Blue Light Productions presents

Limp-Asparagus Lad #2     A Sponge Minion Walks Among Us. Maybe.
By Saxon Brenton
Editing by The Mystic Mongoose

Cover: Shows a food fight in progress in the LNHQ cafeteria.

Legion of Net.Heroes HQ cafeteria:
  Limp-Asparagus Lad sat at a table, eating his rice and salad and 
taking an occasional sip from his soy malt, all while reading some 
computer print-outs he'd gotten off wReamhack for when he came off-
shift from cooking duties. Around him the Legion was going through its 
lunch hour. A variety of net.heroes were present, ranging from The 
Forgetting One, Administration Man, and Old Comics Man engaged in 
discussion at one table, through to Master Blaster and Frat Boy attempting 
to drink themselves into happy paralysis at another. L-A Lad, however, was 
as alone amongst the crowd as, well, as the grim Green Trenchcoat would 
have been.
  That isolation was about to change.
  "Limp-Asparagus Lad," someone called.
  L-A Lad looked up to see Occultism Kid approaching. "Occultism Kid. 
  "Mind if I sit down?"
  "Not at all," L-A Lad replied mildly, indicating the chair opposite. As 
the Master of Mysticism sat down L-A Lad took off his reading glasses and 
tidied away his papers.
  "I just wanted to ask you some questions..." OK began.
  "Hi guys. Can I join you?" asked a female voice.
  Both L-AL and OK looked up to see a young woman dressed in a red, 
brown, and grey costume with a domino mask, holding a tray.
  "Hello, Fourth Wall Lass. Yes, please be seated," said L-A Lad. "I do 
not believe you two have met. Fourth Wall Lass, this is Occultism Kid. 
Occultism Kid, this is Fourth Wall Lass, a new character who will be 
revealed in issue 4 to have a more extensive history in the LNH than is 
at first apparent."
  The two made their hellos, then OK commented to L-A Lad, "Looks like 
your writer is really getting stuck into the foreshadowing and plot 
  "It's only a six issue limited series," he replied by way of explanation.
  "Well, I may be able to help you somewhat. I wanted to ask about your 
  "I'm a mutant." L-A Lad replied.
  "Really?" said Fourth Wall Lass, somewhat surprised. "Well, I suppose 
that'd put your among a relatively popular group with the fanboys, what 
with the popularity of the x-books and all... "
  "But not necessarily with the writers on r.a.c.c.," OK added, alluding 
to certain recent problems with newsgroup demarcations.
  "Yeah," she agreed, "but, don't mutants have to deal with a high angst 
levels? I've never known you to angst in all the time I've known you."
  "That's because I am not allowed to use angst."
  FW Lass blinked in surprise. "Why?"
  "It's character building," L-A Lad replied.
  She stared at him. "They're not kidding about holding you to that 'Man 
With No Personality' stuff then, are they?"
  "No. Although that epithet is something of a misnomer. I do have a 
personality, it's just that it's a dull one." He turned back to Occultism 
Kid. "Why do you ask?"
  "Well, I was doing some research on other dimensions and came across 
a reference to the original, Golden Age Asparagus Lad."
  "I don't think I was aware that there ever was another Asparagus Lad," 
Limp-Asparagus Lad observed.
  "It's probably just your writer creating some back history, I should 
think," OK replied. "Anyway, it seems that your predecessor gained his 
powers from the asparagus people."
  "I thought they were all dead," asked FW Lass. "You know, toasted 
when their sun was sent nova."
  "Not _those_ asparagus people. These asparagus people, sentient 
anthropomorphic plants from the vegetable dimension, were involved in 
a bitter war with the broccoli people. It seems they gave the original 
Asparagus Lad his powers in an attempt to ward off the genocidal 
attacks of the broccoli forces."
  "Did he succeed?" asked FW Lass.
  Occultism Kid shrugged. "For a while, apparently. The records are 
sketchy afterwards."
  "That sounds like a plot dangler to me," L-A Lad observed.
  "So you thought Limpy here may have known something about it?" FW 
Lass asked.
  "It was a possibility I had to investigate," OK affirmed.
  "I'm afraid I don't know anything about a war between asparagus and 
broccoli. I eat them both," L-A Lad said, picking up a sprig of the 
former. Occultism Kid took this to be a statement of fact; Limp-
Asparagus Lad was physically incapable of making a joke.
  "Hey people," enthused Cheesecake Eater Lad, wandering over. 
"Anyone want some of my 'Genocide By Chocolate' cheesecake?"
  "Just a small slice for me," conceded FW Lass." I've got to watch my 
  "Sure," said OK. "It'll be nice to get away from wing of bat and eye of 
newt for a change," he joked.
  CE Lad smiled. "Well, if you ever need me to mix up some of that as a 
cheesecake, just call," he told OK.
  People at nearby tables, having overheard that last comment, turned 
green over their lunches.
  "What about you, Limpy?" CE Lad asked.
  "None for me, thank you," he replied.
  Cheesecake Eater Lad frowned. "Oh, come on, Limpy. Everybody else has 
had some at least once at some time or other, but I've never seen you 
touch a slice. And when you've been in the kitchens, you've never 
nibbled on anything sweet beyond the tiniest bites to make sure they're 
coming up properly. What's there to be afraid of?"
  "Raising my cholesterol levels," L-A Lad replied simply.
  "You have a cholesterol problem?" OK asked.
  "Then that's why you always eat lean meats and vegetarian, and never 
any of Steak and Potatoes Man's stuff. Or Frat Boy's beers?" said FW Lass.
  "Actually, I don't drink because I don't enjoy the taste of alcohol. And 
like most of my eating and drinking preferences, I picked that up from 
my current writer."
  "Well, he sounds boring," observed FW Lass.
  "I think that's why he took over me as a WC. He seems to be applying 
the adage 'write what you know'."
  "The bane of my life," grimaced CE Lad in mock regret. "Health 
  "Que?!" slurred Master Blaster after overhearing the exchange. "He 
doesn't eat Unhealthy Snacks(tm)? %@#*in' Sponge Minion!" he managed to 
roar, slightly incoherently. He whipped out his BigGun(tm) and fired at, 
apparently, the table the group were sitting at, although it was more 
likely that he was aiming at L-A Lad and missed. The energy beam sliced 
the table in two, then continued on to the door, where it incidentally 
vaporised Cannon Fodder as he walked through with the words, "Hi guys, 
what's happ..." on his lips.
  Food flew off the decimated table, showering neighbouring diners. 
Being vulnerable to the high calibre shells and energy beams of Master 
Blaster's BigGun(tm), and having nothing else to use against the Man 
With the Big Guns, L-A Lad tried distracting him by hefting fistfuls of 
beetroot at him.
  Cheesecake Eater Lad joined him, and was surprisingly effective. The 
thing to remember is that if one is going to become engaged in a food 
fight that it is best not to face off against someone who uses cheesecake 
dispensers as projectile weapons. The onslaught from the Master Of All 
Things Munchy was far more effective than that of L-A Lad, and soon 
MB's BigGun(tm) was clogged with cheesecake mix.
  "@#%$!" swore MB, trying to unclog his gun, failing because of his 
alcohol sot, then deciding instead to use the weaponry built into his 
cybernetic right arm.
  Limp-Asparagus Lad, having seen Master Blaster's gun out of action, 
advanced on him to put a stop to this silliness. Meanwhile, Fourth Wall 
Lass, having quickly read the caption describing MB's intended action, 
tackled L-A Lad from behind just in time to save the Man of Dull from 
being toasted by MB's arm armaments. CE Lad quickly gummed up these 
latter weapons as well.
  Unfortunately, by this time the fight had spread among the other 
occupants of the cafeteria. Food flew thick and fast, and everybody 
became covered in it.
  It only ended when Ultimate Ninja came in. He didn't threaten. He 
didn't even speak. He just stood at the door and looked _very_ 
disappointed in them all. In ones and two, and then by whole tables, the 
participants stopped, and stood around, looking sheepish.
  Finally, UN spoke. "I trust that there is a reason for this frivolity?" 
he inquired with deceptive mildness. It took a while, but he was eventually 
able to coax a coherent answer out of them.
  "Is this matter is settled then?" he finally concluded when explanations 
had been made.
  "Perhaps not," suggested Occultism Kid. Ultimate Ninja nodded for 
him to continue. "Inebriated or not, Master Blaster may have a point. 
We know from the events of the first Dog Boy story arc [Dog Boy #1-6. 
Go read them. They're good - SB] that B'harne has been able to gain 
some purchase on this reality."
  "Who?" someone asked.
  "Barry the Grinning Purple Nightmare is the name you may be more 
familiar with," OK explained. "Because Iraqi Alex's devices of 
destruction fortunately only work part of the time, what he was able to 
summon through the Dark Portal into Looniverse was actually only a tiny 
fraction, an avatar, of the full horror that is B'harne, the Lord of 
Purple. Thus, although B'harne was Barry, Barry was not B'harne, at 
least not fully. B'harne is a cthuloid horror in the truest sense, 
existing outside of time and space and plot causality. That is why it is 
able to exist in multiple times, places and newsgroups; on television 
throughout the PluRealities and the real worlds beyond, facing off 
against the anti-B'harne forces in many newsgroups, and here, manifesting 
for at least part of the time as a satanic plush toy."
  "Your point being?" pressed Ultimate Ninja, seemingly unmoved by 
Occultism Kid's impressive piece of exposition.
  "With the Lord of Purple abroad in the world we cannot afford to take 
unnecessary risks. If there's any chance that Limp-Asparagus Lad has 
been dinosaurically possessed, we must investigate and deal with it," 
OK said.
  "You mean...?"
  "Yes," said Occultism Kid. He turned to Cheesecake Eater Lad. "Bring 
  "The comfy chairs!" exclaimed Bicycle Repair Lad and Demon Boy in 
  "I was going to say 'cheesecake'," said Occultism Kid, throwing a 
withering look at the impudently grinning pair.
  "Any type you'd prefer?" asked CE Lad.
  "Passionfruit, if you have some," answered L-A Lad.
  "Of course I have some," said Cheesecake Eater Lad in a way that 
made it clear that he thought that was a very silly question.
  "You _prefer_ passionfruit?" said Occultism Kid. "I thought you said 
you didn't like it."
  "No, that was alcohol. I have a sweet tooth, and have to avoid 
confectionery by force of will."
  "Your writer again?"
  Once the cheesecake was fetched, Occultism Kid continued. "Now, it's 
well demonstrated that the poor, doomed souls in the thrall of B'harne 
cannot eat Unhealthy Snacks(tm). Should Limp-Asparagus Lad really be a 
Sponge Minion, he will react negatively to eating this cheesecake, much 
as a demon would to holy water. He should spontaneously detonate, 
showering his putrid remains across a wide area."
  "Oh, gross," someone was heard to exclaim.
  "Don't worry, we're all so covered with food from earlier that a little 
more mess won't hurt," assured OK.
  Limp-Asparagus Lad picked up the fork, carved off a piece of the 
cheesecake, and ate it.
  He did not detonate.
  The legionaries cheered.

  Later, Limp-Asparagus Lad and Fourth Wall Lass walked out into the 
foyer of the LNHQ. Joe had just arriving only minutes before, and was 
still talking with Kyoko at the reception table. "Hi guys," Joe called out 
as they appeared. "Anything exciting happen in the world of world saving?"
  Not really," L-A Lad replied in all sincerity as he continued on and out 
the front doors.
  Joe turned to Fourth Wall Lass. He smiled.  .o(You look great, as 
always.) he thought.
  She smiled in return. It tended to be a one-way form of communication, 
but he knew best how to use thought balloons to make intimate 
conversation with her. "Thanks," she whispered as she leaned close to 
give him a kiss.
  "I think we'll be late if you two don't hurry up," said L-A Lad from the 
door, utterly oblivious to the nuances of romance. Fourth Wall Lass 
caught sight of that caption, and had to suppress a laugh.

Elsewhere. And slightly later:
  "Soon all will be in readiness, and then nothing will be able to stop 
our plans for world domination! Mwhahahaha!" cackled the leader of a 
group. "You there! Lacky! How goes the construction of the Reversion 
Ray Projector?"
  "It will be complete within the hour, sir."
  "Excellent! Then we can begin the second phase of our plan to 
recapture Limp-Asparagus Lad, gain control of the rest of W.I.R.E.D., 
and then the world!"
  < And None Too Soon > boomed a voice that came from both all around 
them and out of nowhere.
  "No! You are too early. We still have more time!"
  <You Do. But Not Much. This Is Your Warning That Your Time Runs 
Short. You Must Complete Your Appointed Task And Fulfil Your Part 
Of The Contract. >
  "But surely we have already done so," said one of the other figures, his 
voice grown crafty. 'The 'I' in W.I.R.E.D. denotes 'intend'. As long as 
we 'intend' rule and eternal domination, and are attempting to do so, we 
are fulfilling the strict letter of our agreement."
  < Your Obligation Goes Beyond The Definition Of Your Acronym. You Have 
Bargained For Power Beyond What The Use Of An Acronym Owed You. In Return 
You Will Fulfil The Terms Of Your Contract By The Appointed Time > boomed 
the voice, and then was gone.

To be continued next issue in: Subplots Advance

This story is dedicated to the inhabitants of 
  alt.barney.dinosaur.die.die.die and affiliated newsgroups

I'd also like to thank the following people for publicity:
* The Mystic Mongoose, for the rerelease of the Coma Kid and Continuity 
  Champ Jr. limited series, and the plug in To The Max #3
* Tick, for the mention at the start of the Crossroads thread
* Martin, for the mention in the 'Top Ten Ways Colourblind Kid Could Die 
  Horribly' post
The cheques are in the mail :-)

LNH Roster Entry
NAME: Fourth Wall Lass (Terri)
  REVAMPED BY: (Saxon Brenton)
  POWERS: Able to cross the 4th wall. Rapid transit between places by 
  moving between panels. Ability to gather information by reading 
  captions and thought balloons; has taken speed reading course to 
  gather such information.
  APPEARANCE: Red, brown, and grey bodysuit, domino mask.

Limp-Asparagus Lad by Saxon Brenton, created by Mystic Mongoose 
  and wReam
Fourth Wall Lass and Joe by Saxon Brenton
Administration Man by Wayne Parillo
Bicycle Repair Lad by
Dog Boy, Iraqi Alex, and Barry the Grinning Purple Nightmare by 
  Rene Garcia Villareal
Frat Boy and Steak and Potatoes Man by uplink
Master Blaster by Rob Ramirez, via Martins Phipps
Occultism Kid by Josh Geurink
Green Trenchcoat and Demon Boy by Paul Hardy
W.I.R.E.D. by The Mystic Mongoose
Cannon Fodder, Cheesecake Eater Lad, The Forgetting One, Kyoko, 
  and Old Comics Man by Public Domain

All characters (c) and (tm) their respective owners and/or creators

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