CHAPTER 35: "BEAUTIFUL GIANT"
Novelization of the JCB strip by Dale R. Broadhurst
In the aftermath of the transformation only two beings
understood fully all that had happened. These were Vovo, who planned and
executed the experiment and Oman who knew that the wizard's primary purpose
was to couple his successes in thought control with new advances in mind
expansion. The incredible giants that John Carter now saw in front of him
were merely physical byproducts of Vovo's desire to create and control
a multitude of super brains. The last minute inclusion of Woola in the
experimental transformation, however, was a complication the wizard could
not have anticipated and which Oman was totally unprepared to deal with.
What results would come from the expansion of the mind of a vicious brute,
only one step removed from the wilds of savage Barsoom, nobody could have
possibly predicted. John Carter, however, realized that he must assert
his previous mastery over the Martian watchdog immediately -- even before
he could take the time to comprehend what has happened to Dejah Thoris.
"Woola, come here!" the Earthman shouted at the top of
But he was like a tiny insect, seeking to attract the
attention of a huge zitidar -- Woola responded neither to his vocal commands
nor to his mental appeals.
"In their transformed state they will not hear your puny
attempts to communicate!" Vovo, the crazed wizard screamed. "You cannot
stop them, not even with the guns of the mechano-men. These giants will
crush you into dust without even recognizing you!"
The little green man again began jumping about delightedly.
His purpose in carrying out the transformation was to create a tremendous
force which only he could control, but with the loss of his transmitting
microphone no person could control the monster calot and the metamorphosed
human female. And if he could not direct their actions, it well suited
his destructive intentions that nobody could control them.
There had been few other moments in John Carter's life
when he felt so totally helpless. Nothing he might possibly do now could
help the situation in any way. His only hope was that Oman would think
of something -- anything -- that might keep the situation from growing
"Oman!" he cried out, "can you use the wizard's microphone
transmitter to control Woola before he does something terrible!"
The mechanical man shook his head slowly, in the robotic
approximation of the human gesture of frustration and sadness.
"The connections Vovo inserted for communicating with
Dejah Thoris after her transformation have all been ripped loose. It would
take time to repair them. But worse than that, Vovo designed no means of
controlling something like an expanded calot. Our only hope lies in you,
Dotar Sojat. You must find a way now to establish contact with both of
the giants. There is no other way, unless -- unless we use Eo's deadliest
forces to subdue what is otherwise uncontrollable!"
But there was no time for talking. Woola was no longer
stupefied. The giant beast began to move and as he did his eight massive
feet literally shook the ground upon which he walked. A savage fire burned
in the brute's eyes. He looked down upon the moving mechano-men with the
fierce rage of a tormented carnivore. Then he leaped upon the tiny things.
The Princess of Helium opened her eyes very slowly. Nothing
in her surroundings looked familiar in the least. Her ignorance and innocence
was that of a hatchling when the shell first begin to break. Her first
perception following the inexplicable transformation had been when her
ears picked up the sound of the great glass dome rupturing and falling
into pieces. From the debris of that implosion she now emerged -- stunned,
disoriented and intensely curious about everything around her.
As if by instinct the giantess reached for the expanded
cape and used it to brush the glistening shards of glass from her hair
and skin. Then, throwing the warm garment over her shoulders she arose
from the rubble of Vovo's final experiment. At arm's length stood the bristling
calot. Dejah Thoris knew at once what to call the creature and unsummoned,
automatic knowing surprised her. What surprised her even more was that
she felt no fear of the many-toothed monster. She intuitively understood
that the "Woola" thing would not harm her. And, in the midst of much that
was strange and confusing, her unsought familiarity with the beast's form
and function, even his name, gave the transformed Dejah Thoris her first
reliable point of reference.
The great calot was so preoccupied with the tiny figures
which now were scurrying in droves away from his tremendous claws that
he did not respond to the giantess' first words:
"Poor beast, where did you come from?"
The enlarged Martian watchdog continued his leaping and
swatting. Tens of the robots perished with his every blow and a moment
later those that were not crushed to pieces had taken refuge in whatever
nooks and crannies they could find.
Probably an entire book might be written concerning the
mental changes that accompanied Dejah Thoris' unexpected transformation.
The Princess of Helium has provided reminiscences of only a small portion
of her mind-altering experience, but from what she and others have recorded,
it is evident that the gradual increase in her awareness and comprehension
was something really quite wonderful. However, this great extension of
her thought processes came at a price -- in the beginning she had no idea
of where she was, who she was or what she should do next.
On the floor, far below, the giantess saw the tiny creatures
scattering in the wake of Woola's pounces. It was to these little things
that she first turned her burgeoning powers of observation and insight.
Their tiny bodies were shaped like miniature replicas of her own, though
simplified and of some different substance. Their movements showed evidence
of design and purpose. Truly these were creatures not totally unlike herself.
All the little two-legged figures had scattered except
for the smallest of them all -- a tiny green being, which trembled in the
beast's path, unable to run on its two misshapen lower limbs.
"A being!" the giant princess mused to herself. "What
is a being? Something alive; something that responds. And what else? Something
that can reason, perhaps; something intelligent, like a person..."
"Stop, Woola -- do not harm the little thing! It is a
But the girl's warning came too late. The massive brute
had already hurdled himself upon the small green figure. Entrapped in the
calot's outstretched claws lay Vovo, the last Wizard of Eo.