The Wonder Worlock: Do You Believe in Magic? Part 2
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
April 04, 2012 16:45 | Updated: 1 year 7 weeks Ago
April 04, 2012 16:45 | Updated: 1 year 7 weeks Ago
PART THE SECOND
Like a comet with a powerful, crackling tail, the bright object hurls through darkest space. Along the outer worlds of the Helios solar system, and inward toward one of its third planets it heads, exuding energies off any scale.
As it breaks through the defense shields and atmosphere of a vast civilized sphere, the sound is nearly deafening!
With an almost soundless landing that belies its travel fury, smoke clears from a stretch of field near the headquarters of the Star Blazers, one whole side wall of that structure now in a shambles. On this world of Greek pantheon worshippers and high technology, the visitor finds one truth about Olympia: There is a sense of dÃ©jÃ vu that disturbs the galactic guardian known only as -- the Wonder Worlock!
First Plantagenous and Mayrah on the Shirewood II, now this? How much can a body take?the dark mage thinks as he scans the area, physically and psionically for any sign of the SBs. “Where are you?” he shouts to the empty air.
Then, a response: Zap, zap, zap, zap, twanggg!
“There is another one, Dolph!” shouts a town official in a costume closely resembling a Roman gladiator. “Keep firing! We’ve lost enough people already!”
“Stop! Stop! Lawmen of OlympiadCity, I am --” the wizard says, or tries to.
Zap, zap, zap, zap, twanggg!
One last verbal plea, and then:
By the mighty Sling of Synester/
By Ogor’s unholy grail/
Let these weapons now cease fire/
Let their efforts fail!
The celestial hex has immediate effect as all firearms within the vicinity cease their functions. It is only then that the peace officers recognize the Official Friend of Emperor Traven and explain the circumstances of the past half-hour.
Not one of the Star Blazers – not even the animalistic senses of the feral Wolfin nor the cosmic senses of praetor Prima Dona – were prepared when the great wizard Thaumaturge of the planet Rubicon IX appeared before them in their very – new! – headquarters -- from the grave!
Thousands of years ago, Thaumaturge supposedly fought for the life of his world and his wife on the faraway planet Rubicon IX. His powerful magicks held the invading hordes of gigantic green rock trolls off as he tried to transport his beloved to safer climes. It was then that the forces of Ymok burst in through his sanctum’s shielding and stripped his beloved of her life, also gathering his greatest talisman, the Ruby of Reality, into their misshapen paws.
Wanting a nobler death for his wife and world, Thaumaturge cast the Spell of Ultimate Nullification on himself, the ruby and all the trolls – and natives – of Rubicon!
The planet did not survive the spell, but the Ruby of Reality did, unable to be destroyed my mortal hand.
So also apparently did the legendary Thaumaturge!
“Good sir --” Prima Dona, as leader, vocally approaches the magician. “We --”
The winds of a thousand worlds sweep the strong Criptonan off her feet and almost into outer space as the mad eyes of the wizard Thaumaturge looks about the unfamiliar planet.
“Ymok! Ymok! I can sense it here and I know you have it! Give it back to me, man-thing! Give me back my Ruby of Reality that I might undo what you forced me to do – do to my world, do to -- her!!” the wizard says, his voice then trailing off in a sob, only to return loud and powerful. “To her!!! Ymok!!!!!”
Winds of a different sort throw the still-unbalanced Thaumaturge from his feet as the arriving Inhuman Tornado blows gusts at the magician that increase the damage to the SB’s new home.
“Whoever you are, where is Dona? Where is the rest of the team?!” he yells, only to become witness to a Vortex of Vipers forming within his own winds. The Tornado has never known such fury as opposing winds snake their way around his living gale and threaten his very existence.
He calms his breezes in an effort to aright his bodily makeup, and as he does he is imprisoned in the indestructible Red Rings of Randak!
“Your minions are failing, Ymok!” Thaumaturge yells at the top of his lungs above his own winds. “Failing!”
Oh, my spirit has wandered from the remainder of Rubicon’s atoms to the Eagle Nebula and the dark world of Ytsan Nobe!Thaumaturge thinks. I will have my revenge, SHE will have her revenge. O my beloved, forgive me for what I thought a nobler way to die! O my peoples, please pray in your invisible Heaven for this soul left behind! You shall be avenged. No green bastard will survive!
As an arriving Smoke steps right through the Rings of Randak in an effort to free the seemingly comatose Tornado, Thaumaturge grabs the girl by the arm – amazingly, for she is intangible! – and shakes her to and fro.
“Where is the ruby, girl, tell me! Where are those diabolical Rock Trolls?!”
“I – I never heard of Ymok, and most of the fabled Rock Trolls were killed far from Olympia, in another dimension by some wizard. That is what has been taught us by the Wonder Wor --”
Prima Dona, returning from outer space, sweeps the conjurer up and quickly carries him as high and as far outside the atmosphere as she dare for a living, breathing being.
She needn’t have worried, for as she approaches Olympia’s ionosphere there is a stench of brimstone and the wizard is back at SB HQ: “Ymokkkk!!!!!”
Dona flies above the planet, outstretches her arms and whirls madly like some insane top, unleashing through her eyes a stream of neutrinos, particles that travel close to the speed of light but pass through ordinary matter almost unaffected. With the telepath Zavar off-world, the Criptonan hopes to arouse the cosmic awareness of the Wonder Worlock on faraway Threlkel without harming the worlds of the Helios system.
But by the time of the Wonder Worlock’s arrival, OlympiadCityis in a shambles, most on-world Star Blazers are unconscious and strewn around as so much debris, and Prima Dona and Prism are missing.
“There was another magician here, O Sir,” says Zuras, captain of the Olympiad Guard respectfully to the First Friend of Traven. “I have seen you -- er uh, perform, sir, and this man mimicked your powers entirely. That is why my men --”
“No need for explanation,” the Wonder Worlock said. “Did anyone --?”
“Yessir,” says Officer Dolph. “Thaumaturge, he called himself among the lightworks around him. I was in a corner of the SB HQ and saw him shakin’ Miss Smoke about and then that girl with the rock, Prism, arrived and he liked to have gone crazy. He called the girl an ”˜Ewak’ -- ”˜Ymok’ -- something like that and then just vanished with her!”
“Thaumaturge? Prism’s cosmic stone? The Red Ruby?! Zootalaris!! I never --!” shouts the Wonder Worlock, before his form too abruptly ceases to be on Olympia.
“Dolph, get a dust pan and start cleanin’” Zuras commands.
As he exits from his self-made stargate into X’rron space, the uncanny cosmic senses of the Wonder Worlock follow the trail of Thaumaturge through the dark stuff like Wolfin through a forest. All the while, he is piecing together what has occurred.
Thaumaturge obviously survived his own suicide hex and when Mork brought back Ymok in a new incarnation, somehow this triggered Thaumaturge back to our realm of existence, the celestial sorcerer thinks. According to the peace officers, he is seeking revenge on the Rock Trolls because of the death of his wife and planet. Somehow, he has associated Prism’s cosmic stone with his ruby – which may or may not be the case, and woe’s to me for never even have considered such a happenstance! Somehow he has tied Dona to this too – at what end, I do not know.
Suddenly, in space: Thaumaturge, with Prism and Dona encapsulated in the Ruby Crystal of Randak.
“Let them go, Master Mystic!” the Wonder Worlock says. “These children have nothing to do with who or what you seek. The Rock Trolls are all but gone, Ymok long dead, the Ruby of Reality nowhere to be found.”
“You are a liar, whoever you are,” Thaumaturge says. “I can feel the ruby’s recent presence in this reality, and I will soon find it utilizing the girl’s similar crystal.”
“Nothing much is known about Prism’s cosmic stone save it serves only her will,” the Wonder Worlock says. “Now return with me to Olympiaand we --”
“Liar!” Thaumaturge yells in the void of space. Swiftly, the Rubicon mage joins his hands together in the sign of a Devil’s Cross. For a second, space seems to darken deeper, as brilliant beams of light arc from the mage’s glowing palms in answer to his hex. High overhead, at the intersection of those beams, there swiftly forms a luminous eldritch cylinder, a cylinder which suddenly breaks apart into twelve perfect rings of magical force. The Rings of Randak!
The powerful roving rings seek to imprison the Wonder Worlock, but they merely annoy the practiced wizard. Purplish vapors are emitted from the rings as the Wonder Worlock tears them asunder with a blaze of Bedevilment Bolts, choking Thaumaturge in the airless vacuum. He begins to become dizzy, and the Wonder Worlock hurls Bolts of Bedevilment at the sorcerer with great effect.
“Bah! Thaumaturge does not need to breath in space. How is this possible? <Cough, cough!>”
A cosmic lightning bolt then strikes the spell-casting right hand of Thaumaturge, burning and, in some instances, soldering together its five digits.
“Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!” Thaumaturge screams as he erects the Shield of Synester, a powerful blast of mystic might hitting the Wonder Worlock in the head.
The space-faring shaman falls through space, head over heels, until the dark mage bounces against some type of netting – an enormous web of Thaumaturge’s construction.
The Wonder Worlock is stuck, like a fly, in the Net of Nihilation! And the web is suddenly tightening, and not slowly.
The cosmic legend senses his weakness before Thaumaturge, and he mouths apologies to every cause, every standard he believes he represents: hatred, injustice and want for freedom. “I -- I am sorry. I am undone --”
Thaumaturge laughs. “This is not for me, dark-clad one. This is for them, for her. Her!!” He points to the frozen Prima Dona. “My beloved!”
“She --ugh, is not your -- ugh, your wife, madman!” the Wonder Worlock struggles to say. “She is not even from the same dimension as we are! This --”
“Silence!!!” Thaumaturge practically shrieks.
So cold here in this net, the Wonder Worlock thinks. Cold. Cold! Thaumaturge has no knowledge of the Old Ways! By Great Aurgelmir, I was the first from my universe, they told me.
Struggling against the Nihilation Net, the galactic guardian hurls with precision the Knives of Niflheim, cutting past the shields and deep into the skin of Thaumaturge. He rallies to escape, but the now-free dark mage spins a series of Conjurer’s Cones at him, swallowing the revived Rubicon resident whole!
Freeing Dona and Prism, the trio head back (the SBs under their own power!) through the wizard’s stargate to Olympia.
Back in SB HQ, the great magician of Rubicon is locked in a vault of the Wonder Worlock’s design, in stasis for the nonce until such time as his conundrum may be solved. No one has access to this chamber but the dark mage and Prima Dona – and of course Traven and -- the just-returning Zavar.
“All our work, Wonder Worlock! What has come -- “ says the Olympian ruler, who knows the answer through surface reads of the SBs before the question is physically asked. “Will Thaumaturge be safe here? Is there any danger to my charges?”
“These are but walls; they can be rebuilt. And they are not children at a school, Zavar, although it can be seen that way,” the celestial shaman says. “These are soldiers at a training camp – and for many of them, a boot camp. They will be fine; Dona has promised me, and I promise you.”
As the group assembles for evening chow, there is a small light that no one sees in the cosmic jewel of the Star Blazer called Prism, a crimson speck among the sea of cobalt. And if Zavar had not already left the room, his powerful mind might have heard a word spoken within the spark, a word spoken not by a person but by --what?
He might have heard: Master?