by Martin Maenza
St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco:
A brown-haired woman’s eyes sprang open suddenly. She slowly and silently rose out of the bed she had occupied for the last two months, removing various monitor tabs and IV tubes. She crossed the room to a closet and started to put on her clothes, which had been kept there.
One of the nurses hurried into the room, having gotten the notice that the monitor signals had stopped. “Miss, what are you doing?!” she exclaimed, looking very surprised to see the young woman awake from her coma, much less up and about. “You need to get back to bed immediately!”
Renee Laisaille merely finished putting on her jeans.
“Miss, don’t make me summon the orderlies!” the nurse said, reaching out to take the younger one by the arm.
Renee’s eyes stared at the woman intently. She then grabbed at the nurse and flung her easily across the room as if she were a rag doll. The nurse hit the wall hard with a thud. Renee walked over to the woman, bent down, and grabbed her about the shoulders.
The woman seemed to disintegrate in her touch, clothing and all.
Suddenly, voices filled Renee’s head. “Save some of that for those you truly hate, my dear!” they sang to her in a chorus. “We’ve chosen you to carry this power so you could destroy those you truly hate — our common enemy!”
Renee smiled wickedly and said softly but firmly, “Hawk and Dove, and their friends!”
“Yes, dear!” the voices replied. “Come to us, and we’ll prepare you for your battle!”
And with that, Renee Laisaille vanished in a puff of dark smoke.