[MV] The Super Wizard From Space #31: To Hell And Hell And Hell And Hell And Hell And Back Again, Part 7

Wil Alambre wilalambre at gmail.com
Thu May 3 08:03:38 PDT 2012

Black glass and brittle shale and oddly shaped boulders all bashed
against each other in the tornado ferocity of the space between
conceptual realities. Every small piece was both nonexistant and an
immense solidity to itself, dragging and throwing and colliding with its
surroundings as the entire mess fell through infinite layers of fractal

The spaces between layers widened and widened until one of the spaces
was large enough to accommodate and entire universe within it. The
emptiness was replaced by angry clawing atmosphere, whizzing past as the
hypothetical tumbling became a literal plummet from a dizzying altitude.
The sky was red, the clouds were grey, streaked with blue lightening,
and the rapidly approaching ground was a crumpled mountain range. Every
surface, every peak, every valley, it all was covered in an ancient,
endless labyrinth.

The massive statue of Megadusa crashed down first, the ash and charcoal
of its form bursting into an explosion of black rocks upon impact. Like
a hammer through paper, the flung pieces tore through the maze,
flattened corridors in a vast area. One jagged portion stabbed into the
ground with a dull thunder, a massive crack splitting across the
mountain surface. A plume of dark dust covered everything, only to then
be pelted by the other stone and glass debris hurtling down.

The yellow cab, on the other hand, slowed its plunge gently, its
momentum bleeding away until it was coasting easily toward the coal
filled crater. The uncontrolled fall down between underverses had played
havoc with the Devil's inner ear, leaving him barely recovering from a
fit of dry heaves. The unexpected calm gave him a moment to recover his
senses and a chance to untangle his limbs from themselves.

Curious about the slow descent, he looked out the back window and saw
the car encased in a bubble made of pale light. The wizard had been
outside the vehicle when everything went sideways; thankfully, he had
caught the car and was lowering it within a projected shield.

Eventually, the bubble popped and the vehicle landed with a hard thunk
to its aged shock absorbers. The Devil clamoured out of the back seat, a
red handkerchief over his face, trying not to breathe in the charcoal
dust while also trying not to cough up a lung. They were near the new
gaping crevasse, a viscous metal-tingled fluid oozing up from it, like
the mountain itself was bleeding from the wound.

The Super Wizard From Space floated down beside the car, and leaned on
it. He looked worse for wear, the trip between the two Hells having
exasperated his condition. He was more ghostly like than ever, the Devil
able to see right through him easily. His blue and gold uniform actually
had more substance to it than he did. It was looking at a bottle of
wine; there and yet transparent, with only the density of its container
giving the illusion of opaqueness.

The wizard placed a hand on the car to help stand. He looked tired.
Exhausted. The part that could be seen had a worn-out appearance, like
having run too long a marathon. But his expression was fixed in an
angry, determined defiance. He would refuse help if the Devil was of the
mind to offer it. He would refuse it to the bitter end.

The scrapping sounds of rocks against rock. Licks of green fire jutted
out of the charcoal pieces around them. Jumping to other nearby pieces,
the long lines of flame acted like string, dragging the broken statue
together. Fingers connected to hands, joints to limbs, the blacken
Megadusa coming together as a colossuses, picking itself up after a

"What? No! How the me is it managing to bodge together so fast?" the
Devil exclaimed in frustration, throwing his hat to the ground and
stamping on it. "It just went through the between places... twice! It
should be up the lurgy so hard that it makes *me* sick!"

"I tried to warn you," the wizard said, pointing to the jade fire
stitching the coal and ash back into form. "I know what that is. I've
seen it before. It's space-greed."

The Devil looked at the wizard incredulously. "That's not possible."

"I've seen it before. Not like this, not the visible *idea* of it, but
I've seen it before. I had to annihilate an entire planet because of
it." { The Super Wizard From Space #1 }

"That's. Not. Possible." the Devil insisted, his disbelief turning into

A pair of huge hairy hands came out of the red ooze, clutching at the
edge of the crevasse, followed by another pair. A monstrous four-armed
humanoid pulled itself out of the blood hued stream, its coarse fur damp
and terrifying. It was covered in leather armour made of the hides of
its enemies, and had the head of a charging bull.

It stood to its full eight-foot height, snorting loudly and stamping its
hoofed feet in challenge. "Who *dares* invade the ancient labyrinths of
Terta-Hell, home and prison of Asquaterion The Minochataur?" it

The Devil turned around and spit out, "Bugger off! Can't you see we're
trying to have a row, here?" He raised one leg and slammed a kick right
in the center of the monster's chest, a ring of infernal power
detonating when his well-polished spats connected. A stench of brimstone
and sulfur, the force of a wrecking ball, and the hapless thing was sent
flying back into the crevasse.

The Devil took a moment to slow his breathing. He snatched up his hat
and shook it until it found its proper shape. He ran a hand through his
hair to properly slick it back, put his hat back atop his head, and
counted to ten to regain his composure.

"Now, where were we," he said, much more calmly. "Oh. Oh yes,
space-greed." He waggled a finger accusingly. "The immortal Super
Wizards From Space wiped out all the Great Space Crimes. They immunized
the sodding *universe* when they imprisoned the eighth
super-civilization. Your race did that."

The wizard didn't respond. Refused to respond.

A giant fist of coal and ash slammed down between them. A crashing
migraine of wrathful malice struck deep within their skulls. The pair of
them were driven to their knees in sudden stabbing pain.

"Scampering murine! Lilliputian imbroglio!" The jagged jade fire
engulfed the charcoal gorgon. The folded triangles with it arced madly
with cosmic lightening. The statue rose to one knee, looming over the
pair. "I am *not* some obeisant mongrel for you to educe along at your
convenience... I am a covetous god! And you..." the revulsion and
frustration was wet stickiness,  "...you are contemptible arthropods
whose stings I refuse to exculpate any longer!"

The Devil made a weak grasp toward the towering statue, trying to bring
some amount of his demonic force to bear, but he couldn't focus. His
target was a massless unfocused shape, his thoughts were being
unravelled and stamped on. The statue lifted splayed open on hand and
brought it palm down upon the Devil, crushing him to the ground.

The wizard lashed out, just as unsuccessful. Starlight flared out
thinly, blindly. Pieces of coal and bunches of ash broken off the
statue, but the Language barely acknowledged it.

"And you, you miserable solid disagreement," its tone thickening with
disgust, "I would have exultantly abrogated you if the rest of the
astro-aristocracy was puerile enough to trust me with the enterprise.
Feel free to flail and fling fusion for however long you are inclined
to... all your acrimony and puissance cannot harm me! I am a living
idea! A forceful paradigm! An unstoppable zeitgeist!"

"You're plagiarism at best," the wizard spat back.

The massive simulacrum roared in anger. The fat burning cinders in the
charcoal head cracked deafeningly. A tidal wave of green flames spilled
out. The Secret Living Language brought its other hand slamming down
flat on the wizard, knocking him down with a thunderous boom.

The cosmic crown clinging above the wizard's head erupted with energy.

The folded triangles embedded in the coal and cinders exploded with

A series of fearsome blue arcs lashed out from the artifacts, folding
and bending together into loops and loops of electric chains. Each link
dragged with it a million potential moments, weighed a million quantum
possibilities. The reality of Tetra-Hell warped backwards and away
instinctively from the celestial manacles.

The chains snaked at the folded triangles, then flung themselves around
the hulking charcoal statue of Megadusa.

The Language yelped in surprise. The green flames were squelched, then
they blazed along the cosmic links. It just wrapped and tightened more
aggressively. Its hands grabbed at the chain lengths and tried to pull
them off. The lengths snapped back, sawing through the brittle embers
and ash of the statue's form.

"Did you forget the Rules?" the wizard shouted, wanting to be heard
overtop the crackling of energy and breaking of coal. "Or did you think
you were above them? I'm in the middle of a Challenge, you're only here
as a Witness... you *cannot* touch me!"

The Devil hacked and coughed. The pressure was off him, but the only
thing he could breathe was ash and dust and smoke as the chains bound
the Language, shredding its stolen material form in the process. The
grinding sound and blowing particle debris was a stinging black
hurricane. He couldn't make out anything, he couldn't hear anything,.

A hard grip on his arm hauled him to his feet. The wizard's own crown
was aglow, protecting him from the brunt of the chaos. "Did you *mean*
to do that?" the Devil yelled at him, incredulously. "Tell me you meant
to do that! 'Cause that was bloody brilliant!"

"We have to get out of here," the Super Wizard From Space yelled back,
inches from the Devil and yet barely audible. "Its obvious the crowns
don't see the mental invasions as interference. The Language *will*

The Devil pointed repeatedly at crevasse. Or at least in the general
direction the crevasse was before he lost it in the tossing ashen winds.
"What's his face... the minochatuar!"

The Super Wizard From Space didn't bother with subtleties. The fusion
fire within him blasted forth. A spiralling solar flare unraveled
blindly, the scale of the mountain range itself. Hundreds of peaks burnt
away like dried bark. Valleys curled and broke. The bedrock liquified
and boiled.

A vicious gouge was torn in the fabric Tetra-Hell, and like a listed
ship, it tilted and emptied its contents into the void underneath.



This issue probably needs another read-over and another solid round of
editing, but fuck it, I'm posting it anyway. This arc is charging to its
conclusion, I was satisfied that this scene didn't drag out to two
posts. I want to work on keeping momentum on these adventure stories,
especially when heading toward the end.

Should I have named it "Quadra-Hell" instead? It sounds a little better,
flowing into "Quinto-Hell". I decided against it because I had already
used the "quatra-" and "chatur-" prefixes in wordplay with the
minotaur's name. That, and i had already referenced it as "Tetra-Hell"
in the previous issue. And twitter posts. And everywhere.

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

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