The Wonder Worlock: A Path for the Silent Ghost, Part 1
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
September 27, 2012 12:29 | Updated: 32 weeks 6 days Ago
September 27, 2012 12:29 | Updated: 32 weeks 6 days Ago
PART THE FIRST
The Wonder Worlock comes off a routine whirl around the Mephistoff Nebula, stopping long enough to wrap the black stuff of space around himself thus creating a wormhole to his “home” for these many months, the blue gem of a world called Oceanus. There, he heads, to make love and laughter to his beloved, Queen Arema.
But suddenly the space he is bending seems to fight back, lashing out at him with cosmic thunderbolts. The galactic guardian fights his way through the assault, his shields and hexes keeping him in control of his flight through hyperspace.
As the Dark Mage emerges from his wormhole, he finds nothing at all familiar. This is not near Oceanus -- or even the Goff Empire or N’Moy. The celestial shaman has been thrown off his course before, but at least he knew where he was at its ending. But now ...
Suddenly, twin spaceships appear in his view, no lights, no sounds of operable machines – or crew – emanating, either physically or psychically, from their midnight forms. As near as he can tell, they bear the hallmarks of warships of the Binary race, but what are they doing here, he asks himself.
As he discovered following his last battle with the Neptunian villain Vargas, millions of years ago, the red-skinned Binary journeyed to Oceanus from their own aquatic planet seeking sanctuary from a great war. At this time, the Oceanans were much more interested in expansion outward into space than in the defense of their own world, and so the intrusion went unnoticed.
The Binary vessel landed in the ocean of Grav Badar, and those peoples began to establish a thriving civilization there, deep in the waters protected by mountains. Especially impressive was their technology, all stored in a cavern at the foot of the mountain.
Thinking they were invaders, all of the Binary were slain by the primitive Baah creatures that to this day inhabit this area of Oceanus’ seas. The cave was discovered and its tech bastardized by Vargas, who tried to bring inbreeding again to the peoples of two worlds before they could become as one.
Vargas was defeated, the cave sealed and the area made off-limits by Queen Arema herself.
But now, here are these two ships and here is the Wonder Worlock. Are these perhaps ruins of that great Binary war? The mage flies toward the hulks to investigate.
The Wonder Worlock lowers his physical and psychic shields as he confirms they are derelicts with his cosmic awareness. The hulls are pitted with micro-meteor hits, stellar debris -- and battle scars.
The Dark Mage enters one of the floating hulks and makes his way to its bridge. Casting the Hex of Energism, the mage brings to life the ship’s navicom. The still-barely operational Binary technology displays before the wizard’s eyes a glorious 3-D panorama of the galaxies comprising the local group and instantly recognizes where he is, at least according to Binary technology.
The shaman has somehow flown into the Abell 520 galaxy cluster, a most unusual structure resulting from a major merger. It has been called by Terrans the “Train Wreck Cluster” due to its chaotic mangled-up nature.
Zootalaris, I am about as far from Oceanus as one can be, the Wonder Worlock thinks. While here, I would see more of this Binary ship and know about the race that built it. This may be fortuitous at best, because it was certainly a powerful technology I fought that day as Vargas sought an end to his means. If it had not been for Gar --
Suddenly, there is a nausea that overcomes the celestial conjurer, not unlike unto the bends that affects swimmers as they ascend to the water’s surface too quickly.
A minor repeat of the Hex of Energism brings medi-droids to the shaman’s side, buzzing into quasi-life for the first time in decades. They tend to the health needs of the caped man as they can determine, and the Wonder Worlock takes a rare nap as his cosmic energies heal him with the aid of the medi-droids.
Hours pass, and while they do it seems, in the hazy mind of the wizard, a presence is studying him as he plans to study the Binary. It is not a physical presence he feels, but it is not the stuff of nightmares either. There is definitely someone, some thing doing a little recon on the sleeping mage -- and for some reason, the sensation causes something to click in the back of his mind. A thought? A memory? An experiment? What is it, this dÃ©jÃ vu?
And suddenly, as quick as smoke through a keyhole, the sensation is gone and the Wonder Worlock is awake.
“Zootalaris, what was it!” he shouts as it echoes across the hulk of the ship, the only sound responding being the medi-droids wandering here and there around him. “I know that feeling, and there was a lot of the ocean, the sea to it. Something from the Binary cave? Or maybe you, sir, have just been spending too much time in Royal Bedchambers under water!”
The scientist, the curious side of the great champion takes over, an eldritch bauble of light floating in front of his midnight form like a wayward fairy, lighting his way as he examines the control boards and Captain’s logue, using a Spell of Translation as easily as he does on any alien world – and all worlds, even Earth, seem alien to he who is the Wonder Worlock.
Fascinating, he thinks, this war that drove the Binary to Oceanus. It reminds me of the Great Solar Wars in the dimension of Emperor Traven, but of course that is many planes away. No, I believe the war of the Binary occurred without nuclear bombs or fallout, but the death toll must have been tremendous. There were literally no worlds for the race to return to after battle with the enemy, which remains unmentioned in any text on board. I must --
And suddenly the nausea again overcomes the celestial conjurer, but this time a vision appears with the sickness, and the Wonder Worlock stands face-to-face with an apparition, a poltergeist, a spirit of disembodied energy -- a Silent Ghost!
These types of ethereal beings have been around at least as long as the ancient Roman times of Earth, the Wonder Worlock thinks in his dazed state, and have also been found in records of medieval times as well. They are extremely destructive, to my knowledge, having been known to start fires, cause objects to levitate -- and echo much more havoc on the Astral Plane! Many poltergeists are very harmful; this type can sometimes be reasoned to be demons or very angry spirits.
“But,” the wizard says aloud, “what the hell is this before me? Are you spirit, demon, cosmic entity with no body such as the Shtiarw of Beta Prime? Speak! I will understand you.”
Then, a small white dot forms in the gloom of the blurry ghost and flares to life, oddly like an old color TV set being turned off in reverse. Immediately, crimson shards of poison fire at the Wonder Worlock like so many arrows from a machine gun. This is not Binary technology, he thinks.
The first barrage takes the mage by surprise. While they do not pierce his personal force field, thus saving his life, their velocity cracks his secondary shields, causing him to double over, wince and tumble aimlessly on the metallic flooring of the starship bridge.
Catching his balance, the Wonder Worlock raises his right hand as he now soars above the spirit, summoning the Eternal Fingers of Flame. The ghost is surrounded by the hellfire and begins to show signs of weakness around its warbling edges. But solar winds from within the animated energy cool the Flaming Fingers, finally blowing them out entirely.
Amid its own winds, the entity is not quick to notice breezes blowing from elsewhere. The Wonder Worlock has summoned the mighty Vortex of Viruses which encircles the poltergeist and begins to break down the chemistry of the energy entity’s seemingly intangible molecular structure. In true danger, the ghost-being forms an egg about itself that floats only seconds before it seems healed entirely. When the egg cracks open, the mass of spooky spoils floats out and the goop spills all over the Dark Mage.
The Wonder Worlock calls for refreshing rains from the heavens to wash the bacterial-like quagmire off his physique. He then strengthens the storm and directs a bolt of celestial lightning at the being. Unfortunately, the eerie energies only heighten its power.
Freezing winds begin to blow as the Vortex of Viruses again engulfs this “Silent Ghost.” The whirling winds then create a downward spiral, literally sucking it into an alternate dimension. The cosmic conjurer takes a breath, thinking the moment’s respite might become a battle victory. It is then the air crackles about outside the Binary starship’s corpse, as the nameless being now being called “Silent Ghost” by the wizard reenters our reality through – itself!
The ghost has taken on the form of a wormhole!
Cloaking his psionic activity, the Wonder Worlock warps light waves through and around his form, effectively becoming invisible. The ghost’s energies grow dormant as it seeks out its quarry while ultraviolet energies search for the mystic’s heat signature.
Of a sudden, it hears:
O mighty light of Ogor
Which glows above the norm
Let thee now reveal
This being’s truest form!
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder, the “Silent Ghost” is gone and in its place -- breathing air yet! – stands the apparently indestructible true form of Vargas!
Vargas of Neptunia, Vargas of the Ghost Sector, Vargas the murderer!
TO BE CONTINUED --