LNH: Burst Beetle Tweseveny #7: "2007: The Translation of Desire and the Satisfaction of the Fire!"

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 18:37:21 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....    * |
  | *   *__  *  * *__   __* *___*  *--*--*  *__  *___ *___ *___* *    *___   * |
  | *   |__) |  | |__) (__    |     / | \   |__) |__  |__    |   |    |__    * |
  | *   |__) |__| |  \ *__)   |    *  *  *  |__) |___ |___   |   |___ |___   * |
  | *             *___* *  * *___  __* *___ *  * *___ *  * *   *             * |
  | *               |   |  | |__  (__  |__  \  / |__  |\ |  \*/              * |
  | *               |   |/\| |___ *__) |___  \/  |___ | \|   |               * |
  #7   [20:07]: The Translation of Desire and the Satisfaction of the Fire!   #7
                Content warning: Unreality, second-person narration

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

"...so yeah," says Mother Time. "We usually freeze time in some restaurant and
steal the plates right off of people's tables. *Man* do they kick up a fuss! But
by then we're gone."

Time-Waster Lad smiles and nods, pulling a pan out of the oven and setting it on
the rack. He's dabbled in cooking before, usually making some monstrosity out of
whatever could be pulled out of the back of the freezer, tossed together and
heated until done. But this time, he's keeping it simple - flatbread, barbecue
sauce, cheese, pizza. No matter how strong the itch to dive deep into the
cupboards and try all the spices one at a time is. "I've never tried that. I
guess I should some time, mwahaha." His 'net.villain' persona isn't very good,
but that doesn't really seem to matter - Mother Time is mostly paying attention
to herself.

"Yeah, don't worry about being original, we've basically done all the cool stuff
first." She swings the Hourglass thru the air and turns a stack of protein bars
into a mountain of nuts, dates, and chocolate chips. She picks out a chip and
nibbles on it daintily.

Right. Waste her time! Keep her talking! It's his strength! "So, Mother Time--"

"Hey, hey." She holds up a finger. "Call me Tamela. But *not* Tammy, capiche?"

"Ri-- capiche." Time-Waster lad slides the pan into the oven to reset his
conversational momentum. "But uh, the Time Crapper. I don't really know the guy!
What do you like about him?"

"Hmmmmmm..." Mother, uh, Tamela leans back against the kitchen counter, setting
the hourglass on it and the scythe against it-- whew, that's a little less
nerve-wracking. "Well, for one thing, he's real powerful. I find guys who can
destroy the Looniverse in a fit of rage, then repair it when they get hungry,
incredibly sexy."

Time-Waster Lad took a moment to think about Kid Kirby. "Yeah, that's hot."

"Right?" Tamela grinned lewdly, then rolled her head back and sighed. "Even tho
he's so powerful, tho, I've always got to be the one telling him what to do.
It's like he doesn't *want* anything. Except me, of course, which is nice I do

Time-Waster Lad nods thoughtfully. "You know, that reminds me of someone I used
to work with. Miss Translation. Or, well... *you* remind me of her, and the Time
Crapper reminds me of me, there." He giggles awkwardly, oh dear.

"Reeeeeally." Tamela goes back to grinning. "Was she hot?"

"Er, well, it, we didn't really have that kind of relationship!" Time-Waster Lad
flushes. "...but yeah, she was. And she was super dynamic - going for what she
wanted, leaping without looking."

"Fuck *yeah*. That's what I'm talking about." Tamela snaps her fingers and spins
around in place. "You gotta have things you *want* and you gotta *go* for them."

Time-Waster Lad smiles. "Yeah. Really, I've never been great at wanting
things... or, like, I'll want something really hard for a week and then forget
why I wanted it in the first place. But she had these big heroic goals... um,
you know, back when I was a net.hero was when this all was," he clarifies.

Tamela shrugs. "Hero goals, villain goals, whatever. We all want something,
right? Hey, is that pizza done?"

"Oh, just a sec..." Time-Waster Lad grabs the oven mitts (patterned with little
cheesecakes and hearts) and pulls the pizzas out, sliding them onto the plates,
grabbing the pizza cutter, and making four precise slices. "Ta-da~"

Tamela grabs a slice and takes a big messy bite. "Mmmm! You're good at this

Time-Waster Lad smiles, a little bit of pride rising in his breast despite the
multilayered stress of the situation. "Yeah, well, I mess around in the kitchen
a lot."

"Noice. You know, I bet you'd make a great henchman," says Tamela, and Time-
Waster Lad notices her eyeing him very speculatively...

"Ahaha, well!" Time-Waster Lad blushingly steps behind the counter and engages
Distracting Ramble Mode. "That's kind of how I feel I was for Miss Translation.
She had the big goals and the loud voice and I was happy translating for her and
keeping the violence pointed in the right direction."

"But it wasn't that kinda relationship, huh." Tamela wiggles her eyebrows.

"Heh, well..." Time-Waster Lad bites his lip. "I mighta had a bit of a crush...
But also, like... it felt like I was really *helping*. Like I was making a
difference in the lives of people I cared about." He shakes his head. "Haven't
felt like that in a while, t'be honest."

"Mmmmmm..." Tamela crosses her arms. "Me either... but like, you're a net.
villain now! You can just make whatever you want happen, by force!"

"Er, yeah." Time-Waster Lad licks his lips. Let's be honestish... "But, well, so
far that hasn't been all that satisfying either."

"...yeah, for me either." Tamela is looking into Time-Waster Lad's face. She
seems to be taking him seriously. Should he... I mean, they're friendshipping
the villains, right? What would he tell a friend in this situation?

He'd... okay, he wouldn't put down what a friend was doing. "Like... don't get
me wrong, I bet Acton Lord wouldn't be Acton Lord if he didn't like being a net.
villain. And Manga Man always seemed like he was having fun."

Mother Time looks off into the distance. Her face, lines smoothed, calm,
thoughtful, is... nice. "...actually, didn't both of them retire or something?"

"...oh, well, fair." Time-Waster Lad rubs the back of his head sheepishly. "I
hear Manga Man's back, tho... er, well, anyway. The point is..." His chest fills
with breath, and confidence suddenly flows back into his secret places. "I
wouldn't be Time-Waster Lad if I didn't like to kick back and hang out, watch
some TV, play a board game, heck, just shoot the breeze. Y'know? That's all me."

"...damn, y'know, I didn't think someone could be passionate about doing jack
shit~" She reaches out, and the hairs on the back of Time-Waster Lad's neck
stand up, but she just ruffles his hair affectionately. It seems like it should
feel weird, condescending, but instead it's just kinda nice.

So he gives her a nice smile. "So yeah... but uh, if this hasn't been satisfying
for you, maybe you need to..." He pushes that confidence back in. "Maybe you
need to look at your net.villain name and go, hey, should I pick out another
one?" He shrugs~ "I mean, no offense, but you don't seem like you'd really wanna
have kids?"

"...hah! Yeah, that's true. I picked it to fit with loverboy in there, but..."
She frowns. "Maybe I should've just picked out one for myself..."

Yes! *Good*! "Like what?" Time-Waster Lad says, encouragingly. There's a sound
behind him - someone's pushing the doors of the cafeteria open - is Tweseveny
back? But he tries to concentrate on Tamela's words.

"...mmmm... Maybe--"

"Ex*cuse* me." Time-waster Lad turns his head in shock - that's not Tweseveny's

The doors swing closed behind a new figure. She wears a suit of armor, with
panels of what looks like lacquered mahogany in curves reminiscent of the shells
of insects. There's gold trim at the wrists, ankles, and neck, and along each
joint, with ivory inlays running the length of each panel. She wears a helmet
with a faceted yellow visor, shaped to resemble a pair of eyes squinting with
supercilious superiority, and a pair of ornate clock hands in a V on her
forehead. At her waist, she wears a golden belt, with a buckle that looks like
an analog clock face, hands at 7:20.

Oh shoot. Time-Waster Lad doesn't recognize the outfit - is she a newbie LNHer,
another net.villain, something else? "Uhhhhh, hello, fellow net.villain, I was
just chatting with my fellow net.villain Mother Time here--"

"Right." The figure pushes past him and stands in front of Mother Time, arms
crossed. "Why haven't you gone to get the Rung?"

"The LNHQ was undefended like you said," oh shoot thinks Time-Waster Lad that's
who this is "but there's a Cosmic Bear blocking the way, so Time-Waster Lad and
his henchlady offered to help us until it's taken care of."

The unfamiliar person who's definitely a net.villain of some sort just stares at
Mother Time for a moment. She raises two fingers and rubs the little circle on
her forehead, between the clock hands. "I said it would be *almost* undefended.
As in very few net.heroes there. As in *two*."

"..." Mother Time stares off into space. Time-Waster Lad can see her face
tightening, and his stomach drops out as he understands what she understands, as
the peppy energy and the gentle words he sent to her erode away like a
sandcastle in the tide. He takes a step backwards, then another, his chest

Without looking, Mother Time reaches out and picks up her scythe. The moment her
hand closes around the handle, the blade blazes with the unearthly blue of
Cherenkov radiation. "You know what. I'm picking a new name. I'll be..." She
turns and brandishes the scythe! "KILLER OF STUPID JERK TIME-WASTER LAD...

"eeeeeeeengh FRICK!" Time-Waster Lad throws himself backwards, heaviness in his
belly spinning sickeningly, and bolts out the swinging doors. Mother Time grabs
the Hourglass and gives chase!

The unfamiliar person watches them go, leaning on the counter, shaking her head
and muttering to herself. "'There's a *bear*'? Come *on*! That's the oldest
excuse in the book, next to the old cat-ate-the-ocarina gag!"

She straightens and turns, towards the reader, lenses looking through the words
that you're reading to meet your gaze. "And as for *you*..."

       Tweseveny, lulled into the reverie of being a reader, startles out!
       The shape of the narrative is changing, turning, someone pushing her
       way out! Tweseveny pulls her perspective back, pulls herself back to being
a character experiencing the story from within - but suddenly she's staggering
back from an unfamiliar figure - no, she's very familiar - she's staggering back
from Burst Beetle M-Plot!

"What--" says Tweseveny, back hitting the wall, hand going to her belt buckle.

"A little messing with narrative framing shouldn't be that complicated for a
*writer*." M-Plot spits the word like it's made of phenylthiocarbamide. "Time
Crapper." She that focused gaze on  him. "She's lying, distracting you from
getting the Rung. She's hoping for the LNH to return and stop you."

The Time Crapper stills. His faceless gaze turns to Tweseveny, and in a voice
that's consciously held steady, but has a certain husky sadness to it
nevertheless, he says, "Is this true?"

"...I..." Tweseveny bites her lip. She feels like dirt. She's failed to make a
new friend, failed to support someone in trouble... now all she can do is fight
another iteration of the same old battle.

Enough - she owes him an answer. She presses the pink gem on her belt buckle,
and long sheets of old-style printer paper appear from nowhere to wrap her in a
cocoon. The cocoon bursts to reveal black armor with amber trim, a helmet with a
visor shaped like wide green eyes, shoulderpads shaped like a stylized 2 and 7,
and a crest on her forehead in the shape of a V. She faces him, and slides into
a defensive pose, fists up.

"...I see. Well." The Time Crapper smooths out his robe, stands up, and nods,
solemnly, to Tweseveny. "Thank you, anyway, for listening to me. But net.
villains do betray each other, and..." He spreads his hands. The plants on
either side of the couch begin to wilt, and the lights seem to dim around them.
"I think this is the part where I kill you and take what I want."


Drew "wanted to do even more reader-Tweseveny stuff but couldn't fit it in"

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