LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #59: Saviors of the NET Part Seven

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 29 14:00:07 PDT 2018

In this weeks reposting of stuff you can find in the eyrie archive
we have the seventh section of the Saviors of the NET.

And what better way to celebrate the 26th Anniversary of the LNH than
reading this mega monster gem from Saxon Brenton -- Savio(u)rs of the
NET #10!

One of the great things about Saxon is that's he's always digging up
these characters that probably only ever appeared one time and giving
them a second shot at greatness.  So we have a ton of LNH characters in this with
a mix of old standards and forgotten one timers.

Here's a list of just some of these characters:

Escher Boy
Fearless Leader
Great Oozelfinch
Hell Catalyst
Lackey Lad
Munchkin Man
Red Herring
Shoe Boy
Tsar Chasm
Writers-Block Woman (and Mouse)
and let us not forget -- Zowie!!!boy

(Or maybe forget him)

And now..

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #59

                    Saviors of the NET Part Seven

                              T H E
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From: Saxon Brenton <Saxon.Brenton at uts.edu.au>
Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: [LNH] Saviours of the Net #10a (of 2)
Date: 4 Mar 1999 01:09:20 GMT

     Well, first up, this is a chaotic add-on crossover event-type thingy. 
Reading the previous issues is probably - but is not guaranteed to be - 
useful in understanding what's going on.
     To the best that I can figure out, the order of reading goes: 
issues 1-3, pi, 4-6, 2pi, 7-8 and both versions of 9.
     (although the latter two should perhaps be labelled #9 and #3pi... )
     However, there have been a lot of retcons flying about, so all this 
may be subject to change without notice.
     Now read on...

Blue Light Productions presents:

Saviours of the Net #10a (of 2)
'Kitchen Sink Kickstart - Lots Happens, But Not Much Makes Sense'

Written by Saxon Brenton
Art by Sc*tt McCl**d

Cover shows a very surprised looking Alt.Lord, who had been playing 
puppeteer with a number of puppets who look like the Saviours of the Net. 
However, the strings of the Saviours puppets have now been broken, and the 
Saviours puppets are sitting on the ground in front of him with a number 
of Legion of Net.Heroes puppets. All of the puppets are sitting up, and 
either thumbing their noses at Alt.Lord, or sticking their tongues out at 
him, or doing something similarly insulting.

Continuity Note:
     The action in the first half of this story flashbacks to cover events 
about the time of SotN #6 and shortly afterwards, but hopefully I've got 
all the bits clearly labelled. 
     Or at least unclearly labelled in an interesting way.

Framing sequence:
A little while ago:
     Ultimate Ninja stood before the imposing LNH Mission Monitor Board, 
which noted - in a highly summarised and indirect sort of way - the 
whereabouts and activities of all the members of the Legion of Net.Heroes.
     Yes. All of them.
     The Board wasn't often used; in fact, most of the time it was locked 
away in the Plot Device Room where Easily-Discovered Man Lite couldn't 
get at it (I mean, can you imagine how much damage to continuity EDML 
could do with it if he got his hands on it...?). 
     Anyway, the Ninja noted all the teams of Legionnaires that had been 
sent out in issue #6 in squads of three to deal with the rioting. Apart 
from all the net.heroes 'on mission', there were, of course, always a 
few like Marvel_Zombie Lad or the Legion of Occult Heroes who were listed 
as 'unavailable due to indefinite storyline hiatus'. He also noted that 
the usual LNHers like Sig.Lad and Lost Cause Boy were 'still dead'.
     Of more pressing and vexing interest was that Self-Righteous 
Preacher was listed on the Board as 'dead and satanically animated'.
     There were times when Ultimate Ninja really hated crossovers.


     But now, having established the framing sequence, we can move on 
through a pastiche of scenes showing members of the Legion and the 
Saviours of the Net working to overcome the chaos caused by the rioting; 
and some of these will be Mark Gruenwald/Kurt Busiek style cameos of all 
sorts of LNH characters who haven't had screen time in quite some while, 
and whose reappearance - however brief - will warm the hearts of the 
readers with nostalgia.


     "Zowie!" zowied Zowie!!!boy. He was a man in a grey suit and coke-
bottle glasses. He adjusted his bow-tie and looked at his companions. 
"Well, we've been assigned to patrol the inner Western suburbs. Zowie! 
That's a long way from here. We'd better get a move on."
     "Without transport?" queried the second person, Escher Boy. "I think 
we should have grabbed a lift on one of the flight.thingees."
     "Zowie! It's probably an oversight in all the confusion."
     "Maybe," Escher Boy agreed doubtfully. "Well, look, I *could* just 
fall over there, if I change my direction of gravity in the right way. 
That's not going to help you two though."
     The third member of the group, Lackey Lad, shrugged. "I can 
duplicate powers, so if you can 'fall' over there, then so can I."
     "Zowie! That just leaves me to take public transport then."
     "No, no, no," said Escher Boy. "There has to be a better way around 
this. For all we know this may be some sort of test on the side to see 
how well we handle getting to our assigned area in WestNet as well as any 
rioting that's happening there." He crossed his arms in thought. "Okay 
then. Lackey Lad, you have the power to duplicate the abilities of other 
net.ahuman, right?"
     "Any other hero, is what my Writer said."
     "Okay then, someone with teleportation powers, or with flight and 
strength to carry us both..." Then he saw Lackey Lad's look of panic. "Do 
you actually have to be in the presence of someone to duplicate their 
     Lackey Lad looked blank. "I don't know. I haven't had enough postings 
to find out."
     Escher Lad shrugged. "Then what have you got to loose?"
     "Okay then, let's try it out." He struck a dramatic pose. Suddenly, 
his blue and black bodysuit took on an armoured look, and Lackey Lad 
declaimed, "Ha! Yes! It is so! Though it is but a tiny fraction compared 
to the insurmountable might of Kid Kirby, I have nevertheless tapped into 
the seething cosmic forces beyond mortal comprehension! Stand back 
companions, whilst I create appropriate transportation for us." And with 
that the newly apotheosised omni-sidekick began drawing bits and pieces 
of nigh incomprehensible KirbyTech out of what seemed like thin air. 
Seconds later, he was finished. "It is done. This geo-magnetic skysled 
shall suit our purposes. Quickly aboard. Our destiny awaits!"
     The other two scrambled aboard. "Zowie!" Zowie!!!boy zowied as the 
skysled lifted off. "These crazy plot devices really work."


     "It's the end of the world!" screamed the guy with the dishevelled 
business suit as he fired off another round with the shotgun. "We're all 
gonna die and go to Net.Hell!"
     "Nobody's going to be dying," Lava Lamp disagreed as he arrived at 
the midtown scene of rampage. All about the place were overturned cars 
and broken storefront windows. Distant fights could be heard, but for the 
moment this guy seemed to have chased everyone else off - or at least, 
everybody still capable of running, Lava Lamp reflected as he spied some 
wounded people lying bleeding in the Perez-style rubble.
     The hysteric's eyes bulged as he caught sight of LL. "You!" he 
gibbered, pointing a wildly gesticulating finger at the net.hero. "You're 
one of them, the Saviours of the Net. The Apoca.lisp is upon us, and 
you're here to save us. You're a *sign*!" And then he began blasting away 
at LL with his firearm.
     Lava Lamp called on the powers of his namesake that he carried, and 
erected a shield around his assailant, enclosing him in on all sides with 
a wall of lava but leaving the enclosure open at the top. He had no idea 
how much ammunition the other had, but suspected that with his penchant 
for indiscriminate shooting - which was still ongoing from inside the lava 
barrier - that he'd run out soon enough.
     That done, Lava Lamp looked around, assessing which of the wounded 
to help first and then getting to work.
     He felt a sense of grim satisfaction about the situation, a strange 
thrill of accomplishment that being able to help others always brought to 
him. And of course, any public display of good deeds would work towards 
helping to establish the reputation of the Saviours of the Net. And once 
that was done..., well, then the plan could proceed for conquering the net...
     Lava Lamp pulled up short and shook his head. Where had that thought 
come from? *What* plan to conquer the net? He didn't know anything about...
     But he did. Like a big fish rising up from a deep pool came the 
memory of the original conclave of net.villains to masquerade as 
net.heroes to lull the public into a false sense of security, a plan which 
had later had to be slightly modified when Adler Stim had happened upon it...
     And then there was Alt.Lord. For a second Lava Lamp wondered who in 
the world Alt.Lord, before recalling that, of course, Alt.Lord was the 
extra-dimensional invader who had sent his net.ahuman lackeys through to 
the Looniverse to masquerade as net.heroes in preparation for the wresting 
control of this world; an attempt at subversion resting on the terrible 
secret of merchandising the mugs and t-shirts!
     Lava Lamp reeled as a sense of vertigo swept over him. He leaned 
against a wall and tried to clear his head of all the contradictory 
details and motivations, and then noticed that is hand was trembling. 
     Pushing these feelings of anxiety aside, he suddenly became acutely 
aware of the distant sounds of rioting. Was this the reason that this 
terrible anarchy was happening? Was everybody else being swept with 
conflicting memories of being Evil imposter clones? Was that why everyone 
was going berserk and rioting? [No, they're rioting because of the 
influence of Anti-Christ Lad. Your problem something completely 
different: rampant retconning - Footnote Girl]
     A sense of impending doom overtook Lava Lamp. Hurriedly he called 
for an ambulance and finished bandaging the wounded in the area, guessing 
full well that in the current state of anarchy it could be ages before 
help arrived.
     Then he began to head back towards the headquarters of the Saviours. 
He needed to talk with Captain Killfile about this...
     Although by the time he reached there his memory would change 
(again...) and he would have barely any recollection of the confusion 
that he had just experienced. Instead, he would fall into planning with 
Captain Killfile, and only by accident unearth the mystery of the shifting 
pasts [as seen in _Saviours of the Net_ #6 - Footnote Girl].


     Mojodog was quite sure that his current partners were insane. I 
mean, like, completely and utterly around the twist insane. Not to be 
confused with, say, being a talking dog with a speech impediment who wore 
a mask; that was just contextually amusing.
     He hoped he could get this over with real soon so that he could go 
back to hanging out with Marcy and Loopy.
     "YODEL-AY-BOMB!! Excelsior! Bring on the babes, for I, the Great and 
Powerful Oozelfinch, will require curvaceous females from the cover of 
Swimsuit Issues to help celebrate in the aftermath of this most bodacious 
victory!" cried the Great Oozelfinch, letting loose another atomic yodel 
at the crowds of rioters. Or what used to be crowds of rioters. Mojodog 
suspected that at the moment they probably constituted 'targets'.
     "Ah-HA! Have at thee, abominable spawn of evil! Adherence to the 
'Evil Overlord list of things not to do' will not save you now! Tremble, 
before the awesome might of... The Red Herring! Goo-goo-gachoo!" cried 
the Red Herring. The man-sized fish flying about in a cape seemed to be 
enjoying itself, but was causing immense amounts of property damage. 
Weren't we sent out here to prevent property damage? wondered Mojodog.
     Then Mojodog noticed someone sneaking up with an assault rifle, 
preparing to take shots at the 'finch and the Herring. He'd probably also 
do quite a bit of damage to the other people in the area, rioters or not. 
Mojodog stood up from where he had been sitting watching the antics of 
the other two LNHers, wandered up behind this fellow, and then bit him 
on the leg. Hard. The miscreant gave a satisfying scream and collapsed on 
the ground, clutching his calf.
     Mojodog leaned in close and informed him, "Rhou will rhay rhill and 
rhehave rhourself, or I will rhark rhy rhent all orer rhou."
     "I'll be good! I'll be good!"


     On a building roof high above downtown Net.ropolis, three net.heroes 
were searching.
     "So, where is he?" Zeal asked.
     "Don't know," replied Hell Catalyst. "I could have sworn he was 
around here..."
     Meanwhile, Munchkin Man was eyeing the rioting down below at street 
level. "We should be down there," he said. "Righting wrongs and beating 
the crap out of bad guys and building up our experience points levels."
     Zeal raised an eyebrow. Hellcat pouted and said, "Oh, phooey, 
Munchie. Try not to think in black and white so much. Not everyone's a 
bad guy, and there's more to being a net.hero than beating up. There's 
helping people, and that's much more important."
     Munchkin Man didn't raise an eyebrow in return. He was essentially 
incapable of anything so subtle, so instead he expressed his disbelief by 
staring at Hellcat as though she grown a second head. "Well *I* wanna 
beat up bad guys!" he snarked. And because he was such an obscenely lucky 
little bastard, his desire was almost instantly fulfilled.
     "Foolish net.heroes! Your doom is upon you!" claimed a squeaky 
voice. "Turn and face... The Twisted Lemming!"
     The Legionnaires whirled to face the newcomer. It was indeed a 
twisted lemming: a humanoid rodent who stood upright to a height of just 
over a meter, even though he did walk with a hunched back. One eye was 
squinted almost closed, while one arm was disproportionately large and 
muscled compared to the other.
     Munchkin Man didn't even have to think, he was already rushing 
towards the Lemming with sword drawn even before he had quite finished 
turning to look at the rodent. The Lemming laughed disdainfully and waved 
a hand (a paw? A hideously disfigured appendage? Something like that...) 
and all three LNHers found that they could not move.
     "What have you done?" demanded Zeal, struggling against whatever 
restraint held them all in place. Munchkin Man snarled; he was not used 
to being in absolute control, and he did not like it.
     The Lemming laughed again. "And now," he proclaimed "with my 
immense mental powers, I shall make *you* jump off the roof."
     .oO( That is not what I would call a quality net.villain scheme, ) 
thought Hellcat.
     Jerkily, like marionettes, the three LNHers began to move towards 
the edge of the roof. "I knew I should have worn my +5 ring versus mental 
domination by rodents!" complained Munchkin Man.
     "No, guys, this is like, just so icky," called Hellcat. "Don't jump 
off the roof." The three slowed to a halt under the effects of Hellcat's 
powers of persuasion (including Hellcat herself, by means of some pretty 
impressive 'bootstrapping').
     "No! You must jump off the roof!" cried the Lemming.
     "Resist! Don't jump of the roof."
     "Jump! jump!"
     "Don't jump! Don't jump!"
     "Keep... his... power... occupied... Hellcat," grunted Munchkin Man. 
"I think... I... can... just... about move... my arms." With hideous 
effort and agonising slowness, the Little Blue Pest From Oz was able to 
draw forth his bow and arrow and aim it, with forethought and malice, at 
the Lemming. Something that scared the crap out of the Lemming, let me 
tell you.
     "How can you do that when we still can't move?" complained Zeal.
     Munchkin Man gave a feral grin at the sight of the Twisted Lemming 
backing away for cover as MM drew aim at him. In answer to Zeal he said, 
"I put a whole mess of points into my willpower bonuses, and combined 
that with a rule from a supplement that was never repealed so that I can 
always resist mental domination on a natural roll of 20, no matter how 
powerful the telepath is."
     "Did you understand any of that?" asked Zeal of Hellcat. Hellcat, 
concentrating hard though she was, spared enough effort to shake her head.
     The Lemming, realising that despite everything the LNHers were going 
to resist jumping of the roof, turned and ran. Munchkin Man fired the 
arrow. It skewered the Lemming right through the leg, pinning him to the 
     "Oh, I was afraid you were going to kill him," breathed Hellcat.
     Munchkin Man looked at her in bewilderment. "In a superhero setting? 
You get more points for capturing villains."


And then there are some Legionnaires who haven't been out of the public 
view, but whom it would be neat to see in a guest shot anyway:
     "LOOK!" snarled Mouse, spinning around and pointing an angry finger 
at the man in blue jeans and t-shirt who - improbable as it seemed - was 
the casually dressed world-beating net.villain Tsar Chasm. "We do NOT 
need you tagging along like this."
     "Yes you do," he countered, smiling calmly and a trifle smugly." How 
are you going to make up your team quorum of three otherwise?"
     She glared at him. "We'll team up with Figment Lad," she said with 
gritted teeth.
     "He's with Sister-State-The-Obvious and Mylar Boy," he counter 
smoothly. "I checked the Mission Monitor Board as we were leaving."
     Personally Mouse suspected that he may have *rigged* the Mission 
Monitor Board, just to hang around her and pester her because he knew 
that his presence would be a constant annoyance to her. (And perhaps 
trick her into revealing where she was keeping his baseball cap that 
she'd nicked off wi... ah, that is to say, that she'd confiscated as a 
trophy of war.) [in _Return Of Tsar Chasm_ #6 - Footnote Girl]
     "Now now Mouse," trilled Writers Block Woman, stepping between the 
two. "This is no way to behave when the city is imperilled and lives are 
at risk. If you really have such strong objections, then think of it as a 
police procedural story where Two Completely Mismatched Partners Have To 
Get Along To See Justice Done. Though personally I fail why you have 
*any* objections at all." WBW slipped her arm through his and began to 
lead him onwards, making small talk as the headed off. "So tell me Kid G, 
I don't think I've seen you around much. Have you only just recently 
returned after a hiatus caused by a lazy Writer?"
     "You could say that. Although there were legal reasons why I have to 
return as well..."
     "Oh, legal reasons. Law suits. Lawyers! Dreadful creatures. Let me 
tell you about the time we had to deal with some lawyers..." and with that 
Writers Block Woman launched into an extended description of 'The Great 
Green Card Quest' in _Writers Block Woman (and Mouse)_ #s 6-8.
     As Tsar Chasm/Kid G's eyes began to glaze over, Mouse did what she 
does best: go into slow burn. "It's only a guest appearance. It's only a 
guest appearance. It's only a guest appearance. With any luck it'll all 
be retconned away by the end of issue 7." Then a thought occurred to her. 
"It had BETTER be retconned away by issue 7. I have *no* idea where this 
fits into my continuity."
     You and me both Mouse. You and me both.


     Oh! And the frogmen! Let's not forget the frogmen that the Human 
Aquarium fought back in Saviours of the Net #3!
     In the sewers beneath the streets of Net.ropolis, an unholy ritual 
was taking place. Inhuman amphibians of a Lovecraftian bent murmured a 
susurration of "...watermelon cantaloupe, watermelon cantaloupe...".
     Then a fishman, completely out of place in this meeting, wandered 
in, stopped short when he saw the others, and completely forgot about 
delivering the report from the engineering department of his starcruiser. 
Corporal Nembrul blinked at the cultist frogmen. The cultist frogmen 
blinked at Corporal Nembrul.
     Corporal Nembrul had no idea of where he was, or even that he was no 
longer in rec.arts.sf.star-wars.misc at all, but the Mon Ca.line.mari 
starship crewman instinctively realised that the primitive gathering 
before him was no the sort of place that it was safe for a civilised and 
rational person to be. He started backing away. The others stared at him 
as he ducked out of sight and ran for it.
     Then: "Capture him!" screamed the cultist leader. "Sacrifice him for 
the greater glory of Father Dir.gon and Mother Hypertext.dra!"
     (Okay okay, I admit that this bit is not only completely silly, but 
that I also have no idea of what possible use it could be to any other 
Writer who follows after me. Methinks I'd better can it with the flash-
backs and get back to the main plot.)


     The framing sequence ended, and Ultimate Ninja turned away from the 
Mission Monitor Board. The reports of the events that had taken place 
earlier were moderately interesting from a tactical point of view, but 
that was then, and this was now (whenever 'now' actually was).

That was part one of _Saviours of the Net_ #10. Part two will follow right 
after this commercial break:

          Sig.Lad looks up from the bar with a winning smile. "Looking for 
     good company without all the hassles of a restricting continuity? A 
     place with a friendly atmosphere, and the best damn froppucinos in 
     town? Then come on down to the RACCCafe."
          Scene cuts to shot of RACCCafe interior, with Cheeezar serving 
     drinks to regulars, including Rebel Yell, LyfeSukkyr, Bombastus von 
     Zeitgeist (which means this must be old footage, since Cornelius 
     later gave up his Bombastus pseudonym), Twister, Example-Character 
     Lad, and Tempest. In the background Brain Boy is playing the piano.
          Sig.Lad in voiceover: "We're open twentyfour hours a day, with 
     house band of RACC's Most Dangerous Band, as featured at the annual 
     RACCie awards." Scene pans across to finish with abovementioned band, 
     with Diva Woman and Uplink, Alan Covenant, Badger, Easily-Discovered 
     Man, Plotline Lad, and Arsenal. In the background Oozelfinches are 
     on the dance floor with the Solid Gold Dancers, shakin' their booties 
     to tunes that have nothing to do with what the band is playing.
          Continued voiceover: "So for a good night out, come on down to 
      the RACCCafe, we're you're always welcome."
Saxon Brenton     City library of the Uni of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Saxon.Brenton at uts.edu.au  

From: Saxon Brenton <Saxon.Brenton at uts.edu.au>
Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: [LNH] Saviours of the Net #10b (of 2)
Date: 4 Mar 1999 01:23:21 GMT

Welcome back to part two of _Saviours of the Net_ #10, entitled:
'Kitchen Sink Kickstart - Lots Happens, But Not Much Makes Sense'
And which is all the fault of Saxon Brenton

Getting back to the main plot:
...or *a* main plot...
...but most importantly, one that isn't a flashback...
     Master Workload was waiting in anticipation. Very soon now, the 
mortal called Doctor Net.ropolis would implement her plan; a plan to 
create a Mechanical Author - a perfect Writer to remake the world into a 
utopia without pain or want.
     Which is exactly what Master Workload had always tried to give to 
the Looniverse.
     Which is exactly why is was so appropriate that when she activated 
her program, that Master Workload be there to assume the power of the 
Mechanical Author. And then all the pointless silliness of this reality, 
all the random pain and hurt that was allowed to thrive in the world just 
so that stories of good versus evil could be told, all the hopelessness 
and despair, all of that would be erased.
     ...No more randomness or woe. No-one dying just so that an 
existential point could be made, no more murderers or tortures just to 
demonstrate to the readers how appropriately evil a villain is...
     ...No more worry, no more despair, no more confusion. Everyone would 
be fulfilled, because everyone would know exactly how society worked, and 
what was going on, and where they fitted in....
     A place for everyone, and everyone in their place.
     It was therefore to Master Workload's considerable annoyance when he 
was dragged away from the net.earth and found himself in the Great White 
Void - the place beyond place known only to the cosmic entities of the net.
     "Who dares!?" demanded Master Workload with the towering righteous 
indignation that he was so good at. Master Workload preferred to present 
a calm and unemotional front, and maintain the fiction that passion was 
for lesser beings - but in truth past appearances had demonstrated that he 
was perfectly capable of indulging in frivolous and potentially wasteful 
emotions like rage and even spite.
     " my doing, master workload, "  came the whispered reply of a 
humanoid entity.
     "Sig.ma." And Master Workload's tone dripped of acid. Sig.ma was a 
consequence of backlash against two of Master Workload's most recent 
attempts to gain rightful control of Looniverse [ _Dvandom Force_ #s 48 
and 72 - Footnote Girl], and his very presence was a rebuke to the 
Taskmaster of Toil's efforts.
     Sig.ma nodded, then got down to business.  " master workload, you 
will not be allowed to take possession of the power amassed for the 
mechanical author. "
     "Not allow?" Master Workload repeated nigh incredulously. "Not 
*allow*? It is not your place to presume to 'allow' me to do anything!"
     " that is a false statement, as well you know, "  disagreed Sig.ma. 
And since Sig.ma was the current incumbent in the position of Holder of 
the Balance of the organisational axis of the internet, it is his say-so 
in which that the reader should put stock.
     "Believe what you wish, your opinions are of no interest to me," 
Workload replied haughtily. Then he announced, "Servants, attend me!" 
There was a rippling of what passed for the fabric of space-time in the 
Great White Void, and suddenly there were two other figures present. One 
of them was a gigantic sphere, composed of a moving webwork of 
mathematical algorithms: Ergo, the Logical Postulate. The other was a 
human of cosmic power: Net.us, Workload's enforcer and assassin in mortal 
affairs in certain other dimensions beyond the Looniverse.
     "Deal with this one," Master Workload commanded with seeming 
indifference. "I have other matters to attend to." It was his intention 
to keep Sig.ma distracted on both the cosmic and physical levels by these 
two agents of his, allowing Workload himself to concentrate his attention 
back on the activation of the Mechanical Author.
     In this plan Master Workload was to be disappointed. Sig.ma allowed 
himself a smile, and with minimal effort restrained Workload while 
summoning two more entities to counter Workload's interlopers. One was 
the Shaper of Words, one of the oldest of the Rubiks Kube beings. The 
other was the Interdimensional Digestive Biscuit, the shortbread former 
minion of Alt.Lactus.
     (And off to the side, observing as always, was one other: Yououghtto, 
the Looker. Present as a mental projection only.)
     " you will not leave until such time as i deem it expedient, master 
workload " disagreed Sig.ma.
     And so cosmic battle erupted
     Now, do you remember back in issue 61 of _Excalibur_, when the 
Phoenix Force was temporarily running Rachel's body after the big fight 
scene with Necrom, and it encountered Galactus and got into a conflict 
with him? Remember how Alan Davis presented that fight as a series of 
full-page mini-pinups sans dialogue or sound effects?
     Well, that's exactly what's happening here as well.
     First splashpage has Master Workload firing energy beams from his 
eyes, which the Biscuit spirals around while simultaneously avoiding the 
fusionbolts of Net.us as the latter closes in for a kill. The energy 
beams splatters as it hits Sig.ma's upraised hand and coruscates across 
the lower half of the page. In the background Ergo has a swirling force 
emanating around and outwards from him and towards the Shaper of 
Words - careful examination shows this force to be composed of little 
numbers printed in green.


     Gothic Gorilla was making preparations against Retcon RACCoon. Or 
more specifically, he was making preparations against Retcon RACCoon's 
     After it had become apparent that Retcon RACCoon's powers - and 
perhaps his very presence - were being detrimental to the fabric of 
reality, the Arcane Ape had decided that steps would have to be taken to 
'keep things from getting *too* far out of control'.
     (He was convinced that things were already out of control, but with 
luck he could keep life back from the very edge of extinction.)
     So when Captain Killfile had begun planning her assault on the 
RACCoon, Gothic Gorilla had demurred [as seen in _Saviours of the Net_ 
#6 - Footnote Girl].  He had retreated to here and hastily created a 
numerologically stable mystical structure that he hoped to use to keep 
the region around Net.ropolis more or less coherent. It was, in fact, a 
mathemagical model of Net.ropolis that worked on the sympathetic principle 
'as above, so below'. As long as the model remained active and untampered 
with, the area of the Looniearth to which it was linked would be bolstered 
at least partly with the model's stability.
     The principle was simple but infrequently used. The problem, as 
ever, was one of power and definition. The model that Gothic Gorilla had 
just created would cover barely more than Net.ropolis city and lend only 
partial stability. He had neither the magical strength for a bigger area 
of effect or more emphatic effect, nor had he the time or resources to put 
in the detail for every person, pigeon, and taxicab.
     But then he wouldn't have wanted to. Trying to micro-manage the 
definition of the model in that way - assuming that he had had the power 
to make it work - would have simply put the city into unchanging stasis. 
The idea was to lend the area stability, not fossilise it in the etheric 
equivalent of amber. Protect the morphogenic field of the city, and 
hopefully the constituent components would take care of themselves.
     Limitations like this were usually the case for such magical models. 
Usually but not always. Once, a powerful bunch of occultists in the 
Usenetted Kingdom calling themselves Mys-Text had once created an insanely 
powerful and detailed magical model of the entire Looniearth. They had 
called it the unLooniearth, and so potent was their model that not only 
could they change the original by manipulating the copy, but they had 
also come within a whisker of using it to... (yes Pinky...) Take Over The 
World! Net.ernity, Infin.net.y, Ar.Em and Alt.blivion only knew how they 
had managed to create so powerful a thing.
     Gothic Gorilla stood back to look over his work...
     ...and fell into a waking dream.
     He blinked and put his hand to his temple, using his other hand to 
steady himself against a wall. "What?"
     "Gothic Gorilla," announced a creepy looking dark voice. "Your 
services are needed."
     The apish mage looked up to see a tall thin human, dressed in a cloak 
of darkness and with a pallor of skin usually only seen in chalk. Still a 
bit disorientated, he mumbled, "Who?"
     "I am the Somnambulist," announced the figure.
     The Somnambulist, thought Gothic Gorilla. Lord of sleep and stories. 
"What's wrong?"
     "IT is being born in the place you know as Net.ropolis," replied the 
Somnambulist. "IT is a threat to this world."
     "Sounds bad," Gothic Gorilla said, then shook his head at how inane 
that comment had been. He shook his head again, trying to clear it; he 
should be asking strategic questions of the Somnambulist, the better to 
identify the nature and weaknesses of this threat, but his head felt like 
it was packed in cotton wool.
     "Unless IT is stopped, IT will remake this world in IT's image, 
enslaving you all in a seductive vision of utopia."
     Something was wrong, Gothic Gorilla realised. His mind wasn't able 
to focus on the details of what the Somnambulist was talking about. He 
could feel that it was important - world shatteringly important - but all 
that he could get out of it was the driving imperative to stop the 
problem, not how to do it or what to do it against.
     Then a sharp stab of intuition hit at him, and he changed tactics. He 
stopped worrying about the threat itself, and instead began to think about 
why he couldn't concentrate on it. And suddenly everything became clear.
     Gothic Gorilla looked at the figure before him, and said quite 
steadily, "You are not the Somnambulist."
     Uncharacteristically, the Somnambulist looked surprised.
     Gothic Gorilla held up the flat of his hand at arms length in front 
of him, and passed it across his line of sight of the Somnambulist. 
Instead of a thin chalk-white human with a haystack of night-dark hair 
dressed in black, there was a thin chalk-white human with a haystack of 
night-dark hair dressed in green plaid.
     "You are the Somnambulist's Evil Twin: Net.mare, lord of dark dreams 
and scary stories."
     (somewhere in the background, a They Might Be Giants musical sting 
     Net.mare clasped his hands together in what was probably feigned 
delight, grinned malevolently and said, "You guessed."
     "What do you want?
     "Exactly what I've already told you. There is a threat to this world. 
Unless IT is stopped this world will enslaved."
     "You're not benevolent, Net.mare, and certainly not trustworthy. 
Give me a reason why I should believe you after you just tried to deceive 
     "I deceived to you precisely because you would trust him more than 
you would trust me," Net.mare sneered. "And as for whether you can trust 
my message or not; well, you don't have a choice. When IT is born, IT 
*will* enslave the Looniearth in a seeming utopia. A perfect world 
without fear or want or pain."
     "It sounds like something I should be supporting, not fighting."
     "Even at the cost of free will?" Net.mare asked with shrewd malice.
     Gothic Gorilla remained silent. Net.mare continued: "You apprenticed 
yourself to one of the Lords of Anarchy. A varied group, unlike the Lords 
of Uniformity, who are identical to the point of practically having been 
mass-produced with a cookie cutter. Your particular master is obsessed 
with free will - something that will vanish if IT has IT's way with the 
     "And in a perfect world there will be no more bad dreams, correct?" 
recognised Gothic Gorilla. "No angst, or neuroses, guilts or hatreds or 
personal recriminations. Your power will fade, won't it?"
     Net.mare wrapped himself in his cloak. "Very astute," he said, 
huffily. "We both have a lot to loose if IT comes to fruition. Check the 
situation for yourself if you still don't believe me, but I expect that 
you will do everything in your power to stop IT."
     "Maybe. You still haven't told me what It is."
     Net.mare grinned and made a dramatic exit by evaporating away in a 
cloud of foul-smelling green vapour. As he disappeared, he announced, 
"Beware the Rise Of The Mechanical Author."
     ...and then Gothic Gorilla woke up. Disturbed by the dark lord's 
message, he nevertheless took the time to make the final preparations for 
his model of Net.ropolis. Then he left to take care of the next thing on 
his List Of Stuff To Do.


     Second cosmic fight scene splashpage:
     Master Workload emanates a potent shockwave of force; the expression 
on his face is of someone screaming in anger, although his mouth is 
closed. The blue shockwave washes over his opponents, and the Shaper and 
the Biscuit struggle to retain their equilibrium. Sig.ma seems unaffected. 
Ergo prepares for a second assault, and Net.us is circling around to 
gain an advantageous attack position.


     A voice came in the darkness:
     "Joan, you will wake up."
     It came through fuzzily and indistinctly, and Joan was hardly aware 
of it.
     "Woman, that was not a request," noted the same voice.
     "GgnnaaaAAHH!" screamed Joan, still mostly out of it, but reacting 
to outside stimuli. This is why she lashed out instinctively, bringing 
her right hand around in what threatened to be a bone-shattering punch. 
Alt.Lord simply caught her fist in his own, unperturbed by her attempted 
     He held her fist - the one she had attacked with - in his left hand. 
With his right he held her left arm at an unnatural and particularly 
painful angle. As Joan tried to focus on him - her perception hindered 
half by grogginess and half by a haze of pain - he sneered at her. "Bah! 
Joan, you are as weak in combat as you are in purpose."
     He let go of her and stalked moodily across to a throne; a throne of 
false expectations, old jokes, bad advice, and age-on intolerances passed 
down from generation to generation.
     Joan sat up and tried to get a bearing on were she was. The last 
thing she remembered was getting to within a block or so of the Legion 
of Net.Heroes headquarters before being blocked by the rioting [ _Saviours 
of the Net_ # 2pi - Footnote Girl].  And now she was... in a deserted 
warehouse of some kind. Oh, terrific; that could be just about *anywhere* 
in Net.ropolis, assuming it was in Net.ropolis as all.
     Meanwhile, Alt.Lord had adopted - with obvious conscious effort - the 
classic Buscema 'Dr. Doom' pose on his throne. Now he extended a hand to 
her and said, "Tell me what is going on."
     It wasn't the type of thing that she had been expecting, so for 
almost a second she sat there, staring at him and trying to think of a 
response. She was in no condition to fight him; even under the best of 
circumstances she lacked his raw power, and at the moment she felt like 
death warmed over. Hoping to find a blind spot in his scheme as well as 
gain some time, she countered, "What do you want to know?"
     "The Saviours of the Net are no longer under my control. In fact, 
they no longer even remember me! It is clear, however, that you do."
     Joan took stock of this rather surprising assertion, and made an 
intuitive leap. It was probably the sword that Gothic Gorilla had given 
her. Magilla had mentioned that among other powers that it had some 
resistance to retcons. Unfortunately, that meant that some - perhaps all - 
of the information that she had been taking to the LNH was now wrong. 
     Still, trying to tell Alt.Lord that was rather pointless giving his 
obsessive nature...
     (Did he even still have that blinkered, narrow minded, obsessive 
nature? How far had he been affected by the retconning, if at all?)
...and probably tactically unwise. Safer to tell a part truth: "I'm not 
sure. I've been trying to get to the Legion ever since you threw me out."
     Alt.Lord gave her a penetrating look. Or rather, the gaze that he 
practiced as his penetrating look; actually it was more like a glower. 
Disdain was written across his face. "Perhaps a bit more pain will loosen 
the truth from your tongue, then," he suggested, standing up and 
approaching with a pain gauntlet activated and crackling with energy 
     Well, that answered one question: he was still obsessive and narrow 
minded. Which could be a good thing in the long run. His inability to 
deal with changing circumstances was one of his major failures, and the 
reason why so many of his plans fell to pieces at the last moment. Of 
course, that didn't help Joan much *now*, as her adversary and former 
leader came closer and closer in melodramatic fashion, until the 
crackling glow of his gauntlet was reflecting off the sweat on her face.
     "Stand away from her!" commanded a voice. Alt.Lord whirled and 
snarled in best villainous fashion - this sort of thing happened to him 
from time to time, and he got lots of practise.
     There were three members of the Legion of Net.Heroes standing there: 
Fearless Leader (pointing his fearsome looking BIGGUN at the net.villain), 
Electrolysister (with bolts of electricity sparking from her fingers), 
and Shoe Boy (looking both hyper and nervous at having a shot at a major 
     Alt.Lord wrinkled his face in his best look of villainous disdain and 
announced, "Bah!", then let loose a powerful energy blast that vaporised 
a large chunk of the warehouse behind where the net.heroes would have 
been had they not had the foresight to dive for cover.
     Joan slid down behind the table she had been sitting on and watched 
the ensuing melee. She would have liked to have helped, but stripped of 
her powers, she knew she would be more of a hindrance than anything else. 
She did, however, manage to spy her sword across the far side on the room, 
and moreover in the opposite direction to where the others were battling 
it out. Using what cover she could, she began to edge towards it.
     Alt.Lord, meanwhile, was literally dancing a jig and hating every 
second of it. It was all Shoe Boy's doing, of course. It turned out that 
the combined firepower of Fearless Leader and Electrolysister was only 
just barely slowing the villain down, so Shoe Boy had cut in with a 
lateral attack and taken possession of Alt.Lord's soles.
     Bellowing incoherently, Alt.Lord finally hauled his boots off, then 
glared at the net.heroes before proclaiming unto the world, "Bah!" and 
letting loose with another concentrated assault of energy blasts. The 
ensuing explosions were satisfactorily spectacular.
     In the aftermath of this, as the other three began trading blasts 
again, Shoe Boy suppressed a grin. He had enjoyed that. Looking around at 
the damage, he spied Joan, bleeding from the head and in a bit of a daze. 
He skittered across to where she was and began examining her for wounds. 
She struggled weakly, and he admonish her, "Hey, calm down. It'll be 
alright. You better rest, 'cause you're hurt."
     "Have... to get sword..." she disagreed. "Important... to stopping 
     Shoe Boy sardonically wondered if it was supposed to be the focused 
totality of her powers or something, but against his better judgement 
broke cover for long enough to hastily retrieve the sword for her.
     Then, part of the ceiling blew in, revealing three new figures! "The 
Saviours," realised Joan at the sight of Captain Killfile, Mood Arrow, and 
the Human Aquarium.
     "Afternoon, Fearless Leader," greeted Captain Killfile jauntily. "We 
saw an ongoing fight scene. I hope this isn't a private party."
     "All help appreciated," FL replied. But he kept a careful eye on the 
Saviours; if what this villain had been talking about earlier had any 
truth in it, he suspected that the reactions of the other net.hero team 
would prove interesting.
     "You!" snarled Alt.Lord. "Perfidious traitors! And what is this? A 
*female* Killfile?"
     "Sexism will get you nowhere," retorted Captain Killfile, letting 
loose a barrage from her gauntlets. There was no hint of recognition on 
any of the Saviours' faces though. The battle recommenced after its brief 
lull. Shoe Boy considered this an opportune time to help ferry his charge 
out of the building and to safety outside; probably a wise decision.
     Now that the tide was turning against him, Alt.Lord's anger grew at 
an even greater rate. Finally, he decided to retreat with a devastating 
Parthian shot. He activated his personal teleporter back to his home 
dimension while simultaneously priming an energy overload through his 
armour's weapons. He wouldn't have considered using such a trick if he 
were planning on staying here - the chance of being hurt or killed in the 
insipient explosion was too great. But then, he wasn't going to be here, 
was he?
     Alt.Lord screamed in defiance as he swept his arms about the room, 
his hands spewing plasma about the place. In mid sweep, his armoured 
gloves flew off, glowing brightly with energy crackle. Alt.Lord himself 
vanished in a discharge of light, just as those same gloves exploded.
     To all but the most observant of the net.heroes it looked as though 
the villain had just self-destructed in a particularly spectacular 
fashion. The initial detonation threw them off their feet, and ones that 
followed proceeded to tear apart the building. "Retreat!" yelled Fearless 
Leader as the warehouse was consumed in an inferno.
     They all rushed out as best the could. Once at a safe distance, the 
turned to watch as Alt.Lord's temporary base was destroyed.


     Third cosmic fight scene splashpage:
     Net.us and the Interdimensional Digestive Biscuit spiral around each 
other in a dog-fight, manoeuvring for position. The Shaper uses a wave of 
words (in a bold serif typeface) to block the numbers of the Logical 
Postulate. Sig.ma and Master Workload trade power blasts.


     Afterwards, Fearless Leader checked the woman called Joan into the 
LNHHQ infirmary. There were a number of other Legionnaires there, being 
treated by Organic Lass, Tourniquet, and Dr. Bad-Bedside-Manner for minor 
injuries sustained during the riots. Morale seemed to be good, and to help 
keep it that way Fearless Leader took a few minutes to walk around and 
talk with the troops before heading off to report to Ultimate Ninja.
     The LNH deputy head found his superior with Deductive Logic Man and 
Dr. Stomper in the latter's laboratory. Just as he entered, All-Knowing 
Last-Chance Whiner Destiny Woman appeared, clouds of mysterious-looking 
smoke billowing across the floor as she teleported in. She struck a 
dramatic pose, and declaimed, "A cosmic threat has arisen, which threatens 
to *Destroy The Looniverse*!"
     "What, again?"
     Ignoring the weary sarcasm of her fellows, AKLCWDW approached Dr. 
Stomper, looked him in the eye, and commanded, "Remember!"
     Dr. Stomper looked like he was about to have a heart attack. His eyes 
bugged out, and he exclaimed, "Dr. Net.ropolis is trying to create a god!"
     More smoke began to billow from the floor at AKLCWDW's feet. She 
gathered up her cape in her left hand and drew it up to her chest, and 
with her right hand outstretched she proclaimed a final warning: "Beware 
the rise of the Mechanical Author!"  And then she was gone.
     "All right, I'm growing tired of all these cryptic references," said 
the Ninja. "Stomper, what is going on here?"
     And lo, it did come to pass that Dr. Stomper gave him a straight 
answer: "Earlier today I met with Dr. Net.ropolis, where she told me of 
her plans to recreate the Looniverse as a utopia by building a Mechanical 
Author. She tried to recruit my help, but after I rebuffed her she used 
a memory deletion gadget to cover her tracks." [as seen in _Saviours of 
the Net_ #6 - Footnote Girl]
     Deductive Logic Man looked thoughtful and asked, "Did she say 
whether the other Saviours were willing accomplices in providing a 
distraction for her?"
     "No. Why?"
     "If they're all in this together, then that would simplify the 
various plots and schemes that seem to be swirling around at the moment: 
they would all be blinds just to create confusion," answered DLM. "If, 
however, she's using them without their knowledge, then they will 
probably have their own agendas, and the situation remains just as 
complicated as ever."
     "There's at least one other 'puppet-master' who is - or was - behind 
the scenes," offered Fearless Leader. "After the rioting settled down, my 
team rescued a woman from a net.villain calling himself Alt.Lord. The way 
he was questioning her, it looks like he was at one time a behind-the-
scenes leader of the Saviours who somehow lost control of them; I suspect 
because of retconning. He seemed quite powerful, and we may need to find 
and deal him as a threat as soon as possible."
     "If that's so, then he may have lost control of them during all that 
retconning that took place earlier," mused Dr. Stomper. "Or perhaps it 
occurred earlier still." He shook his head. "I am sorry, but at this point 
we don't have information on what's causing all of this, let alone when it 
happened. Retcon RACCoon is the obvious culprit, but that can't be 
guaranteed; in the middle of a chaotic add-on crossover situation even 
Occam's Razor is an unreliable tool. However, I submit that Dr. 
Net.ropolis and her plan is an immediate threat, and should be given at 
least equal priority with any other problem."
     "That's a rather serious assessment, Doctor," observed Deductive 
Logic Man.
     "Of course it is," answered Dr. Stomper. "If she succeeds in 
creating her Mechanical Author, it could possibly destroy the Looniverse."
     "Wait, you've lost me," interrupted Fearless Leader. "Granted, this 
Mechanical Author is a case of meddling on a grand scale that we can't 
allow to proceed, but how could something build to create a utopia 
destroy the Looniverse. Wouldn't that be the last thing it would try to do?"
     "What it 'tries' to do may not have anything to do with what occurs 
as a consequence of its actions," explained Dr. Stomper. "The Looniverse 
as we know it has a delicate balance of physical laws. The Mechanical 
Author would have to make alterations to those laws, particularly the 
Laws of Drama, in order to create its proposed utopia. If that were not 
done properly then the Looniverse risks the threat of wReamEntropic 
     "Use layman's terms, please," directed Ultimate Ninja.
     "This universe has a vastly accelerated rate for its Second Law of 
Thermodynamics, rather like the 'Dr Who' universe was shown to be in the 
'Logopolis' episode," explained Dr. Stomper. "Although here we call it 
wReamEntropy. Ultimately, the only thing that prevents the dissolution of 
our entire universe into a slush of entropically inert ylem is the power 
of Drama. It is Drama which shapes stories, giving form and meaning and 
forward impetus to both the substance and history of our world; even at 
the same time that Drama is also causing energy to be entropically wasted 
in cosmic battles and awesome special effects. As I said: a hideously 
delicate balance, and changing it is wrought with peril.
     "When Master Workload took over the world by using DeFacto V as its 
pawn in the X-Post Facto alt.future [ _Dvandom Force_ #s 45-48 - Footnote 
Girl], he was apparently careful enough in his obsessions to reduce the 
mix of both wReamEntropy and Drama - lowering both of them to create an 
orderly and productive world unhampered by rampant silliness on the one 
hand and unthreatened by wReamEntropic dissolution on the other.
     "Similarly, when Acton Lord tried to cut the Looniverse off from the 
Writers he took steps to maintain the Life Force of the Looniverse 
[ _Dvandom Force_ #42 - Footnote Girl], and being a meticulous planner he 
presumably instituted plans to counter the forces of wReamEntropy. 
However, no matter how careful, villains always suffer a fatal flaw which 
the net.heroes can exploit and overcome them with. It is not outside the 
realms of possibility that Acton Lord may have overlooked the wReam-
Entropic factor, and had he succeeded in his attempt to cut off the 
Looniverse from the Writers then he may well have had only the briefest 
of triumphs before finding his victory, along with the entire world, 
turning to ashes in his mouth."
     Dr. Stomper paused in his exposition, licked his lips, and then 
continued. "The fundamental purpose of Dr. Net.ropolis's Mechanical Author 
is to recreate the Looniverse as a utopia - without pain or suffering, 
and certainly without the wild injustices and manic threats that drive 
the storylines of the Legion and other net.heroes. To do that it will 
have to recreate a significant part of the Looniverse's underlying 
reality - removing Drama and of necessity the wReamEntropy that it 
counter-balances. This is not impossible; but I am not convinced that a 
mere mechanical contrivance created by a human scientist - even one of 
Dr. Net.ropolis' calibre - is capable of such delicate and profound 
change. The risks are too great, and despite her assurances I am not 
convinced of the adequacy of her preparations and safeguards.
     Ultimate Ninja thought about this. "I agree that Dr. Net.ropolis is 
*a* major threat, and possibly even *the* paramount threat at the moment. 
But unfortunately, she isn't the only problem we have to deal with at 
the moment. There's still Ole Scratch running around in the Preacher's 
stolen body, and now this Alt.Lord character."
     "Plus we still have to figure out whether or not the Saviours are 
still Trojan horses," added Fearless Leader.
     The LNH commander nodded, gazing around at the other three. "We had 
better begin planning how best to deploy our forces against which 


     " stop, "  commanded Sig.ma. And at his word the fight came to a halt.
He really didn't give the others much choice in the matter.
     For Net.us, it was a moderately amazing experience. All of a sudden, 
he found himself unable to move. No, that wasn't quite correct. He found 
that he could still move, but was utterly unable to take offensive action 
and continue the battle as he had been ordered. As Sig.ma approached 
Master Workload and began to converse with him, Net.us turned to the 
closest of the other combatants, which was the Biscuit. "What has 
happened here?!"
     "Sig.ma has stopped this conflict," the Biscuit answered simply.
     "He is powerful enough to do that? With so little effort?"
     "Of course. He is the among the most powerful of the conceptual 
entities. Certainly he has to be, to maintain the Balance between one so 
ambitious as Master Workload. Has not your master informed you of matters 
such as this?"
     To which Net.us answered, "No. There's a lot he obviously hasn't 
told me" It was perhaps indiscreet, but considering how Net.us felt about 
his 'employer', it wasn't an admission that Net.us felt particularly 
worried about. In any case, he was inflamed with curiosity that there 
were powers greater than the Werk (as he knew Master Workload) and 
intrigued with the possibility that this might hold a key to his long 
dreamed of escape from the Werk's servitude. A thought occurred to him, 
however. "But if he had the power to stop the battle so absolutely all 
along, then why did he allow it to continue?"
     This was something that Master Workload had briefly considered as 
well, but dismissed as unworthy of prolonged consideration. Workload had 
come to the disdainful conclusion that since Sig.ma had been 'birthed' in 
the Looniverse - a known Absurd Comic Book Universe (or ACBU for short) - 
Sig.ma must be automatically suffering from the standard comic book 
failing of needing to engage in pointless fight scenes at any opportunity. 
A telling indicator that Master Workload still hadn't fully come to terms 
with Sig.ma.
     " and now, master workload, it is time to reconsider you position. "
     "I do not think so."
     " no?  the application of force has purpose only so long as there is 
an achievable outcome.  this fight serves no purpose, because you cannot 
achieve your desire.  with the power of the mechanical author, you could 
enforce your wishes in the looniverse.  but without it you are in the 
catch-22 situation of needing the power to gain the power.  you are 
powerful, but you are only one of six of the internet's most senior 
conceptual entities.  eter.net.y, infi.net.y, and lord mudd already 
possess the looniverse, and will not help you take control.  ar.em and 
killfile similarly desire the looniverse, but they will not help you raise 
yourself up as sole possessor if they cannot share the spoils.  i tell you 
again, this fight was pointless.  you are only wasting resources in a 
fight that you cannot win, because even those other entities that desire 
control of the looniverse will band against you to preserve the current 
status quo until such time as they see a chance to fulfil their ambitions. "
     Master Workload considered this with sour grace. It was galling to be 
continually baulked like this, especially after the savour of the still-
recent freedom that Workload has enjoyed in his machinations during the 
period immediately after the MultiTasker had abandoned his position. What 
was worse was the not-so subtle revelation that Master Workload had been 
outmanoeuvred by Sig.ma.
     Master Workload tired another tack. "And what if the Mechanical 
Author chooses to side with me, on the side of order and productivity?"
     " if it is done freely and without outside interference, then that 
is a valid shift in the balance of power within the looniverse.  its own 
evolution will have brought it to your demesne, and ratification of such 
as shift by the living moderator will be only a formality. "
     Master Workload looked pleased. "Done then. We will wait here for 
the outcome of the Author's activation."


     Okay then. Working on the (perhaps overly optimistic) assumption 
that all of the above wasn't just bulldust spread around to confuse 
matters even more than they already are...
     Will somebody (ANYbody) be able to find and stop Doctor Net.ropolis 
in time to stop her activating the Mechanical Author? And if they can't, 
will the Mechanical Author work amicably with the other cosmic entities, 
or will the whole thing degenerate into a pastiche of _Infinity Gauntlet_ 
#5 as the rest of the Looniverse's great power become involved as well?  
What steps will Alt.Lord take to try an wrest control of the Looniverse 
next? And where will the conspiracy to fill r.a.c.c with talking gorilla's 
so that they can continually win 'best new character' at the RACCies 
strike next?
     These questions and more may or may not be answered in the next 
thrilling issue of: _Saviours of the Net_. Probably written by someone 
other than me.

Character Credits: 
_Saviours Of The Net_ #10, the special guest cameo issue, featuring more 
characters than you can poke a stick at:

LNH Cameos (mostly used without permission, so don't go dragging this lot 
into any ongoing subplots, okay?):
     Electrolysister created wReam (Ray Bingham (chaos and entropy 
     Escher Boy created by Kevin Wilcox.
     Great Oozelfinch created by Arsenal (Ted Brock).
     Hell Catalyst created by Jeff McCosky.
     Lackey Lad created by Brian Mendus.
     Mojodog created by Abhay Khosla.
     Munchkin Man created by Hubert Bartels (and won't Hubert be in for a 
nasty shock when he finds out that the little blue pest is back :-)
     Red Herring created by Kieran O'Callaghan.
     Shoe Boy created by Benjamin Cypher (SteelCypher)
     Tsar Chasm created by Ken Schmidt. [Believe it or not, this one I 
actually asked permission for first.]
     Writers-Block Woman (and Mouse) created by Jaelle (Jessica 
Imhera-Smiler). [These two as well.]
     Zeal created by Kevin Banda.
     Zowie!!!boy created by Michael Friedman.

RACCCafe Advertisement: (There isn't any point to listing these, because 
   remember boys and girls, the RACCCafe isn't in continuity)
{Well, if *you* won't, *I* will - Anal-Retentive Archive Kid}
(Hey! Stop that ARAK! Get away from that keyboa...)
     Alan Covenant created by Chad Imbrogno
     Brain Boy created by Sean Daugherty
     Believe it or not, Badger (Matt Rossi III), Uplink (Paul DeSanto), 
Arsenal (Ted Brock), Bombastus von Zeitgeist (Cornelius von Glenhusen) 
and Easily-Discovered Man Lite (Rob Rogers) are all real despite their 
superhero codename-like nom de plumes, and thus they presumably belong 
to themselves.
     Cheeezar created by Kyle Lucke
     Diva Woman created by the Lurking Mystery (Pamela Ambrose).
     Example-Character Lad created by Cornelius von Glenhusen.
     LyfeSukkyr created by Kieran O'Callaghan.
     Oozelfinches are nominally under the control of Arsenal, although 
both the Oozelfinches and Arsenal have issued vehement press releases 
denying this.
     Sig.Lad created by Dvandom (Dave Van Domelen)
     The Solid Gold Dancers were roped in by Badger, and Tempest was 
created by him.
     Twister created by Aaron Veenstra.
(Get... get...get away from there, you *nasty* little LNH character you.)
{Phhbbt! :-P  - Anal-Retentive Archive Kid}

Main Players (these ones it's probably cool to use):
     All-Knowing Last-Chancer Whiner Destiny Woman, Deductive Logic Man, 
and Ultimate Ninja created by wReam.
     Alt.Lord and Joan St. Clair created by Tom Russell.
     Ergo and the Shaper of Words created by Saxon Brenton and willed to 
Public Domain. Net.mare created by Saxon Brenton and already Public Domain.
     Doctor Stomper created by persons unknown, and is Public Domain.
     Fearless Leader created by Dvandom, and is Public Domain.
     Gothic Gorilla, Lava Lamp and the original crossover concept created 
by Arthur Spitzer. Not reserved.
     Interdimensional Digestive Biscuit, Net.us, and Sig.ma created by 
Dvandom (and Dvandom specifically requests that no changes be made to 
     I have no idea who created the Looker and Master Workload, but I 
think they're Public Domain.
     Lovecraftian frogman shanghaied in by Steve Howard.
     Twisted Lemming and the millenialist gunman created by Saxon Brenton.

Add Notes:
     Apologies on the lateness of this, but things kept growing, or 
mutating, or what have you. The cosmic fight scene, in particular, gave 
me trouble and went through about five variations before it finally 
returned full circle to essentially the original version. Over time it 
kept getting more and more minimalist, as the confrontation changed from 
a fight scene to a stand-off, until in the penultimate take I simply had 
Sig.ma scheming from afar to *replace* Master Workload with the Mechanical 
Author as the net's embodiment of work/order. My problem was in 
characterising Master Workload as being too meticulous to be tricked into 
the fight between himself, Sig.ma and their respective allies. Then when 
I actually went back and read through Master Workload's appearances in 
the Looniverse Adrift crossover and various Dvandom Force issues, it 
became obvious that this was wrong. For all of his attempts to present 
himself as orderly and emotionless, Master Workload has been readily 
drawn into fights, and on at least one occasion ( _Dvandom Force_ #50) 
has proven himself to be perfectly capable of petty spite.
     Of course, although the cosmic confrontation scenes were lots of fun 
(and even logically necessary given the impetus of Mechanical Author 
subplot) it drags the focus of _Saviours of the Net_ even further away 
from the Saviours themselves. This is why I left that plot thread hanging 
in 'wait and see' mode: if either the Saviours or the LNH or both can 
prevent the activation of the Mechanical Author, then there's no real 
need for the cosmic entities to appear again.
     For similar reasons I also pruned back a whole mess of other cosmic 
appearances. The opening line of this issue was going to be, "Perhaps 
unsurprisingly, one of the first of the Looniverse's cosmic entities to 
become aware of the Rise Of The Mechanical Author was the Shaper Of 
Words...". But the Shaper was moved from a separate subplot into the 
cosmic fight scene, as was the Looker. Net.mare stayed where he was 
because he fitted in so perfectly as an agent provocateur who doesn't 
really need to show up again now that he has started the ball rolling. I 
regret having to cut out the Cleric though, since I rather like yt as a 
     I also dumped a shock ending that revealed that somewhere among 
that retconning mess the entire Legion had been retconned into being Evil. 
The reason was that I wanted to deal with a whole lot of things in this 
issue, but I didn't want them to be *prescriptive* to anybody else. Just 
about all the plots here are 'pick and choose' stuff.

Extract from: Kid Kirby's Guide To The Cosmos


     At one time Ergo presented a false origin of itself to the One Who 
Wields The Power Kirby, probably to elicit sympathy. However, since then 
it has been revealed that Ergo is a mathematical complex who has gained 
sentience, rather than a mortal who solved the Grand Unified Theory and 
used this to become a being of pure mind.
     Despite the awesome complexity of the algorithms that compose Ergo's 
personality and enable its self-awareness, Ergo has a dislike for fuzzy 
logic and other non-binary factors. Consequently, it has an obsession 
with common sense, logic, and order. Ergo can manifest itself in physical 
actuality as a vast webwork of mathematical symmetries, its size varying 
but typically being about the same as the Looniearth's moon, Loona.
     First appearance: _Saviours Of The Net_ #10


     The Biscuit - real name: Norrin Dunn - is the creation and onetime 
servant of Alt.Lactus, the Devourer Of Newsgroups. Alt.Lactus created the 
Biscuit so that after Alt.Lactus had eaten a particularly noxious 
newsgroup, such as alt.binaries.erotica.armpits, he could nibble on the 
Biscuit's shortbread form in order to settle his stomach. However, the 
Biscuit railed against this servitude, especially being accomplice to the 
destruction of living worlds, and used its ability to wield the Power 
Comic to escape to freedom. For some time it was alone in the Internet 
before gaining the companionship of the non-feral portion of the 
International Christmas Pudding.
     First appearance: _Dvandom Force_ #80


     The Looker is an alien named Yououghtto, who acts as eyes for 
Interneternity. He is confined for all time to his home, a dome in the 
Grey Area of the Moon, because of a cosmic oath that he once took in 
order to bind DeFacto and the other members of E.R.N.I.E. (Evil Regiment 
of Naughty Inane Editors) to an other-dimensional prison (a prison from 
which DeFacto has since escaped, without in any way rescinding 
Yououghtto's oath). Any appearances by Yououghtto beyond the dome are 
most likely mental projections.
     First appearance: _Cosmic Plot Device Caper_


     Master Workload holds the cosmic portfolio of work and productivity. 
It is one of the six greatest of the comic entities that embody the 
internet as a whole, and is the opponent and complement of Lord MUDD on 
the internet's organisational axis. Workload's perennial obsession has led 
him to try to destroy or take control of the Looniverse on several 
occasions, the most notable being the 'Looniverse Adrift' crossover and 
the 'X-Post Facto' story arc in _Dvandom Force_ #46-48.
     First appearance: 'Looniverse Adrift'


     Net.mare is the lord of dark dreams and scary stories. He is an 
anthropomorphic personification, and usually manifests himself as a tall 
thin human with chalk-white skin, an unruly haystack of black hair, and 
wearing green plaid. He is the Evil Twin of the Somnambulist.
     First appearance: (alt.reality) _Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon 
Hour Story_ #2; (mainstream LNH continuity) _Saviours Of The Net_ #10


     Real name: Algernon Heckman. A mortal man chosen by the Werk (Master 
Workload) to receive cosmic power and use it as the Werk's lackey and 
assassin. He is not pleased with this servitude.
     First appearance: _Dvandom Force_ #50-51


     The Shaper is one of the Kubik Beings, who are hatched from their 
nascent states as one of the Cosmic Rubik's Cubes to attain maturity as 
a reality manipulators of great power. Each of the Kube Beings develops 
individual personalities and appearances, usually reminiscent of the 
species of beings who created that particular Cosmic Rubik's Cube in the 
first place.
     The Shaper is a humanoid of vaguely insectile appearance whose lower 
torso is a mechanical frustum. Among the current space-faring 
civilisations of the Looniverse there was no-one who knows which 
civilisation the Shaper has descended from. It's features match no known 
species, and many scholars suspect that its origins may lie with one of 
the long gone Pre_Cursor races who inhabited the universe after the first 
intelligent species (represented by the Elders of the Looniverse) but 
before the current populations.
     First appearance: _Saviours Of The Net_ #10

     Sig.ma is the embodiment of the Sig Force previously possessed by 
the net.hero Sig.Lad. Sig.ma is also the current incumbent as the mediator 
between Master Workload and Lord MUDD; in other words, the balancing 
power at the centre of the Looniverse's organisational axis, the position 
formerly held by the MultiTasker until the latter mysteriously abandoned 
its post some time prior to the Looniverse Adrift crossover. It is by 
holding two cosmic portfolios - especially one that by definition grants 
him the 'final word' - that Sig.ma seeks to keep in check Master 
Workload's ongoing attempts to bring the Looniverse under the Workload's 
control. His dual portfolios mean that he is arguably the most powerful 
of the three intermediary powers of himself, Alt.Lactus on the time axis, 
and Alt.eph on the space axis.
     First appearance: _Dvandom Force_ #72
Saxon Brenton     City library of the Uni of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Saxon.Brenton at uts.edu.au  

Next Week: Saviors of the NET Part VIII!

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

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