Brian stared into the face of the Darkness. The effigy he had seen before, scorched into the wall of his hospital room, had been the poorest imitation. Nothing in all reality could capture such a likeness, the face the Darkness had chosen to give itself. Brian looked upon pure, timeless, limitless, incomprehensible hatred. Brian saw the Darkness in its truest form. And Brian Alderman did not blink.
“Little thing,” the Darkness said. “Stand aside.”
“No,” Brian said. “I am not going to let you have this world. Not any world.”
“Fool!” the Darkness shrieked, the death-rattle of a billion planets. “You dare contest with Me? You are nothing!”
“Come over here and say that,” Brian replied.
With the roar of all the souls in Hell, the Darkness surged upon Brian Alderman.
“No!” Brian hissed between clenched teeth. He spread his arms, braced his legs. His muscles tensed and strained. He trembled with the effort, but the Darkness did not get past him. “No!” Brian said. “Go back! You don’t belong here! You’ve been banished!”
The Darkness hit him again. Brian felt its cold biting into him, but the warmth from inside him blossomed out to fill his extremities, lending him strength. He did not fall.
“Go back!” Brian began to push. He felt the Darkness give way, ever so little.
“Alderman!” the Darkness screamed.
“I’ve had it with you!” Brian said. He realized that he was no longer speaking English, then gave it no further thought. “Get lost!”
With a roar of his own, Brian summoned all his strength, all the strength given to him by all the victims of the Darkness throughout all time and space, all the strength of the Shemsu-Ra which constituted his birthright. He shoved. The Darkness recoiled. Balling up his fist, Brian drove it into the damnable face leering before him. The Darkness gave way with a bellow.
Then it fell on him again. Brian staggered, almost giving. He felt some of the energies inside him bleeding away, but the void became filled by new power. Brian planted his feet, driving his shoulder into the Darkness. It screamed, this time more in pain than rage.
Brian stepped back, hitting it again. Marduk against Tiamat. Thor hammering Jormungandr, driving it from Midgard. Ra against Apophis. Brian Alderman against the Darkness.
With a full, final effort, Brian rammed into it. Its strength crumbled.
“No!” the Darkness shrieked. “Please!” Then, as it diminished, slipping from this reality, the Darkness screamed one final word: “AAALLLDDDEEERRRMMMAAANNN!” And the Darkness spoke no more.