Author: Harley Jameson | Banner: Landon Soto
It was the harshest storm in the history of the Pacific Ocean. A vast expansion of thunderclouds loomed for hundreds of miles, lightning dancing across the sky and slammed into the ocean, sending waves of salty spray whipping and hissing in the air.
But to the natives of Faro Island, each clap of thunder was the signal of death.
The Chief of the island called his people together, face ashen as the rain lashed down hard across his people. He disliked having to call them out in this maelstrom, but the winds were so harsh that their homes had been completely demolished, and they had worked hard in the grueling and deafening night of the storm to erect enough of a shelter that could survive the harshness of it all. In the distance, he could hear the roars of their God as loud as the thunder, the sounds of battle echoing across the island like a curse. The smell of death in the air.
He had a feeling, deep in his heart, that this would be their last night on their land.
The Chief had to shout over the cacophony of noise, water spraying against the thick reeded walls of the hut. “My people, I know you are all hungry and cold from the storm. The food has been washed away, our homes have been picked up and carried toward the water. But together, we are stronger than the forces that wish to destroy us. Together, we can overcome-”
The sounds of battle and roaring were getting louder. Everyone flinched and huddled together as the ground shook slightly. The Chief made a motion to signal everyone to stay put, and he cautiously stepped out into the raging inferno of rain and wind to see what was happening.
That was when he smelled the thick, iron of blood and burnt flesh. Lightning spit across the sky before slamming down a few meters away from the Chief. He jumped back in alarm when the light revealed a charred and singed octopus. Another of the giant creatures that their God had often fought. The treeline shattered as a tall, green bipedal dinosaur was hurled out from the forest, landing in a heap at the beach.
Gorosaurus heaved, his chest burnt and blackened and every breath he took made his chest burn like it was on fire. Slowly, the dinosaur pushed himself upright and glared daggers. He gave an ear-splitting roar that made the Chief cover his ears.
When he heard another roar boom out from the jungle, any hope he may have had for his people surviving that night would be dashed.
Lightning crashed through the thicket and set the forest ablaze but the fires were quickly extinguished by the severe rains. Black smoke curled in the air as two powerful hands shoved a couple trees aside, electricity dancing across the furry hands as another bolt raced down and crashed down on the beach.
The Chief watched in silent horror and awe as King Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World, slowly stepped out of the forest. Electricity and lightning covered him like a cloak, his hands constantly awash with electrical energy. His breathing was ragged, and his face glowed a ghostly blue. His eyes were blood-shot and full of intense, insane rage. The rage a creature only gets into when it is dying and knows it. The thought made the Chief’s blood run cold.
Kong was dying.
Although the Chief was unaware of the exact process, he was aware of what was happening. Kong always had a natural affinity with lightning, but the storm had pumped him so full of electricity that his body was shutting down as his organs were being fried by the amount. It was a slow, painful death. Each heartbeat pumping more and more of the deadly power that Kong so often found strength in.
And in that strength, came madness. Overcome by the pain, Kong had flown into an unceasing rage, desperate to find relief. Anything in his path was demolished and destroyed. Curling his lips, the big ape wasted no time and sprinted forward, shoulder-tackling the weakened Gorosaurus down on the sand. The dinosaur squealed as Kong raised electrified fists and beat down relentlessly on the creature.
He didn’t stop until his hands were soaked in blood, and Gorosaurus lay as a mauled pile on the shore. Kong rose fully, and screamed out as another bolt of lightning struck down onto him, his fur singed and smoking as he beat his chest and howled angrily, before turning his attention toward the Chief, and the sole hut where the remaining villagers watched from the entrance.
The Chief closed his eyes. In a small mercy, he was the first to die, so he didn’t have to hear the screams of his people as Kong slaughtered all of them.
Jet Jaguar was not a fan of storms.
Being a robot, he naturally had no real concept of emotions other than what his programming allowed him to simulate, but that did not stop Jet Jaguar from on a clinical level, being able to dislike storms. The lightning crashed down with alarming enough frequency that his programming dictated that unless a serious threat to life was going to turn up, he was to remain indoors in the lab where it was safe. Even his complicated and sophisticated circuitry was susceptible to the raw electrical power of a bolt of lightning. As such, his programming was content on allowing him to do more menial tasks around the household of his creator, tuning in every once in a while as best he could to the staticy and patchy radio frequencies of the world to see if his help might be needed. Although when the algorithms were sorted through, the probability of such a thing wasn’t very high.
The radio hummed and whined, various radio stations tuning in and out. Various advertisements and music stations until…
Wait. Jet Jaguar stood stock still, winding back to the radio station where he heard the name. The static burst into life and he wiggled his head around, extending his antennae as far as they could go to boost the signal. “I repeat, King Kong has appeared on the coast of Japan. We advise all members of the public to stay indoors. We shall provide updates when possible.”
King Kong had come back to Japan’s shores again. Although Jet Jaguar doubted that his presence was needed, he looked out at the storm raging outside and his internal mechanisms were considering whether or not it was worth the risk to help the self defense force. Kong was one of the few kaiju that they could actually deal with without too much trouble.
With a flash of lightning, Jet Jaguar threw open the doors and slammed them shut, lifting his arms and taking off into the dark skies.
It wasn’t particularly difficult to find Kong, tuning into the choppy radios had given the robot enough of a guide, along with not being particularly bothered by the concept of darkness. Rain lashed at his eyes and his programs whirred in warning as he found the ape. Something was off about the beast…
Lightning crackled across Kong’s skin, his face emanating a bluish glow. The ape gave a low groan, clawing at his chest before howling in rage and anger, stampeding forward and kicking at a tank which exploded on impact with Kong’s foot. The burning wreckage flew through the air and crashed onto the shores. His heart showed increased signs of stress that was steadily gaining, and in an instant Jet Jaguar knew what the problem was.
The new problem was how to stop him.
The dying Kong screamed out, snarling and beating his bloody and raw chest. Electricity shrouding him as a bolt of lightning smashed down onto him and nearly floored the mighty ape, but he remained standing and snarled angrily. Jet Jaguar’s programming warned him that exposed contact with the ape would certainly result in his immediate termination.
He grew to the size of Kong anyways and stood in front of the thin line of JSDF vehicles that remained alive. The thunder crashed overhead and Jet Jaguar cried out, thrusting his arm toward Kong. Jet Jaguar sympathized with Kong, but he couldn’t allow the ape to continue his rampage.
Kong snarled, and another flash of lightning echoed out with his battle cry as the ape charged forward. He swung wildly, Jet Jaguar ducking underneath the clumsy swipe and the robot slammed his fist into Kong’s gut, staggering the ape. Jet Jaguar immediately yanked his hand away as sparks danced around it.
Kong, unphased by the robot’s plight, lumbered forward and swung again wildly, grunting in irritation as Jet Jaguar easily rolled out of the way. He grunted, digging his hands into the wet sand beneath him and flinging his arms up, a great handful splattering against Jet Jaguar’s face. The robot jerked in alarm, hastily trying to wipe the sand off of his face and screeching when Kong shouldered into him in a massive shower of spark, sending him crashing down on the wet sand.
He shuddered and twitched. Even with such minimal contact, Kong was so supercharged with electricity that it was enough to send his systems into overdrive. He barely had time to get his bearings before he had to quickly roll out of the way, toward the choppy oceans as Kong slammed his fists down, showering more sand around.
Standing quickly, Jet Jaguar ran forward and punched Kong across the jaw, then quickly backhanding him and kicking out with his foot, knocking the ape right on his back.
Under normal circumstances, he would have pressed the advantage. But in Kong’s current state, the machine knew that advantage was completely gone. As Kong rose up to his feet, Jet Jaguar’s computer brain began making calculations about how to properly defeat his supercharged foe.
Kong panted hard, clawing at his chest and grunting in pain, heaving as he roared angrily and another bolt of lightning slammed down onto the ape. Jet Jaguar flinched back, looking up at the storm raging above him. Was Kong’s natural affinity for lightning causing bolts to be attracted to him?
There was no time to ponder the possibilities presented to Jet Jaguar as Kong waved his arms wildly and sprinted forward, Jet Jaguar aiming a kick at Kong, who caught the foot and howled at Jet Jaguar.
Electricity danced through the machine’s circuits as Kong pushed Jet Jaguar down on his back and began punching mercilessly on him. Jet Jaguar flailed around, having the robotic equivalent of a seizure as his body began smoking and sparking. His circuits were going into overdrive and it wasn’t long before he went limp, going into emergency shut down.
Kong panted, watching his beaten and blackened foe fall limp. He prodded at Jet Jaguar, but upon seeing no response assumed he had died and stood back up, beating his chest and bellowing victoriously. Turning around, he began walking back toward Japan.
When Jet Jaguar turned back on, the storm had somehow gotten worse. His eyes pierced the darkness with light and he slowly stood to his full height, brushing the sand off of his body. He looked around, seeing the wreck of Kong’s rampage and he knew that he had failed his mission to stop the ape. His internal clock was fried and he had no idea how long he was on the ground.
If Jet Jaguar were capable of feeling horror, it would be that Kong was nowhere to be seen and his radio wasn’t operating properly either. With no way to determine where the ape had gone, he would have to start looking for him the old fashioned way.
Jet Jaguar watched as the lightning crackled overhead, the thunder exploding around him as he lifted off the ground. Normally, he would conserve energy and shrink down to fly again but desperate times called for desperate measures. He needed to find Kong and stop him, no matter the cost.
It was a clunky liftoff, but the robot protector paid it no heed as he soared through the air as fast as he could go, The winds and rain battered his giant form as he looked for Kong across the countryside, trying to repair his radio as quickly as he could. Lightning crashed around him, and he once swerved to avoid a bolt that struck out at him a few seconds after.
The distant sound of tank-fire finally caught his attention. His optics zoomed in a little as he saw Kong battling the army. He held in his hand the charred remains of a few soldiers, throwing the corpses like ragdolls across the battlefield. His body was literally humming with how much electrical power he had stored up. Jet Jaguar could hear Kong’s heartbeat getting faster with each breath. He would die soon.
This had to end.
Under normal circumstances, his programming wouldn’t allow him to perform such a rash and illogical act. But as Jet Jaguar watched Kong slaughter the soldiers, he knew it had to be done to stop the ape. He had done it once before to stop Megalon, and he would have to do it again to stop Kong.
Jet Jaguar began to grow again. Larger than he had done before until he was towering over Kong. His estimates was that he had grown a quarter of his size and the strain on his body was already starting to be felt. Metal groaned as Jet Jaguar took a thunderous step toward Kong, who looked dumbfounded to see the opponent he thought he had killed back and taller than ever.
Swinging his arm, it smashed against Kong’s head and sent the ape crashing down against the ground. Giant lights pierced the blackness and shone down on the downed ape as Kong burst up and charged at the gigantic Jet Jaguar, slamming his bulk into the machine.
He staggered back, but remained standing this time and instead kicked out viciously, replacing technique for raw power and he heard the sickening crunch of bones as Kong’s weakened body was tossed across the makeshift arena and landed in a heap.
The strain was starting to wear on Jet Jaguar’s body but he refused to shrink back down until he knew Kong was no longer a threat. Metal groaned under the weight and smoke began to churn from his overheating body, the rain hissing against his hot coating. When he saw Kong was about to stand he moved over and viciously kicked at the ape’s side, sending the dying creature sprawling on the ground.
Kong coughed, heaving as he rolled over and convulsed. The electricity around his body was starting to fade, and he gave a weak noise and looked up at the storm raging overhead. He could feel his heart beating slower, it was getting hard to breath. Closing his eyes, King Kong slumped over. Finally dead.
Jet Jaguar turned, shrunk back down and in silence, and flew back home.
Winner: Jet Jaguar