LNH20: Writer's Block Person #35: "Morphology"
pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Jan 14 19:19:25 PST 2018
One of Writer's Block Person's lesser-known heroic weaknesses is seasonal
depression! So in the midst of the darkness of winter, we find them curled up in
a chair, under blankets, a sun lamp shining in the grayness of the day,
headphones over their ears. Their eyes are closed, and their head is back in
blissful relaxation, hair spread out over the cushions, a little, private smile
on their lips.
Then there is a deafening crash as a thirteen-year-old Egyptian boy holding a
copy of Proust's A Remembrance of Things Past smashes through the window.
Writer's Block Person flailed, returning to past tense as they threw off the
blankets and leapt to their feet. "Who what when where why!?"
"Writer's Block Person!" the thirteen-year-old shouted, pointing dynamically at
the nonbinary hero. "It's time to... oh, dear, you weren't wearing pants under
"Habadaga!?" WBP grabbed the blankets and wrapped them hastily around their
waist. "The Earth-20 version of Library Lad? What are you doing here? Why didn't
"I *did* knock!" said the Lending Librarian of Lawful Good. "Why didn't you get
"Oh!" Writer's Block Person shook themself out. "Sorry, I was just listening to
the transformation theme from Ultraman Geed over and over again."
"It makes my brain parts happy."
"Good! But I have an important message for you!" Library Lad summoned up as
serious an expression as a goofy teenage nerd can. "By my role as an incarnation
of Thoth, patron of pictographic communication and scribe of divine law, I bring
you a crucial mission!"
"Um..." Writer's Block Person blinked, spine stiff, eyes wide. "Crucial in a
'people are gonna die' way, or a weird goofy metafictional way?"
"The second one!"
"Oh thank goodness." WBP flopped back on the couch. "Yes, please, missionify me!"
"Right!" Library Lad pointed off into the distance. "If the LNH is going to
survive as a storytelling setting, it needs to join the *modern* internet! And
you know what that means?"
Writer's Block Person thought about it for a second. "That means... a dawning
realization that the corporate push for more and more Marketable Performance has
outstripped our determination to make our systems robust and secure and now we
need to deal with a world populated by brittle devices just waiting to be taken
over by the next exploit?"
"I mean..." Library Lad blinked, sagging. "I mean, I guess, yeah. Jeez."
"...oh!" Writer's Block Person shook themself out again. "Uh... sorry." They
scratched the back of their head sheepishly. "Depression and stuff."
"Yeah, um... that's okay..." Library Lad scratched his head awkwardly.
"Would you like a drink of water?"
"Oh! Yeah, that'd help, thanks!"
Library Lad sat down on the couch, hands in his lap, while Writer's Block Person
shouted "HENSHINSPIRATION!" and transformed so they wouldn't be pantsless. They
came back with a glass of water and Library Lad gulped it down.
"Mmmmm..." Library Lad wiped his mouth with the back of his arm. "So yeah, I was
just gonna say - to join the modern internet, you gotta have emoji!"
"Ah!" Writer's Block Person smacked their fist into their palm. "Of course! But
how do we get 'em? It's hard to stuff Unicode into a medium defined by ASCII text."
"That's where you come in!" Library Lad opened his big canvas bag and pulled out
a piece of old papyrus. "The Scroll of Logos!"
"Take its power, Writer's Block Person, and you will unlock the power of emoji,
allowing for toyetic new forms!"
Writer's Block Person reached out to take the Scroll of Logos, but then shied
back. "Um... toyetic? Are you sure about this? Because y'know, the last time
someone tried to merchandise emoji--"
"--it was The Emoji Movie, I know." Library Lad waved his hand dismissively.
"But any actual merchandise that comes from an LNH story is probably going to be
a Dvandom-style kitbash, so it's fine."
[For those not up on model kit lingo, a kitbash is the act of taking pieces from
many different model kits and combining them into your own creation! More
broadly, it refers to the customization of toys, including action figures! -
"S'pose so!" Writer's Block Person grasped the Scroll, and there was a flash of
shimmering light. The book-shaped belt buckle of their outfit moved,
metamorphosed, pages turning, and the Scroll shifted and slipped in and joined
them. Writer's Block Lad posed stylishly!
"Now," said Library Lad, slipping into Lecturer Mode, "you're not getting a
bunch of emoji-forms at once. It's more fun if it's paced out, after all. But
there's one that you - being you - get for free: The basic 'heart' emoji, with
the power to temporarily clear negative thoughts, and also banish dark magical
"...I've, um." Writer's Block Person stopped posing. "...are you saying I'm
going to need to *start* banishing dark magical influences?"
"Look." Library Lad held a finger up in the air. "*Just* because the usual
narrative of both Western and Japanese superhero media involves getting a
power-up and then immediately... immediately finding yourself in a situation
where you need to use it... um, doesn't necessarily... um..." The finger
Writer's Block Person glanced left, then right, then leaned in and whispered.
"Library Lad, give it to me straight. We're not, like, turning into a *real*
action-adventure series, are we?"
Library Lad blew out a breath. "I have no idea. I know you're basically the
avatar of Drew's creativity right now, something they can do and try to turn off
all worries about Doing The Thing Right Proper. They get caught up and held back
easily if they're trying to do A Big Serious Plot, so you wouldn't *think*
they'd give that to you... but..."
Writer's Block Person nodded. "But they're always trying to push themselves and
find new ways to do the stuff they like. And *boy* do they like magic hero
adventure." They shook their head. "Well... it's not like I *don't* like that,
considering I *am* them. So if this is my new destiny..." They posed
dynamically. "I'M READY!" They held up their glittery purple pen.
"EMOTICONVERSION! CODE POINT HEAVY BLACK HEART!"
They clicked the top of the pen and were surrounded by a swirl of pink and red
hearts! They spread their hands above their head and a red Valentine's Day-style
heart appeared between them. They lowered their hands to their chest; the heart
flipped over and slammed into the heart-shaped amethyst in the center of their
chest, which shone with crimson energy. The purple of their armor turned to
pink, black bodysuit turning white with red hearts polka-dotted all over it. The
catseye-glasses shape of their visor turned into hearts, and their pointy
shoulders became heart-shaped as well.
They landed on the floor, posing dramatically... then jumped up and clapped
their hands. "Oh man, this is *cute as fuck*! I feel energized and fashionable!"
"I don't get it, but if it makes you happy, I'm glad!" said Library Lad, smiling.
"Heck yeah! It's time to get *indulgent*! Bring it on, dark magic!" Writer's
Block Person threw up a vee.
[A scene transition in an issue of Writer's Block Person? You better believe it!
There is a drive that catches humans in its grip. The drive to take control. To
take as much control as you can and more, neverending.
This drive is not a lust for power, for lust implies desire, implies enjoyment,
implies passion. it is a goal, an end point, free of passion and ultimately,
free of meaning.
There are worlds out there. Strange worlds, where the physical is a metaphor.
Worlds of flowing emotion, where drives of this sort can crackle through their
fluid structure and take over.
Shuffled in among these worlds is a world of fluid beings, animated by this
drive, acting on this drive, striving ceaselessly to take control. Some humans
called these beings demons. Some humans tried to make deals with them. Some
humans regretted that.
And now the attention of that world is on this one. And that attention is a
pressure, the fluid emotion pressing heavy on the walls, and beginning to break
Drew "I'M BACK FOR REALS HOPEFULLY HAHA" Perron
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