Author: Forrest Freund | Banner: Dao Zang Moua

Iris and Destoroyah both landed on Birth Island, each knocking over trees and blowing up enormous clouds of dust as they came to rest on the rocky ground. Both monsters began to eye each other. Destoroyah eyed the smaller Iris with the desire to kill, while Iris had an unreadable expression on his stoic visage. Both monsters began to circle each other, both tensed for the coming battle.

Destoroyah broke the stalemate by firing his Oxygen Destroyer beam at Iris. The blast struck Iris full force in the chest, caught off guard by the sudden assault. Iris screeched out in pain as the blast seared his flesh with white-hot agony. Iris, after recovering from the attack, retaliated by lunging at Destoroyah, right arm raised to drive the jagged spear point into his opponent’s flesh. Destoroyah braced himself for the blow, but it never landed, as Iris flew up and over Destoroyah just before he was within striking range.

Before Destoroyah could recover, Iris performed a quick 180 degree turn in midair, sending two of his bladed tendrils through the base of Destoroyah’s wings. Then with a burst of speed, Iris thrust forward and tore huge gaps in Destoroyah’s wing membranes, snapping the bones before the blades ripped free. As Iris tore the blades out, Destoroyah screamed out in pain and rage. Iris pulled his tendrils back in and pivoted in midair, only to find Destoroyah charging towards him, screaming bloody murder. His tattered, bloody wings flapped ineffectually behind him.

Destoroyah’s claws connected with Iris’ left arm, tearing an enormous, ragged, bloody gash into it. Iris shrieked out in pain and reflexively took to the air, trying to escape his enraged opponent, trailing blood in his wake. When Destoroyah tried to follow, he only snarled with pain as he tried to get his ruined wings to work. Iris stopped ascending and gazed down at his grounded opponent. Gaining confidence, Iris lashed out with his tendrils again, aiming for Destoroyah’s head.

Destoroyah sensed the tendrils approaching, and fired an Oxygen Destroyer beam at them, knocking them off-course. One tendril swerved past the beam, striking Destoroyah in the right half of his faceplate. Destoroyah shrieked and responded to the attack by grabbing the tendril, pulling on it with all his might. Iris was pulled from the sky and struck the ground, causing small fissures to open up. Destoroyah then began to pull the tendril, using it to reel in Iris. Iris sensed that he was in danger, and responded by deploying two of his tendrils. They wrapped around his foe’s legs and pulled with all of their might. Thrown off balance, Destoroyah fell to the ground.

At the moment of impact, Destoroyah dissolved into a swarm of Juvenile Destoroyahs. Just as suddenly as Destoroyah broke apart, the Juvenile Destoroyahs began to swarm the downed Iris, who was still recovering from the fall. The creatures began to claw, bite, and sting Iris as he tried to get to his feet.

In desperation, Iris took to the air once again, flying at top speed to try and dislodge the Juvenile Destoroyahs from his body. The sudden acceleration managed to dislodge half of them, but the rest remained and continued their assault on him. Iris lashed out at the Juvenile Destoroyahs with his tendrils, knocking them off. Then, he lashed out with one of his tendrils, impaling one of the falling crabs. Iris brought the beast up to his right claw, and then drove the point into the creature’s shell. The Juvenile Destoroyah screamed out in pain, but quieted as Iris drained its life energy. As Iris absorbed the crustacean’s life energy, the multitude of small wounds the other crabs had caused to him stopped bleeding and closed up. Iris dropped the desiccated husk of the crab, which crumbled into dust as it fell.

While Iris fought off these smaller bodies, Destoroyah used the time to regain some of his energy, and had rejoined into his flying form. Noticing that Iris was distracted, he flew up towards the other monster, murder burning in his eyes. Iris was stunned to see that his foe had not only changed form again, but was now flying directly towards him! Destoroyah flew past Iris, slashing his damaged left arm with his wing blades, and circled around for another run.

Iris waited patiently till the last second, and then suddenly dove out of the way. As Destoroyah flew over, Iris brought up two of his tendrils and fired his energy beams at his foe. The beams raked across Destoroyah’s belly, and Destoroyah plummeted towards the ground. Iris pivoted in midair, so he could watch his enemy splatter on the ground. But when Destoroyah hit, he broke apart into the many Juvenile Destoroyahs again.

Iris stared with amazement as Destoroyah once again reformed into his giant form, with wings perfectly intact. Destoroyah took to the air with such speed that he was upon Iris before he could react. Summoning all of his strength, Destoroyah folded his wings up and body slammed into Iris, knocking the both of them out of the air. The two behemoths plummeted towards the ground in a tangle of wings, tendrils, teeth, and claws, both snarling and shrieking as they fell. They hit with such tremendous force that enormous fissures opened up, snaking away from the fallen monsters.

Destoroyah, having landed on top, pinned Iris under him. Iris struggled to break free, but Destoroyah used his tremendous bulk to force him down. Destoroyah lunged with his jaws at Iris’ head, but Iris managed to shift just enough to move his head out of harm’s way. Instead, Destoroyah clamped his vicious jaws on Iris’ left shoulder, biting down hard.

Iris screamed out in pain as Destoroyah’s teeth punctured his shoulder muscles and reached the bone, causing a small torrent of blood to rupture from the bite wound and into Destoroyah’s mouth. Enraged that anything would dare hurt him that severely, Iris managed to wrestle his right arm free and drove it into Destoroyah’s left eye. Iris twisted the tip and drilled it in further, causing a grisly spray of blood to erupt from Destoroyah’s eye socket. Destoroyah, enraged by the pain, was forced to release his grip and fly backward to escape. Iris got to his feet and flew backwards, so as to distance himself from his rabid opponent.

The two monsters stared each other down, Iris examining his ruined left shoulder and now useless left arm. Destoroyah fumed at being half blinded and roared out in uncontained fury. He then began to advance on Iris. Iris brought up his tendrils to prepare to fire, but noticed that Destoroyah’s horn was glowing. Realizing that Destoroyah was about to use a new attack, Iris evaded barely in time as Destoroyah’s horn cutter beam sliced past his left flank. The beam missed Iris’ body, but did sever one of Iris’ tendrils, cauterizing the wound as it went.

Destoroyah flapped his wings and charged Iris, who was preoccupied by the pain of his ruined tendril. Iris’ orb gleamed blue with anger, then thrust one of his tendrils straight at the flying demon. Destoroyah, blind in his left side, didn’t notice the tendril and was struck in the throat. The blow acted like a clothesline and Destoroyah fell to his right and crashed, rolling through the trees as if they were toothpicks. When he came to a stop, Destoroyah tried to regain his bearings, but instead felt a searing pain in his right arm and wing.

When he tried to move them, he couldn’t. As Destoroyah looked over, he saw Iris floating above him. Destoroyah roared when he realized that two of Iris’ tendrils had rammed through his right arm and wing, pinning him to the ground. Iris thrust another tendril out, this time through Destoroyah’s left wing membrane and arm. Destoroyah tried to pull free, but Iris landed on his chest. Still furious about losing one of his tendrils, Iris drove his good right arm through the bottom of Destoroyah’s jaw, pinning the demon’s mouth shut. Iris began to siphon off Destoroyah’s power, the latter showed signs of wither as the former restored his injured left arm and shoulder.

Suddenly, caught off guard to what came next, Destoroyah suddenly divided into his Juvenile state again, freeing himself from Iris’ grasp. Destoroyah’s crab bodies distanced themselves and then rejoined into their final form. The two monsters stared each other down. Iris was visibly recharged from feeding, while Destoroyah had been considerably weakened from so many shape changes and taking so much damage. Iris brought up his tendrils and began to charge them up with Destoroyah’s horn cutter.

Destoroyah, barely able to keep himself up, could only half-heartedly retreat. Iris lashed out with a virtual storm of cutting beams, most of the beams failing to hit. But two found their mark. One took off Destoroyah’s left wing and arm, while the second sliced his right leg off at the knee joint. Destoroyah collapsed to the ground, blood pooling up around his severed limbs. Destoroyah tried to get up, but couldn’t, as he realized that he was fatally wounded. He managed to call up enough strength to raise himself up on the bloody stump of his right leg and his remaining arm.

Destoroyah looked up and saw Iris slowly advancing on him, tendrils lashing about in anticipation. Destoroyah tried to gather enough energy for one last Oxygen Destroyer beam, but the blast fizzled out in his mouth as his arm slipped in his own blood, collapsing under his weight. His eyes peered at Iris, who now loomed over his prone body. Destoroyah growled once, but was struck by one of Iris’ tendrils across his muzzle. Iris brought all of his tendrils to bear on Destoroyah and, opening the tips, began to charge up several Oxygen Destroyer beams.

In a blaze of purple-white energy, Iris began to immolate Destoroyah’s prone form with a torrent of energy. Destoroyah screamed out in pain, but grew quiet as his mind slipped into oblivion. Iris continued to unleash the brilliant streams of destructive energy until there was nothing left of Destoroyah’s corpse but an ashen husk. Iris lowered his tendrils and slapped the brittle Destoroyah, causing the blasted shell to crumble like burnt paper.

Verifying his foe’s demise, Iris raised his head and shrieked at the heavens, taking to the air. His tendrils whipped up a cloud of ash as he vanished into the sky.

Winner: Iris