REPOST/LNH/NTB: Beige Midnight #10: PLANET MUHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!!!!!!!!! III: "Absolute Mite" (2/4)

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Wed Sep 12 16:45:44 PDT 2012

Part II

Occultism Kid was back in the pentagram.  And he was wearing the 
Insanity Gauntlet.  And he looked at the trenchcoaters that were 
surrounding him.  They were all dead.  They were all burned skeletons. 
Everyone was dead.  Even the Dvandom Stranger.  And for some odd reason 
they were all wearing Hawaiian shirts and leis.

What had happened here?  Why was everyone dead?

He was still in LNHQ Sub-sub basement #58.5.  Was it that Invisible 
Force that had killed everyone?  He couldn't feel anyone besides himself 
here.  Have to get out of here.

As he made his way to the surface, he realized that there was no more 
LNHQ.  It was gone.  He looked at the sky.  The color was back, but it 
was the wrong color.  The sky was green.  And the sun?  There was no 
more sun.  Instead, there was a cartoonish bright red hippo playing 
guitar where the sun should be.  He looked at the grass, which looked 
like french fries.  Okay, he was starting to lose it.  He must still be 
in the Gauntlet.

He looked around him.  There was an incredibly large monkey and it was 
juggling LNHQs.  Occultism Kid felt himself drawn to the purple one and 
flew towards it.  Once he got inside it, he noticed a bunch of LNH'rs in 
lobster costumes.  They were all carrying around huge pitchers filled 
with various liquids.  He tried to talk to them, but they only ignored 
him.  He followed a couple and they led him to a throne room.

And sitting on what appeared to be a huge throne made up of albino 
porcupines was someone who looked exactly like him.  He had a crown made 
up of a number of grilled cheese crisps.  And two guys dressed up in 
lobster costumes were pouring maple syrup on it.  One of them looked 
like Easily-Discovered Man Lite.  The other -- Mynabird.  They chanted 
the theme song to the 'Facts of Life' while they poured the syrup.  The 
guy who looked like him appeared to be wearing pants for a shirt and a 
shirt for pants.  And he was wearing the Insanity Gauntlet.  Occultism 
Kid looked at his hand.  The Gauntlet was no longer there.

The man who looked just like him smiled.  A completely insane sort of 
smile.  "Welcome!  Welcome!  Welcome!  You look familiar?  Do I know you?"

"I'm Occultism Kid."

"Really?" said the look-a-like.  "Funny, that's what they used to call 
me back in the days before they started calling me Supreme Master Lord 
Head Honcho God of Everything.  Am I to take you are some me from the 
past?  Future?  Present?"

Another guy in a lobster costume rushed over with a large bass fish in 
his hand.  "Present, sire!"

"Oh good!"  The look-a-like tore open the fish and reached into its body 
and pulled out something that looked like a purple pickle.  "What is it?"

"It is a magical paperclip that gives birth to insane spatulas that 
think they are Eleanor Roosevelt.  It is the last of its species."

"Ah," said the look-a-like looking at the purple pickle thing.  "How 
totally useless."  He threw the object away and the looked at Occultism 
Kid.  "Can I do something for you?  Do you want a lobster costume?"

Occultism Kid shook his head.  "I take it you're supposed to be some 
future version of me who went insane using the Gauntlet, right?"

"Insane?" laughed the look-a-like.  "Would an insane person do this?" 
He then pointed at the guy who had given him the fish and turned him 
into a bottle of mouthwash.  A hairy bottle of mouthwash for people 
without mouths.

"Yeah.  I'd say that's a classic example of pure insanity."

"Well normally I'd kill you for an insult like that, but since I have a 
feeling you're me from the past I'll let it slide.  I assume you've come 
from the past to achieve enlightenment and have come here for my wisdom."

"Honestly, I don't know why I'm here."

"Why to see this great Utopia I've created.  See all of the happy faces? 
  Everyone has a lobster costume!  It doesn't get better than that!"

"And what about people who don't want to wear lobster costumes?  What 
about them?"

"Oh, them?  I already killed all of those sickos.  This is the future. 
You can't escape it!  You just can't!  You must embrace the power -- 
kill the trenchcoaters.  Kill them!  Only then will you have the power 
to defeat the Bryttles.  Then you will be able to reshape the world! 
And don't forget the lobster costumes!  Lobster costumes!  Lobster 
costumes!!!!"  And then he just began to laugh a never-ending mad laugh.

Occultism Kid saw a crack in the floor racing towards him.  And he fell 
through it.

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

Occultism Kid opened his eyes.  He was lying on some hospital bed. 
Surrounding him were various teammates.

"Occulty!" said Catalyst Lass.  "You're back!  You're finally back after 
all these years!"  Catalyst Lass gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"What -- what happened?" said a groggy Occultism Kid.

"You were in coma for twelve years," said Dr. Stomper.  "You fell into 
one after you used the Book of Deus ex Machinas to stop the Bryttle 
Brothers and restore everything to the way it was.  We've been trying a 
long time to get you out of it."

"12 years?  That long?"  And then Occultism Kid looked at Catalyst Lass. 
  "You don't look 12 years older.  You look exactly like you did the 
last time I saw you."

"Flatterer!" smiled Catalyst Lass.  "But actually there's a reason for 
that.  People don't age anymore.  We fixed that.  Now people can be 
whatever age they want."

"People don't age?  How is that...?"

"Yes," said Dr. Stomper.  "There have been a lot of changes since you've 
been in a coma.  We've cured every cancer.  Every disease.  And no one 
has to be older than they want to be.  We can even bring the dead back 
to life."

"I see.  Well, I guess that's good."

Dr. Stomper nodded.  "You were the last problem in the world, Occultism 
Kid.  And now that you are finally out of your coma -- there are no 
problems.  We have solved everything."

"Everything?  What about the supervillains and...?"

Catalyst Lass gave Occultism Kid a light jab on the shoulder.  "There 
are no supervillains, silly!  There are no more bad guys!  We fixed that!"

"I don't understand?"

"Well, after you stopped the Bryttles and went into your coma, we 
discovered that there was this super secret organization that was 
responsible for all the evil in the world," explained Catalyst Lass. 
"They were this spooky underground cult called the Dozen Udder Dooms! 
But we found out where they were hiding -- and we took care of them. 
And now without their influence over the world, everything is better! 
With no more supervillains, we were able to focus our attention to every 
other problem!  And now -- no more problems!  The LNH saved the world!"

"But -- it can't be that simple, can it?"

"Aw, Occulty -- you worry to much."  Catalyst Lass gave Occultism Kid a 
little hug.  "Now you've got to get up.  We've got a parade to go to!"

"But I've been in a coma for 12 years!  I can't simply just get up and..."

"There is no more leg atrophy, Occultism Kid," said Dr. Stomper.  "Get up."

And Occultism Kid got up out of his bed.  And he and his LNH teammates 
made there way out of the hospital.

And when Occultism Kid stepped out of the hospital, he saw huge crowds 
of people cheering and holding up signs.  They were cheering for the 
LNH.  He saw a big banner hanging that read, 'Net.Heroes on Parade!' and 
'Thank you for Saving Us!'

He saw a huge number of LNH'rs and other superheroes marching along the 
road.  And he walked with Catalyst Lass into the marching superhero 
parade.  And then he saw a banner that read, 'Goodbye, Superheroes! 
We'll miss you!'

Occultism Kid pointed to the banner.  "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh, Occulty -- sometimes you're such a big silly.  It means our time is 
over.  We are no longer needed.  We've done our work here.  And now it 
is our time to go.  This is our last parade!"

"But where are we going?  Where are we...?"  And then he noticed 
something up ahead.  It looked like a cliff.  And all of the superheroes 
were marching towards it.  And he could see them start to fall off. 
"It's a cliff!  We've got to..."

"Of course, silly.  This is the end.  The end of the LNH."

And the road felt less like a road than a raging river.  Occultism Kid 
tried to grip onto one of the street signs, but it didn't do any good.

He could feel some force dragging him towards the cliff.  And he could 
see the edge.

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

Meanwhile, back in Net.ropolis --

The villains Londonbroil, RobGoblin, Revamp Lass, Plum Master, and The 
Worm (a tiny worm floating in a glass terrarium) were rummaging through 
someone's home.

RobGoblin threw down a bunch of CDs on an already big pile of CDs on a 
table.  "There -- that's the last of them!"

"You sure?" said Londonbroil checking the settings on his flamethrower.

RobGoblin gave Londonbroil a constipated stare.  "I'm not going to 
search anymore!  You're welcome to.  We should be out there -- not here! 
  The greatest battle ever!  And we're missing it!"  Extreme 
constipation flooded RobGoblin's face.

"I get you, mate," said Londonbroil with an understanding expression. 
"But Mynabird said this was important.  That we had to destroy them. 
Destroy them all!  Every single CD in Easily-Discovered Man Lite's 

Revamp Lass thumbed through the various CDs.  "The Best of Yanni?  Billy 
Ray Cyrus's Greatest Hits?  The Donnie & Marie Chronicles?  I'd say 
we're actually doing Lite a favor by burning this collection."

"Ooh!" said Plum Master snatching one of the CDs.  "The Yoko Ono 
Anthology!!  Err -- I mean -- it's the plums that want this CD -- not me 
-- it's the plums!!  Yes!!!  The Plums!!  Really, the plums like her 
music -- I'm indifferent to it -- although you have to admit she is kind 
of a misunderstood genius.  It's just true!"

The Worm continued gnawing on some grass in his floating glass terrarium.

"Hey," said RobGoblin looking at a framed photo.  "Why does Lite have a 
photo of that Vector Sublime babe?!"

"Wishful Thinking?" suggested Londonbroil as he looked at the photo.

"You know -- there is something wrong here," said Revamp Lass as she 
looked around the house.  "Have you noticed how girlish this place 
looks?  With the frilly curtains?  The pinkish color scheme?  The 
stuffed animals?  This doesn't look like a place where a guy would live. 
  Even Lite."  She looked around and found some mail.  "What did you say 
Lite's real name was?"

"Hector Lopez?"

"The addresses on this mail -- they all say 'Vector Lopez'," said Revamp 
Lass shoving the mail into Londonbroil's face.

Londonbroil shrugged.  "Maybe they're married?"

"Or maybe -- we're in the wrong house!"

Londonbroil rubbed his chin.  "Well, we don't know that for sure.  I 
mean I guess we could go through the phone book -- and try to find 
Lite's actual home or wherever he is.  Which could takes tons and tons 
of time.  Or we could say, 'Hey, this is a person who has a name that 
kind of sounds like Hector Lopez.  And this person has a CD collection. 
  Isn't that close enough?  Close enough for supervillain work?'  And be 
done with it.  And move on to the better things in life.  I don't know, 
what do you blokes think?"

"I say screw it!  This is the house!" said RobGoblin with constipated 
determination on his face.  "Better things to do with my time," he 
continued to mumble.

"I'm good with this being the house," said Plum Master stuffing a few 
more CDs into his spandex costume.

The Worm continued to ignore his teammates while gnawing on grass in his 
floating glass terrarium.

"Very well, if you don't care -- I don't care," said Revamp Lass 
stepping aside.

"Okay, then.  Let's burn these sodding CDs!!" said Londonbroil putting 
his flamethrowing on incinerate.  "Burn, babies -- Burn!!" he screamed 
as flames jutted out of his flamethrower.

"Do you really need to say that?" asked Revamp Lass.

"Well, it does help with the mood."

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

Mynabird's cellphone tone rang (the theme song from Rocky if for some 
reason you have to know).  Mynabird held the phone to his metal suits 
ear thingee.

"Special Elite Secret CD Collection Destroying Task Force -- you have 
completed your mission?  Lopez's CD collection is toast?  Yes! 
Excellent!  Very Excellent!  Well Done, General Londonbroil!"  Mynabird 
clicked his cellphone off.  There.  How does that feel, Lite?  How does 
it feel to know the CD collection you spent years painstakingly 
collecting -- is now just a pile of ashes -- or whatever happens to CDs 
when they burn up?  Never to see them or hear them again.  Gone.  Never 
to return.  How does it feel, Lite?  Not so good.  And that?  That is 
just the beginning.

And now we get to the part -- the part of the story where I destroy your 
loved ones.  All of them.

But don't worry.  I won't let you miss it.  You'll be there -- watching 
the whole thing -- as I destroy them.  Destroy them all!!

Mynabird's cellphone rang again.  "Yes?  Hello?  What?  What do you mean 
the cage isn't ready?  How am I supposed to trap Easily-Discovered Man, 
Cynical Lass, and Neil Patrick Harris over a pit filled with molten 
asparagus and man-eating African horseflies?  What?!  What do you mean 
you don't have any molten asparagus and man-eating African horseflies 
either?!  What is wrong with you people?  I ordered this stuff months 
ago?  No -- I'm not going to be put on hold!!  No!!  Don't you dare put 
me on -- Damn, they put me on hold."  Mynabird crushed the phone with 
his metal fist and hurled it at the battlefield.

Fine!  He could deal with this.  It was a small setback.  He didn't need 
a cage, molten asparagus, or man-eating African horseflies to destroy 
Easily-Discovered Man Lite.  He didn't have to make a big show of it. 
All he needed were his big metal Mynabird hands to destroy him.  To 
finally crush him once and for all.

He looked out in the battlefield.  This is it, Lite.  Mynabird is coming!

This is the end!

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

Occultism Kid found himself in what looked like some post-apocalyptic 
wasteland.  He saw some grubby looking people in rags warming themselves 
in front of a flaming metal trashcan.  It looked like some kind of 
shantytown with various tents and other poorly put together structures 
everywhere.  Where was he?

He went over to one of the bigger tents that had the look of some kind 
of command center that was next to some ruins.  The ruins looked 
familiar.  Why did they look familiar?  He went over to the tent and saw 
another familiar face.  It looked like Easily Discovered Man Lite 
although he had an eye patch and various scars over his face.  He was 
wielding a gun with a spatula attached to it.  He shot a couple of 
rounds at some kids that were venturing close to a line on the dirt ground.

Occultism Kid made his way towards Lite and with a hand gesture caused 
Lite's gun to fly out of his hands.  A startled Lite looked around to 
see who had did that.  And he finally saw Occultism Kid.  "Halt!  Keep 
back!" he shouted as he reached for the gun.

"Lite?  Is that you?  Why were you shooting at those kids?"

"Lite?  Haven't been called that in years.  It's Dawrknuss now days!"



"Ah!  So I take it Spelling Boy is dead in this future?"

Easily-Discovered Man Dawrknuss laughed.  "Yeah, dead.  Of course you're 
dead too.  Supposed to be, anyways.  How did you do it?  Come back?  No 
one ever comes back now days.  They all stay dead.  Prof.  Joy. 
Substitute.  Frats.  None of them.  Not coming back.  Just gone.  Gone 

"Sorry.  As for me being here, it would be tough to explain -- as I'm 
not sure where here is.  But why were you shooting at those kids?"

"Kids?  Just scaring them.  Never kill kids.  Can't cross the line.  No 
one can cross the line who isn't an LNH'r.  Those are the rules.  The 
Lord's rules.  And my job?  Make sure that no one ever crosses the line. 
  Not a great job -- but -- keeps me from starving."

"I see.  And who is this Lord?"

Dawrknuss laughed.  "The Lord.  He's The Lord!  You don't want to meet 
him.  Trust me.  You don't want to know who he is.  My advice -- get out 
of here.  If you're smart.  If not -- then go.  Go in there.  Go and 
meet The Lord.  Don't really care."

"You're not going to stop me?"

"Hey, your funeral.  Course maybe you're already dead.  Maybe.  Hey. 
Hey, OK.  For old times sake -- want to hear a ninja joke?"


"Okay.  Let me think.  Oh, yeah.  How many -- how many dead ninjas does 
it take to screw in a umm -- what is it -- oh yeah -- a light bulb?  A 
light bulb."

Occultism Kid shrugged his hands.  "I give up.  How many dead ninjas 
does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

Easily-Discovered Man Dawrknuss didn't answer.  He just sort of stared 
at his gun for a while.  And a tear fell down his eye.

Occultism Kid entered the tent.

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

The tent was badly lit.  Occultism Kid could see various people with 
guns and other weapons.  They had suspicious looks on their faces, but 
none of them tried to stop him.  He could feel some force pulling at 
him.  Occultism Kid didn't resist the force and made his way towards it. 
  It led him to a hole in the ground with a ladder sticking out.  He 
climbed down the ladder and saw that it led to some type of underground 

He saw various small people scurrying around.  Gradgnomes?  He made his 
way to another room being guarded by men.  They didn't bother to stop 
him either.

As he entered the room, he could see what looked like Fearless Leader 
cleaning his gun behind a desk.  But something was very wrong.  This 
wasn't just some hard and bitter Fearless Leader from an Apocalyptic 
Future.  He looked straight into Fearless Leader's eyes and saw 
something very twisted in them.  Something corrupt.  Fearless Leader 
smiled a crooked smile at Occultism Kid.  Now he knew what the force was 
that had pulled him here.  Now he knew why they were calling him The Lord.

"Acton Lord!"

The Lord gave a slight laugh.  "You date yourself, Occultism Kid. 
Fearless Lord -- that would be slightly more accurate.  Although 
everyone here -- they just call me The Lord.  Which is fine by me. 
Aren't you supposed to be dead?"

"No.  Not yet anyways.  How did this happen?"

"Hmm.  Dead or alive -- you don't seem to belong here.  I sense a great 
power within you.  A power you don't seem to be able to control."

"First things first.  How did this happen?  Why do you have the 
corruption force?  What happened here?"

"A lot of things happened.  I suppose if you want me to confess my sins 
-- well, what the hell.  What the hell.  Might as well.  Where did this 
all start.  Ah, let's see here.  Oh, the Beige Clock Tower?  Ripping 
Dancer?  Me winning the leadership election?  Hmm.  Guess it probably 
started with Bart.  Yes, Bart.  Bart wanted me to throw the leadership 
election so the Ultimate Ninja would win.

"Bart said that if I voted for the Ultimate Ninja instead of myself, he 
would help me save Ripping Dancer.  It seemed like some trick.  Some 
devil's bargain.  Couldn't in good conscience make a deal with Bart.  So 
I told him to go to hell.  And then I did everything I could possibly do 
to make sure Ripping Dancer was safe from harm.  But there are limits, 
aren't there?  You can't be everywhere.  The news broke that she was a 
spy.  I tried to stop her from leaving the LNHHQ, but the Legion of 
Net.Villains -- They attacked us and took her.  By the time I had found 
her she was -- she was already a pile of dust.  She had committed 
suicide.  Committed suicide by touching the Tower.  One touch.  She was 
dead.  Dead.  I took it bad.  Lot of tears.  I vowed on that day that I 
would stop the Bryttle Brothers.  I would stop them.  Whatever it took.

"Whatever it took."  The Lord laughed.

"So, I won the election.  I was now the leader.  My first decision was 
to go after Bart.  You -- or our Occultism Kid, whichever -- told us 
that he needed those cosmic items that Bart had for some spell to stop 
the Bryttles.  So, I sent half the LNH -- led by the Ultimate Ninja to 
stop Bart and get the items.  And they all died.  They all died.  Bart 
killed them all.  In fact you were one of the heroes that was killed. 
And none of them ever came back to life.  Even Cannon Fodder stayed 
dead.  Bart must have changed something about the rules that day.  He 
teleported all of their corpses back to the Loonivearth, so we would 
know that they were all dead.

"After that things were becoming desperate.  A lot of LNH'rs wanted to 
go after Bart for revenge, but I knew we couldn't risk any more lives. 
We needed every LNH here.  Things were becoming crazy.  Mynabird's LNV 
was becoming bigger and bigger everyday.  We needed more LNH'rs.  And so 
I made an alliance.  An Alliance with the HexFire Club.  I didn't like 
the idea of the Freedom Chip, but we didn't have a whole lot of choices 
anymore.  We needed more heroes to stop the LNV and the Bryttles.  And 
so I made a devil's bargain with Hex.  And I made more deals and more 
deals.  Saving the world was the only important thing now.  And the ends 
justified the means.

"There were of course rebellious factions in the LNH who weren't pleased 
with my various deals.  And so I dealt with them.  Everything I did made 
sense at the time.  And when I killed Charlie Risk and accepted the 
Corruption Force into me that made sense too.  I needed the power.  I 
needed that power.  To save the world.  It all made sense.

"Anyway, we won.  Billions died, but we saved the Looniverse from the 
Bryttles.  Funny thing -- Hex was assassinated the day after we had won. 
  All his grand plans.  After that the LNH and HexFire carved up the 
world.  The LNH got North America and each member of the HexFire got his 
own little continent.  And now days we spend our time fighting and 
allying with each other.  A never ending war.  Of course, I'm the one 
who is really in charge.  I've already corrupted the various advisors 
and others that my fellow tyrants rely on.  So every important decision 
that anyone makes -- it's me that makes it.  My hand is on all of the 

"There's a terrorist group that calls itself the Saviours of the Net -- 
based somewhere in Canada.  Various ex-LNHrs and so on are a part of it. 
  Trying to overthrow my regime.  They'll never win though.  They just 
don't have the will.  Not like me.  To do whatever it takes to win. 
They're not like me.  Not like me at all.  Nope.  Besides a few of them 
are already secretly working for me.  And there you have it.  That's my 
little story.  That's my little confession.  That's how I got here.  And 
what about you, little ghost?  What is your little story?"

"I'm from another world.  A world where you saved Ripping Dancer."

The Lord frowned and put the gun he'd been cleaning down on the table. 
"That's nice.  I think it's time for you to go, little ghost.  You don't 
belong here.  Not yet anyways."

"Oh and," said The Lord with a smile, "All that power you have?  Well, 
of course you know what they say about power..."  And then he waved his 

And Occultism Kid slipped away into some type of a vortex.

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

LNHHQ MedLab --

"There was this girl -- in first grade.  Amanda -- that was her name," 
said Fearless Leader talking to Ripping Dancer who was still comatose -- 
still barely alive.  "We were -- we were seated next to each other.  I 
remember once that I was drawing some picture -- and Amanda laughed at 
it -- said it looked very stupid, or something like that.  And that made 
me angry, so I punched her in the stomach.  I just punched her.  And I 
remember our First Grade teacher scolding us both for it.  How I 
shouldn't hit girls because that was wrong.  And how she shouldn't call 
other peoples' drawings stupid.  Actually, I think I got off fairly easy 
for that.  Probably, should have gotten more than a scolding for that. 
Anyway, we both went to the same school all the way to High School.  We 
weren't exactly friends or anything, but we'd occasionally talk to each 
other as classmates.  I had a crush on her, but I never told her.  She 
had a very sharp tongue.  I knew if I ever expressed any feelings she 
would have probably made fun of me.  Who knows -- maybe she wouldn't have.

"Anyway, both of us graduated and went our separate ways.  I went to 
West Point.  She went to -- I think Dave Thomas Deluxe University.  And 
one day when I was on break and went back to my hometown -- I read 
something in the local paper about her.  She had been murdered.  Stabbed 
by some guy.  Dead at 19.  Murdered.  I think -- I think that was the 
first person that I had ever known who had died young.  They caught the 
guy.  Gave him the death penalty.  I don't know if they ever executed 
him.  Well, regardless he's dead now.  Dead.

"You know -- it's funny.  Funny.  Just thinking about my old classmates 
-- I realized something.  They're all dead.  Every single one of them. 
And so are the teachers.  All my friends.  Every instructor.  Every 
relative.  Every co-worker.  Every celebrity.  Every singe person up to 
a point in my life.  They're all dead.  Just realized that.  It's 
amazing.  So many people.  And they're all dead.  And I'm still here. 
All dead.

"Shouldn't be here.  Should be out there fighting Mynabird.  Fighting 
him and all of the other villains.  Helping my teammates.  Fighting the 
good fight."

"Yeah, maybe you should," said a helpful Dr. Bad-Bedside-Manner who was 
also in the room with them monitoring Ripping Dancer's vitals.

Fearless Leader ignored him.  "But -- but it all feels pointless.  I 
know there is nothing I can do for you anymore.  That I should go out 
there and help my teammates that still might have a chance.  Can't -- 
can't seem to do it though.  Seems like no matter how hard I fight -- it 
all just goes to hell anyways.  Like I'm cursed.  Cursed.  Everything I 
loved is doomed no matter what I do.  I thought it would be different 
this time.  It was supposed to be different.  I was sent to this world 
as a second chance.  And I thought I could do it.  And then the Tower 
came.  But it was okay because you were with me.  You were with me.  And 
we'd beat it because we were together.  I was going to save you.  I was 
going to save the world.  That's what was supposed to happen.  But I 
guess it isn't.  You're probably going to die.  And this world is going 
to die too.  I think I'm starting to realize that.  It's becoming clear. 
  And me going out there?  Going out there for a few pointless fights? 
That's not going to change anything.  It's not going to change anything!

"I don't know, Tara.  I don't know.  I don't know.  I feel like giving 
up, but -- but I don't want to.  I don't want to do that.  I don't want 
to.  You need to fight this, Tara.  You need to fight it.  Somehow you 
need to use your powers and rip this disease right out of you even if 
that sounds impossible.  You've got to do this, Dancer.  You need to 
come back.  Please.  Please."

Fearless Leader gently took Ripping Dancer's lifeless hand and just held 
it.  "You've got to come back to life, Tara.  I can't give up.  I just 
can't do that.  But I'm afraid that's where I'm headed.  Part of me 
doesn't care anymore.  And that part is growing.  I don't have the 
strength anymore."

"Tara," said Fearless Leader.  And then he stopped speaking.  He just 
held her hand and closed his eyes.  And waited.  Waited for something.

Something that would make him care.

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

"Welcome back.  Welcome back to the Sane Asylum!" greeted Bart who was 
paddling on some type of a raft.  Occultism Kid looked down at the raft 
and noticed that it was made up of dead bodies.  Dead LNH'r bodies.

"God.  What did you do here, Bart?"

"Do?  I'm not sure what you're talking about?"

"These dead bodies!  This raft made out of dead LNH'rs!"

"Raft?" said Bart with a puzzled expressing continuing to row and row. 
"And dead bodies, huh.  Interesting."

Occultism Kid looked at the water surrounding them.  It looked like 
blood.  Another hallucination.  He was still in the Insanity Gauntlet. 
"Where are we going?"

"To the island.  We have to go to the island.  To make a choice."

"A choice?"

Bart nodded.  "You see something -- something has gone wrong.  All of 
you is trapped and it should only be a little part.  A little part of you."

"What -- what the hell are you talking about?"

"I'm not really, Bart -- well in a way I am, but I'm only a small 
fragment of Bart that the Insanity Gauntlet took.  It always takes a 
small fragment of each host -- that is the price for using it.  But for 
some reason it took all of you.  And that shouldn't happen.  Nope.  And 
it is causing very bad stuff to happen in the Gauntlet.  Very bad stuff."

"What type of bad stuff?"

Bart smiled.  "It doesn't really matter, but we do need to get most of 
you out of here before it's too late."

"Right.  Okay.  How are we going to do that?"

"We need to choose.  Yes, we need to choose.  Choose one of you.  The 
one who gets to leave.  And the one -- the one who stays."

"What do you mean, choose which one?  I'm the only one here!"

"Are you now?" said Bart with a sly grin.  Bart then gestured towards 
someone beside him.

Occultism Kid turned his head and saw someone that looked exactly like him.

"Occultism Kid B meet Occultism Kid A."

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

Tomorrow:  Part III of Issue Ten!

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