LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #18: The Omaha Project Part Five

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed May 18 18:23:20 PDT 2016

On 5/17/2016 9:47 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> Chapter Fifteen is the Pliable Lad Annual and has Pliable
> Lad journeying through various other Universes and possible
> futures.

This, BTW, is where I pulled Pliable Lad from for his appearance in Just Another 

> (One of them being the Superguy imprint -- which
> back when it was still alive was kind of a rival of the
> LNH imprint.)

I remember at least one version of the RACC FAQ describing them as the DC to the 
LNH's Marvel, "or possibly the other way around".

>      No one could see them, but they were there.
>      Beings of pure psychic form, possessing no bodies of their own.  What
> they did possess, however, were incredible mental powers -- they could
> probe all but the most resistant minds, and could possess most other
> beings at will.  Until now, they had been confined to their native
> dimension, a world of flat ground and blank-white sky.  Only now, there
> was a doorway -- a doorway that connected their world with one teeming
> with organic life.  Life that had physical form.  Life that was perfect
> for takeover.

How Doctor Who New Aventures-y.

>      "Nothing really.  I've just been thinking," he told her.  "Trying to
> figure this whole mess out."
>      "Aren't we all?"
>      "Yeah, I guess so."
>      "Scared?" she asked him.
>      "Yeah," he admitted.  "A little."  He put his arm around her shoul-
> der, and she put her arm around his waist.  Together they walked, neither
> one saying anything for a while.

That's a subtler moment than expected. <3

>      "No, they are different," Boy Lad said simply.
>      ==He's lying,== Windrider thought to Drifter.

And here it comes. Really, I think this was a good choice - I think something 
taking the form of Boy Lad fits a story like this well, and to get an actual 
two-fisted four-color true-hearted Golden Age hero working in a dark paranoiac 
'90s story (even a weird colorful metafictional LNH one), you'd have to be a lot 
better at managing interacting codes of ethics than most writers of the era 
were, LNH or not.

>      ==Either Pliable Lad or Parking Karma Kid.  Parking Karma Kid's been
> in the LNH just a bit longer, but Pliable Lad's more mature.==

Pliable Lad had a *lot* of Informed Attributes, I'm afraid. `-`;

>      {So what are we going to do?} he thought to the other two, still
> getting used to the telepathy.  It wasn't the same as the trick he could
> pull in his own book with his supporting cast, but it was pretty close.

Heeheehee. This is fun, tho. <3

>      "Okay, now what?" Lite asked from where he was standing next to his
> mentor.  Amazingly, the light made Easily-Discovered Man's costume look
> better than it was.


>      Suddenly, Boy Lad's face split into a broad, maniacal grin.  "Then
> find out for yourself," he said as he quickly picked Pli up and threw him
> into the light.
>      With a flash, Pli was gone.

And that's a good cliffhanger.

> 		     I'm just a traveler, upon the sea,
> 		  Of time, of life, of Fate's Wide Wheel.
> 		      Just a traveler in this mystery;
> 		   The me I am is all that's real to me.
>                                     --Scott Bakula
>                                       "Fate's Wide Wheel"

Oh man, did Scott Bakula really do a Quantum Leap-themed single? :D

...oh man, HE DID: https://youtu.be/QDOkOtspUOg And it's *SO* late-80s-early-90s 
power ballad. I LOVE IT.

>         He struggled to remember what had happened to him.  They -- Pli,
> Touri, Parking Karma Kid, Easily-Discovered Man and Lite, Drifter,
> Windrider, and Boy Lad -- had become trapped in another reality, and were
> searching for a way to stop a race of beings of pure psychic energy from
> invading the Looniverse.  Pli remembered them finding something -- a pocket
> of reality distortion -- and himself and Drifter demanding that Boy Lad tell
> them what *else* he knows.  And then, Boy Lad threw Pli into the distortion.

I note that, before this, this paragraph was basically all I knew about The 
Omaha Project. (That, and reading Arthur's lost chapter.)

>         Pli took the most direct path he could remember, when he realized
> that things weren't exactly right.  He stopped short at the swinging doors
> that lead to the cafeteria.  "Wait a minute here, I know that things have
> shifted around at the HQ before, but the cafeteria?!  Here?!"  Pli was
> talking aloud to himself.

This doesn't really make sense, given that the LNHQ was already established as 
shifting around, but I get what he was trying to do here.

>         "Kid Shiverly, leave me alone!"
>         Pli buried his head in his hands, he wasn't home, he was in the


> Pli grinned when he realized who he was looking for was
> being chewed out thoroughly by Penultimate Ninja.  Pli walked up behind him
> and gave Liable Lad 'rabbit ears'.

XD I enjoy the simple pettiness. It's the little things. <3

> Pli realized his counterpart was near tears.
>         "That's great, you never liked me, did you?!  I'll just go back to
> that other place and live with the other LNH I found!"

I don't think this was ever followed up on.

>         The man at the desk was wrapping up the sports scores when an
> explosion tore open the studio wall.  All eyes turned to the man who burst
> through; he was dressed in camos and wore some sort of strength- augmenting
> exoskeleton. _Aw, no,_ thought Pli, _can't I go somewhere peaceful?  And
> relatively normal?_

To be fair, you're from the Looniverse; normal is relative.

>         Exo-suit cursed and swung his left arm around, but it, too, was
> encased.  Vargas started forward--
>         --And Pli felt himself pulled away again.

Hm. Well, a little generic, didn't really pull me in, but--

>         The door opened, and another young woman entered the kitchen,
> carrying a sack of groceries. "Hi, Kelly, she said, kissing the other woman
> on the cheek.  Pli was taken aback.  _Have I jumped from action flick to
> porn flick?  If not, why am I watching something this domestic?_


...let's move on

>         "I'm going to go on patrol," the man in black replied.  "I need to
> get my mind off the Revolution for a while."
>         <Revolution?>, Pli thought.  <Don't tell me I've landed in the
> middle of a war!>
>         "Ah, so we're not getting involved in it, I take it," the other
> young man said.
>         "Not on the Revolutionaries' side, and only if we're called upon.
> Sound good?"
>         "Yup.  We're too young and innocent to go to war just now,"

I think a problem with several of these segments is that the stuff Pli is seeing 
is supposed to act as a sort of trailer for things that would go on RACC, but 
there's nothing in them that really acts to entice the reader into searching out 
more of it; if anything, it's too realistic, in terms of "I came into the story 
at a random point in the middle and then left again".

>         "No, it's just that you've been playing the same song over and over
> again for two days straight!  We're all getting a little sick of 'Hero Takes
> a Fall', especially Mark.  He's too polite to say anything, but he had to
> sleep in the lounge last night to get away from your music!"
>         "Oh.  No problem."  Nick followed Kyle into the room, with Pli
> following them both, unseen by either one.  Kyle popped a CD out of the
> stereo and carefully selected another from his large collection.  Soon, the
> room was filled with the soulful voice of Tina Turner.
>         "'We Don't Need Another Hero'," Nick noted.  "At least it's
> something different..."
> Then, Nick shook his head and started toward the door back to the hallway.
> "How long are you going to listen to *this* song?" he asked, on the way out.
>         "As long as it takes," said Kyle, looking up at a picture on his
> wall of a teenaged girl who seemed to be made up entirely of light
> particles, standing in front of a tombstone that read, "Sunbeam, 1976-1994,
> Rest in Peace."  A chill ran down Pli's spine.

Now, see, this implies interesting stuff - an engagement with grief...

> Just before
> the scene faded completely, he saw Kyle, finished with his drawing, rip it
> off of the sketchpad and hold it up in front of his wall, looking to find a
> good place to hang it.
>         It was a picture of Kyle himself, sitting on his bed, drawing.  Next
> to him stood Nick, and behind them, like a ghostly image surrounded by mist
> and fog, was a figure that bore a remarkable resemblance to Pliable Lad.

...and some Weird Cosmic Stuff. <3 Actually, does anyone know what 
story/universe this was? I'm enticed. :D

> And "here" was a small graveyard.  He had the ominous
> feeling that he'd be spending far more time in graveyards than he'd want to
> in the near future.

That's a good line.

>         "John Anders - b 2085...."
>         2085?  Was he slipping through time as well as dimension now?  He
> read on....
>         "d 2114.  He will XXX be forgotten."

I already knew this one, of course. :D

>         When the mists resolidified and he could see again, he found himself
> in what seemed to be an operating theater for giants.  Everything towered
> over him.  Except for her.

This is a nice perspective - the humans'-eye view of what giant robots are doing.

>         During the process, the woman managed to kick the sheets off,
> exposing the red, angry wounds on her legs as well as various contusions and
> cuts on the rest of her body.  Her stomach looked like she'd lost a round
> with Ultimate Ninja.

This is a really useful perspective on Kopikat Special #1 - definitely adds to 
it, I think. Also, this really does give enticement to find out more.

>         "Alright, lady, you're coming with us," one of them said.  "You're
> under arrest for disturbing the peace and conspiring with the resistance."
> He grabbed her roughly and led her to the hovercar.
>         "You do not understand," the woman was saying.  "My business has to
> do with the fate of the world...of life as we know it."

This is definitely enticing! ...and was never followed up on either.

>         The travelling continued, and Pli found himself jumping from world
> to world, never able to do more than observe.  The worlds ranged from the
> serious to the silly, from the incredible to the insipid.

JAC is definitely somewhere in here, I think.

>         He saw two men and what looked to be a small furry child taking a
> walk through a park.


>         Pli found himself standing in a long hallway, near a stairwell that
> led down but not up.  The stairwell was behind him, and the part of the
> hallway to his left was dark.  Walking down the part to his right, he
> noticed that some of the rooms on either side of him were classrooms.  "Oh,
> great," he muttered to himself.  "Another school."

Look, most RACC writers back then were in college okay >:/

>         But Ergh didn't hear him.  He didn't even seem to acknowledge Pli's
> "presence".  Pli wondered if he was in an alternate universe where Mike
> Escutia *didn't* write fanfiction stories.

Curse you, Real World Minus One!

>         "You've got your consultant job here," his friend said.
>         "That's different, Sean," Mike responded.  "Sure, it's paying me
> money, but it's not giving me any *experience*."  He leaned dejectedly
> against the wall and contemplated his feet for a moment.

Ahhhhhh, the days when that was more important. @.x *rages at unpaid internships*

>         "I suppose..." Mike said.  "Oh, I don't know."  He sighed, and Pli
> got the impression that the past few months hadn't been too kind to his
> Author.

Awwwww. *20-years-late hugs*

>         To Pli's dismay, though, Mike didn't notice him, but rather kept
> on walking -- right through him!
>         "Oh, boy," Pli muttered.

*hums Quantum Leap theme*

>         Mike continued typing, oblivious to the person behind him...or was
> he ignoring him?
>         "Yeah, I'm ignoring you, Pli," Mike chuckled -- and typed.  Pli
> couldn't help gaping at him.


>         After surveying the scene for a moment -- not that it mattered to
> him -- ReFoDis raised his hand and pointed at Pli, seemingly singling him
> out, and a single word echoed in his mind.
>         <<DECIDE>>

This is still really cool tho. :D

>         That meant they had one *other* thing in common, and ReFoDis's
> appearance cinched it.  And it was something that could only be described by
> its name:
>         Rec.
>         Arts.
>         Comics.
>         Creative.

*gleeeeeeeee* <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

>         And, in that instant, Pli knew what had happened to him.  The force
> wave had deposited him at its target -- the door to RACC.  He knew that the
> force wave was trying to break through the door -- through the barrier --
> and that it was the embodiment of the movement to reach RACC.  He also
> realized that there was a reason he was only a phantom: RACC didn't exist;
> it would be a phantom world until it was created.
>         In the center of the door was emblazoned the Rec.Arts.Comics insig-
> nia.
>         Then his world went white, and he went home.

Still awesome. <3

Drew "but does this definition of the force wave carry on to anything else" Perron

More information about the racc mailing list