The Wonder Worlock: A Dish Best Served Cold, Part 2
created 03/15/2013 - 4:49pm
(Cover by Jason Heichel, Ben Weetman and Allan Whincup)
PART THE SECOND
In the Nexus of All Realities, a realm where physical laws do not apply. Concepts such as “what is” and “what could be” are aberrations cast adrift on the cosmic stream.
For those that have the power and foreknowledge to come here have the opportunity to go to any place, any time, any universe.
Prima Dona, late of the dead world Cripton and leader of the Threlkellian super-army the Star Blazers, opens the little used cosmic side of her mind’s eye and focuses. The Wonder Worlock taught her to do this one day; it is a unique aspect they but few others share. It is his summons she now answers.
Her mind perceives billions of dimensions, billions of marvels … and the most fearsome and perverse conceptualities that would drive many to insanity.
It seems that it was insanity that gave birth to Prima Dona those long years ago. And it is that cocoon of insanity that has protected her mind and soul ever since.
“There you are!” Dona yells to no one, diving at a closing wormhole amid the madness of the Nexus environs. “Mentor, I am on my way!”
With a flash of blue fire, the alien superwoman is gone, not a trace of her time in the Nexus remaining. She is on a mission; as usual, it is one of life and death.
The celestial sorcerer called the Wonder Worlock enters the airspace of his “home” planet Oceanus, dimensions distant from Dona’s worlds of Threlkel and Olympia, and comes face to face with WAR!
He sees from above his “brother,” Rand of the Goff Empire, on each side of him an Oceanan guard, two of Arema’s finest. He also sees Shazetta, born ruler of the Sh’zam, swinging broadswords madly as dozens of mounted and foot solders from that same race use stunners and phasers of Neptunian and Goff design in more modern warfare.
Their target? Bil’gruph of Ahmed, a 1,000-year-old resident of Null Space who somehow escaped death in battle with the galactic guardian once before, but not before killing – murdering – his friend Plantagenous and the entirity of the Elves of Everwhen cosmic collective.
What has brought the alien to the wizard’s beloved Oceanus is at present unknown. All the Wonder Worlock can do is vent his red rage on a target of hatred, and that Bil’gruph most certainly is.
As volleys of phaser fire strike the goat-headed Null native, they are absorbed and reversed by his glowing Cosmic Cane, an other-universal tool of great power.
“Baa-aah-aack, ye vermin! It is not you I seek on this water world. I seek the priceless gem underneath the waves. Who knew that there would be land-dwellers on this otherwise submarine planet? Not native, are ye?” Bil’gruph said.
“Have at thee, ch’torah!” says Shazetta, roughly dismounting her steed and slashing through the most basic of Bil’gruph’s personal shields with her broadswords. “You are lucky my father is not alive to see what you have done to our new lands!”
A quick emerald construct in the form of a slapping hand from the Cosmic Cane and Shazetta is sent sailing, only to fall into the waiting arms of Captain Rand, albeit roughly. “You OK?” the young captain questions, but the ire in her eyes reflects that in those of the arriving Wonder Worlock.
“What brings you here, foolish goat-man? Have you not murdered enough of my friends, now you come for more?” the sorcerer screams, engulfing the alien in the grip of his mighty Guided Muscle even as the Knives of Niflheim break loose dozens of Sh’zam warriors from Bil’gruphs constructs.
At the same time, the Dark Mage telepathically summons an ally from far away.
“In truth, I had no idea you were even in this quadrant of positive space,” Bil’gruph says, sending rainbow beams of fatal light through a dozen Sh’zam warriors or more. “There is a cosmic treasure I seek here … well, not ‘here’ … but my landings on water worlds are not what they used to be. So little land and me a natural airbreather.”
As Bil’gruph talks to the air above him, an agile Rand manages to roll under his floating shields and attacks with his blaster set to kill. Bil’gruph is stunned when he feels the might of the tiny Goff weapon. His reaction is swift and violent.
<Bamf!> A spell of teleportation immediately removes the injured captain to the Great Healing Palace on the sea floors of Oceanus, two phyisians shocked to see a wartorn sailor at their hospital. Emergency treatment and healing procedures begin immediately on the Goff officer.
“You will kill no more!” the Dark Mage says, imprisoning the goat-headed alien in the unbreakable Roving Rings of Randak. The crimson bands begin to squeeze Bil’gruph as an azure flame emanates from the center.
Unbelievably, Bil’gruph is free and an emerald construct pins the arms of the Wonder Worlock behind him, binding them with his dark cloak. But there is a moment before he is free that the mage has been able to probe Bil’gruph’s mind.
“Zootalaris, he IS after a cosmic treasure here … LANDRY!!”
How a Null Space dweller came to know of the girl who binds two waterbreathing races together is unknown to the Dark Mage, but he must free himself before …
It is then that Prima Dona of the Star Blazers arrives on Oceanus!
“Dona, he is after Landry!” the mage screams at the superwoman entering the atmosphere above.
“Landry! Why …” Dona was once chief guard and babysitter for the tot the night the babe’s mother Nef married Captain Gar of the Neptunian Empire. She has held a special place in her heart for Landry ever since and quite a number of extra-dimensional visits have shown that.
Dona’s eyes blaze red hot as beams of searing heat burst from her orbs right onto the Cosmic Cane of Bil’gruph. The tool heats up and seems to be damaged for the first time since he fashioned it from Irain life canisters over 1,000 years ago.
“Fie!!!!!!!” Bil’gruph shouts.
As the Wonder Worlock becomes intangible and sinks into the ground like a Rock Troll, Dona’s mighty muscles beat her foe silly, knocking the goat creature off his floating construct. Immediately, Shazetta is on him with broadswords swinging this way and that, Rand’s two Neptunian guards – both sharpshooters – taking revenge for the injury to their charge with powerful twinkonker blasters from a new combined Neptunian/Goff tech. They both know Queen Arema will have words for them, when and if they return to Oceana.
As Bil’gruph is distracted, the Wonder Worlock emerges from the solid rock, grabs the offending alien and drags him to the very core of the planet, where temperatures average 5700 K. Just as Bil’gruph’s right hand was sinking down into the continent, Dona from the sky and Shazetta from the ground grab each end of the Cosmic Cane. Dona then takes it aloft and throws it into the sun about which Oceanus orbits.
Protected by his quantum magics, the Wonder Worlock, fire in his eyes, watches as the goat-man burns.
“You will never lay your hands on the daughter of my world – this world – ever!” the Dark Mage yells to the dying alien.
“Ne…coff … never say … coff coff … never, dark cloak ….” They are his last words.
But before he is completely dead, the wizard says one other phrase: “Here is a little trick I learned a few years ago on the planet Ysmault …”
The mage takes Bil’gruph by his burning head and lifts what is left of his smoldering carcass. The Wonder Worlock then opens his own mouth wide as his mighty heart pumps lava-hot, rage-tainted blood out of his body through his mouth and onto the burning man from Ahmed!
In the confines of the Golden City, under the sea, Queen Arema and her party – Captain Gar, his wife Nef, Princess Shazetta and chief scientist Bran’akk (breathing thanks to magic), Prima Dona and her consort the Wonder Worlock – pay a surprise visit to a healing Captain Rand of the Goff.
“You look better than you deserve, kid,” Dona says, a scowl of sorts from Shazetta showing through her warrior demeanor.
“Your mother will be quite proud of you, Captain,” the Queen says. “You will be receiving another Royal Commendation for helping to save our gem, Landry. That is your fifth, I believe?”
Rand, who is in uniform, turns red. “Yes ma’am.”
“Hey, kid, your tie too tight? Why are you even wearing a necktie in a hospital bed …” Dona questions. Captain Gar holds up his hand, indicating a stoppage of the conversation subject.
“Happy I am that ye were willing to give your life protecting our planet and our daughter, Rand, and here from the Great Neptunian nation – what is left of it – is a Silver Cross. My own.”
“Captain Gar,” Rand says, overcome with emotion, “I cannot …”
“You can, because Landry insisted!” Nef chimes in, kissing the boy captain on his cheek.
“Chief Bran’akk, your warriors …?” Rand questions.
“We lost 22 good men, whose families have already agreed to have them interred in Oceana’s All Souls Grotto. Their ceremonies are tomorrow.”
“I would like to be in attendance, with your permission. I assume it will be held on land, at Poseidonis?”
“Hate is a terrible thing,” the Wonder Worlock says to his friends, “and personal rage can be even worse.” He holds Arema’s hand as he puts his other arm around the healing uniformed sailor Rand. “Isn’t it nice that friendship, that family seems to heal all wounds?”
And far away from Oceanus, on the world called Shirewood II, the sun seems to shine a bit brighter this morning on a lush garden where a small plaque is dedicated to the late Plantagenous. For the native Intz, it will be a good day indeed.