LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #47: The Crimes of the Brotherhood Part Ten

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 4 13:41:58 PST 2018

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

Firstly, we have more Jeff "Drizzt" Barnes with the number 20 of his
Continuity Champ and the Drizzt Defenders series that is part
three of the Fall From Space storyline -- where we see if the
Brotherhood has better luck destroying the Champ than Thread
Bear and Vapid Veterinarian.  Perhaps?

Issue #21 of CC&DD is part four of the storyline with more
Drizzt writing.  It looks like someone sure could use a Drizzt ex Machina.

And now..

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #47

                 The Crimes of the Brotherhood Part Ten

Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative,alt.comics.lnh
Subject: LNH: Continuity Champ & The Drizzt's Defenders #20
From: barnejd at wkuvx1.wku.edu (Jeff Barnes)
Date: 26 May 95 00:28:04 CDT

                                "BoNVoyage, Champ"
                           Fall From Space, Part Three
                          TEAR-JERKING TWENTIETH ISSUE!
	RetConan dared CC to shut off his powers for 24 hours; CC accepted.  
However, an unknown foe has placed a bounty on his head, causing many of 
the Looniverse's most powerful supervillains to come after him.  Thus far,
Continuity Champ has triumphed, but he now faces the greatest threat of 

	CC rounded the corner and slammed back into the wall, flattening
himself against it.  He forced his breathing to slow down as he clutched 
his unignited sonic scimitar.  This had not been his day.  Bad enough 
when the two-bit villains had come up against him and almost won, bad 
enough he'd had to do without sleep for the entire night and was running 
on pure adrenaline, but now he was in deep trouble.

	The Brotherhood of Net.Villains was after him.

	He'd been lucky he'd spotted them without them seeing him.  Of
course, it was rather hard to hide a seven-foot armored villain like Mr.
Homage in downtown Net.ropolis , let alone the other villains that had 
fanned out, stalking the cosmic crusader.

	He glanced down at his watch.  Two and a half more hours before 
his powers returned.  Somehow, he'd have to hope that he could avoid the
villains until he had full control over his powers again.

	And then his luck ran out.

	It was fortunate that Robgoblin's BloodSled made so much noise,
otherwise CC would have found himself speared through the chest from 
behind.  As it was, CC managed to dodge away with only a gouge from one 
of the glider's wings.  He clutched his wounded shoulder and ignited his
sonic scimitar.

	Robgoblin turned his glider around and sped backward toward the 
Champion.  He dove in, and CC barely dodged aside again.  Homage had 
promised a large slice of the reward money for taking down Continuity Champ 
to the one who actually took him in, and the 'Goblin was determined to get 
that share.

	So determined was he, in fact, that he failed to notice that CC's
sonic scimitar had sliced deep into one wing of his craft.  As he tried to
turn around again in the alleyway, the glider pitched and rolled.  
Robgoblin's insane laughter was cut short as he collided with the brick 

	CC limped over to the collapsed villain to make sure he was still
alive.  At CC's approach, Robgoblin opened his eyes slightly.

	"Whoa, this is *really* lame..."  With that, he collapsed into

	CC, still holding his wounded shoulder, glanced behind him just
to make sure there were no more villains around, then ran down the alleyway,
vanishing into the darkness.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Aboard the Drizztsat, the Drizzt was humming the tune to Chicago's 
"I Can't Live Without Your Love" while configuring the Drizztsat's sensors
to track down Continuity Champ.

	"Are you finished yet?" Judak asked for the hundredth time.  The
Drizzt's attempts to trace the effect that had teleported CC away had 
proved fruitless, causing them to turn to trying to find CC himself.

	"Not quite yet," the Drizzt replied cheerfully for the hundredth
time.  The cosmic being paused to sip his hot chocolate.  "As I've told
you, the normal way of tracking Darryth would be by finding his energy
signature, but, since he's blocked his powers, that signature is also 
blocked, making it a bit more difficult to search the world for him."
The Drizzt returned to his humming.

	Judak sighed and turned away.  There was no telling where Darryth 
was or what was happening to him.  Unless...  She glanced around at the 
others.  The Drizzt continued his work while RetConan and Crossword Master
slept, each sprawled across one of the couches they'd pulled into the monitor
room.  Obscure Trivia Lad had gone down to earth to seek help from the LNH
in tracking down CC.  Judak, though, had a better way of finding out where
Darryth was.  There were advantages to being linked to a being made of 
temporal energy.

	She slipped out of the room and walked down the hall to her quarters.
Once inside, she sat down in a chair, closed her eyes, and concentrated.

	"Spark," she called mentally.  "I need you..."

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	CC, meanwhile, had covered a little more ground in his trek across
Net.ropolis, having come to the conclusion that he'd be safest at the LNH's
headquarters.  He peered around the corner to make sure that no more of the
Brotherhood awaited him, then dashed across the street to another alleyway.

	After his passing, another figure stepped from the shadows and 
raised his comlink to his mouth.  "Homage, this is Angst.  I just spotted 
him running across Phipps Avenue toward Guerink Street.  I'm moving to 
engage.  Angst out."

	Angst's dark cloak whirled around him as he swiftly glided in 
pursuit of the gaudily-clad hero.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Behind Judak's closed eyelids, the mental projection of a bright
spot of light formed.  "Hi!" a voice in her head said.

	"Hello, Spark.  Listen, there's not much time; I need your help?"

	"*MY* help?  Thought you'd said you didn't want any help from your
friendly neighborhood chronal energy being.  Thought you'd said you didn't
want any hints about the future from me, hmmmm?"

	Judak drew in a breath.  "That was then, Spark.  Darryth may be in
deep trouble, and I need to know where he is."

	The fourth-dimensional creature projected the image of a smirk.  
"I'm not sure that's the right thing to do..."

	"Listen, you little creep," Judak said with uncharacteristic venom.
She projected the mental image of grabbing Spark by the front of his shirt.  
"You owe me your life.  I need this information *now*.  I don't have time for 
your games or your backtalk.  Just tell me where he is.  Now."

	"All right, all right," Spark thought back at her.  "Sheesh.  Have 
a sense of humor, will you?  He's in Net.ropolis, on the north side, headed
toward the Legion of Net.Heroes' headquarters."

	Judak mentally released her "hold" on the energy being.  Net.ropolis?
All this time, he'd been right under their noses?  "Is he all right?"

	"Physically, yes.  He's suffered a minor cut and some bruises, 
but he seems all right.  I'm afraid that he is in trouble, though.  There
are several villains after him as we speak."

	"I've got to get to him," Judak said, starting to break the mental
link.  "Thanks, Spark."

	"Well, well, well.  Never thought I'd see you acting like this."

	"Acting how?"  Judak paused.

	"Acting like someone in love, of course."  Spark smiled within her 
mind, then was gone.

	It took her a second to recover enough from her surprise at Spark's
words.  Then she remembered Darryth, and in an instant was dashing down the
hall to an airlock.

	Darryth needed her.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Continuity Champ stopped in the midst of the dark alleyway.  The 
sixth sense every superhero developed at one point in their lives wasn't
something he had been able to turn off.  And now, it was telling him that 
he was not alone.  "Who's there?"

	A figure shrouded in black emerged from the gloom before him.
"Hello, Champion."  CC recognized him as the member of the Brotherhood
called Angst, but remembered little more about him from the file.

	"I suppose you're here for the reward, too?" CC sighed wearily.

	"Yes, in part.  But I'm also here for revenge, revenge on you for
what you've made me into."

	CC was taken aback.  "Me?"

	"Yes, you!  When you first joined the Legion of Net.Heroes," Angst 
sneered at the team's name, "there was a break-in at the Psiotropics Chemical
Factory on the outskirts of Net.ropolis.  *You* went there and routed the 
thieves.  On of them -- a young man -- was knocked off a catwalk into a 
vat of an experimental solution.  He escaped through a drain into the river,
but was forever changed."  Angst reached up and ripped off his mask, revealing
a scarred and horrific visage.  "*I* was that man.  You created me!  You're
responsible for this!"  He pointed to his face.

	CC shook his head.  "No, I'm not," he said quietly.  "First of all,
I don't remember ever taking part in stopping thieves at any chemical 
factory.  Second, even if I did, what happened to you was an accident.  Third,
if you hadn't been there committing a crime it never would have happened to 
you.  Fourth," and he paused slightly, "I've sworn off that kind of... well,
angst, for lack of a better word.  If I wronged you, I'm sorry, and I'll do
what I can to right the situation.  But I won't spend the rest of my life 
brooding about it."

	"Oh."  Angst pulled his mask back on.  "Well, it was worth a try.  
I'd heard you were susceptible to that kind of story."  He shrugged.  "I
guess times change."

	"Yes, I guess they do."  And with that, CC ignited his scimitar and
leapt at the villain, hoping to stun him with his weapon before Angst could

	Unfortunately, though, CC was still pushing the envelope.  Hours of 
battling villains with no rest had taken a toll on his reflexes, allowing 
Angst the time he needed to open his cape wide.  CC tried to slow down, but 
instead tumbled into the blackness beneath the villain's cape.

	And then he was gone.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Judak touched down, her hammer drawn.  She looked around at the few
people milling around the streets at this early hour.  None of them were 
Darryth, and none appeared to be super-villains.  She wished now that she'd 
asked Spark for an exact location for Darryth.  Trying to establish the 
tenuous psionic link she had with Spark would be difficult among the many 
minds present in Net.ropolis, whether they were sleeping or awake.  And it
would take precious time, time Darryth might not have.

	She considered an aerial search, but decided that Darryth would 
probably have hidden his path so that he could not be seen from the air if 
he knew he were being followed.  She blew a stray wisp of blond hair from 
her eyes.  All right, then, time to start looking for him...

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Continuity Champ felt the damp chill all around him, the bone-
piercing cold of the darkness that swirled within Angst's cloak.  And then
he heard the voice.

	"It's all your fault."

	He looked around.  "Show yourself, whoever you are."

	"You'd like that wouldn't you?  You want to kill us all again, don't
you?  Does that make you happy?"

	"Who are you?"

	A solitary figure stepped from the darkness.  "You mean you've 
forgotten me, Darryth?"

	CC gasped.  "Dr. Prometheus?"  His old teacher in the magical arts?
What was he doing here?  He'd died in Darryth's previous adopted dimension,
eaten by a demon he'd summoned and been unable to control.  "Y-you're dead?"

	"Yes, I am.  And I'm not alone."

	Other shapes stepped from the shadows.  Ma and Pa Clark, his adoptive
parents on that world.  The telepathic ninjas who'd killed them and who he'd
killed in return.  The Mutie Men, the mutant team he'd been associated with 
until they'd been killed by giant robots.  The other super-soldier project 
candidates from that alternate world who hadn't survived the nanite 
treatments.  His comrades in the Knights of Continuity who'd died while under
his command.  All the billions from his home dimension who'd perished at 
Dimwiticus' hands.  Lost Cause Boy and other LNHers, including the human 
Obscure Trivia Lad.  Festus Clint.  Harmony.  They were all there.

	"What's the matter, 'Champion'?  Had you forgotten about us, the 
ones you couldn't save?"  Prometheus snorted.  "Champion.  What airs you 
put on, boy.  Your adopted name says you're a protector, but what kind of 
protector were you to us?"

	CC closed his eyes, fighting back his emotions.  And then he 
remembered something, something important.  There was one person who'd died 
who wasn't there.  J'mbaub.

	He remembered his alien friend's words.  "You must let the past be 
the past.  Learn from the past, don't be a slave to it."  And a slave is 
what this scenario was exactly trying to make him be.  He opened his eyes 
and looked hard at the sorcerer.

	"What kind of protector was I to you?  The best I could be.  I wish 
that I could have done more for you, for all of you, but I couldn't.  All 
I can do now is carry your memories and learn from that.  But, then again,
you aren't real.  None of this is.  Isn't that right, Angst?" he demanded of 
the darkness.

	The figures faded away and were replaced by the super-villain.  "I 
must say, no one's ever resisted my powers quite like this before.  Quite a 
splendid show, even though you are doomed.  There's no way out of here, you
see, if I choose not to let you go.  And I do choose not."

	CC smiled grimly.  "Oh, there's one thing I have learned."  He raised
his sonic scimitar and adjusted it slightly.  "It only takes a little flame 
to light up the darkest night."  He ignited the adjusted sonic scimitar and 
a bright blaze of light leapt from it.  The image of Angst cried out and 
threw up its arms.  And then CC was aware that he was moving.

	He hit the pavement hard on his injured shoulder, but the jarring 
curiously didn't cause him much pain.  He looked back at the super-villain.

	Angst stood trembling, clutching his now-visible midsection, his 
body contorted in pain.  He looked at CC in astonishment, then fell to his 
knees, then toppled forward into unconsciousness.

	CC raised himself upward.  He glanced down at his watch, then double
checked.  It had seemed like an hour or more in the pocket dimension within 
Angst, but his watch said it had been less than a minute.  And then he 
remembered his situation: alone, powerless, being hunted by the Brotherhood.
And now, because of the alterations he'd been forced to make to his scimitar,
it was all but useless; he'd burned out two relays in it to generate the 
flash of light that had freed him from Angst's darkness, and it would take 
repairs to it before it would be usable again.  And he had almost two hours
until he'd have his powers back.

	He noticed that the fatigue that had been gripping him was gone.
And then he remembered his cut shoulder.  He touched it gingerly.

	There was no cut.

	How could that be, though?  He remembered the slice from the 
Robgoblin's glider.  And his nanite healing factor had been one of the first
he'd shut down-  Unless...

	That must be it.  The trip into the pocket dimension had thrown off 
his mind's sense of timing, and his powers were returning early.  He 
smiled.  A stroke of luck, but a welcome one on this luckless day.  He tried
his other powers, but found them unavailable.  He tried to fly, and found 
himself lifted inches above the ground.  He gave a rueful grin.  It appeared 
the mechanically-based powers were returning more quickly.  It might be a 
few more minutes before he was at full power.

	That was when Eraserhead's shadow fell across him, and he realized 
he no longer had those few minutes.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Judak raced toward the sound of battle, her hammer drawn.  She 
might not be the universe's greatest fighter, but there was no doubt in her
usually-gentle mind that she'd tear apart anyone who hurt her Darryth.

	Then, she turned the corner.  There was Darryth, facing off 
against a huge, lumbering creature.  She stepped forward to help just as 
Eraserhead tried to grab Darryth in a bear hug, one which he eluded.

	And then something amazing happened.  Darryth began to fly.  Her 
heart leaped.  His powers were back!  He took to the air, putting some 
distance between the creature and himself.

	Then Eraserhead leaped upward and grabbed his foot.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Continuity Champ flew higher, as fast as he could manage.  Because 
he had blocked his access to his flight ability first, it had been the first 
of his "natural" powers to return.  He weaved and made for the upper 
atmosphere, hoping to free himself from Eraserhead's grasp -- and also 
hoping that his immunity to radiation had returned.

	Then he knew his hyper-senses had returned, as he sensed energies 
beginning to build up within his hitchhiking fellow traveller.  He hovered 
and twisted slightly to get a better look.

	He had heard about why Eraserhead was named Eraserhead.  It was 
because of his much-feared eyebeams, which had the ability to "delete" 
anything they touched from existence.  And he knew what was coming.

	And he was powerless to stop it.

	Something made him look sown in that split-second, to focus his 
incredible eyesight on the spot in Net.ropolis from which he and Eraserhead
had taken off.  He saw Judak standing there, slightly in shock.  He smiled 
a bittersweet smile at her...

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	On the ground below, Judak saw Darryth's face in that instant, the 
senses that Dimwiticus had honed also serving her well.  She had thought 
Darryth had the fight in hand, but that smile.

	Then there was a flash of light, and he was gone.

	She gasped in horror, her feet rooted to the ground in shock.  She
watched as Eraserhead, with no way for him himself to fly, began to fall
back to earth, friction with the air causing his skin to catch fire.  She 
was oblivious to the monster's roar as he burned, then fell lifeless into 
the ocean.

	Darryth was gone.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Mr. Homage had also been witness to the event via the telescopic 
vision his armor allowed him.  While he hated to lose such an extremely 
powerful ally, the gain from the bounty on CC's head would more than offset
the loss of his pet monster.  And he still had cell samples remaining from 

	The monster could always be... born again.


[Next time: Is this the end of Continuity Champ?  Will we ever see Darryth
 Rath again?  My lips are sealed, but you might want to be here all the 
 same.  Why?  Because we're going to find out quite a bit about our own 
 friendly neighborhood cosmic entity, the Drizzt, and his connection to 
 Continuity Champ in "Stranger in a Strange Land"!  Be here, or be sphere!]


	The Brotherhood of Net.Villains first debuted in their current 
incarnation in THE FLAME WARS and were kinda sorta created by me.  Robgoblin
was created by someone else as a member of the Cynical Six; Angst, Mr. 
Homage, and Eraserhead created by me.

	Most of the people from CC's angsty vision (Ma and Pa Clark, the 
Mutie Men, Dr. Prometheus, etc.) first and only appeared in BLAZE OF GLORY,
though some were not named there.  Lost Cause Boy created and killed by 
Doug Wojttowicz.  Obscure Trivia Lad died in CRY.SIG but was resurrected in
his android form in THE COSMIC CONSPIRACY.  Festus Clint died in that same 
miniseries at CC's hands, but was resurrected in CC&DDs #6.  Harmony was a
Looniverse conquering genetic creation from the future who died in a sword
battle with CC in CC&DDs #11.  J'mbaub first appeared and died in THE
COSMIC CONSPIRACY, then appeared and died in a later incarnation in CC&DDs
#11, where he gave the advice CC repeats in this issue.  Whew.

	Judak was first shown to have a psionic link of sorts to the temporal
energy being Spark in CC&DDs #14.	
Jeff Barnes                                           barnejd at wkuvx1.wku.edu
"The strongest desire is neither love nor hate.  It is one person's need to 
 change another person's copy."                                  - Anonymous

Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: LNH: Continuity Champ & The Drizzt's Defenders #21
From: barnejd at wkuvx1.wku.edu (Jeff Barnes)
Date: 17 Jun 95 00:48:07 CDT

                          "Stranger in a Strange Land"
                            Fall From Space Epilogue
                         TANTALIZING TWENTY-FIRST ISSUE!
	Continuity Champ, on a challenge from RetConan, shut down his powers
for twenty-four hours, only to find a mysterious villain had put a bounty on
his head.  After surviving several different encounters, CC met up with the 
Brotherhood of Net.Villains, and was apparently erased from existence by the
monstrous Eraserhead, who also perished in the fight.

	Non-existence wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

	Then again, Continuity Champ wasn't exactly non-existent at the 
moment.  To be sure, the relative reality of the Comics Crossroads was not
exactly existence as defined in the dictionary, but he was far from being 
wiped out of existence as well.

	Continuity Champ sat cross-legged before the small fire, warming 
himself.  He wasn't exactly sure how he'd gotten here; the last thing he 
remembered, he'd desperately tried to teleport away just as Eraserhead's
deleting eyebeams had struck him.  He'd surmised that he'd managed to open 
a partial portal, the energies of which had interacted with the beams to 
create a tear in reality, sucking him in and depositing him here, in the 
dimension the LNH had named the Comics Crossroads.

	He had at first been too weak to attempt the somewhat hazardous 
dimensional jaunt back to the Looniverse.  However, he had been well-rested
enough to attempt it for several days now.  It wasn't that he could not 
return, but that he no longer desired to return.

	It was then that the sound of a twig snapping aroused him from his 
reverie.  He pushed himself to his feet, drawing his sonic scimitar from 
habit.  "Who's there?"

	A hooded, cloaked figure stepped from the shadows of the forest.
Ancient hands drew back its hood, revealing an aged face.  "Just an old man,
wishing to share the fire ye have built.  May I?"

	CC put his broken energy sword back, but remained wary.  Things were
rarely what they seemed in this dimension, where the thought became the deed
by molding reality to its whims.  "You may."  He gestured to the fire.

	The old man bowed, then sat beside the flames, rubbing his hands 
together.  "I thank ye.  The chill and damp is rough on these old bones, I'm

	CC nodded.  "May I ask your name?"

	"Aye, ye may."

	CC waited until it became apparent the old man was not going to say 
any more.  "Then what is it?"

	"Names are either things of power or of no consequence.  But," he 
said, noting CC's rising impatience, "for thy peace of mind, ye may call me


	"Aye, that's what I said."  The old man settled back against a stump.
"I would ask for thy name, but in truth I already know it, Darryth Rath."

	CC started.  "How did you..."

	"Know thy name?  I know a few people who know a few people.  Ye 
underestimate thy fame as Continuity Champ."  He chuckled.  "And thy costume
is... quite distinctive."

	CC looked down self-consciously at the green, orange, and purple 
garb he wore.  Why was everyone always making fun of his clothes?  They'd 
been quite stylish on the planet where he'd originally acquired them.  He

	Muse continued.  "Aye, I know a few things about ye.  One thing I 
do not know, though."

	"What's that?"

	"Well, ye have the power to shatter worlds, to sunder whole star 
systems.  Yet ye mope around this backwater dimension.  Why?"

	"This dimension suits you well enough," CC retorted.

	"Aye, that it does."  Muse poked CC's chest with a gnarled cane he 
carried.  "But not ye.  The last I'd heard, ye were with the Drizzt on 
the planet... what was that name?"


	"Aye, earth.  Ye were leading a team of heroes or somesuch."  Muse 
fixed him with an inquisitive glance.  "So, ye would have been a hero, eh?"

	CC shrugged eloquently.  "I did my best, but..."  He paused, hesitant
to discuss such a personal matter with a being he'd just met, but at the 
same time needing to unburden himself.  At last he plunged forward.

	"They're better off without me.  All I do is attract pain and 
suffering everywhere I go."

	"I'd heard ye'd sworn off such brooding thoughts."

	CC looked at the aged man sharply.  "You're very well informed for 
someone who just knows a few people who know a few people."

	Muse shrugged.  "I like to keep abreast of multiversal news.  But,
ye try to avoid the question.  They'd all die for you.  They'd follow ye 
into the bowels of hell if ye'd but lead them.  They respect ye that much.
Even the big one, the barbarian, though he'd deny it if ye put him to the 
question. "  He smiled.  "Thy latest exploits have earned ye marks of 
respect from him, ye know.  He thinks ye've died a warrior's death, as do 
all thy teammates."

	"Better that they think I'm dead, then," CC said gloomily.

	"Truly?  Better that they all think ye dead?  Even this one?"  Muse
gestured toward the fire, and Judak's image appeared among the flames.
"She mourns your death greatly."

	"We've been... friends for a long time now," CC remarked softly.

	"Friends?"  Muse snorted.  "She loves ye.  A fool could see that.
And, furthermore, ye love her as well."  He leaned forward.  "So what keeps
the two of ye apart?"

	CC looked sadly at Judak's image.  "Every... every time in my life 
I've been close to being happy, something terrible has happened to those that
I... care about.  That I love."  He paused, then continued.  "Better for 
me to hold it all inside, to never let my guard down, that for her to be 
harmed.  Better for her to think I'm dead."

	"Ye think so?"

	Continuity Champ looked up sharply.  "Of course I do."

	"So, ye avoid romantic entanglement to prevent her from being hurt,

	"Aye- I mean, yes."

	"There's the answer, then."

	CC looked puzzled.  "The answer to what?"

	"Why the question, of course.  The one that brought ye here.  I 
asked ye if ye would have been a hero, remember?  And ye've told me the 

	"And what answer is that?"

	"The answer is... no.  Ye wouldst not have been a hero, ye *are* a
hero.  Ye do thy best to guard others from pain, to protect them, to watch
over them."  Muse's gaze was almost fond, CC noted.  Strange in one who 
CC had never met before.  "But denying thyself is not the answer.  Ye do 
harm her more by hiding from her than facing her ever would do.  Better a 
moment of glory and a swift end than an eternity of pain."  Muse placed his
hand on CC's shoulder.  "Grab that moment of glory, boy, and hold on for 
every moment ye can."

	Silence fell between the two then.  CC was lost in thought, Muse in
watching for the Champion's reaction to his words.  At length, CC rose to 
his feet.

	"Where d'ye go, Champion?" Muse asked, watching CC with a speculative

	CC waited a second before answering, then replied, "I think... I've
got some unfinished business to take care of back on earth."  He looked from
the flame to Muse.

	"There are some people who need me."

	After the farewells had been said and Continuity Champ had gone, 
Muse smiled softly to himself.  And then, the aged visage dissolved away into
a ball of sentient energy that Judak would have recognized as Spark.

	But the smile remained.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Footfalls awoke the lightly-sleeping cosmic entity from his nap.
The Drizzt didn't need to turn around to tell who stood behind him, though.

	"Hello, Darryth."  He swivelled in his chair to see the multicolor-
clad hero in the doorway.

	"Hello, Drizzt-"

	"That's *the* Drizzt," the cosmic entity corrected kindly.  "But 
call me Jaeger.  That's what you always used to call me, you know."

	"Jaeger?  Isn't that German for 'hunter'?"

	"Actually, it's Dvorakian for 'he who looks in every nook and 
cranny while searching for something, going so far as to clean up the attic
in his quest for the missing item.'  But I suppose 'hunter' is pretty close."

	"And the object of your search?"

	"Well, it's all rather complicated, but it has to do with a certain 
couch.  The perfect couch, in fact.   But that's neither here nor there."
The Drizzt gestured for CC to sit across the table from him.

	CC sighed, strode over to the chair, and sat.  "Dr-... Jaeger, we
need to talk."

	The cosmic entity nodded.  "I suppose it's about time."

	CC leaned forward.  "Somehow, I feel I know you.  From the past.
But... I've got holes in my memory.  I don't remember a lot of things I
should.  It's like Swiss cheese up here."  He tapped his finger to his 
temple.  "Only I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell RetConan I said *that*."

	Jaeger smiled.  "No worries on that account.  I suppose it is time
you heard the truth, Darryth, the full truth.  I wanted to wait until I was
sure you were... stable enough to handle it."

	He stood and began to pace.  "It all began several millennia ago in 
a far-off corner of this reality.  I was bopping through space, though at 
that time I had nothing quite so sophisticated as this satellite, I'm 
afraid.  At any rate, I came across the most peculiar sight: a broken, 
shattered humanoid dressed in the most garish costume I'd ever seen.  He 
looked like he was almost dead.  That being was, of course, you."

	"I took you into my craft and nursed you back to health as best I 
was able.  Wasn't an easy thing, let me tell you; you were a difficult 
patient."  Jaeger smiled fondly.  "I still to this day haven't been able to 
replicate a chicken noodle soup recipe that you'll eat.  But I digress."

	"You told me your story when you awoke.  It seems that Dimwiticus 
was a bit less merciful to you than other cosmic devourers I could name.
After you turned your back on him and helped to stop him from devouring 
this reality -- and, before I forget, let me add that I'm very grateful for 
that -- he didn't just exile you here or even strip you of your powers.
He beat you to within an inch of your life, then left you there to die in 
slow, ebbing agony."

	CC nodded, a few missing pieces of the puzzle falling into place.
"I remembered the... encounter with Dimwiticus, but not your rescue.  Until
now."  He looked quizzically at the Drizzt.

	"I'll get to that in a moment," the cosmic being said.  "At any rate,
that was how our friendship began, a friendship that lasted millennia.  You
repaid me many times over with your company and protection.  I am limited,
you know, for I can never manifest myself in this reality outside the reality
buffers installed in that craft, and later in the Drizzsat.  You acted as 
protector and guardian for me, and for that I will ever be grateful."

	Then Jaeger's face grew grim.  "But that happy time did not last
forever.  Not long ago -- two or three centuries ago -- there was a huge rip
in reality that threatened to sunder the Looniverse, or at least a large 
portion of it.  You stopped it from destroying reality, but the cost was 
high.  You were obliterated.  Totally.  Utterly."

	The Drizzt paused for a moment to let his words sink in, then 
continued.  "Your atomic structure was completely dispersed throughout that
sector of space, your molecules scattered.  You were dead -- but not beyond
my help."

	"I undertook perhaps the greatest task I've ever tried.  Impossible,
I was told by friends.  Couldn't be done.  No how, no way, Jose'."

	"And that was?" CC prompted.

	"Oh, sorry.  That was... finding, cataloging, and reassembling every
atom that had been yours.  It was a monster of a headache, let me tell you.
Took me having to warp time in that sector for decades.  The Knights of 
Continuity still haven't forgiven me for that."

	"But, anyway, I did succeed.  I was able to recreate you."  Then he
paused, and added one word.



	"Yes, almost."  Jaeger wrung his hands together and resumed his 
pacing.  "You see, the resultant being was somewhat... unstable.  Holding 
together his... pardon, your, matrix was difficult, given the energies the 
reality flare had bathed you in.  There were two main problem areas: power 
level fluctuations and emotional instability.  There were also memory gaps,
some of which I had to induce," he smiled apologetically, "to help preserve
your sanity.  I sent you out on such missions as I could, always blocking 
certain events from your memory, always working to fine-tune the molecular
matrix, your physiological make-up.  In time, I even went so far as to have
you associate with the Legion of Net.Heroes, hoping that much of your 
personality -- which had been missing up until that point -- would return.
There was mixed success in that endeavor."

	"And then... then came the event the LNH called 'Cry.Sig.'  It 
became necessary to leave you out for an extended period of time, and you 
responded favorably.  I came to the conclusion that perhaps it was time to
allow you more autonomy.  However, given your power and the still-recurring 
bouts of mental instability, I felt it best I have some way to keep an eye 
on you.  So I had the Silver Sphere tag along with you to earth to keep its
eye on you and observe."

	The Drizzt sighed.  "And the rest of the story you know.  I was...
distracted briefly, and you almost perished at Dimwiticus' hands.  As it was,
you were put in a deep coma.  Took your nanite healing factor nearly a 
whole year to heal the damage.  And then I had the Silver Sphere revive you,
the Anti-Drizzt attacked, and..."  He made a gesture.  "Here we are."
Jaeger leaned on the table.  "You understand what I did and why?"

	"Oh, yes, I understand," CC replied coldly.  "I understand you 
treated me just like another one of your pawns on your chess board.  Just 
another thing to manipulate."

	The cosmic entity shook his head sadly.  "No, it wasn't that way
at all."

	"Oh, wasn't it?"

	"No, it wasn't!" the Drizzt replied, a little heat in his voice for 
the first time CC could remember.  "I treated you like a dear friend, a 
friend I wasn't about to let die if I could help it.  I wanted to make sure 
you were whole before I let you go; with your power, you could accidentally
kill billions if your power went awry or if you lost your temper.  Or your
mind."  He sighed again, more softly this time.  "I can understand how you 
feel.  I do have a... propensity for keeping secrets.  Perhaps I kept this
one too well for too long.  If that is the case, I apologize."

	CC sat, his fingers steepled, then slowly nodded in acceptance of the
apology.  Then he spoke.  "I suppose this means I'm not the real Continuity 
Champ, then, just a being created out of his atoms."

	The Drizzt smiled.  "You are what you decide you are, Darryth.  As
we all are.  You possess the memories, powers, abilities, and form of 
the Darryth Rath I knew.  The only difference I can discern is that you act
a bit less hot-headed than he did, but even that is a recent development,
old friend."

	CC nodded silently again.  "Thank you for the story."  He rose to 
his feet and began to leave, but paused at the door.  "And thank you, 
Jaeger.  Thank you for everything."  

	"Darryth, wait," the Drizzt called.  "There is... one more thing 
that you should know."

	"And that is?"

	The Drizzt sat back in his seat, a somewhat forlorn look on his face.
"What I said about the instability of your physiology..."  He sighed.  "The
energies you were bathed in when your body was disintegrated... they're 
still a part of you.  They're still acting upon your body, destroying it from
within.  After the Cry.Sig, your... condition went into remission, which was
another reason I'd decided to let you fly free.  Lately, though..."  The 
Drizzt paused.  "Lately, I'm afraid it's returned, stronger than ever."  He
looked up at his friend, tears in the corners of his eyes.

	"You're dying, Darryth.  And there's nothing I've been able to do to
reverse it."

	CC seemed to think on that for a second, then nodded his thanks 
mutely.  He turned and was gone.

	The Drizzt sat there for several minutes, until a slow smile crept 
across his face, a smile that was echoed by a floating ball of energy that 
appeared from nowhere a few seconds later.  The Drizzt reached out to Spark, 
and felt the tingling rush as they merged.  The cosmic being then flexed his 
hands, glad for the return of the trans-temporal aspect of himself.

	It was good, he reflected, to be whole.

	It was good to once again know how the story would end.


[Next issue: You won't believe your eyes as CC takes on Mr. Homage in the 
 grudge match of the century!  We've been dropping hints as to who Homage 
 is all along; now you can find out for yourself!  And that's only the tip
 of the iceberg, as CC challenges the shadowy villainess behind the events of
 FALL FROM SPACE!  Who is she, and what does she have against CC?  Find out
 in a story we dubbed "Old Flames"!]


	The Comics Crossroads is a dimension that has shown up in several
different places, most notably THE COMICS CONNECTION and WHAT EVER HAPPENED
TO...?  Connections to the Crossroads universe (if any) are unknown.

	How was the Drizzt able to manifest himself outside of the Drizztsat
and in the Comics Crossroads?  First, he's only restricted on this (the 
Looniverse's) plane of reality.  Second, anything is possible in the Comics 

	Spark first showed up in CC&DDs #14, returning just last issue, 
though he wasn't shown to actually be the Drizzt/Jaeger until this issue.
Many of the events spoken of in this issue were first depicted in the epic
BLAZE OF GLORY, the first partial revelation of CC's origins.

	The perfect couch which is the object of the Drizzt's quest was
first mentioned in CC&DDs #13 (as well as RAC Challenge #18) and can be 
found on IRC's #comics.

Jeff Barnes                                           barnejd at wkuvx1.wku.edu
"The strongest desire is neither love nor hate.  It is one person's need to 
 change another person's copy."                                  - Anonymous

the BROTHERHOOD of NET.VILLAINS!!  A Conclusion!!!

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

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