LNH: Hungry Hungry Sabertooths #6pi.VI.6: "Tragedy and Trenchcoats" [3/3]

Jeanne Morningstar mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 3 06:24:18 PST 2020


Kid Occultism Kid's astral form stepped through the walls and into his 
apartment. "You're thinking about Ultimate Ninja, aren't you?" they said.

"What about him?"

"The fact that he kinda-sorta died on the planet Neme.sys and was 
replaced by someone else."

"I don't know where you got that idea."

"Come on. I figured it out by observing you, and your reactions to 
things. And Merissa too. What kind of apprentice do you think I am?"

Occultism Kid sighed resignedly. "If something like that were true, I 
wouldn't have authorization to tell you."

"Pffft," said Kid Occultism Kid.

"Well... all right. I was worrying that I may not have made the right 
decision. That my thought processes were influenced by the planet 
Neme.sys." He wasn't quite sure why he felt safe telling this to his 
student. "I worry about how this is going to impact the LNH." He decided 
he was not going to try to explain the whole thing about the Ultimate 
Ninja going to the Real World, which the other people who were there 
sensibly chose not to think about. "We're in something of an unstable 
situation now, to say the least. The LNH feels a bit like a Jenga tower 
that's just had a major block pulled out."

"Hmm. I wouldn't worry too much," said Kid Occultism Kid.  "For one 
thing, this was a real long-term narrative idea the Writer had been 
planning for a while, way before Trump, so something like that probably 
would have happened one way or another. I mean, for one thing, they're a 
big Morrison Batman fan, so when they wanted to play around with ways to 
shake up the fundamental dynamics of the LNH, they were going to go with 
some kind of Dick as Batman, Damian as Robin scenario. Merissa is the 
Damian here, by the way. And of course, this story was kind of meant to 
be a riff on Final Crisis--and it started out with a riff on the death 
of J'onn, which meant something like the death of Batman pretty much had 
to happen, right?"

"I'm aware of all that--the larger narrative patterns. But the choice of 
how to deal with them was still ours, and I still worry about it."

"Come on. You made the best choice you could. Don't be silly."

"You can't really ask an LNHer, even a relatively subdued one like me, 
not to be silly," said Occultism Kid. "And... you can't really ask me 
not to have guilt and anxiety, I'm afraid. That's just always been the 
nature of who I am. That was why I started looking into meditation, 
which led me to the August One and the ways of magic, which led me to 
the Legion. I didn't have a dramatic car accident that led me to become 
a sorcerer, I'm afraid, just anxiety."

"Mhmm." Kid Occultism Kid nodded. "Well you're not the only one who 
feels that way. I was wondering if Ultimate Ninja had some guilt too. Or 
at least some kind of sense of moral responsibility he needed to make up."

"Him? Really?"

"Well, the thing is, he killed all those Elder Gods [Beige Midnight #9], 
right? And that kind of seriously messed up the cosmos--and that was 
part of why the Looniverse was so vulnerable to Neme.sys, along with all 
the other messed up Comedy and Drama business left over from around the 
time of 9/11. [see Limp-Asparagus Lad #55 and Journey into Irrelevancy 
#3-4] That was the original idea of the story where the Ultimate Ninja 
was going to depart, that he'd be going off to fight the power that was 
trying to take the place of the Elder Gods. Then that element was kind 
of buried when the story changed its nature and purpose multiple times, 
but it's still there under the surface. So yeah, the Ninja struggled 
with the same things you do, in his way and on his scale, even though he 
was really more of a narrative force or process than a person. You're fine."

"Hmm. I suppose that makes sense. The idea the Ninja might have had his 
own kind of uncertainty over his own actions, I suppose, is refreshing 
in a way. There's still quite a lot I don't understand about the 
Ultimate Ninja and his role in all this, but I suppose I shall have to 
wait for this Writer to write yet another posthumous issue of WikiLull 
to clarify. It does seem rather strange that cascade got *more* active 
after it ended."

"True," said Kid Occultism Kid. "Well, take care." Occultism Kid let out 
a breath and relaxed a bit. He was proud of his apprentice but, given 
the patterns of his life and what happened to those close to him, also 
worried about them.

"Wait," said Kid Occultism Kid, poking their head through the wall one 
last time. "You need to talk to Obscure Trivia Lad."

"Excuse me, I'm the mentor and you're the student here." He sipped his 
tea tetchily. In their last incarnation, of course, they had been his 
teacher, but he tried not to think about that too much.

"You do! Come on. What's the worst that could happen?"

Occultism Kid sighed heavily. "All right, all right, fine. And could you 
please tell that Door Warden to stop playing emo music? It won't listen 
to me."

"Sure," said Kid Occultism Kid.

Occultism Kid turned on the comms. There was a message waiting for him, 
and Obscure Trivia Lad was right there on the screen.

"Obscure Trivia Lad was wondering how you were doing," said Obscure 
Trivia Lad.

"Oh, I've had better days..." said Occultism Kid. He told him about all 
the difficulties and problems he'd faced, the ones he was allowed to 
talk about, at least.

And from behind Obscure Trivia Lad's eyes, through the devices Mr. 
Homage had installed in his body when he'd brought him back from the 
dead, Anti-Christ Lad watched and listened.



And now we know why OTL came back--with no explanation--in the same 
issue as the two Brotherhoods were established. [LNH Volume 2 #41]

Originally this was going to be much more of a direct response to 
Arthur's issue and discussion about Ultimate Ninja, but there were 
long-term narrative thoughts I had about Occultism Kid as a character 
and his narrative role, going back to Beige Midnight, which kind of ate 
this issue. I do have a vague idea for a WikiLull issue that can help 
bridge the conceptual gap somewhat with Ultimate Ninja, engaging with 
some of the discussion we've had--it'd be called Ultimate Ninja RIP, of 
course. But I'm probably writing too many issues as it is so that is on 
the back burner for now. [Please stop doing that--Occultism Kid]

Kid Occultism Kid's Trenchcoat of Many Colors (which they acquired 
sometime after their first appearance) was of course based on the Sixth 
Doctor's coat, based on the observation that if Occultism Kid's Five, it 
makes sense to think of them as Six.

Occultism Kid: Josh Guerink
August One: August Yang
Kid Occultism Kid, Black Halo: Jeanne Morningstar
Door Warden: Paul Hardy
Scary Ghost Lass: Tom Russell
Imperilus: Scott Eiler
OTL: Brian Perler
Mr. Homage: Drizzt
Anti-Christ Lad: Arthur Spitzer

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