It was a fight that neither of them could win.
They had been going at this, off and on, for most of their lives. Ever since they had come into the powers they possessed.
No one could tell you who they were, why they fought, or, importantly, how they achieved the powers they had. Out of the whole world, these two beings were the only ones with godlike abilities.
They could each fly. They both had super strength. They could take a hit better than anyone else. Had more endurance, could run faster and further than a normal person. They were, technically, supermen.
They had been captured on film many times, pummelling each other with their bare fists. Above the streets of Berlin and in the snowy peaks of New Zealand, they weren’t restricted by geographical borders. While most people believed they deliberately kept their fighting away from the built up areas, there was no guarantee of safety.
Johannesburg, in South Africa, was one of a handful of major cities which had been devastated by their fighting. Even now, some fifteen years later, the city was still mostly in ruins and the UN, among other multinational bodies, were arguing over whose fault it ultimately was. But so long as no one else could raise even a finger to these two godly beings, there was nothing anyone could do to bring them in to get them to help. Neither were coming willingly.
Right now, as people strode in their hundreds down Manhattan’s busy streets, or ate ramen at an out of the way hole in the wall restaurant in Osaka, the skies were clear. In fact, it had been several weeks since either of them had been spotted.
This wasn't unusual. Their spats would come and go as the weather did. But they always came back. You could never predict when or where, but the silence – the peace – would never last long.
Most world leaders dreaded the peace. They hated not knowing where those two were or where they would show up. The world waits with baited breath, as the saying goes.
“You could find him, right?” the young woman asked. She was new and was immediately scoffed at by the others present.
“He could-” the one who normally talked, Alex, said, before he was interrupted. And when a god speaks, everyone listens.
“I could. But what would be the point? He can find me wherever I am, whenever he wants. Right now we both are in this position. He waits for me, I wait for him. I choose to take this time to recuperate, to relax.”
“While he trains, or plans,” the woman said. For a moment passion flared in her eyes. This was something she had thought about a lot.
“What is your name?” the hovering form of the flying man said.
“I'm Claudia,” she replied. “Claudia Wilkinson.”
“Shes new, I'm sorry,” Alex said.
“Claudia,” the flying man said, softly landing on the balls of his feet before letting them take his weight and standing on the rocky floor of the cave they all stood in. “I understand that when new people arrive here, they want to change things. They want to help. I appreciate that. And you will get your chance to help. But understand this first of all. He and I cannot hurt each other. Whatever he plans for won’t do anything. He can’t kill me anymore than I can kill him. Let him plan. It will do him nothing.”
“Ok,” Alex said, “but what if he finds this place?”
“He knows where I am. He can find me whenever he wants. This place isn't safe. Not like how you want it to be. Like the places from your comics. It’s not a secret. I know where he is too. I can fly there right now. Enter whatever place of sanctuary he has. But what good would it do?”
“You could take him by surprise,” Claudia offered.
“He would see me coming. He would be ready. The people out there, you all, you don't want that. Look at the damage we do each time.”
“Then don't?” Claudia said. “Just stay here. Relax. Or go out there with us. Be a normal human. Have a life.”
“And let him invade it? I can’t.”
“Let him be the aggressor,” she insisted. “Make him make the moves. Show the world that you are the reasonable one.”
“It still doesn't matter. Even if the nations of the world could unite against him in any meaningful way, throw their biggest and baddest at him. There's no guarantee it would work. I tried that. I went all out. I gave it literally everything I had. South Africa still want to try me for it. They should. But it wasn't enough. He stood in the wreckage, hurt yes, but able to fight. There's nothing anyone can do.”
The other one, the one who dressed himself in black, who maintained a vow of silence, felt at home in the jungles. It was quiet here. Not literally, of course. The jungles were full of life and life brings noise. But it was quiet in other respects.
He trusted the do gooder to respect this space. And it was that silence that he enjoyed, relished even. His wounds had healed some days prior and he had made his way to this favoured place, where solitude was all around him and he could sit with his thoughts.
Today, though, something was bothering him. He couldn't understand why, but he was thrashing through the foliage, deeper into the heart of the jungle. There was something that was intruding on his silence.
The sun beat down on the canopy of the jungle as this singular man trudged through. He was beginning to doubt himself when suddenly, a clearing appeared in front of him.
Within it stood a tall pyramid-esque building. It was familiar to him. Like somewhere he had been before. But none of his memories matched this place. He frowned as he lifted off from the ground and headed inside.
The pyramid was mostly hollow. A shell of large rectangular stones and in the middle, set into the dirt of the jungle floor was a massive throne. It was made from the same stone as the pyramid itself.
Seated in the throne was a giant statue. The man hovering before the statue knew who this was. He had seen this face in his dreams. The carved eyes stared empty at the man.
The statue was covered in vines that had grown inside through every small nook and cranny they could access. From certain perspectives, it looked as if the statue was tied to the chair. As the flying man watched, the giant head turned towards him and the eyes weren't so empty anymore.
“Welcome home, my son,” the statue said.