Author: Michael Allen | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

In the ocean’s dark depths, among the hundreds of ancient stones and sea life, a creature stirred. At first glance the object that moved would have easily passed for an incredibly large rock, its sudden movement being the only indication it was actually a living being. Limbs sprouted from the holes, unmistakably arms ending in clawed hands and a mighty head. The green eyes opened and the tusked maw parted in a growl. It’d been the first time in years Gamera’s sleep had been disturbed, but the call to battle was not to be ignored.

Earth needed its protector once more.

Sirens wailed out across the Sapporo streets as the infamous form of Godzilla made his way slowly across the landscape. The charcoal colored demon spat from Hell reigned destruction over any living thing that dared to exist in the same space as himself. The ground trembled with every step the King of the Monsters took, a trail of destruction already carved into the city behind him. Smoke and flames danced into the brightness of the day, the spines lit up a hellish orange and a jet of fire erupted from Godzilla’s mouth, consuming several blocks in a supernova.

A high pitched shriek rose from the ugly mouth, watching the fire consume more structures and the lives that fled from his colossal frame.

Godzilla faced no opposition for the time being, the Japanese dare not risk the lives of civilians at the moment…and were still baffled by Godzilla’s sudden appearance. The last satellite reports had indicated Godzilla was somewhere off in the Pacific many miles away from the Japanese coast. Yet somehow here he was in Sapporo, launching an unprovoked attack! There wasn’t even radiation in the area, no one could see a logical purpose behind this attack.

Godzilla screeched again and proceeded onward…but this time his cry was answered by another. Orange eyes shifting to the direction from whence the sound had originated. The opposition came in too quickly for Godzilla to react. An airborne clothesline to the throat instantly toppled the nuclear leviathan. In a thrashing display of limbs Godzilla struggled to regain his footing, the ground shook even more violently as Gamera completed his descent, powerful legs keeping his shelled body upright as he gave another battle roar.

He was surprised to see Godzilla get up so quickly, for something that had been struck with such savage force, Godzilla or not it was a remarkably fast recovery! He didn’t even seem winded! Gamera glared daggers at the saurian, he couldn’t understand what it was, but something about Godzilla was…off. They had never met before (though both had a considerable reputation) but Gamera instinctively knew something was seriously amiss. Perhaps it was the scent, or just a gut feeling. Either way, his suspicions were about to be answered.

Both charged at the other, buildings shaken to nothing more than rubble as the titanic footsteps shuddered the city to its core. Gamera avoided a swipe to the head by ducking, jerking upward to bring his skull colliding with Godzilla’s chin, barely even staggering him. Unsheathing an elbow claw, Gamera followed up with a counter swipe as Godzilla came in again with an unearthly scream of his own. Despite having the organic blade rip across his midsection Godzilla did not cease in motion, bashing his shoulder into Gamera, the Guardian of the Universe stumbling back in surprise at the enemy’s great strength. Added further to his shock was the fact there was no blood. Not even a drop. And instead of entrails there was…a glint! Metal. Godzilla allowed his arms to drop to his side, and in a flash of blinding light the disguise was gone. The impostor’s true form revealed, no doubt.

Mechagodzilla’s yellow eyes unblinkingly met Gamera’s green orbs, a mountain of metal in the vague form of Godzilla. A short, immobile tail and blunt spines ran the length of the machine’s back. Fingers and toes just as immobile, the whole thing in and of itself looked slow, but judging by how armored it was speed didn’t look to be a concern. Mechagodzilla’s heads up display identified its assailant as Gamera, combative options from its mechanical brain presented to it. Time to fight back.

Before Gamera could make another move he was pelted by missiles, blasting into his plastron, blowing chunks of it off; another to the shoulder yielded green blood. Gamera cried out in agony as he realized Mechagodzilla’s fingers were in fact deadly missiles! With an emotionless shriek Mechagodzilla set its lasers upon Gamera, pragmatically watching as Gamera was lifted off his feet with another cry of pain and landing helplessly on his back. His shell pressing into the pavement, dirt and concrete shot high into the air, raining down into the battlefield. Mechagodzilla’s hands shifted into place, targeting system getting an easy lock. Were it alive it might have felt very pleased with itself. Before it could fire, the sound of jets firing up and thick, hot smoke engulfed Gamera from sight. It took Mechagodzilla’s computer brain a moment or two to process what was happening, the closest it could get to shock. By the time it fired Gamera was already lifting off.

Lasers and missiles detonated harmless on vacant ground and buildings, the half of the city of which they now fought had been largely evacuated so Gamera had little concern for exploding buildings at the moment. Rubble and flames littered the decimated streets for miles around. Mechagodzilla screeched as its head swiveled about to try and lock onto Gamera, hands raised futilely as the turtle literally flew circles around it. Increasing speed Gamera flew to the left, lasers obliterating a structure where he’d been seconds before. Cutting off the azure plasma that gave him flight, the chelonian tackled Mechagodzilla from behind, with its blunt spikes and stiff tail he had no worries about being injured. The duo landed in a heap, Mechagodzilla shrieking as its arms raised up, Gamera grunting as missiles fired into the sky. With nothing to lock onto they spun and soared randomly before falling to the ground, detonating buildings or the streets. Growling, he seized the machine by the head and repeatedly slammed its expressionless face into the ground.

But to Gamera’s surprise Mechagodzilla forced itself up. Were it not for fast reflexes, Gamera would’ve fallen over again. He grunted again as a hard metal arm smacked across his face, a chop to the head further stunning him. Mechagodzilla continued hammering Gamera with fast strikes, relentless in its assault. So it wasn’t as helpless at hand to hand as it looked. Despite the pain the blows caused, Gamera refused to back away, the second he did he knew Mechagodzilla would open fire on him once more. Instead he followed up with something even Mechagodzilla hadn’t anticipated: a plasma fireball to the chest!

Mechagodzilla stumbled back, vision temporarily obstructed by residue of the explosion, but its display indicated no true damage had been dealt. Gamera roared at the machine, seeing its armor glowing white hot but little else. Heat and flames danced in Gamera’s jaws, alerting Mechagodzilla that another would be coming swiftly. It opted to spontaneously take flight in the blink of an eye, the fireball struck a building instead, instantly leveling it. The speed with which Mechagodzilla had been propelled caught Gamera off guard, but there was little time to think about that. Mechagodzilla loudly landed behind Gamera, a panel on its abdomen falling open, a jagged red laser beam shot forth. The machine had wanted to end the fight quickly by simply cutting Gamera in two with it, but saw it simply raze harmlessly across the terrapin’s shell.

Whipping around, Gamera unleashed another plasma fireball, only difference was that Mechagodzilla had certainly anticipated it. Defensive measures were the best course of action, its computer brain decided. The head rotated around and around, quickly bringing up a body encompassing shield. The turtle’s eyes narrowed in frustration as his enemy’s defense held up unwaveringly. He knew he had only seconds to decide how to proceed as he was well aware of what awaited him when that shield went down. Gamera’s jets fired up again, smoke billowing around him as plasma fire took the place of his legs. Concrete exploded beneath him as Mechagodzilla attempted to blast him with its lasers, but Gamera lifted off just in time.

With no other option the machine gave pursuit, its own jets carrying it upward. Gamera narrowly avoided three more shots of Mechagodzilla’s lasers, his powerful shell tending to the rest. They rose up into the sky faster with every passing second, but Mechagodzilla was gaining with stunning speed on its side. Gamera warbled in pain as lasers ripped across his left arm, blood bursting from the wounds freely, spattering Mechagodzilla’s armored body as its pursuit carried on. The wind whipped past each of them as Mechagodzilla continued to gain speed. If not for Gamera taking flight first, he would have been overtaken much faster, but despite his enemy’s speed he was far from helpless. He’d led the Godzilla doppelganger into the air for a reason.

Now high above the clouds, Gamera withdrew his additional limbs within the safety of his shell, more plasma fire erupting from his arm sockets allowing him to spin like a UFO in flight. Mechagodzilla was certainly a shockingly fast flier, but it wasn’t particularly aerodynamic. With its head locked in a straight position, arms to its side left it rather vulnerable. Gamera ruthlessly bashed into its side, the machine spinning around uncontrollably for several seconds, world a blue and white blur before regaining its bearings. It seized a chance and let loose another volley of multicolored laser beams into Gamera’s more vulnerable underside, a roar sounding out from within the shell and more green blood showering out. But victory was short lived for Mechagodzilla. Again the airborne terrapin shot toward Mechagodzilla, slamming into it ruthlessly, sparks shooting from its body as the sharp edges of Gamera’s shell met with the space titanium.

With a high pitched, but emotionless cry Mechagodzilla was able to twist itself away from Gamera, allowing its jets to switch off. A single arm raised, targeting system struggling to get a lock, Mechagodzilla falling faster and faster. It fired one missile the moment its system had a clear lock. One was all that was needed.

The missile entered Gamera’s right leg socket. An explosion of blue and orange burst from it, followed by a terrible howl of pure pain. Instantly, Gamera himself began to fall as well, bloodied and in agony. But still he would not stop, reactivating his left leg jet he increased his speed straight toward the Godzilla impostor, tackling it head on. Mechagodzilla hammered on the shell with all its might, warbling in an attempt to free itself, their combined weight bringing them down all the faster. Space titanium or otherwise, Mechagodzilla did not want to see if the armor could survive a fall of this magnitude.

Gamera on the other hand seemed strangely as ease, despite his injuries and the situation. Mechagodzilla’s system notified that they were seconds from impact, desperately it shot missiles from its knees into Gamera’s gut, bloodying him further but to no avail.

The two fighters met the ground. Hard. The whole city shook, buildings rumbled and fell, dirt plumed outward, the ground split open as more explosions decimated the city. Vehicles had been sent skyward before returning to the ground, becoming little else that scrap metal in the process. The shaking carried on for only a minute or so, but to those who watched from a distance it felt like eternity before all was still.

From the rubble, Mechagodzilla dragged itself, majestic armor dented and chipped quite visibly. One eye cracked and dim, tail hung only by crackling wires. Left arm dangled limply as it shakily stood up once more, dully it surveyed the city ruins. Slowly its head swiveled around to take in the sight of Gamera, half buried in rubble and unmoving. The head shifted to the front again, gears and servos audibly whirring and clicking with strained effort before the machine began to limp away.

What it failed to notice was the fires near Gamera being consumed by him, like a supernova it engulfed Gamera’s body, drawing inward to him. Absorbed in a bright, even beautiful display.

Green eyes snapping open, Gamera stood with another battle roar. Mechagodzilla slowly turned around in something akin to shock…and fear. Its mind struggled to understand how Gamera stood now without a scratch on him, rejuvenated by the fire. And empowered by it. The power glowed in Gamera’s tusked jaws, billowing out like it was desperately trying to escape. Its mind was still trying to process when a plasma fireball shot forth like a cannonball, larger than any of the previous ones that had been utilized against it. With the damage sustained, Mechagodzilla had no way of defending itself. And in that moment, it understood why Gamera was so at ease by their descent. The last thing it took in was flash for orange, its head exploding to bits of burnt metal that littered the streets. Its body followed suit and exploded seconds afterward, metal raining down like snowflakes.

Gamera gave a triumphant roar of satisfied victory. He lifted off once again to return to the sea. He would sleep quite well knowing Earth was safe and the unnatural presence had been bested in heated battle.

Winner: Gamera (Heisei)