LNH/Contest: Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2: HCC11

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 9 10:54:53 PDT 2010

[LNH][Contest] Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #37: HCC11

___  ___________________________
| |-|                           \  
| |-| []                        /                #37
| | | [] egion of               \           'Death Trap'
| | | []__ [] []   []  []       / (Part of High Concept Challenge #11)
| | | [___][ \[]et.[]__[]eroes  \  
| | |      []\ ]   [ __ ]       /    written by and copyright 2010
| |-|      [] []   []  []       \           Martin Phipps
| |-|___________________________/
| |
| |
| | Cover shows Sister-State-the-Obvious, Coward Lad, Sarcastic Lad, 
| | Cannon Fodder, Catalyst Lass and Sing-Along Lass sitting in a cubic 
| | room with what appears to be windows in the middle of each wall.
| | The blurb on the cover says "WHO CAN ESCAPE THE HYPE.ER.CUBE?"
| |
| |

  "Hey!  Everybody!  Wake up!"
  Sarcastic Lad was the only one awake: Sister-State-the-Obvious, Coward Lad, Cannon Fodder, Catalyst Lass and Sing-Along Lass were all sleeping.
  Sarcastic Lad walked over to where Cannon Fodder lie unconscious and slapped him across the face.
  "Wake up!"
  Cannon Fodder woke up.  "That hurt!" he complained.
  Sarcastic Lad smirked.  "Oh like you can't take it!"
  "I still feel pain, you know," Cannon Fodder said, standing up.  "So where are we?"
  "I was hoping you could tell me."
  "Well, then, how did we get here?"
  "If I knew that I would also know how we got here."
  "Well then we should try waking up the others and asking them what they know."
  Sarcastic Lad rolled his eyes.  "Why didn't I think of that?"
  "I'm just trying to help."
  "Yeah, well, I would have expected better advice from Sister-State-the-Obvious."
  "Then maybe we should wake her up next."
  "I was being Sarcastic!  Can't you tell?"
  "So was I."
  "Oh.  Okay.  Good one."
  Sarcastic Lad and Cannon Fodder went around trying to wake up the others.  Whatever force had brought them here had put them all into a deep sleep.
  Finally, all six of them were awake.
  "We need to try to escape," Sister-State-the-Obvious said.
  "But we don't even know where here is," Catalyst Lass pointed out.
  "We're all going to die!" Coward Lad.
  "Now, now, let's not panic," Sing-Along Lass said.  "The rest of the LNH is probably looking for us.  Maybe we should just stay here and wait."
  "Screw that!" Sarcastic Lad said.  "I'm going to try going through one of these windows."
  Sarcastic Lad opened the window.  There could not, however, see what was on the other side.
  "I wouldn't go through that window if I were you!" Coward Lad said.
  "There's a surprise!" Sarcastic Lad said.  "Here goes nothing."
  Sarcastic Lad poked his head through the window.  Everybody stood behind him and waited to see what happened next.
  "Well, that's weird."
  Everybody turned around to see Sarcastic Lad's head poking through the window behind them.
  "The lower half of Sarcastic Lad's body is here while the upper half is over there!" Sister State-the-Obvious said.
  "We're trapped here!" Coward Lad said.  "There's no escape!"
  Sarcastic Lad crawled through the window just to be sure it wasn't some kind of illusion.  "So is this really the same room?" he asked.
  "We didn't go anywhere," Catalyst Lass said, "so, yeah."
  "This room must have been built using Kirbian technology," Sing Along Lass surmised.  "It's using a fourth dimension to make space curve in on itself!"
  "We could really use Kid Kirby's help right now!" Sister State-the-Obvious said.  "Or Doctor Stomper's"
  "Yeah, well, they aren't here though, are they?" Sarcastic Lad said.
  "Well what do you say we do?" Catalyst Lass asked.
  Sarcastic Lad shrugged his shoulders.  "There's three men and three women here.  Maybe we're all that's left of the human race and it's our duty to save the species by repopulating the Earth.  I say we pair up right now and get busy."
  Catalyst Lass chuckled.  "Nice try."
  "We only tried one window," Cannon Fodder said.  "Why don't we try one of the other ones?"
  "I think of I went back though the window behind me then I'd come back through the one in front of me," Sarcastic Lad said.
  Cannon Fodder nodded.  "So we'll try one of the other two."  Cannon Fodder walked up to one of said windows.
  "Are you sure you want to do this?" Coward Lad asked.
  Cannon Fodder shrugged his shoulders.  "Hey, the worst that can happen is I get killed."
  Cannon Fodder started crawling through the window.  His companions looked behind them to check to see if he was coming through the window on the other side of the room.  He wasn't.
  "What do you see?" Catalyst Lass asked.
  "Another room," Cannon Fodder said.  "It looks the same as this one.  But it's obviously a different room because if it were the same room then I'd be looking at you.  Right?"
  "That makes sense," Catalyst Lass said.  "Okay, we're all going though to the next room!"
  "Why?" Coward Lad asked.
  "Because I said so."
  And so they did.
  "Now what?" Sarcastic Lad said.  "We're in a different room but it's the same as the room we left."
  "We keep going," Cannon Fodder said.
  "Wait!" Coward Lad said.  "How do we know the next room won't be the same room we just left?  I mean, if all the rooms look the same we could end up just going through the same rooms again and again and..."
  "That's enough!" Catalyst Lass said.
  "The guy has a point," Sarcastic Lad said.
  Cannon Fodder nodded.  "Okay, does anybody have a pen?"
  "I have a marker," Sing-Along Lass said, producing it from her pocket.
  "Perfect!" Cannon Fodder said.  He then wrote the number "1" on the wall.
  "I get it," Catalyst Lass said.  "You're going to write a number on each wall and then we'll know if we ever come back to a room we've already been in."
  "Exactly!" Cannon Fodder said.
  Catalyst Lass looked at Coward Lad.  "Does that answer your question?"
  "I guess so," Coward Lad said.
  "Fine," Catalyst Lass said.  "We keep moving!"
  They proceeded to the next room.  Cannon Fodder took out the marker and was about to write on the wall when he noticed something odd.
  "Oh dear..."
  "What is it?" Catalyst Lass asked.
  "There's already a number here."
  Coward Lad gasped.
  "What number?"
  "No way," Sarcastic Lad said.
  Catalyst Lass sighed.  "Are we seriously supposed to believe that we've already been in this room?  At that this is... what...?"
  "The one millionth two hundred and sixty one thousand, three hundred and fourteenth room we've been in.  Not counting the first one."
  "But we've only been in three rooms!" Sister State-the-Obvious said.
  "Unless where we are is folded in time as well as space," Sing-Along Lass suggested, "and we've arrived in a room we visited before."
  "You should write the number out yourself," Sister State-the-Obvious said, "and then we'll see if it's your handwriting and not somebody else's."
  "That's actually a good idea!" Cannon Fodder said.  He wrote out the number underneath.  "It certainly looks like my writing."
  Sarcastic Lad shook his head.  "It can't be your writing.  I mean, think about it: are we really going to go through... what?"
  "One millionth two hundred and sixty one thousand, three hundred and thirteen more rooms."
  "Exactly.  I mean, how long would that take?  Days?  Weeks?  Years?  We'd be dead."
  "We're doomed!" Coward Lad said.
  "Don't you get it?" Sarcastic Lad said.  "Somebody is playing with our minds!"
  Just then, a laser beam activated.  It started firing randomly around the room.
  "Look out!" Catalyst Lass yelled.
  Everybody ducked.  Then, just as suddenly, the laser beam stopped firing.
  "Is everybody okay?" Catalyst Lass asked.
  "Ow," Cannon Fodder said.
  "What's wrong?" Catalyst Lass asked him.
  "I appear to have a whole in my chest," he asked.
  "Cannon Fodder is dying!" Sister State-the-Obvious said.
  "Actually, no," Cannon Fodder said.  "I haven't actually died once ever since I learned that I was actually a refugee from alt.fan.bugtown: now I just heal my wounds until I get better.  It only takes a few minutes."
  "We can't stay here," Catalyst Lass said.  "The rest of us aren't so lucky."
  Sister State-the-Obvious nodded.  "If that laser beam had hit me in the chest I would be dead now."
  "Wait!" Coward Lad said.  "This room has lasers!  What if the next room has something even worse!"
  "Hold on!" Sing Along Lass said.  "Let's calm down.  Catalyst Lass, what was the last thing you remember before you came here?"
  Catalyst Lass thought hard.  "I remember Biege Midnight was still going on.  Dekay and Diskolar were making the whole world beige and everything was supposed to end when they woke up."
  Sister State-the-Obvious frowned.  "No, wait.  Wasn't that two years ago?  In 2008?"  She thought hard.  "I'm confused."
  Sing Along Lass sighed.  "Okay, look, we're not getting anywhere this way so we're just going to have to break the fourth wall and try to figure out what the author is going with this."
  "He's going to kill us all one by one!" Coward Lad said.
  "I don't think so," Sing Along Lass said.  "I mean, I was created by Drizzt, you two were created by wReam, Sarc was created by..."
  "Gary St. Lawrence," Cannon Fodder said.
  "Thank you.  And as for me, I'm one of the original Legionaires, going back to the Cosmic Plot Device Caper."
  "So?" Coward Lad asked.
  "So nobody is going to kill us off!  Our authors haven't been around for years!  That means that can't give anybody permission to kill us off!  Aha!"
  "What about me?" Coward Lad asked.  "Who came up with me?"
  "Hmm..." Catalyst Lass pondered.
  "Tom Russell," Sarcastic Lad said.
  "And does that mean I'm not going to get killed off either?" Coward Lad asked, hopefully.
  Sarcastic Lad shrugged his shoulders.  "Who knows?  He could have given somebody permission to kill you off."
  Sarcastic Lad sighed.  "Why don't we just look up at the top of this post.  Maybe it will say who's writing this derivative crap."  Sarcastic Lad looked up.  "Ah.  Martin Phipps.  Why am I not surprised?"
  "Martin Phipps?" Catalyst Lass said.  "Deja Dude?"
  "Well, sort of, yeah."
  Catalyst Lass chuckled.  "Oh, well then, Deja Dude will appear and rescue us.  He always appears in his own stories and he always saves the day."
  Just then Deja Dude appeared.
  "I resent that!" he said.
  "And yet... you're here."
  "But I don't _always_ appear in my own stories.  You take that back!"
  Catalyst Lass laughed.  "Well, maybe not every single one."
  "Alright then," Deja Dude said.  "That's better."
  Catalyst Lass smirked.  "Well, now that you're here, get us out of here."
  "No, you see this is supposed to be a challenge: I design a death trap and you, the characters, have to figure out how to get out."
  "Okay, fine," Catalyst Lass said.  "So how do we get out?"
  "You don't know, do you?" she asked.  "You're just making this up as you go along!"
  "Hey!" Deja Dude said defensively.  "That's how I write, okay?  I start a story and then I see how it goes.  I never plan things out in advance."
  "And what about in real life?  Do you plan things out in real life or just see how it goes?"
  "Wait!" Deja Dude said.  "Let's not go there.  How many people can say that their lives have turned out exactly how they planned it would?"
  "Okay, fine.  So you're just going to leave us here?"
  Suddenly the walls started to shrink.  And as this was a cube shaped room that meant that the floor and ceiling were also getting smaller.
  "The room is shrinking!" Sister State-the-Obvious said.
  "The room is getting smaller," Deja Dude said.  "Soon you won't be able to fit through the windows.  What will you do?"
  Catalyst Lass looked up.  "There's a window on the ceiling."
  "But there's no window on the floor."
  "So if we go though the window on the ceiling then it has to go somewhere: it can't lead us back into the same room because there's no window in the middle of the floor below us."
  "Very good!"
  "But the ceiling's too high to reach and none of us have flight thingees..."
  "The ceiling is getting closer as the room shrinks," Cannon Fodder said.  "If one of you can get on my back then I'll try pushing you up.  Then you can lift me up and so on."
  "So you're okay now?" Catalyst Lass asked.
  "I'm fine.  I'm completely healed.  Hurry: get on my back!"
  Catalyst Lass got on Cannon Fodder's back and reached up and grabbed hold of the window on the ceiling.  She opened it and pulled herself through.
  "Me next!" Coward Lad said.
  "Alright: get on my back and Catalyst Lass will pull you up."
  Coward Lad got on Cannon Fodder's back and reached up and grabbed Catalyst Lass' hand.  Catalyst Lass pulled him up.  Next were Sister State-the-Obvious and Sing Along Lass followed by Sarcastic Lad.
  "Just where are we going?" Sarcastic Lad asked.
  Catalyst Lass looked around.  "We're back in LNHHQ.  The Peril Room."
  "So this was all some Peril Room exercise?"
  "I guess so."
  Sarcastic Lad looked at Deja Dude.  "This wasn't really a death trap.  We were never really in danger."
  "Well... duh," Deja Dude said.  "The death traps in death trap stories never are death traps: the point is that the hero is supposed to escape.  And you have.  Congratulations.  Now hurry up or I'll e-mail Gary St. Lawrence and get permission to kill you off."
  So Sarcastic Lad jumped up and his friends pulled him up.  He just managed to fit through the window before it disappeared below him as if it were never there.
  "Wait," Sarcastic Lad said.  "'As if it were never there'?  Shouldn't that be 'As if it _was_ never there'."
  "I don't think so," Catalyst Lass said.  I think it's the subjunctive.  You see the window _was_ on the floor so saying it was never there would be wrong so you say 'as if it _were_ never there'."
  Sarcastic Lad shook his head.  "Somebody go find me Grammar Lad!" he said.

                                 THE END


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