LNH: The Core LNH #5.5: "Basic Politeness Gone Mad!" Part 9

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 12:21:04 PDT 2020

|                                      .:'                                     |
|    Issue Five Point Five: "Basic   _ :'_    Politeness Gone Mad" Part 9      |
|                                 .'`_'-'_``.                                  |
|------------------------------   ',._THE_.-'    ------------------------------|
|********************************   :CORE:   **********************************|
|------------------------------   ;'`_LNH_`-;    ------------------------------|
|                                  '._.-._.'                                   |

    "We're listening now. So tell us: Who are you?"
    Non-Binary took a deep breath, exhaled in the void. "...I *thought* I was PC
Person. I thought I was..."
    "Patrick Chester Peterson, a young... person living a pretty normal suburban-
upper-middle-class life, and wanting be just like my dad. He was the net.hero
Asterisk, one of the great heroes of the pre-Cosmic Plot Device Caper era. Back
before social media as we know it today, he was fighting the good fight, bringing
good discussion to the early Internet. He had the ability to absorb and transform
net.elements; he was known for absorbing the Flame of the Great Early Flamewars,
transforming it into powerful Discourse."
    "When he died, I found out that he was from the Alien Internet of Hwuau, and
that he came to this planet to fix the balance of the net.elements. I found out
that I had inherited his net.elemental powers. I decided I'd make my own identity,
and step into his footsteps, be a heroic man like him. I decided I'd bring
Discourse to the world."
    "...I didn't really know what I was doing. I made a persona based on what I
saw the most awful-sounding people arguing against, leapt into a conversation
that I didn't really know anything about, and started trying to use my powers to
get people to act better. All I accomplished was getting Ultimate Ninja mad at me."
    "I decided the problem was that I was using my powers to directly try to
influence people. So I decided to just absorb their Flame and let myself speak
the Discourse."
    "But... it didn't work. Nobody got what I was saying. They never seemed to be
listening, no matter how loud I was, no matter how much I pled my case. And I
kept absorbing the Flame, and absorbing, and taking in more and more until..."
Non-Binary let out a breath, and the envelope of Flame shimmered around them.
    Blackbird reached out with their wings of darkness. Non-Binary hesitated, but
reached out, and light and darkness curled around each other halfway.
    "I understand... it's hard to hold up your end of a meaningful conversation
when you feel like you're constantly under attack, constantly the butt of the
joke, constantly under the impression that you messed up and you deserve this,
but you don't know how, and you don't know how to fix it, and you can't stop
fighting until you do..."
    Non-Binary's face crinkled up. They fell to their knees, aura still twining
with Blackbird's, and wept, glistening tears of pure light falling to the lunar
surface and staining the silver with golden grief. The golden light grew, bright,
blinding, and in a flash...
    ...they were back on the front lawn of the LNHQ.
    Kid Enthusiastic checked the atmosphereometer to make sure things were kosher,
and turned off his forcefield. "Convenient! ...oh, hey, pronouns are back!"
    Non-Binary knelt, sans Flame, on the ground. Blackbird's dark flame dissipated,
and WikiBoy knelt to give them a hug. "Do you need anything?"
    Non-Binary wiped their eyes. "Mmmmm... to sit down... and talk... and maybe
some pizza."
    "Sounds like a plan."

Author's Note: Forgot to mention this last time, but logo based on ASCII art 
created by Joan G. Stark.

Drew "this is real relatable for me" Nilium

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