LNHY: Looniverse Y #1: Part I: Jumping Off on the Wrong Foot

Arspitzer arspitzer at aol.com
Sun Aug 1 17:23:00 PDT 2004

Part I

The Mysterious Shadowy Messing-with-Destiny Dude shuffled briskly down 
the street clutching a rather ominous black briefcase.

He occasionally glanced at his sinister watch while dodging and 
blindsiding the various pedestrians that stood in his way.  He had a 
very important date with destiny and time was on a very short fuse.  The 
very fate of this "New" Looniverse was tied to getting this briefcase to 
the right person at the right time.  And he wasn't about to slow for any 
man, woman or...

"Hey, Mister!  Wanna buy some girlscout cook... *Uhhfff*!!"

...well you know.


                      Jumping Off on the Wrong Foot




There's a universe that might look suspiciously like some "other" 
universe.  Like some quick badly done xerox job.  But obviously it's 
just a coincidence.  I mean, really, what kind of shameless god would 
steal from some other god?  But let's not get into that!  Things like 
this happen all of the time.  What?  Like you've never reinvented the 
wheel?  Likely story.  But getting back to the subject at hand this 
universe needs a name.  We'll call it Looniverse Y.

Y?    ...Y not.  (Hah!  Get it?  Y not..  Wait!  Don't Leave..  please?  
I promise I won't do that ever again!  Please..?)

In this Looniverse "Y" there are quite a lot of stars most with their 
own exciting, thrilling, and amazing stories.  But we're going to ignore 
all of those and instead focus on one called Sun Y.  Not to be confused 
with Sun E which is a great solar system for a tan.  In the Sun Y solar 
system there's a blue green brown planet with a lot of swirly white 
stuff surrounding it.  It's name is T-Bone.  (Okay some academics and 
scientists call it Earth Y, but most people call it T-bone.)  And on the 
planet T-Bone there's a great city filled with superheroes, 
supervillains, supermodels, superintendents, supermarkets, 
superciliouses and.. and.. Well you get the picture.

This great supercity's name is Net.ropolis Y.  And it's where this great 
superstory begins.  Well, okay, if you want to get picky it begins in a 
very serious building.  A very deadly serious building.


"This is a very impressive list of Superhero Teams you've been involved 
with," said a man in a very serious looking suit sitting behind a very 
serious desk.  There was a very serious nameplate on the desk that read 
'Major Lee Serious'.

"Thanks," replied a man in a black and blue colored costume.  There was 
an emblem of a shoe print in the middle of his chest and also one on his 
back.  "I hold the title in the 'Guinness Book of T-Bone Records' for 
belonging to the most Superhero Teams of all time."

"And you've been kicked out of every single one of them?"

"Uh, yeah,"  There was an embarrassed expression on his face.  "I hold 
that record too.  They don't call me Kid Kicked-Out for nothing.  It's 
my uh.. superpower."

"Maybe, but still.  There must be a reason why you were kicked off all 
of these superhero teams."

"Umm, politics?"

"It says here you were a member of the Teen Fascists," read Major Lee 
Serious from Kid Kicked-Out's resume.  "Is that right?"

"Uh, yeah.  It was a pretty sweet job actually, well till after a couple 
of weeks they discovered that my ID was fake and that I was 32 not 16 
years old.  Apparently they have some rule about how you're supposed to 
be a 'teen-ager' if you want to be a member.  They paid nicely though."

"And you were a member of the Before God Guys?  Don't you need to have 
existed before God to be a member?  Is that why you were kicked out?"

"Nah, it was because I crashed their Petrified Plane into some 
orphanage.  Hey, I was naked and drunk.  People do stupid things when 
they're naked and drunk.  I learned my lesson.  When you're naked and 
drunk don't fly planes, especially if you don't know how to fly a plane.  
But did they give me a second chance?  I suppose they eventually might 
have found out that I lied about my age and that the white beard I was 
wearing was a fake.  Although who knows.  They were pretty senile."

"I see.  And you were a member of the Desperately Desperate Desperadoes?  
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the Desperately Desperate 
Desperadoes desperate for anyone to join their superhero team and for 
that matter desperate for anyone to stay to the point of stalking ex-

"Well their so-called 'tolerance' seems to end when you accidentally 
blow-up their headquarters.  I mean, I thought it was just one of those 
joke bombs.  You know the kind that look like real bombs?  And hey, it's 
not like anyone was killed.  Well, okay, I guess I killed Wish-I-Were-
Dead Man, but hey -- he wanted to die.  I was doing him a favor.  But 
they didn't seem to see it that way."

"Look," Kid Kicked-Out quickly added, "I know this all sounds kind of 
bad, but I have done some very heroic stuff using my abilities.  Why 
there was this time I saved our own dear Looniverse Y using my powers.

"And you have proof and witnesses to back you up on this alleged 

"Um, well not really.  You see it's one of those situations where if I 
were to prove I saved Looniverse Y, then Looniverse Y wouldn't be saved.  
My inability to prove that I saved Looniverse Y is what's saving 
Looniverse Y from oblivion.  But I'm sure you've heard of this kind of 
phenomenon before?"

"No.  This is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing."

"Well, there are tons of scientific texts that talk about this.  I don't 
remember what they're called.  But they're out there.  Honest.  You'll 
just have to trust me on this."

"You know," Kid Kicked-Out continued, "I'd like to add my power isn't 
secluded to just getting kicked off superhero teams.  I can get kicked 
out of dimensions which can be pretty useful.  And I'm invulnerable to 
any harm, although I'm a bit more sensitive to pain than the typical 
person.  And anything, place, or concept that it's possible to be kicked 
out of I can be kicked out of.  I remember this year I was doing some 
prison time..."

"Wait!  Why were you doing prison time?"

"Umm, well -- you know how it is.  Right?  I mean it's politics.  And 
the system.  I mean every superhero does 'some' prison time.  It's like 
a rite of passage.  You know?  You get what I'm saying?"

"I've never done any prison time.  And neither has anyone on my team."

"Well, when I'm member of your team I'm sure that will change."

Major Lee Serious scribbled down something on a piece of paper.

"Ah, that was a joke.  I wasn't being serious.  What are you writing 
down?"  said Kid Kicked-Out becoming concerned.

"I see.  A joke."  Major Lee Serious scribbled some more stuff down and 
then hid the paper from Kid Kicked-Out's view.  "It's nothing important.  
Just notes."

"Look, Kid Kicked-Out.  I don't think you would really fit in as a 
member of the Deadly Serious Squad.  In fact, I would probably have to 
be on some kind of stupid pill to make you a member of my team.  You 
see, Kid Kicked-Out, the Deadly Serious Squad isn't one of these wacky 
joking around superhero groups that you're so used too.  We're on a 
mission.  A deadly serious mission.  We're trying to advance the 
superhero genre.  We're trying to show that superhero comics can deal 
with important issues.  Like the War on Terror.  Drugs.  Rape.  Racism.  
Gay Marriage.  Right now we're in the middle of a 11 issue arc dealing 
with Social Security Reform.  I'm afraid you'd stick out like a sore 
thumb, Kid Kicked-Out."

"Hey!  I have no problem beating up old people."

"*Ahem*.  Anyway, we try to keep ourselves at a distance from the 
silliness, Kid Kicked-Out.  The Deadly Serious Squad doesn't fight 
supervillains.  We fight drug lords and terrorists.  We don't wear 
spandex.  We wear business suits.  We don't have code names or super 
powers because those things tend to distract from the important issues 
we try to raise.  It's getting harder though.  I think we may eventually 
have to move to some other city.  Net.ropolis Y is just starting to 
become to silly."  Major Lee Serious sighed.

"We were doing this issue on abortion.  And it was a great issue.  We 
were really zeroing in on the human condition.  Everything was real.  
The emotions.  The people.  We were transcending the superhero genre.  
We were on the cusp of something special.  And then they came.  They 
crashed through the wall.  They were kangaroos wearing straw-hats.  And 
they carried banjos.  And they started having a banjo duel right there 
in the Planned Parenthood Clinic.  Right there!  A banjo duel!  Those 
damn Banjo Dueling Kangaroos!"

Major Lee Serious was out of his chair next to the window.  He looked 
out the window and he placed one hand on the window while he stared.

"We could have gotten a good review in The Comics Journal.  Maybe even 
won an award.  But those damn Banjo Dueling Kangaroos!  God damn.  God 
damn."  There was a heavy sadness in Major Lee Serious's eyes.  "We're 
going to have to move.  Probably to No Joke City.  The silliness here 
corrupts you.  It devours your soul.  Sometimes I feel I'm standing on 
the edge of an abyss.  Sometimes.  Sometimes I fantasize about wearing a 
lolly pop costume and calling myself Lolly-Pop Man."

"Umm, are you still interviewing me?"

"What? Oh, right.  Sorry.  As I was saying, I don't think you would fit 
in, Kid Kicked-Out.  The Deadly Serious Squad is deadly serious.  Deadly 

"Wait!  Maybe I could be your butler.  Every superhero group needs a 
wacky butler, right?"

"We don't need or want a wacky butler."

"Well, okay.  Thanks for your time.  Say, you don't mind me asking you 
something, do you?"


"Could I borrow ten thousand dollars?"


"I don't get it," Kid Kicked-Out said to himself as he swallowed another 
shot of tequila. "Why did I get stuck with this stupid power.  Why 
couldn't someone else suffer?  Why did it have to be me?"

Another patron of the bar wearing a labcoat shrugged his head.

"And it's not like I'm the worst superhero out there.  You know?  I was 
a member of the World's Worst Heroes and they kicked me out for being 
overly competent."

"Have you tried changing your identity and pretending to be some other 
superhero?" asked the lab coated man.

"How do you think I got into most of the superhero teams I was in?  But 
these teams are starting to get better at weeding me out.  I'd figure 
I'd try some reverse psychology by telling the truth.  Doesn't seem to 
be working to well."

"How about starting your own superhero team?"

"You realize how much that would cost?  First there's the salaries.  
Then there's the health care plan.  Then the headquarters and the 
vehicles.  And then you've got the property damage insurance and the 
superhero malpractice insurance.  The lawyers.  The bribes to various 
public officials.  Bribes to supervillains.  The costs of running a 
superhero team are insane."

"Why don't you charge the superheroes to join your team?"

"Charge?  What kind of idiot would pay to join a superhero team?"

"Well, while people who actually have powers might not be willing to 
pay, what about extremely rich people who have always wanted to belong 
to a superhero team?"

"Whoah!" Kid Kicked-Out paused for a moment like he had finally seen the 
light.  "I get what you're saying!  There are all these really rich 
people out there who have tons of money and they need people like myself 
to take it from them!"

"Well, I wasn't quite saying..."

"I could charge a million dollars the first month for membership.  And 
then keep doubling the amount every additional month.  And then when 
I've amassed my fortune, I could sell the team for, like, 50 mill and 
retire to the Bahamas.  My god!  This idea is so stupid it could 
possibly work!!"

Kid Kicked-Out rose off the barstool.  Finally he had a purpose in life.  
He looked back at the labcoated man who had given him hope.  "I'm sorry, 
I just realized I didn't get your name?"

"Dr. Idius O'Stupid Agottawork.  Here's my business card."


Kid Kicked-Out whistled a bit as he strolled to the hotel he was staying 
at.  Hopefully he hadn't been kicked out yet.

He thought about Dr. Idius's idea some more.  Oil Barons, Hotel 
Heiresses, Rock Stars, Lottery Winners, Colombian Drug Lords, and Third 
World Dictators all on one Superhero Team.  All banded together for one 
purpose.  To make him rich.  Is that the American Dream or what?

What should he call this team?  Maybe Team Get-Rich-Scheme?  No, that's 
a bit too blatant.  Maybe the X-pensive Men?  Too sexist.  How about 
Filthy Rich Force.  Or the Profiteers.  God.  A get rich fast scheme 
combined with a superhero team.  It doesn't get more American than that.  
A patriotic tear streamed down his cheek.

Kid Kicked-Out was so lost in thought about his new superhero team that 
he crashed right into some mysterious shadowy figure.

"Whoah!  Sorry, man.  Didn't see you there."

The Mysterious Shadowy Messing-with-Destiny Dude brushed himself off.  
"No apologies necessary.  I'm perfectly fine.  I believe you dropped 
your briefcase, Mr. Gaines."

"What?  Oh, right.  Thanks.  Wait.  I don't have a briefcase!"  Kid 
Kicked-Out said as picked the briefcase from the ground, but the 
mysterious shadowy figure had disappeared.

"Did he call me Mr. Gaines?"  Kid Kicked-Out's secret identity was in 
fact Greeve Gaines, but only a very small number of people actually knew 
that.  He checked his mask to see if it was still on, which it was.

"God damn mysterious shadowy figures.  Should be a law against them."  
He looked at the briefcase.  There was an engraving.  The engraving read 
'Property of the LNH'.  Who the hell was LNH?

He should just drop this on the ground.  Whatever it was, it was bad 
mojo.  He could feel it.  Something very horrible was hidden in that 
briefcase.  But then again there could be money.  Or maybe dirty 
magazines.  He guessed it wouldn't hurt to go back to his hotel room and 
have a little peek.  Just one little peek.  He was a superhero.  And 
that's what superheroes did.  Throw common sense out the window.


Kid Kicked-Out popped open a can of No-Duh! Soda.  "No-Duh!  It's a So-
Duh!"  Kid Kicked-Out said with a goofy expression like they did in the 
No-Duh! Soda commercials.

He looked at the briefcase on his bed.  Might as well open it, he 
thought to himself.  He carefully unhitched the latches and slowly 
opened it preparing for an explosion or something.

"Damn.  No money."  He looked at the various contents within.  A piece 
of cheesecake.  There was a book called, 'Everything You Always Wanted 
To Know About The LNH, But Were Afraid To Ask' by St. wReavenger Van 
Saxdrippseel McHuberyike III.

He flipped through the book, but all the pages were blank.  There was a 
bottle filled with something.  Pills?  LNHQ Pills.  What were LNHQ 
Pills?  He looked at the text on the bottle.

Instructions for using LNHQ Pills:

1. Plant a LNHQ Pill firmly into the ground.

2. Add water.

3. Run like hell.

4.  Enjoy your brand new LNHQ.

It gave further warnings about making sure your bottle of LNHQ Pills was 
stored in a very dry place and how swallowing any LNHQ Pill could be 
very, very bad for your health.

There were two final objects in the briefcase.  A glass bottle that was 
filled with some sparkly energy and something that looked like a cross 
between a remote control and a very small computer.

As he took the glass bottle out of the briefcase to examine it, a loud 
beeping came from the remote control thingee.

Startled by this, the glass bottle slipped out of Kid Kicked-Out's hands 
and fell onto the hard cement floor.  (Don't you just hate hotels that 
have hard cement floors?).  The glass shattered, releasing a sparkly 
energy ball.  There was a great flash and a rainbow of colors filled Kid 
Kicked-Out's hotel room.  Then everything returned to normal.  Whatever 
it was it had vanished.

<:Hey there, Kid Kicked-Out.:>  The voice came from the weird remote 
control object.  <:The ladies all call me The Great Machine Language 
Lover, but you may call me the New LNH Member Detector.  I have the 
ability to detect new LNH members, as well as give my sage wisdom to 
those that need it, function as an AM FM radio, and when I feel a story 
is getting boring tell one of my hilarious anecdotes from my days at the 
New LNH Member Detector Academy.  I'd like to congratulate you on your 
selection as the first leader of the brand new LNH on Looniverse Y.:>

"What the..?  The Leader of the LNH?  I think you must be mistaken."

<:Mistaken?  Nope.  I never make mistakes.  You opened up the briefcase 
and the first person to open up this briefcase becomes the leader of the 
LNH.  That's how it works.:>

There was no point in arguing with this thing.  And perhaps being the 
leader of the LNH was a good thing.  Perhaps this is what the name of 
his superhero team would be.  The LNH.  "Umm?  What exactly is the LNH?"

<:You've never heard of the Legion of Net.Heroes?:>

"Umm?  These are heroes that fight crime using nets?"

<:Net as in internet!:>

"So they fight crime using the internet?"

<:My God!  What kind of backwater alternate universe have I stumbled 
onto?  Look!  It doesn't matter what the LNH is or stands for.  All that 
matters is that you're now the leader of the LNH for the Looniverse Y 
sector.  The LNH is probably the greatest superhero team franchise in 
the entire Omnilooniverse and has franchises in more than a googol of 
the universes.  And there's another billion every second being formed 
right as we speak.  You should feel honored to be a part of something 
that is so... so grotesque.:>

"Hey, it sounds great!  So I'm the leader!  Does that mean I can do 
anything I want with this LNH?  Like, if I were to decide to charge 
people to be members of the LNH?  I could do that, right?"

<:Charge people?  Why would anyone pay to be a member of the LNH?  You 
pay superheroes to be members of the LNH.  That's how it works.  New 
members of the LNH get about $600 a week plus healthcare.  As the leader 
you get about $1000 a week plus healthcare.  And I the New LNH Member 
Detector get about $10,000 a week plus healthcare.:>

"What?!  You get half a mill a year!?  Why in the world do you get paid 
anything at all??"

<:Hey, it's not every idiot off the street who can decide who should be 
a member of the LNH!  I personally think I get paid to little.  But 
that's just me.  You can of course take this up with the New LNH Member 
Detector Teamsters Guild.  Although, I wouldn't if I were you.  They are 
a really nasty bunch.  But, hey.  You're probably a lot braver than I 
am.  Have a nice funeral.  Oh, yeah!  Now that I think of it, there's 
also insurance, electricity, food, bribes, and a bunch of other stuff.  
I guess altogether it should only cost about Ten million a month to run 
the LNH.:>

"Ten Million!?  TEN MILLION?!  Where the hell am I supposed to get Ten 
million dollars??"

<:I don't know.  I guess most LNH's make money from licensing deals.  
You know, action figures, T-shirts, mugs, swimsuit calendars.  In most 
universes the LNH is very popular, with the occasional exception of the 
alternate universes where the LNH has to live in the sewers fighting for 
a world that hates them.  But I'm sure this isn't one of those.:>

"I'm sorry.  I'm going to have to pass on all this.  I'm flattered, but 
I don't think I can do this.  Hope you find another LNH Leader!  Bye!"

<:Not so fast!  You opened this briefcase up.  You're the Leader of the 
LNH whether you like it or not.:>

"Hah!  You know who you're talking too?  Do *you* know who you're 
talking too?  I'm Kid Kicked-Out.  I've been kicked out of more 
Superhero Teams than your memory chips can store.  There is not one 
single superhero team that I can't be kicked out of.  Even the LNH.  
Watch this!"  With that Kid Kicked-Out closed his eyes as if he were 
meditating.  His fingers started to tremble and sweat started to pour 
off his brow.  Using all his mental energy he focused on his kicked-out 
powers.  The hotel room started to shake.  Finally he opened his eyes.

"There!  I'm no longer a member of the LNH!  Take that you overgrown 
remote control!"

<:Actually, you're still the Leader of the LNH.  You know your power 
doesn't work like that.  It only works if the writer thinks it would be 
funny if you were kicked off a superhero team.:>

"Damn!  Damn!  Damn!  Well how do I get out of this?  Can't I resign?"

<:No.  I'm afraid if you resigned the Omnilooniversal LNH Lawyers Guild 
would sue you into oblivion for breach of contract.  You could kill 
yourself.  There's a specific clause that says no dead person can be the 
Leader of the LNH.:>

"I don't think so.  What else?"

<:There's an LNH election a year from now, but that won't do you any 
good.  You could get recalled I suppose.  But you'd need signatures from 
ten percent of the species in Looniverse Y which would be hard to get 
since 95 percent don't know how to sign a petition.:>

"I'm going to go bankrupt!"

<:Look it's not that bad.  I'm sure there's something in the 'Everything 
You Always Wanted To Know About The LNH, But Were Afraid To Ask' manual 
that talks about this.:>

"This?"  Kid Kicked-Out said picking up the book.  "There's nothing but 
blank pages!"

<:Wow!  Really?  Those are pretty rare.  I bet you could get quite a lot 
for that on the Omnilooniversal Black Market.  Not that I would know 
anything about that.  Well, hmm.. okay.  So the manual is useless.  
Well, let's try the... hmmm.  Say.  What happened to the Fragment of the 
Last Deus ex Machina?:>

"The what..?"

<:It would look like a small bottle that has a colorful energy ball in 

"Uhh.. You mean this?"  Kid Kicked-Out said pointing at the glass 
fragments on the hard cement floor.

<:What the hell did you do?:>

"Me?  It was you!  You scared me with those loud beeps!  Umm.. So is 
this, like, bad?"

<:That would depend on how you define bad.  There is a legend.  There 
will come a time in the future when the Omnilooniverse faces its 
greatest threat.  A menace so horrible that it will take the combined 
might of every LNH that has ever existed and will ever exist to defeat 
it.  Each LNH has a fragment of The Last Deus ex Machina.  And there 
will come a time after many of the LNH'rs have been killed that the 
remaining few will open all their bottles and all the fragments will 
combine with each other to form The Last Deus ex Machina which will 
destroy the great menace in an epic battle.  So if you define bad as the 
horrible destruction of every single Looniverse that has ever existed, 
then I guess you could call this bad.:>

<:That being said, I guess there's no point in worrying about it.  The 
Omnilooniverse was going to end one of these days.  It will just end a 
little sooner than all the cosmic powers expected it too.  I wouldn't 
worry about it.  I'm not worried.:>

"So what do I do now?"

<:Now?  I guess you should start finding some really high paying job so 
you can pay for my salary.:>

"How do I turn you off?"

<:Now.  Now.  Let's just settle down, Cowboy.  Let's not do anything 
that we might later regret.  Let's just calm down and... *CLICK*:>

"There.  That did the trick."  Kid Kicked-Out looked at the briefcase 
and sighed.  He needed to get some rest.  He'd figure out everything 

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