The Buro's Critical Shift

By Dan Allard.

[Note: this is tangentially related to Dan's Of Past and Future Joined.]

From a CDCA tech report:

Status as of August 15, 2056:

Our Arcanowave technicians, working alongside their Vivisector counterparts, have completed the manufacture of the first prototype Arcanowave Transformation Unit. Lab test show that the unit sucessfully compresses and converts low-end Arcanowaves into high-end Arcanowaves; coupled with a standard Arcanowave Reinforcer, the ATU is expected to produce Arcanowaves at an excess of 200 Daos in regions where high-end waves are normally supressed. It is unclear what the long term effects on low-end Arcanowaves will be; we recommend further research into this subject.

From an encoded BuroMil transmission, April 1, 2057:


The second stage of operation Theta-2 has been completed. The third A-tower is in place; there is no evidence yet that the operation has been detected. Out.


There has been a communication leak regarding our Southern Hemisphere project. Please eliminate your associated contact points. We can afford to take no more risks at this time. Out.


Affirmed. Out.


From a CDCA memo to BuroMil, June 8, 2057:

Regarding the aforementioned ATUs: our continued testing reveals usage of the ATUs causes mutation events over a wider range than is the norm for typical A-wave equipment. Furthermore, tranformed Arcanowaves appear to be shifted approximately .1468 degrees after reversion to their low-end states; we are continuing to study the effects of this shift on living tissue and Arcanowave equipment. Please use the utmost caution with your handling of this eqipment.

A side note: we have achieved continued success while appling the ATU devices to captured animal-morph specimens (cf. "Transformed Animals, the Study and Practice of Arcanowave Applications: Reversion Processes"). Our studies show a nearly %98 reversion quota when applying the ATU/Wave Amplifier combination to our 1851 era test cases. We expect the ATU field usage to reflect this percentage.

From an encoded BuroMil transmission, November 17, 2057:


Southern Hemisphere project jeapordized. Repeat. Southern Hemisphere project jeapordized. Arcanotower-beta has been neutralized. Many casualties. Request withdrawal of BuroMil units. Repeat. Request withdrawal of BuroMil units. Out.


Request denied. Hold your positions. Withdrawal at this time may further jeapordize project Theta-2. Out.


From a telepathic communication between Homo Omega and Vivisector "Jjugri," July 30, 2057:

Omega: Has Homo Inferior traced the modification to the Wave Transformer device to our team?

Jjugri: Negative. We've convinced the research team that the wave shift is a natural property of the process. I would not be concerned; it will be out of the hands of the CDCA once the Transformer is in the hands of their military leaders, whose intellect is nearly at an animal level.

Omega: And what of the SERU renegade Tsang? Do you expect that his interference may cause a change in our plans? It has recently come to my attention that he has a pair of technicians in his employ.

Jjugri: (pausing) This is news to me. Tsang was talented in the science even for Homo Inferior; with his knowledge, he may be able to set off a dangerous ripple effect in the time stream.

Omega: I will present myself to this Tsang at the first opportunity. I have heard that Agent Deathangel is expected to be employed to eradicate Tsang; I shall attempt to redirect her mission elsewhere.

Inside a posh hotel room, New York City, December 1, 1997:

The Maverick Cop is irritated. It could be three stumps on his left hand that used to be fingers, or it could be giggling Old Master in the lounge chair across the room. Somehow, ever since the minute they got into the hotel room, the Old Master has managed to find a Scooby Doo rerun somewhere on TV.

"Ha ha! Love that Casey Casum! Go Shaggy!"

The Cop takes a swig of scotch from his glass and turns to stare out the window; the Statue of Liberty holds his attention for a few moments, and then his finger-stumps start to itch again. He mumbles something under his breath and starts to gnaw at his stitches again.

The Master turns to him and says, "Listen! A lot of people died going after that Arcanotower. You should be happy you lost only fingers."

The Cop grunts. "I'm not thinking about that. I just don't trust these Lodge characters putting us up in this place. Smells like a setup."

"Nonsense. Just a little show of appreciation for our services. Don't worry, it'll be all Scarf-and-Dagger in no time."

"Cloak-and-Dagger, you idiot."

"Whatever. Just take it easy for a bit. You've got some healing to do."

The Cop takes another swig -- and is overcome with queasiness. He tosses the glass away from him and it bounces off of the carpet, spilling green liquid across the floor. He jams a finger into his mouth in response to his first thought; and takes it out slowly when he has a second. He looks around the room, slowly taking in the oddly grey wallpaper and noticing that most of the art is missing from the walls.

"Old Man," he says, "we just sat through a pretty big Shift."

"And you think I didn't know? There's no more Scooby!"

The Cop frowns, then looks out the window again. It takes him a second to realize what he is looking at.

"Holy shit."

Rising from Bedlows Island, a skyscraper-tall Arcanotower looms mockingly over New York Harbor.

Last modified: June 25th, 1997; please send comments to