Author: Joshua Reynolds | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski
The whole planet was in ruin. It took less than a week for them to tear through every defensive line and obliterate the world’s defenses. Now their masters were doing the cleanup, rounding up survivors to be processed for whatever means they wanted. The beasts that accomplished this were starting to be collected. Monster X looked over to the side, crimson eyes blazing as he watched his strange, bizarre looking partner get sucked up into a vortex of energy and pulled into the innards of massive, golden-hued, triangular spaceship. He then looked forward, seeing the twin suns through the thick clouds of smoke that blanketed the sky like a dark flood.
How many worlds was this now?
The alien weapon tried remembering. He could visualize his prior conquests, but there was never a beginning. He couldn’t even remember a life before this violence. All he knew was the blinding light of being dispatched, the days of carnage as he and his vicious comrades raided worlds and the swirling colors of being particlized and returned to his masters.
What a life…
Monster X looked up as one of the flying ships descended from the churning black clouds. He sighed, a thick cloud of mist escaping his jaws as the beam of light shined down. His body quickly began to atomize and swirl, becoming one with the light as he was sucked up into the bowels of the spacecraft… And all for the war beast went dark.
A screeching sound made Monster X become active. He could hear the frenzied voice of his commanding officer barking orders in his head. How long was it since the last conquest? It felt as if just earlier in the day, but it couldn’t be. Without warning, Monster X was dispatched. The light that exploded in front of his eyes began to illuminate a new, blue world. However, carnage had already broken out. He was being sent in as reinforcement.
The skeletal creature felt the softness of grass and soil underneath his feet. He could smell an unrecognizable scent of the sea, enjoying it. But he could also smell the burning of life, the unforgettable scent of war. Then he heard it. It was the roars of some of his comrades. Monster X turned around. Again he was partnered with the one known simply as the Visitor, a grotesque alien creature with additional, spear-like appendages bursting from his back. The other was a feline, white-colored thing with a field of razor-sharp crystals protruding from its back, this one he knew as Krystalak.
Then he heard unfamiliar sounds. He turned to the side, spotting why he was summoned. This planet had beasts of their own it seemed. Challenging the alien forces was a bipedal, lion-like golem. Thick plates of armor clanged underneath dense fur. Ruby eyes flared in the sunlight and King Caesar’s floppy ears stiffened and stood on end. The other was a much simpler thing in appearance. It was but a generic dinosaur, only much taller. A dull green in color with a large, triangular head, tiny arms and a long tail that slapped the ground.
“Monster X, team with Krystalak and Visitor. Kill King Caesar and Gorosaurus, quickly!”
The words of the unseen master echoed in Monster X’s mind. The creature snorted, charging forth at the pair of enemy fighters. Just as he closed the distance, the ground in front of him sunk into a pit. His foot was caught, being swallowed up by the swirling dirt. Another monster suddenly erupted upward, Baragon. The subterranean kaiju howled, his maw parting and breathing a stream of burning fire at the skeletal titan. The flames washed over his body, smoldering his black flesh and exposed bone. The alien howled, pulling his leg out of the pit while Baragon lunged forward, jaws clamping on his wrist.
“And that one too!”
Monster X tried to focus despite his master barking obvious orders directly into his head. His free hand came up, skeletal fingers wrapping around Baragon’s cranial horn. The alien nightmare snarled, focusing all of his might while the subterranean dinosaur tugged and thrashed like an oversized pit bull. After several moments, a blast of crystal shards struck Baragon’s side. The beast was forced to relent and fell away, limbs kicking with bits of glass-like crystal stuck in his mid-section between his right, front, and hind limbs.
Monster X climbed to a stance and looked over at Krystalak. His bizarre partner snorted before turning his cold gaze back to Gorosaurus. The giants charged one another. Falling onto all fours, the inorganic life form ran like a feline. He jumped, clearing Gorosaurus’ head and landing behind him. Just as the green dinosaur turned, the alien’s mace-like tail of crystals smacked the side of his face. Gorosaurus was sent crashing down with a thud. Krystalak wasted no time and leapt, coming down with razor-sharp claws. Trenches of crimson were carved into the reptile’s scaly hide, but the alien underestimated the dinosaur’s jaws. Gorosaurus’ maw opened and his head lashed. His jaws clamped shut on the elbow of the alien, triangular teeth cutting into the weird substance that made its skin.
Seeing this, Monster X’s eyes flashed with light. A quick burst of golden energy was shot forth from his four crimson eyes. The beams struck Gorosaurus’ head, instantly causing him to release the alien.
However, Monster X didn’t have time to see what followed. His guard had been left down. King Caesar took advantage. The living legend moved with the speed of lightning. His limbs a blur, he hit the skeletal kaiju numerous times with precise strikes to the face, chest, and stomach. X stumbled back, bringing up his arms to protect his face. However, King Caesar lunged upward with his knee, driving it straight into his gut. Instantly, every bit of air was forced from his body. X gasped, coughing while he hunched over. King Caesar leaped up and came down, driving his elbow into the back of his exposed neck. Once more, X was sent crashing down with a horrible sound.
King Caesar bellowed his victory to the world, but suddenly his head was engulfed in a faint blue glow. His hands came up to the sides of his head, grasping at each side of his face. His mouth parted, but nothing came out. His eyes tried reflecting the attack, but whatever it was, it wasn’t the typical energy attacks he faced. Not far away, the Visitor stood tall. Its oblong head tilted forward, pulsating the blue light that was crippling King Caesar’s mind. The earth defender collapsed, gripping the sides of his head in utter pain.
Suddenly, the Visitor ceased the attack and straightened back up. The bizarre thing once more looked down at X. The skeletal kaiju snorted, rubbing the back of his neck in pain. Before long, Baragon rushed in from the Visitor’s side, spewing a stream of burning hellfire that blanketed it. The alien’s strange flesh broiled, charring black before Baragon pounced. The Visitor’s many spear-like limbs acted with a mind of their own, protecting its body and swatting Baragon away like a baseball. The earthbound guardian flew back with a painful howl, vanishing into a cloud of churning smoke.
At the same time, Krystalak’s body catapulted from the opposite side of the battlefield. While he crawled to his feet, Monster X spotted Gorosaurus standing, hunched up with his tail beating the ground anxiously. Krystalak landed on his back, rolling like a ball for several dozen yards before recouping and jumping back to a stance. The alien’s tooth-lined maw opened and a concentrated blast of alien power mixed with shards of crystal erupted. Gorosaurus leaped to the side, dodging the attack. Looking to join the attack, Monster X spread his arms and readied another volley of his destructive beams. Mere milliseconds before he could fire, King Caesar launched another surprise attack, striking the side of X’s face with his foot.
The impact caused Monster X to spin just as he fired. His bolts ripped through the smoky air before finding an unexpected, unintended target: the Visitor. The alien war monster was taken by surprise and thrown back, a blistering explosion engulfing the front portion of his strange body.
“You worthless moron!” X could hear his master screaming in rage.
Monster X fell, protecting his face as a powerful stomp from King Caesar came down on his mid-arms. Krystalak howled, turning his attention away from Gorosaurus. He fired upon King Caesar with his weapon. A spray of sparks and shards shot from the guardian’s side, pushing him off of X. Pressing the assault, Krystalak charged. He ignored X, indirectly stomping on his chest region while pushing King Caesar back.
Monster X wheezed, struggling to regain himself as his master continued hurling insults directly into his brain. He decided to remain lying, his head hurting from the impacts and the constant yelling he had to suffer from the Xillian leader. His head rolled to the side, watching on as King Caesar, Gorosaurus, and Baragon battled his teammates the best they could. Gorosaurus attempted his notorious kick, but the Visitor’s many limbs deflected the attack and sent him flying away. Once more Baragon lunged, this time at Krystalk, but found nothing but pain from balls of crystals launching from the alien’s whipping tail.
Then there was King Caesar. With the skills of a martial arts master, the guardian was besting both aliens with his skills, delivering swift punches, kicks, and chops to various parts of their body. X’s crimson eyes focused, watching the Earth monster carefully. He had never seen something of their size using such maneuvers.
“Get up and help your comrades you piece of-“ Monster X slammed his own fist into the side of his head, causing a temporary glitch that silenced the voice.
The numbers King Caesar faced were too much. Just as he pushed Krystalak down, the Visitor’s spear-like limbs lashed out like demonic snakes. Two hits tore into each of his shoulders from behind. King Caesar howled in agony as the alien lifted him off of his feet, keeping him in a crucified state in midair via his spear-like limbs. The thing’s bizarre cranium pulsed and his crippling brain spasm attack erupted. King Caesar’s mouth opened wide to scream, but no sound came.
At the same time, Krystalak had crawled back to his feet. He spotted Gorosaurus and Baragon charging in, but his maw parted and tail loomed over his head like a scorpion’s. A barrage of energy and crystals were fired at the dinosaurs, pinning them down in a blanket of razor-sharp shards that clung to their hides like glass.
“If you do not get up, I am going to leave you here after we absorb all of this planet’s resources!”
X snarled, eyes looking up at the smoky sky and seeing brief glimpses of the blue heavens. For but a moment that seemed like an eternity, he was transported back to the hundreds of worlds he helped conquer. How many had skies like this? How many did they leave in a perpetual state of ugly death after? He then looked at the ground, seeing remnants of the civilization that sprawled, the forests that surrounded it and the mountains in the distance. It was all so familiar. Soon it’d all be barren, nothing to exist but dust. His crimson eyes then looked back at Krystalak and the Visitor. The alien war monsters were cruel. They enjoyed what they did. They were bred killers, baptized in combat in the name of the Xillian Empire. X, however, just wanted it to end.
Monster X began to climb to his feet. “Finally!” the leader’s voice shrieked in his mind. The beast struck the side of his head, once again causing a temporary glitch. Then he extended two of his fingers. The sharp nails of his fingers tore through the dark flesh between his skeletal armor. He knew it was in there, but he had no idea how deep. As he tore through his own skin, dark fluid starting to flow down the side of his head and neck, the voice came back. The leader cursed, demanding to know what he was doing and ordering him to stop.
And then X found it. His nails scraped something metallic. Like tweezers, his fingers gripped it and pulled it out from his head. Upon exiting his skull, the voice ceased entirely. In the distance, X could see the alien war ships looming. And he knew that hotheaded leader was watching. Holding the circular, metallic device in his hand, Monster X crushed it with a fist…
He reached the Visitor first. Without being noticed, Monster X charged his former ally. He grabbed the base of his bottom spear limbs, yanking with his might. The sudden impact caused the alien to lower his catch of King Caesar and cease his brain spasm attack. The beast was confused at first, but soon screamed in agony as the joints of his spear limbs were destroyed at the base. Monster X had fired point blank, shattering the area where the limbs attached to its body. The alien fell, allowing King Caesar to slide off of his spears.
Upon hearing the Visitor’s cry of pain, Krystalak looked over. He was quickly smacked across the face by one of his partner’s limbs. The feline-like thing bellowed as he hit the ground with a thud. X lifted the limb like a spear, but Krystalak was fast to act. His mouth parted, shooting the weapon with his mixture of crystals and energy. The spear-like limb shattered in X’s hand.
Krystalak’s tail snaked around his ankle, tripping him up while he recovered. With sheer malice in his eyes, the crystalline titan hissed. However, without its constant barrage, Baragon and Gorosaurus closed the distance. The two saurians pounced on the war beast from behind, pinning its body to the ground while thrashing its cream-colored hide with bites and slashes.
X turned away from Krystalak and back to King Caesar and the Visitor. Both monsters were crawling back to their feet. The guardian looked at X confused, but then nodded. X returned the gesture, slapping the ground with his own tail as he approached from the side. The Visitor spotted X first and launched his remaining limbs, but his former partner ducked and delivered a stiff, swinging blow to his head. The impact caused the alien to spin on his heel, directly into a mountain-shattering kick from King Caesar. Bits of the alien’s teeth flew in every direction while he was thrown aside, completely unconscious by the impacts.
Krystalak’s cries of pain came as he struggled to crawl away from the marauding dinosaurs. He reached up, begging his former ally to help. X snorted, remembering how Krystalak merely stomped on him without a care.
Unnoticed by the warring monsters, the Xillian’s fleet of triangular ships zoomed overhead. With beams of light, they reclaimed their wounded beasts. The Visitor was sucked back into the ship. Krystalak, still whining and bleeding, was taken second. The ships remained in the air for a few moments, their pilots no doubt unsure what to do about Monster X. X crossed his arms and energy surged in his crimson eyes. He prepared to fire, but just before he could, the space craft vanished at light speed, heading back into the recesses of outer space.
Baragon and Gorosaurus were unsure and glared at one another. King Caesar, wounded and sparking from his shoulders, nudged Monster X. The former invader looked over. The two giants starred at one another for what seemed like hours, possibly communicating by some unknown means. After a solid minute, King Caesar nodded and looked away. Monster X’s tail slapped the ground…
Finally, it was over.
Finally, he had found a true home…
Winners: Monster X, King Caesar, Gorosaurus, Baragon (Millennium)