Writer's Block Woman #21
Let's sing the anvil song!
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\ / | |/ / | | | | \ \ | |/ / \ \ | | \ \| | | | | | | | /
\ / | |\ \_| |_ | | / /__| |\ \__\ \ | |_/ /| |__| |_| | |__| \
\/\/ |_| \_\____| |_| \____|_| \_\___/ |____/ |____|_____|____|_|\_\
\ \ / /_________ ____________ __
\ \/\/ /| __ | \/ | __ | \ | |
\ / | | | | |\ /| | |_| | \| |
\ / | |_| | | \/ | | __ | |\ |
\/\/ |_____|_| |_|_| |_|_| \__| (and Mouse)
Issue #21: Has Anybody Got The Time?
Part Four of the Flame Wars III (a trilogy in six parts. We're ahead of
Douglas Adams, we're ahead of Douglas Adams... ahem... :-)
Mouse rubbed her eyes again. She hadn't had a lot of sleep lately, what
with all of the posters and ads she'd had to put out to let people know
that there was soon going to be a job vacant. She patted her pillow and
laid her head upon it. Soon she'd be back home in Net.Zealand. Former
home to large quantities of green kiwis and current home to her father.
But there was still so much to do, and very little time in which to do
it. And very little explanation of the little time that she didn't have
to not get things done even though...
"You _what_?" said Mouse, sitting up abruptly.
Sorry, getting a bit confused. And besides, you looked like you
were about to start angsting.
"Gods. If I start angsting who knows what could happen! The
universe might end. And it would be my fault, mine! All my fault. I'd
never intended to hurt anybody, I didn't mean it!" Mouse clutched
melodramatically at her heart and placed her other hand against her
forehead, "Rhett! Rhett! Whatever shall ah do? Where-ever shall ah go?"
she proclaimed in an over-exagerated accent. Then she got the giggles.
In the future, another person was not having a good day. Giggles weren't
involved. Neither was angsting really, but never mind. Serendipity "Pity"
Jones slammed on the accelerator of his Lada 5000 and hoped to hell that
Writers Block Woman and Mouse would be in.
Having overcome her giggles and (very) temporary angst outbreak, Mouse
had headed off to the local greasepit in search of food. Correction, in
search of edible... correction, in search of plastic and grease. After
she'd 'eaten' a MacClassic, she walked out of the brightly lit building,
and headed for home. She didn't notice the menacing figure that others
have come to call Flashback watching her from the shadows. In a movie,
this would have been called 'stupid', with half the audience yelling out
"Look out behind you! Turn around you stupid bint!" or other phrases to
this same effect. Here, it's called normality. Mostly because if you
called Mouse a stupid bint she'd probably break your arm. She'd feel very
sorry about it _afterwards_ of course. Well, maybe. Then again, maybe not.
However, the whole point was rendered moot when Mouse turned around and
noticed Flashback watching her.
"Gee, a large, hulking, menacing and possibly insane black-armoured guy
in the shadows. If I were a cheerleader I'd stand here and scream, but
since I'm not..."
She sprinted off down the street. When she was at the far end,
she stopped. Then she turned around and waved at Flashback.
"Hi," she called, "Just checking, but you wouldn't by any chance
happen to be a new member of the LNH would you?"
"I am Flashback!" the figure replied, "I have come to save you
from the future, all time travellers must die! You, you have the stench
of a time traveller about you." He moved forward menacingly.
"I'll take that as a no." said Mouse, and started running.
Mouse sprinted back to LNHHQ and ran into the cafeteria, "Hey everybody,
there's a guy in a suit of armour running round the LNH out to kill time
travellers, anybody wanna stop him? Oh great."
She stopped and put her hands on her hips, for the first time
ever the whole cafeteria was deserted (well, for the first time not
counting all those times the people had run away from the food during
that time when Cheesecake Eater Lad had been away). [See the various
Culinary Disasters in LNH Comics Presents #26-31.]
Mouse cocked her head, listening for Flashback. She could hear
heavy sounding footsteps pounding down the corridor towards the
cafeteria. Sighing, she ran into the kitchen and out the back door, into
Flashback paused in the cafeteria, according to the afterimages his heat
sensors were picking up, the female had paused here before running out
the back door.
"Hey, Ultimate Ninja! Heeeeey!" Mouse zoomed down another corridor
(there's a lot of them in this building) and ran to UN's door. She banged
on it once, "Yo! Ninj! Open up okay? There's this big..." her voice
trailed off. Nobody was in. There was a note on the door, it read: "Have
gone in search of big hulking armoured killer of time travellers at large
in Net.ropolis. Back in UN #16. Ultimate Ninja."
"Dammit, he's _never_ in." grumbled Mouse. Suddenly a
recollection tickled her brain. She pushed the intercom button beside the
door, "Hallo? Anybody there?"
"Hi, Ultimate Ninja's reception, can I help you?" a male voice
"Yes, do you know where I can find Ultimate Ninja?"
"I'm sorry, he's out right now and he didn't take his beeper with
him. Can I take a message?"
"Yes, it's about that armoured killer of time travellers that he
was looking for."
"Uh huh, just wait a moment while I find a piece of paper and a
pen. Sally? Have you got a pencil?"
"Ta. Right now, the message?"
Mouse dictated; "Dear UN, found that armoured guy, or to be more
precise, he found me. To be even more precise, he is currently chasing me
around the HQ, wanting to know where the timetraveller I know is. DO
SOMETHING! Love and kisses, Mouse. PS. NOW!"
"Okay, I got it. I'll pass it on as soon as he gets in." the
voice cut out.
Mouse looked up as Flashback lumbered round the corridor. She
sighed, and started running again.
Flashback watched in irritation as Mouse ran away again, she was
certainly very fast. He checked the corridor, and pressed the intercom
"Hallo, Ultimate Ninja's office, can I help you?" sang a voice.
"Where is the time traveller?"
"Uh, hang on a minute, Sally?"
"Not our department, try reception."
Flashback decided not to bother, and headed down the corridor.
Pity drove faster. He checked his rear-view mirror for pursuit, then
speeded up some more.
Writers Block Woman hummed happily to herself as she wandered over to
LNHHQ. She was mentally planning her evening ensemble. She'd reserved a
table at the swankiest, most expensive restaraunt in Net.ropolis for
dinner that night to cheer Mouse up. Mouse had been a little down lately,
what with having to return to Net.Zealand, and WBW had decided that a
nice night out might cheer her up a little and prevent her from angsting.
So it was with some pleasure that she spotted Mouse sprinting hell for
leather out of the HQ.
"Mouse baby! I didn't think you'd missed me that much!" she
Mouse heard someone vaguely call her name, but she was too busy
running. She'd been sprinting round LNH corridors for half an hour now,
trying to find somebody to stop the big metal guy from following her, but
was anybody in? Nooooooooo...
Writers Block Woman watched in confusion as Mouse sprinted past
her. "Mouse honey, I'm over here." she called. She turned to watch her
daughter run past. So she didn't see Flashback heading towards her at
Writers Block Woman flew through the air, not of her own accord.
About a mile up she managed to gain control of herself and considered her
one) Mouse had been running away from something behind her.
two) Something behind Mouse had slammed into WBW, knocking her
into the sky.
three) The hat she'd just bought had gotten squashed.
Writers Block Woman got mad.
Mouse kept running. Flashback had managed to gain on her but had been
slowed down when he ran into something. She wasn't sure what it had been
but she was fairly sure that it had been painful. Mentally she ran
through her list of acquaintances. She was fairly sure that she knew
which timetraveller Flashback was after, and was faintly miffed that he
thought _she'd_ know where he was. Honestly, it wasn't as if she'd seen
him lately, what did Flashback expect her to do? Lead him to Pity?
Mouse charged across the road, barely glancing at the traffic.
Which was unfortunate as a Lada screeched round the corner at exactly
that moment. Both the driver and Mouse tried to stop, and so instead of
being injured, Mouse merely found herself sprawled across the hood of
She took a deep breath.
Behind the wheel Pity cringed.
"SERENDIPITY JONES! I SWEAR, IF FLASHBACK DOESN'T KILL YA THEN I'LL
DO IT MYSELF!!!!"
"Er sorry." said Pity, getting out of the car and helping Mouse
off, "Who's Flashback?"
"TIME TRAVELLER! YOU DIE!" Flashback charged out at them.
"Oh." Pity said
He watched as the armoured figure loomed before him. It raised
one arm, intent on crushing Pity's body into a small marshmallowy mess on
the ground, when...
Writers Block Woman dived upon the armoured killer, "Now it is time
for my revenge!" In her hand was a hat, it looked a bit squished. WBW
landed in front of Flashback,
"You see this hat?" she demanded, flourishing it. Flashback
looked a bit confusedly at the hat.
"This was a _brand_ _new_ hat. I just bought it. It cost me a lot
of money. It was going to be a special lucky hat because I paid for it
with money I won in my first game of pool ever. [See the latest issue of
the Kiwi Kommandoes for brief details of the game.] But now it can't _be_
that because _you_ squashed it. What have you got to say for yourself?"
"Ummmm... I'm sorry?" Flashback guessed.
"Not yet you aren't." retorted WBW, and punched him in the nose.
*KLANG* "Yeouch!" WBW grabbed her fist and hopped up and down,
"God... damn... body... armour... ow ow ow ow ow..."
Flashback watched a bit confusedly. Then he shrugged, and aimed
his gun at Pity... who was no longer there. Flashback oriented himself
and turned to see Mouse sprinting back into LNHHQ, dragging Pity with
her. He sighed and jogged off after them.
"Hey! Come back here! I'll bite your ankles!" screamed WBW after
"Where are we going?" gasped Pity.
"Who cares? Anywhere, as long as it's away from Flashback." Mouse
replied, "You know, you need to get out of that car sometime and do some
Pity just gasped.
As they pelted hell for leather down a corridor, they suddenly
heard the sound of furious cursing ahead.
"Finally," Mouse said, "Somebody's actually _in_." She dragged
Pity into the room and slammed the door behind them. The man in the room
"Hallo?" he said, obviously not recognising them.
"Er hi," said Mouse, who didn't recognise him either, "I'm Mouse,
and this is Pity. I'm Writers Block Woman's sidekick and he's a time
traveller from an alternate future and..."
"A time traveller! You've got to get him out of here, there's a
man roaming Net.ropolis killing time travellers!" the man interrupted.
"Big guy? Armoured?" asked Mouse.
"How many time traveller killers do you have in this city?" asked Pity.
"That's him," said the man, "I'm Contraption Man. I've been
trying to find a way to stop him, but so far no luck. I've just decrypted
the opening sequence for this box," Contraption Man showed the duo a
black box, "I think it might tell us something about him."
"Great, turn it on." said Mouse.
Contraption Man fiddled with a few buttons and the trio peered at
the computer screen as words swam into view:
"They're all gone, everything is gone. I can't believe it myself,
and I was there to witness it. The LNHHQ, home to the greatest heros in
the world... destroyed, and all within it killed. If only I could have
done something, had a useful power, anything. But then, if I'd had a
useful power I would have been killed as well.
It was an important day. October 10th, 1995."
"Hang on a second," said Contraption Man, "That's _today_!"
The screen continued: "It... was going to be the best day of my life.
Ha! The dreams of youth. October 10th, the day, I applied for acceptance
into the Legion of Net. Heros. And I was turned down.
I was told that my powers were inadequate to the task of being a
Legionairre. I suppose I should explain... I have the ability to touch a
person, and in doing so, recall some of their memories. But they turned
me down because I was a minor without huge powers to compensate for that."
"They refused him entry on those grounds?" asked Mouse
incredulously, "Are we talking about the same Legion that let
Easily-Discovered Man Lite join?"
The writing continued to scroll up the screen:
"Disheartened, I left. It was mid-afternoon, the birds were
singing, the sky was blue. October 10th, the date was ashes in my mouth,
disappointment tinged everything a bitter grey.
October 10th will remain a date emblazoned in the minds of every
citizen in the world, because on that same day, a time traveller appeared
and destroyed the LNHHQ and everybody in it... OPIUGSAVDP: LMpwikgmp
dknOUH VPijwsbfj ouYEbvoLJKESDPOJV HPIEUG V;'S L [UIOH(_UEYHG VOKI PUII
[ouih -puwsv..." The screen flickered and went blank.
"What happens next?" asked Pity.
"You die." came a voice from behind them.
Everyone turned around veeeeeery slowly. Flashback was standing
there, a gun pointed directly at Pity.
"Ahem," said Mouse, "This may not be the best time to mention it,
but are you aware that your shoelaces are untied?"
Time slowed to a crawl as the two heros, one time traveller, and
Flashback pondered the scenario set before them. The strands of
probability twisted, acraphobe-flavoured strawberry fields and jam, green
eggs and ham, the laws of science, sensibility and nature fought to
maintain the precious laws of reality against the full power of weirdness
But this is Writers Block Woman and Mouse, so all probabilities,
logicalities and bets are off. Flashback looked down at his shoes.
Mouse and Pity sprinted for it with everything they had while
Contraption Man laid down covering fire with a weapon he'd put together
during the slow-mo break from a stapler-gun and a laser dart.
Mouse and Pity headed for the end of a corridor, behind them they
could hear Flashback staggering to his feet and beginning to come after
them. At the end of the corridor was an elevator.
"You realise," gasped Pity, "That if we try to use the elevator
the doors will close just as he arrives there and then he'll jump down on
top of it and try to punch his way in from above."
"Uh huh." replied Mouse. They were clearly of one mind about
this. Not even bothering to slow down they got to the end of the corridor
and jumped through the window next to the elevator. There was a
shattering of glass as they flew out into the air.
Fortunately for them, they were only on the first floor.
Landing, Mouse recovered first, and dragged Pity to his feet,
"Only one place we can hide!" she gasped. "Quick, follow me!"
Flashback jumped through the window, knocked slightly off-balance
by the parting shots fired by Contraption Man. Landing he looked around
for the running duo. And was confronted by the running millions. Unable
to believe what his senses were telling him, he looked at a passing
banner. It read: "The Conspiracy Corporation Sponsors and Supports the 15th
Annual Net.ropolis Marathon". If Flashback had been one iota less
obsessed, he would have cried. As it was, he started running.
Mouse and Pity had ducked deep into a group of joggers, who
weren't paying that much attention to them as they were deeply involved
in listening to their walkmans.
"Think we lost him?" asked Pity.
"We should be so lucky." replied Mouse, "Now shut up and keep
"But what are we going to do?" Pity wailed.
"Look, there's an alleyway further along. We'll duck up it, and
join the runners who are behind this group. That'll take as back in front
of LNHHQ. Then you can get back in your car and stay away till we catch
"But I need your help."
"Saving you from a homicidal maniac isn't helping you?"
"No, other stuff..." Pity gasped for air, and watched resentfully
as he was overtaken by a jogging piece of cloth.
"Quick, up the alley." they scooted up the alley and joined
another bunch of runners. Soon they were back at Pity's car. Mouse shoved
him in and slammed the door.
"Now, get out of here and don't come back for a while. We need to
make sure he's gone. You can tell us what the problem is when you get back."
Pity was too tired to reply. He merely started his car and drove
off, narrowly avoiding some solitary joggers. Mouse watched as his car
accelerated and shot off into time. Then she slumped against a lampost.
Waitaminute, she thought, there isn't a lampost here.
She looked up. Flashback's visored face stared deeply into hers.
"Where... is... the... time-traveller...?" he asked menacingly.
Mouse squinted at him. "Ummmmm..."
"Evil fiend! Doer of wrongs! Wronger of rights! Squisher of hats!
Feel the awesome might of... WRITERS BLOCK WOMAN!"
"Would you excuse me? That's my cue." said Mouse smilingly as she
dodged away from Flashback. Flashback looked up to see an angel of
vengeance heading towards him at full speed. Writers Block Woman stopped
centimetres from him, then she smiled, and threw a bucket of water over
Flashback watched in deep confusion as the water dripped off his
"I'm afraid to ask," sighed Mouse, "Mum, why did you do that?"
"Ha! Well if I'd thrown jello, it would have been silly." said
Writers Block Woman.
Mouse pondered this, "You've been waiting in the pub for us to
get back haven't you?" WBW hung her head. "I only had _one_ pint."
Mouse shuddered. Flashback loaded a weapon. WBW and Mouse looked
at each other.
Then they ran off again.
Flashback watched them go. Then he looked at where the time
traveller had been. Then he considered the events of the past episode.
Then he straightened, and loaded his gun with a menacing k-chlak...
"I will find _another_ time traveller to kill!" he declared, and
stomped off in the direction of the Flame Wars III part Five. Proving
once and for all, that he's _not_ as dumb as he looks. WBW and Mouse
watched him leave from around the corner of the building.
"Peach schnapps in a pint glass huh," said Mouse, "Which pub was it?"
FLAME WARS III continues... the end is in sight, but is it a happy one?
Find out in the penultimate fifth part of The Flame Wars III, appearing
in Misfits #13, where you'll see whose lucky number it is.
The Audition for a Sidekick Commences. If you haven't put in your
application to audition then now is the time to do it! Mouse is leaving,
and someone has to look after WBW. Who will it be? Part One of Two.
Flame Wars III is all Drizzt's fault. Blame him.
Writers Block Woman, Mouse, and Pity belong to me. I have them on 20 year
Contraption Man and Flashback are not mine but are registered trademarks.
I'm just not sure who for.
Sally and the other guy are Ultimate Ninja's public domain reception
service. Created by Ian Porell.
Anyone else who may or may not have popped up in this episode did so of
their own volition and are in no way connected to my collection of
All rights reserved except the right of way which is waived in any story
Pity appears in.
Hair by Design. Writers Block Woman's costume was made by Gary Nestling
of Body Work and Armour. Mouse's clothes are from Model's Own. Everyone
else bought their clothes at non-designer stores and don't even own
Calvin Klein underwear.
Back to the FWIII page.