"Bunnies! Bunnies! It must be bunnies!..
or maybe midgets..."
Anya - Once More With Feeling
1 - Sherwood Forest, The Middle Ages
"Morning. You're all, ah, all robbers, then, are you?"
"The best, Mr. Hood."
Anyanka looks up. Two weeks, and Maid Marian hasn't wished Hood to oblivion. Now some midgets and a boy are distracting him. Maybe it's time to twist the knife. "He's more interested in those little men than you."
"They've treasure," says Marian, "I wish..."
"..that he wouldn't give it away."
Hood shouts "Mine," snatches the gold, and runs off with the midgets and Merry Men in pursuit. Anyanka leaves, happy that history will remember Robin Hood as nothing more than a common thief.
2 - Cadiz, 1588
Even Queens are entitled to vengeance. Elizabeth's wish was a humiliating defeat for Spain. Death and destruction, Anyanka's stock in trade.
Philip pays his men in gold. She plans to help herself to some before the Armada sails. When she reaches the strongroom she finds unconscious guards, a boy on lookout, midgets loading gold into sacks.
"Don't take it all," says Anyanka. "That would annoy me."
"And?" replies a midget.
She shows her game face.
"Oh bloody hell, you again!" Dropping their bags, the midgets run.
Anyanka shrugs and takes some loot, wondering why they were so scared of her.
3 - Castiglione, 1796
France is conquering Europe, thousands of widows and orphans cry for justice. It should be the golden age of vengeance, except...
"We can't kill Napoleon," says Halfreck. "Lord D'Hoffryn's orders. He has to spread chaos and disaster first."
"Can we at least hurt him?" asks Anyanka.
"Well that sucks. What about minor problems? Bad luck, theft, things like that?"
"Hmmm... D'Hoffryn didn't say not to..."
They both concentrate. Reality twists and shifts, six thieves and a scared boy plummet from the sky outside the town.
"Not quite what I had in mind," says Anyanka, "but they'll have to do."
4 - The Alamo, 1836
The slave's cruel master will die in the battle. The girl will survive, her virginity won't. Anyanka's wondering if there's more vengeance to be done here when a rectangular black portal appears. Six midgets dive out, dragging a boy in a dressing-gown.
"Where are we, Strutter?" asks a dwarf.
"London, the middle ages," another replies.
"Actually," Anyanka says helpfully, "it's 1836. The Alamo."
"Took a wrong turn..." begins Strutter, then stares at Anyanka. "It's her! The demon! Run for it." They disappear through another portal.
Anyanka smiles. She still can't remember hurting them, but whatever she did must have been spectacular.
5 - China, 1900
Halfreck looks down from the balcony and says "Hmmm... familiar faces!"
Anyanka joins her, saying "The midget thieves and the boy? Did you ever find out who they are?"
"D'Hoffryn told me last year. They're looters, the Supreme Being's chasing them through time from one disaster to another. The boy's a stray they picked up in the future. I think he wished for adventure."
"So if they're around," Anyanka says nervously, "the Supreme Being could appear?"
Below a midget says "We've got about twelve hours before the Boxers get here. Head for the temple first..."
"We'd better pack," says Halfreck.
6 - Tunguska, 1908
"I wish that my husband..." The woodcutter's wife begins. Anyanka's expecting something nasty involving putrid sores, but before she says more a portal opens in the sky. Seven small figures hurtle down into the trees.
"I wish that my husband," she repeats, inspired, "I wish the sky would fall on him... and his precious trees!"
"Wish granted," Anyanka says angrily. Reality shifts. The meteor that would have hit Moscow, granting hundreds of wishes, changes its orbit infinitesimally. When it hits the Earth months later a woodcutter will be the only casualty.
D'Hoffryn blames Anyanka, of course. She blames the midgets.
7 - The Titanic, 1912
"More champagne?" asks Molly Brown.
"Why not," says Anyanka. Outside a meteor flashes across the sky; she says "Make a wish!"
"Why not," says Molly. "I wish... say, where did those midgets come from?"
"Poot," thinks Anyanka. Familiar midgets move to a nearby table. She says "You were saying?" but Molly isn't listening. Anyanka's still furious when the ship hits an iceberg.
"Listen, creeps," says Anyanka, grabbing midgets with demonic strength, "I'm fed up with your interferance - you and your damn Supreme Being."
"You. Stay out of my way." She throws them overboard, teleporting away before the ship sinks.
8 - Sunnydale, Alternative timeline, 1998
This never happens.
Cordelia's vengeance is bitter. The Slayer will die, history will change irrevocably. Anyanka's uneasy. It's going too well.
Uneasiness becomes certainty as seven small forms slip into a jewellery store. If they're here pursuit can't be far benind...
One of the midgets has an axe; Anyanka snaps his neck, takes it, moves in on the rest. She finishes the boy quickly, no point upsetting Halfreck. Now nothing will bring the Supreme Being here.
A summons takes her to the Watcher, where things go wrong. The change reverses.
It never happens. But Anyanka remembers, so do the midgets.
9 - Sunnydale, 2003 and The Dawn of Man
The portal drops them into a charnel house. Dead demons everywhere, the whole school's shaking. "How long?" shouts Kevin.
"Twenty seconds," yells Strutter. "Don't linger, the building's collapsing. Ten.. ."
The portal opens, rubble falls through. With it, unnoticed, goes Anya's body. The midgets and Kevin follow.
They land under a black monolith. Apes watch fearfully as Strutter consults the map. "Ten minutes."
"That's her," says Og, pointing at the body. "The demon."
"Dead demon," says Strutter. He kicks the corpse contemptuously before they leave.
The apes are sniffing the corpse, torn between fear and hunger, when the Supreme Being arrives.
10 - The Dawn of Man (continued)
"Hide that somewhere." says the Supreme Being, indicating the monolith.
"On the moon?" asks Strutter.
"Mmm... yes. Now what's this?" He points at Anya's body.
"No idea," says Og.
The Supreme Being studies His map and says "Must have fallen through time. Can't let it become a fossil."
"It's dead, innit?" asks Strutter.
"That's easily fixed." The Supreme Being snaps His fingers.
"Now what?" asks Og. Anya sits up groggily, her wounds gone.
"Leave it," says the Supreme Being, leading them off through another portal.
"Wonderful..." groans Anya, watching them vanish.
Later she's fending off inquisitive apes when a phone box appears.
11 - Sunnydale Crater, 2003
"That's my girl… always doing the stupid thing," says Xander.
Andrew faints and Xander pales as a familiar voice says "Not much of a eulogy."
"Anya's dead," says Xander, "So you're the First Evil. Didn't we kick your ass already?"
"Not really," says Anya, patting his cheek. "But if you'd like to spank it..."
"It is you!" says Dawn. "You're a vengeance demon again?"
"The Supreme Being resurrected me," says Anya, "he left me stuck in the past but I got a lift back." She yells at the phone box "Come and meet the girls!"
Two figures appear.