LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #32: Catalytic Conversions Part One

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Nov 23 23:42:50 PST 2016

On 9/7/2016 10:24 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> This was the aftermath of a
> heated conflict over the character Catalyst Lass.  Both Jeff
> and Jameel were writing her in their series.  The conflict
> developed because Jeff wasn't crazy about Jameel's plans to
> make Catalyst Lass, Particle Man's girlfriend.  He seemed to
> be of the opinion that Catalyst Lass was incapable of being
> in a relationship (well I can't be sure what he exactly
> said since I can't find the original thread, but I think it
> was something along the lines of always a Bride's Maid never a
> Bride).

Oooooh, I hadn't heard about the "girlfriend" part. I had only heard that they 
characterized her in different ways, and felt like these characterizations were 
incompatible. It's interesting, because later versions of Cat (including yours 
in Beige Countdown/Midnight) tend to combine elements of both, to make her a 
more nuanced, richer character?

> Ultimately, Catalytic Conversions was the solution that the
> two came up with (inspired by a comment from Dave Van Domelen).

I re-read this one recently on the run-up to writing Hell Catalyst for The Core 
LNH. :>

> 	A flash of lightning split the black sky that oozed over the Net.ro-
> polis Cemetary.  The graves were tumbled about eerily in the shock of brilliant
> light; and why not, since they served the analogous function of a rotating door
> on a Net.ropolis skyscraper.

Heeheehee. :>

> A flurry of squid, uh, bats darted across the
> gibbous moon screaming for shelter from the storm.

Oh, I just realized that's a Squidman reference. XD

> }	Mine eyes ope'd as I lay in the tomb that I hop'd would providest the
> Final Rest. Mine peace abruptly stripp't, replac'd as ever with the Hunger.  A
> rodent flit by, believeing me but as stone.  Ageless limbs responded to the
> Hunger e'er mine Reason reignest it in.  I wish't I might report mine disgust
> and shame, but in that fitful moment as I taste'd his pungent fur, all I knew
> wast the feverish joy of the Byrne.
> }	As I dropp't his twitching body to the stone, only then didst mine
> self-loathing resume:  only then didst I again curse HER.  I watch't the poor
> rodent scrabble across the cold floor.  Moments ago a mere unimportant scenic
> element.  Now, haltingly, flop't away the very creature that spark'd The
> Squeaking Flying Rodent's career.

Note that John Byrne was highly associated with unnecessary revamps at one time. 
(In the modern day, we'd probably use... oh, say, Geoff Johns.) In particular, 
ones that linked together elements that really didn't need to be.

> 	"Ooh, can't dawdle tangle-tongue.  I tell you though, anytime you want
> to bring that marvy bod out, you let me know!"  Cat winked flirtatiously.

(heeheehee 'marvy')

> 	"Cat, before you go we should go to the Medical Bay.  Organic Lass
> needs to give you your annual checkup.  I don't think you are as recovered as
> you think you are."
> 	Catalyst Lass' hand went to her high collar.  "Ooh, no time now!  I'm
> running late as it is.  Make my excuses won't you?  There's just no time!"

I mean, clearly this is leading up in nonlinear fashion to the vampire thing, 
but I feel like we needed to establish just a bit more on what she was 
recovering *from*.

> 	Trans.alt.vania lies somewhere between Alt.veria and the Alts Mountains
> in Eastern Eu.rec.  Its most distinguishing feature, barring the proud history
> of folklore and superstition, is that it happens to lie at an atmospheric node
> that attracts clouds like magnets do iron.  Some blame the almost uninterrupted
> mountain ranges for the fluke, others point to more mystical sources for the
> anomoly.
> 	The truth is that clouds just _like_ the place.

Ahhhh, that's lovely. :> Pratchett-ish.

> 	The peasants that lived below the castle slept easier that night,
> lulled to sleep by the too-long-missing peals of demonic revelry.  It's a
> cultural thing.

This too. X3 (*looks it up and is surprised that Carpe Jugulum didn't come out 
until 1998*)

> 	<(Apologies, Cat.  But while out shopping I came across something that
> might interest you.)>  From the depths of her cloak, Hooded Ho`'od Win produced
> a slim paperback.  It was author, singer, actor, historian and brain surgeon
> Fab.B.O's latest historical epic _Passion Plague_.

It's interesting that this is one of the things the writers split on, and I feel 
it's coming out of a place of seeing pulpy romance novels as inherently bad - 
not a great fit for a group that's all about indulgent fiction. (But that's 
unexamined masculinity for ya~)

> }	Mine wast the poorest of plans -- assault HER in HER place of strength
> and in single combat endest it once and for all.   Ponder then on mine fury
> whenst the placard on the castle door greeted these blood-drenched eyes:  }
> 	"Gone to Net.ropolis, back when Catalyst Lass is undead.  Protected by
> 	Crypt-osafe Security Systems (a division of Undead Unincorporated)."

I love this. XD Not gonna lie.

> 	<(Exactly my point.  Could she have suffered some larger injury at
> Decibel Dude's hands?)>
> 	"Lord knows it's possible.  That is a rough title -- even Ultimate
> Ninja got his hiney kicked over there.

Okay, so Cat's recovering from something over in Decibel Dude's title. We could 
*definitely* have used exposition about that.

> 	Nearby a powerful Rottweiler paced the streets, his eyes glowing
> evilly.  Un-Omen-like thoughts raced through the dog's head.  "Don't think of
> Panta.  Don't think of Panta.  Hey, fire hydrant!  No, don't think of that
> either.

Nice use of Dog Boy!

> The dog fiercely
> shredded the man's wonderful silk cape, reducing him to despair.
> 	"Brothers," hissed one in a voice like the scraping on the inside of
> a coffin.  "Protect your capes."

Seriously, the obsession with getting rid of capes in this genre, I'll never 
understand it~

> 	The Dane landed heavily in the suddenly empty alley.  He sniffed, then
> the doggy approximation of a smile crossed his snout.  With a howl, eleven
> wolves leapt from the shadows at the large canine.  The Dane leapt into the
> air, evading the first attack, but an Irish Wolfhound hit the ground.  In short
> order, the wolves were strewn unmoving about the alley.  The Wolfhound panted.

Really cool, TBH~

> 	<(Sorry Organic Lass.  Cat has been planning for weeks to reorganize
> her hairbrush lint.  She couldn't make it.)>


>  With her powers there's just no way to force
> her to do something she doesn't want to do.

That's actually a really good point. :> The implications of Cat's powers are 

> 	"Maybe earplugs?" suggested Ordinary Lady.
> 	"Her powers are psi, not sound based," noted Invisible Incendiary.

I mean, the suggestiveness part is, but she still has to *tell* you, righT?

> 	"No, I think he's on to something," said Organic Lass thoughtfully.
> "And by causing the conflict, we can help the 'true' Cat win and maybe even
> cure her at the same time."

It's interesting that this kinda-sorta sidesteps the usual problems of "split 
personality" tropes by making it not actually what's going on at all.

>A woman
> in a trenchcoat and twelve Nose-feratu soared into the heart of the LNH.
> 	"HAHAHA!  Triumph!  Now we have....TWO CATALYST LASSES?!?!"

I love these over-the-top exclamations. :D This could be a Silver Age cover.

> 	"I did manage to alter the chemistry of one of the Widow's Peak gang
> capes," mentioned Ori.    "A decent Geiger Counter will find him, in a five
> mile radius."

Radioactivity, friend to all superheroes!

> 	Suddenly, another mist ebbed into the room, which formed into a man.
> The man had the prominent widow's peak, but not nearly the schnozz of the
> Nose-feratu.   Also, he wore frilly 18th Century clothes that stunk of stale
> fish and disinfectant.
> }	Then SHE has again bested me?  Thou will aught find HER in this 5 mile
> arc.  HER destination ist knownst to me.  Mayhaps with thy help, thy friend
> canst be rescu'd and my vendetta finally end't.  }

Seriously, how do you talk like that?

> }	We shall rescue thy friend from HER vile clutches.  Know that I have
> pursu'd HER for six centuries, and willst pursue HER nigh the end of time,
> shouldst be necessary.  The villainess is none aught than the dreadst
> REVAMPIRELLA, QUEEN OF THE REVAMPIRES.  She is responsiblst for thy trauma.
> But her reign of revamp tis nearly through.  With mine new allies, we shall
> e'er long endest it!  So swearest I...REVAMPIRE.  }
> 	IOBoy whispered to Particle Man, "If he hasn't (@!*$@% nailed this
> *@&^$* in 600 *(@&!@in' years, do we really *&@^!$&in' want his help?"

*cackles* Excellent deflation.

Drew "revampirism" Perron

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