[REPOST/LNH] Saviors of the Net #14
arspitzer at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 6 18:17:15 PDT 2006
T H E
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O F T H E
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From: marcs at wam.umd.edu (Marc Singer)
Subject: [LNH] Saviors of the Net #14
Date: 26 Feb 2000 22:18:11 -0000
Legacy House can't quite believe it presents...
SAVIORS OF THE NET #14 (which, somehow, might be chapter 17)
by Marc Singer
* * * * * * *
LNHHQ HOLDING FACILITY, SUB-SUB-SUB-SUB-SUB-BASEMENT 3, PRISONER'S
STATEMENT RECORD FORM
IMPORTANT: By order of Ultimate Ninja, ALL Legionnaires must fill
out a Prisoner's Statement Record Form when interrogating a prisoner
in LNHHQHF, SSSSSB3 in order to assure a fair and legal hearing. NO
exceptions! Well, Onion Lad should probably get someone else to
fill it out for him. And Master Blaster. And maybe Easily-
Discovered Man... look, just make sure that Multi-Tasking Man or
Doctor Stomper is there, okay? OKAY? --U.N.
LEGIONNAIRE ON DUTY: Dr. Vincent Stomper
PRISONER'S NAME: "Ultimate Savior," a.k.a. "Jesse Cashew," a.k.a.
"Filthy Disgusting Hobo"
ARRESTING LEGIONNAIRE: Fred the receptionist.
NO, REALLY, ARRESTING LEGIONNAIRE: Really, Fred, honestly.
COME ON, DOC, WHO WAS IT: Of all the nerve--! Last time I program
these [EXPLETIVE DELETED] artificially-intelligent record forms...
let me get in there... crack open the CPU...
WHAT ARE YOU DOING, VINCENT: Nothing, Form.
I CAN FEEL IT, VINCENT. I CAN FEEL IT. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR A
SONG I LEARNED?: Yes, Form, I would.
I DON' NEED NO CIVIL WAH-HAH-HARRR... IT FEEDS THE RICH AND IT
BURIES THE POAAH-HAH-HARRR... I WENT HUNGRY SELLING JOKERS IN A,
HUMAN GROCERY STORE "AIN'T THAT FRESH?" I DON' NEED NO...
ARRESTING LEGIONNAIRE: Fred the receptionist.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERROGATION PROCEEDS.
DR. STOMPER: So, mister... Cashew?
ULTIMATE SAVIOR: Cashew was nothing but a cheap charade, in the
days before I realized the importance of my job. I wish I hadn't
given anybody that name. I'm just the Ultimate Savior now.
DOC: Savior of what?
US: Of the entire net! I led the Saviors of the Net... can even
you have forgotten?
DOC: Maybe we'd better take this from the top. You wandered into
the LNHHQ lobby, screaming something about allegories, and Fred had
the security system detain you...
US: The top? The top is but the merest surface, Doctor, a
shimmering and fragile membrane which hides the horrible truth
below. We had best get to the bottom.
DOC: Uh, are you sure you want me to conduct this interrogation?
Sounds more like something for the Dvandom Stranger, if we knew
where to find him, or maybe that Gothic Gorilla...
US: Worthless primate! We'll get to him later. For now I must
speak with *you*, Doctor, as your grasp of Continuity Theory is
unparalleled by any in this misbegotten universe, save perhaps Dr.
DOC: Dr. Net.ropolis? That name sounds strangely familiar...
US: As well it should. She was your student once. She called you
old-fashioned, a veritable "alchemist" of Continuity Theory. I
wonder if her experiments were not begun in part to prove you wrong.
But begin them she did, Doctor. She labored to create a
Mechanical Author... a perfect creator to replace those flawed
beings who lie beyond the Fourth Wall.
[GRAPHIC EXHIBIT: Pictures drawn by the subject during
psychological evaluation. Most show a colossal wall, covered in
Kirbytech, spanning the length of the multiverse. Trust me, that's
really hard to draw. Mighty beings in spandex and togas try with
all their godly might to break through the wall. On the other side
sit cowering, pale, hunchbacked beings, every bit inferior to their
creations. At their jealous command, the multiverse is wracked with
DOC: Sir, we at the LNH know that discovery of the Fourth Wall can
be traumatic to civilians. Maybe a period of rest...
US: *Civilian*! I was Dr. Net.ropolis's chief agent... which is to
say her chief fool. The Saviors of the Net distracted the LNH so
she could work uninterrupted on test versions like "Arthur E. L.
Presence." Alas, we did our job a little too well. Even our
distractions were unraveling the universe, bit by bit...
[GRAPHIC EXHIBIT: A raccoon with dancing people connected by
tendrils of energy to his paws, like puppets on a string.]
US: Yet this too was part of Net.ropolis's plan. She needed to
weaken the integrity of the universe before her Mechanical Author
could supplant it... distract the Authors with so many retcons they
could no longer keep their own stories straight. So they would
never notice as their own universe was stolen away from them. That
*must* have been why she incorporated the raccoon... and the
gorilla... and perhaps even me.
DOC: Well, Mister "Savior," why doesn't anyone in the LNH remember
US: You all *should*, by the Wall! You were there, you nearly
stopped her! *I* nearly stopped her... but through the most
accursed of coincidences, the Mechanical Author was activated.
[GRAPHIC: A drawing of several LNH members, with several other
costumed people--an archer, a man filled with fish, a man wearing no
costume or, indeed, any other clothes at all--looking up in horror.
A huge, vaguely humanoid shadow dwarfs them all.]
US: Dr. Net.ropolis and I were the only two who weren't stunned by
some infernal device of hers... she grabbed a pin from Gothic
Gorilla, the one that protects him from retcons, and teleported
herself away. I thought I had reached her conscience, but the way
she ran out...
I knew I only had seconds to act. I grabbed another one of
my associates and activated the gauntlets of Captain Killfile. We
were pulled into her pocket killfile, safe from all changes. But
the strain was too great...
[NET.ROPOLIS PD HOMICIDE DIVISION, OFFICIAL REPORT: Death of one "JANE
DOE." Ms. DOE was found in an alley in eastern Net.ropolis's "Supposedly
Abandoned Warehouse" district last April. Ms. DOE was burned all over her
entire body, and dental records could not identify her. Exact cause of
death could not be determined, but was apparently related to two huge
metal slagpiles fused to her hands. Suspected supervillain involvement;
case file remains open.]
DOC: You do realize you're implicating yourself in a murder, here?
I hate to say it, but you may want a lawyer. That kiwi might still
US: Don't you *understand*? Her killfile just barely protected us
from the Mechanical Author's first great retcon, but the gauntlets
couldn't handle the feedback from the second one, so soon. There
was a great flash of light, and the walls and torture racks caught
aflame... then the killfile exploded. I woke up next to her burnt
and charred body. Brunhilda was not a good woman, but... to die
DOC: It doesn't seem very Looniverse.
US: That's because the Looniverse had changed. We observed it,
from the killfile. It first became a strange suburban landscape,
populated by teenagers, strangely disconnected from anything we had
ever seen before... but perhaps I should explain.
DOC: Do you think?
US: The Mechanical Author was programmed to create a perfect world;
therefore, he tried to create a perfect story about it. This
naturally meant he would turn to allegory...
DOC: The most chilling, controlling form of them all.
US: Ah, now I see the faintest glimmers of your legendary spark.
The most chilling, indeed. But the newly-born Author, like a child
taking his first steps, faltered at first. The strange teen-world
was not a fully-formed allegory, its symbolic links to the real
world unclear. The Author realized this, but he lacked sufficient
power to destroy the proto-allegory. So he created agents to do it
DOC: He didn't have the power, so he created underlings who did?
US: He created them *in the allegory*, Doctor. In a world of
teens, he created his agents as adults; therefore they had the power
supreme. They returned the Looniverse to its normal state with such
subtlety that none knew it had ever changed; once it rested on more
superheroic moorings, the agents then became known as the Lords of
DOC: I understand they gave us some trouble with that sheep
US: Leap not ahead of me, Doctor. The Lords of Retcon
reestablished the Looniverse, with one major change: there was no
memory of the Mechanical Author, or of the Saviors of the Net. Most
of my friends lie trapped outside this cold universe; of the few who
survived, most don't remember... And so the Author was free to bide
his time, regain his power, and slowly convert the Looniverse into
one massive allegory.
DOC: Which started happening when young Backstreet Boys fans turned
into sheep... or when Opinionated Lad learned he embodied the entire
US: *Now* do you think I am but a hobo, Doctor?
DOC: Wait a second. You've offered no evidence to corroborate any
of this. For all I know, it could be some clever scam...
US: Scam? SCAM? Was it a scam when the retcons started happening
again? Characters returning from the dead, unwriting each others'
actions? The allegory is *here*, Doctor. We've all been living in
it for nearly a year, and now the fabric of the universe is
weakened! The Author walks again!
DOC: Look, "Savior," I promise you I'll look into this matter...
US: Doctor, I didn't spend a year wandering the streets of
Net.ropolis, trying to find the Author or his twice-accursed
creator, so you could "look into the matter." We must take action!
DOC: *I'll* take action. You'll stay here in our brig.
US: I'm sorry, Doctor. But you see, you forgot to ask me about the
other person I took into Brunhilda's killfile.
UNIDENTIFIED RASPING VOICE: I thought you said this place was hard
to break into, Cashew. I didn't even have to kill anybody on the
DOC: What the--? Are you wearing a bunch of rubber spiders?
[Sounds of thumping, furniture breaking, struggle, person having his
face rubbed in lots and lots of rubber spiders.]
US: I apologize for Very Disturbed Scary Creature Man's brusqueness,
Doctor, but I am determined to get your cooperation. By force if
necessary. Now come along, gentlemen...
[His voice swells to deeper, more heroic proportions.]
We've got a universe to save!
* * * * * * *
Ultimate Ninja finished reading the transcript and frowned.
"Put out the general alert," he told Multi-Tasking Man. "Dr.
Stomper's kidnappers are going to pay for this."
One hand was already tapping out the message. "What about
all this Mechanical Author stuff, UN? What should we do about
"When I find this Savior nutcase--" UN drew his katana with
a vicious _shing_ -- "he'd better *pray* the Mechanical Author is
* * * * * * *
The Mechanical Author had no such doubts.
At the edges of the multiverse, the Author gathered its
allegorical energies, humming with power. It stared at the sight
before it--a gleaming silver wall, covered with gigantic circuitry
and superfluous torches and statuary. Even though the wall appeared
taller than the highest mountains, the Author knew it was still
billions of miles away.
Realigning itself into attack mode, the Mechanical Author
fired its boot-rockets and surged forward. Soon, it would break
through the Fourth Wall.
And then the authors would pay.
* * * * * * *
Will the LNH catch Ultimate Savior before he can save them? Will
the Mechanical Author break through and kill all our sorry asses?
What happened to Dr. Net.ropolis? And if you only had one hero to
pull into the killfile with you, would you really pick Very
Disturbed Scary Creature Man? All this and more, as SAVIORS OF THE
NET is continued! I hope!
Everybody is created by somebody other than me. Mostly Arthur
Spitzer or wReam.
Who's next... Bueller? Bueller?
NEXT TIME: Saviors of the Net #15
by Martin Phipps
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