LNH: MASTER BLASTER in "INSUFFICIENT POSTAGE"
thad at eyrie.org
Thu Apr 20 21:42:20 PDT 2006
Master Blaster carefully inserted the cleaning rod into the gun barrel,
and ran the tip of the rod slowly over the grooves inside. On the bench
around him were scattered several pieces of a gun that, when fully
assembled, was one of the dangerous personal devices that could be owned
by an individual without a special dispensation permit that had to be
signed by several world governments, most of whom were fighting each
other (but then, he had some of those weapons too). Beside the gun parts
were an equally extensive array of cleaning rods, rags, fluids and other
paraphernalia that would have made even Squeaky Clean drool.
Although he could be amazingly cavalier about some things in his
life, like food, woman, feelings, there were somethings that had to be
taken extremely seriously. To whit, his gun collection, which already
outstripped any banana republic you care to mention. Yes, his abilities
could allow him to pull any gun at random out of the air and cause major
collateral damage (and for some guns, that was their point), but there
was something satisfying about taking a gun apart and getting it into
perfect working order.
There were even times during this ritual when he had to remind
himself to breathe, his concentration otherwise on matters of more
Removing the cleaning rod, Master Blaster placed it carefully on
the bench, and picked up the eye dropper. Holding the barrel in one
hand, Master Blaster raised the eye dropper to one end, and readied
himself to squeeze. The fluid inside was not just any lubricant, and the
fact that it was extremely rare and expensive wasn't the point of it.
This lubricant could virtually eliminate all friction from inside the
gun, but only a few small drops were needed. Too much and, unless the
barrel was cleaned all over again, the liquid could get inside the gun
workings and interfere with proper operation.
This moment required the utmost precision and care...
"Master Blaster, just the man..." A hand clamped onto MB's
shoulder, causing him to a) jerk upright in surprise (although the hand
effortlessly held him down so he didn't move), and b) squeeze the eye
dropper to emptiness.
Fortunately, this wasn't the first time MB had done this, so the
dropper only contained a single drop in the first place. Still, he
placed the barrel down gently on a clean piece of cloth before turning
around to glare at...
"Er, hi, UN...how's tricks?" Master Blaster swallowed. He could
see the ninja's eyes, and they were happy, which could only mean...
"I have a job for you," Ultimate Ninja replied.
"Well, I'm rather busy at the moment, perhaps next week some
"You. Now. I can still remember what happened during the
Inhilator Invasion, so unless you'd like to revisit that-"
"Right. Okay. What's the deal?" Master Blaster hastily reached
for a rag to wipe his hands on, before busying himself spreading a sheet
over his bench, as much to protect the gun as to avoid the ninja's eyes.
"You are running an errand for me. It seems that someone sent me
a package, but they didn't cover the costs of it properly, and it's
waiting at the post office to be picked up."
"Yes, that's right. There was insufficient postage!"
"Oh, man, didn't I just do that storyline? That whole deal with
taxes and time travel and..."
"Yes, but this author wants to do his take on it, and you've been
"Right, so at least there'll be a lot of whacky highjinks and
I'll get to say "Lame, frickin' lame" a lot?"
UN shrugged. "Hard to say. But you do get a partner, not because
I don't trust you, but because I don't trust you."
"Well, I can see how...hey!"
"Tell you what, we'll leave it up to chance. The first person we
meet, they'll be the co-star of this adventure."
Groaning, but resigned, Master Blaster allowed (although he
didn't really have any choice in the matter) Ultimate Ninja to pull him
from the sub-basement he had taken over for his gun cleaning, and up the
"And so," announced the master of ninjitsu as they approached the
foyer, "today you'll be paired with..." They took the final step and
NO-ONE! The foyer was completely empty!
Ultimate Ninja checked his watch with no attempt to disguise his
annoyance. "I'm sure I told Special Bonding Boy to meet me here..."
Master Blaster wandered over to the reception desk and peered at
the roster list. "According to this there was a food fight scheduled to
spontaneously break out in the cafeteria a few minutes ago...aw man, I
missed a food fight!"
"To the cafeteria!" The ninja announced, pushing a reluctant
Master Blaster before him. "And today's lucky contestant is..."
The cafeteria was caked in food, plates and dishes were scattered
in pieces, something sticky slid down the walls, and unidentifiable
brown lumps slowly ate their way through the tables. Oh, and it was
Ultimate Ninja and Master Blaster stared at the scene, then
turned to each other and shrugged. "Looks like they never got to the
food fight." "Looks fine to me."
"But there must be someone around somewhere," the ninja growled.
"How about I just short cut this and go get WikiBoy," the gun
maestro offered, taking a step away.
"Not so fast. The author doesn't want Tom Russell to find out he
wrote this until too late, so WikiBoy won't be making an appearance."
"Damn, and I was going to turn him into a ballerina, too..."
Then, at that rather innocuous moment in ran...no, not Bad Timing
Boy, but that would be most people's first guesses, but a girl in a
school uniform screaming, "What's that about pandas you cheery
throwing..." Seeing no-one there but Ultimate Ninja and Master Blaster
she quickly tried to come to a halt, but slid on a patch of melted
chocolate and couldn't stop until she was right in front of them. "Oh,
hi guys, we were just..." her voice trailing off, she quickly trust her
hands behind her, ostensibly to hide what she was carrying, but as it
was a hockey stick that was nearly bigger than her, she couldn't quite
pull it off.
"Oh, Footnote Girl," Ultimate Ninja said, his voice suddenly soft
and generous, sending chills through both the listeners, "Just the
person I was looking for."
"What? Er, no, I'm sure you meant-"
Ultimate Ninja reached out and took Footnote Girl by the
shoulder. Very firmly. "I want you to go with Master Blaster and pick up
a parcel for me."
Footnote Girl looked at Master Blaster, who was studiously
looking elsewhere. "Pick up a parcel? With *him*?"
"Excellent, so glad you agree. Now, off you go."
Immediately deciding they didn't have an option (other than ones
involving katanas), Master Blaster and Footnote Girl sighed and headed
for the main door. As they walked, Master Blaster draped an arm around
Footnote Girl's shoulders. "So, how you doing?"
"I am still carrying a hockey stick," Footnote Girl replied
Master Blaster's arm dropped away. "Good point. Just checking."
"However did I end up in this?"
Master Blaster shrugged. "Don't look at me. I'm just here because
of something I did last year."
"Oh. I was wondering why I had this. I think it's yours."
Footnote Girl passed a footnote to Master Blaster. [In _War Without
Worlds #2_, Master Blaster threatened Ultimate Ninja at gun point. UN
decided to bide his time before striking back.]
"Ah. Right. Thanks."
After watching them leave, Ultimate Ninja turns to the reader and
announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, Blue Light Productions now presents:
MASTER BLASTER in INSUFFICIENT POSTAGE
co-starring FOOTNOTE GIRL."
The postal office was a large edifice that could have easily passed for
a Gothic cathedral in another lifetime. It wasn't the stone bulwark, it
wasn't the gargoyles perched precariously at the edges, ready to topple
onto unsuspecting passersby at less than a moments notice, it wasn't
even the perpetual storm clouds that circled high overhead, crackling
with shafts of lightening. It was the stone bulwark AND the gargoyles
AND the storm clouds.
"Talk about 'Glom of Nit'," Footnote Girl muttered.
"What?" replied Master Blaster uninterestedly. Right now he could
almost swear he was growing hackles that were raising at the feel of
Footnote Girl sighed and threw him another footnote, but MB didn't
notice so it bounced off him to fall and lie in the gutter. [Footnote
Girl comes from alt.fan.pratchett, so of course knows about _Going
"Are we going in or what?" Footnote Girl asked, reaching for the
steel barricaded, triple reinforced gateway that was otherwise known as
"Hey, me first," said Master Blaster, pushing the Annotater
Extraordinaire out of the way. "It's my story after all." Fortunately
impervious to the daggers shooting from Footnote Girl's eyes, he pulled
the ring handle, causing the door to slowly creak open, and entered.
Inside Master Blaster found himself in a large room with a
concrete floor and a high vaulted ceiling. Lining the walls were large
windows that were covered in grime but otherwise allowed bright sunlight
to push through causing alternating shafts of illumination and darkness.
Tables dotted the floor like stone mushrooms, containing bays for letter
writing (as evinced by pen holders with no pens), as well as those
roller things you can use to lick the stamps for you although they're
usually covered with more mould than that cheesecake from the millennium
party Domestic Lad had found last week behind the radiator. There were
displays of stamps available, but they had been thoughtfully locked away
inside steel cages against the consideration that someone might actually
want to use one.
At the far end of the room, or 'hall', there was the postal
counter. The Gungho Gunner could make out two people moving around
behind the desk (making it one of the better staffed post offices),
although there were three queues. Gingerly approaching closer, Master
Blaster saw that the only reason the third line was still there was
because the cobwebs held the skeletons in place. Grimly Master Blaster
looked carefully and spotted the "Express Lane" sign above them. Yep,
sometimes irony in the LNHiverse was quite predictable.
"All right, everybody, listen up!" Master Blaster announced. "I'm
here from the Legion of Net.Heroes, and I have important business here,
so if you would all just move to one side..."
The only reaction he received was drawing glares from some of the
more animated patrons. The rest ignored him, and there was no sign the
people behind the counter even heard him. Narrowing his eyes, Master
Blaster formed a 58 gauge shotgun [Yes, I know there is no such thing as
a 58 gauge shotgun, but if Master Blaster wants a 58 gauge shotgun,
Master Blaster gets a 58 gauge shotgun] and pointed it straight up. At
he squeezed down on the trigger a hand gripped his arm.
"In the name of Bel-Shamroth, what *are* you doing?" Footnote Girl
hissed at him.
"What? We need to get their attention," MB pointed out.
"Yes, but not give them heart attacks!"
"If there's a better way than violence, I don't want to know about
"Look, just take that queue other there, I'll take this one. One
of them has to move faster than the other, probably mine as you are the
'main star', as you put it, so we'll be done shortly."
Grumbling, MB let the shotgun disperse, then stalked over to his
designated line. While waiting, he started with folding his arms
crossly, then moved onto sucking his teeth in irritation, then changed
to tapping his foot in annoyance. Unfortunately, that only took 20
seconds and the line hadn't moved. Glancing over at Footnote Girl, he
double taked...double took?...double takened?...whatever, insert your
own variant of the verb here, he saw that her line had halved already.
Groaning, Master Blaster turned around to see that the old man
directly in front of him had turned around to face him.
"I say...I say...I say..." the old man began.
"What up, gramps?"
"I say, sonny, can ya help me? I brought along me jar of pennies
so's I can buy some stamps, but it's getting a little heavy."
With an impending sense of dread, Master Blaster cast his eyes
downwards until he encountered a large glass jar that was nearly bigger
than the man's chest. Inside he could see lots and lots of little copper
coloured pennies...that would takes years and years to count...years and
years and years and...
On the other hand...
"Yes, let me help you with...whoops!" Master Blaster reached down
and..."accidently" slipped while handling the jar. They both watch, MB
with fascination and the old man with horror, as the jar tumbled through
the air in an ugly arc of dynamics until...*crash*, an explosion of tiny
pieces of metal and not an inconsiderable number of pieces of small
glass burst over the post office floor, the tiny masses ricocheting far
"Money on the floor!" Master Blaster shouted, taking a step back.
"There's money on the floor!"
He looked away for a moment as the orderly line of people suddenly
transformed under the overwhelming sense of avarice and instant greed
into ravening monsters that scoured the floor for any and all pennies
they could clutch in their tight little fists. "That's my money," the
old man complained. "Give it back...that penny I got in 1939 at the
World Trade Fair...oh, leave that penny alone...ooo, that's my teeth."
Master Blaster looked at the mess he had wrought, and nodded
appreciatively. "Nice." Skirting around the pile of people, he sauntered
up to the counter, whistling in an off-hand manner that completely
failed to appear unrehearsed. He could also feel an angry gaze from
Footnote Girl's direction on his head, but that just made him smirk all
Leaning on the counter, he peered at the frumpy woman who, in his
opinion, a) could stand to lose a few pounds, and b) could stand to gain
a few cup sizes. "Hiya, toots, what time you get off from here?"
"Sir, it is the established policy of this establishment to not
withstand any form of sexual harassment of staff or employees, and not
to withstand any or all stamp-related jokes, including and not exclusive
to entendres relating to "licking" and putting things in my "slot", and
if you continue in this manner, as per the latest postal worker union
approval guidelines, I have permission to use the postal worker union
approved .270 Winchester to blow your balls off."
"Right. Nice gun. Okay...well, that's pretty much all my material
gone, so I'm here to pick up a package for Ultimate Ninja."
"Do you have any identification?"
"Don't you recognise me? Master Blaster? Heartthrob of a million
women? Nominated for Favourite Supporting Character in the 2005
"I must have missed that issue," the women replied frostily.
A hand slapped an LNH membership card on the desk. "How about
this?" Footnote Girl asked, not acknowledging MB's presence.
The woman stared at the card for a moment before looking at
Footnote Girl. "And for whom is the package for?"
"And from whom is this package from?"
"Um...we weren't told."
"Then how do you know the package is for him?"
"Because he told us to come down here and get it for him."
"I'm afraid you can't pick up a package sent to someone else
without a signed permission form witnessed by someone here at the post
"But if he could come here for you to witness him signing, he
could pick the package up himself!" Footnote Girl pointed out.
"Right, we did it your way, now it's time for a man to take
charge," Master Blaster proclaimed, bearing up well under the sudden
onslaught of death glares from the two females.
He brought his hand up and by the time it was pointing at the
postal worker, he was holding a P97 trained on her forehead. "I believe
it's time to admire my package."
The postal worker didn't look impressed with Master Blaster's
piece, held up her hand and simply snapped her fingers.
The response was immediate. From a back room, bodies suddenly
filed out, quick stepping men and women in the postal worker standard
outfit of short-sleeved pale blue shirt, knee length shorts, blue caps,
and all carried Beretta Cx4 Storm Carbines. Which, after a only a moment
of taking up position around the counter woman, were all pointed at
Master Blaster's head.
MB gave out a long low whistle. "Nice. They've only just come
Footnote Girl nudged him, not wanting to make any large sudden
moves that might possibly, just maybe, be misinterpreted. "I think
they'd rather you put your gun down than admire theirs."
"Yeah, with guns like those you'd better take them seriously."
"No, you'd better take them seriously," Footnote Girl hissed. "Put
the damn gun down."
"Not until they give me the package."
"They are going to shoot you unless you put the DAMN GUN DOWN!"
"You know, the tendency of the average postal worker to actually
go crazy isn't that much. In fact, when you look at the postal system as
a whole, the percentage of those who 'go postal' is really only a tiny
percent. You're much more likely to be shot by a taxi driver."
"He's right," the counter woman added. "The whole 'going postal'
scenario has been way over publicized, and we'd much rather people
focussed on our people friendly policies, like our latest 'lose your
home, get a free stamp' offer we are currently trialling."
Footnote Girl blinked a few times, unable to believe that this was
happening. "That really wasn't the point."
"Beside, they're not really going to shoot me," Master Blaster
added confidently. "I'm not going to shoot them. There really isn't
anything to worry about. It's not like there's really any danger here."
Footnote Girl groaned and put her hands over her face. "I can't
believe you just said that."
The sound of windows crashing distracted everyone, including those
still hunting for pennies, and they all looked up to see men and women
abseiling in through now broken windows. They (the men and women, not
the windows) were covered head to foot in navy outfits, and sported
"Wow, the author has really gone overboard on the guns here..."
Footnote Girl observed.
"Meh. I've got better ones."
"This isn't a competition!"
After landing on the floor, the newcomers quickly drew beads on
several of the occupants. One man, clearly the leader (at least, it was
obvious now), stepped forward and spoke. "All rihgt, nodoby mvoe. I have
an outraegous dylsexic acnect, and I'm not afaird to use it!"
"A dyslexic accent? What's up with that?" Footnote Girl asked,
"Noralmly, I wolud be gvien an atrooicus Frnceh acecnt, but that
deos not wrok as well in a text meidum, so I hvae a dyxislec one
"And people wonder why I dislike having Adventures," FG said.
"Rgiht, I am hree for the pakcage," the man announced.
"What pakcage...package?" Master Blaster asked suspiciously.
"The one for the Utliamte Nnija, of crosue. I uderstannd it had
"Ah, yes, we have that package right here," replied the counter
woman, reaching under the desk, and placing a package about the size of
a loaf of bread, albeit a loaf of bread wrapped in brown paper, on the
"Hey, that's our package!" Master Blaster said.
"No, it is the pcakgae of the Poeloe's Atni-Nnjia Dmeiiloton
Everyone's lips moved as they tried to work it out, but Footnote
Girl got there first. "PANDA? You guys are PANDAs??"
"Taht is a precfetly fine nmae," the leader returned, nearly
sulking. "...we are wrkonig on it..."
Shaking off the sudden depression, the leader aimed his AK-107 at
the counter worker, and made a great show of placing his spare hand on
the grenade launcher trigger. "Now, aoubt taht pcakgae..."
The woman stood up stiffly. "This package is the property of the
Loonited States Postal Service, and will remain so until delivered to
the recipient presuming completion of the remaining charge on the postal
"Yes, we kown. I wsih to pay the rset of the carghe."
There was a pause as everyone parsed this.
"You want to pay the rest of the postage fee?" Master Blaster
"Yes. We apogolise for not esurning suffienct pagoste in the frist
pacle. We wuold lkie the bmob dleivered as soon as pssobile."
"Certainly sir. There is a fee still to be paid of 37 cents."
"Hang on," Master Blaster quickly interjected. "Did you say that
it was a bomb?"
"Yes. For the Umiattle Njina. We wsih to klil him."
"Fine, but I am never doing any favours for him ever again."
The leader strode towards the desk, but then a man from the queue
Footnote Girl had been a part of suddenly spoke. "Hey, buddy, back of
the line. Wait your turn like everyone else."
The leader quickly turned on him. "I do not tinhk you udernastnd.
We hvae the gnus."
"So do we pal." So saying there was a burst of sound, a clacking
and clicking, as every person in the line, and every person on the
floor, produced a gun from their clothes. There were Glocks and
Remingtons and Rugers and...oh, just go do your own web browsing and
insert gun type here...
"Does anyone here not have a gun?" Master Blaster asked.
"I've got a hockey stick," Footnote Girl volunteered. No-one else
spoke up. She turned to Master Blaster. "So, fight scene?"
"About damn time. Go!"
Violence erupted as everyone fired at once. The air exploded with
noise as bullets ripped from guns and passed Mach one. Concrete and
counter shattered under the impact of thousands of hits, sending small
chips flying through the air as their own deadly missiles.
Master Blaster and Footnote Girl watched all this from the floor,
where they had dropped immediately, no fools and no strangers to
After a few moments, Footnote Girl said, "You know, there's
something strange about this fight..."
"Like how we aren't a part of it?"
"No, that's the good part. I mean...there are all these bullets
flying around, and yet...no-one's dead!"
"There goes someone right now," the gun guru pointed out.
"Yes, they're down, but there's no blood. It's almost as if the
Master Blaster picked one up from where it had finally spent
himself. "These are rubber bullets," he said after a moment.
"What? Rubber?" the mistress of commentary repeated.
"This is a family comic. No death allowed, unless it's either a
comic death of the bad guy at the end of the movie, or if it's right at
the beginning leading to the main hero feeling angst for the entire
story before finally coming to terms with the tragedy, usually because
of the leading ingenue."
Footnote Girl stared at him. "You watch waaay too many movies."
"Hey, I haven't even been in a Master Blaster/Deja Dude movie
"I thought it was a Deja Dude/Master Blaster movie special?"
Master Blaster snorted. "Yeah, he wishes..."
"*Anyway*, what are we going to do about this fight?"
"Sneak out for a coffee?"
"I think we can be a bit more responsible than that."
"This is your first time starring with me, isn't it? Okay, let's
Master Blaster executed a stunning flip that would have really
look exceptionally cool on screen but completely fails to be fully
appreciated in a textual medium, and was suddenly standing, a gun in
each hand already firing, his arms outstretched in opposite directions.
He spun slowly to cover the entire area with bullets, but also because
his appearance now started causing people to shoot at him.
Footnote Girl aimed carefully, dropped a footnote, then used her
hockey stick to fire it with deadly (but not, we stress, actually
causing death in any way because, as has already been stated, this is a
family comic) accuracy and beaned one of the navy commandoes between the
eyes, causing her to go down.
Master Blasted spied a gun aimed in his direction, and jumped. The
bullet that had just been fired passed underneath him in a way that it
would take a wire team and slow motion cameras to capture properly.
Footnote Girl took advantage of the situation to strike out with
her stick at where Master Blaster had just been standing to hit the
postal patron that was now sliding head first into that empty space,
putting him out for the count.
Master Blaster landed on the counter, but quickly back-flipped off
it to land behind the postal workers that were still standing. Several
up close intensive bursts quickly put them out of the action.
Footnote Girl launched herself forwards, spinning her hockey stick
around her, and charged through a crowd of patrons. The stick swung from
left to right, felling those around her, hitting heads here, poking into
stomachs there, all in a perfectly timed manoeuvre Footnote Girl had
perfected when trying to be first in line for school dinners at St.
All this spectacular fighting did leave several commandoes still
standing, but Master Blaster was now behind a relatively sturdy barrier
that meant, happily, that he could rest the .50 caliber Browning sniper
rifle on it.
"Waht the fc*k is taht?" the commando leader screamed. The rest of
the commandoes paled from navy to aqua, and Footnote Girl was suddenly
reminded of the time the geography teacher was revealed to be evil and
brought a bomb to class.
The impact made by the leader in the wall wasn't so much man
shaped as of someone in the fetal position. In fact, it wasn't so much
an impression at all as was it actually was the leader in a fetal
position buried in the wall.
"And that's why they call me Master Blaster," MB said, grinning.
And with that, the fight was over. People, those that were
conscious at least, started picking themselves and others up.
"Hey, you're hobbling. What happened to you?"
"I got shot in the leg. I'm lame. Frickin' lame."
Elsewhere a commando spotted a patron's purse.
"Nice bag. What's it made from?"
"That's lame'. Frickin' lame'."
By the wall, one of the commandoes looked to be making out with a
"What's up with him?"
"Oh, he gets like that after a fight. He likes the frame. Lickin'
Footnote Girl looked over at Master Blaster.
"What? I'm not saying it now..." He picked up the package, which
remained unscathed despite the gunfire. "Still, we got what we came
"You can't give that to him. It's a bomb!"
"Hey, he wants the package, he gets the package."
Footnote Girl looked around the room, and weighed up what they had
gone through versus what the ninja deserved. "Come on, let's deliver the
Master Blaster created by Martin Phipps, useable without permission.
Footnote Girl created by Saxon Brenton, useable with permission.
Ultimate Ninja created by wReam, useable without permission.
MASTER BLASTER will return in... "Dyawanfriwitha?"
"Answers answered and questions questioned."
Blue Light Productions homepage: http://www.blue-light-productions.com/
"If a great state has decided by law that twice two is five, it would be
foolish to allow mathematicians to testify." - Comment during the Scopes
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