[REPOST] [LNH] Digital JUMP! #5
pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Dec 6 20:52:24 PST 2010
PREHISTORIC PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS
IN ASSOCIATION WITH AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE WHERE COMMUNIST LUXEMBOURG
CONQUERED THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF MONGOLIA, AND MICHELANGELO IS NO
LONGER A PARTY DUDE
...From the files of the Molybdenum Age...
Written by Andrew Perron
Cover art by Rebecca Guay
Issue #5 - EUDAIMON! The Temptation of Wheat!
Cover is a beautifully-rendered watercolor, divided into five segments.
At the top, Malachite, holding hands with an angel, rises into a shaft
of pure white light; to the right, Casey surfs, a man with a staff
chasing him in a motorboat; bottom right, Like Rouge, knee-deep in
muck, wrestles with a shadowy figure for an electric fan made of gold;
bottom left, James stands next to a jeans-wearing minotaur as an
avalanche crashes down on both of them; and to the left, the Faded Iron
Master, dressed only in a loincloth, swings through the trees on the
run from a stampede of fantastic monsters. In the lower-right corner
sits an overly-stylized logo proclaiming "Warriors of Light: Part II!"
WHAT HAS COME BEFORE: James (Kid Enthusiastic) and Casey (Doesn't Have
A Superhero Name Yet) joined the LNH and stopped the Pacifist Militia,
but were stopped from stopping by Baron MacNottherealvillain. Then the
Faded Iron Master and Malachite Wendigo showed up, fought the Baron,
and enlisted Casey and James into a world-spanning quest to get the
Four Atavists. Like Rouge was there too.
The fabric of reality unraveled, the warp and woof of time and space
falling behind the rocking chair of eternity, causing the immense and
unknowable forces of the cosmos to swear and push the cat off their
lap. Out of this rift stumbled Casey, half-covered in purple goo.
"Ugh," he groaned, "I hate dimension travel."
"...but we used the Cosmic Stair-Stepper," said Malachite, walking
through the rift fresh as a daisy. "Purple goo was not, in fact,
involved at any point."
"Oh, I know," the teenage boy (that's Casey!) grumbled. "I'm just
allergic, is all."
"Here, try my medicine!" said James, tossing a bottle over as he
cheerfully stepped across universes.
"...this is a complete collection of Ed Asner bobble-head dolls. Each
one is holding up a sign insulting my ancestry, personal hygiene, or
theoretical choice of sex partner."
"Yeah, the signs insulting your political affiliation aren't
Like Rouge, who, along with the Faded Iron Master, had come through the
portal and closed it up at some point during these shenanigans, swept
the area with a calculating glance. "This Domi.net.ria looks much like
our previous location," she said. "Old man, did you not say it would be
similar to our home world?"
"Magically, yes," said the FIM, shaking some 20-sided dice out of his
sleeve and tossing them on the ground. "The culture here, however, is
"'PON THE UNKNOWABLE ORANGE!" shouted a large, bemuscled man in a suit
of shining, lacquered armor. "Call on thy wiles if thou wilt, for they
be of no succor! Thou'rt the dimension-dodging rapscallions we were
warned of! Thou shalt beware the name of... THE ROCK!"
He Whose Name Is Unfortunately Similar To A Wrestler Slash Actor
charged, and the team readied their spells and abilities... and then
Mala stepped forward, holding up her hands. "Wait, wait, time out," she
"What mischief doth--"
"No. We're not doing that. You said someone warned you about us?"
"Yea, veri--" He shied away from her withering glare. "Er... yes. Yes
they did. He showed up at the Gathering of Net.Legends' HQ, claiming
his name was 'Baron MacActuallyahero', and warned us that some
Legendary Villains from his home plane were chasing him."
James said, "Ah, okay. That's what's known on our world as a Situation
13, Hero Versus Hero Misuderstanding Fight, subtype .42b, Villainous
Everyone stared at him, taken aback.
"What? I'm Kid Enthusiastic, not Kid Can't Make A Serious Comment In
An Appropriate Situation."
"Actually," said the Faded Iron Master, "I think they were more
surprised by your outfit."
"Well, I thought if we were going to a dimension of magicians, I should
"That explains the rabbit suit," said Casey, "but what about the
"If someone saw through my disguise, I figured I'd claim I was a
visitor from another dimension in need of help!"
The Rock sighed. "So, are we going to fight, or...?"
"No, I think we'll just give up," said Mala.
"What!?" said her confused compatriots.
"Sure. That way, we'll get taken to their HQ and get to speak to
whoever's in charge."
The Faded Iron Master applauded. Casey blinked, and exuded a single
tiny red heart.
"You should get that looked at," said James.
As they walked to GNLHQ, Like Rouge was querying Mala on her backstory.
"So, in your time, the Periodic Houses won the war against Erehton, but
then the Zinc Oxide Tyrant conquered both?"
"Yep. We think he engineered the whole thing to weaken them. Some of
the Nobles Metallic escaped; they're mostly living in the Repatriate
Soybean now. The Masters and I work a lot closer to the border,
"Hmmm. And... what about me? That is, my future self. The name would
be Carmine, of A-- of Ferrous."
Mala shook her head. "I'm sorry, I don't know a lot about the
individual House members." She turned around, walking backwards. "The
architecture around here is... interesting."
This was an understatement. It seemed as if someone had taken a normal
21st-century Ame.rec.an city and replaced buildings at random with ones
taken from other times and places. A great stone tower, dripping with
black ichor, stood next to a Japa.net.ese fortress in blood-red. A
savings & loan was flanked by a mausoleum overgrown with vines and a
confusing riot of pipes, gears, and stained glass. A great tree,
carved carefully into an elegant work of art, stood amidst a
marketplace out of the Arabian Nights.
"Indeed," said The Rock. "The city planners like to make sure each
color of mana is available. We don't want a repeat of Black Summer."
"Makes sense," said the Faded Iron Master, distractedly.
"What's up?" asked Casey.
"Our plan had been to go after an Atavist that the Baron wasn't going
after yet. I tracked his trajectory when he left the Looniverse - he
wasn't coming here, he was going home... yet, somehow, he arrived ahead
"Maybe he just made a stop off in our world before coming here,"
"Maybe..." The FIM stroked his chin.
"We have arrived," declared The Rock, and gestured. From the outside,
the headquarters of the Gathering of Net.Legends was a surprisingly
normal structure of concrete and glass, sort of like an office
building - except for the red dragon slumbering directly in front of
The Rock rolled his eyes. "Ho, Boeing." He tapped the dragon on the
snout with the handle of his axe; it harrumphed, stretched its wings,
and flew off.
They walked inside, where stood an angel. Specifically, an angel
dealing efficiently with administrative tasks. She wore golden armor,
had huge white wings, glowed faintly, and was holding a manila folder
and talking to a clerk.
"...and make sure to check how BoaB is doing before you come back." She
shook her head. "How could he forget Hooshenmoofer?"
The Rock coughed politely, and the angel turned. "Ah! you've returned!
I was worried after you didn't call for backup... but I see you've
managed to take care of it yourself." She bowed to our heroes.
"Greetings, maybe-prisoners! I am the Vigilant Valkyrie, but you can
call me Sarah."
Mala stepped up. "My name is Malachite Wendigo, and these are the Faded
Iron Master, Kid Enthusiastic, Like Rouge, and... um... Casey."
"Look, you don't have one either, okay?"
She ignored the interruption. "And we'd rather not be prisoners,
thanks. We're actually heroes from another world, unjustly accused by
a disguised villain."
"Oh, a 13.42b? Shouldn't be too hard to clear up. Let's go see Baron
MacActuallyahero about this." She took out a silvery, glistening cell
phone. "Miss Morpho, Kid Sliver, meet me in R&D's Secret Lair."
"R and D?" asked Like Rogue.
"They're our tech guys. Really, their names are Ron and Doug, but when
we asked what they wanted for codenames..."
Our heroes followed the Vigilant Valkyrie down a hallway around the
side of the building. She leaned down and lifted up set of
brightly-colored floor tiles. A spiraling set of rough-hewn stone
steps was revealed, and they proceeded down, their way lit by LED
flickering torches. At the bottom, the stone walls were covered by
shelves, cupboards, and counters with a panoply of strange devices on
them. Leaning over a complex set of mirrors was a tall, thin young man
with a ponytail and glasses, wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and a leather
vest and boots.
"R?" called the Valkyrie, stepping out into the room. "Where'd that
Baron guy go?"
R looked up. "Oh, Sarah! He was over in the Trophy Room showing D
Down the stairs came two figures; a girl in her late teens wearing a
blue leotard-and-tights outfit with golden bands on her wrists and a
blue cape that looked vaguely like a pair of wings, and a boy in his
not-quite-as-late teens wearing a shimmering golden outfit of
scale-mail and a pair of bracers with pointed tips. Vigilant Valkyrie
nodded to them, then stepped forward and pushed the door open...
There stood the Baron, smiling and talking to D about the properties of
some rare artifact.
They exhaled a sigh of relief.
And then Kid Sliver was tossed over their heads.
Like Rouge jumped out of the way as a craggy-faced man wearing a worn
brown cloak shot bolts of pure energy from the silver hemisphere atop
his staff. She shot from her stick of magic missile, but he waved the
staff, and a pair of arcane arrows narrowly missed her. He cackled
even as Miss Morpho attacked, flying through the air via the taloned
wings that had been her cape.
Casey turned to see the illusion dissolve; instead of chatting amiably,
the Baron was ransacking the room, and instead of listening
rapturously, D was lying on the floor, unconscious. His precognition
went off and he dropped, narrowly dodging a hail of cigarette butts,
ticket stubs, bottle caps and other ephemera. Standing behind Casey
was a man in a white half-mask and a dramatic black cape. He snarled
"Elitist fool!" Kid Sliver jumped back up and charged the villain,
wielding a duplicate of Vigilant Valkyrie's sword.
The aforementioned angel faced a giant green figure. It was vaguely
humanoid and made of vegetable matter, moss and leaves and vines and
bits of wood and fruit. It was also vaguely female, in a comic-book
way - that is, the chest had a suggestively curved outline. "Me
trample puny wing-lady!" A hand grabbed at the Valkyrie, but it was
sliced away. The stump wriggled and regrew until a mechanical beaver
latched onto it, gnawing and gnibbling. Kid Enthusiastic tossed
several more onto the monster, who roared and flailed.
Faded Iron Master deftly bypassed the battles and made his way into the
Trophy Room. "Stop, you faithless fiend! Your felonious falsehoods
won't further your... um..."
"Flagitious!" shouted Kid Enthusiastic, hanging from a giant leafy
"Your flagitious formulations!"
"Hah!" shouted Baron MacNottherealvillain. "Your freshly-fleeced
foolishness... ah... er... ...oh, forget it." He tossed a multicolored
energy-blast at Faded Iron Master and leapt backwards, knocking over
D's desk. A stack of papers fell over, and a golden handheld electric
fan tumbled out.
Faded Iron Master lunged to grab it, but the Baron was faster, and rose
toward the ceiling with the fan clenched in his fist, chuckling in
maniacal glee. "Now that I have the Atavist of Air, Mirari Master,
Tragedy of the Commons, and Force Prime will distract you long enough
for me to escape!" He flew out the doorway and up the staircase.
"No!" Faded Iron Master ran out of the room and was immediately knocked
over by a stray blast of something or other. The Dom.net.rians and our
heroes were driven towards him, and as the villains advanced, they
found themselves in a circle, back-to-back-to-back.
"This doesn't make sense," said Vigilant Valkyrie. "Mirari Master is a
long-term planner, he'd never just show up and attack. Tragedy of the
Commons wouldn't work for someone with an aristocratic title. And
Force Prime only appears when the sanctity of nature is being
"Of course!" Casey reached out with his telepathy and encountered a
wall of psychic static. "They're being mind-controlled!"
"As far as I know, the Baron doesn't have mind-control powers," said
Faded Iron Master.
"Which means..." Kid Enthusiastic pulled out a TV aerial duct-taped to
a graphing calculator and waved it around. "They've got little beeping
flashing chips attached to the backs of their necks!"
"Time out!" called Malachite, making that T-sign with her hands. The
heroes went into a huddle, whispering loudly. Tragedy of the Commons
leaned in, pricking up an ear, but Like Rouge gave him a dirty look and
he backed off.
"Okay!" said Vigilant Valkyrie. "Time in! 42, 27, 64, hike!"
Miss Morpho and Malachite advanced toward Mirari Master. He cackled in
anticipation, spinning his staff until it was a blur. Mala raised her
hands and sent a bolt of energy at him, but it reflected off the staff
and hit Miss Morpho double-strength - causing her to grow several feet
and ripple with muscles. Mirari Master just had time to go "eep"
before she decked him.
Meanwhile, Kid Enthusiastic stepped behind Kid Sliver and put a
duplicate flashing beeping chip on his neck. KS jumped in front of
Force Prime. He glowed green, vines wrapping around him until he was a
half-size duplicate of her. As the two Forces grappled, locked in
stalemate, Faded Iron Master invoked the Law of Similarity on the metal
of the chips, and when Kid Enthusiastic pulled his chip off Kid Sliver,
the other chip popped off Force Prime. She fell over, shrinking into a
normal woman in PG-13 tattered shirt and pants.
Tragedy of the Commons went into a defensive position, surrounding
himself with a shield of castoffs and left-behinds whirling in the air.
Like Rouge tossed Casey a potion, and he pulled the cork and quaffed
it. Vigilant Valkyrie charged headlong through the storm of stuff and
latched onto Tragedy. He struggled, but her protective aura surrounded
him, and as Casey entered his mind, the fog around his senses, around
his true self, burned away. Tragedy's will asserted itself, and with a
defiant scream, he ripped off the chip. He fell over, vomited, and
Faded Iron Master ran up the stairs and out the trapdoor, but the Baron
was long gone. Casey, Mala, Kid E, Like R, and Vig V followed him up
"Damn," said Faded Iron Master. "This doesn't make any sense."
Casey scratched his head. "We're assuming Baron MacNottherealvillain
isn't the real villain, right?"
"Oh, of course." Faded Iron Master hit his forehead with the heel of
his hand. "Genre awareness. I'd forgotten."
"...forgotten?" Casey squinted.
"You're right! This means we have to change tactics!"
"No, I'd really like to know what you meant by--"
"Excuse me," interrupted Vigilant Valkyrie politely. "We're going to
have our hands full with these three, but I'd still like to give you
some help." She gave them a metal object that looked like a pile of
machine parts and a pair of trousers made of moss. "This Transreliquat
can adapt itself to the form of any artifice, and these Giant Pants
will do pretty much what you'd expect."
"Excellent," said Faded Iron Master. He pointed toward the setting
IT'S TIME TO SPLIT UP!
SD-Vigilant Valkyrie: "Next Issue!"
"Two teams depart! Next stop: the Silver City and Atanasoff! But
there's a dual surprise waiting, and only the twin secrets of Like
Rouge and Faded Iron Master can save them!"
"Next time on Digital JUMP! FLABBERGAST! My Very Educated Mother Just
Served Us Neptunium! Part Three of Warriors of Light!"
"Kiss the vampire ladybug..."
Finally! After a gap that is older than at least one of my siblings,
Warriors of Light picks back up!
As you may be able to tell, this issue was basically a parade of Magic:
The Gathering references. Some of the bigger ones are explained below:
The Rock is a famous tournament Magic deck. It really isn't a
reference to Dwayne Johnson.
"The Unknowable Orange" refers to the Sixth Color. Adding another
color to the five already in the game (white, blue, black, red, and
green) is a common hypothetical exercise for the fans (and Magic R&D
has seriously considered it more than once). Purple is a more common
choice than orange, but that just makes the latter more unknowable,
Many of the buildings in the issue are taken from land cards in the
game. The "looking at the architecture" scene includes Phyrexian Tower;
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep; Svogthos, the Restless Tomb; Steam Vents;
Gilt-Leaf Palace; and Bazaar of Baghdad.
The Gathering's HQ is based on the real-life headquarters of Wizards of
the Coast, the company that makes Magic. It's really a mashup of their
current headquarters and their old ones (across the street).
"BoaB" and "Hooshenmoofer" are not just Magic injokes, but injokes from
the articles that Magic website, dailymtg.com. One-percenters!
Vigilant Valkyrie, Miss Morpho, and Mirari Master are all based on
specific cards, whereas Kid Sliver and Tragedy of the Commons are
references to broader categories. Force Prime is a reference to
several cards, but all of them are themselves references to one card.
(Why did I make her female? Who knows!)
Of course, these aren't *all* the Magic references sprinkled throughout
the issue. Easter egg hunters, have fun!
Magic: The Gathering and all related indicia trademark Wizards of the
Coast. All characters in this issue created by me! Kid Enthusiastic,
Casey von Aluminumfoil, Like Rouge and Malachite Wendigo are Not
Reserved, But Ask Before Making Major Changes. The Domi.net.rians are
just plain Not Reserved. Go nuts! Faded Iron Master is Reserved for
the moment, moohaha.
Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, see, when I started the arc, Final
Fantasy references weren't passe...
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