The Wonder Worlock: A Path for the Silent Ghost, Part 2
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
October 08, 2012 12:31 | Updated: 36 weeks 1 day Ago
October 08, 2012 12:31 | Updated: 36 weeks 1 day Ago
(Cover art by Jason Heichel and Jasmin Steele.)
Months ago, and the evil Neptunian Vargas has somehow escaped death and plans to use Landry, the hybrid babe of both Neptunian and Oceanan origin, to endanger both populations before they can become one.
But the Wonder Worlock, Captain Gar and his men are determined to stop this villain, who has come upon the higher technology of a strange and alien people – the Binary:
Bolts of Bedevilment shoot forth from the wizard’s hands at a corner of the cave lab where Vargas really stands, but the magicks are rerouted by the Binary shielding around Vargas. Then the villain and the shield as one lift off the ledge and swirl around the party, a pulsor gun delivering high-standard concussive blasts and wounding man after man.
“To me, men!” the celestial sorcerer shouts, enveloping the wounded in a Conjurer’s Cone and summoning the Shield of Synester to protect the captain and his crew.
Waving a white-hot hand, the Wonder Worlock shoots fingers of soulfire toward Vargas, drying out the aquaman in a pocket of air while depleting him of needed energy. While he is weak, the wizard again pelts Vargas with Bolts of Bedevilment while conjuring the Suns of Synester. From white to deepest black, the seven orbs heat the environs around the lab as the party under the mage’s care is protected.
Vargas is not laughing now.
His flying forcefield lands, dissipates and he pulls from his belt a futuristic boomerang that is thrown straight at the captain. Unexpectedly, it penetrates the mage’s shields and, if not for a sudden sacrifice, Gar would be joining Skrill and Br’vort in whatever Heaven Neptunians go in the Afterlife.
“Kcid! Kcid!!!!!!” Gar screams, as he rushes to the gray puff of smoke that was once his new first officer. “Kcid …?”
Before the Wonder Worlock can reenforce his shields, Gar swims with the speed of an Olympic champion, down to the floor of the alien laboratory. He grabs the pulsor weapon that was once Roman’s and fires it repeatedly at the body of Br’vort. Over and over, as a wave of yellow energy surrounds Vargas.
Tokeen told me about this!the mage thinks. He is beginning transference!
As Gar’s pulsor keeps up its energy onslaught, the galactic guardian weaves an intricate spell above and around Vargas while at the same time opening a wormhole to … the Ghost Zone, that ancient dimension prison for Neptunia’s most vile!
“And now, I will be captain!” Vargus yells, but as his energy leaves the body of Br’vort it is wafted swiftly into the open aperture which quickly fades.
“Back to the jar with you, bug!” the Wonder Worlock jests, a sweat of relief sliding down his hidden forehead.
That was months ago …
PART THE SECOND
Now, amid the Abell 520 galaxy cluster, an unusual star structure resulting from a major merger, aboard a derelict Binary starship, the Wonder Worlock impossibly faces off with the villain Vargas, whom he thought he had returned to the Neptunian criminal prison dimension, the Ghost Zone.
“How … how …?” are the only words the startled Wonder Worlock can get out of his hidden mouthhole as he stands eye to eye with Vargas, who was until mere seconds ago a “Silent Ghost.”
“Bwahahahahaha! I have waited for this moment, enemy mine!” the fishman, now apparently able to breathe air, laughs. “You will recall that when I ate – that I crude, isn’t it? … consumed? Yes, when I ‘consumed’ your Intz friend Tokeen, I learned from him the trick of transference, of being able to transfer my essence from one life form to another?
“Well, it seems when you sought to imprison me back in the Ghost Zone, you either got your zip codes mixed up or, more likely, the Binary technology surrounding me actually augmented the transference that was in progress to Captain Gar, allowing me to stay sentient in an energy form, the form you met and battled just moments ago.”
“How came you here, villain?”
“Well, it seems this energy form not only lets me have incredibly awesome powers, as you saw, but it seems to gravitate to other Binary technology no matter how far that may be … a teleportation of sorts, I would imagine. This is all quite new to me, but as you could tell I have just arrived here myself when you popped in and I have a suspicion that, if you were creating a wormhole at the time, my flight from the Binary cave on Oceanus, where I have been hiding for months, learning, to this ship somehow drew you along.
“As an added bonus, I notice I have also become an amphibian, one of the steps for which I was trying eons ago with my Master Race!”
“Enough talk!” the Wonder Worlock shouts. “You have murders to pay for, sir, so back to the jar with you, bug!”
Just as he had done months before, the Dark Mage opens a wormhole to the Ghost Zone. But before a vortex can be fashioned to suck Vargas in, the Neptunian again is cast in yellow energy before becoming the Silent Ghost once more. The creature easily sinks down through the flooring of the derelict’s bridge.
“Zootalaris!” the wizard says, before making his body intangible and following the being that is Vargas down through the metal and out into open space.
The Wonder Worlock summons a Conjurer’s Cone to capture the energy being, but the construct cannot contain the intangible entity.
Swiftly, the mage joins his hands together in the sign of a Devil’s Cross, much to the confusion of the Ghost. Brilliant beams of light arc from the mage’s glowing palms in answer to his hex. High overhead, at the intersection of those beams, there swiftly forms a luminous eldritch cylinder, a cylinder which suddenly breaks apart into twelve perfect rings of magical force. The Rings of Randak!
The powerful roving rings seek to imprison the large warping energy phantom that is Vargas, and the poltergeist is surprised that the ruby rings are able to not only restrain but squeeze him into its inescapable prison. The energy field fluctuates for an instant and then briefly transforms into the Neptunian’s original form, which is unable to breath in the vacuum of space.
But before the Wonder Worlock can imprison the villain in a sphere of H2O, Vargas’ form flashes yellow and he simply … disappears.
“Zootalaris!” the wizard says, “exactly what type of being has Vargas become?”
As he floats alone in the blackness of space, the Wonder Worlock turns his mind inward, using his cosmic awareness to find the trail of the teleportation like a good hound dog on the hunt of a fox. Sure enough, the trail leads right back into the vehicle from whence the two had emerged.
And Vargas’ flight begins a theory in the scientific mind of the mage, one he plans to put to the test.
Cloaking his psionic activity, the Wonder Worlock warps light waves through and around his form, effectively becoming invisible. He then soars toward the side of the great Binary derelict, phasing through the ship’s side like a space ghost himself.
Inside the ship, there is an eerie feeling, what with the half-glowing lights the mage himself brought to life. The hulk seems haunted, and it is! The specter of Vargas is somewhere inside, and the Dark Mage is determined to perform an exorcism.
All of a sudden, the celestial shaman “feels” the Silent Ghost in a corner of the bridge and before it can do anything, the Wonder Worlock bombards the entity in a teleportation beam that sends it back to darkest space. He follows.
Upon sensing the wizard, crimson shards of poison again fire at the Wonder Worlock. This time, the mage is prepared with the impenetrable Shield of Synester. And again:
O mighty light of Ogor
Which glows above the norm
Let thee now reveal
This being’s truest form!
The Silent Ghost is gone and in its place, the true form of Vargas. Seething yellow energy, Vargas is beginning a teleportation to the Binary ship. The scientist’s theory proves accurate!
Swiftly weaving a null chronal web around the Neptunian and spheres with sufficient water to breathe and protect him from the vacuum of space, the mage says, “So! It is the Binary energies of these two ships, even dormant, that helps with this transference/teleportation trick, I see … energies that, even dormant, you may call on for all these effects.
“I congratulate you, Vargas, for discovering so much about this unknown alien race and utilizing it so efficiently. ‘Tis a shame that brilliant mind is in the body of a murderer many times over.”
Taking a huge risk, the celestial conjurer bows his head low and then releases his arms in tandem. A bolt of cosmic lightning cracks, there is a blink of reality and stench of brimstone, and then both the Wonder Worlock and Vargas find themselves back on Oceanus, in the ocean of Grav Badar, near the cave that the mage sealed himself … one Vargas has apparently been living in after again escaping a brief captivity in the Ghost Zone.
With little ring rust, the ancient aquaman grabs a discarded Binary blaster and sends concussive bursts at the mage, whose eldritch shields render them harmless.
Again, the Roving Rings of Randak hold fast the Neptunian while the Wonder Worlock thinks, probes.
I do not think Vargas’ energy self can be imprisoned in the pocket dimension, as his sentence calls for him to observe Neptunian history and such is here, too near the Binary technology. Perhaps atrue exorcism is called for here?
Crossing his arms as Vargas grunts, the wizard miraculously separates the Binary/Intz Silent Ghost from the body of Vargas, and then flings the latter through an aperture into the pocket prison. Then the energy of the Silent Ghost is dispersed harmlessly into the oceanof Grav Badar, a zone made forbidden by Queen Arema herself.
Guards stand at each end of the long hallways surrounding the Royal Bedchamber of Queen Arema of Oceanus. Within, the queen and the wizard know pleasures that are rare and fleeting. They are becoming as close as two people can be before becoming as one, and this frightens them both.
“Beloved,” Arema says, a salty tear falling down her eye even amid the currents of the calming sea, “I …”
“Do not say anything, my queen. This frightens me too, more than a hundred Vargases, and you might even want to throw in a Van Wyck or two.”
This puts the queen at rest, so heavy has her load become of late.
“I could not shoulder the burdens I have without you, Man in Black,” Arema says as she snuggles onto his broad ebony shoulders. “Tell me you feel the same?”
One kiss, and no other words are necessary.
For now, at least, for the space-faring wizard, the world of Oceanus is … home.