Author: Thomas Fairchild | Banner: Stephanie Hughes | Narration: Alicia Ingram (AI)

White hot plasma lanced into the skull-like visage of the alien warrior, hurtling the gaunt humanoid into the side of a mountain. An avalanche roared to life, mounds of dirt and rock tumbling down, burying Monster X. As the armor around his face steamed and sizzled into molten slag, Monster X’s four red eyes glared at the terrifying creature standing before him.

It was the largest creature on Earth. The creature looked like a demonic dragon as it stood upright. Armor made of steel and bone shielded its tainted brown flesh. Demonic horns stretched out of its head and nose. Its shoulders were laced with bony spurs. It had a long armored tail. As its blood red eyes glowed, Bagan shrieked a monstrous roar.

For the first time in its awful existence, Monster X quivered with fear. It had heard stories of this abomination. Even though Earth was a tiny speck in the vacuum of space, its gigantic inhabitants were infamous throughout the cosmos. Monster X’s creators warned him of monsters like Godzilla, King Kong, Mothra and Gamera. But tales of Bagan were extremely rare, and with good reason. All space faring civilizations believed in the same superstition: Bagan was a demon made flesh. Some believed he was a dragon that had forsaken its soul; others believed the humans had combined its DNA with Godzilla and King Ghidorah to create a living god; or maybe he was once the guardian of a forest that had lost its way. Nevertheless, all agreed Bagan was now evil incarnate. All they could do was pray he’d one day disappear.

Monster X closed and opened his eyes. Bagan was still there. If the demon could express emotion, it’d be mocking the feeble warrior with a demented smile. Bagan’s horns crackled with light. Monster X quickly pulled himself to his feet. That was when he froze. The air around him warped and hissed with static. A few seconds later, glowing diamonds rained from the sky. Monster X learned the hard way that they were really hot ionized gas, screaming as Bagan’s burning projectiles punched through his armor, boiling his veins and entrails.

Bagan chuckled.

When the diamond storm stopped, Monster X quickly retaliated. Although his body felt like a furnace, the skeletal fighter had sufficient willpower to continue battling. Bagan watched the alien jump up and slap him in the face with its tail. As soon as he landed, Monster X struck Bagan’s bulk with a series of punches and kicks that would’ve incapacitated even the strongest of monsters.

Bagan felt nothing.

Seeing the futility of his attacks made Monster X extremely nervous. He jumped up, hoping to have better luck with Bagan’s face. Instead, the nefarious dragon greeted him with a thunderous plasma blast. Once again, Monster X was hurtled backwards into the mountain, but the demon beast kept pouring more and more plasma. To his surprise, the alien bioweapon was blasted not only into the mountain, but out the other side! On his knees, a wary Monster X gazed into the newly formed hole of the mountain. THe towering dragon glared at him from the other side. Instead of firing another plasma ray, Bagan trudged forward. Each step the armored demon took shook the earth. As Bagan clawed his way into the mountain, the walls started to cave in around him. Before his very eyes, the wicked beast vanished in a haze of dust and rock, buried alive in the heart of the mountain.

Monster X gaped at the mountain, astonished. Had the fates handed him victory? The Earth was a living being. It hated Monster X, but perhaps it saw him as the lesser of two evils? He didn’t care. This would be his greatest triumph. His creators would reward him with pleasures beyond his wildest dreams and nightmares. Very soon, Monster X would become the most feared name in all creation. The universe would run red with the blood of billions as they’d curse his name!

The mountain trembled, freezing his black heart. This couldn’t be happening! It’d take days for even the mightiest monsters to break out of a mountain. But it didn’t take Bagan days; it took him a few minutes. In a showcase of raw power, Bagan charged out of the mountainside, heralding the end of days. Monster X answered with an onslaught of hot yellow hued bolts from his eyes. However, not even his destructive gravity bolts could deter Bagan. All they could do was splash harmlessly against his thick skin and bone.

Bagan rammed into Monster X at full speed. The air was not the only thing knocked out of his lungs. Blood spurted out of his mouth, the armor around his chest shattered, all the while the bones underneath cracked. When Monster X hit the ground, it resulted in an impact crater. He was so dazed, he couldn’t hear or feel the footsteps. The monolith of destruction loomed above him, as his clawed hand moved at speeds that bellied his massive size. With the swipe of his talons, Bagan ripped Monster X’s bottom jaw clean off. There was so much blood; the alien warrior started choking on it. Relishing in the bloodshed, Bagan assaulted the dying alien. Skin, blood, and strips of organs quickly found themselves dangling from the claws of the devil.

He tortured Monster X for hours. When Bagan finally stopped, Monster X had become nothing more than a pool of blood and mangled flesh. Bagan turned away, facing the blood red horizon. Was it just a coincidence, or the beginning of annihilation?

Humanity responded with swarms of fighter jets, helicopters, tanks, and maser cannons. Kiryu and Mechagodzilla, robotic doppelgangers of the atomic menace known as Godzilla, descended from the sky. The fighting machine Moguera arrived next to them. So did the robot Jet Jaguar. Mankind would not face this threat alone for his life was not the only one at stake for Bagan threatened all life. The Earth sent its protectors Mothra, a moth goddess; Battra, the dark Mothra; Gamera, the Guardian of the Universe to aid the planet in its time of need. Ultraman entered Earth’s orbit, taking his place amongst the protectors of the world. King Kong arrived bellowing a beastly roar, pounding his chest in defiance. Spores of light poured out of the heavens, seeding the earth with Biollante’s vines. Even the beasts from Monster Island arrived to cleanse the world of Bagan’s evil. Rodan sliced the air at supersonic speeds. Anguirus, King Caesar, Gorosaurus, Baragon, Titanosaurus, and Gomora shook the land as they made their presence known.

In front of the Monster Island denizens was a creature so majestic and feared that it gave even Bagan cause for alarm. Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, shrieked an ear piercing roar as he led his brethren into war.

Bagan growled. An army of mutants, giants, machines, and gods now opposed him. Such an alliance had never been dreamed of let alone assembled. But the fate of the world now rested on their shoulders. The air grew cold as Bagan’s wicked laughter cursed the winds. Every living creature on the planet felt a chill of terror ensnare their souls. Those that opposed him suddenly felt waves of doubt. Maybe this was all for naught? Maybe they couldn’t do what needed to be done? One thing was for certain. Should they beat Bagan here and now, it would be the dawning of a new golden age. But should Bagan triumph, it would usher a new era of darkness and despair.

To be continued…

Winner: Bagan