LNH: Flame Wars Final: Second Phase #1

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Jun 3 22:47:24 PDT 2013

Literary Impossible and Prehistoric Productions present...

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            |   ^ ^ ^ ^  FLAME  ^ ^ ^ ^ ^  WARS  ^ ^ ^ ^   |
            |  ^ ^ ^ ^ ^       ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^      ^ ^ ^ ^ ^  |
            |   FFFFFFF IIIIIII NN   NN   AAAA   LL        |
 SECOND     |   FF        III   NNN  NN  AA  AA  LL        | NUMBER
      PHASE |   FFFFFF    III   NNNN NN AAAAAAAA LL        |        TWO
            |   FF        III   NN NNNN AA    AA LLLLLLL   |
            |   FF      IIIIIII NN  NNN AA    AA LLLLLLL   |
-  --------------------------------- --------------------------------  -


Just outside the orbit of the Looniearth's moon, Loona, the LNH 
Starship Jefferson shot forward, leaving a wake of hydrogen particles 
and micrometeorites.

On the bridge of the ship, Chaos Theory was humming math rock, piloting 
with one hand, and watching as conversation bounced back and forth 
across the room.

"...so," said Captain Continuity, "there's something approaching us 
*sideways* through *time*?"

"Through the layers of Hypertext Time, to be precise," said the light-
absorbing figure, who had introduced herself as Blackbody. "Burrowing 
its way across alternate histories and discarded realities... and very 
soon, in time and in meta-time, it will emerge into this reality."

"We know neither its form nor its nature," said the Ultimate Yogi. "But 
we have managed to read the time-waves and discern what happened the 
last time it emerged."

"Chaos," said Blackbody.

"And not the good kind!" volunteered Chaos Theory cheerfully.

"...indeed," said Blackbody, melodious voice acquiring a syncopation of 
distaste. "The Cosmic Balance was thrown entirely out of true. The twin 
worlds were shattered, and the Net.Gods, the New Mods, scattered to the 
galactic winds. Stars went out, and new, cold ones rose in their wake. 
The dreadmoon Hal'ahri swallowed its sister, and became the Ultimate 
Black Hole."

"It would have been worse, too, if the Multi-Tasker hadn't been there 
to force the Balance back into place," said Chaos Theory, cheer 
dampened just a touch. "But the effort spent it/them, leaving them/it 
to wander someplace not even anthropomorphic personifications know. And 
the replacement is callow yet, and focused on keeping Master Workload's 
schemes at bay."

"Uh-huh," said Minority Miss. "And we're gettin' this other cosmic 
thing, the Laziness, to help out with that."

"Yes," said Ultimate Ninja, raising one Ninja Eyebrow. "How are we to 
convince a hostile god-thing to help out?"

"Because it *isn't* hostile," said Chaos Theory, leaning in eagerly.

"Indeed," said the Ultimate Yogi. "That is what our studies of its 
actions through the cosmos found: The Laziness moves constantly, 
without apparent purpose. It only attacks when it happens to approach a 
system, and only those targets in range - but it uses its full force on 
them. And it keeps moving throughout the attack."

"In short," said Doctor Stomper, giving the rarer but no less potent 
Samureyebrow, "it's fleeing in fear and lashing out at anything in its 

"But who could make such a powerful being run in-- oh." Writer's Block 
Woman's eyes widened. "Ohhhhhh."

"Yes." said Blackbody. "It is the--"

"It's the Bryttle Brothers! I knew they'd return for vengeance!"

"Wh-- no!" It should be impossible for a perfectly featureless humanoid 
to look frustrated, but Blackbody was giving it a good try. "It is the 
greater threat we are attempting to stop!"

"Oh. Well, that makes sense too."

"Right you are, Blackie," said Chaos Theory, fingers twinkling over the 
controls. "Personally, I like to call it the Serious Business."

"That is a terribly vague and woefully silly name," Blackbody rebutted.

Cannon Fodder shrugged. "Seems appropriate, then."

"Woefully silly is about the least silly you can expect in the LNH," 
commented Substitute Lad.

"I quite like it!" said Writer's Block Woman.

"..." Blackbody put her palm over her nonexistent face. "In any case, 
yes. The Laziness flees, was born fleeing - born in the moment the... 
Serious Business... last emerged."

"Born when..." Captain Continuity furrowed his brow. "But in cosmic 
terms, that's an amazingly short time."

"Yes," said the Ultimate Yogi. "You could say that the Laziness is just 
a baby..."

"Isn't this just the same reveal as in the other story thread?" said 
Cannon Fodder skeptically.

"No, no," said Chaos Theory, shaking their head grandly. "Because you 


"So," said Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy, "do we know where the kid is?"

"Assuming that we have not yet changed this historical detail, the 
Messiah is in Keikhlasan Medical Center, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala 
Lumpur, Malaysia."

"Won't we... won't we just lead Anal-Retentive Archive Kid" (the name 
was suddenly painful on Contraption Man's tongue) "right to the 

"Doubtless he already knows - in the original timeline, very precise 
transport coordinates were applied. How they were acquired is another 
of the enduring mysteries."

"For when we arrive
In city amid monsoons
Do we have a plan?"

"We must rescue both the Messiah and the parents thereof." Irony Man 
reached up and tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear. "We must 
bring them on board the flight.thingee, where they will be safe, and 
take them into space, where, admittedly, they will be less safe."

"Ugggggh," said Francis Bacon Lass, putting her face in her hands. "So 
we're pulling a newborn and her parents into this."

"Better than leaving 'em to die," shrugged Cheesecake-Eater Lad. "But, 
uh, Irony Man, why are we going into space?"

"Well, you see..."


Back at the LNHQ, all of the LNHers had been given Memory Sticks and 
sent out... all but a few.

Pummelo fidgeted. Plot Hook Lad was standing in the center of the empty 
auditorium, stroking his chin and hmmm'ing. Standing nearby were 
Twitter, an LNHer he didn't know whose shoes seemed to be on fire (!?), 
and one of the really fantastically weird Agents. She/he/it was a 
Mesopotamian step pyramid, made of alternating white and gray lines, 
with text flowing around them like "In article j2l7098I3..." and 
"davethomas.edu!blackbox.net!uuuuuuc!...". There was an open eye - 
lashes and everything - floating above her/his/its peak, and big, 
chunky Mickey Mouse arms and legs sprouting from the sides and bottom.

"I don't know," said Plot Hook Lad, causing Pummelo to jump slightly 
and stop staring at the... person. "There's some form of plot hook for 
all of you right here, it seems." He turned to Twitter. "Can you think 
of anything that's happened recently that might be the center of a 

"Hmm..." She scratched behind her ear. "There was the fight with the 
Dark Killers Squad, heh, we've got Crossplay King down in the holding 
cells, and after that, S--" She gasped. "Sp33d-- I mean, Sandra! She's 
the only one in sickbay right now!"

Plot Hook Lad nodded. "Sounds like it. All of you--" He waved to the 
assembled beings. "--better check that out. I'm off to appear in the 
tie-ins!" He drew one of his fishing rods, snapped the line through the 
air, and zipped off, pulled at super-speed to his next appearance.

"Okay, Pummelo, Firewire, and--" She tilted her head, looking at the 
Agent's strange form. "...I'm sorry, what was your name?"

Usenet Prime wrote:
> I am Usenet Prime, the future evolution of this world and many
> others. Pleased to meet you!

"Uh... yes, me too. All right, this way!" Twitter shot down the 
hallway, just slow enough for the others to follow. Pummelo was full of 
questions ("This world and--"!?), but used up all his breath chasing 
after her.

Twitter burst through the double doors. "Sandra! It's okay! We're--"

Everything was calm and still. A cheerful "Beep! Beep!" emanated from 
the single occupied bed, whose single occupant stirred, sitting up. 
"Oh... hey."

"...hmmm." Twitter closed her eyes and raised a hand to her temple. 
Pummelo recognized it as Psychic Pose #3, which she'd mentioned on the 
trip in as part of her training to control her low-level telepathic 


Twitter took the doors that she'd worked so hard learning to keep 
closed and flung them wide open. The babble started up, and she 
listened, taking each thought and absorbing its meaning at inhuman 

Sandra Ellis @manicpixiespeedgirl
...in time. Hope I don't have to miss class for the third time this 
month, but I can't really be blamed me for it. Anyway, this is 

Candle in the Darkness @kidantibacterial
...first time in a big crossover since my failure. But I think I can do 
it. Just be cool, and don't blow shit up until she says it's okay...

Versus The World @theaaronanderson
...doing here? Hey, you wanted to be the hero. Sure, but I wanted 
social change. Yeah, but if cosmic evil wins, there won't be society 

Usenet Prime thought:
> A1.6   FTP to ftp.eyrie.org for the rec.arts.comics.creative
> archives, maintained by Russ Allbery. All LNH stories are
> automatically

Well, thought Twitter, nothing out of the ordinary. Even UP's seriously 
meta thought patterns weren't *too* weird. Maybe there really wasn't--

Corinne Kelley @crossplayer1994

That was odd. Just a flicker of--

Iconoclasm @stopreadingthis

...a flicker of...

Twitter grasped her Memory Stick with both hands.

Logan Xavier Summers @buttinsky

James James @atatatatat

First Pet Street You Grew Up On @capnquaaludes52
Network Nightmare @inmydomain
Paul Tremens @thechugmaster
The Other Hooded One @whowillwin
Fire Soul Bird @backagain


Twitter opened her eyes. "They're coming!"

"Who--" And then Pummelo could hear it. A distant THUMP-THUMP-THUMP, 
echoing through the floorboards.

Firewire said, "...isn't that coming from the holding cells in the 
first sub-basement? Where we keep net.villains until the Net.Conflict 
Unit of the police picks them up?"

A thoughtful pause.

Sandra pushed herself off the bed and said, "Who is... who *was* on 
guard duty?"

Usenet Prime wrote:
> Super Apathy Lad. However, once it was realized that he would be
> the perfect host for the Laziness, Contraption Man sealed him away
> for the duration of the conflict.

"Oh," said Sandra. "Well, that's a--"

Usenet Prime wrote:
> My apologies! That was the original timeline. In this one, he has
> become infused with the purest energies of the Laziness, and is
> releasing the villains after turning them into Servants of Sloth.

A thoughtful pause.



Author's Note: Permission for the Starship Jefferson gratefully gotten 
from Rob. Permission for Writer's Block Woman gratefully gotten from 
Jaelle! Also, I got permission for ARAK from Saxon, and also permission 
to resurrect Subplot Lad, and I think everyone else was Not Reserved or 
Free For Use, but thank you to the writers for putting them in those 

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, I think.

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