KWC: Kaiju War Chronicles

Match 227 - Author: Connor Clennell

Match 227: Ultraman vs. Gabara
Banner: Tyler Trieschock

A bolt of lightning cut across the sky.

A fierce storm raged overhead. Thick black clouds made it impossible to tell if it was day or night. On the ground below, Ichiro Miki ran as fast as he could through the blinding rain and against the harsh winds. Thick wet mud splattered onto the ground with each step he took. He gasped heavily as he pushed through the thick jungle vegetation of Monster Island. This place of dreams was supposed to be his escape from the chores of reality. But now, it was an inescapable nightmare.

Ichiro pumped his short legs like crazy, aiming to put as much distance between himself and his pursuer. Over the sound of the wind and rain, he could hear the creature’s heavy footsteps as they drew closer and closer. A lightning bolt struck the ground meters away from Ichiro. Startled, he came to an abrupt stop. He eyed the smoking crater it had left, eyes wide with fear. But then a strange, warbling cry echoed over the storm. Ichiro turned to look behind him, making out a gigantic shadowy form in the gloom rapidly approaching. He resumed running, hoping to outpace the creature. His breaths came out quick and heavy as fear gripped his tiny form. The cry came again, closer this time, and before the boy had a chance to look over his shoulder, a massive fist slammed into the ground behind him. Ichiro was sent flying through the air, screaming, and hit the ground hard.

Ichiro moaned as he sat up. His poor elbows and knees felt sore, and he winced in pain with each breath he took. He froze up as a wicked sound came from behind – no - above him. Ichiro looked up. His eyes widened in terror as he gazed at the beast looking down on him. Gabara sneered at the child, his own eyes gleaming with malice and a wicked smile adorning his feline visage. What was once just a figment of Ichiro’s imagination had become something much worse. Lightning flashed in the sky above him, fully illuminating the ogre for the briefest of moments. Ichiro began to crawl away, but was forced to stop and cover his ears as Gabara let out a loud cackle. The boy could do nothing but watch as Gabara raised his arm, clenching his fingers into a fist. Ichiro closed his eyes and screamed as the evil creature set his fist flying toward him…

* * * * *

Ichiro jolted upright from his bed, still screaming. His parents came running into his room moments later, consoling him and trying to calm him down. Once he realized he was no longer dreaming, Ichiro stopped screaming. He embraced his parents, weeping softly. Kenkichi and Tamie Miki could only look at each other with knowing, saddened expressions. Their son had been like this little over a month after his kidnapping by two robbers. They’d taken Ichiro to many psychiatrists, but they couldn’t seem to find the cause of this repetitive dream. The only explanation they had was deep-lying trauma from his experience with the former bully, a kid also called Gabara. They’d recommended things like having Ichiro spend more time with Gabara in order to conquer his fears and having his parents spend more time with him in order to not neglect him and worsen the nightmares. None of these had worked. The dreams persisted, and they were beginning to take their toll not just on Ichiro, but his parents as well. No matter how much the boy enjoyed himself during the day and tried to push the memory away, what few hours of sleep he got would be filled with dreams of cruelty.

* * * * *

It was several days later, and Ichiro was making his way home from school. Today was his birthday, a day for celebration. But he hardly felt like doing so. Saichiko, Gabara, and all his other friends were too busy to play with him. His parents had left early, as they always did, and hadn’t even left him any presents to open. They wouldn’t be back until much later, so Ichiro doubted he would get any at all. He sighed sadly as he approached the door to his neighbor’s apartment to retrieve the key to his own. His hopes raised slightly as a thought struck him. Perhaps his parents had left his presents with Shinpei, as a surprise. His hopes died when he saw a piece of paper taped to the toymaker’s door. He ripped it off and unfolded it, and the key to his apartment fell out. After picking up and pocketing the key, he read over Shinpei’s letter. It seemed he would be out of town for the week visiting family. No mention of surprise gifts whatsoever.

Ichiro hung his head in disappointment as he unhappily walked over to his own apartment. Some birthday this turned out to be. He unlocked the door and walked inside, closing and locking it behind him. As he turned the corner into the dining room, he let out a gasp and dropped his school bag in shock at the sight before him.

There, standing on the dining table and facing him, was an Ultraman action figure!

Ichiro could hardly believe it. Where had it come from? Had Shinpei or his parents left it here for him to find after school? Ichiro had so many questions but cared not for the answers as he rushed into the dining room and grabbed the toy of the hero from his favorite TV show. All his previous glumness vanished in an instant as he leapt around, shouting with glee, clutching the Ultraman figure close to his chest as if it was the most valuable thing on the planet.

To Ichiro, he couldn’t get changed fast enough, couldn’t do his chores fast enough, couldn’t finish dinner fast enough. Every second not spent with his new present felt like an eternity. When at last he could play with the Ultraman action figure he never wanted to part with it. His imagination took over as he played, allowing the action figure to duel with terrifying monsters from Earth and beyond, destroy ruthless alien invaders, and ultimately restore peace to the planet. And when at last it was time for bed, he contently snuggled into his blankets with the Ultraman figure, and fell fast asleep within minutes.

He was so happy, he had completely forgotten what awaited him in his dreams….

* * * * *

A bolt of lightning cut across the sky.

Ichiro struggled to catch his breath as he ran through the almost pitch-black jungle. Not far behind him, Gabara’s deafening cackles filled the air as he pursued the young boy. Droplets of rain came down heavily and splashed into Ichiro’s face, impairing his vision. Through the haze, he managed to spot a hollowed out log and crawled inside it to hide from Gabara. He tried his best to lower the sound of his breathing as the sound of Gabara’s roar and footfalls came closer and closer. Everything then went silent, aside from the whistling of the wind and the pattering of the rain. Ichiro wouldn’t dare look outside. He was too terrified to move. But he found himself moving involuntarily as the log was lifted up into the air. Ichiro tumbled out of the log and landed with a squelch in the mud below. With a groan he sat up, wiping the mud from his eyes. He froze up as a familiar cackle sounded. He looked up into Gabara’s unwelcoming visage. Ichiro screamed and ran, Gabara tossing the log away and giving chase.

Never had little Ichiro had to run so fast for so long. His sides and lungs hurt, but he couldn’t stop. All he could was hope to outrun and hide from the ogre. Gabara swiped at the boy, missing him by mere inches, but proving that escape from him would take a miracle. Ichiro finally broke out of the jungle and into the open plains. He spirited toward a nearby mountain, hoping to find a cave or hole to hide in. Gabara would have none of that. His head horns glowed with purple brilliance and he slammed his fist into the ground. A massive surge of electricity travelled from the emerald beast’s fingers into the water-logged ground, which conducted the ogre’s power and dispersed it. Volts of electricity zapped poor Ichiro, and he cried out, falling to the ground. Gabara’s electricity quickly faded, but Ichiro was still recovering from its effects. He struggled to even look up as Gabara advanced on him, cackling in his evil way. The malicious creature raised his fist, lightning flashing ominously above him as he prepared to crush the boy beneath him…

Rays of sunlight cut through the clouds.

Gabara lowered his arm to his face to shield his eyes from the glaring beams. Ichiro looked between Gabara and the sky in confusion. The rain stopped falling, the wind died down, and the dark clouds covering the heavens slowly dissipated, revealing clear blue skies and the ever-present Sun. Struggling to his feet, Ichiro realized he was now dry as a bone, as was the ground, despite it raining just a moment ago. What was going on?

Gabara lowered his arm and glared down at Ichiro. He had no idea what was going on, but he bet the boy had something to do with it. This was his dream, after all. But before he could try and crush him, a bright light suddenly filled the clearing. Gabara and Ichiro once again had to shield their eyes to avoid being blinded. Once the light had subsided, Ichiro opened his eyes and gasped in shock. A familiar figure towered above him, staring down Gabara.

“Ultraman…” he whispered.

Ultraman expressionless face gazed upon Gabara’s cat-like mug. He took up a battle stance, letting out his signature sound. Gabara shook his arms and cackled loudly, not intimidated in the slightest. Between them, Ichiro scrabbled to his feet and resumed running toward the hills. After all the movies he had watched, he knew better than to stay around during a clash between two monsters.

Gabara cackled again and charged Ultraman. The hero ducked low, avoiding Gabara’s swinging fist, then leapt at the feline beast and delivered a chop to the side of his head. Gabara stumbled back before trying to attack again. He swung his fist at Ultraman, but the being from M78 deflected it with another chop, then planted another on the ogre’s head. Ultraman pressed on his attack, striking Gabara on the head again, then on his chest, driving him back. Gabara was quickly getting annoyed and lunged a third time, but Ultraman grabbed him by his head, holding him back. Ultraman planted his foot on Gabara’s chest and kicked the ogre back. As Gabara stumbled, Ultraman leapt forward and grabbed him again, then drove his head down into his outstretched knee. Gabara recoiled, wailing in pain.

Shaking his arms furiously, Gabara charged toward Ultraman. The Warrior of Light easily caught the ogre’s outstretched arm and tossed him around, sending him crashing into the side of the mountain. As Gabara slowly pushed himself up, Ultraman leapt atop him, pinning him to the mountainside, and unleashed a barrage of chops onto the bully’s head and neck. Gabara cackled miserably as she flailed beneath Ultraman. At last, he managed to force the giant off, and Ultraman hit the ground with a thud. Both of them stood up, but Gabara was quicker on the recovery and launched himself at Ultraman, sending his fist flying into his face, knocking the hero down again. Ultraman managed to roll with the landing and was back on his feet in that instant. Gabara slashed at the silver and red warrior, trying to drive him back. Ultraman merely grabbed his hands, leaned onto his back, pulled Gabara down with him, and planted his feet into the ogre’s gut, catapulting him over his head. Gabara crashed headfirst into the side of a hill, leaving a large crack in its side. He woozily stood up, disorientated by the impact.

As he looked around, vaguely aware of Ultraman spiriting toward him, Gabara spotted a large outcrop in the mountainside. A plan was quickly devised, and the ogre sped toward it with Ultraman hot on his heels. He reached the outcrop and clambered atop just as Ultraman caught up. He peered up at Gabara, who cackled and shook his arms as he looked down on him, taunting the Ultra hero. As Ultraman jumped upward to land on the outcrop, Gabara smashed his foot into his face, earning a yelp of pain from the hero and knocking him back down. Ultraman hit the ground and moaned in pain as he pulled himself up. Gabara reached down and grabbed boulders, trees, anything he could get his claws on, and tossed them at the warrior from M78. Ultraman let out a grunt of pain as each object smashed into him. He raised his arms in an x-shape over his face to protect himself from Gabara’s crude bombardment. Gabara let out a laughter-like sound as he continued pelting the hero with whatever he could get his hands on. However, he quickly ran out of items to grab, and so enacted the next part of his plan. He leapt off the outcrop, aiming to tackle Ultraman to the ground. He didn’t expect to be easily caught and tossed to the ground. The green creature’s eyes widened as he went flying through the air and planted his face in the earth.

Meters away, Ichiro watched from his hiding spot atop the outcrop as Ultraman and Gabara dueled it out. He wouldn’t dare go out and reveal himself, not with Gabara still roaming around. But he had faith that Ultraman would prevail. He always did.

Gabara slowly stood up with his back to Ultraman, still dizzy from the impact. With his foe dazed, Ultraman moved in to finish him off. But Gabara had been playing him. The emerald ogre spun around to reveal the large boulder in his claws and hurled it at Ultraman’s face. The rock shattered on impact and Ultraman dropped to the ground, clutching his face and moaning in agony. Gabara cackled gleefully, enjoying Ultraman’s suffering. The light suddenly disappeared as dark clouds reappeared above them, blotting out the Sun. As Gabara walked over, he picked up a large tree and smashed it into Ultraman’s face as he stood up. Ultraman stumbled back, leaving himself open to more bashes from Gabara’s tree. The bully whacked it hard across Ultraman’s face, knocking him back and snapping the tree in half. Discarding the remains, Gabara picked up another tree and raised it above his head. Out of nowhere, a bolt of lightning struck the tree, lighting it ablaze. Ultraman’s head snapped up to look at the crude, burning club as Gabara smashed it into his face. Earth’s mightiest hero was sent flying back into the mountainside. His collision triggered an avalanche, partially burying him in rocks. As he tried to stand up, Gabara hit him with his tree again, smashing him back into the mountainside. A high-pitched chime filled the air as his Color Timer began to blink. The flames were starting to burn the ogre’s hand, so Gabara relinquished his hold on the tree and picked up the trunk of the previous tree he’d used, which had snapped at such an angle to form a point. Gabara planted his foot on Ultraman’s shoulder to hold the hero down. He raised his makeshift knife above his head, ready to plunge it into the warrior’s neck…


Gabara paused as the voice reached his ears. He lifted his foot off of Ultraman and spun around to face Ichiro, standing at the edge of the outcrop.

“Get up, Ultraman!” he cried. “Don’t give up! I know you can win! You always win! Get up and fight!”

Gabara cackled in fury. What did the child think he was doing? He was supposed to terrified of him. Him, the literal thing of his nightmares! His fist tightened, crushing the dagger into thousands of splinters, and his face set into a scowl as he made his way toward the boy. Ichiro flinched as the jade ogre snarled down at him. He briefly reconsidered his actions, wondering if perhaps it was not too late to run away and hide back in his hole. But then his gaze fell upon the helpless form of Ultraman, lying almost motionless in the rubble. He’d always had faith in the hero. In every episode, even when the outcome looked bleak, he knew he would prevail. Ultraman had come to save him, but with him out for the count, perhaps it was time to save himself. He’d beaten one Gabara. He could beat this one as well.

“I’m not afraid of you, you big bully!” Ichiro shouted unsurely trying not to sound as scared as possible. Gabara cackled with laughter at how pathetic the boy sounded. Ichiro screwed his eyes shut and tightened his fists, trying to gather the courage needed.

“I said I’m not afraid!”

Gabara stopped laughing, surprised at how genuine the boy sounded. He almost believed him for a second.

“I’m not afraid!” Ichiro shouted at the top of his lungs. He opened his eyes and glared at Gabara with a determined expression. Gabara stared at him – then cackled with rage! Stupid, stupid boy! He was supposed to fear him! He would make him fear him! The enraged ogre raised his fist and brought it down, smashing Ichiro to a pulp.

…Or at least, he would have, had a pair of silver hands not caught his arm and held it back. Gabara turned his head to stare into the glowing eyes of Ultraman. Summoning his strength, Ultraman gave the ogre a mighty push, shoving him away from Ichiro. Gabara went crazy with anger, flailing his arms and smashing his fists into the ground, cackling with unbridled fury. He rushed forward and managed to grab Ultraman’s sides. His head horns glowed as he prepared to unleash his secret weapon. Gabara laughed in Ultraman’s face as he released millions of volts of electricity into him. But Ultraman didn’t even flinch as electric bolts crackled across his body. Gabara stopped laughing, his eyes filled with worry. Was the Ultra hero immune to his greatest weapon?

Ultraman shoved Gabara’s arms away and plunged his fist into the ogre’s face, knocking him down and rolling across the ground head over heels. Gabara stood up and shrieked with rage, blood dripping from his broken nose. He had no specific plan in mind this time. He’d settle with just beating Ultraman to a bloody pulp. But Ultraman wouldn’t give him the chance. The Warrior of Light raised his arms and cuffed his wrists, and from his vertical hand the Specium Ray fired! The blast struck Gabara’s head and triggered an explosion, carbonating his warty flesh. His cranial horns, the source of his power, shattered into thousands of fragments. Gabara felt the flames char his skin and howled in agony. He clutched his head to try and sooth the pain, but paused when he couldn’t feel his horns. He looked down to see all that was left of them littering the ground. He looked back up at Ultraman, and suddenly the ogre didn’t seem that scary anymore. In fact, he was the one that was scared! Gabara let out a high-pitched shriek of fear and bolted for the jungle, hoping to escape and terrorize Ichiro another night.

But Ultraman was not so merciful.

He placed his hands onto his chest, fingers outstretched to face his Color Timer. He pulled his right hand back, then thrust it forward in a throwing motion, discharging an Ultra Slash from his hand. The spinning energy disk homed in on Gabara’s retreating form and effortlessly sliced through the ogre’s neck. His head rolled off his shoulders and hit the ground. His body stumbled forward for a few more meters before falling over and expiring.

Ultraman triumphantly placed his clenched hands above his hips. With Gabara’s death, the clouds vanished to reveal the Sun once more. He turned and looked down at Ichiro, who gave the hero a thumbs-up. Ultraman nodded, then looked up and leapt into the sky. Ichiro watched Ultraman fly higher and higher until he was out of sight, before his vision was engulfed by light…

* * * * *

Ichiro’s eyes fluttered open to see the first rays of sunlight peering through his window. He smiled and closed his eyes, slowly drifting back to sleep. He suddenly bolted upright when he realized it was morning. He’d slept through the entire night without any nightmares. He’d did it! He’d properly conquered his fears! Ichiro leapt out of bed, jumping for joy. He ran back to his bed to find the item that had helped him, but he couldn’t find it. He pulled back the covers and checked under the bed, trying to locate the Ultraman action figure, but it was nowhere to be found. Yet strangely, Ichiro felt like he didn’t need it anymore. Too excited to continue looking for it, he ran out of his room to find his parents and tell them the good news.

He didn’t even realize that his window was open, despite having closed and locked it before going to bed last night…