Author: Andrew Sudomerski | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

[Continued from Match 267]

Infant Island

Fight until the bitter end.

That was what Mothra thought as she evaded the merciless barrage from the mechanical invaders. It was more than just for herself; this sacred land was her home, her priestesses and worshippers were family, and most importantly was the egg she had fought so rigorously to protect. Even in her injured state, with a slashed wing and missing a leg from her encounter with Zilla, she flew with grace and elegance over the surface, then proceeded to clap her wings to gain elevation over the hundreds of missiles and light bullets.

Mechagodzilla remained stationary as endless finger missiles and shells burst from his fingertips, kneecaps, toes, neck, and mouth. Even if they missed Mothra, Mechagodzilla and his mechanical ally were here not just for the destruction of Mothra, but the demise of Infant Island. Thus, it was of no loss when the missiles missed their primary target. Fortunately for Mechagodzilla, Jikiro had his back. The Magnetic Terror-Beast kept aim with its right hand, a Gatling gun, which fired a spray of yellow bullets. The projectiles burst into sparks upon striking the Earth spirit’s fluffy thorax, which compelled her to cry out. Even so, the injury did not deter her.

As she closed the gap between her and her adversaries, Mothra fired twin orange beams from her antennae. Both individually blasted the robotic titans, which distracted Jikiro and simply made Mechagodzilla ceasefire. The lepidopteran deity flew over the mechanical duo and dragged a powerful gale in her wake. Jikiro simply anchored itself with its immense weight. Mechagodzilla stumbled back, but not before rotating his head 180 degrees. Red, calculating lenses projected Mothra’s distance relative to his own and fired a pair of Space Beams at her. The rainbow-colored lasers found their mark on her underbelly, eliciting a shriek from the moth goddess.

She maintained lift and banked a hard right, curving around to meet with her enemies once again. Mothra prepared her next strike in the form of glittery scales from her wings. Both Mechagodzilla and Jikiro stood their ground, but were quickly overwhelmed with her divinity. Golden powder-like scales washed over the mechanical fiends and scorched into their metal armor. The Godzilla doppelganger was quick to react as his head spun in place and generated a cyan cylinder from his eyes, which wrapped around his form. The small specks of light were neutralized, but there was nothing Mechagodzilla could do but wait. Jikiro, on the other hand, had no such luck. It tried to fire its light bullets, but the buffer layer dispersed the energy into jagged strings, which redirected back at Jikiro with searing pain. The Magnetic Terror-Beast tried again, this time indicated by a burst of light from its tail, as it fired a concentrated Magnetic Ray at Mothra. To no avail, as the diffused electrical energy bounced about in the golden cloud and returned to its sender in full force.

Energy wasn’t doing the trick, so Jikiro had to depend on old reliable. Shifting gears within its Gatling gun, Jikiro changed its ammunition. As it aimed its Gatling gun once more, Jikiro uttered a pained shriek with the continual burns seared into its body. With rapid succession, missiles shot out from the barrels, ripping through the golden cloud and embedded themselves into their target. Mothra’s shrill resounded across the battlefield as she was sent hurtling back, throwing her from the air to the ground accompanied by burning flames and shrapnel. Even if the scales left Jikiro weary, the war machine did not ceasefire until the particles faded from sight. When they did, Jikiro collapsed onto its knees and blocky left hand, still sizzling and barely keeping it together.

The Earth spirit was burdened by the wounds she sustained, but even worse was that she had fallen onto her back. She fluttered her wings wildly, kicking up a dust storm, each beat straining her body. But her bulbous, bright blue eyes informed her that she wasn’t going to make it. For she saw the cyan cylinder dissipated from the false Godzilla, who shifted into attack mode. Mechagodzilla’s chest compartment flipped opened, then all hell broke loose. Rainbow lasers, orange electric currents, yellow atomic flames, and space titanium-infused artillery fire poured from the mechanical behemoth, overwhelming the Infant Island deity in a blaze of relentless pain and agony. Any of Mothra’s anguished screeches were lost in the deafening booms that surrounded her.

Thick black smoke and heavy dust obscured the moth guardian’s being, but that did not stop Mechagodzilla’s onslaught. Although Jikiro could barely hear their opponent’s banshee wails, there were points where Mothra’s shrieks overpowered even that of the explosions—a direct hit! However, even Mechagodzilla came to a ceasefire, for the plumage was too immense to guarantee a solid shot. The automatons scanned and waited for any signs of life…

Mechagodzilla’s lenses caught an energy reading. It was a miniscule ball of light particles that danced around the mechanical behemoth’s eyes. Scanners identified it as a moth, no more than 30 centimeters in wingspan. Had this been a normal animal, there would have been no reason to hesitate. But it wasn’t. The energy spike it produced told Mechagodzilla otherwise. The tiny blue-eyed, bright yellow-bodied moth squeaked, as if warning him. Jikiro, even in its weakened state, also scanned the entity with curiosity; that was until the Terror-Beast peered over the dust cloud. With wild screeches, Jikiro alerted Mechagodzilla of the threat that loomed.

An anomalous holy light brimmed from where their target laid, and what came forth was nothing short of breathtaking. Numerous moths, far too many to individually account for. They were similar to the yellow-bodied one, their population blotted the sunlight with what may have been tens of thousands of tiny shadows.

The smoke cleared away and revealed the grievously injured Mothra, charred, bleeding, and missing an eye, but her wings lustrous and bright. Hundreds upon thousands of minute replicas manifested from tattered wings, swarming their benevolent creator. With a loud chirping war cry, Mothra issued the attack!

In an instant, all the yellow-bodied Fairy Mothras dove straight at the two mechanical giants, pelting them with their antenna lasers. Individually, one Fairy didn’t do much; but as a collective, they singed the armor that protected their circuitry. The swarm fluttered around the behemoths, throwing off their trajectory. That was until Mothra commanded them to disperse, in which she unloaded her antennae lasers unto the alien invaders. Both of them stumbled and collapsed into one another.

Not wasting a second, she flew directly at Mechagodzilla! With her enormous mass, she rammed into Mechagodzilla’s upper torso and latched her miniscule legs onto his frame. Without a second thought, energy funneled through her claws as she pumped Mechagodzilla full of her divine wrath. The metal doppelganger of the Monster King jittered and spastically twitched uncontrollably as retribution coursed through his circuitry, frying them. Mothra continued her ruthless assault by discharging lightning from her wings, pelting the space titanium alloy until it was charred black.

The downed Jikiro was pelted by the armada, but it carried out its orders by swiping and blasting the miniature Mothras into a flurry of golden powder. Light bullets scattered their energized carcasses, whilst magnetism pulled the minerals within the large boulders onto its magnetic hand, crushing the Fairy Mothras under its weight. The Garoga automaton switched gears and pulsated light from its tail, signaling a destructive discharge. A crooked bolt of lightning swathed the Fairy Mothras, incinerating their bodies down to atoms. It eased the load, but the army of moths continued valiantly with their given mission.

Even though Jikiro was weakened, the Garoga machine would not lie down and wait. Pushing itself to its feet and shaking off the laser fire, Jikiro’s tail pulsated with yellow light. Channeling its electric prowess, the automaton fired its Magnetic Ray at the adult Mothra, searing into her body as it shoved her off of Mechagodzilla. Her thorax oozed with grotesque puss, resulted from the attack delivered by Jikiro.

Even though he was saved by his ally, Mechagodzilla collapsed onto the ground, unable to operate its motor functions due to the damage inflicted on the Cybanek. The robot monster was left helpless, but Jikiro set out to complete what they were both here for; the destruction of Mothra and Infant Island. Try as he might, however, Jikiro couldn’t land a solid blow against the wounded veteran, each wave of light bullets only striking empty air as she maneuvered out of the way.

Higher and higher, the winged moth elevated into the sunlit sky, out of Jikiro’s line of fire. She beckoned her armada, and they complied with no hesitation. Immediately, they disengaged their targets and offered themselves to their maker, shining in brilliant spores. The more that merged with her, the more intense Mothra became as she was encased in a golden hue. She began to circle around, leaving a glittery trail in her wake.

Jikiro panicked, kicking his downed ally in an effort to get him back up. From the heat produced by Mothra’s assault, Mechagodzilla’s nostrils exhaled steam as a coolant. His flaring crimson eyes glared at his partner, at least until he heeded what Jikiro had to say. He detected a considerable spike of energy produced from their primary target. This was a danger for the both of them, and there were two immediate options at his disposal.

Mothra’s output of power informed Mechagodzilla’s decision making in taking the best course of action. His neck creaked from the scarred metal, but continued to swirl all the same. Faster and faster his head rotated, then deployed cyan energy from his eyes to construct the cylindrical barrier around his body. If this was the guardian’s last hurrah, then perhaps it was best to wait her out…

Jikiro pondered, leaving the stake of its artificial life in its own hands. Mechagodzilla was prepared to take the blow, and the divine moth nearly completed the inevitable spell she would cast. He had to think of something quick, or risk the slim chance of survival on luck… no, the machine refused to bow to such improbable odds. If it were to fulfill the execution of its orders, it would do so by its own ingenuity. It was then that an idea came to the machine. There were no other options to work with, not with more time. There were only seconds to spare—time it was unsure would be enough, but had to try nonetheless.

Pointing its blocky left arm to the sky, Jikiro twisted the magnets by a simple rotation of its wrists, and then circled its Gatling gun arm around as many times it could humanely do. Air was displaced by the force of his spinning arm, which strengthened its magnetic influence. Jikiro’s magnets discharged an inverse magnetic polarization; rather than attract, it would repel metal and disperse energy under the magnetic field it produced. But would it be enough to protect itself from what came next? This was Jikiro’s only shot.

A golden ring clamped together as the holy moth continued to forge the seal’s power. Within the empty space, the Symbol of Mothra manifested and illuminated ever so brightly. With a simple command, it made its descent with a massive boom.

Then, it struck.

A thunderous cavalcade resonated across the land as the last of Mothra’s might seared itself into the earth. Massive shockwaves spread through the foliage and broken rock. Even the natives had to hold onto whatever remained steadfast in the destructive wake. Jikiro’s magnetic waves dispelled some of the energy, casting it aside as the Earth does with the sun’s gamma rays. Even so, it wasn’t enough to completely withstand it, as the heat it produced melted its armor and pushed it further into the earth. Mechagodzilla only fared slightly better. The overwhelming energy warped the cylindrical shield from the immense force. So much so that even the mechanical menace dropped to one knee from the pressure being applied. Only a few seconds passed before the two were engulfed in a purifying light.

Like the sun, the Symbol of Mothra cast its light upon the darkness, signaling a chance for hope and prosperity. Just as quickly as it appeared, it faded. Scorched land was imprinted with the symbol, a sign of her divine power. The elder Mothra flew in to inspect the damages—to see if the invaders were still standing.

As she glided over, she saw the remnants of her foes. Mechagodzilla had collapsed onto his chest, whilst Jikiro was partially buried under scorched earth, with the rocks already like molten slag. It had seemed both were finally stopped, at long last. Nevertheless, Mothra continued her investigation and found herself hovering above Mechagodzilla’s carcass.

It was then the lifeless head creaked, twisting his head to meet Mothra eye to eye. Red lenses flared to life as the wicked machine fire a pair of rainbow lasers at point blank! The Infant Island goddess was flung back from the surprise attack, failing to even register the loss of her two front legs. As Mothra crashed, Mechagodzilla rose to his feet and reoriented himself. Meanwhile, Jikiro’s tomb began to vibrate.

With a theatrical display, the melted mineral crater exploded, revealing Jikiro in moderate condition. Swirling heat dispersed into the daylight sky, with only noticeable deformation in Jikiro’s armor. However, its left hand was lost, destroyed by the seal. So instead, Jikiro improvised with a sudden charge of electricity.

Mothra had nothing left to defend herself with. All of it had been expended in the fight, leaving her nothing left to hold onto… Except for hope for the future. One she knew she would not live to see. The mechanical duo shook the broken earth with every step they took, prepared to finish what they came here to do.

Jikiro approached her first, holding the Gatling gun out and spraying the fallen goddess with an electric burst. Disgusting crunches echoed as the energy tore through Mothra’s natural armor. Her cries resounded to all who could hear as she squirmed in absolute agony. The mechanical replica of Godzilla, meanwhile, prepared to unload all of his firepower. Jikiro backed off and allowed his Simian ally to eviscerate the corpse in a spectacular display. Her final cry was cut short as rainbow lasers, orange lightning, and many missiles and shells tore Mothra asunder, scattering her remains across this very island she was designed to protect. Now there was nothing that would stand in their way from accomplishing their goals.

The Magnetic Terror-Beast took heed of the fleeing natives and gifted them with a spread of light bullets from the right hand. They were incinerated in an instant. The light bullets evolved into a stream of electricity, eviscerating the flora, fauna, and villages that dwelled in the foliage. Mechagodzilla proceeded to assist his partner by carving the island with his Space Beams and Cross Attack Beam, utterly laying waste to the island until it became nothing more than smoldering ruins.

It was then that they noticed the mountainside Mothra had fought so rigorously to protect. They had to ensure that nothing could come from this. Both machines aimed their weaponry at the mountain itself, blasting it to kingdom come. The tumbling rocks further layered on top of Mothra’s domain, cementing the fate of Infant Island.

The bright sky turned pitch black from the rolling smoke, only the flames served as a dark marker in history. Their masters were content and were ordered to return to headquarters. Mechagodzilla’s soles roared to life as he took off by rocket boosters. Jikiro, however, had to do it the manual way by taking a dip into the water. The Magnetic Terror-Beast followed the fiery trail left behind Mechagodzilla’s wake. Soon enough, after the raging fires had extinguished, all fell silent.

Days passed, as those who were in the temple grounds of Mothra’s cavern were the only survivors from the merciless genocide, which only amounted to fifty individuals accounted for. They prayed fervently to the lone egg that stood perched among the rubble from the collapsed mountain. Even with the few they had, they performed ceremonial dances for the divine protection of their beloved moth god. The Cosmos sung the song of the Earth, clinging to hope for the future while wracked with grief.

And an answer was delivered.

The egg began to flash in a brilliant spectacle. All who worshipped fell back at its sight, even the twin priestesses. The shell cracked, and what emerged was her long awaited successor. The young larva screeched as she took her first breath in her life, defiant to let this be the end of the Mothra lineage and the wonderful wisdom of Infant Island. As she quieted down, the larva gazed upon her people, sensing the dread they all faced. She assured them with gentle chirps, that she would avenge her mother and those that defiled Infant Island’s beauty, for she was their last hope.

Winner: Mechagodzilla (Showa), Jikiro