Flame Wars IV #5
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by Jamie Rosen and Saxon Brenton
in consultation with Martin Phipps
many thanks to: Jesse Willey and Tom Russell
Cannon Fodder sighed and rolled off of his bed. He'd known as soon as
he'd heard Ultimate Ninja call for volunteers for the attack on OMAR that he
was going to sucked into taking part -- it sounded like a suicide mission,
and those practically had his name emblazoned on them. Sure, he knew his
'power' made him the most logical candidate for those sorts of things, but
that didn't mean he was *excited* about it.
As he pulled on his costume, he remembered that he'd been meaning to ask
New Look Lass to make him a new costume, like she had just recently done for
Cheesecake Eater Lad [in _Miss Translation_ #5 -- Ed.] -- one that was maybe
a bit less target-like than his current one. Something kept coming up,
though. Maybe when he came back from this mission he'd remember to ask, if
she wasn't too busy. Of course, given their respective abilities, he'd
probably wind up with something even *more* like what he was trying to get
When Cannon Fodder stepped into the teleportation room, he was greeted
by Ultimate Ninja.
"Thank you for taking part in this mission," said the Master of Jinsu,
making an obvius effort to be as polite as he could manage, presumably to
keep everyone level-headed going into battle with OMAR.
"It had my name on it." He had to admit, he *could* have shirked his
duty if he'd been willing to face the disgust of his teammates, and quite
possibly the wrath of hordes of angry trolls. He likely would have died
either way, but at least this way he could feel okay about himself.
"Okay, people, listen up!" Ultimate Ninja said, turning to the
assembled Legionnaires. Cannon Fodder wasn't too sure about the make-up of
the team -- there was Captain Redundant, and Girl/Boy, who he hadn't seen
in a long time, and Captain Redundant, and Giant Wandering Cow Kid, whose
bovine nature had eventually proven resistant to trollification, and
Cheesecake Eater Lad, whose new costume made him look much more menacing
and effective. Maybe it was the mask that New Look Lass had added?
"This is the plan: Doctor Stomper, Organic Lad and the others have put
together this device." Ultimate Ninja held up a machine about the size of a
softball. "We believe that the key to weakening OMAR is to cut off his
access to the hate he creates in the hearts of others. Without access to
that hate, he should be substantially weaker. This machine does two things --
first, it will use subatomic particles to create a barrier to OMAR's hate.
And second, it will detonate a few seconds later, while OMAR is in his
weakened state. Cannon Fodder, it's your responsibility to activate the
device when OMAR is within range. The rest of you, it's your responsibility
to protect Cannon Fodder while he's getting into range."
"Ultimate Ninja, sir," Girl/Boy said, "what exactly *is* the device's
"Doctor Stomper assures me the barrier is effective up to a
distance of sixty-nine inches, ninety nine percent of the time."
"That's pretty close," Captain Redundant said. "It's not very far."
"No," Ultimate Ninja agreed. "It isn't."
A small... er, no, make that a *large* black and white ball of
net.heroism hurtled into the doors to the military installation, snapping the
lock off and sending the heavy metal doors themselves flying several feet
backwards. Within seconds, the four humanoid Legionnaires had swarmed into
"Thanks, Giant Wandering Cow Kid," Girl/Boy said.
"Mooo," mooed the heroic heifer.
"Thanks, Giant Wandering Cow Kid," added Captain Redundant.
Cannon Fodder looked around nervously. The whole installation was quiet.
Too quiet. He'd been caught in enough ambushes, booby traps, and botched
missions to have a general idea of what was going to happen next. He glanced
at his watch. Three... two... one...
A trio of trolls in tattered army fatigues jumped out of a broom closet
down the hall, cursing a blue streak. "You little $#!+heads!" shouted one of
them. "Your pathetic, you konw. We shouldnt' even waste our time with you."
With that, the speaker burst into a run, his two compatriots hot on his heels,
their shouted profanities merging into one incoherent rant.
The Legionnaires moved into action. Girl/Boy struck a martial arts pose
and used the lead troll's momentum to throw him to the ground, while Captain
Redundant struck a mighty blow to the jaw of the troll before him, knocking
it to the floor. The third troll suffered a similar fate at the hands -- er,
hind hooves, that is -- of Giant Wandering Cow Kid, while Cheesecake Eater
Lad stuck close to Cannon Fodder, keeping a watchful eye out for any trolls
who might have been using this attack as a distraction.
When it was obvious that the three trolls would not be returning for a
second round, the quintent moved further into base, closer to the black heart
that was OMAR. But despite how things had gone so far, Cannon Fodder couldn't
shake the feeling that this suicide mission was headed for a bad end.
The second wave of trolls hit them without any warning.
Suddenly, the little green monsters were everywhere, gnashing teeth,
screaming insults, and hitting, scratching, and biting anything they could get
close to. Cannon Fodder shrieked in surprise and jumped away from one troll
trying to make a meal out of his forearm, stopping only when his back was
against a wall.
Cheesecake Eater Lad interposed himself between Cannon Fodder and the
troll, lashing out and knocking loose one jagged, yellow tooth with a swift
backhand. The troll spat ichor from its mouth and swore at him.
"You little prck. Shouldn't you be #@$%ing your mom?"
Saying nothing, Cheesecake Eater Lad simply struck it again. The troll
growled, and the two began to fight in earnest, heading away from Cannon
Fodder, who sighed with relief and looked around. This battle wasn't going
nearly as well as the first had. There were far more trolls this time, too
many to count. Three of them had jumped onto Giant Wandering Cow Kid's back
and were trying to turn her into striploin, while another two were engaged in
a kung-fu movie style battle with Girl/Boy. Captain Redundant had been backed
into a corner, but was doing his best to use that to his advantage, keeping
his opponents in front of him at all times.
.oO( I should go help, ) Cannon Fodder thought. .oO( But who? Who? )
On impulse, he picked up a metal pipe that had been knocked loose at
some point during the fighting and ran up behind one of the trolls menacing
Captain Redundant. Even above the din of battle, he could hear as well as feel
the solid *thunk* of the shaft cracking against flesh and bone, and the troll
fell limp at his feet, ichor leaking from the still-snarling mouth and the
back of his head. With the odds more even, Captain Redundant was able to fend
off the rest of his attackers with a series of rights and lefts, followed by
some more rights, then some lefts. Emboldened by his success, Cannon Fodder
hefted the pipe in his hand and turned to see where else he could be of
As he turned, a tormented lowing split the air. Giant Wandering Cow Kid
had been brought down to her knees by the trolls, and their teeth and claws
had left her monochromatic pelt tinted crimson with her blood. She was still
trying to fight them off, tossing her head to and fro, but it was clear that
it was a losing battle.
Forgetting about the odds, Cannon Fodder ran into their midst, steel
pipe swinging at anything green. Trolls fell left and right, and he could
feel more than see Captain Redundant joining him, and Girl/Boy, and Cheesecake
Eater Lad, until the only trolls remaining in the room were unconscious or
He knelt beside the fallen Giant Wandering Cow Kid. Cradling her head
in his hands, he could tell that she was still breathing, but it was shallow,
laboured and hoarse.
"GIWACK," he said. "GIWACK, can you hear me?"
"moo...?" It was a weak moo, questioning, disoriented.
"GIWACK... hang on. We're going to get you to LNHHQ and have Doc Stomper
and Doctor Bad-Bedside-Manner fix you up good as new. Just hang on."
"moo..." Her breathing stopped.
Cheesecake Eater Lad put a hand on Cannon Fodder's shoulder and shook
his head sadly. Cannon Fodder had to bite his tongue to prevent himself from
letting loose an exclamation that would have done the trolls proud. It was
more important than ever that they keep their cool. They had to stop OMAR.
"She's dead," observed Captain Redundant.
Cannon Fodder didn't let go. "We can't just leave her here!"
"We have to," Girl/Boy said. "Look, I don't like it any more than you.
GIWACK -- " The hero choked. "Rachel was my best friend. But we're here to
stop OMAR and save the lives of everyone he's turned into a troll. If we don't
do that, her death will be meaningless, and I won't let that happen!"
Closing his eyes, Cannon Fodder relented. Girl/Boy was right. When all
this was over... when all this was over, he'd see to it Giant Wandering Cow
Kid got a hero's burial. The kind of burial she deserved. Gently, he lowered
her head to the floor, then stood up. "Let's go."
The detector they'd brought showed that OMAR was located one level below
them, so they headed to the nearest stairwell.
"Careful," Captain Redundant said. "It might be boobytrapped, and it
might not be safe."
"Well, what do we do?" Girl/Boy asked. "We have to get down there."
"You're right. We have to go one floor lower." Captain Redundant put his
hand to his chin in the classic 'thinking' position.
"OMAR doesn't really seem like the sort to put traps into place,"
Girl/Boy said. "And the trolls certainly don't have that capacity."
"What about the army?" Cannon Fodder asked. "I mean, it was a military
base first, they might have--" He was interrupted mid-sentence by the sound of
Cheesecake Eater Lad pushing the door open and heading down the stairs. No
explosion or other trap seemed forthcoming.
"Well. All right, then." The other three Legionnaires filed down the
stairs to join the Dairy-Dessert Defender, who was waiting for them at the
bottom, his arms crossed.
The lower floor was almost identical to the main floor, but lit only by
unnatural fluorescent light. A lone troll, clad in a uniform that was still in
surprisingly good condition, stood in front of a doorway, watching them. The
detector indicated that OMAR was on the other side of the door.
"So. It's about time," the troll said.
"Who are you?" Girl/Boy asked.
"Wouldn't you like to know, you self-righteous b!+ch. Maybe if you're
really nice to me, I'll give you a clue." The troll brushed some dirt off of
the shoulder of its uniform. "Now, are you going to stand there playing with
yourselves all day, or are you going to marshall what you laughingly call your
'intellect' and your 'abilities' and actually try to go up against me? I would
tell you not to waste your time, but I haven't had a good laugh in a while."
"Hmm," Cannon Fodder mused. "A troll with pretensions."
"The worst kind," added Captain Redundant.
"I should have known you'd spend all your time congratulating each other
and back down from a real challenge. Why is it you Net.Heroes are always such
Girl/Boy and Captain Redundant advanced on the troll, slowly separating
so that they were coming from two angles. The troll snickered.
"It figures that it would take two of you to even try to match up with
me. Heh. You @#%@!%s are all the same. What do you do in the real world, when
you don't have each other to--"
A jumping roundhouse kick from Girl/Boy shut him up, at least
temporarily, and Captain Redundant added one of his own for good measure. The
troll backed up a couple of steps and wiped ichor from the corner of his
"Am I supposed to be impressed?"
The two Net.Heroes converged again, and drove the troll back another
step with their attack. Cannon Fodder was conflicted -- he didn't want to just
stand there like he had before Giant Wandering Cow Kid had died, but at the
same time he didn't see what he could do to help. The hallway was too narrow
for him to join the fight without risking getting in the way. Besides, the
weight of the weapon strapped to his waist, underneath his costume, was a
constant reminder that it was his duty to get to OMAR; the others were here to
protect him. He didn't like it, but that was the way it was.
"I must give you credit," the troll said, rolling his head from side to
side and cracking his neck. "You're stubborn as Hell[tm]. But you -- " He
turned to Captain Redundant. "You've got an unfair advantage. I should have
known you'd be such a coward. Why don't you take it like a *man* and stop
hiding behind that ridiculous disguise?"
Cannon Fodder glanced at Captain Redundant. The good captain looked to be
a little upset, and Cannon Fodder thought he could see a slight tinge of
green in his skin.
"No!" Cannon Fodder cried out. "Captain Redundant, don't--"
"REDUNDANT!" came Captain Redundant's reply, and in a flash he was
transormed into his mundane identity.
The troll chuckled. "You're so easy to play with its pathetic. But now
you're starting to bore me." He reached down and pulled a handgun from a
holster sitting on his left hip. Seeing the weapon, Girl/Boy lunged toward him
and knocked it from his hand, sending it skittering across the floor.
All three Legionnaires jumped for the gun at once. They struggled on
the ground, and Cannon Fodder couldn't tell who had the upper hand. Then a
shot was fired. And another. And another. And another. The troll stiffened
and listed to the side, its sickly yellow eyes glazing over.
"Yes!" Cannon Fodder said, rushing forward, then stopping. Captain
Redundant -- Phil -- didn't look very good. He was pale and coughing, and
although he had the handgun in one hand, his other was held to his stomach,
where his clothes were slowly darkening.
"*cough* I... *cough* think I *cough* pulled the trigger too many
times..." He staggered over to the wall and leaning on it. The pistol dropped
from his right hand, and he took the left away from his stomach to look at
it. "I'm bleeding," he said matter-of-factly.
"You're in shock," Girl/Boy said, running over to him.
Phil nodded. "You're right." He coughed again, spitting up blood, and the
words wouldn't come out when he went to talk. He slid down to the floor,
leaving a red streak along the wall. "Tell Rick..." he tried to say. "Tell
Rick I'm sorry."
Cannon Fodder looked from the prone form of the former Captain Redundant,
to Girl/Boy, to Cheesecake Eater Lad, and back to Captain Redundant. This
wasn't how things were supposed to go. *He* had been sent on this mission to
die. The rest of them were just there to keep him safe. This was--
The doorway opened and the unmistakeable form of OMAR stepped out. The
only change from how he had looked at LNHHQ was the missing hand, courtesy of
Captain Rat Creature. He walked casually down the hall, and was about to step
over the fallen body of Phil when he thought better of it -- and stepped
directly on his throat instead.
"You stupid $@$!%$s. You all suck so bad its not evena joke anymore.
I hope you %@%^ off and die."
Snarling, Girl/Boy jumped at the Net.God with a flying kick. But the
attack was fuelled by anger, and OMAR was a steap ahead, grabbing the
Net.Hero's foot with his remaining hand. Yellowed teeth bared in a perverse
grin, he casually swung the Legionnaire against the wall twice, then let go.
"Is that all u got? @%#%in' @%#%@s." He reached back and tore the door
off its hinges, then threw it at the two remaining Net.Heroes. Cheesecake
Eater Lad dove sideways, grabbing Cannon Fodder with surprising strength and
pulling him out of the way.
A noise from behind made Cannon Fodder turn his head. Three trolls,
battered and bloodied, were standing at the base of the stairs.
"We're gonna kill you %@#$s!"
The trolls charged toward them, while OMAR laughed. Cannon Fodder
started to brace for the attack, but Cheesecake Eater Lad pushed him toward
the Net.God of trolling.
"Go," the Culinary Crusader instructed, his voice muffled by the bodies
of the trolls that were leaping on him.
It was a losing battle Another losing battle. Cannon Fodder couldn't
watch. Instead, he turned to OMAR and jumped into his arms, hugging the small
green fiend closely.
"I forgive you," Cannon Fodder said, activating the device strapped to
his waist. "I know you couldn't help it."
Confused at his sudden weakness, OMAR looked up at the Legionnaire.
Reflected in the Net.God's eyes, Cannon Fodder could see Cheesecake Eater Lad
succumbing to the trolls' attacks. And then the bomb exploded.
Some time later, the mood at LNHHQ was subdued but festive. Most of the
Legionnaires who had been turned into trolls -- those who had not succumbed
to the brain tumors, at least -- had begun reverting to their normal forms,
and some had even regained consciousness. It was a scene of tearful reunions
and relieved laughter.
"How Happy I am to be wHolly Healed," aLLiterative Lass remarked to
Time Waster Lad, who was helping her get caught up to speed on everything
that had happened since her trollification.
"We're glad to have you back." Time Waster Lad looked up and saw Token
Girl come into the lobby.
"You guys should come down to the cafeteria," she said. "We're
celebrating! There's snacks and everything."
"Just a sec," Time Waster Lad replied. "I've still got to finish telling
aLLiterative Lass about what happened in the broom closet in the main hall,
and Frat Boy's bedroom, and --"
"Well, don't take too long." Token Girl waved and disappeared back
through the door she'd entered through.
"Now, as I was saying..." Time Waster Lad began, but aLLi cut him off.
"Where is my Wonderful and Witty husband?" she asked.
Time Waster Lad thought for a moment. "Cheesecak Eater Lad? Well, I
The two Net.Heroes looked up and saw the bedraggled form of Cannon
Fodder leaning wearily on the frame of the front door. He closed his eyes.
"They're all dead."
Time Waster Lad looked from Cannon Fodder to aLLiterative Lass, but
before anyone could react, Bad Timing Boy stuck his head in from the hallway.
"Who wants cheesecake?" he asked.
An indeterminate time after the explosion...
In a forest many tens of miles away from the site of the Legion's final
confrontation with OMAR lay a chunk of some sort of black stone-like
substance. It looked vaguely like obsidian, and was shaped even more vaguely
like a heart. Small it was, and twisted.
It was all that remained of the net.god of trolling, and had been thrown
clear by the final explosion that had killed him. It was further away than
could reasonably be expected from simple ballistics, but then that's plot
contrivances for you.
After a while footsteps could be heard.
A figure in a white disco suit leant down and picked up OMAR's heart.
Flipseid, dark net.god of the remix and lord of the old paperclips,
considered the immortal remains of his minion.
"So, you have failed me, OMAR," he observed rhetorically. The heart did
not - could not - reply. "No matter, the Looniearthlings have tasted Fear,
and will dread my coming as a child dreads the darkness of night. And in
time, my servant, I may even remake you and send you on another errand."
Flipseid gestured. A boom tube formed in the air beside him, and he
stepped through and out of the world of mortals. For the time being.
Chinese Guy -- face bitten off by OMAR
Zowie!!!Boy -- died of brain tumour induced by trollification
Bjorn, LNH HR Manager -- killed by Ultimate Ninja
Subplot Lad -- died of brain tumour induced by trollification
Toilet Humor Man -- killed by Mygag with a punch while the latter was under
Mygag -- committed seppuku once freed of OMAR's control
Giant Wandering Cow Kid -- clawed to death by trolls
Captain Redundant -- killed by gunshot wound to the stomach in Phil form
Girl/Boy -- swung full force into wall by OMAR
Cheesecake Eater Lad -- overwhelmed by trolls
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