______ _________ _____ ____ ____ _______ _____ ___ ___ | | | | / _ \ | \| | | /\ \ / _ \ \ \ / / |BLiP| | |~~~~~ / / \ \ | | | | \/ | / / \ \ \ | / | | | ~~~~~| | ~~~ | | | ____ | / | | | | | | | #7 | | |~~~~~ | ___ | | | | | | | /\ ~| \ \ / / | | | | | | | | | | | |\ | | | | ~~ / \ ~ / | | ~~~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ [You wanna know what the cover looks like? Well, go get Green Lantern #52. Look at the splash page at the end, and replace Green Lantern with Fan.Boy, Alex with Panta, and Mongul with the Self-Righteous Preacher. There you go.] -------------------------------------------------------------------------- This issue is dedicated to the man who is as much responsible for Fan.Boy as I am. Hubert Bartels, this is your fault. :) -- It was the string that did it. Twitching and twisting, it caught Panta's attention completely. She was helpless in the face of the string's teasing; giving way to her base instincts, the leopard girl pounced after the string's end. The string led her up the LNH stairway and along the fourth floor doorway; always just out of her reach. The twine trailed through the corridors and led into one of the rooms. Powerless to resist, Panta followed the string end as it flicked this way and that until it finally disappeared through a doorway. Panta peered inside and saw a young man in spandex rolling the cord up into a ball. He noticed her and started to speak before he looked up. "The string got out of hand when I got it up here. I just wanted to..." He raised his eyes and saw who he was looking at. Panta had seen a fair share of people staring at her, usually either with hatred or drooling (indeed, she had killed a few because of it), but this was the first time she had ever seen anyone faint onto the floor with a large smile on their faces. She padded over to him and knelt down beside him. She waited, patiently, watching him, until he came round. The man tried to gather his wits and sat up. He saw Panta and a dreamy look settled on his face. "Hello," he said. "Will you marry me?" Panta leant back in surprise. "Pardon?" The man realised what he said. "Oh. Sorry. Suppose I should at least introduce myself first. My name's Fan.Boy." Panta looked at the hand Fan.Boy extended, and gently shook it. "I'm-" "Panta, yes, I know." Fan.Boy sighed. "I've read all your stories. _Integrity Quest_. Your own limited series, and now _Tales of the LNH_." Now Panta was starting to get worried. What was he on about? She could remember the Integrity Quest. A lot of strange things had happened during that, such as meeting Lost Cause Boy and Kid Anarky. And that Woody Scandal thing which she hadn't fully understood. "I'm been in Bloodkitty," she ventured. A guilty look passed over Fan.Boy's face. "Ah, well. I haven't actually got any of those. Haven't really had time. But I will," he quickly added. A paused settled over them, and Fan.Boy squirmed uncomfortablely. Panta watched this movement, fascinated. "Urm," he finally said. "I don't suppose you'd like to go out for a picnic with me or anything. I don't suppose you would like to go out with me. I don't really like going out with me..." A picnic? Sounded fun. "Okay," Panta replied. Her tail flicked back in forth in anticipation. "...and so I'd understand if you said 'No'. Of course, knowing about comedy conventions, you'll probably say 'Yes' and I'll be babbling to much to notice. Erk, did you actually say something?" "I said 'Okay'," she repeated. "Oh good. I'm so glad. We can make a whole day of it. Just go out and enjoy ourselves, and you can tell me all about your adventures, 'cos you're so beautiful and I'm sure you've had so many, I mean, I _know_ you've had a few, but even so, hearing about them from you would be so special..." "Um. Where did you want to go?" "...and you can tell me about _Bloodkitty_ and... Where are we going? I thought the beach might be nice this time of year." "All right," she acceded. "When were you thinking of going?" "Er, I take it this afternoon's rushing it?" "There's still the food to organise yet," Panta pointed out. "Oh. Right. I'll pop into the town and get some. Tomorrow then?" "Okay then." Panta got up to leave. As she got to the door, Fan.Boy asked one last question. "Er. I hope my babbling wasn't too annoying?" Panta considered. "No. But try not to do it again." With a swish of her tail, she was gone. _-~-_ Panta spent the night sleeping in her old room. She tossed and turned uncomfortablely as strange memories of a black and white city, supposedly home, haunted her. Finally the night ended, and Panta rose and began her usual early morning ritual of cleaning herself. While she was doing this, she remembered that she was going on a picnic today, and her tail started twitching in happiness. She poked around in a small pile of objects, which represented the few things which were actually hers, and located a spare bell. She fastened it around her neck. If she was going anywhere outside, she wanted to make sure that she was safe from any nasty cat snatchers. She pulled out a tank top and cut-off jeans and put them on. She didn't want to wear anything heavy for the beach. She left her room and headed for the cafeteria, to get a solid breakfast inside her for the day. It was there that the first comment was made. Late-Nite Lad (who was still up from last night) noticed Panta as she came in. He looked back at his food, realised who he was looking at, and sprang up to Panta's side. "Didn't you just leave here?" Panta shook her furry head. "No, I only just got here. Um, perhaps you're mistaking me for someone else." Late-Nite Lad watched Panta's feline body move as she got her meal. He was pretty sure he'd notice if someone else like Panta showed up. _-~-_ Panta met Fan.Boy outside the Monitoring Room. She saw that he was carrying a basket, obviously filled with the picnic food. He noticed her. "Oh. Hello. Are you ready?" he asked. Panta nodded, causing the bell around her neck to ring. Fan.Boy stood to one side and gallantly indicated that Panta should precede him into the room. She did so, and saw Multi-Tasking Man at the controls on the Transmat Chambers, grinning. Fan.Boy hurried in after her. He spotted MTM's grin and scowled. "We're just going on a picnic. Have you got a destination yet?" MTM nodded. "If you would just care to step into the transporter..." Fan.Boy took Panta's hand, and lead her in. As they stood there, waiting, Fan.Boy fidgeted nervously. He jumped as Panta's tail brushed against his leg. He noticed Panta purring quietly. "Can we get on with it?" he asked MTM. MTM's grin grew, and he threw a lever. Disorientation overtook Panta's senses. When it passed, Panta found herself standing on a small patch of beach, surrounded by rock. The sun was bright overhead, and the waves splashed gently on the shore. The wind wasn't too harsh, and, all things considered, this was quite pleasant. Fan.Boy placed the basket on the sand, and extracted a blanket, which he laid out. He looked around the beach and took a deep breath of the sea air. "It's this nice?" he asked. "Rrrrr," Panta purred in agreement. Her ears had pricked up, listening to the sounds of the sea. "I've got a com.thingee, so we can call to be picked up whenever we feel like it." He started unpacking the basket, putting the food out on the blanket. As he glanced back at Panta, he noticed just how tight her cutoffs were, and imagined them wet... _-~-_ It was now afternoon, and Panta was feeling very relaxed. There had been some trouble to begin with. Fan.Boy was almost apoplectic when he saw her lack of clothing, but, eventually, he had calmed down, and they started to enjoy themselves. Swimming, eating, talking. Just unwinding from the pressures that being in the LNH caused. Panta stretched, noticing Fan.Boy's gaze on her while she did so, and stood up. Time to find the cat box, she thought to herself. She walked over to the rocks and leapt up with feline grace. She lost sight of Fan.Boy as she searched for an appropriate spot. Then it happened. _-~-_ Master Blaster opened his eyes, looked around, and quickly became very pissed off. What the smeg was he doing at a beach? Well, at a _deserted_ beach? He climbed over rocks and called out. "Hello! Anybody around?!" "Who's there?" he heard. He moved quickly in the direction of the voice. "Master Blaster," he growled in return. "And I've got an SK47 for whoever wants to know." He tried to materialise the proper gun, but got only empty air. What the...? As he got near where the voice had been, a figure became visible. Male. Around twentyish. Typical spandex suit, but wouldn't stand up to a good solid thumping. "Who the h_ll are you?" he asked amicably, dropping down in front of the man. "I'm.. I'm.." the man seemed overcome with awe. Understandable, Master Blaster thought, I am pretty awesome. The man gathered his wits. "I AM FAN.BOY!" "Wha?" Wow. What happened there? "Who?" The man looked uncertain for a moment, but obviously wanted to try for some impression. "FAN.BOY!" "Fan who?" Fan whozists became disappointed. "Fan.Boy," he said, dejectedly. "You got any idea what I'm doing here, kid?" "Er. No. Did you see Panta around anywhere?" One word in that last line caused Master Blaster's eyes to bug out. "Panta? She's around here. Oh man, where is that babe?" "Well, she was over where you came from. How did you get here, anyway?" Master Blaster peered over to where he came from, hoping to catch a glimpse of the catgirl. "I don't know. I just... was. Okay?" "Strange," said Fan.Boy. "Well, I'm sure that there's some perfectly reasonable explanation." Master Blaster raised an eyebrow at Fan.Boy. "Don't kid yourself. This is the LNH." Fan.Boy had to nod. Silly explanations were more the order of the day. Master Blaster realised something. "Hey, what are you doing here with Panta? Getting some were you?" he leered. "What? No. We came here for a picnic. Just to chill out, you know?" Master Blaster scratched his head. "How'd you get her to go out with you? She usually reacts badly to any suggestions I make." Fan.Boy shrugged. "I just asked her. Nicely," he added. "Are you suggesting I'm not nice?" asked Master Blaster, adopting a slightly more dangerous pose. Fan.Boy backed away. "Nononono. I'm sure you're extremely deadly. I was just pointing out that you're a bit more forceful than most people." "Yeah," said Master Blaster, flexing his arm in a manly way. "Perhaps, it's just because I'm more macho than some." Fan.Boy peered closely at him, looking at neck. "Why are you wearing a bell?" he asked. And then, before Fan.Boy's very eyes, it happened again. _-~-_ Panta opened her eyes, and saw Fan.Boy looking down at her, with a shocked expression on his face. "I think we should get back extremely quickly," she heard him say. A Transmat beam appeared, but not to pick them up, but to deliver someone else. Before Panta stood her dread opponent, the Self-Righteous Preacher. Her ears flattened and her tail bushed as she prepared herself for his attack. This time, however, he was not after her. "What is the meaning of this?" he bellowed at Fan.Boy. "I will not have one of my flock cavorting with this... this... mutant!" Fan.Boy looked embarrassed. "Well, I was just having a picnic, and she is very cute." "That will not do! This abomination is unnatural! She is evil in the eyes of the Lord!" "Umm," said Fan.Boy, in the tones of one who is walking into a lion's trap unknowingly. "Then, why hasn't the Lord done anything about it?" The preacher's eyes narrowed. "You threaten your soul, boy, with this treachery. The Lord has sent me to deal with this thing. Now, stand aside or face banishment into the depths of hell!" Fan.Boy placed himself in front of Panta. "No," he said. The preacher drew himself up. "Stand aside now, or you shall be excommunicated from my parish!!" "No. I have gone to your sermons. I have taken prayers with you. I have even donated money, as any true fan would. But when it comes to being a fan or protecting a true babe, hormones win every time." "You have disgraced yourself." "Hah! At least I don't claim to be self-righteous!" The preacher became very still. "I am just to myself. I am honest to myself. I am _holy_ to myself, therefore I am righteous to myself. But it is you who should be wary. It is your soul which was judged today, and your soul which has been found sadly lacking. Now, one side!" The Self-Righteous Preacher pushed Fan.Boy, intending to get access to Panta, but Fan.Boy fell backwards and tripped over the catgirl. He knocked his head against a rock, and Panta saw a little trickle of blood run. She turned and rose to face the preacher feeling anger rise in her. She lashed out at him, but he caught her hands easily, full of holy fire. Panta heard two words gasped out. "Oh @%@%!!" _-~-_ Fan.Boy fell from the Transmat Chamber, pulling a stunned Panta behind him. What was happening? Why didn't Panta go into her BERSERKER RAGE(tm)? Then again, how did Master Blaster turn into Panta? He saw Multi-Tasking Man looking at him. "He harassed me into telling him where you went," MTM said. "Don't worry too much," he added, smirking. "I don't think I can establish a lock on him to bring him back for a while." Fan.Boy pulled Panta out of the Monitoring Room, determined to reach the sick bay for some answers. He didn't see the person in front of him until too late. Splash page: Fan.Boy, leading Panta, bumping into Panta. "Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside." by Jamas Enright -------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEXT ISSUE: Finally, I reveal just what is going on with this other character of mine. :) All in Fan.Boy #8: "Panta Squared." -------- Credits: Fan.Boy created by Jamas Enright Panta created by Hubert Bartels Master Blaster based on Robert Ramirez Self-Righteous Preacher created by wReam Multi-Tasking Man created by Jeff Coleburn Late-nite Lad created by someone I don't knowBack to the Index.