[LNH] The Legion of Net.Heroes, Volume 2 #1 "Real Ultimate Power"
jamie.rosen at sunlife.com
Sat Apr 9 14:30:45 PDT 2005
| |-| \
| |-|  /
| | |  egion of \
| | | __     / #1
| | | [___][ \et.__eroes \ "Real Ultimate Power"
| | | \ ] [ __ ] /
| |-|     \
| | (The cover depicts a handful
| | of shabbily-dressed Ultimate
| | Ninja lookalikes fleeing from
| | a bank with sacks of money in
| | their hands. An onlooker
| | exclaims: "Egads! Five Ultimate
| | Ninjas! And they're robbing the
|_| Net.ropolis National Bank!")
Ultimate Ninja grimaced and turned to his nemesis -- the inbox. Warily,
he removed the topmost envelope and opened it with care, still mindful
of the of the rather nasty paper cut he had gotten from that Reader's
Digest junk mail he had received the other week. How ironic, that he
could face trolls, Looniverse destroying virii, and evil masterminds
unscathed, and yet a seemingly innocent mailing could cut him deep
enough to draw blood and force him to use a Flintstones[tm]-brand
band-aid (Dr. Bad-Bedside-Manner having assured him stonefacedly that
it was the only kind they had left.) He shook his head; this was no
life for a ninja, especially the ultimate kind -- what would his old
classmates from Ninja High School think if they saw him now? And yet,
ever since he had slain the LNH's Evil HR Manager, he'd found his time
more and more occupied with sorting mail, processing membership
applications, and other middle-management type activities.
.oO( I might as well be called Ultimate Desk Jockey, ) Ultimate Ninja
observed silently. .oO( Maybe I should turn over more of these
day-to-day Legion-running responsibilities to Fearless Leader and
Cheesecake-Eater Lad. ) He shook his head. .oO( No! A ninja must not
back down from a challenge, even if that challenge is completing
workman's compensation forms in triplicate! )
Looking down at the envelope he held in his hands, he saw that he May
Already Be A Winner. He frowned. This was the sort of junk mail Fred
was supposed to be filtering out, along with those ads for cheap
pharmaceuticals from Ca.net.da and mail-order brides from Eastern
Europe -- not to mention the cheap pharmaceuticals from Eastern Europe
and mail-order brides from Ca.net.da! UN shuddered -- that was a memory
he'd rather not revisit.
"Fred," he paged the receptionist, "come in here please." He'd have to
speak with the stalwart secretary, to see if his specialized skills
"Yes sir," Fred responded.
Ultimate Ninja tossed the envelope and its contents into his waste
paper basket and regarded the stack still sitting in his inbox. Well,
one down, a few dozen to go.
His keen ninja senses alerted himself to Fred's entrance into the room
almost before it had happened. "You wanted to see me, Ultimate Ninja?"
the receptionist asked, standing with his back to the door.
"Yes," UN replied direly. "It's about this mail." He gestured at the
stack, and Fred immediately blanched.
"I'm sorry, sir -- did something slip by that shouldn't have? I've been
under a lot of stress lately, ever since Master Roster Man asked me to
assist him in updating the roster. So many members have joined in the
last few years, and we're so far behind, and I don't think we'll ever
catch up because they keep changing their names or dying or being
kicked out or stranded in other universes or replaced with evil
duplicates or transformed by nefarious powers or... or..." He trailed
off, seemingly on the verge of tears, a sight that affected even the
master of the Ginsu sword himself.
"I understand that it's quite an undertaking," Ultimate Ninja said.
"That being said, your primary duty is as a receptionist. Never forget
Fred steeled himself. "I won't, Ultimate Ninja, sir. I promise."
"I know." Ultimate Ninja nodded. "You're dismissed."
"I meant you can leave my office," the ninja explained.
The colour that had fled from Fred's face slowly returned. "Oh. Thank
you." And he did just that.
Ultimate Ninja shook his head. Some people were just too sensitive.
Adam Friedman hated his job at the bank. He hadn't grown up wanting to
be a teller. He hadn't spent his idle hours daydreaming about
processing financial transactions, about stamping cheques and dealing
with blue-haired old biddies who had three hundred dollars worth of
pennies but no coin rolls to roll them up in. No, he'd wanted to be...
But he wasn't, so we won't mention that again.
An average day for Adam was about as exciting as an Antiques Roadshow
marathon, and this was shaping up to be just such a day. He'd had toast
and peanut butter for breakfast, taken the same bus to work he'd taken
every weekday for the last eighteen months, and spent the last two
hours standing and pretending to be courteous. In short, it was no
different from any other day at the Net.ropolis National Bank.
At least, until Ultimate Ninja walked in.
Inside, Adam was thrilled -- he'd never met a Net.Hero in person
before. Only in chat rooms, and then they were always typing things
wrong and saying nothing but "a/s/l?" to everyone who came into the
chat. It was really kind of embarassing to watch them behave like such
dorks, and the number of times he'd been hassled online was almost
enough to get him to change his screen name from Muffy16. "Good day,
Mr. Ninja sir," he said as the legendary leader of the LNH approached
Ultimate Ninja grunted in response.
"And what can I do for you today?" Adam went on, the enthusiasm in his
voice almost genuine. "Will you be making a withdrawal?"
Adam reached for a withdrawal slip, still trying to look at the
Net.Hero out of the corner of his eye. It was funny, but his uniform
always looked much better tailored on television and in pictures. Up
close, it was really kind of... shabby. "And how much would you like?"
"All of it."
Adam looked up, and saw that Ultimate Ninja had drawn his Ginsu sword
and had it levelled at his throat. "*gulp*" he gulped.
Yes. Yes, Adam Friedman *definitely* hated his job.
"oh man... my head..." Frat Boy rolled over and got out of bed. Well,
he would have, except he was lying in the gutter. He scratched himself
with one hand and his head with the other. "Must have been some
Struggling to his feet while his stomach tried to escape and his head
did likewise, Frat Boy looked around himself, hoping to get his
bearings. He was in the city... in an alley... he still had his clothes
on... He patted himself down and found the emergency twenty he always
kept tucked away in his boot was still there. Stumbling out of the
alleyway, he saw a liquor store across the street.
"Good thinking," he muttered, the sound of his own voice making his
skull crack open. "Even when I'm drunk I'm an excellent strategist." He
tried to uncrumple the twenty. "Hair of the dog..."
Inside, the pale, black-haired cashier with the tongue and lip
piercings knew him by name and had already picked out exactly what he
was looking for -- the cheapest, nastiest hooch on the shelves. It went
great with Mr. Paprika.
"I saw you across the way when I came into work this morning," she
explained, indicating the alleyway where he had awoken.
"Thanks." .oO( You know, she's not bad looking... the apron's kinda
cute... I wonder if she'd leave it on... )
She blushed as he stared, and he was about to start putting on the
moves when the door flew open and a man rushed inside.
"This is a stick-up!" the newcomer exclaimed, brandishing a sword.
"Nobody move, or I may totally flip out and kill everybody!"
Frat Boy did a double take, then a second one because he was still
seeing double. .oO( Wait a second... ) he thought to himself. "Ultimate
[Meanwhile, in a secret underground lair, a strange figure was
gleefully watching this scene, and several similer ones, unfold on a
"Bwa ha ha ha ha!" He stroked his mustache, which clashed terribly with
the spaghetti-strapped red evening dress and matching eyeshadow he was
wearing. "My plan is unfolding perfectly. Soon, my army of Ultimate
Ninja clones will have thoroughly ruined the good name of the leader of
the Legion of Net.Heroes -- and have made me a small fortune in the
bargain! Then, with Net.ropolis's greatest defenders out of the way and
untold riches in my possession, we'll see who the mad scientist really
His throat sore from all the exclamation points, he took a sip on his
apple martini and went back to chuckling evilly. All across
Net.ropolis, men in poor copies of Ultimate Ninja's costume were
robbing banks, snatching purses, and stealing walkers from little old
ladies in the middle of busy intersections. It was the sort of scene
that filled a villain with a warm, fuzzy feeling of contentment.
"Yes! Loot! Pillage! Jaywalk! For when all is said and done, the world
will forever respect my accomplishments, and they will forever remember
the name of... Dr. Ag-Queen!"
Ultimate Ninja yawned. Spending all his time cooped up in this office
left him more tired than a three-day vacation to the peril room with
the difficulty level set to high. Maybe a quick jaunt around the block
would cure him of his decidedly un-ninja doldrums. At the very least,
the fresh air and exercise would be a welcome break.
"Fred," he said into the intercom, "I'm going out for a walk. Hold any
"Yes, sir, Ultimate Ninja, sir. Sir."
UN sighed. Some people just couldn't find that happy middle ground
between lackadaisical slacking and unbearable toadying. Well, no
matter. Sheathing his own personal American Express card, the ginsu
sword, he strode confidently out of the LNHHQ and onto the streets of
Net.ropolis, where a sudden idea struck him. What better way to take
his mind off the workload at home than with a visit to the National
Museum of Ninjas? The only problem was that he hadn't been there in so
long, he'd need to ask for directions.
He approached an elderly woman standing at the bus stop. "Excuse me,
ma'am," UN said in his most civil tone. "Would you happen to know the
way to the National Museum of Ninjas?"
"Why of course, young man," the old lady said, turning to face him.
"You just take... Ultimate Ninja!" She screamed, struck him with her
handbag, and fainted straight away.
Ultimate Ninja looked at the fallen woman, nonplussed. He cut an
intimidating figure, yes, but he generally only got that kind of
response from new members of the Legion. Bending down to help the
stupefied septuagenarian, he heard a passerby cry out: "It's Ultimate
Ninja! And he's attacking that innocent old lady!"
Ultimate Ninja dashed back into the LNHHQ, an angry mob of civilians
hot on his heels.
"Fred," he said as he passed the reception desk, "I'm not to be
Before the receptionist could raise any questions, UN was in his office
with the door closed behind him. Master of the Ginsu Sword or not, it
was a little unsettling to have an angry mob chasing after him, with or
without pitchforks -- especially when you had no idea what you'd done.
.oO( All I did was ask an old lady for directions... ) he thought to
himself as he sat down at his desk. .oO( Something's wrong here... )
The intercom buzzed.
Fred's voice crackled out at him. "An angry mob to see you, sir."
Ultimate Ninja scowled. "I told you I'm not to be disturbed," he
Switching to another channel on the intercom, Ultimate Ninja paged a
pair of his teammates.
"Theory Man. Escher Lad. Come to my office immediately." He shut off
the intercom, then flicked it back on. "And use the back way," he
.oO( This just reeks of a net.villain plot, ) Ultimate Ninja
monologued. .oO( And with so many useful LNHers tied up with other
matters, I'll have to rely on what I have at my disposal. )
"You called, UN?" said as he and Theory Man came in the back door to
the office, which was for some reason now located on the ceiling.
"Yes. Please, sit down."
The two Net.Heroes descended from the ceiling and took up seats across
from their leader.
"I have a feeling this has something to do with that angry mob
outside," Theory Man said. "Are they staging a protest about poor
working conditions in third world countries?"
Ultimate Ninja shook his head. "No. At least, I don't believe so. I
went for a walk outside, and soon found them hot on my heels. While I
could easily have eviscerated them all, I chose a somewhat more noble
"You ran away," Escher Lad said.
Escher Lad shrugged. "It was on the news. Live coverage of 'the
Ultimate Ninja Crime Wave'."
"'The Ultimate Ninja Crime Wave.' Seems someone's been impersonating
you and committing all sorts of heinous deeds. Haven't you been
Ultimate Ninja glowered. "No. I am... a bit busier than you are." .oO(
Although that will soon change. I'll be sure to update your listing on
the duty roster, now. ) "So... someone has been impersonating me?"
"More than one someone, too, by the looks of it," Escher Lad went on.
"Considering some of the crimes have been nearly simultaneous."
"I see." Ultimate Ninja stood up, adjusting his gi. "I believe this
calls for an investigation. Escher Lad, you're with me. Theory Man."
"Go find Irony Man and tell him to meet us at the flight.thingee."
"Certainly. I'm pretty sure I can determine his location by--"
"He's in his room. Go there."
"Sure thing, UN."
Once Theory Man had left the room, Ultimate Ninja turned to Escher Lad.
"You haven't seen much action lately, have you?"
Escher Lad shook his head.
"Well, that's about to change."
Theory Man and Irony Man were already at the flight.thingee when
Ultimate Ninja and Escher Lad arrived.
"Did Theory Man fill you in on the way down?" Ultimate Ninja asked.
"Yes," Irony Man responded. "But then we ran into Kid Recap, so now I
know what's going on."
Ultimate Ninja nodded sagely. "Good." He turned to Theory Man. "Do you
have any idea as to where these clones might be coming from?"
"Yes," Theory Man said. "I have a theory..."
Dr. Ag-Queen was sipping on his apple martini and admiring his evening
dress in the mirror when someone rang the doorbell to his secret
"That's odd," he said aloud. "Who would be calling at this hour -- all
of my Ultimate Ninja clones are present and accounted for."
Curious, the not-so-good doctor peered through the peephole and saw a
delivery man standing, holding a parcel in his hands. "Yes?" Dr.
Ag-Queen said, opening the door.
"Candlestick delivery," the delivery man said, stepping inside and
proffering him, appropriately enough, a candlestick.
"I don't recall ordering any... candlesticks..." Dr. Ag-Queen said,
suddenly aware of how very much that sounded like a line out of a
pornographic motion picture.
"Nice underground lair you have here," the delivery man observed
casually. "Must be a pain to take care of it all by yourself."
"Oh, I don't do it all by myself," Dr. Ag-Queen replied. "I have my
legion of Ultimate Ninja clones to assist me."
"That must be nice."
Dr. Ag-Queen nodded, and noticed that there was something curious about
the candlestick the delivery man was holding. It wasn't actually a
candlestick... it appeared to be two faces looking at one another....
The faces of Theory Man and Irony Man!
"Wha-wha-wha?" Dr. Ag-Queen stammered, stumbling back as the two
previously unnoticed Net.Heroes stepped out of Escher Boy's carefully
designed optical illusion. "Net.Heroes! But how did you find me?"
"Theory Man noticed the poor quality of your cronies' garb and deduced
that anyone who was smart enough to clone an army of villainous
Ultimate Ninja clones would be smart enough to try to throw us off the
scent by using inferior fabric and then stationing his underground base
*here*, in the middle of Net.Ropolis's upscale garment district. He
then noted that Ultimate Ninja had a papercut on his finger that would
have resulted in sufficient blood for use in cloning, found the route
used by the garbage truck that had hauled away the garbage containing
the blood-stained letter from Reader's Digest, and then used a
combination of triangulation and numerology to determine the precise
address where you would be hidden," explained Escher Boy, shedding his
delivery man disguise.
"But -- but I didn't put anywhere *near* that much thought into it!"
Dr. Ag-Queen protested. "And Theory Man's theories never pan out!"
"I know," Irony Man said. "Isn't it ironic?"
Sputtering, Dr. Ag-Queen backed up to his control panel. "Well, no
matter! You three are no match for the Ultimate Ninja... army!" He
slammed his hand down on a button on the panel, and suddenly the walls
slid back to reveal several dozen shoddily-clad Ultimate Ninja clones.
At the same time, a much better-dressed version of the same bolted from
the shadows to the middle of the room, drawing his sword.
"Maybe they aren't," Ultimate Ninja said, "but *I* am."
Dr. Ag-Queen scowled. "You are still only one man against many! Clone
The clones drew their swords and charged at the gathered Net.Heroes,
only to fall before the blade of the one, true Ultimate Ninja like so
many blades of grass before a lawnmower, until the underground lair
looked like it had been used as a set for the unrated version of Kill
"But... but... but..." The cross-dressing criminal trailed off. "But
how?" He collapsed and began to sob, his mascara running.
"You may be a brilliant geneticist," Irony Man observed, "but in your
desire to prove your brilliance in your chosen field, you forgot one
very simple thing: clones, even force-grown ones like yours, are
physical replicas only. Ultimate Ninja gained his mastery of the dark
ninja arts through years and years of training -- training your clones
never had access to."
And with that, the Legion took yet another Net.Villain into custody.
Back at LNHHQ, after the angry mob had been dispersed by a display of
Ultimate Ninja's unquestionable innocence and free lifetime
subscriptions to _The Ultimate LNH Companion_ -- a magazine that had
not, strictly speaking, been published, solicitied, or even mentioned
prior to that offer -- Ultimate Ninja was relaxing in his office,
having delegated the remaining paperwork to Time-Waster Lad and
Bad-Timing Boy. He was practicing arcane ninja meditation techniques
that looked, to the untrained eye, like he had simply fallen asleep at
his desk when his door flew open and a man-sized blue scarab beetle
stumbled in, grievously wounded.
"O...ma..." the insect gasped before falling to the floor, unconscious.
.oO( Hmm, ) Ultimate Ninja thought, .oO( I wonder what that was
about... Probably nothing important. ) "Fred," he said into the
intercom, "get Captain Cleanup in here, please."
Satisfied that it would be taken care of, Ultimate Ninja went back to
his meditations -- and promptly fell asleep.
Contents (c) Copyright 2005, Jamie Rosen
Characters (tm) trademark and/or (c) copyright their respective owners,
all useable without permission unless otherwise indicated. Escher Lad
useable with permission of Kevin Wilcox.
The Legion of Net.Heroes...
because the world doesn't need another superteam!
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