LNH: WikiLull: Pre-Final Epilogue, AKA President Evil #6: A-Pack-O-Lies Now [2/2]
mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 31 17:37:35 PDT 2020
He grabbed ahold of his book--which I realized was what he was
channeling his power through, just like Masterplan Lad had his
umbrella--and there was a sickly green energy burst. There were four
zombie Valkyries, same as the ones I'd fought on the Gateway to Limbo.
They started chanting and hoiata-hoing and charged in on me. But then
Masterplan Lad stretched out his umbrella and, in a burst of blue light,
summoned another hero. I was relieved I had help fighting the zombie
Valkyries, but kinda ticked off that yet *another* new character had
been dragged into this storyline.
He was, I swear to god, a giant rabbit in a superhero cape. It was
Atomic Rabbit from the Tooniverse, from before his appearance in Just
Another Cascade, I *think*. Don't quote me on that.
"All right, you Nazi zombies, how about a nice atomic punch!" He socked
some of the Valkyries but they gave as good as they got with their
spears. "Kill the Rabbit, Kill the Rabbit, Kill the Rabbit, Kill the
Rabbit!" they sang, and I realized with growing horror that that whole
plotline had been brought in just for the sake of a really silly joke.
Things were a mess, and, from what I could see on the viewscreens,
outside they were just as bad. The Random Heroes had made it out, where
they were presumably trying to get help. But they were being mobbed by
the zombie senior citizens, who were also still fighting it out with the
Random Villains, who were trying to explain why they were just a
scapegoat for what went wrong with the 2000 presidential election and
the real problem was systemic voter suppression, but they were zombies
and no one could understand them.
Then the atomic biker zombies closed in and started fighting them too.
"Surrender now, foolish net.heroes, net.villains and zombie senior
citizens!" he said, saying the lines that Luthor's speechwriters were
speaking into his earpiece. "You cannot--No! No, I can't do this!" He
got off his bike and started gesticulating wildly. "I'm a real actor! A
real actor! I didn't come back from the dead just to fight z-list
net.heroes in a zombie parody! We need to rewrite this storyline so it
has emotion! Drama!" A zombie senior citizen started gnawing on his
motorcycle while Zombie Marlon Brando's zombie PA desperately tried to
rein him in.
And while all this was happening, the doctors were delivering the child
from Pregnant Chad.
"So wait," I said to Masterplan Lad as we dodged zombie valkyrie spears
and laser blasts, "you're telling me that... this storyline has a
character who is like, named after Marlon Brando, and the actual undead
Marlon Brando, and they're not even connected?"
"Yes." Masterplan Lad somehow buried his face deep in his palm while he
was duelling a zombie valkyrie with his umbrella. "Yes."
"It's amazing you have that faith in the Writers. I mean, look at your
writer. They're writing a parody of Apocalypse Now and Resident Evil
without having seen or played either."
"The Writers may seem foolish, and indeed are, but they are conduits for
a divine power of inspiration even they don't fully understand--wait,
"Well, the fact is that this ridiculous narrative overcomplication might
be the only thing that could save us," he said. "Daniel Marlon is trying
to cause a collapse in the metanarrative of the LNH, so we have ot avert
it by causing a collapse in the local narrative. The only thing to do is
to keep drawing in random characters until this plot becomes so
overloaded that it collapses. Then it will be retconned out of
existence, and we'll all be returned to where we were."
"How do we do that?" said Ralph Nadir.
"I think you know," said Masterplan Lad. "Your powers and memories were
stripped from you, but I can see the truth. You are not actually Ralph
Nadir. You are someone wearing an oddly realistic Zombie Ralph Nadir
mask. Now take it off"
He did so. Masterplan Lad stretched out his umbrella thing, bathing him
in cosmic light. He saw a white silhouette filled with sound effects,
similar to the background images of the legendary Lee's Useless
Superhero Generator website, long may it reign. "Of course!" the new
being said. "I am--Lee, the Cosmic Being of Useless Random Hero
Generation! Patron power of all random heroes created to fill spots in
short appearances, who sometimes stick around and become major
characters when they have a Writer who will never let go of a plotline
or an idea, like the current one!"
Lee, the Cosmic Being of Useless Random Hero Generation, stood out and
stretched out their arms like Rick Jones at the end of the Kree-Skrull
War. They summoned up five random heroes--Vector Racer (a Vector clone
who was kind of a Tron-y version of Speed Racer, who rode on a
lightcycle), Dream Paladin (a blue-armored magical girl type with a
thought balloon shield), Megahammer (a blue-haired girl who looked kind
of like a Rumiko Takahashi heroine who pulled Thor-like hammers out of
hammerspace), Blonde Ninja (an extremely girly valley-girl-like ninja),
and Sir Woman (some kind of genderqueer knight). They were all pretty
gorgeous but before I could chat them up, the whole narrative imploded
in a gigantic FLOOMP.
The winds unleashed by the narrative warp blew the book out of Daniel
Marlon's hand. "The horror! The horror!" he shouted, and then he faded away.
Masterplan Lad and I were standing alone in the desert, where the bunker
had never been. "Guess that's over with then, huh," I said. "Are the
Random Heroes OK?"
"Hmm," said Winter Droid as the Random Heroes drove through Net.vada,
"what are we even doing here? There's not a lot of winter down here."
"True," said Compu-Yak.
"Hey," said Suicide Flower. "What are all these other people doing in
our van? How did they even fit in here?"
"They should be all right now," said Masterplan Lad.
"What about the kid?"
"The child's safe. I had the Knights Temporal take him to a family that
will take good care of him. They also engineered his life-path so
there's no way he's getting anywhere near politics unless he decides to
throw caution completely to the wind. His name is Brad Janus Boyd
now--no relation to Brad Thomas Boyd."
"What about Pregnant Chad? WHat happened to him?"
No-Longer-Pregnant Chad was sitting in a bar, finishing off a drink and
grabbing another one with his tongue. Zombie Marlon Brando was sitting
"Do you have any idea what we're doing here?" said Marlon Brando. "And
why I'm not dead? Am I still filming The Island of Doctor Moreau?"
"He should be fine too."
"What about the evil little girl AI who rebelled against her creators?"
"...there was an evil little girl AI who rebelled against her creators?
Oh dear. I suspect that whole plot was lost in the chaos."
"You mean the writer forgot."
"Well, I assume she's been erased from existence now and she won't come
back as a plot complication for someone later...."
"And that Daniel Marlon guy?"
He looked off into the sun and frowned.
"His meddling backfired on him and sent him to Retcon Hell, where his
backstory will be revised for all eternity. I suspect my superiors will
be more than happy to leave him there." Masterplan Lad clutched his
umbrella, his knuckles white. "There should have been another way."
"Okay. And what about me? I got to save the world, and no one will even
remember me... Typical. Hey, now I sound like one of those Silver Age
Marvel heroes, with their angsting and speechifying! I need to go punch
"I'm sure there's plenty of things for you to punch," said Masterplan
Lad. "At any rate, whatever happens, I'll remember."
I nodded. "Thanks. You're a sweet kid. I'm still worried, though. I'm
just some randomly generated character from a weird unfinished cascade.
I'm scared I'll get forgotten and no one will ever write about me again."
"What you symbolize," said Masterplan Lad, "is the inherent queerness of
superheroes, which so often gets erased or forgotten, as when Robert
Kanigher took over Wonder Woman from William Moulton Marston and made
her spend all her time swooning over Steve Trevor. But there were still
people who remembered. And there'll be people who remember you too."
"So you can sense my future?" said Forgotten Gal.
"I can sense the general course of your narrative development."
"So do I get to kiss any gorgeous girls?"
"Oh yes. Plenty of them." MPL smiled. Then he was gone, and there was
nothing except the Net.vada desert winds, and I was alone with my
extremely sexy motorcycle.
"Wow," said Maddie. "That was a mess."
"It was!" said Forgotten Gal. "But so was the 2000 election." She let
out a heavy sigh. "Been thinking about that a lot lately."
"Oh, same," said Maddie. "Elections are really kind of the worst. The
whole process is just unbearably frustrating from the preparations and
the pre-election discourse to the debates to the voting itself to the
waiting for the whole thing to be over, and even the wins never feel
like very much of a win. This is supposed to be our sacred ritual, our
chance to take our own power and shape democracy, but the whole thing
just makes you feel powerless from start to finish. The whole system is
rigged to give people the bare minimum of choice. Whoever wins, we're
going to end up with a President who interferes in foreign elections,
starts wars, sides with the cops over Black people who are fighting
police violence, and coddles the corporations, because that's what the
system is set up for, especially with the two-party system and all the
corporate dark money. You can vote for President Lesser Evil against
President Greater Evil but you're still going to end up with President
"Hey, title drop!" said Forgotten Gal. She finger-gunned her. "But yeah.
National electoral politics are always a pain in the ass. You know, back
in the good old days in the war, I heard a lot about the greatness of
America, how we were fighting to preserve democracy from the Nazis. This
was while we were holding up the Jim Crow laws. The gay soldiers and the
lesbian wireless operators could be queer as long as they supported the
war effort, but when the war was over they had to go back in the closet
to amke way for the nuclear family and the nuclear bombs. But the thing
is, there people living on the margins helping each other survive back
then, and there still are now. Even if you can't win on the national
level, you can fight it out in local politics, you can support the
people in your community. This country's pretty rotten but there's still
communities worth fighting for. And if we all do that, and we each find
causes to work for, and link up and connect all our fights, maybe
someday we won't have to worry about shitty presidential politics anymore."
"God, I hope so," said Maddie.
"So," said Forgotten Gal, who was ready to start thinking about politics
for a bit, "what have the Random Heroes and Villains been up to lately,
"Well," said Maddie, "the Random Heroes are still out there, making
one-off appearances like that one Christmas story. ["Winter Droid and
Suicide Flower Save Christmas!" from LNH Comics Presents Monthly #2] The
Random Villains decided they were never going to make it as the
archenemies of Z-list heroes, so they tried to rebrand themselves as the
Midwest Brotherhood of Net.Villains. I have no idea how that worked out.
I did know Lurking Vampire a bit, though. She quit the team and
transitioned. She was a lot happier and a lot cuter, at least for a
while. I lost track of her. Last I heard she became a vampire for
real--a Revampire--and was part of a fast growing revampire army under a
mysterious new leader, but who knows."
"Yeah," said Forgotten Gal. "I guess we should just bite the bullet and
look at the election news, huh?"
"I don't have a lot of faith in the electoral process," said Maddie,
"but I do have faith in the Looniverse, in its ability to turn all the
irresolvable narrative tensions that make up electoral politics into...
something interesting, anyway. And, however things turn out, I have
faith in us."
They turned on the television.
Bad Judgment Boy was giving a speech, wearing American flag bathrobe and
boxers. (It had just been snowing.) "My fellow Australians," he said,
"you might be wondering how I, someone named Bad Judgment Boy, could
possibly be the president this country needs. But I say--See this statue
of Abe Lincoln?" He gestured to the Lincoln Memorial. "Remember his
famous remark about his mother? The time he said that all he was--all he
ever hoped to be--he owed to her? Lincoln's mother was the most
important person in the world to him! So my first act as president will
be to tear down the Washington Monument and replace it with a statue of
Lincoln's mother!" A number of confused noises came from the crowd.
"Well," said Maddie, "it could have gone worse."
"Well I have to go on a fight-date with Baroness Wizard," said Forgotten
Gal. "You can have the rest of the pizza. Take care."
"You too." She kissed her goodbye.
Well Arthur and Drew wrote politics-vent-y stories, so I did too. Of
course mine is also meant to wrap up an old cascade plot, advance a plot
in Liminals which was hinted at in the Free Comic Book Day Special, and
even tie up a Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths plotline. This is very
characteristic of me in terms of being a story that's a mix of really
intense conversations, ongoing subplot maintenance, and incredibly silly
stuff that just keeps happening. It's also kind of a Halloween story,
I decided a while ago that Maddie is a trans woman and she's named after
The stuff with the destruction of Sig.ago and how that plays into the
time war was--as far as I can remember--based on my original plans from
when I started out the Ultimate Mercenary series. (They changed a whole
lot as I wrote it.)
Also, the speech about Lincoln's Mother comes from Fantastic Four #11.
Forgotten Gal, Maddie "Terrible" Turnip, Masterplan Lad, Random
Villains, zombie valkyries and Wotan, zombie Marlon Brando and atomic
biker zombies, Lee, Random Heroines, Didio Brando: Jeanne Morningstar
Atomic Rabbit: Al Fago via Jeanne Morningstar
Andrew Weinstein: Jesse Willey
Original Random Heroes, Obsidian Ranger, Pregnant Chad, zombie senior
citizens: Mike Friedman
Lion Brain: Jamie Rosen
Dr. Ashley Variel: Tom Russell
Bad Judgment Boy: Arthur Spitzer
The new Random Heroines I introduced in this story are Free for Use.
Their names, along with many other characters in this cascade, come from
Lee K. Seitz's Useless Superhero Generator, which amazingly is *still
online* after all these years.
More information about the racc