LNH: Flame Wars Final: Second Phase #7

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Jun 9 21:08:19 PDT 2013

Literary Impossible and Prehistoric Productions present...

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

The flight.thingee shook as it arced at supersonic speeds over the 
Paci.fanfic Ocean.

"We're losing structural integrity!" shouted Francis Bacon Lass, 
staring at the readouts. "That thing's tearing the wing apart!"

"Forcefields have kicked in!" shouted Haiku Gorilla.
Protection, but only a
robin's eggshell thick!"

In Casey's mind, sirens were wailing. He felt sluggish. "What... what's 
going on..."

"The beginning of the end," said Irony Man, extending a gun and 
pointing it right through the hull. "Or, based on perspective, the end 
of the second act." She narrowed her eyes and pulled the trigger. 
Neither solid projectile nor energy beam shot from the barrel, but 
outside there was an enraged howl.

"He's attacking us somehow," said Contraption Man, tending to Anal-
Retentive Archive Kid. "Mister 9."

"How!?" said Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy, standing next to the Messiah's 
parents, trying to assume a defensive pose in every direction at once. 
"He needs a body!"

Irony Man's gaze tracked through the shell of the flight.thingee. "The 
Serious Business."

"The greater threat you told us about offscreen?" said Cheesecake-Eater 
Lad, hovering near the navigational controls.

"Indeed. It is manifesting, as the Serious Businessmen."

"They're screaming..." said Casey. Suddenly, a horrendous screech of 
rending metal echoed through the flight.thingee.

"He's tearing out the landing gear!" shouted Francis Bacon Lass.

Irony Man swiveled and pointed the gun straight down, firing once, 
twice, three times a load of psychic charge. There was a great shout of 
pain that rapidly dropped off.

"The danger has passed," reported Haiku Gorilla,
"young robin fallen from nest,
but we cannot land."

"Net.ropolis is on the west coast this week!" said Cheesecake-Eater 
Lad. "We're coming up on it fast!"

Irony Man's eyes went distant for a moment. She called out, "Enter 
landing coordinates at 227 West Broad Street and brace for impact."

"Of course!" said Contraption Man. "The Biggest Foam Rubber Cube in the 
World!" A tourist attraction, it had been formed when the Mattress 
Queen had goofed while setting up in an old abandoned factory and had 
foiled her own plan before the LNH even got there.

Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy and Francis Bacon Lass strapped the still-
comfortably-napping Messiah and her parents into protective webbing, 
then hooked themselves in on either side. Contraption Man took care of 
ARAK, and Haiku Gorilla helped Casey stumble into a seat. Cheesecake-
Eater Lad punched in the coordinates and strapped in. And Irony Man sat 
down at the controls.

"Uh," said Francis Bacon Lass, "are you...?"

"Inertial dampeners," said Irony Man. "Braking in three, two, one."

Thrusters fired, and G-forces pressed against their bodies. The Messiah 
yawned, shifted, and turned over. Casey swallowed, and his ears popped. 
The flight.thingee shed momentum as fast as it could until--

TH-BOI-OI-OI-OING! The flight.thingee plowed into the cube; it 
compressed, then snapped back, bouncing them into the air and back down 
until the undulating waves of energy stilled.

All was silent for a moment. Then: "All clear," Irony Man called. They 
shook themselves and climbed out of the webbing. Casey's headache 
hadn't gone, but it had eased until it was bearable, a continuous 
shrill scream in the back of his head.

"We have to make it to LNHQ," said Irony Man.

"But we're all the way out in the suburbs," commented Francis Bacon 

"Indeed. We shall have to take..."

Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy gasped. "No!"



Pummelo emerged from LNHQ, blinking in the daylight.

Twitter shouted, "There!" One of the Servants of Sloth - and it was 
fighting one of the Serious Businessmen!

Close up, the Serious Businessman was like a portrait of a human being 
created by cutting into a school desk with a pocketknife. It was all 
angles and anger, and seemed to thrusting itself into the world with 
each motion, dragging something else along with it... something that 
was soon to pop out...

Pummelo's eyes watered. Still, he ran toward a nearby group of random 
citizens. "Hey! Don't worry!"

They turned, a little bored but attentive. Ah! Native Net.ropolitans. 
They hadn't been hit with the full, enervating force of the Servant's 
presence, it being focused on the Businessman, but they had caught the 
edge of it. His presence seemed to be helping them shake off the 
lethargy, though. One of them, a middle-aged woman in a very nice 
blouse-and-skirt combo, said, "Hey. What's up?"

"Um, uh..." What did they say on the news? "Class 4 incursion!"

Class 4 was (he thought) an infectious agent, some net.villain or 
monster with the ability to spread their condition to others, who would 
in turn spread it further. Serious bad mojo - the last Class 4 that'd 
gotten out of control in Net.ropolis had been eleven years ago, when 
some kind of space demon who'd turned a bunch of people into trolls, 
and resulted in a lot of deaths by violence and brain tumors. Could 
being a Servant of Sloth kill you? Well, even if not, fighting the 
Serious Businessmen probably could...

"Well shit," said the woman, glancing at her co-workers. Her eyes were 
slightly glazed. "Should we head home?"

...what *were* you supposed to do in a situation like this? "Um, get to 
the first safe place you can," Pummelo said. "Stay off the street, and 
especially stay away from, uh..." He turned and pointed toward the 
battle. "Stay away from anyone who looks like that!"

He looked over his shoulder and... they were gone! Proper evacuation 
procedures indeed! How'd they move that fast without a Memory Stick?

But then he noticed - down the sidewalk, across the street, people were 
disappearing, blurring out of sight. Was this some new form of attack?


A couple minutes earlier, Chaos Theory appeared on the sidewalk, right 
next to the Servant/Businessman skirmish. "Hmmm," they mumbled to 
themself. "I said I'd move linearly through time on this one... but I 
didn't say anything about staying in sync!"

They stepped two-tenths of a second ahead of the continually collapsing 
wavefront of the present into a ghost version of Net.ropolis. They 
looked back with their timevision and saw a group of confused civilians 
clustered on the sidewalk. They reached out and phase-shifted them 

"Hi, folks," they said. "Don't worry, new evacuation procedures. You'll 
be just fine. Sit, relax - have a smoothie, on the house." They passed 
out mango and strawberry smoothies, plus an orange slushie for the gent 
in the back. Then they zipped away (before questions could be asked) 
and grabbed another bystander off the street, and another, and another.

After they'd cleared a three-block radius around the LNHQ (including a 
rather uncomfortable encounter with an ex), they paused between 
moments, balanced perfectly on a Planck. "Come to think, might be smart 
to bring in some help." They reached out, upstream and down. "I trust 
those guys to solve the big problem. But the little details? Well, 
that's why they brought me along." Curling tendrils of temporal 
discharge wrapped around them. "Even if they didn't know it."

They could feel the progress of time, extending back until it merged 
with backstory. Well, that seemed a reasonable distance. Twenty-one 
years in this direction, and twenty-one years in the other...

They pulled.

And across time, net.heroes past and future were pulled into the 
present day...


Author's Note: And now that Second Phase is over, *you* can join in on 
the fun!

It's easy! If you're a newbie to the LNH, or if you just want to try 
out something new, you can just make up a character or a team and have 
them pulled in from a possible future! No muss, no fuss, no need for 
explaining backstory or setting up plots! Label your issue <Series 
Title> #0.85!

If you're an oldschool LNHer who wants to bring their characters into 
the modern day, or just someone who has a cool idea for a character 
from the past, well, let's rip off Blackest Night! Add one to the issue 
number of a series from the past and have your character(s) suddenly pulled
forward from whatever they'd last been doing!

If you have any questions, drop a comment in RACC or send me an email! 
Let's have fun!

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, crossovers yay!

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