As the Shadow maneuvered across the Martian surface, each blow he landed uprooting more and more of his foes, his master converted his idle attentions to a single wayward glance in von Lichter's direction. No one had been able to stomach more than a few moments this close to him, and yet the resolve of the Earth-man proved suitably... interesting. The Shadow came dangerously close to ending Maxwell's life several times, each attempt ending with him being dragged out mere feet away from the fleeing Sorcerer's physical form by a new army of apparitions. He did not tire, he did not care about his injuries. Wet meat snapped apart at his elbow joint, but he healed it instantly. Facial flesh peeled away, but the hatred in his eyes continued to burn insatiably.
Warsman reached out a hand for von Lichter, the silver-blue glass-like barrier keeping him from this reality coldly biting at his fingertips. He was so unfathomably close now, and then all would die. This was an experiment to him, and he recorded data on some machine hidden in the impermeable darkness, obscured by the bend in warped space-time. Von Lichter's words, too, fell short of very little besides stenography. Yet he replied, indirectly at first, but it was farther than anything anyone prior to the land-baron had accomplished.
"Biomass attempting communication. Words are faint, barely legible. But understandable through playback. Response: further investigation of 'von Lichter'. With the combat capabilities of the pacifistic one, Subject M/C 837, similar results have been drawn. Save them for last."
Without a further word, the Shadow expanded almost instantaneously, overtaking their half of the planet in impermeable darkness. When it subsided, the Sorcerers Supreme were gone, transmitted back to Earth with a show of force that redirected their molecules via impossibly quick and widespread portal generation. What the Shadow had done was nothing short of terrific, but a subtle glow of horror would overtake this realization of such primal power. He knew where Earth was, possibly owing to the fact of Alzrahem's prior memories studying star-maps and intergalactic highways.
At any rate, the battle on Mars was finished - for now. The window from beyond the Void quietly subsided, and the Shadow along with it.
Elsewhere, a planet was dying.
Kashyyyk, long the refuge of the arboreal Wookiee race, fell under fire in the first dreary days of what some would come to call the Infinite War. Though a miniscule strain of the Horror bio-weapon by comparison to what would come, it careened into the forest world like the fury of an ancient god. The Wookiees possessed very few weapons that could be considered long-range artillery, let alone orbital defense arrays. Therefore, the resulting battles for the overgrowth were to be waged in uncompromising close quarters, with Wookiee rangers dictating the roads. Many times, the Horror organisms would enter into the jungle and never return. Though, the monsters that lurked within were just as vulnerable as any to the viruses these creatures spread.
One bite, one scratch, one errant spray of bile or saliva and they were lost to the brain-rot, the madness that lurked within the chemical configurations of walking death the Horror constituted as its first wave of attack.
However, a Force-sensitive yet remained on Kashyyyk, a native who had returned to undergo his trials as a Jedi Knight in order to pursue a higher calling in his Order. Nothing could have prepared him for something such as this, a trial of such grand undertaking that it held the fate of his people in the balance. His name, Kyraggash, was roared over the treetops as he rallied counterattacks into the green void, surging ahead like a berserk beast with lightsaber and claw, decimating hordes of the undead creatures. His hold on the Force allowed wounds to be cleansed of the virus, and pushed its spores back wherever he went. And yet he was just one warrior, amongst a planet full of crisis.
For the first time in their struggle, Cyndrak's eyes darted around in a blind panic. He could not grasp the limits of his own rage, but his connection to his brother inflicted far greater fear in his heart than anything in this mortal life. He was the only one to defeat him in a duel, the only one to push his power to its breaking point and tear him asunder. He reached out to deny Kalistro his return, but the Living Force he severed from himself so many years ago came back to strike at him and his flesh broke away to ash. He screamed, and Kalistro emerged fully, taking hold of his brother's essence and spirit, the same spirit that destroyed him and countless others ten thousand years ago.
Their bitter battle continued even from those ancient days, the devastation mirrored in the carnage they inflicted upon the Temple proper. Walls were demolished, pillars ripped down, monuments gutted of their innermost strength and shattered. This conflict would not have been so if Cyndrak had not accepted the Shadow's power at the cost of his Force-sight. The Shadow and the Living Force Kalistro represented wrestled each other just as the spirits of the two warring brothers fought for supremacy in those desperate moments. Countless eons of eldritch power crashed into the will of every living thing in the galaxy and beyond, the Echoes of the Beast and the Primordial Force screaming into the void together, constantly and endlessly rising and falling against one another.
Though the Beast had fewer agents, they were indeed powerful, and Kalistro felt himself falter. Cyndrak leaped upon this as they dove out of the Temple doors, breaking stone and scattering plasteel in all directions. The Sith grasped his brother's ethereal skull in both hands and wrestled with him to bring his thumbs to his eyes.
"Your dependency on others is your weakness! See how they run! See how they die!"
They were reliving the final battles of their star-shattering conflict, the closing days of the Symaarian connection to the Force. With Cyndrak's death, Kalistro went into hiding and never raised a pupil, the blood of his sibling on his hands staining too deep for his wisdom to allow more like him a chance to surface. Millions died in that ultimate confrontation, unrecorded, unsung. Kalistro denied his brother an Empire. But his descendents would not remember the lessons, and flocked to the feet of the Navigator in order to forge a new Imperium.
For this, Kalistro never forgave himself. The sins both of them committed against the Living Force, for that neither of them could be free.
"No, Kaligar, they will not die. All will become One in the End, even you."
Kalistro's blade shone out from a distance, and warped Cyndrak's face with the same smouldering strike that left his immense scar, forcing him to let go. They collided once more, vanishing into smoke and wisps of blue fire as the night sky enveloped them. Of the Shadow itself, none could say at this time. Cyndrak's ashes fizzled out and faded to the corners of the Earth.