LNH20: Writer's Block Person #46: "Royale With Cheese"

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue May 19 22:54:25 PDT 2020

Two in the morning, in late spring or perhaps early summer. Writer's Block
Person is in bed, curled up under a weighted blanket, moonlight shining over
their body, a small window open to let in the breeze and the quietly wild energy
of a warm night.

Shadows curl around the edges of the moonlight. They draw and swirl together,
and the shapes and textures of night and moon become a figure, with human limbs
and a face of ice-cold light.

"Wriiiiter's Bloooock Peeeerson..." the figure says, voice like the high piping
of the winter wind round some ancient peak, claimed by an imperial explorer and
then left as some forgotten conquest. ""Wriiiiter's Bloooock Peeeerson... AWAKEN!"

"Djghfl!" Writer's Block Person bounced up, tangled in the heavy blanket, kicked
out, tripped, and fell on the floor. "hey what's that why'd we switch to past
tense," they mumbled.

"Writer's Block Person, awaken... to your DESTINY!" The figure pointed a hand of
made of shadows at them."You have been chosen... for the BATTLY FIGHT!"

Writer's Block Person squinted at the figure. They groped around on the bedside
table, grabbed their glasses, and put them on. Much better. "The which what now?"

"The BATTLY FIGHT!" The figure spread their shadowy arms. "An interdimensional
battle royale where you can gain your heart's desire - by killing all your

"Ohhhhhhh. Okay, gotcha, gotcha... not interested." They took off their glasses
and folded them up, hopping back into bed and laying down. "G'night!"

"W-- hey!" The figure drew itself up, face flaring with a cruel silver gleam.
"If you do not join the BATTLY FIGHT - your world will be... DESTROYED!"

"Oh." Writer's Block Person sat back up in bed and put their glasses back on.
"Well, why didn't you say that before? Jeez, talk about burying the lead."

"So then," the figure said, pointing that shadowy finger again. "You agree to
take part in a cosmic duel to the death of worlds?"

"Well--" Writer's Block Person held up a hand, yaaaaawning. "Mmmf, hang on... I
don't really understand it. What *is* the, uh, Battly Fight? How does it work?"

"Fah!" said the figure. "The threat of destruction does not itself convince

"I mean, net.villains threaten to destroy the world, like, weekly, and twice a
week when the weather's nice." Writer's Block Person scooched their back against
the wall to help them stay vertical, took off their glasses, rubbed their eyes,
and focused on the figure. "I'm willing to do a lot to stop that from happening,
but killing people is kind of a line, and I wanna be sure there isn't an

"Hmph." The figure's night-black eyes closed; the shadows that made up its body
seemed to expand and thin, then draw back together, and it looked upon Writer's
Block Person's seemingly-vulnerable form. "Fine, if it will convince you to
submit yourself to the BATTLY FIGHT, I will explain! The--"

"Oh, hang on," said Writer's Block Person, leaning over and unplugging their
phone from the wall. "Let me write this down. I have a *terrible* memory and I
don't want to lose track in the middle."

The shining face seemed to quaver around the edges in an alien motion, and yet,
the sound the figure made was strangely human grumbling. "I *suppose*."

Writer's Block Person opened up a window and swiped their finger over the
keyboard. "Okay, ready!"

The figure gestured, looking off into the cosmos. "The Chaos Gods of the Deep
Omnilooniverse have discovered your world and seven others! We--"

"Hang on--" Writer's Block Person raised an eyebrow at them. "Discovered how?
Did you invent universe telescopes?"

"Wh--" The figure jerked out of their dramatic pose and glared at Writer's Block
Person. "No! It is because of the passing of the Alignment of Discord! The Deep
Omnilooniverse has been drawn closer to conjunction to the Alpha Looniverses!"

Writer's Block Person turned back to their phone. "Alpha... Looniverses. Right.
Okay, so what were you saying?"

The figure sighed like a puff of steam from a crack in the world. "I was
*saying* that we have decided to make these worlds the center of the grand
struggle, in which we vie for power over one another - and the cosmos! Each of
the eight Chaos Gods has chosen one of the eight worlds, and from that world,
chosen a champion! The--"

"Just a sec," said Writer's Block Person, "autocorrect wanted 'chain' instead of
'champion'... okay, keep going..."

The figure did not stop to address the interruption, plowing forward. "The
contract we make with our champions lends them our power! They become our
avatars, the conduit thru which we stamp our mark on the world! But if the
champion dies - so too dies the Chaos God, and the world they have chosen!"

"...world they have chosen. You know," said Writer's Block Person, scratching
their head and glancing up, "you keep saying 'world'. Do you mean that the
*planet* you're talking about dies, or the *universe* dies?"

The figure threw their hands up in the air, their arms seeming to moemntarily
evaporate. "Does it matter!?"

Writer's Block Person gave a little shrug, tilting their head to the side and
sucking in air. "Mmmm, I mean, you know, like, even in a best-case scenario,
planet's not gonna last *forever*, sun's gonna turn into a red giant
*eventually*, i'd feel *way* guiltier about destroying the universe than the

"Fine! Then at stake is... the UNIVERSE!" The shadows swirled together, and the
figure grew, until it was towering, filling the room! "And one by one, the
champions will fall! In the end, one champion will remain! They will merge with
the raw power of the Chaos God - and wield that power to grant their heart's

"Right," said Writer's Block Person, gaze still down on their phone as they took
notes. "And there's seven of these other universes? Which ones?"

"Which-- what do you mean, 'which ones'!?" The figure sputtered and flailed,
shining shafts of silver light spinning thru its shadows! "Universe will live!
Universes will die! That is all that matters!"

"Well, you know, I've got *friends* in other universes." Writer's Block Person
shrugs again, not looking up. "If there's a chance of destroying them too, or
not, it'd influence my decision."

"All right, all RIGHT!" The figure counts off on its shadowy figures. "The seven
worlds are known to you and yours as Looniverse-A, Looniverse-Y, Looniverse-M,
the Booniverse, the Gooniverse, the Oddballverse, and Reverseworld."

"Gotcha." Writer's Block Person finally looks up. "Is that everything?"

"Is that not ENOUGH?!" The form of the figure swirls and flashes, more in flux
than ever. "Now choose! Will you take part in this dread battle-- or will you
watch your wor-- your UNIVERSE burn!?"

Writer's Block Person pushes one more button on their phone, then sets it down.
"Hmmmmm..." They ponder, twisting their beard between thumb and forefinger.
"Welllll..." They smile at the figure. "Can I sleep on it?"

"W-- ABSOLUTELY NOT!" thunders the figure, booming like the eruption of some
far-off volcano.

"Okay, okay, jeez!" Writers Block Person raises their hands placatingly. "It was
just a question! Just, calm down a sec so I can think, okay?"

The swirling shadows coalesce once more, and a human-sized figure, far from
human, stands again at the foot of Writer's Block Person's bed, arms crossed. "I
am waiting."

"Okay. Well." Writer's Block Person gets up, out of bed, flexing their lets,
cracking their knuckles, and begins to pace.

"Obviously, I don't want to let my own universe be destroyed. That would destroy
countless lives. At the same time, destroying seven other universes seems even
*worse*. I'd have the deaths of, what, trillions? Quadrillions? More? on my
conscience, just to save the people I already know and care about."

"An awful choice, indeed," rumbles the being, seeming to calm and focus as our
hero mulls it over.

"Then, of course, there's the prospect of directly killing other people with my
own hands. I don't even know if I *could* do that. And if stakes are this high,
people will be desperate. There will be alliances made and broken, one-on-one,
many-on-many, all the while knowing that even the strongest and most honest
alliance will have to break in the end."

"Yesssss. Very true," murmurs the high, piping voice, "very true indeed."

"Of course, I could refuse to participate, and simply take myself out of the
equation - save other worlds from what I would do to save mine. But if the end
state of this conflict would ultimately be the survival of only one anyway, in a
way that cannot now be stopped, wouldn't that just be cowardice, letting the
destruction go on and falsely disclaiming my responsibility?"

"Ohhhh, a cruel burden, cruel, cruel," gloats the figure.

Writer's Block Person's phone beeps, and they sit down on the bed, sighing.
"There are no good choices here, it seems, simply the unavoidable fate of a
puppet of the gods." They pick up their phone and look at it. "None of that
really matters, tho."

"Yessss, it is true, your choices do not matter in the face of this awful

"No, sorry." They look up and smile. "I mean that none of what I was just
talking about matters, because I wrote down everything you told me and I sent it
to the LNH. And my partner who's a cosmic entity. *And* every other net.hero I
know, in all the universes I know them. And I just got confirmation that they
managed to contact cosmic people in all eight universes, and they're very busy
making sure whatever your real plan is gets shut down."

"W--" The figure exploded into swirling mists and flashing beams of chaotic
light. "WHAT!?"

"Dude." Writer's Block Person puts their phone down. They look into the 
flashing, spinning mists, and the mists freeze, for, the first time this night,
Writer's Block Person looks angry - no, for anger burns and crackles, and this
is a rage filled with that quiet wild energy of the night, a rage that glows, a
star burning in the firmament!

"You come in. When I'm alone. Vulnerable. Half-asleep. You tell me to make this
big fucking decision on a moment's notice. And you think I'm just gonna be, 'Oh,
sure, let me just be a Hard Man and make a Terrible Decision and not talk to
anybody it's gonna affect cos that's what a Hard Man does'?" They shake their
head. "I don't know who or what you are. Maybe some kind of god. Maybe just some
shitty little hobgoblin. But you don't know who I am, either, because if you'd
done the slightest bit of research you would've picked somebody else, or at
least taken *this* away." They hold up their phone. "Because I'm not just me.
I'm all my friends and loved ones. I'm everyone who cares about me." He shakes
his head. "You thought you were loading up a single person with the weight of
eight worlds. All you did was make eight worlds' worth of kind, passionate,
powerful people really, *really* concerned about what exactly it is you're
pulling, here."

"I--" The shadows shrink back. "We--" The moonlight seems to draw away from
being a face.

"Yeah, running away seems like a good decision." Writer's Block Person runs
their hands thru their hair and yawns. "Mmmmm. I'm gonna stay right here, just
in case my participation is key to your plan. Don't think I'm getting back to
sleep anytime soon, tho. Blah."

"You could have had your heart's desire..." whispers the wind, a fading voice
evaporating in the night breeze.

"My heart's desire? Jeez, you still don't get it." They smile, yaaaaaawning
again. "If everybody's happy, doin' good, lovin' life... my heart's too full to
desire anything else."

They look around. The figure is gone. They stand up, plug their phone back in,
and stretch. "Well... maybe one of those lemon bars in the fridge." They stagger
into the kitchen. "Mmm, and I wonder if anybody's around to cuddle... heh, maybe
when they're done with all this... chaos gods..." They pour themself a glass of
water and chug. "Mmm, good stuff. No self-respectin' chaos entity would do
anythin' like that... pfff... silly..."


Author's Note: If you're a long-time LNH reader, you probably know most of the
universes mentioned in this issue (and if you aren't, check out
https://lnh.diamond-age.net/wiki/Omnilooniverse ). Looniverse-M is the universe
of the All-New LNH stories.

Drew "is this too cheesy? do I care?" Nilium

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