[LNH] [REPOST] Legion of Net.Heroes volume 2 #43: "Columbus Day!"

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Oct 10 05:34:01 PDT 2011


___ ___________________________
| |-|                          \
| |-| []                       /   #43:
| | | [] egion of              \ "Columbus Day!"
| | | []__ [] []   []  []      /
| | | [___][ \[]et.[]__[]eroes \
| | |      []\ ]   [ __ ]      / Written and copyright 2011
| |-|      [] []   []  []      \ Andrew Perron
| |-|__________________________/
| |
| | The oil-painting cover shows an epic battle on the decks and the 
| | rigging of a 16th-century ship.  Dozens of sailors are fighting, 
| | one crew looking noble in gold and white, the other dirty pirates 
| | in black and grey.  In the center, dueling atop the mast, are a 
| | pair of captains, crossing blades, their clothing and expressions 
| | iconic and representative of their crews.



[ Buenos Ai.rec, Argenti.net ]

Joaquin Aguirre, ten years old, sighed. "Well, here we are at the 
history museum.  Goody."

"All right, class!" His teacher, Sra. Alvarez, clapped her hands. 
"Today, we're going to see an exhibit about Christopher Columbus!"

Quino (as he was nicknamed by his peers) rolled his eyes. "Oh.  
Wonderful.  Because we don't do that every year."

Martina Torres, the girl who hung around him all the time and he did 
stuff with but he wouldn't really call a "friend" because, c'mon, 
*girl*, elbowed him and said, "Shut up.  I want to hear this even if 
you don't."

He rolled his eyes again, an exaggerated neck-roll going with it, and 
stepped back, leaning against the wall.

Sra. Alvarez hadn't noticed.  She pointed at the diorama of three ships 
on a stormy sea. "Christopher Columbus sailed from from Spain with 
three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.  He went all the 
way over the ocean and discovered the New World!"

Quino snorted. "Specifically, he discovered some random island in the 
Carribean.  By accident." His older brother talked about this stuff all 
the time, and Quino hung out with him as much as possible.  So far, the 
aura of cool had failed to rub off.

"He was the first European to meet the Native Americans!"

"He talked about using them as servants, kidnapped a bunch of them and 
dragged them back to Europe, and called them 'Indians' because he 
wouldn't admit he was half a planet away from where he'd been going."

"He lead his crew on four separate voyages!"

"His crew that he cheated, stole from, and hung for disobeying him."

"He's the one man most responsible for the world we know today, and 
that's why we celebrate Columbus Day!"

"Yeah, responsible for centuries of oppression, widespread social and 
economic equality, disease, racism..." Quino couldn't take any more.  
He looked around - no adults were watching. He slipped out of the room. 
"Columbus.  Tch.  Man, that guy can go to hell!"


[ Meanwhile, in the underworld... ]

A dark faerie made of silver and moonlight cackled fiendishly. "We of 
the Infortuhada are almost done with our machine to create monsters out 
of archetypes from the minds of humans!"

"Yes," replied another dark fae, like some kind of devilish moth. "But 
we must be careful, because negative, hateful energy will create 
monsters, but positive energy of joy and love will create heroic 

"Indeed!" said the first fae. "Now go, take this to the city of the 


"Muahaha!" said the mothlike fae, fluttering invisibly through the 
afternoon sky. "Little does my fellow bad guy know that when I, 
Diablilla, create the monster, I'll use it to destroy him first!"

"Actually," said a voice from nowhere, "I, Tiniebluna, do know, and I 
sent one of my minions to take you out mid-flight and use the machine 

"Well crap."

A dust devil sprang out of the air currents and wrapped Diablilla in a 
frenzied gust.  He spun out of control, frantically beating his wings 
just to have a chance of staying in the air.  His strange and magical 
faerie equivalent of lungs burned, and despite a white-knuckle grip, 
the machine started slipping from his fingers.

"Bah!" he spat in the dust devil's face. "If Diablilla cannot have it, 
Tiniebluna certainly cannot!" And he tossed the machine away, letting 
it arc towards the ground below...


Quino slipped out of the building, grumbling all the way.  He stuck his 
hands in his pockets and walked around the side of the building, over 
where the shady picnic tables were.  He flopped down and took off his 
backpack. "Maybe I'll just eat lunch now.  Take *that*, Columbus!  
...I'm so lame."

Suddenly, there was a crash! as something rammed through the branches 
of a tree.  Quino jumped back as it crashed into the ground, kicking up 
a line of sod. "What the--" He spoke a string of words that even his 
older brother didn't know he knew.

After a few moments of silence and birds singing, Quino relaxed.  He 
scooted forward on the bench, keeping a careful eye on the machine, and 
hopped off onto the grass.  He picked up a fallen branch and knelt down 
in front of the machine, poking it lightly. "What *is* this?  Some sort 
of space junk?"

When it failed to respond to pokery, Quino reached out for it. "I 
wonder if--"

As his hand came in contact with the metal, the city shuddered.  The 
energy of hate, of fear, of resentment, of grief, swirled like a great 
funnel cloud, with the locus of the storm centered on Quino.  The 
machine filtered the negative energy through his mind at high velocity, 
getting an impression of his thoughts, giving it shape and form and 

With a booming silence, a figure appeared.  Stretching up five stories 
tall, wearing a great black coat stained with dirt, drink and blood, 
fierce and cruel in visage with several missing teeth, dark, unsmiling 
eyes, and a tangled beard under a wide hat.  In one hand, he held a 
bloody sword; in the other, a severed head.  With a roar, he crushed 
one of the cars parked on the street into a flattened mass.

Quino blinked, his mind feeling more than a bit mushy.  He looked up at 
the towering apparition. "...holy crap."

The immense man let out a shout of wordless rage.  People on the 
sidewalk screamed and ran.  He ripped a fire hydrant out of the ground 
and tossed it into a tree.

"What's going on!?"

Quito felt a pulse of coolness beneath his hand, and a whisper traveled 
up from the machine into his head. ~ you have created an Archetype 
Monster of the hidden hates of the people ~

"*I* did this?"

~ your frustration and anger shaped it ~~~ creating a construct you 
would label as ~~~ Evil Columbus ~

Quino swallowed.  His mouth was suddenly dry. "Well... well, how do I 
undo it?"

~ the best way to dispel negative-energy constructs is with positive 
energy ~

"You mean..." He felt a sudden, horrible certainty. "You have to cancel 
it out, with... something people like?"

~ something that brings them joy and pride ~

"...crap." Quino put his face in his hand and shook his head.  Oh, he 
knew what people had pride in, all right.

He closed his eyes, putting both hands on the machine, trying to ignore 
the great, thudding steps of the monstrous Columbus.  This was going to 
be hard.

He took a deep breath, and tried to let go.  He didn't have anything to 
be angry about.  What's past is past.  He was just a kid, like everyone 
kept trying to tell him.  No worries, no cares, he lived in the now...

Now he had to remember.  Remember a time long ago, when he had been 
innocent, when the parades and the celebrations had just been fun.  
When he'd first heard of the name and saw the globe and the ships and 
imagined what it must be like to travel and explore and see new lands 
and meet new people, to find a whole new world...

The machine vibrated under his hands.  Little puffs of lingering hate 
were driven out, as a faint, coruscating iridescence spread over the 
metal surface.  The great Evil Columbus turned toward this sparkle as 
it grew into a gleaming light.  He stalked toward it, intent on 
destroying the annoying glare, but it expanded out until it was 

When the light faded, there stood a figure.  Standing straight five 
stories tall, he gleamed in a golden longcoat, buckled securely over a 
white shirt and trousers with just a hint of ruffles.  He looked over 
the city with a sparkling smile and a wise gaze.  The left side of his 
belt held a golden telescope, and the right, a golden sextant.

The Evil Columbus snarled and swung his blade.  The Good Columbus 
sidestepped it gracefully, catching the arm and delivering a sock to 
the chin.  Evil Columbus frothed in rage and bit down on Good 
Columbus's arm.  They swung about, locked in combat, kicking and 
punching and stabbing and shouting.  Their furious motion redoubled, 
directed into a smaller and smaller area; both began to deform, to 
collapse, imploding with a rumble and a flash!

Nothing was left of the two but a dissipating cloud.  Quino let out a 
breath of relief.

He looked around at the damage.  Maybe this machine could fix it 

He felt a pulse up his arm. ~ archetype creation system overloaded ~~~ 
entering physical form to heal ~

In a cloud of sparkles, the metal disintegrated into rust, leaving only 
a semi-solid cloud that leaped towards Quino's chest and vanished.

He blinked. "...oh, boy."


Tiniebluna pounded an insubstantial wall. "Thanks to that addlepated 
paddlepuss, the machine has merged with a mortal!"

A pair of bright red eyes gleamed in the dark of the underworld. "Well, 
then, we will have to test that mortality... *personally*."


Author's Notes: A random tale, inspired by my file of jotted-down 
ideas.  Didn't mean for it to be quite so to-be-continued, but that's 
how it shook out!  If someone wants to use Joaquin, I'd be cool with 
that! He goes on the Not Reserved list.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, fun times with metaphors!

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