First seen in the fanfic Lunch Hour In Lawndale, Kyleton Isaiah Armalin, PhD, Col.(U.S.M.C.R.), KCVO is an original character that has appeared in various works in Daria fan fiction. Armalin is best known for his role as the primary nemesis in Brother Grimace's alternate-universe Daria fan fiction-in-progress, It's All About Respect, and as the adviser/primary instructor for the Legion of Lawndale Heroes (created by Roentgen).
Kyle Armalin is unique in that he is one of the first African-American original characters introduced into the Daria universe, as well as being one of a small number of adult characters who have been shown to have equal or even superior intelligence to Daria Morgendorffer.
An African-American man of average/above-average appearance, Kyle Armalin is a man of several occupations. Besides teaching special sociology seminars at high schools and colleges across the country, as well as acting as a ‘psychologist to the stars’, Kyle is also a Special Assignment Officer with DELPHI, a far-reaching covert organ of the United States intelligence community. Kyle has taught the ‘Special Projects in Sociology’ seminar (an annual occurrence that has garnered a certain level of gravitas in the academic community, and which actually serves as a recruiting tool for DELPHI) at Lawndale High for the past six years, during which he has made the acquaintance of many individuals in the community, including Daria, Jane and Trent Lane, and Sandi Griffin.
An older, sadder, wiser (and male) version of Daria, Kyle is more accepting and outgoing with others, as well as capable of being more deceptive and vicious. Kyle experienced a lonely childhood and adolescence in his home town in Ohio, until a dramatic incident at the beginning of his sophomore year in high school (in which he seriously injured over thirty persons) led him to be remanded to the custody of Professor Charles Xavier and his in New York State. Kyle completed his secondary school studies (at the Xavier Institute) with distinction, and also earned an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, which he attended the year after graduation from the Institute. Armalin's legal benefactor in that circumstance was Jim Vitale, now senior partner of the law firm that employs Helen Morgendorffer, then an associate at the "white shoe" New York law firm of Swyne and Dour. Despite Vitale's assistance to Armalin, their relationship is one of icy politesse. Armalin detests Vitale's amoral dealings; Vitale would have preferred that Armalin not attend the Xavier Institute, but was ordered to let him do so by Father Jack. It has also come to light that during the year before attending Annapolis, Kyle was 'employed by unknown parties' at the request of Mr. Vitale. Because of this 'employment', Kyle has roughly $21 million USD in several accounts in overseas accounts. Due to his authorship and work as a therapist, Kyle has achieved millionaire status (he doesn't touch the overseas accounts) but doesn't flaunt it. His only nods to wealth are several VERY nicely tailored suits that were personally tailored by V.L. Riley herself, an excellent collection of rare liquors, and a pair of Kodachi forged by Hattori Hanzō (see The White Blades).
He believes in at least trying to maintain his relationships and friendships. He was once married to one Lillian Armalin (née Connarubbias) during his time as a P.O.G.O. team leader, and they divorced after roughly two years of marriage; this was one of three marriages he was in. Armalin has had an especially unpleasant relationship with Major General Robert Bakeson (a now-deceased former DELPHI official who acted to keep him from being nominated for the Medal of Honor out of prejudicial tendencies which led to his dismissal from the position as Deputy Director of DELPHI). Since he has settled in Lawndale, he has had to work in order to avoid the constant and very direct advances of Michelle Landon, the new Mayor (who occupied the position after Andrew Landon resigned).
NOTE: The primary characterization of Kyle Armalin is that of the Armalin of the mainstream and Daylight LLH universe (but contains essential information pertaining to the Armalin depicted in Lunch Hour In Lawndale and It's All About Respect. It should be noted that (unless specifically noted otherwise) all information in this entry should be considered to represent the Armalin of 'D-247' (the Legion of Lawndale Heroes universe). (Example: the Armalin of It's All About Respect/Lunch Hour In Lawndale has maintained a friendship with Erin Danielson, who he had a previously intense romantic relationship with that nearly ended in marriage, and with Dr. Hanley Phillips, who he served with in the Paranormal Oriented Global Operations (P.O.G.O.) teams – the special operations units that are the active paramilitary arm of DELPHI. It is unknown if the Armalin of LLH also shares these relationships.)
Other biographical information
Full Name: Kyleton Isaiah Armalin
Occupation: Teacher, celebrity psychologist, covert intelligence specialist/recruiter
Identity: Publicly known, but the general public is unaware of Kyle’s intelligence activities
Legal Status: U.S. Citizen
Other Aliases: "Alpha Four," "Nightbreed", "Vlad"
Former Aliases: POGO Four/One
Place of Birth: Fort Christian, Ohio
Marital Status: Divorced (three times)
Known Relatives: None (a father and brothers have been mentioned)
Group Affiliation(s): DELPHI Special Assignments Division officer (former group leader, Para/Military Oriented Global Operations Command - 'POGO'), U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Special Advisory Liaison to the Legion.
Current military rank/MOS: Colonel; 9965 (Fixed-Wing Pilot). Also has a secondary MOS of 0317 (Scout Sniper); this was his primary MOS during his time as a DELPHI POGO Group member).
Eye color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Powers: Kyle Armalin possesses the following abilities:
Vampiric Mimicry: Kyle possesses a number of metahuman abilities usually attributed to the classical literary beings known as ‘vampires’ – or more specifically, to the vampiric variant known as ‘daywalkers.’ Those abilities are as follows:
Enhanced Strength: Kyle can lift up to twenty tons.
Enhanced Speed: Kyle can move at speeds of up to 800 MPH (slightly above Mach 1) until he begins to tire, or instantly achieve short bursts of hypersonic speed (up to 4000 MPH - slightly faster than Mach 5, which he uses to simulate teleportation). He cannot move at the higher speeds for longer than thirty seconds and simply stops from exhaustion if he attempts to do so.
Enhanced Senses: Each of Kyle’s five senses is far superior to any normal human.
Protected Senses: Kyle has the ability to resist sensory overload that would incapacitate a normal human or most metahumans, such as sonic blasts or the sound of an explosion, the flash of a nuclear weapon, etc.
Resistance to Fire/Heat: Kyle possesses an amazing resistance to fire, heat, and the resulting effects (smoke, etc.) He can walk though the flames of a major forest fire without harm.
Resistance to Radiation: Kyle also possesses an amazing resistance to radiation (including UV radiation).
Accelerated Healing and Recovery: Kyle possesses the ability to heal from injury and disease. Kyle can completely recover from any non-fatal wound within twenty-four hours, and resist the effects of any known disease (in severe cases, he lapses into a catatonic state as his body purges itself of the disease/biological agent and repairs itself).
Reduced Aging: Kyle possesses this power and now ages very slowly (at 1/50th normal human rate).
Invisibility to Machines: Kyle has the ability to render himself invisible to any form of detection through mechanical or technological means (even through secondary means such as mirrors). When he uses this ability, he can only be seen by the naked eye.
Hyper-Leaping: Kyle possesses the ability to can leap up to 200 feet up or across an area (from a standing position), or down from heights of up to 400 feet without injury.
Hypnosis: Kyle has the ability to place a person under his hypnotic control. Through eye contact or his voice, Kyle can affect and have as many persons under his control as he wishes for the duration of his control (up to 24 hours); however, the persons must be in his presence (at least within the sound of his voice). He primarily uses this ability to hypnotize persons into forgetting things that they’ve seen, or to place post-hypnotic suggestions. When Kyle uses this ability, his eyes take on a nonreflective black appearance.
Fangs and Claws: Kyle can extend his incisors, toenails and fingernails, and can use them to do slashing damage against opposition. By extending his nails, Kyle can climb walls and other surfaces. Against beings of mystical origin or with weaknesses to magic, his fangs and claws do twice the damage as against normal beings.
Resist Domination: Kyle has the ability to resist attempts to exert psionic and biophysical control over him (this includes passive attempts such as Sensory Link; he will always know that someone is trying to access his senses and attempt to resist the link). If Kyle experiences an attempt to control him by someone who has attempted to control previously, the person’s attempt is dramatically lowered.
Homeostasis/Self-Sustenance: Kyle has the ability to control his body temperature, the resultant effects of temperature and the need for life-sustaining materials upon his body. Because of this, Kyle can exist in any hazardous environment (icy waters, arid deserts, arctic plains, monsoon-swept areas, hard vacuum, etc.) for extended periods without risking the detrimental effects of exposure. In addition, Kyle possesses a virtual invisibility to all heat-related detection and tracking devices, as he can simply stop radiating heat from his body.
Molecular Control: Kyle has the ability to temporarily transform his physical form from solid to gaseous form. He cannot remain in this form for more than several hours before reverting to normal. In this form, Kyle can travel at speeds of roughly seventy MPH, or cover a radius of roughly 270 feet in ‘fog’. During his trip to the United States Academy of Extranormal Studies, Kyle learned how to use his power to make his physical form 'ultra-dense', allowing him to greatly enhance his resistance to harm (temporarily), and shrink to a height of several micrometers. (While minaturized, Kyle can control his weight, allowing him to strike targets with his full weight and strength forhigh levels of damage.)
Animal Affinity: Kyle has a natural affinity with specific animals traditionally classified as ‘dark’ – wolves, rats, cats, snakes, and so forth. They will not attack him unless under the control of another, and seem to have a natural rapport with Kyle that allows him to speak with and understand them.
Levitation: Due to his encounter with Black Majesty, the psychological block that hampered Kyle's ability to increase his flight speed has been removed. He can levitate for as long as he chooses, or now fly at speeds of up to 4000 MPH (Mach 5+) for a period of just over twelve hours. As a side effect of this, his outer skin is somewhat more durable than average.
Power Boost: Kyle can increase his power to a frightening extent by an act of concentration, or through experiencing severe emotional states such as extreme rage. The power boost lasts from ten minutes to just over one hour; after he has 'vamped out' and regains his normal form, he needs to rest for an extended period of time, as the physical stresses can tire him out greatly. This is an ability unique to Kyle alone. No other Nightbreed possesses this ability.
When Kyle engages a boosting of his power levels:
- his strength increases (he can lift over 100 tons)
- his speed doubles (he can move at Mach 10, and leave the Earth's atmosphere on his own)
- he has no limitations on his speed (his speed increase can apply to running or flight)
- his leaping ability increases tenfold
- his healing ability also increases (he cannot be stopped by traditional firearms and edged weapons below the power of a 25MM round).
- He is totally invulnerable to the effects of heat, fire and radiation.
- he can exert total control over 'dark'-affiliated creatures and make them follow his bidding without hesitation.
- his claws and fangs are capable of wounding any mythical or supernatural creature, regardless of power level or origin. He has been shown to even damage the forcefields generated by Defender Rings while in this state.
When boosting his power levels, Kyle's facial features contort to resemble that of a traditional 'vampire'; his eyes take on a totally black appearance, his fangs and claws are fully extended, and he is far more vicious and unrestrained in the use of his powers. He is also effectively invulnerable to any mental-based powers and forms of mind control.
Power Creation: Due to procedures performed upon him by Project Nightbreed, Kyle has the ability to secrete a solution in his saliva and blood that acts as a mutagenic agent when it enters the bloodstream of another person, giving that person abilities equivalent to his own, but at somewhat lower levels. The process takes up to twenty-four hours to fully reconfigure the subject’s genetic structure; however, if the subject also receives a direct transfusion of blood from Kyle, the power levels generated will be at significantly higher levels and take far less time to manifest.
Telepathy: It has recently been revealed that Kyle, at one time, possessed the psionic power of telepathy. No details are available (at this time) as to the nature or level of his former ability, except that he apparently chose to voluntarily have this power renoved or supressed. In addition, as none of the known members of Project Nightbreed who gained their powers fron him have ever exhibited telepathic powers (as they have all of his other abilities), this suggests that the manner in which his power was supressed affected his genetic structure in a very specific fashion.
This could also have explained the psychological block that Kyle had before his encounter with Black Majesty, which had kept him from using his power of hyperspeed flight/levitation (a power which all other Nightbreed gaining their powers from him have). In Legion of Lawndale Heroes 12.7 (Behind Blue Eyes), it is suggested that Kyle's telepathic power has returned (and he has had it since LLH 11.7) - and that he once possessed psi-powers far more powerful than could be imagined, which led directly to his current abilities. (The events of the LLH 'Mini' 'Eclipse' and LLH 13.8 have confirmed that Armalin has regained his telepathic ability.)
Kyle has many contacts within the U.S. military, particularly within the U.S. Marine Corps, and the secret organization known as DELPHI, which he works for. He can also ask for help from his old flame Erin Danielson-Chambers, a wealthy socialite and author of best-selling children books. As a ‘celebrity psychologist’, he has made inroads with many of the movers and shakers within the society circles in many major cities, and can nose around for information.
Kyle has received the following military honors and awards:
- Navy Cross (awarded in lieu of the Medal of Honor because of internal politics)
- Naval Astronaut Badge
- Legion of Merit (Legionnaires' Degree)
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- Defense Superior Service Medal (awarded after acting as Legion Advisor; later upgraded to the Navy Distinguished Service Medal)
- Navy and Marine Corps Medal
- National Defense Service Medal (awarded twice)
- Armed Forces Service Medal (2 stars)
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal(2 stars)
- Fleet Marine Force Ribbon(with Combat Operations Insignia)
- Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (for his work as Legion Advisor)
- Fleet Marine Force Qualified Officer Insignia
- Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal (4 stars)
- Kosovo Campaign Medal
- Arctic Service Ribbon
- Antarctica Service Medal (with bronze Wintered Over Device)
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (4 stars)
- Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
- Presidential Unit Citation (awarded for P.O.G.O. operations)
- Global War On Terrorism Service Medal
- Purple Heart(2 stars)
- Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon
- Humanitarian Service Medal
- United Nations Medal
Foreign awards for valor/service
- Royal Victorian Order (Knight Commander) - Great Britain (honorary)
- Order of Javotte - Federated Republic of Nova Valdris
- Meritorious Service Cross, Military Division - Canada
- Kuwait Liberation Medal - Saudi Arabia
- Kuwait Liberation Medal - Kuwait
(Note: Kyle is authorized to wear his foreign-service medals upon his uniform.)
- Kyle is a very big fan of root beer.
- Kyle has been involved in martial arts since he was eleven years old, gaining his black belt in Isshinryu Karate and a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do in just under a year. He is also highly skilled in Ninjitsu and Kendo, and is especially proficient with edged weapons. Kyle has a preference for machetes and short swords, particularly the Kodachi.
- Kyle attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where he held a double major (engineering and psychology) and was sixth in his graduating class with an overall GPA of 3.87. After being recruited into DELPHI, he attended George Mason University, where he received a Master’s Degree in sociology (graduating with highest honors) and a Ph.D in psychology.
- Kyle’s doctoral thesis was entitled Culling The Herd - The Psychological and Socio-Political Effects, Moral Considerations and Legal Ramifications of Median- and Long-Term Human Engineering Within Closed and Isolated Social Constructs. After being published, ‘Culling The Herd’ became a best-seller, reaching #4 on the New York Times Best-Seller list. His Master's thesis was entitled The Brightest Light and The Darkest Shadow: A Comprehensive Examination on Morality and Law from the Metahuman Viewpoint. The thesis was immediately classified by the U.S. Government, but it is considered required reading for all metahuman operatives working with U.S. interests (who can ecieve a copy from authorized sources.) It was only after his Master's thesis was reviewed by DELPHI administrators that Kyle was approached for consideration of Alpha Nightbreed status (he was considered only viable for P.O.G.O. operations beforehand). It was also because of his theses that Kyle (after returning from Operation Desert Storm) was selected to act as a Special Presidential Fellow on Military Affairs who personally briefed the Commander-in-Chief on metahuman operations - although he played it down to others by referring to himself as a 'briefing officer'. He served in that post for one year before returning to DELPHI and being placed in the Special Assignments Division, where he was tasked with the delicate task of recruiting new operatives.
- During his time at Annapolis, Kyle was a member of the Academy football team (second string). He played defensive tackle, and scored five sacks during an ‘Army-Navy’ game. He was approached by a number of NFL franchises just after his time at Annapolis, and immediately after he completed flight training, but refused every offer.
- As a Marine aviator, Kyle flew F/A-18 combat aircraft for 18 months aboard the USS Emancipator (as a member of VMFA(AW)-387, also known as ‘the Black Sabers’). He has retained his current flight status; according to his file, he is currently qualified in the F/A-18 Hornet, AV-8B Harrier II, EA-6B Prowler, and CH-53E Super Stallion (due to his POGO duties). During his time in POGO, Kyle trained on the SR-71 (several were kept from retirement for special covert recon activities); during a flight to test a SR-71 variant using twin pulse detonation engines for propulsion, he took the SR-71 to a height of more than 100 kilometers, and was subsequently awarded astronaut wings. (The mission was officially classified as a failed test, but because of his 'handling of the situation and ability to recover the craft under extreme circumstances that a lesser pilot could not have effectively dealt with', he was awarded the wings and the Distinguished Flying Cross.)
- Kyle's 'call-sign' (his identifier during flight operations} was 'Vlad'. This was because his genetalia had been dubbed 'The Impaler' by his fellow pilots after he had won the Porterhouse Challenge during his very first shore leave aboard USS Emancipator.
- Due to his POGO training and activities, Kyle is an expert at survival in many environments, and has been trained to resist interrogation and psionic attack.
- As a POGO team leader, Kyle has seen action in several major U.S. military actions including Kosovo, Liberia, Operation Enduring Freedom - Phillipines and the Persian Gulf War, as well as engaging in covert actions in places such as the Arctic Circle, Antarctica, South America (particularly in Brazil, Chile - in the Andes Mountains - and Bolivia), Micronesia, Afganistan, Siberia, Tibet, and the Korean DMZ.
- On a POGO operation during the Persian Gulf War (officially known as Operation Desert Storm), Kyle acted to save the lives of hundreds of coalition servicemen by single-handedly destroying six enemy helicopters that had ambushed a troop convoy and destroyed their armored escort. He did this by engaging the hostiles from his exposed recon blind with a bolt-action .50 caliber sniper rifle even after coming under heavy chain-gun and rocket fire. Due to internal politics instigated by General Robert Bakeson, Kyle's involvement in the incident was effectively hushed up for sixteen years; even after a direct request from Her Majesty's Government in 1999 on the identity of the serviceman who had saved so many British lives, they were only informed that the person in question was a Marine officer. (From that point on, many U.K. drinking establishments enacted a policy of giving all U.S. Marines their first drink free in honor of 'the unnamed Marine who save so many lads'.) In 2007, because of an investigation by 'Box 850' that revealed the details of his involvement in the attack on the British convoy and the resultant political pressure brought to bear on Washington and the Pentagon by the Crown itself, Kyle was awarded the Navy Cross instead of the Medal of Honor. (again, because of General Bakeson's influence. In response, the British Monarch traveled personally to Washington, D.C. to attend the ceremony where he was awarded his Navy Cross (and promoted to the rank of full Colonel). At that ceremony, the British Monarch (which several other members of the British Royal Family also attended) appointed him an Honorary Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, as two-thirds of the men saved by Kyle’s action were Royal Marines. (In the eyes of the British Government and the 'subjects of the Crown', however, the word 'honorary' does not apply, and he is addressed by British nationals as 'Sir Kyleton'.)
- While recruiting for DELPHI as a member of Project Socrates, Kyle had a 96% retention rate – the highest of any recruitment officer. Only three of his recruits left the program, and only one of those because they didn’t want to be involved with the program. Kyle is well-known throughout DELPHI as being unflinchingly loyal to his recruits.
- Upon his activation as a member of the POGO teams, Kyle received a Toro-level security clearance. Upon becoming a Project Socrates operative (and due to his White House duties, for which he has a Yankee White clearance), he received an upgrade to a Christmas-level clearance. Because of his work with the Legion (and clandestine 'Zero Class' seminars with American-trained metahumans), Kyle has been upgraded to a Storm Door clearance (the second highest security clearance DELPHI has).
- Kyle is derisively known through the POGO Program as ‘Major Body Count’, because of his predilection towards the use of overt tactics to unnerve opposing forces, and of wiping out enemy forces to the last man.
- In an eerie coincidence, Kyle's initials are KIA - the military term for 'killed in action'.
- Because he refused to use any methods necessary to keep Trent Lane in the POGO Program, Kyle was court-martialed, 'allowed a voluntary reduction in rank' from full Colonel to Major, forfeited twelve months pay and was transferred to an Arctic Circle listening post for two years. Had he successfully recruited Lane, Kyle would have been promoted to Brigadier General and was the front-runner to become the Chairman of the Department of Defense’s Special Assignments Oversight Committee, which controls the POGO Program (and other military-oriented metahuman projects).
- Kyle is a certified psychologist, and speaks fluent Russian and Klingon.
- In the LLH 'Mini' Eclipse', it was revealed that Kyle has Federal law-enforcement credentials through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (This is part of his duties as a reservist with DELPHI, as he keeps both his DELPHI and Marine Corps certifications and clearances current.) His ID and current status, for Homeland Security purposes, shows that he currently holds the position of Supervisory Special Agent at the rank of 'GLG-30' (Gathering Division, Level Thirty).
The character is most well-known for his appearances in the fanfic series Legion of Lawndale Heroes. Armalin became involved with the Legion when Jane Lane, the current Leader of the Legion, contacted Russell Stark to ask for self-defense training for the Legionnaires. He is currently the head of the training cadre attached to the Legion. He makes his first appearance (as "The Marine") in LLH 7.2 ("Initial Spark"), and is confirmed as Armalin in LLH 8.1 ("Ill Wind").
In 2007 Armalin began appearing in other Daria fanfics, borrowed by other authors as a "heavy artillery" character with classified government ties. His background changes from story to story, sometimes removing his super-powers to make him a highly skilled but otherwise mundane individual, as these are alternate-universe versions of this character. It is unknown if any of these alternate versions of Armalin have met one another or are working together.
Some examples of recent appearances by Kyle Armalin in fanfic include the following.
- "Apocalyptic Daria," by Doggieboy
- "Avenging," by LSauchelli
- "Evil Daria Vignettes," by numerous authors
- "Exchange Students," by NightGoblyn
- "Gimme Skelter," by TAG and Brother Grimace
- "Housing Daria," by LSauchelli
- "It's All About the Mission," by psychotol
- "Swan Song," by NightGoblyn
- "A Yankee Marine in General Lee's Army," by The Sidhe
One notable AU-counterpart of Armalin is found in the Daylight shared-world series; this Armalin is in his late teens, and a member of the family that runs Armalin Armaments. Even though he has chosen to have little to do with the company (or his family), he still owns stock and has access to weaponry and support from the company. He is also implied to be a member of Professor Charles Xavier's collective of students.
Non-powered variant of Kyle Armalin
There are at least two non-powered AU-versions of Kyle in the Daria Multiverse; the first is seen in Legion of Lawndale Heroes Volume Two - 1.2, during the viewing of an alternate reality. In these realities, DELPHI is a Daria multiverse version of SHIELD, and Kyle is the leader of a reinforced cadre within the elite rapid-deployment force known as SABRE (Special Action Battalion-Rapid Engagement), which is the Daria Multiverse equivalent to S.A.F.E..
The Mary Sue Factor?
Soon after Kyle's appearance in "It's All About Respect," there were several mentions on PPMB at to how Kyle was a Mary Sue character; these accusations seemed to be stemming from a number of scenes in 'IAAR' where Kyle was seen in minor confrontations with Daria in which she didn't fare well. The author answered these charges with a posting detailing the shortcomings of the character, after which those claims fell silent. There is, however, a lingering belief that Kyle IS a Mary Sue in that he is a self-insert character that mirrors the author's own fantasies of wish-fulfillment.