LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #14: The Omaha Project Part One
arspitzer at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 19 18:52:32 PDT 2016
In this weeks reposting of stuff you can find in the eyrie archive
we have part one of the infamous Omaha Project Cascade. This was
another multi-writer make it up as you go along type project. Its
genesis sprang from this spam post.
Subject: Omaha Project
Message-ID: <1994Mar8.050625.1671 at vax1.mankato.msus.edu>
From: veng... at vax1.mankato.msus.edu
Date: 8 Mar 94 05:06:25 -0500
Organization: Mankato State University
I am trying to build a list of names and E-Mail addresses of
people in the Omaha Nebraska area for a school related project.
If you live in Omaha or go to school there or know someone
that does and will be around for three months or more, please
reply via E-Mail to Veng... at vax1.mankato.msus.edu.
Thank you very much!
This was way back in the Pre-Green Card spam days when someone
posting to every single newsgroup was kind of amusing and not the
horrible nuisance that it would eventually become.
Benjamin Pierce (creator of the character Marvel Zombie Lad(Boy?))
was the first to jump on this post and turn it into an epic storyline.
Ben was one of the original Cosmic Plot Device Caper writers and I
think this might have been his last LNH story.
Following him, was Russ Allbery who way back then was still writing
LNH stories (mostly about his Writer Character Windrider). Russ
would later become the rec.arts.comics.creative Moderator (which
he still is) and runner of the eyrie archives, website, and lists.
Co-writing with him was David Anastasion (who created the character
Drifter). I think David co-wrote all of Russ's stories and was
one of those rare LNH writers that I don't think ever actually
posted to RACC or ACLNH.
Following them, was Chris Sypal (who created the R-Men an X-Men
parody as well as writing the R-Men series.) Chris, as you can
see by his chapter knew a bit more about Omaha than every other
person writing the Omaha Project. :)
And lastly, Rob Rogers wrote the chapter that ends this first part.
Rob Rogers is creator and writer of the Easily-Discovered Man series,
which he has been doing since 1993 (and hopefully will keep on doing
for years to come). And maybe he'll finish that Beige Countdown issue
before Classic LNH Adventures gets to the Beige Countdown era. :)
Okay, enough of that.. here's..
| | Classic
| | =
| | ____ ____ _ ____ ___
| |__ |  | |  | | | |  | | _ \
|____| \__] \__ | |_| \__/ |_|\_\
|_| OF NET.HEROES
The Omaha Project Part One
Benjamin Pierce (v124jw4y at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu)
Somewhere, under a cornfield in America's heartland, lies a secret
installation. An installation which combines the cutting edge in
ultramodern technology with an atmosphere of rampant paranoia and
suspicion. An installation dedicated to one goal: the mysterious agenda
known simply as: the Omaha Project.
Deep in the bowels of the Omaha facility, two scientists strode along
a corridor at a brisk pace, talking in hushed, urgent tones (one of the
side effects of the all-pervasive air of paranoia and suspicion is that
everybody tends to talk in hushed, urgent tones most of the time.)
"What are the latest specs on the project like, Emmerson?"
"As expected, except for a slight irregularity in the power levels.
There seems to be a surge periodically; we can't account for it. It's
Dr. Sal Icon whirled on his colleague. "Nothing!? In an operation
this delicate, _NOTHING_ is nothing! The slightest mistake, the slightest
irregularity, could spell disa..."
At that moment, Icon was interrupted by the thunderous roar of a
tremendous explosion, which ripped through the reinforced Ad.net.mantium-
laced walls of the facility like tissue paper. A sharp pain shot through
his leg as a computer console fell, pinning him under it. As he struggled
to free himself, he saw a figure coming towards him through the smoke.
"Emmerson! Help me!" The figure gave no response, and on closer
inspection, it didn't look very much like Emmerson at all. It looked...
Russ Allbery (windrider at cs.stanford.edu)
Drifter stops in front of another elaborate ASCII art picture, this
one featuring (yet another) large sword. A post-it note is stuck to the
bottom of the picture, giving the itemized judges' score. The score
includes a substantial penalty for contributing to the world-wide hyphen
Drifter chuckles and glances down the long hall. Both walls are
lined with more exhibits; and periodically people appear, add a new
picture, and then disappear again. Most of them attach a little post-it
note with snide comments.
--You're right, a lot of these *are* funny. Good way to spend a few
Windrider sends back a mental grin. ==Yeah, I ran across this place
a while back. Still haven't figured out what a VAP is though...==
On a blank space of wall opposite Drifter, a new display appears.
Strangely, however, it isn't delivered by anyone; it just appears out of
nowhere. Even more strangely, it doesn't have any pictures on it.
--Hmm...that's weird...a request for communication conduit addresses.
Must be a mistake.--
Drifter starts to turn away, but something about that exhibit feels
--Wait! Windrider, come take a look at this! Do you get the same
feeling that I do?--
Windrider glides down the hall to land on an outstreched arm, and
turns to examine the message.
==You're right. This message is part of a force wave.==
--And it's traveling through the Net, not crossposting...I can track
Drifter closes his eyes momentarily to concentrate, and then opens
them with a start.
--It's coming from aclnh!--
In the middle of Net.braska, a shimmering green portal opens. Drifter
steps through and immediately sees the source of the force wave. A nearby
cornfield has been completely obliterated, evidently by some large explosion,
leaving nothing but a deep crater. In the center of the crater is a strange
pattern of black and white, constantly shifting and difficult to look at
--What do you make of this?--
==That's one of the pockets of scrambled reality created during Master
Workload's attack. I though they would have all dissipated by now.==
--Could someone have contained one and tried to tap into it? Used it
as a source of power, maybe?--
==Yes... And if something went wrong, a force wave like the one we saw
could be the result...==
Windrider circles lower to try to get a better view, and then notices
something else in the bottom of the crater.
==We need to get inside that crater. There's something moving down
Chris Sypal (csypal at cwis.unomaha.edu)
Gelatin hated transmatting. They never seemed to work right for him.
Gel had heard that something big was happening in Net.braska. He
knew that some people had already left to investigate, but he decided that
if he volunteered the R-Men, it might improve relations with the LNH.
Random Man was busy working on a new RAM (R-Men Automotive Machine),
and couldn't join, leaving Vari and Gelatin. Gelatin didn't like going
out without the complete team, but they need the RAM. The two entered the
transmat machine, preparing to land in an open field, but didn't expect to
land in the middle of...
"A jungle?!" Vari looked around and saw giant trees tower around
her. The calls of various animals surrounded the two. "Are you sure it
was set for Net.braska, not Net.geria?"
Gel gave her a quick look that answered the question. "Let's take a
look around before we jump to too many conclusions." Gel's words were
partially drowned by the thunder of the nearby waterfall.
The two walked along a path, gawking at the sights and sounds around
them, when they noticed a wall. "Let's see what if we can find some
answers inside." They entered a corridor, and walked along until they
reached a door that they thought would take them inside, but actually took
"Wha?" Vari exclaimed, "That jungle was *inside*?"
"Yep," a person nearby answered. "Largest indoor jungle in the
As the two stared at the immense building they heard a growling
"Panta?" Vari spun around, expecting to find the Legion member, but
didn't see anyone.
"Oh yes," the stranger replied, "there are lions, tigers, and
leopards along with the panthers. It's the largest cat complex in
The two then finally realized that they were in a zoo. They decided
that since they were nowhere near where they though they were supposed to
be, they should find out more about where they were. After wandering
around a bit, and enjoying the zoo they left the left it, only to hear a
large crowd from atop a nearby hill. They climbed the hill, and were
again amazed at the sight. A large outdoor baseball stadium, overflowing
"A baseball game?" Gel inquired to Vari.
"It's not just a baseball game," another stranger who was near
answered, "it's the College World Series. Baseball at it's finest. An
outdoor stadium, with a real grass field. A packed crowd. No alcohol.
Everything is perfect, except for one thing."
"What's that," Vari inquired as she looked over the stadium.
"Aluminum bats." The stranger replied.
The two continued their quest, exploring the newfound city. A trolly
come near them, and they flagged it down. They learned a little on their
ride. For instance, the trolly happened to be named Ollie.
The trolly took them into the heart of the city. Large buildings
towered around them. While not as large a Net.ropolis', they were still
big. The couple got off in an area where there were no buildings. A
stream ran down through the middle of the city. Geese gently swam in the
water, as couples sat in the grass. Businessmen walked along the path
taking in the fresh air. The two walked along the path marveling in it's
beauty until they came up on a small lake. In the center of the lake sat
a large fountian that shot water up at an incredible height, while smaller
fountains were around it.
Across a nearby street, they noticed many people entering and exiting
a different street. As they walked towards the area, they noticed that
the road changed from cement to brick, and the amount of traffic dropped.
The sidewalks and streets thrived with people. The atmosphere changed,
and a feeling of peace swept over the two. Performers dotted the street.
Musicians played, jugglers juggled, and magicians did their magic. A wide
variety of shops lined the street, selling anything and everything.
The two continued walking along the streets, and came upon a building
that people flocked into. A giant marquee proclaimed the place as "The
Orpheum." After looking at what was playing, Gel turned to Vari and
inquired, "May I tempt you to an evening with Gilbert & Sullivan?"
"Why, Gel," Vari responded, "you know how much I like pirates." And
took his arm, as the two entered the theater, commenting on the days
"That aviary was huge. And all those different birds they had."
"That reminds me, I wondered what happened to the other people who
were to find out what the problem was..."
Rob Rogers (rogersr at kenyon.edu)
"I can't believe I let you talk me into this," I said. "One week for
spring break, bright beautiful beaches all over South Florida busting with
buxom bikini-briefed bubbling babes, and I'm out here with you in
Net.braska up to my knees in topsoil in some stupid cornfield...If you
weren't paying me overtime for this, Prof, I'd have to up and tell you
that you were crazy."
"You have told me that I'm crazy."
"Well, yes, but you are paying me overtime." Which I needed. And
the truth was that for all its lack of urban sophistication, surging
humanity, and cable TV, the little field in Net.braska the Prof had rented
was probably the most strikingly beautiful place I had ever been. The
soft watermelon glow of the sun dissolving over the horizon...the storms I
watched raging miles away, lightning tearing through the midwestern skies
like an angry child...the deep, thick smell of earth and of spring and
living things had softened my city boy's heart to the point where I could
almost accept what the Prof was doing. Which was when I began to check
myself for psychological trauma, because what the Prof was doing was
"Lite, you would understand...you would *have* to understand...if
you'd only heard the voice..."
"What voice? The only voice I've heard beside yours in the past two
weeks has been the little one inside my head saying, 'He's lost his mind!'
I actually caught myself wondering the other night if the Slobbering Grue
needs a sidekick."
"The voice, Lite. The one that said...'If you build it, he will
"WHAT?!" I dropped my shovel. "WHO will come? And why does this
person need you to build a Peril Room in the middle of a cornfield to put
in a guest appearance? Couldn't you just book him a room at the Om.net
and send him free champagne, like McLaughlin Man does when he wants to get
Julia Roberts or Gorbachev on the show? I mean, a cornfield? Are you
introducing me to the Incredible Crow-Man, or what's the..."
"Lite!" The Prof dropped his own scythe and grabbed my arm, which I
found unnerving. "He's here! He's here!"
"What...who's here? If this is some idiotic baseball fantasy of
yours I've been helping to fulfill, you can forget it. You'd think the
example of Michael Jordan would've convinced most people to give up on the
Before I'd finished speaking, I saw it. A figure, about my height,
shimmering and then coalescing into solid form, striding across the field.
He was caped, masked, muscled and young, but no one I'd ever seen before.
I opened my mouth to speak but he moved forward with such urgency I
gathered he had something important on his mind and it would be best to
let him tell it.
"Thank you," he said. "Thank you for allowing me to come here, for
giving me one last chance to save Net.braska--and possibly the
Looniverse--from the chaos it might still collapse into unless we act
"The pleasure is ours," the Prof said. "It is indeed an honor to
finally meet you."
"Hold on," I said. "Don't you think you should..."
"I'm sorry," the Prof said. "This is my faithful and well-paid
partner against the ravages of injustice, Easily-Discovered Man Lite.
Lite, this gentleman is the hero of my youth, the hero of many youths, the
hero, once, when the world was a place vastly different from the
burgeoning meglapolis it has now rendered itself into..."
"Please," said the figure, "no need for introductions. Nice to meet
you, Lite. I'm Boy Lad."
Next Week: More Corn Field Action in -- Part Two of the OMAHA PROJECT!
Arthur "Same Classic Channel. But Same Time? Probably not." Spitzer
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