LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #224: LNH vII #50 Part Four

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer2 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 5 13:11:21 PST 2021

You can sift through the racc list archive
or you can try google groups racc for the whole issue of LNH vII #50.

And this is part three of the Big Mega Multi-Writer Issue of LNH vII #50.
There were Eight LNH Writers involved in the writing of this and they
are as follow: Jeanne Morningstar, Rob Rogers, Scott Eiler, 
Dave Van Domelen, Arthur Spitzer (me), Drew Nilium, Martin Phipps, and 
Saxon Brenton.

And some more Dorf/LNH action!  First it was the Dorfs, and then it was
multiple Irony Men, and then came -- The Hipsters?  But perhaps something
in Comic Snob Boy's scrapbook will help with that -- and if not then
maybe WikiBoy is the answer?

Find out in...

             | |      Classic			
             | |                      =
             | |      ____    ____    _    ____    ___
             | |__   | [] |  | [] |  | |  | [] |  | _ \  

             |____|   \__]    \__ |  |_|   \__/   |_|\_\
                                |_|  OF NET.HEROES

                                    ADVENTURES #224

                         LNH vII #50 Part Four

From: Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Date: Sun Nov 2 16:20:29 PST 2014

                      --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--

     Kyoko Ishikawa rubbed her temples and sighed, glancing for a moment
at the holographic chronometer floating above the edge of her
receptionist's desk.

     Seven minutes left until the end of her shift. In the last twelve
hours, she'd handed out membership forms to a talking plant, a girl who
claimed she had the power to make public television pledge drives more
interesting and three different beings who had claimed to be the
reincarnated forms of Pants Rabbit Lad.

     She'd counseled several others to take their dreams and mad
ambitions elsewhere -- to one of the smaller, newer super-teams that
acted as a kind of minor league for the LNH, or to a guidance counselor,
or, on several occasions, to a therapist. Once she'd had to call in a
priest to forcibly exorcise the damned spirit of a 19th-century Afghan
warlord who demanded membership and the sacrifice of a goat.

     It had not been a good day.

     At the moment, the only thing that stood between Kyoko and a long,
warm soak in her redwood hot tub was a young man in carefully-selected
vintage clothing -- including a faded, failingly ironic "Mello-Yello"
T-shirt, tweed blazer and the kind of crumpled hat favored by old Jewish
men at the track in Sarasota.  He smiled at her, lengthening the soul
patch beneath his lips.

     A hipster, Kyoko thought, and sighed again.

     "Hey there," the hipster said, as though he and Kyoko were old
friends. "So, you know, you and the Legion, you're up against Acton Lord
or somebody, and you're thinking... there's got to be an easier way to
do this. Am I right?"

     He held up a colorful-looking smart phone.

     "Well, now there is," the man said, looking excessively pleased with
himself.  "I'm the AppMaster... and I've got an app for that!"

     Deep inside the dark recesses of her soul, Kyoko Ishikawa felt
something growl...

                      --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--

     "Hey, how are you doing?" said Kid Enthusiastic to Masterplan Lad.
They were standing in the infirmary, washing up (with Kid E standing on
a little stool to reach the sink). Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad was
sleeping off the cheesecake in one of the beds.

     "I feel rather dizzy."

     "Eh, that's just being written by different writers. You'll get used
to it in no time!"

     "I hope not. I don't see how anyone on this world survives all the

     "But these kinds of round robin-y things are what makes the LNH the

     "Well, then it's a shame I didn't end up in Omega. I'd take dark and
paranoiac over this any day."

     "Your author's pretty dark and paranoiac a lot of the time these
days anyway. I'm glad he's not writing me! Although I guess he is now."
Kid Enthusiastic shuddered.

     "Uh, you guys can get started with the cure thing any minute now,"
said WikiBoy, who was strapped to a table attached to a medical

     "Sure thing! Just gimme a minute," said Kid Enthusiastic. He looked
at the readouts. "Huh, this is interesting..."

     Suddenly, yet another door slammed open. A rather hipster-y young
man backpedaled through it. "Hey, hey -- if you wanted my digits, I
could've just snapchatted them to you!"

     "That doesn't even make SENSE!" Kyoko Ishikawa stepped through,
holding her head as if in pain. Her fingernails had elongated, and her
skin was already beginning to turn a Dorfish green. "You're so STUPID!"

     "Kyoko!" exclaimed Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. He leapt at her, but she
twisted out of the way and he crashed into a cabinet. Latex gloves,
talcum powder, and Organic Lass's copies of Dr. McCoy's autobiographies
(Leonard, Hank and Sylvester) fell on his head.

     Masterplan Lad stepped between the Dorfifying receptionist and the
novice net.hero, wielding his umbrella-shaped Plot Device to parry her
claw-swipes. "Fly, you fool!"

     "You don't have to tweet me twice!" AppMaster ran out the door [and
all the way out of the LNHQ, because this story already has enough
characters -- Footnote Girl].

     "So STUPID and LAZY! Do you REALLY think I should have to track you
down EVERY TIME someone leaves you a package!?" She sent MPL's Plot
Device spinning across the room, and he did a Captain Kirk roll out of
the way. She turned and spied Kid Enthusiastic. "And YOU!"

     "Aaaaaaa I said I was sorry about the chutney and the hollandaise
and the mutant butterflies!" Kid E jumped for the tech.thingy. He ripped
off the straps holding down WikiBoy's arm just before Kyoko grabbed him
and lifted him in the air.


     "Kyoko, I know you can fight th-- OW OW OW MY SPLEEN THOSE ARE CLAWS

     "AND THEN YOU TOOK THE last slice... of okonomiyaki...
cheesecake..." She fell over, Wikiboy sitting behind her and holding out
his needle.thingy.

     "Fascinating," said Masterplan Lad, sitting up. "It looks like
WikiBoy's Dorf cure temporarily knocks its subject out in order to
rebuild their body. It must not have done that to Doctor Stomper due to
the resistance he's built up over the years, testing his own
pseudoscientific formulas."

     "yeah, that's great," said Kid Enthusiastic weakly. "um... you think
you could stop the bleeding?"

                      --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--

     "Okay, okay," said Toony. By this point, Tasha had left, promising
to keep them updated about the scroll. "I've got the memory now. Doug
Moran. You responded to Marvel Zombie Lad's call for all net.heroes to
join in the fight against Doctor Killfile!"

     "Exactly!" said Doug.

     "But, as I recall, you were just some dork in an Iron Man costume!"

     Doug raised one eyebrow. "And what is it that you're wearing?"

     "This," Toony said, gesturing at his suit, "is a fully functional
suit of armor! It enables me to fly, shoot repulsive rays, the whole

     "Pretty nice, pretty nice," Doug allowed. "But I've made significant
improvements on my original design. My armor does all the things yours
does and more!"

     "Well, okay, fair enough," Toony said, "but don't come here saying
you invented the technology!"

     "Wait, wait, enough with the comedy double-act for a second,"
Cynical Lass said. "If you were around back, then maybe *you* know the
woman List Lad was in love with."

     "What?" said Doug, confused.

     "List Lad is upset over something that happened during the LNH's
first adventure," Painful Pun Person explained. "Cherchez la Lass."

     "Hmmmm," Doug said. "I didn't hear anything about this during the
Cosmic Plot Device Caper..."

     "This was during the LNH's first encounter with the Dorfs," said

     "Oh!" Doug pounded his fist into his hand. "I might know something
about that."

     "Really?" said Cynical Lass.

     "Yeah, actually - Toony, it was you who mentioned it one time. I
made some corny crack about how LNHers never die, and you said that
wasn't true. But you wouldn't talk about it - except, after the battle,
I saw you looking at an old newspaper and muttering about Dorfs."

     "I see..." said Poignant Death Lass.

     "You must be mistaken," said Toony. "I don't remember anything about
anyone dying!"

     "Well sure," Cynical Lass said, "but then again, up until a moment
ago you didn't remember any of this. Is it possible that there was a
memory so painful that you deleted it altogether so you didn't have to
ever remember it again?"

     "No! No. Definitely not," insisted Irony Man. Then he paused.

     "Although what?"

     "It *is* possible that my memories here have been tampered with. I
mean, if somebody else didn't want me to remember..."

     Doug hmmmmmed. "There's one way to settle this..."

     "How?" Poignant Death Lass asked.

     "Does the LNH have any written records?" Doug asked. "Old newspaper
clippings, for example?"

     Toony nodded.  "Comics Snob Boy kept a library in his room, with a
scrapbook of newspapers that had LNH-related headlines."

     "The LNHer who committed suicide?" Poignant Death Lass asked.

     Toony nodded. "We kept his room as it was. We didn't touch a thing.
If he had a newspaper dating back to the LNH's first adventure, it
should still be there."

                      --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--

     In space, Seyfert floated, panting and clutching his side. The
battle, to put it in as mild terms as possible, was Not Going Well.

     Slickshiver's edges had a *conceptual* sharpness to them. They could
even, with some effort, slice through his quintessential field, and only
quick thinking had saved him from more than a few shallow cuts. He was
running out of options, though, especially as-- $#!%!

     An undulating line sliced through space and energy and cloth and
skin and just BARELY not through muscle. Seyfert expanded space around
himself, but the deadly razors never seemed to get any further away. He
risked a focusing glance at Slickshiver and hit her with a blast of
focused dark energy. She hissed and turned it into a seductive purr. He

     Okay, this wasn't working. He finally managed to get a bit of
distance, setting himself on an erratically circling path the size of
Jupiter's orbit. He concentrated, and the wise alien visage of Unixepoch
appeared in his mind's eye.

     "So, I know for humanity to grow I'm supposed to figure out these
sorts of things on my own and all that, but I think a bit of alien
mentoring might be okay!"

     <PEREGR1NE.> Unixepoch's voice rumbled, and Seyfert thought he could
detect a faint strain of amusement. He didn't understand why an all-
knowing being never realized that he kind of hated his first name. <TH1S

     Seyfert took a breath and nodded. As the Defender of the Looniverse,
he could request a boon from any of a number of cosmic beings -- but
he'd have to repay it, one way or another. Depending on the being, it
could be anything from "promote my cause" to "slay my enemies" to "get
me a donut". (Even that last one wasn't as easy as it sounded, if the
being was, say, Alt.lactus.) It would be best to ask someone he didn't
mind helping -- someone whose power would be most effective here -- but

     Ah! Of course!

     A few minutes later, Slickshiver managed to intersect his path.
"Hey, shhhhhugar," she said, shivering over the sibilant like static,
"what'cha up to?"

     Seyfert half-turned, and took a deep breath... "Now I know just what
to do..." He grinned. "Feign amnesia!"

     "...?" Slickshiver undulated uncertainly, then snapped back with a
cynical half-grin. "Shorty, you need a new style!"

     He shrugged. "Why half-settle for stuff that's half-new?" His
quintessential field took on a harsh blue glow, and power began
gathering in his hands.

     Her eyes narrowed. "Time for the drop!" She swung her hand around,
atom-splitting-edge-on, towards his head--

     And he caught it.

     "!?" She could feel the power that surged around him. Complex,
subversive lyrics wedded to alternative rock melodies... oh *no*...

     "Like a volume beyond comprehension..." He raised his other hand, a
spiraling shape of rhythmic energy forming. "If the bass won't get
you..." She could feel the beat vibrating through her, shaking her to
pieces... "The treble will get you!" Everything faded to white in a
burst of accordion...

     Seyfert shook his hands out as the glow faded. Slickshiver was a
creature of music, and music had defeated her; specifically, a blast of
TheyMightBePowers gifted to him by Size of the Entire Universe Man. He
wondered what he'd have to pay for that. Well, it was supposed to be
free if you called from work...

     He took off. He might not be in time to cut the Dorfs off, but at
least he could help fight them...

                      --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--

     "So this was Comics Snob Boy's room," said Cynical Lass, idly
leafing through a stack of the fallen hero's black-and-white comic
books. "I must have walked past a hundred times without ever seeing it."

     "That's no coincidence," Irony Man said, locking the door behind
them. "After Comics Snob Boy... after he took his own life... Occultism
Kid placed wards around the room."

     "To preserve it? As a kind of memorial to Comics Snob Boy?" Poignant
Death Lass asked.

     "That, and to keep Comics Snob Boy's spirit from coming back," Irony
Man said. "It's the only room in the LNHQ -- apart from Occultism Kid's
own, of course -- that's completely hidden from any kind of
surveillance, electronic, mystical or psychic. If it hadn't been for
you, Poignant Death Lass, we might never have found it."

     "It has... a strong resonance," Poignant Death Lass said, running
her graceful fingers along the edges of the "Maus" poster hanging above
Comics Snob Boy's former bed.

     She turned to the second -- or third, or really the first... it was
all rather confusing -- Irony Man, Doug Moran. "What was he like?" she

     "Well..." Moran said, scratching his helmet. "He could be...
difficult. I'm not sure how to describe it. He was one of those people
who makes a point out of going to see a movie as soon as it premieres,
just so he can tell you how much he didn't like it."

     He sighed, picking up a copy of the thing that had brought them to
Comics Snob Boy's room -- a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings of
the LNH's early adventures. "But for all that, he was a good teammate."

     Moran passed out other volumes from Comics Snob Boy's scrapbook
collection to Cynical Lass, Poignant Death Lass, Painful Pun Person and
the other Irony Man.  The group read in silence for a while,
occasionally chuckling over some bit of trivia or groaning at something
Master Blaster had once said to a female reporter.

     "I think I've got something," said Poignant Death Lass.

     "Let me see," said Irony Man, snatching the book from Poignant Death
Lass' hands.

     "Yes," he said, staring at the yellowed pages. "Yes. This is it. The
secret to defeating the Dorfs once and for all."

     His gauntlets crackled, bathing the scrapbook in repulsive energy --
and reducing it to ash in seconds.

     The other heroes stared in stunned silence.

     "Please tell me that was somehow ironic," Cynical Lass said.

     "You want irony? Here's irony," Irony Man said, the components of
his armor shifting and expanding with a sound almost indistinguishable
from that of a TransFormer changing shape on the 1980s cartoon. The
configuration that emerged was vast, bulky and chockablock with spiked
protrusions, hooks, flying buttresses and more skulls and chains than
Todd McFarlane could draw in a weekend.

     "The Dorf Empire has ravaged the cosmos for thousands of years,
laying waste to the greatest warriors and most advanced weapons of a
hundred civilizations," he said, his voice becoming a low, rumbling
growl. "And the first time we are defeated is by a group of
inexperienced teenagers who somehow stumbled upon our weakness."

     "Toony!  You're Dorfing out!" Doug Moran said. "You've got to fight

     The thing that had been Irony Man chuckled, as the irony detector at
the center of his Gothic armor trilled with delight.

     "Toony Stork is still in whatever dissolute hole he crawled into
after his battle with the Bryttle Brothers," said the Dorf formerly
known as Irony Man. "I am Reg Hfffgrktt, right hand of General Jarrek
and scourge of the Dorf Empire!"

     "Are you sure you aren't his left hand?" Cynical Lass asked. "You
seem like a bit of a wanker to me."

     "And you are a fool," Hfffgrktt said, edging closer. "I put on the
face of your comrade, and you led me right to the trove of his memories
-- allowing me to destroy every morsel of information related to the
defeat of our Empire. And now you've done the same with the only other
copy of that information... and all without ever suspecting a thing!"

     "Actually, we've been questioning you and your motives from the very
beginning," Cynical Lass said.

     "True," Hffgrktt said.  "And yet here you are."

     "...Fair point," Cynical Lass conceded.

     "You may have destroyed that scrapbook, but I saw what it said,"
Poignant Death Lass said.

     "See, now that's an interesting point," Hfffgrktt replied. "The fact
that you're now the only member of the LNH with the necessary
information to defeat the Dorfs makes your impending death especially
poignant... which means you could actually be killed after all..."

     Doug Moran stepped in front of Poignant Death Lass. "I'm not going
to let you hurt her," he said.

     "That's awfully brave, coming from the least-experienced super-hero
in the room," Hfffgrktt said, folding his spiked arms. "But you see,
I'm not going to do anything to her. Or any of you.  I'm just going to
wait until your transformation into Dorfs is complete, and then watch
you tear each other to pieces."

     "Now that we've had a reminder of just how bloody disgusting the lot
of you look, there's not the slightest danger any of us is going to
become one of you," Cynical Lass said, pointing her cigarette at

     "Please," Hfffgrktt said. "You can barely control your rage as it
is. It's the source of your powers. And exposing yourself to the rush of
nicotine again has only made things worse -- especially if someone takes
it away from you," he added, snatching Cynical Lass's pack of cigarettes
from the pocket of her sweatshirt before the heroine could blink.

     "Give... those... BACK!" Cynical Lass growled, then shrieked in
horror as her fingers began elongating into claws.  "No... not my
beautiful manicure...!"

     "And you just clawed your way back from the world of the dead,
didn't you?" Hfffgrktt said, his gaze returning to Poignant Death Lass.
"You'd like everyone to think you were so brave... but really, you're
terrified of the idea of going back there, and not coming back this

     "I'm... I'm not," said Poignant Death Lass, who had begun to shake.
"I'm really not."

     "Leave her alone!" Doug Moran shouted.

     "Ah, Douglas," Hfffgrktt said. "Angry at me, terrified of what I
represent and above all frustrated that you never became the hero you
might have been... that Toony Stork became in your place. It's a wonder
you aren't a Dorf already."

     "Aren't you forgetting someone?" Painful Pun Person asked.

     There was a slight whir as Hfffgrktt swiveled his helmeted head in
her direction.

     "Oh, that's right. There's you," he purred. "But you're pathetic.
Attractive, though... for a human."

     "Thanks," Painful Pun Person said, kicking Hfffgrktt in the knee.
The dull clang reverberated around the room.

     "Was that supposed to do something?" Hfffgrktt asked. "Are you
really... why are you laughing?"

     "Because I know something you don't want to know," Painful Pun
Person said.

     "And what is that?"

     "Believe me," Painful Pun Person said, covering her hand with her
mouth, "you really don't want to know."

     "That was me asking. This is me demanding," Hfffgrktt said, his
finned gauntlet beginning to smolder as he raised it towards her, palm
facing outward.

     Painful Pun Person held up her hands.  "I'll tell you," she said.
"But doing so will just ruin the dramatic iron knee."

     Hfffgrktt shrieked and dropped to the floor as something popped and
buckled within his kneecap. Painful Pun Person scrambled for cover as
repulsive blasts fired wildly around the room.

     "You can't hide for long," Hfffgrktt snarled.  "If I don't kill you,
one of your own teammates will!"

     "Who's hiding?" Painful Pun Person asked, popping out from behind a
bound copy of _American Splendor_. "Pekar-boo!"

     Something like an invisible sledgehammer clanged against the side of
Hfffgrktt's helmet, which rang like a gong. The Dorf removed the helmet,
tossing it to the side, and fired a pair of repulsive blasts at the
fleeing heroine.

     "You scratched the 'Eight-Ball'," Painful Pun Person said, as
Hfffgrktt's shot obliterated the collected works of Dan Clowes. "That
means you lose."

     "Witch!" Hfffgrktt spat, a line of bluish blood trickling from his
reptilian lips. "Do you really hope to defeat me with words? Dorfs are
masters of verbal combat! You will be crying for mercy mere moments from

     "Yeah?" Painful Pun Person replied, smashing a framed poster of
Fritz the Cat over the alien's head, so that Hfffgrktt's seething face
appeared to emerge from the feline's body. "Well, it's my repartee, and
I'll cry if I want to!"

     "Enough!" Hfffgrktt roared, throwing up his arms and shattering the
picture frame. "I'll destroy... but by the black-fisted god of curses!"
he shrieked, doubling over in pain as tendrils of white rimed his
armored ribs. "What... what is this cold that sears my sides like the
frost-fingered feint of death itself?"

     "And here I thought the only things Dorfs said were 'Kill!' and
'Maim' and 'Bring me another beer!'," said Cynical Lass, restored to
humanity and raking Hfffgrktt's midsection with her withering stare.
"Maybe there's a place for Hallmark on Dorfworld after all."

     "I know, right?" Painful Pun Person said. "I've been waiting for him
to say, 'Punny human! Dorf smash!'"

     "I... have been merciful until now," Hfffgrktt said, his face
bruised, his shoulderplate splintered by Painful Pun Person's linguistic
assault. "Now... now I shall tear out your throats... with my own

     "YOU SHALL DO NO SUCH THING," boomed the voice of Poignant Death
Lass, her normally-limp hair flowing in an unseen breeze, her pupilless
eyes blazing with an unholy purple light.

     Cynical Lass and Painful Pun Person shrank back as Poignant Death
Lass approached the Dorf, whose eyes had grown wide with terror.

     "COMICS SNOB BOY DIED HERE," Poignant Death Lass said, reaching out
and placing a ghostly white hand on Hfffgrktt's forehead. "NOW,

     The Dorf shrieked in agony. "No..." he whimpered, crawling forward
on his hands and knees. "Please.  No more. I... I..."

     There was a tremendous cracking sound as Doug Moran socked Hfffgrktt
on the jaw. The Dorf slumped to the floor.

     "And stay down," Moran said. "Well, what do you know? These bronze
boxing gloves work just fine, whether I was the one who invented them or

     The light in Poignant Death Lass' eyes faded, and she collapsed into
Moran's armored arms.

     "Whoa!  Easy there, sister," Moran said, surprised. "You all right?"

     "It's... Comics Snob Boy. He told me their weakness," Poignant
Death Lass said. "The Dorfs... they have limited capacity for empathy."

     "Well, that's the understatement of the year," Cynical Lass said,
searching desperately around the body of the fallen Dorf for her lost

     "They can't handle attacks based on emotion," Poignant Death Lass
continued, as Moran helped her to her feet. "Angst, especially. It's
completely foreign to them. Like a poison."

     "Then that's it," Moran said, removing his own helmet and picking up
the one discarded by the false Irony Man. "The three of you need to get
that information to Doctor Stomper... without being seen. The Dorfs may
have other sleeper agents within the Legion."

     "What about you?" Poignant Death Lass asked.

     Moran grinned, placing the helmet upon his head. "The Dorfs are
expecting an Irony Man to emerge from this room and return to their ship
with news of victory. And that's exactly what they're going to get.
After all, with Hfffgrkkt defeated... and Toony Stork still missing... I
guess that makes me the one and only..."

     "Actually, there's still the other Irony Man downstairs," Cynical
Lass pointed out.

     "Oh," Moran said. "Right."

     "Good luck," Poignant Death Lass said, her voice rich with emotion
as the hardsuited hero strode purposefully from the room.

     "Now what?" Cynical Lass asked, as the door clicked shut behind
Moran. "How are we supposed to get to Doctor Stomper without being seen?
I don't suppose either of you has the yet-unrevealed ability to turn

     "We may not have to," said Poignant Death Lass. "Legion Headquarters
isn't like other buildings."

     "Really?" Cynical Lass said, cocking an eyebrow. "And whatever gave
you that impression? The haunted dormitories? The flocks of marauding
killer birds? The fact that the cafeteria has something on the order of
six hundred kinds of cheesecake but NOBODY CAN BE BOTHERED TO BUY A

     "Sorry... sorry," Cynical Lass added, shaking her hands to keep them
from growing scaly. "That was the lack of cigarettes talking."

     "I... I spoke with LNHQ," Poignant Death Lass said. "It's alive, you
know. Like a body. And the Dorfs are like an infection. It wants us to
get rid of them."

     "So we're the leukocytes, in this particular scenario?" Cynical Lass
said, finally giving up the search. "Fine by me. Better a corpuscle than
a corpse, is what my mother always used to say."

     Painful Pun Person stared at her. "You must have had one mother of a
mother," she said.

     "If we believe in LNHQ," Poignant Death Lass said, "she will show us
the way."

     "I believe," Painful Pun Person said.

     They both stared at Cynical Lass.

     "Oh, hell.  Yes.  I believe," Cynical Lass said.

     A bookshelf at the back of the room -- filled entirely with bound
copies of Neil Gaiman's Sandman -- slid to the side, revealing the
entrance to a hidden staircase.

     "Always said Sandman was a gateway drug, where comics was
concerned," said Painful Pun Person, stepping through the door.

     Poignant Death Lass followed, pausing for a moment to regard the
unconscious Dorf on the dormitory floor.

     "You know what surprised me the most, honestly?" she said. "He had
the singing voice of an angel."

     "They said the same thing about Lucifer," said Cynical Lass,
following her out the door. "If you believe in that sort of thing."

                      --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--

     Doctor Stomper slumped down in one of the chairs of the Central
Command Center. "All right. We've used the LNH Priority Communications
channels to contact all major world leaders. Our job is done, assuming
they take the threat seriously."

     "We did that pretty quick," Namer Boy said, lounging in Renegade
Programmer's own personal comfy, broken-in office chair. "I feel as
though we've skipped ahead somehow."

     "Isn't this story long enough?" said Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr.

     "It seems to me that I should be doing something more useful,"
Doctor Stomper said, frowning. "Is it possible that Irony Man sent me
here to get me out of the way, just in case I reverted to a Dorf?"

     "I don't know," Namer Boy said. "Is it in character for Irony Man to
be underhanded and sneaky like that?"

     Dr. Stomper and Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. both nodded.

     "Well, then, yeah," Namer Boy said, "probably he just wanted us out
of the way."

     Stomper turned away, getting into a "famous thinky statue" pose.
Namer Boy and UBLJr. could see the sheer intensity of ponderation coming
off of him in waves.

     "This virus..." he said. "We're thinking about it as though it were
a naturally-occuring disease. But in fact, it's a biological weapon."

     Namer Boy nodded encouragingly. "Which means?"

     "What if we cure it, and the Dorfs just send another strain of the
virus against us? And then another, and another? What if it has, say,
self-mutation capabilities?"

     Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. frowned. "So... we're screwed."

     "No -- we simply need to find a cure that'll work on *any* strain."

     "That's a tall order, doc," said Namer Boy. "Isn't that why you have
to get a new flu vaccine each year -- to keep up with the latest

     "Certainly, certainly. But as I said, this is a *designed* virus. No
matter how far it mutates, it will hold to certain characteristics, or
else it would easily mutate away from what its creators intended. Don't
forget, the Dorfs have bioengineering technology advanced enough to
create Vel, a human/Dorf hybrid. [Again, see Vel's self-titled series --
Footnote Girl] Two entirely alien genetic codes coexisting -- and I
doubt he was their first experiment in that vein. Limiting a viral
mutation would be child's play."

     "Okay, okay," said UBLJr. "But *how*? How do we test it against any
possible version of the virus?"

     "Hmmmmmmm." Stomper pondered. "We'd have to get WikiBoy to produce a
larger quantity of the cure, and-- that's it! WikiBoy! He could simply
become someone infected with an extremely different version of the
virus, and once we compared the two, we'd know what to cure!"

     "Well then what are we waiting for?" said Namer Boy, hopping to his
feet. "Let's go get WikiBoy!"

                      --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--

     WikiBoy squirmed in the medical tech.thingy, straining to see as
Masterplan Lad stood over Kid Enthusiastic, confronting the young boy's
terrible wounds.

     MPL worked his Plot Device with controlled urgency. "I am activating
a program to emit Urple Rays, which use dramatic energy to heal. While
this is an appropriate situation, I was hoping not to have to use this

     "Because only the most desperate of circumstances would compel you
to use an untested device outside the laboratory?" said Anal-Retentive
Archive Kid II.

      "No, because the drama engine draws on the power of concentrated
Youtube comments, and I'm afraid I haven't quite gotten the shielding up
to 100%." He pointed it at Kid Enthusiastic, and the ray lanced out with
a high-pitched whine. Kid E shuddered as the beam hit his wound. Flesh
started knitting itself back together -- but that flesh began to slowly

     "What's happening!?" shouted WikiBoy, trying to lean over the med-
table to see.

     "I don't know," shouted Masterplan Lad, looking, shocked, at Kid E's
groaning, twisting form. "I can't..."

     The LNH may not know what's happening, but, fearless readers, WE do!
It turns out that the rapidly-mutating Prophet Virus is affected by the
drama-based energies of Urple Ray technology in such a way that it
mutates and propagates at an enormous rate! The virus, originally meant
to turn Kid Enthusiastic into a Dorf, is turning him into another type
of troll entirely!

     "And there you are," said Masterplan Lad, far more composed than a
moment ago, as he switched off the ray generator. "When you do not have
a source of exposition on hand, narration can prove a more than adequate

     Oh, fiddlesticks.

     But the transformation was already complete. Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr.
leaned over the prone body. "Kid Enthusiastic! Are you all right!?"

     "I... I..."

     "Yes? Yes!?"

     "!'m great!!" He leapt up, floating in the air in a cloud of
seizure-inducing red-and-blue sparkles. His skin had gone gray, and he
had horns coming out of his head shaped like fractal trees. His costume
had been transmogrified as well; he was suddenly wearing a black T-shirt
with a sparkly pink Mandelbrot set on it. "! don't know what happened
but !t's l!ke !'m f!lled w!th !nf!n!te energy and whoa !'m fly!ng

     Masterplan Lad rubbed his forehead. "Okay, okay, we can salvage
this..." He lifted Kyoko's sleeping body, and UBLJr. helped heft her
onto one of the beds. "We can take a sample of the mutated virus from
Kid Enthusiastic's blood and test it with Wikiboy's Dorf-curing powers.
That way, we can come up with a version of the cure that'll work on
anyone infected by any version--" He stopped. "...where did he go?"

     All that was left was a trail of sparkly energy in the air.

                      --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--

Next Week:  LNH vII #50 Part FIVE!!!!

Arthur "Same Classic Channel.  But Same Time?  Probably not." Spitzer 

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