LNH: System Corruptors #36: "Hungry Designs"
pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 20:06:10 PDT 2020
System Corruptors #36:
A tale of villainy by Drew Nilium
[Continuity note: This issue takes place shortly after Hungry, Hungry
Demented Designer fiddled with the camera attached to his
wood-grain-and-orange-pleather laptop. It-- ah, there; a window popped open, and
the face of the Crime Empress appeared, along with the other members of the West
Coast Brotherhood of Net.Villains, an independent affiliate - in theory - of the
As the sabertooth plague began, the Brotherhood had watched as other net.villain
teams experimented with intentional infection. But it turned out sabertooth
tigers slept as much per day as most big cats, and weren't as interested in
fighting net.heroes as they were in big steaks. So the Brotherhood had moved to
virtual Doom meetings.
"Are we all here?" said the Crime Empress, hands folded, smiling with catlike
patience. Lucky Chain Letter Lucy sat at her right hand, and occasionally, the
Crime Empress reached up and scritched the back of Lucy's head, making her flush
bright red. "Very good. Let's begin."
"As you know, we have been getting regular reports from Fanta Source." Fanta
Source was the Brotherhood's secret agent within the Legion. None but the
Empress and Lucy knew who it was, but everyone had a theory. "There is one
detail of these reports that I have not yet shared with you. Professor Perhap?"
"Within LNHQ, there is a Time Door that connected the 1960s to the 2010s,
allowing the Legion of Net.Hippies to visit the modern day. My initial
assumption was that it would continue on this way, connecting the 2020s to the
1970s." Professor Perhap grinned the grin of the delightedly wrong. "However, at
the stroke of midnight on January 1st, 2020, the Time Door began glitching,
accessing semi-random timeframes whenever it was opened - usually within the
1960s, but sometimes centuries or millennia earlier."
"Among other things," said the Crime Empress, "we suspect that this is how
Doctor Killfile got the sabertooth tiger DNA for her virus."
"Indeed," nodded Professor Perhap, eyes shimmering.
"That's super weird," said OTP, with her usual lack of tact, "but what's it
matter to us?"
The Crime Empress gave her a humoring smile. "Precisely what I thought, my dear
girl. But that was before I received my latest intel from Agent E."
There was a moment of silence. Then Plotchopper raised his hand. "Agent... E?"
"Yes. Our agent within the East Coast Brotherhood of Net.Villains."
Demented Designer stiffened. Gasps came from nearly every window. None of them
had heard about this.
"But why--" began Crossplay King, only to be stopped short by the Empress's
"Please," she said, with only the barest hint of reproach, "allow me to finish."
Crossplay King bowed her head, and the Empress continued. "You see, I had long
suspected that the leadership of the East Coast Brotherhood was not what it
seemed. The Mister Homage who helmed the Brotherhood so ineptly in the past
could never have countered my moves to undermine them. But there is a secret,
kept even from the East Coasters themselves. Mister Homage's body leads that
inferior Brotherhood... but the one who controls it..." The Empress raised her
hand, curling it into a fist. "A spirit of darkness and flame... Old Scratch,
AKA Anti-Christ Lad!"
"He who rose from the chipmunkian depths!?" said Phoenix Down, eyes wide.
Far.net.heit 451 cackled gleefully, doing evil jazz hands. "The cleansing flames
who come for vile sin!"
Demented Designer gulped. This was way above - or below - his pay grade.
"Indeed," said Professor Perhap, again. "And it seems likely that the
malfunction of the Time Door is due to quantum mystical interference.
Anti-Christ Lad exists on this plane at the same time as his own past self from
the '60s - a self who has not yet been turned to cosmic evil in the way that our
present-day version has. The potential future where that does not happen is
overlapping, in a sense, with the present, where it already has."
"Precisely," said the Empress, sitting back and scritchling Lucy. "As for why I
did not inform all of you of our agent in the East Coast Brotherhood... isn't it
obvious? One of us is, in fact, an agent for them."
More gasps! Paranoia! Demented Designer pulls out his bottle of CBD gummies and
chews one up just to stay calm!
"But I no longer care to hide my secrets from them." The Empress grins wide,
like a sabertooth tiger who had learned how to open doors. "In fact, whoever the
spy is, I'd like you to pass along a message for me."
She snaps her fingers, and Lucy jumps up and adjusts the camera. The Crime
Empress stands, regal and powerful, looking down at all of them. "We are coming
for you, Anti-Christ Lad. Be sure of that. For we have the criminal might of the
Ring of Fire on our side - and in the end, there can only be one *true*
Shivers rolled down Demented Designer's spine. And yet, it was true - the
Empress's reach seemed endless, and her support from the Trans-Pacific
"As for the rest of you, loyal comrades." The Empress raises her hand, and a
figure walks out of the shadows behind her. A figure in a great big helmet with
great big horns. A figure wearing demonic facepaint - the effect spoiled only
slightly by a surgical mask over his nose and mouth. A young figure, eyes full
of fear, doubt, and resolve. "Please welcome, the newest recruit to the West
Coast Brotherhood of Net.Villains, and the greater ranks of the Trans-Pacific
Plunderbund... Anti-Christ Lad!"
Drew "got really inspired it seems" Nilium
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