Author: Forrest Freund | Banner: Christian Salabert
The sun rose over the East Side of New York City. As the citizens slowly roused from their sleep, a tremor emanated from Central Park. Within ten blocks of the park, people panicked and ran, screaming in every direction. The ground under the park began to buckle, and with a roar, Zilla burst out from under the Central Park Auditorium. The reptile smashed it to bits, sending shrapnel into the sky. As its roar thundered through the city, the people’s panic solidified into terror as they ran frantically away from the monstrous beast.
Meanwhile, in the harbor, the coastguard picked up something enormous on sonar. The creature was easily longer than a freighter and moving coastward rapidly. The harbor patrol called out an evacuation order as the creature closed in on the city. The surface of the water flashed a brilliant white, then Titanosaurus exploded out of the water, launching himself into the air and onto the dock.
Titanosaurus wheeled his arms and torso as his warbling cry screeched into the heavens. In the distance, Titanosaurus heard a noise, one that sounded very familiar, and yet subtly different from the one he remembered. Old memories of pain and humiliation flooded back to him as he recalled how he was forced by the small being to fight against that other monster, then was nearly driven to madness by the screams from the tooth that the other small beings shot into his neck. Titanosaurus hissed as the memories of pain came flashing back to him. Thirsty for revenge, he began to stalk into the city.
Titanosaurus weaved through the buildings, listening for the other monster. On top of one of the nearby structures, Zilla spotted Titanosaurus and quickly roared out a challenge before leaping down to the concrete below.
Titanosaurus heard the roar and reflexively leapt straight up into the air. Zilla surged past him and landed on the pavement below, overcompensating and staggering forward because he missed his mark. Titanosaurus landed with a crash that caused the buildings to shake, then turned around to face his opponent. As he did, Titanosaurus realized that this creature wasn’t the one that humiliated him. Just the same, it had sounded enough like it to take some aggression out on, if only by proxy.
Titanosaurus screeched out a challenge to Zilla, who also roared back in response. Titanosaurus dropped his shoulders and charged. Zilla responded by arching his back and also advancing head-long at his foe, roaring defiantly.
The two behemoths connected with each other, Zilla landing the first blow by landing a headbutt into Titanosaurus’ chest. Titanosaurus chirped in pain, then responded by dragging his claws across Zilla’s left shoulder and lower portion of his jaw. Zilla roared out in pain, and then bit Titanosaurus in the right leg. Titanosaurus screamed as Zilla clamped his jaws down onto his thigh.
Titanosaurus hammered at Zilla’s head with his fists and claws, trying to get him to release his jaw lock. Zilla, in response to the assault, merely tightened his grip and twisted his neck, trying to tear out Titanosaurus’ thigh. Titanosaurus screamed out in pain, then reached down and grabbed Zilla by the top and bottom jaws.
Screeching and pulling with all of his might, Titanosaurus began to pull Zilla’s jaws open, until he freed his leg. Titanosaurus let go of Zilla’s jaws, which snapped shut. Titanosaurus shuffled backwards, then kneed Zilla in the throat. He then grabbed his jaws shut and, lifting him into the air by his head, shoulder tossed him through one of the nearby buildings.
Zilla struck the building, and with a roar of pain, crushed the front half, knocking it to rubble as he fell to the ground. Zilla rose and roared at Titanosaurus, who screeched back at him defiantly. Zilla charged at Titanosaurus and leapt into the air, landing on Titanosaurus’s chest as he recoiled from the attack. Zilla then pushed off with his back legs, jumping off Titanosaurus, throwing him backwards with the force. Titanosaurus screeched as he was thrown backwards into one of the skyscrapers behind him, sending a shower of glass shards into the air like a crystalline rainstorm. Titanosaurus shrieked in pain as the glass bit into his skin. Pulling himself free of the damaged building, he charged at Zilla.
Titanosaurus bowed down as he charged. Then, when he came within reach of Zilla, brought his body up quickly, striking Zilla with his neck. Zilla was thrown back slightly by the force of the blow. As he staggered back, Titanosaurus lunged forward, then turned around quickly and struck his opponent with his tail. Zilla was thrown to his side by the blow, staggering to his left.
Titanosaurus turned around quickly, and reaching forward, grabbed Zilla around the neck. Screeching, Titanosaurus lifted Zilla from the ground by the neck. Tightening his grip, Titanosaurus choked his prey. Zilla began to foam at the mouth as he started to lose consciousness. Titanosaurus chirped with pleasure as he saw Zilla beginning to go under.
Zilla lifted his hind legs and kicked out, striking Titanosaurus in the gut. Titanosaurus loosened his as Zilla kicked again, driving his claws into the tough hide on Titanosaurus’ belly. Zilla raised his legs again and kicked out, this time pushing free of Titanosaurus’ grip. Titanosaurus shrieked in pain and clutched his bleeding stomach. Zilla took the opportunity, and rising, turned and ran around the corner of the street, and out of sight.
Titanosaurus wheezed for a few seconds as he regained his wind. Noticing that his foe was gone, the aquatic dinosaur began to pursue. As he turned the corner that Zilla went around, he came to a stop in front of an immense hole in the pavement. Titanosaurus looked around anxiously, not knowing what to make of the situation.
Titanosaurus backed away from the hole. As he did, he craned his neck up as high as he could and looked around, watching for Zilla.
As Titanosaurus set his foot down, the ground exploded as Zilla burst from the concrete and latched his jaws onto Titanosaurus’ injured right leg. The agile lizard began to pull him into his burrow, purring softly at the success of his ambush. Titanosaurus fell to his hands and knees as Zilla dragged him towards the hollow in the ground. Titanosaurus dug his hand and foot claws into the ground in an effort to avoid being pulled into the underground, where he would have a distinct disadvantage.
Zilla shook his jaws violently, sending Titanosaurus’ blood onto the street as his teeth dug deeper into the wounded limb. Titanosaurus craned his neck around and screeched at Zilla. Then, lifting his free left leg, Titanosaurus kicked backwards with all of his might, driving the heel of his foot into Zilla’s muzzle. Zilla grunted in pain, but didn’t let go. Titanosaurus kicked again, this time causing Zilla to slacken his grip, yet not enough to shake free. A third time, Titanosaurus kicked his foe in the muzzle, this time cracking the bone with the force of the blow. Zilla shrieked out in pain and released Titanosaurus as blood ran out of his nostrils. Titanosaurus took the opportunity and leapt away.
Zilla was almost blind with rage as he erupted from his burrow and charged at Titanosaurus. Titanosaurus turned his back on Zilla and opened the sail on his tail. As Zilla closed and leapt, Titanosaurus violently waved the fin back and forth. Instantly, a gale force wind picked up, throwing Zilla backwards as he flew through the air. Zilla rolled on the ground for several blocks before regaining his sense of balance and digging his claws into the pavement. He roared as he dug his fore-claws and hind legs into the ground.
Titanosaurus did not stop fanning, but instead picked up the pace, causing the wind to increase its speed. Trees uprooted and cars parked on the street flew through the air, slamming into Zilla. One car slammed into the shattered portion on his muzzle, causing him to screech out in pain and loosen his grip. His claws relaxed slightly and he was thrown backwards and into a skyscraper, sending glass and metal flying.
Titanosaurus stopped fanning his tail, causing the maelstrom to stop, and then turned to finish Zilla off. As he did, he realized that Zilla had retreated underground again. Titanosaurus lumbered forward to where Zilla fell, and found one of his foe’s dorsal spines had snapped off from the impact. He was not very interested in this, however, but the hole in which he assumed Zilla had retreated down. Titanosaurus backed away, again looking around nervously, but instead of looking for Zilla, he listened for him.
Titanosaurus heard a faint rumble behind him and leapt into the air. Zilla burst from the ground and snapped his jaws in empty space. Surging out of his burrow, Zilla looked around for Titanosaurus. He heard a crash behind him as Titanosaurus landed and grabbed onto his tail.
Titanosaurus heaved with all of his might and swung Zilla off the ground and into one of the buildings. Not letting go, he swung Zilla again, and slammed him into an adjacent building. Zilla tried to pull away, but was badly wounded from the blows.
Titanosaurus maintained his hold and slowly worked his grip up Zilla’s body until he had both hands on his skull and jaw. Zilla tried to struggle, but was still weak from the previous blow. Titanosaurus, digging his feet into the ground, began to twist his adversary’s neck. Zilla groaned in pain as his neck vertebrae were twisted violently. Then, with a sickening wet crack, the bones in Zilla’s neck separate as they broke and his spinal cord was severed.
Titanosaurus chirped with delight to himself as he released the carcass of his foe, which dropped to the ground with a sickening thud. Titanosaurus kicked the carcass with his good leg, testing to see if his opponent was truly dead. Then, satisfied that his foe was not going to get back up, he turned and limped back towards his home in the ocean to heal.