LNHY: Looniverse Y #12: "Punk Frock"

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Mar 13 18:17:06 PDT 2013

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   L      O      O      N      I      V      E      R      S      E

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                             N U M B E R
                             T W E L V E

[ The cover shows the System Corrupters playing on-stage in a small 
  underground bar with graffiti and slogans all over the walls. 
  Exciting Leather Strap-On Lass is on guitar, the New System 
  Corrupters Member Detector is on synth, and Kid Enthusiastic-Y is 
  wailing into the mike with an even more enthusiastic expression on 
  his face than usual. ]


                             "Punk Frock"


Kid Enthusiastic-Y stood inside the Ultimate Control Room, looking into 
a full-length mirror. He was wearing a spiffy new costume. A purple 
faux-leather jacket, with an anarchy symbol inside a heart sewed on the 
left shoulder. Underneath, a midnight blue T-shirt with a giant Y in 
golden thread on the chest. Bright red jeans with streaks across them 
the color of dried blood. He tapped a pair of huge, '90s-style 
wraparound sunglasses against his hand thoughtfully.

"Is this cool, or trying too hard?" He shrugged. "Eh, it'll either 
impress them or make them underestimate me. Either way I win!" He 
slipped them on and a heads-up display resolved inside his eyes. With a 
telepathic command, it opened up an email. He activated his 
rocketskates, zipping down the dark empty corridors, and wrote.

| Okaa-mom! Otou-dad! Hi!

You won't believe what happened in America! I became a bad guy! <3 I am 
now the leader of my VERY OWN net.villain team! |

He slid into the Anteroom of Doom, where Exciting Leather 
Somethingorother Lass was sitting behind the receptionist's desk. The 
New System Corrupters Member Detector was sitting on it, and Kid E-Y 
scooped it up. "Heya, Exciting Lass! Ready?"

She sighed, standing up. "I would never be unready to leave such a 
demeaning position."

"Sorry 'bout that! We'll hire a new one when we steal our first 

She smiled. "As you say, so shall it happen, my liege."

<:Enough chit-chat!:> squawked the NSCMD. <:Let's hurry up and finally 
find some more members!:>


| I hope we get to fight something cool, like giant robots. I think we 
will, because the President was on TV the other day talking about 
building giant robots to fight terrorists. Do net.villains count as 
terrorists? I dunno, I don't like President Notanalien as much as the 
last guy.

I've only got a couple members right now, but we're going to get more. 
I know that if you run a net.villain team you're supposed to recruit 
criminals or whatever, but It turns out that there are a lot of people 
who are in jail for really stupid reasons, so it works out! |

They took a giant mole-shaped digging machine underground. Exciting 
Lass operated the drills, while Kid E-Y took the navigation. He 
directed them right under The State Net.ropolis Is In State Women's 

"Time?" shouted Kid E-Y, activating the heat sensor, prisoners, guards, 
staff showing up as tiny blips.

<:Twelve-thirty-five and fourteen seconds,:> said the New System 
Corrupters Member Detector.

| Like the lady we're breaking out today. The Adult Fascists wanted her 
to join, but because they were bugging her about it, she turned them 
down. Then two weeks later a SWAT team raided her office and found 
heroin! |

Above, inmates were playing basketball or milling around the yard. One 
was off to the side, running a lap and determinedly trying to ignore 
the guard shouting at her.

"C'mon, Malloy! Put your back into it! Double-time!"

| But when I visited the police station during Officer Appreciation 
Day, I looked in the evidence locker and it wasn't even heroin! It was 
a bag of sugar! It was all I could do to bake a cake with it and give 
it to the officers before I left! |

"She will come around to the prepared position in eighteen seconds," 
said Exciting Lass, adjusting a dial.

"Set ground to perfect friction!" Kid Enthusiastic-Y grabbed a huge 
switch and yanked it down. A hatch opened in the roof of the craft, and 
an enormous orange pillow inflated below it.

She was gasping. The guard laughed, harshly, tiredly. "Okay, Malloy, 
that's enough. Fall in!"

She stopped - and fell in, disappearing into the ground.

| Anyway! She'll be a pretty great addition to the team, I think. She 
has this sort of psychic power that gets an imprint off an object 
somebody's touched a lot, and then she can see where they are and 
what's around them. Useful, right? |

With a swish! she fell right onto the pillow. Kid E-Y shouted "Reverse 
friction!", yanking the switch upward. He tossed a small blue ball 
through the hatch and shut it.

High above, everyone had come running, and the guards were in a heated 
discussion about what happened. None of them noticed the blue ball worm 
its way out of the ground and sit, innocently, in the packed dirt.

| The only tricky part, I think, will be showing her why she wants to 
join up. |

"Wh-- hey! What's the idea? Who are you people?" Exciting Lass noted 
that she was of the type of woman who made themselves bigger, not 
smaller, when threatened. She approved.

"Hullo!" said Kid Enthusiastic-Y, hopping down from the hatch. "Nora 
Malloy, right?"

"Who wants to know?" She scooted back on the pillow, sliding off it as 
best she could without taking her eyes off of them.

"Oh, right, duh. Hello! We're the System Corrupters!"

"Ahhhhh, right," she said. "I've heard of you. You--" She pointed at 
Exciting Lass. "Yeah, you were in the papers for sleepin' with the 
county comissioner's wife, and this here--" She pointed to Kid E-Y. "Is 
your illegitimate child from your marriage to 'Shoeshine' Joe Vitelli! 
You're trying to use me to break into the City Museum and steal the 
Klopman Diamond so you can use it to focus a giant freezing laser that 
you're gonna ransom the city with!"

"Er, no, we--"

"Well, it won't work, see!" She dodged to the side, holding her hand 
over a complicated console covered in shiny, candylike buttons. "Nobody 
move or I set it off!"


"...you are aware," said Exciting Lass, raising an eyebrow, "that if 
you desired coffee you could have simply asked for it?"

Nora looked, side-eye, at the console. She reached out and tapped one 
of the buttons, and a cup dropped into a handy hopper, filling with 
something that smelled like hazelnut mocha. She grabbed the cup and 
sipped it suspiciously. "Hnh. I don't bribe *that* easy."

Kid E-Y tossed her two sugar packets. She dumped them in, stirred, and 
sipped. "That's better. Okay, so if you're not trying to take over for 
the mob, what *are* you doing?"

"Well, ma'am, we were going to corrupt the system, but the problem is, 
it's already corrupted! So we're going to smash it instead!"

"Ah, anarchists, is it? Not exactly my cup of tea."

"Oh, did you want tea instead? We've got..." Kid E-Y opened up one of 
the drawers and pulled out a box of Earl Grey.

"...you're precious, y'know that? But forgive me if I don't really 
believe in political causes anymore." She frowned, gazing off into the 
distance. "I used to think that there was something worth fighting for. 
Maybe not the world, but maybe my city." She shook her head. "That was 
a long time ago. Now, I'm just lookin' out for number one."

"Oh, I'm sorry!" chirped Kid Enthusiastic-Y. "We can put you back if 
you want!"

"...well, I mean, that's not to say I'm *opposed* to looking out for 
number two for a while."

Kid E-Y giggled. "Heeheehee, number two..."

Nora scratched her head. "So, ah, what precisely does 'smash the 
system' even mean?"

"Oh, you know! Robbing banks, kidnapping people, flipping the bird at 
the police."

"Kidnapping?" Nora raised an eyebrow.

"Well, we technically kidnapped you."

"Ahhhh, gotcha."

"By the way, what's 'the bird'?"

<:Enough!:> trumpeted the New System Corrupters Member Detector. <:Nora 
Malloy of Planet T-Bone, you have the choice to join the forces of 

Nora looked around. "Hmmmm... can I back out if things go south?"

<:NO!:> said the NSCMD.

"Sure!" said Kid E-Y.

The machine fumed.

"But don't tell anybody, okay? Some of the other people we're gonna 
pick up are real hardcore and we don't want 'em thinking I'm soft or 
anything!" And then he actually winked at her.

She had to giggle. "Okay, okay, I'm in."

"Awesome! Here's your costume!" He handed her a wrapped package. "Sorry 
it's so dark, but, y'know, villains."

"Costume? Oh, boy. Kid, I'm not a net.hero."

"Indeed not," said Exciting Lass disdainfully. "You are a net.villain, 
and as such, having a secret identity is considerably more important. 
Criminals do not usually give out their names and faces if they can 
help it."

"Plus c'mon! We're *symbols*!" Kid E-Y bounced excitedly. "That's 
totally part of the plan!"

"Yeah, okay, okay..." While she slipped behind a changing screen 
provided by Exciting Lass, he flipped switches and pushed buttons, and 
the mole machine moved, tunneling back across the city.

"By the way," he shouted, "your codename is Public Eye!"

"Man, really?" She stepped out in a sleek black number covered by a 
wide wool peacoat. An open, staring eye was over her chest, split in 
two by the coat's zipper. "Hey, what is this plan, anyway? You're going 
to build up an army and take over the world?"

Kid E-Y laughed. "Nope!" He grinned with the confidence of someone who 
*knows* they're a genius. "We're gonna take over the *culture*!"

| Anyway, I'd better get going. But, um, can I ask you guys for 
something? Just... nah, never mind. You're already gonna do it anyway! 
<3 Thanks! |

And as the mole machine left radio range, the blue ball they'd left 
behind exploded. It would later be reported as "harmless", but the 
guards didn't think so - not when every uniform of every prisoner was 
emblazoned with a streak of graffiti that proclaimed "PROPERTY OF THE 

| See you in the newspapers!

Your loving son,
James Yasashiku Preponderation |


Author's Note: This story was primarily inspired by a song which, I 
feel, represents the tone I often strive to hit in my stories: 
https://soundcloud.com/pomdeterrific/pomdeter-call-me-a-hole Consider 
it Kid E-Y's magical girl transformation theme.

The tone I'm trying to hit with this story is punk. (Naturally, after I 
do a story with hippies!) But it's not punk anger; it's punk joy, the 
fierce happiness of taking down The Man. Which, I think, is a lot 
stronger and a lot longer-lasting.

Nora Malloy/Public Eye created by Emma McGill. Yes, that's a pen name. 
No, it is not just me.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, gun versus awesome.

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