Education has always influenced the Legion of Net. Heroes. Generally, this usually is because the Writers, wielding the power to shape and manipulate the very plotlines that, woven together, make up the Looniverse, were actually students. This meant that, not only did education shape the level of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and raw, elemental understanding of how to write a story, for the Writers (And thus, the LNH), but it also meant that often some form of education was given to the characters, to allow the Writers to apply some kind of level of understanding between the two. Thus, the Net.ropolis Academy is an important part of LNH lore. Besides the many Net.ropolis teenagers in attendance, the Academy was responsible for the creation -- and graduation -- of one of the most amazing teams in LNH history -- Generation Y. And, it was Generate Y which Bibliography Boy thought of, as he quietly sat behind his desk in Net.Ropolis Academy. The small classroom he had been assigned was bare, with only a few desks waiting for students to fill them. "They've done me proud -- but what now? September's just around the corner." The thought hung in the air, permeating the silence. "Is there a next, next generation of net.heroes for me to teach?" "You had better believe it," a chillingly subtle voice said. Bibliography Boy nearly had a heart attack, and ended up hitting the ceiling in a bout of anxiety engendered by such a simple, yet very familiar voice. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= o/~ A Blue Light Productions Presentation, of the LNH o/~ GENERATION Z (A mini-series) no. 1 (Not sure how long this mini will last) "Never Argue With A Ninja," or "The Most Recent Next Generation of Net.Heroes," Written by Ben Rawluk In honour of Martin Phipps, may he return to the wonderful place called the Looniverse, some day. Special thanks to Jamas Enright, K. M. Wilcox, and Tom Russell, for consults on characterization, etc. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Cover - The old logo for the Generation Y series is portrayed on the cover, with the 'Y' crossed out in red and a 'Z' written in beside it. The cover portrays Faq Boy and Fuzzboy trying to pull Escher Boy off the ceiling. Manga Girl and another girl, in yellow, look on. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- One of the most frightening members of the Legion of Net.Heroes, for those you of just discovering the joys of that wonderful organisation, would have to Ultimate Ninja. Ask any LNHer; Ultimate Ninja was feared by many of them. Which was understandable; generally, any man who can kill someone in under ten seconds using only a handful of straws and a glob of paper mache, in a manner described by some ancient martial art, deserves respect. Escher Boy considered this as he stood in the large, ornately furnished office of Ultimate Ninja. While he hadn't met Ultimate Ninja at his first crack at Legion membership, [* See _Escher Boy_ #1 - Footnote Girl] he had heard the stories. And somehow, Escher Boy wasn't quite sure how, Ultimate Ninja had tracked him down and contacted him. Maybe it was about those footprints on the ceiling, Escher Boy thought, wincing as he recalled his encounter with Cheesecake-Eater Lad and aLLiterative Lass that had resulted in the marks on the ceiling. He glanced around the office. Amidst the Asian furnishings and a few knick-knacks here and there, stood four other young people. Escher Boy wondered if they had caused footprints on the ceiling as well. And, at the centre of it all, behind a squat, mahogany table, sat Ultimate Ninja, the seeming personification of calmness. Escher Boy noted some straws on the desk, and shivered. Though, he tried to do so unnoticed. Ultimate Ninja, as always, was dressed achromatically in his black, full bodysuit. The cowl effectively covered his head, allowing no trace of emotion to show through. His custom designed belt.thingee was also black, allowing him a modicum of stealth that the normally bright belt.thingee designs would have prevented. His hand was perpetually on the hilt of his famous Ginsu Katana, which Escher Boy recalled reading about in a News.group Magazine. Attached to the belt.thingee was a small pouch, which is where Escher Boy assumed the Ninja kept his NINJA BUSH rations. Escher Boy took a moment to size up the others, a bit afraid to actually say anything. There were two girls. One was strangely like a cartoon, with large, anime eyes. She wore sweat- pants, a tube top, and had on a backpack. She seemed strangely intent upon watching the Ninja, almost sizing him up. The other girl, who stood right beside Escher Boy, shuffled silently yet nervously, shifting her weight from foot to foot. She wore, he thought, a more traditional superhero costume. It was a simple, yellow, spandex suit which fit her form perfectly, reaching from her ankles to her neck. Like himself, she wore no belt.thingee, and had a leaf-like, yellow mask over her eyes. A short cape extended from her shoulders, and she had silver gloves and boots. Escher Boy glanced over at the other two males in the room. The first was unusually small, a little person with a bizarre, black afro which seemed to have its own, personal aura. He seemed to be rather frustrated, watching the anime-eyed girl beside him check out the Ultimate Ninja. The other young man, who looked a bit older than the rest of the teenagers, probably in his early twenties, wore the expression of someone fully aware of Ultimate Ninja's prowess. He wore a black, spandex costume, with 'F' and 'B' written on either side of a slightly bizarre 'No Questions' logo, with a green belt. Escher Boy made a brief mental note about his own mode of attire, realising the simple, black and white sensibility of it was outweighed by the slightly insane colour schemes used by the others in the room. "I am sure you are wondering why I called you all here -- even going so far as to track some of you down," Ultimate Ninja said, after minutes of silence. He let the statement hang in the air for a moment, to induce unease from the small group. "And, you no doubt wonder what you all have in common." "Um, sir?" The 'no questions' hero spoke. "Can we get on with this? I really have to get going and see if Payton's made it back into continuity." "Faq Boy, I believe you will find this to be far more important than attempting to romance someone over cheesecake." Faq Boy snapped his mouth shut, taken aback. "Now then, as I was saying. I trust you have all heard of Generation Y?" Escher Boy felt a bit like Bandwagon Boy, shaking his head with several of the others. Only Faq Boy seemed to know who Generation Y were. "Okay then," Ultimate Ninja stepped forward, slowly. "Generation Y were a group of young net.heroes attending Net.ropolis Academy. Mainly made up of sidekicks -- and a few others -- Bibliography Boy taught them how to be better heroes. So, we've decided we need to try again, and see if we can have such advantageous results with a new group." Faq Boy frowned. "What does this have to do with -us-?" "Well, after reviewing your records with the LNH -- and how well you did on your tryouts," he glanced at the young woman in yellow, and then to Escher Boy, "We feel you, as youthful and teenaged net.ahumans, could use the practice being Bibliography Boy's class would give you." "What?" Faq Boy stepped closer. "You want me to go back to -high school-?!" "Mmm," was all the Ninja responded with. "Yes. We feel that because you hail from another reality, you could benefit from training on how to fight crime within this reality -- without the benefit of the fear engendered by your version of the LNH." "You're kidding, right?" Faq Boy frowned. Apparently, Escher Boy thought, indignation allowed him to briefly escape any lurking Ninjaphobia. "I've been operating here for months -- and haven't had any problems!" "Be that as it may, you were a sidekick of sorts, then -- to your counterpart, Net.Elementalist, in his incarnation as Fan.Boy." "I don't believe this. I've had my powers for a lot longer then Barry [* Net.Elementalist - Footnote Girl] had his original ones, but -now- I'm getting sent back to high school?!" "There is no room for argument." "Ah," Escher Boy said, hoping to change the subject, "I assume you think I need training in my powers?" "Yes," The ninja nodded, "Based on what occurred at your try-out. While we appreciate the work you've done on gaining control over your powers, you still need a degree of fine- tuning. The same applies," He motioned towards the yellow-garbed young woman, "For Inset Queen." "And us?" The anime-eyed girl looked at Ultimate Ninja. "Ah, Manga Girl and Fuzzboy [* See The _Manga Girl_ series - Footnote Girl]. You both come from an anime-based reality. We feel that you would do well to learn crime fighting techniques based on this world's physical laws and styles." "Oh, good," Manga Girl smiled at the Ninja, Fuzzboy frowning beside her. "I still don't like this," Faq Boy pouted, "What would Payton think?" "Regardless," the Ultimate Ninja stared at Faq Boy, "I want you all to report to Net.ropolis Academy by 8:30 tomorrow morning, so that Bibliography Boy can begin the lesson. Dismissed." The five youths began to disperse from the room, Faq Boy frowning. Manga Girl grinned widely at Fuzzboy"Better make sure my backpack's all stocked up, eh, Fuzzy?" "Mmm," Fuzzboy frowned, as Manga Girl hazarded a glance back at Ultimate Ninja. Bibliography Boy, wearing the gaudy costume he used while with the LNH in order to make the class more comfortable, gently tapped a pile of papers he held in his hands, against the desk, to keep the pile even. He looked out over the small classroom; all the desks were taken up, with each member of the class in various states of being while they waited for the final bell to ring. The teacher sized them up. The yellow-costumed Inset Queen had found herself sitting next to Escher Boy, and the two of them had seemed quite happy to chat with each other. He recalled from Ultimate Ninja's dossier that they were the two needing the work on controlling their powers. Manga Girl and Fuzzboy had managed to move their desks a bit away from the others. This, BB decided, was a bad sign; he needed to get the group to be able to work together. They seemed to be in a rather quiet conversation of their own, a bit oblivious to what was going on around them. The final member of the class, Faq Boy, had positioned himself near the back of the classroom. He had a slightly sullen look on his face. He was, BB noted, in his early twenties. Bibliography Boy wondered why Ultimate Ninja thought placing him with teenagers would help him function. The bell rang. "Class -- settle down," Bibliography Boy dropped the papers down onto his desk, and then raised his arms to get the attention of the young heroes. "We're now in session, for the first official period of Generation Z." "Generation Z?" Manga Girl stuck out her tongue. "Well, because your predecessors were referred to as Generation Y, we logically decided you would be 'Generation Z.'" "But its kinda -- I don't know -- Ick." "Mmm," Escher Boy chuckled. "Sounds fine to me." "It's okay for now," Inset Queen smiled, "After all, its not set in stone, is it? We can always change it to something different later." "I know I don't care," Faq Boy crossed his arms. "Holy Carry Fisher," Fuzzboy looked around, "You think I wanna comment? I'm just Mango's boyfriend. I'll vote how she does. I'm too tired to think." "Sidekick," Manga Girl corrected. "Boyfriend," Fuzzboy stuck his tongue out. "Boytoy?" Manga Girl winked. "And you wouldn't be so tired if you hadn't stayed up so late to watch Dragonballs." "Oy," Inset Queen raised both eyebrows. Escher Boy made wretching noises beside her. "ANYWAY," Bibliography Boy desperately attempted to get the class back on topic. "Perhaps you all would like to know what areas will be covered in this course." "Why not?" Faq Boy mustered his concentration. "What exactly are we gonna be *doing* in this 'class,' anyway?" "Well," BB smiled, slightly, "We'll be looking at several areas. First off, we'll be looking at your basic stop-the-villain- using-teamwork-and-capture-him. Then, we'll be looking at how to deal with hostage situations, and general application of powers inside and outside of the area of crime-busting. After that, I'll review how you've done, and see if we need to go over stuff or move on." "How -- cliche," mumbled Escher Boy, "Is that kind of standard stuff for 'Super-Hero Academy' type stories? Not that I'm into reading that kind of stuff." "Of course not," Manga Girl smirked. "Well, we'll see how things go," Bibliography Boy raised his voice slightly, to pull the attention of the students back to him, "But first I think we need a quizzes and assignments before any looniverse-saving --" "Oh joy," mumbled Faq Boy. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= NEXT ISSUE: As Generation Z gets used to life in school, forces begin ebb and flow, as a Field Trip looms on the horizon ... =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= THE DRAMATIS PERSONAE CHARACTER OWNER =-=-=-=-=-=-= =-=-=-=-= Bibliography Boy Martin Phipps (Public Domain?) Escher Boy K. M. Wilcox Faq Boy Jamas Enright Fuzzboy Tom Russell Inset Queen Ben Rawluk Manga Girl Tom Russell Ultimate Ninja wReam =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= AUTHOR'S NOTES AND OTHER STUFF Some people have mentioned they like to hear the "behind the scenes" stuff. Perhaps a bit of explanation about Generation Z. The idea was spawned a long while ago. If I remember correctly, the issue of a sequel of some kind for Generation Y, called Gen Z, was brought up by me in an email to Martin Phipps, shortly after Kid Mysticism's death and just after Generation Y ended. We talked a bit about the idea, including the fact that I suggested a youth from an alternate timeline named Kid Mysticism II, who was supposed to be a mild parody of the whole Phoenix II confusion from Marvel Comics (I was a big fan of Excalibur at the time), but in the end, Martin said he wouldn't be able to do anything with the idea because of time constraints, which later gave birth to his loss of net access. The idea for Gen Z was filed away in my brain, and I didn't even think about it until recently. Anyway, for some reason (I was probably re-reading an old issue of Legion of Super-Heroes, with the Legion Academy), the memory was triggered, and I ended up hauling it out. Now, since I'd like to focus on Off-Kilter Adventures, this is just going to be a mini-series. I expect in the end, it'll be no more than four or so issues, maximum. Well, that's just about it. I'd appreciate some feedback and/or reviews if anyone feels like giving any, especially since I'd like to make sure the mini-series is a strong one. Also, keep on the look out for my main series, Off-Kilter Adventures/Lurker Lad.Back to the Index.