LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #159: Beige Countdown Part Twelve

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 12 14:55:01 PDT 2020

You can sift through the racc list archive
or you can try google groups racc for the twelfth part of Beige Countdown.

Okay, not really the twelfth part of Beige Countdown, more a Saxon Brenton
interlude between the skipped issues of #4-2.  For the first one of these,
Legion of Net.Heroes vII #25 -- Saxon gives us an NTB tale (which no
children or god-fearing adults should ever read -- so if you are one of
those please skip this one).

And next we have LNH vII #26 -- which I assume doesn't have any of those
nasty NTB characters -- so totally safe for children and god-fearing
adults who are into Continuity Porn.  Very Big Boy and Nope Lads and Lasses
make up the role call for this one.

And now...

             | |      Classic			
             | |                      =
             | |      ____    ____    _    ____    ___
             | |__   | [] |  | [] |  | |  | [] |  | _ \  

             |____|   \__]    \__ |  |_|   \__/   |_|\_\
                                |_|  OF NET.HEROES

                                    ADVENTURES #159

                     Beige Countdown Part Twelve

From: Saxon Brenton <saxonb... at hotmail.com>
Subject: LNH/NTB: Legion of Net.Heroes Vol.2 #25
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 03:38:19 +0000 (UTC)

[LNH/NTB] Legion of Net.Heroes Vol.2 #25
This issue of:
          [] egion of
          []__ [] []   []  []
          [___][ \[]et.[]__[]eroes  Volume 2 #25
               []\ ]   [ __ ]
               [] []   []  []
has been hijacked to present one of the
                     Of The
         'Idiot Plot: It Was Worth It'
written by and copyright 2008 Saxon Brenton
     Mr Anthony Nicolls bounded down the steps of the Net.ropolis 
Supreme Court with a huge grin on his face.  He felt almost giddy 
with excitement as he skipped out from under the eves and into the 
sunlight (startling a flock of pigeons into flight) and down to meet 
the waiting news media and paparazzi.  His lawyer, Duncan Trelth, 
trailed behind him with considerably more decorum and quite a bit of 
confusion.  After all, the settlement case had gone against Nicolls.  
Gone against him very badly, in fact.
     The press' questions rose like the babble of magpies:
     "What's your reaction to today's ruling...?"
     "Anything to say to your wife...?"
     "Will you be lodging an appeal...?"
     Nicolls ignored them.  "Hello reptiles of the press!" he declared 
with that same beaming smile.  "I'm glad you're all here today.  I've 
got a statement to make, and afterwards... I guarantee I won't be 
taking any questions."  It was a comment that elicited a ripple of 
cynical laughter.
     "For those of you who haven't heard the details yet, half an hour 
ago Mr Justice Harahan awarded custody of my children and control of 
my wife's estate to her sister."  He beamed.  "I dispute this ruling.   
I dispute it most strenuously.
     "But that's not the reason I'm so glad to see you all here today.  
I wanted to tell you all to your faces that this is all you fault. 
You were the ones who hounded myself, my wife and our family for your 
petty media coverage.  Her stress and drug problems were created by 
the pressure that you jackals behaving irresponsibly.  And now it's 
time to pay."
     The crowd perked up at this, while paradoxically most of them were 
also mentally switching off.  Hysterical rants were always good for 
coverage, although not quite as visual as fistfights breaking out, of 
course.  But trying to follow it on the off-chance there was a line of 
argument hidden there somewhere was the job of whoever was editing 
the sound bite.  Just shoot the purty pictures.  A few of the more 
intelligent crowd members shifted their stances warily, just in case 
Nicolls pulled a gun and started shooting people, but instead Nicolls 
held up a photograph.
     "This is a picture of Dan Cooper, who's an excellent example of 
everything bad about 'paparazzi'.  Is Mr Cooper here today?"
     There was a small commotion in the crowd as some of the other 
photographers and camera crews standing next to Cooper gave him some 
good natured ribbing.
     "An absolute shit of a man," summarised Nicolls in the same 
smiling manner that a TV show host would smarmily introduce a 
contestant.  "Devoid of any sort of morality, and who wouldn't even 
know how to spell 'journalistic ethics', let alone be able to tell 
you what they meant."
     "Yeah, yeah, screw you," said Cooper in a undertone as he kept 
snapping pictures.  Cooper was going to get paid for these snaps, while 
at the rate Nicolls was going all he'd be getting out of this would 
probably be more costs from a bunch of defamation cases.
     "This photograph," continued Nicolls grandly, "has been treated 
to be a voodoo fetish.  Not just for Mr Cooper, but for all paparazzi 
within two miles of it."
     Nicolls smiled.  "And that's why I'm so glad that you're all here, 
within range," he said as he ripped the photograph in half.  He was 
still smiling as the blood and gore of the nearest of dismembered 
bodies splattered across him and the screams started.  Oh the 
wonderful, wonderful screams.
     Just under a year later it was another lawyer, Maxwell Stimns, 
who was accompanying Mr Anthony Nicolls.  Also with then were two 
prison guards.  They were making the comparatively short walk to the 
execution chamber where the laser death ray was set up.  (Four colour 
comic book universes have access to ways of executing people that are 
far more efficient, quick and humane than mere lethal injection or use 
of electric chairs.)
     Stimns was... professionally irritated.  Not about losing the case.  
That was a risk of the job.  Rather, after following Nicolls' stated 
preference to plead 'Not Guilty' to over seven hundred counts of 
murder, Nicolls had made no attempt to put any spin on the facts of his 
case.  It was subtle, but he suspected that his client had wanted 
something like a forum to show off how clever he was.  Except that 
wasn't quite it either.
     "That was idiotic," repeated Stimns.  "If you were really so set 
on killing someone and could do it from a distance, you shouldn't have 
advertised the fact in broad daylight.  And if had to do it in the open, 
then you should have gone for an insanity plea."
     Anthony Nicolls shrugged, seemingly indifferent.  "Maybe.  I don't 
care.  It was worth it."
Character credits:
  Everybody here is a throwaway characters created by me for this story.
Author's Notes:
     Back in late January 2008 Tom Russell issued another one of his 
creative writing challenges: to write a story predicated on a type of 
Idiot Plot, where the protagonist(s) behave in a foolish manner but 
win through to get a happy ending.  Various examples of how this could 
be handled were discussed.  My suggestions tended to involve people 
who were not themselves idiots, but were deliberately acting that way 
as a means to an end - and possibly for metatextual reasons.
     This vignette isn't quite pitched at that level, but nevertheless 
runs the outer edge of the story criteria.
     I decided to present it as a Net.Trenchcoat Brigade story because 
of the three imprints that typically appear in the Looniverse - LNH, 
NTB, and OSD - the weird tales format of the NTB could most easily be 
stretched to include an EC Comics style horror story.   It's more 
about mood than which characters (don't) appear.  (Although come 
to think of it the morality tale/revenge fantasies of the Order of 
St Doomas could have made a plausible claim under only slightly 
different circumstances.)
     It also occurs to me that with only a slight change in focus by 
adding follow-up reactions from the public, this could have been 
presented as one of my Intermezzo stories that tie-in, thematically at 
least, with Beige Countdown.  Look at it this way, in a world like the 
Looniverse which encompasses both the four colour superheroics of the 
LNH and the weird tales antics of the NTB, events like the above story 
are bound to happen from time to time.  The public will be rightly 
horrified and demand action to stop this sort of thing, just as with 
the STUFF.org disaster in _58.5_.
     And in a setting operating in horror mode this will do absolutely 
no good whatsoever, because the forces involved -- whether they are 
literal occult forces like demons from Hell, or merely the universe 
being actively out to get you as per Sod's Law -- are outside of any 
government's ability to control.
     However, on the up side, while the Net.ahuman Registration Act 
might not be able to stop something like this, it would mean that 
there's an agency with a large number of net.ahuman operatives to act 
as disaster relief afterwards.  Kind of like the way that FEMA of the 
ASH universe is a top-notch rapid response group.
Saxon Brenton   University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.... at uts.edu.au     saxonb... at hotmail.com
"These 'no-nonsense' solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex
world of jet-powered apes and time-travel." - Superman, JLA Classified #3


From: Saxon Brenton <saxonb... at hotmail.com>
Subject: LNH: Legion of Net.Heroes Vol.2 #26
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 23:05:17 +0000 (UTC)

[LNH] Legion of Net.Heroes Vol.2 #26

___  ___________________________
| |-|                           \
| |-| []                        /             #26
| | | [] egion of               \  'Where Monsters Come From' 
| | | []__ [] []   []  []       /     (Intermezzo - Act 3) 
| | | [___][ \[]et.[]__[]eroes  \  (A Beige Countdown tie-in) 
| | |      []\ ]   [ __ ]       /
| |-|      [] []   []  []       \ written by and copyright 2008 
| |-|___________________________/         Saxon Brenton
| | 
| | 
| | 
| |  The cover shows a puppy, which has rolled over on his back and 
| |  is having his tummy scratched.  There's also a small picture of 
| |  a dancing Continuity Porn Star in the top corner indicating that 
| |  this issue contains continuity references.
| | 
[A Silver Age-style roster of characters in the form of a series of mug 
shots in little circles runs down the side of the title page:]
Roll call for this issue: 
  o Very Big Boy!
And introducing: 
  o The Nope Lads and Lasses!
These are just some of the super-powered do-gooders who belong to an 
organisation that thinks that running around with your underwear on 
the outside is acceptable as a fashion statement.  They are: the 
Legion of Net.Heroes!
     The following is an important Public Service Announcement.
     This is Jimmy.
     [A teenaged boy dressed casually in jeans and t-shirt waves at the 
audience]  "Hey there."
     Lately, Jimmy's body has been changing.  His voice has been getting 
deeper.  He's become interested in crime.  And he's discovered that he 
can emit particle beams in the form of concussive force blasts from his 
eye balls.
     [Jimmy sees some ram raiders drive into an ATM at a shopping mall, 
and promptly blasts the tires off of their SUV.  The ram raiders are 
forced to run away without being able to steal the ATM or its contents.]
     Jimmy is going through puberty, which is the period in the life of 
every young person when they grow to become a man or a woman.  This is 
an important time, since growing to become an adult means that taking 
on adult responsibilities.
     Jimmy: "What sort of responsibilities?"
     Well, such as such as helping your parents by doing more chores 
around the house, or taking a part-time job after school to pay for 
your music CDs and teen interest magazines.  And most importantly of 
all, registering with the Legion of Net.Heroes if you've gained 
superhuman powers.
     Jimmy: "Wow, the Legion of Net.Heroes!  But, what if I'm not good 
enough to join them?"
     The whole point of registering with the Legion of Net.Heroes is 
so that you learn to use your powers so that you *are* good enough to 
join them.  And even if you aren't interested in a full-time job as 
a net.hero, learning to use your powers properly is part of the 
responsibility of growing up.  Do you remember the first time you used 
your powers?
     Jimmy (ruefully): "Yeah.  We were eating dinner and I accidentally 
blasted my dinner plate.  The walls ended up covered in food and the 
table was split in half."
     Making sure that you can use your powers isn't just about learning 
how to fight crime.  It's also about making sure that you aren't 
accidentally a danger to yourself or your family.  That might not sound 
as exciting as battling an army of giant shape changing mecha bent on 
world conquest, but the first step in being a responsible adult is 
always about mundane day-to-day matters.  That's why the government of 
President Hexadecimal Luthor has passed the Net.ahuman Responsibility 
Act, so that everybody with superpowers knows how to use them.  It's 
like making sure you know how to use a car before you start driving 
     Jimmy: "Hey, you're right.  So how do I go about registering for 
     You can visit any LNH registration office, or just ring the number 
on the screen below: 1-800-LNH-RGSR.
     Remember: Superpowers.  They aren't just for a summer crossover 
event, they're for life.
     We now return you to your irregularly scheduled program.
     So, the reader may ask, what sort of things are involved in 
superhuman training?  A wide variety of things, actually.  It depends 
on what sort of powers someone has, their age group, whether they're 
interested in becoming a net.hero, and whether a particular class is 
based in practical or theoretical learning.  As an example of one of the 
more unusual lessons, let's have look at this field trip about daikaiju:
     Very Big Boy approached the puppy warily.  It was a very big puppy 
- as in, four stories tall big - and instead of spots was covered in 
irregular areas of circuit patterns.  Fortunately he was all tuckered 
out after all the romping about he'd be doing that morning, and was 
currently curled up in the Soldier Field football stadium in Sig.ago.  
But don't be fooled by that innocent looking demeanour!  He'd caused 
considerable consternation earlier in the day when he'd marked his 
territory on the Sears Tower.
     The Legionnaire picked up the puppy and scratched him on the back 
of the neck in the good spot.  The puppy licked his hand.  Very Big Boy 
applied a patch to the dog's head which caused the animal to temporarily 
shrink down to more manageable size, shrinking himself down as well and 
then carrying the puppy back to his waiting squad of trainees, who were 
mostly Nopes of some kind.
     The various Nope Lads and Lasses at least had registered for 
training under the Net.ahuman Responsibility Act rather than wilfully 
ignoring it.  However in one way or another they all took the position 
that they may be required to train to learn to use their powers, and 
that this might even be useful and necessary in a lot of cases, but they 
weren't going to stick around afterwards to be superheroes.  Instead, 
there was a half-serious mass movement to simply use the codename 'Nope-
I'm-Not-Training-To-Be-A-Superhero' followed by Lad or Lass or Man or 
Person or whatever, and then a specific number.
     "Well, that was easier than I'd expected," Very Big Boy admitted 
to the class.  "Normally I have to wrestle with them.  Now then, Nope 
Lad 179, I noticed that you brought a Geiger counter with you.  Would 
you mind telling the rest of the group why you did that?"
     "Uh, well, a lot of daikaiju have radioactive breath weapons.  Not 
all of them, of course, but enough of them to make it worth checking
for," said Nope Lad 179.  Although he looked like a blond-haired corn fed 
middle-American, he was actually one of the extraterrestrials studying a 
tertiary degree on Earth.  He was in LNH training program not because he 
had powers, but because under the light of a green sun his species
developed powers.
     Now, this was the Looniverse, so of course there really were such 
things as green suns, but even in the Looniverse they were incredibly 
rare.  Nevertheless Nope Lad 179 had taken advantage of this fact to get 
himself into the training program and have it counted as an elective for 
his university coursework.
     "Good thinking ahead," said Very Big Boy.  He addressed the group, 
"So in a case like that make sure you have good protection, or have 
someone on hand who's resistant to radiation."  He paused, then said 
with a smile, "Fortunately I am, and so is Nope Girl 1123 over there.  
Radioactivity might also be something to take into account in the
cleanup afterwards.  Speaking of which, check my hands where he licked 
me."  Nope Lad 179 did so.  There was the barest increase in clicking 
from the counter, indicating ever-so-slightly-more-than-normal 
background radiation.  "So," said Very Big Boy, "Extremely mildly 
radioactive slobber.  Still, I'd better wash my hands."
     He placed the puppy in a carry cage and then washed his hands 
thoroughly.  Once he'd decontaminated himself he came back to the trainees.
     "Okay squad," said Very Big Boy.  "Just a question-and-answer 
session to round off the exercise, then we'll take this little fellow... 
this *currently* little fellow... off and release him on Mons.dir
Island.  Who can you tell me something about daikaiju?"
     To no-one's surprise, the youngster called Sp33d Fr3ak put up her 
hand.  While she tended to be hyperactive - something that she was 
learning to control thanks to the specialist training with the Legion - 
she also tended to absorb a lot of information when she studied at high 
speed.  Of course, she was also one of those speedsters whose metabolism 
would cause her to bleed at high speed if she was ever badly injured, so 
front line combat duty would probably never suit her.  She was making 
the most of her time with the LNH, but made no secret about her 
intention to leave the superheroing organisation when she had learnt all 
she could and then go back to making preparations for college.  At least 
she took the exercise seriously enough that she had gone to the trouble 
of choosing a unique codename.
    She said, "Daikaiju comes from the Japanese words roughly 
translating as 'giant monster'.  There have always been some giant 
monsters about; Fin Fanfic Foom is supposed to have been around for 
millennia.  But there's been an increase in the number a daikaiju 
appearing in the Ame.rec.an midwest over the past decade as some of the 
hakemon destabilise and grow to giant size."
     Very Big Boy nodded.  "Which brings us the hakemon, doesn't it?  
Anyone else want to bring us up to date on them?"
     A man in his late thirties, dressed in slacks and pullover, raised 
his hand.  Very Big Boy knew him to be a computer technician with minor 
telekinesis from North Caroli.net with the codename of Nope Guy 2453.  
     "Hakemon are the 'hackable monsters'.  They're the cybernetic 
animals with superpowers that started showing up in the mid-west in the 
late 1990s.  Kids like to adopt them and train them to fight each 
other."  He frowned briefly as a cynical part of his mind noted the 
possible similarities to the Net.ahuman Responsibility Act, then 
dismissed the thought.  The NRAct may be onerous, but the fact that the 
Legion had an opt-out at the end meant that they were hardly being 
groomed for the type of bear-baiting and cock-fighting that the hakemon 
trainers had recreated.  Nope Guy continued on, pretending that his 
pause had been because he was searching his memory, "The hakemon were 
supposed to have been early experiments on animals in creating super-
powers by the Century Pact, who later moved on to creating superhuman 
agents.  And then later the Pact turned out to have been a front for a 
scheme by Acton Lord all along."  [_Dvandom Force_ #97-100 and #83-84 
respectively.  Well, the public *thinks* it was a scheme by Acton Lord, 
anyway - Footnote Girl]
     "And that's the crux of the matter," summarised Very Big Boy.  "The 
hakemon were early attempts at the nanotech creation of cybernetic 
superpowers.  Usually as they grow more powerful they develop along set 
patterns: the mouse-like picochu typically transforms into a vichu, for 
example.  But their net.amorphosis isn't always stable, and sometimes 
they can grow into almost anything.  Including, of course, giant 
monsters," he said, gesturing at the cage with the puppy.  "This fellow 
probably started out as a grow.lisp.
     "Now, I'll check with the National Guard to make sure they have 
everything under control here, and then we'll call wReamhack and have 
him transport us across to Mons.dir Island, and you can have a look at 
what the release program is like."
Character Credits:
  Hakemon created by Dave Van Domelen.
  Very Big Boy created by Saxon Brenton.  Not reserved, but please 
ask before making any drastic or permanent changes.
  The Nope Lads and Lasses concept, and all such characters depicted 
here, are given over to public domain.
  The grow.lisp (hakemon variant of a growlithe) thanks to Jamas Enright.
Author's Notes:
     This post was originally a single scene in a story called 'Funky 
Monkeys' which has super-gorilla Krodd as the villain.  However, even 
allowing for the fact that 'Funky Monkeys' was conceived as a two 
parter, the story has grown too long, so I've reworked the daikaiju 
field trip into a stand alone episode.
     The opening lines of the advertisement were lifted from a similar 
spoof advertisement for superhero recruitment in the _City Of Heroes_ 
online game setting.
     And now another character roster entry.  Note that the concept of 
'doesn't matter' (as distinct from normal matter, anti-matter, or even 
strange matter) is one inspired from the _GURPS Illuminated University_ 
sourcebook, and which I've tweaked as one possible semi-plausible-under-
real-physics handwave for why size changers might not be subject to the 
limitations of the cube-square law.  Of course, theoretically the dark 
matter that astronomers are currently so interested in could be a flavour 
of doesn't matter which is affected by gravity but is transparent to 
electromagnetism, so that it is invisible because photons don't interact 
with it.
NAME: Very Big Boy
  REAL NAME: Donald (Don) Scowie
  TYPE: Not reserved.
  CREATED BY: Saxon Brenton
  POWERS: Can grow to giant size.
  FIRST APPEARANCE: (As Don Scowie) _Limp-Asparagus Lad_ #46 ; 
    (AS Very Big Boy) _Limp-Asparagus Lad_ #50
  ADD NOTES: Gained powers in a nuclear explosion.  His hair turns 
    'radioactive green' when at giant size.  When he changes size he 
    draws extra mass from an extradimensional source (as per the first 
    law of Marvel physics: When in doubt, invoke another dimension).  
    Typically the extra mass is a form of doesn't matter which is 
    transparent to gravity but not to the other fundamental forces of 
    electromagnetism, the nuclear weak or nuclear strong force, meaning 
    that he may gain several tons of extra mass but still keep only 
    his normal weight.
Saxon Brenton   University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.... at uts.edu.au     saxonb... at hotmail.com
"These 'no-nonsense' solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex
world of jet-powered apes and time-travel." - Superman, JLA Classified #3

Next Week:  The Countdown Part Thirteen!

Arthur "Same Classic Channel.  But Same Time?  Probably not." Spitzer

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