Emperor Kako vs. Thanos

Written by Christopher Ikpoh | Illustration by Josh McMahon

Their environment was docile. The trees slept. The wind was forever relaxed. The suns setting in the distance were dulled and seemed motionless. It was as if the planet was in a deep slumber, despite the two warriors of demigod stature facing off in close proximity. Never before had that much power been coupled together.

“It is not often I find myself opposite an equal,” Thanos said.

Emperor Kako replied, “The universe only guides energies such as ours together in order to eliminate one, balancing the cosmos.”

“A shame,” Thanos retorted, “for we could achieve untold glories together. Yet, I, too, understand the ways of the universe.”

Kako and Thanos stood opposite one another, their bodies raging with unparalleled power, tightly coiled and ready to erupt with enough destruction to decimate a moon. Fate had brought them together across multiple dimensions of time and space. Both ruled their respective universes as gods, with the ultimate power known to both solely in their hands, before losing it. Since their respective demises, Kako and Thanos had both been on quests to regain their deified existences. It was those quests that set them on a path to collide.

“I know about your plight, Emperor,” Thanos commented. “We both have been burdened with loss; both tasted the nectar of the ultimate supremacy before having it washed away from our palates.”

Kako responded, “You speak of your Gauntlet and my triplos asteri.”

“I do,” said Thanos.

“Is it the power you miss?” Kako inquired.

Thanos answered, “It is not just the power. It is having the means to rectify the innate inequities of all in existence.”

Kako looked upon the Mad Titan and remarked, “As conquerors, as gods, we are to lead those in existence out of the darkness, underneath the shroud of ignorance, into enlightenment. No lesson can be learned from a gesture made with your digits.”

Thanos smiled with cynicism towards Kako’s words and replied, “There will always be those who will not be taken from the darkness; who will claw, scratch and fight to remain shrouded. It serves a god better to impose their will through the simplest of demonstrations, for it reinforces the futility to resist their will.”

“And you do this from afar… An absentee god cannot be followed, and will not be worshiped,” Kako quipped.

Thanos asked, “You do not reminisce on the extent of the power you once possessed?”

Kako answered, “I yearn for the knowledge the triplos asteri allowed me to possess. The infinite wisdom; the unparalleled logos of the neverending cosmos; the divine insight beyond the comprehension of any and every mortal creature ever to exist. That is what I miss.”

“Yes. I heard your insatiable thirst for knowledge was comparable to my own desires,” Thanos declared. “Tell me, Emperor, have you courted Death?”

Kako became contemplative while answering with a question of his own. “Have you lain with the goddess of your universe?”

Thanos looked intently at Kako and responded, “Death, she is my love. There exists none more beautiful in any dimension or time.”

“It is she who motivates you,” Kako retorted.

“She will be mine,” Thanos stated emphatically. “After I obtain the psytanium from this planet, it will fuel my gauntlet and allow me to deliver her the souls she needs to be convinced of my worthiness.”

“The psytanium here is meant for more than an offering,” Kako responded as he drew his psytanium-infused, razor-link chain whip and massive sword, preparing for battle. “It is the means to obtaining the secrets hidden within the fabric of all space and time.”

Thanos, normally enthused by an opponent signaling their readiness for combat, was ultra focused. The time for one of them to die was at hand, and the Mad Titan knew he stood across from the only individual being in all of existence that could defeat him. Thus, he grabbed his double-sided sword and prepared for the fight ahead. “I am honored to share this battlefield with an equal. Know you will have perished by worthy hands.”

Kako said in return, “An honor, Thanos. May Death welcome your soul with open arms as you desire.”

With their closing respects having been paid, both Emperor Kako and Thanos erupted towards one another, exerting enough power and energy to eviscerate a mountain. The time for one of them to parish was at hand, as only one would become a god once more.