The Super Wizard From Space #16

"The Tragedy Of Sharkasaurus Rex, Part 6" by

At the most perfect point on the equator stood the two tallest mountains of the
mist-covered world of Amity. Hanging between these two colossal peaks was a huge copper
gong, a full mile in diameter and suspended by an intricate network of criss-crossing
ropes and age-old knot-work. An incredibly long rope bridge spanned the gap, running along
the front of it, a barely invisible line against the instrument's massive metalwork. And
at the midpoint of this bridge, situated at the exact centre of the gigantic gong, a
nine-foot-tall lizard was having a surprisingly calm debate with a hovering super wizard.

Theodor circled the two vertically, trying to pay attention to the exchange, but his
attention was continually directed back  down to the valley below, to the ethereal floor
of mist and fog that covered the surface of the planet, and the sheer size of the spectral
dorsal fin that cut through it. It was the size of a mountain itself, stretching over half
the height of the two peaks, and moving lazily. Sometimes it would sink down into the mist
and there would be a distant sound of screaming and crunching before it came up again.

"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."

"But this is the Gong Ago, our most sacred relic!" explained Brody Dharma, the hectic spin
of his gecko eyes betraying his supposedly undisturbed demeanour. "It is priceless and
irreplaceable! It was constructed over half a million space-years ago by circular popes of
a two-dimensional flatland, and was presented as a gift to the first of my line, Sidney
Dharma!" { The Adventures of Buddy Dharma #8 }

"The great shark is impossible to stop in his phantasmal form. All my attacks pass right
through him with next to no effect. Only the faultless pitch produced by this gong will
shake his energies close enough to our material universe."

"But at the expense of this treasure? Is there no other way?" pleaded Brody Dharma.

The super wizard's fists clenched, his words coming out as a growl. "I didn't receive any
other helpful suggestions."

Theodor did a little flip in the air, looking back at the wounded mountain where Brody
Dharma's invisible monks made their monastery. In the distance, on the craggy side
somewhere, was a balcony with three other space-champions. Each of them the most powerful
representatives of their respective super-civilizations. Each of them wearing one of the
seven cosmic crowns, the most awesome artifacts in the known universe.

And each of them had flatly refused to assist the Super Wizard From Space.

The hovering super wizard watched the giant fin turn in an arc toward the two peaks. He
nodded glanced briefly at Theodor, then back to the fin. He clapped his hands together and
rubbed them, grinding in what little ambient moonlight there was in the night sky into his
palms. "I'll lure Rex here to the Gong Ago. When he's as close as possible, play the note.
When the sound makes him real, I'll strike the lethal blow, ending his menace forever."

Brody Dharma pulled out a diminutive rubber mallet from his robes, balancing it in his
palm. "We haven't found the correct frequency yet. It has eluded all my fellow monks, like
a single blade of grass in a wind-swept field. What if I do not find the tone?"

Without turning back, the super wizard replied, "Then your cosmic tournament has served
its purpose, I suppose." He then wrapped himself in a cocoon of star-light and shot like a
streak at Sharkasaurus Rex.

Brody Dharma and Theodor were left alone on the simple bridge, watching the streak of
light dive under the mist and erupt in a pale explosion at the dark shape of the ghostly
megalodon. The patient beast suddenly thrashed wildly at the annoyance, and even this far
away, the snapping of it's cavernous jaws where like booming explosions.

"I never believed that I would find myself presented with an ethical choice while standing
on such a perfect physical metaphor," said Brody Dharma to Theodor with a smile, tapping
the side of the rope bridge with his little hammer. "My father would be so jealous of such
a literary convergence."

"What to say? What to do?" asked Theodor in a stream of open thoughts. "The wizard cannot
hold out. Not against terrible Rex. Not against teeth. And hunger. And rage. This is what
they want. The others."

"The other space-champions maybe," agreed Brody Dharma, "but not me."

The point of light went out for a moment, then flared up again as a flat plane of stellar
power split the air. There was a sickening crack as the atmosphere was sliced as if with a
cleaver, then crashed back in on itself. A chaotic wind rushed out across the planet, like
the heavens thrashing blindly against a wound.

But the dark shape was unfazed. As the light of the super wizard started to speed back
toward the two peaks and the Gong Ago, the blackness in the fog rose up. Sharkasaurus Rex
was enormous now. Fat and strong on thousands of lives. Miles long and sleek in shape.
Frantic and furious in predatory nature. And it chased the little speck that kept trying
to blind it.

Brody Dharma made a polite wave-away motion at Theodor and readied his little rubber
mallet against the massive gong. Theodor did a last little circle around the invisible
monks' master hero and then swam away toward the mountain shrine. He circled the peak, as
if trying to find a good vantage point, and eventually went up to the very top. The summit
of the mountain ended with a short two story tower with a roof made of red clay tiles.
Flicking his tail and passing his ghostly body through the little building, he didn't see
anyone inside. He had the spot to himself.

From way up here, Theodor watched the wizard fly at the rope bridge. A relatively small
bubble of light, the air coning around his moving form.

The massive megalodon chased after him, rapidly closing the distance. Mouth open, waiting
to slam down on the wizard's tiny form. Dozens of rows of hundreds of teeth, each the size
of the building.

The space between them shrunk to nothing just as they reached the great musical

A single crystal tone rung out.

The body of the great shark flickered. The shade became solid. The sudden mass causing a
momentary pit of gravity.

Primal base thoughts turned into a telepathic wave of surprise.

Then a deafening crash, metal slamming against bone, then weight against vacuum. The
displaced air became a explosion of clouds, a sudden violent hurricane. 

Trees were blown out of their roots. Stones and boulders flung into the air. All the red
clay tiles blasted off the little roof.

Theodor was flung away, the rushing waves of sound and storm tossing him like the worst of
the old currents he used to swim in. But it ended as suddenly as it started, and he
righted himself, desperately looking at the valley.

The great gong was gone. The rope bridge was snapped.

But Sharkasaurus Rex remained, dashing onward. His course was outwards and erratic, but
his momentum seemed unhindered.

But where was Brody Dharma? Gone? Fallen? Theodor darted back and forth, trying to get a
glimpse of the gecko through the dirt and dust and debris still hanging in the air.

There! There, on a long frayed rope, waving madly on the wind. Brody Dharma ran along the
thin moving line! Faultlessly! Each footstep landing on the fragile cord with trained

He ran up the twisting remains of the rope bridge until he reached the mountain, making a
leap to the rocky side. Fingers and toes splayed wide, he landed on all fours, a lizard
stuck flat against the vertical surface.

"Here! Up here!" called down Theodor. The martial master looked up and, seeing the ghost
fish, scrambled up the mountain with astonishing speed, all four limbs a blur. In mere
space-minutes he was at the peak and, with a graceful hop, he was on what remained of the
roof the little tower.

"A pox on my hesitation! A curse on my unsteady hand!" spit out Brody Dharma at himself.

"What? What happened?"

"I missed! I missed the tone! Rex wasn't real enough!" Brody Dharma stomped in place a
bit. "And now we've missed our chance. The Gong Ago is gone. Fallen into the valley."

"No! Not fallen! Look!" said Theodor in desperation, giving a psychic nudge to Brody
Dharma. Sharkasaurus Rex had turned, his mind now little but solid red rage at the
mountain. The beast blotted out half the sky with his great size, charging straight toward
them, intent on biting and cutting and eating all the little bits of troublesome meat.

And trapped in it's horrible mouth, in open jaws, a white speck reflected off flat copper

"He has it! Stuck fast!" shot out Theodor in green bright thoughts, a familiar exuberance
machine-gunning out of the little fist toward the lizard. "Rex took it with! The metal
didn't give! Hit it again!"

Brody Dharma reached up to his necklace and broke the string, freeing the fist sized
beads. He picked up a couple, feeling their balance and waiting his palms. "I still don't
know the note, as if blind with a new sheet of music." He juggled three of them for a
second, then dropped two, keeping a single bead.

"You tried to match the gong's tone to Rex's ghostly frequency! But look! The gong is
stuck in Rex's mouth! It's already at his frequency! You need only strike! You need only
play! You cannot miss the tone!"

As the beast rushed at them, it seemed to spot the little meat on the peak. A wash of
remembrance came from it, followed by a tide of anger. 

It picked up speed, flexing it's power muscles, trying to bend the metal in it's mouth,
wanting to bite off the entire top of the mountain.

Brody Dharma spun the single glass sphere in one hand. He stared at it, then stared at the
engine of destruction charging at him. The cosmic crown that hovered over his gecko head
flared with erratic sparks, as if wanting to free a fury. 

"I have been humiliated, my little fishy friend. By guests and by beasts. Like a mule,
stubbornly assisting and being taken advantage of. And though I religiously follow the
wondrous practices of ultra-zen, as taught by my father and his father and his father
before him, down the line of Dharma...

"Even my great calm is being swallowed whole by your teacher."

Theodor hung near Brody Dharma's feet. His sad blue thoughts were striped with dull hues
of acceptance. "This monster has nothing more to teach me."

Brody Dharma pulled his arm back. The sphere a light weight, ready and wanting to fly.
Sharkasaurus Rex increased his speed. The copper weakened, wanting to split and break. The
lizard monk waited, searching with wide eyes. The horror taking up his full field of
vision, he still looked.

And he saw it. Behind the metal. In the blackness of the vast gullet. Past fifty-five rows
of teeth. A point of defiant starlight.

"Smile, you son of a bitch," spat out Brody Dharma as he flung the sphere.

The glass bead shattered against the centre of the gong. A perfect pitch played out.

The great shark stalled in mid air. It's body flitted, the soundwaves washing over him and
pushing him out of his unreality into a suddenly solid state. It hung in the air a
split-second, a new weight that lost all momentum, as if the universe wasn't sure how to
deal with this new weight and mass.

Then the point of starlight slashed the flat of his palm. A long flat plane of stellar
light struck out from inside the mouth. A single sharp spin along the vertical axis and
the plane was a burning knife, bisecting the stunned beast.

There was a last distorted spatter of thought from the dying megalodon, a whispering
release from instinct. Then it was gone.

A monsoon of black red blood erupted from the wound, painting the mountain and the mist
and miles around. The corpse of Sharkasaurus Rex split evenly in two, and fell.