LNH/LNH20: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths #6
pwerdna at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 23:30:03 PDT 2020
On 10/15/20 9:44 PM, Jeanne Morningstar wrote:
> HUNGRY, HUNGRY SABERTOOTHS #6
> "Quarantine Ninja Blues"
:D :D :D The power is on!!
> the Fearless Leader of Earth-20, his counterpart and
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.
> "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."
> 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
XD XD XD
> 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.
> "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.
> She'd known for a long time she wasn't straight. She'd known ever since the
> Island, ever since Gracemora.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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
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
> "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.
> "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."
> 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."
> 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."
YESSSSSSSSSS :D <3 <3 <3
> "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.
> "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
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.
ALL THE QUEER
> She also had to
> deal with a ton of weird gender feels the whole situation had unleashed.
ALL THE TRANS
> 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.
> 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.
> 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
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