LNH: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths! #4

Jeanne Morningstar mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 08:03:15 PDT 2020

"This is Alpha Niner, I'm coming in!" said Cliche Dude into the comms. 

At the moment, most of the LNH was quarantined in their 
rooms--especially the ones who could be very dangerous if they were 
sabertoothed, like Merissa--until Dr. Stomper could develop a 
state-of-the-art anti-sabertooth serum (try saying that five times 
fast). Unfortunately, when the virus had broken out, Dr. Stomper had 
been exploring the Deep Omnilooniverse where he'd been stranded by 
someone who impersonated Cliche Dude and then suddenly had a burst of 
heroism and sacrificed his life to save him. But he was still trapped on 
the other side of the portal at the moment, along with Multi-Tasking 
Man, and his assistant Sister State-the-Obvious was picking up MTM's 
slack and running the comms from his lab.

Patrols of power-armored kiwis were taking care of the rest of the LNHQ. 
That shouldn't be too hard to deal with. The problem was the entrance to 
the sub-basements. Everyone knew that when you went deep enough, the 
sub-basements opened up to other worlds. Sometimes, monsters and fantasy 
creatures got through. So what happened when one of *them* got infected 
by the virus? A small platoon of power-armored LNHers had been sent in 
to watch over the entrances to the sub-basements, as well as cleaning up 
after the sabertooths' mess

"I can't believe it," said Token GIrl. She was wearing a suit of powered 
armor reminiscent of Ripley's power loader in Aliens (tm and c Disney). 
"This whole scenario is a total cliche."

"That's not bad, though," said Halls. "Sometimes cliches are cliches for 
a reason, you know?"  Cliche Dude beamed from ear to ear.

  "It feels like the LNH is always getting invaded by something. First 
it was the kiwis. Then it was the sheep. [see Mutton Mania--Footnote 
Girl] Then it was the Mini-Balrogs [see Liminals #3]. And now... 

"Don't forget the Vampire Kiwi Incident of 2014," said Captain Cleanup.

"We don't talk about that," said Token Girl.

Unfortunately, it was necessary to bring out both the LNH's custodians, 
since the sabertooths weren't exactly litter trained. Halls Jordan and 
Captain Cleanup were having a competition over  which would have the 
biggest pile of sabertooth poop. There was a reason usually wasn't put 
on the same mission.

They found a pile of sabertooth spoor near the sub-basement doors. Halls 
Jordan took out his power-armored pooper scooper. "Why do I have to 
clean up all this mess," said Halls Jordan.

"Because you're one of the LNH's two custodians," said Sister 
State-the-Obvious, from the other side of the comm in Dr. Stomper's lab.

"It's a dirty job... but someone's gotta do it!" said Cliche Dude.
Suddenly, they saw a movement in the shadows. "Sabertooth! Sabertooth!" 
growled one of the sabertooths, slashing at Cliche Dude's arm before 
Captain Cleanup could knock it away with his mop.

"Taste the fire of retribution, foul felid!" shouted Marvel Zombie Girl, 
blasting it with the FIre that Sears Men's Soles while Token Girl struck 
with her power-loader fist. 90s Comics Kid (the alternate-future son of 
Old Comics Man, from a Deep Omnilooniverse Earth where the Dorf invasion 
of 2012 had succeeded and all that remained of Earth culture was a cache 
of 90s comics hidden in the impenetrable sanctuary of a collector) took 
out his massive Liefeldian tranq gun and shot it down, while Halls 
Jordan held it within a power bubble. They'd take it to the lab for Dr. 
Stomper to study, as soon as he got back.

Suddenly Cliche Dude started hyperventilating.

"Are you OK?" said Halls.

"That's my line! Meow!" said Cliche Dude.

"Meow?" said Captain Cleanup.

"They got me," said Cliche Dude, taking off his helmet and revealing cat 
ears. "They got me! It's too late! Halls, you have to kill me before I 

"It's okay," said Halls Jordan, scritching Cliche Dude behind the ears. 
He purred.

"Hmm," said Captain Cleanup. "It's possible that Cliche Dude's dog-based 
nature is helping him resist the cat-based infection." Cliche Dude had 
been raised by a pack of wild golden retrievers. The identity of his 
true parents was unknown.

"Then--we might be able to use his blood to produce an antibody to the 
cat infection!" said Marvel Zombie Girl.

"Where exactly did this storyline come from?" growled Captain Cleanup.

"I think it's a riff on Tiger King. You know, that hip Netflix thing," 
said Token Girl.

"What? They made a show of King Tiger?" said 90s Comics Lad.

"King Tiger? What's that?" said Halls Jordan.

"The martial arts hero from Dark Horse's Comics Greatest World! Voted 
the seventh most collectible universe of 1993 by Wizard Magazine!"

"Can't remember it," said Token Girl.

"Wait, didn't they have an Ultraman pastiche?" said Halls. "Hero Zero? 
That was kind of ahead of its time, I guess. Does the Legion have an 
Ultraman pastiche?"

"Don't think so. We really should--"

"No--it can't be!" shouted Marvel Zombie girl. A sabertooth had stepped 
out of the shadows, and it was growing.

"By the pouches of Prophet!" said 90s Comics Lad.

"What the hell is going on?" said Token Girl into the comm.

"The Sabertooth is now growing to giant size," said Sister State-the 

"Why?" shouted Token Girl.

"We're not sure," said Sister State-the-Obvious.

"Could be residual interdimensional radiation from this area, could be 
it's infected a Kaiju who wandered in from rec.arts.movies.b-movies. 
Hope it's the former," said Halls Jordan.

"Sabertooth! Sabertooth!" growled the giant sabertooth. It reared up, 
breaking through the walls, knocking the LNHers over and charging out 
into the city of Net.ropolis.

And on the sidelines, a lone kiwi watched. It began to glow in a radiant 
light, slowly expanding as armor formed around it. "ULTRA-KIWI!" 
bellowed Ultra-Kiwi, and followed the giant sabertooth.

And unknown to all of them, they were being watched by  a suspiciously 
normal vending machine. This was VEN-DORR, the Soda Machine that Walked, 
er, Rolled like a Man [introduced in "Ven-Dorr, The Soda Machine That 
Walked, er, Rolled Like a Man!"--FG]--rebuilt and sent to spy on the 
LNHQ by the Trans-Pacific Plunderbund!

Sitting on her throne of 40s crime comics in her West Coast 
headquarters, the Crime Empress watched the communications from the 
agent she'd designated "Fanta Source" on her swank, gold-bordered 
viewscreen. She wore a sparkly black sequined dress and a large top hat 
with the word "CRIME" written on it.

"So the LNHQ is already under attack?" said Lucky Chain Letter Lucy, who 
stood at the right hand of her throne--the ambitious low-level 
net.villain formerly of the Seven Deadly Spammers, who was becoming the 
Queen's favorite. (That was how people referred to her, it apparently 
had connotations.)

"I know who it was," said the Crime Empress. "This is the work of the 
East Coast Brotherhood. The sabertooth virus bears all the hallmarks of 
Dr. Killfile II. She is someone who is descended from a cat an and elf 
[this is absolutely real Teenfactor canon, and makes zero sense, so 
we're keeping it--Footnote GIrl], which aids her in communicating with 
and controlling cats. She's using the sabertooths to stage an invasion 
of the LNHQ."

"So now what?"

"We have not, yet, been able to build much of a presence on the East 
Coast or move directly against the LNH. But now, with the East Coast 
Brotherhood and the LNH distracted by each other, is our time to strike. 
I've already developed a countermeasure for the sabertooths. The attempt 
to summon an army of demons from Looniverse-Yaldabaoth may have failed, 
but I've found a group of beings who are ideal for our purposes. They 
should be easy for me to communicate with--they're fellow Vectors, after 

She pressed a button on her throne and the view changed to a stargate in 
an underground room, with a huge machine hooked to it, manned by the 
kind of generic non-super scientists any decently sized criminal 
organization has on its payroll. The stargate shimmered and opened up 
onto a pastoral landscape.

Some time ago [Mutton Mania again--Footnote Girl], a villain called the 
Sheepshagger had created a weapon which transformed people into sheep. 
Ultimate Mercenary and his allies, traveling through time and space, had 
brought along several clones of the Vector virus--the very same living 
virus that had served as original template for the Crime Empress, as 
well as the LNH's most radicool young heroine, Merissa--which had then 
been exposed to the net.god OMAR's trollistic energies and been 
transformed into Vector-troll-sheep. Net.Access had been able to defeat 
them by exiling them to the far-off newsgroup of 
alt.alien.sheep.baa.baa.baa, and that had been the end. Until now. 
[Ultimate Mercenary v1 #7]

A green mass of wrathful sheep marched through the portal.

BAAA, they said.

And in the Hot Topic sanctum of the abandoned mall headquarters of the 
East Coast Brotherhood, Mr. Homage (secretly possessed by Anti-Christ 
Lad) looked into his view screen (a widescreen TV that had been salvaged 
from an Applebees) and smiled.

He was the leader of the East Coast Brotherhood. The West Coast 
Brotherhood, now called the Trans-Pacific Plunderbund, was a large and 
structured organization that moved freely on the West Coast, where there 
were fewer net.heroes, except on the weeks when Net.ropolis decided to 
be there. Since following superhero story precedent Net.ropolis mostly 
stayed on the East Coast, the East Coast Brotherhood had to work right 
under the net.heroes' noses. They moved in silence and the shadows, a 
small team with few resources but tight-knit and disciplined --as 
disciplined as you could possibly make a team of net.villains, since 
leading them was a bit like herding the proverbial cats, though the 
actual cat-herding part of their current plan was working just fine so far.

"You're not worried about the Crime Empress?" said Polybag Person.

"Oh no. See, the point of this plot was never to go after the LNH. We 
all know it'd take a lot more than just dropping another kind of animal 
in the LNHQ to get rid of them. No, the point was to lay a trap for the 
Crime Empress, and she just took the bait..."

And elsewhere, in a hidden pocket dimension, another figure watched Mr. 
Homage (possessed by Anti-Christ Lad) watching the Crime Empress 
watching the stargate. They were wearing an absolutely hideous plaid 
armor that would cause fashion designers to spontaneously combust.

"And while the two Brotherhoods make war, I will move in the shadows and 
strike down them both--I, Erik the Plaid, leader of the Midwest 
Brotherhood of Evil Net.Villains!"

And elsewhere, in a blank white endless void, a stick figure watched 
Erik the Plaid watching Mr. Homage (possessed by Anti-Christ Lad) 
watching the Crime Empress watching the stargate on his minimally drawn 
television on his minimally drawn couch. This was Simplicity, the cosmic 
embodiment of simplicity. (he preferred to keep things simple)

"That does it!" said Simplicity, banging his fist (a circle) down on the 
couch. "This is just like all those other cascades. First, Arthur writes 
a silly thing, then Drew kind of builds on that silliness, then Jeanne 
Morningstar comes in and drops this 500-pound anvil of continuity and 
metaplot. Well I have had enough! This ends now!"

Simplicity headed through the secret roads of time and space, for Jeanne 
Morningstar's apartment.

Jeanne Morningstar tapped away at their laptop in their apartment, which 
was full of cat hair which could probably be use to be vacuumed up but 
they were writing LNH instead. "Hmm, I wonder how I'll end this issue," 
they pondered. "Maybe Simplicity would appear out of nowhere and try to 
kill me... no, that'd be too obvious."

Suddenly, Simplicity appeared out of nowhere. "That does it! I have had 
it up to here with you overcomplicating all the plots! I am tired of you 
starting stories and never finishing them!"

"Look, we had an entire story about why that was OK," said Jeanne. [Just 
Another Cascade.GEKIJOBAN]

"I don't care!" said Simplicity. "You keep dropping in more and more 
Claremontian unresolved subplots! Setting up crossovers and big stories 
you never write! Constructing elaborate plots and then completely 
derailing them for bizarre lesbian shipping! I'm tired!" Simplicity 
struck at Jeanne Morningstar with his flaming sword. Jeanne deflected it 
with their Chainsword [last seen in the now-classic RACCAFE: Writefail]. 
They had had a substantial gender epiphany since then so they could now 
access their magical girl form. They pressed a button on the side of the 
chainsword, and the chains shredded their clothing, surrounded them with 
sparkles, and transformed them into some kind of magical girl version of 
Spawn. The power of the Chainsword as a continuity callback, to a story 
that wasn't in continuity even, helped counteract Simplicity's power. 
But, as cosmically powered as their chainsword was, it could not match 
the power of Simplicity's flaming stick-figure sword, and they were 
pressed down to the ground.

Suddenly, a force field stopped Simplicity in his tracks. "No!" said an 
echoing metallic voice. "Jeanne Morningstar must lived! I will make sure 
they survive to write another issue of Retcon Year--and if they do not, 
I have sworn to kill them myself. I--DOCTOR DREADED DEADLINE DOOM!" 
[Last seen in Liminals #3.5]

"Yikes," said Jeanne Morningstar.



The goal of this issue was to throw in as many fun plot hooks that 
people could build on as I can. The Brotherhood War is a storyline 
that's been building for a good long time so I decided to throw it in 
here. The quarantine element was the one thing I decided to keep from 
the Real World because exploring how LNHers deal with quarantine could 
be fun and characterful.

The split between the East Coast and West Coast Brotherhood was first 
established by Arthur Spitzer in LNH v2 #41. Drew Nilium expanded and 
reimagined the West Coast Brotherhood as the Trans-Pacific Plunderbund 
in System Corrupters #33 and I revamped the East Coast Brotherhood in SC 
#34-35. The war between the two Brotherhoods is a plot that's been 
building for some time so I threw it in here because why not, really.

The Crime Empress's Crime Hat was inspired by Mr. Crime, the mascot of 
the first crime comic series, Crime Does Not Pay. That's a lot of crime. 
You can read it here: https://comicbookplus.com/?cid=869

Cliche Dude and Halls Jordan: Jef Kolodziej
Dr. Stomper: T.M. Neeck
Multi-Tasking Man: Jeff Coleburn
Sister State-the-Obvious: wReam
Token Girl: Tara O'Shea
Captain Cleanup: Storm
Marvel Zombie Girl: Drew Nilium
Mini-Balrogs: Camilla Sandman via Jeanne Morningstar
Merissa: Saxon Brenton and Rob Rogers
Crime Empress: Lalo Martins and Rob Rogers
Kiwis in general: Ian "Descrii" Porell
Vectors in general, sheep in general: Rob Rogers
Footnote Girl, OMAR: Saxon Brenton
Ven-Dorr, Old Comics Man [I think]: Dave Van Domelen
Mr. Homage, Polybag Person: Jeff 'Drizzt' Barnes
Anti-Christ Lad, Lucky Chain Letter Lucy, sabertooths in general: Arthur 
Dr. Killfile II: Jeanne Morningstar and Tom Russell
90s Comics Kid, UltraKiwi, Vector-troll-sheep, Simplicity, Dr. Dreaded 
Deadline Doom: Jeanne Morningstar
Erik the Plaid: ?????

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