The Wonder Worlock: Olympia Strikes Back! Part 1
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
October 28, 2011 08:32 | Updated: 1 year 29 weeks Ago
October 28, 2011 08:32 | Updated: 1 year 29 weeks Ago
The Two-Day War between the battle forces of extra-dimensional Threlkel and Olympia, its ally, as it would one day be known, saw at its end the powerful Kwang, warlord of the latter, bowing to Olympia Scientist Supreme Java Lyn as he ascended the thrown of King Traven. All the while, holo-images of the rulers of Olympia, King Boltart and Queen Meducil, looked on from the home world, having ceded Threlkel to, in their view, the “wronged” scientist Lyn.
With Marlee, estranged wife of Traven, at his side – a spectacle that shocked most of those on the planet – word came down that the wives and sons and daughters of the former ruler would be banished to Threlkel’s Forbidden Zone, where the screams of inhuman treatment and experimentation from the torture chambers there still burn in popular memory.
Plans changed a bit when the ally of the off-planet Traven, the Wonder Worlock, rescued the captured previous administration and sent Java Lyn to a fate almost worse than death – a head-on collision with a live nuke, albeit in another dimension.
Since that time, Olympiahas been regarded with shame among the worlds of the Threlkellian Empire and its allies. And Warlord Kwang has not exactly had it easy, thank you …
PART THE FIRST
Light years from the volcanoes and deserts of Threlkel whirls in orbit around the star Helios the planet Olympia. Like the Greeks of old Earth, the pantheon of Zeus is worshipped by most of this world’s society. There are tales that, after the Earthers abandoned the pantheon’s belief system, Zeus and most of the other Gods severed ties with that mudball of another dimension and opened the celestial doorways of MountOlympusdirectly to Olympia. In the nation-world’s capitol city lies a large mound of original planetary clay and a temple to Zeus, representing this hallowed link.
Not far from that temple, it happens, is the palatial dwelling of Olympia’s greatest soldier, Warlord Kwang. Having more stars on his dress uniform than are about the nighttime firmament, Kwang has been loyal to his belief in war and to His Majesty King Boltart his entire life. And the memory of being forced to bow down before the weakling Java Lyn on Empire-wide celestivision still makes the hairs on the back of his neck rise and his skin crawl. Since that time, his long and successful career has been in ruins, as has the reputation of his wonderful world.
“A pox ‘pon me for kneeling before that so-called ‘man of science,’” Kwang screams to no one in particular in his empty living chamber. “Why, even at the behest of the King and Queen themselves, I should have turned that request down. Better a speedy death by the axe man than this slow death!”
Java Lyn knew nothing of war. It is rather my family business,the veteran thinks in the quiet of his sanctum.Oh, I have no immediate idea of being killed in a great battle but one can never tell and none of us can live forever. All men are timid, I guess, on entering any fight; whether it is the first fight or the last fight, all of us are timid. Cowards are those who let their timidity get the better of their manhood. My men would and will never do that because of their Olympian warrior bloodlines -- on both sides.
I recall the story of my great-grandsire who fought under Antonius XIV. On the morning of one of his last battles -- he had been fighting for forty years -- he was mounting his horse when a young aide-de-camp who had just come from the court and had never missed a meal or heard a hostile shot said: "Sir, it amazes me that a man of your supposed courage should permit his knees to tremble as he walks out to mount." My grandsire replied, "My lord duke. I admit that my knees do tremble but should they know where I shall this day take them they would shake even more." That is it. Your knees may shake, but they will always take you steady towards the enemy.
Kwang gazes around his empty quarters. He is not used to being alone, and is filled with a fear unfamiliar.
There are apparently two types of successful soldiers, he thinks.Those who get on by being unobtrusive and those who get on by being obtrusive. I am of the latter type and seem to be rare but once popular. One has to choose a system and stick to it; people who are not themselves are nobody. To be a successful soldier, you must know history. Read it objectively -- dates and even the minute details of tactics are useless. What you must know is how man reacts. Weapons change but men who use them change not at all. To win battles, you do not beat weapons. You beat the soul of man. To do that, you have to destroy his weapons but that is only incidental. You must read biography and especially autobiography. If you will do it, I oft tell my soldiers, you will find that war is simple.
Decide what will hurt the enemy most within the limits of your capabilities to harm him and then do it. Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash. My personal belief is that if you have a 50 percent chance, take it! -- because the superior fighting qualities of Olympian soldiers led by me will surely give any the extra 1 percent necessary.
War is hell, he thinks. But not so much as the empty bed chamber, the empty quarters, the head-turns as he passes in public.
The powerful and honored Warlord Kwang does not like being … alone.
In the Palace Royale, King Boltart and Queen Meducil discuss issues that mirror those concerning Kwang.
“He actually laughed at me, dear!” the king screams at his queen in the anteroom of a palace wing. “Not only would Zavar not let me speak with King Traven, he actually laughed at me, as though Olympiawith its fine history and scientific technological superiority were nothing! Bah! It is as if all our contributions before and after the long-ago Great Solar Wars of the Founders had never been. Why, Java Lyn himself …”
“If I never hear that name again, it would be too soon!” Meducil shouts. “That man, brilliant or not, has made us the laughing stock of the Empire. On the Queens’ Council, I am never called on anymore. All my committees have been dissolved or reassigned. Seven of Traven’s wives have taken over in my stead, it seems. Their fate in the Forbidden Zone of that world, Marlee’s plans, is the one thing I wish had come to fruition from the war …
“Dear! You speak of the wives of our emperor. You must …”
“No, Boltart, you must …! You must think of a way for Olympiato regain its respect in this system even as Traven and all his diplomats focus on bringing into the Empire Degaba and the tiny handful of planets that orbits that accursed binary star of Warfarin. Think, honey, think! And be glad you only have one wife to speak truth to you!”
Hundreds of miles from the Forbidden Zone on the extra-dimensional world of Threlkel is the headquarters of the planet’s fighting elite, the Star Blazers! Heroes all, the Star Blazers are an army of powerful beings from throughout the worlds of the Empire.
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 Grand Vizier Zavar (usually when King 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 has witnessed two battles involving the Star Blazers, and has been 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, Prima Dona. 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 today.”
Little does the Wonder Worlock know how much a prophet he will be, as suddenly warning sirens bring word to the Grand Vizier that an armada of Olympian war ships have just entered Threlkellian space – and not under the flag of the Empire.
I have been waiting for this, my friend, Zavar says telepathically to the Wonder Worlock before contacting his king, the barbarian warrior Traven. It looks like another battle might be a’brewing.
TO BE CONTINUED …