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The Book of Ataniel

Enigma Archives (October Part 2)

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

Title of Post: What? You Mean You Can't Fly? All Fire Heroes Can Fly!
Author: Douglass Barre
Characters: Warp, Firebrand
Storyline: Second Jiggysis

"Kyria?" Warp asked. "No, she's usually much more..." Wonderful, he thought. "Together. She's an amalgam of six different ancient heroes, to make a long story short."
"No shit? Like Shazam?"
"Uh, well, not exactly."
"So, we don't have to live here or nothin', do we?" Firebrand asked.
"Of course not," Warp laughed. "That's why we have the flying motorcycles."
"Hot damn!" Firebrand grinned. "Wait'll they see me on one of those babies!"



Title of Post: so when do i get to see the flying motorcycles?
Author: ed han
Characters: firebrand, warp
Storyline: second genesis

"Well, I knew it wouldn't be what I had in mind ... I do read comics, after all." Firebrand thought for a moment. "You don't think that Nemesis wrecking my club is gonna change my mind, do you? Of course I want in! Besides, you guys could use my abilities."

"Good. Well, would you like to meet Marc and Fallout?"

"Sure!"

As Firebrand and Warp started down a corridor, Firebrand paused. "Hey, Warp?"

"Yeah?"

"What exactly is Past Life Regression Syndrome? Is this some kind of Shirley MacLaine thing?" Then, more quietly, "And is Sunny always like that?"



Title of Post: The Real Deal
Author: Douglass Barre
Characters: Warp
Storyline: Second Jiggysis

"I'm fine, uh, Sunny," Warp said. It was so weird to hear Kyria sound so... so not together. He wanted to ask Kyria how to best deal with it, but by the nature of the problem that was no longer possible. "Look, I need to talk to Firebrand for a minute... can you go ask Marc and Foxfire to enter an energy signature rundown into the system?"
"Man, do even you know what that's supposed to mean?" Firebrand asked as the bard flitted off.
"Hey, the technobabble's nothing compared to what they use on Star Trek nowadays."
"Look, man, it's not like I'm some fan," Firebrand sighed. "Everyone's watched Star Trek sometime in their life."
"So, anyway," Warp said, ignoring the protest-too-much, "I get the feeling that this whole thing wasn't exactly what you had in mind. Aside from the nightclub incident, which I can do on our insurance, no prob. Do you really want to be on a team? Your agent aside, you showed me some stuff back there, and I think you'd make a good addition to our crew... but only if you want it."




Title of Post: Oh, Yes, One Last Thing About Sunny: Her Incredibly Inept Interactions With The Men In Her Life
Author: Laura Redish
Characters: Sunfighter
Storyline: Jiggy Wit It

"These are my dogs," Sunny was explaining to Firebrand, as they passed through to Enigma Island. "Penelope, and Portnoy."

"Uh, hi," said Firebrand.

"I had a dream about you, once."

"You--did?" Was this a pass?

"Something..." She shook her head, a bit dizzily.

"She's not quite herself," Warp excused her. "She has, uh, Past Life Regression Syndrome."

"I'm glad you're all right," she said shyly to Warp, smiling down at her hand a little bit.



Title of Post: bones, it's perfectly safe...
Author: ed han
Characters: enigma, drew, meg
Storyline: second genesis

Firebrand flamed down, and looked at Sunny quizzically. "I'm sure the club will be all right." She looked at him a bit oddly. Uncertain as to the reason, he continued, "With me around, who needs a sprinkler system," he grinned broadly.

Warp opened a gateway. Firebrand gaped at it a bit suspiciously.

"So, I step through the portal, and we end up ... where," he asked, looking a bit askance.

"Enigma HQ," Warp supplied proudly.

"Hey homes, this portal doesn't do anything weird, like scatter my atoms or some craziness like that, right? I mean, we did get Star Trek in Newark..."

"Uh, no. That would be silly. Just your average, every day, garden variety warp in the time/space continuum."

"Right. And all you guys are jiggy wit this?" He looked at his new teammates, who answered with blank looks. "Uh, okay."

Drew called over, "Hey, Firebrand, I'll give the construction guy and insurance company a call, see what I can arrange." His voice quavered a bit, and he looked a little unnerved, maybe by the flurry of superpowers that were on technicolor display not half a minute ago. He took the paper from the bar, his hands a little jittery.

"Drew, why don't I fix you a drink?" Meg asked. She smirked a little, but Drew was a bit too shaken to notice.

"Yeah ... a drink ... that would be good. How about a martini, extra dry, twist, no olive? And did Gladiatrix say that there's gonna be footage?" Drew seemed to calm down a bit and he took a seat on one of the 2 remaining bar stools. He continued to think aloud about the PR possibilities of this incident, visibly growing more in control.

"Coming right up. FB, I'll take care of the club." Meg began fixing Drew's drink. She didn't seem the least bit perturbed or unsettled. Odd, reflected Firebrand. I should ask her about that some time...

Warp looked at Firebrand as the latter was about to step through. "So, you used to watch Star Trek?"



Title of Post: Clearing up the details
Author: S A Rudy
Characters: Gladiatrix/Enigma
Storyline: Jiggy/Second Genesis

Jane sighed in relief and Warp got up. "Oh, good, I was acting."

"Acting?"

"Well, I recognized the perfect opportunity for infiltration, like we discussed, but that was an awful lot of blood. So, I kind of figured that either it was real, and I should be really upset, or it was a ruse, in which case I should be acting really upset. So I just went with the moment." She turned to Meg. "Actually, I could use some ibuprofen and a glass of water, thanks."

Warp looked concerned. "Are you okay?"

He doesnít need to know Iím not running at 100% "No, itís just, umm --" She gestured vaguely and hoped Warp knew enough about women to jump to the wrong conclusion. She took the little brown pills gratefully from Meg and took them. "Now, before you walk off - is there phone here that hasnít been destroyed?"

"Sure, behind the counter."

Jane held up a finger. "Iíll be just a sec, guys."

*****

"Hi, Ma? ... Ma!, I am not eight anymore. And anyway, Iím not sick, your Ďmother radarí is set too high ... Positive, Ma. And thatís not why Iím calling anyway. Do you remember the name of that guy - he, like, retired and went into construction? ... right ... oh, no, donít tell me one of the broadcast stations got video ... theyíre promising live footage on the 11:00 news? ~sigh~ ... who? Sure, Iíll write it down ... Thanks Ma. I love you. Bye."

*****

Jane came back to the group. "Okay, I have good news and I have bad news." She put a slip of paper on the bar next to Firebrand, in case he was still hot enough to ignite it. "The first name on there is a guy who used to call himself, Iím not kidding, The Bricklayer. Heís like way old now, and heís retired, but he still runs a construction company. Heís a nice guy, and he understands superhero damage. The other name is a contact at an insurance company. Theyíre a little more expensive, but they actually cover stuff like people getting thrown through the walls, paranormal attacks, et cetera."

"Whatís the bad news?"

"A couple bystanders got the fight on tape and weíre going to be on the eleven oíclock news on at least two stations."

"Drew will love it," Firebrand commented. "Free publicity."

Jane shook her head. And what planet did you find him on? "Oh, and you had some questions. This is about some villain team calling themselves Nemesis, who, for whatever reason motivates villains, has decided to mess with us. We met a few of them before. We were hoping to infiltrate them by faking a falling out with Manstalker, and it seems to have worked. The leader is Pantheon, of whom I have heard, but Iíve never met. Although apparently Warp and Manstalker have run across her before. As for introductions, the bug wooly guy is Aries, the redhead is Foxfire, you know me, you know Warp, Manstalkerís the guy who left with Nemesis, those two women are Nova and Pulsar, the kind of spacy harpist is the Sunfighter, Sunny for short, The guy in gray-scale is S-Guy. We left Kid Sidekick at home because we didnít want you to lose you liquor license. Marc and Fallout stayed behind to keep him company." She turned to Warp. "Speaking of home, Warp. Could we?"

"Oh, sure." Warp opened a glowing blue portal and the team began to file through.

Firebrand looked at the hole in space suspiciously. "Is it safe?"

Jane grinned. "Sure, just watch your step on the other end."



Title of Post: something *does* happen
Author: ed han
Characters: frankie
Storyline: purge's gambit

location: not-so-glamorous side of the recently trashed Hot Spot, one day later

Frankie peered down the alleyway from around the corner. They just brought out some garbage again but nothing edible. Emboldened by the stillness and the booze, Frankie crept down the alley into the shadows.

"Hello," he whispered, hoping for an answer.

Frankie was going to make it stop hurting and take his revenge. If this is what it took for a man to find peace in this world, fine. Frankie took another drink.

"Hello," he called out, a little louder this time.

Without warning, a cool amber light flashed in the recesses of the deepest shadows. A thing oozed towards him. Frankie took another shot of courage and stood up straight for the first time in years. "You promised to help stop the pain. Show me."

The thing flowed forward, then drew itself up into an inky replica. "Show me," it said softly.

Frankie took a step closer. "Stop the pain." Not a request, but maybe an order.

The other form rippled softly, as if a child skipped a stone across it. Then it enveloped Frankie with a speed that made him drop the hootch. It shattered on the ground, exploding into a thousand tiny pieces.

* * *

Five minutes later, a tall, dark figure stood over where Frankie had fallen. "The pain ... it's gone." The voice was different.

The head nodded slowly and the soft voice replied, "Of course. Let us begin."

The figure strode purposefully to the back of the alley and buried itself behind some boxes.



Title of Post: okay, well now what?
Author: ed han
Characters: enigma, meg, drew
Storyline: jiggy is as jiggy does

"Could someone please invoke another comic book cliche," moaned Firebrand.

"Quit whining, FB, and start putting out those fires." Meg got up from behind the bar. "Anybody want a drink? The taps are all okay and most of the good stuff was hiding under floorboards."

Drew looked at Meg quizzically. "You put the good stuff under the floorboards?"

"You don't really read comics, do you, Drew?"

"Not really."

"Figured. Genre cliche #2: any time a hero owns something, the bad guys show up and break it up. There isn't too much security in place here: if the bad guys are determined, they'll get in, and it would just cost more."

Firebrand flew over, having soaked up the last of the fire. "Okay, now can someone tell me what this was about? Or shall we do our introductions?"



Title of Post: Good At This Sort Of Thing
Author: Douglass Barre
Characters: Warp
Storyline: Jiggy Is As Jiggy Does

Warp's black eyes weren't closed beneath his sunglasses. They were alert, scanning the scene as his teammates battled to avenge him.
Cool, he thought. They do like me.
After the chaos had settled down and the villains seemed to be gone, he smiled warmly at the crowd gathered above him.
"A little air, please?" he asked with uncharacteristic composure for a man with a sucking chest wound.
The bloodflow stopped, and water started to run from the deep cut, washing away the blood. A moment afterwards, it was followed by a hissing of pressurized air, drying the suit.
"The Bleeding Shore," he said by way of explanation. "It's a dimension rather far removed, but easier to reach since my power got upped."
"You mean--?" Jane started,
"There wasn't time to clue y'all in," Warp said. "Rog and I kind of played it by ear. 'I can't let you stop her' is an old code we used back in the second team. In that instance, it was me who faked the betrayal since Tessa had been corrupted by Subculture, but..." He trailed off.
"Oh, don't keep glaring at me like that. We talked about this, you guys!"
He stood up, wrung out his shirt, and shot a small burst of the Bleeding Shore between his hands.
"I gotta get on the mailing list for our newsletter," Energy Erin sighed. "I still can't follow all these plot twists."



Title of Post: One is the Loneliest Number
Author: Jonah S Cohen
Characters: S-Guy (and S-Guy!)
Storyline: When You've just Had the Jiggy Kicked Out of You

Having one's powers turned against you is a very uncool experience! S-Guy normally was rather cautious with setting things on fire, but Firebrand seemed to be torching the place pretty heavily, and it was his club, so it was probably ok. He breathed on the just-thorns-turned-evil-ones, and when he was unable to scorch the sinister seedlings quickly enough, grew a second head to speed up the process. "Thanks!" said one S-head.

"No problem, buddy!" replied the second S-head. "Your turn to go this time!"

"You got it, chum!" S-head #1 said as it retracted into the hero's neck.

He extinguished the remaining fires with a blast of coldness, then turned to see --- "Warp! Great Scott, boss! what happened to him? Is he ok? I'm type O+ if I'm needed!"

"Manstalker stabbed him and ran off with the villains," Kid Sidekick explained. This was grim indeed, for as S-Guy knew, betrayal from within is one of the most psychodramatic plots a superhero can face.
****

"Thanks, big guy, you can put me down now. Nnngh!" Overload yanked and removed the stilletto from her ribs. It hadn't punctured her skin or costume - but had still gone in a decent ways. The sight of dented Spandex was an odd one. She rubbed the spot that she'd just removed the weapon from. "That's definitely going to leave a mark," she said.

Kaitlin was already looking forward to her next encounter with Enigma.

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