LNH/HCC: Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #48 [HCC29]
saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Wed May 2 02:46:15 PDT 2012
[LNH/HCC] Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #48 [HCC29]
| |-| \
| |-|  / #48
| | |  egion of \ 'The Temp part 1'
| | | __     / (Part of High Concept Challenge #29)
| | | [___][ \et.__eroes \
| | | \ ] [ __ ] / written by and copyright 2012
| |-|     \ Saxon Brenton
| | Cover shows Nitpick Lad looking up from a clipboard and saying,
| | "This post contains the first half of this story. Despite promises
| | made to the HCC29 adjudicator that he would complete his entry if
| | he could only beg, borrow or illicitly clone a 48 hour extension,
| | *someone* got too wrapped up in writing the villains' dialogue and
| | ended up making the story longer.
| | "Also, the Surgeon General warns that this story contains
|_| dangerously high levels of gratuitous continuity references."
It was later in the same day that Anal-Retentive Archive Kid had
gone and picked a fight scene with the Apathy Beast and chased it off
[_End of Month Reviews_ #98 - Footnote Girl]. After that things had
gotten a bit hazy, and there had been reports of a duck packing heat...
Fortunately the LNH imprint is in continuity with pretty much
everything, so, yeah, in a fit of spite Psychovant had sent the Apathy
Beast chasing after his own Writer over in the Superhuman World imprint.
Some characters just cannot get on with their creators.
Retcon Lad dragged an orc into the medical bay. He stopped at the
bed where ARAK was recovering after the battle, pointed at the orc, and
"Heya, Retcon Lad," said Anal-Retentive Archive Kid cheerfully.
"I see you've met my replacement, Anal-Retentive Archive Kid II."
Retcon Lad stared at Anal-Retentive Archive Kid. Anal-Retentive
Archive Kid gazed calmly back at Retcon Lad. Anal-Retentive Archive
Kid II glanced around, since he'd never been in the medical bay of a
superhero headquarters before, and was mentally checking off all the
neat super-tech equipment that he'd heard about, such as an honest-
"Is this your idea of a joke?" asked Retcon Lad.
"Nope," said ARAK.
"Because if it is, I'm not laughing," Retcon Lad continued, as if
he hadn't been interrupted.
"It was Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy's idea," said ARAK II helpfully,
still looking about at the medical equipment.
Another confused frown moved onto Retcon Lad's face, elbowing aside
the one that had already been there. "Wait, you arranged this with
Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy? But he hates us... You in particular." Retcon
Lad gave ARAK a hard look. "Did you trick him again and not invite the
rest of us to watch?"
"I arranged nothing with Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy," said ARAK I
tartly. "Either directly or indirectly. It was all his own idea."
Anal-Retentive Archive Kid II looked up from where he'd been
examining a sonic lance and said, "We talked about it, and we think it
may be the influence caused by Irony Man's presence." Then the orc
looked at his predecessor and added, "But you didn't mention that you'd
tricked him to make him hate you."
"Modesty forbids," said ARAK I with a brief bow of his head - but
he had an amused look on his face, and it was obvious he was pleased.
"It was back during _Beige Midnight_, and the Bicycle Liberation Front
needed a plausible excuse to be put on detached duty so we could hunt
for a genie's lamp in the Middle East, so we tricked Irony Man and
OAB into sending us off into exile." [_Beige Midnight_ #1 - Footnote
Girl] Then his expression sobered and he added, "But, honestly,
Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy hates pretty much everyone who doesn't agree
with him on every last jot and tittle, or shape up to what his idea of
an Ame.rec.an patriot is. Like I said before..."
"Yes, yes. He's setting me up to fail," agreed ARAK II, drumming
his fingers thoughtfully on the bench top.
Retcon Lad watched this exchange with a look of bemusement. "What?"
Anal-Retentive Archive Kid looked at him with puzzlement. "Haven't
you seen this month's High Concept Challenge yet?"
Retcon Lad suddenly looked abashed. "Er, no." He rubbed the back
of his neck. "I've kind of lost track of them. What, there's a story
challenge that ties in to all of this?"
"Yes. Here," said Anal-Retentive Archive Kid II as he fished about
for a piece of paper in the pocket of his blue jeans. He wasn't wearing
a costume, but rather casual clothes that included a sweatshirt with the
Legion of Net.Heroes logo on it. ARAK I tended to wear the same sort
of clothing, of course, saving his official costume of figure-hugging
metastable weave for those occasions when he'd need something bullet
proof. He'd been wearing his costume when he'd fought the Apathy Beast
ARAK II handed over a printout, which Retcon Lad took and read.
It contained the text of the announcement of the 29th Challenge. "Oh,
you have got to be kidding me!" He looked pointedly at Anal-Retentive
Archive Kid. " 'Recast in the name of good?' "
"Not very subtle, is he, our Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy?" asked
ARAK I with a smirk.
"So what are you going to do about it?" demanded Retcon Lad.
"What do you mean, 'What am I going to do about it?'? I'm going to
let my replacement handle it, and then when it *doesn't* blow up in his
face like Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy expects, I'm going to radiate vast
amounts of smug."
Retcon Lad looked at ARAK II. "Do you want help?"
"Advice and answering questions would be appreciated."
"No. I mean..." and then Retcon Lad waggled his fingers in a
'mysterious occult power' type of way.
"No! I can handle things myself," protested ARAK II.
"Actually, it won't make a difference whether Retcon Lad retcons
things so that events work out to your advantage in the end," ARAK I
said. "Everyone knows we hang out together, so they'll assume he's done
a retcon anyway - no matter whether or not he has, and regardless of how
much we tell them otherwise."
To which ARAK II replied, "And I thought we'd already established
that neither of us care what Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy thinks. The point
is: I'll know."
Retcon Lad shook his head. "Knowing that all the elements will be
there to solve a puzzle if, and only if, you're smart enough to put them
together is totally different from knowing you'll solve it by fate
accompli." He snapped his fingers. "There. That should fix it."
ARAK II said nothing, merely giving Retcon Lad a droll look and a
I suppose we'd better get some villains into this story.
Downtown Net.tropolis, in a street that, by curious coincidence,
doesn't have saturation monitoring by closed circuit TV cameras.
Three Space Dvandoms appeared. Three little alien men with large
staring eyes, dressed in purple and with neatly trimmed van dyke style
The first one capered on the spot. "Ha ha! What mischief shall
we three do again, In thunder, lightning or in rain?"
The second Space Dvandom gave him a dope slap. "It's not raining,
"Ow! Prithee, nunckle. I am but trying to be suitably portentous."
"Well, you're failing. And for fscks sake stand up straight.
You'll only attract attention to us if you carry on like that."
The third Space Dvandom, who had been standing stock still as he
scanned the area, turned his head in a mechanical manner to look at the
other two and announced, "We must make our way to destroy the Legion of
Net.Heroes, as commanded by our creator and master, wReamicus Maximus."
[_Birth Of A Villain_ #27 indicated that wReamicus Maximus controlled
the Space Dvandoms. The information that they think he is their creator
is new to this story - Footnote Girl]
"Ha ha! Yes, yes!" cackled the first Space Dvandom, who rubbed his
hands together in a melodramatically villainous manner and declaimed,
"We shall sow chaos and confusion in the name of the Church of Dvandom,
and its leader, the great wReamicus Maximus... Ow!"
"Don't keep expositing information that we already know."
The third Space Dvandom simply ignored their shenanigans and
declared, "We will leave now." He marched out into the street to where
a pair of bright faced young evangelicals where passing by.
"Hello there, sir," one of them said. "Have you heard the good
news that the literary works mistakenly attributed to Shakespeare have
been proven to have been really written by Sir Francis Bacon?" The
Space Dvandom did not reply, instead duplicating the form of the young
man. As he did so his victim vanished, being cast into Comic Book Limbo.
The second evangelical went wide-eyed. "Wha?" But then another
Space Dvandom invaded his personal space by popping up beside him,
staring him in the face and exclaiming, "Hello there!" before
duplicating his shape as well.
The third Space Dvandom adjusted the cuffs on his suit as the final
member of their trio approached, having approppriated the form of a
vicious little old lady. "These forms are adequate for our purposes,"
he announced. "We shall now proceed to the Legion of Net.Heroes
headquarters and infiltrate it."
Anal-Retentive Archive Kid II and Retcon Lad had left the medical
bay. ARAK II was looking thoughtful again and said, "Can I ask you a
"I thought that was the reason I was here."
"I mean a personal question."
Retcon Lad shrugged, "If it's not too personal."
"I mean about him," ARAK II flicked a thumb gesture over his
shoulder and back towards the medical bay. "Is he always like that? So
friendly, I mean. When I first got this job, I went to find him and see
about the procedures for data acquisition, management, analysis and
everything - and I found out he hadn't even been aware that the position
had been open. It'd been advertised almost a week ago, so obviously
him being laid up after the fight with the Apathy Beast earlier today
couldn't have played a part in it..."
"Well... Not unless Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy had been given a heads
up by All-Knowing Last-Chance Whiner Destiny Woman," said Retcon Lad.
"But, yeah, that still doesn't change the fact that OAB was going behind
his back by not telling him."
"Right, right," said ARAK II. He frowned briefly, since that
fitted with his theory about why he'd received the job without an
interview. What better candidate to sabotage the reputation of Anal-
Retentive Archive Kid than by the actions of a new holder of the
codename who happened to be a big, dumb, blundering orc, right?
"Anyway, ARAK seemed a bit irritated at what was going on, but he
didn't actually get mad at me."
Retcon Lad gave him a surprised look. "Were you expecting him to?"
"Uhhm. I know he always used to like talking with people, and he
had a good reputation for partying because he brought his own home
brewed alcohol [for example, in _Master Blaster: Insufficient Postage_
(Special #3.1)_ - Footnote Girl]."
" 'Had' ?" said Retcon Lad, zeroing in on the past tense.
"Word is that after the hate plague [one of the ways that the public
refers to the attack by OMAR in the _Flame Wars 4_ miniseries - Footnote
Girl] he wasn't feeling up to being quite so social. And, you know, all
that, combined with the talk about the yelling matches he's gotten into
with Self-Righteous Preacher [a pretty good summary of what happened in
_Limp-Asparagus Lad_ #55 - Footnote Girl] or Occultism Kid [a vast
exaggeration of what happened in _LNH Comics Presents_ #506 - Footnote
Girl], not to mention the rumours that he was stalking that vampire chick
Elizabeth Greenvale [an out-and-out misinterpretation of what happened
in the _Anal-Retentive Archive Kid: A Judicious Use Of Overkill_
miniseries - Footnote Girl] and... Well, I was half expecting him to
jump out of his sick bed and punch me, broken bones or no broken bones."
"Ah, okay. Well, he did kind of go through a rough patch because
of what happened in the _Flame Wars 4_, so not feeling quite as social
is to be expected, I guess. And honestly, who wouldn't be ticked off
with the way some of the Christian groups on campus were saying it was
God's punishment for him being in a pagan faith [such as in _Anal-
Retentive Archive Kid_ #1 - Footnote Girl]. Those type of people
remind me of my dad, and frankly they make me embarrassed to be in the
same religion. But Wendle only really gets angry with people who have
proven to be long term problems. Usually he picks his enemies with
Anal-Retentive Archive Kid II nodded again. He more-or-less knew
all that. It was all public knowledge. Perhaps it was the case that
Retcon Lad didn't feel comfortable sharing too much of ARAK's personal
information to an unknown newcomer. Perhaps ARAK had kept a lot of his
personal information to himself. Perhaps perhaps perhaps... But there
was at least one other possibility that Anal-Retentive Archive Kid II
could think of that might bear investigation. He'd have to talk with
Cheesecake-Eater Lad about that. "I guess so," he said,
non-committally. "Anyway, I'd better get to work. The archiving won't
take care of itself."
"True. Just make sure you don't start working too late, trying to
clear any backlogs."
"Oh, no fear of that," said ARAK II. "I got this only today," he
said, taking out a DVD copy of Season five of _Blackadder_ and spinning
it around on one finger tip, "And I was planning on showing an episode
"Hey, cool. I vote for the wedding episode."
So, _Blackadder_, season five. You all know that in the Looniverse
they have all sorts of neat pop culture stuff that we can only dream of
here in Real Life, right?
[Yes, of course they do. They remember the six foot tall Totoro
plushies in _Legion of Occult Heroes_ #2 - Footnote Girl]
Set in the 1930s, Blackadder 5 followed the schemes of British peer
Edmund Blackadder to regain his family fortune - carefully built up
during the Roaring Twenties and then lost again in the 1929 stock market
crash. Although only barely getting by in genteel poverty, he was still
a member of the aristocracy, enabling him to move in the political and
social circles where he could meet (and secretly mock) everyone from
Winston Churchill to Oswald Mosley.
(On the screen Blackadder was agitatedly stalking around the room.
"What does that fool Edward think he's doing!?" he demanded rhetorically
of Baldrick. The current constitutional crisis with Edward VIII and
Wallis Simpson had him upset. "Why is he even *thinking* of abdicating
the throne!? It's a rock solid asset, and he's giving up for an easily
replaced frippery! For God's sake, doesn't the man understand that you
can *buy* love with enough money, but you can't earn an income with
(Baldrick looked at Blackadder and said, "I have a cunning plan."
Blackadder looked at him in contempt, but Baldrick continued: "If the
King is fighting the government about whether the people will accept
Wallis as the Queen, then you should convince him that the public will
accept her and get him to stand his ground. After the wedding they'll
be in the King's bad books and you'll be in a position to take
advantage of his gratitude."
("Oh don't be ridiculous..." Blackadder began to say reflexively,
then paused as he savoured the notion and finally said, "You know,
that's a very good idea...")
"Oh, this is not going to end well..." chuckled You're-Not-Hitting-
Me-Hard-Enough Lad. "Hey, where are the chips?"
"Here," said Frat Boy, and threw them at him.
"So, whos' up for... huh?" went Ubiquitous Boy as an alarm went off.
"Back to the grindstone," lamented YNHMHELad as he started to get
up off the sofa, when a vicious little old lady appeared at the door
to the rec.room and asked, "Have you boys heard the good news that
wReamicus Maximus brings you chaos and confusion?"
Everyone appearing here created by me, except for cameos by:
Frat Boy created by Uplink.
Ubiquitous Boy created by Rob Rogers.
You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad created by Arthur Spitzer.
Written for the 29th High Concept Challenge: 'Recast In The Name Of
Good, Ye Not Guilty' where a major protagonist is replaced with a new
Since this story has been split in half (oh please, let it only be
big enough to be split in half...) I'll make the compare and contrast
explicit: Both versions of Anal-Retentive Archive Kid are intellectuals.
Faced with any situation they'll automatically try to analyse it.
However, because of ARAK I's cultural context (violent American movies
and TV shows, plus membership a warrior oriented Norse neo-pagan
religion) he sometimes worries that he needs to be a bit more proactive/
assertive/aggressive in dealing with problems - which can lead to the
calculated overreaction that was depicted in the _Anal-Retentive
Archive Kid_ miniseries.
By contrast ARAK II comes from an even more violent orc culture, but
he's lost interest in violence as a social tool. At least at the moment
he's far more enamoured of outthinking his opponents. This is because
he's a fan of _Doctor Who_, and is an advocate of the interpretation that
the series is rare among action-adventure programmes in that it has a
protagonist who should belong to the Hero archetype, but instead belongs
to the Trickster archetype.
The premise and plot sample for _Blackadder_ season 5 were
brainstormed years ago during a more-than-usually off-the-wall session
of my Future Guys From The Past gaming group. Unfortunately after all
this time I can't recall who contributed what.
Saxon Brenton University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au saxonbrento at hotmail.com
"These 'no-nonsense' solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex
world of jet-powered apes and time-travel." - Superman, JLA Classified #3
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