LNH: Burst Beetle Tweseveny #4: "2007: The Limits of Infinity and the Time on One's Hands!"

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Jul 28 21:12:16 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....    * |
  | *   *__  *  * *__   __* *___*  *--*--*  *__  *___ *___ *___* *    *___   * |
  | *   |__) |  | |__) (__    |     / | \   |__) |__  |__    |   |    |__    * |
  | *   |__) |__| |  \ *__)   |    *  *  *  |__) |___ |___   |   |___ |___   * |
  | *             *___* *  * *___  __* *___ *  * *___ *  * *   *             * |
  | *               |   |  | |__  (__  |__  \  / |__  |\ |  \*/              * |
  | *               |   |/\| |___ *__) |___  \/  |___ | \|   |               * |
  #4       [20:07]: The Limits of Infinity and the Time on One's Hands!       #4

With a PWEEYOOM! a pair of burning tire tracks blasts across the asphalt, and in
a stream of flashing colors, Burst Beetle Tweseveny appears!

"Aha! Back to action, and... um..." Tweseveny is alone in a back alley, her only
companions a garbage can, a recycling bin, a soiled, broken bottle of Mister
Paprika Code Indigo that was clearly supposed to have gone in the recycling bin,
and a poster for a slam poetry event. "Hm."

She looks around carefully, and pushes the little red gem below the clock face
on her belt, armor disappearing in a burst of amber light. "Well, I suppose one
should explore before jumping into a situation."

Burst Beetle Tweseveny takes two confident steps out of the alleyway! And a
newspaper flies thru the air and smacks her in the face! "Ackplth!"

She flails around blindly, trips on a banana peel (left there by fellow time-
traveler Comedic Banana Peel Man, visiting from the 1940s), and falls backwards
into a pile of trash bags.

She peels the newspaper carefully off her face. "Oh... ow." She stares up at the
sky for a while. "...ow."

...she stares up at the sky for another while. "...didn't think this sort of
thing happened to net.heroes."

Burst Beetle Tweseveny heaves a big sigh, gives a crooked little smile, and
stands up. "But I'm still here, and still free." The fingers of her left hand
stroke softly over her belt buckle and the phone inside. With her right, she
holds up the newspaper and squints at it. "April... 272nd? Wh-- Oh! Of course,
this is 2007! It's the Infinite April!"

  |  Every day, the Legion has a new leader! Every night, at the stroke of     |
  |  midnight-- they disappear!! Over the days and weeks of an unending April, |
  |  the Legion struggles to uncover the mysterious force causing them to      |
  |  disappear one by one! Will the dwindling forces of net.heroism be able    |
  |  to overcome this Infinite Leadership Crisis--                             |
  |                                  --before the last Legionnaire vanishes?!  |

She hops to her feet, tossing the newspaper aside and running her hands thru her
hair. "Well, well! It makes sense that if I traveled to 2007, I'd hit April - it
was over a year long! What an event!" She looks around, limbs filling with
enthusiasm. "So! First off, I'm going to need a shower. But where will I find
some good samaritans who will be open to helping out some random person?"

She turns, looking across the street, and her gaze falls on a building that
takes up a whole city block, a building shaped like a cross between a grand
hotel and an upside-down computer monitor, a building radiant with the spirit of
heroism - the headquarters of the Legion of Net.Heroes, literally right there in
front of her!

"Ah!" She grins, striding confidently forward through the revolving door!
Within, an expansive, sunny foyer, studded with friendly succulents and the
Spectacular Spider-Plant, and featuring a large, round desk in the middle, with
an "INFORMATION" sign hanging above it!

And there, sitting behind said desk - a friendly-faced young Hispanic man! His
hair, a faded pink with dark roots and a shaggy, uneven cut! His T-shirt, white,
with doodles all over it in various colors of marker, continuing onto his skin
as temporary tattoos in pen and ink! Two of the nails on his left hand are
painted neon green, and three on the right are ebon black, all ten with gold
sparklies on top! On his shirt, a handmade button that says "LEADER" in purple

He looks down at his phone, brow furrowed in concentration! "C'mon, c'mon, daddy
needs a Fanficuno..."

"Ah, excuse me?" says Tweseveny, stepping forward.

"Bvwmeep!" The young man slams! the phone on the desk, sitting up straight.
"Hello, nice to meet you, my name is Time-Waster Lad, interim leader of the
Legion of Net.Heroes, how can I assist with your emergency?"

"Er..." Tweseveny blinks in momentary startlement, and then a return to solid
purpose! "I was wondering if I could take a shower here!"

"Oh!" Time-Waster Lad sags in relief. "Sure, definitely. We have some community
showers in the Non-Peril Gym that Weight-Lifting Lady had built when she was
leader. C'mon, I'll show you down!"

Time-Waster Lad guides Tweseveny through a door at the back of the foyer,
leading to a long hallway. So long, indeed, that Tweseveny can barely see the
other end - it seems a football field away, far *far* too far for the building
she'd seen on the outside, and she thrills! The transcendent, ever-changing
architecture of LNHQ! She gets to experience it, in person, *as* a person!

Today, the carpets are lush and thick, in bright colors speckled with triangular
patterns, like a bowling alley. The walls are a cheerful sky blue, but in the
distance, seem to shift towards a soft pink. Dozens of doors line the hallway,
labeled as leading into various rooms; "Monitor Room", "Plot Device Room",
"Peril Room", and many others. Dozens of other hallways intersect with it, often
at strange and improbable angles. It is lit with warm LEDs, and occasionally, a
geographically improbable window to let in the sunlight.

"There certainly don't seem to be many LNHers around today," says Tweseveny,
admiring a framed portrait of Tsar Chasm in a Napoleonic pose.

"Ah, well, they're all out on missions," says Time-Waster Lad, twirling a lock
of hair. "It's been a while, but remember that press release we put out back
when April didn't end?"

"Oh," says Tweseveny, a slight blush of social mistakery coloring her cheeks,
"actually, I'm a time traveler - I just landed today. But I'd heard about the
Infinite April before."

"Oh, okay, neat," says Time-Waster Lad, as used as any veteran net.hero to
temporal shenanigans. "Well, we've been having a lot of trouble keeping up on
missions as our team keeps disappearing. We've got those robot duplicates Dr.
Stomper made before *he* disappeared, but they're..." He bites his lip, clearly
trying to come up with a diplomatic description! "They're not exactly 100% on
the acting right. So we keep them for the small stuff. But most of the team is
out doing one net.hero thing or another."

"Gotcha gotcha. It makes sense that the leader would hold down the fort!"

"...haha, yeah, it sure does..." Time-Waster Lad gives a little cough and walks
thru an open doorway, into a locker room tiled in warm, bright colors, with
birdsong piped in in the background.

"Super swanky!" comments Tweseveny, picking out a particularly bright shower
with a rainbow mosaic, stepping in and closing the door behind her.

"Yeah, Sing-Along Lass said that even exercise can be cheerful and nice." Time-
Waster Lad takes Tweseveny's clothes as she passes them over, and puts them into
the super-speed washer-dryer Domestic Lad had installed when he was leader. "No
use putting dirty clothes on a clean body, that's what he told us."

"Excellent advice! You certainly seem to be a good listener!" The warm water
cascades over Tweseveny's tired muscles, and she feels her body relaxing,
invigorating, mmm!

Time-Waster Lad smiles, leaning against the wall. "Thank you! But it seems like
I only listen to the stuff that isn't important. If someone's giving me an
order, it slips right out..." He stares off into space, humming musically for a
couple minutes. "...oh!" He starts, straightening up. "Sorry, I started just...
talkin' about myself!" He rubs the back of his head ruefully.

"Hah! That's all right," says Tweseveny, soaping herself off - gosh, you get
sweaty fighting net.villains! "People say I'm a good listener too, and I gotta
tell you, I don't mind lending a helpful ear."

"Aw, you're super sweet!" He runs his hands thru his hair, relaxing. "Still, I
didn't ask - what's going on with you?"

She works shampoo into her hair, her scalp luxuriating in the stimulation. "I've
been bopping around thru time a bit, and just kind of landed in this month."

"Oh man!" Time-Waster Lad shakes his head. "That's not surprising, it's so
friggin' *long*! Like, I was *supposed* to go for my ADHD screening at the
beginning of May, but..."

Tweseveny smiles, filling her voice with encouragement! "Well, I'm from the
future, so I know it'll end eventually!"

"Sure," says Time-Waster Lad, with the tones of someone who is trying to be
positive but has heard this all before. "But is it *our* future? Contraption Man
said this never happened in his timeline, and Kid Kirby poked at a bunch of
alternate timelines before he vanished and couldn't see an end to this."

Tweseveny hums in thought. She's actually *read* this story, so she knows how it
will turn out, but-- actually, come to think, could this be some kind of
Elsewhirl, an alternate-universe story? She hasn't considered the metafictional
implications of her visit - and there's the lingering suspicion that, sometime
soon, she will wake from this sweet dream of being powerful and fighting for

She shakes herself out. Dream or not, she's in the story now! "That's
fair. So, as today's leader, how are you dealing with it?"

"Heh, well, everybody who *can* do work right now on the disappearing leaders
problem already *is*, it seems like? So I'm just manning the des... ohhhhh
*biscuits* I forgot I was running the desk! Frick frick frick..." Despite the
cuteness of his euphemistic swearing, Time-Waster Lad is clearly freaking out!

"Oop!" Tweseveny turns off the water and does a quick pass with the towel!
"Time-Waster Lad, before you continue freaking out, could you please pass me my

"Frick frick frick sure..." Time-Waster Lad pulls open the dryer and tosses the
clothes underhand to Tweseveny, then starts pulling on his hair. "Daaaaah..."

"Thank you!" Tweseveny gets dressed in a right hurry. She needs to get something
more suited to a net.hero than beige skirts and sensible blouses, but there's no
time for that now! Boldly, she steps out of the shower, takes Time-Waster Lad by
the shoulders, and shakes him a bit! "Snap out of it, man!" Gosh, she's always
wanted to say that!

"Sorry, sorry, sorry, I just, I just, I just--"

"Snap out of it more than that, please!" Tweseveny grabs a bucket, sets the
shower to Breathtakingly Cold, fills the bucket, rears back, and--

"Okay no I think I snapped out of it now!!" Time-Waster Lad throws his hands up
in front of his face.

"Oh, good." Tweseveny puts down the bucket and sweeps Time-Waster Lad into a
hug! "It's okay! We shall go back to the desk together and Hang Out and Talk and

"mmberf" After Tweseveny lets go, Time-Waster Lad draws a deep breath into his
body, spreads his hands, and lets the cloud of panic disperse. "Okay. Cool." He
shakes out his head. "Thanks."

She takes his hand, and together, the two of them walk back down the corridors
of the LNHQ. Tweseveny stays quiet, giving Time-Waster Lad time and space to
breathe, to consider, in the sunlight of the nice day, in the warm breezes of
the architecturally improbable windows.

As they pass the Plot Device Room, without preamble, Time-Waster Lad speaks. "I
miss Miss Translation."

"Miss Translation..." Tweseveny pokes at her memories, of reading the older LNH
series, scrolling through her news feed in delighted glee... "She was the alien
who had a hard time speaking English, right?"

"Right. Once you learned her dialect, though, she was really easy to talk to.
Together, we headed up a whole subgroup, one of the smaller teams within the
LNH. She was the one who leapt forward and made things happen, and I was the one
who took his time and made the plans and make sure things would work out." A
great sigh heaves its way out of Time-Waster Lad's lungs. "And then... we lost a
teammate. And the whole team got kicked out. Except for me." He runs his hands
through his mop of pink hair. "Because, I guess, the Ultimate Ninja... didn't
think I was one of them."

"Ohhh..." Tweseveny feels the weight in Time-Waster Lad's belly. The casual
dismissal of the leadership he had been proud of... "I'm sorry."

"Yeah." The corridor ends, and the two of them are back in the foyer. "And then,
just to kick everything in the pants?" Time-Waster Lad vaults the back of the
reception desk and turns to face her. "They all got lost in space."

"*Gosh*," says Tweseveny, and means it, leaning her elbows on the desk, putting
her face in her hands, and looking up at him. "That's *painful*."

"Right?" he says, and sighs, flopping into the rolly chair. "Starts-Arguments-
For-No-Reason Kid and Sleeps-With-Anything-Alive Girl are back now. Not sure
what the story is there... I think they might not remember it, but they
*definitely* don't want to talk about it. When Limp-Asparagus Lad was leader, he
sent out invitations for them to come back, along with a lot of other inactive
former LNHers, and they did." Time-Waster Lad leans his head back and kicks his
feet up, pressing them into the edge of the desktop. "But Ultimate Ninja might
just kick them out again when he comes back. If he comes back." He blows a
breath out loose lips. "And that was my last experience being a leader, sort of."

"Time-Waster Lad..." Tweseveny reaches for him... but her hand curls in a fist.
She doesn't know what to say...

A throat is cleared on the other side of the room. "I'm sorry..."

Tweseveny and Time-Waster lad look up, roused from the depressing discussion!
There, having just come in the door - two figures!

One, a tall woman in her early twenties, in a glittering silver dress, pale
silver hair with a deep purple streak, an amethyst nose piercing, and high
heels. She holds up an hourglass full of silvery sand and grins in manic

The other, a figure in a hooded robe, his face cast in constant shadow no matter
how he moves! His body is hidden by the rich brown fabric, its texture sumptuous
and expensive, yet continually exuding a noxious smell; starting off subtle, yet
getting stronger by the moment!

"...but is this a bad... *time*?" the woman finishes, a maniacal glint in her

"You're..." says Time-Waster Lad, eyes widening in recognition...

"That's right," says the hooded figure, working enthusiasm into his voice. "The
devilish duo of trans-temporal terror!"

The woman raises her hourglass! "Mother Time and the Time Crapper!"


Author's Notes: Finally, Tweseveny returns!

There's a lot of reasons it took me almost two years to come back to this. A
two-part storyline ended up ballooning to six parts, as I found more things I
wanted to do with it, in terms of emotions, continuity, and cool shit. The
continuity required a lot of research, and the emotions required a lot of heavy
lifting. But it's done now, and I'm proud of it - I hope you will be too!

In re: Contraption Man: In the first Infinite Leadership Crisis issue,
Contraption Man shows up yelling "No future!" and then goes into a coma, but he
shows up perfectly okay later. I thought about commenting on that situation, but
frankly, I'm going to be doing a *lot* of continuity-stitching in this
storyline, so I'll save that for some other ILC insert.

"berf" as a sound effect of something mildly discomfiting happening is stolen
from Questionable Content.

Time-Waster Lad created by Raythrax, Not Reserved.
The Time Crapper created by Jef Kolodziej, Free For Use.
Mother Time created by... shoot, it's not on the wiki. It's Arthur, right? In
LNHCP #43? And I'm pretty sure she's Not Reserved and/or Free For Use??

Drew "Tweseveny created by me, and Reserved for now" Nilium

More information about the racc mailing list