REPOST/LNH/NTB: Beige Midnight #10: PLANET MUHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!!!!!!!!! III: "Absolute Mite" (3/4)

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Thu Sep 13 16:56:45 PDT 2012

Part III

The two Occultism Kids and Bart had reached the island.

"Okay.  Why am I 'Occultism Kid B'?" asked Occultism Kid B.

"Look.  It doesn't really matter," said Occultism Kid A, "I don't like 
this whole thing anymore than you, but there are much bigger things that 
we need to focus on -- we need to escape so we can stop the Bryttles."

"Well, agreed -- still it appears only one of us will be allowed to 
leave.  And which one of us is that going to be Bart?"

Bart didn't speak.  He just smiled away while shuffling a deck of cards. 
  And then he said, "Pick a card -- any card."

"No," said Occultism Kid B shaking his head.  "I refuse to take part in 

"I don't trust Bart either," said Occultism Kid A, "But --maybe we 
should play along if this can help us escape."  Occultism Kid A picked a 
card from Bart's hand.  It had a picture of a bunch of lemmings falling 
off a cliff and playing musical instruments while they fell.

"Ah, The Lemmings Jamboree.  Very Good Choice," said Bart nodding his 
head with approval.  "Now you."  He turned his attention toward 
Occultism Kid B.  "You might as well make a choice.  If you don't, 
you'll lose the game regardless.  So pick a card -- any card."  Bart smiled.

Occultism Kid B reluctantly made a choice.  It was a card that showed a 
unicycle that appeared to be blushing.

"Oh, the Naked Unicycle," said Bart shaking his head grimly.  "Not your 
lucky day, is it -- well, then it is decided.  Occultism Kid A shall 
escape and save the Looniverse.  And Occultism Kid B shall remain in the 
Insanity Gauntlet till the end of his days."

"No!" shouted Occultism Kid B.  "This is insane!  I'm not going be 
imprisoned here because of some stupid card game!"

"I agree," said Occultism Kid A.  "Either we both go together.  Or we 
stay here."

"Fine," said Bart.  "You both can stay here and let the Looniverse be 
consumed by the Bryttles.  I don't really care."

"No," said Occultism Kid A.  "I can't let that happen."  He looked at 
Occultism Kid B.  "You go -- I'll stay here.  One of us needs to stop 
the Bryttles."

Occultism Kid B looked at his doppelganger.  Was this some ploy?  A 
trick?  Or was it actually genuine.  Some part of him wanted to take the 
doppelgangers offer.  But he couldn't escape that way.  It wouldn't be 
right.  The doppelganger had won the contest.  Obviously he was meant to 
escape and save the Looniverse.  And Occultism Kid B's fate was to stay 
in the Gauntlet forever and ever.  "No.  I can't condemn you to this 
place.  You won the contest.  You were meant to escape.  You need to go."

"Are you sure?" said Occultism Kid A.

"No, but we don't really have much of a choice, do we?  Go, before I 
change my mind."

Occultism Kid A put his hand on Occultism Kid B's shoulder.  "I promise 
you that once I'm out and have stopped the Bryttles -- I'll find some 
way to get you out.  I promise."

"Yeah, okay.  Please -- just go."

Occultism Kid A nodded and then both he and Bart got back in the raft 
made out of dead LNH'rs and started to row away.  Occultism Kid B just 
looked at them.

And then Bart said one last thing.  "Oh, and OK don't worry.  I will 
return someday.  Promise."

"Yeah, when?"

"When you've completely lost your mind," laughed Bart.  "Later."

And Occultism Kid watched them till they both vanished into the horizon.

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

Occultism Kid looked around the island.  It looked like your typical 
deserted island full of palm trees and coconut palms.  After doing a 
little searching he found a bunch of vending machines.  All of them 
looked ordinary except for the biggest one.  He looked at its label. 
Something called 'The Vending Machine of No-Free-Lunches'.  It had an 
Out-of-Order sign pinned on it.  Behind the vending machines was this 
big glass structure that sort of looked like a tiny city.  There were 
tons of ants crawling around in the glass.  Some type of an ant farm?

Next to the ant farm was some device.  A remote control.  Occultism Kid 
picked it up and studied it a bit.  It looked like an ordinary tv 
remote.  He pushed the power button.  He could hear people talking.  He 
looked up.  In one of the palm trees was a tv.  On the screen were 
various trenchcoaters holding hands in a circle.  And he could see 
himself.  He was wielding the Gauntlet, Plot Device, and Ring.  It was 
the doppelganger.  Obviously, he had gotten out.

He watched the doppelganger start to crackle with power.  Something was 
about to happen.

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

Occultism Kid continued to watch.  His doppelganger had succeeded.  He 
had stopped the Bryttles and saved the Looniverse.  A number of 
trenchcoaters had died and there was a battle between a power mad 
Occultism Kid and the LNH, but in the end the LNH managed to stop 
Occultism Kid and free him from the various cosmic items.  Beige 
Midnight was over.  It was finally over.

Occultism Kid clicked the TV off.  He supposed he should be happy.  The 
Looniverse was safe.  But he felt bitter.  He was stuck here.  This 
wasn't fair.

Occultism Kid turned the TV back on.  And he looked bitterly at his free 
doppelganger counterpart.

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

Weeks went by.

Occultism Kid continued to watch the TV daily watching his doppelganger 
live his life.  The doppelganger didn't seem to be doing anything to 
find a way to help free him from the Insanity Gauntlet.  In fact the 
doppelganger had taken a leave of absence from the LNH and wasn't doing 
much that was magical anymore.  The doppelganger had moved to a house in 
the suburbs and was going on dates and stuff.  One of the girls the 
doppelganger dated eventually became the doppelgangers girlfriend.  And 
then they became engaged.  And then they became married.

Occultism Kid watched the doppelganger have a big wedding with the full 
LNH in attendance.  A rather boring wedding at that.  No massive 
supervillain attacks like there usually were.  After the wedding, the 
doppelganger retired from the LNH to live an ordinary life.

It made Occultism Kid think about his own life.  It had mostly been one 
of studying spells and fighting magical menaces for the LNH.  He had 
never really had much time for a social life.  He would occasionally 
hang out with the other LNH'rs and other magical types, but most of his 
life had been devoted to finding the secrets of the Looniverse.  His 
entire life suddenly felt very empty.  He knew if the reverse had 
happened, he wouldn't have made the same choices the doppelganger had. 
His life was magic and the LNH.  But had that been a mistake?  It wasn't 
being an LNH'r that had sucked away his life.  Other LNH'rs had 
certainly found the time to have vast complex soap operas in their 
lives.  Why hadn't he?

Well, it was too late now.  He was stuck here.  And apparently forgotten 
by everyone.

Occultism Kid clicked the TV off.

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

Years and Decades went by.

Occultism Kid; now with shaggy hair, shaggy beard, and ragged clothes; 
continued to watch his doppelganger on the TV.  The doppelganger had a 
full family of kids and a whacky next-door neighbor now.  It all felt 
like a bad sitcom.  Eventually, Occultism Kid stopped watching it.  It 
just depressed him.  He had to find a way to escape this place.  Maybe 
he could build a raft out of trees.  Still, he wasn't sure how far the 
nearest place was or where it was.  And the blood sea that surrounded 
him was poison.  Even if he didn't drown -- one drop would be enough to 
kill him.

He had also tried to do some spells with no success.  This island was 
clearly anti-magic.  There was also some part of him that began to 
wonder if this whole place was just a trick.  That there was no 
doppelganger.  That Beige Midnight was still out there.  That he still 
had access to the Gauntlet, Plot Device, and Ring.

But he couldn't feel them.

He looked at the blood sea.  To go out there would be death.  There had 
to be a better way.

He looked at the glass city filled with ants.  It reminded him of 
Net.ropolis.  He even imagined that there was a group of super ants that 
protected the city like the LNH.  He began to give all of the ants 
names.  And he even began to think he could hear their thoughts.

As he began to become more and more obsessed with the ants, he 
remembered Bart's promise -- about coming back when he had completely 
lost his mind.

Occultism Kid laughed.  He was getting closer to that.

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

The Glass Ant City was becoming bigger and bigger -- and more 
technically advanced.  The group of super ants that Occultism Kid had 
decided to call the Legion of Net.Ants, had managed to completely stop 
all of the more destructive ants in this ant society and now had the 
free time to use their powers to create a better ant city.  The super 
ant scientists (Occultism Kid had given them the names Ant Kirby, 
Particle Ant, and Ant Stomper) had now created a factory for robot ants 
that would now do all the work for the ants leaving the ants free time 
for higher pursuits.  And after the super scientist ants had cured all 
of the ant diseases and every other problem, they began to work on a 
very big machine.

The machine looked like a particle accelerator.  The ants were planning 
to break and break apart the sands on the island till they had uncovered 
the secret.  The secret of everything.  The ant super scientists had 
various theories about what their world was made of (including one 
theory that their world was actually a Gauntlet with Gems, which 
impressed Occultism Kid).  They broke the Insanity sand piece till it 
was Insanity Atoms.  Then they broke the Insanity Atoms into Insanity 
Protons and Insanity Electrons.  And then Insanity Protons into Insanity 
Quarks, Insanity Leptons, and Insanity Bosons.  Splitting, Splitting, 
Splitting.  Split.  Split.  Split.  Split.

Occultism Kid didn't like where this was going.  He wondered if he 
should try and stop them.  But he just watched.

And finally they broke the Insanity quarks down and saw what everything 
was made of.  Worms.  Insanity Worms.  That was what everything was made 
of.  They were the secret of everything.  But they couldn't contain 
them.  And the Insanity Worms escaped from the cage the super ant 
scientists had put them in.  And they began to spread.

Occultism Kid knew that it was too late now.  And he couldn't do 
anything to help the ants.  The Insanity Worms infected the ants and 
began to control everyone of them.  The Ant Society broke down and 
madness reigned.  The madness took control of the robot ants turning 
them into killer robot ants.  And there was mass murder and mass 
suicide.  It was the end of Ant Paradise.  Within a week, every single 
ant was dead.  And the Insanity Worms kept spreading.  And they were in 
everything.  But then again -- they had always been in everything.

Occultism Kid made a tombstone for the Glass Ant City now filled with 
ant corpses.  And he cried for these dead ants.  And he cried.

And Occultism Kid was alone again.

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

And time went by...

And Bart came back.

"I told ya.  I told you I'd come back.  So -- Are you completely 
bonkers, yet?"

Occultism Kid didn't answer right away.  He just stared at Bart for a 
while as if trying to remember who he was.  And then eventually he said, 
"The ants break break break.  And the worms?  They take take take..."

"Okay," said Bart.  "I'll take that as a yes.  Time to go home, OK."

And Occultism Kid stepped on the raft.  And then he took one look back 
at the island.  The island and the dead glass ant city.

"Yes.  Go home," nodded Occultism Kid.  "Go home."

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

And both Bart and Occultism Kid made it to shore.  Net.ropolis looked 
different, thought Occultism Kid, More Cartoony -- less real.

"Well, you're home.  Guess I'll be going," said Bart.

"Wait.  Where are you going?" asked Occultism Kid.

"Nowhere.  I don't exist," laughed Bart.  And then he vanished.

"Right.  Stupid question."  Occultism could feel his powers back.  He 
could feel the magic flowing within him again.  He began to rise above 
the ground.  And then started to fly towards the LNHHQ.

He noticed as he looked down below that there were no people.  The 
people were gone.  Replaced.  Replaced by worms.  Gigantic worms. 
Cartoony worms that were driving cars and doing the various tasks that 
the humans used to do.

As Occultism Kid got closer to the LNHHQ, he smelled something very 
tasty.  It was a barbecue type smell.  He could see hundreds of worms 
having some type of a party on the LNHHQ's lawn.  Worms with chef hats 
were grilling various foods.  And then he saw something that looked like 
a gigantic brain with various worms gnawing away on it.  He landed near 
one of the chef hatted worms.

"Ah, Good come!  Good come, Occultism Human!" said the chef hatted worm. 
  "Have eats!  Good eats!  Mmm, brain!  Brain good!  Tasty!" said the 
worm offering Occultism Kid a plate of grilled brain drenched in 
barbecue sauce.

"No, that's..." and the Occultism Kid looked up at the gigantic brain 
that all of the worms were devouring.  "That's my brain!  You're eating 
my brain!!"  Occultism Kid then swatted the plate out of the worm's 
hands and rose into the air.  "Stop it!!  Stop eating my brain!!!  Stop!!"

But the worms ignored the silly shouting human and continued to feast on 
the gigantic brain.  And Occultism Kid crackled with power and began 
blasting away at the worms.  And then he focused his powers on the 
ground causing it to open up and swallow the worm barbecue party into a 
dark chasm.

The chef hatted worm cried out.  "No!  Why hurt we?  Us only eat brain. 
  Us no harm you!  Us good worms!!  Why you dead we?"

Occultism Kid didn't bother to answer.  He kept killing the worms till 
they were all dead.  And then he looked at his brain with chunks torn 
from it.  It didn't matter.  He had done nothing.  The worms weren't out 
here.  They were in his mind.  Occultism Kid thought about blasting his 
brain, but realized that would probably kill him.

They were in his head.  And ripping and ripping it apart.

He had to get out of here.  Before it was all gone.

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

And seconds or millions of years later...

Where was he?

It was blank.  Nothing.  Just absolute whiteness.  How did he get here? 
  How could he escape?  Was he still in the Insanity Gauntlet?

Can't stay here forever.  Or maybe he could.

This reminded him of something.  Something from the past.  Or was it?

The Past.  It was when he was still an apprentice to the August One. 
Back when the August One was Occultism Kid.  Before the Cry.Sig.  Before 
everything changed.

He was trapped in a box.  No light.  All he could hear was the August 
One's voice.

"There are doors everywhere, young one.  Magic is knowing where the 
doors are.  Magic is knowing how to open them."

"I can't see anything, Master.  There is no light!  I can't see!"

"There is always light.  Always.  All you have to do is imagine it, and 
there it is.  It is always there."

"I -- I don't understand.  How do I get out of here?"

"Use your imagination.  That is the key.  That is always the key."

Occultism Kid couldn't remember how he had escaped from the box, but he 
had.  Imagination.

He focused on the blankness that seemed to go on forever.  Think.  Think 
about a door.

And a door appeared.  But where did the door go to?  Escape.  Escape 
from the Insanity Gauntlet.  And he wrote on the door, 'To Escape from 
the Insanity Gauntlet go through this door'.  And then he tried to turn 
the knob.  It was locked.  In frustration, he tried to force the knob 
open and then began to use his body weight to break it open.  But it 
wouldn't open.

Then he just stared at the door.  He stared for the longest time.  What 
was he doing wrong?  Why wouldn't it open?  And then he slapped his 
head.  Of course!  Of course!  He erased the word 'door' from the door 
and replaced it with the words 'unlocked door'.  And then he tried 
again.  And he turned the knob and it opened.  And a burst of light 
swallowed him.

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

And he was back.  Back in the circle of trenchcoaters.  Or was he?  Was 
this just another mind game in the Insanity Gauntlet.  No, can't think 
that way.  Need to believe this is real.  Have to.

"Occultism Kid!  What happened?  Where did you go?" said Kid Anarky.

"I -- I don't know.  How long was I gone?"

"12 minutes or so."

"Still have time then."  He looked at the brilliant gems that sparkled 
madness covering his hand.  And he looked at the trenchcoaters that 
surrounded him.  Why did they all look so fake?  They looked like words 
and sentences.  Nothing felt real anymore.  Had he escaped?  No, stop 
thinking like that.  Got to stop the Bryttles!

He opened the Book of Deus ex Machinas back up.  Only there were no 
spells in it.  It looked like a comic book.  He looked at the words and 

It was telling a story set during World War II.  It showed a younger 
looking Phil M Noirish and his servant Sanchez reading a comic book that 
had Boy Lad mooning Hitler.  No, it wasn't a comic.  It was the Book of 
Deus ex Machinas.  What was this?  He continued to flip through the 
book.  And then he saw a panel that had a picture of him.  He was 
researching something in the LNHHQ.  He stared long at that panel and 
suddenly realized that he was in the LNHHQ library.  He saw Catalyst 
Lass talking to Occultism Kid.  Why was this familiar?  Yes!  This was 
the past.  Beige Countdown.  That is where he was.

He watched Catalyst Lass walk off with a hurt expression on her face. 
Could anyone see him?  What was he thinking?  His head hurt.  The worms. 
  They were still in his head.  Why was he here?  He looked and saw his 
past-self starting to walk towards him.  Why was he here?  He was 
looking at me.  He can see me.

"Quit the charade, Bart.  I know it's you," said his past self.

Who was he talking to?  Was Bart here?  No, it is me.  It is -- what was 
he thinking about?  Hard to think.  Head hurting.  Maybe he knows.

Must talk.  "Where am I?  Are you me?  Yes.  Past me.  I must be -- Yes, 
the past.  Why am I here?  Oh, yes."

His past self was looking at him with a skeptical look.  The worms -- 
what about the worms?  Ah, yes.  "Worms are in my brain.  Eating away 
and eating away."  He began to laugh.  It was very funny.  He began to 
feel things beyond himself.  The past.  The future.  He could see 
everything.  He watched Mynabird and the Legion of Net.Freedom Lovers 
mowing down the LNH.  Heroes and Villains were dying.  Something had 
gone wrong with the world.  Why was he here?  "It hurts.  It's cracking. 
  Everyone is dying.  I can see too much.  Too much!  All of it!  All 
the stories that have been written and that will be written.  And all 
the stories that won't be written.  All of them!  I see them all."

"It's the Insanity Gauntlet, isn't it?  It's destroying your brain.  Why 
are you wearing it?  You're from Beige Midnight, aren't you?  Why are 
you here?"

Why was he here?  Must think.  "Have to be.  Always been here.  Need to 
stop.  Stop something.  That's why I came.  Thinking is becoming hard. 
Casting a spell.  That's why I'm wearing the Gauntlet.  Have to wear it 
to cast the spell from the Book.  The Book.  The Book of Deus ex Machinas."

"You've got the book?  It exists?  Where did you find it?"

Was that why he was here?  Could he change the past?  If he prevented 
his past self from finding the Book of Deus ex Machinas would that stop 
Dekay and Diskolor from escaping?  Could he do that?  "Can I change it? 
  Or does it matter?" he spoke aloud.  "Does it happen whatever choice I 
make?  Will they escape regardless?  They can't be stopped.  I shouldn't 
be here."

"Who are you talking about?  The Bryttle Brothers?  I need your help 
finding the book."

"Maybe it's too late to change.  Maybe I should tell him.  I'll need the 
book.  Perhaps it doesn't matter.  Yes.  The Book of Deus ex Machinas." 
  Where was it?  Oh, yes.  He had it.  No.  That's not what was being 
asked.  The Paper.  What was his name?  Can't remember.  Can't... Pulls 
Paper.  Yes.  Him.  "The Paper Puller knows where it is.  Find him."

"The Paper Puller.  What's that -- oh wait.  Do you mean 
Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad?  Is that who you're talking about?"

Something was going wrong back at the sub-sub basement.  Time began to 
get faster and faster.  Bad things were happening.  "Peril Room safeties 
are starting to fail.  It's falling apart.  All our enemies have 
gathered.  Too many of them.  The force field is cracking.  They're 
coming in!  Dekay and Diskolor are waking.  Everyone is dying!  I need 
to go back.  Stop this!  Help them.  Need to help them.  Need to..." 
And then he was back in the trenchcoater circle.

Where had he been?  Hard to think.

Hard to think.

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

He continued to flip through the Book of Deus ex Machinas.  It showed 
various scenes with him trapped in the Insanity Gauntlet.  And then he 
saw a panel of himself reading the Book of Deus ex Machinas.  He looked 
past that panel.  There was another panel.  One that depicted a door in 
outer space surrounded by galaxies and stars.  Where did that door go to?

He found himself floating next to the door.  He turned the knob.  And he 
saw a gigantic Bart the size of a mountain looming over everything and 
typing on a gigantic keyboard next to a gigantic computer screen.

"Ah, finally!  Bout time," smiled Bart.

"What -- what is this place?"

"This?  It's where the sausage gets made."

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

"Hmm," said Bart.  "Seem to be stuck here.  Could you say something clever?"

"Something clever?" said Occultism Kid.

Bart rolled his eyes.  "Guess that's why you fictional characters don't 
write your own dialogue.  Oh well.  Not like very many people read this 
crap anyways."  Bart typed some more words.

"What -- what are you doing?"

"Writing this story.  Writing Beige Midnight #10.  This is where the 
magic happens."

"I -- uh can't..."  It was getting harder for Occultism Kid to think. 
The Insanity worms were continuing to tear away at his brain.  "Can't -- 
worms -- worms are..."

"Ah, the worms.  Let's get rid of those pesky worms for the moment." 
Bart snapped his fingers.  "Because it will become very irritating for 
me if you're constantly screaming, 'The worms are eating my brains,' 
during this conversation of ours."

Occultism Kid's head felt clearheaded again.  "You're not Bart.  You're 
too powerful.  You're a RACCelestial.  A Writer -- aren't you?"

"If that would make you happy, you can think that," said Bart 
cryptically typing some more words.

"You created Dekay and Diskolor?"

"No, just borrowing them.  It was a RACCelestial named Scavenger who 
created them."

"Why did the RACCelestials create them?  They'll destroy everything?"

"Because it amuses them?" said Bart.  And then he shook his head. 
"Well, okay -- that's kind of true, but there is more to it than that. 
They were created to destroy you -- and USENET should there ever be a 
time when the LNH and USENET were no longer needed.  1992 -- Beige Noon, 
that was a test run to see how well they worked.  But now it is the real 
deal -- and there is nothing you can do to stop them Occultism Kid."

"That makes no sense!  Why would the RACCelestials want to destroy 
USENET?  They live on USENET!"

"Well, they used," said Bart typing some more.  "There has been a 
massive exodus for the past ten years to various other places on the NET 
like the Blogosphere, Twitteropia, and Facebookhalla.  Once where there 
were thousands of posters in massive cities scattered throughout USENET 
-- now days they are just ghost towns with only a handful of posters -- 
and most of those are just trolls and sphammers.  And there will come a 
time when even the trolls and sphammers abandon the newsgroups and all 
that will be left are Dekay and Diskolor.  The RACCelestials created the 
LNH specifically to protect USENET.  And now -- they no longer need you."

"You're lying!  While I admit there has been some traffic decrease -- 
it's not as bad as you're saying it is.  USENET is not dying!"

"You're looking at this from 2008 eyes, Occultism Kid.  Me -- I can see 
2012.  I think I'm the better judge.  USENET is dying.  Sorry you had to 
find out this way."

"But wait -- if you're from 2012 -- that must mean that the LNH did beat 
the Bryttles!  They were or will kill us in April, 29th 2008.  But if 
you're saying that USENET still exists in 2012 that must mean that we 
won.  We beat them!"

"Does it now?" said Bart with a sly smile on his face.  "You're assuming 
that all of Beige Midnight takes place in 2008.  I think that would be a 
mistake to assume."

"Wait -- what are you saying?"

"Oh, you'll find out in Beige Midnight #12.  But enough of that -- let's 
move on to some more interesting topics.  And choices.  It's Sophie's 
Choice time.  Ready?"

"No.  What is the point of this then -- if the LNH is going to die no 
matter what I do here?"

"Did I say that?  No, I said that the LNH was no longer needed, but it 
is certainly possible that you could do something here that could save 
the LNH and stop the Bryttles.  This is still possible.  Any thing might 

"Then how do I stop them?"

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves.  First things first -- a gift.  A 
gift for getting this far from me to you."

"I don't think I want a gift from you."

"Ah, you hurt my feelings," laughed Bart.  "But I think you might want 
it.  It's your first choice."

"Yeah -- and?"

"I can bring the Gothic Gorilla back to life."  Bart snapped is fingers 
and the burned skeleton of the Gothic Gorilla came into view.

"Or," Bart said with another snap of the fingers.  "I can cure Ripping 
Dancer's cancer and she'll be completely healthy again."  Occultism Kid 
saw an image of Fearless Leader by a comatose Ripping Dancer.  "And all 
you have to do is -- choose.  Gothic Gorilla -- or Ripping Dancer."

"And if I choose neither?"

"Then Ripping Dancer dies.  And Gothic Gorilla stays dead.  It's up to 
you.  I won't force you to choose."

"But," said Bart continuing, "You might want to think this over 
carefully.  Very carefully.  This choice of yours -- it could have a 
great effect on the upcoming battle.  Obviously of the two of them, the 
Gothic Gorilla is the more formidable opponent and would be a better 
choice in a fight with the Bryttles.  In fact it would probably be a bad 
idea for Ripping Dancer to ever use her potions again since they would 
most likely just give her cancer again.  And weren't you good friends 
with the Gothic Gorilla.  I seem to remember that.  And Ripping Dancer? 
  The two of you weren't that close.  You went on that mission to Retcon 
Hour together, but that's about it.  I guess when you start thinking 
about all of the factors, it becomes a pretty obvious choice when you 
think about it, doesn't it?"

"I suppose it does," said Occultism Kid.

"Well, have you made up your mind?  Gothic Gorilla -- or Ripping Dancer?"

Occultism Kid looked at the burned skeleton of the Gothic Gorilla.  His 
dead friend.  "Yes.  I've made a choice."

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

Tomorrow:  Part Four of Issue Ten!

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