeance had failed. Apparently, Ron had begun to enjoy his experience in this alternate reality. D’Hoffryn had commanded Anya to fix it so that it was a punishment, not a vacation.

Now Anya had to search a giant space station. And she didn’t even know which character Ron would be.

She did know a little about this universe. After all, dating Xander Harris for a couple of years, a certain degree of geekiness was inevitable to wear off. She had often spent evenings going over how much money she had and figuring out ways to make more while Xander had sat, oblivious, watching his Columbia House videos. Deep Space Nine, she remembered, was not only filled with many primary characters, but its recurring cast-list was longer than her assets list. This would not be easy.


Anya decided that she would begin with the main cast and by process of elimination, try to figure out which of the many characters could possibly be Ron.

0800 hours. She consulted another com panel and discovered that most of the main characters would be in ops. She needed an excuse for a Dabo girl to be up there. She went to the replicator and ordered a tray of fruits and various meats. She took the tray to the turbolift and ordered it to take her to ops.

When she arrived, she could feel all eyes on her. She was sure it was unusual for a Dabo girl to be up there. Way to be inconspicuous, she thought.

“Quark thought you might want some breakfast,” she said to no one in particular.

Anya looked around and was surprised by what she saw. Instead of the main ops console that she remembered, there was a conversation pit that looked like it came right out of Boogie Nights. Amid the pillows, she saw Major Kira and Lieutenant Dax canoodling.

She had been forced to watch every Columbia House video in Xander’s collection and she knew that that had never happened on the show.

When she got no response to the free breakfast, she made her way up the steps to the Captain’s office.

She stood at the door and waited for Sisko to give her entry. After a couple of minutes, she finally heard, “Enter.”

The doors opened and a baseball rolled out. Anya took a step in. The lights were off, but the room was illuminated by a dozen candles. Once her eyes adjusted, she saw the form of Worf sprawled out on the desk and Sisko was hurriedly pulling his pants up.

Sisko stammered and then asked Anya why she was there.

She repeated her lame excuse and offered the tray to Worf, who was now standing, if a bit uncomfortably.

“Do you have prune juice?” he asked and Anya hesitantly looked at the tray and found what he had asked for. “Prune juice,” Worf said, admiring the glass he now held in his hand. “It’s very similar to a Klingon aphrodisiac.”

“Really?” Sisko said, winking at the Klingon.

Anya wondered, yet again, why everyone was acting so differently from the actual show.

Sisko took a longjohn and hurried her out the door.

Anya stood outside the door and sighed. It looked like Major Kira was sensually counting each Dax’s spots. Anya went back to the turbolift and asked to be taken to the Promenade.

As the lift descended, she remembered that Mary Jo’s wish had been that Ron be sent to a bad fanfic universe. Apparently in badfic, the characterizations didn’t really matter. She figured that in order to find Ron, she would need to find the most multifaceted person on the station.

When the lift stopped, she stepped out, looking around. She recognized the constable’s office and went in. There, sitting behind the desk, was Odo with a stern look on his face as he studied a padd.

“Can I help you with something?” he asked, not looking up.

Anya couldn’t think of an excuse, so instead of giving one, she turned back toward the door. As the door opened, she heard Odo’s voice quiver as he muttered, “Link with me Nog.” She walked out, she hearing the unmistakable and familiar sound of someone hitting their head on the underside of a desk. She kept going.

Anya continued to walk the Promenade, where she encountered Quark and O’Brien feeding each other grapes at the replomat.

Later, she glimpsed Jake Sisko stroking Rom’s ears inappropriately at the Klingon restaurant.

“What kind of screwed up universe is this?” Anya said aloud. It may have been poorly written, but it did make her inappropriately aroused.

Anya hurried back to her quarters.


“Computer,” Anya asked, “what time is it?”

“1700 hours.”

Anya quickly calculated she only had four hours left to get this right. She had spent the last few hours trying to remember all of the characters (Xander had seemed fixated on Lt. Dax to the exclusion of everyone else, so no help there) and who she could have missed. She ran through the list of characters she had encountered that morning: Sisko and Worf, Kira and Dax, O’Brien and Quark, Jake and Rom, Odo and Nog. Anya knew she was missing a main character, but couldn’t remember which.

Once again her feet ached and she couldn’t breathe in the too-tight dress. She determined to get something else to wear.

She returned to the Promenade and found the tailor’s shop. She was perusing the dresses when a Cardassian she came up to her.

“Do you see anything you like?” he asked.

“Today, I’ve just about seen everything.”

“My dear, I’m sure that’s not true.”

Anya finally found a dress that looked like it wouldn’t cut her in half. “Where can I try this on?”

The Cardassian indicated the dressing room and Anya stepped inside to change. Much better than the Dabo girl ‘slave’ look, she thought as she walked back out to the main room to find a mirror.

“This is really nice,” she told the Cardassian.

“Thank you. The red really goes well with your facial lesions.”

Anya smiled at that. Xander had completely freaked out when he saw Hallie in vengeance form, but Anya had tried to explain that she was considered a great beauty in many circles.

“Would you like to charge this to your room?”

Sure, Anya thought, why not, since I won’t be here after tonight.

“Could I have your name?”

“Anyanka,” Anya answered. “And you are?”

“Ron,” he answered automatically. “I mean Garak.”

Anya smiled, she had found her mark.

The doors to the shop opened before she could confront him. Dr. Bashir came in holding a vase of flowers. Dr. Bashir, Anya thought, that’s who I was forgetting.

“Are you ready for our date?” he asked the Cardassian.

“Let me finish up with the lovely Anyanka, my sweet.” Garak turned back to Anya. “Where did you hear about my quaint shop?”

“My friend, Mary Jo, sent me here,” Anya said with a smile.

Ron/Garak’s face’s turned purple, the Cardassian equivalent of flush, Anya guessed. He stammered. “Julian, would you go ahead and wait for me in the restaurant?”

Bashir hesitated. Then he came up and gave Garak a kiss on the cheek before heading out.

Ron/Garak turned toward Anya. “Did you, um, say Mary Jo?” He sounded more like himself and less like Garak now.

“Yes. Mary Jo. From Earth. More specifically Sunnydale, California.”

“Who are you?”

Boldly, Anya pronounced, “I am Anyanka, vengeance demon for women scorned.”

“So are you the one that sent me here?” Ron said. “I guess I should thank you.”

“Precisely. This was to be your punishment,” Anya told him. “Your punishment for years of treating Mary Jo the way you have.”

“Punishment?” Ron/Garak repeated, laughing. “This is more of an escape. You would not believe the fun I’ve had here with Julian. I think I’m in love.”

“I know,” Anya said impatiently. “That is why I must send you elsewhere, somewhere without all the gay sex and the one-dimensional characters.”

“Where will you send me?” he asked nervously.

Anya thought about it. She invoked the spell and he disappeared.


D’Hoffryn materialized a moment later.

“Well done, my child,” he said. “Where did you send him?”

“I sent him to a reality where everyone is just as queer as folk.”

“Anyanka,” D’Hoffryn groaned, lowering his head.


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