LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #144: Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Part Twenty

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 22 14:17:08 PDT 2020

You can sift through the racc list archive
or you can try google groups racc for these stories that make up the twentieth
section of Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig (or Crisis).

LNH Comics Presents #501 is by Rob Rogers and also rather large so I'll only
post the first three parts of it today (come back next week for the final two
parts).  Well, the LNH is all but disappeared.  Mynabird and his supervillain
army have vanquished the LNH roboduplicates -- and now control all of
Net.ropolis.  Can they Make Net.ropolis Great Again?

Find out in..

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

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

                                    ADVENTURES #144

                  Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Part Twenty

From: EDMLite <robro... at gmail.com>
Subject: LNH: LNH Comics Presents #501: Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Episode 466 (1/5)
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 05:04:00 +0000 (UTC)

LNH Comics Presents #501:


"Outrageous Villainy"

By Rob Rogers


    When the Ultimate Ninja leaves on a month's vacation, the
Legion of Net.Heroes must elect a new leader.  Yet each new
commanding officer disappears at midnight, forcing the LNH to
choose another leader the next day.  The process continues for
an 'infinite April' of 500 days, with the gradually dwindling
Legion replacing its members with an army of robot duplicates.
When the robots rebel, the last Legionnaire -- the immortal
Cannon Fodder -- teams up with a group of super-villains led
by the mysterious Mynabird, later revealed to be a suit of armor
operated by the Easily-Discovered Bran Mite, to defeat them.

    After disappearing at midnight, Cannon Fodder discovers the
true villain behind the leadership crisis: the LNH's former
receptionist, Bart, who has joined forces with the Bryttle
Brothers, cosmic entities of unspeakable power and malice.
Meanwhile, the LNH Headquarters... and the city of Net.ropolis
itself... remain in the hands of Mynabird and his newly-formed
Legion of Net.Villains...

8:30 a.m.  May 1, 1994

Reagansville, Kan.sys

    Ollie wakes to the warm, full smell of baking bread, the
chatter of robins and morning doves in the trees outside and the
soft pressure of Arachne's hand in his.  When he opens his eyes
Ollie sees that she is already looking into his face, and smiling.

    "Morning, eight eyes," she says.

    "You're beautiful," he says, and she is: his eyes roam the
pale, gentle curves of her carapace until she blushes, covering
herself with his bedsheet.  "And you're still here.  That has to
be a good sign."

    "'Course I'm still here," Arachne yawns.  "You think I'd
spend the night laying six million eggs in order to walk out
before breakfast the next morning?"

    Ollie sits up.  Behind Arachne, resting against the side of
his mattress, is the fullest, most perfect sphere he's ever seen:
a firm, silky ball that's warm to his touch and pulsing with life.

    "I can't believe it," he says, running two of his hands along
the sides of the sac.

    "That's hardly the sort of thing one wants to hear from the
father of her children," Arachne says.

    Ollie looks at her -- at the perfect hourglass of her face,
the round red wonder of her body, the way she's trying hard not to
laugh at him.

    "It's just that it seems like it was yesterday that I saw you
for the first time," he says, shaking his head.

    "It was yesterday," she says.  "One of the benefits of having
an extremely brief life cycle."

    "I'm going to be a father!" he says, jumping up and slapping
the mattress with his hands.  "I have to tell your parents.  I
have to tell everybody.  Everybody in the world needs to hear
about this."

    "Let's keep it intimate," Arachne says, rubbing her eyes.
"I'll go ahead and ask about four hundred of our friends if they
want to come over.  Do you mind going out and getting something
to eat?"

    "For you, my lady?" Ollie says, taking her hand and dropping
to six knees.  "Anything.  What would you like me to bring back?"

    "Well, bran would probably be the way to go," Arachne says,
rolling her eyes but allowing him to kiss her hand.  "Being as
we're bran mites and all."

    "Of course," he says, and all but skips out of the apartment;
he's down the counter and past the milk spill before his first
burst of exuberance is spent.

    "Morning, Ollie," says old Mr. Blatta, the postman.  "Funny
weather we're having today."

    "Weather?  Oh, sure," Ollie says, noticing for the first time
the little white flecks spiraling from the sky and settling like a
dusty blanket along his shoulders and antennae.  "Mr. Blatta, I'm
going to be a father!"

    "Congratulations," Blatta says, coughing.  "That's... excuse
me, something must have gone down the wrong spiracle.  That's

    Blatta slumps to the ground.

    "Mr. Blatta?" Ollie says, running to the postman's side as his
bag spills and a thousand letters blend with the falling white
powder.  Ollie grabs Blatta by the shoulder, which already feels
cool and stiff, though his mouth hangs open as though he had
something more to say.

    Ollie closes it.  He hears coughing -- more coughing -- coming
from homes on both sides of the road.  He sees a jogger tumble
face-first into a pile of white; sees a trio of nuns grow rigid
and fall backwards.  He feels a strange, burning sensation along
his thorax, but it's drowned out by a sudden sense of panic.

    Home.  He has to get home.

    As he races he sees the enormous television on the horizon
flicker into life, its light casting the homes of all his fellow
mites into silhouette.  Two human faces fill the screen as a
spinning logo grows larger beneath them: Amazing Products!

    Please, he thinks.  Let Arachne be all right.

    "Welcome to Amazing Products!" one of the two humans says.
"I'm your host, Bob Hawker, and with me is Easily-Discovered Man
Lite of the world-famous Legion of Net.Heroes."

    "Pleasure to be here, Bob."

    "Lite -- may I call you Lite? -- the toys, costumes and action
playsets you're marketed on behalf of your employer, Easily-
Discovered Man, have been selling like hotcakes these last few
weeks, despite consumer product groups who claim they're highly

    "Well, Bob, as Easily-Discovered Man himself always says, you
haven't had a life until you've had a half-life."

    Ollie arrives at his front door.  He pounds on the wood with
four fists.  No answer.  His back feels like it's been doused in
kerosene and set on fire.

    "But what about your cereal?" the man on the television asks.
"Easily-Discovered Bran?  Our sources tell us that several boxes
had to be recalled because they were infested with mites."

    "That's no longer a problem, Bob," his companion says, holding
up a bag of bright white powder.  "Every box of Easily-Discovered
Bran now comes with a free bag of Easily-Discovered Brand
Sweetener, the non-fattening sugar substitute that's also a
powerful arachnicide."

    The door gives beneath Ollie's shoulder.  He sees the blank
expression in Arachne's vacant eyes and throws his arms around her,
his chest shaking in heavy, violent sobs.  He can't bring himself
to examine the egg sac.

    "Just sprinkle a few spoonfuls of this remarkable product over
your box of Easily-Discovered Bran, and you've got a tasty treat
your kids will love -- without the danger of eight-legged
infestation," the boy on the television says.

    "And you say it's safe for people and pets?"

    "Why would you be feeding breakfast cereal to your pets, Bob?"

    "Let's just say that you did."

    "That's bizarre, Bob."

    "People have been known to do bizarre things, Lite."

    "They sure have, Bob.  But I'm here to tell you that Easily-
Discovered Brand Sweetener is better than safe.  In fact, one out
of every billion life-forms who use this amazing product will
develop the incredible power to glow and be detected by a Geiger
counter, just like your hero and mine -- Easily-Discovered Man!"

    Ollie stares from the stiffening body of his lover to his own
arms and legs -- which have begun to emanate a weird orange light
-- to the smiling face on the television screen who has pronounced
a death sentence on his people.

    "And you say it will kill every last one of those mites,
Easily-Discovered Man Lite?"

    "Every last one, Bob," Lite grins.  "Deader than the Clinton
health plan.  You have Easily-Discovered Man Lite's guarantee."

    "It wasn't enough for you to take Arachne, Easily-Discovered
Man Lite," Ollie says, raising a tiny glowing fist -- then another,
and another -- at the enormous television screen.  "It wasn't
enough for you to take my children.  My family.  My friends.

    "You vowed to destroy my species," the Easily-Discovered Bran
Mite cries.  "And for that, you shall pay.  I will have my revenge
on you, Easily-Discovered Man Lite!  I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE!"

        *                       *                       *

11 a.m., May 1, 2007

Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters, Net.ropolis

    "I will have my revenge," Easily-Discovered Bran Mite said,
striking his fists against the control console he operated within
the black helmet of the Mynabird suit of armor.

    The armor itself -- sleek, dark, and so well-polished it seemed
almost frictionless -- gave Mynabird the appearance of a football
linebacker who had decided to wear the Batmobile to work.  He was
seated at what had been the desk of the Ultimate Ninja, in the
building that had been Legion of Net.Heroes headquarters.

    Just one day earlier, Mynabird (and Easily-Discovered Bran
Mite) had watched in delirious ecstasy as Easily-Discovered Man
Lite had died in his arms.  He had since discovered, however,
that the Lite he killed had been a robot duplicate, created when
the real Lite had disappeared in something called the Infinite
Leadership Crisis.

    The news had come as an unwelcome shock to Easily-Discovered
Bran Mite -- who in the world would want to make a duplicate of
Easily-Discovered Man Lite, anyway?  However, if the last 13
years had taught him anything, it was that standing around
screaming and feeling sorry for himself rarely accomplished much,
while putting on an atom-powered suit of armor and pillaging the
city could be both productive and cathartic.

    He was still deciding between setting off a series of
earthquakes that would level Net.ropolis and obliterating its
nuclear power plant when the door to his office opened and Mr.
Homage walked inside.

    "So this is the office of the Ultimate Ninja," the master
criminal said, lifting a battered, battle-stained cavalry saber
from its display rack.  "Fascinating," he said, unsheathing the
sword and examining the "CSA" stamped on its blade.  "I had no
idea the leader of the LNH was a Civil War buff."

    "Nor did I," Mynabird said.  "Particularly the way they
characterized Iron Man.  And that whole business with the clone
of Thor..."

    "I wasn't talking about... but no matter," Homage said.
"I came here to congratulate you. You've finally done what no other
super-villain in the history of the Looniverse has accomplished."

    "Do you mean that I've captured Tony Blair, and forced him to
do the funky chicken?" Mynabird asked, pointing to one of the
room's flat-screen monitors, on which the British Prime Minister
cavorted within a circle of jeering super-criminals.  "Or that I've
managed to assemble a team of outlaws that hasn't seen fit to
question my leadership?"

    Homage ignored the slight, turning the antique blade over and
over in his hand.  "I meant that you defeated the Legion of Net.
Heroes... or a reasonable facsimile thereof," he said.  "And you've
earned my respect."

    He returned the sword to the crowded shelf of keepsakes and
mementoes.  "In fact, you've convinced me to do something I haven't
done in more than a decade," Homage said.  "I'd like to offer you
and your team a position within the Brotherhood of Net.Villains."

   Within Mynabird's helmet, Easily-Discovered Bran Mite adjusted
a dial on the "Laughter" panel from "Maniacal Cackle" to "Deep,
Braying Guffaw."

    "HA HA HA HA HA," Mynabird jeered.  "Join the Brotherhood?  If
I wanted to waste my life listening to a group of has-beens jawing
on about the glory days, I'd sign up with the Elks.  Look at
yourself, Homage.  When was the last time you upgraded your armor?
These days, most people don't even remember who you're supposed to
be ripping off any more."

    Mr. Homage crossed his arms.

    "Let's face it, Homage -- for all that you claim to have done,
you've been about as successful against the Legion as King
Konqueror," Mynabird said.  "While you've been sulking and
scheming, I've sacked their headquarters, freed our comrades in
arms and driven their membership into hiding!  I'd offer you a
position within MY organization, but you'd be better off with a

    Homage's arm lashed out, smashing the office shelves and
sending the knickknacks accumulated during the leadership crisis
tumbling to the floor.  Mynabird rose from his seat.

    "I offered you a chance, Mynabird," Mr. Homage said.  "You're
going to find out that being a villain in the Looniverse means
nothing more than finding the least humiliating way to lose to the
LNH.  And then you're going to find out what it means to oppose

    He grabbed Ultimate Ninja's Confederate saber and stormed out
of the office, passing a cowering Father Brown and two other hooded
members of the Church of the Fourth Wall on his way out.

    "He's wrong!  Tell them he's wrong!" Mynabird shouted, reaching
into the wastebasket beside his desk and pulling the disembodied
head of Dr. Stomper's robot duplicate out by its hair.  "Tell them,

    "I'm afraid that Homage was correct," the robot Dr. Stomper
droned.  "The LNH will ultimately prevail in every conflict within
this Looniverse."

    "You're wrong!" Mynabird said, flinging the head into the pile
of broken objects Homage had left behind.  "Things ARE different
this time!  The Legion CAN be defeated!  Easily-Discovered Man Lite
will be annihilated!"

    "Of course he will," Father Brown said.  "And the LNH can be
eliminated, as well... but not by force of arms, by technology, or
even by occult means.  I myself have tried all those methods in the
past.  There is a better way."

    "There is a better waaaay," chanted the two monks beside
Father Brown.

    "Right," Mynabird said.  "And I'm sure it involves somehow
strengthening the Fourth Wall and preventing any of the writers
from interfering with our lives."

    "No," Father Brown croaked.  "That plan, too, has failed me in
the past."

    "It's failed him in the paaaast," the monks sang.

    "What I have in mind," the aged cleric said, "is for all of
us to..."

    "Hold that thought," Mynabird said, raising a gauntleted hand.
"What's that commotion?  Something's going on outside!"

    Mynabird pressed a button on his right arm.  A bluish-white
hologram of a tall woman in a leather catsuit appeared at the center
of his desk.

    "Vector Prime!  Report!" Mynabird said.

    "Something... unexpected is taking place outside of Legion
headquarters," the hologram said.  "You'd better see for yourself."

    "Very well," Mynabird said.  "We will continue this discussion
later, Father Brown."

    The armored giant left the office.

    "He should have listened to your plan," said the taller of the
two monks.

    "True, Felonious Monk," Father Brown said, his eyes searching
the ruins of the room.  "But there is something else within this
chamber that will made our journey here worthwhile."

        *                       *                       *

11:15 a.m. May 1, 2007

Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters, Net.ropolis

    What had sounded like a dull roar within the walls of Ultimate
Ninja's office grew louder and louder as Mynabird strode down the
hallway, until Easily-Discovered Bran Mite had to adjust the volume
controls within his helmet.  As he entered the charred remains of
the building's lobby, the room exploded with applause -- not just
from the dozen or so super-criminals assembled there, but from the
hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of people gathered

    "What is the meaning of this?" Mynabird shouted.

    "It's a pronoun. It has no intrinsic meaning," the Alt.Imate
Ninja replied.

    "If you're asking about the crowd, however, you might find
answers from one of these gentlemen," said Vector Prime, indicating
two men in suits picking their way through the twisted, glass-
strewn skeleton of the Legion Headquarters' revolving doors.

    "I told them the whole thing was the LNH's fault," said the
larger -- and louder -- of the two men, the beefy, red-faced talk-
show host Mynabird recognized as McLaughlin Man.  "But it took you
all to prove it."

    "I'll admit, when your group attacked the LNH, I thought it was
the end of the world," said the other man, whom Mynabird now saw
was the mayor of Net.ropolis.  "But you did it.  You really did

    "What exactly did we do?" Mynabird asked, turning to Vector
Prime.  "Does he know about the Blair thing?"

    "It's May 1!" McLaughlin Man said.  "After 500 days of April,
500 days of the LNH's tyranny, you freed us."

    "And the city is going wild," the mayor agreed.  "They've
already torn down the statue of Lost Cause Boy, and people are
burning anything and everything that has even the slightest
connection to the LNH.  They abandoned us in our hour of need --
but you, even though we made you outcasts, even though we let the
heroes lock you away -- you saved us."

    "The city would like to honor you," McLaughlin Man said,
throwing a thick, sausage-like arm around Mynabird's iron
shoulders.  "You think they loved the LNH?  You think people went
wild for the Saviors of the Net?  Brother, you ain't seen nuthin'

        *                       *                       *

3 p.m., May 1, 2007

Net.ropolis Bandshell, Drayer Park

    "And as we enter the third hour of our citywide celebration,
it looks like... yes, it's the Russell High School Marching Band
playing a medley of tunes from stage and screen, starting with
Celine Dion's immortal classic 'My Heart Will Go On'..." Pointless
Awards Man II announced.

    "Permission to initiate widespread slaughter," the Alt.Imate
Ninja requested, placing a hand on the hilt of his katana.

    "Oh, lighten up," Mynabird said, standing beside Alt.Imate
Ninja, Vector Prime and the other members of the Surreptitious
Seven on the podium in front of the Net.ropolis Bandshell.  In
front of them, just behind the parade route, was a crowd of
thousands.  Some were holding banners or signs: "Young Republicans
for the Legion of Net.Villains" or "Molixville Diving Team Salutes
Plummet."  Mostly they clapped, cheered, blew kisses, or waved,
showering the super-villains with goodwill.  None of those onstage,
with the possible exception of Uma Thurman, the replacement Waffle
Queen, had ever experienced anything like it.

    "This feels... wrong, somehow," said Downyflake, clutching a
pair of women's undergarments he'd just been thrown from the
crowd.  "I mean, sure, we were trying to stop those LNH robots
that'd gone berserk.  But I was just doing it because I'm sick of
having to drive all the way to Utah to be able to shoot robots."

    "People of Net.ropolis!" Mynabird said, raising his hand.
Vector Prime's eyes glowed green, and Mynabird's voice began
broadcasting through every radio, television, set of computer
speakers or iPod within a ten-mile radius.  "The Legion of Net.
Villains thanks you for your support."

    An enormous cheer erupted from the crowd.

    "For decades, now, this city... this nation... this world...
has placed its security in the hands of the Legion of Net.Heroes."

    The crowd began to boo, with one young man screaming "LNH

    "We trusted this group with our lives... and with the lives of
our children... though they answered to no authority, refused to
account for their actions, and turned up their noses at even the
mildest of regulations, such as the LNH Registration Act," Mynabird
said.  "And how did they return our trust?

    "When their leader disappeared... when their members began to
vanish... did they share this information with the people?  With
the police?  With anyone?  They did not!" Mynabird thundered,
bringing his fist down upon the podium.  "Instead, they built an
army of robot killers to fool all of us into thinking we were still

    "Boo!"  "Hiss!"  "Potemkin village!" the crowd roared.

    "And when those robots rebelled... what did the last
Legionnaire, the very last member, choose to do?" Mynabird asked.
"My friends, I don't have to ask you to speculate.  I can play you
the sounds my armor recorded last night."

    The voice of Cannon Fodder crackled over the public address
system.  "Let me explain," he said.  "In two minutes this whole
place is going to blow up.  I've set off the Ultimate Self Destruct
Code.  It's a nuclear bomb that when it goes off will destroy all
of the LNHHQ and probably all of Net.ropolis."

    The audience gasped.

    "I knew it!" McLaughlin man screamed.

    The recording continued.  "You're bluffing!  You wouldn't cause
so many innocent deaths," said the sepulchral voice of the LNH
Robot Duplicator Machine.

    "I wouldn't?" Cannon Fodder's voice said.  "I think you should
remember that I'm human, therefore completely irrational!  Why
wouldn't I do that?  The question you need to ask yourself is can
you afford to take the chance?"

    The recording ended.

    "And that's the same question each of you needs to ask
yourselves," Mynabird said.  "Can you take that chance?  Can you
ever trust a Legion of Net.Heroes with your lives again?"

    "NEVER!" the people of Net.ropolis roared.

    "Are you ready to take control of your own lives?  To be the
authors of your own destiny?"

    The audience thought about that for a moment.

    "NO!" they shouted.

    "Come again?" Mynabird said.

    "YOU DO IT!" they screamed.  "LNV!  LNV!  LNV!"

    Londonbroil shook his head.  "Bunch of bloody useless
background characters," he muttered.

    "Permission to initiate violent mayhem," Alt.Imate Ninja

    "LNV!  LNV!  LNV!" the city cheered.

    Mynabird held up both hands.

    "Very well," he said.  "If what you truly desire is for the
Legion of Net.Villains to serve as your new protectors..."

    The applause erupting throughout Net.ropolis was deafening.

        *                       *                       *

11:45 p.m., May 1, 2007

Net.ropolis Bandshell, Drayer Park

    "And that's the last of Guitar Man's records to go into the
bonfire," Pointless Awards Man II said, as the blaze before the
Bandshell flared up and the people surrounding it cheered.  A few
fireworks burst in the distance, illuminating the contours of the
Mr. Paprika Blimp, which drifted lazily by overhead.  "Kid Poetry's
books will go next, as well as Gorilla Grad's research texts and
that item that was on every schoolkid's wish list just two weeks
ago -- LNH dice!"

    "I'm starting to think this thing could go all night," said
Uma Thurman, swirling her cocktail.  "Hey Pointless, does the fact
that this infinite April thing is over mean that you can finally
get on with hosting the RACCie Awards?  I've got this new dress
I've been dying to wear..."

    Pointless Awards Man II shot the replacement Waffle Queen a
look saturated with malice.  "Ixnay on the acciesray," he said.
"They'll happen when they happen."

    Turning back to his microphone, he continued, "And how about a
big hand for our friends at Cowling Propane and Propane
Accessories, who donated all of the equipment we're using to burn
LNH products tonight?  Let's turn our cameras over to the
waterfront, where the shop students at Net.ropolis P.S. 182 have
built a medieval catapult they're using to launch Cheesecake-Eater
Lad Brand Cheesecakes into the bay..."

    "This is fantastic," Londonbroil said.  "In less than 24 hours,
we've gone from being small-time crooks to underworld kingpins to
the world's most beloved heroes.  Mynabird's got them eating out of
his hand."

    He shook his head in wonder at the black-armored villain, who
was, at that moment, allowing a small group of orphans to eat
miniature waffles out of his hand.

    "To bollix this up now, we'd have to do something really,
really, stupid," Londonbroil said.

    "Wow!  I guess a cheesecake really can fly," Pointless Awards
Man II said.  "Hope those fish are hungry... because in addition
to all those unjust desserts, our deep-sea denizens are going
to be getting their fiber in a big way tonight.  The city's
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has just announced that
they're ready to dump the tri-state area's entire supply of Easily-
Discovered Bran into Net.ropolis Harbor."

    "What?" Mynabird said, grabbing the microphone away from
Pointless Awards Man II.  "What did you just say?"

    "Uhh... they're dumping Easily-Discovered Bran," the master of
ceremonies said, checking his on-air notes.  "Some cereal they
invented back when Easily-Discovered Man's series was popular.  I'm
surprised they're still making it."

    "CALL IT OFF!" Mynabird demanded.

    "Take it easy, big guy," Downyflake said, placing a hand on
Mynabird's arm and shooting a worried look at Londonbroil and
Thurman.  "Trust me, it's not that good a cereal.  The one time I
tried it there were these little red things all over it, and I had
to flush it down the disposal..."

    Mynabird shook off Downyflake's hand.  Inside his helmet,
the Easily-Discovered Bran Mite turned the speech control dial from
"Suave, Self-Assured Demagogue" to "Hysterical Dalek."

    "YOU'RE ALL THE SAME!" he screeched.  "ALL OF YOU!  YOU'RE

    "Command accepted... and executed," said the Alt.Imate Ninja,
drawing both of his swords and leaping into the crowd.

    "I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later," Londonbroil
said, as the audience began to scream and scatter, and Mynabird
raised his hands into the air, palms open.  Bolts of white-hot
plasma shot from his gauntlets into the side of the Mr. Paprika
Blimp.  The airborne balloon exploded, illuminating the entire
eastern end of the city for a flickering second, and the shattered,
flaming gondola dropped toward the terrified crowd.

    "Now, THAT'S a man's pop!" Mynabird cried.

   "Oh, the humanity," Pointless Awards Man II wailed.  "The
horror, the horror, the... does anybody else hear that roaring

    "Like a missile," Uma Thurman said.

    "It's not a missile," Mynabird said.  "It's them."

    "Captain Continuity!" Downyflake gasped, as the caped hero
swooped beneath the falling gondola, bracing it with his shoulders
moments before it could collide with the ground.  Above him, Irony
Man sprayed the burning structure with clouds of pale green foam,
while Writers Block Woman helped Captain Continuity to stabilize
his burden.

    "Ladies and gentlemen," Pointless Awards Man II said, as
hundreds of people burst into applause.  "The Legion of Net.Heroes
has returned!"

    "Let's make this short, sweet, and as bloody as is humanly
possible," Vector Prime said, striding towards the center of the

    TOMORROW: The battle for Net.ropolis begins!

From: EDMLite <robro... at gmail.com>
Subject: LNH: LNH Comics Presents #501: Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Episode 466 (2/5)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 05:47:12 +0000 (UTC)

12:01 a.m., May 2, 2007

Net.ropolis Bandshell, Drayer Park

    It was one thing to watch Irony Man soaring in to save the
victims of a blasted blimp, thought Londonbroil, and quite another
to hear the distant cough of his rocket boots, see him loop around
in the sky, like a vengeful falling star, see the lights of the
city and the bonfire reflected in his armor and the thirty
thousand ways it had of hurting a person and know that the soul
inside that metal shell -- growing bigger and closer with each
second -- was very, very angry.

    With you.

    "By God and the Queen Mum," Londonbroil gasped, his words
drowned out by the sound of the rockets.

    "I'll take him," said Vector Prime.  The willowy redhead
stepped forward, her eyes sweeping the sky until they locked onto
the armored hero.  She smiled.  Her pupils glowed green...

    ...as did every light, portal and circuit array on Irony Man's
armor, just before all of them went dark.

    "I expected more of you, Toony Stark," the living embodiment
of the Melissa virus said, as Irony Man dropped like an anchor from
the sky.  "Then again, you're hardly the first man to disappoint

    Irony Man watched the ground rush upward with the speed of the
interest rate on a subprime mortgage loan.

    "Have to switch to manual control," he said, toggling a tiny
switch inside his right gauntlet.  With a shudder, his arms and
legs were free to move.  He pulled himself into a ball -- it was
so hard to fight against the onrushing wind -- and fumbled, his
fingers feeling fat and clumsy and useless -- until he managed to
detach his left boot from the rest of his armor.

    "Got to... get it... yes!" he said, clicking the boot back into
place.  The lights on his armor blinked back into life, the heads-
up display in his helmet reappeared, and his boot-jets blazed with
renewed fury -- too late to keep himself aloft, he realized, but
maybe just enough to cushion his impact...

    Irony Man felt his jaw slam into his skull as he struck the
parking lot beside the Bandshell once, then twice, each time
sending up an explosion of sparks like a blown dandelion.  Damage
reports blared throughout his helmet.  His ribs would hurt for a
week, and it would take longer than that to buff the score marks
from his chest plate.  But he was alive.

    "Irony Man!  Toony!  What's your situation?" asked Fearless
Leader, his voice like an overweight mosquito in the helmet's

    "Down," Irony Man said.  "But far from out.  It's not the
first time a quick reboot has saved me from a crash."

    "Glad to hear it," Fearless Leader said, lowering his
wristwatch-sized comlink.  He and the other Legionnaires had
regrouped about two miles from the Bandshell, in a recently-
rebuilt section of the city's Map District.  Like the others,
Fearless Leader was exhausted, confused and more than a little
terrified by his recent encounter with Bart the Dark Receptionist
and the Bryttle Brothers -- the beings who had held them prisoner
in a futuristic graveyard for the last 500 days.

    He had no idea who or what he was facing.  The Net.ropolis he
had arrived in was so far removed from the one he had left -- so
much destruction, so much chaos, and so much news about Paris
Hilton everywhere he looked -- that the former Felix Landers
wondered if fate had, once again, thrown him into another parallel
universe.  He shook his head, refusing to let the thought take
hold.  Wherever he was, these people needed the Legion's help, and
Fearless Leader refused to let them down.

    "Okay, people!" he shouted.  "Master Blaster!  WikiBoy!  Irony
Man's down -- we're going to need you on the front lines sooner
than I thought.  Ordinary Lady and Cheesecake-Eater Lad -- be ready
to reinforce them.  Catalyst Lass, get ready to start the
evacuation of the riverfront area."

    "Crowd control?  Are you sure I couldn't be more helpful where
the action is?" Catalyst Lass asked, her wide green eyes searching

    "Getting those people out of the way is the most important
thing we can do right now, and nobody is better at persuading
people to do the right thing than you are," Fearless Leader said,
placing a hand on the young woman's shoulder.  "I'm counting on

    Fearless Leader turned to wReamHack.  "Has everyone reported

    The Legion's master of technology checked his BlackBerry.

    "All except for Cannon Fodder, Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad...
and Ultimate Ninja, of course," he added.

    "Of course," Fearless Leader said, picking up his comlink.
"But keep trying his frequency, just in case.  Girlwatcher, what's
the situation at the front?"

    He heard a burst of static.  Then, "...fantastic, Fearless
Leader.  That Uma Thurman is so much more beautiful than the
last Waffle Queen.  And the Melissa virus..."

    Fearless Leader sighed.  "And the other villains?"

    "Oh.  Right.  Well, this giant flying goldfish -- Carassion --
just burst out of the river.  And there's a pirate ship coming down
from the other side, behind the Bandshell, and it's just loaded
with gorilla pirates.  And the different parts of Pencil Rain are
fusing into one being..."

    "Pencil Rain.  Right," Fearless Leader said, pointing to
wReamHack, who punched something into his PDA.

    "Oh yeah, and something just crawled out of the ground near the
cemetery," Girlwatcher said.  "I think... yes, I'm pretty sure...
it's the zombie version of President William Howard Taft.  Weird."

    "He never does give up on that dream of a second term, does
he?" Occultism Kid said.  "I'll take him."

    "Thanks, Occultism Kid.  And thanks, Girlwatcher," Fearless
Leader said.  "Just keep your eyes peeled.  You're doing a great

    "Wow.  I mean, wow, Fearless Leader," Girlwatcher's voice
crackled.  "I mean... I probably shouldn't be mentioning this right
now, but... you do know I was rejected for membership in the
Legion, right?"

    Fearless Leader smiled.  "There are no rejects today,
Girlwatcher.  No back-benchers.  And that goes for all of you," he
said, turning to the crowd of Legionnaires preparing for battle.

    "Our enemies think they've already won," he said.  "They think
they've scared us into giving up!  They think by grabbing us one by
one for more than a year that they've divided us.  What they've
done is turn all of us into leaders.  Each of you," he said,
looking from face to face along the line of muster, "has learned
what it means to command.  You know what it's like to be
responsible for the safety of this world.  If need be, you would
face what we have to face today alone.  And you would prevail.

    "But you will not be alone.

    "You will fight as brothers.  As sisters.  As champions.  And
by God, you will make me proud.  Alone, you are heroes.

    "...we are LEGION!"

    "Well said," Catalyst Lass said, as the Legion of Net.Heroes
charged onto the battlefield.  "Can I make one suggestion?"

    "Of course, Cat."

    "April... this long April... it's finally over, right?"

    "Yes.  Thank God," Fearless Leader said.

    "In that case," Catalyst Lass said, touching Fearless Leader
under the chin, "it's probably all right for you to take off that
coconut bra and grass skirt Dr. Stomper made you wear on April
Fools' Day."

    The leader of the LNH blushed scarlet beneath his mask.

        *                       *                       *

12:30 a.m., May 2, 2007

Net.ropolis Bandshell, Drayer Park

    "There's too many of them!" Londonbroil said, watching Master
Blaster, WikiBoy, Sister State-the Obvious and a fourth Legionnaire
emerge from the helter-skelter alleyways of the Map District.
"Where the bloody blazes are they coming from?"

    "Time to even the odds," Vector Prime said, concentrating.  As
Londonbroil watched, the woman in the black catsuit seemed to blur,
then separate in two... then four... then eight... Within moments,
the stage was filled with women of every conceivable ethnicity,
hairstyle and height.  All were beautiful.  All were heavily

    "Nice trick, that," Londonbroil said, as the crowd of women
leapt from the stage, shouting "Time to be evil!"  "Let's rock!"
"Badness is cool!" and, inexplicably, "Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat is

    "The next time I'm in me cups, I might forget that you're a
virus," he added, watching the women join the fray.

    "And I might forget I was a lady," Vector Prime glowered.
"Those clones won't last long, but they'll give us a tactical
advantage until our pirates arrive."

    "I'll add to that," Downyflake said, cramming blobs of white,
sticky dough into a toaster-shaped shoulder pack.  After loading
the device, he grabbed a ripcord at the side and yanked hard.

    "Time to unleash... the DOUGHBOYS!" he said, as the device
fired, burping circles of dough at the advancing heroes.  As each
landed, it bubbled, hissed, and stretched itself into a raging,
maniacal -- though surprisingly pudgy and cute -- twelve-foot

    "And you don't even have to pay them union wages,"
Downyflake said, as the Doughboys lashed out at the Legionnaires.

    "My turn," Uma Thurman said, grabbing two of the waffle-shaped
plastic circles from her uniform.  "Eggobots, transform!," she
said, throwing them from the stage.

    The waffles fell to the ground.

    "Dammit!  Those were the decorative ones," Thurman said,
detaching another pair.  "I'll never get this costume figured out.
Okay, second try.  Sugarshear!  Butterbeak!  Transform!
Operation... warfare!"

    With a clicking, grinding sound, the two waffles sprouted
wings, talons, long necks and wicked-looking beaks, and flew in the
direction of the charging net.heroes.

    "Yes.  Wonderful.  Great.  But what about us?" Londonbroil
said, turning to Mynabird, who had not left his place on the stage
since firing on the blimp.  "You're supposed to be our all-wise
leader.  What's your plan?  How do we get out of this?"

    Mynabird remained impassive.

    "Something's wrong," Vector Prime said.  "I'm sensing no
activity in his armor's systems."

    "It's her!" Londonbroil said, pointing at the silhouette of a
flying woman.  "Writers Block Woman!  She's got him all jammed up!"

    "Then we'll have to do something about that," said Barrage.

    The little gray cat lifted his paw.  "Time for a fastball
special," he said, concentrating.  Beside him, the squat, surly
super-villain called Plummet began to rise.

    Barrage maneuvered the magenta-clad villain higher and higher
into the air, until he was just above where Writers Block Woman
hovered.  The net.heroine seemed not to notice, her attention
focused on the battle below.

    "And now," Barrage said, his tail twitching back and forth,
"here's how you break through a case of writer's block."

        *                       *                       *

12:35 a.m., May 2, 2007

Drayer Park

    "Now that's what I call a disaster," Writers Block Woman said,
watching the crowd of screaming Net.ropolitans fleeing the chaos
below her.  "Horizontal stripes and a plaid skirt?  I can't believe
she even let herself leave the house wearing that.  And... are
those Crocs?  Are people still wearing Crocs?  In the entire year
we heroes have been battling in the beyond, has no one had the
fortitude to inform people that not a soul upon this earth looks
good in colorful plastic shoes?  Truly, I have returned at the right

    "What's going on over there?" the heroine added, turning to her
side just as Plummet tore past, missing her by a hair's breadth.

    "My goodness!" she said, as the villain with the power to fall
faster than any living thing rocketed toward the ground.  She
followed his progress with her eyes, covering her mouth when she
saw him crash into another super-hero.

    "Oh, dear," she said, looking downward.  "That looks like it
must have hurt.  I hope that poor fellow is all right."

    Hundreds of feet below her, the hero in question stood up,
wiped the dust from his tights, and grinned at Plummet.

    "Boy," said You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad, "did you
ever pick the wrong guy to smash into."

    The Hero Whose Strength Grows Each Time He's Struck wound up
and launched a tremendous uppercut at Plummet's chin, sending him
back up into the sky again.

    "Hello!" Writers Block Woman said, waving, as Plummet flew up,
then down again, his hands clawing at empty air.

    "Back for more, eh?" You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough-Lad
said, as Plummet fell toward him even faster than before.  "All
right, then.  Let's see how you like it this time..."


    "Looks like this could go on all night," Writers Block Woman
mused, as Plummet flew upwards again.  "Ooh!  And it looks like
Master Blaster and Sister State-the-Obvious have themselves
surrounded," she said, peering down at another part of the

        *                       *                       *

12:45 a.m., May 2, 2007

Net.ropolis Bandshell Parking Lot, Drayer Park

    "This could be the greatest night of my life," Master Blaster
said, shell casings spilling from his rifle like freshly-minted
coins from a slot machine.  "Here I am, completely surrounded by
women... each long-legged beauty more luscious than the last..."

    "Your wife happens to be right here," Sister State-the Obvious
said, bashing one of the Vector clones with her purse.

    "...each one more delicious than the next, and they're all
viruses, so I can shoot them without worrying about the paperwork,"
the Legion's sharp-shooting satyr sighed.  "I must have done
something pretty damn wonderful in a previous life."

    "I can't imagine what that would be," WikiBoy said.  "And I'm
not sure it was a good idea to let ourselves get cut off from the
rest of the Legion."

    "WikiBoy, edit yourself to grow a pair," Master Blaster said,
mowing down a row of Vectors.  "And while you're at it... edit
yourself into a berserker rage!"

    As Master Blaster spoke, a headband appeared on WikiBoy's brow.
His shirt disappeared, as did his pupils.  A chainsaw popped into
existence in one of his hands, and a .50 caliber machine gun,
against all probability, appeared in the other.

    "YEEEAAAAAAAAAARGH!" screamed the Legionnaire Anyone Can
Edit, bellowing like Howard Dean as he plunged into the sea of
Vector clones, blasting and slashing as he went.

    "I will never understand why you abuse that boy the way you
do," Sister-State-the Obvious began, than gasped.  "Husband!  It's
coming right for you..."

    Master Blaster looked up.  An Eggobot swooped toward his head,
its needle-sharp talons extended...

    ...and then exploded into a flaming heap of plastic splinters.

    Master Blaster and Sister State-the-Obvious turned to see Jo
Nysegi blowing smoke from the end of a revolver.

    "You did it, old buddy, old pal," Master Blaster said, throwing
an arm around his friend.  "I hereby take back everything I said
about you being completely and totally useless without your
Sarcastic Lad powers."

    "Uh, thanks," Nysegi said, wiping bits of waffle-colored robot
from his shoulder.  "What the heck did you do to WikiBoy?"

    "Him?  Oh, nothing," Master Blaster said, as WikiBoy, shrieking
like a madman, cleaved arms and legs from Vector clones.  "I just
gave him a pep talk.  A little jolt of confidence."

    "And a chainsaw, I see."

    "It's a lot easier to be confident when you're carrying a
chainsaw," Master Blaster said.

    "It doesn't look as though that chainsaw works very well
against those dough creatures," Sister State-the-Obvious said.
"The one he's fighting seems just to be sucking him in."


    "You always hate to see someone get caught up in their work
like that," Master Blaster said, shaking his head.  "Poor guy.
Look at those legs of his, still kicking away while his body gets
absorbed by the dough.  A shame to see someone his age go that way.
But WikiBoy knew the risks."

    "No he didn't," Nysegi said.  "You edited him to fight like a

    "Good point," Master Blaster said, cocking his rifle.  "Let's
get him out of there."

    "While we're at it," said Sister State-the-Obvious, "we might
want to do something about those things, too."

    Master Blaster and the former Sarcastic Lad looked to the left,
where Pencil Rain -- a towering monstrosity formed of five powerful
super-villains fused together -- charged towards them, one hand
blazing with nuclear fire, and to the right, where a goldfish the
size of Dodger Stadium came swimming through the atmosphere, its
lips puckered with rage.

    "On the other hand," Master Blaster said, "finding a mindless
monster made of dough to jump into is beginning to look like a
viable exit strategy."

    "NEVER FEAR," said a voice with the volume of a jet engine and
the deep, resonant pitch of James Earl Jones passing through
puberty.  "THE CAVALRY IS HERE!"

    "Wait," said Master Blaster.  "Is cavalry the thing with all
the cowboys shooting Indians, or is it the name of the hill where
they stuck Jesus on the cross?"

    "In this case," said Sister State-the-Obvious, as two massive
fingers plucked WikiBoy from his doughy fate and dropped him into
a crowd of Vector clones, "it appears to be Very Big Boy."

    The skyscraper-sized net.hero scooped up the feisty Doughboy
in two hands, compacting the creature into a pale, sticky ball.
Very Big Boy placed the ball on the ground beside the remains of
a ruined boathouse, where another super-hero ran up to it with

    "Thanks, big guy!  This is just what I needed!" said Kid Pocky,
who had been defending a nearby Sanrio store from a crowd of

    The net.hero began pushing the ball of dough in front of him.
As the sticky sphere gained momentum, it began to catch and hold
everything in its path, from bits of glass and rubble to a few
unhappy Vector clones.

    "Da DA da dada DAda da da, katamari damacy," Kid Pocky sang, as
another group of Vectors ran screaming from the ball.

    "DON'T MENTION IT," Very Big Boy replied, picking his way with
care between the on-ramps of the Filled-With-Innocent-Bystanders
Expressway.  He reached a giant fist toward Carassion, but the
titanic goldfish slithered under his arm, screeching like Godzilla
as it did.

    Very Big Boy turned -- upsetting a row of billboards as he did
-- and grabbed the colossal fish by its tail.  Carassion writhed
and shivered in his grasp, but Very Big Boy kept his grip just long
enough to swing the fish around and clobber Pencil Rain.  With a
loud, wet smack, the gestalt villain soared through space, arcing
over Writers Block Woman and splashing down in the Net.ropolis

Big Boy said, tossing Carassion toward a six-story building covered
in signs reading "Scheduled for Demolition."  As luck would have it,
however, the fish missed the building by several feet, crashing
instead into another structure whose signs declared "Future Home of
Yet Another $tartup.bucks Coffee."

    "WHOOPS," Very Big Boy said, as the building exploded in a
towering cloud of glass, bricks and dust.  To Very Big Boy's
surprise, however, the building's debris did not collapse.
Instead, it hung in the air for a moment, like the coyote in a Road
Runner cartoon, before flying through the air to strike him in the
head.  Brick after brick sped towards him like bullets fired from a
machine gun, until the world below Very Big Boy seemed to scramble
itself like the colors of a kaleidoscope.

    Somewhere in the middle of the cyclone that was attacking him,
Very Big Boy saw a tiny, cat-sized shadow.

    "BA...BARRAGE," he gasped, as he began to stumble.

    "Now don't go falling all over the city just yet," said Kid-Not-
Appearing-In-Any-Beige-Midnight-Story, flying through the maelstrom
of mortar and bracing himself behind Very Big Boy's hill-sized
shoulder blade.

    "I think I can hold him until he gets his bearings," the
improbably-named crusader from a lost universe said, speaking into
a comlink strapped to his wrist.  "But somebody else is going to
have to stop that cat."

    "Leave that to me," said Ordinary Lady.  The slender, steel-
eyed martial artist vaulted from a sawhorse near the condemned
building to the scaffolding surrounding it.  Catching one iron bar
with her left hand, she swung from the rickety metal surface into
the middle of the brickstorm, where -- using skills she'd learned
spending hour after hour in the Legion's Peril Room -- she sprang
from one chunk of rocky debris to another, finally landing on the
balls of her feet beside Barrage himself.

    Still crouching, Ordinary Lady drew a pair of nunchaku sticks
from the sash around her waist, and dangled them in front of
Barrage.  The small gray cat meowed with delight, batting a few
times at the chained stick.  He blinked his yellow eyes at Ordinary

    ...whereupon she backhanded the creature into
unconsciousness.  The flurry of bricks immediately stopped.

    "That was amazing," said Cheesecake-Eater Lad, using his wrist-
mounted cheesecake-shooters to build a dome of quick-drying
cheesecake that deflected what was left of the falling debris.
"But... why did you offer Barrage your weapon before hitting him?
He might have killed you with it."

    "It is considered a mark of honor among his kind to play with
your enemy before defeating him," Ordinary Lady explained.
"Someone... a cat-girl, a fellow warrior... told me of this once.
For some reason, I cannot remember her name."

    "Odd," Cheesecake-Eater Lad said.  "Well, at least you nabbed
him.  I'm beginning to think our side might end up winning this
after all."

    "Perhaps," Ordinary Lady said, taking in the two ruined
buildings, the shattered streetlamps, the haze and smoky dust that
clung to the battlefield like a pall.  "But to those innocents now
running and screaming for their lives, I doubt this feels like

        *                       *                       *

1 a.m., May 2, 2007

Suddenly-Exploding Boy Memorial Grove,
Northeast of Drayer Park

    Pointless Awards Man II weaved, elbowed and shoved his way
through the crowd fleeing from the battle before the Bandshell.
His eyes stung and his throat itched from the smoke of the bonfire,
which had burned out of control, as well as the dust and soot
kicked up by the various heroes and villains fighting all around
him.  He had stopped running with a purpose long ago, and now was
moving out of fear, convinced that if he paused for a moment
something or someone would drop on him or set him on fire or

    He'd lived through chaos before, of course -- having spent
almost all of his professional life in Net.ropolis, it was
practically a daily occurrence.  But he'd never seen anything like
the melee that had begun when Mynabird fired on the blimp.  Most of
the battles he'd witnessed between heroes and villains ended
quickly, when either the heroes were captured or they managed to
discover, and defeat, the villains' plans.

    From what he'd seen on the stage at the Bandshell, however,
Mynabird and the other villains didn't seem to have a plan.  They
were simply lashing out at everyone around them.  The second
Pointless Awards Man didn't mind villains -- on the contrary,
Y-Plex Burp told some of the funniest jokes he'd ever heard, and
Acton Lord had treated the RACCies staff to a round of drinks each
time he'd won Best Villain -- but he hated fanatics.

    He stumbled past the wide stone steps of St. Lawrence's
Cathedral, where one of the Legionnaires seemed to be comforting a
little Asian man with glasses.

    "It's all right," the Dismal Hope Kid was saying.  "I know
you're going to defeat me.  I really don't have a chance against
you.  We might as well get this over with."

    "Now you're just rubbing it in," Easily-Discouraged Man
replied.  "As though I had even the slightest possibility of
victory in any aspect of my life!  I don't know why I even bother
to get up in the morning any more."

    The little villain began to cry, prompting the Dismal Hope Kid
to hand him a handkerchief from his futility belt.

    Pointless Awards Man II shook his head, then looked around in
a panic.  He'd allowed himself to get distracted, and now he was no
longer sure in which direction safety lay.  He heard the sound of
an explosion -- too close, much too close -- and began to run,
using self-esteem and participation awards and even a couple of
Grammys to knock others out of his way.

    Suddenly, he felt a sense of deep and abiding peace.  His
shoulders relaxed; he let himself drop the People's Choice Award he
had been using as a club and turned to smile at the refugee beside
him.  This wasn't so bad, he thought.  Everything was going to be
all right.

    "Everything is going to be all right," Special Bonding Boy
repeated, shouting through a megaphone from the top of a scorched
gazebo.  "Just keep walking in an orderly fashion toward the

    Pointless Man II stared through the swirling mists of dust and
smoke.  He saw the glimmering green outline of a man shining
through the darkness.  Safety, he thought.  Follow the green light
to safety.

    "Not sure... how much longer I can do this," Special Bonding
Boy said, lowering his bullhorn.  "But it's worth it, if we can get
everybody out of here without someone getting hurt."

    "Easily-Discovered Man said another 200 have passed through the
Red Cross check points," Catalyst Lass said, holding a comlink to
her ear.  "It's going more quickly than we expected.  I'm just
wondering where Weirdness Magnet and the others who were supposed
to help with the evacuation ran off to.  It's not like anyone could
get lost looking for Easily-Discovered Man..."

        *                       *                       *

1:15 a.m., May 2, 2007

Somewhere in the Net.ropolis Map District

    "Is this the best of times, or what?" the Incredibly Stupid Man
said, walking with arms draped around Weirdness Magnet and Bad-
Timing Boy through the empty streets of Net.ropolis.  "A desperate
battle against incredible odds... and the three of us get to be in
the thick of it! I feel like the luckiest guy in the world!"

    "Uh, sure," Bad Timing Boy said, turning a well-creased sheet
of paper over and over in his hands.  "Listen, I've been checking
out this map we picked up at the Surrealist Map Shop, and I'm
thinking we should've taken that left turn at my raining dance
harvest is set about with stars."

    "I think we're in someplace called 'Accidental Self-
Immolation Alley,' if that helps," Weirdness Magnet said.

    "Wow!  That's the greatest thing I've ever heard in my life!"
the Incredibly Stupid Man said.

    "Listen, Incredibly Stupid Man," Weirdness Magnet said.  "I've
been thinking about it, and I'm not sure that it's... safe... for
you to be hanging around with the two of us."

    "Are you kidding?" the Incredibly Stupid Man said, squeezing
his comrades-in-arms a little harder.  "I'm wandering through the
greatest city in the world with two seasoned, professional super-
heroes.  What could possibly happen to me?"

    "YEEEE-HAAAAH!" screamed a small rodent riding a cow, galloping
into view at the end of the alley.

    "Yeah," Weirdness Magnet said.  "That's pretty much what I was
worried about."

    "And now," screamed the rodent, who was wearing a tiny cowboy
hat and had the half-shriveled look of one who had suffered a minor
stroke, or perhaps had his cheek pinched too frequently by an
overly affectionate maiden aunt, "the three of you are under MY
POWER!  You shall run to your deaths beneath the trampling hooves

    "Moooo," Udder Doom added, by way of agreement.

    "...at the behest of the all-powerful TWISTED LEMMING!  HA ha
HA ha HA HA HA HA ha..." the rodent cackled, as the cow reared back
and mooed in triumph.

    Bad Timing Boy and the Incredibly Stupid Man looked at each
other, shrugged, and began running toward the cow.

    "Wait!  Stop!  You idiots!" Weirdness Magnet shouted.  "Doesn't
either of you have the slightest shred of will power?"

    "Yes!  YES!" the Twisted Lemming chortled.  "Come... to your
final stampede!"

    "Whoooah!" Bad-Timing Boy said, stumbling over an untied
shoelace.  The Incredibly Stupid Man, unable to stop his forward
momentum, tumbled over Bad-Timing Boy, flying forward and knocking
a startled mind-controlling rodent from the back of the cow.

    "Wow!" the Incredibly Stupid Man said, climbing to his feet.
"Now that's what I call teamwork!  Hey... this lemming doesn't look
too good.  Do either of you guys know how to give mouth-to-mouth to
a rodent?"

    Weirdness Magnet sighed.

    "I always knew that particular skill would come in handy one
day," he said, kneeling down.  "And yet I'd always hoped it

    TOMORROW: An ancient evil returns, the winner of the "Name
the Net.ropolis Baseball Team" contest revealed, and a member of
the LNH makes a final appearance...

From: EDMLite <robro... at gmail.com>
Subject: LNH: LNH Comics Presents #501: Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Episode 466 (3/5)
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 05:38:11 +0000 (UTC)

1:30 a.m., May 2, 2007

Tavern-on-the-Park, Net.ropolis Map District

    Just two blocks away from the alley where Weirdness Magnet
worked to administer first aid to a lemming stood a restaurant that
had remained untouched by the fighting, the fires and the madness
that had overwhelmed most of the riverfront area.  That Tavern-on-
the-Park had survived the onslaught had nothing to do with luck,
its location, or its legendary reputation for duck comfit and
discreet service.  It was entirely the result of one customer who
made up his mind that he wanted nothing more than some light jazz,
French wine and an hour's peace of mind.

    Arthur E.L. Presence tasted the wine -- a 2002 Cotes-de Bourg
 -- and found it excellent, which was hardly surprising, since he'd
written it to taste that way.  During most of his career as an
international assassin, Presence had accepted much of what the
world had thrown at him, allowing himself to forget his peculiar
status as both a self-aware fictional character and a surrogate
author.  But he never took chances with his wine.

    That was one of the reasons why he'd quietly edited the other
patrons of the restaurant not to pay attention to him, and the
restaurant itself to be unnoticeable to anyone or anything beyond
its walls.  He was therefore quite surprised when a man in a black
trenchcoat stomped past the matire'd, sat at the end of the bar,
and demanded a cup of coffee.

    Arthur E.L. Presence did not like surprises.

    "Good evening," Presence said, walking over to the bar.
"That's a nice coat -- London Fog, isn't it?  Seems almost too
warm for an evening like this."

    "It's my Opinion that the weather is exactly right for this
coat," snapped the stranger.

    Immediately, the temperature in the room dropped by several
degrees, causing one of the women at a nearby table to drape a
shawl around her freckled shoulders.

    "I see," Arthur E.L. Presence said, mentally writing a scene
in which a trapdoor beneath the stranger's stool would open up,
swallowing the arrogant interloper whole.

    "I know what you're thinking," the stranger said, taking a sip
of his coffee.  "But it's my Opinion that this restaurant is of
solid construction, and that there's nothing in the pattern of its
hardwood floor to suggest that anyone ever built a trapdoor there.
Now, if you had written the scene to include an explanation of how
the building had once been a speakeasy where the unscrupulous
owners drugged visitors, dragged them underground, and shanghai'd
them to waiting ships on the river... then you might have had me."

    He took another sip.  "In my Opinion, there's no excuse for
lazy writing."

    Clearly, Arthur E.L. Presence thought, this was a powerful
adversary, no doubt sent by one of his competitors to eliminate
him.  He decided to drop the cloak of subtlety and dispose of the
stranger in one quick stroke.  He imagined a scene in which a black
hole appeared above the bar, just to the right of the stranger's

    Pandemonium filled the restaurant, as plates, glasses, napkins
and bottles of wine -- including a delightful Graves Red, but that
couldn't be helped, Presence thought -- flew toward the spiraling
shape and wrenched themselves into particle-sized pretzels, finally
disappearing in its immense gravity.  The room itself began to
break apart, and the other diners screamed, shrieked and cried,
clinging to whatever they could for what support it would bring

    Opinionated Lad, however, continued drinking his coffee.

    "Sloppy," he said.  "A real black hole would have immediately
consumed this room, this restaurant and probably most of the planet
before anyone here could blink.  You're clearly more interested
in the dramatic value of this anomaly than you are in working out
the way in which it would operate in a realistic setting.  And
that's what really frosts me -- someone trying to introduce
science-fiction elements into the fantasy milieu of a work of super-
hero fiction.  In my Opinion, that's a bunch of crap."

    The black hole vanished, causing everyone and everything that
had been affected by its gravity to fall to the floor.

    "It would appear," Arthur E.L. Presence said, removing his
dinner jacket and offering it to a young brunette whose evening
gown had been sucked into the black hole, "that you may be the most
powerful foe I've encountered... the player on the other side
against whom I've long waited to match myself."

    "That's my Opinion," Opinionated Lad said, pouring another
packet of sugar into his coffee.

    "As no one is paying me to terminate you, however," Presence
said, "it follows that distraction may be the better part of

    Arthur E.L. Presence edited away one of the restaurant's
walls -- one whose bricks had already been warped and distorted
by the power of the black hole -- as well as the building next
door, providing he and Opinionated Lad with a clear view of the
alley where the Incredibly Stupid Man was attempting to milk Udder

    "I'm telling you," the Incredibly Stupid Man said, as Bad-
Timing Boy looked on with interest and Weirdness Magnet slammed his
forehead against the remaining wall, "it's the right thing to do.
We can't just haul her off to jail all full of milk like that."

    "Mooo," Udder Doom agreed.

    "Oh, what the hell is this?" Opinionated Lad asked, rising to
his feet.  "What kind of horse's ass are you supposed to be?"

    "See, that's where you're mistaken," the Incredibly Stupid Man
said.  "I gave up being the Horse's Ass when I joined the LNH, and
became the Incredibly Stupid Man."

    "The hell you did," Opinionated Lad said.  "You look to me like
a joke character somebody wrote for a one-off story who somehow
managed to stick around.  In my Opinion, you should never have
become a member of the Legion."

    The Incredibly Stupid Man vanished.

    "And as for you..." Opinionated Lad said, turning around, but
Arthur E.L. Presence had likewise disappeared.

    "Another time, then," Opinionated Lad said, ignoring the
horrified stares of Weirdness Magnet and Bad-Timing Boy as he
returned to his coffee.

        *                       *                       *

1:45 a.m., May 2, 2007

Fan.way Park, Home of the Net.ropolis Ninja Baseball Team
Southeast of Drayer Park

    "Wham!  Bam!  And down goes spam," said Easily-Discovered Man
Lite, swinging a spatula like a baseball bat to clobber Make Money
Fast Mo.

    "Somebody should have told Triple-X Girl -- and the rest of
these Seven Deadly Sphammers -- that there's room for only one
beautiful, half-naked siren in this town," Ripping Dancer said,
rubbing the knuckles of her right hand.

    "You may have defeated the Sphammers," droned a robotic voice
with the trace of a Polish accent, as a boxy silhouette lumbered
across the infield, an accordion grasped between its pincer-like
claws.  "But you will soon fall before the combined might of the

    "...and the deadly DOCTOR GLOCKENSPIEL!" said a caped man at
shortstop, holding the aforementioned musical instrument as though
there were a perfectly good reason for him to be doing so.

    "You know, I'm actually glad to see that Lawrence Welk is
getting work," said Easily-Discovered Man's sidekick, choking up
on his spatula.  "Sure, he may be dead, corrupted by evil and
placed in a metal shell --love the retro-'50s wind-up robot thing,
by the way -- but you have to admire his staying power."

    "Admire this!" the robot brayed, the stadium's klieg lights
illuminating the swirling brain inside its glass dome.  "A one,
and a two, and..."

    "Ting!" sang Doctor Glockenspiel's glockenspiel, as the two
launched into a hastily-rehearsed version of the "No Beer in Heaven

    "Catchy," Ripping Dancer said, spinning and kicking her long,
sculpted legs as her sinuous hips rocked in time with the music.

    "It... cannot be!" the robot Welk said, shuddering as the
shapely dancer arched one leg high into the air.  "Not only does
our music fail to defeat her..."

    "...but she's using it to destroy our instruments!" Doctor
Glockenspiel said, as Lite knocked the glockenspiel from his hand
and the bellows of the robot Welk's accordion ripped in two.

    "Now... what kind of a dancer would I be if I didn't know how
to polka?" Ripping Dancer asked, using a strip of her torn leotard
to bind the two malevolent musicians together.

    "You'd be... A SOLID GOLD DANCER!" said a man in a white dress
shirt open to the navel and skintight gold lame trousers, emerging
from the visiting players' dugout in sync with half a dozen
similarly-dressed men and women.

    "Man, the villains are coming thick and fast," Lite said,
wiping the sweat from his brow.  "We must finally be getting to the
denouement of this episode."

    "If the '70s taught us anything, it's that hot dancing and
funky music always comes before a climax," said one of the female
dancers, clapping and spinning with the others as they lined up
along the infield.

    "Believe me," said Ripping Dancer, launching into one of her
routines, "nobody needs to teach me when to climax."

    "Damn, but I feel a little bit naughty whenever she says
something like that," said Lite, stepping forward from the
batter's box as a long dark shadow fell across his face.  "Let's
see if I can help your performance... uh-oh..."

    "You're pretty good, little lady," said the first Solid Gold
Dancer.  "But you forgot that we're charged with" -- he snapped his
fingers -- "de-mon-ic energy.  Face it, baby. You're about to get

    Ripping Dancer began to perspire.  "Not...a... chance," she
said, gritting her teeth, her feet a red cloud of infield dust.
"Lite?  A little help, please?"

    "I'll be there as soon as I can," Lite said, as a brown paw
wider than a catcher's mitt lunged at his face.  "There's just the
slight problem of this bear I have to fight first."

        *                       *                       *

1:55 a.m., May 2, 2007

Fan.way Park, Home of the Net.ropolis Ninja Baseball Team
Southeast of Drayer Park

    President William Howard Taft strode through the ranks of Solid
Gold Dancers like a conquering hero, climbing to the top of the
pitcher's mound while the hard white lights above bathed his
desiccated husk of a head with brilliance and the shimmying dancers
sang his name.

    "He's the guy with all the juice
    "Takes on Democrats and that Bull Moose...


    "Damn straight," sang the Dancers, as the zombified former
President gyrated to the wockachicka sounds of his theme music.

    "Broke the trusts and kept the peace
    "Even more powerful now he's deceased...


    "Can you dig it?" the Dancers asked, as the undead executive
roared with delight.

    "Time's up, Taft!" said Occultism Kid, stepping out through a
door in the scoreboard.  "Your days of causing dissention within
the ranks of the Republican party -- and devouring the brains of
the living -- are over!"

    "Well, if it isn't the only magician the Net.Trenchcoat Brigade
ever rejected," said the President, in a husky, throaty voice
Occultism Kid knew all too well.

    "Ol' Scratch," Occultism Kid said, slowly shaking his head.
"I might have guessed."

    "How do you like the latest body I've possessed?" the demon
said, grabbing Taft's swollen stomach.  "You ought to try dressing
up with a few dead Presidents, Kid.  That trenchcoat of yours looks
like it's seen better days!"

    "I happen to have a fondness for things others might consider
to be out of style," Occultism Kid said, reaching within the folds
of his coat.  "Take this, for example... the fabled Eldritch
Cleaver of Oak.LAN, able to put even your twisted soul on ice!"

    The Net Necromancer threw the enchanted cutlery towards the
bloated corpse as the Solid Gold Dancers gasped.  Taft raised a
skeletal hand, and the ebony cleaver halted in mid-air before
dropping to the mound at his feet.  The Dancers applauded.

    "That the best you got?" Ol' Scratch said, the sockets of his
empty eyes glowing red.  "Shoot, boy, if that's all you throwin',
it won't be long before the people of this city will embrace my
policy of dollar diplomacy... and FEAST ON EACH OTHER'S BRAINS!

    "You shoulda called for backup," Scratch added, as black bolts
of retcotheric energy sizzled from his fingertips, searing
Occultism Kid, who toppled to the ground in pain.

    "He didn't need to," said a voice from out of left field.

    "What?  What's this?" Taft said, raising his withered arms
and whirling to face the intruder.  "Well, this is novel, all
right.  I've seen a person wear a monkey suit to a baseball game,
but I never saw a monkey in a trenchcoat before.  Tell the truth,
sucka... is it hard out there for a chimp?"

    "That's gorilla," said the newcomer, clutching a silver ankh
symbol in his simian fist.  "Gothic Gorilla, to you.  And I've come
to impeach your sorry ass."

    The corpse of President Taft beckoned to the Arcane Ape.

    "Bring it on, Bonzo," he growled.

        *                       *                       *

2 a.m., May 2, 2007

Fan.way Park, Home of the Net.ropolis Ninja Baseball Team
Southeast of Drayer Park

    "Can't...stop...dancing!" Ripping Dancer cried, her smooth,
sleek legs moving in sync with those of the Solid Gold Dancers
surrounding her.  "My clothes... they're starting to become all

    "Don't fight it, baby," a curly-haired Dancer said.  "Just
put a little boogie... in your butt!"

    "Hey!  Leave that butt of hers alone!" Easily-Discovered Man
Lite shouted, using his spatula to hold off the slavering fangs of
Thread Bear.  "That butt is a sacred treasure!  It belongs to the

    "Less talking, more rescuing," Ripping Dancer said.  "I
promised my mother on her deathbed that come what may, I'd never
become a disco dancer.  Don't let me let her down!"

    "I'll be working my way back to you, babe," Lite said, leaping
from seat to seat as Thread Bear demolished his way through the
bleachers.  "With a burning love inside!"

    "Please," Ripping Dancer insisted.  "Don't sing anything from
the '70s!"

    "Really?  What about that old Eagles classic...'The Greeks
Don't Want No Freaks!" said a new voice from the top of the
stadium staircase, as a young man wearing a fraternity sweatshirt
blasted Thread Bear with a powerful stream of wood-colored liquid.

    "Frat Boy!  Boy, am I glad to see you," Lite said. "How am I
supposed to use sarcasm and biting wit against wildlife?  It's like
trying to get Dick Cheney to look at the Constitution without
giving it the finger."

    "Hey, I'd never miss the opportunity to bring beers to bears in
baseball," Frat Boy said, cracking his knuckles.  "Although I'm
starting to wonder if blasting him with Samuel Adams' Honey Wheat
was a good idea."

    Thread Bear licked his lips and looked at the Greek Goliath
with something like affection.

    "You know, it's funny," Frat Boy said, edging backwards a
little.  "I'd always heard that Thread Bear was a guy in a bear

    "Tell you what," Lite said, as the bleachers shook with an
ursine growl.  "I'll hold his mouth open, and you stick your
mouth inside and check."

    "I've got a better plan," Frat Boy said, firing a gusher of
Red Stripe at the bear's snout.  "You keep him occupied, and I'll
keep him drinking until he passes out, becomes more sociable, or
goes running off in search of the bathroom."

    "I'm on it!" Lite said, leaping onto the bruin's back and
drawing his spatula against its throat.  Tugging hard with both
hands, the sidekick succeeded in making Thread Bear gag for a
moment before the creature ducked, launching Lite into an empty
concession stand.

    "Okay, I'm off it," Lite groaned, his jeans and T-shirt
dotted with bits of kettle corn.

    "Michelob Light!  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!  Zima!" Frat Boy
cried, pelting Thread Bear with one fermented beverage after
another.  Nothing seemed to slow the bear's advance.  "What am I
going to do?  Hard as it might be for me to believe, this could be
the one time in my life when sweet frosty suds can't save the day!"

    "Never say that," Lite said, using the back of the bleachers
to pull himself to his feet.  "Ever heard of Crazy Ed's Cactus
Creek Chili Beer?"

    "Of course!" Frat Boy said, firing a stream of the strong-
smelling fluid directly at the charging bear's eyes.  Thread Bear
screamed in pain.

    "Sorry, Thread Bear," Lite said, breaking a bleacher seat over
the animal's head.  "But if there's anything you can count on in
baseball, it's that the Cubs will always find a way to lose in the

    "Thanks, F.B.," he added, holding out a hand to Frat Boy as
the bear thudded to the floor.  "Listen, I know some things were
said between us the last time we saw each other...when you were
leading the LNH..."

    "Some things were said," Frat Boy said, letting Lite's hand
hang in the air.

    Lite lowered his hand.

    "I was kind of hoping we could let bygones be bygones," he
said, looking his friend in the eye.

    "I'm willing to forgive," Frat Boy said.  "But the forgetting
part might take me a while."

    "Hey!" shouted Ripping Dancer, whose clothing had almost
completely gone gold.  "How about putting the characterization on
hold for a minute, and dealing with the plot complication over

    "Lady has a point," Frat Boy said, as the other Dancers drew
closer to Ripping Dancer.  "But how are we supposed to stop a
beautiful woman from dancing?  That sounds more like a job for..."

    "No," Lite said.  "Don't say it.  For the love of Pete, don't
say it..."

    "EZEKIEL 21:13," bellowed a voice like an avalanche.  "Thus
says the LORD: A sword, a sword has been sharpened, a sword has
been burnished.  To work slaughter has it been sharpened, to flash
lightning has it been burnished!"

    A whirling shape swept down from the announcer's booth above
the field, striking one Dancer's head -- then another -- and
another -- before returning to the hand of a man who somersaulted
from the broadcast box and landed beside home plate.  He clutched
the object -- a battered, steel-covered Bible -- to his chest with
reverence before hurling it again.

    "Why should I now withdraw it?  You have spurned the rod and
every judgment!" said the Self-Righteous Preacher, wading through
the rows of dancing men and women with a venomous fury.  "While the
sword is doubled and tripled, this sword of slaughter, this great
sword that threatens all around.  That every heart may tremble,
for many will be the fallen!"

    Dancer after dancer fell to the grass, as the Preacher's mighty
Bible smacked against their skulls.

    "Cleave to the right!  Destroy to the left!  Wherever your edge
is turned," the Preacher roared, as the last Solid Gold Dancer
whirled around three times and toppled senselessly to the ground.
"Then I, too, shall brush one hand against the other and wreak my
fury, for I, the LORD, have spoken!"

    "Th...thank you," Ripping Dancer said, shaken.

    "One Kings 21," Self Righteous Preacher said, sneering at the
voluptuous net.heroine with obvious disdain. "Of Jezebel also has
the LORD spoken, saying 'The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district
of Jezreel.' "

    "I've said it before, and I'll say it again," Lite said, as
Self-Righteous Preacher strode past Ripping Dancer with supreme
indifference.  "Organized religion has no place on a baseball

        *                       *                       *

2:15 a.m., May 2, 2007

Fan.way Park, Home of the Net.ropolis Ninja Baseball Team
Southeast of Drayer Park

    "My Dancers may have fallen," Ol' Scratch said, extending his
arms toward Occultism Kid.  "But you'll find this old snake in the
grass is harder to beat," he added, as pale, ethereal serpents flew
from his sleeves, wrapping themselves around the Legionnaire.

    "Foul refugees from the netherworld!" Occultism Kid spat, as
the translucent serpents bared their fangs in his face.  "They have
no place on this level of reality!  Somebody get these
mother*@#$%^ing snakes off this mother@#$%^&ing plane!"

    "Done!" said Gothic Gorilla, casting an old Celtic spell known
as Patrick's Reptilian Repellant to dissipate the snakes.  "But
what are we going to do about the Presidential revenant?  I've
tried every spell and cantrip in my mystic arsenal... Egyptian,
Pictish, Mayan, Babylonian..."

    "We haven't tried Canadian," Occultism Kid said, raising his

    "Of course!" Gothic Gorilla said, as Ol' Scratch prepared
another attack.

    Side by side, the two heroic sorcerers began their incantation,
chanting together in a low voice.

    "By the Maple Leafs of Toronto
    "And Dion's flaring skirt
    "I bind you with the threefold pow'r
    "Of Lifeson, Lee and Peart!"

    "NOOOOOO!" Ol' Scratch screamed, as a circle of red flame
flared to life in the dirt beneath Taft's feet.  A pentagram
appeared in the circle, and three swirling hoops of pure energy
surrounded the demonic President, who pounded his fleshless fists
against them, to no avail.

    "You've trapped me with the power of Rush... the one band that
can never be broken!" the demon cried.

    "And now... we banish you from that which you stole... and from
this plane of existence!" said Occultism Kid, drawing the album
cover of "2112" from his trenchcoat and holding it before him like
a shield.

    "Very well," Ol' Scratch hissed.  "But not even their triune
power will save you from what lies ahead, spellcaster.  You know as
well as I that the hour of darkness is fast approaching... and when
its curtain falls, the damage we few have done today will be as a
blessed memory to those accursed souls who remain!"

    With that, the demon screamed... and the lifeless mass of
President Taft crumpled to the smoking pitcher's mound.

    "Exactly what hour of darkness was he talking about?" Gothic
Gorilla asked.

    "I'll fill you in on the way to LNH headquarters," Occultism
Kid said, as Self-Righteous Preacher, Frat Boy, Ripping Dancer and
Easily-Discovered Man Lite approached the infield.  "Something is
coming that will require the assistance of every friend the Legion
has ever had."

         *                       *                       *

2:24 a.m., May 2, 2007

Net.ropolis Brewery, south of Fan.way Park

    "Disaster?  Baby, there's no such thing as a public relations
disaster," said PR Kid, barking into a cell phone while pacing
before the front entrance of the Net.ropolis Brewery -- known to
generations of college students as the producer of "Net.ty Light."

    "Sure, people are burning our images in effigy right now," PR
Kid said, checking his Botoxed image in the mirrored lens of his
sunglasses.  "But thirty-nine percent say we're still more popular
than David Beckham... and you can take that to the bank, baby!"

    "Hold on, Lou," PR Kid added, as a mountain of muscle stomped
toward the brewery gates.  "The public wants a word."

    "Out of my way, puke!" the Chuggernaut shouted, one massive
fist crushing a streetside garbage bin as though it were an empty
beer can.  "I been locked up in that prison of yours for more than
a year without a brew!  I'm taking every last drop the city has...
and I'll flatten anyone or anything who gets in my way!"

    "Lou, you should see this guy!" PR Kid said, nodding and
smiling at the Chuggernaut while continuing his cell phone
conversation.  "He's got charisma that cannot be denied! What?  See
how he likes the LNH dice?  Well, it seems like the wrong time for
a product demo, but nobody knows 'em like you, Lou!"

    The Legionnaire reached into his pocket with his free hand and
scattered a handful of plastic dice on the path in front of him,
just as the Chuggernaut began his charge.  The titanic villain
sprinted toward PR Kid, tattered Hawaiian shirt flapping as he ran
-- and then sputtered obscenities as he lost his footing on the
pool of dice.

    Feet kicking, arms windmilling, dice flying in every direction,
the Chuggernaut wavered backwards and forwards for a few seconds
before losing traction altogether.  He clattered to the ground with
a tremendous thud, blinked twice, and was still.

    "You got the passion, sweetheart," PR Kid said, leaving a
business card on the chest of the unconscious villain.  "What you
need is better representation.  Call me.

    "I told Ultimate Ninja there'd be demand for those dice," PR
Kid said, continuing on his way.  "Now, on that Infinite Leadership
Crisis commemorative chess set... I want higher production values,
I want to move up the shipping date, and I want fewer clothes on
the Catalyst Lass piece.  What?  I don't care if she is the Queen!
Royalty got booty too, you know.  Look at Fergie!  No, not that

          *                       *                       *

2:35 a.m., May 2, 2007

Cauliflower the Christmas Miracle Pooch Memorial Playground,
Drayer Park

    "This is the way the world ends," Cynical Lass said, freezing a
Doughboy in mid-attack with her withering stare.  "Not with a bang,
but with yet another long, pointless fight scene."

    "It's just like you to take the fun out of a perfectly nice
campaign of senseless -- huh! -- violence," Footnote Girl said,
smashing the frozen golem into a thousand pieces with her hockey
stick.  "After being cooped up in that nether-realm for all those
months, it's nice to have a little fresh air and exercise for a

    "That's exactly the problem," Cynical Lass said, wiping a chunk
of shattered Doughboy from her hair.  "Haven't you ever wondered
why we usually have these showdowns in large abandoned warehouses,
blind alleys, or remote islands populated by creatures from a long-
forgotten time?"

    "Isn't it because that's where the villains are?" the
Parenthetical Princess replied.

    "We have our battles there for the same reason they test
nuclear weapons underground," Cynical Lass said.  "Because if
people were ever able to see how much damage they really did, they
might get upset enough to do something about it."

    "If you say so," Footnote Girl said, using the handle of her
hockey stick to scratch behind her ear.  "But what's somebody going
to do about it?"

    "Well, for openers they could -- watch out!" Cynical Lass said,
pulling Footnote Girl out of the way as a pair of scalpel-sharp
star-shaped waffles whizzed past.

    "I'd just give up if I were you," said Downyflake, drawing
another pair of waffle shuriken from one of the many pockets on
his silver suit.  "Unlike, say, George Lucas, I don't usually miss
more than once."

    Footnote Girl giggled.

    "Oh come on," Cynical Lass said.  "It's a dated reference."

    "It's not that," Footnote Girl explained.  "It's... oh, if
either of you could see the footnote..."

    "What is she talking about?" Downyflake said, looking down.

    "This," said Footnote Girl, driving the blade of her hockey
stick into his foot, and then jerking up, hard.  Cynical Lass
followed with a strong right cross to the villain's face.

    "Kid," said Cynical Lass, placing an arm around Footnote Girl's
shoulders as Downyflake keeled over, "this could be the beginning
of a beautiful friendship.  I..."


    Cynical Lass stumbled backwards as a long wooden pole jabbed
at her shoulder blades, her neck and her waist.

    "Bastard got me on pressure points..." the blonde hero gasped,
collapsing.  "Give 'em hell, kid."

    Footnote Girl stared at the half-human, half-robotic form of
the Alt.Imate Ninja twirling its staff in front of her and

    "How am I supposed to do that?" she asked.

    TOMORROW: Alt.Imate Ninja against the LNH!  Mynabird's
showdown with Fearless Leader!  And the Easily-Discovered Bran
Mite comes face-to-face with his arch-nemesis...

    Congratulations to Mitchell "Tarq" Crouch, winner of the
"Name the Team" contest!  Your season tickets to the
Net.ropolis Ninja are on their way!

Next Week:  Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Conclusion Part III!!

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

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