LNH: LNH Comics Presents #505

EDMLite robrogers72 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 12:04:01 PDT 2011

     When the mad Dr. Killfile threatened to destroy the
Internet -- THEY answered the call!  Today, THEIR strange
and mighty powers are our last, best line of defense
against crime, disaster and unspeakable horror!  THEY are
our knights in shining spandex... the LEGION OF NET.HEROES!

     [Cover shows Master Blaster, Sarcastic Lad, Sister
State-the-Obvious and WikiBoy climbing over each other to
reach the top of the statue of a Civil War soldier.  Dozens
of corpses in tattered blue uniforms are reaching out to
them from all sides.  The inscription at the bottom of the
statue reads: "THE GLORIOUS DEAD."]

     WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE: Almost every former President of
the Usenetted States risen from his grave, with each
zombie using his great influence over others to cause
havoc and mayhem throughout the country.  While Occultism
Kid seeks the source of this madness within the Secret
Library of Congress, the other members of the Legion of
Net.Heroes do their best to contain the rising menace
of the undead Presidents...

        *                  *                    *

Legion of Net.Heroes Comics Presents #505:

                "Dead of State"

                 By Rob Rogers

        *                  *                    *

Net.York City                   20 February 2011   5:15 p.m.

     "You just had to say it, didn't you," Sarcastic Lad
said, taking a moment to glance over his shoulder as he and
his three fellow heroes ran through the streets of
Manhattan, followed by the distant sound of marching boots.

     "We had former President Ulysses S. Grant pinned down
inside his tomb," Sarcastic Lad continued.  "Everything was
going so well!  And then Grant raises his arm, like he's
going to fight us, and you just had to say, 'You and what
army?' "

     "I said I was sorry," Master Blaster said.

     "You chose to say this to Ulysses S. Grant.  The man
who led the Union army to victory during the Civil War."

     "He was actually quite effective during the Mexican
War as well," WikiBoy pointed out.

     "Why?  Why would you say this?" Sarcastic Lad asked.
"Did it never occur to you that every cemetery in Net.York
City happens to be packed with dead Union soldiers?  Who
might all choose that very moment to rise up and follow
their former commander?"

     "I said I was sorry," Master Blaster said.  "Look, as
soon as we get out of the city..."

     "Look out!" Sister State-the-Obvious said, as a pair
of corpses dressed in Union blue took up positions blocking
the street ahead of them, their rifles fixed with bayonets.
"Undead end!"

     "Okay," Sarcastic Lad said, as another group of Union
zombies appeared on the right. "We're surrounded by the
living dead, unlikely to receive any reinforcements..."

     "Low on ammunition," Master Blaster added.

     "...and short on time," Sarcastic Lad continued.
"Clearly, there's only one possible option."

     WikiBoy sighed, knowing what was likely to come next.

     "WikiBoy," Sarcastic Lad said, "you're going to have
to edit yourself into the reincarnation of Robert E. Lee,
come up with a speech inspiring enough to wake whatever
Confederate soldiers are buried within the city limits,
and win the war for the South."

     "WHAT?" asked WikiBoy and Sister State-the-Obvious
simultaneously, as another group of the unquiet dead cut off
their escape route to the left.

     "Sure," Master Blaster said.  "Just pretend you're
one of those guys who goes out on the weekend and re-enacts
the Civil War.  Or one of the Dukes of Hazzard."

     "If the real General Lee couldn't defeat Grant one
hundred and fifty years ago," said the Legionnaire Anyone
Can Edit, "what makes you think I'll be able to come up with
a way to stop him now?"

     "Maybe he's rusty," Sarcastic Lad said.

     "Right," Master Blaster said.  "So edit yourself not
to be rusty.  While at the same time being seasoned and

      "And grow some sideburns," Sarcastic Lad said.  "And
a beard.  Everybody in the Civil War had some outrageous
facial hair."

     "The zombies aren't attacking," Sister State-the-
Obvious noted.  "They're lining up along either side of the

     "Of course they aren't attacking," Sarcastic Lad said.
"They're intimidated by WikiBoy's sideburns."

     "They've formed a gauntlet, leading to... that bar,"
Sister State-the-Obvious said, pointing to a gap in the
column of the living dead where neon signs advertised the
presence of Coors and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

     "WikiBoy, what do your enhanced military strategic
senses tell you about that bar?" Sarcastic Lad asked.

     "Well, I..." WikiBoy began.

     "Never mind," Master Blaster said.  "We're going in.
I can feel something calling to me in there.  Call it
karma.  Kismet.  Destiny, if you will."

     "I told you that you should have gone before we left
Legion headquarters," Sister State-the-Obvious said.

     "I'm with Rob," Sarcastic Lad said.  "If I'm destined
to be torn apart by an army of monsters from beyond the
grave, I'd like to go with a drink in my hand."

     Sister State-the-Obvious sighed, shook her head and
followed her husband, Sarcastic Lad and WikiBoy past the
line of silent soldiers and into the bar.

     Tables, chairs and barstools lay strewn about in the
nearly-empty tavern.  A television set in the corner
flickered between grey test patterns.  At a single table
near the center of the room, dressed in a disheveled blue
uniform, sat the waxy corpse of Ulysses S. Grant.

     The doors to the bar swung shut, and a pair of
soldiers stood before them, ignoring the flies that swarmed
around their desiccated bodies.

     "So.  Here we are," Sarcastic Lad said, glancing from
one frozen grimace to another.  "You're clearly not
interested in fighting us, so... what's the game?  Pool?
Darts?  Pub trivia?"

     "I am so ready to own their undead asses in trivia,"
Master Blaster said.  "I watched almost the entire Ken
Burns documentary on the Civil War."

     "You fell asleep within the first hour," Sister State-
the-Obvious said.

     "Well, you could pretty much see where it was going,"
Master Blaster said.

     All four heroes tensed as the 18th President of the
Usenetted States reached under the table.  When his bony
hands reappeared, they were clutching a dusty bottle of rye
whiskey and two rounded glasses.

     "It's a drinking contest," Sister State-the-Obvious
said.  "He wants one of us to try to outdrink him."

     "Can you out-drink a zombie?"  WikiBoy asked.  "Does
his body even process alcohol?"

     "The real question is, does yours," Sarcastic Lad
said, placing a hand on WikiBoy's shoulder.  "WikiBoy,
you're going to have to edit yourself to..."

     "No," Master Blaster said, removing Sarcastic Lad's

     "We're not doing this again," he continued, walking
slowly across the room and taking a seat across from the
zombie President Grant.  "You and I are always asking
WikiBoy to do our dirty work.  And that's fine when it's
something unimportant, like doing our laundry, or our
taxes, or going to prison on our behalf, or leading us
through a mine field."

    Master Blaster's throat tightened, and his voice
wavered.  "But this is a drinking contest -- maybe _the_
drinking contest, for all the marbles.  And I'm not
sending a boy, even one I'd trust with my life, to do a
man's job."

     He took the proffered glass from Zombie Grant,
raised it, and knocked it back in one swallow.

     "Let's do this," Master Blaster said, as the
Presidential cadaver refilled his glass.

        *                  *                    *

Library of Congress,
Washington.gov               20 February 2011      6 p.m.

     "Time is running out," said Secret Service Agent
Samantha Baron, arms folded across her chest.  "And your
assistant is still running around the library, letting
himself get distracted."

     "Is he?" Occultism Kid asked, looking up from a stack
of yellowed folders.  "I'm afraid you'll have to forgive
Anal-Retentive Archive Kid.  He doesn't get out much, and
there isn't another library in the world with both a
complete collection of Aristotle's works and the version of
_Harry Potter_ in which the spells actually perform as

     "Besides," Occultism Kid added, "he gave me the
information I needed hours ago."

     Agent Baron started.  "He found the location of
Jackson's gun?"

     "That old thing?" Occultism Kid said, waving his hand
dismissively.  "I knew where that was before we came here.
If I didn't, I wouldn't have been able to send Skunk Girl to
go and get it."

     "Then why...?" Agent Baron began, stopping when she
saw the folder in Occultism Kid's hand.

     "Raising one or two dead bodies from the grave --
that's peanuts.  Anybody can do that," Occultism Kid said,
waving the folder back and forth like a metronome.  "You see
it at fraternity parties all the time these days.  But
raising all of the dead Presidents -- now, that takes power.
Real power."

     "That file -- those are confidential Secret Service
personnel records!" Agent Baron said, reaching for the
folder.  "How did you get your hands on those?"

     "I needed to know who had both the power, and the
motive, to bring the Presidents back from the dead,"
Occultism Kid said, keeping the folder just out of reach.
"My mistake was assuming that the same person had both."

     "You are in violation of Usenetted States law!"
Agent Baron said, reaching for her pistol.

     Occultism Kid shook his head.

     "Oh come on now, Agent.  We both know you're older
than any law," said the Legion's master of the mystic arts.
"Says here you were hired during the Johnson administration.
Doesn't say which one.  Either way, you're looking very good
for your age."

     He closed the folder, examining the little tab on its
edge.  "Baron, Samantha Edwards," he said.  "Or Baron,
Sam Eddy.  Or Baron Samaedi, the voudoun loa of the

     Agent Baron glared at him for a moment, then relaxed,
returning her pistol to its holster.

     "So you found me out," she said, drawing a cigar from
the inside pocket of her blazer.  "It doesn't matter.  I
meet everyone sooner or later.  And you don't have the power
to defeat me."

     "True," Occultism Kid acknowledged, making a slight
gesture  with his left hand.  The cigar between Baron
Samaedi's fingers blazed into life.  "But you're not
really the one at the center of this, are you?

     "This," he said, holding up an old-fashioned tape
recorder reel, "proves that you were just one small part
of the overall scheme."

    "A rather large part, actually," Baron Samaedi said,
raising the cigar to her lips.  "I don't release the dead
from their graves for just anybody, as you're shortly to
discover.  You might want to stay on my good side."

     "We have," Occultism Kid said.  "Or what do you think
Anal-Retentive Archive Kid has been doing all this time?"

     "Just finished," Anal-Retentive Archive Kid said,
taking his place beside Occultism Kid.  "As you requested,
I've placed wards, sigils and those creepy bone things at
each point of a pentagram surrounding Agent Baron."

     Baron Samaedi exhaled, blowing a smoke ring in the
shape of a skull and crossbones.

     "Do you propose to contain a god, child?" she asked.

     Occultism Kid bowed slightly.  "We would never dream
of such a thing," he said.  "The spell I've cast will
merely make you invisible to the outside world... leaving
you here in peace to enjoy the contents of that cabinet
to your left."

     Baron Samaedi stared at the net.hero for several
seconds, then opened the latch.  She grinned.

     "All of the cigars, rum and other prizes presented
as gifts to President William McKinley after the...
liberation of Cuba," Occultism Kid said.  "Enough for
several lifetimes."

     "I like you more and more, little sorcerer," Baron
Samaedi said, pouring herself a tot of rum.  "I must try
to remember to be as kind a host to you when you come to
stay in my kingdom."

     Her rich, deep laugh echoed through the thousand
crooked corners of the library as Occultism Kid and Anal-
Retentive Archive Kid strode from the chamber, Anal-
Retentive Archive Kid still shaking his head.

     "I can't believe we just bribed a god," the LNH's
Regent of Research said.

     "This is Washington.gov," Occultism Kid said.  "People
buy and sell favors here all the time.  Souls, too," he
added, glancing at the reel of magnetic tape in his hand.

     "I wish our communication.thingees worked within the
Library," Anal-Retentive Archive Kid said.  "Fearless
Leader has no idea what he's up against."

     "He'll know soon enough," Occultism Kid said.  "In
the mean time, I'd advise you to leave that copy of
_All Star Wonder Woman_ on the shelves.  This was already
the last library you wanted to end up receiving an overdue
notice from before we started leaving death gods in the
reference section."

    "Sorry," Anal-Retentive Archive Kid said, removing
the book from within the folds of his costume.  He sighed,
drinking in the colors of the Adam Hughes cover one last
time, and hurried to join his fellow hero on their way out
of the building.

        *                  *                    *

Oyster Bay, Long Island                        7:30 p.m.

     Theodore Roosevelt rode like the angry messenger of
Hell through the empty roads of Oyster Bay, Long Island.
Sparks flew from his horse's hooves and the moonlight
gleamed against the rusted edges of his pince-nez and the
handle of his sword as he thundered breathlessly through
the night.

     Theodore Roosevelt!  Who had bested a childhood case
of asthma through sheer clenched-teeth willpower, making
himself over from a weak and rasping schoolboy to a boxer,
a cowboy, a soldier!  Who had sworn to use the privilege
given him by his wealth and pedigree only for good --
to make over the Net.York Police Department, or to ensure
a place for himself and his legacy on the battlefields of
Cuba.  Ah, to be running with the Rough Riders again!

     Thoughts passed slowly through his zombie brain, like
molasses dribbling through a sieve.  He found it difficult
to focus, difficult to reflect.  He knew that there was a
bully battle to be fought in Washington.gov, and that there
were those who would try to prevent him from reaching it.

     Let them try!  Neither wild beast nor Wall Street tycoon
nor Spanish sharpshooter nor Democratic machine had been able
to tame Theodore Roosevelt in life.  In death, he thought
-- grinning his famous grin beneath a long-withered mustache
-- he would be like the unchained fiend.

     Roosevelt spotted a silhouette in the center of the
road, about a mile or two ahead.  His eyes -- if such a
thing as he could still be said to have eyes -- had
difficulty making out details, but it appeared to be a
single man, though a stronger, more finely muscled specimen
than any the President had seen since his time in the Dakota

     A challenger, then.

     Roosevelt drove his spurs into the side of his horse,
urging the beast forward with a mad fury.  This, then,
would be his first challenge since being called from the
grave -- and what a battle it would be!  Sword on sinew!
His own undead cunning against the mighty stranger's
strength!  Generations to come would mark the scene of such
savagery with a monument...

     ...but what was this?  His horse, slowing before the
advance of the stranger -- whom Roosevelt could now see was
clad in a kind of gymnast's costume, with the image of a
drooping paintbrush, or perhaps some kind of vegetable,
upon his chest.  This would not do, Roosevelt thought,
and raised his sword to strike the animal -- only to find
his long-disused arm gripped with a kind of torpor, as
though it were disinclined to obey his will.

     What witchery was this, Roosevelt wondered, as the
muscled stranger eyed him with the kind of dull regard he
might have given a tomb, rather than the thing that had
sprung from it.  Were all denizens of the 21st century
forged of such dauntless stuff?  This, then, would be
battle indeed...

     ...or would it?  The closer Roosevelt came to the
placid stranger, the more certain he became that the
conflict to come would not be much of a battle at all.  Was
victory even worthwhile, if he had neither life in which to
celebrate it nor breath to proclaim it?  Was life -- which
to him had always been a thing of wonder, a strenuous
challenge to test oneself at every opportunity -- was
life in this unnatural form even worth the effort?

     Roosevelt tried one last time to muster a spark of
energy for the battle to come, and succeeded only in
raising his sword before he, and his horse, slowed to a
halt just inches before the unmoving figure of Limp-
Asparagus Lad.

     "Your theory was correct, Fearless Leader," the Man
of Dull said, droning monotonously into his communication.
thingee as he stared at the body of Theodore Roosevelt,
frozen in place like one of his own commemorative statues.

     "My powers drained away every trace of Drama for miles
around," Limp-Asparagus Lad continued.  "And a Zombie
Theodore Roosevelt without Drama is... just a zombie."

        *                  *                    *

White House Situation Room, Washington.gov      7:45 p.m.

     "That's one Roosevelt accounted for," said Fearless
Leader, clapping the communication.thingee at his ear
shut and nodding to Kid Recap.

     "The Northeast is now clear," said Kid Recap, who stood
waist-deep in a three-dimensional holographic map of the
Usenetted States.  As he spoke, a little death's head
symbol hovering above the Net.York coastline disappeared,
replaced by a black-and-silver LNH logo.

     "The remaining zombie activity is in the Ohio Valley
and the South," Kid Recap continued, pointing to the tiny
skulls-and-crossbones tracking across the map.  "As you
requested, I've sent LetterinG Man, CAPTAIN CAPITALIZE and
Typo Lad to reinforce Grammer Lad and Thesaurus Lass in
their war of words against Zombie James Madison.

     "And...I'm just getting word that Minority Miss and
thirty members of the Cherokee Nation have finished off
Zombie Andrew Jackson," he continued, as another death's
head disappeared from the map.

     Fearless Leader looked up from the display.

     "Minority Miss is one of the most powerful members of
our team," he said.  "Since when does she need thirty
Cherokees to help her deal with a zombie?"

     Kid Recap grinned.  "Oh, she didn't," he said.  "She
just thought they might like to come along."

     "And there's more good news," said President Boatman,
waving a computer printout with the enthusiasm most people
would have reserved for  a winning lottery ticket.  "Zombie
Reagan's people have announced that he's dropping out of the
election.  Your crew in California must've got to him after

     Fearless Leader closed his eyes and exhaled.

     "Finally," he said.  "Tell Irony Man we're going to
need him in Ohio -- Zombie William Henry Harrison is turning
out to be tougher than we thought.  And find out why we
haven't heard anything from the team at Mount Ver..."

     With a series of three tremendous crashes, the steel
doors at the rear of the Situation Room buckled, groaned
and then flew open, revealing a tall, uniformed skeleton
on a horse made of bones, a thin, wasted corpse in a
wheelchair and a ghastly figure wearing spectacles and
clutching a mace in his withered hands.

     Secret Service agents swarmed to protect the President,
while Fearless Leader and Kid Recap took cover -- one behind
a marble statue of Justice, the other behind a bas-relief of
the Great Seal of the Usenetted States.

     "Zombie George Washington!  Zombie Franklin D.
Roosevelt!  And Zombie Woodrow Wilson!" Fearless Leader
exclaimed, as the three nightmarish figures charged the
Secret Service.  "No wonder we couldn't locate them before!
This must have been their target all along!"

     "Washington on horseback and Roosevelt in the
wheelchair I get," Kid Recap shouted, as the room rang with
the sounds of gunfire.  "But how did you know that was

     "I know my weapons, Kid Recap," Fearless Leader said,
drawing his own sidearm and firing at Washington.  "And that
mace of his has Wilson's trademark fourteen points."

     "Fire at will!" President Boatman shouted.  "No...
wait!  Hold your fire!  Hold your fire!"

     A fourth zombie had entered the room -- John F.
Kennedy, followed closely by his unwitting aide, Obnoxious
Ame.rec.a Boy, and a dozen or more children of various ages,
who looked around the Situation Room in wide-eyed wonder.

     "They're using children as human shields," Fearless
Leader said, lowering his weapon.  "We're going to have to
fight them hand-to-hand.  Get the President out of here."

     The Legion commander froze at the sound of a low,
guttural chuckle from somewhere behind Kennedy.  The lights,
the holographic map display and the monitors in the
Situation Room flickered for a moment, and Fearless Leader
saw the four zombies pause in their advance, as if waiting
for someone to join them.

     Then the voice spoke again, and Fearless Leader, who
had spent the better part of his day battling the living
dead without flinching, felt his blood turn to ice.

     "Kennedy always was good with the youth," the voice
said.  "Finally found a way to make it work for me."

     It took Fearless Leader a moment to place the speaker.
His skin had blanched to a ghastly gray, though stubble
still covered his famous jowls, and he was dressed in a
black studded cloak with heavy leather gauntlets that in
life would have made him look ridiculous.

     His lidless eyes hung motionless in their sockets, but
Fearless Leader had no doubt that the thing that had once
been a President was taking his measure from the other side
of the room.

     "Richard Milhous Nixon," he gasped.

     NEXT ISSUE: Big black nemesis!  Parthenogenesis!
No one move a muscle as the dead come home...



     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid
     .... Saxon Brenton

     CAPTAIN CAPITALIZE.... SL859 at cc.usu.edu

     Fearless Leader.... Dave Van Domelen

     Grammer Lad.... Unknown

     Irony Man.... Doug Moran

     Kid Recap and Occultism Kid.... Josh Geurink

     LetterinG Man.... Charles F. Fitzgerald

     Limp-Asparagus Lad.... Robert "Mystic Mongoose"
     Armstrong, Saxon Brenton and wReam

     Master Blaster.... Robert Ramirez

     Minority Miss.... Lalo Martins

     Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy.... Jamas Enright

     Sarcastic Lad... Gary St. Lawrence

     Sister State-the-Obvious.... wReam

     Skunk Girl.... Ted "Phantasm" Brock

     Thesaurus Lass.... Gina "AC" Donahue

     Typo Lad.... Todd "Scavenger" Kogutt

     WikiBoy.... Tom Russell

     "Washington was first and he was perfect
     John Adams kept us out of war with France
     Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase
     In 1812, James Madison kicked the British in the pants

     James Monroe told Europe they could suck it
     John Quincy Adams looked just like his dad
     Andrew Jackson got rid of all the Indians
     Van Buren served one term, but he wasn't bad..."
         --Jonathan Coulton


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