LNH: Kid Recap #1

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Sat Nov 3 18:55:37 PDT 2007

"So basically", Kid Recap said to the workers assembled in front
of him.  They were all from different parts of the world, since
nobody from Net.ropolis could be persuaded to take the job.
"This clock tower appeared here, in the middle of the avenue, a
few days ago.  Out of nowhere.  Not only it's blocking traffic,
but also, everything that touches it decays and gets destroyed."

"Have you tried to blow it up?", asked one of the workers.

"With pretty much everything that would be safe to use in the
middle of the city, and then some.  Obviously, nothing scratched
it, although now we have a pretty crater around it.  Which at
least helped avoid all the death cults that had been coming to
touch it."

"I don't wanna die, amigo", said another.

"Which is why you're not getting even too close to the thing."

"What are we here for then?", asked an Irish.

"We're going to dig.  The plan is to get the whole area out of
here.  There are no sewer or subway tunnels under this avenue --
probably not a coincidence.  So we'll dig for what would normally
be the depth of the foundations of a building this size, then a
little more, and we'll try to dig inwards at that point."

"Er, buddy, won't that make the whole thing collapse on us?"

"Well, obviously, we're not digging inwards at the whole depth.
Just a narrow tunnel, and then we'll set explosives in the
middle.  If that works, then we'll use LNH tech to take the clock
out of here."

"Sounds good.  Let's get started."


Two days later, the digging was already twice the planned depth.
Three previous attempts to dig inwards had ended with decayed
machines.  Although nobody was suicidal enough to walk in the
tunnel to see what was there, it was safe to assume the
foundations ran deeper than expected.  However, they were getting
narrower, so work was still progressing.

Kid Recap had volunteered to oversee the works.  Now he was
rather bored; on more than one time he got bored enough to get
some tools and help, but not being prepared for that kind of
work, he didn't last long each time.  Right now, he was sitting
at a foldable chair like a movie director, balefully looking at
the pit and the clock tower in the middle.

What was worse, they found that the clock's "powers" also
affected more conceptual things... like pits.  If they stopped
working for a few hours, the pit would get filled by erosion
equivalent to a few decades of natural decay.

"Mister Retcon sir", said a middle-aged guy, climbing out of the
pit.  "Would you come over a minute?"

"What is it?"

"We found something."

Kid Recap climbed down the pit.  It was a long, arduous, and
dangerous process, but he got to the digging area without
breaking any bones.

"Oh, for Dave's sake... is this what I think it is?"

"Obviously, none of us is a scientist, sir.  But it does look a
lot like a rocket."

"What, pray tell, is a rocket doing, almost 100 feet

The worker just shrugged and went back to work.  His team was, at
that moment, trying to pry the whole rocket free.  Kid Recap
picked up a pickaxe and went to help.

It wasn't a very large rocket; more like the single-person model
you'd expect to see in science fiction from the 1950's, probably
completely impractical in real life.  It had space inside  for
one person, sitting, and controls; not much air supply, or fuel
storage.  It was also shaped in the same silly way as 1950's
sci-fi rockets, with the actual propulsion exhausts protruding
from the sides, and painted in gaudy colors.  It didn't, however,
have the stereotypical little hatch window -- which Kid Recap
knew had to be a Drama twist, to keep him from seeing the inside
until the correct time.

Which was reached soon enough; he and the workers freed up enough
of the rocket to be able to open the door.

Now of course, in a rational universe, or even one remotely
rational such as the Looniverse, any rocket hatch able to sustain
the dangers of atmospheric exit or reentry, couldn't possibly be
forced open by human hands.  So although the general layout of
the thing didn't suggest an origin in a rational universe, Kid
Recap held on to sanity and decided to try the sensible approach
first, and do what any gentleman should do in this case.

He knocked.

After a while, he knocked louder; then he tried again, with the
flat side of the pickaxe.

Finally, the door made a loud noise, and slowly detached from the
rocket, falling off entirely and nearly smashing Kid Recap to
death.  A lot of smoke followed it.

As the smoke cleared, he could see the interior, and it was as he
expected; lots of controls, wires, vacuum tubes, and levers of no
apparent function, and a single chair, occupied by a blue-haired
human girl, apparently in her teens, and wearing a skin-tight
space suit, complete with "fishbowl" helmet.

She didn't look too well.  Her eyes were only partially open,
like someone just waking up (or just falling asleep).

Kid Recap reached to her.  She made a small effort to reach to
him, moved her head just a little, then passed out.


She would wake up a few hours later, on a bed in the LNHQ.
Doctor Bad-Bedside-Manners (the LNH's doctor) had just left; Kid
Recap was sitting on the mandatory bedside chair, having a chat
with Dizzy Collar, the amateur writer from Beige Countdown #11.


Kid Recap looked at her for a moment.  She was about to start
talking more, but he made a gesture telling her to wait, and
pressed a button on his comm.thingie.

"Linguist Lass, can you come over for a mo?  Our guest seems to
speak Gibberishese."

The girl made a wide-eyed face when she heard him talking, and
understood the problem, which, strangely enough, made her remain
quiet for the next few minutes, until Linguist Lass walked in.

Then the two girls talked to each other for a short time, which
ended with Linguist Lass reproachingly shaking her head at Kid
Recap.  "That's not Gibberishese, silly.  It's Animese.  But
don't worry about it, now she can speak English."

"Where am I?  Who are you people?", the girl asked, as if to
confirm what Linguist Lass just said.  Linguist Lass smiled and
left the room.

"You are in the LNHQ.  You're safe.  We... well, I am a member of
the LNH, which is the main group of heroes in this universe."

"This universe?"

"Well.  We're not sure, but my theory is that you come from
another universe.  Which is probably the case if you never heard
of the LNH."

"Then I'm from another universe, even if the idea is a little
hard to accept."

"Are you from the Teenage Disco Vampire Barbershop Quartet
Net.Force Universe?"

"Disco WHAT?  No, I never heard of THAT either.  We call our
universe the... Aniverse."

Dizzy Collar broke the thing he was fidgeting with, blinked
several times, and beamed up from his chair, knocking it back.
"Wow.  Wow, wow, wow.  The Aniverse?"

"What do you know, Collar?", Kid Recap asked.  This was the
reason he wanted the writer there; if the girl turned out to be
from something that had appeared in those stories before, then he
could have useful information.

"The Aniverse.  That's like... the 'first' universe.  The one
between the First Wall and the Second wall.  Beyond the First
Wall there is nothing... we call it The Blank.  Then the First
Wall, and the Aniverse.  Then the Second Wall, then the
Tooniverse, where the Teenage Disco Vampire Barbershop Quartet 
Net.Force lives.  Then the Third Wall and the Looniverse."

"So you mean... the fictional writers you created in the Teenage
Disco Vampire Barbershop Quartet Net.Force stories, they write
stories about the Aniverse?"

"Yes.  It's called the Cute Teenage But Really Non-Pedophilic
Kung-Fu Space Defense Corps (With Mechas)."

"That's right", said the girl, showing a badge with a meaningless
symbol, surrounded by the letters "CTBRNPKSDC(WM)".  "We are
aware of the First and Second Walls in the Aniverse, and that
there are writers and otakus living beyond the Second Wall.  But
we never imagined there was a Third Wall and yet another universe
past that.  Neither did we imagine it was possible to physically
cross the Second Wall like that."

"What *were* you doing anyway?", the LNHer asked.

"Well.  This giant beige clock tower appeared in our city one
day, out of nowhere, and kept growing..."

"Our city?  Which city was that?"

"Corps City, I mean."

"That's where the Corps headquarters is", Dizzy added.

"Right.  And it kept growing, and all the tests our scientists
ran didn't tell us anything useful.  But it was decaying
everything around it, and they told us our whole universe would
die if he couldn't stop it.  So we tried to stop it.  And most of
the Defense Corps died trying.  Then in the very last days, they
told us the tower was breaking through some kind of barrier, as
if going somewhere else.  They predicted that when the barrier
was completely breached, our universe would die for good.  So
they built this special rocket, that *should* be able to cross
the barrier before the tower, and warn whoever was on the other

"Which is a decent plan, except once you breached into the
Tooniverse, you got stuck underground in the place where the
tower would appear."

"And the Disco Vampire Net.Force never found you", said Dizzy.

"So when the Tooniverse decayed enough for your rocket to break
free, I imagine it continued its previous programming, and made
its way through the Third Wall into the Looniverse..."

"What?  You mean the Writers universe is dead too?"

"Yes.  That would be the Tooniverse.  It's as dead as yours.
This guy here is Dizzy Collar, he's one of the writers that wrote
about the Tooniverse.  Creator of your creators, I could say."

"And I should tell you", Dizzy said, "that writer I created,
Artie Spier, he had a thing for watching his female characters
when they were in the shower!"

The girl blushed.  Kid Recap frowned.

"That doesn't matter now", he said.  "There is a small but
important meta-fictional point here.  See, the threat is slightly
different on each plane.  The Aniverse was destroyed by the
breach of the Second Wall.  While according to Dr. 
Doesn't-Wear-Underwear-On-Fridays #258, the Tooniverse was
destroyed by energies which emanated from the clock itself.  In
our case, for what we currently know, the clock tower is just a
reminder of... well, I'm not really supposed to tell you that.
But things won't develop identically on each universe, is what I
mean.  And this time we did find your rocket..."

"Yes", she said, getting up.  "And I'm going to help.  Do you
have any mechas?"

"Slow down... we still have a few months before the real danger
materializes.  Er, more than enough to find you a mecha, I guess."

"Thank you."

"I'm Kid Recap, by the way.  You can call me Rick."

"Nice to meet you, Rick.  I'm Robin.  Robin Watson."

"Welcome to the Looniverse, Robin.  Let's get you something to
eat then?"

"That would be good.  And maybe you could tell me more about this
'Looniverse' of yours then?"


Kid Recap is Josh Geurink's; he is *NOT* reserved!
Dizzy Collar is Arthur Spitzer's
Linguist Lass is Martin Phipps'

Kid Recap is a limited mini-series, intended as a gentle starting
point for new LNH readers; if you want to point your friends to
the LNH but fear it may be too daunting, then I hope this mini
will help!


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