LNH/HCC: Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #60 {HCC54}

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 5 02:01:40 PDT 2015

[LNH/HCC] Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #60 
___  ___________________________
| |-|                           \
| |-| []                        /              #60
| | | [] egion of               \ 'Short Story About Mistaken Identity'
| | | []__ [] []   []  []       /  (Part of High Concept Challenge #54) 
| | | [___][ \[]et.[]__[]eroes  \ 
| | |      []\ ]   [ __ ]       /     written by and copyright 2015 
| |-|      [] []   []  []       \           Saxon Brenton 
| |-|___________________________/
| | 
| | 
| | 
| | 
| | Cover shows a LNH action figure of a buff green-skinned figure
| | with tusks.
| | 
| | 
     The second Anal-Retentive Archive Kid was hanging out with friends 
at a coffee shop near the university.  There was ARAK 2 and...  Hmm, you 
know, I should give the guy a real name.  I mean, he's been around for a 
few years and even got a co-starring role in LNHv2 #50.  Uhm, okay, Fred 
Gnarshteeth.  That'll do.
     So there was Fred, currently doing non-Legion stuff with some 
friends: Aaron and Richard and Kwame and Wen and Jlipdoopleyop.  The 
later was one of the extraterrestrial students.  Despite the fact that 
he wasn't human there's no way that Fred was anything like the weirdest 
looking dude sitting at the table.
     They were talking about, oh, I dunno, let's say an interesting new 
paper in slood dynamics.  Now, recall that Fred was a political sciences 
major rather that an engineer, but he was able to keep up (and even make 
pertinent comments) when Jlipdoopleyop started enthusing about slood 
viscosity co-efficients.
     They were interrupted.  "Gnashteeth!"
     Fred looked over and saw another student, and as it happened 
another orc.  A maths prodigy by the name of Trak who was on the 
gridiron team and had a girlfriend who was in the anime club.  The 
newcomer didn't look happy.
     "Hey Trak, what's up?"
     "This is what's 'up'," said Trak angrily, and waved a toy at him 
with one hand.
     Fred didn't recognise it.  "What is it?" 
     "It's your freaking LNH action figure, idiot!" went Trak, and then 
decked Fred with a punch to the jaw.  He threw down the toy onto the 
table and snarled, "Double check your damn merchandising contracts!" 
before storming off.
     Fred massaged his jaw and took a dubious look at the toy lying on 
the table.  "That's supposed to be me?"
     Aaron picked it up and looked at the name and copyright indicia 
printed on the underside of the feet.  "That's what it says."
     Fred was utterly bemused, and he wondered what excuse Public 
Relations Kid would have for this.  For one thing, Fred didn't recall 
even having the toy forwarded to him for approval of his likeness.  Out 
loud he said, "But that doesn't look anything like me!"
     Which was true.  For one thing, the action figure was handsome.  
There was a trend in fanart about orcs to depict them as buff looking 
dudes, like human body builders who had been painted with green body 
paint and given prosthetic tusks and then told to stand around in their 
underwear (or less) doing pinup poses.  And while that general 
appearance certainly fit the description of Trak, it didn't look at all 
like Fred.
     Sure, Fred was large and muscular.  But he was an unflattering 
greenish-grey colour, with a bristle of brown hair that he kept trimmed 
short.  More importantly, his face looked like someone had taken a 
felt-tip marker and drawn a very detailed face on a balloon.  All the 
features were there, but looked at from the side he had a bulbous face 
with no prominent chin or nose.  In fact, Fred looked like he *should* 
have a large nose - probably one of those pig-like snouts that you saw 
on the orcs in the Dungeons and Dragons TV cartoons made in the 1980s - 
but it had somehow gotten pushed flat into his face (possibly in an 
incident involving chasing parked cars).
     "Huh.  I guess someone saw the licensed toy and thought he was 
you," guessed Wen.
     "I guess so," mused Fred.  "But I wonder what happened to make 
him so angry."
     What indeed?  Let us backtrack a mere 48 hours to find out.
     Trak woke up on the floor of a barred cell.  It was made out of 
stone blocks rather than cinderblock bricks, and it had the ambience of 
medieval dungeons.  But that was okay.  Trak had lived in university 
frat houses that were worse.  What worried him was that he wasn't 
wearing his jeans, sneakers and t-shirt, but instead was wearing some 
sort of gladiatorial costume.
     That did not bode well.
     He got up and circumnavigated the cell, examining it and looking 
for a way out.  The barred door was locked and there seemed to be no 
other ways out.  Nevertheless, he set about searching for secret exits, 
because he had free time and what else was he going to do to keep 
himself occupied.
     Trak hadn't found anything by the time a pair of armoured guards 
came and ordered him out of the cell.  The student demanded to know 
here they were taking him, but they just zapped him with staff-like 
electric prods, kind of like stun pikes used by the guards in the 
original Tron movie.  "Move!" ordered the guards, and Trak was herded 
through the corridors and out into an arena like space.
     The first thing that Trak noticed that although the arena wasn't 
more than a few tens of yards across, the seats surrounding it were 
full.  A roar of approval went up as Trak entered and looked around.  
Next was the pile of swords and other weapons lying on the ground near 
the entrance.  Nothing that would help him against the guards with their 
electric prods, worse luck, but then that would be expected.  Finally 
was that the arena was enclosed.  Trak wondered if they were underground.
     A figure up in the stands in what seemed to be a prominent booth 
stood up.  A male figure in faux medieval clothes, from what Trak could 
see.  His clothing contrasted strangely with the Roman gladiatorial 
motif.  The figure held up his hands, and the crowd stopped making 
quite so much noise.
     "My friends!  I, the Duke of Poughkeepsie, welcome you to the 
gladiatorial games!  Tonight's advertised entertainment: one of the 
Legion of Net.Heroes!"  The crowd roared again. "Let the games begin!"
     Across the arena another door was raised, and out stalked some 
hungry lions.  Trak instinctively backed up, moving closer to the 
weapons.  He glanced about, once again looking for escape routes, but 
as with the cell there seemed to be none.  Keeping an eye on the lions, 
Trak scooped up a sword.  He hoped that his football throwing arm, not 
to mention all the batting he did during baseball season, would help him 
with using the thing.
     The lions stalked closer.  They had crossed about three quarters of 
the distance when suddenly the roof of the arena was torn off and search 
lights strobed down, searing across the seated audience, the lions, and 
most especially onto Trak himself.  "There he is!"
     Even magnified over a mecha loudspeaker system, Trak recognised 
that voice.  It was Aiko.  She had obviously gone to the other members 
of the anime club, and they had used their mecha to come and rescue him!
     "Bad kitties!" Aiko announced, and launched some missiles if not 
necessarily at them, then at least in their general direction towards 
the centre of the combat area.  The resulting explosions sent the lions 
fleeing.  Trak had already taken cover, since he knew what the anime 
club got up to with their 1:1 scale reproductions.  The screams from the 
audience had changed, since they were now fleeing as well.  Trak could 
see that the so-called Duke of Poughkeepsie was already gone.  Just as 
well, from their point of view, since the first mecha then proceeded to 
rip the hole in the roof even larger, sending debris falling into the 
     In all there were three mecha that clambered into the gladiatorial 
chamber.  Trak was wondering if there were any others outside, when the 
cabin to the first mecha opened and Aiko jumped out.  She was wearing a 
full body combat suit that, leaving only the head, with her lovely 
purple skin and the waving forest of squid-like tentacles on her scalp, 
     She raced up to him and glommed him, kissing him deeply.  Cue the 
crescendo of romantic music.  
     Then: "What the hell did you do to end up here!?"
     "I have no idea!" protested Trak.  "They were talking about having 
one of the Legion in as a star attraction for a fight!"
     "Huh.  Sounds like it may have been a case of mistaken identity," 
she said sourly, and still sounding as if she only half believed what 
he was telling her.
     "Maybe," he snorted.  "If it is, I'll make whoever's responsible 
regret it."
Character credits: All characters are my responsibility.
Author's notes:
     Written for the 54th High Concept Challenge: Neon Talking Super 
Street Bat-Luge! "Insert a character, costume, accessory, secondary 
mutation, or concept that has as its primary motivation the promotion 
of a new addition to the toy-line". 
     So after procrastinating on this for a while, and then 
procrastinating some more when there was an extension, I came up with 
this in the last half day.
     If you want some sort of explanation, then I can tell you that 
slood is a joke made in on of the early Discworld novels by Terry 
Pratchett (there was once a world so primitive that they didn't know 
what slood was...), and that the Duke of Poughkeepsie is a character 
that I've referred to a few times and whose name derives from the 
L. Sprague de Camp story 'Divide And Rule'.  Ah, but that's not the 
explanation you were interested in, was it?  You want to know what I've 
smoking to get another story that *swerves* so darn much.  Okay, okay, 
fine.  Desperately trying to get a story finished by the contest 
deadline is my drug of choice.
Saxon Brenton   University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia 
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au     saxonbrenton at hotmail.com 
"These 'no-nonsense' solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex 
world of jet-powered apes and time-travel." - Superman, JLA Classified #3  		 	   		  

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