LNH20: LNH20 Comics Presents #16: The Spoon of Destiny Saga Part 16: "You Too Are Mortal"
pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 21:35:25 PDT 2012
LNH20 Comics Presents #16
The Spoon of Destiny Saga Part 16: "You Too Are Mortal"
Chapter 16 in a chaotic add-on cascade
By Andrew Perron
Specifically, the neighborhood of New Bundelkhand, founded by Captain
Nemo after he was brought forward in time by the Network in 1967,
established in the spirit of being low-rent without being low-
opportunity. During the Killfile, it had gone into what the editor of
one high school paper had described as "a death spiral, formed and
fueled by the monied interests that gnaw and rend endlessly at the
foundations of our community!" Since the Killfile fell, however, it had
undergone a miniature renaissance, and begun to attract small
In a rented office in a red-brick building on a side street between a
bookstore and a gyro place, that aforementioned editor had created just
such a business - a newsblog under the proud banner of the Net.ropolis
Exclaimer. And within, Bob Melwitzcht, the master of the Exclaimer,
screamed into the telephone.
"How do you not have anything yet? The goddamn city is in the clouds! A
jetliner just buzzed the Netropolitan Opera! Panic is spreading like
wildfire! Hey, that's good..." He jotted down a line or two on a pad of
sticky notes, then returned to yelling.
"Twitter's got better coverage than we do! The people want to know
what's going on, and what the Legion's doing about it!" He listened
impatiently to the voice on the other end. "Look, just get me pictures!
Grainy webcam photos! Polaroids from a camera made in 1987! Instagram!
Anything! Yeah? Yeah? What've you got? ...a GIF of a fox on a
trampoline. That's cute. I hate cute! I need pictures! Pictures of
He slammed the receiver down, the vintage phone having been purchased
specifically for satisfying slamming. Taking a deep breath, he snatched
up one of the caramel-stuffed figs colored to look like cigars he'd
bought off Etsy, bit off the end, and stuck it in his mouth. He paced
up and down the room.
Net.heroes. Net.villains. And a city - hell, a world - smack dab in the
Some of his critics - and not a few of his reporters - thought he hated
the net.heroes. Actually, he cared about them deeply. That was the
He looked out the window. Far down the street, he could just see the
police barricade blocking off the edge of the city. His mind wandered
back to the 20th century...
It was 1995. He was asleep, and awoke to a great booming explosion. He
could see shards of glass glinting on his floor, but his walls were
He tossed his blanket over the glass and peered out the window. He
could see shadowy figures dancing around the flamelight. A net.hero
Suddenly there was a face! He startled back, and fell on his butt.
"Hey, kid," it-- she-- said. "You okay?"
He nodded, dumbly.
"Okay," she said. She turned to look at the fire and he caught a
glimpse of her face. She turned back. "I'm gonna check on your parents.
Don't worry, we've got it under-- SHIT!"
In that half-second, an enormous, slavering monster appeared in front
He shouted, running back on his hands and knees, bits of glass digging
into him through the blanket. Then he realized that the monster had
frozen in midair, the hero raising her sword in front of it, energy
pulsing from her gauntlets. She looked over her shoulder at him.
"Don't worry! You're safe." She winked.
It was 1999.
He was looking at that same face. It was displaying on all four of the
giant TV screens in Kubert Square, twisted in rage, ranting and raving.
About how the plan was already in motion. About how the net.heroes had
gone too far. About how we would soon be rid of them.
He had long ago learned the name behind the face. It was Captain
He shook his head, and he was back in the present. But his thoughts
The net.heroes were, generally speaking, good people - but they were
people. Flawed human beings. And when you put enormous cosmic power in
the hands of humans... it need to be watched.
He reached up on the wall and took down the sword he'd mounted there.
After Captain Killfile and the Saviors of the Net had disappeared, he'd
found it - miles away, right in his path, it'd found its way to him.
And that day, he realized what it meant.
He brushed his hand lightly over the blade. He would never wield it in
battle, but that wasn't his duty. He replaced it on the wall and tied
on the single strand of his hair.
Who watched the watchmen? What hung over their heads and kept them
The Sword of Damocles.
Killswitch woke up in the infirmary.
He stared at the ceiling. What--
And then it came crashing back. Oh... fudge. He wondered what had
happened with the Spoon and... and... and whoever else had been
involved. Well, the LNHQ was still in one piece, so it wasn't an
Kindle checked him out. His wounds were gone - probably, she thought,
because the Spoon energy in them responded to thought and
retcotherically healed him, but who even fracking knew? He thanked her
and staggered out into the hall.
The rest of the Espionage Squad was filing into the Exposition Annex.
Killswitch fell into line behind them.
He zoned out a bit during the debriefing. Whatever Kid Enthusiastic and
his team had been doing before they'd gotten there, it sounded really
complicated. But he snapped to attention when Fearless Leader said,
"Open the gate and you freeze the world? What the heck does that mean?"
He stood dumbstruck (thus allowing Kid Enthusiastic to make his meta-
comment about how the Espionage Squad wasn't getting to do much). It
wasn't that he was remembering so much; he was plunged, mind and body,
into a world he had never seen but had been dimly aware of. It had
been cold... he had been cold... his brain floating like a chunk of ice
in a sea of slush. And then the warmth had risen, and he had woken up...
(Did you ever notice how I really seem to like these ponderous passages
describing sensations in broad terms? I also like parenthetical
insertions and deflating tension! Well, enjoy the story!)
Killswitch was knocked out of his reverie by the sudden and terrifying
appearance of a flaming dragon, followed by its equally sudden and
terrifying disappearance and a thunderous crack.
He fell abruptly on his rear, and his ears rang. He looked up, and
could see people's mouths moving. He stuck his pinky in and twirled it
"...but where there's smoke, there's fire," said Lass Dragon. "And
where there's dragonflame, there's a dragon."
"I... I lost it," said Constantly-Loses-Things Lad, pulling himself off
the floor. "I'm sorry. But I know where it is... it's in sub-basement
Sub-basement 57? That was worse than the dragon! "From what I heard, no
one has ever been below Sub-Basement 33 and come back," Killswitch said.
"Well, there's a first time for everything," said Fearless Leader. He
explained how they would proceed. Killswitch probed his memory. Did he
have memories of his coma - memories of the Killfile? Did "freezing the
world" mean bringing it back?
So totally engrossed in his own thoughts was he that he completely
missed the revelation of Lindsey Gensym and the continued existence of
Lurking Girl. But he kept an ear open, and a corner of his brain poked
him that they were talking about the Spoon again.
"So the gate Mr. Morrison was talking about was the Gate to Ava.LAN,"
said Professor Penumbra. "The Spoon is the Gate. It's an artifact from
outside of time and space that exists in both worlds, but here it's
been split into different aspects. If you join them all together it
will merge with its counterpart and open the Gate."
That made sense, he supposed, and explained how there could be multiple
Spoons. So all they had to do is bring together the Spoons, and then
Open the Gate. Freeze the World.
And suddenly, he knew. When he held the Spoon, when he had wielded it
against that thing in the shape of a man, he had felt it, a great,
cold, throbbing presence on the other end.
"Probably if we get our hands on the dragon's Spoon and join it with
the ones we've got, it'll be easier to find the others. That's what's
causing this whole convoluted thing. They're trying to come together."
Trying to come together and relieve the pressure and unleash the
Killfile into the world.
He opened his mouth to speak... and stopped. A tingling doubt suddenly
manifested itself: Would they believe him?
He didn't really have any evidence - just what he felt and what he
knew. He doubted that would be enough to convince anyone (especially,
his underthoughts whispered, because they don't trust you they've never
trusted you you're just a reminder a leftover everything they fear
everything you fear)... yeah. But, on the other hand, he couldn't just
let the world be frozen...
The rest of the Espionage Squad trooped out of the room behind Fearless
Leader - no doubt to get the other Spoon from the dragon. Meanwhile,
Kid Enthusiastic had taken the merged Spoon and was carefully putting
it inside a padded crystal sphere.
Killswitch tensed. He knew that, whatever happened, he couldn't let the
Spoons merge. If he could just get his hands on this one... but how?
Kid E was one of the most experienced and most intelligent members of
the Legion, constantly surrounded by high-tech machinery. It would
take some sort of complex Machiavellian plan to trick him, even for a
Killswitch walked up and said, "Can I see that?"
Kid Enthusiastic said, "Oh sure!" and handed it to him.
Behind him, he could hear someone shout, "Hey! He didn't even say
Beyond the endlessly bifurcating barriers of reality, in the
holographic halls of the Perceptory, the Elder Gods congratulated
Mister Morrison on a successful mission. The Spoon of Destiny would be
brought together and unleash the Killfile, which would both remove the
Spoon from the board and take care of whatever problem or crisis
Earth-20's Anthropomorphic Personification of Time had been nattering
It was to be expected, of course; she was a junior member, and they
tended to rant and rave about whatever cosmic crisis was approaching
next. But such lack of composure was unseemly for the Elder Gods, and
after all, it wasn't as if any such thing could affect *them*.
The course was locked in. Of course, the mortals would play their part.
It was now destiny.
Author's Note: Whew. Done. @.@ Would someone who's not me or Adrian
like to pick up at this point?
Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, let's move toward endgame!
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