[MV] The Super Wizard From Space #27: To Hell And Hell And Hell And Hell And Hell And Back Again, Part 3

Wil Alambre wilalambre at gmail.com
Wed Jan 4 07:48:54 PST 2012

"Once upon a time, five dark lords of multiple underverses made the
mistake of signing a series of magical contracts in an attempt to insure
some level of trust between them. Inevitably, all five of them went back
on their words and now the tangled wording of those contracts have
trapped them in the stone sepulchres of Quinto-Hell."

Super Wizard From Space was unsympathetic. "Understand me, Devil. I
would be happy to leave you and your four brethren in the prison you
have made for yourselves. But I bound by the cosmic challenges forced
upon me by the seven super civilizations of the universe. I only agree
to assist you because I see no other way to collect the Super-Devil's
black circlet."

The Devil raised his hands defensively. "Understood. Circuitous
circumstances. An entirely temporary team-up."

"This is not a team-up," the wizard said angrily.

The Devil silently nodded with a mischievous smile.

"I presuppose you have methodized some differentiating conveyance for
our capitalization?" asked the Secret Living Language, like a sticky wet
idea that hung in the air unwelcome. Though there was no real sound when
it spoken, there was still the slithering feel of a hungry snake around
the words.

The Devil led them outside where a yellow cab was idling. It was old and
battered, having seen an incredibly long amount of use. Coughing brown
smoke spit out from the tailpipe, an uneven belching shook the hood, and
the words 'First Circle Taxicab Company' adored the doors. Inside,
driver waited impatiently, a grisly old man, pale and hunched over with
a ragged mess of a beard and fiery eyes.

"That there is Ron. He's an old hat at this, ain'tcha Ron?" the Devil
said cheerfully. The driver replied with an obscene gesture.

As the sentient notion leaked into the cab, the wizard grabbed the
Devil's shoulder and whisper in his pointed red ear. "We cannot trust
this conceptual monster, even chained by cosmic law as a passive witness
to the challenge. It is a dangerous creature, hungry and envious and
infected with space-greed. It has stolen incalculable knowledge, drained
countless societies and left them to wither as it has grown fatter and
bolder. We cannot trust it."

"We need it. You can't challenge for the circlet without the Language.
Its own powerful crown will force it to toe the line. It cannot resist
the weight any more that you can." The Devil smiled and patted the
wizard on  the back as they got into the back seat, "Besides, don't
forget who you're talking to."

"This peripatetic brancard is demarcated to terrestrial purlieu. Will
this inveterated quadruped be proficient to superintend us to our
terminus?" asked the Language once all the doors slammed closed. It was
everywhere, almost suffocating with its presence, filling up all the
nooks and corners of the interior.

"I've already told Ron where to go. He'll get us there as long as he
gets his fare." The Devil reached into his top hat and pulled out a
single golden branch lined with auric leaves. Ron accepted the payment,
shifted into gear, and drove the car down the empty street.

They were in motion only for a handful of moments before their
surroundings started to peel away. The road, the storm filled sky, the
ragged vegetation, the abandoned buildings, it all broke apart and
curved away, replaced by a thickening red mist that seemed to claw and
yank at the car. The cab shook violently, like it was rolling downhill
on a gravel road, passing through seven and eight and nine disc-like
dimensions. The empty planet and its empty universe was left behind, up
and out and far away from them.

The car suddenly lurched to one side as its tires lost their grip. The
temperature dropped, a frost form on the windows, and the vents dribbled
out cold air and pentagram-shaped flakes. The red mist lost its grip on
the cab and dissipated suddenly, revealing an angry red sky in the midst
of a slow lazy snowfall.

Ron fought with the wheel, trying to keep control as the ground under
them became a vast, icy glacier. With a violent curse, he slammed on the
brakes, skidding the car sideways to stop just a couple yards before a
massive cracked canyon.

The wizard and the Devil climbed out of the car. "I always told myself I
wouldn't come back here," muttered the Super Wizard From Space, gazing
over the icy plain. { The Super Wizard From Space #4 }

The Devil shivered uncomfortably, flipping up his lapels and tucking his
hands under his armpits for warmth. "Okay, as you can see, this is Hell.
A fifth of the way there. This is a route Ron does all the time,

"I suppose there's a catch to continuing on? Something you neglected to
mention until now?"

"Like I said, Ron knows this route, but the rest of the way down is more
of a rarely traveled road. We'll have to show him."


"The underverse of Double-Hell is a terrible place reserved specifically
for the punishments and sufferings when the denizens of regular Hell
pass on. It's Hell's hell, and its gates only open when evil from
here... dies," the Devil reluctantly shrugged.

The wizard stared at him, unhappy.

"Hey, don't look at me like that. I don't make the bloody rules. We paid
the full fare but we don't have directions. Only way to get there is to
kill someone from here and condemn them to Double-Hell. And when there,
we'll have to kill someone else, condemning them to Triple-Hell so we
can follow that route, and so on and so forth." The Devil sighed. "Look,
I'm sorry if I put you in a spot, I know you might be reluctant to..."

The Super Wizard From Space raised his hand, pointing at the Devil. The
glow of star-fire emanated from him, blinding the surroundings before
wrapping itself around his arm and ejecting from his finger. A lancing
bolt of fusion rammed into the Devil's chest, vaporizing his torso and
liquifying the rest in atomic fire.

As the corpse vaporized, the hellish landscape behind peeled open in a
pentagram shape. The red mists leeched from the hole, a cracked asphalt
beaconed them inward and downward.

The wizard got back into the car. Ron wordlessly stamped on the gas
pedal and launched the cab into the portal as it started to stitch

The fresh new mist again grabbed at the vehicle, dragging them down past
fourteen, sixteen, and eighteen sphere-like dimensions at a faster and
faster speed. Sound was nonexistent, light was nonexistent, but them
could feel the glacier, the red clay plains and black crags surrounding
it, all of Hell tumbling up and out and away.

The mist broke suddenly and a new world solidified them. They were on a
gritty road that lead to the fantastically massive fortress wall of
Double-Dis, infinite in length and height. Made of black iron and
reinforced with ugly scratchy stone, towers and ramparts jutting out
illogically. A thousand winged creatures scurry along the top edges,
yelling crassly at the new intruders.

The road ended at an impossibly huge wooden double-gate, closed tight
and barred by beams thicker than continents. The car rolled up to the
gate, where they could barely make out two figures at its base. One was
lying stock still on the ground. The second loomed over it, its head a
strange mass of shifting lines.

The wizard tapped Ron on the shoulder. The gruff driver stopped the car
before the two dark silhouettes and turned on the headlights.

The prone shape was a statue of the Devil, made of rough hewn rock. It
was flat on its back, hands out and eyes wide in surprise. The chest was
black and charred and cracked, as if a campfire had been lit on it then
stamped out.

The creature standing over the statue was of womanly shape, of a medium
height and pleasing shape, but it wore a ragged white toga, torn and
dirty as it she had rolled about on a muddy floor. She was drenched
completely in blood, none of it drying despite the harrowing heat
everywhere. And instead of hair, she had a writhing shifting mass of
snakes, the crazed heads all trying to snap and launch themselves at the
statue, venom spattering from their fangs.

The chorus of winged shapes along the wall called down to them, chanting
and jeering in unison, "Double-Hell is closed! Closed to all! By twice
furious command of Megadusa!"



I felt the need to sum up the exposition of last issue at the beginning
of this one, though I'm not certain it was necessary. It feels a little
redundant but perhaps it helps clarify the convoluted circumstances
drafted for this arc. Plus, I'm a big fan of the old comic troupe where
comic characters had to blurt out the situation in the first panel of a
continuing story, just in case the reader hadn't picked up the last
issue ("If I don't find a way to disarm this bomb in the next two
minutes, the city is doom!").

My estimates on the arc length is getting fuzzy, as I want to inject
some fisticuffs into the middle of it. Action scenes are fun to write
but can chew up a huge word count as I try to clearly describe what is
happening. I think it's a good idea to keep practicing that, though,
trying to maintain that clarity while keeping it moving quickly, to get
that feeling of fast-paced action.

It also struck me that, if this series is to continue past the current
tournament-crowns bit, I should probably think of where I want to go
with it.

Wil Alambre, follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wilalambre

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