RACCCAFE: The New Crowd

Adrian James McClure lord_soldeed at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 19 12:12:41 PST 2011

But not everyone in the RACCCafe was happy. "I can't believe it!" said
Example-Character Lad, downing his fifth gin and tonic. "They're
rebooting the Legion and I'm shut out of it AGAIN!"

"It's OK," said Liefeld's Porpoise, "So am I. Our authors are gone and
don't even remember we exist. That's OK, it happens sometimes. Someday
it'll probably happen to a lot of the new characters too. Maybe we'll
get a cameo in Beige Midnight or something. Just be thankful we're
unreserved LNH characters, not people from other imprints that got
abandoned." He pointed at the Eleck Press characters who were playing
pool nearby.

"But... but... I'm not even a real LNH character! My author refused to
write me in! And so I am lost and alone, exiled forever outside of
reality. But the ones who did this will pay. They'll all pay. Someday,
I, Example-Character Lad, will destroy them all!"

"Whoa, wait a minute," said the Porpoise. "First of all, you're a
superhero, not a supervillain. Secondly, no one can actually die here
because there's no continuity."

"Of course," snarled Example-Character Lad. "Unless..." He left his
seat, swaying a little unsteadlily, then dashed over to the Plot
Convenience Store, tripping over himself only once or twice.

Within a few hours he was standing alone in a back room of the cafe,
an eldritch tome on a podium in front of him and a ceremonial knife in
his hand. He had bought them at the plot convenience store. Actually,
he'd bought two tomes because they were having a sale; he wasn't
really sure what he would do with the other one. But it didn't matter.
Soon he would have his revenge!

He beheld the occult circle drawn in blood. (Which wasn't very hard to
obtain given all the fights that were constantly breaking out in the
Cafe.) "By the terrible tentacles of Net.thulhu... By the Eye of
N'ghrlkzhrrt the Unpronounceable... I summon thee... DEATH!"

A cloud of pungent dark smoke began to form within the circle. It
stung Example-Character Lad's eyes, but he dared not close them, for
if he did the ritual would be disrupted and he dared not even imagine
the consequences. He saw a human figure begin to take shape within the
smoke. When it cleared, there was a tall, scrawny blond man in a
distinguished suit that was one size too big for him. "Was there some
kind of mistake?" said Example-Character Lad. "Where's Death?"

"Ahem," said the new arrival. "I AM Death. Do you need to see my

"Oh. You're the new one. Right. Anyway... I, Example-Character Lad,
command thee to destroy all the reboot authors!"

"I see no reason why I should follow your command," said Death. "You
are not an officially licensed necromancer or theurge. You also seem
to be showing me very little in the way of appropriate respect for an
Anthropomorphic Personification."

"Ah, yes, well..." Example-Character Lad was beginning to sweat.
"Well... You're mad at your world because people keep coming back from
the death, right?"

Death said nothing, but the scowl on his face spoke volumes.

"Well, that's the writers' fault, isn't it? If you killed them all,
you wouldn't have to worry about that anymore."

"Hmmm," said Death. "That idea is worth serious consideration." He
stepped out of the circle and opened the door.

Then he saw what was going on outside.

Doc Nostalgia was simultaneously arm-wrestling Webster and Webs Tor
with both his arms. Hans Kartoffelkopf and the Spooky Tank crew were
trying to pin a tail on an entirely naked Tom Russell, who was running
around laughing. Cheesecake-Eater Lad took a sip, realized he had
drunk a froppocino, and then his head exploded. Then it was
immediately there again because there was no continuity.

Death screamed. Then he closed the door and made his best attempt to
put on his former unflappable demeanor. It wasn't entirely successful.

"I'm afraid this dimension is outside my purview," said Death, who was
breathing rather heavily. "I'm... I..." Then he screamed again. "I'm
leaving! And I'm never coming back! My own world is bad enough, I'm
not even touching this one." Then he was gone, and Example-Character
Lad wept.


It was late at night. Well, there wasn't really much in the way of
time at RACCCafe, but it felt late at night. Example-Character Lad had
just drunk his fifth froppucino. Having one's head explode had a way
of driving one's other troubles out of one's mind. But even after five
times, he still couldn't get over the sheer injustice of it all.

That was when he realized there was someone sitting next to him. More
specifically, that was when he realized there was an incredibly
beautiful woman sitting next to him.

"Hi," he said, weakly and barely audible. The woman didn't stir. He
tried again. "Um... hi?" This time she took notice and turned her

"You... you actually noticed me?" Her voice was quiet and weak, as if
she hadn't had a chance to use it in a very long time.

"You... uh... you seem very noticeable to me," said Example-Character

"Thanks." She smiled at him. A certain confidence entered her voice
and posture, something that perhaps had once been natural to her but
had left her long ago. She turned and looked at him, and he saw that
her eyes were the most astonishing shade of blue. "I'm Penny Bikini.
The Sensational Silver Sparrow."

"Can't remember you. Sorry." She seemed saddened, but not surprised.
"Were you from Omega? Crossroads? Patrol?"

"Nope. I wish. I'm a Tom Russell character from when he first joined
RACC as a teenager."

"Oh. I'm sorry. Well, they're using a lot of you people in the new
LNH. Maybe you'll get a shot there."

"I'm... I'm not an LNH character. I'm from something called Magpie,
which he started and then completely forgot about. The current author
wouldn't even have remembered me if he hadn't been reading the early
RACCCafe posts on the Archive instead of working on his first issue. I
remember back in the day, I used to get into get into mud wrestling
flights with Jennifer Frost. Now she's going to be a major player in
the Legion and I'm still stuck here. I'm the Royce da 5'9" to her

"It's all right." Example-Character Lad smiled weakly. "I'm in the
same boat. I'm a fake character made up for a discussion of the rules
of RACCCafe who got turned into a real character for the sake of a
cheap joke. I want my own series and can never get it. That's the only
thing that defines me. But hey, at least we're stuck here together,
right? Cheers."

"Cheers." They clinked their glasses together and took a sip. Example-
Character Lad's face was flushed. He knew it was probably a bad idea
to ask her. But... He'd managed to successfully summon Death, hadn't
he? Even if the result hadn't been what he'd hoped. "I... Penny, are
you seeing anyone?"

She looked away from him and fidgeted. "Um... Well... You seem like a
really sweet guy but you're not my type. Sorry. But, uh, we can be
friends, right?"

Example-Character Lad screamed. He leaped out of his seat and ran to
the other side of the room. "You... you..." Then he wondered who he
wanted to insult. Who was the current writer, anyway? Then it hit him.
The use of obscure characters probably better left forgotten,
especially ones Tom Russell had made up. The vague metaphysical
bullshit. There could only be one person writing this episode. An
author who brought unrequited love into everything he did.


"That was a great movie," slurred Squidman.

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