mechanical animals

r | violence


As if she's in a daze, Anya slowly reaches up to wipe a spot of blood off her face. She ends up smearing it across her cheek. She doesn't turn her head; she just glances at the mirror ahead to catch a glimpse of the intruder.

"I thought I sensed power. I did not anticipate a slaughter of this scale."

"I've done better," Anya says, almost absently. "You know the Russian Revolution? That was mine."

Illyria tilts her head. "I do not know the Russian Revolution. But this is very similar to the G'har Executions. I used their bones to decorate my palace."

"I do not know what you are talking about, and I do not care." She pauses, takes the time to fix her ponytail. "You are not leaving."

"You did not tell me to go. And I would be unlikely to go if you told me to. I believe that you are not aware of who I am."

Now, Anya turns around, frowning at her. "Illyria. Do you honestly think that one of the Old Ones could be reborn in this dimension and I would not know it?"

"I am unaware of the full scope of your power, and therefore could not be aware of what you know and do not know, half-breed. It is foolish to think that I would."

"I suppose it is." Anya steps over one body, then another, on her way to the bathroom. She's not particularly surprised when Illyria follows her. She splashes water on her face, once, twice, then again.

"You do not wish to wear it to announce your triumph to the world?"

Again, Anya is staring at her through the mirror. "Today, walking around like that would only get me thrown in prison."

"Surely, you could escape."

"That's not the point," she snaps.

"You are not as happy as you should be."

More water. Some of the blood has dried, needs to be scrubbed. "No. It appears that I am not."

"But this is impressive." She steps back to survey the scene again. "What weapon did you use?"

"Um." The blood is gone, but now her cheeks are red. "Bishma demons."

"I am unaware of that particular half-breed."

Anya comes out of the bathroom, stands beside her. "They have hundreds of arms. All of them are very stiff and very small, and they eat by sticking them all into a body and sucking out the internal organs. It can sometimes take days."

"They must have deeply offended you."

"Not me. They - there's a girl, down the street. She is not normal. They brought her down here, stuck things in her body. She wished that they could feel her pain."

"She was weak." To Anya, Illyria almost sounds offended. "She should not have allowed them to do that."

"You clearly do not understand. We are not weak. Men are evil. They think things, but do not say them, choosing instead to say something else, something which is not related to what they are thinking. They will say things like, 'I love you, Anya,' and 'I want to marry you, Anya,' and 'I will never hurt you, Anya,' when really, they are thinking, 'I am stupid and like a child and this was a stupid idea and I will leave you at the altar wearing a dress that cost an obscene amount of money so you will be so heartbroken and embarrassed that you feel you can never show your face in town again except when you regain your powers and attempt to take vengeance but fail, because everyone just loves you, Xander!'"

There is a long moment of silence.

"Your way of speaking is strange," Illyria finally says.

"That is what people say. They do not like my irksome questions and literal interpretations and inability to know what I am not supposed to say in public."

"Then why do you speak?"

"Is there - is there a reason why you came in here?"

"I sensed the power as I was walking by." Illyria holds up a small, glowing ball. "I have completed my mission. Before, I would have merely opened a portal to return, but now I must walk on streets and I do not understand how they are organized."

"You're lost."

"That would seem to accurate."

Anya sighs. "If you want, you can come with me. I've only been living here for a month, but I have always had a good sense of direction."

"There was a time when I did not need guides," she says, with anger evident in her voice.

"Yes, and I used to be able to teleport, but you make one little mistake on your flight plan ... Well. We'll have to make it fast. There's an actress in Hollywood who was having sex with a director because he promised her a role in his new movie, but he is casting someone else instead. She will find out soon and I have found that actresses make the best wishes."

"Will there be blood?"

She starts to glance back to the room, but stops herself. "Probably. Maybe just entrails."

"This sounds more entertaining than hitting the half-breed."

"I do not usually perform for an audience." Anya fishes her car keys out of her pocket. "Are you coming or not?"