The Super Wizard From Space #3

"The Devil You Know, Part 1" by

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
Pschent crown floating just above it. The robed figure kept his
head down, hood over his bald head and a silver gong in his hands
which he occasionally struck. They unerringly navigated a maze of
hallways that had been designed to drive mortal minds into
madness, traveling deeper into the evil cathedral until they
entered the central auditorium.

In the cavernous room they found a dozen of the planet's alien
inhabitants, naked and twisted in piles of two or three. They
seemed to be arranged geometrically around a massive
space-pentagram that had been painted on the floor with blood,
bile and chalk. Every one of them were dead, their faces contorted
in ecstatic agonies.

In the middle of the room, in the center of the space-pentagram,
stood a thin red man with greasy black hair, a pencil moustache
and a curled goatee. He was dressed in a formal tuxedo, had an
opera cape over his pointed shoulders, and an iron two-pronged
pitchfork in one hand. A chill filled the entire auditorium, like
a sense of crawling villainy that oozed out from his evil presence
and sucked dry any hidden heartbeats that might remain in the
surrounding corpses.

When red man looked up and saw the two newcomers, he smiled and
gave them a friendly wave. "Hello there! I'm the Devil!"

"Greetings and salutations," said the hooded figure, bowing with
carefully neutral respect. "I am one of the Invisible Monks. I
apologize that you cannot perceive me. My space-kung-fu is so
powerful that it entirely erases me from all sight." He gestured
to the undead machine beside him. "This is Emperor-M, ruler of

The mummified robot used a mechanical arm to lift a troublesome
piece of gauze from its video-eye and examined the odd positions
the alien bodies. "Server-ping-boolean-response-required,
-with-you, end-query?"

"Yes," the Devil said with a sigh, looking about at piles around
him. "The space-incantations to summon me to this non-hell realm
only requires some mystic sentences and a single brazen act of
evil, but more often than not, these cults create unnecessarily
elaborate rites that involve hours of consensual physical
activity. At first I thought they were confused, that they
believed natural biology was somehow a terrible, forbidden
thing... but then I realized they just liked the rutting."

The undead machine stared at the bodies without understanding.

The monk rung his silver gong once. "The super-civilizations have
agreed to a tournament, a series of space-champion challenges
never before recorded in any space-history-book."

"Yes, I know. That's why I am here."

The monk rung his silver gong again. "It was said that you
perished, an egg dropped and shattered by the very wizard that you
now wait to face in space-combat." { Diabolical Devilman #18 }

"So I was," he replied, "fatally murdered to death. All things can
die... even I. And there is a terrible place reserved for the
denizens of Hell when they pass on, with punishments and
sufferings a hundred-fold more harrowing than anything found in my
own realm..." the Devil's voice cracked with the memory.

But he opened his fist, revealing a tiny bit of parchment no
bigger than a playing card, the writing on it smeared and
illegible. He seemed to regain his courage looking at it, and
grinned maliciously. "But I made a deal to regain my freedom. And
thanks to the sacrificial death-rites performed by these
alien-cultists, I will show the Super Wizard From Space first-hand
the tortures I had to endure."

-combat, end-statement."

The Devil looked at the piece of paper in his clawed hand.
Clenching it in his fist he crumpled it satisfyingly. "Winning
isn't my intention."

A deep rumbling thunder rolled in from outside somewhere, echoing
off the black stones and filling the auditorium. The sky was
cracking open. Someone was arriving.

"You two best be going," said the Devil, pulling a black domino
mask from a jacket pocket and placing it on his face with fond
remembrance. "Cosmic tournaments of this sort forbid more than two
space-champions in combat at once... and it sounds like the first
of them is arriving now."

The Invisible Monk rung his gong a final time and bowed to the now
masked man. The robot broadcast a series of radio-hieroglyphics
from his phantom crown, opening a sarcophagus-shaped portal, a
glowing space-doorway which he and the monk retreated into before
it snapped shut with a creak and a pop.

The Devil took the few moments alone to psyche himself up,
breathing in and out quickly and shaking his hands to relax them.
It felt good to be wearing his old crime-fighting costume again,
felt good to be on the mortal realms. If things went well, this
would not be the last time.

The rumble turned into a deafening thunder, then a series of
booming crunches as the object falling from the sky started
crashing through the upper levels of the cathedral. It went right
through the black stonework, the ancient masonry, the petrified
timbers, and finally exploded through the spiral-filled fresco
painted on the ceiling of the auditorium. As rubble smashed down
around the space-pentagram, some larger pieces crushing the piled
bodies with wet squishes, a pale glow filled the cavernous room
and the golden crowned Super Wizard From Space floated
majestically to the floor.

They stared at each other, the greatest of enemies, but once upon
a time, the greatest of allies. The dust settled around them for
seemed like space-eternity.

"My star-instruments alerted me the moment these alien-cultists
started the hell-rites that would allow you access to the mortal
realm," said the Super Wizard From Space. "I never truly expected
you to return. I was certain that my cosmic judgement had dealt
you a fair punishment."

"Fair? You didn't give me half a chance to explain myself. You
were happy to team-up with the Diabolical Devilman to fight
space-crime, but as soon as you accidentally discovered my secret
identity... that the Diabolical Devilman was actually
mild-mannered ruler of hell, the Devil... you killed me! Without

A vibrational hum emenated from the Super Wizard From Space's
fists as unimaginable science-sorcerous power welled up. "And now
I must again. Space-justice demands it."

The Devil frowned, disappointed. He took up his iron pitchfork in
both hands and took a step back, preparing himself to strike.

"Surrender," demanded the Super Wizard From Space, pointing at his
opponent. "Your hell-powers were never a threat to me."

"Quite true, old friend," the Devil spit out with some venom. "On
these mortal realms, my hell-powers are a mere fraction of their
true potential..." he spun the pitchfork in his hand, and plunged
the tongs into the floor at their feet.

The black stone gave way and they both tumbled through a thick red
mist. Caught off guard, the Super Wizard From Space fell through
an infinity while also not falling at all, the impenetrable mist
seeming to grab and yank at him, dragging him down between seven
and eight and nine disc-like dimensions at a faster and faster
speed. Sound was nonexistent, light was nonexistent, but he could
feel the cathedral, the alien world it was built upon, the entire
universe that contained it whisked up, out, and away from him.

Then he felt the heat.

The red mist suddenly dissipated, and there was an unbearable
burning from his insides and outsides, a fire that was flaring
from every atom everywhere. His eyes snapped open and saw black
mountains, red clay fields, dried riverbeds, and fire. So much
fire. Everything on fire.

A boom as he crashed to the ground, but a ground that shattered
under his weight and engulfed him in a sudden freeze. He thrashed
and climbed and tried to push up, but the rock and ice around him
was too slippery, denying him purchase. It seemed to consciously
defy all his efforts to escape, strangling him with shards when he
tried to breathe, held him down with sheets of forming ice when he

Inevitably, the stones and gravel morphed to water, infinite ice
that stretched in miles left and right, down and up, a lake beyond
imagining that froze and froze and froze until only dirty ice
remained. A glacier prison for the Super Wizard From Space.

Walking on top the frozen landscape, the Devil came to the spot
where his foe was imprisoned. The filthy ice was just clear enough
to make out the blue and gold suit, the strength of the blonde
face, all held immoveable hundreds of feet below the surface.

The Devil had abandoned his crime fighting costume, instead
reverting to the classic uniform of his hell-office. His cape had
turned red and ragged, his tuxedo disappeared leaving only a shiny
pair of black short-pants, and a fresh pair of stubby bone horns
protruded from his forehead.

He laid down his iron pitchfork and went down on one knee, placing
a clawed hand on the ice. "Yes, on your mortal realm, you would
easily be the victor," he said with a sneer, "but now, here in my
Hell, I am restored to my full strength! Here in Hell, only the
Devil can be victorious!

"I will leave you here, a prisoner of Cocytus the demon-glacier.
You will freeze for space-eternity... as all unrepentant traitors
do, contemplating your betrayal for all time!"

Wil Alambre, follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wilalambre