LNH: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths! #32: "Meet Me In St. Louis, By Which I Mean Net.ropolis"

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Nov 27 23:49:50 PST 2020

Issue #32: "Meet Me In St. Louis, By Which I Mean Net.ropolis"
A tale of purposeful coincidence, by Drew Nilium


April 24th, not long before Captain Continuity got back from the age of
dinosaurs - but long enough...

Agent Bennigan leaned against the wall of the LNHQ. The experience of being
jumped forward in time a day was heady, and his head felt a little more full, a
little louder, like the voice of purpose driving him was echoing around in his
skull, like it was being repeated by some bigger, more powerful voice...

But that was fine. He'd always been a man of duty - willing to do whatever was
necessary, no matter how painful, no matter what it cost.

He shook himself out, let the echoes fade, and looked around. Ah, yes, the
sheep. And now that they had returned--

There was a flash of light, and a shimmering portal opened in the air. Out of
it walked a young man wearing a helmet with impractically large horns, leading
a number of other colorfully-dressed characters.

Agent Bennigan reached out with the Ring of Simplification and tugged at the
threads of their narrative, saw where they lead back to - this must be the West
Coast Brotherhood of Net.Villains. Another complication to simplify. Very good.

He could feel them all around him now - the links of Hypertext Time, the
futures and pasts one could access so easily, and he found the right future,
and made all the links from this moment point at it, making it inevitable...

OTP's head whipped around, and she snarled. Her claws snikt'd out and she took
a great leap towards LNHQ. Crossplay King, who was under an all-enshrouding
cloak, barely managed to grab her shoulders, holding her back.

Captain Coredump, who OTP had just barely missed taking a slice out of, jumped
back, lines of C++ code swirling around her wristbands, turning them into a
shield and a long blade. "Best keep your dog on a leash," she hissed, and
Crossplay King gave her a dark look.

Gracemora let out a loud laugh, tossing her hair back, but did not make any
comment; and Anti-Christ Lad came up to OTP, speaking quietly and calmly. "What
do you feel, my comrade?"

"Powerful shipping potential," said OTP, staring off into the distance, blood
vessels of her eyes strikingly red against the whites, "but wrong, *twis*ted..."

"Twisted shipping..." Anti-Christ Lad's brows knit.

"It can *only* be Romantic Innuendo." Revamp Lass's face set in hatred.

"The East Coast Brotherhood must be inside LNHQ!" Anti-Christ Lad felt the
sharp sting of looking destiny in the face; and remembered his vow, to move
towards it, not away... no matter what that meant. "West Coast Brotherhood of
Net.Villains, it is time to meet our enemies on the field of battle!"

"Finally," said Gracemora. They all marched towards the LNHQ... all but the
huge, silent Plotchopper, who turned to look at Agent Bennigan.

Agent Bennigan met that gaze confidently, gently plucking the threads of the
man's narrative - and a chill ran thru him. These strange, short threads with
the ragged edges... simple, terribly so, yet somehow chaotic, not a beautiful,
perfect machine of a story, just scattered bits and pieces of plot...

Plotchopper turned away, following his team, and Agent Bennigan put his hand
over his heart, drawing on the Ring of Simplification for the calming strength
of duty... drawing the purposes of another, impossibly simple mind further over
his humanity...


A few minutes earlier...

The ground rumbled underneath the Net.ropolis Bandshell.

"Here it comes," said Chaos Theory, and Masterplan Lad sat up and sighed. The
lovely, swaying blades of grass were pushed violently out of the way by the
tips of the EastDrill's drills as it broke the surface. It had been such a nice
morning... but he'd known this was coming. They both had.

The cockpit hatch opened, and the form of Mister Homage stepped out, squinting
in the light, and followed by the rest of the East Coasters, minus Doctor
Killfile. Plotchopper looked up; Masterplan Lad met his gaze, and Chaos Theory
squeezed his shoulders protectively.

"It's all right," said Masterplan Lad, stroking his Plot Device. "My fate is
not *quite* yet..." His gaze held steady, and Plotchopper looked away.

Suddenly, Kid Enthusiastic flew into view, buoyed by the sparkly power of the
Ring of Enthusiasm. "Hi there!"

Continuity Porn Star waved. "Hi, Kid Enthusiastic! Loved you in the new Digital

Deathspork pulled out a diamond-tipped sporkarang, and DNSDaemon frowned. "I
feel the driving urge to attack this net.hero, my lord."

"...no," said Mister Homage. "Not unless he attacks us. He's one of the silly
ones, and we should save our strength for the West Coasters."

"I hear he's actually Cliche Dude's son from the future," said Rumor Monger.
"But Halls Jordan was the one who gave birth!"

"Oooooh," pondered Romantic Innuendo.

"what," said Marvel Zombie Lad.

"Oooooh!" said Kid Enthusiastic, bursting with energy. "That gives me a great

He waved his hand, and there was a thunderous BAMPH! and a smell of brimstone!
A figure who looked quite like the younger Anti-Christ Lad appeared, but instead
of horns on his helmet, he had pointy technological doodads!

"I am the Anti-Christ Lad of the far future - the Anti-Messiah of Duplicity!"
he said, pointing at the net.villains. "Absolutely nothing will happen to you
if you enter the LNHQ! I am definitely not doing this to temporally ensure my
own existence! Peace out, past suckers!" With a BAMPH! he re-disappeared.

Mister Homage's eyes narrowed. "The West Coast Brotherhood must be inside

"Er, why do you say that, sir?" said Polybag Person.

"...reasons!" He cracked his knuckles. "East Coast Brotherhood of Net.
Villains... advance!"

Masterplan Lad watched them go, watching his time run out...


And backing up a few minutes again...

Catalyst Lass walked into the lobby of LNHQ, in her kitty-face mask. She had
been pondering what to do, letting out the last of her tears, when she had been
gripped by a powerful certainty that the best thing to do was to take a walk
around the building. Since she'd been a bit desperate for any certainty at all
lately, she'd hopped up and gotten straight to it.

And it hadn't been a bad idea - moving around had helped to dispel the sense of
stuck-ness - but her feelings for Token Girl were still twisting in her belly,
and she didn't know what to do about them.

She looked around. The receptionists had all been given long-term leave, so
there was no one in particular around--

Well, no one other than the powerful-looking person in the black armor who had
suddenly materialized!

"Lo!" said the Black Halo. "Something strange here - the fear-powered girl and
the astral wraith, vanished! Is this *your* doing?" They pointed at Catalyst
Lass in accusation!

Cat took a deep breath and summoned up as much perkiness as she could scrape up
from the corners of her soul. "Nope! Something weird probably happened, but
weird things are always happening around here, it's that kind of place. You
don't need to worry about it at all."

She watched as the catalytic effect of her words hit the Black Halo. "I don't
need to worry about that--" Their face twisted in pain! "But much greater
worries have bestruck me! From whence do these feelings come, of love that
brings anguish, that remind me so of the death of my world!?"

Oh *no*. She'd been able to keep it from happening over the video chats, but
in-person, her difficult feelings were catalyzing to whoever she talked to!

Okay, this was fine, she could repress *hard* and talk them down. Focusing all
her abilities on one person would--

SLAM! The big doors in the front flew open! "Taste the fury - of the West Coast
Brotherhood of Net.Villains!" shouted Anti-Christ Lad.

Oh no! No, no, stay calm, Cat. She shifted her focus, if she could calm down
the leader, this could still be salvaged--

BLAM! The side doors flew open! "All right, punks," said Mister Homage. "The
East Coast Brotherhood of Net.Villains has come to clean house!"

Oh *no*! "Everyone-- stay calm-- please!"

But her pleas fell on deaf ears! The battle was on!

Drew "gosh I hope this all makes sense" Nilium

More information about the racc mailing list