LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #136: Infinite Leadership Cry.Sig Part Twelve

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri May 29 17:07:45 PDT 2020

On 1/26/2020 4:37 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> But is he, as Sarcastic Lad points
> out in this issue, feeling a bit cluck cluck?  And will we ever find out why
> Sarcastic Lad is using this weird (probably Australian) type of slang?
> Or will we always be mystified by Sarcastic Lad and his use of a bit cluck
> cluck many decades from now?

...I assumed he means "chicken"? X3

>    "You're late," wReamHack said.
>    Procrastination Boy shrugged his shoulders.  "I had
> something to do."  He looked around the room and saw
> the entire legion -or rather all those who were left
> after three weeks of choosing new leaders and having
> them disappear at midnight- almost the entire legion
> was there.  "Did Pulls-Paper-Out-Of-Hats Lad do his
> thing?"
>    "Yeah."
>    "So who's the leader?"  A sudden feeling of dread
> came over Procrastination Boy.  "It isn't me, is it?"
>    "No, it isn't you."

Which makes this intro a lil pointless o3o

>    "There's no harm," Obnoxious Ame.rec.a Boy said.  "I
> just don't want to.  English is the most commonly
> spoken language in the world.  Why should I speak
> another language when they can all just learn
> English?"
>    Linguist Lass just stood there for a minute with her
> mouth hanging open, utterly appalled by what Obnoxious
> Ame.rec.a Lad had just said.  Finally, she responded.
> "You know, I've been all over the world, not to every
> country in the world maybe but most of them.  And
> almost everywhere I went I met people who couldn't
> speak English.  Do you know how good it feels to be
> able to speak to people in their own language?  Do you
> have any idea how good it feels to them to have them
> know that a foreigner has respected them enough to
> speak to them in their own language?  I have a gift
> for languages: I pick them up right away.  Finally
> I've found a way to share that gift with others.  I'm
> so sorry you can't appreciate that."

But I can feel the sincere passion and frustration in this - TBH, it's one of 
the best points Martin's ever made in a story.

>    Browsing Boy sighed.  "Don't give up.  They're
> working day and night.  We've got hours until
> midnight."
>    "Hold me," she said.
>    "Okay."
>    "Don't let me go."
>    "I promise."

And this really is ultra sweet. :>

>         Dedication: Parts of this story are pastiched from the Dr Who
>         novel _Quantum Archangel_ by Craig Hinton (1964-2006) - The man
>         who created the word 'fanwank' and wasn't afraid to use it to
>         describe his own work.

Heeheehee. :3 Man, I read Millennial Rites a while back, and it wasn't 
well-written, but it *was* sheer fanwanky fun.

>       2) That failure was, quite simply, astonishing. You did not get
> a series of over a dozen parallel investigations, some of them being
> carried out by quite powerful net.ahumans, all turning up blank. The
> sheer range of abilities and methodologies involved - from mundane
> forensics and data analysis, through science, super-science and weird
> science, magic, mysticism, psionics, reality manipulation and even
> metatextual investigation - meant that *something* should have been
> uncovered.
>       3) The only thing that could have blocked so many different types
> of skills and abilities was a plot device. And the only thing that could
> have blocked so many different types of often quite potent skills and
> abilities was a quite powerful plot device.
>       4) Therefore if Occultism Kid wanted to solve the mystery, then
> he would need to counter it with an even more powerful plot device of
> his own.

Extremely good Saxon-y logic.

>       Some of those divination attempts had been more spectacular failures
> than others. At one point, working on the ancient Greek principle that
> the mere act of dying and passing into the afterlife could make any old
> schlub a font of knowledge, and further extrapolating that a dead LNH
> team leader or subteam leader might have particular insight into the
> subject, Occultism Kid had tried to consult the shade of Sig.Lad.

This is a nice, LNH-y bit of mysticism...

>       Unfortunately even the 'real' Sig.Lad had been only one of dozens
> of .gif copies spread across local space-time by a file indexing error.
> Occultism Kid had tried to compensate by fishing for the 'strongest'
> representative aura, which you would have thought would have belonged to
> the longest lasting example. It did not. Instead Occultism Kid called
> forth a compound ghost that combined the astral remains of all the most
> unstable and short-lived Sig.Lad copies. This near mindless entity had
> then escaped out into the LNH-HQ, gibbering and dripping ectoplasm on
> the carpets before Occultism Kid had managed to dispel it back from
> whence it came.

...and this is a wonderful, horrifying idea. :D

>       <(Not well, I am afraid.)> said the Ho`'odwin. <(I have been
> continuing my attempts to call back the missing leaders for my contests,
> but nothing appears to be working.

Oooooh, I'll add a note about that to the wiki.

>       Over a breakfast which did not in any way consist of cheesecake

Jeez, already they have to rough it.

>       The mage frowned. "No. I've got too much to do at the moment to
> worry about Ultimate Ninja's paperwork." He recalled how Doctor Stomper
> had been made leader and vanished before he could crack the mystery,
> leaving behind a robot duplicate of himself which was, in Occultism
> Kid's opinion, a poor substitute for the original [_LNH Comics Presents_
> #47 - Footnote Girl]  Appointing the Legion's researchers as leaders
> really was a stupid waste of resources.

To be fair, we're going on the idea that PPOoHLad is pulling out the right piece 
of paper for the situation, and is thus calling the leader that needs to be 
called - whatever that means to his powers.

>       "What's that supposed to mean? Pissing off people is my schitck.
> Hey! Don't turn your back on me!" shouted Sarcastic Lad as Occultism
> Kid turned and stalked towards the door.

Damn, you actually got Sarc mad. Nice.

>       "Right then," said wReamHack as he wheeled a trolley loaded with
> pellets of plot devicium out of the LNH armoury.

I assume there's some sort of protective covering on those.

>       "Okay, I know about the Power Gruenwald being able to get through
> any dimensional barrier into any universe, 

Because that's just how Mark Gruenwald do

>       "Gallimaufry is the home planet of the Time Barons," said Occultism
> Kid as he finished programming the console. "They harnessed the power
> of a nucleus of a black hole, twisted the worldline of their planet's
> history, then withdrew the whole kit-and-kaboodle from this plane of
> reality and into a state of being called Inner Time. It's almost
> impossible to get to unless you have permission.

I might come back to that someday.

>       "No. Cosmic entities are bound by rules and strictures that are
> all too often incomprehensible to mortals. In certain specialised ways
> we do not even have free will. This is one of those cases where I have
> no choice in the matter."

This is a fascinating idea. It reminds me of a lot of arguments about God, only 
without assumptions that make said arguments kinda pointless

>       wReamHack held out his fists, opening them both to reveal that
> he was holding a lump of the iridescent plot devicium in each hand.

No seriously, should you be holding those in your bare hands

>       wReamHack looked droll and folded his arms. "As I recall from when
> you were building the TANDI in the first place, you've never been above
> a bit of strategic theft." [_Occultism Kid Year One: All Things Dark And
> Scary #2_ - Footnote Girl]
>       Once again Occultism Kid just grinned at him.

This is excellent and adorable characterization. :3

>       The TANDI materialised in a large, dusty, and poorly lit chamber.
> "Wonderful," said wReamHack with a lack of enthusiasm as he turned on a
> hand torch and shone the beam about the place. "So this is Gallimaufry?"

Yes, you can tell because it's a set we got to use for the weekend

> The excitonic pathways
> of the Mat.rec.x are guarded by the minds of the dead, and it's even said
> to be overseen by the awareness of old wRassilon the Lawgiver himself."

Heeheehee wRassilon

>       This drew a rueful nod from Occultism Kid. It suddenly occurred
> to him that if this ever got out to the members of the Net.Trechcoat
> Brigade they'd consider him a laughing stock. He'd probably never hear
> the end of it. Their idea of occult investigations involved treachery
> and horror that drove its practitioners to insanity or cynical
> alcoholism. The mere fact that this setting wasn't littered with
> decaying bodies and the stench of death in general would seem to them
> like some Disneyfied treacle-trick form of horror.

Every single member of the NTB needs to both get over themselves and go to 
therapy, so.

>       wReamHack glanced around, keeping watch. Something seemed to be
> wrong. "OK," he said. "There's a wind coming up."
>       Occultism Kid nodded. "Probably just a night breeze," he said.
>       wReamHack glared at him. "No. A night breeze is a plausible
> explanation in a graveyard, but it isn't in an abstract VR space!"
>       Occultism Kid blinked. Damn! He was right.

Heeheehee X3 Got suckered by the metaphor.

> "You Have
> Trespassed Into The Domain Of The Barons Of Time!" came an echoing voice
> like a thunderstorm. "Surrender, Or You Will Be Destroyed!" The thing
> was advancing along the datapaths towards them, causing those paths to
> be torn up and flung away like ears of corn being ripped up and chaffed
> aside by an approaching tornado. It was a creepy effect, but in trying
> to scare wReamHack with it the entity had overplayed its hand. He was
> a computer administrator. He knew full well if an archive was worth
> defending it wasn't worth being torn apart in the course of a search-
> and-destroy mission against invaders.

Nice thinking. <3

>       Occultism Kid straightened in surprise as he uncovered the identity
> of the one behind the disappearing LNH leaders. "Him!?"

I wonder if this means Bart, or one of the Bryttles.

>       The departing TANDI lurched violently as it was swatted by now
> alerted defences of the Time Barons.

All the actors also lurch violently as the camera shakes.

>       Then the clock began to chime the hour, and a sudden panicked sense
> of urgency came over Occultism Kid. It was midnight.
>        Now, Occultism Kid was a mage and worked with symbols rather than
> scientifically quantifiable phenomena, so he knew he had until the final
> stroke of twelve before he would vanish. But even so he had only seconds
> left to tell someone - anyone! - about the missing leaders.

Yes good drama

>       Leaving the unconscious wReamHack, Occultism Kid raced out of the
> TANDI, into his room and then out into the hall of the LNH-HQ. "Hey!
> Everybody! Where are you!?" Occultism Kid yelled. He ran down the hall
> towards the cafeteria. Half way there he collided with Bad-Timing Boy
> and careened headlong into a wall.
>       "Hey! Be careful, willya!?" demanded Bad-Timing Boy.
>       "SHUT UP!" shouted Occultism Kid.
>       "There's no need to be rude," said Bad-Timing Boy huffily.
>       "Listen! It's..."
>       And then midnight was gone, and so was Occultism Kid.

Oh, Bad-Timing Boy. X3

Drew "good comedy too" Nilium

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