REPOST/LNH: Beige Midnight #5: The Bart Age: 'Playing Dice with the Looniverse' (2/3)

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Thu Aug 9 16:13:08 PDT 2012

Part II

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

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 
other ship!?"

"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 
story I'll..."

"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 
was here.

"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 Lad. 
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 
Sincerity Rays.

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 
room.  "Mynabird?"

"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 
swears Homage!!!!

"Gimme fifty push-ups, grandpa!"

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

1,001,992 BC --
Qwerty --

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. 
Just 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 
Cavern.  Forever.

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 
extreme force!>>

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 Honiboni.>>

"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."

<<How so?>>

"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 
Dvorakians afterwards."

<<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 
ineffective gun.

"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 
guests coming."

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

Tomorrow:  Part III of issue five!

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