LNH: Liminals #3
pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat Jun 3 12:41:40 PDT 2017
On 6/1/2017 10:43 PM, Adrian McClure wrote:
> THE LIMINALS
> #3: "False Compare"
> A Legion of Net.Heroes story by Adrian McClure
> They were some of the many strange creatures and beings who had come
> over from the twistings dimensions created by the multiversal war
> begun by the Crossover Queen.
> They were typo elementals from the Lord
> of the Rings fandom, from the time when the sudden popularity of the
> movies led to a rush of new fans with more passion than proofreading.
Yesss, drawing on a wider and wider range of Internet and fandom history <3
> "Hey, watch it!" said the LNHer she collided with--Bad-Timing Boy. Uh
> oh. He was cute, she had to admit, but maybe not someone you wanted to
> be standing next to in a delicate situation.
You know, I never imagined B-TB in the "cute but messy to be around" slot, but
> The ceiling crashed down right on top of the cafeteria, knocking over
> Ultimate Ninja's table.
> Maybe, she thought, it would be a good idea to get out of here for a while...
I wonder what Ultimate Ninja thinks of our current focus on legacy characters. I
mean, the original MG who annoyed him so much went away eventually, only for a
new one to come around and, well...
> When she'd dashed out of the LNHQ, she went to visit her mother, who
> lived on the top floor of an uptown skyscraper--she was the head of
> Milky Way Technologies, which constructed the space elevators that
> linked Earth to the stars.
!!! YES Manga Girl II's backstory! :D
> Manga Girl's family history was... complicated. Her mother was
> Galatea, the living statue of legend, who had become a hero over the
> course of thousands of years. Her father was Manga Man, the cosmic
> trickster and elemental embodiment of creativity who had set himself
> up as an enemy of the LNH to catalyze them into being, challenging the
> boundaries of a Western-comics-based world. [see Just Imagine Saxon
> Brenton vs. Andrew Perron in the Return of the RACCies! #9--FG] Both
> of them were creations of magic, and they had created her in turn.
> From them she had inherited elemental creative power, superior
> strength and agility, and the ability to think on her feet.
This is SO COOL. :D Question - this is Manga Man Gold, right?
> She and her mother were sitting in the trophy room. It was a replica
> of an ancient Greek temple, with mementos of Galatea's many adventures
> and statues of her friends and foes painted in bright colors the way
> they actually were in ancient Greece--she complained quite a bit about
> how everyone ignored that.
THAT'S SO COOL. :D
> She was gossiping to her mother about her teammates, while Galatea
> listened, silent and seemingly completely still. Only Manga Girl could
> read the subtle emotional reactions on her face. She was leaving out a
> lot, of course--she knew they were both keeping secrets from each
> other. That was the family way.
awwwwwww. That's fascinating. :o Not what I'd have expected from someone as
expressive as Manga Girl.
> "An art thief. They've been stealing paintings from the Net.ropolis
> galleries under the police's noses for the last few weeks."
> "Oooh! A mysterious thief!" She rubbed her hands together. "Do they
> throw roses?"
> "Not to my knowledge. They simply appear, then disappear into nothing.
> Just like that. I'm willing to bet anything it's one of the Shadow
> People of Darknet Town."
> "The what? I mean I've kind of heard of that but I'm still new here."
> "It's the city under the city--the place where all the people who
> don't fit in live--people from other dimensions or worlds, mutants,
> monsters, renegade Drow and Orcs and such.
oooooooh. Yes, of course there's a that! :D
> It used to be that what is
> now street level on Net.ropolis was the second floor, but after the
> Great Mr. Paprika Flood of 1910--"
> "Now that's a man's flood!" said a voice from the distance.
> "--The city streets were moved higher and what had once been street
> level was underground.
OF COURSE. :D :D :D <3 <3 <3
> It became a refuge for "weirdies" and
> "super-creeps."" Galatea had been doing an experiment with the "Power
> Kirby" which hasn't quite worn off so she was still speaking in Jack
> Kirby-style "unnecessary quotation marks."
> "In the 70s," she continued, "it was sealed off for fear of
> extradimensional threats, since the chaotic energies that underlie
> Net.ropolis were pooling there. Many of the people who lived there
> were driven out. But now, with the Crossover Queen's war across the
> Usenetverse, the dimensional boundaries are breaking down and more
> dimensionally-displaced people are ending up in this world and taking
> refuge down there--joining the Shadow People. Those are people who
> live in the shadows, mind you, not people who are shadows. Although
> there are some Shadow People who are shadow people... It's confusing,
> I know."
Man. SUCH history. SO worldbuilding.
> "Alas, no. I'll be leaving the planet for the Meta-Spatial Tri-Cosmic
> Tournament Which Is Definitely Not A Trap By An Evil God.
> Manga Girl took the long elevator ride back down to the street,
> tapping her feet all the while. She could let the rest of the LNH know
> about this... But it would be more fun to deal with it on her own.
That's extremely Manga Girl. :D
> Besides--despite the fact she was the only member of her team who'd
> never accidentally blown up the LNHQ--her relationship with the LNH
> could sometimes be a little... strained. There'd been another Manga
> Girl who'd been a member of the team briefly--her counterpart from
> rec.arts.anime.creative--and she hadn't always had the best
> interactions with them. She had tended to steal anything belonging to
> her teammates that wasn't nailed down. Manga Girl wasn't the same
> person as that one, but not everyone seemed to realize this, and
> Special Bonding Boy nervously clutched his Anthony Robbins tapes
> whenever she was around.
awwwwwww. Very good use of history.
> Okay, she thought, so. What would I do if I were Mx. Mystery Art
> Well, I'd probably just close my eyes and pick a museum to rob
> from the map at random. So she did so, and settled on the Deadrichguy
> Museum of Art in uptown Net.ropolis.
Oh, yeah, I have one of those across the street from me! :D
> Once she'd settled on the destination, she dashed her way there--she
> seldom walked or even ran when she could help it, she always dashed.
> At the entrance of the museum, she pulled out her pen. She held it up
> and shouted, "turn me into a pretty art critic!"
> This wasn't actually necessary--members of the LNH had a lifetime pass
> for the museum. (Except for Cheesecake Eater Lad's cousin, Painting
> Eater Lad.)
XD XD XD
> Still, whenever there was a chance to use the disguise
> power, she would do it.
YessssS <3 I love her
> She walked into the museum like she owned the place and walked around,
> looking at the paintings and being careful to give the impression she
> was thinking deep thoughts, even though she was mostly thinking about
> the ancient Greek statues' butts.
X3 I love how cheerfully sexual MG is.
> As the sun set outside, she found herself contemplating a painting
> that was a canvas of solid blue that said "I am Blue." She rubbed her
> chin. What did it mean? Was she supposed to reflect on the fact that
> blue paint wasn't actually blue but every color except blue? What did
> "I" mean in this context? Was she supposed to think of Da Ba Dee Da Ba
This is basically how it goes when I'm analyzing art.
> (The gallery had suddenly acquired a lot of dramatic shadows,
> which meant there was a plot about to start.)
In a puff of glitter her
> disguise faded away. She yanked the tail sticking out of the shadows
> and pulled someone out of the shadows--a midnight-blue-furred
> catperson in dark red cloak, with human features and blue ears
> sticking above their head. They were pretty young--another
> teenager-ish character like her, probably. And cute.
Ah! I knew you said this was gonna be furry. :>
> "Tybalt, Prince of Cats, member in good standing of the Guild of
> Net.Thieves, at your service, though mayhap not, considering I desire
> to take this fine work of abstract art for myself and you desire to
> keep me from doing so."
> "Do you really want it? I mean it's not that great of an artwork. It's
> fake sophistication. It's like the kind of conceptual art where the
> concept's not really as deep or interesting as it wants to be--like
> waving a giant sign that says 'Look at me, I am making a statement'
> doesn't mean you're actually making a statement, y'know? That's a
> problem across a lot of different kinds of art. Actually, that sounds
> like a better conceptual art work than this one.
I love how she just tangents into this. She has Such Art Feelings
> "Your art critic is your foremost thief," said Tybalt, "for they doth
> steal the meaning of the work from its maker."
> "That's some good paradoxing, but I'm still a member of the LNH so I
> gotta stop you. Sorry."
> Down through the shadows they ran together, out into the streets,
> scrambling up the fire escapes and onto the moonlit rooftops. It was
> beautiful. This, she thought, is why I do this.
> "I'm sure you would have given a fine speech," said Tybalt, "but I
> fear I have practiced deceptions more than one. You see, the painting
> was never the target--"
> Before even she could move, Tybalt pulled a handful of dust out of
> their pouch and flung it in her face. She felt her consciousness
> fading away.
> "You were."
Oh, holy wow. :o A good moment.
> She opened her eyes. Looming above her was a pale man with bleached
> blonde hair, wearing Elizabethan finery with some truly epic ruffs.
> She wondered how he ever breathed or got through doors with that
> "Ah, welcome to my humble abode, good Manga Girl," he said.
> "Jeez, is everyone being super pretentious and Rennaisance-y today?"
> she said. "Verily, good morroweth, good sir, whofore art thou?"
> "Then you've never heard of me? I am Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford."
> "Nope. Doesn't ring any bells."
> "Then perhaps you know me under the name I published my most famous
> works. William Shakespeare."
Oh my god.
> "Ah yes, one of my finest plays. How the theater rejoiced when Titus
> informed Tamora that she had eaten her sons in a pie! But those days
> are long gone. In truth I have written many works since then. I have
> written under many names, such as Herman Melville, Jane Austen,
> Virginia Woolf... I also dabbled in art somewhat. I drew paintings
> under the name of Roy Lichtenstein. Perhaps my greatest work was a
> comic called, er, Homesick, written as Andrew Hussie.
Oh my goddddddd. X3 He's trying to take credit for *everything*
> How could they believe that anyone not raised in a
> court could understand falconry? Hmmm? Falconry!
> You see, to create a truly worthy work, I need a certain
> boost of creative energy. So I shall take yours. I would no doubt use
> it better than you would. And of course, your mother was an old enemy
> of mine, so that is the icing on the cake."
> She looked more closely at him and saw the knife in his hand. "Hey! Is
> this an altar?" Manga Girl struggled against her bonds. "Is this one
> of those human sacrifice things?"
XD XD XD
> "I have studied the subject extensively, you ignoramus." He snarled at them.
> "See, that's how I know you're not Shakespeare," said Manga Girl.
> "Shakespeare would have come up with a really cool insult like 'thou
> rustillarian frumpwart.'"
> Tybalt smiled, revealing his sharp teeth. "Then our business is
> concluded!" He drew a light, swift sword and sliced at the Earl of
> "Bah! I knew I could not trust you!" He drew a blade of his own that
> sat by his side and swung at Tybalt, who deftly danced between the
> strokes. But he was exhausted after his chase with Manga Girl and
> would not last long. She had to think of a plan, and quick.
This is a really good way to show off a secondary character's coolness without
having them overshadow the main character - have them do something cool as a
support action while the main works on the bigger problem.
> If only her flow of creative power were stronger--at her peak, she
> could use her power over sequential art to affect the flow of time and
> space, even draw constructs like a cool gun that could set his ruff on
> fire. But it came and went, and right now, she wasn't up to that.
> It was a pretty half-baked plan, but in her experience, those
> were the best kind.
> "You're an artist, right? And magic is an art. Just between you and
> me, I don't think you're very good at it."
> "Well," said the Earl of Oxford, "I made a pact with a demon. A
> difficult and delicate operation, to be sure. See?" He pulled a scroll
> out of his pocket, crabbed with arcane writing.
> "That just looks like you doodled all over the page."
> "How do you spell that?"
> "That's not how it's spelled. It's M-A-N-G-O--"
> She was a little surprised that a Mini-Balrog had popped
> into existence outside the LNHQ, but she wasn't complaining. "MANGO
> GIRL!" it shouted, spitting blue flame at the Earl of Oxford. "MANGO
> GIRL! MANGO GIRL!"
:3 :3 :3
> She looked up into the sky and said:
> "Goodbye, Earl."
> She then turned to Tybalt--but by the time she'd finished saying her
> cool line, they'd already slipped out of her arms. She could barely
> make them out in the shadows. She looked them in the eyes and slowly
> blinked at them. They stopped in their tracks and blinked back before
> they scampered off.
AWWWWWWWW! Oh my god cat affection YES GOOD
> She stepped into the cafeteria for a late-night snack and saw
> Victoria, who was smiling smiling because she'd just managed to grab
> the last slice of strawberry cheesecake. [See Writer's Block Person
> "Hi" said Victoria. "How's your day been?"
> "Oh, OK. Not much happened."
> "So you had an adventure and you don't want to tell me about it, huh,"
> said Victoria, in between slowly savoring bits of the cheesecake.
> "Ehhh," said Manga Girl, and dashed off to bed.
> This issue marks a bit of a special occasion. Besides being the 25th
> anniversary of the LNH, last month was the 20th anniversary of Manga
> Girl #1, posted on May 17, 1997.
> This means that Tom Russell has been
> writing for RACC for 20 goddamn years. In a very real sense I wouldn't
> be here without him--my first LNH series was about one of his
> characters. I want to thank Tom for letting me fold, spindle and
> mutilate his old characters over the years, and for giving RACC so
> many stories and characters and ideas. The way he's developed as a
> writer and a person over the years was tremendously inspiring to me
> getting into RACC and still is today. It's encouraged me to test my
> own limits in my writing.
Same! :D The way Tom has just kept developing and getting better has really just
made me feel that, if I keep working on it, I'll never stop improving.
> Along with his 8fold cofounder Jamie Rosen
> (who I miss a lot) he also provided a lot of good feedback and
> encouragement in my early days on RACC and, of course, gave me a space
> to write different kinds of things in Mighty Medley which helped me
> reach a new level of maturity and confidence in my style. So thank
> you, Tom, for everything.
Thank you. <3
> The use of Earl of Oxford as villain was inspired by Kyle Kallgren of
> Brows Held High's takedown of Anonymous:
Perfect. <3 <3 <3
> Galatea running the space elevator company is an idea Drew Perron has
> had for years but never had a chance to put into a story.
It's true :3 I have so many ideas like that.
> every issue of Liminals so far has featured one of Drew's
> characters--Chaos Theory was in #1 and Sickshiver in #2. Not very
> surprising I guess.
Heeheehee :D Yeah <3
> The Mini-Balrogs were created by Miss Cam of the Official Fanfiction
> University of Middle-Earth. They are now another lifeform that
> afflicts the LNHQ along with kiwis, oozlefinches, that one monkey, and
> so forth, and are Free For Use.
Yessss. <3 Gaaaaaaaah this was a fun story, I love it
Drew "typotastic" Perron
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