Author: Harley Jameson | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski | Narration: Alicia Ingram
The sun shone brightly over Monster Island, yet in the earliest of hours a cold mist was still strewn across it. It swirled gently as its King rose, breathing in the deep and rich scent of his home.
As Godzilla rose, he heard the cracks of his bones. The aching tug of his muscles even from such an activity. It had been a long time since the final battle in Mt. Fuji, and despite many more battles across the years Godzilla was certain of one thing: He was dying.
While he didn’t know how exactly, he knew that his end was near. There was no getting around it, even for a creature like him, mutated by the radiation of the atomic bomb, Death would come for him in the end. He breathed in the cold air one more time, seemingly refreshed by its scent. Closing his eyes, he listened to the quiet sounds of his home before any of the other denizens of the island woke up.
His son had long since grown and moved out of the nest. Minilla – no, Godzilla had been doing well for himself, establishing a more peaceful connection with the humans and bridging the gap between his soon-to-be new subjects.
Godzilla walked slowly towards the babbling brook of spring water that had miraculously formed thanks to the constant rainfalls and some help from the humans. He took a few mouthfuls, shuddered a bit as the cold slid into his body, and took off towards the coastline. He was in no hurry today, despite his plans.
He dove into the water once he was waist deep, letting the warmth of the surface mingle into the coldness of the depths as he searched for prey. There, a whale moved too close to the island. He pounced on it in an instant, flash-frying it with a quick jet of his atomic breath. The color had long since faded, leaving it once again as a pearly white mist.
The King floated there, eating down on his food. If things went well today, it would be the last meal of his life. He wanted to savor the taste a bit longer.
Once his meal was finished, Godzilla had moved back onto the shore and shook off the excess water from his body. He could hear the distant sounds of a few other early risers starting their morning routine. High above the skies, he saw Rodan swooping around in the air. Probably in some show of dominance to Varan again. Godzilla snorted a bit. Despite how different they were from the humans, in many ways they were the same.
Taking one last deep breath, Godzilla opened his mouth and roared out across the entire island. Every kaiju immediately woke up upon the sound of his roar that was still asleep. It was a summons for one in particular, but he knew all of them would come.
And like clockwork, they did. One by one, either slithering from the forest or emerging from the ocean waves. Rodan soared overhead before landing next to Mothra, who had finally cocooned into her adult form. The two shared a look, but Mothra chirped softly. Godzilla’s son had arrived, the spitting image of his father. He grunted a little, but when he saw the serious look on his father’s face he quietly realized what was happening. He hung his head sadly, and Godzilla moved over and placed a comforting hand on his son’s head. He rubbed it a bit, before a loud honk made him break away and turn.
There he was, his oldest and closest friend. The irony wasn’t lost on Godzilla as Anguirus approached him lazily. When they had first awoken, they were bitter enemies. In fact, Godzilla had almost killed Anguirus. It had taken them years to finally patch up their differences and become allies. The first ever monster that Godzilla had fought, in his long long life. And now, Anguirus would be his last.
Godzilla grunted at his friend, then gave a low roar. Telling him what he wanted. Anguirus jerked back a bit, giving a small grunt in return. Surely, he wasn’t serious.
Taking a breath, beckoned his friend closer and the two sat down together. They exchanged a few grunts and roars, talking it out. The other residents watched the king and his oldest and dearest friend communicate for one another before Godzilla looked down and gave a low-seated snarl.
The look in his friend’s eyes told Anguirus everything he needed to know. With a deep sigh, Anguirus stepped back a few paces. The two friends gave each other a final nod, before Anguirus tilted his head up and bellowed into the skies above. The challenge was to be accepted.
The two monsters started circling each other slowly. Anguirus’s tail slapped the sand, and he crouched protectively and snarled at Godzilla, a warning. He wouldn’t be holding back on his friend.
Godzilla’s response was a challenging roar and motion with his hands to bring it, his dorsal plates lighting up and firing his white-mist atomic breath at the sands in front of Anguirus.
Anguirus howled defiantly at Godzilla and charged forward, rearing up on his hind legs and slamming them onto his old friend’s shoulders. He shoved against Godzilla, grunting as the King held his ground, grabbing his ankles and shoving back. They grappled with one another, Anguirus trying to reach in and snap at Godzilla’s neck with his teeth, only for Godzilla’s hand to shove against his face and push him away.
Grunting in agitation, Anguirus shoved Godzilla away and whipped around, tripping his friend with his tail and sending Godzilla howling into the sand beneath him. He pounced on him, scratching and biting at the flailing Godzilla, shoving his head ruthlessly against the sand. Anguirus backed off a bit, watching Godzilla rise to his knees only to be knocked over again when Anguirus gored him with his horn, drawing first blood and sending his friend sprawling into the sand.
Blood leaked out of the wound in his side, and Godzilla wheezed painfully. His wounds wouldn’t heal as fast as they used to, and even this much exertion was shockingly taxing on him. It was only hearing Anguirus mocking him with honks that he felt a fire surge inside of him and the strength to rise back to his feet.
Curling his hands into fists, Godzilla roared angrily before stepping closer. Anguirus once again reared up, only this time Godzilla swung low and jammed his fist into Anguirus’s stomach. The mutated dinosaur wheezed painfully, landing harshly on his forelegs only to be kicked in the side of the head by Godzilla.
Stumbling back, Anguirus coughed out when Godzilla kicked him hard in the stomach, sending him skidding across the sands. Godzilla panted out, moving behind Anguirus and grabbing him by the tail with both hands. He gripped it hard, and began to tug on it.
His muscles strained with the effort. He used to be able to do this much easier in his youth as with a herculean screech he lifted up Anguirus by the tail and slammed the flailing kaiju back down onto the sand with a loud thump. Godzilla lifted Anguirus up again, only to drop him suddenly when a sharp crack in his own spine made him cry out in agony. He stumbled back, falling down onto one knee as the pains of his body overwhelmed him.
Anguirus sneezed out the sand from his face and turned, only to pause when he saw his friend’s condition and hesitate. He glanced around at the others who were watching on in silent respect, unsure if he should keep the fight going. He locked eyes with Godzilla’s son and he nodded at him. It would be what his father would want.
Pawing at the ground, Anguirus charged forward with a newfound determination and bowled over the aging Godzilla. He grunted a little, rearing up and slamming his bulk down on his friend’s chest. He snarled, barking in Godzilla’s face. Was this how Godzilla wanted to die? So pathetically?
His answer was a searing, burning pain as Godzilla fired his white mist into Anguirus’s face. He screeched in pain, pawing at the familiar burning sensation.
Godzilla lashed out, slashing Anguirus’s face with his claws and feeling a twinge of guilt as blood sprayed across the sand and quickly scooped some up and hurled it into his friend’s face. Anguirus stumbled back, now bleeding and blind as he shook his head violently.
It took him longer than normal to rise back up to his feet, and even then he felt unsteady. If he was going to die, then he didn’t care if he fought dirty. Godzilla slowly approached the still blind Anguirus, who was trying to rub his eyes and clear them. His dorsal plates flashed and he fired another white mist that washed over Anguirus’s shell. It steamed, and Anguirus jumped back in pain and alarm, but to Godzilla’s dismay it didn’t do anything else than annoy his opponent.
With his vision cleared at last, Anguirus moved forward and threw his weight against his shell, slamming his hips against Godzilla’s knees and forcing the monster king to land right on top of him. He grit his teeth, enduring the weight of his friend as the spikes dug into Godzilla’s body. Godzilla moaned in pain, rolling off of Anguirus with limbs flailing.
Godzilla shuddered, closing his eyes a bit to regain his senses. He knew that age had taken its toll, but he hadn’t expected to be this bad. He wheezed out, struggling to sit up. Had Anguirus been right, was this how he was going to die? He grit his teeth and despite the pain he forced himself up. No, no this wasn’t what he wanted. He didn’t want to die with this as his last moments.
Yet he knew that maybe there was no other choice. Taking a deep breath, Godzilla channeled as much of his weakened atomic reserves as he could. His dorsal plates flashed white rapidly, before a split second they shone a brilliant blue, and for one final time a proper atomic breath fired out, slamming into Anguirus’s side and sending him toppling over with a howl of agony.
Godzilla gasped out from the exertion, but unwilling to admit defeat he tried to press on and kicked Anguirus completely over onto his shell. The ankylosaur flailed, howling in distress as Godzilla began whaling blow after blow onto his underbelly.
Gradually, however, Godzilla’s attacks were getting weaker. Godzilla slapped pathetically against Anguirus’s stomach, slumped against his friend and eyes closed. That atomic breath might have just been his last trump card and he knew that Anguirus would be fit enough to continue. Indeed, Anguirus slipped out from underneath Godzilla easily and righted himself.
Rising to his knees, Godzilla coughed. He coughed badly, and with a shudder some blood spilled out from his mouth. He was spent, and they both knew it. Leaning back a little, Godzilla closed his eyes. He was content that he had given it his all, weak as it may be.
Anguirus let out a low, mournful note. He didn’t want to kill Godzilla. Decades ago, he wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But seeing his oldest friend, he couldn’t help but feel… so sad. He blinked, shaking away tears that were threatening to form. The time for mourning would be later.
He ran forward, keeping his eyes closed. He knew he wasn’t going to miss. With a final, despairing cry Anguirus rammed his nasal horn into Godzilla’s chest, piercing his aging heart. Godzilla jerked, letting out a gasp of pain and a muted roar. Silently, Godzilla embraced Anguirus for a moment, grunting his thanks. Then his arms went slack, and Godzilla fell to the side. The King of the Monsters was finally at peace.
Howling in anguish, Anguirus couldn’t contain himself anymore. He flung himself onto the body of his oldest friend, bawling like an infant. He shuddered and shook, weeping for his fallen king. It was only the soft touch of Mothra landing on his shell and her soothing chirps that got him to finally recompose himself and move away. He snuffed, shaking his head. Gently, Mothra’s wing soothed over the top of his head. He was a true friend to him.
As one, Monster Island’s residents called out in remorse and mourning at the loss of their fallen king. Minilla stepped forward and fired his atomic ray at Godzilla’s corpse, setting it alight instantly. The inhabitants of the island stayed there, watching the flames turn Godzilla’s body into ashes. With a soft flap of Mothra’s wings, the ashes were blown into the air. All that was left was the blood in the sand and their memories. Slowly, the monsters dispersed back to their daily routines. Only Anguirus, Mothra, Rodan, and Minilla stayed where Godzilla’s body used to be, before one by one, they began to leave until only Anguirus was left. With a final, soothing roar of goodbye, Anguirus got up and returned to the depths of the forest.
Winner: Anguirus (Universal)