Author: Nick Anstett | Banner: Stephanie Hughes

Ogasawara Island was no longer the world of giants it had been. Following the incident several years ago with the Kilaaks, the project had been abandoned by the Japanese government as it was deemed too dangerous and unstable a station to man. Although met with some initial skepticism, the movement turned out to be a wise one. The Mothra Larva and Minilla died several months following the final battle with Ghidorah, and Gorosaurus was killed in a battle with Kumonga. The remaining monsters swam or flew off to better pastures, and now the island lay in relative silence.

Only one stubborn kaiju remained, Anguirus. Anguirus had often been described by kaijuologists as being uncharacteristically resistant and territorial. It clung onto the former Monster Island with unchallenged vigor and loyalty. This behavior had been questioned for some time, but no solution had been proposed. Ogasawara Island held no legitimate food sources, except for the native dolphins, and was not particularly contested territory. Anguirus had seemingly claimed the island as its own, and was not going to let it go. However, interest was soon lost in Anguirus’ behavior. As long as the gigantic saurian stayed away from human settlement, it was no longer considered a threat…

Anguirus awoke one summer morning to the sound of crashing waves and squawking gulls. Every morning began the same, with the same sounds, and the same scents. Yet, Anguirus did not feel boredom, if a kaiju could truly understand the concept. It slept, it ate, and it slept. Anguirus did not want more, and it did not need more. It was content.

Anguirus rose from its usual resting place, nestled in between several caves, and lumbered out towards the beach. The island looked and smelt familiar, but there was something different in the air. There was evidence that something large had pushed its way through the palm trees, and Anguirus could smell blood in the distance. Something had come to its quiet island and had dared disturb its peace.

The spiked behemoth crawled faster towards the beach, the sounds of gnawing and crunching grew louder in its small reptilian ears. However, it also heard the sounds of familiar roars and grumbles. It was Baragon, the small quadruped that had taken up residence by Ogasawara’s volcano. Anguirus did not know why the smaller beast had returned, but it was not welcome. The creature had entered its territory, and was most likely eating its food.

Anguirus entered the beach slowly and with caution. It caught a glimpse of the beast several hundred yards down the beach, a dead whale at its feet. Baragon tore and twisted, ripping out flesh and splattering blood across its massive ears. The beast was violating Anguirus’ beach with the blood of its kill. This meant a challenge. A direct act of opposition towards Anguirus’ claim. Baragon was arrogant, and foolish to think that this act would go unpunished. Anguirus lowered its nasal horn, howled a roar of defiance and galloped forward.

Baragon raised its head from the insides of the whale. It had not expected Anguirus to arrive so soon. It had smelt the beast’s scent from miles away, and had realized the risk of entering the beast’s territory, but had not anticipated this soon of a reaction. Baragon’s stomach was full of whale flesh and he was tired from the voyage to the island, but he was not afraid of a fight. Baragon opened its jaws and howled a challenge, and charged forward.

Baragon collided with Anguirus head on. The spiked dinosaur was caught off guard by the sudden impact, and stumbled backwards, only to have the smaller kaiju bite down hard on its left foreleg. Anguirus yelped and desperately tried to shake Baragon off. However, like a pit bull, the subterranean dinosaur clamped down hard and began to drag and twist on Anguirus’ leg. Anguirus screamed and desperately tried to bite down on the smaller kaiju, yet each snap met with a mouthful of sand or open air. Baragon was maneuverable and vicious.

Anguirus felt a wave of heat growing on his left leg. Baragon’s mouth began to sizzle and spark with heat and flame, and Anguirus realized all too late what was happening. A blast of flame leaped from Baragon’s tightly clamped jaw, and engulfed its left leg. As Anguirus yelped and jumped backwards, the assailant let go and burrowed underground.

Anguirus gave a few tentative licks towards its wounded leg. Between Baragon’s teeth and flame, the leg stung with unimaginable pain. Even its battle with Mechagodzilla had not hurt as much as this. Finally, after a few seconds of blind pain, Anguirus came back to its senses. Still favoring its left leg, the shelled dinosaur scanned the beach for its opponent. It could smell the beast’s stench, but could not get a good view of his assailant.

Anguirus could feel the vibrations in the ground, and could almost sense where the beast was moving. However, Baragon’s movements were erratic and unpredictable. The instant Anguirus would move to one area, the burrowing dinosaur would travel to another. Suddenly, the beast burst from the ground, and slammed its hooked nasal horn into Anguirus’ gut. Howling and coughing up blood, the dinosaur collapsed to the ground panting, as Baragon retreated once again underground.

Anguirus rose from the ground on its three unwounded legs, and attempted to limp to the safety of the jungle. However Baragon once again burst from the ground behind the wounded saurian and charged forward. Opening its jaws wide, the dinosaur bit down hard on Anguirus’ spiked tail. Letting out another yelp, Anguirus reared onto its hind legs in pain as Baragon clamped down.

Snarling in anger, the dinosaur snapped its spiked tail like a whip. Baragon screamed as the sudden movement cracked teeth, and shredded its jaw. Losing its grip on its opponent, Baragon spiraled down the beach and landed several dozen meters away.

Ready to end this insult of a fight, Anguirus lunged after Baragon. The enraged saurian bit down hard on Baragon’s right foreleg and tore. Blood spurted out like a fountain and Baragon squealed in pain. Tossing the creature away like a ragdoll, Anguirus roared a challenge of bloodlust. Although weakened by the dinosaur’s sudden attack, Baragon was quick to answer.

The smaller beast leapt forward, and swung its clawed hands, slashing deadly wounds across Anguirus’ face and neck. It landed several meters away, and proceeded to blast the angered saurian across the face with jets of flame.

Anguirus charged and slammed its spiked skull into Baragon’s midsection. Winded, the smaller kaiju stumbled backwards. Anguirus was angry, and the angrier it got, the harder it fought. Lunging forward, Anguirus chomped down hard on Baragon’s neck. Squealing in pain, Baragon was lifted into the air. Anguirus throttled the burrowing dinosaur violently, and felt warm blood pooling its mouth. Just as Baragon’s movements began to grow sluggish and less erratic, the maddened saurian slammed it into the sand headfirst.

Baragon gasped and gulped in pain. It was wounded, dazed, and tired. However, it was not finished. Not in the slightest. Baragon jumped forward, and slammed into Anguirus head on, forcing the shelled beast onto its back. Roaring maniacally, Baragon bit down hard on Anguirus’ chest and began to slash and tear away. Skin and scales peeled away from Baragon’s repeated slashing and biting, and blood seeped out in torrents.

Anguirus could feel its life forces fading away, Baragon had outmaneuvered it in every way. It had systematically whittled away at its opponent until it could no longer stand. Baragon would have its day, and its territory. However, just as Baragon prepared a blast of flame to finish Anguirus off, something primal and dangerous clicked inside the wounded dinosaur’s head.

Some had called Anguirus a stubborn beast. A creature that would never die even faced with the most horrible wounds and opponents. What happened that fateful summer day would only solidify this idea in the minds of kaijuologists throughout the world. Despite its wounds, and its pain, Anguirus issued a roar of challenge, raised its left hind leg and kicked Baragon in the stomach. The horned beast toppled backwards and lay on the blood-soaked sand stunned.

Anguirus roared and charged as fast as its wounded legs could carry it. Just as Baragon was pushing itself off the ground, Anguirus closed its jaws down around its neck, and tore. Baragon yelped and struggled, but was unable to shake itself free of the powerful teeth. Anguirus gave another tearing twist, and the squealing dinosaur’s jugular split open. Anguirus let go, and the writhing form dropped to the ground. Choking on its own blood, the dying creature broke into a series of violent spasms and jerks. Finally, the dinosaur lay still.

Anguirus let out a gasping roar of victory, and collapsed to the ground. Baragon’s attacks had taken their toll on its body. Its leg and stomach burned with unbearable pain and it was not sure if it would be able to move properly for quite some time. However, it had survived, and the island was its again. Grabbing the lifeless form of Baragon around the neck, Anguirus dragged its latest meal back to its peaceful caves, where it was likely to spend many more days of rest and tranquility.

Winner: Anguirus (Showa)