Terror in Got.ham City: Writers Block Woman and Mouse return! The plane flew on through the dense cloud bank. "Bruce, I don't think it's going to clear soon." The pilot kept his concentration on the view outside, only taking glimpses at the instruments. "You think I want to be responsible for these guys not getting through?" The copilot sighed. "Sometimes, Bruce, even you have to concede to events." Bruce frowned. "What kind of philosophical crap is that?" He switched on the radio. "Uh... what's closest? That would be...." Switching into a more professional mode, he continued "Got.ham City Air Tower, this is flight PD654, requesting immediate clearance and landing instructions." A moment later, the reply came "Flight PD654, this is Got.ham City Air Tower. Please wait for instructions." Covering his mike, the pilot turned to the co-pilot. "Alfred, better tell our passangers that we're stopping over in the city of grime." _-~-_ Half an hour later, the plane was on the ground, with a large escort waiting for the people inside. But there was one problem. "He's missing!" "Which one?" "Ninja-san!" "Damn. How could he be missing?" "His cell's empty!" "Quick, get it open!" The guards, already on edge from the mere duty of ferrying convicts to The Safe in Colorado, further worried by this unscheduled stop, now drew their firearms, looking as likely to blow their own arms off as actually shoot a prisoner. The door to the Ninja-san's cell slowly rattled open, to reveal, as could plainly be seen through the bars, an empty cell. One of the guards hesitantly moved forward, entering the cell. The ninja stopped hiding in almost non-existent shadows, and grabbed the guard. The first four shots punched through the guard's chest, now just a shield for the ninja. Ninja-san swiftly exitted the cell, and grasped two gun barrels, pulling the guards into his hands, which smashed into their faces, pushing their noses into their heads. The next second, and two more guards were down. The others stunned by what they had seen were then stunned by the ninja's blows, and they collapsed. In all, it wasn't even ten seconds. Smiling to himself, Ninja-san glided over to the controls and let the rest of the criminals out. "That's the last time I try to get the Statue of Liberty," said Odd Kahn, his outfit causing the ninja to wince. "I remember the last time I was captured. I was sentenced to fifteen years, and the first year was very pleasent, actually. But the second was cold, so I felt I had to leave. It wasn't that easy of course, but I knew what I had to do. I wrote a letter to my lawyer, but he wrote back to me saying..." droned Dr. Boring. Pointless Death Man pulled one of the shotguns from the guards, and blew away Mr. Happy and The Discriminator. "What do the sheep of this city like?" asked Karmic Death, leaving his cell. "Are they naughty? Are they nice? Let's find out." "Convicts taking over a plane," mused the Injoker. "There's something familiar about that." "We're not out yet," said Ninja-san. "There's still guards outside." "Why don't we just fly away?" suggested Odd Kahn. "Fog's too thick. That's why we landed," pointed out Ninja-san. "... but the flowers weren't very pretty. I had to take them back, but the florist wouldn't give me my money back, which is a very bad attitude to take, especially in these times, when politeness is so much more valuable. One little thing, yet it means so much..." "Right," said Pointless Death Man, reloading his gun. "Who's next?" He placed the barrel on Karmic Death's forehead. "Have you been nice?" asked Karmic Death, unphased by the threat of imminent death. "Better yet," said Ninja-san. "Kill those outside." "Good idea," said PDM. "I like shooting ducks in the barrel." PDM let out a whoop, and jumped from the plane. Several shots were heard, all of which came from Pointless Death Man's gun, even though it only held two shots. "We must be in Got.ham City," said Odd Kahn, peering out to see if the way was clear. "Although I suggest we get away from here as soon as possible." "Got.ham... that sounds like my kind of town. Just the sort of place I could go... bats in," said the Injoker. "I think I'll stay here a while," said Karmic Death, his eyes staring at something far away. "The people of Got.ham need someone to show them the way." "Got.ham is as good a place as any," said Ninja-san. "Tell you what. I'll create a diversion here while you get away." The other villains nodded, and slipped out, disappearing into the city. "Okay, Got.ham, what have you got?" asked Karmic Death to the air, the last one to leave. "... but he wouldn't accept a check. I ask you, what kind of restaurants don't accept checks. It's been a long time in my life since I had to put up with something like that. There just isn't the same camaraderie as there used to be..." ... more or less. _-~-_ Mouse sighed and lay back in her so-called 'reclining' seat. It was a long flight back to Net.ropolis, and the screaming child in the seat behind her was making it even longer. Why me? she silently demanded. The universe, as usual, declined to reply. Mouse took this the way she always took such denials. As blanket permission to do whatever the heck she wanted to do. She stood up and turned around, smiling at the screaming four year old. "DON'WANNA SLEEP! DON'WANNA SLEEP! WANNA COKE! WANNA MCDONALDS!!!!!" "Now now Sarah," the childs mother pathetically tried to pacify her. "Hush, you might bother the other passengers." Mouse's smile turned into a grimace. "Excuse me," she said, exuding sympathy and politeness through her pores. "Do you suppose you could keep the noise down?" The child violently kicked Mouse's seat for the third time. Mentally, Mouse pulled off the kid gloves and replaced them with spike-covered gauntlets. "WANNA MCDONALDS!" screamed the child. "No you don't!" Mouse snapped. "You want a nice nap." "NO!" the child stared at Mouse defiantly. "WANNA MCDONALDS!!!" "McDonalds is bad for you." Mouse stared at the child. *McDonalds are NOT your friends* her subliminals blared. People had always told her that children were less susceptible to subliminals than adults. Mouse had always found that anyone was susceptible, given the right hook. And thanks to McD's agressive advertising and brainwashing, this child was about to find out the true subtle power of subliminals. "What's _really_ good for you," Mouse said. "Is spinach, lettuce, and brussel sprouts." "EWWWWW!!! YUCK! DON'WANT!" ***OH YES YOU DO!!!! BRUSSEL SPROUTS BRUSSEL SPROUTS BRUSSEL SPROUTS!!!!*** "Brussel sprouts." the child murmured quietly. "Brussel sprouts." Mouse smiled at the relieved mother, and turned back. "WAN' BRUSSEL SPROUTS!" the child screamed. Mouse hit her forehead with her palm repeatedly. It didn't improve the situation. Neither did the captain's announcement that they were having engine trouble and this, added to the fog, meant that they would have to stop at the Got.ham City airport for repairs, have a nice flight. "Riiiight." said Mouse, wondering if good deeds were really all they were cracked up to be. And if children's health was really all _that_ important. _-~-_ At the Net.ropolis airport, Writers Block Woman jumped up and down in anticipation. "Just think," she said enthusiastically. "Mouse's plane will be landing in forty minutes! In just forty minutes I'll see my baby again!" Plotline Lad and GirlWatcher exchanged glances. *Baby??!* (They'd gotten pretty good at the mutual exchanging of thoughts thing by this time.) "I just can't wait!" WBW shouted, throwing her arms into the air. "It's been so long! Check how long till the plane arrives," she ordered the two men, as she sat down. "Check check check!!!!" With a sigh, GirlWatcher went over to the enquiries terminal. For the 42nd time. This time however, the answer was different. "The plane's been delayed," he told WBW. "They've had to land at Got.ham for repairs." "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!" wailed WBW. She stood up. "I'll go meet her!" she decided. "Ah," Plotline Lad butted in quickly. "Mouse is probably jetlagged. She might be asleep. You wouldn't want to wake her up would you?" WBW considered this. "You're probably right." she sighed. She sat down again. Then she looked up at the two men. "Why don't you two go back to the HQ?" she suggested. "You both look exhausted, and we don't know how long Mouse's plane will be." "Ah, that's okay WBW," said GirlWatcher. "We'll wait with you." "But you can't!" WBW wailed. "I thought we'd be getting back in plenty of time so I didn't set the VCR for Beast Wars. Could you go and tape it for me? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?" Plotline Lad stood, "I'll go." He glared at GW, "Keep an eye on her," he muttered. GirlWatcher grinned, "No problem." After Plotline Lad had left, Writers Block Woman settled back into her chair. Ten minutes later, she sent GirlWatcher off to get them something to eat. After he'd left, she turned to watch the news, which was being broadcast onto the big screen in the airport. "And this just in, a group of supervillains has escaped and gone wild in Got.ham City!" Writers Block Woman sat up abruptly. "The police are helpless to stop this reign of terror, and no heroes are available to stop these dastardly villains from laying waste to the city as they please." "NO!" Writers Block Woman sprang to her feet. "This cannot be! I shall not allow this state of affairs to continue! For I am Writers Block Woman! A hero and a lady. And I am sworn to protect all from evil, whether it be animal, vegetable, mineral or some weird component from the planet Zorg! To Got.ham City!" So speaking, she launched herself out of a window, and into the air, disrupting a 747 that was trying to land. *Hmmm...* she thought. *Got.ham City, why does that name sound familiar?* Then she shrugged, there were more important things to think about, like... which way _was_ Got.ham City? WBW pondered this mystery as she flew. _-~-_ "Writers Block Woman? WBW? I've got the burgers. WBW? Oh shit." _-~-_ Karmic Death walked over the roofs of Got.ham City. They were more alive than the dreary street. Contained more promise. More prey. His eyes alighted on a group of thugs positioned over a skylight, preparing to break in. Yes, they would do. Carefully, he took off his gloves. "Hey, be careful with that," hissed one thug. "We only got the one cutter." "I know what I'm doing, so just keep quiet." There was a moment's silence of intense concentration and work. "Gentlemen, how are your souls this evening?" The thugs looked up in irritation, one already bringing up a lead pipe. "They say I'm like Santa Claus," said Karmic Death, a tight smile on his face. "I know who's been naughty and who's been nice. But I don't need to check it twice." The thug with the pipe growled, then swung. And found his arm caught in Karmic Death's grip. Karmic's hand moved towards the thug's. "Let's see which one you are." Their hands contacted. The thug twitched violently, not falling down only because Karmic Death was holding him up. A beautific look of pleasure stole over his features, then Karmic Death let him drop to the ground. "And so, justice is sweet." The others had paused in shock, then they moved as one. Two grabbed him, but they immediate collapsed, both smiling. One hesitated nervously, then lashed out clumsily. Karmic Death caught the fist easily. The thug gasped in sudden pain, then he too dropped like the others. "Oh, an innocent. It's always a shame to see them go. Still, we can't last forever." Karmic Death brought his gaze up to the last thug, and saw a gun pointed at him, shaking in the thug's hand. "Hey, hey guys, get up," he said, prodding of the the bodies with his foot. "They are quite dead, let me assure you," said Karmic Death, replacing his gloves. "No one survives my brand of justice. It's the kindest cut of all." The thug gaped at Karmic. "Who...who are you?" Karmic Death looked at the thug straight in the eyes. "I'm Karmic Death." The thug started backing away. "Tell the rest of this downtrodden city that I am here to save you all. When you die it will be as a complete, balanced being. What more could you want?" "You're crazy," said the thug, then fired once, twice. His mouth dropped open as Karmic Death, though he had been knocked back slightly, remained standing. In sheer terror, he turned and fled, the gun falling from his nerveless fingers. "Crazy? Is it crazy to wear kevlar? You never know who might be out there." Pleased with himself, Karmic Death continued on his way. _-~-_ Bertie half climbed, half fell down the ladder, his heart in his chest. One guy... one guy had taken care of all his friends. How was that possible? He leant against the brick, getting his breath back. He had to get out of here. There was a quiet *snick*, then Bertie felt cold metal touch his throat. Faint pressure indicated that he should turn around, and he slowly did. "Tell me, where's a ninja supposed to go to get a drink on a night like this?" Bertie's wide open eyes took in the black outfit, all-concealing, and the hood that masked the head. No, it couldn't be. He'd heard rumours, but that's all they were. A black presence striking in the dark of night.... But what was the Ultimate Ninja doing in Got.ham City? "Wha? Who? Wha?" Bertie gabbled. "I prefer to be called Ninja-san," Ninja-san said. Bertie felt his body sag. This wasn't him. However, relaxing just brought the sword at his throat into sharper focus. "Baaa?" asked Bertie. Ninja-san sighed. "Okay, so I'm new here. But if I have to ask, I may as well be sure I'm going to get information." The blade twitched slightly, Bertie twitching in sympathy. "What I really want to know is...." Ninja-san leant forward. Bertie tried to lean back, but the wall behind him unforgivingly refused to move. Ninja-san's eyes filled Bertie's vision. "What monuments to him do you have?" "Wha? Who?" "The Ultimate Ninja." Bertie flinched reflexively at the name. "All pay homage to him. What does Got.ham offer?" Bertie's mind ran. Was this guy serious? However, serious or not, he did have a sword at Bertie's neck. "The... the Got.ham Museum. The... there's a pair of his nun-chucks on display." Actually, the UN had dropped them while in a fight in Got.ham, and didn't need them again, but it impressed the natives. Like Bertie. "Really? This sounds like something I must possess. In return, I won't kill you. Aren't I nice?" Bertie nodded. Carefully. He closed his eyes, wishing this person would just go away. When he opened them again, he was alone. _-~-_ "Come on, Commissioner. Ya have ta do it." "I know. That doesn't mean I have to like it," Commissioner Hamilton. He peered out over the city, or what he could see of it in the fog. "They're out there. Somewhere. And there's nothing we can do about it." Chief Repp stayed silent for a moment, then pressed the point. "Do I send the signal, sir?" "I refuse to have superheroes crawling over this city! It's a pity Acton Lord showed up and we had to repeal those anti-superhero laws. Unfortunately, at times like this, we have little choice. Light the lamp." Chief Repp nodded, and pulled a large lever. Through the fog, Commissioner Hamilton saw a powerful beam of light glow eeriely. "It is easier than phoning 'em, sir." "Like moths to a flame, that damn light always brings superheroes in," Hamilton commented. "Who knows what crackpot we'll get this time?" _-~-_ Mouse looked up at the bright light shining in the sky. "What is that?" she asked out loud. "A really big moth trap? Or is there some nightclub opening up tonight?" She shrugged and turned back to watching the events unfold at the airport. There were an awful lot of heavily armed uniformed people standing around. They looked extremely twitchy. Mouse noted that all of the safeties on their weapons were switched to off and decided to sit perfectly still and keep her voice down. An airport-employee walked over to the group of people from her flight. "Hello everyone! I'm Susie Grimsdell, from Net.Zealand Airways. I'm afraid there's been an incident here, and so your flight will be delayed overnight." Mass groaning from all the other passengers. Mouse observed the security people surrounding them. "These people are... attached to airport security." said Susie. "If you'll just follow them, they'll take you to the airport hotel, where you will be put up for the night at our expense. We apologise sincerely for the delay." The 'security' people started directing everyone to a bus. Mouse wandered up close to one and said casually, "So, since when are the Net.ional Guard connected to Got.ham airport security?" The guard looked at her narrowly, "I'm afraid I can't answer that question ma'am." "Oh, well, that's okay. It's probably related to that big empty plane out on the tarmac with all the guards and dead bodies around it anyway." The guard pursed his lips shut and motioned for her to move back in with the rest of the crowd. "Yeah, that's what I thought." Mouse considered her options. One, go to the hotel, have a nice relaxing shower, a meal, glass of wine and good nights sleep. Two, go out in foul weather in an unfamiliar city and snoop around trying to find out what or who had gotten a lot of people dead and brought out one of the more heavily armed forces in this country. Hmmm...decisions decisions. "I _hate_ being a hero." Mouse muttered to herself. She walked around the bus to the door, got on, walked down the aisle and got off through the exit at the middle. Noone noticed as the ordinary looking young woman sauntered off down the street. *This must be what it feels like to be Easy-Going Lad,* thought Mouse, suppressing a grin. *Now, destination.* _-~-_ Writers Block Woman flew like an arrow through the sky, searching for Got.ham City. "Rats," she said out loud. "Maybe I should have picked up a map!" She paused in midair and turned full around. "If only I had a sign, or a clue!" At that moment, a bright beacon lit up the sky ahead of her. Writers Block Woman stared at it in awe. Then she smiled. "Ho," she said. "It's the Block-signal! Someone needs my help!" She flew towards the signal. <<SPLASH PAGE>> Hovering full in the centre of the spotlight beam is Writers Block Woman! The light glints off her costume and her hair and cape billow in the wind. Behind her the light casts her shadow onto a white cloud. "Ack!" yelled WBW. "I'm blind!" She covered her eyes against the bright light and floated down to its source, a lamp on top of a building. "That was quick." said a male voice behind her. "We only lit that thing half an hour ago." "Grrr..." replied another voice. Writers Block Woman blinked the spots out of her vision and turned to face the two men standing behind her. "Who are you?" "I'm Commissioner Hamilton," said the man who had growled previously. "This is Chief Repp. And you are?" "I am Writers Block Woman! A hero and a lady! And also a rich international frivolous-type person in my alter-identity. What need have you of me?" "You heard about our problems?" the Commissioner asked. "Yes! You have a plane-load of criminals on the rampage." replied Writers Block Woman. "How is that situation by the way?" "Well," replied Chief Repp. "We've recaptured quite a few of them, more have hidden away and will doubtlessly turn up in the sequels, but we've got a couple of particularly rotten apples still on the loose. Worst of the lot is Ninja-san, he's probably the one who started this whole mess. He's an excellent fighter, sneaky, deadly, and worst of all, moderately-intelligent." "Ninja-san." mused Writers Block Woman, "The name isn't familiar, and I don't think I've heard any stories about him." "Try logging into http://www.eyrie.org/~thad/blip/ sometime," suggested the Commissioner. "All that we know about him is that he's a great martial-artist, has all your basic ninja skills, and is totally obsessed with Ultimate Ninja." "Aha!" cried Writers Block Woman. "Well, do you have anything of UN's in the city?" "Ummmm..." said the Commisisoner. "There's a couple of his nun-chuks in the museum," offered the Chief. "Saw them last week when I took the kids there." "Right," said WBW. "Then that's likely where he'll go. Where's the museum?" "It's that big gothic-looking building with gargoyles all over the top of it." said the Chief, pointing to said building. "Oooooh." said WBW. "Pretty! I'll go see, bye!" She flew off. The two men looked at each other. "Sir, I'm not so sure this was a good idea now." "*Sigh* We're all doomed." _-~-_ Mouse wandered around the streets. The fog was getting thicker, and she shivered in the dampness, thinking fondly of a warm hotel room. "*Sigh*" she said, and kept walking, searching for... well some indication that all was not right. Explosions, screams, cries for help, that sort of thing. "AAAAAHHH!!!" on cue came a call from a nearby alley. "Help me please!" Mouse raced in. "What's wrong?" she yelled. Someone grabbed her around the throat and slammed her into the wall. "I've had a lousy night is what's wrong. First some creepy guy kills my friends, then some psycho ninja-head interrogates me at the point of a sword. I've decided it's time to move to a nicer climate, and I need the contents of your wallet to do that. Now, I've really had a terrible time, so hand over your wallet and watch and I won't hurt you." said Bertie. Mouse looked at her mugger and reached slowly for her wallet. Bertie's eyes followed the movement, which was unfortunate, as it meant he never saw her throw her _other_ arm up to break his grip on her throat, grasp his shoulder and push. Taken by surprise by this movement, his head snapped backwards as she shoved him, which meant that he also missed the hand that had been reaching for her wallet turn into a fist and slam hard into his stomach. He did feel the results of these actions though. He also noticed the results of the stomp on his toes, the sweeping kick that knocked him off his feet and the following stomp on his fingers. Mouse stood on his fingers hard. "My friend, your problems are just beginning. Now, what's this about a psycho who killed your friends?" -------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEXT TIME: Mouse meets the psycho, and Writers Block Woman meets the ninja. Joy. Credits: -------- Writers Block Woman and Mouse are Jaelle's. Karmic Death and Ninja-san are Jamas's. Odd Kahn belongs to Ben Rawluk, Pointless Death Man belongs to Jeff Barnes, the Injoker and Dr. Boring belong to Public Domain, Girlwatcher belongs to Chris Gumprich, Plotline Lad belongs to Aaron Veenstra, all used with permission. All others were created by either Jamas or Jaelle as needed. Jamas's notes: This started as a project I suggested a long time ago, which means all the plotting for the story is mine. Fortunately, Jess wrote all the funny bits, so it wasn't a hopeless cause. It was intended that I write the parts involving Karmic Death and Ninja-san, Jess write the parts with Writers Block Woman and Mouse, being kinda link RPGing, and we swap back and forth as necessary. Ha. That didn't last into issue two. (Although we didn't have issue parts then.) And, as time drew on, we didn't have the luxury to do something like that, so we divvied up and wrote one of the others characters, ending in issue three with each writing all of them. The best laid plans and all that. Still, it was damn enjoyable. A note on Commissioner Hamilton and Chief Repp. In Adam West's Batman, Neil Hamilton played Commissioner Gordan and Stafford Repp played Chief O'Hara, so that explains their names.Back to the Index.