Author: Hayes A. Jones | Banner: Landon Soto

Rural Greece bustled quietly with life.

The landscape is dominated by rich, earthy colors. Lush grasses and shrubs blanket the steep, uneven ground, the occasional grove of trees dotting the rolling hills. Upon first glance, the area seemed to be empty and still. But a closer inspection revealed a plethora of movement. Insects zipped about in the air and crawled through the vegetation. Birds flittered to and fro among the trees or soared with energetic, almost frantic flapping. A few larger animals moved through the hills, like small herds of deer and tortoises. Taking a step back, there were also signs of human life. The remains of an ancient structure rose up from the soil, a collection of broken pillars and crumbled walls. A small, rough road cut through the hills, a single bus – certain to be filled with tourists – roaring toward the ruins. There was even a small marketplace nearby. There, sightseers struggled to find reasonable priced soft drinks or haggled with local venders for all sorts of antiques or novelty items.

It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It was… right.

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t last.

A shiver possessed the earth, gently rattling items in the market. The shuddering grew stronger, sellers now scrambling to protect their merchandise from the vibrations as they gained power. Whole shelves of objects were thrown to the ground, pots and other delicates shattering on the paved path. The shaking turned more and more violent, people, stands and tents alike toppled. The earth itself began to give way, cracks spiderwebbing across the ground. The cracks soon became deep crevasses and the crevasses became great furrows. Tons of rocks and soil were upturned as an enormous shape pushed forth from the bowls of the Earth – it was a drill, a massive, metallic drill. The drill continued to rise up, revealing that it was attached to two mighty arms. Soon, a living being, vast and terrible, steeped from the earth, leaving a seemingly endless tunnel behind it. Shaking dirt from itself, the creature flexed its arms. The drill split in two, separating into interlocking, spade-like claws. The gigantic monster was bipedal and insectoid. Its bulbous compact eyes were reflective and glowed dully in the bright sun. Pinchers guarded its mouth, twitching as the giant looked upon its new surroundings. A long horn rose from its forehead, crowned by an ornamental star shape. On its back, a pair of striped wing cases stretched out and repositioned themselves, showcasing its membranous wings for a moment. Rearing to its full size, the tremendous beat gave a horrible screech, shattering at the surviving glass items in the marketplace.

It was Megalon, the champion of Seatopia.

The tourist browsing the marketplace panicked, all rushing in the opposite direction with fearful cries. Most of the vendors chose to hide instead, huddling amongst their merchandise. None would be spared. The screaming and footfall attracted Megalon’s attention. The cockroach-like creature regarded the humans for a moment, with what appeared to be dim curiosity in its eyes. Then he grew bored. Shrieking, Megalon spat up a sticky blob of napalm from its gullet. The unstable lugi exploded when it hit the ground, flames flooding from the impact. The marketplace was instantly set ablaze, those who survived the explosion suffering the even worse fate of burning alive. Megalon cackled in amusement, clapping its spade-like forearms together. He was already having fun.

And he wasn’t alone.

A shaft of light split the heavens, streaking down toward the ground. The column of light engulfed a hilltop for a moment, transporting power surging through it. When the light faded, a second monster was left in its place. The new arrival was a savage sight. Its tough, artificial skin was pitch black. Tall, sharp spines rose from its back, a fine red webbing between them. Triangular, silver spikes ran up its neck and rose above its head, the same spines jutting from its long tail, which was tipped with a grasping claw. Instead of toes, it had a large claw curving up from each foot. Its arms ended in gleaming scythes, hooked and bright. Saw teeth were embedded in its abdomen, a working buzz saw built into its gut. Blade-like pincers curled out from either size of its beak-like jaws. It had a sole, electronic eye, glowing an evil red. Letting out a sharp shriek, the bizarre beast swung its claws together with a small shower of sparks.

It was the Nebula N Space Hunter cyborg Gigan.

Gigan called out to Megalon, stomping down from the top of the hill. Megalon immediately responded, jumping up and down like an excited child. The two were longtime partners in destruction and conquest. They were summoned here to give a warning to the people of Earth by demonstrating their prowess in chaos. Not that it was particularly needed. Gigan and Megalon were well known to Earth, having ravaged its cities many times in the past. Greeting each other with surprising affection, the two giant touched their forearms together with a metallic ring. Pulling away, the strange pair of creatures went to work. A wide, crimson beam burst from Gigan’s cyclopean eye. The thick ray broke off into smaller streak of energy, which exploded on contact with a patch of forest, setting it on fire. Megalon loosed a jagged streak of electricity from his horn, blowing apart the top off a hill. Gigan sliced and diced a mountain with his scythes, the razor-edged claws hacking through solid rock without too much trouble. Megalon joined him, bashing away at the mountain with his odd forearms. Between the two of them they easily leveled the mountain. As their violence triggered a small landslide that crushed what remained of the marketplace, Gigan and Megalon cackled together, enjoying the little exercise greatly. Separating yet again, the pair wrecked more havoc, Megalon’s beam raking the earth and Gigan’s claws cutting down small forests.

Just as he was about to unleash his cluster ray again, Gigan felt the ground shift beneath his feet. The robotic beast turned in search of his partner, wondering if he was the cause of the trembling. But the Seatopian demigod was still on the surface, smashing away at another mountain. Gigan suddenly grew worried. Then what was the source of the fierce vibrations? Megalon himself paused and cocked his head in confusion, wondering how he could be above ground and create the tremors at the same time.

The great beetle wasn’t the brightest of creatures.

Gigan and Megalon slowly backed up to stand back to back, ready to fight together. The ground beneath the two exploded, throwing the cyborg and the insect to the ground with cries of shock. Jumping from the earth with an aroused fighting spirit, another giant bellowed a barking challenge to the downed monsters. The challenger was reptilian in nature, its hefty body held up on powerful legs. At the end of muscular arms, huge, clawed, human-like fists clenched in eager anticipation. The beast had a horny beak at the end of its snout and a small horn rising from between its nostrils. Two large bull horns sprouted from the sides of its head. A long, energetic tail whipped the air behind the challenger as it leaned back in a tremendous roar. This new beast was just as infamous as Gigan and Megalon. But it was also much more loved, for it was a defender, a savior, not a destroyer. Among all of Earth’s guardian, it stood out for its strength, will and endurance. Its name was known to all, the name of…

Gomora!

The prehistoric creature stomped the ground happily, overjoyed at the chance to fight. Gigan and Megalon puffed themselves up and feinted charges and attacks, trying to intimidate Gomora. The dinosaur would have none of it. Smashing his fists together, the Ancient Monster Prince warned Gigan and Megalon to prepare for battle with a sharp, forceful roar. The two living weapons hesitated, the idea of facing the famous Gomora more than a bit daunting. Perhaps they should… Too late. Gomora felt no remorse as he crashed into the two and sent them sprawling. After all, he had warned then. Not waiting for the two to get up, the dinosaur charged again. Ready or not, here he comes! Gigan quickly leapt to his feet and slashed at Gomora with his scythes, successfully fending off the spirited beast. Megalon soon joined his partner and fired a napalm bomb, trying to set fire to Gomora. But the wily beast simply sidestepped and avoided the sticky projectile. As it exploded behind him, Gomora lunged forward and socked Megalon across the face with a potent punch, cracking some of the beetle’s pincers. Megalon jumped back with a pained scream, waving his spade-like arms in a small fit. Gigan stepped forward and loosed a cluster beam. Small explosions billowed from Gomora’s torso, pushing him back. Swiftly recovering, the dinosaur wheeled around and slammed his tail into the side of Gigan’s head, bowling over the alien. Megalon rushed back in, swinging his arms wildly. The slow-witted giant managed to catch Gomora in the face, almost downing the dinosaur. Snorting, Gomora lashed out and drove back Megalon with a powerful blow to the beetle’s chest. As Gigan rose to stand next to Megalon, fiery rings of energy ripped from Gomora’s horn, searing both the giants. The ancient brawler’s Super Oscillatory Wave sent the partners in destruction crashing to the ground, both shrieking in distress. Beating his chest, Gomora shook the air with a screech, empowering himself. Slowly rising, Gigan and Megalon hardened themselves, ready for the dinosaur’s next attack.

They didn’t notice the swell of violet energy rising from the earth behind them.

Gomora stiffened in alarm. He recognized this creature! Seeing their foe’s shock, Gigan and Megalon turned to look as well. A hulking started to take shape, billions of microscopic organism amassing. Slowly, a creature of unmatched dread and fear formed. A heavy body, covered in an intricate pattern of grooves, ridges and spikes; rose, flexing powerfully. Clawed hands appeared at the end of stout arms, talons grasping as if at flesh. Its thick legs dug into the ground, rows of large spikes pointing down from its knees. A flexible, segmented tail flattened the vegetation behind the terror, its crescent tip clenching. Two pairs of wings – one huge for power, one small for navigation – unfurled, churning the air with their might. The thing’s robust shoulders tapered into great spikes, like titanic, bloody thorns. The horror finally showed its face, letting out a terrible scream. Serrated frills framed the beast’s fearsome head and a straight, cylindrical horn graced its forehead. Its short jaws were lined by small tusks and brimmed with sharp teeth. Its eyes were yellow and soulless and hateful. The air grew stagnant just from the creature’s mere presence. Gomora, Gigan and Megalon all found themselves growing meek at the mere sight of the monstrosity. Only one being could instill such fear and possess such destructive power.

Destoroyah, the living Oxygen Destroyer, chaos incarnated, the Grim Reaper’s faithful companion… Death itself.

Destoroyah casted its sinister gaze upon its newfound victims. Its eyes locked on Gomora especially. It had a bone to pick with the reptile. Long ago, during a great battle between the forces of light and darkness, Gomora had attacked it from behind, striking the Precambrian horror down. Destoroyah could never forgive something like that. Only death was forgiveness. But the other two beast… they were between Destoroyah and its prey. They’d just have to die as well. Eyes narrowing, Gomora forced himself not to shrink back and met Destoroyah’s eyes with his own. As the two rivals glared furiously, Gigan motioned to Megalon subtly. He silently signaled to his partner that he would take Destoroyah and that the monster-god should deal with Gomora. Understanding, Megalon wheeled around to face the dinosaur with a screech, metallic arms slamming together. Gigan did the same to Destoroyah, clanging his scythes together. Destoroyah and Gomora both looked startled for a second before striking battle stances, each determined to reach the other. Crying out at the same time in a chorus of unearthly screams, all four giants attacked.

Gomora ducked under a spade-like claws as Megalon took a swipe at him. The spirited brawler thrust himself forward and rammed his shoulder into the insectoid beast. Megalon was pushed back, but quickly came back swinging. Jerking forward, the bipedal insect smashed Gomora’s head between his strange forearms. The prehistoric giant yelped in pain, dropping to a knee. Megalon squealed happily and slammed his bulk into Gomora, toppling the reptile. Gomora’s tail swung up and smacked the bug across the face. Megalon staggered, but countered by delivering a good kick to the dinosaur’s side, literally punting the beast. Gomora flew through the air, thrashing wildly, before striking a hill with a muffled crash, throwing up dirt and chunks of earth. Megalon hopped up and down, shrieking in glee. Gomora rose to his feet, eyes burning. One would think it was in anger, but it was really excitement. If their was anything that the ancient monster loved, it was a good fight! Giving a spirited roar, Gomora rushed forward. A volley of electrical bolts tore from Megalon’s horn, raking Gomora as he barreled toward the beetle-god. The dinosaur grimaced in pain, but kept coming. Megalon panicked and tried to nail the incoming beast with his napalm bombs. Stopping on a dime, Gomora loosed his Super Oscillatory Wave. The powerful energy pulses detonated the napalm bombs and washed over Megalon. Screaming, the dim-witted giant tried to escape the forceful vibrations, only to be thrown to the ground. The insectoid creature’s girth pancaked priceless ancient ruins with a bloom of dust. Grabbing Megalon’s horn, Gomora yanked the bug to his feet. Eyes bright and happy, the dinosaur landed a barrage of punches and kicks to the monster-god’s body, bruising and battering Megalon. The great beetle struggled, flailing his metallic arms. Judging that Megalon had taken enough of a beating, Gomora showcased his impressive muscle by hurling the Seatopian champion over his head. Megalon wailed, cartwheeling through the picturesque skyline. With one last screech, the titanic insect landed on his head, snapping off his horn.

Clumsily dragging himself up, the bug was filled with rage. His horn! His horn, his horn, his horn! Megalon threw a tantrum, stomping and swinging his spade-like forearms blindly. Gomora paused, stunned by the immature display. This monster was more child than devil. Shrieking in fury, Megalon sprinted at the dinosaur, attacking rashly. He was immediately floored by a bone-jarring punch. As he laid eagle spread on his back and due for another pummeling, Megalon groaned in misery. He was having a bad day…

Gigan’s day was even worse.

Again, the cyborg was bowled over by a blow from Destoroyah’s claws. Gigan slammed into the ground, cratering it. Screeching, the chicken-like giant lashed out vengefully. His scythes, sharper than razors and stronger than steel, barely scratched Destoroyah’s thick carapace. Gigan gritted his metal teeth. Changing tactics, the partially mechanical weapon unleashed his cluster beam. Small explosion peppered Destoroyah’s carapace. It didn’t even tickle. Howling in dark delight, the demonic beast rose one taloned foot and brought in down hard into Gigan’s gut. The bladed alien doubled over in agony, spitting up a mix of pale blood and dark oil. Destoroyah grinned evilly and prepared to smash Gigan’s skull beneath its foot. Thinking fast, the cyborg took off, ripping from the ground in flight. Wailing in anger, Destoroyah spread its satanic wings and followed, ragged membranes beating against the air noisily. Gigan easily outran and outmaneuvered his heavier foe, zipping and speeding through the clouds. Destoroyah screamed its frustration to the world, aimlessly firing off micro-oxygen rays. The purple lances of power slashed across the sky, few even coming close to Gigan. Becoming confident – perhaps overly so – Gigan pulled a sharp turn, buzz saw whirling to life. Destoroyah shrieked in surprise as Gigan clipped it, saw hacking into its shoulder. Far below, a few drops of yellow blood were soaked into the parched soil. Gigan gave a cry of laughter and circled around again. Before Destoroyah could even make a turn, Gigan struck again, almost sheering one of its wings in half. With one wing practically useless, Destoroyah began to plummet. But, the Precambrian horror managed to snatch Gigan from the air with its gripping tail, the cyborg emitting a surprised gurgle. Together, the two dueling giants plunged, both helpless. As they fell, Destoroyah and Gigan took vicious swipe and swings at each other. The cyborg slashed Destoroyah’s armor with its claws and the hyper-colony of microscopic creatures bashed Gigan with its fantastic strength. All the while, the rolling landscape below rushed upward, gravity certain to be the victory in the three-way squabble.

CRASH!

Stunned by the powerful impact, the two monsters struggled to pull themselves from the tangle of limbs and various appendages they landed in. Destoroyah was up first, eyes glowing with hate and bloodlust. Gigan didn’t fare as well as the crimson tank, lacking its thick exoskeleton. Slowly and painfully, the alien beast tried to rise. Blood dripped from deep gashed and oil leaked from numerous cracks. The cyborgs fins were crushed and broken, hanging limply from his back. One of his scythes was cracked, threatening to shatter, and the other was chipped and dulled. Cackling, Destoroyah whipped around, its tail shooting out and wrapping around one of Gigan’s arms. Spinning around with a horrible scream, the collective lifeform threw Gigan. The wounded cyborg landed heavily, its cracked blade breaking into nothing but shards of metal. Destructive energies poured from Destoroyah’s jaws. The blast of micro-oxygen exploded against Gigan’s broken body, eating away at both flesh and metal. The bladed giant wailed in pain. Destoroyah advanced, wanting more. With a burst of adrenaline, Gigan leapt to his feet. He thrust one of arms forward and fired a pair of grappling hooks. The weighted wires wrapped around Destoroyah’s neck and tangled together. Buzz saw activating, Gigan gave the line a good tug. Destoroyah was unfazed, still standing strong. Grabbing the tether in its claws, the winged terror gave its own tug. Gigan was ripped from his feet and sent hurtling toward Destoroyah. As the cyborg tumbled toward it, the hyper-colony cackled wickedly, cutting energy arcing from its horn as it swung its head down…

Gomora socked Megalon again, fist slamming into the beetle’s face. Shrieking, the monster-god decided enough was enough. Leaping back from Gomora, Megalon brought its spade-like arms together. Interlocking, the beast’s infamous drill was formed. Drill whirling with sudden energy, the insectoid leviathan lunged, intent on gutting Gomora. Mind working like lightning, Gomora waited until the last second and then sidestepped. Megalon’s drill stabbed into a mountainside, stopping dead. The great insect squawked, trying to pull his drill from the rock face. Grabbing Megalon’s arm and bracing them, Gomora brought his knee up with a barking bellow. Megalon wailed in agony as both his arms were broken at the elbows. Finally jerking his drill from the mountain, the crippled monster-god’s drill split apart and his arms fell limply to his sides. Megalon squealed and began to run, not willing to fight any longer.

Then Gigan’s death scream rose to the heavens.

Gomora and Megalon turned just in time to see Gigan’s corpse fall from Destoroyah’s grasps. The dead cyborg’s upper body was cleaved straight in two, a pool of blood and oil spreading out from the deceased giant. Gomora growled. Could he defeat Destoroyah without the element of surprise? Megalon screamed in horror. Forgetting his earlier plan to escape, the devastated beast ran to Gigan’s side. Murmuring pitifully, the Seatopian champion gently nudged his partner’s side with a foot, hoping for Gigan to response. He didn’t. Megalon stood, dumbstruck and miserable. His partner was gone. His friend was gone. Destoroyah stepped forward with a screech, warning Megalon that he would die next if he didn’t flee. The beetle refused to move, unwilling to leave Gigan. Gomora was saddened by the sight of the dumb bug mourning his partner’s death.

Destoroyah found it delicious.

The monstrosity lunged, knocking Megalon to the ground with a swing of its claws. Gomora found itself rushing in to try and help the bug, but Destoroyah tripped the dinosaur with its tail. Placing a heavy foot on Megalon’s chest, the hellish beast cackled darkly. Spewing a stream of micro-oxygen, the Precambrian demon blasted Megalon’s face. The beetle-god went into spasms as his face was eaten away, destructive energies liquifying his pincers and compound eyes. The pained insect tried to flee, but Destoroyah kept him pinned under its foot. Sprawled cross the ground, Gomora looked on in horror as Megalon’s exoskeleton melted away, revealing the soft flesh and slick innards beneath. Armor weakened, the cockroach-like monster’s chest caved in under Destoroyah’s talons, splattering his guts. Soon, there was nothing left of the beast but its spade-like claws and a few worn fragment of its outer shell. Destoroyah boasted of its victory with a terrible screech, shaking the air. Gomora rose to his feet, furious at the violent slaying of Megalon. Nothing, no matter how destructive, should be forced to suffer like that. Destoroyah turned to face the riled dinosaur, happy to clash with him. It would be a pleasure to kill him as well.

With an emotional cry of anger and hate, Gomora charged, ready to fight Death itself.

Gomora tackled Destoroyah, slamming all his weight into the crimson horror. The hyper-colony barely moved. Shrieking, Destoroyah retaliated. Gomora was thrown back by a blast of violet power. The micro-oxygen tried to eat away at him, but his think skin soon snuffed its destructive effect. Eyes glowing with all the foul feelings in the world, Destoroyah moved forward and swung at Gomora’s head. The ancient beast ducked and then made his own swipe, driving his fist straight up into the killer’s jaw. Destoroyah was pushed back by the uppercut, clawed feet gouging the ground. Encouraged, Gomora advanced, punching, kicking and headbutting. Destoroyah, unable to avoid the blows or land any of its own, was forced back, the giant locked in a dance of sorts. Under the great power of Gomora’s blow, even the tank-like Destoroyah was beginning to wear. Tiny flows of yellow blood ran down the Precambrian monster’s blood red armor. Destoroyah finally manged to launch a counterassault by snatching Gomora’s ankle with its gripping tail. Wheeling around with a scream of effort, the vengeful monstrosity tore Gomora off his feet and hurled him away. As the dinosaur soared – quite against his will – Destoroyah opened fire. Purple energy harpoons exploded against Gomora’s plunging body, blasting away bits of his flesh. The willful brawler yelped in pain. The cry was suddenly cut off as he hit the ground, leveling a hill. But Gomora was on his feet just as quickly, brushing off the impact and rushing Destoroyah again. Bellowing, the spirited giant grabbed the mutated predator’s horn in one hands and began whaling on it with the other. Destoroyah screeched as its carapace was cracked by blows that would cripple most other creatures. Clutching the killer’s horn in both hands now, Gomora wrenched it, trying to snap it off. Destoroyah lashed out, carving Gomora’s side with its savage claws. The dinosaur jumped back with a shriek of pain, blood gushing from the long, ugly wounds. Hissing, Destoroyah lunged, throwing Gomora to the ground by thundering into him. Pinning the prehistoric reptile under its much greater mass, Destoroyah viciously beat the smaller monster, claws ripping and tearing flesh with each blow. The winged terror cackled as its felt flesh give way under its clenched claws. Gomora cried out in outrage and pain, blood splashing across his face. Desperate, the dinosaur resorted to his Super Oscillatory Wave. Fiery pluses of power scalded Destoroyah’s face, peeling skin and burning its eyes. Even the Precambrian demon couldn’t take such an attack pointblank and swiftly rose, trying to escape. Hissing, Destoroyah flexed its claws, wanting to tear Gomora’s heart from his chest. Wailing, the crimson beast threw itself down to fulfill its wishes.

Instead, Gomora stabbed his nasal horn into the monstrosity’s throat.

Destoroyah gurgled pathetically, yellow blood pouring from its mouth and jugular. Gomora struggled to see through the blood dripping into his eyes. Summoning the last of his energy, the dinosaur called upon its Super Oscillatory Wave again. Only, this time, the fiery energy flowed directly into Destoroyah’s body. The predatory giant could feel the burning power run through it, scorching it from the inside. It would kill it, but it wasn’t the least bit uncomfortable. It did make Destoroyah extremely unstable however. And Gomora knew just how to use that to his advantage. With an enormous heave, the dinosaur lifted Destoroyah from the ground and hurled him over one shoulder. Ripping loosed from Gomora’s horn, Destoroyah tumbled through the air, blood still spewing from its throat. When the screaming beast hit the ground, it erupted into a massive fireball.

BOOM!

As bits of earth and boiled chunks of Destoroyah rained down upon the Greece countryside, Gomora nearly collapsed. He was exhausted. He had never been this bone tired in his entire life… At least the fight was over. He was victorious.

Gomora froze in absolute horror as violet power crackled across the landscape.

Every living thing around him perished instantly, plants wilting and animals dropping dead. Billions of microscopic predator feasted, multiplying and recovering. When their numbers were sufficient, they came together. Reappearing in a flash of purple, Destoroyah glared daggers at a Gomora. The usually bulky killer was now thin and scrawny. Its wings were ragged, mostly red shreds of skin. Many of its spikes and spines were missing. Its facial frills were only half formed. But it was no less terrifying than before. A shiver went down the dinosaur’s spine as cold fear engulfed him completely. It couldn’t be. A thousand questions ran through the ancient creature’s mind. How could the Precambrian horror have survived? Why wasn’t it dead? How could anything be so durable? Could he possible fight any longer?

Was he going to die?

Forcing himself to be bold, Gomora leapt forward and spun around, tail swinging out to strike Destoroyah. The wrathful demon hacked down, horn humming with deadly power. Gomora screamed in agony as his tail was sliced clean off at the base by Destoroyah’s horn katana, blood spurting from both stumps. Shock, blood loss, and pain all taking their toll, the once spirited warrior fell, unable to continue. Cackling darkly, Destoroyah advanced, eyes bright and hateful. It was going to kill this thing, it would make him suffer, it would make him pay!

Before the crimson beast could strike down Gomora once and for all, a humanoid figure dropped down in front of it. Ultraman! The silver being, noble and strong, warned off Destoroyah by striking a pose that clearly meant business. He wouldn’t let this monstrosity slay Gomora. The dinosaur once saved him from the hellish creature, and now it was his turn to do the same. Destoroyah didn’t mind. It craved revenge on Ultraman as well, simply for surviving an encounter with it. The Precambrian demon grinned as it gazed at the alien hero and Gomora, still bleeding profusely on the ground.

No one escapes Death!

Winner – Destoroyah

 

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