Author: Matthew Freese | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

Atop a pedestal of stone, a god watched over his kingdom. Darkness had fallen over the land, and the moon and the stars stood against it and made for a spectacle to anyone looking up.

Mothra Leo did enjoy the devotion and praise of his people, to hear their chanting and watch their elaborate displays in worship of him. Not out of a narcissistic desire, but because it made his followers happy and reminded him of all he was dedicated to protecting. It was the people of Infant Island that helped keep him from the path taken by beings like Battra.

But he enjoyed nights like this one just as much, when his followers chose to leave him alone either to sleep or to enjoy the night for themselves. For these nights gave him a chance to bask in nature’s tranquility and to look at the beautiful tapestry laid out in the sky every night.

On this night his focus was on a meteor shower. It was a beautiful display, a dynamic light show in contrast to the usual static beauty of the stars and moon. His emerald eyes suddenly focused on a large meteor, one that stood out against the rest for its size. It was big enough to where it would break through the atmosphere and strike the planet. Leo still continued staring at it, for reasons he didn’t know.

Until dread dug its talons into his mind. The meteor carried a presence within it, something chaotic and destructive. The genetic memory he inherited from his ancestors told him that only one thing could be in that rock.

Grand King Ghidorah.

The meteor was going to land near Tokyo, which meant he had to act fast if he wanted to save millions. But, could he defeat this King Ghidorah? He was powerful, easily the most powerful Mothra to ever exist, but would his power be enough? He didn’t know how powerful this King Ghidorah would be. It wasn’t the same one his mother had fought alongside Godzilla and Rodan.

Godzilla! That was it! He would need to find allies like his mother had. But, that Godzilla had disappeared, to where nobody knows. The only Godzilla that he could find quickly was… nothing like what his mother had joined forces with.

Except that both had been plunged into agony by humanity’s ignorance and made bitter and spiteful by it. And yet, his mother had convinced Godzilla to stand against a greater threat, starting him on the path to becoming one of Earth’s greatest guardians.

So, why couldn’t he do the same?

Moving his wings, he propelled himself into the air. He had to get to Tokyo, and fast. It was a quick journey, few living things being capable of moving faster than Mothra Leo. When he reached Tokyo, he was grateful to not see a city in flames.

What he did fly over on his journey was a colossal meteor embedded in the ground, crews of humans close to it and examining it. They looked up in awe at the colossus flying above them. Leo let out a call toward them, commanding them to keep away from the meteor, then kept flying. Though the people did not fully understand his cry, they understood the idea behind it. So when the meteor began to generate strange energy readings after the deity’s passing, growing by the second in intensity, many of the workers and scientists began finding excuses to keep their distance.

Leo’s target was the first thing he saw, and even in its current state, it sent shivers through him. Godzilla’s frozen body still commanded a sense of fear and wrongness. Nothing about it looked natural. Legs that looked too big for it, arms and eyes much too small for a creature of its size, and scars wracking its entire body. Not scars earned in battle, but instead the result of skin not growing as fast as the rest of the body. At the end of a tail longer than the mutant were tall figures that resembled mutated, reptilian humans desperately clawing at the air as they emerged from what almost looked like a second head with an eye and set of jaws.

This being had decimated Tokyo in a matter of moments. Even if humanity had created it, Leo still felt ashamed of himself that he had left them to deal with it on their own. There had been ample time to intervene, so he knew it was his fault for staying on Infant Island instead of venturing forth.

Godzilla had limitless potential, as he could evolve in moments what would take other lifeforms millions of years and countless generations. Under the right circumstances, he could pose a far greater threat to life on Earth than King Ghidorah. Leo could feel the King of Terror getting ready to burst from its cocoon, so now was the time to make his decision.

The frozen thing before him was an abomination, and a potential threat to all life on Earth. But it was still a living thing, and it was not evil like King Ghidorah. Like the Godzilla his mother had helped, it was a lost soul who had been relentlessly attacked by the world. How could anyone be surprised it would fight back? It needed to be shown compassion, not hatred.

Mothra Leo’s body shone brightly, before the light faded to reveal he had become thousands of shimmering moths. The swarm of divine insects flocked toward the frozen mutant, covering it with their bodies. Their lights intensified, heat building within.

Steam billowed upward from the moths, water dripping from wherever they touched. Godzilla’s eyes, still encased in ice, began to shift. They rolled in the socket to observe their surroundings, prompting Leo to back away from it. The swarm, with another shining flash, reformed into Mothra Leo.

Though Godzilla’s body hadn’t changed in appearance, it was beginning to twitch. Its back glowed a vibrant purple as the frost turned to steam, revealing the black skin and red scars beneath. The tail twisted and contorted, breaking off chunks of ice which crashed to the ground, the impact shattering them. Mothra Leo cringed as the humanoids clawing at the sky cracked apart, falling from their prison only to meet the same fate as the rest of the ice.

Tokyo’s people shuddered in horror as Godzilla roared to the heavens. Alarms blared all throughout the city, urging its people to seek shelter. The unnatural god stared at the city before it, its face an unreadable mask hiding whatever brewed within its strange mind.

Mothra Leo called to the being, a greeting. An eye shifted to look at the guardian, before turning back to look at the city. Infant Island’s deity tilted his head, unsure of how to proceed. He called again, trying to open a dialogue with the strange colossus. As if it hadn’t heard him, Godzilla stepped forward. Its spines glowed once more, fire building within its jaws. Quickly, Mothra Leo began shedding an emerald colored powder from his wings. When a stream of fire erupted from Godzilla’s open jaws, he flapped his wings, sending the cloud of green dust into the fire’s path. The nuclear flames broke apart in the powder, being condensed into glowing spears which struck nothing as they moved amongst the cloud.

This grabbed Godzilla’s attention, prompting it to turn toward Mothra Leo. It shrieked at the winged deity. This being would free it of its prison, then stop it from enacting its revenge? Did the moth seek to torture it? Leo yelled in return, revealing that the Earth was in danger. This made the mutant pause, giving the insect relief that it hadn’t just instantly attacked him. Another roar from the cancerous monster, demanding to know what this danger was.

Telepathy was a natural ability of the moth god’s lineage. He knew Godzilla’s emotions, and through this he could piece together the mutant’s intent. When this threat was dead, its wrath would be turned upon humanity once more. And upon Mothra Leo if he intervened again. It was the only option in the colossus’s mind. As the deity struggled to figure out how to proceed, his heart sank. Godzilla’s head suddenly turned to the side, telling the god that the mutant also sensed it.

The destroyer had awoken.

A colossal meteor, split open like an egg. Metal objects were scattered on the ground around the space rock, drawn there from the intense magnetic waves it had put off moments before the cocoon burst. A blob of fire rose into the sky, slowly morphing into the one shape that prompted more fear than Godzilla. Hordes of fleeing workers, scientists, and now villagers as they desperately tried to escape what was coming.

The cosmic energy solidified into a dragon coated in golden scales. Three necks like serpents waved through the air, their heads bearing intricate crowns of horns. Six crimson eyes looked upon the world with disgust, seeing the fleeing humans like humans would see a fleeing horde of cockroaches. The trio of jaws opened wide, baring their sword-like teeth. A moment later, the night was illuminated with three golden bolts of extraterrestrial power. They tore into the fleeing crowds.

In mere moments, thousands of people with their own individual lives, hopes, and beliefs became one as ash against the desolate ground.

Grand King Ghidorah’s fan-like wings carried him off of the ground, his twin tails swinging behind as he flew toward the glowing beacon that was Tokyo. He cackled, a trio of haunting shrieks that sounded unnatural and distorted.

He had come to this world millions of years ago, when he was still a juvenile. Even then, barely anything could stand before his awesome power. He had been driven away, by titans of immense power who ensured nature remained balanced. He hadn’t come back for revenge, even though he was sure he could now eradicate all who had forced him away before, and certainly would if the opportunity arose.

Another of his kind had been killed on this world. Every action and event produced disturbances at some level, no matter how small. And the death of a destroyer of worlds produced massive disturbances, even if they could only be felt by few. But, Grand King Ghidorah hadn’t come to avenge his kin, if the two had met the King of Terror would have likely killed his relative just as he did all life.

No, this was more personal. Killing a Ghidorah would give any world so much hope, and the killer would believe themselves to be a hero immortalized by legend. Hope and legend. The former was so fun to crush, and the latter was always so satisfying to prevent. One couldn’t be immortalized if no one who knew them could tell the tale.

Mothra Leo and Godzilla saw the golden hydra as soon as he entered the city. Gravity Bolts spewing from his maws ripped through buildings, ripping humanity’s structures apart and sending the cascades of rubble to the ground. The people who had been fleeing from Godzilla’s awakening were powerless, the massive crowds being perfect targets for the space demon’s power. Crimson eyes locked onto the guardian and the mutant. Grand King Ghidorah cackled once more at the sight of the two colossi. He always enjoyed obliterating the pitiful masses, but there was a certain joy to ripping into a being on the same scale as himself.

Godzilla bellowed to the encroaching foe. It would have to decide what to do with humanity and the insect later, now was the time to display its power. Stepping forward, the cancerous mutant’s power flowed through it, accompanied by the brilliant glow of its spines. A stream of nuclear fire erupted toward the golden dragon. Mothra Leo flew to the side, unwilling to immediately attack King Ghidorah head on.

The King of Terror watched the flames, but did not stop his charge. Before the flames actually touched him, a translucent barrier manifested meters above his scales. It was like the flames hit a wall, leaving Grand King Ghidorah unharmed. The geyser of atomic energy was pierced by Gravity Bolts, splitting it like stones in a river.

Godzilla’s attack stopped as the bolts ripped into its black hide, causing it to shriek in agony. Godzilla staggered back as its pain continued, until the alien energy stopped flowing. A moment afterward, Grand King Ghidorah barreled into the mutant with both feet, sending it to the ground. The golden dragon then dropped feet-first onto Godzilla’s side, earning another cry of pain from the strange beast.

Grand King Ghidorah shrieked as he was thrown forward, his back bending as Mothra Leo, clad in emerald energy, slammed into him. As the golden hydra hit the ground, the winged paragon fluttered back, revealing the now glowing underside of his thorax. The Mega Breast Cannon, a shimmering pillar of energy with power so grand it forced its user back, was unleashed from the god’s thorax. To his horror, Grand King Ghidorah’s barrier held strong, seemingly unaffected by one of his most powerful attacks.

The end of Godzilla’s tail hit the ground near the mutant’s head, and with the straining of the numerous muscles within the colossal limb, it pushed the cancerous saurian’s body up to its feet. Meanwhile, Grand King Ghidorah floated into the air, manipulating gravity to maneuver himself to face his enemies. Despite being in the middle of battle, his three faces bore hideous grins. Focusing on Mothra Leo, the first creature to hurt the King of Terror in centuries, he rushed forward with the beat of his wings. The guardian of nature turned, only for golden bolts to tear into his back. He screamed as fur and chitin burned. He dropped, digging a trench through the streets with his head.

Before Grand King Ghidorah could tear into the guardian with his teeth and claws, Godzilla swiftly turned, bringing the deformed colossus’s tail swinging through the air. The colossal limb crashed into the hydra’s chest, doubling the alien over. Before Godzilla could pull its tail back, two of Grand King Ghidorah’s necks wrapped around the appendage. As the mutant tried to pull itself free, the hydra’s third head opened its jaws, aiming its beam at Godzilla’s back. Cosmic energy ripped into the saurian’s natural venting system, tearing into the beast’s internal systems. Shrieks of agony echoed across the metropolis.

Violet energy flowed through Godzilla’s body once more, but it did not flow toward its mouth. Lightning fired from the claws on the King of Terror’s wings burned into the mutant, earning cackles from the destroyer of worlds as he tormented his foe. Blinded by his sadism, none of his three heads noticed the tip of Godzilla’s tail writhing. As if it had a mind of its own, it aimed its strange jaws toward Grand King Ghidorah’s chest, which it was practically pressed against. The cancerous saurian’s power flowed into it, illuminating the limb’s mouth.

Grand King Ghidorah shrieked when a thin, purple beam of nuclear photons tore into his pectoral, burning away scales and scorching flesh. He released his foe, subconsciously backing away to avoid the sudden, burning pain as his conscious minds tried to grasp what was happening in the split second. Once he was a few footsteps back, his barrier flared to life. The beam was reflected in multiple directions away from the invisible barrier, before fading.

A black circle marred the immaculate body of the King of Terror, smoke drifting up from the wound. Grand King Ghidorah looked at the damage while staring at his foe, who was quickly turning to face him. The third head caught Mothra Leo now airborne, having watched the dragon be forced back, the information being fed to the joint consciousness of the hydra. Grand King Ghidorah’s scales reacted to the light in potentially damaging geysers of energy, weaving the barrier that added to his already immense durability. But when the source of said energy stream was too close, the scales couldn’t react.

And now his foes knew that.

Godzilla stomped forward, trying to close the distance quickly. Mothra Leo rushed toward the hydra, his body glowing emerald once more as he prepared the Excel Dash. Bolts of lightning from Grand King Ghidorah’s wings seared into his frame before he could get far, forcing him back. Mothra Leo started flying away from Grand King Ghidorah, preparing to circle around. The King of Terror left the ground to pursue, only for Godzilla’s Ultra Atomic Ray to burn into his barrier once more. Quickly realizing his barrier couldn’t hold against the cutting beam for long, Grand King Ghidorah’s attention shifted to his grounded foe as he himself landed.

Gravity Bolts and Wing Lightning burned into Godzilla’s hide, cutting off the mutant’s attack. Grand King Ghidorah continued the attack, sending chunks of the saurian’s blackened body flying. Godzilla fell to the ground, shrieking. The King of Terror laughed. So much power within such a pathetic creature.

A gust of wind hit his back, before a large cloud of emerald colored powder drifted over the hydra’s body. His beams hit the scales, and they caught the energy and shrunk it into glowing spears of alien power. Grand King Ghidorah’s power was turned against him, his own beams blasting his torso. He screamed, and the cry was further tortured when the scales started paralyzing his muscles. Summoning his willpower, the dragon beat his wings, dispersing the scales with his own gust of wind.

Mothra Leo fired blue bolts of lightning into the ground behind his foe. A colossal pillar of azure energy burst from the ground, obliterating the concrete and cars in its path. More pillars like the first quickly erupted, moving in a line forward. The third pillar hit Grand King Ghidorah, throwing the demon into the air as his feet and legs burned.

Godzilla pushed itself to its feet, just in time to watch the screaming Grand King Ghidorah crash into the ground before it. Face down, the King of Terror groaned. He began to lift himself into the air, only for Godzilla’s massive right foot to come down on his center neck. This pinned the demon to the ground, leaving it to thrash madly. The saurian’s other foot came down on another of the demon’s necks, its tail coming down on the third.

As the cancerous mutant twisted its right foot to further the pain on Grand King Ghidorah’s center neck, Mothra Leo landed on the hydra. Jade Bolts from his wings and Cross Heat lasers from his forehead burned into Grand King Ghidorah’s back, further intensifying the flailing. He looked up to Godzilla, then let out a shriek. He believed the fight to be nearing its end, and he didn’t know how much of an opportunity he’d have to speak after it was done. The mutant looked down upon the god. It let out a roar, a statement of defiance. If that was the case, then the moth would perish along with humanity. Both stared at each other, still continuing to attack their shared foe. Leo let out another cry, begging Godzilla to reconsider, as he did not want to harm the mutant. This made the saurian pause, completely unaware of how to proceed.

Grand King Ghidorah’s wings reared up, before digging their claws into the ground. Straining them, he pushed his body up. Mothra Leo flew into the air, crying out in shock as he watched this. Godzilla staggered, trying to keep its hold on the dragon. The head pinned by the mutant’s tail freed itself, before biting down onto the tail’s tip.

Godzilla fell back when a Gravity Beam tore into the tail’s mouth. It screamed as the bolt ripped through the limb, splitting the “head” in half. A chunk of the tail flew off as the beam tore through it, leaving a gaping hole from the tail’s tip to about halfway up the limb. Grand King Ghidorah forced himself into the air, screaming madly as he left the ground.

Before Mothra Leo could react, the King of Terror lunged toward him with a bellowing roar. Grand King Ghidorah’s outer heads bit down on Leo’s wings, punching through the soft membrane with their teeth. They flailed, ripping into the wings further as the center head lunged for a bite at the guardian’s face. The deity barely shifted his head enough to avoid the bite, then did it again to avoid another. Grand King Ghidorah’s center head reared back, then was thrust forward in an attempt to rip the god’s brains out.

Three thin beams of emerald energy came from the trio of gems on Mothra Leo’s forehead, searing into Ghidorah’s center tongue. Saliva boiled as the tongue was severed, forcing the demon to relinquish his grip on the insect. All three heads screamed, sending the damaged organ into a free fall. Mothra Leo caught himself in the air, then looked up.

Grand King Ghidorah was still.

Godzilla pushed itself up, quickly adapting to the horrid pain that flared through its tail whenever it moved the limb. Suddenly, a dome formed around the mutant. It was a disturbing thing, a sickly yellow construct that looked like a tumor. Godzilla prodded at it, only to recoil as the dome’s interior was like acid.

Mothra Leo panicked as he looked down at his ally’s predicament. His vision went blurry when a golden foot slammed into the top of his head, sending him into a spinning plummet. Two jaws clamped onto his body a second later, crushing chitin and spilling yellow blood. Still disoriented from the kick, the god was powerless as Grand King Ghidorah lifted him above the demon’s three heads. The hydra’s center head thrust its antlers into Mothra Leo’s abdomen, forcing a cry of agony from him as blood spewed from the wound.

If the guardian could look at his foe’s eyes, he would see them opened as wide as they could possibly be. Grand King Ghidorah’s whole body shook with laughter, only making the moth’s pain worse as it shook the blades spearing into him. The King of Terror ripped his horns free, and relinquished his grip on Mothra Leo’s body. Refusing to give the moth a moment not filled with new agony, Grand King Ghidorah unleashed his Gravity Beams on the falling insect, hastening the fall.

Mothra Leo’s body slammed into the ground, forming a crater. Grand King Ghidorah’s feet crashed against the guardian’s wings, further damaging them and the ground beneath. The god screamed in agony, which became a tortured squeal after a stomp to his back.

Godzilla watched on, still able to see the torture clearly despite the barrier between it and the rest of the world. This vile wall tampered with its natural radar, and the golden hydra’s own barrier meant the mutant could do little to stop this savagery from here. It stepped forward, pressing its body against the acidic dome. The construct fought against it, burning its weakened skin. It stomped forward, so slowly. The lack of speed only made this worse, mentally and physically.

It needed to know. Why did the guardian not want to hurt it? Why did the guardian not want to fight against the cancerous aberration once he would no longer need it? Why did the insect care for the ones who had hurt Godzilla? Mothra Leo was nothing like anything it had encountered before, and it needed to know why.

Within the creature’s body, its immensely complex DNA began to change. Evolving.

Grand King Ghidorah danced upon Mothra Leo’s wings, cackling madly. Suddenly, there was a flash of light, and the hydra’s feet touched gravel. Thousands of moths fluttered through the air around him. Racing upward before he could roast them with Gravity Beams, which instead blasted apart the streets, they reformed into Mothra Leo. Flapping his battered wings, every beat filling his body with pain, emerald scales flew forth from him and surrounded Grand King Ghidorah. The powder made the dragon seize once more as it tried to paralyze him, but the hatred filling the golden dragon allowed him to force his way through it.

Grand King Ghidorah’s center head clamped its jaws around one of Mothra Leo’s legs, ripping through the limb and severing it in a gout of ichor. Even if he couldn’t taste it, the feeling of the blood coating him and sliding down his throat filled the King of Terror with pleasure. Grand King Ghidorah’s other two heads bit down on Mothra Leo, before throwing him to the ground.

This time, the guardian could only flail as he tried to force himself into the air. Grand King Ghidorah raised his foot into the air, ready to bring it down on Mothra Leo’s skull. The ground shook, a series of rhythmic thuds echoing throughout the pavement. One of the space dragon’s heads moved to see the cause of the commotion, only for what it saw to shock Grand King Ghidorah.

Godzilla running, its legs having thinned and being filled with toned muscle. The feet had shifted as well, having flattened and becoming thicker with muscle to better carry the rushing saurian. Each step was more graceful than the last, as if the being was actively learning how to run as it did so. The mutant opened its maw, before firing a thin, violet ray of destruction once more. Grand King Ghidorah had been dumbfounded by the sight of his changed foe, his three minds in one trying to figure out how the being had changed so quickly. When the beam burned into his barrier, his stupor was broken.

And hatred took back control.

Gravity Beams escaped the dragon’s three mouths, colliding with the Ultra Atomic Ray. Their combined power began forcing the photon beam back, prompting Godzilla to stop and focus all attention to the clash. The twin energies deadlocked in the middle, their point of contact forming a surging sphere of violet and gold.

Grand King Ghidorah’s body began to glow brightly, as suddenly the orb raced toward Godzilla. The Gravity Beams intensified in their luminescence, the King of Terror’s full power now flowing into them. The mutant was powerless to stop this, the full power of both titans rushing toward it.

Tokyo shook as waves of force rippled out from the blast. Every window for miles shattered. Buildings bent and broke, unable to withstand the grandiose power. The streets beneath the warring kaiju were thrown into the air, before being incinerated. Thousands of people not disintegrated or pulverized became deaf in a moment.

Godzilla disappeared in the blast. Mothra Leo was picked up by the shockwaves, hurtling through the air as he screamed, silent compared to the roaring of the disaster. Even Grand King Ghidorah struggled to stay on his feet, the forces pushing him back, leaving his feet to rip through the ground as he fought to stay earthbound.

Silence came soon after. Smoke filled the air, hiding the devastation. Vile scents mingled amidst the carnage, leaving a pungent odor over all. Screams echoed across the landscape, so minuscule in the grand scale of it all. The golden hydra reveled in it, basking in the fruits of his dark labor.

No matter how often he caused chaos and destruction, his joy in it never faded. Many falsely believed the King of Terror committed these atrocities out of bitterness or hatred, that it was all the result of a void in his own heart. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This is what fulfilled him. If the meaning of life was the pursuit of happiness, then Grand King Ghidorah had succeeded.

Through the smoke moved a swarm of glowing moths, trying to stay hidden. Grand King Ghidorah could sense life regardless of visibility, so their effort was pointless. This same sixth sense showed him another life form still clinging to life despite everything inflicted upon it. But this did not anger the hydra, for he never liked it when his enemies died out of his sight.

He began walking. He did not need to rush, instead taking the time to further bask in the desolation of the area. Occasionally he would take time to crush or obliterate civilians, just to feel them disappear.

Mothra Leo reformed over a massive pile of rubble. He sent forth wind, knocking enough of it loose to reveal parts of Godzilla’s body beneath. Descending, the guardian grabbed the mutant’s head, before flapping his wings to try and rise. Mothra Leo strained, his depleted strength making this an arduous task. To his relief, Godzilla’s eyes opened, and the saurian began to push itself up with its tail. The limb had mostly healed, but the “head” at the end of the appendage was still split in half.

The god nearly wept when he got a better look at Godzilla’s physical state. The cancerous mutant’s arms were gone, seemingly incinerated. Its lower jaw could no longer close and was always split in two, having been nearly blasted off by the explosion. Scars were now wide open, and horrid burns joined them in deforming Godzilla’s body. The spines on its back were cracked open, looking ready to crumble away at any moment.

Mothra Leo, once he was sure the saurian could stand, released his grip. Floating near the mutant, the god apologized. For dragging the creature into this battle, and for being unable to better stand against the golden dragon’s fury.

Godzilla looked at the moth, baffled. If the guardian wasn’t speaking directly into its mind, bypassing any barriers of language and making all meaning clear, it would have had no idea what an apology even was.

The mutant’s life had been a short one, filled with confusion and suffering. Its first memories upon dragging itself onto the land were screaming and fleeing creatures all around it, loud noises coming from every direction. Nobody had shown it anything resembling what the guardian showed it, which made the cancerous beast’s subsequent, agonizing transformations even worse. It was left to fend for itself, in a world that hated it, fearing even its own body. And then they started attacking it, eventually causing it pain.

Godzilla had, in some way, been relieved when it had been frozen solid.

Tears would have dropped from Mothra Leo’s eyes if they could have. From knowing the pain this poor creature had gone through, from realizing that this situation had been unavoidable, and from how hopeless this battle seemed. Even now, he knew Grand King Ghidorah was slowly making his way toward them, sensing the vile presence encroaching. Some light shined through the darkness of his dread when the mutant thanked him, for caring about the creature. For showing the wretched beast, rejected by the world, there was more to existence than pain and hatred.

Mothra Leo whispered to the saurian once more, reassuring it that as long as he lived, Godzilla would never have to face the world alone. Loneliness was crushing, a feeling the god didn’t want anything to feel, much less a creature whose only crime was being unnatural.

Grand King Ghidorah arrived, staring at the two who had caused him such tribulation. Mothra Leo turned, he and Godzilla meeting the triple gaze. Surrounded by destruction, Grand King Ghidorah howled to the heavens.

The insect god shrouded himself in emerald energy, charging straight toward the destroyer of life. A trio of alien rays struck him head on, throwing his now unconscious body back. His fur scorched, eyes dimmed, he crashed to the ground behind Godzilla. Life still stirred in him, but it was faint.

Godzilla charged its atomic ray, but Grand King Ghidorah closed the distance between them too quickly. The dragon’s center neck looped around the upper and lower jaws of the cancerous biped, slamming the jaws shut. The atomic energy was redirected, flowing into its tail. Swinging the appendage around, Godzilla slammed its tail into the hydra’s side, aiming the split tip toward the dragon’s back. Grand King Ghidorah had been ready for this, and his two tails shot toward his foe’s tail. They wrapped around it, holding it and forcing its deadly payload away. The beam soared into the city, carving through the bases of buildings.

Swinging his right head like a club, Grand King Ghidorah assailed his foe’s face and neck. The horns scraped against the damaged hide, the force behind the strikes denting and ripping at the skin. The left head bit at Godzilla’s torso, ripping away chunks of flesh and occasionally blasting at it with a Gravity Bolt. The saurian’s blood was bitter and boiling, but to the space demon, it was like a sweet nectar just because he knew its shedding caused suffering.

Godzilla tried to shake itself free, bumping against Grand King Ghidorah in an attempt to topple it. But the King of Terror was unmoved, and continued to overpower the saurian. The mutant knew it couldn’t last much longer, with power running low and its body being assailed by such horrendous power.

At the brink of death, its body began to change once more.

The mutant’s body grew hot, its back glowing once more. Grand King Ghidorah was not deterred; space had shown him both extremes of temperature. Did it think to repel him with heat?

But this shift in temperature wasn’t the adaption, merely a side-effect. From where Godzilla’s arms had once been, vital fluids geysered forth. The skin burst open, bones forcing themselves out into the air. Cracking into place, they began to take the shape of long arms tipped with clawed hands. Grand King Ghidorah’s left head bit at one of the growing appendages, his teeth cracking the bone. Muscle and flesh began to form onto the limbs, allowing Godzilla to move them. They grabbed the head, pulling it away from them.

The mutant’s new arms were thin, barely larger than their bones. But they were long, longer than Ghidorah’s necks. They cradled one of Grand King Ghidorah’s heads, and before it could thrash itself free, their thumb’s claws came down upon his eyes. The crimson orbs were ripped into with ease, spraying fluid as a third of Grand King Ghidorah’s vision went dark.

Godzilla scraped its claws against the hydra as he backed away, relinquishing his grip on the mutant due to the agony. The claws peeled away scales, but lacked the muscle to draw blood from the demon’s body. Godzilla fired its atomic breath at the dragon’s center head, but the demon’s necks swayed to dodge the beam, before blasting the mutant back with their beams. Even though one head could not see, it could still rely on the other two minds to communicate their surroundings to it.

The ground shook as the mutant crashed against it, groaning even after the alien power assailing it ceased. Rolling onto its stomach, Godzilla shakily pushed itself back to its feet. A sharp shriek of a laugh echoed, which the mutant soon realized was because it had been thrown next to Mothra Leo’s body.

Grand King Ghidorah’s body glowed gold once more, his final attack being conjured. Godzilla panicked, using whatever strength it had left to get in between Mothra Leo and the encroaching doom. The only thing that had shown the deformed creature things beyond pain, hatred, and fear. A being that, even though it had only known him for a brief, difficult time, had given it something to care about beyond itself. It wanted to know more about his ways, to be able to enjoy life after so much agony.

It had found a friend, a light in a seemingly endless darkness.

A golden lance illuminated the night as it was driven into Godzilla’s lower back. The cancerous beast screeched to the heavens, knowing the pain it had inflicted with its own beam. Scutes caught in the beam’s path were erased, as flesh and bone were blasted away and vaporized. Seconds felt like years as Godzilla tried to draw upon the last wells of its strength to endure. Any moment now, it expected the pillar of energy to burst from its stomach.

It stared at Mothra Leo. Even in this pain, it felt twinges of something else. It was a strange feeling, but a pleasant one at the same time. It was protecting another being, one who had shown it compassion. One who had shown it a new way to live. Something clicked within its mind, why the deity acted that way he did. Godzilla realized that there was a joy in protecting others, to save lives and act as a light in this dark world.

As the mutant’s mind raced, as did its ever changing DNA. It was rapidly trying to increase the body’s resistance to the energy, but it was a losing race that only bought it more time. It tried to adapt a way to escape the beam, but the conscious will of Godzilla was too strong for that.

Somewhere within the immense complexity of Godzilla’s genetic code, something changed. Bathed in the cosmic power of Grand King Ghidorah’s signature weapon, the portion of the DNA responsible for absorbing radiation adjusted itself. Its capacity to absorb energy expanded, for this was a type of radiation. Very different from nuclear radiation, but still radiation.

Godzilla’s back glowed purple once more, but this time, golden energy intermingled with it. Its posture became more natural, the pain induced thrashing lessening quickly. The mutant’s tail moved, pointing itself toward Grand King Ghidorah. It began mending itself, the “head” reforming after having been split in two. The King of Terror did not cease firing, refusing to acknowledge what was becoming obvious.

From the tail’s mouth came forth a beam of immense power, a thin, violet ray encircled by spirals of gold lightning. The combined nuclear and cosmic power ripped through Grand King Ghidorah’s right knee, causing the dragon to cease firing. He stumbled, horrid pain shooting through his body, before he caught himself with his gravity manipulation.

The leg was useless, the entire kneecap obliterated. Burns spread throughout the entire limb, painting the once golden appendage black. Mournful cries echoed from Grand King Ghidorah’s jaws, his focus fully on the grievous wound. Until his attention was snatched by a brilliant glow. Looking up, the King of Terror could only recoil.

Godzilla stepped forward, its full body glowing like a star. Wounds were mending themselves, the new surplus of energy filling the unnatural god granting it the power to do so. Its regeneration took energy, and in situations like what it had just come out of, wounds would have to fester to conserve power. But not now. It stared into the King of Terror’s eyes, watching as the dragon’s collective mind raced to figure a way out.

There was none.

The saurian’s jaws opened, filling with the same power that had come forth from its tail. Grand King Ghidorah folded his wings in front of him, lowering his heads. An unfamiliar feeling was seizing his heart, sending shivers throughout his form. The fear he had inflicted on so many now came back upon him.

Godzilla braced itself, the protective covering slipping over its eyes. The Ultra Atomic Ray, adorned with spirals of extraterrestrial energy, was unleashed, banishing the surrounding darkness for a time. Grand King Ghidorah’s shields did nothing, the beam punching through the translucent barrier and his wings like they didn’t even exist. Raking its beam all across its foe, the mutated god poured every drop of power it could into this righteous vengeance.

Finally, Godzilla centered its head, before looking straight up. The beam lit up the night sky, outshining the stars for the brief moment before it ceased firing. Grand King Ghidorah’s center neck dropped, the right and left halves going in opposite directions.

Blackened bones and boiled organs were exposed to the air by gaping wounds. His beautiful wings had been sheared apart and off, the countless shreds shriveled by the intense heat. Burnt flesh and muscle clung to what should have been a carcass. The remaining two heads weakly flailed, alive more through spite than anything else.

Godzilla wanted to finish the King of Terror off, but he could barely move. The mutated deity was on the verge of entering a coma, the same state it had entered after first firing its atomic ray.

Mothra Leo landed on his friend’s head. Awoken by the intensity of the final attack, the guardian stared at the body of the destroyer of worlds. Firing two azure bolts into the ground before them, Mothra Leo used the last bits of his remaining power to unleash another Sparkling Pyre Road. The pillars of divine power erupted forth, before eventually consuming Grand King Ghidorah.

When the attack faded, all that was left was ash.

And Mothra Leo slept. A more natural rest, not the kind inflicted by heavy damage, but one born of exhaustion. Godzilla’s eyes closed as well, as it did the same. Not an unnatural coma, but the kind of rest that all living things did.

It felt good, especially warmed by Mothra Leo’s presence.

The sun rose on the two slumbering giants, and hung in the sky for quite a while before they awoke. The guardian began to fly, only to stagger in midair. Not even sleep was enough to keep him from falling, the full scope of his injuries catching up to him, but the mighty insect pressed on. The air vibrated from Godzilla’s footsteps as the mutation gave pursuit, unleashing a screech of solidarity with the guardian of Earth.

With a new lease on life, the mutant dove into the ocean. Mothra Leo told his friend where to go to find Infant Island, and so that was the course Godzilla took. As the pair disappeared into the horizon, cheers began to sound off across Tokyo. Humanity would still be uneasy in the presence of this Godzilla, that would likely never change, but an ally of Mothra was still an ally of humanity.

The god of Infant Island chuckled to himself as he flew, thinking of the looks on Moll’s and Lora’s faces when they saw his newest ally.

Winner: Godzilla (Reiwa), Mothra Leo

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