[LNH/APE] Limp-Asparagus Lad #58

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 27 22:22:12 PST 2007

Limp-Asparagus Lad #58
A Legion of Net.Heroes title

'Decimation' part 3

Written by and copyright 2007 Saxon Brenton
Art by Fred H*mback

The cover shows a gracile ape-like creature with one hand holding a
staff and the other hand outstretched and surrounded by a menacing
Kirbykrackle glow. Various Legionnaires have been blasted away and
down onto their knees, and are shielding their eyes from the glow as
they struggle to regain their footing. There's an Apes Month indica,
plus a cover blurb proclaiming: 'The Day The Earth Stood Simian!'

    A Legion of Net.Heroes flight.thingee launched itself into the
sky and flew west. Less than a hour ago Doctor Stomper had distributed
the various Heath Robinson-esque devices that he had built to provide
both his cure and inoculation against the effects of the Devolutionaries'
ray guns. This had eventually brought back into action a *very* large
number of LNHers, the majority of who were supremely unimpressed by the
antics that the cults of Devolutionaries and Creationists had gotten
up to during the anarchy of the last two issues. The Legionnaires had
then been divided up into either the mopping up squads or an assault
group. The latter team was needed to prevent the whole thing from
starting all over again.
    "The problem," Dr Stomper had explained to the Legionnaires who'd
met with him at his laboratory, "is that I've identified what I think
to be the source of power of those ray guns that the Devolutionaries
were using. It seems that it wasn't the ray guns themselves that were
turning people into australopitecines."
    "Well they weren't creating mass hallucinations," Irony Man had
    "The effect was real enough," explained Dr Stomper. "It just wasn't
originating with their guns. It's actually being generated from here."
Then he'd activated a holographic screen which showed a map, and on
it was a pulsing blip marking a spot beyond the suburban sprawl of
Net.ropolis, somewhere in the swampily mountainous arboreal desert
farmland tundra to the west.
    As the other net.heroes had examined this schematic, Dr Stomper
continued: "This marks the source of an effect that the Devolutionaries
harnessed with the guns. The simple analogy for this would be that
their ray guns are something like television antennae, and are picking
up and amplifying signals that are being broadcast from elsewhere."
He pointed to the indicated location on the holographic map. "This
is the elsewhere that it's being broadcast from. We need to somehow
incapacitate that effect, otherwise the Devos could regroup and begin
again. Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad?"
    Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad had been looking thoughtfully at the
map, fixing in his head the properties of the phenomenon that Dr Stomper
wanted information about. It wouldn't be useful to get data on the area
alone - say, from a geographical map - but not retrieve anything on the
effect the Devos were harnessing.
    "Okay," Hats Lad said. He took off his top hat, wiggled all six
fingers (it felt good to have all his thumbs back!) and plunged his hand
in, then drew out a collection of used lolly wrappers. He frowned. "Uh-oh."
    "Problems?" asked Irony Man. "Don't tell me that whoever's behind
all this has found a way to block spying that includes your powers."
    "Noooo..." said Hats Lad dubiously. "It feels more like this all
the paperwork there is. Either there was other stuff that's since
been destroyed, or possibly it was only ever done on computer in the
first place..."
    Dr Stomper examined the crude-to-the-point-of-being-unintelligible
scribble on the back of the crumpled scraps of paper. "Or the person
responsible is the type of idiot savant who draws up his blueprints on
the back of candy wrappers," he concluded.

    That had been then. Now Parking Karma Kid was flying the assault
squad to investigate the source of the Devos' power and cripple it as
best they could.
    Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad was both nervous and excited. Wow. A big
mission. By rights his powers were more suited to support services - but
on the other hand that didn't prevent the likes of Cheesecake-Eater Lad
or Sister-State-The-Obvious from performing impressive feats of heroism.
He just hoped he didn't foul up and make a fool of himself.
    By contrast Swordmaster was looking thoughtful. He and the recently
de-devolved Whip had agreed to participate in the assault squad because,
well, sometimes it was nice to just beat up bad guys without having to
play babysitter for the rest of the Load Island Renegades. "Hey,
Occultism Kid? " Swordmaster asked. "Could I have a word with you?"
    "Sure. What's up?
    "There's something that's been bugging me," said Swordmaster. "For
ages I thought I was a mutant, but a while back it turned out that my
Dad had sold his soul to a demon so that I'd become a net.hero and lead
my own net.hero team, and he could live vicariously through my exploits."
[_Swordmaster And The Load Island Renegades_ #9 & 10 - Footnote Girl,
back after being away last issue]
    The Whip glanced at her husband. "So you're wondering - if you
weren't a mutant - why you didn't get turned into an ape-like primitive
like both of us?" she asked, gesturing to include both herself and
Occultism Kid.
    "Right," said Swordy. "If I get my abilities from being, I dunno,
mystically empowered or whatever, how come I only lost my powers after
being zapped by the Devos?"
    Occultism Kid looked thoughtful. "Hmm. Well, it's possible that
both could be true. Depends on how powerful the demon is. Or was. When
did this happen? Before you were born?"
    "Okay, and who was the demon?"
    "Frank. Calls himself the Demon Lord of Disco."
    "Ah, not a powerful demon then," said Occultism Kid with just a
touch of amusement. "Actually, back then he would have still been the
Demon Lord of Seventies Memorabilia, but that just underscores the point,
I suppose. I'd guess that it all boils down to the amount of resources
he could put into giving you superpowers. Now, powerful demons, yes,
they'd infuse you with mystical power if they could. If nothing else
having infernal power infused into the targets gives them a bit of a
hold on their victims, even if they can't corrupt them and bring them
to Net.Hell the old fashioned way. But for weaker demons, well, it might
have been easier to use a single quick burst of supernatural power to
make sure that you were a mutant, and then let your DNA develop your
abilities without needing any more outlay from him. That way Frank
wouldn't have to expend so much of his personal energy. That's just a
guess, mind you, but it seems to fit all the facts."
    Swordmaster rolled his eyes wryly. "I'm beginning to feel like
Convoluted Origin Man," he said.

    In the cockpit Parking Karma Kid frowned. He'd brought the
flight.thingee to within visual distance of their destination - and what
he saw was weird. "Er, guys," he said. "I know the Writer was making
jokes about swampily mountainous arboreal desert farmland tundra, but
I don't think abandoned bowling alleys should be overrun with heavy
jungle like that."
    The other Legionnaires looked too. "I sense mystical evil down
there," announced Occultism Kid grimly.
    Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad shook his head in dismay at the sight.
"Well, so much for using the original building plans," he said. Back
at the LNH-HQ he'd drawn forth some aging plans for the now-abandoned
two storey structure at the location Dr Stomper had identified. There'd
been no planned renovations submitted to council since it was first
built back in 1965, although that didn't mean illicit changes mightn't
have been made. But now, looking at the canopy of old growth trees that
almost hid the building beneath, he wondered whether there were any
drafted floor plans which bore any resemblance to what was currently
down there.
    A short while later they had split into two groups, and the
ground team was almost at their destination. The Whip looked up at the
surrounding vegetation and said, "There's something suspicious about
this. Those trees are huge. No way have those been growing for anything
less than a century."
    Swordmaster nodded. He had taken the lead as the ground team of
himself, Parking Karma Kid, Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad and the Whip
had moved in, using his abilities to hack a path through the thick
foliage with a machete composed of cosmic rays. That thick wall of
canopy had soon vanished once they'd passed through the outermost edge,
giving way to a dimly lit maze of trunks and interlocking buttress
roots - but Swordmaster had changed his machete to an axe and continued
to slice his way through all obstacles like a hot knife through butter.
    Despite the heavy plant growth, the distance from the edge of
the canopy to the bowling alley wasn't all that far. Soon they had
reached their objective. Parking Karma Kid took out his comm.thingie
and signalled to the others that they were in position.
    "Roger that," said Irony Man as the flying team moved in. Irony
Man carried Occultism Kid while Limp-Asparagus Lad had Fuzzy as his
passenger. They circled in low over the top of the trees, avoiding
being outlined against the open sky.
    "Well well, look at that," said Fuzzy as they came within sight
of where the building's roof would be. They had been expecting a few
breaks in the roof, but not that it would be missing altogether. The
place looked almost like an open-to-the-sky amphitheatre - this effect
compounded by the way that the surrounding trees fringed the gap but
suspiciously did not overhang it.
    The LNHers descended further and hovered at the circumference of
the opening. "The floor of the bowling alley has been removed," pointed
out Limp-Asparagus Lad. "That space is open all the way down to where
the ground level car park used to be."
    Irony Man, meanwhile, checked his sensors and said, "Dr Stomper's
phenomenon is in the middle of that cleared area."
    "Which is also where the mystical evil is strongest," commented
Occultism Kid.
    "And there's someone there," said Fuzzy, pointing. "Beside that
pile of junk."
    "A suspicious coincidence!" announced Irony Man, clenching one
fist melodramatically. "We must confront him!"
    "Yes," agreed Limp-Asparagus Lad soberly, and flew down to talk
with him. The others blinked. "Hey, not yet! We don't have a plan of
    "Excuse me," the Man of Dull said. "We're the Legion of Net.Heroes,
and we have some questions we would like to ask you."
    The man spun about. Limp-Asparagus Lad noticed that he was wild
eyed and wild bearded, and looked a bit surprised by the Legion's
arrival. Fuzzy noticed that the pile of junk was some sort of abstract
sculpture of polished wood and bone rather than just a random heap of
metallic debris. Occultism Kid noticed that aura of evil permeating this
place seemed to be emanating from that same sculpture. And Irony Man
noticed that the man had a Devo ray gun holstered to his waist.
    "Welcome Legionnaires! I am Algernon Potentate!" He drew his gun
and screamed, "I am your DEATH!" Then he fired a devolutionary beam at
the net.heroes, which to his surprise spectacularly failed to transform
them into apes.
    Still, that pronouncement of doom had acted as a cue, prompting
scores of Devo cultists to swarm out of the shadowy recesses of the
jungle covered ruins of the bowling alley and into melee combat against
the LNHers.
    "Damn. I hate it when this sort of thing happens," complained Fuzzy
as two Devos rushed at her. She took a half-step back and to the side,
positioning herself to knee one of the Devos in the gut and then
smashing a fist into the face of the other.
    "Being overrun of howling hordes of crazed bad guys?" asked Irony
Man, sending a repulsor ray through the massed ranks of his opponents.
The Devos scattered like ninepins in a most satisfactory manner. "I
find it rather invigorating, myself."
    "I mean the Writer putting together paragraphs consisting solely
of run-on sentences!" spat Fuzzy.
    "Joke all you want, heroes," sneered Potentate. "You cannot use
your witty banter to pretend that your aren't afraid!"
    "So who's pretending?" said Occultism Kid as he immobilised some
Devos using the Neon Noodles of Net.torak.
    "We will defeat you, you know," said Limp-Asparagus Lad with the
casual tone of voice that you use to remark on the weather.
    "And to use the appropriate catchphrase, we'll do it with almost
contemptuous ease!" called Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad as the other
four net.heroes arrived at a run.
    "I can't believe that you started the fight without us," said the
Whip reproachfully. She skilfully caught the arm of one Devo with her
namesake weapon, then jerked him off balance and into some of his fellows.
    "Blame Limpy," said Fuzzy. She ducked, grabbed the arm of an
incoming punch and used her opponent's momentum against him, flipping
the miscreant onto the floor and setting herself up to fend off the next
attack. "He tried to be reasonable again," she added.
    Potentate fumed. His forces were being overwhelmed! There was one
last chance to turn the tide of this fight. If he hurried then he could
call forth one of the Great Apes! He wasn't quite as prepared as he
would have liked to be for such an occasion, but it seemed he was running
out of time. He ducked around his sculpture and started to prepare for
the Manifestation.
    This close the sculpture looked even more disturbing: neither
constructed nor organic, but something else altogether. Not that this
interested Potentate as he prepared it. Sometimes he ran his hands over
parts of it caressingly, sometimes he poked at it, and sometimes he
shifted parts in ways that should be impossible for something merely
made of wood or bone. It began to glow.
    It also attracted Occultism Kid's attention. He winced as he felt
an icy jab in his head, something akin to a sudden migraine.  The sense
of evil he'd been feeling had intensified. "It's Potentate!" he called
out to the others. "He's causing it, somehow."
    However, even as this cry went out a second figure materialised from
nowhere. It was tall and had shaggy tufts of hair, but was pale and far
too thin.
    "Another bad guy incoming!" called Parking Karma Kid, who'd been
looking in the right direction to see this arrival. "And he's not moving
in to join the punch up, so he's not another mook!"
    "Master!" breathed Potentate with an almost hysterical ecstasy.
"Welcome to this world at last."
    The figure turned its ancient gaze to Potentate. "You have done
well, my servant. Somian is pleased."
    "Somian!?" wondered Occultism Kid. "You fool, Potentate! You've
released one of the Great Apes!"
    "Let me guess: that's bad?" said Swordmaster as he continued to use
his fencing foil of electricity to shock the Devos into unconsciousness.
    "Yes!" snapped Occultism Kid, suddenly angry at himself. "Blast!
I've been careless. Look, the Devos back in Net.ropolis... You remember
how they were making references to the Great Apes?" A few of the other
net.heroes nodded.
    "That was where I made a mistake. I thought it was just that they
were a bunch of primate fetishists who were lauding their obsession.
You know, 'great this', 'exalted that', 'lord high muck-a-muck the
other'. But they weren't. They were actually making references to THE
Great Apes."
    "And they are?"
    "A group of seven powerful other-dimensional entities who tried to
invade the Earth in prehistory," said Occultism Kid grimly. "Three
times they tried to invade, and they were beaten back each time."
    "And this time we shall succeed, little one," said Somian, who
until now had been looking around - almost gawping like a sightseer. "It
will be good to once again hold sway over a living, verdant world." The
creature looked appraisingly at the LNHers. "You humans are for too
clever, and will be either culled off or regressed back into mindless
animals so that your seething civilisation cannot do any more damage
to this planetary biosphere."
    "So that you can leech off this world's life force and leave it
just as dead as your own!" accused Occultism Kid.
    "Master, I have recruited forces to begin the Great Leap Backwards,
and dispatched them to begin your work," said Potentate.
    Somian nodded. "It is well."
    "We'll see about that!" announced Irony Man. Leaving the other
Legionnaires to finish off the remaining Devos, the armoured net.avenger
took to the air and began firing repulsor rays at the Great Ape.
Potentate scurried away, but Somian stood its ground and raised its
staff. Irony Man braced himself for a ravening beam of coruscating
energy(tm), little realising that Somian did not use such attacks. The
assault was launched against his mind.
    "Arrgrrh!" cried Irony Man, his flight path becoming erratic.
"No... Not... mind control... again!" The job of net.heroing meant that
he had encountered this before, and it went without saying that he had
always found it frustrating. He'd set up protections in his armour
against it, but for the most part it was limited to electromagnetic
effects and some types of psi. As he felt his mind slipping away, his
last thought was, .oO( Must... find... a defense... against... magic...
as well. )
    "Subdue them all," commanded Somian, and the enthralled Irony Man
eagerly turned on the others.
    "Keep him busy!" yelled Occultism Kid, and began rummaging in the
pockets of his trenchcoat. The LNHers scattered in an attempt to draw
fire but avoid getting hit. Irony Man didn't fall for this trick and
quickly settled on trying to pick off the others one by one, first
choosing Limp-Asparagus Lad on the grounds that he was the only other
one with the free movement of flight.
    Limp-Asparagus Lad ducked and weaved around in great loop-the-
loops, then flew down low close to the floor. Irony Man was hard on his
heels. Then, once Limp-Asparagus Lad had lured Irony Man into position,
Swordmaster leapt at Irony Man as they zoomed by and thwacked him with
the fencing foil that he'd been using against the Devos. This time,
however, Swordmaster had upped the charge on his foil, tripping almost
every circuit in the suit and sending Irony Man crashing to the floor
in a shower of sparks.
    "That's only going to hold him for a few seconds before his armour
reboots itself," Parking Karma Kid warned.
    "Noted," said Occultism Kid tersely as he continued to search. Come
on! Where was it? Argh! This was the problem with having extradimensional
storage space sewn into your pockets - you inevitably carried around so
much stuff in case of emergency that you could never find any of it in
a timely manner when the emergency came! Ha, found it! He drew forth one
of the fabled blue crystals of the planet Metebe.listserve 3, clutching
it in his hand and then triumphantly thrusting it up above his head
before using a simple light spell to illuminate it as if from within.
    The crystal began to glow; an azure radiance that started small but
grew stronger. As the light spread Occultism Kid announced in a loud,
commanding voice, "Look into the glow! All of you! Watch the blue light.
Feel its warmth. Feel it wash over you. You cannot look away. You must
look into the blue light!"
    Somian felt his control over Irony Man and those Devos who were
still conscious begin to falter. "What are you doing, mortal!?" demanded
Somian. "Whatever you are doing, you will fail!"
    Occultism Kid almost staggered backwards as the full force of
Somian's malign regard fell upon him, and his hair and trenchcoat
billowed away behind him. "You talk a good game, Somian," the mage said,
"but you are not a powerhouse like your fellow Great Apes. You're a
shaper and an influencer, and your strength comes from what you can
derive from the environments you create and what beings you can enslave.
Such as Irony Man. I should have wondered where all the Devo cultists
who attacked in Net.ropolis had come from, but in the haste to tidy up
the situation I overlooked the possibility of them being mind controlled
innocents. That was carelessness that I don't intend to repeat!"
    Somian raised one hand in an arcane gesture. The roots of the great
trees that had taken over the building began to wriggle free from the
soil, scattering clods of steaming, humus enriched soil as they did so.
"You are not in a position to allow anything," countered Somian as the
old bowling alley began to shake.
    "Yes, he is!" countered Irony Man, sending repulsor beams at
Somian yet again. "The Legion of Net.Heroes will keep hammering away at
you until you fall!"
    "Master!" cried Potentate, making a move as if to help. Occultism
Kid bound him with one of the Neon Noodles. Somian might be powerful
enough to shrug off such a simple spell, but he doubted if his human
underling was.
    "He's trying to summon one of the other Great Apes," warned
Occultism Kid. He glanced around at the straining roots and run amok
vegetation. "Probably Forest, the Ape of natural forces."
    "Then let's destroy his gate," said Limp-Asparagus Lad, flying
through the strange sculpture that Potentate had set up. It was
destroyed easily enough, but exploded in the process. Limp-Asparagus
Lad was thrown across the room, impacting heavily against a far wall
away from his teammates.
    "Limpy! You okay?" called the Whip.
    "Ouch," enunciated Limp-Asparagus Lad.
    "What was that about!?" demanded Irony Man in remonstration as he
continued to fire at Somian. "I could have destroyed it if necessary."
    "Superheroes are always Saving The Day by throwing themselves into
or against potentially dangerous pieces of equipment," L-ALad explained.
"It's just a matter of recognising the cliche and either using it or
subverting it to your own purposes."
    "That's not answering the question," countered Irony Man. "Gah!
I thought you were supposed to be the sensible one!"
    Swordmaster turned to the Whip and grinned, "That's what I love
about Limpy: his icy calm insanity in the face of danger."
    "He's got a good point though," said Occultism Kid, who had noted
that the thrashing plant life and violent churning of the soil had
abated. "Forest's arrival seems to have been stopped."
    "I do not need the assistance of my servants to stop you,"
blustered Somian, and waded towards the Legionnaires, swiping away
Irony Man with one movement. "Soon, all you Legion of Net.Heroes will
be my mind slaves!"
    "I thought you said he wasn't a powerhouse," said Parking Karma Kid.
    Occultism Kid shrugged, still holding the glowing crystal in the
air. "He's physically the weakest of the Great Apes, but that's still
super powered by human standards."
    Somian continued to advance on Occultism Kid, prompting the others
to move in to try and block the creature's progress. Then Limp-Asparagus
Lad tackled it from behind, grabbing it around the knees and knocking
the Ape to the ground. Irony Man quickly moved to the Man of Dull's aid,
knowing that Limp-Asparagus Lad didn't have super strength and wouldn't
be able to long stand against Somian. But to everybody's surprise Limp-
Asparagus Lad managed to hold his own as he grappled with Somian.
    "So where did that super strength come from?" asked Irony Man.
    "I have no idea," admitted Limp-Asparagus Lad.
    "Huh," said Irony Man. "Must have been the explosion of Potentate's
inter-dimensional gate, causing a Claremontian power increase."
    Limp-Asparagus Lad thought about this for a second, then said, "I
do not think it can be a Claremontian power increase. I'm not female."
    "Just... help me keep this joker under control, okay?"
    Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad turned to Occultism Kid. "What options
to we have for getting rid of this guy?"
    Occultism Kid frowned thoughtfully. That was a good question.
"Well, according to what Margaret Murray-Mead wrote about Somian in
_The Coming Of The Witch Cult In Western Samoa_..."
    "Name dropper," said Whip.
    "You're just saying that because we're not currently in a story
being put out by your Writer.
    "True," the Whip admitted.
    "With the gate fane destroyed, Somian can't call in any of the
other Great Apes to this world," said Occultism Kid, both thinking
out loud and expositing for everybody else's benefit. "But now that
Somian's here it does have a measure of control over the reality of the
local area, and can eventually create another one. Plus any cultists
still loose in Net.ropolis will probably find their ray guns still
working. Somian's shaping powers are likely the source of what they
tap into, after all."
    "So it's only a matter of time unless we send him back. Yes, we
guessed that."
    Occultism Kid refused to be needled. "We have to overcome its
psychic inertia, which is enormous. That's its schtick as a Great
Ape, after all. The psychic power to control the other Apes and shape
the environment," he said. "Okay, I have an idea."
    Somian was continuing to struggle against Irony Man and Limp-
Asparagus Lad. Then they heard Occultism Kid yell, "Care Bear Stare!"
They looked up to see the remaining Legionnaires all linking hands (with
Occultism Kid still holding aloft the Metebe.listerve 3 crystal to
protect all and sundry against Somian's mind control).
    "Stare?" asked Hats Lad.
    "Yeah!" affirmed Occultism Kid.
    "Stare where?" asked the Whip.
    "Stare THERE!" pointed Occultism Kid, directly at Somian.
    And Somian cringed back as if in pain. Then the Great Ape snarled,
"You will not deny me this world!"
    A psychic shock wave surged back against the net.heroes, and once
again their hair and capes and trenchcoats billowed back in response to
a force that was, strictly speaking, non-physical.
    "Not... good... enough... Somian!" snarled Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats
in defiance.
    "Fools!" countered the Ape. "You are already straining to maintain
your efforts, and will soon weaken and falter! But I, *I* can sustain
this indefinitely! Surrender, little mortals. You cannot stand against
the will of the Great Apes!"
    "Hey! They need our help," came a new voice, and one of people
that, until a few moments ago, had been fighting the LNHers while under
the mind control of Somian rushed over and gripped one hand onto Parking
Karma Kid's shoulder. Occultism Kid felt a small but significance boost
in power and let out a triumphal hiss of "Yesss!" This newcomer, a
Hispanic man, turned to the few others that were still conscious after
the earlier fight scene, and with his other arm made a motion to wave
them to join in. "Well don't just stand there!" he yelled. "Do you want
that thing winning and trying to take us over again? Come on!"
    Slowly and dubiously at first, and then more speed and confidence,
the available remaining humans came and joined in the effort. All up
they only made a group totalling twenty three, but the balance point of
the struggle between their wills started to shift as the group of humans,
led by Occultism Kid, harnessed the power that some call LOVE and that
    "Back, Somian!" called Occultism Kid. "Back to the world that
spawned you! I call upon the Power of the Earth Mother - Mother
News.Gaetae herself - and abjure ye from this place! This world is not
your world, and your manipulations of its nature are now undone! Begone
from this entelechy, and do not return!"
    Somian's willpower was enormous, and his psychic inertia even
moreso, but finally the Great Ape seemed to succumb. He cringed back
within the grip of the two net.heroes, and then in a complicated
special effect that simultaneously seemed to make him fall back into a
trans-dimensional gate and collapse down into itself via some sort of
gravitational singularity, the creature vanished. Irony Man and Limp-
Asparagus Lad found themselves grasping nothing but air.
    Occultism Kid let out a heavy breath and lowered the hand with
which he'd been holding up the Metebe.listserve 3 crystal. He looked
around. He could detect no sign of Somian, by either conventional or
mystic senses. The still-bound form of Potentate caught his attention,
since the man seemed to have been reduced to gibbering insanity. The
shock of seeing his 'god' bested? Or was he caught in the psychic
crossfire? Occultism Kid made a mental note to investigate, since even
a drooling madman could be dangerous if he was still had a connection
to the likes of Somian.
    "So, is that everything?" asked Parking Karma Kid as the others
all disengaged from holding hands. Occultism Kid glanced around again,
noting that there were any number of no longer mind controlled Devos who
were staring at the net.heroes and probably had much the same question.
    Occultism Kid gave a lopsided grin. "Yeah. I think that's pretty
much all of the fight scenes that we're going to have to worry about
just at the moment."

Next Issue: I finally catch up with the events of the _Flame Wars 4_
miniseries that I co-wrote with Jamie Rosen back in 2002. Be here for:
'One Month Later'.

Character Credits:
    Fuzzy created by Connie Hirsch and not reserved.
    Doctor Stomper created by T.M. Meek and not reserved.
    Irony Man created by Doug Moran and not reserved.
    Limp-Asparagus Lad owned by Saxon Brenton. Created by Mystic Mongoose
(Robert Armstrong) and wReam (Ray Bingham (chaos and entropy incarnate)).
    Occultism Kid created by Josh Geurink and not reserved.
    Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad created by Arthur Spitzer and not reserved.
    Somian and the Great Apes created by Saxon Brenton. Given over to
Public Domain.
    Swordmaster and the Whip created by Badger (Matt Rossi). Used with

All characters copyright 2007 to their creators or owners as applicable.

Back issues of the Legion of Net.Heroes may be found at Russ Alberry's
Eyrie Archives at:     ftp://ftp.eyrie.org/pub/racc/lnh

The LNH stories of Blue Light Productions may also be found at:

Add Notes:
    At this late stage of writing, with less than a week left of Apes
Month 2007, I've discovered that I'm not entirely happy with the
direction that this issue's plot has taken. After fighting off writers
block and working for the past few days on the second half of the story
(everything starting from the Legionnaires confronting Potentate) I
realise that it has similarities to the 'Shimbleshanks' arc, in that it
culminates in a 'fight the extra-dimensional greebly' plot. Granted,
they have differences: as a villain Somian is a world conqueror who
happens to have an ape fetish, while the Phantom Raspberry Blower was
more a pitcher plant terrorvore who drew victims into his trap and fed
on their fear. But still: defeat the extra-dimensional greebly.
    The Great Apes are a late inclusion, incidentally. I'd always
known that the Devos where harnessing some sort of phenomenon for their
ray guns, and after the LNH finished off the Devo vs Creato fight in
Net.ropolis a strike team was going to go and find it and disable it to
prevent a repeat occurrence. But I realised that I needed to build to
some sort of climax from the fight in the middle chapter. Then, while
finishing off #57 I read through #56 to see if there were any plot
points to refer back to, I saw that one of the Devos had sworn by the
Great Apes, and I though, 'Oh cool, I can pastiche the Great Beasts from
early years of the first volume of _Alpha Flight_'.
    On matters more central to the plot: Something that I only 'recently'
noticed while co-writing the _War Without Worlds_ miniseries with Jamas
in 2005 is that Jamas treated Limp-Asparagus Lad as having super strength.
I had never thought in those terms, which of itself wouldn't be a big
problem: Limp-Asparagus Lad could easily have super strength but rarely
ever use it because his temperament means that physical conflicts isn't
his first choice in a confrontation. Still, I had mentioned that he
didn't have super strength in issue 50 during the 'It Came From The Late
Late Late Show' arc. So I decided to have him develop it and blame it
on Somian's mysterious shaping powers running through the fane, possibly
interacting RobGoblin's tennis ball. I mean, with a combination like
that you could handwave just about anything, right?
    Oh yeah. And right from the start of the story I'd intended to
bring up the 'mutant but empowered by a demon' aspect of Swordmaster's
origin, but only got around to asking Badger about it after posting #57,
hence the 'used without permission' credits in the first two parts.

Saxon Brenton     University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au     saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
The Librarian "liked people who loved and respected books. And the best
way to do that, in the Librarian's opinion, was to leave them on the
shelves where Nature intended them to be." Terry Pratchett, _Men At Arms_

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