LNH: Looiverse Chronicles #7: "So You Wanna Play With Magic" (Tales of the Deep Omnilooniverse)

Jeanne Morningstar mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 17 11:16:30 PDT 2020

#7: "So You Wanna Play With Magic"
Another tale of the Deep Omnilooniverse by Jeanne Morningstar

Note: this takes place shortly before Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths #8



"This just in--" said the crackly signal from the old TV in Tara Gill's 
bar: "After the breakdown of months of tense negotiations, Morally 
Ambiguous Utopiaville has officially seceded from the Usnetted States of 

"hey tara," said Shift, the bouncer, "your ex just seceded."

"God damn." Tara Gill, bartender, protector of the oppressed, and 
ass-kicker of Post-Apocalypse Town, took a sip of whiskey. She leaned on 
the bar, showing off her bicep with a labrys tattoo. "She did it. She 
actually did it."

There was fighting going on outside the bar, as always. After the Big 
Split, the powers that be had left Post-Apocalypse Town to rot, and the 
would-be warlords and conquerors came to the fore. But people got by. 
Tara's bar was an important source of community and connection for the 
survivors of Post-Apocalypse Town. It was also, as a natural nexus of 
Drama, a place where a lot of fights broke out. There was one starting 
right now.

"Excuse me," she said to the shirtless postapocalyptic gang members, 
"could you take out your homoerotic tension by just making out and not 
wreck my bar?"

"Hey!" said one of them, the man dressed like a cowboy. "We were having 
a perfectly good fight here."

Tara crossed her arms. "You can have it outside."

"Well maybe," said the other one, dressed as a construction worker, "we 
can take you!"

Tara cracked her knuckles. "You're welcome to try."

"excuse me," said Shift, tapping them on the shoulder, "you should leave 

"Yeah? says who?" said the cowboy.

A nimbus of energy began to crackle around Shift. He rose up into the 
air, channeling the power of the enormously destructive cosmic entity 
that lived in his head. "YOU SHOULD LEAVE NOW," he said.

The burst of energy knocked the two gangsters outside, along with 
everyone else, and destroyed the whole bar. Token Girl stood in the 
rubble. "Not again," she sighed.

"sorry about that," said Shift.

"Yeah, sorry," said one of the gang members.

"It's OK," said Token Girl, "it'll come back. This happens all the time. 
Just come by and help me clean up when it does."

"Sure," the other one said, and they walked away.

And just then, not far away Doctor Stomper and Multi-Tasking Man from 
Looniearth-A stepped out of the portal.

MTM surveyed the desolate bombed-out city blocks. "Ah. This doesn't look 
good," he said, which made Doctor Stomper think about how much he missed 
Sister State-The-Obvious.

"These Dark Omnilooniverse worlds are rather volatile," said Doctor 
Stomper. "I believe we are currently on Looniearth-Dantalion."

"Wait, who's that?" said Multi-Tasking Man.

It was Multi-Tasking Man. The one from this Earth. He was a cyborg, with 
huge awkward machines sewn into his body. Wires jutted out of his skin.

"Hello there--what's the frequency Kenneth--I am the Multitasker--last, 
Christmas, I gave you my heart--I pick up all the signals in the world 
so sometimes it's a little hard for me to carry on a--a little less 
conversation, a little more--conversation."

"Hi, I'm Multi-Tasking Man. I'm you. Kind of. I think."

"How fascinating--rhythm, you've got me on the go--I don't meet myself 
very often." The Multitasker twitched.

Multi-Tasking Man nodded while twiddling his thumb and simultaneously 
writing several different poems and a LISP program in his head. It was 
always hard for him to be in situations where he could only do one 
thing, especially when he was trying to process something like this. He 
could process things a lot easier when he was doing twenty of them at 
once. "Look, we're obviously not from this universe--we're stranded 
here. Is there any way of getting out?"

"Ah. You're looking for--your love is fading--the Vor.text in the Secret 
Military Base Outside Kaiju Grove."

"Sounds delightful," said Doctor Stomper. "How do we get there?"

"Well, he'll probably--I'll take you there--take you there when he 
notices you."

"He?" said Doctor Stomper.

"You," said the Multitasker. But before he could clarify further, a 
sphere of blue light enveloped Doctor Stomper and Multi-Tasking Man and 
they were gone.



Vindex stalked through the shadows of the Noir City Grand Hotel, where 
half of extramarital affairs and one third of murders in the city took 
place After the Big Split, the city had no more heroes. But it did have him.

He was hunting down of one of the city's biggest and meanest gangsters, 
Big Jimmy Neutron. He brandished his weapon and knocked down the door. A 
man who wore an honest-to-god gimp suit and carried a mop was always 
sure to get a reaction. He expected to see a cluster of gangsters 
brandishing guns at him, with Big Jimmy Neutron waiting for him at the 
other end of them. But the gangsters, and Big Jimmy Neutron himself, 
were lying on the floor dead.

A woman was standing over them, holding two guns of her own. She was 
dressed in some kind of goth fetish nun outfit. But her confidence did 
not match her fashion sense. Her head darted around nervously and she 
waved at him.

"Hi! Uh, who are you?" she said.

"I am Vindex, scourge of crime and destroyer of evil. The only man who 
can clean up this dirty town. And you are?"

"Well, I'm kind of trying to figure that out... I'm dead, I think, and I 
was hoping this guy would have information about who I was before I was 
shot, but he, uh, didn't."

Vindex gasped. "You--you're the Lurker! The ghost that haunts Noir City 
Grand Hotel!"

"I am? Is that what people say about me? That's so cool--wait no! I 
don't want people to notice me! Aaaaaa!" She ducked through the wall.

Vindex frowned and tapped his mop. He thought about the bright blue eyes 
he'd seen under the girl's hood. They reminded him of a picture he'd 
seen in the paper, a girl who'd gone missing in the Grand Hotel a few 
months ago. Her name was Lindsey Gensym.

He took out his pent-up stress by kicking Big Jimmy Neutron's body for 
several minutes. Then he wheeled his bucket into the room and began to 
clean up all the blood.



Golden Titan and Irony Laq took the captured net.villain into the throne 
room of Heaven Catalyst. Beautiful wasn't the right word to describe 
her. No word could. She'd singlehandedly pulled Morally Ambiguous 
Utopiaville back together after the Big Split and remade it in her image.

"You," snarled Colonel Panic. "I could strike you down right now and 
they could never stop me."

"Hmmm, I guess you could." Heaven Catalyst smiled. "But do you want to?"

Of course she did. Colonel Panic was someone who lived for chaos and 
destruction. That was why, when she'd been fired for her job as a 
software engineer, she turned her ancient malfunctioning Linux machine 
into a psychotronic device that struck fear into the hearts of her 
enemies. Heaven Catalyst represented everything she hated.

"Ha!" She activated a zapper in her suit, knocking Golden Titan and 
Irony Laq over with electricity, then pulled out her controller. (Which 
had three buttons marked "Panic," "Panic" and "Panic.") She pressed all 
the panic buttons at once.

Nothing happened. The aura of peace and happiness here was so solid 
nothing could break it. And suddenly, she wondered why anyone would want to.

She found herself lost in Heaven Catalyst's cheerful smile and her 
bright blue eyes. "Well," Heaven Catalyst giggled, "how would you like 
to join the Legion Supreme?"

"Why... would I want to? Join a superhero team and become just another 
cog in society?"

"Kendra, I know you were trapped in a grinding capitalist nightmare of a 
job. Your bosses didn't value you for what you really are or what you 
can really do. You're just being used to do pre-determined mechanical 
tasks with no flexilility and creativity. You could never live with that 
so you turned against them. You want to get back at society. I totally 
get that. But I have a question--are your attacks actually doing 
anything to change that?"

Colonel Panic couldn't answer.

Heaven Catalyst smiled even wider somehow. "I'm going to change 
everything, Colonel Panic. And you can help. Do you want to?"

"Yes," she found herself saying.

Instinctively, Colonel Panic kneeled. Heaven Catalyst drew the 
ceremonial sword from her scabbard and tapped her shoulder with the 
flat. "By the power invested in me by this fancy sword, I dub thee 
Knight of the Legion Supreme."

Colonel Panic rose. She followed Irony Laq to her new home.

Golden Titan stayed behind. "Are you sure it's a good idea to recruit 
all these villains?" he said.

In truth, Heaven Catalyst knew that Golden Titan was a bigger risk to 
her and and her plan than any of the ex-villains could ever be. 
"Absolutely," she said. "I've never had a bad idea in my life. You know 
that." She giggled. He frowned, but it didn't last long. "Right," he 
said. He sullenly turned around and flew out the window, leaving her alone.

She looked outside over the city she'd built and its people. All of them 
worshipped her. All of them did exactly what she said. Golden Titan 
complained about it sometimes, and that was why she kept him around. She 
hadn't had a a real argument in years. She missed Tara.



In the city of Kaiju Grove, Ultra-Merissa wrestled with Kamisamazilla in 
the bay and King Seeker fought an onslaught of generic evil minions in 
the quarry. Past the quarry was the Secret Military Base Outside Kaiju 
Grove, which was the city's biggest tourist attraction. There were signs 
saying "This Way to Secret Military Base" all along the high way and 
gift shops with cheap figurines of monsters outside. And inside, in the 
most fortified room of the base, there was the Vor.text. And beside the 
Vor.text, a swirling sphere of green energy, there was Dr. Stomper and 
Multi-Tasking Man, there was another man. Who was also Dr. Stomper.

There were differences, though. For one thing, he was floating in the 
air, and he had an eye tattooed on his chest in black. For another, he 
wasn't wearing any clothing. Multi-Tasking Man was too agog to say anything.

"Ah. Hello. I take it you're the local Dr. Stomper," said Dr. Stomper.

"Indeed," said the other one. "I am called Deus Ex Stomper."

Dr. Stomper tried not to stare at his counterpart. He had met versions 
of himself before, but it was a little strange seeing one just walking 
around like this with his Doomsday Clock out.

"We are from another universe--"

"I knew that," said Deus Ex Stomper. Dr. Stomper sighed, disappointed he 
didn't get to exposit. "I know what brought you here. I can see the 
shape of all the narrative, though the end is not yet written."

"Well, did the Writers figure out how to get us out of this mess?" asked 
Dr. Stomper.

"As it happens, the issue where that was resolved was written before 
this one. But I may not be able to send you directly to the end. The 
paths of narrative are tangled and strange."

Dr. Stomper nodded. "Before we go, I have a number of questions. How did 
you end up like this?"

"There was a secret government experiment which pierced the Fifth Wall. 
I believe you know it as the Omaha Project. In your Earth, it failed. In 
mine, it succeeded. The cataclysm it made split Net.ropolis into four 
cities--Post Apocalypse Town, Noir City, Morally Ambiguous Utopiaville 
and Kaiju Grove. The narrative energies of the LNHQ were split into four 
nexi--Tara Gill's bar, the Grand Noir City Hotel, the Catalyst Citadel 
and the Secret Military Base Outside Kaiju Grove, where we stand. I was 
drawn into the Vor.text of the energy from beyond the Fifth Wall, and I 
became as you see me now."

"Naked?" said Multi-Tasking Man.

"I am beyond such mortal constructs as clothes," said Deus Ex Stomper.

"Don't you get cold?" said Dr. Stomper.

"Not really, no."

"Interesting. I'd love to examine this world in more detail, but 
unfortunately things are rather fraught right now back home."

"Wait. There are things you have to know before you leave. Three things. 
First, there is a third, and a third. A fourth, and a fourth. The third 
is the fourth. The fourth is the one who will destroy the many."

"Well that was extremely understandable," said Dr. Stomper, but Deus Ex 
Stomper moved on:
  "Second: there are two spies in your headquarters. One knowing and one 
unknowing. Beware the machine, and beware the one who came back. And 
third: she's not from here. She's the 'real' one, the one from your world."

"I suppose this will all make sense at some point," said Dr. Stomper.

A sort of archway opened up within the green energy bubble. Dr. Stomper 
and Multi-Tasking Man passed into the Vor.text and then...


So you wanna play with magic
Boy, you should know whatcha falling for
Baby do you dare to do this
'Cause I'm coming atcha like a dark horse
--Dark Horse, Katy Perry



So yeah, the universe in this story is based on Dark Horse's 90s imprint 
Comics Greatest World. I'd picked up all the Comics Greatest World 
launch issues from a dollar bin long ago. I'd had a joke about CGW in 
issue 4 and there's nothing I love to do more then coming up with a 
weird running gag and following it to the point where it generates 
elaborate drama, so when I was casting about for potential AU scenarios 
for the Deep Omnilooniverse, this one came naturally. As soon as I 
remembered that CGW had a series called Catalyst: Agents of Change, the 
whole thing fell into place.

In case anyone cares:

Post-Apocalypse Town=Steel Harbor
Tara=Token Girl+Barb Wire
Multitasker=Multitasking Man+The Machine

Noir City=Arcadia
Vindex=Captain Cleanup+X ("Vindex" is the Latin word for "avenger." The 
Romans would have pronounced it "Windex")
Lurker=Lurking Girl II (from the Twentyverse)+Ghost

Morally Ambiguous Utopiaville=Golden City (no relation)
Heaven Catalyst=Catalyst Lass+Grace
Golden Titan=Golden Man+Titan (obviously)
Irony Laq=Irony Man+Mecha

Kaiju Grove=Cinnabar Flats
Ultra-Merissa=Merissa+Hero Zero
King Seeker=Seeker (the new persona Saxon is planning to introduce for 
Chinese Guy)+King Tiger
Deus Ex Stomper=Dr. Stomper+Vortex

Colonel Panic is a new character. It's kind of amazing no one's ever 
used that name before. In the tradition of alternate universe stories, 
there's probably a version of her in the main Looniverse who's part of 
one or another Brotherhood.


Dr. Stomper: T.M. Neeck
Multi-Tasking Man: Jeff Coleburn
Token Girl: Tara O'Shea
Captain Cleanup: Storm
Lurking Girl II: Lalo Martins and Tori Fike
Catalyst Lass: Lis Riba
Colonel Panic: Jeanne Morningstar
Golden Man: Chris Hare
Irony Man: Doug Moran
Merissa: Saxon Brenton and Rob Rogers
Seeker: Saxon Brenton and Dave Van Domelen
Kamisamazilla: Drew Perron

More information about the racc mailing list