LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #99: FLAME WARS IV Part Six

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Mar 26 22:58:09 PDT 2019

On 3/24/2019 5:07 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> FLAME WARS IV #4 by Saxon Brenton and Jamie Rosen gives us some more
> death from The One Man Abusive Reaction.  Is anyone safe?  Well, probably
> Zowie!!!Boy -- I mean what kind of a cold hearted person would kill such
> a lovable character like Zowie!!!Boy.  Certainly not either Saxon or
> Jamie.  I think we can all assume that Zowie!!!Boy is going to get through
> this issue perfectly fine.  Yep.

I, I mean, definitely o.o;;;;

> And The Non-Continuing Misadventures of (Some of) Miss Translation's Villains
> by Jamie Rosen takes place around this time.  But does it have anything to do
> with Zowie!!!Boy?  Well, unless Zowie!!!Boy is a Miss Translation villain --
> I guess not.


...no he's not ._.

>       "Hello Lenny," said Cheesecake-Eater Lad.
>       "Hi," said the squirrel.

The LNH, everybody!

>       "Squirrels don't feel grief?"
>       "Spirit beings of the Dreamtime in general don't feel grief," Lenny
> corrected. "To feel passionate about something that is wrong, and to
> strive to fix it - that is something that is within our natures. But to
> fret over something beyond our abilities to affect, or to suffer regret
> for the passing away of something - no, that sort of empathy is the
> province of humans alone."

Innnnnnteresting. (I assume "humans" here includes other sapient mortals; I'm 
reminded of Saxon's use of Humanity in the Kid Not Appearing In Any Retcon Hour 
Story miniseries.)

>       Lenny stared at him in amazement and just a touch of offence. "No.
> *Humans* forget. Time and memory and eventually death will make *you*
> forget, but I will remember always. I am a yabon, one of the friends of
> man. I am young by such standards, barely twenty thousand of your
> years. But I have been alive longer than your civilisation has been in
> existence - and I remember all of the heroes whom I helped in their
> quests. All of the youngster who went to their initiations, and all of
> the old wise men and women who have helped preserve their communities
> against the night spirits, and everybody in between."

I LOVE LENNY ;-; I wonder what he's doing now
>       "It's not a disease," Lenny remonstrated him. "And you're not all
> mental defectives either, or anything else like that. It's a different
> way of looking at the world.

Neurodiversity Pride <3

> That makes you humans pretty
> special: you go and do some of the most amazing things, and all because
> you've gone and gotten all worked up and passionate about something. It's
> just one of the things about humans that makes you all such a wonderful,
> mad, vexing, exhilarating species."
>       Cheesecake-Eater Lad was thoughtful as he tried to absorb this.
> "With love, all things are possible," he recited to himself under his
> breath.

In contrast to what I was talking about last time about bleakness, this is 
clearly Saxon and Jamie (and especially Saxon, this part is very his style) 
contrasting the bleakness, pain, and emotional sadism with the deep and 
inalienable value of love, empathy, passion and hope. It's a complex and nuanced 
take, too, showing these feelings not as a one-dimensionally Nice Thing, but as 
a source of both pain and joy.

>       Ultimate Ninja frowned. Of course, it was behind his mask, so it was
> hard to tell, but take our word for it: he frowned.
>       He didn't like dealing with the military at the best of times, and
> being under attack by a demented net.god hardly qualified as 'the best of
> times.'

I feel there's a complex thing here about how UN runs the Legion and the ways 
that's different from the military and the ways it's similar.

>       "We need to take out OMAR, and we need to take him out ASAP," Major
> Reason said. "One of the benefits of having lost a military base to him
> is that it means he's surrounded by bombs, rockets, and a variety of
> other weapons of mass destruction which I am not allowed to disclose to
> you at the moment."
>       Fearless Leader blinked. "That's *good*?"
>       Major Reason nodded. "I understand your confusion, Fearless Leader.
> Permit me to clarify -- the fact that he is surrounded by all of these
> weapons will make it easier to kill him."

...will it, tho???

>       Anal-Retentive Archive Kid fought his way back to consciousness, and
> awoke with both a gasp and a snarl. The first two things that he became
> aware of were that he was lying in a bed, and the pain in his hands.
>       His hands hurt because they were clenched and knotted with tension.
> He unclenched them and absently tried to massage some life back into the
> muscles as he glanced around.

That's so ARAK.

>       "My hands are all cramped and my mouth tastes like an ash tray,"
> ARAK answered absently. He was thinking. OMAR. The One Man Abusive
> Reaction. Yes. ARAK remembered him. "Eeewww," he said, suddenly
> shuddering in revulsion.
>       "What's wrong?"
>       "I was just remembering how slimy he felt, inside my head. Yuck."

Ewwwww. Yeah reasonable. o3o

...oh dear, I'm just remembering how I had ARAK possessed by *another* spirit of 
emotion in Flame Wars Final. Oh dear.

>       A brief seizure as it turned out. Organic Lass was there within
> seconds, ready to give medical assistance, and ARAK followed even though
> he was a bit woozy as he first crawled out of bed. But seconds was all
> the trollified Legionnaire had; his thrashings cut off abruptly just as
> Organic Lass arrived at his side.
>       Organic Lass sighed, set her shoulders with resignation, and pulled
> a sheet over the body. Anal-Retentive Archive Kid had a brief glimpse of
> a barely recognisable face - although the coke bottle glasses were a bit
> of help in identifying the unfortunate. "Zowie!!!Boy," he murmured to
> himself.

Ohhhhhh, that's harsh. @@ Emotionally resonant, but harsh.

>       Organic Lass glanced at him and nodded. "As I was about to say,
> *you* are the first and so far only person to make a spontaneous
> remission.


>       "SAFNAR Kid," Blue Wave said as he stepped onto the mat outside the
> automatic doors, "didn't you hear what he said? The Normalizer may be
> hold the key to returning the trolls to normoof."
>       'Normoof'? What's that? Why, that's the sound Blue Wave makes when
> he walks into the automatic doors which failed to open.


>       "Ah, great," said Starts-Arguments-For-No-Apparent-Reason Kid.
> "Stupid freakin' doors. Get outta my way." He shoved Blue Wave to the
> side and started trying to pry the doors open with his hands, to no avail.

I love him XD

>       "I don't know," Starts-Arguments-For-No-Apparent-Reason Kid said,
> climbing over the admissions desk, "but it'll make finding the Normalizer
> easier." He grabbed a clipboard and flipped through a few pages, then
> climbed back over the desk. "Follow me."
>       Miss Translation and Blue Wave exchanged glances. "Could not it have
> employ the door?" she asked quietly.


>       "Look, I know how hard this sort of thing can be on a man. I lost my
> wife to cancer three years ago, and it just about crushed me -- she was
> the only thing I had outside of the military." Major Reason put a hand on
> Cheesecake-Eater Lad's shoulder. "Don't worry," he said. "I have every
> confidence that we're going to be able to beat this OMAR character, and
> when we do, everyone -- your wife, my men, all of those civilians -- will
> be returned to normal."
>       Cheesecake-Eater Lad gave Major Reason a sidelong look. "I wish I
> had your confidence," he said.

I mean, that's how it usually goes, narratively. o3o

>       Within, someone sighed. Through the door Ultimate Ninja saw Bjorn,
> the Legion's Human Resources Manager. He was looking around the room in
> disgruntlement and a sort of agitated despair, wringing his hands as he
> gazed about.
>       "Problems, Bjorn?" asked the Ninja.
>       Bjorn jumped. "Wha...!? Oh. Ultimate Ninja. I... uh... Sorry. You
> startled me. I, uhm, was just packing up Zowie!!!Boy's stuff to ship
> back to his... family. Yes, his family."

Absolutely normal behavior o3ov

>       "Ah. Thank you," said Bjorn. The Human Resources Manager's eyes fell
> to a recent copy of Dfandom magazine that Zowie!!!Boy had been working
> with,

Heeheehee that's a reference to me ^#^

>       "Do you have enough boxes for packing?" asked Ultimate Ninja,
> looking around and noting that there were none present.
>       Bjorn panicked. "The only box I'll need is *your* coffin!"

Wow. XD <3

> The other Evil Human Resource Managers were
> afraid of me, you know. Baorn and Bdorn and all the others.

What. XD

> They made
> petty demands of how I should go around being Evil... Eeevvviiilll!...
> and then used that as an excuse to throw me out of the Evil Human
> Resource Managers Association. Well, I'll show them! When I bring them
> YOUR HEAD, then they'll acknowledge my worth and elect me Grand High
> Poobah for Life. Yes yes." [A somewhat loose interpretation of Bjorn's
> dismissal from the EHRMA in _The Comic That Has No Purpose_ #s 1
> and 2 - Footnote Girl]

XD XD XD I need to read that.

>       As Ultimate Ninja dodged and backflipped and triple-somersaulted-
> with-half-pike, Bjorn continued: "Do you understand ninja? *Nothing* can
> withstand the might of Human Relations Managers! Even with the death of
> my Evil minion... uh, employee... my plans to destroy the Legion continue
> apace!"


>        By which time Ultimate Ninja had made his way to within striking
> distance - albeit obliquely so as not to attract attention to the fact
> and break Bjorn out of his ranting reverie. Then he quite calmly slid his
> ginsu katana into Bjorn's guts.
>       Bjorn stared at it in outright amazement. This could not be
> happening! His foolproof plan could not possible have gone wrong!
> " ... " he managed to say by way of protest.

I feel like this whole scene is a bit gratuitous, tho. In a mini where careless 
murder is linked to thematic and emotional points, UN randomly fighting and 
killing a bad guy feels disconnected.

>       Captain Rat Creature had a very strange look on his face. As Dr.
> Stomper approached and began to ask if it felt like any bones were
> broken, the giant radioactive space hamster went "HwwaaAAACK Ptui!" and
> spat out OMAR's hand. "I want to wash my mouth out with soap," Captain
> Rat Creature announced, making an icky-bleacky face.

*cackles* I love him

>       "He was *laughing* at us," added Vigilante Guy, more than a bit
> sullenly. He was temperamentally unsuited to making feint attacks.


>        Organic Lass cleared her throat. "Excuse me," she said, "but since
> Anal-Retentive Archive Kid managed to spontaneously revert to his normal
> form, couldn't we --"
>        "Cut him up instead! Brilliant!"

Noooooo. XD

>        "Certainly, Captain Rat Creature was able to inflict a fair amount
> of harm on him," Organic Lass continued, "and that's presumably because
> of his cuteness."

Curses, I didn't create Kid Enthusiastic until a little after FWIV!

>        Ultimate Ninja's voice came over the comm.thingee's general band
> while Cheesecake-Eater Lad was working on a pralines'n'calamari
> cheesecake to take his mind off things.


>        He wiped his hands on his apron, then hung it on a hook behind the
> door so he'd remember where it was when he came back. He refrigerated all
> of the ingredients for the cheesecake so he could pick up where he left
> off, and turned off the light to the kitchen. As he stepped out of the
> cafeteria, someone tapped him on the shoulder.
>        "Excuse me, Cheesecake-Eater Lad?" Major Reason said. "There's
> something I'd like to talk to you about. In private."

Dun dun dunnnn...

> All morning the sky had been experimenting with decreasingly
> interesting ways of redefining the word 'drab', and the landscape had been
> doing its best to keep up, to the point where tumbleweed had been reluctant
> to venture near for fear of making the place seem 'too busy.'

Minimalism has gone too far!

>    "Yu know pehrfectly vell vhy not. Zee companee duz not pehrmit eet!"
>    Without warning, Manny leapt from his seat, grabbing his mustachio'd
> partner by the lapels. "Look, Norman," he said through gritted teeth. "We're
> all alone. Drop the stupid accent."
>    "I veel du no such ting! Eet ees een mah bluhd."
>    Manny shook him, very vigorously, three times. "Perhaps I did not make
> myself clear," he said. "We are all alone -- which means there won't be any
> witnesses to what I do to you if you *don't* drop the accent. And the only
> thing that will be in your blood is my *hands*."
>    Norman swallowed. "Ah see. Uh, er... I see."


>    Manny remembered the old cop shows on tv, where the heroes would jump on
> the hood of their car and slide across it. Of course, he wasn't a police
> officer, and it wasn't his car, but he did it anyway.

He may be negative but he still treasures the little things.

>    "Look, see?" he began as Norman stepped out of the car and stood next to
> him. "Net.ropolis is *here* --" He jabbed a gloved finger down at the map.
> " -- and Net.santo headquarters is *here*." He jabbed again, this time
> slightly down and to the left.
>    "But I thought Net.ropolis was here." Norman pointed to a completely
> different part of the map.
>    "It used to be."
>    "What?"
>    "I said it used to be. The city has a tendency to move around depending
> on the circumstances. Some people attribute it to the presence of so many
> Net.Heroes and Net.Villains."

Yessssss. :3 One of my favorite bits of metafictional silliness, which became 
mystical, worldbuilding silliness in LNH20.

> Manny turned from the map. "Didn't you pay
> attention during any of those training sessions?"
>    Norman looked at him in surprise. "We had training sessions?"
>    Manny simply looked up at the sky and shook his head.


>    Manny turned around to see a middle-aged woman in a red pick-up truck. He
> opened his mouth to speak, but Norman cut him off.
>    "Yes vee are," he said, slipping back into his badly transcribed French
> accent. "I vonder eef yu could 'elp us, pehr'aps?"
>    "Sure," the woman said. "You wanna lift?"

You know, I expected her to turn out to be someone? Guess not tho

>    The car stopped at a rest stop. They tend to do that.
>    "Make it quick, Norman!" Negative Manny called to the retreating figure
> of Norman French, who was running -- a little awkwardly -- into the store.


> And that had seemed to be the
> way his life was going, until that fateful day when he went to start the
> car.
>    Wait a second. Start the car?
>    "Start the car! Start the car!"

I love Jamie's humor writing. X3

>    Manny's eyes snapped open, and he saw Norman running towards him, so
> terrified he was forgetting to put on his accent. Behind the faux
> Frenchman were a couple of short, green looking folks that were liable to
> get their creators in trouble with Joe Dante if they weren't careful.

Heeheehee. Also I think this is the only scene where we actually see trolls 
outside of Net.ropolis?

>    Norman French ignored his partner and pulled a cellphone from his
> pocket. "'Allo?" he said. He listened for a second, then handed the phone
> to Negative Manny. "Eet eez for yoo."
>    Manny scowled at Norman, then took the phone from him, risking a ticket
> for reckless driving. (They're villains, remember.)


>    Negative Manny's voice echoed through the wilderness like the howls of the
> coyotes that were only a few metres away, lurking in the darkness, waiting
> to feast upon the blood of the dam -- er, darned. Wait, that makes it sound
> like the coyotes are going to eat socks. Let's make it the dratted, then.
> The coyotes were waiting to feast upont he blood of the dratted.


>    Norman squinted at the sign that was just barely illumined by the narrow
> sliver of moon. "It says... 'retnE toN oD.' Must be Dutch."
>    "What?" Manny shifted in his seat. "Let me see -- you idiot! We're looking
> at it from the other side. It says 'Do Not Enter.'"
>    "Oh. Well, I guess the town is named regnaD, then?"
>    Manny frowned. "Regnad?" Then he smacked Norman upside the head. "That's
> 'Danger'. I don't think this is a town."
>    "goD daM," Norman muttered.
>    "You can't swear in this title, it isn't proper."
>    "I wasn't swearing. I was just trying to read the other sign."

That said, not swearing as a setup for this joke is pretty Great. X3

>    "Abbedyabbedyabbedyabbedy..." babbled Norman and Manny as they leapt into
> each other's arms.

I love this cartoon nonsense

> Then, as quickly as the dog had appeared, it vanished,
> leaping over the roof of the car and into the inky blackness of the night.
> Almost as quickly, our intrepid agents let go of each other, rubbing their
> hands on their pantlegs to get rid of the cooties.

Adorable. X3

>    Somewhere, in the darkness of space, a hero awaits...
>    Okay, so it's actually the trunk of Manny and Norman's Edsel. And he's not
> really so much a hero as a sidekick -- but he's a loyal and plucky sidekick!
> He's even got his own fan club and everything! Really! And it's not just his
> mom that's in it! There's Betty from down the street, and his cousin Bob,
> and when he wrote to Ultimate Ninja once about it he got a letter back saying
> that UN would love to be a member! Actually, he got two letters back, but the
> signatures on them were different, so one of them must have been from an evil
> impostor, or maybe from Ultimate Mercenary or something.
>    Somewhere, in the darkness of the trunk, a sidekick awaits...

omg. I'm not sure if this ever got followed up on? X3

>    As I write this Author's Note, it's early June and I'm waiting for my
> 'net connection to start working so I can e-mail Saxon about _Flame Wars 4_.
> The story you just read was written a couple of months earlier (with some
> revision since, and possibly more to come after I write this.) It's basic
> purpose is two-fold -- to give me something to do, and to give me the option
> of posting something while my primary characters are tied up in FW4.
>    And now it's February, and Flame Wars IV is over, and I never got around
> to posting this at all. (Did I?)

Awwwww. X3; I know that feel

Drew "posts things the wrong way around all the time" Perron

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