On worlds of their own making, trapped in exiles of their own devising, Mother Eve and Father Adam waited for their favored sons—the usurper and the fallen—to visit seeking counsel on the war to come. They sensed it. The multiverse teetered on destruction’s edge. Both smelled iron on the wind. They tasted the blood to be shed. So the parents waited and plotted, each scheming how to ensure their boy emerged king and victor.

Mother Eve strode through a garden paradise. Winds, with her gentle coaxing, bent the tall grasses away from her face as she approached. Hair dark and tightly curled, eyes green and open, she frowned at her florescent surroundings. Hers was a world rife with life:

Silver-barked birches ringed her path, snickering as their branches bowed low beneath a wealth of leaves, cardinals and red-breasted bluebirds. They laughed and leaked sap reeking of sex and rot. An army of chittering beasts scattered at play about her feet. Each another experiment, a new lifeform teased from the depths of her cauldron. There were creatures with a dozen hairy limbs. Others dragged themselves along the ground with probosces of varying lengths. Still others with small mouths frozen in grim, toothy grins traveled by hopping through the air, hovering ever so briefly before landing and leaping again. Breathing music, anthropoid notes bathed in golden light swam in the air around her, singing praises of the Mother, of Eve.

Her world was an oasis locked in desert black. Every creature she birthed there worshipped and adored her. She was the mother of all.

Watching the sun as it set below the horizon, she blinked. Instead of continuing its descent, it began to rise once more, trekking from west to east. As long as she lived, and this world remained her home, it would never knew night. She was God, or one of them. Evoking the impossible was a matter of will, the rules of physics were ones she wrote, along with the beloved Father.

She stood, and waited for her son—Aible, the fallen—to arrive. She waited and thought of Adam, Husband and Father, and wondered if he too had plans for the war to come.

Father Adam dug through the silt at the Ocean’s bottom, digging in the black was all he knew. He felt the crushing pressure of the coursing torrent that stretched for miles above his head. He heard the beating hearts at the core of the world that was his own, the prison he created. With single-minded purpose he scratched through the crust, reaching for… for… whatever he sought he no longer remembered.

World-eaters. My perverted children.

The words held no meaning for him now, so many eons had passed since he set himself to this task. All he remembered was the hunger burning inside him, a hunger for vengeance. Vengeance against the Mother.

Eve! Alone on his desolate ocean world, he bellowed. All was silence, even his mighty yell squelched by the roaring sea. No light, if even there was sun on this planet that held him, penetrated the depths of his hell. He dug in darkness, penetrating the thick mud with bleeding, raw hands, and drew closer and closer to the hearts, the siren beats echoing from his world’s center. All he knew was when he reached them he would be freed; all he remembered was that his son, Cayne, came to call on him. His son would surface and seek his wisdom.

He needed to be ready.

Mother Eve stood in the light, with her eyes pointed unflinchingly at the sun. Father Adam languished in the black, with his arms elbow deep in muck and in mire. She bubbled fresh life from her cauldron-womb. He dug towards Death and his servants who bore it. In the recesses of their minds, these vestigial Divinities worked and plotted. Like all parents they waited for their children to call.

They waited for their sons, for their lives to find purpose once again.