| Blue Light Productions | (and *not* Best Brains) | present: | | Limp-Asparagus Lad #47 | A Legion of Net.Heroes title | | 'It Came From The Late Late Late Show' | Part 2 of 5 | | Written by and copyright 2003 Saxon Brenton | Art by Fred H*mback Swordmaster: The plot in brief from last issue: Plan Nine From Outer Space tried to get a victim from the Beach Party movies and recreate the Amazing Colossal Man. Carborundum Armoured Weapon: Limp-Asparagus Lad wasn't able to stop it, but he was allowed to decide who got to live and who got to die. | After the Wunderkind atomic bomb had gone off, things had gotten | a bit hectic. Corporal Anderson waited the minimum required time that | mid-20th century medicine thought would be safe before crawling out of | the trench and picking up the unconscious Lt. Don Scowie (who was still | clutching the yellow and orange marker box in his hand). With the help | of Pete Greenberg, Anderson got Scowie into the jeep and rushed him | back to the bunker for medical attention. By the time they arrived most | of Scowie's hair had fallen out. | Major Television-Event was ropable. When the thirty second siren | had cut in he'd repeated the order for the countdown to the detonation | to be discontinued, only to have the soldiers operating the controls | find that they were locked out and the countdown continuing. At two | seconds to detonation the Major had the technicians point out to him | where the power cables for the controls were and had severed them with | a fire axe. This had done no good, and the Major was now digesting the | preliminary reports of the technicians that the control of the | detonation sequence seemed to have been redirected from the bunker to | somewhere else. | | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | Later, Joshua visited Don Scowie in the hospital at Fort Courage. | He arrived heavily stealthed, so no-one saw him. | The Legionnaire hadn't been feeling well. CAW: He's got Legionnaire's Disease! | The problem seemed to be that this reality had strong melodramatic | tendencies similar to the Looniverse's - but without the ability to | subvert such cliches in the name of irony and then use them as tools. | This constriction seemed to be affecting his thinking. Just last night | he had caught himself brooding over whether he had overlooked some | reasonable alternative in a way that went beyond simple introspection | and out into what looked suspiciously like angst. | This was apparently what happened when he tried too hard to listen | to the flow of Drama in the world around him. In any case, it was *not* | acceptable, and he had used his powers to decrease the intensity of the | local Drama affected himself until a soothing clarity of thought had | washed over him. | Unfortunately, he was not skilled at judging the intensities | properly yet. Certainly not on an alien Earth with its own quirks to | its Drama field. He inadvertently overdid it - and that had brought | its own problems. Rather than merely helping him to approach the | situation rationally and unencumbered by environmentally induced | hysteria, he had then discovered in himself patterns of thought that | were both ruthlessly pragmatic and cynically callous. He had spent the | night feeling like a member of the Net.Trenchcoat Brigade. | So now he was simply focusing on the task at hand. Joshua took | out a new roll of bandages that he had brought with him and began to | change the dressing on the burns on Don's head. The radiation burns had | been severe, but were healing at a rate that even the most optimistic | guesses of current medical knowledge would find astonishing. That was | the one small consolation that Joshua had: the almost-certainty (now | confirmed) that Scowie would survive by becoming a superhuman - with | all of the exceptional healing capacity that it usually entailed - | whereas nobody else would have. Or at least, nobody else would have in | the same way or for very long. | This was a b-movie reality after all. The paranormals it created | with its freakish accidents were more likely to be horrors than heroes. | Joshua lathered some burn ointment over the lieutenant's face, | then applied the new bandages. This was important. At least part of | Dr. Liverwurst's current plot involved him reusing old mind control ray | technology left over from a previous attempt to Take Over The World. | The doctor's minions had already used a portable version of those ray | generating devices for other tasks, such as gaining the information | about the Wunderkind bomb test that had been needed to stage the | 'accident' - but the primary use had always meant to be gaining control | of whoever became an irradiated monster. That way, when the newly | created freak went on the inevitable rampage of mindless destruction, | Dr. Liverwurst could direct him for the doctor's own purposes. | That was something that was not going to happen now. Not after | Joshua had used replacement bandages that had been subtly treated with | an aluminium solution to act as protection from it. Finally, Joshua | attached a small Plotdevicium amulet to the chain with Scowie's dog | tags to act as a distraction when Dr. Liverwurst's minion's arrived to | investigate. | (He had no idea who they'd be, and had only a strong hint of how | they'd get past the security of a military base, Swordmaster: Well, hey, it's barely stopped anybody so far. | but even without Luke's warning Joshua would have assumed good odds | for such an investigation once Dr. Liverwurst realised that *someone* | had been exposed to the direct force of the blast but who wasn't under | the doctor's mental control.) | Once he had finished rebandaging Don's burns Joshua paused and | looked out the window towards the coast. Now that he had mitigated the | one event that - because of Dramatic Tension - he could not have | stopped, he was free to take whatever steps he felt necessary against | Dr. Liverwurst. A direct assault that took out the mind control ray was | an obvious move; then nobody would need bandages soaked in aluminium. | Since his back was to the door he did not see Linda Greenberg | enter the room. Since he was supposed to be invisible, at first he did | not pay particular attention to her question of, "What are you doing | here?" In fact, it was not until she repeated it in a considerably | louder voice and began to approach him directly that Joshua consciously | realised that she seemed to be able to see him. | "I am making sure that he is being treated properly," he answered | truthfully in his reassuring-to-members-of-the-public tone of voice. | This did not seem to satisfy her. "Guards!" she called. "There's | an intruder in here!" | Joshua reflexively checked the stealth.thingee attached to his | belt. Had he forgotten to turn it on? No, it seemed to be activated. | "What's all the noise?" asked the guards as the arrived. | "That man over there," said Linda, "is a communist spy." | The guards looked in the direction she pointed. "What man?" CAW: The man with the power. Swordmaster: What power? CAW: The power of voodoo. Swordmaster: Who do? CAW: You do. Swordmaster: Do what? Together: Remind me of the man! Swordmaster: Gak! I can't believe I just did that. | Linda turned her head from side to side searchingly. "There was a | man here," she insisted as she walked forwards to Don's bed. Joshua | stepped to the other side of the bed to be out of her way. "He must be | hiding," she said - and then lashed out at his belt and damaged the | stealth.thingee. "Here he is!" | .oO( Oh. Of course, ) thought Joshua, mildly disappointed by his | own carelessness. ( Dramatic Tension again. All she needed was to see | me check on the stealth.thingee in the right context to be justified | in making a leap of intuition about its purpose. ) Swordmaster: You know, pointing out how stupid the plot point is doesn't stop it from being a stupid plot point. | If the guards were surprised by the way a man suddenly appeared as | if from nowhere, it didn't stop them from pointing their firearms at | him. Perhaps they thought he had simply stood up after crouching down | behind the bed. Whatever the case it was clearly time for Joshua to | leave if he wished to deal with Dr. Liverwurst any time this evening. | Ignoring their order to surrender since there was nothing their | guns could do to harm him, Joshua calmly walked back three paces to the | open window behind the bed head and threw himself out. | Linda and the two guards rushed to the window and looked down. It | was two stories to the ground below, but there was no sign of him. It | did not occur to them to look to either side or upwards for several | seconds, and by that time he had flown over to the other side of the | building and out of sight. | | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | Joshua found the situation mildly exasperating. He really couldn't | blame people for being so paranoid, since in this world Khrushchev's | successors were still frothing out statements like "We will bury you!". | But you would think that they would be able to recognise that there | were threats *other* than communism and act accordingly. Clearly, their | puny civilisation needed to learn proper time management techniques, | the likes of which only his firm hand could... AAAHHH! | Hastily, Joshua drew in his drama dampening field tight about | himself and increased it's intensity several-fold, re-establishing his | protective cocoon against the seductive need to Take Over The World | that all mutants in b-movie settings seem to instinctively feel. He | really needed to find a proper balance to this newest use of his powers. CAW: [singing] They're Pinky... Pinky and the Brain, Brain, brain, brain... Swordmaster: [bored] Narf. | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | A short while later Pete Greenberg was sitting in his sister's | car. He wondered how Linda had managed to have him released from Fort | Courage's lockup. He wondered how Don Scowie was faring. He wondered | what had happened to his hotrod - and then pushed that thought aside | with a considerable stab of guilt. | Then Linda arrived and they drove off into the late afternoon. | After several minutes of uncomfortable silence Pete asked, "Did you | find out how Don is?" | Linda nodded. "He's stable. Badly hurt, but stable." | "Oh," he managed before lapsing back into silence. A few more | minutes passed before Pete realised he didn't recognise where Linda | was driving to. It certainly wasn't the road back to town. "Where are | we going?" | "I need to talk with some of my contacts," she said. "There's | something strange happening, and I want to get to the bottom of it." | Other reporters, Pete thought, and went back to brooding about | what he would do to Von Velcro as a way of distracting himself from | self-recrimination. CAW: He could tear a strip off him. Swordmaster: -groan- | He still wasn't paying much attention when the car came to a stop | and Linda stepped out. Then the door on Pete's side was pulled open | and some of the Bats Out Of Hell hauled him out into the evening. Von | Velcro himself took great pleasure in slugging Pete with a right hook | as the beach-goer was held between two of the stupids. | Linda watched impassively as the unconscious Pete was dragged | off. Von Velcro looked smug as he walked over to her, rubbing his | knuckles, then his demeanour turned serious as he asked, "Why is he | still up and running?" | "There has been a problem," she said bluntly. "The military saw | Peter and intercepted him. As far as I can determine, only Don Scowie | was irradiated by the blast. He also seems to have been the one | holding the gamma filter." | Von Velcro frowned. He'd suspected that tricking Pete out onto | the test range was an overly complicated scheme, but it was a holdover | from Dr. Liverwurst's love of elaborate death traps, so it wasn't | smart to argue the point. Still, Scar's suggestion would ironically | have been a better proposal. The biker wasn't normally the sharpest | knife in the cutlery drawer, but Scar's idea - that Von Velcro should | have Zonked Out Pete with his power of The Digit, then left him tied up | with the gamma filter on the test range, propped up to catch the full | force of the blast but hidden in the underbrush - had the advantage of | elemental simplicity. Swordmaster: Unlike that sentence. | Well, there was no help for it now. "So where's Scowie?" | "Fort Courage hospital, as expected for the test subject. Inform | Dr. Liverwurst what has happened. He may want to continue with Scowie | as the subject, or he might want to start from scratch. I influenced | the minds of the authorities at Fort Courage to release the boy in case | the doctor still wants to use him. There is also one other thing," she | added, and took out a small trinket. "There is an unknown man going by | the name of Joshua Asimov who has been in town for the past few days. I | discovered him at Scowie's bedside a short while ago, protected by some | sort of invisibility. Such advanced technology suggests that he might | be one of Dr. Liverwurst's rivals. I found Scowie wearing this after I | chased Asimov off," she concluded, handing over the Plotdevicium | amulet. "I cannot identify what it is made of." | Von Velcro looked at the amulet, then pocketed it. "Anything else?" | "Nothing of significance. I will continue to try to find Asimov | and capture him, pending further orders from Dr. Liverwurst. I will | report in later." | The two turned and went their separate ways. Von Velcro and his | gang hopped on their bikes, and with the unconscious Pete Greenberg | stuffed in a sidecar, headed back to the Liverwurst Place. | | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | Joshua went back to his hotel room to check out. Then he stepped | out into the secluded rear of the hotel parking lot and changed into | his Legion of Net.Heroes costume by simply taking off the civilian | clothes he had over his spandex. (Readers will notice that he had | incorporated the Insecurity Blanket from issue 43 into his ensemble by | folding it over his shoulder like a plaid to act as a sort of cape.) Swordmaster: People reading will be able to notice something visual? But of course... | Being properly dressed had made no particular difference while he was | using the stealth.thingee, but now that he was going to confront Dr. | Liverwurst in public his quirk of compulsive tidiness required him to | be in uniform. Swordmaster: I don't remember him ever having a quirk of compulsive tidiness. | Joshua briefly entertained that notion that when he returned home | to the Looniverse he should get some clothing made of alt.stable | molecules which would allow him to change into his heroic ID in an | instant, but dismissed it for now. The flightring.thingee was a | definite advantage in this line of work - and he was glad that he had | finally gotten one - but for the time being he saw no need to indulge | himself in numerous optional extras. CAW: Joel, can I get a Limp-Asparagus Lad doll with optional extra personality? Swordmaster: I somehow doubt that that would ever be an option extra for him. | As he adjusted his mask Linda Greenberg stepped out of the | shadows where she had been watching. "Stop right there," she said with | an authoritative voice. | "Good evening, Miss Greenberg," said Limp-Asparagus Lad, | unperturbed by her sudden appearance. | "What is this? It's too early for Halloween," she said, walking | forward. | "I stopped dressing up for Halloween when I was twelve years | old," he admitted frankly. | "Really," she said, and now that she was within range threw a | punch at him that would have put a hole in light plate armour. He saw | it coming, and combined with certain suspicions that he had formed | about her when she had penetrated the effect of the stealth.thingee | earlier in the afternoon, was prepared for it. He relaxed the tension | of his body mass - generally referred to as 'going limp'. The punch | did nothing except briefly deform his head for an instant too quick to | be noticed with the human eye. Surprised, Linda stepped back and drew | a handgun. | Limp-Asparagus Lad wondered what use she thought that it would do | her, then put the issue aside. "I would suggest that you put the gun | away. It won't do you any good," he told her without moving from the | spot where he had been since she had first made her presence known. "I | am not interested in harming either yourself or Don Scowie, nor am I | spying for any foreign power." | Linda prowled around him, a tigress looking for a weakness to | attack. | Limp-Asparagus Lad continued, "I am however beginning to suspect | that you aren't as concerned about communist spies as you claim. What | do you want? Who do you work for, really? *What* are you?" CAW: When did you arrive? Where did you have breakfast this morning? What is the flight speed of an unladened swallow? | Linda fired the gun at him - to no avail - and without pausing | threw herself at him in attack. He simply used the momentum of her | assault to flip her forward over his shoulder onto the car park tarmac. | The commotion drew the attention of some passing servicemen from | Fort Courage, who ran in and demanded to know what the pair of them | thought they were up. | Linda saw this as an opportunity. "You dirty commie spy!" she | shrieked at L-ALad in an affectation of hysteria. "You sabotaged the | bomb explosion to kill any soldiers caught outside during the blast, | and now Don's in hospital because of it!" | It was a good ploy, and was made even better by the way she threw | herself in to attack him again. Either she would subdue him (and | everyone would be proud of her because of her accomplishment in | avenging her boyfriend, making comparisons to mother bears protecting | their cubs as an excuse for how a member of the 'weaker sex' could have | pulled off such a feat) or she would delay the Legionnaire until he was | captured (and reducing his reputation in the process, because in this | time and place fighting a woman was considered ungentlemanly). | What she did not - could not - anticipate was principles of equal- | but-opposite-reaction coming into play. The story had already been | given its human sacrifice in demand for an intractable plot point in | the favour of the villains. Now it chose to dump a plot point in favour | of the hero. Swordmaster: That's just handwaving instead of an explanation! | Limp-Asparagus Lad threw her over his shoulder and onto the ground | again, and as Linda hit the hard surface, her face fell off. | .oO( Ah, ) thought Limp-Asparagus Lad with a touch of | satisfaction. ( Robots. ) Then, although it made him feel somewhat | silly to do so, he adopted a stentorianly heroic voice and declaimed | to the soldiers, "Look out men! That killer robot could be capable of | anything!" | The soldiers gaped at the tangle of circuits and wires that were | suddenly exposed by the synthetic skin face having fallen to the | ground. The worst of it was the lidless artificial eyes that bulged in | the middle of it all. As the robot stood up they fired a few shots at | it, none of which had much effect. | Then the thing announced to the world, "Identity exposed. Bikini- | bomb X-039 initiating self-destruct." | "Get down," called Limp-Asparagus Lad and then threw himself over | one of the soldiers. Although the man was the closer of the two to him, | L-ALad nevertheless could not have covered the distance in one leap | without the help of the flightring.thingee. | The bikini-bomb exploded with considerable force. | Limp-Asparagus Lad stood up and asked, "Is anybody hurt?" A | groan of pain from the other soldier suggested an affirmative to the | question, and when he went over he found that the man had suffered | some shrapnel wounds to his arm. The Legionnaire collected the | civilian clothes that he had been using and began to tear the shirt | into makeshift bandages. | As he did so the man demanded, "Just what in Sam Hill is going on | here? Who are you people?" CAW: And am I about to use words like "tarnation", "dangnabbit" and "ornery"? | "My name is Limp-Asparagus Lad. As far as I can determine, there | is a recluse living up on the headland called Dr. Anton Liverwurst who | sabotaged the atomic bomb test earlier today. He tried to trick one of | the local teenagers into being on the test site so that he would be | exposed to the radiation, but Lieutenant Scowie was caught by the blast | instead while he was rescuing the boy. I had thought that the only | people that Dr. Liverwurst had working for him were a local biker gang, | but it seems that I was wrong. He replaced a reporter by the name of | Linda Greenberg with that robot you saw, and that robot has been trying | to interfere with my investigation and attempts to bring Dr. Liverwurst | to justice." He finished tying off the bandage and stood up. | "Unfortunately, that suggests that Dr. Liverwurst still has the real | Miss Greenberg prisoner, probably somewhere on his property, so I guess | I should go and rescue her." Swordmaster: For those of you who missed the previous scenes, we present this summary for your enlightenment and edification. | "Now hold up mister," said the other soldier. "Just how do you | plan on getting up there?" he asked, implying that he would be coming | back to explain himself to the brass at Fort Courage. Limp-Asparagus | Lad deliberately chose to interpret it instead as a question about | methods of locomotion and replied with a simple, "I'll just fly there. | Could you please send some assistance from Fort Courage? I'm no longer | sure how many people he'll have defending his estate." And then he | flew up into the sky and away to the south. | The soldiers gaped after him. The unwounded one briefly considered | shooting at him, but then gave up on the idea. "How are we going to | explain this one, Rich?" he asked. | "I think we should keep out mouths shut, Matt." | This brought a snort of derision. "And how are you going to avoid | explaining how you got wounded? Or how a bomb went off in the middle of | town," he added, waving his hand to indicate the presence of the hotel | staff and guests and the neighbours and random people passing on the | street who were turning up to see what was going on, "but we don't know | anything about it?" | Rich sighed. It looked as if the best hope they had was that after | all the offbeat things that had happened today that something else | would turn up and their little adventure would get lost in the shuffle. | | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | Along the coast from town, Chuck! raced over to where the other | beachteens were grooving to the music as they danced in the light of | some bonfires that had been lit above the high tide line. "Guys! Hey | guys! Surfer Boy!" Chuck! called, trying to attract people's attention. | "Hiya Chuck! What's up?" asked Boondawgie. | "Guys, this is big!" said Chuck! "Von Velcro's got Pete!" | "Say what?" demanded Surfer Boy as he left off dancing. "Run that | by me again." | "I said, Von Velcro's got Pete! Me and Debbie Three-Socks saw them | drive past the gas station on the way up to the Liverwurst Place. Pete | was unconscious and tied up in one of their sidecars." | "Those dirty rats!" someone exclaimed. CAW: Jimmy Cagney? | "Okay people, listen up!" called Surfer Boy, bringing a halt to | the party. "Von Velcro's got Pete and he's taking him up to the | Liverwurst Place. Everybody load up your wheels, we're going to | rescue him!" | | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | Pete Greenberg had regained consciousness by the time the bikers | had arrived at the Liverwurst Place. He was hustled into the green- | house, where Dr. Liverwurst was pruning his orchids. CAW: [opens his beak to say something, but closes it again after seeing Swordmaster's expression] | There were quite a number of exotic plants growing there, some of them | of Liverwurst's own devising. Currently he was removing dead leaves | from a very special hybrid orchid: it's three delicate flowers were in | the shape of women's hands, and were gently strumming the air (except | for the one that had developed a habit of snapping its fingers). | "Ah, Mister Greenberg!" the doctor said, looking up and staring | with his intense and totally insane eyes. He put down the secateurs | with an abrupt movement and glided out from between the tables to greet | the boy, waving away Pete's captors as he approached. | "What do you want, you old weirdo?" spat Pete. | "I want to reunite you with your sister!" answered Dr. Liverwurst, | making a theatrical sweep of his hand in an arc which for the most part | took in the floor and presumably the lower levels of the building. | "What about my sister?" Pete demanded. He jumped forward to grab | and overpower the older man. Dr. Liverwurst barely moved until the last | moment, grabbing Pete by both forearms with another sudden movement | (and clutching him so hard that the beachteen yelled out at the sudden | pain), before throwing Pete to the floor. | "She is quite safe!" said Dr. Liverwurst, over-acting the threat | like the terrible b-movie villain that he was. "As will you be!" | Pete jumped to his feet and fled. Dr. Liverwurst did not follow, | simply staring after the teenager. Pete almost made it as far as the | door to the garden outside when he was nabbed by the odd-job, er, man | that had been lurking unnoticed in the leafy shadows. CAW: Riffraff! | Pete tried to recoil in horror from the figure, but its vegetable | grip was too strong. An only vaguely humanoid face stared at him with | eyes that were entirely too intelligent. Then it's serrated mouth | - which opened vertically rather than horizontally across its face - | gaped wide and hissed at him. CAW: Oh. Not Riffraff. | "Do you like him!?" asked Dr. Liverwurst brightly. "He's a human/ | venus fly trap hybrid! I call him Audrey!" The doctor bobbed his head | closer and confessed in a stage whisper, " I'm afraid Mister Von | Velcro's friends aren't very taken with him!" | That was an understatement of the extent that the bikers were | creeped out by the malevolent plantman - although not half so creeped | out as they would have been if they could have recognised it as their | former fellow gang member Buzz who had made the fatal mistake of trying | to leave the Hell's Bats some three years back. | "In any case, Audrey will take you downstairs now! To meet your | sister! And the giant spiders, of course!" | | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | Lt. Don Scowie was in a bad way. It wasn't so much from the voices | in his head. They'd turned up just after the nurse had arrived and | changed his bandages, about an hour after the intruder had been chased | off. Truth be known, he was barely noticing the voices because of the | way he was feeling. Nor was it actually from any radiation burns or | injuries taken from being caught by a bomb blast. | It was more... well, the way he felt so *constrained*. Like his | body was just too small. He wasn't fully awake, but he tossed and | turned feverishly to be free of the bedclothes. Barely conscious, he | staggered out of bed and down the stairs to the ground floor and then | out into the night. He had to be out in the open. Swordmaster: Yes? So? If he's barely conscious he won't be able to avoid the guards. Remember them? | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | Only shortly afterwards, high in a tower of the Liverwurst Place, | the diabolical doctor was scanning the horizons, using a complicated | looked tangle of bent telescopes that were twisted around one another. CAW: Just like the ones Witchie-Poo used to spy on H.R.Puffnstuff. | "Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!" cried Dr. Liverwurst as he | flipped between the various eyepieces and realigned the directions of | view. "This cannot be!" he protested to the night sky with all of the | subtly of Vincent Price. "There are no giant radioactive monstermen | making their way to obey *me* and my plan to Take Over The World!" | "Pete Greenberg wasn't zapped by the bomb, boss," Von Velcro | reminded him. | "Yes, I know! But *someone* was!" countered the doctor, stalking | around the telescope array with one hand behind his back and the other | with a finger waggling in the air. "By all accounts, the army | lieutenant." | "Scowie." | "Yes! *He* has been TRANSFORMED! I *do* have a supersoldier!" | Then he darted back to the telescopes and began to fiddle with them | again. "I just wish I knew where he was!" he snarled. | "Maybe you should check with the bikini-bomb and see what else | she knows," suggested Von Velcro. Then he added, "It's kinda ironic | that she should've been put in place to get information from him, and | now has to be used to try an' keeps tabs *on* him." | "Yes!" agreed Dr. Liverwurst. "I am aware of the irony! Still, | it's a good suggestion... Hello! What's this!?" he said with sudden | curiosity. "Trespassers!" | The view cut to the sight through one of the telescopes. In the | woods down beyond the edge of the Liverwurst Place grounds the beach- | goers had parked their cars and were sneaking towards the house. | "Here!" cried Dr. Liverwurst, jumping back from the eyepiece with one | of his sudden movements and waving Von Velcro to take a look. | Von Velcro looked. "What do you want done with them?" he asked, a | little too eagerly. | "Ah!" said the doctor. He turned to one side and mused, "Capture | them!?" Then he swung back to present the other profile, "Or kill | them!?" Then he faced back towards Von Velcro, put this foot up on a | chair and adopted a 'The Thinker' pose. "So many choices!" | Von Velcro rolled his eyes and said, "Why don't you just do both? | There's enough of them to go round to do that." | "An excellent idea!" | | ((((((((((OOOOO))))))))) | | Boondawgie crept back to the tree line that sharply delineated | the forest from the lawn surrounded the mansion. "Good news, guys," he | said in an undertone. "I found an open door. Follow me." | "That's good," said Betty-Lou. "I get the creepiest feeling we're | being watched out here." CAW: [creepy voice] I like to watch. Swordmaster: Don't ever do that again. | "I know what you mean," agreed Kitty-Pie. Several of the other | females murmured in agreement. | "Now shush, you girls," whispered Surfer Boy. "Come on." | The beach-goers crept from the shadows under the trees and onto | the moonlit lawn, and then onwards towards the house. In the evening | gloom they could not see the legions of tacky pink flamingo lawn | ornaments blink and turn their heads slightly to watch them pass. | As the kids crept through the shadow of the gazebo CAW: I waste it with my crossbow! | there was a muted rattling noise as one of the flamingos chattered its | beak a little. | "What was that?" gasped Francine. | "What was what?" demanded Wongo. | "That sound," snapped Francine. | "*What* sound!?" Swordmaster: The rattling sound like triffids communicating with each other. | "Will you two be quiet!" hissed Surfer Boy. | The group finished their trek to the walls of the mansion and | Boondawgie let them in to the Zen Room. Behind them in the shadows the | flamingos turned and stretched their legs and wings in jumpy movements | like crude stop motion animation, and then began to stalk towards the | house. | | --------------------------------------------------------------------- | Character Credits: | Limp-Asparagus Lad owned by Saxon Brenton. Created by Mystic | Mongoose (Robert Armstrong) and wReam (Ray Bingham). | CAW, Swordmaster, and the Squeaky Flying Rodent created by Badger | (Matt Rossi). Used with permission. | All other characters created by Saxon Brenton. | | All characters are owned by and copyright 2003 their creators | and/or owners. | | ---------- | Saxon Brenton University of Technology city library, Sydney Australia | firstname.lastname@example.org | The Librarian "liked people who loved and respected books. And the best | way to do that, in the Librarian's opinion, was to leave them on the | shelves where Nature intended them to be." Terry Pratchett, _Men At Arms_ "Commercial sign... now."Back to the Index.