LNH: Flame Wars Final: First Phase #5

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Thu May 9 22:51:28 PDT 2013

Literary Impossible and Prehistoric Productions present...

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Legion of Net.Heroes Headquarters! Where Pummelo found himself standing in
the Obscure Trivia Lad Memorial Auditorium (with Obscure Trivia Lad
standing beside him), looking up at the strange visitors from out of the

He wasn't entirely sure that he should be here. The "Agents of the
Inter.Net" had come with the net.heroes to the LNHQ, and he had sort of
gone with the flow. Too late to worry about it now, he supposed, and he
didn't want to do anything suspicious while the Ultimate Ninja, the
Legion's legendary (and legendarily *scary*) leader was looking out over
the crowd. Behind him were standing - or, in some cases, floating - the
Agents, an array of figures who were strange even compared to the LNH.

"Well," said UN, gripping the podium and speaking clearly into the
microphone through his mask (one of the most basic skills a ninja must
know), "these people have requested an audience with us, citing Legion
Regulation 789c, Response To Time Travelers Bringing Warnings From The
Future. Therefore..." And he hesitated, it was odd, he'd never heard of the
Ultimate Ninja hesitating-- "...the Ultimate Yogi."


The LNH flight.thingee:

"...am she."

The LNHers stared in shock. Irony Man had revealed himself - herself - to
be a shining, luminous being, the Messiah of Sincerity. Suddenly, there
came a shout. "No! NO!"

All eyes turned towards--

Anal-Retentive Archive Kid! He looked at the Messiah with terror and fury
in his eyes. "I won't let you do it!" He flipped up the arm of this seat
and slammed the big red button. With a whoosh of jets, the seat sank
through the floor and out of sight.

There was chaos. "Whoa--" "What--" "I can't believe he--" "These are
ejector seats!?"

Irony Man sighed. Her glow dimmed, revealing a far more human face; dark
hair, dark eyes, with highly defined lines but of a vague ethnicity. Her
voice, removed from the synthetic tones of the armor, was rich but cool. "I
suppose that counts as solving the case."


A man stepped up to the podium. His skin was deep brown, almost black; his
eyes were almond-shaped, dark, wide and calm; his hair was midnight blue
and seemed to grow in natural tiny curls. He was short, with a wiry frame,
and he wore loose, light garments, made of a fabric that looked like linen
with an odd sheen. Above all, this small figure radiated supreme, serene

"Greetings, Legion of Net.Heroes of the early 21st century," he said, with
an accent so neutrally American that Walter Cronkite would weep. "I am the
Ultimate Yogi, of the Exemplar Agents of the Intergalactic Network of
Intelligent Beings and Celestial Bodies. We have traveled here from the one
thousand nine hundred and ninety-second century to help you combat a
terrible and cosmic threat."

Pummelo was stunned to see a young man - his name was something like Why
Don't You Hit Me Hard Enough Boy, right? - raising his hand. This was
supposed to be an incredibly important meeting regarding the fate of the
world, not middle school! But the Ultimate Yogi nodded at him.

"Is the Intergalactic Network Thingy your standard alliance of alien and
human races, joining together to explore the universe a la the Federation?
In other words, you're from the government and you're here to help?"

"In the loosest sense possible, without any of the connotations that word
carries in this era, and drawn from a system almost entirely different from
anything anyone living in this time has ever encountered?  Yes."

Another hand came up - that of Twitter, who was standing right near the
stage. Well, if *she* was doing it... "That thing - you called it a...
Servant of Sloth?"

The Ultimate Yogi said, "Yes, that's right. They are harbingers - normal
people transformed."

The crowd murmured to each other. Pummelo looked around... and slowly
raised his hand. He could feel the eyes on him, and he realized why they
called it a Legion. But Ultimate Yogi spread his hand, signaling him to

"Um... transformed by who? Or what?"

"Transformed by the presence, still light-days away, of the being known
as... The Laziness."


Casey looked at Irony Man, mentally filing ARAK's actions in his "Weird
Shit - analyze later for clues!" folder. "So... you're the Messiah of
Sincerity, then?"

"Oh. No, I'm afraid not." Irony Man (should he start calling her Irony
Woman? Would that be sexist?) looked out over the Legionnaires. "That was a

"Well, Anal-Retentive Archive Kid - he did it, right!?" There was an edge
of panic in Francis Bacon Lass's voice.

"That much seems to be true," said Irony Man.

Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy was still a bit pale from the twin shocks, but
pulled himself together. "Okay, lady - it's time for you to spill! No more
of this mysterious crap - who are you, *what* are you, where did you come
from, and why didn't ARAK want you to do 'it'?!"

Irony Man nodded. "Yes. It's time to explain."


"The power of the Laziness earths itself randomly, like lightning, into
those who are appropriately charged. The person recovering in your
infirmary had been in a state of ennui; his attempt to improve his marks in
your school system had yielded only marginal results. He was lying on a
couch with a film broadcasting in the background, semi-consciously ignoring
both his disorganized environment and his pending assignment - an almost
perfectly attractive situation for the power of the Laziness."

Whispering washed through the crowd. Someone who Pummelo didn't know who it
was spoke up. "So what can we !@#%-$?{& do about it?" His curses offended
in new and innovative ways.

The Ultimate Yogi was unperturbed. "They must remember - motion, feeling,
accomplishment. They have to be reminded, so that they may cast off the
influence of the Laziness."

"And here's how you do it!" The doors of the Exposition Annex burst open,
and there stood the strange figure that had called themself Chaos Theory.
Next to them was a man garbed in white spandex. His figure didn't seem very
heroic, but he was filled with unearthly confidence and poise. He wore
silver bracers and boots, twin fishing rods were crossed on his back, and
his chest symbol was a silver fishing hook on a golden shield.

Ultimate Yogi's serene expression shifted, a Spock-like eyebrow raising.
Pummelo heard a gasp from the crowd. "Subplot Lad! But you're dead!"

The man grinned. "Subplot Lad is dead - but Plot Hook Lad lives!"


"I am a member of the Agents of the Inter.Net in the 1992nd century," said
Irony Man. "I am an Exemplar - one of what you would call net.heroes of the
posthuman age."

"Exemplars," said Contraption Man. "Hundreds of thousands of years from
now... I'm surprised you even remember us, let alone have theories."

"The memories of the Omnilooniverse are vast and deep, and fandom has
evolved as well."

"But so too have you,

yet of Earth in appearance

as late summer rain."

"Among other criteria, my team was selected from those who could function
well in this place and time."

"Your team?" said Cheesecake-Eater Lad.

"I am the Advance Agent. By now, most likely, my teammates have arrived in
this period, but I came earlier, made contacts, and assumed an embedded
position within the LNH."

"To find the murderer," noted Francis Bacon Lass.

"Secondarily," said Irony Man. "My primary purpose was to find the Messiah
of Sincerity, for that is the one person who can give us what we need to
stop what is coming."


Chaos Theory swaggered up to the podium. "Hey, chaps," they said.

The Ultimate Yogi gave Chaos Theory a Look - a Look that managed to convey
"If you have an excellent reason for this, all is well. If not, there will
be consequences, and you will regret them" with but the minutest motion of
facial muscles. Chaos Theory nodded impatiently, waving him off, and took
the podium.

"Net.heroes!" they said, removing the top hat that Pummelo... wasn't
*entirely* sure they'd been wearing before they took it off. "Greetings,
bonjour, bon soir, et al. My moniker, as you've heard, is Chaos Theory, and
in a theoretical optimum sitchooation, I'd be bringing you..." they dipped
their head respectfully... "chaos! But alas, 'tis not to be. Therefore, I
bring you the next best thing: a Quest!"

Plot Hook Lad started passing out long, thin rods topped with multifaceted
crystals. The colors and patterns of Chaos Theory's suit wrapped dizzyingly
around them. Each crystal was different; when Plot Hook Lad handed one to
Pummelo, its crystal was an odd lumpy shape that reminded him of the pot
he'd made for his dad in fifth grade that had sat on the old man's desk
until - well, until yesterday, when he'd left the house full of rage and
vinegar, ready to punch The Man in the teeth. It tingled against his hand.

"These are Memory Sticks," said Chaos Theory, hefting one in a hand. "They
stimulate memories, and, happy coincidence, just the kinds we need. How it
works is, they energize energy. But enough technical talk - all you need to
know is, score a solid hit, or even a glancing tap, on a Servant of Sloth
and it'll wake 'em up, wango."

Plot Hook Lad clapped his hands. "Right! Everybody, line up and I'll get
you into teams with Agents."

Hitting Whatever Boy folded his arms. "And why are *you* doing it instead
of one of the superevolved future people?"

Plot Hook Lad grinned. "To make sure there's questions like that one!"


"So," said Casey, running his hand through his hair nervously, "if you're
not the Messiah of Sincerity, who *is*?"

"I do not know that she has a name yet," said Irony Man. "She was, after
all, just born."

There was a quiet moment in the flight.thingee, as the assembled LNHers
digested this.

"...Anal-Retentive Archive Kid's trying to kill a BABY!?" sputtered
Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy.


After the meeting broke up, Ultimate Ninja pulled away several LNHers -
Doctor Stomper, Minority Miss, Substitute Lad, Writer's Block Woman, Cannon
Fodder, and Captain Continuity.

He brought them to his office, where the Ultimate Yogi and Chaos Theory
were waiting, along with a being who was so perfectly black that she looked
flat until you looked at her from another angle.

"It seems," said UN, "that these gentle... beings have asked for a squad to
go up with them and confront the Laziness directly.

"Cool," said Cannon Fodder, pulling out a Disruptive Cicada-style

"But why not announce that back there?" said Captain Continuity. "That's
pretty much what I'd expect from a team-up like this."

"Apologies," said the Ultimate Yogi. "But we did not want to knock events
too far off their original course in this matter."

"I thought that was what you were here for," pointed out Substitute Lad.

"Actually," said Chaos Theory, leaning back on UN's desk, "to defeat the
Laziness, we weren't needed at all!"

Some of the LNHers were shocked; Ultimate Ninja just seemed exasperated.
"Then why are you here at all?"

"Because," said the shadow figure, in a deep, melodious bass, "we require
not the defeat of the Laziness - but its help!"


"Indeed," said Irony Man, "and at this moment, the most important baby in
the world."

"But why!?" said Francis Bacon Lass. "What can a baby do?"

And then, confusingly, Irony Man... smiled. "I could tell you, but that
would ruin the dramatic irony."


Beneath, in the first of the sub-basements of the LNHQ, the power of the
Laziness found its ultimate target - and STRUCK!

And from his forgotten post guarding the LNH's temporary holding cells,
Super Apathy Lad rose...


Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, Flame Wars Final goes into its second
phase next month!

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