LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #67: Birth Of A Villain Part Seven

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 1 13:30:04 PDT 2018

In this weeks reposting of stuff you can find in the eyrie archive
we have the seventh section of a Birth Of A Villain.

Returning to the Birth of a Villain cascade with #21 (was there
a 18, 19, and 20 -- who knows) is Jessica "Jaelle" Ihimaera-Smiler.
Mouse and the rest ponder whether they need a plan or perhaps even
more characters?

And Rob Rogers follows up with #22.  Will Lite say the dialogue
"Coward Lad, hand me your Discman," somewhere in this issue?
(Spoilers:  Yes!!)

And now..

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #67

                      Birth Of A Villain Part Seven

From: Jessica <jaelle at ihug.co.nz>
Subject: LNH: Birth of a Villain #21 (did I miss something or did we skip parts 18-19?)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative
Date: 9 Jun 1999 13:13:46 GMT

What has gone before: roughly 46 pages of text. 

"Well," said Mouse as she confronted the faux Legion of Net. Heroes
created by Vector from clones of herself. Staring at the group of 
Rebel Yell, Kid Kirby, Lurking Girl, Organic Lass, Pocket Man, Marvel 
Zombie Lad, Comics Snob Boy, Lost Cause Boy and Continuity Champ she 
mentally evaluated her forces: Writers Block Woman, Twaeila, 
Easily-Discovered Man Lite, Insomnia Lad, Coward Lad (currently 
possessed by DeadHeadMan), Chinese Guy AKA Bruce (AKA the martial 
artist formerly known as Jack) and Lenny the Squirrel. She tried to 
think of a zingy little stinger line she could use to sum up the 
situation and get the plot moving.

"This sucks." she ended. "Let's just attack first and ask questions 

"Is that really such a good plan?" asked Chinese Guy.

"It's never failed us yet," Mouse lied.


The group sprang into action. Sure, at least half of them immediately
tripped on their own shoelaces, but it was a wonderful action shot.

Twaeila blasted around with her gun with wild abandon. Lost Cause Boy 
and Continuity Lad bit the dust almost immediately but then Rebel 
Yell was in front of her. With a savage kick he knocked her gun out 
of her hands and they began to fight like two savage otters.

(What, you don't think otters are savage? Look, they may be small
and cute but those teeth are _sharp_.)

"Ti Kuan Leap - Boot to the head," yelled Chinese Guy, KOing Comics 
Snob Boy. "Three Stooges faceslap - nyuk nyuk nyuk! Random anime 
attack crying pattern!" Organic Lass went down.

*Not too shabby,* thought Mouse, fending off a punch from Marvel 
Zombie Lad. *We're actually doing okay.* She looked over at where 
Kid Kirby had Lite begging for mercy in a headlock whilst Lurking 
Girl was repeatedly beating Coward Lad over the head with one of his 
own shoes. *Then again.* Suddenly she realised something.

"Hey!" she yelled, kicking Marvel Zombie Lad in the shins. "Does 
anyone know what any of these guys' powers are?"




"I think it's on the website."

"Something about building things?"

"Yes! That's what I thought," said Mouse. "Vector can't duplicate em!
Cos she doesn't know what they are either! Somebody use their powers 
to knock out these cos-players[1] and let's get Vector!"

"Okay," trilled Writers Block Woman.

"NO! NOT YOU!!!"

Writers Block Woman exerted her powers. Everyone stopped in
confusion as the power of Writers Block muddled their minds.
*Hmmm... what should I do now, oh I know!* 

"GO AWAY!" she yelled. 

"NO!" shouted Mouse, grabbing her by the cape. Halted, the heroine
looked around her as the area rapidly emptied.

Writers Block Woman looked at the now-deserted area.

"Oops. Was that a bad thing to do?"



"Prepare the sacrifice!" announced Acolyte. "And prepare him
well! Don't spare the garnishes ladies, for tonight we
summon the one and only Cabbage-Wielding-Angel-of-Death!"
With a swirl of his robes, he left.

Gorilla Grad was somewhat depressed by this change in
situation. Instead of being a captive in the headquarters
of the Church of the Fourth Wall, a position in which he
could watch, observe, and provide a useful forum through
which various writers could detail what the bad guys were
up to, he was now going to be a sacrifice in an undoubtedly
foul and revolting rite of summoning. He noted nervously
the large amount of parsley being brought into the chamber.

Father Brown had left a few minutes earlier, muttering 
something about "sacrificial ginzu knives" and now the
only ones in this room were himself and two Vectors. This
was not good.


Authorial stared at Lad and lowered his sword.

"What happened?"

"Oh nothing much," Lad quipped. "Taken over by the sexy 
babe in the black leather you were about to slice me into
pieces with that sharp sword in your hands until for some
reason you stopped and NOW YOU'RE DOING IT AGAIN!!! AAAAH!"
He ducked the swipe from the sword. 

Invisible-Intangible-Inaudible Lass writhed in pain as
one of the Vector's maintained a vixen-nail-polish coated
grip on her throat.

"So lurker, you thought you could interfere." Vector 
leaned in close. "You were wrong!"

*Help!* thought IIILass weakly. 

Behind her, Narcoleptic Lad roused and watched in confusion
as one of the Vector's tightened its grip on thin air. A
large yawn split his face.

"Don't you what you're doing, gonna stop you," he said,
throwing a nearby plate at the woman.

Vector hissed and loosened her grip. IIILass wrenched
herself free and once again intersposed herself between
the controlling Vector and Authorial, who came to himself
just in time to deflect his sword from Lad's throat.

"What in the world is going on?" he demanded. 

"Don't know," said Lad. "But let's take advantage of it,
by all means." He grabbed one of Narcoleptic Lad's arms
and headed for the door. Authorial grabbed the other and
moved with him. IIILass floated after them, always keeping
herself between them and the Vectors.


*Oh no, I'm allergic to ginger!* thought Gorilla Grad as
the preparations for the sacrifice continued. *There must
be something I can do!* Unfortunately, it didn't look like
it. He poked at his prison again and felt it give a little
more, but not enough. 

He looked at the screens. The animated corpse of Taft was
closer, but it still wouldn't get here in time to save
him. He would have to wait... wait for the right 
opportunity. He hoped he wouldn't have to wait long.


"Right, is EVERYONE back now?" demanded Mouse.

"Yo," said Chinese Guy. 

"Yup," said the squirrel.

"Here!" said Lite.

"Present," said Twaeila.

"Uh huh," said WBW.

"Yes," said Insomnia Lad.

"Hello," said Coward Lad. Mouse looked at him and sighed. "Oh well."

"Look at it this way," said Lite. "At least all the Vector's and
fake LNHers are gone. Don't you think it's useful information that
WBW's powers somehow managed to scramble the Melissa virus as well
as us?"

"Maybe," said Mouse grudgingly. "But it was still a pain getting
you all back. Especially Mr I'm a squirrel, and I can climb all the
way up tall tall trees to annoy you over there."

Lenny tried to look innocent.

Mouse paced. "Anyway, now that you're all BACK here, would you PLEASE 
not do that again. Otherwise we'll NEVER get to Alice Springs and 
find this Lotion of Emotion." Mouse rubbed her temples. "Not to 
mention we've still got to backtrack the Melissa virus AND find out 
what she's planning to do in Sig.ago. If it weren't for the fact 
that it's hard enough to fit in dialogue for the people we do have, 
I'd say we needed more characters!"

"What we need," said Lite. "Is a plan."

There was a pause.

"Are you feeling alright?" Mouse asked.

Lite grinned. "Come on, it's standard dialogue for this sort of

"Phew," said Twaeila. "For a moment there I thought that I'd 
completely misjudged you and that you _weren't_ a half-brained

"Gee, thanks!" said Lite.

"And to top it all off," said Mouse. "I have this mysterious
note here that says "Nodakommandos", which I do not understand
at all!"

*Ring ring*.

Mouse fished out her cellphone whilst the others watched.

"What?" she demanded.

"Your author is calling from the other side of the fourth wall,
will you accept the charges?" asked the operator.



Gorilla Grad looked at the shishkebabs. "Now THIS is going
too far!" he said. "And I don't even want to KNOW what that
wok is for!"

The two Vector stopped setting things out and headed for
his cage. Gorilla Grad calculated the odds of defeating 
them once released and found them depressing.

Suddenly a siren started up and lights began flashing.

"RED ALERT RED ALERT!!!* shrilled a computerised voice.

The two Vector's turned in surprise as the entire structure
shook. Gorilla Grad saw his chance. He slammed his feet into
the backs of their heads and took off, trying to find his 
way out.

*I've got to get back to that theme restaurant!* he thought
to himself. *If what I heard is true, and there really is
a lurker there, they might be able to save us all!*

Gorilla Grad raced through the complex, not even noticing
the nearing figure of William Howard Taft on the viewscreens.


"Hello Mouse? This is Jaelle speaking."

Mouse tried not to gape. "This is... uh... unprecedented."

"Yeah well, interesting times and all. Look, I've been in
contact with Ken Schmidt about this Nodakommandos thing."




"Apparantly it refers to an old storyline he did.
'Nodak' is an abbreviated way to refer to North Dakota,
so the Nodakommandos are the North Dakotan commandoes. 
They're a private army."

"But I don't have time to go to North Dakota!" yelled
Mouse. "I have to get to Alice Springs, and we don't
even know where that is!"

"They're listed in the yellow pages."


"They are now!"



"Damn those LNHers!" Father Brown yelled. "We must
prepare to summon the angel NOW!!!"


"But anyway, you..."

Mouse flicked through the yellow pages. "There they are! 
Thanks Jae, I owe you one."

"Wait! There's an important plot point you need to know!"

"Later." Mouse hung up. 


"You got the wrong note..." Jaelle trailed off. "Damn."


"Everyone back in the flight-thingee." ordered Mouse.
"We're going to Alice Springs and we're going to get some
people to meet us there. Then we're gonna get that potion
and stop Vector. By that stage I'm sure there will be a plot
complication to show us the way to the next step so let's 
get moving!"



"The situation is over," said the Acolyte. "That was close."

"Too close!" said Father Brown. "The time is now! Taft is nearly
here, and we cannot stop him... but the Cabbage-Wielding-Angel
of-Death CAN! The ceremony has started now... and soon, Taft
and those wretched LNHers will no longer be able to warp and

to be continued








[1] In anime circles the term cos-play (short for costume play)
is used for people dressing up as anime characters. Or any 
characters really.

From: Rob Rogers <rogersr at shore.net>
Subject: Re: LNH: Birth of a Villain
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative
Date: 20 Jul 1999 16:06:45 -0000

        WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE: The Melissa computer virus, come to life as the
super-villain Vector, threatens to destroy the Internet with the aid of her
"Legionaires' Disease."  While super-heroes Lad, Authorial and Invisible
Intangible Inaudible Lass continue to battle Vector, another group of
super-heroes (led by Easily-Discovered Man Lite and Mouse) seek the
mysterious Lotion of Emotion, and Gorilla Grad investigates Vector's origins
from his prison cell within the evil Church of the Fourth Wall -- which is
currently besieged by the animated corpse of former President W.H. Taft...
        Gorilla Grad loped through the passageway, his knuckles chafing on
the rough cobblestones of the castle floor.  Every spectral hall and shadowy
corridor led him to another maze of shifting chambers and tunnels, until the
Simian Scientist was scarcely sure whether he was escaping his captors'
Cathedral of Hate or drawing closer to its hidden core.

        As he approached the end of one particularly dark and narrow
avenue, two Vectors stepped forward to block his path.  One of the tall,
statuesque redheads held a shiny plastic flip-phone to her ear while the other
placed her hands on her hips, threw back her head and laughed in triumph.

        "Silly monkey," one Vector sneered, her chain-mail blouse glittering
in the smoky torchlight.  "As though your semievolved brain could devise an
escape from the greatest enterprise of evil ever generated by the mind of

        "Although we're actually women," the other Vector pointed out,
snapping her phone closed and tucking it into her studded leather vest.

        "Well, our enterprise is certainly strong enough for a man, even if
it _is_ made for a woman," the first Vector concluded.  "In any case..."

        "Attention!" barked a tinny, machine filtered voice.  The holographic
image of Father Brown faded into view in front of the two Vector clones.
"All personnel required at the North Gate.  President Taft has breached our
outer defenses.  Repeat, all personnel required at the North Gate to repel
President Taft."

        "I don't believe it," Gorilla Grad said, as the two Vectors pushed
him aside and ran in the direction from which he'd just come.  "I must be
the luckiest son-of-a-gun since..."

        "Luck had nothing to do with it," said the holographic projection,
reordering itself into a new, more familliar shape.

        "Doctor Stomper!" Gorilla Grad gasped.  "But...how?"

        "You confuse me with my creator," said the image of the Legion of
Net.Heroes' expert on exposition.  "I am merely an interactive, artificially
intelligent program inserted into Doctor Stomper's files as a failsafe in
case his research fell into the wrong hands.  Which apparently it has."

        "You have no idea," Grad said, squatting down to peer into the
hologram's translucent purple eyes.  "These Church of the Fourth Wall
people were just about to barbecue me in order to summon some sort of
vegetable-throwing agent of evil."

        "Inconsequential," the Doctor Stomper hologram said.  "Far more
dangerous are the plans the Church has for Doctor Stomper's interdimensional
teleportation technology.  I fear your allies in the Legion of Net.Heroes
are about to enter a situation of greatest peril."
        *                       *                              *
        "Okay," Easily-Discovered Man Lite said.  "Would you rather be
trapped in an elevator for six hours with Gilbert Gottfried or Fran

        "That's good," Mouse said, taking a sip from her chocolate Coolata
and replacing it in the tan leather armrest of her chair.  "All right, here's
one.  Would you rather be forced to sit through an endless showing of
'Footloose: The Musical' or 'Fame: The Musical'?"

        "Yeesh," Lite replied, opening up another packet of honey roasted
peanuts.  "Okay, okay.  Would you rather be on a blind date with someone who
did bad impersonations of Austin Powers...or Jar Jar Binks?"

        "Listen to the two of you!" Twaeila Brock thundered, echoes of her
voice rippling throughout the flight.thingee cabin walls.  "I thought the
two of you were supposed to be the leaders of this mission!  And yet,
instead of telling us how to get to Alice Springs and find the Lotion of

        "Which counteracts the Potion," Insomnia Lad added.

        "The Potion of Commotion," Chinese Guy said.

        "And what commotion, we've no notion,"  DeadHead Man finished.

        "...and instead, you're carrying on like a couple of goofy teenagers.
Honestly, sometimes I think you two are more interested in making jokes than
you are in being super-heroes," Brock finished, brushing a lock of golden
hair away from her eyes.

        "Oh, there's no doubt about that," Lite said.  "I only list myself as
a super-hero for tax purposes."

        "It's not our fault, really," Mouse said, sitting up straight.
"We know this Alice Springs is the key, but we haven't the faintest idea of
what it -- or she -- might be.  Chinese Guy tried putting Insomnia Lad into
a trance in hopes that it might trigger something in his subconscious, but
all he did was babble about this TV offer for 'Obscure Hits of the '80s.' "

        "And he did it so well, I found it impossible to resist the urge to
go out and buy it," Writers Block Woman gushed, speaking over the cockpit
intercom.  "Really, IL, you ought to consider a career starring in
infomercials yourself."

        Lite stared at Writers Block Woman, his forehead furrowing with what
an untrained observer would have called concentration.  "May I see that
album for a moment, please?"

        "Certainly," Writers Block Woman said, nodding to Lenny the squirrel,
who carried the plastic-packaged compact disc back to Lite.  "It's quite good,
really...it has 'There's Something Going On' by Freedom, Pseudo Echo's cover
of 'Funkytown,' and something by Ric Ocasek..."

        "That's it!" Lite said.  "Coward Lad, hand me your Discman."

        "I'd like to," Coward Lad said, his voice smothered beneath the
two parachutes and several seat belts he wore.  "I really would.  But I'm
afraid I'm currently using it as a crutch to overcome my feelings of
inadequacy and fear of failure."

        "Brock therapy," Twaeila said, making an indent in Coward Lad's
forehead with the muzzle of her plasma rifle.  "Conquer your fears by
overwhelming them with a new and greater fear."

        "What do you know?" Coward Lad said, handing the portable compact
disc player to Lite.  "I'm no longer afraid."

        "Quick, somebody, write these lyrics down," Lite said, as Lenny the
squirrel scampered back from the cockpit with a notepad and several ballpoint
pens clutched in his teeth.  "Here it goes...

        "I would go anywhere
        To meet up with you
        Go just about anywhere
        For one rendezvous
        You're emotion in motion
        Magical potion
        You're emotion in motion
        To me..."

        "It could be a coincidence," Insomnia Lad.  "But I think this time
Lite's on to something.  The song is a clue to the location of the potion."

        "The Potion of Commotion?" Chinese Guy asked.

        "Stop," Twaeila warned.  Chinese Guy ducked back into the co-pilot's
seat.  "Let's say for one moment that he's right, and that these lyrics are a
clue.  One question: how?  And where do we go from here?"

        "That's actually two questions," Lite said.

        "I think I've got it," Coward Lad announced.

        Everyone turned in astonishment.

        "No really, it's quite simple," Coward Lad said, peering around one
of his parachute packs.  "What do you get if you rearrange the letters in the
words 'Ric Ocasek?' "

        Lenny hopped from shoulder to shoulder, passing out sheets of paper
and pencils as the Legionnaires scribbled furiously.

        "A rice sock?" Chinese Guy offered.

        "RCA, Coke is," DeadHead Man said.  "You know, I've always suspected
there was a connection."

        "I'm getting, 'Arise co--" Lite began.

        "Never mind," Coward Lad said.  "The answer is, 'Case Rock I.'"

        "I still don't get it," Twaeila said, folding her arms.

        "Khe Saraq the First," Insomnia Lad whistled.  "Arms dealer.  Drug
kingpin.  Interpol once called him the most dangerous man in the world.  If
we have to go through him to get to Alice Springs..." He shook his head.

        "Then we'll go through him," Twaeila said, looking forward to a
horizon no one else aboard the flight.thingee could see.  "I still can't
believe my father thought of this as a vacati--"

        The flight.thingee banked sharply to the side, throwing everyone on
board into a disorderly heap on the left side of the craft.

        "Sorry, everyone," Writers Block Woman sang cheerfully.  "It's just
that the Vectors outside are flying about in some kind of -- did anyone here
ever watch Robotech? -- anyway, they're out there, and they're firing on us."
        *                       *                              *
        "So let me see if I understand this," Authorial said.  He and Lad
crouched behind an overturned table in the wreckage of what had once been the
Planet Kirby restaurant.  Ahead of them, a group of Vectors fired plasma
bolts into the table.  Two other divisions of Vectors prepared to flank the
table on either side.  Invisible Intangible Inaudible Lass sat silently
between them, while Narcoleptic Lad lay slumped next to Lad.

        "There's a woman between us," Authorial began.

        "Isn't there always?" Lad sighed.

        "Whom neither of us can see, touch or hear," Authorial continued.

        "But whom Vector -- who has still refused to go out with either of
us, despite the fact that there's plenty of her to go around -- wants
desperately to destroy, because as long as she's between you and her..."

        "...Vector can't take control of my mind and use me to kill you,"
Authorial finished.  "Well, that makes sense.  And now, unless someone does
something truly remarkable, we're about to be blown into tiny, tiny bits."

        "I'm open to suggestions," Lad said.

        As if on cue, Narcoleptic Lad opened his eyes.  "What about that
door?" he asked, pointing toward a darkened passage at the rear of the
restaurant.  Lad, Authorial and Invisible Intangible Inaudible Lass turned
to stare at the door.

        "KIRBY ZONE," Authorial read.  "EMPLOYEES ONLY."

        A blast from a Vector's gun pierced the until-now indestructible
Formica of the overturned table, passing directly through Invisible
Intangible Inaudible Lass and sizzling into a framed picture of Dog Boy.

        "Works for me," Lad said.  "Narcoleptic Lad, you cover...uh, never
mind," he sighed, as Narcoleptic Lad slumped to the floor yet again.
"Authorial, help me drag him.  Invisible babe, let's go."
        *                       *                              *
        Coward Lad pressed his face against the plexiglas window of the
flight.thingee.  "There must be hundreds of them out there," he gasped,
"thousands.  We're going to be overwhelmed in seconds."

        Twaeila Brock looked up from her perch near the craft's open bomb
bay doors.  She wore a WWII pilot's leather helmet and goggles; her green
tank top was criss-crossed with belts of .50 caliber ammunition, several
grenades and a slim, leatherette case labeled "Mr. Thingee."

        "Your windowshade is closed," she observed.  "If you think
you're going to die, don't you at least want to see what kills you?"

        "Don't worry.  It's going to be me," Mouse grumbled, edging past
Coward Lad and entering the cockpit.  "Mum, how are we doing?"

        "Well, that all depends on how you look at things," Writers Block
Woman said.  "On the one hand, I've learned a great deal about taking
evasive action today.  On the other hand, it's very difficult to learn
without making a few mistakes along the way."

        "Mistakes?" Mouse asked.

        "We're leaking fuel," Chinese Guy said.  "Our repulsorlift engines
are completely inoperable on the starboard side.  We've lost all
communications.  And we appear to be out of honey-roasted peanuts."

        Everyone turned to look at Lenny the squirrel, who shrugged.

        "This is hopeless," Insomnia Lad said.  "We need someone to fly out
there and distract the Vectors with their powers."

        "DeadHead Man already tried that," Easily-Discovered Man Lite said.
"The Vectors just flew through him and kept going.  Writers Block Woman is
the only other one of us who can fly, and she's also the only one competent
enough to fly the plane.  Or ship.  Or whatever this is.  Well, she is,"
he continued, ignoring Mouse's evil glare.

        Lenny tapped Writers Block Woman's arm as she banked the craft again
to avoid collision with one of the Vector fighters.

        "What?" Writers Block Woman asked.  "Lenny?  You mean...you can fly
the flight.thingee while I attack the bad guys?"

        "I should have mentioned that earlier," Chinese Guy said.  "Lenny
here is a flying squirrel."
        *                       *                              *
        "Attack force Alpha: Report!" Father Brown barked, the whiteness of
his wrinkled face standing out against his dark velvet robes.

        The flickering face of a Vector pilot appeared on the Church's giant
viewscreen.  Her crimson lips grinned above the skintight leather catsuit
worn by all of the airborne Vector corps.

        "We have them, Father," she said.  "Their ship is leaking fuel, and
it's only a matter of time before...Wait.  One of the targets has left the
craft.  It appears to be...yes.  Writers Block Woman."

        "Her, ah powers, have-ah proven formidable before," the Acolyte said.
"We will-ah not survive this.  I must-ah con-tact Lord Seedeeyus."

        "Stop doing your Trade Federation impersonations," Father Brown
hissed.  "You aren't impressing anyone but yourself."  Turning to the screen,
he added, "We must take extraordinary steps.  Form the Vectorbot, and
deploy our ultimate weapon against the heroes."

        Aboard the flight.thingee, the walls of the tiny cockpit echoed with
Mouse's cheers.

        "She did it!  Mum did it!" Mouse roared.  "The Vector ships are
breaking off the attack!"

        "Not quite," Chinese Guy said.  "If I know my anime -- and I think I
do -- those ships are lining up to transform into a giant killer robot."

        "A dozen jet fighters, each piloted by a beautiful redhead, joining
together to form a gigantic robot," Lite said.  "We're trapped in one of
Dave Van Domelen's fantasies."

        "Worse," Insomnia Lad said, pointing to a gauge on the
flight.thingee's control console whose red needle had suddenly slammed to the
left.  "We've lost all power to the accelerators.  We're going to crash."

        "Noooooo!" screamed Coward Lad.  "We can't die!  I'm too young to
die!  I'll never know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a
Tootsie Roll Tootsie pop!  I'll never see the sun rise over the Taj Mahal!
I'll never see the season finale of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'!  I'll never
kiss a girl!  I'll..."

        Twaeila Brock shoved back her seat, spilling ammunition in her
wake, and walked over to where Coward Lad sat shaking in his seat.  She
reached down and grabbed Coward Lad by the front of his shirt, staring at him
with lightning in her eyes.  She shook her head, closed her eyes, kissed him
passionately, and then shoved him back against the wall.

        "There," she said, returning to her seat.  "Now, shut up and die like
a man."

        Coward Lad opened his eyes wide, but said nothing.

        "I want to die like a man too," Lite said.  Without looking up from
the flight.thingee controls, Lenny handed him a Tootsie Pop.

        Outside the craft, Writers Block Woman tried in vain to engage the
attention of an opponent more than twenty times her size.

        "Bad giant robot!"  Writers Block Woman said, flying around its
enormous, mechanized head like an insect with perfect fashion sense.  "Nasty
giant robot!" she shouted.  "Behave!  Behave!"

        "AND NOW," the Vectorbot intoned, turning its glowing purple eyes
toward the sinking shuttlecraft, "I WILL EMPLOY OUR ULTIMATE WEAPON AGAINST

        "Oh," said Writers Block Woman, pausing in mid-flight.  "That doesn't
sound so bad.  All it will do is send us someplace else."

        "YES," the Vectorbot said, a tinge of malevolent pleasure seeping
into its electronic voice.  "EXCEPT THAT I HAVEN'T TOLD IT WHERE TO SEND

        "What?" Writers Block Woman said, after thinking about that for a
moment or two.  "Oooh!  Very, very bad robot!"

        The Vectorbot raised its arm and -- despite Writers Block Woman's
full speed assault on that limb -- fired at the cockpit of the flight.thingee.

        There was no explosion, no report, no sound of any kind.  The area
where the cockpit had been simply disappeared, as if it had been erased from

        "MOUSE!" Writers Block Woman screamed.  She flew to what was left of
the falling craft, where she found Chinese Guy clinging to the remains of a
wing with one hand and Insomnia Lad with another.

        "Mouse!" Writers Block Woman called, her eyes searching the area for
some sign of her daughter.  "Where is she?"

        "They're all gone," Chinese Guy gasped, struggling to maintain his
grip on the wing.  "Mouse, Lite, Coward Lad, Twaeila...Lenny...gone.
We're all that's left."

        "I'LL RECTIFY THAT," the Vectorbot said.
        *                       *                              *
        In the space that is between spaces (that is not a space, that is
beyond space) at a time that is so far from being any time we can imagine
as to defy the concept of time itself, a being whose essence broadened the
definition of humanity hovered about looking for a Phillips-head

        "Dammit," Tsar Chasm muttered.  "I need to remember to close the
utility compartments on the armor BEFORE passing between newsgroups."  He
sighed, twisted a dial on one of his wristbands, and waited, as the pale
grey nothingness around him shimmered, grew dark, and finally resolved itself
into the sparsely-lit interior of an abandoned warehouse near the outskirts
of Net.ropolis.

        "There," Tsar Chasm said, bending over and lifting the screwdriver
from the dusty warehouse floor.  "Now, to remove my armor and get back to..."

        He paused.  Remove his armor?  That he was wearing his armor -- a
weapons-studded, futuristic-looking suit he'd designed for punishing his
most irritating foes -- there could be no doubt.  What bothered him was that
he could not remember having put it on.

        At that moment (which is no moment, which is beyond moments) an
alarm on one of Tsar Chasm's wrist consoles began screeching like an injured
gull.  Forgetting his lost tool for a moment (which is no moment, etc.) he
glanced at the crystal display.  What he saw made the mouth beneath his
armored helmet lengthen into a thin, taut line.

        "Mouse is gone," Tsar Chasm said.  "The Looniverse is facing yet
another idiot who wants to restore the Fourth Wall, and someone has placed
me in my armor without my knowledge.  This bears...investigation."
        *                       *                              *
        "By the monkey god," Gorilla Grad breathed, his eyes weltering as he
stared at the holographic projection of the flight.thingee cockpit being
edited out of existence.  "I never believed I'd live to see a Legionnaire
fall in battle."

        "You still may not," said the hologram, reestablishing itself into
the two-foot-high image of Doctor Stomper.  "The Vectors believe that by not
setting a destination point for their teleportation cannon, they have
beamed your friends into oblivion.  Not so.  Their failure to set a point of
arrival merely means the Vectors have sent your friends to the device's
default setting."

        "And where is that?" asked Gorilla Grad.

        "Not where," the Doctor Stomper hologram said.  "When.  The cannon
would have sent them to Doctor Stomper's first laboratory -- or rather,
Mr. Stomper's, since he was then still a science teacher at Net.ropolis High
-- in 1984.  Now go," the projection said, as a door at the end of the
hallway yawned open, and sunlight streamed into the chamber, making his
flourescent features difficult to see.  "Alert your friends.  Warn them of
the danger faced by this universe.  Defeat these villains, and bring honor
to the Legion of Net.Heroes.  End transmission."

        "Do what?" Gorilla Grad asked, before realizing the hologram's final
statement had been its farewell.  Without looking back, he launched himself
forward and left through the open door.
        *                       *                              *
        "I'M IN HELL!" Mouse screamed.  She closed her eyes, braced herself,
then opened her eyes to look at her reflection in the plate-glass window
again.  They were still there: the black, midriff-baring tank top; the short
black skirt, high heels and fishnet stockings; the fingerless lace gloves
and 'Boy Toy' belt buckle, and worst of all, the layers upon layers of
Aqua-Net sprayed into her hair, so that it had become a massive, inflated
monument to tonsorial excess.

        "I...AM...IN...HELL," she repeated.

        "We must have passed through a temporal fissure," said Twaeila Brock,
dressed in a blue spandex warm-up suit with wrist and headbands.  "Our
clothing must have been altered by the process so as not to affect the
space-time continuum.  Although that doesn't explain these," she said,
pulling at the leg warmers that covered each of her thighs.  "What are these
things supposed to do, anyway?"

        "I don't think it's that bad," Coward Lad said, looking down at his
yellow Izod Lacoste polo shirt, parti-colored trousers with images of anchors
and whales running down the sides, and Docksiders boat shoes without socks.
"In fact, I rather like these outfits."

        "That's because," Mouse sputtered, "you don't look like...like..."

        "Like a virgin?" Lite asked.  "Touched for the very first time?"

        "Oh, shut up," Mouse said.  "What are you supposed to be, with that
oversized white blazer, that pastel salmon shirt, those white slacks and
that two days' growth of beard..."

        "You forgot the sunglasses," Lite said.  "I've always wanted a pair of

        "What's happened to us?" Twaeila asked.  "One minute we're fighting
 the bad guys; the next, we've been transformed into four '80s stereotypes."

        "Didn't this happen to Teenfactor?" Lite asked.  "Anyway, I've seen
 this plot in science fiction stories a million times.  All we have to do is
 find someone with the technology to send us back to the...uh, back to our
 own time.  Was there a legion of Net.Heroes in whatever year we're in?"

        "Hold on," Coward Lad said.  "I think I have a clue."

        He peered through the storefront window at a television set
 broadcasting a commercial for the film _The Philadelphia Experiment._  On
 the screen, a man in a white T-shirt and jeans shouted at a woman driving a
 car while a large, dark tornado thundered in the background.

        "What's the date?" the man asked.  "The year?"

        "Are you crazy?" the woman replied.  "It's 198--"

        "We interrupt this broadcast for this special announcement," a
special announcer said, eliciting groans from Coward Lad, Mouse, Lite,
Lenny (still dressed as a squirrel) and Twaeila.  "We bring you live to the
situation that is rapidly developing in front of the New York headquarters of
the music video channel MTV."

        The camera panned to show two muscular figures dressed in red
wrestler's uniforms standing in front of Viacom's New York offices.  Both
wore black fur hats and boots, and each bore a gold star on the center of
his or her chest.  The male carried a glowing golden hammer, while the
woman carried a sickle with a crackling laser blade.

        "People of this running-dog capitalist plot paper-tiger Trotsky-
ridden regime," the male began.  "My name is Boris 'The Hammer'

        "And I," the woman said, "am Natasha 'The Sickle' Yuvantokomova."

        "And together," both said, "we will crush this symbol of your
decadent so-called democracy and bring glory to our Leninist workers'
paradise, for we are: THE RED SQUARES!"

        "Somebody fetch me a cracker," Lite muttered, turning away from the
window.  "I seem to have found the cheese."
        *                       *                              *







        rogersr at shore.net

        --Rob Rogers

        "I may be dressing like a traditional bimbo, whatever, but I'm in
charge...And isn't that what feminism is all about, you know, equality for
men and women?  And aren't I in charge of my life, doing the things I want
to do?"

Next Week: It's Birth of a Villain Time!!! (Part Eight)!!!!

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

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