The Super Wizard From Space #7

"The Secret Of The Silver Skull Machine, Part 2" by

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,
followed close behind in a similar light cocoon, though his seemed
discolored and misshaped around the edges.

"Are we getting close?" the hermit asked with anxiety. "Pete's old
rocket-ship is slow, but he had a long head start! We might still
beat him there taking a faster path... do you think we're almost

"Yes, Gavrilo. We will be arriving in the hidden galaxy in mere
space-moments," the super wizard said in an authoritative voice.
He looked back over his shoulder at the hermit. "Now tell me about
the cosmic tournament and why its being kept a secret from me."

Gavrilo hesitated, that firm stare causing him to rein back a bit.
An unflinching stare that had witnessed the death of worlds. But
he swallowed back his fear, remembering that he was armed with the
knowledge of the super wizard's name; his harrowing powers were as
harmless to Gavrilo as Gavrilo's own powers were to him.

And he remembered the silver skull machine. The time machine. His
chance to literally erase all his past mistakes. Soon.

"The great super-civilizations of outer space were on the brink of
super-space-war over your... I mean... your act against the
space-unicorns and the space-sasquatches."

"The genocide," the super wizard acknowledged.

Gavrilo shivered. "Um, yes. The planet cracking. Instead of
super-space-war, a tournament was suggested. A cosmic tournament.
Between space-champions."

"Which space-champions?"

"All of them. All other space-champions. Against you."

"And our own race, the Super Wizards From Space, they didn't warn

The super wizard turned away before Gavrilo had a chance to meekly
nod in agreement. No one had warned him. No one had wanted to warn
him. And had Gavrilo not made a deal with him, he wouldn't be
warning him now.

Another mistake that could soon be undone when he got to the

"But the cosmic tournament has rules," the hermit wizard offered
after a silence. "Four unbreakable rules. The Invisible Monks

The super wizard frowned, and looked back.

"The first rule is that space-champions must accept a challenge
from any other space-champion. They wanted to make sure you
couldn't avoid it, you see..." Gavrilo started to explain before
biting his tongue. "The... the second rule is that each challenge
is a battle between the two super-civilizations. The others cannot
interfere." Not that their own race had any intentions of
assisting the super wizard. "The third rule, each challenge must
be witnessed by a space-champion. A third one. That is not
involved in the fight." To be sure, when it was over. To be
certain. "And the fourth rule, the winner of any challenge is the
one who..."

The green tunnel boomed with deafening thunder and twisted
chaotically. Red space-laser reflected off the edges and
splintered into space-lightening arcs around them. The already
invasive warp tunnel bubbled around the edges and unravelled in
tears and chunks, suddenly expelling the two wizards back into
outer space.

In the fresh blackness, more red lines bolted past them
terrifyingly close. Rocks and boulders tumbled randomly around
them lazily, providing some make-shift cover. The shredded rags of
reality mended the burned green tunnel slowly, the fading warp
effect causing the rock debris onto erratic paths that threatened
to squash the wizards.

"Asteroid field!" shouted the super wizard, trying to orient
himself. "Take cover!"

Another red space-laser. An especially large boulder split in two.
Gavrilo and the Super Wizard From Space scrambled behind an
egg-shaped rock as various chunks spun off in every direction,
starting a deadly chain reaction of crashing rocks. A shallow
crater on the crater provided a temporary hiding spot from the
debris and laser fire.

"Ha ha ha," a transmission crackled to life, "I ain't done no
sniping since I was a little larva, but you hafta admit, my aim is
nigh on incredible! Ha ha ha!"

"Pete?" Gavrilo spat back in radio waves. "Is that you, you
traitorous tako?"

"Course it's me! Who else'd be ambushing you out in an unmapped
nowhere? I knew you to be a penniless coward, but I worried you
could be a persistent penniless coward. That's why I had someone
keeping an eye on you, in case you found yourself some gumption!"

Gavrilo cursed silently under his breath. Looking beside him, he
made pretend-gunfire motions to his companion. Gavrilo's power was
completely powerless against the alien octopus because Cephalo
Pete knew the hermit wizard's name. But he didn't know the Super
Wizard From Space's.

The Super Wizard From Space shook his head and whispered, "He's
moving around, keeping the sun directly behind his rocket-ship. I
can barely see him." He pointed to the far end of the boulder they
were on. "I'll get a better vantage point. Get him to fire again,
the space-laser beams will show me his position."

"You want me to be a target?"

"Only if you really want to get to that time machine before your
former friend," the super wizard tossed back as he crawled away.

The silver skull machine. It wasn't too late. Pete hadn't made it
down to the planet yet.

"You ain't died over there, have you?" Cephalo Pete taunted.

"I'm still here, Pete." Think. Think. There was one thing that got
Cephalo Pete to lose his temper. Only question was whether he
thought the hermit wizard had come alone, or saw that he was being
baited. "Still here. Alive and uncooked."

A long silence on white static.

"That's how the smart ones stay alive, isn't it Pete? We stay in
our hole when danger is about? You'd have to be pretty damn stupid
to go crawling out of your safe hole when there's who-knows-what

"You best quiet up now," was the sharp reply.

"I'd have to be damn blind to not see danger outside my hole. To
just go crawling out onto the rocks when someone's out looking for
me. I'm liable to get myself bagged up and carted off, ain't I

"I done told you to shut up, damn your hide!"

Gavrilo risked a peek over over the rim of the crater, letting a
smirk free. "Bagged up and weighed up and carted off? Kept in a
tank? Or was it on ice? The smart ones, they stay in the holes.
The stupid ones, they get kept on ice? Until someone gets hungry
for space-seafood?"

"Shut up! Shut up about my mother!" the furious screaming was
almost impossible to make out over the transmissions. Straight
line bolts of space-laser fire sliced around the rim. Gavrilo
yelped and dived deeper into the asteroid's crater. Red light
burned his skin. Sharp stone shrapnel cut and bashed him, flung

 From the far end of the boulder, the Super Wizard From Space swept
his hand toward the source of the red space-lasers, a gold arc of
solar flare bursting from his hand and stretching across space to
slash at the bottom of the rocket-ship. The weapons disintegrated
instantly, a third of the ship melted and distorted in the fusion
heat tossed at it.

Cephalo Pete's transmissions became panicked. Alarm bells were
clamoring over his angry cries. "No! No! I know you! You can't do
this! Gavrilo! I know your name, Gavrilo!"

"He iszzn't alone."

Gavrilo's blood went cold when he heard the new dripping voice,
crystal clear but for the stretched out, vibrating consonants.

Some of the larger dark shapes in the asteroid fields stopped
their erratic movements, sprouting wide clear wings that beat in a
blur. The shapes moved in a circular pattern, rising from the
cover of the asteroid belt to form a slow moving ring around the
rocket-ship. In the light of the sun, the yellow-black striped on
their massive misshapened bodies and spear-like stingers came into
frightening view.

"You can go now, octopuszz. Leave the szzuper wizzzardszz to
uszz... the Monszzter Beeszz of Queen Buzzz!"



If this issue seems off, then you're not alone. With a busy
schedule over the last couple weeks, I found myself with next to
no time to finish this issue before my self-imposed Tuesday
deadline. I kind of find the end result a little exposition-heavy
and not much forward progress in the plot (it kind of ends in the
same place as the previous issue). I'll try to do better next time.

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