[REPOST/LNH] Saviours of the Net #5: 'Spotlight On: Gothic Gorilla'

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 11 17:28:20 PDT 2006

As tempting as it was to fix all those spelling errors like 'saviour'
I left them in.  Also I found a logo that I was working on years ago.

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LNH: Saviours of the Net #5
Author:    Saxon Brenton
Email:     Saxon.Brenton at uts.edu.au
Date:      1998/10/28
Forums:    rec.arts.comics.creative

Blue Light Productions presents:

LNH: Saviours of the Net #5
'Spotlight On: Gothic Gorilla'

Written by Saxon Brenton
Art by Sc*tt McCl**d

Cover shows Gothic Gorilla, apparently floating in mid air, making
magical looking gestures with his hands and causing luminescent spell
effects to fly off from him. In the background is a montage of faces of
the Legion and the Saviours which are printed with blue rather than black
linework so that they are faded compared to the main figure. Along the
bottom is the blurb: 'Spotlight on: Gothic Gorilla'.

Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters:
     Librarian Lady left Ultimate Ninja's office.
     Since the current crisis over the 'Saviours of the Net' had erupted,
those members of the Legion of Net.Heroes who were information processors
had been delegated to unearthing information about their newest 'opponents'.
     Deductive Logic Man clearly had the investigation into the group's
leader, Ultimate Saviour, well in hand. [ _Saviours of the Net_ #3
- Footnote Girl]  That being the case, LLady now returned to her own
demesne in the LNHQ's library. She entered the offices adjacent to the
library reading rooms, and there found her assistant, Anal-Retentive
Archive Kid, searching through computer databases.
     "Any luck?" she asked primly.
     ARAK looked up from his work, using his thumb to push his glasses
back up his nose. "I think so." He gathered up some computer printouts
from the desk beside him and stood up. He was a thin young man with brown
hair tied back in a shoulder length ponytail. "I did some searches on
possible suspects for who Gothic Gorilla might be. There have been a
couple of simian net.ahumans who have turned up over the years. For
instance, at one point Johnny Stomper filed a report on an orang-utan
going by the name of 'BooBoo, the Apeish Avenger of Dimension 8'.
[ _Lurker Lad_ #3 - Footnote Girl]
     "However, it occurred to me that there was one known source of
sapient and civilised gorillas in this universe who might account for
Gothic Gorilla." He looked at Librarian Lady, who in turn needed less
that half a second to come to the obvious conclusion. " 'Boontown
University," she said.
     ARAK nodded. 'Boontown University. An entire ivy-covered-campus-of-
higher-learning transported from an alternate universe and swapped for
its counterpart in this one. [ _Challengers Of The Abominable_ #1 & 2
- Footnote Girl]  An entire enclave of apes, hundreds of them - and not
just sequestered away in some city in the middle of Af.rec.a, protected
from the sight of loonihumanity by superhypnotism. They were right here,
in the Usenetted States.
     He continued: "I contacted Mr. Rhesus, the head of 'Boontown U,
and using my Legion credentials I got a search done on any members of
faculty or student body with 'known occult links'."
     "Were there many?"
     ARAK looked disgusted. "Were there ever," he affirmed. "The point is
that most of the reports were really trivial, gossipy, petty stuff. Like, as
if someone who's read too many Dark Dungeons propaganda pamphlets had been
walking by a room where some kids were playing Dungeons and Dragons and
overheard one of them say, 'I use the power of the Head of Vec.net to cast a
Bigby's Offensive Finger spell', or something like that. And then they'd run
off to tattle, and it gets noted down on somebody else's record. Most of
it's just gossip and hearsay."
     "It sounds as though 'Boontown University's dimension is just as
prone to the comic book principle of 'misunderstandings lead to conflict
and dramatic storylines' as ours is."
     ARAK paused at that; it was a valid point. He probably should have
thought of that himself.
     "In any case," Librarian Lady continued, " 'most of it' being gossip
and hearsay implies that there is some that was useful."
     "I think so," he agreed and extracted a printout. "There's one
report here of a third year student by the name of Magilla O'Reilly that
seems to be more substantive. It says here that he was a member of the
'pro' faction of their dimension's university's Campus Crusade For
     Librarian Lady frowned. "I'm not familiar with the group."
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid nodded, not really surprised. "Sometimes
student groups get a little opaque for people outside of campus. From
what I know about the Campus Crusade For Net.thulhu from Dave Thomas
Deluxe, it's basically devoted to finding out more about extra-dimensional
Lovecraftian horrors - and the Great Net.thulhu in particular - and
spreading the word on them to the public. But it's divided into two groups
with mutually conflicting methods. The anti-Net.thulhu faction wants to warn
about the Old Ones and other slurping horrors from Beyond.  On the other
hand, the pro-Net.thulhu group wants to spread the word to worship the Old
One, so that when he finally arrives the devotees will be among the last to
be eaten. It gets kinda convoluted, what with all the plotting and planning
and scheming. I'm told that the Annual General Meetings can get nasty."
     Librarian Lady took off her glasses and massaged the bridge of her
nose. "Student groups," she said, wearily.
     ARAK grinned self-depreciatingly. He opened his hands and shrugged
and said, "What can I say?"
     "So what was this about Mr. O'Reilly?"
     "Ah, now this next bit is where it gets a bit freaky. Seems our Mr.
O'Reilly took his pro stance a lot further than any of his fellows. Not
just that getting on the Old One's side was a good idea from a tactical
point of view of long term survival, but that it was a good idea *in and
of itself*!"
     Librarian Lady stared at him, aghast. "That is insane. Why would
anybody think of the Old Ones in that way? They're just extra-dimensional
monsters that the Writers have placed outside our universes to be a suitable
menace for mystical storylines. They are ravening chaos, nothing more."
     ARAK shrugged. "That's usually the way it goes with Net.thulhu
cultists. Spend a little time away from objective reality and your whole
sense of perspective goes to seed."
     "True enough. Well then, I suppose I can guess what happened next.
I assume that he went and spent some time in northern Net.England around
Inputs.mouth and Archive.ham, learning blasphemous occult secrets from
strange and inbred families. Correct?"
     "Partly," ARAK agreed. "That's certainly how he started out. He spent a
summer vacation there. But after he came back for next semester he started
to get interested in other, non-Net.thulhu mythos stuff. During the next
university recess he went to his world's version of Califor.net.  When he
came back he was reported to have had an obsession with both the Book of the
Vish.net.i and the Disc.hold. Then, about three months ago, he vanished. Mr.
Rhesus says that unless he puts in a return appearance and can prove he's
been covering the minimum workload for his courses, he's going to be failed
and expelled.
     "Anyway, that's about all there is so far. The only other thing is
this photo of O'Reilly that was supplied."
     Librarian Lady examined the photograph. Actually, it was a laserprint
reproduction of one, but the quality was good. It was of a young gorilla in
a polo shirt. Change the clothing and add a trenchcoat, and it was obviously
Gothic Gorilla.


     The room was badly lit, but among the shadows could be seen
cyclopean architecture made of black stone. There were huge buttresses
that leaned inwards, and massive pillars holding up a ceiling that was so
far above that it could not be seen. Sconces around the walls were alight
with fire that illuminated the room - badly, and with a flickering, ruddy
light. Overall, it was the perfect place for being paranoid in, since there
were so many places were unseen lurkers could be watching...
     A Ditko-esque fanged mouth materialised, and then opened. Gothic
Gorilla knuckled out of the portal and down the stairway that its tongue
formed. After he was on the floor, the mouth discorporated back into
formless ectoplasm, and thence into nothingness.
     " hOW gOES tHE pLAN? " asked an echoey voice from the shadowed
throne at the end of the room.
     "It goes as you expected, master," replied Gothic Gorilla. "The
Saviours of the Net are faction ridden, and there is at least one
behind-the-scenes cabal that I have infiltrated that is planning to use it
for its own purposes. [ _Saviours of the Net_ #4 - Footnote Girl]
     "The Legion of Net.Heroes seems to be divided as to its response.
Self-Righteous Preacher tried to marshal some supporters, seemingly for a
direct confrontation, and was assassinated, [ _Saviours_ #3 - Footnote
Girl]  There may be a few in the Legion who are baying for blood over
that, but Ultimate Ninja seems to have them under tight control; for the
time being. It's possible that the Ninja recalls better than the others that
the Preacher has been reliably reported dead in the past, only to return to
life to continue his moral crusade. [ _Constellation_ #26 - Footnote Girl]
The Preacher will return soon, if he hasn't done so already.
     "In any case, the Legion has assigned its members to watch the
Saviours, while at least some of them are also preparing a lawsuit.
[ _Saviours_ #3.142857... - Footnote Girl]  Other Legionnaires seem to
believe that it's all simply a new twist to the anti-net.hero sentiment
that frequently but irregularly manifests itself, and that they can
afford to ignore it. All-in-all, confusion and disorder reign."
     "None, master," agreed Gothic Gorilla. He was rather enjoying
himself, to be honest. The time that he had spend in the hothouse of
intrigue among the Campus Crusade For Net.thulhu back at 'Boontown
University had given him a taste for overturning metaphorical anthills
and watching as the insects scurried about, trying to cope. His only real
concern was that someone - probably Occultism Kid but possibly another of
the Legion's mystical members - had at least partly warded the LNHQ against
most scrying spells. That would make keeping track of what the Legion's
status was at any time difficult unless the most powerful of the spells of
Aga.modem the All-Processing were used. And that would be taxing on his
mystical powers. Which, really, brought Gothic Gorilla back to his immediate
concern. "May I rest now, master?"
     " yES, mY fAITHFUL aCOLYTE.  yOU mAY rEST fOR nOW. "
     Gratefully, Gothic Gorilla moved off to the chamber that had been
prepared for him. It wasn't really sleep that he needed, although that
was a factor. Rather, the extra power that he had bargained for could
only properly be recharged in this place. He passed down hallways and
arrived at room. Within, it was shaped like the inside of a truncated
     Gothic Gorilla approached the stone 'bed' that was situated in the
centre of the room, preparing to lay down and rejuvenate himself. However,
as ever when he entered this place, his attention was caught be the bottle
placed on a stone shelf in one corner of the room. It was about fist sized,
with a narrow neck that was stoppered to keep the swirling glowing
blue-white vapour inside from escaping. As ever, Gothic Gorilla thought he
could see a face almost resolving itself out of the swirling mist, and
always wondered that if it did would he recognise it as his own. It would be
logical to assume so, considering that it was his own conscience, but he had
never been quite sure. Oh well, at least it wasn't his soul or anything
important like that.
     He lay down on the slab and closed his eyes. Unnoticed, the vapour
in the bottle continued to swirl about, and this time it did form into a
face. And perhaps it goes without saying that the face of the gorilla in
the bottle was not a happy one. Frustration, concern, and some small bit
of pain all showed on its features. Then, just as it slipped away into
incoherence again, it poked out its tongue at the recumbent form of its

Next: More mind-boggling twists and turns, probably written by someone
other than me.

Character Credits:
     Librarian Lady and Anal-Retentive Archive Kid created by Saxon
Brenton. Available for this crossover under the usual stipulation that
their character integrity is respected. Other than that, go for your life.
     Gothic Gorilla created by Arthur Spitzer. Not reserved.

NEXT TIME: Saviors of the Net #6: "When Retcons Ricochet...."
           by Arthur Spitzer

But before that check out the re-post of Jong #4 tomorrow!

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