[lnh/Acra] The Team Director's Cut #8

Jesse Willey cabbagewielder at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 8 11:30:57 PDT 2004

The Team Director's Cut #8
By Jesse N. Willey

	During my sophomore year in college I took an ethics course.  (I
helped a friend cheat too.  But that is a whole other story.)  Anyway,
we had an in class discussion on the death penalty.   The discussion
somehow got steered toward whether or not it is ethical to kill the
chronically, or even the terminally ill.   Discussion between Rick and
Carolyn was almost word for word the argument of the class.  I gotta
love tape recorders.


The Team #23
A Night in the Darkness Part Seven
Rest for the Weary
By Jesse N. Willey

Alison, Holly, Rick and Amelia entered team headquarters, expecting an
attack by an entire chorus of angels. There was only silence. Fearing
the worst, they ran to the kitchen. What they found was Nick
Starless eating a tuna salad sandwich on rye bread, while Divine sat
knitting a scarf that wouldn't look too out of place on the set of
Doctor Who.

	"We... we heard about what happened.  We would have
been here if we could... but we've both got an
announcement to make," Nick said.
	"Oh?" Alison asked, knowing exactly what it was.
	"I'm pregnant," Divine said.
	"Congratulations!" Holly said.
	"Far from it. If I give birth to the child, my fellow angels will
have to destroy me. Luckily, we have a few days till they attack. I
suggest you use the time to relax... and prepare for the worst,"
Divine said.

	They looked at each other in shock.  This was a lot
to get used to. It was like they had no time to lick
wounds. Rick stared at Amelia. He knew the two of them
had a lot to talk about. He wrapped his arm around

	"They're really gonna come gunning for you?" Holly asked.
	"Of course.... I'm an angel who has defied the will
of God.  In their view, I am much akin to Lucifer," Divine sighed.
	"Not to play Devil's advocate... (pun not intended).... but I always
thought Lucifer was God's secret weapon," Ameila said. "and it was
secretly part of his agenda for Lucifer to fall.  So he would punish
those not worthy of God's light."
	"I've heard the argument before... but now is not the time for
theological debate. Now is time to spend with our loved ones," Divine
said. "Eat drink and be merry. For soon we shall surely die."


	Several minutes later, Rick and Ameila were walking the streets. Rick
looked downward. Ameila was wearing a half smile, with Rick's arm
still around her shoulder. Even after all the death she had seen this
afternoon she couldn't help but feel a bit happy.

	"Rick, there was nothing you can do to save Simon. He killed
people... you shouldn't feel obligated. He admitted it himself.
MacAllen didn't MAKE him do anything.  He just played with feelings of
blind rage that were already there," Amelia said. (See last issue.)
	"Still, I have to prove..." Rick muttered.
	"Prove what? That you're better than him? You know
you are. I know I know that. Does anything else really
	"I- I don't know."
	"So, you're actually going back to her and plea for forgiveness?"
Amelia asked.
	"Yeah. I-it's the only way," Rick replied.
	"Nobody will think any less of you if you don't."
	"Nobody, except me," Rick returned.
	"Then good luck." Amelia turned and grabbed his other shoulder. Rick
looked stunned for a moment... and then they kissed. After a minute,
their lips parted and he flew off into the city.


	Holly was exhausted. She'd called her foster parents and told them
that she was okay, and then she had switched on the TV.  Nothing was
on except the news. The worst part of it was that she was in it. She
knew it was a bit hypocritical, but she hated it when she was on the
news when something bad happened, yet cheered when it was good news.
Her ears twitched when she found a news story that wasn't about her.

	"Scientists at NASA have confirmed the existence of a series of
unexplainable energy wells underneath several major cities worldwide,"
the reporter said.  "Here is Doctor Emil Doritron to discuss the
implications of all this."
	"Thank you for inviting me.  Now, this `energy field' is an
apocryphal term. In fact these unexplainable dimensional pockets
contain no matter or energy of any kind. They are the complete absence
of energy. They have good chance of `leaking' into our plane of
existence," Doctor Doritron said.
	"The effect of this being?" the reporter asked.
	"Unknown.... it could be nothing.  It could wipe out a city, planet,
solar system.... even our entire universe," Doritron replied.  "We
won't know until it's too late."

	Holly hmmphed. Great, just another crisis for The
Team to deal with. The evening news for Sig.ago was full of the
afternoon events at Teenfactor Headquarters and at the high school.
(See Teenfactor: The End for more details) She knew they'd have a lot
to do.  She was hoping that they wouldn't mind bringing her on as a
full time member.

	"Wild stuff, huh?" Nick asked, coming in.
	"I encountered an astrophysicst from out near Vega who had some
interesting theories on a similar phenomenon. I might still have some
info on board The Lollipop," Nick said.  "Wanna help me download the
files into the main computer? It's the only way to run a full
	"Sure," Holly said.

	The two heroes walked down the dark corridors down to the hangar bay.
They had to crawl through the ship to access the main computer. Seeing
as the computer was not of Earth origin, it was millions of times
faster than their headquarters' one. It was easy. It wasn't until they
began to walk back to The Team's control room that they felt anything
out of the ordinary.

	"Hello Nick.  In the old days you tried to help get rid of demigods
and the ilk.  Now I hear you knocked one up....," came an eerie voice.
	"I've been waiting for you, Aranti.   We'll meet near
the abandoned quarry at sun up tomorrow," Nick shouted
at the top of his lungs. "Mano y mano."
	"Agreed..." the eerie voice echoed.
	"Nick, why do I feeling I've come in on the middle
something?" Holly asked.


 	Rick walked through the blown out building that was known as
Teenfactor Headquarters. At first he thought that they might have
moved. No... they wouldn't have.  He knew Carolyn too well. She would
never have move unless the building itself was moved brick by
remaining brick. It wasn't long until the surviving members greeted

	"So, the great and wise Rick Henkerton decides to get off his high
horse and apologize," Carolyn snarled.

	Rick began to think coming here was a bad idea.

	"Actually, no. I need your help," Rick said.
	"Well, big smegging deal!" Carolyn said.  "If you haven't heard, most
of Teenfactor just got slaughtered.  We aren't living in the same
fairyland you and your sewer troops are hanging out in."
	"Look! I've had about enough of that. If you knew what that hell I've
been through today alone, then maybe you'd realize things haven't been
exactly peachy for us either!"
	"Both of you, calm down!" Terrence yelled.

	Rick backed down.  He was a guest.  He had best be polite. If he
wasn't, Simon McGillis might die. He didn't know when, but sometime
down the line Carolyn Forge had become a real bitch. Once they had
been the best of friends. Now they could barely talk to each other.

	"Calm down my ass!" Carolyn said.
	"Allow me," Rick said as he punched Carolyn. She went flying back
twenty feet.  Her neck snapped and she regenerated. "I've got my
powers back... I can keep going like this all day. But Simon might not
be able to."
	"So?  I heard what he did. If we save him, the state will give him
the death penalty anyway. Why bother?" Carolyn replied.
	"Because saving lives is what we do..."
	"Oooh... that's good coming from the guy who put him in hospital in
the first place.." Carolyn growled.
	"So, are you going to help me or not?"
	"Take a guess," Carolyn said.
	"Then I guess I'll turn to the one other person who
MIGHT be able to help me," Rick replied as he flew off.


	Alison and Divine sat in the kitchen. Ever since discovering her true
origin as the daughter of Athena, Alison had thought it weird that she
and Divine hadn't spoken to each other more. After all, Divine was the
daughter of The Judea-Christian God. It was natural that the daughters
of deities would have something in common.

 	"So, you and Nick slept together when....?" Alison asked.
 	"Last night," Divine replied.
 	"And the baby is due..." Alison asked.
 	"Babies... and Friday," Divine said calmly.
 	"Friday?" Alison asked.
 	"It's an angel thing....," Divine replied.

	There was a soft glimmer of light behind Divine. Alison signaled a
telepathic alert. Her visions were never wrong. She knew that if she
wasn't careful, Divine would surely die.

	"No, this an angel thing!" came a distorted voice out of the burst of
light.  An icy fire covered Divine.  The light fired a blast of energy
and the ice, and angel enclosed, shattered.  "There it is done,
father. Angel has killed angel.  I hope you're happy."
	"Haven't you heard of playing possum?" Divine asked as she blasted in
the direction of the light.
	"NOOOOOOOO!" Alison yelled.

	But it was too late.  The Light opened the ground beneath Divine.
Massive mystic fire burst from beneath her feet It grabbed her. It
pulled her downward. Then the hole closed, chopping Divine in half.
She screamed in pain.

	"What?  You survived hearing my voice, when I have not taken flesh?
How? Oh yes.... the Olympus spawn. Your kind have always been a threat
to us... face the wrath of the one true God!" the light said.


	This issue introduced one of the characters people love to hate. 
Andrew Weinstein has been floating inside my head since Late '94.   He
started out as a character in an RPG that my friend ran.  He was a bit
of a Marty Sue.   He then popped in many games I ran and eventually in
some LSH fanfic.
	As I grew, so did he.   I tried to make him a bit less annoying
character and keep all the interesting things about him.   Then I
thought of ditch the hero angle. So, he became the grey line of a man
we know today.


The Team #24
The Night in the Darkness part Eight
Lost Causes
By Jesse N. Willey

	There was a sudden gust of wind at the window.  Doctor Emil Doritron
turned his head. He saw the body of Boy Redundant Lad floating there.
The scientist opened the window and let the young man inside. He knew
the super hero wouldn't be coming here if it weren't for a good
reason, though he didn't know why he felt compelled to help him. That
had been his nephew, the late Jerome Gully's forte.

	"Doctor Doritron.... I need your help in a potentially dangerous
procedure," Rick said.
	"Ah.... so you're finally going to help Ashley with a serious
solution to the McGillis boy's condition.*  It won't do much good now.
The courts will railroad him for his part in the massacre," Doritron
replied. (*See Operation Overlord and last issue for more on Simon
	"Does that matter?  Whether he lives or dies should be up to the
courts to decide. Damn it, you're a doctor!" Rick yelled.
	"Yes, but my specialty is physics. I do hold a few medical degrees
here and there, but I don't practice.  Besides, have you thought of
the damage this could do to you?" Doritron said.
	"Yes, I have," Rick said.
	"I can't help you. But I know someone who can. He's a former student
of mine, a reclusive trillionaire named Andrew Weinstein. He'll help
you.... for a price," Doritron replied calmly.
	"When do I start?" Rick asked.


	As Aranti teleported out of Team Headquarters, Nick and Holly heard a
scream.  They ran toward the conference room. Nick's eyes became
filled with rage.

	In the center of the room was his girlfriend literally torn between
Earth and Hell.  He ignored the light that was closing in on Alison.

	"Bloody bastards!  You killed her!" he yelled.
	"Calm down Nick.  We have to try and save Alison,"
Holly said.
	~Sorry for switching to thought-speak, Olympus Spawn, but I do not
wish to harm the mortals.  They are not at fault here.  This is
strictly a godly matter.~
	<What about the cease fire that the demons, angels and higher order
gods must obey these days?  Does that not apply to you?>
	~Yes and no.  I'm in Angelic Covert Operations.  We can interfere in
the ways of humans, but only subtly.
Besides, this is a case where doing nothing also break our directives,
as your friend Absurd Lass pointed out to us recently.~
	"What are they doing?" Nick asked.
	"I think they're... communicating telepathically,"
Holly said.
	"Should have figured as much," Nick replied.
	<If you can interfere... you must help me.  Those
dimensional anomalies threaten millions of lives...>
	~Yes, I know... but I can not interfere in that... this is HIS
test... of my kind and theirs.~


	The room was brightly lit.  A tall twenty-one year old man sat in a
leather chair. The business suit he wore seemed to contradict his
shaggy-haired appearance. A strawberry blonde woman, who was close to
his age, sat typing at a keyboard. The man was blabbing on about
something, while the young woman continued to type.  Then Boy
Redundant Lad entered the room.

	"Ellie, please send the bill to the to the Government... they do want
their own Alpha Pegasusian battle cruisers after all," the man said.
"And show our guest the door.  Visiting hours are posted on the
	"Security says his cells contain the nanolot H-13...," Ellie replied.
	"The one that was stolen by Monark a year or so ago... interesting--
You owe me several hundred million dollars... or I charge you with
possession of stolen property," Andrew said.
	"What the hell?" Rick asked. "Look, I came for help to cure someone
who had the same disease that I had.  Will you help me or not?"
	"Depends, will you be my corporate Super Hero on pay roll?" Andrew
replied with a snide smile. He knew Boy Redundant Lad had no choice.
	"Andrew?  What are you doing?" Ellie asked.
	"What??  Are you offering me a job?" Boy Redundant
Lad asked.
	"I'd be willing to take your friend's nanotreatments as a freebie,
plus taking some out of your debt, considering the way you've already
protected some of my interests," Andrew said.
	"What do you mean?" BRL asked.
	"That's for me to know... and you not to know,"
Andrew said.
	"What would I be doing?"
	"Salvage operations mostly.... there's an alien craft out in Vegas I
want you to bring back stuff from.  Go.... bring one of your friends.
Just go," Andrew said.
	"You want alien technology?  Why?" Rick asked.
	"It's part of my business.  I analyze, research, reverse engineer and
find uses for alien technology in the home.  Not much of a stretch of
my intellect, but it pays the bills," Andrew said with a half chuckle.
	"Alright, I'll do it, but if I find out you're doing something wrong
with this technology... I'm backing out," Rick grumbled.
	"Agreed.  A man must keep his morals after all...," Andrew said with
a smile.


	Morning,the sun's first rising. The abandoned rock quarry was teeming
with life. There were hundreds more rats than Nick had been expecting.
Of course, that just about summed up his life. It might not have been
the number of rats that bothered him.  It was the smell.  Rats fed on
flesh, blood and death.

	"Come on Aranti..... just get this over with," Nick said.
	"What?  You're not gonna fight? Then why not let me kill you in front
of your friends?" Aranti asked.

	Nick had no answer. In the old days, before he met Divine, he would
have allowed himself to be gored in public in front of dozens of
children if he had gone against Aranti.  He had changed. He turned the
knob on his gauntlets.  His fist hit the pavement with a loud kathoom!
The electric force charred some rats to death.  Aranti waved his hands
and the charge reflected back to Nick.

	"Nrggggh!" Nick grunted.
	"Did you really think you I wouldn't come prepared? You have gotten
soft over the years. What happened to you, Nick my old friend? I was
expecting more of a challenge," Aranti cackled as he snapped phased
plasma handcuffs on Nick, and dragged him back to the ship.


	The base outside of Sig.ago was bustling. The Eggman had his Eggmen
working overtime loading the teleporters. Gasmaster was giving last
minute instructions to some of his new recruits. Grey Phantom was
getting used to his recent death and resurrection. (See Team
Director's Cut #6) Mastermime began raising his non-existent voice.

	"The time has come, the Walrus said to talk of many
things," Gasmaster said flamboyantly. "Today, recruits, we wage a war.
We are going to destroy Earth's only line of defense, and then seize
the mantle of the gods... and remake the world in our image."
	"War?  I don't think I want to do this super villain thing any
more....," said one of the recruits.
	"Don't want to?!  You have no choice," Gasmaster said as he waved a
purple cloud in the young man's face. The young man's discontentment
was instantly replaced with obedience.

	An Eggman entered the room.  He handed Gasmaster a folder. The King
of Cloudweaver open it, and read the contents. He smiled. They were
returning to an old base. One he hadn't seen in years. None of the
Conclave members had been there since Mister Mystery found it, many
years ago.

	"Do we have permission to proceed?" The Eggman said.
	"Yes, 11235, we proceed as soon our man inside The Team reports
back," Gasmaster said.
	"I'M HERE!" came a loud call.
	"Then, 11235, activate the transport. We have a super team to
eliminate," Gasmaster ordered.


	Everyone at Team headquarters was silent.  Most were still in shock
from Divine's death the night before.  Too much had happened to them
lately. First two friends, Greptile and SPLoTch!, had left without
saying goodbye, followed by Patient Zero and Absurd Lass's unexplained
absence.  Then there was the high school massacre.  Now this... Nobody
could shake the feeling that worse was still yet to come.

	"Hard to believe she's gone," Holly said, to break the hours of
	"Yeah....  I wish.... I wish was Sky was here,"
Alison said.
	"He sure has been gone a while... of course he always has been
uncomfortable around me.  I guess knowing that some universe he was
born as a woman can be a bit disconcerting," Holly replied with a half
	"I'm sure it's not that..." Alison said. "After I accidentally mind
scanned him, he's been pushing me out."

	There was a loud WHOOSH! as five super villains beamed into the room.
Holly and Alison recognized Gasmaster, Eggman, Conductress and
Mastermime right off the bat.  They struck their standard attack
Then from the behind them, they were struck by a non lethal energy

	"You!  But you're one of us!" Holly yelled.
	"Or so you believed," the man from behind them said.
"So you believed."

Patient Zero and Absurd Lass #5 was a tough issue to write. 
Originally, it was going to be much much longer.   John Fenimore, my
co-writer for most the series, had been planning on doing a more
in-depth origin sequence for Minimalist Lass and The Law.   He never
finished it, so what little he wrote was cut.
   This issue is a pseudo crossover with `A Night In the Darkness'
which is why it was not included in The Team Director's Cut #6.


Previously: Patient Zero angsted about killing people.
Grey Phantom came back from the dead. Brad fell in love with the
idea of odd world-wide nothing pockets. A new villain called Morte
gave Gasmaster and Grey Phantom an odd prophecy of events to come.
The Enobi emissary received orders to destroy the city.

Patient Zero and Absurd Lass #5
Morte Las Vegas Part Two: If You Don't Enobi Now, You Will Never
By Jesse N. Willey

	Boy Redundant Lad flew through the city with the greatest of ease. He
held Mystery in his arms, carrying her along for the ride. He missed
the feeling of flying without wings, but another person's life, even
that of a condemned young man was too high a cost. The sky was calm.
In some ways it was very lonely. He'd always been alone with his
thoughts in the sky. His one wish was that to not be alone. He had
almost forgotten he was carrying someone else, when his thoughts were
interrupted by a pair of lips touching his.

	"Huh? Rick, what was that for?" Amelia asked.

	"I-I'm sorry..." Rick said.

	"For what?" she replied. "I was just surprised is all."

	Rick's mind became clear. He intended to find the piece of Enobi
technology, and then go sight seeing with Amelia. Hopefully this date
wouldn't get interrupted, not like the last one, He had assumed them
going to lunch had been a date.  Now he was sure.

	"Again?" he asked.

	"Keep your mind on the air, Flyboy," she said with a happy smile.

	Mister Weinstein had been `nice' enough to supply them with nanites
so they could merely `borrow' the device's molecular pattern if worst
came to worst. To be frank, Rick didn't like Weinstein one bit. He got
the feeling the businessman was up to something, but he didn't know
what. He'd keep his eyes on him. Just like he'd keep his eyes on
anything that looked unworldly. As they approached the ship, it fired
on them. Rick shrieked, thinking Mystery had to have been hurt. He
might be next to invulnerable, but his friend wasn't. He looked to see
that the wind had blown his cape around her.

	`What's going on?' Rick thought.
	"I have a few theories, ya crazy love birds," came a familiar voice
from behind him.
	"Patient Zero? What are you doing here?" Boy Redundant Lad asked.
	"And don't forget me!" Absurd Lass yelled.
	"It's a long story..." Patient Zero started.


	Several hours earlier, back at The Eaton's Family
Hotel Room, Patient Zero and Absurd Lass gathered their siblings
together. Their former Action League teammate Nihilist was just
hanging around, not really caring where he was.

	"So, aliens are going blow up Las Vegas if we don't do something
about it?" Minimalist Lass remarked as she chewed winter fresh gum.
	"Yep, pretty cool, huh?" Absurd Lass said.
	"Not really... don't you have something less dangerous we can help
with?" Minimalist Lass snapped to her older sister.
	"Don't you see Anne, we've been drafted. I am the embodiment of duty
and justice. I am The Law. Since ignoring draft orders is against the
law, not just legally but in this case, a higher one. I have to help,"
Ishmael said.
	"How you can stand not being able to break the law?"
Patient Zero said.
	"I dunno... how do you stand breaking it?"
	"I don't wish to. But if I wanted to, I could. You are completely
unable to break the law. You have only limited free will. You're a
slave," Patient Zero replied.
	"In much the same way you are a slave to your past choices, desires,
mistakes and regrets. There's not that much difference really," The
Law commented.
	"Me? A slave to my past? Ha! I hate to detract from your last
statement, but I am cursed. Cursed to be free," Samuel snapped.
"You're lucky. You don't quite understand what true freedom is.
Freedom is the power to make decisions and take responsibility to deal
with the consequences..."
	"Oh, this coming from someone whose powers came out of a mind control
experiment," Ishmael quipped sarcastically.
	"Can you two stop philosophizing and get to work saving the planet?"
Nihilist grumbled.

	The ethical argument went on for several minutes, until Absurd Lass
hit Patient Zero over the head. Samuel yelped and stepped back.

	"What was that for?" Patient Zero asked.
	"Well, I know you two. I Kant argue with you" Absurd Lass.
	"And I thought my jokes were bad," Minimalist Lass replied.


	Babs waited in the kitchen. She felt an odd presence all around her.
She left the room. She could still feel it. It was the one thing that
no one could escape. His name is Morte, one of the seven faces of

	"The purification of this city begins now. Starting with the petty
annoyances, the fleas on the hairy back of life," Morte bellowed.
	"I like, know I'm like gonna die, and some junk, but
I'm like totally accepting that fact, like, y'know?" Babs babbled to
	"SMITE!" Morte yelled. Babs' face flashed a very purple shade. She
almost immediately became extremely pale. Her eyes rolled back into
her head.
	"GASP!" Babs was stuck with a permanent condition. It was called


	The streets were vacant. The military jeep quickly carried the heroes
through the streets of Las Vegas. They were given a full briefing en
route. They were ready for just about anything. Anything, that is,
except a half-man, half-cow creature tearing up the street.

	"What the hell?" Absurd Lass asked.
	"HOME! I'm being called home. Let me go home..." the cow creature

	"Look, we didn't come to tally your banana," Absurd Lass replied.
	"Let's get'em!" The Law yelled
	"Wait.." Patient Zero said. 
	Patient Zero jumped between The Law and the creature, so instead of
punching the beast, The Law rammed his super strong fist into Patient
Zero's ribs. He heard a low crack, and Samuel screamed. The creature
jumped behind The Law, preparing to pound the snot out of him.

	"HOME!" the creature yelled as it came to Patient Zero's defense.
	"What the hell do you think you're doing?" The Law asked, bewildered.
	"Don't you see... he just <ungh> wants to go home," Patient Zero
moaned. "The General said to bring any unknown life forms in for
study. I know you follow law, but which law? The `legal law' or
something greater?" Samuel asked.
	"There's a difference?" his brother responded. 

	Then a pod came soaring down. It looked like it had been shot down,
but still in relatively good shape. A series of deep melodious hums
seemed emanated from the inside of the craft. The cow monster ploughed
through the heroes quickly.

	"Quick! Stop him!" Absurd Lass yelled.
	"No! Let him go home," Patient Zero replied.

	 The creature entered the pod. It tried to take off. Nothing
happened. A green handheld gadget blipped. The creature took it, and
beamed up to the ship. Then an audio transmission went off.

	"People of Earth. We came here looking for the secrets of the race
that attempted to colonize our home world in ancient times. For
centuries we believed they had come from Earth. We were wrong. You,
like thousands of other humanoid species we have encountered, are just
another colony race. We are sorry for the trouble," came an annoyed


	"So, what became of the pod?" Rick asked.
	"Nothing. Still there. Why do you need it?" Samuel asked.
	"Can't say right now. Meet you back here soon," Rick
said. "Mystery, you with me?"
	"Uh... yeah," she said politely. 

	Patient Zero raised his eyebrows. He tried not to look so coy. Absurd
Lass looked at Mystery, then at Rick, then back to Mystery.

	"You two an item? About smegging time!" Absurd Lass crowed.
	"What?" Mystery said.
	"Come on, now. You've hinted to him. He's hinted to
you. You've hinted to him that he hinted to you. He's hinted to you
that you hinted to him that he hinted to you..." Absurd Lass chuckled.
"Maybe I'd better just shut up now."


	Several Hours Later... Samuel smiled. It had been too easy. They had
beaten the Enobi too easily both times he had faced them. It made him
wonder the veracity of the stories Nick Starless had told him about
the Enobi being the scourge of the Galaxy. But what happens when they
DO find this colonizing species? What then. Lucky for him, that
wouldn't be his problem.

	"That was fun. You should rejoin the others. We've missed you these
past few days," Rick told the Existential Avenger.
	"Yeah, I've missed you guys too. What about you, Nicole?" Sam said.
	"Of course I've missed the others. Let's go home," she replied.
	"No time like the present... I just got an emergency call from Holly.
We're under attack at headquarters. You three feel like fighting for
your home?" Mystery asked.
	"You mean march like soldiers into an obviously lost cause? Looking
death in the face and spiting his face again?!" Absurd Lass replied.
	"Afraid so."
	"Let's ride!" Absurd Lass yelled


This here is the link text from one of the secrete files.   It ties in
to lots of that happens in The Team #25.   It is also the third
appearance of Autumn `Mystery 2' Gully.   She later became Excess in
Flame Wars VI.


	His name was Fredrick Walker. He had other names....new names. If
only he could remember what they were.  It seemed like a
half remembered dream.  The dream of a madman.  He vaguely remembered
having a son.  A son named..... Jesus Christ.

	"I-- I'm God?" he asked the magnets on his refrigerator.

	It was a good thing his editor couldn't hear him.  It was just what
the tabloid needed, another writer going psycho on them. Not long ago,
one of their reporters got the notion in his head that he was an alien
human hybrid destined to save humanity from genetic stagnation. Now,
here was another postulating that was the almighty.   Fredrick stared
back at the fridge. The alphabet magnets had somehow moved about when
he wasn't looking.    He stared at them in shock. Something was very
wrong with his apartment.

~Yes, you are.~

"The hell?"  Fredrick asked.

	Fredrick stared at the paper. It was another article about the
Sig.ago destruction from next week's paper.   The papers blamed the
parahumans.   Fredrick hated the parahumans.  They didn't fit his
vision of what the world should be. If his fridge was correct, they
aberrations of nature.
	The article also mentioned a child who looked like the statue that
stood in front of the Big Boy's restaurants, who was killed at ground
zero of the explosion.

	"T-that's me?" Fredrick said to himself.  "That's crazy.  I'm the
kid. The kid is dead. I must be going mad."

	Fredrick watched his fridge with anticipation. The old alphabet
magnets faded out of existence, as a new dreadful message appeared.
Letters slowly popped up.

	~Then the madman says God is dead.~

	"So, now you're calling me a madman?  Well, if the
police found out what I know about what Pete did to that Fullman kid
before he shot himself, they might disagree," Fredrick said.

	He sighed as he mentioned his dead brother's name.

	Mark Fullman had been a parahuman.  Fredrick may not have liked
parahumans, but he'd never beat one to death with a street sign. Aside
from the fact that he'd be too afraid of their power, there were moral

~Don't worry about your brother's death.  He was what he was, just as
you are that you are.~

	The last message from the fridge faded quickly.  Fredrick Walker
opened the fridge and got a cold stiff drink. He guzzled down three
beers quickly, but it didn't even give him a buzz.  Which proved what
he already knew.   He was the Divine One.  But the Divine One was
supposed to know everything.  He didn't know anything, so he couldn't
be the Divine One.  But only God could drink three beers in two
minutes and feel nothing.  But he did, so he must be.   The trick, he
thought, was to find out what he didn't know. Then the thought
occurred to him to ask himself what he didn't know.


	Destruction.... At that particular present, it didn't fit his plans.
Of course the difference between the past, present and future was
crap. To get his plans back on track, he put an injured God's
reincarnation in the past.  He knew how to do this.

	He was, after all, the one person who was all people. 
Well... not all people. There was one person who didn't fit.   A
non-person.... an anomaly. That man was himself, The Time Crapper.

	He had manipulated events.  He had allowed Autumn Gully and her
`friend' Zachary Cauldron to hide from the police and attempt to solve
the murder of Marc Fullman.  He had also saved the mystic texts that
had belonged to Jerome Gully, Autumn's cousin.  He had also arranged
for Autumn to gain one more piece of equipment..... one of The Team's
communication cards.

	There had been other machinations he had set in motion. Ones that no
one but he could ever guess the true significance of. An odd
interdimensional energy that could either create or destroy a cosmos.
Oh, how he much he loved to watch people squabble over its possible
meanings on the news.

	"Scientists at NASA have confirmed the existence of a series of
unexplainable energy wells underneath several major cities worldwide,"
the reporter said. "Here is Doctor Emil Doritron to explain the

	"Thank you for inviting me. Now, this `energy field' is an apocryphal
term. In reality these unexplainable dimensional pockets contain no
matter or energy of any kind. They are the complete absence of energy.
They have good chance of `leaking into our plane of existence',"
Doctor Doritron said.


	"It can mean nothing more than the claiming of those cities for the
Judgement Day," said a priest. "May God have mercy on their souls,


	The Time Crapper turned to watch the two people who would bring him
one of his greatest foes. One of the beings capable of defeating him. 
Those who were destined to fail.  They were his children.... and his

	"Ouroboros!" Time Crapper chuckled as if he had never before spoken.


	"So, when are we going to find out what's going on here?" Zachary
asked the woman in front of him.

	He had met her a few days ago, but it seemed a life time.  A lifetime
in which he had learned next to nothing about her.   A name, and not
much else.    She had told him that some sort of supernaturals were
trying to frame him for murder.

	"At this rate never.  I've managed to locate him... but I don't feel
comfortable going in there without someone who is expendable," she

	"Don't look at me," Zachary asked.

	"You're not expendable, at least not yet," Autumn
said, eyeing him up and down.

	She pulled a credit card-sized object out of her pocket.  She looked
up the communication card number she needed and pressed the send
button. The hero known as Anomaly filled the screen. He looked

	"Who is this?!" he yelled angrily.
	"My-- my name is Autumn. Your late friend Jerome Gully was my cousin.
I-I need your help solving his death," she said with a convincing sob.
	"Look... helping Gully was Boy Redundant Lad's forte, not mine.
I...," Sky began.
	"It has to be you..." Autumn said.  "It involves your beginnings....
and your luck."

	Sky looked shocked.   If this woman could be taken for her word, the
answers he had been searching for since he had become a super hero
were finally in his grasp. He put the fact that he didn't even know
her aside.

	"You want my help?   You got it!" Sky said with a half smile.

	Sky followed the two detectives to the apartment. He knocked on the
door. A voice shouted for them to come right on in. A man in a grey
cloak floated in front of them. He put down the coffee mug he had been
holding onto.

	"Who are you?" the three said in unison.
	"Oh hello, my name is The Time Crapper," replied the cloaked man.
	"Yeah... okay.  You're here because???" Sky asked.

	Sky felt odd.  He knew it would end here. All the unanswered
questions in his head. All the doubts as to whether or not he had a
super power. It was reaching the zero hour for the mysteries that had
been holding him back.

	"I'm here so it can begin," The Time Crapper said.
	"So what can begin?" Sky asked.
	"A Crisis... A Day of Judgement if you will. The
Armageddon of 2001 is upon us. Tomorrow, Sig.ago shall see its final
night. It's an invasion by god, heaven and the heart of creation
itself. Ten million people will die.  One Million more will be given a
chance to give mankind a second chance in the coming millennium. It
all starts with one event, dear father," Crapper said.
	"Y-you're my son?" Sky asked.
	"And father," Crapper said putting his arms around
Sky.  "But that's not what's important. The Birthdeath has begun. I'm
going to keep you safe...."

	"Safe from wh---?" Sky managed before he quickly dematerialized.


 I think this issue was the end of an era.   One series of plotlines
came to an end.  A bunch more began to sprout.   While many of the
changes in tone for the book happened before this, this is the issue
where the schism between The Team and the rest of the LNH books really
began.   This is it folks... the one where Sig.ago goes boom, in all its


The Team #25
A Night in The Darkness - The Conclusion.
Death is Not The End.
By Jesse N. Willey

	The traitor had waited a long time for this. He'd had to wait till
their forces were depleted, then wipe them out. It had been the reason
he joined them in the first place... to tear them apart. But why The
Team? Why not Teenfactor? His psychic forecasts had predicted
Teenfactor would no longer be a problem when the time for action was
right. There were only two of them at Team Headquarters tonight, and
only seven of them left. In a matter of seconds there would be even
fewer. He telekinetically held his faux teammates in place.

	"You! But you're one of us!" Holly yelled.

	"Or so you believed," Brain Boy said. "So you believed."

	"I think I know what's going on... I read his LNH file. You've never
been Brain Boy at all, you're his evil twin Brain O!" Alison shouted.

	"Close, but no cigar. I told you... my name is Carter
Darson. I am more than either of them could ever hope of becoming,"
Carter said.

	Carter reached his psychic tendrils into The Nothing, and grabbed the
quasi dimensional pocket. He understood it. Scientists
and philosophers had named it a hundred times over in the past two
millenniums. The Big Crunch, Dark Energy, Oblivion... and too many
others. It had another name. One known only to the non-substance. It
was the Birthdeath.

	Whatever it was, it filled his being. It permeated his soul. It
appeared to him that the world was burning. The power was beyond his
scope to control, but he wanted more. But then he felt her,
the Greek psiwitch, trying to take it from him. Instinctively he
reached out for her telekinetically.

	Alison saw her hand waiver in and out of existence in
the air. It was if tweezers were pulling her body onto the astral
plane molecule by molecule.  Her whole body felt numb.

	"What are you doing to me?" Alison asked as she wobbled up and down.

	"Nothing, compared what I'm going to do to your
friend," Carter said.

	At the point Alison was so spread out on the astral
plane that she lost most of her awareness. She gave the void a strong
push. She hoped to pull herself back together and beat Carter. She
began pounding and pounding.

	"Argggggh!" Carter yelled.

Holly felt the telekinetic arms release her. She ran, only to come
face to face with The Grey Phantom's shiny antiproton axe.

	"Carter! What the hell are you doing? Use too much of
that stuff now, and you'll blow us all out of existence," Grey Phantom

	Carter stared at him and smiled.

	"Shit!" Grey Phantom said. "You're with us now, Lucky Girl."

	"What's the problem... we're in the control room.
We've tripped our old back door program, and regained control. This
place is ours again," Gasmaster said.

	"Our problem, ol' pal, is Carter. He's started his energy feast,"
Grey Phantom said.



	Carter paused his hunt for Holly just for a moment. He
heard his communication card go off. He couldn't let any of the
others think there was a problem, at least not just yet. When Holly
was out of the way... bring them all on. He let himself smile, in an
almost nice looking fashion, and then switched the communications card

	"Yo! Patient Zero! Absurd Lass! What's up?" Brain Boy

	"Can I tell him? Please?? Please?" Absurd Lass asked.

	"We've got an incoming invasion by the Enobi in Las
Vegas," Sam said, ignoring his partner.

	"You never let me tell them anything," Absurd
Lass pouted.

	"Ouch! We kind of have our hands full here. You did
read about the school massacre didn't you?" Brain Boy asked.  (See
Issues #20-#22)

	"No, we've been a bit busy," Patient Zero replied.

	"Well, out of one crisis into another. We'll send
someone when we can. Over and out."


	In the office of Andrew Weinstein, the young
billionaire (or quite possibly trillionaire, depending on who you
asked) sat thinking. If his computers readings on the dimensional
energy pocket were correct, and his vast array alien sensors seemed to
be confirming them, a cosmic event of biblical proportions was about
to take place.

	"Computer begin subspace engine protocol Weinstein
Charlie Bravo," Andrew said to thin air.

	"Security protocol engaged," the computer said with
its normal lack of human feeling.

	The door opened. Ellie, his secretary and life long friend, walked
in. She glared at him with her blue green eyes. It was
almost hypnotic. He admitted, if only to himself, to having been in
love with her in his adolescence, before the accident.

	"Andrew, what are you doing? The whole building is on
level one security lock down!" Ellie asked. "The kids in the daycare
center are panicking."

	"What am I doing?  I'm seeking shelter from the storm," Andrew said.

	"You're scaring me," she whispered.

	"It's happening too soon. I brought Henkerton in as a last ditch
attempt to stop it... but I was too late," Andrew said.  "Luckily,
only a fool doesn't have a back up plan and it has been a long while
since anyone has called me a fool."

	"Andrew, what are you talking about?" Ellie said.

	"The transcosmic event. It's all in those notes I have encoded for
Level X only.... and then written in Enobiese which no human aside
myself is capable of reading," Andrew said. "As for what I'm doing..."

	"Subspace shunt complete... all Weinstein Technologies
buildings connected to Project: Zeta Bravo have been relocated
into preset Perpendicular plane of reality," the computer said.

	"What's this all about?" Ellie asked.

	"I'm sure that will be all be made clear shortly,"
Andrew said. "Now... where's that peperoni pizza I ordered from the
food processor?"


	Emil Doritron returned to his work. The brief visit by
Boy Redundant Lad had distracted him. It made him wonder why he was
doing what he did with his `free time'.

	"Long have I pondered the advice I gave to Rick
Henkerton. I sent the boy to Weinstein's, not for help, but to keep
him out of the way. I've had very little contact with The Dark
Conclave these days, but I still believe in the cause. Their objective
to save
humanity, not from some sort of external evil, but from humanity
itself. Cliched yes, but the truth often becomes cliche. However, in
recent months the war on the `good guys' has become too personal in
the eyes of some of the members. Conductress, Gasmaster and Grey
Phantom have changed the mission... to eliminate their spawn, The Team
Mystery and Duplicator. At least one of their children will be
spared the torment of facing off against their progenitor in a battle
to the death. Weinstein will no doubt con Henkerton into running a
mission for him... and Henkerton can not resist bringing Mystery
with him," Doritron mused.

	(And Emil is right. See Patient Zero and Absurd Lass

	"Hey Emil, I'm locking up," Blanca said.

	"Okay... I'll continue my experiment here tonight...
it's at a rather delicate point," Doritron said.

	Blanca Variel, the medical facilities secretary, did
not suspect a thing. No one alive had ever suspected anything.
Doritron had been certain his nephew Jerome would have figured it out
eventually. Emil had been lucky. The demons had offed poor Jerome at
precisely the right time. Now there was one little trace of his
nephew's legacy to destroy.

To: Augustus at VAGMed.com
From: Doritron at VAGMed.com
Subject: Concerning Autumn Gully

She's not what she seems.  I have come across these
documents of Jerome's. Thought you might be interested. For
Ashley's sake.

Attachment: Gullyjournal40196.doc


	"The Present," The Time Crapper muttered to himself in
a dimensional void. It was the turning point. It would decide the
fate of a universe. Would this batch have what it takes to break the
cycle of time? He so wanted it to end. He turned to face one of his
echoes of the now. A glimpse of what some the heroes on his chessboard
of time were doing.


	"No time like the present... I just got an emergency
call from Holly. We're under attack at headquarters.  You three feel
like fighting for your home?" Mystery asked.

	"You mean march like soldiers into an obviously lost
cause? Look death in the face and spit in it again?!" Absurd Lass

	"Afraid so," Mystery replied.

	"Let's ride!" Absurd Lass yelled.


	"No, I don't think you can do it," The Time Crapper
said, almost sadly. "I don't think you can."

	Then off in the distance, a series of buildings that
had never arrived before, began shimmering in the distance.  A large
`W' was visible from three hundred feet away. The Crapper smiled.

	"Weinstein! Ha ha! The little bugger might be good for
something after all," The Time Crapper muttered with a gruff laugh.

	"Prepare for hyperspace corridor," Boy Redundant
Lad's present echo whispered.


	The corridor opened and Mystery, Boy Redundant Lad,
Patient Zero and Absurd Lass walked through. The Team Headquarters
looked half torn apart. The coffee table and chairs were wrecked
beyond repair.  Absurd Lass looked angry.

	"The invaders smashed the TV!" she screamed. "And
there was a good movie on Cable tonight!"

	"I just know I'm some how I'm gonna take the blame for
this," Patient Zero sighed.

	"Sam! How could you just let this happen?" Absurd Lass snapped.

	"I dunno... I was kinda busy saving the planet from getting blown

	Behind the wrecked control panel, there was a loud
thump. It was almost as if a six foot rat was running behind it. They
heroes turned to see The Dark Conclave's endless attacker, The Eggman
ran out, pointing a blaster at Absurd Lass.

	"Make one move against us, and I'll incinerate her," Eggman laughed.

	"Who is this us?" Absurd Lass said. "I'm spoken for."

	The others stared at her as if she were the stupidest
person on the planet. The knew that somewhere in the complex Eggman
had at least half a dozen of his retractable clones, not to mention
other members of The Dark Conclave.

	"Yo! Eggie!" came Grey Phantom's voice over the comm. system. "Change
of plans. Carter's about to blow his top."


	There was a very low probability that Carter could have taken in so
much of this dark energy without blowing out the entire space/time
continuum. The universe was being held together by luck of one young
woman. Holly Rogers was a very lucky girl. In fact her super human
powers literally made luck.

	"You know how this is going to end. Eventually, you're
gonna reach your breaking point, and I'll win. Why continue this
battle of wills? It's pointless," Carter sneered.

	She didn't answer. It was taking all of her
concentration to contain the anti-existence. She barely even pondered
his words. He wouldn't understand. She fought because she had to.
She'd known it since the day she arrived in this warped version of

	Carter released a psibolt. Holly's mind began to spin.
 He was right. This was the breaking point. Her improbability field
had reached a plateau it had never reached before. One she could not
reach. Someone or something was amping it to one out of 1:

	The universe began to tear itself apart. She felt the
hands of time grabbing her. Removing her from a universe she had
almost learned to call home. She knew he was there. The man who had
all this in motion. The only man truly trying to stop it. His name
was the Time Crapper.


	The Time Crapper stood before Andrew. The young genius
businessman was not afraid.His face appeared to show no emotion
whatsoever. He waved his hand, signalling Ellie to leave. The Crapper
was surprised. He was the type of cosmic being who expected awe at his
mere presence.

	"Coffee, tea, a drink?" Andrew asked.

	"What?" The Time Crapper asked in shock.

	"Alright. Let us skip the pleasantries then. You,
being everyone who does or possibly could exist, with the exception of
Sky Waters and Holly Rogers, know what I know. That there is a way to
limit the range of this destruction to a very small area," Andrew
stated coldly. "The only question that comes to my mind is why would
you need my help."

	The Time Crapper remained silent.

	"That only confirms my suspicions," Andrew said.  "That was much as
you control time, it also controls you. You are the mouse and the
mousetrap. An endless cacophony of infinite upon infinite voices all
torn toward in an infinite number of directions, each pursuing their
own private agendas. You need one voice, one mind, to guide you,
neigh, make the right decisions for you.  In a time of crisis, such as
this, you need a mind of reason. A mind unhindered by
indecision. A mind capable of reasoning in at least five dimensions. 
It's left you with very few choices. So you turned to me."

	"Don't flatter yourself Weinstein. After all, the
reason you aren't hindered by indecision is because you are unhindered
by such things like ethics or morality," Crapper growled.

	"Drastic times call for drastic measures. Certainly
you realize that. You also know that I don't come cheap. I want a few
favors in return."


	"Only buildings and project headquarters that are essential to saving
Sig.ago, before and after the disaster, be located in the city.
Everything else be moved elsewhere," Andrew said with
a wide eyed smile.

	"But... you already had that..." Time Crapper said.

	"Yes but I, unlike you, know how that got to be,"
Andrew snidely remarked. "Secondly, I want you to save the Big Boy's
Kid. He's going to show up at The Team's headquarters very shortly.
Now... in order to limit the damage, you must temporarily raise Holly
Roller's power level."

	"That's what I've always done. That doesn't break the
chain," Crapper said.

	"Listen to the voice of me inside you. You've always known the truth.
It isn't your chain that endangers reality. It is constant attempts to
break it," Andrew said with a gleam in his eye.

	"P-parts of me believe that. Those that I am but am
not don't understand," Crapper remarked.

	"Your Ouroboros is not a curse. It's a blessing.  God
may have decided to let there be light, but you my friend, you decide
whether not the power company shuts it off. You want to quit being
Time Crapper, but you want to world to live to see tomorrow. I know a
way to help. Trust me," Andrew said.

	"I don't know if I can."

	"In the end, you might have to," Andrew whispered.


	Officer Chesterfield arrived home. It had been a rough night. The
mess down at the high school the night before had left him just coming
out of an eighteen hour shift. His reflexes were still quick, but he
needed rest.  He heard a loud fumbling noise from the kitchen, and he
readied his nightstick.

"Don't move!" he yelled.

	He found himself staring down on someone he had met
many times while on the job. The former hero known as The Duplicator.
The question that sprang to Chesterfield's mind was `what the hell was
he doing at my house?'

	"Whoa! Dad. Calm down.... they... they need me out
there tonight," Duplicator responded.

	"Josh? Huh? What?"

	"We'll talk later," Joshua replied.


	It had been a week, and the hero known as Night Knight
had not yet adjusted to the fall of Monark.  He sat pondering it's
meaning in his small Spartan quarters. The other group of heroes had
just arrived out of nowhere to help them to help them topple their
When the evil king's base was going to be destroyed, and Night
Knight's life lost, the one called Brain Boy saved him. (See The Team
#11-13) He had been brought to their world, albeit briefly, and then
returned. It had always seemed a bit too convenient for his taste.

	//Of course it was//

	"Huh?" Night Knight said. "Who's there?"

	//It is I... Brain Boy. I'm using my psionic powers to
reach across space and time to deliver you this simple message. //

	Night Knight's mind began to receive an image. It was
everything. It was nothing. The ability to create or destroy a
universe. Some even thought of it as a micro-universe. It was a
powerful thing. It was a powerless thing.  Night Knight knew it was
his to command and control... or did it command and control him?

	"I... I understand," Night Knight replied.

	The Mystic Might walked out of his room. He walked down the hallway
to the lounge. Kid Saturn sat there eating a doughnut.
Knight Night grimaced.

	"Hey Night Knight! What's up?" Kid Saturn said.

	"Oblivion!" The Knight responded.

	A mystic blast erupted from Knight Night's hands.  He barely missed
Kid Saturn, who went sailing off his chair.  The startled gestalt life
form got up.

	"Knight, that was not funny. You want a game, we'll go to the
training room. But remember, I'm vulnerable to magic," Kid
Saturn said.

	"I know," The Knight replied as another blast burst from his hands.
Kid Saturn's soul was torn from his body and Night
Knight began to drink. "Game over."


	The Duplicator headed towards The Team's headquarters.
Part of him was wondering what the hell he was doing.  After the
Overlord incident, he had sworn he would put his costume on again. He
walked through the park and noticed an old lady sitting on a park
bench.  Three men with long chains were heading toward her. He quickly
hid behind a tree.

	"Alright Granny, hand over all your money!" one of the
men yelled.

	Duplicator hopped out of the tree's shadow. Before he
could say `Not in my town' in a heroic way, a man with shiny golden
helmet, gloves and boots stood in front of the men. The golden
helmeted man faced the palm of his hands toward the hoodlums. He
pressed his thumb inwards creating a compressed force beam that
knocked them the ground. As he tied the crooks up, police sirens
sounded in the
distance. The golden helmeted man jetted off from the scene.

	'Who was that Silent Avenger?' Duplicator thought to himself.


	In a section of heaven, beyond the descriptive capability of mortal
kind, The High Chorus of Angels were preparing for a conference with
God. They were preparing for War. It was the type of decision that
hadn't been made since Lucifer's falling. This war was darker.

	"We cannot go to war there. The Consul of Godly
Entities has declared it off limits!" Michael declared.  "Going behind
God's back would surely get us cast out of Heaven."

	"By Noah's Beard!  Certainly you understand what is at
stake here. If one of us doesn't go down there and help The Team,
there might not be a Heaven to get cast out of. This is the time of
prophecy. I am speaking of the Armageddon. The end of all things," a
cloaked figure said.

	"Jesus, do you have to be so melodramatic?" Michael snapped.

	"Yes, I do," the cloaked figure said. "And if you
refuse to help me, I'll take up audience with my father. I'm sure

	"That's always the way with you. `Look, it's Satan in
disguise. Daddy, Help me!' or `I'm getting crucified. Daddy, help me!"
Michael chuckled.

	Jesus walked left the room, into God's personal chamber.

	"Father? Father? Where are You?" he asked.


	Reality unwove. The fabric of being collapsed as Holly
vanished.  In her place stood a little boy who resembled the statue
inside one of Big Boy's restaurants. He looked divinely innocent.
The angry snarl that crept across his face did seem to be one of total
rage, but rather retribution.

	"Carter Darson, I believe you know who I am?" the boy

	"Not in the slightest."

	"I am God."

	"Then you are creation. You are nothing," Carter

	"Don't talk in riddles," God replied.

	"Why not? You always do," Carter grimaced.

	God made a slight harumphing sound.  His eyes began to
glow. In his younger days, before he had children, he would have
laid the smackdown on the upstart and be done with it. He wished he
could still be that person.

	"But I still can be. I am omnipotent after all," he muttered.

	"Yes, but can you make a rock bigger than you can
lift, and then lift it? Let's find out!" Carter chuckled.

	He let go of the energy.  And the world exploded. The
Team Headquarters was totalled.  Many of The Teamers were
obliterated by the resulting energy wave. Over a million people top
side lost their lives.

	The entire city was devastated.

	"Good God! They're all dead!" Rick cried.

	"Yes... and I too am dying," God replied.

	God himself disappeared into nothing.

	"He'll be safe.... in time," Holly said as she walked
up behind Rick.

	"They are all dead... dead..." Rick muttered.

	"Aren't you gonna ask how I got here..." she asked,
but Rick cut her off.

	"dead, dead dead..."

	"I guess not," Holly replied.



	Rick kept stuttering about his friends' deaths. Wads of snot streamed
from his nose, as tears fell down his cheeks. Andrew walked up behind
him. The businessman pressed a few buttons on his watch. Rick began to
calm down. His mind turned only to the wreckage.

	"I feel... " Rick said.

	"... nothing. I know.  My watch is emitting a signal
which causes the nanites to disrupt the biochemical processes for
emotion in your brain," Andrew said.

	"Wait... are you telling me you can manipulate my
thoughts... my emotions? If you wanted your nanites back so much, why
didn't you manipulate my thoughts before?"

	Andrew smiled. "Who's to say I didn't?"

	"Wait... what are you saying?" Rick asked.

	"Nothing... look. I've got your next assignment. My
friends at the Federal Emergency Management Agency have asked for
parahuman support to round up any of the surviving super villain
population. Find a bunch of your friends and start taking care of it.
I've got your first recruit right here," Andrew remarked. He handed a
watch to Rick, that looked a lot like the watch Andrew wore.

	"My new teammate is a watch?"

	"Press the activate button."

	As Rick pressed the button, a man-like figure of black
Quasimatter filled with hundreds of ones and zeroes materialised
in front of him.

	"Yo! Rick, howzit going?" the man said.

	"Sky?" Rick asked.

	"Nope... I'm Virtual Man. I was created from the
neural records from Team Headquarters VR simulator.  Pretty neat,

	"Yeah, neat," Rick grumbled. "Look, Weinstein. I don't
like you, or the way you operate."

	"Yes, but you need me and my resources. If I don't
vouch for you and your group, FEMA operatives have orders to shoot you
on sight," Andrew replied. "So you either play ball or fly right up to

	"You wanted me to build a team. The Team was built on
trust. I don't trust you," Rick Henkerton said.

	"Like I told The Time Crapper earlier, some day you
might have to. Now if you excuse me, I have to catch an air cruiser. I
have a concert to attend."

	Rick switched off Virtual Man, and was left alone.  He began to cry.
He had spent so long... years... building his life. Making his world
something worth living for. Right when he had begun to
enjoy it, it had vanished.  He wasn't grieving for the million or
so who died. He wasn't even grieving for all the friends he had lost.
Only name came to his lips.

	"Ameila," he whispered.

	"She's not gone. You'll see her again... sooner than
you might think," came an eerie whisper.

	"Wh-who's there?" Rick said as he turned around.

	"I am Morte, one of the seven faces of death. Your
lover, is not dead...."

	"... as long as I remember her. I've heard that kinda
crap before. I know who you are. I know you're full of crap," Rick

	"You will see her again. Soon," Morte said


	The Time Crapper didn't know how to classify his
latest acts. Patricide? Infanticide? Suicide? Omnicide?  He guess
all could qualify, with the mere death of one. He knew this
would be the only way for The Time Crapper could end. He had to die. 
He had fulfilled his promises to Weinstein. He now wove his way back
through time and became one with the nothing. His final act destroyed
only one city, yet killed all that ever could be. As his thoughts
dissolved he realized something.

	This was far from the end.

Teenfactor and all related characters belong to Tom
Russel Jnr. Minimalist Lass and The Law created by Jesse N. Willey and
John Fenimore.  The Time Crapper is public domain.  All other
characters belong to Jesse N. Willey.  This Document copyright Jesse
N. Willey.

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