THE SUPER WIZARD FROM SPACE #1 "Hurry, uni-scribe! We have less than one space-hour to get to the negotiating table before the Great Disaster arrives!" The uni-scribe worked feverishly at his terminal, trying to complete the document translation despite the horn-cries of his superior officer, the uni-diplomat. A magnificent example of space-unicorn breeding, the single alabaster horn sprouting from his forehead vibrated with his telepathic dictation, and the terminal's recording-forks struggled to keep up with the rapid process. The desperate uni-diplomat paced back and forth in the room. He kept looking at the space-clock, watching the moments tick away and whinnying quietly under his breath. The light in the room was starting to fade away as ominous clouds rolled in, covered up the twin suns. It was as if the very planet understood the impending doom and was losing hope. "Ah, ha! I have completed my task!" declared the uni-scribe triumphantly! The terminal buzzed as it transposed the collected horn-thoughts into a physical document printed on clear plastic paper. He took a moment to review it, confirming it was correctly written and understandable in the two required languages, then passed it to the frantic uni-diplomat. The uni-diplomat snatched the document and raced out the door, his feet-hooves making irregular clapping noises on the floor. His horn-shouts rippled through the entire building. Replies were telepathically returned, and he found a magnificent uni-transport officer waiting directly outside, a fast-saddle firmly attached to his back. The uni-diplomat belted himself into the saddle, and with a shout and a jab, the uni-transport officer went running at wind-whipping speeds to the civic building in the capital city's central square. The sky darkened even more, and a growing humidity indicated that the war-torn ruins of the space-unicorn capital was going to come under an unoptimistic rain soon, but the uni-diplomatic snapped at the reins and forced his mount on. The relief workers did what they could, moving away debris and forming barricades to keep the general uni-populace from the pot-marked road, clearing a path for the rushing official. A coded horn-call from the uni-transport officer was acknowledged by a uni-general and the blockade of uni-troops at the central square broke formation only long enough to give access to the civic building. The army then reformed their formation, keeping a sharp vigil on the space-sasquatch soldiers who stood at armed attention on the opposite side of the square. Unbuckling and dismounting, the uni-diplomat charged into the building. The security posted at the building demanded to see his identification no matter how loudly and desperately he pleaded for urgency. After many long agonizing space-minutes, he cleared the checkpoint. He rushed through the hallways, burst into the main conference room, and brought the sad debates at the negotiating table to a halt with horn-shouts. "I have it! I have it here!" he waved the document in the air. "I have the peace treaty at last!" Both sides of the negotiating table cheered and hurrahed! "Come, man, let us see it!" roared the Supreme Sasquatch, proud sovereign of the space-sasquatchs. He barrel chest thundered with a panicking heart, his normally well-combed fur ragged and knotted from worry. "We haven't a moment to lose!" "Our pen! Our pen, curse your hides!" rang out the horn-call form the Uni-king, the royal diamond rings on his superior silver horn giving the telepathic shouts a sing-song-like quality. "I made doubly sure the uni-scribe drafted the document in both unicornian and sasquatchese. I assure both governments that all concessions are officially in the treaty and..." "No time, no time!" said the Uni-king, cutting off his sputtering diplomat. "Any concession is fine. Any surrender is acceptable. Just give us our royal pen!" His counter-part bellowed his agreement. "Yes! All concessions! The space-sasquatch nation agree to anything! As long as there is peace! Peace, now! Hurry!" Snatching the clear plastic document, the Supreme Sasquatch signed it at the bottom without reading it. Passing the both the treaty and his pen across the table, the Uni-king also added his royal signature at the bottom without giving it a look. Just then, a yelling came into the room from outside. Telepathic horn-yells from the space-unicorn army. Bellowing savage yells from the space-sasquatch army. Terrified yells. "Too late! Too late! It's here! The Great Disaster!" Both monarchs bolted from the room. Their processions scampered after them outside. All dignity and civility of office was forgotten. In the square, soldiers on both sides of the blockade had broken rank. Some few had committed suicide, placing the barrel of their ray-guns under their chins and disintegrated themselves. Others had tossed the weapons on the ground and fled, hopelessly trying to find some sort of shelter. Many had dropped to their knees and begun praying. To the uni-god, the space-unicorn mono-deity. To Never-Seen and Large-Feet and Abominable-One, the space-sasquatch pantheon. And some to the terrible entity itself that descended from the sky. The dark clouds parted, the sprinkling of grey rain misted away from the square. But instead of warm sunlight, the parting only revealed a deep and faraway blackness, and in the middle was a single floating figure. A man in tight fitting outfit of sea blue and copper yellow. Hovering over his blond hair was a crown of perfect space-gold, almost as harrowing to look at as the celestial figure it belonged too. He descended to the middle of the square. Though he seemed to land as lightly as a feather, the pavement under his feet cracked under sudden strain. The city dimmed, dulled, all ambient light absorbed into the man's encompassing light-cloak before it too faded away. The clouds closed the hole in the sky, and soon the only illumination came from the gold crown's starlight. The Uni-king and the Supreme Sasquatch rushed to the figure, averting their eyes and humbly prostrating themselves at at his feet. He stared down at them as a disappointed parent might look at misbehaving children. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. His voice was level and patient, but at the same time everywhere and understood by all, penetrating comprehension and distance. "Y-y-you have... you have many n-n-names..." "I am a super wizard, come from the faraway spaces to render cosmic judgement." "No! No, there is no more war here!" pleaded the once proud space-sasquatch monarch. "Look here, a peace treaty signed not moments ago! There is peace on this planet again! Peace!" "Spare us, holy one," said the grovelling Uni-king. "Our armies have surrendered! Our nations are surrendered! The space-unicorn people are peaceful again, we give you our word!" "And us, too!" added the Supreme Sasquatch. "The space-sasquatch people make war no longer! We swear to you!" The super wizard looked down at the weeping rulers begging before him. But when he spoke, it was with a grim, flat tenor. "It was the super wizard parliament that saved your mythic races many space-centuries ago, whisking you away from the toxic influences of your mother planet. The dominant creatures there were dangerous to you all, corrupting in nature and murderous in intent. We transported you with our science-sorcery to this lush and forested world, where you could be safe and free. "And though you have grown and evolved into civilization, becoming fantastical space-races, you have made war on each other for the greatest of crimes... space-greed." There was a collective sob from all in the city. They pleaded for lenience. In both languages. In both cultures. They cried out for mercy. "No mercy from super wizards..." he declared, "...only the most terrible forms of justice!" He crouched on one knee and held a single hand palm up to the sky. "Since you you cannot share..." The Uni-king begged. The Supreme Sasquatch begged. The super wizard ignored them both. As he ignored the billions of cries from around this doomed world. He slammed his hand down on the ground before him and a burst of starlight exploded from his palm into the pavement. A massive quake rippled around the world. A deep crack formed at the spot and raced across the land to meet at the planet's opposite side. Fire and magma spit up from everywhere as the world shook in it's death throes. The sky turned and angry red and the land fractured in city-sized chunk, spewed up into the atmosphere and even orbit. The super wizard glided up and away, the pale light cloak acting as a protective cocoon that he rode up into space. From a couple thousand space-miles away, he witnesses the two halves of the planet tumble away from each other, oceans fall into endless nothingness, precious air rushing off every sudden edge. A billion people died in those moments. Billions more would suffer terribly over the following weeks. ......................................... Wil Alambre, follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wilalambre
"Very well, we agree. A tournament, then, to end this rampage. But you have witnessed the power at his disposal. He has a billion billion years of our science-sorcery at his command. Will all you great super-civilizations commit your super-champions to this?"
On a distant world, a mummy-robot and a brown-robed monk silently made their way to the center of a blasphemous cathedral. Though the robot lurched ungainly, it's servos making an uneven whirring sound as they moved the broken machine through black-stone hallways, it held it's bandaged head high, the ghostly
Cocytus the demon-glacier had the Super Wizard From Space engulfed in its icy grasp, forever to be a frozen prisoner of the ninth circle of Hell. Meanwhile the victorious Devil stood atop the massive field of ice, grateful to be back home. The Devil tilted his head back, closed his eyes, and just basked
On a filthy cobblestone hell-road outside the infinite walls of Double-Dis, the Super Wizard From Space stared up at the triumphant face of the Super-Devil. The monster's massive grin dribbled thick lava as he shouted out "Hey there, jerks! Welcome to Double-Hell!"
In the ruins of an ancient city of pillars, an alien octopus pointed eight dangerous looking ray-guns at a white-bearded hermit. "You best be giving me that there data-cylinder, Gavrilo, or I'll vaporize you right where you stand, I done swear it!"
Two figures hurtled through a scarred green warp tunnel underneath the skin of the universe toward the lost planet of the silver skull machine. The Super Wizard From Space was leading the way, encased in a cocoon of hard light that protected him from the rigors of space travel. His companion, a filthy bearded hermit,
The Super Wizard From Space and the Hermit Wizard From Space were trapped in an asteroid belt by a swarm of gigantic space-bees! As it's fellow drones circled uniformly, one particularly grusome space-bee broken from the formation. It was as massive as any of the drifting asteroids, it's gigantic yellow black body big enough to drag smaller free-floating
A monstrously giant bee made of hollow electricity used its clawed legs to peel open the hull of the crashed rocket-ship. It glowed brightly with a pale light, partially transparent and seemingly fragile as it opened up the armored cockpit as if it was made of tinfoil. The ship's two occupants didn't even have a moment to shake off the shock before
The two super wizards stood stock still as the two floors of the building above them were eaten by the ghost of a cosmic megalodon. Bigger than a rocket-ship, it nonetheless hung effortlessly in the air, it's fifty-five rows of cleaver-like teeth surrounding their room as it floated vertically above them. The daylight of the alien sky shone
I am Theodor. I am a rainbow blue fish. I lived on a planet far away. Then I died. But that is was not the end. That was the beginning. I became a ghost. I became part of the infinite school. Thanks to wise Rex. This is the story of Rex. He is big fish. A big shark. Many sizes big. From a far away blue
It took nearly every ghost fish of the infinite school to confidently herd Sharkasaurus Rex into the depths of the invisible galaxy. The megalodon's monstrous instincts were near impossible to fully understand, a hundred million space-years of predatory instinct and insatiable hunger. The spectral school's entire telepathic concentration
"Oh dear me!" shouted Brody Dharma to the marble diamond hall, his gecko eyes spinning in shock as the ghostly forms of Geisel and Theodor circled over the sticky yellow remains of Queen Buzz. "Fish! Please! Contain yourselves!" "Tyrant!" flared out Geisel angrily, telepathically sharing horrific
"Master hero! Master hero!" cried out the young boy, frantic enough to ignore his disciplined training. "A terrible occurrence! The infinite school have lost their hold on their grisly teacher! The cosmic crown reacted suddenly and cut off their psychic leashes! Sharkasaurus Rex is loose!". The young boy wildly rang the same small gong all the monks in this
Geisel was gone, his phantasmal form torn apart in savage fury by the recently de-crowned Sharkasaurus Rex. The equally ethereal Theodor watched the entire sudden rending in still shock. As did the rest of the infinite school, millions of fellow ghost fish that had all gathered to psychically leash the mighty megalodon.
"Sharkasaurus Rex is feeding on the simple people of this planet," said the Super Wizard From Space, pointing to where a sticky-looking red hue spread in the red mist for a space-minute before the fin moved on. "He's converting their psyches into spiritual mass, growing exponentially. This incredible instrument is our only hope."
He was lying on the ground. Still at the top of the mountain monastery. Yes, he was certain of it. There was no mistaking. He remembered the feel of these particular stones. And the scent of that particular moss. But he could not remember how he had came here. It was like his mind was rattling around in his head while at the same time trying to swell larger than his skull could contain.
I warned him not to use the Gong Ago, as the volume required from that sacred instrument would have unintended side effects. But like an old mule wearing ragged blinders, he rung it out anyway. And that powerful pitch has freed me and my like-minded brethren. My name is Andy Dharma. I am the master villain of the Invisible Monks.
In a clearing at the center, a nine-foot lizards bowed respectfully to his duplicate. He dressed the same way. He moved with the same simple grace. He stood with the same relaxed posture. And he looked back at him with the same calculating eyes, measuring the short distance between them, judging the smallest of movements.
"You are unbalanczed. You cannot be truszted with coszmic power." Her hand closed into a fist and squeezed. From every direction, the spectral fish tossed out their determination in crisscrossing grey lines, trying to ensnare his mind.
"Andy, don't do this," whispered Brody, "You can't." "Yes I can! Yes I will!" he shouted back at him. "No more bad habits disguised as tradition! No more of yesterday's rules deciding today's fate! I will show you what change can accomplish!" He spat on the floor in disgust, and backflipped off the balcony.
On the side of a small lake, a simple man was fishing off the end of a rickety dock. The lake was usually a clear blue, filled with many delicious fish. It was not so now. It was murky, tinted pink and red, the fish preferring to stay closer to the bottom, where the water was cleaner and lines could rarely reach. It meant the man would be lucky for even a small catch, but that would be enough. He lived alone on this shore, in his cabin up the hill, and had only himself to feed.
He wiped his hands on his bloody apron, then stroked his long grey beard with a smile. It was with great experience that he could judge the quality and balance of a blade and in all the experience, he had never worked with such magnificent instruments.
A portion of empty space bubbled and bulged, like plastic melting in a fire, then peeled away to reveal the spitting green end of a warp tunnel. Wrapped and protected in a cocoon of pale starlight, the Super Wizard From Space blasted out of the tunnel opening at incredible speed. The wound in black reality mended behind him with a practiced flick of
Sharp super-lightening split across a sick dry sky as a lone yellow cab pulled up in front of a long abandoned university. The pale driver scratched at his unkept beard. Hunched over the steering wheel, he got a better look through the windshield at the derelict campus. "You sure this is where you wanna to be?" he gruffly asked the passenger in the back seat.
"I will not tolerate your presence here. Nor your trickery. I will burn away every molecule. I will crack every atom. I will unravel your infernal form down to the minimalist components and grind the remains under my boot."
"Once upon a time, five dark lords of multiple underverses made the mistake of signing a series of magical contracts in an attempt to insure some level of trust between them. Inevitably, all five of them went back on their words and now the tangled wording of those contracts have trapped them in the stone sepulchres of Quinto-Hell."
A slow, thick consciousness leaked in as the Super Wizard From Space opened his eyes. His thoughts were dulled, like he'd slept for far too long.
The ashen remains of the gorgon sunk into the circling river of molten rock and disappeared down the sinkhole in reality, pulled toward the punishments of Triple-Hell. A bleating car horn sounded. The Devil tugged at the wizard's shoulder. "Come along, guv. Our ride awaits."
Somewhere in the dank musky darkness swamp, a single snapping growl was followed up by a chorus of hungry grumbles and hollers and howls. Jagged trunks of twisted trees creaked and cracked as something massive pushed through. Huge lungs filled up and expelled, making for a thunderous breathy bass echo.
Black glass and brittle shale and oddly shaped boulders all bashed against each other in the tornado ferocity of the space between conceptual realities. Every small piece was both nonexistant and an immense solidity to itself, dragging and throwing and colliding with its surroundings as the entire mess fell through infinite layers of fractal
Looking about, he could see endless desert interrupted by black stone squares, similar to the one they were taking refuge on. A long wind was blowing, picking up loose dunes, shifting them up and over and around in an ever-moving landscape. It gave everything a burnt look, a rising sea of sand that just faded without an horizon. The only thing cutting through the leather-colored sky was the sun, massive and oversized, ten times larger than it should be.
The Devil, The Secret Living Language, and the Super Wizard From Space stood upon a massive square of black stone half buried in blistering desert sands. "This is it, end of the line," the Devil announced.
In the seedy bowels of a seedy mining camp, Cephalo Paul roused from blurriness to found himself at the mercy of an unkindness of anthropomorphic ravens. The lot of them stood on four clawed talons, spoke through horrifying beaks lined with serrated edges, and had too many ruby-coloured eyes.
"My name is senior lieutenant Yuri Gigan Topithecus, last survivor of the once-mighty space-sasquatch race. I was a hero of my people and a triumph of my government, becoming the first of my planet to journey into outer space... and as I completed my first orbit in my prototype capsule, I helplessly watched the Super Wizard From Space destroy my world."
The Super Wizard From Space towed his wounded prisoner to a dying system in a lonely constellation. It was a place that had been full and vibrant when the universe was young, a very long time ago. Now, it's small, dense white star bled away its diminishing heat and weak light into empty space.
Across the vastness of galaxies, a nameless forager bee achieves a stable geosynchronous orbit with distant Planet M. The ladened insect has been in contact with appropriate representatives, has deposited it cargo. It now maintains a microwave relay with the surface, and only awaits permission from the Hive to open communications.
"I-hereby-challenge-the-Super- Wizard-From-Space-to-combat," spits out Emperor M, the bile broadcasted from his loudspeaker face, "and-you'll-bear-witness-to-it , you- insufferable-bitch."
In the clarity of the desert night, a single point of light smolders against the blue-black curtain. And it slowly grows the closer it gets, falling toward Us through immense distances. The Super Wizard From Space is coming to Planet M.
Emperor gestures back to the great monolith and declares, "At-the-behest-of-our-electronic-ennead, I've-entombed-the-Super-Wizard-From-Space-within-the-Pyramids-Of-Ka! His-power-will-feed-our-preservation-batteries-for-countless-cycles."
"The Szuper Wizard From Szpace is sztill alive. And He sztill has Hisz coszmic crown." We say it aloud. Not to anyone. To ourselves, as swirling shaking thoughts become cold and real. This is real. This is happening. "Why? Why have you done thisz?"
If you'll indulge me, I'll tell you a story about how some people ( who were much too smart for their own good, I'm afraid ) tried to find an easy, quick solution; by doing so, they doomed countless lives to AGES of suffering.
Now, I was halfway through a tale about countless doomed lives... and yes, my friend, I do know the difference between 'countless' and 'seven'. Those tragic academics were only the first direct victims of these newly formed cosmic crowns. What happened next was intended to prevent more loss of life, but it actually placed the entire universe in peril.
"Hello Dragutin. I wouldn't be here if things weren't desperate. But things are desperate, and seeing as you're partially to blame, I think it appropriate to give you the chance to resolve it."
Vaso sneers at the world below. "I don't trust Sixth Columnists, General. They're an unstable bunch, every lot of them. And they splintering apart. Hard to be sure what bent their worship takes."
"A swarm! A monster swarm! Oh! Oh gods, they were everywhere. They killed everyone. They stabbed them and killed them. And the dead changed into more and went to do the same. Stabbing and changing and stabbing. Everyone's gone!"
Long spear-length stingers, glints of wet toxin at the tips. Wide crystal wings banging against torsos, making thrumming thunder. It's a *blanket* of angry buzzing. Getting thicker as they crawl over each other. At me. Looking to smother me. Kill me. If I'm lucky.
"What I'm doing, it has to be done. Because someone has to do it. Because no one else is doing it. They're scared of what might happen. Scared of what they could lose. Scared of things they can't change. We can't live like that."
Do you have any idea how this looks? We aren't at war anymore. The tournament is supposed to *prevent* this exact sort of conflict from flaring up again. You can't just go around dropping armies on the *home planets* of the universe's seven super-races."
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.
Somewhere on Planet M, a forlorn survivor is losing her grip on her unusual authority. "I'm... what? A surrogate? A stopgate? Why keep me and then lie to me? Why save me and then despise me so much?"
"This is a nightmare." A single expression of disappointed disgust, from hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of faces. "Please, I want to go home."
"You finiszh up however much wallowing you think the universze owes you... 'causze your time isz nearly run out."
Hardly believed it when told how imperious they'd gotten. Maybe it _is_ past due for Hoag to face its failures.
"The philosophies of your unconventional brother go against your own... he would do _anything_ to ensure your safety. With his assistance, we will prevail."
"With all the power you can draw upon, it would never be a fair fight. So we had to even the odds. We cheated. We poisoned the sun."
"They observe our encounter. All we do and everything we speak. They're allowing me this opportunity to resolve this peacefully."
"If you cannot see these as the curses they are, then you are best deserved of them."
Andy Dharma bent over the Stringer's prone body, wrapped both arms around his head, and with a single fast wrench, broke the super-wizard's neck. KRACK!
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.
"The Schrivener has the Crown. The cosmic tournament is between him and Queen Buzz. Walk away from all this devestation. Put an _end_ to this madness." "That's exactly what I intend to do."
"And after everything, after all our concern, it was so easy. We crushed him. Like an insect."
"Here I am, having a heck of a time trying to put my own head together, I never figured on finding szomeone else'sz in here, too."
"We've _sztudied_ you for thiz entire Tournament! Without your cosZzmic weapon, you're no threat! You're little more than a ztubborn _nail_ for me to hammer down."
“Iz thiZs what you’re reduced to? A cockroach, sZcurrying and hiding underneath the firmament? If make Uz chasZze after you, We will bring the heavenZz down upon you.”
Reality stretches like canvas pulled taut. Time stutters and scratches and skips, between moments and months. The Wizard takes refuge within the umbra of the system's innermost planet, little more than a corner to be backed into.
"Born of cozmic power, with a mind the sZzize of the universZze... and you thought death would stop her? What szort of sZzimple idea did you take her for, that she'd die szo quietly?"
In the calm eye of it, I can just make out Melisende's massive shape, pacing and stomping and _screaming_ at them, her voice amplified overtop the cacophony. "Are you happy now? That'z it! It'z over!"
Playing tour guide's certainly been more agreeable than playing babysitter. As far as pointless distractions go. If nothing else, its been interesting visiting old haunts, if only to see what's left of them.