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The Book of Ataniel

Enigma Archives (Oct. 1998)

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

Title of Post: By The Way, Hello
Author: Laura Redish
Characters: Sunfighter
Storyline: Sunny Came Home

"Hang in there, Warp," Sunny encouraged her semi-conscious friend, smoothing the tousled hair from his face as Jane tried to keep pressure on his bleeding chest. Penelope whined and tugged at one of Warp's boots.

"Doctor, coming through!" wheezed Aries. "Make way!"

Sunny stroked Warp's forehead and stood out of the sheepman's way to let him heal the fallen hero. She looked out across the ravaged tavern, a little dizzily. "Oh, what a mess," she whispered, sadly.

***

Firebrand was looking for Drew in the post-combat chaos when a tall white woman with strange eyes, her flowing dress soaked with blood, came up beside him and embraced him emotionally. "Oh, Firebrand," she said, "your poor club. Is there anything we can do to help?..."



Title of Post: A Few Panels Of Impassioned Fighting Between Teammates
Author: Laura Redish
Characters: Nightmare, Sunfighter, Manstalker
Storyline: Jiggy Wit It

Which was, of course, when all the windows blew out.

It wasn't that Amy didn't admire Deathshrike. He was an unquestionable evil genius, and his powers were impressive. And if anything, Amy had a weakness for older supervillains.

But the guy's lack of self-control had just completely screwed up Edie's cunning plan.

Amy sighed, casing the club with a villain's practiced eye to see who were superheroes and who were just society folks. Bizarrely enough, the Sunfighter had pulled out what looked like a Celtic lap harp and started some kind of fast, driving music on it. Amy would have suspected this was a weird dream she was having if her mentalist's conditioning wasn't informing her that the music was bolstering Enigma somehow. "I thought she was a healer!" she yelled at Toshi.

"Well, now she's a thrash harpist," said Toshi, and kicked a clubgoer in the crotch.

***

Sunny missed a chord as Roger stabbed Warp through the chest. "Warp!" cried Jane, and ran to him.

Sunny looked at Roger.

There was a crash as Aries went through the wall of the club.

"Kyria," said Roger, tiredly, "don't make this any harder, all right?"

She couldn't see his face through the armor, but she had the idea he was surprised at how barely he managed to get his crystal sword up in time to deflect her headshot.

"Is he dead?" Ninja yelled at Jane. "Cause I could have saved him."

***

Manstalker narrowly kept his grip on his crystal sword.

He was trying to remember the last time someone who was more experienced with swordfighting than he was had been trying to kill him.

It would have been before the last time one of his teammates had been trying to kill him.

Manstalker missed a block and the silver blade bit into the pauldron of his armor with a hissing sound.

***

The Sunfighter staggered to one knee as Ninja struck her violently in the back of the neck. "Dude," he said over her to Manstalker. "Cool spikes."

Manstalker caught Overload reflexively as Gladiatrix' stiletto buried itself in her chest. Kyria was looking up at him, and her eyes were fractured mirrors. "Don't take it personally," he said.

"When you have lost what you did not realize you had," she said, "you will reach for me. Will I be there?"

"Come on!" yelled Pantheon, pulling her kid brother with her towards the door of the club.

"How old will you have to be," she said, "before you stop your believing that those eyes will look down on you that way forever?"

Ninja, Nightmare, and Deathshrike pushed between the bounty hunter and the Sunfighter.

***

"Damn!" yelled Firebrand, looking around his club at the debris and damaged superheroes, as the supervillains retreated into the night. Aries was climbing woozily through a huge hole in one of the walls. "Shit, man, I just had this place redone!"



Title of Post: wait a sec...
Author: ed han
Characters: enigma, nemesis
Storyline: jiggy all over the place

Whirling, Firebrand saw Gladiatrix check Warp's wound. So long as Warp was okay. Hardly the way I saw my debut appearance with the team.

Firebrand launched a series of progressively larger flame blasts at Manstalker and Pantheon, hoping 1) to breach the armor, and 2) catch Pantheon between aspects. Damn it, that armor has to have a weakness somewhere. Let's see, is there a joint that can be fused or a faceplate that can be melted? What about that right shoulder joint?

Firebrand looked around. A brass railing slowly bent to the floor, melted by the residual heat from his volley at Manstalker and Pantheon. A sad sheet of paneling fell to the floor with a crash, and a menu slowly turned to ash in a corner, along with Firebrand's hopes for this place.

That tore it. He increased the power to his damage field, and shouted at the top of his lungs, "HEY!"

People actually paused. Firebrand was pretty impressed with himself. "You, Nemesis: why are you here? Don't you have anything better to do with your time besides scaring the normals? You idiots don't even know me! Why the hell aren't you out taking over the world or some typical bullshit like that?!"

Flat Stanley looked a little sheepish. The remaining civilians looked stunned.

Firebrand hoped and prayed that no one took the easy shot at him, but tried not to let that show.



Title of Post: Actually, properly fitting leather is very comfortable.
Author: S A Rudy
Characters: Gladiatrix, et al.
Storyline: Jiggy all over the place

"Nice costume." Firebrand commented in passing.

Gladiatrix paused suspiciously, searching Firebrand’s expression for sarcasm. Oh, there’s no time for this. "Thank you, it was my mother’s."

Jane nearly lost track of her fight as she saw Manstalker’s blade slide into Warp’s back. "Warp!" She spin-kicked Deathshrike’s staff out of his grip and ran for Warp, without looking back to see how S-Guy was doing with his bramble trick.

Kneeling by Warp’s side, she glared daggers at Manstalker. "You miserable cretin," she hissed at him, not quite sure whether or not she was acting. Muttering something unprintable under her breath, she checked the damage. The cut seemed to have only severed muscle, missing key organs, but this way beyond Jane’s First Aid Merit Badge. What a wonderful time for our team medic to be tripping down memory lane. Where’s Kyria when we need her?

Knowing there was nothing more she could do, Jane stood back up, scanning for a target. Her eyes fell on the blonde bombshell with the annoying smirk. The same one who’d blown up Marc at the art museum. She sent a throwing stiletto two inches off the woman’s heart. Let’s see if that armor’s good for anything but show...



Title of Post: The garden of good & evil
Author: Jonah S Cohen
Characters: Enigma + Nemesis
Storyline: "Jig" (meaning "ass") and "gy" (meaning "kicking")

"Manstalker, you traitor!" shouted Aries, turning, preparing to knock the bounty hunter into the next century. But he found himself unable to stop long enough to rotate. In fact, he was going faster, and faster...

*KA-BAM!!!*

"This place did need more openness," Overload remarked, looking at the huge whole Aries had knocked in the wall. "He oughta be three counties over by the time he stops."

"Hang on, teammie!" S-Guy shouted, tossing a bunch of seeds in the general direction of Deathshrike. "S-istance is here!" In seconds, a dense thicket of vines, saplings and grasses grew up and threatened to engulf the scientist/supervillain.

... then - as tho with a life of their own! - the newly grown foliage turned on its gardner. "Hey! This isn't supposed to, ow!" S-Guy proved unable to stop the power of Demeter.

"Sorry for the distraction, Stalker," Pantheon said. "You were saying?"



Title of Post: Old Friends and Old Enemies
Author: Douglass Barre
Characters: Enigma, Nemesis
Storyline: Adventures in Jiggy

Pantheon frowned as her Aldo Martuli suit went up in flames, leaving only the spandex demitoga that years ago she had the misfortune of thinking looked good.
"I'll take this as an allegience call for you," she sighed to Firebrand. "Minddancer emailed me that you might be turnable. I suppose you wouldn't rather use your powers for more direct gain?"
Firebrand looked at Pantheon like she had a cat on her head. "Are you wack?" he asked. "Who needs crime when I get all this for being a good guy?"
Pantheon nodded. "We all have our own agendae," she shrugged, and lobbed a thunderbolt at the hero.

Warp watched enviously as Gladiatrix fenced with Deathshrike. Man, she's good with that thing. Almost as good as KH. He looked at the taser sword in his hand for a moment, then tossed it aside. Got to stop relying on props, he thought as he opened a warp to the undersea kingdom of Baton-Ur and a pressurized stream of water shot from it, knocking Ninja into a wall.
Now then, he thought, where's the new guy? I want to see how he handles himself.

"Gotcha!" Flat Stanley cried, peeling off of a wall to envelop Kid Sidekick.
"Oh, yuck!" Kid Sidekick cried. "Clammy hands!"
"It's a condition," Stanley frowned, and smeared one palm on the Kid's face.
"Oh, you're really evil!"

So Edie's behind this, Rog thought, taking a step back from the battle. This might be more difficult than I thought.
Manstalker strode forward to where Warp was busy showing off.
"Hey, Warp," he said loudly.
"Not now, 'Stalker," Warp cried. "I think we can take these guys down once and for all right here. Save us the trouble..."
Rog knew Edith Graves better than that. This attack wasn't demonstrative of her power or her planning. Warp had been so bored of late he was underestimating her.
"That's Pantheon," Rog mentioned to Warp. "We've run into each other once or twice."
"So?" Warp said, turning around to pummel Overload with a blast of air.
"So I can't let you stop her."
"Wha--" Warp started, but before he could finish, Manstalker impaled his leader and oft-rival on his crystal sword.
"Edie," he called. "Thought you were dead."
Pantheon looked up. "Thought you wussed out."
"When I saw you alive, I realized that we still had business."
Warp had fallen off of the slick blade to the ground.
"Then let's talk, bounty hunter."



Title of Post: i suppose it did...
Author: ed han
Characters: firebrand, gladiatrix, meg
Storyline: what exactly does jiggy mean, anyway?

"I'll talk to Drew about it," snapped Firebrand. "You must be Gladiatrix. Nice to meet you." Firebrand shot a jet of flame at Deathshrike, and just barely had time to watch Gladiatrix nimbly evade a blow. "Nice costume."

"FB, could you please concentrate on the fight," shouted Meg before darting out the door. "And try not to let them wreck my club!"

"Your club?!?!" But Meg was already out of earshot.

Firebrand wondered idly, in rapid succession, how to get the club declared off-limits, where Drew found Meg, and how uncomfortable leather costumes were.

The air around him crackled with energy as a blast distorted around him. This I am definitely not jiggy wit.



Title of Post: It had to be said...
Author: S A Rudy
Characters: Firebrand, Gladiatrix
Storyline: What exactly does jiggy mean, anyway?

Comments:
"Would someoneplease explain to me why Nemesis is at my club?" complained Firebrand, "I mean, how do the bad guys keep finding us good guys? Do we walk around with telepathic signs that say 'attack us' or omething?"

"No," Gladiatrix pointed out, "But you do have a public relations machine that send out press releases on a regular basis."



Title of Post: you got to *focus*
Author: ed han
Characters: firebrand
Storyline: what exactly does jiggy mean, anyway?

"Would someoneplease explain to me why Nemesis is at my club? I mean, how do the bad guys keep finding us good guys? Do we walk around with telepathic signs that say 'attack us' or something?"

"Firebrand, shut up and fight," spat Manstalker.

Jeez, maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all, Firebrand thought to himself as he leapt up and flamed up. He started evading a few stray blasts and started to take in the situation.

Nobody was hurt by the explosion, thankfully, and Meg already started shepherding civvies out of the building. Firebrand watched as Meg expertly got her staff out of the club first. It seemed that this came naurally to her.

As Firebrand surveyed the quickly deteriorating club, he saw Overload and promptly stopped doing much of anything at all. Wow! Now how in the world do I talk toher?

"Hey, Romeo: catch!" Firebrand turned to look just as a table disintegrated in the nimbus of flame surrounding him.

Okay, serves me right. I gotta stay focused. Shoot the bad guys. Right. Simple.

With that, Firebrand aimed a shot at the floor beneath Pantheon and prayed that she couldn't fly.



Title of Post: something doesn't happen
Author: ed han
Characters: frankie moore
Storyline: purge's gambit

Outside the celebrity's club, on the less glorious side, sat Frankie Moore. Frankie sat in the alleyway, by the service entrance, hoping someone would throw out some more food. It would be the perfect accompaniment to his drink. Anything would go with it. That was the beauty; it was so versatile...

Frankie used to be a cop until his partner was killed in an accident. Supers were fighting and Frankie and Phil took the call. One of them was the psycho Magnum. He took a shot at one of the heroes that went w ld and hit Phil. Phil went down like a sack of potatoes. Frankie, of course, was supposed to be watching his partner's back, but like everyone else, he was watching the fight. Phil got crushed by debris from a crumbling building.

Frankie took another sip of his Night Train. There were things that you learned about yourself when you got to this point. Bad things. Terrible things.

When the chief suspended Frankie, everyone knew the real reason. Frankie knew they knew. He heard the whispers. "Jeez, I can't believe Frankie wasn't watching Phil's back. I thought he was a stand up guy..." Sure, the chief said it was about the booze. They always say that. But the booze ... it never judges you. It never whispers about you when you're not there, or when it thinks you can't hear. It never yells for forgetting an anniversary, or a birthday, or a PTA meeting.

Frankie took another drink. To hell with 'em all. Who needs 'em?

Frankie didn't notice the cool amber light in the shadows as a dark, metallic thing flowed slowly towards him. He didn't particularly notice that the thing was so dark it absorbed the vestiges of light in the alley.

He only sort of noticed when it began to ooze around him.

He noticed when it completely enveloped him.

He panicked when it spoke to him in that sibilant, soothing voice. "So much pain. You do not need to be in pain. I can help take the pain away. I can silence the voices."

Frankie reached out to the voice. Yes, he wanted to cry out. Make it stop! Make Phil stop blaming me! It wasn't my fault! It was the supers! It was their fault! Not mine! Not my fault!

Then there was the explosion, and in a gossamer moment, the thing was gone in a cool amber flash.

Frankie lumbered to his feet slowly, steadying himself against the wall with his free hand. The supers. They wrecked his life, and now they wrecked his salvation. Well, he was gonna show 'em. Frankie Moore was gonna show 'em all.



Title of Post: I guess introductions will have to wait...
Author: S A Rudy
Characters: Gladiatrix
Storyline: What exactly does "jiggy" mean, anyway?

Jane blinked a few times to clear the flashbulb floaters from her eyes. She'd actually considered trying to put together a civvie version of her uniform for the visit, but at the last minute decided that relaxing like that pretty much guaranteed a supervillain. Besides, skimpy leather is always appropriate for clubbing. She had shifted down to a smaller sword and some of her more concealable secondary weapons for PR purposes. No point in coming off too hard-core. She leaned over to Warp. "How much you want to bet that that shot goes out with a press release in under thirty minutes," she whispered.

"I'm surprised they didn't manage to set up live video ..."

Jane pointed at a distraught looking man fighting to pull a video camera out of its packing. "They tried ... We're early." She shook her head and went off to find Firebrand.

Firebrand wasn't tough to spot. Jane walked over and offered her hand. "You must be Firebrand. I'm Gladiatrix."

"Pleased to meet you. So, what do you think of the place?"

Jane searched for the right way to put it. "It's very ..." The rest of her comment was lost in a deafening roar that filled the room and shattered the windows. Before the echoes even had time to subside he had her sword in hand and was scanning the crowd for the source of the trouble. She was going to guess it was the guy by the bar in vaguely occult looking robes who was facing down Aries. She was pretty sure he was one of the art thieves they'd fought before. But if he was here, where was the rest of his team ...



Title of Post: Welcome, heroes...
Author: S A Rudy
Characters: Nemesis
Storyline: Jiggy with it

Comments:
Flat Stanley fidgeted and whined in the line outside of the Hot Spot. "What if they don't let us in ... "

Overload snorted. As if any club in existence wouldn't roll out the red carpet the moment they saw her. Still, Stanley the Geek, besides being underage, was in no way adding to the coolness quotient of the party ...

Pantheon saw the gleam in Kaitlin's eyes. "We are not leaving my brother outside." She applied the wisdom of Athena. "We'll just put you and Ninja in front and the doorman won't even look at the rest of us."

*****

Nemesis placed themselves in position around the club according to the battle plan Pantheon had laid out. They'd had even less trouble than anticipated at the door, as Warp's flashy portal drew everyone's attention.

Deathshrike found his position by the bar and settled in. As he relaxed, something brushed his leg. He looked down and saw an animal sniffing his leg. &quit;Get away from me you mangy cur!" He kicked the animal, who yelp d and shied away.

Aries looked over. "Hey! What are you--"

Deathshrike took one look at the angry seven and a half foot tall woolly behemoth and decided the time for subtlety was over. He pulled his staff out and slammed it one the floor. In the flash of light that ensued, his conservative su t transformed into his supervillain robes. With a vindictive smile, he turned up the frequency on the sonic boom too shatter the windows.

Across the room, Pantheon winced with more than split eardrums. "Great, Shrike, there goes our surprise attack ... "





Go on to Enigma Archive 10



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