LNH: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths #48: "A Simple Plan"
pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat Dec 4 08:45:06 PST 2021
Though the mortal mind would make sense of it as a slap-fight, Simplicity's
battle with Enthusiasm was actually a complex conflict happening across a
hundred planes of reality, as a thousand expressions of the concepts they
represented struggled to express their rightness in a million ways.
However, like a slap-fight, it was remarkably petty and silly.
"Oh hey!!" Several different transcendent aspects of Enthusiasm suddenly perked
up, gazing off along different vectors of Hypertext Time toward the worldlines
of Net.ropolis and the people in it. "One of the villains disappeared! I should
replace them with a new one, with a whole arc of their own, that ties into
WikiLull and Just Imagine and Post-Metal Doomcore and--"
"What!?" Simplicity gathered his focus, and all his aspects acted as one,
pushing Enthusiasm away and looking at the story.
On Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 1:29:16 PM UTC-5, Jeanne Morningstar wrote:
> From outside of time and space, Simplicity watched the plot threads ebb
> and flow and scratched where the bridge of its nose would be if it had
> one. This did simplify things, of course, but without one of its major
> villains the structure of the story could collapse. This could be Spoon
> of Destiny Saga all over again.
"And I have so much left to do with this story," said Simplicity, picking up
from his other aspect's musings. "I could remake the world the way it should be,
if only--" A twinkle of cosmic light caught Simplicity's eye.
> Where Imperilus had been, there was a sort of dense cloud of sparkly
> pink energy, invisible to all. Simplicity gasped. This was a whole
> factor in the narrative they somehow hadn't seen The Determination
> Force! The power that lived in the hearts of battle shonen protagonists,
> driving them to impossible feats! It must have been this that had
> boosted Imperilus's power so greatly (except when it didnt, because of
> authors having different ideas--Simplicity would have frowned if it had
> had a mouth). And now it would have to find another host... And
> Simplicity knew just who it should be.
> Guiding the narrative flow, it sent the Deterimination Force sailing in
> the direction of Agent Bennington.
"Yes... and soon, my tool will give me just the power I need..."
"Oooooo!!" said Enthusiasm, peeking over his shoulder.
HUNGRY, HUNGRY SABERTOOTHS!
Issue #48: "A Simple Plan"
A tale of once, and only once, upon a time
Agent Bennigan watched as the giant mechanical kiwi went down and one more plot
was resolved. It was working - he'd tipped over the right dominoes, and now
events were coming towards a clear, defined ending, with the good guys winning.
You love to see it.
He took a deep breath and let it out, looking at the Ring of Simplification.
Sure, there had been a few close scrapes, but the worst of his worries had
failed to come to pass. And he'd wanted to do more. Of course he had, of course
he could have. But he was a professional. There would be more opportunities, and--
Something flashed across his brain, lighting it up like the dopamine burst I get
from actually finishing things. Suppressed emotions burst to the forefront, and
suddenly, all his ideas, all his decisions, looked so deliciously right.
What had he been thinking? There was an opportunity right here, right now, on
his finger. How could he possibly waste his chance to fix this chaotic existence?
He raised his fist in the air, and the Ring of Simplification began to glow.
First, he would move all the pieces into position. Then, he would win the game!
Chaos Theory stood atop the Net.ropolis Bandshell. They knew that grief and
frustration with Masterplan Lad's fate were distracting them, but they pushed it
away, cosmic senses stretching out. The Cosmically Important Event both of them
had been sensing from the beginning was rushing towards this point in time and
space, and they had to--
There! They whirled about just in time to see Agent Bennigan appear, dropping
into the green grass around the Bandshell, crushing a dandelion underfoot, the
seeds spraying every which way. The Ring of Simplification was glowing with an
unearthly whiteness which washed out the detail of Agent Bennigan's hand, making
it look like a bunch of sketchy lines.
This was bad. If Simplicity started acting directly thru an earthly avatar, it
could mess up the cosmic balance something fierce. The threat of Earth-Combover
had been resolved for now, but what if he decided that it'd be tidier to have
all the LNH20 characters in this world, or if the histories of messed-up Deep
Omnilooniverse worlds started getting pasted in?
"Oh, hello there, avatar of everything that's wrong with this universe," said
Agent Bennigan, smirking cockily. Which seemed out of character, until Chaos
Theory looked deeper, glimpsing the Determination Force within him. Two
different cosmic forces working at his mind - Chaos Theory wondered how much of
Agent Bennigan would be left in that head by the time this was over.
"You've done all you need to in this story," said Chaos Theory, letting their
cosmic presence spread out like wings thru the adjacent layers of Hypertext
Time. "Thank you for guiding us to the end." Talking down an avatar rarely
worked, but it didn't cost anything, and gave them a moment to prepare.
"Oh, it's not over yet!" said Agent Bennigan. He gestured, and suddenly, from
behind a lovely line of old oaks emerged the battling Brotherhoods, along with
Token Girl, Black Halo, and the former Vector-troll-sheep woman. Well, that
wasn't a *big* problem...
"And next..." He turned to face the giant monster battle, which had started
winding down once UltraKiwi Wondersock had been humbled. With a twist of the
Ring, Queen Kiwidorah knocked Vector Ovine into the middle of things, and people
started yelling and punching each other. Okay, that was quite possibly the
*definition* of a big problem.
Right. New plan: If the avatar was distracted enough, Chaos Theory might be able
to sever the connection. They reached out across the storyline, back to its very
beginnings, and raked their fingers thru the weave of fate...
Catalyst Lass emerged from the trees, panting as she ran after the big
Brotherhood battle, which had bumped into the bandshell and braked,
Brotherhooders biffing and boxing around the Bandstand. "Tuh... Tara!"
Token Girl dodged, the Vector blasting Black Halo with a gout of flame, and
looked up. "Cat!?" The two of them rushed at each other for a hug.
Agent Bennigan smirked in Chaos Theory's direction. "Helping me out, eh? Decided
to change sides? Good choice."
Chaos Theory didn't even hear his voice. They went back to the moment Hell
Catalyst had spoken into the PA system, and chose the possibility that she'd
broadcast to every room of the LNHQ, and that her words had catalyzed a certain
subset of the Legionnaires in quarantine, leading them to head outside, just
before Catalyst Lass had, and be caught up in her influence...
One by one they emerged from the woods, curious, anticipatory, wearing masks and
maintaining social distance.
"I *knew* this was gonna end up somewhere super cool!" grinned Kid Enthusiastic.
"What's been going *on* since we were in there?" said Time-Waster Lad, blinking
in the natural light.
"Welcome to the world of tomorrow!" shouted Cliche Dude, spreading his arms wide.
"Or at least to the big climax," murmured Kid Occultism Kid, looking over
towards Agent Bennigan's glowing hand and putting the pieces together.
"Oh, just *great*," groaned Small-Attention-Span-For-Nonsense Lass.
"GRONNK!" said WikiBoy, who had been edited into a mastodon, the natural enemy
of the sabertooth tiger (so whoever had edited him had figured).
They were all there - The Incredible Man-With-No-Life, Halls Jordan, Bad-Timing
Boy, Cannon Fodder, and more. Every single LNHer who had shown up earlier in
this whole debacle, but disappeared from it as they moved into the final act,
stepped into the clearing, ready to throw their hat into the ring.
"...what!?" said Agent Bennigan, taking a step back as more and more
complications appeared, losing his composure as he lost his cocky sense of
control. "No, no, NO--" He took a deep breath, gathering himself together. "No.
I can fix this--"
He waved the ring around, picking out one LNHer at a time and finding them a
place in the plot. Very Big Boy grew to enormous size, preparing to join the
giant monster fight. Marvel Zombie Girl pit her flames of passion against the
Vector's flamethrower. Polybag Person spotted '90s Comics Kid and yelled
something about a previously-unrevealed rivalry they'd had over one of the
variant bagged covers of The Death of Superman, while Captain Cleanup ran around
the feet of the battling giants, restoring the park amenities they'd stepped on
to pristine condition.
Occultism Kid levitated up to Chaos Theory. "What's going on?"
"Distracting the cosmic dude. Be glad if you could help."
"Beats moping in my room all day." OK flew down to Kid OK, and they both started
chanting bizarre syllables in dead languages, causing the time-displaced shades
of even more LNHers to appear around the Bandshell, flickering in from alternate
histories and erased pasts.
Agent Bennigan's head started hurting, his attention divided a dozen ways. He
attempted to send the shade of Limp-Asparagus Lad to calm down the
Brotherhooders, only for it to vanish from his grasp. He reached out to VAMMO
Woman, only to find her timeline trailing off into infinity.
And Chaos Theory let go of the LNHers' fates, and focused their attention on the
Ring of Simplification. They angled their power through eleven dimensions of
Hypertext Time; if they were going to separate Agent Bennigan from Simplicity,
they'd have to snap the connection on every level simultaneously. Almost in
place, almost got it--
Suddenly, the power of a great cosmic force was between them and the Ring.
"Hiiiiii!!" said Enthusiasm, grinning from ear to ear.
"What!?" said Chaos Theory, startled and flabbergasted. "Why?!"
Enthusiasm gave them a double-thumbs-up. "I wanna see what happens!! :D :D :D"
And Agent Bennigan *screamed* defiance to the sky. "I! Will! FIX! THIS! *WORLD*!"
He held his glowing, sketchy hand in the air. "Limiters off! Ring of
Simplification... FULL POWER!"
And the heavy cosmic weight that had been pressing against his mind grew, and
grew, and grew, wrapping around his thoughts until he became one with it...
And the Ring shone with a blinding light, and Simplicity reached out across the
Suddenly, the Brotherhoods were gone, Black Halo and the Vector had vanished,
and high above, MechaKiwi Wondersock and Vector Ovine's enormous forms
The remnants of the evil Anti-Christ Lad were drawn through the aether...
Around the perimeter of the Super Quarantine Field, the members of the
Front who had been keeping watch went AWOL...
And from a faraway cabinet meeting, Bad Judgment Boy's presence faded away, to
the relief of the cabinet members...
The timelines of these many and varied antagonists were bound tight to
Simplicity's own, as was every drop of the serum that had been infused with
nega-ultra-energy. And when the blinding light faded, there stood an enormous
mechanical centaur, with the body of a sabertooth tiger, a pair of flaming
swords, a glowing headband, and a featureless face - DeltaKiwi Megantereon, the
Sabertooth Tiger Emperor!
Chaos Theory could feel the gazes of the greater entities of the Looniverse,
taking notice. The RACelestials putting down the tools they used to craft
newsgroups. Rwtn-T'bol wondering if it would have another world to devour.
Various Deaths, Times and Fates clocking in for the fallout. Infi.net.e and
Eter.net.y pausing in their cosmic dance. And sig.ma, keeping the balance
between all of these, but unable to interfere, now that a mortal avatar had made
For, though DeltaKiwi Megantereon was a fusion of so many beings, it was
Simplicity's thoughts and Simplicity's will directing it, and when it laughed,
low and loud and rumbling thru the ground and sky, its voice was Simplicity's.
"Heroes gathered to fight the villains... I have bad news! Only one of you can
fight me at a time! This is the simplification I lay upon this narrative!"
And Chaos Theory felt the rule, like cosmic law, settle into place. This was why
all the narrative strands were leading here, to the Bandshell, in this moment.
Simplicity had retroactively pulled the narrative towards this one final
conflict, making all of their fights his.
"After I have defeated all of you," said DeltaKiwi Megantereon, "I will take on
the cosmic beings themselves! I will simplify the entire Omnilooniverse into one
world, one narrative, and Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths, the story of the
Sabertooth Tiger King-become-Emperor, will be one neverending story!!"
From somewhere deep within the fused being, Agent Bennigan cried out. No-- he
had been there to give the story an ending! How could it have gone so wrong!?
And far, far below, Token Girl let go of Catalyst Lass. And she stepped forward,
to stand in front of the giant mechanical tiger-taur.
"I'll do it."
Drew "climax jump!" Nilium
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