The Wonder Worlock: Magical Mystery Tour, Part 1
created 03/28/2013 - 6:36pm
(Cover by Jim O'Riley and Anthonie Wilson)
Thousands of years ago and the great wizard Thaumaturge is fighting for the life of his world and his wife on the planet Rubicon IX. The Red Rings of Randak hold the invading hordes of gigantic green trolls off as he tries to transport his wife to safer climes. At that moment, three trolls burst in through his sanctum’s shielding and strip his beloved of her life, also gathering his greatest talisman, the Ruby of Reality, into their misshapen paws.
“Better a noble death for thee, milady, than this!” Thaumaturge cries, and casts the Spell of Ultimate Nullification on himself, the ruby and all the trolls – and natives – of Rubicon.
Then nothing, nothing but tiny red rocks hurling from the blast. The wizard is gone, as is the body of his wife. The people of Rubicon IX and the invading trolls are no more. Better this, Thaumaturge felt, than the race of trolls, led by the demonic Ymok, getting hold of the Ruby of Reality’s power.
But the shaman has erred, for the ruby is indestructible by mortal hands. And so chunks of the crimson stone fly through the cosmos, the largest eventually creating quite an impact on the planet Olympia, dimensions distant, and carving its own legend, while a smaller one pelts the pate of a young soldier of Ymok’s army before the nullification is complete, a brilliant tactician and strategist for the troll forces named – Mork.
Since that time, Thaumaturge has reemerged, looking for both his ruby and Ymok, murderer of his wife and world, in his opinion.
His madness unable to be satiated, the Wonder Worlock and his allies have imprisoned the venerable wizard Thaumaturge in a stasis field, one invented by the great rogue Java Lyn himself, in the headquarters of the Star Blazers, super-soldiers of the Threlkellian dimension, on the planet Olympia.
Thaumaturge has dwelled there peaceably for months. Or so it would seem.
PART THE FIRST
For time without end, or so it seems to the imprisoned, has Thaumaturge, legendary time-traveling sorcerer of Rubicon IX, remained entrapped in the scientific boundaries of a mortal.
Most brilliant must this scientist Java Lyn have been, to address the mystic as well as the physical means of escape from this field. Even intangibility, shrinking to the Microverse and teleportation have proven useless, Thaumaturge thinks. But one aspect he has not addressed is the Bendisphere, the whole of time travel that exists simultaneously.
With a new plan, Thaumaturge sends out a telepathic note to … himself! Himself of the long past, so that he would be prepared for this day with a spell that would somehow negate Lyn’s hard work.
And finally, mere weeks ago, he remembers the message he had received days before his world had ended, and how he had prepared for Lyn’s stasis trap, prepared for revenge.
Up, up, up to the Astral Plane, where the soul separates and leaves the body behind – at least in the case of Thaumaturge. Invisibly the essence of the necromancer floats above Olympiaand then is whisked to planes of reality away.
The Astral Plane: It is in fact seven planes that take the form of planar surfaces when approached from a distance, separated by immense colored “buffer zones.” These planes are endlessly repeating ruled Cartesian grids, tiled with a single signature pattern that is different for each plane. Higher planes have bright, colorful patterns, whereas lower planes appear far duller. Every detail of these patterns acts as a consistent portal to a different kingdom inside the plane, which itself comprises many separate realms.
To one of the brightest, highest levels of the Astral Plan soars the soul of Thaumaturge, there to nourish his inner self and his connection to the Scheme of Things. Ironically, Lyn’s stasis field has a redundancy factor that will keep his physical form from wasting away or mummifying.
“Thanks, Java!” Thaumaturge mumbles to himself as his madness stays intact in the Astral Plane. “And now for Ymok. But first: the Wonder Worlock and my ruby!”
She is hearing it again. It is getting harder and harder to resist.
Master,it says, master. Free me, that we may voyage to lands you never imagined. Let me be rejoined with my sisters that we may make you the most powerful of all!
For years, ever since she discovered the stone on a lakeshore on her home planet of Orthgona in the Threlkellian dimension has Prism tried to resist this call, knowing how much good she could do – she has done – as a member of the Star Blazers. Praetor Prima Dona has worked hours with Prism, teaching her new ways in which to imagine constructs as well as other factors that her stone brings miraculously to life.
Even the Wonder Worlock (although he has his suspicions) and Emperor Traven do not know how the cobalt stone works. All Prism knows is that it has made her one of Dona’s go-to members in the SBs, and that is enough for her. Now.
“Quiet, stone,” she whispers to an empty bedchamber. “The future is ours, I promise. But the time is not right. I must wait for the call of another…”
And the big rock silences, ceasing its glowing. It understands, Prism thinks. It understands.
Meanwhile, elsewhere within the Olympiaheadquarters of the Star Blazers, is their unique and ultra-tech training room. Prism is late this morning, but Dona is forgiving … especially after being absent herself time and time again due to her mission with the Subatomics, alien habitats of a world in parallel orbit to Olympia.
The Criptonan, Prima Dona – tall, sleek, of golden hair and with strength enough to juggle asteroids -- is praetor of this elite corps, which also protects and carries out the personal directives of the emperor, Traven, or on occasion King Zavar (usually when Traven is off-world).
Visiting SB HQ today is the Wonder Worlock, a First Citizen of Threlkel and friend to Traven. He is observing the SBs’ training methods and trying to find ways to improve those exercizes. He had witnessed two battles involving the Star Blazers, and was happy with none.
Currently, the praetor is going through an exercise in the Panic Room, a facility filled with traps, projectile firing devices, flamethrowers and mechanical dangers such as presses, collapsing walls and the like intended to challenge the trainee – in this case, Dona herself. As the young girl makes her way through the dangers, the visiting mage wonders how the SBs did so poorly in battles past.
She literally leaves the facility a shambles as she easily makes her way through the last collapsing wall. It is then that the Wonder Worlock casts an illusory spell, bringing a great fear – a large ape-like malahoop from her native world – before the praetor. She hesitates, and in that instant a laser hits her dead-on in the back.
Prima Dona is uninjured – but, as in a game of paint ball, she is “dead”!
“Unfair!” she screams at the cubical containing Zavar and the mage, “unfair!”
“Battle is seldom fair, my dear,” Zavar says, “war a caring mother. This is the reason for our Honored Guest today.”
Ashamed of her uncharacteristic emotion, especially in front of a venerable visitor, Prima Dona bows her head: “My apologies, O sirs.”
“I need you to learn, Prima Dona, not apologize,” the Wonder Worlock says. “Inhuman Tornado! Terysaur! You’re next. Zavar, reboot the room!”
At the command of the Dark Mage, down into the Panic Room on leathery wings descends Terysaur, evading photon blasters and compressing walls and returning fire with cosmic energy from his hands. A member of an avian species from the world of Aerie, Terysaur resembles a large crested pterodactyl. Unlike true pterodactyls, Terysaur has a toothed beak and red eyes and a basically humanoid build, with legs as long as a human being's. Terysaur has a wingspread of 12 feet, and razor-sharp claws on his hands and feet. He also has a powerful hypnotic ability that requires direct eye contact to complete.
Due to manipulation by the his world’s scientists, Terysaur can expel concussive bursts from his hands, as he is doing now in spectacular fashion!
Just as Terysaur beats his wings to free himself from the grasp of a mechanical giant Z’omfly, winds from the Inhuman Tornado (invisible until now) blows the winged youth toward the beast. But Terysaur soon blasts his way to freedom.
The Tornado, from an unknown area of the Andromeda Galaxy, is truly alien even among the Star Blasters. The Tornado is capable of creating vortexes, channeling these forces through his arms and legs to produce bursts of cyclone-force winds and high speed forward velocity powerful enough to affect Prima Dona-level beings. On occasion, the Inhuman Tornado has used his high-velocity movement to render himself invisible to unaided human vision and travel at speeds on par with Prima Dona and his other fellow BSers, the speedster Whiz and Prism, whose cosmic stone turns her mere thoughts into force-constructs.
Blowing through all the weaponry, the Tornado comes to a halt as an energy-absorption net falls over from above (thanks to an addition to the training room by Zavar at the Wonder Worlock’s suggestion). Unable to pierce its confines, the Tornado has to rely on Terysaur to lift the sacklike enclosure from the strange being. This is done just in time to see the return of the monstrous Z’omfly. But as the beast reaches for one of Terysaur’s wings, the Tornado uses his winds to drive the being back, into and over an abyss.
“Teamwork! That is what has been missing from the Star Blazers!” shouts the visiting mage. “That is what we will continue to work on.”
“Uh, Your Majesty, O Sir, sorry I’m … sorry I am late. Overslept,” Prism says as she slightly bows to King Zavar and his mysic friend.
“Not the dreams again?” Zavar asks as she nods. “I wish you would let me take a peek telepathically …”
“It would do you no good, sir. All you would see are surface images,” Prism again explains to this dimension’s most powerful telepath. “Since the day I found my cosmic stone, we have been linked and it protects me from psi-attacks, friendly or otherwise, I am afraid.”
“Oh yes. But Prism, if these ‘dreams’ become any more painful, we must attempt something, if even a N’Moy mind meld, as has been taught me by the Wonder Worlock.”
At the mention of his name, a change comes over the Dark Mage. Powerful Hellfire springs from both his hands and would have burned one of Terysaur’s wings had it not been for the speedster Whiz’s quick actions.
“Friend Worlock, what?” Zavar says as Prima Dona safely flies her king from the floor of the Panic Room.
The mechanical Guided Muscle extends from the arm of the seemingly mad sorcerer and reaches for the floating Prism, butan azure hand-like construct instead squeezes the Muscle and, for one of the first times, proves stronger than the Dark Mage’s spell!
The bellowing cloak of the Wonder Worlock opens and volley ball sized spheres fire forth at the training SBs: the Rocks of Randak! Whiz and Dona soar through the large boulders, Dona crashing them with her bare fists as Whiz reroutes their trajectory her way.
The teleporter Smoke takes Zavar to the safety of his Olympian palace miles away, much to his protest, while the Inhuman Tornado takes the Dark Mage off his feet, spinning willy-nilly into a Panic Room wall.
When Dona arrives to see to his injuries, the mad magician stands and says, in a voice most unlike the Son of Survok: “It worked! He is trapped in stasis and I am free!!!!”
“Who …?” Dona utters before she can stop herself. Only one has magicks like her mentor. “It is you, isn’t it?
“It is you, isn’t it … THAUMATURGE?!!”
TO BE CONTINUED …