Blue Light Productions presents

	Rings of smoke drifted obtrusively through the air. The warehouse was 
cold, the windows shattered and the winter air drifting in. Emily pulled 
her trenchcoat close around her; the single reason she was thankful for 
it. To be honest, she didn't really see the point of wearing the thing, 
but Luke had insisted and she figured she might as well play along. She 
waved her hand in front of her face, deflecting the smoke. "Why do you 
have to smoke, exactly?"
	"Tradition," said Luke. He stood a few metres away from where Emily 
sat. Emily watched her brother take a long drag off the cigarette as she 
pulled her red hair back into a ponytail, idly. "We have to look the 
part, after all."
	"I didn't think demon hunters had to look a certain way," Emily said. 
"Although, the trenchcoat's warm." Luke shrugged, his unremarkable 
shoulders enhanced somewhat by the black trenchcoat he had slung on. A 
few moments passed in silence. "Look, are you even going to tell me 
about the hair?"
	Luke turned. His hair was jet-black, and had become tangled; uncombed 
in days. "I said. To look the part." He tapped the cigarette's ashes out 
on to the floor.
	"Same with the makeup? Christ, Luke. Do you have to go goth just to be 
a demon hunter?" Emily stood up, leaving the old crate behind. "We 
didn't need all this stuff when I banished those 'demon hordes' or 
whatever they were, last month."
	"WE. We banished them."
	"No we didn't. I did. You were busy being sick on the floor."
	Luke frowned, lines appearing on the eighteen-year-old's face, but he 
let it go. "I thought you said you were going to work on the accent."
	"I don't want to," said Emily. "I don't want to sound British. I want 
to sound like me."
	"Sigh. Banish a couple of demons one time and we have to be 
trenchcoaters. Have you even managed to figure out how to contact this 
Brigade that Grampa's books mentioned?"
	"Naw," Luke said, after a pause. The two teenagers said nothing, for a 
moment. "But I figured something out, right?" He puffed on his 
cigarette, and then spoke again. "We gotta make a name for ourselves, 
no?" Emily shrugged. "See, they're these costumed types in Net.ropolis. 
Fascists, no doubt. But they let teenagers run with them all the time, 
in their silly costumes. Battling criminals and magic and stuff. We get 
in with them, say we'll be sidekicks or something. Then we get known and 
eventually the Brigade'll come looking for us..."
	"...And we'll be legal," muttered Emily. "Grampa's book said the 
Brigade always hung out in bars...I mean, pubs. If it's really that 
	Luke nodded his head. "It's the way things work, Emily. It's symbolic, 
a such."
	"Fine, we go to Net.ropolis. I still think this is really silly; all 
this stuff is really just crutches, we don't need it..."
	"Yes, we do!"
	"...mmph. Right then, Smart Guy. Care to explain how we get to 
	Luke grinned, his mouth wide and outlined with black lipstick.
	"What?" Emily raised an eyebrow, and fiddled with her bulky trenchcoat. 
"What are you thinking, Luke? Oh no. I know that look..."
	"Road trip!"
	"Oh god. Gods. Whatever."

Blue Light Productions Presents
episode the first,
"I don't WANT to be an Agent of Chaos!"
by Ben Rawluk, Prodigal Son Returned.

	VW Beetle zoomed down the highway, amongst the cornfields and grass. 
They'd been driving for six hours straight; the white-faced boy in the 
black trenchcoat behind the wheel, the red-haired girl in the brown 
trenchcoat in the passenger side. He'd only been able to talk her into 
wearing some silver, ankh earrings. "That," she had said, "Is as far as 
I'll go with the occult jewelry bit." Then she muttered something about 
the real power being in something that the boy hadn't heard properly; 
"headology," he guessed she'd said, although she refused to repeat it. 
For the last hour, no one had said anything.
	"How much longer?" Emily looked over at Luke.
	"Another hour or so," said Luke, pouting.
	"Y'know, we should probably phone Mom and Dad when we get to this 
	"Accent," was all Luke said. Another five minutes passed.
	"I packed Grampa's journals and some clothes...real clothes...and some 
food," Emily said, finally. "What are we going to do if they don't let 
us join?"
	"They will."
	"Mmn," said Emily. "Why do I get the feeling you've just been waiting 
for an excuse to run away?" Luke shifted uncomfortably in the driver's 
seat, but said nothing. "It's not like Grampa meant to summon that 
demon. I think. He was just goofing around." Luke remained silent. 
"Apparently it runs in the family," she said, shooting her brother a 
	"Like you hate this," muttered Luke.
	"I...I just think this is silly. All these...well, props and stuff. Why 
waste time with a lot of empty ceremony?"
	"It's not empty! It's's the rules, right? Can't play the game 
without the rules."
	"It's not a game," muttered Emily.
	Luke's reached for the dashboard, for his carton of cigarettes. Emily 
	"Don't even think about lighting up in here, Luke. I'll kill you. I 
don't need my lungs exploding down the road. And don't say it's 
traditional. It's just a filthy habit. And it's not doing your asthma 
any good."
	The hand retracted.
	"Fascist," mumbled Luke, under his breath.
	"Morbid wanker," Emily mumbled back.

	No doubt, you've seen the lobby of LNH Headquarters. On one of the 
myriad tours that pass through it ever day, generally when it's 
convenient for the plot. In one of the many magazine articles and 
television interviews that are generated, poured into the marketplace to 
be lapped up by the hero-worshipping consumer, allowing the capitalist 
fat cats to get all the fatter. Oddly enough, it isn't all that 
stunning; dull carpet and walls, a few posters framed tastefully, some 
potted plants. And the receptionist's desk, near the rear. Away from the 
glass doors that could, of course, explode at any time, often because of 
a hellgate that just might deposit some villain looking for conquest or 
a group of misfit heroes fresh from the Demon Dimensions. 
	And Fred sat behind the receptionist's desk. It was his job, and he 
tried not to think about what might happen. He just sat there for his 
seven hour shifts, tapping away at the computer screen, hoping he 
doesn't spontaneously die, waiting for someone to arrive and ask to 
join...people always which point he'd pull out all the forms. 
For seven hours a day, Fred turned off his brain and didn't think much 
at all. If he could avoid it. 
	The screen was uninteresting, so Fred was happy. No little dialog boxes 
popped up alerting him to some emergency down in the Peril Room, no chat 
shells opened with pages from the Ninja, typing in capitals. Life was 
good. Or seemed that way.
	Then the doors opened. No hellgate, Fred noted. Good sign. ALWAYS a 
good sign. No explosion. They opened gently, not with the force of a 
tommygun. The only noise was the sounds of traffic outside. Then he saw 
who was there.
	There were two of them, and they wore trenchcoats. The girl looked 
normal; only some occult earrings and, of course, the trenchcoat. The 
boy had painted his face white, with black lipstick. Black hair. A 
trenchcoat which was, naturally, black. Hoping the goth boy wasn't one 
of those nasty Finishless blokes he'd been warned about, Fred tapped the 
control key on his computer, and the 't'. The universal command for 
alerting everyone on site that there were some bloody trenchcoaters on 
the premises. They looked young, he thought. Teenagers. Far too young to 
be corrupted into THAT lifestyle, Fred continued in his head.
	"Excuse me," said the girl, amiably enough, as the two approached the 
	"Yes?!" Fred pushed his chair back, a little. "What do you want?"
	The girl stared. "Um, we were wondering if we could, y'know, join. The 
Legion. Of Net.Heroes. This IS the right building, yes?" The boy pouted, 
thoughtfully. The girl's voice didn't have any hint of British in it, 
which was generally a good sign when trenchcoaters were concerned.
	"Yes," mumbled Fred. Instinctively, his mind dissolving back into coma, 
Fred stuck out his hand, holding a stack of paper. "Fill these out. 
Applications forms. Please don't hurt me." The girl took the pieces of 
paper, carefully, and started to leaf through them. 
	"You'll be bloody lucky if we don't," scowled the boy. Bad British 
accent. The Occult Heroes would have a fit, thought Fred. Fred didn't 
want to think about what a giant lizard could do to him. He prepared to 
retreat further.
	"Luke!" The girl grabbed the boy's shoulder, and dragged him over to 
the coffee table and couches. "Thank you," she called over her own 
	"Right. Just stay the hell away from me," mumbled Fred.
	Then he thought better of saying a word like 'hell' around 

	"You've got to be kidding me."
	Emily stared down at the stack of application forms. She looked up at 
Luke. "Who'd have thought there'd be this much paperwork involved in 
fighting in crime?"
	"Hmph," muttered Luke.
	"At least these couches are comfortable. Seven hours in a bug is far 
too long for this girl." She looked over a form, then looked up again. 
"Codename? We have to have codenames? What this this? A Marvels Comic 
	"Just put 'Luke and Emily Shade, Agents of Chaos.' It'll make us sound 
right proper as trenchcoaters."
	"But our last name isn't 'Shade,' Luke."
	"Yeah, but 'Luke Jones, Agent of Chaos' doesn't sound right."
	"And why do we have to be Agents of Chaos? Demon fighting's good enough 
for me."
	"It's...more trenchcoater-esque."
	"Oy," mumbled Emily. "Can you be any more pretentious sounding? Right, 
I'm just putting 'Luke' and 'Emily,' then. To spite you."
	"Oh, hush."
	"Shut up."

	Down the central corridor of headquarters, he moved. It was a smooth 
stride, a swift pace but not a full run. He was tall, but there was 
nobody about in the deserted corridor to be in awe of him. He dressed in 
black. A silent, silky, black costume. A long katana was in his hand. 
Who was he, you ask? Who was this mystery figure who moved like a jungle 
cat, ready for the kill?
	The Ultimate Ninja, I say. Fear him, I say.
	The Ultimate Ninja was, quite understandably, livid. But, someone would 
say, The Ultimate Ninja is always livid. It's his trademarked character 
flaw, after all. But today, he was livid because an alarm had sounded in 
his office because two unauthorized trenchcoaters were skulking about in 
the lobby. The receptionist was going to get it in the gut for not 
telling them to bugger off straight away. And heaven help him if he gave 
them application forms or anything.
	The thought lodged itself inside the Ultimate Ninja's razor sharp 
brain, for a second.
	The Ultimate Ninja broke into an actual run.

	The Ultimate Ninja stared straight through Fred's skull as he emerged 
from the corridor. For second the receptionist could have sworn the 
masked leader of the Legion of Net.Heroes had been running, but 
dismissed that thought as idle fantasy. "Meep," he meeped, and pointed a 
thin finger over at the couches where the two teenage trenchcoaters had 
positioned themselves with the stack of application forms.
	"You'll get yours later," growled the Ultimate Ninja, who silently 
moved over to the pair of children in grown-up's mucky clothing. "You 
two. Why are you here?"
	"To join," growled Luke. "Who are you?"
	If the Ultimate Ninja was taken aback by the lack of knowledge 
demonstrated by this...this child, he didn't let on. He simply growled, 
"The Ultimate Ninja. Leader of the Legion of Net.Heroes. And we don't 
take kindly to trenchcoaters. Or little children pretending to them."
	"Children?" Luke actually stood up. Teenage defiance and several layers 
of cheap, white face paint had apparently diminished the blind panic 
normally engendered by the Ultimate Ninja's mere presence. 
	"Uh," said Emily, also standing. She could tell where this was going. A 
blind, deaf Bisz separated from them by the borders of Harnegu could 
tell where this was going. "Please, Mister, uh, Ninja sir." Her eyes 
grew wider. The ninja was bloody freaky, she thought. "Pleas let us 
join. Train us, make us sidekicks, whatever. It's really important to 
him. I mean, us."
	This is not the part of the story where the black-clad ninja's stony 
heart turns to gold. There is no happy music playing in the background, 
so don't even think he's got a mushy bone in his perfectly tuned body. 
He simply said, eyeing the two carefully, "Go down there." His long arm 
pointed down a back hallway. "Go to the door marked 'Interview Room 
One.' I will have someone along with you. Be thankful I'm even 
willing to let you live."
	"Thanks," muttered Emily, dragging the pouting Luke behind her. "Thank 
you very very very much..." They vanished down the hallway.
	The Ultimate Ninja moved toward the receptionist's desk, watching the 
pair leave his sight. "This is all we need. A Neil Gaimen wannabe and a 
teenage girl who will no doubt be one more dizzy stereotype without any 
kind of depth. I'd throw them out directly, except..."
	"Except?" Fred swallowed, hard. He quietly prayed that the Ultimate 
Ninja had decided to spare his own life.
	"Except I can't wait to see their faces when I personally deliver a 
copy of the Dress Code Regulations," he said. When Fred turned his head, 
slightly, the Ultimate Ninja was quite absent.

	The Interview Room was...small. To say the least. Emily had found her 
way on to a simple, metal chair that was placed against the wall, but 
Luke had been pacing for five minutes. His expressions ranged from 
impatient to his cynical, forced expression of "trenchcoatishness." 
Emily forced the chuckles down into her stomach. "Could you sit still?"
	"...leave me alone."
	"Fine. Fine. Whatever. What's taking them so long?"
	"As soon as this is finished, I'm calling home. They'll be worried 
	"Serves 'em right."
	"What did they ever do to you, Luke? Mom and Dad are the best."
	"They're parents, Emily. They're the enemy."
	Emily sighed, her hands propping up her chin. "Someone sure gave you 
the wrong pamphlet." There was some clanging from the small ventilation 
duck in the corner.
	The two looked over. "What was that?" Luke looked at his sister.
	"Search me..."
	"DINSDALE!" a squeaky, faint voice erupted from the vent, before it 
went silent again.
	The two trenchcoaters in training looked at each other. "Riiiight," 
they said in unison.
	There was a click, and the door opened. A dashing man with 
cookie-cutter features and nicely combed hair stepped into the room. 
Actually, his skin tone and general colour scheme seemed to make him 
look like the product of a B-Movie from the fifties, thought Emily. He 
wore a simple, white labcoat, and a chilling smile covered his face. 
"Hello," said the man, before looking down at the sheets of paper on his 
clipboard. "Miss and Mister Jones."
	"Hi." This was Emily.
	"H'lo." That was Luke.
	"I'm Doctor Stomper, chief pseudoscientist of the LNH. Ultimate Ninja 
asked me to come interview about probationary membership."
	"Ah," said Emily, as Stomper sat. Luke folded his arms. "Er, can I ask 
a question?"
	"Go ahead."
	"What do you mean by 'pseudoscientist?' You're not a real 
	"'s a long story, Emily. I can call you Emily, right?"
	"Hmph," mumbled Luke.
	"Right. Now then, shall we began? Okay. First of all, what made you 
decide to try out for the Legion of Net.Heroes...?"

	Pencil stabbed into paper, a box was checked.
	"Okay, Emily. Luke. Only a few more questions to go. Now, you said you 
had no actual powers, on your application forms here..."
	"You refer to yourselves as 'demon hunters'? Occult preference, then. 
So, you have special demon hunting skills, yes?"
	"Well. We have a journal of our Grampa. Apparently he was a magician 
way back in the black and white days. Y'know, way back when." Emily 
smiled, vaguely. "He sort of conjured up this demon horde last month, 
and I...we...banished them. With a bit of work. He had a few diagrams in 
his workshop, you see. We were actually hoping we could maybe get 
trained a bit more with it?"
	"Occultism Kid might have some lessons to teach you," said Stomper.
	"So, are we in?" Luke looked at the pseudoscientist carefully. It was 
the first thing he had really said in half an hour.
	"Well...I'm willing to say so. On probation, of course. To see if you 
fit in well, play with others nicely, that sort of thing..."
	"Pfft," mumbled Luke.
	"Thank you, Doctor Stomper," said Emily.
	Stomper smiled. "Call me Doc."
	Emily smiled back. Luke shrugged his shoulders. Emily gestured to him, 
and said, "Don't mind him; he'd just explain that his attitude is 
traditional for a trenchcoater."
	"Ah," chuckled Stomper. "Well then. We should go arrange some access 
cards and rooms for you. And then a tour would be in order. One of our 
members used to handle the tours, but she got married some time ago. So 
I'll have to track down a suitable replacement for you. Otherwise..."
	"It's all good?"
	"Grand," said Luke. "Show us where the demons are, and we'll banish 
	"Hush, Luke." Emily turned to Doc Stomper, "Er, do you mind if I use a 
	"Go ahead. There's one in the lobby."	

	"Hi? Mom? It's Emily."
	"Where am I? Luke and I...we're in Net.ropolis."
	"Look, it's kind of a long story, but you know all that weird stuff 
that happened in November? With Grampa and that monster thing? Calm 
down, Mom. It's only a seven hour drive. We're fine. Look, we kind of 
got rid of that monster thing ourselves."
	"What? Look, Mom. It's Net.ropolis. Superhero central. We're more than 
safe. Yes, Luke's doing okay. Well, he's his usual self. We kind of got 
accepted into the Legion of Net.Heroes. No, we're not going to wear 
spandex. I don't think. Yes, we know it's dangerous. Look, it's 
important to Luke, Mom."
	"Dad won't have a heart attack, Mom. Yes, we took the beetle. Yes, we 
packed. I do know how to think, Mom. We have clothes, and money, and I 
can get more out of my account. I have my bank card, Mom, and the LNH 
pays for living costs. And we'll have a place to stay at the LNH's 
headquarters, Mom. No, no supervillains have tried to kill us. Yes, 
we'll be careful. No, we're not coming home."
	"Mom, we're fine. We're eighteen! We're not kids anymore. No, we didn't 
join a cult. We joined a SUE-PER-HE-ROE-TEE-MUH. Say it with me now, 
Mom. Look, I have to go, Mom."
	"Don't worry, we'll be fine, Mom. No, don't catch a flight up here. 
Yes, tell Dad. No, don't call the police. We're just teenagers, Mom. Not 
outlaws. No, we're not hanging out with 'junkies.' We'll be fine, Mom. 
We'll be fine. Really. We can take care of ourselves. I said, I have to 
	"I have to go, Mom! I'm not yelling. I have to go. Look, we'll call you 
again later. Tomorrow. Evening. Honestly, Mom. Would I lie? No, I 
wouldn't...that was an isolated incident. Look, agh, I have to go, Mom. 
	Slam goes the receiver. "Gah," said Emily. "Maybe he's right. Maybe 
they ARE the enemy." Emily banged her head against the wall.


	Yes, I'm back.
	Way back when, I used to write for the LNH. Not the most successful 
writer of it...I did better when I got into the groove of Superguy...but 
I was always there, mostly lurking the last little bit. I got a social 
life, and a nascent University life, and work, etc, etc...and more a 
long time, I didn't feel inspired to write prose that wasn't the reams 
of essays on William Faulkner and Native Land Claims in Canada and 
Capital Punishment and Jekyll and Hyde and Virginia Woolf and the 
Protestant Reformation and Julius Caesar and, and, and...
	My poetry's grown quite a bit...I'm on my second book of it...but I 
still occasionally felt the call of the old playground and all the old 
toys. Naturally, my tastes in weird shyte and occult oddness crept in 
and a trenchcoater series has been the LNH trenchcoater 
series, of course. And, naturally, focusing in on teenagers. What with 
Generation Y being dead and buried, Tom Russell's Teenfactor is the only 
teenaged net.hero series that I can think of at the moment that's around 
these days. And with Paul Hardy gone, I can't let Jennifer Whitson have 
all the occultist fun over in _Misfits_. I'll try to live up to her 
standards. And maybe set a few of my own. Oooh, the scandal.
	I really hope I made a decent attempt at a halfway interesting "Joining 
the LNH" story here. And I hope the characters were presented strongly, 
even in the dialogue and all. I hope. And I hope their interesting. I 
have a lot of hopes. Mostly I hope this is any good, just because it was 
basically written in one least, this version was. I rewrote 
the opening sequences five times before I got any further. But enough 
about that.
	Dinsdale? I couldn't resist. I just couldn't. Especially after hearing 
rumours of Self-Righteous Preacher's demise. Disappear for a few months 
and look what happens!
	Emily and Luke are copyright 1998 to Ben Rawluk. Me. Fred's...Public 
Domain, last I checked. Yes? Been around forever, that one. Ultimate 
Ninja, even longer. Copyright to Ray Bingham, but I guess everyone still 
uses him, regardless. Stomper's Public Domain, too. That's tradition. 
Please send comments of what you thought, to 
... I can assure you they'll be greatly appreciated. Yesyesyes. Indeed.
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