LNH: 58.5 #28
lalo.martins at gmail.com
Sat May 3 21:02:27 PDT 2008
Previously on 58.5:
Since the beginning of April, one LNHer (sometimes more) was
picked as leader, every day, and disappeared at midnight. That
wouldn't be such a big deal, if it wasn't for the fact that
April has already lasted for 290 days.
A few weeks ago, the Looniearth was invaded by an alternate LNH
from the "Evilverse". They defeated most of the remaining
members of the "real" LNH, and took over Net.ropolis. President
Luthor then decided to seal the city in a force field. The New
Misfits got stuck inside it, where they joined the Resistance,
which strangely enough, is led by the Crime Empire, which in
turn is led by Paraddox (formerly Weirdness Magnet) and Vector
Prime (a.k.a. the Melissa Virus).
Now Cannon Fodder freed the remaining LNH, under leadership of
Kid-Not-Appearing-In-Any-Beige-Midnight-Story, to join the New
Misfits, the Resistance, and the Crime Empire, for the final
battle against the Evilverse LNH!
Who Cares Studios escalatively presents...
/ ____( __ ) / ____/
/___ \/ __ | /___ \
____/ / /_/ / ____/ /
Man I Was Mean But I'm Changing My Scene
by Lalo Martins
Part 11 of Beige Twilight
One could say the scene was the exact opposite of a normal
large-scale, big-odds battle.
The truth is, except maybe in Pratchett or Adams novels, only
very abstract concepts have exact opposites. The exact opposite
of "yes" is "no", but only because these are possibly the most
abstract concepts in our universe (and any other universe
sufficiently similar that we could understand it without
Some things have a theoretical exact opposite, which never
really occurs, but we call things by its name by approximation;
such as "black" and "white". Proper "black" would be total
absence of any radiation in the visible spectrum, which any
physicist will tell you is very, very hard to produce; and
"white" would require a combination of wavelengths that is
pretty much impossible to occur in practice.
And most things have a different, vaguely related concept that
we call its "opposite" mostly because we are, at the core,
extremely arbitrary animals. Who ever decided that the opposite
of "horizontal" was "vertical"? Someone who lives in a
But for the sake of advancing the story, let's for a moment
imagine that the Looniverse is a Platonic universe, and that
there is such a thing there as a quintessential big battle.
This one isn't it.
There was, for sure, a lot of fighting. Much violence. (Both
LNHs are pretty good at violence.) Fists, swords, superpowers,
guns of all types. Net.heroes, evi.lords, criminals and
soldiers from both worlds with and without powers, kiwis in red
and green, and a fair number of robots. The sky itself seemed
to be glimmering in strange ways, in awe of the conflict.
None of the violence was, naturally, in any remote resemblance
of order. The military did try to keep some discipline and
dignity, to their credit. They had about as much success as
There were also trivia challenges, cooking contests, spelling
bees, two or three political arguments, a poker table, and a
patch towards the middle where Procrastination Boy and the
Evilverse Super Apathy Lad were leading a two-world team very
intently doing nothing whatsoever.
"See", said Procrastination Boy to another Looniearthling, "I
knew they didn't need my help that urgently. We're winning."
"Whatever", said E. Super Apathy Lad.
"We still have more cards to play", said E. Footnote Girl.
"Devil-Worshipping Black Magic Kid [*our equivalent to your
Occultism Kid] will summon our gritty mystic types--"
"Oooh, you have an NTB?"
"What? No, for some esoteric reason that nobody in our world
understands, we call them the Garth Ennis Non-Institutional
Terrifying Alternative Lifestylers. Or, for short--"
"We get it, no need to spell it out."
And soon enough, the battle was joined by Emo Orangutan, Very
Disturbing Scary Man Creature, and a few other very upsetting
types. This hardly made a difference, since they didn't fight
any dirtier than the rest of the Evilverse invaders.
"I need to summon us some demons", said Devil-Worshipping Black
Magic Kid to the Evilversion of Perdition. "How did your
negotiations with the Hell lords go?"
"Not good. I wouldn't risk summoning them."
"What! Did you tell them we were all Evil(TM)?"
"They don't seem to appreciate competition."
"Did you tell them we'd vanquish their opposition and give them
a much more pliable world to torment?"
"They did seem to like that idea."
"Did you tell them we'd pay them in souls? And that we'd
probably be having a lot of devil worship throughout the world
once we win?"
"Yeah, that actually went over pretty well."
"Here's the problem though. *Our* hell is suffering from
superpopulation, so our demons are more than happy to lend a
hand in any conquest to have more room."
"Yes? And their hell?"
"It seems to be full of lawyers and politicians, so they can't
make a decision at all."
Devil-Worshipping Black Magic Kid sighed. "All right then.
I'll head back to the Evilverse, summon demons from that side,
and send them over the portal. Maybe I should order more
military support as well, before I start the rituals."
"I'll tag along then. We can summon them more quickly
if we join forces."
"All right, as long as you promise not to do anything to disrupt
"Aaaaw. No tantric warm-up?"
"We're on the clock. Maybe tantric celebration once we win."
Pan around the battle a bit. I'm not so good at describing huge
battles, and I'm feeling particularly lazy today, so I'll let
you imagine it yourself. If you're out of ideas, feel free to
steal a few from Rob's LNHCP #501; at least it won't have been
me who did the stealing. Cheers!
A little later, on the "strategy hill", Analytic dropped his
binoculars and elbowed Paraddox. When the villain (anti-hero?
Anti-villain? Whatever) looked at him, he pointed at the
portal. "Is that what I think it is?"
"Looks like a horde of demons. But being the Evilverse, could
be their lawyers and politicians."
"I can see their mystical energies from here. It's demons."
"Why did you ask me what it was then?"
"I didn't, I was just being dramatic."
"Oooh. A rhetorical question from a master of rhetoric."
"Please tell me you have another surprise strategy up your
sleeve. Like, now."
"Not really", he said, checking the time on his mePhone. (He
notoriously doesn't like wrist watches. Weirdness Magnet shares
this trait, but he does carry a pocket watch with the picture of
Mao Zedong in winter.) "Not now."
Analytic sighed. "I hoped it wouldn't come to this... the
destruction will certainly be worse than what the Evilverse
people would have caused."
"Oooh. So now *you* have a surprise strategy up your sleeve?"
"It's your fault, for giving me a trenchcoat."
Paraddox had a wide smile. "Tell me! I love surprises!"
"Well, I think it's time for PANIC."
"We already used that joke in issue 1."
"It never gets old."
"PANIC is on the other side of the shield, if you didn't
"Well yeah. They also own the button that turns the shield
"Right, but why would they do that? They probably have no idea
we're even having a battle. I studied the shield, there's no
way to get any kind of signal out. It blocks everything. It
has to, otherwise any Evilversions who are able to turn into
energy or whatever could go through."
"I studied the shield too, you'll remember. It does block
everything. But some 'attacks' to it could be detected by the
fluctuations of the power consumption."
"So what? This battle is in the middle of the shield, I don't
imagine anything is actually getting there. And even if it did,
they would see it as a threat, which is exactly when they would
*not* lower the shield--"
"You forget I noticed this *before* I got stuck inside it. So I
arranged a system of signals with Lieutenant Blake."
"Er... but the complexity and precision of the attacks to send
even a very simple signal... no computer on Earth..."
Analytic just smiled.
"All right, all right, but you're here with me, how are you
doing it?" He quickly looked around to the battlefield. "And
your whole team is down there."
"No, not quite. Just the team that joined you a few days ago.
There was one more member with us when we got stuck in the
shield, and you haven't seen him/her/it since. By the way, did
you notice the strange weather?"
"Well, I noticed the sky itself seemed to be glimmering in
strange ways... now that you mention it... it's kind of...
Still smiling, Analytic pressed a button on his comm.thingie.
The signal was received by another comm.thingie near the edge of
the field, where Blur saw a light go on, and changed the
modulation of his attack on the shield, from the signal to
"battle in progress, stand ready" to "send help immediately".
In a matter of seconds the shield dropped; but Blur kept his
form stretched over the area where the shield was, so that the
enemy wouldn't see the reinforcements raining upon them.
Thousands of soldiers parachuted on top of the battle;
superpowered and not, from PANIC, the Net.ional guard, the
Mari.net, UN peace forces, Loonited States Army, Girl Scouts,
Army of Salvation, and whatever else was available. All other
heroes who had been outside Net.ropolis at the time the shield
went up, and who weren't reserved, were also there; those
Alt.stralian folks, some dudes from Sig.ago, Pantra, The Amazing
Amazon, and even a few guys from other universes/imprints/time
periods who didn't have anything better to do at the moment and
figured a cross-over would be a good idea.
"RUN FOR YOUR LIVES", said the Evilversion of Coward Lad, as
Pantra landed very close to him and smiled like a housecat
that's just seen a canary.
"Meh", said E. Super Apathy Lad.
Blur Blur mine
Roger Samuels Procrastination Boy Jason Kanner's
Meredith Samuels Analytic mine
"Andy" Martins Paraddox mine
plus "Evilversions" of a number of other LNHers
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