[WARNING/REMINDER: This is an ACRAPHOBE Imprint. It ain't warmfuzzies.]

Blue Light Productions presents:

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|BLiP|  | _ | |   | |   | |     |   |   |   |   | |     |         \
|    |  | | | |   | |---  |     |   |   ~   ~   ~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~
| #4 |  | | | |   | |\    |     |   |        (An ACROPHOBE Imprint)
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~~~~~~  ~   ~   ~   ~   ~ ~~~~~ ~~~~  FEATURING: The Ultimate Ninja
      [Cover has the Ultimate Ninja on the left, facing off against 
        the Phantom Walker on the right.]


                   "HAM ON RYE, HOLD THE MAYO."

A hand reached out and tested a door handle. It sometimes worked. You
never knew. The door remained shut despite the quiet rattling. The thief
took his hand back and sighed silently. Back to the normal then. 
        He withdrew from the doorway and followed the wall of the
warehouse. He often wondered why people bothered to lock anything away. 
It just gave him and his ilk something to do on dark nights like this.  He
found another doorway on one side. This one looked like it would be easier
to pick than the main front door, which he suspected was barred from the
        He gave the door his usual obvious test, but it had also been
locked up. He crouched down, brining the lock to eye level and withdrew
his picks. Carefully he examined the lock and selected his best guesses
for picking it. 
        The thief slowly inserted the picks, not wanting to break them off
in the lock. He wasn't worried about the alarm systems. He left that to
deal with if he ever came across them. He had enough to worry about right
now, and it was easy enough to run away if he heard any loud noises. 
        He turned the picks and heard an internal latch fall. He twisted
the handle and, this time, the door gave. He pushed it open slowly and
stayed crouched while he surveyed the passageway behind it. 
        He couldn't spot any sort of light beams or surveillance cameras
and decided that it was safe enough to venture in. He stood and crept in,
always listening out for any sounds that might lead to his discovery. 
        As he sidled down the corridor, he took in the salient points. The
passage was dusty and grimy. The carpet looked old and he could swear that
someone had relieved themselves somewhere along here. 
        He came to a door, old and warped, and gave it a push. It creaked
far too loudly for his tastes, but swung open to reveal the room inside.
There was a bed, consisting of a mattress on springs and a washbasin
stained with old water. 
        To his surprise there were also signs of recent habitation. A worn
down candle was positioned by the bed and a book lay beside it, well
thumbed in its time. The thief glanced at the title. It was _Lord Foul's
        There had been no word on the street about anyone dossing here, so
what did this mean? What he had heard lead him to believe that this
warehouse had been recently evacuated by some big company and was now
relegated to a simple holding premises. He had come in the hope of easy
pickings. There was certainly no mention of the possibility of someone
actually living here. 
        He quickly departed the room and continued down the hall, passing
more doors, aged and battered. He ignored them all, wanting to find out
more about who was living here before he gave anymore signals of his
        He turned a corner and saw another long hallway stretched out. 
But, even from his position, he could spot something different about the
door at the end of it. The thief ran lightly through the corridor and
stopped by the door. 
        It was metal. Everything else so far had been wood. There was also
a faint light streaming out from underneath it. He put his ear up against
the door and listened intently. Remembering something in his pockets, he
pulled out a stethoscope, put the ends in his ears, and applied the
amplifier to the door. 
        There were faint noises, as if made by something far off. He
continued to listen for a few moments, but eventually decided that it was
safe to enter. 
        He tried to pull the door towards himself and it gave way. He
poked his head out and took quick darting looks. The corridor beyond was
brightly lit and he was forced to squint his eyes. It was a proper
passageway, well made and well lit. He spotted other doors leading off it,
and it connected to other passageways at either end. 
        Feeling rather daring due to his curiosity, the thief tiptoed out
and shut the door behind him. Straining his ears, he detected louder
noises coming from his right so he went left. 
        At the T-connection, he choose right this time and soon came upon
stairs leading up. He climbed them and could hear sounds from the
destination above him. He slowed and flattened himself against the stairs
and crept upwards. At the top he peered over the last stair, keeping his
body flat against the stairs. 
        What he saw was a rail. What he heard was the sound of a major
distillery factory, complete with bubbling sounds, hushed conversations
and strident orders for little things to be changed. 
        He crept forwards, arm over arm, and lifted himself enough to peer
over the rail. He looked down and broke out in a sweat. Right now, he
wanted to be very far from here. 
        The rail guarded the view down into a very large room. It was full
of chemical distilleries, purifying plants and production equipment.
People walked around, testing this and adding bits to that, and carrying
large casks and crates around. Guards stood in various places around the
room and watched the proceedings, coming down hard on anyone who was
dawdling in their tasks. He recognised the kind of operation going on
here, having been caught up in it before. It was a drug factory,
manufacturing hallucinations and happy times, and death, in liquid form. 
        Sweat rolled down his forehead as he slid down the stairs. He knew
if he was caught he would be killed without any second thoughts...  or
even first thoughts. As soon as he hit the bottom of the stairwell he was
off and running. 
        He sprinted down the corridor and swung into the passage
containing the door in it, and the way out of here. The first door he
opened was the wrong one and lead to a broom closet. The second one was
the right one, but as he pushed it open he spotted two figures from the
corner of his eye. 
        "Hoy! Stop!" 
        Gunfire rattled down the corridor, but the thief was already
through the door. He ran down the decrepit hallway, arms and legs pumping
and he heard the guards enter the passageway as he rounded the corner. A
bullet tore its way into his leg and he fell against a wall, nearing
collapsing on the floor. 
        He scrambled for his balance, and managed to keep upright. He saw
the door at the end, his salvation, and also saw that it was closed.  He
prayed that it wasn't locked. 
        As he reached the door, bullets tore up the hallway. He yanked on
the door and almost smacked his head against it as it opened. He leapt
through, nearing ripping his hand off as he pulled the door closed, 
slamming it behind him. 
        He reflexively covered his head as the door behind him exploded
into small shards of wood as bullets exploded into it. By now, he was up
to a speed that saved him from any danger. 
        He tore through the streets, eager to put as much distance between
himself and death as possible. He was in a small connecting alleyway when
he finally tripped and collapsed on the ground. 
        The pain from his leg caught up with him and he bit his tongue
trying to muffle the scream as his leg burned. He doubled up and cradled
his leg protectively against himself, waiting for the pain to subside to a
bearable level. 
        A >chink< made its way into his ear and he looked up in time to
see something black drop towards him, something glittering flicking
towards his head. 
        This time he did scream. 
        A hand clamped his mouth shut, and his terror stuck in his mouth. 
        "I would like you to tell me about the warehouse," said the figure
with the sword. 


The shadow flittered across the tops of buildings, bouncing off roofs and
jumping over intervening alleyways. Something in it glittered as it passed
through moon light, but the actual shape hid itself well. 
        Although there were only two people in the group that could tell
of the Ultimate Ninja's presence, it was only Kid Kirby who was actually
looking at him when the ninja arrived. The ninja touched down beside
Parking Karma Kid and brushed PKK's arm to alert him to his presence. 
        "Gaah!" PKK was, to put it one way, mildly surprised. "Are you
trying to give me a heart attack?" 
        "Not yet," replied UN. 
        "Did you track that person down?" asked Cheesecake-Eater Lad. 
        "Of course. He was just bubbling with information when I dropped
in on him." 
        "I registered him as hurt," intoned Kid Kirby. "Did you aid him?" 
        "I told to find a good hospital."
        "Geez, Ninj," said Sarcastic Lad, rolling his eyes. "You're all
heart. Well, what did you scare out of him?" 
        "It's a drug factory. People are living there, and mass producing
death," the ninja spat the last word out. He looked at the last member of
the group. "What do you say to that, Walker?" 
        The Phantom Walker continued to stare down at the building as he
spoke. "Of course it is. I wouldn't have brought you here if I hadn't
known what it was." 
        "And just what do you mean to do about it?" 
        "Stop it." The Walker stepped forward, off the roof and dropped
down to the ground. Cheesecake-Eater Lad looked over the side and saw the
Walker calmly walking towards the bullet shattered door. 
        "Um, guys, did you hear that?" he asked. 
        "I think he muttered 'After all, I started it'." 
        The ninja sighed. Somethings just didn't get any easier. He
motioned Kid Kirby off to one side, away from the others. "What do you
know about him?" he asked the Kirbian. 
        "I do not know much about him in particular, but I have heard of
Walkers before," replied the Wielder of the Power Kirby. "They work for
another... race. Some of them become bored with their duties and decided
to interact with those that they watch over. As their own presence would
be rather noticeable, they create the Walkers to do their jobs for them. 
I must admit, this one is more bitter than most I've heard of." 
        "Create? You mean he isn't human?" 
        "Not as such, but he is a LoonivEarthling." 
        "Hey, Ninj!" called Sarcastic Lad. "Are we just gonna sit here all
night and watch the Walker invade this place?" 
        "No," replied the Ultimate Ninja, unsheathing his Ginzu Katana. 
"We will put a stop to this as well." 


Mabel flicked her eyes around, checking on the positions of the guards,
then lent over to Evelyn. "And then he had the gall to say that it was
supposed to be that shape." 
        They both giggled at the idea, which attracted the attention of an
on-looker. "Here, be quiet. You'll just get into more trouble carrying on
like that." 
        Chastened, Mabel looked guiltily at the nearest guard, who took no
notice of her, then turned her full attention back to glassware she was
cleaning. She liked this job. It paid well and she had free board here
while she needed it, even though her quarters weren't the most posh
        She knew full well what was going on her, and that she, in her own
small way, contributed to the downfall of many, but she had already
rationalised it. They didn't have to do drugs, did they? They wanted to
feel good, wanted to feel accepted. Anyway, she needed the money and
didn't need morality to get in the way. 
        Mabel looked up at Evelyn, and was about to add another comment
when she heard the crash. She, as well as the everyone else in the room,
turned to see a ragged figure beside a pile of broken glass that used to
be used to test the quality of their product. 
        The man had several bullet wounds, and blood was flowing, but not
as much as that much damage should have caused. He was carrying a gun like
the ones that the guards had. Mabel could quickly guess that he must have
got it from one of the guards. 
        "This is a bust," the man yelled. "This operation is coming down."
He turned and sprayed a shatter of bullets into a large vat of refined
drug, causing it to splatter over the floor. 
        As one, the people in the room turned on him. Mabel felt anger run
through her. How dare he! This was her life, her livelihood. How dare he
come in here and try to stop her from surviving? 
        With others around her doing the same, she surged forward, intent
on deadly rebuke. The man brought the gun down to face the oncoming mass,
but didn't pull the trigger. The expression on his face was a strange one,
and part of Mabel's mind, the part that wasn't forcing her to protect her
job, was puzzled by it. 
        He looked resigned, even happy, that this reaction had happened. 
Like he wanted it to happen. 
        The blast that exploded between the man and the mob momentarily
froze them. A flicker of annoyance passed over the man's face as he turned
his had to watch several superheroes enter the room. 
        Superheroes. This shocked Mabel. What the hell were they doing
here? This was Net.York, not Net.ropolis, or, as she and her co-workers
usually referred to it, Spandex Central. Superheroes didn't come out here.
It wasn't right. 
        The crowd's anger changed. It flowed into fear and
self-preservation. Now chaos hit the room as people, finally realising
what was happening, decided to exit as soon as possible to save their own
        Spandexed figures appeared in other doorways, blocking the rush
for safety. By either force shields, or sword waving, or just by hitting
people, the exits were held and people were kept in the room. Soon there
were four groups of people, centering on the doors, all jostling and vying
for some way to escape. 
        "Stop!" The cry rang across the room, causing everyone to freeze
and look upwards at the new entrant. Mabel let her breath go in relief as
she recognised the figure on the balcony, the person who over-saw this
operation, the Queen Bee. 
        The Phantom Walker spun around and his eyes were riveted onto her
body. The other superheroes also glanced up, but not as suddenly as the
Walker had. Mabel saw the superhero with the sword shake his head ever so


The Ultimate Ninja looked up at the Queen Bee and fretted. He knew how she
affected some people, with only her presence. He glanced over at Sarcastic
Lad and wasn't surprised to see him panting. 
        He passed his eyes over the group of people in front of him, those
who had tried to pass his way. There was no way he could leave these
people and attend to the Queen, but she had to be stopped. He checked the
other doors and saw that Cheesecake-Eater Lad and Parking Karma Kid were
guarding the same door. For some reason, CEL didn't seem too disturbed by
the Queen's presence. 
        He called out. "Cheesecake-Eater Lad. Leave them to Parking Karma
Kid and get up there and arrest her." He pointed to the figure on the
        "No," said the Walker. Although the word was quiet, it carried
through all in the room. It was full of potential menace, and it paused
CEL in his tracks. CEL looked uncertainly at UN, unsure what to do. 
        "You can only take her over my dead body," the Walker continued. 
        The ninja considered his options. The Walker was definitely
someone to be careful of, but he didn't have any time for pussyfooting
around. He couldn't let the Queen get away with this. "CEL," he called. 
"Take him out." 
        CEL nodded and moved forward through the crowd by his exit. As he
reached the clear middle of the room, the Walker turned to face him. 
"Don't take me on," the Walker warned. "You haven't a chance." 
        "We'll just have to see about that," said CEL, rolling up his
sleeves. He reached for his cheesecake dispensers and mentally reached for
his powers. 
        The Ultimate Ninja became worried as nothing happened. CEL
panicked. "I can't do anything. I can't create cheesecakes." The UN got a
horrible suspicion about what CEL really was. 
        There was no time for theories as CEL, abandoning his powers,
leapt forward, squirting cheesecake mix at the Walker. The Walker dodged,
but slipped slightly on some spilled drug. CEL, pressing the attack, moved
in, into arm's reach. 
        Taking advantage of the momentum of the slip, the Walker grabbed
CEL, fell backwards, and threw CEL over him and onto a table full of
glassware, smashing it all. CEL's body lay still. 
        The Ultimate Ninja became very stilled. There was no way that the
Walker could now get away with this. This was now personal. "Right, if
that's the way it must be." Raising his voice, he commanded. "Let everyone
        Parking Karma Kid gasped. "What? Are you sure?" 
        Turning his anger to PKK, the ninja roared. "Do you dare to
question me!?" 
        PKK took a step back in shock, then vacated his exit. Sarcastic
Lad and Kid Kirby did the same. Streams of people left, more concerned
with getting out of the room more that getting out of their predicament. 
        "I, Kid Kirby, have alerted the police," the Kirbian said, but UN
took little notice. He was focused on the Walker. 
        As soon as he was free, Sarcastic Lad strode forward. He addressed
the Walker. "You might have dealt with Cheesy, but you still have to deal
with me." 
        The Walker was unimpressed. "You think you can do any better,
demon boy?" 
        "Wrong group," replied Sarc. "He's in the Legion of Occult Heroes.
I was given powers by a demon, and now I'm gonna use them to kick your
        "Oh yes, them. Don't worry, I'll be taking them out later." 
        "It's you that should be worrying." 
        "And what can you do to me?" 
        "Oh, I'm just so helpless, aren't I?" said Sarc, turning his
sarcasm on full blast. "I'm just a wilting flower under your oh-so-awesome
        "Oh no," returned the Walker. "I'm been hit with sarcasm. I feel
so inadequate. Whatever shall I do?" 
        Caught in backlash, Sarc was unable to stand under the pressure
and keeled over backward onto the floor. 
        Parking Karma Kid was more direct. "Why, you..." He ran towards
the Walker, grabbing a large metal wrench from a nearby table as he did
so. He swung it around his head, and charged the Walker. 
        Timing himself perfectly, the Walker hopped to one side as PKK
went passed, and grabbed PKK's out-stretched arm. Hauling it backwards,
even the Ultimate Ninja winced as he heard bones snapping. Still holding
onto the arm, the Walker threw PKK into the air, then drop kicked him over
to Kid Kirby's feet. 
        Kid Kirby gazed down at PKK and quickly assessed the damage. PKK
would survive, if he could get to a medical center quickly enough.  First,
though, there was the Walker to take care of. Even through the Wielder of
the Power Kirby understood the drives of the Walkers, he could not let
this go unaccounted for. 
        He paced forward, gathering power as he did so. It manifested as a
glowing ball of energy on his left fist, getting hotter and brighter all
the time. When he was within a few metres, Kid Kirby raised his hand and
let fly. 
        The Walker calmly put up a hand and caught it. He swung his arm
around and threw the energy back towards the Kirbian, but not at him.  The
energy flew past Kid Kirby and he turned to see a large hole forming in
        A BOOM tube opened up and its mouth engulfed the Kirbian. The
Ultimate Ninja watched in wide-eyed shock as Kid Kirby was sucked from
this dimension. 
        The others had attacked the Walker one-by-one, and now it was the
ninja's turn on the bandwagon. He glanced up at the balcony and was not
wholly surprised to see it empty. That would have to wait, though. 
        Holding his sword in front of him, the ninja circled around the
Walker, looking for an opening. The Walker stood in a posture of defense,
hands slightly raised. This might prove to be something of an actual
challenge, the ninja thought. 
        Attempting a trial attack, the ninja stepped into range, and
brought the sword down. The Walker reached up and grasped the sword's
blade as it flew toward his head. He held it. The ninja could see blood
where the blade cut into the Walker's hands, but they were managing to
hold his katana at bay. 
        The ninja brought the handle down, meaning to free it. However,
the Walker flicked the sword sideways and out of the ninja's hands. He
threw the katana over to a wall. It flew end over end before embedding
itself in the plaster. 
        The ninja's eyes narrowed. Now was the time to finish this fight. 
No more mister nice ninja. The Ultimate Ninja took one step forward and
tapped the Walker on the forehead with one finger, then stepped back and
        "That is the Finger of Bushido. It will cause-" 
        Before the ninja could react, the Walker reached out and tapped
the ninja in exactly the same way. "Oh yes? And what will it do to you
        The ninja swallowed carefully. Although he could bend the rules of
ninjitsu when he needed to, there were some he couldn't change. He had to
back down from any lethal option. 
        "It will cause," he continued, without showing his surprise,
"paralysation for one hour." 
        "Oh," was all the Walker said as he fell onto the floor,
        The ninja turned to see the reappearance of Kid Kirby. He knew he
had little time left. As he collapsed forwards, he hoped his last order
was "Secure him well." 


The first thing the Ultimate Ninja saw when he opened his eyes was
Sarcastic Lad grinning down at him. Sarc opened his mouth, but the ninja
got in first. "One word and I shall have to kill you," he said pleasantly. 
        For once, Sarc didn't challenge him. 
        The Ultimate Ninja sat up and took stock of the situation. Kid
Kirby obviously had things in hand. Cheesecake-Eater Lad was bandaged, but
up and about. Of Parking Karma Kid, there was no sign. 
        The Phantom Walker was tied with metal bonds, and had been placed
in a corner. He was still unconscious. 
        "I have dispatched Parking Karma Kid to the nearest hospital," 
said Kid Kirby, noticing the ninja's visual sweep for the downed LNHer. 
"Later, I will move him the the LNHQ." 
        The ninja nodded and stood. He remained still while a wave of
dizziness washed over him. Locating his katana, he walked over to the wall
and pulled it out. It wasn't easy. There were remnants the of the Walker's
blood dried on it. 
        He looked at the blood thoughtfully before turning and issuing his
orders. "Kid, I want you to take Cheesecake-Eater Lad and Sarc back to the
LNHQ, and pick up Parking Karma Kid on the way." 
        "But," started Sarc in protest. 
        "I want you out of here. I've got a bee to de-sting, and I don't
want you in the way." 
        Sarc looked ready to protest anyway, but Kid Kirby rested a hand
on his shoulder. "Come," said the Kirbian. "I will need your help." Sarc
gave in. 
        CEL motioned to the Walker. "What about him?" 
        The Ultimate Ninja turned to Kid Kirby. "How safe is he?" 
        Kid Kirby paused, thinking, before responding. "He will be as much
a tool when he awakes as he was before." 
        "I'll say he a tool," muttered Sarc under his breath. 
        "He has a strange relationship to that woman though. I do not know
how this will affect him." 
        "Leave him here, for now. We can come back for him if we need to.
Get the rest to safety, first." The ninja turned away, and headed out of
the building. 


The Ultimate Ninja jumped from rooftop to rooftop. It was all very
possible that his quarry had left the city, but he doubted it. She was
probably vain enough to stay and see how things developed. 
        There was one place that he could think of that the Queen would
most likely be found. He had heard that a woman rented the place for about
$15 million a week, or something like that, but he had only half been
listening to _Secrets Revealed_ when it was on. 
        He landed and looked up at the building. Trump Towers. Now, he
only had to get up to the penthouse on floor 68. He decided on the direct
approach. He drew his sword and made for the reception desk. 
        Three minutes later, he was whizzing up the building in an
elevator, a pass key in his hand. It was amazing how receptive some people
could be at the end of a sharp point. 
        The elevator stopped and the UN got out. He eyed the potted plants
by the front door with distaste. Decorations were slightly overdone, he
        He opened the front door without bothering to knock and went in. 
Once his eyes adjusted to the size of the apartment inside, he found the
Queen Bee sitting on a couch, quietly sipping from a champagne glass, and
watching him. 
        The ninja walked up to her and bowed. "Madam." 
        "I prefer 'Majesty', myself," she said calmly. 
        The UN raised an eyebrow. "I could always change to 'Sushi'." 
        The Queen waved her hand, dismissing the matter as irrelevant. 
"And, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" 
        "I have come to arrest you, for charges involving illegal
manufacturing of drugs." 
        The Queen lent back on the couch and snuggled herself against the
cushions. The sight was not unpleasant. "I could find many people who
would say that I have nothing to do with it. Many _influential_ people." 
        "I somehow thought you'd say that." The ninja drew his sword. 
"That is why I have decided to kill you now." 
        The Queen looked at the sword, and blinked. "I guess that I'll
have to die now." 




The Ultimate Ninja was unphased by her coolness. He excepted nothing less
from her. "Whenever you're ready. As long as you're ready now." 
        The Queen rose from the couch. "Give a girl a chance to prepare
herself, will you?" She walked passed him and into a bedroom, closing the
door behind her. 
        The ninja listened carefully, but could hear no sounds of escape.
He waited a minute, then started forward. That was enough time, even for a
        A hand stilled him. "I think this is for me." 
        The UN turned his head and looked at the man who had appeared
beside him. It was the Phantom Walker, this time looking very solemn. 
        "And why should I trust you now?" 
        "Because I shall kill you if you don't. There are somethings best
left to close ones to do."
        The Queen came out from the bedroom. She had changed into a
ballgown, and had a small, glittering tiara on her head. She looked from
the ninja to the Walker and back again. "Well?"
        The ninja could sense undercurrents in the air, and knew that he
wasn't a part of whatever was going on. He sheathed his sword, and
motioned to the Walker. "Be my guest."
        The Walker, looking only at the Queen, approached her, and the
ninja watched as something very strange happened. The Walker and the Queen
were glowing, and the glow increased as they got nearer. He started
backing away, not really sure what was happening, but knowing that it was
not going to safe around here. 
        the Walker and the Queen stood face to face. "This is what has to
happen," he whispered. 
        "I know," she replied. 
        They kissed. 
        The ninja had only just got behind the table when the room
exploded in light. He kept his eyes shut until the radiance died. He
opened his eyes and peered over the top. 
        Most of the room where they stood had been obliterated. 


NEXT ISSUE: First, check out _System Corruptors #22_ for one or two clues
about what just happened, and for the story of the Queen Bee. 

Then, in the next issue, something totally different, as I show what I can
do to a superheroine when I have a free hand. 


Kid Kirby belongs to Harith Jameel al Khafiz, still used with permission. 

The Ultimate Ninja belongs to wReam, who probably can't remember telling
me I could use him. :)

Sarcastic Lad belongs to the Saint, still used without permission, but I
didn't get yelled at for doing this last time, and needed him again. :)

Cheesecake-Eater Lad and Parking Karma Kid are Public Domain. 

The Phantom Walker and the Queen Bee were created by me. 

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