[LNH] Digital JUMP! #4

Andrew Perron pwerdna at outgun.com
Sun Aug 1 17:21:39 PDT 2004



>>From the files of the Molybdenum Age...


Digital JUMP!

Written by Andrew Perron
Cover art by Leonard da Quirm

Issue #4 - DUALISM!  Twenty-Seven Primary Colors!



Cover shows Casey, James, the girl and the old man fighting a giant,
yellow, brown-striped, cat's-paw-shaped glove in space.  In the lower
right corner, a shilhouetted face watches, its only visible feature a
single, glimmering tear.  In the lower-right corner sits an overly-
stylized logo proclaiming "Warriors of Light: Part I!"



Surgeon General's Warning: This product contains high levels of 
exposition, a substance which has been determined to be hazardous when
taken internally.  See a doctor if symptoms develop, or if you can't 
control your unbridled lust any longer.


Deep in the jungles of I/O.nesia, there is a place where, by hidden
experimentation with sorcery and genetic engineering, a tribe of
three-toed sloth have gained an intellect far superior to humanity's.
In their hidden city, they plumb the mysteries of the cosmos.  One
day, soon, they will discover a secret that could mean total
destruction, not only of the world, but the universe...

However, that has nothing to do with this story.

Instead, our attention goes to a small Byrne's & Noble in downtown
Net.ropolis.  Several quite-familar figures are seated around a table,
drinking coffee and talking...

"Well," said the mysterious old man, and I really hope he gets named
soon because I'm tired of referring to him as "the mysterious old
man", "I suppose I should explain who that was, and who we are."

"Nah, I kinda like ticking off the narrator," said Casey, the frigging
idiot who will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

"...er, right.  Well I, for one, would like to get it over with and
get to the actual *plot*," declared the similarly mysterious
attractive girl.

"I agree, since I haven't gotten any lines yet!" called James, who was
attempting to seduce the cappucino machine.

"All right, then.  I shall let the fourth wall regenerate itself, and

~~~~~<wavy panel borders indicative of flashback>~~~~~

"As you may have guessed, we come from another world.  But what may
surprise you is that we come also from another time..."

"Actually, that doesn't surprise me at all!" said James, butting his
head into the stylistic rendering of Earth from space.

"Quiet!" A comet that had been dramatically swooshing by executed a
U-turn and smacked James out of the frame. "Now, in about five years,
our world will face an unstoppable army of darkness.  It will come
from nowhere and everywhere.  All nations will be subsumed, and the
world will fall to the domination of the Zinc Oxide Tyrant."


"...and it doesn't matter now silly the name is, it's true."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<end flashback>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"But why not travel to a point closer to the attack?" Casey said,
reasonably. "You won't even know where to start, here."

"Two factors.  First, the reality fiber is thin at this point;
apparently, someone else came through right before we did.  Second,
The Prophecy."

"*AND* a Prophecy!  This is the best Christmas ever!" declared
James. "Is it about how four shall ride, and four more shall ride, and
blood will vie against blood, and the Dark Man shall rise from his
Dark Throne?"

"No, it just says we need a weird kid and a psychic teenager who look
like you."

"Awwwwww, Daddy's no fun anymore."

"Who exactly prophesised this?" said Casey, skeptically.

"Me, of course," said the old man. "I'm a prophet.  Didn't I tell

"What?  That's absurd!  You can't just prophesy something and then go
off and *do* it!"

"How do you think I get such a high success rate?"


"Anyway, it also says we need one more, who will connect the beginning
to the end or some crap like that.  I wouldn't put much stock in these
old prophecies, to tell you the truth."

"WHAT?  But-- you-- I--!  ...I have to go to the bathroom." Casey
grumbled and stomped off.

"Quick, let's put on the ape suits and go bury the Statue of Liberty
in sand!" James started to run out the door, but the cute girl (note
how her salient attribute is "cute" and not "intelligent" or
"tenacious" or "competent professionally"?  It's auctorial harassment,
I tell you!) picked him up and inserted him back on the patent-leather

She sighed. "Well, since the author doesn't seem to be getting around
to it, I think we'll need these..." She stuck a label on her shirt
that said "HI!  MY NAME IS Malachite Wendigo".  She then attached one
to the other guy that said "HI!  MY NAME IS Faded Iron Master", and
one to the other other guy that said "HI!  MY NAME IS Like Rouge".

"...wait a second."

"YOU!" shouted Casey, running back with toilet paper trailing from his
boot. "How dare you show your face here again, when... wow, Malachite
Wendigo?  That's actually your real name?"

"Yes.  Do you have a problem with that, *Mister* von Aluminumfoil?"
Malachite asked acidly.

The Faded Iron Master coughed. "Ah, supervillain?  Here?  Sitting next
to you, drinking Irish mocha?"

Like Rouge put down his mug, burped politely and stood up. "Nay, be
not afraid!  I stand among you not to battle, but to plead my case!"

Casey arched a suspicious eyebrow, but the FIM nodded, frowning, and
said, "Speak your poi poi peace."

"Very well.  I have heard rumors, rumors to the effect that my assumed
title is considered... feminine."

"You know, I may just be a traveler here from another dimension who
knows little to nothing of local customs and popular culture, but
that's right," declared Malachite. "After all, isn't it supposed to be
spelled R-O-G-U-E?"

"Indeed it would be.  I suppose all men's lies reveal themselves, in
time.  But then, I would not be beholden to that.  For you see..." A
leather breastplate was flung away... "I am a woman!"

Immediately, Casey's eyes widened to about four times their normal
diameter, and fountains of blood spurted out of his nose.

"You know you shouldn't play with that Overly Slapstick Anime Effects
Ray, James."

"But look, I can do arithmetic on your forehead!"

After carefully adjusting his facial anatomy, Casey asked, "Why keep
it a secret, though?  And what does it have to do with us?"

"All shall become clear.  You see, I am not a native of this world 

"Two flashbacks in one issue?  What, is he being paid by the tilde?"

~~~~~~~~~<more wavy panel borders - quiet, you!>~~~~~~~~~

"As a member of the wealthy and powerful House Ferrous, my life was 
peaceful and pleasant.  Certainly, there were problems; my parents did
not approve of my decision to study the sword and bow, no boy would so
much as hold my hand, that sort of thing.  Overall, however, it was a 
charmed existence."

"And then, war struck."

"The nation of Erehton, once our most loyal allies, betrayed the 
Periodic Houses and seized the lands of House Aurum.  Every
able-bodied warrior in the land was called to battle."

"Unfortunately, my parents did not think that I was quite able-bodied 
enough.  As I prepared to leave despite their objections, they cast a 
mystic ward to entrap me within the castle's demenses."

"Luckily, I was not quite as ignorant of the mystic arts as they 
supposed, and escaped with relative ease.  Incensed at their distrust,
and determined to show my worth, I began to seek out the weapons which
would spell our victory... the Four Atavists."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<end flashback>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"That's amazing!" declared the Faded Iron Master.

"What, that what was seemingly a one-shot enemy is a heroic character 
with several paragraphs of backstory and coincidentally happens to be 
on the same quest as we are?" said Malachite.

"No, that James didn't interrupt the exposition."

"Oh, I was just playing tic-tac-toe with an artificially intelligent 
government supercomputer!" chirped James.

"Oh, okay," she replied. "...give me thaaaaaaat!"

"And I don't belive it *is* coincidental... you mentioned House
Ferrous and House Aurum, correct?"

"Yes; though, as I said, House Aurum exists no longer."

"As I thought..." From the not-at-all-volumnous folds of his pants 
pocket, FIM withdrew a burnished bronze ring, engraved with an odd, 
alchemical symbol.

The breath caught in Malachite's throat. "That's..."

"Your father's symbol... the symbol of House Wolfram." He flicked the 
ring into her hand, and turned to the confused girl from another 
dimension (no, the other one). "It seems that you come from the same 
plane as we do... but from the present, as relative to this time."

"But that still doesn't explain why you concealed your sex from us. 
Or why you haven't put your shirt back on," said Casey, busy stuffing
his nostrils with Kleenex in an attempt to staunch the blood flow.

"After accessing your 'Internet' and finding the 'Women in 
Refrigerators' web site, I figured it would be for the best."

Malachite had put the ring away and returned to her usual self. "Well
I certainly *hope* that *this* author isn't planning anything of the
sort..." She directed a baleful gaze out through the Fourth Wall.

Er, no, I wasn't thinking anything of the HEY LOOK IT'S BISHOUNEN MAN 

"Where?  Where!?"

As Mala looked in vain for the Avatar of Androgyny, Like Rouge sat
down again. "Thus I ask; may I join you, on your quest to retrieve the
Atavists, so that we may save both your world and mine?"

"Yes!" James leaped to the front and shook her hand vigorously. "The 
more, the more profitable the action figure line!"

"Now, wait--" said Malachite, distracted from her wild goose chase,
but the FIM put a hand on her shoulder.

"She does seem to be the final warrior called for in the prophecy," he
said, the lines of his face radiating seriousness.

Mala sighed. "I suppose so..."

The FIM brightened. "Plus, we get a cute girl who likes to take her 
shirt off!  Woohoo!" He went over to shake her hand as well.

Mala slapped herself in the forehead. "He's nothing but an aged

Casey, who had by now established a hermetic seal on his nasal 
membranes, stood and faced the group. "Well, if we're in agreement, 
we'd better get the next Atavist before that Baron guy does."

"Actually," said the back-to-non-pervy-buisness Faded Iron Master,
"our strategy isn't going to be *quite* that simple."

Everyone looked askance at him (except James, who was busy looking up 
'askance' on dictionary.com).  "What could be simpler than locating
the mystic artifacts and keeping them out of the hands of the enemy?"
asked Like Rouge quizzically.

"Well, think of it like this.  The enemy already has one Atavist, 

As one, they nodded.

"And if they manage to get all the Atavists, they'll be able to do 
something unspecified, yet apocalyptic, right?"

Nods again.

"Therefore, it's best if we make sure at *least* one of them stays out
of evil hands."

Yet more noddage.

"Thus, I propose that we capture one of the Atavists that the enemy 
*hasn't* gone after yet, and put it somewhere secure.  Then, we can 
take the fight to him, while still having something in reserve."

"Makes sense to me," said Mala, stretching her neck to work out the 
kinks from all the nodding.

"Makes you wonder how people named after rare earth elements do it," 
remarked Casey. (The answer: Superconcentrated Gingold.  It does a 
spinal column good!)

"So where we goin' next?" queried James ebuillently. "Writers Block 
World, home of the Bit.zarros?  Looniverse-6, home of Lord Vo.alt and 
Lady Queue.ark?  Hellenistic Mecha-Side-Dishes Land, home of Homer's 
homing home fries?"

"Each Atavist lies in a different universe," replied the FIM, fiddling
with a mystical.thingee. "I suggest we first go after the Atavist of 
Air, which is in a plane known as Domi.net.ria."

Casey's facial features tightened in shock, and he involuntarily 
stepped back.  Mala turned to him. "What?  What's wrong?"

"I knew it," Casey gasped. "It's--



SD-Faded Iron Master: "Next Issue!"

"Finally, some action!  The gang travels to a world suspiciously 
similar to a certain card game!  But will they achieve a Coalition 
Victory, or face total Armageddon?  If they Stand Firm and don't Lose 
Hope, the author may finally end this parade of geekish references!"

"Next time on Digital JUMP!  EUDAIMON!  The Temptation of Wheat!  And 
Part Two of 'Warriors of Light'!"

"Kiss the vampire ladybug..."


Author's Note:

Finally, after a year and a half, the next issue of Digital JUMP! hits
the etheric stands!  No, there weren't any personal problems impeding 
the writing of the next issue; I'm just easily distracted!  In fact, 
don't be surprised if I post issue #6 by next Friday and then don't 
finish another until February 2006.

On a more serious note, I apologize for the fact that this issue is 
basically all exposition.  It just kinda... grew out that way, as I 
decided exactly where I was going with this whole thing.  Hopefully, 
there'll be enough action next issue to balance it out.

Most references should be obvious, or at least acryptic enough that
one can figure them out with the help of Google.  Two in particular,
though, I should point out:

* First, Like Rouge.  Her genderswitch came courtesy of Martin Phipps,
  who, after reading issue #2, commented on the typo and gave the 
  opinion that it sounded feminine.  Once I knew I'd be bringing her 
  back and revealing her secrets, she became pretty integral to the
  plot - as you can see.

* Second, the nodding is actually a parody of myself, and the way I 
  habitually nod to acknowledge people over IRC and similar text-based
  media.  Not sure I'm allowed to do that, but hopefully I won't be 
  kicked out of the Council of Neo-Elders.

Finally: The first draft of this involved an over-involed framing 
device that introduced Alan Berry, the Fastingest Man Alive.  I hereby
release him into the public domain, so that *some* writer may get use 
out of the concept.

Kid Enthusiastic/James Preponderation, Casey Von Aluminumfoil, 
Malachite Wendigo, the Faded Iron Master, Like Rouge, and all related 
indica copyright Andrew Perron, 2002-04.  Bishounen Man copyright the 
Legion of Shoujo Fetishes.  Leonard da Quirm copyright himself (he 
invented the concept, you know), but in this universe copyright Terry 
Pratchett.  Everybody else copyright whoever.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, insert tagline here.

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