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 Tales of the Ringbearers mini. This takes place soon after Temporal Conundrum and Beta Testing

Richard Lobinske

Learning A New Trick

Key West, Earth D-316

"You've got plenty of vacation time built up. Go take some, she told me," Agency Hypersphere Supervisor Richard said while thinking about the last conversation with his director. "Get used to things."

The man in his mid-forties lounged on a hammock hanging between two beachside palm trees. Wearing faded, cutoff jeans, a loose t-shirt, prescription sunglasses, and a khaki boonie hat, only his paler skin identified him as a guest at the resort instead of a native.

A young waitress bent down and placed a chilled glass on the table beside him. "Your margarita, sir."

"Thank you," he said picking up the glass and taking a sip of the tart beverage. "That hits the spot."

"Will you need anything else, sir?"

"I'm good."

As the waitress moved on to other tourists at the resort, Richard also thought of why the Director suggested he take some time off.

The Ringmasters' Emissary then stepped in front of Richard. "We cannot give you a ring because of the demands of your personal ethics; therefore, the Council has authorized me to gift you with some ring abilities." She reached out, grasped his hand and they were surrounded by a blue aura. When if faded, she said, "Now, you will have the same warning sense and omnicommuncation of a Ringbearer, as well as being able to create glamours and ambrosia."

"Thank you."

"I have also woken your elemental affinity. I cannot know what that will be, but you will discover that in time. Archangel can tell you what you need to know."

"Okay," Richard said, somewhat uncertain.

He took another drink and rolled a quarter between his fingers. With each turn, he changed it into a different metal: silver, gold, iron, copper, tin, and finally back to the original nickel and copper. "So I have an affinity for metal. I'm sure someone will try to find some great meaning in that."

"Over here! Over here!" a blond-haired girl of about seven called out. She wore a one-piece bathing suit and carried a plastic bucket and scoop.

Her twin, holding a plastic sieve and a small bag, hurried after the first. "I'm coming!"

The first stopped about ten feet away from Richard. She sweetly looked up and said, "We're hunting for buried treasure."

Richard smiled back, nodded and said, "Anything in particular?"

The second girl said, "Spanish pieces of eight. We read that you can find them in the sand."

"Good luck," he said.

Their attention back to the task at hand, the girls started to carefully dig up the beach sand and run it through the sieve. Richard pulled his hat forward and closed his eyes.

After a couple of minutes, a smile grew on his face and he reached over to pick up a small device that looked like a PDA from the table. He entered a few commands on the compact keypad and studied a display.

A woman's voice said, "I hope the girls aren't disturbing you."

Richard shifted to see an attractive woman with wavy, auburn hair. She wore a black, two-piece swimsuit with a scale-like print in gold. She also wore glasses under a wide-brimmed hat.

He said, "Not at all, they're having a good time. They seem to be bright girls."

"Almost scary bright at times," the woman said. She then pointed to a nearby cabana and said, "My husband and I are keeping an eye on them from there, but you know how kids are. If they disturb you, just let us know."

"I'm sure that they won't be a problem."

The woman looked over at the twins. With humor in her voice, she said, "Don't bet on it."

"They can't be any worse than some of the people and places I have to supervise."

The woman chuckled and then pointed to his PDA. "I'm sure." She then shook her head and said, "Sorry. My sister used to be attached to her cell phone. I get a little weird about things like that on vacation."

"No problem. Besides, what I'm doing on it now is for fun, not work."

The woman nodded. "I won't take up any more of your time. And don't be afraid to let me know if the girls cause any trouble."

Richard shrugged. "I promise."

After she left, Richard worked at his computer a little more, studied the displayed image and then set it aside. Deviation from baseline miniscule. Good. I guess it helps to be rich.

Holding back a smirk, he mentally reached out and manipulated two discs of sand directly below where the first girl was digging.

"I found something," she said, bringing up a scoop of sand and placing it on the sieve.

The second girl gently shook it to clear the sand and free two round, black objects. She brushed the loose sand from one and looked closely to see a faint cross pattern centered on the disc of tarnished silver. "Jerica..."

"What is it, Jocelyn?" Jerica said.

Jocelyn brushed sand from the second and found the same. "Oh, my God!"

"What is it!" her sister demanded.

"They're pieces of eight!"

"Get out of here!"


Jerica examined one of the coins and then said, "Oh, my God!"

Jocelyn waved and said, "Mom! Dad! Over here!"

From the cabana, the woman said, "Reese, go check on what your kids are into now."

He said, "Sure, Amy. I'll be right back."

Jerica said, "We've got to show these to Uncle Michael."

"He's going to be so jealous," Jocelyn said.

Richard took a drink from his margarita, pulled his hat over his eyes and settled back to enjoy the cool sea breeze.

Wearing his customary white suit, the Ringbearer Archangel slowly walked over to Richard while watching the activity. "I should've known that I'd find you on this Earth."

From under his hat, Richard said, "Grab a hammock and order a drink. You always complain that you don't get enough time at the beach."

Archangel watched the two girls excitedly talking to their father. "Interesting way to learn how to use your affinity."

"I think I've learned a new trick."

June 2010