"The Tragedy Of Sharkasaurus Rex, Part 4"
by Wil Alambre
"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
The young boy wildly rang the same small gong all the monks in this
sacred placed carried. It shook Theodor's ghostly form, the echoes
disturbing both his state of solidity and his state of mind. But
thankfully Brody Dharma placed a palm on the boy's shaven head and the
tall gecko's own highly-trained enlightenment seemed to help the young
monk find his own calm centre. The wide eyed boy stood quiet a moment,
then his breathing slowed down and his heartbeat climbed back down to
normal. The boy looked up at his spiritual master apologetically, but
Brody Dharma just rubbed the boys head in a fatherly way and sent him off.
The ghost fish felt a dour feeling of envy for the child before he
drifted out onto the balcony of the mountain monastery, joining the
gathered space-champions that were looking over the mist covered horizon
of planet Amity. Only a few tall green peaks poked out of the perpetual
fog, making for a mystical ancient feel to the already impressive view.
The setting young sun cast brilliant colours everywhere, fading to a
dark blue and a deep black the further up one looked.
But the normally enchanting stars were not alone in the night sky. There
was a dark shadow, massive and long and fast, darting in widening
circles. It was being chased by pinpricks of familiar colours, all
bunched together and chasing the shape, leaving vapour trails of
transparent hues behind. Theodor could feel the echoes of futility even
all the way down here.
The Secret Living Language was the first to speak aloud, apparently less
hypnotized by the amazing view than the others. "What has eventuated?"
"The infinite school could barely keep mental control over Rex before,"
explained Brody Dharma to the other space-champions. "When the cosmic
crowns decided to enforce our tournament's rules with their own
unknowable power, it blocked the ghost fish from affecting Rex. No
outside interference, quite strictly it seems."
"Danger-Brody-Dharma-danger!" spit out Emperor-M from his speaker grill.
"M isz right," agreed the pretend-thing that spoke for the Monster Bees'
queen. Theodor had to flip almost all the way around to see her lurking
in the dark of the doorway, away from the proceedings in the open of the
balcony. "You and your inviszible monksz may be able to protect your
hive, but Amity's non-super inhabitantsz under the miszt will be chum in
the water. The shzark muszt be put down."
"No! No!" said Geisel, Theodor's fellow rainbowfish. He swam
submissively around the legs of the Super Wizard From Space, spectral
eyes both empty and brimming at the same time. "Great Rex is sick! Great
Rex is poisoned! In the brain!"
Theodor through Geisel, his phantasmal form passing through the red
fishes more optimistic form. "Cold Rex. Cruel Rex. Too late for him."
"The crown! Take the crown! Great Rex will improve without the crown!"
pleaded the red fish.
"Don't know that. Can't know that. Better the quick kill. How Rex would
do it. How Rex would want it." demanded Theodor.
The black shape in the sky suddenly stopped. The coloured points looped
around it, dragging out multi-chroma curves around it. Suddenly the
points scattered and the dark shape grew bigger. And clearer. And it was
diving straight down.
With a move faster than the others could follow, the Super Wizard From
Space drew the ambient blue sunlight around him in a cocoon, held his
arms up in front of him, and rocketed into the air directly at the
Geisel floated still, watching. His bright pastel thoughts of optimism
flowed easily through the others' grey feelings of awe and dread. But
Theodor's own opinions matched the blue black hues of the wizard's;
pessimistic at best. So he did a fat circle of the balcony before rising
up, following the wizard's wake.
Moving upwards and upwards, the dark shadow started to take a more
distinct shape. A ragged massive wall of teeth, rows upon rows, all of
them vicious triangular shards of bone. A gaping horrendous mouth ready
to scoop up anything shredded by the lines of daggers. A long sleek
cigar shape the size of some starships, the smooth lines only broken by
wicked dorsal fins jutting out from its back and sides. And cold round
eyes, golden with cosmic power and filled with an insatiable hungry wanting.
The infinite school of phantasmal fish swarmed around the megalodon,
sometimes stabbing right at in in huge numbers. But before they got too
close to the ghost shark's powerful form, the laurel wreath floating on
it's brow flared a sickly green light and ethereal chains appeared like
a wall. Even the spectral shapes of the fish couldn't pass through the
massive links, ricocheting wildly in all directions. Sharkasaurus Rex's
cosmic crown was not allowing even his former students to interfere with
Spreading his arms, the Super Wizard From Space spread out his cocoon
like a bubble, solidifying it into a shield of stellar light. The
brightness of it caught the megalodon's eye and with a sharp turn that
defied it's size, Rex turned.
The great mouth opened. Fifty-five murderous rows of cleaver-like teeth
slashed at the shield. The super wizard pushed the full strength of the
shield against the bite.
The powerful jaw clamped down on it like it was a soap bubble. Points
poked right through the wall. Starlight arcing wildly from the holes.
The whole shape bulged as massive muscles crushed it.
The super wizard barely slipped out of the flattened bubble before it
burst. Jagged white angles slammed against each other with a crash, mere
feet from his arms.
A wave of one arm, a wide wave of white light was tossed against
Sharkasaurus Rex's brow. It splashed with a burst before passing
harmlessly through the spectral form.
The megalodon snapped wildly in the wizard's direction, the wave of
white blindly refracting off his transparent eyes. Even Theodor's long
dead eyes were momentarily useless.
But he watched in surprise as the super wizard dived under the gnashing
snaps, skimmed under the belly of the beast and, in a particularly
emptyish space, slipped inside the ghost shark's body. Once inside the
middle of the ethereal beast, he reached out as if to grab the blue
light of Amity's star and dragged it inside.
The setting blue star seemed to flicker a bit on the horizon, like it
was considering falling behind the horizon prematurely, then flared up
nearly half again as large. The peaceful pales and purples and greens of
the sunset turned into a pushing wave of angry blue, heat and light and
solar wind rushing over the surface of the planet in waves of pressure.
And in all swirled to the pit of Sharkasaurus Rex, yanked within by the
Super Wizard From Space.
The simple monster thrashed in spot, trying to bend enough to get it's
crushing bite at it's out stomach, but even it's spectral shape didn't
allow for it. It's transparent form seemed to fade under the constant
furious movement and high contrast light. Sharkasaurus Rex seemed to
become less and less real as the ball of star light inside him became
tighter and harsher.
Just before the sun finally dipped down behind the misty ranges, the
super wizard flung out the collected light with the flat of his palm. It
slashed out in a plane, horizontally along the megalodon's body and
sawed across both golden eyes.
Theodor heard the beast roar with a million years of fury, mountain
peaks around collapsing from the monstrous sound. He watched Rex flinch
into as tight as a ball as it could and retreated from the living world,
becoming almost entirely intangible. Great Rex, humbled!
The laurel wreath however refused to be dragged away from material
reality. The chains appeared again, but this time seemed to anchor the
small object to the corners of the universe. Space bent slightly. As the
beast became less real, the powerful wreath became exponentially more so.
But though Sharkasaurus Rex was near nonexistent, the Super Wizard From
Space remained where he was. He grabbed the cosmic wreath with both
hands and pulled.
The super wizard's own white crown blazed with gravity, a series of
white chains wrapping around it and his own shoulders. The cosmic crowns
resisted being separated from their masters.
The super wizard gritted his teeth and let the fire of the blue star
burn in his arms.
Both sets of chains snapped. He had the wreath.
Theodor called out to the Super Wizard From Space, getting the
space-champion to quickly distance himself from Sharkasaurus Rex. Even
without the wreath, the ghost shark was a hungry and dangerous monster.
But the infinite school swarmed in and circled their teacher. As
Sharkasaurus Rex returned to some solidity, a tidal wave of collected
thoughts tied down the shark's hungry thoughts. Psychic leashes from
millions of phantasmal fish restrained it's furious nature.
"Excellent wizard! Victorious wizard!" came the overjoyed imagination of
Geisel, broadcast ahead of him in colourful emotions as he joined them
in the upper atmosphere. "Thank you! You have his crown! You have won
the challenge! You have humbled Rex!"
Theodor's kept his own emanations much more subdued. "Too much optimism.
Too much hope. Rex is no better. Rex is no wiser."
"No! No! It was the cosmic crown! Too much for Rex! Too much for anyone!"
"Sad Rex," said Theodor, watching the school struggle to keep the shark
"No! Rex will improve! Rex will recover!"
Theodor was silent and doubtful.
"You will see!" said Geisel confidently, darting to the great megalodon.
He swam around the wide body, past the great slicing fin, skimmed past
the now empty brow, and to the front of the pointed snout. "Rex, free
from his race! Rex, free from his blue planet! And now Rex, free from
that hateful crown!
"You will see it! I see it! In his new eyes! Rex is free!"
Sharkasaurus Rex watched the red rainbow fish with wide black eyes, the
golden power granted by the laurel wreath drained from them. Did Theodor
see a new calmness in those terrible orbs? There did seem to be a quiet
contemplation of the small spectral thing. A recognition.
But then it was gone again.
Before Theodor could think a warning, the beast's body quivered; it's
opacity seemed to perfectly mirror the red fish's, like matching a
frequency. And with a savage sharp movement, Sharkasaurus Rex bit Geisel
His thousands of teeth tore through the tiny body.
And with a mighty shake of his head, the ragged remains were tossed into
the air and dissolved into wispy nothingness.
In retrospect, I should have done this *entire* arc from Theodor's
perspective. Oh well.
Also, I'm putting arc titles on issues now. Just 'cause. :P
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
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
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.