[MV] The Super Wizard From Space #54: The House Of Manifest Destiny

wilalambre at gmail.com wilalambre at gmail.com
Wed Mar 23 20:43:52 PDT 2016


Hardly believed it when told how imperious they'd gotten. Maybe it _is_
past due for Hoag to face its failures.


My name is Brody Dharma, master hero of the Invisible Monks. I am an
honoured guest in the great ringed galaxy of Hoag, the capital city of the
Super Wizard From Space race. And I am witnessing what may be the last days
of the august and resplendent empire of the Super Wizards From Space. I
take this moment to preserve from decay the remembrance of all they've
done, so any sentients that follow us do not lose them the due meed of
their glory.
"Quiet! Silence!" yells out a lone Wizard as he strides to the middle of
the floor. The rank and respect due him is not questioned by the thousands
of his fellow Wizards in assembly, as he wears the silver and ivory colours
of a parliamentary representative. "I've been elected Speaker of this
House, and will act as the presiding officer. It is my pleasure to invite
our visiting dignitary to speak at our momentous caucus."
I join the Speaker, bow to him, then turn and bow to rest of the assembled
Wizards. "I greet you all with innumerable cordial returns! It's been an
age since the Super Wizards From Space so diplomatically courted a master
hero! In gracious consideration of our super-races' past alliances, it
would have been _unforgivable_ of me to refuse.
"I'm certain we've all heard the troubling news... but to ensure I've not
made the long journey only to fall victim to misunderstanding, let me be
plain. Your exiled General has reformed the Red Hand! He's made
militaristic treaties with both Mummy Machines and with Monster Bees! It
seems, despite our most venerable efforts to the contrary, the entire
universe finds itself on the verge of super-space-war!
"When Andy and I received your invitation, we assumed it'd be your wish to
reestablish the old treaties between your super-race and my own. I rarely
see eye to eye with my brother... why, he even _scoffed_ at me for
insisting on replying in person (as if forgoing such a formal courtesy
wouldn't bring shame upon us)... but in the matter of joining forces with
the Super Wizards From Space against the Red Hand, the two of us are in
_perfect_ agreement. We must respectfully _decline_."
The audience breaks into a rumbling outrage. "The Red Hand? Impossible!"
"How was this allowed to happen?" "Where is this information coming from?"
"Super-space-war? No one would dare!" Their indignation isn't surprising.
The Super Wizards From Space see themselves as the conservators and
custodians of our endless macrocosm. They take any rebuffs to their
self-imposed responsibilities as an unforgivable affront. I cannot imagine
how shocking it must be coming from one of their own.
The Speaker calms his fellow Wizards, then says, "Yes, thank you, Brody.
Our best politio-mathemagicians calculated that that would be your
position. And we do respect it. Truly, we do. However... some recent
circumstances have arisen that we believe can alter the arithmetic. A
prisoner, which might sway things back in our favour..." He makes a motion
and the crowd parts, allowing a strangely opaque sphere to roll to the
middle of the floor. It's no more than a few meters in diameter, and it's
of a black colour so dense it absorbs the light _and_ the shadow around it.
How peculiar. I sense... nothing from it. It's as if it _lacks_ a
Oh! Oh my!
It's a black hole!
It's been long known that the Wizards' science-sorcery gives them
unparalleled mastery over space, distance, light, and gravity... but these
ghastly phenomena defy control. They defy definition. They defy
_everything_. Even time itself strains in proximity to them, stretching
thin, making moments feel like eternities. It's astonishing enough the
Wizards might be able to manipulate black holes _at all_... but to
construct a cell out of one?
I am stunned. And sickened. "Good heavens, man! Do you have someone _in_
there? Who would need such a horrifying dungeon?"
"He's one of _us_," the Speaker says grimly, laying a hand flat the
sphere's event horizon. "He's a Super Wizard From Space." The impossibly
black surface clears in liquid ripples as reveals a round, cramped
interior. Within is a Wizard wearing a military red uniform long forbidden
by his super-race. I've no way of knowing how long he's been held in that
frightful cell... and who knows how long the experience must have felt to
him. The isolation has obviously gotten to him; there's a maniacal look in
his eyes.
"Look upon him!" the Speaker says loudly, to me and to the other Wizards.
"Know that his name is Trifko, and by knowing his name, know he is
powerless. We found him manning the frozen prisons in the expatriated
zones. He's agreed to surrender and confess his crimes, so long as he could
have his say." The Speaker nods to Trifko, gesturing for him to speak.
The prisoner looks out at his fellow Wizards. His voice is stilted, held
back, as if afraid the words would eat him up as he unleashes them. "Look
at you. Look at all of you, looking at my uniform with... _disgust_.
"How _dare_ you.
"We protected you. We did the worst of your work. And for that, you turned
on us, just to save face. You turned on poor Gavrilo, abandoning him after
he sacrificed his secret name. And you turned on our General; you exiled
him after he rid us of the Super Warlock scourge. And you even turned on
our super-champion... for doing the work you yourselves wouldn't do.
"I spent years wondering... what went wrong? How were we so blind? But
now... _now_ I realize the problem is with our whole damn race. We are so
_poisoned_ with our own _grandeur_. We are so _sure_ of ourselves. It's all
_our_ responsibility. _We_ know best, we _have_ to, we _need_ to. By the
time we realized our unhealthy hubris had transformed into an... unnatural
obsession, it much too late. Too late to tell anyone. Too late to
acknowledge it, even amongst ourselves.
"But I acknowledge it. I do. Because it _is_ there. It's in every one of
you, in every Super Wizard From Space. And we have to own up to it; the
first step to every solution is admitting there's a problem.
"The Super Warlock race were double-crossing, horse-faced bastards. They
created a cosmic crisis and they damn well deserved everything they got.
But they weren't the sole perpetrators. _They_ didn't spread space-greed
into the universe... _we did! The Super Wizards From Space!_
"We're _carriers_. As living reactors, our selfish conceit broils up in us
and leaks out as radioactive emotion. It's in every shield we conjure and
in every beam we fire and in every tunnel we carve. Every where we go,
everything we do, we leave _contamination_. And yet the doctors _refuse_ to
diagnose themselves.
"Well, no more! _No more!_" The prisoner's voice cracks with fanatical
rage. "I'm not here to give you warning. I'm not here to give you help. I'm
here in _spite_. Penance is coming, and I am its herald! The Red Hand is
coming, and I am its _manifesto!_"
The Speaker places a hand on the cell and its surface immediately turns
opaque. "I think we've heard enough," he says in disgust. "Our Red Hand.
Our Red General. Traitors. What we've seen them do in the past, and now
hearing of their intent... _all_ measures need to be taken for our defence."
I stare at him with astonishment. "Is it true? What this 'Trifko' says?" I
see the answer in his eyes, and in the eyes of all the Wizards surrounding
me. "It _is_ true. You knew. You _all_ knew. By the souls of my ancestors,
this is... _unthinkable_. Space-greed is a dangerous, virulent plague...
its release upon our fragile cosmos ushered in an unfathomable age of
darkness! It wiped out ancient species and star-spanning civilizations. It
was so dangerous, we gave your super-race _unconditional authority_ to
cleanse it from wherever it spread. We _trusted_ you! And now, not only do
I discover the Super Wizards From Space have _not_ overcome this insidious
pathogen, but I also discover _you yourselves_ are secretly carriers of the
disease... _and always have been!_
"Is this 'justice' you've been dispatching your super-champion upon? Have
you used him to eliminate proof of your contamination? Did he crack that
planet in half _on your orders_?
"And, to think, you had the gall to invite me here! To expect me and mine
to ally ourselves with you! What astonishing arrogance!"
"No, Brody, we didn't expect you to assist us. Not willingly." The Speaker
gives me a small smile. There's a terrible sureness in him that I find
suddenly disquieting. Despite my height, it feels as if he looms over me, a
blade about to be dropped. The other Wizards close in on us. Thousands of
them. On me. "We use politio-mathemagics to calculate optimal paths through
crises. And though it looked like the arithmetic pointed to failure, as I
mentioned, a recent circumstance shifted the odds back in our favour. _You_
are that circumstance."
The crowd parts. A second terrifying sphere rolls up beside us. It stops
right beside me and unravels like an orange. Unlike Trifko's, this sphere
is unoccupied.
Cold realization crashes upon me. "I'm to be your hostage."
"You'd allow the Red Hand to annihilate us just to satisfy your strong
sense of duty and tradition. But the philosophies of your unconventional
brother go against your own. He would do _anything_ to ensure your safety.
With his assistance, we _will_ prevail.
"No matter how long it may take us to overcome this uprising, the Super
Wizards From Space, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute
victory. With confidence, with the unbounding determination, we will gain
the inevitable triumph!"


"I didn't expect you to take *quite* so long, but I knew you'd come
eventually. You've already gone to such lengths. Just the one opponent
left, yes?"
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