Blue Light Productions presents

| Blue Light Productions
| (and *not* Best Brains)
| present:
| Limp-Asparagus Lad #48
| A Legion of Net.Heroes title
| 'It Came From The Late Late Late Show'
| Part 3 of 5
| Written by and copyright 2003 Saxon Brenton
| Art by Fred H*mback

     Carborundum Armoured Weapon: All ready for the third reel?
     Swordmaster: My loins are girded.

|      The group of teenagers crept as quietly as they could into the 
| half lit downstairs hall. Surfer Boy glanced around, taking note of the 
| double stairway leading up and down as well as the various hallways 
| leading off on this level. He wondered where would be the best pace to 
| start looking for Pete. 
|      Surfer Boy and the other beach-goers had come to the haunted 
| mansion of the reclusive and generally just plain creepy Dr. Liverwurst 
| in order to find Pete Greenberg, who had been captured and brought here 
| by Liverwurst's comic relief minions earlier this evening. However, it 
| was beginning to look as though that search would be a bigger task 
| than had first been thought. This place was like a maze.
|      Moreover, although the house seemed deserted, the rooms were 
| cluttered with... disconcerting stuff. Much of it was simply dust 
| covered furniture or brickabrak - but things like the hand of glory 
| candleholder, or the iron maiden that had been refashioned into a 
| grandfather clock, or the copy of American Gothic where the pitchfork 
| had been replaced with a head on a pike, were worrying.
|      "Okay," said Surfer Boy. "Everybody split up and be back here in 
| half an hour. It looks like nobody's here."
|      "Wrong!" yelled Von Velcro, and all of his gang members on the 
| upstairs balcony turned on the headlights of their Harleys.
|      On cue the girls all screamed, and the beach-goers ran for it in 
| different directions.
|      "Hot patooties, bless my soul," catchcried Von Velcro, and revved 
| up the throttle of his bike as he and his gang drove down the stairs 
| in pursuit.

     Swordmaster: You know, that's going to leave tyre marks on the 
carpet that just aren't going to come out.

|      And that was the point where the Scooby-Doo style Chase Scene with 
| 1960s style musical backing by The Archies started.
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      And because this is a Scooby-Doo style Chase Scene, you just know 
| there's going to be a reprise of that skit with characters ducking back 
| and forth between those pesky doors. You've probably seen it all 
| before, so you can skip this bit if you want and move on to the next 
| scene, which has got Limp-Asparagus Lad fighting bikers in it.

     Swordmaster: And if I want to skip that bit as well?

|      Goober and Daisy-Mae and Francine and Delroy were running down an 
| interminable corridor (with curiously repetitive furnishings) being 
| pursed by Fist. But although Fist was on a motorbike he didn't seem to 
| get any closer to the fleeing beach-goers. Probably he wanted to scare 
| them a bit before running them over, so was holding back on the speed. 
| Yeah, that'd be it.
|      The beach-goers reached an intersection of two corridors, with 
| numerous doors leading off each length of hallway. They raced through 
| the first door they came to, with Fist right behind them. Then the 
| four teenagers ran from another door further back along the hall (even 
| though they really hadn't had time to get that far) and into its direct 
| opposite with Fist still following. The next time they ran between 
| some doors Fist had apparently lost them, because he drove between a 
| completely different set. Then Goober and Francine ran from one door 
| while Daisy-Mae and Delroy ran from a different one on the opposite 
| side of the hall to where they should have been, with Fist racing 
| between another pair entirely. With all of these people racing about 
| in cross directions a collision was inevitable, and with a highly 
| onomatopoeic 'whumph!' sound effect that filled the screen and prevented 
| the audience from actually *seeing* how they actually managed such a 
| stunt, they all ended up piled high on the back of Fist's bike as he 
| drove back along the original hall that he had chased them down. Fist 
| looked up at them and snarled, and the beach-goers went "Yikes!" and 
| jumped off the back of the bike and ran in the opposite direction.

     CAW: You know, they'd be able to run a lot faster if they didn't 
hold their arms out in front of themselves like that.
     Swordmaster: That scene works really well visually. Not in text like 
this, but really well visually.

|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      Limp-Asparagus Lad made one circle of the Liverwurst Place from 
| above, quickly reacquainting himself with what he had found when he 
| had done a detailed search a day ago. It was a large three storey 
| building with several towers and a number of eclectic features, plus 
| an assortment of outbuildings. Some half a mile away to the west the 
| surf crashed around the base of the headland, although there was thick 
| forest between the two locations which sometimes made it hard to hear 
| the breakers.

     CAW: If no one hears the surf, does it really break?
     Swordmaster: And for the readers still confused about the location, 
we refer you to the map in the appendix.

|      The Legionnaire had spent some time yesterday scouting around 
| at least part of the interior of the house, flying around close to the 
| ceiling while also using the now broken stealth.thingee to lurk without 
| being noticed. He still had no idea where the mind control ray was, but 
| had a good idea where it was not. He just hoped there weren't too many 
| secret passages and hidden rooms in the areas that he had already 
| investigated.
|      All of that, however, would have to wait. There where lights on in 
| the building below, as well as the sounds of screams and motorbike 
| engines.
|      He dove through a likely looking open second storey window just 
| in time to see one of the gang chasing a couple of beach-goers. L-ALad 

     Swordmaster: Not to be confused with California Kid's brother, LA Lad.

| zipped after the gang member and plucked him off of his bike from 
| behind (which then careened across the room and crashed into a china 
| cabinet) and hung him up by his leather jacket on a wall hook between 
| the mounted heads of a bear and an elk. The miscreant swung a punch at 
| the LNHer, which L-ALad absorbed. But then, rather than leave the biker 
| to just hang there, Limp-Asparagus Lad socked him with a punch to the 
| jaw that put his lights out.  .oO( Hmmm, ) thought Limp-Asparagus Lad. 
| ( Mindless violence. That felt... strangely satisfying. )

     CAW: No Luke! Don't give in to the Dark Side!

|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      There were voices in Don Scowie's head, but they were as nothing 
| compared to the relentless pounding he felt all over, like a throbbing 
| body-wide migraine. He made it as far as the grounds outside the 
| hospital building before he staggered to his knees and clutched at his 
| head. His one brief cry of pain had attracted attention from other Fort 
| personnel, including the guard duty.
|      Scowie continued to clutch at his head. He felt so tight. So 
| constrained. He stood up and reached for the sky - and reflexively he 
| started to grow. Not in the sense of getting bigger muscles and making 
| like the Hulk. Rather, in the sense of growing taller and not stopping 
| until he was more than forty feet tall.

     Swordmaster: Oh God, please let his pants have grown too!

|      The tension left his muscles. Changing size had brought a great 
| relief. He no longer felt throbbing in every part of his flesh and 
| bone. Feeling much calmer, it was only now that he really noticed the 
| existence of the voices at all.
|      Almost serenely the giant man turned and began to walk towards the 
| Liverwurst Place on the coast to the southwest, leaving Fort Courage in 
| general uproar. The voices were calling.
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      Boondawgie and Arnie had wrestled down a wall hanging and then 
| draped it across the top of a balcony. As a biker going by the name of 
| Snot drove underneath chasing a beach-goer, Debbie Three-Socks waved a 
| signal from the bottom of the stairs and the two boys above dropped the 
| wall hanging over the biker. He crashed, whereupon Debbie Three-Socks 
| and Vickie laid into him with a broom and a firepoker until he was 
| unconscious.
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      Mitzie and Dave and Woody had found their way upstairs. They were 
| cautiously looking around when Gernsback walked in and announced in its 
| impeccable accent, "Crush! Kill! Maim! Destroy!" Mitzie screamed.
|      The robot butler was carrying a less clunky version of the death 
| ray that Dr. Liverwurst had developed for a previous attempt to Take 
| Over The World. He fired a shot that went wide and sliced the head off 
| of a marble bust of J. Edger Hoover. The teenagers fled, with Gernsback 
| following behind in a slow but ponderously inevitable pace.
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))

     Half Time Break
     "Well, that was certainly exciting," said CAW as he carried the 
Squeaky Flying Rodent's mortal remains out of the theatre.
     "Actually, that was pretty stupid," corrected Swordmaster, who had 
been through so much high quality stupidity himself over the years that 
he was getting good at recognising it. He took off his mask and looked 
around for a coffee machine.
     "It's time for a call from the MADs," CAW announced.
     Swordmaster looked up from the drink he was preparing. "CAW, we're 
not really on the Satellite of Love. We aren't going to get a call from 
Deep Thirteen."
     The hexfield chimed, causing Swordmaster to blink in surprise as it 
irised open. Two robot figures appeared on the screen. "Hello squishies. 
How are we doing today?"
     "Who in Net.Hell are you?" demanded Swordmaster.
     "It's Doctor Forrester and TV's Frank!" sing-songed CAW.
     "Actually the name's Firebrand, and this is my not-so-able 
assistant, ATV Frank."
     "Wait a second. I remember you," said Swordmaster. "You're some of 
those MACs from the Robot Invasion crossover a few years back. What are 
you doing here? You're supposed to be several hundred years in the future 
of another dimension in your home newsgroup. And Frank's supposed to be 
in the custody of Dvandom Force. Does Van Domelen know you're here?"
     "None of this is in continuity, remember?" leered Firebrand. "Like 
yourselves, we can appear here unbounded by the laws of causality..."
     "Or common sense," facepalmed Swordmaster. "You're going to start 
making RACCCafe references next, aren't you?"
     "Not really. It would be nice to get ahold of that device for 
killing off the Writers, but I've got my own dimension-spanning 
technology now." [In _System Corruptors Annual_ #1 - Footnote Girl]
     "Hey! Maybe they can get Dvandom to bring in a Pearl roboMAC," said 
     "For God's sake CAW, SHUT UP!" went Swordmaster. "Don't go giving 
them *ideas*!"
     "Actually," said Firebrand. "What we're going to do today is have a 
little nostalgia trip."
     "Oh goody!" enthused CAW.
     "What?" went Swordmaster.
     "Remember this scene?" asked Firebrand.
     The hexfield filled with a still shot from _Swordmaster And The 
Load Island Renegades_ #4. Swordmaster was lying battered on the floor, 
beaten by a malevolent robot in the shape of a giant lava lamp. The 
rest of the LIR were powerless to do anything but watch, while their 
demonic nemesis - Frank, lord of 70s memorabilia - cackled in malevolent 
triumph and held a bottle of Gatoraid in one hand.
     "Ack!" went Swordmaster in shock.
     "Or how about... this?" continued Firebrand.
     The next still was from _S&TLIR_ #10. Swordy, his nameless father, 
CAW and the Rodent were bickering with each other as they stood chained 
to the walls of a blood-soaked nether dimension. They were there because 
(a) CAW had accidentally committed all the movies of Clive Barker into 
his operating system, which had prompted him to build a portal to hell, 
and (b) the flashbacked revelation that Swordmaster's father had sold 
his soul back in 1977 in order that his son become a superhero and leader 
of a superhero team. The realisation that they were all now going to be 
sold off in an auction among the forces of Evil while being forced to 
wear unflattering spandex had only compounded the embarrassment.
     "Ooo. Ooo," went ATV Frank. "Can I do the next one, your Evil 
Overlordship, sir?"
     "Why certainly, Frank," agreed Firebrand with magnanimous 
condescension as he savoured the lovely shade of purple that Swordmaster 
was turning.
     "The next shot was especially chosen as a thematic summary of your 
entire series!" said Frank.
     From #19, Swordmaster and one of his innumerable clones - this one 
left over from Retcon Hour - fighting. Again. Repetitive Lad was only 
compounding the sense of deja vu by sending all of the stupid villains 
that Swordy had had to fight, like the Pirate King and his band of 
effeminately dressed singing pirates, and hordes of ninja clowns and 
ninja mimes.
     Fortunately Swordmaster had discovered long ago that the best way 
to deal with all these stupid threats was to beat the crap out of them. 
Which he did now. One swing of a large bastard sword later and the 
hexfield was scrap.
     "Ahh hahahahahahahaha," chuckled Firebrand at the other end after 
reception had been broken. "You know what, Frank?"
     "What, your Majestic Wickedness?"
     "I really love my work."
     Back at the faux Satellite of Love set: "Aww," protested CAW. "I 
was just getting into that."
     "Shut up and get back into the theatre," Swordmaster told him.
     "Commercial sign in five seconds," said the voice-over.
     "What do you mean, 'commercial sign'?" exploded Swordmaster. "We're 
in the middle of a bloody post!"
     "Poopie," went the voice-over.

|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      Debbie Three-Socks waited at the bottom of the stairs again, and 
| as another biker roared through she waved to Boondawgie and Arnie. They 
| dropped the wall hanging over the man driving past underneath them. 
| Then she and Vickie jumped on their opponent and began hitting him 
| again - bringing shouts of protest from a familiar voice.
|      The two girls looked at each other, then peeled the wall hanging 
| away to discover an indignant looking Chuck! "Oops. Sorry."
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      Limp-Asparagus Lad glanced around the kitchen. Lying on the floor 
| at his feet were five unconscious Hell's Bats and their bikes. 
| Everything was covered in whipped cream from the pie fight, and 
| considering how slippery the floor was it was a wonder that only one of 
| the bikes had skidded across the floor, rammed into the open cast iron 
| stove, and gotten wedged there.
|      The Legionnaire walked into the adjacent dining room, wiping the 
| confectionary off of himself as he listened for any sounds of mayhem 
| that would indicate where he was needed next. He also wondered how many 
| gang members there actually were, not to mention how many teenagers. It 
| could take forever finding them all in this huge building.
|      The question of where he was needed next was answered when Mitzie, 
| Dave and Woody came pounding into the room, followed by Gernsback who 
| was still firing random bolts of destruction that were blasting holes 
| in the plaster. "Crush! Kill! Maim! Destroy!"
|      "In here," called Limp-Asparagus Lad, ushering the three into the 
| kitchen just as Gernsback blasted off the lintel of the door. L-ALad 
| directed them towards the far door that led out through the pantry, 
| then picked up the lid of a large silver tray and checked its under-
| side. The three beach-goers paused at the door to watch in fascinated 
| horror as the Man of Dull walked back to the dining room holding the 
| lid before him like a shield.
|      "Klaatu barada nikto," said Limp-Asparagus Lad, hoping to get the 
| robot to stand down from its hostilities, but to absolutely no effect.

     Swordmaster: Try putting on a wig and pretending that you're 
Patricia Neal.

|      Gernsback's death ray hit the highly polished silver and reflected 
| back onto him. Limp-Asparagus Lad had managed to be knocked back only 
| half a pace by going limp and absorbing much of the kinetic force. 
| Gernsback likewise was still standing, since the kinetic force did not 
| reflect and the robot seemed resistance to the radiative energy of the 
| beam.
|      Without pausing Gernsback fired again. This time L-ALad angled 
| the beam back towards where Gernsback was standing, critically damaging 
| the floor beneath him. The floor gave way and the robot fell through 
| into the room below, where a hugely unmusical 'cloonngg' sound effect 
| indicated that he had landed in a grand piano.
|      "Wow," breathed Woody. "That was, like, just so cool mister. Who 
| are you?"

     CAW: Woody's getting excited!
     Swordmaster: If there's another scandal, I'm leaving.

|      "I am Limp-Asparagus Lad, the world's most boring superhero," he 
| proclaimed monotonously. "I am here to put a stop to the schemes of 
| Dr. Liverwurst, including rescuing Linda Greenberg."
|      "Linda?" croggled Mitzie. "Pete's sister? She's here too?"
|      Limp-Asparagus Lad repeated the summary that he had given to the 
| soldiers Matt and Rich. The beachteens threw bemused glances at each 
| other and told how they'd come to retrieve Pete. Limp-Asparagus Lad 
| nodded as he led them out through the dining room onto the upper 
| level of a mezzanine balcony, then asked, "How many people came with 
| you to rescue Peter?"
|      "Uh," went Dave, and threw a querying look at Woody. Woody 
| shrugged helplessly.
|       Limp-Asparagus Lad decided not to press the question, since the 
| Writer was obviously playing cagey with the number of people present. 
| "No matter." He glanced over the balcony and saw a few other beach-
| goers below, and waved to attract their attention. Then to the three 
| people beside him he said, "I am sure that we can collect everybody 
| together once Von Velcro's attempt to chase people down has been dealt 
| with."
|      As if to belie L-ALad's optimistic prediction the roar of a 
| motorbike broke from the other end of the balcony as Von Velcro came 
| riding in. He saw the four of them ahead of him and open the throttle, 
| laughing like a bat out of hell as he sped up to run them down. Mitzie 
| screamed. The three beach-goers jumped to one side.
|      Von Velcro grinned ferally as he saw Limp-Asparagus Lad stand 
| without moving or even tensing up.
|      Poor Elvis Von Velcro. Ignorant as he was, he thought he had the 
| Man of Dull at his mercy - like a rabbit caught in middle of a road by 
| the glare of headlights.
|      At the last second Limp-Asparagus Lad jumped forward and used the 
| flightring.thingee to crash tackle Von Velcro at just above handlebar 
| height and drag him off of his bike backwards. The bike continued 
| onwards and rammed through a leadlight window depicting the anti-myth 
| of Jesus Christ Vampire (don't ask; long story) and down onto the patio 
| below where it crashed and exploded into a ball of flame.
|      Limp-Asparagus Lad dropped Von Velcro onto the floor and glided 
| to a halt himself. Von Velcro staggered to his feet, bruised (L-ALad 
| hadn't bothered to brake the gang leader's momentum) and his ego 
| smarting. "You should surrender now," the LNHer said calmly. "If you 
| help us recover Peter and Linda Greenberg, you might be eligible for 
| plea bargaining from the police."
|      Von Velcro's reply was to rush at Limp-Asparagus Lad with a knife. 
| Mitzie screamed, although she needn't have bothered. Aimed straight 
| between the ribs at the heart, the knife did nothing, not even minor 
| bruising. The same thing happened the second and third times he tried. 
| The punch he tried using some brass knuckles did the same.

     CAW: Use The Digit! Use The Digit!

|      Then Limp-Asparagus Lad jumped back one step, and despite all the 
| evidence he'd seen so far, Von Velcro felt a stab of elation that he'd 
| scared the punk off. The gang leader was therefore unprepared when 
| L-ALad gained enough distance to bring his knee up into Von Velcro's 
| groin in one economic move, then brought his elbow down onto Von 
| Velcro's head while the latter was doubled over in agony.
|      "I am afraid he will not be of any help to us," Limp-Asparagus 
| Lad said to the others, who along with several of the other beach-
| goers from the level below were staring at him. "Perhaps we should 
| collect everyone together and organise the search for the Greenbergs," 
| he suggested. "The fighting seems to have calmed down."
|      Which was the point at which the horde of bloodthirsty lawn 
| flamingos attacked.
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      What followed was a nightmare. 

     CAW: People appearing in front of crowds without their clothes on, 
books by Stephen King were popular - you just don't want to know.
     Swordmaster: Oh, the horror, the horror.

| Unlike Von Velcro and his Hell's Bats - who had speed but very 
| little manoeuvrability on their bikes inside the confined space of the 
| house - the flamingos were able to attack and keep attacking without 
| respite. For Limp-Asparagus Lad they were little more than a nuisance, 
| but he could hear the screams of others as the bites and jabs of 
| plastic beaks drew blood from everyone else, beach-goer and biker 
| alike. There was a crash as someone - Limp-Asparagus Lad could not see 
| who because of the flurry of wings in the way - was herded up to the 
| edge of the mezzanine balcony and fell over, landing hard on the 
| polished wooden floor below.
|       "Everybody keep your heads down!" the Legionnaire yelled 
| monotonously over the screeching of the lawn ornaments. "Protect your 
| eyes!" He grabbed at one of the flamingos and experimented with trying 
| to snap its neck in half. No good. It seemed that it was solid plastic, 
| and he wasn't strong enough to break it. Fine then, he'd simply wade 
| back to the kitchen with his prisoner - like this - and retrieve the 
| cleaver that he'd seen - like this - and start chopping plastic limbs 
| off - like THIS!  Thwack! went the cleaver as the evil flamingo's head 
| came off. Then, just to make sure the thing was completely disabled, 
| he used the cleaver on both of its wings - leaving inexpertly pruned 
| stubs waggling against its body - and both of its legs. The pieces 
| were all still animate, but disassociated as they were the best that 
| they could do was flollop about.
|      Then Limp-Asparagus Lad grabbed another flamingo and proceeded to 
| dismember it as well. And then another. And another.
|      But there were literally scores of them. All over the house. It 
| would take a long time - perhaps too long a time - to get rid of 
| them all.
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))

     Swordmaster: Great! Just what I need!
     CAW: What is it Joel?
     Swordmaster: I want to *hit* something! I many not be able to get 
ahold of that obnoxious little animated dustbin with delusions of 
competence, but I can recognise a good old fashioned turkey shoot when 
I see one. You remember Pleasantville?
     CAW: No.
     Swordmaster: Purple Rose Of Cairo?
     CAW: No.
     Swordmaster: How about Last Action Hero?
     CAW: Sure.
     Swordmaster: Okay then. I'm going into the story on the screen.
     CAW: Goody! Can I come too?
     Swordmaster: [looks dubious] I don't know... You'd have to behave 
     CAW: I always behave myself!
     Swordmaster: No, you don't. When I say you'll have to behave 
yourself, I *mean* it. You remember when we had that crossover with the 
Legion of Occult Heroes, and you got to run around in the supermarket 
shooting Triads?
     [Legion of Occult Heroes #7 - Footnote Girl]
     CAW: Do I ever! That was cool!
     Swordmaster: And do you remember how you shot some of the people 
who worked there just because they got in the way?
     CAW: uhm...
     Swordmaster: And do you remember how Brenton got really pissed off 
over that in his review? Actually, come to think of it, Gumprich did too. 
I think the way you *enjoyed* killing people at random was what got up 
their noses. Well, he still hasn't forgiven you, although he says he's 
prepared to let it slide for the sake of dramatic license. But he's got 
standing orders that if you ever try anything like that in any of the 
stuff that he writes, he's going to have a giant demonic goat made of 
solid vibranium turn up. You know vibranium? The so-called 'anti-metal' 
over in Marvel comics that causes all other metals to crumble to bits? 
Right, that stuff. Anyway, then that giant goat will sodomise you to 
death. On panel. Right where everyone on rec.arts.comics.creative can 
see. And the fact that it'll be so explicit and graphic that even an 
Acraphobe rating won't be enough to justify it and the whole sick and 
twisted scene should belong on won't be enough to save 
you. And even though the writer is making me say all this, I agree with 
those sentiments entirely. Now, do you still want to tag along?
     CAW: [activity analogous to blinking takes place as clicking sounds 
can be heard in his processor units] I'll... just go and set my phasers 
to stun.
     Swordmaster: Good boy. We'll get you housetrained yet.
     CAW: Can Tom Servo come too?
     Swordmaster: -sigh-  Sure, why not?

|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      Eventually the plastic flamingos began to dimly realise that Limp-
| Asparagus Lad was an opponent of whom they would have to be wary. 
| Instead of attacking him directly they flocked up near the ceiling, 
| screeching defiantly, and occasionally trying to blindside him with a 
| group attempt at divebombing from the flanks and rear. Still, the evil 
| lawn ornaments had been animated with certain amounts of cunning but 
| not actual intelligence. They weren't capable of realising that they 
| were only barely slowing him down, and that by remaining near him they 
| were simply making themselves easily available for 'harvesting'.
|      This lack of strategy was fine with the Legionnaire. When he 
| finished chopping one flamingo to pieces he simply flew up and grabbed 
| another, and the flightring.thingee he used meant that he was a lot 
| faster in the air than they were. He had now moved out to the mezzanine 
| and begun to methodically clear away the pseudo-avian assailants.
|      Then a cry of, "Here I Come To Save The Day!" was heard as the 
| Carborundum Armoured Weapon thundered past grabbing flamingos at random 
| and tying their necks together. The result was several knots that could 
| barely even walk, let alone fly, due to how tightly packed all of their 
| limbs were. Once he had several of these CAW raced out to the patio 
| and piled the all together, then stepped back and cried, "*You* I can 
| toast!" and launched an incendiary missile at them.
|      This surprised Limp-Asparagus Lad slightly. But only slightly. 
| These sort of things happened when you were a net.hero. So he was 
| perfectly sanguine when the red clad form of Swordmaster appeared and 
| used his powers to form a 14th century fencing sword composed of 
| ultraviolet and visible light and used it to slice into wafers a 
| flamingo that was menacing Betty-Lou and Snot.
|      "Hello there," said Swordmaster with happy exuberance. "Mind if 
| I join in?"
|      "Feel free," replied the Man of Dull as he darted towards the 
| ceiling and grabbed another piece of pink plastic. "May I ask what 
| you're doing here?"
|      "Long story," admitted Swordmaster, neatly eviscerating another 
| fake bird. "The short answer is that we were MiSTing your story arc 
| and decided to pop over and lend a hand."
|      "And did you tell CAW...?"
|      "I told him to behave himself. And why."
|      "That is good. I had enough trouble arranging to avoid a rampaging 
| giant human. [During _Limp-Asparagus Lad_ #46 & 47 - Footnote Girl] 
| I'm not even sure how to start handling a giant goat."
|      "Sorry to have to tell you, but they changed Scowie's bandages. 
| He's on the way here under Dr. Liverwurst's control. Oh, by the way, 
| the mind control ray is upstairs in the north tower."
|      "Thank you. That should make things a lot easier. Are there any 
| other members of the Load Island Renegades about as well?"
|       "Only the Squeaky Flying Rodent, over there," Swordmaster said, 
| pointing to an ornate chair where the mortal remains of the Rodent 
| were propped up, looking for all the world like a king sitting in 
| state. "CAW insisted that he come."
|      As he grabbed another flamingo, Limp-Asparagus Lad racked his 
| brains for what little he knew about Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (he 
| had never gotten 'into' the program). "He would be taking the part 
| of... Tom Servo?" he hazarded.
|      "Exactamundo," agreed Swordmaster, jumping up onto a table and 
| then launching himself into a flying leap that allowed him to reach a 
| flamingo and slice it perfectly in half from its beak to its tail.
|      "I don't get it," complained Boondawgie, who had managed to get 
| ahold of a broom and was swatting a pair of flamingos into a stalemate. 
| "Who are these people? They just walked through the wall over there!"
|      "This is Swordmaster. We both belong to a group called the Legion 
| of Net.Heroes," said Limp-Asparagus Lad. "Although he is the leader of 
| a subgroup called the Load Island Renegades."
|      "Yes? And the walking through walls bit?"
|      "We actually came here from another dimension, son," said 
| Swordmaster, happily destroying fake flamingos. "We just *looked* like 
| we were walking through a wall because that was where we set the door 
| up to arrive in your universe," he added, vastly oversimplifying his 
| explanation until it was only just barely on this side of outright 
| fabrication.
|      "What!?"
|      "No, wait, I get it!" cried Wongo. He had grabbed a flamingo, and 
| although he wasn't strong enough to break it outright, he had forced 
| in across a balcony railing and was bending its neck back and forth 
| through unnatural angles in hopes that it would weaken and snap. "It's 
| like in that comic book that came out last month. This superhero called 
| the Flash vibrated the atoms of his body at just the right frequency to 
| travel into another universe where he met his idol, the original Flash 
| of the 1940s." Then he gave an 'ah!' of satisfaction as the flamingo's 
| neck snapped and he was able to move onto trying to break the wings. "I 
| bet these guys come from another Earth in another universe where there 
| have been superheroes for years!"
|      Swordmaster and Limp-Asparagus Lad looked at one another. Then 
| the two mutant net.heroes said, "Yes."
|      "Cool!" went Wongo. At that moment he was also rewarded as his 
| efforts to continue to break the flamingo caused a wing to snap off.
|      "Look, things here seem to be more or less under control," said 
| Swordmaster. "I'll go a scout for more flamingos elsewhere in the house."
|      "Okay."
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      Dr. Liverwurst watched the ongoing destruction of his forces 
| through a tactical holographic projection. He could hardly believe that 
| a small group of grown men running around in long underwear could have 
| done so much damage. The Hell's Bats had been thwarted, the flamingos 
| had been all but destroyed - and worse, those elderly juveniles were 
| rallying the teenagers and some traitors among Von Velcro's gang to 
| route what was left of the flamingos themselves!
|      "Oh, my plan, my beautiful plan!" he lamented theatrically. It 
| had been going so well too, despite the time and effort needed to set 
| it up. For instance, it had taken *ages* for the bikini-bomb 
| impersonating Linda Greenberg to wheedle the information about the 
| Wunderkind test from Scowie. (This had been the cost of using that old 
| mind control technology: it had been too subtle. Try as he might, he 
| hadn't been able to make whole cities' worth of people walk around in a 
| daze saying "Yes, Master". Hence the beauty of his current scheme: 
| *All* giant radioactive monsters wanted to rampage about in a spree of 
| mindless destruction; it was just a matter of influencing them to do so 
| in a way that benefited Dr. Liverwurst.)
|      Of course, he wasn't even sure where the bikini-bomb was at the 
| moment. Von Velcro had relayed her intentions to hunt after the 
| interloper Asimov. Almost certainly Asimov was a minion of that oafish 
| poseur Professor Zaknar, who was always sniffing around Dr. Liverwurst's 
| schemes in order to try and steal some bit of technology or a scrap of 
| credit with the Planetary Council of Overlords. Unfortunately, within 
| the past hour Dr. Liverwurst had found himself unable to make emergency 
| radio contact with the robot. He was beginning to suspect the worst 
| about her welfare, and was already planning an appropriate chastisement 
| for Zaknar if he or any of his flunkies were involved.
|      The alien scientist ran an inventory of the remaining resources 
| available to him at the moment. It was becoming apparent that he would 
| have to take a hands-on approach to the problem - but sometimes killing 
| your enemies in person was all the more satisfying anyway.
|           ((((((((((OOOOO)))))))))
|      A short while later, almost all of the flamingo's had been 
| destroyed, leaving the Liverwurst Place littered with the remains of 
| evil lawn ornaments. (But watch where you step! Those decapitated heads 
| could still strike like adders and give your ankles a nasty bite!) The 
| Legionnaires had evacuated all of the beach-goers and a few of the 
| Hell's Bats into a central spot. The Load Island Renegades made ready 
| to depart.
|      Limp-Asparagus Lad walked over to the grinning Swordmaster. "Thank 
| you for the help," he said.
|      Swordmaster shrugged. "No big deal." He looked around and gave a 
| contented sigh. "Frankly I was glad to be up and out of that theatre 
| chair and able to get some action. Listen, there is one thing," he said 
| as CAW wandered in carrying the corpse of the Squeaky Flying Rodent. 
| "Your Writer wasn't explicit about where the Greenbergs are as he was 
| about the mind control ray, but some of Liverwurst's dialogue suggests 
| that they're either on the lower levels of the house, or the tunnels 
| beneath it. Oh yeah, and they're being guarded by giant spiders."
|      "Giant spiders."
|      "Yup. Liverwurst could have been making a joke in bad taste, but..."
|      "But after unleashing a battalion of lawn flamingos to attack us, 
| it's best not to assume. Yes. You're right."
|      Swordmaster nodded. "Fine then. Enjoy the rest of your story arc," 
| he said. Then to CAW, "You ready?"
|      "All set and ready to go," enthused CAW.
|      "Back to the heckling then," said Swordmaster. He waved, and 
| seemingly stepped through the wall that was the point of egress back 
| to the theatre. CAW followed.
|      Limp-Asparagus Lad turned to face the twenty or so natives of this 
| Earth who were boggling at the LIR's departure. Some of them were 
| sporting impromptu bandages where they have been badly pecked. L-ALad 
| considered. It would probably be a good idea to get them away from the 
| building before anything *else* happened. But before he did that he 
| wanted to try to enlist some possible local area knowledge. "Do any of 
| you know where the entrance to the tunnels beneath the building are?" 
| he asked. "And whether there are giant spiders down there?"
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------
| 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.
|      Firebrand and ATV Frank created by Dvandom (Dave Van Domelen). 
| Used without permission. (Although in the absence of a Pearl roboMAC 
| Firebrand would say he doesn't *need* anyone's permission.)
|      All other characters created by Saxon Brenton.
|      All characters are owned by and copyright 2003 their creators 
| and/or owners.
| ----------
| Saxon Brenton     Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
| 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."

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