His ancient race long ago unravelled the laws of physics, and they then learned how to redefine them. They harvest fusion fire to sustain themselves, and they hollow out suns to build their private strongholds. They are guardians of the spaces they know and explorers of the spaces they don't. They strive to live in harmony with the entire cosmos.
Such is the thinking of all parasites.
The Super Wizard From Space broods in his sanctuary, a red dwarf star that he tore the heart out of and made his home in. Inside the star's shell, he can manipulate pliable gravity to warp distance and direction, to create as immense a space as he wants. Or to be as alone with his thoughts as he likes. Its an enclosed world made of stark contrasts, of blinding whites and featureless blacks, with near-absent transitions.
In his self-created environment, he has created vertical black planes, and each of them contain a Cosmic Crown. Counting the one he himself wears, there are six in this place. Its only the second time that so many of these omnipotent objects have been gathered together.
Six. Of seven total. With only one more to go.
Its wrong to think of the Cosmic Crowns as weapons. It isn't how they started out and it wasn't what they were intended to be. There are stories within them. There are histories within them. They were meant to be discovered and engaged and… but that would require a far deeper examination, something their wielders were incapable of.
There's a flitter color skirting between the black planes. A red dress. It slides within all the whites, glides between and behind all the blacks. It shouldn't survive the fires and pressures and incredible forces this deep within a sun. And yet, there it is. Filled with light.
Distance is meaningless here. He's made this his place. Nothing is out of reach if he doesn't want it to be. This could all stop, regardless of anything already declared or previously believed. All it would take is a change in character.
But he remains.
The dress flutters along in a nonexistent breeze, as if guided by an uninhibited choreography. His eyes are transfixed on the clothe as it gambols amongst the black planes, like a blatant, bloody reminder of what had to happened to collect each Cosmic Crown. Of what was suffered and sacrificed for these trophies.
Sharkasaurus Rex, rabid and dead. He thought he could make the universe a better place. He paid a heavy price for his efforts. His school of phantoms are left aimless. They'll likely never find another teacher.
Emperor M, melancholic and dead. He couldn't let go of something he didn't really have in the first place. His religion was brought low, his government devastated, and his planet left scarred. There will be ramifications.
Brody Dharma and his monks, divided, quite literally. They've been left with a idealogical hostility that might turn insurmountably violent. There's so much potential there, and its so likely to be wasted.
And finally, the betrayal of an old friend. The worst of all. Neither of them understood the fault nor all the poisonous consequences.
Its not over yet, this path of ruin. One place is waiting, one vertical black plane unfilled, reserved for one last Cosmic Crown. The seventh, still borne by its heritor, Queen Genovefa Buzz. She won't hide her ferocity behind madness or melancholy. There'll be no excuses with her. She fights to survive.
And if the Super Wizard wins… what next? So much has been leading up to her that its been impossible to to see past her. If he takes her Cosmic Crown, he'll be free from the tournament imposed on him. His actions will be dicatated by no motivations but his own. He could do anything he wants. Nothing will be out of his reach.
But right now, his own Cosmic Crown still weighs on him. He clutches his head as blunt contrivances and foreign compulsions squeeze into his skull. He can put his task off, but he can't avoid it. Not forever. He is expected. It must finish.
The Super Wizard leaves his haven, pushing up and out of the star matter. Pressure turns into energy, energy turns into plasma, gravity itself becomes a malleable idea. Distance stretches into hues of oranges and reds before sudden collapsing; with a smooth splash, the surface of the red dwarf star surrenders him to the vastness of outer space.
He'll head toward Genovefa. Maybe not immediately, but inevitably. She can't hide from him any more than he can avoid her. The Cosmic Crowns draw them together. Its a drive. Its a feverish heat.
And I will wait.
The last of seven. Just one more to go.
Before I burn them all out.