LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #46: The Crimes of the Brotherhood Part Nine

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 28 13:00:56 PST 2018

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

Firstly, we have Jeff "Drizzt" Barnes with the number 18 of his
Continuity Champ and the Drizzt Defenders series that is part
one of the Fall From Space storyline -- where RetConan dares
Continuity Champ to shut down his powers 24 hours, which he foolishly does
and before you know it there's a bounty on him and every lame
two bit villain comes out of the woodwork to collect on that bounty.

Issue #19 of CC&DD is part two of the storyline, and it's a fun
LNH writer jam issue where Drizzt is joined by some more writers.

In the issue is Patrick 'Specter' Gearman with a MudMerc tale.

Rene Villareal (writer of Dog-Boy) trying to snuff the Champ
with a singing dinosaur.

And finally, some Joltin' Jeff McCoskey showing off his
incredible beer commercial knowledge.

Oh and I mustn't forget -- Thread Bear!

And now..

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #46

                 The Crimes of the Brotherhood Part Nine

Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: LNH: Continuity Champ & The Drizzt's Defenders #18 (Third try... sigh)
From: barnejd at wkuvx1.wku.edu (Jeff Barnes)
Date: 24 Apr 95 10:59:51 CDT

                           "The Beginning of the End"
                           Fall From Space, Part One
                         EXHILARATING EIGHTEENTH ISSUE!
	RetConan and Crossword Master briefly left the Drizzt's Defenders, 
leaving the remaining three Defenders to cope with a horde  of cosmic 
entities who flocked to the Drizztsat for their once-a-century convention.

	Things, it seemed, were truly back to normal.

	"Bah," RetConan snarled, "he does not measure up to me as a 
warrior.  Of course, few could," he admitted grudgingly.  "But he makes the 
mistake of believing his prowess equal to mine!"  There was little need for 
him to identify who he meant.

	Judak smiled serenely.  "Well, Darryth's seen a few battles in his 
day.  I think you might underestimate him."  For the sake of the barbarian's 
ego, she did not add, 'and overestimate yourself.'

	RetConan snorted.  "He lacks the heart of a true warrior.  Certainly, 
he may have fought -- but he hides behind his powers.  He is no warrior."

	Judak rolled her eyes.  "RetConan, Darryth uses his powers just like 
you use your living armor.  There's nothing wrong with that."

	"Bah, he cowers behind them.  I was a warrior born, a warrior before 
I ever encountered Shamcutter.  That costumed buffoon is not a true man at!"

	"Oh, really?" an icy voice said from the doorway.  RetConan turned to 
see Continuity Champ standing in the doorway.

	"Yes, really," RetConan replied.  "What of it, 'Champion'?  Are you 
truly what you claim to be?  Do the powers make the man?"

	CC's thoughts flashed back to the vision of his mask in his hand, and 
his own question: "Where does the mask end and the man begin?"  He noticed 
then that Judak's eyes were upon him.

	"No," CC answered.  "I'm more than just the sum of my powers."

	"Prove it."

	CC arched an eyebrow.  "How?"

	"By Lee, isn't it obvious?  Disable your powers for a period of time.
Let us see whether you are a true warrior or an overpowered buffoon!"

	"So be it," CC said, his eyes flashing darkly.  He stepped back, 
gathering his energies inward.  "Let's settle this once and for all, 
RetConan.  I'll shut down my powers for twenty-four hours.  That's one day, 
by the way," he added sarcastically.  "Enough for you?"

	"It will do."

	"So be it, then," CC repeated.  He began systematically shutting off 
his powers, using his Knight of Continuity abilities to block them one by 
one.  First went his flight powers, then the nanites in his blood, which 
provided him with increased strength and rapid healing.  Next went his mutant 
powers to affect reality, then those he'd gained from the bite of a 
radioactive wombat.  And so it went for several minutes, until nothing 
remained to him save his powers as a Knight.  He inhaled deeply and, with a 
thought, blocked them off as well.

	And then he stood before them, a superbeing no longer.  Simply a man 
and nothing more.

	So be it.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Deep beneath the streets of Net.ropolis, a dark figure sat upon its 
throne in the underworld, waiting, waiting oh-so-patiently.  When its 
intended quarry arrived, it pounced.

	"Is it done?" a husky female voice demanded.

	Lethal Lawyer jumped, his eyes not yet adjusted to the gloom.  "Y-yes.  
I've sent out notices to as many of my colleagues as I could.  Many of them 
seemed quite interested in your offer."

	She spoke again.  "Good.  Very good."  She pointed to a briefcase that 
sat beside him.  "Your payment.  Now, leave me."

	Lethal Lawyer bowed, only too glad to leave the dank lair.  He 
turned and was gone.

    	The first figure sat back on her throne.  It had been a long, 
difficult search for *him*, taking her across time and space and back again.  
Now, though, it was coming to a head.  Even if she was not going to take her 
vengeance personally, it would be exacted.  And, if everything else failed, 
well...  She patted the sword that rested beside her.  If it came to that, 
she still had other ways to deal with *him*.  The moment she had planned for 
for so long was almost here.

	It would not be long until Analith Darryth Rath was no more.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	The end began in earnest an hour later.

	CC rushed into the monitor room in answer to Obscure Trivia Lad's 
summons.  He paused at the doorway, slightly out of breath.  The others stood 
around a monitor.  RetConan looked up, saw CC's breathless state, and smirked.  
CC glared back and drew himself up.

	"What have we got?" he asked.

	OTL answered.  "Obscure Trivia Lad was checking the news when this 
came up."  He pointed to the screen, where reporter Carlos Montoya was 

	"...seized control of the pediatrics ward of Coastal City Memorial 
Hospital about fifteen minutes ago, taking an estimated twenty hostages.  
Authorities refuse comment at this time, but NNN has learned that the hostage 
taker may be a superbeing referring to himself as 'Festus Clint'..."

	CC blinked.  Clint?  Again?  After their last meeting, the Champion 
had assumed the undead sherriff was gone for good in an explosion which also 
saw the birth of CC's evil doppleganger.  Somehow, he must have survived -- 
"survived" being a relative term when applied to a zombie.

	Montoya continued speaking.  "We have learned that he is reportedly 
demanding the former member of the Legion of Net.Heroes known as 'Continuity 
Champ' come to him or he will begin executing the hostages."

	Judak looked up to CC, knowing what he was thinking before he even 
thought it.  "Darryth, you *can't* go!"

	CC slowly shook his head.  "I have to.  You heard him; he has over 
twenty kids hostage, and he plans to kill them!  He has to be stopped."

	"You don't have your powers, though!  Can't you just... turn them 
back on or something?"

	CC shook his head.  "No, they're completely shut down for the next 24 
hours.  I'm not defenseless, though.  I'm an expert in several martial arts.  
And then there's always this."  He gestured to the sonic scimitar he carried 
in memory of his deceased friend J'mbaub.  "Besides, who said I was going 

	CC looked around at the others.  "We're all going in.  I'll keep 
Clint busy while you four get the hostages out.  That's your first priority," 
he said, aiming his comment squarely at Judak.  "Once they're out, then you 
help me take out Clint.  Provided, of course, I haven't already polished him 
off by then.  Any questions?"  There were none.  "Okay, then, let's get to a 

	CC stood by as the others filed out.  Judak caught his gaze as she 
walked by, her eyes silently pleading for him to reconsider.  He just smiled.  
His decision was made.  The die was cast.

	So be it.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Festus Clint looked out the window, looked at the hostages, looked 
anywhere but at his own rotting flesh.  His life had been good until he'd met 
Continuity Champ.  Clint had been the right-hand man of Dr. Killfile in his 
attempt to take over the world using an android army and the Champion's stolen 

	That attempt had come to a screeching halt when the Champion and 
Obscure Trivia Lad had gotten involved.  The android prototypes had been taken 
or destroyed, the hired ninjas had scattered after being defeated, the doctor 
was rendered a mindless vegetable, and Clint himself had been murdered in cold 
blood by the Champion.

	The grave hadn't kept him, though; a few months afterward, strange 
retcotheric energies had revived him -- as a zombie.  Those same energies now 
also powered his shotgun, energies that Continuity Champ was particularly 
vulnerable to.  Clint had been on the verge of killing his killer, until the 
Champion had literally exploded, throwing the zombie sherriff away and 
recreating the Champion's doppleganger.  A wounded Clint had wanted no part of 
two Continuity Champs and had slunk off into the night.

	He had used his underworld contacts to try to find a cure for his 
undead condition -- doctors, nanotechnology experts, even a minor wizard or 
two -- but the prognosis had always been the same: death was irreversible.  
They had one and all been baffled by Clint's undead state.

	And then his body had begun to fall apart, as the rot of the grave 
had claimed more and more of him.  While science could not cure him, Clint 
found that it could at least deal with this.  Cybernetics experts had 
outfitted him with equipment to temporarily hold his decaying form together: 
subcutaneous tubes to pump moisturizing fluids through his body, motorized 
implants to aid moldering muscles, and so on.  What little humanity that had 
remained to Clint had been left behind in the process.

	Even so, he knew that he was only delaying the inevitable for a while. 
In time, his corpse would pass the point of no return, and he would 
(hopefully) die again.  In the meantime, though, he intended to make the one 
who had killed him pay.  He would have his revenge. 

	And there was still hope.  He had been plotting how to best gain 
vengeance on CC when the call had come.  The first one to kill or capture 
Continuity Champ would receive a tremendous reward.  Perhaps even enough to
cheat death again.  And there were hints, innuendos that success could be 
rewarded with a return to true life.

	In short, Clint had nothing to lose -- and everything to gain.  He 
smiled hideously.

	Not long now until the Champion would be a corpse himself.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	That same Champion was now standing outside, going over floorplans 
with the Coastal City police commissioner and the Drizzt's Defenders.  "And 
you're sure that the others can get the hostages out if I can draw Clint into 
this part of the building?" he asked the cop as he tapped the plans with his 

	Commissioner Fred Smyrgle puffed on his cigar and nodded.  "Shouldn't 
be too much of a problem for them."  The rolypoly cop grinned slightly.  "Of 
course, if they're yer friends, I can't think of much that would be."

	CC nodded absently, then looked around at the others.  "All right, 
then.  Let's go."  He turned back to the building, picked up an electronic 
megaphone, and began walking toward the hospital.

	"Clint," he said, his voice amplified by the device, "this is 
Continuity Champ.  I'm coming in."  He continued his pace toward the glass
doors of the hospital.  When he reached them, he paused for a second,
placed the megaphone on the ground, and then walked in as the automatic doors 

	As he stepped inside, CC looked around the lobby.  There was no one 
in sight.  Not Clint, not a hostage.  No one.  He drew his sonic scimitar and 
crept cautiously to the elevators.  If Clint was not holding the hostages in
the lobby, the only other place in the hospital to keep that many kids
would be the cafeteria, which was on the second floor.

	The elevator slowly came down to the bottom floor.  As it arrived, a 
bell dinged, causing CC to jump.  Calm down, Darryth, he thought with a dry 
smile.  You'd think you were fighting your first supervillain.

	Then the doors slid open, revealing a diseased, rotting form pierced 
by wires, tubes, and machinery.  "Howdy, Champ," Clint wheezed, his fetid 
breath heavy with the smell of the grave.  "Glad ya could make it."  He raised 
his gun and fired.

	On pure reflex, CC ignited his scimitar with a snap-hiss and dove to 
one knee, dodging the retcotheric plasma.  Then he was back on his feet as 
Clint exited the elevator.  He circled warily, keeping the sonic scimitar 
between the undead cyborg and himself.

	"Yer lookin' good, Champ.  Been eatin' yer fiber?"

	CC said nothing.  His enthusiasm for this rematch had dwindled a 
great deal when he saw the fanatical gleam in Clint's eyes.  Though he didn't 
know the specifics, he was certain Clint had only one purpose in continued 
existence: killing him.  It was one thing to face an old foe; it was quite 
another for that foe to be fanatically seeking your death and wielding a 
weapon that could easily accomplish his goal -- while you did not have your 
usual array of powers.  Tougher still when you remembered he'd soundly 
thrashed you the last time you'd met -- when you *had* your powers...

	And nigh unto impossible when you'd already had to deal with the 
guilt of killing him once.

	"Shoot, Champ," Clint continued, "I don't need no reward fer killin' 
ya.  I'd've done that on my own.  It jest sweetens the pot a mite."

	Another blast of retcotheric energy.  Another swipe of CC's sword 
parried it away.  They continued their circling, Clint probing for a weak 
spot in CC's defenses, CC mentally counting the seconds as he awaited his 
teammates' arrival.

	And then Clint was upon him, firing the mystic shotgun at rapid 
speed.  CC dodged left, right, twisted, contorted, parried, anything to keep 
the deadly energy away from him.  Before he realized it, he was within 
strinking range of Clint.

	Both combatants rocked back on their heels, momentarily startled by 
the unexpected turn of events.  Then Clint raised his gun...

	... and time slowed to a crawl...

	... and CC reached forward...

	... and Clint squeezed the trigger...

	... and CC's hand was on the barrel...

	... and Clint felt the gun begin to kick...

	... and CC twisted the gun's barrel away from him...

	... and then the gun discharged...

	... and then time resumed its normal course, as the blast whizzed 
past CC to gouge a crater in the wall.  Continuity Champ twisted it further 
and brought his left elbow down on Clint's forearm.  A sickening crack came 
from Clint's corpse, and CC wrenched the gun free, his fingers burning from 
contact with it even through his costume.

	He stepped back, scimitar in one hand, gun in the other.  Clint 
smiled a rictus grin, then raised his hands as if to say, "You've got me."

	"Whatcha gonna do, Champ?  Kill me again?"

	CC paused.  "You said someone had paid you to fight me..."

	Clint snorted.  "Paid me, nothin'.  I wuz gonna get a reward if'n I 
beat ya.  Maybe even a cure.  So, whatcha gonna do with me now?  If ya don't 
kill me, I'm just gonna keep comin' after ya until one of us is dead.  You 
know that.  Maybe I'll even get that purty girl in yer team, too."  He grinned 
evilly.  "I ain't got nothin' to lose, 'cause I'm dyin', y'see.  Falling 
apart.  And it's all your fault."

	CC shuddered, his finger on the trigger before he even realized what 
he was doing.  It was one thing for Clint to threaten him, but if he even 
thought about touching Judak...

	"So," Clint repeated, "whatcha gonna do?"

	CC looked at him, raising both gun and sword.  "It's not what I'm
going to do."  He stabbed forward with his scimitar set on stun, piercing 
Clint.  The undead sherriff crumpled to the ground, unconscious.  "It's
what you're going to do: go to sleep."

	CC sagged.  That had been a near thing.  If the stun setting hadn't 
worked on Clint, if his instincts and reflexes hadn't been exactly perfect, 

	Then CC paused.  But everything had worked out just right.  He'd 
taken on one of his deadliest foes on this planet, someone whose weapon was 
anathema to his system, and had won without his powers!  He smiled.

	"I *am* more than just the sum of my powers."

	Then he heard footsteps behind him.  He turned to see the other 
Drizzt's Defenders.  Judak ran to him.

	"Darryth, you're all right!  Thank the makers!"

	CC smiled, turning off his scimitar and dropping Clint's gun.  He 
opened his arms wide to receive her.  "Yes, I'm just-"

	Without warning, there was a bright flash of light where CC had been 
standing, causing all the Defenders to shield their eyes.  Seconds later, 
when she could see again, Judak looked to the place where CC had been.

	Nothing was there, save a small pile of dust, to mark where the 
Champion had stood...


[Next issue: Is this the end of CC?  Of course not!  FALL FROM SPACE still 
has two more issues!  Be here as CC faces the villainy of some of the 
Looniverse's greatest villains in "Running the Gauntlet"!]

By the way, if anyone has any villains they want to pit against CC in a brief 
scenario, let me know, write it up, and send it in.  It will appear next 


	Continuity Champ first faced Festus Clint in THE COSMIC CONSPIRACY
(now availible in TEB form at eyrie), during which time he was incited to 
kill him by the evil of the doppleganger he'd absorbed back in CRY.SIG.
Clint was reborn in CC&DDs #6 by recotheric (magical) energies associated
with the RISE OF THE MID.NET SONS incidents (which, incidentally, Josh
tells me is still a work in progress =).  Clint was believed destroyed in
the explosion which seperated CC and his doppleganger.

	Police Commissioner Smyrgle also debuted back in THE COSMIC
CONSPIRACY, only it was Detective Smygle back then.  The full story on his
rapid rise through the ranks may pop up in my next title.  Or it may not.

	CC acquired the sonic scimitar that had belonged to the alien
J'mbaub after the latter's death in CC&DDs #11.

-- Drizzt
Jeff Barnes                                           barnejd at wkuvx1.wku.edu
"A good architect can improve the looks of an old house merely by discussing
 the cost of a new one."                                         - Anonymous

Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: LNH: Continuity Champ & The Drizzt's Defenders #19
From: barnejd at wkuvx1.wku.edu (Jeff Barnes)
Date: 21 May 95 00:38:47 CDT

                             "Running the Gauntlet"
                           Fall From Space, Part Two
                          NOTEWORTHY NINETEENTH ISSUE!
	Continuity Champ was challenged to shut off his powers for 24
hours by RetConan and accepted, just in time to face off against his old 
enemy Festus Clint.  Powerless and against all odds, CC won the battle 
and learned that someone had put a price on his head.  Then, he vanished
in a flash of light...

	Continuity Champ groaned slightly and tried to turn his head to 
one side.  He couldn't; it was bound by leather straps.

	"Ah, I zee you are avake," a voice said.  A dumpy man in a 
laboratory coat came into his line of vision.  "Good.  Ve can proceed, 

	"What is this?" CC demanded, tugging at the straps that bound him.

	"Ah, zis iz just an experiment.  Of zorts.  You probably don't 
remember me, but my name iz Vapid Vetrinarian."

	"Of course.  I knew you looked familiar.  The LNH hasn't heard 
from you in a long time.  Not since Bad-Timing Boy took you down single-

	The vet flushed slightly at the memory of his ignoble defeat.
"Vell, zat was zen, zis iz now.  You are my tezt zubject now."

	"Subject?  For what?  Wait a sec.  Did you put the price on my

	"No, no, no," Vapid Vetrinarian chortled.  "Zat was not me.  Of
course, after I'm finished with you, I do intend to collect ze revard.
In ze meantime, zough, ve have many things we must discuzz."

	"Like vat... I mean, what?"

	"Vell, I zink zat it iz pozzible zat we can tranzfer at least zome
of your power to a test zubject.  I understand zat another person, Dr.
Killfile, tried that before."

	CC shook his head.  "I'm afraid that won't work; I've shut my 
powers off for the time being."

	"Ja, but zey are still zere, only blocked.  Ve can still get at
zem."  The vetrinarian looked toward instruments CC could not see.  "Ah,
good, ve can begin."  He reached over and pulled a lever.

	CC felt a curious sensation as part of his supressed power began
to flow from him.  "No!  NO!!!!"

	It was then that the wall crumbled in.  A strangely armored figure
jumped through the hole, weapons at the ready.  "IKUZEIIIIII!!!!!"  CC 
recognized him as longtime LNH foe Manga Man.

	Manga Man dashed over to where CC was imprisioned and slashed the 
straps holding him.  "Quickly, Champion, before the scientist unveils his
plan."  CC sat up.

	"It's too late, too late!!!" Vapid Vetrinarian cried.  "Ze zubject
is empowered, even if it is but a fragment of your power!"

	CC whirled to see VV raving over... a glowing mouse?  "*THAT* is 
your test subject to receive my power?"

	"Vhy not?  Ze rodents are most biddable."

	"'Fraid not this time, doc," the mouse said.

	"Vat?"  CC couldn't tell if Vapid Vetrinarian was more surprised 
at his test subject speaking or its refusal to do his will.

	"It's like this: we rodents have been picked on for too long.  We
need someone to stand up for us.  And that's gonna be me."  The mouse 
lept toward -- and through -- the ceiling.  As he flew away, he could be
heard exclaming, "Here I come to save the day!"

	"Noooo!  My creation!"  Vapid Vetrinarian ran out the door, 
following the general course his lab rat had flown.

	CC gazed after the vetrinarian for a moment, shrugged, then turned
back to Manga Man.  "I suppose I owe you for freeing me, or that mouse 
might have gotten all my power."

	"Think nothing of it.  But there is one thing I do ask in return."

	"What's that?"

	"Die, gaijin dog!"  Manga Man produced a sword from nowhere and 
sliced at CC.  The Champion ducked just in time to keep his head attached 
to his body.

	CC recovered quickly, bringing out his sonic scimitar and igniting
it with a snap-hiss.  He swiped at Manga Man, but the villain parried his 
blow with ease.  "So, I suppose you're after the reward, too?"

	"Of course."  Manga Man stabbed with his sword, causing CC to hop 
backward, then counter with a backhanded slash.  "I can certainly use the
money -- and the prestige -- your defeat will bring.  Why not accept your
fate?"  CC idly noticed the villain's lips did not move synchronously 
with his words, but filed away the observation.

	CC found he was already sweating from his exertions.  Skilled 
swordman though he was, this was a battle he couldn't hope to win -- if he
fought fair.  There must be some weakness in Manga Man's defenses...

	Then he remembered how the LNHers had defeated Manga Man the first
time they'd encountered him.  Underneath the multicolored mask, he smiled.

	Manga Man's powerful swipe was parried by CC's blade of solid 
sound.  CC returned with a thrust which was likewise turned aside, leaving
him off-balance.  Manga Man smiled and swung again.

	It was just then that he realized the missed blow had been a feint.
CC dropped the scimitar, caught Manga Man's sword arm, and rolled with the
blow.  He wound up holding the villain face down on the ground.  With a 
deft pull at a cable in the villain's armor, the threat was neutralized.

	"Wait!" Manga Man shouted as CC stood up and dusted himself off.  
"I can't move without power to my armor!  You can't just leave me like 

	"Oh, you're a bright boy," CC said.  "You'll manage.  Besides, I
think I'll go call the boys in blue to pick you up."

	As he stepped outside, he look around.  The scenery was familiar.
He had been teleported by Vapid Vetrinarian to Net.ropolis.  He ran down 
the alley that the laboratory opened into and found a phonebooth at the
corner.  He punched the number for the police.  "Hello?  Yes, this is 
Continuity Champ of the Legion of Net.Heroes.  I've just stopped a super-
villain here at the corner of... Allbery Lane and Escutia Boulevard.  
Could you send the proper restraints?  Thanks."  He hung up the phone.

	"CHAMPION!!!" a deep voice bellowed behind him.  CC sighed.

	He turned around to see a large, middle-aged man dressed only 
in a worn-out bearskin.  The bear's head was worn like a helemet, the 
claws like gloves.

	"You've *got* to be kidding me," CC remarked.

	"Fight me, Champion!  For I am Thread Bear!  I am your doom!"

	CC turned to the fourth wall.  "Oh, brother..."

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	While Continuity Champ sent another villain to la-la land, the
remaining Drizzt's Defenders waited anxiously aboard the Drizztsat for a 
communication of some kind from him.

	"I just hope he's okay," Judak said quietly, her remark more for 
herself than the others.

	"I'm sure he's fine," Crossword Master said, though he was not 
sure of anything of the sort.  "After all, this is Continuity Champ we're
talking about.  And the Drizzt did confirm that the energy signature from
when he disappeared was a teleportational one.  It's just a matter of 
time before he figures out where CC was taken to."

	Judak was not comforted.  "Time Darryth may not have," she said 

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	"Yes, that's right,"  CC said over the telephone.  "Two supervillains,
not one.  Yes, I was attacked by another one right after I talked to you
last."  He paused, listening to the testy words of the cop on the other 
line.  "No,I don't know how much it costs to house prisoners in the 
superhuman wing."  Another pause.  "Well, listen, it's not my fault these
nuts are crawling out of the woodwork after me.  I'd be perfectly happy
if they'd just-"

	"Continuity Champ!"

	CC turned again to see another costumed figure.  "Uh oh.  Listen,
I think there might be a third coming up for you.  No, I can't talk right
now.  Call you back."  He hung up the phone and stepped out of the booth.

	"No offense, but I am doing this for the money." the strange man
said. Continuity Champ had been on the run for a few hours now, as villains
had almost literally crawled out of the woodwork top try and kill him.
And now he had run into another one of them. Dressed in a grey bodysuit,
studded with armor plates, he had appeared out of nowhere.

	Continuity Champ was not in the mood for much more of this. He had
been seperated from the rest of the Drizzt's Defenders for some time now, and
had not been able to contact them. And he still had several hours before
he could reaccess his powers.

	"I don't suppose you could at least tell me who hired you?" CC said,
igniting his sonic scimitar. The man in front of him didn't seem to be armed,
but CC wasn't taking any chances.

	"You expect me, MudMerc, to rat on his employer?" The man paused 
for a moment. "Well, now that you ask, I have no idea who's behind this.
But they do pay well." MudMerc grinned under his mask. "En Garde." MudMerc
snapped his fingers, and a large saber appeared in his hand.

	Continuity Champ was just barely able to block the first set of
attacks from MudMerc. By the Knights of Continuity, this man was good!
Ducking under a swing, CC took the intiative, slowing forcing his opponent
back. As CC disarmed the man, he disappeared from sight. Turning around, 
he caught MudMerc shimmering back into view behind him. 

	"Oh nuts... you were expecting the teleport behind trick..."
MudMerc said, grinning. He snapped his fingers again, and a different
sword appeared in his hands. "It's a good thing they installed lockers
on that Mud, or this would be a short fight. Of course, if this battle
involved a fashion sense, you would already have lost."

	"These are the colors of the Knights of Continuity!" CC growled.

	"So they were color-blind too?" MudMerc responded.

	"Your arrogance will be your undoing!" CC said.

	"And your ability to rehash old movie lines will be yours!" MudMerc

	"You seem to be enjoying this too much for a true villain!" CC said
as the fight continued.

	"Of course I am. I'm not a evil villain, just a mercenary." MudMerc
said, parrying CC's attacks. However, he couldn't get through Continuity
Champ's defenses either. "You know, if you're going to win, you'd better
do it fast before some other villains show up." MudMerc said, jumping back
from a flurry of attacks.

	"Well, you're not exactly making it easy for me." CC said, slashing
across MudMerc's chest, drawing first blood.

	"Aahh... you actually hit me!" MudMerc sounded shocked. Backing off
a bit, he pulled a vial out of a pouch and quickly drank it. The wound and
the costume healed before CC's eyes.

	"I hated to do that... It's so hard to get good potions brewed there
these days...." MudMerc said. "Tell you what... it's been a pretty good
fight, and thinking about it, the money isn't all that important."

	"You're letting me go?" CC didn't trust this guy for a second.

	"Well, not exactly... but I hear some other villains approaching,."
CC noticed the distant pounding as well.  "And... well, I'm not on the 
best of terms with most other bad guys... so... see you later!"
With that, MudMerc vanished.

	Continuity Champ turned as he too now heard someone else approaching.
Who would it be this time?

	The thunderous tremors seemed to come from all sides. Whatever was
making them was either a huge beast, or a person with feet the size of
Buicks. Continuity Champ scanned his surroundings on all sides, hoping
to pinpoint the source of the giant footsteps.

	Suddenly, it emerged from out of the shadows... a large purple
dinosaur with felt-like skin. It was approximately 10-feet tall, but
it had a menacing grin that easily could have been two feet across.

	He had heard stories of such a monster. It was called Barry, the
Grinning Purple Nightmare. From what he had heard of the mindless
minion of sponge, it was nearly impossible to kill.  A fellow Net.hero
named Dog-Boy had barely escaped the jolly ghoul by playing heavy
metal rock-and-roll. Unfortunately, CC was armed with only a sonic
scimitar, and not a CD player.

	Before he could figure out a plan, however, the Evil(tm) incarnate
opened it's giant mouth, and spoke...


	It was like a hatchet being driven into CC's brain; the pain was
unbearable. But it was nothing compared to what was happening to his
mind. His mental skills were being sucked dry. He had to use all of
his concentration to even come up with one coherent thought.

	.o(Must... fight it... or be DESTROYED!!!)

	Using only the blind instinct of survival, CC charged the purple
Evil(tm), slashing at anything and everything. Sometimes he sliced
only air, sometimes he hit the mark. When he was done, there was
nothing left of the fiend, except a pile of foam and felt that seemed
to squirm with a life all it's own.

	When he got his composure, as well as his mind, together, he notice
that several pieces of sponge were reforming different body parts.

	.o(The blasted thing's like putty! It's reanimating itself!)

	CC figured that this would be a good opportunity to get the Hell(tm)
out of here, before the mind-eater finished putting itself back

	After a quick period of searching, CC spied a small corridor. It was
big enough to allow him to squeeze through, but small enough to keep
Barry from following.

	Then he heard the muppetsaur's footsteps. Sword in hand, he ducked
into the passageway just seconds before the felt-covered hands of
Barry could grab him.


	CC shuddered at the thought. Continuity Champ had survived his 
first encounter with the servant of sponge. "Hopefully," he thought, "it'll
be my last encounter.  For today, anyway."

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	His name was Homage, and his goal was to be rich.  Rich beyond
his wildest imaginations.  Filthy rich, with enough money to get clean
and then filthy again.

	And the latest proposal Lethal Lawyer had told him about might
just do that for him.  He gazed thoughtfully out the window of the 
Brotherhood of Net.Villains' secret headquarters.  A bounty on Continuity
Champ's head...  The money and the prestige from it might just make up 
for much of his team's recent failings...

	He pressed a button on the intercom system on his desk.  "Dianne,
hold my calls for the rest of the day.  The boys and I will be going out 
to play for a while..."

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Continuity Champ felt the rumble under his boots.  Beneath his mask, 
his eyes narrowed.  Earthquake?  Explosion?  Barry again?  Rosanne Barr 
falling down?

	After a pause, a second rumble shook the building.  CC darted to
the window.  Before he got halfway there, a volleyball the size of a
city bus smashed into the building, sending the now-powerless Champ
leaping for safety.  A giant hand reached in after the volleyball, along
with some guilty, deep giggling.  Champ catiously peered from the gaping
hole in the wall.

	Above Net.ropolis, four slacker giants played volleyball amongst
the stately skyscrapers.  Every smash brought more wanton destruction to
the scenic downtown.  Champ clenched his hands in fury.  If ever there
was a reason to reclaim his powers, surely this was it.  Even RetConan
would understand...but no.  He had given his word.  The LNH could handle
the giants -- in the distance, he saw Kid Kirby firing some sort of
beam, diverting a diving dig away from the Net.ropolis Grade School.

	There might be little he could do about the giants, but someone
inflicted them on Net.ropolis.  But who?

	The former cosmic hero swung easily to the cracking and shaking
street.  Most citizens had fled from the street, leaving him alone among
the silent buildings.  Abruptly, a smattering of disembodied laughter
caught his ear.

	"By the Subconscious Psychedelia of Ditko, what...?"  Snatches of
conversation maddeningly floated to his ears.


	"...music loud here or is it me..."

	"...why not..."

	Champ slowly narrowed in on the sounds.  Net.ropolis Net.ional
Bank was as silent as most of the emptied-in-panic street.  Suddenly
figures appeared, as if carrying bags of money out.  Champ rubbed his
eyes and the ghosts were gone, as if hallucinated.

	"This is madness.  My cosmic senses can't have been skewed this

	"...why ask why..."

	Again, like a bad double-exposure, a horde of ghostly apparitions
materialized, carrying money.

	"Of course, some sort of dimensional shift!  My former cosmic
awareness must have sensitized my normal faculties to see this hidden
crime.  This I can handle!"  With Champ's discovery, the thieves resolved 
into flesh and blood.

	Like a horrendous purple, orange and green streak, Champ was among
them.  He struck powerfully and surgically, easily taking the nearest
four to the ground.  Something was wrong.  Even accounting for CC's 
hand-to-hand skill, it was too easy.  CC looked at his fallen foes. 
They shook themselves as if waking, then ran from him.  Ordinary citizens!

	With the giants acting as diversion, ordinary citizens were being
pressed into service for a trans-dimensional crime!  But who...?

	One of the fallen forms was a bad-smelling man in a grubby 
trenchcoat.  He did not flee with the others.

	"So.  One of the LNH has managed to uncover my plans.  Which one
are you, Fashion-Mistake Man?"

	Champ clenched his teeth.  "I'm beginning to take a dislike to
you.  Who are you?"

	"Where were you during Retcon Hour?"  The answer was hip-deep in a
game of Jenga, but no way would Champ admit that.  "I am the Time Whino! 
And it took all the combined LNH heroines to defeat me last time.  What
can you hope to do?"

	"I am Continuity Champ..."

	"Oooh I, ah, see.  Sorry sir, I'll just be popping off for a quick

	"...even though I renounced my powers."

	"Do tell.  In that case..."  The Time Whino pulled a beer bottle
from his coat and waved it at Champ.  The remaining zombie-thieves
focussed on Champ hungrily.  CC happened to glance at his reflection in
a store window.  His eyes boggled under his mask, then he leapt at the
reflecting pane.  CC had appeared to be a giant, irresistable bottle of
an adult beverage!

	A massive thirst assailed him, and Darryth found himself thinking
how delicious he'd be, once he pried his own head off.  Fortunately, the
pane shattered as he struck it, shattering the illusion.  The illusion
was not shattered for the baker's dozen of innocents who licked their
lips and clasped their hands as they stalked forward.

	CC spilled into the faux den display case, spilling 1930's
photographs everywhere.  He quickly regained his feet and darted further
into the interior of the high-class men's clothing store.  There was
indignant fury in the Timeline Troubadour's voice.  "Using innocent,
thirsty citizens for his nefarious means.  This Time Whino will be
stopped...cold.  Powers or no."  CC darted into the men's wear section
and quickly pulled a classic suit over his tell-tale costume.  The
thirst-crazed citizens sped past, mistaking him for a mannequin.  His
own costume seemed to be central to the giant beer illusion.

	Darryth back-tracked, finding the Time Whino loading the money
from the bank into a beat-up station wagon.  With a flourish, he stripped 
his suit from his back, revealing his costume in all its chromal glory.  
"Stop there, Whino."

	"AAAh!  You've blinded the Brooks Brothers!  How did you escape...
but nevermind."

	Darryth dodged in close, attempting to physically engage the sick-
looking alcoholic.  With unnatural speed, the villain popped open a beer, 
spraying Darryth full in the face.

	"What...have...you...done?"  CC's face seemed to be folding in on
itself, as if suddenly dipped in enough alum to twist his entire body 
around his cheeks."

	"It appears cosmic power can't hold a candle to Bitter Beer Face!"

	"...Told...you...renounced...powers..."  CC's mask was hopelessly
lost in the folds of his contorting face.

	"Hah!  Even better!  These'll hold you, until my thirsty slaves
find you to finish you off."  The Time Whino threw a handful of frogs at
CC, who latched to the Net.hero with their tongues.

	CC summoned his will, and spun violently, managing to bodily seize
one of the restraining frogs' bodies.  With tightening muscles he slung
the fat amphibian at the Whino.  A satisfying think proved CC's accuracy
remained well-honed.  The Time Whino was drawn to CC by the frog's
elastic tongue.

	"Hey!  Cut that out."  The thirsty mob suddenly poured back onto
the street, and immediately spotted CC's colorful outfit.  "You fool! 
They'll kill us both in their frenzy!"  The Time Whino struggled, but he
could not break CC's firm grip.


	"Blast you."  Time Whino slammed a beer to the pavement.  An 
aura of light surrounded Time Whino and Continuity Champ.  The glittering
light floated to one of the pictures laying in the street, where Darryth 
and TW materialized.  It was a group photo of a fighter squadron in black
and white, except for Darryth's glaring form.

	"I can't move."

	"Of course not.  We're in a photograph."

	"How do we get out?"

	"I need to slam a beer can."

	"Do it."
	"I can't move either," Time Whino pointed out with a tight voice.

	"Is this how we'll die?  Trapped in a black and white photo?"

	"It's not an escape ploy I use often," TW snapped.

	CC's eyes narrowed.  He noticed that TW had actually managed to
flinch slightly in his anger, joggling the aviator next to him.  If TW 
could move when enraged...

	Darryth's eyes glittered.  "You're a third-rate villain, aren't 


	"Sorry, it's true.  Clueless Master had more brains.  So did Y-
Plex Burp.  But who was smarter between them?"

	TW looked confused.  It probably helped that he never comitted a
crime sober.  "Well, Y-Plex Burp I guess."

	"Hmmm.  How about Y-Plex Burp or Acton Lord?"

	"Acton Lord."

	"Acton Lord or Tsar Chasm?"

	"Tsar Chasm, definitely Tsar Chasm."

	"Tsar Chasm or Lord Ebon?"

	"Lord Ebon."

	"Lord Ebon or Time Crapper?"

	"Crapper!  He was the genius that created me."

	CC whispered, "Time Crapper was a moron."

	"You'll pay for that, Eyesore!"  In his fury, Time Whino actually 
moved, slamming a can to the black-and-white tarmac.  Darryth and T 
spilled to the pavement, restored.  Champ shrugged off the disorientation 
first, thanks to his cosmically-trained senses.  Two lightning punches and 
the Whino was out cold.

	The giants abruptly disappeared, as did the frogs.  The thirsty 
mob came to and realized the only CC they wanted to drink was a 
trademarked soda. A slow smile spread across Continuity Champ's face.  He 
really tried to stay silent, but it was a lost cause.

	"Now comes Miller Time."

	He looked at his watch.  Only a few more hours to go, and then 
he'd be up to full strength again.  And then he could find out exactly 
who was behind all this...


[Next time:  Time runs out, as CC faces the unleashed might of the 
 Brotherhood of Net.Villains!  This is the one you've been waiting for,
 the one you can't live without!  See CC go against impossible odds!
 You will believe a hero can die!  Face it, true believers, we had to
 call this story... "BoNVoyage, Champ!"]


	Mud Merc fight scene courtesy of Specter, all rights reserved.
Lefts, too.  Barry fight scene by Rene `Dog-Boy' Villareal.  Ditto.
Time Whino sequence by Joltin' Jeff McCoskey.  Any and all errors are
their fault entirely. =)  Thanks much to this terrific trio for their

	Vapid Vetrinarian and Manga Man must belong to somebody.  <shrug>

	Thread Bear was a loser I found in the Roster a long time ago.
He belongs to somebody, too, but as far as I know this was the first time
he's ever actually been used.

	MudMerc's abilities are from various Muds I've played in the
past, the majority of them being from Mystic Adventure.
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


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

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