LNH: Liminals #3.5

Jeanne Morningstar mrfantastic7 at googlemail.com
Tue Sep 4 14:17:49 PDT 2018

[The cover is a homage to Brave and the Bold 124. A cloaked iron-masked 
figure is pointing a gun at Masterplan Lad, who is typing on a laptop. 
Somehow, we can see an image in the text of Jeanne Morningstar themself, 
the author, tied down and being menaced by a sharpened pendulum. "Finish 
the issue, Masterplan Lad!" says the masked figure, "Or I'll finish your 

A terrible Legion of Net.Heroes story by Jeanne Morningstar

Jeanne Morningstar, writer of the Liminals was sitting in the library 
one day. "Looks like another nice day of reading comics and not writing 
my dissertation," they said. Then a wave of Bronze Age Marvel-brand 
angst (never leave home without it!) struck them. "No! I've 
procrastinated enough. It's time to do some actual important work!" They 
screwed up their face, craked their knuckles and sat down to write.

Suddenly, a cloaked figure in a riveted iron mask appeared in a FOOMF of 
smoke! "Enough procrastination! It has been over a  year since the last 
issue of Liminals! You must finish the next issue--or die! So decrees 
Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom!"

"Look, can't you wait until I'm done with this part of the dissertation."

"Fool! You weren't working on your dissertation! You were writing erotic 

"...OK, technically that's true. But--"

Dr. Dereaded Deadline Doom summoned another FOOMF of smoke and Jeanne 
Morningstar vanished.

"Fic-blocked again," they muttered to themself. Suddenly finds themself 
strapped to a table inside of a giant clock. Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom 
pointed upward to the swinging, suspiciously sharp pendulum. "If you do 
not finish this issue by the end of the week, then this pendulum will 
finish YOU!"

"How am I supposed to write like this?" said Jeanne. They tried to throw 
up their hands but couldn't because they were strapped to the table.

"You'll have to figure that out for yourself!" said Dr. Dreaded Deadline 

"Well this is just fantastic," said Jeanne. "I wonder if this ever 
happens to George R.R. Martin."

Normally they would ask Drew or their friends on discord but right now, 
well, their hands were tied... "Everyone keeps putting pressure on me, 
that's the problem. Including me. I can't finish things if there's not 
pressure on me and I can't finish things if there is pressure on me. And 
now this. Well, if I can't write in this position, then what do I do... 
All right! I'll have to summon my own characters and get them to finish 
the issue for me. I know the last time something like that happened it 
didn't end well, but I'm more mature now and anyway that was a RACCafe 
story and I'm not even supposed to be referring to that." [See RACCCafe: 
Writefail, and uh, never mind--ed.]

They screwed up their brow and thought hard and then the Liminals appeared.

"Is that..." said Alice. Masterplan Lad was significantly silent, while 
Manga Girl was trying hard not to giggle.

"Uh, I think it is," said Victoria. " There were a lot of different 
things she wanted to say, most of them angry, but she was distracted by 
the situation her Writer was in. "This seems kind of um. Private," said 

"No, no, no I've been captured by a supervillain!" said Jeanne. "He's 
trying to force me to finish this issue." As if on cue the supervillain 
came in.

"Ah, clever, clever," said Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom. "but not clever 
enough! You will never conquer the Dreaded Deadline Doom!"

"I thought you WANTED them to finish the issue," said Alice.

"..." said Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom.

They all clustered around the laptop, a Macbook which had seen better 
days. Masterplan Lad was feeling more things than he could say. He 
wanted to have a long metaphysical discussion with their Author about 
suffering and faith and the meaning of life, or possibly yell at them 
nonstop about all of their narrative choices. but first he had to get 
them out of that rack.

  Manga Girl had a pink marker out and fidgeting with it, and was 
watching her Writer with eager anticipation. "Are you thinking about 
drawing a dick on your Writer's face?" said Victoria.

"Uh... no." She whistled innocently and put it away.

"No distractions!" said Masterplan Lad. "We must finish this issue as 
soon as possible."

"Folks, this is amazing," said Manga Girl. "We can write your own 
issue!" said Manga Girl. "We can do literally anything!" She looked at 
Victoria. You can make out with Kristen Stewart!"

"But--I have a girlfriend!"

"...I'd be OK with that, I have to admit," said Alice.

"Let me handle this," said Masterplan Lad. He put his hands on the 
laptop. He tapped his fingers and waited for something to come out. 
Nothing did.

"Look," said Alice. "I have a lot of experience bullshitting on college 
papers, and this is just like that. It doesn't matter if it's any good, 
it just has to be done."

"OK!" said Manga Girl. She started typing furiously "Once upon a time, 
there were four cool net.heroes who did cool stuff, and they met some 
morally ambiguous hot people and had some makeouts, and there were some 
subplots and probably some stuff exploded and they were happy but also 
sad, or maybe they were sad but also happy. The end!"

"That, er. Wasn't much of an issue," said Masterplan Lad.

"Well... It was worth a try," said Manga Girl.

"OK, let me try this," said Alice.  "Ahem." She typed. "One day, Alice 
and Victoria were making out intensely on the couch..."

"Uh," said Victoria, "let's not get into too much detail about this, 
there are other people around." She blushed.

"OK. And then suddenly a giant robot attacked! Alice transformed into 
her rec.arts.manga fan verse form, a Transformer who could change into a 
Veritech. She readied her missiles which blasted the robot in an Itano 
circus and--"

"What kind of robot?" said Masterplan Lad.


"What kind of robot? What's its history? What's its name. What's its 
motivation? What's its connection to the overall metaplot?"

"Can we please not do the metaplot this time?" said Victoria.

"It's a giant robot," said Alice. "Look, we have to do something heroic, 
and that means we need something to fight. It doesn't matter where it 
came from."

"But you can't have a really cool story without having really cool 
villains!" said Manga Girl.

"OK, that's a point," said Alice. "It's... A MegaMicroMac and its 
motivations are um... It's mad over price increases in comics."

"Wait a minute," said Victoria. "If we're writing the story that 
means... we can actually resolve all our plots! Like actually finding my 

"True," said Masterplan Lad. "God knows that plot has gone long enough." 
He glared at the Writer who grumbled something unprintable in response 
but a gag had appeared on their face.

"She's right!" said Alice. She hastily wrote: "Suddenly the missile 
hitting the robot opened a dimensional rift or something that led to the 
Infinite Library!" Masterplan Lad twitched. Manga Girl grabbed ahold of 
his hands and held him back. "Your turn now, Vic," said Alice.

"All right." Victoria. "Ahem. The library was huge, huger than the mind 
could concieve. The shelves went up forever and down forever and there 
were more books than Victoria could concieve in her life. She was 
utterly in awe. Somewhere in here is the secret of all the knowledge in 
the universe, but most importantly there was her own life, her own past. 
Fear walked across her skin like a spider. After all this time, did she 
really want to know the truth?"

"Hey, that's good," said Manga Girl. Masterplan Lad nodded and smiled 
slightly. Alice gazed lovingly at her.

"The bannister of the twisting spiral staircase were covered in gold. 
They shone like lambent--"

"Er, we don't need quite that much description," said Masterplan Lad.

Victoria growled. She wrote "Everything was very impressive and 
evocative but it was beyond the human facility of description and SOME 
PEOPLE want to get done as quickly as possible rather than really 
savoring the writing. They walked up the stairs and reached the shelf: 
biographies. There was her own book. She pulled it out and--"

She stopped. They all stared at each other. "Do any of you know how to 
finish this?" she said.

"Ah... no, sorry," said Alice.

"Er, no," said Masterplan Lad.

"OK," said Manga Girl. "I've got this. It said HA! THIS IS A TRAP! They 
weren't in the Infinite Library, they were in an evil WERE-LIBRARY! It 
was a full moon so it was transforming into a wolf and they were inside 
it! Awooo, said the library! [A/n: Awooooooooooo!]"

"Griffin McElroy must be really excited right now," said Victoria.

"Suddenly, Kristen Stewart [a/n last seen in WikiLull] appeared! 'I'll 
save you,' she said! Everyone swooned."

"I don't swoon," said Masterplan Lad. "Do I look like the kind of person 
who swoons!"

"You totally swoon." Victoria patted him on the shoulder.

"'How are you going to defeat the evil were-library?' said Victoria." 
Manga Girl was silent. "Uh, anyone got any ideas?" she said.

"'I played Snow White, remember?' said Kristen Stewart," added 
Masterplan Lad. "I can use my fairy tale heroine powers to summon a 

"Oh hey, that's good," said Manga Girl. "Ahem. A giant cyborg tin 
woodman appeared and then chopped up the were-library. Whack! Whack! 
Whack! Kristen Stewart then attacked it with some crossbows, Victoria 
hit it with her sword, Alice hit it with her missiles again some more 
and Masterplan Lad did some cool narrative thing. Wham! The were-library 
exploded. Then Kristen Stewart picked them all up in her arms [a/n she's 
really strong] and they all swooned and she took them off to the LNHQ 
and they--"

"Started playing Ticket to Ride," added Masterplan Lad.

"You know that actually sounds fun," said Victoria.

"'That evil were-library must have been sent by the Crossover Queen to 
stop us,' said Masterplan Lad," wrote Masterplan Lad. "'But next time, 
we will be ready.'" He typed out the final words "'The End.' Well. 
That's an issue."

He printed it out and handed it to Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom. The 
villain looked it over and narrowed his eyes under the grim riveted 
mask. "UNACCEPTABLE!" he shouted and vaporized it immediately.

"Well how the heck are we supposed to finish this then?" said Manga 
Girl. "We've been through like three attempts at issue 4."

"Yeah, wasn't this supposed to be my spotlight story?" said Alice. She 
glared at Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom.

"Enough!" said Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom. "Dreaded Deadline Doombots, 
destroy them!" Alice transformed back into a robot, and there was a 
fight scene that was pretty much just like the one we had earlier.

Masterplan Lad knew they didn't have a hope of facing Dr. Dreaded 
Deadline Doom on their own. There was only one power that could stop 
it--something that might be even more dangerous, but it was all they 
had. He closed his eyes, concentrated, held out his plot device, and in 
a cloud of thick brimstone there appeared--


It started devouring everything around it--the walls, the pendulum, the 
Dreaded Deadline Doombots, and was heading for the Writer themself! 
Manga Girl ripped off the Writer's manacles, picked them up and prepared 
to dash, but she was knocked over by the ghosts of all her Writer's 
unfinished stories! There they were in all their ghastly unlife--Just 
Imagine, Ultimate Mercenary v20, the Spoon of Destiny, Death of Trophy 
Wife, WikiLull, Terra Alter, Chicks in Space, Star Crossed, and 
President Evil, along with countless fanfics and novel attempts.

Jeanne Morningstar ran for their life. Star Crossed gripped at them with 
its ethereal talons. "I need to think of a better name for you!" they 
said. "There's too many things called Star Crossed!"

"Why don't you start a new story?" said Manga Girl. "Then you can get 
out of here."

"I can't get away from all these projects just by starting a new one!"

Suddenly, a teaser appeared!


[Illustration of the earliest lineup of the LNH, standing in a dark 
shadowy noir-ish sort of cityscape.]




"Well, I guess I can." Jeanne Morningstar jumped into the teaser and 

"OK, that's a wrap," said Edwina the Ultimate Editor, on loan from 
Writer's Block Person. She strode into the room. "Everyone can go home. 
We're done now."

"But--" said Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom.

"We're done now."

"Bah!" Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom sulked off clankily.

The Liminals appeared right back where they'd been: playing the game of 
Ticket to RIde with Kristen Stewart and the cyborg Tin Woodman. I'll try 
not to think too hard about the implications of this, thought Masterplan 



#4 is a very feelings-y issue that was tied into things I was dealing 
with in the Real World, so I didn't feel up to writing it for a while. 
This issue is firmly in "write something pointless to get over the 
Writer's Block" mode.


Masterplan Lad, Victoria, Dr. Dreaded Deadline Doom and everything else: Me
Manga Girl: me and Tom Russell
Alice: Saxon Brenton
Edwina the Ultimate Editor, MicroMACs and Kristen Stewart: Drew Perron
Crossover Queen: Drizzt
Infinite Library: Mike Escutia

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