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The Book of Ataniel

Enigma Archives (July 1998)

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

Title of Post: Let's Get This Ball Rolling
Author: Sylvia A. Rudy
Characters: Gladiatrix, Kyria
Storyline: The Wall

Jane snagged Kyria's arm in the hallway. "Kyria, can I have a word?"

"You can have a whole sentence."

Jane shifted unconfortably. "Well, I have this sort of ability to sense the flow of life energies and, umm..."

»Didn't I just go through this with Maggie and Evelyn? How many times am I going to have to tell my origin story today?« "And you were wondering about my aura?"

"Um, actually, no. I mean, you have this flickering thing going, but lots of heros are like that. I just figured that's the way you were. This is about Warp."

"What about Warp?"

"Well, you've known him, like, for a long time, right?"


"Is he, like ... okay?"

"Why wouldn't he be?"

"Well, before I met up with you all in Tucson, I picked up a fragment of that wall stuff. I thought it might come in handy. And it felt really weird, like instead of a stone, more like hair or a fingernail or something. You know, like part of something alive. It was hard to tell from inside, but the fragment seemed to be 'connected' to the rest of the wall, and also to somewhere deeper inside the city."

"What does this have to do with Warp?"

"It also has a lifeflow connection to Warp."

"That's probably because he absorbed part of the wall when we were breaking in before."

"He ... what?"

"Part of Warp's powers allow him to generate a blue stone a lot like the black stone in the wall. It's similar enough that he was able to absorb a small amount of it. That's what made his eyes turn black."

Jane looked plainly horrified. "You mean to tell me that Warp, our team leader, has ingested a mysterious, potentially evil, unidentified, semi-sentient, screaming substance and mingled it with his life force enough to cause him to be visibly altered?"

"That... about sums it up, yes."

"Kyria, I know I haven't been doing this hero thing for a long time, but I have a really bad feeling about this."

"That's okay, kid. I have been doing this for a long time, a very long time, and so do I."

Title of Post: Temporal Technogeeks Unite!
Author: Laura Redish and Eric Gasior
Characters: Kyria Vesper, Evelyn Pulsar
Storyline: The Wall: Waiting For Warp


Kyria frowned over her shoulder at the light-haired scientist, who had that electronic device pointed at her again. "What are you doing?"

Evelyn met her gaze directly. "Trying to determine what's wrong with my scanner," she said, before she had to avert her eyes. She tapped a few of its buttons. "The DNA scan keeps insisting you're human, but I know that can't be true."

"Not entirely," Kyria acknowledged. "Three parts human, two parts demon, one part elven, and one part fun." She smiled at the scientist, who raised an eyebrow at her.

"I like the fun part," Evelyn finally said, calmly, "but--what's an 'elven'?"

Kyria was a little surprised that was her first question. "So you... already know what a demon is, then?"

"Well, if I can assume that the legends of this planet have some truth to them, they are a type of evil, extraplanar creature that can possess people and frequently scare human adults."

"Yes, well something like that. They're another race of beings, basically, not native to this Ans--Earth. Elves are too, but they're not evil and they spontaneously combust less often. Anyway, those are the three races involved. I'm mostly human, and my host body is fully human."

"How did that happen?" said Evelyn. "Is it some sort of psychological melding process?"

"Yes, that's just right." Kyria was pleased. Maybe this had been a good place to take a vacation. "My demon half melded psychologically with my human half, but brought with it the remnants of the elves and humans it had previously melded with. I am the Sixth."

"Of course!" said Evelyn, like everything made sense now. "And how many years have you been alive in this body?"

"Three thousand, two hundred and twelve," said Kyria.

Evelyn put one finger against her lips, as if it hadn't been quite the answer she'd been expecting. "Really? That's impressive. Without substantial modification human DNA indicates that you shouldn't live more than 150 years." She played with the scanner a bit more. "Most of the known forms of serial gestalt involve passing knowledge to members of the same species, creating a nearly immortal consciousness. There isn't a known situation where mixing races has led to such a substantial extension of lifespan."

"I have pretty substantial modification, though." Kyria could feel her conversational style shifting, and didn't resist it. "The energies resulting from this psychic fusion are balanced such that my composite metabolism remains at a plateau. I'm essentially not aging."

"That's the part I can't account for. I've been getting unusual energy readings around you -- more unusual than Warp's."

"Well, it's a long story, but basically I had this problem where I was increasing the metabolism of each host more than the last. This was accelerating their aging processes, and you can see that within a matter of centuries I would have been causing a pretty serious problem for my world's population."

"Yes, I can. Life spans down to microseconds at best."

"Exactly," Kyria nodded. "So what I did was use a creature that siphoned off psychic energy to force my composite psyche to a stable state. Too little metabolism and we wouldn't remain cohesive. Too much and I would have continued to accelerate my hosts' aging." She sat on the table, leaning forward. "So I used the siphon to force my energies to a plateau state with six hosts, and now our composite existence is indefinite."

"Fascinating," breathed Evelyn.

Fallout came whizzing in, swinging his head nervously back and forth. "Okay, I gotcher water here!"

"What?" Kyria blinked at him, and then smiled. "Oh, yes. That's right. Thank you." She accepted the glass graciously from his little talons.

"How did you get the balance right? Wouldn't that be affected by your own temporal progression at the point you attached the siphon?"

"Absolutely. In fact I had to go back in time to attach it to a previous incarnation."

"Which of your races had temporal powers?"

"None of them. I was working for the demigod of time--"

"The who?"

"I'm gonna go do something else now, okay?" said the little warp dragon, uneasily.

"Okay!" said Kyria, cheerily, and waved at him. He flew out still looking over his shoulder. Kyria couldn't help smiling a bit at his expense. She was nothing if not patient. "Well, perhaps I'd better start at the beginning..."

Title of Post: Splitting Up
Author: Laura Redish and Jeffy Hersh
Characters: Kyria and Fallout
Storyline: The Wall


"You want to go into the Rift with Rog, then?" Kyria was saying to Erin. "That puts Roger, Jane, Jacinta, Maggie, and you on the Rift team, and Warp, Aries, Evelyn, Marc, Fallout, and me on the investigative team. I don't know where S-Guy, Kid Sidekick, or Fred want to go yet."

"That's okay with me," the young superheroine agreed, only a little uncomfortably.

"Keep that earring in. It'll protect you from normal missiles, and you can handle energy attacks on your own." Kyria turned her head and bestowed a sunny smile on Fallout, who was chasing a boomerang erratically around the great hall. "Fallout, dear, could you get me a little drink of water? It's so warm in here."

The little space dragon balked in midair, one paw on each wing of the boomerang. Now he knew she knew. "Sure," he squawked. "Ah, sure. I'll go get that right away for ya." He paused in the door, craning his head back. "I'm gonna go get this water from the bathroom, though," he announced, a little too loudly. "Not the kitchen. Is that okay with you?"

"Water is water," said Kyria, smiling, and if the unexpected locale was messing up her plan she wasn't letting on.

Warp dragons didn't sweat or anything, but Fallout was feeling a little warm under the neck frills.

Title of Post: The Innocent Always get blamed
Author: Jonah S Cohen
Characters: s-Guy
Storyline: Brief 4/1 Flashback!

"Fallout!!!" S-Guy shouted. "You'd better thank your lucky dragon stars I have color-powers!" He looked at himself in the mirror. Mmmm, grape.

Title of Post: Tucson (isn't that a brand of Milk?)
Author: Tom Coleman
Characters: Kid Sidekick
Storyline: A=(1/2)Enigma

The kitchen was quiet, the refridgerator humming peacefully, happily housing edible items of ingestable enjoyment. Kid Sidekick carefully looked to the left, glanced to the right, and snuck across the dark room towards the silver monolith of sustainence.

Not a sound was heard as Kid Sidekick reached up, and felt the cool handle sending shivers up his spine. With a slight tug, he pulled the door open, and was flooded with a bright light, revealing the chocolate cake within.

"Um," said Erin, "you'll spoil your dinner if you eat that now." Kid Sidekick became suddenly aware of that the refridgerator light wasn't the only light to come on in this room. He muttered "Drat!" quietly.

"Have you decided which group you wanted to go with?" Erin continued, as she pulled out the Quart of Tuscon Milk, and poured two glasses. "Why don't you come with us back to Tucson, it'll be much better than the 'research' team." Getting a step stool, Erin pulled out a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies. "A few of these won't spoil the meal, and we'll still have the cake for after dinner... like we're supposed to."

Kid Sidekick and Erin dipped their cookies hedonistically. When they were done, Kid Sidekick said to Erin, "Okay, I'm gonna go find S-Guy and tell him we should go back to Tucson. I think he's got some candy in his room anyway." A slim sneer came across Kid Sidekick's lips. Looking devilish, he motioned for Erin to lean in a bit.

Whispering softly, Kid Sidekick giggled, "I wonder if he found the grape koolaid I put in his showerhead for April Fool's Day yet? It'll be kewl!" He trotted off merrily, leaving Erin to shake her head disapprovingly.

Title of Post: A Hard Woman To Read
Author: Laura Redish
Characters: Kyria Vesper
Storyline: The Wall


Warp and Fallout watched Kyria uneasily as she passed through the kitchen, whistling something Dalencian and cheery. "Whattaya think, boss?" said Fallout, under his breath. "You figure she must have noticed, right?"

"Hi," said Kyria, waving as she popped back in to grab a fork.

"I mean, she couldn't of slept on it like that, d'you think?

"Well, she doesn't really sleep," said Warp. "I mean, she might not have really looked at the bed too closely--"

"Excuse me," said Kyria, and grabbed some napkins.

"I dunno, boss. I never trust anyone who looks that calm, d'you know what I mean? Do you figure she's plotting some kinda revenge under there?"

"Warp?" She stuck her head back in. "Cream cheese?"

He warped it out of the refrigerator and onto the counter in front of her. She blew him a kiss and ducked back out.

"I mean, what's she up to, boss? Ya gotta help me here!"

"I have no idea," sighed Warp, running his hand through his hair.

Title of Post: Dragon's are the Craziest People!
Author: Jeff Hersh
Characters: Fallout
Storyline: None are great importance

Warp just hung up the phone when the small, purple space dragon landed squarely in the center of all the papers. The papers, obeying the laws of physics, flew everywhere.

"Sorry boss," said Fallout. "Is it ok if I hide with you for the next few hours?"

"What did you do know?" asked Warp.

"Well it wasn't my fault. I was tired and wanted to take a nap. Well you know how much Kyria loves me. So if figured I would use her bed."

"Uh huh."

"Well I guess I must have had one of *those* dreams and well ... I melted her bed to a hunk of slag. So can I hide here?"

Warp shook his head while laughing. This was going to be amusing.

Title of Post: Don't Superheroes Get To Smash Things When They're Going Nuts?
Author: Douglass Barre
Characters: Warp, Bunny
Storyline: Uh, What Were We Calling It Again?


Warp tossed the paperwork into the air.
"This is stupid," he sighed. "I'm supposed to be building a team, doing all the fun fighting stuff... not sitting in Bunny's office doing all this crappy paperwork!" He spat the last word like it was the name of a supervillain.
Warp sighed, and started flipping through his rolodex.
"Now I know how Silverhammer felt..." he muttered as he dialed the number on the small white card.
The phone rang only once before being picked up.
"Asgard Studios?" the female voice on the other line said. "Ms. O'Reilley's office."
"Yeah, is this..." Warp peered at the handwritten Rolodex card. "Marlee? This is Warp, can I talk to Bunny?"
"Ms. O'Reilley is in a meeting, Mr. Warp."
"Tell her I'm recalling her. Enigma needs her."
There was a pause from the other end of the line. After a moment, Marlee said quietly, "I'll get her. Please hold."
Warp tossed a sharpened pencil into the plasterboard of the ceiling, joining the forest of writing implements he had sent there in the last few hours.
Finally the sound of a phone being picked up came through the line.
"Like hell I am, Warp," Bunny's sharp voice blared in his ear. "I've already got a job, and it's not babysitting superheroes."
"Hi, Bunny," Warp said in the voice of a man who's trying to hide a long outgrown crush. "How are you?"
"Employed. Happily employed. I'm not coming back to be your secretary."
"Come on, Bunny... no one can do this like you... certainly not me. Besides, you owe me one... remember the Subculture incident? I kept you from being a mindless drone for the rest of your life."
"Some save," Bunny sighed. "It'd serve me well working in Hollywood."
"Rog is on board."
"Still no sale."
"Please, Bunny... everyone here's new, and I don't know how to organize things from scratch."
"I'll tell you what," Bunny finally sighed. "And you're going to owe me one from here on in."
"I'm listening."
"I've got an assistant here... she's been an intern, and I was planning on bringing her on full-time. She's smart... smarter than me..."
"Not possible."
"She is. Her name's Phoebe. Phoebe Epimetheus."
Warp slid his shades up over his head. His eyes were wide.
"I thought that would get your attention," Bunny said.
"Would she be willing?" Warp asked.
"I... I think I could talk her into it." Bunny was using her keep-from-smiling voice.
"When can she start?" Warp asked.
"Well, she's obviously got clearance, so it's just a matter of talking to her when she gets in this morning. You do know what time it is, right?"
"I thought you were in a meeting."
"Hollywood, Warp. I was."
"Ah. Right. Um."
Warp wasn't doing well with women today. He felt off-balance, and the understanding of the opposite sex went first.
"I'll give you a call on your comlink when I've talked to her. Can you pick her up?"
Warp laughed. "Does she need me to?"
"Yes. This is an administrative position, you got me? No funny business."
"You're the boss, Bun."
"You wish."
"Look," Warp said. "I might be... well, 'in a meeting', as we call it in the supe biz. But page me anyway, I'll see if I can get away."
"Hey, I caught you guys on the news," Bunny said. "Give my love to Rog."
"If I must."
"And I'll remember that you owe me. You know, that might just be worth the price of admission."
"Thanks, Bunny. Go back to sleep."
Warp hung up the phone, leaned back, and smiled. Now, maybe, he could get back to doing what he actually did well.
Phoebe Epimetheus, huh?

Go on to Enigma Archive 5

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