LNH/LNH20: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths #6

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 23:30:03 PDT 2020

On 10/15/20 9:44 PM, Jeanne Morningstar wrote:
> "Quarantine Ninja Blues"

:D :D :D The power is on!!

> the Fearless Leader of Earth-20, his counterpart and 
> boyfriend

Ooooooh, that hadn't been my intention at the time but fuck yeah :D

> "Well, the good news is that WHATEVER isn't running America anymore. The bad 
> news is that the entire city of Netropolis is lost in space.

XD WELP. I guess we'll get to that! :D

> "Well, huh."
> "Yeah. But we're managing, we're managing.

Big mood

> "Well, we're having a plague," said Fearless Leader. "A plague that turns people 
> into sabertooth tigers."
> "Ah, one of those LNHQ animal invasion things," said Fearless Leader-20. "Like 
> the Werewolf Lemur Incident of 2014."

X3 Perfection.

> Fearless Leader nodded. "The problem is we're all in quarantine right now, and 
> we're kind of on edge. We still haven't really processed the emotional fallout 
> from the last crossover/cascade, and now there's this.

TRUTH. Oh god truth.

> Also, this seems like an 
> ideal time for one or both Brotherhoods of Evil Net.Villains to attack, and 
> we're really not ready. So we're both terrified and bored out of our skulls at 
> the same time."

This is so real @-@

> Fearless Leader-20 nodded. "I'll bet Multi-Tasking Man's OK, anyway. He 
> basically never leaves his room, right?"
> "Well... he's kind of stuck in the Deep Omnilooniverse right now."

Yeesh. With Dr. Stomper, or alone? @-@

> "Yeah. Obviously, some of us are taking this better than others. Kid 
> Enthusiastic is having a hard time.

...welp, I guess I need to write about that. @-@

> But Footnote Girl's doing fine, at least. 
> There's still a ton of continuity references going on, so she has lots of stuff 
> to do."

:> Makes sense.

> Somewhere in the distance, Kid Poetry sighed and reset the "days since someone 
> quoted Blake's The Tyger" counter to zero. The only poems most superheroes and 
> villains seemed to know were that and The Second Coming.

X3 X3 X3 Astounding.

> Merissa paged around her quarters like a caged tiger, which was ironic because 
> she was being caged to prevent her from being a tiger


> She'd been reading intelligence briefings about the Crime Empress. Somewhere out 
> there, there was an evil version of her and Merissa wasn't able to fight her. 
> That was *extremely* not cool.

XD XD XD I love you Merissa.

> She needed to Do Something. That was what her whole identity as a person was. 
> She was the one who Did Cool Things. Now she was supposed to just... what, 
> introspect? That was not what she did!

Goddddddd, this is some good characterization shit. I love this. This is srsly 
what the superhero genre needs.

> She'd already cleaned her room. She tried been playing TTRPGs and board games 
> with the other "Super Loser Squad" members, but that wasn't enough. She'd been 
> kicked out of the Vampire: the Masquerade campaign Kid Occultism Kid had set up 
> when she'd tried to firebomb an Antediluvian.


> Merissa leaned against the wall and tapped her feet like Sonic's idle mode. The 
> plot had to be starting any minute now, right?


> It had been a huge relief to be out and 
> about even if she was stalking about in power armor under flickering fluorescent 
> lights (the LNHQ had helpfully killed the lights to enhance the mood), 


> surrounded by hungry tigers. That was where she'd rather be. Now she was alone 
> with her feelings, the place she absolutely most hated to be.

awwwwwwww, legit.

> "Yeah. Sure," grumbled Token Girl. Her voice sounded kind of... growly. Her skin 
> felt itchy. Was she turning into a tiger, or was it just anxiety?

_Oof_ another huge mood

> Token Girl sighed deeply. "I was hoping this would be my year, OK, I was hoping 
> I could go out and properly get my life in order and maybe have some real dates, 
> and now i'm stuck in here while there's a crossover going on and I can't even be 
> part of it anymore!" She started crying.

:< Oh dear, so unfortunately much of a mood.

> "It's OK," said Cat, holding out her hand to brush her hair and then remembering 
> she wasn't there.

awwwwwwwwwww CUTE

> She'd known for a long time she wasn't straight. She'd known ever since the 
> Island, ever since Gracemora.

ooooooooh interesting

> The way that all her past relationships had 
> ended could be compared to a nuclear plant meltdown, and left behind the same 
> kind of long lasting toxic fallout. She had hoped to go on some dates that 
> wouldn't work out but didn't really matter, not potentially wreck her 
> relationship with her best friend. But that was fine. She was used to ignoring 
> her feelings.

SWEETIE ;;;;-;;;;

> Way back in the day she'd had a tiny 
> crush on Leviathan Lass--Kirsty--who'd bought the other Totoro from that comic 
> shop. [Legion of Occult Heroes #2--FG] That shop had closed long ago, and many 
> of the people she'd gone with weren't around anymore because their writers had 
> dropped out or moved on. It just wasn't fair. Nothing was.
> "Phooey," she said as she sank into the Totoro.

aaaaaaaa ;-;

> And the Ultimate Ninja sat alone amid the rock garden and bonsai trees. To any 
> of the LNHers, things would have seemed perfectly normal
> There was just one problem
> She wasn't actually Ultimate Ninja, not really.

DUN DUN DUNNNNNN! Yes, we're finally getting to this revelation, the one I've 
spent multiple stories hinting at! :3

> Nina Yamashiro was the niece of Ultimate Ninja. Her father was a tokusatsu 
> stuntman who'd fought alongside Ultimate Ninja in an adventure against one of 
> those monster-creating crime syndicates that Japan was full of, and became his 
> blood brother. Her mother had been a high-ranking member of the League of 
> Net.Assassins, hired to assassinate Nina's father by a powerful Yakuza boss who 
> hated all the new toku series and thought the genre had died in the 1980s. But 
> she'd fallen in love with him instead, and Ultimate Ninja had helped them escape 
> to Net.ropolis and solemnized their marriage. (He was an ordained minister in 
> the Church of Count Dante.)

this is SUCH a good backstory, I love it

> Her father had become a professor in world cinema and her mother had become an 
> artist. She'd been raised a ninja, but had been largely non-practicing.

You know, only the big ninja holidays.

> Ultimate 
> Ninja had come to visit every now and again and taken her to see the LNH. She'd 
> first met them as a child, but since she wasn't really a net.hero or a regularly 
> appearing character she aged in more or less real time and had gone to art 
> school to work in animation by the time Catalyst Lass, Fearless Leader and 
> Cheesecake-Eater Lad called her up to tell her that her uncle had... not exactly 
> died but not exactly *not* died.

yessssssss :D

> CEL was the first man 
> she'd ever had a crush on and Catalyst Lass was the first woman she'd ever had a 
> crush on.

Everyone Is Gay For Cat

> It was strange, and a little disturbing, to see these larger-than-life 
> people who'd done so much to shape her sense of self, who seemingly hadn't 
> changed at all while she'd changed so much. It was like some kind of metaphor 
> for being a superhero comic reader.

X3 Truth tho

> *Wait*, thought present-day Nina, *is this 
> a flashback -within- a flashback?* She tried to stop flashbacking but it was too 
> late--

XD XD XD  <3 <3 <3

> Occultism Kid stood on the planet Neme.sys with the LNHers he'd 
> gathered--Ultimate Ninja, Catalyst Lass, Fearless Leader and Merissa.

Yesssssss, one of the parts of WikiLull I really wanted to get to but couldn't :D

> They'd gone to the planet, which of course had been a 1950s suburban dystopia 
> not unlike A Wrinkle in Time, to free the RACCtre from its imprisonment there. 


> Merissa had defeated the power within Neme.SYS in a battle of wills, keeping it 
> from taking over her mind by reciting every Pokemon from memory.

XD <3 <3 <3 Truly, she's the best, like no one ever was.

> "I'm afraid," said Occultism Kid, "we can't just wave our hands and make things 
> all right. There has to be some kind of narrative cost. That's how magic is, 
> after all. All the so-called rules of magic are a metaphor for the balance of 
> the narrative."

It's true. The narratives we create to make sensory input and feelings into a 
coherent reality.

> "I mean in the imagination. That's where superheroes live in the Real World. 
> That doesn't mean they're not real, though. What keeps them from being real is 
> the forms they're trapped in--corporations and cinematic universes and brands. 
> But superheroes can live outside of that. The superhero represents someone who 
> becomes a force of transformation, who breaks through the rules of the world 
> they're given and creates something else. That's what magic is. That's what 
> imagination is. The fascists understand that they don't have to play by the 
> rules, that to win you have to create the reality they want, while their 
> institutional opponents are trying to play by the  rules. But they're not the 
> only ones who can do that. One of us can enter into the subconscious of the Real 
> World, to release all the energy that's been held back for so long. To open the 
> floodgates of imagination."

YESSSSSSSSS!!! omg this is the most powerfu thesis statement of everything I've 
been trying to do aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa <3 <3 <3

> There was only one of them, they knew, who represented the pure energy and force 
> of will to do this, to become an idea. In many ways he'd been one already. They 
> all looked at Ultimate Ninja, and he nodded.

Of course. u.u

> "TVTropes? Wow, that brings me back," said Merissa.
> "Time sure passes, huh," said Fearless Leader. Everyone was quiet for a moment.

Yeah. @@

> "Never mind," said Occultism Kid. "The Cosmic Bus is the embodiment of all plot 
> devices that allow the same kind of narrative closure for a character as death 
> without actually killing them off. Like the way every Doctor Who companion 
> leaves now."

Heeheeheehee. Yeah.

> Only Merissa reacted.
> "You're just letting him go?"
> Ultimate Ninja nodded. "Because they know it's time."
> "But--But I was going to fight it out with you to prove of us was really the 
> awesomest!" She started crying.

awwwwwwwwwww <3 <3 <3

> "Someday, we will," said Ultimate Ninja. He looked around and took a deep 
> breath. "I will come back. I don't know when, Maybe in a year, maybe in a 
> hundred years. I just want you all to know--" He took an even deeper breath. 
> "I'm proud of you. I'm proud of everyone in the Legion. I learned to be more 
> flexible and think on my feet faster because of leading you. I wanted to test 
> you, to force you all to become something better, but you did the same for me." 

awwwwwwww ;-;

> All the LNHers there were stunned. This was the most that Ultimate Ninja had 
> ever talked about his feelings for the entire time they'd known him.

;-; <3 <3 <3

> Just then, Merissa rushed in and hugged him, almost bowling him over. He hugged 
> her back stiffly and said nothing. He pulled himself loose, and Catalyst Lass 
> put her hands on Merissa's shoulders. The Cosmic Bus's speakers started blaring 
> out "May it Be" by Enya. Then Ultimate Ninja turned around and stepped on board 
> the Cosmic Bus and the door closed behind him. There was a loud humming noise, 
> and it went up, up, up into the stars.

aaaaaaaaaaa ;-; <3 This is so intensely wonderful.

> Then Nina saw an image from the Real World. In 2016, right after the election, a 
> right-wing media personality had been bloviating when a man dressed in a black 
> mask rushed in an punched him. He struck swiftly and was gone. Like a ninja.
> The screen turned off.


> He took out a small silver box and 
> slowly opened it. Inside it was a blocky bracelet that looked pretty much 
> exactly like the henshin spider-bracelet from toku Spider-Man. "This is the 
> Super Ninjamorpher from Planet Ninja. It will allow you to transform into the 
> Ultimate Ninja and, in times of dire need, to summon the machine god Ninjaguar."


> "So... I haven't talked to him in years. Ever since I made it clear I wanted to 
> live my own life and not just be a version of him. And now, after he's... dead, 
> he wants me to just... be a version of him."
> Catalyst Lass nodded. "I totally understand if you want to turn it down. But... 
> He was very definite that his first choice to wield the Super Ninjamorpher was 
> you. I think that was because he trusted you. Maybe that was actually because 
> you were someone who could stand up to him, I don't know."

awwwwwwww! I love that.

> Nina looked down at the Super Ninjamorpher. Obviously, the thing to do was to 
> tell the LNHers to fuck right off and never have anything to do with ninja 
> again. And yet. She'd been feeling strangely blocked as an artist. She needed 
> something more in her life. Something involving fighting net.villains and 
> aliens, maybe.

:3 yessssss

> "We'll pay your tuition for art school, of course," said Cheesecake Eater Lad. 
> "I mean, ah, we can do it anyway if you turn us down, in honor of your ninja 
> blood-uncle..."

He's trying. X3

> "Put on the bracelet, thrust your arm up into the air and say 'Go Ninja, Go 
> Ninja, Go,'" said Fearless Leader.


> The costume shot out of the Super Ninjamorpher and formed around her body. A 
> sword which flashed with a blue glow descended from from the air and landed in 
> her hand. She suddenly felt an energy and dynamism and fluidity in her body 
> she'd never known before.
> She was the Ultimate Ninja.

yesssssssss :D :D :D

> And she'd been the Ultimate Ninja for four years now. Right now, it was mostly 
> Catalyst Lass, Cheesecake Eater Lad and Fearless Leader who were in charge of 
> the LNH. But they needed an Ultimate Ninja. They needed someone to fight people 
> in the Peril Room as an initiation, intimidate their enemies, train the new 
> recruits, glare at Bad Judgment Boy so he wouldn't bring invasive 
> extradimensional man-eating plants into the LNHQ again, even if he was the 
> President now. And that was what Nina had done.

Hmmmmmm. Yeah. :>

> She'd stepped into the whole situation expecting that it'd be over pretty 
> quickly. The Ultimate Ninja was a popular character who had a lot of 
> merchandising, she'd thought, so he'd probably be back and everything would be 
> the same. But it was four years and he showed no signs of coming back.

That's the LNH. <3

> For the last four years (four years of the LNH Timeline, anyway, how long that 
> was in terms of actual life was sort of vague now that she was actually a 
> character in the core LNH)

Truth, especially when we've had so few present-day classic LNH stories between 
WikiLull and this cascade. X3

> she'd been balancing her life as Ultimate Ninja with 
> her job and her friendship with her fellow artist, Zoe Zimmer, with whom she 
> shared an apartment and a confusingly homoerotic relationship.


> She also had to 
> deal with a ton of weird gender feels the whole situation had unleashed.


> But at 
> least before she'd been able to duck out of being Ultimate Ninja when it had 
> gotten too stressful, most of the time.
> Now, though... Now she was quarantined, until whenever they could get Dr. 
> Stomper out of the Deep Omnilooniverse and he could develop an antidote.

Oof. Yeah. Back to the present @-@

> She had 
> a time-sensitive meeting in the next few days over a young adult graphic novel 
> proposal with Random Homepage, which could really make her career. She had a 
> scheduled movie date with her roommate where she'd been planning to talk about 
> her feelings, but then again, maybe if she hadn't been quarantined she would 
> have just had another excuse not to do that. But this time she was sure she 
> could have done it.
> Ultimate Ninja sharpened her sword, and waited, and waited, and waited.

Godddddddd. @-@ So good

> When I started this issue, I thought it was going to be a shorter, lighter, more 
> character-based issue which would maybe hint at some ongoing plot stuff (like 
> setting up the stakes for Merissa vs the Crime Empress) but not really focus on 
> that. Then, when I sat down to write it, I realized that now was finally the 
> time to explain the Thing with Ultimate Ninja. Drew had hinted at it broadly in 
> WikiLull: EXHALE, and I'd figured I'd drop the reveal whenever the Brotherhoods 
> finally went to war, and now that's happened. So here we are.

yessssssss <3 <3 <3 And thank you :D

> This was one of the things that I had been planning with Drew for years, which 
> was supposed to go in my original plans for LNH v3 and instead got chopped up 
> and put into various cascades when that didn't work out.

Yep. X3 So it goes

> And yes, every UN 
> appearance that comes after WikiLull on the timeline was actually Nina.

Yessssss. <3

> Some bits of Nina's personality and life situation were drawn from Wendy Watson 
> in The Middleman, which is a very LNHy show I've been watching lately.

Oooooh nice.

> I don't know why my 
> brain keeps dedicating so much space to comics of highly variable quality from 
> before I was born but there you go.


Drew "one last huge mood" Nilium

More information about the racc mailing list