LNH20: Ultimate Mercenary v20 #5

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 08:35:12 PDT 2015

On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 10:57:53 AM UTC-4, Adrian J. McClure wrote:
> He'd set out that morning with Professor Penumbra to explore the city. It was
> just supposed to be a training mission--he'd follow along, observe the more
> experienced hero, get a sense of how things worked in this world.

LNH20 is so sensible sometimes! So weird~

> All the new sights and sensations of this world were just too much to take
> in. The thing that really surprised him was that *smell* of this world was
> different--just different enough to throw him off. As a ninja, he'd been
> trained to use his senses to their fullest extent, which was a great
> advantage in tracking enemies, but right now they were giving him more
> information than he could handle.

Oh, that's good. Both the smell thing and the sensory overload thing.

> (Queequeg's was a national coffeeshop chain native to this universe which
> bore absolutely no resemblance to any national coffeeshop chains named after
> Moby Dick characters in the Real World.


> Roy Thomas's was a chain that served mainly coffee and donuts that was 
> everywhere in the Netropolis area and nowhere else. Whenever Netropolis
> changed location, a thousand Roy Thomas's popped into existence in the
> surrounding area, and immediately disappeared when it left. Whenever you ate
> at one, Professor Penumbra had said, you knew what you were getting--they were
> awful in a refreshingly reliable way.)

Oh, I love that.

> He'd been following behind Professor Penumbra, listening to him tell
> everything he knew about Netropolis and its history... and then he got
> distracted by the sex shops. They were everywhere.

Oh my. o.o

> When the Killfile had happened and the net.heroes weren't around anymore,
> Professor Penumbra had told him, the city had fallen into disrepute and
> decay. Now that they were back, development was happening all over the place,
> but the remnants of the old seedy blue-collar part of the downtown had never
> quite been swept away.

Fascinating, and makes a hell of a lot of sense.

> Here there were clock towers and other architectural flourishes from
> buildings that had been done away with several rennovations ago. The
> inexorable march of development hadn't found this city quite as easy to grind
> under its heels as some others, Penumbra had said: "She's a stubborn one,
> this city. And she doesn't have a lot in the way of shame."

Hell yeah :D

> Ultimate Mercenary racked his brains trying to remember what he was supposed
> to be doing. He'd picked up a lot of what Professor Penumbra had said, but
> not that. In the end, trembling with guilt and shame, he decided he would go
> home... if only he had the slightest idea how to get there.

Aw, UM. You're so messed up. *metafictional hugs!*

> "Who are you?" Ultimate Mercenary snapped to attention.
> "I'm Jessica Hernandez, the greatest cab driver in Netropolis, and don't you
> forget it." 

Heck yeah more awesome civilians!

> "Where to?" said Jessica. Her dark hair was cut short and she wore blue jeans
> and an old-fashioned newsboy cap. 


> "The LNHQ."
> "OK! Are you a net.hero or a net.villain?"
> "What? Why would you help a net.villain?"
> "I gotta pay the bills somehow, kid."

Seriously, UM. Besides, you know it's our *duty* to encourage the plot.

> Sitting in his chair in the Twisted Library, Acton Lord watched the cab on a
> viewscreen. He sipped on a glass of absinthe--a trifle pretentious, perhaps,
> but it was a family tradition.

A toast, to absinthe friends!

> "Dr. Contraption," he said, speaking into the phone. "I have tracked the
> anomaly and will soon capture it. Remember, our deal was that I would be
> allowed to study it first, as my grasp of interdimensional phenomena is
> vastly ahead of anyone in your organization. In return, I will aid you in
> overthrowing that antiquated revenant Ultravac and taking control of


> He hung up the phone and put in a call to MEGA. This was one of the more
> interesting currents of corruption that flowed through his city. It was a
> startup which crowd sourced transportation, employing drivers directed by
> their app as "independent contractors" who lacked union membership or
> benefits. It also had a sideline in assassinations.

Niiiiiiiice. (I'm reminded of the recent CSI: Cyber (yes, this is a real show) episode with an Uber-alike.)

> "Hello? This is Acton Lord. Yes, that Acton Lord.


> I would like seven units sent after Ultimate Mercenary--a net.hero. He is
> currently taking a cab past the intersection of St. Lawrence Street and
> Bartels Rd.

It's interesting that this is theoretically-indie-cab-company versus truly-indie-cab.

> "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!" squawked the cybernetic cormorant that perched on the viewscreen.
> "Quiet! You're a cormorant, not a parrot."
> "Nevermore!"
> Acton Lord sighed. "I'm going to have to upgrade these things, aren't I?"

Wackiness. <3

> Daniel Ellis sat and waited for his instructions. He'd taken up work as a
> driver for MEGA, along with three other jobs, to pay his rent while he tried
> to start up his career in freelance art. It wasn't a difficult job, but it
> was a little on the boring side. Sometimes he found himself blacking out, not
> really having any memory of what he'd done for most of the day.


> There was some change left over from his world in his utility belt, but he
> had no idea if President Lincoln had the same number of heads here.

...which makes me wonder if he just has the one in Looniverse-A.

> Good thing I got this cab modded. There's all kind of hypertech lying around
> this city. When the Killfile happened, it was useless and people just
> abandoned it for the taking.

Man, everyone's getting into the worldbuilding!

> One of the cars that had been following them crashed into the roof and
> exploded (leaving David Ellis injured but alive and very confused on the
> roof), but the others were near on hand. 

Maybe he can go into publishing erotica on Amazon instead.

> "Don't worry," said Jessica. "Pretty sure we can take these things."
> The cars whirred and transformed into giant robots. "Well, double shit."


> "I'll take this." Giant robots he could handle. They weren't so different
> from the ones he'd faced in PE class in the post-apocalyptic future timeline
> he came from.

That is a wonderful sentence.

> He'd received ninja training from the greatest martial artists of his age; he
> could definitely fight on top of a moving vehicle... he was *pretty* sure he
> could fight on top of a moving vehicle... 

Oh, UM. ^^;

> Jessica looked down and frowned. She had to save the kid... but even she wasn't
> crazy enough to go into the sewers. He was on his own. She clenched her teeth
> and drove off. "Can't win 'em all, I guess..."


> Note: I'm almost done with Just Another Cascade #12 and wrote this issue as a
> break from that. I think the rhythm of writing shorter, more focused issues
> in between the longer ones works well for me and I'll keep doing that in the
> future. Also, I'm trying to get LNH20 started up again, and I'll aim to write
> an issue of this per month.

Heck yeah. <3 And I've got an LNH20 issue coming up Real Soon Now.

> Netropolis has aspects of every city, but the part of it we see here is more
> or less based on the part of Toronto where my sister lives.

Good choice!

> Roy Thomas's is based on the ubiquitous Canadian chain Tim Horton's. (The
> estimation of his quality does not represent my opinion of Roy Thomas as a
> writer, although he can always be relied on to bring in unnecessary retcons.)


> The Spiritual Supply Shop, however, is from my hometown.

Very good. <3

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, such places are important.

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