LNH: Beige Midnight #4: Imperium Hex Part IV: 'The Coronation' (2/4)

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 25 22:22:02 PST 2009

Beginning of Part II

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

The National Mall, Washington, DC --

He looked just like Hector Lopez -- the man most people in the 
Looniverse (well, meaning super hardcore fans of the LNH who know about 
every obscure member of the LNH no matter how obscure in the Looniverse 
because I guess most people in the Looniverse probably wouldn't know who 
he was) knew as the LNH member Easily-Discovered Man Lite.  But there 
was something wrong about him.  Maybe it was the twisted smile on his 
face.  Maybe it was the Yankees baseball cap on his head.  Maybe it was 
the T-shirt that read, "They Might Be Giants?  They're just a band." 
Maybe it was the glowing red eyes that were hidden by sunglasses.  A 
glowing red filled with hate.

"Umm -- not sure why you came that way.  BTW, EDM Lite likes the Red Sox 
and They Might Be Giants," said a woman who looked at bit like Ripping 
Dancer in innocent bystander clothing.  Innocent Bystander Clothing 
designed by a rather Demented Fashion Designer.  As were a number of 
other Legion of Net.Villains scattered throughout the crowd.

"Of course I know that.  It's called psychological warfare, Dancer." 
Mynabird adjusted his holographic disguise a bit.  "Besides -- I'm much 
too patriotic to kill the President as Mynabird.  But as him -- no 
problem.  No problem at all."  Mynabird laughed.  "So where is he?"

Ripping Dancer scanned the crowds.  "I can't see -- Wait!  There!  Over 
there!  Him!  That's him!"

"I can't see him," said Mynabird using his suits telescopic sight.  "Where?"

"He's disguised as the Ultimate Savior.  Umm, didn't I tell you he's a 
shapeshifter?  Yeah, he's a shapeshifter.  A shapeshifter.  An immortal 
alien lizard shapeshifter.  Honest."

Mynabird raised an eyebrow.  "Continuity Porn Star.  Is he a shapeshifter?"

Continuity Porn Star stepped forward disguised also in innocent 
bystander type clothing enough of which obscured his tattoos, which no 
one (but someone whom has read *all* of the stories ever posted to RACC 
and alt.comics.lnh can possibly look at without going, 'What the hell?' 
  He removed a black leather glove from his hand.  The other villains 
averted their eyes from this.  Continuity Porn Star gazed at his naked 
hand covered totally in continuity porn tattoos.  As he gazed into the 
tattoos, the pictures started to swirl around at maddening speeds. 
After awhile he could see the Ultimate Savior's story.  And the current 
Ultimate Savior's story.  "Yes.  He is a shapeshifter.  The real 
Ultimate Savior is still dead."

"Well, guess you live a little bit longer," Mynabird said as he turned 
his mechanical face towards Ripping Dancer.

Ripping Dancer gave a sigh of relief.  "Umm thanks.  Umm, since the 
President won't be here for another 10 minutes could I be excused for a 
bit?  I need to go to the umm -- ladies room.  Is that okay?  I really, 
really need to go."

"I thought I told you people to take care of that sort of thing before 
we left!"

"I really, really have to..."

"Fine!"  Mynabird shook his head and then looked at his watch that 
wrapped around his gigantic metal wrist.  "If you have to go, you have 
to go.  But be back here in 8 minutes and not one second later!"

"Uh -- thanks."  Ripping Dancer quickly made her way to the nearest 

Mynabird looked around until he spotted the person he needed.  "Lucky 
Chain Letter Lucy?  Follow her.  Make sure she comes back."

Lucky Chain Letter Lucy gave a nod and went into the crowd.

"Vector Sublime?  Are our people ready?"

Another of the disguised villains nodded.  "Yes, Mynabird.  All of our 
forces are in position.  The President is void the moment you give the 

"Excellent!"  Mynabird felt his cellphone vibrate against his hip. 
"Excuse me.  Have to take this.  Hello?  Ah!  Yes!  What?  Are you sure? 
  Positive?  He's in Net.ropolis?  Are you sure he's the real one?  Very 
well.  Thank you for telling me.  Bye!"  Mynabird clicked off his 
cellphone.  "Continuity Porn Star.  Who is the Ultimate Savior that is 
standing over there?  Who exactly?"

Continuity Porn Star gazed into his palm again.  "Some old LNH villain 
going by the name Mr. Nasty (tm)."

"Don't you think I might have wanted to know that?"

"Well, you just asked me if he was a shapeshifter and I assumed..."

"Enough!"  Myanbird crushed the cellphone in his metal hand.  "Call off 
Operation Dead President."

"Umm, but what about..." Vector Sublime started to say.

"I said, call it off.  This is now a wait and watch mission.  We wait 
for Ripping Dancer to come back..."  Mynabird dump the broken remains of 
his cellphone on the ground.  "...And we watch as she dies a slow 
horrible death."

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

Hex Luthor walked up to the podium and smiled and waved to the crowd. 
The American Flag hung in the background and 'God Bless the USA' by Lee 
Greenwood played away.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

"So, is it all ready?  The flying bikes?  Ready to fly?" asked 
Cheesecake Eater Lad.

"All of the equipment is ready, my Dessert consuming friend," replied 
Kid Kirby.

"That's good."  Cheesecake Eater Lad checked his watch.  "Wonder where 
Dr. Stomper is?  Should have been here by now.  Hope he's figured out 
how to disable the Freedom Chips."  He looked at his tv.thingee that he 
held in the palm of his hand.  "Speech is starting.  Guess we better 
start mounting."

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

"We're facing tough times.  I know I don't need to tell you that.  All 
you need to do is look up."  Hex Luthor gestured towards the sky.  "And 
you've seen the footage of the Beige Clock Tower and the Bryttle 
Brothers sitting on their massive thrones in the middle of Net.ropolis."

"You know -- every crisis I face, it always brings me back to my first 
one.  My first tragedy that I had to deal with while I was President. 
My most painful tragedy.  Holly.  My wife."  Hex Luthor paused for a 
second as he looked into the crowd.

"We met at college.  We both wanted to save the world.  We were both 
dreamers.  And we fell in love.  She was -- she was..."  Hex paused as 
he wiped something near his eye.  "She was wise beyond her years. 
Caring.  And beautiful.  More beautiful than anything.  We got married. 
  She helped me with my father's business and then with my campaigns for 
office.  She always had the right bit of advice for me.  She always knew 
what to do.  And we won.  I became President.  She became First Lady. 
It was glorious.  It seemed like nothing could stop us.  Sadly, that 
wasn't the case.  A month into my Presidency something bad happened. 
Something very bad.  There was a -- a car accident.  It was -- It 
was..."  Hex Luthor stopped the speech and closed his eyes.  With one 
hand he slowly wiped his eyes.

"After the funeral, I -- I didn't know what to do.  Holly was gone.  I 
was lost.  I wanted to resign.  I couldn't be President -- not without 
Holly.  I was going to resign.  I was ready, but one night before I 
could do that I had a dream.  And Holly was in the dream.  Sweet 
beautiful Holly.  I knew I was dreaming.  Holly, I said.  And she smiled 
back.  This is a dream -- Isn't it, I said to her.  And she nodded her 
head.  You can't quit, she said to me.  But I can't -- I started to say. 
  Dark times are coming, she said to me.  America will need you to guide 
it.  To shepherd it out of this darkness.  You have the strength, Hex. 
I tried to tell her no, I didn't -- but she said, Yes, you do.  America 
needs you and you need it.  And you don't want to disappoint me do you, 
she said.  And I said, no -- I don't want to do that.  And we hugged. 
And I pleaded to her, no, don't go.  Don't go.  And she said with 
sadness in her eyes, I have to go.  But we'll meet again one day.  After 
you've done all of your great work.  Goodbye, she said.  And I woke up."

"And I knew she was right.  I had to keep fighting.  Because America 
needed me and I needed it.  And so I kept being President.  And the 
great Crises came and I was there to guide America through them. 
September the 11th.  The Inferno of Flame Wars IV,V, and VI.  The Trials 
of Jess Willey's Grocery List.  The Darkness of the Bride of C'Thulhu. 
The Road to Killfile Wars and the Killfile Wars that followed.  The 
Infinite April.  And lest we forget: 'Just Imagine Saxon Brenton's 
RACCies!'  'Just Imagine Saxon Brenton Presents the Raccies... Again!' 
And of course 'Just Imagine... Saxon Brenton's RACCies on a Plane Filled 
with Killer Ninja Gorillas!'"

"And we as Americans and as a World survived through all of these 
crises.  But now we face what might be the greatest one.  The Crisis to 
end all crises!  And that is why I'm here today with leaders from around 
the globe to sign this treaty.  The Freedom Chip Free Trade Agreement. 
Once it is signed, everyone will have the freedom to choose.  A choice 
to be safe and be a hero.  To have a freedom chip and never worry again. 
  To finally be free of the terror and evil of the world!  To be free! 
To Be Free!!  TO BE FREE!!!!"

The people in the crowd began to clap loudly and cheer.

Hex Luthor smiled away as the crowd continued to clap.  And as the 
clapping began to soften he said, "We will all be free!  And we will all 
be heroes!  Thank you.  Thank you."  Hex Luthor looked over to his left. 
  "And now before we sign this treaty, my friend and leader of the 
Legion of Net.Heroes, the Ultimate Ninja would like to speak to you all. 
  So let's all give a big round of applause for the One -- the Only -- 
the Ultimate Ninja!!"

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

As the Ultimate Ninja walked across the stage in a rather cocky and 
pompous manner winking and blowing kisses to the ladies in the crowd 
even as one hand of his twirled a Ginsu Katana while the other was 
raised in a thumbs up position, one member of the crowd wasn't that 
impressed.  And that one member of the crowd had anger and disgust in 
his eyes.  And that one member of the crowd?  He was one of the Ultimate 
Ninja's oldest and loud mouthiest foes.  The MacLaughlin Man -- the 
Pundit Supreme!

MacLaughlin Man reached into his overstuffed business suit, which looked 
like it was ready to burst and pulled out a weapon.  A katana.  A Ginsu 
Katana!  And faster than the words I can think of before I write this 
sentence (okay that's not really fast -- how about a lightning bolt with 
cheetah powers?  That's fast -- right?), the katana left MacLaughlin 
Man's hand and blasted toward the Ultimate Ninja breaking through the 
various barriers between them.  The Sound Barrier.  The Light Barrier. 
And the Force Field Protecting all the people on Stage from the Crowd 

Before the Ultimate Ninja knew what was happening, he noticed a gaping 
hole in his chest -- almost cartoonish -- spurting large quantities of 
blood.  "Ouch," he said as he collapsed to the floor.

The moment that happened a number of Freedom Chippers quickly surrounded 
Hex Luthor.  A number of other Freedom Chippers and Secret Service 
People swarmed over MacLaughlin Man attempting to restrain him.  But 
they were no match for MacLaughlin Man as he hurled them all away at 
blinding speeds.  And then MacLaughlin Man looked straight into the wall 
of Freedom Chippers who were protecting Hex Luthor.  "Hex!" he shouted. 
  "Hex!  You know -- call me crazy, but that Ultimate Ninja I just 
killed -- well I don't think he was the real deal.  Just so you know. 
In fact I'd bet on it.  I'd bet the whole world on it.  Want to wager, 
Hex?"  And with that MacLaughlin Man ripped away at his mask to reveal 
his true face.

That of the Real Ultimate Ninja.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

"Now, I have to say, Hex -- all those invulnerable supermen with their 
absurd amounts of power you have up there -- they're not going to save 
you.  No.  At the most they'll give you an extra ten seconds.  But 
that's about it.  I've already gone through the battle in my head and 
ten seconds is probably incredibly generous.  You're going to die.  But 
I do have a modicum of respect for the office of Presidency and that's 
why I'm going to give you this choice that could save your life.  Here's 
the choice:  A)  You surrender and confess all your crimes right now or 
B)  You die.  That's your choice.  And you should choose pretty quickly. 
  I've already decided, which one I'm choosing.

Hex Luthor pressed a button on his podium.  "A or B?"  Hex shook his 
head while smiling a devilish smile.  "I'm more of a 
Think-Outside-of-the-Box kind of guy, Ultimate Ninja -- so I'll choose 
C.  C for Carly Simon."  The song, 'Nobody Does It Better' started to 
blast away on the speakers.

The Ultimate Ninja froze.  It was as if he was lost in another world. 
"Lady -- Lady Heartthrob?" he said as looked at someone who wasn't 
there.  [See Beige Countdown #1 for who Lady Heartthrob is -- Footnote Girl]

"I knew you'd probably escape so I put the a little bit of extra 
insurance in your head just as a precaution.  And now you're going to do 
whatever I tell you.  Kill whoever I tell you.  Yes.  Who is your 
master, Ultimate Ninja?  Who is he?  Tell me."

The Ultimate Ninja looked blankly at Hex Luthor and said, "You -- you 
are my -- my -- my -- Massss--ter."

"Good.  That will do for now."

"Wait!" said Vladimir Putin as he stepped up from the table that had all 
of the world leaders sitting on it.  "What it is this?  Who was that 
Ultimate Ninja that just died?  And who is this Ultimate Ninja?  What's 
going on here?  I demand answers!!"  The other world leaders began to 
stir in their seats.

"Vlad, as much as I'd love to explain all of this, well it's all a bit 
too complicated.  Later tonight at the Agreement Party.  So lets sign 
that Agreement."  Hex stared into Vlad's eyes.  "Sign the Agreement."

Vladimir Putin got back into his chair and grabbed a pen.  "Yes.  I need 
to sign this agreement.  I need to..." Putin tried to scribble his 
signature, but nothing would come out.  "This pen -- this pen -- it 
doesn't work.  It's not writing."

"What do you mean it doesn't work?  Christ!  Well, someone give him a 
pen that does work!!  I need this Agreement signed!!"

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

An intern quickly rushed over with a bunch of pens.

Those pens won't work either, said a man in the crowd in innocent 
bystander clothes.  A man named Lagneto.

Sorry, Hex, Lagneto smiled to himself.  There are other people out here 
who want to rule the world.  Like me.  And you're just an obstacle to 
those plans.  Don't take it to hard.  Maybe next time.  Losing is good 
for the soul.

Lagneto continued to use his lagging powers on the ink in all of the 
pens smiling while he did it.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

"Why aren't these pens working?" said Hex as he threw the apparently 
useless pens he had in his hand on the ground in frustration.  "Get more 
pens!!  Pens that work!!"

"Umm -- Mr. President, there's something you should..."

"Unless you've got a working pen, I'm not interested in your..."

"It's the sky!  Mr. President!  Look!"

Hex Luthor turned his attention towards the sky.  And he saw them. 
Hundreds of bicycles.  Flying in the sky.  Coming towards him.  "Him! 
It's him!  But I'm ready for you.  God -- am I ready.  Freedom Chippers 
-- Destroy them!  Destroy them all!  No mercy!!  Everyone attack!! 
Except you, Ultimate Ninja.  I want you up here defending me.  Kill 
anyone who attempts to harm me."  The Ultimate Ninja flipped up on stage 
ready to kill anyone who tried to harm Hex Luthor.  Hex Luthor smiled as 
his Freedom Chipper flew off to face the heroes on the flying bicycles. 
  He looked back on the stage and noticed that Catalyst Lass was still 
standing close to him.  "You too, Catalyst Lass!  Go and fight!  This is 
an order!"

Catalyst Lass just stood there and smiled.  "Which Catalyst Lass are you 
talking to, Hexy?  The one with the fake Freedom Chip in her head?"

Hex felt a tap on his shoulder.  "Or the one with the fake Freedom Chip 
in her head," said a voice from behind.  Hex turned around to see 
another Catalyst Lass.  Catalyst Lass and HellCatalyst walked up to each 
other, winked at the other, and gave each other a fist bump.

"Take them down, Irony Man!" shouted Hex Luthor as Irony Man landed on 
the stage.

"Umm, right.  Don't think I'll be doing that.  Look, Hex, we need to 
call a truce.  We can still stop this and make our case for..."

"Our case?  We're the ones with the upper hand, Toony!  They're 
outnumbered 200 to 1!!  If they can beat these ones, another wave will 
come.  And after that another wave.  And wave after wave will come till 
they break down.  Till they can't fight anymore.  That's what's going to 
happen.  It's only a matter of time."

Hex Luthor looked up at the Beige sky where his Freedom Chippers were 
doing battle with the Flying Bicycle Riding LNH Resistance.  A Thousand 
more Freedom Chippers popped into the sky from out of nowhere.  "There. 
  You see, Toony?  The Second Wave is here."  Hex Luthor smiled.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

A Hard RACC Cafe in Net.ropolis --

Where was she?  Easily-Discovered Man Lite looked at his watch.  Oh 
well.  Only an hour late.  Probably bad traffic.  Just look around at 
all of the RACC Memorabilia on the walls.  Again.  Look at the people in 
the restaurant.  Eating food.  Being served food.  Hmm.  Is that guy 
looking at me?  Looks familiar.  Oh no.  Not here.  It has to be him! 
Rumor Monger.  Brotherhood of Net.Villains.  Not today.  Not today.  Not 
this date.  There was not going to be some pointless fight scene that 
ruined another one of his dates.

Easily-Discovered Man Lite walked over to the bar where Rumor Monger was 
sitting as he chatted on his cell-phone.  Easily-Discovered Man Lite 
opened up his wallet and took out some cash.  "Okay.  How much?  How 
much will it take for you to leave this place?  How much?"

Rumor Monger clicked off his cell-phone.  "Umm?  Sorry?  Is there a 
problem?  I'm just having a drink.  Do I know you?"

"Yeah, right.  Having a drink.  And I'm -- I'm umm..."  And something 
happened.  Something that had never happened to Easily-Discovered Man 
Lite before.  He couldn't think of anything to say.  Anything clever. 
Anything funny.  "I'm -- umm.  I  -- uh.  Damn."

"Wait, you're that Easily-Discovered Man sidekick aren't you?  The one 
who always has some hilarious quip up his sleeve?  Right?"

"Yeah, that's me.  I -- I... umm..."

"Have we reached the part where I should be laughing?" asked Rumor Monger.

This was horrible.  He couldn't think of anything.  Maybe if you look 
around the room it will give you some ideas.  Television.  Hex Luthor 
giving a speech.  There's got to be something funny in that.  Think! 
Nothing.  Nothing!  The funny in my brain is gone!

"I can't do it.  I just can't!  It's gone.  All the jokes I've ever 
known.  This isn't happening.  It can't be happening.  I can't say 
anything funny!"  Easily-Discovered Man Lite sat down.  "I need a drink. 
  Anything!"  The bartender poured him some beige colored drink.

"Hey, it's okay.  We've all been there.  It happens to everybody. 
Sometimes you just can't perform.  It's perfectly..."

"But it's never happened to me!  Never!  I always perform!  Always!  I'm 
always funny!  Always!!!"

"Have you been taking anything?  I've heard rumors about certain 
medications that can reduce a persons sense of humor."

Easily-Discovered Man Lite slapped his head with his hand.  "I did take 
something today, now that I think about it.  I took a couple of these 
pills."  Easily-Discovered Man Lite took a pill bottle out of his pocket 
and handed it to Rumor Monger.

Rumor Monger read the bottle.  "<Mr. Paprika's 'Wham!  Bam!  Thank you, 
Ma'am!' *Nacho Flavored!* Male Enhancement Pills>  'Now that's a Man's 
Male Enhancement Pill!'"  Rumor Monger raised an eyebrow.

"You see, Sarcastic Lad gave them to me for my date with Ripping Dancer. 
  Yeah, that's right!  Ripping Dancer!  Not that I need them!  I don't! 
  I just thought it would be rude not to use a couple.  I just didn't 
want to be rude!  So, I uh popped a few before I came here."

"Did you read the side effects?"

"Ah, side effects?  Side effects?  Hah!  Uh, well no.  I guess I didn't 
do that.  What are they?"

"Let's see here.  Ah, right.  May impair the person's ability to pun, 
quip, banter, tell dirty limericks, make offensive jokes about a certain 
group that reduces that group to an ugly stereotype (especially jokes 
involving ninjas..."

"No!  Not the Ninja Jokes!  Not the Ninja jokes!!"

"Make clever satirical points about pop culture and our society as a 
whole, make top ten lists, also may cause a person to turn into a 

"Werewolf?!  Tell me there isn't a full moon tonight!  Please, tell me!"

"I heard a rumor there might be one."


"And also itchy feet.  If you have an erection that lasts for more than 
48 hours please consult a doctor."

"Arrrrgghghghhg!!!!  This date is going to be a disaster!!  My ability 
to make hilarious banter is the only thing I have going for me!!  And 
now it's gone!  What if it never comes back?  Oh god.  What if I go 
through life as a humorless sidekick whose only skill is to hit bad guys 
with a spatula?  Is that my life?  Never to quip again!  Never!!"

"Hmm, did you say that you were dating Ripping Dancer?"

"Uh, yeah I did."

"Then you might be in some luck."


"See on the television?  Isn't that her ripping the clothes off Manga Man?"

Easily-Discovered Man Lite glanced at the televion set up in the corner 
of the bar.  "No!  That should be me having my clothing ripped by her! 
Me!  Oh god."

Easily-Discovered Man Lite looked at the drink that the bartender had 
given him.  He took a swig.  "I just realized something.  Life isn't 
funny.  No, not funny at all."

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

It would be so easy.

Just push a button and blow him away, thought the 
Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man as he looked through his 
Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature-Scope while sitting in his 
Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature-Tank.  Just push a button.

But then you'd be like him, wouldn't you?  Just a punk with a tank who 
blows people away.  Like that punk with a tank that killed your parents. 
  Oh yeah, you remember that.

Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man drifted off into a flashback.

You were just a little numskull weren't you?  Dancing like a fool as you 
and your parents came out of that ZZ Top Concert.  You had the ZZ Top 
song 'Pearl Necklace' humming through your brain.  Everything was right. 
  You were completely happy.  And then it came.  The tank.  A tank with 
a punk inside it.  Your Dad tried to protect you and your Mom, but he 
couldn't.  The tank blew them both away.  And you?  You just sat there 
and cried.  Cried like a baby.

And all that was left were your dead parents lying on the pavement and 
pieces of your Mom's white pearl necklace scattering on the ground. 
Dead and never coming back.  And the ZZ Top song that you couldn't get 
out of your head no matter how hard you tried.

Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man returned back to the present still 
holding his thumb close to the button as he saw the creature posing as 
his dead friend the Ultimate Savior smiling at the crowd.

No.  The tank is your enemy's weapon.  And we don't use the enemy's 
weapons.  No.  And it's a line you can never cross.  Never.

And besides.  You've got to know.  You look at his gigantic bulging 
muscles.  Bulging and bulging and bulging.  At his biceps, his triceps, 
and his really large pecs.  And you've got to know.  Can you take him? 
Can you?  Are you man enough to take him?  Who is the more Macho Man? 
Who indeed.

The Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature Man took his gloves off.  He cracked 
his hairy knuckles.  He got out of his 
Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature-Tank chair and walked over to the 
Very-Disturbed-Scary-Creature-Tank hatch and opened it up.  He gritted 
his teeth.

"Time to feel pain," he said grabbing one of the outside handles.

"Time to feel a Whole *Omniverse of Fraggin' Pain*!!!!!!" he growled to 
the sky as he leapt out of the tank.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****
End of Part II

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