Nothing Worth It
“Beep. Operator for Fambam Books Intergalactic Incorperation speaking”
“Hello? This is Billy Blaze, from Earth.”
“Yes, Billy? According to our list you have a subscription for Origin of Curses, the 34th version, A Guide to Powers in the Universe, and the Encyclopedia Galactia 450498th version.”
“Yeah its Origin of Curses I’m calling about. I want a refund. This book contains 3000 pages of worthless information.”
“Sorry. No refunds.”
“Dude, I didn’t spend 335 Vorts for a worthless book that didn’t garentee refund. Right now I have purchased it a year before now, which makes me elegable, according to your own rules.”
“Well yes…for every other book. However, the government has passed a strict law that the book Origin of Curses can not be refunded.”
“I have not heard of any such rule, and meanwhile this book has 3000 pages of worthless info, as I said before, and the one page of true information can be found in A Guide to Powers in the Universe. In the whole, only 5 words of information is genuine and unique.”
“We’re sorry. The government has control over us. If you wish to challenge that rule, you may contact—”
“Dam him.”, Billy muttered, putting down the Intergalactic Cell Phone.
“Well”, Spot said. “I have checked, and yes, that law is in place, for some reason that has to do with another version of the Origin of Curses.”
Billy had subscribed (and yes, it works a little differently in space. You subscribe for a title, and you get each version that comes out after that) for the Origin of Curses after realizing the power that witchcraft and magic was getting stronger, particulary among enemies, and after hearing that the Origin of Curses has some of the best information in the universe about them. But there was only one passage that had any value, and it said:
The actual power of spells and curses comes from the energy section of Paradox, one of the thirteen Class I energies in the universe, and indeed, one of the most powerful. When a paradox occurs, an unusually large amount of temporal energy is unleashed from apparently nowhere. The energy could be used in a matter of ways, or, in the case of the time paradox, to annihilate the person to which it occurred. Apparently, spells and curses work by unleashing the probability of a certain paradox occurring, and using the power caused by it to perform its appropreate purpose. There are very few places where such a probability flash can occur (in this universe anyway) and it is theorized that the magic wands (commonly used to cast spells) either create a mini-black hole inside them, or send a sort of signal to a black hole. However, such a signal or creation has not been detected.
And, for the five words that were unique:
Magic controls paradox by paradox.
There was a lot to be taken (and assumed) from that statement.
Well anyway, back at Billy’s clubhouse he said:
“Ok, that’s it. I’m gonna get my money back.”
“Yeah, that’s right. I’m gonna invade FamBam Books Inc.”
“You can’t be serious! You’re suppose to defend the universe, not go kill for a book.”
“Nah, I’ll just have a short talk with the head of FamBam to see why the book cannot be refunded…at gunpoint.”
“Well…I’ve better go with you then.”
Keen was puzzled. “Why?”
Billy donned his brother’s football helmet in preperation for taking off.
Looking around a corner, Commander Keen stunned another worker. He would have gone peacefully to see the President of the company, but apparently the grounds were closed for “emergency reasons”, and when he inquired what they were the guard tried to stun him. Around the next corner, he met up with Norp. There was a door in front of them. Keen nodded, Norp nodded.
A sudden bang as the door exploded and more as several turrets started shooting stun pistol at them. Keen set his gun on “Blow up” and exploded the turrets. He looked at Norp now.
“The President’s Conference Room should be in the door in front of us”, Norp said.
Chaos, and cries of “WTF WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!?!?”
One of them picked up a gun but Keen quickly stunned him.
“I’d just like to ask why the Origin of Curses is not refundable…and oh yeah, also WHY YOUR GUARDS TRIED TO SHOOT ME WHEN I CAME IN PEACEFULLY.”
All of them walked backwards, bumping into the wall of the Oval (no other!) shaped conference room…except for one, who leaned forward.
“Soooo.”, he said. “You wanna know why the Origin of Curses is not refundable and why this emergency is declared? Well, the first question has to do with the full version of the Origin of Curses. It is extremely sacred, created two thousand years ago by a researcher who was going on a field servey on a planet based on magic to try to find out about…the origin of curses. But apparently, something which no one outside knows and no one still knows happened, and the book got hidden, well, when we asked we were told it was in the Pyramid of the Unforgivable, but we do not know WTF that is. And the second question, it is because the chamber of the Unforgivable was opened by one of our salesmen. That chamber leads to the pyramid, they say, but we have no idea what they’re talking about, since it apparently leads to nowhere. Nevertheless, there is now about 40,000 different curses going at three-thousand times the speed of light for this planet, and we’re hiring people from many different magical planets to try to create a shield that will block this threat. The curses should reach here in…three days. Well…what else?”
“Erm, a salesman? Why would the curses want you?”
“Hurrumpth. We don’t know either, except that one of the hyrogriphics on the wall of the Chamber says that “The curses shall kill the opener, his family, and the incorperation he works in.”
“Okkay…so um, what planet is the Chamber of the Unforgivable in?”
“Destro VI, but I wouldn’t recommend going there. The hyros also say that anyone who enters and does not get the key from deep in the pyramid shall also suffer the fate of the opener.”
“Well then…exactly what does the entire version of the Origin of Curses have to do with the fact that its unrefundable?”
He sighed. “We don’t know either, except that the full version contains some deep secrets that can be abused by evil powers.”
“Well then…I’ll be in Destro! Cya guys.” He started to walk out of the room.
Suddenly 20 robots guards came in from the enterance.
“TAKE THEM PRISON!!”
But Keen said “Summon the powers of the Yorp!”
A giant amount of light came from Norp and burned all the robots.
“Well, we must take our leave then”, Keen said to the shocked people.
Keen’s BwB Megarocket landed softly onto the grassy rural area in the Village of the Chamber of the Unforgivable. As he stepped out, he realized that it was a pretty normal village (well, by backwater alien standards) and that he didn’t have any idea what to do. Oh well, he thought. The Encyclopedia Galactia described these people as “extremely religious, but pretty much friendly as long as you don’t cross them”. He walked into the main part of the village. Humanoid (with some differences though) creatures were working around the area, some chatting (probably on break). He put on his univeral translator and walked up to a nearby alien who seemed to be dozing off.
The dozing alien immediately work up. “Yea, son? I suppose you’re here about the Chamber of the Unforgivable. Well whatcha wanna know?”
“Well anyway, I’m not the one to call, go to our local witch doctor, she’s the one who organizes this stuff.” He pointed at a wicked looking hut.
“Okaay. Thanks for your time.”
The sleepy alien immediately resumed his pastime.
“Well?”, Keen said to Norp. “Check the Encyclopedia about witch doctors.”
“Oh, I already did. Apparently they’re also pretty friendly, but if a major event has occurred there’s a risk that they’ll cast a spell on visitors and cook em for nobody-has-survived-to-tell-what. The greater the event the greater the risk.”
“Stay behind me and get ready to use your all-powerful powers against her should something happen.”
The walked up to the witch doctor’s hut and knocked.
“Hello, come in come in, wait a minute, don’t come in mind you, I want to cook any visitors, wait no, come in, don’t.”
They went in anyway.
“Ooooh crap, you shouldn’t have came in, my bad personality will cook you no—” Then suddenly in a sweet, suspiscious voice, “Come in boys, for all means. I would love to c—I mean give you company.”
Keen looked at Norp. Norp looked at Keen.
“That’s it”, the witch doctor said, in her normal voice (that is, the one she greeted them with). “No more of this foolishness. This is too serious an event to follow the linear proportion of greater event, greater risk.”
“Well, what might you two be here for, howd you like a snack? Some rats would taste good huh? Huh?”
“Well…We’re here to try to find the orginal Origin of Curses…”
The doctor looked surprised. “What? That’s stupid, no one has ever managed to open the Chamber of the Unforgivable, and I got no idea how that stupid salesman did, there’s supposed to be very deep magic involved. He lost his life in doing so, though. Well anyway, its also stupid to try going in there, and expect to come out alive.”
“We have to. I have to find out the secrets, and, erm, get my refund for a book.”
“Get your refund now…why…that’s very serious. Almost enough to warrant it…well, if you think it important enough, I’ll let you.”
“Soo…might you know how?”
“Aaaa yes, the chamber is very near the mountains there…but I don’t know how you’ll get past all the magic and traps….hmm wait! Is that!!!” She pointed at Norp. “No…it can’t be! But it is!”
“What?”, Norp inquired.
“Well, theres a very deep and ancient story…but for time conservation reasons I won’t go into it. Anyway, the result of the story is that the statue in the middle of town is one of the most sacred on this planet…and it looks just like you.
“Maybe…”, she continued.
She pointed her wand at the Yorp and said: “Bracrababara!”
A flash of light flashed onto the Yorp.
“There! He will protect you and guide you into and through the Pyramid of the Unforgivable now. Good luck! Now go! Go for your journey, and to get your refund back!”
“Okay then….I thank you for your help.”, Keen said. They left.
“Well…so do you have any idea how to get to and through the pyramid?” He knew what he would say.
“Erm, no. In fact, I got no idea what she did.”
“That wasn’t what I expected you to say.”
“Well who cares, I’m supposed to be able to, so lets go!”
The Second-Longest Chamber
“Sorry, but we need the witch-doctor’s written signature before we allow you in.”
“Hey guard, she allowed us, she also pointed her wand at Norp here and said Babacabraba or something.”
The guard looked surprised. “Bracrababara?”
“Well, I guess.”
The guard eyed Norp for a second. A flash of light seemed to come from the Yorp.
“Well, that’s enough to authorize your enterance! Good luck (though I don’t think you’ll have any)!”
He signaled toward several more guards, who removed a giant stone blocking the enterance. They went in.
Keen pulled out his Enhanced Sensors v33.
“According to our readings”, he said, “there are several traps on the floor here where, if you step in it, a giant fire will burn you.”
“One of the traps are right here.” He pointed.
“Test it against your shield”, Norp said.
Keen pulled out a rod and pressed a button on it, covering it with a pink bubble that gave away when it came in contact with Keen’s skin. Then he placed it onto the trap.
Immediately, from the left, right, and top walls, balls of flame came from several openings and started burning the rod. Keen hurridly threw it away, but the flame followed it and kept burning it. After five more seconds, it stopped and what was left of the shield and rod was a bunch of molten metal.
“Guess not”, Keen said. “We’ll just have to be careful.”
They went for several hundred meters, checking then avoiding, checking then avoiding, then suddenly they came onto something new.
“Say, what is this?”, Keen said. “Looks like an energy barrier powered by another dimension interacting with this one.”
“Well, magic is complex, so just call it magic, mind you.”
“You can try neutralizing it with dimension shielding.”
Keen took out an object and several bright lights and polygons came from it (one of HIS inventions, mind you) and touched the shield. The polygons, if one bothered to look, went into infinitely small sized, and there were an infinite number of them, but the more important factor in this case was that the magical shield went down.
They ran past it. Apparently there were no more incinerator traps, and, indeed, no more magical ones. “That’s strange”, Norp said. “What kind of place is this?”
But in Norp’s head, suddenly, was a voice. “Thirty-nine, thirty-eight, thirty-seven….”
“What?”, Keen said. “Who said that?”
“Thirty-six, thirty-five, thirty-four….”
“Apparently, at zero we’re supposed to do something”, Norp said, getting a little scared at the voice coming from him.”
They looked at each other again.
“THINK, Norp. What are we supposed to do?”
“I is thinking….”
He smelled the air, then scratched his head in thought.
Then something weird, a figure of Keen and Norp materialized on top of them.
“JUMP TO KEEN!!””
They jumped to the figures that looked like them, and as suddenly, on “zero”, the ground collapsed into pieces…
They awoke to find solid ground in front of them.
“Bah, I’m airsick now”, Norp said. Somehow air had rushed and they had flew, who knows, several hundred miles for who knows how long a time (since they both passed out).
Keen checked the chrorometer on his watch.
“Approx. Ten minutes.”
In front of them was the Pyramid of the Unforgivable, and in front of it, a sign saying “Congrats. First Visitor in 29,999 years. Hope you survive the pyramid. Be sure to buy a drink in our bar in the back.”
The Pyramid of the Unforgivable
“That wasn’t too refreshing”, Keen said. The “bar” that they got their drinks in was barely a stone dispenser with some glass.
Still, the sign saying “29,999 years” was a bit too weird. How could a number be so exact? And didn’t the gay back at FamBam HQ. Say that this pyramid was sealed 2,000 years ago?
“Whatdayathink is in there?”, Norp said. “Mummies? Fat pigs?” They opened the giant pyramid door and stepped in.
“Aaa who knows? Probably a bunch of Auto-Turret Particle Accelerator---”
A bunch of accelerated particles flew past where Keen was last standing.
Keen quickly pulled out his wristwatch and scanned the area. There appeared to be no source.
“Wheres the mummy and fat pig? I would prefer th—”
A mummy came out of apparently nowhere and Norp took out some toilet paper and began whipping it.
“Not good.” Keen said, as a fat pig suddenly materialized within his path.
“No duh.” Said Norp. The scene was beginning to get less ridiculous, however, as the mummy was beginning to gain ground. Keen shot it with his neutral stunner, only to no avail.
“Well, aaa the answer is so simple if only I don’t panic. Uh, this place makes your nightmares come true.”
“Find the dimension for nightmares and block the paradox then!” The mummy was really about to break through.
“You find it, I got no idea here!”
“Okay, get calm, and lets just think that theres nothing here”, Norp said calmly.
“THERES NOTHING HERE NOTHING HERE NOTHING HERE….”
But the problem is, EVERYTHING disappeared.
“No shet”, Norp said. “NO NMEZ BUT The PYRAMID NO aaah back to normal.”
“Well…nothing to deal with”, Keen replied. They went on and saw a good three doors, each of which, apparently, led to eight other ones.
“Geeze”, Keen said ten seconds later. “Sensors can’t penetrate this rock.”
Norp thought there was something ironic about this place…nah…but…wait. OF COURSE!
“Yo Keen, we’ve always known about the thing with being in a maze that gives you whatever you want…”
“Yeah, the computer annoyingly categorized it when it came out on TV shows…wait! That’s it!”
They hurridly ran back to the center of the pyramid.
“We want the origional book “Origin of Curses”!”
They didn’t get the book. What they did get, however, were the red letters “Error 1: Not allowed object requested.”
“Well…a teleporter to take us to it? Fine then, a map and guide of which spells we’ll have to face, and how to get through them with the stuff we have.”
This time those two materialized in front of them.
“Oman…well it says that none of those doors lead us to anywhere important, but that there is a secret enterance in the back of the pyramid….”
An hour later they were near the top of the pyramid.
“Some secret enterance this is.”, Norp said. In fact, I’d check the map again…”
“This place isn’t in our map!!”
However, they had smartly dropped some teleport beacons at the enterance, and warped back to them.
“Well…so what should we do now? We’ve checked and double-checked with our sensors. There simply is no other doorway…no—”
They were staring at the drink dispenser. They turned and looked at each other.
“Its worth a try”, Keen shrugged.
“The count of three”, as Keen set his gun to “vaporize”. “One…Two…”
BOOM!!! Norp’s eye-light and Keen’s gun exploded the door. There was a sudden moaning and groning, however.
Keen quickly pulled his gun up, to face the torturing and painfully loud animal if necessary.
“Geeze”, the voice said. “I’ve been asleep for 29,999 years and you really had to do that, didn’t you. Theres a freaking button right there that opens this door.”
“Uh, sorry”, Keen said.
The creature came out. He looked like a large (but not too unrealistic) domestic dog.
“SORRY!!! SORRY!!! Why I think I’m gonna keel—”
“Why hello there”, he said, suddenly noticing and eyeing the Yorp. “Eh, forgive my sudden anger back there.”
“Well, erm”, Keen said, trying to break the silence. “Might you know where the book Origin of Curses is? We’ve been tipped that its hidden somewhere in this place…and—”
“Why, that I do! It’s just deeper into this chamber! Follow me!”
They didn’t have much to follow, however. After about thirty yards (in a passageway that felt like it was tilting down) they came into a large room.
And the original Origin of Curses was in the middle of it.
End of Visit
“We thank you very much.” Keen said. “Now the last thing we ask of you…might you know where this key is that they say is necessary to safely get back onto the surface with?”
“Well…its right there”. The creature pointed at the Origin of Curses.
“Well then, we must take it, and our leave.”
But the giant dog blocked his way. “You may not.”
“Wwwhat?” The alien grabbed Keens gun and threw it across the room. Meanwhile, in a electrical signboard on the ceiling, the number “32” came, and counted down.
The surprised Norp, who just came in, tried to zap the creature, but, though the creature hollered and cried out, he did not kill him. Zap, zap again!
“ARRRGGG NONONO” suddenly he dropped the human.
The sign now said “10”. A second later it said “9”
Keen rushed for the book. The creature tried to catch him again, but was flashed by Norp’s eye and fell. In desperation, he reached for his belt and pressed a button.
A shield of red light surrounded the pillar the book Origin of Curses lay on.
“Oh no…” Keen said.
“3…2….1” the sign read.
And, in a flash of blue light, the original copy of the Origin of Curses disappeared.
The creature sat up again.
“WHY!!! WHY!!! WHYYY!!!!!!”, Keen suddenly shouted. It wasn’t like him to be this mad.
“Sigh. I knew you guys weren’t from the makers of this temple because you didn’t immobalize or kill me in the first place. I was to be the last line of defense against thieves…and I have accomplished my purpose.”
“What? What purpose.”
The dog suddenly looked very surprised, despite that no one on Earth can see how a dog feels. “What? Don’t you know? If an object or person is put into the pyramid of the Unforgivable for 30,000 years at one of the appropreate chambers, he/she/it is automatically transported to the secure Pyramid of the Invisible, which no one has found and no one shall ever find. In that pyramid, they shall forever lay, safely, undisturbed, unless the creators of it think it necessary to disturb them.”
“Aaah. Where is this pyramid?”
“Bah, I can’t tell you, but then…what the hell. I don’t care anymore, I’ve accomplished my purpose. Well, no one cept the creators really knows exactly where, but it lies in the land of the great Oracle, all powerful knower of knowledge.”
Keen frowned, not having heard the phrase “knower” in appropreate language before, but oh well. “Gostenicus IV?”
[Editor’s Note, the file for Keen 4 is lost, so I can’t look up the spelling]
“The same, yes.”
“And um, it says there is a key somewhere…”
“Should be any minute now”, the alien said. He pressed his belt again to deactivate the red shield, and sure enough, within a few seconds a weird looking key appeared on the pillar.
“Where do we put it?”
“Oooh, you just put it inside the middle of the first chamber of the main enterance of the pyramid, where the dreams materialize, you know.”
“And…by the way, is this chamber really 30,000 years old?”
“You’ve forgotten a basic thing about space travel. Each planet has a different time for years, and from your saying I presume you come from a place where years are a lot longer than ours.”
“Well then,” Keen said, taking the key, “We thank you for the help and screwing our mission you’ve provided. Hopefully we’ll never have to come back here.”
After placing the key in the room, they walked back to the chamber and saw that the ground was stable again. They walked out without further interruptions.
“Hello”, Keen said.
“Aaa,” the witch doctor replied. “So the prophecy that the book will get into the Pyramid of the Invisible is indeed true. Well, son…heh heh heh.”
“Erm, I’d just like to wish you good luck, and thank you for helping us before we leave.”
“Aha! But the problem is”, she said in a wicked voice. “We shall never SEE you leave huh?”
“Oooh crap”, Keen muttered. He started to back off toward the doorway.
“Stupefy!” The spell hit Keen and stunned him in place. But after five seconds he found he could move his mouth and hands a little.
“You see, now that the immediate tragety is over, I can once again rise up with the sprit of danger…and cook you.”
“Teh uhniversel stuneing speel huh. Weel Teak Thes!” He reached for his neutral stunner, now set on maximum stun, and shot her.
“F00zer, I is gonna cook u!” She struggled to reach for the wand in her pocket but failed to move an inch. The Stupefying spell was also wearing out.
“Keen, what’s taking you so long?”, said a new voice, as Norp walked in.
“SHEZ TRING 2 CEEK ME!!”
Suddenly, the witch got ahold with herself, and the wand flew into her hand. “POTTY!”, she said, pointing at Keen.
Norp quickly kicked Keen out of the way as a giant cooking pot fell onto the place where he was stunned.
“Now the powers of the Yorp shall lay devistation upon you.”, Norp said wickedly.
Suddenly the witch-doctor seemed to understand, even though she must have no idea what it was.
“No! Plz Dunt! No!!! NOOO!!!!”
“Oh hell, I was just gonna stun you again.”
She was still saying “NOOOOOO!!! PLEASEEE!!! NOOOOOO!!!! ARRRRRGGG!!! ARRGG!” Then to the horror of her visitors, she collapsed, grasping in pain.
The un-stupefied Keen looked at Norp mystically. Norp looked in horror at the witch-doctor. And she gasped her final breath and lay on the ground, ded.
There was silence for a long time, until Norp finally said: “we better go.”
An unusually long time had passed between the end of chapter six and the beginning of this chapter, in the case of the others in this story anyway. Percisely three days, eight hours, twenty-four minutes, and 33 seconds, and in that time a lot had happened. Keen had went to the Ghostinicus elders, only to find that the oracle knew nothing, not even why the witch-doctor had acted so strangely. Some physical and phychological tests upon the Yorp also found that he also knew nothing of how it possibly could have happened. Now they were landing in the Shadowlands once again, since most of the mysterious stuff occurred here. But they landed in a particular place this time.
The Pyramid of the Forbidden.
“Why would you want to land here, of all places?”, Norp wondered.
“The Shikadis didn’t make this place hard. The builders did, even before the Shikadi imprisoned the poor janitor here.” He growed in anger at the disappointment once again but stopped himself.
“They had to have something important hidden here.”, Keen continued.
Keen then shuddered, remembering the last time he had gone through this pyramid. It was a bunch of painful, deadly close encounters, where absolutely anything could lurk, and he had barely made it out alive…that is, on one of his last lives.
But this time should be easier. New technologies, new confidence, plus the Yorp. Also the fact that he had killed most the enemies last time…they better not have reproduced too fast…
He entered for the first time in what seemed like 11 years.
The first staircase was empty, he should have expected that. There was no way for the creatures to get back on it now that he had undid the Shikadis’ work. The faces in the wall with the blowpipes, shooting out poisonous darts (which his shield was ready to block), also had their supply of darts emptied by constant shooting since he last came here.
The pyramid, it seemed, had gone to detoriation.
There were also very few enemies, they, apparently, were all in isolated positions and unable to reproduce (how stupid of me!, Keen thought), and the only ones he didn’t have to face were those he did not kill last time…in fact only a fraction of those, as many had died simply of old age or accidents.
And, of course, nothing at the end.
“Geeze”, Norp said finally, while they were eating a snack they packed. “Of course, this is relatively easy, but no rewards takes away the point of it.”
“Its gotta be hidden somewhere”, he said. He planted a beacon inside the exit, also with sensors, a recording device, and videotapes. Then, he thought out loud:
“Under the tar?”
“Bah, we can’t go there without ch33ting.”
“Yeah we could, Tar’s not too bad against my shield, but it would put my technology at its limit…I could be even worse off than last time if there’s any NMEs.”
“Still”, he continued. “I Have to do it.”
“Where might it be?”, Norp inquired again. “Lotsa tar here.”
“The second part of this level. The tar goes off the map, but something’s under it. Unfortunately my shield can’t hold you too, you’ll have to wait outside.”
“No way! What if you died!”
Keen sighed. “Ever since the end of ID’s production, we’ve both apparently gone to detoriation. I’ve had six episodes where I would have easily died…and have died sigh. I’ll put my beacon at the ship, so I’ll spawn there, don’t worry.”
They entered the door that would take them to the top chamber of the pyramid, and found the opening that the foot made last time. They exited the pyramid through there and made their way to the BwB Megarocket.
Keen, in his wetsuit, entered the tar of the second part of the Pyramid of the Forbidden. More unexplored territory, he thought. His shield was at nearly 0% efficientcy, now that it also had to filter out the tar. He’d simply better not run into any eNeMiEs. Also, his gun had to be locked and sealed. Normally he could use the waterproof version, but it wasn’t tarproof.
One of the reasons tar was deadly, even with shielding, was that you moved so slowly in it. It would take forever to get out of a deep pool, but Keen had a powerful motor sticking out that easily propelled him through it.
He scanned the area and, sure enough, the bottom was barely fifty feet away.
Norp was almost enjoying the calm and clemour outside the Pyramid. It was partly cloudly…in fact, pretty pleasant. Relaxing, it was refreshing to relax. The trees surrounding the area were okay. There were squaks from a kind of small bird, and it only lightened up his mood. It reminded him of the very best day in Billy’s place, pleasant, making you want to just rest.
He did not know that barely 200 meters away in the forest was a group of creatures waiting to ambush him.
Meanwhile Keen scan registered a plaque with several words on it. He was definitely almost finished. They read in Standard Galactic Alphabet:
“The Pyramid of the Invisble is one in which no evil may venture. Nevertheless, there is a weakness, and it lies in the houses of the forest. Anyone who has read this shall be turned into stone as soon as his/her eyes come off the plaque.”
“Man, oh well, this spell is EZ$$”, he said, taking out a dimension shield gadget without looking away and placing it on the plaque and activating it.
He activated his engine and whirred up, ready to exit the Pyramid of the Forbidden.
And suddenly the plaque exploded, and stone engulfed him.
He shreaked a little, then calmly reached for another dimension shield, only to find it stoned. Now he panicked, his shield generator might also turn into stone, but suddenly it stopped, and he looked up. He was still alive, but his engine was a big mass of stone.
“NO SHET!!!”, he said again and again and again. “Perfect, how am I gonna get out of here, and why did that thing explode anyway.”
A sudden roar interrupted the peacefulness of the landing site, and Norp looked up from his sunbathing view. Six large horselike animals (except that they were standing on their hind legs, they look balanced though) came out from the foliage and rushed toward him. Norp used his powers at one of them and it lay on the ground in spasms. The others were still rushing.
“Keen!”, he shouted into his radio. “You need to get here QUICK!” He zapped another one.
At the same time Keen had gripped his radio and said “Help! I’m stuck here, my engine’s out!”
Another creature was zapped, but they were barely twenty meters away now. “How about die!”
“Die!!! You kidding me!”
“Dude, you have to get here NOW!!!” Zap!
And the final two creatures gripped Norp and pinned him to the ground, his eye pointed away.
“ARRG GAG!” Such sounds came through the radio to Keen.
“Oh well…its all I can do”, he said. He shut his eyes to await the pain he knew would come and then, in a quick motion, deactivated his shield.
And he quickly opened them.
“WHO the hell R U?!?!”, he shouted at the two horselike creatures pinning his pet down.
“Restrain him!”, one said to the other. But Keen pulled out his gun and shot the one coming at him. The creature staggered a little, but did not get stunned. He shot him again, and again. The creature was now moving VERY slowly. And he shot him one more time and he dropped dead.
“NOW YOU LET GO!!!”, he shouted at the other one.
“Oh really?”, then he picked up Norp in a deathgrip. “Unless you want your friend to live, you better give me that gun!” But in picking him up, he allowed Norp to face his eye at him, and he zapped him.
“ARRGG!!! EVEL BIENG!!!” Keen followed with a shot at stun-for-a-month, and the creature dropped.
Norp picked himself up and dusted himself. “Geeze, who are these animals?”
“Well, lets find out.”, Keen said. He stunned all of the fallen creatures except one, who he went to and shook to wake.
“Where are you from, and what do you want!”, he shouted at the creature.
“Evil beings, trying to l00t the Pyramid of the Invisible for its secrets.”
“I need to prevent it from getting into Mortimer’s hands.”, Keen said.
“Noooo you think…you wanna use it to take over the universe! But you will never…never…NEVA!!!” Keen quickly walked back. The creature tried to attack but Keen had already stunned him, and he fell face down into the ground.
The creature was still shouting, apparently in his sleep (since he’d be stupid to say that purposefully) “YOU WILL NEVER CROSS THE DESERT, NEVER ACCOMPLISH YOUR EVIL NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER!!!”
“A forest on the other side of the desert, huh? Well, looks like its time to move on.”
A few minutes later, the BwB Megarocket launched into the air.
Into the Desert
The BwB Megarocket landed in the middle of the triangle formed by the fluctuating Miragia, and impervious San Yego, and the refreshening Lifewater Oasis. Keen and Norp stepped out.
“Welcome”, Keen said in sarcasm, “To the Great Gostinicus Desert, only a little of which is shown here. Well now we must begin our journey across it.”
Unexpectidly, Norp exploded.
“R U ST00PID OR SOMETHIN!?!?!?!??!? WE CROSS THE DESERT BY SHIP, WHO SAID WE HAD TO GO FOOT ON FOOT!!!!”
“Bah, that creature knew we had a ship. He knew we’d be able to cross it easily with it, and yet he thought we could not make it. We have to do it by foot, replenishing our supplies at the few oasises that lie between us and our destination.”
They began on their journey, Norp in a semi-bad mood.
After crossing a mile, they began to encounter several desert creatures: an arachnid, some poison slugs, and a few others they didn’t recognize. A few hours passed, according to their GPS they’d crossed 11 miles and it was nighttime. “Aaaah, time for dinner”, unpacking their possessions for some food.
“Our maps says this desert extends several hundred miles”, Norp said. “We’ll never make it in time.”
“Sensors indicate there’s a cave half a mile west of us”, Keen interrupted.
The next morning Keen saw why lighting a fire was a good idea; there were about thirty arachnids grappled deeper in the cave, and they would have killed him or Norp while they were sleeping. Keen activated a forever-torch (which lasts a long-long-time) and put up a sign saying “Beware! Arachnid Colony Inside!”
That afternoon sensors suddenly detected something strange.
“Yo!”, Keen said. “There’s a magical gateway as large as a man a mile ahead of us!”
“Let me see that…aah you’re getting a little too desprate with magic, that’s a hyperspacial passageway, where some of the universe has gone worn down and leads to a place far away…or in this case to another probability. We’ll check it out.”
A few minutes later they were at the passageway. It appeared to be a square no matter which way you faced it, and very little could be done to explain that. The air coming from it was a bit more moist, though the sunlight was the same. They shrugged, dropped a teleport beacon (guarrenteed to work even through probability) and went in.
In the direction they came from, there was indeed, a forest, which explained why the air was so moist. They walked into it. The first shade in days, they relaxed a little bit.
They went a few hundred meters into the forest, and then a saw a weird sight. In a clearing, twenty or so glass houses, disappearing and reappearing like Miragia, except very slowly. Just ten seconds after they came the houses disappeared.
“Hurrumpth. The houses of the forest. We’ll go in next time they appear.”
Apparently the pulses of appearances were very different, as they did not appear for quite some time, and just when they were about to give up hope (or at least go rest in the shade) the houses began to appear again.
They went in one of them.
There was nothing enlightening inside: a few chairs and a table, all of them semi-transparent, though quite hard, not like glass. After searching for any clues and finding none they sat at the table again.
“This place seems to have been deserted for…years”, Keen said.
“Not suprising. Origin of Curses is 2000 years old, the Pyramids are probably way older, and this house is at least as old as that plaque.”
“It seems weird, though, to have an ancient civilization build all these and then…desert them. I wonder where they all gone.”
And still they didn’t see anything of interest.
“No clues…nothing.”, Norp said.
“Patiance, my friend. We wait for the next transistion, and that’s only a starting point. We’ll have to have powerful recording devices, to search for absolutely anythi—”
“What?”, Norp said.
Keen thought for a few more seconds, then replied “Have you ever thought of what it’s like to be invisible? I mean, according to the theory, if light passes all the way through you, you’d couldn’t see anything; you would be blind.”
“I’d have to think about…wait, you have something there?”
“Yeah…there is one theory, that light strikes an invisible person at one angle…and that since they would be seen only in two dimensions they probability of seeing them would be basically non-existent”
And as the building disappeared and its probability reached zero, a large stone pyramid appeared in the jungle, as inconspicuously as any stone tree.
The Origin of Curses
Keen and Norp entered the invisible pyramid, having pinpointed its location on the grid. As they passed through a certain, unknown point, walls flashed around them and the pyramid itself appeared.
“We’re finally almost there, after many days of searching.”
“Days? I got no idea what your parents will say…”
As they turned the door and entered another room, the place became more furnished; a golden hall. Sensors detected no spells or traps. Every door they came into revealed more treasures.
“Man, I thought this place would have the most resistance”, Keen said.
“Wait no! I detect a teleport signature in the room ahead of us.”
They waited. There was no sound.
“Arm yourself, but don’t shoot yet.”
They pushed open the next door and found, on a similar pillar as in the Pyramid of the Unforgivable, the book itself.
“None, none, this place is absolutely safe. Well…if your sensors can be relied on anyway. They probably have some powerful spells, nothing to mess with.”
“So…do your instints tell you anything?”
“Only that we should reward ourselves.”
“Good call.” He advanced onto the pillar.
“WAIT!!!” A new voice suddenly interviened.
“Hu R U?” Keen said at an humanoid figure with extended arms. He looked like a smaller version of the horses who attacked them earlier.
“I am the keeper of this place…and the hell of it. Haven’t seen another person for more than ten million years. I trust that you are not a l00ter, and that you have a good cause, of course, or else they would not have told you where this place is.”
“They di—”, Norp started.
“Shut up! Well anyway, we need to know what evil secrets are in the Origin of Curses.”
“The new book? Its there cause it needs to get prepared for its movement to the storage facility. Well, you take priority I suppose. Here it is!” He took the book on the pillar and handed it to him.
Keen quickly skimmed through the book.
“Bah, according to my estimates of your speed, you’ll take an hour to get a not-so-good idea of what its about.”
“Can you help us then?”, Norp asked.
“Bah, I’d thought you would be able to make something out of it. I sure haven’t.”
“What? You mean you’ve read it…and can’t find any evil secrets?”
“No. It’s a very queer book, mostly contains, like, a diary of his research.”
“Hurrumpth. Can you at least summerize it?”
“Well I suppose. Not much in there is important, and I guess I can put the important parts in short. First part is pretty technical. Here goes:
“The Origin of Curses comes from, not paradox between dimensions, as many have hinted, but paradox between universes. It all started when the first black hole, or wormhole, nobody knows, got connected between two universes interacted with each other and produced very powerful waves in the basic fabrics of those universes, and created uncertainty in the universe itself, based on the differences between those which they are connected with. That way, different things do not have to be caused, but already exist. The effect of other dimensions are created by this. They also exist, but at no time are two things occurring at once, and canceling each other out.
“That is, before magic was invented and controlled. Wands…simple spells…hardly effective. The cause of the power of paradox is life itself. All forms of life have the ability to channel energy from certain dimensions to one lower to it, depending on the maximum dimension it occupies. Wands are powered by great life forms living inside or on it, or by powerful cores of what used to be part of a magical life form, but powered by paradox and therefore still effective. Only certain ones are paradoxed by paradox, however. (Aha! Keen thought)
“But twelve million years ago a great incident occurred. Multiple radio waves were sent from space to a star system called “Terra”. The signals were headed toward the third planet, but some scattered toward the fourth…and that is when magic started…in this universe anyway. Apparently, it was later discovered that that race was one of those who controlled magic and therefore the universe…and those radio waves were sent to control all intelligent beings…
“It started paradox in a single universe, not interacting universes, or even interacting dimensions, but A SINGLE ONE. You think that’s not so bad? Think again, even the time paradox involves sending people through time to have the same location in space, no one’s ever seen a paradox involving only one dimension…until this came. Magic could be looked by them as a single dimension, now. The effects spread through all time…all probability…all of all dimension…until it entered hyperspace and spread through all the universes. THAT is the origin of curses, the one who tried to control Terra III, but ended up causing magic. According to the best research, there was only one clue left behind, and it said “MM”…
“Now the final manifestation of this species is one of one eye…unlike their fellow brothers, who have two. It is said that the other eye looks into the higher dimension…this is a sketch of the species we are talking about.” He opened the book, took a few seconds to find the right page, then came up with a fairly accurate picture of a Yorp.
“Wait a minute! You mean the guy I have with me!?!?”
The guy looked, and looked back.
“Oh my god”, he said.
“If he is, then he specifies an extremely large portion of the entire power of the universe!”
“Really?”, Norp said. “How might that be?”
“Well, the species that starts the origin of curses also controls it, even up to now. They, or you anyway, have the power of controlling the paradox inside the universe, it dosen’t say what portion, but very large.”
“Whoever controls the Yorp can control the universe.”
Silence came before them.
“That is but a half of the book. The other half talks about years of research, with no result that I can see. It would do good to scan it for further reference before I put this book into storage.”
“Already done”, Norp said, picking up his scanner.
“We should go then”, Keen finally replied.
The Second Half
“Well”, Keen said. “Powers of the universe, sheesh. Didn’t know your powers were a result of that.”
“It had to be something”, Norp said smugly. “Besides, it explains why I was able to kill that witch-doctor, without even trying.”
“Did you want to kill her, though?” The wind seemed to be getting stronger as they left the forest.
“Well…”, Norp said in a weak voice.
And in another weak voice.
And another weak voice.
Until finally, at last, all was gone.
Keen woke up. In front of him was the hyperspacial gateway. He barely remembered what happened, just that everything was going dark…and Norp. Where was Norp?
“SPPPPOOOT!!!! WHER R U!?!?!?!?”
The winds were getting even harder as he spoke. He checked his wristwatch. Of course, something must have happened as he blanked out, must’ve hit his teleport beacon button. He was back out again…
It was getting real chilly, even in this desert. Keen suspected a sandstorm, but there was little sand in the air, only hard, cold, wind. What could have happened that took Spot away, what could have that much power?
The wind got harder now, and he seemed to have to struggle to stay anchored to the sand…until…
….He was deposited onto the sand. Looking up, he saw several arachnids circling curiously around him. He started in a weak voice:
“Wwwhat? Whhat happened to me?”
“We are members of the colony in the cave you put fire in”, one said. He seemed to recall the feeling now, of being carried by an arachnid, gently.
He stood up. Back in the cave again.
“I do not understand.”, Keen said again.
“Luckily, we were able to set the fire out.”, the spiderlike creature continued.
“You see, we are a more civilized species, not like those you saw in the shadowlands. We do not kill for pleasure, which our brothers do, since they cannot digest a creature such as you. That is why we did not do anything when you slept in our cave, you see. We can control fire; we aren’t afraid of a little torch.”
“Erm”, Keen quickly thought of what to do, then bowed his head a little, “I have to apologize to you then.”
“Unnecessary, but accepted anyway. Many of us who live in caves have a more advanced culture than those who live in the tombs the aliens built. One of us saved you, the wind was getting very high today, and a mysterious electromagnetic field that could make a creature as large as you collapse.”
“Electromagnetic?”, Keen asked.
“We don’t know where its coming from, and we sense it. You should be pretty much shielded in this cave, though. The walls and floor have mysteriously high concentrations of Sylacintonium in it, which can block many radiations.
“Do you know what is happening here, then?”
“Yes. I’m afraid the giant being has awoken again.”
Keen got shuddered.
“For the first time in 2000 years.”
Keen paced himself before asking the obvious question.
There was a sudden, almost deadly, silence.
“Zarkin,” the spider said, almost angrily. “Ya Dunt Know Who the Being is????, emphasizing the first letter of each word.
“Geeze. I thought everyone who had read the original Origin of Curses would understand.” The arachnid continued.
“You’ve read the original?”
“No. Us spiders haven’t been allowed, just cause we’re arachnids, and not their species. No, we had to find out all this by ourselves. Which isn’t hard, since we can sense thought patterns, and the highest of our species can sense it for many light years at a time.
“We shall share with you the thought patterns sent to your Yorp at the time of his disappearence.
It was not a pretty thought. Not compassionate, not desperate, in fact, not really thoughtful at all. But time have it, it was most likely a thought. It was also a thought created by a being far, far away in a place unknown to everyone else except the thinker. The particular thought did not seem to play a role in the scheme of the universe, but it would eventually become an idea, then a symbol, then an emotion, then finally back to a thought when someone actually thought about it and realized the power of it, the force, the power. The time between thought and thought was about 1.21 seconds, and indeed, the amount of power in the entire scheme of things was miscalculated, over or under nobody knows, and nobody will ever know. But it is because of that miscalculation that events that would shock the galaxy would occur, not to understand that miscalculation, but to see how miscalculated it actually was in the whole of life, the law of conservation of energy, and the last paradox. The trouble with it was about to end as a spaceship blasted its way out of improbability and into the Earth’s atmosphere.
A sudden cry in the clubhouse (2 member and not recruiting, sorry) woke Billy out of dreamful sleep. A sudden crush in probability made him want to go out (a crush of a factor of 0.000000000000000000002, of course), and an open doorway finally convinced him to do so. “Crap, my parents”, he muttered, as he walked down the stairs and out the doorway.
He found Spot, his pet Yorp, hunched on the table of his clubhouse. “Spot, what are you doing here”?, he inquired.
“Shhhh, the propechy of the taking over of the universe is about to be fulfilled!”
“STFU (shut the f**k up, for those who aren’t good with language from certain multi-player games). The universe is about to be taken over, as the rainbow coloued lord rises from his, uh, disintegrated ashes.”
“Erm, are you serious? This is a serious matter here!”
Spot blinked, suddenly, and blinked again. “Hmm what was I saying?”
Billy blinked too, and said “You blinked. You also said something about a rainbow colored lord rising from rising ashes.”
“I did? How st00pid of me. Its about as probable as saying that a spaceship is gonna land in this backyard right now.”
Suddenly there was a bright light and a loud sound, as well as a high pitched whirr as a 30 meter ship released its claws and gripped the Earth of the grass of Commander Keen’s house.
“Aaaaa”, the newcomer [alien] said. “So, what were you guys talking bout just now”?
“Erm, nothing”, Billy replied. “Just…well, do you know who the rainbow colored lord is?”
“Got no clue”, the alien lied.
“Yeah whatever, I suck at lying, even a person who’s reading what I’m saying would know, for some reason. Well anyway, the rainbow colored lord is just a lord that’s rainbow colored.”
Keen said “…”
“Aaa well I guess that really helped you I guess.”
“Hmmm leme guess, memory loss?”
“Aaaa just learning the language, I’m a little n00bish in yours, how about trying to learn mine?”
“Nah, no tanks”, Billy replied. “You win…anyway, erm, what brings you to this side of the universe?”
“Theres a problem in the other side of the galaxy.”
“Yees…”, Billy prompted.
“Apparently, the inhabitants of the planet Seekil have gotten angry with the planet Deskel, and the guys on Seekil, who have really strong magical powers, put a curse on the universe of the coming of the great multi-colored suit.”
“So what seems to be the problem?”
“You see, the great multi-colored suit is a powerful substance with some great powers. If the heir of the Yellow Lord, who almost took control of the universe two-billion years ago, wears it, he will gain infinite power, and the universe will be screwed.”
“Hmmm. So you want me to come with you?”
“Yeah, the Korath Galaxy Police, the Intergalactic Arms of Justice, the Department of Galactic Safety, and all the other police forces aren’t superstitious. We gotta take this into our own hands.”
“You don’t suppose…”
“Yep, pack your stuff!”
“…that I have any reason to believe you?”
“Goodie, I’ll have my BwB Megarocket ready in 10 minutes.” But then suddenly a voice came from the house.
“BBBEEEEEEEEIIIIIIILLLLLLLLIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!! WTF IS THAT NOISE!!!!!”
“Oooooo crap.” Billy’s mom’s head poked outside the window
“HIDE!”, the alien said. He quickly grabbed Billy and Spot and shoved them into the ship. “Computer, takeoff, NOW!” The ship quickly took off into the sky.
“So”, Keen said. “What is THAT all about?”
“That is the thought message sent from the rainbow colored lord to your pet, just before his disappearence.”
“And…do you know HOW he disappeared?”
“Yes. That thought pattern caused your Yorp to believe that he was going into space, flying to a certain place. And that he did.”
“Erm…” Very shocked and surprised. “Are you saying….”
“Yes. Without a ship, of course.”
Slight panic. “Where is Spot?”, Keen asked.
“We cannot be sure where he is, and yet there is only one place that could be half important…”
And Keen knew.
Where the radio waves had gone. Terra IV. Mars.
Eating some soup from his sack, Commander Keen reflected on his short-lived adventures, and what was to come up next. “Do you know what happened in the last half of the Origin of Curses?”, Keen asked the head arachnid. “The guy guarding the invisible pyramid said he couldn’t understand that thing.”
“The latter part of the book is where ease falls apart, and yet it is where all things connect. It talks of years of research, each with its own accomplished goal, and yet, baring no signifigance until put together. Inside each race, you see, is a great one, who controls all, interacting, and conquering other races. This is barely manifested, and can only exist as a manifestation, the great one is the one the entire race turns to for support, to help them. But in reality it is their own self which conquers and understands, nothing given to a person can really give them power until mastered.”
“I’m getting there. But you see, a race that can control and create paradox as one universe, one that is that strong, will manefest the great one that they call to, they will create him, and he, their own device, will control them.”
“I have to battle their god?”
“No. The rainbow colored lord, he has many eyes to see with, and many teeth to feel with. You must be careful.”
Keen sucked in the last of his soup with anticipation.
The spiders were quiet, then, finally, as if they had broken a strict moral code, spoke out. “We have taken and enhanced your ship, and it is here within our cave.”
He looked backward, deeper into the chamber. Inside was his Megarocket, moving slowly, and steering out into the brightness of day. He looked at the arachnid colony members, tried to imagine the hidden faces that they conceiled, the ones that helped him, and would continue to guide him.
“Go! Go and destroy the rainbow colored lord if possible! Go, before it is too late! Go!!”
In the second-last stop of this story, Keen’s BwB Megarocket came out from the sky and landed. The atmosphere of carbon dioxide supported his shield (though he would need to use some oxygen rebreathers, which created ox from certain amounts of carbon dioxide to form the normal environment) and heated it a little as he walked from the traditional landing site to a small Martian colony.
The Gargs, apparently, were friendly, though scowing a lot, now, unless someone picked a fight with them. The old monarchy that existed before the landing of the Viking probes now was replaced by a democracy, but that’s not the most important thing right now.
The cities seemed to have grown, though. Each of what used to be only one level was a bunch of buildings, including a bar, hotel, bank, etc. Even the mountainous center of the planet was beginning to get terraformed and mines were beginning to get set up there. Growth had plagued this planet, quite opposite of the Pyramid of the Forbidden.
But the entire planet seemed to be in disarray. Not the machinery, they were impervious to such matters, but the Martians. Yorps and Gargs walked past each other in silence, and fear.
“What drinks ya have?”, Keen asked the Garg bartender.
“We’ve got Pacarona, Destrovia, Uterifie Beer, Vitalin, and Teresco.”
“Wasn’t that from another galaxy, say, VitaCorp?”
“Yeah, apparently they’re spreading their business to this one, they sell about anything, make some good deals. They say the Shikadis are furious, though, since they sell about ANYTHING, of course, but that’s not gonna stop em.”
Keen leaned back a little in his seat. “What about the rest of em? Never heard of them.”
The Garg looked as if he was too mad to take the trouble to explain, but he calmed down and pulled out a menu with the descriptions. “Call me when you’ve decided”, he added.
Keen looked at the menu. Vitalin was a refreshening, health regenerating drink. Uterifie and Destrovia were alcoholic beverages, Teresco was weird, basically water with some flavoring dropped into it. Of it all, only Pacarona seemed interesting to try.
“How much Paca cost?”
“Eight fricks a glass.”
“Do you take Vorts?”
The Garg was getting quite a bit angry now at having to answer so many questions. “Go to the bank to exchange!” he said loudly (though not so loud as shouting or such).
Keen dropped a beacon in the bar, then went to the bank. The exchange rate was 8.2 fricks to a vort, so he exchanged 10 vorts, 82 fricks. When the commander beaconed back he almost got crashed by a drunk Yorp, who quickly apologized and went on.
Pacarona was okay tasting, but Keen thought he’d prefer Vitalin. Anyway, he thought, shouldn’t let this glass go to waste. He leaned back while drinking and watched the Intergalactic News on the TV near the counter.
“Meanwhile”, the newsperson said, “Countless Yorps in the colony Barteya VIII have gone crazy, trashing the bar. The security force had to imprison them in force fields to prevent them from melting the iron bars. No casualties, though one security guard did almost get totally fried and he is currently in a three month recrupreation treatment.”
“Aaah”, a Garg said. “These f00lish Yorps. Slaves should never rise to our level.”
“Watch Whos talking there.”, a Yorp warned.
“Watch it, boy, or we’ll might slave YOU again.”, another Garg said.
Keen stood up. “Hey, hey. No fighting around here.”
“What are you a cop?”, said the first Garg, but they silenced down after that.
The newsperson continued. “These Yorps have cried out in horror and tried to warn everyone about something called the “rainbow colored lord”, which we have no idea what they’re talking about. No release date has yet been settled, as the Yorps are still uncontroably blasting the force fields.”
“Rainbow colored Bull”, the Garg said again.
“Dude”, the Yorp said. “The threat of the Rainbow colored lord is serious.”
“My rainbow colored @$$”, followed by several very inappropriate words.
The Garg got shot by some red light from the Yorps eye. “ARRRG”
The Garg’s friend stood up. “Why you…” He attacked the Yorp who tried to zap him but missed. Keen stood up and fired his neutral stunner at the two combaters.
But now the entire bar was being woken up. Several Yorps stood up, prepared to face up the many more Gargs.
Keen set his gun on “stun cloud”. A spread of large, thin green light came out of his gun and struck five gargs, stunning them all.
Now two gargs prepared to attack HIM. They wouldn’t be a problem, he thought, activating his shield. They rushed at him, only to be deflected by the shield. They then ran but he stunned both with the cloud.
The Yorps were zapping many of the guards with red light, and the Gargs had taken down one Yorp with a deadly tackle. Keen ran to the Yorps. “Stand back, I’ll handle this.” He said.
“Ha Ha, YOU think you can take down all of us? Boys, lets tackle him!” The Gargs rushed at him, but Keen nailed the foremost with a flower power grenade, which made the others in his group back away, fearing what this awesome new weapon was and how much proximity it could cover. He then stunned an entire other group with stun cloud, and threw a smoke bomb at the third crowd. Another stun cloud at the foremost group and there was a sound “Oh crap! Outta ammo!
“DIE LOSA!!!”, the last remaining group shouted, as they ran toward him, but of course, they couldn’t take down the shield. “ARRRRGGG U R CH33TR”, they shouted again.
And suddenly there was an interruption. A Garg ran into the enterance of the bar, looking horrified.
“GUYS Hey what are we doing here!! No time for this!! THE RAINBOW COLORED LORD HAS CLAIMED A VICTIM!! REPEAT, THE FIRST VICTIM HAS BEEN CLAIMED!!! U Better get ready for battle!”
Even the stunned (and recently woken up by the stun wearing off) Gargs were shocked.
The Imprevious Pyramid
“No, no”, Keen said. “The stun will not have any long-term effects on you guys, and the flower power was a weak weapon anyway, you won’t smell like a flower.” A crowd of Gargs were surrounding him. “Still”, he added. “I should make a walking-flower transfigurer so I could breathe all this carbon dioxide.”
The Victim was, of course, Norp, and the Martians had only found out about this recently.
In the capital city on the dark side of Mars (the capital had recently been moved from the Vorticon fortress to the isolated secret city of Mars) the President of Mars was meeting with the High Preist (a Yorp) to see what defenses should be planned.
Keen looked at the ledge where the capital rested. The secret city used to lie beyond this ledge and could only be accesed by the teleporter, but now that it had been made the capital the ledge had been made hollow, and the city was now the largest on the face of Mars (not to mention the most enclosed).
Keen entered the city and entered the public busway riding on the rails. He would travel 8 miles to the capital of Mars itself: the Senate Dome.
When he came out the high preist and the president were already there. “Why, hello!”, the president said.
The preist was rushing, though. “Keen, you must hurry. We haven’t much time before the Rainbow Colored Lord claims other victims.” So it was with that that they rushed into the briefing room, enough to hold 20 people comfortably.
“To start with, there is a secret book that we need to attain to find out about this creature. It has many secrets, though most invisble to all but an advanced preist—”
“Origin of Curses?”
“Well, how’d you guess?”
“Well…I have a computerized copy of it right here”
“No time for questions right now, read what is in it.” Keen handed him his wristwatch.
“WE’VE GOT FREAKIN TIME!!!” the priest said in a demanding voice. “I Thought we would have to take weeks…months…to get our hands on this book!”
So Keen told him the whole story of searching for this book, just to quiet him up. As he did so the priest was reading the copy, scrolling up and down. Keen wondered if he was actually reading, and finally the preist said “YES!!!”
“Please continue! It’s been very enlightening hearing you speak.”
“Well, um, that’s about all there is to it.”
“Okay then…I have read the important passages in this book. There is one that will help us:
“A deep, death color lines the halls of the chamber holding the creation. It was sealed a long time ago, hopefully not broken for a long time. The walls also have some frooty stripes on it, and those stripes are very black, lined with no toys so the creature cannot have fun, and also lined with some sacred yellow paint.”
“There is only one place that is like this”, the preist said exitedidly. “It is the Pyramid of Dye Powers, and it fits the description exactly.”
“Gee, I haven’t seen any pyramids on Mars.”
“That’s the problem. I haven’t either. In fact, I don’t know where the heck this place is supposed to be. It was just an entry in the book A Reference of Destroyed Pyramids.”
Keen walked past the city of the teleporter in the light side. He would have to go back to Earth soon, despite all this, or his parents would go crazy. His pace quickened as the thought saddened him. He would lose all that he had fought for, and he knew that that would haunt him forever, no matter if he no longer remembered what it was. It would be time to take leave of Mars, give up all for school…
And now he knew he just couldn’t do that.
His own decisions would have to be good in the following crisis, he thought, then noticed the dome in the right of him. It would be good to seek some advice from the statues inside it, he thought. They were said to be “wise teachers”.
Keen walked up the stairs leading to the statue of the dome. He touched it.
“Aaah arg! Who woke me? I was having a dream of having this dome refurnished.”
“Erm, its C—”
“Captain? Huh?”, the statue said impatiently. “Noise has been keeping me awake all daytime, no peace huh. Indeed say…the noise was constant until a few seconds before you came, then it stopped and I slept. Geeze, sleepiness must be getting to me now.”
“Well, O Teacher of Knowledge”, Keen said in a more lighthearted mood.
“Well ask God, not me. What do you want?”
“Well, my pet has gone, and—”
“You mean your pet’s the one that got the first blow of the guy in the rainbow colored suit?”
Something seemed to occur to Keen, then suddenly he realized.
“Wait a minute.” Taken by the description “guy in rainbow suit”. “You’ve seen him?”
“Course I’ve seen him. He’s making this dome unbearable here, and no one’s came to ask for wisdom now, since God knows a lot more.”
“Wait! I need your help, where did he go?”
“I dunno, man! The floor’s under me, I can’t see a thing!”
“You’ve got a transmitter?”
“Yep, the improved ZZZFZZS 10,001.”
“Call the capital now! Tell em to send troops…preists….”
A sattlite dish went up from the dome’s top.
And suddenly there was a voice, and horribly, it seemed to come from the statue itself.
“YOU MAY NEWT SEND ANY MESSAGES!!!”
“Yeeeees masta”, the statue seemed to echo in a hypnotized voice.
“SEEL DEH DOEM!!!”
“AND DO NOTHING UNTIL I SAY SO!!!”
“Yeeeeeeeeeeeeesss master shut up already master”
“AND NOW…”, the voice said in a final voice.
“Yeah, commander whatever.”
But the voice seemed to be diminishing as it spoke. After this it said a few words in tones that Keen could hardly understand. Then after a while it stopped.
The lights burned out, and the statue wasn’t glowing anymore.
Keen pulled out his wristwatch. “Hello? Hello? Anyone hear me?”, he said into the transmitter.
He was in this himself.
Keen activated his night-vision and looked at the light bulb. It seemed okay, and there was a switch on it, that read “off”.
“No crap”, he muttered, turning the switch.
Lights came into the dome again.
And a great, gaping hole opened in the ground.
He jumped in, using his pogo to absorb the shock of the fall.
And then… “Spot?!?!?!?”
“Is it really you!??!?!” But the Yorp didn’t respond.
Instead, a voice from within the wall did. “CAP, Erm, COMMANDER KEEEEEN….”
“Look at what the Yorps have done to me, after creating me. And now that a Yorp has read a part of the book Origin of Curses, I can recall his enhanced wisdom and posess his body…and escape!!! BwaHwaHwaHwaHwaHwaHwaHwa..BWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWA!!!! This is the terrible secret of the Universe. Whoever discovers the book I shall ally with, but you are too flimsy, Billy Blaze, and don’t think I don’t know your name now. You are not evil, not powerful enough to realize the truth of the universe…control. Otherwise I would share with you the grand, glamour of controlling the universe, maybe I shall find some allies later on. But, as you are…I shall kill you.
“Now, you will face the ultimate powers of your own pet Yorp, though you would never have admitted that he is stronger than you, he shall cause you death. Good bye, Commander Keen..”
The Yorp that was Spot/Norp was surrounded by an aura of red light, and then he awoke. Desperate cries of “Spot! Don’t do this!” were met to no avail, and the aura lightened up, and the all-powerful eye launched out a red light that immediately destroyed Keen’s shield.
“BWAHWAHWAHWAHWAHWA! NOW J00 SHALL FEINALLY C DEAFTH!!! CYA GG SON!!!”
And Keen was faced with the awful truth that his pet Yorp was no longer his pet Yorp, but some evil creature. And that he was about to die should he do nothing.
Commander Keen, instead, reacted with years of experience. Pogoed up, avoiding the next fire of red, he shot down a maximum stun with dead accuracy. But instead of getting stunned, Norp reflected the shot with his red aura, and Keen narrowly managed to dodge it. Norp then jumped incredibly high, up to Keen’s maximum pogo height, and then fired a large number of small bouncy red shots, but Keen reactivated his shield, which was able to easily deflect these weak shots.
When Norp landed again, Keen went on foot and threw a flower power at him. Instead of turning into a flower, though, like Keen had seen much larger enemies do, Norp started to fade. At the same time, a faded figure of a flower seemed to appear inside the middle of him. Where they combined, the figure of Norp/Flower Norp looked solid.
Norp was stuck between the probabilities of becoming a flower, or staying the same. And Keen shot him, then, with his stunner again.
More probabilities seemed to elapse, suddenly. The probability of being stunned as a flower, stunned as Yorp, not being stunned as flower, etc., until the mess grew messy. Suddenly, however, a new faded figure seemed to rise and step out of it.
“Keen?”, Norp said.
“I am the probability sequence that the rainbow colored lord’s spell of mind-control does not work on.”, the figure whispered. “There has to be some way to make me dominate the rest to get me back!”
“How about paradoxing to the others?” Keen whispered back.
“It was the same probability that I occupy to succeed, so I can only convert myself, who is already converted.
Keen had to think quickly. “How about—”
The essence of thought is something very weird to deal with. Thought is nothing, as in no thing, (though it is an electric shock between nurons, or whatever, I don’t know chemistry), and yet it can be a lot. Thought, by itself can create a lot, with there is a slave (or body) to perform and show the powers of the thinking. However, if that is not so, to create a body where thought IS the body would require intense probability distortions, where the thought(s), minds, etc occupy all probability.
Or it requires a paradox.
“The same power that gave me all this…” the Norp probability sequence said. He shut his eyes and seemed to concentrate. Commander Keen could imagine his eye on the other universe: very open, struggling for something that had zero probability, and yet could be caused through the sixth dimenion….”
“Good morning, m@$$ter.” The Norp probability sequences had combined again.
“WHET!!! WHAT DID J00 CALL ME!!?!?!?”
“Not even your evil powers can defeat the essence of thought and the intelligence of Billy.” He continued.
“And now I shall get rid of you”. Norp concluded.
“Erm, you were controlling me.”
“I SHEAL NOW REVEAL MYSELF N CONQUER THE UNIVERSE!!!”
“I already know what you look like.”
“Oh do you? Wait, of COURSE you knew f00, I’m revealing to Keen here.”
Norp whispered to Keen “prepare for an ugly sight”.
The wall seemed to open and the rainbow colored lord himself came out. And indeed it WAS ugly, the creature was about 40 feet tall, like a Yorp, except with hardly a neck (to be relative to body proportions, of course, its neck is actually about 5 feet long) and many, MANY eyes. Keen shuddered, remembering the arachnids, their eyes were just like this, except much smaller, and much less humanlike.
The eyes glowed red and out launched 20 pairs of red bursts, much larger than Norp’s. Norp somehow created an aura that deflected all of them, but the bursts kept bouncing for what seemed like forever.
Keen tossed a Boobus Bomb at the giant creature just as Norp fired his own zapeye. The bomb detonated along the outer perimeter of the creature’s giant aura, and the zap penetrated a little but couldn’t go fully through.
The giant creature counter-attacked with a giant red ball that came out of his many eyes, and deonated like fire. Keen jumped himself and Norp out on his pogo, then set his gun on Full, the most powerful setting.
“Get ready to jump!”, Keen whispered to Norp.
Norp fired another burst.
Then the gun fired. It shot through the air, and when it hit the aura air itself, then a part of the aura seemed to disappear. Air circulated around the chamber very quickly, as a lot of the room was vaporized. The blast propelled Keen and Spot up to the first floor.
“You wake up the statue, and get help!”, Norp shreaked in a whisper.
Keen started running up. Norp was still battling, judging from the sounds coming from below, but he couldn’t see, and did not want to see.
He saw that the statue was lightened up again. “Well…how could I sleep with all that noise down there?” He asked as Keen ran up. But Keen said: “Hurry!!! Call the others quick!!”
“Sorry. Not allowed.”
“Well then…HELP ME FOR THE SAKE OF LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING!!!”
“Well…okay.” From a dispenser inside him, the statue took out..a magic wand.
“This is one of the wands that your friend provides the magic for”, the statue explained.
Keen didn’t even bother to say “thanks”, and the statue grumbled a little, but Keen was already halfway down.
“SPOT!! SPOT!! I got one of the wands you control!!”
“Hurry! Hurry! I’m running out of power!”
But then the Yorp named Norp collapsed.
The voice again: “NOW THAT YOUR PET IS DED, J00 SHALL BE 0WNED!!!
“No…you think…” and Keen said the only spell he ever knew. “Bracrababara!”
A sudden light struck the Yorp and seemed to revive him.
“A regeneration spell!” Keen said in sudden insight.
The Yorp was as rushy as ever. “Hurry Keen! There is one more spell to do: The Double Toil spell!
“It involves a double paradox, but…arrrgg!!” The flames were striking again, in great rage, and it didn’t seem like they would stop until there was no more Norp to regenerate. The aura seemed to be boiling. Hastily, Keen tried to remember the lines he had learned once, at a stupid school play…
“Double, double, toil and trouble.
“Fire burn and cuoldron bubble”
“Dam, that’s all I can remember. The aura IS bubbling anyway.
“Eye of newt and toe of frog
“Something, something, something bog”
“O dam, DOUBLEOX!!!!”
Then suddenly, before his eyes, a streak of shattered energy went through, right past the lord’s aura and struck him.
“OUCH!!! How could you have performed the double spell upon me?? OUCH OUCH OUCH!!!”
By now, though, Norp had also recovered. “Do it again!”, he said. But instead of striking the opponent, the spell seemed to hang in mid air, then grow larger in a ball…Norp’s eye was glowing red, and it seemed to power the ball.
The lord stood up again, but Keen fired his neutral stunner at the ball, and about 30 shots came out the other side, which all homed toward him and struck him with the same pain as the spells.
“NOOO THIS CAN’T BE!!!”, he said, watching the ball.
And Norp muttered “3…2…1…0”
Immediately the ball, which had grown to two meters in diameter, lurched and launched itself toward the Multi-Colored Lord. He tried to put a repulsing spell on it, but to no avail.
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” as the ball consumed him.
After what seemed like forever, he came out of the torrent of fire that the ball had caused.
“NOW!!!”, Norp shouted.
Keen nodded, looked over the corridor, aimed his gun, and shot it at Max setting.]
“ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGG!!!” came the creature’s final words as he got disintegrated by the blast.
But not for long. It seemed that a probability of him surviving, EXTREMELY faint, was coming out of the blast. “How are we gonna prevent him from using our same trick?”, Keen asked.
Norp didn’t answer that question. Instead, the door got broken down, then the high priest came in the room and quickly tossed a piece of jewelry into the hole. The remainding faintness of the rainbow colored lord suddenly flickered and disappeared, once and for all.
There was no distracting the high preist. “The implications of this are much more serious.” He said.
The Vorticon briefing room was filled now, with Keen, the high priest, and a bunch of high-ranking Vorticons.
The Vorticon Briefing Organizer (not a high-ranking position at all, only the guy who organized the briefings) started the meeting. “Ahem. Ever since our republic got started, we have had to fight threats of magic and magicians, not only in force, but also magical abductions, magical spies, etc. Though we had minimal information on magic, we were able to fight quite well. However, within the last few years the power of magic has been rising. According to our sources, the one called plainly the Necromancer now controls the Detromotio Galaxy with a dictatorship government composed entirely of magicians. There are many more examples, and we will simply say that magic has become an increasingly greater threat. However, according to our guests here, certain events with many implications have occurred, and we need to recognize any new threats that may emerge.
“I therefore call to the stage, the high priest of Mars!”
A little clapping, as the high priest went up.
“Ladies and gentlemen. I am proud to reveal that the mysterious original copy of the book Origin of Curses has been found by Commander Keen here, barely a few days ago, with his fellow pet Yorp, Norp. In finding and copying the book however, Norp had been subset to many dangers, plus the threat of the Rainbow Colored Lord to take over the universe, the incident you all already know about. However, we did not, until recently, take into account several things.
“First is the fact of the manisfistation and its implications. Of course, the monster itself was not created intentionally, but unconsciously, and therefore there was no preventing it. What the ancient Yorps of Mars did, therefore, was imprison it inside an underground chamber in the Pyramid of Dye Powers, which was later destroyed and the chamber had an inconspicuous dome build on top of it. However, despite the fact that it was caged behind bars, the monster was THE power behind magic. It had extremely many capabilities of relaying paradox from the magical dimension to the others, way beyond that of the other Yorps. Therefore, now that it has been destroyed, the magical community will be strictly limited in the amount of magic available to them, making it unable to grow much more, and indeed, it will probably decay until it is hardly a threat anymore.
“The second thing I would like to talk about is the jewelry I am wearing. Looking not-so-suspicious huh. Well not so! This is the very jewelry that I used to finish off the Rainbow Colored Lord. A few elements in the universe, you see, have the power to create an anti-paradox field that can block and prevent certain kinds of temporal paradox when shaped and molded in a certain way. It is much more effective than the feeble dimensional shielding technology recently invented in this galaxy. In fact, there is theoretically a very rare element, probably doesn’t exist in this universe, that can block all the spells under a certain state. The chances of finding enough quantities of this element to create an industry of anti-paradox minerals is very slim, approximately 34^8849561147584 to 1, but the more important note in this is the technology.
“Anti-paradox fields CAN be developed, in artificial force fields duplicating that of the crystals and they will have the capability of destroying the magical community, though it might be some time before they are brought to full effectiveness. And research probably will start very soon. The people of Mars will be very happy to help you with your endeavor of creating such technology, but both of the facts I present to you today have a single and same implication.
“The magical community. They will recognize the threat, and in the final gasp of a dying empire, they will retaliate. Despite the event I talk to you about today, they are still powerful, and they will try. I have no idea what will happen afterward, ladies and gentlemen, but I hope for the best.
“This crisis is barely over.
“We must still await the great war between magic and empire.
“Good luck, ladies and germs. We’ll all need it.”