Net.Titans #37 "A Beginning and an Ending" By Ben Rawluk ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- [Cover - The logo is the same as the logo of 'Kid Mysticism & The Net.Titans', but with 'Kid Mysticism & The' no where to be seen. The cover is a parody of the Superman Funeral cover, with the Net.Titans as pallbearers, holding a coffin with "KM" on it. In the background, the mourners include hundreds of Looniversal denizens. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- "This is Inside Net.Ropolis. I'm your host, John Smithely. The top story of the day is the recent death, and funeral, of the Legion of Net.Heroes member Kid Mysticism. Kid Mysticism was a member of the LNH subgroup known as the Net.Titans." Smithely said, as he glanced up from his notes. A Holo-Projection in the background shifted from an 'Inside Net.Ropolis' logo to 'The Death of Kid Mysticism'. The screen shifts, to a shot of the LNHQ Hall of Late Net.Heroes, where an impressive oak coffin sits, closed. In the corner of the screen, an 'NNN' logo can be seen, with 'LNHQ' beside it. VOICE-OVER: EVEN BEFORE THE OFFICIAL FUNERAL SERVICE, MOURNERS CAME FROM ALL OVER REALITY TO GRIEVE FOR THEIR LOST TEAMMATE. Pizza Girl and Bad-Timing Boy quickly wandered into the camera's view, and as they walked up to the coffin, BTB quickly checking his watch. "Oh well..his powers duplicated Occultism Kid's anyway....redundant, really..." BTB muttered, and checked his watch again. the camera continued to record as Pizza Girl angrily slapped him silly. --- Lurker Lad and Research Lass wandered down the hall, towards the auto-sliding glass exit leading to the Hall of Late Net.Heroes. As they approached, an angry Pizza Girl stormed out of the room, followed by a guilty-looking Bad-Timing Boy, running closely by. The two Net.Titans glanced at two as they vanished down the hallway, towards the elevator. "What was all that about?" Lurker Lad asked, as his fingers began to enter an access code into the datapad beside the Hall's door. "Don't have a clue..." Research Lass replied, and the two stepped in... --- VOICE-OVER: WONDER OF WONDERS, TWO OF KID MYSTICISM'S FORMER TEAMMATES, THE TWO NET.TITANS KNOWN AS LURKER LAD AND RESEARCH LASS HAVE JUST STEPPED INTO THE CAMERA'S FIELD OF VISION, OBVIOUSLY TO PAY THEIR RESPECTS.... Lurker Lad glanced at the camera set up, eyeing it and the 'NNN' logo on the side. "Oh &%^...the media's taken residence..." --- From the cramped confines of the elevator, Plot-Device King stepped out into the spacious LNH Lobby. The waiting table had been piled high with the latest issues of a variety of comics, all of which happened to be those read by Kid Mysticism. The Net.Titan surveyed the room, making note of the mourners out in the parking lot, as well as the camera people who had taken up residence. "Um...are you supposed to be in here?" PDK asked, after a moment. "Uh...yeah! I'm....Reporter Boy and this is...Cameraman?" The reporter did his best to cover for himself. "So...Plot-Device King! Can you tell the view public," he gestured to the camera, "how are feel about the death of Kid Mysticism?" "I am...saddened by it, of course. He was my friend, and my teammate." PDK answered, carefully utilising his plot-device power so that the camera would jam as soon as the soundbytes went over the air. He was in no mood for reporters making money off this. --- "Thank you Roger Wilco!" Smithely chuckled, and turned back to the audience, not noticing as the transmission from the LNHQ Lobby cease. "Well folks, more coverage of the LNH's Funeral of Kid Mysticism after these quick messages..." --- Research Lass quickly clicked the buttons, and the transmat beam materialised, bringing with three alien dignitaries. The three delegates stepped out of the beam's energy field. "Our sincere grievances." the closest of the ambassadors spoke. He was a tall, lanky being, with long sharp teeth and yellow skin. His pale-blue robes were obviously a representation of his station. "I am Prefect Lo-eku, of the Galactic Triarch." He introduced himself, and then deferred to the next ambassador. "Echo Lo-Eku's sentiments, do I. Slaughtiblotis of Imga-IV am I." The second delegate explained. He was a chubby alien, his grey skin foldy and distorted. "My name and title is S'Axonel, Chief Administrator of the Planet Lar," the final delegate began, glancing at Slaughtiblotis. "Currently a...colony...of Imga-IV." Research Lass noted that S'Axonel was surrounded by a thick chemical cloud, composed of the element Phippsium, which was being projected by a small metal sphere which constantly flew around him. While Kid Mysticism had not made contact with any of their governments, apparently the three planets had sent delegates to try and make an economic link or something. --- Browsing Boy gently locked the door to his private quarters on his way out. He glanced at his watch, and, sighing, headed down the long, quiet corridor to Linguist Lass's quarters. After a few minutes of walking down the lonely, door-lined corridors of LNHQ, he arrived at the door was after. He knocked twice. Footsteps. The door opened, and Linguist Lass stepped out. Her costume seemed slightly darker then usual. She collapsed into his arms, and the two stood there, sobbing, for a few minutes. Browsing Boy regained composure, and said, "Come on, Anne. It's time we paid our respects." --- The Government of the Loonited States has within Net.Ropolis, set up a branch of the department of Bizarre Activity Concerning Heroes (BACH) to observe events concerning the Legion of Net.Heroes, which may be potential threats-in-the-making. Smith Johnly was hunched over a computer terminal in the office building, which served as BACH's headquarters. "Uh-oh." He looked up at his supervisor. "Sir, the satellite's picking up something...bizarre..." "Oh? Explain." "It...looks like something travelling *very* fast. Originating from C|net.ral City...on course for Net.Ropolis. Trajectory suggests..." "Lemmee guess....heading straight for LNHQ, right?" "Um...yeah." "Uh-oh." --- Doctor Vincent Stomper shifted uneasily in his seat, and tapped on the main computer terminal's keyboard. Carefully, he pulled up the roster, and checked to make sure Kid Mysticism's file had been deleted. He figured one of the roster-types had done it. Steeling himself, he got up, and walked out the door. --- The service had been long and excessively tedious. Ultimate Ninja had given a short speech. Self-Righteous Preacher had nattered on (and on), giving the eulogy. The Net.Titans had stood by, in mute grief, while most of the rest of the LNH was in various states of attention. Kid Mysticism had never been particularly well known. How could he had, considering before issue 1, he had only had a one-shot in his incarnation as the Apparition, and before that had existed on the alt.ernate world called Earth-B. Browsing Boy held Linguist Lass close. Research Lass merely stared straight ahead, her mouth covered, an expression of exhaustion on her face. Lurker Lad stood behind RL, and appeared to be struggling with something on his mind. Plot-Device King appeared to be in a similar struggle, and spent most of the service looking at the marble floors. Amongst the other LNHers, grief was present, even amongst those who had never met Kid Mysticism. Thesaurus Lass observed the coffin, occasionally glancing the Net.Titans. Entropy Kid remained utterly silent (Though no one was quite sure if he just had nothing to say, or had already said something earlier), while Cheesecake-Eater Lad stood back, trying not to think about death, content to remember a particularly pleasant cheesecake recipe he'd used for the reception's food. --- Research Lass stepped into the huge chamber which was the LNH Conference Room. The thick, marble walls glinted with light from the bulbs. Her eyes locked onto the extremely, mind-warpingly long conference table with hundreds of chairs (Said to be equipped to encompass the entire LNH, if need be). She walked over to them, where her fellow Net.Titans sat. "What's this all about?" she asked. "We're missing the wake, y'know." "-I-...called this meeting, because I figured we should all talk..." Lurker Lad responded, and got up from his chair. "I...I feel like I can't be with the Net.Titans any more." "WHAT?!" The Net.Titans, collectively exclaimed. "Yes. It's just to difficult. I asked Doctor Stomper, after the service, to remove me from Net.Titans status and place me back onto the regular, public domain list." He looked away for a moment. "Being..being in the Net.Titans is just to painful. Maybe If I try a little solo LNHering for a while, I'll be able to deal with this." "I guess I can understand what you're saying." Plot-Device King replied. "I'm leaving the Legion of Net.Heroes." "WHAT?!" The Net.Titans (minus Lurker Lad), collectively exclaimed, yet again. "Like Lurker Lad," Plot-Device King began, as he wondered if aLLiterative Lass was influencing him, "I've been thinking about my place here. My power is too unpredicatable....and, frankly, I don't want what happened to Kid Mysticism to happen to me, or anyone else, because of me. I hope you guys understand." He glanced around. Linguist Lass sight deeply, her hand clutching Browsing Boy. "I suppose we can't stop you. This is the end of an era, I guess." "Maybe it is. But its the beginning of a new era, as well, y'know?" Research Lass commented. "Perhaps this is, like, an omen. Telling us to rebuild." As Lurker Lad left for the wake, and Plot-Device King went to go pack, Browsing Boy muttered, "Maybe it is...but we don't have to like it." --- The wake had been a quiet, and small one. Kid Mysticism had never been particularly well-known, and most of the LNHers had business to attend to elsewhere, especially those in the midst of some storyline, or cross-over. Off in the background, Cheesecake-Eater Lad finished putting out the food. Doc Stomper was explaining to Captain MUSH a theory concerning body tissue when conducting retcotheric energy fields, which involved resurrection. Thesaurus Lass and Entropy Kid were having cheesecake off to the side, the room pervaded by sorrow. And then, the three Net.Titans arrived. Lurker Lad, who had arrived a few minutes before, avoided eye-contact. Captain MUSH had moved away from Stomper, who quickly approached the three. "How are you three holding up?" He looked at the three with greatest concern. "Ok, I guess." Research Lass replied. "Fine." Browsing Boy mumbled. "..." Linguist Lass sighed. --- Plot-Device King swiped his access card through the slot, and the door to his private quarters clicked open. He stepped inside, shut the door, and walked over to the bed. PDK carefully pulled out a bag, and stuffed in a couple of comics, his wallet, a trenchcoat, and a spare costume. He pulled off his utility-belt.thingee, and threw that in. He zipped the bag up, and, using his flight-ring.thingee, flew out the window, out into space... --- A blur of blue ran through Got.Net City. An instant later, it was already out of town. --- Lurker Lad mumbled to himself as the Net.Titans walked into the wake. He mentally activated his super-power; vanishing from sight, he passed through the walls, headed for his quarters. Leaving the three hanging withouthim in the subgroup, he felt terrible. A few minutes later, Lurker Lad reached his private quarters, layed down on the bed, and sighed heavily. =================================================================== NEXT ISSUE: The three remaining Net.Titans cope with the end of one era, and a new member comes into the fold, proving to be the beginning of a new one...meanwhile, three mysterious heroes arrive in LNHQ! ==================================================================== Credits: --------- Lurker Lad is willed back to the public domain. Plot-Device King, Research Lass, and Captain MUSH are owned by Ben Rawluk. Linguist Lass was created by Martin Phipps, but owned by Ben Rawluk. Browsing Boy is reserved to Ben Rawluk as a Net.Titan. Thesaurus Lass and Entropy Kid are owned by Gina. Pizza Girl and Bad-Timing Boy are owned by Martin Phipps. Cheesecake-Eater Lad and Dr. Stomper are public domain.Back to the Index.