- March 20, 2022
The Incarnations: The Incarnal War (Chapter 14)
Good vs Evil, the Only Way
How did it come to this? I wasn’t paying attention. That’s always my problem, terrible things keep happening under my nose because I cannot pay attention.
When I left with Death, Evil rubbed his jaw and looked in the direction we disappeared from.
“Well, that’s not good,” not good he said.
Then without anger and viciousness, he stood up to his feet and lit his wings ablaze. He looked up at his brother and saw him too light his wings with that which makes the sun.
Good thought himself ready for Evil’s counter-attack, and when a tornado of fire suddenly erupted around Evil, Good was not surprised. The tornado shot from the ground towards the sky with uncanny speed.
At first, it focused into the form of a small drill to attack Good’s chest. Good crossed his arms to block the attack and quickly found the flames encompassing him. They didn’t close around him, so he wasn’t prompted to disperse them.
This served as a distraction as Evil had grown taller than mountains while his brother was blinded.
Evil then broke the walls of flames by crushing Good in his hand.
Evil told him, “I’m honestly shocked by that sucker punch. It’s more my style than yours.”
After that comment, light began to escape from the folds of Evil’s fingers, and Good exploded in a burst of blinding light as he expanded to match his brother’s size. Good punched Evil across his chin for good measure, but Evil was swift to entrap his brother’s arm in his own, and then held his right forearm against Good’s neck, holding him back.
Good grunted out, “I learned from you.”
Then in a rage, he shot out a burning light straight into Evil’s face. Evil turned away, allowing his cheek to take most of the attack, and never loosened in his grip on Good.
When Good finished, Evil looked back towards him with an annoyed expression, the wound on his cheek already healing.
Evil told Good, “This is pointless.” Then he shoved Good away from him to trample over the many small soldiers below. “I thought before that I would only offer this once, but brother, let’s not fight. Mother and Father are gone, we don’t need to continue. There’s no one watching or forcing us to fight. Anyone who matters, won’t mind, and anyone who minds, doesn’t matter.”
Good remained vigilant in his need to fight his brother.
Good responded to Evil, “I don’t want to fight you for Father, I want to fight you for me,” gesturing towards himself as he said it. “I thought I was the one person who could trust you above all others. You never broke a promise to me, but today you did.”
Evil tried very hard not to roll his eyes. “Oh, come on, that’s not true, I’ve assuredly broken a promise to you before. There is a litany of men and women I told you I wouldn’t sleep with, only to do so immediately after.”
Good responded to Evil’s humor by adding annoyance to his already angered expression. “That’s not what I meant, not even comparable. I trusted you and you held a sword against my back.”
Evil was quick to correct, “I offered you peace! I did what no one else in this stupid, bloody war thought to do! Not even you! The perfect son, the golden child, yet not the one who extended his hand to an enemy was me, I extended my hand to you.”
With that remark, Good then whipped his right hand to the side and summoned a sword. “Keep your hand extended, and I’ll have the chance to cut it off.”
The look in Good’s eyes was one that lacked remorse, and mercy.
“Do you really want to do this, brother?” Evil asked. He knew Good’s answer, yet he kept asking, kept challenging. He didn’t realize that such questioning was only making Good angrier.
Good answered with a dash forward and a slash of his sword.
Evil evaded then jumped. He flew upward above the clouds and waited for Good to follow, but Good appeared behind him in a sudden flash of light and slashed across Evil’s back.
Evil spun around to kick Good away with his heel and ended up connecting with Good’s sword. The sword did not cut him but blocked his attack. Evil then powered through by fueling his leg and lighting his heel on fire, which allowed him to kick Good away.
Evil then tore his robe apart, baring his chest. Armor for these two would have only been for show anyway.
Still, Good commented, “Never could wear armor. Always had to show off, always so vain and prideful, couldn’t be anything less than the center of attention.”
As Good went after Evil again with the sword, Evil reminded him, “You don’t wear a breastplate either!”
Evil’s left arm then became embroiled with fire as he reached it back. As Good swung his sword to the left, the fire along Evil’s arm took the shape of a gauntlet sword which he used to chime against Good’s sword.
Evil’s hand proved mightier than Good’s sword as it smashed it to splinters. Evil was then quick to attack Good by retracting his flaming gauntlet to beat Good with flaming fists.
Faster than any mortal eye could see, Evil used combos of his hands and feet to beat Good. Good attempted to keep up and block with his arms, but he couldn’t defend against the dirty attacks Evil utilized.
Evil had no qualms about striking Good’s ribs, head, or groin. As soon as he had followed through on one attack, he was following through with another. What made it worse for Good, was how Evil was still blatantly and obviously holding back.
With every punch that he landed barely pushed Good back. Evil should have sent Good flying with the first good hit, of which there were many after.
Good became enraged by this insulting onslaught and released a powerful blast from his body which pushed Evil away.
Evil responded by releasing a massive inferno to consume Good, but Good flew through it, unhampered, and speared Evil in the stomach.
Flying at lightning-fast speeds, Good forced and slammed Evil to the ground miles below, creating a massive crater that swept away their servant warriors.
Good held his forearm against Evil’s neck, and forced his head against the hard ground, shoving him under as if the ground were water.
To escape, Evil shrank to normal size and in a speedy tornado, flew between Good’s legs and over his back.
He summoned a lance to stab into a tiny spot of Good’s back. What hurt Good so much was that the lance spew fire into Good once it had stabbed deep enough.
In an even more speedy transformation, Good’s body flashed as bright light, and suddenly he was Evil’s size and kicking him across the face. The wind gusts that followed and blew away the clouds revealed the massive force behind it, yet Evil used his own power to stand his ground.
Then Evil raised his flaming lance to block an attack from the double-sided ax Good brought down upon Evil’s head. He gritted his teeth as he looked up at the menace glaring down at him.
When Evil blocked it, Good pooled massive amounts of power into his arms to continue his strike and knock Evil out of the sky. He wanted to see the angel fall, so Evil was slammed against the ground of the already massive crater.
Knowing that Good was coming down to cut him in half, Evil swiftly rolled over his head and wings to keep the blade of the ax from connecting with him. Even though Good created a large and forceful blast, Evil used his strength to not only fight against but move in close for a counter-attack.
“Play smarter, not harder,” his mother told him once.
With his longer lance, he twisted it in an upward slice of Good’s right bicep, drawing out the light from underneath.
In a rageful war cry, Good swung his ax, but Evil leaned back to dodge, deriving another furious swing.
Evil then swung the butt of his lance into Good’s chin, which prompted Good to toss his head back and leave his chest open for Evil’s slice downward across it. As Good tried to swing the ax with the other bladed end, Evil kicked him in the stomach, sending Good skinning across the harsh ground.
“We can keep going if you want,” Evil said as he flew up in the air over Good, “but that would necessitate some kind of deeper maturity,” then tried to bring his flaming lance down upon Good’s leg, “you know, that thing I apparently lack.”
Good didn’t take the bait necessarily. He dissipated in a flash of light before Evil’s weapon even touched the ground and appeared behind Evil. Good reached over Evil’s wings and wrapped his arms around his neck.
He pulled back on Evil’s neck to force his back to arch as Evil grounded his teeth in pain. Good then brought his knee up into Evil’s spine, and then with one hand forced Evil’s head down as he flew across the ground.
“You’re all words, Evil!” Good screamed as his brother was dragged across the ground. “Words is all you’ve ever been, words and tricks.”
Good continued dragging Evil across the ground for miles in seconds. When Good crossed over the edge of the crater they were in, Evil dissipated into flames causing Good to fly over him with nothing in his hand.
“Like I said,” Good spoke to his empty hand, “all tricks.”
Flaming tornadoes then erupted from the point that Good had lost his grip on Evil. They spiraled towards the sky above Good and formed four separate copies of Evil, all with the right half of their face ripped off. All at once they lifted their arms over their heads, summoned balls of fire, and rained hellfire down upon Good.
“Does this look like a trick?!”
Good had what can only be shock on his face before he started flying away at great speed, zipping back and forth to avoid the massive explosions of fire that rained down upon him.
The several Evils followed high above Good as they dropped literal bombs down upon him. Each blast that missed Good and connected with the ground, created a raging, fiery bomb that surpassed the clouds. Good was doing all he could to avoid being caught up in the blasts.
Then one Evil cleverly predicted Good’s lightning-fast movement pattern and blasted the direction Good was heading. Good stopped dead in his tracks, but it was too late.
The massive explosion eclipsed the size of the battlefield, which had been displaced from the earlier blasts. This last one quickly transformed from being a fireball in Good’s eyesight to a mushroom cloud that consumed him faster than he could blink, and then razed even more matter around him.
As the Evils looked on from above, the one that was the original brought his right hand to his face, as if he were mesmerized by his own blaze. His hand then began to repair the damage Good has done, not willing to leave his face charred.
Evil didn’t think the battle was over, nor did he think that it was still continuing. He became lost in his own self, trying to understand how it came to this point.
Then three rays moving at the speed of light shot from the inferno cloud and cut the false Evils in half before exploding to obliterate them.
The true Evil crossed his arms to shield his face from the smoke instinctively, only to be caught by complete surprise by Good coming towards him beyond light speed.
Before Evil knew it, Good had slammed his hand against Evil’s throat and forced Evil up and away,
Evil croaked on Good’s grasp, clutching Good’s hand as he held Evil over his head. Good forced Evil out of the Incarnal lands, out of their worlds, to my space. Evil soon found himself among a star and blackness, at least until Good flew through a solid rock planet, Evil first.
They flew through the planet, missing its core, then within a second Good stopped flying forward. Once Good was at a complete stop, his hand still holding Evil’s throat, he turned around to face the one solid planet of the solar system and flew back through it, Evil first. He continued this several hundred times over, flying through this innocent planet hundreds of times over half a minute, crushing Evil against it again and again.
Eventually, the planet collapsed in on itself with the constant barrage by the two Incarnations. The matter collapsed in on the planet’s core and caused it to explode. When it exploded, Good loosened his grip on Evil as he attempted to shield himself.
Evil took the opportunity to then bring his hands to Good’s face as he was looking elsewhere, and shoved his thumbs into Good’s eyes. Good’s scream of pain was drowned out by the planet’s explosion, especially as Evil forced Good towards it as it was happening.
The explosion was deafening, Evil saw Good’s screams, but could hear nothing over the planet’s murder.
Evil then flew through the planet’s explosion, Good first, and then headed for the solar system’s sun to use as a source of power. When Evil flew into the sun, he kicked Good away with great strength and then started to gather the fire into a form of energy between his hands.
Good then immediately took the light from the sun as the power to heal his eyes, and then to form an energy attack between his hands. A ball of light, blinding any who look at it.
As these two drained the sun, the sun lost its light and its flames. It began to cave in on itself until there were only two small points of light, not even a fraction of its massive size, pointed at each other.
Each holding half the power of the sun in their hands. To aim the power at each other could not end well for either of them. Good and Evil manipulated the sun’s power, and each formed a spear. One of fire, and one of light. They reeled back their arms, and threw them at each other, dead on, each fuming with uncontrollable power.
The sun that they had drained was exceptionally large. If allowed to complete its cycle, it would have been a red giant and gone supernova. Now it does so millions of years ahead of schedule.
When the spears collided, the explosion expanded so fast, no Incarnation has the speed to escape it, few the reaction speed to teleport away. I set rules so that the matter of this universe could never exceed the speed at which light travels, but once simply touched by the power of an Incarnation, matter starts to exceed all the laws I have made.
The sound itself didn’t exist, the waves destroyed by divine rage.
The supernova with its gases and light spread out in directions that eclipse the size of the Incarnal Lands.
Destruction should have aimed for this.
The supernova expanded and obliterated the gas giants in its solar system, reaching so far as to scorch the planets of nearby solar systems with its expansive heat and capacity for destruction.
But Good and Evil survived the experience.
Their bodies blotted with charred surfaces, they burned as their bodies naturally fell back to the Incarnal lands, the battleground that called them back.
Their wings, the symbols of their power, stayed intact. The beautiful white of Evil, and the dark multifaceted browns and grays of Good, looked as if untouched.
The swan and the hawk still flew.
As they fell, leaving trails of smoke in their wake, Evil thought he was done, that the battle was over. He thought he could just wait to hit the ground on his head and be able to sleep until the rest of the war was over, but Good would allow for no such thing.
As Evil tried to close his eyes, he felt arms wrap around him, his wings the only thing free. Good had entrapped him and was staring him dead in the face.
With honesty and valiance, Good stared into Evil, as Evil couldn’t fathom what Good was doing. Good whispered to Evil so only he could hear. “The reason I’m doing this, the reason I want to fight you and win, is because I’ve finally realized something.
“You’re not worth it.” With that, I think Evil felt the same betrayal I did when Death tried to sacrifice me to Oblivion. The shattering of the heart and soul. The rage.
Only here, Good didn’t stop. “Every time I stood up for you, defended you… you always made me regret it. I couldn’t trust you for anything. Now I know that for you to rise, all I have to do is continue to turn my back, and do nothing. I’m done doing nothing.” Then Evil differed from me, he didn’t give in to anger, he actually, submitted… where I didn’t.
Good increased his hold on Evil and flew straight down with Evil’s head being the point, the thing that would strike the ground first. As they descended to the battleground, the remains of both armies were still fishing themselves from the rubble and putting out the fires that consumed them.
Then came Good and Evil in like a missile.
In a force stronger than the destructive fireballs, Good slammed Evil into the ground and blew everything and everyone away. Mountains disintegrated, servants annihilated, a crater had become a plain. And in the middle laid one small hole, with one hand crawling out of it.
One hand crawled out and tore himself and his wings out from the rubble.
He moved to his feet and thought it was over, that Good had won. Good had thought that he could just walk away, and he tried to. He began walking, not to anywhere in particular, but away from his deed, his work, until another hand rose up to follow him.
When Good heard the struggling behind him he froze, he couldn’t believe it, couldn’t understand, how was his battle not over yet. How could the conflict continue?
He heard the struggling groans and refused to turn around. He refused to acknowledge that his work was not yet finished.
Not even when he heard his name called out.
It was more like a screech. It sounded as if the fire in place of blood truly distorted the sound from his mouth. That the will of this being was only beginning to rise and fight.
Only when the screaming and the struggling to climb out had stopped, did Good turn around.
Good saw them, not Evil. Not the being he once called brother, whose left arm had a bone jutting out, along with several ribs piercing out of his skin, fire eeking out across his body, the jawline that was once so perfect, men and women swooned even when it frowned, now ruined by the hole that showed the cracked teeth.
No, what Good saw were the wings.
The perfect, beautiful wings, that outshined everything, wings that were bettered by no other. They had not a single scratch, not one bone, not one feather, out of place. They remained perfect.
Good’s had not.
Good looked his brother, on the knife’s edge, and screamed back, “Eeeeevillllll!”
At this point, with the strength they shouldn’t have, shouldn’t still contain, they ran at each other. They didn’t limp despite the broken bones and destroyed muscles. They ran perfectly straight, screaming the other’s name. They ran with a world ablaze around them, full of only fire and destruction. They didn’t care for that.
When they met, Evil used his right hand to slam against Good’s jaw. The impact, the crack, all sounds made by a fight between men. This isn’t a fight between Incarnations, between Kings, this was between two small men.
Evil punched Good, smashing out a tooth, which Good spit at Evil as he slammed his right fist into Evil’s broken ribs. Good grabbed Evil’s dirtied hair in his left as he pulled Evil’s head back, and punched Evil in his ribs again, and again, and again, not avoiding the bone that felt air. Evil groaned and gasped, all until he backhanded Good, knocking him away.
Good recovered and charged Evil again. Good raised his arms over his head to bring them down upon Evil, but Evil took a move from Good, and jabbed Good’s throat with his fist.
When Good clutched his throat in the search for air he did not need, Evil kneed Good in the groin. Evil then stepped back for Good to lean over, then used his other knee to shatter Good’s nose.
Light leaked from it.
Then Evil stepped back again, and kicked Good dead in the chest, sending him to his back.
As Good laid on his back, Evil took a step towards him only to find that he was running low on energy and willpower. He took another step and his leg failed him, and he collapsed forward onto his stomach. He tried to get up. He moved his one good arm between himself and the ground, and couldn’t push himself up. He was done, finished.
But he hadn’t won.
Good wasn’t finished, Good had the energy and the will. He struggled to sit up, to see Evil groveling in front of him. He pushed himself to his feet and stood taller than anyone else left.
Evil watched and watched with fear as Good walked around him, not meeting his gaze. All Good could look at were the beautiful white wings that wouldn’t take one mark on them.
Good walked around Evil, stepped on Evil’s wing, and placed his feet on either side of Evil’s waist. He looked down at Evil’s back, and all Evil could say was, “Don’t.”
Good didn’t care for his words. His rage gave him the strength that Evil didn’t have, didn’t contain. Good has always been angry, having to do what was right all the time, never able to let go, always having to watch as mortals and Incarnations make the same mistakes again and again, but never him.
But he could never be considered perfect, and yet Evil was in one way, for one thing.
The damn wings that never bleed.
Good placed his foot on Evil’s back, right over his spine. He bent over and grabbed the edge of these wings, and he began to pull.
No matter the screams Evil paid him.
No matter how much the wings never heaved.
Then something snapped.
Here I am, and I see one of the evilest acts I’ll ever witness.
I see the wings separate from the man, I see the bones tear out along with the muscle. I don’t see fire, I see blood. I see the wings bleed.
Then Death comes, right behind me.
We see Good tear the wings out. See the tendons and nerves snap off the wings like snapping strings. We see the expression on Evil’s face, his mouth agape as he loses everything. We see the face of rage as Good tears apart the wings of a swan and holds them in his hands.
I hear her scream.
I hear the horror behind me, I don’t have to imagine the hands that fly to her face.
Death runs to her son, with a flick of her hand she sends Good flying away, and she lays her hands on her son. She flips him over as he wails, he cries. She gathers him in her arms as she attempts to console a man who cannot be consoled. She cradles him, trying to tell him he’ll be alright, but he just reaches for them. The unintelligible sounds wail from his mouth, as he reaches for the wings. He reaches for what was taken from him.
Death can do nothing but hold him, and watch with him as he feels horror. Her son watches his wings fade. Begin to disappear as he reaches for them. He watches as the white begins to break from his wings, and the feathers dry out, every part curls into itself. He watches his wings die, and turn black. They become frail, and eventually, and finally, they crumble to dust, never to carry him again.
Evil becomes silent, the external pain doesn’t matter as his mind breaks. He can only cry again, and his mother holds him close to shield his eyes the best she can. They stay there for a while. They hold each other as I watch helplessly as if I hadn’t come here to kill him.
Then Good comes back, with a face that tells all he is willing to finish what he started. Death turns her face to see him coming so close, and I move. I stand to his side and place my hand on his chest. He looks at my hand then into my eyes, and his rage fades. My son looks into my eyes and sees that I am not proud, am not impressed. He has done wrong, and nothing his brother has done is worse.
What has he done to his brother?
“I cede,” a voice rings out. “I cede,” I hear her say. I spin my head to look behind me, I look at Death with tears streaking her face as she holds her child for dear life against her breast. She tells me, “I’ll cede, just please, don’t hurt my son again. I beg you, don’t let that monster near us.”
I don’t think the monster in question realized what he had done until she called him that. I don’t think he looked at his brother’s back and saw what was missing. He hasn’t felt guilt, until now.
Good looks at his hands, realizing what he has done. He realizes that what he did wasn’t good. I only realize another thing now.
The war is over.