LNH: 58.5 #20

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Sun Dec 30 16:44:56 PST 2007

"We are the Lodge of Nightmarish Horror[*]", said the man on
television.  He looked and sounded like Fearless Leader from the
Legion of Net.Heroes, and went by the same name.  But...  "We're
not from your Looniverse; we come from a place we call the
Evilverse.  Everything you think of as good, is an alien concept
for us.  What you see as 'redeeming' qualities, we see as
weaknesses, and we have none.  There's no resistance movement,
no 'fifth column' that you can count on.  We do have enemies,
but you'd find them even more scary.  We have already defeated
your LNH, and we're claiming your planet -- and later your
universe -- for ourselves.  Any resistance will be dealt with
harshly and swiftly."

[*You have the right to think it's lame.  But come on, give the
writer a break; it's getting hard to come up with things for the
acronym "LNH" to mean. -- Evil Footnote Girl]

After the TV was turned off, everybody looked at the two people
standing at either side of the screen.  The girl finally spoke.

"Well", she said.  "I know we haven't parted in the best of
terms, but--"

"WHAT?", exclaimed Locked Room, the only other person who wasn't
sitting.  (Blur wasn't sitting, and neither was Old Ugly, but
then again, neither one counts as a "person", so, as I was
saying, or rather, she was): "Grife, you were casing us for the
government, sprok knows what you told Luthor!  You know, Mary
never trusted you--"

"Or Wino Lad", observed Analytic.

"--who?  Anyway, so now you inquant from out of the nanovoid,
and spring this, you expect us to be all five-twenty-three about
you?  Work together and frames?  Well, kloorve you, for all I
care you can go--" and she broke in an incomprehensible stream
of noise, which varied not only as our speech does, but in tone,
pitch, and volume, faster than even Sammy could process.  Some
people started feeling a mild headache.

"Hey Locke Locke", said Smiley, getting up and walking to the
olive-haired, pink-eyed girl from the future.  Her t-shirt
changed its illustration to:


as she looked into Locke's pink eyes and said, "will you cool
down just a bit?  We can hear what Dramatic Pause Lass has to
say, then we walk.  Please?  You're giving us all a headache."

Locked Room smiled.  "Sure.  Why not?"


Who Cares Studios five-twenty-three-eely presents...
                        __________    ______
                       / ____( __ )  / ____/
                      /___ \/ __  | /___ \
                     ____/ / /_/ / ____/ /


                   Friends Will Be Friends

                       by Lalo Martins

                   Part 3 of Beige Twilight



"Locke does have a point, tho", said Blackbird.  "Mary and Sammy
were always insisting you were hiding something, and now it
turns out you were working for the government?  And then Roger
died, and you stormed out blaming us for it -- but seriously,
if the two of you had black-ops training, couldn't you have
prevented it?  You say we were amateurish -- and we were -- but
why didn't you spend some time, of all the weeks you were with
the team, trying to train us a bit?"

"And", added Howie K., "I must add, that would have saved us the
beating from Roger's sis."

"You know", Blackbird continued, "we're one of those small,
tightly-knit teen groups you see in comics; the whole point is
that we're like family, we don't hold anything back from the
others.  You being... whatever is the word, undercover, among us
for that long, is what really hurts.  We all feel betrayed."

"You know what?", she said, and waited till all were looking at
her before she continued.

(We all feel betrayed)o. Sammy was thinking, .o(but that's not
what you really mean, Blackbird.  She did get pretty close to
you.  You're wondering, as we all are, if she was only using
you to hijack some leadership.  That's a pretty low thing to do,
and that's the real reason we're not at all likely to trust her.)

"...you're right", Dramatic Pause Lass said.  "I was under
orders to maintain secret about our affiliation, and to use the
New Misfits to investigate the truth about Infinite April.  But
the orders never said I couldn't have told you I was a
government agent; I only kept that secret because I was too busy
playing Secret Agent Girl and feeling better than everyone else
to actually join your family.  And training?  I did train you.
Only, again, I was naive.  I trained you on investigation
procedure, and if I can say so, we were doing pretty well.  But
I thought you were so powerful, I didn't need to spend our
precious time on combat training, or studying your powers.  And
I didn't really expect we'd ever get into any *really* big
fight; if we did, I'd just radio for help.  I screwed up, and
that ended up costing me one of my best friends."  She lowered
her eyes, and took a few deep breaths.  "I'm sorry."

"What I want to know", asked Bonnie, looking at the person
standing near Fran, "is when did *you* get into this... whatever
it's called."

"P.A.N.I.C.", said Triangle Lad.  "After Mary died.  We took a
really horrible beating from some demons which, I should add,
nobody ever discovered the story behind.  After I recovered, it
became clear to me that you guys, despite good intentions and
how much I personally like you, weren't equipped to give me the
training I need to survive."

"Backtrack a moment", said Sammy.  "So, you could tell us you
were with the government, but you couldn't tell us about
P.A.N.I.C., is that what you mean?"

Fran sighed deeply and sat down.

"P.A.N.I.C. is the Paranormal, Alien and Net.ahuman
Investigation Commission.  It was originally chartered to keep
an eye on people like you, to know how to deal with you if
necessary, and, before you crucify me, also to work with you
whenever possible."

"It was extreme-hush-hush-top-secret", continued Triangle Lad.
"But things changed.  Our beloved leader of the free world,
Jerks Luthor--" he paused while some people in the room
chuckled.  Fran didn't seem to find it funny at all, and
Blackbird gave him an annoyed look, agreeing with him in
principle but not really thinking that was the time for joking.
"Well, he figures now with the LNH out of the game, it would
help people feel better if they know there's a government-run
organization looking out for them.  It would, if you don't mind
my choice of words, avoid panic."

"Oh boy", said Howie.  "I can see the posters.  'Don't panic.
Call PANIC.'  Or one with a phone keypad: 'Net.a.humans from the
Evilverse in your area?  Hit the PANIC button.'  Instant hit."

"Hilarious", Fran said, with a face that told otherwise.  "You
should have gone into marketing instead of kiwi-fu.  Now..." she
looked around the room, overflowing with impatience.  Still
amateurs, all of them, argh.  "Can we get to business?"

"Which is?", Blackbird asked.  "What exactly do you need our
help with?"

"We need more net.a.humans to help us install--"  She plugged a
small device into the television, which came to life showing
some diagrams.  Sammy and Daniel both whistled.  "this."


"No way, yo, that the place?  Tell me y'aint pullin' my chain,
yo.  That fancy joint ain't no place--"

"That is the place", said the man in a suit.  "A high-brow
musical instrument store, yes.  But you have to think for a
minute.  Old warehouses and abandoned subway stations are
too... last year.  Those Evilverse people know their game, and
this is one place where they wouldn't look."

"No =*@%, I ain't no fool, yo.  I can dig that", said the
younger man.  He was black, thin, tall, and bald, dressed in the
latest hip-hop street fashion.  "I wasn't sayin' nuthin' like
that, no.  I mean I was in this joint before, know what I mean?
I, like, applied for a job here, know what I mean?"

"Ah", said the other man, while they walked through the back
door, into a corridor leading to the storage area.  "You would
have, of course."

"They ain't no Resistance, that's what I'm sayin', know what I
mean?  Those brothers here, they just lookin' out for
themselves, that what I figure."

"Well then, I guess this time you figure wrong.  I have no idea
why, either; orders from above, I've been told.  But when
trouble started, they were the ones who stepped up to it and got
the Resistance together."

"That ain't make no sense, yo."

"Well, that's what happened, so it's take it or leave it.  Are
you leaving?"

"I ain't no chicken, yo, and I ain't no goin' back to my homies
to say we's gonna let no Evilverse pig yank us 'round no more,
you know?  Not me, me ain't."

"Beautifully put.  Now shut up a minute."  He led the other a
little more, and stopped near a very large man, who was checking
some papers in a clipboard hanging from the wall.  "Sir.  This
gentleman here is a fine smuggler, and a net.a.  He wants to
join the Resistance.  I got him through the telepaths, he's
legit.  And I think he can be useful, if he learns English."

The large man looked at the younger arrival for a moment.
"Yes.  We've met."

"Now look here, yo, if you gonna tell me because I ain't no good
for the job then I ain't no good for this stuff--"

"I am going to say no such thing.  Your talents will be
immensely invaluable, if you're willing to wear a mask and stay
out of any trouble we don't tell you to get into.  Welcome to
the Resistance."


"You can leave him to me, doctor Parks.  I'll introduce him to
the people he needs to know and send him to orientation.  I'm
sure you have things waiting for you."

"All right.  Yes, I have to take this components to the lab.
See you around."  He left, and the large man went back to his
papers, leaving the young man standing there.  After a minute,
his patience ran out.

"Yeah?  So, what now, mister boss-man?"

The Resistance coordinator sighed.  "Now.  First of all, if
you're going to be with the Resistance, you will be working for
me and do everything I say.  I am the coordinator, and my word
is law.  And I demand respect."

"Gotcha, mister boss-man, whatever it takes."

"So", the other man said, giving him a fiery look that many of
his subordinates routinely see in their nightmares.  "You will
learn to address me correctly.  Not boss-man, not brother, not
dude, not even boss or coordinator.  My name is the only title I
need and the only form of address you shall use.  Understood?"

"Yes, Mister Manhandler, sir!"


 Lieutenant Francesca  Dramatic Pause Lass    mine
   "Fran" Blake
 (unpronounceable)     Locked Room            mine
 Blur                  Blur                   mine
 Old Ugly                                     mine
 Trey M. B. Gantt      Triangle Lad           mine
 Meredith Samuels      Analytic               mine
 Sue Jagger            Smiley                 mine
 Blackbird Jones       Blackbird              mine
 Kiwi Kiwii Kiwi       Howie K.               mine
 Bonnie Chique         Bandwagon Chick        Sue Clark's
 Daniel Hunt           Contraption Boy        mine
 Mister Manhandler                            mine

and introducing: Ultra-Mobile Dawg! (mine too)

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