LNH: JUST ANOTHER MULTI-WRITER CASCADE THAT WILL PROBABLY NEVER HAVE AN ENDING #1.NOW (#4) part B
Adrian J. McClure
mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 9 13:19:32 PST 2014
In the LNHQ rec.room, a man sat alone. His face was covered in demonic-looking face paint and a helmet with enormous and unwieldy horns.
"Woe is me!" he said, clenching his fists and making an anguished dramatic pose on the lunch table. "As the founder of the Legion of Net.Hippies, I had dared to hope that we could truly bring a new age of enlightenment and peace unto the world! That I could at last transcend my father's evil! That I could be.. A FREE MAN! But nowl--"
"Yo, Anti-Christ Lad, I get that a man's gotta monologue sometimes, but chill down! Some of us are trying to dig some funky music over here." said a rather zaftig young woman with messy natural hair. She wore bell-bottom jeans and a white bra that happened to be on fire. She was Burning Bra Lass, the Spirit of Feminist Vengeance, who like Anti-Christ Lad was part of the Legion of Net.Hippies, brought forward from The Sixties (tm) to the present.
"Music! It hath charms, as the poet says, to soothe the savage breast! But not mine! For I have seen my future--the inevitable fate that awaits me! Not death, for that would be a mercy! Rather, I shall follow in my father's footsteps--I will surpass him in evil! And our dream shall turn to ashes!"
"Yeah, that's a drag, man," sad Dr. Tune-On-Turn-In-Drop-Out, a shaggy bearded man colorful robes that hadn't been washed in quite a while, heavy with the scent of incense and other substances. "But the proverbial fat lady hasn't sung just yet, brother! We've still got the future ahead of us here and now! And things get retconned all the time!" He clapped his hand on Anti-Christ Lad's shoulder.
"Perhaps you are right, my friend," said Anti-Christ Lad, "but this world seems scarcely different from the one we left behind. The future we hoped for is nowhere in sight. Still the world is consumed by WAR! Still white and black and yellow are at each other's throats--"
"Did you just call me yellow? That's not cool, man." said Dr. Turn-On-Tune-In-Drop-Out.
"I am sorry, my friend. I--"
"Hey guys!" said Burning Bra Lass, cutting the awkward conversation short. "There's a big meeting going down! Let's hit it!"
The three Net.Hippies rushed down the hallway to reach the LNH Auditorium. The halls were packed with net.heroes who were stampeding there. The LNH had called a rare Double Red Alert, which meant that every single LNHer was summoned to audience.
Ultimate Ninja and Fearless Leader were standing at the front of the stage, and beside them a scrawny man in a blue jumpsuit. "Listen up, everyone," growled Ultimate Ninja. "This is Foreshadowing Lad. He's woken up after twenty years in a coma and he has something important to tell us."
"Hi everyone!" said Foreshadowing Lad, giving a little wave. He wiped the sweat off his brow. "I, uh. Um. I kinda forgot, sorry. I'm sure it'll come back to me later! Would you like to hear a joke? Two peanuts walked into a bar..." Ultimate Ninja facepalmed.
"OK, that's enough of that," said a voice from the distance. A pale, dark-haired woman appeared on stage. She wasn't dressed like a net.hero, but in this room full of gaudily dressed superbeings she held herself up like she owned the place.
"Who are you?" snarled Ultimate Ninja, drawing his sword.
"Simmer down, Pajama Man, I'm here to help. My name's Lydia Devin."
"So what are you?" said Fearless Leader. "Are you a god or cosmic being, or..."
Lydia Devin shrugged. "God's close enough. [If you read Goddess Correspondence, you know who she is. And if you haven't you should--ed.] Anyway, since the person who's supposed to be doing the job is being pretty useless, I thought I'd step in to help. I've been watching your universe for a long time and it is kind of entertaining. It'd suck if it were gone."
"Well, I guess it's been a while since we had a good crisis," said Fearless Leader. "What is it this time?"
"Well," said Lydia, "there's--"
"Legionnaires beware!" shrieked another voice. Last-Chance-Whiner-Destiny-Woman appeared in a cloud of mist. "A great evil has arisen that threatens the cosmos entire! It--"
Lydia glared at her. "Excuse me, I was telling them already. So there's this cosmic dictator wannabe called LAN.os, who's gathering an army of space mooks to ravage the universe. You know the kind."
Fearless Leader nodded. "Sounds like a typical one-note parody villain to me. We can take him easy."
"Yeah, but that's not the problem. The problem is he's going after the Kubrik's Kube."
"The what now?" said Fearless Leader.
"Okay, the Kubrik's Kube is... anyone got a blackboard or something?"
"Sure!" said Doctor Stomper. "This is a Psychic Blackboard. I always keep it miniaturized in my pockets just in case." He pulled a tiny blackboard out of his pocket, which expanded when it landed on the stage, and then handed Lydia some chalk he had lying around. It was a stick of chalk in the shape of Slobbering Grue! with "I'm Chalk!" written on the packaging. She glared furiously at it before opening the chalk and starting to draw on the blackboard. A picture in full color appeared on the blackboard--a tiny black cube falling from the sky, landing on the plains, while vaguely troglodytic aliens gathered around it.
"...Okay, sure, let's go with this. The Kubrik's Kube--that's spelled with a K. Don't ask me, I didn't make it--is an artifact that's as old as your universe, maybe older. It's a sort of puzzle box thing. If you can solve the puzzle, it gives you enlightenment, whatever the hell that is. But if you fail, it gives you--"
"Madness! MADNESS!" said Last-Chance-Whiner-Destiny-Woman, clutching her fists in the air.
"Yeah, that." On the blackboard, one of the troglodytes fiddled with the cube and then a light bulb appeared over his head. He gathered all the other troglodytes, who sat down at desks, and doodled a picture of a troglodyte whacking another one on the head with a club on a blackboard. They pulled out their clubs and started whacking each other enthusiastically.
"Basically, wherever it shows up, things go wrong. Even when they go right. I guess "enlightenment"'s just not for everyone. So--"
"Hi everyone!" said a bearded man who rushed onto the stage. "Lo, I am the Ununnilium Stranger, and I have come to warn you of--I'm not even in the right universe, am I? Oops." He vanished in a puff of smoke.
"Wow. No wonder this universe is such a mess. Well, I'm out of here. Good luck, I guess." And then she was gone.
And in the back, Foreshadowing Lad was scratching his head. He knew there was something else important he'd wanted to say. Something about... was it the Crossover Queen? And rifts? And there was something he wanted to warn Lydia about too...
"So who is this LAN.os?" said Irony Monger. "Should we be concerned about him?"
"I suppose we'll know," said Occultism Lord. The mists shifted again...
A massive, tremendous, gargantuan starship through space. (It was big. Some might suggest the owner was compensating for something.) On the bridge stood a hulking purple figure that was hideous enough to make gargoyle sculptors cringe with jealousy. He wore a fedora on his head.
"We are nearing our destination," he said to the silent female figure at his side. "The moment is soon come when I shall hold the Kubrik's Kube in my hand. In that moment, I shall be as a god! And in that moment... I SHALL BE EUPHORIC!"
He furiously pressed the buttons on the control panel, and a picture flashed on the screen. A picture of the being he had dedicated his life to, an obsession that consumed the core of his being. "And then you, Time Crapper, shall attain whatever inscrutable goals you seek. And I shall at long last be free of the wretched prison in which I have for so long been trapped... THE FRIEND ZONE!
He looked up at the picture with a look of swoony devotion. He often spent several hours of every day staring at it. "AND LYDIA DEVIN WILL FINALLY NOTICE ME!"
The Saviors of the Net blinked. "Uh," said Irony Monger, "let's forget about him. The LNH can take care of that. I'm more concerned about the Crossover Queen."
"You know what she did to our world," said Penultimate Savior. "If we had been able to vanquish her, we could have met the end with our full strength. Our timeline might have survived."
"We'll see, won't we?" said Continuity's Champion.
The Crossover Queen had gathered the deadliest of her forces together in her throne room. Cyborcs, Imperial Spambots, Dire Moa, Gogmagogs, Mer-Yeti, and other creatures too numerous and horrible to mention clustered around the throne. And at their head stood the figure who would lead the first wave of her assault on Looniearth-A. It was a teenage girl dressed in aggressively gothic clothing. How she could move with all the belts and chains she wore was a mystery to everyone.
"The moment has come," intoned the Crossover Queen. "While the most powerful members of the LNH are in space, we will collect the crossover energy that is flooding Looniearth-A and vanquish the LNH at last. You, General Merissa, will gather as much of it as you can, and then when we are ready you will lead these forces into battle."
"You got it!" said Merissa.
"Remember, child, I gave you a home and a place in the world and a purpose when you had none. I have faith in your potential. Do not disappoint me."
Merissa rolled her eyes. "I know, Mom, I know. Trust me. I'll crush this Legion of Net.Losers like the preppy jocks they are!"
In a flash of swirling dark energy, Merissa was gone from the Crossover Queen's throne room. She had appeared in a busy shopping mall, jam-packed with a line of teenage girls whispering and giggling among themselves. "Excuse me!" shouted Merissa. "What are you mega-dorks here for?"
"Oh my god!" said one of them. "You don't know there's a Sidekickz concert? They're almost as cool as One Direction!"
"Whatever," said Merissa. "I'm as cool as *two* directions. You ever heard of me?"
"You haven't heard of me? How is that possible? I am Lady Merissa Cthonian Khaos Madness Nihil'ism Von Quarknova, the youngest ever general of the Beige Order! And you're just a bunch of preps! I'll show you a better way.. the way of the Goth!" A surge of dark energy coursed out from her and engulfed the crowd. They were now dressed in black leather and wore jagged face paint.
"All right." Merissa grinned. "Now to find one of those rifty things."
"Then the Queen has made her move already," said Penultimate Savior. "We must act quickly to save this world."
"No," said Kid Remender. "There's no way to close the rifts. We tried on our own world, but the sheer depth of unrealized storytelling potential swallowed our world whole. All of it. Even your sister." Penultimate Savior flinched--the first expression of emotion he had shown since his world died.
"I'm afraid he's right," said Irony Monger. "The only thing left to do is to destroy Looniearth-A."
Next: Friendzoned in space! The young heroes of past, present and future against the Beige Order! Psychovant the Duck makes his move! Or maybe yet another completely unrelated thing.
Well, I'm back.
I know, the first part of this issue is more Ultimate Mercenary #8 than part of the crossover. UM himself is tied up with Just Imagine and LNH20, so I threw the rest of his supporting cast in here while I figure out what to do with them in the long term.
More information about the racc