LNH: Beige Midnight #4: Imperium Hex Part IV: 'The Coronation' (1/4)

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 25 22:18:47 PST 2009

[Cover:  On the left side of the cover are thousands of Freedom Chip 
Heroes, the Saviors of the Net, and members of the HexFire Club flying 
towards battle.  On the right side are hundreds of LNH'rs, members of 
The Resistance, rocketing on flying bicycles towards battle.  In the 
center is the Ultimate Ninja putting a crown on Hex Luthor's head.  In 
the Beige Background are silhouettes of Dekay and Diskolor still asleep 
on their thrones.  And at the bottom in large text is written 'Imperium 
Hex Part IV:  The Coronation'.]

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

The place -- The Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters.

The time --

                    B     E     I     G     E

           M     I     D     N     I     G     H     T

The number --        F     O     U     R

The Writers -- Arthur Spitzer and Saxon Brenton

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

April 16th, 2008

11:50 AM

No time.

No time at all, thought Building Suspense Lad as he sped through the 
Legion Headquarter's hallways on his superfast motorcycle.  Tucked under 
his arm was some weird looking device.  A device that needed to be in 
Washington, DC.  Right now.  And he had to get it there.

And as he drove through the hallway, Building Suspense Lad remembered a 
time way back when (A couple of months ago) -- when a person hadn't 
needed to drive a motorcycle to get to one point of the LNHHQ to the 
next point.  They could have simply walked.  Back when the LNH only had 
like 500 or so members.  But now?  That was no longer the case.  Now 
days the LNHHQ was a monster holding thousands of members.  Now days you 
needed a motorcycle.  A fast motorcycle.

Of course there were the teleporters, but for some reason Ultimate Ninja 
didn't want anyone using those except for the Freedom Chippers.

He could see the elevator coming up.  Damn!  It was closing.  He 
couldn't wait for it to come back up.  No!  There was no time for that. 
  He had to get there.  Now!  He pressed the 'Absurd speed' throttle on 
one of the handlebars, which caused the motorcycle to rocket towards the 
elevator.  And then he pressed on the hand and foot brakes as he skidded 
towards the elevator getting in just in time.

Oww!  Did he break his ankle?  It hurt.  It hurt like hell.  Got to get 
up.  And press the elevator buttons!  He gritted his teeth and stood up. 
  He pushed the 'Flight.Thingee Hangar' button and then slammed the 
'Absurd Elevator Speed' button.  But nothing happened.  He slammed it 
again.  Nothing.  It must be broken.  He couldn't do normal speed.  It 
would take too long.  He had to get to the Flight.Thingee Hangar -- Now!

He took his motorcycle helmet off.  He clenched his fist.  And then? 
And then he punched the elevator emergency case with all of his Building 
Suspense Lad strength.  All of it!  Oww!  Oh -- Jesus!  Did he just 
break his hand?  He looked at all of the wires in the case.  Which ones? 
  Which ones would cause this elevator to go at absurd speeds?  He chose 
two wires and pressed the frayed sides together.  And then he fell to 
the floor as the entire elevator began rocketing at absurd speeds 
towards the Flight.Thingee Hangar level.  Seconds later the entire 
elevator slammed to a stop causing Building Suspense Lad to slam into 
the ceiling and then fall back down to the floor.  Oww!  Oww my head! 
Why did I take my helmet off?

Building Suspense Lad gritting his teeth slowly got back up, picked up 
the device, and exited the elevator.  Here he was.  The Flight.Thingee 
Hangar level.  This was where all of the Flight.Thingees were.  All of 
them (Except the ones that weren't here because they were out flying).

And he had to choose one.  One to fly this device to Washington, DC. 
Capital of the Loonited States.  One.  But there were so many to choose. 
  So many different styles of Flight.Thingees.  So many shades of beige. 
  How could he choose?  The one he'd look coolest in?  And what if the 
one he chose didn't have enough gas?  Or what if it was hooked up to a 
bomb?  Or what if it -- Dare I say -- was possessed by -- Satan!?  And 
now he had to choose.  The fate of the entire Looniverse hung in his 
hands.  Which one?  Which one!!?

He looked at his watch.  Damn it!  He didn't have time!  But he couldn't 
decide.  There were so many of them!  Too many!  Why did there have to 
be so many Flight.Thingees?  Why?  Why God, Why?  He couldn't choose. 
He felt paralyzed.  Was this how the LNH was going to end?  Because he 
couldn't choose?  Have to choose.  He looked at his watch.  Time was 
ticking away.  Ticking -- ticking away.  What was it going to be?  Light 
Beige?  Dark Beige?

"Medium Beige.  Choose medium beige," said an ambiguous sounding voice 
behind him.  He looked and saw a human shaped blur.  It was the long 
time LNH'r Fuzzy.

"But -- but I hate medium beige.  I..."

"I don't really care."


"Are you asking me to shoot you?  Because I will do that.  Now.  Get. 
In the damn -- Flight.Thingee!  Get!"

"So -- umm -- you're coming?" said Building Suspense Lad as he quickly 
opened the Medium Beige Flight.Thingee's door.

"Yeah.  Should have been my day off," she said as she hopped into one of 
the seats.  She pressed the cigarette lighter button and took a pack out 
of her purse.  "Figures."

Building Suspense Lad pushed on the radio and turned the knob till he 
found a station he liked.

"That sounds familiar.  That tune.  What is it?" asked Fuzzy.

"The Theme from Jaws.  This is the Building Suspense Music Station.  My 
favorite station."

Fuzzy rolled her eyes and clicked the radio off.  "Just fly the damn 
Thingee.  Fly it!  Oh god."  Fuzzy sighed to herself.

But before Building Suspense Lad could do that a music that sounded like 
a sinister Barber Shop Quartet started to play on the radio.

"Thought I told you..." Fuzzy started to say.

"No, wait.  It wasn't me -- it's the -- Damn!  I knew this would -- it's 
possessed!  The flight.thingee!  By Satan!"

<<Not Satan, foolish mortal!>> said a voice coming from the radio. 
<<Even worse.  Worse than your feeble mind can imagine!  Yes!  For I am 
not Satan!  No!  I am Satan's -- BARBER!!  Muhahahha!!!  Prepare for a 
haircut.  A haircut -- FROM HELL!!!!  Muahhahahahahahhahah!!!!!!!>>

"Oh, Jesus," said Fuzzy rolling her eyes.  "Why?  Why me?"

And the Hangar doors opened as the Flight.Thingee possessed by satanic 
energy lifted off of the ground.  Into the Air.

Into the Great Beige Yonder.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

11:50 AM

In the top floor of the Washington Monument --

Toony Stork looked out of the window.  He was partially in his Irony Man 
suit.  He was using special binoculars to look at the outside.  At what 
was happening.

There was a huge motorcade driving along Constitution Avenue.  Police on 
motorcycles.  Ambulances.  Fire engines.  Tanks.  And Four Black well 
armored SUVs.  One of which had the President of the Loonited States. 
Hexadecimal Luthor.  The other three were filled with Important World 
Leaders from several countries.  In the sky, he could see helicopters 
and various Freedom Chip Heroes flying around trying to spot potential 

And there was going to be trouble.  They had been getting death threats, 
bomb threats, and other threats all week.  One of the threats was from 
the Legion of Net.Villains who were planning on assassinating the 
President.  Irony Man scanned the crowds for possible troublemakers, but 
couldn't really see much.  Just some hippy protester types ranting about 
Freedom Chips.  But something was going to happen.

Why had Hex decided to have this signing outdoors?  Out in the open?  He 
was tempting fate.  He wanted trouble. But why?

Irony Man walked back to one of the empty tables that wasn't surround by 
police and FBI agents.  There was a bottle of scotch on it and a shot 
glass.  Irony Man sat down and poured some scotch into the glass and 
then stared at the glass.  Cliche Dude would have loved this scene.  He 
wasn't going to feel guilty about what was going to happen.  It had to 
happen.  It was right what was going to happen.  He had no choice.  It 
was the only way.  The only way.  He wouldn't feel guilty.  No.  He 

He rotated the shot glass and watched as the scotch swirled around the 
glass.  Was he going to drink it?  No.  Not this time.  Maybe 
afterwards.  Irony Man glanced at his golden Rolex watch.  Not so gold 
now.  Like everything else -- becoming beiger and beiger.

Looks like it's time.

Time to save the world.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****


And Useless Background Music Character clicked a button.

The song 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' by Tears For Fears started 
to play.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

                      IMPERIUM HEX PART IV

                        'The Coronation'

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

A couple of hours before...

"He has to die.  Irony Man.  For the good of the world."

Fearless Leader looked at the man who had just said those words.  It was 
a man that looked like he had just stepped out of an old black and white 
movie.  He had a trenchcoat and fedora.  This man had once been a hero. 
  A member of the LNH.  But he had died.  He called himself the 4-Color 
Kid.  "But why?  Why do I need to kill him?  This doesn't..."

"He has been corrupted -- touched by Dekay -- and Diskolor.  I know long 
ago, he was a good man.  We were friends in the early days of the LNH. 
But that was then.  He's no longer that man.  He has sold his soul.  He 
cannot be redeemed.  To kill him would be a mercy.  You must kill him -- 
in order to save the world."

Fearless Leader looked around the room.  Where was he?  It was like some 
old time saloon from some Western.  Was he in the past?  Everything was 
beige.  Everything was dust and decay.  There was nothing alive here. 
He was talking to a ghost.  Was this the future?  Nothing alive?

No.  There was something alive.  Flies.  He could see them buzzing 
around.  Buzzing around the 4-Color Kid's face.  Why were they still alive?

"But why will killing Irony Man save the world?  That's what I don't 
understand.  How can...?"  It was a dream.  He was in a dream.  None of 
this was happening.  Still.  Why was he dreaming this?  Why were the 
flies buzzing around the 4-Color Kid's face?

"To remove the evil from the LNH.  As long as the LNH is evil -- 
corrupted -- there is no hope.  We need to remove the evil.  All of the 
evil.  To save the LNH -- Irony Man must die.  All the evil must die."

There was something crawling out of the 4-Color Kid's ear.  Something 
crawling.  Some kind of worm.  A maggot.  What was it?  Oh god.

"You.  You're not -- What are you?  You're not the 4-Color Kid.  You're 
not..."  Fearless Leader stood up out of his chair and pulled his gun 
out.  "You're working for them.  Dekay and Diskolor.  You're some kind 
of agent for..."

The 4-Color Kid began to laugh.  Flies and worms and other creatures 
started to pour from his ears and mouth.  "And why can't I be the 
4-Color Kid, Fearless Leader?  Perhaps I am him.  Perhaps I made a deal 
with Dekay and Diskolor long ago and now I work for them.  Can you be sure?"

"You're not him.  He was a hero.  He sacrificed his life to save the 
Looniverse from your Masters.  You're just some foul abomination who's 
telling me lies.  You're -- you're -- this is a dream.  A goddamn dream."

"Yes.  It's a dream.  And maybe I'm lying to you.  And maybe I'm not.  I 
guess it doesn't really matter though since anything you do from this 
point on won't matter.  Nope, it won't.  Kill Irony Man.  Save Ripping 
Dancer.  Stop Hex Luthor.  It doesn't matter.  Any choice you make will 
be meaningless.  Every choice.  You're meaningless.  You're nothing.  My 
Masters have already won.  We've destroyed the LNH.  This is just part 
of the game.  Yes.  Just part of the fun."

"No.  No."  Fearless Leader started to blast away at the creature that 
was pretending to be the 4-Color Kid.  "No."

"You're nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing," laughed the creature as a swarm of 
flies and other insects started to burst from him.

And then there was a loud booming sound.

Fearless Leader's eyes opened up.  A cloud of dust was swirling around 
his face.  Fearless Leader coughed as he fanned the cloud away from his 
face and looked at what had caused it.  Someone had blown a hole in his 
prison cell.  People with guns.  But who?

"You.  You promised.  You promised it would all end in November.  It 
would end!  But it hasn't.  It's still going!  On and on!  And on!"

"Umm what?" said Fearless Leader adjusting his eyesight.

"Beige Midnight!  You said it would end in November.  But here it is 
February -- and it's still going!  It's still going on!!"

"Death to Beige Midnight!" shouted the rest of the people with guns.

Fearless Leader finally remembered who these people were.  He had met 
them back in Beige Midnight #1.  They were the 
Front.  "Umm -- well -- it's still kind of April here.  April 2008.  So..."

"I'm talking about the Real World!  It's December in the Real World!"

"Well, when I said November -- I didn't say November 2008.  I could have 
meant November 2009 or 2010 or..."

"2010!  2010!"  The leader of the 
Front shoved his gun straight at Fearless Leader's head.  "Do you want 
to die?  Do you want to die?"

"You know if you kill me -- that will just make this whole thing even 
longer.  They'll have to do a -- umm -- a 'Funeral for Fearless Leader' 
miniseries and probably a..."

"Fine!" said the leader as he pulled his gun away.  "I just want this 
over with.  Why can't it be over?  Why does it have to keep going on and 
on?  I have a small child who has never known a RACC without Beige 
Midnight!  My baby!  My poor sweet baby!  It can't keep going on and 
on... It can't!  It just can't!"

"I understand.  Believe me, we're doing all we can to stop this thing. 
Maybe we can get it finished in March or April."

"April 2009?"

"Umm -- maybe," said Fearless Leader avoiding eye contact with his 
fingers crossed behind his back.

"It better be!  Because if it isn't -- then well -- We'll do something! 
  Something!!  And it won't be pretty!!"

"I'm sure."  Fearless Leader glanced at his watch.  "Hmm.  Say -- I 
don't suppose you people could perhaps give me a lift to say Washington, 
DC -- maybe?"

The leader of the 
Front shrugged his shoulders.  "I guess."


"Death to Beige Midnight!!"

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

Meanwhile, Back in the Middle East --

For the Bicycle Liberation Front it was a case of another day, another 
archaeological treasure hunt.

"Found it," said Fourth Wall Lass.  The others crowded around as she 
brought forth something that looked like a grunge encrusted gravy boat. 
  They all stared at it, barely daring to let their hopes be raised 
again.  After all this time and all these false leads, could this be 
what they had been searching for?

"Okay then," said Retcon Lad matter-of-factly.  He looked at the others. 
  "Are we sure this has a genie in it?"

"It fits the description of a genie's lamp," said Anal-Retentive Archive 
Kid as he compared the inscription on the tarnished metal with the 
diagram in the Junior Word.chuck's Guidebook.

"I can sense the presence of some form of spirit being bound in there," 
agreed Lenny.

"The narrative captions say that this is the plot device we need to pull 
off the plan," concluded Fourth Wall Lass.

The Net.Elementalist looked at Retcon Lad.  "Dude, it looks like we've 
found our magic wishing lamp."  His voice deepened into a stentorian 
tone, and he joked, "Phenomenal cosmic powers is *ours*!"

"Oh, get away with you," said Retcon Lad with fond exasperation.

"Most of you already *have* phenomenal cosmic power," agreed ARAK.  "Or 
at least power enough to devastate a country.  Which, incidentally, is 
why *I'm* not going to be the one doing the wishing."

Fourth Wall Lass nodded.  "Power is not the point of the exercise."  She 
ran a hand through her hair.  "So who *does* get to do the wishing?"

"It was your idea," said Retcon Lad to the Net.Elementalist.

"Mine?  I thought you came up with the idea!" countered the 

"Oh for crying out loud, *I'll* do it," said Twitter and took the lamp.

"No!" yelled Retcon Lad and the Net.Elementalist together in panic.  The 
Net.Elementalist slammed a lag field on her before she could do anything 
else impulsive, and then carefully took it off her.  "Bad Twitter!  No 

"This has to be done *really* carefully," said Retcon Lad.  "Which is 
why we've got the words written out.  Anal-Retentive Archive Kid, the 
envelope please."

Anal-Retentive Archive Kid opened his Word.chuck's Guidebook again and 
took out the piece of paper with the phrasing of the three wishes that 
they had oh-so-carefully worked out between them, because they were all 
role playing gamers and knew enough to be paranoid about the phrasing of 
these things.  ARAK looked at Retcon Lad and said, "How about Netty does 
the wish, but first you do a pre-emptive retcon so that he doesn't get 
tongue tied or anything."

"Sounds like a plan."  They all nodded.

The Net.Elementalist looked at Fourth Wall Lass.  "Is there anything 
that might interrupt us?  Any more Al-Qaeda Amerika operatives lurking 
about?  Any spies for Hex Luthor following us to see what we're up to? 
Earthquakes set to go off or alien armadas set to invade?"

She cast her enhanced senses about into the surrounding area.  "Nothing."

"Then we're ready to rock," said the Net.Elementalist.  He glanced at 
the lamp.  It was such an innocuous looking object.  The notion that it 
was so crucial to the fate of the world was rather weird.  Especially 
considering it wasn't what they could do with it, but the process by 
which they come to have possession of it, that was the important thing. 
  Then without further ado he rubbed it in the traditional manner.  A 
billow of smoke emerged, also in the traditional manner, and human-like 
figure appeared.

The figure was male, had the appearance of middle age, and was handsome. 
  No fearsome visages with tusks here.  His most striking feature was 
the way he seemed to glow, as if made from burnished bronze.  This, as 
ARAK had reminded the others earlier, was because the djinn were in fact 
energy beings of whom the classical description was 'composed of 
smokeless fire' (or smokeless flame, what with this being the Looniverse 
with its net.elements and all).  The effect was very impressive, giving 
an aura of power that would normally have overawed any human beholding 
the djinn, and possibly even flustered them into making a crucial 
mistake in what they wished for.

Any regular humans, that is.  The Bicycle Liberation Front either were, 
or regularly associated with, beings just as powerful, so power for its 
own sake just didn't impress them.

Although they did have to work to keep themselves from grinning like 
loons at the sheer kewlness of the situation.

The Net.Elementalist coughed, looked at his notes, and asked, "Do I have 
the honour of addressing the genie of the lamp?"

"You do."

(Again on ARAK's advice, the Net.Elementalist refrained from enquiring 
what the personal djinni's name was.)

"Is it correct that you are bound to the lamp, and must grant three 
wishes to the person who possess it?"

"That is correct," the djinni replied, its face adopting just the 
faintest trace of distaste.  Ah, the djinni thought to itself, another 
group of greedy mortals.  Let us see how they manage to destroy 
themselves and all that they love.

"Then I have a proposition that may be of interest to you," said the 
Net.Elementalist.  And that was the point at which the conversation 
began to run off into a completely bizarre and unexpected direction.

"My first wish," said the Net.Elementalist, "is that you grant all three 
of my wishes by the intent of what I mean rather than just the words I 
use to express them, and with goodwill rather than malice, and ask for 
clarifications in the case of any ambiguities."

"Done," said the djinni.  He reluctantly allowed himself to be impressed 
by the human's foresight.  The djinni noted the looks of intense 
interest, clearly greed, which the companions all had.  They had 
obviously planned this out carefully.

The Net.Elementalist nodded.  So far so good, but the next bit was the 
tricky part.  "Now I will have to explain to you what we're interested 
in doing.  We have a project in mind.  We'd like your help in completing 
it.  But we don't particularly like the idea of forcing you to help us. 
  Or even being forced to do anything at all unless there's really 
pressing reason.  The Legion of Net.Heroes..."

"The Bicycle Liberation Front," corrected Retcon Lad.

"The Bicycle Liberation Front doesn't work that way.  So what we'd 
propose to do is free you of being the slave of the lamp, and let you 
just go about your business as you see fit rather by what other people 
force you to do.  Then, after we've explained what the project is, you 
could decide for yourself whether it's morally and ethically correct to 
help us, as a quid pro quo.

"However," said the Net.Elementalist, his voice suddenly developing a 
firmer tone.  "We actually need to know that you can be trusted to use 
that freedom wisely.  That you aren't an evil djinni, or haven't gone 
mad from imprisonment in the lamp, or anything like that.  I'm going to 
ask you if we can trust you.  If we can, you can go free.  If not, we 
imprison you and make sure you can't communicate with anyone.  Ever again."

And that was the rather terrifying moment that the djinni realised that 
the intense looks of the humans had nothing to do with greed.  It was 

"So then," continued the Net.Elementalist.  "My second wish is that you 
answer this question truthfully and without guile: Are you a righteous 
person who we can let free from the slavery of the lamp without 
regretting it, and who will then go about his life in peace?"

The djinni felt slightly stunned by all of this.  This was unheard of 
and could not really be happening.  Was he dreaming?  Had he gone mad? 
Nevertheless, he bowed his head and said in great truthfulness and 
sincerity, "I swear upon my life and in the name of Ormazd that I am 
righteous soul, and worthy of the favour that you seek to bestow."

The Net.Elementalist looked at Fourth Wall Lass.  "Your opinion?"

"Narrative captions says he's telling the truth."


The squirrel-yabon stared at the djinni with a miracle of True Seeing. 
"He's telling the truth."


"He feels anxious but truthful to me."

The Net.Elementalist nodded again.  He turned back to the djinni and 
proclaimed, "Then my third wish is that you be freed from the lamp, to 
go about your life and your business as you think best."

There was a second of stillness that was filled with expectation.  The 
djinni's gaze was distant, as if paying attention to something that was 
beyond any immediate physical presence.

"Free!" exclaimed the djinni.  "After so many millennia, I am free!"

And then there was laughter.  The Bicycle Liberation Front could not 
help but be affected by the sudden mood of joy.  They grinned and 
slapped each other on the back.  It was a good deed well intended and a 
good job well done.

"Well," said Anal-Retentive Archive Kid.  "With the preliminaries out of 
the way, perhaps we should discuss things further over tea and coffee 
and chocolate cookies?"

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

The LNHHQ --

Dr. Stomper pulled the glasses off of his face and wiped them with his 
labcoat and then put them back on.  He looked at the Freedom Chip again. 
  It was no use.  He couldn't figure it out.  He didn't understand it. 
It made no sense.  He was never going to figure it out.  Hex Luthor was 
going to win and the LNH was going to lose.  Why couldn't he figure it 
out?  He felt stupid.  He had never felt this stupid.  Maybe it was 
emitting some kind of stupid ray that was dulling his brain.  No, he had 
already thought of that.  He went over to his shelf and pulled a book 
from it entitled, 'Scientific Ideas so Hard and Complex Only Dr. Stomper 
Understands Them,' written by Dr. Vincent 'I'm too smart for this 
labcoat' Stomper.  He flipped through the book.  He could understand 
every single concept in this book.  But he couldn't understand why this 
Freedom Chip worked.  How it worked.  And he was running out of time.

"Hey ya, Doc!  Need some help?"

Dr. Stomper turned around to see who was disturbing him.  It was a man 
who wore his pants and shirt backwards.  Whose shoes were on the wrong 
feet.  And who had both of his hands stuck in pickle jars.  His name was 
the Incredibly Stupid Man.  And for some reason he hung around the LNHHQ 
even though he had never been a member of the LNH and never would be a 
member of the LNH.  [See LNH Comics Presents #501, for more on that -- 
Footnote Girl]  "Umm, no.  And even if I did, you would be the last 
possible person in the world that could help me.  I'm sorry."

"That's all right.  Just had this thought in my umm -- thought thingee 
this morning when I umm unsleeped up that made me think that you might 
need some help from me.  Guess that was stupid."

"Yes," said Dr. Stomper as he continued to study the Freedom Chip.

"So.  Making a lot of progress?"

Dr. Stomper sighed as he put the chip down and dug his fingers into his 
head.  "No.  I'm not.  I'm not making any progress.  I don't understand 
this.  The more I study this thing the less I understand it.  God, it's 
no use.  I'm never going to figure this out.  I'm going to fail."

"Huh.  That's weird.  Isn't it usually when you study something you 
understand it more?  Isn't that the way it usually works?"

"Yes.  That's the way it usually works."

"Weird.  Can I take a look?"

"Fine.  Just don't eat it.  And be careful."

Incredibly Stupid Man eyeballed the part.  "Huh.  You know, wouldn't it 
be funny if I figured out how this worked instead of you?  Me the 
Stupidest person in the Looniverse.  What would that word be for that -- 
me understanding something that the smartest person can't?  What's that 


"No.  Don't think that's it.  But what if this chip was running on that 
word-I-can't-think-of energy.  Maybe that's why the more you study it 
the less you understand.  Of course I don't know what I'm talking about 
so -- umm..."

"Irony energy.  That's what you're talking about.  Irony.  Oh god. 
That's it.  That has to be it!  That's why I can't understand this chip! 
  Why I couldn't figure it out!  Irony warps everything!  Even Irony 
detectors can't usually detect irony.  God.  You're a genius, Incredibly 
Stupid Man!  You're a genius!  Give me that chip back."

"Umm -- I swallowed it."

"That's okay.  I've got another one here somewhere.  I need to create 
some sincerity rays to block the irony in the chip.  If I'm right, we 
can finally stop these chips once and for all!  You might have saved the 
Looniverse, Incredibly Stupid Man!  I'm sorry about earlier."

"That's okay."

"Say, do you need any help getting those pickle jars off of your hands?"

"Hmm?"  The Incredibly Stupid Man looked at his hands.  Both of which 
were stuck in pickle jars.  "Nah.  I'll figure it out someday.  Thanks 

"Umm.  Right.  Well, I need to get to work on this.  Thanks again, 
Incredibly Stupid Man."

"Oh, there's one thing you could do for me, Doc."

"What's that?"

"Open the door for me.  My hands are..."  He showed his pickle jar hands 
to Dr. Stomper.

Dr. Stomper nodded as he opened the door for the Incredibly Stupid Man.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

Elsewhere in a fancy mansion in Got.ham City...

Dr. Freddy N. Slip stroked his gray beard as his eyes washed over the 
certificate on the wall.  His certificate.  A certificate that stated 
plainly that he, Dr. Freddy N. Slip, was the 'World's Sanest Man'.  The 
Sanest!  His fellow psychiatrists at the Zurich International Psychology 
Jamboree Conference had awarded him that.  Ah, if only they knew.  If 
only they knew his dark secret.  His very disturbed and very scary dark 
secret.  What would they and his patients think if they knew the truth? 
  What would they indeed.  Freddy N. Slip took his pipe out of his mouth 
and meditated about this for a moment.  And at that moment a phone rang.

Dr. Freddy N. Slip rushed over to the phone.  His Danger Phone!  This 
was a phone that only rang when the world or city of Got.ham was in deep 
peril.  In such peril that only one person -- one person with a very 
disturbed and scary dark secret -- could save it.  Dr. Freddy N. Slip 
picked up the phone.

"Yes.  What is it?"  A grim look appeared on Dr. Freddy N. Slip face. 
"What?  No!  I don't need a free months supply of Mr. Paprika's 'Wham! 
Bam!  Thank you, Ma'am!' *Nacho Flavored!* Male Enhancement Pills!  Yes, 
I'm positive!"  Dr. Freddy N. Slip slammed his phone down.

He looked at his watch.  It was time.

Time to get out of the mansion.

He went over to a bookshelf and picked out Jacqueline Susann's 'Valley 
of the Dolls'.  A secret panel in the wall opened revealing a pole.  He 
jumped into it and slid down the pole.  When he reached the ground 
floor, he was no longer Dr. Freddy N. Slip, Sanest Man Alive.  No. 
Wearing a costume covered in Spiders, Snakes, Rats, Scorpions, Little 
Plastic Scary Monster, and other incredibly scary creatures he was now a 
man beyond the rules of mankind.  Beyond our concepts of Sanity.  He was 
the -- Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man!

He was in a very scary dark cavern filled with very scary equipment, 
very scary vehicles, very scary trophies, and a ton of very scary 
creatures crawling on the ground.  He walked up to a row of glass cases 
that held various costumes.  One of the cases had a black trenchcoat 
covered in silver pins.  He touched the glass case.  "You were a good 
soldier.  Like Adler."  He glanced to the glass case that held a red, 
white, and, blue costume.  "And Little-Monkey-wrench Lad.  My 
Little-Monkey-wrench Lad," he said looking at a glass case that held a 
costume with rather skimpy shorts and some monkey wrenches.  "You were 
all good soldiers."  He put his Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man cowl 
on his head.  "But the war goes on."

"Hey!  What about me!" said a ghostly figure of a girl who was dressed 
also in a Little-Monkey-wrench costume.  The Ghost of 
Little-Monkey-wrench Lass.  "Where's my damn glass case memorial!?  Am I 
chopped liver!?"

"Little-Monkey-wrench Lass, he can't hear us," responded the Ghost of 
Little-Monkey-wrench Lad.  "You just need to calm down and..."

"Calm down?  Calm Down!?  That's easy for you to say!  You've already 
got your damn glass case memorial!  You know what this is, don't you? 

"Well, maybe since you've never actually appeared in a story before...?"

"And you have!?" she said pointing her finger at The Ghost of 
Little-Monkey-wrench Lad.

"Well, umm -- true..."

"He hates women.  It's that simple!  I mean where's the Captain 
Killfile, or Dr. Net.ropolis glass case memorial?  Hmm?"

"Well, okay.  I can't really explain that."

"I'm going to start an Internet petition!  This sexist travesty will not 
stand!  I will get my glass case memorial!!"  The Ghost of 
Little-Monkey-wrench Lass disappeared from the 
Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Cave.

And the Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man oblivious of all this climbed 
into his Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Tank.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

The LNHHQ --

"Testing successful," said Dr. Stomper has he read the print-out.  "Need 
to get this to Washington."  Dr. Stomper picked up the strange looking 
device and started to walk out of his lab.  He had only enough Sincerium 
for one bomb.  Hopefully it would work.

"Not so Fast, ProFessor S!" said a man in a labcoat with the letter F 
printed all over it.

"Oh, good grief.  I don't have time for..." said Dr. Stomper as he 
looked at his watch.

"Time?  Time is all you have left!  For iF it's Friday -- that means 
it's F-Day!  Dr. F-Day!"

"It's not Friday -- it's Wednesday!"

"Maybe on your Feeble Calendar system, but on my Fabulous Falendar 
system Friday is the First day of the week!  Yes!  Faha!  And once I 
have Fazed you out of this Foundation, I shall Form a Futopia where F is 
Finally the First Letter in the alFabet!  And then it will be the 
students who get F's who will be the Fenoms and the A+ students who are 
the Fools!  Fahahah!  Fahahhahahaha!!!"

"But Wednesday isn't the first day of the week.  The first day is..."

"EnuFF!!!  I tire of your smug know-it all remarks!  This time you shall 
Feel your Fate with my..."  Dr. F pulled out some kind of gun out of his 
labcoat.  "...F-Fazer!!!"

"Umm, right.  Why don't we just..."

"No!!  This is the Finale, Dr. S!  This is your FINALE!!!"  Dr. F 
blasted the F-Fazer at Dr. Stomper.  Dr. Stomper fell to the ground.

"Aaauuurrrggghhhhh!!!!" screamed Dr. Stomper.  "What did you do to -- I 
can't see!  I'm blind!  You blinded me!"

"How Freaky Friday!  That wasn't supposed to happen!  It was supposed to 
Form you into a Ferret!"  Dr. F examined the muzzle end of his F-Fazer. 
  "What Flaw has Faulted me this time?  Ah, that wire should be 
connected right..."  Dr. F fixed the faulty connection and accidentally 
pressed the Fazer's trigger.  "Oh Fuuhh..." said Dr. F as the Fazer's 
discharge reached him.  This time the F-Fazer worked as Dr. F 
transformed into a ferret.

Dr. Stomper stumbled around and eventually caught the ferret.  Now where 
was the Sincerity Bomb Device?

"Hey, Doc!  Wow!  You're into ferrets too?"  Dr. Stomper recognized the 
voice.  It was the LNH'r Building Suspense Lad.  "I had this uncle who 
once had this big ferret farm in Montana.  Hmm.  That ferret of yours 
seems really angry."

"It's not my ferret, Building Suspense Lad.  Look, I've gone blind.  I 
need you to get this Sincerity Bomb to the National Mall at Washington, 
DC as fast as you can!  And when you get there you'll need to activate 
it.  The Bomb has three buttons.  A Light Beige Button.  A Medium Beige 
Button.  And a Dark Beige Button.  You need to hit the Dark Beige 
Button.  Whatever you do, Do Not Hit the other two buttons?  Got it? 
Hmm.  Maybe you should write all of this down."

"No need, Doc.  Go to the National Wall and activate the bomb by hitting 
the Dark Beige Button.  Got it."

"Good.  Now go!"  Dr. Stomper could hear Building Suspense Lad rush down 
the hallway leaving all alone with just an angry ferret to keep him 
company.  "Oww!"  Correction -- an angry biting ferret.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

End of Part I

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