Retcon Midnight
Chapter Three: "The Calm Before the Storm"

by Drizzt
© 1994

"Are you... the Drizzt?" Kid Chivalry asked the shadowy figure.

"But of course," the cosmic entity replied with a bow. Stepping forward, the assembled heroes saw that he was a nondescript-looking figure, dressed in a Saint Louis Cardinals T-shirt and munching on microwave popcorn. "Certainly <crunch, crunch> took your time getting here <smack>, didn't you?"

He deposited the half-full popcorn bag on a shelf. "Well, come on, let's get to work. We don't have much time before he gets here, so I'll need to tell you my plan."

"Hold on a second," Curly said in a suspicious tone. "We don't know anything about you, Drizzt. Just who do you think you are to come in and try to take control of everything?"

"That's 'the Drizzt'," the omnipotent being said gently, steering the remnant of the LNH down a hallway.

"Whatever. The point is, who do you think you are to come in and take over everything? If you're so all-knowing and all powerful, why didn't you do something when Dr. Armaggeddon took over Net.ropolis and slaughtered the rest of the LNH?"

"Because it wasn't my time to act. Now it is. Ah, here we are." He opened a door and gestured for the others to enter.

The room that stretched before them was alive with monitors and electronic equipment of every sort, showing scenes from places all over the earth. The Drizzt sat down at one computer terminal, then turned back to Curly. "To be brief, I have... problems with manifesting myself outside the Drizztsat. It has to do with the nature of reality and unreality. Don't bother to ask," he said, quieting Curly's next question, "the answer is far beyond your understanding. Suffice it to say that I can't leave the Drizztsat without there being terrible consequences for all the Looniverse. It is also equally difficult for me to manifest the lion's share of my power outside of these walls. And now, if you're through wasting my time with questions that you'll forget the answers to once reality is restored to its natural flow—"

"You know about that?" Curly sounded faintly surprised.

"My dear musclebound friend," the Drizzt said, with only a slight note of condescension in his voice, "you'll find there's little I don't know."

"Of course," Kid Chivalry said, snapping his fingers. "You're a five-dimensional entity. Your consciousness is the same on every plane of reality you exist on." Everyone turned surprised looks on him, and he shrugged. "I remembered it from one of Dr. Stomper's lectures."

"Which means?" Rebel Yell queried.

"My young friend means that I know everything all my parallel counterparts do. In fact, I am the sum total of all the Drizzts on all different planes of reality. But enough of that. Back to my plan."

"Pliable Lad, the change in this reality was made possible by your being blocked from entering this reality by someone wielding one of the Rings of Retcon. In order to fix-"

"One of the Rings of Retcon?" Kid Chivalry asked. "You mean there are more than one?"

The Drizzt sighed. "Are y'all going to keep interupting me all day? Yes, there are nine Rings of Retcon in existence, though in the original reality, the LNH had only encountered one of them. And, as I was saying, because reality was changed with one of them, there are two possible ways to solve the problem: use that Ring to fix the timeline, possibly aggravating the timeline's condition if we used the wrong Ring, or use a more powerful source to repair the... damage."

"The Cosmic Plot-Device," Rebel Yell concluded.

The Drizzt shook his head. "No, the Cosmic Plot-Device could counter its effects if used as the retcon was made, but once it had taken place, the Plot-Device wouldn't do us much good. It affects the present and the future, not the past. Instead, we need... the Ring of Continuity. The one Ring, to restore the one Reality."

"So, where is it? How do we get it?" Kid Chivalry asked.

"Well, there's the hitch. After Dr. Armaggeddon defeated the LNH, he became obsessed with remaining in power. He accumulated all nine of the Rings of Retcon, and the one Ring of Continuity."

"So, you mean we've got to beat Dr. A to fix reality?" Cannon Fodder exclaimed. "The whole LNH couldn't do that."

"No," the Drizzt said, an enigmatic smile on his face, "but there is one person who could stand toe to toe with Armaggeddon when he wields the nine Rings. And he's on his way here..."

As he approached the source of the retcon, reality warped itself around him. He sensed it as continuity itself cried out to him as if in pain. However, that was the least of his problems, as the retcon worked its insidious change upon him.

One of the parallel sets of memories he had had slowly slid from his mental grasp, as though it had never existed. He no longer remembered exactly what was wrong on the planet earth, only that something was. His looks had changed drastically as well. Gone was the costume he had worn before, replaced with something new.

But the physical changes were nothing compared to the mental change. Gone was the caring, patient, controlled defender of reality. In his place flew a being of power barely bridled, threatening to surge out of control and envelop whatever was nearby. Planets shifted in their orbits as he passed by, stars flared and erupted from his proximity. The thin veneer of control was wiped away, leaving in its place an elemental force of... continuity.

It was this inhuman force that now bore down upon the Drizztsat.

"You said he only uses nine Rings. What about this Ring of Continuity?" Rebel Yell asked.

"Oh, of course. You see, continuity and retcon are forces that are diametrically opposed, yet by definition are linked. Retcons serve to disrupt continuity, but where there is no continuity, retcons cannot occur. Thus, Dr. Armaggeddon cannot wield both the nine Rings and the one Ring, so he has chosen to store away the one Ring, for he cannot do away with it, you see."

Actually, most of those assembled did not see at all, but knew somehow that such was the most comprehensible explanation they'd probably receive. They nodded anyway.

"And, here's the one we need right... now," the Drizzt said, looking down at his watch. As if in answer, the heroes heard the sound of metal being torn asunder. Loud booms resounded from other parts of the Drizztsat, as they sensed that "he" (whoever "he" was) had arrived.

Then, suddenly, they felt him. The air around them seemed to crackle as energies carelessly left uncontrolled roiled and surged in the air around them. More than one felt their temples begin to pound from the sheer power that had arrived.

Then, he stood in the doorway, and instantly those assembled knew that Continuity Champ was among them. Oh, not the Continuity Champ that Pliable Lad, Drifter, Windrider, and the Drizzt knew from the original continuity. No, Darryth Rath had changed much. His very appearance was wilder, more savage than before. Gone was the buffoonish, green-orange-and-purple costume, replaced with wicked-looking black armor. Rath's blue skin had also been bleached slightly somewhere along the way, and a long mane of tangled dark blue hair cascaded down to his shoulders. The gaze he fixed on the others was that of a wild animal, free and powerful.

"Glad you could make it," the Drizzt said nonchalantly.

Continuity Champ — or Darryth Rath, for the CC they had known was gone — turned to the Drizzt. Vague recognition came to him. "Jaeger?" Rath said horsely, in a voice unused for months.

For the first time, the Drizzt seemed taken off guard. "What- How- Who-" he began, then calmed himself. "How did you know to call me that name?"

Rath shrugged slightly, and the energy in the room became almost unbearable. Then, the Drizzt seemed to change back to his usual eccentric self.

"Well, be that as it may, we have need of you now. Reality has been altered, you no doubt know."

"Yes... I sensed... something... wrong..."

The Drizzt nodded. "The one who did this is below, in Net.ropolis. You remember Net.ropolis? The LNH's old headquarters?" Rath gave a hesitant nod. "Good. You're the only one who can challenge him. He's simply too powerful. You must get his Rings to stop him. You can sense the Rings, can't you?"

"I go," Rath said simply. Then, he went, hurtling through the structure of the Drizztsat itself, carelessly destroying anything in his path. The heroes were only saved by the force field the quick-thinking Drizzt erected around them.

"Well," the cosmic entity said dryly, surveying the wreckage and the huge hole Rath had created, "this would take me a while to fix. I'll have to remember to repair it when I fix reality."

"Why did you lie to him and tell him Dr. A was the cause of all this? It's the retcon that's responsible for it," Organic Lass asked.

The Drizzt turned back to the LNH. "He'll be more motivated to win now. Besides, I doubt he could grasp some of the higher concepts of the shift in his present mental state." Several of the LNHers agreed. "Well, now we really haven't much time, so no questions, now. You must sneak into Armaggeddon's headquarters while he is... otherwise occupied." A wry grin spread to his lips. "Find the vault in the sub-basements where he keeps artifacts of power he can't use. Get the Ring, then get clear of the building. I can't teleport you directly into or out of the building," the Drizzt said almost apologetically. "Our foe seems to have errected some sort of disruptive energy barrier around it. Just get clear and I'll find you. Good luck." And with that, the Drizztsat faded around them.

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04