LNH: Digital JUMP! #8: "HECTARE! Glory of a Knock-Down Argument!"

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Sep 18 12:59:17 PDT 2011



...from the files of the Molybdenum Age...


Digital JUMP!

Written by Andrew Perron
Cover art by Joe Kubert

Issue #8 - HECTARE! Glory of a Knock-Down Argument!



The cover is a pattern of diagonal filmstrips showing the main 
characters dressed in karate gi and headbands practicing martial arts. 
Along the bottom are the words, "Preparations for the FINAL BATTLE!" In 
the lower-right corner sits an overly-stylized logo proclaiming 
"Warriors of Light: Part V!"




Kid Enthusiastic, Casey von Aluminumfoil, Malachite Wendigo, Like 
Rouge, and the Faded Iron Master were on a quest to stop the evil Baron 
MacNottherealvillain from getting the Four Atavists.

They failed.

Now the powerful artifacts are in the hands of the Baron's master, the 
Zinc Oxide Tyrant. But all is not lost. The Faded Iron Master has 
revealed two things: a last-ditch contingency plan, and a shocking 
piece of information...



"You're *me* from the *future*."

The five of them were sitting around a table, back at the Looniversal 
bookstore-slash-coffeeshop where they'd first come together. Casey von 
Aluminumfoil was brooding over a scone, glaring sullenly at the Faded 
Iron Master.

"That's the only thing he's said for the last twenty minutes," sighed 
Malachite Wendigo.

"That's so COOL!" enthused Kid Enthusiastic. "I asked for a visit from 
my future self as a present for my eighth birthday, but instead I got 
socks. Intelligent socks from the future, but still..."

"I must admit, I do not quite understand," frowned Like Rouge. "This 
doesn't quite fit the prophecy you spoke of."

"Prophecy!" Casey thumped the table. "You didn't need to prophesize 
anything! You met with us because you knew where we were going to be, 
because you lived it before! Or something like that! Dammit, why 
weren't you straight with us from the beginning!?"

"Other than the fact the writer didn't come up with this backstory 
until after writing that issue?" said the FIM with a tired smile.

"Yes! Being fictional isn't an excuse not to take responsibility for 
your actions!"

He sighed and shook his head. "I forgot how passionate I could be, when 
I got riled... but you're right. Your answer, then: I failed in my 
timeline. I wanted to knock you as hard as I could off that chain of 
events, to give you a chance to succeed."

"..." Casey sighed. "I think we're going to need more flashbacks. 
But... okay."

The FIM nodded. "Well, then, we'll have to flashback while we get 
ready. Kid Enthusiastic, if you could?"

Kid E grinned, gave a thumbs-up, and slipped a casette into a boombox.


                 Music: Joe Esposito, "You're the Best"

    Scene: Hastily-sketched maps spread out on the table. Faded Iron 
    Master pointing out details and outlining movement. A voiceover 
    starts up.

Faded Iron Master: "Naturally, my past was like yours up to the point 
where we met. Specifically, Kid Enthusiastic and I took on the Pacifist 
Militia, defeating them handily. But when we got the building on the 
ground, Like Rouge was waiting. She explained that, now that we had 
completed the fight-and-team-up ritual, she had come to recruit the 
LNH's help in fighting the Zinc Oxide Tyrant. We thought it was a trick 
until Baron Macnottherealvillain emerged from the building with the 
Atavist of Water and fought the three of us to a standstill before 

    Scene: Kid Enthusiastic readies his tools as Mala practices new 

FIM: "The LNH dispatched the standard team to help out new members, all 
Free For Use characters with nothing going in in current continuity. We 
took down the Baron and stopped the battle between the Periodic Houses 
and Erehton - and played right into the Tyrant's hands."

    Scene: Casey hitting a punching bag with some fancy footwork - 
    right before he slips and falls.

FIM: "The Tyrant used the Four Atavists to cast a spell over the land, 
creating the Tyranny Zone. One of its effects was to block certain 
types of superhumans from entering the area, kicking most of us out. It 
also allowed him to direct the Atavists' power into his foot soldiers, 
leaving him free to take down the remnants that we had helped weaken. 
After everything shook out, we were left at a stalemate; we couldn't 
penetrate the Zone, but the Tyrant's power was limited to the area 
within - and the Atavists could only push it so far."

    Scene: Like Rouge spinning her staff, then posing dramatically.

FIM: "But we didn't give up. Most of our team was taken out of the 
fight, but by trial and error, we learned what could pass into the 
Zone, and assembled a team with more subtle powers; trained humans, 
quiet psychics, device-based abilities that didn't break physical law 
*too* gratuitously. Taking on the Atavist-powered soldiers in a fair 
fight wasn't the only option."

    Scene: Kid E balancing a book on his head while walking along a 
    taped line.

FIM: "Over time, this became a form of guerilla war, with the LNHers 
leading rebels among the populace in pinpoint attacks on strategic 
resources. But it seemed the Tyrant matched us strategy for strategy, 
and we've lost at least one battle for every two we've won."

Casey: "But surely Kid Kirby or one of the other cosmic LNHers could've 
breached the barrier."

FIM: "Sure, with some time and effort. But 'cosmic' is the operative 
word here; those kinds are always guardians of reality and the like. 
They don't have endless time to spend on one little kingdom on one 
little world, especially since the Tyrant was careful never to pose a 
direct threat to the Looniverse."

    Scene: Mala takes a pouch and tosses a handful of metal filings in 
    the air. She waves her hand, and they freeze in a shimmering line.

Kid Enthusiastic: "So why didn't you try the time-travel thing way way 

FIM: "No reason to. After all, it wasn't going to change our timeline."

Carmine: "What? But..."

FIM: *chuckle* "We always knew this wouldn't alter what we'd already 
experienced. We're not a Cosmically Important Point, kid."

Carmine: "Well, then, why did you do it at all?"

FIM: "Eventually, we found out that there was a way to counter the 
power of the Atavists, with a mystic force of equal power. We realized 
we could go back and get the tools to overthrow the Tyrant... and, at 
the same time, make sure there was at least *one* world where this 
didn't happen."

    Scene: The Faded Iron Master winks to Like Rouge, who rolls her 
    eyes, though not unsmiling.

    Scene: Casey facing two doors, in the classic "psychic pose" of one 
    hand on forehead, the other outstretched. He confidently walks over 
    to one and opens it, only to have the contents of an overstuffed 
    closet fall on him.

FIM: "But I'm getting ahead of myself. Eventually, after a few years of 
combining college with intermittent rebellion, I decided to move to 
Amalgama full-time. I had some of the most useful powers that could 
slip through the block, I was becoming a serious student of elemental 
magic, and, well, I'd fallen in love."

Casey: "Yeah, feel free not to get into the details of that."

FIM: "Don't worry, I'll avoid spoilers. The Tyrant launched many 
attempts to expand his territory through schemes of subtle conquest. It 
was in stopping one of these that I met Malachite's parents, and we 
became good friends - and it was in holding back another that they 

Mala: "I was six years old at the time. They'd fled House Wolfram as 
young bethrothed, ten years before I was born. When it... happened, the 
Master came to tell me. I cried. We left together, and we've been 
training ever since..."

    Scene: Casey silently looking at the Faded Iron Master giving Mala 
    a hug.

Casey: "...hang on, I'm trying to figure out the timeline here. How old 
*are* you?"

FIM: "Heh. It's been thirty long years, not counting comic book time."

Kid E: "Wow! You look *way* older than that!"

FIM: "...yes, well."


Click! The Faded Iron Master turned off the music and faced the 
foursome. Like Rouge stood atop a vanquished straw dummy, Casey wobbled 
on top of a pair of logs, Mala was pushing tiny figures around a table, 
and Kid Enthusiastic was waxing a car.

"There's a reason for that, but I think we've exposited enough.  Are we 
all clear on the plan?"

"The battles between the Houses Periodic and Erehton are still going," 
said Like Rouge. "The ritual of the Tyranny Zone has more than likely 
begun, but completion shall wait until the Tyrant is sure they are 
fully weakened."

"Stealth is of the essence," said Mala. "If they catch wind of what 
we're doing, he might kick it off early."

"We don't want to show our hands too early," said Casey. "If possible, 
we keep our full force secret."

"We've got plenty of granola bars and water bottles just in case!" said 
Kid Enthusiastic.

The Faded Iron Master nodded. "Then let the retroactive liberation 

One by one, they stepped through the wavering purple portal...


They landed in a small glade just outside the walled city of House 
Galvanis. The day positively sparkled, sun shining on stone and grass, 
a light breeze tickling the leaves. It was a good day for intrepidity.

The gate lay open, refugees from the battle slowly streaming in, not 
hurried, just tired. At first, the FIM had planned to sneak in along 
with them, but Mala pointed out a back way, which would get them from 
the public areas into the sealed depths. Like Rouge levered the stone 
door open, and one by one, they snuck into the concealed courtyard.

At which point, the door behind them slammed closed, the doors around 
them slammed open, and the area filled with soldiers, weapons pointed 
at the fivesome. Down from the parapets floated a figure, hands blazing 
with magical energy. "Greetings, ladies and gentlemen, from the one and 
only, flesh and blood, Baron MacNottherealvillain!"



SD-Baron MacNottherealvillain: "Next issue!"

"Is this the end of the line?  Has tyranny triumphed?  Will our heroes 
be thrown into a dungeon and fed pigeon toes for the next thirty years?  
You'd better believe it!  Nyahahaha..."

"Next time on Digital JUMP!  INDIGO!  The Melancholy of Kimball 

"Kiss the vampire ladybug..."


Author's Notes:

I messed up the alphabetical order for the title I announced this 
issue; thus, this one is "HECTARE!" and not "GUMPTION!".

Yet again, we have an issue composed pretty much entirely of 
exposition.  I'm not sure if this is just because of the weird, 
retroactive way I plotted out this storyline or if it's a sign of a 
greater issue with my writing.  Or, indeed, if it's an issue at all - 
what do you think, too much?

I'm aiming to finish this arc by the end of the year, so that in 2012, 
we can move on to... *other* things.  Mwahahaha.

All characters created by Andrew Perron, Faded Iron Master and the Zinc 
Oxide Tyrant are Reserved, everybody else Not Reserved.  Pecorino Gran 

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, it's the final countdown! *danana na*

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