[LNH] 58.5 #9
lalo.martins at gmail.com
Wed Aug 29 09:00:14 PDT 2007
"The first thing I said then was, 'Oh man, I'm naked.' It was
way too embarrassing."
"Very @#*^*#%&%^ng understandable too", said the LNH leader of
"But how could you run?", asked Bonnie.
"I don't know. I'm so ashamed, really. That one of my first
acts after being changed was one of cowardice."
"?~$=^, you were shocked. It was within your ?!#?*=!%ng rights
to be &#^!%=#ed up. Besides, Ordinary Lady always says,
'There's no cowardice in refusing to fight naked'."
"All the !$!$%#?$= time. To me at least."
"Yeah", said Bonnie, trying not to frown at the leader. "What I
meant wasn't to judge you, but rather... how did you manage, if
everybody was looking at you?"
"Ah. Well, they were all a bit shell-shocked, or should I say
feather-shocked. And Mother Time was actually laughing at me.
Then Old Ugly, who of course takes no BS from anyone, used that
chance to charge her. She was very seriously hurt, and hell
broke loose. Then I jumped away from the scene, thanks to my
martial arts agility."
"I see", she nodded.
"I just ran to the nearest mall, where I, er, shoplifted this
kimono. I took the shop's card, tho, to pay for it later. Then
I ran back... but they were gone. No Yuppicons either, or
Mr. Fornya's hummer."
"Then you came back to the &=?^&@=!&# HQ?"
"I didn't know how to find the Fornya estate, and wasn't sure
"--Bonnie would still be there, when and if I got there. So I
decided to hitchhike to Net.ropolis instead."
"No, $!^$#, good thinking. Now Bonnie is here too."
"After almost two weeks of repairing my bandwagon", she added,
with a sigh of frustration.
"And there's another ~?%~!&=?=%@er I want you guys to meet." He
pressed a button. After a while, a boy of about 13, rusty hair,
freckled face, wearing a jeans and a black t-shirt with a large
red triangle (like an "yield" sign) on the chest, and a domino
mask, entered the leader's room.
"Er", he hesitated. "So you're the guy... bird... that met the
"Bandwagon Chick and Kiwi, *$&*#$^* meet Triangle Lad. His
father had some =%#*^~ with the Yuppicons in the eighties."
"Hi", the boy waved nervously.
Who Cares Studios a-new-hope-ly presents...
/ ____( __ ) / ____/
/___ \/ __ | /___ \
____/ / /_/ / ____/ /
That Ain't No Way To Have Fun
by Lalo Martins
Kiwi Kiwii Kiwi "The fighting kiwi" mine
"Mack" Guyver Innovative-Offense Boy uplink's
Bonnie Chique Bandwagon Chick Sue Clark's
Trey M. B. Gantt Triangle Lad mine
(unknown name) Cannon Fodder wReam's (special
thanks to Dvandom)
Terry Kid-Not-Appearing-In- Saxon Brenton's
Byron Manhandler mine
The Geekobots mine
Mary Smith Whatever mine
The Leviathan Paul Hardy's
"Dude, they will recognize me", Fodder said, nervously, for the
"For the fifth time, they won't", said Terry. "The plan -- your
plan -- is brilliant, and your pal Innovative-Offense Lad is
very good at disguises. As for me, who would think this is the
real me? As Terry, nobody will link me to... my other form."
"Yeah. A bit disturbing that they would recruit someone so
young for a thug, though."
"That it is, pal. But I'm glad. We've learned more about them
in the last two weeks of training, than all the time we spent
"YOU GUYS", yelled Mister Manhandler, from about thirty thugs
away from them, beside the portal. Cannon Fodder froze. "No
chatting on the line! Just walk quietly through!" Fodder
started breathing again.
The line moved, and all the thugs-in-training walked through the
portal, exiting in an alley, in a strange-looking city. In the
distance, at least three different battles could be seen.
"This is where we conduct advanced thug training", said
Manhandler, addressing the troops. "The place has... properties
that we find very useful."
"Excuse me, sir", said Fodder, raising a hand.
"Yes, Mr. Fowley."
"Is this another planet?", he asked, thinking of 'Workolips'.
"Almost right. It's another newsgroup. Ladies, welcome to
alt.fan.bugtown. I'm sure you won't enjoy your stay."
The Mystic Bandwagon was cruising down the winding ocean drive,
leaving the fancier neighborhoods towards the port area.
"So", said Bonnie, trying to make conversation. "You're a
"Oh yeah. I have the same powers as my dad, and his dad, all
the way through a longish line."
"Cool. And what are they?"
"I always win a fight."
The other two people (or one person and a Kiwi, depending on how
liberal is your definition of 'person') in the bandwagon stared
in shock for a moment. Bonnie recovered her wits in time to
avoid a dangerous collision.
"Isn't that a bit... overpower?", asked Kiwi.
"Not really. Is it? I mean, I didn't say 'EVERY fight'; I said
'A fight'. Every battle I get in, I can only fight once, but
then I win. Probably great against insanely powerful cosmic
threats, but rather sucky against a team of common thugs."
"Oh man. I can imagine."
"You just need to BE in a team yourself", said Bonnie. "If you
can count on a good strategist, like Ultimate Ninja or Ordinary
Lady or Fearless Leader..."
"Are you trying to convince me to join the LNH? I though your
pottymouth friend said you were forbidden to take new members
"...or Analytic", she continued without wincing, "to point you
to the most powerful and dangerous foe; and then count on your
teammates to protect you for the rest of the battle, you should
"I guess. That's what my dad did with the Yuppicons, and my
great-gran on world war two. Stop! This is the place." They
were in front of a warehouse-style building, marked "Newman &
The next few minutes were occupied with the distractions of
parking, leaving and closing the Bandwagon, finding the unlocked
door (Triangle Lad insisted there was one), and marveling at
what they found inside.
"Wow", said Bandwagon chick. "It's like the private junkyard of
some geeky convention!" There were signs, posters, models, even
filming props. "I swear I saw some of this stuff at last year's
Wiz.alt World Net.ropolis!"
"Does that make you 'geeky'?", asked Kiwi.
She blushed. "I guess I am a bit. But I'm not really the
convention-going type. I was hanging around, and Mouse,
Weirdness Girl, Minority Miss and a few others were going..."
"Did you wear cosplay?", asked Triangle Lad, with a smirk.
"Actually yes. I went as Mouse. She went as Minority Miss.
Weirdness Girl went as Bandwagon Chick, complete with cardboard
bandwagon. Don't ask."
While Triangle Lad looked at the net.heroine with disbelief, the
bird was looking around with a very similar feeling.
"So", he said. "Even if we do find Mother Time and the
Yuppicons... how do we defeat them? When you said you had a
solution, I thought it was something about your powers. But
after you said what you do... how are the three of us going to
perform any better than the New Misfits did?"
"Oh, we'll get by", the kid said, gently tapping a big, blue
wooden box the size of a phone booth.
"With a little help from my friends", he said with a smile, as
the blue box transformed into a large blue robot. "Meet
Nerdicus Supreme, leader of the Geekobots." A few other bots
transformed around them. "These are Dar'hnitron, Boldly,
Battlesun, Prey, Van'kesh, and Vesper. The Geekobots."
"Wow", said Bonnie.
"Nice to meet you too", said Nerdicus Supreme.
"I'm almost happy about this", said Vesper, sitting down. "I
wasn't around yet when my brothers and your father kicked the
Yuppicons' behinds last time."
"You'll get your taste of battle", Battlesun said, with a
friendly punch on the younger bot's arm.
"We come from a distant planet", said the leader, addressing
Bandwagon Chick and the Kiwi. "A peaceful place. A few rebels,
many years ago, stole a transport and fled our paradise,
planning to use our superior powers to conquer their own star
empire. Our governing bodies decided not to pursue them,
instead focusing on our own defenses. Our little group couldn't
agree to leave the rest of the universe to fend for itself, so
we came after them. We fought in many planets, and finally came
to a decisive victory here on Earth."
"I'm sorry", Bonnie asked. "But why the heck do you transform
into model spaceships and... this other stuff?"
The blue robot had an uncomfortable expression; if he could, she
swears he would be blushing. "It's a disguise. A mimetic
feature, to allow us to hide among you."
"I'm sure you could have come up with something better tho?"
"When we arrived, we monitored your entertainment. Television.
Since the Yuppicons were targeting influential people, we picked
the programmes that seemed... smarter. We figured that would
get us better allies."
"It took us a while to realize none of these things actually
exist in your world", said Dar'hnitron.
"It doesn't matter", added Boldly. "These forms have served us
well over the years."
"Yeah", said the Kiwi, looking around, hand on his chin. "This
"Now all we have to do is find them", said Vesper.
Bandwagon Chick sat down on a crate, with a loud sigh. "Oh
holy *#?&, I thought you guys had some means to track down your
"Van'kesh is a great tracker", offered Boldly.
"They can be anywhere... or, for that matter, in some pocket
outside time. This could take forever."
[note from the editors: this section works better if you read
slowly, with a pause between paragraphs, keeping in mind it's a
dream. Or just read it when you're drunk ;-)]
Somewhere else, or maybe in some pocket outside time, Mary Smith
was having fitful dreams. Which is interesting, because, being
prisoner in a Supervillain Stasis Tube (TM, patented), she
wasn't supposed to dream at all, since she's not technically
sleeping. But some beings seem to have the power to reach her
In her dreams, she was a baby again, two years old, left alone
in an odd, tube-shaped cradle. There were people around her,
talking and doing things, but she couldn't understand them. She
believed them to be her friends, the people she cares about.
The sad cousin, the odd but friendly force of nature, the smart
boy, the funny girl from the future, and a green bird. But she
wasn't sure, because she couldn't see them well. Everything
outside her cradle seemed fuzzy... no, not fuzzy, it looked like
a tapestry, or knitwork. But the colors were faded, and the
threads were unraveling.
%WHO ARE YOU?%, asked a thundering voice from nowhere.
She couldn't talk; her body wouldn't produce more than baby
gibberish. But she thought very loud. *(I'm Mary Smith. I'm
SoWhat from the Acra.Flight. I'm Whatever of the New Misfits.)*
%THOSE ARE BUT NAMES. DO THEY DEFINE YOU?%
She thought some more. *(I'm a net.heroine.)*
%IS THAT WHAT PEOPLE CALL YOU, OR HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF?%
*(I am... just a step before I become what I will be next.)*
%THAT IS AN ANSWER. AND WHAT DO YOU WANT?%
*(That's easier. To be with the ones I love. I define my
happiness from love.)*
%WHO DO YOU SERVE, AND WHO DO YOU TRUST?%
*(Are you bloody serious? I'm pretty sure these questions are
%WHO DO YOU SERVE, AND WHO DO YOU TRUST?%
*(No one but myself. Ever.)*
%THAT IS MOST WISE.%
*(Why is everything unraveling?)*
%THAT IS A VERY GOOD METAPHOR FOR THE STATE OF YOUR WORLD. BUT
IT IS NOT OF MY DOING. YOUR OWN SUBCONSCIOUS MIND UNDERSTANDS
THE TRUTH AND TRIES TO ENLIGHTEN YOU.%
%I CAN HELP YOU. BUT YOU MUST COME WITH ME NOW, BEFORE IT'S TOO
*(Why would you?)*
%MY REASONS ARE MY OWN.%
*(Good for you. Then you can keep them in you pantry right next
to your help.)*
%FINE. WHAT COMES FOR YOUR WORLD WILL COME FOR MINE NEXT. I
MAY BE ABLE TO HANDLE IT; I DO IN FACT BELIEVE I AM. BUT I
WOULD RATHER NOT HAVE TO.%
She pondered for a moment; that answer sounded reasonable.
But... *(I can't leave my friends.)*
%YOU JUST TOLD ME SO. YOUR DESIRE IS TO BE WITH THOSE YOU LOVE.
BUT NONE OF THEM CAN LIVE LONG, IF YOU DON'T LEARN TO
BE... WHAT YOU CAN BE NEXT.%
*(I understand that. But I mean now. I can't leave them now;
we're in trouble and they need me.)*
%SO BE IT. I SHALL WAIT. BUT WE HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE, AND YOU
MAY STILL BE IMPRISONED FOR DAYS.%
*(Imprisoned? Oh, I remember now. That b!+*#...)*
%YOU ARE A PRISONER IN ONE OF HER BASES.%
*(Can't you break me out?)*
%MY POWER TO AFFECT YOUR WORLD DIRECTLY IS LIMITED.%
*(You planned to pull me out. You can do that, then put me back
in a different place.)*
%I HAVE NO INTEREST IN ASSISTING YOU ON TRIVIAL PURSUITS. WE
HAVE QUESTIONS OF MUCH GREATER GRAVITY TO ADDRESS.%
*(So... what then?)*
%WE SHALL USE YOUR DREAMSPACE TO TEACH YOU AS MUCH AS WE CAN
UNTIL YOU ARE FREED. THAT WILL BE AN INSIGNIFICANT FRACTION OF
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE THE THIRD TURNING POINT.%
Bandwagon Chick, the Kiwi, and Triangle Lad stepped out of the
mystic bandwagon. Battlesun was hovering overhead, far enough
that he wouldn't be seen. The neighborhood was sinister enough
to give Bonnie a shiver. They entered the alley where the
message told them to be. On the other end, a massive figure in
a coat and hat was protected by the shadows.
"That will be close enough."
"Who are you?", she asked.
"A citizen of Net.ropolis. More than that will be unnecessary
for the time being."
"Well", said the Kiwi, "we don't normally come to dark alleys to
meet random citizens."
The man nodded. "Yet, you came. Heroes tend to take any offers
when desperately looking for something."
"What do you want?", said Bonnie.
"You children... and bird... have been, shall I say, disturbing
the peace of the underworld, on your search. It has been days
now. That needs to stop; the answers you seek aren't there."
"And what do you plan to do about it?", asked the Kiwi.
"I plan to fight one of you, hand to hand. If I break a sweat,
I will help you. If not, you will leave the crime scene alone
and focus your efforts elsewhere."
The bird stepped forward. "Sure, why not." But Triangle Lad
put his left hand on the other hero's chest.
"Allow me. He's just one."
The bird hesitated for but a minute. "Sure. Go ahead."
Triangle Lad. Triangle Lad. Triangle Lad hits Mister
Manhandler. They have a fight. Triangle wins. Triangle Lad.
"Wow", said Bonnie. "Is that all?"
"Yeah", he said. "It was slightly different for dad... I guess
I'm more live-and-let-live."
Manhandler sat up and let out a loud laugh. "Very good, very
good. You kids can pull your weight. Here, you can have this."
He produced something that looked a lot like a brick that had
been decorated by a hippie on acid.
"Wow", said the Kiwi. "My own brick. Maybe I can throw it on
the glassy Yuppicon and hope it breaks, and the white stuff
inside causes enough confusion?"
"Insolent brat... bird. This is a Secretary Box, one of the
most powerful artifacts of Workolips. Assemble your Geekobot
allies; the Secretary Box will take you all to your enemies.
Then it will deactivate, of course; we can't be equipping heroes
"Hmm", Bonnie said. "Thanks, I guess? But why?"
"Reasons are not of my concern; I am but a middle manager. Take
what help you are offered, with the compliments of the Crime
Empress. Maybe she doesn't want to see the Yuppicons succeed,
and is happy that we won't have to see to it ourselves? Or
maybe she just want you kids out of our turf. Here, take it."
And he threw the Secretary Box. All eyes turned to the device,
until the Kiwi snatched it in midair. Then they looked at the
criminal again. But he wasn't there anymore. The Secretary Box
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