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  • As Legendary Pictures moves past Kong: Skull Island (2017) and looks toward the future of the MonsterVerse, naturally news is starting to build for the next appearance of Kong, as the character is set to tangle with Godzilla in 2021. This article is a news roundup for everything known related to the rematch between the two characters. It is ordered by date, with the latest news appearing first and oldest news at the bottom. (more…)

    News // November 25, 2020
  • Included below is a collection of nearly 40 synopses, ranging from translations of early movie drafts such as ones for Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) and Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999), to unrealized projects such as Bride of Godzilla? and Mothra vs. Bagan. When applicable, years and authors are also listed, and hyperlinks are available for easier navigation between the synopses.

    VERY special thanks to author John LeMay for sharing this wealth of detailed information! A number of the stories shared are further elaborated upon in LeMay’s The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies: The Lost Films: Mutated Edition (ISBN: 9781701683945).

    With that, we hope you enjoy some of the most ambitious and wildest ideas left on the cutting room floor.

    (more…)

    General // November 22, 2020
  • Authors: Dao Zang Moua & Matthew Freese | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    Four years have passed since that fateful day in 2014. The day the world learned that Monsters truly exist. As such, the once secret organization, Monarch, had been doing its best to find and study these creatures. With the knowledge of monsters now widespread, the organization now had to rush to beat out other interested groups in finding these Titans in order to both preserve and prevent their use for destructive purposes. Put under fire by the US Government, the organization was now under scrutiny by the governing bodies of several other countries, all wanting the knowledge they had gathered over decades of studying the Titans.

    To some, that might seem as though all their hard work was being torn away like a leaf in the wind. For Shinichi Yamane, he was almost glad that this information was going to be spread out. The older man let out a long sigh as he sat in the back of an Osprey, a new hoverable aircraft built by Monarch. The knowledge they had gathered was mostly in ways to destroy the Titans, while some, like himself, sought to understand them. If this information was shared amongst the world, evacuation plans and emergency responses could be better created in case one of the Titans awoke and rampaged. As with how much good this would be in the long term, he had a feeling that Monarch would refuse to release it once again.

    The shuddering rumble of turbulence in the machine he rode did little to ease him, as he watched one of the many government meetings about the militarization and giving the military rule of Monarch, the organization being defended by a trio of Monarch employees. Being a second generation researcher at Monarch had its benefits, allowing for a better understanding of the organization as a whole and more freedom to search new locations. However, those also came with their own problems, as his old friend Ishiro Serizawa would attest, the man currently in said debate over the organizations’ continued existence outside of the military. The two of them were close friends, both their fathers having done much work together when Monarch was first founded. Though both sought similar fields, only one was busy representing an entire organization. As such, Yamane had a bit more freedom than his more well known friend, something he liked to joke about.

    However, Yamane felt that there was still something missing in his life. While Serizawa researched intently into Gojira and other titans with similar relations, Yamane preferred a more adventurous life for his old age, searching new areas for indications or hidden habitats for various undocumented Titans. His discoveries of several Titans and Titan fossils had earned him enough merit for him to simply study any of the creatures on Monarch’s radar he wanted, yet he continued on with his search for titans. Many believed he simply enjoyed the thrill of the hunt and adventure. Only he knew the truth. Unlike the others, he hadn’t felt a connection to any of the Titans he had found. None had gained his interest enough for him to devote his time to. As such, he felt as though he were always incomplete as a scientist, as though there was nothing truly worth devoting his time to.

    The feed soon cut off as the pilot alerted him they were nearing the location. Staring out the side window, Yamane watched as temples of various sizes and states of decay sprawled across the land. He was on assignment to the Tharabha Gate of Bagan. A recent earthquake had opened up a sinkhole to an underground temple nearby, dating much further back than those on the surface. If it weren’t for the depictions of Titans and the constant waves of hot wind blowing through from within the temple depths, it would have gone straight to some other historical researchers rather than the Titan-oriented Monarch. If this site had nothing to offer for him, he would pass it on to another researcher to take over and head for the next potential lead, a dormant volcanic island in the pacific where rumors of a giant monster nearby have spread.

    He could already see sprawling groups of various workers closing off the area and setting up research stations, all wearing protective gear. Near the gate was a massive hole in the ground, with various shrines having collapsed within. The moment the Osprey landed, he was already on his feet, meeting with a group of soldiers and researchers as he felt the unusual warmth of the surroundings.

    “Dr. Yamane, I presume?” a soldier stated in a slightly broken accent, holstering his weapon to hold out a hand. “I am Lieutenant Li Xiong, second in command of the platoon sent to monitor this location.”

    Yamane held out his identification pass and shook the hand, looking around at the various equipment and monitors set up.

    “Has anyone found the source of the heat waves?” Yamane spoke as he looked at the ancient structure, staring more closely at the two small shrines with statues of guardian spirits. In front of those two shrines and the gate was a large sinkhole caused by the earthquake. Staring inside, he noted that it had to be at least 30-40 meters of solid rock before the chasm revealed a large eroded cavern, now lit up with various lights and equipment.

    “Not yet, sir, but the heat appears to be coming from further down in the depths,” the soldier replied. “We have been sending down people in six hour intervals due to the heat inside the chamber.” The sound of hooks striking rock sounded out as several soldiers quickly shot onto the surface, each wearing temperature-regulating bodysuits and a mysterious mechanism on their waist. As they pulled themselves up, another powerful burst of warm air shot out of the hole, launching out one of the returnees who had shot off too much gas. With wires still stuck into the rock, he slammed down in an arc, back first onto the dirt at high speed. People rushed over to check on him as Yamane quickly realized what they were using.

    “So that’s the O.D.M. Gear,” he said, watching as people rushed to remove the gear from the injured soldier, the wires quickly retracting back into its container. O.D.M., short for Omni-Directional Maneuver Gear. A more refined version of the Katatsumuri device that allowed for better movement in a 3-dimensional space. Upon the discovery and usage of the Katatsumuri during the MUTO Prime Incident, Monarch had quickly hired the student at Japan University who invented the device and funded her to make her invention have better maneuverability in emergencies. As such, it was soon changed from a bulky, back-mounted mechanism that shot wires up and down, to a more streamlined waist harness mechanism that fired two retractable grappling hooks using a pressurized gas-propelled pulley system. A second version that used a more controllable, gun-like trigger mechanism was in the works, under the title of A.P. Modification.

    “As you can see, Doctor, the bursts of air were too powerful for us to use rappelling gear, so we asked Monarch to send us some of the prototype Maneuver Gear to get us down into the depths for the early stages,” the major replied. “However, once inside the cavern, we noticed various stone water pipes as well as ventilation holes releasing heat and water into a ravine.”

    Professor Yamane stared at the scene for a moment longer, the warm air billowing past him before slowing to a breeze. He wasn’t sure what it was, but in the back of his head, the professor felt something he hadn’t before during an excavation. As though something was calling to him.

    “I’m going down in the next shift,” he ordered. “Perhaps this is the one I’ve been searching for.”

    After several hours of waiting and greeting the personnel already working, the professor had changed into a temperature-regulated body suit, made by Monarch to protect against radiation from Titans and the temperatures of extreme locations. The suit came with a specialized helmet made to filter air in dangerous environments, as well as allowing for video recording and built-in communications. For the last couple of hours, Yamane had spent time with the soldiers who had already tested out the gear, learning the proper aiming techniques and how to use the mechanisms. It was this excitement to find new subjects that drove the professor as he stood over the billowing hole with groups of soldiers and researchers alongside him. The previous shift had just exited the hole, leaving this next shift to work through the night.

    “Are you sure you want to do this, Professor?” Lieutenant Xiong asked as he stood in the same equipment, holding his helmet in his arms. As hot air billowed out into the brisk twilight air, the professor stared into the depths before giving his response. Helmet lights on the others turned on as they prepared to leap into the depths. A large burst of warm air blew upward as several soldiers and researchers alike dove into the depths, cushioning their bodies with the winds as they fell into the depths.

    “A man once said, ‘When you’re ready, nothing can stop you. If something’s stopping you, you’re not ready.’”

    With his peace said, Yamane put on his helmet, hearing the hissing click as it locked into the suit, and dove into the hole. As he descended, he felt the air brushing past his suit before he shot out the anchors on his maneuver gear. Metal clamped into rock as the group descended into the depths, being sure to counteract their falling speed with bursts of compressed gas.

    The thuds of boots hitting broken stone and whirring wires echoed across the chamber as the group unlatched their hooks from the walls. The moment he hit the ground, the professor felt the heat brushing up against his suit. Unlike the crisp morning air above, the chamber was filled with an uncomfortable warmth, most likely cooled by the opening above. He began to look about his surroundings, various lights illuminating the dark cavern, revealing a large underground ravine cracked on one side as rocks and soil covered parts of the flooring. Carved into the walls were bas reliefs telling the tales of some civilization of the past. The roof of the cavern had several large and small openings, each releasing small bursts of hot or warm air into the room due to the damages of the collapse. Alongside them were several stone drains that were dripping water into the room, most likely being brought down and leading back into the nearby Irrawaddy River.

    “Interesting,” he spoke as he walked toward one of the walls, trying to decipher what story these carvings were telling. “How far have you gotten in exploring the temple, and how far back have you managed to date the rockface?”

    “So far, we’ve managed to date the stone carvings to about over 20,000 years,” one researcher said. “Though our equipment is still analyzing the samples, that is the most recent estimate. As for the exploration, several of the tunnels are blocked off by collapsed structures.”

    Staring up, he wondered what ancient civilization would make such intricate carvings, especially around that era. Most of history would state that such advancements in civilization should not have existed at such a period, yet some locations found by Monarch explorers had also, secretly, proven these ancient, and advanced for their era, civilizations existed at points where man should have still been living in caves.

    As he followed the walls, he found himself on the edge of the ravine, peering into the darkness as water fell down beneath him. Pressing a button on the side of his helmet, he activated his darkened headlamp, revealing the size of the ravine was far larger than he had assumed. Darkness still overcame the light of his helmet, barely able to see the wall of the opposing side hundreds of meters across. The depths themselves were still covered in darkness, leaving the ravine to appear like an endless abyss waiting to swallow him whole.

    “Careful there, sir,” one man said, staring at how close the professor was to the edge. “Wouldn’t want you to fall in now, would we?”

    “Of course not,” he replied back, joking along with the researcher as he turned back to rejoin the group. As he did so, the ground began to shudder as more heat filled the chamber. Panic filled the group as small rocks and dirt fell from the ceiling, the start of an earthquake in the making. The muddied ground beneath the professor quickly began to crumble, dropping him into the depths of the ravine behind him as the rumbling stopped.

    “Professor!”

    Shinichi screamed as he fell into the depths, his light frantically waving back and forth. Muddy water cascaded across his body as he reached about, trying to grab hold of the triggers for the Maneuver Gear. The hiss of the hooks firing outward and the snap of the wires stopping his fall briefly stunned the professor as he dangled, his vision covered in dirty water. An accidental press of the trigger mechanism from the snap caused a burst of gas to shoot out, launching the professor through the waterfall and into some rocks, his mask cracking from the impact and forcibly detaching the grapples from the rock. .

    “Gah!”

    With a cracked face protector covered in dirt and water, Yamane laid stunned on wet, yet oddly warm stone. He laid there for a moment, his back hurting from falling onto the maneuver gear before slowly sitting up. Turning back, he saw the large opening concealed by the falling water, lights flickering on the other side.

    “I’m alright!” he responded back, catching his breath from the rush. “I appear to have fallen into some sort of cavern.” As he stood, he felt the heat breezing past from behind, turning to see a long dark hallway covered in bas reliefs. “It seems I’ve found a passage leading further into the temple.” Static reached his ears before Captain Xiong’s voice came through.

    “We are getting video responses now, we can now see what you’re seeing,” Xiong said with some static in his voice. “I’ll send some people down, but we have no way of knowing exactly where the cave opening is with all the rushing water. You’re on your own for now.”

    With communications back in check, Yamane walked toward the halls, his headlight guiding his passage through the damp corridor. Peering upon the walls revealed more daily life of the civilization, though this time showing people bowing before a large pyramid with two horns. Behind the temple stood a massive beast, with horns like a triceratops, as well as two large shoulder spikes. Off to the side of the beast stood a more familiar entity to Monarch’s files, a certain ‘bringer of balance’ as his friend would say. As he looked upon the ancient art, he noticed beneath the murals were a series of ancient runic text, similar to other runic script of older civilizations.

    “Do we have anyone who can translate these runes?” Yamane asked as he backed up, viewing the entire Mural revealing more runic script and what appeared to be a massive creature etched into the stonework.

    “We have the translation program running over your video feed right now, but so far the only words that have been translated are ‘God of Darkness’ and ‘Bagan,’” a researcher stated.

    Yamane stared upon the mural in awe, the feeling in his mind coming to fruition. This was what he was searching for, his missing piece in his monarch journey.

    “Bagan,” he said, putting a hand to the mural’s horned beast.

    *****

    25,000 years ago

    Where life may flourish, humanity will always find a way to exist. Tall, triangular buildings of red stone stood upon the open plain of the land, protected by a large stone wall. A massive city spanning the land, built near a large river with man-made waterways bringing water to and from the city. Sprawling farmland spread far outside the walls, reaching out into the land until it reached the unending forests. Wooden caravans traveled to and fro among dirt roads through the forests, buying and selling their wares among the people of the city. It was here, on the edge of the forest that the Grand Temple of Bagan stood, made to honor the civilization’s great protector and their namesake. The God of the Forests, Bagan. Stood in front of the massive temple were two towers with long spires of stone, each with a minor gate guardian statue as massive hornlike spires jutted out from the forests behind the temple.

    People moved about within the courtyard of the temple, some kneeling down in prayer while others tended to the various flowers and small gardens beautifying the venue. Among them was a young woman dressed in white and green robes. Among the priests and priestesses of the temple, she was the highest rank, the divine translator between men and god. The high priestess, Hayma.

    Sitting in the midst of the garden, she stared toward the massive horns jutting from behind the temple’s structures. People bowed to her as they passed her by, yet she barely paid them mind. Even now, she could feel their outermost thoughts toward her, some seeing her with respect for her position while others held jealousy toward her talent, hiding behind masks of awe. Unlike the rest of the humans, Hayma was born differently, born gifted. She was born with the power to hear and speak to the hearts of both men and gods. People like her were found and brought to temples in order to hone their gift to translate the Gods words to the people, eventually finding the god that best connected with their personality. Though that was what the masses knew, the truth of the matter was for the gifted to use their talents to bond to a god, both to drive away angered gods, and for some, to control the gods themselves.

    Hayma sighed as she watched the spires move gently up and down. Even in his slumber, she could feel his thoughts in her mind. If she focused hard enough, she could even view his dreams if she so wished. Unlike what the masses would believe, the Gods didn’t speak like a human, but instead sent emotions and pictures through the bond as visions, sometimes even memories of past or future events. It was a bond that worked both ways, both beings sharing their hearts and minds together allowing them to see what the other saw. It was this bond that allowed those with her gift to connect humanity with the gods, sharing their emotions and experiences together. It was as she was viewing the glimpses of her god’s dreams, that she felt the mind of another drawing near. The mind of another god.

    Thundering footsteps shook the land, causing the people to panic. Some bowed down where they stood while others began to pray in a mass panic. Hayma did neither, walking up to the top of a tower in order to do her job as the High Priestess. As she made her way up, she watched as people moved about in mad prayer, others simply continuing business as per usual. However in all of them she felt a tinge of fear among their thoughts. She pitied them, knowing that their prayers were mere chitters of ants to most gods, unlike her whose voice could be heard and understood.

    Staring into the distance, she looked out into the horizon, searching for the god that was nearing. She had seen many of the great titans during her time as high priestess. Some were built like great animals, using their strength and power to overpower opponents. Others were built out of the elements themselves, showcasing the raw power of nature and reminding them of its might. However, she felt that only her god could compare to the monstrosity approaching. It’s power was something to be wary of.

    In the distance, she could see it’s coal black scales, almost rocky in appearance looming closer. Jagged spines jutted up like plates of sheared obsidian, flowing down in three rows along the spine of the reptilian creature. During her time learning to harness her power, she was taught to be wary of this god amongst all others. This creature was the balance bringer, the great destroyer, the King amongst the Gods. Gojira.

    Hayma stood there, staring at the massive god king as it made a path toward their city. As much as she hated having to do so, she knew only she and her god could deter the other gods of the world. With her mind made, she put her hands together in prayer, her mind pulsing with power as it began trying to connect with the oncoming god. It was a painful process, entering the mind of a god she had no bond with, yet she had to in order to keep them away from the city. However, trying to connect to this one was far harder than the others that occasionally made their way through. Briefly touching its mind, she was bombarded with information on its current purpose. Hunt, Kill, Intruder, False King. Alongside these messages came images of a great terror, one she had never seen before. A great shadow in the sky, covered by golden lightning. Pushing past the surface, she made contact with the God King’s heart, seeing the full picture for what it was. A golden destroyer descending from the stormy heavens, a harbinger of death and destruction.

    Now knowing his purpose, she began sending her own messages to the god, trying to dissuade him from trudging through their home. Surprisingly, she found it much easier to be heard then with other gods, as Godzilla stopped in his path. The great leviathan turned toward her location, as though staring straight at her. A feeling of understanding came through the bond, a weaker connection of trust compared to the one she had formed with her guardian deity. Sweeping his vision across the land, he noticed the city nearby, as well as the people bowing down in zealous fervor. With the people now in his sight and the pleading of the priestess in his mind, Godzilla turned to go around the city. Sighing in relief, Hayma unclasped her hands, readying to release her connection to the foreign god now that they had come to an understanding.

    This was not to be however, as a scent caught the alpha predator’s attention. Sniffing more, his eyes seemed to dilate as the powerful titan peered around once more, noticing the white spires jutting from the ground. Growling, Godzilla stood on guard, his sudden aggression catching Hayma’s attention. Blue energy pulsed through the jagged spines, lighting up patterns upon the rocky exterior as the titan king reared back. Memories flowed through the still open connection, memories Hayma had not seen before in other titans that wandered too close to the city. Unlike some of the other gods, Godzilla had been around far longer than the rest, having fought more battles than the rest of the titans ever had. It was through this experience that Hayma saw a vision, one from the long distant past.

    From where she stood, great burning flames washed over the land, the corpses of various titans, even other Godzilla, laid scorched and torn apart, rivers of boiling blood flowing along the molten ground. The skies were dark with soot and ash, occasionally lit up by the golden light of the moth goddess herself. Hayma watched as the goddess of light dove, her wings crimson red with rage before a stream of blistering white fire overcame her. His hatred was felt around her as the ground shook. From below her rose an injured Godzilla, blue energy billowing like smoke from shattered spines, anger marring his features. He roared out to the cause of this great annihilation, a dark figure that was revealing in the death and destruction strewn about. Shadows covered the monster’s form, yet Hayma recognized it all the same. As the figure turned to her, blinding light filled her vision, white flame striking blue.

    Gasping for breath, Hayma nearly fell over from the vision, her mind still connected to the god king. The vision she had seen showed her part of the past of her god, one she knew pieces of yet was still hidden from her. Her telekinetic power began to pulse with her panic, causing the civilians that were too close to collapse from the mental exertion. As she began to calm, the ground near the temple began to shudder. Dirt and rock shook as the mountain behind the temple slowly began to rise upward, raising skyward. Muscle and hide reddish brown, rippling with the might of the gods. Armor like great white marble covered its body, the two large spires that stood behind the temple jutting out of the shoulders like mighty pikes. Crowning his head were two large horns, a third nasal horn jutting outward like a blade of a dagger.

    Having felt the panic of his priestess, Bagan, God of the Forest, roared mightily into the sky, warning the oncoming titan to back away. Upon hearing the earth shaking warning, Godzilla growled to himself. His spines continued to flicker with their azure patterns, readying in case a fight broke out. Though his hatred for this abomination filled his mind, he had more pressing matters at hand then his rage. The monster king roared back, not in challenge, but in warning. A warning that a great calamity was coming.

    With the two conversing above, the people below prayed en masse in panic. They did not wish to be caught in the midst of a war between Gods. Even with her mind strained with the connection between two tense, powerful beings, Hayma still felt the innate fear of the people around her. It was over a moment later, as the god king backed away, still ready in case a battle were to break out. With the warning in place and the intruder leaving, Hayma unlatched her connection to the blue leviathan, her full attention now back on her god.

    Bagan looked down toward his priestess, sensing the rolling turmoil inside her mind. It transferred to him as well, letting him share in her emotions. He wished there was something he could do to comfort her, but he was lost on how to do such a thing in the face of his past darkness. It weighed on his heart like a stone.

    The stupor was broken by the low growl of Godzilla. Connected to her god, Hayma understood the meaning of the call through his mind. It terrified her.

    If this was Bagan’s territory, then it was his responsibility to handle the encroaching nightmare.

    The leviathan turned fully, walking away with only an occasional glance back. His heavy, booming footsteps soon faded into obscurity, leaving Bagan and Hayma with his parting message playing in their minds. Panicked murmurs amongst the people drew both their attentions to the horizon opposite Godzilla, revealing dark clouds creeping over it like grasping hands. Small flashes of yellow could be seen in the void.

    The priestess quickly made her way to the crowds, rattling off commands. “Everyone, prepare yourselves! Something horrible is coming, we need to be ready to weather this encroaching storm!” She repeated this a few times as the people scattered and ensured the message was spread far and wide. She turned to face her god, closing her eyes and clasping her hands before her face.

    “Please, protect us as you always have. You cannot fail here, not against this… abomination.”

    Bagan bowed his head slightly. This kingdom, its forests, and its people were his life. He would fight with all he had, until the last breath left his body. The glimpses he got of this entity from his priestess were enough to tell him that this would be a fight to rattle the heavens. Stretching his muscles as he adjusted to being awake, he reassured Hayma.

    With some of the fear lifted off her heart, Hayma went back to making preparations.

    Hours later, night fell. Bagan rested in his usual place, the psychic waiting by his side. She was tired, but her mind was focused on something else. She closed her eyes, reaching out once more.

    My god, can you hear me? She telepathically questioned. The bull dragon focused on her presence inside his mind, affirming. What did I see in Gojira’s mind? It was you but, it…

    The chamber of Bagan’s mind shuddered with myriad emotion, none pleasant. Anger, sorrow, fear, and shame. It was the ancient past, before ape became man. Control was lost, vast fields of death, unending mourning for what he had done.

    Hayma was taken aback when she “heard” that ever since that point, Bagan had restrained his true strength. Fearing that he would relapse and that day would happen anew. That was all he let his servant know, the rest of the knowledge locked away within recess of the colossus’ mind that could not be probed even if Hayma wished to violate his privacy as such.

    She felt his disdain for himself. He saw himself as disgusting and wretched, a disgrace to titankind. How could he call himself a protector with so much blood on his hands?

    Bagan suddenly felt a calming warmth in his mind, like an embrace. You have saved us in the past, no matter the danger you alone have stood to face it. In his slumber, the bull dragon’s mouth curled into a smile. Do not let your dark past define you. You have saved thousands of lives multiple times.

    Suddenly, the deity was transported to a scene, one filled with terror.

    A young girl ran through a city embroiled in chaos, a cacophony of agonized screams mixing with foul shrieks. People lay dying in droves, bleeding out and suffering as two-legged reptiles consumed them frantically, grey scales and a white skull-like face being stained with crimson as they ate like they had starved for a decade. Her vision was blurry from tears that continued to flow no matter how often she wiped her eyes, but even that did not stop her from noticing when one particularly colossal beast looked at her.

    Despite being big enough to crush a house flat with one step, the elder Skullcrawler still saw fit to madly charge at the young child, throwing itself full fervor at a target that would provide practically no sustenance. The hoarse, rasped call that escaped its cavernous throat, rolling past teeth stained with blood and decorated with viscera, nearly deafened her.

    As she turned and ran as fast as her small legs could carry her, the living nightmare’s mind brushed against hers, bombarding her with horrid images of her own mutilation and of the all encompassing madness billowing through the Skullcrawler’s mind. It was endless screaming, wrath clawing over agony only to be shoved down and overpowered by hunger, anguish returning in full force and waging war for dominance of the conscience.

    The ground shook as it drew near, only making it harder for her futile attempt to flee to create distance. The young girl screamed in terror and sorrow, adrenaline trying and failing to push her to safety.

    A roar that shook the heavens rang out. The earth was rocked by a tremor, sending the child falling down. She curled up into the fetal position, weeping as she awaited death, hoping it would be swift. Instead, there was another crash, combined with a call of immense agony from the cruel beast that had just tried to end her. Looking up, through her tears, she saw the Skull Devil.

    Its tail, pinned and presumably crushed beneath a pillar of ivory armor. Her gaze traveled further up, managing to still witness from the bottom of her vision as the column lifted up and reduced the body of her assailant into paste.

    Bagan saw himself through her eyes, standing tall and proud. The rest of the predators fled in droves, not attacking another living thing as their oft-ignored survival instinct took over. The deity looked down to the girl he had saved, face framed by glorious sunlight. Most found his glowing red eyes and sharp fangs ominous, even those loyal to him were hesitant to stare directly at his face.

    But through Hayma’s young eyes, and through her eyes even now, he saw himself as a savior. From the very depths of my heart, I thank you. For everything. She revealed to him.

    For the first time in eons, Bagan felt true joy.

    Days passed, anxiety rising with the darkening of the skies. Rain fell constantly, starting off as a light drizzle until a few days of increasing intensity made it a torrential downpour that threatened to flood the kingdom. Colossal bolts of golden lightning tore down from the heavens, blasting apart trees with their electric might or just leaving scorched patches upon the earth. Ferocious winds rippled through the trees, plucking away leaves and pulling off branches.

    Hayma was no stranger to harsh storms, but this one eclipsed any other by an immense degree. She waited within Bagan’s temple, sheltered from the soaking rain by its roof. From her perch she saw people fleeing into their homes, into stores and other similar places, and more than a few ran past the colossus standing before the temple to seek solace in the largest building. She, along with the others who tended to the temple, welcomed them in with open arms.

    “The temple shall not turn you away in this dark time, come forth and be shielded on this holy ground!” Hayma spoke, lifting the burden off many shoulders as they settled into some kind of comfort. She looked out once more, seeing her god standing outside. He cared not for the torrent, the lightning and howling wind gave him no fear. Bagan just stared out into the distance, claws flexing as he prepared himself.

    He did feel fear creeping through him, it was slight, but he could tell it was present. The single deadliest foe he’d ever faced was coming, how could he not feel some fear? But, Hayma was the rock his people leaned on for stability, and he was her rock in kind. The forest god remained steadfast, determined to not let weakness show.

    “Bagan shall guard us, his will and body shall remain as unbroken as it has for centuries!” The head-priestess chanted to her people.

    “Praise Bagan, our indomitable guardian!” Someone in the group shouted. The rest joined them in the chant, bringing a smile to Hayma’s face.

    The joy in her heart faded when she sensed it. A presence of pure malice, grotesque in its desires. She subtly reached out with her mind, only to mentally recoil like she had put her hand too close to a fire. Whispers crept through her brain, incomprehensible and maddening. Throbbing pain joined them. They faded as she connected to her god once more, trusting in his strength.

    Bagan looked into the bleak heavens, eyes trying to see through the shade. He knew something was in there, approaching. The colossus snarled, sharp teeth being bore. Through the lightning, he heard some repetitive sound. Sucking in air, the armored god let loose a mighty roar that rose above all other noise. Hands flew to cover ears amongst the civilians, shielding their hearing from the rolling, baritone call. Bagan’s crimson eyes narrowed as the repetitive noise became clearer.

    It was laughter.

    Lightning illuminated the silhouette, too complex for Bagan to make out what he was looking at in the instant before it faded. But what he did hear was the uproarious, deranged laughter layered thrice over. It was mocking, cruel, and callous.

    From the clouds they descended. Golden scales enshrouded the dragon, interlocked like armor. Colossal wings carried them through the air, lengthy, bony fingers with membrane weaved between them. Twin tails swung through the air, ending in clubs that rattled with spikes. Thin yet muscular legs ended with wicked claws, primed to dig into flesh and rip it asunder. And finally, meeting Bagan’s burning gaze, three heads adorned with crowns of horns. Snake’s tongues flickered out and tasted the air. The right head met Bagan’s wrath with its own ferocity, eager to rip and tear. The left stared with curiosity, taking in the features of their soon to be foe. And the center looked with utter disdain, seeing another fool standing in the way of their divinity.

    The golden serpent landed, sending mud and stone flying with the impact. They stood to their full height, spreading their wings and unfurling their necks. The sky still raged with the hurricane, the by-product of the demon’s sheer power.

    King Ghidorah screeched, announcing the arrival of the almighty.

    Bagan stomped the ground before him, bellowing in challenge.

    The xanthic demon balked at this. Was this one not impressed, not intimidated by their display? They called toward the bull-like behemoth, trying to prod and irritate him. He did not seize the bait, merely beginning to walk forward.

    The left head of the devil peered around, noticing the small structures around their feet. It transferred this information to the rest, who quickly put together what this situation was. A guardian, a giant who sought to protect the pathetic wastes of flesh and blood instead of torturing them for entertainment or snuffing them out en masse for the crime of being so weak.

    King Ghidorah knew full well how to draw the hatred of these kinds of foes.

    One tail rose high into the air, before coming down like a hammer onto one of the abodes, crushing it into powder. The thrice-headed fiend cackled as he felt the squish of organic matter amongst the stone.

    Bagan’s slow march transformed into a full sprint, his thick legs moving at speeds that belied his mass. Hayma was taken aback at the harsh, echoing call that left her god’s maw. Something about it reminded her of the visions of his past she had seen before…

    King Ghidorah’s joy was apparent with the cruel laughter that escaped their three mouths. They could just tell this would be a good fight, especially the promise of crushing the spirit of such a colossal behemoth! Getting low to the ground, the dragon’s wings came down and acted like another pair of legs, allowing them to charge forward far faster than they could have on just their legs.

    The kingdom shuddered as the serpent and the bull drew closer.

    With mighty calls, the two clashed, Bagan’s hands crashing into the jaws of the dragon’s outer heads with a shockwave that would have demolished any nearby structures if there had been any. They shoved, trying to overpower the other. Neither gained any ground, until King Ghidorah’s foot came up in a kick to the behemoth’s leg, sending sparks flying as claw scraped armor. The offset in balance let the defender god push his foe backward, and even when both of the demon’s feet were planted, they struggled to gain a solid foothold.

    The center head of the serpent turned and brought its teeth down on the wrist of its foe, earning a cry of pain from Bagan. Pulling itself free, the head which had been locked in the grip lunged forward, bashing its skull into the behemoth’s chin. The two released each other, backing away a step. Almost immediately, the two were back on the attack.

    Bagan’s claws crashed into the dragon’s chest, trying to pierce the golden scales. King Ghidorah’s heads lashed out, whipping themselves against the hide of their foe. The behemoth closed his fist, cracking it against one of the heads assailing him, earning a cry of anguish. The other two were quick to respond, clamping their jaws onto his arm and thrashing themselves back and forth to maximize damage. Armor began to crack and flake away, prompting the deity to turn his body and swing his arm, pulling it free. Swinging his own head, he tore away scales with his nasal horn, sending them and a shower of sparks falling.

    Snarling, the xanthic demon beat their wings, carrying them into the air high enough to send a dual kick into the guardian’s chest, cracking the hide and forcing Bagan back. As he stumbled, the dragon flew forward, crashing their bulk into his. With their left head staying back, King Ghidorah’s other two heads lashed out, biting and tearing at their foe. Their talons stayed latched onto the god’s stomach, their twin tails coming forth to wrap around one of his arms to let the devil press the attack. Bagan struggled as he staggered back, King Ghidorah’s weight pressing down on him as more chunks of armor were torn away. He reared his free arm back, but when he swung it forward, the left head shot forward and snagged it in its jaws, ceasing his counter.

    With the demon’s legs rearing back and crashing bladed kicks into his gut, trying madly to break through and pierce his gut, Bagan roared in outrage. The protrusions from his shoulders crackled with white electricity, drawing the attention of the fiend. The assault stopped as they watched the dazzling display, growing hungry for power at the sight. From the shoulders the power surged through Bagan’s upper body, reaching its destination as it danced between his trio of horns. King Ghidorah lashed out, seeking to steal this power and make it their own, only to be cut short as the god’s maw opened wide.

    An immense beam of blazing plasma, banishing the darkness with an azure hue, soared forth from the chasm of Bagan’s throat. Crashing into King Ghidorah’s chest, it lifted them off their foe and carried the devil through the air for a great distance. The shrieks of anguish from the serpent echoed across the lands.

    The golden fiend smashed into the ground, flattening a portion of the city beneath their mass. They began to rise after a few moments of laying still, groaning in pain as their blackened chest smoked. Bagan was already there, swinging a punch into the dragon’s gut that sent them spilling over once more, crushing more abodes in the process.

    The behemoth smiled, feeling the thrill of battle course through his veins again. It was exhilarating! He slammed a stomp onto the serpent’s tails, being rewarded with a snapping sound. It had been so long since he had been met with something that would challenge him.

    A brilliant light shined in King Ghidorah’s chest, quickly traveling up their throats. Bagan was taken aback at the sheer luminosity of it. The destroyer pushed themself up with their wings, then whipped around and opened their three jaws.

    The bull-like beast roared in agony as golden streams of alien electricity blazed into his chest, tearing through armor and burning the flesh beneath. The trio of Gravity Beams converged into one, all focused upon maximizing damage. When the assault faded, there was a blackened hole in the deity’s armor.

    Rising to their full height, King Ghidorah bashed their wing against the dazed foe, sending Bagan falling onto his side. The bull dragon’s bulk smashed into the ground, sending dust shooting into the air. Cracks spider-webbed down the streets.

    The serpentine destroyer leapt with the thrust of their wings, bringing their taloned feet down onto Bagan’s side. The earth was further disturbed by the impact, tremors flowing throughout the city. Another leap, another stomp to the torso leaving cracks in the behemoth’s ivory armor.

    Bagan glanced over his form, seeing the cracks in his hide slowly beginning to seal shut. He growled in disdain, they should have already healed! Had his self-imposed restraint truly dulled his capabilities this much? But, it was better to deal with this issue than that of himself unchained…

    My lord, fight! I know you have the strength to overcome this demon, you can do anything as long as your resolve withstands!

    His priestess’ reassurances lit a fire in the god’s gut. King Ghidorah prepared to take off once more, only for their foe to suddenly roll over, his palm slamming into the gut of the one who is many. Claws dug into scale and skin as the muscular arm drove King Ghidorah’s back into the mud. The fiend was already trying to rise, only for Bagan to once again carve a gash into the golden armor with his nasal horn.

    Quickly rising to his feet, the guardian returned the favor with an immense stomp to his foe’s gut. Screeches left the trio of mouths, only growing in fervor and pitch as Bagan’s foot shot forward and caught the underside of the demon, sending the golden nightmare soaring through the air.

    Stone and soaked soil defied gravity upon the devil’s impact, before slapping back down soon afterward. King Ghidorah rolled for a moment, groaning in wrath at the humiliation, but soon stopped. Back on their feet immediately, King Ghidorah charged right back toward Bagan with renewed fury.

    The divine behemoth charged his plasma breath, parting his jaws and discharging the holy wrath of his power. The golden serpent beat their wings, carrying them into the air as their throats shined with the alien energy within. A trench was carved into the earth, flash-boiling the mud and reducing grass and rock to ash as Bagan’s assault missed its target.

    Hayma cringed as the beam destroyed dozens of homes, hoping that no one would notice the accidental devastation. To her dismay, complaints rose behind her.

    “What the hell is he doing!?” Someone shouted over a chorus of angered whispers.

    King Ghidorah unleashed Gravity Bolts, sweeping them across Bagan’s form and his immediate surroundings. Lacerations as black as coal marred the bull dragon, as beautiful architecture that took months to craft became nothing in an instant.

    Hayma felt pain pulse through her skull at the building wrath in the temple, as if each growl of displeasure was a smack to the head. “If it wasn’t for him, our kingdom would be powerless!” She snapped at the crowd. “Do you expect him to effortlessly destroy something that even the other gods of the world fear?”

    Pulling his head up, Bagan carried his weapon into King Ghidorah’s path. Rogue energy flew off in sparks as the beams collided, the plasma breath breaking through the individual bolts. The xanthic demon ceased fire and tried to dodge, but failed to avoid the edge of one of their wings being clipped by the beam. With smoke rising from the torn membrane, King Ghidorah plummeted to the unforgiving ground.

    Hayma’s words, along with the change in the battle, seemed to subdue their anger for the time, at least enough to let her be able to breathe a sigh of relief. However, she could still feel the latent rage building in their hearts, and it was taking a toll on her mind feeling so much negativity in one location.

    King Ghidorah climbed to their feet, hateful snarls escaping their mouths. The left head peered over, witnessing the damage inflicted upon their wing. Smoke curled from tatters, strands of membrane falling free and sizzling away upon the mud. The information was fed to the greater conscious, only intensifying their fury.

    Bagan charged into battle, twisting his body to bring his shoulder crashing into the chest of the fiend. Moist soil flew as King Ghidorah’s feet dug into the ground, immediately replying with flailing headbutts, cracking off shards of armor. The forest god’s feet dug in as well, he refused to give an inch. His claws sliced across the golden armor, tearing away scales and leaving shallow grooves.

    The serpent’s foot lashed up, cracking against the guardian’s thigh. Bagan lowered his head, slamming the top of his skull against his foe’s stomach. He reared up, carving another gash with his nasal horn. King Ghidorah bit down on their foe’s horns, then swung his wings like fists to bash into the guardian’s sides.

    Pain shot through his form with each strike, but Bagan focused enough to charge up another Plasma Breath, loosing it into his foe’s gut. With their scales charring and flesh bubbling, King Ghidorah was shoved back, their grip forced to be relinquished. Homes were made into powder beneath their feet as they tore through the mud.

    Despite the anguish and damage wracking both titans, they marched toward each other like they had not been hit once.

    King Ghidorah’s three sets of jaws clamped onto Bagan’s throat, teeth digging in. The golden demon clamped down as hard as they could, desperate to taste blood. They forced Bagan back, madly thrashing their heads back and forth.

    Rearing a hand back, the bull dragon thrust it forward, driving the claws into the burnt flesh on King Ghidorah’s chest, lancing into the weakened hide and staining his fingers black. The fiend released their grip, backing away with shrieks of agony.

    But the pain stabbing into his throat had outraged the forest god.

    Lunging forward, one of Bagan’s hands grasped the left neck of Ghidorah, pulling it taut. The demon screeched in shock and panic, which morphed into agony when the bull dragon’s teeth clamped onto the throat. Empowered by his own agony and hatred, Bagan crushed down with all the might his jaws could muster, soon tasting the absolutely bitter wretchedness that was his foe’s blood. King Ghidorah tried to fight back, but Bagan just planted his foot in the fiend’s gut before yanking back with all he had. Gold scale parted to reveal pale flesh, which split into tenebrous fibers.

    And with the snapping of tendons, Bagan ripped his foe’s head off.

    The golden fiend stumbled back, vision growing blurry as blood like bile spewed forth from the stump. The two remaining minds were spinning with shock and horror, barely able to comprehend what was before them. Ignoring the bitter taste in his own mouth, Bagan crushed the skull between his mighty teeth, scattering shards of bone and globs of brain matter.

    The vile sound snapped King Ghidorah back into reality, drawing a primal noise from the depths of the twin throats. This wretch would dare to disfigure the superior being? To rip away a third of their consciousness?

    The wyrm would take so much more than a third in return.

    Still trying to rid his mouth of the vile taste, Bagan was caught off guard as King Ghidorah entered the air with a scream devoid of reason. The wound in their wing would have stopped a prolonged flight, but it did not halt the very short airborne assault.

    The destroyer slammed a foot down onto Bagan’s skull, then dropped from the air, sending the forest guardian crashing to the mud face-first. Grinding their heel against their foe’s head, King Ghidorah twisted in place and latched their other set of talons around one of the horns on Bagan’s head.

    The screams of the bull dragon were muffled by the soil as King Ghidorah rushed forward, dragging the guardian behind them. Trees and crushed houses flew like ash in a fire’s backdraft as the devil purposely sought to destroy all Bagan valued. Turning toward the temple, the killer of god and man alike let loose laughter that sounded like it escaped from the pits of Tartarus.

    The people within cowered, horrified at everything they witnessed, their terror growing into mortal dread as the serpent moved with all the fervor of the Skullcrawlers that had terrorized the kingdom over a decade ago.

    Bagan, it’s coming toward the temple, do something! Hayma begged telepathically.

    The god groaned, feeling himself be dragged once more. He lifted his head enough to gasp a deep breath, before slamming his palms into the loose ground. He pushed with all he had, earning a chorus of hatred from King Ghidorah as they were flung into the air, their feet becoming unlatched by the force.

    Hayma was too busy celebrating the sight of the fiend being hurled back like trash to notice the growing dissent amongst the people for the temple being saved, but not the myriad homes King Ghidorah had torn down with Bagan’s body…

    Breathing in heavy, ragged bursts, the guardian turned to face his opponent, his posture afflicted with a noticeable slouch. He needed to end this fast, he was running low on energy. If he tore off another head, surely the demon would flee. That was all he would need to do, then he could slumber…

    Golden agony crashed against his face, blinding him as teeth were shattered. Cracked armor was torn asunder down his torso as King Ghidorah continued the assault, the twin streaks of luminous death dancing across their target’s form. Trying to endure the pain, Bagan charged up another discharge of plasma, his shoulders glowing with the building power as it flowed toward his maw. The golden beams stopped.

    And then came again, each grander in scale as the wyrm tapped into the deep reserves of their power. They combined into one, a single spear of divine death.

    Bagan stopped charging as the combined Gravity Beam tore into his groin, shattering armor like dry wood. The entire kingdom heard the wheezed groan that escaped his throat, before he fell to the earth like a crumbling tower.

    Hayma gasped, her own fear only intensified by that of everyone else in the room.

    “So he’s going to cause all that destruction himself, and then die!?” someone shouted.

    “What kind of god only saves his temple and cares not for his people? One I would rather not worship!”

    Hayma turned to the crowd of hundreds, trying to reassure them. “Please, everyone remain calm! We need to trust in Bagan, especially in this dire momen—”

    There was a cracking, which echoed for all to hear. It sounded like a hundred trees snapping at once. Hayma turned to see it, even though her psychic powers revealed it to her already.

    King Ghidorah had broken one of Bagan’s arms underfoot. The guardian tried to get up, shaking and coughing with anguish. One of the serpent’s necks shot forth, encircling his body to wrap around the still working arm of the god. Opening its jaws, it sank its fangs into the flesh, relishing in the sweet taste of blood. The remaining head peered at its prey, seeing a cracked portion of hide. It hooked a horn beneath it, before pulling up. The sickening sounds of it peeling away were like a melody to the devil. With one last yank, there was now a patch of exposed flesh, which it greedily bit down on like a beggar receiving a meal.

    Glowing light was pulled from beneath Bagan’s skin, flowing into the teeth and down the necks like water. He writhed and moaned in agony, but it did nothing to deter the wyrm from drinking of their foe’s essence. With his power being drained, Bagan focused what remained and covered his body with white electricity. The only effect this had on his opponent was for the electricity to course over his foe’s scales, leading his power to be absorbed at double the rate. Immediately, the torn wing membrane began to sow itself back together, strands erupting from the wound and connecting together. The same was becoming true across King Ghidorah’s full body, scales regrowing to recover healing tissue, burnt flesh falling away and being renewed.

    From the limp neck, tendrils emerged like the grasping feelers of a cephalopod. They attached to one another as more grew, slowly but surely reconstructing the curious aspect of the thrice-headed one.

    The maelstrom of emotion amongst the hundreds, perhaps thousands, within the temple was like weights upon every inch of Hayma’s body. Her breathing was short and swift as she tried to calm herself down. The negative energy filling the chambers of the holy place made this impossible.

    “After all this destruction by his hand, the so-called god will just die and leave us all at the golden dragon’s mercy!” Shouted an older woman, cradling a crying child in her arms.

    Hayma tried to plead. “People, please, put your faith that he can break free and—“

    “I’m not putting my faith in that wretch!” a man shouted above the groaning crowd. “He’s just as bad as the storm bringer!”

    The priestess tried to respond, taking some hope in the glimmers of reverence in their deity amongst the gathered. “How can you say such a thing after he has protecte—“

    “After he had destroyed our homes, yet got a second wind to fight back when his temple was in danger! How can we be sure he has not just been guarding us because we bask him in praise!” A lower ranking priest called out.

    An elderly man responded before Hayma could even get a word in edgewise, his voice clearly weathered by age but still managing to echo. “We all saw how the balance bringer reacted when he drew near to Bagan! Tell us, oh great and high priestess, why the king of the gods wished to destroy our so-called god!”

    “Why, he merely did not… he didn’t recognize him! Gojira knew not of our god before their encoun—“

    “She’s lying, I’ve known her for years!” Shouted one of Hayma’s fellow priestesses, driving a blade of fear through the loyalist to the forest god. Even the other devotees to him were turning!

    She breathed a sigh of relief when another person spoke up for Bagan. Another elderly man, who spoke with reserve and calmness. “People, please! Can you fault our lord for struggling against such a mighty foe, and for not being perfect? I am sure that Bagan shall break free and drive the demon away, as he always—“

    The man cried out as another male struck him across the face, the younger man sending his elder to the ground. Gasps filled the room, but to Hayma’s dismay, she did not sense everyone in the room disagreeing with the assailant. “Shut the hell up, there’s nothing left for that demon in god’s skin to save!” he shouted.

    Tears were flowing from Hayma’s eyes. “You all cannot just reject him, Bagan has saved us all so many times, this one time is enough to drive you all away?” she shouted. There was silence, an all encompassing, frightening silence.

    It was quiet enough to hear someone unlatch a torch from off one of the pillars of the room. Suddenly, the commotion picked up again as a rough-looking, grizzled man charged through the crowd, holding the burning stick. He broke through the front, charging toward Hayma with a look of utter hatred in his eyes, not a single person in his path having tried to stop him.

    “My family was out there, damn you and your false god, witch!” he bellowed, before burning the priestess’ face with the flame with a strike. She fell to the ground, crying out in anguish. Burns now marred her once beautiful features.

    And that action ignited the kindling being wracked up inside the collective mind of the crowd.

    “Death to Bagan!” The chant echoed madly as people began tearing down tapestries depicting him and his battles throughout history. Fists flew into the faces of those who supported the deity, brutal and unrelenting as hysteria became king amongst them. Other torches were unlatched and used to burn works of art and altars devoted to him, filling the chambers of the holy place with smoke and drifting ash.

    Bagan wept as he sensed it all, transmitted to him from the tortured mind of his only friend. King Ghidorah let out muffled laughter, their two heads mentally conversing and sharing mockery toward the insects. Did they somehow think this display of barbarity would save them?

    But the golden devil would not object to a show with their meal.

    “How could you all do this!?” Hayma cried out, tears streaming from the one eye left unaffected by the assault. “After all he has done, you do this!?”

    Her attacker showed no remorse as he slammed a kick into her side, bruising ribs. Another man stepped toward her, brandishing a fishing knife. Men, women, and children cheered as he approached, roaring with delight at her incoming death.

    “No, please! What do you all hope to even accomplish!?” she begged of them.

    The knife-wielder just shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know, I’m just following the crowd. I just happen to be the one with a weapon.” He replied with a toothy, sadistic grin before plunging the blade into Hayma’s stomach.

    Time seemed to pause for her.

    She no longer saw the people she had communed with every day of her life, those she praised Bagan with, the people of her kingdom. She saw wild animals, savages following only their herd mentality. All it took was fear to turn them into this.

    She would give them something to absolutely dread.

    As her blood sprayed forth from the wound, the attacker pulling the blade out and preparing to drive it in again, Hayma screamed. Not of agony, but to their dismay, in horrid hatred.

    “Damn you all, pathetic scum!” She declared, the words echoing into their very minds. “Bagan breaks his body to serve you all, and you spit in his eye! I devote my life to ensuring his relation to our kingdom is good, and you do this!”

    At her last word, psychic waves lashed out, sending agony through the minds of all present. The knife-wielder sliced her across the stomach by mistake as he stumbled back, but Hayma seemed to care little for the excess blood flowing from her.

    Tears flowed from her eyes, but her wrath did not dim. “You all deserve what shall happen next!” Weaker-minded people fell to their knees as her mind continued lashing out in a frenzy, clutching their heads as their brains throbbed with agony. She looked to the man who had burned her, who was busy backing away with a look of mortal terror in his eyes. “Join your family.” She spoke to him, words dripping with venom.

    The crowd was suddenly afflicted with horrid images flashing through their consciousnesses. Skullcrawlers ripping them asunder, blood and gore flying in all directions as they feasted. The unending hatred and misanthropy flowing through the three minds of their assailant, images of them reducing the kingdom to ash and gruesomely torturing the survivors to death.

    Of Bagan’s true darkness unleashed, the corpses of gods forming a mountain beneath his feet.

    All of these and more grotesque sights flashed through their brains. The absolute pain and anguish of Hayma manifesting as bile which she vomited upon them all.

    The torch holding father, his mind spasming with all being forced upon it as he received it far more intense than any other, stuck his face in the flames. He accidently inhaled, pulling fire into his body and collapsing his lungs. He dropped like stones, joining the knife wielder as he plunged the blade into his own gut.

    People fought amongst themselves, some compelled into blind frenzies by the psychic assault. Hayma just laughed, a broken, pained cackle that tore at her throat. The last statement the people heard from her was this, blood flowing from her mouth.

    “Bare witness to the wrath that eons ago crushed the gods and made the Earth itself shudder in terror!”

    A crowd rushed over to her, stomping upon her broken body in a desperate bid to end the blazing needles being driven into their psyches. She merely closed her eyes, reaching out with her mind.

    Overwhelming pain. Even with the two headed serpent draining away at his life, the pain of its bite was nothing compared to the psychic power clawing into his mind. He could feel her, the one pillar of light he had left in this world. He could feel her injuries, her pain stricken body, her anger at the people, her sadness at their betrayal, but most importantly, he felt her fading away, her fading voice echoing one last message within his mind.

    I know you can win this. I know what you truly are, and I don’t fear it. From the very beginning, I knew that you were the one I wanted to serve. The visions of your past only cemented my thoughts on you further. The people don’t deserve you. We protected them, showed them mercy and kindness, and they responded with fear and betrayal. So show them. Show them your true power, my friend. Unleash your power, kill that false god, and regain your title as the true ruler of this world!

    With her last words embedded in his mind, the connection between man and god was severed at last. Silence filled the behemoth’s mind, the fading light of his friend’s presence turning to darkness. With her light now gone, darkness filled its void, violent and building with his rage and sorrow. Weakened by the psychic response and fueled by his feelings at the death of his only true friend in millenia, Bagan, God of the Forest was dead, and in his place, Bagan, the God of Darkness, was reborn anew.

    Electricity crackled across burnt armor, surging throughout the encaptured monster’s body and into the maw of the golden demise. The golden hydra hungrily lapped up the increased electrical charge, surprised at the sudden influx of power being given off as their severed neck seemed to increase tenfold in its regeneration. Blackened ash fell to the ground, replaced by ashen white armor and blood red flesh. Red eyes glistened and crackled with electricity as power surged through his very being.

    Lifting up his broken arm, he roared out in pure rage, the bones snapping into place, as he clawed into the neck restraining his other arm. Gripping with unrestrained might, he dug his claws into the beast’s golden scales, piercing deep into the foreign invader’s body. Ghidorah cringed at the pain assailing it’s other head as the third head finally finished its regenerative process, the only restraint left being the healing patch holding the head from forming.

    As the center head went to unlatch the clear membrane, it heard a loud crack, something long and muscular wrapping around its horns and maw before snapping backward. Turning around, it found the source of the bindings on its body, its opponent’s tail now extended, trying to yank it off the rest of the body. As it struggled to get free, it watched as the once shattered open wound it had been biting healed like it had never been struck.

    With pain striking their body, the right head continued to absorb the vast amount of power this creature was giving off. As powerful white energy surged through its neck, the head soon realized that the transfer of energy was going nowhere, coalescing and circling within itself. Confused at first, it wasn’t long before the head found itself sailing through the air, having been torn off the main body and sustained only by the energy it was absorbing. The God of Darkness roared out as he tore King Ghidorah off his body, swinging it around with his powerful tail, and tossed the golden being through the remains of the palace, sending the dragon hurtling across the land.

    White electricity crackled off his flesh, his hide fully healed as his regeneration returned to its true strength. The shackled darkness within his heart was now pulsing through his veins like pitch black fire as Bagan glared at the burning temple. Millenia of restraint began lifting as the dark power surged through his body hungrily. As his strength returned to him, he heard the angered cries of the people below. Turning his head, he saw the humans staring at him in fear, the corpse of his only friend lying in a bloody puddle in their midst. Seeing the ones responsible only fueled his anger further. He would not let them defile his friend’s body any further.

    There was only one fate for those who rebelled against their masters.

    Those in the above ground section of the temple had little chance of survival as burning hot plasma vaporized their very being, leaving behind nothing but molten rock. Turning his head, Bagan continued to unleash his rage upon the people he had once protected, the ones that would dare to scorn his kindness and centuries of protection upon only a single battle destroying their home. The cries and pleading of those below did nothing to appease his wrath as he burned all who stood before him. Without his friend, their prayers meant nothing to him.

    Stone and rubble scattered as the three headed monster exploded out of his brief tomb. Ghidorah was furious! With a loud cackle of anger, the devil’s wings opened to their full might, rocks and mud slinging backward. Turning their view, they glared murderously at the creature that dared to not only tear off their head once, but twice now. The power they had absorbed from their foe quickly kicked in, the torn stump growing at a rapid pace as the middle head tore off the remaining membrane of the other.

    The side heads flexed their newly formed muscles as they turned their hatred toward the beast. Bagan simply stood there, unleashing his flames onto the buildings below. It seemed they had managed to make their prey snap. What a pathetic thing to lose one’s mind over. This would only make the coming kill all the more sweeter for them. Golden sparks built up around the dragon’s body, traveling upward to the three heads. With three consecutive roars of rage, golden destruction surged outward, coming together into a combined beam of destruction.

    Hearing the crackling of lightning, Bagan stopped his divine wrath and turned to the storm bringer. Holding up a single hand, Bagan watched as the oncoming beam was completely negated, its electrical might reflecting off an invisible barrier of energy formed from his glowing claws, tearing apart the city below.

    Shocked that their foe had suddenly gained a new ability to stop their beams, King Ghidorah stopped their electrical assault and charged forth on their mighty wings. Power surged from Bagan’s horns, empowering his body as the great behemoth glared at the false king before him. The nasal horn shifted, moving closer to the center of his head as he leaned forward. Within an instant, he had surged forth, crossing the vast distance between them as though his heavy bulk weighed as little as a feather.

    The sudden burst of speed shocked the three headed serpent, unable to react as Bagan appeared in front of their heads, slamming horn first into their body. The powerful impact knocked the dragon backward, bones snapping like twigs upon hitting the heavily armored bulk of the dark god as they were speared through the chest by all three horns. Pain filled the golden monster’s being as Bagan flung the dragon upward off his head, his nasal horn flinging back to its normal position and slicing through flesh.

    As the golden destroyer was sent backward, it had little time to react as Bagan surged forth with another burst of speed, this time grabbing ahold of the dragon’s tail and slamming them hard against the ground. The earth shook as the foreign invader cratered into the mud, bones breaking and healing as Bagan threw the dragon back toward civilization. Ghidorah flapped their wings, trying to gain air only for the ivory god to barrel into them, shattering the scales on their chest as he slashed forth with his unrestrained power. A cross of energy seemed to form with his strike, rending flesh and scales apart like paper.

    The dragon crumpled across the ground, tearing through the city and sending mud and debris flying. Broken bones snapped and mended while blood pooled out of an X shaped wound with a long cut in the center going through their chest. With a powerful flap of his wings, the destroyer of worlds was airborne, launching themself out of grabbing distance. Snarling, the golden dragon watched as Bagan shot forth beneath him, electricity surging across the behemoth’s armored body as it failed to tackle the three headed monster once more.

    It seems that something had changed in their foe. The right head wanted nothing more than to dive back down and tear into the insolent beast while the center head wondered where this newfound strength had come from. As the other two were arguing whether or not to dive in, the ever so curious left head was quick to act, flinging their body to the side as white plasma scorched past their location, singeing the tips of their wing. The surprise at the now intensified heat ray nearly got the dragon burned as the beam moved after them, stopping momentarily as they flew into the clouds.

    Bagan’s entire being was filled with euphoric joy. The overwhelming strength, his strength, had returned to him. Such a long time restrained made the dragon god excited at the feeling of finally cutting loose once more. The heaviness of his armor was gone, his energy was unending, and his mind was far more clear without the need to protect the traitorous ants around him. As he reveled in his true strength, he glared at the false king hovering in the clouds above. He had a promise to keep. Charging up his power, he fired another blast of his plasma breath, relishing the intense heat it now emitted.

    As the dragon twisted about to dodge another plasma beam, they realized it was not only his strength of body, but the potency of their enemy’s energy that had also increased. The right head screeched in anger that this creature dared to hold out so much raw power on them as the center head began surging their body with a negative charge to prepare for a large assault. Lightning slammed into the dragon’s body from above, scattering and absorbing into the dragon’s scales. It started with a single bolt, before more began to surge through the skies. Bagan watched as bolt after bolt struck the hydra’s body, before eventually the entire sky was alight with golden light, a consistent stream of electricity flowing into the dragon above.

    Electricity surged across his body, converting raw energy into solid muscles as it healed his injuries. The Great Monster Zero roared out, the building energy surging throughout their body and wings before they arched their wings toward Bagan. Three streams of golden electricity shot out of the dragon’s maws, accompanied by more bolts of lightning streaming out of their wing tips. The oncoming surge of energy slammed into Bagan’s forcefield, slowly pushing the ivory destroyer back. Cracks began to form on the barrier, causing Bagan to unleash a fury filled roar. Energy crackled across his spikes as he unleashed his power upward in the form of three energy orbs. The spheres shot past Ghidorah, causing the right head to cackle in mockery. More energy spheres quickly began firing off, trails of electricity following them into the sky as the left head watched on curiously.

    The barrier soon shattered from the empowered assault, scorching the dark god with unholy might. Armor burned under the electrical assault as white electricity crackled over his bare hide, mitigating some of the damage with his own electrical power. Unlike before, the bullish monster held in his painful roars, focusing his power into his shoulder spikes before roaring skyward. Taking their enemy’s roar as one of a dying creature, the center and right heads continued their assault. It was only when the left head noticed a glimmer in the sky that it realized why the spheres had soared past them. Blinding white light lit the dark storm above, causing the multi headed destroyer to stop their assault in surprise.

    As Bagan’s scorched armor began regenerating, he roared out once more, the white light now shooting down like meteors. Glistening white diamonds of pure energy shot out of the stormy heavens, piercing aurum gilded armor like a hot knife through butter. King Ghidorah screeched in unholy pain as the first diamond shot through their wing, crashing into the ground and shattering into blistering hot embers. A second was quick to slice off one of their rattling tails as they dodged a third on its way toward their central head. More began to fall, prompting them to take initiative. If their foe wanted to attack them using their own storm as cover, they would show how useless the attack truly was.

    Wing lightning tore through the skies themselves as The King of Terror twisted about in the sky. Diamonds shot toward the golden hydra at high speed, none striking the more agile aerial monster. Golden electricity tore into white plasma, shattering them and sending particles of light scattering across the raining sky in a myriad of rainbows. Lightning fired from the right head as it continued laying waste to the diamond assault, the center head taking control of moving the body while the left head continued monitoring the surroundings for oncoming attacks.

    To the humans that remained, the stormy skies that once brought despair now appeared as a myriad of color, a deadly dance traversing the now colorful sky as the golden tyrant twisted and dismantled each attack.

    White plasma struck the dragon from behind as the diamond assault ended, scales and flesh scorching under the superheated assault as the beam burned through their wing membrane. Twisting their body around, the king of terror glared fiercely at the damn creature before them that refused death. They watched as Bagan’s burns quickly began to heal up, far faster than their own healing currently was. The holes in their wings were slowly getting smaller, and their tail started the process of regrowing. They had already used up most of the power they had stolen from Bagan’s body healing their injuries, the momentary storm charge having been used up in the ensuing destruction of the energy crystals.

    Bagan taunted the golden hydra from his position on the ground, energy building up as he prepared to fire another blast of his plasma breath. Seeing the sparking electricity flowing across their opponent, King Ghidorah began charging up their own attack, gold lightning crackling across their body and into their maws as they dove down to meet the demon in one final clash. Light gathered around the two demons as they fired their respective attacks. White plasma shot forth, striking the combined might of a trio of Gravity Bolts, neither side giving out. The surging power growing between the two attacks began building tremendously before a magnificent explosion overtook the two dueling monstrosities.

    Minutes passed as the dust began to settle. What was once a beautiful cityscape and forest now remained a scorched plain of hills and ruins. Rising from the muddy ground, King Ghidorah shook his bruised and battered body, burns and injuries bleeding into the mud below. Their left head laid limp at the side, most likely unconscious from the resulting explosion, as the right neck was torn in half from its jawline. Their wings were tattered, but still capable of flight for the moment. They would live, but the destroyer would need to find a place to rest to recover strength.

    The bruised center head looked around the battlefield, seeing no sign of their opponent anywhere. Letting loose a roar of victory, the dragon readied to fly away when a nearby mound of dirt and mud shook. From the ground burst an injured Bagan, blood oozing from several injuries as they started healing back together. The God of Darkness roared into the sky as he searched for his foe.

    Seeing this abomination still alive and somehow even healing, the center head of King Ghidorah knew it would have to retreat if they were to get their revenge. They had this abomination on his knees and dying before something kickstarted a second wind for this creature. They would have to recover and grow his strength before attempting to kill this creature. Flapping rapidly, the dragon took to the skies just as Bagan found them. By the time the bulky god had reached his foe’s location, the dragon was already airborne and about to enter his storm system.

    Rage filled Bagan’s mind. This creature attacked his territory, and now it was retreating all because he had shown his true power. If this creature thought they could escape Bagan’s wrath, they had another thing coming. White Lightning crackled across his spikes as he prepared to fire another Plasma blast at his enemy. Moments before he could, the limp left head suddenly came back to consciousness, a reactive burst of his gravity beam firing from his maw. The golden electricity smacked Bagan face first, blowing up his energy in his face and allowing the dragon god to reach the cover of his storm.

    Time seemed to slow as he watched the dragon’s tails slowly enter the clouds above. Inside Bagan’s mind, he began thinking of ways to reach the cowardly invader. His attacks wouldn’t reach him from this range and he couldn’t leap high enough to deal damage. As his rage at failing his friend’s promise filled his mind, memories began to flow in the back of his mind. Memories of his friend surged throughout the dark energy coursing through him, memories of the days they spent together and the resonant feeling of her death. All these thoughts flowed together like a river of light in his sea of darkness. It was through this light that a new power surged through the dark gods body. For even the deepest depths of darkness must always have a light to give them meaning.

    Shimmering Light burst from Bagan’s shoulder spikes, enlightening the darkness around him. The light began to shift and morph as it spread outward, glittering power surging forth as the God of Darkness took flight.

    Bagan roared out as he chased after King Ghidorah, his wings of light lighting up the darkness of the storm revealing the golden hydra. Ghidorah stared back in panic. They had not expected such a heavy foe to be capable of flight! It hadn’t even had wings to bring it airborne, yet here it was in their storm. In a panic, they attempted to fire gravity bolts at the white behemoth, only for the armored dragon to shoot off into the distance, his presence only being dictated by the trail of shimmering light particles circling about his storm.

    All at once, Bagan’s body surged with power as his claws extended to twice their size. White electricity covered his body as his speed increased significantly, his horns twisting and moving as he prepared to rush his foe. It was then that the alien king felt dread spreading through their body.

    At a speed that belied his size, Bagan sped toward King Ghidorah, white light trailing behind him as he slashed the dragon on the side. Golden scales and chunks of meat were torn off as Bagan sped past. Before the three headed monster could react, the ivory god had already twisted and curved around, speeding toward the dragon once more and severing the right neck with his nasal horn. Another curve in the air led him slashing his large claws across the wing membranes holding the golden dragon airborne as another blow knocked the dragon upward with a slasher claw. Several times did Bagan continue this rush of attacks, his speed constantly increasing as he circled about, slashing across his prey’s body with his horns and claws. Golden flesh scattered in the storm above as the rain turned red with blood, each blow tearing off more and more flesh.

    The King of Terror was in shock as they hovered, unable to move as their foe continuously hacked away at his body. The sky was alight with trailing white light, each illuminating the hydra’s figure as they sped past at Mach speed. It wasn’t until Bagan was hovering above the golden hydra did they realize just how powerful this demon god truly was. As the Ivory God of Destruction sped toward the alien Invader, King Ghidorah unleashed one last resort to hopefully buy them enough time to escape.

    A duo of Gravity bolts shot forth from panicked and shredded maws. Electricity shot out of neck wounds, burning the dragon yet they continued onward, firing the golden lightning and striking Bagan’s shoulder. The shoulder spike shattered under the electrical assault combined with the speed at which Bagan was moving, destroying one of his glittering wings and leaving him off balance.

    Ivory armor slammed into the golden dragon, spinning the two out of control as they shot toward the earth below. Not wanting to die, Ghidorah quickly latched onto Bagan with their two remaining heads and began draining as much as possible. In retaliation, Bagan snapped forth, tearing into and devouring the flesh of the center neck while stabbing his hand into the dragon’s gut. As they shot past the clouds, Ghidorah opened what remained of their wings, catching enough air to flip Bagan over to take the brunt of the fall damage. An explosion of dirt shot into the sky as the two crashed into the earth. The ground shook viciously upon their impact, fracturing and splitting open as lightning struck the ground around them.

    The two monsters laid atop each other, bleeding and broken as the muddied earth fractured open beside them, growing wide enough to swallow them whole. King Ghidorah groaned out as they lifted themselves off Bagan, the latter’s hand having shoved completely through their chest while the dragon’s center head had been ripped off, dead in the maw of Bagan as it slipped into the ravine. The armored behemoth’s white shell was all but shattered, his limbs and shoulder protrusions broken upon impact. The blood of both monsters coated them crimson as the left head turned, finding itself the last remaining head on the main body.

    The golden dragon could hear the panicked cries of more creatures, glancing into the depths of the ravine to see a horde of legged snake like creatures within various opened tunnels and chambers. The ravenous horde tore at the severed head with savage hunger, larger creatures snapping at the smaller ones in order to sate their hunger first. A snarl from the living dragon caught their attention, causing them to quickly drag away the head in fear, retreating back into their holes.

    Crawling away, it looked over their body to assess the injuries, finding several large gashes and holes covering most of the body, one of the tails missing and a leg broken. Unlike the aggressive, battle hungry right head and the battle hardened leadership of the center head, the left head’s purpose was to be cautious and curious in its surroundings in order to watch for hidden and oncoming attacks. As such, it found it in their best interest to use the energy they had stolen during their fall, to heal up their shredded and nearly cut off wings.

    Pain filled the body as flesh and bone rapidly grew outward from the tattered remains of his wings. It was in the left head’s best interest to be able to escape first before regaining strength to fight. As its wings healed enough to maintain a short flight, a huff of breath caught its attention. Turning their last remaining head around, the dragon watched in fear as Bagan slowly attempted to lift itself up.

    His arms were broken, as were his legs and ribs, yet Bagan attempted to get to his feet. Dark flames burned in his blood red eyes as the demon got to his knees, his need to finish this battle forcing him to rise. Before he could rise any further lightning struck his face, tearing into him and pushing him closer to the ravine. The Dark God cringed as golden electricity scorched away half his sight, stopping as it revealed the bone beneath his flesh. White lightning coursed through his healing body as Bagan readied to fire his plasma breath.

    With all his power surging through his body, the dragon turned to fire it all and finish off his enemy. However, he was unprepared to see the bleeding, one headed dragon already airborne, diving feet first toward him. The crack of bone shattering resounded through the land as King Ghidorah slammed into the dragon god’s skull, slashing out the dragon’s other eye with their talons. The hit to the face pushed the former guardian back just enough for his off balance, heavy bulk to cause the muddied ground he stood on to collapse, causing a landslide that pulled him into the dark ravine.

    As he fell into the depths, the God of Darkness roared, unleashing all his power at once. A pillar of light shot out from his body, overtaking and filling the crack in the earth with his power. The screams of the ravenous horde filled his senses as the light lit up their dark caves. Their roars were like a chorus of the damned leading him into hell as he fell from the surface. The Golden Dragon screeched out as the power knocked them backward, watching as what seemed to be a wall of light shot skyward, piercing through the storm clouds and into the recesses of space itself.

    Bagan raged as he felt his power surging out of his body, the pure energy being emitted shaking and destabilizing the foundations of the ravine. Rocks and mud quickly began to fall, as though to fill in the gap left in the earth and Bagan along with it. As the earth began to close on him, something curious began to happen to Bagan’s body. With his body severely injured and low on energy, his super regenerative ability kicked into overdrive, pulling out one last trump card to save his life. Instead of patching him up like new, instead his regeneration expanded outward like a tumorous growth, covering and shielding his body in a cocoon of flesh. As the ground began to collapse above him, the god thought back to the memories of his friend. No matter how long it took, he would be free of this prison, free to get his revenge. Free to take control of this world. Free to ensure his promise would be fulfilled.

    The earth shuddered and quaked as the ground seemed to fuse back together, the wall of light dispersing into the darkness of night. The King of Terror couldn’t believe it. All this trouble, all this pain and near death, all for their foe to succumb to mother nature’s wrath. Anger and relief seemed to fill the dragon’s mind, remembering how its other heads had thought this behemoth would be a satisfying beast to take down. Now however, all it felt was the pain of wounds healing slowly along with the anger that it was not them that truly finished off the foe but an act of nature burying him in the earth. Still, it would take this as a victory for the moment.

    With a single head remaining, King Ghidorah roared to the sky in triumph, spreading his wings as blood continued to leak from his many scars and injuries. What it hadn’t expected, was to get a response so quickly. A mighty roar responded to his call, one far closer and far more powerful than what it had let loose in his injured state. Looking around its surroundings, it wasn’t until a crack of lightning struck the earth miles away that he saw it.

    Glowing blue energy sparking across rocky hide and serrated spines. A glare of anger and determination filling the face of the charging god king. Growling, the dragon knew it wouldn’t be able to take on the oncoming alpha predator with his injuries. With a bark of warning, Ghidorah took to the sky, flying off as the great leviathan neared.

    Seeing the invader leaving so soon, Godzilla roared out in rage as he slowed down. He hadn’t expected for the earth’s dark destroyer to lose. Sniffing the air, he knew that the great destroyer of old was still alive, perhaps swallowed by the earth. Even if he had been holding back in restraint all these years, Godzilla knew that the Dark Titan should have been able to kill this creature. Perhaps the planet itself interfered and swallowed the dark dragon for a future task. Only time would tell if Bagan would return. Until then, he had a threat to the planet to destroy and balance to bring.

    As Godzilla left the area, what few survivors of the titan’s wrath began to gather. Those who had lost their faith in their god began to pray for his return, some migrating away out of grief for their fallen to lands in the east. Yet it was those who had survived the attacks of the forsaken who became the most zealous in their religious fervor. They began praying for the dark god to unleash his divine wrath, seeing their survival as a sign for them to be envoys of his darkness against the ones who would betray them. As such, they would begin to rebuild, even with the destruction of most of their homes and families. Years later, they would begin tunneling beneath the ground, hoping to reach their god once more and document the great battle that had taken place, even with the ravenous devil that made the depths their home. As it was so, with the ability to flourish and sustain life given by the dark god’s unleashed power, humanity would continue to live on in the land of Bagan.

    *****

    Present Day

    Professor Yamane dissected the new information within his mind. Despite orders to stay put, the professor had continued along the path, following the story the walls spoke of as he passed by the petrified remains of various skull crawlers. Soon, he found himself standing in front of two large doors of stone. Engraved onto the doors were the towering three headed destroyer flying above a carving of the Dark God. Yamane knew what the creature facing down Bagan was, yet the runic translations only referred to it as the one who was many. Monarch knew it as Monster Zero.

    If this Bagan was a superpredator on par with the likes of Godzilla and Monster Zero, then this site which was his tomb would end up heavily guarded in order to prevent his awakening. As he touched the door, he noticed what appeared to be a stone button embedded in the wall nearby.

    “Professor, it’s time for the next shift.”

    Xiong’s words went over his head as the professor reached for the button. Silent whispers spoke to him in the back of his mind. A silent, almost feminine voice, beckoning him forth with promises of ancient secrets as he felt the protruding stone.

    “Professor, Do you read me? It’s time to leave this dark place and return to the surface.”

    Pushing the button, he heard the grinding of stone, one left unmoved in millenia. As the doors opened, the radiation detectors in his suit began to rise, a large gush of heat pushing against his body as he saw what stood behind the doors. His camera system began malfunctioning as the power being emanated short circuited its systems.

    “Shit the radioactivity near him just spiked and his camera systems shut off. We need to get him out of there now!”

    Yamane walked forth into the chamber, staring in awe at the massive chasm before him. In the midst of this chasm, a large orb of flesh pulsed with life, white lightning coursing through its veiny surface as heat and steam vented from its surface.

    “Captain Xiong,” he said, staring with hidden glee at the discovery of this alpha titan’s dormant state, “Be sure to send a message to Monarch that I will not be accompanying Dr. Miya to Sergio Island. I believe I will be staying here to study this Bagan further.”

    Unbeknownst to the professor, something began to stir in the depths of the fleshy cocoon. A mind left slumbering for millenia slowly began to stir. Unknown sounds, muffled by his fleshy prison, began filling his once silent sanctuary. Yet, among these new sounds, familiar noises and unusual calls could be heard echoing through the world. There was a conflict in the air, one that Bagan knew he would be forced to awaken for, and with his awakening, he would find the golden dragon and finish their battle. White lightning coursed around earthy brown armor, claws clenching as the dragon continued to slumber. Soon, he would awaken and fulfill his promise. Even if he had to destroy the world to do so.

    Winner: King Ghidorah (Legendary)

    K.W.C. // November 20, 2020
  • Super Godzilla returns in the Reiwa era! A complete translation of an interview with Super Godzilla producer Masato Takeno, as found in the booklet for the Super Godzilla Original Soundtrack released this past September by CINEMA-KAN. From the boss monster selection to a lesson in game development, Takeno looks back on his time on the Super Nintendo title.

    As usual, very special thanks to Noah Oskow for the following translation!

    (more…)

    Translations // November 19, 2020
  • In 2019 Playmates Toys ventured into releasing Godzilla figures. Initially launching with 12 inch figures, with later ones closer to 11 inches, the company also branched out into a six inch line. Their releases have included those from classic films, such as the Showa and Heisei eras of the Godzilla franchise, to an extensive line around the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong movie. To get more information on past and upcoming figures from the company, we sat down for an interview with John Stelzner, Vice President of Marketing at Playmates Toys.

    (more…)

    Interviews // November 13, 2020
  • Author: Joel Forsberg | Banner: Landon Soto

    With a howl of satisfaction, Gabara kicked another building away.

    After years of torment, the colossal ogre had finally found a perfect domain. He had ventured out to terrorize humanity, to finally claim territory for himself. But no matter what he tried, Gabara found himself defeated by some other kaiju.

    When he returned to Monster Island after his years of searching, he had been excited to vent his anger on his favorite victim, Minilla. Though Gabara found the son of Godzilla, another offspring of the Monster King has appeared in the green brute’s absence, and a very angry Godzilla Junior chased the emerald ogre out of his own home.

    Defeated and disgruntled, Gabara wandered the Earth until he found this place. The city below him was called Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos archipelago. But Gabara did not know that, nor did he care. The only thoughts rattling inside its mischievous mind was the fact that he had finally found his own place to stomp into the ground.

    Amidst Gabara’s ecstatic rampage, a strange, high-pitched roar echoed through the air. The feline-faced kaiju snapped out of his daze and turned his head to the source of the noise, but the rocky beach revealed nothing. Gabara shrugged, and turned back to his reign of destruction.

    Another roar caused Gabara to snort angrily and whip around once more, his left eye visibly twitching. This time, however, he was greeted by the sound of rumbling. Gabara stared in confusion as a massive chunk of stone broke from the shallows.

    The ogre’s gut reaction proved incorrect as the creature arose. It was no rock, but a massive shell! Water cascaded off the shell’s sides as Kamoebas stepped upon the sand. He had been circling these islands for months, feasting upon seals, iguanas, and the occasional boat. This was his hunting ground, and he was not going to lose it. The turtle slowly rose to the land and turned to the green invader in his home, letting out another screech.

    A wicked smile spread over Gabara’s face, baring yellow teeth. Under normal circumstances, he would be angry that his reign of terror was interrupted. But this shelled monster was barely taller than the pre-pubescent monster prince. The bully cracked his knuckles and started toward the beach, snickering all the way. He was eager to make a memory; the memory of him smashing the first threat to his new domain into turtle soup.

    Kamoebas shook off the last of the water and lumbered toward the ogre, who had entered an excited jog. The terrapin waddled toward the invader, but Gabara was too fast. The green ogre kneed Kamoebas in the nose, eliciting a squeal from the chelonid. Gabara didn’t let that stop him, striking again from the left, then from below. Kamoebas’ head was batted around like a ball, making him dizzy and disoriented, but he still found enough clarity amongst the beating to heavily stomp down on Gabara’s foot. The invader howled in pain and stepped back, grabbing his foot and hopping around the other, crushing multiple buildings in his fit of pain.

    Kamoebas shook his head, trying to get his brain back in place. As his spasm ended, the turtle stared at his agonized foe. With surprising speed, he waddled toward Gabara and crashed into his remaining leg, toppling the bully with a roar of triumph. Gabara let out his own cry as he fell into the street, face planting into the asphalt. The lumpy green monster slowly rose to his knees, just in time to see Kamoebas charging back toward him. Gabara leapt to his feet as his loggerhead foe charged, and delivered a punt beneath Kamoebas’ chin. The walking island skidded to a stop, stunned from the blow, and groaned.

    With a reverberating laugh, Gabara reached under the shell of his enemy and flipped Kamoebas over. As the turtle squealed, he beat on his underbelly and neck. Even with the hard shell underneath, the blows were felt with all their force on Kamoebas’ ribs and organs. He flailed his limbs, but to no avail as Gabara continued the beating with his cackles of excitement. To him, it seemed Kamoebas was to lose this battle. The turtle, however, still had an ace up his sleeve.

    With a deep breath, Kamoebas extended his neck out to the same length as his body. It struck Gabara in the gut, forcefully knocking the air out of him. A wheeze left the bully’s lungs and he hunched over, grabbing his stomach. As the ogre tried to gasp for air, Kamoebas seized his opportunity. Launching his neck out again, he sunk his fangs into the side of Gabara’s head, driving out a scream from the horrid toad as he shook his head, attempting to shake the terrapin’s firm grip, but somehow managed to accidentally flip Kamoebas – and, hence, himself – over in the process. Gabara was smashed into a small neighborhood and Kamoebas landed on his feet, albeit very ungracefully.

    Although disoriented, the turtle kept his grip on the ogre. Gabara screeched again as Kamoebas dragged him through the neighborhoods and streets, shoving his warty body through concrete, steel and asphalt. As he neared the beach, Kamoebas loosened his grip, and with a swift movement of his head, the turtle tossed Gabara into the sea. The ogre’s green arms flailed above the water, accompanied by bubbles from his screams of fear.

    Kamoebas watched the water as his foe flailed about, eventually sinking below the waves, fingertips disappearing with a final burst of bubbles. The water became calm. The only sound was the gentle slap of waves hitting the beach.

    The chelonid screeched in victory, believing he had won, and began to turn his back to the waves.

    Without warning, Gabara burst from the waves with a reverberating cry. Before Kamoebas could turn to face him once more, the bully grabbed the turtle by the tail. Gabara’s horn then began crackling with neon blue energy, which traveled down his arms and into the turtle’s body. Kamoebas squealed as his whole body was exposed to the voltage. Violent spasms plagued him while Gabara laughed. Kamoebas could not hit the bully with his short legs, and the shaking of his body prevented him from turning around.

    Gabara’s cackles continued as he shocked Kamoebas, pleased with his foe’s suffering. Electricity, however, was not enough to satisfy his bloodlust. He began dragging Kamoebas backward into the water, where he would then pummel the creature into the seafloor.

    His mistake, however, was not letting up on his electricity attack as he did so.

    When Kamoebas hit the water, the electricity traveled through it and into Gabara. The ogre felt his own attack surge into his legs and up into his body. The voltage made him stand stiff and upright, and he let go of Kamoebas’ tail. Even without his grip on the turtle, the electricity kept surging through Gabara’s body for some time, allowing Kamoebas to escape his grasp and run onto the land.

    As the final surge traveled up to Gabara’s head and through his hair, Gabara stopped his convulsions. His hair blackened and tongue sticking haphazardly out of his mouth, Gabara couldn’t help but think of all the previous victims of this attack. The ogre found himself no longer blaming Junior for the barrage of atomic rays fired at him.

    Snapping out of his trance, Gabara watched as Kamoebas retreated inland and snarled, following after the rocky-shelled turtle. As he stepped onto the shore, Kamoebas flipped around, eyes rolling in his head. The electricity had disoriented him, but he was not about give up. Using his new path, Kamoebas announced his attack with a screech and charged toward the cat-goblin. Gabara responded in like, snarling and running.

    The two monsters charged each other with no sign of stopping. Cars and street lights were crushed in their wake, but they didn’t care. All they wanted was to rip the other to shreds.

    As the kaiju got close, Kamoebas tilted his head to snap Gabara’s thigh, but the brute was too quick. He brought his other leg around and struck Kamoebas in the throat, causing the oversized terrapin to choke and stop. Gabara, however, did not follow suit. With his right hand, he grabbed Kamoebas behind the jaw and unleashed a barrage of punches into the mutant’s face. Kamoebas cried out with each punch, giving Gabara a feeling of glee. But while the beating was satisfying, Gabara wished to not give the reptilian another chance to retaliate. Gabara reached his other hand behind Kamoebas’ head, and his foot on the turtle’s shell. With a mighty heave, the ogre pulled on Kamoebas’ head, attempting to tear it off.

    Kamoebas squealed as Gabara pulled, feeling the tension on his neck. Gabara, in turn, laughed and pulled harder.

    He kept pulling.

    And pulling.

    Eventually, the bully realized something was wrong. With a quizzical grunt, he looked at the turtle, wondering what had happened. Kamoebas met his gaze with blank eyes, looking somewhat unworried. Gabara furrowed his brow. How had the creature not been decapitated?

    He looked over Kamoebas’ head to see his extended neck, which had adapted to the bully’s tugging. With an amused chortle, Kamoebas quickly pulled his long neck back into its shell. Gabara was tugged along with it, and the momentum caused him to slam his face into the terrapin’s hard carapace. The warty ogre screamed and pulled his hands away to caress his broken nose, trying to numb the pain.

    Kamoebas shook his now freed head, trying to get rid of the dizziness. Another one of Gabara’s screams brought him back to reality, and he snarled. He compressed his neck even further, attempting to store up more energy, and set his eyes on the stunned feline’s gut. However, the electricity and beating together had disoriented Kamoebas. He launched his assault, but its destination was a bit lower than he had originally aimed.

    The turtle’s head struck hard and true. Gabara tried to scream, but the sound caught in his throat with a choking sound. Tears welled up in the bully’s eyes as he fell to his knees, his mouth frozen in a silent scream as he grasped the injured area.

    Kamoebas retracted his head and observed the oni’s reaction. His attack was a lot more effective than expected, but the chelonid was not one to complain. He took his opportunity and struck Gabara once more, this time in his already shattered nose. Gabara was sent back flipping into the water, landing in a colossal belly flop. The resulting splash traveled through the air and farther inland than even the destruction from the two monsters’ rampage. As the water flooded through the streets, Kamoebas kept a careful eye on the ocean. He had learned about assuming the death of his foe from his bout before, and he was not going to make the same mistake this time.

    Bubbles rose to the surface. Kamoebas tensed up, waiting for his foe to reemerge…

    Belly up, Gabara rose out of the water, clearly unconscious. Drool dripped from the monster’s open mouth as he began floating away, into the open ocean.

    Kamoebas watched as Gabara floated away, eventually becoming a green speck in the distance. Another cry of victory escaped the turtle’s maw, but this time it was final. After finishing his victory screech, he slipped into the water. The battle had left him hungry, and he could go for some seal.

    Winner: Kamoebas (Showa)

    K.W.C. // November 11, 2020
  • On October 26th, 2020, the forums suffered on outage. This issue was at the host level, who quickly rectified the dilemma. In doing so, they updated the PHP instance on the site to the latest version, exposing issues. The host kept rolling the PHP instance back until they found a working one, which took about a dozen tries. This exposed how outdated the forums had become, and highlighted that they were sitting on an aging tech stack: with components set to be depreciated. It required an update, although I had been resistant knowing this would wipe out modifications and styles for the forums. That said, a choice between having a forums that is more future proof versus keeping the old styles shouldn’t even have been a debate. Accepting this, the forums entered their third life cycle.

    Created way back in 2003, when the site first moved off free hosting to the tohokingdom.com domain, the forums have been a mainstay. They went through some bumpy starts as the site transitioned hosts, including losing everything during one transition, but have been stable for a decade now. In 2016, similar to what we are seeing now, the forums became outdated. This kicked off the second life cycle, and one can read about it and the even older styles that used to be associated with it.

    Four years later the site finds itself at a similar crossroads. So this blog is meant to chronicle the old Toho Kingdom forums styles from the second iteration. These were up from 2016 to 2020, although were all created in a time frame from 2016 to 2017. Some of these will return to the new forums, although slightly altered. Some will not. This article will act as archive of the styles from this period. The styles are sorted by popularity, at the time the forums were updated. (more…)

    General // November 7, 2020
  • Author: Andrew Sudomerski & Tyler Trieschock | Banner: Landon Soto

    Deep Space – 1973

    There was only comfort in isolation. And for countless eons, it embraced the empty vacuum, going through the basic repetitive routines of its existence. Its birth was irrelevant. Survival was the only necessity to thrive in this cruel void. The nothingness, for endless ages, was its only home. But an urge pulled it to a globe of green and blue, a place it had never been to before. Was destiny giving it a chance at a new life? To prove itself worthy to live in a heartless world? Following its instincts, the amorphous lifeform dove towards the massive sphere.

    The time spent falling was nothing short of progressive. Time accelerated as gravity took hold of its form. However, it wasn’t long until it found itself splattered against the hull of a metallic capsule. Orbiting across the ocean of emptiness, the Helios-7 was a research vessel collecting data of unknown organisms within Earth’s exosphere. Little did it realize that it would serve as a ride for an alien organism from galaxies far away. Acting on primordial instinct, the amoeba clung to the vessel with all its might. Its cells, adapted to the absence of heat, were able to withstand the bitter void, which did not bother it in the least. So when it seeped through the cracks and navigated its way to the interior, it began to torture the men aboard Helios-7.

    Their screams faded before Helios-7 fell back into the atmosphere.

    And so, the Helios-7 plummeted to the wideness of the Pacific Ocean. The world would learn of its tragedy later that week, as the spacecraft vanished beneath the oceanic surface. Little would anyone know the truth of the matter; a virus from far beyond our world settling in, adapting. The first set of earthly victims of the amoeba would never tell the tale of what happened…

    *****

    Lagos Island – 1973

    Confident human eyes gazed upon an unbeatable leviathan.

    The three-headed dragonoid scanned all in its presence, uncurling golden lips to reveal razor sharp teeth. Bright hot energies sparked within the beast’s three maws. The air rippled from the intense heat gathering near the dragon’s jaws as it prepared its signature weapon of destruction. A bright light encompassed the humans as they witnessed the colossal creature’s unmatched power first hand.

    Gravity bolts tore into the ocean with unrelenting fury. Geysers of superheated vapor blasted high into the atmosphere, blanketing two men in a colorful mist which blanketed the ash-covered rock surrounding them. But even partially blinded, they could not look away from their biological creation, which possessed the power they desperately searched time and space for.

    An irradiated mutation born through manipulation of the past.

    A creature that ignited hopes for a brighter future.

    A monster their enemies would curse with hate until they vanished from existence itself.

    King Ghidorah.

    *****

    Pacific Ocean – 1973

    Caressed in gray clouds on a humid summer day, Smokey traversed nearly 10,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean. It remained invisible to the luminance of Earth’s star, but the heat was getting the better of the ship’s crew of three.

    “Big brother, are we there yet?” the young Akira complained, drenched in a layer of his own sweat. This was about the fifth time he asked, and frankly, it was getting under Hotaru’s skin. She knew they were almost there. Heck, she was steering the aircraft to their destination, but her younger brother just didn’t have patience. Even then, the sweat underneath their homeworld uniforms would prove to be a pain to wash off. And to believe they bathed just earlier this morning. Of the three siblings, only Hikaru kept his cool.

    “Almost,” he replied in a confident tone, “We’ll start descent in less than five minutes.” Smokey’s cockpit only consisted of two seats for the pilots to fly. Not that Hikaru minded. It was his responsibility to search and repel any major threat, kaiju or alien, and transform if it had to come to it. And according to the reports from their parents and grandfather, there was something lurking on one of the Bikini Islands.

    Hotaru couldn’t help but recall what their father said to them earlier in the day; a cluster of shipwrecks washed ashore on some of the nearby islands. The inhabitants, though far and few between, also accounted for that of an unidentified object within the vicinity. The specifics, however, were rather vague and conflicting. Some claim it to be the Oodako family, others Ebirah, and others something different altogether. If it was truly a space monster, it had her worried. Were the Garogas already here, scouting Earth before sending their armada? She prayed that this wouldn’t be the case. Sucking her teeth under her pink face veil, she decided to drop it. Her questions would be answered in less than a minute, so she would have to see and find out.

    “Should I start the descent?” Hotaru asked, with a tinge of nervousness.

    “Go ahead. We’re here.”

    Trying to mask her anxiety, Hotaru set Smokey on a steady slope down. “Activate the mist and keep Smokey concealed,” Hikaru said. Flipping switches on the control board, Hotaru encased their handy transportation vehicle into a cloud of thick fog. Although the effects were not immediate, at least they didn’t need to withstand the sun’s ultraviolet rays and heat waves anymore.

    Hotaru, relieved not to be at high altitudes, grabbed hold of a two-way handheld transceiver. Unlike those from the human military, these were wireless with a bandwidth that well surpassed the technology of the time. Small and compact, these ‘Zobots’ came in handy with long-distance calls; but for family only.

    “Land Supi to Mirifa. This is Zone Angel,” Hotaru spoke, clearing her voice of any downcast, “We’ve arrived at the site, and we’re going in. Over.”

    “This is Mirifa, this is Mirifa,” their grandfather, Raita, buzzed in from the other side. “I’m detecting anomalies that weren’t there before. Contaminated blood and several–” The feed abruptly cut off, arousing suspicion from the three.

    “Strange that we’re getting interference this far out,” Hikaru remarked.

    “And it’s concerning,” Hotaru noted, “What did grandpa mean by contaminated blood? I get there are waste fills in the Pacific, but I don’t think it’s that.”

    “I’ll go out and check. You two keep an eye out.” His younger siblings simply nodded in agreement.

    Smokey continued its decline, the friction of the air encompassing the aircraft. Straight ahead was their destination. Lagos Island. For the last few decades, this section of the Pacific was considered a hazard due to heavy exposure to radiation during the Atomic Age. The island, once undoubtedly harbored lush greens and silky white sands, was a dead-man’s land. Brittled trunks and charred bark stood erect, the sands coarse and ashened. Lagos had been devoid of natural life for a long time.

    While radiation proved to be toxic to humans, a Peacelander wouldn’t have much to fear. Their biology was naturally tolerant of high doses of nuclear material, although they could die if they were exposed for too long. In addition, they would still need radiation-cleaning for the safety of their environment and others. So when Hikaru leapt out of Smokey and into what was essentially a contaminated zone, his siblings knew there wasn’t too much to worry about.

    The g-forces pushed against Hikaru’s human shape as he continued to accelerate from free falling to his destined location. While he could easily enter flight mode at any time, he wanted to have a little bit of fun now that time allowed it. Performing a series of gymnastics he would see often on the television during his off-time, Hikaru enjoyed the current of the breaking wind cooling his body from the sweat sustained from the flight here.

    “Really, Hikaru? Really?” Hotaru muttered, softly chuckling at her brother’s antics as she brought Smokey to a slow halt. Outside of her and Akira, there was no one else watching. So why even do it?

    Akira, too, watched with admiration. ‘One day, big brother,’ Akira thought, indulging in his fantasies, ‘I will be the next Zone Fighter.’ However, out of the corner of his eye, he saw something.

    “Big sis, look over there!” Akira pointed in the general direction that he saw this object. Hotaru glanced where Akira was pointing, surveying the clouds. For a second, she didn’t notice it. But it was then that she noticed the object. A silhouette of something… Otherworldly. The even stranger part, she was confident either herself or her older brother would have noticed it first thing.

    Hotaru’s eyes widened. Had her greatest fears come to fruition? Without hesitation, she got a hold of the Zobot to contact their brother regarding the situation. “Zone Fighter, this is Zone Angel, do you copy?” Hotaru shouted, her voice cracking, “We have a reading on something!” Instead of their brother’s voice from the other end of the transceiver, only static greeted their auditory senses.

    “That’s not good…” young Akira muttered, “But it has to be from that UFO! No doubt about it!”

    “I agree. We’ll…” she paused, conjuring a plan in her mind. “We’ll investigate the spaceship, while Fighter scours the island for any clues.” Akira nodded. With that, the two pilots of Smokey veered a course to the object hovering in the cloudy sky.

    *****

    As the free fall closed the gap between him and the land below, Hikaru ceased his flashy airborne spins and flips. Arms outstretched and straightening his body, Hikaru took flight and skillfully settled on the coarse, blackened sand with ease. Ash and salt kicked up from his landing, though Hikaru’s face veil filtered most of the particles. His eyes surveyed the setting. A desolate wasteland, barren and fruitless.

    ‘It’s sad to think humans are capable of such destruction.’ He released a heavy sigh. ‘So many races have fallen into the trap of self-centeredness and waste, and it seems the Earth created monsters in response to these dangers. But they’re also capable of accomplishing great things. That cannot be denied–nor forgotten.’

    Before venturing in for clues, Hikaru twisted his head to observe the shrouded Smokey. While the camouflage rendered it invisible to the untrained eye, Hikaru’s sharp senses allowed him to see the vessel taking flight. But toward what? Before he could do anything, he heard something directly behind him. Swiftly turning around, he saw a massive figure rise from the ocean depths.

    “That answers that, I suppose,” he retorted to himself, dashing inland to avoid the wake of the strange beast.

    The waters churned as the first piece of the mammoth monster made itself known. A golden, snake-like head whipped out of the shallow ocean, glistening with water and shining in the presence of the few strands of sunlight breaking through the gray clouds. Its deep red eyes fixed on Hikaru’s tiny form with awareness. Massive water droplets, with the size akin to boulders, rained down from the dragon’s serpentine neck. Hikaru reflexively doged each and every one, sans the water globules from the exploding boulder-sized droplets. He needed to put space between him and the kaiju, and fast. Transforming too close to the enemy and they could easily take advantage of his brief vulnerable state post-transformation. Putting mild distance between them would help him observe the enemy in case of any surprise attacks and give him time to react accordingly.

    Hikaru outstretched his hands and took flight, then twisting his head he saw that wasn’t the full creature he witnessed. Two more identical heads with long necks shimmered in the light as the shores tore apart from the dragon’s gargantuan wings rising up. Cascades poured off of the golden dragon’s body as Hikaru recognized its shape.

    “King Ghidorah…” Hikaru quietly muttered. He recalled reading about this one when he and his family were conducting their research in human history. Though it was strange, as the terrible monstrosity he saw right in front of him differed from the photographic evidence provided by various news articles. Maybe an immature member of the same species? He wasn’t sure. Even as Hikaru found himself deeper inland, Ghidorah’s shadow gradually caught up with him as the terrifying ziz stood completely upright, letting all the loose water roll down his scaly hide. Ghidorah flexed his wings, outstretching them to the point where they blotted out the sun’s rays. Truly, a horrifying sight to behold, yet so majestic. But Hikaru had no time to admire or fear the monster. He had no choice, he had to fight.

    “Here goes nothing.” Hikaru turned around and made another perfect landing on the charred surface. The split-second he could get his footing, Hikaru knelt on one knee and brought his hands in front of him. He closed his hands, only leaving his index and middle fingers out as they pressed together. He brought both of his hands up, with the fingers directing all the needed energy into his helmet’s protrusion.

    “Zone, Double, Fight!” Immediately, a swath of light enveloped the young warrior. Not even a second passed as he grew at an exponential rate. The light deformed his body, altering it to be fit for this new form. Bigger and bigger he became until the light reached a size suitable for his gargantuan humanoid body-type. As the light dissipated, the gigantic humanoid only met roughly at Ghidorah’s neck bases, where the necks joined with the main body. Adorned by silver and blue patterns with jagged red streaks and a waist-belt with a blue light, it was time for Hikaru to show off the power of the Zone’s heritage and legacy: Zone Fighter!

    Six eyes glared at the new arrival. They held no disdain, anger or fear of the humanoid, but for Ghidorah, his thoughts didn’t matter anymore. His mind was now a prison within his own body. The humanoid was a threat, as his masters dictated. It was not his choice to choose to fight or flee and there was no room for backing down or disobeying their commands. In the end, Ghidorah held no choice, he had to fight.

    Ghidorah initiated the conflict when the maw of his central head generated concentrated energy. Within seconds, a wild burst of electric light crackled through the air, but Zone Fighter was quick to evade the first bolt. The other two heads followed suit, putting the massive humanoid’s athletic abilities to the test. The Gravity Beams carved the surrounding earth, exploding with sparks and chunks of flying boulders. For as impressive as a feat it was evading Ghidorah’s bolts, nothing could last forever.

    Gravity Beams soon found their mark, pounding against Zone Fighter’s massive figure. Sparks erupted from his body, scattering across the ruined Lagos Island. As Zone fumbled to get back to his feet, Ghidorah continued to press the assault without hesitation or mercy, knocking the champion of justice around as Ghidorah took several steps forward. Within the brief interval that his body wasn’t being bombarded by Gravity Beams, Zone Fighter generated energy in his hands and brought them together. Curving outward and bringing his hands down, Zone created a flat barrier reminiscent to that of a medieval knight’s shield. And just in the nick of time as the Gravity Beams struck against the pink energized shield. The Meteor Reflection Barrier, rather than dispersing the energy, took in the kinetic force of the beams and bounced them right back at King Ghidorah!

    The golden dragon shrillishly cackled, feeling the wrath of his own beams and ceased firing. He needed to adopt a different tactic, and so he did. Flapping his enormous wings, Ghidorah shook off all the leftover moisture and propelled into flight, heading straight for the Zone hero. With enough time passed to recuperate, the meteor man leapt back and allowed the energy to flow through his body. As King Ghidorah shattered the Meteor Reflection Barrier with his incredible mass, Zone Fighter charged his body with a burst of light and vibration as he made a mad-dash to meet the terrible beast head-on.

    Literally flying across the ground with his Meteor Jet ability, Zone and Ghidorah collided against each other in a massive shockwave, with the heroic fighter planting a firm Meteor Punch directly into Ghidorah’s chest cavity. Despite the golden creature’s incredible weight, thick scales, and pure muscle mass, the jet-like velocity combined with the powerful punch was enough to hurl the gargantuan hydra into the charcoal terrain on his back.

    Zone Fighter took advantage of this by leaping on top of the fallen dragon, throwing a series of quick and successive hooks and punches that broke through the sound barrier with each strike. Each of Ghidorah’s heads were on the receiving end of the relentless onslaught, with none of them given the time to retaliate due to the massive concussions inflicted on them. As each of the heads went limp from unconsciousness, Zone Fighter planted his knee directly on the middle head’s trachea with light charging on his right hand. His last Meteor Punch should do the trick. Zone Fighter screamed as he brought his fist down, but alas it was not meant to be.

    Even on the brink of unconsciousness, Ghidorah’s left head powered through the concussion and clamped his dagger-like teeth into the descending arm. Ghidorah pumped the arm full of his own energy as sparks and lightning flew off of the bite wound. Reeling from the pain, Zone Fighter cried out and backed off. The head limply released its grip, unable to hold out any longer.

    The alien warrior inspected the wound he received, still feeling the aftershock coursing through his arm and shoulder. Simultaneously, he observed the unconscious Ghidorah, wondering exactly how much time he had to spare. Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t as long as he hoped for. Even after suffering a series of concussive blows that would have rendered any other monster or Terror-Beast immobile, Ghidorah proved to be nothing short of stubborn. Even if this wasn’t the demon of the galaxy, this lesser Ghidorah was every bit as worthy to be called one. Dizzy and disoriented, King Ghidorah recovered from his unconscious state with his heads writhing on the ground. It looked like Zone was going to have to pull out the big guns.

    “Meteor Missile Might!” Zone Fighter shouted aloud, with his arms crossed over his chest. In a flash of light, each of his wrists were strapped with gauntlets, ready to open fire on the recovering Ghidorah. Now he would prove to the three-headed imposter his true might!

    *****

    Smokey crept in close to the stationary aircraft, hidden in their own artificial cloud. This saucer was unlike anything the humans had on record; it wasn’t Xilien nor Nebulan in nature, it wasn’t even of Garoga influence. What was clear in the minds of Hotaru and Akira Sakimori was that these guys, whoever they might be, were up to no good.

    “How are we going to get in?” Akira questioned. The unfortunate part in Hotaru’s mind was that it was a legitimate query. She hadn’t quite figured that out herself. Since the saucer hadn’t moved since they arrived, it was a safe assumption that they hadn’t been spotted. The crazy idea crossed her mind to just use Smokey to engage it in a dogfight, but she wasn’t sure if such a rash decision would be a wise thing to do. They had to be a threat, but the extent of their capabilities were unknown. A stealth-based tactical approach would have to do, at the very least, to get a better understanding of who or what they were up against.

    As Smokey closed in, hovering beneath the bizarre aircraft, Hotaru observed a pair of elevator-like doors protruding from the underside. “There,” she remarked, “I think we have our ticket into whatever this thing is.” She tapped on the control board, activating Smokey’s auto-pilot and kept it temporarily parked under the saucer.

    “Sis, look!” Akira exclaimed, pointing out of the cockpit window. Hotaru decided to glance out the window herself to see what exactly piqued his interest. From their vantage point, they could see Lagos Island and the unfolding battle happening before their very eyes. Their elder brother, Zone Fighter, locked in combat with a familiar figure recorded in human history as King Ghidorah, each hurling Gravity Beams and Meteor Missiles at each other.

    “Wh-what is this? King Ghidorah?!” Hotaru was indisputably shocked at seeing one of the galaxy’s most infamous threats here. Even before they arrived on Earth, Hotaru always recalled the myth of King Ghidorah as a fearsome destroyer from her youth. An apocalyptic punisher who, as legend has it, was born alongside the universe during its conception.

    “Maybe these, uh… Uh…” Akira struggled finding a good terminology for these visitors.

    “Aliens, Akira. They’re no different than us or the other races, at least to Earth’s inhabitants.” Hotaru stated.

    “Right. I knew that.”

    “Come on, we have to see what’s up. Maybe these visitors have the answers we’re looking for.” She pressed on the button that opened the roof door. It slid open, with Hotaru signaling Akira to follow her. The two siblings flew out of Smokey, with their Zobots in hand, quickly arriving in front of the doors in a matter of seconds. They scanned the surrounding area, surprised to see that there weren’t any cameras present.

    “I don’t see anything,” Hotaru noted, “Let me know if you see any air vents we can use to get in.” Her younger brother nodded. Yet before they could do anything, the doors automatically opened and a swarm of humanoid guards already drew out their advanced pistols.

    “On behalf of the Equal Environment of Earth Union, you are both under arrest for trespassing on government property,” the guard stated robotically, “put your hands behind your head, or we will open fire.”

    Hotaru was stunned. ‘Did they really have cameras already set? Or had they known of our arrival beforehand? What’s the Earth Union? EUGH!’ she winced, venting her mental frustrations. Realizing this, she quickly resumed a stoic expression, praying no one noticed. The unexpected predicament they were in didn’t have room for them to slice through the group of soldiers. Not only were they vastly outnumbered, but the ethical consequences of killing humans didn’t sit well with her.

    ‘At the very least, maybe we can talk with someone to figure out what’s going on here,’ she thought to herself. So she complied with their commands when she put her hands behind her head. “Come on, Junior,” she insisted, addressing Akira by his heroic alias as she hid her Zobot out of sight. He quietly complied, doing much the same, and was quick to do what she asked of him.

    “Good,” the guard was satisfied with their course of actions, “now follow us.”

    *****

    Zone Fighter and King Ghidorah warped the landscape with their onslaught of projectile weapons. They kept their distance from one another, though it was abundantly clear that golden hydra was more of a tank than the meteor man. Ghidorah ceased firing, shifting gears into a defensive stature. Tough membranes that were the wings concealed his body as the dragon tucked his heads within the empty space. Missiles continued flying amok, only to find that those that reached their target were merely deflected by the wings. Even worse, he started walking through it.

    The alien hero was hard pressed to believe that the Meteor Missile Might, one of two weapons he often resorted to as a last ditch effort, was as ineffective as it was. True, he was against a member of the Ghidorah species, so it wouldn’t be a cake walk. Still, it was concerning nonetheless. But now that Ghidorah was wrapped behind his wings, there had to be an exploit Zone Fighter could yield to his advantage. Then he saw what he could do.

    “Meteor Jet!” Zone cried out, summoning his jet-like speeds once more. Coated in a bluish glow, Zone Fighter closed the gap between himself and Ghidorah again. Time which Ghidorah had to prepare. Anchoring his golden trunks into the charcoal earth, the protected hydra pulled the weight of his twin tails, intending to use them as maces. Seeing through Ghidorah’s instinctual plan, Zone used the momentum built up to perform a twirling leap, completely avoiding the mace-like tails. This, in turn, left Ghidorah’s back completely exposed; focusing all the kinetic energy into one leg, Zone Fighter defied the laws of physics and plunged his sole directly into Ghidorah’s spine! Although it wasn’t enough to dislocate a spinal disc, as the scales and muscle absorbed most of the impact, the force was enough to plant Ghidorah into the crust, unable to unfurl his wings in time.

    Using Ghidorah’s back as a springboard, Zone Fighter spaced himself apart as to prepare for his actual finisher. Bringing his forefingers to his forehead antennae, it flashed with a brilliant light. This, in Zone Fighter’s mind, should do the trick.

    “METEOR PROTON BEAM!”

    A sharp blue laser darted out, lancing into Ghidorah’s golden hide with resounding success. An explosion of gold sparkles and red blood gushed from the wound, eliciting an animalistic cry from the three headed monster. For one reason or another, hearing Ghidorah scream struck a chord with Hikaru. It obviously wasn’t the first time he heard monsters cry out; plenty of the Terror-Beasts were more than capable of imitating pain, though that was only a survival mechanism implanted by the Garogas, as to avoid destruction. It wasn’t like they had the capacity for empathy. Even the Ghidorah known to Earth was nothing short of an engine of destruction, only screaming in wrathful fury when in pain. But this was different… Concerningly different. But Zone had a duty and an objective. This was a Ghidorah, and it had to be stopped.

    No matter the cost.

    Ghidorah’s scales and muscle mass buffered enough of the Proton Beam so as not to completely eradicate his spinal cord. Nevertheless, it was going to be painful to move around. Using his wings and legs as support like that of a quadruped, Ghidorah regained his footing and hissed at Zone Fighter.

    “Huh, I didn’t expect those wings to be so elastic,” he noted to himself. He glanced at the belt around his waist, noticing the blue hue shift into a concerning yellow. ‘The sooner, the better.’ The hero readied for round two until his ears began to buzz with static….

    *****

    A few moments earlier…

    Hotaru and Akira found themselves surrounded by human-like guards and encased in the confinement of this mysterious vessel. The interior wasn’t at all what Hotaru would have expected. It had a strange retro-sci-fi vibe… But she assumed there was more going on under the surface than she could comprehend. Even their rifles were akin to human engineered weapons compared to the other known races.

    They continued walking down the corridor in relative silence until they reached what Hotaru only assumed to be the main quarters of whoever these visitors were. The sliding doors opened, granting them access to the control room. With it, came many indecipherable screens, numerous other guards, and at the center were two distinctive figureheads who differed from everyone else.

    “Sir, we’ve detained the Peacelanders as you instructed,” the M10 guard stated. Hotaru and Akira were aghast at what they just heard, but didn’t utter a single word.

    One of the two Caucasian men, adorned in a business suit with graying hair, dismissed them with a wave. Immediately, all but one scattered and returned to their original stations. The one who remained, caucasian as well with short golden hair, stared at them with a smile which emitted a cold chill down Akira’s spine.

    “Who are you people and what are you doing here?” Hotaru demanded, in need of answers.

    “My my, direct and to the point, aren’t we?” the civil man responded before he began to walk toward his guests. “I am Chuck-”

    A crack emitted beneath Wilson’s foot stopping the man in his tracks. As he raised his right foot, blood, guts and other fluids of a small crab lay at the bottom of his sole. A look of distaste from the blue fluids took hold of Chuck before he wiped his sole against untainted ground.

    “Apologies, we were on the island a few moments ago and it seems the wildlife grew attached to our ship. I’m Chuck Wilson, and this is my associate, Glen Chico.” Glen Chico, the other man with red receding hair, offered his formalities. Unknowing of how to properly react to all this, the children bowed as a reluctant greeting. “We are here on behalf of the Earth Union,” Wilson continued, “collecting an experiment that will benefit all mankind.”

    “Don’t you mean the United Nations?” Akira questioned.

    “No,” Wilson corrected, “not in the least. Besides, I need some answers from you two. Exactly what it is you’re doing here?”

    “That’s none of your concern!” Hotaru snapped.

    “That so? Because if I recall not one second ago, I stated what our business was here. Equivalent exchange, I’m sure you understand.”

    Hotaru sighed. “We received reports about shipwrecks near here. So we were investigating… I guess these are also part of your ‘mankind saving’ experiments? Using a monster to kill innocent people?”

    Glen Chico’s eyes widened in confusion. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

    “The golden dragon thingy,” Akira intervened, “the creature that’s fighting our brother!” Hotaru motioned for him to zip it, but the damage had already been dealt. Akira gestured an apology.

    “I assure you, we and our Ghidorah have not done any harm since we arrived in this time-” Chico mistakenly commented merely to glance at Wilson who simply rolled his shoulders.

    ‘Wait, ‘our’ Ghidorah?’ Hotaru thought to herself, ‘How did they make their own Ghidorah?’

    “There is no harm in explaining Glen. Would it really change anything?”

    “You’re not of this time, are you?” Hotaru inquired as all the pieces in her mind began to form a single thought.

    “Very absurvent. Yes, we are from the 23rd century. The Ghidorah below is something of our own creation and we know all of you from records of our time describing your feats. The worship of heros continues even to our own time.”

    With a mere flick of Glen’s wrist, screen doors slid open to reveal multiple hi-tech projector screens. On them were surveillance footage of Zone Fighter, Ghidorah, the island, and its surroundings. Hotaru observed closely and realized all of these differentiating angles were impossible for standard drones to even observe, almost like a film.

    “If everything is going like you said it is, then make him stop fighting!” Akira demanded sternly, “We don’t want to fight you!”

    “Of course,” Wilson stated aloud, “so long as you tell Zone Fighter to do the same with your… Zobots if I recall our records correctly. They should work now as our communications were blocking your own.”

    *****

    Golden light gleamed within the dragon’s jaws, rippling the air from its heat, but the act did little to scare the mighty hero standing valiantly against the dragon’s onslaught. In preparation, Zone Fighter planted his feet deep within the ground and channeled energy to his fingers. ‘Come on, let’s see how you like a second round of the Reflection-Barrier.’

    Before either enacted their strategies, King Ghidorah’s light began to fade. Fury-filled eyes of King Ghidorah dulled to passive stares. The three heads turned their attention away from Zone Fighter, appearing to chat amongst themselves in complete obliviousness of his opponent. The buzzing in Zone Fighter’s ears gradually morphed into a familiar female voice, drawing his attention briefly away from his opponent’s strange activity.

    “Brother, please stop fighting Ghidorah. He will not attack as long as you don’t!”

    An unrecognizable gasp echoed from Zone Fighter whose fists tightened with concern. ‘Stop fighting? Hotaru, what are you thinking? It’ll bring destruction and terror to everyone and everything!’

    Zone Fighter kept his hands raised in a fighting stance. ‘No way I can let this thing live. I’ll need to end it now while it’s passiv-’

    An eerie bioluminescent light attracted Zone Fighter’s focused gaze away from his foe to the nearby waters. Whatever glowed, it was large in size and just beneath the coastal waters. Believing this to be the moment of betrayal, Zone Fighter switched his attention to Ghidorah, his fists sparking with energy for a Meteor Slice, merely to see the dragon equally focused on the light. Zone turned away, unsure of his next action only to see more lights in the ocean. He counted… One… Two…

    …then the ocean emitted an overwhelming light as far as the horizon stretched.

    *****

    “See, all friends here. Now, if you all wish to return to Smokey, we will be taking King Ghidorah back to our own timeline,” Glen enthusiastically explained to the pair.

    “Hold up a sec!” Akira stated with his arms raised. “Why do you have a Ghidorah here in the first place? Equivalent change and all that!”

    The enthusiasm seeped away from Glen who looked to Wilson for guidance merely to see his superior now staring at his hands with a look of unrivaled curiosity. Glen’s left eyebrow raised in uncertain concern, but with a shake of his head, he focused on more pressing matters. Deciding it best to answer, Glen began to walk over to the pair.

    “Godzilla in our time has gone on to destroy Japan completely, so we created a new King Ghidorah to combat him. We first arrived in 1992, but… we realized quite quickly the great machine we built traverses not only time, but space as we found a past unlike what we knew. A world in war, in ruin and overrun with-”

    Glen stopped his movement and shivered a moment in disgust and terror. “After the discovery, a few of our team stayed behind in that time while we dropped off our creation in your timeline’s 1944. Now, we’ve returned this year to retrieve our Ghidorah. Once he is safe, we’ll ensure our M10s will escort you-”

    An energy blast tore through Glen’s skull like paper leaving a headless corpse to fall onto the floor. Nearby computers exploded from the energy shot sending sparks showering across half the room. Miniature explosions from electric circuits took hold of the control room as monitors sparked uncontrollably while the perpreator formed a smile as he retracted his smoking weapon.

    “How… interesting,” Chuck Wilson commented as he looked at the gun, admiring it with intrigued, wide eyes. Before he could do anything further, a long kick from Hotaru struck him across the side sending him ragdolling across the room. Sickening pops reverberated from the human before he came to a stop, his body twisted and mangled.

    Hotaru stood over the broken man, her right arm outstretched so Akira would not see the state of the madman beneath her. “You… you killed your friend!”

    Wilson’s head turned beyond any normal limit, breaking cartilage as he gazed up at Hotaru. “To this body, he may have been a friend but to me-” Blue ooze began to glisten from the multiple wounds covering the Futurian’s body, “-he is nothing more than inferior. For I am all things. I am Yog.”

    “You’re a parasite.”

    Wilson’s eyes shifted their gaze to the flickering screens above Hotaru. “Oh, I am far greater and soon-” Hotaru looked at the screen, revealing Ghidorah, Zone Fighter, and an army of new monsters arising from the surf, “after I infect those two, I’ll be unstoppable.”

    Wilson’s body fell limp while a blue substance oozed from his dead jaws. An audible sound of disgust filled Hotaru’s closed mouth, but before she could utter a word, the room around her began to tremble. Sparking computers morphed into a swelling blaze, quickly enveloping half the room in its wake. A small hand yanked Hotaru out of her stunned state and forced the young woman to run while the fires rapidly spread.

    “Come on sis!” Akira yelled as he directed her to the door which they arrived through. Upon passing the door, Hotaru stopped in her tracks and glanced back to the massive screen showing the horror gradually unfolding beneath them. Fires glistened beneath the live feed, mirroring the racing of Hotaru’s mind. ‘Maybe Hikaru won’t have to fight this horde alone…’

    *****

    From the surf they arose in mass from their master’s order. Mere cuttlefish in origin, the squids now were mutated to monstrous size from the interstellar being coursing through their veins. Gezora, the Yog hive mind nicknamed these creatures. Tentacles dragged across the sand, gradually depriving it of all material until nothing but course rock remained. Greed filled the eyes of Gezora’s cold gaze inland to Zone Fighter, the hive mind urging the cuttlefish to restrain the humanoid so he too could join their collective. For with the warrior’s power and the dragon’s might, they could become more than just a meager army.

    The world would tremble beneath the might of Yog.

    Zone Fighter felt an iota of fear course down his spine from the horde which spanned the horizon. ‘Wait… so did these… are these what Father and Mother detected?’

    A ping in Hikaru’s ear snapped him out of his fear merely to hear the sound of running and harsh breathing.

    “Brother, can you protect Ghidorah?”

    “Wait, what? Hotaru?” Hikaru responded in surprise. “There are new creatures, a horde of…”

    “It’s a parasite!” Hotaru snapped in response. “They can control living beings and want to add you to its collection with Ghidorah.

    Zone Fighter’s gaze locked on Ghidorah’s fallen form, sparks cascading down his left arm. Aiming methodically for its necks, the warrior’s left arm raised, ready to unleash a ray which would end the immobbile creature. “If I kill Ghidorah, that won’t be a problem.”

    “There are too many!” Hotaru yelled, causing Hikaru to wince. “Besides, we need to stop the Yog here. If we let them escape, the parasite could spread. Hold them off and we’ll control Ghidorah from our ship?”

    “We will?” Akira’s voice skeptically inquired.

    “It’s the only way,” Hotaru assured.

    Zone Fighter refocused his attention on the horde of cephalopods and with renewed determination, he felt the fear which momentarily froze him vanish. Small steps evolved into a resolute sprint toward the incoming swarm and as he approached the hundreds of Gezora racing toward him, Hikaru uttered no words in response to his siblings, for they already possessed his trust and respect. All he needed to do, as always, was face the impossible. A mission Hikaru accepted without question as he launched a fist into the mass of flesh.

    The warrior’s hand tore through Gezora’s flesh like tinfoil, taking Hikaru by surprise as his hand punched through the back of squid’s head. Azure blood sprayed from the wound, red eyes rolled back into the creature’s body and with a thud, one Gezora lay dead in the shadow of Zone Fighter. The tremble of the earth from the remaining hundreds kept Hikaru’s first victory muted.

    An all encompassing screech of anger let loose from the horde of Yog, tentacles surging toward Hikaru’s body as the full swarm reached his position. The slimy appendages grasped nothing but recently vacant air as Zone Fighter rolled under the tentacles and reached safe ground. Outstretching his own arm, the hero of justice grasped a number of tentacles and pulled. A Gezora flung forth toward the hero who swung his right leg into the parasite infested creature, launching brain matter onto its kin as the leg ripped through blue flesh.

    ‘Can’t keep killing them single file like this. Time I jumped in.’

    With a determined yell, Zone Fighter launched himself into the air, evading a fresh wave of tentacles. His arms outstretched and flying at full speed, the horde watched the warrior perform an aerial loop before Zone Fighter flew parallel to the ground and like an arrow flying through the air, tore through all in his way, leaving a trail of dead or dying Gezora in his wake. Feeling his momentum slowing, the alien warrior tilted back up toward the open sky merely for tentacles to ensnare his legs. Whipping the hero back to the ground, Zone Fighter collided with the recently dead, creating a cloud of dust and azure blood.

    The horde of hundreds descended upon the fallen warrior, encircling him from every direction, but Zone Fighter refused to suffer such a grim fate on his back. Jumping to his feet in an instant, Zone Fighter demonstrated his defiance with overwhelming strength. His right fist cleaved the entirety of a single Gezora’s face off. Blood sprayed upon three squids who angrily charged forth, waving their slimy appendages in an act of intimidation. A spin kick plowed the trio of cephalopods to the blood stained dirt while a single elbow strike upon a squid behind the warrior ruptured its eye and sent it screeching backward in anguish.

    Even as the dead began to pile up, Zone Fighter felt no relief. The horde which encompassed him showed no sign of ending, no sign of stopping and their icy grip seemed ever tighter with every passing moment. Then, in unison, the swarm launched itself toward the hero from every direction. Tentacles constricted Zone Fighter while bodies buried him in a growing, monstrous mass.

    A few Gezora, scattered across the charred landscape, stood ominously as they watched their kin throw themselves upon the warrior. Inside their bodies, the unified Yog hivemind relished the sight and awaited the inevitable. The frigid bodies of Gezora would make resistance impossible, even for the powerful Zone Fighter, and soon he would become nothing more than another vessel. A new, unbeatable-

    The pile of Gezora atop Zone Fighter vanished in a monumental explosion and fire ballooned into the heavens. Within the blaze, a humanoid shadow arose with silver bracelets upon its outstretched arms and as the fires gradually died, Zone Fighter stood triumphant, bathed in the blood of Yog. Charred flesh crashed upon the earth like rain, a deathly gaze emanated from Zone Fighter and the bracelets upon his wrists clinked as they reloaded another volley for imminent fire. The horde of Gezora, or specifically the Yog’s hopes of a quick addition to its army vanished as Zone Fighter lifted his arms and screamed in defiance, “Meteor Missile Might!”

    King Ghidorah remained still on the warm, rocky terrain it lay upon. With no orders, it could not move any part of its body and so, like a prisoner within a cell, it remained stagnant, watching the horde of squids be shredded in a spectacular volley of explosive firepower.

    Why was the battle occurring? What were these new creatures? Simple questions like these entered the dragon’s mind, yet were disregarded with little care. For the only question the dragon truly desired to be answered, was when would shatter the submissive chains which bound him? When would it be free once again?

    *****

    Hotaru and Akira felt the ship listing beneath their feet as they dashed down flickering hallways. Sliding, metallic doors became nothing more than a blur to the pair as their eyes eagerly awaited for one particular entryway. Yet as distant detonations reverberated through the deteriorating vessel both knew their time of escape was fading. The groan of metal followed another tilt of the ship, turning the floor’s twenty degree angle to a thirty degrees.

    “How much farther!” Akira whined.

    “Not too much, just keep running!” Hotaru retorted through harsh breaths.

    The flickering lights surged with power and faded, acting as a precursor to the ship listing another five degrees.

    “We’re almost running on the wal-”

    “There!” Hotaru shouted in relief as the pair turned a corner. “Get behind me Akira!”

    The confused eyes of Akira snapped to her sister. “Wait, what do you mean?”

    From outside the Futurian vessel, metallic doors burst open and began a long descent to the land below. Hotaru, her shoulders extended so she could ram through the door, morphed into a suitable flight orientation as she flew toward the Zone family aircraft. Right behind her, Akira floated forth with his arms slouched, relief dripping from his expression.

    “That-that was close. I wonder how much time we had le-” Akira’s eyes widened in terror as he looked back to see the air which once housed the Futurian ship now vacant. An explosion of metal far below made the child forcibly laugh to himself as he entered Smokey with a vacant stare, ignoring his sister who scrambled onto the smokey’s communications.

    “Land Supi to Mirifa, this is Zone Angel. Do you read?” Hotaru urgently shouted. ‘Please let the interference be gone.’

    The line remained ominously silent until a familiar voice soon came to life, bringing great relief to Hotaru. “I am dear. What’s wrong?”

    ‘Yes! Now the hard part.’

    “Mother, we need grandfather’s help to save Hikaru. Can you reach him?”

    “Already here,” Raita Sakimori assured over the Zobot communication line. “When you three didn’t check in, your mother reached out to me in the lab. What do you need?”

    “Can you hack King Ghidorah?” Akira enthusiastically inquired.

    “Excuse me?” Raita replied while Hotaru sighed, clutching her forehead. “It’s a long story.”

    *****

    Standing over charred, dismembered pieces of at least a hundred Gezoras, Zone Fighter took a moment to catch his breath. A few battered and bloody Gezora still walked across the landscape to attack, some peeling themselves off the blood soaked land, but a single well placed strike ended their existence. ‘Timer’s red, but at least I cleared most of them. Maybe I won’t need King Ghidorah’s help after-’ Hikaru snapped his attention to where the dragon lay stagnant merely to see in the opposing horizon a far larger horde of creatures composed not only of Gezora, but two new creatures.

    The hivemind, once enraged, now grew arrogant with the unveiling of its full might and the deployment of its newest creations. With red eyes which extended from an exoskeleton covered body, multi-legged mutated crabs lumbered forward in the midst of its Yog kin. Snapping elongated pincers, the beasts Yog nicknamed Gamines would be a great asset along with the other, reptilian creatures hidden beneath black shells. The massive turtle mutations, or Kamoebas, crawled forth, ready to implement its master’s will without hesitation.

    A furious punch from Zone Fighter floored a nearby Gezora before he burst toward King Ghidorah to intercept the swarm. ‘Were all squids just a distraction? An easy win so I wouldn’t notice the main threat? Hopefully these new creatures are just as easy to kill.’

    Running at full speed, Zone Fighter jumped into the air and retracted his legs, soaring over King Ghidorah whose eyes watched him with intrigue. Touching down at the edge of the hydra’s wing, Zone Fighter rushed only a hundred meters more until he came face to face with the forward forces of the horde or specifically a lone Ganimes. A kick fueled with Zone Fighter’s momentum struck the crab’s abdomen, violently cracking the exoskeleton, while the mutation’s right claw sliced across the warrior body. Blood leaked from both wounds, yet each combatant showed little sign of giving in as they charged at each other.

    Zone Fighter ducked under Gamines’ swipe and moved beside the crab, unleashing two mighty blows upon its exoskeleton. Each fractured the protective shell, causing blue blood to leak, yet the crab showed no signs of slowing when it swiped at Zone Fighter again. ‘Alright, it’s far tougher but I can’t get caught up on this thing. I need a weak point!’ Spinning under the swipe, Zone Fighter swung his right leg outward and retracted it in, burying Gamines’ head into its own body with the heel of his foot. ‘And, found. Now…’ Zone Fighter spotted a nearby Kamoebas to practice on prior to the main swarm’s arrival. ‘Let’s see how strong you are!’

    Zone Fighter dashed forth, taking the turtle by surprise from the humanoid’s speed. Retracting his right arm backward, the warrior launched it with all the strength he could muster at the beast’s shell causing a sickening snap to echo. The sound of two bones breaking in Zone Fighter’s right hand. A monothlitic yell escaped Hikaru lips as he clutched his hand and from his pain, Kamobas found an opening and clamped its maw around the warrior’s left thigh. Hammer like blows struck the top of the turtle’s head in a desperate effort, but Kamoebas refused to let go. Infuriated, Zone Fighter clutched the terrapin’s skull and forced its thumbs into the creature’s eye sockets, impaling brain matter. A weekend howl echoed the turtle’s jaws before it finally vanquished its grasp, allowing Zone Fighter to stagger away from the dead creature.

    ‘Even tougher… great!’ As the ground began to tremble, Hikaru took a fighting stance and summoned latent energy to his arms. King Ghidorah would not fall into the parasite’s realm of control, not as long as he drew breath.
    .
    *****

    “We have an issue,” Raita’s voice echoed within the cockpit of Smokey. “We can’t remotely control King Ghidorah.”

    Hotoru and Akira looked to one another in panic. “What!” they yelled in unison before Akira proclaimed, “But, you gotta!”

    “Huh well these, Futurians you called them? They’re tech is impressive for humans. They used a high pitched frequency to send orders and another to enforce their demands. This second signal was their key. I can imitate the first frequency, but the second alludes me. Their key alludes me…”

    “So we can’t help Hikaru,” Hotaru worryingly questioned.

    A tired, old breath coupled with static echoed in the call. “No, we can. Using Smokey, I can send out a signal to break the lock on Ghidorah.”

    “So basically we free him and have to ask him nicely?” Akira remarked with dread. “Maybe brother doesn’t need help?”

    Hotaru nervously pulled up optical sensors within the command center of Smokey to assess the situation. A live visual feed of Zone Fighter’s position appeared revealing the warrior desperately fighting a literal sea of flesh and his timer now glowing a dire red.

    Hotaru, filled with concern, dug her gloved fingers into the control panel. ‘Brother, just hold on a little longer.’

    *****

    “Meteor Slice Chop!” Surging crimson energy from his fingertips, Zone Fighter thrust both his arms out, each angled to perform optimally. Arrow-shaped blasts sliced through the air, shredding through the limbs of the Gezoras like paper. Even the Ganimes caught in the crossfire were susceptible to the energized cutters, disarming the mutated crustaceans in the process. The Kamoebas, however, proved durable enough to withstand it, though it did chip their reinforced armor.

    ‘No matter how much it takes, we must fight!’ A Ganime rushed up to him, the meteor man shifted combat styles and plunged his fist into the disgusting visage of the cretin. Its eyestalks and mandibles caved in from the tremendous force of the impact, the ensuing kinetic energy flinging the dead crab away from him. Even so, a quick glance to his belt buckle was already cause for concern. ‘It’s still red. I have to let them know.’

    His compound eyes scanned what was in front of him, prepared to take down the next Yog spawn. However, unbeknownst to him, his Achilles’ heel shot with a sudden, sharp pain. With a twist of his head, Zone Fighter saw the dark shelled terrapin gnawing at the back of his foot. Before he could prepare another Meteor Slice to do the deed, he was suddenly jumped by a pair of Ganimes’, one of which was an unusual white color. Using his strength, he wrestled with the shelled triad, but found himself slowly overwhelmed.

    From the eyes in the sky, the pilots of Smokey came swooping down. “Zone Fighter, this is Angel, we’re coming in!” Hotaru glanced at Akira, and they both nodded. Fighter was in imminent danger, and he needed the help he could get.

    “Meteor Proton Beam!” the siblings shouted in unison as Hotaru pressed down on the joystick’s buttons. From the frontal nose of the alien craft, a searing blue laser washed over the aquatic marauders, eviscerating the brown Ganimes and carving off a piece of the Kamoebas’ face in the process. Freed from their grip, Zone Fighter hurled the white Ganimes to the side and, in an act that mirrored his siblings, brought his fingers to his antenna.

    “Meteor Proton Beam!” From the red-tip of his forehead protrusion, a bluish beam struck the albino crustacean and promptly ignited in a glaring fireball, even if it was far from the end of it. However, there was still a chance, so long as they could pull it off.

    “Akira, prepare for Zone Marker replacement!” Without missing a beat, Akira’s fingers prepared for the ol’ switcheroo. From Smokey’s belly, the red-tipped cap lowered into the outside world. “We only have one shot at this,” Hotaru added. “We have to be within 90 meters of Fighter, otherwise it won’t lock on.”

    Suddenly, the cockpit rocked violently. “What’s going on?” Hotaru’s eyes furiously scanned her surroundings until she noticed the source of their predicament. For a moment, she thought she had hit some terrible turbulence so low–but the reality was everso more unsettling. From the ground, many of the Ganimes reared their heads back and spat volleys of coalesced seafoam from their mandibles. While such a feat would be nigh useless against their brother or the mighty Ghidorah, the force of it was still enough to crush humans into paste. Or in this instance, bend metal.

    One of the watery spitballs thwacked on the nose cone, warping the metal and displacing their aerial momentum. “We lost the laser cannon!” Akira bluntly shouted, “We need to pull up!”

    “Hang in there,” Hotaru muttered under her breath, eyes laser focused on her brother, who was starting to lose balance from loss of Proton power. “Now!” Simultaneously, they cried aloud, “Zone Marker Change!” and fired the cap directly at the meteor man. The expired cap adorned on his head fell as the new one came in its place. He could feel the Proton power course through his giant form, the belt shifting from red to blue in an instant.

    Energized and prepped, Fighter gave a simple thumbs up. If nothing else, it delayed the worst of it–provided this ongoing war would ever come to an end… As Smokey was forced to retreat into the artificial clouds of its own creation, Zone Fighter saw a shift in behavior from the unusual lifeforms.

    “Wait… Are they….” Before he could complete his train of thought, he saw the others of the Yog-spawn divert their attention directly to the other target: King Ghidorah.

    “Oh no you don’t!” The meteor man boldly proclaimed, whipping out his Meteor Missiles Might bracelets into action. A flurry of missile fire erupted around them, temporarily halting the mad fiends in their place, if not outright destroying them in the process. Leaping to the air, the renewed Zone Fighter landed directly in front of the mass horde, eager eyes desiring to add them to their army.

    ‘As much as I’d hate to admit, I could really use its help right about now,’ he silently confessed in thought, continuing his relentless onslaught.

    If the threat wasn’t stopped here, then the entire world would befall into doom.

    Serpentine slits could only scan the environment around it, unable to act in accordance with its will. These dead shores and the basking sunlight reminded it of a time long since passed. Nostalgic memories flowed into its suspended consciousness… A place it had once called home. A home stolen by the great flames that forged it into the superbeast it now was. For a time, such a feeling granted it freedom, but much like the stasis it was in, was denied by its former masters.

    It saw the humanoid and the amassed army of sea monsters. They converged upon him, and he fought back rigorously. For what? Even if it was against its will, hazy memories recalled their recent bout. This alien man was a fighter and no doubt fought to kill. Was it… It couldn’t. Perhaps as a byproduct of the swarm that befell them, were the alien’s intentions truly altruistic? Unable to control its facial muscles, Ghidorah gawked idly from the lonely coast of its deserted home.

    Then, its eyes snapped violently as a sharp ringing resounded in its consciousnesses.

    A mental lock unhinged, decompressing the pressure that had plagued its brains for so long. For the first time in its existence, feeling returned to its body. Bat-like wings, feet, and tails stirred sporadically, at long last acquiring a body that belonged to it. Pulsating red sparks circulated around its heads, each one emitting their own cries of jubilation.

    As it reoriented itself to its will and control, Ghidorah continued to observe the fight that unfolded before their very eyes. All that transpired turned less and less favorable for the alien warrior. As strong as it was, even this proved to be far too much for them to handle. Ghidorah’s facial muscles contorted into a grin. Perhaps as a means of repaying the favor, the beast came to a decision. Not out of some comradery act of selflessness or righteousness that moved its wild heart.

    No, it was to prove a point of who the strongest really was.

    Hikaru continued to struggle, but a familiar darkness began to creep in from the edges of his sight. Appendages became numb from the multiple tentacles of Gezora which clutched his body. Gurgled sounds escaped the constricted warrior’s throat merely to fall on malicious ears of the horde which surrounded him. A tentacle gradually arose above the endless sea of creatures, dripping animated blue blood which contained the pure essence of Yog.

    The hivemind grew impatient as the torn appendage raised over an open wound on Zone Fighter’s body, waiting for a large droplet of blood to ensure the infection. Regardless of the time it would take or the tenacity of the humanoid, the Yog would grow stronger and soon, no living creature would be able halt the conquest of Earth. All would be Yo-

    A goliath of golden skin crashed in front of Zone Fighter, caving in the head of a Kamoebas and the body of a Gezora. Before the swarm could realize the situation, hurricane force winds blew dozens away while lightning like blasts ignited those too close to Zone Fighter’s body. Creatures burst into flames around the warrior’s body, creating a wall of fire which none of the horde dared cross. For now they faced a new opponent, one free of its chains and ready to unleash the pent up rage it harbored for so long.

    The horde of Yog would fear the wrath of the mighty, the unshackled, King Ghidorah.

    A wary cry echoed from each maw of the dragon and on bat-like wings the hydra ascended into the air. Its flight proved short lived as it crashed down upon the back of a Kamoebas, cracking its sides and flattening the soft flesh with its shell. Blood and organs jettisoned from the holes which the smooshed Kamoebas’ appendages stuck out of and standing proudly on the shell of the creature it killed, Ghidorah unleashed a torrent of gravity beams on all foolish enough to squirm in its shadow.

    The dragon took special interest in the cephalopods, frying them with such precision their fiery corpses littered the battlefield more than any other creature. Ganimes boiled within their shells from the energy blasts, venting steam from their cracking crustaceous exoskeletons; however, unlike their dying Yog infected kin, Kamoebas by the dozens crawled forth under the chaotic barrage. With heads retracted, the mutated sea turtles dragged themselves closer and closer to their attacker, infuriating the dragon.

    King Ghidorah’s three heads ceased their assault. Animalistic sounds barked from each draconic maw to the other on what to do with the persistent reptiles merely for each head to nod in agreement. Turning their six eyed gaze to the nearest Kamoebas, a continuous, triple gravity beam cascaded across the creature. The massive outer shell at first held strong, but its durability quickly faded. Sparks enveloped the Kamoebas while its deathly cry signaled to all its breathren its gruesome death, fires encompassing the fresh corpse.

    A once slow crawl evolved into stampede for the Kamoebas group, shaking the earth with reptilian heels. The sudden burst of speed took King Ghidorah by surprise and from its momentary confusion, three reptilian heads extended forth and clamped their jaws upon golden scales. Wails of anguish cried out from the dragon’s heads before it refocused on Kamoebas clutching its wing. King Ghidorah’s three heads snapped upon the neck of the creature and ripped its maw off his body before swinging it wildly like a club. The other two Kamoebas clutching him retreated to their shells, but the horde around Ghidorah could not hide so easily, allowing the hydra to flatten dozens. As flesh finally tore from the reptile’s neck, the gravely injured Kamoebas which acted as a club flew into the swarm and crushed a lone Gezora beneath its bulk.

    The Yog, its parasitic essence watching behind every set of eyes in the horde, grew furious by the display of sheer power from King Ghidorah. This dragon, imposing its size and strength may be, would succumb to it. It, the Earth, all would eventually be Yog!

    Tired breaths escaped Zone Fighter’s faceplate. The beeping of his color timer kept the alien warrior aware of every precious passing second as his belt flashed red while his mind raced. King Ghidorah’s unequivocal rampage through the mutated army proved an invaluable ally, but he’d grow tired soon, an opening would appear and just like his fight, the dragon would fall. Hundreds still remained and even if most of the creatures were focused on mostly focused on him-

    Rocks rustled behind Zone Fighter’s wary body. A new Gezora, appendages flailing wildly, charged toward Hikaru merely for the warrior to spin and thrust his elongated hand through the cepholopod’s head, right between its eyes. Blue blood spurted around the warrior’s embed arm, the squid’s eyes rolling up until the creature fell plummeted to the charred dirt, dead.

    Another tired breath exited from Hikaru.

    -it wouldn’t last for long.

    ‘Hotaru and Akira only had the one recharge pellet. Even with another, would that be enough?’ Hikaru chuckled at the irony as he remembered his thoughts arriving to the destroyed isle. ‘I need some humans capable of destruction right about…’ Zone Fighter’s eyes widened every so slightly while his gaze shifted to King Ghidorah, watching the dragon burn a Ganimes and a Kamoebas to smoldering corpses with his gravity beams. ‘Or maybe, just one of their creations.’

    Zone Fighter stood tall with renewed confidence, the dire buzzing of his timer ever present, and pressed the Zobot within his right ear. “Hotaru, Akira, do you read?”

    “Brother!” Akira excitedly replied. “Wait, what happened with Ghidorah?”

    “He’s fighting the swarm, why?”

    “He’s not under our control,” Hotaru admitted in a resentful tone. “We can request him to do things, but that is all.”

    “I knew protecting him would make him like-”

    “Akira!” Hikaru interrupted, “Tell Ghidorah to unleash his gravity bolts on me.”

    The communication between the two brothers fell silent, surging with life as Hotaru yelled, “Are you mad?”

    “It’s the only way to end this, please,” Hikaru assuredly pleaded only to continue, “and make sure you tell him not to hold back.”

    With silence returning to Hikaru’s ears, he focused on Ghidorah, awaiting the sign his message went through.

    Four separate sets of pincers launched forward, puncturing Ghidorah’s golden scales. Harrowing cries echoed from all three maws of the dragon until rage forced action. Gravity bolts spewed out in every direction, setting fire to two Gezoras and one Ganimes. Yet even as the trio of creatures perished, seven more took their place, forcing Ghidorah to screech in defiance. The horde retorted with action.

    Tentacles lashed out, entangling the dragon’s left head while Kamoebas’ heads launched out of the horde and grabbed a hold of the right head as well as the hydra’s legs. Pulling from every direction, the sea of mutated creatures struggled to make the golden creature bow, but as their relentless struggle intensified, Ghidorah felt itself inching toward the charred dirt. Realizing it was losing even with its immense strength, golden wings flexed out of the horde and with a mighty swing, launched Ghidorah into the safety of the open sky.

    Kamoebas, too stubborn to release their grips, plummeted like rain upon the mob who looked on with a unified glare of envy. Furious growls echoed from the swarm of Yog-mutated beasts, but Ghidorah cared little for their intimidation display, taking the moment to catch its breath and look upon what remained of the horde. Even after slaughtering so many, staining his golden scales with their blood, an endless swarm of the beasts remained. After the relentless fighting throughout the day, the dragon dreaded the thought of continuing any furth-

    Messages suddenly flooded the hydra’s three minds, orders to fire gravity beams upon the humanoid which protected it, sending Ghidorah into a bout of rage. He would not heed these new directives. It was free, it was… Ghidorah’s heads looked to one another, slowlying grasping it held control over its body. Was this a mistake? If they could ignore the orders, why would he receive them?

    A humanoid bellow rattled the heavens and drew the dragon’s bewildered attention as well as the hundreds of eyes of the yog swarm below it. Upon finding the source, King Ghidorah discovered Zone Fighter standing proudly, its left arm raised high with his right pounding his chest in affirmation. A second, confident yell echoed and as the horde began its charge toward the humanoid, Ghidorah’s three heads formed amused smirks, golden energy glistening within their maws.

    Zone Fighter’s open hands fell to his sides as the sky above him began to glisten a golden glow. Tremors rattled him from the approaching army of Yog, the charred earth beneath his feet fractured from the sheer approaching mass and his timer’s beeping notified him of the few dozen seconds he had left, but all the dire signs failed to sway Hikaru, even as golden bolts discharged toward him from Ghidorah’s maws.

    For what was there to fear? He would not be dying this day.

    “Meteor Reflection Barrier!” Zone Fighter proclaimed for all those that dared fight him.

    A curved shield, composed of hardened light, materialized in front of the warrior and upon its outward facing plate which reflected the silhouette of King Ghidorah, the gravity bolts struck. Lightning like blasts rained down upon the barrier, ringing it like a drum and causing it to become brighter and brighter until a mighty gravity blast descended upon it. The continuous, triple gravity beams flowed like water into the radiating shield, its glow rivaling the sun, and as King Ghidorah finished unleashing his reserves, Zone Fighter reached out and grabbed his creation’s edges.

    Immediately, the fingers of the warrior burned, sizzling from contact with his creation, but Hikaru refused to allow the meager damage to stop him. Hearing the barrier cackling with Ghidorah’s energy, Zone Fighter knew he possessed little time and pulled with every ounce of strength in his possession to reposition the angle of the shield. The ground cracked under Hikaru’s heels, small flames ignited around the warrior’s fingers, and a steady yellow drowned out the stampede toward his position. Gradually, the barrier shifted from a one-hundred and thirty five degree angle to a ninety degree formation, giving Hikaru a small sense of relief as the Yog horde nearly reached his position, their silhouettes reflecting in the barrier of light.

    Watching the Reflection-Barrier cackle with energy, Hikaru couldn’t help but launch his arms outward in defiance. This would be the moment the Yog, and all under its vile control, vanished from his planet!

    “Reflection Barrier: Gravity Maelstrom!”

    As if on cue, the barrier produced a singular gravity bolt of unparalleled size and destructive potential. The single Gezora standing directly in front of the blast vanished in a golden light and after it vaporized, all those behind it followed it into oblivion. The protection of Ganimes’ exoskeleton or Kamoebas’ shell failed to stop the blast and just as quickly as it tore the first Gezora to molecular dust, it cut a blinding hole through the swarm.

    The Yog horde’s charge transitioned into a disorganized frenzy as the beasts moved out of the blast’s way, but Zone Fighter would not allow their escape. Grabbing the shield once more, Zone Fighter pulled with all his might and shifted the barrier’s angle, sweeping the Gravity Maelstrom’s bolt across the landscape. Horrendous screams of hundreds of Yog filled the air, Zone Fighter too screamed in agony as he felt the skin on his fingers sizzle away, but the bolt continued firing until the alien warrior completed a three-hundred and sixty degree turn, his fingers burned to the bone.

    The Reflection-Barrier’s shield fragmented into nothing but droplets of light and with its departure, Zone Fighter collapsed to the charred landscape in exhaustion. The warrior pried his vision off the ash covered ground, watching a dark shadow encompass his sight, before he fell into the pits of unconsciousness.

    The familiar light of day welcomed Hikaru as his consciousness returned. To his left and right, Hotaru and Akira sat respectively, visibly smiling through their facial coverings at the sight of their brother’s awakening. Hotaru fought back tears in her eyes while Akira looked away, crossing his arms and doing his best to obfuscate his joyous sniffling.

    “I knew… you’d be fine,” Akira remarked, stuttering as he found it difficult to speak. As Hikaru’s hand placed itself atop his younger brother’s head, the child’s emotional barrier gave way to a warm hug upon his older brother.

    With one arm clutching his younger brother, Hikaru peeled himself off the ground and swept his gaze past his siblings to what lay beyond. In the distance, monstrous corpses set aflame lay scattered in every direction. The source of their burning showed no interest in hiding its actions as Ghidorah spat gravity bolts, vaporizing what Hikaru could only assume to be the remainder of the mutated swarm.

    A hand rested upon Hikaru’s shoulder, drawing his gaze to Hotaru. “The Yog is gone,” Hotaru affirmed with a confident nod. “Whatever’s left, he’s been burning since we got to you.”

    Hikaru looked back to King Ghidorah, a sense of unease and relief rushing through him greater than any lingering pain he felt. ‘So… what are we going to do with you,’ Hikaru contemplated.

    “So, we keeping him?” Akira remarked, breaking Hikaru and Hotaru’s thoughts as their eyes became wide in shock.
    “Why?!” Hotaru shouted.

    Akira eyes narrowed, his arms crossing once more in apparent disgust. “He saved big brother. We gotta help him out.”

    “It was an alliance of momentary, strategic convenience!” Hotaru snapped only for Akira to tilt his head, drawing a sign from Zone Angel. “It was only temporary.”

    “Ohhhhh, well we still gotta.”

    The rustling of Hikaru staggering upright attracted the squabbling pair to their sibling. Jumping to their feet as well, Hotaru and Akira noticed a confident, familiar smile form beneath Hikaru’s face veil, putting them both at ease.

    “We’re going to help him,” Hikaru affirmed without a trace of doubt in his voice. “And I think I know just the place he can live in peace.”

    *****

    Skull Island – 1973

    Within the chaotic storm walls which swirled around the island’s perimeter, monstrous flora and fauna dotted the archipelago’s landscape under near sunny skies. The ravenous emerald allosaur, Gorosaurus, hunted herds of Sker Buffalo across empty plains merely to see a familiar beast of golden scales descend on the far side of the island. Without hesitation, the beast unleashed a wail to alert all battle capable monsters and most importantly, the island’s king, before he charged toward King Ghidorah.

    Zone Fighter touched down in a sea of lush jungle and rolling hills. A harsh gust of wind blew past him while the ground ferociously quaked from the three-headed dragons landing just a dozen meters behind him. With a simple nod, the hero instructed King Ghidorah to follow, but the shaking of the ground halted any movement. From the jungle, beasts of monstrous size enveloped the pair, encircling every angle of the duo.

    Gorosaurus screeched with frenzy, bearing his serrated teeth in preparation to tear the vile invaders apart. Baragon continuously roared while he knelt low to the ground to pounce on the pair. Black Moth snarled viciously at the unwelcomed party, carving a line in the ground with her talons. The boisterous cry of Maguma acted as a warning. Before the group could lunge, a booming roar echoed, silencing any thought of action within the island’s defenders. All eyes turned to two ape-like creatures which parted the jungle with a flick of their wrists.

    Grey fur coated the larger of the pair who looked on his subjects and intruders with intrigue. King Kong’s primal eyes scanned Zone Fighter and King Ghidorah, weighing his options before the smaller Kong began to growl. The younger beast beat his brown-fur chest in an act of aggression merely for the larger Kong to bat him over the head with the back of his left hand. The undisputed king of Skull Island swiftly returned his gaze, deciding the best course of action.

    As primal eyes gazed into the dragon’s, King Kong noticed no terror or rage emitting from the beast. It seemed… lost.

    With a final grunt in preparation of his order, King Kong roared into the heavens of his decision, deafening even the mighty storm which encircled the island. King Ghidorah, at least this particular creature, could stay in his domain.

    As he finished his commanding bellow, wary eyes of the ape looked to Gorosaurus. The allosaur’s eyes twitched with rage, but gradually, the ancient dinosaur nodded slightly in acceptance giving the old ape a feeling of relief. With no other noticeable discontent, King Kong returned to the jungle with his heir following closely, and soon, the rest of the creatures in tow.

    With trouble avoided, Zone Fighter parted a wary breath and turned to King Ghidorah who looked at the alien hero with a grateful gaze. A mighty shout echoed from Zone Fighter before he launched into the sky, leaving his ally in the safety of the mighty king.

    King Ghidorah, an ally.’ The thought made Hikaru’s head spin as he soared through an endless sea of clouds which glowed under the setting sun. ‘Never thought that was possible, but against the Garoga, against the future the Futurians foresaw… I’ll gladly fight by his side once more.’

    *****

    Pacific Ocean – 1973

    Churning bubbles escaped the air pockets that remained in the submerged MOTHER, drifting ever closer to a watery demise. A state of being to be abandoned by the vision of man, forsaken to die a lonely death. Destiny was a cruel mistress. Fate had forgone the glory promised to it, and all value of conquest and propagation was lost because of it.

    Within the husk of a saucer, Yog persisted in the bitter void of the oceanic trenches. Conjoined to the host’s amygdala, bulged eyes of a desecrated, twisted corpse contracted in deep thought. It scoured the dead man’s mind for additional intel. What it saw, if it uttered the truth, terrified it beyond belief.

    From the eyes of its victim, it only saw the end ad infinitum. To it, this had to be the absolute truth. Yet such knowledge was so limited, even more restrained by the arrogance the deceased had once held near and dear to his shallow heart. The impossible and plausible all existed in equal factions, but only through his eyes did it see the end brought about by the red giant.

    Deep sea pressure contorted the metal framework of the saucer, compressing it like aluminum foil. The Yog remained in the heart of the vessel, clinging to the host for a physical form. Certainly, the Yog’s enhancements allowed the human body to survive depths it normally would be unable to breach. It wasn’t that it couldn’t abandon the body and find another host to parasitically infest. If it chose to, it could phase through the subatomic molecules and resume its mission anew.

    But the realization of the truth–a future where it no longer existed or would leave its mark in the universe–killed the instinctual drive to spread. With this existential knowledge burned into its sentience, could it really live knowing that it would be forgotten to time? Even if a future existed that would be more merciful than the one it saw, the results would be the same nonetheless. For Yog would never leave the lasting impact it had so desired. The fruits it bore would be infertile, for the seduction of the Earth’s worldly pleasures snuffed the life out of it.

    As the Futurian vessel plunged in the abyss, the host curled into a ball and waited for the inevitable. This planet would go on, but it would not. All that was left was itself and its thoughts, with only one solace to all of this.

    There was comfort in isolation.

    Winner: Zone Fighter, King Ghidorah (Heisei)

     

     

    K.W.C. // October 31, 2020
  • November 3rd, 1954: the original Godzilla (1954) was released in theaters. This sparked a starting point for what would become a global franchise, one of the most recognizable in the world. It is also celebrated as the anniversary date of the Godzilla character. Toho has long honored the King of the Monsters’ birthday, although sometimes the month after as was the case with Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) which launched in December. In more recent years the festivities have occurred on November 3rd itself, with the 2019 event in Japan attracting over 20,000 visitors.

    This year, amongst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Godzilla Day 2020 festival will be held virtually. More details are pending. To help celebrate, Toho is also extending licensing deals in the United States. One of these was already announced, the Godzilla costume for Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Another is with artist Shag, aka Josh Agle who is well known for his artwork surrounding the Disney resorts. He has created an image called “Kingu Monsuta” based around Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964). (more…)

    News // October 30, 2020
  • Toho and video game developer Mediatonic are teaming up to add a Godzilla costume for Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. The costume allows players to dress up as the King of the Monsters holding a car, with a slight purple tint to the costume. After donning the costume, players can then join in on the massive multiplayer title, attempting to avoid being eliminated in round after round until one player remains. Rounds vary in format, from races to tail tag and a variety of other mini-games. 

    The Godzilla costume is one of several licensed cosmetics to appear in the game. Others includes items from Half-Life, PortalTeam Fortress 2, GrisMy Friend Pedro, Enter the Gungeon, Hotline Miami, Gato Roboto and Sonic the Hedgehog. The Godzilla costume is somewhat unique, though, for not being based directly on a video game franchise. A skin database for the title can be found online, to look through all of the items available for Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.

    The items come out on November 3rd, 2020, for the PC and Sony Playstation 4 game. The date marks the 66th anniversary of Godzilla (1954).

    (more…)

    News // October 29, 2020