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The Echidna (pronounced “eh-kid-nah”)[2] is a powerful being, described as potentially a "young Endbringer". Her eventually intense hatred of the Undersiders directs her to focus primarily on killing the team. She is amazingly destructive, powerful, and hard to stop. She qualifies as a Class-S threat, a category that includes the likes of the Endbringers.

Powers

Echidna consumes tissue and 'evolves' body parts, varying from wolf-like heads to legs. When touched she will vomit a clone of whoever is touching her - with all the powers they may have - that are stronger, violent, and impossible to control. If she maintains contact with the original, she can continuously produce clones. Clones, along with vomit, are her only excretion; she eats only meat and it adds directly to her mass. This ability is a Master/Trump effect where she creates clones that share and sometimes have alternate or even stronger versions of the original's powers.[3][4]

Tattletale considers Echidna to be as strong as Leviathan,[5] who is classified as a Brute 9 to Echidna's Brute 8,[6] and is able to move quite fast despite her size. While seemingly indestructible due to her quick regeneration, she in fact can be killed. Anything cut away from the core of her body will deteriorate and die, while anything left attached to the core will quickly regenerate. This includes her human body that is regrown if cut away and heals if severely damaged. If Echidna's core is destroyed, the rest of her is destroyed as well.[7]

Anyone she touches is absorbed and, if a parahuman, has their powers suppressed,[8] some parahumans take extra punishment before they succumb. The ingested experience vivid hallucinations based on the worst moments of their lives.

Her clones are usually physically tougher than the original, resistant to pain and injury, although this effect seemed to grow weaker as she produced increasing numbers of clones. They vary based on how long she spent creating them - clones which are produced too rapidly are fragile, half-formed and missing body parts, while clones which are held inside too long are more heavily mutated to the point they may have difficulty moving.[9] Even the most human-looking clones are visibly different from the original.

Echidna can also create hostile versions of rats, insects, spiders, and other organisms she encounters; and mutates fungi and bacteria into a form that temporarily debilitates anyone she captures.[10]

She has also developed an extremely unstable temperament, probably as a direct result of her power. Her displacement from Earth Aleph and Simurgh's tampering also contributes to her unstable state.

It is likely that her power was affected by the fact that Echidna was administered only half of a dose of a power elixir; her unstable temperament and monstrous lower body were probably not in the intended spectrum of effects. Oliver, who drank the other half of the dose, may have received the portion of the power intended to moderate and control these effects.

Echidna has a thinker power that interprets people's power through taste or smell, whether they triggered, are a multiple trigger, second or double triggered, or something more, even if they have the potential to have powers.[11] This helps tracking down targets.

History

Echidna is the codename of Noelle Meinhardt, one of the members of the nomadic villain group known as the Travelers. The Travelers are a group of dimensionally displaced teenagers from Earth Aleph, who were dragged into earth Bet during the Simurgh's attack on Madison.

Noelle and the rest of her group found and drank several Cauldron vials that they found in a briefcase, granting each of them powers. However, Noelle and Oliver split one of the vials, each of them drinking half. As a result, they received what are believed to be two halves of the same power - Oliver's appearance gradually adjusts to the local standard of attractiveness, and Noelle became the monster known as Echidna. A common theory is that by splitting the vial, the intended power was broken into two parts, leading to a weaker power and an incredibly unstable power.

Echidna was the main cause of the Travelers nomadic lifestyle, due to her occasional rage states that resulted in dozens of deaths. They arrived in Brockton Bay after fleeing from Boston, enticed by Coil's promises of a way to cure Noelle. Noelle was kept in a secure room, far away from other people, but could communicate via a loudspeaker installed in the room.

She later escaped during Coil's Betrayal of the Undersiders. When the Undersiders retaliated after his attempted murder of Skitter, Noelle's room was unlocked and she was given information that the Undersiders had killed Coil and ruined her chances of getting cured. This resulted in her going into a rage and resulted in the S-Class fight that killed dozens of capes and the near-collapse in the protectorate.

She was finally killed by her former friend Sundancer, incinerating her and several capes still trapped inside of her at the time.

Other Information

The Echidna is the codename for Noelle. A PRT member suggested the name because he had a daughter named Noelle and didn't want the name tainted by a monstrous parahuman. It is implied that this PRT member is the Earth Bet version of Noelle's Earth Aleph father because both of their last names are Meinhardt.

Echidna dies during a Class-S battle with the Protectorate and Brockton Bay villains. Sundancer incinerates her, even though several capes are still trapped inside her body. 

Echidna enters into "rage states," where Noelle is completely out of control while her mutated body rampages. During these rage states, Noelle is unaware of what her body is doing. instead, she is experiencing memories. Noelle often gives her body complete control in exchange for enjoyable memories. While generally gratifying, these visions can occasionally be either unpleasant or unrelated to Noelle.

Physical Appearance

As described from Krouse's point of view, Echidna appeared exactly as Noelle from her pelvis up. Underneath that pelvis was a mass of flesh containing multiple animal heads, limbs and other assorted bits of flesh (smooth dark green, brown and gray flesh as well as raw angry red flesh). The limbs described included forelegs ending in a cross between claw and hoof, a set of tentacles (with assorted exoskeletons) that were able to support her weight, and a gigantic arm and hand with another limb sprouting from the palm. Lower-body heads included a horse sized half-bovine and half-canine head and a half-sprouted head. These would further develop and change before the combined hero and villain forces fought her.[12]

Trivia

  • Echidna was named by fans before being eventually incorporated into the Story proper.[13]

References

  1. Miss Militia nodded. Not much sympathy, but I couldn’t blame her. “Then let’s get things underway. Everyone, please get seated, or find space to stand.”

    [...]

    “Tentative ratings, based on what we know, we have her down as a brute eight, a changer two and a combination of striker and master with a rating of ten.”

    “Too low,” I heard Tattletale murmur. - Excerpt from Queen 18.4
  2. Worm Audiobook pronounciation guide (confirmed by Wildbow)
  3. She’d be a Trump/Master hybrid. - Comment by Wildbow on Cell 22.6
  4. Some of the time, the powers would be different. Most of the time, going by precedent, they were stronger. Trickster was left to wonder how Perdition’s powers had changed. Duration? Range? The amount of time reversed? - Migration 17.8
  5. “She’s as strong as Leviathan, physically,” Tattletale said, “She’s not as tough, based on what I’ve seen. - Queen 18.3
  6. Leviathan does not exceed 10 on the Brute scale - Comment by Wildbow on Extermination 8.5
  7. "The following information has been disseminated, and remains unconfirmed. Echidna is in a rage state. The monster is in control, not the girl. Seventeen capes are currently within her. Her rate of regeneration and production of clones is derived from a central core within her lower body that produces an endless quantity of biological material. A body part severed from the core will die. Destroying the core in entirety will destroy her…"

    Tattletale, I thought. She'd passed on the info she'd gleaned. - Excerpt from Scourge 19.5
  8. [Echidna has] touch-based power/ dampening & absorption - Wildbow on Reddit
  9. Noelle tagged several of the bodies in her internal stomachs, felt flesh constrict tight against them, felt the pre-prepared nuggets of flesh in her gullet forming into close replicas in an instant. Timing was crucial; if she spat them out too soon, they’d be malformed, missing limbs or features. Too late, and there was extra material. - Excerpt from Interlude 18
  10. With that thought, it dawned on me. Noelle absorbed living things, and that apparently extended to bacteria. Where others had bacteria in their digestive systems to help them digest food, Noelle, Echidna, had no need for such. When she absorbed the ambient bacteria and molds from her surroundings, she was storing them, weaponizing them like she did with rats and insects. They were used to debilitate her victims, render them unable to fight back while her clones got the upper hand. - Excerpt from Scourge 19.1
  11. One was the little space-warper, another was a copy of the firebreathing acrobat with the rich smell, and three were copies of the unpowered people she’d absorbed.
    [...]
    Regent might work against this girl in white, but his influence would be too minor in the big picture. His smell was weakest of the three.

    Not that it was really a smell… but she was peculiarly aware of the people with powers, active or otherwise. Each had a texture and a tone and a flavor, something she felt like she could come to understand. She might have said it was taste, might have compared it to when she’d tried wine that one time and tried to see what the wine aficionados looked for when they sampled a vintage. Except the word ‘smell’ worked better, because smell and taste were really very similar and smell worked over distances.

    There was a difference in Skitter, Grue’s and Eidolon’s smells, along with a handful of the other visiting capes. A smell that set them apart from the other parahumans in the same way that the other parahumans were set apart from the people who could have powers but didn’t. An intensity. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
  12. Migration 17.8
  13. Trusting:
    Echidna , mother of monsters ! - First mention in comment on Migration 17.8

Site Navigation

The Travelers
Leader Noelle MeinhardtTrickster
Members BallisticGenesisOliverPerditionSundancer
Echidna
Leader Echidna 
Clones Abhorror Apocrypha Carnie Chitter Ignis Fatuus Scape Witness 
S-Class Threats
Endbringers Behemoth Leviathan The SimurghKhonsuTohuBohu
Groups The Slaughterhouse NineThree BlasphemiesThe Machine ArmyTitans
Parahumans Ash Beast Echidna KhepriNilbogPastor SleeperThe Tower 
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