LNH: Burst Beetle Tweseveny #6: "2007: The Mother of Necessity and a Short Backstory of Time!"

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 18:30:54 PDT 2020

  | *               Glenda Gwynnych was one of the ridiculous                * |
  | *          and beautiful fools who write the tales of the Legion         * |
  | *   of Net.Heroes! But her wonderful nonsense was lost in the grinding   * |
  | *  drudgery of the corporate world!  One day, in her deepest despair, a  * |
  | *   voice of digital dreaming  *  *  *  gave her hope! Now she bounces   * |
  | *    back and forth throughout  \ | /  27 years of LNH history as....    * |
  | *   *__  *  * *__   __* *___*  *--*--*  *__  *___ *___ *___* *    *___   * |
  | *   |__) |  | |__) (__    |     / | \   |__) |__  |__    |   |    |__    * |
  | *   |__) |__| |  \ *__)   |    *  *  *  |__) |___ |___   |   |___ |___   * |
  | *             *___* *  * *___  __* *___ *  * *___ *  * *   *             * |
  | *               |   |  | |__  (__  |__  \  / |__  |\ |  \*/              * |
  | *               |   |/\| |___ *__) |___  \/  |___ | \|   |               * |
  #6      [20:07]: The Mother of Necessity and a Short Backstory of Time!     #6
  Content warning: suicide, toxic relationships, murder, and just a bunch of
   depressing stuff! Also, unreality.

Tweseveny smiles, watching Time-Waster Lad and Mother Time head down to the
LNHQ's cafeteria, and turns to the Time Crapper, rubbing her hands. Time to
friendship this motherfucker!

"So," she says, sitting down on the comfy couch next to Time Crapper I - but for
now, he's the only Time Crapper she's got, so she'll just call him that! "Can I
ask you a few questions, time-travelling net.villain to time-travelling net.
villain?" Her disguise is perfect!

"Certainly, but... I figured you'd know all about me, having met me in your past
- so you said." The Time Crapper seems just a touch skeptical! Oh shoot! Time to

"Well, uh, it was clear that we'd talked a lot in *your* past, so I decided to
avoid a time paradox by waiting until I met past-you!" Her logic is flawless!!

"...yeah, that's the kind of nonsense I've been running into." The Time Crapper
sighs, leaning back, putting his feet up on the coffee table before them. Ooooh,
what a villain move! "Ask away, please."

Yesssss. Let's take it back to where this relationship must've started... "How
did you get started off as a net.villain? Did it have anything to do with
getting the Ring of Retcon?"

"The what, now?" says the Time Crapper, tilting his head a bit. "Uh, no. I..."
He taps his arm. "A lot of my past isn't there anymore. When I used the Rung of
Revamp... well, anyway. I still remember why I did this. Still remember... her."
He looks longingly off towards the doorway Mother Time walked down, and slips
into a gentle monologue.

"We met at a physics lecture. Time travel, of course. She was wearing..." His
shadowed face seems to show a soft smile. "This mismatched outfit that didn't
make any sense, and  these glasses that would have looked dowdy on anyone but
her... and Lisa Loeb." He chuckles. "And she was even more beautiful than Lisa

"Awwww!" Tweseveny claps her hands! Yes good, cute backstory, excellent place to

The Time Capper smiles and nods. "Yes... there was a Q&A at the end, and she
asked a couple of amazing questions about what was possible. Things I'd never
thought of before. And after the lecture was over, I found her, just wanting to
mention how good those questions were... And, well, we fell to talking."

"She was *so* into the idea of time travel. I was into physics because I was
good at it, but she talked about all the things she'd do with it, all the things
she'd get. And she seemed like the kind of person... the kind of person who
deserved them, because she was forward, and powerful, and beautiful."

"Gosh," says Tweseveny, admiringly. Okay, she thinks, that "deserve" thing
sounds like it might go in a bit of a Bad direction, but that's exactly what
she's here to help with!

"We started talking a lot... I guess I didn't have a whole lot of other people
to talk to, it's... hard to remember, really. And I got... enchanted with the
idea of making time travel real. She made the idea feel so alive."

"Awwww." This is super swee--

"So I ended up stealing an experimental pinpoint wormhole generator, and the
campus's sample of the Sands of the Ancient Days, and using my experimental
physics theories, combined them into the Hourglass of wReamThermodynamics."

...okay, so, that's less sweet, thinks Tweseveny. And stealing is bad. But a lot
of net.villain backstories are like this, so let's see where this is going.

"And I came to her and offered to show her all of time. And we had a good time,
for a while, but..."

"But?" says Tweseveny, folding her hands on her knee in a 'listening' pose. Okay,
getting to the meat of the problem!

"She didn't really want to *see* things, she wanted to *have* things." He shrugs,
putting his hand on the back of his neck. "I loved seeing the pyramids being
built, Florence at the height of the Renaissance, Woodstock from the front row.
But she's not like me. She doesn't care about the past. She wants tomorrow." He
reaches out, into space, closing his fingers. "In her hands."

"So we started doing some crimes, freezing time, stealing stuff, bringing it
back to the hotel. Playing tricks on people. Messing with time, even. But..." He
shakes his head. "It wasn't enough for her. And we had a fight, and we broke up,
and..." He pulls in a huge breath, sighs. "I realized, or felt like I realized,
that I'd been wrong. That she deserved all of the things she was asking for, of

"Ah, I don't..." That *definitely* doesn't sound true - but how to say it
without sounding like a jerk? Oh lord, thinks Tweseveny, friendshipping villains
is harder than I thought!

And it seems that the Time Crapper hasn't noticed the interruption! "I wished I
could just go back and undo what I'd said, the mistakes I'd made. Do it right
this time. And then, I realized... I could."

"Ah," says Tweseveny. Oh boy, thinks Tweseveny.

"I went back to shortly after we first met, and found myself, and, well..." He
sighs. "I absorbed that timeline. And ended up feeling all those painfully
strong emotions again, all the desire and need and hope from when we first met."

"Sounds hard," says Tweseveny, hoping that, at the very least, commiseration
will help.

"Yeah. It was." His voice is harsh, thick, but he clears his throat and
continues. "Anyway, I found her and introduced myself as the Time Taker, and
said I wanted her to be my partner in crime. She laughed, looked me over, took a
sniff, and said, 'More like the Time *Crapper*'. And I said, 'Okay, the Time
Crapper then.' And, I don't know, she seemed... impressed by how willing I was
to go along with what she said?"

"And we started stealing things, and making plans to steal bigger things, and I
just kept following her lead. And it was good for a while, and then she was
like... hey, I'm in charge here, the Hourglass should be mine." He shrugs. "And,
well, I was trying to give her what she wanted, so I gave it to her. She started
calling herself Mother Time, and used the Hourglass to get even more powerful
temporal devices. And went up against the LNH, and, well, lost." He shakes his
head, lost in his thoughts. "And you know, it happens. We'd been keeping under
the LNH's radar before, but her new plans were bigger than that, and she
wouldn't just take the loss and keep going. She broke into the Brenton Island
Nuclear Power Plant, trying to make the Hourglass more powerful... and she took
a lethal dose of radiation and died."

Tweseveny grimaced. "Oh, I'm... so sorry."

"Yeah. And..." The Time Crapper's voice wavered, turned husky. "I knew it was my
fault. If I hadn't let her charge off alone like that, she wouldn't... she would
still have..."

At least Tweseveny knew what to do here - moving over, and wrapping the Time
Crapper in a tight hug, ignoring the screams of protest from her nose.

"..." The Time Crapper seems to waver on the edge of some kind of defensive
anger, some net.villainous outburst... but instead, releases it, and relaxes
into the hug. After a few moments, Tweseveny lets go, and the Crapper sits up.
"I was at my worst moment, and contemplated... well. Dark things. I couldn't see
a path forward..." He sighs, that deep husky pain flowing out of him. "But, in
the end, I managed to pull myself out of it."

"Ohhhh?" queries Tweseveny, hoping...

"Literally. I-- that is, the Time Crapper-- came to me, to whoever I'd been when
I wasn't him, and without speaking, gave me the Hourglass, and vanished." The
Time Crapper leaned back, contemplatively. "If not for that... I might not have

...oh. Oh no. It's all coming together now in Tweseveny's head; to avoid the
pain of loss, he had sucked himself back into this cycle, again and again.

"So I decided to... well, try and help her with those problems," says the Time
Crapper. "Proactively."

To fix her, thinks Tweseveny, watching as the narrative took its terrible shape.

"I got some self-help books, read through them, and realized that, you know, of
course I'd been enabling her. I figured she needed someone who would push back
on her bad habits instead of enabling them."

"Right, and that's a great idea..." says Tweseveny, voice rising cheerfully...
and then faltering into, "...and I'm guessing you're gonna tell me how it went

The Time Crapper chuckles self-deprecatingly. "You're getting it. I showed up,
all dramatic, and introduced myself as the Time Crapper. I told her she was
destined to be a powerful force in the universe, and that I would be her mentor.
I played up the powerful cosmic wisdom thing." He shrugs. "She didn't really buy
it, but she went along with it for the power, you know."

"And, well, it worked for a while, we stole a lot of stuff, fought the LNH a few
times, I managed to hold her in check... aaaaand..." He lets out a long breath.
"And she tried to take the Hourglass and I killed her."

"...I'm so sorry." Tweseveny squeezes his shoulder.

"Yeah, so was I... that was the first time I tried to commit suicide."

Tweseveny winced. "Ah."

"I decided to do the traditional thing and jump off a bridge. The LNH showed up
to stop me, of course. All of you..." He breathes harshly, rasping against his
lips. "*Fucking* do-gooders..." He shakes his head, a wave of bitterness passing,
and looks at Tweseveny. "Present company excepted, of course."

"Er... of course," says Tweseveny, wishing there was some kind of rock she could
crawl under right about now.

"They talked me back from the brink, and I had... some new, stupid idea about
how to fix things. And I went back, and did it again, and it failed again. I
decided I had been right the first time, decided to jump from something higher.
The LNH came in again and I got grief counseling from a kiwi. Got a new idea.
Fucked it up again. The LNH came in again, over and *over*..." He sighs. "I've
killed myself so many times. So many selves, and I just kept taking my own

Tweseveny stays silent, pinned under the thick layer of pain streaming off the
Time Crapper, unable to do anything except Be There and let him vent his trauma.

"Finally, I came up with some kind of ridiculous plan about rebooting the
universe and waited for the LNH to get to me again, just so I could have someone
to talk to about it. Thankfully, the LNHer who came to talk to me was Cynical

"Thankfully?" says Tweseveny, grasping at the slender straw of positivity.

"Oh yes. She cut right thru my bullshit, and made me realize - the things wrong
with our relationship were things I just couldn't change. They were fundamental
things about myself and about Tamela that would make us end in tragedy no matter
what parts of the situation I tweaked."

"Ah!" Tweseveny perked up. "That sounds like a very wise thing that's extremely
worth listening to. Uh, for a net.hero."

The Time Crapper nods. "Right. That's when I gave up."

Tweseveny smiles! Yes, he'd finally made a breakthru that-- wait. She glances
off in the direction Mother Time went. She turns to the Time Crapper. "And

"..well." He rubs the back of his head. "Dismal-Hope Kid was putting me in the
holding cells here, and then I appeared to myself again."


"I offered myself a source of enormous power. Enough power to *change* those
fundamental things, about myself and about her."

Shit shit shit. "The Rung of Revamp," says Tweseveny.

"Right." The Time Crapper takes a deep breath, and sits up. The weariness and
depression seem to fall off of him. Something bigger, older, fills his form. "I
took it, and it..." He lets out his breath. "It took away my past. Replaced it.
With a connection to entropy. The waste disposal system of the universe."

*Holy* shit. *Cosmic* shit. Tweseveny sits up, remembers that she's not just a
sympathetic ear, she's a net.hero on a mission. Shiiiiit.

"That's where the smell comes from. It started showing up whenever I used the
Hourglass, but now it's become part of who I am. I didn't need the Hourglass
anymore - the power was internalized." The Time Crapper looks off again, but not
into his own past; into deep space, the fabric of the universe. "I realized how
*fragile* the universe is. That's why I hadn't managed to fix things. Everything
is so delicate. *People* are so delicate. This universe..." He shakes his head.
"I don't know how it still exists. How it holds itself together."

"Somehow it does, tho," murmurs Tweseveny. Probably a bad thing for someone who
can smash spacetime to be talking about how fragile it is.

"Somehow it does. Maybe it's because of the net.heroes." He shakes his head.
"Still... I tried to warn Fourth Wall Lass about all I could see, with my new
awareness. She took me seriously, at least. Then I decided to leave the universe
to its own devices and focus on Tamela."

"Of course," says Tweseveny. Maybe she can find a new place to help these two
from that angle, but God, how's she even supposed to start? "What did you do?"

"I went and I found... the best bits and pieces I could find, from all of the
times I've been with her, made an amalgam of those. The Hourglass is holding it
together, but it's not stable." He clenches his fist. "If she thought about her
memories, she'd realize they don't make sense. But she doesn't care about the
past." He looks at Tweseveny, and his gaze is focused, somewhere beneath the
shadows. "She wants tomorrow."

Tweseveny swallows. Great, swinging back to megalomania! "And what's tomorrow?"

"...well." The Time Crapper sits back, placing one hand over the other. "Once we
get the Rung of Revamp, it will stabilize her timeline, like it did to me -
collect her into a new, coherent self."

Oh-- of course. That was the plan all along - use the Rung to "fix" things.
Another plan, like the ones he'd already failed with... and he could probably
see that, but...

Ugh, thinks Tweseveny. Yes, friendshipping villains is *definitely* harder than
she'd thought. If he's failed so badly at fixing himself, how can she possibly
hope to do it?

"Then..." The Time Crapper ponders, gaze still on the superstructure of the
universe. "I don't know. Maybe we can evolve past our human flaws, into cosmic
entities." He shrugs! "But at least I'll have a version of her that... wants to
be around me."

Tweseveny licks her lips. Maybe... maybe she needs to be more blunt! "Time
Crapper... may I be blunt?" Okay, a *little* more.

He snaps out of his reverie, looks at her with that unseen gaze... gives a firm
nod. "Absolutely. Seems to be what I need, anyway."

God, what should she say, how should she say it-- just be honest, just open up
and say what comes to mind! "Even if you make a verson of her that wants to be
with you..." Tweseveny draws a deep breath thru her nose and squares up! "Are
you sure you should be with *her*? Are you sure that-- with everything you could
do with this new cosmic power-- that that's what you want!?" She coughs slightly
as she gets the earnest plea out.

The Time Crapper looks at her wordlessly for a moment; she can almost feel thick
waves of emotion wafting off of him, anger, regret, genuine thought. Then he
turns away, his shoulders lowering, his hands on his knees. "I'm not sure,
really. You're right. But... after all I've done on this path..." He shakes his
head. "Without her, I'm a monster. With her, I'm something. Even if that
something is still a monster, for what I make her into."

Hoo boy. Well. That was Tweseveny's last shot. What now?

She wishes she had some way to see what Mother Time was saying. Maybe there's
some kind of miscommunication here. Something she needed that he wasn't
fulfilling - maybe the reason she wanted to commit crimes in the first place?
Maybe. If only...

She feels a little tingle at her belt, and looks down. The little yellow gem on
her belt is flashing, and she reaches down and, quietly, presses it...

       And suddenly, she isn't in the story anymore. She's reading it - so
       rt of. She can see-- feel?-- smell???-- threads of narrative, like
       individual pages ripped from a book and taped back together into a
       film strip, rolling by the light of her viewpoint and projected ont
       o the screen of reality.

       Tweseveny reaches out to one of the narrative threads, the one that
       tastes like Time-Waster Lad, and starts reading...


Author's Note: The versions of the Time Crapper and Mother Time that show up in
the Infinite Leadership Crisis and 58.5 are kind of all over the place, often
implying mutually exclusive backstories. And honestly? It's more interesting
that way - those stories do a lot of fascinating things that don't need to be
held back by tying them to a strict canon. But this is my attempt at stitching
together Arthur, Rob, and Lalo's interpretations into something coherent. And
we're not done stitching yet...

Drew "crunchy munchy goodness" Nilium

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