LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #95: FLAME WARS IV Part Two

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 12:39:46 PST 2019

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

FLAME WARS IV #1 -- by Saxon Brenton and Jamie Rosen with consultation from
Martin Phipps.  OMAR the net.god of trolling starts to wreak his havoc over
Net.ropolis and not even the LNH is immune.  Angry LNH'rs battle other angry
LNH'rs.  Cheesecake Eater Lad VS Frat Boy!  Anal-Retentive Archive Kid VS
Self-Righteous Preacher!!  Who will win?  Who will get brain damage from the
beating they take?  And who probably already had some brain damage before this
issue happened?

Find out now in…

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

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

                                     ADVENTURES #95

                        FLAME WARS IV  Part Two

From: Saxon Brenton <saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au>
Subject: [LNH] Flame Wars 4 #1
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative,alt.comics.lnh
Date: 17 Jul 2002 00:43:39 -0000

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                   by Jamie Rosen and Saxon Brenton
                  in consultation with Martin Phipps

Part 1: "Opening Attack"

    The net.god of trolling was standing on the roof of one of the 
taller buildings in the Net.ropolis central business district, which gave 
him a good view of much of the city. The cold and wind this high up 
didn't bother him in the least. Apart from being vacuum resistant (as so 
many Fourth World characters are) it was part of OMAR's nature to prefer 
environments that were inhospitable or just plain aesthetically 
unpleasant to normal people.
     Here then. Here was the place where he would begin. Right under the 
noses of this stupid little planet's largest group of so-called heroes. 
He would hit them hard and fast, and destroy them before they even 
realised that they were under attack. And by the time they did, the 
stupid little @*/#s would be his anyway. The thought gave him a 
pleasantly lurid inner glow of warmth and malice.
     OMAR smiled - and the barometric pressure started to drop like a 
stone. Strange and abn.omar.l clouds began to gather. They were dark and 
tinged with green lightning and they twisted in disturbing ways at the 
periphery of vision.
     And then OMAR chuckled - and a wave of nightmare force spilled 
across the city and began to trickle outwards around the planet. Hatred 
called to hatred, and the fighting began.
     And the one man abusive reaction saw that it was good.


     Fights were breaking out here and there. Small at first, but by the 
end of the day there would be entire neighbourhoods aflame. Across the 
city prejudices were inflamed and sought some justification for release; 
whether those reasons were profound or absurd didn't matter. The oldest 
human excuse for fighting - 'us versus them' - came to the fore, and then 
clothed itself in whatever modern rationale was most easily adopted for 
its purposes. People fought: male against female, black against white, 
brown eyes against blue, and readers of mainstream comics against readers 
of independents.


     "Lousy LiLy-Livered Losers!"
     Cheesecake Eater Lad paused in the hallway. That was his sweet 
aLLiterative Lass's voice -- but she didn't usually sound so angry. He 
began to walk faster, worried about what could be wrong. Could some 
fiendish Net.Villain have launched an attack on her? He broke into the 
closest thing to a run he could manage.
     When he rounded the corner, he saw his beautiful bride turning 
various shades of red and shaking her fist at some unseen individual.
     "aLLy, what's wrong?"
     "Those Men have Made Me Mighty Mad!" aLLiterative Lass exclaimed.
     "What men?" he asked
     "FReakin' FRed and FRat boy!" she said, turning to face him. Her 
expression was twisted with rage, and Cheesecake Eater Lad involuntarily 
took a step back.
     "What did they do?" he asked.
     "They Took my Tiny Turquoise Towel!"
     Cheesecake Eater Lad took her hands in his and tried to calm her 
down. "aLLy, sweetie, calm down," he said. "You know those boys. It was 
just one of their silly pranks."
     "But I'd Begun to Bathe Before they 'Borrowed' it!"
     "You... were in the bathtub?" Cheesecake Eater Lad said slowly.
     "I was Nearly Naked!"
     That tore it. That Fred figured he could get away with whatever he 
wanted to, just because he was the receptionist! And Frat Boy! He'd been 
a nogoodnik from the start, and it was time someone took him to task.
     Cheesecake Eater Lad let his wife's hands drop from his. "I will 
deal with this..." he said, pulling his mask on [from the new costume he 
got in _The Continuing Misadventures of Miss Translation_ #5 -- Ed].
     "Grr," enthused aLLiterative Lass. "Go Get those Goshdarn Guys!"


     "Whoa! Catfight," observed Anal-Retentive Archive Kid.
     He, along with Chinese Guy and Lenny the squirrel, were on one of 
the raised walkways passing around the cafeteria of Dave Thomas Deluxe 
University. None of them were in costume at them moment; Lenny of course 
never wore clothes let alone a costume, and ARAK tended to simply throw 
on a sweatshirt with the LNH logo on it, but they were all in their 
equivalent of civvies - which meant that not only wasn't Chinese Guy 
wearing spandex at the moment, but when he talked his lips moved in sync 
with what he was saying.
     From where they were they could see two students engaged in a brawl 
below them on the cafeteria floor. Chinese Guy took in the situation and 
said, "It'll only take a few seconds for it to turn into a general food 
fi... Yep, there it goes." The first plate of nigh-inedible-meat-
substitute-with-vegetables was hurled across the room.
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid shook his head. "Well, I don't think I 
can afford to stick around for the show. I've got work to do back at the 
     "Yeah, sure," said Chinese Guy as he turned to follow him.
     Lenny watched for a few seconds more, then scampered along the 
railing and up onto Chinese Guy's shoulder. "I still cannot believe the 
amount of food you humans waste," he commented to them and to the world 
in general. It was the disapproving observation of not just a squirrel, 
but a nigh-immortal spiritual being residing in the shape of a squirrel. 
Neither type of creature was known for conspicuous consumption of 
     As they passed through the next building, Chinese Guy tried to 
explain - not for the first time - about consumer-driven distribution of 
commodities. Then there was an explosion up ahead of them which blew a 
door off its hinges and filled the hall with a cloud of smoke and 
pulverised plaster.
     "Ha!" proclaimed a figure who staggered out of the murk. "I told you 
that your half-witted experiments with neo-plasmic photosynthetic 
regeneration would blow up in your face!"
     There was indignant spluttering from further back in the cloud. 
"You... you dare!?" A soot-covered person in tattered clothing appeared 
(it was impossible to tell whether it was male or female). "Jones, you 
bombastic anachronism, you wouldn't know a proper experiment if it came 
up and bit you!"
     "Shut up! Just shut up you incompetent, bumbling..."
     "Incompetent? *Incompetent*!? Right, that does it! Destroy him, my 
killer begonias!" the second figure screamed. At their creator's command, 
a number of ambulatory plants begun to writhe out of the ruined door and 
snarl, baring their woody teeth.
     "Fool!" cried the other, unslinging from somewhere a chunky-looking 
biggun. "You think these pathetic things can stop *me*!? Eat white 
kryptonite based laser beams!"
     Bemused, ARAK, CGuy, and Lenny simply stared at this exchange. Then 
they detoured into a side corridor and out of the building entirely, thus 
avoiding blocked corridors filled with killer begonias. Conversationally, 
ARAK said, "I keep forgetting how competitive research work can be around 
here. Combative, even."
     "Really," said CGuy noncommitally.
     "Library work is usually a lot quieter," ARAK said, straight-faced. 
     Chinese Guy took this with a grain of salt, since he knew that just 
last week Anal-Retentive Archive Kid and Librarian Lady had mounted a 
search-and-destroy mission through the stacks of the LNHHQ library to 
track down an infestation of some ewocks which had made their way up 
from the city sewers through the LNHHQ's notorious sub-sub-sub-sub-sub 
     "I would have thought that since you're a northern path pagan you 
wouldn't mind a bit of combat ever now and then," said CGuy. "Warrior 
ethics and all that."
     "What, yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum?"
     Chinese Guy frowned, bemused. "Isn't that pirates?" he asked.
     "Yeah, but if you want to get technical about it, so are vikings." 
He shrugged. "Different people will have different ideas about these 
things. I place more emphasis on personal responsibility and self-defence."
     The three of them continued on, skirting around the edge of some of 
the sporting fields and pausing for a moment to watch the university 
quidditch team practising. The young men and women who made up the Dave 
Thomas Deluxe Growliwags were racing about on their broom sticks quite a 
few metres above the ground.
     They paused. Chinese Guy leaned against a railing and said 
thoughtfully, "They say that the Bosto.net Bluejays have a new goal 
keeper and are even better position to keep the inter-university cup."
     "Mmmm. I heard that too," said ARAK. "I dunno. The Growliwags have 
been looking pretty good during training, and they might have a chance at 
getting the cup back. But let's face it, Hard-drive.vard University was 
out of the finals last year only because of that fluke in the semis. I'd 
want to see what the actual team line-ups are before I'd start placing 
any bets."
     A break was called in the training taking place above them, and one 
of the beaters flew down to meet them. "Hey, guys."
     "Hi Doug. How's it going?"
     "Pretty cool. Things are coming together pretty well, so I think 
we'll make a real splash at the start of the season..."
     Then someone pushed Chinese Guy aside and lunged at Douglas. 
"Godless sorcerer! The decline of Ame.rec.a is all your fault!"
     "Hey!" went ARAK and grabbed at this newcomer, thinking to restrain 
the man.
     Still snarling imprecations, the attacker shrugged free of ARAK 
easily with maniacal strength... then seemed to recognise him. "Pagan! 
Damnable fugging pagan! Die with the fags and baby killers!" and stuck 
at him with something small and deadly. ARAK cried out as if he'd been 
     Then Douglas landed a single punch to the jaw that knocked the 
ranting loony out cold. Being able to put a lot of force into hitting 
things was a prerequisite for being a beater, after all.
     "Hey, what's going on over here?" called the team captain as he 
strode over.
     "Oh, some nutbar came around to make trouble," said Doug. "Better be 
careful with that, Bruce," he said as Chinese Guy knelt down to examine 
the weapon that had fallen to the grass. "You ever know what that might 
have on it."
     "Or in it," agreed Chinese Guy, using a plastic lunch bag to 
carefully pick up the item. It was a syringe, and it was half filled with 
something dark red.
     "Aw, crap," said ARAK, who had rolled back the clothing from his 
shoulder to examine the wound. It was a small jab-mark, literally no 
bigger than a pin-prick.
     "Okay, that does it," said the Growliwag captain. "You wait here and 
keep Mr Diatribe under control. I'll call the cops from the phone over at 
the change rooms."


    In Frat Boy's room, he and off-duty receptionist Fred were laughing 
and giving each other high fives like true good-for-nothing miscreants. 
Which they were, of course. The Legion of Net.Heroes generally doesn't 
discriminate based on moral fibre, unless you're real bad. I mean, Tsar 
Chasm joined the Legion for a while. Sure, he was in disguise, but still, 
he was the same guy deep down, wasn't he? Of course, for a villain he's 
kind of a good guy, I guess. Where was I?
     In Frat Boy's room, Frat Boy and off-duty receptionist Fred were 
laughing and giving each other high fives like true good-for-nothing 
miscreants. Frat Boy held a small purple towel in his hand, and it was, 
indeed, this piece of cloth that was the source of the merriment and mirth.
     "Hoo boy, that has to be one of our best stunts yet!" Fred said. 
"Where'd you get the idea to hide in the laundry hamper?"
     "I woke up in my laundry hamper the day before yesterday," Frat Boy 
said. "Didn't even know I had one til then, and I figured -- hey, if I 
couldn't find me when I was in *my* hamper, how could she find me when I 
was in hers?"
     "Sweet!" Fred held his hand up, and Frat Boy slapped it again. Frat 
Boy then went back into his bathroom.
     "You want a beer?" he asked through the doorway. "Turned out I had a 
whole case in that hamper that I didn't even remember."
     "Sure thing," Fred said. There was a noise from the door, and he 
turned around -- to see a masked figure standing there with his arms 
crossed, the look of imminent and painful chopping-type death in his 
eyes. "Ultimate -- Cheesecake Eater Lad!"
     "Wazzat?" Frat Boy said, coming back into the room with a couple of 
beers and a half-dozen empties he had finished off on the way. "Ultimate 
Cheesecake Eater Lad? Is that one of those new Marvel titles?" Then his 
slightly unfocused eyes found the man in the doorway, and he dropped the 
bottles to the floor. Luckily, he'd had new shag carpets put in a couple 
of days before (although he couldn't remember ordering them), so the 
bottles simply landed with a <thud> instead of shattering into a myriad 
     "What's the matter, CEL?" Fred asked, trying to remain jovial 
despite the sight of his own dismemberment, which he could see reflected 
in Cheesecake Eater Lad's pupils. "You look pretty cheesed off."
     Frat Boy collapsed on the floor, giggling, and Fred soon followed 
     Cheesecake Eater Lad looked down at the two overgrown adolescents 
lying on the ground. He had trouble staying angry at them; they were just 
so... so... pathetic.
     "Where is my wife's towel?" he asked, his voice reduced to a 
monotone by the effort it took to control his temper.
     Neither Frat Boy nor Fred said anything, but Frat Boy managed to 
point with one shaking hand. Grunting, Cheesecake Eater Lad stepped over 
the two tittering bodies and retrieved the towel from the landfill Frat 
Boy called his bathroom. He'd have to wash it about three or four times 
before returning it to aLLy, but at least he'd gotten it back.
     Leaving Frat Boy's room, he marvelled at how angry he had been 
just moments earlier. At least he knew the perfect way to lighten his 
mood -- time for some cheesecake!


     The cops had turned up pretty quickly to the University sports 
fields, took details and statements from everybody, and then hauled their 
suspect away. The three Legionnaires continued on towards the LNHHQ, with 
Anal-Retentive Archive Kid making a note to himself to check in at the 
infirmary and have a test done with Organic Lass. However, when they 
arrived they were somewhat distracted by the yelling going on in the 
     Self-Righteous Preacher was berating Minority Miss and Curious Lass, 
two of the other known pagans in the Legion. He was oblivious to the fact 
that neither of them was being intimidated by either him or his 
injunctions that the way of a witch is like unto a path of thorns. 
Possibly he was assuming that all of his victims could be as easily 
overawed as Panta, or possibly he was simply too far gone in hysteria to 
notice. In any case, they were both showing considerable restraint in 
dealing with him; particularly Minority Miss, who could easily have 
called upon the superstrength of any number of heroes and used it to 
twist the Preacher into an interesting pretzel shape.
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid, however, was in no such mood. His nose 
wrinkled in disgust, and he announced loudly across the room. "No, 
Preacher, you're wrong. *Like always* Your self-serving little quotations 
prove nothing."
     The Preacher rounded on him. "I repeat *nothing* but the word of 
God! If you are stupid enough to reject my words, then you have turned 
your back on the eternal Truth of Jesus, and must be in league with The 
     "There is no truth in your rantings, you bigotted old goat," ARAK 
spat, jabbing a finger at him. They had moved towards each other, and 
were now eyeballing one another. "You're nothing but a lying priest of a 
lying god."
     "Blasphemer!" snarled the Preacher. "Lying, unclean, evil-minded 
little anti-Christian blasphemer! You are a blight on this world and 
abomination in the eyes of every right-minded person who lives on it!" he 
pronounced, backhanding ARAK across the face hard enough to draw blood. 
"Better who were dead than continue to contamin..."
     Seven-and-a-half seconds later, when Minority Miss and Irony Man 
had wrestled ARAK to the ground and prised the chair leg out of his hand, 
Self-Righteous Preacher was lying unconscious on the floor with injuries 
which would, after examination by Dr Stomper and Organic Lass, prove to 
include a broken arm, several fractured ribs and concussion. However, it 
was their considered opinion that the Preacher would have a more than 93% 
chance of recovering without brain damage.


     When Cheesecake Eater Lad got down to the cafeteria, the place was 
a mess -- even moreso than usual. Strangely, there was nobody around, 
although there was a note on the fridge:
    |                                                        |
    |                                                        |
    |    Cheesecake Eater Lad,                               |
    |                                                        |
    |       Sorry the food fight got out control.            |
    |       Meanwhile, Anal-Retentive Archive Kid got        |
    |      into a big fight with Self-Righteous Preacher;    |
    |      ARAK's in Fearless Leader's office right now.     |
    |                                                        |
    |                          Sincerely,                    |
    |                          Kid Recap                     |
    |                                                        |
    |      PS Thanks for letting me run away the             |
    |      other day. I owe you one.                         |
    |                                                        |

     .oO( I wish they'd be a bit more careful about where they threw 
their food, ) he thought, stepping over a heap of what might once have 
been pizza and doughnuts but was now threatening to take on a life of its 
own. Even the kitchen was a mess. There was tomato sauce on the floor, 
melted nacho cheeez dip on the walls, and a piece of pecan pie stuck to 
the ceiling. .oO( I should get Captain Cleanup on this right away. But 
first, I think I'll whip up something yummy. )
     He walked over to the counter and pulled out one the belated wedding 
gifts he and aLLy had gotten -- a brand new copy of _365 Cheesecakes Even 
*You've* Never Thought Of_. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite so new 
anymore, as it seemed to have gotten caught in the crossfire during a 
deadly condiment battle. The book was quite literally soaking in Grey 
Poupon and corn relish, and those few pages where the ink hadn't run so 
much as to be illegible disintegrated in his hands.
     "That's... not very nice," Cheesecake Eater Lad muttered. He closed 
his eyes and started to breathe deeply, thinking of cheesecakes and other 
relaxing thoughts (well, mostly just cheesecakes.) Maybe the library 
would have a copy. Yes, that was it, the library.


     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid stomped out of Fearless Leader's office, 
his face like a thundercloud. He made his way to the library, where he 
aggressively threw himself into doing some cataloguing work, banging on 
the keys of his computer terminal in snarling frustration. This was where 
Cheesecake Eater Lad found him some fifteen minutes later.
     "So, how'd it go?"
     ARAK turned briefly to give him a glare.
     "That good, huh?"
     The other stopped typing and swivelled his seat around. "There was 
nothing 'good' about it!" he snapped. "If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't 
have believed that he could be so partisan."
     "Oh, come on," said Cheesecake Eater Lad evenly. "After a fight like 
that, you think Fearless Leader isn't going to chew you both out to keep
things from reigniting?"
     "Oh yes," ARAK replied with immense sarcasm. "I defend myself from 
the attack of a fundie loony who's uttering death threats, and all he can 
think of to try and keep it from happening again is yell at people. He'd 
just better have a guard on the hospital ward so that when the Preacher 
wakes up he doesn't go roaming about in the middle of the night slitting 
people's throats."
     Cheesecake Eater Lad thought ARAK was exaggerating, but chose not to 
say so. He  sat on the edge of a table and waited for ARAK's rant to 
climax and then blow itself out. Instead, ARAK just looked out the 
window, and mused in a quieter, more considered but still extremely 
irritated tone, "I'm beginning to think Fearless Leader might have a 
Captain-America-Ideological-Blindspot on the issue of religion."
     "Say what?"
     ARAK rolled his eyes. "A Captain-America-Ideological-Blindspot. 
Look, power not only corrupts, it attracts the attention of those who are 
already corrupt, okay? Right. Now, the Founding Fathers knew that, and 
even put provisions in the constitution to try to head it off. Then along 
comes Captain America fighting the Secret Empire, and he tracks the head 
of the whole subversive group to the White House and discovers that it's 
the president. Does this confirm to him the adage that the price of 
freedom is eternal vigilance, and that a greater effort needs to be made 
to protect the democratic institution from those who would use it for 
their owns ends? Nooooo. He gets all weepy and loses his faith and goes 
off to play the part of 'Nomad, the Man Without a Country' for a while. 
He was so blinded by his belief in the Ame.rec.an Dream that he forgot 
that there's a difference between the dream and reality: that the reality 
is something that has to be continually worked at and protected.
     "What I think is happening is that Fearless Leader has a similar 
blindspot with religion, and he can't admit to himself that a Christian 
priest like Self-Righteous Preacher is such a biggotted fugwit."
     CEL thought that this last bit was also an exaggeration of the
situation, but kept quiet on this as well. Instead he said, "Well, I'm
glad that you, at least, can recognise that a flaw in the believers isn't 
necessarily a sign of a flaw in their institution."
     It was a comment meant to break tension. Instead, ARAK drew back 
with a look of loathing on his face. "I'm not a religious loony of any 
type CEL!" he snarled. "I do *not* subscribe to the fallacy of the 
One God religions that everybody else is automatically an evil enemy out 
to get me."
     .oO( Well, it'd be nice if you *acted* that way, ) Cheesecake Eater 
Lad thought, then pushed to one side his concern that ARAK wasn't 
handling the issue  as well as he had in the past. He could worry about 
that problem later. "I didn't say you were. Come on, calm down. Look, 
does this work *have* to be done right now?" he asked, waving his hand at 
the computer terminal. "I really do think you need to take a break after 
everything that's happened today."
     ARAK's fists were clenched, then he slowly released them. "Yeah, 
well, maybe you're right." He looked around the workroom, then picked up 
his leather jacket. "Let's go get some fresh air."


     Branb'ss was doing something that was probably very naughty. He had 
snuck away from his sister, changed into his Captain Rat Creature 
identity and had then scampered away to do some touristy style exploring. 
He was currently flying above Net.ropolis, savouring the smells and 
generally gawping.
     So this was the city that was the superhero capital of the 
Looniearth! Coolness! He'd been soaring about for fifteen minutes and 
so far hadn't caught whiff of so much as one other costumed net.ahuman, 
let alone an honest to goodness fight scene, but he was so atremble with 
excitement that he didn't really care.
     I mean, for a start, there were all those tall buildings! On the 
world of the giant radioactive space hamsters from which he came burrows 
were the favoured style of construction, and although he had seen sky-
scrapers before on other worlds, the experience was always a novelty. 
Branb'ss zoomed up and down the faces of the skyscrapers, then did a 
hair-pin bend and skimmed out along a road.
     Presently, he heard the sounds of fighting.   .oO( Ah-ha! ) he 
thought. ( Malefactors! )
     He homed in on the sounds and soon enough came upon a brawl. He was 
mildly disappointed to find that it was simply a bunch of normals duking 
it out rather than an honest-to-goodness fight scene, but oh well. He 
landed amidst the throng and called out: "Ho, good citizens! Stop this 
unseemly behaviour at once and return to your homes."
     The fighting stopped for about five whole seconds as the combatants 
simply *stared* at Captain Rat Creature. The sight of a hamster the size 
of a bear, standing on its hind legs with arms akimbo, and dressed in a 
spandex costume with a stylised quiche on the chest will do that, you 
know. The bizarre speech he had given didn't hurt, either.
     Then someone yelled "It's a smeggin' mutie freak!" and threw a 
bottle at him. Inwardly Captain Rat Creature winced. Not about the 
bottle, mind you. He was invulnerable and the bottle simply bounced off. 
But compared to others of his species he was exceptionally powerful - and 
early adolescence was not a good time to be exceptionally powerful, even 
among the giant radioactive space hamsters.
     Then someone hit him over the back of the head with a crowbar. With 
deliberate slowness Captain Rat Creature turned around to face his 
assailant, and then blasted him with a force bolt.
     He followed up with a barrage of force bolts at the rest of the 
crowd. Some ran away at this point. Some were hit and fell unconscious. 
Others were blasted square on by his force blasts but just kept coming, 
swearing at him all the while. Intrigued, Captain RAC kept blasting them 
with increasing levels of force, until he was sure than no mere normal 
human should have been able to withstand that sort of power - but surely 
if they were that powerful they must be net.ahumans and should be 
wearing costumes?
     Captain RAC was so distracted by this conundrum that he didn't even 
notice some of them coming up behind him until they had grabbed him and 
wrestled him to the ground. He cursed himself for being so careless, and 
used his immense strength to throw them away from him. Then he took to 
the air and pondered the situation, just out of arms reach. He ignored 
their vile rantings as well the bottles and bits of brick they kept 
     Perhaps something other than physical force was the answer. His own 
considerable powers were mainly physical in nature, but he had been 
practicing some other tricks for just such an emergency. His people had 
come to this technology dominated newsgroup from a fantasy one in the 
role playing game hierarchies, and had used their knowledge of magic to 
establish some very profitable trading concerns with the other species 
of the galaxy.
     Captain Rat Creature wasn't as good at combat magic as he was with 
his inherent powers. After all, the types of spells that they generally 
taught children tended to be more along the lines of minor house cleaning 
spells, and he had had to cheat to learn some of the more potent stuff 
     He focused his attention, trying to block out the yells and taunts 
coming from the humans below him. Only now that he was trying to ignore 
them did he realise just how much they stank. Oh well, they were meat 
eaters after all, with nasty pointy teeth and everything. Concentrating 
fiercely he closed a paw into a fist, then opened it again. It was now 
full of silvery dust: the Sands of the Somnambulist.
     He smiled to himself and scattered the dust about, still maintaining 
concentration in order to finish the spell. As the Sands settled the 
yelling humans staggered and collapsed asleep.
     Captain Rat Creature heaved out a breath of relief and weariness. 
The mental fatigue from casting spells often left him more tired than 
any amount of using his own powers ever did. After a final sniff to make 
sure everything was under control, he began to fly back to the LNHHQ.


     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid slouched along, clearly still disgruntled. 
Cheesecake-Eater Lad couldn't help but notice the way that many of the 
other Legionnaires looked askance at his presence as they passed, or 
congregated in small groups whispering to each other. It was like being 
in a Steve Ditko comic.
     They found Chinese Guy and Lenny at the front door. Chinese Guy 
was frowning at the increased sounds of traffic coming from outside, and 
looked over to them as they approached. "Road rage," he told them tersely 
by way of explanation.
     Cheesecake-Eater Lad turned his attention to the general commotion 
outside, sighed. "We'd better get out on patrol, I suppose."
     Chinese Guy nodded. Then looked at ARAK, who was still hunched down 
in his jacket. "You want to come?"
     "Shut up!" was the reply. "Just shut the ~@#&* up you lame brained 
slanty-eyed git!"
     Cheesecake-Eater Lad whirled around. He'd been afraid of something 
like this. Clearly Fearless Leader's attempt to hose down the situation 
after the fight that had occurred earlier hadn't worked. Since it was 
becoming clear that outside influences were at work, those attempts had 
probably been doomed to failure from the start.
     But now, to Cheesecake-Eater Lad's shock, he saw that things had 
gone further than he could have guessed. The face of Anal-Retentive 
Archive Kid's was twisted and green; his lips were curled back in a 
horrible rictus grin, showing sharp yellow teeth.
     Whatever was affecting the city was starting to turn its victims 
*physically* into trolls as well.

Character credits:
     aLLiterative Lass created by Charles Fitzgerald. Used without 
     Cheesecake-Eater Lad is Public Domain.
     Chinese Guy and Lenny are Public Domain. Kinda sorta created by 
Dvandom (Dave Van Domelen) and Saxon Brenton.
     Curious Lass created by Carolyn Vaughan. Used without permission.
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid and Branb'ss (Captain Rat Creature) 
created by Saxon Brenton.
     Frat Boy is Public Domain. Created by uplink (John Scheibeler).
     Fred the receptionist is Public Domain.
     Minority Miss created by Lalo Martins.
     OMAR is Public Domain. Created by Saxon Brenton.
     Self-Righteous Preacher created by wReam (Ray Bingham).

Saxon Brenton   Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney, Australia
Saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au

Next Week: FLAME WARS IV -- Part Three!!!

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

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