LNH20: Writer's Block Person #36: "Capture Card Device"

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Jan 22 23:08:27 PST 2018

Whisperion, mystic hero of growth and life, sat on the pink couch in Writer's 
Block Person's apartment. She was playing Jaipur, a card game about trading 
along the Silk Road in medieval India. Her opponent was the cosmic being/deep 
time meddler/big nerd Chaos Theory, who was going all-in on an "all camels" 


You can't win with all camels. You need other stuff. It's literally impossible.

Anyway, after losing two games in a row, Whisperion got up and stretched. "Hm. I 
wonder what Writer's Block Person is up to." They hadn't actually seen them 
today - Writer's Block Person had made their apartment a hangout for their 
friends, and everybody had a key.

Chaos Theory sat down on the loveseat and shuffled the deck - they were 
extremely good at randomness. "Oh, probably something adorable and domestic... 
huh, that's funny."

"Hm? What is?" Whisperion squinted out the window. Why did the neighbors still 
have their grill out in January, anyway?

"Something keeps trying to come to the top." Chaos Theory turned and tossed the 
deck of cards into the air.

Whisperion rolled her eyes and turned to make a snarky comment - before noticing 
that the cards were still hanging in the air, frozen mid-toss.

The pieces of cardboard floated for just a moment. They rippled like a wave, 
then all of a sudden flew towards each other, forming a shape of overlapping 
rectangles, like a bird, without a head but with curling, overlapping claws, and 
at its heart, a single card, radiating a dark mist that curled around the rest 
of them and bound them into shape.

Its wings flapped, and a plume of dark mist exploded from them. A chill gripped 
Whisperion like the hands of a prison guard. This - the fun, relaxed afternoon - 
the lovely moment of warmth in the middle of winter - the casual goodness of 
this place - the success of her life as a hero - all of it - on the edge of 
being lost - she had to curl up and defend herself - - -

"EMOTICONVERSION!" A voice that *was* warmth and relaxation and fun blew through 
her mind like the first zephyr of summer. "CODE POINT WEARY CAT FACE!"

Whisperion spun. Behind her stood Writer's Block Person, fully transformed and 
holding up their transformation pen. A giant CGI emoji, the size of Writer's 
Block Person's body, appeared in front of them - a cartoonish cat face, eyes 
wide and blank, hands pressed to its cheeks, mouth open wide in a silent scream. 
It moved towards them and collided, breaking apart in a flash, pieces spinning 
around their glowing silhouette and merging with it.

When the glow faded, Writer's Block Person had had a redesign. Their armor was 
bright orange, but covered in black triangles, placed haphazardly and radiating 
out from their elbows, their knees and the center of their chest. The overall 
look was as if their body had been frozen at the point of breaking through a 
pane of dark glass, and the glass had become part of them. Stylized eyes were 
painted on their visor in orange, looking steadfastly forward. Their helmet had 
catlike ears and black whiskers painted over the cheeks. Black rubber ran down 
their neck, dipping down over their chest like a triangular hemline. Their 
bodysuit was saturated teal, with a black cape, and the jewel in the center of 
their chest had changed to the shape of a horizontal oval with two triangles 
poking out of the top.

"I know who you are!" they shouted, and pointed the pen at the birdlike thing. 
"PEN IS MIGHTIER! KINDNESS OF RAVEN!" The pen lengthened into a glittery purple 
staff, and sprouted a rounded, stylized raven's head at the end.

Writer's Block Person spun the staff like a color guard, turned it horizontal. 
The bird-card-thing rippled, and a screech emanated from its substance. It flew 
at Writer's Block Person, and they clashed.

Writer's Block Person thrust the bird away with the staff, twisting and turning 
it and striking out with the raven's head. Where it touched, dark mist left the 
cards, and they fluttered away, a piece of the bird shape disappearing; and the 
mist was sucked up along the staff and entered Writer's Block Person's body, and 
each time, they jerked like an ice cube had been touched to the base of their spine.

Writer's Block Person danced and spun and dodged and turned and parried and 
thrusted, and the bird dissolved thrust by thrust, leaving only the single card 
and its aura of anxious woe. Writer's Block Person paused, and the card hovered 
in place, radiating mist. For a moment, they regarded each other...

And Writer's Block Person flung their arms wide, and threw away their staff. And 
the card flew forward, and the dark mist collided with them; and it sucked into 
their body like a great steaming geyser thrown into reverse, and Writer's Block 
Person convulsed, the soul shuddering within the house of flesh, throwing their 
head back, falling to their knees, the shivering darkness overtaking them...

"...*whew*." The card fluttered from their breast to the ground, and Writer's 
Block Person straightened up, sitting on their heels. "Hey, y'all~"

"Holy fuck! Writer's Block Person!" Whisperion dropped down and clapped her 
hands on their shoulders. "WHEN DID THEY LET YOU BE BADASS."

Chaos Theory put their popcorn to the side and got up from the loveseat. "Yeah, 
that was pretty neat. I thought you were doing demons, though, and not weird cards."

"Ah!" Writer's Block Person held up the card. "It's 'cause I got a quest in my 

"A what in your what?" Whisperion examined the card. It had four images on it, 
abstract figures rushing around in different poses, and a title at the bottom: 

"This emojiform comes with an entirely different plot-device-of-the-week. I'm 
re-confronting all the old resentments and anxieties that I moved past but never 
fully overcame. I think it's a parody of the revival of Card Captor Sakura?"

"Of course it is." Whisperion smirked and got up. "Well, that's quite 
emotionally healthy, then. One question, though."

"Yeah?" Writer's Block Person opened up a deck box on the belt of their armor 
and slipped the card in.

"Has your ever heard of this new thing they have called 'therapy'?"

Writer's Block Person giggled. "In this economy? Who can afford it?"

Chaos Theory finished putting the cards back in the game box and closed it up. 
"I mean, for net.heroes, resolving your emotional issues usually involves 
beating someone up *anyway*. May as well beat up your issues directly and skip 
the middleman." They slipped the box back on the shelf. "And--"

There was a rattle, and they turned around. A different card game - Slash - was 
rattling in its box.

Writer's Block Person stepped forward, reached out a single finger, and poked 
it. The cards exploded out, forming into a vague humanoid shape that flexed and 
roared its defiance.

Writer's Block Person took up a defensive stance. They stretched out their hand, 
and the staff flew into it. They peered at the floating card, surrounded in 
darkness... "...oop, this next anxiety's kinda, um, kinda sexual." They looked 
over their shoulder. "Could y'all, um, just kinda..."

"Oh, sure!" Whisperion picked up her bag and her keys. "See you later!"

"Bye, Drew!" called Chaos Theory, opening the door for her.

"See ya~!" Writer's Block Person's voice echoed merrily, and then shouted, 

The two of them stepped out and walked down to the bus stop on the corner. 
Whisperion sighed. "Y'know, you ever think, 'Wow, my life got weird?'"

Chaos Theory looked off into the distance. "Sorry, what was that? I was just 
intercepting a gravitic wave from a pair of linked black holes a thousand 
lightyears away. They're trying to solve the problem of induction, and they 
wanted my opinion." They cocked their head. "Or a fourth for bridge. I'm not sure."

"...never mind. Have a good game! Or philosophical debate!"

Chaos Theory waved, and with a clap of reverse thunder, disappeared. Whisperion 
leaned against the fence. "What a bunch of adorable nerds."

Drew "neeeeeeeerds" Perron

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