LNH: 58.5 #6

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Wed Jul 11 08:54:17 PDT 2007

"All right", said Bandwagon Chick.  "Here's the information we
have on Weirdness Magnet from the HQ archives.

"He joined informally in late '99, and then formally in January
2000 under death threats from Ultimate Ninja.  He didn't hang
around between missions too much; hmm, he claimed he didn't want
to meet Minority Miss before he rescued her?  Reportedly he only
got somewhat close to Irrelevant Kid, Boy Redundant Lad, Fourth
Wall Lass, Multi-Tasking Man, and Cannon Fodder.  He
participated on a number of missions and Tsk.Forces."

"You have an Irrelevant Kid?", asked Analytic.

"Never heard of him, but that's what it says here.  Anyway.

"Then he disappeared in March 2001.  He showed up in December to
rescue Minority Miss, and a few people noticed something odd.
Well, now we know it wasn't the same guy.  Then he disappeared
again, to come back next March; his... not quite friends, but,
well, closer associates report that he seemed darker, changed.

"Says here he helped negotiate a peace between the Tuxian League
and the Galactic Wildebeests late that year, and was
instrumental in stopping the invasion of-- am I reading this
right?  Meta-gods from the 13th dimension, in 2004.  And after
that mission, we've never seen him again."

The New Misfits (and friends) looked at each other for a moment.

"Then we have conflicting reports of him all over the world",
reported Dramatic Pause Lass.  "I guess both versions have been
traveling, so it's hard to pick which is which."

"Ah, here's something that may help then", said Mary.  "He
said... well, 'our' version, when he was LNH leader, I mean.  He
said this was the second time he's ever been in the Loonited
States, the first being for the rescue in 2001."

Fran shuffled through her papers a bit.  "Well, that's great.
He hasn't had a residence in his name in Net.ropolis since 2004,
but--" she looked at every one of the others triumphantly.
"Says here he's bought a house in California last year.  Orange
County.  A big house too..."

"That's our clue then", said Blackbird.  "Let's check it out."


Who Cares Studios deviously presents...
                        __________    ______
                       / ____( __ )  / ____/
                      /___ \/ __  | /___ \
                     ____/ / /_/ / ____/ /


                    California Here I Come

                    Lalo Martins -- writer
                    May Fonseca -- editor
           with thanks to the Legion of Net.Authors

 Bonnie Chique         Bandwagon Chick        Sue Clark's
 "Fran" Blake          Dramatic Pause Lass    mine
 Mary Smith            Whatever               mine
 Blackbird Jones       Blackbird              mine
 (unpronounceable)     Locked Room            mine
 Old Ugly                                     mine
 Green Delaware        Tree-Hugging Kid       mine
 Roger M. Zing         Hyperbolic Boy         mine
 Meredith Samuels      Analytic               mine
 Blur                  Blur                   mine
 Daniel Hunt           Contraption Boy        mine
 (unknown name)        Cannon Fodder          wReam's (special
                                              thanks to Dvandom)
 "Mack" Guyver         Innovative-Offense Boy upLink's

and introducing way too many new characters... all mine.  Well,
except for one, but I can't tell which one yet.



Innovative-Offense Boy examined the disassembled Big Gun.
"%@#(*%& Fodder, this is #$&%& advanced tech.  Really cool.  I
don't think I've ever seen %*(@&#% like this."

"So you don't know where it's from."

"No %*(#& idea.  I'd say not from the *&%($#$#*& Looniverse."

"Sigh.  I was hoping you'd give me some info.  With Stomper and
Contraption Man gone, you're the best gadget expert I know."

"Yeah well %$*($#&.  This is some weird %*~&#%."

"That it is.  And you want to see the weirdest part?"

"There's %*#&(%#& more?"

"You took it apart.  How long do you need to reassemble it?"

"I have my %~(*#$&$ notes, and considering I'm (*&%##% good, I'd
say about 15 *(&%@#%# minutes."

"Stand aside please."

Mack stood aside; and seeing Cannon Fodder walk up to his
workbench, and knowing what usually happens when Fodder and
weaponry are in close proximity, he also stepped away.

However, nothing exploded.  In about one minute, without
looking at the notes, the weapon was assembled and functioning
again.  Fodder shot a test dummy to splinters.

"*&(#%*&% man, how did you do that?"

"I know as much as you, pal."


And in a surveillance-proof room in a mansion in California, six
couples were having a meeting.  Mr. Trend was presiding, as
usual.  He was a sharply-dressed, fit, well-tanned man, of
dark-blond hair; his wife was pretty much the same, but Asian.

"Right.  So we have largely stabilized the Californian economy
against the April issue.  The market is working as usual.
Mrs. Sorcery, would you like to report next?"

Mr. and Mrs. Sorcery were a blond, aristocratic-looking couple,
dressed in black robes.  They exchanged a quick glance.

"We reported last meeting that we straightened that little issue
with Satan.  Now, after more than a month with him in jail,
we've been successfully converting many of the satanic
worshippers in the area to cults under our control.  Of course,
we steer them towards drugs and spectacular but inoffensive
magic, and put them more and more under our control."

"Splendid.  Mrs. Vega?"

The Vegas were beautiful, athletic, and very thin; he was black,
and she looked Indian.  They wore relaxed clothes and sandals.

"We haven't got much to report.  More and more celebrities are
trying our diets, making them easier to manipulate thanks to the
drugs we put in it."

"Completely natural of course", added the husband.

"Of course.  Oh, and we manufactured a small ecological scare on
top of the April problem, giving a lot of media visibility to
some of our activists."

"I saw it, very well done.  Mr. Tech?"

"I have great news", said the slightly nerdy-looking man,
slightly overweight, with unruly hair and all sorts of gadgets
hanging from his clothes.  Mrs. Tech, short black hair and also
slightly plump, was typing on something very portable and
showing him the screen.  "But of course you all already know
it.  We're releasing a new phone, shiny and over-hyped, and
obviously fitted with mind-control waves."

"Yes, yes.  That may well be one of our finest accomplishments
this year, thank you.  What about the Futures?"

"We've been spending most of our time investigating the Infinite
April, to no avail, sorry.  As we reported last time, it's
impossible to travel back to the First or past then, or more
than a week into the future.  We don't know what's blocking us."

They were wearing strange, dark-purple jumpsuits; both were
short, with short, spiky hair -- his green, hers pink.  They
looked a bit depressed.

"No matter", said Mrs. Trend.  "If we don't figure it out, we
use it for our purposes.  Finally... Mr. Bipolar, do you have
something to report?"

Mrs. Bipolar was a very beautiful woman, her hair a different
color and style every meeting.  Mr. Bipolar was a
foreign-looking man in a sharp gray suit and dark hair.

"We've mostly been keeping Net.Heroes busy and away from here."

"Yes.  And very efficiently too.  But we need them here later
this week", said Mr. Trend.

"Indeed.  That has been arranged too."

"Great", said Mrs. Trend.  "Then I think we're all agreed.  I
think it's time to put this year's Master Plan into movement."

The twelve people nodded their heads.


And somewhere in the middle of the desert, a blue wooden box,
vaguely resembling a phone booth, was waiting alone.

Eventually, a black sports car, with a strange fin in the back
and bat-like logos on the wheels, stopped by the blue box.
There didn't seem to be a driver.

"Sigh", said the car.  "We're the only two that don't fly.
You'd figure the others would be here first."

"They're soft, Dar'hnitron.  We've been at peace for too long.
But that will change."

Slowly, they arrived.  Five spaceships; very detailed, and
apparently fully functional, but none of then bigger than an
average house.  The first to appear was the biggest; a flat,
long, bulky design, with two smaller podlike parts to the side,
which look like they are designed to retract into the main body.
The next one looked disturbingly like a pyramid stuck in the
middle of a flying saucer.  Then one that was mostly a saucer,
but with two triangular pieces attached to the front, and an odd
pod to the right side.  Then another saucer, this time with a
kind of tail ending in two long sticks, one on each side.
Finally, an elegant, purple little thing with wings, vaguely
resembling some sort of alien insect.

"Sorry I'm the last one", it said.

"Doesn't matter, Vesper", said the blue box.  "What matters is
what happens from now on.  Peacetime is over.  Twenty years ago,
we defeated our enemies, after years of fighting.  We ridiculed
them, took their power, and dispersed them.  But we knew they
were coming back."

"So the time has come", said the pyramid-ish ship.

"It has, Van'kesh.  I've uncovered proof that an unknown force
is reassembling our adversaries.  We cannot allow that to
happen.  It is time the Geekobots ride again."

"We'll follow your lead, Nerdicus Supreme, as we always have."

And some distance to the west of there, Hyperbolic Boy was
dragged away from the window by Analytic.

"I swear", he said.  "I saw the Enterprise and the Millennium
Falcon flying over there!"

"Lay off the beer, pal."


The New Misfits (and friends) took two days to get to LA on the
mystic bandwagon.  With them were Bandwagon Chick, of course;
the fighting kiwi, with had been following her everywhere; and
Contraption Boy, who was bored and insisted a lot (and Blackbird
figured they could use someone with his abilities).

"Well kloorve me purple.  Los Angeles seemed more... alive than
this, in the history recos."

"It should be", said Analytic.  "There's something wrong.  An
excessive, unnatural stillness in the air."

Bonnie walked out of the bandwagon to join the others.  "It's
worse than that.  I've been looking for some explanation in the
news, or the radio..."


"There isn't any."

"Well", said Blackbird.  "Just because they're not reporting it--"

"No, that's not what I meant.  There isn't any transmission.  No
radio or TV.  Either from here or from the outside."


"The day the Earth stood still", muttered Analytic.  "Do you
think 'Andy' is involved?"

In the complete stillness, there was absolutely no sound as
everybody thought about it.

"Doesn't sound like his M.O.", said Fran.

"Because it's a movie reference rather than music?"

"There's a Brazilian song on that theme", offered Blackbird.
"It's called 'O Dia Em Que A Terra Parou', which is a direct
translation of 'The day The earth Stood Still'.  I remember
hearing it in his place, years ago."

(When were you on his place years ago?)o., thought Fran,
annoyed.  .o(That's another reference that doesn't match the
story you guys are telling us.  How can we function as a team if
we don't know who you really are?)

"Does the song offer any clues of where we may find him?"

"I don't speak Portuguese, Fran.  But I do remember a seemingly
random remark he made once, of fond memories, of playing this
song in front of the Chinese Theater."

"Figures", said Sammy with a scowl.

"It's a poor clue", said Bonny, "but it's all we have.  Let's go."


When the group left the bandwagon a while later, in Hollywood,
there was nobody in sight.

"Well", said Fran, "so much for that idea."

"You're three minutes later than I calculated", said Mrs. Trend,
stepping out of a building with her husband.

"Meaning you should leave the calculating to the pros".

"Ah", said Mr. Trend, "the arrogance of youth.  You must be
Analytic, right?"

"Wow, you got one right.  And who might you be?"

"I'm Mrs. Trend, and this is Mr. Trend.  And we get everything
right, all the time."

"Must be really boring."

"You'll never know."

While they talked, the remainder of the younger group assembled
around Sammy, preparing for a fight.

"I wouldn't make any excessively sudden movements", said
Mr. Tech, pointing a scary-looking Big Gun at them from a
second-story window.  Mrs. Tech could be seen in another window,
in a different direction, with a similar gun.

"Uh guys", said Daniel.  "If it isn't obvious to everyone else,
I can guarantee those guns are pretty dangerous.  They're quite
common in my time, based on designs by... er, I shouldn't tell
you.  Anyway.  They're bad."

"So you have your own tech expert?", asked Mrs. Tech.  "Who are
you, boy?"

"I go by 'Contraption Boy', ma'am.  You?"

"Mrs. and Mr. Tech."

"Wow, how original."

"What are you doing to Los Angeles?", asked Green.

"We're protecting it", said Mr. Vega, walking up the street,
Mrs. Vega's arm locked in his.  She completed: "And it's not
LA.  It's California." -- "Hi, I'm Mr. Vega." -- "And
Mrs. Vega.  Nice to meet you children."

"Protecting?  From what?  How?"

"There's going to be an earthquake." -- "Combining our
abilities, we placed all the important areas in a stasis field."

"Then how come we're walking?"

"You're net.ahumans", said Mr. Sorcery, who had appeared out of
nowhere, with his wife, between the youngsters and the
bandwagon.  Mrs. Sorcery explained:

"The field is set to protect buildings and paralyze norms.
People with net.ahuman abilities will move normally, but without
their powers."

"Except for us", completed the husband, with an arrogant smile.
"We're excluded by our spell."

"Which is why we wanted you kids here.  Once we defeat you and
throw you out of the state, that should discourage future
net.hero interference in our affairs."

"Which shouldn't be hard, seeing as we have powers and you don't."

"Idiots", said Mr. Trend.  "Can't you see?  They *do* have their
powers.  They're protected, somehow."

"Mary", said Blackbird.  "That's why we can't get her up; she's
using all her power to block the effects of the field from us!"

"It doesn't matter", said Mrs. Future; she and her husband had
just arrived on the scene, riding a miniature woolly mammoth.

"We can beat you anyway", said Mr. Future.

"Oh grife", said Locked Room.  Her friends looked at her.  "I
know these two.  They're famous criminals from my time.  Well,
actually a few decades before my time, but they're still at the
top of the wanted list."

"Charming", said Mrs. Future.  "Great to know you won't be
forgotten too soon."

"In this time, however, we go by Mr. and Mrs. Future.  I imagine
you don't use your original name either?"

"They call me Locked Room."


Old Ugly clicked angrily at the mammoth.

"You people get the prize for worst names", said Blackbird.
"Who are you, really?"

"We're the real power behind California", said Mrs. Sorcery.

"The Rat Pack?", asked Sammy.

"Very funny", said Mr. Tech.

"And close", said Mrs. Trend.  "But a few decades off."

"We are", declared Mr. Trend, "The Lion Pack."

Blackbird and Bandwagon Chick burst into laughter.

"And what is your plan, if I may ask?", asked Analytic.  "Save
the state from the big earthquake, then be heroes?"

"Don't be ridiculous", said Mr. Future.  "We're CAUSING the
earthquake, of course."

"It will split California from the continent", said Mr. Sorcery
with a look of disgust, as if talking about removing a stinky
stain from his favorite suit.

"We'll make California independent, and--", continued
Mrs. Trend.  "Well, what we do next is really none of your

"Wait, wait", said Bonnie, counting on her fingers.  "Trend,
Tech, Vega, Sorcery and Future.  How come there is one of us for
each couple of them?"

Everybody stopped to think for a moment.

"I see what you mean", said Fran.  Then, looking an Analytic:
"Are these your parents, or something?"

"Do I look half-Asian to you, Dramatic Pause Lass?"

"Ah", said a voice from above.  "Glad you figured it out."
Everybody looked up.  The voice belonged to a man in a gray
suit, parachuting into the scene, a very beautiful woman with
blue hair in his arms.

"Weirdness Magnet!", exclaimed Blackbird.

"I don't go by that name anymore.  I'm leaving it for the new
guy.  My friends from the Lion Pack call us..."

"Mr. and Mrs. Bipolar", completed the woman.


Author's notes:

Some of you outside the Authors group may not know, but I have
two limits for this series, as I'm using it as an exercise in
writing discipline (preparing to return to professional
writing).  First, I'll write at least one a month; which hasn't
been a problem yet, as this stuff pretty much writes itself :-)
And second, each one will be between 400 and 500 lines, not
counting the credits section and bonus feature (if any).

This part is what caused this issue to show up almost two weeks
later than I wanted.  It seems, by some bizarre effect worthy of
happening in the Looniverse myself, I would write, write, and
the thing would never get longer, no matter how much content I
crammed into it.  In the end, I came up with the Transformers
spoof, and moved up the actual encounter with the Lion Pack that
was supposed to be in the next issue.  It was hard to make it
"fit", without pushing the story forward too much faster than I
planned -- after all, there's a pace to be kept here!

Overall, I'm finally happy with the result; if it took me a long
time to get where I wanted, it also resulted in a story-packed,
even story-crammed issue.  It really does advance the plot(s) in
a number of ways, although that may not be apparent yet.

However, I'm the writer.  It's ok for me to like it :-P If you
disagree, if you think it sucked, by all means let me know.

On the upside, now with everything set up, next issue should me
much easier to write!

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