Author's Note: I dunno where this came from. The events of this shot are during Ascent of the Red Sentients – Part 2, which I quote from here, but I guess it could happen anytime during the series if you took out their dialogue and the ending.

Disclaimer: If you think I own this franchise, you are sadly mistaken.


There were no rules of engagement on this battlefield, where time and space did not exist, save in the minds of the fighters. They had no armies, no infantry, no tangible weapons – yet they were generals in their own private war.

On one half of the field the landscape was calm and serene – deep space embellished with cosmic paint and glitter. Shooting stars flew by nebulas, while asteroids whirled around moons in a celestial waltz. At the center of it all, behind the young warrior that represented it, was a sapphire-blue planet, glowing like the most precious of gems; the epicenter of it all.

The young female who stood just behind her side of the borderline looked across to the other half, where her mortal enemy glared at her. In contrast to the peaceful, orderly appearance behind her, his half was ablaze, the inferno's spark and heart being a planet that was a red twin to her own. Peering into the depths of those flames, she saw destruction, oppression, death, and despair – the very opposite of what she represented.

She was Life. He was Death.

There could be no mercy.

Bracing themselves again non-existing walls before them, energy surging around them like a giga impact, they advanced and retreated, seeking an opening in the other's defenses. One hand was constantly extended towards the other – his was bigger than her slender appendage, but both would carry out the same function if they seized hold on the opponent's body. The power of their psychic bond was great enough that if they touched them, their nemesis would have their nakedest soul exposed, each and every secret they had spilling in their minds.

Once upon a time, they had not played such games – in their innocence, they had shared their thoughts and secrets readily, blissfully ignorant of what the future held in store for them. But as time wore on, making them older and supposedly wiser, leaving childhood behind, they had grown apart, suspicion coloring their minds. Their secrets were no longer the simple things – they had grown more complex alongside them. She had plunged headfirst into the scientific mysteries in Modulon 5, while on the twin planet he had embarked on a crusade of death and debauchery.

Yet even then they had not declared themselves to be true enemies. Only now, when they had become fully-grown Sentients of 21 million years old (in Earth years, at least), with their telepathic link as powerful as it would ever be, had they become the other's worst nightmare, and they could not spare the other mercy.

Not for the first time, she wished for the old days.

"Leave now!" she cried into their minds, echoing over untold distances. "I will not let you cause any more harm!"

Her twin brother roared a challenge, more Vandal than Sentient, and he pushed forward. She could see the determination, the desire for what she had locked in the depths of her mind, and she braced herself again, calling upon the power she had to keep him at bay just long enough for her friends to gather themselves and finish him in the real Multiverse.

He was overconfident, forgetting that her mind was stronger than her physical form indicated, and his reply stated it baldly. "Foolish sister! Your compassion for the Humans has doomed all mankind! The coordinates to Earth will be mine!"

She could not hold him back much longer. While she was the stronger one during these contests, she suffered from lack of practice, and even he had overpowered her at times. Her true body, blankly mirroring what she did in her mind, was ordered to initiate contact with Vert, who was in the Battlezone with her brother.

"Vert!" her true voice cried, echoing in her mind like she knew it would; her brother laughed as he heard her fear. "I must release him! He cannot learn my location!"

"Alright, Sage," he replied, cool as usual under pressure. "Release him … now!"

With the greatest of effort, Sage broke free, shutting down her psychic connection to her brother. His immediate thoughts vanished from her mind, save for one final echo as she sank to the ground, drained: a scream of fury, dying away slowly.

He would come back. The Respawn chambers he had built for his companions would ensure that they would not die until they were destroyed for good. Until then, they could afford to be as reckless with their lives as they desired; they could afford to take the risks her mortal, far more fragile friends could not.

But she knew them, and she knew they would succeed. On her radio feeds, Sage heard the words of her friends, gathering themselves to return home, asking her to remotely modify the Battlekey Agura carried to bring them to the same Zone. Slowly, she rose back up, exhausted from her battle with Krytus – the first of many that were to come.


-Inferna Firesword