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

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Thu Mar 30 17:08:32 PST 2006

I'm reposting the first story that kicked off the LNHY...

Here it goes...

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  L      O      O      N      I      V      E      R      S      E

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                            N U M B E R

                               O N E

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!  Don¹t Leave..  please?  I
promise I won¹t 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.
It¹s 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 supercity¹s name is Net.ropolis Y.  And it¹s 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..

"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-members?"

"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 saving?"

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

<: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

"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

<: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

"The what..?"

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

"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 tomorrow.


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