LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #158: Beige Countdown Part Eleven

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 14:34:39 PDT 2020

You can sift through the racc list archive
or you can try google groups racc for the eleventh part of Beige Countdown.

Beige Countdown #6 is by Martin Phipps and myself, Arthur Spitzer (mostly by
me).  Who's going to win the 2007 LNH Leadership election?  Will it be Irony
Man?  Fearless Leader?  Catalyst Lass?  J. Random Kiwi?  wReamicus Maximus's
brain in a clone of an Ultimate Ninja body?

And #5 is also by me.  What's Bicycle Repair Lad been up to while his
greatest archenemy has been slowly acquiring all kinds of power?

Find out in...

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

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

                                    ADVENTURES #158

                     Beige Countdown Part Eleven

From: Arthur Spitzer <arsp... at earthlink.net>
Subject: LNH: Beige Countdown #6:  'And the Next Leader of the LNH is...'
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 23:31:57 +0000 (UTC)

[Note for Readers:  Read Beige Countdown #7 before you read this.]

[Cover: Building Suspense Lad at the top of the cover opens an envelope. 
  His dialogue balloon says, "And the Next Leader of the LNH is... 
umm... Whoops!  Forgot to get my reading glasses!"  Meanwhile on the 
bottom part of the cover are Ultimate Ninja, Irony Man, Fearless Leader, 
Catalyst Lass, Weirdness Magnet, Master Blaster, Wiki Boy, and J. Random 
Kiwi shouting, "GET ON WITH IT!!!"]

                             [B  E  I  G  E]
                                   1 2
                                   1 1
                                   1 0
                [C  O  U  N  T   #  6    D  O  W  N  !]

By Arthur Spitzer and Martin Phipps




"Power is Truth."

Toony Stork, aka Irony Man, had his bare hand in a flame that changed 
colors every few seconds.

"Power is Knowledge," chanted Toony, his face grimacing in pain as the 
flame turned blue.

"Power is Will."  And the flame turned purple.  The skin was starting to 
burn off his hand.

"Power is Control!  Power is Hunger!"

"Power is Ruthlessness!"  The flame turned red.  Toony watched the 
muscles on his hands start to roast away.  What was he doing?  He had to 
take his hand out.  This was insane!

"Power is the Hexfire."  His bones were starting to burn.  He could see 
something in the Flame.  Images.  It was Net.ropolis.  He could see the 
Beige Clock Tower.  He couldn't see the top of it.  It was too far up. 
Reaching to forever.  And he looked at the streets.  People were running 
and screaming.  Cars were blowing up.  Buildings were falling down.  And 
the streets were cracking.  And he could see two gigantic monsters 
smashing their way towards him.  Dekay and Diskolor.  He could see 
several members of the LNH trying to stop them.  And he watched as each 
one of them died.  Sing-Along Lass.  Kid Recap.  Captain Continuity. 
The Ultimate Ninja.  Turning to dust.  And he saw Fourth Wall Lass.  And 
she was looking at him.  No.  She couldn't see him, could she?  And yet 
she was looking straight at with an accusing look.  And then she turned 
to dust too.  And the vision ended.

"I am the Hexfire!  I am Power!"  Toony's hand had become the flame.

"I think you can take your hand out now, Toony."  Hex Luthor patted 
Toony on his shoulder.  Toony pulled his hand out.  It was totally fine. 
  No sign of burns or anything.

"I dub you 'Sir Toony Stork, Beige Knight of the Hexfire Club'.  And all 
that nonsense and so on.  Cheers!"  Hex Luthor poured some Cognac into a 
brandy snifter and handed it to him.  "Quite the experience, huh?  I'm 
actually amazed that you managed to hold it in there for as long as you 
did.  Most people wimp out when they feel the flesh start to burn.  But 
I guess most people aren't members of the LNH."

"I felt like I was dying.  And then being reborn," Toony said taking a 
swig from the glass while still gazing at the flame.  "Why does it feel 
so real?"

"I'm not sure.  Haven't ever really studied it.  I use it mostly for 
this ritual.  It was my great grandfather who found it.  My family used 
it for visions.  Did you see any visions, Toony?  Perhaps of the future?"

"Visions?"  Toony looked back at Hex for a brief second and then back to 
the flame.  "No.  I saw nothing.  Nothing at all."

Hex Luthor frowned as he looked at Toony Stork still gazing into the flame.

And the flame turned Beige.



                 'And the Next Leader of the LNH is...'


A month before the election.

<And we have new video footage showing J. Random Kiwi at a Net.ropolis 
Ninjas baseball game, sitting between two very sexy Oozlefinches while 
wearing a Got.ham Oozlefinches T-shirt and cap booing the hometown team! 
  A spokesmen for the J. Random Kiwi campaign claims that Mr. Kiwi was 
totally under mind-control and that he hates Oozlefinches as much as the 
next kiwi, but even if that can be proven it doesn't look good for his 
chances of being the Next Leader of the LNH.  Back to you Greg.>

"Eight wannabe leaders.  And one put on the wrong cap."  Hex Luthor 
clicked his remote to another channel.

<Larry King:  And you've been doing this LNH thing for -- what -- 15 years?

Catalyst Lass:  15 years?  Oh, Larry!  You're making feel old!  I mean 
-- I'm only, like, you know 25!  Really!  How could I possibly have been 
in the LNH for 15 years?

Larry King:  Well, that's what my notes say, but -- never mind that. 
What's this LNH thing anyways?  Is it some kind of rock group?  A TV 
show?  A toothpaste?  What is it?

Catalyst Lass:  Oh, it's actually a superhero team and a comic!

Larry King:  A comic, huh?  What's that like?  Should I be buying this 

Catalyst Lass:  Well, to be honest -- I've never really read it.  It all 
seems a little bit too silly.  I prefer the more sophisticated humor of 

"Jesus!  I can't believe Cat would say that on live TV!  Superguy?! 
Superguy?!  She's not going recover from that!"  Irony Man said watching 
the TV show with Hex Luthor.  "Why would she say that?  She has to know 
that would kill her chances at becoming leader.  Why?"

"Perhaps, you could ask her yourself, Toony."

"Huh?  What do you mean..." And before Irony Man could get an answer to 
that a woman who looked exactly like Catalyst Lass stepped into the room.

"Catalyst Lass?  What are you -- oh wait.  This is like some kind of 
clone, right, Hex?"

"No.  It's the real Catalyst Lass.  And she's totally under our control, 
thanks to our Beige Rook."  A white fluffy cat walked into room.  "Mr. 
Tiddles has been carving away at all of her mental defenses for over a 
year.  And now she's ours.  Body and Soul."

"Mr. Tiddles?  He's the Beige Rook?  Look, Hex!  I need to talk to you 

"Very well.  Let's step outside."  The two men walked out into the 
hallway and Irony Man closed the door.

"Look, Hex.  I know Catalyst Lass.  She's not the ditz she sometimes 
acts like in public!  She's very intelligent and one of the more devious 
members of the LNH!  I think she's playing you."

"No, Toony.  You're wrong.  Because it's not just, Mr. Tiddles who's 
controlling her, it's this."  Hex fumbling through one of his suits 
pockets and pulled out a white pill.  "I call this the freedom chip." 
Hex laughed.  "Hopefully, the name amuses you.  We've installed a chip 
into her head.  It does two things.  First thing: if you don't have 
powers already it gives them to you.  And if you do have powers then it 
enhances those powers by the thousands.  And the second thing: it gives 
me, you, and every other member of the Hexfire inner circle absolute 
power over that person.  Perhaps, I need to demonstrate that power for 
you to better understand."  The two men walked back into the room.

"Catalyst Lass.  Stand on your head."

Catalyst Lass quickly put her hands onto the floor and then used them 
and her head to balance her body upright.

"Stop that!" Irony Man shouted.  "That's enough!  This is degrading!"

"Catalyst Lass.  Stand on your feet again.  See?  Total control. 
Anything you want, she'll do.  Anything."

"I don't want the other members of inner circle to have any control over 

"Of course, Toony.  I understand.  She'll be yours and yours alone.  I 
think once you win the election she'll make a very good second command 
for you.  With her powers you can have full control over all of the LNH."

"Catalyst Lass?  Go back to the LNHHQ.  I need to talk to, Hex alone."

"Sure thing, Toony!  Bye!"  And Mr. Tiddles followed her as she left the 
two alone.

"This is wrong.  You should have told me about this."

"Oh please."  Hex rolled his eyes.  "Everything I do is necessary.  Do 
you want to be the next LNH leader?  Do you want to save the world from 
Dekay and Diskolor?  Do you?  You know this is necessary!  You talked to 
Charlie Hustle!  You talked to your future self!  You know what they 
said!  About the future!  Only I can save it!  And the 'Freedom' Chip is 
the most necessary part!  Without it, well, bye bye future.  Hello 

Irony Man looked at the TV screen and at the Larry King/Catalyst Lass 
interview.  "Yes.  I know what they said."

"Then you know we'll need tons of superheroes.  Billions of superheroes!"

"Billions of superheroes who are all going to die."

"Well, yes.  But you're looking at this from a glass half empty 
perspective.  Billions will also be saved.  And with the 'Freedom' Chip 
we'll have a well ordered reconstruction.  We'll be able to shape the 
world into our own image.  And make a better world."

"A better world for us.  And they all have to die?"

"Unfortunately, yes.  But if it's Billions vs the End of Everything, 
I'll take Billions.  And it's not like we'll be murdering all of those 
people.  The blood will be on Dekay and Diskolor's hands.  Look, I know 
-- it's horrible.  But -- that's life.  We're slaves of destiny, Toony. 
  We have to accept our role in life.  We have to grin and bear it. 
Look, Toony -- a month from now you're going to be leader of the LNH.  A 
year from now you'll have saved the Looniverse and paved the way for a 
brave new world."

"I suppose so.  Leader of the LNH.  One more month."

"Right.  One more month.  Just don't do anything stupid before then."

"Me?  Do something stupid?  Don't worry.  Well, need to get going.  Have 
this hot date tonight."

"Well, good luck with that.  And remember, Don't do anything stupid!"

Irony Man nodded his head and gave a laugh as he left the room.


Later that night.

"So is it true," Summer James asked.  "Are you really the leader of
the LNH?"
   Toony Stark (aka Irony Man) smiled.  "Well, _technically_ it's a
triumvirate of three leaders who are in charge but I'm the only one
who is directly sanctioned by President Hex Luthor himself."
   "Do you want some more champagne?"
   Summer shook her head.  "No, thank you.  I've had enough.   You
should lay off of it too.  You have to drive me home."
   Irony Man smiled.  "Nonsense.  You only live a few blocks away.
What's going to happen?"



   "Whoa!" Toony said.  "Where the @#$% did that truck come from?  I'd
say the car's pretty much totalled, huh?  Wouldn't you say so,
Summer?  Summer?"
   Summer didn't answer.  She was too busy bleeding.
   "Oh crap."


   "Can you save her?" Toony asked the doctors at the surgery.
   "We're trying!"
   "Please save her!" Toony said.  "Please!  My insurance rates will
triple if she dies!"
   "I don't know if there's any more we can do," the doctors admitted.
   "Look," Toony said, "give her a transfusion of my blood!"
   "We have enough blood already."
   "Just do it!"


   "Wake up, sleepyhead."
   "You've been through an accident."
   "Don't try to sit up.  You are weak from having lost a lot of blood
and the doctors have you on painkillers to boot."
   "What happened?"
   "There was an accident.  A truck came out of nowhere and, um, must
have backed into me."
   "That's not quite right."
   "You remember then?"
   "No.  I can just tell that what you are saying is not quite right.
   "You're going to be fine.  You're going to be exactly the way you
were before."
   "You did something to me, didn't you?"
   "You mean besides almost killing you when I rammed into a truck?"
   "Something else."
   "I called 911 and the ambulance brought you here and then the
doctors operated on you.  It was touch and go for a while."
   "What did _you_ do to me?"
   "I gave you a transfusion of my blood."
   "Okay.  That sounds okay."
   "It was the only way to save you."
   "Wait.  There's that feeling again."
   Toony nodded.  "It seems that when my blood repaired your damaged
body it also granted you my power to detect irony!"
   "You mean...?"
   "Yes!  You are now... THE IRONIC WOMAN!"
   "Great," Summer said.  "We're through."
   "I said 'We're through'.  I didn't ask you to give me powers."
   "Excuse me but who do you think paid for the surgery?"
   "Bill me."
   "I saved you with a transfusion of my own blood!"
   "Fine.  Have them siphon it out of me.  Can they do that?"
   "I don't think so."
   "Then stop complaining.  Man, I hate this power.  I can sense every
time you're not straight with me.  I never realized how full of @#$%
you were!"
   "You mean you liked it better when you were a naive little airhead?"
   "Yeah.  Ironic, isn't it?"


A week before the election.

"Nice of you to join us, Fearless Leader.  Of course we probably could 
have used your help last night with the Vector Prime-Melissa virus 
army."  Irony Man leaned back in the leader of the LNH's chair and had 
his feet on the desk.  Catalyst Lass stood next to him.  "Although, we 
managed without you -- so I guess we didn't need your help."

"I'm sorry, Irony Man.  I was dealing with something -- I was dealing 
with -- Ripping Dancer."

"Really?  You found her?  So you brought her back in custody?"

"No.  But she's in safe place.  She gave me info on the person who she 
believes gave her her powers.  Someone by the name of the Beige Bishop."

"So she's not in custody.  She's out there free some where?  Is that 
what you're saying?"

"Look.  She's confused.  She's been through a lot..."

"She's a traitor, Fearless Leader.  You should have brought her back so 
we could probe her mind and learn the truth."

"Toony's right, Felix.  Ripping Dancer should be here.  We can help 
her," Catalyst Lass said in a sympathetic voice.

"When did you become Irony Man's yes-woman, Catalyst Lass?"

"Now you're getting a little out of line, Fearless Leader," Irony Man 
said standing up.  "Thing is if Ultimate Ninja were here, he'd be making 
the same decision too.  You're not thinking straight.  She's put a spell 
on you.  You know, we found some mind-control potions in her room -- who 
knows -- perhaps you might be under some kind of mind-control?  Maybe we 
need to put some tests on you?"

"There's nothing wrong with me.  Don't you see what's happening? 
Someone's manipulating us -- and the election!  It's not just who hired 
Ripping Dancer, but also who leaked the tapes!  In case you haven't 
noticed all of the major contenders for the LNH leadership job have been 
hit with scandals in the past month!  Except you.  Who's doing it? 
Perhaps Bart?  Maybe Mynabird?  Hmm.  How about Hex Luthor?"

"You seem bitter, Fearless Leader.  Well, you're going to have to get 
used to it.  Because by next weeks time I'm going to be the next leader 
of the LNH."

"If that's so, then by next week I'll have resigned from the LNH.  Good 
day, Catalyst Lass.  Irony Man."  Fearless Leader slammed the door on 
his way out.

"Temper.  Temper," said Irony Man with a smirk on his face.


Three days before the election.

"What is this?" Hex Luthor said pointing at the TV screen.  There was a 
picture of some new superhero called the Ironic Woman holding a press 

"Umm, her?  Oh, that's that hot date I was talking about."

"Do you realize what she's telling the press?  How you nearly killed her 
in a drunk driving accident -- and that you injected her with your blood 
-- and then paid her off to keep silent!?  And now she's telling every 
goddamn person in the world!!"

Irony Man shrugged.  "Guess I didn't pay her enough."

"This isn't funny!!  You should have told me about this!  I could have 
kept this from coming out!  I could have kept her silent!"

"Yeah, I know.  That's probably why I didn't tell you."

"And now the polls have you tied with the Ultimate Ninja -- with 
Fearless Leader!  You were leading just a few days ago!"

"Well, I'm still tied for the lead."

"Get out of here!"

"Hex?  It's just a poll."

"Look.  I need time to think, Toony.  Maybe there's still some kind of 
damage control we can do.  But I need time alone."

"Yeah, okay.  See you."  Irony Man walked out leaving Hex Luthor staring 
at the TV screen.


Fearless Leader packed various items into a large suitcase.  Clothes, 
weapons, and toiletries.  Fearless Leader glanced at one of the items. 
It was picture.  A picture of him and Ripping Dancer.  It was taken a 
month ago.  When they were fighting some vampire cows.  Fearless Leader 
sighed and put it into the suitcase.  It was about that time that he 
heard a knock on his door.

Fearless Leader went over to see who it was, but when he opened the door 
up all he saw was a black briefcase on the floor.  Fearless Leader 
grabbed it and looked both ways into the hallway, but he couldn't see 
anyone.  He walked back into his room and shut the door.  He placed it 
on his bed and grabbed his scanner.thingee.  The scanner didn't seem to 
pick up anything dangerous so he opened it up.

Potions.  These were Ripping Dancer's.  The potions that gave her her 
powers.  There was a note.  Fearless Leader read it.

'Hi FL,

Things aren't as they appear.

Good luck with everything.

Cat ;>'

Fearless Leader smiled to himself and shut the briefcase.  "Thanks, Cat."


Election Day.

"I'm here for the election!"

Fred the Receptionist looked up at the gentleman who was speaking to 
him.  The gentleman in question had a number of dynamite sticks around 
his waist, a number of hand grenades around his neck, and a gigantic gun 
in his hand.  "Name?"

"I am the Destroyer!  I am the LNH's Death!  You shall know my name by 
the sorrow I woe!  I am the end of all LNH elections!  That is my name!!!"

"Right.  So you're here to stop the LNH election, I take it?"


"Okay.  You'll want to get into that line over there."  Fred pointed to 
a line filled with angry looking monsters, robots, terrorists, Nazis, 
guys with chainsaws, pirates, Vikings, zombies, vampires, demons, and 
some really unpleasant people.  A line that seemed to go on forever.

"That line?" the Destroyer said wondering if the receptionist was 
perhaps joking.

"Yep.  That line."

"There's not a shorter line, is there?"

"Nope.  That's the only line."

"Man, that's a long line."


"I mean, man, that's one big ass line.  I don't think I've ever seen a 
line that long."


"So the only way I can stop this LNH election is to stand in that line?"


The Destroyer looked at his watch.  "*Sigh*  Maybe I'll wait till the 
next time the LNH has an election.  I mean while I want to destroy the 
LNH, man, I don't want to destroy it that bad, you know what I mean, man?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Well, I guess I need to be going."


"Yeah, later."


"So you going vote, SAL?"  Procrastination Boy asked his long time 
friend as the two kicked back in the LNH TV room.

"Feh," Super Apathy Lad replied.

"Yeah, I'm going wait till the last second too."


"I'm sorry, but you have to be a member of the LNH to vote," Coward Lad 
said trying to shoo a couple of kiwis from the table he was manning.


"What was that?  Some kind of threat?  Wait!  What are you doing?  What 
did you just pull out?  Is that a gun?  That's a gun!!!  A kiwi with a 
gun!!!  The kiwi has a gun!!  We're all going to die!!  We're all going 
to die!!  Aahahahahahh!!!!!!!!"  Coward Lad waved his hands in a 
hysterical fashion.


"What?!!  It's not a gun?  It's just a -- whistle?  Just a whistle! 
*Phew* that's load off of my -- Wait a sec!  A kiwi with a whistle?!  A 
kiwi with a Whistle!!!!?  Oh my god!!  Oh my god!!!  We're all going to 
die!!!  AAAAeaeaeheahahehaheahh!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Coward Lad quickly ran to 
the nearest fallout shelter.


"Hmm -- can't seem to punch through this hole to vote for Pat Buchanan! 
  Or am I voting for Al Gore?!  These dang fangled elections!"  Old 
Comics Man put his punch thingee down so he could catch his breath. 
"Miss the good old days, back when the only choice you had for leader 
was the cave man with the biggest club!  And everyone did what he said 
-- and if they didn't they'd get smacked with that club!  Yep, those 
were the days!  We should go back to that system of government!"


"Oh, Jesus!  What is that thing?!  It looks like some kind of heart! 
And it's crawling towards me!  Spraying blood all over my nice clean 
floor!  I've got to stop it -- I've got to..."  Captain Clean-up grabbed 
his mop and got ready to beat the living hell out of that thing, but 
before he could do that Cheesecake Eater Lad grabbed his mop.

"Wait, Cap!  That's Throbby!  Throbby the Talking Severed Heart!  We 
worked together on one of the LNH: The Webcomic! Strips!  He's a member 
of the LNH!"

"Yup, Captain Clean-up!  The Ultimate Ninja freed me out of chest of a 
bad guy!  And now I'm here to have fun adventures, chew gum, and to vote 
in today's election!  And I'm all out of gum!"

Captain Clean-up gave Cheesecake Eater Lat a 'are you @#*&#@ serious' 
look.  "Umm, okay?  But I didn't think that strip was in continuity?  Is 
this -- thing -- a member in our continuity?"

"Hmm.  That's a good point.  Lets ask Captain Continuity!  Hey, CC, come 
over here!  We've got a problem!"

After the two heroes explained their problem to Captain Continuity, the 
Continuity Knight stroked his chin.  "Hmm.  That is a question for the 
Ages.  Does the continuity of the webcomic effect our own continuity and 
if so can Throbby vote in this election?  Let me think about it.  Okay. 
  I've thought about.  Nope."  And then Captain Continuity walked away 
-- for his work here was done.

"Sorry, Throbby!  Maybe you'll be able to vote in the next election!"

"Gosh!  I sure hope so!"


And Building Suspense Lad crackled both of his knuckles.  Pulls Paper 
out of Hats Lad handed him the envelope.  All of the votes had been cast 
and checked and counted.  And the results of the election were in that 
envelope.  And now the entire LNH was waiting for Building Suspense Lad 
to announce these results.  And Building Suspense Lad held the envelope 
in his hand preparing himself to open the envelope.  But then he paused. 
  And he started to think.  To think about the envelope.  What if while 
opening the envelope he received a paper cut?  Paper cuts hurt.  They 
hurt really bad.  And what if there was nothing in that envelope? 
Nothing at all.  Well, he'd feel kind of stupid for getting a paper cut 
from an empty envelope!

But Wait!  What if there was something in that envelope?  Something bad! 
  Something so bad that it could destroy the entire LNH!  Maybe he 
shouldn't open this envelope.  Maybe he should just throw it down on the 
floor and hightail it out of there.  Hop a plane to South America and 
run and keep on running!

But what if there was something else in the envelope.  Perhaps the 
secret to the Universe.  The Answer to Everything!  And he'd be the hero 
because he opened up the envelope!  Maybe.

And then again, maybe this was all just a dream.  There was no envelope! 
  Maybe he was a sleep in his bed!  And maybe -- just maybe -- he was 
actually the envelope itself dreaming about being Building Suspense Lad 
opening itself!  Maybe.

Building Suspense Lad started to drift off into a flashback.  He was 
thinking about how he had first developed his building suspense powers. 
  There had been a spooky house that his parents had told him never to 
go in.  And he was by the door of that house, his hand close to the 
knob.  So close that he could almost feel the knob.  And he could feel 
something behind that door.  Something growling and scratching away at 
it.  Like some beast from the depths of hell.  And he wondered if he 
should open that door or just run and run and run.  And that's when his 
ten year old flashback self had his own flashback and...

"Oh for God's Sake!!  Give me that Damn envelope!!" Fuzzy said as she 
snatched away the envelope from Building Suspense Lad's hands.  "Goddamn 
newbies!  Okay," she said tearing the envelope open and taking the paper 
out of it.  "And the next Leader of the LNH is... the Ultimate Ninja. 
Big whoop.  You can all go home now!"  Fuzzy tossed the envelope and 
paper on the ground.

The various members of the LNH who had voted for the Ultimate Ninja 
started cheering.  Confetti and Balloons started to fall down from the 
ceiling.  The members who didn't vote for the winner sulked over to the 
drink-bar in the corner to drown their sorrows.

"Wow!  Did we just vote a person who is in jail accused of murder for 
our leader?" Sarcastic Lad said.  "I guess this is one of the LNH's more 
prouder moments!"

"I wuz robbed, man!" Master Blaster said shaking his fist.  "I wuz so 
robbed, it isn't funny!  Well, I guess you can all go and screw 
yourselves!  You won't have me to kick around no more!!"

"I voted for you Master Blaster," piped up WikiBoy.

"Whatever."  Master Blaster made his way over to the bar.

"Well, the results are in," Irony Man said into a cell phone.  "Looks 
like the ninja won."

<I know.  They're televising the results,> spoke Hex Luthor's voice.

"Should I ask for a recount?"

<No.  That ship has already sailed.  It's time to go to plane W.>

"Plan W?  You sure?"

<No.  But it's not like we have a choice anymore.>


<It will arrive there in about 10 minutes.>



10 minutes later...

The LNHHQ's glass ceiling shattered as a familiar black clad man crashed 
through it and somersaulted to the floor below.  A man called -- The 
Ultimate Ninja!  As he landed on the floor, his arms flew up in a 
dramatic pose with one hand holding a ninja bush and the other a Ginsu 

Captain Cleanup grumbled to himself, "Man, I hate that glass ceiling!" 
as he made his way towards the broom closet so he could sweep up this mess.

Cannon Fodder walked over to greet the newly crowned leader of the LNH. 
  "Wow!  Umm... Oh yeah, congratz on winning again!  Umm... but 
shouldn't you be in jail, UN?"

Like a bullet out of a gun the ninja's hand shot right into Cannon 
Fodder's chest and pulled out his still beating heart.  "Sorry.  I'm not 
him.  Not the Ultimate Ninja that you've grown to love.  No.  I'm his 
evil clone!!!"

Cannon Fodder fell to the ground.  The evil clone continued to talk even 
as all of the members of the LNH started put down their drinks and get 
ready to battle this guy.  "Yes.  I'm his evil clone.  I was the one who 
killed wReamicus Maximus!  Yes, me!  And I framed your beloved leader 
and now he's rotting away in a jail cell and he can't help you.  No.  No 
he can't.  And now?  Now I'm going to kill every single one of you. 
Yes.  And I'm going to pull out every single one of your hearts and I'm 
going to stack it into a pyramid and when I'm finished with that 
pyramid, do you know what I'm going to do?  I'm going to laugh.  And 
it's going to be an evil laugh.  Yes.  Just so you know.  So who wants 
to die first?"

"Wow.  That's a clever plan.  Are you sure you aren't actually Albert 
Einstein's clone?" said Sarcastic Lad as he gave a slight yawn.

The evil Ultimate Ninja clone stumbled slightly from Sarcastic Lad's 
barb, but quickly came back throwing a ninja bush at Acrimonious 
Crusader.  "Die!"

Sarcastic Lad easily dodged the bush and gave the evil clone a golf 
clap.  "Die?  Man, I'm going have to hire you to write my snappy 
comebacks for me because obviously you're so good at that.  By the way, 
how do you spell that -- with and 'I' or a 'Y'?"

The evil clone screamed with rage and started throwing ninja bushes in 
all directions.  Multi-Tasking Man punched in a code on one of his wrist 
computers, while he sipped a Mr. Paprika, adjusted his mask, scrawled an 
idea he had for a new computer program on a napkin, and played Net.Trek. 
  Out of nowhere 20 Kirbybots teleported around the clone and started to 
attack him.  Ten seconds later all of those Kirbybots became lifeless 
bits of shredded metal on the LNHHQ's floor and the evil clone stood on 
them triumphantly without a scratch with the Ginsu Katana in his left 
hand spinning around like a saw blade.

"Oh oh.  This guy can actually fight!" Sister State the Obvious said as 
she caught a handgun her husband Master Blaster threw to her and started 
blasting away at him.  The rest of the LNH'rs followed suit.

Fuzzy used her ambiguity powers to cloud the clones mind making him 
unable to distinguish the differences between his own body and the rest 
of the Looniverse.

Captain Napalm and Blaster Master set their guns on 'Cremate Beyond the 
Scope of Reason' and fired away.

Cheesecake Eater threw a handcuff cheesecake at the clone.

Throbby the Talking Severed Heart squirted blood into the clone's eyes.

Easily Discovered Man Lite dusted off some of his better Evil Ultimate 
Ninja clone material.  "Okay, folks -- How can you tell if the Evil 
Ultimate Ninja Clone you're dating just isn't that in to you?  <garbled 
noise> <garbled noise> <garbled noise> <garbled noise> <garbled 
noise>...Umm... I think I'm having a problem with my microphone... Okay, 
I seem to be back in business... Now who's ready for some Evil Ultimate 
Ninja Clone Rabbi jokes?!  Come on, People!  Work with me!"

Nudist Man jiggled his naked body like he had never jiggled it before.

Bad Timing Boy threw a brick at the clone, which unfortunately smacked 
into WikiBoy's head who had been rushing towards the evil clone at the 
same exact time.  WikiBoy fell to the ground unconscious.  Bad Timing 
Boy gave a sheepish look as he slinked away into the background.

Organic Lass twisted the molecules of the ninja bushes turning them into 
cotton balls.

Captain Continuity blasted his Continuity Vision at the clone.

Occultism Kid summoned beasts from the nether realms beneath the clone's 

Yet despite all of theses attacks, it was to no avail.  The Evil 
Ultimate Ninja Clone stood just as strong as ever and the speed of which 
he threw ninja bushes and katanas seemed to increase even more so.

And that's when You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad entered the room. 
  "Oh man!  Why didn't you people wake me up?  I want me some of this! 
Oh, Yeah!  Some of this Evil Ultimate Ninja Clone Action!  Let's see 
what you got!  Don't hold out on me!  I want it all!"  And he hurled 
himself at the evil clone and the two fighters crashed to the ground. 
The clone quickly began a ruthless barrage of kicks, punches, and karate 
chops.  And YNHMHE Lad just smiled as each hit sunk into him.  "Oh Yeah! 
  Right There!  Yeah, Right There!  That's the Way you do it!  Oh Yeah!! 
  Damn Straight!  Man, you're pretty good at this!  Could you hit me a 
little more around the neck?"

The clone started to become frustrated as punches that could have killed 
dinosaurs and gods seemed to have absolutely no effect on this hero.  On 
the other hand none of YNHMHE Lad's punches were able to land on the 
clone -- he was just too fast.  The two seemed to be in a stalemate.

"YNHMHE Lad!  Lead him towards the receptionist desk!  I've got a plan!" 
Irony Man shouted.

YNHMHE Lad gave a nod.  "Hey, now Clone Boy -- what happened to your 
swing?!  You seem to be getting weaker!  Not into it anymore?  I swear! 
  I've had babies hit me harder!  Are you getting tired?  Baby need a 
nappy wappy?  Hmm?"  The ninja clone became furious hitting away in a 
blind rage.  Killing this idiotic freak who couldn't be hurt was his 
only goal.  Everything else was meaningless.  And so he followed YNHMHE 
Lad right into the receptionist desk area.

Irony Man glanced up at the ceiling area right above the receptionist 
desk.  Hanging on the ceiling was an abstract art sculpture by Yohsvozz 
Hinlefunk.  It was a hundred ton beast made out of jagged steel and 
bellybutton lint, entitled 'Protect the Clones!'  Irony Man blasted the 
whole sculpture causing it to be supercharged with loads of Irony.  The 
chain holding up the sculpture unable to take in all of the extra Irony 
snapped and the entire sculpture crashed down on the evil clone and 

Captain Continuity rushed over and lifted the sculpture up. YNHMHE Lad 
picked himself up and gave a frown.  "Aw, man.  The sculpture didn't 
even touch me.  What a rip!"  The same couldn't be said for the clone 
though.  One of the steel spikes stabbed right through the clone's 
heart.  Still alive the clone opened his eyes up and spoke, "If only you 
knew... heh."  And then he died.


Fearless Leader stood on top of an empty building. It had previously 
been the place where Ripping Dancer had picked up her potions, but now 
it was completely stripped of every item.  According to his scanner 
there weren't even any fingerprints or DNA traces.  Everything was gone.

Fearless Leader looked at the Net.ropolis Skyline.  He could see the 
Beige Clock Tower from here.  Still growing.

"Quite the view, eh -- Fearless Leader?"  Fearless Leader turned his 
head to see who was speaking although he was pretty sure he knew who it was.


Bart the Dark Receptionist laughed.  The Insanity Gems on his Gauntlet 
sparkled with mad energy.  "So, how does it feel to lose again?"

Fearless Leader didn't answer.  He turned his head away and looked back 
at the Skyline.

"To think -- If you had voted for yourself instead of the ninja -- you'd 
be leader right now.  But then if you had you'd be a deal breaker.  When 
you voted today, did a part of you want to break that deal?"

"I don't break deals."

"Yes.  Too bad.  And now I'd guess you're wondering if it was all worth 
it.  Trading your chance to be leader for the chance to stop Ripping 
Dancer from killing herself.  And of course you're wondering why I 
wanted the Ultimate Ninja as leader and not you.  And you're wondering 
if you've done something very horrible.  Maybe with the Ultimate Ninja 
in charge something goes horribly wrong and Dekay and Diskolor will win. 
  And it wouldn't if you were in charge.  Are you wondering about that? 
  I think you are."

"The Ultimate Ninja has lead the LNH for forever.  He's steered the LNH 
out of tons of crisis.  He'll lead them out of this one."

"You think?  Too bad you can't see the future, isn't it?  Then you could 
find out what happens.  Of course in my case, I already know what's 
going to happen.  And it's not going to be pretty for you, Ripping 
Dancer, Ultimate Ninja, the LNH.  No.  It's not.  I think if you could 
see the future -- I think maybe you'd have let Ripping Dancer kill 
herself.  Yes.  But I guess you're going to have to wait to see what a 
horrible mistake you made -- like everyone else."

"You're lying."

"Am I?  Well, we'll see."  Bart's image started to dissolve.  "We'll 
see.  Later."

Fearless Leader headed towards the stairs.  He had work to do.


The jail bars creaked up.  Light entered the darkness.  Behind the bars 
were the Ultimate Ninja and a couple of police guards.

On the other side were Cheesecake Eater Lad and a couple of more guards. 
  "Hey, UN!  Good to see you.  Made you a cheesecake!  It's your 
favorite!"  Cheesecake Eater Lad handed the ninja a box.

"Thanks, Cheesecake Eater Lad."  The ninja opened the box up and used 
his finger to scoop some of the desert up.  "Oww!  This has razorblades 
in it!" the ninja said sucking on his finger.

"Well, yeah!  I thought Green Tea-Razor Blade Cheesecake was your 
favorite?  Are you feeling okay?"

"Oh, right.  Yes.  That is my favorite -- I guess I've just been in jail 
a little too long and these things start to slip my mind.  But that's 
all over with now.  I'm free.  Thanks to Hex Luthor's pardon."

"Yeah, although I'm kind of surprised that he'd give you a pardon. 
Doesn't seem like him."

"Well, he didn't have much of a choice, did he?  With that evil Ultimate 
Ninja clone admitting to his guilt -- well, I was going to get off 
anyway.  Besides I think he knows that right now the world needs an LNH 
and it needs an Ultimate Ninja leading it.  He knows that bad times are 

"How would he know that?"

"We've had talks."

"You've had talks with Hex Luthor?  Why?"

"Because he's President of the USA, and we're going to need his help to 
deal with the Dekay and Diskolor threat.  And I really think you should 
stop questioning my judgement."  The Ultimate Ninja gave a harsh look at 
Cheesecake Eater Lad.

"Err, okay.  Umm -- So how was prison?"

"It was difficult -- but an interesting experience."  The Ultimate 
Ninja's tone seemed to lighten up.  "It gave me a lot of time to think 
about my life.  About my purpose.  You know, it's strange how this whole 
thing began with the death of wReamicus Maximus.  Ah, wReamicus Maximus. 
  To think -- such a powerful and evil foe -- one of the LNH's greatest 
adversaries -- an almost mythic figure slain by a nobody clone.  It 
doesn't seem right, does it?"

"wReamicus Maximus?  Are we talking about the same guy?  I don't think 
I'd call him one of the LNH's greatest foes.  I'm not even sure I'd put 
him in the top ten.  I mean you've got Tsar Chasm, Acton Lord, the Time 

"Yes -- yes -- yes," the Ultimate Ninja said with a tinge of irritation. 
  "Well, who can really say who's great and who isn't?  Can we mortals 
judge such a thing?  Besides we shouldn't speak ill of the dead.  And 
that's what wReamicus Maximus is.  Dead.  We don't have to worry about 
him any more.  No.  We don't."

"Guess so.  Oh, btw, I reserved the Peril Room for you this week.  I 
figured you'd want to work out a lot of revenge feelings you've been 
probably building up inside while in jail."

"Thanks, but actually I'm not that bad.  I think my time in jail changed 
me.  I feel a bit more in touch with the Looniverse.  More spiritual. 
Yes.  Not full of anger anymore.  I feel awake to the deeper experiences 
of being."

"Umm, okay?  But you can still kill the bad guys, right?"

The Ultimate Ninja laughed.  "Oh, don't worry about that, Cheesecake 
Eater Lad.  If people need to die, I'll have no problem doing that.  No 
problem at all."  A darkness glowed from the Ultimate Ninja's eyes. 
"Well.  Let's go back home.  To the LNH.  I've got a whole lot of ideas 
in my head.  Ideas for a better LNH and a better world.  I have a 
feeling that a new era is coming.  A new era for the LNH.  And I want to 
make my mark on it."


Somewhere in a place without windows.

"I can't believe the money I'm getting for this job.  $5000 an hour? 
Jesus.  My last job I was making 8 bucks at Pizza Pitt.  Serious!  Who 
the hell are we guarding?  Who's worth all of this?" said a man wearing 
a black bulletproof vest and helmet over his head.

Another man dressed exactly the same and smoking a cigarette responded. 
  "You want to know?  You really want to know?  Okay.  I'll show you. 
But you can't ever tell anyone about it.  Promise?"

"Oh, yeah.  Sure.  I promise.  So who is it?"

"Come with me."  The two guards walked along a badly lit corridor past a 
number of other guards until they got to a room.  The smoking guard 
punched some numbers into the huge metal door and then stepped back. 
Both men stepped into the room.  It was a room filled with men with 
guns.  And a lot of those guns were aimed at a sleeping man in a glass cell.

"Jesus.  Is that -- is that who I think it is?"


"And what's that weird thing on him?  That green blob with red tentacles?"

"That's the thing that keeps him asleep.  I think it's something from 
outer space.  Some kind of parasite that when it attaches itself to you 
it puts you into this dream like state -- and the dreams?  They're 
supposed to be the best dreams.  Your perfect dream life.  Paradise. 
The dream you'll never want to wake up from because it's so damn good. 
You'd rather die than wake up from this dream."

"And what if he wakes up?"

"Then the party ends.  He'll kill everyone of us.  And no more nice 

"But he's going to wake up?  Isn't he?  I mean -- he's the -- you know. 
  I mean shouldn't we kill him?  Just kill him?  If you want to stop him?"

The smoking guard laughed.  "Are you nuts?  Kill him?  You know what 
would happen if you put a gun on his head and pulled the trigger?  He'd 
probably wake up and catch the bullet in his mouth and then pull out 
every single organ in your body.  And hey -- maybe you'd be lucky -- and 
you would kill him -- And then you know what happens?  He crawls out 
from the bowels of Hell and goes looking for you.  And when he catches 
you -- well, I wouldn't want to be you.  No.  The best that we can hope 
for is that he doesn't wake up."

"But -- but he's going to wake up.  It's only a matter of time, isn't it?"

"Yep.  You're probably right.  He is the goddamn Ultimate Ninja.  Not 
even paradise can probably stop him.  I guess we'll just to have to hope 
that we're not the ones on duty when he does pop his cage."

"Yeah.  I guess so."

The two guards left the room leaving the rest of the guards pointing 
their guns at a sleeping Ultimate Ninja.  A sleeping Ultimate Ninja that 
looked totally serene.

And happy.  Very happy.




Bad-Timing Boy - Vernon H Harmon
Bart and Fred the Receptionists - Ken Schmidt
Cannon Fodder - wReam
Captain Cleanup - Maurice Beyke
Captain Continuity - Mystic Mongoose
Captain Napalm - ?
Catalyst Lass - Elisabeth Riba
Coward Lad - Cory Smith / Tom Russell
Dekay and Diskolor - Scavenger
Easily Discovered Man Lite - Rob Rogers
Fearless Leader - Dave Van Domelen
Fourth Wall Lass - Saxon Brenton
Fuzzy - Connie Hirsch
Hex Luthor - Chris Hare and Saxon Brenton
Ironic Woman - Martin Phipps
Irony Man - Doug Moran
J. Random Kiwi - Jaelle
Kid Recap - Josh Geurink
Kirbybots - Jameel Al Khavitz
Kiwis - Ian Porell
Master Blaster - Robert Ramirez / Martin Phipps
Mr. Tiddles - Saxon Brenton
Multi-Tasking Man - Jeff Friedman
Nudist Man - Tom Russell
Occultism Kid II - Josh Geurick
Old Comics Man - Douglass Barre
Oozlefinches - Ted "Arsenal " Brock
Organic Lass - Rebecca Drayer
Procrastination Boy - Jason
Pulls Paper Out of Hats Lad - Arthur Spitzer
Ripping Dancer - Arthur Spitzer
Sarcastic Lad - Gary St. Lawrence
Sing Along Lass - Drizzt
Sister State-the-Obvious - wReam
Super Apathy Lad - Jacob Lesgold
Throbby the Talking Severed Heart - Arthur Spitzer
Ultimate Ninja - wReam
WikiBoy - Tom Russell
You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad - Arthur Spitzer

And probably more that I forgot to list...


Arthur's Notes:  What?  What do you mean no one voted for wReamicus 
Maximus in a cloned Ultimate Ninja body for leader?  :)

Yeah, I know.  Of course Ultimate Ninja is still the leader even if he's 
asleep.  By Beige Midnight he'll back in his job as leader.  Promise.

Speaking of votes, eight people voted in the leadership election.  Five 
people voted for the Ultimate Ninja.  And three voted for Fearless Leader.

I have to admit part of me is glad that the ninja won since I'm not sure 
how I would have handled this storyline if Fearless Leader had won.  I 
guess it's safe to say I would have handled it very differently.

This issue isn't that great, I know, but I wasn't really writing for 
quality as much as just to get this damn thing over with...

Here's the election stuff...

2007 LNH Leadership election

First Round Voting:

Eight ballots:

(Number of First place votes in parenthesis)

Fearless Leader             17 (2) 23.94%
Ultimate Ninja              14 (2) 19.72%
J. Random Kiwi              13 (1) 18.31%
Weirdness Magnet            10 (2) 14.08%
Catalyst Lass                9     12.68%
Irony Man                    7 (1)  9.86%
WikiBoy                      1      1.41%
Master Blaster               0      0.00%

And second round voting:

Eight ballots:

Ultimate Ninja  5 votes
Fearless Leader 3 votes

It's funny how I remember some saying a long time ago that the other 
characters might have a better chance at beating the Ultimate Ninja in 
an election if there was a second round.  Didn't quite work out for 
Fearless Leader.

I do think having a second round is probably a good idea just to make 
sure we vote in someone who we really want to be leader.

Arthur "And now comes the raccies..." Spitzer

From: Arthur Spitzer <arsp... at earthlink.net>
Subject: LNH: Beige Countdown #5: 'The Bicycle in the River'
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 00:40:54 +0000 (UTC)

[Note for Readers:  Read Beige Countdown #6 before you read this.]

[Cover: Hex Luthor stands on a bridge and watches a bicycle slowly sink 
into the river below him.]

                             [B  E  I  G  E]
                                   1 2
                                   1 1
                                   1 0
                [C  O  U  N  T   #  5    D  O  W  N  !]

By Arthur Spitzer




<<I did it!  It was me.  But it wasn't supposed to be wReamicus Maximus 
in that hotel room.  No.  Hex Luthor was supposed to be there!  It was a 
mistake!  And so my cloned version of the Ultimate Ninja killed the 
wrong person.  And then I lost control over him.  But that doesn't 
matter.  No.  What matters is Hex Luthor!  Yes!  President Hexidecimal 
Luthor!  He's the one responsible for everything!  He's trying to take 
over the world!  Take over our minds!  Take over our precious bodily 
fluids!!  Yes!!  And that's why he must die!!  Yes!!!!  Hex Luthor must 
die!!  People!  You have to believe me about this!!  We must all rise up 

"And that was video footage of LNHr's Bicycle Repair Lad's crazed insane 
Anti-Ame.racc.an confession about the assassination of the religious 
figure wReamicus Maximus found on the anarchist internet website 
MyToobFace.  Later when our reporters and the police and FBI caught up 
with Mr. Bicycle Repair Lad to arrest him, he denied ever making such a 
tape and attempted to blame President Hex Luthor for creating the tape 
and trying to frame him.  He also added this insane story about how 
President Hex Luthor wasn't really president and had stolen the election 
by pressing something called the Cosmic Reset Button." [See Limp 
Asparagus Lad #45 -- Footnote Girl]

"A spokesperson for the President has told us that Bicycle Repair Lad is 
now safely in custody in a secret facility where Ame.racc.a's greatest 
enemies are held because he might have ties to a terrorist organization 
and they need to question him."

"In further news, the President met with the LNH leader, Ultimate Ninja, 
today for a joint conference and photo-op about how the two can help 
keep Ame.racc.a safe from those that would hurt it."

"Issues #10 through 8 of Beige Countdown are still missing.  If you 
should happen to see them please notify authorities.  The rest of the 
issues of Beige Countdown are deeply worried."

"And lastly, scientists warn that if the Beige Clock Tower that 
mysteriously appeared in the city of Net.ropolis back in July keeps 
growing at the rate it is it will be in danger of hitting the 
Inter.net.ional Space Station as early as March 2008."

"And that's the news."



                       'The Bicycle in the River'


In a secret place without windows.

The door to the room opened and in walked President Hex Luthor 
accompanied by a couple of secret service people.  In the room was a man 
strapped to a bed.  The man had unkempt hair, a scraggly beard, and very 
blood shot eyes.  Up in the corner of the room was a blaring TV.  Hex 
Luthor dismissed the two secret service persons and shut the door to the 
room.  He turned his head towards the TV and smiled.

"Ah, that's my 2001 Inauguration Speech, isn't it?  Wow.  I looked 
really young back then.  Those were the days, right?  This must be the 
Hex Luthor Speech Channel, eh?  24 hours of non-stop Hex Luthor oration 
action.  I don't think I get that channel.  I envy you.  Lying around in 
bed all day and watching TV.  Ah!  You're living the American dream.  Do 
you know that? But you don't look like you're enjoying it, do you?  Want 
me to change the channel?  Now, what do you like?  Bicycles, right? 
Yes.  Bicycles.  And British Comedy?  You love that don't you?"  Hex 
Luthor grabbed a remote and started to flip through it.  "Let's see 
here.  The Hex Luthor Golf Channel.  Nope.  The Hex Luthor Interview 
Channel.  The Hex Luthor Pet Channel.  The Hex Luthor Puppet Theater 
Channel.  The Hex Luthor Fan Club Channel.  The Hex Luthor Beatnik 
Poetry Channel.  Well.  It doesn't look like we get any Bicycle or 
British Comedy Channels.  Nope.  What a pity."  Hex Luthor muted the 
TV's sound.

"What do you want, Luthor?" growled the man strapped to the bed.

"And he speaks.  Why did I come here?  To see my greatest arch-enemy for 
one last time.  And to tell him, I won.  And then to leave him to rot 
forever in his failure to stop me."  Hex Luthor chuckled to himself. 
"Greatest Arch-Enemy.  That's funny in a sad way.  A person like me 
should have had someone like the Ultimate Ninja or Kid Kirby for their 
greatest nemesis, not some idiot who repairs bicycles with a phony 
British accent.  But I guess it doesn't matter.  I beat them all in the 
end.  And now the LNH is mine.  Body and Soul.  Yes.  And you, Bicycle 
Repair Lad, failed to stop this.  And it's only a matter of time before 
I have the entire world at my fingertips."

Hex Luthor grabbed a chair and sat down.  "And do you know what I'm 
going to do when I have absolute control of everything?  Come on, take a 

"You're going to grow one of those Hitler mustaches?"

"No.  I'm going to outlaw the bicycle.  Yes!  I'm going to have every 
bicycle in the world burned in a giant bonfire.  Every single one of 
them!  I'll even outlaw the word bicycle.  And there will come a time 
when no one even remembers what a bicycle is.  It won't even be in the 
history books.  No.  It will be gone.  Gone forever!  What do you think 
about that Bicycle Repair Lad?  How does that make you feel?"

A smile started to surface on Bicycle Repair Lad's face.  "You remind me 
of that fable, Hex.  Didn't your Mum ever tell you the one about the 
'Dog and the Bone' when you were an itsy knee-biter?"

"'The Dog and the Bone'?  What are you blithering about?"

"It's an old story.  I think one of Aesop's.  It's about this dog who 
has a bone and walks over this bridge and looks down and sees another 
dog with a bone."

"Oh yes.  I know what you're talking about.  And the dog jumps into the 
river and loses his bone."  Hex gave a yawn.  "And your point is?"

"You know, a couple years ago I was almost worried that you were going 
to win.  Everything you were doing was so clever and smart.  You were 
using lawyers and business deals to get all the power you needed to 
subvert this country and the world.  I was going crazy.  No one would 
believe me about you.  They didn't see you as a threat.  You were too 
low key for the LNH to bother with.  I didn't think you were ever going 
to make a mistake.  But I was wrong.  You have.  And it's a big one."

"And that is?"

Bicycle Repair Lad let out a laugh.  "You're going blind, Hex.  Can't 
you see what's happening?  No you can't.  He's coming back, Hex."

"Who?  Who's coming back?"

"The Old Hex Luthor.  He's clawing his way back into your mind.  He's 
growing bored with your meetings with lobbyists and foreign leaders and 
so he's starting to affect your judgment.  He's putting loony ideas into 
your noggin.  Like taking over the LNH.  Like ruling the world.  He 
wants to go back.  Back to the days of death traps and crazy bicycle 
eating robots.  And so he's slowly sabotaging every thing you've built."

"You don't know what you're talking about."

"I don't?  Then why are you here?  Should the leader of the 'Free World' 
be chatting with some idiot bicycle repairing superhero?  No.  That's 
not something that the 'New and improved' Hex Luthor would be doing. 
Nope.  But the 'Old' Hex Luthor -- he would definitely be doing that 
because I'm what gave his pitiful life meaning.  His hatred of me was 
the thing that kept him going.  He couldn't kill me of course because in 
killing me he'd be destroying the only thing that gave him a reason to 
exist.  I was his Holy Grail.  I was his kryptonite.  I was his cage. 
The cage he could never escape from."

A frown took over Hex Luthor's face.  "He's dead.  The old Hex Luthor -- 
is dead."

"You're in the river, Hex.  The bone's slipping out of your mouth.  You 
could have won, but you wanted too much.  Just too much.  And now it's 
all over.  It's only a matter of time before I get out of this cage and 
put you into one."

"Your phony British accent is slipping."

"It will come back.  In time.  Just as I will.  And the LNH will. 
You're in the river."

"I'm not listening to anymore of this insane nonsense.  Goodbye."  Hex 
Luthor grabbed the remote and cranked up the TV's volume till it was at 
its maximum volume.  Beatnik Poetry recited by Hex Luthor flooded the room.

Bicycle Repair Lad started to shout, "You're in the river!" over and 
over again.  Hex Luthor quickly got out of the room and slammed the door.

"A gun!  Give me a gun!" Hex Luthor said to one of his secret service men.

"Umm, sir -- I'm not sure..." the secret service man started to say with 
hesitation in his voice.

"I am the Goddamn President of the Loonited States.  I gave you an 
order!  Give me your gun!"  The secret service sheepishly handed him the 
SIG Sauer P229 pistol he had in his coat.  Hex Luthor grabbed the gun 
and froze.

He'd walk in there.  He'd take the gun and put it against Bicycle Repair 
Lad's head and blow his brains away.  Yes.  Blow his brains away.  The 
old Hex Luthor would never do something like that.  No.  It would 
finally be over.  All these years.  Over.  He could move on with his 
life.  The Old Hex Luthor would finally be dead.  All his stupid plans 
that never worked.  His stupid death traps.  He should just walk in the 
room and do it.  Blow his brains away.  It would be easy to cover up. 
Easy.  Hex Luthor's hands started to tremble.

No.  What was he thinking?  This was too risky.  No.  Bicycle Repair Lad 
didn't matter.  He didn't matter.  It was stupid to think about him. 
His death wouldn't matter.  Let him rot away in this prison.  Yes.  Rot 
away and away.  He wasn't a threat even when he was walking free.  No. 
These were just mind games.  Just messing with his mind.  Need to just 
stop thinking about him.  No more thinking.  He needed to get away from 
this place.  Get out of here.  Never come back.  Never come back.

Hex Luthor handed the gun back to the secret service agent.  "Thank you. 
  It's a very nice gun.  Don't think I'll need it though.  I guess we 
should be going, don't you think?  Lots of work to do."

"Yes, sir."

Hex Luthor glanced back at the cell door.  He doesn't matter anymore.  I 
have won.  Yes.  I am not in the river.

Hex Luthor adjusted his red tie.

I am not in the river.

Hex Luthor and his secret service agents began walking away from cell 
door and towards the outside exit.  Walking away from the cell that 
contained Bicycle Repair Lad.  Walking away.  Away from him.  Away from him.

I am not in the river!




Bicycle Repair Lad - Chris Hare
Hexidecimal Luthor - Chris Hare and Saxon Brenton
Footnote Girl - Saxon Brenton

Arthur's Notes:

This was a short one...

I don't think I got Bicycle Repair Lad quite right...
I didn't really want him to sound like some Monty Python character for 
my stories purpose... tried to make him into more of a Patrick McGoohan 
type character because I don't think he'd be very cheery strapped to a 
bed all day forced to watch Hex Luthor speeches... but I don't know...

Arthur "A World without Bicycles" Spitzer

Next Week:  The Countdown Part Twelve!

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

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