LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #49: Flame Wars III Part One

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 18 11:31:09 PST 2018

In this weeks reposting of stuff you can find in the eyrie archive
we have the first section of FLAME WARS III!

And no, you don't need to know anything about Flame Wars I and II
to understand this crossover.  About the only thing that links the
three Flame Wars is that they're LNH stories and Jeff "Drizzt" Barnes
was the head plotter for the first three Flame Wars.  But you can
check the eyrie archives (under Crossovers) for the first two if you
want.  But they won't help you understand this one.

Firstly, we have Joltin' Jeff McCoskey with LNH Triple Play #8.
This I believe is the first issue of the Triple Play to not have
either have Catalyst Lass or Hooded Ho'`od Win in it.  Instead
we get Sarcastic Lad, Contraption Man, and -- the Good Kid?

Next, we have Saxon Brenton with Limp-Asparagus Lad (a character
that originally was made by wReam to be a character example in the
FAQ -- then was fished out by Robert "Mystic Mongoose" Armstrong
for a mini -- and then Saxon got his hands on him and the rest is
history) #18.  Do you ever have that feeling that LNH stories aren't
jammed up with quite enough continuity references to obscure LNH
stories -- well, then -- here's the story for you.

And now..

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #49

                        Flame Wars III Part One

From: jjmcc at ix.netcom.com (Jeff McCoskey)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative,alt.comics.lnh
Subject: LNH:  LNH Triple Play #8, The FLAME WARS III #1
Date: 23 Oct 1995 18:29:08 GMT

---' `---' `---' `--- //////////|||||||||||||||\\\\\\\\\ ---' `---' `---' `---
 Pseudo-Random House |////////||||||LLLLLLL||||||\\\\\\\|  THE FLAME WARS III
	COMIX	      >//////....  (       )  ....\\\\\<        PART 1!
___   ___   ___   ___|....  	guest- starring     ....|___   ___   ___   ___
///`v'///`v'///`v'.	        CONTRAPTION MAN            .`v'\\\`v'\\\`v'\\\\\
///////////...		    	  ||       |                     ...\\\\\\\\\\\\
///////..			  ((_______)                          ..\\\\\\\\
////_______			   `------'		    	     _______\\\\
///(       )			 ____     _______		    (       )\\\
///        |			|    |   |   _   \	        and introducing\
 SARCASTIC LAD        _______	|    |   |  |_)   )               THE GOOD KID
  ||       |         |   _   \  |    |   |    ==='   ____          ||       |
  ((_______)         |  |_)   ) `===='   `==='      |    |         ((_______)
   `------'          |        \        ..   	    |    |          `------'
          __________ `===='`==='     .'   `.	    |    \     /~~~~~|
         |          |               : (LNH) :       `======   |  ,==='
         |          |               `.     .'                 |  `~~|
         `===    ==='  _______        ` ..'      ____    ____ |  ,=='
             `=='     |   _   \   ____      ____ \   \  /   / `======
                      |  |_)   ) |    |    /    \ \   `'   /
                      |    ==='  |    |   /  /\  \ `=    ='
                      `==='      |    \  |   `'   |  `=='
                                 `====== `==='`==='
                         ...                           ...
                             ...      _______      ...    
                                  .. |       | ..
                                     |  #8   |
                                     Summer 95
                                       \   /

	{Cover is a black-and-white reproduction of Retcon Hour Omega
with a stark, colorized Contraption Man superimposed on the front.  He
is hanging his head in great sorrow.  Framing the scene are licking flames.

	The flaming "Flame Wars III, part 1" logo burns in the bottom corner}


		"All Things Old Are Young Again"


The Drizzt's Defense Files, that omipresent omnibus of omnivorous
omniscience, defines "Tight Flight" as:

	The late 20th century social phenomenon of wealthy and middle-
	class taxpayers fleeing cities with Super-HQs to avoid the high
	incidence of cosmic conquerors, property damamge, and
	mystical phenomenon.  To retain the good will of tax-depleted
	city planners, most super-teams agreed to answer all calls for
	help from their host city, even the most mundane.
		See also Net.ropolis, Sig.ago, Golden Man

	Sarcastic Lad landed the flight thingie and sighed.  He knew the
reason the Legion responded to any and all calls for help in
Net.ropolis.  No wonder Golden Man was Net.ropolis' favorite -- he never
had storylines to service, so he spent time saving cats, putting out
fires, making the trains run on time and generally excelling at
community service.  Plus he was photogenic.
	"This is what I have become?" groaned Sarcastic Lad.  "A poor
man's Golden Man?  Well, better get on the stick.  Who knows what
cataclysmic schemes the Lunch Money Gang will be up to next."  Sarc
turned off the Flight Thingie and moped out into the RACME Foods parking
lot.  A frantic adolescent had phoned the LNHHQ, hysterical over a gang
of toughs that were stealing shopping bagger tips in a grocery store
parking lot.  "Here I come to save the day-ay," he warbled, hopelessly
off-key and without a shred of feeling.
	At the far end of the parking lot, a group of five twenty-
something slackers shoved a pimply bagger aside.  They wheeled the
groceries to a car, then intimidated the frightened housewife into
giving an over-generous tip.  Sarcastic Lad screwed his face into mock
sobbing.  "Alt.lactus take me away!  Well I guess..."
	Before he could act, a blur of pale green, yellow and scarlet
bounded over a nearby mini-van.  "That's enough of that, buger-heads!"
	Sarcastic Lad mouthed "buger-heads" as the youthful hero bounced,
cavorted, kicked, punched and flung like a Steve Ditko bad dream.  One
tough sailed head over harness, colliding with another gang member.
	Sarc leaned on a parked station wagon, bemused.  "Seems to be able
to handle himself.  Good Lord, I'm being replaced by a schoolboy with no
fashion sense.  At least he's not..."
	The kid leapt in the air to avoid a concerted rush at him, causing
the other three to crash into each other beneath him.  "Don't fight
guys, there's plenty of me to go around."
	"...doing snappy patter."
	The young hero crashed down on all their heads, knocking them
down.  The first two recovered, growled and ran at him.  The kid bounded
into the recently emptied shopping cart, aiming it at the two.
	"And they say nobody delivers anymore...eeps."  Unexpectedly, the
cart pitched sideways, spilling the youth to the ground.  The two thugs
grinned evilly, as if they had no parents or decent upbringing, and
advanced.  Sarc yawned and grabbed them from behind.
	"Nighty-night Vanilla Ice."  He cracked their heads together, then
dropped them.  The housewife had bent to help her youthful rescuer.
	"Here y'go ma'am.  You should never tip more than a dollar.  It
just encourages this kind of thing..."
	"Oh, what a Good Boy.  Thank you."  With barely a glance at Sarc,
she kissed the top of his mask then left.
	Sarc addressed her receding taillights.  "No ma'am please, you're
embarrassing yourself.  Sexual favors are strictly against..."
	"Thanks for the assist mister, geez you're Sarcastic Lad aintcha?"
	"No, Sarcastic Lad is the man that looks like me -- with a life. 
And you oughtta be ashamed of such an amateurish mistake.  Like a
shopping cart is _capable_ of rolling straight."
	"C'mon admit it -- I did ok.  These guys were way older and I
dropped 'em!  Cool huh?  Maybe you could recommend me so I could join
the LNH?  That's like a dream of mine y'know."
	"I'd'a never guessed," deadpanned Sarcastic Lad.  "What's your
name kid?"
	"Uh, gee, I don't really have one.  Everyone calls me a Good Kid,
so I guess that's it.  The Good Kid."
	"What're you kidding?  'Beware the vengeance of...The Good Kid?' 
'They murdered nuns, but now they must face...the Good Kid?'  'Tremble
evildoers, the wrath of ...The Good Kid.' "
	"Ok, ok I get the message..."
	"I'll sponsor you kid, but you gotta do your part.  Get a theme. 
How about this: 'Chismbob Boy -- when Evil needs accounting.' "
	"That'll get me in?" asked the youth hopefully.
	"Oh definitely.  How do you think Parking Karma Kid got his start? 
It's all in the theme."
	"Great, thanks!  I'll apply today!"
	"Make sure you tell 'em Sarcastic Lad sent you."

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

	The bum rubbed his eyes in annoyance.  He didn't need to get up
until the sun rose above the warehouse behind him.  Lunchtime in the
business district was the best time to panhandle.  He glanced around
trying to determine what had woke him up.
	He narrowed it down to the unconscious man with futuristic helmet
and gun at his feet.
	Though the shimmering of the wall behind him that hurt his eyes to
look out was not out of the question.  Especially with the obnoxious
grinding noise it produced.
	The bum hadn't made his way in Net.ropolis this long without
recognizing the stamp of super-heroic affairs.  He did the rational
thing.  He ran.
	But he didn't run far.  After all, the other thing the bum had
learned was not to look a gift horse in the mouth.  From around the
corner, the bum watched the prostrate form.  Kid Kirby, Golden Man, and
even Ultimate Ninja failed to show up.  The bum eyed the gear
speculatively.  He knew a pawn shop on the shady side of town that paid
well for super-hero equipment, no questions asked.
	The bum crept up on the helmeted man who was just stirring.  He
helped him roll over.  The man's face was hidden by a faceplate that
covered everything but his chin.  The bum winced at the coruscating
distortion the man had apparently fallen through.
	"Wh-what year is this?"  the helmeted man rasped.
	"What year?  Are you kidding?"
	"No!  What year....?"
	"It's 1995."
	"Then I have travelled back in time...."  The man fell to a fit of
coughing, which took his eyes off his benefactor.
	The bum's eyes had glazed over.  His mouth worked silently and his
hands clenched .  From blank confusion, the bum's face slowly resolved
to a mask of terror.
	"Time Travellers?  Time Travellers?!?  nonononoNoNoNoNONONONO!"
	The bum's grubby hands closed convulsively around the traveller's
neck.  The sudden motion jarred the large, futuristic cannon aside,
which would have been the only line of defense.  Weakened by his
journey, the man put up little resistance to the bum's suddenly powerful
	With teeth clenched, the bum exerted for a full minute after the
man's struggling ceased.  "No more time travellers.  You're just the
first.  If I don't kill them all, they'll all die...."

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

	Chismbob Boy strode proudly into the LNH lobby.  "I'm here to be a
Legionnaire!" he announced proudly.  Lester the receptionist looked up
	"Uh huh.  Isn't this a school day?"
	"Evil knows no tardy bell."
	"Alllllllright.  what's your name, son?"
	"I am Chismbob Boy -- when Evil needs accounting!"
	Lester sucked his teeth, staring at the dramatic pose the skinny
adolescent had assumed.  He pressed the intercom.  "Master Blaster, Frat
Boy, Incredible-Man-With-No-Life to the lobby please."
	"Are they going to guide me in?  Kewl!"
	The summoned Net.Heroes burst into the lobby.  Lester gestured a
thumb at the garish hero-wannabe.
	"Ah!  Lookout guys. It's Continuity Champ's Tailor Jr.!" quipped
Master Blaster.
	"I'm, ah, Chismbob Boy.  Sarcastic Lad sent me to join up."
	The three heroes looked to each other.  "Chismbob Boy?  Ah
hahahahah!"  They broke out into laughter so intense tears were flying.
	"Oh man, Sarc has the best one yet!" Frat Boy said between
guffaws.  "That's better than Lawn-Flamingo Lass you sent in last week,
	Incredible-Man-With-No-Life started waggling his fingers.  "The
answer is...10 to life!"
	"Sorry Clueless Master, it adds up to jail for you!"
	"Beware, these fingers are weapons of math fu!"  The three were
hugging themselves in hysterics.
	Chismbob Boy looked helplessly to Lester, who avoided his gaze.
	Contraption Man entered the lobby, seeing the hysterical heroes,
Lester looking guilty and the mystified Chismbob Boy.
	"What's going on here?"
	Frat Boy said, "Divide and conquer, that's the answer," sparking
another round of laughter.  Contraption Man looked sternly to the
	"Are these guys running the 'Silly Wannabe Name of the Month' Pool
again?"  Lester nodded helplessly.  "I see."
	The youth looked up.  "Mr. Contraption Man?  I don't understand. 
Sarcastic Lad said I should come by and apply."
	CM looked at the youth.  "What are your powers, son?"
	"Well, I don't really have any except..."
	"I'm sorry -- we really have to insist our minors have bona fide
offensive or defensive super powers.  Child protection laws and all."
	"Oh."  The former Chismbob Boy looked crestfallen.
	"Look, when you're older come up with a better name and gimmick
and try again.  Ok?"  The normally polite youth turned without a word
and shuffled out.  He sighed heavily at the door.

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

	Dr. Stomper fiddled with the dials with a wrinkled brow. 
Contraption Man walked in on him like that.  "Doc?  Something up?"
	"Oh hi Contraption Man.  I'm not sure.  These Chronomoters are
going gaga, almost like they did a year ago during..."  The Doctor's
voice trailed off as he darted a nervous glance at Contraption Man.
	"Retcon Hour?"  the Cobbler Supreme asked gently.
	"Well, yes."
	"You don't need to walk on eggs like this..."
	"I don't really know how to talk to you about that.  In any case,
it is suspect that it occurred a year ago.  But there are subtle
differences.  For instance this appears localized rather than global. 
In fact I might be able to determine where...CM would you mind calling a
meeting?  This is something the Legion should probably deal with."

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

	"Mr. Sarcastic Lad?  They said I should wait until I grew up some. 
And some of them, they laughed at me."
	Sarc feigned shock.  "They laughed?  The cads.  You have to
forgive them -- some of our newer members have hopelessly dark origins. 
We can't all be Golden Man."  Thank heaven, he muttered to himself. 
"What it probably was was just the name.  'Boy' just doesn't have the
ring it used to in Boy Lad's day.  Why don't you go back as, say, Clog
Dance Kid.  There's a winner if I ever heard one."
	"Clog Dance Kid?" asked the Good Kid hopefully.
	"That'll win it, I mean get you in for sure."

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

	Ultimate Ninja steepled his fingers at the bridge of his nose. 
Innovative Offense Boy, Deductive Logic Man, Multi-Tasking Man,
Contraption Man and Dr. Stomper met in the LNH War Room.  The master of
Comic book Ninjitsu broke the silence.
	"So I'm to understand we are having time troubles.  Again."
	"Some sort of temporal anomaly," corrected Dr. Stomper.  "It's
very localized.  In fact I've pin-pointed it to the abandoned warehouse
district."  [Apologies to Radioactive Man, but that _is_ where he
pinpointed it.  Really!]  "The only wrinkle is that this is almost one
year to the day that wReamicus Maximus was defeated during Retcon Hour."
	"I see," said the ninja.  "Very well.  Before we alert the entire
LNH, let's go investigate...are you listening?"  The last was addressed
to Innovative-Offense Boy and Deductive Logic Man who had been
whispering to each other.
	Ferris flushed, removed his bowler and cleared his throat.  "We're
listening UN.  It's just that, maybe we _all_ shouldn't go."
	"What do you mean?"
	"Well this probably doesn't have anything to do with Retcon Hour. 
But on the off chance it does, we probably shouldn't risk..."  Ferris
glanced apologetically to Contraption Man.  I-O Boy finished the
	"We shouldn't !@#&^#in' have the #@$#@ !@^@ villain of that piece
in our #$!^&*!@in' party."
	Contraption Man flushed angrily, but held his tongue.  Ultimate
Ninja stroked his chin.  "Yes, I see.  That's a good point.  I'm sorry
CM, your Retconning was tied up with the Time Crapper's meddlings. 
There's no sense taking any chances that this isn't him trying to re-
Retcon you.  The rest of you to the Flight Thingies."
	The heroes filed out looking sympathetically to Contraption Man. 
There but for authorial whim could have gone they.
	UN leaned close.  "I hope you understand, CM.  I trust you
implicitly, but time has twisted you in the past.  It's for your
	"I understand," the Gadgeteering Guru said through clenched teeth. 
"Just give me a holler if you need help."

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

	"Bwah-ha-ha!  Clog Dance Kid?"  Master Blaster massaged his
temples in glee.
	Frat Boy choked out, "Beware the Tapping Terror!"
	Incredible-Man-With-No-Life chuckled, "Shuffle Hop Kick, Shuffle
Hop Punch, Kick-Kick-Gouge 2-3..."
	Clog Dance Kid's lower lip fluttered and he ran from the LNH
	"Dantherth are tho temper_men_tal," lisped MB.  "Oh man, Sarc is
running away with this month's pool.  I think that was even the same
	"Y'know guys, we might have hurt his feelings."
	"Hey, I'd rather cut my eye out than hurt anyone's feelings."  The
three looked to IMWNL.  "Wooden Shoe?"
	After a long pause they all burst into tearful laughter.

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

	The flight.thingee touched down in the docks district as the
morning sun revealed it in all its seediness.  The Legionnaires burst
from the thingee in combat poses.  Dr. Stomper wielded a hand-held
detector of some sort.
	"This way!" he blurted, then started off at a run.  Ultimate
Ninja, Innovative-Offense Boy, Deductive Logic Man, and Multi-Tasking
Man followed, making the typist wish the party consisted of Curly, Shokk
and Fuzzy.
	Dr. Stomper abruptly came to a halt.  "Wait the signal's fading,
fading....gone.  But it was right there."  He pointed at a warehouse
wall that a last bit of shimmering could be seen settling out.
	"So (@#&@in' help me if Jean-Claude Van *!@#$^!$@in' Damme comes
outta there..." grumbled I-O Boy.
	"Hey!  He said Damn without being charactered out," complained
Multi-Tasking Man.
	"Context Loophole, all the rage," said Dr. Stomper backhandedly,
his eyes still on the detector.  "He can say 'bitch' if he's in a
veterinarians' office too."
	I-O Boy's eyes widened in a hopeful grin.  "Oh man, I've gotta
*!%^@in' get on a case involving Peter ($#!@ !@*#(&% Falk."
	"What have you got Dr. Stomper," asked Ultimate Ninja, determined
to get back on subject.
	"It's gone now.  The only reason I can think of for such a small
disturbance, both spatially and temporally, is as a portal of some
	Ferris caught Dr. Stomper's drift.  "Like someone time travelled! 
Perhaps the Time Crapper..."
	"No, I think his TURDIS would register even without actively time
slipping.  This is some Time Traveller we haven't encountered before."
	Suddenly Multi-Tasking Man smacked his forehead.  "Cripes!  I
can't believe I forgot!  This happened a few months ago!  I investigated
by myself and found some collection of gear.  I couldn't make head or
tail of it so I put it in the sub-sub-sub-basement."
	"You forgot?"
	"Hey, you try managing 8-10 tasks 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 
Something is bound to fall through the cracks."
	"I believe this 'gear' will bear further investigation," came UN's
dry voice.  "In the mean time there's little else for us to do but wait
on the results of your experiments Dr. Stomper.  And monitor the Trouble
Alert."  This last was delivered in a hiss to a gulping M-TM.
	Innovative Offense Boy spoke out.  "(#@!# M-TM.  Was there a
throttled (!*#@$in' dead body the time _you_ (!@#($in' investigated?" 
The others looked over to see the dead man I-O Boy was hauling from the

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

	Sarc tried to keep his thoughtful expression from dissolving into
laughter.  "Ok, I can see these guys are giving you a hard time.  What
you need is a name that resonates off an existing hero.  They never
laughed at Continuity Champ Jr., that's the kind of thing we need for
	"Mr. Sarcastic Lad, are you sure this will..."
	"Trust me kid.  Let's see.  Cheeezarr is a name that nobody makes
fun of, and it worked for Cheeez Arrow.  I've got it!  Teen SqueeezCheeez! 
Who could laugh at that?"
	"Don't you mean Teeen SqueeezCheeez?"
	"Let's stay conservative this time."
	Teen SqueeezCheeez smacked his lips.  "I'm starting to wonder if you
really have my best interests at heart Mr. Sarcastic Lad."
	"Nonsense!  Off with you!  No need to thank me now, you can do
it at our next LNH meeting."
	Teen SqueeezCheeez hung his head, turned around and resolutely
dragged himself towards the LNHHQ.

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

	The former bum stared at the LNHHQ from a nearby under-
construction building.  [After neighborhood-destruction events in LNH
Triple Play #7 -- Ed.][And who is Ed anyway?  My name is Jeff.]
	His dark faceplate covered wide-open eyes.  It was coming back to
him now.  In scrambled pieces, but it was coming back.  He wasn't truly
a brain-dead bum from Net.ropolis, comforting though it had been.
	He too was originally from the future.  He'd had an important
mission to fulfill, but the trauma of time travelling had somehow
shocked it from his mind.  What he did remember was a suit of nano-tech
armor that had travelled with him.  If he could retrieve that suit of
armor, he was sure more of his memories would come back.
	The problem was that Multi-Tasking Man of the LNH had retrieved
his armor while the bum was in the midst of convincing himself he slept
in dumpsters.
	The former bum touched a stud on the side of his faceplate.  The
walls of the LNHHQ faded to grey while hyper-technology inside began
glowing through the walls.  Kid Kirby's lab and quarters nearly blinded
the bum until he found the adjustments.  Kid Kirby's lab was tuned out,
as was the Peril room, computer room, and Contraption Man's room.  All
those signatures were wrong.  Through process of elimination, the bum
managed to reduce the glowing techs to one signature, deep beneath the
	Zooming in, the bum confirmed that it was a suit-of-armor-shaped
signature.  He sighed. That was it.  He watched enough news to realize
the folly of attacking the LNH directly.  The man pointed the gun to the
	With a tremendous fwaash, the ground vaporised beneath him.  He
dropped fifteen feet into a neatly formed cylindrical tunnel.  Tuning
his helmet, the man levelled his gun in the right direction.  With a
series of fwaashes, he began tunnelling towards his lost suit of armor.

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

	Teen SqueeezCheeez kicked a rock petulantly as he walked back
towards the LNHHQ.  "We'll let you in, we won't let you in.  We'll let
you in, we won't let you in.  Did they treat Spite Grrrl like this?"
	The colorful youth's moping was interrupted by a muted flash from
within the building he was passing.  He sized up the building, then
looked over at the silver tower of the LNH.
	"Y'know.  If this is a threat, and I save 'em from it...they'd
_have_ to take me in then!  Ha!  Teen SqueeezCheeez to the rescue!"  He
darted into the construction site with renewed glee.

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

	Contraption Man sat in the half-light of the LNH's sub-sub-sub-
basement, his back against the wall.  It was here that a year ago he had
tried to kill Dr. Stomper and Deductive Logic Man.  He could remember
thinking of wReamicus Maximus as his messiah and performing those acts. 
Thanks to the efforts of Self-Righteous Preacher he had been
deprogrammed, but the incident still pained him.  He hadn't been mind-
controlled, emotion-controlled, or controlled by QVC.  It had been his
own misguided idea of salvation that had led him to it.  He had wanted
to do it.  No amount of explanation of cult brainwashing techniques
could dull that sharp guilt.  He had wanted to do it.
	He didn't know which was worse, the occasional exclusion from
missions like today, or the blind trust they seemed to greet him with
most days.  It was all he could do to face them without hiding in shame.
	"I'd give everything I ever created if somehow it had never
happen..."  CM stopped himself.  That smacked too much like Retcon which
was where his troubles had all started.  The Future Fabricator's face
hardened.  "If they can forgive me, maybe I can someday forgive myself. 
By becoming a true hero."
	Contraption Man's resolve was not to get the dramatic pause it
	A side wall vaporized, revealing a shabby, helmeted figure
standing in a tunnel in the LNHHQ bedrock.  He gestured menacingly with
a monstrous plasma rifle.  "Back off hero.  I have no quarrel with you,
but there's something here I _must_ have."
	"Forget it.  You've picked a bad time to pick a fight with me..." 
Contraption Man suddenly recognized the helmet and gun as old technology
-- to his post-21st century sensibilities.  The technology was still decades
in the LNH's future. "Unless I miss my guess you're the time disturbance we
detected earlier."
	"I don't have time to explain things.  If you won't step aside..." 
The mysterious figure squeezed off a massive blast that momentarily
tumbled debris over Contraption Man.  CM freed himself in time to see
the intruder sealing himself in a black suit of armor that had lain in
the sub-sub-sub basement.
	Contraption Man had not been idle.  The hero from the future had
mated several parts from a destroyed machine sharing his misfortune.  He
flipped into view, the black-armored man tracking and following with his
blaster.  CM clicked a knob on his new machine and the intruder gurgled
in pained anger.
	"Energy-Trail Feedback makes it uncomfortable to fire doesn't it?"
	"Just a pain in the neck."  The black armor flowed like liquid,
his dark arms telescoping nano-draulically like retractable cables.  CM
dodged between the darting appendages, but one caught him blind sided,
making him drop the nearly-completed inertial differentiator.  CM barely
dodged another flying fist on a twelve foot cable-arm, when the first
caught him again.  He smashed into a bank of Homage's equipment and lay
stunned as the intruder's armor formed a pair of shoulder-mounted
	"Say goodnight Dick."  The black armored figure focussed the two
barrels on Contraption Man.  Before he could fire, a lime green, scarlet
and yellow figure bounded from the tunnel behind him.
	"Hey gruesome, why have a party if you don't invite...Teen
SqueeezCheeez!"  The net.hero wannabe matched his paltry sidekick repartee
with a precise footsweep to the back of the ebony-armor knee.  It
happened to hit the the precise load-bearing moment to stagger the
	With the black attacker flailing backwards, the blasters went off. 
Instead of their intended Contraption Man target, the blasts rocked the
ceiling, sending shudders through the room.
	"This is taking too long." growled the attacker.  "The LNH must be
alerted by now."  The black armor boots bulked up jets, which pointed
Teen SqueeezCheeez's way.  The youth flipped as they fired, catching a
glancing blast which spun him into the wall and out cold.
	Contraption Man had regained himself.  "That's quite enough."  He
pointed a wicked-looking bit of cobbled together horror at the black-
armored intruder.
	Another shudder ran through the room, upsetting both antagonists.
	"If you can't beat it, join it," said the deadly serious voice
behind the armor.  He aimed a second blast upward, which slammed into
the ceiling starting an inevitable collapse of the whole room.  As great
slabs of concrete started raining down, the black-armored man grabbed a
pile of gear and blasted back out the tunnel he came in.  His voice
echoed back, a hint of sorrow in it.  "I didn't want it like this.  You
left me no choice."
	For his part, Contraption Man barely had time to think.  His hands
were a blur as he reformed his invention into a shield generator.  With
the room near collapse he didn't have time to make a generator large
enough for both himself and his pre-pubescent rescuer.
	There was no choice really.  Contraption Man punched his device to
life.  A small force field glowed around Teen SqueeezCheeez just as a rock
crashed down onto it.  That was the last thing Contraption Man knew. 
The rest of the beleaguered supports gave way at once.
	The countless tons of LNHHQ crashed down on top of Contraption

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


	NEXT:  CATALYTIC CONVERSIONS will conclude, or this title will die
		trying.  Not coincidentally, the two-year anniversary of
		LNH TP will be celebrated.  Don't miss it.

		Coming in November.

		===============		===============
Triple Players:

	Contraption Man.................via wReam
	Sarcastic Lad...................via Saint
	"the Good Kid"..................via Drizzt

	Master Blaster..................Robert Ramirez
	Frat Boy........................via uplink
	Incredible-Man-With-No-Life.....E. Conti
	grubby bum......................via Drizzt
	Ultimate Ninja..................wReam
	Doctor Stomper..................via Public Domain
	Innovative-Offensive Boy........via Public Domain
	Deductive Logic Man.............via wReam
	Multi-Tasking Man...............Jeff the Wonder Llama

	small cast this time 'round, and where the heck is Hooded Ho`'od Win?

special thanks to:  The Drizzt's Defense Files for research materials,
	the Flame Warriors (3) for all that voodoo that you do so well,
	(not to mention welcoming a late-comer and putting him in the lead-off
	spot), Drizzt for plot guidance and feedback and Rowan and Martin for
	key snatches of conversation.

From: Saxon Brenton <Saxon.Brenton at uts.edu.au>
Subject: REPOST: LNH: Limp-Asparagus Lad #18
Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Date: 12 Aug 1996 20:57:10 -0700

Blue Light Productions presents:

Limp-Asparagus Lad #18

Multiple-choice titles for this issue:
* Today's Weather Report: Extensive Periods Of Sunshine With 
  Intermittent Showers of Time Travellers (Thanks to Jaelle for the 
  story title)
Part 2 of The Flame Wars III

* Preludes and Nonsense
Part 0 of Leftovers 
( i'm gonna regret this, i just know i will... )

Written by and copyright 1995, 1996 Saxon Brenton
Art by Fr*d H*mback  :-)
Originally posted 25th October 1995

Cover shows Limp-Asparagus Lad (with huge muscles) and Footnote Girl 
(with a hockey stick) facing off against an armoured foe. Contraption 
Man and Good Kid lie unconscious in the foreground (underneath some 
rubble). Below the (extraordinarily dull) 'Limp-Asparagus Lad' logo 
is the far more interesting 'The Flame Wars III Part 2' logo.

  What has gone before: In the beginning there was nothing, which 
exploded. More recently, however, in part 1 of The Flame Wars III 
(_LNH Triple Play_ #8) a mysterious man regained his memory and found 
Renewed Purpose. He snuck into the LNHQ to get some stuff that he 
could use in his war against time travellers, and fought Contraption 
Man and an LNH applicant called... well, he was going by the name of 
Teen SqueezeCheeeze at the time, but I think the name more likely to 
stick will be Good Kid.

  Elsewhere/elsewhen, a figure in black armour brooded. He'd had a 
lot of practice, and was getting quite good at it.
  About him was your basic comic-book style mad scientist (or mad 
scientista :-) lab. It's owner was currently without a project to 
keep him occupied - other than a vague inclination to redesign his 
armour so that he could more easily go to the lavatory - and bereft 
of purpose they both sat gathering dust.
  A proximity alarm went off. The armoured figure shot to his feet 
and assumed a determined pose. "The proximity alarm," he began, 
stating the bleeding obvious. That was always a good place to start 
when one was engaging in expositionary monologues. "But who could 
possibly know my location? Is it an ominous consortium of my most 
deadly and implacable foes? I must look to my defences. Whoever it is 
shall know the wrath of... Oh! Soddit! Damn! I forgot to put 
exclamations in that dialogue!" His shoulders slumped, and he sighed. 
" i need more work at this, " he grumbled under his breath, and then 
he hit a switch. "Alright, who is it?" he demanded ungraciously.
  "I am Artemis. I have searched long and hard for you. The fate of 
humanity hangs in the balance, and we must have words to plan its 
  The armoured figure drew himself up. "What care I for the fate of 
humanity!?" he snarled, remembering to add exclamations to the 
rhetorical question. That improved his mood a bit. "The matter is of 
sublime indifference to..." and he paused for three beats, "Sufferyng!"
  There was a second's pause from outside, before the voice over the 
comm system replied and spake thusly, "Geoff, it's Natalie. Stop 
p*ssing around and let me in." There was more than a hint of 
irritation in her voice.
  Sufferyng started as he recognised her voice. "Wha... Natalie? Oh, 
okay. Hold up a sec..." he said, disengaging some of the defence 
systems for her to enter.
  When she arrived he briefly looked her over. She was a woman in her 
mid thirties. That implied that despite all the jumping around in 
time he'd done earlier in his career at the behest of his brother, 
Mr. Minister, they were now meeting at a time when their personal 
chronological ages matched properly again. She was dressed in an 
approximately practical costume (i.e., one that wasn't necessarily 
skin tight or showed too much cleavage for the fans to drool over) in 
red and brown, and with only a few discrete pockets. She also carried 
a staff. It was definitely a heroes costume though, since it didn't 
set out to project sullen menace like his own wickedly bladed armour. 
"So what's the big deal?"
  "I need your help on a mission."
  He looked doubtful, though she had to read that from his body 
language rather than his visored face. "Go on."
  "In the mid 24th century the RACelestials are about to conclude 
their 50 year judgement of humanity, and the decision isn't going to 
be good. I need your help in pinpointing the right moment back in the 
late 20th century to change history to avert that timeline, or 
preferably mitigate it. It sounds strange to me, since as I understand 
it that should only diverge an alt.ernate timeline. But the Scientists 
Supreme of that era all swear its possible in theory. That's when I 
thought to try and find you."
  "Riiiight. And why should I help you? Why should I bother helping 
them? It's just another alt.ernate future, right? What's in it for 
me?" It was standard supervillain spiel.
  "Oh geez, man! I can't believe you! You haven't got the courage of 
your convictions to stand up for yourself or anything you believe in, 
but you're perfectly capable of committing any atrocity for someone 
  "Shut up, b*tch! I don't need you moralising at me! My life is my 
  "It's not your bloody own! Ever since I've known you you've been 
under someone else's thumb, usually your blasted brother's!"
  They stood, glaring at each other, trembling in fury. With a massive 
effort of will Artemis drew herself back under control. "I've missed 
you, Geoff," she said quietly. "More than you can possibly imagine. 
But I can't afford to keep trying to prod you on and prop you up. Not 
when the fate of the entire Looniearth hangs in the balance. If you 
can't commit yourself to doing something for once, just because it's 
right, and not because someone else is pressuring you into it, then 
just say so and I'll go."
  She watched his eyes. They were pools of anxiety, self-loathing and 
pain. Part of her wanted to hold him like in happier times, and love 
him, and make the pain go away. The rest of her felt sick with disgust 
that even after all this time he _still_ didn't have the spine to make 
a decision on his own.
  "I'm scared Natalie," he admitted, eyes downcast. "I've done a lot 
of sh*tty things in that time period, and the Legion will blame me, 
rightly, for playing a part in the death of Sig.Lad."
  ['Electrocutioners Song', leading to the events of _Dvandom Force_ 
#48 - Footnote Girl]
  "You can't spend you life running away."
  He nodded, guiltily.
  "But maybe if you aren't wearing such distinctive armour..." she 
suggested. "You know, from the moment I found you were using this 
identity, I've wondered what possessed you to be so masochistic." 
Then, to his look of wild-eyed confusion she added. "You look 
ridiculous in that thing. Especially the toilet paper to stop the 
bleeding where you cut yourself putting it on. And you stick out like 
a sore thumb."
  "I... I don't... What do you mean?"
  "What possessed you to wear that armour?" she countered.
  "Well, it, uh, looks cool. You know. Dangerous."
  "In other words, you wanted to look like a villain. It's a 
supervillain's idea of chains and 'death' spelt out in studs on a 
leather jacket, with most supervillain costumes being adolescent 
attempts to look tough anyway."
  "Well... I guess so."
  "And did it occur to you that by wearing such a cliche that you'd 
only end up looking like a dork who was _trying_ to look tough?"
  "Hey!" he protested.
  "Well? Did you ever manage to create a rep as a villain not to be 
messed with?"
  He thought back to his participation in the events of the 
'Electrocutioner's Song'. "No. Not really," he admitted.
  "And in any case, can you imagine how the Legion of Net.Heroes would 
react if you turned up dressed like that? I need your help. I don't 
need an impediment of every Legionnaire dropping everything to take 
revenge out on your hide."
  He squirmed uncomfortably at the thought.
  "So the simplest thing is to get you a new costume, right?"
  "Uh, well, hold up a minute. I mean, a costume... That's your 
identity. It says who you are..."
  "And you want to say you're a wanna-be villain with pretensions of 
being bad-ass?" she asked sceptically.
  He shrugged in resignation. "It seemed appropriate at the time," he 
said bleakly. Then he added tentatively. "I've, uh, always had trouble 
getting out of this thing, you know."

  The LNHQ medilabs:
  "Okay, that's all Limpy. You can get down now," said Dr. Stomper.
  Limp-Asparagus Lad did so, swivelling off the examination table and 
putting his shirt back on. It was not his usual spandex top, but then 
that part of his costume hardly fitted him anymore. Last issue he had 
undergone a freakish physical transformation, and now had muscles on 
his torso that made him look like a case of steroid abuse taken to 
horrible extremes. His chest, shoulders, upper arm and thigh muscles 
had grown to the size of watermelons, but the rest of his anatomy 
remained the same, making him look absurdly disproportionate. 
Although he could have put it a bit more tactfully, Dr. Bad-Bedside-
Manner had been absolutely correct when he'd observed that if L-ALad 
put on a pair of goggles he could have passed as Megaton Man.
  "What is your prognosis, Doctor?" the Man of Dull asked in his 
usual bland monotone. 
  "The energy schematics confirm what I suspected. It's Leifeldian." 
Dr. S frowned. First Retcon Lad starts exhibiting excess Niciezan 
energy, and now this. He made a mental note to check the records of 
the rest of their family to see if there was a history of overdoses 
of fanboy market energies. Maybe it was hereditary. The Doctor 
continued, "That would imply RobGoblin. Whenever he's not powered up 
as Youngstud the Ravager, his modus operandi relies heavily on 
transforming others to his overmuscled conception of anatomical 
correctness. The tennis ball you were hit with seems to confirm that 
theory, though I still have to run a few tests on it for absolute 
  Limp-Asparagus Lad nodded. "And what are the prospects of a cure?"
  "I don't know. I know that it _is_ possible, since Fortnight Man 
was cured of his condition." [_Dvandom Force_ # 48 - Footnote Girl] 
"But it may take time to come up with a safe method."
  "Very well. Do you require anything else?"
  "Not at the moment. I'll call if something crops up. However, make 
sure to come back if you start feeling strange."
  "In what way strange?"
  "The effects of RobGoblin's powers sometimes have a detrimental 
effect on those of his victim. Keep an eye out for anything unusual, 
and make sure whoever's on duty at the Peril Room knows to take 
precautions during your workouts."
  "Actually, there may be something..."
  "I think I may have been feeling a bit silly about looking like 
  Dr. Stomper pursed his lips. Feeling 'silly' would be a normal 
reaction for anyone in this situation, but L-ALad was supposed to be 
insulated from any sort of emotional reaction as a side effect of his 
powers. Did this indicate a weakening of his drama dampening field? 
"Okay. Come back in two days time, or sooner if you notice anything 
else. I'll devise a few more tests to investigate this."
  The other nodded and left.

  Geoffrey buried his face in Natalie's hair. It had been a very long 
time since they had shared snugglebunnies, but now he was content 
simply to be in her presence. 
  "You smell, Geoff," she told him tolerantly. "When was the last 
time you washed?"
  "Uh... about four days ago, I guess. I _told_ you I had trouble 
getting out of that armour."
  She laughed weakly, and snuggled closer to him. "Well, that's not 
going to be an excuse you can hide behind anymore."
  "No, I guess not." He grinned at her. "Spandex in primary colours 
is beginning to sound attractive."
  "Bet you want a cape too."
  "Mmmm. A cape'd be nice."
  She hugged him. "You're impossible, you know that?"
  "Maybe. I notice that it never stopped you trying to make me over 
into what you wanted, though."
  "You've never been beyond hope as far as I was concerned," she told 
him seriously.
  He smiled shyly. "Well, I'm with you... Uhm... I'd better think of 
a name too. Uh, Brooding Boy? Whipping Boy? Angst Lad? Snivelling 
Lad? Loser Lad? Pathetikid?"
  She stared at him. "You can't be serious."
  "Okay, okay. Maybe not. Redemption?"
  "That'll do. So, have you given any thought to how to fix the 
  "Hmm. A bit." He got out of bed, and dressed only in his shorts 
walked over to a table covered in bits of high-tech looking junk. He 
stood before it, looking at the ill-assorted pieces of equipment 
speculatively. Then he picked one of them up. "This is a fluxsensor. 
It's used for tracking time aliens. The slug slime in it detects the 
Doppler shift of chronons and tachyons put out by temporally displaced 
beings because of the variance between the energy levels of their 
native time period and the one they're in created by the second law 
of thermodynamics." He paused, then looked up. "With modifications it 
should be possible to track down a Cosmically Important Point relevant 
to the timeline you want to affect by its exotic particle output. Once 
that's done, theoretically manipulating the C.I.P. to effect the 
changes you want shouldn't be all that difficult."

  Back at the LNHQ:
  Limp-Asparagus Lad was making his way down into the sub-sub-sub-sub-
sub-sub (etc. for however long you feel like carrying on the joke) 
basements. He held in his hand an inventory of some stuff that was 
wanted up in the kitchens that he had to get out of storage. He also 
carried a map to find his way, and a torch with fresh batteries to 
read the map by. The sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub (etc.) basements weren't 
particularly well lit. This was partly because of the need to cut 
back on power bills, and partly because of the conventions of the 
genre (things had to be dark, with just enough light for the audience 
to see what was going on).
  Of course, the reason why there needed to _be_ sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-
sub (etc.) basements was not just because of plot contrivance, or 
because of the ever-increasing number of Legionnaires. It was also 
because of all the junk that needed to be stored. Including things 
that, strictly speaking, had nothing to do with the Legion. Stuff 
that dated back before their formation, back to the times of the 
Legion of Net.Hippies and the Net.astic Nine in the sixties, Four 
Colour Man and the P.U.L.P. Syndicate in the forties. And probably 
beyond as the demands of absurd back history demanded.
  He consulted the map, and then the section numbers on the walls. 
Almost there.
  Then, up ahead, there was a noise. 
  He paused, trying to catch the sound more clearly. Could it be 
_another_ receptionist gone feral in the protean depths of the 
  Once the echo of his own footsteps was gone, it seemed to the Man 
of Dull that it was the distinctive sound of a fight scene. And then 
there was the roar of falling rubble. He moved forward to investigate.
  As he rounded a corner, he found someone in black armour looking 
through a hole in the wall, staring at a mess caused by a ceiling 
  "What is going on here?" L-ALad asked.
  The armoured man started in surprise. "Another one!" he cried.
  .oO('Another one'?) thought L-ALad. Then he noticed the form of 
Contraption Man conveniently visible through the hole, half buried 
beneath the rubble of the collapsed ceiling. "I trust you have a good 
explanation for this."
 "Yes! I am here to stop you, time traveller!" yelled the black-clad 
man, cutting loose with a barrage of missiles from his armour.
  .oO('Time traveller?) L-ALad wondered again as his body absorbed 
the impact.
  .oO(Blast!) thought the other. (This overmuscled freak must have 
invulnerability to go with his superhuman strength,) he decided.
  .oO('Superhuman strength'? I think he has me mistaken fo... Oh. 
Wait. That was a thought balloon. I shouldn't have read that.)
  Just then, Footnote Girl was walking past. (I wonder what she's 
doing down here in the sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub (etc.) basement? Hmm, 
absurd plot contrivance? Nah. I used that excuse last issue. Okay, 
uhm, she's been down in the sports storeroom getting a new hockey 
stick. Yeah, that's it. Hey, and that'll mean she's armed for the 
fight scene too! Cool.)
  Footnote Girl heard sounds in the distance. She paused, head cocked 
to one side. What to do? In the past she would have carefully crept 
up and found out what was happening, then gone off to get the 
authorities if necessary. Of course, if there was a need to hurry, 
then going back to get the authorities would also include the risk of 
spraining her ankle. But that sort of thing was a fairly standard 
hazard thrown in for dramatic tension purposes and could hardly be 
avoided in many genres.
  Now, however, FGirl felt the need for more direct intervention. It 
was almost certainly the fact that the Looniverse had a different 
gene to what she was used to. Hefting her stick, she boldly advanced 
  She took in the scene with a glance, and what she found was this: 
Two people were fighting, while a third was lying unconscious, half-
covered in rubble. The non-participant she recognised as probably 
being Contraption Man. There were very few other people who had an 
'L' tattooed on their face covering their eye. The other two, well, 
she could hardly tell.
  One, of course, had to be a goodie and the other a baddie. On that 
score the genres of school fiction and superheroics agreed. The 
simple black and white mentality made keeping track of things so much 
easier. But who as who? One, wielding pyrotechnic blasters built into 
his armour, she couldn't recognise at all. The other... well... It 
could be Limp-Asparagus Lad. The LNHQ rumour mill said something had 
happened to him last issue, and this freak who looked like Prime - or 
worse, Crazy Marvin - was wearing clothes in the same colour scheme 
as L-ALad's, and with L-ALad's stylised asparagus symbol.
  So, after only a second's pause, Footnote Girl came to a conclusion, 
and leapt into battle, giving the armoured guy a solid thwack. It 
didn't do much good though.
  "What? _More_ time travellers?" demanded the man in the armour.
  "Legionnaires, actually," replied FGirl, circling him.
  The two LNHers continued to make jabbing attacks, but it was 
basically an impasse. Limp-Asparagus Lad, being unarmed, and Footnote 
Girl, being armed with only her hockey stick, were unable to have any 
serious affect against the armour. On the other hand, their opponent 
was still getting the hang of the armour's capabilities, and wasn't 
having an effect against L-ALad's ability to absorb the force of 
impacts, nor FGirl's sports field-derived ducking and weaving. But 
L-ALad knew that it was only a matter of time before the other's 
skills improved, and in the meantime Contraption Man could well be on 
the brink of death.
  That gave L-ALad an idea, though he was a bit surprised that he 
hadn't thought of it earlier. Touching his comm.thingee he announced 
loudly enough for the armoured intruder to hear. "Limp-Asparagus Lad 
to security. Intruder on level 5, section C. Require backup and 
medical assistance. Over."
  "Limp-Asparagus Lad?" wondered the armoured man. "You don't look 
anything like Limp-Asparagus Lad." Then his voice filled with horror. 
"Oh no! You're a future version of Limp-Asparagus Lad who's been 
hideously transformed and gone Evil!" he exclaimed.
  "What!?" boggled FGirl.
  "He seems obsessed with the idea of time travellers," observed 
L-ALad blandly.
  The armoured man quickly considered his options. He couldn't stay 
here. Even if this Evil future L-ALad's call for help was faked, a 
prolonged fight would still bring the LNH down here, and he still 
wasn't conversant with enough of the armour's systems to want to risk 
a fight with so many opponents. Moreover, he knew from experience that 
the LNH wouldn't listen to him; if he wanted to save them, he'd have 
to do it himself. Now, this thing was supposed to be flight capable. 
How did... Ah!
  He took to the air, and with computer-assisted precision flew off 
through the twisting corridors of the LNHQ. The Legionnaires were no 
match for his speed, even the relatively slow speeds he was using to 
keep from running into walls, and could only watch him go.
  The two of them began clearing rubble away from Contraption Man. 
After only a few seconds a group of Legionnaires materialised by 
transporter, including Dr. Bad-Bedside-Manner bringing a stretcher 
with an attached antigrav.thingee. As it turned out, Contraption Man 
wasn't the only one unconscious under the rubble. There was also an 
adolescent boy in a garish costume buried as well, but in far better 
condition than the Hero From The Future, despite apparently having 
had more of the ceiling drop on him. The consensus was that CMan had 
probably protected him with a gadget of some sort that had since given 
out, which had probably saved the boy's life.
  Then, as L-ALad briefed the security team, and Dr. BBM beamed away 
his two patients, something on the floor caught Footnote Girl's 
attention. She knelt and picked it up. It was a small black cube, 
about eight few centimetres across, with five prongs on one side. 
"More high tech stuff," she murmured. Oh well, better not leave it 
around. It nothing else List Lad will want to know about it so he 
could catalogue it.

  Well, actually, perhaps not quite 'meanwhile'. It's normal to use 
that word to describe events occurring elsewhere that are concurrent 
with other events. Unfortunately, things get a little bit messy when 
you're dealing with time travel. Nevertheless, the following events 
can, in at least one sense, be said to be happening 'meanwhile', for 
reasons that will hopefully become clear. But they are not happening 
at the same time. Hence the problem. Oh well, I'll just have to make 
  Hm? So when are they happening? Oh, sorry, of course.
  The Rear-End of Time:
  Look about you. See the ruins of a once mighty newsgroup. Ah, sorry. 
Nothing to see them by. The sun went nova several trillions of years 
ago, and is now just a black dwarf. Now it's little more than a 
traffic hazard for those pesky teenage alien Teasers who cruise 
around the cosmos finding inhabited planets that haven't made 
interstellar contact yet, then setting down in a deserted spot in 
front of some poor soul who no-one's going to believe and strut up 
and down making 'beep beep' noises. Or it would be, if there were any 
Teasers left. There aren't. There haven't really been many people 
about for quite some time. Either here or anywhere else in this 
universe. Anyway, hold up a sec while I arrange for some illumination 
for us. There. Okay, _now_ can you see the ruins of a once mighty 
newsgroup? Good.
  Smell the air, stale with the eons-old passage of time. Well, 
what's left of the air. The atmosphere boiled off into space when the 
sun went nova. So why, I hear you ask, is there still _any_ air left 
to breathe? Good question.
  It was imported. (Why do you think Brainiac 5, Duo Damsel, Saturn 
Girl and the others were able to breathe when they went after the 
Time Trapper in _Legion of Super Heroes_ #50 back in '88, hmmm?) And 
then it was lovingly tailored just so that it _would_ smell stale as 
if from an eons-old passage of time. Some people have very strange 
ideas about interior (or exterior, as the case may be) decoration. 
But then the Rear-End of Time attracts some very strange people.
  It's like, you know, necronerds. People who think it's cool to 
dress up in black and have a pale complexion and look consumptive 
and generally affect the appearance of being a vampire when you're 
really a vegetarian. Well, there are some daft idiots who think it's 
cool to hang out at the Rear-End of Time. People who are about as 
balanced as an up-turned pyramid. Mr E. K. Mouse _didn't_ set up shop 
in the final newsgroup of net.death.immenent because he liked the 
view you know; he did it because he's a loony.
  ['Wrath of the Administrator' part 12 - Footnote Girl]
  Anyway, enough of these Net Trenchcoat Brigade references.
  Up ahead, a being that defies description monitors the passage of 
ages. He is the Emperor of Excrement, the Czar of Coprology, the 
Potentate of Poo, the Sultan of Stool. He is... the Time Crapper!
  With hands that could _really_ do with a wash, the Crapper caresses 
a viewing crystal. Within, the flux and flow of eons was his to 
behold. And guess which particular part of time he's watching. Yes, 
_that's_ why this scene warrants a 'meanwhile'.
  "It is as anticipated," he noted to himself. (Have you ever noticed 
how much supervillains like to talk out loud? Although I suppose 
_they'd_ say they were engaging in dramatic monologues or something. 
Boy, talk about pretentious. And cosmically powerful ones like the 
Crapper are among the worst.) "In the wake of the chronological chaos 
of Retcon Hour, the time streams are in a state of total disarray, 
despite Continuity Champ Jr.'s repairs with the Ring of Retcon."
  ['Retcon Hour Omega' part 3 - Footnote Girl]
  "With that disarray has come the opportunities of using it to 
affect the flow of history. Even now, time travellers are converging 
on the period, to make or remake history to their desires, and in the 
process weakening and tangling the threads of time even more. This 
does not suit the Time Crapper's plans, and thus it must not be. The 
Time Crapper has plans for that era, and their schemes must not be 
allowed to interfere."
  (Another thing about supervillains giving monologues or whatever 
you want to call it is that they have the annoying habit of lapsing 
into talking about themselves in the third person. But you've 
probably already noticed that.)

  A bit later, on a Net.ropolis rooftop:
  Two figures materialised. One was Artemis. The other was a man in 
an unknown blue and white spandex costume. Which had cape.
  "A rooftop?" Redemption queried as he took out a piece of hand-held 
equipment. "Isn't this a bit conspicuous? I mean, wouldn't an alleyway 
have been a bit better concealed?"
  "You've been playing supervillain too long," she replied. "You'll 
have to get out of the habit of skulking. With all the other 
superbeings and general weirdness in this city, no-one's going to 
remark on, or probably even notice, our arrival."
  "HALT, TIME TRAVELLERS!" boomed the amplified voice of a black 
armoured form from above them.
  "...On the other hand."
  Energy blasts strafed the roof. 'Demp dodged out of the way, 
inexpertly, cursing the fact that in all the excitement he hadn't 
thought to bring more defensive equipment, just an array of most 
non-combat stuff. He'd have to fix that when he got the chance. 
Artemis dodged with the grace of... well, a huntress, laying into her 
opponent with energy blasts from her staff. It wasn't doing much good 
though, primarily because they were stunning rather than concussive 
force and the armour seemed to be shielding against it.
  And their assailant, for some reason, was concentrating on her as a 
target. 'Demp wondered why; he certainly wasn't using his own power, 
and surely this tin-plated goon wasn't silly enough to concentrate on 
her as the only moving target. Was he?
  Well, whatever the faults in his overall strategy, his specific 
battle moves were good. Perhaps too good. Computer-assisted? Perhaps 
'Demp could cobble together a uni-directional EM pulse and short 
out... uh oh. No time.
  Across the roof the flying foe had pressed Artemis hard, and she 
had been forced off the roof. Not fallen, knowing Artemis (although 
she'd no doubt be able to make it look like that), just forced off. 
And now the black-clad warrior had turned his attention back to 'Demp.
  "And now, it's _your_ turn!" his flying foe snarled.
  Redemption thought quick, and settled on the option of just making 
him go away. "Wrong, fool!" he taunted. "You can stay here and tear 
up the building as much as you want, but you won't stop me from 
reaching Net.ropolis Park." Then 'Demp ducked behind a television 
antenna. The other, who had been glaring at 'Demp, puzzled as his 
opponent suddenly and completely vanished from sight. Obviously the 
spandexer had teleported. The assassin flew off, intent on tracking 
down that blasted time traveller.
  With the time-obsessed terror leaving, 'Demp quickly brought out a 
small gizmo and pointed it at the departing form. He frowned, then 
made his way across to check on Artemis. She somersaulted up over the 
edge of the building with an acrobatic grace. "I take back what I 
said about skulking. It's a bit early for that sort of thing. Wonder 
who that nutcase was."
  "Dunno, but I got some very interesting readings off him with the 
fluxsensor as he was flying off. His personal Doppler shift indicates 
he's a time alien who's come back to the past, too."

  Okay, The Flame Wars III continues in part 3 in _Fan.Boy_ #11.
  Next issue of _Limp-Asparagus Lad_... Well... The arc is called 
Leftovers. No, its not a crossover with _Leftover Lad_. Y'see, during 
the course of trying to come up with a workable plot for TFW3 a lot 
of ideas were raised. Mostly by me, I admit. I suffer badly from 
fractured hypercreativity (lots of ideas, but they rarely fit 
together properly). But some of them came from the others. Anyway, 
rather than let them all vanish away, or wait to use them later when 
most of them would be most appropriate now, I'm going to do something 
with them, even though I've probably bitten off more than I can chew 
with this. Tune in to see how badly I can fluff this up.

Character Credits:
  Contraption Man and Dr. Stomper are Public Domain. 
  Sufferyng is Public Domain, reserved by Saxon Brenton. People who 
were present at the time and remember back that far maintain that he 
was created for his original appearance in the 'Electrocutioner's 
Song' by Jef Kolodziej at the request of Dave Van Domelen.
  Dr. Bad-Bedside-Manner created by Tick (Peter Milan).
  Good Kid and that time traveller hating guy created by Drizzt (Jeff 
  The Time Crapper created by v129j6ed at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu (used 
without permission).
  Artemis and Footnote Girl created by Saxon Brenton.
  Limp-Asparagus Lad owned by Saxon Brenton, created by Mystic 
Mongoose (Robert Armstrong) and wReam (Ray Bingham).

All characters copyright and tm 1995 their owners and/or creators.

Add Notes:
  Cosmically Important Points (C.I.P.s) are all Dvandom's fault (Even 
if they are about the only sane explanation for the Age of Apocalypse 
mess; its just that he gave a coherent explanation and Marvel didn't.) 
The explanation of their significance can be found in _Dvandom Force_ 
#46; but they'll be explained again around here later if you don't 
feel like rummaging through your back issues.
  The fluxsensor and slug slime jokes come from Doug Moench's _Aztec 
Ace_ series, published by Eclipse back in the 1980s. Fluxsensors were 
used to track time aliens, but the slug slime was a 'dirty' substitute 
for time travel fuel. Thus, in _AA_ slug slime wasn't what detected 
extratemporals; it was one of the things that left a trail for the 
fluxsensor to follow extratemporals by.
  The RACelestial's 50 year judgement of humanity parallels the 
similar judgement by the Celestials in Marvel Comics, which culminated 
back in _Thor_ #300.
  And lastly, a correction for last issue: the version of Faerie 
created by Jasyn Jones should have been called Tir Nan Og.
Adventures On The Letterspage #6

  This is a story about creativity and its cost.
  The glittery creature you see as it makes its way about the world 
is a psychotrope. One of many. Like its kin, it is an avatar of the 
Madness, and is one of the pieces of the latter entity that can 
actually leave the Writing.
  When the psychotropes touch upon the minds of humanity, they bring 
creativity. They are, in effect, like muses, and bring inspiration of 
a greater or lesser degree to those that they so bless. Or curse. It 
depends on your point of view, I suppose.
  And this is the reason that the Madness itself is bound. It is a 
creature of pure creativity, beyond that which the mortal mind can 
hope to cope with. In extreme cases even the touch of the psychotropes 
can be too much to bear. Although what, exactly, 'too much' is remains 
a matter of debate itself. Composers, deaf as posts, transcribing 
melodies that only they can hear... Artists, working and slaving and 
starving in garrets, or cutting off their ears.... Singers performing 
and touching on the primal soul of their audience, but burning up 
and burning out with the frenetic energy of trying to maintain that 
level of emotional contact...
  For many their brilliance will be accoladed later... Often 
posthumously. But even for those lauded in their lifetimes, there are 
still the reputations of being... eccentric. Difficult. Visionaries, 
but often hard to deal and socialise with.
  The psychotropes are not kindly harbingers. Not for they the gentle 
role of Greek muses, bringing inspiration like the kiss of spring 
rain. Their inspiration hits hard, like a hailstorm. And there is 
always a price to pay...
  This is also the story of George Hamilton, and the price he payed. 
  As Anticlimax Kid, George was one of the founding members of the 
Legion of Net.Heroes. But there was more than that. Much more. Apart 
from the regular _Anticlimax Kid_ series, he had written quite a 
number of LNH projects, plus in Omega, NTB, Patrol, and Crossroads. 
He was pretty good at it too, and won a modest number of RACCIES...
  But one cannot live by fanficking alone, and George had other 
activities on the Net. IRC conversations, various MOOs and MUSHes and 
MUDs, favourite newsgroups and mailing lists.
  All this took up a lot of time. Perhaps too much time. It might 
explain why he only just barely scraping through college.
  Worried, his parents and siblings had tried to talk to him, but 
hadn't really understood his descriptions of what it was like to be 
involved in something that one could commit oneself to. More often 
than not they ended up arguing with him.
  His family insisted that George see a psychiatrist. He agreed, 
simply because it was easier than resisting. He also agreed to getting 
a part-time job, which his parents hoped would help him get is 
priorities in life in order. Or at least get him to set aside some non-
Net time in his life. So he had taken the job at a computer company, 
working as a system admin. But he still spent a good eight hours each 
day on the Net, coming close to giving up sleep altogether.
  That would explain why, just four days before Christmas 1994, while 
driving home in his mother's car, he fell asleep at the wheel and 
crashed at over 70 km/h.
  Indifferent to his death, his personal muse moved on. After all, 
there were other minds to illuminate with the fires of creativity and 
madness. More than all the psychotropes in the world could ever 
service, though they were certainly willing to try.

Mail on Limp-Asparagus Lad #16

[from Abhay Khosla]
    Heheh... that was fun. These Culinary Disaster stories sure have 
  turned out well. It's funny, everytime I think of KNAIARHS I end up 
  thinking of Overman in his Animal Man appearance. I still haven't 
  seen #14 and #15 (and maybe 12)... these newsreaders things act up 
  somthin' weird. #13 was pretty neat. Maybe not a huge story like 
  you said in your letter page, but I like all the exposition and 
  explanation of the Looniverse, not to mention the layer after layer 
  of continuity-acknowledging. I'm surprised you aren't writing a The 
  Whole LNH series or something...

    - The Culinary Disasters did work out quite well, didn't they? 
    Although I suspect that they took longer to get done than poor 
    Jaelle would have liked.
    - Overman? You mean Overman who's brain got fried by the sex 
    virus? Well, I kinda think of Kid more as a cross between Icon, 
    Superman, and Kid Kirby.
    - As for all the continuity acknowledgment, and all the 
    explanations of why things work in the way they do in the 
    Looniverse, well, I like that sort of thing. But that should be 
    obvious, 'cause otherwise I wouldn't have wrote them. :-)
    - A series called 'The Whole LNH'? Gaah! Don't DO that to me! 
    I've got several ideas for really big stories (okay, okay, 
    stories with really big casts), as well as some with not so big 
    casts, that'll probably turn up in _LNH Comic Presents_. Lotsa 
    silly stuff. Well, I _hope_ it'll be, anyway. But a regular 
    series? Arrgh! Just let me dabble with guest stars and LNHCP and 
    I'll be happy.

Mail on Limp-Asparagus Lad #17
    - Perhaps a word of warning is in order here: the responses were 
    all from people on alt.games.torg, to which #17 was also posted, 
    so the discussion may get a bit esoteric.

[from Shawn Metcalf]
    Very clever! Looking forward to seeing the rest.

    - Thank you. 
    - Oh yeah, and for everybody who was around last year on a.g.t. to 
    listen to my blatherings and has an awful suspicion; yes, Garbage 
    Guts _is_ a tharkoldu jakatt.

[from Megan Grimm]
    I wish to add my kudos as well: great job. I forwarded it to every-
  one I know who's not on the mailing list (slackers) so they could 
  have a copy for their very own (yes, they could have fetched it 
  from the newsgroup, but I was feeling generous. It's a rare 
  occurrence) I'm definitely planning a foray into the world of Limp-
  Asparagus Lad as soon as I have more than five minutes to myself.
    Of course, the Demon Goddess could not possibly let things go at 
  that (isn't it a pain having a dominant alter-ego?) and since she/it 
  has possession of our shared corporeal form at the moment, 
    A Tharkoldu Jakatt? *WHAT!*
    Irony. I love it. I'd also love to know how THAT managed to come 
    Anyway, good work, liked it, planning to read the rest, etc. etc.

    - Well, I dunno about having a dominant alter-ego. I had an 
    emergency back up one when I was doing my Higher School 
    Certificate exams back in '87, but I haven't used her in years...
    - Tharkoldu jakatts are something silly I created last year. We 
    had lots of fun arguing about trying to make them less powerful 
    and what Spirit axiom they'd need to function at.
    - As for how it came about, well, eventually a techno-demon 
    physically transformed and adapted to survive in the low Magic 
    environment of the Living Land. As this was happening, Lanala saw 
    that this new worshipper of hers was a walking deadthing, and this 
    made her sad. So Lanala now practices divine intervention in all 
    tharkoldu physical transformations to LL reality, and makes sure 
    they become people rather than demons.

[from Jeremy Morris]
    I liked the Limp-Asparagus Lad issue.  I've been lurking on 
  r.a.c.c for a little while, and I loved the TORG humor in it. 
  (Thanks for the mention in there too.  Does this mean that I can no 
  longer call myself a lurker on a.g.t?)

    - I think you can call yourself whatever you want; it all depends 
    on how you perceive yourself. Anyway, I had lots of fun with #17, 
    and I anticipate having even more the next time Torgish stuff 
    turns up there (there's so much absurd accumulated history for 
    a.g.t :-)

Character Credits:
  The psychotropes created by Saxon Brenton.
  George Hamilton respectfully based on Nathaniel Davenport.

  All characters copyright and tm 1995 their owners and/or creators.
Saxon Brenton     University of Technology city library, Sydney, Australia
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au   |   as756 at yfn.ysu.edu   |   saxonb at mpx.com.au
The Librarian "liked people who loved and respected books. And the best 
way to do that, in the Librarian's opinion, was to leave them on the 
shelves where Nature intended them to be." - Terry Pratchett, _Men At Arms_

Next Week: FLAME WARS III part II!!

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

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