Word Count: 3,504 words
Posted: May 29th, 2017
Within the cockpit of mankind’s last marvel, Major Kiriko Tsujimori ran a diagnostic check of the systems. At this crucial stage, the slightest failure could have disastrous consequences. To her relief, no errors were detected. She leaned back into her chair, letting out a breath of relief and wiping sweat from her forehead. Her hands clenched the control stick firmly, mentally preparing herself for the task ahead. The fate of her species rested on the actions she was about to commit. Only she and the augmented creature she controlled could avert the terrible future from which they had come from.
The Earth was in ruin. Monster attacks had suddenly spiked over the years, but nothing could have prepared humanity for what would inevitably occur. In 2052, the monsters attacked. All of them. Regardless of origin or alliance, they laid waste to human civilisation. It was a losing battle from the start. Seeing no future for themselves, the brightest of mankind sent their sights on altering the past. Pulling the last of their resources, they succeeded in developing an actual time machine. It was this creation that propelled Kiriko’s weapon through the space-time continuum, to the distant past, where she would bring hope to the future. Her sole mission was simple, but difficult.
Destroy all monsters.
The sky rippled and warped. Crackling bolts and flashing lights signaled the creation of a wormhole into the fabric of time itself. A glowing form emerging from the portal, soaring high over the city. Its energy coating faded, revealing the mechanical monster beneath. The setting Sun made Mecha-King Ghidorah’s armour shine like the diamond it was composed of. Two massive wings forged from solar panels both steered and gathered energy for the monolith. Hidden thrusters allowed it to defy gravity. Two golden tails trailed behind, tipped with metallic claws. The hydra’s two organic heads released sinister cackles, with the mechanical head joining in with its artificial intimidation. Through its eyes, Kiriko scanned the landscape below, examining the world she never knew. Its grandeur and beauty was breath-taking, but it would not distract her from her goal. The long-range scanners detected a massive disturbance in the south-west of the city. Her brow set in determination, Kiriko directed Mecha-King Ghidorah to the displayed coordinates.
Black smog clouded most of the district. Fires raged and buildings toppled as Mecha-King Ghidorah flew past, uncaring. Over the crackling flames and screams of helpless people, one sound caught Kiriko’s attention. A deafening shriek, one with a sound of familiarness to it. A horrified gasp escaped her lips as she hesitated, memories of a creature with a similar cry flashing before her eyes. Through the smoke, a lean shape appeared. Kiriko immediately recognised it was not the same creature from her memories and mentally breathed in relief. As Mecha-King Ghidorah closed the distance, the attacker revealed itself. Dirty green spikes and scales made up its form. Tiny, tyrannosaurus-like arms wiggled in an attempt to intimidate. Its glowing yellow eyes shot a look of hate above a pair of snarling jaws. Within Mecha-King Ghidorah’s cockpit, the built-in biography identified the creature and opened the related files for its pilot to read. Kiriko’s eyes widened as she realised that this was the first. The first creature in a long line of attackers that would set into motion the event that devastated her world. Her mouth curved into a smile, taking full pride in her coming actions.
Bemular stared up at the upgraded hydra and let loose a shriek of utter rage. Mecha-King Ghidorah retaliated not with its signature chorus, but a storm of energy bolts. Its three maws fired one after the other with destructive, lightning-like beams, ripping the landscape asunder and assaulting Bemular’s flesh. Hot sparks and bright flames flew from the reptile’s torso as he squealed in pain and staggered back. Kiriko was unrelenting, unloading another wave of Gravity Beams and Triple Beam Lasers upon her helpless target. Bemular cried out as a purple-and-white energy bolt exploded against his head, toppling the alien invader. From her position, Kiriko couldn’t help but laugh. The technicians had not lied about Mecha-King Ghidorah’s power. It had barely been a minute and her first target was on the ropes. Exterminating the emerald fiend should have been easy. But Kiriko, despite her noble goal, was still human. She would not destroy Bemular without showing the creature how utterly outmatched he was, and announce to the modern world their new saviour.
The cyborg dragon descended to the ground. Angling its feet parallel to the road, it cut off its engines and dropped to the ground. The shaking earth prompted Bemular to rise. He stood to meet the leviathan, crying out in an attempt to intimidate. Mecha-King Ghidorah was no longer akin to things such as fear. Everything that had made it it had been stripped away to make way for the computers that controlled and directed it. All that was left was a shell, filled with humanity’s desire to survive, live long and prosper. It surged forward, catching Bemular by surprise. Its organic heads shrieked and shot forth, bashing the spiked creature like living fists. Bemular stumbled back as the golden heads struck him again and again, forcing the reptile to go where it wanted. But the reptilian scourge would not submit to the dragon’s wishes. As the left head lunged again, Bemular’s jaws clamped around its neck. The head squirmed and cackled as the alien monster’s teeth sank into its golden scales. The other living head parted its jaws and spat a gravity bolt into Bemular’s neck. The reptile released its hold, but not without leaving deep punctures in the flesh of the left neck. As golden blood dripped from its wounds, Kiriko pressed a command into the controls and Mecha-King Ghidorah leapt into the air. Its legs lifted and its feet smashed into Bemular’s chest, throwing him to the tarmac. The three beams focused on his vulnerable shape, slamming into his chest and pushing him along the street. He writhed in agony, helpless to defend himself as he was forced inside the base of an office building. The structure crumbled, throwing up dust and glass as tons upon tons of steel and concrete descended on Bemular.
The setting dust did not deter Kiriko in her search for Bemular’s body. Advanced sensors in Mecha-King Ghidorah’s robotic head scanned the mound of rubble in a variety of viewing modes. Without warning, a glowing orb shot upwards out of the debris, racing skywards at high velocity. Mecha-King Ghidorah’s heads tracked the rising energy body and pummeled it with bursts of lightning-like energy. As it fell to the earth in a blaze, the augmented monster moved to intercept its occupant. The sphere crashed into the earth, erupting into a ball of blue fire. From the inferno, Bemular’s bruised and bleeding form stepped forth, fierce sapphire flames churning behind his lips. The alien aggressor’s mouth opened, firing its Pale Heat Wave at Mecha-King Ghidorah’s metallic chest plate. The blast shook the cyborg greatly, fire and smoke spitting from the point of impact. Kiriko held onto the controls as tight as she could to prevent herself from being thrown from her chair. Sparks flew within the cockpit as several systems overloaded from the intense heat, forcing her to cover her head. As the flames subsided, Mecha-King Ghidorah cried out at the reptilian as Kiriko attempted to reboot its damaged systems, its metallic armour glowing bright orange. Bemular’s signature, screeching cry sounded as he ran towards the stunned cyborg. Before he could make it, Kiriko managed to get the titanic dragon to respond to her commands. Its outer heads fired, striking the street inches before Bemular. The emerald monster cried out as the road before him exploded and hot flames licked at his legs. He fell back, allowing Kiriko to turn Mecha-King Ghidorah’s firepower on him. The artificial head added its Triple Beam Laser to its companions’ assault as they surged towards their target. Bemular leapt to the side at the last moment, recognising his potential destruction, as the spot where he stood blossomed in a column of fire as tall as his attacker.
Through Mecha-Ghidorah’s advanced vision, Kiriko tracked Bemular’s movements. With thermal vision, she watched the reptile take cover behind a skyscraper. A quick scan revealed several human signatures within. Kiriko was quick to deem the sacrifices necessary. She pressed the button on Mecha-King Ghidorah’s control stick, ordering the right and center heads to fire. They compiled, tearing through the structure with Gravity Beam and Triple Beam Laser alike. A wall of flames erupted from the eviscerated building, but through it shot Bemular’s travel sphere. Using the heat to amplify its energy, it charged into the mechanical titan with great force. Kiriko yelled as Mecha-King Ghidorah shot back roughly. The mighty cyborg fell backwards, forcing its massive shape into the pavement. Alarm blared and lights flashed within the cockpit as Kiriko struggled not to fall into the realm of unconsciousness. Blood tricked from a cut in her forehead, staining half of her vision red. On the flickering and cracked screen before her, Bemular moved tauntingly slowly towards the crippled machine. An alert appeared in the corner of the screen, informing Kiriko of a human presence.
Under a fallen steel girder, a car lay imprisoned. Its three occupants shouted and banged on the windows for anyone to help them as Bemular loomed nearer. Kiriko looked on, shivering, her breaths rapid, as images from the past, of a similar scenario, flashed before her. The family in the car were replaced with her own parents, crying for help as an emerald titan loomed. Bemular’s roar sounded, but Kiriko did not hear it. Instead, she heard the cry of the monster that haunted her since she was a child. To her horror, Bemular stopped as it noticed the vehicle. His eyes narrowed in disgust. The parents hugged their child as his foot came down, crushing the car to scrap. Kiriko screamed, tears streaming down her cheeks. Bemular did not hear her, continuing to advance as her mind distorted his image into another reptilian shape. The alien’s green colouration did not help to present the broken woman from confusing Bemular with Godzilla. She screamed with rage, jerking the control stick forwards. Mecha-King Ghidorah awkwardly rose, shrieking at the emerald reptile. Sparks and smoke sparked from the joints in its armour with each movement.
“You bastard!” she screamed, as Mecha-King Ghidorah’s living heads fired their golden bolts, launching flames and chunks of flesh from Bemular’s body. He squealed, rearing his head back in anguish as flames flickered in his throat. His jaws aimed at his enemy and a stream of concentrated heat energy launched. Kiriko jammed down the control stick’s trigger again, firing the robotic head’s purple-and-white energy bolt. It met Bemular’s fiery ray, fighting back the destructive force as the reptile forced every ounce of his strength into it. With another input command, Mecha-King Ghidorah’s other heads added their power to the struggle. The three beams pushed back the heat wave, slamming it back into Bemular’s gaping maw. Explosions rocketed the green field as he stumbled, his lips scorched and bleeding. Mecha-King Ghidorah charged, jumping into the air and firing its boosters. It spun in the air and its tails extended, smashing their metallic tips across Bemular’s skull. As its rotation ceased, Bemular’s head snapped to face it. Another Pale Heat Wave shot fourth, engulfing the cyborg’s underside in a cocoon of fire. Kiriko tightened her grip on the controls and grit her teeth as the hydra crashed to the ground, fire and sparks shooting from exposed circuitry. Grinning in pride, Bemular cried out and stepped closer. Almost immediately, Mecha-King Ghidorah stood, flapping its gigantic wings to generate a powerful gust, pushing Bemular back. The multi-headed titan’s center head shot forth, coiling its serpentine, segmented neck around Bemular’s throat. With ease, it carried the monster off the street and tossed him aside. The reptile’s form embedded into a towering building, but the structure did not fall. Instead, it held the invader in place as Mecha-King Ghidorah turned its firepower upon him. Bemular was struck by the combined bolts, forcing the reptile deep into the collapsing structure. His tormented roar echoed as an explosion tore out of what remained of the building, removing it from sight.
In the cockpit of the mechanical dragon, Kiriko panted heavily. Her hands remained tight around the control stick, ready to fire again at a moment’s notice. Mecha-King Ghidorah’s reinforced chest plate sparked and smoked. Golden blood trickled from cuts and punctures in its shining scales. But the saviour of man’s future was more than capable of continuing the fight.
Through the dust and smoke, a blue glow materialised. Kiriko growled as the shining travel sphere came into view through its temporary cover. She targeted the glowing orb, unaware of the readings from several scanners reporting an unusual energy signature. Her thumb pressed in the trigger, causing a torrent of golden, white and purple energy bolts to fire from the cybernetic monster’s mouths. The orb was ravaged by the lightning-like blasts, but it did not shatter. Observing this unusual outcome, Kiriko’s brow furrowed. As she continued the bombardment, alarms and warning flashed all around her. She snapped to attention, seeking the source of the problem. A reading appeared on the screen before her, registering an increase in the energy signature it had detected before. Another warning popped up, informing Kiriko of massive energy loss in the fuel cells. Kiriko’s widened as she realised the truth of the matter. The sphere wasn’t repelling the beams. It was absorbing them. She ceased the assault, but the damage seemed to have already been done. The sapphire orb pulsed with light, its rhythm getting quicker and quicker with every second. Suddenly, it exploded, washing the landscape in blinding blue light. Kiriko cried out as it assaulted her vision and protected her face with her arms.
As quick as it appeared, the light retreated. Lowering her arms, Kiriko caught sight of the glowing figure before her mighty machine. The radiance surrounding Bemular dimmed into nothingness, showing to the cyborg and its pilot his evolved form. His flesh, once a dark shade of green, was now a mixture of browns and greys. Blue spikes jotted out of everywhere but his arms, legs and underbelly. On either side of his head, a long horn curved upwards. The monster reared back and bellowed to the heavens, revelling in his new power. Paralysed in shock, Kiriko could only watch on as Empowered Bemular turned his gaze towards her. His lips morphed into an evil grin and he strode towards her living bunker.
Snapping from her stunned state, Mecha-King Ghidorah’s pilot punched the fire button, assaulting the reptilian creature once more. Smoke and sparks jumped from his scales as he pushed forward, unfazed. His head lowered, allowing Mecha-King Ghidorah’s energy bolts to strike his massive horns. The two features glowed brightly, drawing the blasts into Bemular’s body. As the last of the energy vanished into them, he stood tall, blue light emerging in his maw. Mecha-King Ghidorah’s thrusters fired as it leapt into the air, but it was too slow and too large to dodge the upcoming attack. Bemular’s Hyper Pale Heat Wave lanced into the cyborg’s metallic chest, blasting the hydra from its element. With all her skill at piloting and sheer luck, Kiriko landed Mecha-King Ghidorah on its feet. As Bemular charged, the cybernetic dragon’s heads lashed out, cackling like banshees. Three sets of jaws chewed at the enhanced reptile’s flesh and three heads bashed at his reinforced scales. Bemular only screeched in a mockery of its efforts, and with a single sweep of his head, knocked the coiling necks away. He surged forward, lowering his head as he charged like a mad bull. With no way to avoid the alien, Kiriko could only brace for the impact.
The spike-armoured extra-terrestrial rammed into the helpless cyborg. His horns pierced its thick armour, stabbing into vital inner workings and tearing them out as Mecha-King Ghidorah was thrown back by the impact. His twin horns lit up and a concentrated blast of raw heat fired, striking and pushing the multi-headed dragon further back. Kiriko screamed as dozens of systems exploded into fire and sparks within the cockpit. In a panic, she punched down the trigger, firing wildly in an attempt to find Bemular. Mecha-King Ghidorah’s heads whipped and flailed as they ravaged the structures around them, while Bemular watched on, screeching mockingly as he strode forward. Kiriko’s angry gaze fell on the reptile’s approaching form on her monitor. She rapidly performed a systems check, assessing what systems still worked. To her relief, the time vessel was still intact. If her next attack failed, she would be able to escape and form a counter-attack to destroy the enhanced creature of her own creation.
Mecha-King Ghidorah’s artificial head snapped up. Its jaws opened, but its signature blast did not fire. Instead, a green wave of energy was projected onto the confused Bemular. Shrieking in alarm, the space monster was suddenly pulled towards the mechanical dragon. As Mecha-King Ghidorah’s tractor beam pulled the alien into range, Kiriko pulled a lever in the roof of the cockpit. Four hatches on Mecha-King Ghidorah’s chest opened, each shooting out a clamp attached to a cable. They latched on to Bemular’s legs and horns, zapping the monster with electrical pulses. As Bemular screamed, the cyborg’s three heads unleashed their energy attacks onto the struggling reptile. On the same lever, Kiriko pressed a button, causing the center of Mecha-King Ghidorah’s chest to open into a massive clamp. The Machine Hand surged forward, clamping tightly around its captive’s midsection. More surges of electricity pulsed from the cables and wires connecting the Machine Hand to Mecha-King Ghidorah and into Bemular’s scaly hide. Kiriko couldn’t help but smile as the creature writhed under the combined assault.
Her delight suddenly turned to horror as the alien’s horns began to glow. The electricity stopped surging into his flesh and was drawn into the features, along with Mecha-King Ghidorah’s energy bolts. A loud whine filled the air as Bemular transformed the collected energy to fuel his own power. The Hyper Pale Heat Wave fired, striking the exposed opening where the Machine Hand connected to the leviathan. A massive blast tore out of the hydra’s chest, spitting machinery and flesh across the landscape. Blood and oil spurted from Mecha-King Ghidorah’s mouths as it fell back, its cables and the Machine Hand no longer joined to its body. Shaking the loose cables from his form, Bemular’s mouth churned with fire as Mecha-King Ghidorah’s open chest flickered with bright flames.
Weighing up her options, Kiriko accepted that the battle was lost. Mecha-King Ghidorah was no longer able to fight, and it was unlikely to escape in its condition. Hitting a series of commands, the cockpit lurched backwards, into the back of the crippled dragon. A small, V-shaped ship detached from its back and flew into the sky. Seconds later, a large orb of flaming energy was spat from Bemular’s maw. The projectile crashed into Mecha-King Ghidorah’s open body and it collapsed to the ground as the blast ripped apart its life support systems.
Observing the wreckage on the timeship’s monitor, Kiriko sighed in defeat. Her mission was a failure. Without Mecha-King Ghidorah, there was nothing she could do to prevent the terrible future that awaited humanity. Her hand tightened around the controls. No. That was not the case. She was in possession of knowledge and technology from the future. She would seek out this time’s defence forces, and use the resources of the future to strengthen today’s arsenal. When the apocalypse came, the world would be ready this time. The future could still be---
A bright blast of energy engulfed the craft’s right wing. Alarms blared as the timeship spiralled out of control. Kiriko’s excellent piloting skills couldn’t stop the ship from crashing into the ground. The lights flickered and the air became hard to breathe as she tried to kick open the door, but it would not budge. Turning her attention to the screen, she saw Bemular’s form approach. She yelled and screamed as she tried to beat down the jammed door, but it refused to yield. She sank to the floor, acknowledging the futility of the situation. She sat back down in the control seat, accepting her coming fate. A small part of her wondered if this was punishment for attempting to alter the flow of time. History demanded that the world fall to the monster horde. When she tried to change that, the timeline made its own alterations to ensure the original outcome remained. She had not prevented the destruction of humanity; she had accelerated it. She had created a monster that would set these events in motion.
Kiriko closed her eyes as Bemular shrieked above her. The extra-terrestrial’s foot came down on the vessel, and she knew nothing more.