Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Note: contains spoilers for the official series.
Even superheroes (and supervillians, and simply “supers) have their days off. Carol Ferris, one of the most powerful Star Sapphires in the universe, currently had one of those days. Make no mistake, she was usually happy to be a Star Sapphire, but every once in a while she did not. The violet rings of the Star Sapphire corps were powered by love, not by will, as those of the Green Lanterns, and in case of Carol Ferris, her love was aimed at Hal Jordan...and it was not reciprocated.
Even to an ordinary woman that would hurt, and for a Star Sapphire, whose relationship with love was something else (by the measures of ordinary people), being rejected hurt even more. “Sometimes I just wish,” muttered Carol, sitting incognito in a small bar in Las Vegas, “that I had a fresh start for everything.”
“Wish granted,” someone muttered sotto voce off Carol’s side, but Carol did not hear that, as a gaping hole suddenly opened in the floor and swallowed her whole!* * *
“Oof!” Carol was never that interesting in alcohol, and so she landed on the desert sand relatively sober.
Wait, desert sand? Las Vegas was located in the desert, but the desert that the Star Sapphire found herself in did not appear to contain Las Vegas. “Ring! Report!” she said the first thing that came to her mind.
“Bzzz... Contact with home planet lost...” the ring’s report only made things worse. “Power levels undetermined, falling... Corruption...”
“What corruption?” Carol demanded, but her ring did not reply. Instead, something resembling a wingless gargoyle, covered in olive-brown scales burst from the sands.
“And what have we here?” the gargoyle barked in heavily accented, but still understandable English, as it reached out with one of its clawed hands towards Carol’s face.
She might be lost, and her ring was not working, but Carol still knew how to defend herself. Her opponent too may have looked bizarre, but did not appear to be particularly smart or fast: a com-bination of a kick and flip sent it skidding head over heels away from Carol.
Sadly, this did not appear to hurt it at all, as it got to its feet, now lashing its tail back and forth. (This was the first time Carol saw its tail and did not like the look of it – it seemed to possess some sort of a stinger, possibly venomous.)
As Carol and the gargoyle stared off at each other, a rope-like tentacle, and then another came flying from behind the woman and wrapped her up very tight. Admittedly, with her ring – not even at a full strength – this would not have been a problem, but right now? Carol’s ring was a problem of its’ own instead, and no help at all.
...Slowly, the tentacles shifted, and Carol was able to see her new assailant. It (at least Carol hoped that that was an ‘it’, not a ‘he’) was some sort of a spiky bipedal insect, save that instead of arms or claws it had a pair of tentacles with which it had captured Carol. However, it also had several sets of clicking and clacking mouthparts – like those of a giant cockroach or ground beetle, and it appeared to be clearly capable of having Carol for a meal in bite-sized chunks all the same.
Apparently, the gargoyle thought so too as it emitted a series of barks at the insect-thing. The insect-thing remained unimpressed and continued to drag Carol closer to its mouth...
...when with a sudden squelch a crude wooden spear burst from its chest and carapace. The thing collapsed, its tentacles finally releasing Carol and revealing another woman – roughly Carol’s age or younger – holding the actual spear.
“Um,” Carol looked around, stalling for time, and saw that the original gargoyle was not alone, but was joined by another two, who glared at the newcomer, barking something in a language that was not English. Or human, for that matter.
With another squelch the latest newcomer withdrew her spear. “Well?” she asked, flatly.
The gargoyles jumped into the sand and vanished.
“So, hi,” the woman turned to Carol. “I am Faith.”
“I’m Carol,” the Star Sapphire said weakly. “I’m guessing that this isn’t Las Vegas, Nevada?”
“No, this is Sunnydale, California,” Faith said kindly, “and you were lucky-“
But Carol did not finish hearing the rest of the sentence: an experienced Star Sapphire or not, her brain just shut down from the excess of information.TBC