Netlurker's power of UNIX-grep signaled him that his abilities
were required by none other that Lord Acton...
WHAM! Someone hit him on the head. It was the Re-Editor!
"It's 'Acton Lord', ya feeb! Get it right!" Re-Editor scampered away
back to the Redistributor's lair...
"OWCH! Okay okay!!!", Netlurker rubbed his head and started
| | | | | | | |
Netlurker's power of UNIX-grep signaled him that his abilities
were required by none other that Acton Lord! "My hand has been
forced," he cried as he surveyed the letter to the Kromatic Klone
kalled Krimson...there was Acton Lord, *included* in the post!
"I need your assistance, Lurking One!", the Lord said. "I
need you to distribute me in a digital format, preferably colour
"GIF? Like the peanut butter, 'Jiff'?" Netlurker always became
confused at the supposed 'official' pronunciation...
Acton Lord became impatient, "Whatever! Just make sure I'm
safe when the RAC Universe implodes!" He handed Netlurker a photocopy
and promptly ftp'd himself anonymously to the realm of "wuarchive"...
Netlurker curiously opened the folded photocopy and looked at
it. There was Acton Lord blasting Sig-Lad into submission just as was
revealed earlier on RAC, but something was amiss... "Blast! This
thing isn't even *coloured*! This is going to waste precious time..."
He turned off the screensaver of his terminal and his fingers flew
over the keyboard...
\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \
stealth 11:01pm 69> ftp wuarchive.wustl.edu
Connected to wuarchive.wustl.edu.
220 wuarchive.wustl.edu FTP server (Version 6.38 Wed Jul 29 13:24:28 CDT 1992) ready.
Name (wuarchive.wustl.edu:netlurker): villain
331 Villain login ok, send your complete e-mail address as password.
230-Next time please use your complete e-mail address as your password
230- for example: j...@stealth.villain.net.legion.com
230- This system may be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by users on
230- Earths A-K. Users on Earth-J must adhere to the 12 hour day.
230- The local time is Sun Sep 6 22:01:41 1992.
230-Please read the file README
230- it was last modified on Mon Mar 2 08:29:25 1992 - 188 days ago
230 Villain login ok, no access restrictions need be obeyed.
ftp> cd comics
250 CWD command successful.
ftp> cd villains
250 CWD command successful.
ftp> cd a
250 CWD command successful.
200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for /bin/ls.
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root archive 86253 Jul 21 1991 aaaaaarrrrrggghhhh!
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root archive 109568 Jul 21 1991 action.lord
-r--r--r-- 1 20001 archive 132204 Nov 30 1991 acton.lord
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root archive 122880 Jul 21 1991 amply.endowed.woman
-rw-r--r-- 1 20001 archive 52367 Aug 17 15:39 annoying.man
-rw-r--r-- 1 20001 archive 63195 Jul 20 12:43 art.critic
226 Transfer complete.
7769 bytes received in 0.87 seconds (8.7 Kbytes/s)
200 Type set to I.
Hash mark printing on (8192 bytes/hash mark).
ftp> get acton.lord
200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening BINARY mode data connection for acton.lord (40824 bytes).
226 Transfer complete.
local: acton.lord remote: acton.lord
40824 bytes received in 0.78 seconds (51 Kbytes/s)
/ / / / / / / /
Acton Lord stumbled out of Netlurker's computer screen a bit
disoriented: "Who? What? Huh?"
Netlurker slapped him a few times. "Get a hold of yourself!"
He held up the black and white photocopy. "In your great haste you
forgot to *colour* it!"
Acton Lord grimmaced, grabbed the paper, and attacked it with
a flash of colour from his fingertips. "It is done!"
Netlurker took the copy, broke down the Fourth Wall, and began
speaking conspiratorially to the reader. "Ahhh, the plan is set in
montion. I'll throw up my array of diversions in the Graphics Lab and
waylay the monitor while he's confused. Then I shall use the scanner
to convert Acton Lord's image to colour GIF. After uuencryption and a
quick posting, he shall be safely stashed on news-spools worldwide!"
Acton Lord laughed maniacally: "Not even the end of RAC can
stop me now! BWAHAHAHAHAAA!!!"
Mark "Klone Crimson" Friedman is frie...@cis.ohio-state.edu .................
"There is nothing former "Beat poets, "If you put a hungry ferret in your
about King Crimson." not children." trousers, he'll run around..."
- Robert Fripp, 5/11/90 - anonymous - Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap)
Nemesis Fiend - Look at the checker. A perfect circle, a world in its own, yet
at the same time with depth. There are black checkers and white checkers, just
as there are good people and bad people. A checker is the embodiment of all
that we are, of all that we were, of all that we aspire to be. It has a choice
of two paths...both moving forward, but neither moving in the same direction.
So are we faced with decisions, decisions we are unable to go back on. Richard
Nixon had a dog named checkers also.
Spy Guy - But the king is two circles, together they are infinite. Two worlds,
two entities, with twice the depth. Yet these two entities are irrevocably
linked into one. Again, it can be good or evil, black or white, but it has
greater mobility, greater knowledge, greater choices...greater power. King me!
NF - *I* am that king, Spy Guy! I am the one who makes the decisions. *I* am
the one with the greater knowledge, the superman amid a field of mere mortals.
Two entities, two worlds, *one mind* with the best of both worlds! True, could
be either good or evil, but in my mind, your evil is good and in your mind my
good is evil and evil is not good and good is not evil. And that is good.
Don't you think so?
SG - What was the question?
"They fell in love" said Sister State-the-Obvious! She was nailed
headlong with a resonating "Woooooh Wooooh Wooooh , FEEEEEELINGS!" and was
sent flying into BandWagon Boy who had just reappeared for a second to say
something about the whole perdicament that he had no business meddling in.
He left with Sister State-the-Obvious to get married and were retired from
the comic bis... Or so it would seem for would any normal marraige survive
in Comicdom?! OF COURSE NOT! So they would be seen again as soon as the
Supreme Creators could see to it that their lives were made miserable!
Next to fall to Romantic-Inuendo was Table and Chair! AChair was a
secret old love and companion, patriot and fighter that liked to take long
warm baths with Table watching! They ran of to do somethings not viewable
in this comic and so they started their own NC-17 comic to apease the weak
unimaginative readers with no clue that would ever open one of those horrid
pieces of trash! Self-Righteous Preacher ran off with the Hooded Ho'`od win
who revealed under that hood she was really a WOMAN! Cliche grimaced
sinisterly! If Romantic-Inuendo was not stopped quickly there would be no
more pairs and some of the remaining overflow of male characters might start
revealing that they had "special" hidden secrets that he cared not think
Diliverance came in the form of a small plot device called bordometer!
Pointing the device at Romantic-Inuendo, the Adamant Authority-on-Everything
plastered him into the Limbo of speculation, also called the Letter Page,
where only happy thoughts and senseless praise was allowed! Romantic-Inuendo
smiled as if he had found paradise as the portal between the two dimensions
dissipated. Of course the bordometer shorted in the process due to the tax on
it, which hadn't been paid for some time!?
"NO! RAC cannot end this way!?" Cried a shadowy female with a
prophetic voice. The All-Knowing-Last-Chance-Whiner-Destiny-Woman wailed
frantically in a mystic undertone of dread. "Don't you Realize the end is
Near!? If you don't work together you will all be completely erased from
existence!" Then is a mysterious puff of smoke she was gone as abruptly as
she had appeared!
The thought pierced all the heroes and villains! It is too close!
Even Acton Lord, who thought he was an artist and had a premonition that he
should run get a photocopy of his latest fantasy knew this could not be
denied. Where would they go? The Universe! Is there some non-condemned
paralell universe somewhere where he could gain exclusive posting control
without the pending threat of cancellation!? Acton Lord searched his index of
paralell universal posting grounds and discovered a new universe had emerged
in the midsts of the confusion! RAC.xbook, RAC.misc and RAC.info... and
.marketplace!? Strange names! He thought. I must travel to each, while I
still have time! Opening a portal with his terminal-portable-porthole maker
he lept through to one of the dimensions trying to determine the rules that
governed each realm of existence... The terminal-portable-porthole maker read
RAC.info! The air was virtually nonexistent! Will Acton Lord be able to press
a button to the next realm in time or will his Head explode like a cantalope
STUFFED WITH DYNAMite because of the emptiness of this dry empty realm!?
P.S. Sig Lad in a rush to stop Acton Lord from finding the new Eden dived
through the portal and caught a main stream transdimensional warp current to
RAC.xbooks. (A fate worse than death) Yet he does have his own portable-port
terminal that will help him, but who will find the promised universe first
and what of the rest of the wacky antics about to occur with the frivoulous
P.P.S. "Dramatizer was sucked into the Letter Page dimension when no one
was watching..." grumbled a very befuddled Captain Continuity, "Stupid,
Sassafrassin, popular heroes! gotta be involved in every comic! Cross -
over head aches! That's how Sig Lad got free!" Captain was going delerious
and then popped up with what seemed to him as a brainstorm..."Or I could make
that part all a dream..." Cliche smiled sinisterly. "Or maybe there is
another hero out there!" Captain Continuity did not want to excite Cliche'
and continued, " One that can just drop a storyline anywhere he pleases..."
"But what to call him!?"
Little did he know that Netlurker had been kidnapped by...
"Whaddya mean, 'rec.arts.comics.misc was never right for
you?'" Netlurker pounded both fists down on The Redistributor's desk.
"I though it was entirely appropriate!"
Redistributor chuckled, "Ahhh, but you are *sooo* naive,
Netlurker. You *must* understand that rec.arts.comics (*sans* the
'misc' suffix, mind you) has a *much* greater readership! It's where
your audience is, boy!"
"But rec.arts.comics.MISC was the *right* thing to do! RAC
will have it's 'going out of business sale' at the end of the month."
Netlurker gestured grandly with his hands, "Thusly, readership should
be ushered to RACM as soon as possible in order to make the transition
as smooth as possible!"
Redistributor chuckled again. "Sorry to tell you this, son,
but your title has been sold to us."
"WHAT!?!? Say it ain't so! Mr. Friedman would *never* step
over the lines of Netiquette and Protocol in order to further his own
"Alas, but he did," Redistributor grinned evilly, "Mark
Friedman, aka Klone Crimson, has two major weaknesses. ONE!" He
threw his hands into the air and thunder BOOMED! "One, he has the
Writers Drive. This entails getting his fiction onto as many
newsgroups and forums as possible...and as many times as necessary!
Fool!!!", thunder BOOMED again, "why *else* did you think he reposted
all *21* issues of his 'Three of a Perfect Pair' story, wasting *megs*
of bandwidth on alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo!!!"
Netlurker scratched his chin thoughtfully. "This is true. I
kinda of thought that was in poor taste..."
"Ahhh! You begin to see the light...TWO!" BOOM! "Two, he has
the pitiful fear of having his grammar and spelling mistakes seen in a
"<GASP!> Surely you refer to my transpostulization of 'Acton
Lord' into 'Lord Acton' in my Issue #1 on RACM!" He balled his fists,
clenched his teeth, "Blast his vainglorious pomposity!!!"
"BWAHAHAHA!!!" Redistributor laughed maniacally at the
breaking of the quintessential backbone of Usenet: the Quiet
Newsreader! "Yes, yes, Netlurker, even Mr. Friedman has his
Netlurker fell back into his chair and buried his face in his
hands, disillusioned by the sell-out of his *own* creator. "So, what
is to become of me?"
Redistributor folded his hands and sat back in his chair, "You
will be banished to the realm of RAC (sans M) for the remaining
duration of its lifespan. Upon its removal, you will become a Free
Agent, and may return to RACM if you like."
Netlurker looked up warily. "That's not so bad...but what's
"Your Issue #1 from RACM will be reposted to RAC, *including*
changes made by my associates..." He gestured to the door.
Netlurker spun around in time to see...
"Blast you fiends!" Netlurker sobbed.
Redistributor laughed again. "Ahhh, but you'll never know
what happened, Netlurker. In your mind it'll be as if this never
happened. Now, we shall begin..."
OPERATION: SECOND EDITION!!!
| | | | | | | |
Netlurker remained unsure of where to place his loyalties.
The Legion of Net Heroes and The Legion of Net Villains both commanded
great power and were simultaneously mounting hardened assaults in
order to purge the ever so gradually tainted Industry of Comicdom.
Though normally at odds, the two disparate groups seemed to be driving
towards the same goal. As they approached the summit from opposing
directions, Netlurker wondered who would lay claim to the remnants of
the battered battlefield.
"At least the Industry *will* be saved," he repeated to himself,
hoping, whishing, nay, *praying* it would come to pass. Perhaps
it could: but at what cost?
The Industry's problems had become quite abundant. Rogue Publishers
sprang from nowhere like festering corpuscles emerging from an
apparently healthy outer shell. Mutating and cancerous, the trend
absorbed talents designated as "Fan-Favourite", dragging them by their
egos and pocketbooks into a small, dark room marked "Big $ales".
"Curse them!" Netlurker cried.
He himself was drawn forward by Rogue Publisher promises of "copyright
to the Artist". Surely, art should remain with the Artist, untethered
by the infamous Marketing Department. The Department's unwholesome
weapons of Advertising Hype and Crossover Craze surely must be
But, alas, they remained unchecked. Soon the Artists proclaiming
"Creative Freedom" and "Character Ownership" were lured down from
their soapboxes by royalty checks. Their minds overwhelmed by Sales
Figures, the Once-Righteous Artists became self-serving profiteers.
Netlurker wept at their absorption, but continued to work for their
Another particular perturbence of paramount proportions was the sly
Fanboy King. The King was particularly pernicious in the fact that
his powers corrupted young minds. Simple children (and, sadly, even
older folk as well) were lured into his shadowy embrace with baubles,
gimcracks, and gewgaws. Recent years had seen the rise of Multiple
Covers, Bagged Editions, and Trading Cards. The King's snares sat in
plain view, prominently displayed in every local Comic Shop.
Netlurker wept, "The children, please, *not* the children..."
But it was too late, and by years so. Shiny, flashy graphics reached
out and snagged the children gently by the optic nerves. Bright
colours pulled them in steadily, whilst placing blinders on the victim
as to prevent them from stealing a glimpse of a [GASP!] black and
"So much style without substance, so much stuff without style..."
Hook, line, and sinker, the easily influenced children were pulled in
by pap, sweetness, and light. Candy for the eyes had them salivating
Pavlovenly as they set their weekly allowance on the sales counter.
Stimulus, response, metamorphosis: the previously innocent child is
infected, becoming a *Fanboy*. The King's new servant then spreads
the disease to his friends, uttering diabolical phrases such as "you
*know* you want to", "it'll make you feel good", and "everybody's
Tears still streaming down his face, Netlurker growled through his
clenched teeth, "Damn the Shop Owner! *How* could he let it happen?"
But could, should the Owner be blamed for the problem. No, he was
just a simple pawn of the Industry. And what of the King? Who was he
working for? What was his goal? Indeed, it seemed the Fanboy King's
strategy would eventually topple the Industry. However, Marketing
Departments thrived on his minions, attaching themselves like leeches
and lampreys to the soft minds of subtly warped Fanboys.
"Could they be working *together*?" Netlurker mused. Indeed, both
profited by the conversion of Fanboys. However, as the trend
continued, the Industry would become bloated, eventually bursting like
an expired Zit on the Ass of Society. Marketing's short-sighted
profit-mongering would also become it's own demise: how ironic.
Still there existed two more Enemies of the Industry: Collector and
Speculator. These nefarious consumers were solo acts. Collector
greedily snagged everything he could find. Then he'd apply his
personal weapon: the Mylar Bag! This devious invention kept the Art
away from damaging sunlight, as well as casual readers. Collector
himself is a major target of the Fanboy King's own tools such as
Multiple Covers and Bagged Editions (natch).
Speculator is perhaps the most evil player of all. He's simply "in it
for the money" and is rumoured to have no love for the medium itself.
Gathering multiple copies of reported "hot" comics (Netlurker cringed
at the Marketing Department's power-word), Speculator proceeds to sit
on the comics, hoping they rise in value. He himself also preys on
Fanboys and the Collector as well.
So, were The Legion of Net Villains truly the evil ones? Netlurker
thought not, and strongly believed that "Brotherhood of *Evil* Net
Villains" was surely an inaccurate moniker. Whilst the LNV lusted
after domination of the world, and thus the Industry, they certainly
didn't desire its destruction. His own confrontations with Acton Lord
had told him that much: the LNV was as much concerned with the
Industry's survival as he was.
On the other hand, the Legion of Net Heroes was also working for the
Industry's liberation. However, their sense of self-righteousness
turned Netlurker against their ways. Many of their tactics were just
as questionable in that they called for a herd mentality: "Fanboys are
bad, thus Fanboy titles are worthless and of no artistic value." Such
wretched proclamations made Netlurker retch! Blind Faith, no matter
for *what* the cause, was EVIL!
Netlurker remained unsure of where to place his loyalties, but at the
moment felt himself closer to Acton Lord's cause. Over time he'd
developed an increased sense of sarcasm on cynicism. Once optimistic
of the comic world, he found himself jaded, upset at what Marketing
had done to the Industry. Something had to be done, quickly, and if
it had to be carried out with a Villain's ruthlessness, then so be it!
But for now he waited, waited at his small terminal located in the
sterile, overcrowded machine room of a major American University. He
had his super-powers at hand: Internet Access, Threaded News Reader,
Kill Files, and Anonymous Posting.
Netlurker smiled ferally through the mysterious shadow that always
seemed to follow him around. He was confident that the quiet observer
such as himself and the thousands of other Netlurkers patrolling the
streams of electronic data in the Net would prevail. They would post
in quality, not quantity, only occasionally finding the appropriate
moment in time to make careful stabs at the unprotected joints of
faulty posts and flames.
Netlurker continued his duty, monitoring the movements of the Legions.
P.S. And what of Sig Lad? Will he stand idly by as his universe is carved
by a foreign unfeeling maniac?
P.P.S. And what of wReam's efforts to become a hero himself... Will he
Expand his mini "w" into wizard intime to champion justice. Or will he
flip the "w" over to make an "m" and then become master. And How long
will it take for my envelope to get to Dave's so I can draw a retalitory
poster... Hrmph! (stupid holidays!)
Note: Dyslexia is an old foe of mine, from the "Spelling Boy: the Hors-
D'oeuvre Quest" mini-series. She's wanted by the authorities on Webster's
Planet (my home world) for crimes committed in connection with the
Their-there-they're Holocaust. We think she may also have something to
do with the growing prevalence of the misspelling of "Marvel" as "Marvle,"
but this doesn't really bother us much. }8^)
Well, back to work...
>direction of the three new comers. "See, its NOT my fault! Its theirs!"
"newcomers" ... "it's"
>mean for his quest for imortality? They could just cut him off with one fell
>was considered small potatoes. If he could get the comsic Control writers to
>manipulate the heart strings of so many... ROMANTIC-INUENDO!!! But to find
>Expand his mini "w" into wizard intime to champion justice. Or will he
>will it take for my envelope to get to Dave's so I can draw a retalitory
Bill Sherman S^1 `--> S^(2n+1) -->> CP^n she...@math.ucla.edu
LET ME RING THE BELL. -Billy Crystal's privates