LNH: LNH Comics Presents #501: Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Episode 466 (3/5)

EDMLite robrogers72 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 27 22:38:12 PDT 2007

1:30 a.m., May 2, 2007

Tavern-on-the-Park, Net.ropolis Map District

    Just two blocks away from the alley where Weirdness Magnet
worked to administer first aid to a lemming stood a restaurant that
had remained untouched by the fighting, the fires and the madness
that had overwhelmed most of the riverfront area.  That Tavern-on-
the-Park had survived the onslaught had nothing to do with luck,
its location, or its legendary reputation for duck comfit and
discreet service.  It was entirely the result of one customer who
made up his mind that he wanted nothing more than some light jazz,
French wine and an hour's peace of mind.

    Arthur E.L. Presence tasted the wine -- a 2002 Cotes-de Bourg
 -- and found it excellent, which was hardly surprising, since he'd
written it to taste that way.  During most of his career as an
international assassin, Presence had accepted much of what the
world had thrown at him, allowing himself to forget his peculiar
status as both a self-aware fictional character and a surrogate
author.  But he never took chances with his wine.

    That was one of the reasons why he'd quietly edited the other
patrons of the restaurant not to pay attention to him, and the
restaurant itself to be unnoticeable to anyone or anything beyond
its walls.  He was therefore quite surprised when a man in a black
trenchcoat stomped past the matire'd, sat at the end of the bar,
and demanded a cup of coffee.

    Arthur E.L. Presence did not like surprises.

    "Good evening," Presence said, walking over to the bar.
"That's a nice coat -- London Fog, isn't it?  Seems almost too
warm for an evening like this."

    "It's my Opinion that the weather is exactly right for this
coat," snapped the stranger.

    Immediately, the temperature in the room dropped by several
degrees, causing one of the women at a nearby table to drape a
shawl around her freckled shoulders.

    "I see," Arthur E.L. Presence said, mentally writing a scene
in which a trapdoor beneath the stranger's stool would open up,
swallowing the arrogant interloper whole.

    "I know what you're thinking," the stranger said, taking a sip
of his coffee.  "But it's my Opinion that this restaurant is of
solid construction, and that there's nothing in the pattern of its
hardwood floor to suggest that anyone ever built a trapdoor there.
Now, if you had written the scene to include an explanation of how
the building had once been a speakeasy where the unscrupulous
owners drugged visitors, dragged them underground, and shanghai'd
them to waiting ships on the river... then you might have had me."

    He took another sip.  "In my Opinion, there's no excuse for
lazy writing."

    Clearly, Arthur E.L. Presence thought, this was a powerful
adversary, no doubt sent by one of his competitors to eliminate
him.  He decided to drop the cloak of subtlety and dispose of the
stranger in one quick stroke.  He imagined a scene in which a black
hole appeared above the bar, just to the right of the stranger's

    Pandemonium filled the restaurant, as plates, glasses, napkins
and bottles of wine -- including a delightful Graves Red, but that
couldn't be helped, Presence thought -- flew toward the spiraling
shape and wrenched themselves into particle-sized pretzels, finally
disappearing in its immense gravity.  The room itself began to
break apart, and the other diners screamed, shrieked and cried,
clinging to whatever they could for what support it would bring

    Opinionated Lad, however, continued drinking his coffee.

    "Sloppy," he said.  "A real black hole would have immediately
consumed this room, this restaurant and probably most of the planet
before anyone here could blink.  You're clearly more interested
in the dramatic value of this anomaly than you are in working out
the way in which it would operate in a realistic setting.  And
that's what really frosts me -- someone trying to introduce
science-fiction elements into the fantasy milieu of a work of super-
hero fiction.  In my Opinion, that's a bunch of crap."

    The black hole vanished, causing everyone and everything that
had been affected by its gravity to fall to the floor.

    "It would appear," Arthur E.L. Presence said, removing his
dinner jacket and offering it to a young brunette whose evening
gown had been sucked into the black hole, "that you may be the most
powerful foe I've encountered... the player on the other side
against whom I've long waited to match myself."

    "That's my Opinion," Opinionated Lad said, pouring another
packet of sugar into his coffee.

    "As no one is paying me to terminate you, however," Presence
said, "it follows that distraction may be the better part of

    Arthur E.L. Presence edited away one of the restaurant's
walls -- one whose bricks had already been warped and distorted
by the power of the black hole -- as well as the building next
door, providing he and Opinionated Lad with a clear view of the
alley where the Incredibly Stupid Man was attempting to milk Udder

    "I'm telling you," the Incredibly Stupid Man said, as Bad-
Timing Boy looked on with interest and Weirdness Magnet slammed his
forehead against the remaining wall, "it's the right thing to do.
We can't just haul her off to jail all full of milk like that."

    "Mooo," Udder Doom agreed.

    "Oh, what the hell is this?" Opinionated Lad asked, rising to
his feet.  "What kind of horse's ass are you supposed to be?"

    "See, that's where you're mistaken," the Incredibly Stupid Man
said.  "I gave up being the Horse's Ass when I joined the LNH, and
became the Incredibly Stupid Man."

    "The hell you did," Opinionated Lad said.  "You look to me like
a joke character somebody wrote for a one-off story who somehow
managed to stick around.  In my Opinion, you should never have
become a member of the Legion."

    The Incredibly Stupid Man vanished.

    "And as for you..." Opinionated Lad said, turning around, but
Arthur E.L. Presence had likewise disappeared.

    "Another time, then," Opinionated Lad said, ignoring the
horrified stares of Weirdness Magnet and Bad-Timing Boy as he
returned to his coffee.

        *                       *                       *

1:45 a.m., May 2, 2007

Fan.way Park, Home of the Net.ropolis Ninja Baseball Team
Southeast of Drayer Park

    "Wham!  Bam!  And down goes spam," said Easily-Discovered Man
Lite, swinging a spatula like a baseball bat to clobber Make Money
Fast Mo.

    "Somebody should have told Triple-X Girl -- and the rest of
these Seven Deadly Sphammers -- that there's room for only one
beautiful, half-naked siren in this town," Ripping Dancer said,
rubbing the knuckles of her right hand.

    "You may have defeated the Sphammers," droned a robotic voice
with the trace of a Polish accent, as a boxy silhouette lumbered
across the infield, an accordion grasped between its pincer-like
claws.  "But you will soon fall before the combined might of the

    "...and the deadly DOCTOR GLOCKENSPIEL!" said a caped man at
shortstop, holding the aforementioned musical instrument as though
there were a perfectly good reason for him to be doing so.

    "You know, I'm actually glad to see that Lawrence Welk is
getting work," said Easily-Discovered Man's sidekick, choking up
on his spatula.  "Sure, he may be dead, corrupted by evil and
placed in a metal shell --love the retro-'50s wind-up robot thing,
by the way -- but you have to admire his staying power."

    "Admire this!" the robot brayed, the stadium's klieg lights
illuminating the swirling brain inside its glass dome.  "A one,
and a two, and..."

    "Ting!" sang Doctor Glockenspiel's glockenspiel, as the two
launched into a hastily-rehearsed version of the "No Beer in Heaven

    "Catchy," Ripping Dancer said, spinning and kicking her long,
sculpted legs as her sinuous hips rocked in time with the music.

    "It... cannot be!" the robot Welk said, shuddering as the
shapely dancer arched one leg high into the air.  "Not only does
our music fail to defeat her..."

    "...but she's using it to destroy our instruments!" Doctor
Glockenspiel said, as Lite knocked the glockenspiel from his hand
and the bellows of the robot Welk's accordion ripped in two.

    "Now... what kind of a dancer would I be if I didn't know how
to polka?" Ripping Dancer asked, using a strip of her torn leotard
to bind the two malevolent musicians together.

    "You'd be... A SOLID GOLD DANCER!" said a man in a white dress
shirt open to the navel and skintight gold lame trousers, emerging
from the visiting players' dugout in sync with half a dozen
similarly-dressed men and women.

    "Man, the villains are coming thick and fast," Lite said,
wiping the sweat from his brow.  "We must finally be getting to the
denouement of this episode."

    "If the '70s taught us anything, it's that hot dancing and
funky music always comes before a climax," said one of the female
dancers, clapping and spinning with the others as they lined up
along the infield.

    "Believe me," said Ripping Dancer, launching into one of her
routines, "nobody needs to teach me when to climax."

    "Damn, but I feel a little bit naughty whenever she says
something like that," said Lite, stepping forward from the
batter's box as a long dark shadow fell across his face.  "Let's
see if I can help your performance... uh-oh..."

    "You're pretty good, little lady," said the first Solid Gold
Dancer.  "But you forgot that we're charged with" -- he snapped his
fingers -- "de-mon-ic energy.  Face it, baby. You're about to get

    Ripping Dancer began to perspire.  "Not...a... chance," she
said, gritting her teeth, her feet a red cloud of infield dust.
"Lite?  A little help, please?"

    "I'll be there as soon as I can," Lite said, as a brown paw
wider than a catcher's mitt lunged at his face.  "There's just the
slight problem of this bear I have to fight first."

        *                       *                       *

1:55 a.m., May 2, 2007

Fan.way Park, Home of the Net.ropolis Ninja Baseball Team
Southeast of Drayer Park

    President William Howard Taft strode through the ranks of Solid
Gold Dancers like a conquering hero, climbing to the top of the
pitcher's mound while the hard white lights above bathed his
desiccated husk of a head with brilliance and the shimmying dancers
sang his name.

    "He's the guy with all the juice
    "Takes on Democrats and that Bull Moose...


    "Damn straight," sang the Dancers, as the zombified former
President gyrated to the wockachicka sounds of his theme music.

    "Broke the trusts and kept the peace
    "Even more powerful now he's deceased...


    "Can you dig it?" the Dancers asked, as the undead executive
roared with delight.

    "Time's up, Taft!" said Occultism Kid, stepping out through a
door in the scoreboard.  "Your days of causing dissention within
the ranks of the Republican party -- and devouring the brains of
the living -- are over!"

    "Well, if it isn't the only magician the Net.Trenchcoat Brigade
ever rejected," said the President, in a husky, throaty voice
Occultism Kid knew all too well.

    "Ol' Scratch," Occultism Kid said, slowly shaking his head.
"I might have guessed."

    "How do you like the latest body I've possessed?" the demon
said, grabbing Taft's swollen stomach.  "You ought to try dressing
up with a few dead Presidents, Kid.  That trenchcoat of yours looks
like it's seen better days!"

    "I happen to have a fondness for things others might consider
to be out of style," Occultism Kid said, reaching within the folds
of his coat.  "Take this, for example... the fabled Eldritch
Cleaver of Oak.LAN, able to put even your twisted soul on ice!"

    The Net Necromancer threw the enchanted cutlery towards the
bloated corpse as the Solid Gold Dancers gasped.  Taft raised a
skeletal hand, and the ebony cleaver halted in mid-air before
dropping to the mound at his feet.  The Dancers applauded.

    "That the best you got?" Ol' Scratch said, the sockets of his
empty eyes glowing red.  "Shoot, boy, if that's all you throwin',
it won't be long before the people of this city will embrace my
policy of dollar diplomacy... and FEAST ON EACH OTHER'S BRAINS!

    "You shoulda called for backup," Scratch added, as black bolts
of retcotheric energy sizzled from his fingertips, searing
Occultism Kid, who toppled to the ground in pain.

    "He didn't need to," said a voice from out of left field.

    "What?  What's this?" Taft said, raising his withered arms
and whirling to face the intruder.  "Well, this is novel, all
right.  I've seen a person wear a monkey suit to a baseball game,
but I never saw a monkey in a trenchcoat before.  Tell the truth,
sucka... is it hard out there for a chimp?"

    "That's gorilla," said the newcomer, clutching a silver ankh
symbol in his simian fist.  "Gothic Gorilla, to you.  And I've come
to impeach your sorry ass."

    The corpse of President Taft beckoned to the Arcane Ape.

    "Bring it on, Bonzo," he growled.

        *                       *                       *

2 a.m., May 2, 2007

Fan.way Park, Home of the Net.ropolis Ninja Baseball Team
Southeast of Drayer Park

    "Can't...stop...dancing!" Ripping Dancer cried, her smooth,
sleek legs moving in sync with those of the Solid Gold Dancers
surrounding her.  "My clothes... they're starting to become all

    "Don't fight it, baby," a curly-haired Dancer said.  "Just
put a little boogie... in your butt!"

    "Hey!  Leave that butt of hers alone!" Easily-Discovered Man
Lite shouted, using his spatula to hold off the slavering fangs of
Thread Bear.  "That butt is a sacred treasure!  It belongs to the

    "Less talking, more rescuing," Ripping Dancer said.  "I
promised my mother on her deathbed that come what may, I'd never
become a disco dancer.  Don't let me let her down!"

    "I'll be working my way back to you, babe," Lite said, leaping
from seat to seat as Thread Bear demolished his way through the
bleachers.  "With a burning love inside!"

    "Please," Ripping Dancer insisted.  "Don't sing anything from
the '70s!"

    "Really?  What about that old Eagles classic...'The Greeks
Don't Want No Freaks!" said a new voice from the top of the
stadium staircase, as a young man wearing a fraternity sweatshirt
blasted Thread Bear with a powerful stream of wood-colored liquid.

    "Frat Boy!  Boy, am I glad to see you," Lite said. "How am I
supposed to use sarcasm and biting wit against wildlife?  It's like
trying to get Dick Cheney to look at the Constitution without
giving it the finger."

    "Hey, I'd never miss the opportunity to bring beers to bears in
baseball," Frat Boy said, cracking his knuckles.  "Although I'm
starting to wonder if blasting him with Samuel Adams' Honey Wheat
was a good idea."

    Thread Bear licked his lips and looked at the Greek Goliath
with something like affection.

    "You know, it's funny," Frat Boy said, edging backwards a
little.  "I'd always heard that Thread Bear was a guy in a bear

    "Tell you what," Lite said, as the bleachers shook with an
ursine growl.  "I'll hold his mouth open, and you stick your
mouth inside and check."

    "I've got a better plan," Frat Boy said, firing a gusher of
Red Stripe at the bear's snout.  "You keep him occupied, and I'll
keep him drinking until he passes out, becomes more sociable, or
goes running off in search of the bathroom."

    "I'm on it!" Lite said, leaping onto the bruin's back and
drawing his spatula against its throat.  Tugging hard with both
hands, the sidekick succeeded in making Thread Bear gag for a
moment before the creature ducked, launching Lite into an empty
concession stand.

    "Okay, I'm off it," Lite groaned, his jeans and T-shirt
dotted with bits of kettle corn.

    "Michelob Light!  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!  Zima!" Frat Boy
cried, pelting Thread Bear with one fermented beverage after
another.  Nothing seemed to slow the bear's advance.  "What am I
going to do?  Hard as it might be for me to believe, this could be
the one time in my life when sweet frosty suds can't save the day!"

    "Never say that," Lite said, using the back of the bleachers
to pull himself to his feet.  "Ever heard of Crazy Ed's Cactus
Creek Chili Beer?"

    "Of course!" Frat Boy said, firing a stream of the strong-
smelling fluid directly at the charging bear's eyes.  Thread Bear
screamed in pain.

    "Sorry, Thread Bear," Lite said, breaking a bleacher seat over
the animal's head.  "But if there's anything you can count on in
baseball, it's that the Cubs will always find a way to lose in the

    "Thanks, F.B.," he added, holding out a hand to Frat Boy as
the bear thudded to the floor.  "Listen, I know some things were
said between us the last time we saw each other...when you were
leading the LNH..."

    "Some things were said," Frat Boy said, letting Lite's hand
hang in the air.

    Lite lowered his hand.

    "I was kind of hoping we could let bygones be bygones," he
said, looking his friend in the eye.

    "I'm willing to forgive," Frat Boy said.  "But the forgetting
part might take me a while."

    "Hey!" shouted Ripping Dancer, whose clothing had almost
completely gone gold.  "How about putting the characterization on
hold for a minute, and dealing with the plot complication over

    "Lady has a point," Frat Boy said, as the other Dancers drew
closer to Ripping Dancer.  "But how are we supposed to stop a
beautiful woman from dancing?  That sounds more like a job for..."

    "No," Lite said.  "Don't say it.  For the love of Pete, don't
say it..."

    "EZEKIEL 21:13," bellowed a voice like an avalanche.  "Thus
says the LORD: A sword, a sword has been sharpened, a sword has
been burnished.  To work slaughter has it been sharpened, to flash
lightning has it been burnished!"

    A whirling shape swept down from the announcer's booth above
the field, striking one Dancer's head -- then another -- and
another -- before returning to the hand of a man who somersaulted
from the broadcast box and landed beside home plate.  He clutched
the object -- a battered, steel-covered Bible -- to his chest with
reverence before hurling it again.

    "Why should I now withdraw it?  You have spurned the rod and
every judgment!" said the Self-Righteous Preacher, wading through
the rows of dancing men and women with a venomous fury.  "While the
sword is doubled and tripled, this sword of slaughter, this great
sword that threatens all around.  That every heart may tremble,
for many will be the fallen!"

    Dancer after dancer fell to the grass, as the Preacher's mighty
Bible smacked against their skulls.

    "Cleave to the right!  Destroy to the left!  Wherever your edge
is turned," the Preacher roared, as the last Solid Gold Dancer
whirled around three times and toppled senselessly to the ground.
"Then I, too, shall brush one hand against the other and wreak my
fury, for I, the LORD, have spoken!"

    "Th...thank you," Ripping Dancer said, shaken.

    "One Kings 21," Self Righteous Preacher said, sneering at the
voluptuous net.heroine with obvious disdain. "Of Jezebel also has
the LORD spoken, saying 'The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district
of Jezreel.' "

    "I've said it before, and I'll say it again," Lite said, as
Self-Righteous Preacher strode past Ripping Dancer with supreme
indifference.  "Organized religion has no place on a baseball

        *                       *                       *

2:15 a.m., May 2, 2007

Fan.way Park, Home of the Net.ropolis Ninja Baseball Team
Southeast of Drayer Park

    "My Dancers may have fallen," Ol' Scratch said, extending his
arms toward Occultism Kid.  "But you'll find this old snake in the
grass is harder to beat," he added, as pale, ethereal serpents flew
from his sleeves, wrapping themselves around the Legionnaire.

    "Foul refugees from the netherworld!" Occultism Kid spat, as
the translucent serpents bared their fangs in his face.  "They have
no place on this level of reality!  Somebody get these
mother*@#$%^ing snakes off this mother@#$%^&ing plane!"

    "Done!" said Gothic Gorilla, casting an old Celtic spell known
as Patrick's Reptilian Repellant to dissipate the snakes.  "But
what are we going to do about the Presidential revenant?  I've
tried every spell and cantrip in my mystic arsenal... Egyptian,
Pictish, Mayan, Babylonian..."

    "We haven't tried Canadian," Occultism Kid said, raising his

    "Of course!" Gothic Gorilla said, as Ol' Scratch prepared
another attack.

    Side by side, the two heroic sorcerers began their incantation,
chanting together in a low voice.

    "By the Maple Leafs of Toronto
    "And Dion's flaring skirt
    "I bind you with the threefold pow'r
    "Of Lifeson, Lee and Peart!"

    "NOOOOOO!" Ol' Scratch screamed, as a circle of red flame
flared to life in the dirt beneath Taft's feet.  A pentagram
appeared in the circle, and three swirling hoops of pure energy
surrounded the demonic President, who pounded his fleshless fists
against them, to no avail.

    "You've trapped me with the power of Rush... the one band that
can never be broken!" the demon cried.

    "And now... we banish you from that which you stole... and from
this plane of existence!" said Occultism Kid, drawing the album
cover of "2112" from his trenchcoat and holding it before him like
a shield.

    "Very well," Ol' Scratch hissed.  "But not even their triune
power will save you from what lies ahead, spellcaster.  You know as
well as I that the hour of darkness is fast approaching... and when
its curtain falls, the damage we few have done today will be as a
blessed memory to those accursed souls who remain!"

    With that, the demon screamed... and the lifeless mass of
President Taft crumpled to the smoking pitcher's mound.

    "Exactly what hour of darkness was he talking about?" Gothic
Gorilla asked.

    "I'll fill you in on the way to LNH headquarters," Occultism
Kid said, as Self-Righteous Preacher, Frat Boy, Ripping Dancer and
Easily-Discovered Man Lite approached the infield.  "Something is
coming that will require the assistance of every friend the Legion
has ever had."

         *                       *                       *

2:24 a.m., May 2, 2007

Net.ropolis Brewery, south of Fan.way Park

    "Disaster?  Baby, there's no such thing as a public relations
disaster," said PR Kid, barking into a cell phone while pacing
before the front entrance of the Net.ropolis Brewery -- known to
generations of college students as the producer of "Net.ty Light."

    "Sure, people are burning our images in effigy right now," PR
Kid said, checking his Botoxed image in the mirrored lens of his
sunglasses.  "But thirty-nine percent say we're still more popular
than David Beckham... and you can take that to the bank, baby!"

    "Hold on, Lou," PR Kid added, as a mountain of muscle stomped
toward the brewery gates.  "The public wants a word."

    "Out of my way, puke!" the Chuggernaut shouted, one massive
fist crushing a streetside garbage bin as though it were an empty
beer can.  "I been locked up in that prison of yours for more than
a year without a brew!  I'm taking every last drop the city has...
and I'll flatten anyone or anything who gets in my way!"

    "Lou, you should see this guy!" PR Kid said, nodding and
smiling at the Chuggernaut while continuing his cell phone
conversation.  "He's got charisma that cannot be denied! What?  See
how he likes the LNH dice?  Well, it seems like the wrong time for
a product demo, but nobody knows 'em like you, Lou!"

    The Legionnaire reached into his pocket with his free hand and
scattered a handful of plastic dice on the path in front of him,
just as the Chuggernaut began his charge.  The titanic villain
sprinted toward PR Kid, tattered Hawaiian shirt flapping as he ran
-- and then sputtered obscenities as he lost his footing on the
pool of dice.

    Feet kicking, arms windmilling, dice flying in every direction,
the Chuggernaut wavered backwards and forwards for a few seconds
before losing traction altogether.  He clattered to the ground with
a tremendous thud, blinked twice, and was still.

    "You got the passion, sweetheart," PR Kid said, leaving a
business card on the chest of the unconscious villain.  "What you
need is better representation.  Call me.

    "I told Ultimate Ninja there'd be demand for those dice," PR
Kid said, continuing on his way.  "Now, on that Infinite Leadership
Crisis commemorative chess set... I want higher production values,
I want to move up the shipping date, and I want fewer clothes on
the Catalyst Lass piece.  What?  I don't care if she is the Queen!
Royalty got booty too, you know.  Look at Fergie!  No, not that

          *                       *                       *

2:35 a.m., May 2, 2007

Cauliflower the Christmas Miracle Pooch Memorial Playground,
Drayer Park

    "This is the way the world ends," Cynical Lass said, freezing a
Doughboy in mid-attack with her withering stare.  "Not with a bang,
but with yet another long, pointless fight scene."

    "It's just like you to take the fun out of a perfectly nice
campaign of senseless -- huh! -- violence," Footnote Girl said,
smashing the frozen golem into a thousand pieces with her hockey
stick.  "After being cooped up in that nether-realm for all those
months, it's nice to have a little fresh air and exercise for a

    "That's exactly the problem," Cynical Lass said, wiping a chunk
of shattered Doughboy from her hair.  "Haven't you ever wondered
why we usually have these showdowns in large abandoned warehouses,
blind alleys, or remote islands populated by creatures from a long-
forgotten time?"

    "Isn't it because that's where the villains are?" the
Parenthetical Princess replied.

    "We have our battles there for the same reason they test
nuclear weapons underground," Cynical Lass said.  "Because if
people were ever able to see how much damage they really did, they
might get upset enough to do something about it."

    "If you say so," Footnote Girl said, using the handle of her
hockey stick to scratch behind her ear.  "But what's somebody going
to do about it?"

    "Well, for openers they could -- watch out!" Cynical Lass said,
pulling Footnote Girl out of the way as a pair of scalpel-sharp
star-shaped waffles whizzed past.

    "I'd just give up if I were you," said Downyflake, drawing
another pair of waffle shuriken from one of the many pockets on
his silver suit.  "Unlike, say, George Lucas, I don't usually miss
more than once."

    Footnote Girl giggled.

    "Oh come on," Cynical Lass said.  "It's a dated reference."

    "It's not that," Footnote Girl explained.  "It's... oh, if
either of you could see the footnote..."

    "What is she talking about?" Downyflake said, looking down.

    "This," said Footnote Girl, driving the blade of her hockey
stick into his foot, and then jerking up, hard.  Cynical Lass
followed with a strong right cross to the villain's face.

    "Kid," said Cynical Lass, placing an arm around Footnote Girl's
shoulders as Downyflake keeled over, "this could be the beginning
of a beautiful friendship.  I..."


    Cynical Lass stumbled backwards as a long wooden pole jabbed
at her shoulder blades, her neck and her waist.

    "Bastard got me on pressure points..." the blonde hero gasped,
collapsing.  "Give 'em hell, kid."

    Footnote Girl stared at the half-human, half-robotic form of
the Alt.Imate Ninja twirling its staff in front of her and

    "How am I supposed to do that?" she asked.

    TOMORROW: Alt.Imate Ninja against the LNH!  Mynabird's
showdown with Fearless Leader!  And the Easily-Discovered Bran
Mite comes face-to-face with his arch-nemesis...

    Congratulations to Mitchell "Tarq" Crouch, winner of the
"Name the Team" contest!  Your season tickets to the
Net.ropolis Ninja are on their way!

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