[REPOST] [LNH] Digital JUMP! #5

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Dec 6 20:52:24 PST 2010



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


Digital JUMP!

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 
FDA-approved yet."

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 
blend in!"

"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 
of us."

"Maybe he just made a stop off in our world before coming here,"
suggested Mala.

"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 entrance.

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 
passed out.

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 
the stairs.

"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?"


"His name."

"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 
sun. "Team--



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..."


Author's Note:

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, 
doesn't it?

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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