LNH: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths! #14: "The One Where Masterplan Lad Explains Hypertext Time"

Jeanne Morningstar mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 21:08:06 PDT 2020

#14: "The One Where Masterplan Lad Explains Hypertext Time"
A Classic LNH tale of Masterplan Lad explaining Hypertext Time by Jeanne 


"Hi there," said Captain Continuity, speaking through the trans-temporal 
Zoom connection.

"Oh, hello," said Masterplan Lad.

"How's continuity going back there?"

"Well, it's under a little strain. For example, at the moment I just 
finished the fourth issue of The Liminals, and am about to segue into a 
flashback which establishes significant character development before 
resuming my conversation with my friends. I am using my powers over the 
flow of narrative to simultaneously have a conversation with you. Also, 
issue 13 was posted before issue 12, but that's only to be expected."

"Wait, so you're involved in a  story in your own series *and* in the 
main cascade plot?"

Masterplan Lad nodded. "I am sure with this is possible with judicious 
manipulation of continuity."

"Are you sure sure?" said Captain Continuity.

"I'm *sure*," said Masterplan Lad, tapping his umbrella rather vigorously.

"If you say so. Anyway, things are kind of a mess back here." Indeed, 
there were loud noises of conflict, blasters, and dinosaur roaring in 
the background. "There's RACCelestials, Elder Gods, time travelers, a 
crashed Cascader spaceship--yeah it turns out that in addition to being 
killed by Pat Buchanan [cf Death of Flatulence Lad] and Acton Lord [cf 
Electrocutioner's Song] there's a story where Flatulence Lad died 
fighting a Cascader invasion and sent the ship back in time and killed 
the dinosaurs... And there's... a cute android girl for some reason? 
There's a lot of Hypertext Timelines converging around here, and trying 
to fit them into continuity is going to be a pain in the keister" 
(Captain Continuity was a character from the 1990s, so sometimes he said 

"That's interesting. We just had a Hypertext Timeline split." He stood 
up and assumed a lecturing pose. "Hypertext Time, which is a parody of 
Grant Morrison's concept of hypertime--"

"Why are you explaining that? I know what that is," said Captain Continuity.

Masterplan Lad gestured his arm outward at the readers.

"Ah, OK."

"Now as I was saying. Time in the Looniverse, as in the Real World is 
not linear, but works somewhat differently because the universe is made 
up of stories. Thus, time is a series of discrete stories connected by 
flows of continuity. Each story is thus like a "web page" which is 
connected by different "links," thus Hyperext Time.

"The early history of the LNH, for example, has been retconned a number 
of times, but the retcons did not actually erase the earlier stories 
which contradict them. Some of them connect to later series which 
continue to inform the present. It is, in fact, impossible to construct 
a single coherent continuity for the LNH."

"Dont' remind me," said Captain Continuity."

"In general, though, the Looniverse wants to maintain a coherent 
continuity as much as possible. It might achieve this through retcons, 
such as reconciling the contradictory versions of Flatulence Lad's death 
by having Pat Buchanan be Acton Lord in disguise. There are also times 
when contradictory stories might be shunted off into parallel timelines 
or short-lived bubble realities, as seems to be happening now. But there 
are cases when the Looniverse simply cannot resolve the contradictions, 
and the contradictory stories must coexist as parallel 
Hypertext-Timelines which each interact with the main continuity in 
spite of contradicting each other. In general, guardians of continuity 
such as ourselves try to minimize this, but it cannot be eliminated.

"People who have powers that affect the Narrative, such as we do, can 
move between different layers of Hypertext Time. Artifacts such as the 
Rings of Retcon(n) and Continuity can also affect it. Someone who 
possessed the Ring of Simplification or a similar artifact could, if 
augmented by sufficient cosmic power, merge every single 
Hypertext-Timeline into one. But this would have disastrous effects and 
lead to the end of reality as we know it. I'm sure there's no particular 
reason I'm mentioning this."

Masterplan Lad's explanation was cut off by a loud mechanical roar. 
Something shook Captain Continuity's laptop camera. "Yeah," he said, "it 
turns out there's people who evolved from dinosaurs back here. And 
living dinosaur god robots."

"Goodness. More giant robots. There's been a lot of that going around 
lately," said Masterplan Lad.

And somewhere else in metacosmic spacetime, Simplicity shook his fist. 
"Rassa frassin Writers..."


Captain Continuity: Mystic Mongoose
Masterplan Lad, Simplicity: Jeanne Morningstar
Flatulence Lad: Gary St. Lawrence
Acton Lord: Dave Van Domelen
Ring of Simplification: Rob Rogers

The concept of Hypertext Time was, I think, first mentioned in Bride of 
C'thulhu #8 by Saxon Brenton in 2004

This was a short but very reference-dense issue: the Elder Gods and the 
Celestials were both explanations in Marvel for how the Dinosaurs died, 
the Cascader ship is in reference to the Doctor Who story Earthshock, 
and the robot girl to Arale from Dr. Slump, who went back in time and 
*prevented* the dinosaurs from dying, and that's why there are dinosaurs 
in Dragon Ball. The robots of course are from Zyuranger.

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