Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged. Original characters and plot copyright Richard J. Lobinske. 2010. Archangel created by Brother Grimace.
A Legion of Lawndale Heroes and Corps of Ringbearers mini. This takes place immediately after Brother Grimace's LLH Special – No One Is To Blame and soon after Richard Lobinske's Temporal Conundrum.

Richard Lobinske

Beta Testing

Archangel always enjoyed visiting the Earth designated as D-29 because it was so quiet. One of the earliest realities discovered by the Corps of Ringbearers, in over a thousand years, nothing had ever happened to it. It was so quiet that Whisperer Ringbearers considered it a vacation assignment.

Often, it was used that way. Ringbearers that had survived particularly stressful missions were sent here for their first assignment after needed R&R on the Ringbearer headquarters world of Nova Valdris.

Archangel strolled down a sidewalk in Boston, unnoticed by the other pedestrians because of the 'glamour' his Defender Ring had cast around him. In his right hand was something he was surprised to carry: one of the handheld computers issued by The Agency to its field operatives.

His friend Richard's words came to his memory.

"I know you can detect temporal incursions with great accuracy," he said. "This will allow you to fine-tune your scans. That, and it will let you know how things will proceed for a given entity or location."

"A precognitive computer?" Archangel asked.

"Yes and no. It doesn't predict the future, it records it."

"This is going to be one of those explanations that makes my head hurt, isn't it?"

"In simplest terms, the past and the future are the same, only mirror images going in different directions from the unit. The computer simply records both."

"That's useful."

"And, it can make probability projections of possible actions."

Archangel smiled, "So that's how you can do what you need to do with minimal interference."

"Exactly. I think you'll find it useful and I've convinced my boss of the same. Why don't you take it out for a test drive?"

Looking at the device, Archangel said, "It feels more like beta testing."

Archangel let the memory drift away as he locked the unit onto different people, and let the computer do its work. After a couple of hours, he became bored with people and started to test it on other things, such as inanimate objects and small animals.

With a measure of surprise, the Ringbearer found that his tests had led him to the campus of Boston Fine Arts College. "I wonder," he said, as he began looking among the shrubs and bushes on campus.

Half an hour later, he spotted two kittens playing, racing around a hedge surrounding the administration building. One was a tortoiseshell, and the other black with white paws and nose.

"Found them," Archangel said. "Let's take a look."

Two lines appeared on the screen of the hand computer, with streams of data scrolling beside each. However, each went only a short distance - before ending in a red dot that Archangel saw was fifteen minutes from that moment. Frowning, Archangel entered the 'enhance' command, so that he could examine the terminus of each line in greater detail. .

The red sports car was all he needed to see, but he watched just to confirm his fears.

"Hmm," Archangel said. He entered another command and followed the single green line. "No detectable deviations resulting from proposed action," he read from the result. "Good."

He switched monitored worlds on the display and entered another command. Satisfied that the result of his proposed change was acceptable to him, even if they were not exactly up to Agency standards, Archangel smiled and made up his mind.

"Hello," he said as he walked up to the kittens, using his Ring's ability to be understood.

The kittens stopped and warily watched him.

"How would you like a nice, new home with a young lady who will adore you? You'll be much warmer and safer."

Feeling oddly trusting, the kittens meowed their agreement.

"I was hoping you'd say that," Archangel said. "Now for some names that your new human can call you." To the black cat, he said, "Bump, as in a bump in the night."

Bump meowed acceptance, surprised at the closeness to her true name.

"And you are Sissy," Archangel said to the other. "Since that's what Bump calls you anyway."

Sissy meowed her affirmative.

"Then you need to be on your way." Archangel opened an inter-dimensional portal next to them. "Just step through and wait by the bench. She'll be there in a moment."

Escaping to the gardens near the Legion Tower, Daria Morgendorffer grumbled, "What was I thinking when I agreed to this? Leadership is not what it's cracked up to be."

She reached an isolated bench and dropped down upon it, letting the weight of her responsibility fall away for the moment as she willed herself to relax.

Eyes closed, she felt something soft against her right hand. A moment later, she felt something similar rubbing against her left hand. Curious, she opened her eyes and saw a pair of kittens nuzzling her hands.

She gently lifted her hand and started to pet each one. "Hello, there. Are you lost?"

"No," her telepathy sensed from the tortoiseshell kitten, whom she felt should be called Sissy.

"This is our new home," came from the black one, who Daria knew she'd call Bump.

When the kittens crawled onto her lap, Daria closed her eyes again and focused on their purring. "Welcome home," she thought to them.

Flying unseen above, Archangel pocketed the hand computer. "It works."

Thanks to Brother Grimace for beta reading.
April 2010