Battle is an Art
Within the dark reaches of space, a single glowing white figure sat atop a giant, breathing eagle head throwing black holes at distant galaxies that spelled out a selection of titles.
“There go Sun and Moon,” The figure said to themselves in self-satisfaction, as two galaxies spelling out what they had just said were swallowed within seconds by the black holes that had been thrown at them, “And now-
Space and time began to collapse on either side of the figure until two tiny black holes had formed. Then, with a single thought, both were fired towards a random galaxy.
“OCD and Priestess will round out the team.”
The figure looked down curiously at the eagle head they sat upon.
“Why do you exist you ask?”
“For my amusement.”
“Why confine you to such an agonizing form you ask?”
“Because I think it’s hilarious.”
The figure then lifted their head up as their body shook from the laughter that rattled from their “throat”.
The figure abruptly stopped, the eagle’s mouth warping shut as space and time was forced apart right above them, a new figure emerging into the universe.
This figure looked like a young human girl with a petite body. The only things that betrayed this idea of humanity was her grey skin, the mess of bloodied brown curls that was her hair, and her glaring and glowing red eyes. They were dressed in a silky white dress with a fancy sun hat atop their head, their body floating parallel above the sitting figure posed like a prim and proper young lady.
A prim and proper young lady that looked ready to cleave through anyone and everyone with the oversized and strangely designed “sword” attached to her back.
Said “sword” appeared to be made up of two large, black blades. Both were taller than their wielder by a head, as wide as a small dagger was long, and held the general shape of a pentagon, with saw-like edges leading from their base and ending just before their triangular points. Both blades were held parallel to each other with a small but noticeable gap existing between them. This gap was filled by a rectangular rod that connected to the longer than average butcher handle that served as the “blade’s” hilt. The smell of burnt flesh and rusted blood wafted from the weapon, though no signs of such things appeared to be on it.
“Norwe,” The blunt voice of a young girl emerged from the new figure, “I see it’s that time once again.”
“That it is, and I just know this is going to be the best one yet!” The now named Norwe responded with a childish giddiness filling their words.
“I assume it has to do with the destruction of omniscience for all the Makers?” The still-unnamed figure floated down to sit atop the eagle head with Norwe, their blade turning completely sideways on their back as their knees touched down onto the feathers.
“CORRECT!” Norwe shouted, two blackholes beginning to condense above them as they settled on two particular galaxies. “For once, I don’t already know what’s going to happen before it even starts.”
“You were the one out of all our siblings to take Time’s relapse the best.”
“Why wouldn’t I?” Another chuckle left Norwe as their blackholes shot out towards two galaxies that spelled out the titles: Liar and Soothsayer. “Unpredictableness is another aspect of Chaos, and I love that child very much.”
Norwe looked over to their sibling, noticing the pensive stare on their face as they looked into the expanse of space.
“What’s on your mind, Jockey?”
The other figure let out a snort, before turning to Nowe with a frown and reaching for the hilt of their blade.
“Don’t make me cleave you and this universe in two.”
Norwe only laughed at the threat, causing for the other figure (now annoyed) to draw their weapon and point it right at them.
“You’re an ass, you know that?”
“Oh don’t be like that Jockey,” A black shape appeared on Norwe’s face and stretched into a smile as the blade was placed against their throat, “It was only a joke. Plus, you know how Ii, Aa, and Uu will feel about the unwarranted destruction of a universe or more,” Norwe’s smile got somehow even wider as their taunting took on a more jesting tone, “As is often when you attack me.”
“Say my name.” The angry figure’s voice had turned from that of a young girl and into an overlapping of the endless numbers of mortals wrestled within conflict.
The blade was pressed deeper into Norwe’s throat.
“Don’t test me Norwe.”
Norwe’s smile actually warped to reach up to the sides of their face.
The angry figure pulled back their blade and spun before cleaving straight through Norwe’s abdomen.
For only a quarter of a second, the top of half of Norwe’s body floated up from the bottom as their smile never left them.
And then the universe exploded into cosmic confetti.
The squealing of many different species of children was heard as both Norwe and the other figure appeared within a blank and endless white “space” with a twister of green tearing through and away from them while a glowing orange and rapidly shapeshifting baby screamed in joy from within said twister.
“Look at what you did War,” Norwe mockingly scolded the other figure as they summoned the baby to themselves, causing the tiny orange thing to fly out of the twister and into their arms. Its form shifted to that of a pile of tendrils, a cherub with the head of a lion, a stack of nearly blank papers, a tadpole, etc. “You destroyed five of my Sandbox’s universes with that swing of yours.”
“If that’s what it takes to get you to call me by my name,” War put their blade back on their back as they let out a sigh that signified their voice shifting back to that of a little girl’s, “Then I’ll shed no tears.”
“But did you have to destroy all the timelines and dimensions that those universes inhabited?” Norwe looked down at the baby once again, its form now that of a pink amoeba wriggling around in their grasp with a tac sized hole in it, “You know I purposely make it so they can exist independently of each other.”
War rolled their eyes.
“As if restoring an infinite amount of timelines and dimensions takes any sort of strain on your part,” Norwe watched as War looked towards the twister that was getting “further away” with a hard stare, “Earlier you asked what was on my mind.”
Norwe took note of their sibling’s tone, the quiet contemplativeness having caught their interest, as they gave a glance to the hole where the eye of the now human-looking and happily wiggling baby should’ve been. With a rapidly collapsing star now in their grasp (no hole in sight) Norwe tilted their head to the side and let out a curious hum.
“That I did.”
A “moment” of relative silence passed between the two, the only noise being that of the soft hum caused by the gelatinous mess in Norwe’s arms.
“I’m planning to retire.”
Norwe paused for a sec, the black smile on their face being engulfed by the white before they appeared right next to their sibling.
“You’re gonna pull a Death on me?” Their voice now deathly serious, with a hint of betrayal to it.
Norwe watched as War looked away from them and let out another sigh.
“Everything is changing Norwe, the other three and myself have tired from our work and the Three have already picked their replacements.” War looked back towards Norwe, “It’s getting time for someone new to take over.”
“We don’t have to let someone new replace us.”
“Norwe, you’ve been at this whole Maker business since before Time was even born. Maybe it’s time you move on or figure yourself out, so you don’t end up like Yahweh.”
Norwe growled at War’s words, causing their sibling to let another sigh and say,
“Out of all of our siblings, you took Yahweh’s death the worst.”
Flinching at the cold tone, Norwe looked down to the twelve-legged, furless, squirrel-faced creature in their arms as it moved its legs wildly through the air. Another moment passed, before the pair were back in the universe with the giant eagle head and galaxies spelling out titles.
Sitting down on the head once again, Norwe created one black hole and didn’t even watch as it shot away and swallowed a galaxy spelling out the word: Binder. A sour atmosphere settled over the pair as Norwe felt War’s annoyed eyes burrowing into their head.
“Don’t act like what your Project is.”
Norwe let out a huff before turning to their sibling.
“My Project,” Norwe put air quotes around the word, “Is called Sandbox. And if you didn’t want to deal with me acting like I normally do,” Norwe’s voice took own a sassiness, “Why even tell me?”
War rolled their eyes before returning to their position on their knees next to their sibling once again.
“Because a few of my candidates will be apart of this Recompense.”
Having been in the process of aiming their next blackhole towards another name, Norwe stopped and found a black smile stretching across their face once more.
“Names?” Norwe’s previous sassiness replaced with curiosity.
“Like I’d tell you.”
“Why even mention it to me then?” Norwe asked matter-o-factly, crushing the blackhole that hovered on their left shoulder with a fist.
“You know exactly why.”
“True,” Norwe nodded before two black dots appeared on their face above their smile and began blinking innocently, “But why should I do what you want?”
War let out a sigh before rolling their eyes and giving Norwe a hard stare.
“Because I’m your fourth favorite sibling”
Norwe began rubbing their chin in ponderance, their smile shortening and straightening into a thin line.
“I could do it for that reason, buuuut,” Norwe looked away from War, “Only if you tell me whose before you.”
“Yahweh, Uu, and Death.” War said with another roll of their eyes.
“It shall be done.” Norwe created another blackhole and took aim at a different galaxy then before.
“Then I’ll be on my way.” War stood up and turned away from Norwe, space and time splitting before them once again as they began to step through the opening.
“Before you go,” Norwe called out, pointing a single finger at the title they had settled on to top off the team, “I just want to know if you remember what your old name used to be, before you were called War.”
“Yes,” War paused, looking back towards Norwe with a curious look, “Why do you ask?”
“This talk about succession and times changing caused for me to think back to eeeeeee,The War That Neither Was Nor Wasn’t.” Norwe’s voice took on a wistfulness, “You were a terrifying force even back then, we all were.” Norwe turned to War with an unnormally authentic smile, “So would you please say it for me?”
War rolled their eyes and smiled at Norwe before stepping through the opening they had created. Before the opening closed fully, War looked back at Norwe and said their old name.
“Battle. Before I was War, I was Battle.”
The opening closed, leaving Norwe alone with their eagle once again.
Warping the giant bird head’s mouth back open, Norwe finally fired off their blackhole and watched as it ate up their target galaxy.
“Yes, I do agree that the Artist will do a fine job topping off this team.”
Norwe chuckled.“I’ll kill you when I’m done choosing participants.”