REPOST/LNH: Beige Midnight #5: The Bart Age: 'Playing Dice with the Looniverse' (2/3)
arspitzer at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 9 16:13:08 PDT 2012
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The LNH Starship Continuity Champ --
In Deep Space --
"So, how much longer?" whined Impatient Lad as he looked at his watch.
Captain Continuity gazed out of one of the starships windows. His
Continuity Vision pierced the black abyss of space and zoomed into the
space station and wormhole they were headed for. They were 15 light
years away. He could see every detail of the Dvorakian Space Station.
Even a very tiny bit of print on the side written in Dvorakian. He
strained his eyes to read the text which translated said: "If you can
read this then you're too damn close to the station!"
He looked back at Impatient Lad. "In another hour or so. Right now
we're within the Wormhole Belt. A place that contains over 6000 stable
wormholes. Some wormholes are controlled by various Space Empires like
the Dvorakians and Dorfs. Some by space federations, corporations,
warlords, pirates, and a lot that are of the disputed variety. If
you've ever wondered why all these space empires desire to conquer the
Loonivearth or our solar system, this is a good reason why. Although
our solar system is 30 light years from the nearest wormhole, we're
right within the middle of this wormhole ring making our system an ideal
place for a military base close to all the wormholes within it. This is
the biggest collection of wormholes in the Milky Way and since some of
the wormholes connect to Wormhole belts in other galaxies, whoever has
control of the Wormhole belt has easy access to rest of the Looniverse."
"Umm -- thanks, I guess. Didn't really need to know all that," said
Impatient Lad going off to another part of the ship to avoid hearing
more fascinating facts about where they were headed.
"What's the place we're heading to called?" asked Namerboy.
"It has many names," said Captain Continuity as he recollected. "The
Dorfians call it the 'Gaping Maw'. The Giant Radioactive Space Hamsters
refer to it as 'Babbling Torrent'. The Zethrythians know it as 'Endless
Deluge'. The Qwarsts speak of it as 'The Wandering Fog'. The
Inhilators address it as being 'The Anti-Twit'. The Girafellytacos
describe it as 'Weepauz'. And for some reason the
Christicantthinkofagoodname Empire calls it 'Why Can't They Just Let
Patrick Norton Talk?'"
"And what do you call it?" asked Namerboy.
Captain Continuity thought about this. "Hmm -- I dunno. I guess
Dvorakian Space Station #69."
"Should we be worried about these Dvorakians?" asked Nit-Pick Lad.
Captain Continuity gave a grave nod. "If we have to fight them -- then
yes. They might be the most powerful empire in our galaxy. The
Dvorak/Qwerty war was one of the most bloodiest battles ever. Galaxies
died (Granted they were only dwarf galaxies). It was during the peak of
the war that the Dvorakians stumbled upon the deadliest weapon of all.
It was a virus, but not the kind that you'd think. They used the virus
on themselves. You see the ordinary every day Dvorakian is no more
powerful than the average human. But inject them with a virus and they
become god like beings with the power to crush planets and freeze suns.
But the virus -- This Glory Virus -- kills the host within a week of
taking it. But during the war billions took the Glory Virus and ravaged
entire galaxies and ultimately destroyed the entire Qwerty Empire. To
give you the scope of their power, five fully powered Dvorakians could
probably take me on -- that's how powerful they are."
"So why are we even going there? Why not go back in time first and
travel to Qwerty?" questioned Nit-Pick Lad.
Captain Continuity shook his head. "If only we could. No. Before the
end of the Dvorak/Qwerty War the Qwerty System was in a completely
different galaxy. It was the Dvorakian Logic Bomb that not only ended
all life in the system also was so powerful that it caused a rip in
space that sent the whole solar system to our galaxy. If we traveled
back in time first it would probably take us a thousand years to get to
Nit-Pick Lad raised his eyebrow. "But wait. If we go back in time in
Present day Qwerty won't we hit empty space if Past Qwerty isn't there?"
Captain Continuity shook his head again. "No, you see Past and Present
Qwerty are connected to each other in the Temporal Matrix so when we go
back in time we'll be where ever Qwerty is also."
"Well, hope you're right about that."
**** <<--BM-->> ****
The LNH Starship Flatulence --
In Deep Space --
"Oh, for the love of..." said Sarcastic Lad holding his nose. "Could
you quit making this place smell so heavenly!!"
"Sorry, Sarc!" apologized the ghost of Flatulence Lad.
"Christ! Why are you even haunting this place? Can't you haunt some
"Well this ship has my name and..."
"Yeah, that's my fault -- teach me to ever be sentimental. Why can't
you just go to heaven or hell or someplace else!?"
"Haven't completed my mission yet. When the Saint writes another LNH
"When the Saint writes...?" Sarcastic Lad laughed. "So basically
you're going to haunt me for the rest of my life? *Arrrhhghghgh!!!*
Kill me now, God. Why did I go on this stupid mission? And why did
Ninj assign me to this stupid ship?" Sarcastic Lad looked around the
ship at the rest of his crew. And then suddenly it dawned on him why he
"Christ, I can see the pattern! Now I know why he put me here!"
"Why?" asked Easily-Discovered Man Lite who was also holding his nose.
"Look at everyone, Lite! There's Self-Righteous Preacher! PC Man!"
"That is PC Person," sniffed PC Man.
"And there's Grammer Lad! Munchkin Man! Irony Man! Super Apathy Lad!
Time Waster Lad! Don't you see? Every single person in the LNH that
the Ninja either hates or has contempt for is on this space ship! The
Ninja put us all on the same ship!"
"Wait. Are you saying that Ultimate Ninja doesn't like me?" gasped
Easily-Discovered Man Lite. "Are you sure about that? I mean -- sure
I've occasionally told a few off-color Ninja jokes. And there was that
time I broke his favorite coffee mug. And the time I crashed his own
personal private Flight.Thingee."
"And don't forget the time you burned his office down," pointed out Frat
"Or when you forgot to water his garden when he went on vacation or that
time you..." said Procrastination Boy.
Easily-Discovered Man Lite broke in. "Umm yeah. Those things. Hmm --
maybe I should send him some flowers or something. You think?"
"I just hope the Invisible Incendiary isn't here too. I just hope,"
said Sarcastic Lad.
**** <<--BM-->> ****
The LNH Starship Ekko Traveller --
In Deep Space --
"Ultimate Ninja! We've got to stop this ship!" yelled Spelling Boy.
"Spelling Boy? I thought I had you assigned to the Flatulence with the
rest of the LNH'rs I can't -- umm with the rest of the LNH're I assigned
to the Flatulence."
"I traded my spot to Bad Judgment Lad. But that doesn't matter now --
we've got a bigger problem."
"And that is?"
"I just realized that this ship's name is completely misspelled!"
"It's misspelled! It should be Echo Traveler! Not Ekko Traveller!!"
"Hmm. That's probably because Typo Lad was in charge of the naming. It
was a tribute for his fallen friend Echo Lad."
"I don't care. It needs to be fixed. I don't know why I didn't notice
it when I came on the ship -- I guess I was too busy correcting all of
the spelling errors in that moronic mission report you gave us to read.
But now I can feel it in my bones. My skin is crawling. There are
two misspelled words and they need correcting!! We need to stop this
ship and repaint all of the words."
"No. I'm not stopping ship. You're just going to have to live with it."
"Live with it? *Live* with it? No. No Way." Spelling Boy pulled out
a gun. "We're stopping this ship now! We're going to correct these
spelling errors! Now! All spelling errors will be corrected! All
misspellers will be punished!! So says Spelling Boy!!!!!"
"Uh huh," said The Ultimate Ninja
A few seconds later...
Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad looked at the unconscious badly beaten body
of Spelling Boy strapped to one of the sleeping bunks. "Umm, what
should we do if he wakes up, UN?"
"Taser him?" mused the Ultimate Ninja.
**** <<--BM-->> ****
The LNH Starship Lost Cause --
In Deep Space --
"You know -- just realized something," said No-One-Cares-About-Me Lass.
"Everyone on this ship is going to die."
"No way. Whatever gave you that idea?" replied Captain Sacrificial Lamb
"Oh, just this intuition I'm getting. But really -- look at us. Look
at everyone. Is there a single person on this ship that anyone cares
about? I mean really."
"I'm afraid this is my fault," said
Lad the brother of deceased hero
So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story Lad. "I have
brought the curse of Saxon Brenton with me on this voyage and have
doomed you all."
"The curse of Saxon Brenton?" asked an intrigued No-One-Cares-About-Me Lass.
"Yes. The Curse. It goes all the way back to my grandpa -- the Golden
Age So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story Lad who could
have ended World War II much sooner if Saxon Brenton hadn't thought he
was too lame to write. And so it was with the rest of my family. Dad
-- the Silver Age So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story
Lad. Mom -- the Silver Age
So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Her-In-A-Story Lass. Uncle
So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story Wonder-Dog. And
Lad took a sip of Tang. "And now I'm the last one. The last of the
So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Them-In-A-Story Family. I
thought maybe by going on this trip I could do something so damn cool
that it would even warm Saxon Brenton's cold unloving heart and he would
write me and resurrect my whole family and maybe even write a series
based on our adventures. But I fear I have overreached. I wanted too
much and now -- now I have fated us all to a horrible end. The Shadow
of Saxon Brenton's Apathy looms over all of us now. I'm sorry. I'm
sorry about all of this."
No-One-Cares-About-Me Lass went over and tried to comfort
"Hey, not every character on this ship is a character no one cares
about. Me for instance," said Cannon Fodder gesturing to himself.
"People care about me. I'm quite the popular character -- and -- hmm --
now that I think about it me being on this ship isn't a very good sign,
is it? Whoops. Just forget everything I said. Try to think happy
And the LNH Starship Lost Cause followed the other four ships to
Dvorakian Space Station #69.
**** <<--BM-->> ****
The LNHHQ --
Renegade Programmer typed in one last batch of code. He examined it
thoroughly. Looked good. The Satellite should be ready to start
zapping the planet. He was about ready to hit the activate button when
a picture flashed for a brief moment on his monitor screen. Renegade
Programmer thought he saw a female face on the screen. She looked very
familiar. Something was wrong and Renegade Programmer knew it. He
needed to do another diagnostic check. But that could take hours.
Multi-Tasking Man wanted this done before noon today. It was probably
nothing. He had already checked everything. He just wanted this thing
done with. Did it really matter?
No. It probably didn't matter. Nothing mattered. The LNH was doomed.
Renegade Programmer knew that. All of this was a waste of time. The
end of the world was coming and the LNH was going to lose. He had
better things to do than check and recheck some stupid code. There were
only a couple of weeks left.
He hit the button. The satellite started to blast the Loonivearth with
There. He was done. He was going to take a break. Do something fun.
He was done with all of this.
Bryttle is the Future.
**** <<--BM-->> ****
The Legion of Net.Villians -- Err I mean...
The Legion of Net.FreedomLovers Headquarters --
"It is done," said Vector Sublime as she flew into the room. "The
Satellite is spreading our virus all over the globe even as we speak."
"Ah. Excellent!" said Mynabird who was now wearing a more patriotically
pigmented suit as opposed to his sinister black suit that he had been
wearing -- although the red, white, and blue colors were more beige red,
beige white, and beige blue. "Yes. Everything is starting to fall into
place. Oh, btw, Could you hand these out to the troops, VS?"
"Bumperstickers?" said Vector Sublime with irritation in her voice.
"Yes. But not just any bumperstickers! Bumperstickers Against Drunk
Driving! I've decided that the Legion of Net.FreedomLovers should be
against drunk driving. In fact I've got a speaking engagement with
Mothers Against Drunk Driving in an hour or so. But yes, being against
drunk driving is now a part of the Legion of Net.FreedomLovers mission
statement along with Killing Easily-Discovered Man Lite. Killing the
LNH. Conquering the World. Being for Freedom. Being for Loving. And
being for Freedom Loving. And now also Being Against Drunk Driving.
Please spread the word to all our members to not drink and drive or I
will personally kill them and put their heads on a spike."
"Could I have a word with you," said Mr. Homage who had just entered the
"Ah, Homage. Glad to have you on board!" Mynabird gave Mr. Homage a
very hard slap on the back. "I'd love to chat with you, but -- well --
having a very busy day today. But we'll have to do lunch sometime."
"But I was just wondering what role I'm supposed to play in this *ahem*
organization? If you could enlighten me?"
"Role? Oh yes, forgot to give you your hat. Your Junior General hat!"
Mynabird handed Mr. Homage something that looked like a beanie cap
with the text 'Junior General' written on it.
Mr. Homage looked at the cap. "Junior General?"
"Yes. Ran out of General Hats. I've decided to make you second in
command of the Junior Brotherhood of Net.Villains section of the Legion
of Net.FreedomLovers. If fact -- here is your new commander right now.
Mr. Kid Homage."
Mr. Homage looked down and saw what looked like a nine year old wearing
a kid version of his costume. "The Junior Brotherhood of Net.Villains?
Mr. Kid Homage?"
"That's General Mr. Kid Homage to you, grunt," barked Mr. Homage's new
commanding officer who climbed onto a table so he could look his new
second in command in the eye.
Mynabird looked at his watch. "Oh, gotta go! You two have fun
discussing strategy and tactics, Okay? Bye!"
Mr. Homage scowled behind his steel mask. You think you've won,
Mynabird? This is all a part of my plan, you fool. You're going to
fall sooner or later. And I'll be there to take everything you've built
and remake it into my own image! Yes, I will. So swears Homage!!! So
"Gimme fifty push-ups, grandpa!"
**** <<--BM-->> ****
1,001,992 BC --
Bart the Dark Receptionist sipped out of his diamond goblet. A
disgusted look emerged on his face. This Qwerty berry wine was pretty
ghastly stuff. He used the Ring of Retconn to change it into something
more pleasing. He took a taste. Uhhhgggggg! What was this? It tasted
-- it tasted like blood! Try that again. There. A nice red wine.
That's better. He glanced all over the Banquet Hall. His knights were
feasting on Slombaks and Triddlekish (which sort of tasted like
chicken). Drinking heavily of the various Qwerty wines and ales. His
Knights of the Bart Table.
When he had been a boy, Bart had loved reading about King Arthur and his
Knights of the Round Table. And now he had his own group cloned from
LNH DNA. Knights who would die for him if he were to give the word.
And there was his Queen. She looked exactly like Catalyst Lass. He had
cloned her too. His Queen. Queen Cat-El. Bart laughed at that name.
She was flirting with one of his knights -- the one called Sir Toony who
he had cloned from Irony Man's DNA. She was always flirting with
someone. She didn't love him. Bart wondered why. He had everything.
He was King. He had saved this planet from the Evil Storm God,
Hurrikhal. Why didn't she love him? Did she know? Did she know about
his crimes? Every evil thing he had ever done?
Why did she marry him? Perhaps the idea of being Queen tantalized her
enough that she was willing to marry someone she didn't love. Perhaps.
Or maybe there was something wrong with the clone. His own evil had
infected it. He looked at his LNH cloned knights. Maybe they were all
wrong. All infected by his evil.
He could kill Sir Toony and change his shape to look like him. And then
he'd see if his wife was cheating on him. Then he'd see.
No. He was sick of this. Waiting. Waiting for the LNH to come. He
had been ruler of the stupid planet for over a month. They should have
come by now. He wondered what the Ultimate Ninja's strategy was.
Surely he wasn't planning on having the LNH strike a million years from
now? No. He'd be here before the year was over.
He looked at his wife again. She and Toony were laughing about some
idiotic thing. He could make her love him. But it wouldn't be the love
he wanted. A real love. He finished his drink and retconned some more
"Your Majesty! I beg your pardon, but we have need of your assistance."
Bart turned around and saw that two of the wise Elders were talking to
him. "Umm, yes. What is it?"
"We ask you to come with us. Please."
"Fine. Show me the way."
A little bit later...
The two Wise Elders had led Bart to an opening of a Cavern. A cold wind
seemed to blow from it.
"What is this place?" asked Bart as he used the Insanity Gauntlet to
shine some light into the darkness.
"It is known as the Ice Caverns of Existence. It is said that someday
the Most Worthy One shall walk into the cave and find out the Point of
All Existence. Why everything is. The Purpose of Life. And on that
day everyone will finally know. Alas, many who have walked into the
cavern have failed."
Bart stroked his chin. "I see. And what happened to those that failed?"
"They became a part of the Ice Caverns. Forever."
"So you think maybe I'm the most Worthy One, eh?"
"It is not for us to know. But if you should like to go into the cave
and find out, we will not stop you."
Like hell, Bart thought to himself. This was some kind of a test. If
he didn't go into the cave they'd think he was some kind of a coward.
They were daring him. But they didn't realize how powerful the Ring of
Retconn and Insanity Gauntlet were. Far more powerful than this stupid
cave. And who is to say that he wasn't the Most Worthy One? He
couldn't be harmed. Not by this cave. He'd show them. "I'll do it.
Just walk into the cave, right?"
"Yes. That is correct."
"Fine. Be back in a minute." And Bart walked into the cave. It was
very cold. Colder than space. But he kept walking into the cavern. He
could see other less successful heroes frozen for all time. Where was
the point? And then he saw it. There it was.
Bart laughed. Yes! It was so simple. He was the point! The Point of
All Existence! He was why the Looniverse had been made. It was him.
And as Bart reveled in the glory of being him, his body began to freeze.
Totally at peace he didn't notice that he was now a part of the
The Elders waited about an hour for Bart to return. And as it became
clear that he was not returning, the Elders consulted with one another.
"That was very disappointing."
"He was not the one. I was so sure he was."
"We must find a double to take his place."
"Yes. We cannot tell the people the truth. They would not be able to
handle it. Do you ever believe that the Most Worthy One will ever come?"
"Yes. Some day. We must have faith. And wait."
**** <<--BM-->> ****
2008 AD --
The LNH Starship Ekko Traveller --
Within Dvorakian Empire Space --
"The Space Station is trying to contact us," said Kid Recap looking at
the ship's monitors.
"Put them on screen," nodded the Ultimate Ninja.
<<LNH Vessels! You are violating Dvorkian space! Leave this instant or
we will have to use extreme force! I repeat -- leave or we will use
The Ultimate Ninja gazed at the screen and shook his head. "No. I will
speak with whoever is in charge here. Or I will speak with no one. Clear?"
The Ultimate Ninja watched as a new face emerged on the screen. <<That
would be me, Loonivearthling. And the message is still the same.
Leave. Or we will have 30 fully powered Dvorakians help you leave.>>
The Ultimate Ninja gave a slight bow. "I, the Ultimate Ninja -- Leader
of the LNH, am honored and humbled to talk with you -- forgive me -- who
am I addressing?"
"General Honey Bunny?"
<<That is General Hon-AYE Bon-AYE!>>
"That's what I said. General Honey Bunny."
Kid Recap winced and edged away from the screen. "Oh man. Why didn't
we bring Catalyst Lass with us to talk to them?"
"Anyhow, General -- I would like to request permission to have our five
ships enter your wormhole so we can visit Qwerty."
General Honiboni shook his head in disbelief. <<We have no attention of
giving you any access to our wormholes! We know what is happening on
your planet -- about the Beige Sickness! You and your ship stink of it!
We will not allow you to spread your sickness to our wormhole or any
other part of the Dvorakian Empire!>>
"You're right. There is a Beige Sickness from our planet -- and it's
spreading across space. But stopping us from getting to Qwerty won't
end it. No. The only thing that can stop it is the LNH. And the only
way we can stop it is to get something on Qwerty. And the more time I
waste here the farther the Beige Sickness spreads. Well?"
The general laughed. "The LNH our only hope? For all I know you could
be under the thrall of the Bryttle entities. No, the only place you're
going is back to your planet. In 10 of your Loonivearth seconds I'll
send a squad of 30 fully powered Dvorakians to escort you back there.>>
The Ultimate Ninja shook his head. "That would be a bad idea."
"Because then I won't be able to stop the secret ship I sent to the
Dvorakian Throne World from slaughtering your Empires royal family. Oh
and I should probably mention that we're disrupting all intergalactic
signals. So you won't be able to warn them."
<<You dare.>> The color on the Dvorakian's face became crimson. <<You
dare! Do you realize what we'd do to your entire species?! Do you --
no -- you must be bluffing. Yes. There's no way you could possible
know where the Throne World was located. It's...>>
"The Blorphian Voddle. Coordinates 123.678-9339.2345-12399.2424."
<<You would doom your whole race. And your ship would have no chance
against the Throne World.>>
"A ship that has Kid Kirby and Opinionated Lad on it."
<<What? Opinionated Lad? The Opinionated Lad!?>>
"There's only one of them." Thank the gods, thought Ultimate Ninja.
<<No. Opinionated Lad -- I don't believe it. He's a myth. There's no
way someone that powerful could possibly exist. He whose opinion is the
combined opinion of the entire NET?! I mean -- if he really exists why
doesn't he stop this Beige Sickness!?>>
The Ultimate Ninja couldn't really answer that question and in truth was
only bluffing about Opinionated Lad being on that ship. He didn't have
a clue where Opinionated Lad was. Probably back on Loonivearth
searching for an aspirin or a decent breakfast. Finally he said,
"Opinionated Lad works in mysterious ways." What a cop out.
<<You doom your race by taking this action!>>
"And you doom the Looniverse and your Empire by stopping us. All we
want to do is go to that planet and get something. Nothing more. You
lose nothing. The Dvorakian Empire loses nothing. And -- we'll even
throw in a gift."
The general's eyes perked up. <<A gift? What kind of gift?>>
"You know the name Dev-Null?"
<<Of course! Every Dvorakian knows the name of that accursed mass
murdering terrorist Qwertian scum!>> The general spat on the ground.
<<What about him? Last I heard he was being held in the inescapable
Ultimate Blackhole prison.>>
"No. Not anymore. There was a breakout. And now we have him." The
Ultimate Ninja made a gesture and a couple of LNH'rs brought Dev-Null
out with high-powered manacles covering both hands. "And he's yours if
you allow us to go to Qwerty. Well?"
"You lying slatherpiggle LNH scum!!!!" said a clearly outraged Dev-Null.
"You gave me your promise!"
<<We'll have to do some testing -- to confirm if it's the genuine article.>>
"Of course." The Ultimate Ninja sliced at Dev-Null's cheek. Dev-Null
just gave him a deathly stare. The Ultimate Ninja smeared the blood on
the transporter and sent it to the general.
A few minutes later...
<<It's a match. No clone. No robot duplicate. An exact match. Very
well, perhaps we can make a deal after all. How about this: You give
us Dev-Null and I'll send a team of Dvorakian scientists to retrieve
what ever it is you're looking for. Sound good?>>
"No. We must go to Qwerty. That is final."
<<Okay. We will allow you to go to Qwerty. But you have to take a
Dvorakian escort. Five fully powered Dvorakians on each of your ships.
This is non-negotiable.>>
The Ultimate Ninja thought about it. "Okay. That will work. We'll
transport Dev-Null to you in a few minutes. And you can transport the
<<Fine.>> And the Ultimate Ninja shut off transmission. And as he did
in the corner of his eye he noticed that Dev-Null had escaped from his
manacles and was holding Bad-Timing Boy hostage with a blaster he had
acquired from Bad-Timing Boy.
"Fly the ship out of here, Ninja. Or Bad-Timing Boy's brain becomes a
Jackson Pollack mural." Dev-Null's cheek was still bleeding.
The Ultimate Ninja's eyes didn't flinch. "Go for it." A Ginsu Katana
twirled in his hands.
Dev-Null quickly changed aim to the Ultimate Ninja and tried to shoot.
But before he could say, 'Damn! This stupid gun is jammed!' The
Ultimate Ninja pinched a nerve causing Dev-Null to fall to the floor
"Did you really think we'd give Bad-Timing Boy a gun that actually worked?"
"What?" said a slightly offended Bad-Timing Boy picking up his
"This isn't over, Ninja. There is no Dvorakian Prison that can hold me!
"And as much as I like the thought of you rotting in one -- no, we're
not handing you over to them. The LNH does indeed keep its promises.
Even with the likes of you. You're going to Qwerty with us like
originally planned. We're going to give the Dvorakians a robot
duplicate of you."
"That won't fool them. They'll do tests."
"Yes. They probably will. Hopefully though, they'll do them after we
get to Qwerty. Now we need to get you in a hiding place. We have
**** <<--BM-->> ****
Tomorrow: Part III of issue five!
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