LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #95: FLAME WARS IV Part Two

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Mar 18 12:37:40 PDT 2019

On 2/24/2019 3:39 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> Apart from being vacuum resistant (as so
> many Fourth World characters are) it was part of OMAR's nature to prefer
> environments that were inhospitable or just plain aesthetically
> unpleasant to normal people.

You know, I tend to associate that with being a positive/heroic trait?

> And by the time they did, the
> stupid little @*/#s would be his anyway. The thought gave him a
> pleasantly lurid inner glow of warmth and malice.


>       OMAR smiled - and the barometric pressure started to drop like a
> stone. Strange and abn.omar.l clouds began to gather.

Yesssss good wordplay - it's really blunt and obvious but all the more fun for that?

>       And then OMAR chuckled - and a wave of nightmare force spilled
> across the city and began to trickle outwards around the planet. Hatred
> called to hatred, and the fighting began.

God, I really love stuff that implies Big Stuff tied to the small stuff of gods.

>       Fights were breaking out here and there. Small at first, but by the
> end of the day there would be entire neighbourhoods aflame. Across the
> city prejudices were inflamed and sought some justification for release;
> whether those reasons were profound or absurd didn't matter. The oldest
> human excuse for fighting - 'us versus them' - came to the fore, and then
> clothed itself in whatever modern rationale was most easily adopted for
> its purposes. People fought: male against female, black against white,
> brown eyes against blue, and readers of mainstream comics against readers
> of independents.

I feel that, if I wrote a story like this, there would be a lot of emphasis on 
how one of those sides tends to be enabled over the other. o3o

>       "Those Men have Made Me Mighty Mad!" aLLiterative Lass exclaimed.
>       "What men?" he asked
>       "FReakin' FRed and FRat boy!" she said, turning to face him. Her
> expression was twisted with rage, and Cheesecake Eater Lad involuntarily
> took a step back.
>       "What did they do?" he asked.
>       "They Took my Tiny Turquoise Towel!"
>       Cheesecake Eater Lad took her hands in his and tried to calm her
> down. "aLLy, sweetie, calm down," he said. "You know those boys. It was
> just one of their silly pranks."
>       "But I'd Begun to Bathe Before they 'Borrowed' it!"
>       "You... were in the bathtub?" Cheesecake Eater Lad said slowly.
>       "I was Nearly Naked!"

...yeah, that's an extremely valid reason. @.@;

>       "Whoa! Catfight," observed Anal-Retentive Archive Kid.

That comment itself makes me angry. o3ov

> they were all in their
> equivalent of civvies - which meant that not only wasn't Chinese Guy
> wearing spandex at the moment, but when he talked his lips moved in sync
> with what he was saying.


>       From where they were they could see two students engaged in a brawl
> below them on the cafeteria floor. Chinese Guy took in the situation and
> said, "It'll only take a few seconds for it to turn into a general food
> fi... Yep, there it goes." The first plate of nigh-inedible-meat-
> substitute-with-vegetables was hurled across the room.

I love how much Saxon loves food fights.

>       "Ha!" proclaimed a figure who staggered out of the murk. "I told you
> that your half-witted experiments with neo-plasmic photosynthetic
> regeneration would blow up in your face!"
>       There was indignant spluttering from further back in the cloud.
> "You... you dare!?" A soot-covered person in tattered clothing appeared
> (it was impossible to tell whether it was male or female). "Jones, you
> bombastic anachronism, you wouldn't know a proper experiment if it came
> up and bit you!"
>       "Shut up! Just shut up you incompetent, bumbling..."
>       "Incompetent? *Incompetent*!? Right, that does it! Destroy him, my
> killer begonias!" the second figure screamed. At their creator's command,
> a number of ambulatory plants begun to writhe out of the ruined door and
> snarl, baring their woody teeth.
>       "Fool!" cried the other, unslinging from somewhere a chunky-looking
> biggun. "You think these pathetic things can stop *me*!? Eat white
> kryptonite based laser beams!"

God I love Net.ropolis. :D :D :D This seems like a fairly normal day.

> Conversationally,
> ARAK said, "I keep forgetting how competitive research work can be around
> here. Combative, even."
>       "Really," said CGuy noncommitally.
>       "Library work is usually a lot quieter," ARAK said, straight-faced.


>       Chinese Guy took this with a grain of salt, since he knew that just
> last week Anal-Retentive Archive Kid and Librarian Lady had mounted a
> search-and-destroy mission through the stacks of the LNHHQ library to
> track down an infestation of some ewocks which had made their way up
> from the city sewers through the LNHHQ's notorious sub-sub-sub-sub-sub
> basements.

X3 <3 I love that kind of comedic-emotional back-and-forth compare-and-contrast.

>       The three of them continued on, skirting around the edge of some of
> the sporting fields and pausing for a moment to watch the university
> quidditch team practising. The young men and women who made up the Dave
> Thomas Deluxe Growliwags were racing about on their broom sticks quite a
> few metres above the ground.

Remember when Harry Potter was new and sparkly? The days...

>       Then someone pushed Chinese Guy aside and lunged at Douglas.
> "Godless sorcerer! The decline of Ame.rec.a is all your fault!"
>       "Hey!" went ARAK and grabbed at this newcomer, thinking to restrain
> the man.
>       Still snarling imprecations, the attacker shrugged free of ARAK
> easily with maniacal strength... then seemed to recognise him. "Pagan!
> Damnable fugging pagan! Die with the fags and baby killers!" and stuck
> at him with something small and deadly.

It's *really* weird to see someone censor "fucking" but not, like, slurs and 
abuse. @-@ That part seems way more intense to me is all.

>       "Or in it," agreed Chinese Guy, using a plastic lunch bag to
> carefully pick up the item. It was a syringe, and it was half filled with
> something dark red.
>       "Aw, crap," said ARAK, who had rolled back the clothing from his
> shoulder to examine the wound. It was a small jab-mark, literally no
> bigger than a pin-prick.

I do like the reaction to this deeply awful thing, tho, where it's hard to 
immediately internalize that something that dumb could have hurt you that much.

>      In Frat Boy's room, he and off-duty receptionist Fred were laughing
> and giving each other high fives like true good-for-nothing miscreants.
> Which they were, of course. The Legion of Net.Heroes generally doesn't
> discriminate based on moral fibre, unless you're real bad. I mean, Tsar
> Chasm joined the Legion for a while. Sure, he was in disguise, but still,
> he was the same guy deep down, wasn't he? Of course, for a villain he's
> kind of a good guy, I guess. Where was I?

OMAR's emotional waveforms are dizzying the narrator! :o

>       In Frat Boy's room, Frat Boy and off-duty receptionist Fred were
> laughing and giving each other high fives like true good-for-nothing
> miscreants.

Also I've never thought of Fred as an asshole? He's always seemed a bit nebbish 
to me. I wonder if this characterization came from anywhere in particular/

>       "I woke up in my laundry hamper the day before yesterday," Frat Boy
> said. "Didn't even know I had one til then, and I figured -- hey, if I
> couldn't find me when I was in *my* hamper, how could she find me when I
> was in hers?"


>       Leaving Frat Boy's room, he marvelled at how angry he had been
> just moments earlier. At least he knew the perfect way to lighten his
> mood -- time for some cheesecake!

Interesting. CEL's very solid and phlegmatic.

>       Self-Righteous Preacher was berating Minority Miss and Curious Lass,
> two of the other known pagans in the Legion. He was oblivious to the fact
> that neither of them was being intimidated by either him or his
> injunctions that the way of a witch is like unto a path of thorns.

"Pagan" is a weird thing to focus on in this context, but I guess there weren't 
many Muslims in the LNH back then. ^^; (And only a few now.)

>       "Blasphemer!" snarled the Preacher. "Lying, unclean, evil-minded
> little anti-Christian blasphemer! You are a blight on this world and
> abomination in the eyes of every right-minded person who lives on it!" he
> pronounced, backhanding ARAK across the face hard enough to draw blood.
> "Better who were dead than continue to contamin..."
>       Seven-and-a-half seconds later, when Minority Miss and Irony Man
> had wrestled ARAK to the ground and prised the chair leg out of his hand,
> Self-Righteous Preacher was lying unconscious on the floor with injuries
> which would, after examination by Dr Stomper and Organic Lass, prove to
> include a broken arm, several fractured ribs and concussion. However, it
> was their considered opinion that the Preacher would have a more than 93%
> chance of recovering without brain damage.

Seriously, why hasn't he been kicked out of the Legion yet? I feel like I want 
to write something about this. X3

>       He walked over to the counter and pulled out one the belated wedding
> gifts he and aLLy had gotten -- a brand new copy of _365 Cheesecakes Even
> *You've* Never Thought Of_. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite so new
> anymore, as it seemed to have gotten caught in the crossfire during a
> deadly condiment battle. The book was quite literally soaking in Grey
> Poupon and corn relish, and those few pages where the ink hadn't run so
> much as to be illegible disintegrated in his hands.
>       "That's... not very nice," Cheesecake Eater Lad muttered. He closed
> his eyes and started to breathe deeply, thinking of cheesecakes and other
> relaxing thoughts (well, mostly just cheesecakes.) Maybe the library
> would have a copy. Yes, that was it, the library.

Awwww, sweetie. ^^;;; I love CEL.

>       "Oh, come on," said Cheesecake Eater Lad evenly. "After a fight like
> that, you think Fearless Leader isn't going to chew you both out to keep
> things from reigniting?"
>       "Oh yes," ARAK replied with immense sarcasm. "I defend myself from
> the attack of a fundie loony who's uttering death threats, and all he can
> think of to try and keep it from happening again is yell at people.

Yeah, honestly, that's a good point. o3o Like... death threats and physical 
assault are a situation where the blame should really land squarely on one party.

> Instead, ARAK just looked out the
> window, and mused in a quieter, more considered but still extremely
> irritated tone, "I'm beginning to think Fearless Leader might have a
> Captain-America-Ideological-Blindspot on the issue of religion."
>       "Say what?"
>       ARAK rolled his eyes. "A Captain-America-Ideological-Blindspot.
> Look, power not only corrupts, it attracts the attention of those who are
> already corrupt, okay? Right. Now, the Founding Fathers knew that, and
> even put provisions in the constitution to try to head it off. Then along
> comes Captain America fighting the Secret Empire, and he tracks the head
> of the whole subversive group to the White House and discovers that it's
> the president. Does this confirm to him the adage that the price of
> freedom is eternal vigilance, and that a greater effort needs to be made
> to protect the democratic institution from those who would use it for
> their owns ends? Nooooo. He gets all weepy and loses his faith and goes
> off to play the part of 'Nomad, the Man Without a Country' for a while.
> He was so blinded by his belief in the Ame.rec.an Dream that he forgot
> that there's a difference between the dream and reality: that the reality
> is something that has to be continually worked at and protected.

Yeah, that scans.

>       "What I think is happening is that Fearless Leader has a similar
> blindspot with religion, and he can't admit to himself that a Christian
> priest like Self-Righteous Preacher is such a biggotted fugwit."
>       CEL thought that this last bit was also an exaggeration of the
> situation, but kept quiet on this as well.

It? Really isn't tho!? SRP was just written as using intensely bigoted language, 
and in fact consistently is!? He is awful!?!?

> "I didn't say you were. Come on, calm down. Look,
> does this work *have* to be done right now?" he asked, waving his hand at
> the computer terminal. "I really do think you need to take a break after
> everything that's happened today."
>       ARAK's fists were clenched, then he slowly released them. "Yeah,
> well, maybe you're right." He looked around the workroom, then picked up
> his leather jacket. "Let's go get some fresh air."

I gotta remember this characterization of CEL as diplomat, it's Very Good

>       So this was the city that was the superhero capital of the
> Looniearth! Coolness! He'd been soaring about for fifteen minutes and
> so far hadn't caught whiff of so much as one other costumed net.ahuman,
> let alone an honest to goodness fight scene, but he was so atremble with
> excitement that he didn't really care.
>       I mean, for a start, there were all those tall buildings! On the
> world of the giant radioactive space hamsters from which he came burrows
> were the favoured style of construction, and although he had seen sky-
> scrapers before on other worlds, the experience was always a novelty.
> Branb'ss zoomed up and down the faces of the skyscrapers, then did a
> hair-pin bend and skimmed out along a road.
>       Presently, he heard the sounds of fighting.   .oO( Ah-ha! ) he
> thought. ( Malefactors! )

I love him and I must protect him. He is an Extremely Soft Boy.

>       He homed in on the sounds and soon enough came upon a brawl. He was
> mildly disappointed to find that it was simply a bunch of normals duking
> it out rather than an honest-to-goodness fight scene, but oh well. He
> landed amidst the throng and called out: "Ho, good citizens! Stop this
> unseemly behaviour at once and return to your homes."


>       The fighting stopped for about five whole seconds as the combatants
> simply *stared* at Captain Rat Creature. The sight of a hamster the size
> of a bear, standing on its hind legs with arms akimbo, and dressed in a
> spandex costume with a stylised quiche on the chest will do that, you
> know.


>       Then someone yelled "It's a smeggin' mutie freak!" and threw a
> bottle at him.

It's really hard to read this kind of dialog nowadays. x-x

>       Captain RAC was so distracted by this conundrum that he didn't even
> notice some of them coming up behind him until they had grabbed him and
> wrestled him to the ground. He cursed himself for being so careless, and
> used his immense strength to throw them away from him. Then he took to
> the air and pondered the situation, just out of arms reach. He ignored
> their vile rantings as well the bottles and bits of brick they kept
> throwing.

I love this image. X3 "Hmmm de hoo..." *awful people jumping up trying to grab 
him, just out of reach*

> His people had
> come to this technology dominated newsgroup from a fantasy one in the
> role playing game hierarchies, and had used their knowledge of magic to
> establish some very profitable trading concerns with the other species
> of the galaxy.

yessss goood

>       He focused his attention, trying to block out the yells and taunts
> coming from the humans below him. Only now that he was trying to ignore
> them did he realise just how much they stank. Oh well, they were meat
> eaters after all, with nasty pointy teeth and everything.


> Concentrating
> fiercely he closed a paw into a fist, then opened it again. It was now
> full of silvery dust: the Sands of the Somnambulist.

Yesssssss <3 *updates his wiki page*

>       Anal-Retentive Archive Kid slouched along, clearly still disgruntled.
> Cheesecake-Eater Lad couldn't help but notice the way that many of the
> other Legionnaires looked askance at his presence as they passed, or
> congregated in small groups whispering to each other. It was like being
> in a Steve Ditko comic.


>       But now, to Cheesecake-Eater Lad's shock, he saw that things had
> gone further than he could have guessed. The face of Anal-Retentive
> Archive Kid's was twisted and green; his lips were curled back in a
> horrible rictus grin, showing sharp yellow teeth.
>       Whatever was affecting the city was starting to turn its victims
> *physically* into trolls as well.

Dun dun dunnnnn!

Drew "love what we did with this in v2 #50" Perron

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