Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Thomas Fairchild

They closed their eyes to see the white canvas turn black.

The distant sun exposed the Earth, a world flirting with innovation and annihilation. A loud, high-pitched scream rocked the planet to its core, stirring it to action. Waves of golden energy emanated from all corners of the globe, surging through wild blue oceans, lush green fields, puffy white clouds, and silent gray mountains, ultimately converging on the nation of Japan. It was neither a natural phenomenon nor a human-made experiment gone awry; it was the planet’s last desperate plan to repel the most insidious of infections.

Witnesses to this event watched with subdued indifference, as they floated in the vacuum of possibility. All they could do was watch this celestial light show from afar. That was until an invisible force suddenly yanked them into the nucleus of creation. The observers fell through what felt like an endless vortex of thunderstorms. Wisps of thick air parted, making way for scorched Earth. Hundreds of burning rooftops darted the war-torn landscape. Hell coming for them with its hungry, rapturous jaws.

In a flash, the witnesses were no longer falling to their doom. Instead, they were staring up at a mighty giant, a steadfast guardian of the universe, whose heart was exposed and laid bare. He had the likeness of a turtle that stood upright like an ape. Golden energies pulsated brightly in his exposed breast, coalescing into a single ball of immeasurable power. He was Gamera, the last hope.

The witnesses gasped in collective terror when they saw an abomination fall from the endless night. A hulking, multi-armed insect from beyond their wildest dreams towered over Gamera, staring menacingly into his eyes. She had been grievously wounded in their battle, as her dangling extremities would attest, but she was still a formidable force. Legion was her name, and she had crossed the stars to murder and plunder this world.

Gamera knew what he had to do. The witnesses were left in awe as a gigantic energy beam shot out of his chest and disintegrated Legion, casting her ashes to the wind. Her demise was a temporary respite. There was no escape as the witnesses, too, were enveloped by the light.

Be it through chance or providence, the witnesses escaped oblivion. Once more, the planet was in their periphery. Even from here, Gamera’s presence was paramount. But before it could herald a new era of hope, the light drained the world of its color.

*****

I squinted at the breaking dawn. After driving all night, my day was just beginning.

I’m careening down Interstate-90, kicking up dust in my wake. The roar of my 1970 blue mustang gave me a boost of much-needed adrenaline. The desert road ahead looked desolate as always, but the pale orange sky delivered a small measure of comfort.

“Did anyone seriously see this coming,” crackled the radio. “While the liberals were too busy squawkin’ about global warmin’, the real fight was taking place ‘cross the ocean. We should’a done somethin’. Instead, we put our fates in the hands of a monster. Un-freakin’-believable.”

Right on cue, the radio host was ranting about the Legion Event. It’s the only subject this guy ever liked talking about ad nauseam.

“Y’all, I was gonna be a Daddy,” he said. “I-I had painted the whole room jet blue, ‘cause I thought I was havin’ a boy. Me, with a son! That would’a been somethin’ to see. But then I found out we were havin’ a girl instead, and I lost it! I didn’t repaint the walls, because what if my little girl liked blue? Nothin’ wrong with that.”

The host uncharacteristically fell silent for a moment.

“But due to unexpected complications, my wife had a miscarriage, and she fell ill, and, well,” he mumbled, losing his train of thought. “I wasn’t the only one this happened to.”

I turned down the volume. I’m not going to let the ghosts of the past distract me from my mission. I have a job to do. Maybe I should’ve played a few Def Leppard tunes to cheer me up?

As a cruel test of fate, I passed by a billboard on the side of the highway that made my blood boil. On it were children silhouettes plastered all over, with the caption: THE LAST HOPE GENERATION.

I cursed. How in the hell was something like that supposed to boost morale? The billboard was sponsored by the hospital that provided care for what may be the last living children. Don’t get me wrong; it’s an outstanding, important job to have. It’s just these kids, I’ve seen them, they look more like cancer patients than bastions of hope.

Further down the road, my stomach was mutinying. I remember a time when I couldn’t go an hour without eating something. But years of living off MRE’s strengthened my discipline. My stomach groaned, threatening to jump out and eat the steering wheel. So much for discipline.

I searched for the right spot to park, the thought of cooked beans fresh on my mind. But when I saw the WELCOME TO ELLENSBURG sign, I gunned it to full throttle. I told myself not to look, not even for a second.

Several years ago, my CO was adamant about stationing me here. Back then, this place was booming. I guess it seemed like the perfect getaway at the time, in light of all the disasters plaguing the world, until I found out the real reason why my asshole of a colonel marched me up here.

Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Gigan had set its sight on Ellensburg like a reaping bird of prey. When it hit, it hit us hard. Nothing we had in our arsenal could put it down, much less slow it down. After taking a few snapshots, Gamera showed up, which narrowed my search for him considerably. Afterward, the powers that suck, uh, I mean, the powers that be, denied Gamera’s involvement entirely and took full credit for bringing Gigan down.

My job was to take photos of the army performing their publicity stunt. The upper brass knew people wanted to see more kaiju—y’know, the monsters that committed mass murder every time they showed their ugly faces. Violence always made the general public susceptible to propaganda. In hindsight, everything didn’t play out as expected. I still have those photos, too. It’s my only leverage.

Without thinking, I turned to face Ellensburg and instantly regretted it. A pestilent cloud of smoke loomed over the ghost city like a ghastly apparition. Aircraft debris and rusted tanks rotted in dead fields. At last, I saw Gigan’s mutilated remains. A giant protruding claw here, a decapitated head there. Seeing his dead ass was the only saving grace about visiting my old hometown.

***

A while later, my hands were trembling. I needed reminding of why I’m doing this in the first place. With bated breath, I pulled the sun visor down, and saw an old photo of a little boy with auburn red hair smiling at me. His image was like sunshine.

I remember taking this picture with my wife. It happened after we brought our son back home from the hospital. He’d been away from home for weeks, and all he wanted to do was play Mario Kart. Before playing a game that would be the first of many that night, I tried to take his picture. He resisted the urge at first, but when I told him it was for his Mother, he relented. God, he sure loved her. I admit I’m still a tad bit jealous. She treasured this picture. It wouldn’t be long until he lost his hair and spent more and more time at the hospital.

I gulped down a handful of antidepressants before tossing the empty container somewhere into the trash heap that was my backseat. I blinked, and I’m suddenly opening up the trunk of my car. A weathered map of the former United States was hunching over my belongings. It’s my own personalized map of the new territories, detailing where I’ve hunted, traveled, and served.

I unfolded a map of Washington State over the hood of my car and while fiddling with radio frequencies on my walkie-talkie. Though most of this land fell under the province of the sovereign Liberty States, we, the natives, still called it Washington. I stared at all the sharpie labels that marked all the places I’ve searched. I couldn’t believe how many there were. I scored off my current location before resting my journal down, briefly fixating on the orichalcum bead at its center. It was a gift from a Japanese foreign exchange student I had a falling out with years ago. I kept it for sentimental value, nothing more. I carefully undid the leather straps before flipping through several pages of photos I’ve taken of kaiju attacks, with complimentary notes and observations. I skimmed through the highly-sensitive documents that I shouldn’t have had in my possession before stopping at a chapter that chronicled a heavyweight kaiju showdown in Tokyo, Japan.

Now, if you’ve been living under a rock, you might be wondering, ‘How the hell do you cover up something like that, when it took place in Tokyo, a city of 10 million people?‘ Good question.

Well, first, know your history. There was once a monster named Godzilla, a nigh-indestructible, fire-breathing, king of all monsters. He fought this thing called Hedorah, which was the monster equivalent to the Black Death. The Japanese government wasn’t confident in Godzilla’s chances, so they saturated him with tremendous amounts of radiation, turning him essentially into the atomic equivalent of a Trojan horse. Hedorah was stopped but at a high cost. Many believe Japan’s time of death was announced the day Godzilla blew their country to kingdom come. But not me. Japan was at ground zero when the Legion Event occurred a few years prior. Most of their fertile women, many of whom were young hopeful mothers, became sterile in less than a fortnight. By the time Godzilla spread his thermonuclear guts, there wasn’t much of a country left to destroy. Japan’s time of death was declared the same day our species was sentenced to an early extinction—the day Gamera drained the world of Mana.

As for the Japanese people, there were survivors that persevered. After receiving vast quantities of financial support, the Japanese relocated to outer space. Within their floating space castle, the Japanese have been painstakingly laboring on unlocking the secrets to eternal life. I think they can do it, too, because they’ve already succeeded in making something immortal. Shortly after Godzilla’s sacrifice, the Japanese harvested his remains, turning him into the backbone of their mighty steel avenger: MechaGodzilla. It’s almost poetic if you think about it. Godzilla and Japan had been mortal enemies for nearly half-a-century. Now they’ve transformed their former nemesis into a living symbol of their unity, strength, and vengeance. I’d love to see MechaGodzilla mete out justice to the one who took our children from us.

After building a warm fire, I gazed out at the valley in front of me. When was the last time I stopped to appreciate a good view? I thought about doing it more often, maybe take exotic pictures and get them published in a magazine, or start my own publishing company. At that moment I couldn’t even remember the last time I took a photograph.

Suddenly, my walkie-talkie started squawking. The Air Force had spotted Gamera.

***

I bolted to my car, almost tripping over myself. My hands scavenged through the quagmire of my trunk. I couldn’t find any binoculars, but I did find my camera. I rushed over to the cliffside, listening to the electronic chatter. Gamera must be close. With my hands shaking, I panned over the riverbank. I tried calming down by steadying my breaths. At first, all I saw were partially submerged rocks. And then one of them moved. It was Gamera! I couldn’t believe it. The reptilian fiend must’ve somehow sensed danger because he hightailed it out of the water like a rocket.

Suddenly, a pair of F-18 Hornets whooshed over my head. I didn’t hear them coming, but I heard them leave, and man, the sound was deafening. They were almost as loud as a kaiju. It took me a few moments to realize I was lying down on the ground like a coward. I picked myself up just in time to see the jets fire sidewinders. The missiles sailed silently across the early morning sky before finding their target. Massive fireballs consumed Gamera’s fleeing body. When Gamera dropped from the black cloud of smoke, my heart skipped a beat. I hope the missiles paralyzed him. That way, we could hit him again and again, and then he would die slowly—just like the rest of us.

But it was not meant to be. Through a thick cloud of dust, I could see Gamera moving. It occurred to me that we couldn’t kill him, not without hitting him with some real heavy ordinance, or a nuclear device to the head, or—

A loud sonic boom brought a swift end to my fantasy. My eyes instantly found the source. It looked like the heavens had parted, making way for the hammer of the gods. But it wasn’t divine intervention; hallelujah, it was so much better than that!

MechaGodzilla had arrived.

***

MechaGodzilla resembled a giant robotic dragon. He walked like a person, sporting a nifty long tail, rows of razor-sharp spikes jutting down its back, and was armed to the teeth. Remember, the Japanese built this cerebral badass over Godzilla’s skeleton. Badass.

Pardon my pun, but Gamera was looking a little greener than usual. He made nonthreatening grunts and gestures at MechaGodzilla, seemingly trying to broker a peace deal. Hell no. Peace was non-negotiable. MechaGodzilla rejected Gamera’s offers of peace by opening fire. Gamera thrashed around like a weary boxer as lasers seared into his flesh. Gamera saw an opening after MechaGodzilla powered down its lasers. The giant creature took in a deep breath, fueling the churning inferno inside his mouth. Gamera was preparing to unleash his fireballs, the very same ones that eradicated Gigan.

MechaGodzilla quickly fired two missiles from its shoulder-mounted rocket launchers, striking Gamera square in the mouth. Gamera recoiled from the explosions rocking his face, spitting out green blood as he dropped. MechaGodzilla’s electrifying maser cannon instantly blinded me. It zapped out of its mouth, electrocuting Gamera’s entire body. Gamera writhed in agony, his screams of anguish made me almost pity him. When Gamera stopped moving, he looked like he was dead.

Serves him right.

I’ve been waiting years to see the light leave that monster’s eyes. My euphoria was temporary, however, when I heard Gamera’s rasping breaths. Fortunately, MechaGodzilla appeared up to speed, and sought to complete its mission. The hulking robot’s chest compartment snapped open, revealing its superweapon.

Oh, shit. It’s the Absolute Zero Cannon.

MechaGodzilla’s ultimate weapon crunched thousands of swirling balls of light together, merging the disembodied energies into an ominous sphere. Temperatures in the area rapidly fell. Being at ground zero of this phenomenon felt like being buried in an avalanche. My campfire was extinguished in a puff of smoke. My pale hands were so numb I couldn’t feel them anymore. When I fell to my knees, it felt like I was falling into a cold, empty void. Dying is not what I expected it to be. Instead of being reunited with my wife and son again, to tell them how much I missed them, there was only silence. It seemed like nothing was waiting for me on the other side.

Unlike me, Gamera wasn’t ready to die. He morphed his arms into fin-like flippers while his legs retracted. Blue flames shot out of their place, propelling the monster at high-speeds into the sky. With his quarry escaping, MechaGodzilla discharged its Absolute Zero Cannon. Gamera swerved out of the way at the last second, letting MechaGodzilla’s superweapon freeze an entire mountain. Seconds later, it collapsed under its weight, raining down millions of frozen, broken shards. Gamera flew right above my head, accelerating to supersonic speeds. I’m lucky he didn’t send me flying off the cliff.

My eyes caught a strange hypnotic glow emanating from the car. Only it wasn’t coming from my car. No, it came from the bead resting on my journal. I touched it and received what felt like a caffeine boost on steroids. Some people believe that when they die, their whole lives flash before their eyes. Through reasons I can’t explain, I was able to relive the life I once knew, or at least it felt like I did. Then abruptly, the visions switched from showing me the past to the present moment. I heard something stomping toward the Children’s Hospital in Seattle, but I couldn’t see what was endangering their lives.

Suddenly, MechaGodzilla flew overhead, kicking up a dirt storm in my face. Moving quickly, I jumped into my car and started her up. Moments later, I’m speeding down the highway, but I’m nowhere near fast enough to keep pace with Gamera and MechaGodzilla as they raced into the horizon. My gaze drifted over to my passenger seat, where my journal was shimmering in an otherworldly glow. The enchanted bead was trying to communicate with me again. But I needed to warn the authorities first. There was no doubt in my mind that Gamera was planning to kill the last remaining children.

I urgently tried hailing any military personnel in the sector, begging anyone listening to initiate emergency procedures at once. It wasn’t enough, so I uttered code words that I hoped were still in effect. A surprised voice confirmed their authenticity while demanding to know my identity. I couldn’t pull rank because I was no longer in the army. All I could do was plead my case.

Then I heard a familiar voice. “Ben, is that you?”

The voice belonged to Eric Collins. We met and trained together at Fort Lewis before deployment. Eric watched my back in Europe. He even saved me a couple of times. Then the day came when I received the worst news. Shortly after that, we fell out of touch. Unfortunately, there was no time for us to catch up. But our history was enough to convert him to my cause. It slowly dawned on me that the mystical bead—or whatever the hell it was—had been in my possession since the beginning of my conversation with Eric. Through it, I felt a renewed purpose.

***

The road to Seattle was not for the faint of heart.

I passed through a smoldering town, where scorched bodies littered the streets. Did Gamera carpet-bomb them while passing through, or did MechaGodzilla kill them in the crossfire? These monsters were cutting a swath of destruction through my country, and news of the carnage was nonexistent. I flipped through different radio frequencies, but the uncaring sound of static made me think Eric was unsuccessful in getting the word out. Then a more pessimistic thought popped into my head. What if nobody cared? I gripped the steering wheel harder. The monsters would be touching down in Seattle shortly, and I’m still an hour out. I plead to anyone listening over the radio to contact the hospital with the utmost urgency. All I heard on the other line was nothing, not even static.

Damn it, why is this happening?

My head was a throbbing mess. The sulfur in the air didn’t help. I needed to leave this place behind, even if where I was going was much worse. But the truth is the worst thing that could’ve happened to me had already happened.

***

Seattle had been decomposing for years. When your population is a shadow of its former self, its officials have more urgent priorities than repairing infrastructure. Most of our taxpayer dollars went to funding our defense budget, which, given how the city looked like a war zone, appeared to have been a poor investment.

While waving through traffic, my eyes frantically searched for the two monsters responsible for all this mindless destruction. Sounds of their battle reverberated off the decrepit buildings. I hated Gamera with every fiber of my being. I was counting on MechaGodzilla to come through for us, but not like this.

A mile away, I saw the Columbia Tower recoil. Then an unseen force pushed it across the cityscape. When it struck a group of buildings in the business district, it wobbled for a bit before crumbling into a plume of dark smoke. Gamera’s mournful cries drowned out the sirens before succumbing to the ambience. Suddenly a bone-chilling shriek took my breath away.

What the hell was that?

I blew through a red light. The hospital was only a few more blocks away. Herds of people ran down streets and alleyways, most of whom appeared to be seeking refuge in the underground bunkers. Good. It looked like my call made it through after all. In my side mirror, I saw the Space Needle creeping up. The Space Needle held sentimental value to me. It’s where I proposed to my wife. And then, right before my eyes, a golden bolt of lightning zapped the top of the Space Needle. It burst into flames, raining down chunks of burning, twisted metal. A silver foot smashed the intersection behind me into a pulp. Out of my rearview mirror, I saw MechaGodzilla. That monster betrayed us! But there were a few things different about him. For starters, his right hand was gone, replaced by a combat drill that was dripping in a green substance. The most telling difference was his glowing eyes. They were blood-red.

That’s not good.

MechaGodzilla terrorized the neighborhood, lighting it up with its maser cannon. It looked like the ghost of Godzilla had come back to haunt us. Suddenly, I heard the oncoming chops of swarms of AH-64 Apaches. Like a hive of enraged hornets, the helicopters attacked with extreme prejudice. Their missiles and gunfire were about as useful as attacking a speeding train with a nerf gun. MechaGodzilla coolly sniped them out of the sky. I swerved around a corner, my heart racing ahead of me. I swung by a park where a Type 66 Maser Beam Tank, an anti-kaiju fighting vehicle, powered up for battle. A battalion of M1A2 Abrams Tanks joined in on the attack. The Type 66 Maser Beam Tanks were highly effective anti-kaiju weapons and were famous for keeping our territories relatively kaiju-free. I don’t see the M1A2 Abrams when they open fire, but I heard their shells futility pinging off MechaGodzilla’s armor. The Type 66 Maser Beam Tank discharged a blue-hued, electrical beam that succeeded in only incurring MechaGodzilla’s wrath.

Moments later, I frantically crossed the front gate of the Children’s Hospital. Swarms of people were clamoring to get in. These people were either brave or suicidal. There was a monster on the warpath and its heading right for them. Why were they throwing away their lives? That’s when I noticed the blurred shapes of children standing behind the third-story windows, looking down on them. Those people trying to get in were their worried parents, and they were one bad day away from ending up like me.

I stopped in the middle of the road and continued the rest of my journey on foot. I felt the warm encouragement of the bead in my hand as I ran. When a dark shadow fell over me, however, I froze. Somehow, I found the courage to look over my shoulder just in time to see MechaGodzilla’s foot stomp my beloved car into the pavement.

Standing between the Children’s Hospital and a rampaging MechaGodzilla was little ol’ me. Everything happening was so much bigger than one person. How could I shoulder such an impossible burden? My hand clenched the bead tightly as electricity danced inside MechaGodzilla’s mouth. I’m back in the desert again, staring death in the face. My hair stood up on the back of my neck. I’m about to watch MechaGodzilla slaughter scores of hapless children, and there wasn’t a damn thing anyone could do to stop him.

As MechaGodzilla opened its mouth, engulfing me in its searing fluorescent glow, the bead in my clenched palm burned brighter. Suddenly, I heard a loud sonic boom over my head. MechaGodzilla’s maser cannon never hit the hospital. Instead, it zapped harmlessly into Gamera’s protective shell.

Did Gamera save us? With a superhero landing, no less.

MechaGodzilla raised its laser cannons to fire, but Gamera was faster on the quickdraw. One fireball hit the metal giant in the chest. A second blew MechaGodzilla’s drill arm entirely off, which plummeted into a parking lot. The last fireball nailed MechaGodzilla in the face, severely damaging its right retina. Despite receiving nasty lacerations and bleeding cuts around his neck and shoulders, Gamera growled in defiance at his adversary.

Gamera was never our enemy. But MechaGodzilla wasn’t going to wait for me to make amends. It opened its mouth and emitted that same bone-chilling shriek I heard earlier. Then to my horror, MechaGodzilla prepared to unleash its Absolute Zero Cannon in a populated zone. Gamera watched with weary conviction. Then with great reluctance, Gamera’s chest plates snapped open, a rush of golden light emanating from inside his core. It was like standing next to a star. But what was pulsating inside Gamera’s heart was no star. No, it was a force greater than ourselves.

For years we thought Gamera stole the light of the world from us, when in fact, it’s been incubating inside him all this time. It’s called Mana, the source of all life. The entire world saw it light up the sky decades ago, heralding the Legion Event. Once a promising new field of exploration that would bridge science and spirituality, Mana had instead been reduced to being nothing more than a fading dream.

Until now, and Gamera was preparing to use the last vestiges of Mana as a weapon.

“No, stop it,” I shouted. But Gamera didn’t hear me.

MechaGodzilla powered up the Absolute Zero Cannon while Gamera charged up his Mana Beam. It was the kaiju equivalent to a nuclear arms race. If Gamera fired first, he would use up what little Mana remained, and kill us all slowly. If MechaGodzilla fired first, then our extinction was imminent.

A vision of my wife and son endowed me with a small measure of hope.

Multiple streaks of light radiated out of the bead, shielding me from the cold death of MechaGodzilla’s most terrifying weapon. Looking up at Gamera, I saw him for who he was for the first time. I felt the tremendous burden on his shoulders, how he had been relentlessly fighting for the last decade to one day be strong enough to restore the world.

In this fleeting moment, Gamera looked into my eyes to help me face my inner demons. I knew my wife and son were gone. I didn’t believe I’ll ever see them again. No matter how disheartening the truth may be—and it is in ways I’ll never be able to explain—I coveted it. I accepted that my wife and son were gone. I recognized that I have been living a sad, lonely existence for all these years because, in my heart of hearts, I truly believed I didn’t deserve happiness. I accepted I had been my own worst enemy; I accepted me for who I am. For the rest of my days, I will honor the memory of my loved ones by being the very best version of myself. That was my promise.

Gamera rewarded me with a knowing look. When he let loose a triumphant roar, it was his way of saying he would hold me to that promise.

Closing his eyes, Gamera lowered his guard. There was a slight hesitation on MechaGodzilla’s part as if someone or something was reluctant to pull the trigger. But it was too late. Whether MechaGodzilla wanted to or not, the Absolute Zero Cannon reached critical mass and fired, turning Gamera into a blue mountain of frozen flesh. The light of Mana in his eyes and chest faded away. Gamera was dead.

I wanted to retreat deep inside myself. But no matter how badly I felt, I remembered my promise. None of this would unmake me. In response, the bead shot up out of my hand, leaving a vibrant trail of glowing particles in its wake. It wasn’t the only spinning light in the sky. There were many others. It didn’t occur to me until then that there were other people in the city, right at that exact moment, experiencing what I was experiencing. There were other souls Gamera had shepherded. Through the eyes of many, we were one.

Our light converged on Gamera.

Gamera’s body disappeared in an explosion of Mana. I felt the Mana course through not only my veins but through the Earth itself—revitalizing it. MechaGodzilla tilted its head up to the bright sky, its red eyes reverting back to yellow. Not even MechaGodzilla’s armor could keep the Mana wave out. With a seismic step, the armored titan departed for parts unknown.

I felt reborn in a sea of life. With each step I took, I felt renewed. Every whiff of air carried with it a story of a life no longer forgotten. Then all of a sudden, it hit me. There were more stories to tell. There was a tomorrow.

*****

Benjamin ‘Ben’ Ackles walked down the streets of his city, with his journal pressed firmly to his heart. Everywhere he looked, he saw crowds of people celebrating. Future generations would come to know this day as The Day of Hope, meant to honor the legacy of Gamera, the Friend to all Children.

Ben reached the waterfront. He closed his eyes, listening to the tranquil sounds of the waves. When he opened his journal, the orichalcum bead was there to greet him. His face beamed a knowing smile. He fiddled around his pockets before pulling out a pen. Ben stared down at the blank white canvas that was his journal and tried imagining how this all started. He felt transported to a different place, a different time. But he was not alone in his travels. There were others there, acting as witnesses. With the stroke of his pen, he wrote the beginning passage of his kaiju war chronicle.

‘They closed their eyes…’

Epilogue

MechaGodzilla cast its enormous shadow over the desolate neighborhood of Queen Anne. With Elliot Bay as its witness, MechaGodzilla bowed its head to pay tribute to its courageous pilot as her escape pod jettisoned away to safety. The metal giant’s armor was falling apart at the seams. Sparks popped out of its battle ridden joints, while its hydraulics system plummeted. MechaGodzilla flatlined as it came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, a violent, unseen force shook the steel leviathan apart from the inside. MechaGodzilla was no more, replaced by the monster it was harboring, and when the beast came to its senses he reclaimed his identity.

Gamera’s sacrifice had seen to that.

The creature’s black hand stretched out of the stump of his synthetic wrist, basking in the daylight for the first time in its renewed life. Through MechaGodzilla’s damaged retina, he stared at the Sun with a fully regenerated eye. Then the metal shell compressing his face and body shattered like glass, liberating Godzilla once and for all. A loud shriek rang from the back of his throat, carrying with it a profound message.

Let there be life.

Winner:  Kiryu

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