Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged. This prequel to Brother Grimace's The Gift of the Ringwraiths is part of the Judith Strikes! shared world developed by Erin Mills and is related to events in the Tales of the Ringbearers story, Let Vengeance Ring.
Lawndale, unidentified Earth within the Lost Ringbearer Interdict Zone
"Sorry, Ian, but don't worry. You and Anastasia are going to appreciate getting your old rings back in the future," Judith said as she removed a tarnished, copper ring from the severed hand she held in her own hand. "And then, you'll be happy little Ringwraiths."
The woman in the red cloak kicked the bloody body that the hand had previously belonged to. Then, she tilted her head up and said, "I love the smell of paradox in the morning. “It smells like – vengeance."
Judith glanced down, smiling, as the ancient locket that hung from her neck flashed blue-white. "So the Green-Jacketed, Snot-Nosed Bitch is in town. Not only will those Agency and Ringbearer assholes be pissed off at me being here - snuffing her out will be a bonus. Plus and plus."
Only a touch of will from her to the locket caused Judith to vanish in a blue flash. She was carried to a cluster of wrecked Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, where she reappeared in a matching blue flash. Dead soldiers were spread on the ground in and around the vehicle remains. "Damn, looks like I missed part of the fun," she said.
Jumping onto the back od a Bradley, Judith surveyed the area and spotted her target: a young woman with close-cropped, auburn hair and safety glasses, who wore an olive-drab jumpsuit and field jacket. "A bit of a change, but you've still got a green jacket."
Her hand resting on a katana stored in one of the extra-dimensional pockets inside the cloak, Judith sped herself up relative to normal time as she strode towards her target. Drawing the blade, the young woman smirked as she walked behind the woman and slashed low to hamstring her.
The Vengeance Ring on the finger of the Daria Morgendorffer known as Wraithkiller warned her of the danger. Instantaneously, she put up both the force field from the ring and a telekinetic shield while diving forward and away from the yet unseen attacker.
"You snot-nosed bitch!" Judith yelled, returning to normal time.
Rising to her feet, Daria calmly and slowly said, "Bitch? You have no idea."
"Yes, I do," Judith said, lowering the cowl of her cloak to reveal her face – a face that perfectly mirrored Daria's."
Daria scoffed at the revelation. "I'm supposed to be impressed that a Ringwraith gave you a glamour ability?"
"You think…" For the slightest moment, Judith's eyes betrayed her surprise. "You're Wraithkiller."
"Some call me that," Daria said. She waved a hand to indicate the dead soldiers while she slowly circled and watched her sociopathic opposite. “I suppose that this is your handiwork.”
Judith shook her head. "Nah. Far too messy and random for my taste. Besides, I'm here gathering Vengeance Rings just like you."
When Judith cracked open her non-causality box, Daria hesitated as she realized that Judith had spoken the truth about that detail.
Which was exactly what Judith had hoped would happen. Knowing the vulnerability of the Rings to certain technological weapons, she drew a high-powered laser pistol from her cloak and swiftly targeted Daria’s left knee,
I do enjoy knee-capping these snot-nosed bitches, Judith thought, in the millisecond before the first beam of coherent light spat from the weapon. Gives me more time to toy with them.
I've seen that look before. Thanks to the experience of her lonely and desperate quest, Daria wasn't so distracted as to let down her guard. She created a tiny disk of polished silver at the muzzle of the pistol and backed it with a force field.
Judith fired the weapon - and the light was reflected back inside with dramatic result.
"Now I'm mad!" Judith screeched as she stumbled back, holding her burned, bleeding right hand and feeling the sting of shrapnel cuts on her face.
Daria advanced on her doppelganger silently. She gave a slight wave with her hand, and Judith was blown off her feet, her cloak shrouding her for protection from the tornado-force winds that her former prey had conjured from nothingness.
The cloak opened the moment Judith stopped rolling across the ground, and she leaped clear – just as the spot was fused to glass by a blast of pure Quintessence. Forcing herself to ignore the pain in her hand, Judith reacted rather than thought – and the local space-time began to actually stutter from disruptions caused by the locket.
The temporal shifting gave Judith enough time to reach Daria – and slip the Point-Force Transference blade Judith held in her good hand though Daria's shields. However, Judith's grin of triumph at skewering Daria's kidney was momentary.
Daria telekinetically clamped down on Judith's good hand and pulled the blade free with a crushing force that broke breaking every bone in the process.
In that moment, Judith looked into Daria’s eyes – and what she saw choked off the scream of agony that was at her lips.
Loss. Grief. Anger. Hate. Vengeance. Those eyes chilled Judith's soul. Judith had heard the rumor of Beta Sol - and now, she believed it. She was looking into the eyes of someone driven deeper into darkness than she.
She had met a Daria that was truly frightening.
In a single, blue flash, Judith dimension-hopped away.
Once again, Daria Wraithkiller found herself alone. Sensing that the immediate danger was gone, Daria slumped to her knees as her ring healed the wound in her side. "I need to be careful," she thought aloud. "They're starting to get more creative."
On another Earth, one that she didn't even bother to note, Judith sat down and gingerly found a hand-held healer from her cloak. Though painful, her right hand was still usable. Wincing from the pain, she held the stolen device as she healed her useless left hand. Flexing her healed hand for a moment, Judith began to work on her right hand – and then, saw to her injured face.
After she had finished, Judith stood, and used the locket to get her inter-dimensional bearings. "Time to deliver these little trinkets to my new Ringwraith friends. After all – 'a deal’s a deal.'"
She allowed herself a smug grin. "Especially when you're screwing a pair of arrogant asses over in the process."
Thanks to Brother Grimace for beta reading.