Blue Light Productions presents

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                C H R I S T M A S    S P E C I A L
       [Cover is of a typical nativity scene, with Agent and Missy as 
        Joseph and Mary, and Dva, Morph and the Net.Elementalist as the 
                        Three Wise Kings.]
                          "CHRIST MASS"
5 BC:
The woman felt a powerful jolt flow through her, and she whimpered. She 
had no idea it was going to be like this. Pain and pleasure wracked her 
body, and she gave another push.
        Her breaths came in shallow gasps, short and quick. Another 
push. Was this never to end? Was she to spend an eternity in this 
heavenly nightmare?
        Another push, and finally she sagged, crying with relief. Her 
husband, with an unusual sense of skill, cut the umbilical cord. He 
picked the baby up, and cleaned it off. It didn't cry, but already 
looked at the world through intelligent eyes. It gurgled a little as its 
father cradled it.
        The mother reached for it, and her husband gently passed it. 
"It's a boy," he said in deep, rough tones.
        The mother needed only to look once at the baby, and felt her 
love flow.
        "My son," she whispered. "Jesus."
996 AD:
The woman screamed. The birth wasn't easy, but she was determined. This 
must be. Her husband was at her side, her hand grasping his.
        "Push," said the priest, watching as the baby slowly emerged. 
        The woman pushed, another spasm racking her body. She gasped, 
and drew a ragged breath.
        "Just once more, my lady. Once more," said the priest.
        A commotion outside drew the priest's attention, and dark shapes 
        "No, evil, be banished from this place." The priest held up his 
cross before him.
        "Your god shall do you no good," said the man in dark flowing 
clothing, a sword snaking out and through the priest's chest.
        The woman cried out, fear rippling through her. "NO! Leave my 
baby alone!"
        The husband leapt in front of her, but was easily pulled aside 
and killed by one of the dark one's servants.
        "Our Lord, the Dark King, commands your death," the dark one 
spat. "And the death of your brat. So be it."
        "NOOOO!!!" The scream rent the air in its torment, but the woman 
still died.
        As did the child, its feet still inside the uterus.
1996 AD:
-24 hours:
The husband swung the baby threw the air, hearing the excited gurgles.
        "Barry, stop that," admonished Alice. "You're making her dizzy. 
You can clean up the mess this time."
        Barry smiled, but stopped swinging Abby around like an airplane. 
He hugged her close. "Your mother worries so much about you," he said to 
the baby. "Yes, she does. If she's not careful, she'll end up a little 
old shrew, doing nothing but complaining."
        He ducked back quickly as Alice threw a playful punch at him. 
"Put her down and help me with this turkey," she said. "We've got 
plenty of years to smother her yet."
        Barry set Abby down, who immediately grabbed a nearby Panta doll 
and tried to bite it's head off.
        "Ah, my poor collection," said Barry, in mock weariness. 
"Nothing now but a baby's plaything."
        "I'd hope you have better things to play with than an old Panta 
doll," said Alice, then squealed as Barry grabbed her from behind.
        Far above this family scene starlight was reaching the earth's 
atmosphere. But this was highly unusual starlight.
"All right, what was so important that I had to be dragged out here?" 
asked Morph, walking beside Agent as they passed through the corridors 
of the Net.Ropolis Telescope Observatory, situated south of the 
superhero-ridden city.
        "They spotted a new star this evening. Or so they think," said 
        Morph sighed. Always destined to play the companion's role. 
"Well," he prompted. "What is it really?"
        A far-off look became apparent in Agent's face. "It's a rather 
unique star. Completely undetectable except in certain circumstances."
        Morph growled, a sign that he was getting ready to strangle 
someone. "And which circumstances are those?"
        "When God wants it to be visible."
Dva was sitting in the cafeteria, idly eating a piece of cheesecake as 
the impending LNH Christmas Disaster approached. Either some villain 
would try a take-over, or the LNHQ would be destroyed, or something, but 
this time the LNH intended to be ready.
        Not ready to stop the menace before it occurred, mind you. Ready 
to party hard after they inevitably defeated it.
        Dva sensed a presence standing next to her, and she looked up to 
see Sarcastic Lad leering over her.
        "Hey baby, you ready for some Christmas spirit? I've got some 
mistletoe set up in my room if you wanna get a head start."
        Dva's gaze quickly flittered over the cafeteria. A fair amount 
of superheroes were gathered here, she saw, including Organic Lass, 
Curious Lass and Retcon Lad. Oh well, time for fun.
        "I don't think I can wait that long," Dva said in a low sultry 
tone. "Why don't we step into the kitchen?" She stood up and placed a 
hand on Sarc's arm.
        Grinning widely, Sarc led the way to the Culinary Creation Center.
        "Um," said Organic Lass, quietly in the silence that followed 
the dazzling display of Sarcastic Lad's ability over woman. "Has anyone 
actually told him..."
        Several members in the room clicked, and when Sarcastic Lad ran 
screaming out of the kitchen a few moments later, he did so through a 
gale of humiliating laughter.
        Organic Lass saw Dva lean in the kitchen doorway, and waved a 
mock-angry finger at him, unable to keep the smile off her face.
"What the hell do you mean 'When God wants it to be visible'?" asked 
Morph, confusion overriding his anger.
        "Certain events in this planet's history have needed certain.. 
other events to be associated with them. Admittedly, this particular 
event is rather new, relatively speaking."
        Agent pulled open a large door, and strode into the main 
observatory. Morph's attention was momentarily diverted as he looked 
up.. and up at the large telescope. Gantries surrounding it, as did 
machinery to enable it to rotate. Astronomers clambered over things as 
they moved about.
        "Did you find it?" Morph turned to see Agent standing next to an 
astronomer. Closing in, he spotted the name badge: CHIEF ASTRONOMER, DR 
        "Not yet, but we're still looking. Are you sure that it will be 
        "Certain of it," said Agent. "It can't not be."
        "Dr. Bailey," someone called out. "We think we've found 
        Dr. Bailey hurried over, Agent and Morph following.
        "What are they looking for?" asked Morph quietly.
        "Something I asked them to. A new star, or so they think."
        Morph looked at Agent. "I thought you just said they found a new 
        "Yes. And this is the new star they will find," said Agent 
        Morph shook his head wearily at this.
        Dr. Bailey handed them a sheet of data. "This is what we have 
found so far," she said.
        Agent glanced over the sheet. "Is there any chance we can see 
it?" he asked.
        "Come this way."
        Dr. Bailey led them to the bottom of the telescope, and Morph felt
a thrill run through him as he stared into the heavens with this man-made
device. In plain view, even in the overcast winter sky, was a bright
shining light source.
        "Have you managed to work out where it's directed?" Agent asked 
Dr. Bailey.
        "We've only just located it. We're not sure it's directed 
anywhere yet."
        "Oh, it is. And it's imperative that I know where." Agent 
stepped away. "I'll be in touch."
        He walked off, leaving Morph to shrug and follow.
Up in the LNHQ labs, Missy was working alongside Doctor Stomper. "What 
that?" she asked.
        "A neural observer," said Doctor Stomper, absently. "Allows us 
to trace neural pathways without needing to physically interface with 
the patient."
        "Rather inefficient," was the judgment.
        Doctor Stomper looked up in surprise. "What? That's a testament 
to its time. A triumph of science and medicine."
        Missy shrugged. "It be better if could study, memorise, work out 
correct neural pathway and alter to fit."
        "Rather dangerous. You risk permanent brain damage if there's 
any computer error anywhere."
        "I never have computer error," said Missy. "No such thing as 
computer error."
        "There's no computer error, only human error," Stomper quoted.
        Missy picked up a scan.thingee and asked "What is computer?"
Morph waited until they were back in the van before asking "So why isn't 
the star new?"
        Agent pulled out of the parking lot. "You should have asked what 
kind of star is it."
        Morph gritted his teeth for a moment. "Okay, what sort of star 
is it?"
        "A pulsar. A very special pulsar."
        Morph waited, determined not to ask any more questions and annoy 
the answers out of Agent instead.
        "It emits only once per 1000 years, and only for about 25 hours."
        Mentally giving up, Morph said "That's awfully odd behaviour for 
a pulsar."
        "It's an awfully odd pulsar. Instead of emitting in every 
direction, it only emits in one direction. Towards earth."
        "Just what are you saying?"
        "You should be able to work it out for yourself. Or have you 
read too much Arthur C. Clark?"
        Morph though about it. Every one thousand years. What happened 
that often?
        "Nope, dunno. Tell me."
        Agent sighed. "It started about two thousand years ago. Exactly. 
To the day."
        Morph worked on it a bit. "4 BC? What's so exciting about 4 BC? 
0 BC, I'd give you. Or is it 0 AD?"
        Agent shook his head. "Neither. It went from 1 BC to 1 AD. But 
you're on the right track. It's just that it has been worked out that 
Jesus was born about 5 BC, not later. Exactly 2000 years ago."
        "Jesus? Jesus Christ? Manger, virgin birth, etc, etc?"
        "Yes. Don't you believe in that sort of thing?"
        "Well, I learnt about it when growing up, but after reading 
stuff, and the things that happened to me, well... after a while it 
becomes just a story."
        "As the Death of Rats put it: 'Just?' Well, he actually said
'SQUEAK', but he meant 'Just?'..."

-22 hours:
"Are you trying to tell us that there really was a Christ?" asked Dva, 
seated around a table, opposite Agent, with Missy on her right and Morph 
on her left.
        "There really was something happening in that time period. King 
Herod killed people. Bethlehem was the site of some pretty usual 
activity. And later on, there were events that were attributed to the 
Son of God. But as to the actual nature of the background of those 
events.." Agent shrugged. "Christ is as good an explanation as anything."
        "And we're seeing the second coming of Jesus Christ?" asked Morph.
        "Please, what is Christ?" asked Missy.
        "Religious figure," said Agent, dismissively. "Proportedly the 
Son of God, born two thousand years ago. Performed miracles."
        "Ah, religion. I believe Moles had something like similar. Lots 
of Gods. God of Dark. God of Night."
        "Christianity believes in only one God," said Morph.
        "Jupiter did get quite a good deal out of that," said Agent, but 
refused to explain the comment.
        "And now Son of God coming back?" asked Missy.
        "He 'comes back', as you put it, every thousand years."
        "But if he did that in... 996 AD, we would know about it."
        A look of sadness came over Agent's face. "There was a birth in 
a town in England. As the star's light was directed at Bethlehem two 
thousand years ago, so it shone on Muddenham one thousand years ago.
        "However, Satanists, as they were called, overran the birthing 
ceremony. The monks who sheltered the couple, ready for that event, were 
all killed. So was the woman and man. As was the baby, half born."
        Silence reigned as they digested this.
        "And is that why we must find out where the star's light is 
headed?" asked Dva, carefully changing the direction of the conversation.
        "Yes," said Agent. "Once we find out, we've got to get to 
wherever and make sure it happens right."
        "We're the protectors of the Lord?" asked Morph. "Rather... 
arrogant of us."
        "Not protectors, per se. But there are forces, like the 
Satanists, who want things to happen differently. We're going to make 
sure that the right forces are in control."
        "Namely, us?"
        "Namely," said Agent, "the good guys. And I just hope we're them."
        "Are we going to bring the Net.Elementalist in on this?" Dva 
        "I don't think he'll be too happy about it. He considers himself 
on vacation, and at Christmas time..." mused Morph.
        Agent glared at Morph. "Haven't you been listening? It's 
precisely because it is Christmas time that we need him. But don't 
worry. Until the Observatory can locate when the light is being directed 
to, there's nothing we can do."
-13 hours:
The phone rang, disturbing Barry's sleep. He threw back the covers, and 
reached out for the phone. As he did so, something caught his eye, 
someone standing at the side of the bed.
        His brain suddenly kicking into alert mode, he sat up, his heart 
thumping, but there was nothing to see.
        "Barry, get the phone," mumbled Alice, twisting in bed slightly.
        Barry let it ring for a few more moments, making sure there was 
nothing wrong. Unable to find anything, he finally answered it.
        "Hello?" he said in a distracted voice.
        "Hey, Netty, listen up," said a disturbingly chipper voice.
        "Morph? Why are you ringing?"
        "To tell you to get up here, of course. We've gotta go to Rome."
        "What are you talking about? I'm not going anywhere. I'm on 
holiday, remember?"
        "Leave's cancelled. According to Agent," said Morph.
        "Tell Agent this, and I mean it in the scatalogical sense: Bite 
        "Hey, Netty, don't be like that. We're going to need your help."
        Barry frowned. "What's with this 'Netty'?"
        "You know how long it takes to say Net.Elementalist? It's an 
abbreviation. N. E. T. Dot. E. Pronounced 'Netty'," explained Morph.
        "Yeah, whatever. I'm not interested. Goodbye."
        Barry moved the receiver back towards its rest, but heard Morph 
squawk. "Hey, wait a minute. Just let me say one thing."
        Barry hesitated, then gave in. "What?" he asked, returning the 
phone to his ear.
        "Agent says 'How would you like to meet God?'"
        "True. We're going to meet him. Wanna come?"
        Barry mentally struggled for a moment. "All right. I'll be there 
later, if only to keep you guys from pissing Him off. Where?"
        "Waffle Palace. Don't worry about breakfast, you can eat here."
        "I'll see you later," said Barry firmly, then replaced the 
receiver without waiting.
        Alice was awake by this time. "You're going, aren't you? You 
promised you were on holiday," she said.
        "I know, but it sounds like Agent went off the deep end. I gotta 
be with them."
        "And what about Abby? Shouldn't you be with her for Christmas?"
        Barry was about to say something, then remembered. This was 
Christmas, Christmas in the LNHiverse. Oh, cruk.
        "I gotta go, if only to make sure that we'll still have a 
Christmas for Abby to enjoy."
        Alice looked at Barry, puzzled. Barry smiled, for her. "Let's 
have breakfast before I leave," he suggested.
-12 hours:
"What kept you?" asked Agent shortly, as the Net.Elementalist sat down 
at their table in the Waffle Palace.
        The Net.Elementalist glared at Agent. "You got me off holiday 
for this. I have better places to be. If all you want to do is chew me 
out, I'll go be in those better places."
        Morph raised his hands. "All right, let's not get carried away 
here. This is Christmas, time of good cheer."
        "Is it?" asked Missy. "I always of good cheer."
        "Well, not all of us are Chubs," Morph said. "Now, Netty, 
according to Agent, Christ is going to be born soon, in Rome, and we got 
to be there to make sure it happens."
        "What?" said Netty. "What birth of Christ?"
        "Morph," said Agent. "Fill 'Netty' in."
        Morph did so, explaining about the birth every thousand years, 
and about the star.
        "And now the star is shining on Rome?" said Netty.
        "Yes," replied Agent. "I suppose I should have worked that one 
out before. It is the centre of Christianity, and all that. Wouldn't have 
thought that it would have been in such an abvious place."
        "And all that, geez. There is more than creed of 'Christianity',
so it doesn't just have one centre. Likewise, there are the other
religions that look similar to Christianity, at least from an outsiders
point of view: such as Protestantism, Anglicanism and Mormonism. To say
that Rome is the centre of Christianity, and that the Pope is its only
leader and that that is the be all and end all of all Christ-related
religions is to deny existence of all other religions and creeds
worldwide, and is the kind restrictive viewpoint that leads to backwards
progessivemnt of mankind," ranted Netty.
        "That's what I meant by 'and all that'," said Agent, unabashed.
        Netty sighed, then glanced at Dva, who looked half-asleep. "What
is he doing?"
        "Making sure we aren't overheard," said Agent. "We have to work 
out how we get to Rome."
        "Quickest way is by transporters," said Netty. "Or use a 
        "And the LNH will lend that to us because..." prompted Agent.
        Netty smiled wryly. "Yes, well, you don't exactly try hard in 
the public relations area, do you?"
        "Could you fly us there?" Agent asked.
        "In a flight.thingee, yeah, I can fly one." Agent continued to 
look at Netty. He clicked. "You mean fly there, as in under my own 
power? I have a hard enough time flying myself via lag, and I don't 
think you want to try by flame."
        Agent shrugged. "Worth a try." He turned to Morph. "You?"
        "Me? Umm, no," replied Morph, not even giving the impression 
that he thought about it very hard, or at all. "Think of size. Car, yes, 
one man rocket, yes. Team plane, no."
        "You have no normal transport?" asked Missy.
        "Yes, although it takes some time, but it appears we have no 
choice." Agent looked sternly at Morph and Netty, neither giving signs 
of giving in. "Five tickets to Rome, pronto, then."
-11 hours:
"What is passport?" asked Missy.
        "You possibly should have thought about that a leetle bit 
harder," said Morph.
        "Shut up," said Agent.
-10 hours:
"Go, go, go," said Dva, scrambling on board the flight.thingee, hovering 
just outside the LNHQ.
        "He isn't mad, is he?" asked Netty, at the controls.
        "You kidding?" replied Dva, strapping herself down. "This is the 
Ultimate Ninja we're talking about."
        "Let's go, already," said Agent, who, after one look at the 
control panel, had sat in a back seat.
        The flight.thingee rose, sank, then rose again.
        Missy looked out the window from the co-pilot seat. "Supposed to 
be black smoke?"
        "All the others were gone," said Netty, defensively. "We're 
lucky this one still works." The craft lurched to one side as Netty 
pushed it forwards. "More or less."
        "How long is it going to take us to get to Rome?" asked Agent, 
through forced politeness.
        "At this rate, several hours," said Morph, doing the preliminary 
        "This is worse than an airline," said Agent.
        "At least we don't have to worry about customs, passports, or an 
hour and a half wait after check-in," said Dva.
        Agent glared at her.
        "What's the worry for, anyway?" asked Morph. "Plenty of time 
before anything happens."
        "We have until midnight. Then it is Christmas Day and the birth 
of Jesus Christ will begin. It is just a coincidence, by the way, that
the birth will be on the 25th of December. 1000 years ago, it wasn't on
the 25th, and 2000 years ago, it wasn't even in December."
        "Midnight's over twelve hours away," said Dva.
        "Ten," said Agent. "You're thinking EST. We need to be on 
Italian time."
        "Just as well he isn't being born in Net.Zealand then, or we'd 
already be too late," pointed out Netty.
        "Shut up and drive," said Agent.
-2 hours:
"I still can't believe it took eight hours," said Agent, exiting the 
craft that was finally sitting on Italian soil.
        "Next time you might want to steal a craft that doesn't use up 
all its fuel while over the Alt.lantic Ocean," said Morph.
        "Well, if we don't steal a craft, next time, the Ultimate Ninja 
might be more inclined to help the authorities," said Netty, stomping 
after Agent.
        Outside, it was a clear night, and the star that brought them 
here was plainly visible.
        "Where exactly are we?" asked Dva.
        "Just north of Fiumicino," said Agent. "Closest airport for us. 
Rome's only about 20 kilometers, that way." Agent pointed east.
        "Taxi?" suggested Morph.
        "You have lira, do you?" asked Agent.
        "Ever heard of an exchange bureau?" returned Morph.
        "Anyway, I though you said you could turn into a car," replied 
        Morph sighed. He could tell that it was going to be a long night.
-1 hour:
"Isn't the star supposed to guide us?" asked Netty, after Morph had 
driven around Vatican City for over half-an-hour.
        "Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to want to guide us any further 
than this city," said Agent, looking out the front window, up at the 
stellar object in question. "Perhaps as time draws closer, more will 
become evident."
        "Perhaps we should be looking for full inns that have just put 
women into stables," suggested Dva sardonically.
        "Most likely, the Church will be keeping a very close eye on all 
expectant mothers at this moment."
        "Why don't we ask someone?" asked Netty.
        "For directions to the birth of Christ? I can see people being 
very forthcoming about that."
        "Aren't we supposed to be the protectors, or something?" asked 
Morph, his voice coming from a grill on the dashboard. "And, by the way, 
if anyone cares, carrying one person is a lot easier than two."
        "But, you're carrying four," Netty pointed out.
        "Perhaps you can spot something from the air," said Agent.
        Netty considered this. "It's an idea, at least."
        The roof right above Netty irised open. "Right then," said 
Morph. "Leave when ready."
        "Net!" A moment later, Netty was surveying all of Rome from the 
air. Via their communication bands, he reported "Nothing immediately 
strikes me. I'll be in touch."
        For the next thirty minutes, this continued, but then Netty had 
something to say. "That star of yours," he said. "It's making an actual 
visible light, down onto the city, in the north."
        "Come back here and guide us," said Agent.
        Ten minutes later, they were all standing outside a run-down 
building that had been left to rot. The area they were in seemed 
particularly rife with that style of architecture. It was bathed in 
light from above.
        "Modern day equivalent of an inn, 'and all that'," said Netty,
        "This is where Son of God will born?" asked Missy.
        "Looks like it," said Agent, frowning.
        "Not very respectful," she replied.
        "We got twenty minutes to find them, so let's go."
        The place was easy to find. From up one floor came the sound of 
chanting, and eerie lighting. Walking up the stairs, the Alt.Riders 
looked on as three monks guarded an entrance to deeper within, where the 
ceremony was being performed.
        Agent looked up at the crosses that were placed on the walls. 
There was something different about them, but he couldn't tell what. He 
walked up to the door.
        "<You may not pass,>" one monk intoned. [Speech translated from
the Italian because the author couldn't find someone who know Italian in
time :) - Footnote Girl]
        "Don't worry. We mean no harm," said Agent.
        "We're here to protect," said Morph.
        "<You may not pass. None shall pass us.>"
        "Reasonable people, I see," said Netty.
        "Can't we just push passed?" asked Dva.
        "That would be contradictory to the point," said Agent.
        They listened as the chants grew louder, but they also heard the 
cry of pain.
        "What's happening in there?" Agent demanded.
        "<The new Christ, our Lord, is being born>," said the monk. "<Do 
not interfere.>"
        "It's pretty obvious they don't want us in there," said Agent. 
"We'll wait below."
        He led the way downstairs, the others following, a bit 
disappointed at the anti-climax.
        "That it?" asked Morph. "We travel all this way, then get put 
off by a 'no'?"
        "As I said, if we go barging in there, we're hardly like to come 
off as the protectors we claim to be," said Agent. "Besides, they looked 
quite capable to deliver the baby."
        "What the significance of plus?" asked Missy.
        "Plus? Oh, you mean the cross." Morph looked at Agent for a 
response, but none came. Agent looked thoughtful, not expansive. "Icon 
symbolising Christ giving himself for out sins," Morph finally said.
        More minutes passed by, and cried of labour floated down.
        "Capable you say?" said Dva. "Sounds very painful to me." She 
shuddered. "Can't see why people do it."
        "You wouldn't say that if you had a child," said Netty. A 
wistful look came over him. "Christmas. I should be with Alice and Abby, 
not here. Whatever the reason."
        Dva glanced at her watch. "Less than a minute to go," she said. 
"Merry Christmas everyone."
        "That's it!" exclaimed Agent, spinning around. "We've got to 
stop them."
        He jumped for the stairway, but Morph was faster. He reached out 
and wrapped an arm around Agent. "Wait a minute. You said this had to 
        "Don't you see? We don't have a minute, let me go!" Anger was 
clear as Agent struggled.
        "Not until you explain."
        There was a moment of silence, as the world suddenly gained a 
new Lord. Then the cry of a baby rent the air.
        "NNOOOO!!!" cried out Agent. "No!"
        "What is it?" asked Morph, still holding on.
        Agent stopped struggling. The baby's cry ended. A new expression 
took over Agent: fear.
        "Do you know of the theory of environment versus heredity?" he 
asked quietly.
        "What does philosophy have to do with this?" asked Dva, finally 
exploding at Agent's strangeness.
        "The first Christ was good because he was loved. The second 
would have been the same, except those that hated intervened."
        A shiver overcame the Alt.Riders, an omen of unformed 
        "Those crosses up there looked like pluses so one fact could be 
hidden. We were assuming the Church was in control. On those crosses the 
top piece was slightly larger than the bottom piece. The crosses were, 
in fact, upside down. Worshipers of Satan are in control. People who 
hate Christ."
        "Will they kill him?" asked Dva, breathlessly.
        "Worse. Surrounded by love, Christ was good. Surrounded by 
hate... this Christ will be evil."
        Another scream echoed down, but this one was from extreme pain.
        "Now!" yelled Agent, taking the steps two at a time. Morph and 
Netty followed, Dva and Missy less quickly, more aware of their 
non-attacking abilities.
        This time the door was open, unbarred. Inside was a scene that 
chilled their hearts. Surrounded by worshipers of evil, a naked man 
stood on an altar. He was covered in blood and a umbilical cord still 
connected Him with His mother. The mother was quite dead, her heart in 
the man's hand, still weakly pumping blood.
        The new Christ turned at looked at the Alt.Riders, passion and 
death in His eyes, a grin on His mouth that meant no goodwill. He leapt 
towards them, the umbilical cord pulling His mother's body off, until 
the cord broke inside her, so it trailed obscenely behind Him.
        "Get back," yelled Netty, pushing Agent and Morph out of the 
way. "Flame!"
        A sheet of fire washed over Christ, but He embraced it. It burnt 
the blood and the umbilical cord off Him, but did no other damage. Netty 
turned up the heat. The nearby worshipers caught fire, and screamed, 
the rest backed away, but Christ remained untouched.
        "Pull back," said Agent, an arm up to help shield his face. 
"We'll have to think of something else."
        Christ continued walked toward them. Netty let the fire drop. 
Morph slammed a concrete fist into Christ, pushing Him back a step, but 
also pausing Him in His advance, giving them time to retreat.
        On the floor below, Netty stopped. "Out. Get out. I'll bring 
this building down around his ears."
        The others paused, but when they saw his resolve, they didn't 
question him.
        When they got outside, they barely managed to get to the other 
side of the street when a huge blast of flame exploded on the ground 
floor. The building stood for a moment, but a moment later, it 
collapsed. The higher floors, with increased momentum of gravity, 
crashed through the lower floors, creating a huge dust cloud that 
obscured even the flames.
        Agent, Dva and Missy all gave in to fits of coughing, so only 
Morph saw Christ walk out of the wreckage. He glared at Christ, but was 
unable to think of anything that wouldn't also endanger the rest of the 
        Several moments later, the dust had settled so they could 
observe the ruins. Girders jutted at angles, and wood burned, 
highlighted by the light from the star above still shining. There was no 
sign of Netty.
        Morph and Dva ran over, and started trying to move over the 
        "Leave that!" Agent ordered.
        They looked at him as if he was insane. "Are you kidding?" they 
        "If we don't stop Christ, he'd prefer to be dead!"
        "Are you saying he is already?" asked Dva.
        "No, but we don't have time," Agent said. "We have to stop 
        Morph agonised for a few moments, but dropped down beside Agent. 
"You'd better not let anyone else here you say that," he said quietly. 
"They'd never believe we're the good guys."
        "How do we find him?" asked Dva.
        "A naked man in Rome performing all mannerisms of evil shouldn't 
be that hard to find," said Agent darkly.
...Lord, who is my saviour, please to come to me, the pain the pain the
        *Shh, your Christ hears you.*
        ...Oh Lord, please help me, the pain the pain, my leg, my arm,
gone, gone...
        *Your Christ shall help you.*
        ...Please Lord, please help me, please help me, please help me...
        *Your leg is missing? I shall put it there. You arm is missing? I
shall put it there.*
        ...Thank you, oh Lord, thank you, the pain, the pain, but Lord,
why does this feel so strange, my arm, my arm is... my leg... Oh my God...
        *Yes, I know. I know all. But how else shall I help?* leg, my arm, what is wrong, oh God save me, what is wrong,
what is this pain, help me help me HELP ME...
        *You head need help. I shall help. But then I have this spare
leg... I know...*


My breathing, it hurts so much, oh, it hurts so much, breath, gasping,
hurt, pain...
        *I have come to you, My child, as I come to all, deserving of My
attention or not. How may I help you, child?*
        I was... I was shot... oh the pain, the hurting. Please make the
hurting stop...
        *I need to have a look first. Let's see, what's in here?*
        Ahhhh, the pain, what have you done, the pain the pain...
        *No? How about here? Or here?*
        ...Christ, no. Please help me...
        *I am trying, My child. I am trying.*
        *Lovely, isn't it?*


They located Christ at a nearby hospital, in the Intensive Care Unit. 
There were three dead doctors and five nurses leading the way. When 
Agent reached the ICU, there was a crowd gathered, but no heroes to stop 
        Christ was at the third patient. No-one could bare to look at 
the first two. One had been in a car accident, and had been missing an 
arm and a leg. He now had them, but one arm was attached to his hip, the 
leg to his shoulder. But, his head and other leg had also been swapped.
        The other had been in a shooting, three bullets in the chest. 
She was still alive, but had many holes in her where Christ had poked 
His finger through. Her internal organs could be seen, holes also poked 
in them. She would not live for much longer though.
        Dva felt her stomach heave at the sight, but she inevitably 
turned to see what Christ was doing at the moment. An old man had had a 
heart attack, and was now in a coma. Christ delicately caressed what was 
left of his hair, then, with His other hand, thumped the man's chest. 
When Christ removed His hand, a new heart could be seen. Again. Again. 
Two more hearts beat on the man's chest.
        "I can take him," said Morph. "I could stop him before, so I can 
put him down."
        "No!" screamed Dva, not listening, but hearing the anguish in 
her heart. "Leave him alone!"
        Christ looked up as Dva ran towards Him, and easily grabbed her 
when she was near. Swinging her around, He used her as a shield against 
the others.
        "Let her go," said Agent slowly. "Let her go, and no-one else 
will be hurt."
        Dva screamed as Christ bit her ear off. Pink ooze ran down the 
side of her face. She slammed her fist in His face, and broke His nose.
        With His free hand, Christ cupped His nose, then, when He took 
the hand away, it was whole again. He studied the furious Dva.
        Dva rammed her elbow backwards, but Christ was ready. Grabbing 
her arm, He wrenched it round, and, with incredible force, pushed her 
hand through her own body, so it came out her stomach.
        "No," yelled Morph, but Christ backed off, still holding Dva.
        Dva's body twisted as he took over. With fury in his eyes, Dva 
twisted in Christ's grasp, then grabbed Christ's head and slammed it 
into his knee. He then punched with all his might into Christ's chest.
        Christ staggered back, but straightened up. He pointed one 
finger at Dva's chest. Dva gasped as his rib-cage exploded outwards, and 
he collapsed on the floor.
        Christ leapt backwards, going out through a window, and by the 
time Agent reached it, all he found was glass shards and running 
        "I'll kill him!" Morph screamed.
        "No!" yelled Agent. "He's taking us down, one by one, using our 
own anger against us. We have to think!"
        "How? How do we do it?" asked Morph, wanting to punch something, 
but found nothing available.
        Medical staff rushed about them, attending to the victims of 
Christ. Dva was attended to, the doctor hopeful. As long as the bones 
could be replaced and held in place, they should mend. Agent talked them 
into sending an ambulance out to the site of the collapsed building, to 
look for Netty.
        "Holy water? Crosses? Belief?" thought Agent out loud.
        "In that case," said Morph. "We'll need a church."


*My brethren, my followers. Look at you, applauding My magnificence. Look
at how you partake of My flesh, although it better than you, not made for
you. Look at how you partake of my blood, but you are not worthy, and so
it burns. Oh yes, it does, oh yes, it will.*
        The woman clutched her stomach, feeling it boil and burn inside of
her. How could this happen? She hadn't eaten anything she hadn't had
before. She burped, trying to cover the embarrassment. Her stomach gave a
jolt, and she nearly threw up. She could feel the bile in her throat,
making her nauseous. Oh God, what had she done to deserve this?
        The man had been singing with the rest of him, but dropped to the
floor when his stomach kicked at him, and he felt his legs go weak. Hsi
stomach felt like it was trying to punch its way out of him. Oh, God, help
me. He clutched his stomach, and felt it writhe beneath his touch. What
was happening to him? What was happening to him!?!

They found a church, but so had Christ. And before them.
        The churchgoers had taken communion, but in the presence of 
Christ the wine turned to acid, and the bread to poison. The remaining 
Alt.Riders entered the church to find people collapsed on the floor, 
holding their stomachs in agony.
        Christ was on the stage at the front, holding the priest by the 
        "Put him down!" yelled Morph.
        Agent grabbed Morph. "Don't be hasty," he hissed. "Don't let Him 
use your anger."
        Turning to Missy, he said, "Go around the side. We'll distract 
Him. Try to find water or a cross."
        Missy nodded and moved away.
        Agent and Morph strode down the main aisle, moving carefully but 
confidently. Christ held the priest, but His attention was fixed on the 
incoming Alt.Riders.
        "Just put him down," said Agent, calmly. "Put him down and we 
can talk about things."
        "What sort of things do you think pure evil likes to discuss?" 
asked Morph out of the side of his mouth.
        "Latest ratings of Barney? Doesn't matter, as long as we get Him 
away from others."
        Christ continued to watch them, letting His arm sink. When the 
priest in His hand touched the ground and took his own weight, Christ 
became aware of him again.
        Serenely, Christ brushed His other hand over the priest's eyes, 
closing them. Letting the priest go, the priest fell backwards, landing 
on the floor. He reached for his eyes and screamed. When he opened them, 
all that was there were orbs of blackness.
        "I say we rush Him, and damn the consequences," said Morph.
        "Wait for Missy," said Agent, and at that moment, Missy showed 
up behind Christ, holding numerous crosses and a large bottle.
        She waved them proudly. "Found!"
        Christ whirled, and began stalking towards her. He got no 
further than two steps as Morph crashed tackled Him.
        "Pass me the items," he called, Christ rising to his knees below 
         Missy handed the items over, and Morph pressed the cross onto 
Christ's back, and poured the holy water. "Burn back to hell," he growled.
        The water washed over Christ, and the cross just lay there. 
Christ's head whipped round, and He grinned at Morph.
        "No, no, no," cried Morph, and spread out over Christ's body, 
completely covering Him, and cutting off His air.
        Missy and Agent looked on in shock as Morph turned black, then 
began to smoke. Pieces cracked, then crumbled. Christ rose, Morph 
tumbling around Him.
        Agent reached Missy and held onto her. Christ leered at them, 
then shook His head. He bounded out the door, not looking back.
        Agent knelt down by Morph and slowly saw the pieces creeping 
back toward each other.
        "Come on," he told Missy. "Morph will be all right. I have an 
idea about where he's going."
        As they ran, Missy asked "Water no good?"
        "I don't quite understand yet. Belief should affect Him." A 
thought occurred to him. "Or maybe it does affect Him." He looked at 
Missy with thoughtful eyes.
The Vatican rose before them, a monument. Also, the residence of the 
Pope, leader of Christianity. That Christ was here was an obvious fact. 
Dead or warped bodies strewed the path, with no consideration for 
        "Christ is humane, though," said Agent, mostly to himself. "Just 
not tending towards good humans."
        The duo walked, their footsteps echoing in the building. Odd 
cries or whimpering filled the air, making the night colder than it was. 
There was nothing that could be done for the wretched, and that was the 
most wretched thing of all.
        The biggest cathedral was currently housing a ceremony, led by 
the Pope. Christ watched from the doorway, and Agent hoped they'd reach 
Him before He went through, or that He wouldn't be able to get through. 
No such luck.
        The congregation stopped their singing as Christ entered. All 
eyes turned to Him, and all emotion. He raised His hands in their 
attention and cried out, His first ever words "<I am Christ! I am your 
        "You do not belong here!" roared Agent. "Go back to the pits of 
        A silence rang through as the words faded out.
        "You are a mistake!" Agent continued, focusing only on Christ. 
"You must die!"
        Christ turned and faced Agent, then shook His head. He took a 
step forward, then remembered the people around him. Staring up at them, 
Christ spun around. Agent cringed as his attempted distraction failed. 
Over one thousand voices screamed out as their owners imagined 
themselves to be in their own nightmares.
        [Who was that man, daring to come in herelike that? This was a
serene moment, when one could commnicate with one's Go.. the spiders, THE 
SPIDERS! Keep away from me, KEEP AWAY FROM ME!]
        {What? What's happening? Who is that perons? What's going no,
Marion, please don't leave me. I love you, I love you, please stay,
        (Eh, who's that? Why are the walls melting? Oh, my God, I'm
melting, I'm melting. I dying, help me, I'm dying!)
        Christ refocused on Agent.
        "I can kill You," Agent said. "I can rid this world of Your 
presence. And I must."
        Christ flung his arms wide, and Agent was sent flying. He 
crashed into the wall above the doors, his body positioned in the pose 
of Christ on the cross.
        Christ walked until He was directly below him, and licked His 
        Looking down, Agent's face was contorted in fear. "Now, Missy! 
        Christ looked down, confused. Before Him, He saw a small blue 
creature. He cocked His head to one side, and looked at it.
        Missy said five simple words. "I don't believe in you."
        Christ's face became an expression of surprise. He held a hand 
up, and watched, in slowly growing fear, as it started to melt. He 
swiped at Missy, but the hand passed through without a trace of substance.
        But... He was Christ. He was absolute, wasn't He? If He wasn't,
then what was He? How could He exist...?
        Christ felt His body dissolve, slowly, His insides evaporating
faster than His outside, and gave one last despairing scream before
collapsing into a small pool of goo that burnt into the carpet.
        Missy chocked on the fumes, and stepped back. A moment later, 
Agent fell onto the floor where she had been standing.
        "As they say around here," whispered Agent, "Ciao."
8 hours later:
"So what finally killed Him?" the Net.Elementalist asked, sitting on a 
hospital bed. He had been found in a large crater in the middle of the 
burnt building. All he had needed was rest.
        Not so of Dva, lying in the bed next to him. The ribs had been 
repaired, but it would take a long time for them to fully heal. She had 
been more fortunate, her body able to repair itself much faster after 
food and time. But he wouldn't be doing much for a long time to come.
        "A lack of belief," said Agent. "Even if you believe in some 
other religion, or don't believe, you still know of Christianity, 
especially around here. You know of their God, and of Christ, and, even 
if in a little way, you accept that He just might be real."
        He looked at Missy, sitting with a smile on her face. "Missy had
never before been exposed to such concepts, and, as a pure scientist,
didn't disbelieve nor believe in Him. Her complete lack of belief meant
that He couldn't affect her in any way. Having that non-belief confront
Him, He was faced with a dilemma of not being the Absolute Being He though
he was. His own belief in Himself was challenged, and He found that He
wasn't the totally of existence, and but couldn't exist any other way, and
therefore didn't exist at all. It was only the sheer number of Christians
that did believe in him totally that allowed Him to do so much."
        "All nice and good," said Morph, having had his rest that 
allowed him to recuperate, "but when do we get out of here? Italy is 
very nice, but I've done too much here already that I don't want to be 
reminded of."
        "Probably lucky heroes haven't been banned from this country 
too," said Dva.
        Netty grinned sheepishly. "The Ultimate Ninja is sending someone 
to pick us up, but in a few hours, when everyone is awake.
        "Only one thing bothers me, though." The others looked at him 
expectantly. "Alice is going to be really pissed."
        The rest stared blankly for a moment, then, as one, poked their 
tongues out at him.
All mine. All mine, 'cos no-one else wants them.
With the following exceptions, of course:
Sarcastic Lad owned by Gary St. Lawrence
Organic Lass owned by Rebecca Drayer
Curious Lass owned by Carolyn Vaughan
Retcon Lad owned by Saxon Brenton
Doctor Stomper owned by Public Domain
all cameoed without permission
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