[MV] The Super Wizard From Space #58: Kilo Yuga, part 4

wilalambre at gmail.com wilalambre at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 11:44:27 PDT 2016


"If you cannot see these as the curses they are, then you are best deserved
of them."

## KILO YUGA, part 4

As the Schrivener super-wizard brought the Cosmic Crown to his brow, it
seemed to gain... weight. It didn't feel _heavier_ in his hands, as he
wasn't even holding it (it hovered above his palms, and he more _directed_
it than handled it). But the higher he raised it, the more... _ponderous_
it became. Moving it was a war with some immense foreign gravity, greater
than any star, than any black hole.

And when he finally placed the Crown onto his head, all that gigantic
immensity _slammed_ down on his consciousness. He fell to his knees, his
spirit nearly crushed by the mass of a compacted reality. "By the living
suns! This power! This incredible power!"

"What is it?" asked the Stringer super-wizard, eyes wide with fearful
curiosity. "What's wrong? What's happening?"

"It's... there's... so _much_! Unbridled potentials! Alternate
possibilities! A whole other universe, with its own suns and its own
stories. My mind is _exploding_ with a thousand million directions, a
four-dimensional tapestry that threatens to engulf me. Its only through...
sheer determination that I'm able to pick out any one strand, to pull out a
thread. It's only through constant _will_ that I direct the smallest
fraction of this energy into anything... _cohesive_."

The Stringer approached with a hand outstretched. "If it's too much for
you, than I can..."

The Schrivener growled, the sound coming from a deeper, savage place
within. He stood up, slowly, carefully, as if he could tip over and shatter
like glass. "_I_ have the Crown. _I'll_ bear its power. It shall not defy

The Crown suddenly flared! A series of fearsome electrical arcs lashed out,
crackling and snaking around the Schrivener. The arcs bent and folded and
twisted, forming a chain of cosmic power. The super-wizard made a
horrifying sound, like the cry of a trapped animal, then the chains
disappeared and the power of the Crown subdued.

"Are you all right?" the Stringer asked.

The Schrivener didn't respond. He was stunned, unsure of where he was.
Slowly, his brow furrowed and a frown split his face. He glared at everyone
around him, like they were small and far away. Then, without a word, he
drew his power within and launched into the night sky. In seconds, he was
out into space, and gone.

Andy was floored. "Huh."

The Stringer yelled at him, "What happened? Where's he going?"

"To Genovefa, I would assume?" he replied with a shrug. "_'The pheasant
cries, as if it just noticed the mountain.'_ You said Queen Buzz was in
this very star system. If she's truly that closed, he could not resist."

"Resist? Resist what?"

"The Tournament, naturally. The crowns enforce the rules, and he is
compelled to obey."

Brody broke out laughing. It was stuttered and it cut often with sickly
coughs, but it was a loud, ecstatic laugh. Andy couldn't help but smile. It
was a good sign. The long isolation hadn't driven the humour from his

"Impossible!" the Stringer pointed at Brody, or more specifically, at the
body beside him. "You defeated our super-champion. You took his Crown. The
Cosmic Tournament is _over_."

"The rules of the Tournament state that a _crown-bearer_ must claim an
opponent's crown. Though her opponent has changed, _Genovefa Buzz_ is the
challenger. The Tournament continues until she or the Schrivener claims the
other's crown."

"You... you _did_ something! You _knew_ this would happen."

"I _warned_ you this would happen! I told you these crowns would be the end
of any who wore them, but you couldn't help yourselves. The moment you had
all that power at your disposal, you _had_ to have it."

"Of course we did. It's _ours_! You were never supposed to have it. It
belongs to us!"

"The cosmic crowns don't belong to anyone. They're not _things_. Every one
of them is a vast and monstrous presence, caught and caged and dragged into
our universe against its will. They are each a cosmos, older and stronger
and better than our own in every way. To try to wield one, to believe you
can manipulate such a thing...? This is an act of incredible arrogance..."

"...and madness," Brody said, finally regaining his composure.

"Yes. Exactly. Comedic, karmic madness," Andy agreed.

"Oh no, I meant 'madness' quite literally."

"Quiet, mossback," the Stringer snapped.

It took a puzzled look from his brother and the growing agitation on the
Stringer's face for Brody to make his realization. "You... don't know? Then
these two... they haven't told you..."

"Tell me what?"

The Stringer started moving toward Brody, a finger pointing hard in his
direction. "I said be quiet."

"Space-greed! He's infected with it. They both are. This irrational avidity
you're seeing, its a factual sickness. And his _entire super-race_ is
wallowing in it."

"That was privileged information, damn your eyes! That was shared with you
in confidence!"

Brody looked at the Stringer incredulously. "You couldn't believe I'd keep
it a _secret_, did you? You must have known I would tell everyone.
Especially my own brother... my other self!"

"You were never supposed to speak of it. He must have tampered with the
body somehow. Otherwise, none of this would every have..."

"That's impossible," Andy interrupting. "I'm sorry, Brody, but that _can't_
be true."

"_Look_ at him!" Brody said. "_Look_ at how's he's acting."

"...but the Super Wizards From Space developed a _cure_ for space-greed.
They wiped out _all_ the Great Space Crimes."

"Bah! Wiped out _proof_ of them, perhaps," Brody said.

"Enough! Quiet! Both of you!" the Stringer shouted. "You have _no idea_
what you're talking about. You're a species frozen in time. For all your
studies, your training, your temples, your traditions, your supposedly
wondrous martial art... what's it all been for? What has it benefitted you?
Nothing! Just that! All your accomplishments are in your distant past. And
worse of all, you see _nobility_ in your stagnation! What you praise as a
'balance' is nothing more than _malaise_!

"Not us. Not us! We're a race of doctors. Researchers. Scientists.
Specialists. Each and every one of us strives for mastery in our field.
_More_ than mastery! To break beyond the borders of our work, to explore
the unknown, to define and to catalog and to then break beyond even _that_.

"The Super Wizards From Space are the greatest of all the super-races
because of our pursuit of _more_. We are, as a whole, motivated by our
desire to _achieve_. And to _keep_ what we achieve. And to fight for _more_

"What is space-greed? A virus? A cancer? Do you even know? Of course not!
Brainless animals that you are! You accept what you're told because you are
told so by your _betters_. And that is what we _are_. We are your
_betters_. And we are so because we worked to become so! We made ourselves
this way!

"There is no cure for space-greed. We've never looked for one. And we don't
want one!

"Space-greed isn't a disease. _It is a drug_. A powerful narcotic that,
through careful research and observation, we've learned to safely medicate
ourselves with. In controlled doses, it increases our voracity and our
alertness. It focuses our aspiration and resolve. It's made us wizards of
white stars and black holes alike! It has made us sorcerers of the
production and exchange of matter and space!

"And what's it cost us? Only the moral scrutiny of our so-called peers.
Like the Red Hand and their bleeding-heart crusading. Or a batch of rusting
robots and their rotting religion. Some nihilistic ghosts and their dead
teacher. A few small-minded monks and their diminishing luminaries. All of
you, dripping with jealousy! All waiting for the chance to take from us
what is rightly ours!"

"As I said. Madness." Brody said with great disappointment.

Andy clenched his fists hard enough to cause himself pain. His breathing
slowed, each intake of air being dragged deep into the pit of his torso and
wrestled of all its value. "I believed you to be a vile and rude creature
when we first met. When you blackmailed me into assisting you. But this...
contemptuous selfishness that you've draped yourself in... the cosmic
tournament, the super space war... by all my holy forefathers, my hands are
cover in the blood of _thousands_ because of this insanity!"

"The Super Wizards From Space live for their own sake and by their own
minds. We're the custodians of universal order because we have _made_
ourselves so. Supernaturally so! We look forward to the future with
wide-eyed eagerness. You... you look _backwards_ and slowly strangle
yourselves with ancient customs. You don't _grow_ anymore. You don't _want_
anything. You deteriorate, and call it 'tradition'."

"You're mistaken, Stringer," Andy said with calm deliberateness, each word
a microscopic meditation. His awareness focused like a laser, his mind
ascended into the white-hot ends of infra-zen. The world around him became
like rice paper outside the infinite mass of his consciousness.  "If you'd
truly paid attention, you would know of one thing I've want _very_ much..."

The world slowed. Slowed. The empty background noise of the desert became
low and far-away. A look of apprehension crawled onto the Stringer's face.
A single moment of surprise.

Andy jolted forward with an old maneuver called the Torture Of The Noose, a
hard-quick chop at the man's throat. He quickly followed with good a cross
elbow to the same spot, the Searcher's Cascading Choke, and then crushed
the nose with the heel of his hand, the Tiger Hammer. He couldn't be
certain super-wizards _needed_ to breathe, but if they did, such a
combination would be _crippling_.

The Stringer made a sickening gurgling sound. Oily black blood splattered
out from his open mouth. His eyes became blue-white spots of rage, and
fusion fire leapt out from them.

Andy was already three steps out of the way, a swirling whirlwind of motion
that placed him directly behind his opponent. As Andy had suspected, the
Stringer lacked finesse. He simply _lashed out_.

Still, with the devastating force a super-wizard could unleash, there was
_substantial_ risk. Andy needed to end this quickly, before the Stringer
became more imaginative.

>From behind, Andy struck with the Thirty Destructions Lock, a rapid series
of piercing blows straight down the Stringer's spine. He completed the
combination with the Mountain Wolves Press, a fast sweeping kick at the
back of the knees. The sound of breaking bones crashed like thunder in the
arid emptiness.

The Stringer screamed in pain, and collapsed onto the ground. With a
desperate wave of a hand, he rolled bright sunlight around him in a curved

Sloppy, Andy thought. His super-champion would've warned him to use fusion
fire for protection instead. Andy simply shifted his chi outside the
visible spectrum and slipped through the barrier.

The monk knelt over his foe and slammed both fists on opposite sides of his
head. The Perfect Gates. Andy felt the skull crack under the force of his
hit, saw liquid tar ooze out of the Stringer's ears. The super-wizard was
stunned. Shocked. Even so, it might be for a moment.

But it would be long enough.

Andy put a knee in the crook of the Stringer's back and wrapped both arms
around his head. "...and now I finally know. Thank you."

And with a wrench, he broke the Stringer's neck.


No tradition so sacred, no path so long, no foe so great.
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