LNH: Another LNH Title? Really: FCBD Special (warning: long)

Adrian McClure mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Sat May 6 20:59:01 PDT 2017

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY SPECIAL: "Diamond is Pretty Breakable Actually"
A Legion of Net.Heroes story by Adrian McClure

In the lobby of the LNHQ (the Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters, which
the more pedantically minded types style the LNHHQ), Kyoko Ishikawa,
the team's long-suffering receptionist, sat reading the latest issue
of the Net.ropolis Daily Flugelhorn. The headline read "Nick Spencer
Breaks Record for Deepest Hole Dug, Reaches Hell, 'Wait Until I'm Done
to Judge' He Says."

She saw Fearless Leader, the team's sometime deputy leader and
survivor of a dead alternate world, walk in. But there was something a
little different about him. He had that look of trying so hard not to
look suspicious that he was actually suspicious. He was actually
trying to whistle innocently.

"Hi FL!" said Kyoko. "What's up?"

Fearless Leader looked around shiftily. "Er, it's a nice day! I'm
certainly not planning to betray the LNH. Hahaha!"

"Uh, OK, sure." Kyoko rolled her eyes, wondering if this was the real
him who'd been brainwashed or an evil duplicate or someone from one of
those evil LNH universes (there were 17 of them at the last count) or

"Kyoko here," she said into the intercom, "we have a code x-69.
Repeat, code x-69." That was the code for when one of the LNH was
brainwashed, replaced by a clone or generally Not Themself. There were
a number of false positives where it had turned out they were actually
planning a surprise party, but it never hurt to be sure.

Catalyst Lass had heard the call and she, with a team of Sister
State-The-Obvious, Cliche Dude, and Token Girl, headed to intercept

"Gasp! It can't be! Not him!" said Cliche Dude.
"It's him," said Sister State-the-Obvious. "He's the traitor."

"No I'm not!" said Fearless Leader. "The real traitor is over there.
See?" Cliche Dude looked where he pointed and Fearless Leader felled
him with a zap from his ray gun. He smirked. "Works every time."

But Token Girl knocked the gun out of his hand with an exploding bus
token from her slingshot and Sister State-The-Obvious knocked him out
with a karate chop. "Well, that was quick," said Token Gir.

"We're just getting started..." said Catalyst Lass.


Fearless Leader was tied up to a gurney in Doctor Stomper's
state-of-the-art lab. "Well I figured something like this would be
coming, what with that crossover," said Token Girl. "So what is it?
Retcons? Clones? Mind control? Shapeshifting aliens? He's actually
disguised in a weirdly realistic mask?"

The aforesaid mad scientist projected a scan of fearless Leader's up
onto screen. "That's definitely his brain, and it seems that he's
being mind controlled," he said. Embedded in his brain was a diamond.
"Honestly," he said, "I have no idea what this is." Considering that
he was famous across the world for knowing practically everything,
this was a little worrying.

"I know what this is," said Occultism Kid, the Legion's resident
occult expert (Obviously. One good thing about the LNH is that it was
often pretty easy to tell what people were about from their names.)
"The good news is, this isn't Nazis."

"Well thank god," said Token Girl. "We've had way too many Nazis
lately. In comics and real life."

"The bad news," he said, "is that this is the work of a truly evil
force. A power that will stop at nothing to destroy comics."

"You don't mean..." said Catalyst Lass.

"Yes. Diamond Comics Distributors. The antiquated, inflexible,
monopolistic distribution system that holds comics in a stranglehold!
Presumably they're trying to drive reader engagement of LNH with
traitor storylines and awful plot twists because it threatens their
monopoly of control over superhero material."

"So how can we set him free?" said Doctor Stomper

"To save Fearless Leader, we must travel to Hell itself to face the
Lord of the Diamond."

"Okay," said Cat. "So who've we got who's capable of taking down a demon?"

Merissa rushed into the lab. "Hey guys! What did I miss?"

Merissa was new to the LNH, and a bit complicated, in a number of
ways. She'd been an offspring of a malevolent living computer
virus--the Vector--whose mind was patterned on one of the world's
greatest heroes, Captain LNH (who of course had existed before there
was an LNH). She had been an enemy of the LNH but chosen to transcend
her mold, become the embodiment of everything that was good about
"Mary Sue" type power fantasies, not only to free herself but all the
world. She'd gained access to the Mega-Biggun 5000, which allowed her
to channel the full power of her awesomeness. She'd become kind of a
project for Cat, who was helping her integrate into the LNH without
overwhelming them with her force of personality and giant gun.

"Merissa," said Cat, "I'm putting you in charge of this mission. I
figure it's about time."

"Really? Rad!" said Merissa.

"Who would you choose for it?"

"Well..." she tapped her chin. "You, Token Girl, WikiBoy, Painful Pun
Person, Horrible Name Lad, and Kid Occultism Kid."

"Wait, are you sure it's a good idea to send some of the youngest and
most inexperienced LNHers against a cosmic force of utter evil?" said
Dr. Stomper.

"Sure it is!" said Merissa. "Haven't you read any YA?"


"Hey guys!" said Horrible Name Lad, "we're going to Hell!"

"You sound really excited about that," said Painful Pun Person, who
tugged nervously at her hijab.

"Well, it's something that every real Net.Hero has to do sometime,"
said Merissa.

"Hell is no big deal," said Kid Occultism Kid, the apprentice of
Occultism Kid (and reincarnation of his teacher, the August One--they
were sometimes called the Not-Yet-Ancient One). "I've fought demons
hundreds of times. Well, a bunch."

Occultism Kid led them to an unassuming broom closet. Within lay the
techno-mystical door to Hell, created in collaboration between
Occultism Kid and Dr. Stomper, which some called the Helleporter.

"Wait," said Painful Pun Person, "you have a door to Hell? In a broom closet?"
"No one will look for it there," said Doctor Stomper. "It should be
fine, as long as we keep Bad-Timing Boy away from it. Or
Recklessly-Opens-Forbidden-Doors Lass."

Occultism Kid opened the door within the broom closet, revealing a
howling vortex of flame and energy.

"No," said Occultism Kid.


They waited for him to lumber past and then got back to their task.
"Okay," he said Occultism Kid to Kid Occultism Kid. "Be careful not to
sign any contracts, and don't eat any food from other realms..."

"Yes, yes, I know," said Kid Occultism Kid. "I've read all the
strategy guides." (They'd been a world-famous speedrunner from Tibet
in their former life, and now used the same tricks they'd used to get
faster through video games to manipulate reality.) They pulled out a
book from their capacious pockets (standard issue with an arcanist's
trenchcoat) called "Totally Unauthorized Hardcore Mage's Guide to Hell
(tm) by Pope Sylvester II--Underground Secrets from the Vatican's
Basement You Can't Get Anywhere Else" which showed the aforementioned
medieval necromantic Pope in a trenchcoat throwing up metal hand
signs. "This is the Christian Hell, right?" said Kid Occultism Kid.

"It's superhero comic Hell, which means it's several different
contradictory ideas about the mostly Christian version of Hell after a
game of telephone," said Occultism Kid.

"Okay," said Kid Occultism Kid. "I can handle that."

They stood before the howling, swirling portal.

"I'm not sure this is a good idea," said Painful Pun Person.

"Come on," said Horrible Name Lad, "it'll be great."
And they stepped through...


Between the 73rd (endless hold music) and 74th (same as Earth but
everyone is photoshopped by Greg Land) levels of Hell lies the Diamond
Citadel, made (of course) out of diamond.

A portal opened in the diamond walls (everything in the Diamond
Citadel is made out of diamond. Including the couches. It's kind of
uncomfortable, but then again, this is Hell) and disgorged the LNHers.

"Okay," said Kid Occultism Kid, "here's the plan--"

"Hey, how come you get to do the plan?" Merissa crossed her arms. "Cat
said I was in charge of this mission!"

"Uh well--" said Cat.

"Maybe so," said Kid Occultism Kid, "but metaphysical afterlife realms
are my specialty. My name is Kid Occultism Kid, you may recall. That's
what I'm about as a characters."

"Yeah, but I'm the best at whatever I do," said Merissa. "That's what
*I'm* about as a character."

"You're the best at whatever role there isn't a character with a
pre-existing specialty to fill," said Kid Occultism Kid. "Otherwise
there's not much point in having any of those characters around, is

"Sorry, but I'm still the best, that's the rules," said Merissa. She
raised her Biggun, while Kid Occultism Kid thrust their hands at her
and formed the mystic hand gestures (which would be considered obscene
in some places).

"Hold it!" said Painful Pun Person, stepping between them. "Guys,
you're *both* the best at what you do. So maybe it'd work better if
you split up and you each led one team." Cat nodded approvingly.

"That's exactly what I was going to suggest," said Kid Occultism Kid.
"With my astral sight I have glimpsed the form of the Citadel, and I
know what must be done to defeat it. One group should go to face the
Lord of the Diamond and distract him, while the other will go to
destroy the heart of Diamond Comics Distributor's power and evil--the
Diamond Diamond!"

"That's an OK plan. Sure, fine," said Merissa. By the standards of
things she usually said about Kid Occultism Kid's plans, that was a
stunning complement. The two groups split up and headed through the
glittering corridors of the Diamond Citadel. Merissa's group saw a
force of robots made of diamond heading their way. "Oooh, robot
minions!" she said.

"Not demons?" said Token Girl. "Huh."

"They could be robot demons, I guess," said WikiBoy, the LNHer Anyone
Can Edit. "I think I was one once."

Merissa raised her gun but Cat put her finger to her lips. "Guys,
we're preparing to attack a powerful demon lord. Maybe we should be a
little sneaky."

"OK," said Merissa. "WikiBoy, do you think you can turn into a diamond
demon robot who also has the power to disguise us as diamond demon

"I guess so," he said.
Merissa snapped her fingers and WikiBoy did so. Token Girl made short
work of the Diamondbots with her bus tokens, while Cat clapped her
hands in admiration. Then WikiBoy disguised them and they headed for
the throne room.

Within the throne room is a massive treasure chest. In spite of being
made of diamond, it was completely opaque, its contents were shrouded
in shadow. "Hmm, do you think there's cool gear in there, or a death
trap, or both?" said Token Girl, the veteran of many games of D&D.

"Probably both," said Merissa. "I'll take care of it. Her BIGGUN,
which had the power to to fire any kind of ammunition, and had a very
generous definition of ammunition, so it could create literally
anything as long as it explodes. She fired a lockpick, which opened
the chest. And then exploded. "I mean, by our standards, that was
stealthy," said Token Girl. She looked at the round objects contained
within--not coins, but... "Pogs? What a ripoff."

"Hey, be fair now," said Cat. "Pogs were important to saving the
comics industry, after the great market crash when comic shops needed
something to sell. That's part of why collectible card games got big

"Uh, looks like we could've been stealthier," said WikiBoy, pointing
at the dark presence that was solidifying in the air. It was none
other than the Demon Lord of the Diamond Citadel, the head of Diamond
Comics Distributions, Steve Diamond, which is totally his actual name.
He was dressed exactly like Prince Demande from Sailor Moon.

"So!" said Steve Diamond. "You have trespassed in my unbreakable
citadel! But now you will pay for your arrogance!"

"Hey," whispered Merissa to WikiBoy, "maybe you could turn into
something that could use the pogs as weapons. Make them explode. Like,

"Gambit?" said WikiBoy.

"Sure. Bam!" She snapped her fingers, and WikiBoy turned into
WikiGambit, wearing a billowing trenchcoat and a bright magenta
armor-shirt with his abs engraved on it. [Gambit totally wore this in
canon--go look at page [] of X-Men #1 from 1991--ed.] He pulled out
some pogs and flung them in Steve Diamond's face, where they exploded.
"Gumbo crawdad! Dis is totally how Cajuns talk, no?"
"What are you doing to my pogs!" screeched Steve Diamond.

"Blowing them up," said Token Girl, who peppered him with shots from
her slingshot.

"Hey, this is the second time pogs have saved comics!" said Cat.

Steve Diamond raised his hands and shot out bolts of demonic energy
from his diamond-tipped gloves, which singed Token Girl on the
shoulder, but WikiGambit dodged out of their way. "If you don't want
to fight with WikiGambit, dere's much more fun ways to spend our time,
eh?" He winked at Steve Diamond, who just stared, confused. "Den so be
it. Laissez le bon temps rouller!" He flung a handful of pogs into the
face of the disoriented demon lord, sending him staggering back, as
Merissa readied her Biggun for a headshot.

"ENOUGH!" Steve Diamond waved his arm, sending his cape swooshing
behind him, and everyone froze in place. "This writer really likes
that maneuver, huh?" said Token Girl.

"You have given me some much-needed amusement, but now I will attain
my destiny!"

"What destiny?" said Merissa. "What's your plan even supposed to be?
What's all these pogs even for, anyway, huh?"

"Oh I'm sure it's a perfectly good plan," said Cat. She giggled and
winked at him, and he seemed to react to that wink much more favorably
than WikiGambit's. Token Girl could be heard muttering something about
basic straight boy demon lords.

"Well," he said, "for years I have taken control over comics. The
content, the art form, means nothing for me. They are simply a way of
making money. There was a time when my reign was unchallenged but
now... There are new readers coming in with new ways of reading
comics! New distribution channels are forming! I cannot have that, so
I shall erase comics from existence, and replace them with something I
can more easily control!"
"You what?" said Token Girl. "How the hell are you doing that?"

He snapped his fingers and the wall fell away revealing a bomb (made
of diamond, of course) and a time portal which seemed to point back to
the dingy cityscape of 1930s New York. "I will send this bomb back in
time to kill Maxwell Gaines, the publisher of the first ever comic

"But what have you got against the LNH, eh?" said WikiGambit. "How do
we fit into dis?"

"You represent the passion, the imagination, the creativity of comics
fans--and all that is hateful to me, for I cannot market and control
it. As long as you exist, there are a small number of people who care
about superheroes for their own sake, beyond the latest event or
publicity grab. Maybe just three or four, but that is still too many.
That passion is useless to me, so I will destroy it!"

"Look," said Cat, "why would anyone want to destroy comics? They're
one of the greatest art forms there is. They're words plus
pictures--the ultimate creative energy. You can have the kind of
visual energy and imagination of movies and the subjectivity of
novels, and you can do things you can't do in either form. In comics,
you can do things are just too weird for anywhere else, that you can't
even imagine in other art forms. It's pure, limitless imagination."

Catalyst Lass was using her powers to her fullest extent--the ability
to get others to share her interests and enthusiasm. Here in Hell she
shone with a warm glow that outshone the ghastly pseudo-light that
pervaded the Diamond Citadel. Somewhere in its depths it trembled.
Steve Diamond could feel his heart about to growing three sizes--and
he hated that. "Enough!" he said.

"Come on, you already said that," said Merissa.

"I am tired of your prattling. You will die!" He raised his hand,
which crackled with daemonic energy.

"Oh come on," said Merissa. "You're just going to get over with like
that? You don't want a challenge?"

"Well, yes," said Steve Diamond. "I want to win."

"So you know I'm better than you, huh? That you wouldn't stand a
chance against me in a fair fight?"

"What?" said Steve Diamond. "Of course I do! I'm the best!"

"OK," said Merissa. "Then prove it."

"Name your challenge."

"Sure," said Merissa. "I guess you're supposed to fight a fiddle duel
in situations like this, right? Well, I'm gonna do something more
awesome than that." She pushed one of the seemingly endless buttons on
her BIGGUN and it morphed into a giant electric guitar.

"Oh boy," whispered Token Girl. "Has she done that before?"

"No," said Cat."

"Does anyone know what it does?"

"Anyone got any ear plugs?"

Steve Diamond whipped out a guitar made of diamond (everyone was a
little sick of that by this point). Merissa put her fingers on the
strings. They glared at each other and then...

Their hands blurred across the guitars in a massive burst of rock,
which transformed into a whirling, twisting vortex of energy. The
unbreakable diamond walls were beginning to crack. The vibrations of
the songs echoes throughout Hell. Demons stopped their tortures of the
damned and began to do air guitar. Sisyphus saw his boulder crack in
half and stood in place, wondering what he was supposed to do with his
life now.

"That's so rad," whispered Token Girl, which with this amount of noise
meant she shouted just slightly louder than she usually would. "But do
you think they're going to to destroy the fabric of reality?"
"I mean, probably," said Cat. "I hope the other team has a good plan."
"What? You want some flan?" said Token Girl. The walls shuddered again.


Meanwhile, (well, a little bit ago)...

"Hmmm," said Horrible Name Lad. "So what's the name of our group, anyway?"
"What group?" said Painful Pun Person.
"You know, the younger LNHers. Us plus Merissa and Poignant Death Lass
and whoever else comes along. So would we be Generation ZZ? Or wait, I
got it--The L-Terminators!"

"No and no," said Kid Occultism Kid. "Shh."

"So how do we get through these unbreakable diamond walls?" said
Painful Pun Person.

"See, that's the easy part. I'm an old hand at this." Kid Occultism
Kid raised their hands in a mystical hand gesture. "Spawnus
"Uh, I'm pretty sure that's not actual Latin," said Horrible Name Lad.

An airboat was spawned in the middle of the wall. Kid Occultism Kid
jumped onto the airboat and clipped through it, and the others
followed through to the other side. Where they came face to face with
a squadron of Diamondbots.

"Oh hey, it's some Spiky Shiny Loser Bots," said Horrible Name Lad,
but the creatures didn't have enough ego for it to make any
difference. "Dang it."

"You're hopeless!" said Painful Pun Person.

They kept marching on.
"You know, like the Hope Diamond!"

The bots stopped in their tracks and shattered.

"Hey," said Horrible Name Lad, "that was bad, uh, I mean that was
good. That was..."

"Impressive." Kid Occultism Kid smiled. "But we're not out of the woods yet."
"We're not in the woods yet, we're in a diamond!" said Horrible Name Lad.

"Shhh," they said. The three of them paced through the endless
corridors of diamond and found they had reached its heart.

"So how are we going to get to that?" said Painful Pun Person.
"Well," said Kid Occultism Kid, "I have an ingenious plan--"

The shielding around the central chamber suddenly disappeared in a
burst of warm light. (This was when Cat was giving her speech.)

"Oh." said Kid Occultism Kid.

"Aww, don't worry," said Painful Pun Person. "I'm sure you'll get a
chance to use that plan later..."

The three of them stared at the Diamond Diamond. At first it had
seemed disappointingly small, but as they stared at it, it seemed
bigger than the citadel that held it. Painful Pun Person gasped--she
had never seen such concentrated, cold, focused power and malevolence
before. Horrible Name Lad had--when he and his first team had faced
Mynabird, who had killed them all. [See Beige Midnight--ed.] He and
Poignant Death Lass had got better--though sometimes he felt like he
hadn't. Even Kid Occultism Kid, who had made fighting these kinds of
powers their life's work, couldn't help but suppress a shudder.

They each found themselves imagining walls upon wall fulls of comics
sealed away in their CGC-graded slabs, beholden only to them. All that
would be theirs if they took the diamond for their own. None of them
wanted that, but they couldn't stop thinking about it, couldn't turn

"More like the Overpriced Hunk of Useless Carbon!" said Horrible Name
Lad. Its influence faded away and the three of them blinked, as if
they'd woken from a dream.

At that moment, they felt a shuddering in the walls and floor around
them. "What's that?" said Horrible Name Lad.

"Merissa, I'll warrant," said Kid Occultism Kid. "All right. The
Diamond Diamond is vulnerable now. Let's hit it with everything we've
got!" She spawned another airboat, charged with the utmost of her
eldritch might.

"Well," said Painful Pun Person, raising her imaginary sunglasses,
"looks like it's time to... polish off this diamond!"

The pun and the airboat hit the diamond at the same time, causing it to shatter.

Steve Diamond, deprived of the powers of the Diamond Diamond,
plummeted to the depths. The others, still connected to the world,
found themselves hanging in the aether--but knew they would fall soon.

Merissa pirouetted to Kid Occultism Kid. "What's your plan for getting
out of here?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing," said Kid Occultism Kid.

"OK," said Merissa. "I'm gonna fire a net and you pull us out of
here." But her gun fizzled and sparked. It had used up too much energy
in the demonic guitar duel.

"You'd think," said Painful Pun Person, "that a net would be easy for
a member of the Legion of Ne--"
"This isn't the time!" said Kid Occultism Kid. She put her hand on
Merissa's. "We're going to have to combine our energies to get out of

A harsh blue aura with red edges emerged around Kid Occultism Kid's
body, joining with Merissa's intense red with blue edges. The two
swirled together and then a net fired out of the gun and enwrapped all
the LNHers. Kid Occultism Kid summoned another airboat, which dragged
them back through the portal.

Bad Timing Boy was walking past when the net full of LNHers emerged
from the Helleporter and crashed into him. "Oww," he said.
"Y'know," said Catalyst Lass, dusting herself off, "we didn't do that badly."

"Yeah!" said Merissa. "We were the coolest, in fact." She turned to
Kid Occultism Kid. "You're not so bad."
"One might say the same about you." She raised her fist, and Merissa
slowly bumped it. Then they went back to glaring at each other.

"OK, looks like we're done now..." said Token Girl. Then the net exploded.


No one was seriously injured by the net, but Doctor Stomper decided
that after coming back from Hell it would be a good idea if everyone
had a visit to the infirmary anyway. Fearless Leader was fine, at
least--the diamond had dissolved and didn't seem to have any

Poignant Death Lass was visiting her teammates in the infirmary. She'd
had been off on a mission (IE the writer had wanted to use her but
couldn't think of a way to do it... maybe next time).

"I could sense your souls in the depths of Hell!" she said. "I'd been
afraid you were dead. Thank god you're alive." She clasped Painful Pun
Person's hand in hers.

Painful Pun Person smiled nervously. "Yeah. We were in Hell but we
weren't dead. You know, comics. I mean, this isn't' technically
comics, but. Anyway, we're here."

Poignant Death Lass sighed inwardly. .o(I'm glad she's alive), she
thought. .o(After losing my old teammates, I could never bear
something like that again--especially with her. She's so bright, so
kind... so beautiful...)

Meanwhile, Horrible Name Lad was gazing at her from the next bed.
.o(Gosh, Poignant Death Lass is cute), he thought. .o(I just don't
know how to tell her how I feel. Every time I try to say something
like that, it comes out wrong...)

Kid Occultism Kid tapped her fingers impatiently, waiting for Stomper
to declare her ready to get back on her feet. .o(We only narrowly made
it out. I should prepare more next time. Sometimes I feel the rest of
my team--and even my teacher--is holding me back. Still, I did enjoy
working with them. Even Merissa. Even Horrible Name Lad. There's
something that's sweet and genuine about him, something strangely

.o(Ugh), thought Merissa. .o(I feel like everyone's having all these
crushes. I hate those. I could use something to blow up...)

Meanwhile, Catalyst Lass sat beside her desk, flipping through a
romance novel--The Demon Billionaire's Clone Bride. "It's great to
think about all these new heroes," she said. "They have so many
potential. They're going to form all these new relationships... it's
so exciting!"

"So be honest," said Token Girl, "have you had any awkward crushes
lately yourself? Hmm?"

Cat shook her head. "Haha, no. Of course not. You know me--always a
bridesmaid, never a bride. I mean, I like reading about relationships,
I like helping other people get into relationships... I'd like one
myself, someday, maybe, but I have no idea what that'd look like for
me. Right now I'm fine how I am. How about you?"

"God knows," she said. "I'm between relationships right now, you know
how it is. I could try getting back together with Sarcastic Lad
again... or I could watch more Supernatural. It's the same either
way--an endless cycle of wasted hope, frustration, and banging my head
against the wall."

"Mhmm," said Catalyst Lass. "Tara, maybe I could find you someone..."

"If you're after someone, I'm right here," said WikiGambit, poking his
head out from behind the desk. "How'd you like a taste of de gumbo?"
said WikiGambit.

"Ugh, that's enough Gambiting." Token Girl snapped her fingers and
WikiBoy reverted, then blushed intensely and ran out of the room.
"Anyway, Cat, thanks for the offer, I want to figure all that stuff
out for myself."

"Okay. TBH, can't think of anyone good enough to date you."

"Yeah," said Token Girl. "That's kind of the problem. Anyway, speaking
of frustrating things--comics, huh. That speech you gave is pretty
great, but when I got back, I started thinking about all that Secret
Empire crap again. Sometimes I wonder... Maybe it would have been
better if we *hadn't* saved comics."

"Nah," said Catalyst Lass. "Comics are awful and frustrating
sometimes, but they're great, too, and they've brought a lot of great
things into the world. And we're a testament to that. That's what
powers the LNH--the energy of the people who care about comics. The
joy and wonder and the frustration too. We take that and make it into
something amazing, and I'm thankful for that." SHe looked out past the
fourth wall and winked. "And a merry free comic book day to you at



Good lord. I thought up the basic outline for this story last night,
and had no idea it would turn out to be this long. I only just managed
to post it on the day. That's why this story might be a bit rough. In
the future (I'm hoping FCBD stories can be a regular occurrence, like
Doctor Who Christmas specials), I will hopefully be able to plan
further in advance.

The infamous Portal airboat speedrun that inspired Kid Occultism Kid's
approach to magic here:

Credits (I've not been putting these in my stories because usually
people can look them up in the wiki, but it's been erratic and it
seems appropriate to have one here):

Fearless Leader: Dave Van Domelen

Kyoko Ishikawa: Ken Schmidt

Catalyst Lass: Lis Riba

Token Girl: Tara O'Shea

Cliche Dude: Jef Kolodziej

Sister State-the-Obvious, CAPTAIN CAPITALIZE: wReam

Dr. Stomper: T.M. Neeck

Occultism Kid: Josh Guerink

WikiBoy: Tom Russell

Merissa: Saxon Brenton

Horrible Name Lad and Poignant Death Lass: Scott Eiler via Arthur Spitzer

Painful Pun Person, Kid Occultism Kid, and Steve Diamond: Me (Steve
Diamond is free for use if someone wants him for some ungodly reason)

Nick Spencer: really needs to stop


After a thousand years of his own subjective time, Steve Diamond fell
to the bottom of Hell. Many-angled anglerfish swam the inky abyss

He looked up into the distance and shook his fist. Someday he'd get
his revenge. Someday... Well, now he'd have to content himself with
the fact that the LNH would have to deal with the power they'd
unleashed from the heart of the Diamond.... [See future issues of The

"Hi," said Nick Spencer, still digging his hole.

Steve Diamond blinked. "What are you doing here? Haven't you dug deep enough?"

Nick Spencer's eyes were bloodshot. "Th-this is my hole!" He shook his
fist. "This hole is made for me!"

Steve Diamond sighed and walked off into the endless abyssal darkness.

Adrian "The Dark Spaceknight" McClure, now with sig

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