Fan Fic: The Wonder Worlock: Gaza, Stripped, Part 2
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
July 14, 2011 20:26 | Updated: 1 year 44 weeks Ago
July 14, 2011 20:26 | Updated: 1 year 44 weeks Ago
PART THE SECOND
While the southern half of Gaza IV crackles and blackens from the cosmic fires that issue forth from the mouth of the returning Dragon, the Priests of Amap huddle in their ages-old encampment mere miles north of SmaugIsland, on the northernmost inhabited landmass of the planet. Word had come from General Doz and the monks had joined their spiritual essences together in a melding of minds, sending out the call throughout the multiverse for the mysterious wizard known only as the Wonder Worlock.
No matter where in reality this strange being was, the Priests told themselves, he would hear their telepathic plea.
That was before the fires reached even their distant shores, before the Dragon – renewed by absorption of the Creation energies of Nomad followed by a pod of migrating Pizzar – threatened to break the minds of the mystics.
They huddle together as one, these venerable learned men. As the walls of their monastery crack and fall around them and plumes of smoke threaten to steal their collective last breath, the Priests of Amap bolster their telepathic summons with an actual hex, old when the Dragon was still in its egg in the mountains to the north:
By the foul brew of Ogor
Before which all boundaries decay,
We have the will to summon thee.
Help us this day.
After two recitations and a final burst of cosmic flame from above, the ceilings of the ancient monastery give way and the Priests of Amap are no more. Their scrolls burn in the all-consuming fire, taking away a secret the Dragon would probably have given his life for – scrolls not written by men, for the Dragon knows of most of these. No, scrolls written by dragons!
They are – or were – the secrets of the Dragon’s origin, of the planetwide catastrophe that led to the extinction of his own kind. Now, like the Jackovich family and others on Homeworld, the parchments are just so much dust in the wind.
All about the large and small cities in the southern hemisphere of Gaza IV, the deathbird on leathery bat-wings brings his own version of justice to his home planet. Although he does not know it, much of the populous has not even heard of the Dragon, so long has it been imprisoned in the Dread Dungeon of Doom. And those who have heard of the creature regard it as a myth, like Earthers do the pantheons of the pagan gods.
But clear evidence has been shown this day, perhaps the last in the world’s life, that this mammoth monster is all too real. All too real indeed.
Gaza’s fire brigades did not receive word from their planetary big brains in time for the first alarm, roughly 9:40 p.m. GT as the Dragon first burst into the atmosphere after exiting hyperspace. Citizen brigades in the Y’welk Colony near the pole were alerted when cosmic fires were still but small. When larger blazes got underway, the G’bent Colony – none of whom had seen the looming of death overhead -- realized that there actually was a new fire and sent in their forces, but in the wrong direction!
Soon the blazes had spread to neighboring islands, where frame houses and sheds fell like bowling pins amid the screams of hundreds of Gazans. Superheated winds drove flaming brands northeastward.
When the fires engulfed a tall church west of the J’maloth River, the flames crossed the south branch of the river and endangered U’thona, hollowed birthplace of General Doz. Helping the hemisphere-wide fires spread was firewood in closely-packed wooden buildings, ships lining the rivers and oceans, the world’s elevated wood-plank sidewalks and roads, and the commercial lumber and colina yards. Gaza IV has a great advanced civilization and technology, but its main planetside resource remains wood from its lush and still-plentiful rain forests. The size of the blaze generates extremely strong winds and heat, which ignite rooftops far ahead of the actual flames.
Millions, perhaps billions, of acres of forestland fall to the ravaging Dragon, the same forestland where he once taught humankind how to talk, how to write, how to be beings of worth.
Those beings’ attempts to stop the fire all prove unsuccessful. The ministers, kings and regents of Gaza IV even call surrounding planets and systems for help, but by this point the fire was simply too large to contain, as was the Dragon. The beast actually seems to feed on the energies of the fear in the air, the death – not unlike the sentient aperture Nomad. When the fires destroyed the worldwide waterworks, just east of the Unilateral Citadel of Science, the hemisphere’s water supply is cut off, and many colonies’ fire batallions forced to give up. Only those with specially-equipped c’thulu spray guns are able to create oases of non-burning scorched earth here and there.
As the Dragon’s blazes rage through the central business district of U’thona, it destroys hotels, department stores, City Hall, the opera house and theaters, churches and vid-plants. The fire continues spreading ever northward, driving fleeing residents across bridges on the J’maloth River, some toward the seas themselves. There is mass panic as the blazes jump the largest landmass’ main stem and continue burning through homes and mansions on the world’s opposite side. Residents flee toward the Citadel in primitive crafts and by Elum-back, all the modern vehicles having been commandeered by Doz to battle the flying fire demon, where thousands seek refuge.
For the first time in many of their lives, the scientists of Gaza IV and their allied planets watching horrifically over holo-tubes are at a loss.
“What say you now, you people of a traitorous world?” screams the Dragon of Gaza IV to no one in particular as its powerful wings bring it across the equator of the planet, again toward the land of Amap. “What say you now??!! Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!”
And Gaza IV burns.
The celestial conjurer known as the Wonder Worlock exits hyperspace with a
These are the Goff, humanoid space-farers dedicated to spreading understanding and cooperation across their galaxy. Understand, however, that although their usual missions are altruistic, these are military men on military vessels, led by their grand starcraft the New Hope. It is the pride of the Goff Navy and a renewed symbol of their race’s life-mission.
The Wonder Worlock did indeed receive the pleas of the Priests of Amap across interstellar space … but the death-throws of millions of Gaza IV’s residents had already brought the mage to his friends on the edges of the Goff system, one of the greatest star-faring fleets in the universe. In Goff, the ebony star-skimmer is an Honorary Citizen.
The newly-promoted Captain Rand commands the New Hope as it leads the armada into battle against the Dragon of Gaza IV, now grown to gigantic proportions and threatening the star Gaza itself.
“I suggest we bring the remainder of the fleet around to support the Wonder Worlock in whatever actions he may take,” said Number One Officer Tral-Faz, native of the planet N’Moy. “Then General Doz’s Gazan squadrons, battered as they might be, can close in to act as rearguard.”
Even as Captain Rand considers his second-in-command’s strategy, General Doz chimes in over the comlink: “This is General Doz. The Dragon is fleeing the far western tip of our planet’s southern hemisphere and is approaching escape velocity. It is coming to greet you, Captain Rand, but rest assured my forces are right on its tail, such as they are. I have instructed the Prime Regiment from Gaza
“General Doz, Captain Rand, this is Heffe Sklrt I of the Gaza
The Dragon is distracted now, the Wonder Worlock thinks. With the combined might of three star-faring militaries to dissuade him, I must move quickly!
“Rand, Doz, Sklrt,” he says over the comlink, “I am going in!” With that, and unnoticed by even the mystic senses of the now-gigantic Dragon of Gaza IV, the Wonder Worlock fades from view only to minutes later reappear on terra firma outside the Unilateral Citadel of Science.
A moment’s concentration by the mage. Freezing winds then begin to blow on the cinder that is Gaza IV. As the Vortex of Viruses engulfs the cosmic flames of the Dragon, slowly, inexorably, the whirling winds create a downward spiral and literally suck a majority of the fires into Conjurers Cones – planetwide!
The Wonder Worlock 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.
Gazano longer burns!
In the local space about Gaza IV, the military of three star-faring systems have the Dragon on the run.
“Is this the best you can do, tiny light-makers?” the Dragon laughs as the words enter the minds of all combatants telepathically. “Your monkey ancestors had better luck when I was a smallish thing and you at first threw sticks and stones at me. Bwahahahaha! You seek to confuse me with battle plans, schematic attack patterns and navigational glories? Know you not a dragon has mystic perceptions not tied to time? And then there is this …”
A vigorous jerking of his huge leathery wings, and gravitons are unleashed all around the reptile. Then his bulky frame is nowhere to be seen. All of a sudden, he re-appears -- right in front of the Shraw Kolib’kree! Sklrt commands full back, but everyone on board knows it is too late.
Directly into the maw that is the mouth of the gigantic demon goes the pride of the Prime Regiment from Gaza
“For one, for all, for Gaza!” are the last words the commander of the Shraw Kolib’kree says.
General Doz brings his forces into play, as the great armada of Goff takes the rear flank. Captain Rand of the New Hopesays a prayer to his Makers as a memory of his beloved captain -- the late Alars Krik, commander of The Wave – dances in his head.
Doz’s vessels keep the re-appeared Dragon moving away from the planet, and the beast concentrates bursts of cosmic fire on the shields of the general’s personal starship, the Heightened Lady. Photon torpedoes silently explode about the beast’s head from the Lady as the great Goff forces attack the wings of the demon, to little effect.
“Get the molecular cannons online!” Randscreams. “Re-arm the Great Solexus and release the Thrumm toward the dragon. We have to aid General Droz and the remaining Gaza
“Molecular cannons offline, sir,” Tral-Faz reports. “Damage reports from decks 12 through 22. Void breech in the aft from the beast’s constant bombardment. Twelve reported dead already, Captain.”
THROMMMMM!!! The sound of the Great Solexus is deafening, literally. The high-level sonics sweep the silence of surrounding space, small asteroids and orbiting Gazan scientific satellites melting like ice cream on a hot summer day. THROMMMMM!!!
The New Hopelurches in the broadcast of its own sonic release. But then, silence again reigns as the Dragon turns its great body back toward the planet of its birth, Gaza IV.
In the face of the great beast: the Wonder Worlock!
“Ho, Great Dragon of Gaza! You are wounded! Very few living beings -- not even the great and powerful Kat’Wallidur -- can survive for long the Great Solexus of Goff,” the Wonder Worlock says. “Surrender, that we might bring peace to this system anew!”
“These traitorous peoples have done naught but earned my wrath, wizard,” the beast responds. “Truths did I teach them: language, writing, the arts. And how did they repay me? The Devil have I become – or worse still, forgotten altogether! They are discovering the Dragon of Gaza IV is greater than any hell their myths might imagine!”
“Well do I know the saga of the wizard Riddle-de-de of my native Milky Way and the hex he died casting, the spell that placed you ages ago into the Dread Dungeon of Doom,” the cosmic champion says. “I certainly am not ready to end my existence for the likes of you, but know that I can cast the same hex as that honored mage.”
White fire crackles around the right arm of the Wonder Worlock as he begins to open a portal, a hole in the space about Gaza IV. The mage is opening – the Dread Dungeon of Doom! A domain the great Dragon knows well.
Even in the black silence of space, the Dragon hears their maddening cackles and inane antics: The Tridactyl Trio! The Great Ilahk! The Dozen Dwarves of Wons Etihw! Mork! These deadliest of cosmic denizens were his companions in the pocket dimension for time out of mind, and he will not return! Such torture is meant for another, but not he, the most learned, most feared of his kind. A sole survivor. The immortal Dragon of Gaza IV!
“Never!!!!!” the Dragon screams. Then harnessing the Creationistic might of he that was Nomad, a sentient wormhole, the reptile’s form warbles with the colors of a rainbow, explodes in a plume of cosmic fire and is engulfed in its own incessant appetite!
In the aftermath, there is just a string of busted spaceships and a tired human form in black. The space about Gaza IV looks for all intents and purposes like a back yard after a rough play break by a very bad child, one who enjoys smashing his toys.
The impulse engines of the New Hope hum as it orbits the recovering world of Gaza IV, near the core of the Small Magellanic Cloud. With their minds tired and needing diversion, the Wonder Worlock engages Captain Rand in a somewhat friendly game of multi-level chess as the visiting General Doz and the Elder Chairman of the Gaza IV Union of Special Gentlemen (meaning a union of the world’s scientific minds) watch on.
“You surprise me, Doz,” Randsays, momentarily taking his attention away from a knight in danger. “You seem to agree with the Dragon that the people of your home world were in need of punishment?”
“Perhaps not punishment, dear captain, so much as reminding,” the general says. “I have been reading – a gift the Dragon bestowed upon my people – the holo-videos of certain ancient scrolls lost with the Temple of Amap. These predate the stones and scrolls decrying the murderous life of the monster, and instead paint him as the savior of our race … or at least its human component. We may, in his eyes, very much appear as treasonous – something I have no stomach for.”
Like that of its predecessor, theNew Hope’s mess is situated on deck ten at the extreme forward end of the saucer secton and is designed with several large windows which offer a spectacular view of space ahead of the vessel. The room is accessed by two doors, on the port and starboard sides at the rear of the room. The location serves as the social center of the ship and is equipped with a number of recreational activities such as 3-D chess (in which Rand and the mage now engage), Terrace and Strategema, tables and seating, and a bar which serves several alcoholic and syntheholic beverages.
“You may well be right, Doz, but that is not the fault of your people in this generation,” the mage says. “Many of them did not even know of the Dragon’s true existence, of its history of aiding a multitude of mystic arts practitioners, including me, for ages. The problems of the past cannot be blamed on the peoples of the present, General.”
“Checkmate!” Randscreams, forgetting his captain’s status before a bar full of underlings as his true boyish enthusiasm momentarily escapes. “You are beaten, Wonder Worlock! What say you, O Ye Honored Citizen of Goff?”
Randsmiles, as do the general and the chairman. They look at the caped man in black.
“Well,” the cosmic conjurer says, “in the recent words of my friend, King Traven of other-dimensional Threlkel:
-- FINIS --