Chapter 2: Dark Gospel
It’s about a thousand years post the fall of Brainiac. Genesis has revitalized fully under the rule of Uxas and his faithful advisor and friend, Izaya. Uxas now dawns the title of Highfather as he cultivates the universe back from the brink of extinction.
The New Gods in their vastness in size and shape, spread about the universe. Populating worlds anew under the ideals of life and growth without overbearing rule. The ideas of Gaia instilled in her son.
Peace has persisted for some time with only mild conflicts occurring in the far reach expansions of the Gods as they retake the universe. One such occurrence came with a mild uprising brought on by Madame Goodness’ own brother, Steppenwolf. He and a collective of gods under him were lost in space post the battle with Brainiac. They were found till some 100 years later with all of them having gone mad. Steppenwolf snapped in transport back to Genesis and killed his rescuers. He fled to the far reaches and incited conflict for a time until Uxas and Goodness came and well able to reason with him. He has since recovered, and no other major conflict sets to threaten the Gods.
But this doesn’t put Uxas at ease. Brainiac’s insistence that anti-life will return has never left him.
He has too much to lose now. He has a family now. An immense one, fathering some 20 odd children over the millennia past all with his faithful partner of Madame Goodness, now going as Mother. The children serve as Uxas’ personal guard with the most prominent being his sons Orion and Kalibek as well as his daughter Barda who is the eldest of her sisters.
Uxas is not alone on such a development as Izaya has followed suit, taking wife in Vayla and fathering a single son named Scott. Scott is a handsome and ambitions young man, just like his father. He has taken up a relationship Barda, having slowly thawed her terse heart over the better part of 100 years. The relationship serves as testament to all that Izaya and Uxas have work to achieve.
The two leaders of Genesis now gather at a celebration in that achievement with the 1000-year anniversary since Genesis’ salvation under the Highfather. The planet and most likely universe is in the midst of partying and it is no different at palace. The families of the two warriors drink in merriment.
The event’s importance grows even further as Scott proposes to Barda. She of course accepts bringing on even more celebration.
Eventually Uxas and Izaya slip out and speak privately in the open air. Both looking out over the celebrating society they themselves are responsible for creating.
Izaya can tell Uxas is vexed by something and asks his friend to unburden himself. Uxas shares in his fears of another threat, another foe. Something he won’t have the power to stop. His final battle with Brainiac has never left him. The threats of Brainiac and the idea of Anti-Life curse his mind. Izaya downplays these fears, tells him to focus on the progress Genesis and the Gods. He notes Barda and Scott’s very engagement as fine example of something good to revel in over the ideas of a dark day that may never come. Uxas is mildly settled by Izaya’s words and does his best to put his thoughts to bed as the two return to the party.
Uxas tries to do as Izaya recommends for a time but he cannot ignore his nature to protect. He tries to dive into his duties as Highfather but truly Izaya is the one tuned to governing while Uxas is more a man of action. He eventually turns to the ambitious project of reworking Brainiacs remaining death drones to be of use in construction and labor. He makes good headway but can’t get the last element to work. The element is the fact that they won’t give up their inbuilt loyalty to Brainiac. Uxas tries every way around it but eventually accepts he must do the one thing he dreads the most.
Uxas makes his way to the dead planet of Colu. There Brainiac is held in complete solitude. Guarded by some 30 odd armed Gods at all times. Uxas has came to consult Brainiac on his project.
Brainiac is forever bound into the wall of his cell due to fears of what mobility would allow him to achieve. He greets Uxas with a wicked smile.
“Hello, tiny god. What do I owe to deserve such a displeasure?” B
“You can do something good and share in how to override your machines. Help me work back the destruction you brought to the universe.” U
“Help you? Undo my work? With my own machines? Time has not been well to you for surely you’ve gone mad to think I WOULD DARE HELP YOU?” Brainiac grits his teeth at the thought.
“Do as instructed or…” U
“Or what? You’ve already denied the thrill of death once, I doubt you’ll give me such a gift anytime soon. You cant even torture me as I have nullified my pain receptors. You cant do anything to me other than keep me here forever. Or kill me. Now leave me to my torment.” B
Uxas shakes his head and turns to leave. This had as fruitless of a journey as he feared. He makes it to the door when Brainiac speaks again.
“Can you feel it? You can, can’t you. There is something out there that you fear, something I showed you isn’t it. The gift I stole from your mother. The gift she was too weak to use until it was too late.” B
“Shut your mouth!” Uxas bolts across the room, grabbing Brainiac by the throat.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Did that strike a nerve? Well it’s the truth and the fear of that power is written about your face. Now ask me the real question you want to ask.” B
Uxas huffs in heated anger from his nostrils as he decides whether to play into Brainiac’s game. His fears get the better of him as he asks, “Tell me of Anti-life.” Brainiac shows a wicked smile.
“Sit, tiny god, I have much to share.”
Brainiacs words on Anti-life did little to helps Uxas’ fears, more than that they heightened them. Brainiac shared tales of the fall of the Old Gods, his travels to Earth, and his own feelings about the power. He twists a tale of darkness that clouds Uxas’ mind. Especially with the reveal that Gaia had more children and thus Uxas had brothers. Uxas was somewhat elated by this until Brainiac explains that his brother Lazarus too held such a power and worse was a volatile and violent boy when Brainiac met him. Uxas begins to fear what his brother could become unchecked by Gaia.
Soon after his talk with Brainiac, Uxas takes to the stars. He searches the universe far wide to find the home of his mother but finds no luck. He returns for periods of time as to not abandon his people, but with each voyage, he is gone longer. Eventually Izaya takes on almost all responsibilities posed to the Highfather in Uxas growing absences.
This has brought on a heavy amount of stress as conflicts become more common in the farther reaches of the Genesis empire. New Gods are coming up far from the Highfather’s full control and begin to stray from the ideas of Gaia. These conflicts have spread the royal family thin across the universe putting Barda and Scott’s wedding on indefinite hold as Scott assists his father and Barda chases hers across the universe.
Many years pass and Uxas feels he’s traversed the universe without ever finding earth. Gaia’ magics have held well and Earth remains hidden. Uxas is distraught by this but accepts his folly and returns to Genesis with Barda. They return just in time to join Izaya and Scott as they lead a small army of warriors to take on an insurrection occurring on a planet known as Maltus.
The conflict has come to a head with many Highfather loyalist dead or taken hostage. The army of the New Gods arrives at Maltus lead by Izaya and Uxas. They take the planet back in a short few days. The insurrectionist who are not killed are taken back to Genesis for detainment till further action is determined.
With the conflict ended and peace returned to the greater universe once again, Uxas makes what he hopes will be his last visit to Brainiac.
“Back again, oh Highfather of all, did you not find what you were looking for?” He makes a knowing smile. Uxas says nothing.
“I couldn’t find it either. Your mother hid it well. But you still fear don’t you. Even after all this time. Well, I have one more piece of information for you and then I done with you, Uxas of Genesis but only if you beg me for it.”
“I will now grovel for you anymore. You have held my interest for too long and I am done with your tricks. Rot here forever you duplicitous monster.”
Uxas turns to leave his defeat foe behind him, hopefully forever.
“You may find what you seek in the Source Wall, it was where I was headed next if I had killed you. The Antilife is the balance to Life. Gaia got the power from somewhere and if she can from the source and so did Life then it only makes sense doesn’t it. That Antilife would to.”
Uxas shakes at the temptation of it. “Why tell me this?”
“Because I want it to destroy you. Now leave me.” B
Uxas sits on this information for quite some time. He tries to deny it but in the time of peace that lays about the universe, there no distraction from himself. He eventually goes to Izaya and asks him to join him in a Journey to the Source to once and for all, satisfy the mysteries and fears that have been tormenting him for years. Izaya sees how real this issue is to his friend and agrees to join him.
Izaya and Uxas leave the empire of Genesis and the Gods under the watchful eye of Mother Goodness as Barda and Scott work together to help Maltus to recover. Promises of Barda and Scott’s wedding finally happening upon Uxas and Izaya’s return.
The two take a single vessel to the Source Wall with no one else mainly due to the dangers. The Source Wall was the oldest structure in the universe. The bodies of the first beasts used to make it were of a size almost incomprehensible, making the gravity brought on by the structure serve almost a tractor beam, sucking down any mildly close vessel into its surface with immense speed and force.
Uxas expected he could survive the crash while Izaya prepared with heavy used of his creation energy to make structures to keep himself safe. The ship is sucked in and completely eviscerated on the skull of a massive many eyed beast leaving only Uxas and Izaya. Uxas undeterred by the no atmosphere and Izaya remaining in his construct field for safety make their way across the skull.
They realize quickly that the physics of this structure are that of Chaos. The stalled source energy finished up the seal the beast corpses began and what that created around it was dense and violent energy fog. They move inward into the corpses to escape the energy storm.
As they descend Uxas begins to hear some form of siren song caring the promises of the answers he seeks. Izaya is weary but embraces following it as the only option available. Then follow endlessly through tunnels for what feels like an eternity until they find themselves in a large, hollowed room of pure white bone devoid of petrified beast flesh that litters the endless tunnels. At the end of it sits a thin black translucent curtain with an angelic glow peaking from behind it.
Izaya and Uxas make their way slowly into the room until high-pitched noise then begins bringing them both to their knees. They look up to find a yellow and purple crystalline image of impish figure appear before them. It continuously warps in shape texture as it gestures to them.
The image glares at them as the noise increases.
“I am the Mxyzptlk, the embodiment of the unrealized and unmade 5th dimension. A creature captured in its own repetitive cycle of making and unmaking due to the cutoff of the source. Now I stand as its guardian so announce your intentions before I have you unmade.”
The imp begins to shake in impatience immediately so Uxas speaks quick.
“I am Uxas, son of Gaia who detested the cutoff the source and denied her fellow Old Gods. We are the New Gods and we seek to protect what remains of the Source’s initial creations and learn from it if we may be so bold. As to not follow the same mistakes of those came before.”
The figure continues to warp in bizarre contortions as it ponders Uxas’ words.
“Interesting. You wish to learn, fine I will let you do as you wish by a condition of course. In order to gain what you seek; I demand you challenge me. With all your might try to destroy what you cannot.”
Uxas ponders this in return for a short while.
“What you ask for is hubris. I cannot hope to wound you nor do I want to. I am not here to hurt but rather protect. Ensure what safety I can for the universe.”
Uxas swares he sees the concept smirk as the high pitch noise dissipates.
“You have passed. The source wanted me to test you. See if you seek to act as your predecessors had. You appear to be different, how it was intended for you to be. You may go retrieve your knowledge but be careful, with that knowledge comes power. Power that may be better left in the source. Goodluck to you Uxas, Son of Gaia”
Mxyzptlk then winks before dissipating from view. Uxas nods to Izaya before he makes his way into the Source. Uxas enters into creation.
It feels like dense warmth made tangible, Uxas can see all of his existence at once. He is lost in the joyous nature of seeing life itself flow around him. Then he finds his composure, he remembers his goal.
“Antilfe” he whispers to himself as the Source shows him what he seeks.
Suddenly Uxas is in darkness, freezing darkness that is touching him all over, but he can’t grab hold, its swallowing him. He tries to scream but there is no sound. He silently shrieks for what feels like an eternity but eventually a dark calm spreads about his body. He begins to understand. The cold is warm in a way. The dark has a comfortable softness. There is no fuss here, no pain just nothing. After the fear goes it’s just over. Uxas is relieved in this. Uxas is no longer scared of staying lost here. Uxas lets the Antilfe take him.
Uxas then awakes in the tangible universe once again. Izaya lays beside him convulsing with power as eyes glow and his hair goes white. Uxas passes out soon after witnessing this.
The two men come to in a new room, the source is gone, and the room that remains is circular with a single exit and a pool of some type of liquid in the middle. The two assess themselves and each other. Both react to their reflections in the pool, Izaya with his white eyes and hair and Uxas, now bald with black eyes with silver edging.
Izaya reveals that Uxas seemed to lose himself in the Source so he went it to retrieve him before it was too late.
They soon realize that they feel far more powerful and changed. Izaya feels great and begins to fly around as Uxas takes himself in. He too feels this immense new power, but it feels different from what is coming off Izaya but he doesn’t know why. He can barely remember what happened in the source on the light and then the darkness.
He asks Izaya what he saw in source and all he could describe was some warm and bright feeling. Uxas does not share of the darkness he vaguely remembers with Izaya. Uxas affirms to Izaya that he is satisfied and the two use their immense new powers to break away from the Source Wall and go home.
The return home does not mean that Uxas’ mind leaves the Source. It persists in his mind now. Something small that begins to whisper at the edge of his thoughts. Something he did not mean to bring back with him.
About half a year passes after the Journey to the Source and Izaya has prospered through his new powers as has Uxas in his own way. His powers have allowed him to expand his mind and abilities, but he still cannot crack Brainiac’s control over his machines. He makes the machines his fascination again as he continuously denies the lingering thoughts in his head. Eventually he becomes so desperate to think of anything other than the creeping thoughts that he opts to visit Brainiac for advice on the machines though he know it to be fruitless.
Something is different upon Uxas’ entrace into the cell. Brainiac becomes feral for a moment and for the first time tries to rip himself from the wall. The effort gets him nowhere, so he subsides.
“How did you find it? How did you get it?” B
“Get what?” Uxas asks with a taste of fear in his voice.
Brainiacs demeanor changes at Uxas’ reaction to that of inquisitive glee.
“You don’t know. No, you do. You’re ignoring it. You’re not letting it in. I can show you how. I can teach you to master it. You can feel the bliss of the dark again.”
At the mention of the dark, Uxas finally faces his thoughts. The memories of the Source he tried to cloud fill his mind. The power within him begins to surge at the realization.
“Do you mean it?” U
“Yes, I have much to teach you but you must promise to return me to it. Once you have learned.” B
Uxas breathes in as the last scream in the voice of his mother, begging him not to, quiets. He then lets out the last breath of Uxas as something else accepts Brainac’s terms. Something Darker.
A great amount of time passes as Uxas tireless works under Brainiac. Now that he has accepted his power, he grows each day from a novice to a master. He is only drawn away from his work by the nuisances of family as Barda and Scott’s wedding finally grows near. Uxas’ constant absence from most events is not overly noticed due to the excitement surrounding the wedding as well as the fact that Izaya continues to take on the main duties of Highfather on Uxas’ behalf.
The Wedding eventually comes with the finalization of Uxas’ training.
The event is one of pure beauty with thousands of Gods in attendance. It is a day true merriment and joy. The two children of the rulers of the Gods unite in matrimony over the beautiful cast of a neon moon. They share in vows of love. Scott explaining how he loved Barda far before she gave him the time of day and Barda explaining her gratitude for the fact that she eventually did. Both say how relieved they are to finally be married after all this time. They kiss as to cement the union.
Izaya, who officiated the matrimony, then declares a banquet that all are invited to. All the guests then flood into the gorgeous dining hall of the High Palace.
Uxas sits and watches as the New Gods drink and dance in celebration. He eventually rises, holding a glass to the air.
“A toast. A toast to my glorious daughter and her wondrous husband. It is such a joy to see you unite as one. A true marriage of our house, eh Izaya?” Uxas gestures to Izaya who raises his glass in agreeance.
“I always feared we would not be able to have peace like this but I was wrong. Peace is achievable with the proper time and dedication just as with love. These two show me the future bright and will help contribute to that peace. I love you both and wish you well. To The Future!”
“To The Future!” the crowd exclaims
“To Love!” U
“To Love!” C
“To ANTILIFE!” U
The crowd pauses. Izaya looks up in shock at the words. As he does, dozens of guests brandish weapons as others emerge from the shadows. The hall is dead quiet for but a single moment before the shooting starts.
Bodies begin to drop left and right. Izaya immediately creates a construct enveloping as many people as possible, specifically grabbing Scott before anyone else. In his haste he does not grab Barda nor Vayla. From behind the construct barrier about 70 guests watch in terror as a massacre plays out before them.
Machines burst through the windows and attach to the corpses as they are made and begins to mutate them. They screech back to life as then contort in buglike figures. Barda slams upon the barrier begging to be let in. Scott weeps for his father to save his wife but he refuses. Barda and the rest of Uxas’ family are dragged away rather than slaughtered.
Izaya recognizes the attackers as the insurrectionists of Maltus as well as the men of Steppenwolfs crew. He sees Steppenwolf among them, slaughtering innocents, his insanity clearly returned. Tear run down his face as Uxas makes his way the construct.
Uxas stands triumphantly before Izaya with his new collective of mechanistic demons and traitorous gods to his back.
“Why, Uxas? Why?” I
“Because Uxas has been dead for years. I found something in source Izaya. Something different from you found something I wrongly feared for too long. Brainiac helped show me that. He taught me much but outlived his usefulness, so I took the last part I needed.”
Uxas removes his robes to reveal Brainiacs mechanistic enhancements implanted into his body. His flesh scarred and warped around it.
“Assimilating Brainiac was the final stage of my becoming. It allowed me to create my Parademons, do you like them?”
“Uxas stop this. Please.” I
“UXAS IS DEAD. ONLY DARKSEID REMAINS.” U
Darkseid begins to pulse in rage as he turns to Steppenwolf and demands he bring “her” forward. Izaya’s face melts into despair as Steppenwolf walks Vayla at bladepoint up to Darkseid. Scott begins to slam his arms into his fathers’ body, begging him to do something. Izaya holds steadfast, frozen in fear.
Vayla whimpers as Darkseid takes hold of her neck. Darkseid pats her head and tells her not worry. As he finishes saying that, he twists his hand as she goes limp.
Izaya drops to the ground and screams.
“You took me from the antilife Izaya. You brought this on. All of this has been a warning. I our power may be even now but I will return for Izaya and I will end you but first I must spread my gospel. Goodbye old friend.”
Then with that a cacophonous boom cracks into the air as a portal opens at the entrance to hall. Darkseid walks inward as both his men and monsters follow him, carrying his now unconscious family members in toe. The portal closes soon after leaving the hall covered in gore and completely empty outside of Izaya’s survivors and Vayla’s corpse.
As Izaya drops the construct, the survivors begins to scream and weep. Scott immediately punch Izaya is the face. He falls backward as Scott begins to pummel his father.
“You son of bitch. You coward. You let him take her. You let him kill mom. Why?” Scott is in tears as he stops hitting Izaya.
“Because I couldn’t ensure they wouldn’t get you to.”
The two men then embrace, and weep as military forces arrive, having gotten word from the few who escaped the massacre at the beginning.
In the following days, Uxas is labeled as the number one threat to the God’s Empire as Izaya is officially confirmed as the new Highfather. He begins to collect an new army as he prepares for the coming threat.
Darkseid does as he promised. He begins to spread his gospel about the universe starting with he far edges. The figures of power, once friends begin their journeys to war.
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