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The Book of Ataniel

Enigma Archives (June Part 2)

NOTE: Posts are listed in reverse chronological order,
and all posts are copyrighted to their respective author(s).





Title of Post: One Of Those Combats
Author: Laura Redish
Characters: Sunfighter, Fantasma
Storyline: The Wall

Comments:

It had been a long time since Kyria Vesper had been quite so confused.

Fighting the Ravagers in the ultraviolet wreckage of Tucson, Arizona was surreal enough.

Her initial reaction, which had been to blurt out "What are you doing here?" in Ancient Riklandic, had not elicited the slightest reaction, which was disconcerting.

Then Manstalker had body-blocked her back about eight feet with a violent clang of magical steel on magical steel, disrupting her spell and keeping her head from being splattered onto the wet asphalt like a ripe tomato by the plummeting Diver. Disorienting, but one of those things that happened in combat sometimes.

What really made her head spin was the fact that as she was trying to figure out how to get enough of Roger's armor off to heal him, his unconscious body and Diver's suddenly disappeared and then, despite Manstalker's having been KO'd by an impact roughly that of a freight train and Diver's having impaled himself on the big warrior's Doomlands armor and expired, both reemerged apparently ready for more combat.

"Major continuity break," she muttered, shaking her head dizzily. Maybe it was a side effect from the chronodisruptive force coming off the wall.

And as if all this wasn't enough, Kyria Vesper was having the bizarre feeling that she was swimming through molasses, or at least having to reroute her every thought and action through some unfamiliar path.

Shaking her head in a futile attempt to clear it, Kyria drew the Word of Truth and did something she'd been waiting for a very long time to have the ability to do.

Her two-handed sword and Norna's clanged off each other.

Meanwhile, Fred Fiesta's inordinately attractive Testarossa smashed into Fantasma, and passed through her unimpeded, as if she weren't there at all, crashing into a blasted-out restaurant called Dirtbag's. She turned her head after it as it zoomed through her. "You don't speak Spanish, do you?" she called after him.





Title of Post: I thought this would be a good place to hide.
Author: Tom Coleman
Characters: Diver, Manstalker, Kid Sidekick, S-Guy, the Roach
Storyline: Warp, Warp, bo Borp...

Comments:

Kid Sidekick listened as S-Guy gave up on his banter and began to send icy blasts out into the fray. Kid watched as the battle raged on. Somewhere, deep inside of him, he felt a rumbling, a call to action. From the very depths of his inner soul, a force was felt, one that needed to burst out in a torrent of action. A deluge of intensity overcame Kid Sidekick as he screamed out, "I gotta go pee!"

Quickly diving into the earth, he found a sewer line and relieved himself. Tucking in his shirt in the front (and completely forgetting the back, he shot back into the earth to go see how the battle was going.

As he got closer to the surface, he heard a large feminine "Xena the Warrior Princess" type "OOF!" He paused for a second, only to have something large come crashing down upon him. In a matter of seconds the large mass sent Kid Sidekick tumbling down his tunnel and back into the sewer with a loud splash.

The mass moved off Kid Sidekick. "Ew! And I was upset I didn't wash my hands! Now I'm soaking in it, Madge." A very upset man in a wetsuit laughed out loud. "Well, Kid, I hadn't expected the ground to be so hollow. But when you're a diver, you come prepared to get wet. Consider yourself as having an enemy kid." Diver waved, and blinked outta existence.

Manstalker's legs shot forth, flipping him into a full combat stance, sword in hand. "What just happened?" he queried, surprised that Diver had not taken him completely out. "It's simple," said Kid Sidekick, "you landed on top of me and I broke your fall. Diver just broke the ground. Am I old enough to have an enemy?"

Kid Sidekick took Manstalker by his off arm, and jumped into the earth to return Manstalker to the battle. He then decided to see which female supervillain he could gross out by the cockroach he had picked up in the sewers.





Title of Post: The Coming of... NEMESIS!
Author: Douglass Barre
Characters: Pantheon, Stanley
Storyline: Nemesis: The Beginning

Comments:

Edith Graves was not a happy woman.
She sat at her kitchen counter, looking out from the penthouse's picture window at the milling city of Boston, far below.
No one fought in the streets of Boston, but that was only a matter of time, she thought. Her eyes fell on the newspaper next to her fresh bagel. "ENIGMA RETURNS!" the headline read. Superheroes, Edith thought, it had to be superheroes.
"Hey, Edie!" her kid brother Stanley said, skipping into the room. "Didja see the news? The superheroes are back!"
Edith winced. "Don't remind me," she sighed.
"But now we can fight them together!" Stanley said. "I know I was too young before, but I'm fifteen now, and I can be your partner!"
"Stanley, I have the powers of the entire Greek pantheon. You can turn yourself two-dimensional. I don't think you'd be much help."
"I've even got a great name... we can be Pantheon and... Flat Stanley!"
"Athena save me," Edith sighed. Then the idea struck her. "You know, Stanley," she said, a wicked grin crossing her face, "you may not have the worst idea here... maybe some help is exactly what I need!"

Two days later, Edith and Stanley sat in the Boston Sheraton's Lilac Room. The sign on the meeting room door read "Nemesis, Inc."
"When are they coming?" Stanley asked. "Did you get any RSVPs, Edie?"
"I didn't leave our address, Stanley. We're supervillains. We need to maintain anonymity. From here on in, call me Pantheon."
"Right. Will do! And remember to call me Flat Stanley!"
When pigs fly, Edith thought.
The message she had put on www.supervillain.com had called for any supervillains interested in resurfacing to meet here. She had worked hard on the message, trying to indicate the need to leave behind the détente of the last few years and to respond to the challenge issued by the reappearance of Enigma. And who else but Pantheon, greatest of the enemies of Enigma, to forge such a group? The wisdom of Athena had given her a feel for the organization needed, and the powers of Aphrodite and Zeus would certainly allow her to keep order. Now it was just a matter of gathering an appropriate group...
"Hey, after this can we go home? I need to check my email... I'm supposed to run a game this Friday and I need to tell the guys that I'll be supervillaining instead."
Edith prayed that someone a little more lethal than her little brother would show up. Enigma needed to be opposed, and it was her plan that Nemesis would do just that...
The door opened. Her first teammate had arrived.



Title of Post: Not Those Ravagers, You Idiot!
Author: Douglass Barre
Characters: Enigma, the Ravagers
Storyline: Ravagers in Tucson

Comments:

Warp watched as Diver blinked out. Teleporting somewhere to build up some falling momentum, no doubt, he thought.
"Everyone, watch your heads!" Warp yelled.
"So, Warpie," Firefall grinned, "you found yourself some superheroes lamer than you?"
"Says the guy who stole my sword and armor riff," Warp said. "That's so early nineties, Firefall."
"I liked the look," Firefall said. "Besides, I can channel my flames through the sword. Like this."
A huge bolt of flame shot at Warp, but disappeared into a large blue portal that suddenly materialized. Behind Energy Erin, the other side opened, and gouts of flame washed over her.
"Hah! You idiot! That's your own teammate! Bwah-ha-ha!"
"Right," Warp said. "Firefall, meet Energy Erin."
Erin turned around looking pissed.
"I'll let you two get acquainted," Warp said, and shifted opponents."

Manstalker and Aries stood back to back as Wagnerfume surrounded them in her gaseous form.
"I've got air filters in here," Manstalker said. "You going to be okay?"
Aries coughed, but gave the armored figure the thumbs-up.
Out of the corner of Rog's eye, he noticed Diver reappear, about thirty feet over Kyria Vesper.
Shit, he thought. Ten thousand pounds at two or three hundred miles an hour is going to slam through her no matter what spells she uses.
Manstalker's jet pack surged into life, and he shot forward, knocking Kyria aside just before Diver made contact. He felt the gravity-controlling villain hit him like five tons of bricks... and go limp.
"And everyone said the head spikes were silly," Rog said before he passed out underneath the unconscious leader of the Ravagers.

"You know," Fred Fiesta said, from his invisible envelope of magical solid time, "I think I should go drive my car into that nice looking Jacinta."
Lotus smiled and checked her nails.



Title of Post: Who ELSE would know such trivialities? :)
Author: Jonah S Cohen
Characters: S-Guy and the Enigmaniacs
Storyline: The Wall (part Two-son)

Comments:

With a thunderous crash, the giant in the red and black armor landed, steam or smoke or something was pouring off his body. The ground trembled. "How can something so big be so hot?" Kid Sidekick pronounced.

This youngster has a bright future ahead of him S-Guy thought. "So, you're looking to heat things up, eh big fella? Well Enigma is too cool to fall for that old trick!"

"That was really lame dialogue," Marc said to him.

Firefall raised a black broadsword that was about 12 feet long high above his head. "Sorry," S-Guy said, "best I could do on the spur of the moment." Then the giant was struck by a barrage of snow and ice. He dropped the sword and screamed in pain.

"Remember, Kid Sidekick - the hotter they are, the, um, uh... drat! It's been a tough day for bantering!" He gave up and launched another icy blast at Firefall.





Title of Post: Acquiescing To The Inevitable
Author: Laura Redish
Characters: Kyria Vesper, Jacinta Thigpen
Storyline: The Wall

Comments:

Kyria Vesper just plain stared as Lotus, Norna, Diver, Wagnerfume, and a shorter version of that giant Janther had killed emerged from the rift. "Warp!" shouted Diver, angrily. "I should have known you were behind this!"

"Oh, crap, it's the Ravagers," muttered Manstalker.

"So I see," said Kyria, with uncharacteristic dazedness.

Jacinta looked at the five supervillains, looked at her shotgun, looked at the supervillains again, and tossed the firearm into the back of her truck.

"Jacinta," said Warp, "you might want to stand behind Manstalker."

"Oh, hell," she sighed, and took to the air with a blue mist manifesting around herself. "You might as well call me Fantasma."




Title of Post: Warp Interrupts the Imagine Fest
Author: Douglass Barre
Characters: Warp, Manstalker, Fred Fiesta
Storyline: Whatever We're Calling It

Comments:

"Why would anyone call you Trixie when you had a perfectly reasonable name like Gladiatrix?" Warp asked.
Energy Erin sighed.
"Anyway," Warp said, "this whole evil anti-Warp thing is just a theory. I mean, I've met alternate versions of myself, and they've all been really nice."
"That must be your opposite," Energy Erin said.
Rog snickered through the faceplate.
"Anyway," Warp continued. "I think we ought to focus on the opponents and obstacles that we're actually running into."
"Like that?" Gladiatrix pointed to the giant rift.
"I could fly up and do some recon," Manstalker said.
"Me too!" Fallout said. "If they've got some more warheads up there, I could do with some lunch."
"That's comforting," Kyria muttered.
"Good. Head up and get what you can," Warp said, "but don't go in yet."
"Yes, master," Rog said, and activated his jetpack.
"So," Warp said, turning to Jane, "you're the new Gladiatrix? Are you related to Melissa?"
"My mom," Jane said.
"We fought together against the New Order back in '86... she was a great fighter. Good to have you."
"Um," S-Guy said, "what should the rest of us do while we wait here?"
"Help me clean this place up, maybe?" Jacinta muttered.
"I was thinking more along the lines of analyzing the data we've got. Aries, do you know how to use an active proton matrix?"
"I've... read about it," Aries said. "But I don't think there's one in Tucson."
"Not a problem," Warp said, and pulled out a cellular phone. A giant warp opened up over it, and with a minor effort, Warp shrunk it to fit over the antenna.
After a brief conversation, he snapped the phone shut. "I've got one on loan from the University of Moscow. Give me a minute."
A wide blue glow opened in the center of Speedway, and slowly rose into the air. Beneath it, like being born of some strange energy uterus, a giant device appeared.
"It's all yours," Warp said. "Let me know what you can find out with it."
"That was a pretty hefty load for such a distance," Kyria said to him, concerned. "You okay with all that?"
"It was a lot easier than I expected, actually," Warp said.
"Well, it looks like Manstalker's on his way back," Marc offered, pointing to the figure flying toward them.
"Why is he flying backwards?" Energy Erin asked.
"He's not flying!" Warp yelled. "He's falling! Take cover!"
As the armored figure crashed into the asphalt, making an expensive crater in the middle of Tucson's main drive, the members of Enigma began to notice what had come out of the rift this time...
"This bites," said Fred Fiesta, pressed a button on his magic watch, and disappeared.



Title of Post: Can you picture the evil anti-S-Guy???
Author: Jonah S Cohen
Characters: The Enigmaniacs
Storyline: The Road to Tucson...

Comments:

"The evil anti-Warp???" S-Guy said, incredulously.

"It's a long story," Manstalker replied.

"You mean to say, there's this --- this other you out there? With your powers? Your skills? Even your looks? Except he's evil and hell-bent on your destruction?"

"Heavy," opined Kid Sidekick.

Wow, S-Guy thought a bit enviously, the boss sure has a neat arch-enemy. I can just imagine the existential conflicts!





Title of Post: Modesty
Author: Laura Redish
Characters: Kyria Vesper
Storyline: The Wall

Comments:

"I'm not really the most formidable person here," murmured Kyria. "I just happen to be able to turn metal to wood."




Title of Post: Wasn't in the neighborhood, dropped by anyway
Author: Sylvia A. Rudy
Characters: Gladiatrix
Storyline: The Wall

Comments:

Jane paced along the edge of the black dome. From the debris lying around, she was pretty sure someone had blown a good sized chunk out of it at some point. Somehow, she had a feeling she wasn't the only hero in town. She slipped a fist-sized fragment of the funky black stuff into one of her pockets. Whatever it was, it seemed almost alive, as if it were part of somebody. "So who do we know who can turn himself into a wall?"

***

Jane pulled herself out from the tunnel somebody had conveniently left behind just in time to see a group of heroes distracted by a flash of blue light and the plummeting arrival of . . . a wooden replica of a nuclear warhead?

She approached the group quietly. It's not like she was eavesdropping or anything, but one of the occupational hazards of being a hero is that first impressions could be very tricky. It was just way too common for two heros who had never met to mistake each other for villains and then waste valuable time fighting each other instead of whatever insidious menace had brought them there. I knew I should have worn my "Good Guy" t-shirt... Still, she recognized Warp and Manstalker from the TV news back when Enigma was active, and she was pretty sure they'd overlapped her mom's tenure as the first Gladiatrix. With any luck one of them would remember the outfit and figure it out.

"Wouldn't they know that among all the heroes there would be something somebody could do to stop it?" asked one of the women. "Why only counter Warp's power?'

Jane stepped up, "Well, they could just be a bunch of screw-ups. You'd be surprised how often that turns out to be the case. But it could also be that they only know how to counter Warp's power and were using the opportunity to scope out the rest of you. I mean, that little stunt just highlighted the next most formidable person here, didn't it?"

"Wait a minute, who are you?" S-Guy asked.

"I'm the new Gladiatrix." She waved at the group. "Hi."

"Oh, and a word to the wise -- the first person who calls me Trixie gets decked."




Title of Post: The Narrative
Author: Tom Coleman
Characters: Kid Sidekick, et al.
Storyline: All we need is just another Warp in the Wall

Comments:

The emotional baggage was thick in the air as the party surveyed the scene. Their leader was down, and again they must rely on Kyria's abilities to keep the party going. A truth remains unspoken: They must continue on until the reach the heart of the city.

Evelyn was first to pierce the thick air of resolve. "At first glance it would seem that someone went to all the trouble to trap all these heroes just to blow them up with a nuclear warhead. It seems simple, but everything here is still slightly off. But why something so straightforward? Wouldn't they know that among all the heroes there would be something somebody could do to stop it? Why only counter Warp's power?"

It was Maggie who continued. "Right. And if the blast were to occur, it would seem that the Wall was designed to keep the blast contained. Simple, but not well thought out. There must be something more. Maybe at the center of this city we'll find more heroes and get their stories as well.

***

Meanwhile, in the center of the city, a young heroine named Lareva flew over the last building, finally reaching the city center. She swooped close to the shadows emerging from the earth. The attack was so sudden, she was unprepared for the tenebrous tendrils which brought her to the earth. She struggled, but her mouth opened for the last time in a breathless scream.

***

The woman giggled as the pager suddenly vibrated. Rift paused, and there was a flurry of legs and bedsheets until Rift emerged victorious, pager in hand. The LCD Display read "Quorum lost. Hero killed."

Rift paused for a moment, concentrated, and then said, "Shit! I have to get another hero in there. Hm... Maybe I'll have to see if I have another warhead around. And who's taking out these guys?"

Go on to Enigma Archive 3



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