[LNH/FWVI] Ultimate Mercenary #3

Time Warrior lord_soldeed at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 21 18:02:08 PST 2004

Ultimate Mercenary #3:
"The Genetically Engineered Vegetables of Wrath," part 3
AKA "The End of History" part -1, or -2, or something.
An actual (incredibly belated) Flame Wars VI crossover!
by Adrian McClure

In an altered timeline ruled by the madman Apocalisp, every member of
the LNH was killed except one:  Ultimate Ninja.  Eventually, even he
was killed, but one fan survived to carry on his legacy.  And that fan
had a son.  And that son had a clone.  And that clone had another
clone, and that clone had another clone.  Finally, that clone had a
son:  Ultimate Mercenary.  After helping the LNH avert his timeline,
he joined them in protecting the present, more or less serving as
Ultimate Ninja's lackey and bootlicker.  Now, however, he is forced to
survive on his own, lost in time and space, trapped in a mysterious

The story so far:

After finding himself 500 years in the future due to no one wanting to
write about him for all that time, Ultimate Mercenary discovered that
the world had been taken over by genetically engineered vegetables. 
He joined an embattled group of human rebels to fight the vegetables,
but discovered that no one much liked him except for the most
attractive female rebel, Varda, which caused people to hate him even
more.  However, he was given a flute with mysterious powers by a
mysterious stranger called the Old Man, which enabled him to fight off
some bullying rebels once they stole his weapons.  Meanwhile, some
other mysterious strangers from an alternate reality are plotting to
kill Ultimate Mercenary for something he will do in the future, and
yet another mysterious stranger called Masterplan Lad is trying to
save him from them.  Oh, and this title is still involved in Flame
Wars VI, even though it ended half a year ago.  Got it?


	Varda entered her cave-chamber and finally lay on her rough fur bed. 
She would have realized that it was uncomfortable if she had any
concept of what comfortable sleeping was like.

	It had been another day of fighting and long treks, much like most of
those in her life, but with one difference:  she now had hope.  Thanks
to the new hero who had arrived from the past, there was a chance that
her tribe could end its endless struggle to survive.  What's more, the
man himself was far more noble and kind than most of the brutish men
of her tribe.  She suddenly realize that in the short time she had
known him she had come to

	"Love him?  God, no."

	Ahem.  She had come to love him.

	"No I haven't.  Sure, he's better then most men here, and he's the
only one who can save us all, and all that.  But he's still kind of

	Look, you're supposed to be his love interest.

	"I don't care.  I'm not interested in him."

	Look, who's the author here, you or me?

	"You have no concept of how relationships really work, do you?"

	Do you want me to delete you from the story?

	"Fine, go ahead, delete me from the stor

Alright, let's try that again.

Ultimate Mercenary #3:
"The Genetically Engineered Vegetables of Wrath," part 3
An actual (incredibly belated) Flame Wars VI crossover!
AKA "The End of History" part -1, or -2, or something

In an altered timeline ruled by the madman Apocalisp, every member of
the LNH was killed except one:  Ultimate Ninja.  Eventually, even he
was killed, but one fan survived to carry on his legacy.  And that fan
had a son.  And that son had a clone.  And that clone had another
clone, and that clone had another clone.  Finally, that clone had a
son:  Ultimate Mercenary.  After helping the LNH avert his timeline,
he joined them in protecting the present, more or less serving as
Ultimate Ninja's lackey and bootlicker.  Now, however, he is forced to
survive on his own, lost in time and space, trapped in a mysterious

The story so far:

	"Do I really have to go through all that again?" asked Kid Recap.

	Alright, fine.


	Meanwhile, Ultimate Mercenary, who did have some concept of what a
comfortable sleep was like, was not sleeping well at all.  The cave
was not only cold and dark, it was starting to smell bad. He realized
that Ultimate Ninja probably never had to take baths or clean up his
rooms--this was one Ninja skill he hadn't mastered yet.  He probably
hadn't taken a bath in quite a while, although the others didn't seem
affected.  Or was that effected?  He was too tired to keep his grammar
straight.  He still winced painfully as he remembered the lashings he
took for getting the answers wrong in his high school years.  No
wonder he had not really wanted to enter the LNH Academy.

	Eventually, he had become so tired that even the stench couldn't keep
him awake any longer, and he found himself drifting towards sleep.


	He peered into the darkness, alone.  Where was this?  He was standing
somewhere one of in the LNH sub-sub-sub-gosub basements.  Time seemed
to be taking forever to pass, or perhaps it wasn't passing at all.

	He felt his conscious mind rising through the floors of the LNHQ,
although his body did not seem to be moving at all.  He found himself
at the LNHQ--or was it Apocalisp's Citadel, or the Evil LNHQ, or the
Vegetables' citadel, or...

	He was not alone.  Standing next to him was Masterplan Lad.

	"What's this all about?" asked Ultimate Mercenary.

	"It's the end," said Masterplan Lad.  "The worlds are coming
together, especially around the LNHQ.  We have to take you out before
the Headhunters arrive."

	"What about the people in this universe?" asked Ultimate Mercenary.

	He shook his head.  "There are greater problems out there than the
Vegetables.  Something has come that could destroy everything and
everyone and end all our stories."

	"And you're saying I'm destined to stop it?"

	"No, that's someone else's role.  You're not going to appear in the
main crossover.  But even if this multiverse is saved, there'll be
problems.  History will be destabilized, no matter what happens.  With
the rearrangement of history, authors will have an opportunity to
create retcons.  Some aspects of the past will remain, but others will
change drastically.  If you've ever read any post-Crisis DC comics,
then you'll know what I'm talking about.  Our enemies will take
advantage of this."

	"Wait, what enemies?  I don't understand what's going on."

	"That's alright, because at this point, you're not supposed to.  But
you must come with me."

	"What do you mean, I'm not supposed to?"

	"If I told you the reason you're not supposed to know what was going
on, it would more or less defeat the whole purpose, wouldn't it?  But
I've gotten sidetracked.  You must come with me."

	"No, I can't!  The people here need me.  And I have to kill those

	"They do not need you.  There are other net.heroes in this world,
although the people of this tribe don't know it.  And many of them are
much more suited to this than you are."

	Ultimate Mercenary bowed his head.  "Yeah, you're right.  But
wouldn't that be a bit anticlimactic?"

	Masterplan Lad frowned.  He seemed as if he'd been taken off guard. 
"I suppose you're right.  Very well then.  I will aid the tribe in
defeating the Vegetables."

	He waved his umbrella around and time began to move again.  The dream
faded from Ultimate Mercenary's mind and he drifted off to sleep. 
Masterplan Lad shifted slightly ahead in time, to the point where
Ultimate Mercenary would wake up.  He, of course, did not need to


	The Thoughtship hovered just outside of reality.  In any other
circumstance, it would have been child's play to enter reality and
kill him, even if there was a Knight Temporal guarding him.  But
everyone could feel that there was a Headhunter near.  T-487 could see
its shadow on his screen, like a great white shark beneath the waters
preparing for a kill.

	So T-487 waited, and waited.  If they did nothing, the Headhunter
would ignore the Thoughtship as just another piece of multiversal
flotsam and move on.  Hopefully, the Headhunter would even do their
work for them and kill Ultimate Mercenary.  After all, he was just as
much a potential threat to the Anti-Moderator as he was to Humanity. 
But then he wouldn't get the chance to look him in the eye and pull
the trigger himself.


	When Ultimate Mercenary woke up, Masterplan Lad was looming over him
like a deadline.  He gaped at him for several minutes.

	"Well, get up!" said Masterplan Lad petulantly.  "We need to assemble
the army, defeat the vegetables, and get you out of this universe
before it's too late."

	"Won't that kind of take a while, though?"

	"Hmmm, you're right.  It's easy for us to forget how you lesser
beings experience time," he said with some petulance but also some

	Ultimate Mercenary wanted to go back to sleep, but found that he
couldn't now, especially on the cave floor.  He cursed loudly at
Masterplan Lad, who just shrugged it off.

	They went throughout the cave and woke up the warriors, who leaped up
with battle-readiness.  They woke up other warriors in turn, and after
about half an hour they were all awake.  But there was one face among
the crowd who he did not see.  "Where's Varda?" Ultimate Mercenary
asked a warrior on his left.

	"Who?" said the warrior, looking at him strangely.

	"Where's Varda?  I don't have time for games," he said in the most
Ultimate Ninja-like manner he could possibly manage.

	"Who the hell are you talking about?"

	"Varda?  The chief's daughter?"

	The warrior just stared at him for a few seconds.  Then he started
laughing.  "Why don't you remember her?" shouted Ultimate Mercenary,
causing him to laugh even harder.  Then, the Old Man entered the room.
 The young warrior's laughter died down under his hard stared.   "So
you've already learned to become aware of changes in the story you're
not supposed to remember.  How interesting," said the Old Man to
Ultimate Mercenary.  "Tell me, what are the Dorf?"

	"Could you stop asking me dumb questions and tell me where the hell
Varda is?"

	"Do not worry about Varda.  She is probably safe.  She will come

	"OK, OK.  They're this species of jerks that's kind of like
Klingons... Or wait, maybe they're like Borg?  But I thought the
Cascaders were the Borg parody?"

	"What the hell is this all about, Old Man?" said the young warrior.

	"He was having a vision of the future.  Leave him.  He needs to be
alone."  The warrior grudgingly left.

	"So what the hell IS this all about, Old Man?" asked Ultimate

	"You have a heightened sensitivity to changes in continuity.  You
pointed out a continuity change that no other LNH character has ever
noticed.  Originally, the Dorf were intended to be a parody of the
Borg, but when the Cascaders, who were based on denizens of a
newsgroup that was mass-spamming RACC, showed up, they became the Borg
parody and the Dorfs were retconned into being parodies of Klingons in
Flame Wars II, even though they were said to have assimilated
Bibliography Boy in the Cosmic Plot Device Caper.  Your power will be
very important in the time to come, but it will also be very
	"Wow, cool," said Ultimate Mercenary.  He'd never really thought of
anything about himself as either important or dangerous before.

	The Old Man shook his head.  "You won't be saying that in a few
weeks," he said.   Stupid F#*(#%#ing cosmic beings, thought Ultimate
Mercenary.  Nothing he said made any sense, and it probably wouldn't
even make sense if this damn story arc had been planned in advance. 
"Look, Old Man, I haven't got time for this.  I just want to go and
defeat the vegetables..."

	"How?" asked the Old Man.

	"Well, umm...  Umm...  I'm still planning that."

	"You don't have any idea, do you."

	"Well, that's my author's fault, not mine.  He never plans out his
stories in advance."  He frowned.  "But maybe...  You know, I saw the
LNH sub-basements in my dream.  Maybe these caves are really down
there.  I don't think those vegetables have examined all of them.  If
we're careful, we can attack their citadel from below and destroy
them."  The Old Man nodded and stepped, quite naturally, into the
shadows.  Ultimate Mercenary sighed with relief.  He was through
dealing with cosmic entities for now.  Then, Masterplan Lad entered
the room.  "They're ready for you," he said.

	Ultimate Mercenary let Masterplan Lad lead him into a large open
cave.  When he saw the huge crowd that was looking at him enrapt, his
first impulse was to run.  But he closed his eyes and summoned all his
ninja coolness, remembering the Ninja training his father* had given
him, and which had been continued by Schtick.  He looked at the crowd
with fierce coolness in his eyes.  He opened his mouth.  And nothing
came out.  The ninja cool withered up like the comics industry's
economic prospects.**

	His ninja training had never included this.  Ultimate Ninja had
always been very good at giving inspiring speeches before battles. 
Ultimate Mercenary had always assumed that this was an ability you got
once you had enough Ninja-ness.  Maybe he should have taken the speech
class after all.  But that was before he gained his ninja training,
and he probably wouldn't have survived.

	He remembered what Schtick had told him to do in these sorts of
situations:  Imagine that your audience is dressed only in underwear. 
Of course, these barbarians practically were dressed only in
underwear, so that didn't really work.  So he decided to do the
reverse and imagine them in drab business suits.

	He couldn't help it.  The thought of the greasy, sweaty barbarians in
business suits made him burst out laughing.  It took him about a
minute to realize that the barbarians were looking at him strangely. 
He stopped laughing and stared for a moment, then laughed nervously. 
More sweat hung on his face.  Terrible memories of his high school
years hung over him, and he just wanted to crawl up and die.

	But instead, he faced the crowd.  "Um, I was laughing because I was
thinking of the look on those tomatoes' faces when we turn them into
tomato paste!"  The room filled with a rousing battle cry.  Ultimate
Mercenary was immenselly relieved.  If only Varda were here to see
this, he found himself thinking.

	The crowd stood and shouted rousing battle cries for several minutes,
as they waited for him to lead them into battle.


	So this was what complete and utter nonexistance was like, thought
Varda.  During the rare moments when she'd pictured something less...
well, existant.  She was in a barren, trackless plain of shifting
sand.  The sky was blue and bright, but with no sun.

	She stared off into the distance, trying to see something, anything. 
Something loomed in the sky in the distance.  It was a large,
crudely-put-together spaceship.  She waved frantically, hoping to be
seen by it.  The spaceship slowed to a halt and stood for several
minutes.  A small shuttle then detached from the ship, shooting into
the sand and kicking up a cloud of dust.  Its opening creaked open and
two people stepped out, an armored man and a red-haired woman.  "Who
are you?" asked the man in an emotionless, electronically altered
voice.  "Are you also trying to flee the Anti-Moderator?"

	Varda frowned.  "I...  I don't know who I am.  Maybe I am.  I..."

	"You must have had your continuity wiped out," said the woman.  She
was a bit taller than Varda and almost ridiculously skinny, but still
fairly attractive.  "This is Frederigo D'Honaire, and I'm Lydia
Forward.  Welcome to Nowhere."


(*or maybe the being he'd been cloned from--there's no way I'm going
to look that up--Ed.)

(**Unless they let me write some, of course--Ed.)

Ultimate Mercenary was created by Thomas Russell Jr.  (And don't
worry, if you're reading this.  It will happen next issue.)  The
Anti-Moderator was created by Martin Phipps.  The Headhunters were
created by Jesse N. Willey.  Everything else is mine.

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