"The Tragedy Of Sharkasaurus Rex, Part 1"
by Wil Alambre
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
planet. Everything was big there. Big fish, big plants, big seas, big
terrible lizards. Everything had lots of teeth. Everything big ate lots
of other bigs things. It was a good place.
In the blue seas, there were big sharks. Giant monster sharks. They were
the biggest things in the sea. They had the most teeth in the sea. They
were the best hunters. Nothing ate them. They didn't have to worry about
hiding from predators. They didn't have to worry where to find food
every day. Life was good for them. Bloody and full and lazy.
Soon, they learned. Because they had no predators. They could spend time
to think. Slow at first. Millions and millions of years. They learned.
And taught their young. Soon they were big and they were smart. They
were the only smart things on the planet of many big stupid things.
They made a language. Not with words, like you use. A good language.
Using their thinking. And their feelings. And after that they made a
science. Not with math, like you use. A good science. With their
thinking. And their feelings.
They learned about their planet. They learned about the lands outside
the seas and the big stupid lizards that lived out of the water. They
learned of the sky up above and around everything. They learned of the
sun and the stars. They learned of other planets and the black
nothingness that was everywhere between them. An infinite ocean. They
didn't learn with machines or ships, like you use. A good learning.
Using their thinking. And their feelings.
It was good. For millions of years. Hundreds of millions of years.
But one shark looked and saw something different. A rock. A big rock. In
the infinite ocean. Riding a current of gravity. Right to their blue
planet. Everything was going to die. All the smart things and all the
dumb things and all the big things.
He tried to warn the other sharks. They didn't listen. Sharks can be
stubborn that way. Sharks can be single-minded. They didn't listen.
This made the one shark very sad. He couldn't save everyone. No one
listened. There was no time. But he could save one. He could save his
new baby son. His son Rex.
He didn't save him with a spaceship, like you would use. He saved him
with thinking. And with feelings. He used the best of all learning teach
Rex. To free Rex. Free the baby's mind. From his body. From his flesh.
From being solid. From being alive.
When the rock came to the blue planet, it hit hard. Big explosion. Lots
of fire. Lots of clouds. Lots of dust. Lots of hot. Lots of cold. All
the blue parts died. All the green parts died. All the big things died.
All the stupid lizards died. All the sharks died.
Rex died too. But Rex was free from being alive. So Rex survived. Rex
was a ghost now. A ghost shark. He was sad that everything was dead on
his blue planet. So he rocketed away. He left.
Rex swam the infinite ocean a long, long time. He was very lonely. So he
decided to make friends.
He found other planets. Far away planets. Big ones and round ones and
blue ones and green ones. And he found gases on them and seas on them
and fish in them. And he protected them from predators and greedy
things. And he taught the fish there.
Taught them with his thinking. And his feelings. Taught them to be
careful. Then, if some were really really careful, he taught them to be
smart. Then, if some were really really smart, he taught them to be free.
He was a good protector. He was a good teacher. And he had a very good
school. A very big school. He had lots and lots students. Ghost
students. Free students. Free from bodies and flesh. So many that no one
could count them all. Even with your numbers.
He was also a good talker. Because he was very smart and very old. He
talked not with words, like you do. He talked with thinking. And with
feelings. All the other great alien races in the universe feared the
giant ghost shark. But they also like him. Because he was a good talker.
And a good teacher.
Then the magic hats were found.
Seven magic hats. They were very special. Too special. Everyone was
worried about them. Everyone wanted to keep them all for themselves.
They were afraid everyone else would use the magic hats for bad things.
Terrible things. Breaking things that shouldn't be broken.
So the alien races asked Rex. They asked because he was old and he was
smart and he was a good talker. Rex thought about the problem. He
thought very very hard.
He decided they should share the hats. One hat each. To the seven
biggest, strongest races in the universe. That way it was spread around.
The strong stayed strong. But no one got too strong. That's how a shark
This was a very good idea. The other races agreed. And because Rex was a
good talker and very strong, they gave him one of the magic hats. They
gave him the laurel wreath.
So everything was good again. For a long time. Rex had his magic hat.
Rex had his infinite school. Rex had his infinite ocean. Life was good
for him. Bloody and full and lazy.
But then Rex stopped teaching.
And then he stopped talking.
And then he stopped thinking.
I think it was the hat. It was very special. Too special. I think it
made Rex sick in the brain. I don't know for sure. We can't ask. He
can't say. He's not so smart anymore. He's more like an animal. A
terrible animal. A hungry animal. He doesn't protect fish anymore. He
doesn't teach fish how to be free anymore. He just eats them instead.
That's what happened to me. Not the being-eaten part. The not-protecting
part. The bees came. Came and stabbed us and changed us. We were not
fish anymore. We were bees like them. We were slaves of our flesh
before. Now we were slaves of our minds as well.
Only when I died were was I free again. My body burned away by stellar
fusion. I died. But I was free from being alive. So I survived. I was a
ghost now. A ghost fish.
I hurried away. I found the infinite school. I told them about the bees.
They didn't care about the slave fish. They were ghosts. They were free
from flesh. The bees couldn't hurt them anymore. They didn't care.
I hurried away again. I found Rex. I told him about the bees. He didn't
care about the slave fish. He didn't protect anymore. He didn't teach
anymore. He didn't think anymore. He didn't have feelings anymore.
So I told Rex that the bees were stealing his food. That got Rex made.
That made him follow me here. To this planet. To you.
He didn't come to help you. He didn't come to help me. He came to eat.
He came to kill.
Sharks can be stubborn that way. Sharks can be single-minded.
So now I need your help, Super Wizard From Space. I need you to help me.
And the infinite school. And Rex. Mighty Rex. Terrible Rex. Who used to
be great before his magic hat and now is just a big, stupid thing.
I want you to challenge him in the cosmic tournament. I want you to take
his magic hat away. And if that doesn't make Rex better, I want you to
I want you to free him.
This is my entry into RACC's twentieth high-concept challenge, "Behind
Blue Eyes". This issue was one of the easiest to write, the translation
from idea to written word coming across smoother than any other issue to
date. it was also one of the most fun to write. :)
Wil Alambre, follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wilalambre
"Hurry, uni-scribe! We have less than one space-hour to get to the
negotiating table before the Great Disaster arrives!" 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
"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
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."
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.
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.
"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.
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.