Wonder Worlock: Voyage to the Sea, Part 2
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
June 07, 2012 17:15 | Updated: 50 weeks 22 hours Ago
June 07, 2012 17:15 | Updated: 50 weeks 22 hours Ago
The Palace Royale in Oceana, over a year ago, as the Wonder Worlock faced down the Neptunian seaman Skrill, whose form had been taken over by his villainous ancestor Vargas:
“I killed and swallowed the essence of the Intz Tokeen as he was sending his spirit from plant to plant during my attack on the Shirewood II,” Vargas snarls to the galactic guardian. “Tokeen is dead, the Intz are dead! And his surviving seed -- is in me. What happened to the oh-so-mighty scourge of the universe Plantagenous I haven’t a clue. But as you can see from the cooperation here, Skrill’s image and Tokeen’s minor telepathic powers have served me greatly. I --”
“Seed? SEED?!!” screams Plantagenous as his full and powerful form, brimming with cosmic energies since cured of his ills by the Wonder Worlock, springs forth from a microscopic plant on the pants leg of Vargas. “I have been biding my time until the Wonder Worlock arrived, as he always does, to assist me. And now that I know your diet, allow me to make sure your meal fills you up!”
Before the mage can say a word, telepathy Plantagenous learned at the feet of Tokeen finds the lone essence of the Intz’s energy in the stomach of Vargas. Mentally “grabbing” the seedling like a cowboy ties a steer, the seed begins to grow, and grow, and grow, and grow -- not into an Intz, unfortunately, but into a combination of all the other vegetable matter Vargas/Skrill has consumed during those courtly dinners of which he was so fond. The plant grows inside Vargas – and grows, until –
As the Wonder Worlock kneels into the goo that was Vargas, remembering that it was also a loyal military man of the Neptunian Navy named Skrill, Plantagenous asks for assistance from the Oceanan people coming out of their daze: “Could someone please remove this Varg-ass goo from the floor? Plantagenous Rex!”
Millions of years ago, the red-skinned race known as the Binary journeyed to Oceana 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 the deep.
It has dwelt there all these years, occasionally discovered by strong-swimming military explorers and scouts – scouts such as Roman.
PART THE SECOND
Vargas, once a prisoner in the Neptunian Ghost Zone dimension for unspeakable evils, sits back in a chair over the freshly murdered body of his servant, the Neptunian-turned-Oceanan guard Roman, and laughs a horrendous laugh.
All about him is the science of the Binary, a cavern discovered by Roman in his zeal to please Captain Gar and rise on the ladder of rank.
It was on his second expedition that the deep-diver discovered the body of Vargas (now occupying an unknown Neptunian guard) in a small scout submarine. The guard and vessel had been one of the first to explore the sea floors of Oceanus, performing environmental tests to see if the Neptunians could indeed survive hereon as Captain Gar had reported.
Vargas, you see, learned many telepathic tricks while possessing the seed of Tokeen, elder of the Intz race. Among them was transference. Tokeen – and other Intz, if the talent had been developed correctly -- had the ability to transfer his astral form to any place where plant life existed. He could form and inhabit a plant-like simulacrum of his body out of the destination planet's local vegetation.
When the form of Skrill exploded by the power of Plantagenous, Vargas’ spirit instictively sought another host. It was his misfortune to land in a Neptunian guard whose sub had been disabled during an exploratory mission. His ship automatically put him into stasis, there for Roman to discover and rescue months later.
Not that it has done Roman any good, apparently!
You were going to take over as captain of your starship, were you, Roman?Vargas thinks, sneering at the body before him. Leave ol’ Vargas, rob him of his science as soon as you found out how to decimate these Oceanan creatures and take over this brilliant blue world? Well -- surprise!
Like he used the seed of Tokeen to destroy what the Wonder Worlock loved and try to return my race to the greatness it once knew, I will use your seed – what was its name, Landry? – to begin a war far greater than that from which my benefactors, the Binary, were escaping. And oh, the benefits they have bequeathed ol’ Vargas!
“Bwahahahahahaha!” he laughs. “Die, Oceanans. Then it will be Plantagenous’ turn. Plantagenous Rex -- and that accursed magician!”
Deeper and deeper in the oceanof Grav Badarswim a troop of Neptunian soldiers, lead by Captain Gar and the Wonder Worlock.
Both the Neptunian Navy and Queen Arema’s forces had long been looking for the craft of the missing scout from another world. As soon as its stasis generator ceased, an automatic rescue beacon – unknown to Vargas – had sounded on the deck of the Good Fellow and dozens of other like ships in orbit around Oceanus.
Suspicious, the Wonder Worlock is putting the innate empathy of his lady love to the test by coming into this area as a war party rather than one of rescue, a decision not exactly to the liking of Gar and the rest of the Neptunians.
“By my beard, but this ocean runs deep, mage,” Gar says.
“It was wise Arema advised you and your men to use special pressure gear,” said the Wonder Worlock, whose form is protected by his cosmic magicks. “It was also kind of the ancient Oceanus priests to tell us of this unique cavern at the foot of this mountain, one the Neptunians try to avoid at all costs. We shall see if these mysteries connect in any way, as I suspect they do.”
“Look, the sub!” Gar said. “Definitely one of ours, the one manned by Br’vort, loyal Br’vort. Right by the mountain’s foot. But there is no cave --”
By the Orb of O’theron/
On faraway N’Moy/
Shine thy light to reveal/
The truth of this ploy!
The hex from the Wonder Worlock spoken, heavy rock falls away to reveal a cave entrance and an elaborate lab, an alien lab of technical wonders!
“By my beard, this is too advanced for Oceanus,” Gar says. “What manner o’ beings --?”
“I am getting readings of the Binary, sir,” Kcid says. “According to our quarter-tricon, it is a race that killed themselves in a gigantic civil war ages ago. This must be the remnants of some survivors. There is only one life sign, but sir! That life sign is -- Neptunian. They are -- us!”
Then comes a familiar cackle that chills both the dark mage and Gar to the root of their souls, as a holograph of “loyal Br’vort” appears in front of the party.
“Vargus! Ye murderer! First my man Skrill, yer own family, and now Br’vort!” Gar screams, blood in his eyes under the captain’s hat. “Ye’ll die for this, man!”
“I already have, captain! Bwahahahaha!!!”
Bolts of Bedevilment shoot forth from the wizard’s hands at a corner of the 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.
Beneath the starship Good Fellow spins the world of Oceanus. Regarded as a jewel throughout its system for an abundance of unique sea life, few realize there is an intelligent race overseeing this big blue marble.
Beneath the surface of Oceanus this day swims the Wonder Worlock and his good friend, Captain Gar, himself of another underwater world, the faraway planet called Neptunia.
Together they swim off the main underwater continental shelf, lush greenery on the surface and underneath the waves calming Gar as he and his friend trek across a grotto in this alien ocean and into a den of caves occupied by large but apparently harmless octopus-like creatures.
Slowly, inexorably, these two great leaders dive deeper and deeper into the caverns of Oceanus, the thick kelp and numerous fish life sometimes making visibility a problem. But soon, a beacon shines before them, an ever-lasting illumination that marks the memorial to fallen heroes called the All Souls Grotto.
Here lies Skrill, native of the planet Neptunia, right-hand man in the service of Captain Gar. Here also lie the newly-memorialized Ybom Kcid, an Oceanan in Gar’s service, and Br’vort, the first scout to record the necessaries of the waters of this wondrous world. Heroes all. Dead on Gar’s watch.
“I mourn our friends with you, Captain,” the Wonder Worlock tells his close friend. “I worry even more about Landry.”
“No worries there, dark-cloak,” the staunch captain says. “I have proposed to Nef and will be there to watch after her and the girl, whether she will have me as Landry’s mer-father or mer-uncle. You will also be happy to know that my loyal Kcid has already been replaced -- not replaced, but his position -- by another Oceanan: Dal’Auqa. Arema said it was the best man she knew -- at least who did not wear a cape underwater.”
The jest is just what the captain and the wizard needed to lift the responsibility of saving two races from their shoulders for a moment.
“Life is hard, my captain, my captain,” the Wonder Worlock says as the two swim toward the final resting place of the Intz Tokeen. “But sometimes we must do as Plantagenous suggested: Just grab it by the Varg-ass and beat the d’ast right out of it.”
Gar’s laughter can be heard clear to the Ghost Zone!