The Wonder Worlock: The Other Side of the World, Part 1
created 01/30/2014 - 11:22pm, updated 01/31/2014 - 3:38am
(Cover by David Michel and Don Armstrong)
The alternate universe known as only as “The Other Side of the World” was created in a different manner than other known universes. There was no big bang, no cascading light. All was created in a steady state flow of primal matter, resulting in a place where time as we know it doesn't exist. One second does not flow into the other, one minute and one hour are the same.
Here on the Other Side of the World, nothing ages or dies; and if something is destroyed, it is immediately replaced.
The strange entity known as Katem Tui is the only known native of that dimension. He lived more years than even the Ancient Ones of our universe can conceive before he frankly became bored with his existence and, with the aid of a scrying mirror of his own design, saw the lush world he called Sol-
Tui, a necromancer of great power, longed to go there in order to experience something new and perhaps to conquer this blue-green world, but even his mighty powers could not enable him to leave his own dimension.
However, he managed to make contact with the Senes, terran priestesses of the god Teulates, in what is now Brittany. At his direction, they constructed the Gate of the Blue Flame, through which one may enter the Other Side of the World. In the time of Julius Caesar, a Roman Centurion was the first known to have stumbled through this gateway and become lost in Tui’s timeless dimension.
By the late 5th Century, good king Gradion came to the throne of Comouaille; he was a devout and godly man, but his daughter Dahut was evil, delighting in her sinful ways. Even so, her father adored her and gave her anything she desired. At her request, he built the great city of Ys in the bay of Douarmenez, with a great dike to keep the sea out. The great bronze doors could only be opened by a silver key which Gradion wore on a golden chain around his neck.
Dahut took the cosmic demon Mephistoff himself as her lover, and he demanded that as proof of her love, she provide him with the key to the dike. She stole it from her father one night and Mephistoff used it to open the gates at flood tide and drown the city. Only King Gradion escaped. By Mephistoff’s enchantment, evil Dahut became a Siren, forevermore luring Earth seamen to their deaths.
The Gate of the Blue Flame was near to the site of Ys on Earth, and it is also the entrance to the same ancient span where recently met in mortal combat the space-lost Ymok, king of Rock Trolls, and Warfarin, ruler of the Degaba Empire.
Tui never did come to our universe, but to him “never” is just a concept. On the Other Side of the World, then and now are the same. No time has passed for the wizard since his contact with the Senes.
But for our universe, the centuries have passed. Many a sailor from many a planet since those ancient days has reported seeing Sirens, ones such as Dahut. But no one, not even the Wonder Worlock, has ever seen or even heard of Katem Tui.
That is about to change.
PART THE FIRST
The ghost of his departed friend Captain Gar haunts the Wonder Worlock, even here in deep space. No matter how many circles he makes around the rim of the Mephistoff Nebula, that ol’ craggy cap’n’s voice is there. Told ye so, Dark Cloak, it says. And he laughs to himself.
It is not that the wizard blames himself for the unexpected death of the captain. The fighting Neptunian volunteered to go to war against the Children of the Norn, even if it was not his fight.
That was Gar.
The Wonder Worlock has known a lot of beings in his life, but few managed to get as close to the celestial sorcerer as did Gar. Sadly, he was not even on-world when the death occurred and had to be told second-hand by Arion of Dalbain.
Soaring near light speed, the Wonder Worlock lands surprisingly softly on the desert world of Za. Wishing not to be disturbed by the various populations, he whirls light around his figure so that he is essentially invisible. The same applies with his psi-shields.
All is at peace for him, suddenly, as his friends the cave crickets come to greet him – their small antennae sensing his essence -- like a farm of pet ants. He delights in their welcome and in their song. It soothes the many Souls of She’ol within him.
Here, time slips its way into the future …
Then it just hits him in the head like a sledge hammer. A cosmic resonance that feels like … NOMAD!
“Vortex of Voyages!” he cries aloud as winds circle the invisible man, shocking the crickets back into their cave. He hopes they will understand; he will attempt to explain when next he visits Za.
In the Nexus of All Realities, a realm where physical laws do not apply. Concepts such as “what is” and “what could be” are aberrations cast adrift on the cosmic stream.
For those that have the power and foreknowledge to come here have the opportunity to go to any place, any time, any universe.
The Wonder Worlock opens his mind’s eye and focuses. He but recently taught Prima Dona, praetor of the Star Blazers, the method of doing this; it is a unique aspect they but few others share.
His thought pattern is singular:
His mind perceives billions of dimensions, billions of marvels … and the most fearsome and perverse conceptualities that would drive many to insanity.
It seems that it was insanity that gave birth to the Wonder Worlock those long years ago. And it is that cocoon of insanity that has protected his mind and soul ever since.
“There you are!” the necromancer yells to no one, diving at a closing wormhole amid the madness of the Nexus environs. “Purger of Worlds, I am on my way!”
With a flash of blue fire, the Dark Mage is gone, not a trace of his time in the Nexus remaining. He is on a mission; as usual, it seems to be one of life and death!
The cosmic awareness of the Wonder Worlock leads him like a hound dog across the Andromeda Galaxy, past the glowing rim that keeps the spiral intact and beyond the dark hole embedded in its center.
I know you are here! he thinks to himself. I felt you, and by Survok, my cosmic senses do not lie!
It is the second – no, the third time the Wonder Worlock has been on the cusp of finding an inkling of Nomad’s survival at the hand of Se-jus, not including, of course, the essence of the Sentient Wormhole that had caressed the mad Dragon of Gaza like a lover before its own suicide.
Three times out, not soap. This time will be different, he vows.
But as the Dark Mage searches for Nomad, a strange eldritch blue flame that does not burn pops out of a minor wormhole, one smaller even that the entrance to Niflheim.
The tongues of azure flame suddenly wash over the speeding Wonder Worlock like a great Oceanus wave upon its meager shores. He is caught in a drift and carried over the rainbow to a great golden gate before a span of blue fire that do not burn.
He is neither in Kansas nor Oz.
The celestial shaman makes his way to his feet, adjusting his balance on the solid grounds of somewhere. He has been in the seas of deep space and of Oceanus so long, it feels strange to be on any solid ground for a moment.
He chuckles at himself.
Then he notices his feet are not standing by themselves, but are bound by the Ruby Rings of Randak.
“Welcome, wizard … and you must be a wizard or wayward Earth soldier because only they seem to find me,” says a gaudily-dressed humanoid in front of him. “I wish I could cross over as easily as you, my ebony friend, because it seems for me the trek is only one-way. Perhaps that great cloak of yours and, say, a tablespoon or so of your blood might help me? Bwahahaha!”
The Wonder Worlock gestures at his eldritch shackles. A sizzle in the air. Nothing.
“Allow me to introduce myself to you, alien. I am Katem Tui, and this is … the Other Side of the World!”
TO BE CONTINUED …