LNH: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths! #20: "Keep It Simple, Savior?"

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat Oct 24 11:52:47 PDT 2020

#20: "Keep It Simple, Savior?"
A tale of weaving together loose ends, by Drew Nilium


Toony squinted blearily as he drove towards the LNHQ. He'd gotten in, gotten to
his penthouse, watched the sunset, and crashed. Dammit, he used to be able to
do all-nighters whenever... was he getting old?

He parked across the street, put on his mask, opened the door, and watched as
two grown men battled with flatulence.

"Nope," he said, and turned around, walking back across the street, to his

...or he would have, if the street wasn't slowly filling with softly baa-ing
sheep with green fur, glowing red eyes, and coldly furious expressions.

Toony turned *back* around, running around the side of the LNHQ, leaning against
the wall and breathing. Okay, so it was one of *those* days.

There was someone over here, too; a square-jawed man in a camo-print combat
suit looking speculatively up at the building. Less immediately threatening,
but still not someone Toony wanted to confront without a powersuit. He'd just
sneak around to the side door and aw dammit he was looking at him and walking

"Hullo, sir," he said in a voice of projected friendliness and patience. "Are
you a visitor here, or a net.hero?"

Which response wasn't going to get him shot or worse? He might be the mentor
who gets killed off, after all.

...but the reason he had come here was seeking reasons to be... honest, and
true. So maybe it'd be best to just lay his cards out on the table. "I'm a
former LNHer who came back on the advice of a time-traveler who may be my
granddaughter, but I don't really know what I'm supposed to do here."

The man nodded, thoughtfully. "I think I can help you with that." He held up
his hand, and Toony noticed he was wearing a ring... sort of. It looked like a
simple doodle of a ring, the edges black pencil-strokes, the inside blank white,
a two-dimensional image from whatever angle you looked at it. Oh boy. Artifact-
level nonsense.

Toony was about to respectfully decline the help when the man's hand twisted...

...and Toony found himself in another place. Inside a room. The personal room
of an LNHer - presumably, the teenage girl sitting on the bed. Oh god - was
that man trying to start a scandal?

"C'mon, pick up, pick up, *uuuuuuuugh* no I've already left like twenty
voicemails." She sighed, threw her phone to the side, and flopped down on the
bed - which brought her eye to eye with Toony.

"Whoa!" She leapt up, spinning around, and grabbing the enormous chrome gun
sitting at the foot of her bed, bringing it up to point two enormous rectangular
barrels at Toony - he saw his life flashing before his eyes, specifically the
part full of Image-inflected big-gun heroes.

"Hey!" He held up his hands, taking a step backwards. "Sorry! Don't know how I
got here! Name's Toony Stork! Nice to meet you!"

The girl lowered the barrel of the gun. "Toony-- GRANPA!" She dropped the gun,
bounced forward, looked like she was about to hug him, turned it into grabbing
one of his hands and shaking vigorously.

*Another* grandchild he'd never heard of? Oh, boy!


Agent Benjamin Bennigan smiled. That was one situation made much simpler.

He looked at the ring on his hand - the fabled Ring of Simplification. The
Death Thoreaus had known nothing of its true power. Arcanist Luke Jones had
unlocked some of its secrets. But when the cosmic being Simplicity had guided
Agent Bennigan to steal the Ring from the place Jones had secreted it away, he
had imbued him with a more... *cosmic* understanding.

One of those green sheep walked around the corner, baaaaing with soft but
pointed menace. Agent Bennigan smirked, and with an effort of will, switched
the ring from 'SITUATION' to 'CHARACTER'. "Time-traveling Vector-troll-sheep?
That's far too complicated," he said. "Let's see if we can't boil you down a

He hooked the Ring into the sheep's narrative threads, and untangled them,
undoing the knots of concept, taking this character down to their simplest

A beautiful red-haired woman stood there, dressed in jeans and a wool T-shirt
with "CLONE" stenciled on it and carrying a flamethrower. "I am *so angry* at
the East Coast Brotherhood of Net.Villains!" she said, glaring at Agent
Bennigan. "Are *you* a member of the East Coast Brotherhood of Net.Villains?"

"Nope," said Agent Bennigan.

"Damn!" said the clone, and ran off to find an East Coaster to set on fire.

Now he truly had the power to carry out the goals of the LNH-Readers-Who-Are-
Sick-To-Death-With-These-Damn-Neverending-Events-Liberation Front. And it would
be so, *so* simple to fix everything.


Author's Note: Ring of Simplification created by Rob Rogers, used with
permission! It has "the power to reduce anything to its simplest form". For
more information, see The Adventures of Easily-Discovered Man #41-44.

Drew "tying stuff together" Nilium

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