[MV] The Super Wizard From Space #57: Kilo Yuga, part 3

wilalambre at gmail.com wilalambre at gmail.com
Thu Jun 9 09:44:40 PDT 2016


"They observe our encounter. All we do and everything we speak. They're
allowing me this opportunity to resolve this peacefully."

## KILO YUGA, part 3

Andy Dharma carried the body of the Super Wizard From Space to the opposite
side of the planet. A long journey through stark alien landscapes, enduring
strangling desert heats and continental sandstorms, crossing over colossal
red mountain ranges and crossing through yawning abyssal canyons. An
undeterred march that didn't end until he crossed over to the dark side of
the nameless world.

In the middle of a vast salt flat, he looked up to the murky heavens. He
studied the few weak constellations he could make out and decided that he'd
gone far enough. With this planet's sluggish rotation, the night here would
last for weeks. With a grateful sigh, he dumped his burden on the soft

>From within the loose sleeves of his monastic robes, he brought out slivers
of dried wood, a small silver kettle, a poach of cured leaves, and a small
iron gong. He sat on the ground cross-legged, lit a small fire, and began
making some tea. When the water boiled and the air filled with a pleasing
acerbic aroma, he picked up the gong and played a single ringing note. Then
he waited.

It wasn't long until his allies arrived. They appeared as points of light
in the sky, growing in size as they approached the surface. They tore
through the atmosphere like a pair of radiant comets, and landed with a
pair of thunderous impacts. Andy shielded his eyes as they approached, each
of them glowing with incandescent fusion.

"Sirs, _please_!' he called out in frustration. "There's no need to blind

The two shapes looked over each other, and with a reluctant nod, they both
drew their incredible power within themselves. The white and furious heat
diminished in implosive waves, dragging away with it what meek starlight
remained in the sky. Eventually, the vague forms solidified into two thin
humanoids wearing the blue-gold uniforms of the super-wizards race.

Andy sighed a relief and did his best to recompose himself. "Ah, much
better. Thank you Scrivener, thank you Stringer."

The Stringer super-wizard had wide eyes and a wider mouth, making for an
expression both intense and disturbing. "Don't confuse your relief with
weakness on our part, monk. You only know us by popular titles, not by our
secret names. We could snuff you out in an instant. Either of us could.

Andy frowned and said nothing.

The Scrivener super-wizard put a hand on his companion's shoulder. He had a
broad hawkish nose that he constantly looked down. "Now, now. No need to be
antagonistic. Andy's our _ally_. Nothing to gained by infighting."

"I am an ally _under duress_." Andy noted.

"We're _all_ under duress, Andy," the Scrivener said. "These are dark
times. A dark age. Surely, you understand the situation."

"Then please, sit, and have tea with me. Let us talk of our situation in
more detail."

The Stringer stamped a foot hard into the campfire. The kettle toppled off,
spilling its contents onto the cold ground. The flames lurched, as if
doused in alcohol, then were pulled up into the wizard's boot. Flickering
and flailing and, finally, stolen away. "No," the Stringer said, "There
isn't the time. Genovefa Buzz is already on her way. Here."

"_'Nought done in a hurry is thorough,'_" Andy chided, "_'and an eye for
small gain means big things undone.'_" He pointed to the body in the
shadows. "You observed the entire encounter, so you know I've done as
instructed. There. There is your super-champion."

The Scrivener went and knelt over the body. He cautiously rolled it onto
its back and placed a hand on the chest. "There's some fusion fire still
within him..." he jerked his hand away quickly, "...poisoned."

"Careful! We're not protected against our sabotage anymore than he was. We
must rely on our internal reserves."

"I'll keep my distance." He did a hurried examination, then stood up and
backed away. "I detect no life signals. Any power remaining is simply
leakage. It'll dissipate shortly." He turned to Andy. "I also don't see the

"Nor will you," Andy said. "I've taken it."

The Stringer tightened his hands into burning fists. "The Crown is _ours_!
It belongs to the Super Wizards From Space. You're... you're trying to
_steal_ from us!"

Andy stepped back, instinctively adopting a defensive position: back foot
firmly planted, hand flat and forward like a blade, body held sideways to
present as thin a target as possible. He'd chosen and studied this spot for
maximum advantage. He'd watched his 'guests' for tells and weaknesses.
"Careful, Stringer. If you wish to fight, be sure you've first counted the
cost. You've watched me strike down your super-champion, the best of you...
do you think _you'll_ prove any more of a challenge?"

The Stringer hesitated. He looked at the body in the shadow. He looked back
to the still readiness of the monk.

"No. Enough. _Tsk._ We haven't the time for this," The Scrivener marched
between the two. "You made a deal, Andy. You're to hand over the Crown to

"In return for my brother."

"Will he keep his word, though?" the Stringer snarled. "If we hand over the
other Dharma, we lose our leverage. How do we know he'll not just wear the
Crown himself?"

Andy shook his head. "I've been subjugated to the Tournament once before.
I'll not make the same mistake twice. As soon as you've returned Brody
Dharma, I will give you the Crown. I _swear_ this to you on the spirits of
my honourable ancestors."

The two wizards looked at each other. There was a pregnant second where
Andy worried they'd unleash their fire upon him. He could see a cutthroat
flicker in their eyes. Maybe he'd finally find out if he _could_ defeat a
super-wizard in a fair fight... but eventually, they came to a silent
agreement, turned away from him, and raised their hands to the empty sky.

A black circle grew out of the night. It didn't come from a distance or a
direction. It didn't have depth nor weight. The two wizards motioned at the
circle, guiding it down between them. When it touched the dry mud, it
peeled apart in long disintegrating spirals, and Brody Dharma fell out of
his prison.

"What's happened to him?" exclaimed Andy. His twin brother looked _old_.
_Decades_ older. Mottled brown skin hung wrinkled and loose on his body.
Milky eyes were deeply recessed, barely catching any of the evening light.
Wisps of grey hair scattered across his head. He looked frail. He looked

"We warned you. When we first approached you," the Schrivener said with
indifference. "Time moves differently within a black-hole cell. You
should've worked... quicker."

The Stringer grinned, showing teeth.

Andy fell to his knees and took his brother's hands. "Brody. Can you hear
me? Do you recognize me?"

"Andy? Is that you? Oh no. What've you done, brother?"

"I've done as I've always done. Wherever I go, I go with my heart."

"No no no. You do not understand. You _cannot_ understand. How could you,
with so much... _everything_ out here? Blinding, deafening, an overload of
the senses and the spirit. Not like me. Not like my pitch cell. A lifetime
expended in an emptiness so absolute it defied definition. But even so...
no lake is so still that it has no wave, no circle so perfect that it
doesn't blur. From within that perfect darkness, I watched the last
thousand years come crashing toward our present with... an intense
momentum. And I could see our future, a _feverish_ animal stalking us
backwards through time. Our every action, our every decision, our every
word, they only diminishes what few moments we have left. The End is
coming. The End is _inevitable_."

Andy wept at his brother's ramblings. He should not have let him go, should
never have let him go alone. "Quiet, now. Your mind will regain its center,
if you let it rest." With his campfire smothered, he instead laid Brody
down beside the still-warm body of the super-wizard champion. "Here. The
last dregs of his fusion heat will help you, at least until I've rebuilt a

The Stringer barked, "Okay! Enough, monk! We've returned the old lizard.
Now give us our Crown."

Andy reached into the loose sleeve of his robes and pulled out the Cosmic
Crown. It hovered above his palm; it refused to contact the _simplistic_
universe it was trapped in, it roared with the ferocity of a better
reality. "Here, then. Take it. If you cannot see these as the curses they
are, then you are best deserved of them."

With a disappointed air, the Scrivener snatched the Crown from Andy. "I see
now how you failed in the Tournament... you care too much. It blemishes all
your decisions. Responsibility isn't some great weight to be borne, it's a
fire to be endured. That's why the Super Wizards From Space are the
greatest of all the super-races. We alone know the secret of wielding
_absolute authority_: if you want to shine like the sun, first you have to
burn like it."

And he donned the Cosmic Crown.


"_'The pheasant cries, as if it just noticed the mountain.'_"
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