LNH: 58.5 #5

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Sun Jun 24 08:40:06 PDT 2007

"And this week", said the coordinator of the support group, "we
have a member that hasn't been with us for months.  He made a
full recovery, built a life for himself, and since then he's
been coming here every few months to talk to us, and let you
people know how you can do it, too.  Please let's hear a round
of applause!"

Most members clapped unenthusiastically.  Mary and Sammy,
however, just stared, bug-eyed, at the formally-clad man in
front of them, his long black hair worn in a long braid.

.o(It can't be!  You disappeared!), Mary thought.

"Hello, all.  My name is Andy, and I'm a time traveler."

Mary whispered to Sammy.  "Am I crazy?"

"No", he replied.  "It's really Weirdness Magnet."


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


                   Turn off your mind, relax,
                     and float down stream;
                        It is not dying.

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

 Mary Smith            Whatever               mine
 Meredith Samuels      Analytic               mine
 "Andy"                Weirdness Magnet I     mine
 (unknown name)        Cannon Fodder          wReam's (special
                                              thanks to Dvandom)
 Terry                 Kid-Not-Appearing-     Saxon Brenton's
 Tamela                Mother Time            Saxon Brenton's/
                                              Arthur Spitzer's
 Daniel Hunt           Contraption Boy        mine
 Locked Room           -                      mine
 "Fran" Blake          Dramatic Pause Lass    mine
 Blackbird Jones       Blackbird              mine
 Green Delaware        Tree-Hugging Kid       mine
 Roger M. Zing         Hyperbolic Boy         mine

and a lot of characters and events only mentioned, which would
require way too much space and time to list and credit.


  Author's note:
  Sorry, Martin :-P if you don't like it, feel free to assume
  the Acra Flight came from a different LNH2 than your guys...


A man in unassuming clothes was sitting in Planet Kirby,
enjoying his Pocket Fries and Quarter Stomper, on the table
under he 4-Color Kid display.  He looked around nervously, every
few minutes.  Finally, a young boy in a very battered and
extremely outfashioned t-shirt walked up to him with a tray, and
sat in front of him.

"Hi, Fodder."

"Hi yourself, Terry."

"Any clues on the Beigeness?"

"None whatsoever.  I did die about fifty-eight times while
investigating, though.  What about you, anything on Xinerama?"

"Not as such, no", he said, with a disappointed face.  "The name
did turn up, though."


"Well.  Long story, I guess.  Even though the general public
doesn't know the LNHers are disappearing, still people --
specially villains -- did notice some weakening, and many of the
big names not showing up at all.  There are all sorts of
theories running around--"

"Amuse me."

"Ok, here's my favorite.  Since we're on a comics-based
universe, the big names are only allowed to appear a maximum of
stories per month.  Since April never ends..."

Cannon Fodder laughed out loud.  It felt good; it wasn't
something he did very often.

"Anyway.  As you certainly noticed by the way the LNH has been
busy, many villains are trying to take advantage of this
perceived weakness."

"Sure.  And we're bagging them by the dozen."

"Indeed.  But only the gaudy ones.  The guys who lay low...
organized crime, specially... are staying out of the hook."


"So this organization.  It seems it was already very powerful,
specially here in Net.ropolis.  They usually avoid using names
or anything, they're very mysterious; but it seems informally
they refer to it as the Crime Empire."

"Yet another?"



"Anyway.  They've been very busy since April started, and
specially so in the last two weeks, consolidating their power


"It seems they have been buying very dangerous high-tech
equipment, from a mystery supplier known only as 'the Xinerama

"Oh, bother."


"So today", proceeded Andy, "today I'll do something different.
I'd like to tell us my story."

"Oh great", whispered Daniel to the person next to him, who
happened to be Tamela.  "More recap."

"I believe you all remember... at least those of you who have
been in this timeline long enough?  The Melissa outbreak in
1999, when a lot of strange villainesses appeared out of
nowhere, and were later revealed to be unstable clones of this
one new villainess?" [*]

[* Birth of a Villain -- Footnote cybergirl]

"They were defeated by the LNH", chanted Daniel.

"Well.  Not quite.  She put most of the heavy-hitters to sleep;
the cure was found by Gorilla Grad and Tsar Chasm, with the help
of one of the Melissa clones.  And the clones themselves were
cleaned up by agents of a criminal empire that managed to remain
anonymous.  The unaffected Legionnaires... helped, only."

"Your point being?"

"That this was essential.  The threat was carefully engineered
by some rather powerful villains, to overpower the LNH.  Only
the intervention of non-LNHers -- the ones I mentioned, plus
DeadHead Man, Chinese Guy, myself, Google-13, and others --
tipped the balance back."


"Where I came from, it never happened.  It was 2001, and the
world was still clogged with Melissa clones.  Most of it was too
chaotic for normal life to go on, to the pleasure of some
unnamed villains who thrive on chaos.  A small piece of
Net.ropolis was kept safe by the League of Nightmare Hunters,
led by Tsar Chasm and Gorilla Grad.  Other places were protected
by said crime empire, ran by Writers Block Woman.  But it wasn't
much, and they were losing."

"Ouch", said Locked Room.  "How the grife did *that* happen?"

"Some said it started when WBW, anxious to find her daughter,
decided to browse Doctor Stomper's files on 1984.  There she
learned how he lost one arm and leg -- leading him to a stronger
drive in his research, until he became the cyborg he was in my
timeline -- in an explosion, seemingly caused by four people and
a squirrel who claimed to be from the future.  She seems to have
lost it then, and taken over the empire, since she recently
witnessed the death of its previous ruler." [*]

[* Maybe.  But in fact, we know that it was because she was
mind-controlled by Tiddles. -- Footnote cybergirl]

"Then what happened?"

"In part, I did, although I don't claim the honor of saving
everyone -- what I did was accidental, and would have been for
nothing if it wasn't for Senator Grad and the others.

"I got a message from someone who claimed to be me, from the
year 2015.  It had a TEB of Birth of a Villain, and one of
Minority Miss; and it asked me to go save the latter.  It was,
for me, late 2001.  I did some investigations, and learned that
Melissa had some kind of beef with the Church of Fourth Wall;
about two years later, she had razed their Cathedral, where
supposedly they had an interdimensional machine of some kind.  I
figured if I could find the Cathedral, maybe I could fix the
machine and save Minority Miss.

"So I tricked one of the clones into sending me there.  However,
something went wrong, and we were sent to 99.  There, one clone
who was going to be one of the biggest horrors of my timeline
was destroyed by my interference: Magnetissa.  I took her helmet
as a souvenir.  Then I kept -- again accidentally -- Google-13
from being toasted by FlameLissa.  Trying to use the machine, I
accidentally went to 1984 instead, where I kept the bomb from
exploding, by taking it back to 99, where I accidentally
destroyed the headquarters of the crime empire with it." [*]

"Wow.  Your luck sucks.  Or rocks."

[* Birth of a Villain #31 -- Footnote cybergirl]

"You can say that.  The thing is, I got addicted to the
net.heroing thing.  So I stuck around the LNH.  I declined to
join at first, but later I gave in."

"And then you eventually saved Minority Miss in 2001", offered

"Actually no.  I kept an eye on my alt.version from this
timeline.  When I saw that he got the email from the future as
well, and that he was coming to Net.ropolis, I decided to lay
low for a while.  I left him my helmet in a gift box, so that
the Legionnaires would believe he was me and let him borrow a
Net.Thingee and my pal Irrelevant Kid.  Then he came back, went
away to get on with his life, and I reassumed my place."

"Wait", said Analytic.  "So Birth of a Villain *did* end in 99."

"Indeed.  In this timeline, it did."

"But not on yours", said Mary.

"No.  In fact, it went on for so long, that eventually people
from the other side of the Fourth Wall voted it into its own
newsgroup.  It was still going on years after I came back, with
the crime empire taking over some corporations, then using their
power to rebuild the LNH and re-stabilize the world."

"But... that's how *we* remember it!  We come from your world!"

.o(I thought you said you were *not* time travelers), thought
Locked Room to herself.

"I know, Mary", he said with a smile.  "Who do you think sent
you to the wrong timeline?"


"So that's your plan then?", asked Cannon Fodder.

"I guess, yes.  We investigate this Crime Empire.  Find who's
behind it.  Try to dismantle it.  And hope it leads us to
Xinerama and they have more clues."

"And if it doesn't?"

"Then we'll have fought the good fight and rid the world of the
Crime Empire."

Cannon Fodder stood up, in a brave, determined pose he didn't
make very often.

"Let's go then!  We have a Crime Empire to topple!"

Bad choice of words, Fodder.  As he did that, he kicked back his
chair.  Which toppled the 4-Color Kid display, which fell on
him, smashing him to a pulp.

"Crikey", said Terry.  "Now I'll have to go and pick you up in
the Peril Room."


A few days later.

"So you say you have an alt.version of your writer's WC,
possibly turned evil or at least very manipulative, and he seems
to have acquired time-travel or time-altering capability."

"Great Bob, Fran", said Blackbird.  "You seem to be getting
really good at the recap thing."

She nodded, with a smile.  .o(It's not a recap, moron.  It's a
briefing.  Military training.  But I can't tell you that.)

(Grife)o., thought Mary.  .o(She has fake written all over her,
and Blackbird won't see it.)

Green was thinking: .o(Oh.  So if I'm the earth spirit of an
alternate reality in an alternate timeline... what does that
make me?)

And Blackbird: .o(That jerk!  I'm sure he was using us for some
kind of sinister purpose... but what?)

While Locked Room thought: .o(Yum.  Wild cherry and cashew apple
ice cream with mashed banana and Sichuan pepper, and then I
throw caramel on it.)

"Blackbird...", Dramatic Pause Lass said, with honey on her
voice.  "We have no leads on the Crapper and Mother Time yet.
What would you think..."

He looked at her meaningfully, with a hint of anger.

"Yeah", he finally added.  "Let's go after this alt.er.weird
person instead.  For all we know, he might be the one holding up
April, just because he doesn't want to get one year older."


Friday.  The group had split again, in smaller units.

"Maybe I'm the stupidest person in this universe, pal, but I'm
just about to drop dead of curiosity.  Would you mind giving me
a tiny, three-second run-down of what exactly we're doing?",
asked Hyperbolic Boy.

"Why not", said Green, in a low voice.  "The alternate Weirdness
Magnet didn't time-jump out of the meeting, like Mother Time
always does.  So he can be followed."

"Yeah, but the meeting was centuries ago, how can there be
anything to track?"

"Here's the thing though.  Just because my name is Green, people
assume my powers are over plants.  Not so.  I'm the Earth Spirit
of another world.  That doesn't let me really control anything
on *this* world; but it puts me on friendly terms with all forms
of life.  I can communicate with them, and ask favors, or
information.  And they usually comply, because... I guess, in
very simple terms, you could say the Earth Spirit of this world
is my aunt, or grandmother, or something."

"See?  Clear like the surface of the sun."

"Now hush.  According to the alley cats, this is the building he
went into.  It's some kind of warehouse, and the lights are on.
So we'd better take the top entrance."

The two young net.heroes deftly climbed a vine that was kind
enough to grow just in the right place, and reached the
ceiling.  But once there, they immediately noticed two other
silhouettes, hiding in the darkness, spying at whatever was
happening inside through some kind of periscope.

"Who's there?", asked one of them, assuming a fighting stance.

"Identify yourselves", exclaimed Hyperbolic Boy, pulling a gun.

"Don't make me go there and kick you", said the other.

While Green, being a much more practical mind, pulled a
flashlight from his trenchcoat.

"Wha-- Cannon Fodder?"

"And Kid-Not-Appearing-In-Any-Beige-Midnight-Story!", exclaimed
the champion in azure.

"What's a Beige Midnight?", Green asked.

"Yeah", he said, sheepishly, letting go of the pose, "I get that
a lot recently."

"And who would *you* be?", asked Fodder.

"Tree-Hugging Kid and Hyperbolic Boy, from the New Misfits."

"Oh.  I vaguely remember you, from the turtle thing.  But not
him.  New blood?"

Green sighed.  In his native world, Cannon Fodder was his
godfather; he was called Savior then, and a while later, after
the new status quo settled down, Alive Lad.  But he wasn't going
to say that in front of Hyperbolic Boy, or Kid-Not-Appearing-In-

"Yeah.  He joined us during... the turtle thing."

"So", asked Kid-Not-etc.  "What are you doing here?"

"Following a suspect", said Hyperbolic Boy.

"Oh", Fodder said.  "Is he down there?", he pointed.

"I don't think so", Green answered.  "It's a cold trail; he's
been here five days ago.  We're just looking for clues.  What
about you?"

"Spying on the Crime Empire.  They're doing a weapon purchase
from their mystery supplier", exposed the not-alive-for-much-
longer hero.

"Which crime empire?"

"THE Crime Empire", clarified Kid-Not-blah-blah.

The two newcomers walked over to the skylight (what criminal
warehouse in a comics-based world doesn't have a skylight?), and
peeked over.

"Looks like any normal weapon dealer to me", said Roger.

"Those are merely the delivery minions", explained the
crossover-banned champion.  "We tried to follow them last time,
but they just disappear.  So this time the plan is to bust the
deal; but only after we're sure there are no hidden
reinforcements that we can't deal with."

"There aren't", Green said.  "The mice and insects told me so
while I was climbing over."

"Great!  Let's do it then!", exclaimed Cannon Fodder, preparing
to jump on the skylight.

"Er, Fodder", Kid-Not-yadda-yaddda said, holding him by the
shoulder.  "You might want to try a safer way in."

"What?  It's not that high."

"Indeed.  But it is still you we're talking about.  I'm
reasonably certain if you jump, you'll land on something
explosive, or the broken glass will land on your neck, or
something equally unhealthy."

"Point", he said, almost pouting.

"I'll fly you down in a split second", said Hyperbolic Boy, with
his usual enthusiasm.  "Between your powers and mine, I'm
absolutely certain no harm can ever come to us!  We'll be on
them like the fury of the gods, and--"

"Actually", Green interrupted, "I have no interest at all in
seeing the combination of your powers, and I hardly share your
optimism about it.  What say, you and Kid-Not-Appearing-In-Any-
Beige-Midnight-Story fly down and take them by surprise, while I
and Cannon Fodder walk to the back entrance and show up when
they think they're winning?"

"Outstanding", said Roger.  "You're Sun Tzu in a green coat!"

"He always like that?", Fodder whispered to Green.  The
youngster in green just sighed, rolling his eyes.

(cue some Prodigy music, starting slow and quiet, then building
up with the scene.)

"Who's there?", asks a grunt, hearing the skylight open, and
pointing one of the Big Guns in that direction.

"You will cease your villainy and surrender", commanded
Kid-Not-Appearing-In-Any-Beige-Midnight-Story, a majestic figure
in azure and navy, on top of a crate.

"Or you will have the rest of your life in bed to ponder the
worth of your evil ways", completed Hyperbolic Boy.

"Get them", the grunt said.  To which his colleagues started
shooting.  The damage from the Big Guns was positively
frightening; they opened holes on the walls big enough for a
saner mind to worry about the structure collapsing, and reduced
crates to splinters.

Kid-Not-etc elegantly flew from his crate, parallel to the blast
meant for him, landing with his fists on the face of the grunt
who shot it.  Hyperbolic Boy rather jumped a quintuple
somersault to a side, knocking over the crate with the force of
his jump and knocking out one grunt; then he ricocheted on
another's head, stunning him for a moment, and landed with his
feet on the chest of the guy giving the orders, sending him
flying across the room, to crash into a pile of crates on the
opposite side, which promptly collapsed on him with a loud
noise.  Meanwhile, Kid-NAIABMS used the body of the first grunt
he knocked out to put three others off balance.  The two young
heroes ended this sequence of maneuvers standing back-to-back,
in the middle of the circle of grunts.

Hyperbolic Boy smiled, and gestured with his hand.

The grunts screamed and charged.

And the two heroes, using each other for support, flew off in
opposite directions, knocking out four enemies each; while the
remaining six crashed together in the now empty center.
Kid-NAIABMS and Hyperbolic Boy then turned around, and flew back
to the center, crashing hyperbolic shoulder to invulnerable
shoulder a few centimeters above the bad guys' heads, knocking
them all out with the shockwave.

Then they landed, high-fived, and turned around.

Just to see a more well-dressed man, probably the supervisor,
pointing an even scarier Big Gun at them.

"Nice show.  But I doubt you can dodge this one."

But just then, he felt something big touching the back of his
head, and a voice told him from behind: "How about we don't find
out?  You could just put it down slowly, and live to talk about
it to your cellmates."

After everyone was dragged together and tied up with vines, the
heroes were complimenting each other.  "Fodder, you handled that
Big Gun like a pro!"

However, Cannon Fodder wasn't paying much attention.  He was
staring at the Big Gun, with a deeply pensive, even worried face.

"I said you handled the Big Gun really well."

"I did, didn't I?  That's what's bothering me.  These guns
look... familiar.  I don't know what it is."

The three other heroes looked at each other, then shrugged.

"Come on, let's go interrogate these guys."


Bonus feature: How to Write Tree-Hugging Kid

real name: Green Delaware
aliases: Green
age: 3, seems in mid-twenties
appearance: A good-looking, but disturbingly androgynous, young
person of twenty-something, bright green eyes, short dark green
hair, and green trenchcoat.  Under the coat, brown slacks, brown
leather sandals, and a loose white t-shirt, with a big oak leaf
hand-painted over the chest.  People tend to see Green as
whatever gender they think of "Earth" as: for example, female
for those who take the term "mother Earth" literally, male for
devout Christians and Muslims, and neutral for many.

powers: Can talk to animals and plants, and to the Earth Spirit
itself.  Green is him/herself the Earth Spirit of a parallel
Earth, in an alternate timeline; while that doesn't grant him
any privileges in this timeline, the Earth Spirit and most
creatures of nature recognize him/her as a "relative", and tend
to do what he asks if it seems reasonable.

personality: At the core of her/his personality, is the original
nature as Earth Spirit.  Green is very passionate, and has a
very strong sense of responsibility.  On the other hand, s/he is
not usually very protective, as s/he understands all things in
nature have its time and its end, and death, the food chain, and
transformation are essential facts of nature.  It's important to
remember, most of all, that Green is not human; s/he is the life
force of a planet, who decided to spend its infancy as a
humanoid for reasons yet unclear.

dialog style: Green's speech style is not very noticeable, as
s/he is constantly striving to adapt it to the "average".

allies and friends: Member of the New Misfits, whose core group
came with him from the future team "Acra Flight".

In the alternate future s/he comes from, her father was Green
Trenchcoat (from the Legion of Occult Heroes), and his mother,
his former host Vicky Delaware (both owned by Paul Hardy).  In
the present time, neither have met Green (and they are probably
still the same person).  Her/his godfather was Cannon Fodder,
the only "survivor" of the death of her/his native planet; in
that time, Fodder was called Savior instead, but he would later
change his name to Alive Lad.

enemies and dislikes: None.

other: He and the other former Acras have decided not to let
anybody know that they actually come from an alternate future.

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