LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #51: Flame Wars III Part III

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 4 12:54:00 PST 2018

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

Firstly, we have Jennifer "Mistlock" Whitson with Misfits #13.
Will Flashback kill anymore timetravelers?  And will Brittany kill
Cheesecake Eater Lad?

And lastly, we have Jeff "Drizzt" Barnes with Insanity Unlimited #2.
Will the LNH's Anti-Homicidal-Time-Travelling-Maniac Neutralization Kit
be useful?

And now..

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #51

                        Flame Wars III Part III

From: mistlock at aol.com (Mistlock)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: LNH: Misfits #13 TFW3 Part 5!!
Date: 16 Nov 1995 02:10:21 -0500

        The Flame Wars III has arrived. Fear us. And Rene Villareal, oh
ye writer of Dog-Boy, come back to us! Has not school begun again? Are 
you not yet again connected to this great tangled thing that we call the
net? Where art thou? Le sigh. And I'd like to thank the whole Flame Wars 
III crew beforehand for proofreading and suggestions and stuff. You guys 
are great. =) And so:

        Fitting that we hit crossover on the unlucky issue number. =)

Much thankings for reviews of last issue:
    Pam VanMuijen
    Ian Porell
    Jamas Enright
    and, um... maybe some other people too, and if you did, thanks.
      (My little file got deleted accidentally <sob>)


                        DERELICT Press Presents

                        The thirteenth issue of

                  /~~\/~~\   {] /~~\ (^^^ || ***** /~~\
                 /  /\/\  \  [) ~\__ (^^  ||  ,'   ~\__
                /__/    \__\ (} \__/ (    ||  ',   \__/

             " Chaos, Complications, and Contradictions "

                       A psuedo-Acraphobe title



" Where ya going Doc, back to the future?"
" Nope. Already been there!"
           -- statements attributed to Marty McFly and Emmett Brown at a
              train track over Eastwood Ravine
" Now I'm going to visit relatives."
           -- Emmett Brown, one minute later

        Kismet sat at the edge of the roof of the Legion of Net.Heroes
Headquarters, dangling her feet over the rim and kicking inefectually at
the air. The people she hoped were her new friends had tried to get her
inside through a tiny portal, into a tiny inner room. She had refused.
How could these people live in places where the walls were close enough
to suffocate, and the ceiling low enough to crush you if it dropped only
a foot or two more? She expected they managed it the same way they
managed to stay sane in those massive herds they travelled in. Whatever
that was. But for now, she was staying on the roof, thankyouverymuch.

        Paytan sat crosslegged a few feet behind Kismet, and sighed. If
the strange girl thought the LNH _lobby_ was too small, then she wasn't
even going to try to force her into the hallways and smaller rooms of the
headquarters. Brittany had gone inside to help Savannah go to her room,
and to change into costume. Paytan shifted a little and propped up her
chin with one hand. She didn't see why Brit had to change into costume
_now_, after the fact, but then Brit seldom needed a good reason to do
something. Maybe she just needed an excuse to check on Binky. Or Dirmarw.
She could feel her stomach tighten a little, and supressed a shudder. She
tried to make herself believe she didn't need the sword, but she was
lying to herself, and she knew it. If she got summoned now, she'd
remember everything, she wouldn't have Dirmarw around to fix her
afterwards, and she didn't know if she could handle remembering the whole
thing again, didn't know if she'd be able - Paytan clenched her
fists, biting her lip in annoyance. But if she took him back he'd just
keep treating her like dirt! Like a pawn in that game of his to get his
dimension back! And she didn't know if she could stand that, either. No
win situation. At least not for her. But maybe being treated like dirt 
was better than remembering any future summonings. She took a deep breath 
and steeled herself. She'd ask Brittany for Dirmarw as soon as she got
back up to the roof. She really would.

        While Paytan and Kismet sat on the roof, each pondering their own
problems, Brittany was downstairs, having a bad day. She hurtled through
the upstairs hallways of the building, bright orange trenchcoat with
multicolored patches streaming out behind her. She held Binky with one
arm, hugging him close to her side as she ran. Some weird guy had just
taken Dirmarw! Or Cheesecake-Eater Lad had just taken Dirmarw! Or
something! She held a crumpled note in her hand, confusion in her eyes.
Well, the weird guy was gone, and she didn't know where _he_ was, so that
line of questioning wasn't a viable one, at least right now. But she did
know where Cheesecake-Eater was, and boy oh boy, was he going to get an

                      -==-             -==-

        Flashback stomped back into the almost deserted headquarters of 
the LNH. He had just had a close up and personal encounter with Writers 
Block Woman and Mouse, and was a little bit woozy as a result. Something 
about hats. But that didn't matter now, not at all. He was supposed to be 
finding time-travellers. And killing them. Not one could be allowed to 
survive - not one! Ne knew there must be more them around here somewhere, 
hiding. Somewhere. All he had to was find them AND MAKE THEM DEAD! He
continued into the maze of passageways and corridors, stumbling
occasionally over stairs or odd ridges in the floor.  Odd, how the layout
of this place seemed to shift when one wasn't looking, he mused. He had
never noticed that before.

        Then suddenly there was a door before him. Maybe there were more
timetravellers here, he thought, unholstering a laser pistol and stepping
inside. The door opened silently into a darkened room, the only
illumination provided by a panel of lights against one wall. Reds and
greens reflected off the hard flooring, punctuated by an occaisonal red
or yellow. One of the lights would blink off and on every second or so,
but other than that the room was still. Empty. Flashback sighed, and
holstered the pistol again. No killing here. He'd have to find another
room. He turned to go, but something shifted out of the corner of his
eyes, and he spun around again. There, in the corner. Someone was on one
of the cots, asleep. Maybe they could tell where to find some

        He approached silently - no need to give them any warning - to
where the cot stood. It had been wheeled into a far corner, out of the
way, and a faint coating of dust was spread over the sheets. The update
chart had been thrown on the bed, the last date reading more than six
months ago. Flashback raised an eyesbrow on that one. He knew the LNH
wasn't the best organized team out there, but six months between
checkups... oh well, no matter.

        His hands shot out and grabbed the person's neck, forcing them
into a sitting position on the bed. That should wake him - no, her - up,
he thought. Wait, she's still limp why -

        And then his power activated, and her memories flooded his mind.

        A man standing silhoutted against the sky, laughing. Flashback
knew him - that was Dr.Killfile! The LNH's oldest nemesis! Feelings of
love and admiration poured through the memories, and for the barest
second the woman whose neck was in his hands came into view, half
cybernetic, half human, eye glowing red as she fought some LNHers. Then a
machine flared into view, all evil curves and sharp angles. Something
about time travellers! Something about... no, it was gone. Another
picture of Killfile, the adoration flooding the memories again.
More pictures of him fighting the LNH. Then the machine again. Then
blackness drowned in despair, no pictures to go with it. The machine.
Killfile again, turning away uncaring. The machine again. The machine.

        The machine.

                      -==-             -==-

        Downstairs in the kitchen Cheesecake-Eater Lad puttered away
happily working on another confectioner's dream. Or nightmare, take it as
you will. He hummed a little tune to himself, grabbing a few cups of
strawberry, avocado and pineapple flavoring, and dumping them into
another batter. Hmmm, what next? Perhaps a few more eggs? And some
chocolate sprinkles? Yes, the sprinkles sounded perfect. He turned to
enter the LNH's massive pantry, and came face to face with a old
white-haired man.

        " Great Scotts!" exclaimed the man, then "Are you alright?"

        Cheesecake-Eater Lad looked up at the man from his new prone
position on the floor, and tried to bring his heartbeat back to normal

        " Yes," he said,"I'm fine. What are you doing here?! Who are
you!?" The man looked at him strangely, the whites of his eyes showing
around his brown irises. His hair was almost Einsteinian in it's
wildness, and he had an oddly out of place look about him.

        " Yes, that is the question," he said," What _am_ I doing here?
Where am I, or appropriatley, _when_ am I? Oh, I've forgotten to
introduce myself, how rude. I'm Brown. Doc Brown." He stuck his hand out
in the general direction of CE-L, who shook it obligingly.

        " Um, if you don't mind me asking, what are you doing in the 
middle of my kitchen?" asked Cheesecake Eater. Even though it wasn't his 
kitchen, it was pretty much universally acknowledged that after the 
Culinary Disaster occurences, he was one of the few people who belonged 
in it.  Doc used the handshake to pull the net.hero up off the floor, and 
into a standing position.

        " I seem to have gotten myself lost," muttered Doc," Can you
perhaps tell me where we are? And when? And if there's anyone by the last
name of Reeves or Reidecheroffe in the area?"

        " Uh, well right now you're in the Legion of Net.Heroes
Headquarters, 1995. And I don't know anyone by the last name of Ree - oh,
wait. Weirdness Girl's last name is Reeves, I think. You can go ask her
if you want - "

        " YOU DIE NOW, CAKE-BOY!!" screamed a multicolored
trenchcoat-wearing net.heroine as she burst through the double doors at
the other side of the room, ran across the intervening space, paused for
a moment to set a goldfish and his bowl down on the counter, and hurtled
into Cheesecake-Eater Lad. "_First_, you leave Binky all alone in here,
and now you think you can just walk into my room and take stuff?!" she
yelled, kneeling on top of him, holding his nose in a death grip between
the fingers of her right hand. CE-L's arms pinwheeled madly.

        " Ib don' know whub you're talging abut! Ib swear!" he exclaimed.
Brit narrowed her eyes and realeased her death grip on his nose, rolling
ot her feet.

        " Explain this, then!" she declared, uncrumpling a note from her
pocket and thrusting it in front of his eyes.

        "Dear Brittany,
        I was up here going through your underwear, and trying
        on your clothes when I came across this great sword. I
        have borrowed it for a while. Hope you don't mind.
                Cheesecake Eater Lad."

        Cheesecake Eater's eyes widened, and he began a panicked scramble
backwards. Brittany began to stalk forwards after him, eyes still

        " I didn't write that letter! I swear!" swore CE-L," Really, I
swea - AAAAAAAAAAAA!! No! No - "

        " I want Dirmarw back, and if you don't have him I want to know 
where he is! This is important, Cheesecake-Eater Lad!"

        " Excuse me, are you Weirdness Girl?" asked Doc Brown from off to
the side. Brittany stopped and spun around, staring at him in surprise.

        " Great Uncle Brown!? Is that you!?" she shouted. Doc winced, and
nodded while rubbing his left ear.

        " That I am. Am I to assume I'm related to you in some way,
then?" he asked. Brittany nodded enthusiastically and hugged him, then
stepped away and grinned widely at him.

        " I'm Brittany Marcelyn Reeves. We haven't seen you in ages,
Great Uncle Brown! We missed you at the family reunions!" Doc Brown
looked at her in stunned amazement.

        " You're Brittany!? _Little_ Brittany? The little girl who used
to sit on my knee? You've grown! How's everyone else? How's your mother?"
he asked. Brittany's grin faltered for a second, and she gulped.

        " They're all, uh, fine. So, what are you doing here, of all

        " Oh, I'm - "

        " DIE, TIMETRAVELLER!!" screamed a walking suit of technological
armor as it blew the doors to the kitchen off their hinges and strode
inside, ray gun pointing at Doc Brown, who stood looking at it in stunned

        " What?" he asked.

        " I AM FLASHBACK!! And I know how to stop you! I know how to stop
you all!! I'll build a machine, a wonderful machine. They'll never be
able to beat me with the Killfile Contraption by my side. But first, you
die," he said, and pulled the ray gun's trigger.

                      -==-             -==-

        " YES! Here's the rest of it," exclaimed Contraption Man as some
of the monitoring equipment he's set up outside the cube binged. "Play

    "Disheartened, I left. It was mid-afternoon, the birds were
singing, the sky was blue. October 10th, the date was ashes in my mouth,
disappointment tinged everything a bitter grey.
    October 10th will remain a date emblazoned in the minds of every
citizen in the world, because on that same day, a time traveller appeared
and destroyed the LNHHQ and everybody in it. After leaving the HQ, I
heard one of the alarm bells go off, echoing around the HQ complex and
into the surrounding area. It sounded important, and I turned back the
the HQ and ran inside. I thought maybe they'd need me. They didn't, of
course, it seemed they had everything well in hand as a strike team got
into one of the faster combat flight.thingees. They looked so
professional, so serious.
    I couldn't help myself. I snuck on board and hid behind some stuff in
the back. Nobody saw me, until we reached our destination and I made the
mistake of shifting uncomfortably. Contraption Man found me and locked me
into one of the .thingee's back compartments. `So I wouldn't get in
trouble' he said. I knew it was an important mission - I'd heard everyone
talking about it on the way there. Something about a time-traveller.
    After about fifteen minutes of working on the lock, I managed to get
myself free and into the ship's cockpit and flip on the control board. It
was then I heard the screams. One by one, over the ships intercom, I
heard them die. I heard them all _die_! By that time I was almost blind
from crying - I couldn't even get out of the flight.thingee to try and
save them, Contraption Man had set an auto-lock on the outside of the
door. I hit the control board blindly then, and by some miracle managed
to activate the auto-pilot button. The ship took me back to the
headquarters then. Back to hell.
    They were gone. All of them, just gone. The entire LNH, just erased
from existence. It was the time-traveller that did it, I just know it.
And I could do nothing to stop it! Nothing!" The recording ended then,
and Contraption Man leaned back in his seat, burying his head in his
hands. Something would have to be done about this, and done now. It was
time to gather a team.

                      -==-             -==-

        Up on the roof, Kismet had begun to pace back and forth. Paytan
was at the edge of the roof, idly watching cars drive by the front of HQ.
Finally Kismet spun around dramatically, wings half spread so the sun
shone brightly off them.

        " Is this all you do here then, sit?" she asked, mildly acidic.

        " Well, we were going out to lunch, before you arrived," snarled
Paytan. She'd made up her mind to get Dirwmar back from Brit, but if said
net.heroine didn't show up soon, she was going to lose her nerve. She
wasn't quite in the mood for a little talk. Kismet picked up the annoyed
tone in her voice, and managed to understand most of the sentence.

        " So that was your midfest I fell into from? Great apologies, I - 
I did not mean to interrupt - "

        " It's okay. Wasn't your fault, as far as I could tell," muttered

        " Where had Weirdness Girl gone? Do you think perhaps she had
become lost in the ur... El - en - aich Hedquirters?" asked Kismet,
stumbling over the alien words at the end of her sentence.

        " Brittany? She's fine. Probably just detoured to bug
Cheesecake-Eater Lad or avoid Fuzzy or something, you know? She'll be up
eventually, and then we'll try to figure out what to do about a place to
sleep for you - " The door onto the roof banged open and Brit hurtled
through it, with Binky and a strange white-haired man in tow.

        " INCOMING!" she screamed, and the old man and she threw
themselves to the ground, just in time for a ray bolt to scream out from
the door and over their heads.

        Paytan had time to think "whoa, Fuzzy must be _really_ pissed
this time" before a figure in lethal looking black future-armor burst
onto the roof. The armor looked a little beaten on, most notably a dent
in the faceplate. It looked like it had been caused by somebody's fist...
The figure swung a nasty looking ray gun around to point at Paytan, it's
end still glowing faintly from the last discharge. Paytan growled and
hurled herself behind one of the airconditioning vents scattered around
the roof, watching the ray burn a hole into the roof where she'd been a
few seconds earlier.

        " Brittany!" she yelled," Why do these things always happen to
you, huh? Who is this psycho!? Couldn't he have found someone else!?"
Brittany and the strange man reached the protection of another nearby
vent a moment later.

        " It's not my fault this time," she yelled back," He's trying to
kill time-travellers, evidently - "

        " We're NOT time-travllers!"

        " No we're not. Paytan, meet my Great Uncle Brown. He's a - "

        " Yeah, a time-traveller, I should of known.  Brittany, if we
wait long enough here is your entire family just going to wander by at
some point or another? I mean there's you Aunt JoDean, and then this guy,
who's next?!" Brittany shrugged.

        " It's not like they tell me when they're planning on showing up,
Paytan," grinned Brittany," It just kinda happens."

        " Excuse me, but I seem to be the source of all this trouble,"
interjected Doc Brown," And if that's the case I can simply leave and
return at a later time." Brittany thought for a moment, then nodded.

        " That might be best, Great Uncle," she said," It's not really
safe aroun LNHHQ at the best of times, and right now this isn't one of
them. Another one of the family reunions is coming up soon, you could
come to that! Nobody else had seen you since... well, since I was a
little kid, I guess. You'd be a welcome addition, believe me." Doc Brown
nodded thoughtfully.

        " That sounds like a good idea," he said," I belive I'll do

        " Good," replied Brit,"We'll destract, um, Flashback, and you
make a run downstairs, okay?"

        " Are you all quite finished?" asked a black armored form where
it stood a few feet away, tapping it's foot. It didn't look to happy,
especially with the dented faceplate. Brit shrugged and smiled at him.

        " Well, _hello_ Mr.Flashback Psycho Killer, sir! Fancy meeting
you here, of all places!" The armored form raised a laser pistol, aiming
it at Brit's head. The smile dropped from her face and she hurled herself
to the side, felt the heat of the beam passing by her cheek, and smelled
the stink of her own burnt hair. The beam slammed into the LNHHQ roof,
burning through the cement a ways before stopping. Paytan growled
something uninteligible under her breath and leapt in front of Flashback,
knocking at his gun arm with one hand while grabbing at a ridge on top of
his helmet with the other and yanking down. Flashback's head bobbed down
for a second them came up, as he slammmed his fist into Paytan's rib
cage, sending her skidding across the roof.  Doc Brown, who was halfway
to the stairs by that time, stopped and hurried over to her.

        " Great Scotts! Are you alright, young lady?" he asked. Paytan
grimaced and propped herslef up with her elbows.

        " I'm doing this for you! Just get outta here so we can too! GO!"
she yelled. Truthfully, she was actually doing this for Brittany, but
saying that wouldn't get her friend's idiot relative off the damn roof.

        Meanwhile Brittany was dodging frantically among the air
conditioning vents, trying to find a rock to pitch at Flashback. She'd
lost her other rock-filled plush fish when she'd pitched it at
Flashback's arm in the kitchen and ruined his aim, and she still hadn't
gotten the lfirst one sewn up again after their last encounter with the
Junior Brotherhood of Net.Villains. Which remined her, Paytan was over
there on the other sided of the roof, Flashback was - ack! - still firing
away, but where had Kismet gone off to - "

        " DIE!! By Bakharaizel's fist, DIE!" screamed the aforementioned 
dimensional visitor as she hurtled headfirst towards Flashback from out 
of the sky.  She'd taken the tine to put a strange looking pair of clawed 
steel boots on her feet, shining dully in the sun. Her hair had been tied 
back into an odd-looking ponytail, with only two blond strands in front 
of her ears left untied to whip around in the wind. Her hands and lower 
arms had been covered with another set of the clawed steel things, these 
with a small collection of feathers and stoned tied onto the armband ared 
with leather thongs. Flashback froze for a second, then turned and began
to re-aim the ray gun at her.

        At the last second Kismet flipped in midair, pointing the
viciously clawed steed boots at Flashback's midsection as she slammed
into him at top speed. There was a horrible screaming metal sound, like a
minor form of a car crash, and both Kismet and Flashback sailed a few
feet into the air, then slammed back down again onto the roof's surface.
Kismet turned just before she hit and rolled away from the prone villain,
leaping into the air and skimming away again. Flashback grunted and
patted the now-dented armor around his stomach area gingerly, then
carefully aimed a shot at Kismet's receeding figure.

        " You will die for interferring with my quest, girl!" he 
screamed, voice sounding hollow once it was filtered through the confines 
of his dented mask,"Don't you know that what I do is for the best!?"

        Paytan was still at the other end of the roof, gasping and 
holding her stomach, leaving only Brit on the battle field. She blinked 
at Flashback for a second, then sighed and threw herself on his gun arm,
making the shot go wide. Flashback grabbed her by the back of the neck
before she could get away, and lifted her up level with his faceplate.
Brit smiled at him tentatively, unable to see anything but her own
reflection in the shiny black mask.

        " Um, hi Mr.Flashback," she tried," You know, if there's a
problem you've got, I'm sure we can help you out with it. I mean - urk."
Flashback tightened his grip on her neck, then casually slammed her down
on the roof. Brittany rolled to her feet and stood again, glaring at
him with narrowed eyes.

        " Okay, so we're _not_ being gentlemanly. We're _not_ being nice.
Suits me fine. You try to kill my Great Uncle, you try to kill my
friends, and you refuse all attempts at polite conversation! Feh. I call
upon the power of all cosmic, of he who swims, Lord of Weirdness and King
of the SouthWestern Celestial Plains, Possessor of the Deity Trinket, of
the Carmel Candy Crown, of the Preface to the Necronimicon, etc, etc, ad
infinitum, BINKY!" screamed Brittany, the winds sweeping dramatically
through her hair, lifting up her trenchcoat and swirling it behind her.
Flashback froze, gun pointed at her midsection.

        But then winds died down, and no celestial aura manifested itself
around Brittany. So he pulled the trigger.

        Brittany threw herself to the side and rolled, felt more than saw
the laser take a nasty burning cut out of her trenchcoat, then came up
near Binky's fishbowl, where he burbled peacefully on.  She snatched the
fishbowl and kept rolling frantically until she ended up behind a chimney
protruding from the roof. Flashback began to move towards her momentary
cover. Brittany crouched behind the chimney and shook Binky's fishbowl
until water began to splash out onto the roof.

        " The first time since I'm a superhero I call on you! And what do
you do?," growled Brit,"You ignore me, that's what! Well, YA WANNA SEE
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU IGNORE ME, EH? I'll show you!" Binky managed to
convey worry as he swam around in the goldfish bowl. Brittany thrust
herself upward into a standing position, and lept up to the top of the
chimney. She couldn't find anything on the roof to use as a weapon, Binky
wouldn't supply her with power, and she couldn't depend on her relatives
and friends to get her out of _every_ situation. That left one thing.
Flashback, who had been planning on swinging around the chimney and
shooting quickly, was caught off guard for a second when Brit lept on top
of it.  A second was all Brittany needed.

        " Hey you! Mr.Psycho Killer Guy! EAT COSMIC POWER!!" screamed
Brit. Then she pitched Binky at him.

        The cosmic power, fishbowl and all, sailed gracefully through the 
air for one frozen second, Binky looking considerably stunned, even for a 
goldfish, three tiny droplets of water falling from the bowl's edge as 
they headed towards the roof. Then he ricocheted off Flashback's helmet, 
the sound of metal and glass that didn't want to break meeting abruptly 
echoing around the LNHHQ roof. Binky landed on the roof at an awkward 
angle and slopped some water onto the cement, then rocked backwards to an
upright position, as Flashback stumbled backwards and tried to keep his
balance. Just in time for a massive flying train, circa 1885, to roar up
over the edge of the roof.

        Brittany's Uncle Brown leaned out of the window and waved
cheerfully at her, then ducked back inside. Brittany managed a return
wave, then went back to glaring at Binky. The train's engine revved once,
and Brittany jumped down off the chimney, burnt trenchcoat fluttering in
the wind behind her. Flashback fell backwards into a sitting postion,
rubbing at his helmet where the Binky impact had occured, just as Kismet
came around for another dive.

        Flashback looked up blurrily and saw the massive metal
anachronism begin to surge forwards on one side, the strange winged girl
coming in for another hit on the other, and decided enough was enough.

        " Well heroes, you may have won this battle, but I assure you,
_Flashback_ will win the war!" he screamed and ignited his armor's rocket
boosters, roaring into the sky a second before the flying train tore by
his last postion, displacing a massive cloud of gravel as it passed.
Kismet sailed by a second later, already backwinging and slowing down to
land on the roof. She looked disgruntled.

        The train and Flashback continued to soar upwards, until the
train was outlined in a burst of electrical colors, disapearing from the
sky with a slightly muffled sonic boom. Flashback simply continued to
fly, slowly growing smaller in the cloudless blue sky above the HQ.
Brittany harumphed and stomped over to her cosmic power, picking him up 
and glaring at him.

        " Gee," muttered Brit," when a cosmic power slams into your
skull, you're supposed to stay down. _Aren't_ you, Binkers?"

                      -==-             -==-

        And in the silent LNH Med.lab, a few of the lights flashed off
and stayed off. On the dusty cot in the corner, Censor Girl twitched
once, lying on the bed in an untidy sprawl where Flashback had left her.

        The few cybernetic systems that had stayed up while she was in a
coma went into diagnostic checks, looking for any damage to her neck
area. Not that they could do anything about it, if there was any, with
their parent systems shut down, but it was what they were programmed to
do. The minutes passed in silence. Then suddenly, in the depths of a
single system a silent alarm went off. Something had changed. No -
something was _changing_. Throughout her body tiny programs awoke and
began to run, setting off larger ones like dominoes. The wave of
awakening programs built, like an electric tsunami. The metal lid
covering her cybernetic eye schlicked open, then shut again, testing.
Tiny shudders ran up and down her spine as the systems began to test the
skeletal musculature.

        And in the depths of her mind, Censor Girl began to wake.

Binky, Kismet, Out-of-It Lass, Perdition, Weirdness Girl, copyright
Jennifer Whitson, 1995. Censor Girl is Public Domain. Flashback is
Drizzt's brainchild. Contraption Man is Public Domain. Great Uncle Brown
is technically a parody, and so not really mine, but he'll probably show
up again later, maybe with a changed name. In that case, he'd be mine. =)

Next Issue:

   First go finish The Flame Wars III, as the storyline ends in Part 6,
      in Insanity Unlimited #2!

   And, back in Misfits #14, the Junior Brotherhood of Net.Villains!
      Censor Girl! Kismet! Dirmarw?

.sig is living in jungle with pack of wolves and refuses to come back.

From: jjmcc at ix.netcom.com (Jeff McCoskey )
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative,alt.comics.lnh
Subject: LNH:  Insanity Unlimited #2, The Flame Wars 3 conclusion
Date: 3 Dec 1995 22:41:15 GMT


		       "The Once And Future Assassin"
		     By Drizzt (barnejd at wkuvx1.wku.edu)

		       "Past is precursor to future."


A time traveller broke into the LNHHQ, stealing a suit of powerful
techno-armorthe LNH had found long before.  He called himself Flashback, and
has since been attempting to kill other time travellers.



	Contraption Man sat in the window seat, lost in thought as he stared 
at the clouds outside the flight thingee.  A cold-fusion-powered laptop 
computer sat before him, its clock face screen saver ticking away the

	The time traveller pursed his lips in thought.  One name haunted the 
halls of his mind: Flashback.

	Contraption Man had pieced together Flashback's story from a
fragmented recording the other time traveller had brought with him.  The
story was short:  simply put, the LNH was supposed to die today.

	Those deaths -- and a younger Flashback's inability to prevent them --
had led to Flashback's jump back through time.  Unfortunately, he had missed 
his arrival date and had arrived almost a decade too early.  Doubly
unfortunate was the fact that Flashback's inexperience with the time travel
equipment hadleft him amnesiac for all that time, until something had
happened to snap him out of that state.

	Since then, the time traveller had broken into the LNHQ and reclaimed 
the powerful technorganic armor he'd brought with him.  Flashback had then
gone berserk, doing his best to track down and kill every time traveller he

	That list had included Contraption Man, and he had the bruises to 
prove it.

	Flashback had a reason for targetting time travellers in specific, of 
course.  All psycho killers had reasons good enough to kill -- in their own 
minds.  His was that he thought a time traveller had been the one to kill the
LNH.  And so, Contraption Man thought, Flashback had become a time traveller
in order to kill them.  After a confrontation with Weirdness Girl,
Flashback's armor was somewhat damaged, making its power signature easy to
follow.  Ultimate Ninja had scrambled a special strike force to pursue and
apprehend the madman at Contraption Man's insistence.  UN, however, hadn't
considered Flashback to be a priority; another armored lunatic claiming the
LNH was going to die was nothing novel.

	CM turned away from the window and noticed Irony Man looking at him.  
"Something wrong, Toony?" he asked the armored LNHer.

	"No," the electronically-processed voice said slowly.  "Nothing 
important."  He pointedly turned away.

	Had there been a note of mistrust in his voice?

	Contraption Man looked around the interior of the flight thingee. 
Some of the strike force looked away from him.  Others made it a point not to
glance in his direction, as though he didn't exist.  Some only peered from
the corners of their eyes.  Why were they all looking at him? CM asked

	He shook his head.  There was no reason for them to look at him.  
Paranoia.  He almost smiled ruefully.  Certainly, there had been that
incident with the Time Crapper a year or so ago, but he hoped that was all in
the past, despite Ultimate Ninja's misgivings earlier today; after all, UN
*had* included him in the strike force.  Why would the LNH be mistrustful of
him-  He stopped in mid-thought.

	A time traveller.

	The killer would be/had been a time traveller.

	Just like Contraption Man was.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Flashback stood in the midst of a giant cavern, lost in thoughts that 
were not entirely his own.  They had belonged to a creature named Censor
Girl, a former servant of the twisted genius Dr. Killfile.  Once, before she
became a cyborg, she had been with the villain here to examine a prototype of
a device he was creating.

	Not being known for his nomenclative originality, Killfile had called 
it the "Killfile Contraption."  The name, however, was unimportant,
especially when what it could do was so much more interesting.  Once powered
up, the Contraption prototype would respond to the mental impulses of its
user and erradicate a target or targets read from the user's thoughts.

	Killfile had created a smaller version of his device later and used it
in an assault against the LNH, killing one of its members and wreaking 
considerable havoc on the team before the contraption was destroyed.  All
that was unimportant to Flashback, now, though, for he had found his quarry:
the protype itself.

	The series of encounters Flashback had had with the LNH had convinced 
him of the futility of his tactics.  He had only hours before the LNH would
be destroyed, and countless time travellers still to be terminated -- not to 
mention that the LNH was interfering.  Didn't they understand that he was
doing this for *them*?  So, it had become neccessary to find other means for
the mass destruction of time travellers.  And the Killfile Contraption was
perfect for that end.

	He smiled.  No more failures.  They'd all be stopped once and for all.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Contraption Man sought refuge from the accusing non-stares in the hold
of the flight thingee under the pretense of examining the thingee's engines. 
How could the LNH not trust him?

	"How can I trust me?" he muttered.  "Who knows what wReamicus Maximus 
did to me when he brainwashed me?  How can I ever be certain-"

	A loud clang alerted him to the fact that he was not alone.  Drawing 
his pulse pistol, Contraption Man looked into the shadowy depths of the hold.
"Who's there?  C'mon out!"

	A short figure in a hideous costume poked his head out from behind a 
bank of machinery, hands raised above his head.  "Umm, hi, Mr. Contraption
Man.  Remember me?  Chismbob Boy?  Teen Squeeez Cheeez?  Good Kid?"

	"I remember."  CM lowered his weapon.  "The question is, what are you 
doing *here*?"

	Vaguely relieved that he wasn't going to be shot, the Kid lowered his 
hands.  "Um, well, after you were so nice as to save me from that armored-
maniac-type-y'know-that-Flashback-guy, I got stuck in the med-lab and, with
all the ruckus he was raising, I kinda snuck out and..."  He shrugged 
apologetically.  "Here I am."

	Contraption Man pursed his lips.  "This is no place for an untrained 
child.  We're going into battle, possibly to our deaths.  We'll have to leave
you behind so you don't get into trouble.  Or worse."

	The Kid looked stricken.  "B-b-but I can help!  Honest, I can!  I've 
got powers and everything!"

	"That may be, but you don't have the experience."  He took the boy by 
the arm.  "I suppose we'll have to lock you in here while we're facing 

	"But I *can* help!" the Kid shouted.  "After all, you let Back History
Boy in, and he had the same powers I do."

	Contraption Man paused.  "Powers?  What powers?"

	"I can touch people and absorb some of their memories."

	"You mean... it's a kind of 'flashback' power."

	The Kid shrugged.  "I guess so.  So, is it enough to get me in?"

	Contraption Man barely registered his words.  "Flashback," he muttered
to himself.   It all fit together.  This child *was* Flashback!  Or at least
he would be.

	Oh, he'd heard the time traveller's story in the recorder he'd 
recovered, but it he'd almost let Ultimate Ninja convince him they'd been the

ramblings of a madman, or maybe someone displaced from an alternate timeline 
like the Legion of Occult Heroes.  He grimmaced.  It had been right before
his eyes all this time, and he hadn't seen it.

	He turned back to the Kid, who eagerly awaited his answer.  In the
othertimeline, the one where the Kid had become Flashback and where the LNH
had been killed, Contraption Man had locked him in the flight thingee to keep
him from harm.  If he did the same now...

	No choice.  He wouldn't let the innocent before him become the
deranged killer that Flashback was.  No choice but to open wide the
floodgates and pray he and the others would not be washed away by the river
of time.

	"All right.  You can come."

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	The thingee touched down in a clearing near a large mountain.  
Contraption Man was the first off of it, followed closely by Irony Man,
Theory Man, List Lad, and the Forgetting One.  CM surveyed the motley crew. 
He'd appealed to the ninja for more support, for even some of the "heavy
hitters," but those words had fallen on deaf ears.  The ninja was convinced
that Flashback was just another armored maniac (albeit one from the future)
and,since Weirdness Girl had damaged his armor, had rated him an almost
negligible threat.  CM sighed.

	Equally disturbing was the fact that he'd had to hide the Kid's 
presence from the others.  He couldn't take the chance they might not see 
things his way and still lock him up on the thingee, especially since trust
in Contraption Man seemed to be at an all-time low.  No, the Kid was on his

	For better -- or for worse.

	He turned to Irony Man.  "Still reading Flashback?"

	"Yeah," the armored LNHer said, looking at a device in his hand. 
"He's inside that mountain."

	"Ummm," the Forgetting One said.  "Where are we again?"  Everyone
ignored him.

	As usual.

	"Listen," Theory Man said, "I've got this idea about who Flashback
really is.  I bet he's actually Lost Cause Boy from an alternate future
where he survived.  I mean, think about it; it all fits..."  Everyone
ignored him.

	As usual.

	Meanwhile, List Lad was checking off the supplies the strike force
had with them, muttering things such as "24 MRE's?  Check.  One (1) Big Gun
(tm)?  Check.  One Acme Anti-Homicidal-Time-Travelling-Maniac 
Neutralization Kit?  Check."  Everyone ignored him.

	As usual.

	Contraption Man looked toward the cavern mouth that opened before him.
Why had Flashback come here, of all places? he wondered.  After brief 
consideration, he shrugged.  There simply wasn't enough data to figure that
out.  He turned back to the others.  "Come on.  Let's go."  CM paused, then
spoke again.

	"Time waits for no man."

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Flashback peered at the monitors as he waited for the prototype to 
power up.  The LNH had managed to follow him even here!  He whirled toward
the board and began to adjust controls as quickly as he could.

	"Come on, you piece of junk," he growled.  "Time is running out."

	There was a pounding on the other side of the reinforced
strongstuffium door.  His head shot up, then he returned to his frantic
operations.  "They can't stop me now!  I *will* save them -- no matter the

	Another blast from Contraption Man's solid photon cannon.

	Twenty seconds more.

	The door began to buckle.


	The door blew inward.

	Ten seconds.

	The LNH strike force stormed in through the dust.


	Flashback dove for the helmet with which he could control the


	Time crystallized and turned brittle around him.


	He had the helmet in his hands.


	On his head.




	There was silence as Flashback turned to the LNH.  "Time's up," he
said joyfully.  "It's begun.  The time travellers will die, and you will

	And he threw the switch.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	In Net.ropolis, Ultimate Ninja suddenly looked up from a stack of 
paperwork.  An uneasy feeling fell across him.  Something was wrong, terribly
wrong.  He reached for his communicator...

	... and his ghostly transparent hand passed through the desk.

	As he looked on in horror, Ultimate Ninja began to fade from

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	In Sig.cago, Kid Kirby hefted the steel girders.  As part of his
public service, the Kirbian and his herald had decided to aid in the
construction of a children's hospital here.  Between the two of them, they
could trim two months off the completion date -- in only one day.

	Then, a vague sense of dread came to Kid Kirby, and the girders 
clattered to the ground.  He reached down to grab them again, and his hand 
passed through the steel.  Kirby looked to his herald, and found her to be in
a similar state.

	For all his power, Kid Kirby could only watch as they both faded

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	So it was across the globe.  Legionnaires slowly began to vanish, to
be erased from existence.  Something was terribly wrong.

	Time was running out for the LNH...

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Flashback was horrified.  Before him, the LNH strike force began to 
vanish.  "No," he whispered.  "It can't happen like this!  NOT AGAIN!!!"  He 
frantically began to adjust the controls.  "I *WON'T* LET YOU DIE!!!"

	There was a reason that Dr. Killfile had abandonned his prototype, a 
reason that he in his vanity did not share with Censor Girl.  That fact was 
that the machine was flawed.  Oh, it could erase beings or things from 
existence -- but the things it erased were those most on its user's mind, not
necessarily the target that its user desired erradicated.

	Contraption Man felt an odd sense of detachment as he looked down at 
his swiftly disappearing hands.  All for nothing, he thought sadly.  All the 
worries, all the choices... and it still hadn't mattered.  Not in time. 
Always too late.  Events had not been changed.  It hadn't mattered at all.

	But it had.

	A streak of color alerted him to that fact, as the Kid leapt from the 
shadows toward Flashback just in the nick of time.  The time traveller was so
engrossed with his manic adjustments that he didn't notice his counterpart 
until it was too late.  The younger version tackled his older counterpart, 
toppling the armored figure into the machine.  The damaged power armor sliced
through the thin casing into the wiring beneath.

	In a fountain of sparks and light, the prototype exploded.

	In that instant, Contraption Man and the other LNHers became solid 
again. He started toward the two Flashbacks, but was stopped by another
series of explosions.  An inferno sprang up around the shorted-out console,
separating him from the Kid and the fallen Flashback, as a rumbling noise
alerted CM to the quaking of the mountain.

	Contraption Man barely registered these thoughts, though; his eyes
were fixed on the horror in the Kid's face.  He knew, CM realized.  He had
touched Flashback, and now he knew what Flashback was.  The Kid looked up,
his eyes meeting CM's.  No hatred or bitterness was there, only determination
and resignation.  He knew, and would rather die a hero than live as a killer.

	And then another shower of sparks hid his face from CM.

	Contraption Man started forward, determined to save them both despite 
the impossibility of the task.  Irony Man caught him from behind.

	"It's too late, CM!" he shouted above the crackle of flames and the 
distant rumble.  "We have to go now!  The whole mountain is falling down 
around us!"

	"No!" Contraption Man shouted, twisting in the LNHer's grasp.  He 
continued his yelling and fighting even as the armored Irony Man drug him
from the complex.  "He saved us!  I have to save him!"

	Irony Man ignored his pleas.  "Run!" he shouted to the others.

	"The thought had crossed my mind," Theory Man noted dryly as he dodged
falling boulders in his mad dash for the exit.

	Racing as fast as they could while forcibly carrying off Contraption 
Man, Irony Man and the rest of the strike force made it outside the complex 
and to the flight thingee.  They turned just as they reached it...

	...just in time to see the countless tons of rock crash down on top of
the complex.

	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*	*

	Later that evening, Ultimate Ninja found Contraption Man sitting on a 
hillside inside the LNHHQ estate, watching the sun set.  The ninja stood 
behind him in awkward silence for a moment before CM spoke.

	"Isn't it amazing how much things can change in one day?"

	UN shuffled his feet uneasily.  "Listen, CM, it's not your fault."

	CM nodded.  "It's easy to say that.  But did I make the right

	"Maybe not, but you made the only one you could.  You let him make
his own choices.  Sometimes that's the only decision a leader can make."
The ninja rested his hand on Contraption Man's shoulder.  "It may not be
pleasant, but at times it is necessary."

	CM remained mute for a moment, then nodded reluctantly.  "I suppose
you're right.  But it's still not very comforting."

	Ultimate Ninja smiled humorlessly.  "What was it Shakespeare wrote:
'Men at some times are masters of our fates.  The fault, dear Brutus, is not
in our stars, but in ourselves.'  The Kid had his choice and chose to be a
hero, no matter the cost."

	Contraption Man sighed.  "In the end, he was just a prisoner of

	"Aren't we all?"

	CM sat for a moment longer, staring at the sun setting over the
LNHHQ, then at last stood resolutely.  The Kid was gone, but his sacrifice
had given them all a second chance, one that Contraption Man was determined
not to waste.  "Come on, Ninj, let's go."

	The two walked off into the sunset.



A trio of tales to tantalize, featuring everyone's favorite barbarian,
RetConan!  Marvel to his origin as he fights the evil Squishi the Goo
Wizard! Delight in Jamas' tale of familial love as RetConan and his
father fight to save his mother!  And finally, learn the stunning fate
worse than death that one day awaits RetConan in a tale by Martin


Next Week: The Last LNH Triple Play!

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

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