[MV] The Super Wizard From Space #39: Do While Rw Nw Prt M Hrw, Part 3

Wil Alambre wilalambre at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 13:34:59 PST 2013

In the clarity of the desert night, a single point of light smolders
against the blue-black curtain. And it slowly grows the closer it gets,
falling toward Us through immense distances. The Super Wizard From Space
is coming to Planet M.

We watch from outdoor forums, situated between the great black-stone
palace and the Pyramids Of Ka super-computer cluster. It is an open air
affair, surrounded by red desert sands and fat tall columns, open to the
massive sky. A long stretch of road separates these two seats of
government, with the wide round forum planted between them. Here, a long
walk from the homogeneous cities and the haughty buildings, we feel
alone in the infinite night, with disaster hurtling toward Us.

The robot court has assembled with Us. Nobles and functionaries. Twice
Our height, with the heads of grim beasts. They click and buzz amongst
themselves in their encoded equivalent of whispered gossip. They
understand the grave seriousness their doleful emperor represents. It
took little convincing for them to exert influences.

Servitor B makes gives an electronic ring and points eastward. M enters
the forum along the old roadway, stepping with wintry acceptance rather
than confidence... but even that quickly evaporates when he sees his
gathered court.

"You-weren't-invited," he says at his retinue.

The animal heads look at one another, silently choosing a spokesman.
"With-apologies, this-scheduled-event-has-been-updated-outside-your-
established- parameters," announces a thin machine through a 
hawk's beak.

"What-gives-any-of-you-the-right-to-override-me?" he asks. Cautiously.

my-emperor!" says another through a jackal's sneer, "But-outside-

The pinprick of light is expanding into looming light. Hurtling at Us.
This is taking too long. "Us. They are refer to Us," We interrupt
pointedly. "We have discussed your farcical designs. You have left Usz
no option but to petition a higher authority."

At first, the poor boy looks confused... but when he sees Servitor B,
M's hands roll up into tight, frustrated fists. The little drone is
momentarily embarrassed by his new shape, huddling close to Us. We give
it a reassuring pet along its hexagonical grill.

"You! You-selfish-witch!" Lashing sudden bile, cut off as he clutches
his head. His headpiece turns into a scrambling racket of activity.

A lion faced machine proclaims, "The-magnificent-Pyramids-of-Ka-know-
all-the-undeclared-variables, my-emperor, and-they-are-*very*-
disappointed-in-you. They've-recalculated-upcoming-probabilities-
you-now. The-nemes-harness-*won't*-be-released, to-prevent-you-from-

M looks back incredulously. "You-can't-be-serious. If-I'm-can't-use-
cosmic-crown... I'm-*certain*-to-lose!"

"This-has-been-anticipated," says the tall functionary with sad nod.
"For-the-duration-of-the-challenge, all-atmospheric-electricity-
distribution-will-be-suspended. You-alone-will-have-full-access-to-

M is overcome with horror as the implications become clear. "What-
about-everyone-else?" He sweeps an arm back toward the mechanized
metropolis. "The-citizens, the-city... they-*need* that-power! They-

"Sacrificed," We say, "For the greater good."

"Being-*greater*-doesn't-make-us-*good*," he snarls back.

An unnatural dawn washes over the forum as the wizard enters the solar
system. A dull roar builds in the air as the atmosphere itself panics.
The incoming light is a small sun, stalking toward Us, brushing aside
the shadows. We feel a shudder through us, pole to pole. The creature
approaches. It will not be long now.


The shudder turns into shaking anger. The nerve! Of this petulant windup
toy! Of this miserable machine! Death flies to Us and he cares only of
his childish lamentations. "The blame lies *entirely* on yourself! We
will not share any responsibility for your erosive attitude. This
resignation you have wrapped around yourself is *not* appealing, is
*not* heroic, is *not* noble, and is *not* productive. You cannot shirk
your responsibilities when they become difficult or disagreeable. You
cannot avoid confrontation because you find it unpleasant or unfamiliar.
You cannot hide from the consequences when you fall short of the task.
Stop measuring yourself against your wants and wishes... start acting
your damnable Office!"

M takes a step back. His pompous menagerie cows in silence. Even our
loyal drone retreats, his instincts overpowered. We close Our eyes and
take a long moment to compose Ourselves. After so many centuries, our
emotions still overrun. We need to be better than that. We are rock. We
are wax. We are Queen and Hive.

CRACK! We open our eyes and watch the sky break open. Desert air catches
friction fire. Hot wind lashes at red sands and stone columns alike.
Disaster flies like a comet aimed at the ground. Aimed right at Us. All
light and flame. For a moment, We forget that We are transmitting from
galaxies away, that We are not really here... and We feel cold and

The comet slows. The fury and fire whispers away. The pale starlight
dissipates, letting the night sky swallow the desert again. In the fresh
darkness, as if stepping off a stair, the Super Wizard From Space lands
on Planet M.

M has one last look at Us, an infantile tantrum of disappointment and
shame. He turns and tramps out to the wizard, shouldering none of the
respect of his powerful race. Each footfall rings hollow.

The columns cast stripes of grey dusk and black shade all the way across
the forum. He stops a dozen yards from the wizard, one of those long
shadowy swathes acting as a flat chasm separating them. Hands flexing
with taut anticipation. Hands clenching and unclenching.

By contrast, the wizard is stock still. Hands balled into fists. Arms
tensed. A statue ready to pounce.

From overheard, we hear the pop-hiss of a public address system clicking
over. In the distant metropolis, the orderly lines of robotic citizenry
stop. And witness.

"You look nervous," states the wizard.

M looks over his adversary. "I-*am*-skittish," he admits. "This-daycycle-

"We don't have to do this," the wizard says, offering a hand. "We don't
have to fight. Neither of us wants this. Surrender your crown to me
willingly, and I'll leave."

Servitor B vibrates with confusion. The concept of 'surrender' has been
erased from it, just as it has for most of the Swarm. It literally does
not understand. And We cannot provide it any comfort... as we cannot
fathom the gambit the wizard is playing. Leniency is not something that
has ever been associated with the Great Disaster. What is happening

M seems as stunned as We are. He stares at the offered hand. Speechless.

Then a hacking barking noise blasts through the broadcast speakers. It
takes Us a moment to realize that M is laughing. "I'm... hee-hee...
I'm-sorry," M says apologetically.  "I-wish-I-could. I-really-do. But-

The wizard withdraws his hand, and we're overcome with relief. And

A radiance leaks from the wizard, banishing the shadows separating them.

M plants his feet firmly. Blue static slithers along his frame, dragged
out of the dry air.

Planet M goes silent. Its weight leans toward the two.

The wizard acts first. Faster than We can follow. Radiance shoots down
his arms. Hands snap up. Fingers toward M, power welling up.

M leans forward, face first. The single loudspeaker blasts out a single
booming bass note! BOOM!

The volume! Terrible! Tumultuous! We instinctively protect Our ears.
Columns shudder. Shatter. Fall away at the tone's force.

The wizard is struck, the proximity devastating! He is flung backwards,
battered in the chest. The light in his hands escape chaotically. A
laser spectrum blinding the sky.

M holds up his hand, palm upwards, grasping at the air. On the horizon,
a whirlpool of electrical power sweeps amongst the Pyramids Of Ka, the
surround eight splashing the middle with fluid current.

M closes his hand in a fist and thrusts.

The power at the pyramids explode! A gigantic bolt of blue lightening
arcs across the sky, through the robot's fist, and spears! CRACK!

The prone wizard bounces off the ground with the force. The ground
shatters underneath! The force of the hit knocks Us off our feet! The
atmosphere is thrust aside, then collapses back on the spot with the
mass of a mountain!

Our little drone is trying to screech something at Us. Wanting Us to
escape. Away and to safety. We ignore it. We cannot leave. We have to
witness! We have to be sure!

The wizard crosses his arms and flings them out wild. A quick, rash
action that splashes out solid fire. Magma jumps out from him, tossed in
a fiery wave.

M stomps forward. And lets loose another crushing bass note. BOOM! The
wash lava folds back onto itself, flowing off between the columns'
remaining stumps. The corridor is blanketed with hellish reds.

The moment allows the wizard to get half-way up. On one knee, he pulls
his arm back. A loop of fusion curves around his fist! The air burns...
the whip! The solar flare! We have seen him wound worlds with that

A snarl, and he snaps his arm. The fusion uncurls with a hungry jump!

We flail backwards, arms up in a pointless attempt to protect Ourselves.

M instead lurches straight toward the wizard! Grabs the curve of fire
with his left hand! Plucks the arc of nuclear fire from the air like a
reed in the wind!

The free end of the whip bends unexpectedly, cutting across the forum!
One side disappears in heat and glare! Three of the animal court are
vaporized, their electronic screams sliced short.

We watch M's arm bend, the rope of the solar flare softening the robot's
metal. It twists and drips, the heat of a star bleeding into it.

But M holds his grip. And yanks. The wizard is dragged down, unable to
break the grip on his fiery weapon. And falls before Emperor M!

The emperor raises his free hand. A horrendous thundercrack! The sky
splits! A bolt! Towering beyond eyesight! Flickering straight down
through his hand! Jabbing downward! Spearing his foe! CRACK!

Blindness. Blue. Burning! Sudden howling winds! Atmosphere boils and
rolls away.

A crash! Tilting. The ground under Our feet folds toward the impact.

Then... ever so slowly... the world returns. Our sensors remember how to
function. We are allowed to see and hear again as light and noise peel

Most of the forum is gone. A crater remains, deep, bowl-shaped. The
ground, giant shards of blackened glass. Jagged angry shapes, looking to
escape the center. The ground under Us is at an angle, dragged into the
hole before being shoved back away. We pick Ourselves up, having trouble
with Our balance. Looking around, there is a less of an audience then
when everything started.

Entire sides of the grand obsidian palace have warped. Walls still
melting into liquid rock. Stone carved stories washing away in black
magma. Beyond, the robotic metropolis has zig-zagging gouges where the
incredible power spilled over. Long thin canyons still glowing from
atomic heat. Buildings flattened. Thousands of mechanical citizenry

We feel a pang of pain for this handsome sphere, for suffering such
wounds. But was it worth it? What of the combatants? There is a sound...
hard to place. The air seems thinner, if it is still there at all. How
much was seared away?

Crunch. Crunch.

Our drone spots them, pointing at silhouettes at the center of the pit.

M has lost his left arm, the solar whip melted it away. The incredible
heat has also melted his spine, leaving him with a sideways slouch. His
golden raiments are slag and carbon sticking to his iron frame. A thin
carcass, still animated with wrathful violence.

Crunch. Crunch.

He's stomping on the still wizard. Over and over again, with little
finesse. Barely keeping himself from tipping over. The iron foot bangs
down on an arm. On a shoulder. On the ribs. Over and over. A stick oily
fluid bleds and pools from the unmoving form.

Emperor M finally stops, his stored-up savagery expended. He takes an
unsteady step back, trying to stand straight and finding his structure
is incapable of it. Still, he squares what remains of his shoulders and
looks back to the forum. Back at Us. Without eyes. Expressionless.

After a long wordless moment, he bends down and grabs one of the
wizard's feet. Then, Emperor M drags limp body away to the pyramids in
the horizon.

Away from Us. We allow a smile. And a wash of relief.



Would this have qualified for the "Ruined Forever" High Concept
Challenge? I guess it depends on what happens next issue ;)

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

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