LNH: 58.5 #49: Cannon Fodder Triumphant

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 21:47:49 PDT 2009

[One day -- maybe -- I'll remember I can't post from pan
*before* trying.  *sigh]

"What now?", asked Pantra, holding back the door to the storage
room they had just reached, after a fierce battle.

Fodder was busy going through their stuff, which, as Pantra
promised, was in that room.  He held his Secretary Box
triumphantly.  "Here you are!"

"That's not a weapon", observed Pantra.

"No.  But it can open a Bang Path back to Looniearth."

"Fodder, we don't need reinforcements.  If we can't take them,
then the LNH won't be able to either."

"I wasn't talking about reinforcements."

"Running away?"  She snarled.  "I thought you didn't do that
anymore.  Well, you can go, I--"

(BANG!), made the dimensional portal.

"I'm not going anywhere.  I'm sending you home."

"Are you INSANE?", and she hissed, showing her teeth.

"It's not one of these 'I want you to be safe' things, I swear.
It's taken care of, and your help was appreciated.  But now I
have a plan, and you wouldn't survive it."

She shook her head and thought for a moment.  "Just promise
you'll tell me how it went."  And she jumped into the portal,
which closed behind her.

The door, on the other hand, opened as soon as she stopped
holding it, letting in a few Xinerama brothers.

"Bring it on", Cannon Fodder snarled.


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


           It's The End Of The World As We Know It

                       by Lalo Martins

             Part 2 of "Cannon Fodder Triumphant"



The two Melissas walked one single step in each other's
direction, and stared at each other, in classic anime face-off
style.  Then they attacked.  Vec-- um, the Empress had feral
abilities and claws that day, which made for a pretty one-sided
battle at first; but then Vector-non-Empress made a few copies,
and things got more balanced.

"Bloody copycat chav", spat the Empress, taking out the eyes of
one clone.

"Cheap unstable fake", said another clone, kicking her head.

The Empress leaped, pirouetted, and cut a throat with her toe
talons.  "I'll show you who's the copy", she said.

"But dear", said Vector, as four clones bodyslammed the Empress
from all sides, American Football-style, "that's *exactly* what
you're doing!"

All clones but their leader started grabbing and holding the
Empress, and duplicating again, until she was immobilized,
despite her superior strength.


"Now", said Vector, "I just have to kill you, and--"

But the Empress shook herself loose, and jumped back into a
fighting stance.

"Girls, girls", interrupted Sammy, from the remote end of the
corridor.  "Cool down a minute.  I brought someone you might
want to talk to."

"What is it?", Paraddox asked.

"You", said Vector Maybe-Prime, as she recognized him.  "You're
dead too!"

"It's that other Melissa", said the Empress.  "You should have
let me hunt her when we found out she existed.  Now she's
claiming that *she* is Prime and I'm a clone."

"Oh.  So this is what this is all about?"  And he burst into
very loud laughter.

"You dare to laugh at me?", yelled Maybe-Prime.

"Tell her, dear", said the Empress.  "Tell her I'm Vector
Prime, the original Melissa."

"I can't do that."


"I knew it", said Maybe-Prime, with a smile.

"Melissa", he said, with a crooked smile, to his partner.
"You're better than that.  Seriously, does it really matter?
Does it make you a less interesting, important person?"

"I can't be a clone of *that* chav", she said.  "It can't be
true.  I won't accept it."

"Ah, have no fear of that."

"But you just said--"

"You see", Paraddox said, sitting down on a stool and lighting a
cigar that had somehow appeared in his hand.  "The truth is,
*neither* of you is Vector Prime."


"Vector Prime doesn't exist anymore.  The original Melissa was
cured by Stomper in the end of 'Birth of a Villain'.  It says so
in the LNH files, if any of you had bothered to read them.  She
went to college, and has a rather promising legal career in

"But then--"

"You're both clones, I'm afraid."

The Melissas looked confusedly at each other.  He continued:

"The original Melissa had a single, but pretty interesting
power: she could create clones of herself, and each clone would
have different powers.  Three clones came closer to the original
than most; two of those retained the ability to make clones,
although the clones would be identical, while the third retained
the ability to switch powers every now and then, reflecting
trends in Internet viruses, worms, trojans, scams, and spam.  In
fact, many of the encounters that the LNH has labeled 'Birth of
a Villain' were with one of you two, not the original Melissa."

"But then--"

Paraddox puffed at his cigar.  "You're not your job", he said.
"You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the
car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're
not your fucking khakis.  And you're bloody certainly not who
you were once cloned from.  Time to face reality and move on,
girls; you have a most unique opportunity, to *decide* who you
want to be for yourselves.  Don't spoil it."

The Empress extended her hand for Vector to shake.  She
hesitated, but took it.

"Wait", Vector said.  "You said three clones."

"Yeah.  The third one I'm referring to was known as the
legionnaire disease.  To our best knowledge, it was eradicated
by about the same time your original got cured."

Both redheads nodded.

"Just one thing", said the Empress.  "I don't suppose you can go
around calling yourself 'Prime' after this, can you?"

"Ew", Vector said.  "You even picked up a third-hand Brit accent
from him.

"Don't change the subject."

"We'll think of something else.  I suppose Paraddox is right...
the world is a blank sheet, ours for the taking."

"Now wait a minute", Bonnie intervened.  "All nice and sweet, as
Howie says.  But none of you are going anywhere."

"Dearie", said Vector.  "You don't really think you can hold me,
do you?"

"Why not?", Howie said, taking his fighting stance.

"Because, for one thing.  I remember telling her she wasn't the
original, but I never claimed that *I* was the original."

"Damn", muttered Sammy, loud enough for everyone else to hear.
"She's a clone, too.  Well, a clone of the 'main' Vector."

"Give the boy a lollipop", she said with a smile, and
disappeared, merging back with Vector and transmitting the
information she had acquired.

"What about you", Howie asked of the Empress and Paraddox.
"Planning to give us any trouble?"

"Not today", said the Empress.  "Not really in a mood to break
out today, I could use the time to think.  Don't fool
yourselves, I *will* break out soon.  But not today."

"I don't suppose you mind if I finish my cigar, though?",
Paraddox asked.  Then, as nobody answered, he took another puff.


~"Your portal has closed, Cannon Fodder.  There's no escape
for you now."~

"Escape?  I just closed the Bang Path myself.  I was sending
Pantra home, that's all.  Away from certain death."

~"Very noble.  We would have--"~

"Not by you.  By myself."

The Xinerama brother laughed.  Cannon Fodder was unfazed.

"You don't know it yet, pal, but you're dead.  I just worked it
all out.  As soon as I understood what my favourite toy can
really do, I had to come here and recover it."

~"Then you're deluded.  Your 'Big Guns' are pathetic--"~

It was Cannon Fodder who laughed then.  "Big Guns?  Are you
serious?  Of course not."

~"What feeble idea are you building your hopes on, then?"~

"This", said Cannon Fodder.  "The device I found on Workolips."

~"Not even Workolipsian technology can kill us."~

"This is not Workolipsian.  You should recognize it, you had it
in your hands for a while."

~"The Ultimate Gnab.  Clever, Godd Fodder.  But as I said
before, we can survive it."~

"Let's see."  A subtle dark-red glimmer appeared around him, and
he pressed the button.

Was it a second, or was it a day?  As time itself was one of the
things affected, it's hard to say.  And how can a human mind
even imagine a whole universe being compressed into the short
volume of the Xinerama world?  Even if it was a whole day, it
still implies matter traveling at billions of times the speed of
light.  So, would it even be accurate to say there was anything
to see?  Would any sound even be able to propagate, out of the
almost continuous impact of unimaginable volumes of matter?

What is the cry of an universe dying?

An almost infinite number of things passed through the heads of
the Xinerama brothers during that time, but this thought wasn't
one of them.  Mostly it was planets, stars, and the ruins of
countless civilizations.

Eventually, they regained consciousness, and their first thought
was that now they could understand Fodder's plan; they were
trapped inside a ball of incalculable density, and too weak to
crosspost themselves to another universe.

(In fact, as most proper Stompertech, the Gnab grossly violated
the set of misconceptions and special cases that lesser minds
call "the laws of physics"; as far as we normal people know,
compressing even a tiny fraction of that much matter in a space
that size should have resulted in a singularity.  However, as
Stomper would tell you, at some point *after* that, as the
singularity keeps growing, all "laws of physics" break apart
under the crush of gravity; and further after *that*, a whole
new set of laws is improvised to take their place.

Then again, maybe Stomper is just full of ?!^$.)

But they had other powers that didn't require that much of their
strength; and within minutes (subjectively speaking, since time
itself didn't flow there anymore), they had all teleported to
the "surface", and reestablished some resemblance of atmosphere.

~"The loss of our base is certainly a setback, but as always, we
survive"~, said one of the brothers.  ~"As always, we win."~

"Your incorrect assumption is based on overlooking four points",
said Cannon Fodder.  He was holding on to the Xinerama brother
who teleported in last.

~"You are even harder to kill than we are, as befits an
insect"~, said that brother -- who turned out to be Botox Obama,
of course.

"Blah blah blah.  See, the first point you're missing is: as you
said, surviving this little rock I've thrown on your heads took
almost all your power.  While by the very nature of *my* powers,
the greater the destruction, the quicker and better I return, in
mint condition."

~"So?  You *still* can't expect to take on all of us."~

"Second Fodder Fact: any technology I have on my person as I
die, as long as I have created, modified, or repaired it, comes
back with me.  Which explains my survival in these somewhat
harsh conditions, thanks to the handy Workolipsian force field."

~"So you have your Big Guns.  You should be able to kill some of
us before we disarm you."~

"Who said anything about Big Guns.  I'm thinking of the
Secretary Box which is generating my force field.  You see, it
is also able to open Bang Paths between universes."  And with
those words, he began to run his fingers through the Secretary
Box, which responded, "tek tek tek tek tek", in its distinctive

"Well played.  At our weakened state, *maybe* your allies from
the Looniverse can take us.  But it won't be easy; and they are
hardly at the top of their strength, either."

"Indeed.  I was thinking more along the lines of... Evilverse".

The Xinerama brother threw him a strange look, just as a very
large portal (BANG!) opened in front of them.  ~"You must have
gone insane.  Why would anyone in the Evilverse help you?"~

"Indeed they wouldn't."  The sun could be seen in the distance.
And once it again made contact with an universe where the laws
of physics were intact, the ball that was the Xinerama universe
once more began interacting gravitationally, which pulled it
through the portal, in the direction of the sun.  "As the
Existents said, it's an universe with no redeeming qualities at
all, and seemingly, one threat that will never entirely leave
the Looniverse alone."

~"Then?  You plan to throw us in the sun?  We would survive that
as well."~

"It seems you can't count, can you?  I said you were overlooking
four points, and I only told you three."

~"I see.  You have been talking all this time to keep us busy.
Well, it won't work anymore."~

Cannon Fodder just looked around; yes, he was stalling, just
long enough for all of them to cross the portal into the
Evilverse.  There; all done.

"Point four: I *have* modified the Ultimate Gnab before.  Can
you survive me throwing *two* universes on your heads?"  And
once again, he pressed the button.


Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad was walking past the Peril room, and
he heard a strange noise.  "Wow.  That sounds like Cannon
Fodder's voice.  But it can't be; he doesn't have to appear here
anymore, when he dies, unless he wants to.  And if he had, then
why would he be laughing?"


 Maisie Colbert        Pantra                 May B.'s
 Godd Fodder           Cannon Fodder          wReam's
 Melissa               Vector Sublime         Rob Rogers'
 Melissa               The Crime Empress      Rob Rogers'/mine
 Meredith Samuels      Analytic               mine
 "Andy" Martins        Paraddox               me
 Bonnie Chique         Bandwagon Chick        Sue Clark's
 Kiwi Kiwii Kiwi       Howie K.               mine

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