L U R K E R L A D #2 "The Great Cheesecake-Eater Sting" By Ben Rawluk ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------- [Cover - A great deal of the foreground of the cover is taken up by a weird being, which seems to be part Doc Stomper, part Cheesecake-Eater Lad, and part Late-Nite Lad. In the background, you can see Renegade Programmer in the background, working on his computer, and Lurker Lad trying to grab hold of the multi-being, who is clutching its head in agony.] ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------- Cheesecake-Eater Lad became cognisant rather suddenly, awareness sinking in. He recalled the kitchen and Cafeteria being overtaken by an immense explosion --produced by his dabbling in cheesecake flambe' from a cookbook provided by Nomex Man and Captain Napalm-- and, as that was occurring, some weirdo in -his- costume had grabbed him and stuffed him in the cupboard. He pulled himself out of the cupboard, and glanced around the kitchen. It was fine. It even smelled new, and cleaner than he ever remembered it being. "Curiouser and curiouser....how much time has passed?" CE-Lad glanced over at the oven's auto-calender and clock. A whole day had gone by. And where -was- that weirdo in his costume, anyway!? --- Lurker Lad glanced around Renegade Programmer's quarters, as he slipped something into his ear. He'd never actually seen it before, and was amazed that Renegade Programmer could live in it; The bed looked to have never been slept in for weeks. The floor was littered with candy-wrappers, chip bags, old cans of Mr. Paprika (Now there's a REAL wReam-created character's drink!), and a few tools that Johnny Stomper had dropped on it while working. The centrepiece of the room, of course, was the massive computer terminal. It looked as if it had taken several days to set up; There were three keyboards, five monitors, printers, modems, and a special fibre-optic cable, supplying a special link directly to the LNH's computer systems. LL guessed RP had spliced it in himself. "OK. With the earplug, if you tap it lightly, it'll send a signal back to my workstation," Renegade Programmer motioned towards the elaborate computer terminal, "and if I send a message back, you'll have it flash into your mind's eye." Lurker Lad nodded, and looked over at Johnny Stomper. The young man, who had a tool-belt around his waist, grinned. "It'd better. I spent three hours working on the earplug's telepathic circuits." "Are you sure it'll function when I'm lurking?" Lurker Lad asked. "I'm positive." Johnny answered, as he began to clean up the no-longer-needed tools. Renegade Programmer glanced at the two. "OK. We've located Cheesecake-Eater Lad." He pointed to the building schematic that flashed on the screen. Lurker Lad nodded, and faded from sight. --- Late-Nite Lad strode down the corridor, glancing about. It was mid-morning, meaning he'd have to shuck the insomniac's shape before someone expected anything. He ducked into "his" quarters, and stepped out again, as Cannon Fodder. --- Cheesecake-Eater Lad was slumped down in a chair, on the opposite side of the office to Dr. Stomper. Organic Lass stood behind him, a scanning device in hand, apparently attempting to detect any abnormal signals from the slightly overweight LNHer. The desk, which sat between CE-Lad and Doc Stomper, was covered by a variety of papers, legal documents, compu-pads, scanning devices, and pencils; A small snapshot of Stomper and his nephew, Johnny, sat prominently on display. "It wasn't me! Some kind of impostor took my place!" Cheesecake-Eater Lad muttered, in the general direction of Doctor Stomper. He shifted uncomfortably. Doc Stomper glanced up at Organic Lass, who nodded. "He's clean." she said, and shut off the scanning device. Stomper nodded, slowly. "I've already got someone on it." Invisibly, Lurker Lad sighed, and bounded out of the room, through the wall. Another dead end. --- Yawning, Late-Nite Lad (the real one) pulled himself out from behind a large piece of machinery, in the monitor room. He hadn't slept like that in a long while. It was almost as if he'd. been. knocked. out. "Ooohhhh...." he clutched his head, remembering when Cheesecake-Eater Lad had knocked him for a loop, during the wee hours of the morning. "Late-Nite Lad?" Multi-Tasking Man, who hadn't noticed the LNHer's fallen form earlier, looked down from his seat in front of the main workstation. "Ouch...must have been an imposter...Cheesecake-Eater Lad..kicked my butt." Lurker Lad, who had been waiting for a lead on the impostor, invisibly perked up. He tapped on he earplug, making a Morse code message. A second later, a message was beamed into his mind's eye: LATE-NITE LAD LAST SEEN ENTERING HIS QUARTERS THIS MORNING CANNON FODDER SEEN LEAVING. (Cannon Fodder!) O o . thought Lurker Lad, as he lurked out of the room, through a wall. He had the net.villain now! --- Renegade Programmer slumped back in his chair, after hitting 'enter', and sending LL the message. He glanced back at the security schematic, and took a drink of Mr. Paprika. Johnny Stomper had already left, to go back to the hangar bay and get to work on debugging some of the flight.thingees donated by Queen Enterprises, in case there were any other "little surprises" [* see Jamas's Alt.Riders series, as well as the issues of Fan.Boy available on the WWW - Ed], so RP was pretty much alone. --- "What do you mean, 'it's time for plan B'?" Doctor Periodic-Table asked. He and Captain Coredump were in a shoddily-built warehouse in the Nefarious-hideouts section of Net.Ropolis, amidst various crates and junk. Coredump glanced up at him, while extracting a box from the pile. "Our causality bomb failed, [*See _Lurker Lad_ #1 for details - Ed] Periodic-Table. Lurker Lad defeated us, sadly, as usual. HOWEVER, within this old crate," he gestured dramatically, opening the box and pulling out a large, silver sphere, which seemed to be made of two halves, fastened by no perceivable devices, "Is a container, holding a weapon more powerful than any other....therein lies my infamous 'Plan B'..." Doctor Periodic-Table gasped at the exposition. "You don't mean...?!" "Yes." was all the reply that came, other than the warped, immense (We're talking Joker-esque) grin that formed on Coredump's lips. --- The fellow, who looked surprisingly like Cannon Fodder, stepped down the corridor quickly. He glanced around, hoping the heroes would be too stupid to notice the difference. Invisibly, Lurker Lad moved in behind him, stopping only to lightly tap the earplug. 'Cannon Fodder' carefully stepped forward, only to trip over a suddenly-solid foot. He looked down, to see Lurker Lad's grinning face. "Uh-oh." "You must be the impostor right?" Lurker Lad punched Cannon Fodder hard. "Huh? Impostor? What impostor?!" Cannon Fodder exclaimed, trying to pull himself up by grasping onto the wall. Lurker Lad stared at him carefully, narrowing his eyes. "IF, you are indeed the real Cannon Fodder, one would assume that I could kill you, and you would just get resurrected." He shifted his weight, while trying not to look uncomfortable. "Therefore, I should try and kill you...just to be sure..." Cannon Fodder turned pale quickly. "Ahhhh...oh! But, this is comics. Even if I am the villain, I may get resurrected anyway! Sure, it might take awhile, but it will happen! And then, how will you tell!?" Lurker Lad hrmed, a bit dumbfounded. How, indeed? Lurker Lad sighed, and decided that Cannon Fodder wouldn't be so quick to discount his idea, and this CF looked a bit too much like that guy on X-Files for his own good. Sure, it was sketchy logic at best, BUT... "Ah-ha!" Lurker Lad lunged at Cannon Fodder, bowling him over. "OOF!" CF hit the ground, and wobbled a bit. Confused and disoriented, his skin became bright crimson, ears lengthening and becoming pointed. A second later, his costume shifted, no longer that of the veteran LNHer, but rather, a dark green bodysuit, with a simple yellow belt. "How dare you trifle with my person in this way?!" the villain growled. "I am the Morph-Master of Planet Moder! I should not be dealt with in this manner." "Planet Moder? And why did you infiltrate the Legion of Net.Heroes in the first place?" Lurker Lad, his hands on his hips, exclaimed. The Morph-Master continued to growl, getting up again. He took a defensive pose. "Moder is a wondrous planet...filled of shape-shifters. Unfortunately, our altered forms tend to look like that of David Duchovny...I left because it was so spugging peaceful" He paused, apparently trying to think of something, and then continued. "Why am I here? To accomplish something for my master..." his mouth warped, twisting upwards into a grin. "I will make you pay for revealing me!" Lurker Lad stepped backwards, preparing for the worst. the Morph-Master's shape shimmered and twisted, until he looked suspiciously like Curly. "My mission here is done." the Morph-Master muttered, and Lurker Lad gasped as a huge fist made contact. The world went black. --- Net.Ropolis is well known for being the home of the beautiful Palisade Plaza, an area of the city where crime is impeccably non-existent (Thanks, some believe, to one of the costumed net.heroes, who is probably not even affiliated with the LNH). Except for the protest rallies. Atop a platform, behind a podium, Maxwell Stern pounded his fists down, yelling and screaming at the crowd. "Do YOU want these non-humans running lose?! Technoorganics, and magnetics, and telepaths! Aliens! Time-Travellers!" Stern yelled. There was a resounding 'NO' from the crowd. "Then support us! Don't let these monsters in skin-tight spandex take over your neighbourhood! Stop the Government that lets them roam free! Stamp out the Net.ahuman menace!" The crowd continued to go wild. The banners, all reading 'Anti-Net.ahumanists' filled the air, and no one notice the shadowy figure standing behind the platform, obscured by Stern's podium. --- "Well, Doctor," Coredump glanced at his compatriot carefully, after surveying the warehouse. "I suppose it is time to instigate plan B." He turned, and tapped a section of the silver sphere. A second later, the sphere began to glow, first turning golden, and then bright green. Its two sections shimmering, detaching themselves, and there was a burst of energy. Periodic-Table gasped, as a small, green being formed into existence. "Hey guys! What's news?!" the being grinned mischievously. "Welcome, OmniDimensional Green Author Guy. We have need of your unique talents." Coredump smiled, diplomatically. "Oh, goody-goody-gum-drops!" the aforementioned OmniDimensional Green Author Guy giggled. --- "Luckily, there are no broken bones." Organic Lass stared down at Lurker Lad, who was busy lying on one of the beds in the Medlab. Ori glanced down at the scanner in her hand. "The Morph-Master may have been mimicking Curly's physical form, and strength, but he didn't use all of it. Just enough to knock you for a loop." Lurker Lad fidgeted on the bed, glancing at the room's other occupants: Doctor Stomper, who held a compu-pad tightly in his hand, and Johnny Stomper, who had his hands behind his back, his eyes darting back and forth, around the room. "Um...the Morph-Master...Where is he?" "Once we managed to get a look at the security scans taken during your fight," Doc Stomper began, glancing at his nephew, Johnny, "Johnny and I were able to run a full-sweep of LNHQ for the Morph-Master's particular molecular patterns, to no avail. He's escaped. BUT, he has left the complex, which is at least some good news." Lurker Lad nodded, as he sat up, massaging his head. "He said he was 'accomplishing something for his employer'. Do we know what?" Doc Stomper shook his head. "And clues to his employer's identity?" "Nothing. whoever his employer is, they left no traces." Doc Stomper glanced at his watch. "Ulp. I have some reports I have to finish...if you'll excuse me." he left the room quickly, nodding to his nephew and Ori as he did so. "That reminds me...I still have to finish those updates to the main medical files, that I started last night...hopefully Renegade Programmer will have finished fixing the mainframe." Ori smiled, as she began to move into her office. "Lurker Lad, you're free to go." Lurker Lad and Johnny left the Medlab quickly, and begin to walk down the long corridor towards the Cafeteria. "Lurker Lad....I saw it on the security monitor...you did good in the fight..." "For all the good it did. Oh, and Johnny, you can call me Aaron. Aaron Adams." Lurker Lad grinned. "Sure....hello, Aaron." Johnny replied, and snickered. --- The LNHQ lobby is known for being where the receptionist works. While, that kind of thing is common in many buildings, by the receptionist himself, this is viewed as an unfortunate occurrence, for usually the lobby is where the net.villains, monsters, time-travellers, and worst of all, LNH applicants show up. But, he was more or less used to that kind of thing, so he didn't turn paler than a vampire when there was a /BLiP/, as an orang-utan in a green-and-red spandex costume appeared in front of him. In a vaguely animal voice, the orang-utan cordially said, "Greetings, Homo sapient!" the orang-utan adjusted his cape, and smiled (unnerving the receptionist no end) "I am BooBoo, Super-Orang-utan of Dimension 8!" The receptionist stared. "OK. Are you here to (a) destroy the LNH, (b) join it, (c) try and return to your home time or reality, or (d) to warn the LNH of some horrible potential threat that could cause a crossover?" He tapped his foot behind his desk, waiting for an answer. BooBoo scratched his head, and began, "Well, of those four potential answers, I'd have to pick...." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------- NEXT ISSUE: Learn the reason behind BooBoo's arrival, as Captain Coredump, Doctor Periodic-Table, and the OmniDimensional Green Author Guy hatch a plot! Lurker Lad and Johnny nearly die of boredom, and Anti-Net.ahumanists picket LNHQ! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------- CREDITS: Lurker Lad was created by an Unknown writer, but is owned by me. Johnny Stomper was created by Josh Geurink, who was passed ownership onto me. Renegade Programmer was created by wReam, and is owned by me. Cheesecake-Eater Lad, Late-Nite Lad, Doc Stomper, and Multi-Tasking Man are all public domain. Organic Lass is owned by Rebecca Drayer. Moderian Morph-Master, Doctor Periodic-Table, and OmniDimensional Green Author Guy are owned by me. Captain Coredump was created by wReam, but owned by me. Maxwell Stern is owned by me. BooBoo the orang-utan is owned by me. AUTHOR'S NOTES --- OK. Just a few things the readership should know. This is one of them nifty keen-o spillovers from Dvandom's Century Pact, and that aspect will continue next issue. Secondly, OmniDimensional Green Author Guy made his first and only appearance, until now, in KID MYSTICISM AND THE NET.TITANS #25, where he was master of 'Earth-Silly', an alt.ernate reality which Lurker Lad visited by accident. BooBoo the orang-utan is an outgrowth of a stupid little joke in the credits for KID MYSTICISM AND THE NET.TITANS #8, and blamed if I know why I decided to dredge him up from a subplot. And yes, I'm sure you're aware that this title is now being done by Blue Light Productions. I signed by contract with them recently so that my archives would be available to both myself and the general public more easily, since I originally had no way of keeping my stories when I started. Occult-Babble Press still exists, though it is serving as the banner for my Superguy stuff (whenever I get around to writing more of it).Back to the Index.