30 Years of Legion of Net.Heroes (1992-2022)!
And we're back in the past and can check the eyrie archive
Here's where you can find the whole The Cosmic Conspiracy (as well
as other Continuity Champ stories:
And we've got some more parts of The Cosmic Conspiracy by Jeff "Drizzt"
Barnes -- Is it time to learn some back history of Cosmic Plot Device?!
Will Dr. Killfile explain his fiendish plot to a Continuity Champ strapped
to some diabolical-looking device?! And what does the Champ prefer being
in a Vertigo title to doing?!
Let's find out in...
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|____| \__] \__ | |_| \__/ |_|\_\
|_| OF NET.HEROES
The Cosmic Conspiracy Part Two
Continuity Champ walked amid the huge robotic storeroom,
pausing briefly to examine one. It was virtually identical to a
human being in every aspect.
"Are all of these like you?" he queried Obscure Trivia Lad.
"Obscure Trivia Lad does not think so. Obscure Trivia Lad
senses a... difference between them and Obscure Trivia Lad."
His shapechanging sidekick shrugged. "Obscure Trivia Lad
cannot define it. It is just a feeling."
"Well, perhaps we can extract some information from that
terminal," the gaudily-clad Legionnaire said, pointing to a
computer keyboard set up in front of a huge monitor screen.
He made his way to the computer. Flipping some switches and
tapping a few keys, the Champion got a log on screen. It read:
CULT OF THE COSMIC PLOT-DEVICE BBS
LOGON NAME: _
"The Cult of the Cosmic Plot-Device?" Obscure Trivia Lad
asked, peering over CC's shoulder.
"Yes, that's right Legionnaires!" said a voice from behind
them. They whirled to find a short, balding man in a white
laboratory coat and shabby clothes surrounded by a crowd of
assorted Thugs (tm), ninjas, gun-bearing but otherwise
normal-looking citizens, street toughs, and little old ladies.
Continuity Champ surveyed the motley crowd. "You've *got* to
be kidding me."
"Obscure Trivia Lad knows you! You're Dr. Killfile!"
An evil grin formed on the bad Doctor's face. "Guilty as
charged. Dr. Milton Fyle, at your service."
The Champ started. "That name..."
"Yes, I do believe you recently visited one of my bases." He
paused and glanced at his combination wristwatch/Ultimate Remote
Controller. "I'd love to chat, but we *are* a bit pressed for
time. If we're going to get in this story in 8 chapters, we're
going to have to hurry." He gestured to his horde, and they
advanced on Continuity Champ.
The Champ gestured with a glowing hand. "Stay back, I'm-" His
words broke off abruptly as he was mobbed by a swarm of humanity.
Obscure Trivia Lad charged toward Dr. Killfile. "Obscure
Trivia Lad commands you to let him go!"
"Ah, my possessed, errant android. I'll have to examine you
later." As OTL reached for him, Fyle pressed a button on his
Ultimate Remote Controller. The robot froze.
"That's better." He looked over toward where the mob had
overwhelmed his other foe. Two big bruisers held the battered
Champion. "I don't suppose you'd be willing to join us?"
"I'd rather be in a Vertigo title," CC spat.
"Didn't think so. You know, as long as you live, your power
is a threat to me." Dr. Killfile motioned toward the
rifle-carrying sherriff. "I guess we'll just have to do something
Clint's rifle butt cracked against Continuity Champ's jaw, and
he fell backward into darkness.
Continuity Champ awoke in a laboratory, strapped into some
diabolical-looking apparatus. His jaw ached horribly; while it was
not broken, it was badly bruised.
"You're awake. Good we can begin," a voice said. Dr.
Killfile stepped from the shadows. "No, no, don't try to talk; I'd
imagine your jaw is very sore. Besides, I've got you in a
paralysis stasis field."
He paused and glanced at the machinery. "I feel a dramatic
monologue coming on. Tell you what, while I'm waiting for the
EXTRACTor to charge up, I think I'll explain my fiendish plot to
you." He seated himself in a padded chair.
"It all started with the Cosmic Plot-Device Caper. After I
had lost IT and was betrayed by Manga Man, I was barely able to
sneak away in the chaos. I was fortunate enough to come into
contact with the Cult of the Cosmic Plot-Device a short time later;
they happened to be looking for the whereabouts of the Device, I
needed new followers. But I digress. Perhaps it would be less
confusing if I started at the beginning."
"No one is really sure where the Plot-Device originated from
or how it was created. However, in the Dark Ages, a Germanic baron
named Krieger founded the Cult after somehow acquiring the Device.
In those days, cults were nasty things - they sacrificed humans,
practiced sorcery, and kicked puppies. The Cosmic Plot-Device
Cult, though, was much less gory than most other cults, and thus
gained an almost mainstream following."
"The Cult persisted guarding the Plot-Device until 1937. As
a part of Hitler's plot for world domination, the Nazis began
collecting mystic devices, including the Plot-Device. It vanished
before Hitler got his hands on it, and for decades the Cult
searched the world for it."
"Then, it suddenly resurfaced, and the remnant of the Cult
came to me for help. The first thing I did was get new recruits.
After Omega.Mosely's latest disappearance, his S.T.U.D. Army went
out of business, leaving a plethora of mercenary Thugs (tm) on the
merc market. The ninjas I got in exchange for a copy of S*LV*R
S*RF*R #1 and three SP*D*R-M*N #1's (unbagged, of course). The
rabble were easy to recruit. We live in an age of little hope for
the future, what with Slick Willie becoming President; the masses
have lost all faith. They needed something to believe in. I gave
them the new utopia the Plot-Device will create. It might interest
you to know there are cells of the Cult in every major market."
"The next step was quite logical. I began to create an army
of androids, virtually identical to human beings. Imagine an army
of sleeper agents, each with incredible strength and reflexes,
ready to rise up to fulfill my wishes." He cackled in his best
"But the best is yet to come." Dr. Killfile grinned and
leaned forward. "The Cult had managed to preserve two shards of
the Device. I used these in two different android prototypes to
create a pair of cosmic-powered androids capable of feats beyond
imagination. I dispatched one after you, under the pretense of
securing the whereabouts of the Plot-Device. In truth, though, I
knew the Device to be shattered and discarded. I wanted my android
to drain your energies and masquerade as you in the LNH. I chose
you because the android could replace you the easiest; no one of
all your teammates knows the slightest thing about you. Plus, your
curiosity toward continuity errors made it easy to attract your
attention. And so was born 'your' Aunt Comic-Relief."
"Unfortunately, something went wrong." Fyle sighed. "We had
given the android a fully developed personality and had only put
its orders in at a subconscious level. I did my job too well,
though; it actually came to believe it *was* your Aunt
Comic-Relief, and reacted as such. The android became frightened,
and it experienced a systems-wide shutdown. The colloquial term,
were she human, would be a 'coronary'. I dispatched men to recover
the unit, but it was gone before they arrived. A curious mystery,
no? But one for a later day."
"The second android worked on a different principle, and there
were... difficulties in activating it. Fortunately, your dead
friend's spirit seems to have corrected those problems somehow.
Ah," he said, noticing a green light on a console on the apparatus
CC was strapped to, "the EXTRACTor is ready. This device will
drain out your energies first, then your memories. I will be able
to access and wield these energies with this." He pointed to the
device strapped to his wrist. "The Ultimate Controller. With your
powers at my disposal, my friend, I can locate and repair the
Cosmic Plot-Device." He stood and struck a world-ruling pose (or
at least as much of one as any 5'3" balding and glasses-wearing
"With your power, the Cult, and the shapechanger in my
control, the Cosmic Plot-Device shall soon be mine, and with it
Dr. Killfile smiled evilly again. "Of course, world conquest
takes some planning, and the EXTRACTor *does* take a while, so I'll
leave you alone for a while. I've got a universe to take over."
He strode from the room.
Continuity Champ looked about him desperately, hoping to find
a way out. Or, he at least tried to look about him desperately.
Unfortunately, though, he could see very little of the lab, for
while he could move his eyeballs (one of those peculiar quirks of
most paralysis fields), he could not move his head. There could be
no escape; he was paralyzed, unable to call upon even the tiniest
fraction of his powers. Waves of agony assailed his body as the
EXTRACTor leeched away his life-sustaining energies.
Suddenly, one of the laboratory walls began to shift and warp.
A rip in the ether of time and space appeared, a temporal rift from
which a nightmare stepped. It was vaguely humanoid, seven feet
tall with ebony skin, cruel fangs, and razor-sharp claws, wearing
only a loincloth but carrying a high-tech laser rifle. The hideous
beast paused and sniffed the air, then walked over to the EXTRACTor
controls. It looked for a second, pressed a couple of buttons,
then proceeded to put its fist all the way through the machine's
console. The field holding the Champion shimmered, then began to
break up. The horrific creature looked at him, then smiled a
ghastly smile, a string of drool escaping its monstrously thin
The field failed, and CC struggled to sit up. The beast
reached for him. He pulled back his fist, ready to attempt his
martial arts skills against the creature.
The alien's mouth opened, and, much to the Champion's
surprise, it began to speak. "Crimmony, old boy," it said with a
distinctly British accent, "no need for hostilities. I'm a
friend." He looked about. "Come along and I'll explain. Or you
could stay here and wait for that bounder Killfile to return." He
extended one clawed hand to CC.
Continuity Champ surveyed the alien, then took the offered
appendage. He struggled to his feet, leaning heavily on his
monstrous new ally. The pair stumbled into the rift.
They emerged on a deserted street. The Champion pushed away
from the alien, now sufficiently strong to stand on his own as his
cosmic energies slowly returned. "Who are you?"
"Oh, can't this wait? Very well. You may call me J'mbaub.
I am, or rather, was a member of a race called the B'harain from
several centuries in the future. You see, old boy, that Killfile
chap, the bleeder, stole your power in my timeline. He recovered
the Plot-Device and became omnipotent. In time, the Cult spread to
a thousand worlds. On those worlds where they refused the Cult,
the races were slaughtered."
He looked sadly off toward the heavens. "My people were
always a peaceful race. We loved our daily tea and crumpets. Then
Killfile came..." He broke off his narrative.
"So you did the only sensible thing, stole a prototype
miniature time-travel device, teleporter, and laser rifle and tried
to stop him?" Continuity Champ filled in.
J'mbaub snapped back to reality. "Yes, that was my intention.
We *must* stop Killfile, old bean."
The Champ pondered what to say to the alien, when he caught
sight of a strangely familiar figure out of the corner of his eye.
He looked to the side just in time to see a red cape flutter and
turn the corner. "No," me murmured in disbelief, running to the
"What is it?" J'mbaub asked, following him.
"Someone I knew... a long time ago. But he's dead." The
Champ reached the building the figure had fled behind and looked
down the narrow alleyway.
There was no one there.
"He's dead," Continuity Champ echoed distractedly.
"And so are y'all," a sleazy-sounding voice drawled. The pair
turned to see a posse with Sherriff Festus Clint at its head,
plasma rifle in his hand. "Take 'em, boys."
The squad immediately opened fire. Instinctively, the Champ
pushed his depleted powers, enacting a spell to create a barrier to
protect himself and J'mbaub.
A jade wall formed - but it covered only the Champion.
The energy bolts and bullets struck the alien. J'mbaub seemed
for all the world to be a marionette being manipulated by a madman,
so much did his form twitch and shudder. "Cease fire!" Clint
yelled over the din.
J'mbaub stood, battered and bloodied. He looked down at his
alien ichor staining his hands. "Oh, I daresay..." The alien
collapsed in a heap.
"No," the Champion whispered.
His powers returned in a rush of adrenaline. A bolt of pure
retcon energy tore into the crowd of crazed cultists. With a
bound, CC leaped into the fray, alternately blasting and punching
the cultists, until only Clint remained.
The sherriff's eyes filled with fear. "S-stay b-b-back!" He
cocked and fired his rifle. The bolt of plasma struck the Champion
squarely in the chest.
He did not even flinch.
Continuity Champ advanced swiftly on the sherriff, tearing the
rifle from his hands and bending it. He glared at the trembling
cultist. "You are proud of this weapon are you not?" Clint nodded
fearfully. "Good," the LNHer purred," because you will *eat* this
The sherriff did not doubt it for a second.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
His business with Clint concluded, CC rushed to his alien
friend. Just from looking at the severity of his wounds, he could
tell J'mbaub was dying.
The B'harain coughed weakly. "Oh, I daresay, this smarts. I
do so detest mindless violence." A spasm rocked his body. "Do get
that Killfile chap for me, won't you, old sport?"
"I will," the Champion vowed. J'mbaub smiled, then his eyes
closed forever, his head lolling to the side.
"Killfile," the LNHer grimly promised, his gaze focussed
dramatically off into the distance, "you're mine."
Next Week: The Conclusion of THE COSMIC CONSPIRACY!!
Arthur "Same Classic Channel. But Same Time? Probably not." Spitzer