LNH: Digital JUMP! #7, GRIPPING! Space-Time Energy Projector!
pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat May 14 21:29:35 PDT 2011
PREHISTORIC PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS
IN ASSOCIATION WITH AN ARMY OF ALTERNATE KID NOT APPEARING IN ANY
RETCON HOUR STORIES
...From the files of the Molybdenum Age...
Written by Andrew Perron
Cover art by Steve Stone
Issue #7 - GRIPPING! Space-Time Energy Projector!
The cover features a gigantic Baron Macnottherealvillain, lit ominously
from below, cackling and holding up a golden spade in one hand and a
golden lighter in the other. Kid Enthusiastic and Like Rogue pose in
shock and resolve on his left, Casey, Malachite and the Faded Iron
Master do the same to his right. In the lower-right corner sits an
overly-stylized logo proclaiming "Warriors of Light: Part IV!"
KNOW, O PRINCE, THAT: Kid Enthusiastic, Casey von Aluminumfoil,
Malachite Wendigo, Like Rouge, and the Faded Iron Master are on a quest
to stop the evil Baron MacNottherealvillain from getting the Four
Atavists. They've split up, and both teams have reached the places
where the Atavists are kept - only to find Barons at both!
Setting: An arctic fortress on the nameless planet of the Silver City!
Kid Enthusiastic watched from atop his probably-friend Like Rouge's
shoulder as the bad guy they had been chasing made a dramatic
appearance. He pulled out the interdimensional walkie-talkie. "We've
got the Baron over here! Skip merrily to our dimensional coordinates,
"Er..." came Casey von Aluminumfoil's crackly response. "We've got him
over here, too."
Kid Enthusiastic gasped. "I knew it! He's actually a member of the
Baron MacNottherealvillain Corps, using the emotional energy of mild
annoyance to commit crimes!" But Casey had hung up, so he turned back
to the team of evil giant robots that the aforementioned Baron had
apparently teamed up with.
One of the robots stepped forward, a lithe figure (well, for a robot)
in browns and blues with epaulets on its shoulders. "So," it hissed,
gesturing to the Baron, who stood and smirked at the heroes, "our
fleshy friend tells the truth."
"Indeed, Meitnericus," said another robot, its body blocky yet
effeminate, in a heavily synthesized voice. "But will the--"
"Bah!" shouted Hassitron, the regal, caped robot they'd fought before,
pushing his way to the front. "Stop introducing yourselves! You're
Rotengenwon, the tall robot in the back with the wings is Copernicron,
now let's destroy these interlopers!"
Copernicron chuckled metallically. "Still smarting from your
ignominious defeat, eh?" Nevertheless, he pulled out a pair of blades,
snapping them together into a single weapon. Meitnericus and
Rotengenwon followed suit with a spinning sword and an axe shaped like
"Generals of the NefariKingdom..." Copernicron shifted into a fighting
They charged forward in a wave of mechanical malevolence. The magical
metal of the Solar Sails met their attack, and battle was joined.
Solar Storm met Meitnericus's blade with a field of crackling
electromagnetic force. Rotengenwon's axe swung over Solar Ice's head
and was deflected by Like Rouge's Quarterstaff of Magic Missile. Kid
Enthusiastic parasailed off Like Rouge's shoulder as a salvo of
missiles launched from Hassitron's arms, only to be burst by a pinpoint
proximity mine, courtesy of Solar Bay. Solar Stream caught
Copernicron's weapon with a length of glowing chain, and they stalked
in a circle of standoff until Solar Tide raised her hands; a flurry of
tiny, crescent-shaped lights shot out, exploding against the General's
Making a perfect seven-point landing, Kid Enthusiastic noted that there
was something missing here *other* than a kickass fight theme. Where
was Baron MacNottherealvillain? Rolling away from the battle, he
spotted the fiend walking through the gates of the great steel
"Guys!" he shouted, turning around just in time to dodge a faceful of
sharpened alien metal. "Sweet troll Jegus!"
"Focus on the fight!" shouted Like Rouge, kicking Rotengenwon's knee
servo out of alignment.
"But the Baron, he's going after the Atavist!"
She cursed colorfully. "Must get--" She stepped forward, only to be
tripped up by an errant swing. "Bah! Kid Enthusiastic, we'll take down
these mooks - you stop the Baron before he can claim his prize!"
"I'm on the job!" Kid Enthusiastic saluted and activated his
rocketskates, zooming into the fortress after his quarry.
On the continent of Atanasoff on the world of Tellus Digita, Malachite
Wendigo wondered why it always had to be the hard way. The Emperor of
Chi-Gamma, who ruled this land and held the Atavist they had come for,
had *naturally* teamed up with Baron MacNottherealvillain. Of course.
She looked over to Casey, but he was on his interdimensional walkie-
talkie, and the Faded Iron Master had drawn back away from the Imperial
Palace gates at which the Emperor and the Baron stood; she knew that
this would let him make a dramatic entrance later on. She shook her
head. All her life she'd known him, and it seemed that with each year
he'd only become sillier.
A phalanx of guards, dressed in a golden version of vaguely Roman
armor, marched out and took up positions around the gate. The Emperor,
a spiky-haired man with a regal bearing dressed in robes of royal
purple, took the opportunity to break the silence. "So these are the
enemies of the realm that you mentioned?"
The Baron nodded, supremely confident. "The very same, my lord. Shall
we tell the guards to haul them off to the deepest, darkest reaches of
the dungeon?" He began to cackle triumphantly.
The Emperor considered. "I think not. We shall instead give them the
opportunity to plead their case before the court."
The Baron stopped short mid-cackle. "But-- what court?"
"The Imperial Court, of course, where the onus of jurisprudence falls
on the Emperor alone."
"Sir, you don't know what these people are like. You can't--"
"Can't I?" The Emperor turned to the Baron with a dangerous eye. "I
should think carefully before dictating terms to my clear superior." He
turned away, leaving the Baron gaping and speechless, speaking directly
to Casey and Mala. "State your case."
Casey opened his mouth, but Mala poked him in the arm, touching her
temple and thinking as hard as she could at the telepathic boy. .o(Let
me do the talking - I've dealt with royalty before!)
Casey nodded. .o(Okay, but be careful - there's something screwy going
on with the Baron.)
Malachite bowed low, Casey imitating her. "Your grace, we come from
another world. We seek the Four Atavists, one of which you hold, so
that we may free that world from the rule of a mad tyrant."
The Emperor hmmmed, his expression penetrating, yet amused. "Some call
me a mad tyrant."
"True, your grace, but you haven't destroyed ancient, irreplaceable
buildings filled with history and culture because their names had
rhotic vowels in them."
"I must say, that is both mad and tyrannical. Yet my friend here," and
he gestured to the clearly discomfited Baron, "says that you are the
ones serving the forces of chaos."
Mala thought of Kid Enthusiastic. Well, they weren't *serving* him. "I
know not how to prove my case for certain, but I will submit to any
test you might give."
"As will I," said Casey.
"As will I," said the Faded Iron Master, stepping out from behind a
column and bowing.
The Emperor nodded, completely unsurprised, stroking his chin in
consideration. "An impressive display of trust. And you?" He turned to
Baron MacNottherealvillain, levying the full strength of his gaze upon
him. "What would you offer up, to match this humility?"
The Baron stared at him, expression empty, then broke and ran back
through the gate into the depths of the palace.
"He's going for the Atavist!" Mala shouted, trying not to sound *too*
"Indeed." The Emperor pointed, and his personal guard pursued the
fleeing figure as one.
Kid Enthusiastic zipped through the aliensteel corridors. Let's see,
what did he have in his backpack? Slingshot, hydrogen fuel cell, tarot
deck featuring the cast of The Facts of Life, no tea, half-finished
treatise on the use of punctuation in code names, the Transreliquat
Vigilant Valkyrie had given him, a thermos with the rest of his mint
chocolate drink, the Essential Brightsword hardcover... aha! Perfect!
He could see Baron MacNottherealvillain up ahead, turning to a shadowy
side corridor. Kid E swung around in a 90-degree arc and followed
behind, the shadows lengthening, the passage opening up, revealing a
huge dark room with a huge dark throne and a huge dark figure sitting
in it. He skidded to a stop.
The figure stirred from its reverie, rising, stretching to the vaulted
ceiling. "Yessss?" it whispered in a rough, resonant contralto. The
Baron flew up, tiny next to it; he spoke words Kid E couldn't hear, but
could definitely see the effect of.
"WHAT!?" Torches burst into blazing life around the room, and the
figure was revealed. It was another robot, larger than the rest, in
purple and gray tones. It wore a jeweled, spiked helm, and its form
seemed both bestial, though with curves much like the Solar Sails had.
On its back were wings like some great looming moth. "So, the final
battle is upon us. It is time to prepare! ...eh? Ah, yes. Take it,
then, and battle in my name." A giant hand opened, and in it was a
golden spade, the Atavist of Earth.
Time for action! "Stop right there!" shouted Kid Enthusiastic into a
handy megaphone/bubble maker.
The gargantuan robot turned. When it saw Kid E, it laughed. "What
manner of germ is this, who dares to challenge the power of..." Wings
flapped, and arms spread dramatically. "Queen Transuranium Butterfly!"
"Don't take me so lightly!" Kid Enthusiastic held up a graphing
calculator. "I've upgraded the Enthusiastic Plane!" He leapt into the
air, beams of flickering green light shooting off in all directions.
As he spun end-over-end, they plotted graphs in the air which flashed
into solid existence. In moments, Kid E was surrounded by a rough
humanoid form, rising to the height of the room, made of glowing white
polygons and looking like an early attempt at 3D rendering. "Meet the
"Isn't that just a ripoff of Skysabre's Projector form from Dvandom
Force?" said the Baron, eyebrow raised.
Kid E sputtered. "W-- I-- Have at you!" He reached for the Baron, but
he zipped out of the way, grabbed the Atavist, and headed for the door.
The Enthusiastic Volume turned, but Queen Transuranium Butterfly
grabbed it by the shoulder.
"Face the one you provoke!" She spun him around and punched the force
structure in the virtual gut. It didn't actually hurt, but the panel
flashed through the visible spectrum and the dramatic special effects
module let off sparks and smoke.
Kid E activated the Mobile Fingerpaint System and flipped out of the
Queen's arms. The Enthusiastic Volume strafed quickly to the side,
sliding in circles around her. "Y'know," he chirped, "I'm not much of a
physical fighter! I mean, I've trained a bit, I can dodge and roll,
but I usually stick to blasting from the back row!"
"This base characterization means nothing to the NefariKingdom! Hold
still!" The Queen shot a bolt of eldritch energy, but it missed the
swift glowing form.
"So I figured if I was gonna use this thing for melee combat, I'd want
to be rolling Int checks instead of Dex! Thus..." He punched in a
rapidfire sequence of numbers on the calculator. The Enthusiastic
Volume swung around the Queen and delivered a leg sweep, following it
up with a barely-dodged elbow drop. "Preprogrammed combat macros!"
"Hah!" laughed the Queen. "Yes, very good! Very smart! The
electromagnetic energy of your organic nervous system will be a special
treat." She charged at Kid E; he dodged, but it was a feint, and her
claws raked the glowing form, forcefield snapping and curling in
painful colors. He fell back, smoke rising from the flickering panel.
"Mwahahaha!" As the Queen cackled maniacally, the Enthusiastic Volume
palmed a metallic spheroid and flicked it into her open mouth. "None
can defeat-- umph!"
"Eat electromagnetic pulse, lady!" Kid E cheered as the Queen
spasmed... but the spasms suddenly stopped, and she straightened fully.
"Hah! You are a skilled tactician. But your efforts are for naught.
None can defeat me but Solar Tide... and she is impotent without this
power!" The Queen's chest plate slid away to reveal a shining silver
sphere. "The Source Argent!"
"Seriously? Okay!" The Enthusiastic Volume flashed into a green
wireframe and dissipated, revealing Kid Enthusiastic holding up the
Transreliquat. "Adapt to the form of artifice!"
The Transreliquat shone with a coruscating spectrum of red, blue and
purple, seething, shimmering and metamorphosing until it became a
sphere that shone with exactly the same silvery hue. Kid E saluted,
spun on his heel, and rocketed off.
The Queen blinked, then snarled and gave chase.
The guards marched into the palace, Mala, Casey and the Faded Iron
Master close behind, the Emperor of Chi-Gamma bringing up the rear.
"The Atavist of Fire is a hand-sized golden object," said the FIM.
"Rectangular, with a top that flips back."
"He will be headed for the Vaults, then." declared the Emperor. He
directed the soldiers with a wave of his hand. "You, go straight down
the corridor; you, take the back passages and cut him off at--"
"HAH!" Before anyone could react, Baron MacNottherealvillain swept down
from the shadows, grabbing the Emperor in a single swift motion. He
backed up against the wall, holding his impromptu captive to his body.
"Nobody move! Your precious Emperor is my hostage, and now--"
The guards started snickering, covering their faces and looking at each
other. Mala raised an eyebrow, and Casey shrugged.
"What?" said Baron MacNottherealvillain. "What? WHAT!?"
The Emperor closed his eyes and calmly spoke. "O eudaimon, FURYVOLVE
this one into..." Skin turned dark and scaly. Muscles bulged and bones
lengthened. Limbs twisted into not-quite-reptilian form. Long claws
popped out of hands and feet. A shining helm covering the face and
topped by great horns scintillated into being, followed by a suit of
armor with the symbol of the Imperial House of Chi-Gamma on it.
The now-ten-foot-tall Imperius broke the Baron's grasp easily. He
lifted his body and, with deceptive grace, swung him through the air
and into a historic stone-hewn column. The Baron's body was literally
flattened by the impact; his arm popped off and his head cracked open,
revealing circuits, wires and plates. A synthesized death rattle
escaped his mouth as his body fell to the ground.
Mala gasped. "He's a robot!? But our world didn't have the technology
for that back now!"
The Faded Iron Master frowned, eyes tight on the pseudo-Baron's dying
sparks. "No. Which means that we're not the only time-travelers
involved in this!"
Kid Enthusiastic sped out of the fortress like a sparrow out of hell,
Queen Transuranium Butterfly hot on his heels. The battle was still
raging, but the Baron had disappeared completely.
Kid E frowned. Oh, well, no use crying over spilled nemesis. "Solar
Tide!" he shouted. The robot warrior of love and justice turned, and
with an overhand pitch, he tossed the transformed Source Argent to her.
She caught the sphere, almost fumbling before it grew to fit in her
hand, its silvery light tripling at her touch. She gasped. "This...
you found our MacGuffin! How did you--"
The Queen's claws took a chunk out of the pavement; Solar Storm and
Solar Bay launched attacks simultaneously, but it barely even slowed
"Oh, right." She raised the Source Argent into the air. Its glow shone
upon the warriors, good and evil, as she raised into the air. Around
her body, gossamer strands came together into a sparkling, ephemeral
gown. The light became blinding, friend and foe alike covering their
eyes. Even the rampaging Queen was checked by its power, her mouth
open in a silent roar of rage.
"Gorgeous... Tidal... Reboot!"
A sphere of brilliance washed over the battlefield...
Kid Enthusiastic rubbed his eyes. How long had that moment been? He
pulled himself to his feet. Like Rouge and the Solar Sails did the
same, but where the Generals and the Queen had been, there were silvery
blobs, sealed in strange containers. He turned to Solar Tide, who was
gently floating to the ground. "Bwu?"
"They have been restored to a protean form, to be born anew, freed of
the taint of darkness. From now on, their choices will be their own,
for good or for ill."
"What about that guy?" Kid E pointed to Meitnericus, who had *not*
turned into a blob. Instead, he was looking around in wonderment,
covered with a layer of blue chrome, the rest of his colors faded to
black and white.
Solar Tide gasped. "Tuxedo Break!" She ran up and hugged him. "I
thought you were dead!"
"Nay, I lay not within the bosom of that undiscovered country, but
slept, unable to bear the thousand shocks laid upon me, and thus
retreated to a less noble mind."
"...okay!" They made out passionately. The rest of the Solar Sails
cheered and applauded. Kid Enthusiastic and Like Rouge watched with
"Hey, Like Rouge?"
"It was your House that was overrun during the war, wasn't it?"
"..." She sighed. "Well, why did you not just let the whole world
"Okay! CITIZENS OF THE SILVER CITY--"
Carmine put her hand on the boy's mouth. "Yes, James, it was. I... I
didn't want to show weakness in front of my countrymen. Nor in front
of those I was already asking succor from."
"Awww, you didn't have to worry about that! We're heroes! We don't
think less of people for needing help."
She laughed, and tousled his hair. "I have met those who called
themselves heroes before; men of sinew and muscle whose might made
right. T'was all I expected when I came to your world, but I think I
found something more..."
Kid E grinned, but then frowned again. "Welp, we'd better meet up with
the others, tell them we lost the Atavist..."
Solar Ice stretched out. "That's okay, it looks like we've finally
There was a pop! noise, and a short, almost childlike robot in red,
pink, and orange appeared in midair. She landed atop Solar Tide,
knocking Tuxedo Break away. "I am Solar Phoenix, and I need your help
to save the future!"
"Or not." She sighed and shook her head, waving goodbye to our heroes.
The Emperor of Chi-Gamma released the eudaimon, monstrous spirits
dispersing back into the depths of the world, his body shrinking back
to human form. "Well. Let us--"
There was a crackle of thunder just outside the gates, and a form
rocketed through the halls with a blast of wind. Guards were scattered
like tenpins. Casey, Mala, the Emperor and the Faded Iron Master
staggered back, though Mala shouted out, "It's him! It has to be!
Another robot Baron!"
Guards got to their feet within seconds, charging down the corridor.
Mala sent a charge of boosting energy into the FIM's form, and he raced
past them to the vaults.
The other Baron MacNottherealvillain hovered above a smashed chest,
holding the Atavist of Fire in one hand, and the Atavist of Earth in
the other. The FIM charged blue-white energy around his hands, but the
Baron smirked, gave him an ironic nod, and smashed through the stone
ceiling, blasting his way out through the side of the palace.
The rest of the party came charging up a few moments later. The
Emperor looked the FIM in the eye, and the FIM shook his head. The
Emperor nodded, and gestured to his guard; they trooped out. "I believe
the castle needs to be secured." He swept up his cape and left them
alone in the vault.
There was a moment of awkward silence, and the FIM sighed. "Damn it.
All these clever plans, these subversions of cliche, come to naught."
For a moment, the burden of years weighed down his frame.
Then he straightened, running his hands through his shock of gray hair.
"All right." He smiled. "Time for Plan S."
"Master, you didn't tell me about this one," said Mala, looking a bit
confused, a bit offended.
He shook his head. "Gotta keep somethin' up your sleeve, m'dear."
Casey scratched his head. "What's the S stand for?"
"Shit Hits The Fan." The FIM swept up his cloak and stepped up to
Casey. "We're going back to Amalgama." He put his hands on the boy's
shoulders. "I have decades of experience fighting the Zinc Oxide Tyrant
and his forces, inflitrating their places of power and scrutinizing
every weakness. I want to directly transfer these memories to your
Casey blinked. "There are thirteen thousand questions this brings to
mind, but... why me?"
"Well, to be honest, I'd share 'em with every ally I have, but this
isn't something you do casually. We would have to link our telepathic
powers directly, mind to mind. It's a risk, but with your permission,
I think it's one worth taking."
"...well, I can understand that. Let me take a second to-- wait...
*our* telepathic powers?" Casey took a step back. In his head, he
wrote out a list:
* Prophet (= precognitive)
* From the future
* Apparently "forgot" stuff about the Looniverse
* Seems to be giving me little tests
* Ruggedly handsome
"...w-wait a second..."
The Faded Iron Master chuckled. "So you finally figured it out. Yes,
that's the other reason. Who better to trust my memories to than,
SD-Solar Ice: "Next Issue!"
"Into endgame as we make the jump to Amalgama! Exposition and
explosions! Battle lines are drawn, but can they withstand the power
of the future and the past together?"
"Next time on Digital JUMP! GUMPTION! Glory of a Knock-Down Argument!
Part Five of Warriors of Light!"
"Kiss the vampire ladybug..."
So who saw *that* coming?
"Eudaimon" is a word I've always thought was neat, and it's perfect for
a combination of Digimon and a more Greek version of Codex Alera's
Furies. Of course, I started using it here before I realized I'd used
it in the title of #5. Foreshadowing? Nah, just multiple inspirations
from the same source. (Especially considering the title of #5 was
announced at the end of #4, back in 2004.)
All characters created by Andrew Perron, Faded Iron Master is Reserved,
rest of 'em Not Reserved. Post no bills.
Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, whose dream was it?
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