Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Stephanie Hughes

King Kong glared at his opponents.

One was a four-legged, horned brute. It could leap vast distances, its teeth resembled man-sized daggers, and crimson flesh wrapped around its toad-saurian shaped features. Its thin pointed ears twitched whenever it heard a sound. Kong rarely judged a creature for its appearance, but for Baragon, he’d make an exception. Baragon’s raspy breaths steamed the air around his drooling mouth.

The second was a towering theropod. Scaly gray skin decorated its fearsome body. Sunlight made his skin glint like diamonds. While its short stubby arms were far from menacing, its massive jaws made Kong nervous. The great ape paid no heed to the dinosaur’s muscular legs, but when he noticed a row of spikes down the reptile’s back, he gritted his teeth in annoyance. For some reason, Gorosaurus reminded him of another dinosaur he had fought many times in the past. He was looking forward to venting his frustrations out on Gorosaurus.

Then there was the last giant. This beast was taller than Gorosaurus, its flesh was so red it looked as if it had been baptized in a sea of blood. Its golden catlike eyes favored Kong with excitement. Orange-reddish fins jutted out of its neck and backside, and its arms were motionless while its fingers fiddled around like they were playing on a piano.

The tip of its tail confounded Kong, but before he could ever hope to understand why, Titanosaurus turned its back to him and provided the answer. The tip of its tail parted, revealing a fan. Titanosaurus wagged its tail back and forth, flapping strong winds into Kong’s face. Not only were the winds strong enough to blow Kong off his feet, they blinded the great ape’s eyes with dirt and plants.

On an island located in the Pacific, surrounded by miles of dense jungles, rivers, and waterfalls, King Kong roared in defiance and pounded his chest with his fists. Blindly, the great ape charged at Titanosaurus, braving the powerful winds. With his brown hair billowing and his footing all but lost, the determined primate furrowed his brow. A surge of adrenaline spiked his already legendary strength. King Kong jumped forward, parting the winds, and catching the fanned tail in the process. The mighty aquatic dinosaur wailed in surprise as the monstrous gorilla pulled the beast off its feet with its own tail. The forest around them shook when the super-sized deep-dweller crash landed into it. Kong jumped onto Titanosaurus, pounding the reptile’s head in with his fists. Before any permanent damage could be inflicted, Baragon speared its horn into the ribcage of the ruler of the island.

The pain was immediate. Kong hunched over, nursing his wound. With the wind knocked out of him, he squinted to see where the reptilian mole had gone, but all he could find was a hole in the ground. Kong rose to his feet right when the subterranean terror burst out of the ground underneath him. Using all the strength it could muster, Baragon aimed for the sky when it jumped. But the cretin never reached the sky; no, it hit Kong in his lower jaw, which toppled the great ape instantly.

Blood dripped out of Kong’s cracked mouth, its scent sending Baragon into a feeding frenzy. The diminutive creature pounced onto the primate’s chest, relishing the kill. As it prepared to rip into the throat with its teeth, Kong slammed his fist into its horned skull. The first hit rattled its brain, forcing the dinosaur to go into epileptic shock; the second nearly shattered the skull, making him lose his eyesight; the third sent Baragon flying into a batch of trees, blood squirting out of its nose. Kong watched an unconscious vermin twitch and squirm.

Slowly, Kong managed to get to his feet. That was when the ground rumbled. He searched for the source, and it wasn’t hard to find. The primeval dinosaur sprinted in strides, its maw wide and dribbling. Pain flooded his thoughts, expunging all other sensations. It took several seconds for him to realize Gorosaurus was crushing his arm with its bone-crunching jaws. Kong howled, fighting the urge not to faint. With his other hand, Kong grabbed the outer edges of the elongated jaws, trying in vain to pull them apart. Gorosaurus thrashed, yanking the hairy arm out of its socket.

Falling to his knees, Kong knew he had only seconds to react before Gorosaurus would rip his arm off. Thinking quickly, Kong grabbed one of the theropod’s legs and pulled it out from under him. The powerful jaws of the creature became his undoing. Though his arm was still being maimed by the dinosaur’s teeth, Kong found great use for it by combining his strength with gravity to slam Gorosaurus into the earth. The impact forced Gorosaurus to relinquish its grip on the simian’s arm.

That was when Kong vented.

Baragon blinked. Slowly, it regained consciousness. It had its metabolism to thank for its miraculous recovery. The red monster rolled onto its feet, searching for King Kong. It found him beating the life out of Gorosaurus in a clearing. Baragon knew in a one-on-one fight against either, it stood no chance. Perhaps it’d let Kong pound Gorosaurus into a bloody pulp, then after the ape had left, Baragon’s teeth would find Gorosaurus’s flesh. It would’ve been the perfect plan. However, fate had given him a ravenous hunger, which threw common sense out the window millions of years ago.

The great ape felt ribs shatter with each punch. Gorosaurus wailed so loud the entire island could hear its pain. Again and again, Kong pounded the carnivore’s chest. At one point, Kong bent down and bit one of the allosaur’s tiny arms to return the favor. The ruler of primates would’ve bit the arm in half had Baragon not tackled him off Gorosaurus.

The crimson creature wasted no time gnawing on the neck of the colossal gorilla. Hot blood poured into the mouth of the four-legged cretin, emboldening the dinosaur’s already insatiable hunger. The kingly ape overpowered Baragon by standing upright and judo flipping the beast head first. One moment, it was swallowing blood; the next, it was swallowing dirt. Raising his arms above his head, Kong wanted to make short work of the creature’s skull. Baragon rolled over, breathing fire into the face of Kong, forcing him to close his eyes just in time as the scorching flames burned his visage. With smoke obscuring his vision, Kong couldn’t see a revived Titanosaurus charging him at full speed.

King Kong didn’t see Titanosaurus kick him. But he sure as hell felt it.

One kick sent Kong sailing through the tropical winds. The great ape landed in a river large enough to contain him. The impact created massive waves that swallowed the nearby trees. Kong rushed to the surface to breathe. The water helped cool his burnt face, but not his rage. Swimming to the shore, Kong was almost close enough to pull himself back into the jungle.

Suddenly, Titanosaurus leapt head first into Kong, its massive size alone driving the beast king straight into the river’s floor. Before he could retaliate, Titanosaurus disappeared into the murky depths. The ruler of the south seas fought to return to the surface, knowing the predatory saurian was circling him like a vulture. Snarling and enraged, Kong stopped his ascent and challenged Titanosaurus in his own watery domain.

The great ape was prey to no one!

Like a torpedo, the mighty sea beast speared Kong into the river’s edge, accepting his challenge. The marine creature repeatedly clawed and bashed the simian in the head. Before he could do anything about it, the jaws of the deep-dweller found his throat. Kong panicked, realizing this beast could bite as hard as Gorosaurus. But the situation became worse; Titanosaurus’ neck muscles were the strongest in the world. It easily matched the prestigious upper body strength of Kong, and he was running out of time and air.

The underground monster crept closer to Gorosaurus, not sure if the larger beast was alive or dead. When he saw the theropod breathing, he hesitated. The smaller carnivore was about to retreat until the situation dawned on him: he was unconscious! Like a hungry rabid dog, Baragon was about to pounce on the vulnerable allosaur, until the bigger dinosaur stirred from its sleep. Gorosaurus snapped to its feet, seething with pain and anger. It glared at the mole-like reptile, stopping the smaller beast in its tracks. But the saurian did not attack. The mightiest beast on the island was still very much alive. To take down the Eighth Wonder of the World, he would need all the help he could get. Strategy was as foreign to Baragon as science was to a fire ant. Like a frog, the leaping dinosaur jumped out of danger and took refuge in the jungles. Gorosaurus marched to where it could smell the oversized animal, knowing Baragon had not abandoned the battle.

Meanwhile, Kong had the choice of either drowning or fighting dirty. He picked the latter. In less than a second, Kong’s hand moved fast enough to pluck one of its golden eyes out of their socket. Titanosaurus backed away, its screams reverberating downstream. Kong swam to the surface, not before punching Titanosaurus in the face for good measure.

Even after dragging himself back onto dry land, Kong had trouble breathing. Titanosaurus had bitten him so hard his windpipe had almost been crushed. The great ape was given only a minute to regain his strength. Gorosaurus shook the earth as he sprinted towards the fallen deity. The primal beast braced himself for a mouth full of sharp teeth, but instead the savage reptile stopped in front of him, and leaping up, kicked Kong like a kangaroo. Earlier, Kong underestimated the muscular legs; now he never would again. Gorosaurus kicked the gorilla king so hard, it rattled the surface of the river as the ape crashed into the other side.

Lying on his back, it took moments for Kong to realize where he was. The river separated him from Gorosaurus, a temporary reprieve. With a broken sternum and punctured lung, his chances weren’t looking good. Gorosaurus stepped into the river, swimming much like a crocodile would. When it made landfall, Kong thought he was seeing things. Gorosaurus and Titanosaurus emerged out of the river, streaks of blood dripping out of where Titanosaurus once had an eye. Leaping across the river in a single bound was Baragon. Now all three dinosaurs were closing in on King Kong; they were going to attack him together and finish this fight.

Even if this was his last fight, King Kong would take them all down with him.

Titanosaurus and Gorosaurus lunged at Kong in unison. The beastial primate outmaneuvered the snapping jaws of the gray theropod, pushing the reptilian beast into the path of the towering sea titan. Titanosaurus tripped, pinning Gorosaurus to the ground. In one move, Kong had temporarily removed his most dangerous attackers from the battle.

Baragon stayed back, torching the hairy ape with his fire breath. Kong shielded his face with one arm, while grabbing a nearby boulder with his other and chucking it at the fire breathing dinosaur. It shattered when it hit Baragon’s face, enough to keep the four-legged fiend distracted long enough for Kong to run over, grab its horn, and snap it out of its forehead. Kong wasn’t finished; seizing Baragon’s mouth, he hoisted its head up, and plunged the horn into the screaming creature’s throat.

Baragon died instantly.

One down, two to go. Gorosaurus and Titanosaurus were back on their feet. Kong faced them, unimpressed. With a savage roar, one that made Gorosaurus and Titanosaurus stop in their tracks and rethink their strategy, King Kong challenged them. He challenged them not only for the lordship of these lands, but for the right to live.

Titanosaurus swung around, flapping its tail. A gust of wind smashed into Kong, ripping scores of trees from their roots. Mustering his strength, the gorilla god punched into the ground deep enough to anchor himself to it, but the winds were too fierce. Try as he might, Kong could not stop the winds from blowing him off his feet. As soon as he landed on his back, Gorosaurus’s foot slammed into his chest. Kong’s tired, broken body prevented him from expressing his pain. Gorosaurus’ lungs were still burning, a testament of the strength of the island deity. Reluctantly, the dinosaur continued stomping in the chest of the primal beast. Gorosaurus would rather seek shelter and rest for a month, but he knew it’d be easier to rest with a full stomach.

King Kong caught the reptilian foot, snapping his ankle in a single twist. Howling in pain, Gorosaurus hopped away on one foot. The enlarged primate jumped up, eager to take advantage of the injured dinosaur, but he was too tired to see Titanosaurus running at him. Bumpy arms wrapped around his chest, squeezing the life out of him. Kong would’ve freed himself if Titanosaurus hadn’t bitten his neck. With immense strength, the towering marine animal lifted the great ape off the ground with his jaws. The indingenous beast couldn’t fight back, let alone move. Titanosaurus swung Kong around without difficulty. In a final showcase of incredible strength, the aquatic dinosaur tossed the mighty gorilla into the ground next to the immobile Gorosaurus.

First there was darkness. Then there was light. Little by little, the obscurity of his surroundings became clearer. Kong clung to the grass, his body shaking. The tremors in the ground quickly alerted him to the titan’s whereabouts. The aquatic beast was about a hundred meters away. When Titanosaurus was close enough Kong could smell his vile flesh, the great ape used up the last of his strength. Slipping past the leviathan’s claws and vile jaws, Kong yanked the towering saurian down with his biceps. He considered choking Titanosaurus to death, but thought that might’ve been too much of a hassle. Instead, he used his primal strength and snapped his neck, and the remaining eye of Titanosaurus rolled up into their socket.

Kong opened and closed Titanosaurus’ lifeless mouth. Satisfied, the great ape faced the Sun and pounded his chest in victory. Surveying the island—his island—Kong saw Gorosaurus writhing where he left him. He approached the dinosaur with caution. While Gorosaurus was not the mightiest creature King Kong had ever fought, he certainly had a great deal of potential. During the battle, Gorosaurus showed an uncanny sense of loyalty. He could’ve devoured Baragon or Titanosaurus but chose not to.

The world was full of giants. Even now, Kong could sense some of them closing in on his new territory. Gorosaurus could help dissuade them from taking what was rightfully his. Kong locked eyes with the dinosaur and laughed. Who was he kidding? He knew the real reason why he was keeping Gorosaurus alive.

King Kong could use the entertainment.

Winner: King Kong (Showa)