LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #10: LNH Triple Play 3

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 23 18:30:26 PDT 2016

In this weeks reposting of stuff you can find in the eyrie archive
we have Joltin' Jeff McCoskey's LNH Triple Play #3 -- an issue that
won an Accie (an award for LNH stories that existed before the
RACCies came into existence) for the first ever Favorite Single 
Issue award back in 1994 and also later was voted into the RACC 
Hall of Fame for Single Issues back in 2007.

It was also a bit of a prelude to the whole Organic Lass/Pocket Man
Wedding.  (This issue is a self-contained issue though..)

             | |      Classic			
             | |                      =
             | |      ____    ____    _    ____    ___
             | |__   | [] |  | [] |  | |  | [] |  | _ \  

             |____|   \__]    \__ |  |_|   \__/   |_|\_\
                                |_|  OF NET.HEROES

                                     ADVENTURES #10

                 LNH Triple Play #3:  The Valentine's Ball

From: jmccoske at sedona.intel.com (Jeff McCoskey~)
Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh
Subject: LNH Triple Play #3:  The Valentine's Ball
Date: 14 Feb 1994 14:38:33 GMT

---' `---' `---' `--- //////\\\\\\\       ////\\\\\\\\\ ---' `---' `---' `---
 Pseudo-Random House |////////|||||LL___LL||||||\\\\\\\|  VALENTINES' SPECIAL 
	COMIX	      >//////.... (       )  ....\\\\\< ALL LOVE'N'KISSES ISSUE
___   ___   ___   ___|....     guest-starring      ....|___   ___   ___   ___
///`v'///`v'///`v'.	   INNOVATIVE OFFENSE BOY         .`v'\\\`v'\\\`v'\\\\\
///////////...		         ||       |                     ...\\\\\\\\\\\\
///////..		         ((_______)                          ..\\\\\\\\
////_______		           `------'		            _______\\\\
///(       )		        ____     _______	           (       )\\\
///        |		       |    |   |   _   \	          /        |\\\
 ORDINARY LADY       _______   |    |   |  |_)   )             ULTIMATE NINJA
  ||       |        |   _   \  |    |   |    ==='   ____          ||       |
  ((_______)        |  |_)   ) `===='   `==='      |    |         ((_______)
   `------'         |        \       .   .         |    |          `------'
         __________ `===='`==='    .' ` ' `.       |    \     /~~~~~|
        |          |               : (LNH) :       `======   |  ,==='
        |          |               `.     .'                 |  `~~|
        `===    ==='  _______        `...'      ____    ____ |  ,=='
            `=='     |   _   \   ____      ____ \   \  /   / `======
                     |  |_)   ) |    |    /    \ \   `'   /
                     |    ==='  |    |   /  /\  \ `=    ='
                     `==='      |    \  |   `'   |  `=='
                                `====== `==='`==='
                        ...                           ...
                            ...      _______      ...    
                                 .. |       | ..
                                    |  #3   |
                                    Spring 94
                                      \   /

{Cover is numerous couples dancing in formal attire with Ultimate Ninja and
      Ordinary Lady in the foreground.  Innovative Offense Boy's head is off
      to one side with the thought balloon, "Enjoy your happiness, UN, while
      you can!"

      At bottom a blurb says "Ultimate Ninja as you've never seen him before!"}


	                         THE VALENTINE'S BALL


			=============== 1 FEB 94 ===============

	Ultimate Ninja glared around the LNH cafeteria.  "This place has taken
on the dynamics of a pre-prom high school," he muttered, disgusted.  Around the
room, net.heroes clustered in groups.  Most held Catalyst Lass' elegant invita-
tions in their hands.  The ninja noticed Ordinary Lady approaching and got up
to leave.
	"UN, wait!" she said tentatively.
	He sighed and turned to her.  "Yes?" he asked coolly.
	Ordinary Lady swallowed, then asked, "I was, um, wondering if you had
seen the Ball invitations..."
	When it was clear that was all he was going to say, she continued.
"...well I was thinking that as leader, you really ought to attend.  And, well,
if you wanted, I could go -- as your date, I mean."  She could not look up into
his eyes.
	Ultimate Ninja's eyebrows tensed.  He had every intention of being
miles away during the Ball.  He started to say so, when a snatch of conversa-
tion drifted from across the room.
	"... betcha the boss-man goes."
	"Yeah, he's starting a kindler, gentler LNH.  You're out of your mind.
He'll never go."
	Master Blaster and Sarcastic Lad had a lot to learn about the enhanced
hearing of ninjas, but their words disturbed him.  He had heard a lot lately
about the democratic leadership Catalyst Lass had displayed during her brief 
tenure as leader.  Many of the NWC's were grumbling about his aloofness.  Maybe
he should to go after all.  "Very well Ordinary Lady, I think that would be 
fine."  He turned and left.
	Ordinary Lady exhaled largely with a big grin.  "Woah -- yes!"  When
she realized the cafeteria was staring at her, and that she was now alone, her
grin faded slightly.  She quickly left.
	Across the room Innovative Offense Boy sat with Ferris Jones, aka
Deductive Logic Man.  He had witnessed the whole thing.
	"Gimme a *&^@%#in' drink of that," he said bitterly.  Before Ferris
could warn him off, IOBoy had taken a huge swig of Ferris' Dr. Paprika.  "&^$#!
That's *&$(#^in' awful!" he bellowed as he spit it out.
	"It's a man's pop," retorted Ferris, "and a bit of an acquired taste."

			=============== 5 FEB 94 ===============

	Catalyst Lass addressed a platoon of volunteers in the ballroom. 
Captain Cleanup had polished the hardwood floors and brass fixtures to a high
shine, and was putting the finishing touches on the large picture window that 
opened onto a magnificent view of the Net.ropolis skyline.
	"Okay guys, first off thanks for your help!  This is a super turnout, 
really!  But we've got so much to do to make this just the best event ever!
Cheesecake-Eater Lad, Steak and Potatoes Man, and Multi-Tasking Man -- you're
the meal committee.  Toss around some ideas and wow us with a super dinner."
The three went off, bickering, towards the kitchen with M-TM lingering behind.
"And guys!  Work together nice, ok?"
	"Now, Organic Lass, Ordinary Lady, Cannon Fodder, Multi-Tasking Man and
Domestic Lad -- you guys are the decorations committee.  We're looking for the
most romantic atmosphere you can make up, okay?  You get to handle everything
but the lighting.  We got some guys working on that already.
	"Kid G, and Multi-Tasking Man, you're the music committee.  We've got
the band arranged, you guys just make sure they get set up and stuff.
	"Irony Man, Occultism Kid, and Multi-Tasking Man -- you guys have
setup.  Once the decorations committee gets the stuff, you'll be arranging the
tables, fountains, generally doing the last minute stuff.  I'll be running
'round like a mad-woman coordinating and stuff, so if you need anything, let me
know.  We got a week and a half, so let's get cracking!  Any questions?"
	Multi-Tasking Man raised his hand.  "Is there anything else you need me
to do?"

			===============		===============

	Innovative Offense Boy sat with Renegade Programmer in the Computer
Room.  The greasy-looking computer genius was typing like mad as a fantastic
lightshow was modelled on the computer.  "Whaddya think?"  he mumbled around a
mouthful of pizza.
	"Yeah, a holographic lightshow, looks #$^^@in' great," said IOBoy
	"What's your problem?"
	"Ordinary Lady's going to the Ball with @!#*^$(#in' Ultimate Nin-jerk,"
he said more to himself than in conversation.
	"Yeah?  So what?  So ya go stag."  When IOBoy made a sour face, the
Progarammer laughed at him.  "What you ain't got a date and now your bummed?
Newsflash.  We outnumber the girls 4-1!  It's like musical chairs except they
pulled out half of 'em at once."  The programmer laughed out loud at the mental
image.  "Don't worry -- you'll still have a Ball."
	"Needs more *@^#)$in' smoke," said IOBoy curtly, pointing to the
computer screen.  He left before the man's strange sense of humor revealed more
of itself.
	On the way out, he spotted Super Apathy Lad slumped in the corner of 
the hall.  The Offensive Avenger walked over.  "How about you, ()@*#in' SAL?
You going to the @#$^(@&@)$# Ball?"
	"Dunno.  S'long way t'th' ballr'm," he said doubtfully.
	IOBoy rubbed his chin thoughtfully.  "True.  We could #*@^^#in' program
the transmat tube to *$@@(^!@#(! you there.  Think you can make it to the *&^#@
tube in a week and a half?"

			===============7 FEB 94 ===============

	Ultimate Ninja launched himself through the air in a perfect quadruple-
axle.  His outstretched sword carved Cannon Fodder, Nomex Man and Constellation
into perfect 1" cubes.  The Peril Room excercise was a limited-lighting
scenario, but his ninja senses picked up the LNH enemy as they attacked.
	"Schwak Schwak!"  Squeaky Clean and Bicycle Repair Boy fell back into
the shadows.
	"Schwak Schwak!"  Fuzzy and Adamant Authority on Everything collapsed
in darkness.  Suddenly, blinding light flared in the room.
	"Schwak.  Schwak.  Schwak schwak schwak."  UN hadn't moved his Ginsu.
	"Macho macho man.  I've got to be...a macho man..."  The Village People
piped into the Peril Room, accompanied by wild disco ball lighting.  UN growled
low in his throat.  He threw a fistful of ninja bush at the loudspeaker,
destroying it.
	Immediately, another speaker sprung up on the other side of the room.
"Everybody was kung-fu fighti-ing.  Those cats was fast as light-ning."  A
hologram of Invisible Incendiary appeared, laughing.  The tip of UN's sword
fell to the ground.  UN knew this Ball had been a bad idea.

			===============		===============

	Panta spun New-Look Lass around and around.
	"Wheee!  This has got to be the best dress I ever saw!  Is it really
for me?"
	New-Look Lass laughed and disentangled herself from the leapord-girl's
grasp.  "Well it would be if you let me finish the alterations!
	"Sorry, sorry!  It's just that it's gorrrgeous!"  Panta tried to hold
still, but her tail twitched with excitement.  "So who're you going with?
Kid G's taking me.  He's getting a formal tuxedo and everything!"
	New-Look Lass smiled.  "Oh I'm going stag with Hooded Ho`'od Win.  She
was thinking of not going, so I agreed to go as just girls."
	"Didn't want to go?  Didn't want to go?  Why there's plenty of nice
heroes that'd ask her, I bet.  If she just didn't wear that creepy hood all the
	"Oh, it's not that."  New-Look Lass tapped her leg.
	"What, she can't dance?"  Panta's eyes boggled when she realized what
N-LL meant.  "Ooops.  I guess she's afraid noone will want her with the..." 
Panta only mouthed the last two words, "...fake leg?"
	N-LL nodded.  "I tried to tell her there was nothing to worry about.
I mean Obscure Trivia Lad has a whole fake body, but she's very self-conscious
about it.  Anyway, we need some free women to dance with all the unaccompanied
men."  She winked to Panta who giggled uncontrollably.

			=============== 8 FEB 94 ===============

	Somewhere in Net.Orleans, a red-white and blue clad man crumpled up
Catalyst Lass' invitation.  He went to throw it out, but stayed his arm.  He
cast a sad glance at a photograph of a translucent beauty framed with a dusty 
set of bolas.  He finished the motion.  The invitation rattled in the plastic
trash can, then was still.

			=============== 10 FEB 94 ===============

	Frat Boy rolled from his bed, disrupting a huge pile of empty beer cans
as he did so.  His room would have sent Captain Cleanup into apoplexy.  It was
littered with cans, half-eaten pizzas and back issues of comic book swimsuit
editions.  He shook his head.  At 11 am it was still hours before he usually
got up. Miraculously, he noticed the note that had been slipped under his door.

		"Frat Boy--
		Cheesecake-Eater Lad and Steak and Potatoes Man are getting
		a little over worked.  Could you help out with the drinks and
		stuff?  See Innovative Offensive Boy if you need help or
			Thanks, and see you at the Ball!    Catalyst Lass"

	The husky hero rubbed his eyes.  "Aw, man, not a committee.  At least
its the Brewski Committee.  I wonder what kind of beer the Legion likes...?"
He opened his door and trotted down the hall.  IOBoy turned a corner and almost
ran into him.  "Hey!  You're just the brother I'm looking for."
	IOBoy regarded the sleepy hero doubtfully.  "What do you @*$%in' mean?"
	"We're the Brew, I mean Drinks Committee."
	"I guess I did tell Cat I'd #*&^!@%in' help out with that..."
	"Right.  Anyway what kind of keggers should I get?"
	IOBoy laughed.  "&#^%@ Frat Boy.  She means punch.  And I guess you'll 
have to arrange some $*&^@#in' slurpees too..."
	"The punch I can handle," said Frat Boy smugly.  He patted a hidden
flask as he said it.  But what's the deal with the slurpees?"
	"The boss ^$%@#@*&in' likes them."

			===============		===============

	Ultimate Ninja took the plastic wrapped suit from his door.  The Net.
Ropolis Dry Cleaners must have delivered his formal Oriental robe already.  He
stripped the plastic away.  His eyes narrowed.  Instead of a neatly pressed
formal robe, a white leisure suit, complete with black silk shirt and wide
collars, was inside.  A note was pinned to the lapel that read, "Saturday Ninja
	The tall ninja threw the 70's garb to the floor.  As he unsheathed his
Ginsu katana, he growled, "Incendiary..."

			===============		===============

	Ordinary Lady looked half-sadly around her room.  A single rose had
arrived every day since the Ball Invitations had gone out.  The cards had said
simply, "With every rose, a piece of my *&^@%#in' heart--IOBoy."  Her excite-
ment over finally getting a date with Ultimate Ninja had an undercurrent of
unease.  She told herself it was because she was unhappy to be hurting IOBoy.
But that didn't explain the twinge of regret she felt that the flowers weren't
signed, "UN."

			=============== 13 FEB 94 ===============

	Token Girl and Sister State-The-Obvious were modelling their new
dresses for each other.  Both wore New-Look Lass creations that were stunning
on their different figures.  SSTO adjusted her hemline.  "Aren't the guys hil-
arious?  You'd think it was Christmas tomorrow, they're so excited."
	"I know what you mean.  Sarcastic Lad even held the door for me today,
do you believe it?"  They laughed.  "Tell you the truth, I can't wait to show
off this dress, either.  Catalyst Lass has knocked herself out on this Ball.
It will be a night to remember."
	SSTO admired herself in the mirror, then nodded to Token Girl.  "It
sure will.  You know, we look dynamite."

		=============== 14 FEB 94, 10am ===============

	The ball room was resplendent.  White and red tables surrounded a
polished hardwood dancefloor.  Each table had a bouquet of mums and roses, with
settings of shining stainless and pure white china.  Balloons and streamers
hugged the ceiling, high above, creating a festive atmosphere yet not dimin-
ishing the elegance of the grand ballroom.  Framed by the large picture window,
the stage that would hold C.alt.C Music Factory (whom Kid G had gotten for the
affair) against the Net.ropolis night skyline.
	Catalyst Lass pulled her sweaty hair back.  A big grin spread over her
face.  "Wow guys, just wow.  Thanks bunches, everyone, for all this.  It's like
a dream come true."  Her volunteer committee was just as sweaty and tired.
They murmured appreciatively at the final affect.  Most had worked through the
night putting in the finishing touches.  "Everything has come together like a
charm.  Even Self-Righteous Preacher has gone on vacation, something about a
Slobbering Gruel in Net.xico or something.  We're all set up for some serious
	Innovative Offense Boy finished hooking up the slurpee machine and
joined the group.  "That's &$#^@*in' it.  Been done sooner but *@&^$in' Frat
Boy's still in bed..."
	"Hey! I got a question!" piped up Occultism Kid as he pointed to the
ceiling.  "I see the heart balloons and the cupid balloons, but what is that?"
He indicated some round balloons joined together in a lattice by long thin
	Organic Lass spoke up.  "Those are mine.  That's the chemical structure
of endorphins.  What could be more Romatic than that?"
	Catalyst Lass laughed heartily.  "Well its all done now.  Let's every-
one get a quick nap and I'll see you all back here tonight!"

		=============== 14 FEB 94, 6:30pm ===============

	Parking Karma Kid lay miserably on the bed as Cheesecake-Eater Lad
paced the room nervously.  He fiddled with his bowtie incessantly.
	"What if she changes her mind?  What if she's sick?  What if her dress
	"Would you relax?  She'll be here and you look fine."
	"Geez, I'm sorry, PK.  I shouldn't be acting this crazy.  I know how
you must feel with Bandwagon Chick going with Hamster Man and all..."
	"I know.  IOBoy and me will just sit around in Cuckold's Corner..." he
said bitterly.
	CE-Lad struggled for words when a knock sounded on the door.
	"Can I Come in?"  The door opened, and aLLiterative Lass stepped
forward.  She glittered in a red New-Look Lass creation that had a high collar
and high hemline.  PKKid and C-ELad boggled.  "You Guys Gaping at my Gown?"
she asked uncomfortably.  "Copious Crimson Corset Covering my Cleavage?  I'm
aFraid the Frolikers will Feel I'm Frumpy."
	C-ELad swallowed loudly.  "Don't worry, aLLy.  You look beautiful."
aLLiterative Lass beamed.

		=============== 14 FEB 94, 6:45pm ===============

	Ordinary Lady answered the door with a final tug on her gown.  Ultimate
Ninja nodded to her.  He was wearing an ornate Oriental robe with matching
embroidered hood.  He offered his arm.  "Shall we go?"
	"I, um, yes, sure.  Do I look all right?"
	He appeared to only now regard her.  "Quite.  Have you got everything?"
	"I-I think so, yes."
	"Then we needn't wait any longer."  She took his arm slowly, then
closed the door behind her.

		=============== 14 FEB 94, 7pm ===============
				   THE BALL

	The receiving line consisted of Catalyst Lass (as organizer), with her
date Invisible Incendiary; Cheesecake-Eater Lad (as vice-leader) and aLLiter-
ative Lass; and Ultimate Ninja (leader) and Ordinary Lady.  The Legion of Net.
Heroes filed past singly and in pairs, to take their places at the tables.
	New-Look Lass and Hooded Ho`'od Win greeted Cat at the start of the
line.  Hood wore a hooded gown that opened at the collar, revealing her ample 
bosom.  It extended to the floor, with a slit running up her good leg.  Like
all N-L Lass creations it was perfectly suited to its wearer and supremely
	"You guys just look super!" gushed the Motivational Maiden.  She winked
broadly.  "And don't you worry, there's plenty of available men here tonight."
	<(Thank you, Cat. I look forward to an enjoyable evening.  I think...)>
	"Excuse me Cat," said New-Look Lass.  "I've got to get this girl to the
punch bowl.  But you and Incendiary be good, now.  With the Preacher gone,
you're our moral examples."
	Cat waved her hand at the pair.  Though her dress was as flattering as
any other, it was based on coarser Nomex flame retardant fabric, even her
gloves.  "Oh we're just friends," giggled Cat.  "But if I hear another crack 
about a 'hot' date..."
	Invisible Incendiary laughed along and made pleasant greetings as well.
Cheesecake-Eater Lad was apparantly preoccupied with his date, and greeted them
as 'New-Lass Look' and 'Hooded Ho`'od Hood.'  At the end of the line, Ultimate
Ninja and Ordinary Lady were more reserved and formal with their greeting.
	Finally, they entered the sumptuous ballroom.  The room was romantic-
ally dark, with nighttime Net.ropolis glittering magically in the background.
Renegade Programmer's holographic lighting cast flickering, sensual hues
across the elegant setup.  It was enough to take the breath away.

	After Pliable Lad and Tour Guide Girl (who seemed more engrossed with
each other than the receiving line) Catalyst Lass started to close the large
double doors.  A late arrival ran up to the ballroom entrance.  She was slender
and attractive in a feline way, and was putting on her spike heels as she ran
up.  "Wait, wait!  I'm coming too!"
	"Who are you?" asked UN coldly.
	"Um, I'm Robot Girl, newest LNH member."  The ninja's eyes narrowed,
but Cat broke in.
	"Well we're just super glad you made it!  I think we can make room for
you somewhere..."
	"Oh I don't want to be any trouble, just point me to Sig.Lad's table."

	"Ultimate Ninja has asked not to make a speech, so on behalf of him,
the Committees and me, welcome to the first ever Valentine's Ball!"  Thunderous
applause answered Catalyst Lass.  "I don't know about the rest of you, but this
is my favorite holiday, so enjoy the food, enjoy the music, and get Romantic!"
Applause filled the air as C.alt.C Music Factory started up a quiet dinner song
and Cat returned to the head table.  Invisible Incendiary held out her chair,
concentrating not to set fire to it.
	"I think I'm a little thirsty," said UN.
	"Oh!  Let me get you a slurpee," rushed Ordinary Lady.
	"Hey, I'll go too," said II.  "Need anything Cat?"  Ordinary Lady went
on ahead.

	OL met Frat Boy, Sarcastic Lad and Master Blaster on the way to the
bar.  Frat Boy was wearing a toga and olive leaves.  "Hey, OL, have you met my
date, Suzy Sorority?"  An attractive girl with a pinched face, dressed in white
with pearls proferred her hand.
	Sarcastic Lad broke in with a wry grin.  "MB and I were just trying to
decide who was the foxiest heroette here tonight.  You'll be glad to know
you're in the running."
	"I'm sure," she said doubtfully.  "After Token Girl and Sister-State-
The-Obvious, I assume."  When they gave her a blank look, "Your dates?"
	"Oh yeah! After them, of course!"
	"Anyway, we got it down to you, California Girl, and Hooded Hooter
	"Yeah, who'd have thought she packed a bod like that beneath that
	Ordinary Lady ignored Master Blaster's last comment.  "California Girl?
Who's that?"
	"California Kid's date.  The one that looks like an extra from 'Holly-
wood Hottubs 2'."
	Sarcastic Lad's eyes gleamed.  "Yeah, she kinda makes you wish they
_all_ could be Cal-"
	"Don't..just don't say it," said OL, smiling in spite of herself.  As
she turned to leave, she heard Sarcastic Lad mutter as she left. "..and we have
a winnah..."
	Turning she saw that Panta and Kid G had just arrived, late.  Several
glasses dropped around the room as Panta made her entrance.  The black lamee
dress sported a bare midriff, low-cut neckline and short puffy skirt.  It per-
fectly matched her spots and made her fur seem luxuriant, especially the re-
vealed creamy white fur of her breasts.  She was licking an ice cream cone
almost sinfully.
	Master Blaster shook his head.  "Man, it's the Woody Scandal, all over
	Panta giggled as she entered.  "Sorry we're late everybody. There was a
huge line at the ice cream parlor!"

	At the bar, Ordinary Lady met Token Girl and Hooded Ho`'od Win.
	<( ...so you're saying you could outdrink any man here? )>
	"Oh, yeah, no question."
	<(Even Frat Boy?)> Hood asked incredulously.
	"Hmmm, Oh Hi OL."
	Ordinary Lady nodded.  "Do you know what MB and Sarc are up to?"
	Sister-State-The-Obvious strode up.  "Oh yeah they're pigs," she said
with a grin.
	OL shrugged and returned to the head table with the slurpee.

	II passed Renegade Programmer and Innovative Offense Boy on the way.
Renegade Programmer was cursing at IOBoy.  "What do you mean you changed my
lighting program?  _Nobody edits my code but me_."
	"*@^#%, RP.  Cat assigned us both to that $(*#&^in' committee.  I was
entitled to my *$^&@%in' input!"
	"'Scuse me guys, don't want to burn you."
	"Wait, II," said IOBoy.  "We need you to settle this..."

	Around the room people were eating, drinking and socializing.  UN
almost thought that maybe this wasn't such an awful idea after all.  Ordinary
Lady handed him his slurpee.  He nodded his thanks, then lifted his hood to
drink.  He took a deep draught.
	UN's eyes bugged out a moment before he spit the frozen drink on the
table.  "This is an outrage!" he roared silencing the room.  "Someone has re-
placed my slurpee with Dr. Paprika!"
	There was silence for a beat, then Deductive Logic Man's table chanted
as one, "It's a man's pop!"
	Laughter filled the ballroom.  Even Ordinary Lady stifled a giggle.  UN
turned bright red.  In the space next to him he felt, then saw the heat outline
of, Invisible Incendiary.
	A low growl escaped UN's lips.  "Incendiaaaary!"  In seeming slow
motion, UN launched the Dr. Paprika-filled cup at Invisible Incendiary.  The
cup slowly rotated in the air, passing through the hologram of II.  It conti-
nued it's inevitable flight, splashing coldly all over the chest, neck, face
and hair of Ordinary Lady.
	The hall went silent again.  OL looked at UN, her eyes wide with hurt.
Unnoticed, a muted flash briefly shone behind the ninja's chair.  As the
dripping OL and the rest of the Legion stared at their leader, UN did the
	He sat down, flipped his wrist and said, "Feh."
	Ordinary Lady ran from the room, Innovative Offense Boy close behind.
Another flash from behind the ninja's chair went equally unnoticed.  Cat subtly
urged the band to play, and the room returned to an uneasy party mood.

		=============== 14 FEB 94, 11:45pm ===============

	"Well Cat, despite the UN thing, it was a tremendous night."  Invisible
Incendiary sat next to the radiant Catalyst Lass.
	"You're _sure_ you had nothing to do with that, II?" asked Cat.
	Incendiary chuckled drily.  "Much as I wish I had, I know how much this
night meant to you.  I wouldn't have ruined it for you."
	Cat sighed.  "Well it wasn't ruined for some."  On the dance floor,
numerous couples were holding each other close.  In the back corner, a hardcore
group of partiers was engaged in some sort of drinking contest.  "Anyway,
thanks again for taking me II.  I guess you have to lurk off and stuff?"
	"Yeah."  II gave her a quick kiss on the cheek that burned a bit.
"You're a good date Cat.  Someone'll find you."
	She smiled back at where she thought he was.  "Same to you."

	On the dance floor,Deja Dude held Julie Lee close. "Having fun, Julie?"
	"This was wonderful, Deja."
	"And they say Romance dies in relationships..."
	Julie pulled back playfully.  "Surely you're not taking credit for
this?  Cat did all the work..."
	"Julie, I take credit for _all_ your happiness."
	She laughed, "Hah!  I bet you do."
	Kid G and Panta bopped nearby, dancing faster than most of the couples
	"That Kid G sure can dance, Deja..."
	"Must be the perfect balance," he smirked.

	"OW!", exclaimed Sig.Lad.  The new LNHer, Robot Girl had stepped on his
feet again.  "I think it's broken!  You're not exactly light on your feet...or
mine either."
	"Gee, I'm sorry Sig.Lad.  What can I do to make it up to you?" she
asked innocently.

	"Rowr!"  exclaimed Panta as she did a particularly athletic dance step.
"This has been super fun, Kid G!  Thanks for taking me.  But did you get the
feeling we were being stared at all night?"
	Kid G desperately forced his eyes to remain on Panta's face.  "I don't
think it was 'us' at all, Panta."  He added, half to himself, "At least I hope

	Pocket Man held Organic Lass close, she snuggled to his chest.  "What
do you say sweetheart?  I think maybe they've forgotten us at the hotel..."
	"Oh Pok, the night's so beautiful."  They were dancing in front of the
huge ballroom window with Net.Ropolis twinkling outside.  "The city is spread
out like it's ours.  Let's just go to the roof and breathe the night."
	"Honey, I'll follow you anywhere, but it's a little cold."
	"I think we'll be plenty warm," she said as she hugged him tight.  With
a quick but passionate kiss they broke and walked hand in hand to the exit.

	"Five, four, three, two, one!" chanted Master Blaster, SSTO, Suzy
Sorority, California Kid and his date California Girl, and Parking Karma
Kid.  Hooded Ho`'od Win leaned eagerly over the two seated at the table.  Token
Girl and Frat Boy eyed each other belligerently.  Empty shot glasses littered
the surface as well as the floor beneath them.  Both downed yet another shot of
the spiked punch.  Frat Boy leaped up, spinning wildly.  He grabbed Token Girl
and planted a wet red kiss on her lips.  "The winnah!" he slurred then passed
out on the floor.  His toga-clad body landed next to Sarcastic Lad, who had
passed out hours ago trying to keep up.
	Token Girl smacked her lips, tried to straighten her dress (only dis-
lodging it more), made a valiant attempt to focus her eyes, then she too hit
the floor.
	<(An excellent Contention!  Now we no longer need to know...Who`'od
	The small crowd applauded with alcohol-induced abandon.

	Innovative Offense Boy danced with Ordinary Lady, who had changed her
dress.  She hadn't wanted to return to the Ball, but she and IOBoy had spent
hours talking in her room.  She had nearly thrown him out when he confessed to
arranging the whole thing -- taunting UN, pretending to be Invisible Incen-
diary.  Planting a fake note to Frat Boy, who he knew was a late sleeper, so he
could arrange the doctored slurpee.  Modifying Renegade Programmer's lighting
scheme to include a bogus II hologram.  But he had pleaded his case eloquently,
if colorfully.  The crowning fact, IOBoy dared not admit.  That he had tele-
ported Super Apathy Lad in by remote control, to insure UN's cold response.
	It was that response, more than anything, that had crushed Ordinary
Lady.  She had needed a shoulder to cry on, and he provided it.  Eventually, he
had convinced her to return for the last dance.
	"IOBoy, part of me hates you for setting me up like that tonight.  But
I guess I should thank you in a way.  He was never interested in me."
	IOBoy responded softly.  "Then he's a #*&@%in' fool.  Anyone can see
you're a beautiful, smart, funny woman."
	Ordinary Lady managed a half smile.  "The flowers you sent were sweet.
Was that part of your master plan?"
	"I did tell you all was fair in Love and (@&^#in' War."  He looked her
in the eye.  "And this is definately not (@#&#in' War."
	They held each other through the last dance as Net.Ropolis slowly
darkened behind them.

		=============== 15 FEB 94, 1:10am ===============

	Renegade Programmer visited the Computer Room before going to bed.  He
needed to shut off the lighting computer.  On the way, he passed Super Apathy
Lad in the Hall.
	"SAL?  Didn't IOBoy arrange to have you transmatted to the Ball?"
	"Eh.  Tr'nsm't tube too f'r away.  C'dn't be b'thered."

		===============		===============

	NEXT ISSUE:  Just when you thought you had all the romance you could
                      stand, the oft-promised, still unplotted "Lack of Faith"
		      revisits some old favorites and casts new light on some
		      new favorites.  Features the return of Hooded Ho`'od Win
		      to the banner.

	Coming in June.

		===============		===============
Triple players:

	Innovative Offense Boy....via Public Domain
	Ordinary Lady.............via Martin Phipps
	Ultimate Ninja............wReam

	Catalyst Lass.............via Public Domain
	Invisible Incendiary......Steve Hutchison
	Panta.....................Hubert Bartels
	Frat Boy..................via uplink
	Renegade Programmer.......Joshua Dinerstein
	Hooded Ho`'od Win.........on loan from wReam

	and all the rest, no doubt nursing post-Ball hangovers...

special thanks to:
	The Village People and C and C Music Factory for providing the tunes,
	Martin, Hutch, Ken, Hubert and wReam for creative consultation (sorry
	Gary and Rebecca, but actual responses were required here ;] )

Next Week:  Saint Squad #2:  PassionFishing: The Proposal!

Arthur "Same Classic Channel.  But Same Time?  Probably not." Spitzer

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