LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #39: The Crimes of the Brotherhood Part Two

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 10 12:50:08 PST 2017

In this weeks reposting of stuff you can find in the eyrie archive
we have the second section of the whole EMPLOYEE-EMPOWERED, PARADIGM-SHIFTED,

We have Matt "Badger" Rossi doing his take on Repetitive Lad in Swordmaster #20.

We have Matt "Badger" Rossi doing his take on Repetitive Lad in Swordmaster #20. 

Although maybe it's #19 looking at the issue.

And Peter "Tick" Milan has the Robgoblin and X-Intruder tangle with Vigilante Guy in Vigilante Guy #42.

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #39

                 The Crimes of the Brotherhood Part Two

Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative
From: an101096 at anon.penet.fi (Typhon)
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 1995 21:10:49 UTC
Subject: LNH: Swordmaster #19 

Pseudo Random House Presents...

The long delayed, quite belated, people was starting to wonder
about it adventures of...

Issue Number Nineteen

"Haven't we done this all before?"


ISSUE RECAP: (Warning! None of this makes ANY SENSE. On the other
hand, the author won rACCIE's, so we just humor him and keep
tossing him raw meat and caffeine laden soda.)

When last we left our somewhat intrepid hero, he was about to
become embroiled in a sword battle with YET ANOTHER CLONE of
himself. It was almost as bad as the Defalco Conundrum. Oh yeah,
and there was some sort of blather about Tyrol and Hy-Dee and the
Mountains of Impalement, but to be honest, nobody was paying any
attention anyway.

*    *         *    *         *    *         *    *         *   

     "You've got to be kidding me." David Divad, aka Swordmaster,
aka the really confused guy in red chain mail, stood in a sort of
weary shock as the myserious menace on the throne revealed himself
to be...yet another clone of himself.
     "Nope. I'm one of the Retcon Hour clones, here to destroy
you." A black, foul looking blade with all sorts of nasty pointy
things jutting from the pommel and dripping a fetid ooze (Well, it
LOOKED fetid, anyway) appeared in the redundant menace's hand. 
     "But all the Retcon Hour clones got wasted during that whole
fiasco with Kid Swordmaster and Marz...say! He didn't send you, did
     "Are you kidding? Even HE'S got standards."
     "Frank? Was it Frank?"
     "Look, can we just get this OVER with? I've got a dimension
full of yodelers to crush." (Editors Note: Get it? Hy-Dee? Tyrol?
Any of this registering? It's a pun. Sheesh. That's a long way to
go for a groan of agony.)
     "Oh, all right. Let's go." With almost as much enthusiasm as
he would show were he going for a vasectomy from Bill Murray, David
conjured up a Hand and a Half sword and jumped towards his
doppelganger. Their blades met with one of those ringing sounds,
and soon they were embroiled in rather repetitive battle.
     "You do realize how silly this is?"
     "How so?"
     "Well, if I'm Swordmaster, and YOU are Swordmaster, then we'll
just keep getting better and better and better exponentially, and
we'll never win. This whole thing is futile."
     "Y'know...you're right. So how do we settle it?" Blades
whistled through the air. Anyone who was watching this fight would
not not only the amazing skill of the swordsmen involved as the
leapt and careened about, parrying and sparring, but also their
nonchalance at the task. After all, it's pretty hard to talk while
trying to cut somebody in half. I never could figure out how Bob
Dole pulls it off.
     "Why not something neither of us is all that good at?"
     "Like what?"
     "Why not play checkers?"

*    *         *    *         *    *         *    *         *   

     Concealed inside a pocket dimension, a shadowy figure who I'm
hardly gonna give away this early in the story sat and watched the
chaos unfold in the depths of...a fez?
     "What!? They've stopped fighting and are PLAYING CHECKERS!?
How am I ever going to manipulate the LNH into defeating each other
if I can't even get a second stringer like Swordmaster to do it?
Oh, I'll be laughed out of the Brotherhood of Net.Villains for
     The figure stood and paced, his back to the screen so you
couldn't see his face anyway. The rather barren chamber had posters
of all the Rocky pictures save the first one, as well as a complete
collection of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
     "Whose idea was it for us to go out and plot our own crimes?
I'm not a plotter! I just do stuff over and over again! And now,
even with this already-used object of cosmic potency, even with a
plot that's already happened TWICE, I can't get it to work right!
I keep getting defeated OVER and OVER again! It's almost as if
everything I do is repeating itself!"
     When the figure had first discovered refrences to the Fez in
various badly written arcane books of power, he'd had to go back
and re-read them to make sure that what they'd said was true. Then
he'd gotten on a plane to scour the world for any trace of the
potent cosmic artifact.
     When he'd finally found it, he'd covered the whole world
twice. But at last it was in his possession. Sure, it was filthy,
mangled, scratched up, scortched, almost as if someone was trying
to destroy it. (I myself blame Bartels.) But like all potent cosmic
artifacts, with a little soap and water and some electrical tape,
it had been easily put right. Now, it was his.
     The figure turned its head just enough for its profile to
show, and plopped the Fez onto its head. Then a great big beautiful
cavity free smile spread out over his face. (Hey, he's a bad guy,
but he knows the value of proper dental hygine.)
     "So if everything is repeating itself...and I know it is,
because that's the point...why not send MORE old storylines after
Swordmaster? That'll teach him to thwart the plots of...REPETITIVE
LAD!" After that dramatic (And redundant) revelation of his
identity, our villain leaned back and laughed in a very familiar
way. "Once I've taken him out, I can use this EXACT SAME PLAN to
destroy the LNH! And then I can go back and rob every bank I've
attempted to rob in the past! I love it!"
     Satisfied with his evil machinations, the sycophant of sequels
lifted the Fez into his hands. "So, who should I send after
Swordmaster now? Who of his old enemies? Wait...I've got it...THE
     The Fez crackled with mystic energy. Which is, of course, what
it ALWAYS does.

*    *         *    *         *    *         *    *         *    

     "King me."
     "Jerk." The other Swordmaster complied, and David looked down
at the board with real satisfaction. There were three black discs
left, and five red ones...three of which had been kinged. The game
couldn't keep going much longer. It had really been a matter of
luck, however, since David really knew nothing about playing
checkers above a third grade level. It just had never come up
again. Monopoly was more his game. Nevertheless, he was winning,
and once he had...then what? It hadn't occured to him that it would
be awfully difficult to enforce his win without resorting to yet
ANOTHER interminable swordfight...and if this guy's an evil clone
of me, what's to keep him from breaking his word?
     Before David could bring that up, however, a shimmering light
filled the room, and thirty-five pirates leapt through, striking
rather silly poses in their colorful and overly clean pirate
     "What the hell is this?"
     "Trying to cheat, huh?"
     "Me? I though _you_ called them!"
     "Well, if I didn't call them, and _you_ didn't call them, then
     "It is simple, my old enemy! These men are the pirates of the
one, the only...THE PIRATE KING!" A ridiculously overdressed Pirate
with a gold encrusted eyepatch and a huge, bejeweled scimitar swung
out of nowhere on a rope and landed before the two stunned
swordsmen, and promptly performed a snappy pihrouette.
     "He is the Pirate King, he is the Pirate King, it is it is a
glorious thing to be the Pirate King..."
     David looked at the evil Swordmaster, who looked back at him.
     "This can wait till we kick their asses, right?"
     "Oh, you know it."
     Swords of black fire and blue lightning appeared, and the
Swordmasters leapt into the air, shrieking like a man trapped in
a cabin with Zsa Zsa Gabor and the Home Shopping Channel on TV.

*    *         *    *         *    *         *    *         *

     "WAIT A MINUTE HERE!" Repetitive Lad shrieked as the Fez
showed him the consequences of his selection of menaces. "They
aren't supposed to TEAM UP! What the hell is going ON!?"
     Plopping the Fez back onto his head, he stalked about the
room, seething. "Okay, let me think...oh, I think I understand now.
The clone diverged AFTER the original Swordmaster fought the Pirate
King, so he would rememember him as an enemy TOO. DAMN! I KNEW I
was making a mistake somewhere. What to do, what to do. Well, I
could select an enemy that the clone has never fought before...if
I could remember just who Swordmaster's enemies ARE, that is."
     Repetitive Lad just sat and seethed for a while. Then he got
up. Then he sat and seethed some more. Then he got up again, and
suddenly a light bulb appeared in the air over his Fez-clad head.
It then fell and broke on his skull.
     "OW! Wait...I've got an idea! If it's two Swordmasters teaming
up...then why not send ANOTHER group of repeat badguys...THE CLOWN
and MIME NINJA! I'm so glad I've read the Eyrie archives..."
     So chortling in his droning, deja vu way, Repetitive Lad
summoned the power of the Fez again...not noticing the smoke
beginning to rise from the hatband...

*    *         *    *         *    *         *    *         *

     Swordmaster #1 (Or just David, if we want to make it easier
on ourselves) kicked one Pirate in the head and parried several
epee strikes while his clone ran a particularly foppish example of
a bucaneer through. Then he swung behind him and disemboweled
another pirate, who had looked just about ready to begin singing
"A Pirate's Life For Me." David was really tired of all the
     "Ho-ho! You do well against my faitful corsairs, Bladed
     "Come on down here, and I'll shove a corsair up your..." David
gritted his teeth as he disarmed one of the privateers. "How many
different synonyms for Pirate does this guy know, anyway?" The
Pirate King, festooned in his gaudiest outfit ever (He looked sort
of like a cross between Long John Silver and Liberace) was standing
up in the crows nest, dancing about and waving a silver cutlass.
David was sure he could hear the guy humming some incredibly off
key sea chanty.
     He was getting powerfully sick of sea chanties.
     "Hey, 'brother!'" David's clone yelled to him over the head
of a young pirate...and then over the blood spurting neck of
selfsame young pirate. "If you weren't mollycoddling these shmucks,
we'd already be done with them!"
     "Well, excuse me for not turning an absurd musical number into
an absurd musical murder! When we get done with The Rhinestone
Pirate up there, you and I are gonna finish this!"
     "What, you've got a hankering to play Monopoly now?"
     Before David could respond, there was yet ANOTHER shimmering
in the air...and then, before their eyes, a group of white faced
men wearing berets and white and black striped Ninja suits dropped
onto the deck of the ship which had appeared in the Castle's Throne
     "Oh, no. Come ON!" David's clone tore someone's arm off in
exasperation. "Mimes again!? MIMES!?"
     Then the patter of wide shoes came on the stone floor. David
whirled, and saw the sinisted gleam of multicolored wigs and tie-
dyed night suits. Seltzer and Big Horns were drawn.
     "Not just mimes, 'brother.' CLOWNS."
     "Shiver me timbers, if'n it ain't the stealthy night bretheren
of the painted faces!" The Pirate King swung down from the Crow's
Nest looking JUST like an extra from a Republic Serial. One of the
cheaper ones that show at 3:00 am on a Sunday, but still..."My
Pirates! We must rally to face this new threat..."
     "SHUT UP!" David and his clone had finished off all of the
Pirates, and as the Clowns and Mimes approached, they turned and
faced their privateering adversary. 
     "You're all alone now, you stupid spangled jackass! And before
those clowns and mimes jump me...I'm taking my frustrations out on
your hide!"
     "Wait a minute! We can't kill him!"
     "Why not!?"
     "Take a look around you." David gestured as the circle of
warlike entertainers got tighter. "Much as I hate to admit it...we
need him."
     "So a truce! We three shall sally forth against these minions
of darkness..."
     "SHUT UP!"

*    *         *    *         *    *         *    *         *

besides himself, figuratively of course, as so far NONE of his plan
had worked out as he'd hoped.
     First he'd used the power of the Fez to reach back in time and
completely derail Swordmaster's life. Instead of allowing him to
get involved in that cosmic war between the Darryians and the
Protagonites, he'd simply altered the course of the plea-ship so
it landed in Texas instead. A farm kid named McCoskey had been
taken to attempt a universal message of peace and harmony...and
he'd done fine. But that had left Swordmaster free for Repetitive
Lad's foul scheme.
     The entire trip to Tyrol was RL's plan. Empowered by the Fez,
he'd decided to use the retcon as a 'test' to determine if the LNH
could be beaten this way, with reusable plots. And it had been
working. But now, every time he sent another plot after them, they
teamed up to fight it! It was getting...
     It was getting repetitive.
     "Oh, MAN! It's just repeating itself! Doing the same stuff
over and over again! It's lapping the events! This stupid Fez
sucks! I should have just gotten a big gun and robbed a bank."
     Tearing the Fez off of his head in disgust, RL stared at it.
"I wish this damn thing was in Sri Lanka!"
     The Fez crackled with mystic energy...and then, a blinding
white flash seared the master of restatement's eyes.
     And when he could see again, the Fez was gone.
     He blinked. Blinked again. Looked around his cubbyhole, at the
cubicle walls where he'd been attempting to come up with a plan.
He thought of Homage's face when he found out about this.
     "I'd better get to work on another plan. Maybe if I could find
some sort of cosmically powerful artifact...I remember reading
about a ring somewhere..."

*    *         *    *         *    *         *    *         *

     David was flinging one mime over his back and parrying a
pantomime blade when he noticed something odd beginning to happen.
     His clone just up and disappeared. Poof.
     Then all the Pirates, including the Pirate King himself, just
went bye bye. Poof 2, electric boogaloo.
     David blinked in disbelief. "Oh, come ON! I've heard of Deus
Ex Machina, but this is just...SILLY!"
     By then, the mimes and clowns had vanished. And before David's
eyes, Tyrol was doing a slow fade as well. Leaving him....
sure if he was falling or not, but he figured when there was
nothing around you anywhere, it was a safe course of action.
Finally, he felt a lurching in his stomach...
     And found himself in the warehouse again.
     "Home again, home again, Jiggety Jig." Yanking the chain-mail
facemask off, he looked around the incredibly smelly, dank and foul
concrete walls of the LIR's hideout. "Could somebody tell me what
the heck just happened?"
     {{Yes, David Divad. I can tell you...I, the RACCtre.}}}
     David turned (Not quickly, surpisedly or anything like
that...by this point, he's getting to expect this crap.) to behold
the grim grey ghost of Comic Book Revenge, his former teammate
Geoff Geoffrey, the Digressor. Before Vampires killed him and he
came back from the dead as...well, if you've been reading, you know
who he came back from the dead as.
     "What is it, RACCtre?"
     {{{There is danger in a green and pleasant land. We must
go...but first, I will bring the others here.}}} With a wave of his
cloaked and ghostly hand, the RACCtre summoned the other. The grim
and menacing Warbabe, the injured looking Rodent (Who was very
scratched-up, David noticed), CAW, that master of armed terror, The
Radiant Rollerblader (No one knew WHAT he was good at, but he was
already there, so why not just go with it?) and finally, David's
wife, Jessica Balent-Divad, the lissome (I love thesauri) Whip. Who
looked extremely amazed to see David.
     "Hi, honey."
     "What happened to you?" As they embraced, and the rest of the
team looked around in confusion (Save the Rodent, who's still
allergic to teleportation and who had to go vomit in the corner)
the RACCtre spread his cloak.
     {{{There is no time for reunion joy. Know you that a menace
comes that we must confront. We must go to...LONDON.NET!}}} The
RACCtre pointed to a lego mock up of London.Net that CAW had been
working on.
     "It's only a model!" David stepped forward, exhaustion warring
with outrage on his face. "I'm not going anywhere unless you give
me a really good reason."
     {{{The fate of the world is at stake.}}}
     "That's a pretty good reason."


PRODUCTION OF OUR TOWN! AND...Well, that's all I can tell you.

From: pmilan at FSCVAX.FSC.MASS.EDU (Tick)
Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: LNH: Decibel Dude & Vigilante Guy #42 -- EEPSIODSRCotBoNV Crossover #4
Date: 2 May 1995 14:50:30 -0500

I N S P I R E D  W E I R D N E S S
P R O D U C T I O N S  P R E S E N T S

D  E  C  I  B  E  L    D  U  D  E
            A  N  D
V I G I  L  A  N  T  E    G  U  Y



(and if you think I'm typing that entire
 acronym out, you're out of your tiny
 little mind)


Writer's note: This title has nothing to do with the story.
But it's issue #42, what else am I supposed to do?


   "Hold up! Hold up!" shouted Vigilante Guy. He stood in
a blackened void, his voice echoing off of--
   "Yeah, yeah, stuff that," said Vig. "It's not a blackened
void, it's your monitor. I'm talkin' to you, writer boy."
   [So what's your problem?]
   "My problem is this title. When I took off to do my mini-
series, D-Dude got the title all to himself and had my name
taken off."
   [What of it?]
   "Well, I want my own title now!"
   [Next issue.]
   "Now! Now! Now!"
   [You're acting like a baby.]
   "Am not am not am not!!"
   [Hold on, lemme do a teaser.]


Next issue, this title becomes (for a limited time only),

               OF VIGILANTE GUY!


   "Heavily Muscled?"
   [It was either that or Manly-Smelling.]
   "Right. Carry on."


   The sandpiper landed on the beach and rested for a moment.
The night air was cold, so the sandpiper took a moment to
concentrate. With a ripple of liquid, feathers were replaced by
fur, and where once there had been a small bird, there was
a not-as-small dog.
   The dog stretched, scratched behind its ear, and trotted off
in the direction of the airport.


   Vigilante Guy studied the screen with interest. The file
he was reading was a synopsis of the Crisis of Infinite 
Sidekicks [last fall's blockbuster crossover--without a
doubt the finest piece of writing ever to feature a character
called "Altar Boy"]. To make a long, confusing story short,
the Sidekick Squad, Pliable Lad, Glitch Girl and the Alt.Ter.
Net.Tives had joined forces against a guy called The Chessman,
who intended to turn the world's sidekicks into his zombie
   One of the first to fall to his sinister machinations
was Jack Serious, his and D-Dude's sidekick. Jack had gone
missing for many months, and had turned up briefly after the
Crisis, but Vig had lost track of him during the recent 
craziness. It was only last week that Vig realized Jack
wasn't in the headquarters anymore.
   Vig remembered that Jack had been distraught over his
semi-Zomkickification; because he had been critically
injured when the process took place [see D-Dude & V-Guy
#17], it had been impossible to remove the cybernetic
attachments, leaving Jack trapped in a metallic cocoon.
   It also said here that the Sidekick Squad had taken
up residence in the Chessman's old headquarters, located
beneath Boston.net.
   Vig got up and headed for the Flight Thingee bay.


   The plane touched down at JFK Inet.ternational Airport. When
he was sure it was safe to come out, the dog trotted out of
the cargo bay and squinted at all the light. He ran off the
tarmac and into the terminal, slipping under the legs of
weary travelers and into the nearest men's bathroom.
   He hopped up on a toilet seat and concentrated again. [And you
can bloody well get your minds out of the gutter.]
   A few minutes later, a very tired looking man in a grey
suit stepped out of the bathroom and headed into Net.tropolis.


   "There he goes!" said Robgoblin, watching as Vigilante Guy's
flight thingee flew off in the distance. "Well, guess we'd better
just go home and--"
   "Relax, Rob," muttered X-Intruder, puffing on a stogie. He
was out of costume, wearing a plaid shirt, jeans and a cowboy
hat. "We'll follow him and take care of him when he's off home
   "I just don't know about this 'empowerment' stuff," Robgoblin
muttered. "Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I like it when we get 
orders barked at us and fly off into the dank night, doing our
master's dark bidding."
   "Don't worry about it, bub. I happen to know that he's going
up to the Chessman's old headquarters."
   "How could you possible know that?"
   _Does he suspect? What if I'm found out! ENNUI!!!_ X-Intruder
angsted. "I read the last scene," he muttered out loud. "And I'd
say taking over a headquarters the size of the Chessman's should
be pretty damn profitable, wouldn't you?"
   "What about Homage?"
   "What about him?" X-Intruder sneered. "Rumor Monger told me
he's thinking of going on sabbatical, you know. Somebody's gonna
need to fill the void...you and me could do some great things."
   "Yeah..." Robgoblin was warming to the idea. "Yeah! Wow! That's
a _great_ idea! An idea like that could make a fella's thighs _huge!_"
   "Yes..." said X-Intruder. _And then, fool, when you suspect it
least...I shall DESTROY you!_
   "ADVANTAGEOUS!!" they shrieked together.

   Vig flew over Harvard Square, looking down at mobs of shoppers
and college students. It hadn't really occured to him until he got
into town that he had no idea where this headquarters was supposed
to be.
   "Hmmm. Well, I could use a legitimate process of investigative
techniques, stretching my concentration to its very limits...or I
could just cause a ruckus." Vig dug into his pockets and pulled
out a quarter. He flipped it , grabbed it and slapped it onto his
   "Ruckus it is!" He arced the flight thingee downward, swooping
waaaaaaay too close to the pedestrians.
   "Hey!" came a feminine voice from over the flight thingee's
communicator. "What's all this brouhaha?"
   "Brouhaha? Ha ha ha...hey!" Vig shouted. "Who is this?"
   "This is Moist Lass of the Sidekick Squad, and I want you to
put an end to all that hoopla!"
   "Hoopla? This isn't hoopla. This is a ruckus."
   "Don't try to kid me! I heard hoopla!"
   "But you just said it was a brouhaha!"
   "Brouhaha and hoopla are synonymous."
   "Look, I've been looking for you guys. This is Vigilante Guy.
I'm looking for Jack Serious. Could you give me directions to
your headquarters?"


   The apartment building was clean if not fancy. The man in the
dark suit climbed the steps slowly, until he reached the third
floor. He read the numbers on each of the doors until he saw
the one he was looking for; 316.
   He knocked on the door. A television was shut off inside, and
after a moment a young man in a bathrobe answered the door.
   "Can I help--oh, it's you," the young man said, not terribly
pleased to see the man in the dark suit.
   "Gepetto," said the man in the dark suit. "Good to see you
again. Ready to go to work?"
   "I don't do that kind of stuff anymore," Gepetto said.
   "But I need you. I can pay well. I just need to get to my
place and see what's what."
   "Look, I--"
   "Talk to me."
   "It involves a couple of old friends of mine," said the dark man,


   "He hasn't been doing well," said Moist Lass. She'd guided the
Flight Thingee into the headquarters' hangar, hidden below North
Station. "He's convinced he'll go nuts if he doesn't get the
armor off."
   "It should never have come to this," said Vig. "He just--"
   "Got lost in the shuffle?" said Moist Lass. "Always the way
with sidekicks, isn't it? Well, I hate to say it, but we could
use you and your partner to help us out...we've set ourselves
up as sidekicks for hire, but nobody'll even look at us without
a net.hero's endorsement."
   "Tough break. Well, D-Dude's on vacation, so I'm pretty much
it for the time being...where is everyone?"
   "The west wing. Let's hop into the teleporter."
   "You need a teleporter to get to the west wing?"
   "It's a big headquarters."


   Robgoblin, with some effort, pulled his massive arms through the
small opening, and began padding down the tunnel. Behind him,
X-Intruder closed the door and looked the place over.
   "Ya know," he said, "I don't think a bunch of crummy sidekicks
deserve to have a place like this."
   "We could move the whole Brotherhood in here," said Robgoblin.
"Charge 'em rent..."
   "Poke around in their stuff when they're out..."
   "Go through their underwear drawer!" they said together. They
considered that for a moment. 
   "That'd be a little sick, wouldn't it?" Robgoblin asked.
   "A bit."
   "Sssshh!" said Robgoblin. "There's voices up ahead!"


   "Well, well," sneered Stink Boy. "If it isn't my favorite 
Punisher rip-off."
   Vig looked around the ready room of the headquarters; if
there was one thing it wasn't, it was ready. Empty chip bags
and snack wrappers littered the floor. An empty beer ball
lay forlornly in the corner. And the whole place had acquired
a smell Vig was sure wasn't coming from Stink Boy.
   "Don't be so rude!" said Unperceptive Lad. "I'm sure
Vigilante Guy is only here to help."
   "Thou speakest sooth," added Kid Shakespeare. "Yon squire 
is greatly forlorn as regards his casing. Mayhap the scientists
of the LNH could assist him."
   "Where is he?" asked Vig.
   "He's in his room watching old _Misfits of Science_ tapes,"
said Moist Lass. "Come on, I'll lead you there." She stepped
over the trash and led Vig down another hallway.
   The remaining Sidekicks remained in the Ready Room, gazing at 
a wall of monitors which was currently showing a "Friends"
   They never saw the huge bicep which knocked them all out.


   "Right," said the dark man, removing several piles of $100
bills from the suitcase. He handed them to Gepetto. "Half now,
half when it's done. Let's get going."
   "Are you coming too?" asked Gepetto.
   "No...I've got something else to take care of."


   "So where's the celery guy?" asked Vig.
   "Stalker? He's on vacation," said Moist Lass. [See the _Stalker_
mini-series, the finest piece of literature to feature a character
named Julian Fryze.] "Ground--I mean, Hank's home visiting his
family, but he'll be back later this afternoon. I'd better get 
back to the others...I've been trying to keep them motivated, 
but all they do is sit around, watching "Friends," "Family Ties," 
"The Trouble With Larry...""
   "Courtney Cox fans?"
   "Bingo. Go on in."
   She rapped on the door and walked off. Vig stepped inside.
   The room was pitch black except for the glow of the television,
and the various blinking lights imbedded in Jack's armor. His
gaze did not waver from the television.
   "Jack?" said Vig.
   "Take off."
   "Come on, Jack...I'm sorry we forgot about you."
   "This is your fault," Jack said.
   "_My_ fault?"
   "You didn't even go back and check. You just up and ran, man.
You booked. And then she sold me, and the Chessman turned me into
   "You know, Pliable Lad was _there_ for _his_ sidekick. Pliable
Lad came to the _rescue_ for _his_ sidekick. Why couldn't I
have been Pliable Lad's sidekick?"
   "The psychotic rages and hevay weaponry might have something to
do with that."
   "Always with the jokes."
   "Jack, I'm sorry. What do you want me to--"
   "And _then,_ when I finally get out of it, when I finally come
home, do I get any support? Do I get any help? NOOOOOOO! Sorry,
but me and D-Dude have our own problems!"
   Vig could smell the angst again.
   "Look, Jack--"
   "And _now_ you notice me. What happened, you need somebody to
pick up your dry-cleaning?"
   "ALL RIGHT!" Vig shouted. "Jeez, enough with the guilt! What are
you, a nun or something? I'm SORRY! Sheesh!"
   "Fine. Your apology's accepted. Now get lost."
   "Don't you want to come back now?"
   "What for? I'm not going to get written about. I'll just
stay here with the rest of the exiled characters..."
   "No, no, that's okay, you go on back to the exciting world of
mini-series and having a book named after you. I'll just stay
here in my little sardine can and pretend my life has meaning."
   "Fine." Fuming, Vig turned and left. He'd had enough. "If I
wanted a guilt trip, I'd go visit my mother...on the off chance I
remembered who my mother was," he muttered. His babbling was 
stopped when he noticed two figures at the end of the hall.
   "Hey!" He recognized them from the LNH's files. (He'd 
accidentally logged into them while trying to find his way
to alt.sex.stories.) The Robgoblin and the X-Intruder!
"Cool! Action!"
   He removed two Miller-Romita sawed-off shotguns from his
coat and charged forward. The two figures made no move. Vig
ran faster, bellowing. Nothing from the two net.villains.
Then, X-Intruder raised his hand.
   "Alter," he said.
   Reality ebbed away from Vig. He collapsed, losing consciousness
for a moment.

   Where--what was this place? Rex rubbed the back of his head
and got to his feet. He looked around the ruined landscape, the
streets thick with skeletons and debris, the torched buildings,
the black sky,
   Oh, Net.tropolis. Of course.
   "You!" Rex stood at attention as two Highlords came up to
him. "Ready for your mission, soldier?"
   "Sir yes sir!" Rex shouted.
   "All right. We have it on authority that there are four
renegades hereabouts, four...'net.heroes.' Do you understand
what must be done?"
   Rex moved a shell into place on the shotgun.
   "Loud and clear, sir!"

   Vigilante Guy charged down the hallway, X-Intruder and Robgoblin
smirking after him.
   "How'd you do this?" he asked.
   "It's a recent...improvement in my powers," X-Intruder said.
"I now have the ability to make someone believe they're trapped
in a scorched-earth scenario, an...apocalyptic reality, if
you will. He and the Sidekick Squad will kill each other...
and we'll have this place all to ourselves!"
   "ADVANTAGEOUS!" Robgoblin shouted. X-Intruder turned and
glared at him.
   "Why do you always shout that?" he asked.
   "Dunno," said Robgoblin. "I just think it sounds cool."
   They walked off, following Vigilante Guy. Behind them,
Jack Serious watched cautiously.


   Stink Boy, Moist Lass, Kid Shakespeare and Unperceptive Lad hadn't
fared much better against the two net.villains. For instance, they
were all under the belief that they were a ragtag group of rebels
struggling to bring down an evil dictator who should never have
come to power. (When dealing with X-Intruder, it's easy to make
mistakes like that.)
   For another, they'd all been Robgoblinized. They all had 
gigantic biceps and thighs, except for Moist Lass, who now sported
a figure that Vargas couldn't have dreamed up after five years in
prison. And, being Robgoblinized, they now sported goofy code-names.
   "Hey, Stynk!" said the man called Huge (the artist formerly known
as Unperceptive Lad). "What are we gonna do when we find this
   "Yo, man, we're gonna pulverize him!" replied Stynk. "Isn't
that right, Wordsmyth?"
   "Advantageous!" shouted Wordsmyth, a.k.a. Kid Shakespeare. "Elucidate!
   "You said it!" said Waterworks, formerly Moist Lass. "I can't
wait to get this over with so I can go lounge around scantily clad
some more. It's a lot more fun than fighting evil scantily clad."
   "Hey!" said Stynk. "There he is!"

   _The rebels!_ thought Rex. He pulled a PBG and a RBG from his coat
and started firing. He immediately found his nostrils being assaulted
by Stynk; he felt like he was standing inside a dead cow. He kept
firing, to no avail. Waterworks blasted him with a spray of water
that send him to the ground. He struggled to get his bearings,
but Wordsmyth kept shouting "Insensitive! Bourgeoisie! Diaphanous!"
and confusing him. Finally, Huge sat on him.
   "So, Highlord scum," sid Huge, "you're going to tell us everything
we want to know about...uh...hey, guys, what was it we wanted to
know about?"
   "Connubial," said Wordsmyth.
   "He's going to tell us the location of the...." Stynk trailed
off. "The...something..."
   "I can't remember," said Waterworks. "Something about..."
   "Hey, guys!" They all looked up and saw a young man, half of his
body trapped in a robotic casing, leaping down at them. "Snap
out of it!"


   "Uh-oh," said Robgoblin. "He's going to awaken them all!"
   "No, he's not," said X-Intruder. "Watch this."
   He directed his powers towards Jack.
   "This is _not_ an apocalyptic landscape! This is our headquarters!
You're the Sidekick Squad, he's Vigilante Guy, and I'm...I'm...I'm
a freak!"
   The Sidekicks and Vig blinked in surprise.
   "Oh, the pain of it," Jack angsted. "Trapped forever in this
hard casing, forever cut off from the outside world...who could
love me, with my touch cold as steel? Doomed, doomed always to
be an outsider, a fringe dweller...why? Why? WHYYYYYYYYYYY?!"
   Vig noticed something on Jack's back as he thrashed around
in the throes of angst.
   "What's this button?"
   "What button? Oh, the pain, the pain..."
   "This one that says 'Retract.'" He reached out and pushed it.
Immediately, the metal casings began to pull back, pulling inside
Jack, until they were gone from sight.
   "Hey...they're gone! THEY'RE GONE! YAHOOOOOO! I CAN FINALLY
   "Hey," said Stynk. "How'd you see that button when none of us
   "Dunno," replied Vig. "It must have been a Deus-X-Machina."
   Several slaps later, Vig and the Sidekicks started looking
for X-Intruder and Robgoblin.


   "Here they come!" shouted Robgoblin. "Let's do the village!
Let's do the whole village, man!"
   "I'm set," said X-Intruder. "Let's see how they like it when they
get the adamantium ripped from their bones!"
   "They don't have adamantium in their bones."
   "Well, that's why it's going to hurt so much."
   "Excuse me..."
   Shocked, Robgoblin and X-Intruder whirled to see the dark man
standing there, holding a briefcase.
   "Who the hell are you?" Robgoblin asked.
   "I'm here to destroy Vigilante Guy," said the dark man. "And
I can't very well do it if you're going to keep making his thighs
huge and all that, so run along, will you, there's a good chap."
   The net.villains stared in amazement.
   "Look..." growled X-Intruder. "Maybe you don't understand.
We're here to take over this place. We are _trying_ to make
a profit here--"
   "A profit? Is that all? Why didn't you say so?" The dark man
opened up the briefcase and pulled out a pile of bills. "$50,000.
That enough of a profit for you?"
   The net.villains looked at the money. They glanced at the corridor,
from which was heard the sound of approaching sidekicks. They
looked at the money again.
   "ADVANTAGEOUS!" they shouted together.


   "Well, that's it," said Stynk. "They're gone."
   "I don't get it," said Vig. "Why would they go through all the
trouble of setting us up and then run for it when things got
   "Blasphemous! Jungian!" said Wordsmyth.
   "Oh, yeah," said Jack. "I'd better get going on the equipment.
There's bound to be something here that can reverse the effects of
Robgoblin's power."
   "Actually..." Watyrworks spoke up. "To be perfectly honest, I
wouldn't mind staying like this."
   "Well, I mean, you could put my body back the way it's supposed
to be, but my powers work a lot better now, and...well, to be
honest, 'Moist Lass' just never worked as a name for me. 'Waterworks,'
now that I can picture on an action figure."
   "With a spelling change, I've noticed. Well, I guess I'll
stick around for a bit," said Vig. "It's not like there's anything
going on at LNHQ anyway..."


   Thomasina Aldredge sat in her cell, quietly reading a book.
It had been months since her therapy had begun, and now, she felt,
she'd finally reached a peaceful place. She hadn't had one of her...
episodes...in quite a while.
   "Tommy?" came a voice. There didn't seem to be anybody around.
   "Tommy...it's me. Can we talk?"
   The voice reverberated off the walls of her mind. Then, with
sudden horror, she realized who it belonged to.
   "Devious," she whispered.
   "That's right, dear," Devious whispered in her mind. "And there's
something you never got around to doing for me. Killing
Vigilante Guy."



A new permanent cast member!
Cast members you've seen before, but not in this book, 
 for a limited time only!
Vigilante Guy's secret origin!
And, starting next issue:


All summer long, through the grace of God and Joltin' Jeff

All characters copyright 1995 Inspired Weirdness Productions.
Tick				    T "Soon you will curse as sharp as
CEO, Inspired Weirdness Productions T a knife! Doomed is your soul
pmilan at fscvax.fsc.mass.edu	    T and damned is your life!"
TRANSVERSE CITY: Visit it at        T --Lord John Whorfin
 rec.arts.comics.creative! It's part of the Crossroads!


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

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