LNH: Just Another Multi-Writer Cascade That Will Probably Never Have an Ending #13: Cosmic Plot Device Caper Omega: "The Ends of Every Thing" (Part C)

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun May 31 20:49:34 PDT 2015

    Lydia was having a hard time.

    Oh, she had access to enough power to defeat the Crossover Queen - disperse 
her avatar, get rid of the forcefields, send her army packing. Hell, that
would be the easy part.

    The hard part was control. The Queen would resist with every bit of cosmic
might she had, and Lydia would have to use a fully divine level of power in
response. But her power was deeply, utterly, unapologetically chaotic, and
using so much would have unpredictable and probably very bad effects. And she
*really* didn't want to blow up another universe. Especially one that had just
been torn apart and put back together.

    "You are noble in your efforts to protect this place from your own
presence," said the Crossover Queen, her avatar tagging Lydia with a very
realistic-feeling punch in the face. "But change is coming, and you cannot
hold it back! Yield!"

    Lydia wiped the blood from her lip. "Not to you, bitch." Well, then. She'd
just have to hold out until the real heroes could take care of it.

    Down on the battlefield, Merissa was fighting alongside the Legion of
Young.Heroes, Mashup Laq and Manga Girl. They were kicking butts in a really
cool way that maybe I'll come back and describe later, because I'm pretty well
hopped up on cough medicine right now. Wait, is that too meta? I mean, I know
the last segment was pretty meta, talking directly about copyright and what is
and isn't allowed on RACC, but there's a difference between the characters
breaking the fourth wall and the narrator just addressing the reader directly.
I have one friend who is okay with the former, but the latter just breaks his
immersion. Of course, he has unique issues - as do most readers, really. Nice
guy, though. Really good roommate... what were we talking about?

    The Green Knight glanced up and shook their head. "We've lost the
narrator." They loosed sticky balls of immobilizing fluid, sticking half a
dozen Dorfs in place, ionic bursts of energy disabling their weapons.

    Merissa grimaced, looking up at the Crossover Queen. "We're gonna lose more
than that if we can't drive back Mo-- the Queen. Believe me, the Beige Order
doesn't give up - not as long as *she* thinks this is a battle she can win."

    Cameo Gonzaga looked over their shoulder, the power of opposing concepts
gathering between their hands. "And if she doesn't?"

    "Then she'll order a retreat, to save her forces for another day." Merissa
leapt in the air, landing on the back of an Imperial Spambot. "She's
annoyingly careful that way." The Mega-Ultra-BIGGUN thundered, half a dozen
bursts of energy blasting into the pinpoint weak spot between the Spambot's
shoulders, and it fell, smoking. "Guess you don't become a cosmic overlord
without thinking of this stuff."

    Manga Girl shouted, "BURNING SPIRIT!" She leapt in the air and came down
with a jump kick that left a line of light across six perfectly-arranged
troopers. They spun around for a moment, then the light exploded across their
bodies. She landed in a perfect crouch, spinning around and flashing two
fingers in a V. "Woo!"

    Mashup Laq gave Manga Girl a standing ovation. "That was really-- hey,
what's that?"

    "Ara?" MG looked up into the hazy sky of Planet Inferior. It seemed like
some kind of meteor was streaking across it, a shockwave of full-spectrum
light trailing behind. She squinted. Was that a humanoid form at the center of
the light?

    The shockwave hit the battlefield, and in a multicolored burst, the LNH3k
appeared, rolling along the ground. Kid Enthusiastic Double-Junior blinked,
looking up at the sky. "Oh hey, it worked! Neat!"

    The Green Knight spun, aiming their weapons at the LNH3k'rs. "Who goes

    Captain Pulls-Rabbits-Out-of-Hats rolled to a crouch, eyes flicking back
and forth. She straightened up and dusted off her tuxedoesque uniform. "The
heroes from the future, of course."

    GK's eyebrow-actuators rose. "*The* future? We've got half a dozen futures
here at least." They crossed their arms. "Or are you trying to call yourselves
the 'real' future?"

    "Hm! Bit defensive, aren't you?" said Captain PROoH, crossing her arms
right back.

    "Yeah, sorry," said Cameo Gonzaga, stepping inbetween them. "She's still a
little peeved about having to team up with Merissa right after getting her

    "*Cameo*," said GK, vocalizers accurately synthesizing extreme peevishness.

    CG sighed. "Righto, boss." They stepped out of the way.

    "Anyway," said Captain PROoH, waving her hand dismissively. "Don't worry.
That's not what I meant at all - we're all equally valid futures."

    "Well, that's good to hea--"

    "We're just not all equally *heroic*, is all."

    "--!!!" The Green Knight leaned in, optics darkening, the flames of the
battle glinting off their polished surfaces. "And just what do you mean by

    "Just that one of our groups actually managed to accomplish a mission,
while the other wandered around a while before getting summarily beaten by the
bad guy." Captain PROoH examined her nails.

    "Okay, first of all, she *cheated*--"

    "Sure, keep thinkin' that!" shouted Merissa, making it rain (plasma).

    "--and second of all, it was instrumental to this huge cosmic-character-
growth thing! So why," said GK, getting up in Captain PROoH's face, "are you
messing with me in front of my crew?"

    Captain PROoH straightened her back and looked GK in the optics. "Because I
don't much like aimless, untrained adolescents getting in the way of

    "Adolescents!? You're the ones shoving a literal five-year-old into the
fray! I should turn you in for child endangerment!"

    "Oh, is that so? Well, tough enby, step up and we'll see if you have what
it takes!"

    "That's ENOUGH!" Mashup Laq put their hands on their shoulders and pushed
them apart. "You're playing right into the Crossover Queen's hands! She loves
hero-versus-hero fights like these - she's probably planning to release
Secrevergence: LNH3k v. Legion of Young.Heroes as soon as she takes all of us
out and conquers Looniverse-A!"

    "...hmmmm," hmmm'd Manga Girl, tapping her chin thoughtfully.

    "And I'm having a *really* *great* time keeping the Beige Order off our
backs while you two bicker, thanks for not asking!" snarked Merissa, spraying
waves of force to knock over a pair of Dorf hero-killers-in-training.

    The Green Knight pushed away. "All right, all right... you're right. But
she kept pushing at me! What gives, Captain!?"

    Captain Pulls-Rabbits-Out-of-Hats gazed at the ground. "...yes, that was
very unprofessional." She looked at Punctual Death Lad, who looked away. "I
had my reasons... well, my excuses. But those don't really matter." She
straightened up and held out a hand to GK. "Apologies."

    GK looked at the hand, shrugged, and shook it. "De nada."

    "Oh, man! This gives me a *great* idea!" Manga Girl looked up. The
Crossover Queen had formed a shining disc of energy in front of her. Lydia was
battering at it with fists covered in star-stuff. "Mashup Laq - if you had two
streams of energy to mash up, rather than just the powers of two heroes, could
you do it?"

    "I-- well, I've never tried, but... I guess it'd be about the same
principle?" Mashup Laq looked at their hands, accessing their internal
'database' of powers. "Probably the same principle. It's all energy patterns
in the end. ...I think."

    "Awesome! Okay, guys, here's what we're gonna do..."

    Soon, everything was ready. Merissa took a deep breath. Remember, these are
your teammates, and this is their plan - you can trust them. Besides, you
don't even have the hard part - just the awesome part with a lot of
explosions! YEAH!

    She swung up the barrel of the Mega-Ultra-BIGGUN and fired a shot at the
Crossover Queen. It splashed harmlessly off her forcefield avatar, but she
stiffened and turned, pushing Lydia away. "Child! You dare try to hurt me?"

    "Oh, no way!" Merissa grinned. "I just wanted to get your attention!" She
stepped out of the way to reveal Mashup Laq, with Manga Girl standing behind
them, the Legion of Young.Heroes lined up to their left, the LNH3k lined up to
their right. Manga Girl's theme music started playing in the background. It
had lots of guitars, and Masaaki Endoh screaming the lyrics.

    "Ready one!" shouted Manga Girl, and stretched out her left hand. "Legion
of Young.Heroes! Give me your story!" One by one, the LYHers closed their
eyes. Flickers of creative energy started flowing out of them, forming a cloud
like fireflies in the air. Mashup Laq put out their hand, and the energy
started flowing towards them, curling and swirling together into a single

    "Ready two!" Manga Girl stretched out her right hand. "LNH3k! Give me your
story!" The LNH3k'rs closed their eyes, flickering with energy and sending it
out in a stream. Mashup Laq caught it, the twin streams of energy flowing into
their body. Their eyes became subtly luminous.

    The Crossover Queen frowned. "Enough!" She pointed a finger, and a beam of
force blasted forth--

    --and Lydia caught it and tossed it right back. "Eyes front, Queenie!"

    The Queen's form wavered and rippled, as did the dome that held them
trapped. She screamed in rage with the voice of a busted amplifier.

    "Let's cross over!" Manga Girl raised her hands in the air. "SHOUT IT OUT!"
Her music went into the bridge, with lots of squeedly and meedly.

    "Direct legacies!" shouted the LNH3k, and the stream of energy flowing from
them into Mashup Laq flared, filling with bright colors.

    "Complicated influences!" shouted the Legion of Young.Heroes, and their
stream of energy flared, sparkling and twisting.

    The Crossover Queen swept out her hands, holding her form steady through
sheer force of will. "Beige Order! Stop them!"

    The assembled force of monsters, aliens, and jerks swept towards the small
circle - and Merissa was there, forcing them back, sending bouncy-balls of
force one way, sweeping another with time energy, using every trick in the
book to hold them off.

    "Climactic battles!" cried the LNH3k, and Mashup Laq's eyes flared.

    "Small intimate moments!" yelled the LYH, and Mashup Laq's skin shone.

    "Continuity references!"
    "Emotional consequences!"
    "An association of professionals!"
    "An overemotional found family!"

    Manga Girl thrust her arms out, the twin streams of energy erupted, and
Mashup Laq became a rapidly expanding ball of light, engulfing the
battlefield. "ROCK YOUR MANGA SOOOOOOOUL!" shouted Masaaki Endoh.

    The Crossover Queen's forcefields flared and broke, dissipating in the
wind. "Damn you!" her holographic form shouted. "One day, you will rue your
selfish folly! Crossover Citadel! Gather the Order!" Then she was gone.

    The light faded. The Beige Order was gone. Mashup Laq fell over, and a
prestige-format hardcover fell to the ground before her, titled "LYH3k: Two
Futures One Spirit Teamup Festival".

    Merissa smirked, hefting the Mega-Ultra-BIGGUN over her shoulder. "Looks
like she got beaten by a bunch of kids."


    Pliable Lad knew something had gone wrong. All the assurances that
continuity said he'd make it back all right evaporated as he clung to the
Ending, the rumbling chunk of story spiraling helplessly out of control.

    Oh, well. At least they'd saved the universe. At least Tour Guide Girl and
Echo Lad and Kid Chivalry would be all right. At least the LNH had a future.

    He wondered how long it took to die in space.

    Then something flickered in the corner of his eye. Pliable Lad turned his
head and spied a streak of light. Some kind of meteor, drawn towards the

    Whatever it was, it was heading towards him! Some tiny part of his mind
pondered the benefits of being exploded versus other fates, but most of him
was trying to figure out if this suit had any kind of rockets or other means
of last-minute escape.

    Then he realized - at the center of the streak, there was a humanoid form.
A strange, muscular silhouette. It was yelling - somehow, he could hear it
through his spacesuit...


    The streak resolved into a man in a bright red jumpsuit with metal spikes
on it. Pliable Lad recognized him, sort of, what was his name - one of the
*old* old LNHers, before even his time - Plot King!

    Plot King put one hand on the Ending and used the other to give Pliable Lad
a thumbs-up. Then he concentrated, aura of sheer Plot boiling, synchronizing
his energies with the unfinished plots around him. Pli could see the
unmitigated effort tensing his face. (Unless he always looked like that.)

    Then in a single flexing of his muscles, the energy was set free.
Net.Access disappeared from Copyright Kid and Trademark Lass's hands. The
black crystal broke, and Victoria embraced Alice. The passengers of the
timeship were sent along cosmic paths, ending up where they needed to be. And
the Ending changed its course, heading straight for the rifts at massive

    The last thing Pliable Lad heard before it hit was "AND THE LNH SHALL NEVER


    At just that relative moment, in a fairly nice apartment in a reasonably
nice neighborhood of Sea.alt.le, Christopher Waid-David, the man who had once
been the indefatigable Pliable Lad, made an "oog" noise and fell off the

    Since they'd been in the middle of watching Pacific Rim for the umpteenth
time, this alarmed Jennifer Marie Albin, AKA the former Tour Guide Girl, and
she helped him into the kitchen for a glass of water.

    Coughing a bit, he sat down. "No, no, hon, I'm okay. It's just-- just
remembered a time-travel adventure all at once."

    "Oh, did the Ottobindervitch effect catch up with you?"

    He raised an eyebrow at her.

    "Hey, you're not the only one who had solo adventures back in the day." She
winked. "Remind me to tell you about the time I gave Menelik the First a tour
of Egypt." She peered out into the living room, where a calico sat on the arm
of the couch, narrowing her eyes in acknowledgment. "As long as we're taking a
break, I'm going to feed the cat and give you a chance to process this. Be
back in a bit. C'mon, Panta~"

    Pli sat-- no. Chris sat back, thinking back to those days, twenty years
ago, twenty minutes ago. The memories were still piercingly clear, but he knew
they would fade with time. Let's see, that was during the whole Omaha Project
thing, before Echo Lad-- heh.

    Well, there had been a lot of pain. But it had been endured, for the right
reasons. And when he - they - had left, it stuck.

    Being thrown back into that excitement, just for a moment... it was, well,
*exciting*. His net.heroing days were something he was proud of. But it always
seemed more exciting when he looked back on it; when it was happening, it was
usually confusing and unpleasant. The memories were fond, but he was good with
his life now.

    Still... He got out his phone and dialed. "Kid Anarky? Hey! How are things
going? Yeah, no, I was just thinking about the old days..."


   Masterplan Lad burst through the revolving door of the LNHQ. "Look out! The
rifts are-- oh."

   Victoria, Alice (AKA Net.Access), and Manga Girl were all sitting on a long
couch that the LNHQ had decided was going to take up one corner of its lobby,
watching The Grand Budapest Hotel. Alice and Victoria were snuggling, and
Manga Girl was braiding Victoria's hair.

    "Yeah, that's all over now," said Victoria, pausing the movie.

    "Thanks for the tip, though!" said Alice, sitting up. "Couldn't have saved
the multiverse without you."

    MPL sighed and flopped on the couch next to them. "Yes, well, you're quite
welcome, I suppose." He stretched out, hooking his umbrella over the back of
the couch.

    "So," said Manga Girl, tying little ribbons in MPL's goatee, "what happened
after you fell into the rift?"

    "Well--" He looked down at the ribbons, then shrugged. "Well, I ended up
back in 2012 with no memory of anything after we entered Hypertext Time. [ In
LNH Volume 2 #50 - Footnote Girl, getting a pedicure ] I got swept up in
fighting the Dorf invasion, and thereafter stuck with the LNH, waiting to
catch up with my own timeline."

    "Huh. So why weren't you there in all those 'entire active roster of the
LNH' scenes?" asked Victoria, giving Alice half of her green tea Kit-Kat.

    "Right before the cascade started, I got an anonymous tip that Per Annum
was going to steal bus schedules as part of some kind of inane plan to steal
time itself." MPL scowled. "I spent the entire cascade in a bus station in
central Pennsylva.net! Incidentally, Wilkes-Barre is a dive." He shook his
head. "After the Ottobindervitch effect hit and my memories caught up with me,
I tried to call Parking Karma Kid or somesuch to pick me up, but, of course,
anyone who could have was on Planet Inferior. Thus, I took the first bus back
to Net.ropolis."

    "Welp, you made it," said Alice, handing him half of her half.

    "Indeed," said MPL, nibbling on the candy. "So, how did the cascade end?"

    "Well," said Manga Girl, pulling out a set of storyboards displaying the
events in question, "Net.Access and a bunch of old characters and Net.Hippies
flew into the Friend Zone just before the multiverse exploded. But they
brought it back using love, science, magic, pliability, force of personality,
and obviousness. Then Victoria rescued Alice and they're going out now and
it's really cute!"

    Masterplan Lad laughed. "Well, finally."

    "Oh, shut up," grumped Victoria, nuzzling into Alice's hair with a slight

    "Token Girl stopped Catalyst Lass from going Dark Phoenix, and then the
Crossover Queen showed up! But her computer virus semi-daughter stopped her
from getting the Kubrik's Kube, and Lydia punched her in the face until me and
the LYH and the LNH3k and Mashup Laq could manga her away."

    MPL sucked air through his teeth. "I was wondering when she'd enter the
main storyline. That's an ongoing metaplot if I ever heard one."

    "Alice had to go to the center of the Omnilooniverse with the Time Crapper
so she could solve the Kube and get the prize inside. The Saviors of the Net
wanted to use it for arguments about continuity, but Non-Judgmental Agnostic
knew that wouldn't work, so she sent it home with Pliable Lad. Which worked
because of yet another character from umpty years ago who fit really well
thematically, but seriously, did we really have room for them in the plot?"


    "Oh, okay. Anyway, the giant blast of plot energy at the climax sent
everybody back to Net.ropolis, though we haven't seen the Saviors of the Net.
Doctor Stomper said the rifts have disappeared. The Crossover Queen's still
out there, but we've got our cosmic guys back, so hopefully we'll be prepared
for whatever she's got in store."

    Masterplan Lad nodded. "Very well. It looks like everything's back to the
status quo, such as it is."

    "Oh, and Merissa's in the Peril Room with Ultimate Ninja for her test to
join the team!"


[ See the upcoming Legion of Net.Heroes Volume 2 #58.5.ENDING! - Footnote
Girl, not getting paid enough for these plugs ]


    The underground headquarters of the Net.ropolis cell of the LNH-Readers-
Who-Are-Sick-To-Death-With-These-Damn-Neverending-Events Liberation Front was
abuzz with activity. Agent Reed Reedly approached the board that listed
currently-unfinished LNH event storylines. He took a thick marker and crossed
Just Another Multi-Writer Cascade That Will Probably Never Have an Ending
off... and sighed at just how much of the list was still left.

    "So, the Writers are finally finishing their storylines," said Agent Johnny

    "That's what they say," said Reed.

    "You believe 'em?"

    Reed blew out his breath in a pfft. "Not a chance - unless we prod 'em
along." He got out his Not-Quite-As-Big-But-Still-Very-Large-BIGGUN and cocked
it. "It's time to start our next campaign."


    Victoria stood in the corridor, facing the office door.

    She'd told the others that she needed to see how much money was in her LNH
pension (which had been accumulating ever since her not-yet-published
appearance in the Infinite Leadership Crisis). But really, she just didn't
feel comfortable talking to them about this yet. Even though each of them, in
their own separate ways, had been through the same thing - being ripped away
from their own pasts.

    And now, her past was on the other side of this door, and she was
hesitating at the threshold. Right. No more thinking and rethinking and
overthinking. Action.

    She opened it and went in. "Sir?"

    Fearless Leader looked up from his papers, eyebrows lifted - he probably
wasn't used to getting honorifics. "Yes, ah... Forsaken Lass?"

    Ahhhhh... this was going to be painful. "I should..." But she straightened
up, and looked him in the eye. "I have to give you a post-mission report."

    "Ah, yes." He turned back to his notes. "I did want to talk to you about
that morality-reversed Looniverse..."

    "Not... *that* mission." It was hard not to look away. "The mission to
Topphorti. The counterstrike after OMAR's attack on Net.ropolis." [ In Flame
Wars IV - Footnote Girl, not envying her right now ]

    Fearless Leader blinked. He looked up at her, and she could see a flash of
anger - but it was overtaken by reserve, and resolve. He steepled his fingers.
"I can't say that I recall any such mission."

    "No... you wouldn't." She swallowed. Hurry up and get it over with. "The
objective was to send a small, covert strike team to destroy OMAR's heart.
Finish what we started. Send a message." Breathe. Don't forget to breathe. "We
managed to make it to the surface, despite heavy resistance. Down into the
warrens and tunnels beneath. That was where we met him. Flipseid." Deep
breath. Eyes focused. Say it.

   "The entire team is dead. Including myself." It's out. Don't stop. "We...
Flipseid's Discomega Effect sent us to Limbo - erased us from history. I only
got out because of this..." She laughed, choked back hysterical cackling.
"This stupid plot device pulled me out. Who I was is dead. I'm... I regret...
I regret to say I don't remember who my teammates were. But... they served
with honor." Just stop there. That's enough.

    Fearless Leader's expression hadn't changed, but the lines had drawn
tighter, and his eyes had softened. He stood up and walked out from behind his
desk. Victoria tensed, but he stopped in front of her. Standing straight, he

    "Stand down, soldier... you've done well."


    Energy crackled in the void, and in a burst of light, Plot King appeared,
steaming with strange particles and interdimensional vibrations.

    He shook himself out, flexing long-disused muscles. He could feel the rifts
dwindling, the plot mending itself. Tsk; the hubris of Manga Man showed up
even in the latest generation. Ah well.

    Plot King had been taken by surprise by the Crossover Queen, held, drained,
and left in isolation, but he held no thought of revenge. Life was too short,
and there were too many worlds to explore.

    Where was he? It was rich with new life and new ideas. He focused his plot-
vision at the planet below. Ah! The burgeoning worlds of Nigerian cinema -
rife with storytelling potential.

    Time to go exploring!


Report LA-11814. Prepared by the Reality Auditor, Superhuman Worlds division,
Net.Worlds department. Private to the Chancellor Wyatt Ferguson at the Council
of Ordered Realities.

Agent Psychovant was sent to collect data on the multiverse-splitting threat.
Its observations were incomplete, as a byproduct of said threat. However,
secondary observation has indicated that the threat has ceased.

Multiverse-level threats appear regularly from the net.worlds. They are
endlessly chaotic, and have been increasingly encroaching on our domain. We do
not currently have the resources available to stem this encroachment.

However, an ordering factor internal to these worlds has appeared. If such a
factor were encouraged, the levels of order within and without would increase.

Recommended actions: Supply resources and aid to the Crossover Queen, as
available. Cut off resources and aid to those who oppose the Crossover Queen,
as opportunities allow...


    It was just about time to go. The Legion of Young.Heroes and the LNH3k were
shaking hands and saying goodbye. The Net.Hippies were getting ready to leave
the twenty-first century to its own devices for a while. Everyone agreed, it
was time to get back to usual life, such as it was in the weirdness of the

    Well, almost everybody. Non-Judgmental Agnostic was hunched over a
clipboard, furiously filling forms. With a flourish, she signed at the bottom,
and handed the clipboard to Master Roster Man, who tipped his hat and took it
off to enter into the wiki.

    "You sure you want to stay in the present?" said Foreshadowing Lad, filling
out a different form. "Not that I'm not looking forward to having you around,
now that I'm back on the active list!"

    "For now, anyway," said NJA, putting her hands on her hips and looking
around. "I think I could really make a difference here! Besides, it's not like
anybody's going to write more stuff in my timeline."

    "I dunno - Arthur never really abandons an idea," said FL, handing his
clipboard to Library Lad.

    "True. Either way!" she said. She stretched, popping her back, and looked
around. "So I've been wanting to try the taco salad cheesecake..."

    "I've got a feeling the cafeteria is this way," he said, taking her hand.
They walked into the cheesecake-heavy future together.

    Not far away, Lydia Devin stood, looking a bit like an uncomfortable guest
at a party. "Well," she said, "I guess I'll get goin'... mosey along... wait,
no, not that. Forget I said that."

    "Hi!" trilled Catalyst Lass from right behind her.

    "GAH!" said Lydia. "You know, it's not supposed to be possible to *make me
jump out of my skin*!"

    "Don't worry about that," said Cat. "I just wanted to thank you for helping
out on this mission."

    "Oh, well," said Lydia. "Don't mention it. One less cosmic threat means one
less headache for me."

    "You knoooow," said Cat, leaning eagerly, "the part in the FAQ about
omnipotent characters not being allowed to join the LNH was taken out with the
last revision..."

    "Heh. Well, my first career as a superhero didn't turn out so great. But
I'll be around, if you need me. Also, HEY LOOK OVER THERE"

    "Huh?" Cat turned, then turned back, and Lydia was gone. "Oh, wow!"

    Lydia peered around the corner. "Heh, heh. Works every time. ...right, I
should go before I embarrass myself." She poofed away.

    Down at the other end of the corridor, Anti-Christ Lad was shaking Captain
Pulls-Rabbits-Out-of-Hats's hand. "Apologies that we did not have a true
team-up. Perhaps we shall meet again, in some fateful year."

    Dr. Turn On-Tune In-Drop Out shook the Green Knight's hand. "Good job
grokkin' the cosmic friendship vibe. I gotta read your mag."

    "C'mon," said Burning Bra Lass, holding open the Time Door. "We're not
tryin' to de-entropize the whole outdoors!"

    The two Net.Hippes waved goodbye. They put their arms around each other's
backs and walked through the shining gate, closing it behind them.

    Captain PROoH crossed her arms and nodded. "So... do you ship it as much as
I do?"

    "Oh hell yeah." The Green Knight high-fived her. "So, uh, thanks for coming
through when it counted."

    "You didn't do so badly yourself." Captain PROoH grinned. "I suppose
there's room for a lot of different approaches in the superhero genre."

    "Especially ones where you don't just tell the reader the moral." GK
smirked. "But yeah, I think we can work together. Or apart, I guess, once we
go back home."

    "Just a moment." Captain PROoH took off her top hat and waved her hand over
it, fingers curling theatrically. "Nothing up my sleeve..." She pulled out a
white plastic device, shaped like a bunny, with a red button for an eye.
"Presto! A communicator tuned to the LNH3k's team frequency. Not sure how to
get it to communicate across timelines, but..."

    "Oh, rad." GK popped open a panel on their arm and tucked it inside. "Let's
see, how about..." They pulled out a business card for the Pizza Pit. "I
recorded Apostrophe doing this once..." Hand moving precisely, they drew a
complicated rune in the blank space. The ink sizzled slightly as they lifted
up the pen. "Symbol of Communication Across the Veil. Tear it apart and, well,
*something* will happen."

    "Thanks!" Captain PROoH peered around. "...hug?"

    "...yeah, hug." They embraced quickly and bounced away, turning and waving
as they went off to rejoin their respective teams.

    The Legion of Young.Heroes was waiting out back of the LNHQ. The Green
Knight walked up "Okay, people, let's get going before we have to watch our
parents kissing. Lacuna, are you locked onto home?"

    "Yeah, found it right off," said the mage of the unmade. "The next issue's
late, so it looks like we can pick up right where we left off."

    "Heh," heh'd GK, shaking their head. "I guess that's just how writers are."

    Cameo Gonzaga was rubbing their ear between thumb and forefinger, looking
pensive. Jive Turkey poked them lightly on the shoulder. "Sup, intaglio?"

    CG shook their head. "Oh, just thinking. The Beigewar will still happen, in
this timeline. But with the Devastator on the other side..."

    "Yeah. ...d'you think she'll still be the one who kills the Queen?"

    "Man," they said, as the group disappeared into the undecided future. "If
I've learned *anything* from this, it's that you never know what the Ending's
gonna be."


Ending theme: "The Alchemy of Love" (from Tenchi Muyo! In Love; written by
Christopher Franke, performed by Nina Hagen with Rick Jude)

                         --^v^v^v-Those Present-v^v^v^--

                            Created by Arthur Spitzer
< Non-Judgmental Agnostic                                  Foreshadowing Lad >
>  The LNH-Readers-Who-Are-Sick-To-Death-With-These-Damn-Neverending-Events  <
<                              Liberation Front                              >
> Agent Reed Reedly                        The Saviors of the Net (original) <
<                          The Legion of Net.Hippies                         >
> Anti-Christ Lad                                           Burning Bra Lass <
<                       Doctor Turn On-Tune In-Drop Out                      >
> Can-Handle-Any-Type-of-Change-Except-for-the-Ultimate-Ninja-Wearing-a-Cape <
<                                     Lad                                    >

                             Created by Scott Eiler
< Psychovant                                       Chancellor Wyatt Ferguson <
>                        The Council of Ordered Worlds                       >
< The Planet of Amateur Contract Law                      The Amateur Lawyer <
>                           Kristi the Animal Girl                           >

                            Created by Andrew Perron
< The Legion of Young.Heroes                                       The LNH3k >
> The Green Knight                         Captain Pulls-Rabbits-Out-of-Hats <
< Cameo Gonzaga                                                 Irony Mantis >
> Lacuna                                                  Punctual Death Lad <
< Apostrophe                                                 Cheesecake Lass >
> Jive Turkey                                 Kid Enthusiastic Double-Junior <
<                           The Ununnilium Stranger                          >
> Agent Susan Susannah                                          Chaos Theory <
< Killswitch                                                 Mister Morrison >
> Mashup Laq                                                        Firewire <

                            Created by Adrian McClure
<                  The Saviors of the Net (alternate future)                 >
> Occultism Lord                                       Continuity's Champion <
< Kid Remender                                                  Irony Monger >
>                             Penultimate Savior                             <
< Forsaken Lass                                                Manga Girl II >
>                               Masterplan Lad                               <
< The Spambots                                                        LAN.os >
> Doc Nostalgia                           Atomic Rabbit (Tooniverse version) <
<       The Spork-Wielding Assassin From Jesse Willey's Grocery List #11     >
>                                 Simplicity                                 <

                            Created by Saxon Brenton
< Net.Access                                                         Merissa >
> Time Crapper IV                                       Gift-Wrapping Granny <
<                                Footnote Girl                               >

                           Created by Dave Van Domelen
<                               Fearless Leader                              >

                              Created by Rob Rogers
<                               Vector/Melissa                               >

                          --^v^v^v-Those Past-v^v^v^--

                                Created by wReam
< Self-Righteous Preacher                                     Ultimate Ninja >
>                All-Knowing Last-Chance Whiner Destiny Woman                <
< Adamant Authority-on-Everything                   Sister State-the-Obvious >
>                                Cannon Fodder                               <
                          | Not Reserved/Free For Use |

                           Created by Vernon H. Harmon
<                               Bad-Timing Boy                               >
                                | Free For Use |

                             Created by Andrew Foltz
<                           Lydia Devin/The Goddess                          >
                             | Used With Permission |

                         Created by Jeff "Drizzt" Barnes
<                             The Crossover Queen                            >
                       | Not Reserved/Reserved by Adrian |

                             Created by Mike Escutia
<                                 Pliable Lad                                >
                             | Used With Permission |

                           Created by Tara Lynn O'Shea
<                                 Token Girl                                 >
                                | Not Reserved |

                            Created by Elisabeth Riba
<                                Catalyst Lass                               >
                                | Free For Use |

                              Created by T.M. Neeck
<                               Doctor Stomper                               >
                                | Free For Use |

                            Created by Jef Kolodziej
<                                 Cliche Dude                                >
                                | Free For Use |

                              Created by Ted Brock
<                                 Skunk Girl                                 >
                                | Free For Use |

                       Created by Todd "Scavenger" Kogutt
<                                  Plot King                                 >
                             | Used With Permission |


Author's Notes: And we're finally done! Relatively efficiently for one of our
modern-day cascades, too - seventeen months. Now, let's see what else we can
get done!

I realized that Plot King was perfect for a story about finishing plots and
just kinda jammed him in there! <3 I think he works well thematically, even if
it's yet another element introduced to an overstuffed story at the last

All of my new characters from this cascade are Not Reserved, though Mashup Laq
is really the only one who's going to be "around" on a regular basis. Arthur,
going forward, where would you put Non-Judgmental Agnostic and Foreshadowing
Lad in terms of usability?

And keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming entry for HCC54: The Last Days of
Just Another Multi-Writer Cascade That Will Probably Never Have an

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, epilogue-tastic!

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