LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #223: LNH vII #50 Part Three

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Nov 22 08:10:14 PST 2021

On 11/21/21 4:16 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:

>       The Dorf superawesomegrimdarkmegadreadnought

I absolutely had to use that name. <3

> In its fetid bowels -- which, really, was the whole place --

I still love this joke. X3

>       "The technopriests didn't fuck up," he breathed reverently.

Notably, one subtle thing I tried to do is to have the Dorfs use real swears 
while everyone else uses @#&!-style censored swears, to emphasize their anger 
and crudeness. I might have messed that up somewhere, tho. X3

>       "What an idiotic plan!" shouted a Dorf trooper, stamping over and
> getting in General Jarrek's face. "The LNH has scientists, doctors,
> mystics! They'll whip up a cure and we'll be screwed!"
>       Jarrek leaned in, pressing his nose into the trooper's and shouting
> into his ear. "Gee, asshole, y'think? That's why it keeps mutating into
> new strains, laying dormant, spreading and reinfecting!"

This part mirrors the part where a trooper showed Jarrek proper respect and got 
murderized. This, presumably, is how you're supposed to do it.

>       "Now, you weren't thinking of leaving Slickshiver behind, were you?"
> She growled in a disturbing facsimile of flirting and raised her hands,
> flat fingers tapering off into long, sharp blades. "Lemme see that body
> *shake*!"

Notably, Slickshiver is the only New Mod/Net.God we'd seen in the "main" 
universe other than Flipseid and OMAR. (Or, she was meant to be, but by the time 
this came out I'd put Autotune in Flame Wars Final.) Jeanne did a really good 
story with her in Liminals #2 - went way past what I established here. <3

>       "Now and then I think of those days with the Legion
>       Like when Doctor Killfile told the whole world that
>       we'd die," he sang.
>       "I told myself we were an elite group
>       Though we often acted like 'F Troop'
>       And things got stranger every time we'd add a member."
>       "What's he doing?" Poignant Death Lass whispered.
>       "It's a musical interlude," Cynical Lass said. "You get used to them
> after a while."

Rob is so fucking good at these. X3 I was going to add another one of these to 
the finished story - something else very 2012, maybe Gangnam Style? - but by the 
time I was finishing the issue up, it felt like just another thing that'd slow 
it down.

>       "And now I'm blaming Mark Millar
>       For disregarding characterization in his Civil War
>       'Cause I've become my greatest foe
>       Now I'm just somebody who's an ex-hero," Irony Man sang.
>       "An ex-hero," Cynical Lass echoed.
>       "Now I'm just somebody who's an ex-hero..."
>       Irony Man sighed, and replaced the helmet on his head.

Note that the retcon later makes this extra interesting.

>       "A moa is a large, flightless bird from New Zealand," Irony Man
> said, as two more of the creatures appeared in the sub-basement. "Like a
> kiwi.  Except they're extremely dangerous. And supposedly extinct."
>       "Is this what happens to the LNH's kiwis when they get Dorfed out?"
> Poignant Death Lass asked.
>       "It's possible," Cynical Lass said.  "Of course, I wouldn't be
> surprised if some super-secret, quasi-governmental organization had been
> storing a flock of cloned moas right under our noses.

I like how this question is never actually resolved - it adds to the weirdness 
of the sub-basements.

> Either way, it
> looks like we have a fight on our hands..."
>       "...moa or lass," Painful Pun Person finished, as the flock of giant
> birds rushed the elevator.

eeeeeeeheeheeheehee :D

>       Namer Boy stuck his head into the Administrative Office, which in
> itself might be considered one of the braver things most LNHers could
> do.

Note, Dave wrote this scene up by itself - which, we were all writing pieces of 
the story out of order - and was like "Put any character in who fits", so I did. n.n

>       Fearless Leader looked up from one of the computer tablets spread
> out on the desk in front of him. There was no good reason all the
> paperwork couldn't be done on a single machine, of course, which was why
> the five government organizations he liaised with each insisted he use
> one that they had supplied and cleared. Never mind that Renegade
> Programmer had found dozens of security holes in each of them within a
> few seconds, so it wasn't like they were more trustworthy than just
> using the LNHQ's systems. But, well, bureaucracy.

Fuckin' hierarchies, man.

> A real doozy just landed
> on us too... something retconned out a few dozen net.heroes and
> net.villains, and there's all sorts of forms that have to be filled out
> before all my memories realign to the new continuity."

I *think* this was a de-Martin-ing reference, but it might just have been "yeah 
this shit happens all the time, nbd".

>       "Um, wouldn't the forms themselves be retconned when everything
> settles out?" Namer Boy asked.
>       "Well, yes. But the memory of my having filled them out will remain,
> and that's really all that matters to the oversight committee,"


> He didn't exactly appreciate some of the locker room
> innuendo about him and Ripping Dancer, although given the shifting
> nature of the timelines around the LNH, it was entirely possible that
> the innuendo was merely open secrets in a passing retcon. Yet another
> reason to keep from getting too close... the "Writers" tended to run
> roughshod over the relationships of "minor characters" like himself; for
> all he knew, there was a point where he'd married Dancer, and another
> where she'd died in his arms without ever having kissed. As long as he
> didn't *try* to get too close, he wouldn't be hurt when some cosmic
> force decided that Ripping Dancer really had always been in love with
> someone else.

You know, it's interesting... having started reading LNH when I was 12, I 
internalized a lot of the meta "it's bad when Writers are thoughtless about 
characters" stuff, and I feel like that influenced my whole approach to 
characterization, resulting in me pretty much not doing the above. o3o If I'm 
fucking with you it's because you're close to the center of the narrative, 
goshdarnit! That's when it counts!!

>       He held out his glowing palm. "What if these really are Moa, and
> they're the last of their species? I-- I don't think I'd commit
> genocide..."

This was a characterization addition to build towards the retcon. n.n

>       "Who would have thought there was so much in Irony Man's head?" said
> Cynical Lass.
>       Irony Man rolled his eyes. "Come on!" he said.


>       "Badly. General Jarrek appeared and immediately killed Cannon
> Fodder! He then mind controlled the August One -- that is, the original
> Occultism Kid -- and Shoots-Arrows-Out-of-His-Butt Lad."

As you may be able to tell, this was a Martin bit, tho I rewrote a lot of the 

>       "So the last time an LNH origin was written, it was based on
> Avengers #1," Painful Pun Person said, "and now the revamped origin of
> the LNH is a ripoff of the Avengers movie? That's an homage too far, if
> you ask me."

And this is the typical Martin move of trying to finish a group project that's 
stretching out by slamming in an anticlimactic ending. o3o; But then Rob picked 
it up and...

>       Cynical Lass shot him a withering look. "So that's all it was. You
> had a fling with her. That's your big secret. Come on! So Toony Stork,
> legendary billionaire and playboy, had a fling with a teammate. I could
> have figured that out without even asking. Is that supposed to be the
> Big Secret this whole story's revolving around?"

Well, turned it into a character/plot moment. n.n

>       "I have the power to sense poignant deaths," said (obviously)
> Poignant Death Lass. (Unfortunately, Sister-State-The-Obvious was
> nowhere in sight.) "And I feel a great loss in this place, so great that
> it still feels as painful now as the moment it happened. A voice crying
> out through the ages, forever unheard." She sniffled. "It's beautiful."

This feels like an important PDL moment. <3

>       "Uh..." said Painful Pun Person, who'd been quiet the whole time,
> "don't you mean *owl* be damned?"
>       "Gaah!" The impact of the pun knocked her off her feet. "Don't do
> that!"
>       "Uh... sorry, I can't always control my powers very well..."

Here we see the difference between Rob's characterization of Painful Pun Person 
and Jeanne's.

>       "Owlbear-ly make it out of this one alive!"
>       The owlbear exploded.
>       "What a shame," said Poignant Death Lass. "It was simply minding its
> own business here, in its own home, before we barged in. Why can't we
> ever find peace with nature?" She collapsed to the ground, sobbing.
>       "There's nothing natural about that thing," said Irony Man. "It's a
> bear with an owl's head! And what's this thing even doing in the LNHQ?"

This is so goofy but I love it.

>       "That's a good question," said another voice. A rather stunning
> dark-haired professional-looking woman who seemed to be in her early
> thirties walked into the room. "I'm Tasha Vance, 10th-degree
> pyschogeographer of the Martyrs of Hawksmoor. [An order of mystical
> architects who previously appeared in LNH v2 #3-4 and Looniverse Y #11.
> -- Footnote Girl, who's really getting a workout in this issue] You
> hired me to help inspect the LNHQ, remember?"

And here, Saxon brings back one of his ideas, which I should really use someday.

>       She laughed. "I'm not surprised." She handed Irony Man a business
> card, running her hand down the metal of the console unit. "You see,
> these computer systems are part of your own mind. And that part doesn't
> want you to remember a lot of the things down here. It's going to be
> fighting back, in both subtle and obvious ways.

An excellent idea.

>       "Monsters. The LNHQ already tends to attract them, and it's had a
> lot more lately. There are rumors of a war going on in the Outer Planes
> of the Usenetverse. Something drove a lot of monsters from places like
> rec.games.frp.dnd and rec.games.roguelike.nethack into this world. Like
> owlbears, otyughs, flailsnails, xorns, grognards..."

Here, Jeanne is setting up the Crossover Queen storyline.

>       "Well, at least this can't get any more ridiculous and convoluted,"
> said Poignant Death Lass.
>       Then another man walked into the room. He was dressed in what looked
> like a simpler, less streamlined version of Irony Man's armor. "Sorry
> I'm late!" he said.

I love it so much. X3

>      He facepalmed. "I should have known." He took off his helmet. "I'm
> Doug Moran. The original Irony Man. I mean, the *other* original Irony
> Man. Ironically, we both invented this technology at the exact same
> time, kind of like Newton and Liebniz. So we shared the role up until
> Beige Noon, when Toony took over full time.

IIRC, this came from someone noting that Irony Man was originally a Writer 
Character and wondering if it was okay that we'd gone so hard on turning him 
into a flawed character. So we split off the WC aspect!

>       "I mean, I've shot people before. Lots and lots and lots of people,"
> Master Blaster continued. "I've blown them up. Microwaved them. Made
> them dance with sonics. But until this morning, I'd never dropped a nuke
> on someone."
>       He inhaled deeply.
>       "I'd never experienced anything so intoxicating," Master Blaster
> said. "And now I can't... I won't... wait until I can do it again."

This is so hilariously horrifying, and perfect for the last Master Blaster 
appearance. X3;

>       "Did it ever occur to you," said the orc, keeping his voice low,
> "that Horrible Name Lad is -- as far as anyone can figure out --
> Japanese, and might have strong feelings about the indiscriminate use of
> nuclear weapons?

I'm not sure if Saxon got this from anywhere, or if he just came up with it for 

>       The startled-looking Dorf had just seconds to gasp before You're-
> Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad's fists began raining down on him,
> launching into a protracted percussive period of punching that resembled
> the sound of two very fast and accurate racquetball players practicing
> against a wall of meat.

Such a good description. X3

>        "The Hell(tm) it is!" You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard Enough Lad said.
> "First they invade my body... then they start taking over the bodies of
> my friends? What's next? WHAT'S NEXT, YOU MONSTERS?"
>       "Actually," Master Blaster said, "if it was anyone other than my or
> my friends' bodies, I'm not sure I would care all that much."
>       "What about the models on Project Runway?" Horrible Name Lad asked.
>       "Excellent point," Master Blaster conceded. "DIE SCREAMING, YOU
> @#$%^&ING DORFS!"


>       ARAK II reached down and removed what was now a tattered rubber mask
> from the fallen figure's face.
>       "Bad Judgment Boy," he said. "I'm guessing he decided -- in the
> spirit of the LNH's first adventure -- to dress up like a Dorf for
> tonight's celebration."

I love it so much. X3 <3 <3 <3

>       "Sure," Master Blaster said.  "I'm one of the greatest marksmen who
> ever walked the earth.  You think I can't tell a guy in rubber mask from
> a frickin' Dorf?"
>       Anal-Retentive Archive Kid exhaled audibly. "Then why," he said,
> "didn't you do anything to stop You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad?"
>       Master Blaster shrugged.  "It was Bad Judgment Boy," he said.
> "Figured he had it coming."

You know, fair

>        "We need a strategy," ARAK II said. "We can't just wander the halls
> attacking anything that moves. What if that had been a Dorfed-out
> Ultimate Ninja? We'd all be in tiny pieces by now."
>       "Then we could call ourselves the 'Little Nuggets of Heroes',"
> Horrible Name Lad suggested.


>       "You obviously haven't been with the Legion very long," Master
> Blaster said. "I mean, I love the guy like a brother, but UN's been a
> barely-controlled ball of homicidal rage for as long as I've known him.
> It wouldn't take much to set him off."
>       "On the contrary," Irony Man said. "Someone who has spent a lifetime
> learning to master his darkest urges would be unlikely to give in to the
> Dorf virus.  The ones we should be concerned about are those who have
> never felt they had to learn to control themselves..."

This is an excellent point, and a good setup, and I love how it pays off. :D

Drew "little nuggets of heroes" Nilium

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