[LNH] Legion of Net.Heroes Vol.2 #28 The comic book that you have just purchased (or maybe just stolen as an internet download) is: ___ ___________________________ | |-| \ #28 | |-|  / 'Funky Monkeys' part 2 | | |  egion of \ (Intermezzo - Act 4) | | | __     / (A Beige Countdown tie-in) | | | [___][ \et.__eroes \ | | | \ ] [ __ ] / written by and copyright 2008 | |-|     \ Saxon Brenton | |-|___________________________/ with input from Jamas Enright | | | | | | | | The cover shows the Legion standing in the background with | | expressions of shock or righteous determination on their faces. | | In the foreground is a weeping purple gorilla sitting in the | | pose of the Thinker. The cover blurb says: 'Why Is This | | Gorilla Crying?' |_| [A Silver Age-style roster of characters in the form of a series of mug shots in little circles runs down the side of the title page:] Roll call for this issue: o Cheesecake-Eater Lad! o Fuzzy! o Psionic Lad! o Outfielder Boy! o The Hyphenated Eaters Corps! These are just some of the super-powered do-gooders who belong to an organisation that thinks that running around with your underwear on the outside is acceptable as a fashion statement. They are: the Legion of Net.Heroes! @%%%%%%%%%%@ Sniff. "Wha...?" "Just rest for a few seconds. Breathe deeply. Are you feeling any pain?" Fuzzy focused her eyes and discovered Cheesecake-Eater Lad kneeling next to her, waving a piece of cheesecake under her nose. Irritably she began to rise and push the cheesecake away. "Now isn't the time for lunch..." she started to say, but she was cut short by the other Legionnaire. "Uh uh uh uh uh," he disagreed, waving a finger in emphasis. "There's a mind controlling villain on the loose, and *this*," he said, proffering the cheesecake proudly, "is the only thing keeping you free from his control at the moment. But you can't go around holding it under your nose like smelling salts or something. So I *insist* that you eat at least a mouthful of my mind-liberating fudge cheesecake. That way you'll be protected for at least a few hours." He looked pointedly at her. "Or do I have to get rough and use some more ninjitsu on you?" It was then that Fuzzy realised the reason she was on the ground was not because she had tripped, or fainted, or been knocked out with gas, or whatever, but because Cheesecake-Eater Lad was holding her down. And come to think of it, her tuckus was feeling rather tender. As if she had landed heavily on her backside and would later be enjoying bruises... A fact that was particularly noteworthy since she was currently dressed only in her underwear rather than her armoured costume of metastable weave. She put two and two together and frowned at herself in irritation over the mistake that she'd fallen into. It was easy to be lulled into complacency when dealing with the amiable and tubby Cheesecake-Eater Lad. Easy, and foolish. She shouldn't have made the error of forgetting that he had been studying under Ultimate Ninja for a very long time. "Mind controlling villain, huh?" she said, taking the cheesecake. Because when you got right down to it, warding off mind control by eating a cheesecake was a much preferable method to faffing around with tinfoil hats. "That would be Super-gorilla Krodd then, wouldn't it?" Cheesecake-Eater Lad nodded. "And his Furry Fruit Flavours." "Them too. Mmm, chocolate fudge." "Yeah. It turns out that the most effective flavour of mind- liberating cheesecake is hollandaise ripple fudge. That protects you for days. But not everyone will automatically eat that, so I had work a trade off with chocolate instead." "Wait, you've lost me there," protested Fuzzy. "If you've caught someone who's being mind controlled, and you wave a piece of cheesecake under their nose, then the smell is going to clear their heads. At that point it isn't going to matter what the flavour is as long as it isn't something that's going to out-and-out make them vomit. All you've got to do is tell them to eat the cheesecake to protect themselves. I would have thought that would be a no-brainer." He looked at her ruefully. "Well, sure. If you've only got one person to deal with. But if you've got a whole crowd, the then most effective way to distribute it is to throw it in their faces. Then they'll scrape some of it off with a finger tip just like in the old slapstick comedy movies, and lick it and go "Hey, chocolate" and WHAMMO! Instant freedom from mind control. But the problem with that trick is that doesn't work so well with hollandaise sauce." Ah yes, thought Fuzzy, the infamous Legion of Net.Heroes propensity for starting food fights. Sooner or later someone was bound to find a tactical use for it. "I can see you've thought this through very carefully." She finished eating the cheesecake. "So, what's next?" Cheesecake-Eater Lad explained. "I've only got a small supply of the stuff, because I've only been doing test batches so far. And my wrist dispensers are already getting low," he added, holding up one arm to show the Kirby-tech wristlets he wore. Then he grinned in anticipation. "So I need the help of someone else with stealth abilities to sneak into the LNH-HQ kitchen and help me mix up an industrial sized batch of mind-liberating cheesecake." Fuzzy cracked her knuckles. "And then, rematch time." "Oh yeah." @%%%%%%%%%%@ The two superheroes carefully approached the Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters. At one point they saw one of the Furry Fruit Flavours knuckling along the street. It was Apricoty Orange Orangutan. Fuzzy went to pull her gun, only to remember that she hadn't retrieved a spare costume from her locker yet. Cheesecake-Eater Lad shook his head, mouthed, "Stealth", and then silently leapt upwards and wedged himself into the corner between two walls to hide above eye height. Fuzzy took her cue from him and turned up her power of ambiguity. The orangutan went past them, oblivious to how close the net.heroes were. Once Apricoty Orange Orangutan was gone Cheesecake-Eater Lad dropped back down to the street with equal silence and whispered, "Come on." They approached the front entrance on RACC.ham Avenue with the intent of scouting out the general situation before circling around to gain entrance through the small parkland out the back. They paused when they saw what was happening at the building. "What are they up to?" wondered Cheesecake-Eater Lad. Fuzzy could only shake her head in bemusement. A contingent of several hundred enthralled Legionnaires were busy at work constructing what looked like a giant jungle gym around the LNH-HQ. And considering that the LNH-HQ itself had increased in size to accommodate all the new members enrolled because of the Net.ahuman Responsibility Act, this meant that it was an absolutely enormous piece of metal framework. "Whatever it is, it's being done on Krodd's orders, so it probably can't be good," reasoned Fuzzy. They continued on, encountering no significant opposition as they made their way in through the rear entrance. (A mind-controlled Bad- Timing Boy discovered them and almost set off a general alert, but Fuzzy knocked him unconscious and locked him in a closet. What few other encounters they had were near misses thanks to Fuzzy's Ambiguity Field.) Finally they arrived at the kitchen. Cheesecake-Eater Lad peered in through the windows set into the double doors. "Huh," he said with mild surprise. "The Hyphenated Eaters Corps are still here." "So how do we knock them out?" asked Fuzzy. Cheesecake-Eater Lad looked thoughtful, then said, "We don't. They might be useful in mixing up some more mind-liberating fudge cheesecake. You make sure nobody sneaks up on us, and I'll use the last of the stuff I have on me to free them." "That's risky," Fuzzy warned. "If they raise the alarm first, we could be up to out necks in mind controlled LNHers before we know it, and with no backup plan." "Possibly," C-ELad admitted. "But I've been supervising their training as well as their kitchen duty over the past week. I don't think they'll be that hard to take down in a fight. Well... yet, anyway. Some of them show a lot of promise. But on the other hand they do all know what they're doing with food preparation, and could save us a lot of time. I think it's worth the risk." Fuzzy made a noise at the back of her throat that, if interpreted generously, could have been called agreement. Cheesecake-Eater Lad gave her an inscrutable look. She said, "You really think they'll be helpful?" "They're good kids," he said. "They're just a bit enthusiastic, that's all." Then he added, "And there's also the matter of looking out for our students. I still remember the recriminations about mentor responsibility after all those kids got turned into zomkicks during the 'Crisis Of Infinite Sidekicks' crossover." "Okay. It's your call. I'll cover your back." With Fuzzy guarding the door and simultaneously trying to keep an eye out for both passers-by in the corridor and on events in the kitchen, Cheesecake-Eater Lad burst in and launched his assault. He was devastating. The Hyphenated Eaters Corps were scattered about the kitchen rather than clustered at one easy to access and attack point. Cheesecake-Eater Lad did not allow this to concern him. Instead he focused on the basic tactic of first taking out those trainees who were the greatest threats. In his estimation that currently meant Spicy-Mexican-Food-Eater Lass and Donut-Eater Lad. Luckily Donut-Eater Lad was directly in front of him as he came through the door. Cheesecake-Eater Lad ran in and without needing to slow down vaulted over one of the work benches and squirted cheesecake in his face. Then he waved his arm in a sharp arc, similarly blasting Pop-Tart-Eater Lass and Open-Face-Club-Sandwich-Eater Lad in one movement. Both Pasta-Eater Lad and Spicy-Mexican-Food-Eater Lass were further away, but Pasta-Eater Lad made the blunder of closing in to counterattack. Which was good, because the sooner that C-ELad could take out Pasta-Eater Lad the quicker he could deal with Spicy-Mexican-Food- Eater Lass, who was clearly moving to sound the alarm rather than fight. With surprising grace Cheesecake-Eater Lad ducked and weaved between the tubs of food stuffs and sharp kitchen implements that Pasta-Eater Lad was throwing at him, all the while intent on chasing down Spicy-Mexican- Food-Eater Lass. Pasta-Eater Lad he simply took out indirectly, tripping him up en passant and squirting him with the mind-liberating cheesecake. He launched himself at Spicy-Mexican-Food-Eater Lass. She dodged to one side and threw kitchen utensils at him. This had no more effect on Cheesecake-Eater Lad than when Pasta-Eater Lad had tried it, and in fact it slowed her down for long enough to give him an opening. He aimed and fired, and nothing happened. His dispensers had finally run out. As if that was going to stop Cheesecake-Eater Lad. He used a sweep kick to knock her legs out from under her, and as he grappled with her cast a look around the kitchen to see who was up from among the other members of the Hyphenated Eaters Corps. "Club-Sandwich-Lad," he called. "Get over here on the double!" "Sir, yes sir!" Open-Face-Club-Sandwich-Eater Lad said as he ran over. "Smear some of the mind-liberating cheesecake over her mouth." "On it," OFCS-ELad said. As soon as Spicy-Mexican-Food-Eater Lass had stopped struggling, C-ELad asked, "You all right?" "Yeah," she said. "Thanks." "You're welcome," said Cheesecake-Eater Lad. He stood up and looked around. "Everybody else okay?" When this elicited a round of affirmatives, he rallied his troops. "Okay ladies and gentleman. We're in an emergency situation here, and I'm going to need your help. Super- gorilla Krodd is using his mental powers to mind control the Legion, and I need to prepare as much of the mind-liberating fudge cheesecake as possible to stop him. Quickly get yourselves cleaned and dressed while Fuzzy and myself start preparing ingredients. We have a lot of work ahead of us." The Hyphenated Eaters Corps quickly scattered to get themselves ready, with Pop-Tart-Eater Lass adding, "You can count on us sir." @%%%%%%%%%%@ Xil wondered what the heck he was doing. However, this wonderment was more of an 'I must be out of my mind' anxiety than any sort of meaningful introspection. It wasn't going to be useful to carrying out his plan, especially since his plan consisted solely of 'help that cute Outfielder Boy guy'. And it certainly didn't extend far enough to consider the consequences of his actions might be, what with giving away classified technology to a native life form and all that. You see, when the shapeshifting Qwarsts infiltrate a planet they have various types of hand-wave-with-technobabble technology to help maintain their cover. This includes handy little psi-screens that prevent telepathic detection and coercion. So when everyone in the area around the Legion of Net.Heroes HQ began acting strangely and taking off their clothes, Xil had been unaffected. It had taken him a while to realise what was happening and what options were open to him. Not because he was stupid. He wasn't. Nor was it because he didn't have any clues to go on. He'd been standing nearby when Krodd had exposited what his villainous plan was. Rather, it was because Xil was distracted for several dry mouthed minutes by the sight of Outfielder Boy stripped down to his underwear. Impulsively Xil had gone and retrieved another hand-wave-with- technobabble psi-screen. Now he had returned with it, with the intention of giving it to Outfielder Boy so that the Legionnaire could resist Krodd's mental domination and defeat the villain. Beyond that... Xil really hadn't given things much thought. He simply snuck up, activated the second psi-screen and clasped it into the other teenager's hands. Satisfaction made Xil's heart beat faster in his thorax as Outfielder Boy blinked and returned to proper wakefulness. Outfielder Boy focused on the young man in front of him, and said, "Wha...?" At which point Xil realised he had no idea what he should do next and came over all bashful at the prospect of what inconvenient questions the Legionnaire might ask. He blurted out, "You'll need this," - and here he shook the psi-screen that he had clasped into Outfielder Boy's hands - "to help you fight the bad guy." Then he ran away as fast as he could. Outfielder Boy stared after the departing teenager. Well, it was only sensible for civilians to get out of the area where there was a fight scene happening, he supposed. However, Outfielder Boy felt an obligation to say thanks later on after the dust had settled, so after a quick glance to make sure that he wasn't in any immediate danger of being attacked by a villain or run over by a bus or something, he focused his attention on getting a fix on the mind of the guy who'd just rescued him. It was tricky. It was so frustrating when there was something that needed to be done urgently and he kept being fumbled fingered with his mental senses. Then he found the mind he wanted. Oh... "Oh," he said. For a stunned moment he didn't know what to do. Impulsively he called out, "I think you're cute too!" Then he blushed. That was not professional superhero behaviour. "Outfielder Boy, you have got to get back to finding a way to stopping Krodd," he admonished himself. @%%%%%%%%%%@ The Hyphenated Eaters Corps quickly dressed in their costumes. Their new costumes, that is. They may have looked exactly like their previous, home made ones, but the costumes that they had been issued by the Legion were made of metastable weave. Okay, pause there for a moment and I'll explain metastable weave. Yes, it's like fabric made of unstable molecules, except that amateur fiction writers won't gets their butts sued off by Marvel Comics if they talk about metastable weave. But like unstable molecules, clothing made of metastable weave adapts to peoples' superpowers, can be programmed to transform from civvies to costume when you need an instantaneous quick change, is insulated, hard wearing, and when it *does* get damaged in a fight will never be totally destroyed but instead will shred and tatter in just such a way as to preserve modesty. Unless it's an Acraphobe rated story, in which case the reader gets to see the character's naughty bits. Best of all, a costume of metastable weave makes you *look* like an iconic superhero. Alex Ross may do some absolutely gorgeous photorealism paintings of superheroes, but his figures are all wearing clothes that wrinkle and bunch up so that they look like physically fit adults who have been nagged by their kids into dressing up for Halloween. Metastable weave doesn't do that. Metastable weave clings to the body in just the right places, highlighting musculature while at the same time covering over the vicious scars accumulated through years of hand-to-hand combat with the forces of evil. People who wear metastable weave *look* larger than life, and at least as far as their clothing is concerned are always photogenic. In any case, in an amazingly short time span Fuzzy found the Corps back in action and taking over the cheesecake preparation, freeing her up for sentry duty again. She threw a look over her shoulder as she left the kitchen. She had to admit that Cheesecake-Eater Lad had the teenagers well in hand. It made her feel a little bit less guilty about they way she had palmed them off on him when they had first turned up... Had it really been less than a week ago? She shook her head ruefully, then pushed the whole thing out of her mind. Guard duty in the middle of an enemy occupied building was not the time to be dwelling on that sort of thing. Then she got a telepathic message that almost scared the crap out of her. =( Hey, Fuzzy. Incoming. ) She had already grabbed her gun before she consciously registered that the tone was friendly. She didn't immediately recognise the 'voice' however, and thought a stern and wary challenge of, .oO( Who's there? ) =( Psionic Lad, and I've collected Outfielder Boy. I'm glad we've found you. I was beginning to wonder if anyone else was free. We're on ^@ our way to your location, so don't go anywhere. ) As if that was likely, thought Fuzzy. She poked her head back into the kitchen to warn the others, and the two newcomers had arrived by the time she had finished passing on the message. "I'm glad we found you all," Psionic Lad repeated. "Listen, I've done some poking about, and I think I know what Krodd's planning." "Well obviously his next move will be to extend his mind control," said Spicy-Mexican-Food-Eater Lass, who was the smartest of the Hyphenated Eaters Corps, but also the prickliest because of her lack of patience with those slower than herself. "Which implies that the thing he's having built relates to that." "Unless it's a distraction for his real plan," offered Pasta-Eater Lad cheerfully, not bothering to look up from the food preparation he was involved in. "It's the former," said Psionic Lad. "That giant metal frame is going to be a psychic broadcaster aerial that he can blanket the whole world with his mental commands. See, from what I can figure out it's like this. When Krodd first got his psi powers he was surprised by the fact that not everyone was automatically susceptible to them. So he's had a system set up that lets him gather more power from the minds he's already dominated. Taking out the Legion was strategically sound as well as a act of revenge, but we're going to have to stop him before he implements his next phase of attack and grows stronger still. We," and here Psionic Lad indicated everybody present in the kitchen, "may not be able to withstand his control if he increases his power up another level of magnitude." "Cheesecake-Eater Lad," ventured Spicy-Mexican-Food-Eater Lass. "The first batch of chocolate fudge is almost ready, but if Krodd carries out his plan any time soon we may need to start preparing the hollandaise sauce ripple instead." Psionic Lad looked confused. "Hollandaise sauce?" "We've got different flavours of cheesecake that are good for protecting against different strengths of mind control," said Cheesecake- Easter Lad distractedly as he considered the problem. "How soon is he likely to start use the broadcasting web?" Psionic Lad shrugged. "Any time within the next few hours, I guess." "Okay then. Pasta-Eater Lad, Pop-Tart-Eater Lass, you finish making that chocolate fudge cheesecake," Cheescake-Eater Lad ordered. "The rest of you start on the hollandaise sauce ripple straight away." He looked at Fuzzy and Psionic Lad. "We're going to need to find a way to spray this over as many LNHers as quickly as possible." "A pity almost everybody is outside," said Fuzzy thoughtfully. "There's an obvious way to do it indoors." @%%%%%%%%%%@ Just under an hour later Outfielder Boy and Open-Faced-Club-Sandwich- Eater Lad were making a few final adjustments to the pipes in the plant room. "Okay, that's got it, I think," said Outfielder Boy as he used a wrench to tighten the final connection. "You think?" "Dude, I honestly doubt if the sprinkler system was designed to distribute cheesecake through the building. It'll pump the stuff in," he said, gesturing to the vat of cheesecake they had just connected up, "but I have no idea if it'll flow through the pipes." Open-Faced-Club-Sandwich-Eater Lad looked pensive. "Well, it's the hollandaise sauce ripple fudge," he said. "It's been watered down to the consistency that it should flow through the pipes, but still be strong enough to wake up people who are under mind control." He checked the connections again. "How did you manage to resist Krodd's control, by the way? Special mental training?" "Me? Jeez no, I wasn't able to. I had to have outside help." "Oh," went OFCS-ELad, still somewhat distracted and making the assumption that he'd had assistance from Psionic Lad. "I guess that's it then. You can tell the others that we're..." and then he was cut off as he was suddenly smothered in wrapping paper. .oO( Aw fsck! Not again, ) he fumed. Outfielder Boy looked up to see Gift-Wrapping Granny in her bloomers at the door. Now, he was essentially a good hearted kid, so his main reaction was, .oO( Oh no! Another enslaved Legionnaire! ) But he was also shallow enough in certain areas that he also thought, .oO( Ew! Ew! Ew! Naked wrinkly old person flesh! Ew! ) =( Are you okay? )= asked Psionic Lad, who had picked up that last bit. =( Small problem. Taking care of it now, )= Outfielder Boy thought back. He jumped to one side as she tried to blast him with her eye beams, grabbed some of the cheesecake that they had on hand for just such an emergency, and thwacked her in the face with it. Gift-Wrapping Granny blinked, scraped off some of the cheescake with her finger, licked it and said, "Hmm. Hollandaise sauce." =( Well done, )= observed Psionic Lad. =( Thanks, )= Outfielder Boy replied, then telepathically passed on the information that they were set up as he started tearing off the paper from OFCS-ELad. Psionic Lad himself was concealed near the foyer of the building with some equipment that he and Pop-Tart-Eater Lass had snuck out from the kitchen. He had been a bit worried about Outfielder Boy and Open-Faced-Club-Sandwich-Eater Lad, since of the three teams sent to make arrangements to spray cheesecake in and around the LNH-HQ theirs had been the only one without the ability to render themselves undetectable to some extent. The internal sprinklers had simply been a lower priority because, as noted, almost everybody was outside. However, the boys seemed to have things in hand. "Look," stage whispered Pop-Tart-Eater Lass, although there was no need to keep their voices down. The mental 'don't notice us' that Psionic Lad was sending out would cover anything up to normal speaking tones. Psionic Lad looked where she was indicating, then sent a second heads up back to the boys in the plant room and to Fuzzy and Cheesecake- Eater Lad's team on the roof: =( Krodd's coming with the Furry Fruit Flavours. Get ready, he may be about to start! ) .oO( Firing up the pumps, ) Fuzzy replied. @%%%%%%%%%%@ Super-gorilla Krodd knuckled out the front door with his entourage of minions. He looked up with pride at the completed giant neural webwork. It was magnificent. And now he was ready to begin the next phase of his plans. However, just as he was about to give the orders to Cherry Red Chimp, there was the distant sound of a pump, and a shower of something soft and semi-liquid and smelling alternately of chocolate and hollandaise sauce began to fall from somewhere above the building. At the same time the sprinkler system went off and showered runny cheesecake throughout the LNH-HQ (which you just *know* is going to stain the carpets something dreadful.) Krodd gave the order, "Go and find out what's happening," but got no further because Psionic Lad and Pop-Tart-Eater Lass came out of hiding and started using a firehose to spray cheesecake over those enthralled Legionnaires who were present at the front of the building. To Krodd's momentary bemusement they didn't even aim at him or the Furry Fruit Flavours, instead spraying upwards and outwards to sprinkle as wide an area as possible. What possible use could that be? Almost immediately Psionic Lad began broadcasting, =( Legion alert! We have mind controlling villains on the premises! Disable the antenna web and then fight the villains at the front entrance! )= At which point hundreds of Legionnaires either started to converge at the front of the LNH-HQ or use their powers to tear apart or melt or disintegrate the giant metal scaffolding. Bananey Yellow Bonobo zoomed forward and tore apart the pump that Psionic Lad and Pop-Tart-Eater Lass were using - but he was far too late to stop his team's reversal of fortunes. And anyway, he almost immediately had to fend off the attention of Kid Quickclick (who was back for a rematch) as well as several other Legionnaires. Psionic Lad turned his attention to Krodd and began to mentally battle against the super-gorilla. The ape's power was much diminished, but still considerable thanks to the number of non-net.heroes he still had under his control who were out in the streets surrounding the LNH-HQ and therefore too far away to be covered in the spray of cheesecake. You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad leapt forward to confront Grapety Purple Gorilla. Yay! Another opportunity for fan-pleasing frivolous fisticuffs! Grapety Purple Gorilla just sighed, then dropped and rolled onto his back and grabbed the overenthusiastic net.hero as he came within grappling range, using the LNHer's own momentum to catapult him across the street. The Legionnaire went -CRASH!!!- into a wall, the rose up looking mightily peeved. "No, you villain! You're supposed to *fight* me!" Grapety Purple Gorilla continued to look at him with a hangdog expression and didn't bother to disagree with him. Actually, it was GPG's job to *defeat* him, but if the net.hero failed to realise what rules the game was being played to, well that was to the ape's advantage wasn't it? Was there anything in the bag of tricks that Cherry Red Chimpanzee had prepared? Hmmm... Grapety Purple Gorilla took a deep breath and held it, threw a grenade and watched YNHMHELad take a face full of superfast acting sleeping gas, causing him to fall unconscious (but not without some dramatic thrashing about first). Grapety Purple Gorilla poked him once with a big meaty finger to make sure he was insensate, then looked up to see what else was happening. Well, obviously nothing good for his team, as the Furry Fruit Flavours were surrounded by hundreds of angry net.heroes in cheesecake stained underwear. Berry Blue Baboon was trying to use his ice blasts but was being overwhelmed by the combined efforts of Captain Napalm and Invisible Incendiary. Similarly Apricoty Orange Orangutan was slowly being forced back by Kid-Not-Appearing-In-Any-Beige-Midnight Story and CAPTAIN CAPITALIZE. Limey Green Lemur had been worked into a frothing rage by Frat Boy. It seemed that the lemur's faux-British reserve made him particularly susceptible to Frat Boy's power to make people rant about the antics of irresponsible young people. "Frink!" the lemur blustered about philistines who drank beer rather than tea - and *cold* beer at that! Then Writers Block Woman grabbed the lemur's pith helmet and clubbed him with it. "Revenge," she declared, "is mine!" Out of all this Cherry Red Chimpanzee seemed to be doing the best. She used a displacement device to make herself slightly out of phase with where she appeared to be. Then, once that bit of personal protection was in place, she went to town, gleefully jetting around the field of combat and attacking Legionnaires left-right-and-centre with an arsenal of toys. A number of net.heroes were brought down when she stuck little devices onto them which nullified the heroes' invulnerability to their own powers. An antigravity ray made people begin to float away, meaning that other net.heroes with flight had to divert their efforts in order to rescue them. And a vertigo inducer had any number of LNHers reeling and falling to their knees. Cherry Red was just about to throw out a bag's worth of totally frictionless marbles into the path of Kid Quickclick when her jetpack cut out. And her backups (including a gravity sheath parachute) didn't work either. The ape fell and landed at the feet of a female LNHer wearing a bomber jacket. "That's just about enough of that," said Glitch Girl and then gave Cherry Red Chimp a solid right hook punch to the jaw. Cherry Red went down unconscious, and Glitch Girl relaxed the concentration that she had been focusing to make the chimpanzee's technology fail. She also massaged her smarting knuckles. "So worth it," she said with satisfaction. Psionic Lad was finding it hard going trying to overcome Krodd and decided to call in some specialised assistance. =( WikiBoy, I need your help over here, )= he called telepathically. WikiBoy, the Legionnaire Anyone Can Edit, made a field combat dash up to him. "Hi. What do you need?" "I need you to be a power booster," said Psionic Lad. Immediately he felt an increase in his own mental powers. Unfortunately Krodd felt the increase in power too and upscaled his response to match Psionic Lad's attack. "I mean, you are a touch contact power booster only," Psionic Lad hastily amended, and placed his hand on WikiBoy's shoulder. Instantly the power balance shifted, and Psionic Lad made quick work of the gorilla. The fight quickly became a rout, and all too soon there was nothing left of it but the Red Herring skipping about in mid air doing a mocking dance and going, "Ooo yeah! Ooo yeah! Who owns the fight scene now?" Nothing left of it? Er, no. Not quite. The neural webwork was done in, and the simian villains were captured and piled (some of them unconscious, some of them not) in an ungainly heap, but there was something the net.heroes were forgetting. "Mommy, why aren't they wearing clothes?" The LNHers stopped dead in their tracks. Some of them turned to face the child who had spoken. GAK! They were all in their underwear! As the child blinked his eyes (and sucked his thumb), the Legionnaires all ran (or flew, or teleported) inside, leaving only those few individuals who were already dressed or didn't wear clothing in the first place. "Kiwi," said a voice in a 'nothing to see here, move along' tone. Rolling her eyes at the latest LNH antics, the mother pulled her child on their way. @%%%%%%%%%%@ Epilogue 1: Later that afternoon Gift-Wrapping Granny returned to the Legion's headquarters after going home for a shower and change of clothes. She encountered Anal-Retentive Archive Kid, who had changed his clothes but still had cheesecake dried into his hair. "Haven't had the opportunity to wash up yet?" she asked, not without sympathy. He rolled his eyes in self deprecating amusement. "'Fraid not. I picked one of the high numbers on the shower queue." She hesitated, then said. "I wanted to ask you something. If you don't mind." "Sure, go ahead." "Organic Lass prescribed a course of Urple Ray treatments to improve my vision. They're working quite well. But the Urple Ray is supposed to be capricious, and some of the people I asked mentioned that you hadn't had much luck with it." He nodded. "That's right. I'm HIV positive, and the Urple Ray hasn't done anything to cure that, or even do much to keep it in remission that prescription medication wasn't doing already." "Oh," she said, momentarily flummoxed. "I'm sorry. I didn't realise it wasn't..." "An injury gained in battle?" He shrugged. "Well, technically it is, but that's neither here nor there. The thing is, when it works the Urple Ray can heal almost anything, far beyond the scope of normal medical science - but like all .thingie technology it runs on drama, and means that sometimes it doesn't work for any explicable reason." That was an oversimplification of course, since .thingy technology - when it failed - usually did so for story related reasons of dramatic tension. "Anyway, the bottom line is that even with super science, there doesn't seem to be a universal panacea. Just like with Krodd and his attempts to create the ultimate mind control power, you either reach the point of dimishing returns or find some other sort of drawback." Epilogue 2: Nick (alias Outfielder Boy) was dressed in civvies as he walked through the city. He was focusing his attention on trying to find this Xil kid, and while he was making progress with that task it was taking up a lot of his concentration. After he almost walked into a wall he had taken to pausing every block or so to locate his target, then walking a block or so, then pausing again. Eventually he found the teenager he was looking for. Xil looked up and saw Nick. He stared at him in panic, with the thoughts .oO( Oh my god, he's come for me! ) blazing in his mind, and which if Nick had been able to see would have probably found endearing. "Hey there," said the net.hero. "I wanted to return this to you," he said, handing back the psi-screen, "and say thanks for the loan of it. It really came in useful. Against Krodd, I mean." "Uhm. Okay. I'm glad about that." "I'm Nick, by the way. And you're Xil, right?" "Jamie Xil," the Qwarst corrected with his cover name. Nick could see the boy suddenly become skittish again, and went, "Right, right, sorry. My mistake. Uhm." "Was there anything else?" "Uh, I thought maybe we could talk. You know. About stuff." Xil looked undecided for a second, then smiled and said, "Yeah, sure. That'd be great." Later they ended up sharing a pizza for dinner before catching a movie. --------- Character Credits: This issue of LNHv2 starred: Cheesecake-Eater Lad created by Matthew Jotham Millheiser. Fuzzy created by Connie Hirsh. Hyphenated Eaters Corps created by Mike Friedman. Psionic Lad created by Carolyn Vaughan. Krodd and the Furry Fruit Flavours, and Outfielder Boy created by Saxon Brenton. And also featured: Anal-Retentive Archive Kid and Gift-Wrapping Granny created by Saxon Brenton. Bad-Timing Boy created by Vernon Harmon. CAPTAIN CAPITALIZE created by wReam (Ray Bingham). Captain Napalm created by [unknown]. Glitch Girl created by Marie Antoon. Frat Boy created by uplink (John Scheibeler). Invisible Incendiary created by Steve Hutchison. Kid Quickclick created by Ben Rawluk. Kid-Not-Appearing-In-Any-Beige-Midnight-Story created by Matt Rossi. Kiwis created by Ian Porrell. Red Herring created by Kieran O'Callaghan. WikiBoy created by Tom Russell. Writers Block Woman created by Jaelle (Jessica Ihimaera-Smiler). You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad created by Arthur Spitzer. Author's notes: Let's talk about mind control as a plot device. Considering how annoying it is when it's over used (and here we have to point the finger at Chris Claremont's near-fetish with it) I feel a bit guilty about using it twice in rapid succession - first in 'Attack Of The vampire Cows' in #24 and again in #27-28. Still, #24 was a Ripping Dancer story designed to showcase her versatility. When she was introduced in _LNHv2_ #14 she boasted that she could rip through anything, and I decided to take her at her word and it was necessary to show her ripping through mental enslavements as well as physical objects and the fabric of space-time. By contrast Krodd's mind control was used solely because it was a quick way for me to set up the 'One nation, undies visible, under Krodd' joke. It was lazy of me, and I admit it. That said, there *is* a useful story point to Krodd's antics, which is to show that Legionnaires are aware of the problem and are working to counter it. Whether or not they actually succeed is beside the point. Mind control is a relatively popular story element - even if it tends to be used as a plot device to take out a large number of characters and generate dramatic tension. In any case different types of mind controlling techniques will trump or be trumped by different types of mental defences, depending on the power and quality of the technology, psionics, miracles, magic, or baked goods involved. Another roster entry. It seems that Fuzzy's entry hasn't been updated since the original, uber brief version originally posted to usenet back in the 1990s. *Obviously* she needs an extended update suitable for inclusion on the web. NAME: Fuzzy TYPE: Public Domain. CREATED BY: Connie Hirsch. POWERS: "Vagueness and ambiguity that confound my enemies." Has an Ambiguity Field of variable area and intensity which can be used for a range of confusion causing effects. Carries a handgun. ADD NOTES: Spent some time as male prior to the first _Flame Wars_ because of confusion among the Writers. Has brown hair, although this usually isn't apparent. PERSONALITY: Originally given to confusing people with vague or contradictory statements. Started speaking more plainly during her angry-with-newbies phase. Has grown into a tough and competent crime fighter, but now tends to be the straight woman to a lot of the Legion's silliness. As Arthur Spitzer once noted: "A happy well- adjusted Fuzzy who gets along with people is a boring Fuzzy." IMPORTANT APPEARANCES: Developed a resentment of the new characters that Writers were introducing into the Legion (_Pliable Lad_ #30), eventually blocking the LNH membership application of Green Cheeezarr (_C.H.E.E.E.Z. Corps_ #17) and fighting Writers Block Woman (_Writers-Block Woman (and Mouse)_ #17) before being assigned by Ultimate Ninja to mentor the Misfits (_Misfits_ #3). Has since dealt with her anger issues and so was unaffected by the hated inciting One-Man-Abusive Reaction (_Flame Wars 4_ #3).Back to the Index.