LNH: Flame Wars Final: Second Phase #2

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Jun 4 22:25:36 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   |
-  --------------------------------- --------------------------------  -

The air was hot and humid as the flight.thingee hovered above 
Keikhlasan Medical Center. Everything seemed still and quiet in the 
afternoon sun.

Irony Man landed on the helipad after transmitting the LNH's Net.hero 
Organization Permission Authorization Direct Defense Initiative 
Negotiated Glyph (part of an international agreement passed after the 
end of the Hex administration).

"All right," said Irony Man, opening the landing steps. "We simply need 
to visit the maternity ward, explain the situation to the Messiah's 
parents, bring them to the flight.thingee, and take off."

This got several nods, but Francis Bacon Lass raised her hand.


"Er... how are we supposed to know which one's the Messiah?"

"Ah, of course." Irony Man passed out pictures - wedding photographs, 
candid shots, ID photos. "Images of the Messiah's parents were 
difficult to come by, but a few remained in scattered records." She 
pointed to a woman who was holding a salad and laughing. "Her mother, 
Maimouna binti Jaya." She pointed to a man who had just had a bucket of 
water dumped over his head. "Her father, Izzat bin Zachary." She passed 
out the rest. "The Messiah herself is named Amina Mega binti Izzat, or 
at least, that was the plan. Let us make sure it stays that way."

They made their way down the clean white corridors. Patients and staff 
alike gaped. Casey had to remind himself that this was a natural 
reaction. This wasn't Net.ropolis; most of these people had never even 
seen a net.hero in person. (Or a gorilla, for that matter.) In all of 
Malaysia, there was only one major net.hero team and a few independents.

"Here is the maternity ward," said Irony Man. "I've radioed ahead--"

Casey became aware of a man quietly but insistently clearing his 
throat. The group turned to find a short man, wearing glasses and a 
suit, looking up at them with an expression that clearly read 
"terrified but trying not to show it".

"Excuse me," he said in thickly accented but grammatically perfect 
English. "I believe we are speaking about my wife and child."

Casey's eyes flickered to Contraption Man's, which flickered to 
Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy's, which flickered to Francis Bacon Lass's, 
which flickered to Haiku Gorilla's, which flickered to Cheesecake-Eater 
Lad's. Then they turned as one to look at Irony Man.

"Sir," said Irony Man, "congratulations. You have confirmed what most 
parents merely suspect: that your child is intended for a great 

Izzat (Mr. Izzat? Mr. Zachary? Casey wasn't sure) looked lost and 
vulnerable, but raised his chin to Irony Man. "Could you please tell me 
what is going on?"

Casey leapt on the man, knocking him out of the way with a startled 
yelp. Anal-Retentive Archive Kid ran in and took two shots, but the 
bullets whizzed through the space where Izzat had been standing and 
embedded themselves in Irony Man's armor, which rippled and absorbed 
them, leaving not a trace.

"NnnnNNNngh," said ARAK through gritted teeth. He raised the Cosmic 
Cataloguing Tool and a burst of blindingly stylized radiation obscured 
him; when it cleared, he was gone.

Irony Man looked in the direction he'd left. "More than likely off 
setting up a trap. Indeed, such a blatant attack was unexpected..." She 
looked down at Casey. "Excellent work." Then she turned and proceeded 
into the maternity ward.

Contraption Man stood, frozen, halfway through drawing his pistol. It 
had happened so quickly... He turned to Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy, gaping 
and red-faced. "Did he look weird to you?"

OAB closed his mouth and turned to him, obviously grateful to have a 
target for his impotent rage. "Oh, no, murdering innocent bystanders is 
perfectly normal for Wendle. It's just a little hobby of his."

Contraption Man shook his head absently. "No, like... he wasn't 


Pummelo ran, and looked over his shoulder. From the doors to the LNHQ's 
sub-basements, net.villains were slowly, inevitably streaming.

Now that he was protected by the Memory Stick, he could see the effects 
of the Laziness. The apathized villains' outfits had turned purple and 
gray, and for that matter, their skin seemed to have taken on a grayish 
pallor. Their personal symbols had been replaced by a highly 
merchandisable symbol of a rounded letter L in a rounded square. They 
moved begrudgingly but unceasingly, and somehow, were gaining on them.

Actually, come to think... why were they running? They couldn't just 
clear out and leave the Servants of Sloth to get on with it! They had 
to make a stand!

Pummelo turned and hefted his Memory Stick. He glared at the oncoming 
horde and, with a shout, charged at full--

And suddenly he spun around and sat down and was in a medium-sized 
little red wagon being pulled by the speedsters.

"Wh--" he sputtered. "Hey, we have to fight--"

explained Twitter without pausing for breath.

"...oh." Pummelo could feel his cheeks heating up.

Firewire glanced over at him. "'s cool, dude." He smiled.

Pummelo smiled back, a bit, and shifted in his seat. "So where do we 

Sandra pulled out a wrap from her pocket and scarfed the whole thing 
down in one go. She swallowed and said, "Dunno, but we better hurry - 
they're trying to block us off!"

Usenet Prime wrote:
> Excuse me, but if you'll permit, my memory is *very* good, and I
> have an idea...


The Starship Jefferson drew across interplanetary space, past the great 
cold bulk of Neptune.

The heroes spent the time in different ways. Blackbody navigated, with 
Captain Continuity keeping watch on defenses. Doctor Stomper gathered 
readings of the interplanetary medium to send to his friends in the 
interational astronomical community. Writer's Block Woman was reading a 
trademark-free adaptation of Firefly slashfic. Substitute Lad, Minority 
Miss, Cannon Fodder and Chaos Theory were playing Magic: The Gathering. 
(CT's coinflip-heavy Krark's Thumb deck was surprisingly effective.)

Ultimate Ninja sat to the rear of the bridge, legs crossed, eyes 
closed, deep in meditation. Eventually, he came to sense a presence 
next to him. He drew himself out of stillness and looked up. The 
Ultimate Yogi was standing there, motionless, looking over the bridge 
and smiling. Then he looked down, and met UN's attention. He sat down 
across from him.

"I must admit," said UN, "I would have expected from your name that you 
would meditate before a great conflict."

UY smiled. "Meditation is a prior era's best guess at an effective 
spiritual technique. It is no bad guess, but I know many others. And I 
would not miss a chance to observe the humanity of your era."


A ping! rang out across the bridge. Blackbody said, "Within sensor 
range of our destination. Bringing visuals to viewscreen."

The team came together to look at the massive structure.

"Is that whole thing the Laziness?" asked Minority Miss.

Chaos Theory shook his head. "It's a sorta shell, built up as yet 
another defense against whatever."

"It looks very... rounded," said Captain Continuity.

"With really soft edges," Substitute Lad observed.

"...wait a minute," said Cannon Fodder, squinting at the screen. 
"That's a blanket fort!"

"Pillows *and* blankets, to be precise," said the Ultimate Yogi, 
stepping forward. "As I said, its nature is still very childlike."

Cannon Fodder rolled his eyes. "Well, if that's its only defense, this 
mission is--" THUMP! KZOW! The ship (or perhaps just the camera) shook.

"I think there just might be other defenses," noted Doctor Stomper as 
he hung onto the rail.

"Battlestations!" said Ultimate Ninja. "Shields to full! Weapons 
charged! Seatbelts on!"

"Poor dear," murmured Writer's Block Woman. "It won't let anyone even 
get close..."

Cannon Fodder grinned. "That's why it's time for some tough love."

"We're going in!"


Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, no notes this time!

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