LNH: 58.5 #17
lalo.martins at gmail.com
Wed Dec 5 10:29:18 PST 2007
April 248th was the day the nightmare seemed to end.
With more than half the LNH -- and almost all heroes than anyone
had actually ever heard of -- missing, the lives of those who
remained had grown increasingly hard. Routine defense of the
population against net.villains and strange threats in general
was mostly taken over by the robot duplicates; while they were
doing a pretty efficient job, some were beginning to fear they
were doing it too efficiently.
Bandwagon Chick and the New Misfits spent most of the time since
the group was reunited between hunting down "Andy" (to no
success at all), and sporadic skirmishes with the Crime Empire,
which for some reason, the LNH robot duplicates seemed to be
ignoring. She had taken to the habit of coming back to the LNH
and checking in with the others every Tuesday, when possible.
It was during one of those checks, while chatting in the
cafeteria with WikiBoy and Kid Recap, and waiting for
Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats-Lad to arrive and pick a leader for the
day, that it happened.
The doors burst open, and in walked Fearless Leader,
Cheesecake-Eater Lad, Catalyst Lass, Irony Man, Doctor Stomper,
Kid-Not-Appearing-In-Any-Retcon-Hour-Story, Master Blaster,
Weirdness Magnet, Minority Miss, Writer's Block Woman (and
Mouse), Easily-Discovered Man (and Lite), Cannon Fodder, and
dozens of others. Some of those robot duplicates were actually
passing by just then, so she knew that wasn't what those were.
They were back. Not all the missing heroes, but enough of them
to make a difference. To bring back some hope.
Master Blaster looked at the few heroes sitting in the cafeteria
with a cheesy smile.
"Honey! We're home!"
Who Cares Studios oddly enough presents...
/ ____( __ ) / ____/
/___ \/ __ | /___ \
____/ / /_/ / ____/ /
It Ain't Over Till It's Over
by Lalo Martins
A solitary figure stood proud and majestic in what, moments
before, was a meeting room. Around her, the fallen bodies of
many goons and low-level managers from the Crime empire; not
only in the meeting room, but most other rooms of the small
house. (There was a pile of goons on the kitchen sink, and an
accountant with his head stuck in the toilet.)
"What kind of irredeemable lowlife sells 'protection' to the
poorest people in the city? Tsk." She cleaned her sword in the
boss' tie, and sheathed it. Then she made a phone call, and sat
back in the big chair. "Now, the New Misfits."
"Wow", said Bonnie, tears on her face. "What happened? Where
have you been?"
"We don't know", said Fearless Leader. "We just appeared, all
together, in the backyard. That was almost half an hour ago, we
have been all this time arguing among yourselves."
"The last thing we remember was the stroke of midnight, on our
respective days as leaders."
Fourth Wall Lass, still sitting on the other side of the
cafeteria, looked at the scene with suspicion. Did history
really change? Was it her fault? Was it for the better? Or
was it all just some kind of lie?
"And who are those two?", asked Fearless Leader, approaching the
table where Bonnie, WikiBoy and Kid Recap just got up from.
"Two people who applied for membership during April", Kid Recap
offered. "Incredibly Stupid Man joined on the 50th, before
Weirdness Magnet passed a ruling forbidding new members. Then
he kept applying again and again every day, until we managed to
convince him he was already a member."
"So I see."
Incredibly Stupid Man smiled in his typical dumb expression.
"Hi", said a brown-haired, plain-looking girl, in jeans and a
t-shirt. Her t-shirt had a big yellow smiley face. "I'm
Smiley. I'm not a member, because I arrived only a few weeks
ago and there was this new rule... but I've been hanging around
and trying to make myself useful."
"Oh. Nice to meet you."
"So", she said, hopeful. "Can I join now?"
"Just because we're back it doesn't mean nobody else will
disappear. Let's wait a few days and see. Meanwhile--" he
turned to Bonnie. "Bandwagon Chick! Some members that
disappeared more recently have told me that you've been doing a
pretty good job with the New Misfits?"
"So I heard."
She looked around. Nothing wrong with praise, she thought, but
by what kind of measure could the last few, very boring weeks be
considered a pretty good job?
"Er. I guess."
"Smiley!", Fearless Leader said, grabbing the girl by the
shoulders. "Why don't you join the New Misfits instead? I'm
sure that will be some excellent training for you!"
"Oh. Hmm." She looked at Bonnie with uncertainty. Bonnie
"Let's get out of here then", Bonnie said. "We'll go meet the
team, ask them if you can join, and tell them the good news."
"Excellent", said Fearless Leader. "Excellent! There is so
much to do, we should all be getting to it!"
And on the way out, still feeling more than a bit confused,
Bandwagon Chick was stopped by the receptionist.
"Bandwagon Chick? I have a message for you."
"For me? Yes?"
"Someone phoned in an anonymous tip. She asked specifically for
you. She left an address, and she said she found some pretty
solid proof that this is the base of operations of the Crime
Empire for Bingham Valley."
"Oh", said Smiley. "Isn't that where you and the New Misfits
had that charity project in the 60s?"
Bandwagon Chick sighed. "There was a time, long ago, when 'the
60s' meant a decade..." But this only drew a blank look from
Smiley. "Yes it is. We grew quite attached to the community
there, after that. I bet the others will be as unhappy as I am
now to learn that the Crime Empire has been operating there."
Doctor Violence, Kid Terrible and Little Miss Trouble met in one
of the many "Happy Hour Dungeons" scattered throughout
Workolips, proudly wearing their newly-acquired names, gaudy
costumes, scars, and physical and psychological resistances.
The "Happy Hour Dungeons" were a dubious thing. In a world
where relaxation and camaraderie were generally discouraged,
there was still a need for those few outside the lower classes
to gather for gloating, scheming, and finding motivation and
validation in the envy of others. The Dungeons serve those in
abundance, along with some very good alcohol, and, for those
willing tho fork off the cash, some slave torture, and other
pleasures that can't be described in a non-Acraphobe title.
Oh, and pretty decent peanuts.
"I can't believe we made it", said Kid Terrible.
"Of course we did", Doctor Violence answered.
"I'm with Terry", Little Miss Trouble added. "It was all awful,
I have no idea how we made it through."
"I don't know about you two", said Doctor Violence, "but I found
that having a plan helped a lot. Knowing who I am, and that I
had good reasons to keep going."
"There are three kinds of evil people in my book", offered Kid
Terrible. "Those who really get kicks out of being cruel and
ruthless, those who are too weak or stupid to care for others,
and those who have the best intentions. The Internship Caps, I
found, has the primary goal of separating those. The ones with
the best intention would generally never be here in the first
place, but the few that do get identified, are brainwashed into
their way. The weak and stupid need to be further weeded out --
those who can fight, will fail the camps, and join the
Para-Lawyers. Those who can't just die."
"And the real bastards get to join the elite ranks", said
Clara. "I'd concur. Fortunately, it seems it never occurred to
them that someone would be daring enough to *fake* evil in this
place. Still, it's quite a feat that we didn't get caught."
"I'll drink to that", said Carl, er, Godd.
"I still don't do alcohol", Terry said.
"Just pretend then. I won't mind." And he emptied his glass.
"You said", Clara tentatively said after a while, "after we were
through the Camps, the real fun would start. So, what now?"
"Good point", said Terry. "Even though we're in the upper class
now, we're 'newbies', and nobody would trust us. Or, for that
matter, I don't think anyone trusts anyone here, ever. How do
you plan to bring this place down?"
"Bring it down? I plan to take it over!"
"There they are", said Howie K. "Seems we're the last to
The remainder of the New Misfits were waiting in front of the
Mystic Bandwagon, chatting with a few people from the Bingham
Valley community. Howie, Daniel, Locked Room and Old Ugly
walked the rest of the way to them.
"Hey guys", said Bonnie. "You'd think, since you four have been
*living* here, you'd be the first to arrive?"
"Kloorve me, we were in the middle of lunch", said Locked Room,
hugging the other girl. "How are you doing?"
"Who's the new blood?", asked Daniel.
"This is Smiley", said Analytic. "She's been hanging around the
LNHQ for the last few weeks, and now she'd like to join our
"Is it true", asked Howie? "What I heard about the LNH?"
"Honestly", Bonnie said, "I have no idea yet. We'll have to
wait and see. But yes, it appears to be."
"Wow. Awesome. I should go say hello."
Blackbird had been, of course, sulking in a corner. At this
point, he got up, took off his sunglasses, blinked a few times
blinded by the sunlight, put them back on, and said: "Enough
chat, people. Let's go in and check the place out."
"Don't you think it's a little conspicuous that we were standing
here all this time waiting for the others?", asked Sammy.
"Maybe they already had time to get out and erase all proof?"
"Whatever. I'm not here to get proof, I'm here to shut them
down. We were watching, so they definitely didn't walk out; but
if they left somehow, then we at least interrupted their
business a bit. If they come back, we'll know, and we'll keep
doing the same until they give up."
"Typical", said a new voice, coming from the house they had been
talking about. "You come unprepared, half-cocked, no planning,
let the bad guy get away, and walk home feeling you did your
job." She walked towards them; a tall, gorgeous blonde, wearing
a skimpy battle armor, and carrying a variety of low-tech
weapons all over her (very impressive) body.
The New Misfits quickly arranged themselves in fighting stances.
"Well", she said. "This time someone did your job for you. The
Crime Empire staff inside is all defeated, bound, and the proof
of their activities is intact for the police to find. As for
you-- your lack of preparedness has already costed too much."
"That's not a word", said Analytic.
"What are you blabbing about?", Blackbird raged. "*Our* job?
What's wrong with the police, or the LNH? We never claimed to
be super-heroes, crazy lady. Who the hell do you think we are?"
"You're the idiots whose attitude killed my brother", she said.
"You're kids who say 'we're not super-heroes' then spend most of
their time hunting villains who will, of course, react
accordingly. But it ends today." And she drew her sword.
"Your brother?", Bonnie asked.
"You are the New Misfits, net.hero wannabees -- or rather, I
should say, wanna-be-nots. And I'm the one who's going to kick
your behinds until you grow up or give up. I'm the revenge
you've had coming. And no crying to the LNH for help this time.
It's just you and me. The New Misfits, and the Amazing Amazon!"
Bonnie Chique Bandwagon Chick Sue Clark's
Amanda "Amy" Zing The Amazing Amazon mine
Sue Jagger Smiley mine
Skipping issues Arthur Spitzer's
Carl Fowley Doctor Violence wReam's (special
thanks to Dvandom)
Terry Kid Terrible Saxon Brenton's
Clara Lee-Trobbo Little Miss Trouble mine
Blackbird Jones Blackbird mine
Kiwi Kiwii Kiwi Howie K. mine
Meredith Samuels Analytic mine
Daniel Hunt Contraption Boy mine
(unpronounceable) Locked Room mine
Old Ugly mine
Green Delaware Tree-Hugging Kid mine
Blur Blur mine
Note for the readers: I realised 400 to 500 lines may be a bit
too much for people to read at once; so, for the second stage of
the series, I decided to cut down the sizes to 200 to 300, and
post more often. Hope you enjoy!
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