LNH: LNH Comics Presents #498: INFINITE LEADERSHIP CRISIS Episode 463

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Tue Jun 5 07:17:42 PDT 2007

April 463rd, 2007.  The LNH cafeteria.  The last three non-robotic
inhabitants of the LNHQ were around a table, staring at their cheesecakes,
without any heart to actually eat them.

"Feh", made Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad.  "The stuff the Cheesecake-Eating
Robot makes tastes exactly the same, yet it lacks something."

"Well, that's because the real Cheesecake-Eating Lad--", began Kid Recap.

"Oh shut it", said Cannon Fodder, pushing away his Kungpao Cheesecake in
disgust.  "We all know what happened already."

"Yeah, but the readers--"

"If they didn't know, I doubt they would bother to open a post that claims
to be part 463 of something."


At this point, Footnote Girl would have said, "Specially something that
already ended", had she not already disappeared, too, long ago, in the
beginning of this crisis.

"Sigh", sighed Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad, fiddling with his hat. "What
say we go have something at Jordan's again?"

"Anything is better than this", answered Kid Recap, "although we've been
eating at Jordan's for a few days already."

Cannon Fodder nodded.  "Before we leave, why don't you get on with it, and
tell us the leader for today?  Then the leader can pick breakfast, or even
choose a different cafe."

The younger member made a rather depressed face, and put his hand inside
the now rather empty hat, lovingly caressing the last few pieces of paper.
 He took his time; he had no particular desire to lose one of his last two

"Tell me the truth though", asked Kid Recap.  "Is there really such a
thing as The Kiwi Council?  And how can a Council be a leader?"

PPOOH Lad gave him a wry smile.  "Why didn't you ask that yesterday, when
I announced them?"

"Because, well, I figured maybe you were cheating, taking the opportunity
to get rid of the remaining kiwis.  They were becoming quite a pain after
we lost J. Random Kiwi, Howie, Harris, and Kid Kiwi.  And after

The smile broadened.  "How could you accuse me of such a thing?"  And he
pulled a paper, before the conversation could continue.  "Eh. Bandwagon

"She's on the run", said Kid Recap.  "After STUFF.org.  Is she even still
a member?"

"She never formally left, and nobody bothered to expel her.  And of
course, some of us think she's innocent, so it would be hard to get a
consensus on that anyway.  So I didn't remove her from the hat."

"Still... it feels odd", said Cannon Fodder.  "If the public knows we
'elected' her as leader, there will be outcry.  And also, we have no idea
how to tell her about it."

"Maybe that's a good thing.  Remember, the hat is supposed to give me the
*right* piece of paper.  Maybe that means she won't disappear?"

"Yeah right.  Let's go to Jordan's, I'm starving."


Who Cares Studio not-so-proudly presents

                       LNH COMICS PRESENTS #498

                      INFINITE LEADERSHIP CRISIS

                             episode 463

                                Me Too


Blackbird was wide awake, lying on his improvised bed, while his remaining
teammates slept loudly.  It had been a long night for the group.  He
looked around; the bandwagon wasn't a bad place to live, but it could use
some cleaning, after housing so many young adults for so long.  At least,
between the bandwagon's magic and having Blur enveloping the vehicle, it
was almost impossible that they would be found.  He didn't know if that
was a good thing; he didn't want to be arrested and maybe lynched, but he
was also rather tired of being on the run.  Great Bob, he was even tired
of his friends.  The ones he could still call friends, after... oh well.

And in true young adult meta-feeling fashion, he also had mixed feelings
about his feelings themselves.  He certainly wasn't happy about the
crapstorm his life had become.  But on the other hand, he had never before
felt so powerful, not even after Kathy.  He sighed. That made Howie stir
in the next bed; so he made a point of being more quiet.  These moments of
solitude were the last thing holding him to sanity.  And he didn't want to
lose this grip *again*; last time was bad enough.

Who could he talk to?  Green had always been a stranger.  And Blur had
always been even stranger.  He used to rely on five people for friendship,
understanding, and advice.  Professor was now younger than him, and a
completely different person.  The King... he felt he could almost trust
this era's version of the guy, but then he was gone. .o(Story of my life.)
 Kathy, of course, didn't come to the past with them, and in this
timeline, she didn't even exist.  His cousin had lived half her life away
from him, and he now felt he didn't know her anymore.  And Analytic... he
sighed again.  "Damn.  You were my only friend.  How could you?"

"You didn't sleep again, did you?"

She was cool.  The other new guys weren't too bad either.  But they were,
before anything, just that: new.  In spite of all they've been trough

"No, Bonnie.  I rarely do."

Bandwagon Chick sat up.  "That can't be good."

"Meh.  I don't strictly need to.  I do it because I enjoy the rest, and
sometimes I dream of Charlotte Sometimes.  But when I have too much power
building inside, I just can't."

"Power.  Yeah right."

"Can you keep quiet?  I don't want to wake the others."

"Let's go out and grab a bite, then."  She pulled a wig and sunglasses
from beside her bed.  Blackbird shrugged, and with a very small flex of
his powers, disguised himself as long-haired, fat boy with acne and -- you
guessed it -- sunglasses.  As they stepped into the sunlight, he
exclaimed: "Have fear, o world!  Here comes the charge of the Sunglasses
Indoors Brigade!"

Bandwagon Chick giggled.  "At least we look cool."

"Do we?  I'm supposed to look dorky."

"Dorky can be cool sometimes", purred Pantra, from under the bandwagon.

Bonnie seemed exasperated.  "Why can't you sleep inside like everyone

The furry girl licked her talons.  "A number of reasons.  I don't like
closed spaces.  I like to go hunting at night.  You guys smell.  And
somebody has to keep company to Old Ugly, and you certainly don't want her

Bonnie looked at the antennae wiggling near Pantra and shivered. "Fair
enough."  They all had already grown somewhat used to the creature,
specially after saving their skins so many times.  But sleeping next to it
would be too much.  Still, she was slightly worried that Daniel didn't
mind Pantra and Old Ugly getting too close. .o(That can't be good, either.
 Oh well, it can't get worse, can it?)

She didn't really want to ask, but it would be rude not to.  So she did. 
"So... want to join us for a grub?"

"Oh no, thanks", said Pantra.  "I ate about an hour ago.  I'm going for
another nap now, until the rest of the gang wakes up."

"Fair enough."  She made a token effort of hiding her relief, but she knew
she couldn't fool the keen senses of the furry girl.  .o(Who cares.  This
gang barely pretends to be friends anymore... more like 'brothers in
arghs', as Blackbird says.)

"Fifty-eight", said Blackbird, after they were away.


"There are no months anymore, in any useful sense.  So I'm counting the
weeks since I arrived in this dreadful age."

Bonnie was quiet for a while.

"Maybe we can find a way to get you guys back.  To where you came from, I

"Naaaaah", he said, mimicking Weirdness Magnet, from that fateful night. 
"That time was pretty dreadful too.  And I'd hate to have to explain what
happened to Mary to my aunt.  Or..."  He couldn't get himself to say the

"Or Analytic", she helped.  "Yeah.  I guess."

He sighed.  "It would be really.  Er.  Less bad.  Less bad to have him
around now.  Not only as a friend, I mean.  But that big brain there, he
would figure this out."

"Maybe.  Or maybe there's just nothing to figure out."

"Sweet Siouxsie, and I thought I was the gloom one."

"Bonnie?", exclaimed someone, as they entered a cheap roadside restaurant.
 She pretended not to hear it.  .o(Damn, I'm wearing a wig!  Must be
someone else with the same name.)  "Bandwagon Girl?"  It was now almost a
whisper, barely audible.  She looked at the guy, sitting at a table near
the entrance, a look of pleased surprise on his face.  .o(Who's that guy? 
I know him.  But where from?  Maybe he's some hero that I've never seen in
plain clothes before?)

"It *is* you, isn't it?  Sit down, I won't tell anyone.  I don't think
you're guilty, for what it's worth.  Sit, I'll pay the lunch.  The food
here sucks, but the coffee and cheeseburger are great."

Bonnie and Blackbird sat down.  She finally recognized him.

"You?  What are you doing here?"  And she introduced him to Blackbird.

"Oh, I would ask the same of you.  I'm just on the way.  I've been
traveling a lot recently."

"Well, so have we, as you certainly know", she answered.

"And who's your friend?  One of your colleagues?"

"Blackbird, if you must know", the goth answered.  .o(I guess if he knows
of Bonnie, knowing of me won't make things any worse.)

"Oh, splendid!  I saw you on TV, I thought you looked so cool!"

"Thanks, I guess."

The waitress arrived, with two coffees and two cheeseburgers. .o(Funny),
Blackbird thought.  .o(When did we order?)  But the two others were lost
in reminiscences of the old times.


"So this is it?", asked No Sense of Direction Man.

"I guess.  And after all that effort", said Deductive Logic Man.

"Can't be", said the other, without any enthusiasm.  "There has to be
something we can do."

"Only one thing.  We can prepare."


"I'm going to kill that furry b--"

"You don't want to end that sentence.  You're not an acraphobe character
anymore", interrupted Daniel, while shooting a force field to repel the
soldiers.  "Besides, the word you were about to use, technically refers to
dog females, and Pantra is a cat..."

"Yeah, whatever.  Still gonna kill her", retorted Blackbird.  "I mean, Bob
have mercy, she could be more careful!  Nah, I'll eviscerate her. Better,
I'll make a Pantra clone, because it seems nobody else would be able to
kill her with enough violence."  He looked at the point, a few dozen
meters away, where she was giving a pretty good show of said ability.

"I could sic Old Ugly at her", answered Daniel Hunt.

"That could be good enough.  But aren't they buddies?"

"Will the two of you stop?", asked Bandwagon Girl.  "Yeah, I'm angry at
her too, but we're supposed to stick together.  We made an oath."

"Yeah.  I can't possibly forget that", snarled Blackbird.

"Then again, we're winning.  We'll be out of here in no time."

"Sooner", said Daniel, fiddling with the weapon he stole from one of the
soldiers.  "I found a bug I can exploit here.  If I set this thing right,
I can make all their equipment stop working at midnight.  It's a variation
of the Millennium bug."

"How long until midnight?", asked Bandwagon Chick.

"Less than a minute."

"Do it", said Blackbird.  "And everybody else, let's get ready to grab the
opportunity and get the Void out of here."

Daniel pressed the necessary buttons, while Bonnie ran around herding her
teammates together.  And suddenly, just like that, all battle armor,
tanks, and weapons on the other side suddenly stopped working.

"That's it, let's beat it!", exclaimed Daniel.

Everybody ran inside the bandwagon.  Well, not everybody.

"Where's Bonnie?", asked Mary.

Pantra put her face out of a window.  "I can't find any traces of her with
my senses."

"Old Ugly can't either", announced Daniel.

"Should we go out and look for her?", Mary asked.

"Their equipment will be working again before long", said Daniel.

"Can you drive?", asked Blackbird, looking at him.

"Of course."

"You can't be thinking of leaving her behind", complained Howie.

"If she was captured, we'll break her out.  But remember, she's still a
member of the LNH.  Maybe she was the leader today.  Yesterday, I mean."

"Oh no!"

Under a heavy silence, Daniel started the bandwagon, which, as mystic
bandwagons oft do, disappeared from the sight of the frustrated soldiers

"BB", whispered Mary, with a hand on his shoulder.  "It must be hard for

"It's never pleasant to lose a teammate", he answered.

"Yeah, but I mean... weren't the two of you together?"

"Me and Bonnie?  No!  Why would you think that?"

"Well, you've been growing close, and this morning, when we woke up, the
two of you were gone.  And you came back together.  You were, of course,
looking as glum as always, but she seemed pretty happy.  If what I think
happened is what happened, you don't need to keep it from me..."

Blackbird made a squawking sound that was the closest he normally got to a
laughter.  "Good one, but no.  We were out for breakfast, only. And she
met an old acquaintance, and the two of them tortured my years with
stories of the old times.  That must have been what she was happy about. 
Maybe the old times are all she has now."

Mary seemed slightly alarmed.  "Old acquaintance?  Maybe that's who put
the army on our trail?"

"Oh no, she seemed to trust him.  And you know I have a good nose for
detecting people who are on the side of The Man.  He certainly wasn't
government or anything like that.  If you said he was a villain I'd

"There.  A villain would be interested in seeing us arrested, and dragging
the concept of young Net.Heroes in the mud some more."

"Yeah.  Maybe.  But all in all... there's no mystery to solve.  We know
full well that Pantra messed up again, she never denied it.  And the guy,
never mind him.  He was a normal guy, a salesman, I believe."

"So he was her acquaintance from before the LNH?"

"No.  From the early years of the LNH.  He was their receptionist, back


Confused?  Didn't understand half of it?  Worry not, true
believer, you're not going insane and your news server didn't
swallow a dozen or so issues!  The misadventures of the New
Misfits between their debut in episode 56 and the return of the
LNH in episode 467 will be told in their own mini -- look for it
soon: 58.5!

Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad is Arthur Spitzer's
Kid Recap is Josh Geurink's
Cannon Fodder and Deductive Logic Man are wReam's
Bandwagon Chick (Bonnie Chique) is Sue Clark's, but I'm
  obviously reserving her for the time being
Blackbird Jones, Blur, Howie K, Green, Analytic, Mary Smith,
  Pantra, Daniel Hunt and Old Ugly are mine
Bart the Receptionist is Ken Schmidt's

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