"Welcome home, brother."

Quvik and Bynerin, having wandered the cosmos in search of a world to call their own following their coming of age, finally settled on one. The barren ball of rock orbited an orange dwarf too near to support any life, but the two beings of energy would change that.

"Are you sure we can accomplish what we aim, sister?" Bynerin asked, its energy swirling and folding into itself as it spoke. "Our powers are nothing like that of a Master."

"We must try," said Quvik hopefully, its own energy swirling, occasionally passing through Bynerin. "We must first move the planet further away from the sun."

Together, the two bonded energy beings stretched out glowing tendrils, wrapping them around the circumference of the massive world, and pulled, their minds singularly concentrated. Slowly, over what would be months to us, the planet shifted.

"Wonderful!" Quvik shouted into the void. "Brother, feel our power now! I feel like I could do anything!"

With that, Quvik stretched its tendrils out into space, calling forth comets of all sizes. Over years, they impacted the world, several dozen each day, until the planet was covered with a thick, deep ocean. Bynerin simultaneously reached downward, pulling the planet's crust up in places, creating islands, continents, and mountains. Satisfied with their work, the two of them began to sow the seeds of life, Quvik creating photosynthetic life and Bynerin creating all life that did not rely on the sun. They weaved their creations amongst one another, creating all different forms of life, from bacteria and microorganisms to the first plants and animals. They infused the life with their energy, accelerating the pace of evolution, doing in a few dozen years what would have taken millions.

Once life had evolved to large multicellular organisms, the two beings decided to breathe sentience into their own personal creations. They created nearly a dozen sentient races off many different appearances, spreading them out throughout the world, which they named Bynik. Finally, after nearly one and a half centuries of constant work, and after the races began the foundations of civilization, the two beings decided to rest.

"Let us go into the world of mortals and live as they live," Quvik said, transforming its body of energy into that of a female of a race of its creation.

"Yes," Bynerin affirmed, transforming into a male of another race. "Let us look upon this world only as observers, never interfering. To interfere would destroy their free will."

Quvik nodded her new head. The two embraced and parted ways.

Nearly two thousand years passed in the same fashion. The races created by the two beings progressed, discovering new lands and new technologies over the centuries. The two beings eventually fell in love with their creations, starting families and having children, their firstborn always an extension of themselves. Their old body would wither and die, but they would live on in their firstborn child, only to grow, fall in love, and start a family all over again. Though they always retained the memories of who they were, they never told anyone this secret. The two would meet once per century to discuss their lives and the state of the world, and so it would go for roughly two millennia.

That is, until the First Great War.

One nation on Bynik, calling itself the Tarlian Republic, was transformed into a despotic empire after a slow, insidious coup by a few power-hungry politicians. They, in turn, began a conquest of the rest of the world, their military now utilizing combustion engines and automatic rifles. Nation after nation fell before the Tarlian Empire's might, until victory for them was inevitable. Quvik and Bynerin met to discuss the issue.

"We have to do something, Quvik," said Bynerin, his voice shaking. "This isn't what we had in mind when we created this world."

"We can't stop it," Quvik pleaded. "I know it looks bad, but we can't just take over their world's affairs. Yes, their world," she interrupted as Bynerin nearly spoke up. "If we were to just jump in like that, it would shake their entire philosophy, not to mention we'd be replacing the Tarlians as despots. We can't just force the people to do what we want!"

Bynerin glared at Quvik, a look of disgust on his face. "Damn you, Quvik!" he spat. "You're uncompromising. Can't you see this isn't like any normal situation? There have been horrible empires in the past, yes, but never one that was about to take over the world! How long will they rule? Ten years? A hundred years? A thousand?!"

"Whose idea was it to just be observers in the first place?" she yelled, crossing her arms and staring expressionless at Bynerin.

"You asked for this," said Bynerin as he disappeared, his form falling away.

Quvik wouldn't learn what happened to Bynerin until several days later. The Tarlian government headquarters exploded violently in a flash of hot plasma, leaving no survivors. There were widespread reports in the capital of a man of superhuman strength firing energy blasts from his hands and killing soldiers by the hundreds. The front lines of the Empire's conquering army faltered as opposing nations finally gained the upper hand.

Quvik managed to intercept Bynerin as he led the charge against the Imperial Army in the guise of just another soldier. Though he was inconspicuous physically, he made no move to hide his raw power as he swept waves of energy over the enemy forces, their lines breaking as they died by the hundreds every second.

"Stop this!" Screamed Quvik as she powered through the sky, flying faster than the speed of sound right before she descended, landing on the war-torn battlefield directly in front of her unhinged brother.

"Let me do this!" yelled Bynerin urgently. "Then we'll go back to how things were."

"Things will never be back to how they were!" Quvik yelled, her voice wavering as tears began to form in her eyes. "Don't you see? You've already left your mark. People are worshipping you! I saw it myself."

"I can't help what they do when they see me," said Bynerin calmly. "What I'm doing is right, trust me."

Quvik closed her eyes, lost in thought for several seconds. She opened them, a new resolve having awoken inside her.

"No," she said. "It's time for this to stop."

Quvik pushed in front of her, a wave of energy exploding outward and catching Bynerin as he spun out of control, his body landing with a thud on the hard ground. He stood, unfazed by the attack, as he let loose with his own energy. Quvik caught it just in time, swirling it around her and turning it against him. The two rose into the air, each trying to undo the other as they fought, their titanic powers returning to them, growing more powerful with each blast thrown.

"Hehe," chuckled Bynerin ominously. "Maybe they should be worshipping us," he said between blasts. "Just look at us! We could dominate them. That way we'd have peace. Think about it, sister. No famine, no war, no disease, and it's all because of us!"

"No!" Screamed Quvik, firing a powerful blast as she cried out. "Remember the teachings of our old Masters…that will to dominate…it'll consume us if we indulge it. We can't let that darkness control our actions. Our people are creators and observers. That's it."

"You're weak!" Shouted Bynerin as he delivered one final blow at Quvik, causing her to falter. Her body fell out of the sky, flickering as it went out, her essence weakened to the point where she could no longer project a physical form.

Bynerin landed on the ground, standing over her essence.

"I'm not going to kill you, sister," he said. "I'm not a monster, like you may think. I love you…but this new era needs to happen."

Bynerin disappeared, leaving Quvik to slink away and regain her strength.

Months passed without any sighting of Bynerin. Since then, the planet evolved. Religions revolving around him and Quvik sprang up in a short time, the cult of Bynerin being exceptionally violent. They attacked at random, killing many and kidnapping others. Strange disappearances throughout the world became commonplace. Even stranger, reports of a new, mysterious race of beings began to spring up. These beings had dark blue skin and were very tall, nearing seven feet in height. They were often seen around locations of attacks, giving orders or simply watching.

Quvik, sensing the mischief of her brother at work, was not at rest. After regaining her full strength, she began arming her followers with weapons and knowledge. With her aid, they struck out against Bynerin's cults, investigating their actions in order to determine his plans.

They would learn the truth, unfortunately, one decade after his disappearance.

The attack came without warning and from all corners of the world. Explosions rocked dozens of major cities, destroying centers of Quvik's power. War machines rolled and flew into the cities, all the likes of which had never been seen before. Armored and shielded hover-tanks shot blasts of plasma into populated areas while soldiers in powered suits of armor gunned down any resistance. Fighter aircraft, also utilizing energy shields, attacked military bases, rendering the world defenseless. All the while, members of the mysterious race of beings shouted orders to their troops.

Quvik joined in the fight, her powers not strong enough to fight off the mysterious advanced army. Suddenly, during one day of fighting when the sun was high in the sky, it began to grow dark, slowly disappearing and giving way to a clear, starry night within minutes. The advanced invaders grew even stronger as a massive horned and winged titan with obsidian skin appeared, leading the main forces toward Quvik's location. She fought, giving it her all, but she grew weaker, and her forces were overwhelmed. The titan, along with several of the strange new race, approached her as she fell to the ground, this time still holding her form.

"It's you, isn't it?" she asked the Titan. "These are you too," she gestured to the strange creatures. "They're extensions of yourself."

"Yes, sister," said Bynerin, his new form laughing. "I have extended myself beyond what we ever thought possible. I have become many. I am so great that my sheer force of will blots out the sun! Now I lead my forces in a final campaign to take this world. Soon, the undeserving masses will bow before me, and true peace shall be achieved."

"Will you kill me?" asked Quvik, her physical form beginning to waver.

"No," said Bynerin, "and I never shall if you surrender to me now."

"Damn you," she spat, her form disappearing as she left the planet she helped to create.

Quvik returned to her homeworld, beseeching her Masters to bring down her brother. They refused, their philosophy keeping them from merely observing. In desperation, Quvik reached out to more advanced civilizations throughout the galaxy, requesting their aid. Several agreed, and with them they brought a massive armada of warships. Quvik began to train herself in earnest, attempting to regain the incredible power she held when she first created Bynik.

After several years, she was ready.

The armada dropped out of warp in front of Bynik. Despite the lack of sunlight, the planet was still somewhat warm, though its surface had changed. Gone were the green trees and fields, long dead from the lack of sunlight. Only Bynerin's sheer power was keeping the people of the planet alive, Quvik guessed.

"Surrender now, sister," Bynerin cackled, appearing as a massive apparition in front of the armada. His form had warped further, multiple arms and legs now protruding from him, his face covered with mouths filled with long needle-like teeth. "I'll make your death quick if you do."

Quvik appeared in front of him, still in her small humanoid form. She hung her head, afraid to look at what he had become. The kind, compassionate being he once was had been replaced by pure hatred and malice.

"This is the end for you, brother," she said. "I won't give up. I know a part of you is still in there."

With that, her form disappeared, splitting into multiple versions of herself as they entered the flagships of the armada.

"Attack," she stated emotionlessly.

The flagships opened fire on Bynerin's form. All of a sudden, his own armada rocketed forward from the planet. He provided a barrier for them, disappearing once his forces were in place. The two fleets mixed, the battle lighting up the sky all around them. Quvik, having relayed her orders to her admirals, ascended into space, clashing with the titanic form of Bynerin. He doubled back as her attacks took him by surprise. She moved with a fierceness he had never seen in her. She sliced off arms and legs faster than he could regrow them. His form began to diminish as she pressed forward, all the while, her armada gaining ground against his.

Several of Quvik's ships managed to blast a hole in Bynerin's defenses, making a beeline for the planet. They commenced bombardment, firing massive blasts at key points onto the surface. Still others broke away and fired upon his massive form, only making him grow even smaller. His armada was now scattered, the rest of Quvik's forces picking them off ship by ship. Finally, Quvik delivered one final blow, causing Bynerin's form to explode, shattering into countless pieces as he disappeared, the sun uncovering and shining once again.

The armada celebrated as Quvik floated in space, staring at the collections of floating junk and corpses and looking to her battered, barren planet, fires still glowing from the orbital bombardment. She landed on the surface, her eyes welling up with tears as she surveyed the landscape, all civilizations destroyed by the war, the survivors numbering only in the hundreds of thousands, down from a population of billions.

The armada was gone by the time she wondered how long she remained on that world. Had it been a year? More? She didn't know and she didn't care. The world still had a long way to go before it fully healed.

Quvik started as a bright shape shimmered before her. The shape slowly formed a humanoid outline, eventually transforming into someone she knew all too well.

"Are you here to destroy me?" She asked. "You can't…not anymore. I'm much stronger than you."

The figure was silent for a time. "I know," he sighed. "I've been watching you, you know. Since you defeated me."

"And?" asked Quvik. "What have you learned?"

"I'm so sorry," Bynerin said. "I let my desire for control take me over. It cost us our beautiful world…our creations…" he smiled cathartically as tears formed in his newly created eyes. "This world will eventually heal, but I doubt I ever will. I think it's time to say goodbye."

"Where will you go?" asked Quvik. "The Masters would never accept you on the homeworld."

"I know," he said. "I think I'll just wander the galaxy for a while. I'll lose my physical form and become dormant. I think it's what I deserve, after what I did. And I need it, in a way. Centuries without consciousness…it may do me good to be away like that."

"Maybe when you come back, we could see each other again," Quvik said. "I'd like that."

"Maybe," he said. "For now, I think…goodbye. I love you, despite what you may think."

"I know you do," she replied. "And for what it's worth, I love you too, despite what you may think."

Bynerin sighed, smiling, as he disappeared, his essence flowing upwards as it vanished into space. Quvik turned around, looking into the sky in the direction of another inhabited world.

Maybe it was time to see what else was out there.