[LNH] Bride of C'thulhu #8

Saxon Brenton saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Mon Jun 21 15:53:59 PDT 2004

part 8   'Plot Advancement? Bah! Humbug!'
A Legion of Net.Heroes Chaotic Add-On Cascade Story
by Saxon Brenton

     "Dinosaurs?" said Doctor Stomper quizzically as he was forwarded the 
information that the 1960s had been overrun with prehistoric reptiles. 
"How odd."
     "What's so odd about it?" said Irony Man. "Cyg.net.a, the Bride of 
C'thulhu, has been transmogrifying the world into a Hell on Earth with 
her occult powers-of-which-humanity-was-not-meant-to-know-of."
     "It's not a thematically appropriate transformation," replied Doctor 
Stomper. "Oh dear, there must be some other temporal disturbances 
happening 'simultaneously' with Cyg.net.a's power play." He took out 
a slide rule and began fiddling with it. "I'll need to recalculate the 
temporal vectors to make sure that we can disentangle the two historical 
disturbances." He looked up thoughtfully. "Could you forward the message 
to all the other teams to be on the look out for any other anomalous 
changes. It suddenly occurs to me that there might be other, similar 
disturbances compounding Cyg.net.a's meddling."
     "Excuse me, Doctor Stomper," piped in Shoe Boy (who has the power to 
possesses soles), "but if the 1960s are being overrun by dinosaurs because 
of historical shift, then shouldn't we be overrun by dinosaurs as well?"
     "He has a point," said Irony Man. "Are we sure that someone hasn't 
simply opened a very large portal to the Cretaceous era and let the 
dinosaurs wander through?"
     "No, I don't think so," replied Doctor Stomper as he took readings 
with an implausible looking temporal disturbance detector.thingee. "It's 
definitely a historical change." A grim look settled on his face. "It 
must be because of Hypertext Time."
     "Hypertext Time," repeated Irony Man.
     "What's Hypertext Time?" asked Shoe Boy.
     "It's a blatant satire of DC Comic's Hypertime," said Doctor Stomper 
absently. "They use to explain away continuity discrepancies by claiming 
that all possible story actualities co-exist - but not all of them 
necessarily have a bearing on current continuity. It's thought that the 
alternative timelines are mobile through the fifth and higher temporal 
dimensions, and can intersect with one another for greater or lesser 
     "There are claims that it's just an excuse for lazy editorial 
oversight," added Irony Man darkly.
     "Mmm," said Doctor Stomper thoughtfully. "And yet I find it 
interesting that proponents of both those theories fail to realise that 
both of them can be simultaneously correct." He blinked and returned 
back to Shoe Boy's question. "In any case, our version, Hypertext Time, 
stipulates that time is like a web page."
     "Like a web page," repeated Shoe Boy.
     "Yes. History resembles a vast mosaic of discrete events joined by 
hypertext links, each leading on to others. But sometimes when one of 
those events gets changed nobody bothers to update the rest of the links. 
Hence, temporal anomalies result."
     "As I said, an excuse for lazy editorial oversight," repeated Irony 
     "But... don't we have the Laws of Comedy and Drama to explain how 
impossibly incongruous things can happen?" protested Shoe Boy.
     "Yes," agreed Doctor Stomper. "But we think that the Writers are 
trying to put together a Royal Flush of excuses that they can use."
     Meanwhile, back in the 1940s...
     (Don't you just love working in a genre that let's you write 
sentences like that?)
     ...Dualist Lad asked, "So what do we do now?" He and Skunk Girl 
had been assigned to ride shotgun for Occultism Kid, just as other 
Legionnaires had been sent to act as backup for all of the other 
net.heroes who would be performing the ritual meant to break Cyg.net.a's 
thrall on the world. In this way the story would be able to fit in a 
mixture of both action sequences and character interaction.
     "We could stage a fake fire alarm to get them to evacuate the room," 
suggested Skunk Girl, with eternal practicality.
     "A good idea, but it might take too long," said Occultism Kid. "I'll 
just cast the Sands of the Somnambulist spell to put them to sleep..." Then 
he was interrupted as screaming began inside the room.
     Dualist Lad looked startled, and Skunk Girl took half a second to 
raise an ironic eyebrow, but Occultism Kid simply threw the door open. 
A door, Skunk Girl didn't fail to notice, that it had been locked not a 
second beforehand.
     Inside the room was filled with screeching, flitting winged shapes. 
The couple were now huddled naked on the floor - but for the sake of 
propriety in this non-Acraphobe comic the Bad Balloon Placement Fairy has 
agreed to cover up their naughty bits with word balloons and narrative 
captions in this and all subsequent panels.
     Occultism Kid grabbed a blanket and threw it over them as at least 
a pretence of protection against the dive bombing shapes. "Quickly, out 
this way," he called, and began hustling them out towards the door. Skunk 
Girl bounded into the room and began slashing at the things with the 
spikes on the combat gloves that she had brought with her, while Dualist 
Lad took over from Occultism Kid in shepherding the couple out into the 
safety of the hallway.
     "These aren't bats!" snarled Skunk Girl, taking another swipe at the 
things. They had bat-like wings, but only a single baleful eye that burnt 
with malign intelligence. Her attacks weren't doing much good, and they 
were beginning to co-ordinate their swooping attacks against her.
     "No! They're ygothic cyclopeans!" said Occultism Kid grimly. "The 
very antithesis of creation. "
     "Please don't speak in riddles. "
     "They're creatures from a radically different type of universe to 
ours. Their presence is actively damaging to the fabric of our reality. 
They're not even supposed to be able to manifest in a relativistic 
     "They look pretty manifested here to me!" countered Skunk Girl as 
she did a double back flip to escape the razor sharp wings of the 
     "Unfortunately," said Occultism Kid as he made his way to where he 
needed to enact the ritual, "now that Cyg.net.a's started having her way, 
I don't think those parts of the Looniverse under her sway count as 
relativistic anymore."
     "Can't you just zap them with a spell or something?"
     "They're resistant to magic. "Cyg.net.a must realise that mages 
might try to thwart her and sent appropriate defences."
     "Resistant to thaumaturgy, perhaps," said a new voice, "but not 
theurgy." With that there was a bright light, golden in colour and not 
particularly blinding. At least, not to the net.heroes. The huge and 
horrible eyes of the cyclopeans contacted as if in response to an arc 
lamp, and they fled screeching in pain. Skunk Girl noted how weird it was 
watching them go, as they fled through walls and could still be clearly 
seen retreating even after solid matter should now be blocking them from 
view. "They are not of this universe, and they operate under different 
laws of optics to ours," the voice explained.
     The respite gave Occultism Kid the opportunity he needed. Before 
anything *else* could turn up, he reached the appropriate spot. 
"Cyg.net.a, Bride of C'thulhu, your power over this world I hereby undo!" 
he recited. 
     There, it was done.
     Occultism Kid took a second to regain his breath. By this time Skunk 
Girl was watching the newcomer who has seen off the cyclopeans - and who 
if anything was as alarming in appearance as the cyclopeans themselves. 
It looked like a dog. Kind of.
     It was a three headed dog. Not three headed in the sense that 
Cerberus was, with multiple heads all lined up in a row across the 
shoulders. This was a three headed dog more in the sense that a 
pushmapullyou, with a head on each end - only in this case there were 
three ends radiating symmetrically out in a trefoil arrangement rather 
than two. The body was covered in a pattern of whorls and spirals, almost 
as if he had no skin but only exposed musculature instead, and was a 
black metallic colour with shifting rainbow hued highlights on the 
arabesques and filigree. Since this storyline has a Lovecraft theme, we 
will make the comparison that he looked vaguely like one of the Cats 
>>From Saturn.
     "Hullo Domini," said Occultism Kid, nodding his head in casual 
greeting as he moved towards the door.
     "You know him?" asked Skunk Girl.
     "Yeah. Just a second," said Occultism Kid, and steeped outside into 
the hallway. The worst was occurring, and the couple that they had 
rescued hadn't gone into quiet shock, but instead were in hysterics 
despite the best efforts of Dualist Lad - both of him, now that he had 
split into his component selves - to keep them calm.
     "It is all right," said Occultism Kid in a soothing voice as he 
waved a hand in front of them Obiwan Kenobi style. "The bats that were 
in your room are gone."
     "...are gone..."
     "The hotel apologises for the inconvenience."
     "You can go back to your room now and relax, and in the morning 
you'll have forgotten all about it."
     "Well, that was slick," said Skunk Girl as the couple wandered back 
to bed. 
     "What's that?" said Dualist Lad, pointing at the dog.
     "I am a 'who' actually," said the dog, with immense canine dignity.
     "That's the Cleric," said Occultism Kid. "Yt's one of the Elders of 
the Looniverse."
     "The Elders?" said Skunk Girl. "Hold up, the same Elders that 
attacked the Legion?" [Back in _Kid Kirby and Sing-Along Lass_ #6-7 
- Footnote Girl]
     "The same," said Occultism Kid. "Or at least, the generally the 
same group. There are a *lot* of Elders, and if you've read the reports 
you'll notice that the Conventioneer couldn't get more than a handful of 
his fellows to go along with his scheme. And, as cosmic entities go, the 
Clerics a lot more benevolent than many others."
     The Cleric gave Skunk Girl a doggy grin. "I'm grateful that he can 
give us credit for not all being cut of one cloth."
     Occultism Kid shrugged. "It would be foolish to generalise to the 
point of making enemies of neutrals, or dismissing away potential allies. 
But we've been over that before, Domini. What brings you here?" he asked 
as he put his hands down into the pockets of his trenchcoat. "Not to put 
too blunt a point on it, but isn't your theology that all gods and cosmic 
entities are Children of the Sourcecode? You seem to be picking sides 
here by helping us against Cyg.net.a. Or am I missing something?"
     "The cosmos is indeed a garden," replied the Cleric. "A garden where 
the bright gods bloom like flowers, and the dark gods grow like weeds 
trying to strangle and kill off the other plants, only to discover that 
even from the decay of death springs new growth. But, to extend the 
metaphor, it's also a garden that needs to be tended and weeded. 
Sometimes one plant or pest threatens to overrun all the others - and 
needs to be dealt with."
     "Uhm, the Legion is pretty much taking care of that," observed 
Dualist Lad once he had deciphered the imagery that yt had used. "We're 
working to get rid of her right now."
     "For the most part, yes," agreed the Cleric carefully. "But then 
again..." Yt looked at Occultism Kid. "Are you aware that Cyg.net.a has 
splintered avatars of herself across multiple time periods in order to 
thwart potential threats to her rule?"
    "You mean to put a stop to just the sort of ritual that we used here 
today? No, but it makes a sort of sense if she anticipated enough to send 
the ygothic cyclopeans to defend this place."
     "Depending on exactly where and when she is, there's a small chance 
that she could insinuate a part of herself into your world - hiding in 
a spacetime cul de sac or somesuch. It's possible that after you cast 
her out, she could crawl back," the Cleric warned. "It's a small chance, 
but I mean be ready for it. Having her reconfigure this world into an 
url.grund - a primal ground - would give her a base from which to attack, 
take over, and transform the rest of the Looniverse. I don't propose to 
let that happen. I will cast her into the Sourcecode and trap her for 
all net.ternity as a Promethean Giant in the Firewall before I let that 
happen." Then yt shrugged, a strange movement considering the shape of 
yts body, and said with less intensity, "I doubt if it will come to
that, but it's best to be prepared."
To be continued by some other LNH writer.
Character credits:
The Cleric and Footnote Girl created by Saxon Brenton.
Cyg.et.a and Skunk Girl created by Ted Brock.
Doctor Stomper is Public Domain. Created by T.M.Neeck.
Dualist Lad created by Andrew Perron.
The Elders of the Looniverse created by Jameel al Khafiz
Irony Man is Public Domain. Created by Doug Moran.
Occultism Kid created by Josh Geurink.
Shoe Boy created by Benjamin Cypher (SteelCypher).
Ygothic cyclopeans ripped off from _Dr Strange_ v.3 #48.
All characters copyright 2004 their creators.
Saxon Brenton     Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au

More information about the racc mailing list