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  • Halfway through the year already? Crazy!

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    The 2022 K.W.C. Mid-Year Survey

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    K.W.C. Kaiju War Chronicles

     

    K.W.C. // July 1, 2022
  • Author: Vincent Rodger |  Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    MM-88.

    A man-made virus that had eradicated ninety percent of life on the planet. Humans, animals, and Titans alike fell to the Frankenstein-esque concoction of a disease. It spread fast across the world, turning our once green planet into a mass graveyard overnight. The cities reeked of death and decay, no sound ever heard aside from the passing wind.

    Some, however, were lucky. Those that lived in cold places such as Antarctica were unaffected by the plague. The same went for the Titans that roamed the Hollow Earth.

    One year had passed since the virus spread like wildfire, and how unfortunate it would be that humanity was once again on the brink of extinction.

    Below the ice’s surface laid an ancient Titan, one of the gods of old. Resting, waiting for his time to restore balance to a chaotic world. His icy domain shook as atomic bombs crashed into the glacier, radiation coursing through the ice in an instant. The power of the atom flowed through the ancient Titan, and for the first time in over twenty-nine years, his eyes opened.

    His scales and eyes flashed blue before returning to their natural color.

    The Titan shook his head back and forth in the water, trying to make sense of the surge of power. What happened while he slept? How come he could barely sense any life signs? The leviathan began to swim up, breaking apart ice as his head ripped through the frozen water before climbing to his feet. He could feel the vast amounts of radiation that surrounded him. The Titan walked forward, cracking ice underneath his weight. He would need to find out why this was all happening, though he had witnessed countless extinction events, this may be the worst he had seen.

    -China-

    A song played through the deep jungles of China, the melody echoing throughout the world. The Queen of the Monsters cried out for help, hoping that someone would hear her plea. Many had believed that the world had died that fateful day, but she could sense life. Sprinkles of a rebirth laying their foundation in the small corner of the world.

    She listened carefully, hoping that she would get any response. Seconds turned to minutes, but to her, it felt like eons until the cries of Titans filled her eardrums. She heard the cries of allies of old and a horde of death, each one crying out with murderous intent. A chill went down her abdomen; the Queen had heard a cry similar to these thousands of years ago. The city of Atlantis had fallen to these creatures, their last defender lost beneath the waves.

    The insect goddess opened her wings before taking to the skies, she would need to meet up with the other Titans, what little remained of life needed to continue.

    -Washington D.C.-

    Dr. Shuzo Yoshizumi stumbled out of the White House. He had failed to stop the nukes. The scientist only hoped that the woman and child he cared for were still alive. He walked around the dead city, looking for any food or water leftover in stores. He couldn’t hunt due to the virus, so this was his only hope of not starving to death. The man walked down the streets of D.C., looking for anything even resembling a store…

    The earth began to shake. The good doctor was knocked to the ground as what appeared to be pillars burst from the ruins. The scientist covered his face as rubble fell from the sky, crawling backward as a massive form began to take shape. Shuzo could barely believe his own eyes. It was a gigantic animal. A god of old, she had been written about in “Homer’s Odyssey,” an ancient Titan, Scylla, had made her return.

    Shuzo began to panic. He had never heard of a creature of this size, he could only fathom the power she had. “Impossible…”

    Scylla began to move through the city, she could sense the amount of dead across the planet, and it was her duty to decompose the dead. Titans had fallen just the same as the rest of life, like the petals of a flower. Their size and strength were no match for this disease. Scylla pondered if she would die of exposure, but she quickly focused on her journey; if such thoughts distracted her, she would never reach her destination.

    Shuzo looked in a mix of awe and fear as Scylla marched onward, pondering as his curiosity took over. He had witnessed this beast emerge from the earth, was it possible that some of the earthquakes he picked up as a researcher were these gigantic monsters? He began to take a deep breath, trying to calm himself down from his panic attack, his body shaking as he attempted to focus. He slowly stood up, shaking the entire way, watching as Scylla began to disappear from view.

    The man began to think. Maybe he could study these beasts while he made his way to where they evacuated those at the Antarctica base, giving him something to do while he made the long journey. He began to run, though he had no chance of catching up with Scylla on foot, he could follow her tracks. Just as life seemed meaningless, he had not two, but three reasons for living.

    ***

    -Odo Island-

    The water rose across the bay, crushing buildings underneath its immense weight. The mighty Titan placed one foot in front of the other and began to march across the small island, looking for any humans. The sound of the waves and passing wind were the only things the mighty Titan could hear. No animals… No humans. He began to believe his search was to no avail; all he could sense was death. If humans were here, they would have come out of their homes, he would have heard cheers or screams, but he heard nothing.

    The alpha’s heart began to sink. He had a particular fondness for humans. Even though they were destructive, they had soul and spirit. The Titan released a roar of dejection and rage across the heavens, for it was the only way he could mourn for humanity…

    Suddenly he heard cries from his fellow Titans. He was not alone. He turned towards the source and spotted three. The mighty Behemoth, the gentle Mothra, and the ruthless Battra. When they had awakened, they began their search for life just as Godzilla had, but unlike their alpha, they had found the foundations of a rebirth. Mothra cried out to her king, trying to tell him of their discovery when his scales once again flickered blue.

    They all stopped in place as they made landfall, each sensing the amount of raw energy that was stored inside of their king. It was like he was a living bomb.

    Godzilla stood confused as to why their body language began to change to a more hostile posture. He gave out a soft roar, asking his subjects what the meaning of this was. Mothra shrieked at the monster king, his heart sinking even more. He was a danger to all life. The atomic energy had been tunneling through his veins, building up to that of a living atom bomb. He looked at the three, knowing what was going to happen next. They would protect what remained of life to their dying breath, but just like that small pinch of life, he was alive. Did he have no right to live?

    The monster king let out a soft, mournful roar at the triad. He would never have thought it would come to this, the ones he cared for turning on him when he needed them the most. Mothra attempted to let out a response, only for Battra to charge at the alpha, discharging pillars of purple light at the once crowned “King of the Monsters.” Godzilla roared in pain as he was pushed back by the erupting blasts of explosive rage.

    With a snort, the dark moth was due for recompense; his spines illuminated once more, atomic energy quickly climbing up to his throat before firing his nuclear blast at the god of destruction. Battra cried as the blue flames bathed his armored hide, pushing him back as the alpha rose again to his feet. He was quicker than ever before; the atomic radiation boosted his speed and abilities tenfold. No doubt a fierce battle would commence, one to determine the fate of the few lives that persisted.

    Behemoth dragged his knuckles into the ground, roaring and charging at the reptilian leviathan. The mammalian Titan passed by the fallen Battra, slamming his body into Godzilla’s torso, shoving him back. The monster king roared before wrapping his hands around his attacker’s tusks, quickly overpowering the mammoth and throwing him to the ground.

    The queen flew into the sky before activating her God Rays, scattering a blinding holy light that descended on the pair of Titans. Godzilla cried out as the light took his sight before being struck in the side by the sloth-like mammoth’s tusks, the nuclear giant stumbling backward as he tried to regain his footing, only to be struck once again by Behemoth.

    Mothra quickly flew down, raising her sharp pincers as she descended towards the ongoing battle. Battra returned to the skies, hoping to aid his relative. Frantically the king shot out his atomic blast, tossing and turning, hoping to strike one of his opponents. The atomic flame scorched the side of Behemoth, burning his skin and fur, leaving him crying out in pain as he quickly moved out the way.

    The goddess of nature struck the top of Godzilla’s head, her talons cutting into flesh as she quickly returned to the skies. The monster king roared in agony as he stopped unleashing his atomic breath, blood running down his face. As he began to open his eyes again, seeing through the blood, Battra charged. The divine moth slammed into Godzilla’s torso, wrapping his legs around his foe’s chest, discharging waves of energy into the alpha’s body. The leviathan let out a growl of anger as he grit his teeth, smacking the deity of destruction to the side, his talons cutting ribbons into the exoskeletal hide. Battra cried out in pain as he fell onto the ground, crashing violently and carving a trench in his wake. Raising his horned head, Battra witnessed as Godzilla lifted his trunk-like leg, prepared to cave his skull in. The dark moth fired twin beams at his foot, cutting into scaly flesh.

    Blood sprayed as Godzilla roared and fell backwards onto the ground, his scales and eyes once again flickering blue. He could feel the power within him climbing as if it was begging to be unleashed…

    ***

    -The Pacific Ocean-

    The screams of the horde echoed for miles, their craving for flesh intensifying as they approached Odo Island. The Gyaos were hungry, and they were tired of devouring their kin.

    Two flew in front of the rest, a pair of Hyper Gyaos leading the charge. One had a blood-red coloring to its dried skin and a couple of black eyes, while the other had a bleach white tone and brimming crimson eyes. The pair of alphas could feel a small group of Titans nearby, and they would taste the flesh of a fresh kill.

    They would devour all that remained of life.

    ***

    Behemoth charged forth, rage fueling his actions as he prepared to beat Godzilla senselessly into the ground. But a mighty swipe from the king’s tail smacked across his face and cut into his eye, knocking him to the side, giving the monstrous leviathan ample time to rise to his feet. Spines illuminated before firing another atomic ray at Behemoth, shielding himself under the protection of his large, fur-coated arm in defense. The roaring animal groaned in pain as he attempted to push past the flames, their heat resistance serving as the only line of defense for the great beast. Mothra descended once again, shooting out a ball of web at Godzilla, striking his eyes and rendering him blind once again. Behemoth quickly ducked under the swinging arm of the ancient alpha predator before striking him across the jaw with his fist, a groan of pain exiting the reptile’s maw as a spray of blood landed across the sands below.

    With one hand, Godzilla attempted to remove the webs from his eyes while with his free hand swinging out, hoping to strike Behemoth, only to miss and once again be struck by the gentle giant’s fists. Godzilla tumbled back once again before he was stabbed from behind, Mothra’s stinger piercing into his shoulder. Blood flowed down his arm as she backed away, aiming to not be torn asunder during this conflict. The leviathan roared with rage as he finally managed to tear away the webs. Behemoth swung out, only for the king to bite into his hand, drawing blood as he tugged and swung his head side to side, ripping into his opponent’s palm as if it was paper.

    The mammalian Titan screamed in pain as Battra soared the skies, stopping in mid-flight and releasing poisonous scales onto Godzilla. The king released Behemoth from his grasp and kicked him away before turning his attention towards his assailant as the poison rain began to take hold. Godzilla could feel his strength leaving him. If this continued, it would be the end of him.

    He fired an atomic blast at Battra, shoving him away once again. As the divine moth fell, he fired twin energy blasts at the king, one striking across his chest and the other detonating the ground behind him. Godzilla roared in pain as the beam cut through his chest, blood spraying across the battlefield as he backed away.

    Godzilla looked around him and saw the three regaining their strength. The king snarled before unleashing a roar, charging at the downed Battra. The alpha Titan raised his leg and slammed it on Battra’s torso repeatedly, smashing the dark warrior’s armor until it shattered. But a powerful tug that did not go unnoticed, Behemoth pulled the king by his tail, forcing him off of his feet and proceeding to spin around. With a mighty heave, the great beast threw the nuclear leviathan onto the measly village that had once bustled with life, now nothing more than a shadowy memory of humankind’s dwellings.

    Godzilla rolled on his stomach and attempted to rise, only for Behemoth to raise his fists high above his head and slam them on top of his skull, sending him crashing downward. His jaw bounced off the ground, breaking his chin and knocking several incisors out of their sockets. His vision became blurry and blood fell from his mouth, shaking his head back and forth, trying his best to reorient himself. With a swift and decisive swipe from his tail, they collided against Behemoth’s legs, knocking the hairy giant to the ground with a resounding crash.

    Mothra charged at the reptile before being swept away by Godzilla’s tail, spinning in the air before catching herself. She stared into his eyes and saw… tears. His heart was filled with rage and sadness at the betrayal of his comrades, but none hurt him as much as she did.

    Godzilla roared before charging with extreme speed at the goddess, only for Battra to strike him across the jaw, sparks erupting as he flew by. The monster king swiped at the divine moth, striking his abdomen and drawing blood. He cried out in pain as he turned around and charged at Godzilla, attempting to slam into his chest. But this tactic was only countered when the ancient alpha predator grabbed ahold of the insect’s thorax, lifting him into the air before slamming him onto the ground. Mothra charged forward, attempting to save her kin, only to be met with a stream of atomic fire, the monster queen chirping as she tried to put out the flames across her body.

    Battra attempted to shake free from his enemy’s grasp, only for Godzilla to squeeze harder with his left hand, reaching around with his right hand and stabbing his talons where head and thorax met, ripping into chitin as he pulled.

    Behemoth, having regained his footing, attempted to rush on his limbs to save the god of destruction, only for the sound of shearing to fill his ears. The dark moth’s torso fell onto the sand, yellow blood oozing from the wound. Godzilla turned to face the mammalian Titan, ichor pouring through his fingers as he held the decapitated head of Battra. The gentle giant’s eyes widened as he watched the head of the fallen god roll from Godzilla’s palm onto the ground, his eyes darkened and lifeless.

    Mothra screeched in utter horror as she charged, her wings tattered and burnt. The nature deity swiped at the king’s head, only to miss and almost be caught in the jaws of the alpha Titan. The mammoth sloth-like Titan charged forth, thrusting his mighty tusks at the dying king. Godzilla lurched under the swinging protrusions, smacking his head against the hairy belly of the benevolent Titan, ushering a wheeze from the giant.

    Godzilla attempted to charge his atomic breath, only for a series of fireballs to plaster the leviathan from the side. A cry of agony erupted from his maw as he fell to the ground, smoke rising from his form as he watched a new arrival land. High in the sky, they watched a spinning Titan, its limbs exiting a shell as they landed on top of the ruined village that once stood there. Twin tusks jutted from its lower jaw, distinctly pointing upwards, attached to a being resembling the modern turtle. Gamera, the Guardian of the Universe, had arrived.

    Gamera bellowed as the monster king rose to his feet. The presence of a thousand suns emanated from within the Titan lord, which was what brought the guardian to this spot. Though he had felt the emergence of the Gyaos from this dead world, he would need to deal with the ancient alpha predator first, for he was the true threat to what remained of life. The creation of Atlantis looked over at Behemoth and Mothra, nodding at the pair. Together, they could end Godzilla once and for all.

    Godzilla rose to his feet, his scales glowing fully blue. His eyes became like stars, a loud thrum following as he stood up. He wouldn’t be put down like a simple commoner, he was a king!

    As he roared into the heavens, those that had opposed him knew that his full strength had been realized, the surrounding villages and forest burning as a result of the transformation. Mothra observed in particular horror, seeing a bastardized version of their symbiosis’ culmination. The sand beneath his feet turned into glass before shattering under his weight, heatwaves generating off his overheated body…

    Burning Godzilla had been born.

    The blue flame roared before charging at Mothra and Behemoth, leaning forward and carried by his powerful legs. The pair knew death would be imminent if he managed to get ahold of them, so they attempted to part ways from each other, hoping to avoid the clutches of the towering leviathan. Unfortunately, Mothra became the burning tyrant’s first target as the giant veered in her direction. In a stunt that defied expectation, a monstrous leap was achieved by a firm push from his legs and tail, sailing the skies like a flying fish with a trail of radioactive residue following behind. His arms grabbed hold of the miniscule moth as his colossal body slammed into the sands below, pinning her to the soft ground.She could only scream as her chitinous armor and fur burned away.

    Steam rolled Godzilla’s eye, but the mournful cries told it all. He didn’t want to do this, but they had made him, it didn’t have to be this way! Though anguish filled the monster king’s mind, he knew, in the end, that this was the only outcome.

    The seared Mothra cried out in tormenting pain before the great Titan rose to his feet, silencing her under the weight of his foot. The last sound heard was a firm crunch before the nature goddess stopped moving, burnt to a husk. Behemoth watched in horror before attempting to flee from the Titan lord, fearing for his life.

    Gamera activated his jet boosters and took to the sky, discharging balls of plasma at the Titan king. He circled the nuclear leviathan, knowing full well that if he was even hit once by this transformation, he would be done for. Godzilla stumbled as the plasma struck him, turning his attention towards the flying menace. He could deal with Behemoth later, this new arrival would need to be handled now. Dorsal spines began to charge before the mighty king shot out a ray of death at the artificial Titan. Gamera’s eyes widened as the beam blazed past him, only missing by pure luck.

    Gamera retracted his head and arms into the shell, unleashing strains of fire as he spun towards the blazing leviathan, striking him across the chest before flying back into the sky. Godzilla stumbled and to his surprise, the attack had damaged him, but the sheer heat had sealed the wound completely.

    The energy left over from Mothra began to disperse into the sky, passing into Gamera. The turtle didn’t know what was happening, but he felt his strength rising. The Guardian of the Universe cried out to Behemoth, drawing up a plan to take down the leviathan. The mammalian Titan shook his head up and down before charging behind Godzilla and attempting to pull his tail. He pushed through the pain until his arm began to catch fire, forcing the good-willed Titan away, screaming in pain.

    Godzilla turned around, facing Behemoth. What was his plan? Surely he knew that such a pitiful attempt of an attack would only end with regret and pain. Pathetic. The monster king roared before firing a strain of atomic fire at the mammoth, only for the Titan to dodge the onslaught of energy, erupting in a trail of fire behind the hairy giant. Gamera swooped in and knocked the mighty king to the earth, landing in the spot where Behemoth once stood. Godzilla began to rise to his feet, energy climbing before suddenly… It stopped. The energy that once emanated from his form began to cease its climb, his scales returning to their original hue. This wasn’t good.

    Gamera flexed his claws before charging headfirst, striking Godzilla’s stomach with his head, pushing him back before slashing at his chest, drawing blood in the process. The nuclear leviathan cried out in pain before attempting to fire an atomic blast… Only for nothing to come up. It seemed he had used so much power in such a short time that his runaway nuclear might had abated, temporarily at least. Somewhere deep inside he still felt the irregularity, but it was too deep to matter currently. His energy drained, he could only rely on his sheer strength and determination to survive, though his powerful will began to crack as doubt slithered into his mind.

    The last hope grabbed the mighty Titan king by the throat, attempting to slam him onto the ground, only to be thrown across the sands into what remained of the village. Behemoth charged forth with rage, attempting to stab Godzilla with his tusks, only to be met with a swift kick to the skull, knocking him to the ground.

    The two looked at each other as they rose, their breath becoming heavy, though he was surely weakened, Godzilla was still a force to be reckoned with. He began to approach before suddenly stopping, he could hear something coming… Something horrid. Turning his gaze towards the sky behind him, the king’s eyes widened as the horde approached. With hideous screams, they announced their arrival, the creations of Atlantis, the shadow of evil, the Gyaos snapped their jaws viciously, drool and blood falling from their maws.

    Gamera roared with fury. He knew they would cross paths eventually, but he had hoped to deal with Godzilla before going to stop the horde. Behemoth recognized these screams, but had never had the chance to see them for himself. He had failed to save the civilization along with his fellow Titans thousands of years ago; maybe now he could avenge those they failed to save.

    Behemoth and Gamera looked at each other, turning a concerned glance at Godzilla. If they were going to survive, they would need to do this together. Each walked over to the sides of the leviathan, locking eyes with him, making the mammalian Titan feel sorrow within his heart. Usually, he would enjoy fighting alongside his king. But given the circumstances, he was uncomfortable with this alliance. Godzilla flexed his body before charging headfirst at the horde, almost as if he awaited death. The white Gyaos screeched as it charged at the king, while the red Gyaos roared with anticipation as it narrowed its sights at Gamera, knowing this was her mortal enemy.

    The horde surrounded Behemoth, hundreds biting into his dense fur, while the others shot their sonic beams into the mammal, slicing his flesh apart. Blood sprayed onto the ravenous fiends, the Gyaos licking their teeth with joy in their wicked hearts. As the mighty mammal swung his tusks and body in circles, he killed dozens of the smaller Gyaos in an instant, their bodies crashing onto the ground as nothing more than puddles of blood. Behemoth cried out in pain as they tore into his flesh, and unlike the monster king or Atlantean creation, he had no extraordinary abilities.

    Gamera reared his head back, discharging a plasma fireball at the red Gyaos, scoring a direct hit onto the chest of the abomination. Wracked in pain, the winged ghoul pressed onward, slashing its talons at the guardian before firing a sonic beam. It missed the head, landing a direct hit on the shell before bouncing off, tearing into a dozen of the smaller Gyaos before cutting a hill clean in half. The last hope of humanity paid no attention to the destruction as he sank his tusked maw into the foot of the shadow of evil, shaking his head violently. Grabbing the abomination with his hands and pulling down, the chelonian guardian slammed the devilish monster onto the ground, a plume of sand and water vapor erupting from the earth. The Gyaos screeched in pain before firing another sonic ray at the terrapin, cutting into the left arm of the guardian.

    The neonate protector released a pained shriek as he wrapped his free arm around the Gyaos’ neck, tightening his grip as he thrusted the shadow of evil into the earth. Smoke rising from his maw as heat began to swell, gestating plasma in his maw. The Gyaos cried out as it felt the rage of the guardian inch ever closer, burning and boiling its skin. The burning kaiju attempted to squirm out of the ironclad grip, but the abomination was stopped by Gamera ripping its throat out. The Gyaos twitched as it drowned in its gurgling blood, movements no longer in its cognitive control.

    And another fireball made short work of the suffering devil in a blaze of explosive fury.

    Having dispatched the sloppy opponent, too gluttonous for its own good, he turned to his wound, watching as green blood flowed down his arm like a river. An angry grunt escaped from his maw, casting his attention towards Behemoth and the horde. Seeing his ally in danger, the chelonian warrior took wide gaits, firing plasma at the horde, striking a small group that flew next to the mammalian Titan.

    Behemoth continued to shake the horde off of him, slamming them into the ground or striking them out of the air with his tusks. Blood spattered across the mammal’s fur and the sands beneath him.

    A small group of Gyaos latched on, sinking their teeth into their mortal enemy’s flesh and swallowing it whole. Gamera grunted in pain as he swatted them away, grabbing a few of them midair and tossing them into the ground, ending their pitiful existence. The pair turned towards each other before directing their sights at Godzilla. They would only waste time if they focused on the horde; the best they could do was bring the fight to him.

    The monster king roared as the Gyaos fired a sonic beam, cutting into his leg with ease. Godzilla screamed with rage as he attempted to strike the abomination out of the sky, only to be denied as the Gyaos evaded every swipe thrown at it before biting into his scaly hide. The alpha Titan growled as he reached behind him, grabbing the vile artificial organism by the throat, proceeding to slam them into the ground with all his might. The Atlantean vulture screeched as they shot out another Sonic Scalpel, cutting into the arm of the leviathan. Godzilla roared in pain as the blood sprayed into the air, the monster king releasing his grip around the abomination’s throat, earning a bite upon his hand.

    The Gyaos violently shook its head, ripping flesh with their fangs. Godzilla cried out as he swung, throwing the experimental lifeform across the hillside.

    The albino beast let out a squeal of pain as they crashed into the earth, attempting to rise back up, only for the leviathan to sprint rapidly. Godzilla howled in utmost fury, his mighty footfalls shaking the earth before being abruptly thrown aside by Gamera’s tremendous force. The monster king let out a groan of annoyance as the man-made creature opened his maw and sank his twin fangs into his shoulder. Blood flowed from the wound as flames surrounded the turtle’s jaws, burning the open wound. Godzilla roared with agony and rage, reaching down and hoisting the Atlantean creation around like a ragdoll, tossing him free and ripping chunks as Gamera was sent crashing into the ground.

    The guardian of the universe watched as the alpha Titan approached. Growling as he rose to his feet, he was ready to finish the fight.

    ***

    The pure-white cretin flapped its powerful wings, rebalancing itself back to its feet. But before it could resume the task before it, the mammalian Titan grappled it from behind, wrapping his hands around the abomination’s shoulders. With a tremendous heave, Behemoth lifted the filthy abomination into the air before slamming them into the ground.

    The albino ghoul guttered a hellish cry, raising their head up, only for their eyes to widen when they saw Behemoth bring his tusks high above its head, preparing to smash them into his target. Quick to react, the white Gyaos fired a Sonic Scalpel, cleaving effortlessly through the spiked tip and cutting into the right eye and forehead of the protector of nature. Behemoth let out a booming cry as he swung his protrusions downward, only to miss when the Gyaos jumped out of the way and returned to the sky.

    Blood dripped from the guardian’s face, splashing into the disheveled ground created by the impact. Behemoth looked to the sky with his one remaining eye, spotting the Gyaos circling around and directing its sights to him. The wretched monster reached down, snapping their jaws violently onto the guardian’s back, ripping flesh and throwing blood into the air. With a hellish echo, the devilish fiend beckoned the lesser members of its kind.

    The horde approached, aiming to devour the guardian. Behemoth cried out in pain as he stood up on his back legs, forcing the Gyaos to back off. With a swift and powerful turn, the forest deity struck the monstrous bird across the jaws, hurling it into the earth.

    Behemoth sprinted into action, aiming to stab through the monster’s flesh with his remaining tusks. The albino raised its head and glared at the oncoming beast, shooting its Sonic Scalpel at the charging mammal. The golden lance sliced into the external incisor, dismembering bone. The upper half of the tusk fell to the ground, almost tripping Behemoth. The mammalian Titan struggled and pushed onward, enduring the pain as the horde of evil followed closely behind. His heartbeat echoed through his mind. He knew that he was not going to live through this, but he would make sure every action he had left would leave a mark.

    The Gyaos leapt into the sky, attempting to put distance between itself and the raging animal. only for Behemoth to wrap his claws around one of their legs, pulling them downward to the earth as he snapped the limb. A cry of anguish left the vile avian’s maw, summoning the horde which aggregated the living mountain, their jaws sinking into the flesh of Behemoth. The guardian released booming trills as he dug his claws into the chest and neck of the alpha Gyaos, ripping into its throat and chest. The Gyaos fired another blast, cutting into the shoulder, sending a geyser of blood into the sky as Behemoth continued to rip into the abomination.

    Blood spattered across his body and landed around them, the mammalian Titan’s eye a blood-red, filled with crimson rage as adrenaline rushed through his body. The Gyaos’ body was turned into mush. Behemoth stood over the body as the horde ripped into his flesh. With a powerful swing of his body, they splattered against his muscle-bound body, crushing them in an instant before sprinting away. He wouldn’t die to some horde, he would fall protecting this world against the king.

    ***

    Gamera cried out as he was slammed against what remained of a village, blood falling down his maw as Godzilla approached. The guardian attempted to swing upward, only for the monster king to reach out and sink his teeth into the arm of the guardian. The man-made Titan screamed in pain as the ancient leviathan ripped into his flesh. Gamera began to charge a volley of fireballs, when Godzilla kicked his head, misdirecting the flames away from him. Then, with a firm grasp, Godzilla latched onto the terrapin’s arm and began to pull. With all his strength, the fallen guardian ripped the lower arm clean off. Gamera roared with fury and anguish, green blood staining the ground and his body.

    Godzilla stepped back and tossed the limb away, watching the turtle squirm in pain. The leviathan attempted to fire an atomic blast, only for it to once again be denied.

    NO!

    He would not be delayed, he was a king. He could summon forth his atomic energy, he just needed to focus. His dorsal spines illuminated blue, the power of the atom flowed through his veins once again. His eyes were a bright blue as the atomic blast crawled up his throat as he reared his head back, about to unleash his almighty attack…

    Behemoth slammed his body into the fallen king, forcing the blast to miss the target, the beam striking the land to the side, exploding upon impact. Rage boiled over as Godzilla looked to his one close ally, grabbing Behemoth by the back of the neck before kicking his knee at full force, shattering it. The mammalian Titan protector released a cry of anguish as his former king wrapped his hands around his throat and turned, snapping his neck, sending out a shockwave from the immense forces involved. The corpse of the protector of nature fell to the ground with a loud thud.

    The ancient alpha predator turned towards the rising Gamera, moving forward to finish what he started, when the Gyaos horde surrounded him. Biting into his rocky flesh, Godzilla quickly turned, smacking what he could with his tail before swiping at what remained with his hands as he walked through. They were mere pests, if he were to focus on them, then he could finally end this charade.

    Gamera stood tall, taking in deep breaths as the monster king approached through the remains of the horde. He doubted that he would survive the battle, the guardian cursing at himself knowing he had failed in defeating Godzilla… until he felt a presence.

    The rest of Mothra’s energy had transferred into the artificial kaiju, though it had been unknown at the moment of her death, the power had finally run its course. He felt a sudden boost in energy rise through him, his eyes widening as his vision was no longer blurry, strength returning all the while. Gamera looked down at his dismembered arm and knew that he could not face Godzilla on his own. Normally this would raise great concern for the beast, but he was more than confident that he could still win this. His chest opened up to reveal a bright light, the fallen king flinching as the light began to blind him. The horde of Gyaos all roared in anger and confusion as the light appeared, charging headfirst at the gigantic turtle. Gamera was filled with determination as energy began to gather into him, the Earth’s mana fueling the guardian’s ultimate attack.

    The monster king attempted to fire another atomic breath, only to be denied once again. The Titan snarled before charging at full speed, adrenaline pushing through as his determination to live kicked in.

    Gamera unleashed a roar of fury before the energy was released in a single gigantic beam of Mana, engulfing the Gyaos in a matter of seconds before reaching Godzilla. His life flashed before his eyes as the light began to surround him. He remembered his life in prehistoric earth as the planet’s guardian, forcing the golden demise into an icy prison alongside his allies; He remembered when humanity had dropped a bomb of unimaginable might and when he rose to destroy the parasite known as Shinomura. He had a good life and even in death, the Earth would remember him, not as a king… but as one of the trillions of life forms that had graced it.

    The Mana Beam consumed Godzilla and with an unholy scream, he made one last claim to life, one last cry to the world. Skin peeled off, quickly revealing muscle and bone before being turned to ash. Gamera stopped the onslaught of Mana, falling to the ground with his arm being placed on his knee. He had done it… he had saved what remained of life. The guardian looked up into the sky and looked upon the sun, listening for the cries of more Titans. He heard them one after another, calling for a gathering. The gigantic turtle quickly retracted into his shell and took off into the sky with blazing speed.

    Hope ran through his form as he flew towards his destination, those that had been lost today would not be forgotten. Gamera would help defend the Earth with what remained of life, for life is wonderful.

    Winner: Gamera (Heisei)

    K.W.C. Kaiju War Chronicles

    A very special thanks to dopepope for some of the assets used in this banner for the K.W.C. Be sure to follow him on DeviantART, ArtStation, and Instagram.

    K.W.C. // June 26, 2022
  • Authors: Andrew Sudomerski & Tyler Trieschock | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    [Continued from Match 315]

    All of time and space flashed past Monique’s eyes, yet through the bombardment of hues, she forced her open stare to remain. The helicopter she piloted trembled through the anomaly, rotors squealing from forces beyond comprehension, yet she could not relent. Pushing the vehicle forward, blinding fractal colors gave way to a blue sky.

    Suppressing the urge to expel her stomach contents or cradle her aching head, Monique methodically checked her transport systems, wary of the anomaly’s effects. The helicopter was equipped with electromagnetic shielding and thick armor, but such benefits hardly suppressed decades of military training within the woman and a general readiness for the worst. As tension filled moments passed without incident, Monique vented a long held breath of relief.

    Entry was a success. Now came retrieval.

    Pulling forth a compass shaped device from her belt, the screen flashed a white hue. If within a twenty kilometer range of the transponder, the device would display the approximate range and direction, but a lack of details meant the transceiver, embedded in Zilla’s scales, was too far.

    Her mission would not be as swiftly accomplished as their entry to the new world.

    “Hey, we’re not dead!” Randy yelled, filling the woman with undesired tension. Shifting her attention to the transport’s interior, Monique looked to her two crew members, each giving her trademark smiles.

    At the back, an android with black eyes and an unending grin gave a thumbs up in approval. His smile was a permanent feature, an illusion of constant euphoria in exchange for speech which she wished applied to her other H.E.A.T. team member.

    “Compliments to the lovely lady flying today,” Randy said, flexing a suggestive eyebrow, sending Monique recalling.

    Randy Hernandez was a longstanding teammate of many traits; stubborn yet loyal, a child at heart, but a man gifted with unbridled talent. And while he could get under her skin like no other, so too did he bring her a sense of comfort.

    “If only he was less annoying,” she whispered, keeping a poignant focus on her mission.

    Orange light of a rising sun illuminated the lush landscape of neverending trees that sprawled along the horizon. The little manmade structures that had been there were coated in the endless overgrowth, rendering them nigh impossible to identify. The only thing misplaced in these surroundings gleamed behind the chopper, pulsating with light above a black mountain of crystal and basaltic rock.

    Hundreds of meters tall, the volcanic pile of rock stolen from her own realities’ Pacific island shined beneath the black anomaly, which pulsated like shifting glass. The obstacle was too vast to see past, so Monique pressed on, hoping for signs of Nick Tatopoulos or his loyal beast beyond her limited view.

    “Hey, Monique!” Randy yelled for attention, gaining an irritated look from her  as he sat in the co-pilot seat. “Any signs of Jefe or the Z-Man?”

    Only the echo of whipping rotors replied to Randy’s inquiry. With a shrug, he relaxed in his seat.

    “Shouldn’t have left Audrey,” Randy commented, shifting the topic. “Yeah, she’s not as well versed in this crazy stuff as us-”

    “Is that not reason enough to deny her?” Monique interrupted.

    A huff of exasperation marked the start of Randy’s response. “The girl’s been through plenty. She survived that post apocalyptic future we visited, with the Dragmas. Audrey’s as persistent as Nick. She’d… woah.”

    Monique caught the sight a second later.

    Charred scars cut through the overgrown forest. Husks of trees littered the blackened streaks while a line of crushed bark and leaves led to a distant ocean, surrounded by sandy beaches and grassy hills. The overwhelming green of the tree tops remained vigilant beside the marks of destruction, yet the signs were clear that a battle took place or more aptly, a fiery retreat.

    Zilla had come through the anomaly and discovered he was not alone.

    Monique pressed the nose of the helicopter forward, reaching the nearby shores in under a minute. From the rapid acceleration, a quick descent followed, allowing Monique to land on yellow hills beside a beach with two worn but recognizable tracks of Zilla.

    “So Zilla what, found something on the other side and went a few rounds?” Randy questioned as he exited the craft, sweeping his head side to side as if to find the hidden adversary. “I’m thinkin, maybe Winter’s? Remember, what was it, Rodan? Explains why the Z-Man left no body? Bird brain flew the coop.”

    Dropping onto the grass with Jet Jaguar beside her, Monique remained silent, not out of rejection of the idea, she simply possessed no further insight. Zilla arriving with another hostile creature was likely, and the flier could explain the lack of tracks except…

    Why the singular path to the water?

    Fingers massaged through the yellowing grass atop the soil, prying dried brown flecks from underneath the foliage. The texture as she rubbed her fingers together proved flaky, yet as she brought the substance close, a quick whiff of an iron aroma affirmed its identity.

    Blood.

    Snapping upright, Monique pointed to the mechanical assistant created and assigned to them by Goro Ibuki.

    “Jet, egh…” the name stung like a deadly poison across the agent’s tongue. “Jet Jaguar, fly and pinpoint our location on this Earth.”

    While her French accent hampered most electronic assistants like Alexa, Jet Jaguar showed no sign of misunderstanding the order. A thumbs up marked its approval before the robot lunged into the air, vanishing as it ascended like a rocket into the sun filled sky.

    The agent’s gaze shifted to Randy as he pried grass up from the root.

    “What are you doing?” she inquired.

    “Hey, you notice the grass is healthy on top and burned at the bottom? Explains the ugly color, it’s all dying. Maybe our mystery attacker traveled underground?”

    Monique’s brows heightened in surprise at the observation. “I did not.”

    A wide smirk formed across Randy’s face. As he arose, his hands clapped confidently together, rustling the foliage glued to his sun-kissed skin.

    “Well Watson, ready to search the forest. If Jefe’s here-”

    “He’s not,” Monique affirmed with such force Randy’s head whipped like it’d been struck. “The creature would not have abandoned him if he arrived in this world.”

    The last words brought forth a sorrow Monique rarely allowed herself to feel. If Nick Tatopoulos was in the other anomaly, then Elsie’s warning of high radiation levels meant one week’s exposure could signify a death sentence. Randy’s souring mood and expression revealed the truth was solidifying.

    “Just means Zone Fighter’s gotta win and save Jefe,” Randy countered, his peppier self snapping back. “He’s… he will. So, we got twenty four hours to find the Z-Man. Where do we start?”

    “With a question. What monsters does this world possess to make Zilla flee?”

    Shiragami’s Lab – 1989

    “You’re nothing Goro. Nothing, but a weak fool.” Those were the last words that dripped from the man’s spiteful mouth. And he knew he only had seconds, if even that.

    Robotic lenses viewed the carnage that was soon to consume everyone. He knew there was no hope for the others, but his priorities, hard-coded into his programming, were set. Orange light radiated behind him, knowing full well that the subject–Kubal Kunimura–was inevitably going to initiate the transformation, one that held the power to kill Godzilla.

    Jet Jaguar ran hundreds of thousands of probabilities and results in nanoseconds. He saw them all; from swooping him under his arms, in which the Mach speeds would certainly kill him by centrifugal force alone. Or even perhaps being knocked out of the sky by the ensuing shockwave and losing his grip. Even being too slow and steady would lead to their untimely demise. Each outcome, each hypothetical path taken, had all led to the same conclusion: Goro Ibuki would die. But he knew he couldn’t let that happen in spite of the odds placed against him. As the heat eviscerated the very room they stood in, and the violent wind torrents shattered the frail windows and walls, Jet Jaguar knew he needed to take action.

    A grim realization settled in. Out of all the virtual probabilities, there was a ray of hope. 2% chance of survival. These were the best odds, and he had to make it quick.

    The automaton’s chest flashed like a star, signaling his growth. Jet Jaguar’s program executive manipulated the atomic molecules in his metallic framework, expanding and reinforcing them through perfect mathematical calculations. Too big, there wouldn’t be enough time; too small, they would be incinerated. As suddenly as he initiated his signature power, he clocked in at a solid 30-foot height and promptly draped his metallic body over the miniscule human.

    Then, they were both engulfed in a rageful, brimming light.

    Seething flames washed over Jet Jaguar’s posterior, which took the brunt of the force. His metal exoskeleton peeled off from the severity of the heat, shredding layers of super-protective armor that was enforced to withstand heavy artillery ordnance. Non-vital circuitry fried from the tremendous heat, but he persisted in spite of the many emergency failsafes that flared up in his system. The electrons in his subatomic anatomy vibrated at such intensity from the Colossal Titan’s heatwave, which sweltered throughout his synthetic body. He knew his metal form did little to actually protect Goro, because it was a conduit for heat and electricity. All he was doing was acting as a buffer layer to protect Goro’s body from utmost destruction.

    2% chance of survival. That was all he had.

    Between the roaring explosion and gusty winds, Jet Jaguar’s auditory functions couldn’t decipher what was what. He had to take it on good faith that they weren’t Goro’s agonizing screams of being burned alive. However, everything had to come to an end, and soon it did. The massive heatwave died down, as did the vicious winds that accompanied them. Aside from the rumblings produced by the aftershock, there was little sound to be heard. All except for the air drag of the Colossal Titan’s oncoming attack.

    Jet Jaguar dug his hands beneath the floor boarding and soil, cupping his hands together to carry the human body that laid beneath him. Broken tiles and dirt acted as suppressants for his superheated hands, allowing him to transport Goro to a safe location. Without a moment to spare, the 30-foot Jet Jaguar took to the dark night sky–barely avoiding the meaty red fist that came slamming down where he once was.

    Only for a moment did the robotic assistant take a glance behind him. He saw that Kubal’s Titan body was malformed, only sustaining shape from the torso on up. His muscles were stringy, fresh, and pulsating with flames, and his face was nothing short of a bleach-white skull with blaring yellow eyes. Jet saw the Colossal Titan’s glare track them until they were out of each other’s line of sight.

    From the destroyed lab that once stood along the coast of lower Lake Ashino, Jet Jaguar flew to the upper part of the large body of water, out of Kubal’s reach. As he landed on the beautiful soil-rich grounds, he firmly planted his feet in the water, which sizzled from the heat trapped in his body. Gently, he laid the mound of dirt to rest–with the burnt body of a beloved friend atop it.

    For endless minutes, the robot man rested in the fresh lake water, gradually decreasing his size in the process. His humanoid frame was engulfed by water vapor produced from the boiling freshwater around him. There came a time where it subsided, but it never felt like it was soon enough. Even as he suffered hardware malfunctions, Jet Jaguar pushed himself and took the first few steps to analyze the results for himself.

    Goro looked nothing like the tooth-grinned jovial man he once was. Rather, what Jet Jaguar had rescued was a brittle corpse that superficially resembled a friend he held near and dear. Out of his software that survived the onslaught, he ran the medical executive for a thorough scan. His eye beams flickered to life, meticulously inspecting every element of the burnt cadaver. The closer he scrutinized, the better of an assessment he could make. After the examination process, Jet Jaguar came to the final verdict–

    Goro coughed

    –he was still alive. But deep down, Jet knew that he was not going to wake up. His brain had been fried beyond compare, leaving him in a catatonic state. Nevertheless, despite the odds, Goro Ibuki survived.

    Outskirts of Tokyo, Japan – 3 A.T.

    After many grueling hours, their fight came to a close. Thrusting his skeletal left hand out, superheated steam ripped through the air like a hot knife through butter. Jagged winds sliced the base of the tri-headed serpent’s middle neck, decapitating it. They had been beaten, bruised, and battered, but in the end, the Colossal Titan emerged victorious. Even so, that last attack sapped him of his mighty Titan’s strength. His muscles were nigh nonexistent, barely held together by strings of sinew. The left arm accelerated in the evaporation process, having converted his Titan biology into pressurized steam to pull off that last stunt. Because of this, he knew there wasn’t much of a choice; he couldn’t complete the task in front of him as desired.

    Kubal saw with his Titan eyes the golden dragon, drained of energy and maimed beyond belief, miraculously regaining its footing. It stood with war-torn wings, severed tails, several bleeding punctures in its mighty hide, and two snake-like heads. The creature, acknowledged as Ghidorah, didn’t remain standing for long in proof of its exhaustion. With an earth-shattering thud, the massive dragon collapsed onto the ground. Even with all the power at the dragon’s disposal, it wasn’t enough to dethrone the mighty Titan.

    “What a pathetic whelp,” Kubal muttered in agitation, “Couldn’t even force me to use a second body,” he mocked, panting in deep breaths to keep his composure. Minutes passed and the wind blew over the silent battlefield, but even Kubal knew to wait; regenerating was a moot point, but maintaining his skeletal integrity would be key to getting out of here alive. All because the vibrations of the earth acted as a beacon for hungry giants.

    The pitter patter of footsteps gradually evolved into rumblings of a stampede. The forestry, or what little there was, rocked and swayed from the large bodies that rummaged through them. When they broke through, they were numerous. Humanoids that stood in vastly different sizes, from no less than three meters up to an impressive fifteen meters, came tumbling out and made a mad dash to the fallen Ghidorah. They swarmed the gargantuan serpent, piece by piece they dug into his open wounds and tore the beautiful scales off his body. Ghidorah shrieked, but could do little to repel the relentless ensemble. Even Kubal knew that the larger ones–some reaching sixty meters–were on their way.

    As Ghidorah writhed on the ground, Kubal allowed the last piece of the Colossal Titan’s flesh to evaporate, which was the very nape that he controlled the body from. He held onto the spine and felt the rigid bones deteriorate as the massive skeleton slowly broke down, easing his descent to the land below him. In a slow and steady five minutes as he basked in Ghidorah’s misery, he scanned the horde of Titans, keeping tabs on them.

    He found footing on the soft soil under his boots and took off into the wilderness. With all the Titans converging to this spot, he knew he’d have safe travels. While it was true that Titans ate the humans that crossed their path, it was equally true about the kaiju that once held stakes on this planet. And for the collective, the great and mighty kaiju were perceived as the greater predator that had to be slain: For in this world, Man became the usurper of monster-kind. Not that it mattered to Kubal.

    Much to Kubal’s surprise, he turned and saw the goliath regain its footing, still swamped by the hundreds of Titans that burdened it. With several weak and exhausted flaps, Ghidorah took to the skies as the Titans fell to earth, while others clung on relentlessly. He knew the dragon wouldn’t last long; and where it disappeared off to was no concern. He had beaten it, and he knew the once mighty rulers were wise not to stand in the path of an immortal.

    That was still the fourth one this month alone. I wonder… Kubal’s mind wandered into the realm of possibilities, postulating on the idea. But that quickly turned into a hate-filled scowl. It doesn’t matter. If anyone, or anything, dares stand in my path… He came to a quick resolution.

    I’ll kill them, every last one.

    Kubal pressed on with his arduous journey back to the remnants of Tokyo, awaiting the next creature foolish enough to challenge him. Or perhaps to put an end to this–once and for all.

    The American Midwest – 3 A.T.

    Once a thriving metropolis, now nothing short of a city for the damned. Old, decrepit buildings stood aloft, having long since faltered in their luster under collected residue and overgrowth. The neon signs attached to these rusted structures no longer held the attention of bypassers, for there was no light. Moonlit skies rained illuminating beams down on those inside and outside the divide, a calm that brought peace to the haunted city.

    Peering from the outermost wall that gave the most optimal view of the ruins below, a man betrothed in silver and blue garments saw nothing but death and decay. An inevitable doom for those that funded such nonsense, without a single sign of life bustling the vacant streets.

    “This won’t do…” Hikaru gritted his teeth from beneath his mask. “There’s no sign of any of these walls doing what they’re supposed to.” He grimaced at the thought. These were meant to keep monsters out–Titans out–but yet the resources to maintain upkeep were far more costly than what they were willing to spend. And because of such flawed thinking, millions were either consumed or infected.

    “If they don’t get done soon, I’m not sure the one in Japan will be able to function.” The guilt of not being there for those who cried out lingered in his mind, but there were far more pressing matters to deal with. “Then the Colossal Titan…”

    A shining example of humanity’s evolution to some, an apocalyptic destroyer to others. But for Hikaru, he felt it brought imbalance in a world of monsters and higher beings. Humans were capable of many things, but should wielding such a mighty power be among them? Was it simply an eventual breakthrough, or could the path deviate for the sake of humanity’s salvation?

    “I have to stop them.” It was his only resolve. Turning around, Hikaru Sakimori took one last glance at the broken city. Spreading his arms out, he took to the air.

    Tokyo, Japan – A few days later – 3 A.T.

    Beyond the gargantuan walls that privy the land, an abandoned Tokyo laid dormant. Aside from the sluggish Titans that tried to break through the fortified structures, not a single human soul dared venture these ruins.

    But deep underneath, they were hard at work.

    Clanging of metal and hammers rang across the vast expanse that was hidden under the metropolis. Such a place remained out of human sight, but it was a necessary evil. Their grand fight against the Garoga armada sapped them of their sources, lost their greater family in the struggle, and forced them out of Japan. Even then, that proved not to be the worst of it. Once the Wraith went viral, there was little they could do beyond preparing a failsafe–one that was taking an excruciatingly long time to develop, more so than it should’ve.

    They had to trust their elder brother would have something figured out.

    Not a word was uttered amongst themselves. Quarantined to the ruins of their former home didn’t leave enough room for small-talk after the time sunk into developing this plan. They weren’t engineers like their parents or grandfather, so getting it to work was simply a matter of trial and error.

    “Hey sis,” Akira said in what felt like the first words uttered today, “you alive over there?”

    The young woman almost didn’t feel like responding, but decided to anyway. “Yeah, I’m alive. What about you?”

    “Tired and exhausted.”

    “‘Can’t wait for this to be done,’” she said sarcastically, “I’m sure that’s what you’re thinking.” Swiping the sweat from her brow, she continued to fine-tune the metallic hull.

    “Not just that, but… Saving people, y’know?” Akira rolled up from under the ship, taking a breather. There was an awkward silence between them, as if it needed to be said. But perhaps a reminder was a good thing.

    “Hotaru, do you think he’ll come back?” Akira asked.

    “Of course he will. You know Hikaru keeps to his–”

    “No, not Hikaru. The Titan.”

    Hotaru grimaced when he brought up the destructive Titan that seemingly held an iron fist over this planet. “Not even King Ghidorah was enough to stop him…” he added. “If we had only been ready, maybe we could have done something!”

    “Hikaru wouldn’t want us putting our lives on the line! Not after mom and dad died.”

    “But as long as we’re down here, what are we doing for the people that need us? We’ve been sitting ducks for the last three years. We can’t just let these people live in subjugation!”

    “Akira, we can’t do everything at once. We have our limits, and we need to do what we can to make the most out of it. Otherwise, what will all this be for? We’ve been helping humanity for the last twenty years, all across the world. This will be no different.”

    “But if we don’t act soon, we’ll–”

    “King Ghidorah wasn’t enough,” Hotaru reiterated, fear and frustration mixed in her voice. “I’m not sure any monster will be enough at this point…” A silence permeated between the two of them, unsure of where to go. The only thing they knew for certain was to do anything, they had to press on, and keep out of sight.

    Suddenly, a metal knock rang from above. The Zones halted work, squaring their attention to the metallic screeching of the sliding door, their heavy hearts elating at the sight. In what felt like a long, long time, a familiar figure stood in their midst.

    “Yo, hope things have been holding down here,” the voice of their elder brother rang.

    “Hikaru!” They both cried out, rushing to embrace their brother in familial love. When they separated, Hotaru was the first to ask, “Any luck?”

    Hikaru sighed. “Unfortunately, nothing. None of these sanctioned wall projects have been doing what they’re supposed to. Can’t even find anyone living in them. If this keeps up, the people here won’t have a chance…”

    “We’ve been making progress, but unfortunately nothing to show for it yet,” Akira said, “but hopefully sooner than later.”

    “And the people in the walls? How are they holding?”

    “Not well,” Hotaru reported, “A lot of tension and unrest. The only other detail I could pick up on is that the capital christened a new faction, the Public Order Administration.”

    “We have to do something!” the younger Zone cried out.

    “That’s what we’re doing,” Hikaru assured coolly, “and we can’t do anything until we’re ready. For now, let’s focus on getting this old girl up and running.” The firstborn brother patted the steel-forged hull of the vessel, showing its resilience. The siblings nodded in approval, gathering their tools and resumed work.

    Location: [REDACTED] – Year: [UNSPECIFIED]

    Information fed into his protruding antennae, absorbing the radio waves that silently permeated the air. Although most blurred into a mess of wailing static, the few stations that remained he tuned into. Their words were ones he had heard thousands of times already, yet it bore repeating.

    “Cases increase exponentially as these man-eating giants make the rounds in over half of the industrial districts in all of Japan. This ongoing pandemic has–” the voice was silenced by a wash of noise, buzzing in Jet Jaguar’s antenna. He switched channels until he found another. “–ome a global crisis, the United Nations has passed a bill for the Wall Construction project. And–wait, is that a light? Cut it, CUT THE–”

    Another lost feed.

    The world was rampant, chaotic. An outbreak like no other plunged society into unspeakable anarchy, leaving the nations of the world in utter disarray. Jet slowed his flight as he approached his destination, clutching the vial in his hand–something he had acquired from the contaminated waters, poisoned by the strain. As his rusted arms creaked into place, the robot man landed on the ground beside an inconspicuous mountain. In reality, this mountain had been a cover for a hidden base, with a hidden entrance way that–

    –had already been busted down.

    Jet’s brilliant blue eyes flickered in erratic distress, bolting for the thick, metal doors that had been pried and chewed open. From the deep imprints that led to the entrance, Jet calculated they were three Titans–of the 3- and 4-meter variety. And they were fresh. Slipping between the cracks, Jet Jaguar barreled into the dark interior, slipping down the damaged stairwell until he landed on the metallic floor. Lights blared from the other side–which in turn illuminated the silhouettes of these disgusting giants, magnetically drawn to the brightly lit room.

    Leaping high, Jet rotated to the side and delivered a double drop kick to one of the Titans, throwing the ravenous man-eater off its feet. The other two, one of them top-heavy with enlarged forearms, veered their attention to the human-shaped automaton. Slapping the metal floor with large hands, the top-heavy Titan lunged for the robot man, jaws agape and dislocated, tearing at the flesh that covered its mouth. Firmly gripping the heathen’s bare teeth, Jet wrestled with the brute, parting its lower mandible beyond the point of tolerance. With a swift and brutal pull, the lower jaw twisted in a sickening snap, and continued to do so until it was ripped clean from the joints that held it in place–steam rising from the jawless Titan. To put insult to injury, a well-placed front kick hurled the brutish cannibal across the metal grating as Jet prepared to handle the next one.

    The lanky, long-necked Titan dove straight in, only for Jet to weave under the giant. Placing his hands against the neck and chest cavity, the electronic robot used the humanoid’s momentum against it, tossing it overhead and letting it splat against the steel-enforced flooring. Without missing a beat, Jet leapt on top of the fallen Titan–stomping in a peculiar part of the neck, forcing an unnatural wheeze from the ghastly human. Blood sputtered from the nape, painting Jet’s usually multi-colored armor blood red. Evaporating steam rose from the humanoid frame, bright blue eyes flaring to life as he turned to see the jawless Titan once again lunge at him.

    His gentle blue eyes ignited in a shimmering brilliance that blinded the gagging goliath, choking on its own blood. Steam concealed the regeneration process, gestating a new jaw in place of the old one, which quickly became coated in flesh. Baring its disgusting teeth once more, the Titan lurched forward, tackling the armored human to the cold ground. Bony teeth screeched against the metallic exterior, sinking into artificial skin and leaving a permanent imprint on the arm. But a few well-placed jabs caved into the brute’s nose, forcing it to recoil in agony.

    Freed from its nasty vice grip, Jet Jaguar leapt over the gagging Titan, eyes squared on the nape as his primary directive. Propelling himself through his flight-based capabilities, he lunged with fists clenched–and at the moment of impact, drove it directly into the sensitive spot. Without stopping, Jet Jaguar alternated between his balled hands, rupturing the nape in a bloody burst, steam sizzling from the wound. Titan meat clung to the metal fingers as they dissipated into embers, with the rest of its body following suit. That signaled the Titan’s death, but out of the two… Where was the third?

    Snapping sharp to the brightly lit room, he saw the last one, a chunky individual with a disgusting grin plastered on its visage, hauling along to the only safe haven for his father-figure. A loud screech echoed in the hollow facility as creaking armor adjusted and metal feet scraped against the steel floor. Anchoring his footing, Jet activated his flight mode and sped directly towards the last Titan. It neared the white room, but turned its gaze to the airborne man that plunged his pointed head into the neck. Had it not adjusted its direction when it did, there was a chance at getting it by the nape; but alas, it was not meant to be.

    Hurled off its feet, the Titan and Jet Jaguar slammed against the high wall, the metal man pulling his head out of the gash. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to penetrate to the nape, evident by the sustained wound sewing back together in a matter of moments. In retaliation, the Titan grabbed Jet Jaguar and threw him to the ground, eager to rend and tear the electronic robot apart. In doing so, the vial the machine carried slipped between his fingertips, leaving it to shatter against the cold flooring.

    Knowing full well he’d be stressing his metal frame, a star shined along his chest, accelerating his growth up to no more than 5-meters. The instant shift shredded the Titan’s hold, blood and steam spewing from its lost fingertips. The damage from Kubal permanently stunted his maximum performance when enlarged, but for the time being it was enough to get the job done. Flinging the Titan into the air with a swing of his leg, the lardy humanoid crashed onto the unforgiving ground, leaving ample time for the size-shifting robot to pick himself off his feet. With a firm, well-placed stomp into the neck, Jet grinded the Titan’s nape into smithereens, leaving no chance for the cannibal to regenerate.

    A vexing, electronic sigh escaped his upturned grin. Another sample would have to be reacquired, though most importantly was the safe keeping of Goro. He turned and–

    –the glass casing had shattered, leaving an opening.

    Just as he realized this, Jet reduced his size and was about to make a mad sprint. But when all was said and done, it was too late. A shimmering yellow light emanated from where the cadaver was, then came an explosive burst. Jet braced the aftershock, forced to witness the Titanization of a dying friend. Fear became reality when he heard the moanings of the Titan that laid within. Part of him felt hesitant; would he have to be the one to end Goro by his own hands?

    Steam fizzled away, leaving Jet to see the Titan for himself. Where was once a burnt cadaver encased in an iron lung, now was a malformed Titan laying on its back. Flesh at last wrapped the entire body, along with a new set of eyes that were dilated and locked onto the robot man. Its wide jaw sporadically opened and closed, with no real apparent rhythm to it. Rib bones jutted out from its sides, and the appendages were shrunken and stubby…

    …It couldn’t move.

    Jet lowered his guard upon analysis. At the very least, this Titan wouldn’t pose a threat. Although the room had been lost, there were other research areas located in this facility. It was just a matter of resuming studies and seeing if it was at all possible to bring back his old friend…

    Wall Sotono – Monzen, Tokyo, Japan – 3 A.T.

    Behind the wall, Tokyo continued its meager existence, hanging on by a thread. Construction workers, adorned in uniform, face masks, and yellow hardhats, climbed atop the infrastructure and resumed their treacherous jobs. Those under the Garrison, or the Security Department, despite their name, were closer to glorified laborers than anything else.

    Haruma, a bitter and aged veteran of his time, slammed the next slab effortlessly in this weary, ongoing project. Heavy breathing vented through the surgical mask, as did everyone else around him. His eyes turned and saw his coworkers taxing themselves feverishly to get in the night’s work. Some welded the metal rods to the framework, others heaved the needed materials from the makeshift elevators, while the rest worked tirelessly with little compensation.

    Everyone here understood the essentials to the walls’ completion, making the burden all the more pressing. Even in the midst of work, Haruma’s attentive hearing pierced through the ruckus of footsteps and labored breathing, keying in on gossip for his own amusement.

    “Just got word from Aizuwakamatsu,” Haruma recognized the muffled voice as Takamaru’s, a more recent addition to the workforce, “Some days ago, the government christened the Public Order Administration, tasked with overseeing the walls,” Takamaru coughed, emphasizing his general distaste.

    “G-Great, now we have a bunch of eyes criticizing our work here? We already have the bossman for that, so no thanks,” a murmured voice in stammering Japanese remissed, from one Antoine Kane, a foreigner who was caught in the havoc.

    “And they’re all coming from the innermost wall in Fukushima Prefecture,” Takamaru ridiculed at the thought, “So nothing short of glorified security drones, I’m sure.”

    “T-to take our food supply, that’s what,” Antoine added, his thick accent filtered through the mask.

    “Three years too late if you ask me,” remarked Yamashita, “Could’ve used more men here.”

    “Are you kidding me?” Takamaru scoffed, tempted to pull his mask down for clarity, “We barely have anyone here because–” he fumbled on the accuracy of the information before winging it, “–this place is the hotspot for the Wraith strain. Worse yet, no one knows where it came from!”

    “Godzilla’s killed, then the world goes to shit,” Antoine added with his limited Japanese. He pulled the cloth from his mouth and inhaled a breath of fresh air. “These things are also stuffy!”

    “Better than being turned into those Wraiths down there,” Yamashita noted, pulling out a cigarette from his chest pocket. He gestured an offer, but they declined. Before he could even pull down his mask, a sudden, booming voice pinched the nerves of everyone that was a participant in the conversation.

    “What the hell are your lazy asses doing?!” Haruma verbally lambasted them, his volume loud and clear even from under the mask, “Scatter! Get back to work, or you’re really going to get it!” Without a moment’s notice, the jittery Antoine slipped by without a sound, even as his body trembled from overwhelming anxiety.

    Yamashita crushed his cigarette in sheer frustration, letting it fizzle out before he could even smoke it. “Hey, asshole, mind your damn business!” Eyes turned to the intense vocalizing, their attentions aroused by the stirring frustration that permeated the air. Haruma kept barking like a rabid dog, only to be met face to face with the far thinner and athletically built Yamashita. The younger man swung a right hook directly for the elder’s jaw, connecting with a solid hit. Haruma returned the favor with a bruising punch of his own, scraping across the agile man’s chest. The two continued to wrestle atop Wall Sotono, riling up the surrounding audience in estranged anticipation.

    Their brawl escalated to ruthless savagery, going so far as for Haruma to rip the mask off the thinner man’s face. Enraged, Yamashita struck back with twice the humanistic ferocity, which continued until a gunshot rang from a distance, bringing with it an abrupt silence. Every single set of eyes turned to the source, and felt their hearts sink into their stomachs at the figure that stood before them.

    Clad in a black uniform and with short, buzz-cut silver blonde hair, the authoritative figure held a pistol over his head, lowering it to meet the fist-fighting individuals that started this ruckus. Marching forward with his large boots, Kubal placed his gun back in its holster. He knew he wouldn’t need it for this.

    “So, who’s the shitstain that started it?” Kubal said with heated breath, intense eyes glaring at the two men before him.

    “These slackers weren’t doing their job!” Haruma spat out, snitching on his fellow coworkers, “So I set out to make things straight, until this one decided to be a disobedient little shit!” Yamashita grunted, almost ready to deliver another fist to the face, only for Kubal to throw a monstrous punch of his own, throwing Yamashita back onto the pavement. Before Haruma could relish in the thought, the large boot pressed against the old man’s face, muffling his wailing screams.

    “I don’t need you to act on my behalf, all I need from you is to work!” A sharp turn from the rubber soles snapped the man’s nose and twisted the skin with it, causing Haruma to wreak in agony over his bloodied nostrils. Scraping the blood on the concrete wall, the ruthless man made a stride towards the fallen Yamashita, gripping him by the collar.

    “And you,” Kubal uttered, hoisting the thin man off his feet. Next thing Yamashita knew, he was hanging over the outer edge of the wall, panicking as it was either face the consequences, or face death. “At any given moment, you could become a Titan. A menace, like you’ve already proven yourself to be.”

    Yamashita’s eyes glared at the monster of a man that held the ultimate choice in the palm of his hand. It was then Yamashita noticed the embroidery on Kubal’s sleeve; a head of a unicorn with a long mane plastered in front of a shield. “Wh-when the hell did you become part of the Public Order?”

    “That’s none of your damn business!” Kubal screamed, ready to release his fingers…

    “WAIT!” came the sudden yell from Takamaru, grabbing Kubal’s attention. “Please, Mr. Kunimura, have mercy!” Takamaru trembled before the dictator that stood before him, but he continued his train of thought, “We need every working hand to get the wall done! Just, please sir!”

    A stone cold face remained unwavering, refusing to budge at the emotionally driven words pouring from the laborer. However, he seemed to relent in his merciless spree, hurling Yamashita back onto the safety of the hard stone wall. Takamaru and Antoine gathered to get him back to his feet.

    “Then get back to it.” Those were Kubal’s orders, and they knew they had to abide. “And put on your mask,” he scoffed, adding insult to injury. As medical officers arrived to attend to the wounded, the work force underwent the arduous task before them once again, a dull routine that felt like it would never end. However, Takamaru observed Kubal closely, tracking what he was seeing. Off in the distance was a large armored Humvee, towing behind it an extension draped in tightly bound tarp. It seemed to have his interest, and to confirm Takamaru’s suspicions, Kubal made an order to the entrance guards. “Open the gate!”

    Before he knew it, Kubal was gone–taking an exit way that was out of his range of sight. Nevertheless, it always felt like Kubal had eyes on them; every last one of them. But he had to get this nagging feeling off his mind, and the only way to do that was to slave away at this thankless job until the day he died.

     

    In a matter of a few risky drops, Kubal landed on a series of external extensions that made traversing the height of Wall Sotono that much easier. But even if he slipped, it wasn’t much concern for him. Landing on his feet against the gravely asphalt, Kubal met with the vehicle at the opened entryway, which came to a gradual halt.

    The glass window slid down, meeting face with an individual from the Public Order Administration. “Kunimura sir, we have what you asked for. Please, get in.”

    “I’ll ride in the back,” Kubal said, waving him off and heading to the tarp.

    “I wouldn’t recommend that, it’s a–”

    “I don’t care about your recommendations!” Kubal barked, hopping onto the extension. “Now drive!” Without missing an order, the truck resumed its long destination. Lifting the polyester layering, Kubal slid under until he came face to face with a large, almost balding head that he knew all too well.

    “There’s my little Titan.” Kubal’s sharp demeanor shifted instantly to a soft, cooing voice that excited the Titan. Her eyes, large and bulgy, narrowed with intense focus. Dripping from her maw were a series of ecstatic chirps and gnashing teeth, the scrawny, useless limbs flailing compulsively.

    “Daddy’s got you, don’t you worry,” Kubal continued, comforting his little Titan. “We’re moving out of that dangerous hospital and into a new, safe place, just for us. Now you won’t have to be afraid of any more monsters, daddy will take care of the rest.” As the Humvee trekked for the journey ahead, Kubal and the Titan Nariko talked for hours on end, losing all track of time.

    Monzen, Tokyo, Japan – 3 A.T.

    Tired eyes drooped, yet refused to shut. Darkness surrounded him in the alleyway, but his vision adjusted. The makeshift sleeping bag was a temporary confinement, though not one he was content in sleeping in. Not tonight, at least. Yamashita clutched his chest, feeling the cracked ribs he had only just received earlier in the day. There was little doubt that Haruma was faring any better, still in recovery from a broken nose and fractures along his cranium and dentures.

    He slipped from the comforts of the dull brown bedding and sat up. The starry sky loomed overhead, crystal clear with a waxing crescent orbiting the globe. But that wasn’t the only light source; near the vacant dirt roads, a firepit remained ablaze for the homeless to seek refuge in the cold of the night. They huddled together next to the burning barrel, keeping warm in these turbulent times.

    Lucky you, at least you’re not working on the wall, Yamashita thought, envying their position. Truly, the daunting task was nothing more than a thorn in his side; but without it, those hideous man-eaters would get through, and innocents would perish by their grubby hands. Being part of the Garrison should’ve meant something, but every time he’s thrown to the ground by the cruel reality around him. An exchange of risky, back-breaking work only for a life of misery and suffering. For order and peace, he winced, clenching his teeth as he repeated the Garrison motto. What a joke.

    Pulling into his dirty shirt, he withdrew a lighter and a cigarette. With an effortless flick of his thumb, a fire sparked to life, using it to burn the tip of rolled tobacco. A huff siphoned the heat through the cylindrical paper and cured leaves, coalescing into smoky vapors in his mouth. He kept it stewed for a few seconds before releasing it in exhalation, departing from his lips as a smoky trail. Such a rush felt gratifying as he took another swig, the reddened tip eating away at the cigarette. Then, release, with smoke disappearing in the dim sky.

    Releasing another huff, he sighed. He sleepily limped closer to the light, tuning into the needless chatter of the unemployed, if only to take his mind off the building anxieties of what tomorrow had to offer. Sleep wasn’t an option, so this would have to make do. Suddenly, one of the vagrants erupted in uproarious laughter, which was followed by the jovial cheers that ensued. Such sounds were an irritant, but knew he had to deal with it nonetheless.

    In the streets of Monzen, there was little to do beyond being out of people’s sights. And while Yamashita had a job to his name, staying on the streets fared better over living and paying taxes to the central government. As he needlessly eavesdropped on the conversing beggars until an unusual figure came by, one that Yamashita wasn’t all too familiar with.

    He looked like a true and tried Japanese man, early to mid-30s, with fine clothing and a full head of tufted hair that made him stand out from the crowd. Was he a citizen from the Nakano or Okuno walls? It was hard to tell, but Yamashita knew this one was different. Something felt off, but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was.

    Then, the mystery man leaned over to the gaggle and began to speak. “I need your attention, please, this is urgent.”

    “And you do you think yer speakin’ to?” one of the hobos said in a drunken slur, downing the rest of his beverage without a care in the world.

    “The walls are dead, and the people living here are only being used as slaves for a pointless endeavor,” said the man, stressing the urgency of the matter.

    What? Yamashita kept his mouth closed, but his ears and attention span expanded significantly.

    “How do you know?” another individual asked, peeved by the accusation.

    “I’ve been around the world. China, India, Germany, the Americas. Virtually all of them yielded the same result; desolate walls with nothing living in them. Or worse yet, Titans living in them.” The derelict people raised their collective eyebrows in disbelief, even Yamashita was taken aback. You mean we’ve been at all this for… Nothing? Yamashita clenched his teeth at the idea, knowing that years of effort would prove to be utterly fruitless.

    “I am Hikaru Sakimori, first son of Yoichiro Sakimori.” He paused, seeing if the name registered with any of them. From their dumbfounded confusion, it didn’t click. He sighed. “Also known as Zone Fighter, and we are here to save humanity from within the walls.” He boldly announced, hoping for some kind of response.

    “…Who?” The only response that came from the crowd, while the rest murmured among them. “Isn’t he Godzilla’s friend, or was that Jet something-or-rather?” another suggested, struggling to recount. “Is this guy serious? Doesn’t look like much to me.” Had the situation not been so dire, Hikaru would’ve clutched his face in utter defeat.

    “Please, do not take the matter lightly. My siblings and I will be taking everyone in the walls to safety. Please meet us near Wall Sotono within the next week, and spread the word.” With a fervent bow, the man named Hikaru trudged along to his next destination. But that was when Yamashita had enough sitting idly by.

    “Hey,” Yamashita called out, catching Hikaru’s attention. “What’s this stunt you’re trying to pull here? You do realize once the Public Order gets word of this, your made-up operation blows up in your face, right?”

    “Of course, that’s a risk we realize,” Hikaru said, “But my little brother is very hopeful. If word spreads, then that’ll give ample time for the people to get ready.”

    “Hmph, too much hope I’d say,” Yamashita remarked. “Even if things do tip in your favor, how are you getting Monzen out of the government’s watch?”

    “When my family and I arrived, we were onboard our mothership, which sustained significant damage after the Garoga invasion,” Hikaru said plain and straightforward. “We’ve been gathering the materials needed, and we’ll have it fine-tuned in less than a week.”

    “And where will we go?”

    “Where there aren’t Titans. That’s all I can guarantee.” Hearing those words, doubt flooded the cynic’s mind. Though before he could rebuttal Hikaru’s statement, Yamashita heard a familiar voice call out his name. When he turned, he saw Takamaru rushing towards them, eventually stopping to regain his breath.

    “Takamaru? What brings you here?” Yamashita inquired. “Your ass should be asleep.”

    “Could say the same about you,” Takamaru retorted in kind. “You’ve been seeing these weirdos going around Monzen?”

    “Yeah, talking to one right now,” he said, nudging towards Hikaru.

    “Greetings, pleasure to meet you,” Hikaru kindly greeted with a subtle nod. Takamaru responded with a bowing gesture of his own.

    “I already heard about the whole spaceship thing in passing, but…” Takamaru held his tongue, trying to conjure the right words. “The Sakimoris? Like, from the Sakimori Toy Research Institute?”

    “That was my father’s facility, yes.” It seemed like they hadn’t been completely forgotten with time. “I’m surprised you know about that, of all things.”

    “My father used to work at the institute before it was closed down. Does Haru Ishige ring a bell?”

    “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t know him. I rarely visited during my father’s work hours.”

    “Ahh, I see,” Takamaru rubbed the back of his head with a nervous chuckle. “But if you’re serious about getting us out…” Yamashita and Hikaru stared with tense eyes, awaiting the young man’s response. “Thank you!” Takamaru cried out in joy, “Thank you! Please, finish as soon as you can! I don’t think I can…” His words trailed off…

    “‘…Take it here anymore,’ right?” Sakimori completed it on his behalf.

    “Yeah.” Takamaru took a moment to collect himself with sniffles and deep breathing, regaining his composure. “I just… Do you think you can get past Supervisor Kubal? He’s a dangerous man.”

    The man leaned in carefully, attentively listening to what Takamaru had to say. “Tell me all you know, and we can adjust the plan accordingly.”

    “No one knows a lot about him…” the young man kept his mind focused on every past experience with the cruel and stern supervisor that checked in on them.

    “He’s a giant asshole with a lot of bite, and I know that from personal experience,” Yamashita interjected, rubbing his bruised chest. “Other than that, I don’t know jack shit–and I’d rather not find out.”

    Takamaru tapped his fingers, stimulating his mind on every strange case he ever noticed… “Maybe… What was in the cargo?”

    “What was that?” Hikaru stated.

    “There was a Humvee that passed through earlier today with a trailer attached to it. I just wonder what was in it…”

    “Don’t know, don’t care. If it keeps that asshat away from us for a while, I’ll gladly take it.”

    “Let’s not worry about it too much, but thank you. Please, spread the word.” Hikaru waved the two men off as he continued his trek, seeking out others with the ear to listen to their plea.

    “Oh yeah, Takamaru,” Yamashita said, “What brings you here anyway?”

    “Oh! Right, Yamashita…”

    “Just call me Ken.”

    “A-All right, Ken…. Did you want to crash at my place?”

    Yamashita was taken aback by the offer, almost stunned. “Any reason? I think you saving my ass is enough for me.”

    “Every off-day I have, I see you in this filthy alley. Maybe just… Passing the kindness forward, you know?”

    A smirk cracked on Yamashita’s usually stoic face. “Sure, I’ll bite. Be a nice change of pace, maybe even a place to lay low until that weirdo’s plan is able to be put into effect.”

    “Are you serious about that?” Takamaru asked sincerely.

    “Well of course. Paradise sounds like a footstep away, better than rotting in this hell.” The two men walked along the dirt road, the dimming light of the flames dying the farther they moved along. After a temporary silence in the air, Takamaru let his thoughts spill.

    “Ken, do you think it’s absurd to believe Supervisor Kubal is the Colossal Titan?”

    Such a strange thought once again took Yamashita by surprise. “Kinda. I don’t know, what makes you believe that?”

    “Well, Kubal and the Colossal have never been around at the same time, for starters. Plus, it isn’t hard to notice when the Colossal Titan is fighting a monster… It’s consistently appeared in proximity to this area, especially in the last month or so.”

    “So? I’m not surprised Kubal isn’t here, he’s part of the government now. Or something like that, I don’t know how he passed any kind of legislation or psychological examination. Even if your crackpot conspiracy is true, there’s no way that kind of information would leak. All we know is that the Colossal Titan has been fighting monsters since it killed Godzilla.”

    Takamaru slowed his pace, caught up in the realm of thoughts and imagination. “That doesn’t make sense, though. The Public Order Administration hasn’t been around for that long, yet it’s only now that the Titan and Kubal have been showing up here more and more frequently.”

    “Take it easy, man. Let’s just–” a sudden hacking forced Yamashita to cough his lungs out, puking bile from his mouth.

    “Yamashita!” Takamaru cried out.

    “S-shit, don’t worry about it. Heh, maybe another smoke will clear it up,” Yamashita smirked, trying to ease the sudden spike in tension. He cleared his throat, trying to dismiss the mess he made of himself. “Look, you make a lot of dots connect, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’re right. Let’s hope your assumptions don’t come to pass and we can get out of this hellhole safely, okay?”

    Reluctantly, Takamaru nodded. “If only we knew what was in that tarp…” The young man grimaced, but had to take his friend’s word for it. Maybe he was overthinking this, stressing himself more than he needed to.

    Let’s just hope all this ends soon… Those were the last words Yamashita recalled before drifting into autopilot, following Takamaru to his residential area, where he could get some proper sleep and healing in the days to come.

    Location: [REDACTED] – Year: [UNSPECIFIED]

    A needle plunged into thick flesh, drawing fluids from the greatest viral source within the Wraith Titan, the humanoid’s nape. Goro’s Titan form shifted, jaws snapping open and shut, yet the being remained relatively still, his frail appendages unable to shift his immense mass toward his creation. As the vile filled to completion, metallic fingers gently withdrew the syringe and gave a repetitive pat atop the Titan’s forehead.

    Jet Jaguar hoped the humanity within its creator turned monster appreciated the gesture.

    With pleasantries complete, Jet Jaguar left the Wraith Titan to perform its daily duties, beginning its trek across the mile-long stretch of launch bay interior.

    Created to house planned mechanical marvels of the Japanese Self-Defense Force, the underground facility would prove a perfect hideaway from the Wraith Titan plague for the foreseeable future. Possessing a nuclear reactor to power the station, freshly reinforced steel walls after the previous incursion, and an abundance of electronics to tinker with, Jet Jaguar possessed everything it needed for the dual missions it would not cease to complete.

    Goro Ibuki would be cured.

    Justice would be enacted for all the crimes of Kubal Kunimura.

    Concluding its trek under the endless white lights of the launch bay ceiling, Jet Jaguar entered the sole interior room of its make-shift laboratory. Originally a human maintenance workshop for the facilities crew, the enclosure now gleamed and hummed as medical marvels performed their respective duties. But for today’s procedures, Jet Jaguar passed all machinery by, uncaring of their newly created data. Another avenue of research was needed and it could only be unlocked through the late mind of a man gone mad in his effort to protect the one he cared for most of all. Storing his newly siphoned Wraith Virus extract, Jet Jaguar proceeded to snatch a hardcover book off a nearby workbench. Metallic fingers gently opened the cover, meticulously caressing the first line of text with a metal index finger.

    Human Biology by: G. Shiragami

    Reading for a factual understanding of human anatomy on a cellular level was not Jet Jaguar’s intention through the intricate deciphering of the text as he began to scan through the work. The Wraith Titan virus, at its core, was rather simple in nature. Transmission occurred due to a virus, specifically a common influenza strain modified for maximum contagiousness diffusion. While the virus was harmless to most of the human population by itself, the Wraith package attached to the viral pathogen housed Shiragmi’s true creation and was what transformed the world nearly devoid of humanity.

    Dr. Shiragami’s serum modified the human anatomy on a cellular level, bestowing Kubal Kunimura regenerative properties and a body seemingly unable to accept death. Traits Jet Jaguar held no doubt the late doctor wished to bestow upon his daughter after her near death experience in Saradia. A noble effort, and one the robot initially supported to end suffering on a global scale, merely to bestow an age of death, led by titanic forms of destruction.

    How the Wraith Titans or Kubal’s Colossal Form came to be from the reaction puzzled the logic-driven processors of Jet Jaguar, even after years of research and its initial involvement. Shiragami’s breakthrough came after examining its own schematics, but a world’s spanning trove of knowledge in physics and science failed to explain the mutation’s connection. Whether it be coincidence or a core necessity of the reaction, Shiragami’s cells transformed without an initial catalyst. A puzzle piece remained to be located and with its discovery, the Wraith Plague could be reversed.

    A world ending wrong could be set right.

    Processors replayed a conversation locked in the past, but as vivid as the present for Jet Jaguar. “The first obstacle is the subject itself and how rare their genetic makeup is, even in a world with nearly five billion people,” Shiragami explained in memory, drawing Jet Jaguar internal drives back to reasoning for deciphering a basic anatomy book for developing youths.

    Dr. Shiragami’s abilities were neither norm-breaking nor exceptional when compared to the greater scientific community. Barbaric and crude better defined the late man in his application of science. What did separate his methods was an insight to a part of the human being undefined by normal scientific methods of examination. Be-it madness or genius, Dr. Shiragami’s Wraith Strain could only be replicated by imitating the mindset of the fallen man.

    And in the pursuit of madness, Jet Jaguar proceeded his analysis.

    Monzen, Tokyo, Japan – One Week Later – 3 A.T.

    Darkness overfell the grand sky, the sun blocked by the enormity of Wall Sotono. As the purple glow faded into a bluish-black, the dim stars and the brightly lit moon loomed overhead. At the base of the wall, countless people were clustered along the gate, holding torches and lanterns to light the way. Those none the wiser would have merely guessed it to be some vague festival of sorts, but without the games, performers, and loud cheering that normally would have been a part of such an event.

    Alas, that wasn’t the case. Tension filled the streets, with building anxiety and heavy, panted breath. They stood against the outermost gate, awaiting for the opportune time, shuffling through each other impatiently.

    On the other side of the wall, the vanguards of the gate had already been rendered unconscious. Two figures, one on each side, activated the inner mechanisms that controlled the massive iron-clad doors that sealed Monzen from the outside world. A heavy collapse indicated the internal gears were turning, the steel frame slowly rising into the wall. The sudden and abrupt stop signaled it was safe to travel through, with the herd of people funneling out of the opened gate.

    As soon as the mass exodus spilled through, Zone Angel and Zone Junior took flight, acting as visual beacons for the people to follow–and to act as the forefront for any sneaky Titans afoot. The younger siblings kept careful tabs of their path and any threat that lay about, ensuring the success of their venture. They had to trust their brother that they had the rear and hope for the best.

    Amidst the clutter, Hikaru defended from behind, adorned in his silver jumpsuit and helmet he had once been recognized for. He signaled the refugees to keep moving forward, moving along with the stragglers as they pushed out of the boundaries of Wall Sotono. Patter of a few thousand feet walked upon the broken and disheveled asphalt, swelling anxiety ruminating the air around them.

    They can handle it, but… Hikaru had his concerns. Not that he doubted his siblings’ ability to subdue a Titan, but the persisting question was how could they be stopped? In the wake of the pandemic that plunged the world into hell, the weakness of the cannibalistic giants were virtually unknown–some even say they were truly immortal. From the few accounts accessible, contradictory reports indicated they could be killed, but the how varied from one source to another. The results were ultimately inconclusive, and without a thorough investigation to study the matter further, the truth would never be known to the public eye.

    Not that there would be many eyes to know anyway.

    I just hope a Titan doesn’t appear. Let this go smoothly, his thoughts concluded. His vision was beyond the range of a normal human, so it wouldn’t be difficult in the slightest to spot an oncoming Titan or unruly intruders and intercept them. While it was said that the Titans went dormant after sundown, it was better to remain vigilant and keep his guard up in case of any abnormals. But even that wasn’t the biggest worry compared to the crowd of uneasy people, shuffling between each other trying to keep pace. But out of the entire lot, his supersight took notice of a sudden jolt from one individual…

    Yamashita began to purposefully slow down. Forcing himself through the crowd would prove to be too much and not worth the time getting there first. Worse yet was when he coughed through his mask, so it was probably for the better to keep distance from the others. Deep down, he hoped Takamaru would be the first to enter–the first to be safe, to enter paradise. Unfortunately, the opposite became apparent when he saw him also slowing down to meet with him.

    “Hey!” Takamaru waved, decelerating to keep pace with Yamashita. “Thought you’d be farther ahead, you okay?”

    “Never better,” Yamashita remarked sarcastically, “Don’t need to rush, or at least I hope not.”

    Takamaru scrambled in his pocket for notes he compiled, recollecting the information they pertained. “I’ve been thinking about the whole Colossal Titan thing, and I wonder… If Kubal is the Titan, why isn’t he mindless like the rest?”

    “See, that’s the thing,” Yamashita interjected, “It doesn’t make sense. Kubal’s just a selfish ass. Maybe the Colossal is like a Titan god or an interdimensional alien.”

    “Hmm,” the young man pondered, trying to connect the dots together, but to no success. “Well, maybe let’s not worry about it too much, we can get through this and figure it out…” Takamaru’s wistful thoughts were cut short, noticing Yamashita becoming paler. “Ken?” Almost soon after, he began hacking up his lungs.

    “This isn’t some kind of…” Takamaru stopped, eyes widening at the sight before him. Yamashita’s skin grew pale, his hands shaking violently. “Dude, are you okay–?” Unloading a berserk scream, Yamashita’s eyes rolled in the back of his head, forcing Takamaru to take a couple of paces back. “KEN!”

    “GET! AWAY!” Lost in a blood curdling scream, Yamashita began to radiate an electrical light. Shocked and stunned in disbelief, Takamaru could only watch in horror at the grueling transformation that was proceeding. A voice cried out to him, but it didn’t register. Next thing he knew, the man by the name of Hikaru Sakimori rushed in and swooped him off his feet, carrying him to safety.

    Only hearing the thundering boom, the people began to panic. A wave of fear washed over the anxiety-driven crowd, forcing themselves through the masses. Those too slow fell under the wrath of the fear-inducing stampede, others taking refuge in the vacant alleyways of the desolate metropolis. Eyes stared in horror at the monstrosity that formed out of thin air, the brilliant light shimmering for all to see.

    From the steam cloud, the humanoid figure stood nearly 13-meters tall, nearly at eye-level with the surrounding structures, its narrow head and permanently upturned jaw aligned with external denticulations that displayed its horrendous visage. As the hideous fiend stood idly, its eyes glared at the frightened souls that fled before its presence. Drool loosely ran down its jaws, focusing its sights on the fleeing mass ahead…

    Landing perfectly on his feet, Zone Fighter placed the shaken man on his feet. “Are you okay?”

    Takamaru sniffled, both in fright and shock, “No,” he replied earnestly, “but I can move.”

    “Please, then try to get out of here.”

    “But Yamashita, he…”

    “I don’t know what I can do about it, but I’ll do what I can!” Hikaru cemented with a firm nod, allowing the trembling Takamaru to flee to the underground chamber. He turned to face the Titan, who had begun to take its first steps. Spreading his arms out in a ‘Y’ shape, Zone Fighter propelled himself to fly, tackling the large humanoid in the sternum. Surprisingly, the foul human proved to be rather lightweight, hurling the 13-meter Titan off its feet and onto its back.

    Yamashita, I’m sorry, Hikaru contemplated. There’s a good man in you, but I must protect the people! As he stopped in midair, the Titan lunged its hands toward the airborne warrior, hoping to snag him from the sky. But this proved fruitless, the meteor man swerving out of harm’s way. With a sharp battle gesture, a thin blue laser fired off from the antennae atop his helmet, shredding the face of the giant apart like torn paper.

    Takamaru, I’m unsure if I can do anything for your friend, but I hope an answer can be found! Darting from the sky to the ground, Zone Fighter swooped between the opening of the Titan’s legs, planting his feet in the broken road. Another flurry of Meteor Proton Beams eviscerated the giant’s knee joints, crippling the monstrous beast, though experience taught him this was only for the time being.

    Akira… Hotaru… His thoughts led to his siblings. Surely, they would have already started guiding them into the chamber. “Keep going!” Hikaru shouted at the bystanders, “I’ll keep the Titan occupied!” Without a hitch, the frightened people did as he said. In times like these, he had to wonder what life would have been like had he lost his brother and sister during the Garoga War; the ability to shoulder all the burden would’ve been… Overbearing, to say the least. He cast the morbid thought aside, focusing on the matter at hand. The Titan’s legs were reforming, as was its face, though it seemed it’d take a while. This one seemed to be on the slower end of the regenerative spectrum…

    A violent humming caught his auditory senses, the grinding of rubber making it evident it was of vehicular origin. But the sound it emitted was far too close for comfort, reflexively jumping out of the way. In the nick of time, Zone Fighter saw the armored jeep barrel through empty space, without a shadow of a doubt that the outlander was hostile.

    The door swung open with terrifying ferocity, the individual in question stepping out of the jeep, whipping out his pistol and aiming it at the silver-clad man. From what Hikaru keenly noticed, it seemed this man was alone, with no guards around him. But what permeated the air more than the steaming Titan nearby was this man’s seething rage, almost insurmountable.

    A loud pop echoed from the barrel as a bullet flew directly into Hikaru’s shoulder. Despite the attire, the bulletproof layer deflected the caliber round into a wall, though the immediate recoil was rather unexpected for the alien hero. Such a drastic measure spurred Zone Fighter into action, taking great care to avoid unnecessary damage from the ensuing bullet barrage that followed. Leaping into the air, Hikaru kicked off the broad side of a wall and soared at the angry man at high speeds. The tackle brought the man down as Hikaru ripped the handheld automatic from his hand, tossing it aside well out of reach.

    “What the hell are you thinking!” the man shouted out from the top of his lungs, wrestling with the alien that kept him pinned, “You’re leaving the gate wide open for Titans to attack! You’ll be responsible for the deaths of millions!”

    “That’s a lie, and you know it!” Hikaru spat back with righteous fury. “You’re letting these people live in slavery, in fear! What do you have to gain from this? The people need freedom, free from these walls that imprison them!”

    “Quit it with your childish spiel,” Kubal retorted, “You’re only sending them to their deaths, and nothing to show for it! Freedom is a dangerous tool, unless you hold the power to influence them. And that influence is fear, the only way to control the minds of many. Don’t you understand? If they live in a prison, then they know there will always be safety and security.”

    So this must be him. Hikaru’s discernment of human speech could tell these were only half-truths. The man’s words rang hollow, but he could see his eyes set ablaze by a hardened passion–something that keeps him moving forward, no matter the cost.

    “What is it that you fight for, Kubal?” Upon hearing his name, Kubal winced at this stranger uttering his name in defiance, a blasphemy against his personal being. “Why fight for something that strips the very component of being human? Humans aren’t perfect, they can be destructive. But it’s about learning from the experience of mistakes that counts! Enslavement solves nothing, but striving for absolute perfection isn’t the answer either. It’s about making your own choices and learning how to live with them!”

    Kubal grimaced, irritated at this moral tangent. “So what!” Kubal bursted aloud, his face scowling at the masked hero, “Let people be and leave them to their devices? The only thing that matters is power; everything is just a means to an end to accomplish that. So don’t give the courtesy!” Prying his right arm free from the restraints, Kubal delivered a strong hook into Zone Fighter’s cheek. Though the alien held superhuman capabilities and resistances, Hikaru definitely felt the force behind that punch–more so than any Garoga he had encountered.

    A burning wish deep within Hikaru was that his words would get through Kubal’s thick skull, that he could undo the hardening around his heart. But he couldn’t, or at least felt like it was a herculean task set before him. Zone Fighter gripped the free arm and forced it down, applying pressure to it. Neurons signaled Kubal that this outsider threatened to break his arm if he didn’t comply, but there was enough restraint that prevented the bone from being snapped.

    “This wall project, it won’t do humanity any good! Please, let me take these people and find them someplace safe, otherwise–” Before he could complete this thought, Kubal began to scream. A violent, bloody warcry that no human should mutter; an unsettling sight to the only witness to it. Questions stirred in Zone Fighter’s mind, what was the point? But the shifting of gravel made a poignant reminder of the Titan nearby, seemingly driven by the wild call, beckoning it.

    With a tense sigh, Hikaru released his grip and bounced back, putting distance between himself, Kubal, and the Titan. “Then I just have to use everything at my disposal to stop you,” Kubal snarled with a sharp breath, his brow furrowed in a monstrous glare. Kubal opened his mouth and clenched his teeth upon his tongue, bleeding profusely from the self-inflicted injury. The 13-meter Titan tore its mouth wide open, almost eager to swallow Kubal whole. However, sparkling electricity danced around the man, engulfed in a radiant light. Heat and fire expanded from the core, frying the lunging Titan in the process. Saliva dried up, stripping the monstrosity of its flesh. The husk of the wild man was tossed into a nearby structure, which caved in on the cannibal.

    Panic settled in Hikaru, realizing he had only moments before he was caught in the blaze of Kubal’s wrath. Though the only option available to him came back through muscle memory. Kneeling on one knee, he brought his hands out. “Zone!” His hands clenched, leaving his two prominent fingers out. “Double!” Then, in one last move, he brought his fingers to the base of his antenna, channeling all of his Proton power into it. “FIGHT!”

    A shining azureus star consumed the cosmic warrior, allowing himself to evolve into his truest state of being. What had once been flesh shifted into armored skin, his eyes expanding into large, yellow eyes that could see beyond human comprehension. His height expanded exponentially, growing from man-sized to 100-meters in what felt like an instant. The radiant transformation died down as Zone Fighter achieved his giant state, who immediately conjured a rectangular wall outlined in red to protect himself from the ensuing heat from his opponent.

    Likewise, the manifestation of Kubal was already underway. Muscle sinew and bone materialized out of thin air, dispersing a surge of heat and wind in the transformation process. Wrapped in a blanket of muscles and cartilage, the shining light rocketed skyward, allowing the rest of the enormous body to take shape. A sporadic burst of air flowed through the shifter, crashing against the Meteor Zone Barrier, fracturing it. Another concussive boom shattered the transparent barrier, blowing Zone Fighter off his feet, crashing into the diminutive structures nearby.

    Covering his eyes from the blinding light, the silver warrior could only gaze upon the monstrosity that stood before him. The radiant light faded from the colossal giant, the humanoid draped in tremendous amounts of steam that hid its elusive form. Yet from the thick smoke resided the gleaming eyes of terrifying power, baring its boxy incisors that lined its wide mouth. As Zone Fighter struggled to rise to his two feet, he looked up.

    The Colossal Titan, towering over him at 150 meters–dwarfing the Peacelandian giant.

    Zone Fighter struck a battle stance, raising his hands to the air. He dared not speak nor shout his trademark battle chants; this wasn’t a matter of dealing with a mindless drone like the Terror-Beasts of the past, or the native monsters that had once claimed this planet. But, much to Hikaru’s horror, a human, one who’s soul burned with a deep-seated hatred against the world around him. A task that would take everything in his power to extinguish.

    The alien hero clapped his hands together, discharging a freezing white mist from his fingertips. Going for the torso or head would’ve been too predictable of a maneuver, nor did the tremendous height difference help matters. Rather, Zone Fighter kept the spray down low, aiming for the feet of the red muscled giant. It was rather simple, really; paralyze the ruthless warrior, and then keep the pressure going. That was the hope he clung to.

    Alas, the Meteor Freezer was quickly made inert when the lateral leg muscles began to swell like a cancerous tumor, followed by tremendous heat being pushed down the cnemis, blanketing the feet and dispersing the wave of hot air around it. The harsh winds dispelled the freezing weapon, kicking up an unintentional windstorm in the process. Seeing the futility in his efforts, Zone Fighter leapt back and strategized on the fly. He couldn’t afford to hold back.

    Raising his hands to the air, Zone Fighter summoned a pair of missile-braced gauntlets, covering his wrists in two layers of silver and blue barrel cannons and cube-like protrusions. The Meteor Double Anti-Missile Might was the last gift instilled by his father, a surgical procedure using the reverse engineered technology of Super Jikiro to combat against the Garoga Empire. Outstretching both hands, Zone Fighter unloaded a barrage of missiles against the gargantuan Titan, the initial wave shredding and stumbling the Titan with ease. Puncture wounds ripped wide open, gushing steam and heated blood pouring from the holes.

    A fierce flash from the Titan’s eyes initiated a wild burst of steam from the torso region, dispersing the missiles’ trajectories and scattering them amok. The moment the extraterrestrial warrior ceased fire was the instant the Colossal Titan stopped its steam, propelled to take a tremendous step forward. Then another, and another, with its long legs and enormous height to close the distance rather easily. Meaty fingers ignited in a bright light, the exuded heat searing the air around it. Then, in a swing unusually fast for its size, the Colossal Titan arced its arm with a trail of flames following behind it.

    With a firm kick from his Bayonet Boots, Zone Fighter spun high in the air, narrowly avoiding the searing flames that passed beneath him. Switching from jumping to aerial buoyancy, holding out in a ‘Y’ shape. Circling around in loop-the-loops, Zone Fighter built up momentum, keeping out of arm’s reach of the Colossal Titan. An aggravated grunt escaped the Titan’s maw, who began to accumulate heat into its left arm, the glow becoming like that of the sun. Meaty feet buried themselves into the rubble, anchoring the giant firmly in place.

    Upon the final loop, Zone Fighter accelerated his speed exponentially with a tremendously bright trail, activating his Meteor Jet ability. Thrusting his whole body forward, the alien hero held his fist firmly out, prepared to shred through the Colossal Titan like a bullet through mere flesh. All of his strength, the power of shove mountains, in this swift and decisive blow!

    Though had the Titan been any slower, Zone Fighter’s wishes certainly would’ve borne fruit.

    Using pressurized steam to speed up movement, the shining palm intercepted at the last possible moment–unleashing a churning heatwave unlike any other. The astronomical blowback was the equivalent to a powerful explosive, scattering and ripping nearby structures from their foundations. The nigh-unstoppable acceleration of the alien was held in place by the fearsome gales of apocalyptic proportions from the Titan. Zone Fighter noted the rapid consumption of muscle tissue of Kubal’s monstrous form, nearly thinning out into a frail, anorexic state in a matter of moments. But like he was to fare any better; the sudden surge of heat and fire was certainly taking its toll, and he could only maintain the Meteor Jet for so long. So much so, he thought he felt his fist melting into itself. Much to Fighter’s dismay, he felt his strength give out, forcing him to give way to the merciless winds of the red giant. Steam and heat vented from the alien’s body, who’s colossal body rolled through the scattered debris–or whatever was leftover from the aftershock.

    The Peacelandian agent struggled to rise to his feet, his fist trembling in spastic anxiety. His nerves were shot, and it would be a moment before his alien biology processed the insurmountable pain dutifully. Stiffening the fingers of his other hand, the freezer spray coated the burning arm as a needed coolant for a faster recovery. Large yellow eyes shot at the massive figure that approached him, eyes glaring at the crippled hero. With a shrunken, almost skeletal left arm, the Colossal Titan clenched its right fist, prepared to drive it into the spot where Zone Fighter stood. Jumping out of the way, the meaty fist only struck the ruined pavement beneath the warrior’s feet, the Titan uttering a disgruntled growl.

    Glowing irises tracked the heroic alien, who ran to the upstanding Wall Sotono. Carefully adjusting his Bayonet Boots, Zone Fighter began to sprint along the side of the wall, hoping to find some kind of advantage in this pressing matter. Much to his relief, it seemed fortunate favored the brave, rocketing off with a firm, yet delicate kick off the structure. Using this newfound forward momentum, Zone Fighter opted the use of his feet, performing a roundhouse kick against the Titan. The instant the strike connected with the giant’s chest, caving in the muscles and rib bones and knocking the Colossal Titan off its feet.

    Crashing on its back, an eruption of heated blood splashed from the fallen Titan, and parted debris resounded across the battlefield. This gave the silver hero ample time to plant his feet within the torso of the burning nephilim, exposed to the furnace-like innards. But Zone Fighter would quickly extinguish these flames; using his good hand, the Meteor Freezer coated the fallen giant in frost, starting with the head and trailing down to where his own feet were. Cold steam rose from the Colossal Titan, its once vibrant muscles reduced to a pale blue from the deep freeze. When he noticed the Titan ceased movement, he could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

    That was, until he felt the temperature drastically rise.

    Scanning around, Zone Fighter took note of the immense glow of the exposed muscles, radiating the same light it had during their spectacular showcase of power. Not wanting to be in the middle of another of these destructive outbursts, the meteor man took flight and escaped moments before a sea of hot vapors overtook the supersized giant. To Zone Fighter’s horror and dismay, the maimed Titan began to rise, with the frozen portions melting away, liquifying under the immense heat.

    The two locked eyes, knowing full well this fight was far from over. Adjusting themselves for combat, they continued on, and wouldn’t stop until the other had fallen.

    The chamber doors to the underground facility were finally beginning to close, the panicking people sprawling in droves as the last of them rushed in. Concerns and anxiety were high in the Zone siblings, distinctly noticing the sudden surge of fear-stricken civilians. But their ears were quick to pick up the source. “Titan! It’s a Titan!” they screamed collectively, with the cries of others drowned out by the ensuing chaos and heavy breathing. But that was a conclusion they had already come to, especially once the Colossal Titan made its sudden appearance.

    Refugees huddled together within the cramped space provided. Although the underground bunker was graciously spacious, that did little compared to the many bodies occupying every square-inch provided. Eventual tremors shook the subterranean base with the intense fighting going on topside, spiking in irrational panic. Among them, Takamaru struggled to keep pace with the shifting crowd, feeling squished between the filthy humans around him.

    Then, in the dimly lit darkness, a bright light showed itself. The rear door of the evacuation vessel lowered, and the moment it touched ground was when the masses poured into the grandiose starship. The Zones and a handful of willing volunteers tried to corral the civvies into organized groups, and despite great difficulty, the rustle and bustle eventually settled down.

    Within the clean interior, Hotaru and Akira passed through the narrow aisles to get to the cockpit. As they did, everyone remained seated–but the odd one out was Takamaru, who grew sick to his stomach. Questions buzzed in his mind, concerns of the now Titanized Yamashita increased evermore, and the fear of the unknown became all the more haunting. But he knew causing a ruckus would do no one any favors; he had simply hoped everyone got aboard safely.

    Suddenly, a ping from the intercom caught everyone’s attention.

    “Hello. This is Zone Angel speaking, and welcome to Paradise Express,” she started, trying to maintain a jovial mood amidst the chaos, “Please be seated and have your needs taken care of, we will be taking flight in less than five minutes.” Murmurs spread as the comm-link ceased, though Takamaru drowned them out. That was until a familiar voice rang in his ears.

    “Takamaru? I-is that you?” The familiar Canadian stutter broke the man out of his trance, seeing Antoine a row ahead of him.

    “Thank god, glad you could make it,” the Japanese youth sighed with relief.

    “I’d be actually insane if I stuck around!” Antoine chuckled. But he grew concerned when he saw Takamaru drop into a sour gloom. “You all right?”

    “Yeah… But…” Antoine held an ear out, allowing Takamaru the chance to speak. “Yamashita, he’s… He didn’t make it.” Hearing those words made the Canadian’s heart sink.

    “Was it a Titan?”

    “He became one. He tried to eat me. But Zone Fighter saved me.”

    “Oh… Well, I’m sorry to hear that. N-not the Zone Fighter part, th-the–” Takamaru cut him off with an assuring nod, understanding the message. They sat in an awkward silence, tuning into the whirling drones of the engine starting up. In a few minutes, they would be out of this hell and taken to paradise. But is the cost, even for the loss of a single human life, enough to justify the means? Others would feel differently, but for Takamaru, it was an area of uncertainty.

    As they remained fasted in their seats, the colossal spacecraft began to move.

    The buckle situated around the alien’s waist went from the vibrant blue it started as to a bright yellow, indicating that time was awasting.

    Ruins burned with the intensity of steam and fire. Rolling out of the way, Zone Fighter evaded another focused blast of wind from the Colossal Titan. The right arm of the giant was already thinning out from the strain, although the opposite arm had already regained its constitution. Seeing this, Zone Fighter stiffened his hands and held them out, generating and consolidating the Proton power into golden surges of electricity. Arrows of light shot forth from the fingertips, spiraling directly towards the crimson nephilim, effortlessly shredding through its pelvic region. A burst of steam and blood spilled from the newly formed gashes, leaving the Titan in anguished pain.

    Zone Fighter followed up by converting his electrical prowess into carmine energy, bringing his hands together. Channeling his Proton power, the alien warrior spread his hands out, unleashing a wide sickle-like projectile at the gargantuan destroyer. But before the crescent could make contact, a wild bust of steam emitted from the Titan’s torso, immense pressure diffusing the energy weapon and rendering it inert. The ensuing explosion covered the Colossal Titan in dust, though the glowing left arm became more and more apparent by the second.

    Prepared for the worst, the humanoid alien sprinted into action, once again avoiding a column of superheated gale that eviscerated the rubble he once stood on. Yet even despite his best efforts, Zone Fighter found himself masked under the obstruction of dust and debris from the residual aftershock, screaming as the heat consumed him.

    “Tch, what a fool if he thinks he can defeat me.” Though it cost him his Titan’s arms, Kubal felt content. He knew there was fight left in this pest, but so long as he could stop their little escape plan from following through, then all the better. However, he felt a rumbling under his Titan’s feet, turning to face the source of the vibrations.

    “No… No…” Kubal’s eyes widened, realizing what was transpiring. Near the outskirts of the lost metropolis, a massive hangar opened from the streets, no doubt the base of operations for these Zone aliens. He grimaced, realizing the Colossal Titan would be insufficient in intercepting the escape vessel. A loud blast of rocket fuel emanated from the open chamber, with the sleek Peacelandian vessel sailing through the skies. Kubal gritted his teeth in frustration; even in his compromised state, he felt compelled to pursue. Heat generated along its posterior, speeding up its momentum, losing more of the Titan’s body in the process.

    Pulling its loose arm back, the Colossal Titan swung its floppy, useless limb at the airborne ship. But before the moment of contact, one last push from the alien vessel forced it beyond the Titan’s reach, soaring until it passed the horizon. Steam vented between the Colossal Titan’s teeth, seething in irritated rage. His body swelled with exorbitant heat, and…

    The thunderous booms of shredded air caught the colossus’ attention, no doubt the missiles from the silver alien. Superheated steam channeled throughout the Titan’s entire posterior, erupting in a volcanic flash of fire and wind. Just as he did, the powerful gales dispersed the bevy of missiles that aimed to rip and tear him into pieces, once again scattering them all across the ruins of what had once been Tokyo. Kubal felt his organic puppet diminish exponentially, but it was a far better alternative to being torn apart by the enemy. The giant craned its head, keeping tabs on what his foe would do next.

    The Colossal’s eyes saw the meteor man sprinting across the wreckage, although it wasn’t at the Titan specifically. Rather, Zone Fighter focused his attention on the diffused missiles, reaching his hands out. The explosive rods within proximity of the gauntlets began to shudder, being magnetically drawn to the blue ports of the bracelet. Before Kubal could even register this unusual action, another barrage of missiles shot out of the cannons once more, targeted directly at the Titan’s face.

    Then, in an instant, Kubal’s vision went dark with a loud boom.

    Gone was the head of the Colossal Titan, leaving only the lower jaw in its place. Steam bustled from the mangled head, trying in vain to reconstitute. But the sudden loss of the Titan’s greater functions, the exerted steam ceased to be, only able to remain standing due to the will of the human within the nape. In time, he would return more ferocious than ever; but the hero of Peaceland refused to let it be so. With a firm, decisive kick off, Zone Fighter leapt into flight and hovered over the frail, lanky monstrosity that only resembled the Colossal Titan. Clapping his hands together, another spray of the Meteor Freezer jettisoned from his fingertips, coating the anorexic giant in permafrost.

    Unlike before, there weren’t enough fibers to counteract the freezing agent, slowing the Titan’s movements under the immense cold. No matter how much he expended, the wave of ice only consumed more of the body, rendering the heat inert. Even from within the nape, Kubal felt a chill eat away at him, realizing this body was done for. As he tried to force the back of the neck to split open, it dawned on him that he had been sealed shut under a thick blanket of ice. He cursed under his breath, and before he could do anything–

    “METEOR PROTON BEAM!”

    The booming words uttered by the alien for the first time since the fight began alarmed his senses. In the split second that followed, Kubal felt the world around him shatter… His brain clenched as it re-experienced the trauma of the bottle smashing against his head, sweating in anxiety-inducing dread. His gut swirled under the influence of gravitational forces, the nape around him breaking apart until he could see his surroundings. Much like the millions of pieces befallen to the might of the extraterrestrial, Kubal felt himself aimlessly flying through the air, with nothing to hold onto… Only the flash of his daughter came to mind.

    Never forget.

    For Zone Fighter, the moment of the Meteor Proton Beam connected was nothing short of satisfying. The explosive power washed in a blue flash over the stiffened giant, fracturing it in a monochromatic display before being reduced to millions of pieces. A colossal blast rang from the epicenter, sending a wave of frozen chunks of muscle flying amok. But out of the cluster of scattered mass, Zone Fighter’s supersight zoomed in on one oddity out of literal millions. The figure of Kubal was sent hurtling through the air, with nothing to stop his fall. Moving in with speed unprecedented for his size, silver hands reached out and caught the descending human with utmost precision, careful not to crush him under his massive fingers.

    Around them, the frozen and burning chunks broke apart, the scattered cells reflecting like that of snow and ember. Such a serene sight would’ve granted peace, but was offset by the deserted metropolis that laid around them. And in Zone Fighter’s clutches was the source of the pandemic, the one that brought imbalance to this world–the one who made it cruel.

    And justice had to be served.

    Location: [REDACTED] – Year: [UNSPECIFIED]

    Sparks washed over Jet Jaguar’s metallic face as the machine welded the last monstrous beam of titanium plating, concluding an achievement of engineering exactly one week in the making. Taking a few steps back to behold the engineering marvel with its optical sensors, a bare skeleton of the UX-01-92’s right wing gleamed under the white, sterile lights of the launch bay interior. Much work still needed to be accomplished for the gunship, but the sliver of progress gave Jet Jaguar the first glimpse at the arsenal it would create to combat Kubal’s Colossal Titan over the coming decades, and a taste of success after a week of inconclusive scientific research.

    One week of meticulous scouring of the late doctor’s writings bestowed no clarity on Dr. Shiragami’s mind, so a change in strategy was in order. Computations and theories could be processed, accessed and reworked on the fly, but for the sake of efficiency, Jet Jaguar needed its body’s utilization at maximum capacity. Working on the arsenal would suffice, for now.

    Shifting focus to its metallic fingers, sensors scanned gradual degradation from constant, intense physical labor.

    Upgrades or repairs could not be maintained if the arsenal was to be modernized. When the time came for replacing failing body parts, Jet Jaguar acknowledged that a downgrade would be necessary. Perhaps if the engineer attached to the UX-01-92 project, Kazuma Aoki, was still alive, he would approve the allocation of resources to precious creation. The love and attention to detail on the azure blueprints, along with the nickname Garuda demonstrated the late creator’s care. Unfortunately, death granted no leeway.

    A logical fallacy stopped all cognitive processing within the machine, warning the last assumption was not entirely accurate. Religious text flooded the robot’s processors in response to the query.

    If human religion indeed existed as it was scribed, the engineer could be in a variety of places depending on which of the dozens of human books of worship proved true. Aoki’s current location could be in a luxurious afterlife, a demonic realm, reincarnated on a distant world, stuck on Earth in a ghostly form, or thousands of other plausible options.

    Modifying the assumption to accommodate the numerous possible afterlifes and other religious endpoints, Jet Jaguar noted that death granted no leeway unless the existence of an afterlife or soul was indeed true. If such unmeasurable sources of energy within humans did exist, the engineer’s chances of witnessing his final creation was greater than zero; however, Kazuma Aoki’s abilities would depend on whatever form was created by the soul’s transformation after death…

    The last data log replayed endlessly; Jet Jaguar’s mechanical mind feeling an unparalleled tidal wave of enlightenment crash against its artificial psyche. Dr. Shiragami’s secret revealed itself to Jet Jaguar’s calculations, unveiling the final variable which eluded all logical understanding, and yet fit perfectly to the madness unleashed by the late doctor.

    The Soul.

    Religious literature flowed through the robot’s mind once more, but the need for insight narrowed Jet Jaguar’s search criteria from the major religions most renowned literature. In a sea of superstition and belief, facts related to one’s inner self were the true treasure it sought. Scouring the trove of human knowledge it possessed, the machine focused on synonyms of the human soul, hoping to find something to measure the intangible but ever present force within all life. The Polynesian term for the spiritual power that could exist in all things, or Mana, would suffice as the name for Shiragami’s mysterious variable.

    Measurement of Mana was now the next step and to unlock that door, memory would have to be the key.

    The Japanese Self-Defense Force Hanger shifted in a nanosecond to the interior of a familial workshop. Machines of a retro-futuristic design littered the room Jet Jaguar called home for decades, while two men chatted side by side in a conversation lost to memory for most humans, but for the robot, was merely another recorded moment in a vast archive that spanned to his creation.

    Goro Ibuki smiled his renowned toothless grin, handing Dr. Shiragami a CD, locked within a glass case.

    “Diagnostic data for Jet Jaguar before and after that fateful day, as you requested old friend,” Goro asserted, blissfully unaware of the repercussions to befall everyone by the good-natured act.

    “Thank you, I…” Shiragami paused, eyeing the drive in his hands as if inspecting the authenticity. “I think this will benefit my research greatly. Your help-”

    Jet Jaguar’s inventor waved the doctor off, pointing to the machine who stood idly, watching the conversation play out, helpless to change the course of time. “He’s the miracle, one I still can’t come to reason on the whys, just happy he’s around. He’ll outlive us both!” Goro ended with a laugh.

    “Perhaps,” Dr. Shiragami questioned, growing his own devious smile just as Jet Jaguar ended the memory, returning itself to the spartan walls of the facility.

    The fateful day Goro described surely referenced the moment Jet Jaguar became self aware. His inventor never could understand what part the machine changed in his programming to gain its size changing abilities and free-thought, but perhaps his creator was limited by an engineering background, looking for a change when in fact, the answer was something being added.

    Pulling its own diagnostic data comprising visual, audio, and every other measurable metric before and after its clash with Megalon, the machine methodically chipped away duplicate information. From the vast troves in its catalog, only a faint, jumbled noise remained, one which seemed to both exude traits of a high and low frequency. Detecting a portion of the frequency on a visible spectrum, optical sensors readjusted to receive the noise, opening Jet Jaguar’s eyes to a world naturally unseeable to the human eye.

    An endless golden aura hung in the air; a fog of Mana that, while persistent, shifted between transparency and invisibility, mimicking the static-like quality the robot detected. Relocating his attention to its own Mana pulsating body, the aura which radiated off Jet Jaguar did so in a rhythmic pattern, similar in repetition to musical constructs of humanity.

    Registering the emission of its theoretical soul, Jet Jaguar’s focus shifted to his creator, the only comparable source of life within the facility’s empty shell. As the machine closed in, causing the writhing mass that was once his creator to snarl with aggression, the deformed monstrosities’ pain proved clear on the visual spectrum.

    Goro’s Mana pulsed within its body in a warped, erratic pattern. For brief moments, golden waves mimicked the wavelengths of Jet Jaguar’s aura before reverting to another, chaotic pattern. Unlike the robot’s free flowing aura, the body that contained his inventor shed no energy; instead, it soaked up the thin veil of atmospheric mana like a sponge. Ravenous teeth chomped at denser specs just above the Titan’s maw, clarifying seemingly random behavior for the Wraith Titan’s ravenous attention to deviate toward the robot as it approached, writhing with abundant aggression toward the source of untapped potential. Watching Goro’s struggle intensify made clear the horror inflicted upon humanity.

    Dr. Shiragami’s serum modified the human soul without any approval of the infected, twisting its victim into the monstrous forms spread across the continents, each bent on consuming anything that lived to placate their need of Mana. The attacks explained the ravenous Wraith Titan behavior and the subsequent eradication of humanity, while also shedding light on the seemingly erratic aggression toward lifeforms of the smallest variety to those which rivaled skyscrapers.

    Perhaps the serum’s volatility lay in its attempt to force the frequency of one soul upon another? If the soul represented the inner representation of one’s self, with Mana comprising the energy signature of said life force, then maybe manipulation of the soul could alter not just the body, but the mind of the victim, disfiguring the last vestige of humanity within the host. Jet Jaguar pondered its current theory before deciding to modify his antenna to detect the wavelength of Mana on an audible format. Maybe it would prove a method of communication between itself and whatever remained of his dear friend?

    As the machine modified its receivers to pick up on Goro’s unique signature, an inaudible series of seemingly human screams tore through its mechanical sensors. Static boomed forth between the wailing sorrow on display, bringing even the machine a sense of unease and a clarity it hadn’t considered due to the gravity of such a revelation.

    Whatever remained of Goro, his dear creator and friend, was in horrendous internal anguish.

    Taking a step back from the now jiggling runt of a Titan, Jet Jaguar modified its audible array to analyze its own emissions. As the machine attuned to the sound of his own soul, long dormant speakers began to exude a rhythmic poem, seemingly deprived of words that begged to be sung.

    Such peace bestowed a great weight upon the robot’s shoulders, removing all doubt to the extent at which his friend had been corrupted. Even if a cure was possible with years or decades or research, would the nightmarish torment Goro Ibuki suffered in that time be worth the cost?

    The answer was regrettably simple. Robotic eyes gazed at the Wraith Titan, its body uncharacteristically mellow as it soaked in the music. Even as Jet Jaguar approached, Goro’s Titan remained still, wide eyes laser focused on its creation.

    A soft pat of affection graced the Wraith’s temple, drawing a simple grunt before metal sliced into flesh and Goro’s titanic eyes closed forever in solace. The body fell limp, starting with a temporary release of the soaked essence in a wave of light. Steam billowed from the fresh corpse, cells decaying at stupendous speeds. In a matter of moments, Goro was gone from this world. At the very most, Jet Jaguar hoped he had freed his cherish friend from eternal torment.

    The lens around his right eye cracked.

    A deep sorrow lamented his soul, rooted in the loss of one he held so dear. But he knew time was short; his body was already falling apart, and he needed to make the most of it. Then, when the time was right, justice would be enacted for all the lives lost. Until then, he had to keep moving forward.

    Kubal squirmed in the hand of the silver giant, grunting in irritated rage. He felt the immense pressure surrounding his body; at any moment, he could be popped like a grape. Much to his dismay, he was under the mercy of the meteor man–and the final verdict had yet to be decided.

    “Kubal, what do you have to say for yourself?” rang the thunderous warning of Zone Fighter, his gigantic proportions amplifying his voice exponentially. “The people that have been evacuated would have died due to the poor conditions of the Wall Project. One of them was Titanized on the way, which shows the poor thought process of such an idea.”

    “And you will lead many more to die with the gate open!” Kubal spat in bitter fury.

    The giant sighed. “I know.” With his free hand, Zone Fighter walked up to the wall and leaned over, gently sliding the gate down until it was closed shut. “There, happy?” Kubal only responded with a disgusted snort.

    “Humanity deserves to live, to have a chance at life. And this…” he pointed to the walls next to them, “Isn’t the way. Let humanity be free. Allow my siblings and I to take them, and we can work this out.”

    Kubal remained silent, contemplating on his boiling thoughts. “No… That cannot happen, not so long as I live!” he firmly demanded. Disbelief overcame the silver hero, who only saw a man stuck in his own delusions. But he had to try, something had to give.

    “Why? We can figure this out together. We can find a cure for the Titans, there has to be something we can do!” When he heard that, Kubal’s head perked up. “Reconsider, or else…” Hearing those dour words sparked something inside the human, and he began to chuckle at the idea.

    “What makes you think I care about people? They are just a means to an end, a means which you stole from me. I need them here because they might have the solution to my dilemma.” When Kubal spoke those words, Zone Fighter could feel his body tension shift–subtly in body language informing the giant that the feared supervisor of the walls was finally spilling the beans. “I could care less if they get eaten by Titans. If any single living thing in these walls can be just like me, then that will make the search that much easier.”

    “‘Just like you,’” Zone Fighter echoed the words, coming to a haunting realization. “Are you… Farming people as livestock?”

    “If that’s what it takes,” Kubal stated plainly.

    “That’s inhumane!” the star giant shouted, vibrations rushing over the spec of a man. “How could you be so cruel to your own people!”

    Kubal smirked. “It isn’t hard at all to emotionally distance yourself from Titans.” The alien visibly flinched at such an absurd statement, but decided to keep his words to himself. “I do not proclaim to be the most knowledgeable, but here’s what I do know. Every ‘Wraith Titan’ and myself are part of the first generation of post-Titan humans. The virus has already made its rounds all across the globe, and humans have either succumbed to its effects or possess a natural resistance to it.”

    “Meaning?”

    “Meaning that your desire for an infallible cure is probably futile. Every living human on this planet has become a carrier to the Wraith. And those traits will be passed down to the next generation, and the next, and the next… Don’t you get it? The virus has become part of the human genome now, and will be ingrained for future generations to come. The people you stole from me are just Titans waiting to happen!”

    The realization was too mortifying to grasp or comprehend. Let alone difficult to take at face value. “Why? What use do you have for Titans if there is no cure to be found?” A stark silence befell the Titanized human, almost contemplative. With a heavy sigh, he let it loose.

    “To save my daughter. I tried to save her, but she didn’t become like me.” Kubal’s mind recalled the instant as clear as day; standing over his dying child, holding the beacon in his hands. The last sample from Shiragami, to which he shattered with a loud snap.

    Zone Fighter’s stoic eyes widened in horrified thought. The dots began to connect; the Titan outbreak began in Tokyo, then made its way all across the world… “No…”

    “If there is a chance that any Titan like me exists, then I must seize that chance. If billions more have to be sacrificed for my daughter’s well being, then that is a burden I will bear. So long as the population is sustained within these walls, I can save her!”

    “NO! Mutilating people into Titans, is that what she wants? How would she live if she knew the monstrous actions you took to get there?”

    A grim shadow outlined his eyes, but he nodded in assurance to himself that this was the right path, growing confident in his assessment. “Because she’s stronger than me,” he admitted, his sharp eyes piercing the silver giant. They burned with a righteous passion, a reflection of his soul. “Because she will grow to be strong! That I know without a doubt.”

    “No Kubal,” Zone Fighter shook his head in utter disgust, “I’m sorry. I know she means the world to you. I have siblings that mean the world to me; but the cost will be far too great. There must be another way!”

    “Then tell me something, alien,” Kubal scoffed bitterly, “What would you be without your cherished family?” The nagging feeling crept up from the back of Zone Fighter’s mind, almost seeing another version of himself. Broken, lost, without a cause. He had lost his parental figures in the Garoga War, losing his precious brother and sister would be beyond devastating. But even in this brokenness, a light would carry him onward. That light was his hope.

    “Even in the depths of despair, I can only push onward. So long as people call for help, I will be there.” That was his only response.

    “Tch, I knew you wouldn’t understand. But it doesn’t matter. I will control everything under my thrall if it means I get what I want. If the Public Order turns against me, or if there is a revolt from lowlife scumbags, then they will know the consequences of my wrath!” Kubal boasted confidently.

    “You’re wrong, it does matter,” the Peacelandian giant interjected, “Because if you so much as bite your tongue or your cheeks, I will resort to terminating you. This isn’t my wish, but I will do what I must if it’s to protect the people I care for. For humanity.”

    “Then we’ll–” Kubal cut short, his face becoming pale. His breathing became sudden and erratic. Zone Fighter could feel the sudden spike in tension; from what he could feel, his heart pulsating, throbbing in the man’s chest. The immediate conclusion he came to was a heart attack!

    “Kubal!” The silver giant cried out, helplessly watching as the man succumbed to the fatal infarction. It was a surreal sight to behold; the man who proclaimed dominion over this world falling victim to a biological defect like the humans he despised so much. And there wasn’t a thing Zone Fighter could do about it with all the power at his disposal. In a matter of seconds, the tyrant of the walls fell limp, his breathing coming to a crawl. The giant softened his grip, allowing the body to slide down in the cradle of his large palm.

    On this night, Kubal died in his hand.

    Aboard the Paradise Express – Pacific Ocean – 3 A.T.

    It had been several hours since their departure. Those who were privileged to see from the rear windows were the last to see Zone Fighter confronting the Colossal Titan before they vanished under the dark horizon. There was no looking back now, only an uncertain future free from the shackles of slavery and surveillance.

    Steady the spacecraft kept its aerial momentum, sailing the starry night skies until it passed the threshold that divided the hemispheres. Over the horizon, the sun came into view, shining its brilliance upon the tired, exhausted, and the sick. As the refugees minded their own businesses, the pilots at the helm kicked back and let the Paradise Express operate on autopilot.

    “I don’t know why, this feels strange,” Akira wondered, staring off into empty space. “We got what we wanted, right?”

    “I mean, yeah, I’m not seeing the problem with it,” Hotaru replied, albeit befuddled to her brother’s strange mood. “Maybe we lost one or two on the way, unfortunately. That could be what’s on your mind.”

    “Titans? Yeah, kinda.” The younger man pondered, almost as if that wasn’t the answer to quench his mind. “But I feel anxious not seeing Hikaru here… With us, carrying these people to a better place.”

    “Don’t… Don’t worry about it. He’s holding back the biggest threat we could’ve had right now. Remember what he told us back in the bunker?”

    Akira begrudgingly nodded, recollecting the words said by their brother. “‘Whatever happens, protect these people, until they can fend for themselves.’”

    “So we just protect them until then, right?” Hotaru concluded confidently. Akira wasn’t sure, but at the end of the day, he had to honor his brother’s words; not just for the people that need it, but to uphold Hikaru in his memories.

    “Yeah,” Akira sighed, releasing a deep breath, “Thanks for that.” For a time, they rested, getting some much needed shut eye after the hectic events of recent memory. But this proved to be short lived as a thunderous boom resounded from within the vessel.

    “Akira! Take the controls!” Hotaru sharply ordered, rushing outside to investigate. The younger Zone did not hesitate and took over, steering the refurbished spacecraft and keeping it steady.

    Takamaru and Antoine got accompanied with one another, talking hours into sunrise about other subjects to get their mind off the trauma of recent events. But even after shared laughs and common talk, a residual feeling of incompleteness remained in Takamaru.

    “What’s up? You seem out of it,” Antoine asked with worry-filled eyes.

    “It’s Kubal, it’s the Colossal Titan, it’s…” Takamaru paused, reflecting on the matter. “I don’t know, I feel like there’s a connection there between the two. I just can’t put the pieces together.”

    Antoine pondered, letting his mind wander to see if he could help his fellow friend. “Nope. Can’t think of anything.”

    “Maybe…” Takamaru let his mind drop into freefall, going with the flow, “What if only specific humans can become those kind of Titans? The non-Wraith ones.”

    “So you’re telling me that Kubal has some magic superpower that only he has? No thanks, not giving him that much credit.”

    “But think about it, if Titans are able to manifest out of thin air, wouldn’t there need to be some kind of catalyst for it?” Takamaru inquired, trying to convey his outlandish thoughts.

    “But then, what’s the trigger?” Antoine simply asked. Such a simple question stumped Takamaru, forcing him to conjure wild theories and ideas, but to no avail.

    “I don’t know. Maybe–” Then, he started coughing.

    “Yeesh, y-you all right man?” Antoine stuttered, “That sounded like a nasty cold.”

    “I’m not fully sure, maybe I should quarantine myself to be safe.” The youth rose to his feet, scooting across the aisles to find someone of expertise, or at least a place to be alone. The Canadian kept his eyes on his acquaintance, concerned for his well being. Unfortunately for Antoine, his worries turned out to be spot-on; the lopsided Takamaru fell over and collapsed, violently twitching as he slammed to the ground. Frightened people gathered around, morbidly curious as to the cause of the sudden seizure. But those that were next to him began to scream something Antoine didn’t want to hear.

    “IT’S A TITAN, MOVE!” Panicked cries echoed the lanes, crumbling over each other just to live. In the next few seconds, a flash of light and eruption of steam flooded the narrow space, choking those who were inhaling the sporadic vapor clouds. The entire ship was knocked off its axis, throwing every individual off their balance. When Hotaru arrived at the first door, she was initially overwhelmed by the flood of fear-stricken people trying to get out of the way.

    “What’s going on?” she firmly inquired, awaiting an instant response.

    “There’s a Titan onboard!” That was all she needed to know. Rushing through the crowd, she did her best to slip by, eventually coming across the steam that indicated a Titan’s presence. When she barged through, what she found was horrific. Even in the short span of time, the melted steel and scattered body parts painted the interiors with blood. When she identified the Titan, she saw it had a victim in its mouth–a Canadian man, half chewed and dead from fright.

    “No… No…” Despair turned to rage as she readied her battle stance, ready to take on the Titan. But before she could, more eruptions made themselves known. Her eyes widened in fear, realizing what was happening. By a cruel twist of fate, these people had begun undergoing Titanization. The ensuing explosions ruptured the hull of the mighty spacecraft, humans and Titans being sucked out by the air pressure and mercilessly tossed into the roaring ocean. The turbine engines that kept the vessel afloat became compromised, decelerating and losing aerial buoyancy.

    In the cockpit, Akira tried his damnedest to keep it afloat, but knew that he couldn’t. Setting it to autopilot for a last ditch effort, Akira rushed to join his sister in the hell that awaited them both. Soon, the Paradise Express came tumbling into the ocean with a tremendous splash, sinking beneath the waves…

    A somber feeling washed over the humanoid figure, unsure of how to feel about it. What was the root cause of Kubal’s death? It was a troubling question that lingered in the mind of Hikaru. The symptoms carried very similar characteristics to a heart attack, and that had been his initial conclusion. But rewinding the moment in his memory, was that really the case? His vision was impeccable in his giant form, able to see almost 242 kilometers away without fault; focusing said vision into the human body allowed him to peer between the skin cells and pigments, analyzing every structure of the human body. Although he did not possess true X-Ray vision, this was the closest facsimile he had to it.

    When his hyper fixated eyes located the heart, there was not a clot to be found within it. Perhaps because the subject had already passed, the clot had already been broken apart? No, that can’t be possible, his death was the result of heart failure, Hikaru contemplated, quickly trying to assess the situation. It was then that the vile words of the spiteful human rang in his mind.

    “I will control everything under my thrall if it means I get what I want.”

    Hearing those words repeat in an endless loop made him realize something. One disturbing realization after another with this individual. Could it be… That the ‘heart attack’ was self-induced? In his mind, he concocted theories aplenty; but in the end, he narrowed it down to what seemed like the most feasible. An influx of cortisol perpetuated by excessive mental stimulation, forcing his mind and heart to overexert themselves with stress. Even if he was wrong in his assessment, it was at least a basis to operate on.

    But he knew it wasn’t the most perfect conclusion; rather, it spiraled into a series of other questions he had to ask. Out of all of them, one left the most prominent in his mind. If that’s the case, then what would be the need to kill h… Zone Fighter took a glance at the rolled up eyes of the dead human.

    They were staring right back at him.

    Static electricity surged throughout his hand, and it clicked that he was about to initiate a transformation! In a near instantaneous reaction, Zone Fighter curled his palm into a clenched fist–crunching the body in a visceral and sickening pop, blood oozing between his silvery fingertips. Hikaru felt sick to his stomach; while it was no bluff that he’d execute any global menace, there was something unsettling about enacting this on a human being. It felt immoral, but at the same time, what immediate choice did he have?

    Unfortunately, with the guilty feeling of disgust, heat began to exude from within his fist. Light brimmed from the shadows of his large hand, scorching with immense heat as it expanded from the source. All of this concentrated power terrified the Peacelandian hero; more yet, he couldn’t feel the pain sensory in his hand anymore. His eyes fooled him into thinking his grip had loosened; when in reality, they were beginning to char away, which only became more evident when a sudden shockwave ruptured the rest of his remaining hand.

    Kubal’s ragged form became a shining beacon, surrounded by torrential hellfire and tornado-like winds. New bones and muscle began to materialize, wrapping Kubal in a blanket of membranes that encased his body within the nape. The Titan’s head and bust came into form, its eyes glaring at the star-destined hero. In that moment, Zone Fighter began to scream in unsettling pain and agony. It felt as if a fiery-hot poker stabbed into his radial artery and only pushed in deeper into his forearm. The manifesting spine shredded the giant of light’s arm in two, only to be parasitically wrapped under layers of muscle fibers and raw tendons. The more of the Colossal Titan that came to be, the more of its body merged with Zone Fighter’s own, akin to a sickening, living hand puppet.

    Even when overwhelmed in excruciating and nerve-wracking torment, Zone Fighter mustered the strength to channel his Proton power into his opposite arm. Electrical sparks focused into his fingertips, prepared to fire off an energized cutter to lob off his arm. But before he could, a massive meaty hand grappled the arm and effortlessly snapped it like a twig. A traumatic scream resounded from the cosmic warrior, as a sudden powerful pull ripped the arm clean out of its socket, spraying crimson ichor.

    Light faded as the completely manifested upper torso of the Colossal Titan shoved the stumbling alien down onto his back, crashing against the ground with a hard thud. Zone Fighter struggled and wheezed under the burning might of the nephilim, who focused his palms and slammed them against the meteor man’s head. Alternating between them, the Colossal Titan mercilessly pounded the visage of the once graceful hero, leaving nothing more than a contorted look nigh unrecognizable to what it once was.

    Concussive shockwaves battered the ruined city, swaying buildings falling under their weight.

    The belt around the giant’s waist faded, transitioning from yellow to red, then to nothing as the life essence drained from his mangled body. With one last blow for good measure, the Colossal Titan finally ceased its onslaught. Its hands dropped to its sides, facing down at the maimed hero from the stars. During this silence, Kubal’s body began to reconstitute; for it had been broken and fractured into many painful pieces. Had it not been for the graces of his Titanized abilities, death certainly would have granted him the chance to experience mortality.

    As bones cracked back into place and nerves and muscles reconnected, a burst of steam ruptured from the nape, freeing Kubal from his enclosure. Leaning his Titan’s torso to the ground, the man tore from his fleshy constraints and set foot on shattered pavement, making a stride to the guard rooms in Wall Sotono to contact the Public Order. But shifting gravel caught the man’s attention, witnessing the Titan from earlier emerge from the grave. Its flesh had only just completed wrapping around its body mass, though it was clearly incomplete. Its eyes had just reformed, and had very little hair beyond the miniscule strands.

    The 13-meter Titan glanced at Kubal, eager to consume him as it had tried to earlier. But then out of both of their peripherals, the body of Zone Fighter flashed in a bright light, vanishing instantly. This drew the Titan’s attention, and what it saw stunned it; compared to the contained essence of the human before it, this new signature was running wild, emanating nearby. Craving to consume the greater force of mana, the Titan sprinted for the other source–giving Kubal ample time to rush to the steel gate.

    When it got there, it found not the body of the giant, but the body of a man–whose essence was sprawling out of his mangled corpse. Without a second thought, the carnivorous humanoid snatched the brutalized cadaver and placed the corpse between its teeth, chowing down on it. As the remnants of Hikaru Sakimori was left to fall into the monster’s gullet, the brute instinctually realized that this wasn’t the one. A failed attempt acted on pure impulse. Its soul screamed in agonizing pain, with a tear falling from its face. Whether it remembered the man it consumed or not was not something it knew, but a harrowing feeling of regret overwhelmed the Titan.

    The bustling light had faded, and hope died with it.

    “Flee?” Randy snapped, flummoxed by such a statement. “Tactical retreat on the worst of days. The Z-Man can take on anything.”

    Before Monique could break down her friend’s baseless defense, the echo of metallic feet dropping beside them forced her attention to Jet Jaguar. Ascending to an upright position in halted, single movements, the machine outstretched his hands and began to shift his fingers. Five different hand gestures repeated twice, spelling their location out in American Sign Language.

    “Japan.” Monique said aloud, drawing a simple nod from Jet Jaguar.

    “Perfect,” Randy exclaimed. “So we talk to the locals and-”

    Mechanical digits began to sign once more. Jet Jaguar gifted Monique a far larger set of letters, bringing their current situation in line with expectations.

    “No humanity.”

    “You sure,” Randy inquired, only to be shot down by another affirmative sway of the robot’s head.

    “Where are we exactly?” Monique asked.

    Digits flexed forth a response, repeating twice in rapid succession.

    “189 kilometers south of Tokyo.”

    Such a location brought a new level of difficulty to the mission. While her affection for the creature wavered from time to time, Monique could not undervalue its impressive abilities, including its unparalleled speed whether swimming or burrowing. With a week to freely traverse the planet, the creature could easily reside on the farthest reaches of any continent, and while Jet Jaguar could scan far reaches of the globe, how much was possible within their limited timespan.

    Not enough, Monique decided and shifted to a new plan of action. “If Tokyo exists, it gives us options to locate or attract the creature. Let us go, unless you both have another-”

    Jet Jaguar’s head snapped right, halting Monique’s orders. Black eyes focused on the treeline a hundred meters away and following the machine’s gaze, the French member noticed a detail she wished she’d spotted minutes prior.

    The wall of thick, thirty meter tall trees wasn’t solid in the slightest, but spotted with dozens openings below their tops. Wide tunnels were carved beneath the upper branches, gifting enough room for a convoy to drive through, or as the agent felt growing quakes rattling her body, an army to hide or maneuver under.

    Monique’s mad instinctual dash was instantaneous, as was her lunge into the back of the helicopter’s open bay. Her impact echoed against the metal, but the rough landing barely slowed her down as a quick pivot propelled her into the pilot’s chair. Fingers raced, prepping systems which roared rotors to life and just as the start commenced, the transport’s roar was drowned out by a nearing, stampeding horde.

    Jet Jaguar hadn’t retreated like her and Randy, who still was thirty feet out from the helicopter; instead, the mechanical machine had taken position halfway between the forest and its team, shifting its size to a titanic thirty meters. The robot was a gargantuan force to trespass against, yet as the treeline began to visibly shake, a pale masse flowed forth like water.

    Of all the types of monsters or animals Monique expected to burst forth, oversized humans never crossed her mind, yet by the hundreds they charged. Naked, fleshy bodies swaying side to side, uncaring if one of their horde fell or was overtaken. The machine reared back at the sight, seemingly shocked at the running wave of fifteen meter humanoids until its right hand flexed and swung forward, dropping the first wave with a devastating chop. Swinging his arm back to strike the second proved too slow as the humanoids lunged, engulfing Jet Jaguar and submerging it under a writhing pile of naked bodies.

    The horde continued to pile upon the machine and then, the following waves crashed head first over the masse, clawing forth toward the helicopter. Monique felt locked in place, unable to shift her gaze from the approaching swarm of death desiring humanity until Randy screamed, “Vamos!”

    Monique pulled the joystick hard. Rotors squealed from a lack of preparedness, yet the transport, whether ready or not pushed off the ground, listing over the beach as the swarm overtook the yellow, grassy hills.

    Sand kicked up over smiling faces, but the dozens of humanoids continued in their relentless pursuit, kicking up salt water until their bodies fell beneath the waves. Just as she felt relief beginning to form, an abnormal woman, her long black hair flowing as she ran on all fours, jettisoned off its fellow kind and sprung toward the chopper, mouth agape as if to swallow the transport hole. Shifting direction to ascend, Monique pulled back merely for the top of the creature’s head to careen into the chopper’s right side.

    Armor snapped. Forces launched the chopper into a spiral. Desperate, Monique pulled against the rotation, fighting momentum for some semblance of control. As the water neared, the agent screamed, yanking with all the strength she could muster. Racing toward collision against calm waters of the pacific, Monique’s mind thought back to her last aerial failure.

    Disarming the pilot should’ve been second nature, even with the ascent of the helicopter at the time. But an oversight let a gun slip by, a round was fired, and while she escaped unscathed, Dr. Nick Tatopoulos’s fate was set. She was the protector of H.E.A.T., that one meant to ensure everyone came home safe, and toward that goal, she had failed, leading to her team’s current predicament.

    Such an oversight could never happen again.

    Metal groaned as it bent, contorting and forcing the twirling mechanical beast to halt its uncontrolled spin as it skimmed cresting waves. Cold liquid splashed across Monique’s legs before she fought the chopper to ascend and while sluggishly, the bruised transport obliged. The helicopter ascended and pressed forward, a minor hobble the only noticeable leftover injury of the near fatal crash. A chorus of laughter from a man who more than likely thought he’d die, deafened the whirling blades, drawing Monique’s attention to the back.

    “Zombies,” Randy managed to say between his bombastic cackling. “Giant, naked Zombies. Oh, World War Z, eat your heart out. Or… brains, I guess.”

    Stumbling to the co-pilot seat, the man continued to chuckle to himself.

    “So, Jet Jaguar. He’s… He’s, ugh-”

    “Fine,” Monique interrupted and then knocked on her left arm as if it were a door. “Metal skin. Besides, he can grow or fly, no? Many avenues of escape.”

    The man’s laugh came to an end. A wide smile taking shape which Monique welcomed with one of her own.

    “Good, cause Jet Jaguar is a terrible name. The man’s due for an upgrade.” Pointing to the blue ocean, the man raised a single eyebrow. “So, ugh, where precisely are we tactically retreating too?”

    Doubt attempted to take hold over Monique merely to be brushed aside. There was no further room for worry, only action.

    “Tokyo.”

    Winner: Colossal Titan

    K.W.C. Kaiju War Chronicles

    K.W.C. // June 20, 2022
  • Author: Andrew Sudomerski | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    [Continued from Match 88]

    A new year dawned over the horizon. The brittle chill rushed to fill the void, brushing large trees aside. Snowy slabs shook loose from their resting place under the harsh winds and crashed down onto a sheet of thick ice. Native fauna ran with the wild gust down the mountainous slope and steered clear from the one who was climbing to its peak. (more…)

    K.W.C. // January 10, 2020
  • Creator: A. Sousa | Banner: A. Sousa

    Two mighty titans–the legendary Godzilla and the ferocious Biollante–duke it out in a fight for supremacy! (more…)

    K.W.C. // November 9, 2017
  • Creator: A. Sousa | Banner: A. Sousa

    In a flooded city, the MUTO seeks to expand its territory. But when another monster of the sea emerges for a challenge, the two titans put their agility and strengths to the test! (more…)

    K.W.C. // December 1, 2016
  • Creator: TheSciFiGuy | Banner: TheSciFiGuy

    The Hero of Light challenges a false impostor in the likeness of the King of the Monsters. Emerging from a nearby lake, Ultraman must put a stop to the disguised threat; but will he succeed? (more…)

    K.W.C. // June 15, 2016
  • Creator: A. Sousa | Banner: A. Sousa

    Emerging from beneath the city, Gomora threatens the populace by his mere presence! Now it is up to Kiryu to put a stop to the menace. (more…)

    K.W.C. // March 13, 2016
  • Creator: A. Sousa | Banner: A. Sousa

    Wandering the frozen plains, Godzilla finds himself under assault. When he retaliates, this provokes the Guardian of the Universe and the protector of humanity–Gamera–to step in and put a stop to this, leading to a clash of iconic giants! Then the question remains: Who will prevail? (more…)

    K.W.C. // October 31, 2015
  • Author: Christian Salabert | Banner: Christian Salabert

    The extraterrestrial terror known as SpaceGodzilla was enjoying a moment of peace, a rare behavior for the creature. He had spent the day leveling most of Tokyo to the ground and replacing its structures with his power-granting crystals. Now he was at the base of Mt. Fuji, recharging his energies from the numerous crystals he had grown there. He was almost back to full power and soon would unleash his fury upon another of mankind’s cities.

    Just then a strange noise struck his ears. SpaceGodzilla’s head arched skyward to pinpoint the source of the noise. At first he saw nothing, but after another moment of searching he spotted what appeared to be a shiny insect flying towards him. The mutant clone of Godzilla watched curiously as the insect approached and landed almost directly in front of him. It appeared to be a human of some kind. SpaceGodzilla eyed it suspiciously. He didn’t know the humans could fly.

    Suddenly, the human began making a strange ringing sound and waving its arms wildly. Before the space demon could even react, a blinding light engulfed the human, and…

    SpaceGodzilla was now face to face with Jet Jaguar.

    Despite the frozen grin on his face, Jet Jaguar was glaring daggers at the creature before him. He had been too late to stop SpaceGodzilla from demolishing Tokyo. He was not going to allow such destruction to happen again. He was going to stop the monster right here, right now.

    SpaceGodzilla reared back in surprise at the sudden arrival of this new being. His mind was spinning – how had this human grown to such enormous size, and so quickly, too? SpaceGodzilla decided it didn’t matter, as he would take it upon himself to erase this being from existence. Summoning green energy from his crystals into the ones atop his shoulders, SpaceGodzilla belched forth a blast of his deadly Corona bolt. The jagged blast strafed the ground on which Jet Jaguar stood, sending bursts of sparks and smoke into the air around him. The second blast hit home, striking Jet Jaguar in the chest and sending him flying.

    Jet Jaguar was able to roll with the impact and quickly get back to his feet. That single blast had nearly burst through his armored plating. He’d have to be more careful.

    SpaceGodzilla roared at his opponent, trying to get him to strike back. When Jet Jaguar didn’t budge, the alien entity decided to prompt him with another Corona blast. Jet Jaguar side-flipped out of the way, avoiding the attack. When he returned to his feet there was already another bolt heading towards him. This time he raised his hands into the sky and took to the air, the beam just barely missing him. SpaceGodzilla watched his opponent soar through the sky but had no chance to react before Jet Jaguar snapped out of his flying mode and lashed out with his right leg. The android’s foot connected with SpaceGodzilla’s face and sent the space beast staggering back.

    Jet Jaguar tried to press his advantage, but SpaceGodzilla would not allow it. He unleashed green energy bolts from his shoulder crystals, the dreaded Gravity Tornado, at the robot’s feet. Just as the machine reached his foe, his legs were ensnared by the Gravity Tornado. SpaceGodzilla telekinetically yanked upwards, pulling Jet Jaguar’s feet out from under him and causing him to crash onto his back. SpaceGodzilla glared down at his foe, letting out an unearthly shriek as he did so. Jet Jaguar glanced up at the monster’s face, then lashed out with a powerful kick to the creature’s kneecap. SpaceGodzilla faltered momentarily, allowing Jet Jaguar to get to his feet. But with a mighty heave, SpaceGodzilla swung his enormous tail around, striking Jet Jaguar directly in the chest. The cluster of crystalline spikes at the end of SpaceGodzilla’s tail easily punctured Jet Jaguar’s armor, sending the machine flying onto his back in a shower of sparks.

    Weakly, Jet Jaguar rose to his feet. He had gravely misjudged the situation. SpaceGodzilla was too powerful and his already-high power level was even higher due to all the crystals he had risen. Jet Jaguar decided to retreat and plan a better offensive. Raising his arms, the gigantic warrior once again took to the sky.

    But SpaceGodzilla was not a merciful opponent.

    Reaching out once again with the mighty Gravity Tornado, SpaceGodzilla telekinetically seized the robot. Ensnared by the emerald bolts, Jet Jaguar was helpless as SpaceGodzilla thrust him downward, back to the soil. With a colossal crash, Jet Jaguar slammed into the earth, sending a mushroom cloud of dust into the air.

    SpaceGodzilla shrieked as the impact shook the surrounding area. Finally, the dust began to clear.

    Out of sheer luck, one of the beast’s crystals had found the wound in Jet Jaguar’s chest. The crystal was now all the way through the machine and jutting out of his back. Sparks sprayed from the entrance and exit points, and except for the twitching movement of his head, the mighty robot was lifeless.

    SpaceGodzilla reared his head back and cried his victory into the heavens. After a moment, a blinding light enveloped him as he transformed into his crystalline flying mode. He was recharged enough. It was time to resume the destruction of mankind…

    Winner: SpaceGodzilla

    K.W.C. // November 19, 2007
  • Author: Christian Salabert | Banner: Christian Salabert

    Tokyo was in flames as Prism Bolts shredded block after block. The evil Battra had returned to punish mankind for its near destruction of the planet, and this time he would allow no force to stand in his way. The Black Mothra, currently in larval form, was met with the best military forces the puny humans could muster, but they were all mowed down by the insect’s might. Soon the city would be completely destroyed and then Battra would move on to the next, then the next, then the next, until the entire civilization of man was nothing but flaming debris.

    As Battra neared the heart of Tokyo, a mighty roar suddenly echoed across the city. Upon turning around to see the cause of the noise, Battra was faced with a humanoid, lion-like creature. King Caesar had come to save Japan from the demonic insect, fully aware of the beast’s intention. With a furious cry, Caesar charged his foe. Battra growled in annoyance; how dare this foolish creature try to stop him? In a flash of light, purple Prism Bolts blasted from Battra’s eyes. Without even stopping his charge, Caesar leapt into the air, above the blasts, spun around and delivered a powerful kick to the side of Battra’s head. Cackling in pain and surprise, Battra toppled to the side, crashing through a row of buildings as he went.

    King Caesar was not about to let up his advantage and pounced upon his fallen foe. He immediately began pounding Battra with his mighty claws, drawing sparks with each strike. No matter how hard Battra struggled, he couldn’t dislodge Caesar. Finally, he lashed out with his tail, striking Caesar in his legs and knocking him off balance. Battra thrust his lower legs out, pushing Caesar backwards and sending him landing on his rear. With a mighty effort, Battra righted himself and fired his Prism Bolts at Caesar, sure to hit their target. However, the bolts were drawn into Caesar’s left eye and within nanoseconds, they fired out of his right, blasting Battra in the chest. Angrily, and certain that Caesar couldn’t repeat the technique, Battra fired his bolts once again, and once again Caesar reflected them, hitting the armored insect in the face and side. Battra roared furiously and advanced on Caesar, who was already back on his feet.

    Just as Battra was on him, King Caesar reached out and grabbed the insect’s tusks. He began to grapple with Battra, nearly forcing him back onto his side. But with a sudden thrust of his head, Battra sent Caesar toppling to the ground, crashing into a building and covering him in debris. Caesar quickly rose from the wreckage and leapt at Battra, colliding with the mighty insect and sending them both to the ground. Caesar began pounding on Battra once more, sending his fists into the chitinous face again and again. Battra cackled angrily. Once again he was forced to the ground by his feline foe and his main weapons were useless against him.

    King Caesar stopped his hail of punches. His fists were beginning to tire from striking his opponent’s armored hide. He looked for something to use as a weapon. Unfortunately, this gave Battra an opportunity to get back to his feet. The Black Mothra opened fire with his Prism Bolts once again, but this time they were aimed at Caesar’s feet. The blasts sent a cloud of dust and debris into Caesar’s face, making it impossible for the Okinawan deity to see until it was too late. Battra had charged and tackled Caesar with his horn. With a mighty heave, Battra lifted Caesar and sent him flying over his head. With a mighty crash, Caesar landed through a nearby skyscraper.

    Battra waddled over to investigate his opponent’s prone form. He was unmoving at the moment, but he decided to make sure he was finished by obliterating Caesar’s body with his Prism Bolts. Just as the purple blasts were fired, Caesar’s eyes snapped open and reflected the bolts, again striking Battra’s face. Battra shook in agony as the bolts strafed his face while Caesar leapt to his feet and into the air. Just as Battra turned to attack, Caesar’s foot connected with his face. This time a loud crack was heard, and yellow blood began to drip from Battra’s mandibles. King Caesar roared at Battra, folding his canine ears into attack position. He prepared to attack again.

    This foe was proving stronger than Battra had initially thought. He wanted to destroy humanity, not battle another kaiju. He decided to retreat and attack another city, one where this furry beast could not reach him. He fired a crimson Prism Bolt from his horn at the ground, sending another cloud of dust into King Caesar’s vision. Another horn bolt managed to strike Caesar in the chest, sending the guardian beast crashing to the ground.

    When King Caesar got back to his feet and the dust cleared, the only sign of Battra he saw was a large hole in the ground. Satisfied with his victory, Caesar reared his head back and roared triumphantly, letting his ears drop. The mighty protector turned from Tokyo and began his trek back to Okinawa.

    Winner: King Caesar

    K.W.C. // October 10, 2007
  • Author: Christian Salabert | Banner: Christian Salabert

    Red King marched through the rock-covered mountains of his island home, searching for a challenge. It had been ages since he last fought another kaiju and now he craved the thrill of battle again. He had heard strange sounds emanating from the other side of the island earlier in the day and finally decided to investigate. He hoped whatever creature had made the sounds was tough. The last monster he fought was rather pathetic and died merely because he had ripped both its arms off. Oh, well.

    Finally, Red King reached the end of his quest. He spotted the beast he was looking for. It stood on four legs and was covered by some type of shell. It wasn’t another upright creature, like himself, but it would do.

    He decided the best way to get the battle underway was to bend over and pick up a large boulder. Lifting it as high as he could, he proceeded to toss it at the other beast. The rock hit the quadruped directly in the middle of its shell and shattered.

    Anguirus turned around instantly to see what just struck him. He was greeted by the sight of Red King waving his arms at him in a taunting manner, screeching a challenge. Anguirus simply eyed the strange-looking beast for a moment, deciding if he really wanted to fight such a creature. Red King decided to make his mind up for him and kicked another boulder. The rock flew through the air and bounced off Anguirus’ snout.

    Anguirus howled in anger and went on the attack.

    Red King cackled in evil glee as he saw that the beast was accepting his challenge. Flexing his arms, Red King rushed into battle, ready to annihilate his spiked foe. Just as they were within reach, Anguirus reared up onto his hind legs, lunged forward and clamped his jaws down onto Red King’s left forearm. The reptilian beast howled as Anguirus sank his fangs deeper into his arm, eventually drawing blood. Red King slammed his fist into the side of Anguirus’ head in a desperate attempt to free his limb. Finally the assaults paid off and Anguirus released his toothy grip.

    Swinging around, Red King struck his spiny foe with his tail. Anguirus staggered but did not fall. He once again lunged for Red King, only to receive a kick to the jaw. The blow was enough to send Anguirus toppling onto his back. Before he could right himself, Red King pounced, landing on the quadruped’s underbelly. Red King began wailing on Anguirus’ gut with his powerful fists, drawing a bark of pain with each blow. The two titans’ tails entangled with each other as Anguirus struggled to dislodge Red King to no avail. An attempt to claw his opponent’s face only succeeded in getting his hand bitten. Anguirus cried out as Red King’s teeth pierced his flesh, spilling blood.

    It was this attack to his flesh that gave Anguirus renewed strength. With a mighty buck, he sent Red King flying from him and immediately returned to his feet. A furious Red King squealed in anger and charged, only to have Anguirus rake his spiked tail across his face. Roaring angrily, Red King pulled the top off a mountain and tossed it at Anguirus, the chunk of earth exploding upon the beast’s spikey shell. Anguirus howled what seemed to be a taunt, prompting Red King to pick up and chuck yet another boulder at his foe. In a flash, Anguirus was upon his hind leg. He batted the boulder away with his forearms, bouncing it off Red King’s face.

    Enraged, Red King began waving his arms around wildly, hoping to intimidate his foe. But this ploy was for naught, as Anguirus quickly turned around and launched himself backwards at the bumpy-skinned kaiju. Red King had no chance to react before Anguirus crashed into him shell-first. Red King cried out as he felt the spikes assault his tan flesh. Anguirus returned to his four-legged stance and yeowled at Red King to back down, but the beast roared his defiance. The result was another bodyslam from Anguirus’ backside. Even more wounds were inflicted, even more blood was drawn.

    Anguirus backed away as a wounded Red King shrieked in pain. His torso was bleeding and his left arm hung limply. Once again, Anguirus demanded Red King’s surrender. This time, however, it was given. As Anguirus reared his head back and howled victoriously into the sky, a limping Red King slinked away and disappeared into the jungle.

    Winner: Anguirus (Showa)

    K.W.C. // October 10, 2007
  • Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Landon Soto

    Tokyo was silent.

    Black skies clung to the heavens, skyscrapers stood without power, vehicles clogged up the vacant streets, smoldering neighborhoods burned unspoiled. Behold, the largest city on Earth, once teeming with a population of 8 million, now nothing more than a ghost town. Throughout the years, Tokyo had endured the most disasters ever recorded in history. Had it at last faced a disaster it could not bear? Most of its people believed so, which is why they evacuated weeks prior, and with good reason.

    Four giants ran amok.

    Sleeping on the ground, its claws curled around the Japanese Diet, rested the monster Orga. At first glance, it resembled a gorilla, but its grayish flesh and alien origin dispelled any relations to the primate. It had bulking shoulders and a useless thin tail, one shoulder which housed a massive hole. Its wedge shaped head bore a mouth filled with sharp teeth. Orga’s hideous features mirrored the tragedy of its past; it was destined to become the perfect organism, but instead became an abomination.

    Dagahra, the four-legged winged dragon, plowed through the murky waters of Tokyo Bay. Its emerald hide helped it blend in with its underwater surroundings. Layers of yellow flesh interlaced its underbelly and throat. Atop the dragon’s head, three horns poked out. Hidden black sacs nestled in its shoulders, while its long tail swished the waves. It had not yet come ashore, but if it did, it knew it’d clash with the other monsters. Sooner or later, Dagahra knew it’d come down to that. Until then, it’d conserve its strength by feeding off the Bay’s pollution.

    Aquariums harbored schools of skeletons. No aquatic creatures lurked beyond the glass walls. Not a single soul witnessed the travesty that befell these poor animals. If any had, then they too would’ve died. Gleaming yellow eyes floated within the dark waters, listening to the monstrous wails beyond the walls. To Destoroyah, the sounds were a challenge, one it’d answer.

    Dozens of crystal spires erupted from the ground, gleaming with cosmic lust. Not long ago, Tokyo Tower received a makeover, and now acted as an energy conduit for the cosmic saurian, SpaceGodzilla. Dark blue flesh weaved most of his body, but the frontal arc of his chest was blood red. His shoulder crystals pulsated, casting its light over the eerie environment. An arrow shaped horn sparkled on top of his forehead, and at the tip of his tail resided several crystallized spikes. His red eyes glared with malice. Hovering above its crystal fortress, the cosmic tyrant shrieked once more. He had long grown tired of the other monsters lumbering beyond his crystal borders. Should his challenge go unanswered, then he would seek them out.

    Buildings shuddered

    Piercing eyes turned to the source and spotted Orga charging at him, running on all fours like a gorilla. Tokyo Tower crackled, instilling cosmic power into his shoulder crystals. He opened his mouth, unleashing the Corona Beam, twisting in midair as if it had a mind of its own. Orga stopped, taken aback by SpaceGodzilla’s primary weapon. The scarlet beam encircled the alien mutant before striking its neck and detonating, the abominable creature howling in pain as burnt flesh dangled from its ruptured throat. Seconds later, mounds of healthy flesh bulged out of the wound, replacing it. SpaceGodzilla stared at his foe, surprised. This disgusting creature could heal its wounds in seconds! But what else could it do?

    Orga charged. The crystalline warlord levitated higher, bending gravity to his will. Beneath him, the gargantuan brute leapt upward, trying in vain in swiping the air with its claws. SpaceGodzilla mocked his foe with an ear-piercing laugh. Not even the strong legs of the misshapen fiend could help it jump high enough to attack its opponent! His narrow jaws parted, spewing his signature weapon once more. At first, it was but a single projectile, then it branched off into many. Several Corona Beams ravaged the thick hide, the alien’s painful cries drowned out by SpaceGodzilla’s howls of pleasure. But his happiness faded when the extraterrestrial repaired the damage in seconds.

    To prevent further abuse, the deformed beast jumped back. It appeared to be smarter than it looked, much to the space beast’s dismay. But his disappointment subsided when it saw Orga kneeling forward, bowing its head! Descending to the ground, the cosmic saurian accepted the surrender with his screeching wail. Indeed, it was pain that brought obedience to this wretched beast. Throughout history, kings and warlords alike understood one simple concept: fear aspired control, and pain was its instrument. Tonight, that instrument was used well.

    Unbeknownst to SpaceGodzilla, the large hole in Orga’s left shoulder was not a deformity. As orange-yellowish light gathered inside, the space-fairing conqueror soon learned its true purpose. A streak of concussive light shot out of the shoulder cannon and slammed into his chest, the kinetic force alone sent the cosmic tyrant reeling back, crushing several of his crystal spires beneath his bulk. Before the stunned cosmic saurian could regain its composure, the alien abomination pounced on top of him, battering SpaceGodzilla wildly. The reptile’s clubbed tail flailed in the air, reflecting his situation. Orga buried its teeth into dark blue flesh, assimilating the saurian’s DNA. He watched in horror as a single shimmering crystal poked out of the beast’s shoulder. Before long, the single shoulder crystal started summoning cosmic energies from Tokyo Tower.

    SpaceGodzilla bellowed in rage.

    His body radiated a reddish aura. Crimson bolts flared out of his flesh, mincing the oblong maw. Orga gurgled a vicious snarl as SpaceGodzilla unleashed a shockwave of blistering heat, the concussive force and sweltering temperatures blowing the monstrosity away. Smoke sizzled off flayed flesh, clouding the air around it. SpaceGodzilla levitated to his feet, drawing more power from Tokyo Tower.

    There would be no mercy for Orga. SpaceGodzilla would kill it. Tomorrow, when the Sun rose, there would be nothing but a smoldering, mutilated corpse.

    Orga rose to its feet, its charred skin not yet healed. It spotted SpaceGodzilla hovering toward it. No matter the injuries, Orga knew it was stronger. With graceful elegance, the crystalline clone of the king of the monsters floated closer, convinced of its impending victory. Orga’s shoulder crystal sparkled. The spatial overlord stopped, recognizing the situation. The mutant readied its primary weapon, using its newly constructed shoulder crystal to supply it extra juice. The cosmic tyrant descended to the ground, reserving his strength. Yellow-reddish hued energy stormed out of the shoulder cannon, twisting in midair, proving to be as malleable as SpaceGodzilla’s Corona Beam!

    SpaceGodzilla growled, cursing Orga’s existence.

    Before the beam could crash into SpaceGodzilla, a barrier of light impeded its advance. Behind the shield, arcane eyes focused on Orga. The alien imitation returned the gesture, knowing it could do nothing more. Tokyo Tower flashed, implanting cosmic energy into its master. Orga snarled in defiance, not fearing the cosmic saurian in the least. The energy-enforced shield faded, making way for an offensive strike. But a Corona Beam was never fired. Instead, lavender hued energies stabbed the darkness, cutting a gaping hole into the alien’s backside. Horrific, painful cries escaped Orga’s mouth, as the tyrant watched the gray behemoth fall to its side, its injury obscured by steam.

    SpaceGodzilla searched for Orga’s attacker, wary but intrigued by its identity.

    A leviathan crashed its feet into the ground. Its exoskeleton was dark red and blended in with the backdrop. At the tip of its tail, a pair of horns branched out. Claws sharp enough to render titanium wiggled in excitement. Batlike wings flapped, billowing strong winds. Its chest was guarded by a thick yellow carapace. SpaceGodzilla marveled at the fearsome giant before it. But not even its terrifying size could compare to its demented head. Its skull had a demonic shape, designed to instill fear. Rows of needle-like teeth harbored its mouth. Six spikes jutted out of its cheeks. An elongated horn stood out of the forehead.

    Destoroyah’s crimson eyes found SpaceGodzilla’s own. Diplomacy was not an option. Neither titan understood the pretense of peace. All they knew was power and death. Nothing else mattered.

    Destructive energies sprayed out of the demon’s serrated maw. SpaceGodzilla felt its sweltering essence slice into his flesh, screaming as his painful cries reverberated off skyscrapers miles away. Never before had the cosmic saurian felt such pain! This unholy creature would pay for its transgressions. Jagged scarlet beams lashed out, harpooning Destoroyah’s hide, shredding it. The devil-beast hollered in protest, ignoring the pain. The crystalline monstrosity gaped at the green blood oozing out of his foe’s splintered flesh.

    It could bleed. That meant it could die!

    SpaceGodzilla fired a barrage of Corona Beams, with the vile spawn of the Oxygen Destroyer feeling the cosmic energies flay its hide, its putrid blood spurting onto the landscape. Destoroyah howled, flapping its wings, and launched itself at SpaceGodzilla. His genetics were derived from Godzilla, the most savage creature to ever stalk the Earth. Even then, he could not retain his balance after the hulking crustacean tackled him to the ground. For the moment, the devil-beast loomed over the cosmic saurian, yet didn’t attack.

    It was an insult. One SpaceGodzilla did not take kindly.

    Having already dealt with Orga, the cosmic tyrant sought to rid himself of Destoroyah in the same manner. Before he could discharge his burning energies, an eerie orange glow embroiled Destoroyah’s horn. An energetic dagger shot out, rendering his deep-red sternum. He felt his flesh burn, organs dissolve, and crystal bones melt. As a side effect, milky white substances developed to thwart his regeneration. Amplified Corona Beams departed from SpaceGodzilla’s stricken maw, disemboweling Destoroyah’s skull.

    Green blood sprayed out, smearing the conqueror. Destoroyah stood erect, most of its face disintegrated. SpaceGodzilla levitated to his feet. Never before had he seen such a sadistic beast. Tokyo Tower fed its master more cosmic energy. Corona Beams pelted the mutant crustacean, mincing its carapace. Once more, greenish blood spewed into the air.

    Destoroyah ignored the pain and retaliated.

    Dagahra flew above the wrecked city, masked in darkness. After consuming a large amount of pollution, the sea dragon was at last eager to fight. His eyes befell two dueling giants. Miles above Tokyo Tower, dark clouds parted. The cosmos shined down its essence, empowering the warped structure. Dagahra deduced its purpose, knowing it acted as an energy source. The sea dragon proceeded to focus on the brawling monsters. It watched as the winged kaiju hooked its tail to the other’s neck. To showcase its strength, it yanked the crystal beast off its feet. Suddenly, its tail flashed.

    Destoroyah roared. Though its eyes were useless, it could still sense its menacing opponent. And now, it had SpaceGodzilla where it wanted him. Its tail flashed, as Micro-Oxygen corroded the scaly blue neck to siphon his energy. In desperation, telekinetic prowess ripped the crystal spires out of the ground and launched them at Destoroyah. Sharp crystals struck the demon’s thick carapace, shattering on impact. Confused by the futile crystal bombardment, Destoroyah unraveled its tail. No longer helpless, SpaceGodzilla levitated to his feet, carving Corona Beams into crimson bulk. Unable to take any more punishment, Destoroyah slumped to the ground.

    Moving to strike his downed opponent, SpaceGodzilla replenished his energy. Before the cosmic saurian could unleash his onslaught, a white cloud shot out of Destoroyah’s pores, and enveloped its damaged shape. SpaceGodzilla growled, recognizing its retreating strategy. He fired a Corona Beam into the cloud, striking nothing. SpaceGodzilla surveyed the landscape, acknowledging its destruction with mild interest. His wounds, however horrible, paled in comparison to the damages done to Tokyo. The horn atop his head sparkled, heralding the growth of more crystals. But neither the crystals nor Tokyo Tower could relay cosmic energy to him.

    It had been diverted to empower Orga.

    Jagged beams twirled and tore into Orga. The gray behemoth charged the cosmic saurian, ignoring the damages the Corona Beams dealt. Using its momentum, the Millennian deformity bashed the conqueror in the face with its large claw. SpaceGodzilla crashed into the ground, rendered unconscious. Orga loomed over its fallen adversary, studying its motionless figure. It bore its gluttonous teeth, eager to bury it deep into SpaceGodzilla’s flesh and unlock the secrets of his DNA. Suddenly, a fearsome beast dove from the dark sky, blasting Orga with its oral beam. Taken aback by the unexpected attack, the brute struggled to locate its new attacker. Dagahra aimed for the eyes, blinding the extraterrestrial menace.

    The emerald beast flew hundreds of feet above the abandoned streets, using the skyscrapers as cover. But the alien never returned fire, smoke sizzling out of its charred eyes. Dagahra peaked around the corner of an office building, cautious. Orga stood next to the fallen SpaceGodzilla, waiting for its eyes to heal. Dagahra prepared to strike, until the ground beneath him rumbled. Several Destoroyah Aggregates, crablike creatures smaller than the monstrous leviathan, burst out of the streets of Tokyo.

    The artificial titan spotted them crawling up the gray behemoth, spraying destructive energies out of their mandibles. The hulking brute thrashed around, trying to throw them off. But their sharp legs and claws helped keep them anchored to rough flesh. Dagahra opened his mouth, preparing to fire his primary weapon. Two Aggregates jumped onto him, pinning him to the street. As their sharp appendages injected Micro-Oxygen into his veins, Dagahra groaned. It wouldn’t be long before the sea dragon’s energy was no more.

    Orga clasped its claw around an Aggregate’s skull and squeezed. Other Aggregates fired their fiery projectiles, scalding Orga’s hide. Yet the ravenous alien was not deterred, crushing the Aggregate’s skull. It proceeded to annihilate the others with its shoulder cannon, charred remnants of the Destoroyah Aggregates lay scattered around the battlefield. Though burnt beyond recognition, Destoroyah was not dead. It’d require more Micro-Oxygen to return to its full stature. Meanwhile, Orga was busy sinking its teeth into the motionless SpaceGodzilla.

    Dagahra clamped his jaws around a Destoroyah Aggregate’s leg. He yanked it off of his back and blew it to shreds with his oral beam. Pillars of fire and reddish particles blinded the sea dragon. The other Destoroyah Aggregate bonded with the shimmering cloud and transformed into a winged monstrosity. Unlike its previous forms, Destoroyah’s body was slender. It resembled its final state, yet was a smaller and quicker creature. Dagahra watched it fly above the city, blasting buildings to cinders.

    The airborne demon spotted Orga standing over SpaceGodzilla, leeching off its life force. Destoroyah witnessed a second shoulder crystal sprout out of Orga’s skin. It moved to strike, but Dagahra flew at it, and knocked it out of the sky. Destoroyah slammed into the earth so hard it formed an impact crater, with Dagahra proceeding to bombard the prone devil with its oral beam.

    As the sea dragon circled around the impact crater like a bird of prey, Orga siphoned the cosmic energies out of SpaceGodzilla’s crystal spires. Dagahra prepared to unleash another volley, until Orga’s shoulder cannon blasted him out of the sky. He landed next to Destoroyah, taken aback by the sudden attack. But the sea dragon was even more surprised when Orga’s falling mass came crashing down on top of him. Whether out of mercy or sheer luck, Dagahra wasn’t awake to feel the bone shattering blows.

    Tokyo Tower summoned energy from the cosmos. It relayed its energy to its fallen master. Tokyo Tower’s crackling form glinted off SpaceGodzilla’s opening eyes. Shoulder crystals flashed cosmic radiance.

    Pain flooded the mind of the sea dragon as he regained consciousness. Orga bent down, closing his jaws around Dagahra’s neck. Earlier, the alien succeeded in uncovering the secrets of SpaceGodzilla; and now, it would add Dagahra’s DNA to its own. Orga felt a tingling sensation befall its backside. Crystallized wings sprouted out of its back, a second hole morphing on Orga’s right shoulder, harboring an unseen menace. Dagahra couldn’t believe it; the vile foe was mixing its stolen genes with SpaceGodzilla’s!

    In desperation, the ocean demon opened its shoulder sacs and fired a payload of Barem. Designed to immobilize any living creature, Dagahra made sure to cover Orga head-to-toe. The brute felt the Barem secrete acid hot enough to burn the outer layer of his skin, and was also depleting the alien’s energy supply. In retaliation, Orga’s right shoulder fired its own Barem! The black and purple oral beam shot past the enemy Barem, grazing the behemoth’s abdomen. It wasn’t enough; Orga fired a shoulder cannon and Barem combo, successfully neutralizing the sea dragon.

    Orga turned, focusing on Destoroyah. Though it was the spawn of a glorious alien empire, Orga never inherited the intelligence of its predecessors. But even its primitive mind could understand the necessity of tapping into the power of Destoroyah. It approached the fallen crustacean, intent on harvesting its power. Waves of energy emanated out of Destoroyah’s still form, disemboweling the land around it.

    Cascades of fire heralded the malevolent shape of Destoroyah’s final state, replenished once more. Orga stopped, casting a worried glance at the resurrected destroyer. Destoroyah glowered at the frightened creature, challenging it to make the first move. Orga faced its fears by lashing out, impaling its claws and teeth deep into the body of the Precambrian horror, absorbing its life essence.

    Destoroyah’s laughter mocked the fiend’s efforts. The mutant alien felt its skin dissolve off its bones, and before long, the brutish creature writhed on the ground, consumed by agony. Demonic snickering relished in the suffering. Energy beams blindsided the cackling beast, torching its scarlet hide. Piercing yellow eyes spotted Dagahra standing on all fours, unaffected by Orga’s Barem; it appeared the sea dragon was immune. Nevertheless, it just picked a fight with a beast unlike any other. Destoroyah charged the diminutive creature, wishing to crush the life out of it. Dagahra proved faster by flapping its wings and soaring out of the impact crater. Destoroyah followed in hot pursuit, no longer interested in Orga.

    But another creature was.

    A dark shadow loomed above the ravaged alien. Orga’s weak eyes ascended upwards to gape at the levitating warlord. Piercing red eyes glared at the false shoulder crystals, disgusted. In a flash, Orga’s cosmic energy departed its shoulder crystals, empowering SpaceGodzilla. The once hulking brute fell to its knees, a shadow of its former self. Had it known Destoroyah’s essence was the very blight of life, it would’ve never tried to absorb it. Soon, a skeleton would be all that remained. SpaceGodzilla swung his tail, shattering the imposter shoulder crystals. Orga would die, but it would be by his hand.

    Flying above Tokyo Bay, its demented shadow glided across the murky surface, Destoroyah closed in on its quarry. Destructive energies blazed out of its jaws, grazing Dagahra’s speeding figure. The aquatic dragon felt his skin sizzle and burn, yet he did not stop. If he did, he knew he’d fall prey to Destoroyah’s wrath. But he could try a different approach.

    Dagahra reduced its speed, allowing Destoroyah to catch up. The horn flashed as it forged a hot blade of energy. The winged beast avoided the energy katana, but just barely. He positioned himself underneath Destoroyah and attacked, bolts of energy rippling out of Dagahra’s spines, pelting the underbelly of the demon. Dagahra roared in despair, for his projectiles could not breach the thick carapace. Before the sea dragon could despair further, the red devil dropped down onto the back of the giant.

    Dagahra struggled to support the enormous bulk that pressed against him. Destoroyah, however, had other plans. Once again, the horn gave life to an energy blade. It swiped down, slicing deep into the bulbous shoulder. Dagahra cried out, his painful roars could be heard for miles, but Destoroyah wasn’t finished. It sliced the other shoulder off, blood spraying out of the lost limb. The loss of blood and Destoroyah’s weight brought Dagahra down.

    Both crashed into the frigid waters. Relieved to be in his habitat once more, Dagahra swam circles around Destoroyah, blasting it with his oral beam and Barem. However, Destoroyah did not return fire. Dagahra watched the vile creature float. The sea dragon roared, its ferocity rivaled by none. It plowed through the dark waves, heading straight for the vulnerable target. To Dagahra’s surprise, Destoroyah’s body dissolved, its insidious shape lost in the ocean depths. He stopped, believing it had won… Until it felt its insides squirm. Billions of microscopic organisms flooded the dragon’s veins, liquefying his atoms and dissolving it.

    Dagahra’s skeleton sank to the bottom of the sea.

    On land, skyscrapers served as Orga’s witness. The dying alien crawled toward the Bay, no longer wishing to fight. SpaceGodzilla landed in front of him. Corona Beams scourged the alien’s frail body, dismembering its bones. In a valiant last stand, Orga struggled to rise, only to fall after its ankles splintered beneath the massive weight.

    It was born an abomination, a disgrace to its great empire. Today, it would prove its worth by not giving up. SpaceGodzilla rewarded its foolish bravery by impaling its chest with his tail, which served as a bridge for his cosmic energies to cross. Alien innards were vaporized by electricity, as the clubbed tail lifted Orga’s fried corpse and chucked it aside. SpaceGodzilla raised his head to the heavens, roaring in triumph.

    A dark mass rose out of Tokyo Bay. It stomped its way to the heart of Tokyo. There it met SpaceGodzilla once more. There were no roars of intimidation. There was only carnage. Destoroyah spewed destructive energies out of its maw, only for a barrier of light to appear in front of SpaceGodzilla, deflecting the projectile. Seethed with hatred, the gargantuan demon charged the cosmic saurian. It would maul SpaceGodzilla the old fashion way.

    SpaceGodzilla fired his Corona Beams, bombarding the nefarious monster. Destoroyah felt its green blood spurt out of its grisly wounds, yet it did not delay its stride. An emerald glow embroiled his shoulder crystals, green bolts entangling the flying devil. SpaceGodzilla elevated Destoroyah into the sky before dropping it into a cloister of buildings. Amidst the thick smoke, the rotuned tyrant emerged, flapping its wings and propelling it through the air. He could not stop the juggernaut from crashing into him. A helpless SpaceGodzilla watched the horn disappear in a blade of light.

    He remembered it all too well.

    Destoroyah bent down, hacking off one of his shoulder crystals. And like that, half of his energy was gone. SpaceGodzilla cried out, blasting the vile brute in the face. Destoroyah empowered his horn once more, aiming for the last shoulder crystal. In desperation, SpaceGodzilla discharged a reddish aura, flaying the fiend’s putrid hide. It was enough to break free as the space-fairing tyrant flew high above Tokyo Tower, summoning all of the energy he could. Livid eyes glowered at the cosmic titan. What power the warlord conjured mattered little to the demon, for it would meet death this night. He transformed his backside into a spiky, crystal shell, and in a true display of power, he fired three glowing spheres of light.

    All three spheres struck Destoroyah, engulfing the titanic beast in a blinding explosion. Crystals burst out of the crustacean’s exoskeleton, sapping it of its strength. The demon hissed in irritation, for it could no longer move. Most of its body had been vaporized. SpaceGodzilla landed close by, knowing the battle had been won. Through its crystal prison, Destoroyah scowled at its opponent. It may have lost the battle, but its escape was inevitable. Indeed, there would come a time when Destoroyah broke free of its shackles.

    Until then, the fruits of victory belonged to SpaceGodzilla.

    Winner: SpaceGodzilla

    K.W.C. // October 3, 2007
  • Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Christian Salabert

    A giant rested at the bottom of the sea, its eyes gaped blindly into the black abyss. Billions of creatures considered the ocean their home, but the giant saw it more as a prison. If it could muster the strength to leave, it would’ve done so ages ago. But its last battle left it badly wounded. It recalled those final moments of freedom as if it happened yesterday.

    Many years ago, before becoming whole, it lived three separate lives. But exposure to a nuclear blast caused three organisms to fuse, creating the largest creature on Earth. Golden scales weaved its monstrous shape. Its snakelike necks supported three draconic heads, and atop each head was a crown of horns. Its large wings acted as solar panels, sapping up sunlight to increase its power.

    During the day, it was beautiful; at night, it was frightening. But it never had the opportunity to enjoy both settings, for its masters ordered it to hide for many years. When its masters summoned them at last, King Ghidorah wasn’t free, for it was still a slave. While it delighted in wiping out cities and taking many human lives, it never had the chance to enjoy long enough.

    Then it received new instructions to attack another giant like itself.

    On an open battlefield, King Ghidorah located and fought Godzilla. It was winning, until its masters lost control. At long last, Ghidorah was free! In its short yet precious moments of freedom, the monolithic hydra strangled the so-called King of the Monsters. But the atomic saurian broke free and unleashed its fury. Its radioactive breath lanced into the serpent’s middle neck, decapitating it. Unimaginable levels of pain flooded the beast’s joint consciousness, one third of its mind fading, lost in oblivion. Desperately, it tried retreating; it flew over the seemingly endless blue sea. When Godzilla fired its radioactive breath once more, it punched a hole through the left wing, searing his abdomen.

    No longer able to fly, King Ghidorah plummeted into the sea and remained there for centuries.

    The faint rhythm of its heartbeat stirred the dragon from its slumber. Blackness greeted its four eyes yet again. Schools of fish cloistered around its segmented middle neck, nibbling at its ripped flesh. Scores of other marine life nestled in its torn surface, living off the nutrients the golden skin provided. At times, it could hear whales calling out to one another with their songs. Ghidorah had long believed if they ever ventured too close, it’d lash out, and satiate its hunger. But it couldn’t even break free of the seaweed that tethered it to the oceanic floor. What hope did it have to ensnare an unsuspecting animal? All it could do was dream once more.

    Its heart thumped wildly, pumping blood through its decrepit veins. Taken aback by the sudden surge of energy, muscles and bone alike were torn asunder. Cells quickly regenerated the damaged tissue, strengthening what was once old and brittle. It took several hours, but at long last, Ghidorah moved. Fish and other sea creatures scattered as the monstrous dragon stood upright. Golden hued bolts flared out of the wrathful dragon’s many mouths, destroying the undersea environment it had come to hate. Afterward, it ceased its assault and ascended to the surface world above.

    King Ghidorah burst out of the churning waters, rising high into the air. Beyond the azure lit sky hovered the Sun. Its radiance glinted off King Ghidorah’s golden scales, enveloping the dragon in a shimmering aura. Batlike wings absorbed the solar energy, diverting it to its central neck. What happened next startled even the heavens; the torn slits of the middle neck writhed, birthing a central head. Layers of skin and bone pushed it higher into the air until it met the equal gaze of the other heads. With its middle head restored, King Ghidorah cackled its defiance to the world. On golden wings, the resurrected tyrant soared across the sky, casting its demented shadow on the clouds beneath it, searching for something to kill.

    In the distance, an island came into view. Waves washed up over its sandy beaches. Tropical forests covered its central portions. Dozens of rivers flowed freely, concealing numerous aquatic lives. Where sunlight was scarce, putrid swamps lingered. An active volcano stood at the heart of the island, surrounded by ash and molten rock. Mountains loomed in the backdrop, surveying the tropical paradise and its gigantic denizens.

    In an open pasture, the monster called Anguirus rested quietly, eyes closed. His rugged brown skin basked in the Sun’s luminance. Unlike most of its brethren, Anguirus was a natural byproduct of nature. On his back, hundreds of irregular spikes jutted out of an armored carapace. A small horn rested on the tip of his nose, while several larger ones curved out of the top of his head. He wagged his spiky tail back and forth across the soil. Only two teeth were long enough to protrude out of his closed snout. The ground funneled its warmth into his underbelly, promising a long, peaceful day.

    It was a commodity Anguirus rarely enjoyed.

    Dark clouds rolled over the sky, blotting out the Sun. Behind the veiling blackness, thunder rumbled. Anguirus opened his eyes. A storm was brewing, one that shall consume the island. Reluctantly, the prehistoric dinosaur stood up on all fours and moved away, seeking refuge in the forests. A loud rumbling vibrated the sky, one that made him freeze. It wasn’t thunder. Instead, it sounded more like a demon’s laughter. A cold gust of wind washed over the reptile, shivering its spine. Anguirus gaped at the dark heavens, narrowing his eyesight. For the first time, Anguirus became intimate to what humans referred to as fear. Descending from the clouds, singing a chorus of high-pitched cackles, was the three-headed dragon; King Ghidorah!

    Anguirus didn’t retreat. Instead, the noble reptile stood its ground. He knew he was about to fight a battle he alone could not win. With any hope, the other island inhabitants would come to his aid. Anguirus howled at King Ghidorah with his traditional battle cry.

    King Ghidorah’s six eyes glowered at the puny creature, all three heads flailing wildly, spewing golden bolts of raw power. Anguirus braced himself as the energy bolts etched burning trenches into his flesh. King Ghidorah dove closer to meet its inferior foe. When it heard the pitiful creature’s painful cries, King Ghidorah cackled with laughter. While it lacked the facials required to smile, its menacing voice would suffice. Each head spat golden bolts, ravaging the landscape and Anguirus’ wounded visage. One of the bolts struck the armored backside, creating a shower of sparks. Unable to launch a counterattack, the gargantuan ankylosaur hollered in distress.

    In a cavern, masked in shadow, a winged creature awoke. Its eyes slit open and peered out of its gloomy home to the outside world. Cries of war echoed off the stony walls, shaking the ceiling it clung to. It was then the mutated pteranodon, called Rodan, showed annoyance. Like a bat, the pterosaur slept upside down, obscured by the embrace of his crimson wings. It had been ages since Rodan fought alongside another kaiju. Being the last of his kind meant he’d live the rest of his life in solitude. Unlike those who sought out bonds of fellowship, Rodan liked being alone.

    But for some reason, Anguirus’ mournful cries unnerved him. Rodan held no liking or contempt for the armored saurian. But something in his cries suggested there was a grave threat, one that required his support. Without further delay, Rodan tore out of the cavern to assist the noble reptile in protecting the sanctity of his home.

    Golden bolts mercilessly pounded the downed warrior. Powerful wings blew dirt and smoke into Anguirus’ eyes, hindering his vision. It was one of the most sickening displays of sadism ever recorded; it was also the happiest day of King Ghidorah’s wretched life.

    Bravely, Anguirus waded through the barrage of burning energies at a steady pace. Burnt, ragged tissue hung over damaged flesh. It was the most excruciating punishment the prehistoric titan ever endured. And soon, it’d be the last.

    King Ghidorah watched the injured creature crawl closer. Most would have considered the poor creature’s bravery admirable; the three-headed dragon thought it was pathetic. It was clear Anguirus wanted to fight King Ghidorah in a physical brawl, but the golden devil wasn’t foolish enough to stop firing its gravity bolts. It’d pelt the persistent vermin for however long it’d take to put him down permanently. Suddenly, a loud screech caught King Ghidorah’s attention. While one head kept torturing Anguirus, the other two sought out the source of its new playmate.

    Rodan soared above a forest, flattening it in his wake. The flying reptile screeched once more, challenging King Ghidorah. Now all three heads focused on the mutated pteranodon. The twisted horns atop Rodan’s head pulsated with atomic energy. Lavender hued energies blazed out of his beak and struck one of King Ghidorah’s necks, singeing its golden hide. Irritated by this pest’s interference, three mouths opened and fired its destructive gravity bolts. The crimson firebird dove into the air, evading a painful fate. He flew past Ghidorah, unraveling the soil with strong winds. Blinded by a haze of dirt, the terrible tyrant angrily expressed its aimless rage by torching the forest within its vicinity.

    The shelled warrior snuck up, using the dirt as cover. While Rodan bombarded the vile dragon with his energy beam, Anguirus managed to get close enough to jump up and clamp his jaws onto the left neck! The terrifying demon cackled in rage, never suspecting the weakling to be capable of injuring it. The dragon’s middle head bent down, sinking its teeth into the bulgy neck, but Anguirus did not relinquish his bite. It occurred to King Ghidorah that other methods were required to remove this pest, so the middle head fired a gravity bolt into Anguirus’ face at point blank.

    Anguirus used the pain to intensify his bone crushing bite!

    King Ghidorah embuened the gravity bolt with more power, though as the augmented energies incinerated Anguirus’ flesh and boiled his eyes, sharp talons suddenly tore into the middle neck. Ghidorah’s right head lashed out, biting one of Rodan’s ankles. The mutant pterosaur screeched in agony, his grip weakening. The right head yanked Rodan off the middle one, chucking him into the air. It quickly flayed the mutated pteranodon with its gravity bolt, the winged foe plummeting into the burning forest, unconscious.

    Unable to resist the torment any longer, Anguirus released the left head. Try as he might, the three heads prevented him by hooking his skull with their jaws. In unison, all three heads used their tremendous neck strength to haul the ancient dinosaur from off the ground, and sent him sailing into the wind. Anguirus landed on his back, his underbelly exposed. Without delay, terrible and mighty wings propelled Ghidorah into the sky. When it was high enough, King Ghidorah dove down, slamming its bulk into Anguirus’ chest.

    The entire island shook.

    Standing waist deep in the ground was King Ghidorah. Beneath its feet, struggling to breathe lay Anguirus. Satisfied, the wicked beast jumped up into the air and hovered above the freshly made impact crater. Glowering at its still opponent, the three-headed monster unleashed a barrage of gravity beams, striking the helpless Anguirus without remorse. Even if the dinosaur’s flesh was stripped and reduced to a smoldering skeleton, King Ghidorah would not stop. But when an unearthly roar froze time itself, the three-headed dragon ceased. Its six eyes located the bearer of such a powerful roar.

    A living monolith emerged out of the foliage. For every step it took, the planet itself quivered with fear. Sturdy muscles twitched beneath its black scales. The dorsal spines on its backside flashed an eerie bluish-silvery glow. Bloodshot eyes fixated its contempt on the three-headed dragon. But when it shifted its gaze to the impact crater and saw the burnt husk of Anguirus – its trusted and most beloved friend – Godzilla gritted his teeth and snarled with revulsion. King Ghidorah returned the gesture. Pure hatred emanated between the two giants. It was a rivalry destined to end in bloodshed.

    Thermonuclear energy blazed out of Godzilla’s gaping maw. Its sweltering essence lanced into the bulky sternum, blasting the three-headed fiend out of the sky. Godzilla charged at his fallen adversary, his spines rippling with atomic luster. King Ghidorah regained equilibrium, readying itself to return fire. But as Godzilla lumbered closer, it suddenly felt a stinging sensation. Its right head bent down, examining the hole in its chest. Thumping behind its exposed ribcage was the dragon’s black heart. King Ghidorah hissed at its adversary, insulted, and relentlessly pounded the atomic behemoth with its gravity bolts.

    Amid the ensuing chaos, Godzilla dropped to one knee. Scorched flesh hung over his ragged body. Before long, sizzling smoke obscured even Godzilla’s massive figure. King Ghidorah didn’t stop its assault. It was determined to destroy Godzilla, even if it couldn’t see it. Meanwhile, cellular regeneration was quick to repair the grisly wounds dealt to it by the insidious dragon. The King of the Monsters slowly rose to his full height, growling. Atomic energy embodied his dorsal spines once more. Before Ghidorah could locate its target, Godzilla blindsided it with his radioactive breath. Serpentine heads writhed in agony as a sea of thermonuclear fire washed over them, burned beyond recognition. The three heads retaliated in kind.

    Gravity bolts ripped Godzilla’s throat wide open. Instead of funneling out of the mouth, radioactive flames were redirected out of the neck wound. If this action continued without stopping, then Godzilla probably would’ve died. Luckily, the creature managed to bring its atomic power under control, but the damage was too much for him to bear.

    With great pleasure, the devilish tyrant watched Godzilla stagger to the ground. A wary hydra approached the fallen mutant. Before the dragon could confirm if Godzilla was alive or dead, Rodan rejoined the fight. Ghidorah moved to blast it out of the sky once more, but the supersonic monster proved too fast. Wedging himself in front of the maniacal destroyer, the pterosaur blew the three-headed beast away with its shockwave, and watched it crash into the burning forest.

    Rodan perched over Godzilla, examining his injury. It was dire, unsure if even Godzilla’s superb regeneration could mend the damage in time. Behind them, King Ghidorah started to regain its composure. Time was running out. If he left now, he could survive to see another day; but if he stayed, then death was certain. At last, a decision was reached. Rodan stretched out his wings, preparing to escape.

    But before he could flee, the pteranodon caught a glimpse of Anguirus’ charred carcass. It occurred to him that he had been stricken by the unlikeliest emotion: sadness. He actually cared for the fallen creature! His gaze settled on Godzilla. It too had garnered Rodan’s respect. These other giants weren’t just the first and last of their kinds.

    These were also his family.

    King Ghidorah emerged from the burning foliage, its heads no longer burnt. Though its chest had not yet been fully healed, it mattered little. Soon, the winged reptile would perish, and then Ghidorah would at long last fulfill its destiny by slaying Godzilla, the King of the Monsters!

    Time was up. Rodan bent down, pressing his beak against one of Godzilla’s dorsal spines. His horns rippled with atomic energy, funneling it into the fallen titan. The huge intake of radiation accelerated the regeneration process exponentially. Any second now, Godzilla would be back at full strength. Somehow, the pteranodon knew he had helped save the planet. For the first time, Rodan knew peace.

    Ghidorah’s middle head clamped its jaw around Rodan’s neck. The other heads seized the pterosaur’s wings, constraining him. Rodan shrieked in distress, struggling to break free, but King Ghidorah’s barbarism knew no limits. After all, it could relate to what Rodan must’ve been thinking; one moment, Rodan felt like he was on top of the world; the next, he was falling into an inescapable prison. All three heads twisted and pulled into opposite directions. Rodan’s wings were plucked apart, his head completely ripped off, leaving Ghidorah’s jaws to drop the mangled kaiju. It turned its sights onto Godzilla, marching to the fallen saurian, crushing Rodan’s lifeless skull.

    Fresh blood oozed out of King Ghidorah’s mouths. The middle head slithered through the air, poised to deliver the first bite. Its bloodstained mouth lunged at its prey. But a mighty hand shot up and grabbed its throat, stopping it. The middle head hissed at the face suspended a few feet from its own. Atomic light lit up Godzilla’s feral eyes. His upper lip curled, showing his fangs. Godzilla’s hand squeezed the snake-like neck like a vice, cracking its bones.

    Before the three-headed dragon could intervene, Godzilla swatted the middle head with his claw. With its vision blurred, the middle head could not respond in kind, but the other heads buried their jaws into rugged skin. Godzilla seized one of their necks, skewering its golden flesh with his fangs. Never before had Godzilla tasted such vile blood. Dissatisfied, Godzilla slammed his bulk into King Ghidorah, the thrashing devil falling back and ripping chunks off the atomic beast’s hide with its mouths. Godzilla loomed above the fallen dragon, seething with hatred.

    In desperation, the vile dragon bombarded the atomic saurian with gravity bolts. But Godzilla ignored the projectiles shredding and searing his skin. He ignored the flames devouring his home. He ignored the crushed, fried bodies of his dead friends. But what he didn’t ignore was the dark heart beating in King Ghidorah’s ribcage. With a mighty roar, Godzilla charged the bane of the demon’s existence.

    Nuclear energy embodied Godzilla’s dorsal spines, heralding his most powerful weapon. Unlike before, the atomic light was not bluish-silver, but as red as fiery brimstone. King Ghidorah rebounded, recognizing Godzilla’s intent. The three-headed dragon shielded itself with its wings. Godzilla unleashed a crimson blast of sheer destructive force, bypassing King Ghidorah’s defenses, incinerating the wings in a flash.

    But it didn’t stop there.

    Godzilla dug his feet into the earth, recoiling in the wake of his power. Thermonuclear fire embraced the right neck. Golden flesh and scarlet light intertwined in a burning conflagration. Before King Ghidorah could mourn the loss of its right neck, Godzilla repositioned his aim and fired another crimson blast! It lanced into the left neck, beheading it instantly. Dried, golden blood churned at the stumps of King Ghidorah’s cauterized necks. How could this have happened? With its mind broken, lost forever in perdition, the pitiful demon cackled in vain.

    Booming footsteps silenced its tongue. Godzilla marched up to the dying dragon, unopposed. King Ghidorah launched its last remaining head at the dark behemoth. It crunched the titan’s wrist, intent on ripping it to pieces. Godzilla gripped the last head with both hands, holding it steady. The dragon continued gnawing, oblivious to what came next. With sheer brute force, Godzilla twisted King Ghidorah’s neck in opposite directions, snapping it.

    Broken bones protruded from King Ghidorah’s neckline, its eyes rolling up into their sockets. Blood leaked out of its open jaw. The neck slumped over, dangling helplessly around its exposed heart. Godzilla stomped closer, spellbound by the very thing keeping King Ghidorah alive. For most of his life, Godzilla sought the company of other monsters. Though he had fought countless battles, Godzilla did succeed in finding a handful of those he could trust. No matter the situation, Godzilla defended them. He loved them. Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, the most savage and infamous creature to ever stalk the earth, knew love. But King Ghidorah changed that.

    Alone once more, all Godzilla could do was avenge his fallen brethren. Without mercy, Godzilla buried his hand into King Ghidorah’s chest, grabbing its putrid heart.

    And squeezed…

    Godzilla’s victorious cries escorted the wicked fiend to a cold oblivion. In a black void, King Ghidorah’s vile soul floated aimlessly, silence being its only consort. But after what felt like a millennia, it heard a faint heartbeat. Awareness gripped the sinister dragon as it was snatched out of Hell and returned to life.

    At the bottom of the sea, a giant awoke. Blackness greeted its blind gaze. It took a few minutes for it to realize it was all a dream. King Ghidorah cursed itself, infuriated by what its mind had done. To escape this icy prison, its mind fabricated the false pretense of freedom! Even worse, it betrayed it, going as far as allowing the very creature it hated to win yet again! Indeed, King Ghidorah’s dark soul enjoyed the killing of helpless creatures. But above all else, it relished in the suffering of others, including its own.

    Submarine spotlights pierced the dark waters. It focused on the giant’s pale head. The submarine drifted closer, its spotlights reflecting off King Ghidorah’s placid eyes. Unbeknownst to the dragon, the submarine heralded not the freedom it desired, but the shackles of servitude it loathed.

    Winner: Godzilla (Heisei)

    K.W.C. // August 13, 2007
  • Author: Christian Salabert | Banner: Christian Salabert

    The populace of Tokyo, Japan screamed in terror as the giant mantis, Kamacuras, descended upon them. The emerald predator had chosen the capital city as his current hunting grounds. His ravenous hunger must be sated at all costs, and the fleeing humans would do quite nicely. Despite their efforts to escape, they were no match for the insect’s supersonic speeds. As he rocketed through the streets of Tokyo, his flight caused shockwaves which tore through the city, detonating skyscrapers by his mere presence. Rubble showered the streets.

    Kamacuras decided to take a quiet moment to devour the few humans he had captured. He immediately cut his speed and slammed down onto the street, the impact sending chunks of concrete flying in every direction. The mantis chittered deviously as he began his meal, ignoring the pests’ screams and pleading.

    Just as he finished his meager snack, a glimmer of light caught his eye. Kamacuras looked downward at the light. What he saw appeared to be another human, but this one was different. It didn’t look like it was made of flesh. Whatever it was, the mantis didn’t like it. He was about to smash it with his mighty claws when it began to do something. It began waving its arms and making a strange, unnatural sound. It was as if it was trying to get his attention. It didn’t need to. Kamacuras raised his claw and prepared to bring it down onto the bizarre human’s head…

    In a flash of light, Kamacuras felt a tremendous blow to his mandibles. The next thing he knew, he was spinning through the air before finally crashing into the remains of a building he had passed earlier, landing on his back. Kamacuras screeched and chittered as he tried to get back to his feet, waving his arms and legs around wildly.

    Jet Jaguar struck a battle pose as he watched the insect try to right itself. He had sensed the disturbance and came to investigate. Immediately upon spotting the mantis, he knew what had to be done. He wasn’t worried though.

    He had felled the mighty Monster X. This insect was of no concern to him.

    Jet Jaguar advanced on Kamacuras to finish him off before he got back to his feet. Unfortunately for the android, the insect lashed out with his four legs, striking Jet Jaguar and causing him to stagger back. Jet Jaguar approached again, but it was too late. Kamacuras was on his feet.

    The mighty machine readied himself for battle and once again went on the attack, but Kamacuras was ready for him. Once Jet Jaguar was within reach, the giant mantis raised its claws into the air and brought them down hard, gashing them onto Jet Jaguar’s shoulders. Sparks flew as they hit the metal. Jet Jaguar cried out and staggered. He backed up and made sure no real damage was done. He attacked again, but Kamacuras leapt backwards, determined to keep out of the artificial being’s reach. This continued for a while. Everytime Jet Jaguar was within striking distance, Kamacuras would leap away. The robot was beginning to get frustrated.

    Finally, Jet Jaguar decided to try something else. Reaching over to a nearby building he ripped the top off and chucked it at Kamacuras. The insect screeched as the chunk of skyscraper smashed into his face and crumbled all around him. While Kamacuras was distracted, Jet Jaguar leapt towards him. He crashed into the bug and knocked him again onto his back.

    As the armored insect wailed and waved his arms around, Jet Jaguar began hammering his opponent’s face with his metallic fists. Kamacuras slammed his claws into Jet Jaguar again and again, but the automaton acted as if he didn’t even feel the blows. The insect tried to kick him away once again, but a punch from Jet Jaguar shattered one of his kneecaps, causing a hellacious shriek to escape the mantis.

    Eventually, the repeated strikes from Kamacuras’ scythe-like arms began to take their toll on Jet Jaguar’s hull. He was forced to back off, but at least he had a strategy to go with. Kamacuras got back to his feet and waved his claws threateningly at Jet Jaguar. The predator stood awkwardly as he tried to balance himself on only three legs.

    Jet Jaguar knew he still couldn’t get close to his foe, so he tried to repeat his earlier success. He reached down and grabbed a wrecked bus from the street below. Taking careful aim, he tossed it directly at Kamacuras’ head. What the robot hadn’t counted on, however, was the beast lashing out with his claws and sending the bus flying right back at him. The bus hit Jet Jaguar directly in the face and exploded.

    The explosion caused no real harm to Jet Jaguar, but it was enough to distract him as Kamacuras blasted into the air, disappearing as a blur. Before Jet Jaguar could even consider giving chase, Kamacuras was back. Speeding past Jet Jaguar in a blur, he stuck his claw out as he went. In a burst of sparks, a slash appeared in Jet Jaguar’s side. The claw had gone completely through Jet Jaguar’s metallic hide, exposing the circuitry within. Jet Jaguar’s head whipped towards Kamacuras with a newfound urgency. If this creature could pierce his armor…

    Again, Kamacuras sped past Jet Jaguar. Again, sparks burst from Jet Jaguar, this time on his right thigh, causing the robotic defender to stagger. Kamacuras blasted past his foe a third time. The brightest burst of sparks yet exploded from Jet Jaguar, withdrawing a long, ringing cry from the machine.

    Jet Jaguar’s left arm, severed directly at the elbow, crashed to the ground.

    Kamacuras landed on the roof of a nearby building and chittered happily, watching his foe grasp at the stump where his arm once was. He tilted his head as he thought. He knew victory was near… but how to grasp it? It was then he spotted the large structure nearby. It was much taller than the other buildings and brightly colored. Kamacuras conceived a plan and once again took to the air.

    Jet Jaguar was in a panic. Sparks sprayed from the exposed circuits in his elbow. He thought this beast would be a simple victory. It was an insect, how powerful could it possibly be? But the beast had revealed its true strength – its speed – and now Jet Jaguar was missing an arm, and his side and thigh were gashed open. It was then that he heard the buzz of Kamacuras’ wings. He turned, expecting another attack, but instead saw the mantis speeding towards another target – the Tokyo Tower.

    Speeding around the Tower at a rapid pace, Kamacuras lashed out at the metal structure at key locations, drawing sparks with each strike. Now slashed in several areas, the Tower could no longer withstand its own weight. It began to bend and break… and fall…

    Too late did Jet Jaguar realize his opponent’s plan. It was even futile to try to fly away, as the Tower was blocking the sky above him. Jet Jaguar braced himself for the inevitable and hoped he would be eventually repaired.

    With a colossal crash that shook the entire surrounding area, Jet Jaguar was crushed underneath the Tokyo Tower.

    A few moments later, Kamacuras flew by and perched atop the remaining bottom half of the Tower. Rearing his head back and waving his arms, he let out a series of shrieks to announce his victory. Too bad his opponent wasn’t edible. Oh, well.

    Winner: Kamacuras

    K.W.C. // August 11, 2007
  • Author: Christian Salabert | Banner: Christian Salabert

    Having just successfully thwarted an invasion of Gyaos from destroying Japan, Gamera was now seeking a place to rest and recharge. He had been flying for quite some time before looking down and spotting one of the islands in the Ogasawara chain far below him. He decided to take refuge there until he was fit to resume his hunt of whatever Gyaos remained on Earth.

    As Gamera got lower and closer to the island, he spotted a being about his size. The titanic turtle’s head reared back in surprise. The creature’s stance, the familiar jagged shell… could it be? Had Gamera discovered another of his kind? Gamera had always assumed he was the lone survivor of his creators, but what if he was wrong? Intensifying his speed, Gamera raced toward the beast.

    Anguirus lifted his head. He heard a strange sound in the air. It was similar to the sound of the rockets the humans had used to attack him before. He immediately turned around and spotted a large being flying through the air directly towards him. The creature was similar to himself, except he had no hind legs and massive flippers where his arms should be. Anguirus didn’t like this monster. He readied himself to attack in case this beast made the mistake of landing nearby him.

    When Gamera was close enough, he immediately ceased his hind rockets. The flames gone, his immense weight immediately pulled him from the sky. As he fell, his legs emerged from their sockets, and his flippers shrunk back into arms. When Gamera landed on the ground, a massive cloud of dirt was sent into the air. He screeched a welcome at the creature, hoping to discover more about it.

    Gamera got more than he bargained for when Anguirus burst through the dirt cloud and pounced onto him, teeth and claws outstretched. Gamera stumbled backwards, shrieking in surprise. Anguirus attacked again, leaping at Gamera like a crazed dog. Lunging at the massive tortoise, Anguirus managed to clamp his jaws down upon Gamera’s right hand.

    Gamera cried out in pain as Anguirus’ fangs sank into his flesh. Gamera shook his arm as hard as he could in an attempt to dislodge his attacker to no avail. He finally managed to swing his other arm close enough to Anguirus’ face, slashing the creature’s face with his elbow spike. Anguirus howled in pain and anger, and turned his back on the turtle, swinging his tail at him. Anguirus’ spiked tail raked itself across Gamera’s legs, toppling the mighty defender onto his side.

    Gamera wailed as he crashed to the ground. Whatever this creature was, it was decidedly not friendly. He knew it wasn’t a threat like the Gyaos or the Legion were, but it most certainly deserved to be taught a lesson. Activating the ancient fires within him, Gamera belched forth a plasma fireball. The flaming sphere struck Anguirus right in the face, sending the quadruped staggering back with explosive force. Gamera spat out two more fireballs, striking Anguirus in the side and putting even more distance between the two. With a heave, Gamera rolled over onto his back.

    With Anguirus distracted, Gamera began withdrawing his limbs and head into his shell. By the time Anguirus had regained his wits, he noticed that the turtle’s shell lay there, apparently empty. Cautiously, Anguirus moved in to investigate. Sniffing the shell, Anguirus detected no movement. He had won!

    Flames exploded out of the shell’s sockets, scorching Anguirus and sending him leaping backwards. The shell began spinning, faster and faster, until it was almost a blur. Anguirus decided to keep his distance this time and watch as his foe’s shell began rising into the sky. The shell suddenly rocketed towards Anguirus. The spiked beast had no time to react, the shell slammed into his side at full speed. Anguirus went flying to the side and crashed to the ground. Anguirus rose groggily and didn’t even see the shell before it smashed into his other side, sending him crashing to the earth once again.

    With Anguirus stunned, Gamera’s arms emerged from their sockets. With his head still inside and now using only his hind rockets, Gamera flew over, picked up Anguirus’ tail in his hands, and rose into the air once more. The groggy angilasaurus was unable to do anything other than go along for the ride.

    Once the two were far enough out into the open sea, Gamera’s shell began to spin again. The shell did not move, but rather, stayed in the same place. On and on he spun, until Anguirus was completely dizzy. The four-legged beast howled out in agony as Gamera spun him around like a whirlygig.

    Finally, once he decided his foe had learned his lesson, he released his tail. Spinning and screaming, Anguirus plummeted from the skies and cannonballed into the sea, creating a tsunami upon impact. He did not resurface and simply sank to the bottom, too sick to do anything else.

    Poking his head out of his shell and transforming his arms back into flight mode, Gamera growled in annoyance. He had wanted rest and gotten the exact opposite. Leaving Anguirus and Ogasawara Island behind him, Gamera decided that if he came across any other strange creatures, he’d live and let live.

    Winner: Gamera (Heisei)

    K.W.C. // August 10, 2007
  • Author: Christian Salabert | Banner: Christian Salabert

    [Continued from Match 23]

    Gabara paced back and forth amongst the rocky mountains of Sollgel Island. He was still fuming over his defeat at the hands of King Kong. He had intended to strike fear into the hearts of humanity, but instead that stupid ape had beaten him back. He had eventually made his way to this island to regroup and plan his next attack. Gabara was enraged. He was going to make sure mankind paid for the monkey’s interference.

    Suddenly, the ground began to shake. Gabara turned his head to see the source of the quake, an area where the dirt acted as if it was boiling. It was obvious that something was emerging from beneath, but Gabara was too curious and got even closer to investigate. Just then, the ground exploded upward. Dirt and rocks flew everywhere and Gabara was sent flying backwards, crashing onto his back.

    Immediately, Gabara flipped up into a sitting position. He was already in a bad mood, getting an explosion in the face only worsened it. Someone was about to die.

    Megalon screeched as he shook the dirt out of his wings. He had been sent once again by the people of Seatopia to seek revenge upon humanity for ruining their land. This time, he would let nothing stand in his way. Rearing his head back, he let loose a reverberating cry into the heavens. Japan was doomed.

    Within an instant, Gabara was on his feet. Whatever this insect was, he would feel the ogre’s wrath. Gabara emerged from the cloud of dust brought about by Megalon’s appearance, and he immediately got in Megalon’s face, swiping at him with his claws. Megalon backed away, startled and confused by this sudden attack. Further and further Gabara drove the Seatopian deity back, until he decided to finish him off. His cranial horns glowing, Gabara let loose with an electrified punch to Megalon’s chest. Electricity burst from the impact and sent Megalon toppling backwards.

    Gabara posed in victory as Megalon flailed around on his back. Gabara watched the titanic beetle and decided to taunt it. He proceeded to kick palm trees and boulders at it. He continued this for a few moments before Megalon lifted his head and faced him. Megalon fired a bolt of lightning from his star-shaped head horn, striking Gabara in the face and causing the brute to stagger around, clutching his face.

    Megalon used the opportunity to get to his feet and go on the attack. He instantly began wailing on Gabara with his drill-arms. Gabara howled as the metallic limbs struck him again and again. One of the drills uppercut Gabara’s chin, sending the beast staggering. Megalon thrust his other arm forward, jabbing the emerald creature right in the throat. Gabara began choking and stumbled, but managed to stay on his feet.

    Megalon wasn’t finished yet. He charged his horn once again and fired another bolt of electricity. The blast struck Gabara in the foot and travelled up the side of his leg, scorching his flesh. Gabara turned to face his foe again, but Megalon’s horn flashed again. Gabara braced himself for another lightning bolt, but instead Megalon’s mandibles opened and out came a small reddish sphere. The ball struck Gabara right in the chest and detonated, sending the ogre flying back with explosive force.

    Gabara crashed to the ground with a thud. He had been considerably weakened in a surprisingly short amount of time. A good portion of his skin was burned and his head was greeted by a rock upon landing. But he was not going to go down without a fight. This insect would pay for injuring him

    The green giant leapt to his feet and grabbed hold of Megalon’s metallic arms, grasping a drill in each hand. Before Megalon could react, Gabara unleashed a powerful electric current into the drills. The energy surged throughout Megalon’s body, drawing forth shrieks of agony from the gigantic arthropod. Despite his foe’s struggling, Gabara would not release him, continuing to electrocute the insect until his skin began smoking. Eventually, he felt his power reserves beginning to tire. He suddenly thrust Megalon’s arms upward, smashing the drills into Megalon’s face and sending him stumbling backwards.

    Tired, burnt, and smoking, Megalon still managed to rise and stare his foe in the face. Both creatures were weakened, but neither were willing to let their opponent triumph. Gabara let loose another reverberating growl. Megalon screeched back at him.

    At that instant, they charged.

    Gabara began to raise his fist. As he did so, his horns glowed, and his fist began crackling with electricity.

    Megalon concentrated. His head horn charged and lightning began to crackle over the starred tip.

    Just as Gabara swung his fist towards Megalon’s face, mandibles opened and spewed out a napalm sphere. Gabara’s electrified fist came into contact with the orb, which detonated on impact. The resulting explosion engulfed both opponents.

    As the flames and smoke cleared, Gabara and Megalon were revealed to be unconscious, sprawled out on the ground. Each of their forms smoked as their bodies cooled from the explosion. Their respective plans were foiled.

    “Aaargh!” Antonio screamed back in Seatopia, shaking his fist at the viewscreen. “Stupid ogre!”

    Draw: Gabara, Megalon

    K.W.C. // August 9, 2007
  • Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Christian Salabert

    A battalion of tanks rolled across the sandy beach. Grainy clouds dampened the skies above, extinguishing drops of rain. The watery droplets pelted the tanks, drenching their metallic façade. Beneath the armored surface, humans and machines alike worked to preserve the sanctity of the tanks. Acres of sand vibrated, disturbed by the marching battalion. Atop each tank, a lone soldier sat quietly, inspecting the obscured land. Their numb hands clenched the handle of a machine gun, hesitant to pull the trigger. In front of the tanks, a long barrel pointed out. Its only purpose was to aid the soldiers in warfare.

    The most sophisticated technology lay at their fingertips. And yet, fear wracked their youthful complexions. Military intelligence had reason to believe the monster Godzilla was set to arrive at their present location at any time. Even its name made the soldiers shudder. Rumor had it that Godzilla was indestructible. No amount of firepower could slay the radioactive behemoth. Despite these rumors, the soldiers marched into battle. Unbeknownst to the soldiers, the governments of the world had designed a robot to vanquish monsters like Godzilla. Only it had not yet arrived.

    And the tanks were meant only to slow Godzilla down.

    The tanks stopped a hundred yards from the shoreline. Waves of seawater overlapped one another. Fog lingered within the vicinity of the beach, obscuring the surf. Beneath the murky waves, jagged spines emerged, slicing the watery surface. A leviathan of black scales rose out of the water, its demented shape made the soldiers freeze. To them, it was like peering into an era long forgotten. The world no longer harbored a profusion of titans. Only a few managed to escape the tapestry of time and haunt the world of today.

    A long, muscular tail unraveled the waves. Gallons of water flowed off the creature’s muscular figure. Serrated teeth occupied its prehistoric jaws. Sharp claws laced its fingertips. Three rows of dorsal spines jutted out of its back. A low, yet ominous growl escaped its reptilian lips. Godzilla’s maw parted, yielding a thundering roar. The monster’s bellow vibrated the ground; it was a challenge to the world of Man.

    Reluctantly, the soldiers replied.

    Nature grew silent as the cries of war blanketed the sandy beaches. Tank shells blazed out of their barrels, battering Godzilla’s scaly hide, the tanks recoiling from their firepower. Plumes of black smoke and fire baked Godzilla’s flesh. Shells failing to explode remained dislodged inside the creature’s scales. After the tanks depleted all of their ammunition, an eerie silence pervaded the landscape. Godzilla’s savage gaze pierced the hazy smoke, locating the tanks.

    The soldiers atop each tank pulled the trigger. Hot lead burned out of the machine guns, failing to harm the monstrous entity. The monstrous beast raised his foot out of the water and drove it into the beach. His mass forced the sand to sink beneath his feet. Tremors jolted the beach, complying with Godzilla’s movements. Realizing the futility of their efforts, every tank backpedaled. But the monster king had no merciful intentions. Azure-hued light weaved through the dorsal spines. Nuclear flames irradiated his ravenous jaws.

    Godzilla’s mouth launched an atomic beam, incinerating the sandy soil and the fleeing tanks. Thick metal melted from the intense heat of radioactive flames. The soldiers were instantly reduced to ash. The reptile’s nostrils captured the burning scent of charcoal. He advanced forward, leaving gigantic footprints behind. The thick fog enveloped Godzilla’s unnatural figure, concealing him from the rest of the world. But the creature’s erratic breathing echoed throughout the region.

    Godzilla suddenly stopped.

    A strange, yet familiar sound rasped his ears. He searched for its bearer, but even his binocular vision was suppressed by the fog. The sound grew louder. The fog started to unravel. Godzilla was a force of nature, a harbinger of destruction and life. No sentient mind dwelt inside his cranium. And yet, his primordial brain faintly recognized the sound. It was the same sound the tanks had made, prior to their desolation. Only unlike the tanks, the sound was louder, and wrought greater power.

    The monster king spotted fire reshaping the darkness. Its glimmering essence glinted off the metallic flesh of Godzilla’s newest foe. He peered at its odd shape. He had seen others like itself, only its robotic brethren had shapes similar to Godzilla’s own. Cone-shaped arms strode out of its sides. Its breastplate housed an unseen instrument. Between its amber glowing eyes, a drill eagerly anticipated its activation. Flames seared out of its tail, serving as its main form of propulsion. Beneath its thick clumsy legs, hidden thrusters were stored. A curved, peculiar apparatus fastened its backside.

    The magnificent machine stared silently at its colossal foe. Godzilla snarled, wary of this new weapon against his kin. Amongst his titanic kind, Godzilla was the fiercest. His ferocious power garnered him the title of the ‘King of the Monsters.’ He had no quarrel with such a label. But the robotic titan, Moguera, on the other hand summoned Godzilla’s ferocity. He had seen combat with the other monsters. Despite their traditional rumbles, Godzilla was able to identify with them. But his new foe merited no emotion of any kind. It was as artificial as the beast’s atomic birth. Its dull face harbored no life.

    It irritated Godzilla.

    A violent roar escaped the bowels of his throat. The monster charged, determined to intimidate Moguera. As the ground shook in the creature’s wake, the machine launched an attack. Yellow streaks of light fired out of its glowing eyes and tore into charcoal scales, which sponged the burning energies. The organic armor withered away, disappearing in explosive sparks.

    Godzilla stopped, recuperating from the blasts, growling at the fearless machine. Moguera ceased its attack, cautious of the behemoth’s actions. Ribbons of Godzilla’s flesh regenerated its recently acquired wounds. Choosing to retaliate in kind, nuclear energy embodied Godzilla’s jagged spines. Thermonuclear fire pulsated out of his maw, the atomic beam singeing its armored chest. Metallic covering burned a bright red, but withstood the intensity of the atomic flames.

    Even the concussive force behind Godzilla’s primary weapon failed to compromise the robot’s armor. His eyes widened. How dare this robot withstand his atomic fury!

    Godzilla’s beam ceased firing. Smoke sizzled around his jaws. Reptilian eyes stared out of their sockets, glowering at Moguera. Burnt metal blemished the robot’s breastplate. The searing flames had sustained damage, but it was only minimal. Without warning, Moguera’s cone-shaped hands sparkled brightly. Auto-tracking blue lasers fired away, carving trenches into his torso. The reptilian tyrant opened his mouth, screaming loudly, with the giant’s wails heard for miles. But Godzilla’s unbreakable will rendered him immune to death.

    Moguera’s lasers disappeared, detecting craters of burnt flesh embroiled in Godzilla’s torso. He felt his regenerative cells patch the injuries he had sustained. Though the injury was gone in moments, the phantom pain never left. Livid eyes captured the lifeless shape of Moguera. Anger clouded his judgment, commanding him to charge.

    Prehistoric feet plunged into the sandy soil, forcing it to rise above Godzilla’s ankles. He mustered all the strength he could to run. Artificial eyes unleashed a barrage of lasers, succeeding in only intensifying Godzilla’s rage. Hidden thrusters popped out, sheets of thrusting flames rolling out. The fire propelled the anti-Godzilla weapon off the ground, but it was not fast enough to avoid the savage assault. Godzilla slammed his bulk into the gargantuan robot, the atomic dragon’s strength knocking the airborne machine out of the air, reeling backwards. Amidst the cloud of fog, a hilltop came within view seconds before Moguera’s toppling shape fell upon it, and was immediately flattened.

    Godzilla gazed at the downed robot. Skeptic of its condition, he slowly treaded towards it. It was at that time Moguera’s thrusters returned to life. Fire incinerated the goblets of sand, enabling the robot to quickly rise to its feet. Godzilla fully intended to ram into Moguera once more, but the robot’s drill activated. It swirled rapidly as Godzilla moved in. Beneath Moguera’s feet, treads anchored into the ground.

    In an incredible showcase of speed, Moguera met Godzilla head on and plunged its drill into his throat. Sparks ignited the moment the drill touched brawny flesh. No matter the durability of Godzilla’s hide, the drill pierced its target successfully. It caught Godzilla’s esophagus and twirled it around. Godzilla tried to express his pain, but his cry was lost in a muffling gurgle. Instinctively, massive forearms gripped Moguera and pushed. But the treads beneath its feet, along with its mass, proved beyond Godzilla’s strength!

    Godzilla summoned all his available might to push Moguera away. He succeeded in only removing Moguera’s drill from his wounded throat. Blood dribbled out of his torn neck. Channels of blue bolts coursed through his exposed veins. It wasn’t difficult to predict Godzilla’s next action. As his throat patched itself up, Godzilla spat radioactive fire. The robot’s outer hull burned beyond recognition, but held up. Amid the radioactive inferno, Moguera’s breastplate opened, revealing a gigantic dish hidden beneath.

    Without a moment’s notice, an eerie luminance glimmered from the maser dish, plasma harnessed its glossy core. From the projector, powerful energies blossomed, and Godzilla felt an excruciating pain emanating from his abdomen. The maser had unleashed a surge of energy that punctured Godzilla’s hide and fried his internal organs. Painful shrieks departed Godzilla’s gaping maw, ceasing his atomic onslaught. Unable to withstand it any longer, the charcoal reptile toppled to the ground, the sand hurled to the sky before raining down upon him.

    Moguera activated its thrusters, approaching the fallen kaiju. Its targeting computers zoomed in on Godzilla’s ruptured abdomen, with loads of blood seeping out and staining the sand. Cellular activity began the process of reconstructing its vital wound, though chunks of black scales covered the beach.

    Chasms of light endowed Moguera’s maser, smashing high-speed molecules within the dish. Godzilla’s ears heard the culminating energies, so he fought the immense pain, determined to strike the robot first. The monster pushed its palms into the sand, providing the leverage for him to rise.

    Godzilla faced the lofty machine that stood over him, revealing the back of his mouth. Thermonuclear light shimmered, eager to escape and spread its chaotic destruction. In unison, the two titans fired. Godzilla’s atomic beam met Moguera’s rushing plasma, forging a great ball of light when they collided. The energetic sphere radiated the region in its spellbinding beauty. Moguera diverted the majority of its energy to the dish, seeking to overwhelm the monstrous tyrant.

    Godzilla closed his eyes, devoted solely to the conflict at hand. Both the robot and the monster fed the energetic sphere, enlarging its mass. Without warning, the sphere exploded, dispersing powerful shockwaves. The tremendous force blew Godzilla hundreds of feet away. Moguera’s electrical circuits shut off. Gravity pulled the colossal robot down, crashing into the ground.

    In the distance, Moguera spotted Godzilla’s weary figure struggling to rise. To eliminate the threat, its cone-shaped hands opened. Tucked inside, the metallic heads of two spiral grenade missiles silently waited. An order was given, enabling the missiles to be launched.

    They simultaneously left their compartments, and rapidly closed in on their target. Fire seared behind the missiles, creating thick layers of smoke in their wake. Godzilla turned just in time to see the projectiles detonate, consuming the monster king in a towering ball of fire. Shockwaves rippled out of the explosion, tearing the land loose from its foundations. The sky became illuminated by its awe-inspiring beauty.

    Moguera watched on as the enormous fireball died down. As it did, it revealed the silhouette of the King of the Monsters. Godzilla’s charcoal black hide seethed with smoke, burnt flesh dangled from his ravaged scales. The flickering flames and dense smoke faded, granting Godzilla the chance to see his attacker. He clumsily rose to his feet and, without hesitation, charged at the robot. Moguera activated its drill, along with the treads beneath its feet, churning the sands in its path.

    Even if the beach had been reduced to glass, it succeeded in supporting the dual masses of Godzilla and Moguera. They rammed into one another, neither offering the other remorse. Moguera’s twirling drill shredded his reptilian face, who angrily clenched the spinning drill. The resulting friction between the tyrant’s hand and the drill created a shower of sparks. It ripped open Godzilla’s palm, spraying blood in all directions.

    The feral mutant gritted his teeth. The fingers splintered, causing bones to puncture flesh. But the fractured hand cluttered the drill, resulting in its impediment. With brute strength, he ripped the drill out of Moguera’s face and tossed it aside. A shower of sparks spewed out of the damaged, expressionless visage. In retaliation, the robot bombarded Godzilla with its lasers. The blistering lasers scourged the tough hide, yet the monster would not be denied its retribution.

    Godzilla leapt forward, aiming to bash Moguera with his body. The atomic saurian bounced off of the thick outer hull, splintering its internal circuits. Black hydraulic fluid oozed out of the robot’s fractured exterior. Godzilla was quick to bash the machine with his razor-sharp claws. But even the force of his swipes could not pierce Moguera.

    Resorting to his original strategy, Godzilla repeatedly slammed his bulk into the fallen mech. The automaton stumbled from every impact, but did not fall. As it approached the breaking point, Moguera raised its left arm, moving to fire one of its spiral grenade missiles. Godzilla recognized Moguera’s intentions, seizing the machine’s arm, twisting it in the opposite direction. A spiral grenade missile launched out of its port, disappearing in the distance.

    Godzilla buried his teeth into the arm’s joint, ignoring the ball of fire erupting in the backdrop. Sharp teeth shredded the sleek alloy, as Godzilla yanked the arm from its host and chucked it aside. He twirled his entire body around, directing his tail into the machine. The impact nearly sent the robot tumbling to the ground.

    Before he could carry out another assault, Moguera’s maser dish circulated with plasma. Godzilla stopped, recollecting the previous encounter. Energy tore out from Moguera’s breastplate. The reptilian titan felt it rush over him, the destructive energies burning his flesh and tearing it asunder. A newfound emotion pledged for him to remain standing; it commanded him to destroy.

    Godzilla marched forward, ignoring the blistering temperatures. He reached down, aiming to ensnare the sparkling maser. The flesh on his hand burned away, leaving only the meaty interior. But even as it began to break down, slowly revealing the skeleton within, Godzilla’s skeletal grasp squeezed the ionizing dish. His heart rapidly pounded in its chest. There was a limit to how much pain a creature could take, before it finally became nonexistent. For Godzilla, the pain no longer thrived. His bony hand lodged into the maser, cracking its polished shape. Godzilla augmented his strength and shattered the projector. Broken shards faded in the light. Moguera’s plasma ray was redirected throughout its mainframe, leading to the machine’s immediate shutdown. Moguera’s glowing eyes flickered on and off.

    As Moguera started to shut down, Godzilla curled his upper lip, revealing his carnivorous teeth.

    Straps of flesh blanketed his skeletal hand, regenerating its lost muscle and skin tissue. Crimson energy fluctuated within Godzilla’s dorsal spines, its aura blanketing the entire beach, casting its light upon the graveyard of tanks. Godzilla’s jaws parted, ejecting a scarlet burst of energy. The crimson beam carbonized Moguera, melting its dense metal and destroying its sleek makeup. Portions of the robot exploded, breaking away from its body; nearly a third of Moguera became consumed by pillars of fire. Godzilla surveyed his defeated opponent. After a few minutes, his gaze ascended to the heavens, unleashing a victorious roar.

    The triumphant beast turned, eager to return to the sea. Amid the burning wreckage of Moguera, an escape pod flew out of its quarters, escaping a horrible fate. Godzilla contemplated the pod, wondering if he should destroy it. It was then his cold gaze inspected the tank graveyard. He did not know why. Perhaps it was the sulfur flooding his nostrils. It could’ve been the steaming remains of the soldiers. Whatever it was, the foul flagrance of war made the animal feel disgusted with its wretched life. This was not what it wanted. It came searching for sustenance, compelled to satisfy its lust for nuclear energy…

    Lives were lost on this day. Godzilla was an engine of chaos, a product of Man’s folly. But even his primitive instincts knew of sacrifice. Whether it was to honor the lives lost or to reserve its energy, Godzilla allowed the pilots to escape. The creature later returned to the sea. For Godzilla, the past was dead. Only the cold depths of the ocean could provide comfort to his lonely existence. It was there he’d dream.

    And it was there, Godzilla would at last know peace.

    Winner: Godzilla (Heisei)

    K.W.C. // April 14, 2007
  • Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Dao Zang Moua

    Sweltering heat bathed San Francisco. Blue skies hung high above the rooftops, stretching past the horizon. Perched beyond it was the Sun, shedding its light upon the world. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets, unaffected by the blazing temperatures. To them, it was as natural to their lives as day and night. Tourists traveled amongst them, snapping photographs of famous landmarks. Around a street corner, a family of five broke into a sprint, juggling their belongings with every step. They were determined to catch a bus and return to their hotel.

    They never expected to be scooped up and devoured by an unseen giant.

    Nobody noticed the humongous cracks on the side of a skyscraper. Nobody would’ve guessed the cracks were caused by an insect larger than a jumbo jet. Nobody knew that the kaiju known as Kamacuras was still clinging to the building. And nobody would ever hear from the family again.

    The giant praying mantis digested their remains. Kamacuras scanned the vicinity and all its inhabitants, contemplating the different ways it could quell its appetite. It tilted its head, faintly exposing its complexion. Kamacuras’ green carapace contrasted greatly with its surroundings. Its sharp pincers glinted in the sunlight. Bulbous eyes peered in all directions. Saliva secreted out of its mandibles, dousing an entire vacant parking lot. To the uninformed, it was nothing more but a broken pipeline.

    Kamacuras’ carapace warped the light, rendering it invisible to the naked eye. No screams could be heard. There were no crowds fleeing for their lives. If Kamacuras had been seen, it was only by a few. With its cover still intact, Kamacuras moved to devour another unsuspecting family. Suddenly, the streets writhed with fear. The roads were paved by a sea of screaming people. Kamacuras pondered if it was visible, but noticed its camouflage had not been compromised. An unearthly wail drowned out the frightened people. Before Kamacuras could find its source, blinding light hindered its vision. Within an instant, Kamacuras became visible to the world. It leapt into the air, unfolding its wings from its backside and avoided death.

    A fireball skimmed past the evading insect and struck the skyscraper. From within its center, the fireball detonated. The skyscraper was built to withstand earthquakes and other natural phenomenons, but its sturdy foundations could not contain the powerful flames. The explosion incinerated the complex and erupted into the streets. No matter how hard the people ran, no matter where they tried to hide, the flames swept them off the ground, reducing them to a cloud of ash.

    Kamacuras flew down a street, appearing as a blur. Shockwaves rippled off its speeding form, shattering glass and other appliances. Kamacuras needn’t look back to identify its attacker. Its eyes captured the arrival of Gamera, the Guardian of the Universe! Azure hued light blazed out of his leg sockets, the wind swished past his scaly features. Gamera’s emerald eyes focused on Kamacuras speeding out of his reach. A low grumbling escaped Gamera’s throat, signaling regret. He had tried obliterating the insect earlier, but instead of succeeding, he only ended up taking hundreds of innocent lives.

    It was with great sadness did Gamera realize there’d be more casualties before the day was done.

    Tourists gathered to see the Golden Gate Bridge. It was one of the longest suspension bridges on the planet. To them, it was an important stop on their tour. Yet cheerful expressions were replaced by grim remorse. Plumes of dark smoke defiled the distant scenery. Before they could determine the reason, a shadow crept over them. Frightened eyes gazed up at a giant dragonfly, its size dwarfed even Kamacuras. Out of its wretched sockets, crimson orbs gaped at the herds of tourists. Megaguirus opened her ravenous jaws, revealing dozens of serrated teeth. An ear shattering screech removed any hope for those within the region. For an unexplained reason, nobody expected a quick merciful death.

    Kamacuras dissipated the air with its unprecedented speed. Gamera followed in pursuit, discharging two fireballs, but he watched helplessly as they missed their target and engulfed several city blocks in a sea of fire. Before Gamera could mourn for the lives lost, Kamacuras’ wings stopped flapping. To Gamera’s surprise, Kamacuras waited in midair for Gamera to inch closer. Before Gamera could crush the praying mantis with his jaws, Kamacuras whirled onto the back of his shell, hooking its pincer between it and Gamera’s neck. It no longer needed to fly by its own accord.

    Gamera howled angrily, but could not remove his unwanted hitchhiker. With its other pincer, Kamacuras clobbered the back of Gamera’s skull. Gamera’s flesh was thick, hard enough to withstand conventional weaponry and the devastating blows of other kaiju, yet Kamacuras’ sharp instrument proved effective. Green blood gushed out of Gamera’s splintered flesh. Painful cries escaped Gamera’s maw, but it only urged Kamacuras to continue its assault. Tiring of Kamacuras’ painful swipes, Gamera arched its body in a horizontal path, before tucking his head and arms into his shell.

    Azure light flared out of his arm sockets. Kamacuras screeched unhappily as Gamera rapidly twirled in circles, spinning like a saucer. No longer able to hold on, Kamacuras was forced to fly in an opposite direction. Predicting Kamacuras’ trajectory wasn’t difficult for Gamera. Gamera blindsided Kamacuras by propelling his spinning form into the insect before it could utilize its supersonic speed.

    On the chaotic streets, people watched Gamera push Kamacuras further away from the sky. Kamacuras gave one final shriek as Gamera drilled its body into a cloister of apartments. Mounds of concrete and dirt flew into the air. The impact shook the entire city. Dense smoke blotted out Gamera and Kamacuras’ colossal forms. But Gamera’s loud breaths informed all that he was still alive. Beneath Gamera’s gigantic mass, Kamacuras writhed in pain. Cracks had splintered its thick carapace, leaking blood. No matter its durability, not even Kamacuras could withstand Gamera’s mass crashing down on it. Burnt marks could be seen as well, the result of the energy Gamera used for his jet propulsion.

    The light comprising Kamacuras’ bulbous eyes started to flicker. Gamera sensed Kamacuras’ life force dwindling. In the back of Gamera’s maw, fire churned brightly. Gamera reared his head back, preparing to deliver the final attack. But Kamacuras defied death by flying up and embedding its pincer claw deep into Gamera’s neck, avoiding the armored plates encasing his sternum. Gamera groaned, but did not abandon his quest to annihilate his foe. Seeing its defiance would soon be in vain, Kamacuras moved to avoid certain death. Gamera raised his hand, gripping one of Kamacuras’ stubby arms. Serving as a huge anchor, Gamera prevented Kamacuras from getting away. Kamacuras screeched in desperation. Gamera merely opened his mouth, heralding the departure of his fireball.

    He hurled the burning mass into Kamacuras’ gut, incinerating its internal organs. Kinetic force dislodged Kamacuras out of Gamera’s clutches. Gamera watched the fireball push Kamacuras into the horizon. It exploded in midair, vaporizing Kamacuras, as burnt remnants of the praying mantis fell to the city. Gamera prepared to leave, but realized the existence of another giant insect…

    Megaguirus gleefully gorged herself, leaving no survivors. She found great pleasure in cutting open cars, scooping up its occupants, and swallowing them whole. For some reason, whenever they screamed, a horrific grin crossed her face. For the past half-hour, Megaguirus was aware of the other two giants brawling a few miles away. But she cared not about their affairs. As long as they kept their distance, she wouldn’t interfere. Even if they tried to attack her, Megaguirus felt perfectly safe. Many creatures had tried breaking her broad exoskeleton, but to no avail. She took delight in remembering how she impaled them with her stinger and sucked the plasma out of them. Megaguirus relished the thought of doing it again.

    Gamera’s fireball blazed past the Golden Gate Bridge. Its intense heat burned the paint off the cars. Had it been any closer, the metal would’ve melted. No humans were injured. In fact, there were no humans to be injured in the first place. Gamera knew the blame belonged to Megaguirus.

    Megaguirus’ wings rapidly fluttered. Within an instant, Megaguirus’ titanic shape soared out of harm’s way. Gamera’s fireball plummeted into a hill, obliterating it. Gamera gaped at Megaguirus, ascending higher and higher, reaching aerial speeds well beyond his own. Out of the corner of his eye, Gamera saw her swiftly fly over a street, emitting destructive sonic waves that tore the suspension bridge apart.

    Gamera growled, knowing he couldn’t hit her with his fireballs. He raised his foot and slammed it into the pavement. Gamera approached the bridge, shaking the earth with every step. He tilted his head, peering in the opposite direction. Megaguirus hovered a few feet away, smiling maniacally. She clobbered Gamera’s head with her claw, making him lose his equilibrium. Gamera fell onto the bridge, smashing it with his bulk. Megaguirus hovered above him, knowing she couldn’t penetrate his shell with her stinger.

    Gamera rose up, breathing loudly. Megaguirus smashed her stinger against his face. Gamera wobbled in his stead, fighting to retain his balance. His mouth churned with fire, foreboding his intentions. Megaguirus flew over the damaged bridge, vibrating it with her supersonic waves. Two fireballs followed in hot pursuit. They connected with the bridge, blowing it to pieces. Megaguirus changed her trajectory, heading straight for her attacker. She rammed her stinger into Gamera’s armored sternum.

    Not even its thickness could stop the stinger from burrowing deeply into his body. Gamera’s painful screams could be heard for miles. Fire once again churned within his jaws. Gamera wanted to fry Megaguirus at point blank. But Megaguirus’ stinger started siphoning the fluids out of him, preventing him from firing his primary weapon. As the flames died, Gamera writhed in agony. He could feel his bodily fluids being sucked away. His organs were being twisted and ripped out of their foundations. Gamera felt his Mana, the life force of the planet and the one thing keeping him alive, slip away…

    Spikes jutted out of Gamera’s wrists. Years of evolution and adaptation enabled Gamera to protrude spikes from other parts of his body. Megaguirus screeched, knowing she had underestimated her slower opponent. Gamera swung his right wrist blade, dismembering Megaguirus’ stinger. It took all the strength he could muster, but it was enough. With her connection severed, Megaguirus reeled back, screeching in pain. Destroying her stinger set off every pain receptor in her body. All she could do was hover in midair, releasing high pitched screams.

    Gamera’s eyes narrowed at his injured foe. Many lives were lost this day because of their titanic feud. In the end, the sanctity of the planet mattered more to Gamera, but its people held a special place in his heart. He’d annihilate Megaguirus and purge the world of others like her. To attain peace, sacrifices would have to be made. Innocent blood would have to be spilt. And cities would burn. Gamera accepted this.

    Megaguirus fought the pain. Her last shred of concentration managed to summon the energy she had recently acquired. Energy fluctuated around her abdomen, forming an energetic sphere. Gamera was familiar with the sphere’s makeup. It was the very energy that sustained him. And now, Megaguirus sought to use Gamera’s very life force against him.

    She directed the energy at Gamera. Complying with her wishes, the energy sphere fired. It grazed the air, disemboweling the ground beneath it. Megaguirus watched as Gamera stood motionless. Her pain was temporarily distorted by the thought of seeing her adversary die willingly. But when the energy ball clashed into Gamera, it did not sunder his being. Instead, he absorbed the energy and used it to augment his own. In the final moments of Megaguirus’ life, she felt a wave of failure and helplessness.

    An amplified fireball burst out of Gamera’s jaws, striking Megaguirus. The ensuing explosion bathed a large portion of San Francisco in light. To many, it was as if a second sun had materialized out of thin air. Megaguirus’ charred corpse dropped from the sky, splashing in the water.

    Gamera’s mouth parted, issuing a victorious roar. A torrent of smoke blew out of his leg sockets, masking his feet. Azure light replaced the legs and propelled Gamera into the sky, leaving a trail of white smoke. With one final roar, Gamera chased after the horizon, seeking other creatures committing horrendous acts.

    The battle today would be long remembered by the San Francisco citizens. But to the tourists that had managed to survive the ordeal, it was a profound experience in their lives.

    It was also one hell of a vacation.

    Winner: Gamera (Heisei)

    K.W.C. // April 13, 2007
  • Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Christian Salabert

    For days, unknown epicenters had been plaguing the deserts of Africa. Geologists believed the continental plates were shifting at an astonishing rate, but were ultimately baffled when they discovered it was moving in a straight line. It was as if something was moving beneath the ground, something gigantic…

    War had broken out in the Middle East. Fighter jets soared high above the clouds, bombing structures that appeared like nothing more than miniature playhouses to them. Tanks tread across the deserts, bombarding fortified residences with their shells. Apache helicopters roamed above the city streets, avoiding enemy fire while at the same time exterminating them. Soldiers silently ventured into warehouses, underground caverns, palaces, and other buildings believed to be harboring the enemy.

    No matter the call of duty, none could escape the Sun and the heat it wrought.

    It wasn’t until nightfall did a platoon of soldiers and tanks arrive in a silent city. Military intelligence believed it was harboring a terrorist faction. Their orders were to seek and destroy. They found the city, but it appeared to be devoid of human life. Believing it to be an ambush, tiny sects of elite soldiers were ordered to sneak in. It took hours for them to report that their targets were hiding in the center of the area.

    The tanks and infantry were ordered to move in. While the soldiers managed to sneak in, the ground shaking tanks would no doubt forewarn the enemy of their intentions. But then an unexpected explosion vaporized the complex. Its blinding luminance temporarily usurped the darkness. All of the terrorists were instantly reduced to ash. Soldiers radioed in, asking if an air strike was called in at the last minute. They were immediately told that wasn’t the case.

    Black smoke drifted from the charred building. To the soldiers, it was nothing more but a smoldering skeleton.

    Silence pervaded the area. The soldiers quietly wondered if the terrorists committed suicide. Maybe they were going to blow up the entire complex after the soldiers went inside, only to end up blowing themselves up by accident? These speculations ultimately concealed the real truth: the explosion came from beneath the ground.

    The earth started to shake, heralding the arrival of a colossal creature. From the depths of Hell it had come, free to once again bring carnage to the Earth and its inhabitants. Nobody could believe their eyes. Soldiers quietly prayed, hoping their God would protect them from this blight of creation. It became clear that this demon was to blame for the sudden explosion and the massacre that was soon to come.

    Kumasogami tried roaring its defiance. Only the sound became lost in its molten throat. The soldiers gaped at Kumasogami’s haunting figure. Its molten flesh writhed with pulsating fury. While its body resembled that of a humanoid, everything else was not of this earth. Its crimson eyes pierced the souls of every soldier. Encompassing its cheeks were twitching membranes. Kumasogami’s molten hide fueled the air with smoke.

    It took a step toward the tank battalion. The ground beneath its feet rapidly melted. From within the tanks, machines clattered to life. In unison, the tanks started to back away. But it was already too late. One soldier watched in horror as Kumasogami’s right hand transformed its composition. Its fingers turned into three long pointed shapes. The other hand transformed into an organic bow. It quickly dawned on the tank commanders that they were going to become the unwilling targets of Kumasogami!

    Seeking to avoid destruction, the tanks opened fire. Glowing shells departed the barrels. Loud, ear-piercing sounds boomed across the battlefield. The shells plunged into Kumasogami’s carapace, but dissipated upon contact. Kumasogami’s mocking laughter managed to bypass its grainy throat. It hushed its attackers, making them realize the hopelessness of the situation.

    It was too late for the tanks to retreat. Kumasogami connected its arrows to the bow. In a sickening display of sadism, Kumasogami launched its exploding arrows and watched the entire tank battalion disappear in a sea of fire. Amid the flames and burning smoke, Kumasogami heard the cries of mortal men being burnt alive. To the demon, it was a haunting lullaby.

    And only the beginning…

    For days, an epicenter had been steadily moving in a direct path. At long last, its instigator had reached its destination.

    The city had been burnt beyond recognition. Not one soul survived the inferno. Kumasogami stood silently, surveying its charred dominion. Kumasogami’s forsaken eyes stared off into the dark horizon, spoiled by its accomplishments. The deaths of a hundred mortals could not satisfy its chaotic lust. As it prepared to depart, a new adversary made its presence known.

    From the bowels of the planet, it had come to cleanse the Earth of this vile demon. It cared not of humanity or its monstrous brethren. Its only obligation was to destroy anything that threatened the Earth. That was its purpose. Primordial energies flowed through its veins, carrying with it the essence of the Earth. Organisms affiliated with the Earth harbored the same life force.

    And so Earth’s guardian split the land asunder. It rose up out of the ground, issuing a defiant roar. Kumasogami analyzed its new foe. It was not the armored reptile that defeated it on Monster Island. Kumasogami tilted its head, sensing an unseen aura. When it realized the purity of its benignity, Kumasogami’s eyes burned brightly. This was no ordinary titan. Earth’s guardian resembled that of a hybrid between a beetle and a caterpillar. Its carapace was black, but laced with yellowish textures. A long, golden horn pointed out of its forehead. Two long tusks protruded out of its cheeks, adjoining the serrated jaws. Kumasogami’s visage reflected off its crimson eyes. Agitated by the mere sight of Earth’s offender, Battra bellowed his rage.

    Kumasogami responded in kind. Tonight, it would slay Earth’s guardian. Then tomorrow, the Earth would die screaming. Battra dove into the soil that gave him life. He tunneled his way across the city, until it was beneath his demonic foe. Kumasogami backtracked, surprised by Battra’s speed. But not even Battra’s speed could match his tenacity. Battra flew out of the scorched surface, ramming his body into Kumasogami. Not even the demon could remain standing. Kumasogami flattened the charred structures with its plummeting bulk.

    Battra gazed at his fallen adversary. Bolts of amber glowing energy circulated around his horn. Kumasogami started to rise, only to witness an energy blast crashing into its face. A horrific howl escaped Kumasogami’s molten maw. But it would not let its pain prevent it from retaliating. Kumasogami used its organic bow to steady its aim. Waves of crackling energies embroiled Battra’s eyes. As Battra’s horn discharged another surge of his energy blast, lavender bolts emitted from his eyes accompanied it. Kumasogami stumbled back, clearly affected by Battra’s resiliency. Its molten flesh had been breached by Battra’s energetic assaults. Desperate to appease its damaged pride, Kumasogami shot its arrows at Battra.

    The tips of the arrows shattered after striking Battra’s thick carapace, but it mattered little. An explosion enveloped Battra completely, obscuring its existence in a cascade of fire. But Kumasogami still sensed life in its foe. Not even the fires of Hell could vanquish Earth’s protector! Kumasogami expressed its rage as Battra emerged from the conflagration. Battra mocked Kumasogami’s failed efforts with a loud cackle.

    Smoke sizzled off Battra’s burnt carapace as he departed its hellish prison. Battra may have been quick to mock the demon’s intentions, but it could not hide his pain. Kumasogami gaped at the wounded guardian, realizing victory was at hand. Three arrows were immediately replaced in Kumasogami’s gritty appendage. Battra moved closer, unable to harness his once great speed. Kumasogami fired its arrows without delay. But Battra swiftly fired his bolts at the arrows in midair, igniting them. A ball of fire materialized, flattening any structures caught in its explosive radius.

    Kumasogami gazed into the fire, mesmerized by its beauty. On this planet, fire was essential to the ecosystem. With it, new generations of trees could inherit the planet. In a perverse way, Kumasogami could relate, for it was fire that gave its kind life. Perhaps it should seed the earth with fire and harvest the next batch of its demonic successors…

    An orange hued bolt skewered Kumasogami’s abdomen. Kumasogami’s painful wails screeched the cold air. Molten blood oozed out of its injury. Kumasogami’s livid eyes glowered at the creature that injured it so. Battra moved closer, hoping to thrust his horn into Kumasogami’s heart. To satisfy his violent ambitions, his crimson orbs injected the demon with lavender hued beams. But Kumasogami ignored the pain, even when its molten flesh was blown off its body. Battra briefly watched the molten fluids flow out of the demon’s veins, melting the soil below. Kumasogami used Battra’s hesitation to its advantage. The demon’s bow shaped arm morphed into a long elegant blade. Light from the flickering flames glinted off its shiny surface. It was clear that countless creatures had been slain by it.

    Crackling bolts enveloped Battra’s horn. But Kumasogami was quick to move in close enough to attack first. Kumasogami swiped the air with its blade, striking Battra’s towering horn. The collision between Kumasogami’s unholy blade and Battra’s horn generated a shower of sparks. At point blank, Battra’s horn released his destructive energies. It lanced into Kumasogami’s throat, ravaging it internally. Kumasogami thrusted its blade forward as it fell to its knees. To Battra’s dismay, the blade bypassed his mandibles and gouged the back of its throat.

    Battra twisted his head back and forth, struggling to breathe. It wasn’t just the blade lodged in his mouth that was choking it, but the internal bleeding as well. It wouldn’t be long before Battra had died by choking on his own blood. There was only one way to avert such a fate.

    Flames churned out of Kumasogami’s eyes. Its face molded into a hideous grin. The demon sensed Battra’s deteriorating life force. And should the Earth’s protector die, it wouldn’t be long before the planet followed suit.

    Suddenly, Battra transformed into a cocoon of energy. Kumasogami sheathed its blade, perplexed by Battra’s sudden metamorphosis. Tendrils of energy circulated out of the cocoon and met high above the clouds. The once dark sky was brimming with celestial radiance. Kumasogami silently watched as the bright luminance heralded the arrival of Battra’s imago state!

    Where energy faded, blood and flesh intertwined. The outline of a winged avenger was lost in the restored night sky. Kumasogami silently stared at the hanging blackness, disturbed it no longer had victory in its grasp. And now, Kumasogami’s once land based foe had acquired a new attribute: flight.

    Battra soared above the clouds, feeling the wind wash over him. He blended in with the night perfectly. If the Sun had miraculously risen, the light would’ve contrasted greatly with Battra’s black carapace. Alas, darkness was his keeper, and an asset. Battra’s crimson wings were laced with yellow textures. Atop his head was a crown of three horns. Attached to his abdomen were six legs, each comprised of sharp claws. Red glowing horns sprouted out of the abdomen’s side. For the most part, Battra’s outline resembled a giant moth. It was his hideous complexion that separated him from his kin.

    It was an adequate way to strike fear in any that threatened the sanctity of his world.

    Kumasogami spotted Battra flying overhead. The demon immediately fired its arrows, seeking to shoot Battra out of the sky. But the arrows whizzed off into the sky, exploding harmlessly in the distance. Kumasogami replaced its arrows with another set. It realized it never had been toyed with in such a manner. It was the hunter, not the prey! Kumasogami bellowed a violent roar. Battra’s response was blasting the demon’s backside with a barrage of prism beams. Kumasogami swung around, homing in on the beam’s source. Arrows were fired in its direction, hitting nothing but air. Kumasogami growled in despair. Losing its temper, Kumasogami fired its arrows at the surrounding area. Charred buildings were blown away by the explosive force. Pillars of fire consumed entire city blocks.

    Battra descended behind Kumasogami, compelling the demon to turn around and face its foe. From only a few feet apart, both demon and dark warrior locked eyes. A defining hiss screeched out of Battra’s mandibles. Kumasogami growled, coughing up molten rocks. As the demon readied its blade, thermal energies embodied Battra’s horns. Scarlet eyes ejected prism beams, blasting a hole through Kumasogami’s skull. Kumasogami ignored the intense pain and embedded its blade deep into Battra’s gut. Battra’s painful screeches eased Kumasogami’s injuries. Even with its vision greatly hampered, the demon did not miss its target. Battra tethered Kumasogami with his legs, forcefully removing it from his body. Green blood oozed out of Battra’s wound, staining the soil below.

    Arrows shot forth, impaling one of Battra’s wings. Battra tried pulling the arrows out with his legs, but couldn’t reach. This failed enterprise diverted Battra’s attention from the real threat. More arrows plunged into Battra’s other wing. Battra floated aimlessly above the earth, capable of only pelting Kumasogami with his prism beams. Though its limbs were dissipated by Battra’s vengeful assaults, Kumasogami cared not. It laughed maniacally as its arrows simultaneously detonated.

    Large portions of Battra’s wings were incinerated. With his ability to sustain flight negated, Battra defied gravity no longer. Kumasogami watched Earth’s guardian plummet to the ground. Only then did Battra realize Kumasogami was between him and the ground. Kumasogami briefly analyzed the blade it had. The demon determined it was inadequate for the job. So it fashioned a longer, sharper blade. Kumasogami’s malevolent laughter disturbed even Battra’s tenacious spirit.

    The seconds ticked by. It wouldn’t be long before Battra felt the stinging sensation of a long blade penetrating his flesh, shredding his insides, and rendering this body obsolete. Thousands of years ago, Battra was conceived in the heart of the planet. Whenever an epidemic occurred, threatening the tranquility of the planet, Battra was summoned to dispel it. Ultimately, Battra knew it was expendable. Should he ever die, then the Earth would recreate a new body for him to inhabit. But Battra was a selfless, prideful being. It would not tarnish its ego with such a dishonorable act.

    Battra’s horns embodied its rage. Prism beams severed Kumasogami’s blade from its arm. Kumasogami watched its blade strike the charcoal at its feet. The demon wasted no time in forging a new blade, but its fate was sealed. Before striking Kumasogami, Battra reversed its evolutionary state by transforming back into his Larva stage. The momentum of Battra’s descent and its incredible mass helped it impale its horn deeper into Kumasogami’s twisted heart.

    Kumasogami showcased its rage by hollering madly. With its heart damaged, the demon could no longer operate sufficiently. Unable to sustain its fiery makeup, fire blossomed out of every corner of Kumasogami’s body. Battra disappeared amidst the sweltering inferno. Before long, the orange hued flames converted to black, warped by an unseen supernatural force. The black maelstrom twisted and pulled, its unearthly purpose meant only to be sucked into a lifeless void, consuming everything around it.

    Sunlight trickled across the horizon.

    A large hole comprised the heart of the scorched city. In the murky core of the hole, there was no life. It looked as if it was a bottomless pit. Battra scuttled out of the hole, avoiding a fate worse than death. After a brutal fight, Battra could finally return to the Earth’s womb, where he would rejuvenate his strength and serve another day.

    Hours later, army personnel arrived on the scene, surprised to learn that not a trace of their comrades could be found. But what perplexed them the most wasn’t the ravaged city, but the void that made up its center. For years to come, scientists would ponder its formation. But not even science could explain its existence, for if humanity ever discovered that the void was in fact a gateway to where demons and nightmares weaved untold horrors – then panic would grip the very foundations of the Earth…

    And bring about chaos.

    Winner: Battra

    K.W.C. // April 11, 2007