Author: Justin N. | Banner: Matthew Williams
The full moon cast its bright glow on the slopes of Mt. Fuji, the snow refracting light like billions of microscopic opals. Near the summit, squatted down and resting, was the amalgam known as Iris. A kaiju resting out in the open, almost without a care, was an odd sight, especially for one as rare and elusive as Iris. Currently it was “talking” to its “mother,” Ayana Hirasaka, the young girl who raised Iris when it was an infant. Now living far away in Tokyo, she spoke softly to her “child” through the mental connection they shared.
There were few moments when Iris felt at peace anymore, but this was one of them. As an infant, Iris was docile and humble, but as it grew, Ayana’s hatred had corrupted its young mind, making it a ruthless and cunning harbinger of vengeance. After many years, however, Ayana had seen and learned from the error of her ways, and it was her and her alone who could use what she learned and teach Iris and to forgive and let go of its rage.
Suddenly, Ayana was interrupted as the Tokyo sky was filled with blaring sirens, alerting the city of an imminent kaiju attack. Ayana looked towards Mt. Fuji and saw that Iris had not moved, but had shifted its gaze to look to the sky above the mountain where saw a bright red comet streaking through the atmosphere. She called out to her “child,” trying to warn it of the nature of the incoming meteoroid.
Iris wheeled around and looked to the stars and, seeing the object and sensing the massive energy it gave off, knew that Ayana’s safety would be at risk if the object hit the city. Iris’ tentacles split to form its ribbon-like wings and it took off into the sky at mach speeds towards the approaching cosmic object.
A volley of sonic beams emanating from Iris crashed against the glowing orb. However, it seemed to affect its trajectory as it continued to plummet through the atmosphere, unfazed. Iris rushed forward to meet it, course unchanged as its arm blades readied to shield its body and act as a barrier to slow down the comet. But as it got closer, the radiance of the orb started to grow…
Iris realized that the comet was on the verge of exploding, and disengaged as a bright light and fire engulfed the surrounding aerospace, followed by a massive sound and pressure wave. Iris felt something else masked in these waves; a pulse of pure, unspeakable evil and sadism.
The flames of the detonation slowly began to move back inward, forming limbs and heads. Once all was said and done, the blood curdling cackle of King Ghidorah filled the night sky, the people of Tokyo beneath screaming in fear as they desperately trampled over each other to get away.
As the King of Terror eyed the city with malicious intent, he suddenly felt a searing pain blast into his spine. Turning around with a furious glare, the ghostly form of Iris greeted the three-headed golden demon’s six eyes. Silhouetted by the massive full moon, with its wings spread like a veil of power, Iris made itself known and King Ghidorah knew that this creature was like no other it had faced before…
All the more intriguing to kill.
The two beasts levitated in the chilly night air, sizing each other up… then all hell broke loose.
King Ghidorah’s maws began to sizzle and pop with electricity, letting out flows of cosmic lightning from its jaws and wings. Before any of the attacks even had the chance to hit, Iris vanished, and before Ghidorah could react, was smacked down by Iris’ tendrils and arm blades, sending him plummeting to the concrete jungle below. Several office buildings that hadn’t been evacuated were crushed in a massive burst of rubble and dust that obscured the area.
As the intergalactic horror staggered to his feet, he was in shock. This creature was able to move faster than he could perceive. Before he knew it, a blinding flash of silver and red harkened another attack from Iris, using its arm blade to deliver a devastating punch to King Ghidorah’s middle head, sending him, once again, face first into the rubble.
Iris disengaged and flew above the King of Terror, unleashing sonic beams onto the creature, only to find that the seemed to have no effect on him. Ghidorah laughed as his energy barrier stood strong, and fired off his gravity beams, which were able to hit this time. Iris had been destabilized and proceeded to land on its feet a few hundred yards away. King Ghidorah covered the distance swiftly, his jaws ready to clamp down on Iris… Only to have his necks constricted by the bizarre beast’s tendrils.
Finding himself in quite the predicament, King Ghidorah tried to disengage, but Iris had too strong a grip and foothold. Red bolts of lightning exploded forth from the claws on the golden demon’s wings, washing over Iris and eliciting cries of pain as the demon Gyaos let go of the space hydra. With his freedom attained, King Ghidorah took off and as he gained altitude, began circling around his suffering opponent, preparing to fire another barrage.
Iris took to the air as well, dodging several bolts of cosmic energy as King Ghidorah tried to fry his opponent, to no avail. Iris managed to almost ram into the golden colossus, firing sonic beams point blank at its target before pulling straight up to avoid a barrage of wing lightning. King Ghidorah howled in pain, as the beams had fired close enough to be inside of the barrier, large gouges in his proud golden scales visible from the attacks Iris had laid onto him, a few of them starting to seep blood.
King Ghidorah pushed himself up further into the air, attempting to keep pace with the retreating Ryuseicho, but to no avail. Iris was far too fast, able to not only overtake the space monster, but deftly maneuver back around with unworldly dexterity, slashing at King Ghidorah with its blades and tendrils before he could have a chance to respond. When he could, King Ghidorah reacted without mercy, unloading point blank barrages of wing lightning and gravity beams upon its genetically altered foe. Portions of Iris’ body smoldered and blistered where the King of Terror’s power found its mark, but despite the overwhelming agony, Iris persisted in its efforts to strike down the demon from the stars.
Ayana watched from the street as Iris and King Ghidorah did battle in the sky above, hoping that the kaiju she had tried to lovingly raise would be able to handle itself against such a daunting foe.
King Ghidorah hovered, waiting for Iris to make another pass. This time, the enhanced Gyaos was greedy and went for a straight forward assault. It paid the price for its greed as King Ghidorah’s three jaws chomped down across Iris’ body, and the three heads fired their gravity beams point blank, blasting chunks out of the demon Gyaos and sending it hurtling to the ground.
It slammed onto the street with a thud, trying to stand, only to be pummeled back down as King Ghidorah struck his feet upon Iris’ chest in a massive stomp that cracked the ground beneath them. The Ryuseicho shrieked in pain as the whole weight of King Ghidorah pushed him down, only to be barraged with more wing lightning and gravity beams.
Iris’ life started to fade as the pain wracked its body and mind, helpless under ninety-thousand tons of an evil, sadistic hydra. The King of Terror smiled and laughed, until a splitting pain erupted in both of his sides. Looking down, he saw that Iris had impaled him with the Spear Absorbers. Almost immediately, the hydra felt a wave of fatigue suddenly overcome him as Iris drank the golden titan’s blood and started assimilating his power into its own DNA. The Tentaclancers all raised and pointed at King Ghidorah, opening their tips to reveal a familiar golden light. A gravity beam fired from each of the tendrils, tearing the air apart as they drilled into the abdomen of King Ghidorah, earning a shriek of agony from the destroyer as his scales were peeled away and chunks of his flesh blown off.
The great dragon fell over, writhing in pain, and a tired, blistered, and bruised Iris finally made it back to its feet. Iris wanted to finish the fight soon; however, it was not meant to be as suddenly King Ghidorah lashed out with gravity beams in a surprise attack that knocked Iris back down. The evil hydra laughed as his plan was now in motion. A putrid, blister-like dome formed around his downed foe, trapping him to be dealt with later while Ghidorah went forth to lay waste to Tokyo. Ayana watched in horror at Iris being imprisoned.
Enough of this, thought Ayana.
She had to find a way to help one of her only friends in this world; a world that had left her alone and broken. She could feel hatred once again growing in her heart. It was because of creatures like King Ghidorah that the world lived in fear, leaving people orphaned and abandoned by long dead families. She grabbed a gun from the corpse of a soldier crushed under rubble and ran forward, emptying the entire magazine of high caliber rounds into King Ghidorah’s leg as he landed in front of her. It wasn’t much at all, but it could buy the militia time to evacuate the rest of the city… Maybe?
The King of Terror felt an odd buzzing sensation on his thigh. He looked down to see that a measly human stood in defiance of his righteous displays of power. He lashed one of his tails behind her like a boa constrictor. The tail slowly curled inwards, scooping the ground under her feet and tightening around her until she was tightly in his grip. The King hoisted this tiny creature up to his center head as he tightened grip, sadistically and painfully slowly. He wanted to enjoy killing her, delighting in her screams of agony already beginning to fill the air.
Ayana wept as she was being crushed as hopelessness overtook her mind. King Ghidorah’s hostage slowly began to slip into unconsciousness from the lack of oxygen and pain.
“Iris… Forgive me.”
An explosion rocked the area, drawing the attention of King Ghidorah and his mostly dead captive. Having destroyed the dome, Iris rocketed forward with a rage only the cries of its mother in pain could bring. Its arm blade cleaved the dragon’s tail off at the base, catching the falling Ayana with one of its tendrils. First and foremost, it had to get her to safety, and began to quickly move in on the nearest military escort preparing to leave the city.
As the soldiers saw the massive kaiju approach the caravan of emergency vehicles and military trucks, they readied their weapons, but hesitated as the creature came to a halt only yards away from them, lowering Ayana within reach. They quickly ran over to her and took her aboard, then noticed that King Ghidorah was also closing in.
Iris stood with its back to the envoy, then with a burst of incredible speed, rushed forward, only a blur to the eyes of its captive audience as the two beings clashed in the heart of downtown Tokyo. The showdown between a golden force of pure evil, sadistic revelry, and disgusting greed for power; and the other a silver spirit of vengeful rage, a dark protector, a ghost of a past civilization.
They exchanged blow after blow, Iris covered in bite and burn marks, Ghidorah with deep slashes and punctures, riddled with missing patches of scales. King Ghidorah’s center head shot forward, clamping around Iris’ throat and lifted it off the ground with his massive strength. Slowly choking the silver kaiju to death, its other heads blasted cosmic bolts of power into the helpless Ancient, drawing blood and smoke.
Unfortunately for the great hydra, Iris was far from done. Every spear-tipped tendril shot to life, stabbing forward and impaling Ghidorah’s body, severely damaging internal organs, but Ghidorah did not relinquish his grip on Iris. Until a familiar noise, coupled with the feeling of his organs getting dangerously hot, finally clicked in the King of Terror’s mind.
He instantly let go, trying to fly away again, or find some way to wrestle free of Iris’ grip, but it was far too late. Bursts of light and sound ruptured his chest in damaging rays that occasionally sparked with the cosmic lightning he once wielded so proudly.
Iris shot forward, invisible to the naked eye, and cleaved the heads from Ghidorah’s necks with a single outward swing of both arm blades. The headless, smoldering, punctured corpse of the King of Terror fell to the Tokyo streets. Amid the smoldering wreckage, Iris stood and, people who hadn’t been evacuated yet, began gathering near the silver beast, staring at it and the corpse of King Ghidorah.
A shrill cry cut through the night as Gamera landed nearby, surveying the scene. He didn’t understand why the humans cheered at the sight of Iris. But looking at the fresh corpse of King Ghidorah, he began to piece together what happened, as he sensed that Ayana was in the area recently. Gamera realized that he and Iris were more alike than he originally thought. They would both go to the ends of the earth, and stare death in the eyes for those they cared about.