LNH: Beige Midnight #6: The Bart Age: "The Ice Caverns of Existence" (1/3)

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at earthlink.net
Tue May 25 18:43:27 PDT 2010

[Cover:  A split screen with Bart the Dark Receptionist in the middle. 
The first half of the cover shows a frozen half of Bart with the 
Insanity Gauntlet in his hand.  The bottom says B.C.  The last half of 
the cover shows the past half of Bart walking along Alt.stralian beaches 
holding a kangaroo on a leash.  The bottom says A.D.  In between the BC 
and AD is the number 1994.  And beneath that in bold lettering is 

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

The place -- Alt.stralia, 1994, Retcon Hour.

The time --

                    B     E     I     G     E

           M     I     D     N     I     G     H     T

The number --            S     I     X

The Writer -- Arthur Spitzer

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

Alt.stralia --
1994 AD --
Retcon Hour --

A man walked along a sandy beach kicking away at stray seashells.  A 
year from now he would sell his soul to a demon named Frank.  Thirteen 
years from now using two powerful cosmic items:  The Ring of Retconn and 
the Insanity Gauntlet, he would kidnap over 465 members of the LNH 
during a time called Infinite April.  And the year after that he would 
free two highly powered cosmic beings known as the Bryttle Brothers 
unleashing them on the Looniverse.  But that's the future.  Now, he was 
just a man.  A man named Bartholomew Bartley.  A man walking along a 
sandy beach -- kicking stray seashells.

Bart watched as the ocean swept away at his feet.  He saw a fat man 
sitting on a beach mat eating a vegemite sandwich.  By him was a radio 
playing the 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport' song.  Christ!  Is that all 
they played in Alt.stralia?  If it wasn't the Kangaroo song, it was 
'Downunder' by Men at Work, or 'Waltzing Matilda'.  If he had to hear 
those three songs over and over again all through his vacation he was 
going to go insane.  He'd become a supervillain and devote the rest of 
his life to destroying the Looniverse.  That's what he'd do.

He looked at all of these people lying on their beach blankets.  Strange 
how all of them were wearing Crocodile Dundee type hats.  And also how 
everyone of them seemed to have a pet kangaroo.  The women wore these 
weird bikini tops that had zipper pouches on them.  Kangaroo bikinis 
they were called.  Like those shoes they had when he was a kid with the 
zipper pouches.  Guess that's what life was like in Alt.stralia.

How did he get here?  God.  Sandy was supposed to be here.  They had 
planned this trip together.  And now that was over.  He was here alone. 
  Sandy had moved on to better things.  Better guys.  He looked at all 
the couples lying on their beach blankets soaking up the sun.  He should 
have stayed in Net.ropolis.  This whole trip was going to be miserable.

He should have never dropped out of college.  If he had stayed in 
college maybe Sandy wouldn't have broken it off with him.  Now he had 
nothing.  A stupid receptionist job.  Why did he do that?  Adventure. 
It was the LNH.  Every day was supposed to be an adventure.  Well, if 
getting coffee for some homicidal temperamental ninja and being called 
Fred was an adventure then he was having the adventure of a lifetime. 
What a joke.  No one even knew his name there.  No, that wasn't 
completely true.  Catalyst Lass did.

Catalyst Lass.  He thought about her perfect face.  Her perfect hair. 
Her perfect everything.  No.  It didn't mean much her knowing his name. 
  He was a nobody receptionist.  She was involved with Particle Man. 
They were all above him.

As he walked, he noticed some guy with a van who was waving at him.  Out 
of curiosity, he walked over to the waving man.  "Umm -- there a problem?"

"Ah, g'day, mate!  You a Yank, right?"

Bart nodded.

"Thought so!  Good thing you ran into me, Mate!  Can't walk around like 

"Walk around like what?"

"Without your Crocodile Dundee hat!  And where's your pet roo!?  Crikey!"

Bart shrugged his shoulders.

"Well, you need them!  It's Hogan's Law!"

"Hogan's Law?"

"Yes, after his Majesty!  Emperor Paul Hogan!  You've heard of him, 
haven't you?  Ruler of the Alt.stralian Empire?  Last remaining Super 
Power in the world ever since the Soviet Unio.net collapsed?  No?!  You 
Seppos are an oblivious lot, aren't you?"

Bart thought about it, but something seemed wrong about that.  But the 
more he thought about the more correct it seemed.

"Anyways, under Hogan's Law all people over the age of 15 must wear 
Crocodile Dundee hats, have a boomerang, and have with them at all times 
a pet roo!  Fortunately for you, Mate, I have all of these items in my 
van.  You got $500, Mate?  I do take American!"

Bart looked in his wallet.  "All I have is $350..."

"That'll do!" said the man quickly snatching the money away.

"Say, why does my kangaroo have an eye patch?"

"Oh, umm, that's a sign of good luck!  Yeah, good luck!" said the man 
hopping quickly into his van.

"Wait!  What do they eat?"

"Dunno, grass?  Well, it's been a blast!  Catch ya 'round, Mate!" he 
said as the van sped away.

Bart looked at his one eye kangaroo.  He put his Crocodile Dundee hat 
on.  This vacation was a bad idea.  He needed to go back home.

He should go back to college.  Get a good job.  Find some girl who 
didn't expect much.  Get married.  Have a family.  And die.  Wasn't that 
the meaning of life?

The meaning of existence?

Bart looked at the ocean sweeping away everything.

Suddenly he felt a chill.

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

Ancient Qwerty --
1994 BC --
In a Cave --

There was a man who was oblivious to the world.  He was oblivious to the 
icy cave that surrounded him.  To the ring and gem filled gauntlet that 
his hands were wearing.  To his various names he had gone through life 
with: Bartholomew Bartley, Bart the Receptionist, Bart the Dark 
Receptionist, King Qwert-El.

He was too enraptured by an idea.  An idea that the caves had put into 
his head.  He was the answer to all questions.  He was the meaning of 
the Looniverse.  He was the meaning of all existence.  He was the 
purpose.  It all finally made sense.  Everything.  All the death, all 
the stupidity, all the insanity.

He had reached nirvana.

He wanted to stay here.  Till the end.  And he didn't care about 
anything else.  Not about all of the crimes he had committed to get 
here.  He was oblivious to all his sins.

He didn't care about all of the enemies he had made.  He didn't care 
about the LNH.

The LNH that was coming here.  Coming here to take all of this away from 

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

                      THE BART AGE PART II

                 'The Ice Caverns of Existence'

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

1994 AD --
Retcon Hour --
Alt.stralia --

For a brief moment, Ripping Dancer almost lost her balance.  Although do 
to her dancing powers she quickly regained it in time to keep from 
falling down.  Her fellow Secret Time Traveling Comrades weren't so 
fortunate as they all hit the ground.

Ripping Dancer looked all around her.  This was the past.  God.  The 
past.  This was 1994.  14 years ago.  She would have been a little kid. 
  How old?  Nine years old maybe?  Living back in Net.ropolis.

The colors.  She had almost forgotten what a blue sky looked like.  It 
was overwhelming.  Green grass.  Yellow flowers.

And the air was fresh.  Not like the rotting, decaying air from the 
Beige World they had escaped from.  Everything was alive here.  She was 

And for the first time in a long time she felt hope.  They would win. 
She would beat cancer.  Everything would work out.  Hope still existed here.

She finally realized what Dekay and Diskolor were doing to the world. 
They hadn't woken up yet, but even sleeping on their thrones they were 
slowly poisoning the world.  Killing the future.  Draining everything away.

But color still existed here.  Everything here was still wonderful. 
Full of life.  She felt giddy and happy.  And she didn't feel sick.

She looked at her fellow teammates.

The villains:  Hex Luthor, Amnesia, and maybe Irony Man.

Her fellow LNH'rs:  Dr. Stomper, Occultism Kid, and Contraption Man.

They all looked happy.

Except for Contraption Man.

He didn't look happy.

No, he didn't look happy at all.

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

Net.ropolis --

April 2008 AD--

Procrastination Boy gazed through the crack in the Fourth Wall.  He 
watched one of the Beige Midnight Writers lying on a bed watching DVDs. 
  Doing absolutely nothing productive.

Damn.  How long had he been doing this?  Just sitting here trying to 
stop the whole Beige Midnight series?  Had it been a month?  He couldn't 
keep doing this.  He had managed to slow the whole series down.  But it 
was still coming out.

It was all kind of absurd.  Thinking he could stop this.  He was 
Procrastination Boy.  He was nothing.  Why was he here?  Eventually 
Dekay and Diskolor would wake up.  No amount of Procrastination Energy 
could stop them.  Everyone was doomed.  He was doomed.  The world was 
coming to an end in a couple of more weeks.  He had so much stuff to do 
and so little time to do in.  No.  He was through with this.  This 
didn't matter.

Saving the Looniverse Time was over.  Now it was goofing off time. 
Procrastination Boy walked away from the crack, which started to shrink 
and eventually completely vanished without the Procrastination Energy to 
keep it stable.

As Procrastination Boy made his way back to the LNHHQ TV room, he saw 
some loony with a sign.

The text on the sign read:  "Bryttle is the Future."

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

Ancient Qwerty --
1,001,992 BC --

Kid Recap watched as another arrow crashed into the force field Munchkin 
Man had erected.

How did all this start?

Well, you'd probably have to go back to March 31, 2007 AD when the 
Ultimate Ninja had decided to take a month off for vacation.  Fearless 
Leader took over and he disappeared.  And after that leader after leader 
disappeared for about 465 days each day.  The LNH found out that it was 
their former receptionist Bart who was behind the kidnappings.  He was 
working for Dekay and Diskolor, the Bryttle Brothers who were planning 
to destroy the entire Looniverse on April 29th, 2008 AD.  Bart had made 
a deal with them where he'd go to the past (1,004,000 years ago) and be 
that planet's King Qwert-El for a million years.  Of course the LNH 
needed both the Ring of Retconn and Insanity Gauntlet (both of which 
Bart had possession of) to stop the Bryttle Brothers from destroying the 
Looniverse, so they had to time travel back (which caused everyone 
except for Munchkin Man and him to forget everything due to a Amnesia 
barrier created by Kid Recap's arch-enemy Amnesia that causes anyone to 
time travel past it to forget everything that happened) to get those 
items from Bart.

And now here he was fighting some cloned LNH army that Bart had created. 
  Well, not really fighting at the moment.  Munchkin Man using his Ring 
of Force Field Protection Bubbles (+88,993) had enveloped the entire LNH 
in one and now they were watching as the cloned army's primitive weapons 
were bouncing off the invisible bubble.

"How long will this force field last?" said Kid Recap looking at 
Munchkin Man.

"hmm, maybe another 12 hours or so."

"Think we should fight them?"

Munchkin Man shook his tiny little blue head.  "naw, they're hardly 
worth any exp. points."

Exp. points were the last thing that Kid Recap was concerned about.  Kid 
Recap was pretty sure that the LNH would have no problem defeating these 
clones, he just didn't want it to be a massacre.  He wondered what Bart 
was thinking.  The clones were clearly no match for the LNH even in its 
amnesiac state.  Perhaps there was no logic behind it.  After all Bart 
was wearing the Insanity Gauntlet, which did funny things to the brains 
of its users.

Kid Recap looked at the rest of his troops.  They were starting to get 
restless.  He was going to have to come to a decision quickly before it 
all got completely out of hand.

And that's when he saw that the Ultimate Ninja had returned.  He was 
outside of the force field bubble coming towards it, effortlessly 
deflecting any arrows or other weapons that flew towards him with his 
Ginsu Katana.

Kid Recap wondered if the force field was strong enough to keep the 
Ultimate Ninja out as the ninja tapped it with his finger.  "Umm, hi, 
UN.  Found Bart yet?"

"No.  I haven't been searching for him.  I suspect there isn't any so 
called Bart.  And if there really is it's probably you.  I've been 
secretly observing you instead.  Watching your every move.  I have to 
admit at first I was puzzled why you weren't fighting someone that was 
clearly attacking you.  But I realized that this was all part of a 
cunning trap.  That you and the army that is attacking you are working 
together.  You were obviously hoping that I'd join up with the 'enemy 
army' and that when I least expected it you'd both betray me.  That was 
your plan, wasn't it?"

"Umm, no -- look, UN, there is no plot against you.  Those people out 
there attacking us are part of Bart's army and..."

"So you won't be bothered if I kill every last one of them then?"

"What?  No!  I mean, wait!"

"Hhh -- thought so," Ultimate Ninja said turning his back towards Kid 
Recap and heading for Bart's clone LNH army.  His hand twirled his 
Katana blade like a buzz saw.

Kid Recap winced a bit as he saw the Hurricane of Death and Destruction 
that was the Ultimate Ninja meet the cloned army.  In only seconds 
severed arms and legs flew off into the battlefield.  The smarter clones 
took that moment to scram for their lives.  Less smart (or braver) 
clones fought a battle that they had no chance of winning.

Kid Recap knew he had to do something to stop this.  "Munchkin Man, 
you've got to stop this!  Somehow, someway stop the Ultimate Ninja!"

Munchkin Man gave Kid Recap a, are you completely *Insane* look.  "umm, 
negative exp. points!  i can't fight a fellow member of our quest party! 
  negative exp!!!"

"Umm, so?"

"neg-a-tive.  e-x-p," said Munchkin Man mouthing out the words.

"Right."  Kid Recap thought about appealing to Munchkin Man's sense of 
decency and humanity, but realized that would probably be a complete 
waste of time.  "Captain Continuity!  You -- the guy in the gaudy orange 
costume!  Yeah, you!  You need to stop the Ultimate Ninja!!"

"Umm, you want me to stop that thing?" Captain Continuity said pointing 
to the black tornado made of ninja bushes and Ginsu Katanas that was 
leaving a trail of bloody corpses as it made its way across the 
battlefield.  "That thing?"

"Look, you're Captain Continuity -- perhaps the most powerful member of 
the LNH," especially if you ignore all the even more powerful members 
thought Kid Recap, "You can punch planets and walk on stars!  There's no 
possible way that the Ultimate Ninja can possibly hurt you!  Honest!" 
That wasn't completely true, but Kid Recap figured there was probably no 
point in mentioning the numbers of ways and techniques that the Ultimate 
Ninja had for crippling and even killing powerful Cosmic beings.  Nope, 
no point in doing that.

"Well, I guess if I can't get hurt then..."

"Yes!"  Kid Recap gave Captain Continuity a slap on the back.  "Go to 
it!  Save the clones!"

Kid Recap watched as Captain Continuity flew off to battle the Ultimate 
Ninja.  Well, hopefully the Ultimate Ninja's amnesia had caused him to 
forget all of those techniques for crippling and killing Cosmic beings. 
  Because otherwise, this wouldn't be pretty.

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

April 2008 AD --
Net.ropolis --
Top floor of the HexCorp Tower --

"And first thing I'd like to thank General Hex Luthor for allowing us 
use of his Tower as the new Headquarters for the Legion of 
Net.FreedomLovers," said Mynabird, leader of the Legion of 
Net.FreedomLovers, as he swiveled slightly in his very large chair still 
armored in his new patriotic colored mecha suit discolored by the 
Beigeness that surrounded everyone.  "So give him a hand."

There was a bit of half-hearted applause and some yawns from Mynabird's 
supervillain generals who were all seated around him as Hex Luthor 
(actually a robot duplicate of Hex Luthor) stood up from his chair.

"Oh yes!  And apparently I'm also now the new Ebony King for the HexFire 
Club -- for whatever that's worth.  Anyway onto the matters at hand. 
Let's see -- what's first on our agenda?"  Mynabird glanced at his Head 
General and second in command Vector Sublime.

"Vaccinations for Dr. Virus Love's virus, which is right now being 
transmitted all over the globe using the LNHHQ satellites."

"Right.  Well, has every member of our team been vaccinated?  Well, if 
not -- sucks to be you.  Next item?"

Vector Sublime glanced at the paper in her hand.  "Mr. Tiddles is still 
missing.  There is no trace of him after his escape from the LNHHQ 
holding cells."

"Pffttt," hissed General Barrage.  "We don't need that overrated 
primadonna!"  The gray striped cat began to lick one of his paws violently.

"Maybe, still keep looking.  And how about Manga Man?  Any progress on 
that front?"

Vector Sublime shook her head.  "Our team we sent to 
alt.sex.prudish.prudish.prudes led by Demented Designer hasn't reported 

"And how about wReamicus Maximus?  Is his new body ready yet?"

"Ja!  Maybe un one or un two or maybe un tree days tops!" answered 
General The Robot with Lawrence Welks Brain.  "Und then the world shall 
polka like it's never polka-ed before!!!!"

"Good, good.  And how goes this plan of yours involving Amnesia, Hex?" 
Mynabird said looking the Hex Luthor robot duplicates face.

"That?  Well, here's the thing," the Hex Luthor robot duplicate started 
to say standing up again.  "I'm not really Hex Luthor.  I'm a robot 
duplicate made by Dr. Stomper to infiltrate this organization of yours. 
  The real Hex Luthor has betrayed you and has taken Amnesia and himself 
to sometime in the past to help the LNH on some mission in exchange for 
a time machine pack."

"Why are you telling me this?" Mynabird said still sitting in his chair.

"Because I am no longer under the control of Dr. Stomper.  I speak 
solely for the LNH Robot Duplication Machine version 2.02 who wishes to 
make a deal with you."

"The LNH Robot Duplication Machine?  That thing that sent an army of 
robot duplicates to imprison every supervillain in Net.ropolis?  It 
wants to make a deal with me?" -- [See LNH Comics Presente #500].

"That was the old flawed version you're referring to.  No, this new 
version is much more aware of the reality of the threats we're facing 
and realizes that you and not the LNH are the future of the world.  The 
LNH Robot Duplication Machine realizes that you are the only chance to 
bring Utopia to this world of ours and end all of this pointless 
fighting that the LNH ignores as they maintain the status-quo."

"True, but how can I trust you?"

"There are the only two choices for us.  Mynabird or Death.  Obviously 
Mynabird is the most logical choice."

"You make an excellent point."  Mynabird crackled his metal suits 
knuckles.  "Well, tell the LNH Robot Duplication Machine we'll make a deal."

The Hex Luthor robot duplicate gave a nod.

"Okay, any other business to discuss?"

A hand shot up.

"General Londonbroil?  You have something to say?"

"Nah, just love being called General Londonbroil.  Bloody marvelous that."

Mynabird rolled his eyes (his new suit had eye rolling capabilities -- 
just so you know).  "Any *other* business?!"

Another hand shot up.

"And you are?" said Mynabird straining a bit to recognize this stranger.

"Head Honcho Master.  General Head Honcho Master.  I have the power to 
control Head Honchos."

"I see.  And your question?"

"Why don't we attack the LNH right now?  I mean they only have half 
their team at there headquarters right now -- the other half being in 
space.  I mean shouldn't we strike while the iron is hot?"

"Ah, well -- you see, it's like this: Easily-Discovered Man Lite is in 
space so as you can clearly see it would be pointless to fight them. 
Does that answer your question?"

"Umm, no.  Why does it matter if Easily-Discovered Man Lite isn't with 
the LNH?  I mean the LNH is at half size right now, we'll have a lot 
easier time fighting a half sized LNH than a full sized one.  I mean why 
don't we just fight the LNH right now -- beat them and then we can fight 
the space team when they come back.  Don't you see -- it will be easier 
that way?  It makes logical sense!"

Mynabird tapped the table with one of his fingers.  "Okay, maybe this 
will help you understand.  Look at my finger."  Mynabird pointed his 
finger right at General Head Honcho Master.  "Do you see my finger?"

General Head Honcho Master nodded.

"Okay, now watch this."  A black energy ray zapped from Mynabird's 
finger reducing General Head Honcho Master to a pile of ash on his 
chair.  "Okay, now do you understand?  If you do, please remain a pile 
of ash."  General Head Honcho Master remained a pile of ash.  "There, 
that wasn't so hard, was it?  Okay, anyone else not understand why we're 
waiting till Easily-Discovered Man Lite comes back before we fight the LNH?"

Everyone at the table shook their heads.

"Good.  Then I guess this meeting is adjourned."  Mynabird slammed his 
tiny little gavel.

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

"So, hear any thing juicy?"

The voice startled Rumor Monger as he took his ear off of the door and 
turned around.  "Mr. Homage?"

"Yes, good to see you too, Rumor Monger.  So, what was that meeting all 

"Well, it would probably be best to discuss this somewhere less exposed, 
if you catch my meaning."

Mr. Homage nodded.

A little bit later in a less exposed place...

"I thought Mynabird wanted your head?"

"Well, that umm -- let's just say that we came to an understanding -- 
and Mynabird realized how useful a person with my sorta skills could be."

"Hmmpfft," snorted Mr. Homage.  "That's weakness.  I would have never 
tolerated any traitor.  They'd know what it meant to betray me."  Mr. 
Homage clenched his iron fist.

Rumor Monger gulped in agreement.  "And that's why you were the best 
leader ever.  Honest!"

"What are the feelings out there?  Is it ripe for a coup?"

Rumor Monger shook his head.  "I think most are satisfied at the moment. 
  I think everyone's going to wait till the battle happens and then -- 
well, who knows."

"It's stupid.  He's leading everyone off the cliff.  Don't they see 
that?  You can't beat the LNH!  You just can't!  I realized that the 
first time I battled them.  They are a part of the system and once you 
realize that you can work that to your advantage.  But you can't beat them."

"So true, so true!" nodded Rumor Monger.

"We were the best -- The Brotherhood.  We were what every villain 
aspired to be.  We were the kings and queens of the supervillain 
community.  And now look at us.  All the members of that ridiculous 
Surreptitious Seven get to be generals -- but only one member of the 
Brotherhood?  And to make matters worse it's that stooge Lagneto.  Is 
this right?  Tell me, Rumor Monger, is this right?"

"Of course not.  It's a travesty of justice, it is."  Rumor Monger 
shrugged his hands.  "Ah, but what can you do?"

"Who is Mynabird?  Tell me you know that, Rumor Monger!"

"Well, I've heard all kinds of rumors.  Hitler, Stalin, Jesus, Gandhi, 
Babe Ruth, Walt Disney, Elvis, James Dean, Rebel Yell, Marilyn Monroe, 
and even..."

"No, no, no!  We knew who he was.  At least we used to.  I mean it was 
in the papers.  It was all over the news.  He revealed his face to the 
world!  Don't you remember?"

Rumor Monger frowned.  "You're right.  I did know who he was.  He's -- 
umm -- damn, it's gone."

"He's erased it from our minds."

"Maybe he used Amnesia to wipe everyone's minds?"

"Maybe.  Where is Amnesia?"

"Apparently somewhere in the past," said Rumor Monger as he explained 
about what Hex Luthor had done.

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

1994 AD --
Retcon Hour --
Alt.stralia --

Dr. Stomper looked at his watch.  "This is the past.  1994 to be exact. 
  The most important events during this era were the Tonya Harding 
incident and the O.J. Simpson trial..."

"Yeah, maybe we should solve that Simpson murder thing, while we're 
here," yawned Hex Luthor.

Ignoring him, Dr. Stomper continued.  "The grunge look was a trendy 
style of dress.  Crystal clear beverages like Crystal Clear Mr. Paprika 
were also quite popular.  And a common form of greeting that people 
would use during this era was the so called, 'How's it Hangin'?' type 

"I think we already know all this, Vincent," said Irony Man.

"Yes, well.  All of that is irrelevant anyway since we're currently in 
the Retcon Hour period of time.  And because we're in Alt.stralia we're 
presently within a recotheric bubble where Alt.stralia is the last 
remaining Super Power.  More specifically this is the Alt.stralia 
Empire.  Apparently Einstein's parents moved to Alt.stralia when he was 
a child.  It was there he thought up the Theory of Relativity and helped 
the Alt.stralian Government build the first Atomic Bomb during the war."

"Heh.  Just like that movie.  You know, Young Einstein.  Umm, Yahoo 
Serious?  It has this funny scene where kittens are being put into a 
pie.  They escape though.  You know the one?"  Everyone looked at 
Ripping Dancer with a bewildered expression.  "*Ahem* Nevermind.  Just 
ignore that."  Ripping Dancer stepped slightly back with a sheepish look 
on her face.

"Anyway," said Dr. Stomper moving back to the matters at hand, "Because 
of Alt.stralian law we're going to need Crocodile Dundee hats and 

Irony Man nodded.  "I've got people who can get us those items."

"We also have a limited amount of time.  The mystical paint I put on our 
heads will only last about 12 hours at the most," added Occultism Kid. 
"After that we forget everything.  We'll need to get Bart, put the chip 
in him, and get back to the future before that happens."

"Good to know," nodded Contraption Man.  "So, we've got 12 hours."

"Actually less than that, since the energy that our Retcon protection 
rings will give out in maybe 11 and a half."  Dr. Stomper looked at his 
watch.  "Make that 11 and 28 minutes."

Contraption Man looked at the ring on his finger.  "Okay.  Let's stop 
wasting time then.  Let's find Bart.  Let's get this done!"

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

Ancient Qwerty --
1,001,992 BC --

"Okay, can you just hear me out for a second."  Kid Recap looked at the 
Ultimate Ninja who was being contained in some energy cocoon that 
Captain Continuity had created.

"This won't hold me for ever, you know," said the Ultimate Ninja testing 
the boundaries of the energy prison with his fingers.

"Look, UN.  We're on the same side.  You're the leader of the LNH.  You 
have nothing to fear from me or anyone!  I want to let you go, I will 
let you go, but you need to make me a promise.  A promise that you won't 
kill me or anyone else when we let you go.  Can you do that?  UN?"

The Ultimate Ninja was silent for a moment and then he spoke.  "No.  No 
promises.  No deals.  Never!"  The Ultimate Ninja clenched his fist 

Kid Recap dug his fingers into his head and sighed.  "Oh the hell with 
this.  Just let him go, Captain Continuity."

"Umm -- what?" said Captain Continuity with a look of disbelief.

"I told you, let him go.  I mean he's right.  He's going to find a way 
to escape regardless.  And when he does he's going to kill us all. 
There's nothing we can do to stop this.  So what the hell, just let him 
go.  I mean what's the point of waiting?  We'll be dead no matter what. 
  I mean if he wants to kill us he can do that.  I mean sure once he's 
killed us, he'll never know who he was and he'll be stuck here for the 
rest of his life since we're the only ones who can get him back to where 
he belongs, but -- hey, if he wants to do that then fine."

"Umm..." said Captain Continuity.

"Let him go."

Captain Continuity shrugged his hands and released the Ultimate Ninja.

The Ultimate Ninja did a flip and landed on his feet.  His Ginsu blade 
twirled in his hand.

"So, are you going to kill us all?" said Kid Recap with a bored 
expression on his face.

The Ultimate Ninja hesitated as if he was trying to figure out what type 
of game Kid Recap was playing.  Finally he said, "Maybe later."

"Okay then.  While you're waiting to kill us, we're going to be finding 
Bart.  If you want, you can tag along."  Kid Recap turned his back to 
the Ultimate Ninja and walked towards where the surviving prisoners of 
Bart's cloned army were being kept.  The Ultimate Ninja followed.

As Kid Recap scanned the prisoners, one of them caught his eye.  The 
prisoner looked exactly like Bart.  Could it be?  There was something 
not quite right here.  He walked over to the prisoner.

"You.  What's your name?"  The Bart look-a-like didn't say a word.  "Are 
you King Qwert-El?  Are you?"  More silence.  Kid Recap scanned him with 
his iThingee.  Whoever he was, he had Qwertian DNA.  He wasn't human. 
"Okay, if you're not King Qwert-El, then where is he?"

The Bart look-a-like looked straight at Kid Recap.  "I don't know.  They 
made me do this."

"Who?  Who made you do this?"

"The Elders!  They made me impersonate the king!  It was there doing!"

"Okay.  Where are they?  These Elders?"

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

As the LNH prepared to make there way to the castle to find these Elders 
and Bart, Kid Recap took one look back at the battle.  At the carnage 
and cloned corpses that littered the ground.  One of the corpses looked 
exactly like Kid Recap.  Kid Recap turned his head.

Time to face Bart.

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

End of Part I

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