LNH: Alt.stralian Yarns #12: Q4 - Of Sidekicks, Team-Mates, and Flamingos

Tarq mitchell_crouch at caladrius.com.au
Tue May 15 23:30:12 PDT 2007

In Alt.stralian Yarns #11, the Duo Contempo (consisting of Contempo
Weapons Lad and Obsessive-Compulsive Boy) met up with the illustrious
Team Q so that Contempo Weapons Lad could show Obsessive-Compulsive
Boy just how arrogant most net.heroes are.


Q4 - Of Sidekicks, Team-Mates, and Flamingos
By Mitchell 'Tarq' Crouch


"I still can't believe you guys just left me in the desert,"
complained the Pelican.

"I maintain that we didn't even know you were in the desert," Pow Bang
Wham stated firmly. "I mean, c'mon. We sent you off to look for help.
You could have gone anywhere, anywhere in the world! and you chose to
come back for us empty-handed. You could have at least brought, like,
petrol or something."

"Oh yeah, 'coz you know I could totally have afforded it!"

"Brothers, brothers!" scolded Metro Grill, stepping in between them.
"A little decorum, please. We are all seven of us back, safe and
sound, are we not?"

Pelican pouted and murmured, "Easy for you to say. You freakin'

Contempo Weapons Lad, however, looked up at this last comment. Well,
second-last. At what Metro Grill said, I mean. He looked suspicious
and not entirely pleased at the comment. "Seven of you? I can only
count five. I can," he repeated, stepping between Obsessive-Compulsive
Boy and Metro Grill, "only count five. And the two of us should be
going. Thanks for getting us out of the desert."

"Aaw," moaned OCBoy. "Do we have to? Can't we stay for a little while
longer, please? Please? Can we, can we, please?"


"But then what was the point of coming all this way, huh, huh? Why
can't we just-"

"Obsessive-Compulsive Boy?" growled Contempo Weapons Lad as he reached
for the door. "Just shut the -"

But then he was suddenly interrupted by a seven-metre-tall robotic
flamingo bursting through the front side of the building (which, by
the way, was Questionable Logic Man's suburban-home-turned-secret-base
at 37 Quaerere Lane). On top of it rode a sinister figure dressed in
Sauron-style pink metallic armour, with glowing red eyes and black
marks on the helmet as if to suggest a beak.

Team Q and the Duo Contempo stared in frank disbelief.

"Who the heck are you?" asked a really very confused Pelican.

"I," the figure boomed in a black power death metal voice, "am
Flamingor, the Lord, Master and Godking of all things flamingo!"

"That would be a lot more intimidating if it were intimidating in the
slightest," spat CWLad.

"The plastic yellow flamingos you have in your front yard," Flamingor
continued, "are an affront to my pink flamingos and their pink
flamingo-y goodness! They -- and you -- shall thuswise be destroyed,
crushed, and handled rather unfriendly-like by my army of... flamingos!"

On cue, a large flock of flamingos began to storm the building.
Several other large robotic flamingos also joined in, but they weren't
quite as tall as the one Flamingor was riding.

"Yellow flamingos...?" growled Contempo Weapons Lad.

Metro Grill blushed bright red. "Oops?"

The two groups of net.heroes jumped into action immediately, fending
off the raging flamingos as best they knew how.

"Ngawk, ngawk!" screeched Pow Bang Wham as he waded into the thick of
it, his mimicking sounds granting him immunity and super-awesomeness
to the flamingo stampede as he broke necks all around him. Metro Grill
flamed on, and began setting fire to the feathered fiends as soon as
they came too close to him. This unexpectedly effective onslaught was
bolstered by Azure X, whose very touch made the flamingos flesh begin
to bubble and tear itself apart.

Their attack became even more vicious when Questionable Logic Man
nonchalantly stated to Obsessive-Compulsive Boy, "Don't worry -- we're
the net.heroes, we always win!" And the flamingos were pushed back
even further.

Contempo Weapons Lad, who was holding his own by wielding Questionable
Logic Man's lounge in one hand and a now splintered and sharp coffee
table in the other, called out, "Pelican! Fly up and disable

The Pelican did what was requested off him, and faced Flamingor
evenly. "Flamingor!" he cried, "Your legions are already as good as
decimated! Surrender now, and we won't totally rip you apart."

"That," replied Flamingor, "is a very silly idea you have."

And with that, the seven-metre-tall robotic flamingo's wings raised so
that they were parallel to the ground, and the entire thing began

"What the...? It's a flamingo! Flamingos can't fly! This is madness!"

"No no no," Flamingor smirked, "this is the Looniverse!"

And one of the giant flamingos legs, which was no longer required to
be stood upon, whipped out and enclosed the Pelican within its mighty

Flamingor took a small moment to savour this slight victory over a
force of justice, and then ordered his slightly smaller RoboMingos to
execute their daring plan.

Team Q braced themselves as the robotic flamingos went into action.
But rather than attacking the heroes, they instead shot strange pink
gosh darn lasers out of their eyes at the yellow plastic flamingos.
The plastic turned pink before the decoration exploded into ten real
flamingos. These then joined the fray.

Contempo Weapons Lad grimaced and threw his lounge at a RoboMingo. Who
knew what other tricks the Lord of All Things Flamingo-y would have up
his sleeve? Swatting flamingos out of the way with the broken coffee
table, he threw the cumbersome weapon aside for something lighter that
would accommodate for a fancier fighting style.

Yanking a yellow plastic flamingo out of the ground, some wires that
apparently held it there and allowed it to light up snapped and
crackled, and the avian model lit up bright blue. Raising an eyebrow
but not caring enough to pause, Contempo Weapons Lad jumped on top of
a RoboMingo, and then proceeded to leap onto Flamingor's giant robotic

"G'day," Contempo Weapons Lad said dangerously.

"Why hello there," greeted Flamingor, who (as Contempo Weapons Lad
could now see) was holding a pink cane with the handle in the shape of
a flamingos head. With a quick twist of his wrist, he pulled the cane
apart, revealing that it was not in fact a cane, but the sheath for... a
slightly smaller cane!

"Insidious," murmured Contempo Weapons Lad.

Nudging a button on the 'eye' of the handle, Flamingor's weapon began
to glow pink and emit a noise not entirely unlike an electric razor.
"It is," he stated casually, "made out of pure flamintium. You shall
find no mercy here, net.hero!"

Their glowing weapons met with an almighty clash as they duelled, and
the robotic flamingo rose higher and higher into the sky...

~ * ~

"You know," Pow Bang Wham stated as they continued to rip into
flamingos, "I could have sworn we should have run out of things to
kill by now."

Turning the last standing RoboMingo into a molten pile of pink
flamintium as he burst straight through, Metro Grill replied, "Yeah. I
really do feel that they should all have been dead by now."

"There is only one logical conclusion!" cried Questionable Logic Man.
"They must be reviving as soon as we kill them!"

There was a bright sounding 'ding!', and all the flamingos were back
on their feet.

Azure X glowered, and a mouth formed on her blue face as she snarled,
"I hate you so much sometimes."

~ * ~

Meanwhile, dramatic John Williams music was playing as Contempo
Weapons Lad and Flamingor continued to beat at each other with glowing
flamingos; duh duh duhn duhn duhn duh duh-duh-duh! duh duh duhn duhn
duhn duh duhn-duh da-da-da, duhn-duh da-da-da, duhn-duh da-da-da, and
so on and so forth.

Flamingor swept his cane low, and Contempo Weapons Lad jumped to avoid
a painfully bruised ankle. Bringing his garden decoration up to block
the following chop, he spun around behind Flamingor and moved to
deliver the final blow.

But Flamingor's spike-covered armour proved too much for the weak
plastic, and it snapped in half and stopped glowing as the net.villain
turned around and whacked CWLad's wrist. Hard.

"Ouch!" he yelped as the flamingo slipped from his numb hand, tumbling
down to the earth below. "Wow. We're really very high up. I hadn't
noticed that before."

"Yes," agreed Flamingor, dropping the black death power metal voice
for a mo. "Now, quit bothering me, kid. I have a net.hero team to

"You can't tell me what to do! You're not my father!"

"No," Flamingor shot back, voice back in full fear gear as he stood
victoriously over his fallen opponent. "I am not your father!"

"...no." agreed Contempo Weapons Lad.

There was a moment of dramatic, if somewhat awkward, silence. "Well,"
Lord Flamingor said after a while. "I'm going to get back to piloting
this thing back down there now, okay? Just... yeah, just stay over there
for a bit."

"Wait, what? You're just going to turn your back on me?"

"Well... yeah. I mean, we need to get back down there."

"But I could kill you! From behind!"

Flamingor snorted. "Oh, come on. You already tried that when you had a
weapon. What makes you think you could do it now?"

"I could always just throw you off."

"Well, yes, yes, I suppose you could, really. But keep in mind that I
_can_ fly on my own. If you were really going to do that, I could just
disable this giant robotic flamingo right now, and leave you to
plummet to your death."

"No you can't!"


"Well, I'm just saying that if you could do that, you would. I mean,
why take us both back down there? You could kill me -- and anyone
under me -- right now with considerable less effort than you'd use

"Good," said Flamingor, "point." And with that he smashed his fist
into the control panel and ripped out a bunch of presumably very
important wires.

The giant flamingo, and by extension CWLad, began to plummet down to
the Looni.earth. Flamingor, meanwhile, stood in midair, cackling very
unneighbourly indeed.

~ * ~

"Now, look," Pow Bang Wham complained, "this is just a tad ridiculous,
don't you think?"

The various members of Team Q, along with Obsessive-Compulsive Boy,
were sitting on top of Questionable Logic Man's home, safely out of
reach of the indestructible flamingos.

"What I don't understand," mused Questionable Logic Man, "is what
possible use an invincible army of flamingos is. I mean, sure, they're
invincible, but they can't fight very well at all. They're a
distraction, at best. I'd say they were probably meant to distract us
from something."

And with that, there was an almighty crash and a rather large
explosion as the seven-metre-tall robotic flamingo hit the ground
about two hundred metres away.

"Uh-oh," said Obsessive-Compulsive Boy. "I think, I think, I'm not
sure, but I think, I'm pretty sure, that Contempo Weapons Lad, that
he, that he, that he was on the giant flamingo, and the giant
flamingo, it just, it just, exploded in, like, an explosion, and it
went boom, and uh-oh, uh-oh, UH-OH!!"

Metro Grill patted the distraught boy on the shoulder. "There there.
Look on the bright side of things. At least he took down a significant
threat to the fair city of Alt.elaide with him."

Flamingor landed on the roof next to them.

"Okay, _almost_ took down a significant threat to the fair city of
Alt.elaide. That's still pretty commendable, eh?"

"Hello!" said Flamingor cheerily in his black death power metal voice.
"Sorry to bother you, but I sort of need to kill you all now that I
destroyed the annoying guy with the remarkably good ideas. I mean, we
wouldn't want his sacrifice to be in vain, now, would we?"

"Actually," mused Questionable Logic Man, "I don't think that you'd be
here just now, rambling on like this unless you were reasonably
certain of your success. I think our best bet would be to flee for
now, regroup somewhere else, then come back and fight you again later.
And seeing as how I'm the leader of the team, that's exactly what
we're going to d-"

And Team Q (and OCBoy) disappeared in a puff of questionable logic.

The flamingos calmed down, and their Lord, Master and Godking looked
around as if expecting a trick. He looked over his right shoulder. He
looked over his left shoulder. He looked so far over his right
shoulder that he spun right around. Then he did the same thing the
other way. He paused for a moment. He slowly began to look right... and
then snapped his head to the left, as if to catch someone who might be
sneaking up behind him. When this failed, he stood up perfectly
straight, said "Hm." and tapped an armour-clad finger on his armour-
clad chin.

"This," he said to no one but himself, "was sort of unexpected."

~ * ~

Billy Hughes was a nice man. He was a very amiable young journalist in
his mid twenties, and had thus far had a very successful and rewarding
life. He'd done a lot of exciting, adventurous things, and was just
about to recap them for the benefit of you, the reader, when Team Q
and Obsessive-Compulsive Boy popped into existence in front of him.

"Hello!" chirped Metro Grill. "How are you?"

"Uh... good?"

"That's good, then! I don't suppose you'd mind telling us where we

"Uuh... Cent.rec.point Tower?"

"Cent.rec.point?" Pow Bang Wham frowned. "In Syd.net? Questionable
Logic Man, what did you teleport us to Syd.net for?"

"I don't know," admitted QLMan. "I just said we'd all meet up
somewhere later. This must just be where we meet up."

Obsessive-Compulsive Boy's eyes widened. "With Contempo Weapons Lad?"

Questionable Logic Man chortled heartily. "Of course not! Contempo
Weapons Lad is dead!"

Azure X, standing quietly off to the side, nodded contentedly.

"But, but, then, what about the Duo Contempo, that's, that is, that
was, that's Contempo Weapons Lad, my friend, my pal, my buddy, my
chum, and me, that's me, I'm me, I am, what about the Duo Contempo?"

"I think," stated Pow Bang Wham wisely, "that the Duo Contempo may
have been disbanded. Seeing as how there's only one surviving member.
That usually, y'know, spells the death for a net.hero team."

"But not Super Duper Awesome Team Force Go, not them, Contempo Weapons
Lad kept them going after they all died!"

"Um. Actually, I thought he disbanded the team and then the Duo
Contempo was formed."

"Oh. Right. So now I disband the team and form the Duo Contempo?"

"No," intervened Questionable Logic Man. "Now you find a new net.hero
team to join."

"Ooooh. Like Team Q?"

"Yes. Like Team Q."

"Mokay then."

Questionable Logic Man grinned charismatically. "Welcome," he welcomed
Obsessive-Compulsive Boy, "to Team Q."

Billy Hughes hurried off to secure the movie rights.

~ * ~

Contempo Weapons Lad was falling.

In direct defiance of the standard laws of physics, his lighter weight
was making him fall slightly slower than the doomed giant metallic

He had watched Lord Flamingor salute mockingly as he flew down to
gloat at the net.heroes, and before that, the rather large explosion
of the giant robotic flamingo. All in all, he decided, he had seen
better days.

Suddenly, as the last possible minute, the standard laws of physics
were once again smashed into tiny inconsequential details as the
Pelican zoomed in and caught the falling hero. Even though the impact
to the two men colliding would have been more or less equal to the
force of Contempo Weapons Lad smashing into the ground and dying, no
harm was sustained by either party.

"What the heck was that?!" he screeched as the Pelican placed him down
a couple of blocks away.

"I'm not sure," admitted the Pelican. "One second, I was practicing my
1337 contortion skillz inside the giant foot of a robotic flamingo,
and the next thing I know, the talon opens, I fall out, and I'm
watching you fall. I figured that Questionable Logic Man would be
heaps pissed if I let you die, so I swoop in and try to kill myself by
diving into you arms-first. And then we're both alive. I assume that
Quel himself must have had something to do with it."

"Nice to know," snarled the Master of Mundane Materials, "that you
value my life so much."

"I love my neighbours as they love me."

"I guess that's why you live in such a shoddy neighbourhood."

"I don't live at the QHQ," the Pelican sniffed, referring to QLMan's
house. "I have my own yacht to live on, you know. With like, stuff
that's better than the little community centre Questionable Logic
Man's got going."

"Stuff like?"

"An absence of insanely angry flamingos, for starters."

Contempo Weapons Lad considered this for a moment. "Do you think," he
said slowly, "that we could seek refuge there now, and find a way to
meet up with the others later? They've probably relocated as well by

Pelican thought about it, and then nodded. "I agree. It won't be easy
to find them again -- Quel has a bad habit of teleporting randomly to
advance the storyline. But they sure wouldn't have stayed here."

"Then let's go."

There was a pause.

"Um," said Pelican. "I sort of need a run up to get flying. And I need
to flap my arms. Just at the, y'know, start. I can't carry you there."

And thus did many people grow vastly confused at the sight of two men
in spandex, one piggy-backing the other, running along the street
flapping their arms.

~ * ~

"Y'know," said Pow Bang Wham as they enjoyed the view from the top of
Cent.rec.point Tower, "I've never been to Syd.net before."

"Really?" Grill replied in a tone that suggested that he really didn't



The two net.heroes nodded contentedly, and Azure X smacked her
forehead in frustration.

~ * ~

Contempo Weapons Lad jumped back around the corner, pulling Pelican
back with him.

"What? What is it?"

"Flamingos," CWLad growled. "Flamingor must have figured that Team Q
would retreat back to the harbour if Quaerere Lane went down."

"The only problem with his theory," agreed Pelican, "is that
Questionable Logic Man and the others are totally irrational. They
wouldn't go somewhere that could actually help them defeat a
net.villain menace quickly and quietly; they do it with flair,
endangering the lives of countless innocents and prolonging the
inevitable defeat. And you know what?"

"Humour me."

"People love 'em for it. It's ridiculous."

As the unlikely couple snuck through backalleys to get to a better
vantage point of the port, Contempo Weapons Lad gave his partner a wry
look. "If I may," he began, "indirectly quote one of my fallen
comrades, I-Just-Can't-Quite-Seem-To-Get-My-Spandex-To-Fit Man, why
are you on the team? They're all idiots. You're not. What gives?"

The Pelican considered this as they made their way along the grimy
lane. "I suppose it has something to do with 'duty'. I have powers; I
should use them for the benefit of my fellow man. I have brains; I
should use them for the benefit of my fellow man. What better way to
do that than to keep that band of well-meaning idiots alive?"

"But," argued CWLad, "they're idiots."

Pelican nodded regretfully.

Coming to the northernmost point of the bay, they could now view a sea
of flamingos surrounding an even larger robotic mount. Lord Flamingor
seemed to be yelling something out at the crowd of avians, but the
heroes were, alas, too far to hear anything.

After straining their senses for a while, Contempo Weapons Lad spoke
up once more. "If only," he did say, "if only one of us had powers
that allowed us to stay under the water for an improbably long period
of time, and thuswise eavesdrop on the nefarious plots of our pinkish

"Yeah," said Pelican as he moved back to prepare for a run-up. "Tough
break, eh?" With that, he dived into the water, leaving CWLad alone to
watch his shadow zoom along beneath the waves.

"...show off."

~ * ~

"Look at that," yawned Questionable Logic Man as he reclined
comfortably in Cent.rec.point Tower, "cloud."

"Yes. It is rather," seconded Pow Bang Wham, "pretty."

"It looks like my," agreed Metro Grill.

The other heroes waited for him to finish his sentence. When this
finish did not come, an awkward silence did ensue.

~ * ~

"They're moving out," reported the Pelican. "Also, Flamingor made an
off-to-the-side remark remarking that it's fortunate we only destroyed
his big robotic flamingo, and not the UltraFlamingo SuperRobot >9000
that he's currently using as a ride, as the aforementioned
UltraFlamingo SuperRobot >9000 is his source of power over his
flamingo-y minions."

"Funny the way villains always gloat like that. You'd think they'd
realise that's the sources of their downfalls and sort of, y'know,
stop it."

"Yes. I was actually reading an article about that the other day.
Apparently, that's part of the net.villain complex -- being completely
unable to avoid eventual defeat due to consistent leaking of insidious

Eventually, the UFSR>9000 and the flamingo flock moved out, and
Contempo Weapons Lad and the Pelican were able to make it down to the
Pelican's yacht. They put up the sails, hastily untied all those crazy
ropes, and set sail.

"Do you think that Flamingor could have like, put homing devices on
your ship or whatever?"

"Naw. Just flick on the radio and see if you can get any word about
the machinations of the rest of Team Q, would you?"

Contempo Weapons Lad reached over and turned the dial on the swanky
radio, filling the cabin with the deep, ultra-male voice of a news

"...and this is Billy Hughes, reporting live from Cent.rec.point Tower,"
the voice was saying, "where just earlier this evening, five members
from Alt.stralia's illustrious Team Q teleported, simply popped into
existence, right here in front of the eyes of dozens of stunned

"Typical," murmured Pelican as he began to point the boat towards

"Verily," agreed Contempo Weapons Lad. "There's _four_ members of Team
Q there, and my darn sidekick."

"We've been informed," Billy Hughes continued, "that Team Q's newest
member, Obsessive-Compulsive Boy, is one of the heroes to have made
the teleport to Syd.net's Favourite Phallic Symbol. Obsessive-
Compulsive Boy, is there anything you'd like to say to our listeners
at home?"

Contempo Weapons Lad's eyes widened and his face went visibly scarlet
as OCBoy's voice replaced that of the reporter. "Hiya hi hi, I'm
Obsessive-Compulsive Boy, yup, uh-huh, yeah, that's me! I'm a
net.hero, uh-huh, yeah, I'm in Team Q, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-h-!"

The rest of the report faded into static as CWLad shoved a small GPS
into the heart of the radio and sparks flew everywhere.

"What the Hell?!" he raged. "What the Hell?! Why is my sidekick on the
radio saying that he's joined the biggest league of losers since...

"Since Genera-?"

"Shut up and keep driving the damn boat!"

"Actually, one doesn't 'drive' the boat as such-"

"Just _shut up_!!" There was an intense moment of silence. "They're
going to get him killed," CWLad continued at length. "Damn it,
Questionable Logic Man! Would it really have hurt you to have warped
us all to your stupid little birds nest?!"

"I don't mean to interrupt your senseless fury," the Pelican intoned,
"but I think you might be overreacting just a lot. I mean, it's not
like he signed away his soul or whatever."

"I don't care!" Contempo Weapons Lad hissed. "I really don't care! The
fact is that your friends are idiots, and now they've got a grip on
some poor kid who I've taken responsibility for!"

"Oookay. Well. Let's finish off Flamingor, and then you can yell at
Questionable Logic Man all you want. Until then, if you could refrain
from further destroying my yacht, that would be really really swell.
As in, really. Seeing as how you're sort of relying on it not to let
you drown at this point, and all."

"Fine," pouted CWLad. "I'm going to go find a corner to be all angsty
in. Not that I'll enjoy it or anything."

"Goody for you." Turning back to his control panel, which was full of
various extremely useful instruments and dials and gauges and buttons
and things, all of which are totally necessary for a boat to work and
do very important thing, really, they are, honest, the Pelican rolled
his eyes and sighed. This was going to be a long trip.

~ * ~


~ * ~

"Contempo Weapons Lad?"


"We've reached Syd.net Harbour."

"About time, too. Can we go to Cent.rec.point now?"

"Um. Don't you think that Team Q would have left the Tower by now? It
_has_ been three days, after all."

"Hunh. That would be a good point, except for one thing that I know
which you, apparently, do not."


"There's a giant robotic flamingo on top of Cent.rec.point as we
speak, terrorising the general populace."

"Aah. Now that you mention it, that would explain the giant robotic
flamingo on top of Cent.rec.point."

"What can I say, I'm full of good ideas."

The Pelican dropped anchor, Contempo Weapons Lad jumped on his back,
and he leapt over the railing of the yacht, running along the water,
gaining momentum, before flashing off into the sky.

A couple of comical Greek fisherman looked up at the heroes as they
left, and made comical Greek faces and said comical sounding Greek
words meaning something along the lines of, "Huh. Look at that, eh?"
to end the scene.

~ * ~

On top of Cent.rec.point, however, things were not going quite so
comically, nor indeed quite so Greek.

Questionable Logic Man had managed to convince himself that the
flamingos were no longer invincible, and thus were they not, but with
the help of some new RoboMingos they had broken through the roof and
into the viewing deck. Pow Bang Wham had severed the elevator,
preventing the flamingos from infecting the rest of the building, and
Obsessive-Compulsive Boy was stationed downstairs, clearing everyone
out of the Pitt St. Mall in case the diabolical birds should try to
come up from the bottom or, even worse, if the gigantic structure
should fall.

Okay, so maybe by today's standards it isn't quite so gigantic, and
it's a lot harder to pick out in Syd.net's skylines, but it could
still cause a catastrophic domino effect. Wow, that's a really great
idea, actually. I'm going to remember that now, jot it down, use it
again later. Though probably not in this story, as it's already up to
thirteen A4 pages in size 12 Times New Roman. It probably doesn't help
that I'm just rambling on like this when there's like, an epic battle
going on, but hey, that's the way I role, baby. Also, I need to make
up for the lack-of-rambling that there has been due to excessive
dialogue and-

-a flamingo was forcefully hurled through a window-

-there has been an awful lot of it this issue, hasn't there? I need to
go through and rewrite a couple of scenes. Of course, by the time you
read this I will have already rewritten them, so just imagine how
unruly they must have been before. Hideous, no? I wonder if I'll
actually leave this large clump of useless text here. Probably.
Y'know, actually, it also occurs to me that-

-a chimpanzee lost in the jungles of Sumatra shrieked wildly as he
discovered fire-

-I should probably get back to the story now, eh? As in, the real
story. I could tell you about Chimp-With-Fire, but I figure I'll save
that for next Ape Month instead. Though, now that I think of it, are
there chimpanzees in Sumatra? Well, I did say lost. I actually did
type that the first time, I didn't edit it in later. Just in case you
were wondering. Which I suppose, realistically, you probably wouldn't
have been, but in the off chance that you were-

-Metro Grill fried the last flamingo standing-

-then I felt, I really did feel, that it was my duty to... wait. Run
that last one by me again?

Metro Grill fried the last flamingo standing.

As in, they're all gone now?, I hear you gasp. Yes, gentle reader --
the crisis has been averted. It's all over.

Best fight scene ever, no?

~ * ~

Questionable Logic Man watched as the last flamingo standing was
indeed fried by Metro Grill. "Well, that finished them off, then, eh?"

Cheers resounded throughout the uppermost level of Cent.rec.point

"And now, with Flamingor and his grand army of flamingos defeated-"

"Who actually got Flamingor?"

All eyes turned to Azure X, who had finally gotten a line in.
Questionable Logic Man frowned. "Beg pardon?"

"Well, we were all here fighting flamingos, but I didn't actually see
Flamingor once during the battle. So, whilst we have again evaded his
pink army of hindrance, who actually beat Flamingor?"

There was a short pause. And, though it was short, it was
disproportionately awkward. But net.heroes exist to dispel such
moments, do they not? So it was, then, that QLMan broke the silence by
proclaiming, "Well... I'm quite certain that someone did. We _are_ a
net.hero team, after all."

As if on cue, Contempo Weapons Lad slipped through the hole in the
roof. "Hey noobs. 'Sup?"

"Contempo Weapons Lad?!" cried Metro Grill. "We all thought you were

"No, no," he assured them. "The Pelican and I both survived, and have
been working together to stop Flamingor."

Pow Bang Wham snapped his fingers. "Pelican! That's the one. I thought
we were missing someone. I just couldn't put my finger on it."

Team Q, minus the Pelican and OCBoy, looked around and nodded,
observing that the Pelican was, indeed, not there.

"You only just noticed that he wasn't here?"

Questionable Logic Man shuffled uncomfortably. "Well... it's not like he
did much. He just sort of flew around and did heaps of stuff."

"But he flies! You're not much of a hero team without someone who can
fly, are you?"

The various members of Team Q looked at their feet and mumbled
numerous unintelligible things.

"Not that it matters right now, anyway. Pel's off fighting Flamingor
on the UltraFlamingo SuperRobot >9000 as we speak. Speaking of
speaking," CWLad said as he spoke, "I heard Obsessive-Compulsive Boy's
speech about joining Team Q. Well, not all of it. I smashed the radio
in a blind fury right at the start. Where is he?"

"Um. Actually, he's stationed downstairs, clearing out civilians in
case the fight should have escalated. Escalated downwards. Hm. I
wonder if there's a word for that?"

Contempo Weapons Lad's eye twitched. "Wait. In case the deadly
struggle should move downstairs, you put one kid down there -- one
really pretty useless kid down there -- and you expect him to be able
to hold his own?"

"Of course. Have some faith, Contempo Weapons Lad!" beamed
Questionable Logic Man. "That, and he was too annoying to keep up here
for much longer anyway."

"I can't believe this! This is my sidekick we're talking about here --
you can't just grab him and bugger off and do whatever with him
whenever you feel like it! I'm responsible for him!"

"Actually, he did join Team Q, so-"

"So nothing," hissed Contempo Weapons Lad, his eyes burning with fury.
"What the Hell were you thinking, you idiots?! He's just a kid!! He's
just," he continued screaming as he ran over to the elevator and began
tapping buttons madly, "a kid!!"

When no response followed, Pow Bang Wham clicked his fingers and
exclaimed, "Ah! That's right. We disabled the elevator so that the
flamingos couldn't leak downstairs."

Contempo Weapons Lad's tapping of the button slowly slowed to a halt.
"You... disabled the elevator?"


"So they couldn't get down."


"And did it occur to you that we, too, would not be able to get down?"


"And you went along with it anyway?"


"Do you realise that you are an idiot?"

"Yes. Wait, what, sorry? I sort of stopped listening after the second

"Pow Bang Wham," growled Contempo Weapons Lad, "do you or do you not
realise that we are now trapped up here, with no way of safely

Pow Bang Wham looked from side to side. When he had deduced that that,
indeed, was their situation, he grinned slyly and smirked, "Heh heh.

Contempo Weapons Lad looked around the room desperately. There had to
be some way of getting out of this stinking corpse-filled room. "Pow
Bang Wham, give me a leg-up -- I'm getting out the way I got in."

"Through the hole in the roof?"

"Exactly. Now leg me up, I don't have all day."

When PB Wham had helped the younger hero onto the roof, Contempo
Weapons Lad yelled back down, "Questionable Logic Man! I'm a net.hero
and a main character, correct?"

"Well, of course-"

"So if I jump off the side of this building, some incredibly unlikely
event will take place to secure my survival, yes?"

"Uh, Contempo Weapo-"

"I'll see you at the bottom!" With a bitter salute, Contempo Weapons
Lad's head disappeared from the hole, and a moment later, a maroon
blur sped past the wall-size window.

"Hrm. Actually, I'm not quite sure that my powers work that way."

There was a moment of silence, before everyone slowly turned towards
Questionable Logic Man, their eyes wide in horror.

"You bloody bastard," murmured a shocked Azure X.

~ * ~

Thing on the UltraFlamingo SuperRobot >9000, however, were going far
more interestingly. No, it wasn't enough that they were battling in
mid-air, as was the CWLad-Flamingor duel earlier -- now that both
combatants could fly of their own free will, the UltraFlamingo
SuperRobot >9000 (as well as being notably larger than the previous
giant robotic flamingo) was merely the centre of the fight, with blue
and pink darts whizzing through the air, grappling hand-to-hand.

The Pelican would occasionally land on the UltraFlamingo SuperRobot
>9000 before running up to the control panel and attempting to disable
the flamingo-controlling war machine. However, Lord Flamingor,
seemingly realising that this was his aim, would stand between the
hero and his goal, thuswise forcing the Pelican to swerve away to
build up enough momentum to take off into the skies again.

In short, they had a stalemate.

Not your usual sort of stalemate, of course, because they were beating
the living daylights out of one another, but a stalemate nonetheless,
as Flamingor could no more punish the Pelican than the Pelican could
disable the UltraFlamingo SuperRobot >9000.

The two punched at each other some more, grappled, and were flung
apart panting and gasping for breath. "You know," said an exhausted
Flamingor, "I don't think we're getting anywhere with this. Wouldn't
it be wiser of you to go back, get some of your friends, and then
distract me while one of them blows up my UltraFlamingo SuperRobot

"Yes," agreed the Pelican as the two powered figures circled each
other around the spinning UFSR>9000, "but I'm reasonably certain that
you're only defending the robot so badly because you have other
flamingos that you're still controlling. It's not so much that you're
an inconvenient threat that's been more or less extinguished until
next we meet, so much as you're a very much active threat who's
totally ready to pounce if I concede you a few minutes."

Flamingor considered this for a moment, not entirely sure as to what
he should say. Finally, he replied, "See, now you've put me in a very
difficult position. I have to really prioritise now, because not only
do you know that I have a backup army, but you know how I'm
controlling it and how to stop me. I have to question whether it's
more worth to me to have all this power and use it now, or to kill you
through any means possible so that you don't go around spreading my

They both landed on opposite ends of the UFSR>9000, perfectly silent.
Flamingor reached behind him without taking his eyes off of the
Pelican and picked up his flamintium cane.

The Pelican didn't blink.

Flamingor brought the cane up, perpendicular to the ground so many
kilometres below them, and the pink glow gave the pink UltraFlamingo
SuperRobot >9000 and Flamingor's pink armour an oddly pink shade.

All in all, it clashed horribly with the shades of blue on the
Pelican's costume.

Suddenly, it all happened at once. With a vicious snarl, Flamingor
hurled the cane at the Pelican. As it flipped end over end, he also
smashed his fist into the control panel of the UltraFlamingo
SuperRobot >9000, sending it spiralling out of control.

Pelican, who had been preoccupied dodging the flamintium cane, jerked
backwards as the platform beneath him shuddered. The entire robot
began to fall from the sky, and Lord Flamingor was left standing in
mid-air once more, imperiously gazing over the demise of his nemesis.
As far as he knew, no one else knew about the secrets of his control
of the flamingos now. This was a time for celebration.

The Pelican continued falling, his arms and legs flailing about,
hopelessly trying to grab onto something to slow his descent, or find
something to gain some momentum off so that he could fly. But nothing

He heard a massive crunch as the spastic out-of-control UltraFlamingo
SuperRobot >9000 hit Syd.net Harbour beneath him, and he spun through
the air to come face to face with the rippling waters.

~ * ~

While all this was happening, Contempo Weapons Lad was plummeting
towards his own untimely death.

About halfway down, he realised that nothing had happened to secure
his survival yet. Beginning to fret, he started to desperately flap
his arms. When this served no determinable purpose, he began to
scream, too.

Below him, he could see that flamingos were, indeed, swamping the
lower stories of Cent.rec.point. A few of them looked up at his
hopeless figure, and he could see his shadow outlined on their pinky
pink pinkness. Most of them, however, appeared to be crowded into one
small area, ripping something apart. Something that looked unnervingly
like a person in spandex.

Closing his eyes in what can, realistically, only be described as
utter terror, Contempo Weapons Lad prepared for the inevitable. It
didn't feel like he was falling downwards anymore -- it felt as if
something were pushing him to the side, almost upwards. Slightly
confused by these hallucinogenic sensations, he opened his eyes to
observe that he was, in fact, about a storey off of the ground, and
was indeed slowly moving upwards.

He dropped again, landed more-or-less safely, and, completely puzzled
by what had just happened, began to break through the necks of many,
many flamingos to get to the figure he had observed earlier.

Suddenly, the flamingos stopped in their tracks. They look around
confusedly, before toddling off to go about their regular harmless
flamingo business. Contempo Weapons Lad snapped any of them that
happened to get too close to him in half, and fought his way through
the indifferent avian crowd to try to reach the figure who, he had
convinced himself, was Obsessive-Compulsive Boy.

"OCBoy!" he cried as he neared the figure. "Obesessive-Compulsive

There was a loud thudding behind him, and he shot a look over his
shoulder to see Obsessive-Compulsive Boy locked inside the bottom
floor of Cent.rec.point Tower, banging on the glass and waving

Contempo Weapons Lad stopped to frown in confusion. If Obsessive-
Compulsive Boy was there, who had been on the ground, being attacked
by all those flamingos? He returned around (I do believe that that's
the correct usage of the word 'returned') in time to see the back leg
of the figure disappear around the corner. Shrugging off his concern
for the stranger's fate, he began to move towards the tower.

Obsessive-Compulsive Boy unlocked the door and came out, the two
heroes greeting one another warmly. "Hiya, Contempo Weapons Lad, hiya,
hi, hi hi! Hi!"

"OCBoy! Thank goodness! I thought you were dead!"

Obsessive-Compulsive Boy scoffed. Finding that he quite liked the
noise it made, he scoffed again. His eyes shining with incalculable
joy, he scoffed again and again until he hyperventilated. Contempo
Weapons Lad frowned and looked around worryingly, before

The comic is interrupted by an ad for ALT.STRALIAN YARNS #13: Q5,
hitting shelves this June! The splash page shows a panicked looking
Contempo Weapons herding a slightly worried Obsessive-Compulsive Boy
away from two titanic black figures facing each other in battle, with
two other shadowy figures standing off to one side, and Eureka,
Foundim, and Thatswhereiputthebloodything standing on the other, their
eyes glowing and sizzling a foreboding red. In the background,
Questionable Logic Man's stylised 'Q' that I may or may not have
mentioned he has on his chest is visible. Some conspicuous text
adds, "* Assuming that your normal yarn is only as long as, say, AY#1.
Not this one, obviously, that would be absurdly long. Don't be absurd,
you absurdity."

shrugging dramatically and heaving his unconscious sidekick onto his
shoulder. Looking around suspiciously, he ran out onto the street, and
then as far away from Cent.rec.point as he could reasonably travel
with an unconscious child on his back.

The further I can get away from Team Q, he had decided, the better off
we'll both be.

As he rounded a corner and disappeared into the infinite streets of
Syd.net, two figures, hidden in the darkness of a seventeenth floor
office building, watched his progress with great interest indeed.

"He's running again," one of them growled.

"He doesn't know what from," the other countered.

"He's a coward."

"He shows great promise. He's idealistic. He just needs an education."

The first figure spread her wings wide, taking up most of the small
room they were occupying. "Then let us educate him."


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