The Vitruvian Wizard: Part Ten
Drevni let out another roar, the gigantic Globilol floating above the heart of Neopia Central. One of the creature's tendrils let off a blast of magic which impacted in the city, flattening an entire street.
"How can we fight something that powerful?" Manzazuu gasped. "And that... big?"
"We need more magic," Septimus answered. "It's a pity most of the artefacts the Museum had went up in the explosion of the Twelve Ways."
"The Gap!" Manzazuu shouted with excitement as Drevni flattened another street.
"We've been working on a method of siphoning off the energy of the Gap!" Manzazuu added. "That would surely give enough energy to defeat this Drevni creature!"
"No mortal could hold that amount of energy," Bungle dismissed the idea. "It would be instantly fatal."
"Then the Soup Faerie!" Manzazuu suggested.
"No," Septimus said. "That wouldn't work either."
"Why not?" Manzazuu asked.
"That's my thesis," Septimus explained. "Vitruvian thinking. There is a finite amount of magic anything can hold, dictated by size, weight, and magical composition. Now, Faeries are made of naturally accruing magic, so they can hold more than most Neopets, but still nowhere near enough to challenge something that size."
"So we need something that big to take it down?" Rasputin asked. "Does anything like that exist?"
"The Chasm Beast, Chiazilla, but nothing that can be mustered for our own purposes," Manzazuu considered.
"We can make something, though!" Viktor shouted excitedly as he climbed up through the broken rafters of the hospital's roof.
From up there, he had a vantage point over much of the city. He was looking to the west, towards the Old Quarter.
"I can graft bones onto my body, you've all seen that," Viktor told them. "How many bones do you think are in the Old Quarter's graveyard? Enough to make me as big as that thing?"
Septimus did some calculations in his head. "Assuming you can graft on the bones of other people, yes, you might be able to."
"I'm already dead, as well," Viktor added. "The magic of the Gap can't kill me."
"We could cast a spell to expand your morphic field over the foreign bones," Manzazuu said, catching on to the Moehog's idea. "Fool your body into thinking it just got bigger."
"It sounds like a plan," Bungle agreed.
Another rumble came as Drevni flattened part of the Docklands. Then a siren came up from nearby, and a host of multicoloured blobs flew up towards the beast.
"The Defenders of Neopia!" Viktor shouted, struggling to make out the identities of the superheroes flying around Drevni's tendrils.
"They won't be able to hurt him," Septimus pointed out.
"No, but they have given us time," Manzazuu considered. "Professor Bungle, Crossthatch, you head back to the Museum and get the siphoning device set up. Rasputin and I will take Viktor to the graveyard and get started on his transformation."
The gathered wizards nodded, setting off to their tasks.
Even with the Defenders of Neopia challenging Drevni, the beast was still able to send the odd blast down to the city. So the three members of the necromancy division dashed as quickly as they could towards the Old Quarter.
The graveyard at the district's heart had been there since the very early days of the city, and the three wizards could feel the sleeping power of the thousands of bones when they entered the grounds. Rasputin and Manzazuu wasted no time, setting about their work immediately. Strange incantations came from their lips in languages that had not been heard for generations, and the ground began to tremble.
Viktor was lifted up into the air, his newly found bones disconnecting themselves and rearranging into a new configuration as fresh bones erupted from the ground all around the graveyard. Each bone found its place in the new whole, slotting into place like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle.
More and more of the bones came, and the forming creature grew in size, towering far over the Old Quarter to equal the size of Drevni.
The creature was complete, and crashed down to ground, twitching with anticipation. It had formed a giant skeletal Sklyde, Viktor's skull hanging in the ribcage like a magical beating heart.
Drevni appeared to have noticed the new arrival, and swatting the Defenders of Neopia aside like insects, it fired a blast towards Viktor's new form.
The Sklyde was agile, darting aside and avoiding the impact, perching atop the Helm, a hill that overlooked the Old Quarter.
There was a flash from the direction of the Gap, Bungle and Septimus having finally got into position. A beam of magical energy shot out from the pool, aiming directly for Viktor's skull at the heart of the giant skeleton.
The magic spread across the skeleton's body, giving it a shimmer that reflected a new power coursing through the veins of Viktor's body.
Well, not veins, precisely. Marrow, perhaps.
The magic of the Gap drained, the giant Sklyde was released, and bounded forwards across the city towards the giant eye in the sky.
Drevni launched another blast which Viktor dodged, before rearing up and launching a blast of his own green energy. Drevni met it with his own, and the two beams clashed, raining down magical sparks on the city below.
Both beams faltered at the same time, and Drevni let out a new roar.
From the Gap, Septimus and Bungle were watching the fight.
"They are just as strong as each other!" Bungle despaired. "Viktor isn't strong enough to overcome him. We need something more. More bones, maybe?"
"Wait, he's doing something!" Septimus said, pointing up at the giant Sklyde.
Viktor was charging the skeleton's bones with his magic, a blue aura now coursing across his body.
"What's he doing?" Septimus wondered. "If he gets hit while he's that charged, the entire structure will explode!"
Bungle gave a grim smile. "I think that's the plan."
Viktor was darting forwards again, closing the gap between him and Drevni. The giant Globilol launched a fresh blast that Viktor dodged by jumping up in the air, straight towards his target. He hit the beast hard, and the skeleton frame briefly cracked with blue magic before the entire thing, skeleton and Drevni, went up in a giant turquoise explosion. The shockwave blasted across the city, forcing Septimus and Bungle back.
When the magically charged smoke cleared, the sky was empty. Viktor was gone, but so was Drevni.
There was a brief moment of silence, before Bungle began to laugh with joy, dancing in the middle of the street.
Septimus turned to see the Gap. The giant magical pool had been completely drained – now it merely looked like an area of the city where the ground had subsided. In time, he was sure the area could be rebuilt.
A low cough heralded the arrival of Judge Hog. Bungle abruptly stopped his dance.
"I take it you were to blame for that creature?" he asked sternly.
"...in a manner of speaking," Bungle admitted. "But look, the Gap has been drained, and creature destroyed! Everything is saved!"
"It wiped twelve streets off the face of Neopia Central before it went, Professor," the Judge replied. "I would hardly call that a successful night's work. I expect a full explanation in the morning."
"Of course," Bungle answered glumly, the joy of his victory evaporating.
"One of my men who was trying to fight the beast came across this," the Judge added. "I believe it belongs to you."
He produced Viktor's skull, and handed it over to Bungle before leaving. The Moehog skull was strangely silent.
"Viktor?" Bungle asked. "You don't think...?"
Suddenly the skull sprung back to life.
"Did you see that!?" he shouted. "I just destroyed the most powerful magical beast ever to live. That easily makes me the most powerful evil wizard in history!"
Bungle couldn't quite bring himself to sigh. Viktor was sure to be unbearable for the next few months, but this time he had perhaps earned it.
The two workmen waited on the pavement.
"What's going on?" the Lenny asked the Xweetok. "I thought we were meant to report to Judge Hog, boss?"
"We will," the Xweetok answered. "But first, we have to see someone else."
A carriage came to a stop in front of them, a green Grarrl on top. The door opened, and the pair got inside.
There was a suited green Krawk inside, waiting patiently.
"Is that...?" the Lenny questioned, but found a swift elbow in his size from his boss.
"Do you have a report for me?" the Krawk asked.
"Yes, Mr. Jennings, sir," the Xweetok answered. "The survey of the area is complete. The Gap has been completely drained of excess magic, as the wizards claimed. It shouldn't prove dangerous any longer, and reconstruction should be able to begin soon."
"And the catacombs?" Jennings asked.
"That's... more difficult," the Xweetok answered. "Several of the deeper tunnels, as well as the sewer system seem to be intact, but the damage done when Khan the Unstoppable broke out of the Defenders Headquarters appears to be permanent. I doubt the Art Centre can be reconstructed, and I am going to advise that the Judge make the entire Catacombs system off limits."
"Anything else?" Jennings asked.
"We did find something," the Xweetok said. "In the catacombs under where the Gap was."
He produced a glowing green crystal the size of a person's hand.
"I'm no expert, sir, but I'd say it's crystallised magic, formed when the Gap was drained," he added.
"Thank you," Jennings said, taking the stone. "Feel free to report to Judge Hog now, though please, don't mention the crystal."
The Xweetok nodded nervously as the carriage came to a stop, both he and the Lenny letting themselves out.
The green Grarrl got off the front of the carriage and came to the door.
"Sir?" he asked.
"A crystal of pure magic..." Jennings considered. "Perhaps, with this... it is time, Mr. Black. Contact our man on Mystery Island. Find the Shaman."
Black nodded, climbing back atop the carriage and setting them off through the streets of the city once more.