Limp-Asparagus Lad #58 A Legion of Net.Heroes title 'Decimation' part 3 Written by and copyright 2007 Saxon Brenton Art by Fred H*mback --------------------------------------------------------------------- The cover shows a gracile ape-like creature with one hand holding a staff and the other hand outstretched and surrounded by a menacing Kirbykrackle glow. Various Legionnaires have been blasted away and down onto their knees, and are shielding their eyes from the glow as they struggle to regain their footing. There's an Apes Month indica, plus a cover blurb proclaiming: 'The Day The Earth Stood Simian!' --------------------------------------------------------------------- A Legion of Net.Heroes flight.thingee launched itself into the sky and flew west. Less than a hour ago Doctor Stomper had distributed the various Heath Robinson-esque devices that he had built to provide both his cure and inoculation against the effects of the Devolutionaries' ray guns. This had eventually brought back into action a *very* large number of LNHers, the majority of who were supremely unimpressed by the antics that the cults of Devolutionaries and Creationists had gotten up to during the anarchy of the last two issues. The Legionnaires had then been divided up into either the mopping up squads or an assault group. The latter team was needed to prevent the whole thing from starting all over again. "The problem," Dr Stomper had explained to the Legionnaires who'd met with him at his laboratory, "is that I've identified what I think to be the source of power of those ray guns that the Devolutionaries were using. It seems that it wasn't the ray guns themselves that were turning people into australopitecines." "Well they weren't creating mass hallucinations," Irony Man had disagreed. "The effect was real enough," explained Dr Stomper. "It just wasn't originating with their guns. It's actually being generated from here." Then he'd activated a holographic screen which showed a map, and on it was a pulsing blip marking a spot beyond the suburban sprawl of Net.ropolis, somewhere in the swampily mountainous arboreal desert farmland tundra to the west. As the other net.heroes had examined this schematic, Dr Stomper continued: "This marks the source of an effect that the Devolutionaries harnessed with the guns. The simple analogy for this would be that their ray guns are something like television antennae, and are picking up and amplifying signals that are being broadcast from elsewhere." He pointed to the indicated location on the holographic map. "This is the elsewhere that it's being broadcast from. We need to somehow incapacitate that effect, otherwise the Devos could regroup and begin again. Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad?" Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad had been looking thoughtfully at the map, fixing in his head the properties of the phenomenon that Dr Stomper wanted information about. It wouldn't be useful to get data on the area alone - say, from a geographical map - but not retrieve anything on the effect the Devos were harnessing. "Okay," Hats Lad said. He took off his top hat, wiggled all six fingers (it felt good to have all his thumbs back!) and plunged his hand in, then drew out a collection of used lolly wrappers. He frowned. "Uh-oh." "Problems?" asked Irony Man. "Don't tell me that whoever's behind all this has found a way to block spying that includes your powers." "Noooo..." said Hats Lad dubiously. "It feels more like this all the paperwork there is. Either there was other stuff that's since been destroyed, or possibly it was only ever done on computer in the first place..." Dr Stomper examined the crude-to-the-point-of-being-unintelligible scribble on the back of the crumpled scraps of paper. "Or the person responsible is the type of idiot savant who draws up his blueprints on the back of candy wrappers," he concluded. That had been then. Now Parking Karma Kid was flying the assault squad to investigate the source of the Devos' power and cripple it as best they could. Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad was both nervous and excited. Wow. A big mission. By rights his powers were more suited to support services - but on the other hand that didn't prevent the likes of Cheesecake-Eater Lad or Sister-State-The-Obvious from performing impressive feats of heroism. He just hoped he didn't foul up and make a fool of himself. By contrast Swordmaster was looking thoughtful. He and the recently de-devolved Whip had agreed to participate in the assault squad because, well, sometimes it was nice to just beat up bad guys without having to play babysitter for the rest of the Load Island Renegades. "Hey, Occultism Kid? " Swordmaster asked. "Could I have a word with you?" "Sure. What's up? "There's something that's been bugging me," said Swordmaster. "For ages I thought I was a mutant, but a while back it turned out that my Dad had sold his soul to a demon so that I'd become a net.hero and lead my own net.hero team, and he could live vicariously through my exploits." [_Swordmaster And The Load Island Renegades_ #9 & 10 - Footnote Girl, back after being away last issue] The Whip glanced at her husband. "So you're wondering - if you weren't a mutant - why you didn't get turned into an ape-like primitive like both of us?" she asked, gesturing to include both herself and Occultism Kid. "Right," said Swordy. "If I get my abilities from being, I dunno, mystically empowered or whatever, how come I only lost my powers after being zapped by the Devos?" Occultism Kid looked thoughtful. "Hmm. Well, it's possible that both could be true. Depends on how powerful the demon is. Or was. When did this happen? Before you were born?" "Yeah." "Okay, and who was the demon?" "Frank. Calls himself the Demon Lord of Disco." "Ah, not a powerful demon then," said Occultism Kid with just a touch of amusement. "Actually, back then he would have still been the Demon Lord of Seventies Memorabilia, but that just underscores the point, I suppose. I'd guess that it all boils down to the amount of resources he could put into giving you superpowers. Now, powerful demons, yes, they'd infuse you with mystical power if they could. If nothing else having infernal power infused into the targets gives them a bit of a hold on their victims, even if they can't corrupt them and bring them to Net.Hell the old fashioned way. But for weaker demons, well, it might have been easier to use a single quick burst of supernatural power to make sure that you were a mutant, and then let your DNA develop your abilities without needing any more outlay from him. That way Frank wouldn't have to expend so much of his personal energy. That's just a guess, mind you, but it seems to fit all the facts." Swordmaster rolled his eyes wryly. "I'm beginning to feel like Convoluted Origin Man," he said. In the cockpit Parking Karma Kid frowned. He'd brought the flight.thingee to within visual distance of their destination - and what he saw was weird. "Er, guys," he said. "I know the Writer was making jokes about swampily mountainous arboreal desert farmland tundra, but I don't think abandoned bowling alleys should be overrun with heavy jungle like that." The other Legionnaires looked too. "I sense mystical evil down there," announced Occultism Kid grimly. Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad shook his head in dismay at the sight. "Well, so much for using the original building plans," he said. Back at the LNH-HQ he'd drawn forth some aging plans for the now-abandoned two storey structure at the location Dr Stomper had identified. There'd been no planned renovations submitted to council since it was first built back in 1965, although that didn't mean illicit changes mightn't have been made. But now, looking at the canopy of old growth trees that almost hid the building beneath, he wondered whether there were any drafted floor plans which bore any resemblance to what was currently down there. A short while later they had split into two groups, and the ground team was almost at their destination. The Whip looked up at the surrounding vegetation and said, "There's something suspicious about this. Those trees are huge. No way have those been growing for anything less than a century." Swordmaster nodded. He had taken the lead as the ground team of himself, Parking Karma Kid, Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad and the Whip had moved in, using his abilities to hack a path through the thick foliage with a machete composed of cosmic rays. That thick wall of canopy had soon vanished once they'd passed through the outermost edge, giving way to a dimly lit maze of trunks and interlocking buttress roots - but Swordmaster had changed his machete to an axe and continued to slice his way through all obstacles like a hot knife through butter. Despite the heavy plant growth, the distance from the edge of the canopy to the bowling alley wasn't all that far. Soon they had reached their objective. Parking Karma Kid took out his comm.thingie and signalled to the others that they were in position. "Roger that," said Irony Man as the flying team moved in. Irony Man carried Occultism Kid while Limp-Asparagus Lad had Fuzzy as his passenger. They circled in low over the top of the trees, avoiding being outlined against the open sky. "Well well, look at that," said Fuzzy as they came within sight of where the building's roof would be. They had been expecting a few breaks in the roof, but not that it would be missing altogether. The place looked almost like an open-to-the-sky amphitheatre - this effect compounded by the way that the surrounding trees fringed the gap but suspiciously did not overhang it. The LNHers descended further and hovered at the circumference of the opening. "The floor of the bowling alley has been removed," pointed out Limp-Asparagus Lad. "That space is open all the way down to where the ground level car park used to be." Irony Man, meanwhile, checked his sensors and said, "Dr Stomper's phenomenon is in the middle of that cleared area." "Which is also where the mystical evil is strongest," commented Occultism Kid. "And there's someone there," said Fuzzy, pointing. "Beside that pile of junk." "A suspicious coincidence!" announced Irony Man, clenching one fist melodramatically. "We must confront him!" "Yes," agreed Limp-Asparagus Lad soberly, and flew down to talk with him. The others blinked. "Hey, not yet! We don't have a plan of attack!" "Excuse me," the Man of Dull said. "We're the Legion of Net.Heroes, and we have some questions we would like to ask you." The man spun about. Limp-Asparagus Lad noticed that he was wild eyed and wild bearded, and looked a bit surprised by the Legion's arrival. Fuzzy noticed that the pile of junk was some sort of abstract sculpture of polished wood and bone rather than just a random heap of metallic debris. Occultism Kid noticed that aura of evil permeating this place seemed to be emanating from that same sculpture. And Irony Man noticed that the man had a Devo ray gun holstered to his waist. "Welcome Legionnaires! I am Algernon Potentate!" He drew his gun and screamed, "I am your DEATH!" Then he fired a devolutionary beam at the net.heroes, which to his surprise spectacularly failed to transform them into apes. Still, that pronouncement of doom had acted as a cue, prompting scores of Devo cultists to swarm out of the shadowy recesses of the jungle covered ruins of the bowling alley and into melee combat against the LNHers. "Damn. I hate it when this sort of thing happens," complained Fuzzy as two Devos rushed at her. She took a half-step back and to the side, positioning herself to knee one of the Devos in the gut and then smashing a fist into the face of the other. "Being overrun of howling hordes of crazed bad guys?" asked Irony Man, sending a repulsor ray through the massed ranks of his opponents. The Devos scattered like ninepins in a most satisfactory manner. "I find it rather invigorating, myself." "I mean the Writer putting together paragraphs consisting solely of run-on sentences!" spat Fuzzy. "Joke all you want, heroes," sneered Potentate. "You cannot use your witty banter to pretend that your aren't afraid!" "So who's pretending?" said Occultism Kid as he immobilised some Devos using the Neon Noodles of Net.torak. "We will defeat you, you know," said Limp-Asparagus Lad with the casual tone of voice that you use to remark on the weather. "And to use the appropriate catchphrase, we'll do it with almost contemptuous ease!" called Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad as the other four net.heroes arrived at a run. "I can't believe that you started the fight without us," said the Whip reproachfully. She skilfully caught the arm of one Devo with her namesake weapon, then jerked him off balance and into some of his fellows. "Blame Limpy," said Fuzzy. She ducked, grabbed the arm of an incoming punch and used her opponent's momentum against him, flipping the miscreant onto the floor and setting herself up to fend off the next attack. "He tried to be reasonable again," she added. Potentate fumed. His forces were being overwhelmed! There was one last chance to turn the tide of this fight. If he hurried then he could call forth one of the Great Apes! He wasn't quite as prepared as he would have liked to be for such an occasion, but it seemed he was running out of time. He ducked around his sculpture and started to prepare for the Manifestation. This close the sculpture looked even more disturbing: neither constructed nor organic, but something else altogether. Not that this interested Potentate as he prepared it. Sometimes he ran his hands over parts of it caressingly, sometimes he poked at it, and sometimes he shifted parts in ways that should be impossible for something merely made of wood or bone. It began to glow. It also attracted Occultism Kid's attention. He winced as he felt an icy jab in his head, something akin to a sudden migraine. The sense of evil he'd been feeling had intensified. "It's Potentate!" he called out to the others. "He's causing it, somehow." However, even as this cry went out a second figure materialised from nowhere. It was tall and had shaggy tufts of hair, but was pale and far too thin. "Another bad guy incoming!" called Parking Karma Kid, who'd been looking in the right direction to see this arrival. "And he's not moving in to join the punch up, so he's not another mook!" "Master!" breathed Potentate with an almost hysterical ecstasy. "Welcome to this world at last." The figure turned its ancient gaze to Potentate. "You have done well, my servant. Somian is pleased." "Somian!?" wondered Occultism Kid. "You fool, Potentate! You've released one of the Great Apes!" "Let me guess: that's bad?" said Swordmaster as he continued to use his fencing foil of electricity to shock the Devos into unconsciousness. "Yes!" snapped Occultism Kid, suddenly angry at himself. "Blast! I've been careless. Look, the Devos back in Net.ropolis... You remember how they were making references to the Great Apes?" A few of the other net.heroes nodded. "That was where I made a mistake. I thought it was just that they were a bunch of primate fetishists who were lauding their obsession. You know, 'great this', 'exalted that', 'lord high muck-a-muck the other'. But they weren't. They were actually making references to THE Great Apes." "And they are?" "A group of seven powerful other-dimensional entities who tried to invade the Earth in prehistory," said Occultism Kid grimly. "Three times they tried to invade, and they were beaten back each time." "And this time we shall succeed, little one," said Somian, who until now had been looking around - almost gawping like a sightseer. "It will be good to once again hold sway over a living, verdant world." The creature looked appraisingly at the LNHers. "You humans are for too clever, and will be either culled off or regressed back into mindless animals so that your seething civilisation cannot do any more damage to this planetary biosphere." "So that you can leech off this world's life force and leave it just as dead as your own!" accused Occultism Kid. "Master, I have recruited forces to begin the Great Leap Backwards, and dispatched them to begin your work," said Potentate. Somian nodded. "It is well." "We'll see about that!" announced Irony Man. Leaving the other Legionnaires to finish off the remaining Devos, the armoured net.avenger took to the air and began firing repulsor rays at the Great Ape. Potentate scurried away, but Somian stood its ground and raised its staff. Irony Man braced himself for a ravening beam of coruscating energy(tm), little realising that Somian did not use such attacks. The assault was launched against his mind. "Arrgrrh!" cried Irony Man, his flight path becoming erratic. "No... Not... mind control... again!" The job of net.heroing meant that he had encountered this before, and it went without saying that he had always found it frustrating. He'd set up protections in his armour against it, but for the most part it was limited to electromagnetic effects and some types of psi. As he felt his mind slipping away, his last thought was, .oO( Must... find... a defense... against... magic... as well. ) "Subdue them all," commanded Somian, and the enthralled Irony Man eagerly turned on the others. "Keep him busy!" yelled Occultism Kid, and began rummaging in the pockets of his trenchcoat. The LNHers scattered in an attempt to draw fire but avoid getting hit. Irony Man didn't fall for this trick and quickly settled on trying to pick off the others one by one, first choosing Limp-Asparagus Lad on the grounds that he was the only other one with the free movement of flight. Limp-Asparagus Lad ducked and weaved around in great loop-the- loops, then flew down low close to the floor. Irony Man was hard on his heels. Then, once Limp-Asparagus Lad had lured Irony Man into position, Swordmaster leapt at Irony Man as they zoomed by and thwacked him with the fencing foil that he'd been using against the Devos. This time, however, Swordmaster had upped the charge on his foil, tripping almost every circuit in the suit and sending Irony Man crashing to the floor in a shower of sparks. "That's only going to hold him for a few seconds before his armour reboots itself," Parking Karma Kid warned. "Noted," said Occultism Kid tersely as he continued to search. Come on! Where was it? Argh! This was the problem with having extradimensional storage space sewn into your pockets - you inevitably carried around so much stuff in case of emergency that you could never find any of it in a timely manner when the emergency came! Ha, found it! He drew forth one of the fabled blue crystals of the planet Metebe.listserve 3, clutching it in his hand and then triumphantly thrusting it up above his head before using a simple light spell to illuminate it as if from within. The crystal began to glow; an azure radiance that started small but grew stronger. As the light spread Occultism Kid announced in a loud, commanding voice, "Look into the glow! All of you! Watch the blue light. Feel its warmth. Feel it wash over you. You cannot look away. You must look into the blue light!" Somian felt his control over Irony Man and those Devos who were still conscious begin to falter. "What are you doing, mortal!?" demanded Somian. "Whatever you are doing, you will fail!" Occultism Kid almost staggered backwards as the full force of Somian's malign regard fell upon him, and his hair and trenchcoat billowed away behind him. "You talk a good game, Somian," the mage said, "but you are not a powerhouse like your fellow Great Apes. You're a shaper and an influencer, and your strength comes from what you can derive from the environments you create and what beings you can enslave. Such as Irony Man. I should have wondered where all the Devo cultists who attacked in Net.ropolis had come from, but in the haste to tidy up the situation I overlooked the possibility of them being mind controlled innocents. That was carelessness that I don't intend to repeat!" Somian raised one hand in an arcane gesture. The roots of the great trees that had taken over the building began to wriggle free from the soil, scattering clods of steaming, humus enriched soil as they did so. "You are not in a position to allow anything," countered Somian as the old bowling alley began to shake. "Yes, he is!" countered Irony Man, sending repulsor beams at Somian yet again. "The Legion of Net.Heroes will keep hammering away at you until you fall!" "Master!" cried Potentate, making a move as if to help. Occultism Kid bound him with one of the Neon Noodles. Somian might be powerful enough to shrug off such a simple spell, but he doubted if his human underling was. "He's trying to summon one of the other Great Apes," warned Occultism Kid. He glanced around at the straining roots and run amok vegetation. "Probably Forest, the Ape of natural forces." "Then let's destroy his gate," said Limp-Asparagus Lad, flying through the strange sculpture that Potentate had set up. It was destroyed easily enough, but exploded in the process. Limp-Asparagus Lad was thrown across the room, impacting heavily against a far wall away from his teammates. "Limpy! You okay?" called the Whip. "Ouch," enunciated Limp-Asparagus Lad. "What was that about!?" demanded Irony Man in remonstration as he continued to fire at Somian. "I could have destroyed it if necessary." "Superheroes are always Saving The Day by throwing themselves into or against potentially dangerous pieces of equipment," L-ALad explained. "It's just a matter of recognising the cliche and either using it or subverting it to your own purposes." "That's not answering the question," countered Irony Man. "Gah! I thought you were supposed to be the sensible one!" Swordmaster turned to the Whip and grinned, "That's what I love about Limpy: his icy calm insanity in the face of danger." "He's got a good point though," said Occultism Kid, who had noted that the thrashing plant life and violent churning of the soil had abated. "Forest's arrival seems to have been stopped." "I do not need the assistance of my servants to stop you," blustered Somian, and waded towards the Legionnaires, swiping away Irony Man with one movement. "Soon, all you Legion of Net.Heroes will be my mind slaves!" "I thought you said he wasn't a powerhouse," said Parking Karma Kid. Occultism Kid shrugged, still holding the glowing crystal in the air. "He's physically the weakest of the Great Apes, but that's still super powered by human standards." Somian continued to advance on Occultism Kid, prompting the others to move in to try and block the creature's progress. Then Limp-Asparagus Lad tackled it from behind, grabbing it around the knees and knocking the Ape to the ground. Irony Man quickly moved to the Man of Dull's aid, knowing that Limp-Asparagus Lad didn't have super strength and wouldn't be able to long stand against Somian. But to everybody's surprise Limp- Asparagus Lad managed to hold his own as he grappled with Somian. "So where did that super strength come from?" asked Irony Man. "I have no idea," admitted Limp-Asparagus Lad. "Huh," said Irony Man. "Must have been the explosion of Potentate's inter-dimensional gate, causing a Claremontian power increase." Limp-Asparagus Lad thought about this for a second, then said, "I do not think it can be a Claremontian power increase. I'm not female." "Just... help me keep this joker under control, okay?" Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad turned to Occultism Kid. "What options to we have for getting rid of this guy?" Occultism Kid frowned thoughtfully. That was a good question. "Well, according to what Margaret Murray-Mead wrote about Somian in _The Coming Of The Witch Cult In Western Samoa_..." "Name dropper," said Whip. "You're just saying that because we're not currently in a story being put out by your Writer. "True," the Whip admitted. "With the gate fane destroyed, Somian can't call in any of the other Great Apes to this world," said Occultism Kid, both thinking out loud and expositing for everybody else's benefit. "But now that Somian's here it does have a measure of control over the reality of the local area, and can eventually create another one. Plus any cultists still loose in Net.ropolis will probably find their ray guns still working. Somian's shaping powers are likely the source of what they tap into, after all." "So it's only a matter of time unless we send him back. Yes, we guessed that." Occultism Kid refused to be needled. "We have to overcome its psychic inertia, which is enormous. That's its schtick as a Great Ape, after all. The psychic power to control the other Apes and shape the environment," he said. "Okay, I have an idea." Somian was continuing to struggle against Irony Man and Limp- Asparagus Lad. Then they heard Occultism Kid yell, "Care Bear Stare!" They looked up to see the remaining Legionnaires all linking hands (with Occultism Kid still holding aloft the Metebe.listerve 3 crystal to protect all and sundry against Somian's mind control). "Stare?" asked Hats Lad. "Yeah!" affirmed Occultism Kid. "Stare where?" asked the Whip. "Stare THERE!" pointed Occultism Kid, directly at Somian. And Somian cringed back as if in pain. Then the Great Ape snarled, "You will not deny me this world!" A psychic shock wave surged back against the net.heroes, and once again their hair and capes and trenchcoats billowed back in response to a force that was, strictly speaking, non-physical. "Not... good... enough... Somian!" snarled Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats in defiance. "Fools!" countered the Ape. "You are already straining to maintain your efforts, and will soon weaken and falter! But I, *I* can sustain this indefinitely! Surrender, little mortals. You cannot stand against the will of the Great Apes!" "Hey! They need our help," came a new voice, and one of people that, until a few moments ago, had been fighting the LNHers while under the mind control of Somian rushed over and gripped one hand onto Parking Karma Kid's shoulder. Occultism Kid felt a small but significance boost in power and let out a triumphal hiss of "Yesss!" This newcomer, a Hispanic man, turned to the few others that were still conscious after the earlier fight scene, and with his other arm made a motion to wave them to join in. "Well don't just stand there!" he yelled. "Do you want that thing winning and trying to take us over again? Come on!" Slowly and dubiously at first, and then more speed and confidence, the available remaining humans came and joined in the effort. All up they only made a group totalling twenty three, but the balance point of the struggle between their wills started to shift as the group of humans, led by Occultism Kid, harnessed the power that some call LOVE and that some call INTRACTABLE BLOODY-MINDEDNESS! "Back, Somian!" called Occultism Kid. "Back to the world that spawned you! I call upon the Power of the Earth Mother - Mother News.Gaetae herself - and abjure ye from this place! This world is not your world, and your manipulations of its nature are now undone! Begone from this entelechy, and do not return!" Somian's willpower was enormous, and his psychic inertia even moreso, but finally the Great Ape seemed to succumb. He cringed back within the grip of the two net.heroes, and then in a complicated special effect that simultaneously seemed to make him fall back into a trans-dimensional gate and collapse down into itself via some sort of gravitational singularity, the creature vanished. Irony Man and Limp- Asparagus Lad found themselves grasping nothing but air. Occultism Kid let out a heavy breath and lowered the hand with which he'd been holding up the Metebe.listserve 3 crystal. He looked around. He could detect no sign of Somian, by either conventional or mystic senses. The still-bound form of Potentate caught his attention, since the man seemed to have been reduced to gibbering insanity. The shock of seeing his 'god' bested? Or was he caught in the psychic crossfire? Occultism Kid made a mental note to investigate, since even a drooling madman could be dangerous if he was still had a connection to the likes of Somian. "So, is that everything?" asked Parking Karma Kid as the others all disengaged from holding hands. Occultism Kid glanced around again, noting that there were any number of no longer mind controlled Devos who were staring at the net.heroes and probably had much the same question. Occultism Kid gave a lopsided grin. "Yeah. I think that's pretty much all of the fight scenes that we're going to have to worry about just at the moment." -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Next Issue: I finally catch up with the events of the _Flame Wars 4_ miniseries that I co-wrote with Jamie Rosen back in 2002. Be here for: 'One Month Later'. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Character Credits: Fuzzy created by Connie Hirsch and not reserved. Doctor Stomper created by T.M. Meek and not reserved. Irony Man created by Doug Moran and not reserved. Limp-Asparagus Lad owned by Saxon Brenton. Created by Mystic Mongoose (Robert Armstrong) and wReam (Ray Bingham (chaos and entropy incarnate)). Occultism Kid created by Josh Geurink and not reserved. Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad created by Arthur Spitzer and not reserved. Somian and the Great Apes created by Saxon Brenton. Given over to Public Domain. Swordmaster and the Whip created by Badger (Matt Rossi). Used with permission. All characters copyright 2007 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: At this late stage of writing, with less than a week left of Apes Month 2007, I've discovered that I'm not entirely happy with the direction that this issue's plot has taken. After fighting off writers block and working for the past few days on the second half of the story (everything starting from the Legionnaires confronting Potentate) I realise that it has similarities to the 'Shimbleshanks' arc, in that it culminates in a 'fight the extra-dimensional greebly' plot. Granted, they have differences: as a villain Somian is a world conqueror who happens to have an ape fetish, while the Phantom Raspberry Blower was more a pitcher plant terrorvore who drew victims into his trap and fed on their fear. But still: defeat the extra-dimensional greebly. The Great Apes are a late inclusion, incidentally. I'd always known that the Devos where harnessing some sort of phenomenon for their ray guns, and after the LNH finished off the Devo vs Creato fight in Net.ropolis a strike team was going to go and find it and disable it to prevent a repeat occurrence. But I realised that I needed to build to some sort of climax from the fight in the middle chapter. Then, while finishing off #57 I read through #56 to see if there were any plot points to refer back to, I saw that one of the Devos had sworn by the Great Apes, and I though, 'Oh cool, I can pastiche the Great Beasts from early years of the first volume of _Alpha Flight_'. On matters more central to the plot: Something that I only 'recently' noticed while co-writing the _War Without Worlds_ miniseries with Jamas in 2005 is that Jamas treated Limp-Asparagus Lad as having super strength. I had never thought in those terms, which of itself wouldn't be a big problem: Limp-Asparagus Lad could easily have super strength but rarely ever use it because his temperament means that physical conflicts isn't his first choice in a confrontation. Still, I had mentioned that he didn't have super strength in issue 50 during the 'It Came From The Late Late Late Show' arc. So I decided to have him develop it and blame it on Somian's mysterious shaping powers running through the fane, possibly interacting RobGoblin's tennis ball. I mean, with a combination like that you could handwave just about anything, right? Oh yeah. And right from the start of the story I'd intended to bring up the 'mutant but empowered by a demon' aspect of Swordmaster's origin, but only got around to asking Badger about it after posting #57, hence the 'used without permission' credits in the first two parts.Back to the Index.