Author: Andrew Sudomerski | Banner: Jackson Morris
The Age of Monsters came to an end the day Godzilla died. An unfathomable catastrophe, immeasurable in its ensuing destruction that nearly brought an end to the world. The great monsters of old, only spoken of as myths and legends, lost with time. Now humanity, or what little there was left, hung by a thread to survive the consequences of their sins. The monsters that remained were nothing short of vicious, deemed too dangerous to approach. Mankind could only flee from their presence.
Humans no longer had a hero to look upon. That was, until the day a hero rose from the depths.
In the ruins of Tokyo
Hidden under the apocalyptic surface in a damp subway station, a lone child quivered in fear. Two kaiju converged on the former metropolis; for what reason, he could only guess the destruction of his family and everyone around him. His parents told him these monsters weren’t here to protect, but to destroy. And for that, young Akio worried deeply for his parents. He had been separated from them during the initial landing, lost in the flood of survivors seeking refuge underground. The tunnel quaked with the footfalls of the giants that loomed above, small chunks of rubble falling to the abandoned railway. It wouldn’t be long now…
The city seemed deserted, but they knew better. Humans were mere ants in scale, but their presence could pose a threat if they were given the chance to repopulate. It was by their master’s orders that the humans must be purged. They’ve splattered many humans by trampling them, leaving only piles of bloodstains within their footprints. Even more incinerated by blasts of blue flames or bolts of lightning, burying the remains in a sea of fire.
Their eyes scanned the rest of the landscape, knowing there were more hidden from their sight. Yet deep in their subconscious, something irked them. A feeling of yet another presence, be it alerted by their natural instincts or endowed with this knowledge by their masters. The blue and purple titan, known as Goliath, stopped to turn.
On the horizon, a figure made its approach. Goliath tapped his partner, the long-necked reptile Bemular, with his tail to shift his attention, to which he did. They both saw it, but could not determine what it was. Was it an ally that would assist in wiping out humanity from the face of the Earth? Or was it a hero of the olden age, here to stop them and save this world from further devastation?
The newcomer made himself known. His scaly flesh was like the bark of a tree, his snout rounded, each foot adorned with three toes. A single row of large dorsal fins, with two smaller ones on each side, aligned his back. Yet his eyes burned with a fiery determination. His long, wormy tail slammed against the wreckage and cracked asphalt. Rearing back, he unleashed a powerful screech that had been foreign to their ears since the day of the catastrophe. In the minds of the colossal aliens, only a single name designated the nature of the target.
The piercing roar caught the attention of Akio and those around him. While they had suspicions when the bellows of the rampaging kaiju died down, the arrival of this new monster raised questions. Only a curious few dared to peek at the surface, with Akio tagging along. When they made it above ground, they all saw it, the three monsters having a standoff. At the sight of this, Akio tugged at the shirt of an elderly man, one that he and his parents have had associations with since his birth.
“Mr. Takeyama,” Akio muttered, “is that the monster you told me about?” He pointed to the bipedal reptile with the rows of dorsal fins along its back. Takeyama could only nod.
“That has to be him,” he said, with a stutter of doubt in his voice. ‘But how could that be?’ he thought to himself. ‘Godzilla died many years ago. They all did. Could this be another member?’ He asked himself more and more questions, none of which had proper answers based on what little he truly knew. He could only use his eyes to prove that what was before them was real. ‘Maybe the Earth, and humanity, will finally have a fighting chance.’
The Japanese youth pulled at him, trying to get his attention. “Do you think he will save us all?” The elder had to ponder for a moment. In the tales that Takeyama’s father told him as a child, Godzilla was no hero of justice, but a judge of nature. A mutation born of human sin and crossing the boundaries set in place. Yet time and time again, he always saved the world from utmost destruction…
“We will have to see.” It was the only tangible response he could come up with.
Godzilla set his eyes on the extraterrestrial menaces, seeing who would be the first to strike. Of the two, Bemular burst a blue stream of concentrated fire from his gaping maw. Sparks exploded as the flames seared against Godzilla’s charcoal gray flesh. He knew who his first target would be. Springing into action, he beelined to the lumbering space cretin with his fists clenched.
With no hesitation, Godzilla boxed Bemular with a hard left hook square in the face, sending the titan spinning and spitting bodily fluids. Goliath, however, did not take this sitting down. The blue leviathan rammed his armored body against the Monster King, bashing him with his monstrous hands. Godzilla returned the favor by striking back with hard-hitting jabs, shoving the space monster off of him.
With no break in between, Bemular whipped Godzilla with his thick tail, cracking his rough, bark-like skin. Godzilla turned to face the other foe, only for the alien reptile to whack with the backside of his cranium, which was made of rugged spikes. They impaled through the skin, yet didn’t penetrate all the way. Bemular didn’t think anything of it as Godzilla forcefully shoved him away with his bare hands.
The duo crackle with energies from maw and horn respectively, as Bemular spewed fire and Goliath shot lightning. Assailed by the onslaught, Godzilla turned his back to them to protect his chest. Bits and chunks of Godzilla’s flesh erupted from the assault, though not enough to incapacitate him.
As a means of throwing his enemies off, Godzilla’s segmented tail swept across the rubble, kicking up a larger cloud of dust. He continued to do this until the massive haze shrouded the battlefield, rendering him, and by extension the space monsters, invisible. For Bemular and Goliath, the two halted their oral assault. Amidst the brownish fog, their primary target could be anywhere. They scoured the area with their eyes, but alas found nothing.
Even so, the eventual sounds of footfalls echoed across the dusty landscape. The two kaiju readied themselves, but uncertain for what came next. Godzilla’s silhouette broke through the cloud, but with a large spire in his arms. It was formerly part of a rusty transmission tower, but the tip has been melded together with intense heat to form a spike, still hot to the touch.
With utmost accuracy, Godzilla javelin tossed the forged spear at Goliath. Before he realized it, the metal tip burrowed deep into the thick blue skin on his belly. The agony burned as red blood flowed and evaporated from the wound. Goliath dropped to the ground, moaning and aching from the foreign construction inside of him.
As the blue behemoth tried to pull the metal lance from his body, Bemular knew he had to stop Godzilla. Encasing himself in a bright blue sphere, the alien fiend dove straight towards the nuclear menace. Distorting the dusty air, the energy body crashed into the reptilian leviathan, tearing a large slab from Godzilla’s shoulder and knocking him off his feet.
Goliath, meanwhile, pulled the weapon from his body and held the bloody hole in his stomach. Sparks of electricity zapped the wound and cauterized it with heated plasma. The moment he was able to, he snapped the red coated spire in two and tossed them aside, converging to assist his comrade in battle.
The humans watched the spectacle from their safe haven as the battle of the monsters took place. However, between the sphere exerting tremendous light and the thick fog of dust and dirt, it was impossible to tell what was going on. Some said the two were exchanging a beam war, but the rest couldn’t tell. All that they were allowed to see was when Bemular’s sphere of light faded.
The exact specifics about what happened was unknown, between the walls of Bemular and the brutal beat down that must have been ensuing. Regardless, all that they saw was the kaiju-sized silhouette flying in their general direction. Only those with common sense made it out alive, as the rest of the fools became bloody pulps as Bemular’s body skidded across the ruins and broken asphalt.
Takeyama snatched Akio and booked it back to the underground shelter. Takeyama was far from the young man he once was, so when the rumbling of the kaiju’s mass began to quake the entire area, the force of it sent him and the youth flying at an arc. Wanting the next generation to live so that humanity may prosper, Takeyama held the child tightly in his chest and turned to take the full force of their landing.
In an instant, the old man went limp and the child rendered unconscious. Those who were retreating to the community also fell, some living to see another day, others not. The ones who lived dashed back to their friends and neighbors to tell them of what had transpired, their eyes lighting up with hope… And dread.
The two exchanged blow after blow; Godzilla jabbed the behemoth with a flurry of boxing-like hooks and Goliath likewise returned the favor with bulky hits infused with electricity. Goliath finished his side of the fight with a lethal uppercut to Godzilla’s jaw, electrocuting his flesh and cracking his jaw. Goliath expected to savor in the pain, relish in Godzilla’s misery.
However, all Godzilla did in the wake of his attack was snap his lower jaw back in place. With no change in his fixed determined expression, Godzilla’s jaw was functioning as normal. The sight of this unnerved Goliath down to his animalistic core. His pig-like nostrils smell for any traces of blood… Only to realize that all he could smell were his own blood, Bemular’s, the airborne dirt and the slain humans.
Stirring from unconsciousness, Bemular picked himself back up, licking the blood from his chops. As his head cleared of the pain, Bemular wasted no time and charged straight for Godzilla and Goliath to intervene.
Goliath held his bearings, as he was brutally whacked by Godzilla’s tail repeatedly. An opportunity presented itself, fortunately, and Goliath grabbed hold of the kaiju king’s wormy extension. His hands burst to life with electricity, zapping the tail with intense voltage. Godzilla twitched and reacted unnaturally, but still had the fixed determined expression.
With a robotic stiffness, Godzilla lunged towards the blue fiend; specifically, the nasal horn. A precise yet shaky strike ripped the horn from its resting place, Goliath reeling in genuine pain and misery. Without his horn, Goliath could no longer manipulate his electrical prowess. Godzilla recalibrated and purged the excess lightning from his body, then delivered a hard right hook into Goliath’s face. The beast collapsed from the weight of the hit, still in agony from the loss of his horn.
A stream of blue flames struck Godzilla’s hide, diverting his attention to Bemular. The spiny reptile screeched in defiance, eager to take down this new Monster King. Godzilla, leaving Goliath be for now, scanned his foe, determining what to do next… Then it clicked in his mind. Bemular stood guard, waiting to see his opponent initiate the first move.
The charcoal beast backed up, pawed the ground with his feet, then charged at top speed while dragging his tail. The acceleration allowed the atomic reptile time to heave his body into the air, allowing the momentum of the wormy tail to handle the rest. Sliding on his tail, Godzilla had his feet ready to slam against the unfortunate foe in his path. Bemular braced for it, pressing his talons into the earth to stand his ground. But not even preparation could attest to the power of the king. The feet planted themselves onto Bemular, shoving him to the ground with Godzilla on top of him. Without mercy or remorse, Godzilla stomped and crunched on Bemular’s chest.
The only reason Godzilla never got the chance to fully break Bemular’s rib cage was thanks to the intervention of Goliath, tossing his entire mass on the attacker and pinning him to the earth below. Even without his electrical enhancements, the blue behemoth relentlessly slammed his fists and gnawed at Godzilla’s hide. Although the monstrous reptile tried to relieve himself of this nuisance, Goliath persisted. This gave Bemular enough time to recuperate. Rising from the gravel pit, Bemular assisted Goliath by kicking at Godzilla’s cranium, hoping to cave his skull in and have the brain matter splatter across the ground.
But Godzilla did not cry out.
Akio awakened with a fuzzy memory, his vision blurry. However, as his senses came to, he realized where he was. How they got here. Looking up, he realized that his dear old friend was unmoving. He tugged at his collar, trying to make him wake up.
“Mr. Takeyama! Mr. Takeyama!” Akio cried aloud, his little heart breaking as the cold reality started to dawn on him. Tears streamed down his face, his nose running with wet mucus as he clutched to the body of an old family friend. First his parents, now a man that he looked up to. The people he considered family were gone, and there was nothing he could do. In his mind, he felt the utmost urgency to return to the community that he had known for all of his small life.
“Godzilla will save us all. I know it.”
Bemular’s toes felt numb; regardless of how often he drove his foot into the fallen kaiju’s cranium, it seemed to do nothing. He resorted to simply blasting Godzilla with fire, making sure to avoid Goliath. The space monsters continued their two-on-one assault for a full thirty-seconds longer, bashing him with clenched fists and bathing him in hot blue flames. However, the tide of the battle turned over in Godzilla’s favor. Just as Goliath was ready to chew his way at Godzilla’s snout, the Monster King opened his maw.
His dorsal fins ignited.
A fiery golden radioactive beam spewed from his mouth, bursting through the back of Goliath’s throat, severing the neural connection with his brain.
Like that, Goliath collapsed. Bemular recoiled at the sight of this sudden turn of events, frightened and not knowing what to do. ‘Godzilla’ shoved the giant’s corpse aside and stood back on his two feet. The skin that was torn off from the assault was nothing more than a cover for the metallic body hidden beneath it.
Encompassed by instinctual fear, compelled to disobey direct orders, Bemular encased itself in the ball of light once more. Instead of using it offensively, Bemular took off with all the energy he could muster.
‘Godzilla’ knew he would not let him live. Thus, ‘Godzilla’—officially designated as Mechagodzilla—calculated what to do next. His body burned brilliantly with white flames, shedding the disguise. As the dust cloud settled to the ground, Mechagodzilla’s silver body gleamed with the fading sunset, reflecting the star’s light. The rockets within the soles of his feet revved to life, granting Mechagodzilla the ability of flight.
Bemular huffed and puffed while in the travel ball, feeling sure that he had distanced himself and the mechanical menace. His panicking mind raced with thoughts that clouded his better judgement. What did catch his attention, however, was the sound of burning rockets. He twisted his head and, like from a nightmare, saw Mechagodzilla closing the gap between them. Bemular increased his speed to maximum capacity, hoping to outrun the fiend.
The forearms of the doppelganger clicked into place, carefully aiming his fingers at the flying sphere. Bursts of finger-rockets targeted and made it to the fleeing coward, exploding into plumes of smoke and flames. For Bemular, this wasn’t even the worst of it. Although his sphere sponged the damage of the missiles, Mechagodzilla had more tricks up his sleeve. The reptilian imposter’s lifeless red eyes flashed with energy, streaming a rainbow beam of destructive force. All it took was two extra shots of the eye beams and more missiles before the sapphire orb faded, Bemular plummeting to the earth below.
As Bemular’s bloodied body writhed in agony, Mechagodzilla ceased his rockets and made a smooth landing. He made the approach towards the dying alien. When the two made eye contact, Bemular feared for his life. There was nothing he could do now to stop his executioner.
For a moment Mechagodzilla stood idle and motionless. His processes were calculating and awaiting the final verdict from his masters.
Mechagodzilla received the transmission. He reached out with his stiff metallic hands and stuffed it down Bemular’s throat. In a last ditch attempt to save his own life, Bemular squealed for mercy. The pitiful screeches stopped as the silver machine blasted the helpless fool with a barrage of missiles, exploding Bemular’s head into a mess of gore, blood, and brain matter. The lifeless corpse slammed against the rubble and ruins. Enough was enough, and Mechagodzilla left his corpse to rot. With that, Mechagodzilla followed his path into the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Akio never saw what happened. All his childish mind knew was that the threats of the space monsters were vanquished. He told everyone all that had transpired after they all left, or at least what little he could recall. The story, though saddening for the loss of life, brought hope in the eyes of the people. A monster by the name of Godzilla came back as humanity’s last true line of defense. Humankind would repopulate, have a second chance at taking care of the Earth. Soon, a new Golden Age would prosper and humans would thrive once more…
Deep in the Pacific Ocean
Mechagodzilla returned to the undersea headquarters, with seven other creatures like Godzilla, each with their own unique sets of physical features, waiting on the seafloor. A sliding door opened as he gracefully made his descent. The door closed, and sirens blared, the salt water drained from the facility. With the area empty, alien machines began to operate Mechagodzilla’s systems to ensure everything was in check and optimal.
Within the observation deck overseeing Mechagodzilla’s repairs, Kuronuma grinned and casted his gaze upon Mechagodzilla. It represented something deeper to him than any slave within this facility. Mechagodzilla was the ultimate weapon that he would use to restore mankind’s hopes, then shatter them into despair. His pawns Bemular and Goliath served perfectly for this role. And he would continue the act for as long as need be, until the time was right. He would send in mind-controlled monsters, then one of his Mechagodzillas would stop it from destroying the humans. He knew he had the power to wipe them all out now, but it would be no fun in making them suffer first.
Humans never had a hero to look upon. Only a phantom who rose from the depths.
‘I wonder how long we can keep up this charade?’ he wondered to himself.
Winner: Mechagodzilla (Showa)