LNH: Beige Midnight #7: The Bart Age III: "The Mountain Top"

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Arthur Spitzer

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Mar 21, 2011, 3:32:13 PM3/21/11
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[Cover: Bart the Dark Receptionist stands on a mound of 250 (or so)
LNH'r corpses. In his left hand is the Ultimate Ninja's heart. In his
right hand is Captain Continuity's severed head. A dialogue balloon
from Bart says, "Did Geoff Johns guest write this or something?" The
bottom caption says: THE BART AGE ENDS HERE!!!]


**** <<--BM-->> ****

The place -- Ancient Qwerty, 1994 BC

The time --


B E I G E

M I D N I G H T


The number -- S E V E N


The Writer -- Arthur Spitzer

**** <<--BM-->> ****

Ancient Qwerty --
1994 BC --

Kid Recap checked the Ultimate Ninja and then pondered the absurdity of
checking the pulse of a man who had had his heart ripped out of his
chest. No. The Ultimate Ninja must be faking it. He couldn't be dead.
Of course the Ultimate Ninja had been dead before. Right? Like that
time when -- Kid Recap paused. Kid Recap tried to remember some part of
the past where the Ultimate Ninja had come back to life, but nothing
came to him.

Was this some effect of the Amnesia Barrier? That even with his Super
Recapping Abilities, Even he, Kid Recap, had forgotten stuff?

Kid Recap tried to remember what he could. How he got to this point in
time -- 4002 years in the past.

All of this began on March 31, 2007 AD, when the Ultimate Ninja had
decided to take a month off for vacation. Fearless Leader took over and
he disappeared. And after that leader after leader disappeared for
about 465 days each day. The LNH found out that it was their former
receptionist Bart who was behind the kidnappings. He was working for
Dekay and Diskolor, the Bryttle Brothers who were planning to destroy
the entire Looniverse on April 29th, 2008 AD. Bart had made a deal with
them where he'd go to the past (1,004,000 years ago) and be that
planet's King Qwert-El for a million years. Of course the LNH needed
both the Ring of Retconn and Insanity Gauntlet (both of which Bart had
possession of) to stop the Bryttle Brothers from destroying the
Looniverse, so they had to time travel back (which caused everyone
except for Munchkin Man and himself to forget everything due to a
Amnesia barrier created by Kid Recap's arch-enemy Amnesia that causes
anyone to time travel past it to forget everything that happened) to get
those items from Bart.

It turned out though that Bart was frozen in a cave, and they had to
time jump to 1994 BC so that some Most Worthy One (who turned out to be
Munchkin Man) could get him out of the cave. And when they freed Bart
still frozen in a chunk of ice, they took off the Ring of Retconn and
Insanity Gauntlet from his hands. And after that it should have been
simple, right? Unfortunately, it never ever is. Bart woke up -- still
having incredible powers despite the lack of cosmic paraphernalia.

And the Ultimate Ninja fought Bart -- and Bart killed him. Bart killed
the Ultimate Ninja. And that's where they were.

The Elders and other local Qwertians seemed angered by this attack on
their leader who Bart was posing as -- King Qwert-El. Various Qwertians
with guns started pointing them at the LNH and demanding that the LNH
surrender.

Bart still floating up in the sky shook his head. "No, no. This is not
your fight my loyal subjects. This is between me and them. You can
go." And with a snap of his fingers he teleported all of the remaining
Qwertians with the exception of Dev-Null back to wherever they lived.

And then Bart turned his attention back on the LNH. "Take your time.
If you want to have a funeral or something for the Ultimate Ninja --
please, go ahead. Consult on some brilliant battle strategy -- fine by
me. I can wait. I'll probably create a Universe in my hand while I
wait. And when you're ready -- ready to finish this -- just look up --
'cuz that's where I'll be. Up."

And in Bart's hand there was a loud thunderous bang -- and a new
Universe was born.

**** <<--BM-->> ****


THE BART AGE PART III


'The Mountain Top'


**** <<--BM-->> ****

April 2008 AD --
Near Saturn --
The LNH Starship Snobbie --

Ripping Dancer's fingers brushed against the cold Starship window. Out
of it she could see the Beigeness swallowing up the blackness
surrounding Saturn. They were almost past the Beigeness. Maybe once
they got past it, she'd feel a little better. Then again -- probably
not. Some part of her wished that the artificial gravity controls would
fail. She had always wanted to float in space. Dance in zero gravity.

She looked at Dr. Stomper and Contraption Man who were both deep in
conversation in the cockpit. What were they talking about? The
Mission? Her? She looked at Occultism Kid who was still acting like a
member of the NTB (Net.Trenchcoat Brigade). He was guzzling away on
some bottle of Cognac that he'd found in the ship. Comic Snob Boy's
favorite brand according to Irony Man. And Irony Man? He was looking
out the windows too.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

Dr. Stomper examined the white hair he had found on his seat. Some
animal hair? Felis catus possibly?

"What was that about? Back at Headquarters? What great threat did we
have to run from, Contraption Man?" Dr. Stomper looked Contraption Man
in the eyes as he put the hair aside.

"Just a feeling. A bad feeling. Just think of it as time-travelers
intuition. Sometimes when you're time jumping you hit a time that some
how you know it's no good. That you got to get out of there fast.
That's the feeling I got."

Dr. Stomper pointed to the date on one of the monitor screens. "We're
still in the same time period."

"It was a bad place feeling. I'm not getting it now. Look Doc, we're
going to need the full LNH with us when we go back to the Loonivearth.
Right now we've got more urgent worries. Like Occultism Kid. Why are
the Retcon Hour retcons still affecting him?"

"There are a number of possibilities. It could be psychosomatic. It
could be do to Occultism Kid's magical abilities. It could be that
we're all having the same dream. It could be that a part of the Retcon
Hour crossover hitchhiked with us when we time jumped. It could be that..."

"Whoah, whoah! What was that --? A part of Retcon Hour time jumped
with...?"

"I was just thinking of all the possibilities. Without access to my
lab, I couldn't really begin to guess at what's causing this to happen.
Hopefully, Retcon Lad can reverse the effect. Is Retcon Lad with the
Qwerty team?"

"I don't know. But if Occultism Kid can't do magic anymore, we're going
to need another plan to get past the Dvorakian space station."
Contraption Man got out of the pilot's seat and walked over to the
cockpit opening. "Hey, Occultism Kid! Can you still cloak an entire
Starship?"

Occultism Kid briefly took the bottle out of his mouth. "If I could do
that -- do you think I'd be busy drinking myself to death?"

Contraption Man turned back towards Dr. Stomper. "Yeah, looks like
we're going to need another plan.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

The Universe in Bart's Hand --
13,300,000,000 years AC (After Creation) --

The first piece of slime crawls onto a rock.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

The Universe in Bart's Hand --
13,700,000,000 years AC (After Creation) --

A cave man using charcoal makes a large 'B' on the wall of his cave.
After he has finished, he proudly shows his wife. His wife grabs a
Tapir bone and begins hitting him with it while she screams.


**** <<--BM-->> ****


The Universe in Bart's Hand --
13,700,030,000 years AC (After Creation) --

Barrt the Fisherman sits on his boat bored of life. There had to be
something better than this, he thinks as he waits for a fish to bite his
hook.

And then he feels a snag. A fish! He reels the fish in.

After he drops the fish with the other fish, he hears something.

"If you free me, I shall give you the greatest idea."

"You can talk?" Barrt asks the fish.

"Of course! I'm the world's smartest fish. But enough about me, let's
talk about you. You don't want to be a fisherman forever, do you?"

Barrt shakes his head.

"Of course not! But you need a great idea, and fortunately for you I
have just the one you need!"

"What idea?"

"What if I told you that there was only one true God, a God named BARRT?
And you were the only person who could speak to this God? And what if
only those people who were your friends, were the only ones who could go
to Heaven once they died? And all your enemies would go to Hell?"

"But that's not true! I can't speak to this God!"

"What matters if it's true? People are so gullible! Think of all the
sheep and shepherds' daughters that would be yours! Everyone would want
to get good with you so they could go to Heaven!"

"You've got a point," Barrt says while thinking about all of the
shepherds' daughters and sheep in the world. "Very well, I will free you!"

The fish plops back into the water.

A little bit later under the lake...

The fish tells the story to all his fish buddies at the fish bar,
"Humans are so gullible!"


**** <<--BM-->> ****

The Universe in Bart's Hand --
13,700,030,005 years AC (After Creation) --

Barrt the Fisherman is crucified by a bunch of angry shepherds.

But his disciples carry on his ideas and pass them on throughout the lands.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

The Universe in Bart's Hand --
13,700,031,969 years AC (After Creation) --

The doctor gives Barrt a serious look. "I'm sorry. I've got some bad
news."

In the background a black and white tv set plays. On the screen, a man
in an astronaut suit steps onto the moon.

It is a significant day in the history of mankind.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

The Universe in Bart's Hand --
13,700,033,001 years AC (After Creation) --

A creature that is part elephant, preying mantis, and corn dog watches a
weird looking ship fly away into space.

Another similar looking creature walks towards him. "What did those
bizarre ugly looking aliens want?"

"Oh, they were trying to convert me to some stupid religion called
Barrtism. I told them I'd think about it."


**** <<--BM-->> ****

The Universe in Bart's Hand --
26,700,030,005 years AC (After Creation) --

"It's Over, Barrtymandias!!! It's All Over!!!" cried Barrtowl, a
superhero dressed up in a costume that was made up of sewn together bar
towels. He swung a bar towel in his hand wildly.

"Is it? Really?" laughed Barrtymandias, The Universe's Smartest
Scientist, as he stroked the fluffy white cat in his lap. "I do think
you're way out of your depth, Barrtiel."

"We know it was you, Barrtymandias!" shouted another hero by the name of
Barrtshaq dressed in a trenchcoat with a mask covering his whole face.
A mask that had an ever-changing image of Shaquille O'Neal depicting
different moments in his life. The current image had Shaquille O'Neal
attempting to make a free throw attempt. "You killed our former Teenage
Disco Vampire Barbershop Quartet Net.Force member the Barrtmedian! You
kidnapped all of those fan-fiction writers from all of those galaxies
and put them on that secret moon!! We know about all of it except for
one thing. What is Project Mountaintop?!! What have you done!???"
Barrtshaq hurled the basketball in his hand at Barrtymandias right as
Barrtowl slung his bar towel.

Barrtymandias effortlessly caught the ball in his hand and used it to
deflect the bar towel. "Project Mountaintop? Why it's quite simple.
It's my plan to save the Universe. Did you know that in a million years
from now humanity will have used up all of the energy in the Universe?
Yes. We will have drained up every sun, every galaxy, all the dark
energy. Humanity has spread itself across the Universe, there are no
new galaxies for us to exploit. Simply put, we're all doomed. I
realized that there was only one thing that could save us. One being.
The maker of this Universe. Yes. BARRT. We needed to contact him. I
needed to create a device that could contact him. And so using the
minds of all of those fan-fiction writers I created this." Barrymandias
gestured towards the massive machine the size of a three-story house in
the center of the station. "Unfortunately, it does take quite a bit of
energy to operate. Like about 3 million galaxies."

"My Barrt!" said Barrtowl in disbelief. "That has got to be the
stupidest plan I've ever heard. Thank Barrt, we were able to stop you
before you killed all of those galaxies."

"Stop me?" laughed Barrtymandias. "What, do I look like some wheelchair
bound James Barrt villain stroking a white cat?" Barrtymandias glanced
down at his wheelchair and white cat that he was stroking. "Oh. Point
taken. Regardless, I turned the machine on 35 minutes ago. Look!"
Barrtymandias pointed towards the space stations massive telescopic
glass windows that allowed people to gaze at all of the galaxies in the
Universe. "Well, okay, since most of these galaxies are millions of
light years away you can't really see anything because of the speed of
light, but millions of years from now it's going to look really, really
spectacular. Not that you have that much time." Barrtymandias pressed
another button. The floor under both Barrtshaq and Barrtowl collapsed
causing them to fall into a pool filled with weird part shark, crab, and
corndog type creatures. As both heroes screamed in terror as they were
devoured the last image on Barrtshaq's mask was one of Shaquille O'Neal
making another free throw attempt.

Barrtymandias pressed another button shutting the floor back up again.
And then he turned his attention back to the massive screen on the
Project Mountaintop machine. An image was beginning to appear. The
image of BARRT.

"I did it! It worked!! Oh mighty BARRT, I humbly ask an audience with
you!"

<<THAT'S B-A-R-T ACTUALLY. NOT B-A-R-R-T, I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU PEOPLE
GOT THE EXTRA R FROM. WHAT DO YOU WANT?>> boomed the voice from the screen.

"We ask you to give us more energy! A million years from now we will
have drained all of the suns in the Universe! We need more galaxies!"

<<I'M NOT SURE HOW THIS IS MY PROBLEM. DID I ASK YOU TO BUILD ALL OF
THESE MASSIVE SHIPS AND SPACE STATIONS THAT USE UP MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF
ENERGY? OH, BTW, THIS MACHINE YOU CREATED TO SUMMON ME THAT TAKES LIKE
THREE MILLION GALAXIES TO POWER UP? THAT WAS A PRETTY STUPID IDEA, JUST
SO YOU KNOW.>>

"I don't understand. Are we not the chosen species? Did you not make
us in your image so we could spread your wisdom all across the Universe?
Why do you forsake us, oh mighty Barrt?"

<<FIRST OFF, WHILE I DID MAKE THIS UNIVERSE -- I DID NOT MAKE YOU.
YOU'RE SOME BIOLOGICAL ACCIDENT THAT HAPPENED THROUGH YEARS OF NATURAL
SELECTION. AND YOUR ENTIRE RELIGION WAS DEVELOPED BY A CON ARTIST AND A
TALKING FISH. I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT. AS TO WHY I CREATED THIS
UNIVERSE, IT WAS MOSTLY AN AMUSING DIVERSION FOR ME WHILE WAITING FOR
THE LNH TO ATTACK ME. AND ALSO A WAY FOR ME TO DEMONSTRATE TO THE
READER WHAT AN INCREDIBLE BAD ASS I AM. THAT'S ALL. OH, LOOK -- GOT TO
CUT THIS SHORT. SOMEONE JUST SHOT AT ME. LOOKS LIKE I'LL HAVE TO
DESTROY YOUR UNIVERSE A LITTLE BIT SOONER. SORRY. BYE.>>

The machines screen went blank. "What? Wait! What did you mean by..."
But before Barrtymandias could finish a white flash swallowed everything.


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Ancient Qwerty --
1994 BC --

As the Universe in Bart's hand crumbled into dust, Bart looked to see
who had shot him. "Ah, Dev-Null, right? Sorry, kind of immune to bullets."

Dev-Null shook his head. "That was just to grab your attention. This
on the other hand..." Dev-Null pulled out another self-made gun that he
had been working on during the walk to the caves. Aiming it at Bart, he
pulled the trigger causing a rocket attached to a chain to shoot out.
The other end of the chain had a pair of shackles, which snapped onto
Bart's ankles. The rocket itself flew straight for the Ice Caverns of
Existence.

"Interesting," said Bart as he watched the chain that he was attached to
snap apart. "I guess if it weren't for my power to be immovable, that
rocket would have dragged me back to the caves where I'd have become a
popsicle again. Nice. Guess I better get rid of those caves before
someone else tries the same trick." With a snap of his fingers the Ice
Caverns of Existence vanished leaving only a large crater behind.

Dev-Null threw that gun and reached for another one.

"I'm not really sure why you of all people are fighting me, Dev-Null?"

"It is my destiny! I'm here to save the Looniverse from you!!"

"Oh wait. Now I see. You don't remember, do you? Of course! It's the
Amnesia Barrier! Forgot all about that. Guess that explains why the
Ultimate Ninja was taking orders from Kid Recap. Well, this won't do.
What's the fun in destroying the LNH if they don't know who's destroying
them? As for you, Dev-Null, you're just a terrorist. That's all.
You're a psychopath who believes that if you bomb enough intergalactic
embassies you can somehow make the world a better place. But you'll
never save the Looniverse. That's beyond somebody like you."

"You're lying!! I'm a hero -- I..."

"Don't believe me? Why don't you just ask this Dvorakian here who lost
his younger sister to one of your bombs how much of a hero you really
are?" Bart gave back both Dev-Null and the 25 Dvorakians their memories
back. The Dvorakian who had lost his sister grabbed Dev-Null by the throat.

"Vendalla!! She was only a 157 sun cycles!! You murdering son of a..."
The Dvorakian crushed Dev-Null's throat and threw his body to the ground.

Major Poossee, the nine foot tall blue maned leader of the Dvorakians
with an eye patch, looked at the lifeless body of Dev-Null and then back
at Kid Recap. "What is going on here? Where have you taken us?"

Bart shook his head. "You don't need to answer that Kid Recap. Once I
speed up the Glory Virus in the Dvorakians they'll be a moot point
anyways." Major Poossee started to fly towards Bart, but before he
could get off the ground he felt a huge pain in his chest that caused
him to kneel down. Within a few seconds, he and the rest of soldiers
were completely dead.

Bart smiled. "Now we can start the real fun."


**** <<--BM-->> ****

Kid Recap started to make his way over to Dev-Null's corpse just in case
one of the weapons he had made could actually stop Bart. But before he
could do that his entire body froze up and his mouth disappeared.

Bart shifted from his King Qwert-El get-up to his Bart the Dark
Receptionist costume. "Okay. I'm freezing you and taking away your
mouths, but don't worry -- it's only temporary. You see -- I just want
to rant and rave for a while uninterrupted by all your cute quips.
Okay? It's a villain thing. But I'll return your mouths and ability to
move as soon as I'm finished. Okay? This would be the part where you'd
say something clever that would make the readers laugh, but you can't --
so let's move on."

"Okay. First things first, let's give you back all of your memories.
There, okay. And what the hell -- let's bring the Ultimate Ninja back
to life because killing off an amnesiac Ultimate Ninja is kinda lame."
The Ultimate Ninja returned back to life and froze up as he attempted to
throw a ninja bush at Bart.

As the Ultimate Ninja returned back to life, a frozen Easily-Discovered
Man Lite realized that the funniest ninja joke he had ever thought up
had just popped into his brain. But alas, he realized to his complete
horror, I have No Mouth and I Must Scream the Funniest Ninja Joke Ever!
Oh well. He'd just have to wait for Bart to give him his mouth back.

"Next thing is that you should probably know how incredibly powerful I
am and how utterly hopeless it would be to stop me. Okay. How can I
explain this? Ah, yes. You've undoubtedly fought villains that had
access to powerful cosmic items like the Ring of Retconn and Insanity
Gauntlet throughout your career as a superteam, right? Of course you
have! Did it ever occur to you how incredibly stupid all of these
villains were? That they didn't fully utilize these incredibly powerful
objects to there full potential? I vowed that if I were ever to come
across one of these devices that I wouldn't make the same mistake. I
mean -- okay -- what is the first thing that usually stops someone like
me? Right! They lose the object of power! And they're totally
powerless! So, why not use these cosmic items to give yourself powers
that don't disappear if you should happen to lose the object in
question? So that's what I did -- I have the power to have any super
power I can think of without the need for a Ring of Retconn or Insanity
Gauntlet! Cool, huh?"

Break control, throw ninja bush! Break control, Throw Ninja Bush,
thought the Ultimate Ninja.

"And the next thing that usually happens is that the heroes who stole
the cosmic devices from you try to use them on you, right? So wouldn't
it make sense to just make yourself resistant to anyone who uses any
cosmic object that has ever existed against you? So I did that too.
And after that, what is the attack that usually happens? Right! You've
always got some cosmic type being or god that puts the whammy on you!
So the simple solution to that is to make yourself resistant to the
powers of any cosmic being or god! So let's check that one off the list
too."

This is the most thrilling edge of my seat amusement park fun villain
rant I've ever been forced to listen to, mentally yawned Sarcastic Lad.
Could I have a brain aneurysm? Pretty Please?

"What else? Oh yes. Even with those protections in place there is
always the danger of being hurt. Don't want to be killed by something
like mistletoe or something stupid like that. So it's probably a good
idea to just make yourself resistant to all forms of harm. So nothing
can harm me whether it's a fist or a mental blast -- or the Looniverse
decides to explode."

Arrrggghhhh! Must tell ninja joke, thought Easily-Discovered Man Lite.
Must tell ninja joke!

"And of course what is the number one thing that always screws up a
villains plans? Come on, you know this one. Yep. Being defeated by a
hero. Heroes always find some way to defeat the villain. So I made it
so I would never be defeated by any hero that has ever existed. And
ever will exist."

You know, if weren't for the fact that I was frozen here I bet you I'd
be doing something so rad that even Saxon Brenton would think I was
awesome, thought
Saxon-Brenton-Will-Write-the-Brother-of-So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story-Lad-When-Hell-Freezes-Over
Lad.

"So there you have it. I can have any superpower I can think of. I'm
resistant to anyone using any cosmic object that has ever existed
against me. I'm resistant to the powers of every God or Cosmic Being.
I cannot be hurt by anything physical or mental or whatever. And no
hero can ever defeat me. That about covers it -- don't you think? I
mean any more than that would be overkill, right? I mean -- you have to
have some slim chance of defeating me -- you know."

Dude, so wish I was stoned, thought California Kid. Oh man, is this
dude ever going to stop?

"But really, it would be suicide to try and fight me. I mean the one
thing that might have given you a chance would have been me wearing the
Insanity Gauntlet, but thanks to you that thing is no longer messing up
my mind. So I'm going to give you some choices, since I don't want to
kill you if I don't have to. Choice #1: You fight me and I kill all of
you. Not a very smart choice. Choice #2: You take the Ring of Retconn
and Insanity Gauntlet and leave this planet and never come back -- Never
Ever -- and I let you all go in peace. Hey, that's what you wanted,
wasn't it? That's why you came here? And finally Choice #3: You
surrender. You agree to worship me. And if you do that, we could all
go to some other planet and all live in eternal paradise with you all
worshipping me. That's all you have to do. Worship. Eternal Paradise.
Not a bad deal, yeah?"

Nose itch! Nose itch, thought Bad-Timing Boy gazing at his scratching
finger that was very, very close; yet at the same time so very, very,
far away.

"There, I've given you your choices. Now -- I guess it's up to you to
decide. You'll probably want to discuss this in a more private place."
Bart teleported everyone and himself to where the LNH
Starship.Thingees were and pointed to the ground. The earth shook and a
building started to emerge from the ground. It was the LNHHQ (the
classic four story building version circa 1993-1995). Bart then
teleported all of the LNH into the lobby of the building -- giving them
back their freedom and mouths.


**** <<--BM-->> ****


"DIE!!!" screamed the Ultimate Ninja as he threw his ninja bush at the
Dr. Paprika machine in the corner. The machine shredded to pieces and
started spraying large amounts of Dr. Paprika all over the lobby.

"Ah," said Parking Karma Kid. "Now that's a pop with a doctorate in
taste!" He stepped away from the streaming shower. "Man, we haven't
had one of those machines since..."

"Since Bart was a receptionist," said the Ultimate Ninja throwing
another ninja bush at the machine to stop it from gushing.

"Finally!" shouted Easily-Discovered Man Lite. "I can finally say it!
The funniest ninja joke ever! And -- and -- hmm, you know now that I
think about it -- oh man. You know, forget I said that. The more I
think on it -- it's not that funny. It was really funny when I was
frozen and without a mouth -- but not so funny now that I can actually
tell it. Have you ever had that happen to you? I mean..."

"Lite," interrupted the Ultimate Ninja, "Do you have anything useful to
contribute?"

Easily-Discovered Man Lite shrugged a bit. "Hey, you know... it's me."

"Right. Moving on." The Ultimate Ninja used his ninja dry cleaning
abilities to remove the Dr. Paprika from his costume.

"You know," said Kid Recap breaking in, "Maybe we should make the deal.
I mean -- isn't the main reason we came here retrieving the ring and
gauntlet? We can deal with Bart some other..."

"So, you think we should run?" The Ultimate Ninja shook his head. "We
don't make deals and we don't run. We're the LNH."

"Well, most of the time -- yeah. But considering the circumstances --
maybe we should have a vote on this."

"We already had a vote and that vote made me leader. And this is my
decision. We fight Bart. And we bring him back dead or alive. It's
that simple."

"He killed you and brought you back to life -- and he made it look easy,
UN. And if what he's saying is true about his abilities, he could do
the same thing to the entire LNH."

"He's bluffing. If he was that powerful, why not simply destroy us
right now -- why give us a deal? Regardless, the LNH has fought a
number of nearly omnipotent threats during its existence. This is no
different."

"I don't think he's bluffing, UN," replied Captain Continuity. "Using
my cosmic senses he seems to be more powerful than a RACCelestial,
perhaps in the same range as Master Workload, or maybe as high as the
Mechanical Author. This isn't going to be easy."

"It never ever is easy. Do you think it's going to be easy defeating
the Bryttle Brothers? Perhaps we could make some deal with them? No.
I'm not going to force you to fight. If you don't want to fight, please
feel free and resign from the LNH right now. You can exit from this
building. But if you are LNH -- then you're going to fight. Are you LNH?"

There was some mutterings and mumblings from the crowd of heroes. And
some, "Should've voted for Fearless Leader."

"I said: 'Are you LNH!?' I want to hear you!! ARE YOU LNH!!!!!????"

This was followed by more mutterings and mumblings that sounded vaguely
like, 'Yes, we are LNH.' Sarcastic Lad added, "Oh, goody. We all get
to die a hero's death."

"Very well. Now onto the plan. Do you still have Bart's soul, Kid Recap?"

Kid Recap looked down at the box he was still carrying that contained
Bart's soul. "Yeah. Umm, but that whole plan involved Bart wearing the
Insanity Gauntlet."

"Well. Then we go to plan B. What's plan B, Innovative Offense Boy?"

"Umm, that *$#@*@# one involves the Insanity @#$%*@* Gauntlet too. So
do plan $#@*%*@ C through plan @#&*@#*&*&#@ Z."

"Well, then think of a plan that doesn't involve Bart wearing the
Insanity Gauntlet!"

"I'm #%$#@$%$%#$ thinking! Hmm, @#$**@#& Bart did seem to be @#**$$@#
vulnerable to the Ice Caverns of @#$%*@* Existence. Well, assuming that
wasn't just some %$#@*& scam to get us to *&@#$@ take off the Insanity
@#$%*@* Gauntlet. Hmm, oh %$#@@%%* wait! Maybe we could @#*$#@% trick
him into *&#$%@ wearing the Insanity @#$%*@* Gauntlet again!"

"Hey! I've got a plan!" shouted Bad Judgment Boy. "How about we all do
some PCP and then stick some angry weasels down our costumes and then --
Yeah!" Bad Judgment Boy started making wild hand gestures. "Get this
-- and then we all just -- Rush him! Yeah! We all just rush Bart!!
He'll never see that coming!! Yeah!! Is this the best superhero plan
ever or what?!!!" Bad Judgment Boy waited for everyone to give him a
high five.

The Ultimate Ninja shook his head and said, "No. Does anyone else have
an idea -- and before you say something I should add -- that isn't
completely stupid?"

"What? We forgot to bring the PCP and angry weasels?"

**** <<--BM-->> ****


"Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
...
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell..." paraphrased Bart from some old Tennyson
poem he had remembered from High School as he watched the LNH come out
of the LNHHQ he had created. "Well, guess you've all chosen suicide
then. Have to admit I was hoping that would be your choice."

"No!" cried RoboStomper II (The newest version of Dr. Stompers
roboduplicate). "After analyzing all of the data, we LNH robot
duplicates have come to the conclusion that the LNH has no chance in
defeating you!" He held up his calculator.thingee for all to see.
"Therefore, we robot duplicates will happily join you in your
extermination of the LNH!" The robot duplicates of Contraption Man,
Irony Man, Occultism Kid, and Ripping Dancer all nodded their heads.

"Oh, Jesus. Not these guys again!" said Kid Recap rolling his eyes.

"Thanks, but no thanks. I don't really have any use for you. Well,
maybe the cute one with all the tears in her costume -- but no." The
circuits in the robot duplicates started to overload causing the robot
duplicates to fall to the ground. "Sorry."

"This is your last chance to surrender, Bart." The Ultimate Ninja
readied his Ginsu Katana for attack mode.

"You think? Naw! I'm pretty sure I'll have plenty of chances to while
I'm killing you all. But hey -- tell you what. If you can stop me from
killing one hundred members of the LNH in the next three seconds after
this sentence ends -- I'll happily surrender -- Ready? Now!" Bart
flashed away.

The Ultimate Ninja turned his head and saw a mound of bodies that had
popped up. LNH bodies. He recognized Spelling Boy, Sarcastic Lad,
California Kid, Easily-Discovered Man Lite, Parking Karma Kid, and...
He looked back and saw Bart. Bart was looking at his watch.

"Well, that only took less than a second. I thought it would take a lot
longer."

"That's it," said the Ultimate Ninja leaping in the air.

Bart laughed. "No. I'm pretty sure there's going to be a lot more of
that to come. As for fighting you?" Bart shook his head. "I'm not
sure you're worthy. That whole not being able to stop me from killing
all those teammates of yours -- pretty disappointing -- to say the
least. How about this instead? You can fight my little pinky." Bart's
little pinky on his right hand popped off and rocketed straight towards
the Ultimate Ninja slamming him to the ground. "If you can defeat my
little pinky -- then well, maybe."

And that's how the greatest battle the Ultimate Ninja had ever had
began. The Ultimate Ninja vs Bart's Little Finger.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

Bart felt a rock hit his head. He looked down and saw that
Innovative-Offense Boy was throwing rocks at him. "Yes? Can I do
something for you?"

"You're a @#$%@*@* pussy, Bart!! I can't @#$*&&@ fight a @#$%@*@*
pussy!! Especially one who's so $#@%&@&* chicken *$#@%*@ that he can't
even wear the Insanity @#$%*@* Gauntlet. Real #%$@*%& villains wear
Insanity @#$%*@* Gauntlets!! Be a &*@#$@% man, Bart!!"
Innovative-Offense Boy began to flap his arms like a chicken.
"Buhwawk!! #$%@*&#!! Buhwawk!! #$%@*&#!!"

"It must suck that all your plans to defeat me involve me wearing the
Insanity Gauntlet, huh?"

"Yeah, like a mother #$@%*@*," sighed Innovative-Offense Boy.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

Kid Recap watched Innovative-Offense Boy's futile attempt to get Bart to
put back on the Insanity Gauntlet. He looked at the mound of bodies:
100 dead LNHers. And he looked at the Ultimate Ninja being thrown
around like a rag doll by Bart's little pinky. He watched Bart flick
Captain Continuity out of orbit. And then Bart killed another five LNH'rs.

And then he looked at the box he was carrying. The box that contained
Bart's soul. Christ, this was a lousy plan. Even compared to Bad
Judgment Boy's angry weasel-PCP plan. But Kid Recap had nothing better.
Maybe something would happen. Bart would see his soul and some of his
humanity would trickle back to him. Probably not. But he couldn't
think of anything better to do. "Bart!!!"

Bart turned around at looked at Kid Recap. "Yes?"

"Look at this." Kid Recap then opened up the box.

"Yeah? Wow. An empty box. Great plan, Kid Recap. That should
definitely end my reign of terror."

Kid Recap looked down at the box. There was nothing there. Where did
it go?

"Oh. Was there supposed to be something in there? Like a -- soul? My
soul? Yeah -- I can read minds, Kid Recap. And the reason there's no
soul in that box is because there was never a soul in the box. You've
been had Kid Recap. There is no hell. No demons or devils that use
souls for their currency. I retconned that all away. And heaven?
That's gone too. They've all gone bye, bye. When you die -- that will
be it. And God? Where's God in all this -- you ask? Watch this."
Bart snapped his fingers. "Did you see that? I just killed God by
snapping my fingers. Yeah, I just killed God. God is dead. That's who
you're dealing with -- a guy that can kill God by just snapping his
fingers. Did Acton Lord or Dr. Killfile kill God? I don't think so.
But me -- yeah, I killed God. Pretty awesome, right?"

"Liar!! Blasphemous Liar!!!!" screamed Self-Righteous Preacher who was
clearly angry about this. "God is beyond your pathetic evilism!!!
You're a gnat on gnat on a gnat on the eye of a gnat compared to
God!!!!! Read the Bible!!!!!!!!"

"You think? Hey, if you don't believe me -- how about someone more on
your wavelength?" A Big TV screen instantly appeared and hovered over
the heroes.

The face of Pat Robertson appeared. <<Ladies and Gentlemen, I have
grave news tonight to tell you. This is the saddest of all sad days!
Our lord in heaven -- is...>> Pat Robertson hesitated and a tear fell
down his eye, <<Is dead!! Yes, God is dead!! We're still getting more
details every minute, but here's the latest of this very, very
heartbreaking news. A group of Born Again Christian astronauts
discovered the corpse of God orbiting between the Sun and Mercury.
Based on our Christian Science Carbon Dating tests we estimate the time
of death being between 1995 BC and 1993BC. Also, he was wearing a very
big toga. God was best known for creating the Looniverse, dying for all
our sins, and writing the best selling book of all time -- The Bible. I
repeat -- for those just joining us -- God is dead!!>>

Self-Righteous Preacher continued to watch the various 700 club pundits
and panelists discuss whether it was a Socialist, Muslim, Democrat,
Atheist, Hindu, Homosexual, Vegetarian, or Abortionist (or perhaps a
Socialist-Muslim-Democrat-Atheist-Hindu-Homosexual-Vegetarian-Abortionist)
that was responsible for God's death. "No. It can't -- It just
can't... No!!!! God can't be -- can't be... But it's the 700 club --
And Pat Robertson!!! So it must be true!!! God is... God is..."
Self-Righteous Preacher went into a catatonic state unable to complete
that sentence.

"Wait. If God died back in 1994 BC, then who is Jesus's father?"

"Let's not go there, Nit-Pick Lad," said Kid Recap shaking his head.

**** <<--BM-->> ****


You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad looked at the mound of LNH
corpses. He looked at the bodies of Pulls-Paper-out-of-Hats Lad and
Namer Boy. His two best friends. Both dead. Dead. It seemed so
surreal. This couldn't be happening. Someone killing 100 members of
the LNH -- just like that? That stuff only happened in the Elsewhirls.
He looked at Bart -- just floating in the air. He was going to pay
for this -- he was going to... You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad
looked at his clenched fist. Gotta provoke him somehow. Gotta get him
to hit me. And then maybe I can do something, thought
You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad.

"Hey, Bart!!" shouted You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad. "Yeah, you
lame loser!!! I'm talking to you!! Your style of fighting is pretty
pathetic and cowardly, but I guess that shouldn't surprise anyone since
you're a text book case to the 'T'. Yeah, Bart! I know what your
biggest problem is..."

"Do tell, Long-name-I-can't-bother-to-remember Lad."

"Well, it's pretty obvious. It always is obvious. You've never been
laid in your entire life and are very bitter about that fact. It's
always the same thing. School shooters. Suicide bombers. Militia
nuts. Hitler. If only they had had the courage to ask out some girl,
or boy -- or farm animal -- then the world would be a so -- so much
better place. Alas, for us -- they didn't have that courage. You were
probably picked on lot when you were little, right? Oh hell, probably
all through school. But you were too much of a weakling to fight back.
That's a shame. And now that you've gathered all of this God type
power -- it doesn't really matter -- does it? Because you're still just
a pathetic weakling coward, aren't you? I bet you,"
You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad laughed, "I bet you can't even
fight me. Too much of a coward to hit me. Right? Yeah, I'm right.
Sad, really. Come on. Come on, prove me wrong -- Bart. Hit me. Hit
me! Hit me!! Come on -- you pathetic cowardly Mama's boy waste of life
-- HIT ME!!!!!!!"

Bart clapped his hands. "Ah, you're wasted here,
Long-name-I-can't-bother-to-remember Lad. You should take your
brilliant pop psychology act on Oprah or something since you obviously
know 'so' much about the human condition. As for fighting you -- aw,
sorry, but I promised my Mommy that I'd never hit a person who's dying
from a speedy malignant brain tumor. Sorry about that."

"Dying of what -- oh." You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad felt a
sharp pain in his head. His last thought was, No Fair. No Fair.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

Suddenly, a cartoonish symbolic incandescent light bulb (representing a
great idea) appeared above
Saxon-Brenton-Will-Write-the-Brother-of-So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story-Lad-When-Hell-Freezes-Over
Lad's head. Of course, thought
Saxon-Brenton-Will-Write-the-Brother-of-So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story-Lad-When-Hell-Freezes-Over
Lad (thank god for copy and paste), It was so obvious! He had figured
it out. A way to defeat Bart. The one weakness everyone else had
overlooked. But it was so simple! Yes, it was me,
Saxon-Brenton-Will-Write-the-Brother-of-So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story-Lad-When-Hell-Freezes-Over
Lad, who discovered it. Yes! And now when Saxon Brenton watches me
defeat Bart won't he be sorry that he ever found me and every single
generation of my entire superhero family and all our pets and also our
close friends too lame to include in even just one of his precious
stories. Watch me, Saxon Brenton. I dare you to watch me!!!!

But just as
Saxon-Brenton-Will-Write-the-Brother-of-So-Lame-Even-Saxon-Brenton-Wouldn't-Use-Him-In-A-Story-Lad-When-Hell-Freezes-Over
Lad rushed his way over to finally defeat Bart once and for all he
accidentally slipped on a Juproppian stlang fruit peel (sort of the
Qwertian equivalent of a banana) and dashed his brains out on a jagged rock.

And somewhere beyond the Fourth Wall, Saxon Brenton was less than impressed.


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Bart watched a flash from the sky. Using his ability to slow down time,
he realized that the flash was in fact Captain Continuity. "Back for
second helpings, Champy Jr?" laughed Bart. "How far did I fling you
that first time -- a couple light years? Thought you'd get here a bit
quicker -- I mean while you were strolling back here I must have killed
at least -- I dunno..." Bart paused and began counting his fingers. New
fingers on his hand began to emerge until there were 53 fingers on his
left hand. "Oh, yes. 53. I killed 53 more of your LNH'r buddies while
you were napping out in space." He gestured towards the mound of dead
LNH'r bodies that kept getting larger and larger. "What would your old
mentor Continuity Champ think about that? He'd probably be very
disappointed. And I can't say that I'd blame him. It's kind of a shame
he isn't here. He'd show us a thing about saving the Looniverse, I'm
sure. Why he'd probably defeat me in less than five seconds. And then
I'm pretty sure he'd use his Awesome Continuity French Kissing Abilities
(or whatever) to tongue back life into all of your dead LNH buddies.
And he'd probably top it all off by rescuing a kitten from a tree.
Because that's what heroes do, Champy Jr. They save the day."

"SHUTUP!!!!!" screamed Captain Continuity as he walloped Bart in jaw
with enough power to cause a star to go supernova. Unfortunately, it
didn't seem to have any effect on Bart who still had a smirk on his
face. In fact its only real effect was to break some bones in Captain
Continuity's hand causing him enormous amounts of pain.

"Feel better? No? Guess you already know that your powers are
incredibly insignificant compared to mine. I could easily kill you at
anytime. But that would be boring, wouldn't it? I know you're thinking
about it. You've been thinking about it ever since you saw it. Yeah, I
can see it. I mean you saved the entire Looniverse once with it. Why
not again?"

Captain Continuity hated to admit it, but Bart was right. He had been
thinking about it. While one eye of his was carefully focused on Bart,
the other was pointed towards the burlap sack. The burlap sack that had
the Ring of Retconn. The burlap sack that was so incredibly close. He
had worn it a long time ago, when he was just a kid -- a kid named
Continuity Champ Jr. He had used it to stop wReamicus Maximus from
destroying the Looniverse and used it to heal all of the damage that had
been inflicted with it.

"It was a great feeling, wasn't it? When you were wearing it? You felt
like God. And you've always regretted taking it off. Maybe if you
could have just kept wearing it all those horrible things that happened
to the LNH after Retcon Hour would have never happened. Maybe all of
those LNH'rs that died would still be alive. Like that Generation Y
teammate of yours -- what was his name? Oh, yeah -- Echo Echo Echo Lad.
Maybe he'd still be alive if only you had kept wearing the Ring. And
lets face it, if you don't wear it I'm going to kill you and every
single other LNH'r on Qwerty. That's a promise."

"Did you know it takes a sliver of your soul? Yes, you know that. It
has a sliver of my soul and every other being that has ever worn the
Ring. You can finally be complete once again. Of course now that I'm
thinking about it, it probably wouldn't be enough. No. You'd probably
need to wear the Insanity Gauntlet too. Of course that probably
wouldn't be enough either. There's still that whole, I can't be
defeated by any hero thing. Oh wait, I've got it! After you put on the
cosmic thingees you could kill some LNH'rs to prove that you're evil.
Yeah! And then maybe you'd have a chance at beating me. No wait. I
forgot about the whole being resistant to cosmic stuff. Oh hell, tell
you what -- if you put on the ring and the gauntlet and kill at least
five LNH'rs then I'll happily lift my whole resistance to cosmic stuff.
Sound good?"

"You know, Bart, I think you might have been saner with the Gauntlet. I
mean you must be completely nuts if you think there's any chance in hell
that I'd kill anyone just to amuse you. You're right though that I was
thinking about putting the ring. But after listening to you rant and
rave -- I can thank you for knocking some sense into me. No. I'm not
going to become a monster to defeat you. There will always be better
ways to stop the likes of you."

"Ah, that's a shame. Perhaps I should call you Christy Jr. instead?
Well, looks like it's dead LNH'r time again." Bart snapped his fingers.
Captain Continuity was now nailed to a floating red cross high in the
sky. "The cross is made of pure Retcotheric Energy -- yeah, I know that
you're highly resistant to it -- but not to the levels that are in the
cross. I mean this baby has like a billion Retcon Rings of power. It's
going to kill you. Don't worry, it won't be quick. You'll have plenty
of time to watch me kill the rest of your teammates as you futilely try
to escape -- every second an even worse agony. Cheers!"

As this was happening a very badly beaten Ultimate Ninja was silently
crawling towards Bart. Every movement was torture, every bone in his
body was broken. He had countless cuts on every part of his skin. Just
a few more inches. Just another inch. And then he'd strike.

But right as he was about to do that, Bart turned around. "I thought I
heard the complete absence of noise. Well, you actually defeated my
little pinky. That -- well actually that should have been impossible
considering my pinky was nearly omnipotent. I'd ask you how you did it,
but I known you ninjas like your secrets. Hmm, I did promise another
fight with you if you managed to defeat my finger. That being said,
you're kind of too dangerous to not kill right away. So I'm just going
to kill you quickly." Rays of absolute fire beamed out of Bart's eyes
and turned the Ultimate Ninja into a pile of ash.

"There, that hopefully should put an end to you. Now what happened to
my pinky?" Bart looked at his hand and a second later the pinky popped
back into place. "Ah, there you are! Have to admit I'm kind of
disappointed in you. But you are my pinky so I forgive you. Just try
to do better the next time. Now come, Mr. Pinky -- we have a lot more
killing to do."


**** <<--BM-->> ****


April 2008 AD --
Dvorakian Space Station 69 --


General Honiboni looked at the intruder light that was blinking away.
And then he looked at the ship on the monitor screen. The Starship
class LNH ship that was getting closer every second.

General Honiboni sighed. Just what he needed. He shined his headache
reducer light on his head. It didn't seem to be working all that well.

**** <<--BM-->> ****


Near Dvorakian Space Station 69 --
The LNH Starship Snobbie --


Contraption Man clicked on the device that he was holding. In that
instant his appearance totally changed. He and the rest of his LNH'rs
looked exactly like a murderous band of space pirate lizards.
Zethrythians to be exact. Except for Ripping Dancer who was garbed in
some Princess Leia type slave outfit and had a metal collar around her
neck that she was chained to.

Contraption Man looked at his lizard like hands. "The holograph tech
seems to be working. Hopefully it can fool the Dvorakians. You ready,
Occultism Kid?"

The space lizard pirate that was Occultism Kid took another swig from
Comic Snob Boy's cognac bottle. "Yeah, sure. Ready as I'll ever be."
He lit himself another cigarette.

"Ripping Dancer?" Contraption Man looked at her.

"Yeah. Think I can do it."

The Starship comm.thingee began to buzz. "Looks like it's show time,"
Contraption Man said as he clicked it on."

**** <<--BM-->> ****


<<You are violating Dvorakian space -- LNH vessel...>>

"I'm sorry," said Occultism Kid. "I think you may have us confused with
someone else. We are merely simple space merchants who wish to travel
through your wormhole to Qwerty."

<<Qwerty? Did you say Qwerty?>> said the voice of General Honiboni who
dismissed the Dvorakian they had been talking too. <<Why do you want to
go to Qwerty? And why are you flying an LNH starship?>>

"The vessel was acquired from a friend who acquired it from another
friend. All totally legit."

<<I'll bet.>>

"As for going to Qwerty, we have a client there who is interested in our
wares. A client that prefers the solitude of a dead system like
Qwerty." Occultism Kid gave a wink to General Honiboni. "If you know
what I mean."

<<And what are these wares of yours?"

"Oh, we have quite a bit. But mostly what we have is a lot of lovely
ladies." Occultism Kid tugged at Ripping Dancer's holographic chain
pulling her towards the monitor screen. "Come on dear. Don't be shy.
There." Occultism Kid ran his space pirate lizard fingers through her
hair. "That's a pretty human."

<<You're slave traders then,>> General Honiboni said with disgust in his
voice. <<I should just blow you away right here and now.>>

"Well, that's your call. That would be a waste of a lot of lovely flesh
though. Human flesh. Dorfian flesh. Christicantthinkofagoodnamian
flesh. Oh and what am I forgetting -- oh yes, and Dvorakian flesh.
Yes, three lovely Dvorakian ladies. Would you like a look?"

<<You Zethrythian pirate scum!! How dare you enslave any Dvorakian!!!>>

"I'd certainly be happy to give you those Dvorakians plus another two of
your choosing if you let us..."

<<We do not make deals with slave trading scum!! What is going to
happen though in a few minutes is that a squad of super powered
Dvorakians will board your ship. We suggest if you wish to live -- you
do not resist!>>

"And there is nothing I can do to change your mind? Ah well. How about
before your Dvorakians board my ship I give you some entertainment
then?" Occultism Kid tugged at Ripping Dancer's chain. "Dance my
little human. Entertain the general."

Ripping Dancer had a slight smile on her face. She stretched her right
arm up and began to wiggle parts of her body. Her eyes weren't on the
general though. They were on the screen next to the general that had a
picture of part of the Dvorakian Space Station. She focused all of her
ripping powers right on that section of the Space Station as she danced.
And a crack began to form. And it got bigger and bigger.

Red lights began flashing around General Honiboni. And various alarms
started to blare. <<What is this? What's going on? What? We've been
breached?!! The Station? How?? What is...?>>

Contraption Man clicked the Starship comm.thingee off and then the
holographic device. "That's good, Ripping Dancer." Ripping Dancer
stopped her dancing and sat herself down. She was completely out of
breath and her arms trembled. "You okay?" She nodded her head and then
made some coughing sounds. "Can you rip the wormhole stabilizers?"

Ripping Dancer shook her head. "Sorry. Don't have the energy." She
coughed some more.

"That's okay. Guess I'll have to use the ships phasers to blast them
away. Look, Irony Man. You can fly this thing through the hole, right?
Because once I shoot all of the stablizers, we'll only have twelve
seconds or so before the whole thing collapses."

"Yeah," said Irony Man taking over the pilot controls. "I'll guess I'll
have to."

Contraption Man hopped into the shooting controls chair and started to
get a visual on the wormhole. "Everyone. Belt up! Irony Man, a little
bit closer. Closer. Yeah, almost. Yeah! Get ready." Contraption Man
had all six targets locked. And with a click of his thumb, the LNH
Starship guns began to blast away. "Now, Irony Man! Now!!!"

As the wormhole stabilizers began to blow up, various blue and green
flashes bathed the blackness of space. Irony Man slammed the Stardrive
throttle and the LNH Starship raced through the collapsing wormhole in a
flash.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

As General Honiboni watched the wormhole stabilizers blow up, he began
to rapidly punch the button on his headache reducer.

This just wasn't his day.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

The Qwerty System --

"Well, looks like we're still alive." Contraption Man went over to the
scanner. "And it doesn't appear that any of the Dvorakians followed us
through. That's good."

"I don't suppose you have a plan for getting us back to the Loonivearth
in a timely fashion now that the wormhole is gone?" asked Dr. Stomper
with a concerned expression.

"Look, Stomper, we'll worry about that assuming we survive both Qwerty
and Bart -- later. Now we need to focus on going back in time -- and when."

Dr. Stomper nodded. "There's also the Amnesia Time Barrier to
consider." [Editor's Note: The Amnesia Time Barrier was created by the
supervillain Amnesia in the never written LNHCP #499 -- It causes those
who go back in time to forget who they are.]

"Right. That." Contraption Man rubbed his chin. "Occultism Kid. Do
you have any more of that memory paint?"

Occultism Kid lit another cigarette. [Editor's Note: Good thing that
the LNH Starship's atmosphere controls allow smoking, eh?] And then he
pulled out a small jar from his trenchcoat and shook it up a bit. "A
little. Enough for one more tattoo."

"Well, that's something I suppose. So one of us will be able to
remember. And whoever that is will have to face Bart first. Volunteers?"

Irony Man raised his hand. "I'll do it. My suit gives me the most
protection. I'm also the best at combat here."

Contraption Man snorted to himself. "Thanks, Toony. It's been awhile
since I had a good laugh."

Irony Man shot a glare at Contraption Man. "You wanna try me, Tinker Lad?"

"There will be no need for that," said Dr. Stomper getting himself in
between the two LNH'rs. "Contraption Man has a point, Toony. Of all of
us, your powers tend to backfire the most."

"No, that's not it. You people just don't trust me anymore. You
probably think I'll make some kind of deal with Bart? Right?"

Contraption held his hands up. "You said it. I didn't say it."

Occultism Kid flicked another cigarette in the air. "I'd like to take
this moment to Not Volunteer. You spandexers can kill yourselves for
all I care. I'm not leaving this ship."

Dr. Stomper nodded. "Noted."

"It should be me," said Ripping Dancer breaking into the conversation.

"You?" said Irony Man shaking his head. "You look like you're dying (no
offense). And you're the least experienced of us all."

"I know. You're absolutely right. But that's what gives me the
advantage. We don't need someone to fight Bart. We need someone to
activate the Freedom Chip. You said I have the least amount of
experience, and you're right. But that also makes me the least
threatening to Bart. That will give me the best chance to say the
activation code. And that's what we need."

"She has a point," nodded Dr. Stomper. "Activating the Freedom Chip in
Bart's brain is our highest priority. And she might have the best
chance in saying the code."

Irony Man rolled his eyes. "Did our trip to Retcon Hour give you brain
damage Vincent?"

Contraption Man broke in. "We'll take a vote. Ripping Dancer to get
the last of the memory paint. Those in favor?"

Ripping Dancer raised her hand. So did Dr. Stomper. "Better her than
me," said Occultism Kid who also raised his hand.

And lastly, Contraption Man raised his hand. "That's a majority.
Ripping Dancer will get the last memory tattoo."

Irony Man shook his head. "Fine. We'll probably all die anyways."


**** <<--BM-->> ****

The surface of Qwerty --


Clouds of Qwertian dust blew into the air as the LNH Starship Snobbie
landed on its soil.

"There," said Contraption Man after checking the landing gear. "Oh
yeah, there's one more thing we should discuss. Where should we go back
in time? We only have enough time gas for one trip. We'll have to
hitch a ride with the others if we want to get back. But that could be
a real problem if we jump back to a time where the LNH aren't -- if you
get my meaning."

"Yes," said Dr. Stomper adjusting his glasses. "Since we'll have to
leave the Snobbie back in the past it's quite possible that we left some
type of marker that indicates what date we must jump to."

Contraption Man nodded his head. "Good point. All we need to do is
find the remains of the past Snobbie and check those out for a marker.
Let's see if the Snobbie's computer can track the remains."

A few hours later...

Contraption Man and Dr. Stomper garbed in space suits flashed their
lights over the darkened hull of the long dead past Snobbie. All over
the ship, the same date was graffitied on the walls.

Contraption Man got a closer look. "Guess that's the time then. Kind
of an eerie coincidence, don't you think?"


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Ancient Qwerty --
1994 BC --


Ripping Dancer opened her eyes. She looked at the monitor screen and
saw a completely different landscape. There were five LNH Starships
near by. And -- weird -- something that looked like the LNHHQ. The
Time Jump must have worked. They were 4000 years in the past. She
looked at her hand. A crumpled piece of paper was in it. She looked at
the piece of paper. It was the code she had to say to activate Bart's
Freedom Chip. Not that she really needed it. She had the code
completely memorized by now. She unbuckled herself from her seat and
stood up. She looked at her fellow LNH'rs who looked very confused.
She didn't really have anytime to explain everything to them. About
Bart and the Amnesia Barrier. No. She had to find Bart and stop him
once and for all.


**** <<--BM-->> ****


The color of the sky was crimson. Ripping Dancer gazed at the
strangeness of the alien landscape. It was funny, most of her life she
had spent living in Net.ropolis -- never really venturing beyond that.
And today she had been to Alt.stralia, time traveled, and now she was on
a different world light years away. This was all amazing. Too bad this
might very well be her last big trip anywhere. She looked her LNH
tracker.thingee. The tracker seemed to indicate that Bart was somewhere
around here. She scanned a bit and then she saw it. Some type of hill.
And it looked like someone was floating above the hill. Was that
Bart? She'd have to get closer.

As she got closer, the wind changed direction and she began to smell
something. Some horrible stench. What was it? It smelled like rotting...

Oh god.

Oh Jesus.

That was no hill.

And that floating someone was definitely Bart.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

They were all dead. Ripping Dancer looked at the enormous mound of
corpses. People she had eaten lunch with, joked with, shopped with --
they were all dead. And there --floating above all of it was the
architect of all this. Bart.

This couldn't be real. It was all too much. How could anyone kill half
the LNH? There was something wrong here. And why wasn't Bart wearing
the Insanity Gauntlet? How could he kill the LNH without that?

Bart still hadn't noticed her. Maybe she could run. Maybe she could --
no. There was no place to run. Ripping Dancer felt frozen. The only
thing moving in her was her heart, which was racing away like an out of
control train. She almost hoped that Bart wouldn't notice her. But
even that didn't last. For the first time she could feel his gaze. He
was looking at her. There was a smile on his face.

"Oh, goody. More heroes to kill. You're which one? Torn clothing
Lass? Something like that?"

The code. She had to say the code. It was the only thing that could
stop Bart now. Say it quickly. Say it now.

"i wish i was as smart and sexy as hex luthor," she said under her breath.

"What?" said Bart with his hand cupped near his ear. "I couldn't quite
hear you. What did you say?"

Christ, that stupid code that Hex Luthor had made for the Freedom Chip.
She had to say it louder. She had to scream it. Say it! Say it!!

"I WISH I WAS AS SMART AND SEXY AS HEX LUTHOR!!!!!!" Ripping Dancer
shouted at the top of her lungs.

She looked at Bart. Did it work? Maybe she should say it again.

"I WISH I WAS AS SMART AND SEXY AS HEX LUTHOR!!!!!!"

Bart laughed. "What a bizarre thing to say."

Why wasn't it working? Then again, maybe it was working. Maybe she
should try to give Bart some type of command.

"Or maybe it was some kind of code. Yes? Perhaps some kind of code for
a -- what do you call them -- oh, yes -- Freedom Chips. Like for
example this Freedom Chip in my hand." Bart held up a tiny device
between his finger and thumb.

Oh, god. He knows, thought Ripping Dancer as she started to step back.

"Hey, look. The chip is blinking. It must have been activated.
Probably by that code you said. Well, I guess it's a shame that it
wasn't in my brain at the time. If it had been, you could have used it
control me. What a pity, isn't it?" Bart crushed the chip between his
fingers.

It was all over now. This was it. This was how she was going to die.
Here on some strange alien world light years from her home. This was
the end.

"It was a clever plan though. Hex Luthor's, right? Just had one flaw.
The Amnesia Barrier. You see I was aware of the Amnesia Barrier -- so
I had to come up with my own protections from it -- so I could time
travel to the past. The thing was though -- those protections managed
to drag back to the surface a bunch of repressed memories. Including
that lost weekend in Alt.stralia back in 1994." Bart snapped his
fingers. In an instant, the smell of rotting corpses was replaced with
the smell of freshly baked apple pies. Bart took a deep sniff. "Ah!
That's better, isn't it? That being said, you'd think that a smart guy
like Hex would have thought of that possibility. Don't you think? But
then again -- maybe he did. I mean he got what he wanted out of the
deal -- didn't he? And he's not here right now, is he, Ripping Dancer?
That's right, I do remember your name."

"Why are you doing this? For God's sake, Why??"

"Because I'm evil?" laughed Bart. "Oh, I guess it's probably more
complex than that. Actually, we do have something in common Ripping
Dancer."

"What? Breathing oxygen?"

"No, I don't have to do that anymore. Let me show you." Bart clapped
his hands and a huge visual overtook the sky. The visual was of some
doctor's office. There was a doctor sitting in his chair and he was
saying something. <<I've got some bad news. These tests show what
appears to be a malignant tumor inside your brain...>>

"He's talking to you, isn't he?" asked Ripping Dancer. "You've got cancer?"

"Had cancer. This was back in 1995 -- a year or so after my
Alt.stralian vacation. I had been having these horrible headaches and
well... I had to have all these tests -- biopsies and so on. And all of
that led to the diagnosis that I only had a few months to live. Hmm,
you don't suppose that the Freedom Chip gave it to me. That would be
funny, wouldn't it?"

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be. It was the best thing that could have happened to me.
There's nothing like knowing you only have a few months to live to make
you realize what a complete waste your life has been. No. Knowing
that I was going to die made me realize that it doesn't matter. All the
stupid things people believe. Humanity. Morality. Fear. The day I
knew I was going to die was the day I stopped fearing everything. I
mean if I hadn't had gotten that tumor -- who knows? I'd probably be
just another loser working the LNH Reception desk. But because of the
tumor, I'm a God."

Bart snapped his fingers. The sky turned blue. "There. That's more
like it. That red sky was kind of spooky, don't you think?" Bart
laughed. "You know -- you kind of look like Catalyst Lass. A younger
version -- with slightly bigger breasts. That's your power, isn't it?
Men see you as their ideal fantasy. You can change your hair color,
skin color, body shape -- right? And so you look like Catalyst Lass to
me. Heh. Did you know that Manga Man saw you as some catgirl. Heh.
What a sicky."

"As opposed to you?"

"Touche. Hey, you want to know what Fearless Leader sees when he looks
at you? His ideal fantasy woman? Huh?"

Ripping Dancer had an uncomfortable expression on her face. "No. I'd
rather not."

"No, huh? Well, that's a shame. But let's move on to other subjects.
Like the elephant in the room. Whether I'm going to kill you or not."

"As you can see by that large mound of dead bodies, there is probably
not much you can do to stop me. But really all that death is kind of
meaningless. You see that's just part one of my plan. What's part two?
I'm going to bring them all back to life, put them on their ships, and
change their memories of what actually happened. They'll think that
they beat me -- killed me -- and they'll believe that they won this
little battle. And when they're flying back to the Loonivearth with all
their cosmic goodies, I myself will fly to some planet way out there to
make my own great paradise -- and I'll be the only one that knows the
truth. The truth of how I beat the LNH. That I beat them! Me, Bart
the lowly receptionist, who beat the great LNH! Me!!!!"

He turned his attention back to Ripping Dancer. "Now as for you, you
could be one of those dead bodies -- that I'll bring back to life and
send back to the Loonivearth. Of course you'll still be dying of cancer
-- so in a couple of months or so you'll be dead anyways (and that's
assuming that the LNH can beat the Bryttle Brothers, which since they
can't even manage to beat me -- looks very unlikely.) But you don't
have to be -- dead that is -- you could live a very, very long life --
if you're willing to make a deal.

Ripping Dancer shook her head and gave a small laugh. "God, I really
need to buy a T-shirt that says something like, 'I don't sell my soul to
the devil anymore.' Because I don't. I don't deal. Ask Mynabird."

"Right, Mynabird. He did offer you something, didn't he? Your life for
Fearless Leader's -- a cure that would allow you to have your powers.
And you were smart not to take that deal. He wouldn't have been able
give you that -- he was just lying. He didn't really understand what
you really wanted. But I do. I know what you want."

"Really. And what do I want?"

Bart smiled. "First things first, I should explain the deal. Not every
LNH'r need come back alive from Qwerty. Like you for instance, perhaps
you died helping the LNH defeat me -- at least in the memories of the
LNH'rs that's how it played out. They'd bring your corpse back -- a
perfect duplicate of your body -- you'd get a heroes funeral -- the
works. Of course some like Fearless Leader would be very sad -- but
they'd eventually move on -- in fact perhaps your death would give them
the sort of inspiration they'd need to defeat the Bryttle Brothers.
It's quite possible that you'd be more valuable to the LNH dead than alive."

"But as for the real you -- you'll live the rest of your very long life
on another planet. Let's call it Earth." Bart snapped his fingers and
a large image of a planet that looked a bit like the Loonivearth hovered
in the sky. "This planet is a bit like yours, but a lot milder.
Horrible events do happen, but on a lesser scale. The only super heroes
and super villains are the ones confided to the pages of comic books and
other types of fiction. You'd be a normal person here. And you'd have
a normal life." Bart snapped his fingers again and both he and Ripping
Dancer were now on some normal looking Suburban street filled with nice
looking houses. "That'll be your house." Bart opened the door and they
stepped inside. There was a staircase leading to the second floor.
There was something about it that reminded her of the Brady Bunch. They
toured the various rooms, the den, the living room, the kitchen, and
then they stepped out into the backyard. There was some guy with
glasses, balding, a slight beer belly and he was pushing a couple of
kids on a swing set.

"That's your husband. I know -- he's no muscle bound hunk like Fearless
Leader, but he loves you -- and he accepts you -- just the way you are.
And that's what you really want, don't you? You never wanted to be
this superhero. This goddess that every man has to love. No. You just
wanted to be loved. To be accepted by someone." Bart snapped his
fingers again and both of them were transported to some school. "This
is where both you and your husband work. He's a math teacher. You're
an art teacher. You'll both lead very dull boring lives, but you'll be
okay with that. Sometimes bad things will happen because, Hey, life
isn't perfect -- but you'll get through them together. You'll live to
the ripe age of 103. Your two kids will also lead very boring and happy
long lives and they'll have lots of grandchildren who will also lead
very boring and happy long lives and so on and so on. And on the night
after your 103rd birthday, you and your husband will both die together
peacefully in bed." Bart snapped his fingers and the two of them were
transported to a bedroom. An elderly couple was lying in the bed, both
embracing the other. Each with a blissful look in their faces. Both in
a sleep that they would never wake up from.

Bart snapped his fingers. They were back on Qwerty. "And that's the deal."

"It's lovely. All perfectly lovely. I'm sure I had a fantasy about a
house like that when I was in high school. You should have offered me
that deal a couple years ago. I would have gladly done anything for it."

"But you don't have to do anything for this deal. You just have to
accept that there is nothing you can do to stop me. That you can't
fight me. That I will always win. That's all you have to do. It's
very simple."

"That's the catch, isn't it? I have to give in. That's the problem.
That's the problem with the world. We just accept the evil. We don't
try to fight it anymore. We just look away at the horrors because it's
too hard to do something. It's too big. So we accept it. We make our
deals with the devil because that's the way it is. And we find ways to
justify it. But no. No. I'm not going to do that anymore. No. I'm
going to fight you. Because you're a deranged person who could do so
many wonderful things with these godlike powers, but all you can think
to do with them is pull the wings off flies. And because I have
changed. I'm not the scared little girl I used to be. We can change,
Bart. We can be better than this. The apathetic can care. The afraid
can be brave. The weak can become strong. And, yes, even villains --
villains like me can become heroes. We all can change. We have that
ability. I know that now. I finally do. We can change. Well, at
least I can. Maybe you can't anymore. Maybe you're just a sad little
man with sad little dreams -- and that's the way you're going to be.
But regardless, the hell with your deal. The hell with it! I'm going
to fight you with every last breath. Yes. And I will enjoy it."

And then there was silence. Bart just hovered above the mound of dead
LNH bodies and looked at Ripping Dancer. The smile was gone. Ripping
Dancer almost expected him to strike her down with a lightning bolt.
But he didn't. Instead, he snapped his fingers once more.

Suddenly, the nausea and horrible pain she had been feeling disappeared.
A moment of euphoria flooded through her body.

"Feel better? I cured your cancer, Ripping Dancer. I want you at your
best when I destroy you. I'll give you first rip -- because you're
definitely going to need that. Oh and you should probably know about my
various powers and immunities." Bart recited the list (Hey, I'm not
going type that up again). "And my last act of kindness to you will be
to let you choose the last song you'll ever dance to. So feel free to
choose any song. Maybe Little Richard's 'Rip It Up'? Perhaps 'Torn
Between Two Lovers'? 'Rip Her to Shreds'? Any song. No matter how
crappy."

"I don't care. Pick what ever you want."

"You sure? Well, okay. Let's do this one then." Bart snapped his fingers.

And the deafening voice of Donna Summers singing 'Last Dance' thundered
across the Qwertian valley.

**** <<--BM-->> ****


Ripping Dancer covered her ears to the blaring music. She had to ignore
it -- not let it get to her. She looked at Bart. What was she going to
do? She couldn't harm him with her rips. It would be pointless to try.
There's got to be something though. He's got to have some type of
weakness. Think! And she thought about it. She could rip through
anything. Anything.

Wait. It's his power. It gives him everything. What if she ripped his
power away from him? Could she do that? Could she rip the power from
his very being? Well, she was going to have to try. She didn't have
any better ideas.

She took a deep breath and stretched her right arm high in the air. And
she began to move. She began to dance.

As she started to spin she focused her mind on Bart's power. And she
began to rip it. She could see a geyser of energy start to pour from
Bart's eyes and mouth towards the sky. God. It was working. She had
to keep it up. Keep dancing.

She could see the large cloud of energy swallowing the sky, yet it was
only a sliver of the power within Bart. How long would it take to get
it all out? It didn't matter. She'd just have to keep dancing till it
was all out. Every last bit. The blaring music had ended. The blue
had disappeared from the sky. And the apple pie scent turned back to
the aroma of rotting corpses. Bart's hold on reality was starting to slip.

Ripping Dancer was getting tired. Her feet were beginning to hurt. She
had to keep it up though. God, there was so much power left in Bart.
It could take a week of dancing to get it all out. Her feet were
starting to blister. She had been dancing for -- what, two hours?
Three hours? As she danced she thought about her life -- her choices.
She thought about Manga Man. Thread Bear. And Fearless Leader. Felix.
Sweet Felix. She wished she could have said goodbye to him before she
left. She could feel great pain in her toes. There was blood on her
feet. It reminded her of that Hans Christian Anderson tale about the
girl with the red shoes. The vain little girl who cared about nothing,
but being beautiful. She buys some pretty little red shoes. And when
she puts them on she can't stop dancing. She must dance and dance and
dance. She can never stop it. She's condemned to dance till she dies
-- and even after that. She eventually finds someone who will chop her
feet off. But the chopped off feet still dance. They dance and dance
and dance. God. What a horrible story. And now she's the girl with
the red shoes. She's got to dance and dance and dance. Dance till it
all ends.

And then, it was over. "You don't have to dance anymore." It was
Bart's voice. Still dancing she looked at him. All the power was back
in Bart. It was over. She collapsed to the ground. "I remembered I
still had the power to come up with any power, including the power to be
immune to ripping powers and the power to take back my powers. Good
thing too because if you had succeeded you'd have probably destroyed the
entire Looniverse."

"Well, I guess this is it for you. You're in the wrong fairy tale,
Ripping Dancer. Yeah. This isn't the one where the ugly duckling
becomes a beautiful swan. Nope. This one? This one is the one where
the monster kills all of the knights and lives happily ever after.
Yep." Bart snapped his fingers. Ripping Dancer transformed in to a
poster. A before and after poster. The before side showed the old Tara
Shreds before she had made her deal with Manga Man. The after side
showed a tombstone. Her tombstone.

Bart took the poster and started to tear it apart. "Rip, Rip, Rip,
Ripping Dancer. RIP, RIP, RIP."

He scattered the shreds on the mound of dead LNH'rs. "Ah. Welcome to
the high ground, Ripping Dancer," Bart laughed. "Enjoy your stay."


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Bart turned his head away from the mound and saw some more heroes
crawling out from the ship.

"What the hell?!! Who are you!!? What's going on here!!? Why are we
wearing these stupid costumes!!?"

"Oh, dear. The return of the LNH Amnesia Squad. Just what I needed."
Bart snapped his fingers causing a huge wave of recapness to cover
planet Qwerty. Hopefully that would take care of any remaining souls
affected by the Amnesia Barrier.

As Irony Man's memory returned to him, he realized what he had to do.
"I WISH I WAS AS SMART AND SEXY AS HEX LUTHOR!!!!!! I WISH I WAS AS
SMART AND SEXY AS HEX LUTHOR!!!!!!" he said cranking his voice speakers
to their highest volume.

Bart shook his head. "Heh. Sorry, Irony Man. Ripping Dancer already
tried that. The Freedom Chip is toast."

"Ah, well -- in that case how about this?" Irony Man began blasting
huge amounts of irony at Bart.

"Ouch, I say in ironic fashion -- since I'm completely immune. You
know, Irony Man -- I did give some thought to perhaps tempting you with
some deal, but honestly you'd probably have accepted it. You were
boring when I worked for you and now as Hex Luthor's stooge you're still
boring. Let's just get on with the poetic justice then." And Bart
snapped his fingers.

And Irony Man disappeared.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

Back in the Loonivearth...
Sometime in the recent past of April 2008...

Irony Man looked around. Strange. He was in some room with various
costumed kids. But what really felt strange was that the kids were
about the same size as him. What the hell did Bart do to him?

As Irony Man took his helmet off, he heard some one shout, "Intruder!
It's some kid dressed like Irony Man!!"

"I am Irony Man," said Irony Man a bit shocked by how high his voice
was. He sounded like a kid. A couple of kids grabbed both of his arms.

"Kid, I don't know who you are -- but here's a word of advice. Don't
ever use that lousy Son of Crumbs name around here! There's no one we
hate more than that lousy good for nothing LNH'r!!"

"Gosh gollickers, not me. I still think Irony Man is the swellest!!
It's all just some horrible misunderstanding!!" said a kid who had a
bunch of magical colorful butterflies fluttering around him.

"Shutup, Billy! My name is Captain Kid. I'm leader of this scrappy
band of Kid Kampers! The kid with the butterflies is Billy the
Butterfly Magic Kid. The kid without clothes on is Nay Kid. The kid
with the porn is Kid E. Porn. Kid Ding and Kid-I-Kid-You-Not are
restraining you. And of course last, but not least -- is Marvelous
Marvin the Kid Macaw. We were all prisoners in a Kid Kamp like this
one, enslaved by the Freedom Chip. But we discovered a way to
destabilize the chips. And now we go from Kid Kamp to Kid Kamp freeing
other enslaved kids."

"And how do you destabilize the chips?"

"By beating the crap out of each person who has one. Eventually, the
extreme violence causes the chip to malfunction."

"Ah. I see. I guess I should point out that I don't have a Freedom
Chip. Honestly."

"Sure," said Captain Kid hitting his fist into his hand. "That's what
they all say. Hold 'em down, boys!"


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Ancient Qwerty --
1994 BC --


Occultism Kid watched as Irony Man disappeared. A cigarette dangled out
of his mouth. His memories had returned, but unfortunately they were
the memories of his retconned NTB self. He threw the cigarette onto the
ground still burning away and lit another. And then he walked over to
the mound of dead spandexers.

"So. You're supposed to be what? The world's worst secretary?"
Occultism Kid blew some smoke towards Bart.

Bart laughed. "Ah, that's pretty funny. Is that you, Occultism Kid? I
almost didn't recognize you in that blooded spattered trenchcoat, and
all that smoke and fuzz on your face. You've really gone to hell,
haven't you?"

"Hmm, it's something you picked up from your trip to Reton Hour, right?
You're now a ruthless trenchcoater. But it's strange that you'd still
be affected by a retcon after so many trips through time. Could it be
that you are using your powers to sustain this retcon? I mean we both
know that you are going to be the next person to wield the Insanity
Gauntlet. And you know that all those that wield the Gauntlet are
cursed to be horrible things with its power. And you also know that
it's probably the only thing that can help you stop the Bryttle
Brothers. So -- you have no choice, but to use it. So is that why
you're hiding yourself in the clothes of a trenchcoater? Maybe if
you're a heartless bastard it will be easier to do the horrible things
you need to do? Is that it?"

Occultism Kid didn't answer. He just continued to smoke his cigarette
and observe Bart.

"Well, whatever it is, I have no desire to battle Occultism Kid the
NTB'r -- so, let's take care of that retcon." Bart clapped his hands.
Occultism Kid returned back to his normal spandexer self. "And lets
give you a whole lot of magical mana -- just to make this battle a
little more interesting." Occultism Kid felt a huge flow of magic
ripple through him. Every part of his body was supercharged with magic.
"And you two?" Bart glanced at Dr. Stomper and Contraption Man, "Let's
just put you away for awhile." He snapped his fingers. Both Dr.
Stomper and Contraption Man found themselves locked in some glass cage.
The walls were as hard as diamonds. "If you can figure out how to
escape from it you can help Occultism Kid. And Occultism Kid? Don't
help them escape -- I'll have to kill them then. Okay, that's it. You
have first spell, Occulty. Make it count."

Occultism Kid didn't bother to answer Bart. He instead floated in a
meditation position. His eyes became blank, and he started to chant
very dead ancient languages. His fingertips began to crackle. In his
mind, he was gazing into the past -- Bart's battle with the LNH and
Ripping Dancer. Ripping Dancer had had the right idea, but there needed
to be a container for all that power. And an idea popped into Occultism
Kid's head. And Occultism Kid stretched his arms out and pointed his
fingers toward Bart. A huge flash of energy blasted out of Occultism
Kid's fingers right into Bart.

The blast caused Bart to fall onto the mound of dead LNH'rs. "What the
--?" Bart picked himself back up. He tried to fly, but couldn't do it.
He looked at Occultism Kid whose spell had taken a great toll on him.
The Master Spellcaster had collapsed to the ground. "What did you
do?" He looked around and spotted another Bart floating in the air.
"Ah, you made me twins, huh? So, I could give you twice the beating?"

"Didn't do this. Not responsible," said the Bart who was still floating
in the air as he looked at the mound of dead bodies. "Not a monster.
Didn't -- I didn't. This is a mistake." Tears began to stream from his
eyes.

"Oh. I see now," said the grounded Bart as he walked over to where
Occultism Kid was. "You split me into two selves and gave all of my
power to apparently my pussy self. Is that it?"

Occultism Kid, who was still too weak to stand up, shook his head.
"Gave all of your power to the side that feels guilty. Guilty for all
of the horrible things you've done."

The floating Bart landed on the ground still sobbing. He huddled
himself shivering. "Didn't -- didn't mean for this. Made me do this --
He..."

"Oh, for love of..." grounded Bart said while rolling his eyes. "I
didn't make you do anything. You wanted this. You wanted all of this.
And you enjoyed it. You loved every moment. Every death! Quit whining!"

"Don't listen to him, Bart," said Occultism Kid as he crawled towards
the two of them. "You can change all of this. You've got the power.
You can retcon all of this away. Bring everyone back to life. You can
put Dekay and Diskolor back into the Book of Deus ex Machinas. You can
end this!"

"Yeah, right." Grounded Bart shook his head while smiling. "You know
there's no going back. The path we took is a one-way path. And you
know where it leads. You've angered too many cosmic forces. You've
made too many people afraid. There's going to be major payback no
matter how many of your sins you try to erase. And they're going to
make you hurt and suffer. Oh, you're going to suffer. And you're going
to deserve all of that suffering."

Powered Bart wiped some tears from his eyes. "J-just want to d-die.
Want it to end. Don't want this anymore. Don't -- don't want it."

Grounded Bart smiled. "I can end it."

"Don't listen to him, Bart!!" cried Occultism Kid. "He's lying! You've
got the power to change all of this. You can save yourself! You can
still do it!!"

"I can give you oblivion. Just give me the power, Bart. You know I
have your best interests in heart." Grounded Bart put his hand on
Powered Bart's shoulder. "You know it's the only way."

"Bart!!" cried Occultism Kid. "Don't do it. Please!! For the love of..."

"You'll end it?" Powered Bart looked towards Grounded Bart.

Grounded Bart nodded his head. And then he could feel all of his power
return. He absorbed his guilty self into his body. "Give or take a
million years." Bart turned his attention towards Occultism Kid. "Nice
try. But not good enough. Now, how should I end you? I haven't killed
anyone with a piano. Let's try that."

A grand piano fell from the sky and crushed Occultism Kid.

Bart dusted his hands off. "Two left."

**** <<--BM-->> ****

As Bart turned his attention back to the scientific duo, he heard a
high-pitched sound. The glass cage they were imprisoned in shattered.
A sound-emitting device that Dr. Stomper and Contraption Man had built
seemed to be responsible for the breakage.

"Ah, you managed to get out, did you? Alas, a little too late to help
your comrade, but oh well. Them's the breaks. So, how would you two
like to die?"

"Don't we get a chance to challenge you?" asked Dr. Stomper.

"Oh sure. Got anything good for me?"

Dr. Stomper nodded. "How about a game? If we win you have to bring
every single member of the LNH back to life, put the Bryttle Brothers
back into the Book of Deus ex Machinas, take away all of your powers,
and surrender yourself into our custody. And -- if you win? Well, you
get to kill us in any manner you should choose. We get to choose the game."

"Hmm. You can choose the game, but I must approve it. Since there are
a number of games that I'd be stupid to approve of -- I won't agree to
those. But if the game seems fair -- I'll be willing. What game would
you like to challenge me too?"

"First we should be aware of all your powers and immunities."

"Very well." Bart went through the list.

With that in mind, Dr. Stomper began to make some calculations with his
calculator.thingee. No heroes. No harm. "Secondly, we need some time
to create the game. In private."

"Sure. You've got an hour. You can use the LNHHQ to create it." Bart
gestured toward the building.


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Dr. Stomper showed Contraption Man a design he had scribbled on a piece
of paper. "Can you build it?"

Contraption Man gave Dr. Stomper a bit of a look. "Umm... yeah. I'm
not sure how this thing will stop Bart though. This is your idea? Really?"

Dr. Stomper nodded. "It will work. Trust me."

Contraption Man shrugged his hands and began to work on it.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

45 minutes later...

The two heroes stepped out of the LNHHQ with their device finished.

Bart looked at his watch. "You still have some time left."

Dr. Stomper waved his hand. "It's finished." He then hit the button on
the device. The device began to emit a noise that sounded like Humans
screaming in agony."

"Wonderful. Are these people I've killed?"

Dr. Stomper placed the device on the ground. "No. This is the contest.
Who ever presses the button (the same button) to turn off the sound
loses. And no one can be forced to turn off the button. They must do
it of their own free will. If Contraption Man or me pushes the button
first -- you win. And if you push the button first, we win."

"That's the contest? The first person who pushes this loses (and if
either of you do it, I win)? And I can't force you to push it against
your free will? These are the rules?"

"Yes."

"Sounds fine to me."

"Then it is agreed?"

"Yes. May the best man win," smiled Bart.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

"Well, this is kind of boring," said Bart. Bart, Dr. Stomper,
Contraption Man were all sitting Indian style around the device that
kept getting louder and louder. "This might make it a bit more
interesting." Bart snapped his fingers and a second later Dr. Stomper
had no arms, legs, or a mouth. He was covered in sores, rashes, and
burns. He had no eyelids either. He was writhing around in what could
only be described as great pain.

Contraption Man jumped up. "God, what did you just do, Bart?"

"I think it's pretty obvious. I don't remember any rules against
torturing the other players. You probably should have made one of those."

"How can you do this? What the hell happened to you, Bart?!"

"I blame society. Heh. But really -- it's a game, Contraption Man.
And I'm doing everything I can to win it. Now, I'm not forcing you to
push the button. That's up to you. But, boy, Dr. Stomper sure looks
like he's in agony. I bet you if he could speak he'd probably be
saying, 'Please!! For the Love of God, push the button Contraption
Man!! Push the button!!' Your move, Contraption Man."

Contraption Man looked at the writhing body of Dr. Stomper. It was
horrible. "I could kill him. That would put him out of his misery."

"You could do that. Of course I'd probably just bring him back to life
and torture him again."

"You would, wouldn't you?"

"You're going to lose the game, Contraption Man. It's just a matter of
time. Do yourself both a favor. Get it over with. I could not push
that button till the end of time. And I will. Look, if you push the
button, I promise to kill both you and Stomper quickly."

"You're right. I don't know why Vincent thought this game would stop
you. But I can't let him suffer anymore." Contraption Man walked over
and pushed the button.

Bart smiled. "I win. And now, how to kill you? Oh well, can't think
of anything clever so I'll just shoot you with a gun." A gun appeared
in Bart's hand and he shot both heroes with it. He then teleported
their bodies onto the mound of dead LNH bodies.

"Well, that's it then. Game Over." He floated himself above the mound
of corpses.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

In Bart's right hand was the severed head of Captain Continuity. Now
where was that heart? Oh yes, he burned the Ultimate Ninja into ashes.
Well, he could fix that. The Ultimate Ninja's heart materialized in
his left hand. There! Now he looked exactly like the cover! Bart
snorted a bit with laughter.

He looked at his watch. Probably, time to bring them all back to life
and replace their memories. But before he could do that, the device
that Dr. Stomper and Contraption Man had built started to scream again.
Bart floated over to the device and picked it up. He pushed the
button, but the noise continued to get louder and louder. Why did
someone as smart as Stomper make this device? There must be something
more here. He could easily destroy it -- unless -- that's what Stomper
wanted him to do? What was this device? Bart started to examine it
closer. And the sound continued to grow.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

Back on the LNH Starship Snobbie...

A fluffly white cat that had been having the loveliest nap of all lovely
naps woke up. Mr. Tiddles, former HexFire Club Beige Rook and wanted
fugitive, had a disgusted irritated look on his face. Who was making
all of that stupid blood curdling screaming? Those stupid stinky
humans! Why don't they just die already?! Stupid stinky humans!! They
had completely ruined his lovely nap!! And it was such a lovely dream
too. One that involved a purr-fect utopian world where stupid stinky
humans were the size of mice.

That stupid screaming kept getting louder and louder. Well, he was
going to have to do something about this! Those stupid screaming humans
were going to rue the day they ever decided to ruin Mr. Tiddles's lovely
little nap!!

Mr. Tiddles gave a yawn, stretched his body a bit, and proceeded to
angrily stroll out of the space ship.

Stupid Stinky Humans!

**** <<--BM-->> ****

As Mr. Tiddles ventured out of the ship and onto the ship's ramp, he
began to realize that this wasn't the LNHHQ anymore. In fact, it didn't
look very much like any place he'd ever been too. There was strange
vegetation and strange looking animals scampering through the strange
looking vegetation. Where the hell was he?

First things first. Take care of that stupid screaming. Where was that
coming from? There. He could see a stupid stinky human floating above
a rotting mound of stupid human corpses. He was listening to a device
that was making that stupid sound!

Mr. Tiddles began to make his journey towards the mound with a very
pissed off expression on his face.

Stupid Stinky Humans!

**** <<--BM-->> ****


It was no use, Bart thought as he looked the device over. Can't see
anything here. Ah, well. Might as well destroy it and see what
happens. But before he could do that, he noticed a white cat walking up
to him.

"And you are? Another LNH'r? Putty Tat Lad? Or...?" Bart didn't
finish that thought. The pleasure parts of his brain started to
overwhelm him. But before he could do something to control that, his
mind was completely enslaved.

The first thing completely enslaved Bart did was crush the annoying
sound making device in his hands.

And then he gave a complete recap to Mr. Tiddles of everything that had
happened.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

After Bart's recap of events, Mr. Tiddles stopped to ponder this all.
He had control of the most powerful being in the entire Looniverse. Of
course, he was on a planet and time that wasn't his own. But he could
use this stupid human to do anything! He could take over the Looniverse
and shape it into something a bit more palatable. On the other hand,
that could be very tiring -- he could already feel a little resistance
from his human subject. He couldn't control him forever.

He didn't really want to conquer the Looniverse. At least not this
moment. All he wanted was a nice little nap. And he didn't like this
stupid planet he was on. Stupid Stinky Planet!

He wanted to get out of here. And to do that he would need someone to
fly the spaceship. But all of the LNH'rs were dead. Well, he could
bring all of the LNH'rs back to life. Better bring everyone back just
to be safe. And probably better to just return everything back to the
way it was before the battle started -- just to be safe.

And Bart, under Mr. Tiddles control, returned everything back to the way
it was before the battle had happened (except for Bart still being under
Tiddles control -- of course). God, Heaven, and Hell returned.

"What the hell?!! What is going on!!? Who are you!!? Why are we all
wearing these stupid costumes??!!" cried various LNH'rs.

Okay, probably should fix that, thought Mr. Tiddles.

**** <<--BM-->> ****


After returning the LNH'rs memories and then putting every LNH'r (and
everyone else that wasn't Bart and himself) in a 5 minute freeze, Mr.
Tiddles realized that it would probably be a good idea to completely
de-power Bart so there wouldn't be any repercussions for his actions.
He decided the best way to do it would be for Bart to use the Insanity
Gauntlet on himself again. Bart went over to the burlap sack, put on
the Gauntlet, and removed all his powers. And then he took the Gauntlet
off and put it back into the sack, which he threw very far away from
himself. And lastly, Mr. Tiddles had Bart stand on top of his head at
least until the LNH'rs de-froze.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

Both the Ultimate Ninja and Mr. Tiddles stared at each other for the
longest time. Eventually, the Ultimate Ninja said, "Okay. Here's the
deal. For 'helping' us 'defeat' Bart -- we will give you a lift home
and then we will allow you a 30 minute head start. But that's it.
After that 30 minutes is up -- we will hunt you down! Do you
understand? Do You Understand?"

Mr. Tiddles made a snorting sound and then made his way for one of the
LNH Starships hoping to find himself a comfy place to nap.

The Ultimate Ninja shook his head and made his way towards Bart who was
having high tech manacles put over his hands.

"Hi, Boss. I'd like to take this time to declare diplomatic immunity
due to my position as King of Qwerty."

Ultimate Ninja held his Ginsu Katana blade close to Bart's chin. "Save
the jokes for the judge, Bart."

Bart shrugged his shoulders. "I'd just hate to see the LNH break
Intergalactic Law."

"People! Get this piece of *#$%*@ into containment -- now! Before I do
something I might regret. And get someone competent to guard him!!"
Two LNH'rs quickly carted Bart off.

The Ultimate Ninja stormed his way towards Occultism Kid who had the
burlap sack that contained the Insanity Gauntlet and Ring Retconn.
"Well, do we have everything we need here?"

Occultism Kid nodded his head. "These both are the real deal. We
should probably put these on a separate ship away from Bart."

The Ultimate Ninja nodded his head and then noticed that the head of the
Dvorakians, Major Poossee, was walking up to them.

"Those artifacts you have," Major Poossee pointed to the sack, "belong
to the Dvorakian Empire."

"The hell they do." The Ultimate Ninja gripped his blade a little more
tightly. "This is a completely different time."

"Maybe." The Major Poossee laughed. "I have to admit I don't really
care one way or the other since I've got less than a week to live. How
about we do this -- I challenge you to a fight. The winner gets the
artifacts -- the loser gets to be worm food. Do you accept, Ultimate
Ninja?"

"If that's the way you want it then so be it. Where do you want to die?"

Major Poossee smiled and gestured towards an open spot of land. "Over
there's fine."


**** <<--BM-->> ****


A crowd of LNH'rs and Dvorakians surrounded the two fighters. "No
Shirts!" said Major Poossee as he tore the shirt off his very muscled chest.

"No Shirts," said the Ultimate Ninja in agreement also tearing his shirt
off.

"Oh, god. If they start taking off their pants, I'm out of here," said
Sarcastic Lad shaking his head. "Why can't they be chicks?"

Major Poossee smacked his fist into his hand. "There will be no rules.
No holds barred. Everything goes. Do you agree?"

The Ultimate Ninja nodded his head.

"Then let us begin. You can have first blow. I've always wanted to
watch the Mighty Ultimate Ninja in action."

"If you insist." The Ultimate Ninja cautiously moved close to Major
Poossee, pinched Major Poossee's neck, and then quickly somersaulted
away from him.

"What the hell? What was that?" snorted Major Poossee. "This is a blow
from the Mighty Ultimate Ninja -- the greatest fighter the Looniverse
has ever seen?? A neck pinch?? A freaking neck pinch?!!! This has to
be a joke!!"

"Just wait," said the Ultimate Ninja who was looking at his watch.

"What do you mean wait? What did you--?" And suddenly a horrified
expression appeared on Major Poossee's face. He felt all of the blood
in his body start to rush towards his head. Normally, all of that blood
would usually cause the person in question to have their head explode.
But since Major Poossee had invulnerable veins, the veins kept expanding
and expanding until Major Poossee had an enormous swelled head full of
blood that kept getting bigger and bigger. The rest of Major Poossee's
body was completely numb and collapsed under the weight of the head.

"Interesting," said the Ultimate Ninja. And then he turned his
attention toward the remaining 24 Dvorakians. "So what about the rest
of you -- want to try me?"

The Dvorakians backed away with their hands in the air. "We're cool.
We're cool," they said in unison with terror in their voices.


**** <<--BM-->> ****


"So, is everyone accounted for?" said the Ultimate Ninja looking at Kid
Recap.

"Hmm. I think so -- oh, wait!" Kid Recap slapped his head. "Where's
Dev-Null?"

"Oh, perfect," said the Ultimate Ninja shaking his head. "People!!
Dev-Null is missing!! Find him! Quickly!"

A number of heroes started to look around for Dev-Null. Bad Judgment
Boy spotted Ripping Dancer throwing up behind one of the Starships.
"You okay, Ripping Dancer?"

"I -- yeah -- I feel -- feel..." And then Ripping Dancer's eyes glazed
over and she collapsed to the ground.

Bad Judgment Boy quickly rushed over to see if she was all right. And
then he looked at her face. Her lifeless face. "She's dead. Oh god.
Ripping Dancer is dead." A tear streamed down Bad Judgment Boy's face.

Dr. Stomper walked over and checked Ripping Dancer's pulse. "She still
has a pulse, Bad Judgment Boy -- that means she's still alive."

"Hey," said Bad Judgment Boy with his hands up, "Never said I was a doctor."

Ignoring that, Dr. Stomper continued to perform some medical tests.
"She's in bad shape. We have to get her back to the LNHHQ as soon as
possible."

"How about Qwertian medical facilities? Would they help?" asked the
Ultimate Ninja.

"No. The biological differences between Qwertians and humans are much
too vast. We're going to have to get her to the LNHHQ. If we put her
in suspended animation during the trip that might buy her some time."

A couple of heroes put Ripping Dancer on a stretcher and Dr. Stomper
followed them.

The Ultimate Ninja saw Kid Recap approaching him. "Well, did you find
Dev-Null?"

Kid Recap shook his head. "We're still looking. I did remember another
problem though."

"Well?"

"We only have enough time gas for three ships to make the jump back to
the present. We're probably going to have to leave, maybe 70 or so
people here."

"Is that right? Contraption Man?"

Contraption Man nodded. "Those figures are pretty accurate. We can at
a later date come back and pick everyone that we left up. But we're
going to have to leave 70 people for now."

"Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad!?"

"Yes?" said PPOoH Lad making his way towards the conversing heroes.

The Ultimate Ninja handed him the list of LNH'rs. "I need you to pick
70 people from this. Quickly."

Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad gave a long sigh.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

"Assuming we manage to beat the Bryttle Brothers, we'll return and pick
you people up in a week or so," said the Ultimate Ninja addressing the
70 heroes that would be staying. "I want you to use this week to find
and apprehend Dev-Null."

"And if you don't beat the Bryttles?" asked Captain Sacrificial Lamb Boy
XIII.

"Well, then get ready for a long stay. Try not to create any time
paradoxes. That will be all."


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Dev-Null watched the 70 remaining heroes wave goodbye to the three LNH
Starships that were traveling to the future. He then stuck his hand
into a bag. A bag filled with 665 LNH dice.

"Hush, brothers and sisters. I know your pain. But soon -- soon, we
will all be singing songs of freedom and revenge. Soon." Dev-Null
looked at the LNH time pack he had stolen and began unscrewing the back.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

The Starship Continuity Champ --
The Qwerty System --
April 2008 AD --

Bart whistled a tune as he scanned the room he was trapped in. He arms
and legs were restrained to the chair he was sitting on. It was a
heavy-duty chair designed to imprison Planet busting type supervillains.
Without his powers, Bart couldn't possibly think of breaking out -- at
least in the conventional way.

While Mr. Tiddles had taken away all his powers, Bart still had his
costume. The material in his costume was made from a very special sort
of cloth. It was called Christicanthinkupagoodnameforthiscloth. He had
obtained it from a Christicanthinkupagoodnamian. The cloth was a highly
advanced fabric that could be mentally controlled by the individual
wearing it. Not only that, it could also hook itself up to various
computer networks. Like the network to this Starship.

Bart manipulated the fabric till he got it to hook up to the chair he
was shackled to. Using some hacking skills he had acquired during his
LNH receptionist days, he managed to break into the system. From there
he had access to everything.

Now, he just needed to think up a plan to get off this ship. As he
looked through the info, a sparkle hit his eyes. Ah, yes -- Contraption
Man's timepacks. And they were on this very ship!


**** <<--BM-->> ****

"What do you mean there's no wormhole?" said the Ultimate Ninja as he
looked at the monitor screen.

"Ah, that. Well, we kind of destroyed it," replied Irony Man. "Hey,
wasn't my plan!"

"And whose plan was it?" said the Ultimate Ninja as he gazed a little
more intensely at Irony Man.

"Umm, guys? I think we have a much bigger problem!" said Bad-Timing Boy
who had a gun held to his head. A gun being held by Bart.

The Ultimate Ninja sighed. "We really are going to have to work on your
not-getting-taken-hostage skills when we get back to Headquarters,
aren't we?"

"*Ahem* Greetings again, LNH. Now I don't want to stay long here, all I
want is a simple trade. I want Contraption Man to give me the codes to
run this time pack and I'll let Bad-Timing Boy live. Sound good?"

The Ultimate Ninja shook his head. "I can think of a thousand ways to
disarm you (most of them involve you dying a gruesome death) that will
leave Bad-Timing Boy mostly okay."

"I'm sure you're probably right," said Bart inching his gun even closer
to Bad-Timing Boy's head. "But even if you do that -- that still leaves
you with your core problem."

"Core Problem?"

"Yes, your warp core for this Starship, which will rupture -- unless I
give you the various codes I changed. But you've got a minute or so
before that happens. Your move."

"Captain Continuity!" said the Ultimate Ninja still gazing intensely at
Bart.

"Gotcha," said Captain Continuity as he blasted out of the room and
towards the Warp Core Container Room.

"Oh good. You're going to have Captain Continuity use his powers to
contain the warp core. That should do the trick." And then a twisted
smile emerged on Bart's face. "But wait. Maybe that's exactly what I
wanted you to do. God, you people are so predictable."

"Bart," said the Ultimate Ninja gripping his katana tighter.

"You know I'm beginning to think that I didn't really need all of those
Rings of Retconn, Insanity Gauntlets to defeat you people. I could have
just walked into the LNHHQ. That's how easy you people are. How does
it feel, Ultimate Ninja? Knowing that you're going to lose again. How
does it...?"

And before Bart could finish that taunt, Contraption Man put the
Ultimate Ninja in a neck hold and shouted, "04QWERTY!!!!" The timepack
that Bart was wearing started to hum. A second later Bart was gone.

The Ultimate Ninja slammed Contraption Man against the wall. "What the
hell did you just do?"

"Uhhg," said Contraption Man in a great amount of pain. "Relax, UN! I
took care of it."

"You took care of what?"

"The Bart problem."

**** <<--BM-->> ****

A Qwertian Spacecraft --
April 29, 1992 BC --


Bart with his gun still in hand could smell something burning. The
timepack!! He quickly took off the malfunctioning machine. Where the
hell was he? An alarm started to sound.

As he made his way through the ship, he began to attract some unwanted
attention.

"Halt! Intruder!" The language was Qwertian. Bart dropped his gun and
smiled, This could work out.

The two soldiers escorted him to the bridge of the ship. There seemed
to be quite a lot of chaos. Something was happening.

"Captain! This is the intruder we caught."

The Captain turned around and looked straight at Bart. "Who are you?
Did the Dvorakians send you?!! Answer me!!"

"Why -- you know who I am. I'm your king. I am King Qwert-El. I have
returned. I am here to save you."

"The legend! What the Elders spoke of!" shouted a soldier.

"Yes, I know the legend. But it can't be -- it's impossible." The
Captain rummaged through a pouch he had and took out some Qwertian
money. "My, god! It looks like him. It is him! It is King Qwert-El."

God, this was too easy, thought Bart. Still something was bugging him
about all of this.

"He will lead us to victory against the Dvorakian Devils!!"

Bart then noticed a huge fleet of ships on the monitor screen. They
didn't look Qwertian. "Umm -- might I inquire about today's date?"

"Why this is the day -- the Elders spoke of -- the day of your return --
the day of CVBN in the month of GHJK in the year of RTYU. It has come
true."

Hmm, that date sounded very familiar. Of course! That was the day that
King Qwert-El made his last... Oh hell.

Bart watched the Dvorakian ships on the Monitor Screen start to fire.


**** <<--BM-->> ****


The Starship Continuity Champ --
The Qwerty System --
April 2008 AD--


"I guess we could always pick him up after Beige Midnight. There's at
least five minutes or so before the Dvorakians blow the ship up. If we
want to do that," explained Contraption Man.

"You could have warned me," said the Ultimate Ninja.

"Not really. We've got bigger problems anyway -- assuming we can get
back to the Loonivearth. I have to admit, I haven't been completely
truthful. There are things I know about Beige Midnight that I haven't
said up till now. But now I can finally reveal the truth about..." And
then Contraption Man disappeared.

"Contraption Man?" said The Ultimate Ninja. And then he had a puzzled
expression on his face.

"Who are you talking to?" asked Irony Man.

"I don't know. Wasn't there someone here that was -- never mind," said
the Ultimate Ninja shaking his head.

"Wait! You were talking to Contraption Man! Don't you remember?" said
Kid Recap.

"Who?" said the Ultimate Ninja. The other LNH'rs were equally puzzled.

"Contraption Man! A time traveler from a future LNH who can make
gadgets and stuff!! Don't you people remember him?? Am I the only one??"

"Apparently," said Dr. Stomper whipping out his calculator.thingee.
"You say he's a time traveler -- from some alternate future? That might
explain things."

"Explain what?" said the Ultimate Ninja.

"If his timeline disappeared, that might explain why we can't remember
him," said Dr. Stomper punching some more numbers into his
calculator.thingee.

"And what could cause that?"

"A number of things. Although my best bet would be some catastrophic
event -- like the Bryttle Brothers destroying the Looniverse."

"I see. Well, we can't worry about that now. We've got other
problems." The Ultimate Ninja switched his comm.thingee on. "Captain
Continuity? Is it contained?"

<<Yeah. The core is stable. Still, I'll probably have to stabilize it
for the whole trip.>>

"Understood. Out." The Ultimate Ninja switched his comm.thingee off.
"And now -- about this Wormhole problem."


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Dr. Stomper punched in some more numbers. "Well, at best it will
probably take us two years to get back to the Loonivearth. That's
assuming we don't have other problems."

The Ultimate Ninja shook his head. "That's not going to cut it. We
need to get home faster. Can't we bring back that wormhole?"

"Technically, we could," said Dr. Stomper while wiping his glasses.
"The wormhole still exists. It's just incredibly thin. It would take
something smaller than a hydrogen atom to get through it. I suppose if
Captain Continuity weren't busy stabilizing the warp core, he'd have the
power to stretch the wormhole so that we could get through."

"Hey, people!" piped up Bad Judgment Boy. "I've got it! We all get
very drunk and dress up in Furry Animal costumes. And then we all cheat
on our significant others and text them about it afterwards. And then I
use the Insanity Gauntlet to stretch the wormhole!! Is this a great
plan or what??" Bad Judgment Boy waited for a high five.

"Why not just give you the Insanity Gauntlet?" said the Ultimate Ninja.

Bad Judgment Boy nodded his head. "Hey. That could work too."

The Ultimate Ninja pressed his fingers tightly on his forehead, while
his teeth gritted. "Someone!! Anyone!! Come up with a damn plan
before I do give Bad Judgment Boy the Insanity Gauntlet!!"

"Umm, UN. I might have something. It's a plan, but it's kind of wild.
I don't know," said Parking Karma Kid a bit hesitantly.

The Ultimate Ninja nodded his head. "Speak."

"Well, my powers give me the power to park anywhere -- anyplace. I
think I might be able to park us within the wormhole. And if we hook up
the drive system of all three ships, I could fly all of them at the same
time. I know it sounds crazy, but I think I can do this."

The Ultimate Ninja turned his attention towards Dr. Stomper. "Doctor,
is it possible? Can Parking Karma Kid park into something smaller than
an atom?"

"I don't know. Quantum Silly String theory does suggest the most absurd
solution might be in fact the best solution -- at least on a quantum
level. On the other hand, Parking Karma Kid's powers have always
baffled me. It does sound incredibly dangerous. But who knows. I do
suggest though if we do take this course of action that we don't think
about it -- thinking about it could be very, very dangerous."

"And how about you, Bad Judgment Boy? What do you think of Parking
Karma Kid's plan?"

"Oh, yeah -- that sounds great -- If you want to kill us all!!! Come
on, people!! Just give me the Insanity Gauntlet!! I can do this!!"

The Ultimate Ninja slapped Parking Karma Kid on the back. "Okay, PKK.
Let's do it. We'd better tell the other two ships.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

Parking Karma Kid looked at the three monitor screens in front of him.
A screen for each different ship. He was driving them all. He took a
deep breath and closed his eyes. He then emptied his mind and focused
on the parking space energy of the wormhole. And then he hit the star
drive.

And space and time began to bend.

And a whole lot of LNH'rs began to scream.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

Inside the wormhole --

Parking Karma Kid opened his eyes. It worked! Well, either that or
this was the afterlife. "Ultimate Ninja? You there?"

"Uhuh."

"Good to know. Everyone else fine?" There were various groans from the
assorted LNH'rs.

"Okay, PKK. Get us out of here."

"Can't quite do that just yet."

"Why?"

"I sense a parking meter. A Dvorakian parking meter. We have to put
some change in it. Dvorakian change!"

"Oh for Pete's sake!" growled Sarcastic Lad. "Just skip it and get us
out of here!"

"Can't do that. My powers are tied to my choices and if I start
breaking the rules it could do horrible things to my Karma. And if we
want to get out of here alive, I'm going to need some very good Karma.
So does anyone have any Dvorakian change?"

"I knew we shouldn't have left those Dvorakians back on Qwerty!" said
Bad Judgment Boy.

"Oh for the love of God!" said Procrastination Boy who tore off his mask
to reveal himself as -- another one of those members of the
LNH-Readers-Who-Are-Sick-To-Death-With-These-Damn-Neverending-Events-Liberation
Front [Continuity Error fixed - Ed]. "Do I have to save you people
every time??" he said handing Parking Karma Kid a bunch of Dvorakian
coins. "Christ!! It's 2011 and this stupid miniseries is still not
finished!!!!!!???"

"We're getting there," said the Ultimate Ninja.


**** <<--BM-->> ****

On the other side of the wormhole --

The three LNH Starships emerged. "Okay. I'm returning control to you
guys," said Parking Karma Kid speaking to the other Starship pilots.
"Oh, oh. Looks like we've got Dvorakians. 50 Fully Powered ones! And
the Space Station is trying to contact us."

The Ultimate Ninja nodded his head. "Put them on."

The face of General Honiboni appeared. <<Well, we meet again, Ultimate
Ninja. I suggest if you know what's good for you and your ships, you
surrender immediately.>>

"Okay. You're right. You have us outmatched. But we'll need ten
minutes or so to get our affairs in order."

There was a bit of disbelief on General Honiboni's face. <<Okay? Yes!
I guess we can give you 10 minutes -- But no tricks!!>>

"Right." The Ultimate Ninja turned off the communication.thingee.

"Umm -- we're not really surrendering, are we?" asked Parking Karma Kid.

"Do you have to even ask?"


**** <<--BM-->> ****


Halumglobtrroturem, while waiting for the go ahead to destroy the LNH
ships, passed his time by spinning a moon on his finger like a
basketball. Of course you'd need the vision of the likes of Captain
Continuity to truly appreciate it. Otherwise, it would just look like
some guy standing on his finger while spinning.

This was amazing being able to do this. The power he had in just his
finger and every single other part of his body. But it was a power that
wasn't going to last. He had a week left. It just made him think. A
week left. That's all he had.

There had been cases of Dvorakians not dying from the Glory Virus, but
the last case of something like that had been over 5000 sun cycles ago
[500 earth years - Ed]. It was a trillion to one shot.

He was going to have to tell his parents. His family. His girlfriend.
And it would kill them. Maybe he could avoid it. Let the Core tell
them after he had passed. No. He couldn't do that. He was going to
have to go see them. Go to his home planet one more time.

He let the moon go and watched it fly away. Why did he join the Space
Core? That was easy. The economy on his home planet was horrible. He
had no choice, but to join. But still -- he could have joined one of
the lesser branches. It was pride that made him join the most elite
branch of the Space Core. The one branch that still used the Glory
Virus. The odds of being called to use the virus were very slim --
10,000 to 1. And he was that lucky one.

In a few months he would have asked his girl to marry him. Who knows
what would have happened after that. But that was never going to happen
now. Now his girl would have to find someone else. Find happiness
elsewhere.

He looked at the LNH Starships. They were responsible for all of this.
If they had never showed up, it would have all been different. They
robbed it all.

Well, there was no point in wondering what if -- he was here now. He
had a job to do.

Someone was coming out of the ship. A guy in a spacesuit flying towards
him. He wondered, which one it was. Maybe the Ultimate Ninja. He had
heard rumors about what had happened to Major Poossee. He'd have to be
careful. Who knows what these super humans could do to him. The guy
was still far away. He'd better go and face him. And take him down.

As he got closer to the human in the spacesuit, he could hear a voice.
The guy was using radio waves to communicate with him.

<<Hiya!! It's a wonderful day, isn't it?? It's kind of lonely out here
though, isn't it? You look a little sad. You look like you could use a
friend to cheer you up! We all can use friends. Friends are important!
Heck, when it gets down to it they might be the most important thing
we can have. And the more friends we have, the better we feel, don't
you think? You can never have too many friends. Would you like to be
my friend? It would mean a whole lot to me to be your friend. Please?>>

A smile broke on Halumglobtrroturem's face. For the first time since
he'd taken the Glory Virus, he felt okay. It seemed almost absurd that
this human wanted to be his friend. And he should hate this human. But
he couldn't. It felt absurd trying to hate this human who wanted to be
his friend. And why couldn't he be a friend with this human? Why
couldn't he? Because his superiors had told him that this was the
enemy? This silly human who couldn't hurt a fly? This was the enemy?
It didn't make sense. Why couldn't they be friends? Halumglobtrroturem
couldn't think of any reason why that would be wrong. There was no good
reason. And Halumglobtrroturem made a choice.

"I think you're right -- I do need a... It seems so cold out here and I
could use someone to talk to. Anyone. All those choices I made in
life. Every single one seems so -- it was all wrong. And all I've got
is -- all I've got is this. This damn... And now -- and now... Yes,
human. Yes. I will. I will be your friend, human. I will. Please,
stay and -- listen. Please. I have so much to say." And a tear ran
down Halumglobtrroturem's cheek and froze in the coldness of space.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

General Honiboni had a bad feeling inside him. He had tried to contact
his various Super Dvorakians and he couldn't get anyone of them. And
the LNH ships had shut off all communication.

"Dlue Leader!! Dlue Leader!! Come in!!"

<<Oh, hey General!!>>

"What the hell is going on out there? I've been trying to contact you
for ages!! What is the situation??"

<<Oh nothing, except we met this really nice fella. He's shown us that
there's something more powerful than the Dvorakian Empire. The Power of
Friendship. The Power of Happiness. The Power of Caring. The Power of
Sharing. The Power of Niceness. Did you know that there is no problem
so big that it can't be solved with hug?? It's true!>>

"What the hell? What the hell?? Have you people lost your freaking
minds?!!! Dlue Leader??!!"

<<Hey, General Honiboni!! We just want to tell you how much we care
about you!! We really do!! We all wish we could give you a big hug
right now because you're the best!!>>

General Honiboni saw the line for communication with the LNH Ships was
blinking again. He clicked it on and saw the Ultimate Ninja's face on
the screen.

"What the hell did you do to my men?!!"

<<Oh, nothing. I just had them meet up with one of my weaker LNH'rs --
Special Bonding Boy. It looks like this is over. Better let us go.>>

"Never!!" General Honiboni slammed his fist on the console. "This is
not over!! Not Over!!!"

<<You done? We're going to leave now. We're going to go back to the
Loonivearth. We're going to save the Looniverse one more time. Like we
always do. And when we do, you know what you could do? You could send
us a thank you card. That would be nice. We'd really appreciate that.
Got that? Good. Have a nice day, Honey Bunny.>>

General Honiboni gazed at the monitor screen that showed the three LNH
ships flying away. And then he pulled a vial that was chained around
his neck. A vial that contained the Glory Virus. A virus that would
give him God like powers for a week -- and then kill him. He could take
it and go down in one last blaze of suicidal glory. Or -- he could
write a report about this day from Hell and send it to the Command World.

He stared at the vial for the longest time and then he tucked it back
into his shirt and began to type a report.

There would be a next time.

**** <<--BM-->> ****

Net.ropolis --
The LNHHQ --
April 2008 AD --


The Ultimate Ninja looked at his watch. "Okay -- your 30 minute
headstart begins -- NOW!"

Mr. Tiddles looked up with an annoyed expression.

"Hey -- if you want to nap there for the next 30 minutes -- fine by me.
That will make hunting you down and locking you away forever all the
much easier."

Mr. Tiddles yawned, stretched his body, and then sauntered his way out
of the LNH Starship.

Stupid Stinky Humans.

**** <<--BM-->> ****


Captain Continuity continued to focus all of his Continuity power energy
on stabilizing the LNH Starship's Warp Core. Layers upon layers of a
Continuity Cocoon wrapped themselves around the Core.

"How's it going?" said the Ultimate Ninja entering the room.

"Not good. The moment I let go -- the whole thing is going to blow. I
think the best course of action would be to fly this ship on autopilot
straight into the Sun. There it can safely detonate."

"You're going to fly this thing into the Sun?"

"It's okay. I'll be perfectly fine. I've walked on the Sun before."

"I wasn't worried about that. You know this ship costs 50 billion. I
repeat -- Fifty Billion. Isn't there some way to detonate the Warp Core
without destroying the entire ship? I'm just asking."

"Umm -- okay. There might be. I'll have to see when I get into space."

"I hope so. Well, good luck. See you in an hour or so. Hopefully,
back with this ship. This 50 billion dollar ship."

"Umm -- yeah. See you, UN."

"Fifty Billion."

"Right. Gotcha."


**** <<--BM-->> ****

Dr. Stomper examined Ripping Dancer's state -- frozen in perfect
hibernation in the suspended animation.thingee. The easiest method to
transfer her would probably be through teleportation. He clicked on his
comm.thingee. "Multi-Tasking Man? I need a TP transport. I've got a
suspended animation pod that contains Ripping Dancer. I need it sent to
the emergency med center. Pronto. You should probably tp me with it."

Dr. Stomper heard a strange sound. It sounded like giggling. Obscene
giggling. Then dead silence. "Multi-Tasking Man? Are you there? Is
something wrong? MTM? wReamhack? Anyone?" Nothing.

He didn't like this. He supposed he could use the cargo.thingee to move
Ripping Dancer. But first he'd notify Ultimate Ninja, he thought to
himself. There was something wrong here and it needed to be checked.

However, just as he was about to contact the Ultimate Ninja on his
comm.thingee he could see teleportation energy start to crackle around
the suspended animation.thingee. And it began to crackle around his
body too.

**** <<--BM-->> ****


And they were home.

After days in space, the LNH'rs made there way into the LNH lobby. No
one, however, was there to greet them. The lobby was completely empty,
which was very strange for an afternoon. Not even the receptionist desk
was being manned. There was, however, a very big banquet table filled
with goodies and drinks. And in the middle of it a gigantic cheesecake
with the words, 'Welcome back, Legion of Net.Heroes!' written boldly
across it.

"Oh man, I can't believe I'm saying this, but -- Thank God for
Cheesecake Eater Lad!" said Easily-Discovered Man Lite as he rushed
towards it to cut himself a big slab. "After all that weird astronaut
tang flavored cheesecake we had to eat on the spaceship, finally -- real
cheesecake! Real luscious mouth watering..." he said as he stabbed a
big chunk of cheesecake with his fork and prepared to put it in his mouth.

"LITE!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!" shouted the Ultimate Ninja as he threw his
Ginsu Katana right at the table. The katana struck Lite's fork and sent
both objects toward and into the wall.

Easily-Discovered Man Lite backed away slowly from the cheesecake with
both arms in the air. "Okay. Okay. I know I could stand to lose a
couple of pounds, but really UN don't you think you're overreacting just
a tad. I mean just a little. I'll hit the gym tomorrow. Promise!"

"No, it's not that -- although yes, you could stand to lose a few
pounds. No. There's something wrong with that cheesecake. There's
something wrong with all of this. People -- we're on red alert status
as of now. You twenty -- follow me! The rest of you, split yourself
into teams -- and start to scout around."

The Ultimate Ninja and his team started to make there way down the
hallway. The hallway had the phrase, 'Bryttle is the Future' plastered
a number of times over it. Flies and other winged insects covered the
ceiling.

The Ultimate Ninja could hear music playing and followed the sound.
There. Through that door. He cautiously turned the knob and prepared
himself for almost anything.

But even that didn't prepare him for this. Behind the door was a dimly
lit room except for the center where mult-colored lights shined on a
large platform with various poles. And various LNH heroines (and some
male ones too) were sliding, dancing, and straddling the poles. The
R.E.M. song 'Losing My Religion' was playing away.

"Ah, sweet. Finally looks like someone got to my suggestions in the
suggestion box." Bad Judgment Boy took out his wallet and began to look
for singles and fives.

The Ultimate Ninja scanned the room and looked up at the balcony. He
could see someone that looked very much like Cheesecake Eater Lad with
both hands on the rail looking right down at him. But he was dressed in
a Tony Soprano style suit, had a goatee, and was smoking a big cigar.
Standing next to him was a very grim looking Fearless Leader (also with
a goatee) and Wikiboy with a purple mohawk haircut, a chainsaw hand, a
flame thrower, a beaver tail (courtesy Master Blaster), and also a goatee.

The Cheesecake Eater Ladish looking man took the cigar out of his mouth
and began to speak. "Hey, UN. Glad to see you made it back safe and
sound. Was it a good trip? Hope so. Get the Insanity Gauntlet and
Ring of Retconn? I think you did. That's good. As you can see there
have been some changes since you've been away. But I'll fill you in
about those a little later. First things first though -- you should
probably hand the gauntlet and ring over here. And after that --
well..." He took another puff from his cigar. "Well, then you can all
kneel down to your new head honcho. Me."

A twisted grin lit up on Cheesecake Eater Lad's face. "Then again --
why wait? How about some kneeling right now!"


**** <<--BM-->> ****
**** <<--BM-->> ****


NEXT: PLANET MUHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!!!!!!!!!


**** <<--BM-->> ****
**** <<--BM-->> ****


Credits:


Ideas for Beige Midnight by Saxon Brenton, James Enright, Lalo Martins,
Martin Phipps, Rob Rogers, and Arthur Spitzer...

Dekay and Diskolor, The Bryttle Brothers created by Todd "Scavenger"
Kogutt, used with permission...

Bart the Dark Receptionist - Ken Schmidt

Qwerty and the Dvorakians - Drizzt
Various Dvorakians with names -- Arthur Spitzer

LNH'rs

Bad Judgment Boy - Arthur Spitzer
Bad Timing Boy - Vernon H Harmon
Captain Continuity - Mystic Mongoose
Cheesecake Eater Lad - Matthew Jotham Millheiser.
Easily-Discovered Man Lite - Rob Rogers
Fearless Leader - Dave Van Domelen
Kid Recap - Josh Geurick
Multi-Tasking Man - Jeff Coleburn
Nit-Pick Lad - ???
Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad - Arthur Spitzer
Parking Karma Kid - Steve Simmons
Sarcastic Lad - Saint
Ultimate Ninja - wReam
Wikiboy - Tom Russell

Secret Retcon Hour Team:

Contraption Man - Drizzt
Dr. Stomper - T. M. Neeck
Irony Man - Doug Moran
Occultism Kid - Josh Geurick
Ripping Dancer - Arthur Spitzer

Others:

Dev-Null - Jim "Scowling" Cowling

Kid Kampers

Captain Kid - Rob Rogers
Billy the Butterfly Magic Kid - Arthur Spitzer
Marvin the Kid Macaw - Tarq
Kid Ding - Jamas Enright
Kid E. Porn - Rob Rogers
Kid-I-Kid-You-Not - Arthur Spitzer
Nay Kid - Lalo Martins

Writer's Notes:

For those who are confused by this...

http://www.lnhq.info/wiki/Infinite_Leadership_Crisis
http://www.lnhq.info/wiki/List_of_Infinite_Leadership_Crisis_Stories
http://www.lnhq.info/wiki/Beige_Countdown
http://www.lnhq.info/wiki/Beige_Midnight

Probably won't help.


Did I say last time that I was giving myself an ultimate deadline of
April, 29th, 2011 to finish Beige Midnight? Well, that's not going to
happen. So, I guess I'll just have to give myself another ultimate
deadline. :) Well, I'll try my best to finish all of this before 2011
ends.

At 23,000 words this is incredibly long. Not as long as #4, which was
25,000 words (although since Saxon wrote at least 4000 words for that
issue -- it means I did more writing for this issue than for #4)

Here's the word count for those that are curious.

13918 -- #1
12465 -- #2
15264 -- #3
25253 -- #4
13095 -- #5
13273 -- #6
23101 -- #7

116,369 in total so far.

Beige Countdown (of the 8 issues that have been posted) --


6202 -- #12
5590 -- #11
12661 -- #10
4968 -- #7
7226 -- #6
1930 -- #5
9452 -- #1
14992 -- #0

63,021 in total so far.

179,390 for both works so far. Not quite War and Peace yet.

Someone else can do the word count for all of the ILC stories.

Do I have anything else to say about this issue. Yeah, but I'm too lazy
to type it. So five more issues to go.

Arthur "Death to Beige Midnight" Spitzer

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