NTB/LNH: Beige Countdown #0: (3/4)

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 29 19:26:49 PDT 2008


1992 -

"It's done.  They're trapped."  Phil M. Norrish released his grips from 
the hands of Queen Bee's Knees and the dead corpse of the Golden 
Trenchcoat and walked over to the Book.  There in the pages of the Book 
of Deus ex Machinas were the images of Dekay and Diskolor.  Trapped in 
the pages.  He slammed the book shut.

"Golden!  Golden!!  Oh god!  You killed him!  Your spell killed him!" 
said Queen Bee's Knees, an old lady in an old style flapper get up with 
a trenchcoat as she rushed over to the Golden Trenchcoat's corpse and 
cradled him while tears streamed from her eyes.  "Golden."

"He knew what he was getting into," Phil M. Norrish said fishing around 
in one of his pockets for a cigarette and match.  Finding both he placed 
the cigarette in his mouth and lit it.  He exhaled smoke into the air. 
"We all knew what we were getting into."

"We'll need to hide the book," said the Top Hat, a trenchcoated man in a 
top hat who looked a bit like Fred Astaire.  "It will only be a matter 
of time before acolytes of the Brothers try to get them out of it. 
They'll also be trying to find us.  Time is of the Essence."

"Right.  Any suggestions about where we should bury it?"

"Let me think."  The Top Hat took his hat off and gave his head a 
scratch and then he glanced at his hat.  "Of course!  This is where 
we'll hide it!"

"You want to hide the book in your Top Hat?  Are you daft?" said Phil M. 

"No.  I want to hide it in a dimension in the hat.  A dimension where we 
can all hide and protect the book.  To the outside world it will just be 
a hat.  A piece of rubbish in an alleyway.  No one will ever know."

"You better be right.  Well, Bee's Knees, you going spend your whole 
life weeping?"

"You bastards!  Don't you care?  Is this all a joke to you?  He's dead!"

"Please, Anita," said the Top Hat putting his hand on Queen Bee's Knees 
shoulder, "We need to protect the book.  Your husband died so we could 
trap the Brothers.  If we don't protect the book from the various cults 
that worship the Brothers -- his death will have been in vain.  Please, 
for the Golden Trenchcoat's sake."

Queen Bee's Knees wiped her eyes.  "For him.  Not for any of you.  Just 
for him."

"Fine."  Phil M. Norrish flicked his still burning cigarette into the 
street.  "Let's get this show on the road."

The Top Hat took out his wand and after chanting some words waved the 
wand.  The three live trenchcoaters, the corpse, and the book all 
disappeared.  All that was left was the top hat in the alley.

A few minutes later, an eleven year old boy walked by the alley and 
spotted the hat.

"Cool!  I always wanted to wear one of these."  But before he put it on 
he glimpsed something within the hat.  Was it a piece of paper?

The boy reached for the thing inside the hat with his extra thumb hand 
and pulled it out.  It was a centerfold!  A centerfold from some porn 
magazine depicting a totally naked bunny woman!  The boy had a strange 
feeling when he saw the picture.  A feeling that he had a power.  An 
awesome power!  It was like he could feel every single porn centerfold 
there had ever been.  And they were all in this hat.  And just by 
reaching into the hat, he could get anyone of them.  This was the power 
he had.

No more would the kids at school tease him with cruel nicknames like, 
"Four Thumbs.  Thumbo.  Thumbelina.  Thumby."  No.  They wouldn't call 
him that anymore.  They would now call him -- 
Pulls-Porn-Centerfolds-Out-of-Hats Lad and he would be the coolest kid 
in school!  Yes!  They would all stand in awe at his power!  And he'd be 
rich selling porn centerfolds to all his classmates!  Yeah!

But wait.  What if it had only been a freak thing?  Suppose he'd have to 
try again.  How did he do it?  Just reach in there and grab it.  He 
pulled his hand out of the hat.  It was paper.  Someone's tax return. 
The boy frowned.

Perhaps he needed to focus on what he wanted.  Think porn centerfold. 
Naked cheerleader centerfold.  Focus.  Naked cheerleader centerfold. 
The boy reached back into the hat and pulled out -- someone's kleenix.

An hour later --

The boy looked at the huge stack of papers next to his hat.  None of the 
papers were porn centerfolds.  The boy then screamed in frustration, 
"What am I doing wrong?!!"

The boy sighed to himself.  Oh well.  Maybe he should just call himself 
Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad instead.


2008 -

"And I wouldn't figure out how to pull porn centerfolds out again till I 
was twenty-one, which by then was a little too late.  As for the hat," 
Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad shrugged.  "Once I figured out that I could 
use my power on any hat I guess I thought that there was nothing that 
special about this hat.  I just kept it for sentimental reasons.  And 
because it was cool, of course."

"I see.  Look, Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad, I'm going to try to enter 
the dimension that's in your hat," Occultism said as he took the hat 
from Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad's hands

"Err -- okay.  What should I do while you're doing that?"

"Just guard the hat.  Make sure it's safe from harm.  I'm not sure when 
I'll be back.  If I get into any trouble, I'll write some messages in 
paper and you can pull them out.  Okay?"

Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad gave a nod.

"Okay then.  I'm going in."  Occultism Kid made some chants and gestures 
with his hands, which caused him to turn into a colorful cloud of smoke, 
which flowed into the top hat until it was gone.

Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad looked inside his hat, but couldn't see 
anything of note.  He set it down on the table and sat in a chair.

"Okay.  I guess I'll be staring at this hat.  Staring away." 
Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad tapped the table as he watched the hat with 
a bored expression.  "Damn.  I really should have brought my iHat."


As Occultism Kid slipped within a very small tear that was in 
Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad's hat.  On the other side of the tear was 
magnificent landscape that was covered in an amethyst sky with azure 
clouds lighted by an emerald sun.  He could see far into the distance 
what appeared to be an ebony castle.  And on the ground made of blood 
red sand something was moving.  Creatures that looked like turtles. 
Turtles of Apocalyptic Proportions.

The landscape was covered in them.  There were millions of them.  Maybe 
billions?  Perhaps trillions?

The turtles became aware of his presence and before he could think about 
how to deal with them, the turtles started leaping from the ground 
sending their absurdly enormous bodies towards him.  Their eyes glowed 
with the color of Armageddon.


Weevil Dendrite didn't like what he saw when he opened up his fridge. 
It wasn't that his fridge was filled with bowls of jello.  No.  It 
always was like that.  No.  It was the color of the jello.  Every single 
jello in his refrigerator had turned the color beige.  The Grape, The 
Strawberry Banana, The Peach, and Yes -- even the Blackberry.  It was 
the Blackberry one that disturbed him the most.  The Blackberry jello 
that had only one purpose.  To tell him that the end of everything was 
near (or that the Cubs were going to win the World Series which didn't 
seem very likely this year). There was a beige jello tower that was 
growing from it.  And two jello monsters also seemed to be crawling out 
of it.  Weevil shut the fridge door.  No, this definitely wasn't good.

He went over to his cupboard and grabbed a bunch of jello packets.  And 
then he went over to his closet and took out his trenchcoat.  He sighed. 
  When would it ever end?

But for now -- the Jellomancer needed to return.


Kirk Dublin flipped the burger on the grill watching it sizzle on the 
hot metal.  Flies hovered around the grill.  Kirk tried to shoo the 
flies away with his spatula.  But one fly didn't seem to want to leave. 
  It kept buzzing and buzzing.  Getting closer to the grill.  And 
finally, the fly flew right into the burning coals.  Stupid fly.  Why 
did it do that?

Kirk looked up and noticed that a stranger was in his yard.  A man that 
wore a black trenchcoat and black fedora carrying a staff made out of 
some strange black material in one hand and a beige trenchcoat and 
briefcase in the other.  Kirk started to become very uneasy.  "Umm -- 
Can I help you with something?"

"Once I may have joined you for slightly charred hamburgers and 
citronella-tinged conversation, but for now I must be the Banquo at your 
banquet, the uninvited guest."  The Stranger gave a slight smile.

"Uhuh.  Look if you want some food or money, I can..."

"No.  I came here to speak to the Deadbeat."

"Deadbeat?  I don't know what you're talking about.  Maybe you should 

"No.  But my time is too precious to fool around with these type of 
games."  The trenchcoated stranger struck his staff on the lawn. 
Everything except for the stranger and Kirk disappeared.

"No!  What have you done?!" Kirk said as he gazed in horror at the blank 
white world.  "Where's my house?  My family?  Bring it back!  Bring it 
all back!"

The stranger shook his head.  "This is the truth that you already know. 
  This was a prison forged by the man named Dr. Molar.  Your family and 
life here are not real.  This is your reality."  The stranger dumped the 
beige trenchcoat onto the blank white ground.  "Pick it up.  Put it on."

"No.  I can't.  Not again.  Please!"

"If you do not put on the trenchcoat, then you turn your back on 
everything.  Everyone.  Worlds and Universes will die.  You will die. 
But put the trenchcoat on and everything might be saved.  And once the 
balance has been restored, I care not what you do with yourself.  I can 
bring you back here so you can wallow away your final years in this 
dream life.  If you want.  But if you don't put on the trenchcoat your 
dream and dream family die here and now."

"Fine."  Kirk Dublin grabbed the trenchcoat reluctantly.  He looked at 
the trenchcoat with the fading logo 'Stolen from Club Med' on it and 
hesitated.  His hands started to shake.  And then he put it on.

As soon as he put the trenchcoat on, a change overtook him.  A wild grin 
came over his face.  His hand quickly reached into one of the pockets 
and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.  He stuffed every one of them in 
his mouth and took out a lighter and lit them all.  After a number of 
very deep inhales and exhales, he took all but one out of his mouth. 
Putting his hand into another pocket, he took out a bottle of pills and 
a bottle of gin.  After he swallowed the bottle of pills and washed them 
down with the bottle of gin, he threw them on the ground.  "Damn.  I 
needed that."  He laughed to himself.  And then he looked at the 
Stranger and gave a wink.  "Well, Dave.  Thanks and all for getting me 
out of that Retard Asylum.  You can drop me off at the nearest orgy or 
whore house if you want.  I'll even pay for gas."

"No.  You're going to Net.ropolis.  You have business there."

"The Hell I do.  Look.  Fine.  You can leave me here if you want.  I'm 
sure I can find my way out of here."  Dr. Deadbeat started to walk 
around the blank world he was in.  "Okay.  Where's the door in this 
place?  Got to be somewhere here.  Hmm."

"As tempting as that sounds.  No.  You're going to Net.ropolis.  And 
here's the reason."  The Dvandom Stranger opened up the briefcase and 
showed the contents to Dr. Deadbeat.  The contents gave a golden glow.

"Is that...?  Christ.  For real?"

The Dvandom Stranger nodded.

"Damn.  Bloody Bastard."  Dr. Deadbeat frowned.  "Fine.  Net.ropolis it 
is.  So.  Who else is going to be there?  Eh?"

"Everyone that I can get."

Dr. Deadbeat laughed.  "That's funny.  You're kidding.  Right?"  The 
Dvandom Stranger didn't answer.  "I mean you're kidding.  Please tell me 

And with a flash the two trenchcoaters disappeared leaving a blank white 
world that seemed to be turning more and more beige as the time passed.


A man walked into a Diapers, Guns, and Pentagram Supplies.Mart.  A 
strange tall man wearing an old railroad conductor's hat, dress pants, 
shirt, and suspenders.  Near the counter of the store were two 
trenchcoated men and another person who looked like the store clerk 
bound to the floor with rope.  The two trenchcoaters looked up and 
stared at the strange man with the railroad conductor hat with rather 
hostile expressions.

"I say there!  What are you two gents doing?" said the Stange Man with a 
cheerful voice.  "Ah, is that an exorcism?  Ah, yes -- an exorcism! 
Jolly good.  Jolly good.  I don't like to brag -- but I have had a share 
of exorcisms under my belt in my day.  Let's see here.  When was the 
last one?  Oh yes.  I was exorcising this Non-Tipping Barfly.  Sadly, it 
went a little wrong.  The demon escaped and kind of took over that small 
town.  A shame.  It was a rather nice village before the demon took it 
over.  Haven't been back there since.  I wonder if that demon is still 
in control?  Well, I can't really go back there.  The county, you see, 
passed this law forbidding me from entering that county again.  Seemed 
slightly excessive, but I guess that whole demon escapade left them a 
little raw.  Oh, btw, the name's Velcro.  Simon Velcro.  Member of the NTB."

The two trenchcoaters didn't answer.  They just continued to stare at him.

"I know what you're thinking.  You're probably thinking that I'm just 
some poser and wanker trying to pretend I'm the great Simon Velcro just 
so you'll think I'm cool and hip.  But no really, I am Simon Velcro. 
Really!  Honest to Betsy!  You see my trenchcoat was stolen by this 
Negatively Trained Bartender -- it's actually a rather long (but highly 
amusing) story involving Nude Tricycling Bears and Naughty Teenaged 
Babes -- but you're probably busy with that whole exorcism macjiggy so I 
won't tire you with all of the breathtaking details.  Suffice to say I 
had this map given to me by the Dvandom Stranger, or Davey as he likes 
me to call him (because we're that close!), that showed the whereabouts 
of this very important meeting that Davey wanted me to attend (probably 
because of my incredible occult abilities or conversation skills!).  But 
alas, I put the map in my trenchcoat -- and my trenchcoat was stolen! 
Can you believe that?  I can't -- but it happened!  And since you two 
gents seem to be wearing trenchcoats I was wondering if you were aware 
of where this meeting might be taking place -- or even what city it 
might be at?"

"Hmm.  There's this big thing going down in Net.ropolis.  Is that what 
you're talking about?" said the trenchcoated man with the mustache.

"Net.ropolis?  Yes.  That sounds about right.  Well, I guess that's all 
I really needed to know.  Thank you for the help.  I'd love to stay and 
chat with you fellas, but..."  Simon Velcro looked at his Mickey Mouse 
watch.  "But the time -- I need to get my beauty rest.  You know how 
that is.  Well, thanks again.  Toot-a-loo, my fellow Net.Trenchcoat 
Brigade members.  And you too, Mr. Bound on the Floor Man.  Bye!"

The man bound on the floor started to scream as Simon Velcro exited the 

"Wait.  Who the fuck is Simon Velcro?" asked the man in the trenchcoat 
who had no mustache to his companion.

The trenchcoated man with the mustache shrugged his shoulders and began 
to apply more holy water on the bounded screaming man.


Occultism Kid wrapped himself in a Sphere of Protection, but he knew he 
wouldn't be able to sustain the spell forever as fire and lightning 
beams from a swarm of turtles' eyes tried to annihilate him and acid and 
poison gases washed over the sphere.  For some reason these turtles 
unlike the Looniverse counterparts the LNH had fought seemed to have 
quite a bit of powers and a resistance to magic.  Was it the dimension 
that was giving them these powers?  Or maybe the Book of Deus ex 
Machinas?  Whatever the reason, he had to get out of here before they 
totally pulverized him.

He'd have to go back and get a large number of LNH'rs, although judging 
from the powers and number of turtles there was no way that even the 
whole LNH could defeat all of them.  He needed a plan.  Maybe Hooded 
Ho`'od Win could have a whole lot of the LNH fight the turtles while a 
small team led by him snuck into the castle to get the Book.  Or Maybe 
something else.

First things first though.  He had to get out of here alive.  As he 
pondered how to slip through the turtles that were surrounding him he 
noticed that they had stopped attacking him.  Something was wrong.  The 
turtles seemed to be gagging.  And then he watched as they started to 
fall back to the ground.  The turtles were dying.  And not just the ones 
that were attacking him.  The rest also seemed to be dropping to the 
ground and collapsing.  They were all dying.

Occultism Kid was relieved that the barrage of violence had stopped, but 
the death of all of these turtles greatly disturbed him.  What was doing 
it?  Or who?  The few ideas about who didn't comfort him.  He had to get 
to the castle quickly and get the Book before whatever was killing all 
of the turtles got there first.  He cast a spell that gave him the 
ability to fly at incredibly fast speeds and sped towards the castle 
even as the Turtles of Apocalyptic Proportions dropped like flies from a 
wave of death.


Occultism Kid slowed his body down as he entered the castle.  He could 
feel the power of the Book of Deus ex Machinas.  It was like a candle 
flame that flickered with the energy of a trillion universes.  Occultism 
Kid floated his way towards this incredible feeling, which led him to a 
gigantic gold door.  With a blast of his magic the door opened revealing 
a large room.  In the room was an old trenchcoated man whose colors were 
only black, white, and grey.  He clutched a book in his hands.  Beside 
him were the skeletons of a male and a female who were also wearing 

"You idiot!" the old man said in a furious manner.  "You brought him 
here!  You've doomed us!  You've -- It's all doomed.  Everything wasted."

"What are you talking about?" Occultism Kid said looking around the 
room.  "Who did I...?"

"I believe he's talking about me," said a voice that Occultism Kid 
instantly recognized.  A second later the visage of Bart the Dark 
Receptionist became visible.  Unearthly crimson tendrils wrapped around 
Occultism Kid before he could act in retaliation.  "Oh and btw thanks 
for helping me find this place.  I really -- and I mean really couldn't 
have done this without you.  See, Mr. Grey Guy was casting some powerful 
spell that hid him and this dimension.  So thanks."  Bart laughed a 
mocking laugh.  "Now I can free the Bryttle Brothers from the book.  Oh. 
  Didn't you know that's where they were?  I must have forgot to tell 
you that info.  A shame."

Oh god.  Occultism Kid's heart sank as he realized what he had done. 
Occultism Kid started chanting spells to help him break free from the 
tendrils grip.

Bart ignoring Occultism Kid blasted the Ring of Retconn at the old man. 
  The old man looked in horror as he realized he didn't have any arms. 
He never had any arms.  The book he was holding fell to the ground.

"That's not the real book, is it?"  Bart said glancing at the book that 
had fallen.  "Some kind of magical trap, right?  Clever."  Bart blasted 
the book into oblivion.  "Too bad for you -- I can read minds, isn't 
it?"  Bart laughed.  "I think I'll read yours now.  Now, I have to warn 
you -- this -- is going to smart."  The old man's face clenched in agony 
as he let out a blood curding scream.  "Wow.  Well.  You've committed 
all kinds of nauseating and unspeakable acts, haven't you?  I feel 
jealous.  Alas, it was for naught.  Boy, you're probably feeling very 
guilty about the life you've led right about now, I'll bet.  No heaven 
for you.  Oh.  So that's where it is.  Interesting."

Occultism Kid struggled in the tendrils, which seemed to absorb every 
spell he cast, making them stronger and stronger.

Bart walked over to where the old man was and then using his Insanity 
Gauntleted hand reached into the old man's chest and pulled out his 
still beating grayish heart.  "A rather peculiar place to store a book 
if I do say so myself."  Bart burned the heart away with a mere thought. 
  He blew the pile of ashes away from his palm leaving a tiny book. 
"Hmm.  Lot smaller than I expected.  Wait a sec."  Bart closed his eyes 
and then reopened them.  The Book of Deus ex Machinas returned to its 
original size.  "There.  That's better.  Now let's see what we have here."

"Bart!  Don't do this!  Please, just think about..."

Bart looked back at Occultism Kid and shook his head in an amused 
manner.  "Occultism Kid.  Occultism Kid.  Really, now.  After all of the 
horrible atrocities I've committed to get this far, and you think I 
should stop right now?  Right now?  No.  Uhuh.  Sorry.  That's not how 
the game is played.  Nope."  Bart opened the book.  "Well, I guess I 
better get this over with.  Now which page are they on?"  Bart thumbed 
through the index.  "Ah.  Here.  Dekay and Diskolor.  Page 666.  Heh. 
How cliched."  Bart flipped over to the page and ripped it out.  Bart 
held the page up so that Occultism Kid could see it.  "Any last words?"

Occultism Kid closed his eyes and focused all of his energy into one 
enormous incredibly powerful spell.  And then he chanted one word. 
Freedom.  A surge of magical energy enveloped him burning away the 
tendrils that bound him.  He was free, but the spell took its toil. 
Occultism Kid collapsed to the ground.

"Impressive.  A little too late though."  With a thought, Bart turned 
the page into flame and ash.  The ashes flaked down to the ground. 
"Hmm.  Have to admit I was expecting something a little more dramatic. 
Ah well.  The Brothers are free.  My contract with them has been 
fulfilled. Hmm.  Weird.  You hear that?  A ticking sound?  There's this 
ticking in my head.  Tick.  Tick.  Tick.  Hmm.  Of course maybe I'm just 
going crazy."  Bart chuckled to himself.

Occultism Kid struggled his away up from the floor.  He had to get the 
book from Bart.

"Oh?  You want the book?  Well.  Okay."  Bart threw the book down.  "You 
can have it.  I'm kind of done with it myself.  Enjoy.  Oh and you can 
live too.  Aren't a nice guy?  Well, guess I'll be going.  See you in 
the Past."  With that said Bart vanished from the room.

Occultism crawled his way over to where the book was and picked it up. 
He looked over to where the old trenchcoated man was lying.  He had 
failed.  This was all his fault.  God.  God dammit!  Why didn't his 
future self warn him about this?  Why?

And then Occultism Kid heard a ticking sound in his head too.  And 
that's when the earth shook.


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