The Super Wizard From Space #10

"The Secret Of The Silver Skull Machine, Part 5" by

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 
through it's phantasmal body, the only full solid part of the terrible 
apparition was the laurel wreath floating above its forehead, radiating 
wildly with a sickly green light.

Flanking it was a pair of rainbow-finned fish, each as large as a 
full-grown man but just as insubstantial as the giant beast. They 
wavered beside the gigantic shark as if the slow breeze was a liquid 
stream they were coasting in. Their milky white eyes had an eerie 
spectral weight to them but also carried an innocent freedom.

"Don't move," the Super Wizard From Space warned the Hermit Wizard From 
Space, placing a firm hand on his companion's a shoulder. Not that there 
was anywhere they could go. There were rows and rows and rows of 
monstrous teeth in all directions around them, each tooth a vicious 
triangular bone larger than their torsos. "Try to stay very still."

"These aren't bees," whisper the hermit wizard.

"No, Gavrilo, these are not bees," said the super wizard. "It's some
the Infinite School. And they've brought their space-champion, 
Sharkasaurus Rex."

The ghostly megalodon seemed to recognize it's name, a maddening hunger 
flitting over it's golden eyes. The surrounding jaws flexed slightly 
tighter, the jagged teeth leaping toward them. The super wizard 
outstretched his arms, spread his fingers, pale solar power leaping out 
around him and Gavrilo to form a protective bubble of energy. The wall 
of giant teeth poked and tore through the edges of the shield near 
effortlessly, arcs of shredded electricity jumping inward.

The two rainbow-finned fish darted down toward the super wizards, their 
ghostly forms easily passing through the energy shield, and positioned 
themselves between the megalodon and it's meal.

"No! No!" thought the red-green fish aloud, it's short staccato 
telepathy hooking into the forebrains of everyone around it. It wasn't 
crying, it wasn't pleading. It was excited, the words rich with the bite 
of anticipation. "Great Rex! Mighty Rex! Not these! Not them! Not yet! 
Up! Up up up! Look up! See up!"

Far in the sky above the ruined building, the swarm of monster bees flew 
in wide circles. All of them different shapes, different materials, 
different colours. All of them in perfect formation, moving at exactly 
the same speed. Round and round, their wings making a low constant 
rumble, like a waiting storm.

"Terrible Rex! Harrowing Rex!" thought the other transparent fish. His 
scales were several shades of wonderful blue, but his mind slashed out 
words coldly and cruelly. "Up! There! Them! Them! Vengeance! Vengeance 
on the bees!"

There was a pause, then the laurel wreath's green light flashed brightly 
and the megalodon dived straight down. The energy shield popped like 
soap as the ghostly beast moved through the fish, through the wizards, 
through the ground. The remains of the building quaked, even 
insubstantial the great shark caused civilized structures to shake with 
the fear of it's passing. Gavrilo's blood went cold and his bones felt 
hollow as the beast dove into the planet. Then after a long heavy 
moment, a blast of vertical wind as it rose up again in a rising ragged 

Sharkasaurus Rex flew straight up toward the swarm. The drones blasted 
out panicked scent-transmissions and scattered. The one monster bee of 
purple-tinted electricity swerved in the wrong direction and quickly the 
cavernous jaws slammed shut around it. There was a crackling pop of 
lightening and it was gone. Rex swum around, already hurling through the 
sky toward the next victim.

"Formidable Rex!" thought out the one fish.

"Fearsome Rex!" thought out the two fish.

"Stay here. With Rex's help, I can end this," said the super wizard to 
Gavrilo before he wrapped himself in the remains of the shield's pale 
light, flying up into the air.

The swarm grew smaller as the monstrous drones got picked off one by 
one. They occasionally managed to get behind the crazed brute, their 
superior maneuverability allowing them to jabbed at the megalodon with 
their toxin stingers. But the quick attacks just passed through the 
spectral form, striking nothing.

The Super Wizard From Space flew alongside the giant shark, ambushing 
the confused drones as they emerged out the other side. A clench of his 
fist, a snap of his arm, and a blast of solar fire stretched out like a 
flaring whip. The bees vaporized instantly before the whip finished 
snapping, the fusion arc erasing a mountain with a deafening roar.

"Wondrous Rex!" thought out the red fish.

"Murderous Rex!" thought out the blue fish.

Gavrilo watched the carnage in the sky, a motion of super-savagery. As 
much as the ghostly megalodon filled his heart with terror, it was 
overwhelmed by his fellow wizard's bleak ruthlessness. And all the time, 
a loud and pounding cheering in his head, the pair of fish psychically 
throwing around acclamations to their space-champion. Clapping his hands 
over his ears did nothing to keep the broadcasts from slamming against 
his own thoughts.

The fish swam around the room randomly, the air shimmering behind their 
ghastly bodies, their rainbow fins leaving half-seen trails of color in 
the corners of his eyes. Rainbow fins. "Hey," Gavrilo called out to 
them. "I've seen you two before, haven't I?"

The two fish froze, blind white eyes wide, then dashed to the hermit 
wizard. "Yes! Yes! Quite recently! Just recently! I am Geisel!" said the 
red fish excitedly.

"I am Theodor." said the blue fish. "The rocks. The reef. The infinite 
ocean. You wizards killed us."

"You wizards freed us!" agreed Geisel.

"You mean the asteroid fields? You two were some of the drones. Out when 
we were ambushed."

"Yes." thought Theodor, trailing his words with pictures of the vast 
blackness of space, white-hot fire, melting flesh. "Stabbed. Changed. 
Long mad with instinct. Long crazed with need."

"Yes!" thought Geisel, trailing his words with sensations, the release 
of flesh and freedom from reality. "Freed from poison! Freed from body! 
Freed to swim the infinite ocean! Freed! Returned to Rex's school! 
Returned to Rex!"

"Returned with Rex. For revenge." dripped Theodor's black thoughts.

"By ourselves! Rest of school did not understand! Rest of school did not 
agree!" thought Geisel.

"Rex agreed. The teeth of Rex agreed." thought Theodor.

The telepathic bursts of the ghost fish were like sharp sudden headaches 
in Gavrilo's head. The hermit wizard winced and waved a hand at them to 
get them to be silent. Instead, then sway up through the air, watching 
the frenzy in the upper atmosphere. The drones never stood a chance 
opposing the two space-champions, their numbers were dwindling rapidly 
against the combined powers of two cosmic crowns.

In an attempt to ease away the jackhammering thoughts of the fish, 
Gavrilo moved to the edge of the room, toward the main entrance. It was 
like trying to fight an excitable unpredictable migraine. The extra 
distance seemed to help, as did the dimness of the hallway beyond it.

But the darkness seemed to shift. Like something too big was trying to 
squeeze through. And with a sudden lurch, it charged the hermit wizard.

Gavrilo held his hands in front of him, an unsteady energy shield 
forming between him and the shape. But eight long spear-like points 
pierced it. And they pierced his abdomen. Shock. Excruciating pain. The 
taste of bile. The taste of copper.

"You wouldn't szztray on old Pete, would you?" asked a mocking thrumming 
voice. The monster bee limped out from the hallway. It was suffering 
from burns and it's sides were crushed and its wings had been torn off. 
But the vibrating of it's consonants and the spitting of it's vowels 
were full of satisfied confidence. "Szztill szzo much to szzee. Szztill 
szzo much to do."

"Pete..." Sticky wetness everywhere. An invasive burning in his middle. 
The toxin started to seep into his flesh. "Don't do this... please..."

"We gotta, partner. All thiszzz, all that up yonder, we have to have 
szzomething to show for it." The Pete-bee's voice cracked, getting 
sickly and uneven. It's own wounds were probably fatal. Even so, it was 
almost gentle in tilting it's stingers, letting the hermit wizard slide 
off them onto the floor.

The concrete floor felt very very cold. "It doesn't even work," Gavrilo 
  managed to choke out.

"What, the szzkull? That waszz szzmall time. That waszz the old me. I 
szzee thingszz clearly now. I'm part of bigger thingszz now. Part of a 
hive. Part of a szzwarm. And thiszz szzwarm never wanted no szzkull.

"We wanted you. We alwayszz wanted you. And all of them nameszz in that 
there thick head of yourszz."

Geisel and Theodor came rushing. Suddenly. Like a haunting. Mouths wide 
and minds racing. "Here! Here! One of them! A monster bee!" Thoughts and 
images of distress and hatred came out like tidal waves, washing over 
the Pete-bee. "A race of thieves! A race of slaves! Help! Help!" They 
hit like jackhammers against it's already cracked skull. The bee tried 
to slash at the spectral assault, but it's stingers cut only through 
empty air, and the erratic motion caused an already broken leg to give 
out under it.

Gavrilo coughed up blue blood. He could feel the dire poison working 
it's way through his body, tugging and stretching at his bones and 
muscles. Names. Cephalo Pete had sold him out to this swarm for names. 
The names of every one of his race. The knowledge of that name made 
Gavrilo completely immune to the science-sorcery any super wizard of his 
race could throw at him. Including the super wizard space-champion.

And when the poison in his system rewrote his form and shape, when it 
made him into a monster bee like the other drones, his loyalties would 
change in an instant. He'd tell their entire hive all those names. He'd 
tell their dread queen those names. And no super wizard would hold any 
power over them.

There was a rush of air and a cracking of concrete, and Gavrilo was 
knocked half-way across the room and slammed into the side of the 
machinery. But there wasn't as much pain as there should have been. 
Already he was being overcome by a rushing numbness throughout. His 
entire body felt tight, the stingers' poison was closing the wounds... 
in preparation to warp him into a new beast.

Looking at the hallway, the Hermit Wizard From Space could see the Super 
Wizard From Space standing over the Pete-bee. He had come straight down 
on the monster drone, landing like a meteor strike on the creature's 
back. It was probably dead instantly, but the super wizard beat it 
anyway. Struck at the body over and over. Hammering with concentrated 
solar force.

He didn't stop until he had completely pulped the corpse. That's when, 
in the silence, the super wizard heard the clicking of the metal door 
sealing on the silver skull machine.

The Super Wizard From Space took a moment to breathe deeply and slowly 
before turning around. Through the tinted glass of the eye socket 
portals, he could see Gavrilo inside the machine. The controls were 
untranslatable, the settings unknown, but a single large red lever was 
clearly waiting to launch the entire device into the time stream.

The Hermit Wizard From Space gripped the lever with both hands. He 
stared out the portal. His eyes were wells of regret. And resolve.

The Super Wizard From Space nodded.

The red lever was pulled. The entire machine shook. The ancient 
computers fed the silver skull's immeasurable power back into itself.

The interior went pitch black for an instant. Then it was empty.

Reality jolted. The entire universe tilted to one side in one moment, 
but smoothly righted itself in the next.

The wraith-like rainbow fish looked up into the clear sky. In the 
thinner higher parts of the atmosphere they could still make out 
Sharkasaurus Rex prowling the cloud banks, looking for prey that might 
have slipped away. If the massive megalodon had had any interest in the 
silver skull machine or the sudden unnatural shifting of the universe, 
he didn't let it interrupt his lazy hunting.

Geisel drifted to the skull, circling and peeking into the tinted glass 
and looking at his reflection in the tarnished surface. Theodor hung 
limply by the super wizard, broadcasting his thoughts in a mournful blue 
tone, "Gone. Dead. The other wizard. He killed himself."

"No. He left," the super wizard replied. "Given enough stellar energy, 
he could stall the transformation, but inevitably he would succumb. He 
left. While the decision was still his own to make."

"But where?" asked Geisel. "He is outside everything now. Outside the 
stream of time! Outside the ocean of space! He is no where!"

"Or somewhere."



I think I mentioned this before that this arc was originally supposed to 
be a single issue story with a gag about an inside-out time machine for 
my high-concept challenge. Now here I am at the conclusion, five issues 
later. In the future, I'm going to try to stick to smaller arcs, closer 
to two issues I think. They tend to be punchier, more to the original 
feel I intended to the series.

As promised, I have tossed a character into the machine to see if he 
appears outside his universe and somewhere else. He is free to appear in 
any other RACC imprint, if anyone is interested, and free to be used in 
any manner anyone sees fit. Enjoy...


NAME: Gavrilo

ALIAS: The Hermit Wizard From Space

APPEARANCES: The Super Wizard From Space #6-10

DESCRIPTION: Looks like a taller human with white hair and scraggly 
white beard. An old face, sunken heavy eyes, a leathery skin long used 
to taking hard beatings. Wears the blue-and-gold uniform of his race, 
though it's torn and ragged and faded with age and neglect. Taken to 
wearing a cloak or coat to hide under.

ABILITIES: Mastered the secret science-sorcerous powers of the super 
wizards from space, allowing him to absorb and manipulate stellar power 
with fearsome god-like results.

WEAKNESSES: Knowledge of his name makes any person or thing completely 
immune to his science-sorcerous powers.

PERSONALITY: Penitent for past actions. Poor judge of character. Makes 
rash decisions. Is cyclic in nature, making bad choices and sinking into 
guilt about it, then jumping right into more bad choices to try to make 
up for it.

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