LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #115: LNH vII #4 and 5

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 4 14:19:02 PDT 2019

In this weeks reposting of stuff you can find in the eyrie archive
we have the second and third issue of LNH volume II.

For LNH vII #4 and 5 we get some Mr. Saxon "Thunder from Downunder" 
Brenton.  Jamie Rosen thought that ape was enough, but not Saxon
who gives a two parter about pirate gorillas in the subway because
is ape ever enough?  Not when you can make them subway pirates!

And now..

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

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

                                    ADVENTURES #115

                            LNH vII #4 and 5

From: "Saxon Brenton" <saxonbrenton at hotmail.com>
Subject: [LNH] Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #4
Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Date: 30 May 2005 18:52:52 -0000

Because, like, it's almost June and I haven't posted any stories this
year except for a few episodes of the _Just Imagine..._ cascade.

___  ___________________________
| |-|                           \
| |-| []                        /  #4
| | | [] egion of               \  'Pirates of the Subway System' part 1
| | | []__ [] []   []  []       /
| | | [___][ \[]et.[]__[]eroes  \  written by and copyright 2005
| | |      []\ ]   [ __ ]       /  Saxon Brenton
| |-|      [] []   []  []       \
| |-|___________________________/
| |
| | (Cover shows a group of Legionnaires, standing back to back, in
| | a subway carriage. They are surrounded by gorillas dressed as
| | pirates, some of who are advancing with cutlasses, others who are
| | simply swiping about on ropes, and one of whom is taking things
| | more-or-less seriously and is covering the Legionnaires with a
| | loaded banana.)
| |

[A Silver Age-style roster of characters in the form of a series of mug
shots in little circles runs down the side of the title page:]
0 Fearless Leader!  0 Irony Man!  0 Fuzzy!  0 Frat Boy!
0 Bad-Timing Boy!  0 Frothing-At-The-Mouth Lad!  0 Occultism Kid!
These are just some of the costumed lunatics who fight to defend the
world as: the Legion of Net.Heroes!


     "No way man. You're dissing me," said Julian. Beside him on the
subway carriage Antony shook his head and repeated his claim, "I'm
telling you, Mike asked her out to the Prom and she said yes."
     "Susan hates Mike," disagreed Julian. "She's been saying so for
     "Kevin thinks she was just playing hard to get."
     "Kevin's a moron who thinks that flexing a bicep will get the girls
flocking to him," summarised Julian contemptuously.
     "Well, yeah, that's true," conceded Antony. "But that doesn't mean
he mightn't be right. Not if he's parroting something someone else told
him. Or maybe being right by accident."
     Julian chuckled. "*That* I could believe." Then the high school
student frowned and checked the headphones of his iPod. "Funny, I don't
remember that song being on here..."
     Antony looked around, beginning to look concerned. "That isn't your
music, man." Around the two youngsters, other travellers on the
Net.ropolis subway were beginning to become alarmed as well. Then
Antony's eyes widened. "Ahhh! Look out! Pirate Gorillas!"
     Julian had half a second with which to begin to form a protest that,
no, the pirate gorillas on the subway was just a wild story that tabloids
like the Weekly World Nets had latched onto. Then the black-painted train
with the skull-and-crossbones emblazoned across its flank finished
pulling alongside the carriage that he and the others were riding and
the pirates began swinging across on ropes. They bore swords and loaded
bananas. Loaded *flintlock* bananas.
     And they were singing. This close, Julian could properly make out
the words to what they were singing. It was 'Stairway To Heaven'. As a
           Arrr, and it makes us wonder...'
     Passengers screamed and tried to back out of the way, but couldn't
get very far because of two reasons. Firstly, the limited space of the
enclosed subway carriage made it difficult to move very far under even
the best of circumstances. Secondly, because the nature of rubbernecking
crowds is that, as long as they personally aren't in the front line of
danger, they will hang around to watch, thereby blocking the way of
anyone sensible enough to want to flee the area altogether.
     Julian simply ducked down beneath the seats. And then he grabbed
Antony and dragged him down as well, hopefully out of harms way. Then,
over the din of the singing and the screaming he heard somebody call out
in a stentorian tone of voice, "All right, you simian malefactors! This
is the Legion of Net.Heroes. Throw down your weapons and come out with
your hands up!"
     Julian pressed himself and Antony harder down onto the floor. He
knew what that sort of declaration would do. Sure, against bank robbers
and other non-costumed criminals it'd probably garner an almost immediate
surrender. But against any sort of gaudily dressed net.villain? Fight
     To battle, then:
     Pirate gorillas snarling, "Arrr!" swung in on ropes, but were met by
an energy barrage from Irony Man's repulsing rays. A pair of gorillas got
through, but were then met face on by Irony Man's armoured fists as he
struck out, one-two, to knock them unconscious.
     Across the way Bad-Timing Boy tripped and fell flat on his face just
as a pirate swinging a sword was rushing at him. The gorilla missed Bad-
Timing Boy, and unable to halt his momentum tripped over him ("Ow!" went
BTB as the huge foot kicked him in the head) and went sailing forward to
crash against two other pirate gorillas who weren't paying attention
because they were putting so much effort into trying to find Fuzzy. One
of the gorillas began to struggle to get up and reach for a flintlock
banana, but Fuzzy just cuckolded him on the back of the head with one of
her own guns.
     Down in the vestibule pirates were ranting at Frat Boy, who simply
had his arms crossed with a bored look on his face. Okay, yes, Frat Boy's
powers to make people call him an irresponsible hooligan and threaten to
call his parents instead of actually being able to attack him was very
useful - but it didn't stop his opponents from being tiresome old farts.
Of course, the look of disdain on his face only made the pirates rant
     Meanwhile, at the other end of the next carriage a completely
different type of rant was going on. Frothing-At-The-Mouth Lad had a trio
of pirates cowering on the back foot as he went into an extended diatribe
about how fighting giant apes was a cynical attempt at retro. ("It's just
a pastiche of Silver Age DC comics by sloppy writers! They want to evoke
the mood of pre-grim'n'gritty stories with something nostalgic for their
readers! Fighting apes was fun and kooky and whimsical back then, so they
throw in fights with apes *now* because they're too lazy to come up with
their own fun, kooky ideas! And the readers are stupid enough to let them
get away with it because they're in withdrawal for comics that are *fun*
     And at the guard's van, the group's operations leader (and the
deputy head of the LNH overall) Fearless Leader was having his own
problems. He'd fought and knocked out a number of pirates, but in the
kafuffle had lost his BIGGUN [Ballistic/Incendiary/Gauss General Utility
Neutralizer - Footnote Girl]. Then the Pirate Queen had appeared (and a
sultry looking wench she was too - or at least, as sultry as a female
gorilla can look in a ensemble of velvet, a tight black leather bodice
and lots of frilly white lace) and Fearless Leader had only had time to
pick up as sword before she had attacked him. Now they were in a duel,
and she didn't seem to be taking him seriously.
     "You seem to be a lot better at this than your underlings," said
Fearless Leader as their swords clashed and clashed again.
     "Well, thank you, my young bucko" she said, and proceeded through
and complicated parry-feint-sidestep-back-the-other-way-thrust manoeuvre
that left Fearless Leader momentarily with a clear shot.
     "But it's not good enough," he added, using the opening to - almost -
disarm her.
     "Oh, but it is!" she replied brightly, feinted to the side where he
had left himself open by his last attack and then with three Zorro style
slashes of her sword cut a 'P' for 'Pirate Queen' into the chest of his
     Fearless Leader stepped back and narrowed his eyes, reassessing the
situation. She was a better than she had let on. Was the Pirate Queen
playing with him, or stalling for time? As she continued to grin and
make testing jabs at his defences, he quite methodically reached up and
activated the comm.thingy in his helmet and said, "Fearless Leader to
squad. Report: how are operations going?"
     "Fuzzy here. We're mopping up for the most part. There are few hold
outs up the front near the driver's van, but that's about it."
     "Roger," acknowledged Fearless Leader. Then to the Pirate Queen he
pointedly said, "Most of your crew are down and out. Whatever it is you
planned to have them do to has pretty obviously failed. You're wasting
your time continuing to fight me, so you'd better just surrender and get
it over with."
     The Pirate Queen looked thoughtful. "Perhaps," she said. And then
she slashed out with her sword, and Fearless Leader parried, and she
stepped to the side and struck out again, to which he parried a second
time. A vicious swipe at chest height prompted Fearless Leader to duck,
and her sword carved through the metal pole beside him like butter. "But
then again, perhaps not," she concluded in an equally mild voice. Then at
the top of her voice she called, "Hear me, my buccaneers! Abandon ship!
Grab the booty and we'll be off!" Then she knocked Fearless Leader's
sword from his hand, grabbed a rope and swung away onto the black pirate
train that had improbably been keeping lockstep pace with the commuter
express throughout the entire fight. The other gorilla pirates similarly
scrambled up and made to escape, which was pretty bizarre considering
that they were supposed to have been unconscious.
     .oO( Did they all wake up at once? ) wondered Fearless Leader as he
leapt and grabbed his BIGGUN, and began shooting at the departing pirates
.oO( Or were they just faking it? But if that were the case, why wouldn't
they have tried to sneak up behind me while the Queen had my attention? )
     The pirates pulled away from the commuter train, and in a second had
vanished down a branch line tunnel.
     "Irony Man here!" came the comm.thingy. "FL, all the pirates just up
and left. Including the ones that were unconscious and the ones we had
tied up!"
     "They took Frat Boy!" Bad-Timing Boy's voice interrupted. "They just
shrugged off the ropes and handcuffs, grabbed him, and took off!"
     "Damn," swore Fearless Leader under his breath. This lot of goons
were turning out to be harder to pin down than had been expected.


     Later that day, at the Legion of Net.Heroes headquarters, Fuzzy
stuck her head around the door of Fearless Leader's office. "Any luck on
tracking down Frat Boy?"
     "Nothing yet," he said. "None of the tech wizzes can pick up the
tracer in his LNH ID card, and Occultism Kid can't scry him out either.
Bicycle-Repair Lad, Contraption Man and Irony Man are up on the roof
tweaking some sort of expanded scanner array, and Occultism Kid thinks
that the fact that he can't find Frat Boy might be diagnostic in some
way. He's gone off to talk some contacts of his."
     "So who might they be?"
     "Architects, he said."


     Occultism Kid, as his name suggested, was a master of esoteric
knowledge. Many were his areas of expertise. And while it was true that
there were also a number of subjects about which he had only a passing
acquaintance, he subscribed to the Librarian's maxim: you don't need to
know everything, you only need to know where to look it up.
     Now he was walking into the Net.ropolis city planning office. He
needed some information about the eldritch properties of the deeper
levels of the city's subway system, and that sort of detail was too
recent to be available in older tomes like the Net.cronomicon.
     "Julian," he said with a smile as he shook the hand of one of the
senior city planners. Julian Strachlan was an unassuming looking man of
early middle age, slightly balding and thickening around the waist. At
the moment he had his shirt sleeves rolled up, but was still wearing his
     "Occultism Kid," said Julian, "You said something urgent had come up
on the phone. I take it this is more superhero stuff that the Martyrs of
Hawksmoor can help with?"
     "Yes," replied. Occultism Kid. "Have you been aware of the attacks
by pirate gorillas on the subways?"
     Julian frowned. "I've heard it mentioned once or twice on the news.
Why, is there something occult about them?"
     "I don't know for sure. I *do* know that they seem to be basing them-
selves down in the lower levels of the subway system. They come up,
attack and rob on the regular lines, and then withdraw back, and all of
the attempts by both the police and the Legion to track them have come up
against blank walls. Literally in some cases. The fact that I can't scry
out them or one of our people who's gone missing argues that they've been
shielding themselves somehow."
     Julian nodded. "All those cold-riveted girders with cores of pure
selenium, no doubt," he said. "But that's very worrying, you know. There
are tracks down there that aren't used for very good reasons, and most
of them have been disconnected from the rest of the subway system - both
physically and metaphysically."
     "I know. That's why I came to see you. I need to have a look at the
plans of the lower levels - both the layout and the esoteric properties
they posses - and only the Martyrs have anything like the complete
details of the occult geometries of the city. Your group planned and
built most of them, after all."


     Frat Boy knew he was in trouble. It wasn't so much that he was tied
up in the subway tunnels beneath Net.ropolis currently being used as a
pirate lair, or that the tunnels themselves had a weird bluey-purple glow
to them, or even that his powers no longer seemed to be working properly
against the pirates. No, the thing that was making him sweat was the way
the pirate gorillas were taking about getting him married. He suspected
that the reception wouldn't be a kegger.
     The pirate gorillas sang:
          'There's a lady who's sure, that all that glitters is gold
           And she's buying a stairway to heaven.
as the Pirate Queen made her entrance, knuckling into the room, then
striking a dramatic arms-akimbo pose and gazing around with a 'mistress
of all she surveyed' look. Her piratical underlings all cheered.
     "Okay lady," said Frat Boy in his most disdainful voice, "Do you
want to tell me what's going on, or what?"
     The Pirate Queen glanced at him, before making a somewhat bemused
'this-is-the-best-we-can-do?' face. "Generally speaking I don't go for
twinks," she said to the room in general as she inspected Frat Boy's
rather skinny and hairless frame. "But I suppose you'll have to suffice."
     "Hey, hands off the merchandise," complained Frat Boy, momentarily
stung by her lack of appreciation for his manly charisma. Blasted acne.
There were times when he suspected that his powers required him to look
like an immature teenager so that he could be ranted at like an immature
teenager - although Dr Stomper had once said that, no, actually it was
all the greasy junk food and had advised him to eat more fruit and
vegetables. "What do you want, then? The Legion isn't going to agree to
pay and ransom demands, you know. They'll simply come in and bust your
     The Pirate Queen looked incredulous. "Want? WANT!? What makes you
think there's anything I want from those lollygagging nancyboys in their
too tight costumes? I have everything that I need now. For too long have
I been waiting to capture a young man, and now my plan is ready for it's
next phase!"
     .oO( Crap. It's as bad as I thought, ) went Frat Boy to himself. He
rapidly shifted mental gears. "This isn't supposed to be one of those bad
romance novels with pirates of tarnished nobility on the cover, you know."
     "Romance!?" spat the Pirate Queen. She glared at him. Then without
taking her eyes off of him she picked up a candelabra made from a skull
and lit the candles of wax rendered down from the fat of men hung on a
gallows. As the unholy light of the necrolabra spread, the Pirate Queen
and her crew stood revealed as the spectrally undead singing gorilla
pirates that they really were. "Get your mind off of romance novels and
onto ghost stories, my boy. You're in one!"

Author's Notes:
     Yeah, pastiche of the _Pirates Of The Caribbean_ movie; even the name
echoes back to it, although that's heavily disguised under *really* bad
scansion. Although not much of a pastiche, because I never got around to
seeing the movie and am relying on memories of clips from review shows.
They're pirates, they've been cursed (we'll find out how and why next
issue) and can't rest until they sort things out. Actually, it also nods
at the pirates on the subway in one of Grant Morrison's _Seven Soldier's
of Victory_ comics, and I haven't gotten around to reading that story
     In more general news, I've gotten sick of trying to trying to post
stories with the new Google Groups interface, so I'm going to experiment
with posting from a hotmail account. I'll still get an automated .sig at
the end of the post, but it won't be the huge ugly farking disclaimer
that the UTS email system automatically attaches.

Character Credits:
     Pretty much everybody here is Public Domain, mostly because of the
passage of time and lack of one of these sinful, modern-type archival
services meant that who originally created them was lost a long time ago,
although some characters were deliberately given over to Public Domain at
some point or other:
  Bad-Timing Boy created by Vernon Harmon
  Fearless Leader created by Dvandom (Dave Van Domelon)
  Frat Boy created by uplink (John Scheibeler)
  Frothing-At-The-Mouth Lad created by Elmo (Greg Morrow)
  Fuzzy created by Connie Hirsh
  Irony Man created by Doug Moran
  Undead Singing Pirate Gorillas created by Saxon Brenton.

     But I've got the feeling that Occultism Kid (technically, Occultism
Kid II, created by Josh Guerink) is a Usable Without Permission Writer
Character (kinda like Ultimate Ninja). Do not bend, fold, spindle or

Saxon Brenton     University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au     saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
The GIRL GENIUS comic of Phil and Kaja Foglio is now online at:

SEEK: Over 80,000 jobs across all industries at Australia's #1 job site.

From: "Saxon Brenton" <saxonbrenton at hotmail.com>
Subject: [LNH] Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #5
Newsgroups: alt.comics.lnh,rec.arts.comics.creative
Date: 7 Jun 2005 12:21:14 -0000

[LNH] Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #5

___  ___________________________
| |-|                           \
| |-| []                        /  #5
| | | [] egion of               \  'Pirates of the Subway System' part 2
| | | []__ [] []   []  []       /
| | | [___][ \[]et.[]__[]eroes  \  written by and copyright 2005
| | |      []\ ]   [ __ ]       /  Saxon Brenton
| |-|      [] []   []  []       \
| |-|___________________________/
| |
| | (Cover shows the Pirate Queen (sans spectral form) and Frat Boy
| | dressed for a wedding and standing together at the front of the
| | picture, facing towards the reader. The rest of the gorilla pirate
| | crew are grouped behind them watching the wedding - except for the
| | few right at the back, who are fighting the Legionnaires who have
| | just broken through the wall to put a halt to proceedings.)
| |

[Roll call for this issue:]
0 Fearless Leader!  0 Irony Man!  0 Fuzzy!  0 Frat Boy!
0 Bad-Timing Boy!  0 Frothing-At-The-Mouth Lad!
0 Occultism Kid!  0 Very Big Boy!
These are just some of the super-powered do-gooders who think that
running around with your underwear on the outside is acceptable as a
fashion statement: the Legion of Net.Heroes!


     "You think you have something, Occultism Kid?" said Ultimate Ninja.
He and Fearless Leader sat around the table while Occultism Kid laid out
a rather strange looking plan of the city. It had a sketch of the surface
streets in light black lines, overlaid with the subway tunnels in either
thicker black or blue lines. The layout of the ones in blue looked very
strange indeed.
     "Yes," said Occultism Kid. "I went and consulted the records that I
could find of the lower subway system, with particular reference to the
supernaturally endowed ones. I think I may have some leads of how the
pirate gorillas keep disappearing."
     "A moment," interrupted Fearless Leader. "There are *records* of
the supernatural properties of the subway?"
     "There are records for the supernatural properties for a lot of the
city," said the mage. "There's a semi-secret fraternity of geometers in
the planning department called the Martyrs of Hawksmoor that try to keep
the supernatural development of Net.ropolis - the ley lines and such -
from growing in unwanted and potentially dangerous directions. Which is
where this starts to come in," he said, indicating the map.
      "Architects have been planning cities based on scared geometry for
centuries to some extent or other," Occultism Kid explained. "But they
were only taking something and making it better. It was only about the
time that really *big* cities started developing that it became apparent
that the... well, negative psychic buildup in the environment is an
oversimplified but convenient buzzword... the psychic buildup was
something that had to be guarded against. In other words, something that
had to be controlled to keep things from getting *worse*. In particular,
towards the end of the 19th century a man by the name of Thibaut de
Castries wrote a seminal book on the subject called _Megapolisomancy_.
De Castries himself was a vicious bastard who was rumoured to have used
the negative forces of metropolitan geometries for some of his own black
sorcery before he passed away in 1929 in San Francis.com. But the
principles set out in his book are valid and are a good starting point
for anyone who needs to know the sort of things to protect against.
     "Now, in the case of the city of Net.ropolis an awful lot of that
negative psychic buildup began accumulating in parts of the early subway
works. Most particularly in the deeper ones that made use of the natural
cave system under the city. By the time the Martyrs of Hawksmoor realised
what was happening, it was all they could do calculate which tunnels were
critical parts of the mystical circuit that had formed, then break that
circuit by sealing them off from the rest of the subway. In the purely
physical sense that meant walling off parts of the subway after making up
excuses that the tunnels were unstable, but there were mystical barriers
as well. These blue lines on the map represent the sealed off tunnels.
You'll note that they're the ones that make strange patterns."
     Ultimate Ninja examined the map. "And your hypothesis is... what?
That the pirate gorillas have somehow breached the barriers that were
set up and have established a base in there?"
     "Yes. It would explain why I haven't been able to scry them out."
     "Will this help you find them now?" said Fearless Leader as he
looked over the map. "There seem to be a lot of sealed off areas that
they could be in. That's a lot of searching, and if we have to do it
by foot we'd better get started."
      Occultism Kid shook his head. "I think I can use these details to
counter most of the interference that we've been getting so far. I'll need
to talk with Irony Man and the others though; we might need to combine
our efforts." He frowned. "The real problem might be the pirates them-
selves. They may have done worse than just hiding down there. They could
be tapping into those negative psychic energies as a power source of some
sort. I hope not. Just the fact that they may have breached those sealed
tunnels is dangerous enough. As my Hawksmoor contact says, there are
reasons why those things are sealed off."


     Fuzzy had decided that while the other Legionnaires were trying to
track down the singing gorilla pirates that had kidnapped Frat Boy with
various types of scanning-at-a-distance, she'd pound the mean streets
and get some information by more conventional means. Currently she was
chasing an ordinary old non-singing non-gorilla subway pirate.
     The pirate ran through the crowds on the train platform, elbowing
aside commuters and eliciting cries of indignation and abuse in return.
He reached the turnstiles and jumped them, intending on making his way
out through the station entry and from there hopefully into the safety
of the streets.
     "You can't escape, Norman."
     Big Knuckles Jim aka Norman Wittenstein came close to wetting
himself. He thought he'd lost her! His eyes darted about. Where could she
be hiding? He ducked sideways and ran down a pedestrian passageway that
led under the street to the shopping mall on the other side of the road.
     "There's nowhere that you can run, Norman."
     Ahh! Norman came to a screeching halt in the food court, his head
darting back and forth as he tried to find where his opponent was. Which
really was a waste of time considering Fuzzy's powers of confusion and
ambiguity, but when people are panicked they tend to lapse back into
instinctive responses. As he turned about, searching futilely for a
plausible escape route, she came up and punched him.
     Norman fell, hitting the floor and gaping at Fuzzy as she decided to
be not-quite-as ambiguous as during the pursuit. "Now, we're going to have
a little chat," she said with a sardonic smile in her voice and, possibly,
on her lips. "Tell me what you know about the gorilla pirates."
     "Gor... gorilla pirates. But... I'm not a gorilla!"
     Fuzzy rolled her eyes. "Yes, I can see that. But you are a pirate."
.oO( Or rather, one of the teenaged punks that dress up to form pirate
subway gangs, ) she added to herself. "And over the last few weeks the
singing pirate gorillas have been carving out their own territory,
muscling in on the turf of different human pirate groups, haven't they?"
     "Well, yeah. Most of the crews... we avoid them. I mean, it's only
sensible, isn't it? They're got a lot more firepower than us, and even
with their knuckles gorillas pack more punch..."
     Fuzzy nodded to herself. Criminals were indeed a cowardly and
superstitious lot. When they were up, they thought they were the lions:
the kings of the savannah. But when somebody bigger came along they
were only too ready to withdraw and play the part of jackals, waiting
for the leftover scraps of carrion. "Right," she said. "Well, I want to
know where the limits of their new stomping grounds are; what train
lines they attack, which groups they've displaced, the times they show
up. Everything."


     "Ooo-kaaay" said Frat Boy, impressing himself with the fact that he
was able to keep his voice steady in the face of spectral pirate gorillas.
"So, the fact that you're dead means you have to get married."
     "Ha!" went the Pirate Queen, who no longer looked anything like
fetching, no matter how much lace she wore or how tight the leather bodice
was. "The fact that we're *cursed* means I have to get married!"
     To Frat Boy this was just as much a non-sequitur as the original
statement, but he let her rant.
     "More than four centuries ago we were pillaging and plundering the
towns along the coast, when we fell afoul of one of the Lords of Art..."
     "Of what?"
     "Lords of Art! Of Artifice!" she snapped. "There was a clockmaker
who was a follower of one of the Lords of Art, and had built a cabinet-
sized mechanism that had all sorts bells and whistles and filigree." For
a moment she sounded wistful. "Ah, and a beautiful thing it was too..."
Then she came back to the here-and-now. "But it was too big for us to
steal during the raid, so we smashed it instead."
     "You smashed it? But if it was that good, why smash it?"
     "So no one else could have it, of course."
     "That's selfish and mean spirited."
     "We're pirates," she retorted as if explaining the obvious to a
particularly obtuse child. "Anyhap, the old man tried to defend his
device, and we cut him down. With his dying breath he called upon the
Lord of Art to whom he had been planning to give his device as a gift.
Then that Art Lord appeared. Said his name was Smirglion and that he was
here to punish us. When I tried to run him through, the sword passed
straight through him, as though he weren't there. Then he flayed our
flesh from our bones with a bolt of power, and before our souls could
pass on to our reward he bound them to our mortal remains. Finally he
banished us to these caves, with the curse that we would never be able
to leave nor fully die until we had produced a work of Art as good as the
one that we had destroyed.
     "For hundreds of years we remained trapped here, until the city
above us began to expand the tracks for its iron horses into the under-
ground," she continued. "Power began to seep in through the new-cut
tunnels and along the tracks. We were almost ready to free ourselves when
some of the tunnels were closed and the flow of power stopped. For the
last few decades we've been chipping away at the wards that have sealed
off these tunnels from the rest of the subway system, and now we finally
have access to the rest of the caves and tunnels as well."
     "So how does that help you produce a work of Art as a replacement?"
said Frat Boy. "Or are you planning on stealing one and palming it off as
your own and hoping Smirglion doesn't notice?"
     "Stupid boy. We aren't planning on giving Smirglion anything at all.
With enough mystical power drawn from the city above, we can bypass his
curse altogether! And that's where your wedding comes into it."


     Legion of Net.Heroes HQ:
     "Oh give me a BREAK," went Sarcastic Lad. "Lords of Art? Isn't it bad
enough that the Looniverse has to put up with sixty five zillion different
groups calling themselves Lords of Order and Chaos or KOs or whatever! Who
are they supposed to be opposed to; the Lords of Dada or something?"
     "The Lords of Nature," said Occultism Kid tersely. Greeney-purpley-
orange light played across his face from the scrying device that he'd
finally been able to rig up to track Frat Boy. "Now shut up, I'm trying
to listen to listen to her Secret Origin."
     "Well excuse me," snapped Sarcastic Lad before stomping off,
muttering to himself. "Besides, whoever heard of frigging Art doing
anything powerful. What a dumb concept."
     "Nah Gov, you've got that all wrong," said Bicycle-Repair Lad, who
was at the rear of the group. "Back in the original Hitchhikers Guide To
The Galaxy, the radio version, they had this miles high statue of Arthur
Dent with a spilt teacup, and the teacup was held up by nothing except
the power of Art. Very powerful stuff, that is."
     Sarcastic Lad just glared at him.
     "Well I think it's cool!" chirruped Kid Enthusiastic in a gratuitous
cameo. "It's just like in the Champions roleplaying game!"
     "You would think that," said Sarcastic Lad.
     Towards the front there was sudden sound of disappointment as the
device flickered and died. "Well, that's it," said Occultism Kid. "It's
packed in." He looked at the television set that he had juryrigged to
use as a tracker. It was reasonable enough to use a magically charged
technological device to try and get in sync with the magically charged
technologically built tunnels, but there was only so far that sort of
symbolism could take you before it began to run up against the wards and
barriers. The place had been sealed off, after all.
     Fearless Leader turned to Irony Man and Contraption Man, who had had
their own devices plugged into the television set. "You get anything?"
     "Yeah," said Contraption Man. "We got some readings - weak, but
lasting long enough to get a bit of a fix. It looks like they have him
down here," he added, pointing to a section of tunnel on the map.
     "Okay then," said Fearless Leader, nodding. Then he turned back to
Occultism Kid. "What was that bit, just before it got cut off? About the
     "Oh, I imagine that the Pirate Queen wants to use Frat Boy as type
of magical winch point," said Occultism Kid distractedly. "Any wedding is
a symbolic union of two into one, so once she's married to him, then she
and her pirates are no longer *just* bound to their prison. Because Frat
Boy isn't bound by the curse, she'll be at least symbolically free as
well, and can use any psychic energy that they've been able to tap to
haul themselves free for real." Then he added, "Unless of course it all
goes horribly wrong, and Frat Boy gets turned into an undead pirate
gorilla as well."


     Not too much later, Occultism Kid and Irony Man were leading the way
through the tunnels for a strike force of Legionnaires. "This should be
it," indicated Irony Man, consulting the map co-ordinates in his onboard
computers. This deep underground he had no contact with satellite based
GPS signals, but thanks to the wonders of comic book supertech his armour
had a more than adequate inertial guidance system as well.
     Occultism Kid scanned the wall in front of them while the rest of the
group - Fearless Leader, Frothing-At-The-Mouth Lad, Bad-Timing Boy and
Very Big Boy - waited. The wall formed a dead end across the tunnel,
having barred further progress down this branch line for decades. Or at
least, mundane progress. To his mage sight there was clearly a breach in
the mystical wardings built into the brickwork, not to mention lingering
traces of supernatural passage. "This is the place all right. Or at
least, a place."
     "You're still worried that they might have another entrance?" said
Frothing-At-The-Mouth Lad. It wasn't truly a question, since Occultism
Kid had already made his concerns plain. Now the Legion's mystic maestro
shrugged and said, "It's a possibility that unfortunately we just don't
have time to investigate and block off."
     "If it's any help," said Fuzzy as she emerged from the gloom, "as
far as I can tell, the pirate gorillas only make use of this entrance."
     "Hey!" said Bad-Timing Boy. "Where have you been while all the hard
work was being done?"
     Fuzzy chose to ignore him. Instead, to Fearless Leader and the team
in general she said, "I was getting information from the other gangs of
subway pirates. There are a number of human gangs that have been displaced
by the gorillas' rampages, and I figured they'd be a good source on where
and when the gorillas had been appearing. Since the gorillas never showed
up on the track sensors used by the subway staff, I figured that sort of
information from the pirate gangs would be the next best thing for
identifying where the gorillas were probably emerging into the regular
commuter lines."
     "Good work," nodded Fearless Leader. He looked at the others, "We
ready to go?"
     "As soon as we find the access door and unseal it," said Irony Man.
     "It's over there, in the second alcove," said Fuzzy.
     "Right. Thanks."
     "Now then," said Fearless Leader to Fuzzy, "We'll just have to wait
a few seconds for the scene break so that I can bring you up to speed on
Occultism Kid's plan without the readers overhearing..."


     The Legionnaires snuck through the tunnel and made their way to an
abandoned subway station. There they found the pirate gorillas watching a
wedding. Up towards the front were the Pirate Queen, dressed in a black
suit scrounged from somewhere, and Frat Boy, looking both resplendent and
extremely ticked off in a cream coloured satin wedding dress embroidered
with seed pearls.
     Occultism Kid whispered to the others, "Now remember, the timing on
this is going to be very delicate. I need you to keep the pirates busy,
but not get the upper hand so soon that the Pirate Queen thinks she
should run rather than try to complete her wedding ritual, okay?"
     "Everybody remember their positions?" asked Fearless Leader. "Right
then, let's go!"
     The LNHers rushed out of the side tunnel where they had been
concealed, and set about their assigned tasks. Very Big Boy grew to
several metres tall and heaved against the black painted subway train,
derailing it so that no one could use it for a quick getaway when the
pirates finally realised how deep the doo-doo they were in was. It was
a pity he couldn't have grown taller and simply picked up one of the
carriages with the proportionally increased strength, but the ceiling
height of the station wouldn't have allowed for that unless he laid down
- and he wasn't foolish enough to let himself be off of his feet while
surrounded by so many opponents with weapons. Then, with the carriage on
its side, he began to lay into the gorillas with his fists. "Too-ra-loo-
ra-loo-ra-li!" went the gorillas, and Very Big Boy wondered, .oO( Where
do those ropes comes from? )
     At the front, the Pirate Queen watched the Legionnaires fight their
way through her piratical minions. They were closing in on her, and it
looked as though she didn't have much time. She nodded to the crewman who
was playing the part of the minister to continue, and then was thrown off
balance as Frat Boy hitched his skirts and crash tackled her. The Pirate
Queen grabbed Frat Boy by the head and held him still, with her big meaty
hand clutching his features like a face-hugger from one of the Aliens 
     =( Frat Boy, no! )= came a telepathic warning from Occultism Kid.
=( Let her finish her ritual! I've laid a trap! )=
     With extreme reluctance Frat Boy reduced the amount of his
struggling, although he kept up a token amount so as not to raise
suspicion. Still, he made a mental note to have Words with Occultism
Kid afterwards. The Pirate Queen didn't notice the difference, and
prodded the crewman-minister to continue.
     "If there be anyone with reason why this couple should not be joined
in matromony, speak now or forever hold their peace..."
     "Mmnf mnn hmmf gnnm!" protested Frat Boy from underneath her paw.
     "This isn't the bit where you say, 'I do'!" she snapped, giving his
head a warning shake.
     "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride."
     The Pirate Queen let go of Frat Boy's face and leaned in close. With
a horrified look on his face Frat Boy tried to lean away as far as her
hand on his shoulder would allow.
     =( Let her kiss you! )= practically shouted Occultism Kid in his
head, but the sight of those big wet gorilla lips coming in for a smooch
temporarily drove away the last of his rational thought.
     "AHHHHH!!!!!" screamed Frat Boy, which was a really bad move on his
part, since that meant that the kiss she got in was a tonguey.
     "Hahahaha! Yes!" cried the Pirate Queen as arcane power began flowing
through her. She let go of the shell-shocked Frat Boy and yelled, "It's
done! Now, we are FREE!"
     And then the power backfired in a way that she hadn't anticipated,
blasting her across the width of the platform to impact against a wall.
     "Don't count your chickens before they hatch," said Fearless Leader
     The Pirate Queen snatched a sword from a nearby pirate gorilla and
whipped around to face the deputy leader. "I fought you to a standstill
once before, me bucko! I can do it again!" she snarled as she made a jab
at him.
     "Last time you were drawing on the collective skill of all your
crewmembers," countered Fearless Leader, parrying a few strokes before
feinting to one side and deftly disarming her. "That was why your men were
so easily captured during the time we were fighting, wasn't it?" he added
as she stepped back in surprise at finding herself unarmed and at the
pointy end of his argument. "And now that Occultism Kid's interfered with
your wedding ritual, you can't access any sort of power - from either the
subway system or your crew. If we needed to we would have called in
Ultimate Ninja or Swordmaster to fight against you, but you've grown so
lazy from drawing on your crew's collective skill that even a mediocre
swordsman like myself can handle you once you're on your own."
     The Pirate Queen grimaced in frustration. "What have you done!?"
she demanded.
     "You made the mistake of assuming," said Occultism Kid as he walked
across the platform, over the unconscious bodies of numerous no-longer
singing gorilla pirates. "You were performing an alchemical wedding, and
that required you to 'marry' someone who was an opposite of you in as many
ways possible: male and female, living and dead, powered and non-powered,
hero and villain. That was why you were trolling around with all those
high profile attacks on the subway, waiting until the Legion arrived so
that you could abduct a male net.hero, yes? But you kidnapped Frat Boy,
thinking he suited you for one extra opposite, and that was where you
made your mistake. Frat Boy's appearance as a boy in his mid teens is the
result of his power, not his age. He's in his early twenties, and he's an
adult, NOT a child!"
     "What!?" screamed Frat Boy as he heard this. "Is that what that
'twink' comment was about!? You... you... paedophile!" Then to world in
general. "Why the Hell hasn't this story got an Acraphobe content warning!?"
     Occultism Kid let him rant, drawing out a bottle from his trenchcoat.
"I think it's time you all had a more secure prison," he said. With a
gesture of his hand the gorilla pirates all grew spectral and nebulous,
and then with a long drawn-out wail of despair they were all sucked into
the bottle. Once they were all in, Occultism Kid placed the stopper, and
drew something on the stopper with a wax pencil.
     "What's that?" asked Fuzzy, who as a latecomer hadn't had time to
be briefed on this part of the plan.
     "Spirit bottle, sealed with the Seal of Solomon. Just like the
bottles with genies in them in the Arabian Nights stories," he said.
"I'll keep them on ice until I figure out what to do with them."

Author's Notes:
     Tom Russell has already pointed out to me that the cuckolded gorilla
last issue should have been cold-cocked, but I noticed for myself that
I'd given two incidental characters the same name of 'Julian'.
     De Castries and his book were behind-the-scenes villains in Fritz
Leiber's novel _Our Lady Of Darkness_.
     I'm deliberately using undead singing gorilla pirates rather than the
GIANT talking monkey pirates that seems to be the running gag/obsession on
rec.arts.comics.dc.* and rec.arts.comics.marvel.* newsgroups. I couldn't
get into GIANT taking monkey pirates, so you got undead singing gorilla
pirates instead. So there. Ppphht.

Character Credits:
Public Domain characters:
  Bad-Timing Boy created by Vernon Harmon.
  Contraption Man (unreserved NWC rather than PD) created by Drizzt
     (Jeff Barnes).
  Fearless Leader created by Dvandom (Dave Van Domelon).
  Frat Boy created by uplink (John Scheibeler).
  Frothing-At-The-Mouth Lad created by Elmo (Greg Morrow).
  Fuzzy created by Connie Hirsh.
  Irony Man created by Doug Moran.
  Sarcastic Lad (unreserved NWC rather than PD) created by Saint (Gary
     St. Lawrence).
  Undead Singing Pirate Gorillas created by Saxon Brenton.

Useable Without Permission Writer Characters:
  Bicycle-Repair Lad created by Christopher Hare. (I think this one goes
  Occultism Kid created by Josh Guerink.
  Ultimate Ninja created by wReam (Ray Bingham).

Useable with permission Non-Writer Character:
  Very Big Boy created by Saxon Brenton.

And of course, cameoed without permission Writer Character:
  Kid Enthusiastic created by Andrew Perron.

Saxon Brenton     University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au     saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
The GIRL GENIUS comic of Phil and Kaja Foglio is now online at:

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Next Week: Let's say LNH vII #6...

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

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