LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #224: LNH vII #50 Part Four

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Thu Dec 16 22:30:17 PST 2021

On 12/5/21 4:11 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
>       She'd counseled several others to take their dreams and mad
> ambitions elsewhere -- to one of the smaller, newer super-teams that
> acted as a kind of minor league for the LNH, 

I'm not sure if any of these have *ever* shown up in a story and I feel like 
that's a shame.

>       At the moment, the only thing that stood between Kyoko and a long,
> warm soak in her redwood hot tub was a young man in carefully-selected
> vintage clothing -- including a faded, failingly ironic "Mello-Yello"
> T-shirt, tweed blazer and the kind of crumpled hat favored by old Jewish
> men at the track in Sarasota.  He smiled at her, lengthening the soul
> patch beneath his lips.
>       A hipster, Kyoko thought, and sighed again.

A very of-the-time 2012 hipster, too. X3 I note this section was written by Rob, 
and it's his signature superb social satire.

>       "Well, now there is," the man said, looking excessively pleased with
> himself.  "I'm the AppMaster... and I've got an app for that!"
>       Deep inside the dark recesses of her soul, Kyoko Ishikawa felt
> something growl...


>       "Your author's pretty dark and paranoiac a lot of the time these
> days anyway. I'm glad he's not writing me! Although I guess he is now."
> Kid Enthusiastic shuddered.

It's okay, James, I trust them. n.n

>       Suddenly, yet another door slammed open. A rather hipster-y young
> man backpedaled through it. "Hey, hey -- if you wanted my digits, I
> could've just snapchatted them to you!"

Meanwhile, my characterization is less incisive and more silly. X3

>       "Kyoko!" exclaimed Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. He leapt at her, but she
> twisted out of the way and he crashed into a cabinet. Latex gloves,
> talcum powder, and Organic Lass's copies of Dr. McCoy's autobiographies
> (Leonard, Hank and Sylvester) fell on his head.

More character shuffling, but I love that gag. X3

>       "Aaaaaaa I said I was sorry about the chutney and the hollandaise
> and the mutant butterflies!" Kid E jumped for the tech.thingy. He ripped
> off the straps holding down WikiBoy's arm just before Kyoko grabbed him
> and lifted him in the air.
>       "Kyoko, I know you can fight th-- OW OW OW MY SPLEEN THOSE ARE CLAWS
> OW"

I feel like in a lot of previous stories I wouldn't have let him get hurt like 
that, and I'm proud of moving forward~
>       "Fascinating," said Masterplan Lad, sitting up. "It looks like
> WikiBoy's Dorf cure temporarily knocks its subject out in order to
> rebuild their body. It must not have done that to Doctor Stomper due to
> the resistance he's built up over the years, testing his own
> pseudoscientific formulas."

Throwing in some retcons to make different people's additions work. X3

>       "Okay, okay," said Toony. By this point, Tasha had left, promising
> to keep them updated about the scroll. "I've got the memory now. Doug
> Moran. You responded to Marvel Zombie Lad's call for all net.heroes to
> join in the fight against Doctor Killfile!"
>       "Exactly!" said Doug.
>       "But, as I recall, you were just some dork in an Iron Man costume!"

Martin making things more boring again. XP

>       Toony nodded.  "Comics Snob Boy kept a library in his room, with a
> scrapbook of newspapers that had LNH-related headlines."
>       "The LNHer who committed suicide?" Poignant Death Lass asked.
>       Toony nodded. "We kept his room as it was. We didn't touch a thing.
> If he had a newspaper dating back to the LNH's first adventure, it
> should still be there."

This is a good plot device, tho. <3

>       Seyfert took a breath and nodded. As the Defender of the Looniverse,
> he could request a boon from any of a number of cosmic beings -- but
> he'd have to repay it, one way or another. Depending on the being, it
> could be anything from "promote my cause" to "slay my enemies" to "get
> me a donut". (Even that last one wasn't as easy as it sounded, if the
> being was, say, Alt.lactus.)

Another joke of mine I love, especially since it fits so well with the 
worldbuilding. X3

>       "...?" Slickshiver undulated uncertainly, then snapped back with a
> cynical half-grin. "Shorty, you need a new style!"

Very much dates this. X3

>       Seyfert shook his hands out as the glow faded. Slickshiver was a
> creature of music, and music had defeated her; specifically, a blast of
> TheyMightBePowers gifted to him by Size of the Entire Universe Man. He
> wondered what he'd have to pay for that. Well, it was supposed to be
> free if you called from work...

Another good reference. :3 I wonder if I'll ever follow up on this...

>       "That's no coincidence," Irony Man said, locking the door behind
> them. "After Comics Snob Boy... after he took his own life... Occultism
> Kid placed wards around the room."
>       "To preserve it? As a kind of memorial to Comics Snob Boy?" Poignant
> Death Lass asked.
>       "That, and to keep Comics Snob Boy's spirit from coming back," Irony
> Man said.


>       "Well..." Moran said, scratching his helmet. "He could be...
> difficult. I'm not sure how to describe it. He was one of those people
> who makes a point out of going to see a movie as soon as it premieres,
> just so he can tell you how much he didn't like it."
>       He sighed, picking up a copy of the thing that had brought them to
> Comics Snob Boy's room -- a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings of
> the LNH's early adventures. "But for all that, he was a good teammate."

I think this story may, like, double the amount of characterization CSB ever got. X3

>       "Yes," he said, staring at the yellowed pages. "Yes. This is it. The
> secret to defeating the Dorfs once and for all."
>       His gauntlets crackled, bathing the scrapbook in repulsive energy --
> and reducing it to ash in seconds.


>       "You want irony? Here's irony," Irony Man said, the components of
> his armor shifting and expanding with a sound almost indistinguishable
> from that of a TransFormer changing shape on the 1980s cartoon. The
> configuration that emerged was vast, bulky and chockablock with spiked
> protrusions, hooks, flying buttresses and more skulls and chains than
> Todd McFarlane could draw in a weekend.
>       "The Dorf Empire has ravaged the cosmos for thousands of years,
> laying waste to the greatest warriors and most advanced weapons of a
> hundred civilizations," he said, his voice becoming a low, rumbling
> growl. "And the first time we are defeated is by a group of
> inexperienced teenagers who somehow stumbled upon our weakness."

This is *such* a cool moment. :D

>       "And you are a fool," Hfffgrktt said, edging closer. "I put on the
> face of your comrade, and you led me right to the trove of his memories
> -- allowing me to destroy every morsel of information related to the
> defeat of our Empire. And now you've done the same with the only other
> copy of that information... and all without ever suspecting a thing!"
>       "Actually, we've been questioning you and your motives from the very
> beginning," Cynical Lass said.
>       "True," Hffgrktt said.  "And yet here you are."
>       "...Fair point," Cynical Lass conceded.


>       "Please," Hfffgrktt said. "You can barely control your rage as it
> is. It's the source of your powers. And exposing yourself to the rush of
> nicotine again has only made things worse -- especially if someone takes
> it away from you," he added, snatching Cynical Lass's pack of cigarettes
> from the pocket of her sweatshirt before the heroine could blink.
>       "Give... those... BACK!" Cynical Lass growled, then shrieked in
> horror as her fingers began elongating into claws.  "No... not my
> beautiful manicure...!"

This is a really good plan. :D

>       "Thanks," Painful Pun Person said, kicking Hfffgrktt in the knee.
> The dull clang reverberated around the room.
>       Painful Pun Person held up her hands.  "I'll tell you," she said.
> "But doing so will just ruin the dramatic iron knee."
>       Hfffgrktt shrieked and dropped to the floor as something popped and
> buckled within his kneecap. Painful Pun Person scrambled for cover as
> repulsive blasts fired wildly around the room.

eeeeeheeheeheeheeheehee, god, this is the most amazing use of her powers. X3 <3 
I love it so much
>       "YOU SHALL DO NO SUCH THING," boomed the voice of Poignant Death
> Lass, her normally-limp hair flowing in an unseen breeze, her pupilless
> eyes blazing with an unholy purple light.

This is SUCH a cool fucking scene. :D :D :D I love it.

>       "COMICS SNOB BOY DIED HERE," Poignant Death Lass said, reaching out
> and placing a ghostly white hand on Hfffgrktt's forehead. "NOW,
>       The Dorf shrieked in agony. "No..." he whimpered, crawling forward
> on his hands and knees. "Please.  No more. I... I..."

And this is so powerful!!!

>       There was a tremendous cracking sound as Doug Moran socked Hfffgrktt
> on the jaw. The Dorf slumped to the floor.
>       "And stay down," Moran said. "Well, what do you know? These bronze
> boxing gloves work just fine, whether I was the one who invented them or
> not."

And that's a great way to end that moment. <3

>       "They can't handle attacks based on emotion," Poignant Death Lass
> continued, as Moran helped her to her feet. "Angst, especially. It's
> completely foreign to them. Like a poison."

And!! This is such a perfect weakness to give them! It fits so naturally!

> After all, with Hfffgrkkt defeated... and Toony Stork still missing... I
> guess that makes me the one and only..."
>       "Actually, there's still the other Irony Man downstairs," Cynical
> Lass pointed out.
>       "Oh," Moran said. "Right."


>       "We may not have to," said Poignant Death Lass. "Legion Headquarters
> isn't like other buildings."
>       "Really?" Cynical Lass said, cocking an eyebrow. "And whatever gave
> you that impression? The haunted dormitories? The flocks of marauding
> killer birds? The fact that the cafeteria has something on the order of
> six hundred kinds of cheesecake but NOBODY CAN BE BOTHERED TO BUY A
>       "Sorry... sorry," Cynical Lass added, shaking her hands to keep them
> from growing scaly. "That was the lack of cigarettes talking."

X3 <3 <3 <3

>       "So we're the leukocytes, in this particular scenario?" Cynical Lass
> said, finally giving up the search. "Fine by me. Better a corpuscle than
> a corpse, is what my mother always used to say."
>       Painful Pun Person stared at her. "You must have had one mother of a
> mother," she said.


>       "If we believe in LNHQ," Poignant Death Lass said, "she will show us
> the way."
>       "I believe," Painful Pun Person said.
>       They both stared at Cynical Lass.
>       "Oh, hell.  Yes.  I believe," Cynical Lass said.
>       A bookshelf at the back of the room -- filled entirely with bound
> copies of Neil Gaiman's Sandman -- slid to the side, revealing the
> entrance to a hidden staircase.

This is an intensely good moment and influenced the stuff I've done with LNHQ 
and Multi-Tasking Man.

>       "You know what surprised me the most, honestly?" she said. "He had
> the singing voice of an angel."
>       "They said the same thing about Lucifer," said Cynical Lass,
> following her out the door. "If you believe in that sort of thing."

Such a good callback.

>       "It seems to me that I should be doing something more useful,"
> Doctor Stomper said, frowning. "Is it possible that Irony Man sent me
> here to get me out of the way, just in case I reverted to a Dorf?"
>       "I don't know," Namer Boy said. "Is it in character for Irony Man to
> be underhanded and sneaky like that?"
>       Dr. Stomper and Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. both nodded.
>       "Well, then, yeah," Namer Boy said, "probably he just wanted us out
> of the way."

I think this was part Arthur undoing more Martin boringness, and part me 
massaging plot points into place. X3

>       "What if we cure it, and the Dorfs just send another strain of the
> virus against us? And then another, and another? What if it has, say,
> self-mutation capabilities?"
>       Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. frowned. "So... we're screwed."
>       "No -- we simply need to find a cure that'll work on *any* strain."

And this, of course, is highly influential on HHS.

>        "No, because the drama engine draws on the power of concentrated
> Youtube comments, and I'm afraid I haven't quite gotten the shielding up
> to 100%." He pointed it at Kid Enthusiastic, and the ray lanced out with
> a high-pitched whine.

I still think that's a great subtle gag. X3

>       "I don't know," shouted Masterplan Lad, looking, shocked, at Kid E's
> groaning, twisting form. "I can't..."
>       The LNH may not know what's happening, but, fearless readers, WE do!
> It turns out that the rapidly-mutating Prophet Virus is affected by the
> drama-based energies of Urple Ray technology in such a way that it
> mutates and propagates at an enormous rate! The virus, originally meant
> to turn Kid Enthusiastic into a Dorf, is turning him into another type
> of troll entirely!
>       "And there you are," said Masterplan Lad, far more composed than a
> moment ago, as he switched off the ray generator. "When you do not have
> a source of exposition on hand, narration can prove a more than adequate
> substitute."
>       Oh, fiddlesticks.

And I still think this is a great unsubtle gag. X3 <3

>       "!'m great!!" He leapt up, floating in the air in a cloud of
> seizure-inducing red-and-blue sparkles. His skin had gone gray, and he
> had horns coming out of his head shaped like fractal trees. His costume
> had been transmogrified as well; he was suddenly wearing a black T-shirt
> with a sparkly pink Mandelbrot set on it.

Homestuck was a huge part of online culture when this was coming together, and I 
really wanted to start getting in more topical references.

Drew "fanciful trolls" Nilium

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