LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #71: Birth Of A Villain Part Eleven

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 29 13:50:44 PDT 2018

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

Returning to the Birth of a Villain cascade with #29 is Jamie
Rosen who was apparently shamed by Marc Singer into advancing
the plot.  Also I do remember Google-13 from a week ago.  But
will I remember him next time?

And with #30 Saxon Brenton comes back with some continuity
suggestions from Ben Rawluk, Dave Van Domelen, Jessica 
Ihimaera-Smiler, and Rob Rogers.  What plans does Writers Block
Woman have for World Dominatrix Barbie and Minion Ken.  And
will there be a spinoff about it?

But now..

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #71

                    Birth Of A Villain Part Eleven

From: dq831 at freenet.carleton.ca (Jamie Rosen)
Subject: [LNH] Birth of a Villain #29
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative
Date: 25 Mar 2001 17:05:47 -0000

Low Budget Productions proudly presents,
A chaotic add-on cascade-type Legion of Net.Heroes title
Dedicated to Marc Singer

Birth of a Villain #29
"Another 48 Minutes", or "Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte Did *What*?"

Written by Jamie Rosen


  A whole heckuva lot, including: A slew of evil beings called Melissa/Vector
attack the Legion of Net.Heroes and putting a good number of them to sleep;
an unholy alliance between the Church of the Fourth Wall and the Church of
Dvandom being broken in favour of an unholy alliance between the Church of
the Fourth Wall and the Nodakommandos; Mouse, Easily-Discovered Man Lite and
company being sent back in time to 1984 and having to battle Russian heroes
Boris and Natasha; Writer's Block Woman, Insomnia Lad, Chinese Guy, and
Fourth Wall Lass having to fend off a mechaLissa; Authorial and Lad (and
Narcoleptic Lad *clunk* zzzz....) being saved from Vector by
Invisible-Intangible-Inaudible Lass; Former President WH Taft being brought
back from the dead to attack the Church of the Fourth Wall; the
Cabbage-Wielding Angel of Death being summoned to battle Former President WH
Taft; and Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad, the Expendable Man, and Pedestrian
Girl of the extra-dimensional Legion of Costumed Individuals accidentally
arriving in the Loonieverse and teaming with a classic hero nobody has ever
heard of before, Google-13.

Minute 1

  The sounds of battle emanated from the building Google-13 had identified as
the headquarters of the Church of the Fourth Wall -- a group somehow related
to all of the catastrophic goings on Pedestrian Girl and her two team-mates
had witnessed since arriving in this... Loonieverse, and quite possibly
responsible for Fourth-Wall Demolisher Lad's accidental transporting of the
three of them there in the first place.
  "Hey, you," she said, tapping Google-13 on the shoulder. "What's that
  Google-13 lit a cigarette. "Everybody, look -- what's going down is that
we've got a super-battle inside the Church of the Fourth Wall. Don't know
who's involved, or what they're fighting over. So let's go." Taking a long
drag on his cigarette and drawing his custom-made-in-1984 handgun from its
holster, he ran toward the building.
  "I'm glad he managed to reload between issues," Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad
said, before the three costumed individuals ran off in pursuit of their
erstwhile leader. Well, two of them ran. Pedestrian Girl walked very quickly.

Minute 4

  The battle inside the Church of the Fourth Wall was pitched. Zombie
strength, deadly cabbages, and sundry other special effects had conspired to
demolish a good portion of the lobby, not to mention the men's washroom. The
ladies' washroom, naturally, was untouched -- just because they're undead or
Angels of Death is no reason to assume they're perverts.
  Taft bellowed. His vocal chords, after such a long time of being subjected
to the perfectly natural process of decomposition, were not well suited to
doing much else. So he bellowed again. In response, the Cabbage-Wielding
Angel of Death brandished a deadly cabbage in his direction. It was on this
scene of devastation that our heroes (for the moment) arrived.
  Now, consider the image confronting them:

  -a reanimated corpse bellowing and waving its powerful arms about in a
threatening and destructive manner
  -an angel -- yes, an Angel of Death, but an angel nonetheless

  What would you do?
  "Freeze, you son of a gun," Google-13 said, pointing his pistol at the
shambling monstrosity that was Former President Taft. "Or by gosh I'll shoot
you where you stand."
  Taft froze, but only because it took a while for him to react to new and
unusual situations. Or any other situations at all. DESTROY, DESTROY, KILL
ALL WHO OPPOSE YOU didn't really give him much room for improvisation,
although he was getting pretty good at the bellowing bit. Then, with all the
speed of a 286 trying to run Netscape, he reacted.
  "ROAAWAAAR!" he bellowed, turning to face the four newcomers.
  "I warned you," Google-13 muttered, squeezing off two rounds that thudded
into Taft's torso to no effect.
  "ROAAWAAAR!" Taft repeated for emphasis.
  Pedestrian Girl grabbed Google-13 and pulled him out of the way of a clumsy
flail of the perambulatory posthumous president's arms. On the follow through
the blow struck the Expendable Man, knocking into the wall.
  "Don't you ever shoot something and have it *work*?" she hissed as the two
of them ducked behind a water cooler while Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad tried
to distract the zombie by... dancing.
  "Hey, Taft, can you keep up?" Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad asked, breaking
into a fast-paced Mashed Potato. "Well, can you?"
  Taft paused, and this time it wasn't solely because of his misfiring
synapses. What would Teddy do? flitted across the bleak landscape of his
interior monologue once again, followed by the answer...
  The Charleston.
  Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad's jaw dropped as the zombie began its number,
kicking sideways with one foot while pivoting on the other, every motion
eliciting creaks and protests from dry and dusty bones.
  "Well what do you know," the Expendable Man said as he stood up, rubbing
his jaw. "Dead can dance."
  "Come on, Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad, you've got him distracted!"
Pedestrian Girl shouted over the water cooler. "Keep dancing!"
  Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad nodded and began to do the Swim. "Is that all
you've got, Taft?" he asked. The zombie stopped and stared at him out of
hollow, lifeless eyes. "Uh oh," Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad muttered as the
mindless president (no, not you, George W.) began to advance on him.
  "Walk, Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad!" Pedestrian Girl shouted.
  "Run!" shouted the Expendable Man, more thoughtfully.
  But before Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad could get away, the creature made its
move -- swiping the entire choreography for "Thriller"!
  Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad's eyes lit up. "Oh yeah?" he asked. "Well, can
you rock it like this?"
  He squatted, fell back onto his hands and kicked one leg high in the air,
then sprung back to both legs and repeated it again.
  "Applejacks," Pedestrian Girl whispered. Then she turned to Google-13.
"He's challenging Taft to battle," she explained.
  "I know that," he said, starting in on a fresh cigarette and holstering his
custom-made-in-1984 weapon. "You think I've never seen b-boys before?"
  A hush fell over the room as agents, heroes, and costumed individuals
formed a circle around Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad and Former President Taft.
Even the Cabbage-Wielding Angel of Death moved in for a closer look.
  Thoughts of DESTROY, DESTROY and KILL ALL WHO OPPOSE YOU were supplanted in
Taft's mind by more pressing instincts, instincts that could not be ignored.
BUST, BREAK and BOOGIE took up all of his limited thought processes.
  And so it began.
  Taft kept it simple at first, replying to Fourth Wall Demolisher's
applejacks with a pair of his own before moving on to a helicopter, into some
footwork, and then into a a hollowback and back into some airswipes. The
gathered crowd murmured in appreciation.
  "Not bad," Google-13 said between puffs.
  "Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad can take him."
  On cue, Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad strode confidently to the centre of
the circle, starting out with some footwork, then segueing into a float
which turned into an impressive bronco series. Some more footwork bridged
the gap into a rubber band. The crowd cheered enthusiastically.
  "I hope he didn't bust out a big move too early in the game," Google-13
  "Well, it's challenged Taft to match him already, before the ex-president
may have had the chance to warm up," Pedestrian Girl observed.
  Taft seemed to hesitate for a second before taking up his spot in the
circle. He started out with a front flip, then into some downrock, but as
he went for a hand glide he lost his balance and fell in a heap on the floor.
  "Ooooh," the crowd said in unison.
  "Well, that's that," Pedestrian Girl said, turning her back so she could
face Google-13. "I told you Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad could--"
  The circle scattered as the zombie got back to its feet. It had been
burned, and that was something it would neither forget nor forgive easily.
  "ROAAWAAAR!" it added for emphasis.
  The Cabbage-Wielding Angel of Death's cabbage found its mark, crashing full
on into the humiliated ex-president and driving the unlife from his body,
which collapsed in a heap of improperly-exhumed body parts on the floor as
the Angel disappeared from the scene.

Minute 11 (elsewhere in the compound)

  Father Brown looked over the readouts he had been receiving on an hourly
basis. Something was going wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. As wrong as a
movie about a chimpanzee playing hockey. As wrong as movie about a dog
playing football. As wrong as a movie starring Pauley Shore, David Arquette,
or Tom Green.
  Father Brown shuddered. Maybe not quite *that* wrong.
  "Deacon Split-The-Defense, to me," he commanded. One of the golden deacons
of his inner sanctum stepped forward.
  "Father Brown," he said.
  "Read this to me," Father Brown said, handing a sheaf of papers to the
deacon. "I trust not my own eyes."
  "*ahem*,* Deacon Split-The-Defense began. "'Temporal flux coincided with
weapons discharge. Summoning of Cabbage-Wielding Angel of Death recalled
death/non-death of Legion of Net.Heroes. MegaLissa defeated by beings not of
our reality.' Father Brown, what is this?"
  "It's a list of everything that's going wrong with our plans!" Father
Brown shouted in a most unpriestly way. "Every step we take, we do more and
more damage to the Fourth Wall! Just imagine what will happen if we use this
interdimensional teleportation device ourselves!" He sighed and tried to calm
down. "I can't catch a break around here. I mean, really. We have agents
reporting intervention by characters who haven't been seen in *years*. It's a
mad house, I tell you, a mad house!!!!!"
  Deacon Split-The-Defense glanced at his fellow deacons, who were studiously
ignoring Father Brown's imminent nervous breakdown.
  "Father," the deacon said. "What should we do?"
  "What *can* we do?" Father Brown wailed, burying his face in the sleeves of
his robe of office. "I should have just stayed in bed today."
  "Should we abort the collaboration with the Nodakommandos?"
  Father Brown shook his head. "No... it is... our best hope." As he pulled
his face from his sleeve and dabbed at his nose with one cuff, all of the
alarms in the compound went silent.
  "That's a relief," he said.
  Then they burst into a renewed cacophony.
  "WHAT NOW?!!?!!!??!!" he wailed.
  "I'm sorry, sir," a technician said, running into the office. "We ran out
of alarms, so we had to reboot the system so we could use the alarms for a
new calamity."
  Deacon Split-The-Defense stroked his chin. "Reboot, eh?" he muttered under
his breath before turning to Father Brown. "Father, I... have a plan."

Minute 26

  "Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey!"
  wReamicus Maximus frowned. Fourth Wall Lass was still asleep.
  "Rise and shine, pumpkin."
  Still no response.
  His frown deepening by the second, wReamicus put down the tray of scrambled
eggs and bacon and walked over to the tap, where he got a glass of water.
Returning to Fourth Wall Lass' prone form, he emptied the contents directly
onto her face. Still no reaction.
  "Curses!" he cursed. "What use is a sleeping Fourth Wall Lass?"

Minute 28

  "Tell me," Pedestrian Girl said to Google-13 as she bandaged the cuts and
scrapes the Expendable Man and Fourth Wall Demolisher Lad had accumulated
during the battle, "why are you such a bitter anti-hero?"
  Google-13 opened a fresh pack of smokes, looking off into the distance. "It
happened a long time ago. I'd been in the heroing game for a few years
already, but I was still naive. I still thought I could make a difference. I
still thought people were inherently good." He patted the custom-made-in-1984
gun that sat dutifully in its holster. "It was right after I'd had this baby
made." He pulled a lighter out of his pocket, but didn't start the cigarette
that was dangling from his mouth.
  "It was a woman," Pedestrian Girl said.
  "How did you know?"
  "It always is."

Minute 35, but 17 years earlier

  "Now we set off the bomb and destroy you, hostage Stomper, and Times Square
all at same time!"
  Those were the first words the idealistic young man heard upon arriving on
the scene. He didn't know who the men and women that had shown up to fight
these Russkies were, but he had seen enough on the news coverage to be
impressed by their bravery and ingenuity. Well, some of them. Drawing the
handgun his associate Queue had just finished making specially for him, the
hero leapt over the police barricade (and a squirrel doing pirouettes) and
levelled it at the two hostage-takers. The gun, that is.
  "Alright you two," he shouted. "Freeze."
  "What is this?" Boris shouted. "You are to be ambushing us?"
  A slight grin playing at his lips, the gun-wielding hero moved over to the
other heroes. "Put the detonator down, or I'll shoot."
  "American dog-monkey!" The Russian woman, Natasha, spat in his general
direction as she joined her partner. "If we set off the bomb, we die anyway."
  "So my threats are meaningless," the young man said, lowering his weapon.
"Because you are willing to be blown to tiny little bits that will give city
sanitation workers nightmares trying to clean it all up."
  "Because you're willing to die for your beliefs," Mouse said.
  "Because you're willing to sacrifice your life for a meaningless and
utterly symbolic act devoid of any real value as a catalyst for change,"
added Easily-Discovered Man Lite.
  Boris tapped Natasha on the shoulder. "I am not being sure about this," he
  "What?" Natasha asked, turning to her comrade.
  "I am not being sure about this sacrificing bit."
  "Oh. Da. It is accurate that I was having difficulty with it, in addition."
Natasha thought. "Perhaps it is best to be putting down detonator?"
  "Da. Da." Boris nodded, placing the detonator on the ground beside his
  "Much better," the heroic newcomer said, moving quickly to pick up the
detonator before a clumsy Russian Net.Villain accidentally stepped on it. He
walked over to the other heroes, who were gathering and starting to yell at
each other. "Here you go," he said, handing the device to Mouse. He glanced
at her clothes. "Nice outfit."
  Mouse glared at him. "Thanks," she said, dryly.
  "Hey, buddy," Lite said. "Eyes off my woman."
  Mouse's glare turned to Lite and redoubled in strength.
  "That's not a very enlightened way to talk," the fellow said. He turned to
Mouse. "I'm sure you could do better. Well, see you around." He saluted them
with the barrel of his gun and turned to go.
  "Hey, buddy," Lite said, causing the man to turn around once more. "What's
your name?" he asked.
  "Google," the man said, smiling. "Google-13."

Minute 48


 *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *







For answers to these and/or other questions, be sure to tune
in to the next issue of Birth of a Villain!


Author's Note: Hope I did a good job of actually furthering the plot.


"Smoke is smoky!"

From: Saxon Brenton <saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au>
Subject: [LNH] Birth Of A Villain #30
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative,alt.comics.lnh
Date: 28 Mar 2001 01:44:50 -0000

Desperately trying to keep up with Jamie's flurry of creativity
Blue Light Productions presents:

Birth Of A Villain #30
A chaotic add-on cascade-type Legion of Net.Heroes title

"Case Rock I"

Written by Saxon Brenton
And incorporating suggestions on continuity offered by:
     Ben Rawluk
     Dave Van Domelen
     Jessica Ihimaera-Smiler
     Rob Rogers

Cover shows Writers Block Woman, Chinese Guy, Insomnia Lad and 
DeadHead Man posing dramatically in front of an immaculately 
well-dressed villain sitting on a throne-like chair.

What has gone before:
     Oh, you want specifics? Very well then.
     The villain Melissa arrived in Net.ropolis and announced that she 
was in fact the Melissa Virus, took for herself the name Vector, and 
threw down the gauntlet to the Legion of Net.Heroes. She was later 
revealed to be a minion (albeit a very powerful one) of the maniacal 
Church of the Fourth Wall. Her Legionnaires disease has incapacitated 
most of the Legion, and those who were able to resist its effects and 
remain awake have withdrawn to regroup and try new strategies.
     These heroes may be divided into two groups: 
     One, nominally being led by the semi-retired world beating 
villain Tsar Chasm is - depending on which version of the plot you're 
using at any one time - staying at the LNHHQ to synthesise a cure for 
Legionnaires disease, or heading off to Sig.ago to prevent the Church 
from inadvertently destroying the first, second and third walls. Or 
possibly both, since Tsar Chasm's statements in issues 23 and 26 about 
what needs to be done aren't completely irreconcilable.
     The second group, nominally being led by Mouse and Easily-
Discovered Man Lite, has gone off to find the Lotion of Emotion as a 
way to stop Melissa/Vector. Half of this group was accidentally 
transported back in time to 1984, and are currently working on a way 
to get back to the present. The other half, who are the subject of 
this post, continue in their search for the Lotion of Emotion.
     Now read on...

     "So," said Chinese Guy remarkably calmly considering that the 
flight.thingy that they were travelling in had lost all power and was 
plummeting towards the ocean. "Here we are, falling out of the sky. 
     "Sure looks like it," Insomnia Lad agreed.
     "Don't worry boys!" Writers Block Woman trilled, temporarily 
shaking off the funk that had enveloped her ever since Mouse (along 
with several other Legionnaires and sundry assorted companions) had 
been vanished away by a Melissa-clone back in _Birth of a Villain_ #22. 
"I'll save you!"
     "We've been through this one before," Insomnia Lad pointed out. 
"You can't carry us both."
     Writers Block Woman snapped her fingers. "Oh yes, that's right. 
     "Bummer," offered DeadHead Man.
     And then, as much to speed along the long-languishing plot as 
to add insult to injury, the mysterious force that had made the 
flight.thingy fall from the sky zapped the four of them into 


     wReamicus Maximus, the self-proclaimed First Acolyte of Dvandom 
and leader of the Church of the same, looked over the results of 
issue 27 of _Birth of a Villain_ with satisfaction. He glanced up to 
another cowled member of his church. "Well done, Merger. Please take 
your rest now. I shall call you again when I need you."
     Merger (a minor supporting character who, to the best of this 
Writer's knowledge, has not been seen since 'Jungle Cheesecake') bowed 
and departed.
     The Acolyte smiled. Over the years Merger's power of merging 
things had been put to good use, as the various mystic rites devised 
or procured by the Church of Dvandom had increased his versatility. 
Merger's latest deed would serve as yet another distraction for the 
Church of the Fourth Wall while he, wReamicus Maximus, prepared other 
forms of attack against his erstwhile allies. Thanks to Merger's power 
three new net.heroes from *yet another* imprint had been dragged into 
this cascade story. Ah, chaos, how he loved it! And best of all, one 
of these 'Legion of Costumed Individuals' was named Fourth Wall 
Demolisher Lad, someone whose mere presence would irritate the Church 
of the Fourth Wall no end.
     Still, no time to gloat. There were things to do and grievous 
injustices to perpetrate. On the other hand, there was one more thing 
that he could do to make life just that little bit more uncomfortable 
for the Church of the Fourth Wall. He pressed a button, and began to 
beam a *very special* pre-recorded commercial into the communication 
system of the Cathedral of Hate...


     The members of the Church of the Fourth Wall were busy preparing 
themselves. Soon, they would be making their fondest dream into a 
reality. Amid this bustle, however, a monitor screen that had been 
dark suddenly turned itself on so as to show the faithful a scene 
from Hell...
     <Theme music from Cheers, as played by a rock band. The lead 
guitar crescendos the music, then ends with a riff before turning to 
speak to the camera:>
     "Yo there folks! Badger here with an invite to you to get down 
here to the RACCCafe this Friday night for the regular 'Weekend's Eve 
Party'. I'll be here with RACC's Most Dangerous Band, playing Six till 
Late for all your favourite characters from all of your favourite RACC 
imprints. Don't miss it!"
     "Aaaieee!" went the Church members in horror, much to the 
bemusement of nearby Nodakommandos who didn't think the music was 
that bad.


     The four net.ahumans regained consciousness, and were surprised 
to find that the three of them who had been most recently alive, were 
still alive.
      Writer Block Woman looked around at the spartan chamber that 
they were in. It was a white domed room with a metallic floor. Along 
one wall was a window showing water and a few beds of kelp. "Either 
Khe Saraq is into aquariums in a big way, or this Roq place is 
undersea," she observed.
     "That's good," said Chinese Guy, inspecting the locked door that 
marked the only obvious exit. "The further we are from a desert, the 
less likely we are to get roped into doing dingo jokes. I've had this 
bad feeling about the name 'Alice Springs' for quite a while now." He 
looked at DeadHead Man. "Have a look around outside, would you?"
     DeadHead Man nodded, then went, "Ow!" as he tried to pass through 
the wall and found that he couldn't. "It's no good, man. The dudes who 
built this thing made it, like, unpassable."
     Insomnia Lad nodded thoughtfully. "It looks like they've made 
preparations against all of us."
     "So now what?" asked DeadHead Man.
     Insomnia Lad shrugged. "If things follow the standard pattern: 
guards will show up and take us to the head villain, who'll gloat at 
us and possibly make a fatal mistake that could be avoided if he 
bothered to read the Evil Overlord's Guide, then we'll be imprisoned 
to await his further pleasure - which will probably involve death 
traps - after which we'll escape, find the Lotion of Emotion that 
Punctuality Lad told us to get, and head back to Net.ropolis to use it 
against Melissa."
     "Oh yes," said Writers Block Woman through clenched teeth, 
     Chinese Guy and Insomnia Lad exchanged a Significant Look. 
Writers Block Woman had been coping quite well up until now, since the 
direct threat from the villain (or in the case of the flight.thingy 
malfunction, the indirect threat from the villain) had taken her mind 
off the absence of Mouse. Now, however, the slower pace of the story 
as they stood around waiting for Khe Saraq to make the next move was 
giving her time to brood again.
     "I wouldn't be concerned about Mouse," said Insomnia Lad, 
reassuringly. "She's a grown woman and a member of the Legion. She can 
take care of herself."
     Writers Block Woman grimaced. "I'm her mother. I worry! Ever 
since DeadHead Man met up with us again off-panel between issues 25 
and 26 and told us that they had all been transported back in time 
rather than disintegrated by Melissa's death ray in issue 22, and that 
she was running around in deplorable eighties fashions, I've just been 
worried sick. I mean, what if she comes back and she's still dressed 
like a Madonna wannabe? The horror! The horror!"
     "Well, at least she's not dead."
     "That's true."
     "Is there anything else that you can tell us about what happened 
once the six of you were transported into the past?" Chinese Guy 
asked of DeadHead Man.
     DeadHead Man considered this for a second, then replied, "The 
Jerry Garcia concerts were even better the second time around, 'cause 
I could take a front row view."
     Chinese Guy was about to reply that, no, the fact that DeadHead 
Man had decided to use the displacement into the past as an excuse to 
take the long way home and exist through the entire seventeen year 
period again just so that he could re-experience his favourite 
concerts was not what he had been asking about, when the guards 
finally turned up.
     "No false moves," one of them ordered as the others leveled their 
machine guns at the heroes. "You will come with us."
     "Better do as they say," said Insomnia Lad, whose encyclopaedia-
like knowledge of formulaic plot lines gave him a pretty good idea of 
what was coming. The Legionnaires needed information, and spruiking 
a villain was a time honoured way to get just that.
     The guards led them to another domed room, this one larger and 
far better appointed that the holding cell that they had woken up in. 
There was another window looking out into the sea, this time onto a 
coral reef with numerous fish. Sitting at a massive desk with a globe 
of the world was a handsome yet vaguely menacing looking man dressed 
in a suit. He was stroking a white cat.
     It all looked so much like a movie set from a spy thriller film 
that the one inconsistency was glaringly obvious. The four heroes 
could not help but notice that on a small table to one side of the 
villain's own desk were some childrens' dolls.
     "Ooo!," breathed Writers Block Woman as she spied the dolls. 
"World Dominatrix Barbie and Minion Ken. With full accessories. Do you 
know how rare these are?"
     "I am so glad you like them," said the man with the cat. "Welcome 
to The Roq. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Khe Saraq."
     " 'The most dangerous man in the world', " DeadHead Man recited.
     Khe Saraq sighed. "If you wish. That particularly hyperbolic nom 
de guerre isn't one that I chose myself, but one tries to live up to 
one's reputation."
     Writers Block Woman struck a dramatic pose. "We are the Legion of 
     "Plus one," pointed out NTBer DeadHead Man.
     "...plus one..." said WBW.
     "Better make that plus two," said Chinese Guy, who at this point 
in continuity wasn't a LNH member yet.
     "...plus two," amended WBW, without missing a beat. "I am Writers 
Block Woman, and these are my compatriots, Insomnia Lad, Chinese Guy 
(currently sans Squirrel), and DeadHead Man."
     "Writers Block Woman... Ah, you are Alys, then. So pleased to 
meet you. Ian told me so much about you."
     "Ian Bond."
     Her eyebrow arched in surprise. "You know him?"
     "Oh course. He's a regular adversary. I must say you made quite 
an impact on him. He wines and dines every beautiful lady that he 
meets as a matter of course, but during our last encounter he seemed 
somewhat distracted and barely survived the piranha tank death-trap. 
We had lunch afterwards - under armed supervision of course, because 
he does have a nasty tendency to try and use hors d'oeuvres as missile 
weapons during escape bids if he's left unsupervised - and he 
mentioned you."
     "Well, that's very flattering," she said, floundering for 
something diplomatic to say.
     "What are you two on about?" asked Chinese Guy.
     "Just making small talk," WBW replied. "We have a mutual 
acquaintance in a gentleman spy by the name of Bond."
     "Licensed to kill?" put in DeadHead Man.
     "Oh, I wouldn't doubt that one little bit," she said. Then she 
added off-handedly, "We met back in issue 32 of my own net.comic. We 
chased down Carmen SanFrancisco together."
     "Oh?" said Insomnia Lad archly. "You mean the one that stole the 
LNHHQ? *That* Carmen SanFrancisco?"
     (It was still a sore point with some of the Legionnaires who had 
actually been inside at the time.)
     "Uhm, yes. That one."
     "Perhaps we should save this for later so that we can talk with 
the nice villain?" suggested Chinese Guy.
     "Oh, if we must," conceded Writers Block Woman. She struck a 
dramatic pose again. "We are here seeking the Lotion of Emotion..."
     "Which counteracts the Potion of Commotion." said Khe Saraq.
     The four of them blinked in surprise. "You already know about 
it?" WBW said.
     "Yes, of course. Did you think that it was a dead-end clue? My 
chemists have been synthesising both the Lotion and the Potion for 
quite some time. A while ago a sample of the Potion of Commotion was 
stolen from the 'Alice Springs' base, and now with the appearance of 
Vector and her virus-based powers, it's obvious what happened to it. 
Moreover, it's equally obvious someone would be arriving to obtain 
some of the Lotion to counteract her abilities, especially since they 
have become unstable."
     "Ah, you're not aware of her problems?" Khe Saraq pushed a 
button on the control panel beside his desk, and number of monitor 
screens activated, each showing a different scene. One of them was a 
shot from issue 28 showing the 50 foot tall Melissa being defeated by 
Google-13 and the Legion of Costumed Individuals. Another was of Data 
Eraser from issue 24 wiping out the minds of other Vectors (plus 
actually physically disintegrating large chunks of buildings in 
Net.ropolis.) And there were a couple of others that I won't bother to 
describe so that other Writers can include their own rampantly 
mutating renegade Melissa iterations if they want.
     Khe Saraq continued: "A small but significant fraction of the 
Melissa-clones have mutated into a variety of new threats, some of 
them still working for the Church of the Fourth Wall, some going on 
rampages which the Church has taken advantage of, and some working 
against the interests of the Church, either directly or indirectly."
     "Whoa!" said DeadHead Man.
     "Well then, give us some of the Lotion so we can go and stop 
her," said Insomnia Lad.
     "I'm afraid not. I am already assembly a squad of my minions to 
use the Lotion against Melissa," he demurred. "You, however, are going 
to battle to the death with my giant carnivorous mutant platypuses. It 
is, after all, net.villain etiquette to always try and kill the 
     "Monster!" cried Writers Block Woman, leaping forward... only to 
run smack into an invisible force field that had surrounded the four 
of them.
     "Give my regards to the duck-bills," he said, pressing another 
button which caused a trap door to open up underneath them.
     "Waaahhh!" went the net.heroes as they fell into the pit.
     Then, just as the trap door was closing, a voice could be heard 
from down below. "Uhm, guys? How come you two fell down here with us? 
You two can *fly*..."
     Khe Saraq nodded with satisfaction, then went beck to running 
his criminal empire. Oh yes, and stroking his cat.
     This lasted about fifteen minutes, before a distant rumbling 
caught his attention. He frowned, and turned to one of his guards. "Go 
and find out what that noise is..."
     Which was just when a giant carnivorous mutant platypus burst 
through the double doors as though they were tissue paper, bellowing 
and snarling and baring its fangs. It was approximately two metres 
tall at the shoulder and caused considerable damage as it thrashed 
about. However, the most incongruous part of its appearance was the 
fact that Insomnia Lad had somehow managed find a bridle big enough 
to fit it and a cowboy hat for himself, and was riding on top of the 
monstrous monotreme as though it were a rodeo bronco and yelling, 
     "How is this possible?" demanded Khe Saraq incredulously as his 
guards tried to shoot at the creature, only to fail and then run for 
their lives as the platypus rounded on them. The rumbling grew closer, 
and then resolved itself into the sounds of explosions that were 
rocking the base.
     "Because goodness and niceness always triumph!" declared Writers 
Block Woman as she flew down from above. Then to Insomnia Lad: "Where 
did the others get off to?"
     "The three other platypuses? Or Chinese Guy and DeadHead Man?"
     "Chinese Guy and DeadHead Man."
     "I think they went off to the labs to see if there were any 
samples of Lotion about," shouted Insomnia Lad as the platypus 
lumbered at speed out to terrorise the rest of the base. "Otherwise 
we'll have to go to Alice Springs."
     An explosion rocked the room, almost forcing Khe Saraq to his 
knees. He dropped his cat, which yowled and ran away across the room. 
"No, it cannot end like this!"
     "Nyah nyah nyah nyah!" went Writers Block Woman. "That's what the 
bad guys *always* say just before they get beaten."
     "Misbegotten woman," snarled Khe Saraq, pulling out a handgun. 
Then a girder fell from the ceiling and impaled him through the chest, 
killing him instantly.
     "Ew!" WBW ewed.
     With that climactic event out of the way, the explosions began to 
taper off. Writers Block Woman dropped to the floor and peered through 
the smoke. "Hmmm," she mused to herself as she contemplated the ash 
and soot that were settling about the place. "I shall definitely have 
to wash my hair when I get home."
     =( Actually, Writers Block Woman, I would suggest a full bath. )=
     The voice in her head was one that Writers Block Woman did not 
recognise, and she spun around in a defensive stance, peering into the 
murk. "Hello? Who's there?"
     =( It is I, Khe Saraq. )=
     "But you're dead."
     =( Am I? )= asked the telepathic voice, amused. =( How amazing. 
I am surprised thought that you should think that is a good reason to 
protest against my presence. What with you currently associating with 
DeadHead Man, and all. )=
     "Where are you!?"
     =( Down here. )=
     She looked down. Sitting rather smugly on the floor not far from 
her was a certain white cat.
     "*You're* Khe Saraq?"
     =( Well... Not entirely. I am the brains behind Khe Saraq. Khe 
Saraq is merely a facade. What better way to direct my criminal 
empire than to hide in plain sight and let my meat-puppets take all 
the credit - and hence all the danger - of up-front public relations? 
You may call me Tiddles. )= 
     Tiddles padded over towards her. =( Poor Dennis. That's the 
fellow who took the girder through the chest, in case you're 
wondering. His original usefulness was mainly from the contacts he 
knew in the Golden Triangle region before I... took him over. But I 
have long-since developed those contacts past the point of needing his 
'familiar face' for business deals. )=
     Writers Block Woman reached down and picked up the cat.
     =( Be a dear and try not to hold my right flank too hard, will 
you? I'm feeling a bit tender there just at the moment. )= Then he 
began to purr as she stroked him.
     =( So then, vale Dennis. Ah well, never mind. They all seem to 
meet such sticky ends, so I've found it's best not to get too attached 
to them. As they say, 'today is the first day of the rest of your 
life'. )=
     Tiddles paused thoughtfully. =( You know, considering your 
connections to Jonathon Connery of Conspiracy Corporation, I wonder 
whether I should keep you indefinitely as my new front, or merely for 
a short term until I can get close enough to 'invite' him to take your 
place as the public face of my organisation. Decisions, decisions. )=
     While Tiddles pondered these questions, the new Khe Saraq went 
off to change her wardrobe and begin setting operations back in order.




The answer to these and other questions may or may not be forthcoming 
in the next issue of: Birth Of A Villain. Probably written by someone 
other than me.
Saxon Brenton     Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney, Australia
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
"Ultimately, it works the way it does because it's the way plastic 
exterior transtemporal mechanics function when you're dealing with 
omni-dimensional ripple effects triggered at the end of a continuum 
     - Kurt Busiek, rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe, 2001

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

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

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