THE FASTEST MAN IN THE UNIVERSE

Rumor had it that the ancients left a Stone of Sorcery in a field at Etheriaís north pole. The origin of the stone as well as the origin of the rumors were unknown. Word had kept spreading until the village nearest to the Fright Zone spread the rumor within its civilians. The village was scorched from a long history of Horde raids. This was evident especially from the presence of seven mushroom-shaped huts with charred roofs. The civilians, whom most wore draping black cloaks, have been deprived of their social status by the Horde and driven to poverty. In that group of civilians was Dragstor, a Horde spy with a human face. When he saw a man in brown robes extinguish a campfire, he heard the man say, "Stone of Sorcery." This all sounded interesting to Dragstor, who was pretending to be a villager by wandering around the village disguised in a black robe, and its hood surmounted to a few inches above his head. Dragstor headed for the man in brown robes and asked him, "What is all this gibberish about a Stone of Sorcery?"

"It is a talisman built by the ancients of Etheria. No one seems to have any clue about the stoneís purpose, but it is known to present the beholder an incredible amount of powers."

"Where is it located?" "Do you think I will reveal that to you?" "Iíll give you 95 credits." "95 creds? Gimme."

Dragstor handed the money as the man said, "It is located at the precise center of this planetís north pole."

Dragstor headed back to the Fright Zone, which was on the alternate side of the forest. The forest stretched for one-thousand yards. As he stepped on the forestís black grass, he wondered, "I donít need to inform Hordak about any of this. The entire informed population will be heading for that stone. If I retrieve it, I could be more powerful than Hordak and rule Etheria! Also, could outrun the entire planet to it by using my ability to transform into a drag racer. My duty to serve Hordak is nevermore!"

Dragstor was a man in his twenties who had a memory wipe of his entire life prior to his nineteenth birthday. Shortly after that day, Hordak abducted him from his family in order to test him for a chemical experiment. When two unknown Etherian chemicals were poured onto Dragstorís flesh, he transformed into a warrior with the capability of changing into a machine. The man-machine was then capable of driving 200 miles-per-hour. Thus, he earned the name of Dragstor and his former identity was forgotten for all eternity.

Dragstor, in his human form, transformed into his machine form, which was enshrined in blue garments with a demonic gray face. A tire was vertically halfway into the center of his chest, as if it impaled him there and never left. He flicked the ignition, which was located on the side of his red belt, and headed northward at full speed. Once he left the forest, five orange trees the height of skyscrapers completed their plunge to the forest floor, some of them destroyed the villageís huts.

Beyond the village, Dragstor sped through a desert that was completely gaunt with the exception of itís blue sand. Dragstor left a sandstorm of incredible size as he drove through. He was through the desert in no time. "Hordak must be wondering why I havenít returned to the Fright Zone half an hour ago," wondered the warrior-machine.

The black, bubble-shaped clouds of the atmosphere began to form a green tornado funnel as Dragstor headed for the hills a mile ahead. The funnel kept shortening its approach to the hills as Dragstor added more speed to his progress. The wind started to increase its sheer strength as the funnel got even closer to obstructing Drastorís path. The funnel threw trees around as if they were rocks coming out of a ride-on tractor. Dragstorís heart trembled with fear as he thought for a moment death was near. The funnel was then on the rear side of the hill as Dragstor approached the front side. The funnel touched the ground and shredded the soil covered with red grass. Going 200 miles-per-hour, Dragstor just had to attempt to drive right through the tunnel since he was not capable of steering. The hill took him sixty yards into the air and started to slow him down as he touched the menacing funnel. Dragstor exclaimed, "Damn. I canít pass through." In the center of the funnel, he did not slow down any more and passed right through it. His landing was as soft as a piece of paper landing on the ground. However, he had been slowed down considerably, but started to accelerate once more.

The hills flattened as a plain with a stretch of ninety miles came into view. Dragstor was then at full speed when a winged llama was visible in his path. Dragstor noticed the purple creature and thought, "his life is not worth slowing down for." He drove right through it, sheathing himself with crimson-colored blood and leaving remains of the llama all over the plain. The plains came to an end as the temperature plunged every mile travelled.

Dragstor was then traveling on permafrost in a region where trees were evenly spaced ten yards from each other. He once again knocked down every tree he came into contact with. His speed boosted since frozen soil, unlike sand or grass, provided the best surface for driving. Toward the end of the permafrost, a group of savage men and women were running, possibly in search of the Stone of Sorcery. They were armed with hand-carved spears, dressed in skins of winged purple llamas, and ran in crooked paths. They were not in Dragstorís path and he just kept on going.

Minutes later, Dragstor reached a region covered with snow. A mountain with an immense upward slope obstructed Dragstorís route, so he transformed back into his human form. The mountains were too steep for driving. Exhausted from nonstop driving, he collapsed for a break as he basked in the snow. Wearing only a blue turtleneck and green sweats, he glanced at the orange sky as his body temperature plummeted to life-threatening levels. He thought, "any colder, I could die." He immediately got up and headed for the mountain. The scream of the savage Etherians became audible from a distance behind, and Dragstor knew it was time to hurry. He walked at a normal pace while the savages were gaining on him. At the mountainís foothills, the opponents began to pass him by the dozens. Dragstor said to himself, "wait till I get to the pinnacle." He slowed even more as the slope of the mountain increased. The savage men and women were all then three-hundred yards in front of Dragstor as he lifted his foot and landed it painfully onto the summit. He took a ten-second break as he saw, 1000 yards away, the dazzling glow of what appeared to be the Stone of Sorcery. It was much brighter than the Etherian sun, gave a yellowish glow, and was painful for his eyes. Twenty of the total of ninety savage Etherians were in his path running for the legendary Stone of Sorcery. Dragstor dropped chestfirst onto the summit and ignited himself. All the Etherians glanced back as the whatchamacallit sped right through them all, leaving a shower of blood, bones, and more, killing the same way he killed the purple llama. He crashed head-first into a white column, which was twenty meters tall, one yard wide, and held on its top, the Sword of Sorcery. The crash halted Dragstor, but caused an excruciating pain that ran through his body. He could not endure what appeared to be a concussion and transformed into his human form. The pain was gone as the Stone of Sorcery was bumped from the column during the collision and landed directly into the palms of his hands. The stone was the size of a soccer ball and the shape of a perfect sphere, that even machines could not match.

Dragstor could feel the strengthening of each muscle in his body, and for the first time ever, the ability to fire a laser bolt from the palms of his hands.

He once again transformed into his vehicle form and noticed that his speed was three times faster and, for the first time, that he could finally steer himself. "Hordakís name will be forgotten as I will rule Etheria!"

By Michael Mace