L U R K E R L A D #6 "Attack of the Fifty-Million Foot Tall Man!" Part 3(of 3) of the CRISIS ON LOONIEARTH-B! By Ben Rawluk and Saxon Brenton. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ [Cover - The cover is taken up by a view of space, with the 'LURKER LAD' logo done is silver, with the Crisis on Looniearth-B logo, also in silver, beside it. On the left side of the cover, a large, humanoid form of blackness is standing in front of the stars, with Lurker Lad, Limp-Asparagus Lad, Plot-Device King, as well as the League of Heroes, all floating in front of it.] ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ROLL CALL! LEGION OF NET.HEROES OF LOONIEARTH-A ------------------------------------ Fearless Leader Lurker Lad Limp-Asparagus Lad Fourth-Wall Lass Retcon Lad Plot-Device King Johnny Stomper Ultra LEAGUE OF HEROES OF LOONIEARTH-B -------------------------------- Hero Lad Psi Girl Celestial Kid Fan.Boy Limp-Asparagus Lass Virtue Mega-Boy Kid Magic GUEST STARRING -------------- Lord Vincent Stomper (of Looniearth-AA) Lean-Apples Lad (of Looniearth-I) Mega-Boy and Virtue zipped across the skyline of Looniearth-B's Net.Ropolis at tremendous speeds, continuing in every way they could. "You sure this will work?" "It must," Virtue answered back, to the Boy of Lightning. "Celestial Kid said so. And, you'll find he's hardly ever wrong...!" "But how are all our molecular vibrations and speed to heat up the city?" "Who knows!" Virtue vanished into the eternal night. --- The Warroom of League of Heroes Headquarters was a flurry of activity. In the center of the chamber sat Kid Magic of the League, and Lord Stomper. They floated a few inches off the ground, a wave of retcotheric energies being tapped. Retcon Lad continued to use his powers to alter the probability of the sorcerers' success. "It is time!" Stomper screamed, and Johnny Stomper stepped back from behind him, a bit frightened by the forces his uncle's counterpart was unleashing. The room was filled with a series of mild POP sounds. Ultra stepped forward, unleashing a field of Cosmic Energies around the group, to protect them, as a hole in space/time opened up...and Plot-Device King stepped forward. "PDK..." Lurker Lad mumbled, amazed by the arrival. "We found you!" --- Meanwhile, elsewhere on Looniearth-B, the struggle against the threat of perpetual night continued: In the harbor outside Net.ropolis, Polarity Girl holds a plate of steel across a gaping hole in a tanker (created by an impact with an unexpected iceberg) until the oil could be pumped into other storage holds. In Eng.LAN.d the Crimson Continuity Crusader rescues motorists trapped in a mountain pass by a sudden avalanche. In the mid-West of the Use.netted States the L.E.A.G.U.E. (Cyril Clocks, Wyldfire, Daemon Lad, Iona and Pyro Lass) work to repair damage done to shelters caused by high winds. In Montre.alt, Ca.net.da, Jonah Occult and Net.Glider of the League of Alt.ernate Heroes rush some desperately needed blood donations to hospital. --- "So...this Exponential Man is eating worlds?" Plot-Device King looked confused. "Isn't that, like, a cliche?" "No, really?" Lurker Lad muttered, sarcastically. "And, he's eating whole Looniverses, actually. This one's next on the list." "Oh." PDK nodded, sticking out his tongue. "So, what's the plan?" At this point, Hero Lad stepped forward, his teeth gleaming as his Heroic Aura(tm) kicked in. After quickly filling Plot-Device King in [See _Limp-Asparagus Lad_ #34 - Footnote Girl], the League's Leader looked around at the strike force. "You all will be sent up into space, by the E-Man, on a space.thingee." He adjusted his helmet. "Lets move out, peoples!" --- One half-hour later. Space is a cold place, and as dark as a pit. The Members of the Combined Legion and League arrived, aboard a space.thingee, from a warp-field from Earth. "Okay, people." Hero Lad got up, and activated his trans.suit.thingee. "Suit up, and let's go...we don't have the time we may need." The heroes scrambled out of the space.thingee, into the darkness of the void. They were a colourful lot: Psi Girl, Hero Lad, Lurker Lad, Plot-Device King, Lord Stomper, Fan.Boy, Lean-Apples Lad, and Limp-Asparagus Lad. Limp-Asparagus Lass and Johnny Stomper remained onboard. Psi Girl mentally probed the Exponential Man, looking for some weakness that would make what she planned easier. She was acutely conscious of the positively charged piece of plot devicium she had on her, since it was perhaps the only thing that would keep her mind from being annihilated by backlash from the immense entity she was facing. Then her eyes widened, and she broadcast in somewhat pleasant surprise, =(There's a human mind in there.)= "There is?" asked Lord Stomper. "Is it conscious?" =(No, it's dormant for the most part. It seems to be in a dream-state.)= "It doesn't have to be fully active," he said, "but if we have something human to work with it will make things much easier then trying to force back an inexplicable cosmic mind." =(Okay then, I'll try stimulating it a little,)= Psi Girl agreed. A few seconds later she said =(It's working. It's a bit groggy and disorientated, but I suppose that will make him more tractable anyway.)= Back in the space.thingee, Limp-Asparagus Lass studied the readings from her scan.thingee, and broadcast calmly to the outside team, "He is about to increase in size again. Fan.Boy, we will need more time." "You got it," Fan.Boy replied. He whipped out a small book and a pencil, and although the Exponential Man was some 3 billion kilometers tall, he looked up at it and asked, "Can I have your autograph?" For a tense moment nothing seemed to happen, but then the Exponential Man began leaning forward. Slowly a silhouetted void in the shape of a hand reached forward, because there were few things indeed that had the willpower to resist signing The Book. The others felt a chill of apprehension as that planet sized wall of nothingness advanced towards their proximate location. This would have to be timed perfectly. Psi Girl was almost finished, when she felt a surge of frustration from what she presumed to be the mind of the Exponential Man. In a perverse way this was a pleasing sensation: it meant that the creature's mind was being affected. Up till now she hadn't been completely sure. The hand stopped closing in on Fan.Boy and drew back, enraged, as the Exponential Man suddenly realised that IT WAS TOO BIG TO HOLD THE PENCIL! =(We're ready,)= Psi Girl broadcast to the others, =(and it looks like it'll have to be now! I... Oh no! He's attacking!)= "Have the others teleported aboard," Hero Lad ordered. =(No! He's attacking the space.thingee!)= corrected Psi Girl. Hero Lad paused for half a second. What attack could he make specifically against the space.thingee that wouldn't affect everything else in the area? Then Limp-Asparagus Lad noted from the external sensors diplay, "Incoming meteoroid. Mass: 25 tonnes." That explain it then. At least it wasn't going to swat them with its hand. At least, not yet. "Evasive maneuvers!" Hero Lad said. The space.thingee banked 'upwards', hard. Nevertheless, the hunk of rock the Exponential Man had sent at them grazed along the bottom of the hull. "Damage report." "Critical hull damage. Power down to twenty-three percent. Anticipated integrity failure in less than... eleven seconds," Johnny Stomper said, reading off displays. "Abandon ship then," Hero Lad said. "Activate emergency teleporters." And then they were gone. They rematerialized in space beside the EVA group, a few kilometers away from where the space.thingee now was and protected by their transparent but nigh-indestructible trans.suit.thingees. They watched as the space.thingee disintegrated, slowly at first, then with greater speed. They could count their blessings that at least some of the laws of the Looniverses were based on anime, since that was what had allowed them to escape before the space.thingee had been destroyed. For several seconds the space.thingee hung there in space, slowly splitting up the middle like an overripe fruit. Then, continuing its anime-inspired destruction, it suddenly exploded in a great flower of flame. And then it was gone, and with it their most direct means of getting back to earth. But that was something that could be worried about later. If they survived. "Is he going the attack again?" Fearless Leader demanded of Psi Girl. She shook her head. =(I don't think so, that was more or less a temper tantrum reaction. The Exponential Man's conscious mind is beginning to wake up. I think its going to try to expand again, ahead of schedule.)= "Is everything ready to go now?" asked Hero Lad. =(The world.wide.mind.web is prepared,)= she affirmed. "The plot hole is ready," said Lord Stomper radioed from the direction of the plot hole, a huge soap bubble looking thing several kilometers across. "We should do this as soon as possible. It seems this plot hole is unstable because of its size." Around him, Plot Device King, Retcon Lad and Mysterious Man strained at maintaining the hole's cohesiveness. "Then let's get on with it," said Hero Lad. "Release the plot hole." With a massive effort of magic and metaphysics the hole was launched at the Exponential Man at speeds which defied causality, so it was a pretty good thing that they weren't relying on boring old mundane physics. "I hope he hasn't moved his head," Fan.Boy murmured. "Now that we have confirmation that he's thinking, I have targeted his thought processes to guide the hole. It will make no difference if he moves now," Lord Stomper explained. "Impact in thirteen seconds," noted Limp-Asparagus Lass, reading her scan.thingee, while Limp-Asparagus Lad did the same with his. They waited. The seconds crept past. Tension mounted. The Writer used shorter sentences. "It's hit," said Lord Vincent, being able to tell by some arcane means. Psi Girl gritted her teeth. =(Then let's get on with it.)= The next page is a splash page consisting of one large panel of Psi Girl floating in space, with numerous small inserts scattered randomly about showing the faces of Looniearth-B's telepaths, all working in concert on the world.wide.mind.web. Among them can be recognized ESPer Lass, Stand In Boy, Kid Magic, Mystic Lass, and the Emerald Mind, and even villains such as the Blue King. All of them either show strain from the effort, or are so deep in their psychic trances to focus their powers that their faces are blank. =(It's human mind is resisting,)= Psi Girl reported, (but if anything that same mind just makes things easier to get a grip on. Almost there... Almost there... )= Suddenly the Exponential Man convulsed and shrank. Psi Girl expressed surprise. =(Huh. It was a tough nut to crack, but once it's mind gave, it gave up completely and all at once.)= "How long will it take to leave the Looniverse?" Hero Lad asked. =(I'm not sure. No more than two hours, I suppose.)= "Then we'd better get back to Looniearth," he said. "When the sun comes back on all the damage will probably start repairing itself in the same accelerated manner, but in the meantime we should try to help to minimize problems as much as possible." "Uhm, guys?" ventured Retcon Lad. "We're kinda wasted over here. We should be fine in, I dunno, half an hour or so, but we're not going to be moving anyone anywhere just now. But if we've got hours of air in these trans.suit.thingees, well, we could just wait, or better yet get Psi Girl to contact someone back on Looniearth to come and get us, right?" Hero Lad nodded. "Yes, I suppose we might have to take that sort of time out, though I don't like the waiting." "On the other hand, perhaps I could be of assistance," announced a new voice. "Who's that?" Lurker Lad asked, looking around, and utterly amazed at finally getting some more dialogue in an issue of his own series. A second Plot Device King appeared and said, "I, Plot Device King!" Most of the net.heroes looked very surprised, especially the first Plot Device King. Some didn't, though. "So, you did turn up after all," noted Lean-Apples Lad. "Indeed," agreed the new arrival. "What's going on here?" demanded Fearless Leader. "I will explain all. But first, allow me to transport you all back to Looniearth-B." --- They found themselves back on Looniearth-B. No one was quite sure what had happened, they were just there all of a sudden. Lurker Lad noticed no teleportational effect whatsoever. The group was standing in the Main Conference Room, back at League Headquarters. "And, of course, I had best remove the mind-block I placed on you three," the second PDK said, gesturing at Fan.Boy, Lord Stomper, and Lean-Apples Lad. "Well, that's a relief," Lean-Apples Lad said, testily. "Now, how about some explanations?" asked the first Plot Device King, pointedly. "It's basically pretty simple," said Fan.Boy, throwing a hard look at the other PDK. "He says that he's the future version of you. He scooped the three of us up, and warned us about the coming of the Exponential Man, and sent us off to Looniearth-A in order to get help from some of the LNH. He knew that Lurker Lad would be included in the group, and that the joint LNH and LoH would think of calling his past self up out of the timestream to help in defeating the Exponential Man." "That's simple?" asked Proto Kid, poking his tongue out incredulously. "_Then_," continued Fan.Boy, continuing to glare at the future Plot Device King, "he put a block on the three of us explaining who he was other than as a Mysterious Person." "It was to prevent creating a time paradox," explained the future PDK simply. "The League and the Legion had to come up with the solution themselves, just as I originally remembered it." "But sending us of to Looniearth-A to get the Legion simply because you remembered it that way _wasn't_ creating a paradox?" countered Lean-Apples Lad. "Besides," said Lurker Lad, "with your plot powers it wouldn't have mattered if you created a paradox anyway. "Well, yes, I suppose..." said the future PDK. Lean-Apples Lad threw up his hands in disgust. "Fine then. If you're quite finished having us jaunt about running your little errands, I'm leaving. I want to be prepared to get back to Looniearth-I when the Exponential Man regurgitates it." Meanwhile, Retcon Lad was musing on something. "You know, this reminds me of the time paradox in the final issue of Larry Hama's _Nth Man_..." He trailed off, then blinked. Then he scowled and said, "Arrgh!" He turned to the fourth wall. "You complete and utter bar-stool!" "Retcon Lad!" Fearless Leader remonstrated sharply. "Explain yourself." No one in either the League or the LNH were quite sure who Retcon Lad had been addressing. "Oh," said RLad, irritated. He crossed his arms and scowled some more. "The Writer's playing head games again. He's making references to more comics that I'd anticipated." He stared moodily at the ceiling. "I'm an idiot. I should have seen that coming. It probably would've saved us trouble if I had, too." "Fine. What's done is done. Just keep ahold of yourself," FL said. RLad nodded his assent. Fan.Boy was talking to Hero Lad and Limp-Asparagus Lass. "I'm sorry sir. I felt really cruddy not being able to tell you the whole truth of the situation. I kept worrying the whole time that despite what Plot Device King told us that something might go wrong anyway." "You'd better write out a report on it, but I don't think there are any grounds for disclipinary action." "It is nice to have you back in control of yourself again," L-ALass told him, kissing him on the cheek. Fan.Boy turned a bright chartreuse, at the attention. "Now then." The future Plot Device King turned to face his past self. "Things need to be set right. You," He pointed the present-day PDK, "Must be sent back into the timestream to accomplish your destiny..as me." "What!?" PDK looked shocked. "No! Don't I get any choice in---*" And PDK was gone, without even the slightest hint of teleportation; He was just not there. "PDK!" Lurker Lad lunged like lightning at the future PDK. "How could you do that to yourself!" "Necessity, Lurker Lad." PDK straightened his costume. "Now then. All you who would call yourselves LNHers, and Looniearth-A your home...begone." None of the gathered LNHers could utter a syllable, before they vanished into the cosmic wind. He turned to the Leaguers. "I trust you can accomplish the task of fixing your world?" "I...I guess." Hero Lad scratched his head, startled by the disappearance of the others. "We'll manage. I assume you'll drop off Stomper and L-ALad on your way?" "Of course." PDK gestured grandly. He, Lord Stomper, and Lean-Apples Lad vanished, leaving the Leaguers alone. "Whoa." Proto Kid stuck his tongue out. --- NEXT ISSUE: As Ultra explains his origins to Lurker Lad, Johnny Stomper has an adventure under LNHQ, But, all the while....will LL encounter the "Ghost Woman" again?! All this and more in LURKER LAD #7, on RACC, brought to you by Ben Rawluk and Blue Light Productions! --- CREDITS Lurker Lad, Ultra, and Plot-Device King owned by Ben Rawluk. Limp-Asparagus Lad, Fourth-Wall Lass and Retcon Lad owned by Saxon Brenton. Johnny Stomper owned by Josh Geurink. Fearless Leader is owned by Dvandom, used by Saxon Brenton and Ben Rawluk with permission. Hero Lad, Psi Girl, Celestial Kid, Fan.Boy-B, Mega-Boy, Kid Magic, Virtue, Lord Vincent Stomper, Lean-Apples Lad, Polarity Girl, Crimson Continuity Crusader, Cyril Clocks, Wyldfyre, Iona, Daemon Lad, Pyro Lass, Jonah Occult, Net.Glider, ESPer Lass, Stand In Boy, Blue King, Mystic Lass, Emerald Mind, Looniearth-B, Looniearth-AA, Looniearth-I, L.E.A.G.U.E. and the League of Heroes all owned by Ben Rawluk. Limp-Asparagus Lass co-created and owned by Ben Rawluk and Saxon Brenton. The Exponential Man owned by Saxon Brenton. Comments and Reviews are welcome, please send them to Saxon and I, who both have too many characters for our own good!Back to the Index.