Limp-Asparagus Lad #56 A Legion of Net.Heroes title 'Decimation' part 1 Written by and copyright 2006 Saxon Brenton Art by Fred H*mback --------------------------------------------------------------------- The cover is filled with the face of a wild-eyed man who's leaning as close as possible to the reader and screaming, "One tenth of you people will loose your mutant powers! The rest will be turned into monkeys!" At the top next to the 'Limp-Asparagus Lad' logo is the 'Apes Month!' promotional indica. --------------------------------------------------------------------- It was mid-morning, and at a green grocer's store in the Mutant Town district of Net.ropolis one of the robbers fired his gun point blank into a young man's chest, causing his target to yell, "Hey! That stings!" This was pretence. The victim's name was Joshua Asimov, and in order to protect his secret identity as Limp-Asparagus Lad - the world's most boring mutant superhero - he deliberately used some exclamations before lunging forward to disarm his assailant. The second robber started firing at him as well, for all the good it did him. Had the miscreant been thinking rather than reacting he might have tried to take a hostage from someone who hadn't already proven resistant to gunfire, but by that time the owner of the store had had enough time to react and had set his sock onto them. There are few things so distracting as having a hyperactive sock puppet like Mr Vegge scrabbling in your face and yelling, "You want a piece of me punk? Huh? Do you?" Especially when it seems to be moving under its own control. The robber let loose an incoherent yell of fright as the thing started poking at his eyes and brought his arms up to shield his face. Joshua faked a punch to the face of the first robber, then brought down the side of his forearm across the man's hand, knocking his gun to the floor. Then he grappled him into an arm lock. Joshua looked over to the store owner, about to ask him to call the police... and paused. Vincent Nerrow was a mute mutant, and Mr Vegge did all the talking for him. Unfortunately Mr Vegge was a bit too busy to talk on the phone at the moment, what with jumping up and down on the cornered second robber's head and occasionally leaning over to threaten to rake his eyes. It seemed that Vincent was ahead of Joshua, however. The middle-aged grocer picking up a mobile phone and dialled it as he walked over to where Joshua was. Simultaneously Mr Vegge glanced over to Joshua and said, "Call the cops, would you?" before returning to business. Joshua did so. However, as he logged a call to the police the second man got a lucky strike in and grabbed Mr Vegge. He shook the puppet about, possibly in a futile attempt to give Mr Vegge whiplash or something. Mr Vegge retaliated by biting his assailant's hand - albeit to little effect. Vincent hurried over with the baseball bat that he had on hand, but by the then thief had thrown Mr Vegge to the floor and run for it. The police turned up soon afterwards, arrested the remaining thief and took statements. Sgt Dnati - who was a human but knew her business and got along well in the Mutant Town district - asked Joshua if he'd have to go home to replace the bullet hole ridden shirt. He shook his head. "No, I have a change of clothes at work." Dnati nodded. One of the little things that you soon learnt about Mutant Town is how many people kept a change of clothes handy, just in case they or somebody else caught a cold and sent slime flying everywhere whenever they sneezed, or had trouble with their flame powers because they were premenstrual. "Well, that's about everything," she said as she put her note pad away. "We'll be in touch if there's anything else." "Sure," said Joshua. Joshua finished his purchases. Then, just as he was about to leave Mr Vegge staggered over, holding an orange that was almost as large as he was. "Here you go Josh. On the house." Joshua looked at Vincent, ignoring Mr Vegge altogether because he knew whose psychokinesis animated the puppet, and said, "You don't have to do that." Vincent waved a hand dismissively. Mr Vegge said, "Eh, a free orange or two as thanks for helping isn't going to send him broke. Go on, take it." Joshua nodded and accepted the fruit with thanks. Now unburdened, Mr Vegge scampered back to Vincent's shoulder and returned Joshua's wave of farewell. There were only a few local gawkers left to pay any attention to Joshua as he left the shop. He bit into the fruit and continued his journey to the Legion of Net.Heroes HQ, intending to catch a cross-city airship for the trip to downtown. Although he maintained a secret identity, Joshua didn't hide the fact that he was a mutant. He lived in Mutant Town and found it easy enough to hide the extent of his powers, pretending that his elastic physical resiliency was a much less potent type of generic invulnerability. It was his belief that if he was going to keep a public profile as a net.hero who was incidentally involved in mutant rights, then he should put his money where his mouth was rather than hiding in the closet marked 'mutant'. As he walked towards the airship stop Joshua exchanged greetings with his neighbours, like Flinstell the panther man and Grandma Connors who was 93 years old but looked 29. And because the Looniverse was an eclectic superhero class setting, there were also strangeling residents who weren't mutants, like Mr Gorfinkle the golem, or the extraterrestrial youngsters studying at the local universities. But patterns repeat. He arrived in the downtown area and started walking to the LNH-HQ when suddenly a group of wild-eyed maniacs in stylised Neolithic clothing started running amok in the street, shooting people with Buck Rogers style ray guns and turning them into apes. Panicked apes who ran around screaming and throwing bananas. One of the troublemakers leapt out and capered in front of Joshua, screaming, "Revert, heathen! Revert in the name of de-evolution!" and shot him too. Nearby, David watched his wife Jessica as she tried out the leather goods. No, not the hand bags nor the cat suits. They were in a farm supplies store and Jessica Balent-Divad was inspecting the whips. Most men, of course, had a hard time pretending not to be bored while watching their wives shop. David Divad couldn't honestly say he was any different, but since Jessica was currently assessing the quality of the whips for their joint net.hero activities, David was taking a professional interest in her choices. For David and Jessica were in fact Swordmaster and the Whip of the Load Island Renegades. "Okay, this make looks about right," said Jessica as she carefully examined the item in her hand. She gave the whip an experimental flick and nodded when it cracked. "Sounds good." "You can judge them by the sound?" "Partly," she admitted. "A good tool can be judged by the result it produces. How it handles is an important factor as well." To demonstrate Jessica span around and began a swirling dance, cracking the whip about her in a 4/4 beat. She moved with consummate skill, and if there was any difficulty or even effort to her display then it didn't show on her face. Around the store customers and staff began to watch, obviously impressed by the sight. Without pausing the beat Jessica swept up a second whip of the same brand and began cracking it as well, counter pointing the first in perfect rhythm. She continued this for more than half a minute, never faltering, and like a whirling dervish her face was mask of sublime contentment as she devoted herself to the movement and the beat. Finally she brought the display to a close. She looked satisfied. "They handle well," she smiled. He smiled back. "So, how many spares do you want?" "Revert!" somebody yelled. There were screams - and then ooks - of panic, and sounds of general mayhem. "Back to the trees, heathens! Vooti!" yelled a wild-eyed man who was firing a ray gun. Wherever he shot that gun, people were being transformed into ape-like primitives. "Oh for crying out loud..." went David. As the husband and wife ducked away almost reflexively to don their costumes and masks, Jessica said, "You know, I don't know what you're complaining about. You'd get bored if you didn't have some bad guy to beat up on occasionally." "Yeah, well... Don't tell my Dad, but I've picked up some bad habits. Anyway, it isn't so much the supervillains," Swordmaster said as he summoned into existence a duelling sword composed of visible light. "It's that they're always so *stupid*!" The Whip conceded that he had a point. If it wasn't some dairy farmer going mad, dressing as a mouse and using a mind control device to force everybody to eat more cheese, it was city bureaucrats keeping kidnapped citizens in cocoons of red tape because *obviously* the metropolis would work much more efficiently without all those disorganised people wandering about. Then she reminded him, "Your turn to run interference." Swordmaster nodded and leapt forward, doing an impressive vault and somersault onto the display dais where the fruitloop was continuing to rant while firing his ray gun. "Prepare thee the way of the primordial slime, heathens! Revert! Revert! Ahahahahahaha! Vooti!" "Oi! Freak features!" called Swordmaster, then expertly dodged the rather wild shots of the gunman after he'd attracted his attention. "Revert! Back to the trees! Rev... Argh!" he cried as the Whip neatly relieved him of his weapon with the use of her namesake. "Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with firearms?" quipped Swordmaster as he used the flat of his sword against his opponent's head. "Ook! Vooti!" "At least get some comprehensible dialogue, will you?" said Whip, just before a second wild-eyed lunatic with a ray gun popped up and shot her. "Eek! Ook!" went Whip as she was transformed into an ape woman. "Whip!" Swordmaster yelled, and threw himself at the second gunman, who unfortunately was a better shot that the first and zapped Swordmaster as well. Swordmaster's sword dissipated, but that was the extent of the effect. "Huh?" he went, since that last minute change in the tide of battle had left him expecting to need to put more effort into shaving. Still, he kept his focus enough to make sure that the forward momentum of his leap was transferred into a punch which connected his fist to the guy's face. "Vooti!" complained the feral looking man as he reeled backwards. "Mister, I am going to give you such a hit," said Swordmaster, who grabbed him by the hair and slammed his head into a large storage container. Swordmaster tried to create another weapon, first from electricity and then from a list of increasingly exotic forms of energy, like gamma rays and tachyons. Nothing happened. It seemed that his powers weren't working, and now that he came to think of it he couldn't taste things at a distance anymore, either. He glanced around to try and see where the Whip had gotten off to, and realised that there was more screaming coming from outside on the street. He quickly snatched up the ray gun and examined it, but was disappointed to find no obvious reverse settings on it. "Blast," he swore, then he picked up a length of wood to use as an interim club and ran outside to see what was going on, dodging screaming apes to do so. The streets of downtown Net.ropolis were in chaos. Apparently the victims of the transformation had devolved both physically and mentally, since the gibbering ape men and women were running around and throwing bananas - although Swordmaster had no idea where they were getting them from. He easily swatted away several bananas that they threw at him, since although he may have lost his powers to automatically be the best swordsman in the vicinity he was still an Olympic level athlete. This seemed to intimidate the apes somewhat, and gave Swordmaster the opening to spy among the tumult the hulking form of Limp-Asparagus Lad and someone else in a costume and top hat that he didn't recognise, who were both similarly being pelted with soft fruit. "Hey! Limpy!" yelled Swordmaster as he pushed his way through the throng, trying hard not to slip on all the banana mush that coated the street. Limp-Asparagus Lad heard and after identifying his fellow net.hero began forcing his way toward him. Swordmaster noticed that L-ALad was bleeding from two shallow wounds, which under the circumstances didn't surprise as much as it normally would have. "Powers not working?" he asked. "I am afraid not." "You still look like Strong Guy, though," said Swordmaster as he scared away some of the apes with his banana batting prowess. "I guess those ray guns don't work on physical mutations, huh?" "Uh, no," said the other young man. "Whatever they do, it definitely affected my physical mutation," he added, holding up one hand, open palm outward. "This is Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad, who was also in the area," said Limp-Asparagus Lad by way of introduction, then had to duck as a new barrage of bananas came in. "This is getting silly. I still have my personal flight.thingee, so let me fly us all up out of the way of this mayhem so that we can plan how to tackle the source of the problem rather than continually fight these transformed innocents." Neither of the other two net.heroes objected, and Limp-Asparagus Lad quickly hefted his two compatriots up several stories to a deserted balcony. "Okay," said Swordmaster to Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad, "You were saying?" "I don't know whether it's significant or not," said the younger man, "But when they zapped me with their ray guns, I lost both my powers and my extra thumbs." Again he held up his hand. "Extra thumbs?" "I had two extra thumbs, opposite the usual two. Total of six digits to each hand," he explained, wiggling his pinkies. "It wasn't much, but it did increase my dexterity when I was pulling paper out of hats." Swordmaster frowned. "Then why...?" "I have a theory about that," said Limp-Asparagus Lad. "It only seems to affect at-birth mutations," he added, obliquely referring to the fact that his Liefeldian physique was the result of having been hit on the head by one of RobGoblin's tennis balls [way back in _Limp-Asparagus Lad_ #17 - Footnote Girl]. "Combine that with the fact that the perpetrators seem to be obsessed with some type of reverse of evolution, and I think we might be dealing with some sort of X-Men-style conceit that super powered mutants are the next stage of human evolution. That would mean the normal humans are being devolved into some sort of australopithecine, while we mutants are being devolved into powerless humans." He paused and then mused, "I wonder what aliens like Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour Story, Sarcastic Lad, or Vel would devolve into? Especially Vel, considering that he's a human/dorf hybrid." "Let's not get too sidetracked," said Swordmaster as he fiddled with the ray gun that he had confiscated. He glanced up and threw an enquiring look at L-ALad. "So, you're thinking... what? That there's some sort of quantifiable difference between mutant powers that you get born with and the mutate powers that you get later if you're bitten by the proverbial radioactive origin?" "Not necessarily on a genetic level, but certainly on comics cliche level," countered Limp-Asparagus Lad. "It would almost have to be an environmental effect, since normal people have always been agitated by mutant heroes like the X-Men but are blase about non-mutants like the Fantastic Four or the Avengers." Swordmaster shrugged. "I've never gotten into thinking that way like some of the more comics based net.heroes do, so I can't really say. Getting back to the main game, I've been having another look at this devolutionary gun, and I still can't find any way to reverse it's settings..." "That might be a security feature for instances like this," pointed out Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad. Swordmaster nodded. "Mind you, that suggests more forethought and care than I'd be prepared to credit those devolutionary fanatics with, but we might have only encountered the grunt troops. Anyway, if we can't reverse the effects ourselves, we'd better forward all this information on to Doctor Stomper at the Legion headquarters. You may as well include the idea that it takes away mutant but not mutate powers, even if it's just a working hypothesis... What in the world!?" he exclaimed as gigantic footfalls shook the building they were standing on. "Don't tell me that they brought giant battle mecha." "Uh... actually it's a giant green ape man," said Pulls-Paper-Out- Of-Hats Lad, pointing at the huge figure stomping through the city. "Green?" wondered Swordmaster. Then, "Crud. Very Big Boy's hair turns green when he uses his powers, doesn't it?" "Yes," confirmed Limp-Asparagus Lad. "And he gained his powers from an atomic blast, rather than being born with them." "Okay, okay, one point for you," conceded Swordmaster. "But that's one more team player lost from our side." "I'll contact Doctor Stomper and give him the information that we've unearthed," said Limp-Asparagus Lad, getting out his comm.thingee. "And ask him if he needs a sample devolutionary ray gun for the reverse engineering," added Swordmaster. Meanwhile, Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad had been thinking. Now he said, "Swordmaster, try shooting me with the ray gun a second time." "What?" "I don't think it will have much effect, because we haven't seen any of the affected people be changed back with any of those wild shots the devo fanatics kept firing off. But maybe a second dose of the same ray reverses the change? We should test it to make sure." "It's a demented enough idea that they may have built their weapons that way," admitted Swordmaster. "But what if now that you're human it changes you into an australopithecine? You'll loose your mind as well." Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad looked determined. "I'll take that risk. At worst, it's another piece of information to forward on to Doctor Stomper." Swordmaster nodded grimly, aimed and fired. Nothing seemed to happen. Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad wiggled the pinkies on his hands again, which were still hideously disfigured by normalcy. "No. Sorry. Still only one set of thumbs." "Right then, back to the idea of reverse engineering these things, I guess," said Swordmaster pragmatically. Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad nodded. Still, he'd felt a sudden constriction in his chest in disappointment at their continued loss. On an intellectual level he knew that this was silly - but still, it felt like he'd had an unwanted amputation... He deliberately pushed the feeling away; he had more important things to worry about right now. "wReamhack says that Doctor Stomper already has some of the devolutionary guns," said Limp-Asparagus Lad. "Apparently Irony Man dropped some off before heading off for crowd control again. His armour seems to be protecting him from the rays." "Well, that's good news at least," mused Swordmaster. He stepped over to the balcony rail and gazed out at the mayhem below. .oO( Hold on, Jessica. We'll get you back soon, ) he silently promised. From here Swordmaster could see abandoned police cars where the authorities had tried to put a stop to all this and found themselves on the zappy end of the ray gun. Suddenly he smiled at the thought that it wouldn't all be bad news: there was a significant number of police officers who were mutants, and not just working in Mutant Town either. "Now that Stomper's working on a solution, we should get to work on keeping the damage under control," he said. "Putting a stop to those devo fanatics seems the likely place to start to me." Limp-Asparagus Lad nodded. "It hardly makes sense to deal with the rioting while they're going around creating more rioters." "That should be easy enough," said Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad. "They don't have full body power armour like Irony Man, so unless they've got some other sort of protection, they should be vulnerable to their own ray guns." A beatific smile appeared on Swordmaster's face. "Hats Lad, I like the way you think." It turned out to be both that easy and that difficult. The net.heroes turned their attention to launching their counter- attack against the devolutionaries, who seemed to be roving in small packs. The three mutants followed the noise of one group into a subway station. Huddled at the far end of the platform were a bunch of citizens. They were holding each other with an intensity that you normally didn't see among big city residents who had been strangers only five minutes ago. There were also five devolutionaries approaching from the other end at a leisurely pace, going, "Ack! Vooti!" and obviously relishing the fear they were causing. Limp-Asparagus Lad flew in from the rear and let go of Swordmaster, who crashed feet first into the backs of two devos. They went sprawling, while Swordmaster rolled and sprang to his feet and started firing at them. Quite suddenly there were four devolutionaries, and then three. The others started shooting at Swordmaster - which of course had no effect. "By the way Limpy, I've been wondering," said Swordmaster as Limp- Asparagus Lad and Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad waded in with their fists, intent on keeping the devolutionaries from firing at the cornered group of people out of spite. "Is your lack of emotion related to your powers? I mean, if your drama dampening is on the fritz, are you going to loose your ability to be dull?" "I don't think so," replied Limp-Asparagus Lad. He punched a devolutionary fanatic, then had to duck as another one decided that if his ray gun wasn't working on these opponents then physical violence would be an acceptable substitute. L-ALad used the momentum of the devo's lunge to throw him over his shoulder and straight into the waiting fist of Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad. "As far as I've ever been able to tell, my drama dampening powers only enhance my phlegmatic personality. They aren't the cause of it. Why do you ask?" "Just curious," said Swordmaster as he transformed one of the three remaining devos, leaving two unchanged for interrogation purposes. It had taken less than a minute for that particular pack of maurauders to be been neutralised. Now Swordmaster took the opportunity to try to interrogate the final devolutionaries that they had left in human shape, only to discover that retaining a modern form didn't equate to having a modern mind. "Ack! Heathens! Beware the revenge of the Great Apes! Their wrath at you for stopping their servants will be fearsome! Smite! Smite! Vooti!" was the most that he could get out of either of them. The net.heroes confiscated the extra ray guns, reassured the citizens and made their way up to the surface to continue the long, slow work of rooting out all the devolutionaries. "Where do all these mad cults come from?" complained Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad. "And where do they get all their members, anyway? The jobs market can't be that bad!" "Dunno," said Swordmaster. "Personally I've always wondered why so many inventors of super science go out and try to rob banks with their creations. I mean, even if they succeed, it's hardly as though they'll recoup their costs. People just do crazy things sometimes. Come on, let's get back to hunting devos. We've got a target rich environment at the moment." It was about then that they discovered that there were others intent on taking advantage of the confusion. Meanwhile Doctor Stomper was in his laboratory at Legion head- quarters, frowning at a dismantled ray gun on the work bench. It sat beside a second ray gun, whose deconstruction had been similarly fruitless. As far as he could tell, there was no working mechanism within the guns that could generate a devolutionary effect. Doctor Stomper was beginning to worry that perhaps these contraptions had been made by a superhuman, and functioned only because they were animated by this hypothetical individual's powers. Now, there were brute force ways of dealing with that if it turned out to be the case. However, both guns had an internal composition that looked like it was thrown together at random. So before he set about developing his own form of transformation device, Doctor Stomper decided to compare what elements they held in common. That might yield a clue, but it would probably be a lengthy task, so he set to work straight away. Benny and Lou were busy manhandling a rather expensive wide screen TV out of a broken store window when they heard an "Ahem" from behind them. They looked up, Lou drawing an ordinary handgun as he did so, only to discover a trio of rather obvious superheroes giving them an admonishing look. And if the guy in the costume of red and black spandex and leather pointing a recently scrounged fencing foil at them plus the man in green who was floating in midair with his arms crossed weren't enough, the one with the top hat was pointing some sort of ray gun at them. Benny and Lou suddenly decided that the cutting edge of capitalism didn't interest them, and made a run for it. Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad turned them into ape men, on the general principal that, like the devos, they'd get up to less mischief as australopithecines. "Well, that was fun," said Swordmaster, "But we'd better get back to work..." "Heathens!" came a cry of indignation. "Speak the name of Rangda, and she'll appear," said Pulls-Paper-Out- Of-Hats Lad, just before a lightning bolt blasted perilously close to him, sending all three net.heroes ducking for cover. "Godless heathens!" yelled a man in robes who came striding in like some Old Testament prophet, flanked by small number of similarly robed followers. "Foul purveyors of science mythology! How dare you force your lies of evil-lution onto God's children! Sinners! Hell spawn!" he ranted before blasting off some more lightning bolts from his staff. "Time for some irony, I think," said Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad from behind the car where they were laying low, and took a shot with his ray gun. Nothing happened. The robed man laughed uproariously. "Fools! I am protected from your so-called science by the hand of God himself. Your evil-lution cannot touch me!" Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad looked nonplussed. Swordmaster raised an eyebrow and asked, "Maybe he's mutant too?" Limp-Asparagus Lad shrugged and said, "If so, it wouldn't be the first time that the devout have confused superpowers for divine intervention. Or infernal, for that matter." The robed man ordered his followers to spread out. "Secure the area. Round up those of weak faith who have succumbed to the evil-lution. They shall be sent to be re-educated to the Truth once we have secured our control." "Right, that does it," said Swordmaster. "Hats Lad, you go right. I'll take the left. Limpy, you've got better manoeuvrability with that flight.thingee than the rest of us, so you draw old man Moses' fire." Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad leapt out and crash tackled one of the followers, and quickly rendered him unconscious with a nerve pinch from the pentjak silat that his grandfather had insisted on teaching him. Swordmaster kept another out of action with the foil that he'd got from a sports goods store - he'd have preferred a broadsword, but just at the moment things were too hectic for him to be fussy. This left Limp-Asparagus Lad free for an assault against their leader. He danced in midair, pirouetting to the best of his ability around the lightning that the ranting creationist launched at him. If L-ALad had still had his powers to sense drama he might have been temped to draw the fight out longer, to see if the lightning thrower would weaken in a prolonged fight. That, however, was not an option he felt he could afford with his powers suppressed, and when he saw an opening the Man Of Dull took the opportunity to snatch the staff from his opponent's hands. "Filthy evil-lutionist!" he bellowed up at Limp-Asparagus Lad. "Give that back... hulp!" he gasped as Swordmaster grabbed him by the robes and hefted him off the ground by his throat. Swordmaster leaned in close and growled, "I'm getting tired of being stuck between two groups of nutbars, trying to keep the peace while they rampage about as if their own agenda is the only one that matters. You'll tell us who you are and what in Net.Hell you think you're up to. Now." "Impious heathen!" his captive managed to strangle out from Swordmaster's choking grip. "You will be struck down for laying your unclean hands on a servant of Christ!" Swordmaster's eyes narrowed in recollection of some of the instructions that he'd heard from this one, and tightened his grip. "You're the one planning to set up re-education camps, so I've got a pretty good idea about who's the better Christian out of the two of us. Now answer the question." Another lightning bolt exploded nearby, and the captive took the instant's worth of surprise this caused to wrench free from Swordmaster's grasp. "Patriarch Sweeney! Out of the way!" called one of several newcomers who had arrived to reinforce the creationist team and launched a second lightning bolt. Others rushed in to confront Pulls-Paper-Out-Of- Hats Lad and Limp-Asparagus Lad. Patriarch Sweeney drew himself up and crowed in triumph. "You cannot hope to beat us, for we have God on our side. We *will* be victorious!" To be concluded. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Character Credits: Doctor Stomper created by created by T.M. Neeck. Public Domain. Irony Man created by Doug Moran. Public Domain. Limp-Asparagus Lad owned by Saxon Brenton. Created by Mystic Mongoose (Robert Armstrong) and wReam (Ray Bingham (chaos and entropy incarnate)). Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad created by Arthur Spitzer and not reserved. Swordmaster and the Whip created by Badger (Matt Rossi). Used without permission. Very Big Boy created by Saxon Brenton. All characters copyright 2006 to their creators or owners as applicable. Back issues of the Legion of Net.Heroes may be found at Russ Alberry's Eyrie Archives at: ftp://ftp.eyrie.org/pub/racc/lnh The LNH stories of Blue Light Productions may also be found at: http://www.blue-light-productions.com -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Add Notes: This story was originally meant to be a one parter, but (like the Shimbleshanks story arc) it kind of grew out of control. The decision to split it into two issues actually made it easier for me to meet the Deadline Doom of getting it posted within Apes Month. Mr Vegge derives from an RPG character 'sidekick' called Mr Fribble who in turn was based on Mr Flibble from the _Red Dwarf_ episode 'Quarantine'. During said RPG game my character Dr Void used his ectoplasmic projection powers to animate Mr Fribble, and it amused the gamesmaster to make the sock puppet even more popular than the player character superheroes, to the point where he had a fan club and a number of websites devoted to him.Back to the Index.