LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #225: LNH vII #50 The Conclusion

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Jan 10 16:51:33 PST 2022

On 12/12/21 4:27 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> And we reach the conclusion (I mean, sure, I could probably split this into
> two more issues, but I'm not going to do that).

Fair. X3

> But is there
> something else this story could use?  Perhaps something long forgotten from
> like the beginning of the story?  Something that could return?  Like maybe a
> -- GIGANTIC HELPING OF TACO SALAD CHEESECAKE!!!!?  What?  You don't want that!?
> Well, too bad, bub, because that's what you're going to get!

YEAH!!! <3 <3 <3

>       The elevator went ding! The business end of Master Blaster's BIGGUN
> poked out, followed by the man himself.

This has always been a neat mental image to me. :>

>       "It matters not," said Irony Man. "We must find Kid Kirby and tender
> to him the antidote to the Dorf virus."
>                        --LNH--     --LNH--     --LNH--
>       "Hmmm," said Doctor Stomper. "I feel as if I've forgotten
> something."

This was when I was stitching the various scenes people had done together. X3

>       "Danger is yet afoot," said Irony Man. "The Dorfish virus has
> spread, and not one is safe. Wherever we go, we may run into--"
>       A groan issued into the corridor.
>       "Who--" YNHMHELad spun in place. "Where's that coming from?"

This is me loving Rob's scene enough that I had to play off of it. <3.<3

>       ARAK frowned. "Something is making my right eye water." He turned,
> slowly, staring forward and concentrating on the edge of vision, walking
> at an angle and groping at the wall until his hand came in contact with
> a doorframe. "Got you!"
>       "A perception filter -- several, more than likely," said Irony Man,
> who opened the door and stepped within.
>       "What are you guys talking about?" said Master Blaster, facing the
> opposite direction. ARAK sighed and guided him into the room.

An obvious gag but I love it. X3

>       "I may be able to awaken him, then talk him down," said Irony Man.
> "But it would require solitude."
>       "Oh?" Anal-Rententive Archive Kid raised an eyebrow.
>       "He is my Secret Keeper."
>       "Ah!" ARAK nodded, YNHMHELad's face lit with understanding, and
> Master Blaster grumbled. The Mysterious Secret and the Secret Keeper
> were ancient net.hero traditions passed down through Ages past. They
> could not be contravened, unless you thought you were Alan Moore or
> something.


>       "But-- but you were *instrumental* to our cause! You provided the
> mindscan that allowed me to emulate Toony Stork's emotions and
> memories!"
>       "Indeed. If I had not, you would have taken it yourselves, and left
> behind a substance remarkably similar to scrambled eggs. By preventing
> that, I acquired an ally in this timeline. As to your cause, it did not
> matter. The history books say the Legion stopped you, though not how."

I love playing around with this behind-the-scenes stuff~

>       "The Dorfs have schismed, broken into factions of which you and your
> companions are but one. An ideological civil war. By resurrecting the
> Prophet, you hoped to prove the rightness of your cause.

Including making some implicit stuff explicit and setting up a status quo that's 
still going. :>

> In a battle
> like this, a few individuals can make the difference. And a Dorf who
> knows what it is like to be human..."
>       "Damn you! DAMN YOU!" Flecks of foam flew from his mouth, and his
> cheeks were red with rage. "Do you know how painful it was to see
> through his eyes!?"
>       "Yes. I do."
>       And Reg Hfffgrktt vanished in a pale blue flash.

I'm real proud of this scene. ^#^

>       Cynical Lass, Poignant Death Lass, and Painful Pun Person picked
> their way down a dank corridor, wind whispering between the rough-cut
> stones. Flickering torches lit their way, and somewhere, far off, was
> the sound of dripping water.
>       "This is the same building where Multi-Tasking Man uses the waste
> heat from the pocket cyclotron to make coffee, right?" said Cynical
> Lass.


>       Suddenly, a cloud of blue and red sparkles zoomed through the air
> with a humanoid figure half-visible inside, giggling in glee.
>       Poignant Death Lass squinted. "Was that Kid--"
>       Even more suddenly, there was a loud ding! and the elevator doors
> they hadn't noticed opened, and Doctor Stomper stepped out.
>       "Doctor Sto--"
>       The most suddenly of all, Masterplan Lad, WikiBoy and Ubiquitous Boy
> Lad Jr. ran past, shouting and pointing at the sparkly cloud, and Doctor
> Stomper turned and ran after them.
>       "..."
>       Painful Pun Person pointed. "Chase that race!" And they ran after.

Sometimes stitching is just super fun. X3 And I love the breathless exposition 
that follows this.

>       Toony Stork could feel something choking the life out of him.

This bit was originally an independent piece of Arthur's that we worked into the 
story. I think it really sings. <3

>       "Your right hand appears to be an alien shapeshifter. Your left hand
> is some virtual reality construct that doesn't really exist. Your right
> leg is robot duplicate of your leg. Your left leg is a prophecy from
> the future about your left leg.  And your buttocks appear to be from an
> alternate Looniverse (Earth-Millar) where every single member of the LNH
> is a complete asshole."  Dr. Stomper took a deep breath. "And your brain
> -- well, appears to be divided three ways. One part is a clone brain
> that seems to be controlled by an evil government conspiracy. The second
> part is controlled by some body jumping supervillain (Dr. What-Me-
> Acting-Strange). And the last part is being controlled by you.

Every sentence of this paragraph is a different amazing joke.

> It's like
> your entire body is a composite of comic book tropes that Tom Russell
> doesn't like."
>       "So, what's this mean?" said Irony Man with an uneasy expression on
> his face.
>       Dr. Stomper took off his glasses and wiped them with his labcoat.
> "It means Tom Russell probably won't like this story when he reads it."

heeheeheehee! I think about this joke at least once a month. X3

>       Dr. Stomper nodded. "Yes, I think if we download your good brain
> energy and install that into a cloned body of yourself -- that should do
> the trick. We'll have to install it into a teenage version of yourself
> though. Anything older and there'd be problems."
>       "Me a teenager again? I guess I can live with that."
>       "Oooh. Dibs on calling you Teeny Toony," said Catalyst Lass with a
> wink.

I wonder if anyone remembers the "Teen Tony" era of Iron Man, nowadays. X3 
Considering how many terrible revamps we've had since then...

>       "Having a nice dream?"
>       "Well, it was better than being awake." Toony took the coffee and
> began to sip it.

God, the thick pain and irony of this part. I love it.

>       Hmm, thought Taco Salad Cheesecake, no one seem to care what Taco
> Salad Cheesecake thinking. Once Taco Salad Cheesecake a vital part of
> issue #50, but now everyone forget Taco Salad Cheesecake. This make Taco
> Salad Cheesecake sad. Very sad.

This was such a good thing to bring back. X3

>       And the Taco Salad Cheesecake began to focus on its shape. And feet
> began to sprout out of Taco Salad Cheesecake. And those feet lifted Taco
> Salad Cheesecake up and helped him leap towards the ground.


>       Cheesecake Eater Lad walked over to the hole and saw the Taco Salad
> Cheesecake eating his way through the basement floor too. And the
> various sub-sub-basements beneath the basement.
>       Cheesecake Eater Lad sighed and put down his plastic containers.
> "Note to self: Never ever *ever* make Taco Salad Cheesecake again."


>       "..." Jarrek stared at the figure. A goddamned ruse. Looks like the
> Legion was a little less incompetent than they'd figured. He spun around
> and faced his troops. "Well guess what!"
>       "WE KNOW ALREADY!" they shouted in unison, then ran in a
> disorganized scrum to the transporter room.

This was me playing with the idea of "correct" Dorf military discipline.

>       "Kid Enthusiastic!" shouted Doctor Stomper, waving his hands at the
> flying transfigured boy. "We need you to stop for a minute so we can
> derive the cure for the Dorf virus from your blood!"
>       "Okay, you can do that!" Kid E shouted back.
>       "Oh, excel--"
>       "Once you catch me! WHEEEEEEE!" He rose up in a cloud of sparkles.


>       "If only there were some way to attack him from above!" said
> Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr.
>       shompshompshompshompCHOMPCHOMPCHOMPCHOMP! Suddenly, a great hole
> appeared in the ceiling, and through it fell the Taco Salad Cheesecake
> -- right on Kid Enthusiastic's head!

Bringing all the plot threads together! :D

>       Anal-Retentive Archive Kid II called out, "Wikiboy, you're a rocket
> launcher that fires psychic-energy-seeking impact-softening gel-
> spheres!"
>       "What!?" Wikiboy poofed into his new form, and Cynical Lass,
> standing next to him, grabbed him and fired from the shoulder.


>       Bad Judgment Boy was strapped into the next medi-bed over, partially
> so that the Urple Ray treatments could do their work, partially because,
> well, Bad Judgment Boy.


>       The door opened. Cynical Lass tensed up, but it was only Irony Man,
> Master Blaster, and You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad. Doctor
> Stomper went over, and they talked in quiet tones; they had not been
> able to gain access to Kid Kirby's lab.

And cutting off that little plot-thread. X3

>       "Zzzzzz," said Kid Enthusiastic sleepingly.

omg I forgot this one

>       And then Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr.'s eyes widened, "Guys!" he said.
> "The Dorfs! They're-- they're--" And then his body twisted! The change
> was upon him!

:D Cliffhangers!!

> His bones were sore, his head was ringing, and he had "The
> Sun" stuck in his head, which was especially annoying for him because he
> was an astrophysicist and it was innacurate. The sun was NOT in fact a
> mass of incandescent gas. (Later They Might Be Giants issued a
> retraction song about how the sun was a miasma of incandescent plasma,
> but it wasn't as catchy.)

It's true.

> Time
> flies like an arrow, as the old saying went. Fruit flies like a banana.
> Of course, he'd faced time flies before, and in his experience they'd
> eat just about anything. He wasn't eager to do so again.


> He had his share of loose ends to be taken care
> of. Like Dev-Null... No, maybe it was better if he left that particular
> loose end untied. He still felt badly about how that had all ended. If
> only... No, he reflected as he dodged a Dorf bolt, this was probably not
> a good time to be thinking about his romantic problems.

That relationship is something we had a lot of plans for, once upon a time. X3 
Someday. Probably.

> The status of any given Dorf emperor was tenuous at best. Actually
> getting their subjects to respect them was out of the question, and
> getting them to fear them was extremely difficult, so the best bet was
> to make sure the rest of the Dorf hated any potential competitors more
> than whoever was in charge.

Excellently put.

>       "Well, that sure was helpful," muttered Seyfert to himself, then
> realized Unixepoch could hear it anyway. Of course, the being could hear
> his deepest thoughts, so there was no point in trying to hide them.


>       "No, no. You don't understand," said Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. as the
> brain portion of his head began to rapidly expand like an out-of-control
> balloon. "There's a Dorf warship hovering over Net.ropolis as we speak.
> Right at this moment a Dorfian Soldier has her hand on a button and
> she's ready to push it. When she pushes the button, the warship's cannon
> will utterly annihilate the entire city of Net.ropolis. Everything will
> be gone. The LNHHQ. Everything in the city. It will be the end of
> everything. The end of the LNH."

This is some good-ass dread

> He paused a bit after this with a cold
> expression on his face as he looked at Cynical Lass. His head continued
> to expand. "It's all okay. Everything is..."
>       "Stop! Stop it!" said Cynical Lass, ready to blast the hell out of
> whatever Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. had changed into. "You really don't want
> to use that word! I mean it!! Don't use it!!!"
>       "It's going to be-- umm... Calm down, Cynical Lass.

X3 <3 <3 <3

>       "Yes," said Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. whose brain was continuing to
> grow. "Every Dorf in every galaxy. I am in them all. In their DNA. I am
> them and they are me. I am the Dorfian Over-Mind. And I am Ubiquitous
> Boy Lad Jr."

This is such a good use of his powers, omg.

>       "Then-- we could cure all the Dorfs at once!" said You're-Not-
> Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad.
>       Cynical Lass looked at the syringe. "And what happens if you cure a
> Dorf of being a Dorf?"
>       There was silence in the infirmary.

:D :D :D To toot my own horn: What an excellent ethical quandary for the climax. n.n

>       Masterplan Lad gazed into the bubbling green liquid. "Do we have the
> right? A little pinch, push the plunger, and that's it. The Dorfs cease
> to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can
> live without fear, in peace, and never even know the word Dorf."

Obligatory Doctor Who reference~

>       "That, and... pretty much everyone here is still infected. Are you
> sure that this destructiveness, this bloodthirstiness -- what if it's
> all a bit of martyrDorf?"
>       Everyone groaned.
>       "...but she's right," said Masterplan Lad. "This entire time, we've
> been so *angry* at the Dorfs... but nobody's angrier at the Dorfs than
> the Dorfs themselves."

:D :D :D I'm proud of this too!!

>       Seyfert stepped into a room crowded with guests, none of whom gave
> him more than a glance before turning back to drinks and light
> conversation interspersed with heavy petting.


>       This was hopeless. Anything he could get out of the man's booze-
> soaked brain would be mangled beyond recognition by the regret that had
> sunk him into this hole. Better to leave him to rot.
>       ...said the part of Seyfert's mind that he never listened to.

:3 :3 :3 <3 <3 <3

>       "Yeah... yeah, I know." Toony sighed, and turned his half-full glass
>    over, spilling the amber liquid on the floor. He pressed a concealed
>    button on the bottom, and as one, the party guests slumped, inert forms
>    clattering to the floor.
>       Seyfert looked around. "...they were robots."
>       "Perfect for being alone in a crowd." Toony pushed himself to his
> feet, tossing the glass behind him. "The storyarc reactor should filter
> the alcohol out of my system while we fly to the LNHQ."

This is where my characterization of Toony really starts taking hold - someone 
who sailed thru life justifying their jackassery until they smacked into a wall 
where they either had to destroy their ethics to justify it or completely 
reassess their whole being - and chose the latter. That's a hero, you know?

>       "And you think you can do it?" Seyfert wasn't sure. This all felt
> too easy... but then he saw the look in Toony's eyes. No. Not easy at
> all.
>       "Haven't you read the newspapers? Saving the world's what I'm good
> at." Toony shook his head, looking at the discarded glass, lying on the
> lounge chair. "Seems like the only thing I'm good at, anymore."

:D :D :D

>       "...so what you're saying," said Kid Enthusiastic, in an 'I'm
> thinking really hard!' pose,

I _think_ I meant Rodin's "The Thinker", but who knows. X3

>       "And... PLEASE hurry..." said Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr., eyes shifting
> colors kaleidoscopically. "Or I WILL TEAR YOUR sense of languid ease OFF
> AND SPIT IN THE provided spitting receptacle NRRRrrrRRRrrghg..."


>       "..." Toony fell into a chair. "Of course of course." His shoulders
> slumped. "Would it also help fight the Dorfs if I was having my genitals
> electrocuted while I told you?"
>       Kid Enthusiastic made a face at the mental image. Pulls-Paper-Out-
> of-Hats Lad scratched the back of his neck. Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr.
> gurgled.


>       Namer Boy raised his hand. "Don't you need the memory sticks to
> remember all this?"
>       Toony shook his head. "Before I left, I copied everything back into
> my brain. Seemed like the best punishment I could give myself."

Characterization *and* moving pieces! :D

>       He took a drink of water, cleared his throat, and began. "At the
> time, there was no big Ame.rec.an net.hero team -- just a lot of free
> agents who teamed up once in a while. Net.ropolis had been a hub for
> this sort of thing since Boy Lad's day, but the first time most of these
> people had met was when she sent out a distress call out to every
> net.hero in range."

Note that the specific time period here is left vague; since Martin's stuff was 
still in this issue, I figured it'd be a bad idea to mess with his ridiculously 
extended "founding of the LNH" timeline.

>       "A hero we all knew and trusted. Malysa El-lenn Aitch. A half-human
> half-Dorf who was Seyfert's predecessor as Protector of the Looniverse
> -- Captain LNH."
>       "Of course there was a Captain LNH before there was an LNH,"
> muttered Master Blaster, dangling his BIGGUN over his shoulder.


>       "I'm surprised nobody mentioned her when Vel was around," Doctor
> Stomper noted.
>       "Yeah, well, don't get ahead of me.

Gently easing in the retcon...

>       Horrible Name Lad and Poignant Death Lass blinked loudly. "Wait, so
> there used to be *another* Horrible Name Lad?" PDL said.
>       "Horrible Name Lad I was actually his name," noted Toony. "A side-
> effect of his powers."
>       "I'm a legacy character..." squeed HNL.

I'm gonna have to write a story about this at some point. X3 But I definitely 
also wanted to help these new characters feel firmly placed as part of the 

>       "Miss Calico?" said Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad. "I thought Tom
> Russell retconned Teenfactor out."
>       "Well, this was the post-Cry.sig post-Retcon-Hour post-Infinite-
> Leadership-Crisis post-58.5 post-Beige-Midnight pre-Just-Another-Cascade
> version of her."
>       "Oh, I see."
>       "What?" said Anal-Retentive Archive Kid II, blinking.

a.) I still love messing around with Teenfactor stuff so much. X3
b.) Reference-forward to JAC, since again, this part was being written in the 
middle of that.

> The Dorfs had been trying to gain access to our
> planetary transreality nexus."
>       "You mean the one in the LNHQ?" said Kid Enthusiastic, wibbling
> energetically in his seat. "The mysterious higher-dimensional energy
> pattern which, despite the best minds in pseudoscience working on it, we
> still don't know if it's a living creature that feeds on heroic emotions
> or a locus of magic that attracts heroic energy or what?"
>       "Yes, though at the time, it was the mysterious higher-dimensional
> energy pattern in the defunct Net.ropolis Hotel Grand."
>       "Never could understand why they kept trying to keep a hotel open
> here," said You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad. "It kept going out of
> business because of weird paranormal happenings, or some net.villain
> running a demented scheme out of one of the rooms, or a giant butterfly
> laying eggs in the honeymoon suite..."

Bringing together a bunch of LNH writers' work here into a coherent idea of the 
history of the LNHQ, tho of course Saxon did the hardest parts a while ago.

>       "That's what the fake you said," Cynical Lass noted with a raised
> eyebrow. "That they'd mind-controlled the August One -- that is,
> Occultism Kid -- and had him open the portal."
>       "What, mind control on the one person best protected from outside
> influence? Gotta hand it to the Dorfs, they don't lack for ego."

Maybe a *little* making fun of Martin. X3

> Toony
> shook his head. "No. They were opening the portal on Earth because the
> thing they needed to open the portal was on Earth -- the Cosmic Plot
> Device."
>       There was a gasp, and Painful Pun Person muttered, "So it really was
> a parody of the Avengers movie!"

Remember when Avengers movies were fun and not overbearing? @.@

>       "Indeed. Jarrek broke into the Net.ional History Museum, guns
> blazing, and stole it.

I eventually did up a history of the Cosmic Plot Device for the wiki, and I'm 
proud of juggling a lot of seemingly-contradictory stories into a coherent 
history. X3

>       "DUN DUN DUN!"
>       "Thank you, Bad Judgment Boy.

Love this gag. X3

> Miss Calico was trying to explain why she wasn't going
> to call herself 'Aero Lass's Future Mother Woman',


>       "DUN DUN DUNNNNN!"
>       "Yes thanks you can stop now.

:3 :3 :3

>       "We fought him with everything we had. Repulsor blasts, mystic fire,
> old comics, getting things weeks late, focused totality, snobbishness,
> horrible names, longwindedness, tabulation, convincing everyone to do
> the same thing, and whatever Miss Calico's powers were in this version
> of history.

I love the LNH. X3

>       "List Lad took him out right after, tripped him up with the original
> air dates of every episode of Guiding Light."

The longest-running serial narrative in history, at least at the time it ended.

>  said... I said I was fine. That I could work through the rage.
> That it wouldn't affect my judgment."
>       The people in the room looked at each other. A glance passed along a
> thought -- about fogs of rage that clouded one's mind.


>       "And in that crystal-clear moment, I could see it. This was exactly
> what Jarrek wanted. The Device could reach as far as the Dorf homeworld,
> but it had to find it first. It needed a signal, an identifier. And I
> had given it one -- the channeled power of my rage."


>       "And... and Captain LNH had seen it too. With the power she usually
> had, she could have blocked a sun. He had taken that, but he hadn't
> taken... taken the willpower, the courage that she... she needed to..."

;-; yessss

>       A tear rolled down UBLJr.'s wide face. "Nothing in Dorf society
> prepared them for that kind of grief. When he got back, they thought we
> knew their weakness, called off any plans to invade that way again."

Tying together bits of plot with characterization!!!

>       "The memory recording software I use is based on my early
> experiments in... in uploading minds. I tried to transfer Captain...
> tried to transfer Malysa's mind to an AI, but it... I was in there for
> three days without sleep, it wasn't, it was flawed and unstable and it
> didn't work..."

aaaaaaaa ;-;

> "I had
> failed her twice, and I failed her once more. I couldn't... couldn't get
> rid of what was left of her, so I stored the project with my memory
> files. Even when I moved them into the LNHQ. And that's where it was
> when wReamicus Maximus stole it -- and used it as the basis for Vector,
> the living computer virus."

A retcon that set up a lot of what's been happening since!!

>       "What the hell," groaned Master Blaster.

This is the last lime Master Blaster ever says, for the record. Seems fitting. X3

>       And Toony stared right back. "You're not wrong to hate me. But I bet
> I could give you a run for your money. And if killing me would bring her
> back, I'd say -- do it. But we both know that it won't. So what will you
> do with your hate?"
>       Jarrek's hand opened, and Toony fell to the ground. He ripped his
> claws across his own armor and pulled out the Heart of the Prophet. And
> he squeezed.
>       Jarrek screamed, and the Heart screamed with him, and they were
> caught up in a great ugly yellow flame of pure rage and were gone.

*toots own horn cos this is good shit!!*

>       "These Dorfs - they've seen all this. Their captain is dead. I've
> got one chance. My control is fading, but if I can bring them together,
> maybe there could be some faction in the endless Dorf wars that could...
> that could remember what happened."
>       "Wait!" said You're-Not-Hitting-Me-Hard-Enough Lad. "You don't have
> to do this! There's got to be another way!"
>       Ubiquitous Boy Lad Jr. shook his enormous head with a smile. "I have
> to.  And besides, if I don't -- this issue will never get posted.
> Goodbye, my friends." And with that, he was enveloped in a teleportation
> beam, lifted away into the Dorf ship.

This was an Arthur bit, and it was a good idea.

>       Catalyst Lass opened the door. "Guys? Did something happen while I
> was getting ready for the party?"

X3 X3 X3

> A pretty butterfly
> landed on Taco Salad Cheesecake's finger.  Taco Salad Cheesecake gazed
> at the pretty butterfly. "No. Taco Salad Cheesecake needs to figure
> things out. Find out what Taco Salad Cheesecake's purpose is. Why Taco
> Salad Cheesecake exists. Yes. Taco Salad Cheesecake begins a long
> journey today. A long journey of discovery. A long journey in which Taco
> Salad Cheesecake will hopefully find -- *Taco Salad Cheesecake*!" The
> pretty butterfly flew off Taco Salad Cheesecake's finger and fluttered
> off into the sunset.

heeheeheeheehe X3

>       Taco Salad Cheesecake put on its motorcycle helmet and started up
> its bike. And then it waved to the LNH and the LNH waved back. And many
> in the LNH wondered if this would be the last time Taco Salad Cheesecake
> ever actually appeared in an LNH story.

So far, at least!

>       And the LNH looked as the sun sank into the horizon. "Well," said
> Pulls-Paper-Out-of-Hats Lad, "guess it's time to get the LNH 20th
> nniversary Party started!"
>       "Maybe we should call it the 22st Anniversary Party, considering
> when this thing will probably get posted," joked Namer Boy.
>       And all of the heroes had a hearty laugh at that.
>       And then they stopped laughing. Because... yeeeeeah.

eheheh ``;v

> I was just kind
> of hoping we could go one storyline without some big tragedy or dark
> secret, but I guess that's not how they do comics anymore. This was
> supposed to celebrate everything that was great about the LNH so we
> could go forward into a new era. Instead, it just about destroyed us."
>       "Well," said Catalyst Lass, "that whole thing was hanging over our
> heads for a long time. We would have had to deal with this someday, one
> way or another. Now we can make a clean break and move on."

Big tragedies and dark secrets are okay as long as you achieve actual narrative 
catharsis, you know?

>       In later years, the LNH 20th anniversary party became a thing of
> legend, told by the new generation of net.heroes who were just beginning
> to trickle in to the members who followed them to demonstrate their
> seniority, then repeated with all the additions and distortions one
> would expect.

Love this idea. :> And of course, Horrible Name Lad, Poignant Death Lass, and 
Painful Pun Person are the first of that new generation.

> Friendships were made and lost. There were first kisses, pointless
> arguments, dance-offs. Most of this will not be related because this
> story has gone on for quite long enough.


> Kid Enthusiastic skipped out on the party, as
> everything he'd been through left him tired enough to need a day-long
> nap.

This is a Jeanne part but man, that's such a good characterization point, and 
relates well to the deeper character points from HHS #7.

> Ultimate
> Ninja stood sentinel at the doorway and didn't move an inch, except for
> charging onto the dancefloor and furiously dancing when "Kung Fu
> Fighting" played.


>       There were other, stranger rumors too. Some spoke of hearing purring
> and feeling a cat's fur brush up against them, but no one could say who
> it was. Others recalled a pale, gaunt figure who complained at length
> about the New 52 and berated everyone in hearing for not reading the
> comics of Daniel Clowes, then vanished, walking between the shadows at
> midnight.

I feel like we really paid some good homage to yesteryear, here~

>       Dr. Stomper nodded. "I'm feeling a little sad, though. Just thinking
> about everyone who's come and gone."
>       "Such as Captain LNH?"
>       "I was thinking more about the characters of authors who went away.
> As awful as this may sound, in a way, the deaths are easier to deal
> with. That way there's some closure. I was thinking of the characters of
> authors who moved on or dropped off the Net, who never had a chance to
> have their stories finished in a satisfying way."

And a very pointed reference here. X3

>       Sing-Along Lass nodded. "It does feel strange not having Rebel Yell
> or Lurking Girl here. I still sometimes think that one day they're just
> going to walk in and come back like nothing had happened..."
>       Everyone gasped. The crowd had clustered by the door, staring at the
> two figures who had just walked in. "Who is it?" said Sing-Along Lass.
>       "It's... no... it can't be!" said Doctor Stomper.
>       "Obscure Trivia Lad thought they were gone forever!"
>       "That's right!" said the figure at the room. "It's us -- Halls
> Jordan, the Cosmic Custodian, and Cliche Dude!"

heeheehee :3 Notably, Jef popped up on the LNH Facebook group around this time 
and declared all of his characters freely usable, so Jeanne took this 
opportunity to bring a couple of them back in a big way.

>       Masterplan Lad shuffled awkwardly as the party roared on around him.
> The crowd was so large he felt like he could barely breathe. He wanted
> to be talking with someone, but he didn't want to start a conversation
> with anyone. Where would he even begin? He barely recognized anyone in
> this sea of faces around him.

And this is a good step towards his later characterization. :>

>       "I'm quite familiar with the tropes of this genre, you know. Hmm.
> You're right, though. How about... David X. McKenna?"
>       "Ha! That's pretty clever. Well, I think it's clever, but I'm
> getting extremely drunk." She smirked. "You ever drunk before? You have
> that fresh-faced cherubic teetotaller look about you."
>       "...I can't remember, but probably not."

Adorable. :>

>       Masterplan Lad stroked his recently-bearded chin. Had she been
> trying to flirt with him? It was impossible to tell. She'd have to have
> been fairly drunk to find him attractive.

Aw sweetie. X3 I hope his egg cracks soon.

> He'd felt that uncomfortable twinge of feeling he
> felt -- thankfully intermittently -- around men, women, and especially,
> it would seem, gender-indeterminate chaos beings. 


> "Oh, sorry," he said reflexively.
>       "Thank you?" said the young man, as if someone apologizing was so
> rare to him he couldn't quite believe it had happened. 

Poor WikiBoy. X3

>       "That's interesting," he said. "Did you know in advance what kind of
> truck you were going to turn into?"
>       "I don't know?"
>       "I deliberately tried not to picture anything. So your traits beyond
>    the order that's given you initially -- when you developed needles for
>    fingers initially, for example -- could be under your control?"

And a step in our characterization of him, too. :>

>       Irony Man II, slipping gingerly around the party, smiled at Halls
> Jordan's expression of frustration with time travel. It was a fine
> ironic smile, one she'd spent her whole life cultivating, but it was
> wasted on the party, as she was wearing a mask, and she didn't want
> anyone to pay attention to her anyway. Then again, there was a certain
> satisfying irony to that.

She's such a neeeeeeeerd

>       Nearby, Doug Moran was doing the Macarena with Catalyst Lass. She
> was glad she'd sent the message summoning him; he deserved to be part of
> this celebration, and was clearly enjoying himself.

:3 Good retcons

>       "I spend the entire night looking for you," said Irony Man, "and
> you're right here."
>       "There's a word for that," said Tasha Vance.


>       Irony Man looked at the tree. "It's been said that there are two
> types of writers -- architects and gardeners. An architect standing in a
> garden... as you said, there's a word for that. But I don't think you
> are either. I think you are... a composter, perhaps."


> Your name is Tasha Celeste Irene Vance. TCIV.
> Time Crapper IV. Net.heroes and net.villains have a way of hiding in
> plain sight."
>       "But I am neither." The air rippled and swirled around her,
> revealing her true form as a red-haired, cloaked woman.


>       "But you came from the seed of one of the greatest heroes of who
> ever lived. You are a Vector."
>       "But the Vector program was the source of some of the greatest
> villains who ever lived. And I *was* a Vector. I am something else now."

Already the retcon is paying dividends~

>       "She knew she what she believed in. Will any of the others follow in
> her path?"
>       "There is one. But her time has not yet come."

Another forward-looking reference to JAC. :3

>       He shook his head. "Sorry, caught in a bit of a loop... apparently,
> Cynical Lass's team was told about a newspaper clipping that reported on
> Captain LNH's death. It ended up leading them to the Dorfs' weakness.
> But if all of the memories of that battle were erased..." He bit his lip
> lightly, fangs hanging out. "I keep going around on it."
>       ARAK I frowned. The thing is, he knew it must be a plot hook of some
> kind --

Or something I didn't think of until writing this scene. X3

>       "Sure. Because it reminds us that, even with all our advanced
> science, even with knowledge passed down from our forefathers, even with
> going out there and meeting cosmic entities that are part of the
> structure of the universe itself -- we don't know everything. We have
> more to explore, and..." Wendle struggled a bit. He wasn't great at off-
> the-cuff philosophizing... "...and we are not yet complete. You know?"

I like this. :>

>       "Know that I watch this puny sphere because of the secret -- the
> Anti.File Equation hidden among human minds! Is this, then, the power
> which I seek? The power to unbalance, to take the first, identifying
> byte and corrupt it, throwing out all meaning?"
>       And the grooved vinyl skin bent, teeth of white bone shining in an
> exquisite smile. "Good."
>       "Thus shall the power be greater once it lies in my grasp. Thus
> shall it change the universe to reflect my countenance. Thus shall the
> victory of Flipseid be ever more complete, and thus shall it ring among
> the stars forever!"
>       "The music of the spheres is an empty babble, a chorus of
> meaningless lyrics over the thumping beat of empty hedonism." He turned
> and sat, and watched. And smiled. "And that beat is, and ever will be,
> Flipseid."

I'm always trying to get at the more "fucked-up-ness in the human soul on a 
cosmic stage" aspect of Flipseid, and I think I did really good here!

>       YNHMHELad snorted. "Yeah, I don't know. It's like..." He picked up a
> Spanish peanut and flicked it across the room. "I'm not going all Dorf-
> rage anymore, but I still think about all the problems in the world, and
> I feel like we could be doing more."

This part is me trying to address the stuff at the beginning, ofc.

>       "No, no. It's like..." He took a deep breath. "The problems you were
> talking about -- war, poverty, inequality and pain -- they aren't
> natural disasters or acts of God. They were caused by people, the
> thoughts and feelings in the minds of people, and the only way to really
> fix the problems is to change the minds. To make people happier and
> stronger and more inspired. And what can do that?" He tapped his chest
> and the stylized calligraphy letter N there. "Art. Words. A story." He
> looked up, into YNHMHELad's eyes. "We're helping by being here -- by
> being heroes."

This is my guiding philosophy as a writer. (It's also my fuck you to Kurt 
Vonnegut's stupid, stupid statement about art and the Vietnam War.)

>       Namer Boy shrugged, smiling. "I'm good at putting a name on things."
>       YNHMHELad chuckled. "Not like your dad."
>       Namer Boy shook his head, laughing. "Nah. But..." He looked over at
> Horrible Name Lad. "It seems he inspired someone, too..."


>       He'd always feared -- or maybe hoped -- that without his guiding
> influence things would have fallen apart and the LNH would welcome him
> back with open arms to sort them out. But in fact, the LNH was still
> going on, in defiance of all common sense, just like it always did. And
> he didn't have any desire to get back in the game. Maybe someday the
> writers would start feeling nostalgic and he'd feel the urge to put the
> armor back on, but for now, he felt it was a part of his life that was
> over now, for better or for worse.

Fuck yeah. <3 We've done really good moving forward, not back, with characters, 
unlike corporate media.

>       "Third, I felt like I might feel better if I spent some time around
> people who are actually enjoying themselves."

Heck yeah. :>

>       "Well, first of all, we might as well let them enjoy things while
> they can. Second, you'd be surprised. You remember what it was like
> starting out?"
>       "Well, I do now."


>       "You know what? Maybe this all was worth it after all. Life goes on.
> Even if we're not part of it anymore, they're all here because of us."
> He raised his glass. "To the future."
>       List Lad clinked it. "To the future!"


>    |--------------*----------------THE  END--------------*--------------|
>    |         STARRING                                  CREATED BY       |
>    |--------------*----------------AND  YOU--------------*--------------|

Love these kind of credits. :D Definitely doing some at the end of HHS.

Drew "post-holiday revving back up" Nilium

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