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The Wonder Worlock: Weird Science, Part 1

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Posted by: Byron Brewer, Contributing Editor
created 03/09/2014 - 6:09pm, updated 03/09/2014 - 6:20pm

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(Cover by Jason Heichel)

PRE-GAME

Relatively recently in the annals of space history:

A fragile jewel in the heavens known as Gaza IV. Rumbles and major tidal waves already have the peoples there in a panic. The Wonder Worlock realizes the gargantuan problem: Rescuing a surface population that barely communicate with each other from area to area, all the underground species that have been newly discovered – and the entire population of Gaza VII and its colonies in the solar system.

No matter what the Goff or the mage do, Gaza IV will soon blow.

For the better part of a week, the Goff ships assist the sometimes emotional populations of the peoples of the Gaza star system relocate under the direction of General Doz and the Wonder Worlock.

The underground residents, mammal and reptilian, find themelves making the best of things as they are relocated to the dark world of Ytsan Nobe with its livable caverns and deep subterranean passageways. The water-breathers of underground Gaza IV as well as a sister species on Gaza VII are transported to Neptunia itself by permission of High Naval Command after receiving word from Captain Gar of the Good Fellow. With most of its population on Oceanus now, the mage and Gar agreed this would be a fine opportunity for a continuation of repopulation efforts. The desert dwellers of both Gazaworlds have found a new home on Za. Its warmth will sustain these peoples and, aside from the Underground Dwellers’ small population and an occasional nomadic native tribe, this population may be the key to slowly forming Za into a cultural center as it was rumored to be centuries ago.

The prime populaces, meanwhile, have been given, free and clear, the outskirt (termed “ceded”) territories of the Goff Empire. Several worlds are within one star system around the great star Gargantos, and it is here the surface people of Gaza IV and Gaza VII will make their star-faring prime ports.

Far away, aboard New Hope, Captain Rand plays host to Generals Doz and Krenna of the Gazaworlds along with Roj-Le, the scientist newly elected Elder Chairman of the soon-to-be-built Unilateral Citadel of Science, and the Wonder Worlock.

From the legendary viewing window wraparound of the star craft, the men and others witness the final death knell of Gaza IV as it explodes outwards, major shards destroying (as expected) most of the worlds of the Gaza system, including Gaza VII.

“’Tis sad, aye, but ye’ve done a fine job, Captain Rand,” says General Krenna, who has already begun a united interplanetary government plan with Doz. “Fine job by the wizard and Le as well. You all took us from Armageddon to Resurrection Day!”

“Le, I would like to personally apologize for the ignorance of the past Science Council and its inability to hear your words and warnings,” Doz says. “And welcome you to a real leadership role for your people … and for the universe!”

Shyly, Roj-Le answers in a soft voice for about a minute before Doz says, “Pardon? Could you repeat that?”

“You mean, General, you are not listening to Roj-Le already?!” the Wonder Worlock says.

New Hope’s bar has never been merrier!

PART THE FIRST

Alone in a lab, its quiet sounds soothing, sits the Elder Chairman of the Unilateral Citadel of Science, the shining beacon of hope on New Gaza, part of the mighty Goff Empire.

Roj-Le has always been a quiet man, shying away from the fame and fortune his discoveries and varied scientific adventures have brought him. Despite being the highest ranking civilian of his united interplanetary government under Queen Enid's banner, he still works as hard as he did when a laughing stock on the Homeworld.

Le still sees himself as just a cog in a vast functioning world system. For him, that is a good self-perception.

For all his current power, he is content with Generals Doz and Kreena working with High Senator Dodonna and the Ruling Court of the great Goff Empire in government building. Le's love is still science, his passion still exploration of the unknown, discovering the undiscovered.

And being Elder Chairman gives him the freedom from red tape and naysayers to do just that.

The scientist's focus these days, unbeknownst to any of his Citadel fellows, is a project he simply calls CATCH, creating an energy template that could transform any matter it touches into a form it can use to pursue and "catch" its intended targets.

He knows the obvious military uses CATCH might be put to by men like Doz and Dodonna. But after helping combat a living dragon on a burning planet and witnessing his native world’s – hell, his native solar system’s -- explosive death, even the most silent pacifist may have second thoughts. And has.

But for Le, CATCH represents more than self-defense. He sees its medical applications in tracking down and destroying dangerous viruses, rogue genes. He envisions CATCH aiding with starvation, overpopulation and a dozen other needs currently unknown.

CATCH will be no panacea, he thinks, but it may be close ...

Thenas swiftly as smoke through a keyholewhile the chief scientist ponders a better life for his new world, a bolt of white fire explodes from a nearby centrifuge.

And strikes!

ZZZZZAAAAPPPPPTTTTT!!!!

For the longest time, nothing stirs in the private lab. Colleagues peek through viewer scopes, visual comm-calls from Doz and others go unanswered. Strangely, none perceive the dark lump of humanoid flesh on the lab floor beside a mess of broken tubes and fused poly-glass.

Alone in a lab, its quiet sounds soothing, rises the Elder Chairman of the Unilateral Citadel of Science, the shining beacon of hope on New Gaza, part of the mighty Goff Empire.

Roj-Le has always been a quiet man ... but he is suddenly, inexplicably rethinking that perspective, along with his life’s goals.

His face then contorts into a grimace few of Le's friends or associates would recognize.

"Yes, yes ... CATCH," Le mumbles. "CATCH! CATCH!! Bwahahahaha!"

*****

The celestial necromancer known as the Wonder Worlock soars the outer rim of the Mephistoff Nebula, appreciating the beauty in each star cluster, each alien craft making its way from Planet A to Planet B, becoming almost lost in the science at work all around him: Providence in all its glory!

Space unceasingly beckons him from his underwater duties on the shining world of Oceanus, but the warm bed and warmer lips of Queen Arena more than make up for the assorted chills of living a subsea life.

Many think deep space coldbut untrue, the Dark Mage thinks. The warmth of life is everywhere.

Then, as he flashes past the great star Gargantos, his cosmic awareness flares into his brain like an over-fueled fire. The shaman’s eyes full of stars, the brain-blaze screams:

LE!

GAZA!

CATCH!

The prime populaces of the Gaza system are now on the Goff ceded worlds, Roj-Le their uppermost scientist. But CATCH? I don’t understand, the galactic guardian thinks.

"I do not understand ... but I will!"

BAMF!

*****

Purple smoke and the stench of brimstone mark the coming of the Wonder Worlock to New Gaza. In the newly-built Citadel of Science, the Dark Mage can hear the gruff voice of General Doz echoing through the otherwise empty halls of the mammoth facility.

Doz and his fellow government builders have had to divert precious resources, time and lives toward a new threat to their new world. Not a dragon, but the proverbial mad scientist!

"Doz?"

"The Wonder Worlock?? O Sir, is milady Nef all right?! The babe Landry?!"

"Yes yes, General. Rather, I am here because I sensed something amiss here."

"No flying dragons, O Sir, but that Le ... he has lost his flarkin' mind! And that mind, in madness, cannot be allowed to live. Cannot! He has CATCH."

"Excuse me, General, but what is CATCH?" the shaman inquires.

Doz's tale of the last many hours shocks even the star-faring Wonder Worlock.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

 

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