Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Christian Salabert

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

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

And the tanks were meant only to slow Godzilla down.

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

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

Reluctantly, the soldiers replied.

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

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

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

Godzilla suddenly stopped.

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

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

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

It irritated Godzilla.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Godzilla (Heisei)