The Wonder Worlock: Weird Science, Part 2
created 03/17/2014 - 10:51pm, updated 03/18/2014 - 1:21pm
(Cover by Tony Savage, Jim O'Riley and Darren Blackburn)
PART THE SECOND
Gaza Prime. The Citadel:
General Ron'drh Doz relates the events of the past few days to the Wonder Worlock, as the inter-world government's most brilliant scientific leader has gone seeming mad.
It started innocently enough as Roj-Le convinced his fellow Gaza scientists to approve real-world testing of CATCH.
After decades of laughing at his proposals and theories, no one on the Science Council wanted to say Le nay, especially since he had the support of the military of Gazaworld and the backing of Queen Enid herself. And the Wonder Worlock!
Thus it was that the Council approved the beaming of the CATCH template to the minor planetoid of Egeria, far out in the Gigantos solar system. But instead of hitting rock or metal alloy as hoped, it hit and transformed a cockroach-like insect.
In this form the "Pursuer," as Le called the entity, went on a rampage. But instead of demolishing the barren ruins of meteor-pocked Egeria the Pursuer spread its cosmic wings and flew to the world of Frigna, inhabited by religious zealots who live separately from the Goff as well as a dwarf species of humanoids native to the world.
Neither population stood a chance as the monster made its way across urban streets and nomadic camps, uprooting generations of infrastructure and leaving nothing but blight and swamp areas in its ravenous wake.
Horrifying Doz, he sent the nearest cadre of star-spanners to aid Frigna but all for naught. The deed was done with less than 200 survivors among the Goff monks and the native humanoids driven to extinction.
Bearing the responsibility on his broad shoulders, General Doz foregoes his usual pilgrimage to Oceanus to visit Nef and Landry and instead faces down Le before his fellow scientists in the center of the Unilateral Science Citadel.
It was during this congress that everyone across the Goff Empire found out just how mad Roj-Le had become.
His cackling and logic made no sense, sounding more like a Jimmy Snuka promo interview in the WWE.
When Doz called for the guards to seize the ranting Le, the once-respected scientist just shrank out of sight mumbling "thank yous" to other-dimensional scientist Java Lyn.
Doz pauses, battling unwanted emotions.
On a microscopic world in a makeshift camp, a bitter Le thanks his lucky stars for the chance meeting with Lyn when the latter was experimenting with extra-dimensional travel. It was then Le was introduced to Lyn Locks. He has never had occasion to use them ... until now.
"Thank you, Dr. Lyn," he mumbles to himself.
Gaza Prime. General Doz continues, the Wonder Worlock floating in a nirvana position nearby, silent:
Hours passed, days, and then on the Gazaworld planet of Liger, before its own temple of science, an emerald beam strikes a stone statue of former Goff ruler Enid'Khl Goffitre V. It immediately comes to life but loses human form, morphing into some giant stony ... thing, strong and powerful. By its side, a jubilant Roj-Le.
Immediately the local militia goes on the offensive, but the effect of blasters and pulse guns on the CATCH Pursuer is nil. Down come the structures raising their proud heads to the blue skies as the stone thing rampages through the city like a monster in an old Godzilla movie.
Except on Liger, the wreckage, the deaths ... are all too real. These too Doz will take upon his shoulders, as will Queen Enid.
In the end, the combined might of the Liger forces and beamed-in backup from Goff'lar brought an end to the Pursuer.
No sign of Roj-Le was ever found.
In the echoing halls of the Citadel on Gaza Prime, Doz bows his head, a tired military man with no love for cosmic politics.
"There have been five attacks since then, closer and closer to Goff'lar," Doz says. "Captain Rand and the New Hope are across the cosmos on a mission, and all the Alpha Class star cruisers are either too far away, even via hyper-travel, or otherwise engaged in battle with fringe Docron forces."
"Why was I not summoned earlier?" the Wonder Worlock queries.
"We of Gazaworld are an independent lot, sometimes stubbornly so," Doz says. "We wanted to solve our own problems, even as Le became a threat to the Empire as a whole.
"I was seconds away from contacting our Sorcerer Supreme when you showed up ..."
"A little late!" the Dark Mage says, sharper than is meant.
Doz bows his head and the mage pats his huge shoulder before he himself shrinks out of sight, even as Le had done days before.
Down, down, down shrinks the Wonder Worlock, arriving as an invisible giant in one world only to shrink into another universe.
Finally he comes to a stop in a microscopic cosmos wherein his cosmic awareness tells him Le is residing.
"Zootalaris! On that speck of dust!" the mage says to no one. Then:
Before the fugitive scientist's standing figure does the necromancer appear. Le is ... smiling?!
"You're late!" Le says to his once-sponsor before firing a pistol which releases a literal hurricane.
The celestial shaman is turned head over heels, not accustomed to being taken by surprise. He tries to catch himself in the barren terrain but a little globe rolled his way by Le explodes and a green gas floods the Dark Mage's senses before he can erect his shields.
Le then pitches a closing net that covers the Wonder Worlock. Then the net itself begins to shrink and to squeeze.
The wizard collects his wits and becomes intangible. The net falls through his form. His hand then becomes tangible enough to grasp the net and sling it over Le.
The wind of Le’s element pistol sends the net sailing!
"Roj, what happened to you, buddy? What?!" the shaman asks, to no answer. "I can help ..."
"You can do nothing, 'buddy.' Nothing but DIE!"
Before the scientist can whirl a fixed boomerang-like weapon at him, the Wonder Worlock erects the Shield of Synaster around himself and bathes the body of Le in blazing soulfire.
Le screams as his soul burns and the shaman tries to exorcise any malevolent spirit or force out ... to no avail.
After a surface probe, the cowled conjurer is shocked to learn the maddened personality is another aspect of Roj-Le's own psyche, kept under control over the decade by drugs and a powerful, almost crippling shyness, recently released.
"By my soul ..." the mystic warrior mumbles to himself.
The Winds of a Thousand Worlds surround Le as an esoteric cage is constructed for the mad scientist.
"No no no no NO!" Le mindlessly screams as he is tossed by the winds into the construct.
He offers resistance but the Wonder Worlock has prepared a Le-proof stasis cage, based largely on the designs of ... Java Lyn!
Back on Gaza Prime:
As the form of Roj-Le fades into the Neptunian Ghost Zone, the Wonder Worlock puts his arm on the shoulder of General Doz. It has been a long week.
"This is NOT your fault, Doz," the mage says. "This is just a freak occurrence that no one, not even Le in his brilliance, could have foreseen."
"Now, we must look for new leadership," Doz says, "a scientist that will help guide Gazaworld into the future under the banner of the Goff."
"I will be more than happy to help in the search," the mage says. "And in the meantime, I'll be glad to offer my slight scientific services to Gaza Prime and its world community."
For the first time in months, Doz has a smile on his face.