Author: Quinton Blackburn | Banner: Landon Soto
It felt strange, to be so close, and yet so far away.
The sorceress’s heart skipped a beat. She had waited so long for this day, so very long. Revenge against the king and his ancestors for hunting her down for millennia, revenge against a world that despised and hated what they could not understand or control… It had all come together with the stars aligning on this day. Now both titans, the alien insect Legion and the Fell God Bagan, were under her control. The former’s mind was utterly alien to her, and the latter’s will was indomitable, but in their weakened state after the battle, the task had been made that much easier for her. Dark magic given by the unholy beings she worshiped had ensnared their bodies and their hearts to her command, they and the Legion Symbiote swarm by extension. No other sorcerer in history, none of her ancestors or teachers, not even the great Hecate or Circe, could boast of such power. She was the most powerful mortal the world had ever seen, and all of creation would bow before her as she ruled them as their new god. Humans, monsters, nothing in this world could stop her.
And yet, what lay before her was not of this world. It loomed high above her and her thralls, the largest being the planet had ever seen. Three heads perched on serpentine necks glared down at Legion and Bagan, and two grand wings beat the air once, sending plumes of dust and debris flying in all directions. Twin tails covered in spikes flickered behind it, gouging up the earth as they dipped low. With its wings fully spread, it resembled a star.
A Star of ill omen. The Star of Calamity.
“Wh… What the… What IS that thing?!” The voice of the king caused her to turn around. The bulky man was flat on his back, a far cry from the royal form he was to represent. His face was pale, and his eyes never left the three headed dragons.
“It is what I warned you about, that Legion was but a herald to. It is the King of the Abyss, the Star of Calamity, the End of All.” The sorceress’s voice was no longer haughty or prideful, but oddly quiet to the man she had been just about to murder. “A star fallen from heaven to Earth long ago, its name no one remembers. I have heard tales of this creature, I have seen the tablets and murals left of its rampage eons ago, when it fought the gods and giants.”
The king’s face turned as white as snow, and he seemed to melt into the ground. “Sorceress, do you p-plan to b-bend this to your w-will as well?”
She took a deep breath, and grinned. It was too late for second thoughts. It was now, or never. “Yes. I am beyond even the gods now, and my thralls flow with my power. Even this, the Golden Demise, will fall before me, or peri–”
An otherworldly howl silenced the sorceress. The three headed beast’s middle head had finally located her, and both of its eyes narrowed at her sight. Its fangs bared, and its lips curled back in a snarl.
It was a challenge, not at her thralls, which had stood by awaiting her command, but at her. And she was all too happy to oblige.
“Bagan, Legion, KILL IT!” She shouted.
At once, the thralls charged. Bagan was the faster of the two, and with speed that betrayed his size barreled toward the hydra. The dragon lowered itself onto all fours, and braced itself for the impact, its necks curled like a spring.
When Bagan was within striking distance, the necks struck out. Two clamped upon the legs of the armored god, and one against his neck with lightning speed. At the same time, the beast maneuvered its body to the side, so as to not be directly before Bagan. To the surprise of the sorceress, Bagan’s momentum was turned against him, as the dragon swung Bagan off his feet, and right into the approaching form of Legion like a bludgeon. The insect queen’s spikes were shattered from Bagan’s mass hitting her, and she was derailed off her course and crashed to the side with a painful morn. The hulking frame of the Fell God was embedded into the earth at the end of the swing, and the three heads of the dragon began to shake back and forth. The fangs tore into the flesh of the armored god, and carved bloody gouges into his hide.
Electricity crackled between Bagan’s horns, and a blast of concentrated plasma energy fired from his mouth into the chest of the dragon. The End of All screeched in surprise as it was propelled through the air. The golden scales on its chest cracked and burned from the heat and power before the beam ended, and it staggered on its hind legs as it landed.
The sorceress grinned. So it could be harmed after all. Even gods could bleed and die, and this creature was no exception! She watched as Legion slowly rose back up on her legs, and an idea formed in her head. She gave out the command, and the insect obeyed. The horn split in half, and an electromagnetic beam surged forward at the still surprised dragon, right toward the middle head.
The heads parted like the Red Sea, and the beam passed through the gap harmlessly, and the smirk on the sorceress’s face died. All three of the dragon’s heads swerved to the alien bug, and a glowing light raced up the underside of the necks. The heads surged forward, and from their mouths came what looked to the sorceress like living lightning that twisted and curled through the air. Legion tried to raise up a shield, but it wasn’t fast enough. The beams struck her face, and the insect’s face began to bubble and pop from the heat. Legion tried to brace herself, but the beams overpowered her physical might, and the bug was sent toppling onto her back. A heinous cackle echoed from the dragon’s open maws as it advanced forward…
Its eyes shot wide, and the beams stopped. A cry of pain escaped from the open maws of the Golden Demise as Bagan slashed his claws down the back of the great hydra. Sparks flew from the wyvern’s golden scales, and blood flowed from the wounds left. With a thunderous roar, Bagan plowed the dragon onto its stomach, and stomped his foot down into its back. The sound of bones groaning and cracking could be heard for miles, as could the enraged cries of the dragon. All three heads swerved back around, and more electrical beams discharged from its mouth, but this time, the sorceress was prepared. At her will, the thrall ducked below the beams, and twisted his body so his tail swung into the leftmost head.
With a sickening crack, the tail struck the lower jaw of the left head. The hydra’s screams only grew louder as the left head gargled out blood, its lower jaw bent at an unnatural angle.
The head was put out of its misery quickly. Two jagged limbs stabbed down, and hacked the head off of the neck. The middle head managed to swerve out of the way just in time to avoid the powerful limbs, but all it could do was scream as Legion raised its limbs back up, then stabbed them down into the right wing. The wing was torn away from its body, and blood dripped from the hydra’s maimed body. With this, Bagan stepped off the dragon’s body, and kicked it onto its back, before planting his foot into its stomach.
The sorceress laughed. This was it? The Golden Demise? The One Who Is Many? This was the great beast she had been so terrified of? “See, king? The End of All is nothing before my thralls!” Her smile grew wider as she turned back around to face him and grabbed his cheek. “Powerless and wretched, weak, and alone.”
It was as if the beast had somehow heard her words, for in that moment the now two headed tyrant kicked out with its hind legs into Bagan’s gut. The taloned feet knocked the air out of the thrall, and he was sent head over heels from the impact. The twin tails flailed out, and struck into Legion’s side. The spiked ends stabbed holes into the insect’s hull, and gas began to leak out. With Bagan off of it, the dragon lurched upward, and snapped its middle head around the horn of the insect.
The sorceress had made a fatal mistake, as she realized too late. She commanded Legion to use her horn beam, but no sooner was the mental order given, than the dragon snapped its head back, and broke the horn. The pain the thrall felt was transferred straight to her, and the sorceress reeled back, screaming as she brought her hands up to her face. Every bit of pain they felt, she felt as well, but this was too much.
The two heads then swept into Legion’s side as the dragon bowled into her at full force, and the bug was sent skidding across the medieval earth from the impact. With the sorceress in too much pain, no orders were being given out, and both thralls lay motionless.
Finally, the sorceress managed to compose herself enough to remove her hands from her face, and was about to give an order, when she felt her heart freeze. The wyvern was slowly walking toward her on its hind legs, and as it did, the wounds that covered its body began to regenerate. The gouges stitched close, and a brand new wing erupted from the beast’s side. But most disturbing was the left neck, where a tongue burst out of the stump that was there. The right head bit at the mucus layer that covered the stump, and flesh surged forward, twisted and gnarled as if it were alive.
No, it WAS alive, and as it reformed into a brand new head, the sorceress felt tiny and powerless before the titan which now loomed over her.
No… No! Not like this! This freak of nature, this abomination… It had to have been weakened from all the effort it had exerted! She could still win, she still had an ace up her sleeve!
As the wyvern arched its three heads back and the same energy began to crawl up its body, the sorceress’s dark magic tried to penetrate the beast’s mind. All three heads stopped, and began to thrash, trying to get the alien presence away. The sorceress gritted her teeth, and concentrated. If she could just bend this abomination to her will…
A tidal wave of emotions surged into the sorceress, and she felt herself falter. This anger and hatred, never had she felt anything like it in her life. It wasn’t natural for any living being! With it came a name, a name she felt writhing in the darkness of the titan’s demonic minds…
It overwhelmed her, and she felt her spell break. At once, all three heads turned back to face her. Once more, the beams built up within their maws.
There was no escape for her. She, the great sorceress, had courted with death one too many times.
She looked back, to see if she would at least take the king with her, but he was nowhere to be seen.
She turned back, and prepared for the inevitable, eyes closed. At least, if mankind survived this day, she would be remembered.
Blue light washed over her, and she heard a pained screech reach her ears. She opened them, confused. Ghidorah had been blasted onto his back, and in the other direction…
Bagan and Legion stood, side by side. They had been aware of everything that had been going on when the sorceress had them under her control, and though both desired to put the mortal in her place and then finish their fight, the three headed dragon was the immediate concern. There would be no chance of either so long as the beast was here.
Ghidorah rose onto his feet, and glared daggers at Bagan. He snarled at them, a warning. With the one who had controlled them no longer a factor, they owed their miserable lives to Ghidorah. He would rule over them as the one true alpha, as their king, and together, they would remake this world into his image. Mortal life would perish, and monsters, and only monsters, would live as Ghidorah desired. For thousands of years, he had been trapped in the ice of the southern pole, but this global warm period, and the tremors that had resulted from Legion’s landing had freed him from his icy tomb. It was only because of that and their enslavement to a mortal he hadn’t ended them here and now.
He spread his wings, and rose to his full height. The choice was theirs to make: Either serve him, or perish with the rest of the mortals of this world.
The answer he got was immediate from both creatures. Legion unleashed an unholy screech of defiance, and Bagan’s horns crackled with electricity. Above the dragon’s head, ionized gases began to gather, and fell upon Ghidorah in the shape of diamonds. Ghidorah’s hide was punctured and pierced, and the alien beast howled as he staggered back. Torrents of blood ran down his hide, and he was forced to raise his wings over his head to try and shield himself. The wing membrane burned and was shredded from the diamond storm, but the dragon beneath began to heal, and the six eyes of the alien glared at Bagan.
So be it.
With a flap of his wings, Ghidorah soared out of the diamond storm, and unleashed death from his maws. His beams, the Gravity Bolts, raced toward Bagan, but stopped just short and arched backward mere meters from his hide.
Bagan snarled as he lowered the barrier. He was a god, a deity, and to bow before some alien creature…. there was no greater humiliation in his mind! This was his world, the mortals who he desired sacrifice and worship from were under his protection from others. He and only he would decide what befell them, not an otherworldly angel of death. If Ghidorah fancied himself a king, then Bagan could only sneer, and that sneer turned into a supercharged beam of plasma.
What was a king, to a god?
Ghidorah banked down and to the right, his wing singed from the intense heat…
Only to be struck from below as a pair of legs gouged into his underbelly, and knocked the wyvern to the ground. Legion bellowed her own alien roar as her eyes turned blood red. She needed this world to create a launching point for her race to survive. This world was unique, the materials and minerals wealthy enough to allow her race to thrive and rebuild, at the cost of some of the life that existed. Under Ghidorah’s rule, she had no clue if his plans to terraform the planet would change those conditions enough to render her species future moot, and she wasn’t keen on finding out.
Ghidorah turned back around, electricity crackling against his hide, and charged at the Legion Queen. She in turn charged at him, the remains of catapults and trebuchets shattered and scattered beneath her bulk.
The earth shook with the impact of the two aliens. Legion’s alien hull shuddered as Ghidorah’s full mass collided with her. Dozens of razor sharp fangs clamped down upon her hide, and more gases began to spill out. He began to push her back, and as he clamped down harder, his gravity bolts began to charge up…
Absolute agony filled Ghidorah’s world as his beams were cut short. Energy whips, dozens of them, manifested from the ruined horn of the insect queen, and began to flay into Ghidorah’s hide. Blood splattered across the ground and upon the ruins of the village buildings as Ghidorah was forced to back away. The whips straightened, then stabbed forward into him, boiling his flesh and causing unrelenting agony to the space dragon.
His screams could be heard for hundreds of miles.
From behind, Bagan’s horns pierced his back, causing blood to spurt from the dragon’s maws. The Fell God grabbed the left head that tried to turn and face him, and smashed it into the ground. The whips continued to writhe and tear Ghidorah from the inside out, and Legion’s eyes flashed, signaling to her swarm it was time to feed. The Symbiote Swarm converged upon the golden dragon, and began to rip into him.
Ghidorah tried to fight back, to find some way out of his situation, but he was stuck. As fast as his regeneration was, the swarm and the whips were negating it. He was going to be eaten alive, beaten by wretched inferior creatures.
No… No! First to that blasted Alpha, now to these insects! He was in control, he WAS control! These filth would pay for this! He wouldn’t die, HE COULDN’T DIE!
His middle head noticed Bagan’s horns crackle with electricity once more. He was about to vaporize his left head, and in a split moment, salvation revealed itself.
Despite the pain, despite the agony he felt, Ghidorah forced himself to suddenly latch his jaws around Bagan’s horns. At once, the electricity that had been crackling was redirected, and the plasma beam Bagan had been preparing was cut short.
The energy surged through Ghidorah’s body, and dozens of bolts of electricity flew from his wings and across his body. The ground was torn apart by the flying bolts, and the symbiote swarm that remained in the air were vaporized before the eyes of the Legion Queen. Those embedded in Ghidorah’s flesh were electrocuted as well, and a horde that had once numbered in the thousands was eradicated in the blink of an eye. The wing lightning struck across Legion’s frame, and the insect queen was sent reeling back as her body was scorched and burned by the strikes. Worse, her eyes were blinded by the heat and the light. She relented….
And the energy whips were withdrawn.
Freed at last, Ghidorah whirled his heads around to face a surprised Bagan, who had been forced to let go as well. All three heads struck forward, and clamped around Bagan’s throat and his arms. The wings of the dragon spread out, and the End of All began to ascend into the sky. Bagan tried to thrash his way out, but with the tails of Ghidorah also wrapping around him, there was little he could do. The Fallen God tried to gather up energy for a Diamond Storm, a Plasma Beam, anything to free him from Ghidorah, but as the energy started to gather, he felt it be drained away. Not just that, his life force as well was being drained. His muscles began to shrink, his eyes rolled back in their sockets. The teeth of the ancient monster fell from his gums, and his armored hide cracked and broke beneath the powerful coils of the space dragon.
What was a god, to a non-believer?
Then, Ghidorah let go, and Bagan’s drained corpse fell from the sky. Three powerful gravity bolts, supercharged off the energy drained, slammed into the falling body’s back and pushed him downward into the earth below.
The impact was deafening, and a plume of dirt rose from the impact. Dust and debris rained across the ruined landscape for miles, and showered the castle and Legion’s blinded form. The Queen Legion blindly called out for a response, for anything she could recognize as she struggled to remain stable…
The only response she got was the cackling of a creature that sent shivers down her exoskeleton.
Ghidorah’s frame crashed down upon her with enough force to shatter several of her legs. One clawed foot stomped down upon her head, and bent it to the ground. The space dragon lowered his heads next to Legion, and hissed. Serve him, or meet the same fate that befell the other?
Though Legion shuddered with rage, fear was the stronger emotion within her. Her swarm was dead, she was helpless, and too exhausted to fight back. She let out a weak groan. She yielded.
Ghidorah stepped off the Legion Queen and lumbered onto the ground. There… Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? He turned, scanned the area. The human he had seen before, the one who had been controlling them… She was nowhere to be seen. Had she been caught in the crossfire? Ghidorah kept a mental note of her, just in case. While it would be good to feel such a variable was dead, it was better to be safe than sorry.
He looked down at his left head, and saw he was sniffing a pile of rocks. He quickly clamped down on his horns, and yanked the head away. With all three heads focused, he moved toward the castle. He passed by the smoldering crater where Bagan’s form had landed, and peered within. The god’s body was a husk of what it had once been, arms and limbs shattered from the impact, and the neck bent at an unnatural angle. All there was were skin and bones. With a satisfied smirk, Ghidorah walked to the castle.
He peered through the opening in the side. There, cowering on his throne, was the king, who fell out and began to crawl away. “I-I had nothing to do with this! Help! Help! Someone, anyone, save me! I did nothing wrong!” He screamed.
Though Ghidorah was tempted to just vaporize him, he decided not to. There was no fun in killing a coward so soon. It was better to let them suffer and truly desire death, and then grant it to them once they were completely broken.
Instead, he climbed up the side of the castle. The castle buckled beneath his weight, and several dozen bricks were dislodged and fell to the ground, but to his surprise, it held his weight. Good.
He turned, and watched as other monsters began to gather. They had heard the tyrant’s cries, the cries of their lord and master, and had traveled to come and welcome him back from his eternal prison. While the Alpha held sway over most monsters, these had remained loyal and had slept with their master until his awakening.
A great flying shape, a pitch black manta ray with five spiraling tails and a skull pattern across its lower body, flew above the humbled and weak Legion before it landed upon what remained of a series of stables. A creature with the head and mantle of a squid, but carried upon two pillar legs and with tentacles extending from its beaked mouth moved forward and lowered itself before its arisen master, as did a bipedal theropod with twin jagged horns on its head and an armored backside. And lastly, from the earth emerged another hydra, one with no eyes on it but glowing orange sacs, and a body that brimmed with flames. It crawled forth on two powerful front legs, and raised its heads up with a deep harmonious call. The other monsters added their calls in, and a vulnerable Legion was forced to join with them.
Ghidorah spread his wings out, and roared into the heavens. Gods had fallen to him, rulers humbled before him. This world’s one true ruler had returned, and would become like the distant star he had come from so very long ago. What life would survive would worship him and follow him, or perish beneath his wings. All would fear his name.
King Ghidorah, King of the Monsters!
Winner: King Ghidorah (Legendary)