______ _________ _____ ____ ____ _______ _____ ___ ___ | | | | / _ \ | \| | | /\ \ / _ \ \ \ / / |BLiP| | |~~~~~ / / \ \ | | | | \/ | / / \ \ \ | / | | | ~~~~~| | ~~~ | | | ____ | / | | | | | | | #1 | | |~~~~~ | ___ | | | | | | | /\ ~| \ \ / / | | | | | | | | | | | |\ | | | | ~~ / \ ~ / | | ~~~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ [Cover shows Fan.Boy in a heroic pose (hands on hips, feet planted on ground). His capes spreads out behind him. As a full description of Fan.Boy is inside, suffice for now to say he looks like Jerry (from _Parker Lewis Can't Lose_) in spandex. Not pretty, but you get the idea.] ------------------------------------------------------------------------ It was 11.13 p.m. in Net.ropolis, and Bad-Timing Boy made his way downstairs from his room. He was unable to sleep, so he thought he would take the opportunity to practice in the Peril Room. He wanted to see if there was anyway he could get others to suffer from the same bad luck that perpetually plagued him. He stopped short as he saw the sign on the outside of the Peril Room doors. "CLOSED FOR REPAIRS." _-~-_ In New Zealand, it was now 8.33 am and Barry Knewbee had no idea what he was doing at University. Well, actually, he was here because this was when he usually got to Uni, but, given any preference, he would be asleep. He walked through the buildings and entered the computer lab. Sitting down at a Mac (hate hate hate), he logged on and opened up a window to the Uni BBS and another window to the local news server. After finding no e-mail waiting, he settled down to flipping between screens, reading the news. _-~-_ Up in the Peril Room control room Contraption Man was arm deep in circuitry. As the Peril Room had suffered from several glitches recently (not helped by Glitch Girl's GLITCH AURA (tm)), and due to Contraption Man's fortuateous apperance [In LNH Comics Presents #25 - JE] the Ultimate Ninja had finally got around to shutting the room down, and asking Contraption Man to fix the damn thing. As so, here he was, peering at masses of tech he had supposedly built himself, and trying to work out what the blue wire did. Squeaky Clean was also with him, helping to keep the work area tidy for Contraption Man, and making his (CM's) work generally easier. Cheesecake-Eater Lad came in carrying (surprise, surprise) a cheesecake. "Hi CM, SC. I was helping Late-Nite Lad start on the dishes be avoided during the day and I heard you were up here. I thought you might want some nourishment." As Contraption Man extracted himself, Squeaky Clean took the cheesecake, and carefully placed it on the control desk, and helped himself to a piece. CM stood up, and brushed himself off. "I suppose a break would be handy. Currently, I think I've got the Peril Room hooked up to the Transmat Chambers in the Monitoring Room and also to HoloDecStations below. I'm hoping that the similar systems might help sort out this one." "Hang on," said C-EL. "You made the Peril Room. Don't you know what's wrong?" CM had just taken a bite of the piece of Weetbix and marmite cheesecake that SC had handed to him, so he was too busy coughing to answer immediately. Squeaky hit him on the back until CM recovered. "You sure know how to make a good cheesecake," SC quipped. Cheesecake-Eater Lad rolled his eyes in mock-anger. "Honestly, you try to do something nice for some people, and what thanks do you get?" CM had now recovered enough to answer C-El's question. "Well, it has changed a bit. It's not what I... remember." C-EL looked at CM's work, incomprehensibly. "Wow, sure looks like a mess in there." "Yeah, and if I'm not careful with the next stage, I could take out the Transmats and HoloDecStation." SC sighed. "More for me to clean up," he muttered. "I can take a hint." C-EL started to back out of the room. "I'll leave you to it." "No, no, no. You can stay if you want to. Just be quiet," CM warned as he decided to forgo more cheesecake and continue with his work. _-~-_ Barry yawned and stretched. 'The only problem with this room,' he though to himself, 'is the lack of proper air-conditioning.' He decided to go for a brief walk outside to clear his head. Leaving the Mac as it was (he trusted the people around him enough to leave himself logged on) he left the room. Leaving the building, he walked along one of the driveways that crossed the campus. As he reached a more secluded part of the drive, he did Irony Man proud as he thought: 'Wouldn't it be funny if something strange happened to me now?' _-~-_ Contraption Man took a deep breath . "Now's the clincher. One bad interruption now would have disastrous effects," he said loud enough to warn the others. [Cue! Cue!] Bad-Timing Boy entered the control room. "What's going on here?" he asked, slapping Cheesecae-Eater Lad companionably on the back. C-EL was knocked forwards and hit Squeaky Clean, who fell onto Contraption Man. The inventor went head first into the circuitry, causing more than just a few sparks. Squeaky pulled the Gizmo Guru clear before anything painful could happen to him, and Cheesecake-Eater Lad shot a look at Bad-Timing Boy, who replied "What?" The tangled mess emitted a loud bang, and the lights flickered. "Uh oh!" everyone chorused. _-~-_ Barry was in mid-stride when a pain shot through his body, causing him to double over in agony. He fell to the ground as another wave of pain racked him. At that moment Barry's mind left his body. _-~-_ It is hard to describe journey between dimensions and realities, but in the interest of more exciting panels, a description shall be provided nevertheless. Barry saw what could only be colours pass in front of his eyes. They had to be colours. It was light. Various hues of light. Therefore, colours right? The only problem was, he seemed to be hearing colours with his ear and seeing white noise with his eyes. And then there were the peculiar smells and tastes that were also assaulting him. Barry floated in a confusion of senses, letting himself go as he couldn't conceive of anything else to do. As he gave up control, he started sinking... sinking... Soon he was drowning... drowning. Barry thrashed about, trying to establish some control, but failed. It was moments/years/eons/time for Kate Bush's next tour when a sensible reality enveloped Barry, and he found himself in a large room, with people staring down at him, and no idea of what universe he was in. _-~-_ [Backing up a minute...] The control panel flashed and sparks flew. A display lit up, indicating a program was running, but instead of a program name there was only gibberish. Seeing flashing lights in the Peril Room proper, Cheesecake-Eater Lad and Bad-Timing Boy moved over to the window to observe what was happening. Contraption Man grabbed a nearby fire-extinguisher and sprayed the smoking circuits. Squeaky Clean quickly pulled out a rag to start cleaning the mess up. C-EL spoke up from his position by the window. "Um, guys, I think you want to see this." Moving over by B-TB, CM and SC looked down into the Peril Room and saw an orange swirly thing straight out of Red Dwarf. In the middle of the cyclic swirl was a small figure, which grew rapidly, and was eventually spat out into the room, just before the eddy shrank down to nothingness. The figure stood (or rather, lay) 5 ft 4 in height, with short black hair, and sporting a pair of thick black-rimmed glasses. His clothes were now tatted and torn, but didn't reveal anything that would incur the wrath of the Comics Code Authority (tm). Up in the control room Contraption Man was the first to react. Quickly followed by the others, he led the way onto the Peril Room floor to examine this ejected flotsam. _-~-_ Barry stood up and instantly regretted it. Moaning, he fell backwards, but a hand grabbed him and stopped him from hitting the floor. He looked at his rescuer and saw the concerned features of Contraption Man (although Barry didn't recognised him as such) looking down at him. Off, he heard someone talking quietly, asking for a "Doctor Stomper" to come to the "Peril Room", whatever they were. (It was Cheesecake-Eater Lad.) "Are you all right?" asked someone else, who proceeded to straighten Barry's clothing, and generally tidy him up. (It was Squeaky Clean, of course.) "He looks like $%^& if you ask me," said the forth person. (Who else but Bad-timing Boy?) "Umm," Barry started. "What happened to me?" CM lowered Barry gently onto the floor. "You don't know? I was hoping you could tell us." Barry looked around at the others standing around him. "Who are all you people?" "I am Contraption Man," CM supplied. "This is Squeaky Clean, Bad-Timing Boy and Cheesecake-Eater Lad," he continued, indicating the person as he said their name." Barry muttered their names to himself before realising something. "Wait a minute! You all belong on alt.comics.lnh. What the hell(tm) are you doing here?" He thought for a moment. "And why did I just add (tm) to hell(tm)?" "Hey, wow," said Bad-Timing Boy. "I could actually hear those brackets." CM made calming gestures with his hands. "Just rest, I think you've had rather a strange experience. Just calm down." "Where am I?" "You are in alt.comics.lnh. More precisely, you're in the Peril Room in the LNHHQ," C-EL informed him. "I am? Then you're real?" Confirming nods from the others. Yes, they definitely knew they were real. It was Barry they were unsure about. Barry turned to C-EL. "Can I have one of your cheesecakes?" Squeaky Clean, Contraption Man and Bad-Timing Boy chorused to each other "He's sick." Cheesecake-Eater Lad said "Wow! A fan!" Barry's body chose that moment to collapse for recuperation, and so, Barry missed the entrance of Doctor Stomper. _-~-_ When Barry came-to a while later, he heard a conversation going on above him. "I don't care if he did want one of your cheesecakes. That only proves how sick he is. Now leave him alone." Barry opened his eyes to see Cheesecake-Eater Lad arguing with who-could-only-be Doctor Stomper. Contraption Man was also there, watching over him. (Squeaky Clean had gone back to trying to clean the Peril Room control desk, and Bad-Timing Boy decided to go to bed.) "Shush guys," said CM, "he's awake." Doctor Stomper immediately turned to his patient and began to run whatever tests doctors run to make themselves look important. "Does anyone have any idea what happened?" "Contraption Man has told me what he saw in the Peril Room, but what's your side of the story?" asked Doctor Stomper. "I was just walking around the University when I felt some kind of pain, then I seemed to fly through some really psychotic substance before landing in the Peril Room." "Hmmm. Where was the University? What country?" "New Zealand." "*New* Zealand? Not Net.Zealand?" "No, New Zealand." "Ahh." Doctor Stomper straightened. Contraption Man and Cheesecake-Eater Lad braced themselves. They could tell that a stupid exposition was coming. "Obviously, when the Peril Room interacted with the technology of the Transmats and the HoloDecStations, and when they all shorted together, they opened a fractal gap between our reality and yours, bringing you through into the Peril Room." "Why?" Doctor Stomper shrugged. "Why not?" "But I've only just started University. How can I finish my degree now?" "There's always the Dave Thomas Deluxe University." "Oh." "Anyway, you seem fine. Except from a battering from the inter-dimensional energies, there is no other damage." "Do you still want a cheesecake?" asked C-EL. "Um, yeah. I'd like a peanut-butter, jam and banana cheesecake." "Wow," muttered C-EL to himself. "People say I have weird creations." Still, C-EL obligingly started to create the requested cheesecake. Barry turned to CM. "What contraptions do you have?" "Are you a fanboy or something? What's your name, anyway?" asked the inventor. Barry heard the first part, and was almost insulted. "Fanboy?" "Fanboy? You're called Fanboy? So, are you a net.hero then?" "If I am, would I really call myself `Fanboy'?" CM glanced sideways at C-EL, who was now holding aloft a new cheesecake. "I've heard worse." "What the hell(tm) would I do? Go up to people and say: I AM FAN.BOY!!!" (A device on CM's belt started going *bluurp* *bluurp*) The others seemed to be in a trance, but shook it off. *bluurp* *bluurp* Doctor Stomper looked impressed. "That's amazing. I could actually hear the full stop and each exclamation mark separately." *bluurp* *bluurp* Cheesecake-Eater Lad asked Contraption Man "What's that sound?" *bluurp* *bluurp* CM looked down at his belt. He took one of the devices off and studied it, looking as if this was the first time he had every seen such a thing. Surely not, he had invented it, hand't he? *bluurp* *bluurp* "It's my expositron," he finally said. Contraption Man struggled with the device, pushing random buttons, until he managed to switch the sound off. "It registers the local level of exposition. When Fan.Boy" (the name was permanent now) "spoke, using a power of some sort, there was a deficiency of exposition. If we can explain his powers, it will return to normal." Doctor Stomper had been running some other instruments over Fan.Boy. "You seem to possess some power over the PUNCTUATION net.element. Try saying some other punctuation." Fan.Boy shrugged. "All right. %^&* ^&^&*% $$%&$%&!!!!!" "Wow. That is really good," commented C-EL. "By the way, you should get together with Innovative Offensive Boy." Doctor Stomper had been looking at his device. "It seems that, when you pronounce punctuation, you amaze people so much with actually being able to pronounce each symbol that you literally stun them." "Even the Writer, it seems," commented CM. [Yeah. Well. It was pretty impressive.] "Now that's dumb," said Cheesecake-Eater Lad. "Like throwing cheesecakes isn't?" asked Contraption Man. C-EL looked down at the cake he was holding, grinned sheepishly, then passed it to Fan.Boy. Fan.Boy gratefully accepted it, and bit into a slice. "Mmmm, nice." C-EL smiled widely at this. "Is there anything else I can do?" asked Fan.Boy around a piece of cheesecake. "Well, you seem to be a fan of everyone you meet. Perhaps you should meet Special Bonding Boy sometime. How did you come to know of us anyway?" "I read alt.comics.lnh and rec.arts.comics.creative." He thought about the groups that he usually lurked on. "I also read rec.arts.anime, and alt.fan.q, and rec.arts.sf.tv.quan... tum-... leap..." Fan.Boy slowed down as messages flowed into his head. "What is it?" asked CM. "I know what's on those groups. I know what's just been posted on them... I know everything that's been posted on them..." Now that he had something to go on, DS scanned for a particular power. "You do have some ability of Lurker. Try concentrating on other groups." "Such as?" "Rec.food.recepies?" suggested Cheesecake-Eater Lad. "... yeah, yeah, I know everything on that group as well... boy, you sure do post a lot... and get flamed a lot..." C-EL looked sheepish again. "Alt.cyberpunk.tech." This from Contraption Man. "... yep, everything on there as well." "Alt.paranet.paranormal." Doctor Stomper this time. "Ahuh.... Nice explanations there, Doc." DS grinned. He was the leading expert in explaining the paranormal, much to everyone else's disbelief. "Thank you." C-EL nudged CM. "How's the expositron?" CM glanced at the device he still held in his hand. "Back to normal now. Looks like this is the current extent of your powers." "My _current_ extent?" "Doubtless, you will have others. This is just your first issue. You'll gain others later on." "Way cool." Late-Nite Lad came in, looking for Cheesecake-Eater Lad, Insomnia Boy with him. "There you are. Have you finished in the kitchen yet?" Insomnia Boy caught sight of Fan.Boy. "Whose the new guy?" Fan.Boy decided to introduce himself. "I AM FAN.BOY!" IB shook himself out of a slight trance. "Who?" Fan.Boy tried again. "FAN.BOY!" "Fan who?" F.B looked to Doctor Stomper for an explanation. DS shrugged. "When you say your name like that, it has enough punctuation to stun people slightly, making them miss exactly what you say." "Will this always happen?" "Looks like it." "Terrific." "So, where's your outfit?" IB asked. "I haven't got one yet." "There are several outfits around here. Perhaps we can find one to suit you," DS suggested. "I'll help," Insomina Boy offered. Late-Nite Lad and Cheesecake-Eater left for the kitchen, and Contraption Man, after a "Good-bye" to Fan.Boy, left for the Peril Room. Doctor Stomper, Insomnia Boy and Fan.Boy went into the Rec.lounge, and Doctor Stomper showed Fan.Boy the next room in which several pieces of superhero outfits were kept. [That's where it was in Alt.Ter.Net.Tives #5 - JE.] "Now," said DS. "Is there anything in particular you wanted?" "I think a cape would be quite nice." IB found a blue cape hanging up. "How about a mask?" "With glasses? Anyway, I don't have any family here..." A shocked looked came onto Fan.Boy's face. "My family." He turned to Doctor Stomper. "Is there any chance of me going home?" Doctor Stomper looked uncomfortable. He had been waiting for and dreading this question. "Umm. We're not quite sure how you even got here, or if you can get back. You came from what we call Real Life, or a close reality. [See Dvandom Force #42 for a better explanation of the Real Life realities - JE] It's quite possible that you are only an alt.version of your Real Life self. As your RL self was the currently only existing copy of you, that's what was copied, so that is why you have those memories." "So there is a Barry Knewbee in RL who doesn't even know I exist?" Insomnia Boy couldn't believe this. "Your last name is *Knewbee*?" "Yes, quite possible," replied Doctor Stomper to Fan.Boy. "Great. Looks like I'm here for good." He sighed. "Let's get a costume." _-~-_ Soon a new spandexed hero stepped into the Rec.lounge. Fan.Boy wore a red suit, with a blue cape. He had a yellow and white belt, and a white spot on his chest on which the yellow letters "F.B" ran diagonally down from left to right. His freshly cleaned glasses gleamed in the Rec.lounge's lights. Last page: Splash page of Fan.Boy standing in same pose as on cover. A speech bubble says "Look out world. Here I am!" In the background, Doctor Stomper and Insomnia Boy look at each other, each with a raised eyebrow. At the bottom is the issue's title: "Far From Home" "by Jamas Enright" ----------------------------------------------------------------------- NEXT ISSUE: Fan.Boy is here to stay, but can he actually do? And what problems are there now that the Transmats, HoloDecStations and Peril Room are fused together? Find out in Fan.Boy #2: "Attack of a newbie." ------------------------------------- Credits: Fan.Boy is me... I mean, mine. This Contraption Man is reserved to me. Squeaky Clean, Bad-Timing Boy, Cheesecake-Eater Lad, Doctor Stomper, Late-Nite Lad and Insomnia Boy are all Public Domain.Back to the Index.