The Wonder Worlock: Escape from the Planet of the Dragon, Part 2
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
July 11, 2012 19:01 | Updated: 45 weeks 2 days Ago
July 11, 2012 19:01 | Updated: 45 weeks 2 days Ago
A year ago, on a burning Gaza IV, the Wonder Worlock fights for the life of a world and its peoples.
On the planet’s surface, even as a war wages in surrounding space, the dark mage calls for refreshing rains from the heavens to wash the natural radiation and the energies that were once Nomad from this scorched world. He then strengthens the storm and directs a bolt of celestial lightning directly at the Dragon in space above, making sure its direction remains unclear to the reptile.
The eye slits of the mage’s black cowl seemingly fill with stars, and the Wonder Worlock becomes as one with Gaza IV’s very damaged ecosystem. Psionically reaching out across this fourth rock from the sun, the cosmic champion lifts both hands and, in a spectacular display of his space-bending power, literally extinguishes the cosmic flames of the Dragon and the damage it has wrought.
The wizard takes a breath, and hopes the moment’s respite might become a partial victory -- at least for the surviving population of this world.
Gaza no longer burns!
PART THE SECOND
Now, beneath the Planet of the Dragon, the Wonder Worlock and his three companions, native to this world, try to avert the destruction of the fourth planet from the star Gaza long predicted by scientist Roj-Le.
For decades, the embittered scientist had delivered warnings to the ruling Science Council that their world was destined for destruction. But as the visiting Wonder Worlock became familiar with Le’s theories and examined the underworld of the planet himself, he slowly lent his support – first privately, then before General Doz and the Council – to Le.
Le’s warnings started to become viable, at least to the thinking of the Wonder Worlock, following the planet’s last war ages ago with its star-faring neighbor, Gaza
The population became isolated from one another, living in widely separated technological citadels across the planet’s southern hemisphere, shunning all personal, physical contact. (The one ruling body to unite the surface dwellers was the Unilateral Citadel of Science.) Procreation would then become a matter of selecting compatible genetic material which would then be placed within an artificial womb called a “birthing matrix.” Any attempt to contact other worlds was forbidden (although eventually an uneasy alliance was established with Gaza
It was into this world that the young scientist Roj-Le was born. By his adult years, a mysterious “Green Plague” (as thought by the Wonder Worlock, this was later discovered to have been an unrecorded appearance of Plantagenous Rex) was killing Gaza IV natives by the hundreds, and upon researching the matter, Le “discovered” (incorrectly) that the cause was growing radiation produced by Gaza IV's increasingly unstable core.
Le -- incorrectly -- found that the planet was having internal stresses, that its tectonic plates were sliding at an angle that seemed outside the realm of possibility, meaning something, he theorized, had effected the planet’s axis. Due to this process, Le began saying publically, the entire planet itself would soon explode!
But it never did.
Then a vengeful Dragon returned home, adding planet-wide destruction to the germ of truth in Le’s discoveries.
This is how the Wonder Worlock suddenly finds himself face-to-face with -- the Wonder Worlock!
“I am the Wonder Worlock, guardian of this galaxy and beyond! Who are you?” the dark mage screams, still taken somewhat aback by the energy being. “What is your purpose here at the heart of this planet?”
“I am the face of Gaza IV!” the swirling lava face in the ebony mask gurgled, causing even General Doz, the veteran of many a battle, to cringe his shoulders. “I am the ecosystem of this living world, brought to life by the Before-Mage. Since the departure of the fire-breather have I sought the aura of the Before-Mage. It has come and gone, but never has it been this close. Never have I been able to sense it so powerfully.
“This former incubation chamber for the race of intelligent dragons has revealed many secrets to me, but only after I gained sentience – only with your coming, O Before-Mage, was I able to act upon these instincts. The carbon-based infestations about me, above and below the surface, have brought nothing but the destruction of war and plague to me – and then the blazing breath of a being who sought naught but good for their kind.
“That is why I have chosen -- and I can chose now -- the null life, the existence of non-existence, the calm of nothingness. Because I will it, the process of planetary destruction has speeded up.
“It’s almost go time!”
“By the Citadel’s crown, I knew that my calculations could not account for the sudden acceleration of tectonic activities, and so organized this exploration – possibly salvation – party,” Le said. “But I never dreamed --”
“A living ecosphere, a sentient planetary core?” questions the astonished Elder Chairman. “Is that what is forming the words in our ears, our heads? This is almost beyond --”
“Zootalaris!!” screams the Wonder Worlock, “but this planet shall live! Strange being, of my creation or not, no one will say me nay! Gaza IV was injured on my watch, and on my watch was it saved from the great Dragon. No bubble of earthen gut will bring down these living cultures, all so diverse in their living and just now discovering they might – just might – find a singular voice!”
The wobbly warlock throws a blast of eldritch energy the way of the lava blob with his own visage, but it is already gone as the planet begins to quake. “Into Voyager! Quickly!” the mage yells.
Seeming to make a mockery of Le’s science – a feeling he is quite used to, thank you – the wizard takes a huge risk, bows his head low, and then releases his arms in tandem. A bolt of cosmic lightning cracks, there is a blink of reality and stench of brimstone, and the unique vehicle and its crew are back on SmaugIsland, beneath the Unilateral Citadel of Science.
Well, almost all.
“The Chairman!” Doz says. “Where is the Chairman?”
“I am afraid he did not survive the trip. My apologies,” the Wonder Worlock says.
Doz looks to the alien wizard and begins to launch a monologue of militaristic horse-hockey, but then gazes into the eye slits of the mage’s mask. Here is a man come from the stars to save their world – or at least their people. For the first time in his life, the supreme general of Gaza’s largest landmass remains silent.
Aboard the Goff flagship, New Hope, young Captain Rand has just awoken for duty. As his favorite tan one-piece seals itself around his slender frame, Randexercises a time-honored Goff naval tradition that he alone keeps alive on his ship: he ties and clips a black necktie firmly to his one-piece. Had his friend, the Wonder Worlock, been present, Rand knows he would have flipped the tie out of its clip once or twice before letting the boy captain attend to his duties. Such is the complex relationship of the men.
Suddenly, a barrage of psions strike the semi-telepathic Rand, and he recognizes this distress signal immediately. It is his friend, the dark mage, again asking for New Hope’sassistance along the core of the Small Magellanic Cloud, the planet Gaza IV!
What?!thinks Rand. He says -- it is about to explode?!
Not even 10 hours later, Randis aboard the bridgeof New Hope, leading a particularly expert fleet of Goff ships through a star gate soon to be created by the Wonder Worlock. The distance is great, but Rand and many of these men have made the leap with the mage before during the Goff’s assistance of Gaza IV during the invasion of its great Dragon.
But few have seen starships like this, being led by New Hope. Each of the many ships is equipped with upper-end Goff and Neptunian technology, thanks to a science-share effort started by the dark mage. On each craft are uber-transporters, allowing instantaneous transportation to and from anywhere in the universe via a “Continuum Cortex," from where sensors can also detect subtle disruptions in space-time occurring inside the greater universe.
In short, dozens of cosmic soccer moms are on the way to pick up their boys!
Rand and his fleet meet the Wonder Worlock on the rim of the nebulous Cloud, not too far from the Milky Way (navigationally speaking) and head toward the fourth rock from the sun, Gaza.
I cannot express my appreciation to you enough, Rand, or your fellows, the Wonder Worlock psi-speaks.
You are one of us, sir, Rand psi-speaks. You have done the same for us over and over again. After a second, the captain adds: Just don’t let it go to your head!
A short distance away (for the armada) is a fragile jewel in the heavens known as Gaza IV. Rumbles and major tidal waves already have the peoples in a panic. The Wonder Worlock realizes the gargantuan problem still remaining: Rescuing a surface population that barely communicate with each other from area to area, all the underground species that have been newly discovered – and the entire population of Gaza
No matter what the Goff or the mage do, Gaza IV will soon blow.
For the better part of a week, the Goff ships assist the sometimes emotional populations of the peoples of the Gaza star system relocate under the direction of General Doz and the Wonder Worlock.
The underground residents, mammal and reptilian, find themelves making the best of things as they are relocated to the dark world of Ytsan Nobe with its livable caverns and deep subterranean passageways. The water-breathers of underground Gaza IV as well as a sister species on Gaza
The prime populaces, meanwhile, have been given, free and clear, the outskirt territories of the Goff Empire. Several worlds are within one star system around the great giant Gargantos, and it is here the surface people of Gaza IV and Gaza
Far away, aboard New Hope, Captain Rand plays host to Generals Doz and Krenna of the Gazaworlds along with Roj-Le, the scientist newly elected Elder Chairman of the soon-to-be-built Unilateral Citadel of Science, and the Wonder Worlock.
From the legendary viewing window wraparound of the star craft, the men and others witness the final death knell of Gaza IV as it explodes outwards, major shards destroying (as expected) most of the worlds of the Gaza system, including Gaza
“’Tis sad, aye, but ye’ve done a fine job, Captain Rand,” says General Krenna, who has already begun a united interplanetary government plan with Doz. “Fine job by the wizard and Le as well. You all took us from Armageddon to Resurrection Day!”
“Le, I would like to personally apologize for the ignorance of the past Science Council and its inability to hear your words and warnings,” Doz says. “And welcome you to a real leadership role for your people and the universe.”
Shyly, Roj-Le answers in a soft voice for about a minute before Doz says, “Pardon? Could you repeat that?”
“You mean, General, you are not listening to Roj-Le already?!” the Wonder Worlock says.
New Hope’sbar has never been merrier!