INTRODUCTION



ATTENTION READER:

We realize that many of you are avid kaiju eiga fans and rather familiar with prominent characters, monsters and time lines from the aforementioned genre, thus expecting some common ground on which to enjoy the following story.

We regret to inform you that we have seen fit to make various changes to that which you have come to know so well. We have edited, created, cut out, changed and mixed up dozens of elements to better suit OUR needs. Therefore, it would be wise for you to read the background material offered in order to correct your thinking on what you THOUGHT you knew.

This will not come as a pleasant task to many, considering the time that will inevitably be lost just reading this page alone. Hence, if any reader feels disoriented by such transmutations, we hope to dissuade you from sending us angry letters of denunciation by considering one of the more endearing remarks of a certain U.S. President: "It's fiction, stupid!"

-- THE SPACE FORCE DIRECTIVE


The universe. A never-ending expanse of space, a black canvas of stars stretching to the far reaches of eternity. Within this vast complex of gaseous clouds and burning infernos is a galaxy called the Milky Way. Dotted across its spiraling arms are planets that sustain life forms with the intelligence and means to travel to other worlds.

Several of these planets were dying and their inhabitants nearing extinction. It was their last hope to find a new home on which they could continue their existence. However, there were few places that could sustain life as they knew it because most of those worlds were also dying.

One life-giving blue globe nestled among its dead and dry relatives, still young on the astronomical time scale. This small shimmering light was life itself to those who gazed upon it, eagerly wishing to settle there, colonize and dominate the Earth.

These pilgrims set out for their new home but conflicts soon ensued. They were not willing to share its bounty and would take this prize from anyone who possessed it, even destroying those who would stand in their way.



No one believed that in the last half of the twentieth century, this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences even greater than mankind. With infinite complacency, they went about their affairs with no thought of space as a danger, or dismissed the very idea of life other than as they knew it as impossible.

At most, mankind fancied that there might be others like themselves, perhaps even inferior. Yet across the vast gulf of space, intellects vast and unsympathetic regarded the Earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. Early in the twenty first century came the great disillusionment.

-- H. G. Wells, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS Book One: The Coming of the Martians


"There have been key discoveries that suggest life is simple, straightforward and easy if you have the right conditions." - Bruce M. Jakosky, University of Colorado, American Astronomical Society



Japan is a country of about 3,000 islands situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that encircles the basin of the Pacific Ocean. It is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, island arcs, volcanic mountain ranges and/or plate movements.

The islands are primarily the result of volcanos. The highest peak is one: Mount Fuji at 3,776 meters (12,385 feet). Japan is home to over 180 volcanos with 60 being active. Approximately 3,000 caves are also known. Enigmatic, sunken stone structures off Okinawa have present-day Japanese wondering if their homeland was once part of the lost continent of Mu.

Archaeological research would indicate that the earliest inhabitants of Japan migrated over land bridges from Korea and Siberia at least 30,000 years ago. The first artifacts of civilization appear to have originated around 10,000 BC from the Jomon culture, characterized by a semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer lifestyle of pit-dwelling and practice of a rudimentary form of agriculture.

Although Japan did not appear in written history until 57 AD when it is first mentioned in Chinese records, these chronicles tell a much different history, deriving the people from the gods themselves. According to traditional Japanese mythology, Japan was founded in the 7th century BC by the ancestral Emperor Jinmu, a direct descendant of the Shinto deity Amaterasu.

For most of Japan's history, real power has been in the hands of the court nobility, shoguns, the military or more recently, prime ministers. That would all change when Fumio Subo's plans unfolded.

The mission of life for many would soon turn toward inter-galactic warfare, planetary domination and the ultimate battle for survival itself.


[INTERLUDE]

"I AM GUDIS"

I AM GUDIS, HARBINGER OF SORROW
NOTHING WILL REMAIN WHEN COMES THE MORROW
YOU PRAY FOR DEATH WITH A LABORED BREATH
AS CITIES CRUMBLE AND WORLDS TREMBLE

THE UNIVERSE CRIES AS ALL HOPE DIES
FOR GOOD OR EVIL, IT MATTERS NOT
ALL THAT LIVES WILL KNOW THE MISERY I HAVE WROUGHT
WHEN I COME FOR YOU, YOU WILL KNOW THE END IS NEAR
I COME TO LAY WASTE TO ALL YOU HOLD DEAR

BODIES FLOATING IN RIVERS OF BLOOD
DESTROYER OF GALAXIES, I HAVE THUSLY BEEN DUBBED
I AM UNSTOPPABLE, I AM INVINCIBLE
MY POWER WITHOUT QUESTION IS UNFATHOMABLE

I HAVE DOMINATED ALL FROM THE DAWN OF TIME
MY VIRUS INFESTS YOU, YOUR SOUL WILL BE MINE
NOTHING THAT EXISTS CAN WITHSTAND MY MIGHT
YOUR HEART WILL QUAKE AND QUIVER WITH FRIGHT

I AM THE ALPHA
I AM THE OMEGA
I AM GUDIS!

THE HISTORY OF THE COSMOS

One billion years ago in the Milky Way galaxy, a race of humanoid creatures known as the Millennians became the first sentient biological life. The Iron Empire, a vast civilization from the Orion system which was spreading across the universe, noticed that these creatures were not made of liquid metal as they were. As more planets were discovered to harbor organics, the Imperials declared war on them.

Millennia was destroyed by King Ghidorah and his fellow brute, Death Ghidorah. The Millennians were essentially split into rogue groups, surviving in large dome-like structures. Drifting through space, some would eventually be carried to our solar system.

A great war between the Millennians and those who would become known as the Cosmos (perhaps named for the great expanses of space they had crossed) began millions of years ago when the Millennians sought to reunite their splintered race, but as a collective. The Cosmos did not desire to forsake their individuality. They went on to colonize most of this section of the galaxy while the advocates of becoming 'one' continued cruising the universe, searching for members of their species more willing to reunite.

The Cosmos came to Space Hunter M Nebula and advanced technologically but neglected their new home which soon became a waste dump. Amongst the garbage were compounds that brought life to a new kind of creature that lived in, consumed and was in fact, sludge. Although it started out as only a number of small tadpoles, they eventually merged into a single giant monster dubbed Hedorah, one that not only ate the planet's pollution but spread its own toxic fumes, killing thousands.

Around 100,000,000 BC, the Cosmos set out to find a new home and discovered a world not unlike their own. They named it EARTH and created its first cities. The remaining Cosmos did manage to 'dispose' of the seemingly unstoppable Hedorah by capturing and imprisoning it on a comet but that was not the end of it. There were dozens more being born on the polluted planet and the noxious environment was killing off the Cosmos. In time, those who remained on Space Hunter died off.

This turn of events permitted another highly intelligent species - insect-like creatures similar to the cockroaches of Earth who had been under the domination of the humanoids - to rise to their full potential.

As well as colonizing the Earth, the Cosmos also came to a planet they dubbed Mysteroid, a small orb located between Mars and Jupiter. They became known as the Mysterians. On Earth, the Cosmos advanced enough to use the Earth's very 'life force' to power their great cities.

65 million years ago, the Gudis arrived on Earth but was confronted by a creature that would come to be known as Mothra. Mothra Taros sacrificed itself to summon the Earth's energy to vanquish the monster. (see COSMIC STRUGGLE) Greatly impressed by Mothra's power against the Gudis, clones were created by the Cosmos.

Death Ghidorah also arrived about this time, literally sucking the life out of the planet. The insectile guardians attacked the space monster, eventually entombing him in what would one day become Japan. It was not before he caused a mass extinction in which 70% of all life on Earth went extinct, including the dinosaurs. The few that survived (such as Godzillasaurus, Pteranodon rodan and Ankylosaurus) were safeguarded on the continent of Mu. The Cosmos seeded the population with mutagens that would allow them to fight against both the Gudis and Death Ghidorah, should they ever return.

Due to the loss of their weather control devices and the aftermath of Death Ghidorah's rampage, the Cosmos civilization declined. By 12,000 BC, the male-dominated Mu Empire wished to subjugate the various factions that had developed. Many of these colonies and sects had acquired guardian monsters of their own. Manda stood by the Muuvians while Mothra sided with the female-majority Cosmos. The Muuvians won the war, practically sending the Cosmos into hiding but the nation went through a civil war that split off Seatopia and Okinawa.

The Atlanteans had already severed themselves from the Empire and created the Gyaos to destroy their oppressors. The creatures turned on their masters and attacked them as well. The Atlanteans then created a race of giant turtles called Gamera to stop the Gyaos but this effort failed to prevent the ravenous beasts from destroying the city-state. Much of Mu was also ruined by them as well. The two surviving Gameras forced the remaining Gyaos into hiding. His soul corrupted by the war, one of the terrapins was buried in the Arctic to learn humility. The other went into hibernation in the graveyard of Atlantis, the Marianas Trench but should the Gyaos return, the guardians would awaken.

The Cosmos males (Doubijin) and females (Shobijin) split into two separate societies when the males became hostile and militaristic towards the rapidly evolving human race. They created the black moth, Battra, to conquer the world and dominate the humans, believing themselves to be superior to all others on the planet. The females had developed their mental powers and magic while the males focused on advancing technology which could very nearly destroy the world itself. A war ensued in which the Cosmos would have been completely wiped out if not for Mothra.

The Cosmos had managed to keep the Muuvians and Seatopians in check but after their own civil war, the two factions declared their independence. The Seatopians had become edgy, hidebound and mildly agoraphobic. Their giant protector, in the image of the Nebulan god Megalon, defended them from the once-great Mu Empire. Okinawa also severed relations with Mu. King Seesar would protect this new nation which wanted to develop its own culture.

When several of the kingdoms rebuilt the weather control devices to bring some order back to their rapidly advancing settlements, Battra destroyed them, along with much of the Cosmos civilization. He was finally countered by the last remaining Mothra. The fighting was bringing ruin upon the planet itself so she locked the mighty creature away in the Arctic ice. The global temperature fluctuated dangerously with the destruction of the weather machines and plunged rapidly, causing an ice age. A great earthquake and flood destroyed the entire sub-continent of Mu and Atlantis sank beneath the waves, leaving Earth's first inhabitants to rebuild underground, under the sea or on the string of remaining islands where several dinosaurs and the remaining Cosmos took refuge.

They soon lost touch with their technology but on Infant Island where the last of the original Cosmos race resettled with the aging Mothra, the Shobijin created four genetically perfect foot-high women (the Elias) to serve as its avatars and be a 'telepathic interface' to the generations of Mothra yet to come. They had become peace-loving shaman priestesses who greatly opposed violence, having witnessed its effects first hand. Just as Mothra herself is continuously rejuvenated in an unending cycle of birth, death and rebirth, so it would be with the Elias. The Earth replenishes them so that they can continue to pass down their legacy. The current avatars are Moll and Lora. Belvera left Infant Island when her twin was accidentally killed, evil having been placed upon her soul. 'Untwinned', she is cynical of mankind but with Moll and Lora, they make up the Elias Triangle.

The Doubijin also left Infant Island. Over time and with great confidence in their accomplishments, they were able to extend their lifespan indefinitely through inborn powers and science. Their few surviving cities around the world became the earliest occupied by Man. Should one be fortunate enough to encounter a Doubijin, he would likely be a grumpy old sarcastic sage; a mean-spirited sensei. Much like 'small men' in human society, they are quick to anger and eager to flaunt their power. The Doubijin went on to populate the surface world and their descendants became us.

After the Earth had been weakened by dozens of monster attacks and attempted invasions over the years, the Nebulans struck. They knew of the 'lost' kingdoms and when the time was right, they too would fall before them. Realizing that other aliens would also want a piece of the planet, they were preparing their own devilish plans against EVERYONE!


[INTERLUDE]

COSMIC STRUGGLE

The Mesozoic Era, Cretaceous Period. 65 million years B.C.

Dawn. In this primordial land, something terrible had risen with the sun. From a volcano, an evil not of this Earth came forth to ravage all that it beheld. Anything and everything flees in terror at the mere approach of this horrific invader. Its ominous form looms over the landscape like a demonic shadow as it moves through the jungle.

The devourer of worlds, the Gudis, was here. Since its awakening, it had killed whatever it got its tentacles on. Many dinosaurs, dwarfed by the Gudis in size, were crushed in its coils, including imposing carnivores that had grown accustomed to being top predators rather than prey.

Here, the Gudis had also found some strange worm-like creatures that represented an energy source he had never encountered before. As he came over a ridge, he spotted what appeared to be a huge cocoon spun into a patch of trees. Gudis sensed the same mystical energy emanating from it and slithered forward, determined to crush it and whatever was inside. As he advanced, several smaller forms came into view. Half a dozen Mothra larvae moved in from all sides and began to spray silk at the Gudis.

The cocoon was on the verge of hatching and they had to buy just a little more time. Gudis unleashed a volley of eye beams, scattering the larva. Three of them moved in from behind, spraying their silk once more as two others sprang off the ground, launching themselves at the Gudis' trunk-like body. They bounced off harmlessly as he laughed. Reaching down, he wrapped a tentacle around one larva while blasting another through the air with his eye beams. As he began to bring the captive up to slam onto the ground, the sixth one, which had positioned itself on a nearby ledge, bounded through the air, slamming directly into the Gudis' face, causing him to drop the larva he was holding.

Angry, the Gudis turned his wrath into a volley of beams, sending the attacker crashing down in the distance. He then turned to blast the others that were trying to spray him from behind. Two larvae leapt at Gudis, smacking directly into the back of his head as another quickly positioned itself in front of him. Gudis fell forward, landing on top of the larva that had tripped him. Three others moved in fast, shooting silk into his eyes and temporarily blinding him.

As Gudis righted himself and dug at the webbing, all of the larvae fired their silk at once, hoping to entangle him before he could clear his vision. Gudis sent forth a seemingly endless torrent of beams, ripping through the webbing and sending the larvae flying in all directions.

The Gudis picked one up and began to crush it in his coils as the larva squealed in agony. Another wounded but still mobile grub rushed in, trying to get Gudis to drop his intended victim. The monster threw the crushed body aside and hit his attacker with a point-blank beam blast, blowing it in half. Spinning around, his tentacles grabbed three more. He began to slam one up and down on the ground repeatedly, beating it to death while he slowly pulled and ripped another in two. The third was incinerated by a beam shot.

Something within the cocoon began to stir as Gudis went after the final larva. It quivered with fear but knew that it must protect the entity within. Barely able to move, it tried to shoot a silk strand at the Gudis. The monster began blasting it about the ground. He could kill it but was simply being cruel instead. The Gudis slithered up to the comatose form and picked it up as a bright, blinding light emanated from the cocoon.

The Gudis turned to see a shape rising out of it and unfold a pair of massive wings. As the light dissipated, an imago Mothra hovered above the casing. Its wings were a mixture of brown, red and green, as if mirroring the jungle that was its home. Gudis snarled as he looked upon its strength and beauty. Then he heard a voice inside his head.

Put... the child... down! the Mothra commanded.

"And if I don't?" the Gudis vocalized. He was hit with a beam from the imago's belly that sent him smashing into a hillside, causing him to drop the larva. The Gudis shrieked as he realized that something was very wrong. His body wasn't absorbing the energy that had just hit him. The imago flew over to the larva, fluttering a glowing powder from its wings to heal its wounds.

You must leave now Mothra told her.

No! I want to stay and help you fight this monster!

By staying, you only offer yourself as a distraction for this killer. My sister, you have suffered enough. Please do as I ask The larva reluctantly crawled away. The Gudis looked up at the imago rising majestically into the sky.

I am Mothra Taros and your path of destruction ends here!

"Oh, does it now? I am supposed to believe that you will kill me?" the Gudis mocked. "I am Gudis, destroyer of worlds! I go where I please and I kill whom I please. I cannot be stopped!" he bellowed.

We shall see... Mothra hit him with another beam blast that put him down again, roaring in pain.

"Two can play that game!" he sneered and returned fire but Taros dodged, circling around to Gudis' side and slamming hard into the monster, knocking it over. As Gudis fell, he sent his tentacles forth to grab Mothra who blasted at them with his beam. As Taros turned to get out of range, one wrapped around his thorax, swinging him around and slamming him into the ground again and again. Mothra managed to fire directly into Gudis' face, causing further agony. When the Gudis was finally able to look up, Mothra was carrying a huge boulder, diving in to release it like a bomb.

The Gudis went down again as the imago rained more beam blasts down from above. The monster uprooted a huge tree and threw it like a javelin but Taros dodged, only to get hit by Gudis' eye beams as the tree was merely a distraction. He crashed down hard as Gudis advanced, tentacles snaking toward his prone form. In an instant, Mothra Taros was enveloped in the coils which began to constrict and crush him. Taros retaliated by blasting the Gudis at point-blank range. Howling in pain, Gudis fired, frying Mothra's mandibles and blowing off one of his antennae. Taros got off another blast and layers of flesh were practically seared from the Gudis' body.

Gudis' beams sliced Taros' left wing off but a return blast blew away part of its face and head, cuasing further shrieks of suffering. The Gudis then punched one of its tentacles through Taros' underbelly and out his back. A blast from Mothra disembowelled and literally gutted the monster as it vomited up blood.

"It doesn't matter what you do to me, insect! You will have to blast me to atoms before I will let you go!" the Gudis snarled defiantly, choking on his own fluids as he tightened the coils, crushing the imago's insides.

Then that is what I will do! Mothra was fighting desperately against the pain. He focused what consciousness remained and his body began to glow a bright green. The light and energy radiating off Mothra Taros' body began to intensify. Soon, it was so bright that the Gudis could not look directly at the imago with the one good eye that still remained on his mauled face. Still, he did not let Mothra go.

"What are you?!" he shrieked.

I am Gaia's champion and the defender of life. And you... are finished! The building energy within the imago exploded in unbelievable power.

"No! This cannot be! No... no... NOOOO!" the Gudis bellowed as the blast went off in his face. A small mushroom cloud erupted from where Mothra and the Gudis once were. All living things throughout the jungle ran for cover from the impending shock wave. When it finally passed, there was no sign of Mothra Taros or the Gudis.

The sole surviving larva crept back to the area, having watched the battle from afar. She chirped sadly for the loss of her brother and looked up into the heavens above. Mothra had sacrificed his own life to destroy the Gudis but the demon was not dead. With its physical body destroyed, the Gudis had been forced to revert back to its viral form which now floated back into the depths of space from whence it came. The Gudis would not return to Earth for another 65 million years.


PREFACE

Humanity remains almost completely unaware of the history of its own existence, yet a great battle has raged across the galaxy for millions of years. The Cosmos were rendered homeless eons before life existed on Earth. They spread across the stars in an attempt to preserve their race and came to Earth and the fifth planet from the sun they named Mysteroid. Their destiny was to populate new worlds and fight the monsters that eventually, and always, came.

It is now the beginning of a new millennium, at which point in time we find ourselves. The Earth has not had any ongoing relations with intelligent life forms from outer space since 1965 when the Xians attempted to take over our planet to make it a colony of Planet X. Despite initially trying to dupe the Earth into letting them 'borrow' Godzilla and Rodan to rid themselves of King Ghidorah in trade for a cure for all of mankind's various illnesses and disease, their true intentions soon became evident. The Xians were defeated and peaceful relations established with their desolate, rocky world.

Friendship with Planet X was initially welcomed by the World Space Authority, no doubt because of the hope of some day actually having access to such a 'miracle drug'. At the same time, Godzilla and Rodan would be two less kaiju Japan would have to deal with. After being released from control by the Xians' computers, they fought King Ghidorah and sent him fleeing back into space.

Over the years, the novelty of realizing that there actually were other species and inhabited planets even within our own solar system wore off. The Xians went about their lives and we, ours. Although of extraterrestrial origin, the arrival of Hedorah in a comet in 1971 was simply seen as a random occurrence. Defeated by Godzilla, it was soon realized that the people of Earth could be an even bigger threat to the planet than alien life forms.

Despite occasional rampages by Godzilla and other kaiju, Japan continued to grow in economic and political power and the rest of the world concentrated on dealing with its own problems. Little did the surface dwellers realize that both above and below them, there were others who desired to change, if not outright destroy, our present way of life.

*****

King Karkaru felt a cold breeze on his back. He turned and saw an awkward-looking mechanical suit staring back at him. Anticipating this particular visitor, he smiled and invited the Mysterian into his quarters.

"It's hot as bloody hell here, even in this suit!" Henat complained.

"Indeed. But not hot enough if you happen to be a Kilaak. Did you bring those biological samples you promised?"

"Yes, they are right here," Henat replied, reaching into a compartment on the insulated suit and pulling out a silver tube. Karkaru took the object and inspected it. "Don't expose it to the heat for too long. You don't want it to sprout in the middle of your palace," Henat advised. Karkaru just smiled.

"Of course." His voice echoed eerily off the enclosing walls. Outside, lava spewed from the hundreds of active volcanos on Kilaak, resulting in a steady rain of molten rock.

"It is now time for me to go. I have a... uh, an appointment," Henat soon declared. Karkaru merely smiled in response, a bone-chilling expression that made Henat wish he had never come to this god-forsaken planet. He got up and stumbled out the portal in his bulky protective suit. Karkaru's smile disappeared when the air locks had shut. Pathetic fool! he thought. He really does think he is better than us. We will show him. We will show all of them...

Henat was not trustworthy, of course. He merely joined the side which paid the best. Secrets, to him, were meaningless. Karkaru pressed a nearby button and a force field bubble surrounded him. His shield, and those all around the buildings, protected him from the boiling magma raining down in tiny drops as he walked outside. Heat was essential to the Kilaaks but too much of it was just as bad as not enough. No type of metal could survive contact with lava for long, not even the Kilaaks.

He took the biologicals to the lab and felt a blast of cool air as he stepped inside. Since the area was at approximate Earth temperature, its occupants wore protective body warmers to keep from changing back to their inert, metallic slug-like forms. Karkaru pulled one on before closing the door behind him. A Kilaak woman in a blue chain mail uniform quickly approached. He gave her the tube which she immediately took back to her work station. The warriors, he knew, would be completed soon.

The Kilaaks had once before attempted to take control of the Earth. Karkaru had remained on their home world while his wife led an invasion force to the blue planet. Their plan nearly worked but they had not counted on the strong will of the human beings. His wife and all her associates were exposed to unsuitable temperatures and the mission never got further than the Earth's solitary moon.

Karkaru was still enraged by this but there was nothing he could do but wait until the scientists completed their work with the warriors. The biological samples sent by the Mysterians were not for them but for a far darker purpose none of the others were yet aware of. He smiled to himself. The great creature King Ghidorah had been lost on Earth but that didn't mean he was gone for good. Soon, the Destroyer of Worlds would be resurrected into a far greater and more powerful form.


PRELUDE

In 1982 at the Antarctic research station, Outpost #31, its tenants encountered a pair of mad Norwegians chasing a dog and shooting at it. Pretty soon, the Thing was caught trying to assimilate the facility's huskies. An investigation led to discovering that the creature had been found near the wreckage of an alien spacecraft. After a series of dealings with the alien, the outpost was completely destroyed, leaving only two survivors, neither of whom knew who was an alien and who wasn't.

A few weeks later, the McMurdo base noticed a lack of response coming from the area staked out by Outpost #31. An expeditionary team was formed to travel there by dog sled as the weather was too rough for flying. As they got closer to the site, the men became restless. They had been having strange dreams lately and this disturbed them. They were not in a very good mood and bickering amongst themselves was not uncommon.

A week later, they finally reached Outpost #31 and set up camp before beginning their investigation. The compound was pretty much destroyed, its buildings blasted and burned quite severely but enough remained to rummage through to search for clues. The next few days had them slowly unraveling the truth about what had happened but things were not as they seemed. Something was stalking them.

More wild dreams, paranoia and tension ensued until all members of the party were either assimilated and killed or committed suicide, but not before being able to send a message back to McMurdo telling them not to attempt to rescue them.

A few weeks later, a helicopter landed near the site. Men in white biohazard suits cleaned up the place, taking many items with them. One Thing fragment was found and placed in a special cryogenic container and labeled Bio Sample #1. When they were finished, the helicopter took off. In the ruins of Outpost #31, a crab-like creature scurried out and watched it disappear over the horizon.


PROLOGUE

On November 29, 2004, a titanic creature once again rose from the harbor. The teeming metropolis seemed to attract a species of monster known as kaiju since the most terrible and frightening event in human history had taken place: the birth of the King of the Monsters - Godzilla.

As the beast advanced inland, a tremor rumbled through the ground. As one man struggled to his feet after falling from the initial shockwave, he heard a humming noise, as if something powerful was charging up. Looking up at the building directly in front of him, the windows began to shine as bright as the sun, instantly casting permanent shadows against the structures behind him. A second after that burst of blinding light, the building incinerated and exploded, blowing the entire city block into oblivion as the remains erupted in a wall of flame.

Emerging from behind the cascade of fire was the towering dark mass of an unforgiving god - a creature that harnessed the ultimate power of the atom and would not allow mankind to ever forget its first vengeful attack over fifty years ago. With a deep, dark and spine-chilling roar as if from another world, the leviathan released another blast of nuclear energy from its mouth. People were instantly incinerated, cars blown into the air, buildings exploding before being reduced to ash.

The huge lumbering beast crushed and utterly destroyed all structures which rose before him beneath his mighty feet. His tail alone leveled office buildings and with his claws and arms, brought down anything tall enough within their reach. There was no escape, no refuge - no savior. The screaming crowds of innocent, unfortunate humans ran in every direction that was not already consumed in fire. The scene itself could easily have driven everyone to the brink of emotional insanity. Still, families huddled together, though knowing that it was impossible to save themselves. During their last few teary moments of life, they prayed as the flames around them closed in and the monster's thunderous roar echoed throughout the city, reminding all of why this was happening and that there was no hope of escape.

As the blazing city of Tokyo illuminated the sky like glowing hot coals, a shadowy form amid the towering fires overlooked the great metropolis. The horrific scene unfolded in its entirety via the large flat-screened monitors in the central control room of G-FORCE. Japan's government and military officials stood or sat in the silent room with eyes wide and mouths agape in horror and disbelief. No one could believe what they were seeing again and dared not guess its outcome. An elderly statesman stood and self-consciously broke the sense of awe that had overtaken everyone present.

"My God! What have we done to deserve this?" Behind the politician hung a framed photograph of the hydrogen bomb test in 1954. Over the speakers, the men and women in attendance heard the eerie call of the Monster King as if to remind them and in the background, what they feared were the cries of a dying city.

*****

It was a momentous day when General Takaki Aso of G-FORCE addressed the Japanese Self-Defense Council on a subject he (and every citizen in Japan) had fretted over way too long. Despite his agency's lack of success in protecting the country from giant monster attacks, the Japanese Parliament could not help but see fit to fund a plan that would finally put an end to Godzilla's devastating rampages.

Maybe it was the failure of the military to deal with the kaiju effectively that made it possible for Fumio Subo to be able to sell the Commander on constructing yet another new super weapon. The mathematical genius had presented a most convincing and technologically sound proposal, utilizing laser technology that was far beyond what even the most progressive civilian or government developers had been able to come up with. Every engineer who reviewed the plans could only shake his head in amazement at the power this device could generate. But the main selling point was that it would stop Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, once and for all.

Kaijuologists had determined that Godzilla simply saw Tokyo (and pretty much Japan as a whole) as his 'territory', instinctively defending it against other monsters infringing on his domain. It was also believed that he did not take kindly to the changes humanity had imposed on it over the years, with their pavement and rampant 'development' of nearly every habitable square meter of the country. Citizens of the great metropolis had also protested the direction Japan's 'progress' had taken, with everything from nuclear power plants (which were a particular target of Godzilla) to crass commercialism and decline of their national heritage.

Wars waged by other 'super powers' had led to demonstrations against even G-FORCE maintaining destructive weapons that could fall into the hands of radical terrorists and be used against the populace. With that in mind, it was decided that the project's true nature should not be revealed to the general public. An amusement park with the innocuous name of 'The Children's Land' soon began to take shape within sight of Tokyo Harbor. It would be a celebration of two things which all children (and many adults) love: monsters and peace. In addition to thrill rides, food courts, games and the usual attractions, there would be a huge tower at the harbor side of the park, built in the shape of a life-sized replica of Godzilla. By the time it was ready to open, the interior would house a museum dedicated to every sort of monster from all over the world.

A multi-million yen theme park in this otherwise industrial area would be a welcome addition to the prefecture which hoped to attract tourist trade from Shinjuku, the Ginza and other popular areas. In reality, the Godzilla Tower would house a powerful laser weapon. A special signal would be generated to lure Godzilla within range and when he arrived, he would be rendered harmless. As there was no known way to actually destroy the creature due to his regenerative abilities, it was decided that his body would be blasted into space aboard a giant rocket ship. For this massive undertaking, Fumio presented necessary concept drawings and blueprints.

Constructing the huge craft at The Children's Land site was deemed unfeasible as so many children (and adults) have a great fascination with space travel and its various elements. Instead, Fumio assured the Council that his company would take care of this aspect at a secret location away from curious eyes. As well, they could not risk possible damage to the vessel when Godzilla was lured to the area.


Chapter One: PLANS AND PREPARATIONS

The Xians

The Xian sub-Controller stood in the dark, cold room looking out into the depths of space through the towering window that cast him as a silhouette against its starry background. Ken'trus stared out at the millions of stars twinkling in the infinite blackness but his eyes were focused on a single point of faint light. That cosmic speck beyond the far-stretching chain of asteroids which glowed brighter than its neighbors was all that occupied his mind.

The sound of rustling leather echoed through the room as he folded his arms. The time has come he thought. The hour of restitution had arrived and it was only a matter of time before the Xians would wreak vengeance upon all who defied them. No longer would they wait in hiding. No longer would they keep silent but boldly and with unmatchable power, they would triumph, crushing their adversaries with an iron fist.

The whispering of a door opening and closing brought Ken'trus out of his reverie. He turned to the sound of approaching footsteps as a slightly smaller Xian stepped into the faint light cast by the window. He handed Ken'trus a small, flat silver electronic pad - a schedule - reporting on the day's work. The Controller gestured with his left arm and the wall lighting increased its illumination. He knew that the lights, which were controlled by a computer, would react to his thoughts alone but out of habit, he would often make such gestures as if to signal a command. He peered at the pad through his visor.

"Project X is finished," Ken'trus said without looking up. There was no response. The Controller turned to the other Xian whose face showed uneasiness and concern. "It is finished?" he asked.

"Not quite. It is slightly behind schedule. Genetic engineering, bio-technology, brain wave programming - this takes time but it will be operational on schedule."

"I certainly hope you are right, Rentis." He turned back to the window. "Everything we have accomplished, everything we have planned, depends on timing. If you are late in delivering Project X, I will not hesitate to replace you."

"Sir, I assure you that Kaiju X will be operational in time for the invasion. I swear my life on it."

"I intend to hold you to that, Rentis." The door slid open behind them. "Now go."

"Yes, Controller." Rentis turned and walked out, the door shutting behind him as Ken'trus went over to his desk and control panel where he sat down in his sleek, black chair.

That Rentis he thought. He shouldn't even be here. He is the son of a traitor, Miss Namikawa. If it had not been for his great skills, he would have been terminated. Perhaps he should have been anyway...

The Controller held the pad up again and looked through it. Yes, everything was on schedule It was only a matter of time before they would exact vengeance on their brothers, control all monsters and conquer the Earth. It was only a matter of time.

The Kilaaks

The molten landscape pulsed and heaved as if it were a living organism. Everything glowed red-hot as thousands of volcanos continuously erupted, spewing new land onto the planet's surface while pushing the existing crust down toward the planet's core, heating it to the melting point and sending it back up, creating an endless process of recycled rock. The whole planet fairly seethed as it constantly shifted this way. No living organism in its right mind would even think about living here but to call its residents living organisms was to fool oneself.

A meteor burned across the sky and struck the tortured landscape somewhere over the horizon, creating a Hiroshima-sized explosion that lit up the sky and sent a shockwave out in every direction. It was a relatively small trembler but it still caused Karkaru to sway slightly. When it had passed and the light from the explosion died, the Kilaak was motionless once more. His stare was cold, seeming to steal the heat from the landscape before him. As the last wisps of light from the impact were swallowed by the hellish darkness that hung over the planet, what the Kilaak leader was staring at came back into focus. A massive plateau half a kilometer away was almost completely covered with the glowing orange and red disc-like forms of Kilaak Warships and Fighter craft.

Tuket, second in command and Karkaru's long-time friend and mentor, stood to his right. His stare, however, seemed to not be focused entirely on the Kilaak fleet. It was as if he were looking straight through it and into the very planet itself. General Kulkan, the King's chief military advisor and Commander of the Kilaak fleet, stood at his left. Both lesser Kilaaks wore glistening silver armor, giving them the appearance of twisted knights of old. Karkaru's golden chain mail flowed about him, seeming to enhance the burning light from the lava fields far below them.

"Our fleet is ready, sir," Kulkan stated, trying to ease the tension that kept the three leaders who were only standing two or three feet apart but seemed to be miles away in spirit. "All of the transport vessels have been loaded to the limit with soldiers, weapons and cargo." Kulkan waited for a response but one never came. Uncomfortable, he looked over at Tuket who had the same grave expression on his face, as if he hadn't even heard Kulkan speak. Finally, Karkaru responded, barely audible over the sounds of the erupting volcanos and machinery from the opposite plateau.

"You are inexperienced, my friend." His somber tone did nothing to help Kulkan's uneasiness. "The only reason I chose you was because of how well you did in the Xian War." Karkaru turned to look at Kulkan. "If it wasn't for you, we may have never captured King Ghidorah." Karkaru turned back to face the plateau, now filled with marching Kilaak soldiers approaching the perfectly arranged spacecraft. "And all of this wouldn't be necessary..." His voice trailed off as if he blamed Kulkan for what had happened to him. When his voice returned, it was in the monotone in which he spoke to the Kilaak public.

"We are devoting almost all of our military might to this new war. The Nebulans will help us as long as we keep up this alliance with them. They will prove helpful if anything competes with us for dominance of the Earth." Karkaru began to smile, the glow of the magma giving it an almost satanic quality. His eyes glowed even brighter and hotter than the molten sea that extended far past the plateau and seemingly into eternity. "And once the humans have been brought to their knees, so too will the Nebulans fall. Then, the Xians, the Mysterians and any other incompetent biological filth that attempts to put their flag on our soil." Karkaru touched a holo-panel in front of him, bringing up an image of the third planet from the sun. "We will turn it into a second Venus. Maybe then these disgusting animals will stop flocking to this system like moths to a flame."

Out of the corner of his eye, Kulkan saw Tuket clench his fists and tighten his jaw as a look of pain and hatred flashed across his face but it was quickly gone. Kulkan thought about asking him what the matter was but knew better. Karkaru had lost his wife on Earth during the first invasion attempt. Tuket hadn't lost anyone but after the Xian War and the capture of the great King Ghidorah, he would often mutter something about his father. Kulkan couldn't remember fighting alongside a Kilaak who would have surely been much older than even Tuket but then again, he often tried not to remember that war.

Suddenly, a horn blared out over the plateau and the last Kilaak soldier boarded his assigned transport ship. Three large and specially outfitted vessels landed behind the three Kilaak leaders. With one final look at one another, they entered their individual Command Ships which lifted into the dark, dreary skies. A blast of air washed over the Kilaak settlements half-buried in the volcanos themselves as the rest of the Kilaak fleet rose into the low-hanging black clouds behind them.

From the overhanging walkway of a Kilaak building, isolated spectators and the few soldiers and pilots who remained behind departed, talking quietly amongst themselves. The first invasion had brought massive crowds and a big celebration. This mission brought no cause to celebrate in the least. Instead, an unspoken feeling of anxiety had spread throughout the Kilaak population. Nobody could shake the unmistakable belief that many of the ships that had disappeared into the clouds would never be coming back.

A lone Kilaak woman stood by herself in the middle of a walkway. She, above all others, felt these distressing circumstances the most. Her civilian garb was a clever disguise for her true identity. Nobody would guess who she was and she wanted to keep it that way. At least for now. She only wished that it didn't have to be this way. She remained where she was for a long time, staring into the clouds where the ships had disappeared. When the normal hubbub of Kilaaks traveling to and from the different buildings and volcanos began to flow once more, she finally turned and started back to her quarters which she hadn't been to in several years. They were in the King's palace but her passage did not seem to catch anyone else's attention.

King Ghidorah: The Resurrection of Terror

Another galaxy, another time. A king ruled over his growing domain with an iron hand and little worry on his proud mind. His empire once promised universal prosperity and wealth but the Iron Empire had come under attack by an evil race of sentient biological organisms, systematically destroying every colony he governed one by one. Having never needed weapons before, the metallic beings had no way of fighting back. Only one hope remained for their salvation.

Blood samples were taken from several known biological organisms, including the invaders and cloned and combined into a new artificial being. The creature was implanted with technological advances in pyrotechnics and energy absorption. This first born of a new legacy soon came to be known as Death Ghidorah. The beast was created to fight the unholy biological filth from which it was cloned but even its great power could not overcome their terrible forces.

A far greater instrument of war was needed, one that did not require a biological body to survive. One that could attack and kill any threat that dared challenge the Empire. One who was intelligent and strong enough to completely eradicate all biological civilization.

However, a great sacrifice would be required. The King knew that he was the only member of his race qualified to carry out this grave responsibility. With remorse but great respect, his best scientists combined his essence with the same biological material that had been used to create Death Ghidorah. But this time, a strategic gravity weapon and even more powerful energy absorbing capabilities were granted. As the monarch convulsed and screamed in pain and terror at the agonizing unnatural feelings tearing through him, he realized that this alliance of flesh and steel was one that would be unique, never before seen and never to be repeated.

One advantage that biological organisms held was that they could evolve and adapt to changing conditions, thus coming closer to perfection than ever before. Combined with the King's own incredible iron will and strength, a new beast was born in the fiery pits of his laboratories, one that would forever change the face of the universe. In one single act, trillions were damned to fall beneath the cold stare of a new king. Entire civilizations were destined to crumble under his taloned feet. The King of Terror had been born as King Ghidorah.

The biological organisms had nearly reached the Imperial capital when the two three-headed destroyers attacked. The pathetic forces were driven back by the ungodly combined strength of the King and his fellow brute. King Ghidorah then followed the creatures' cowardly retreat back to their home planet. In a matter of weeks, no man, woman or child of the Millennian race was left alive to tell the tale of what had transpired. Or so the Iron Empire believed.

But after his transformation, King Ghidorah gradually grew more and more hostile towards his own kinsmen. The biggest advantage of biological sentience was also its greatest disadvantage. For the entire universe, an eternal reign of terror and death had only just begun.

*****

It was midnight in the forest around Mount Fuji when the ground began to shake slightly. Young Kenji Mitasawa lifted his head and looked around but saw nothing. The banter of the insects and night birds had started up again. He shrugged and resumed poking at a dead squirrel. Kenji had snuck out of his home nearby when he thought he heard a baby crying. Maybe it was the squirrel? No, he wouldn't have heard it if it was a squirrel. It was too far away from his house.

Suddenly, a bird fell from the tree next to him and plopped to the ground, dead. Kenji heard an immense shriek and the forest around him erupted into chaos. All manner of shapes and forms fell from the trees; birds and other forest animals. A swarm of crickets and cicadas dropped from the branches. Insects flew all over the place before dropping dead in mid-air.

The boy screamed and ran from the horror of it all. A deer stumbled and fell in front of him. He tripped over it and saw its cold, lifeless eyes that still held a look of terror. Kenji picked himself up and began running until he felt an intense pain in his leg. He looked down but there didn't seem to be anything wrong with it so he limped on but fell, as if he had been pushed down. 

Frightened, Kenji rolled onto his back and looked up at the sky. A fiery shape loomed over the forest like some kind of mythological demon from the stories his grandfather told him. He screamed as a beam of light shot outward, crashing down somewhere near the base of the mountain. Suddenly, whatever it was disappeared into the sky. Unable to move his legs, Kenji strained to see where it went.

An eerie glow emanated from the area he had run from. It became so intense that he had to look away. The brilliant light finally faded and there was absolute silence. All the animals in the forest had stopped their normal nightly calling and moving about. They were all dead. Suddenly, the ground shook violently and a fire ball rose into the sky above the trees with the most horrifying sound Kenji had ever heard. He couldn't even scream because where the fire ball had come from now stood the most feared creature in all the universe. King Ghidorah had been killed here more than five years ago but there he stood in all his golden glory, risen from the grave like the phoenix of old.

The Destroyer of Worlds. The King of Terror. King Ghidorah. The creature let out a mighty shrieking laugh and began to glow. The boy noticed that he had changed since his apparent death. The hair atop his three heads was gone, replaced by a crown of horns. The ones on the center head curled outward in two different directions near their tips, making them look like antlers. His body mass and height also seemed to have increased considerably. Ghidorah looked even more horrifying than he had before, having been resurrected as Grand King Ghidorah.

The monster gave another cry of triumph and challenge to the world before blasting the landscape with his gravity beams. Kenji Mitasawa screamed in fear and pain as he was picked up and thrown through the air, never to be seen again.

*****

"Excellent!" King Karkaru declared, sitting in his swivel chair on the bridge of the Flaming Fury. He smiled and felt energy in his soul for the first time in years. After nearly a year's work, he had brought King Ghidorah back to life, more powerful than ever. Nothing could stop the Kilaaks now. Nothing! He gave the order to encase the ship in flames once again and embraced the raw heat.

King Ghidorah looked up at the space ship above him and remembered it. It was the same type of craft that had brought him to this planet to be slaughtered at the claws of the Earth monsters. It also resembled the ships of all the other alien races that had persisted in using him as nothing more than a weapon to attack mankind.

He opened his center mouth to blast the thing but felt an urgent calling in his head, telling him to follow the ship, to obey its pilots once more. Ghidorah snorted and closed his mouth. For now, he would let these foolish creatures think they controlled him. He would then make sure to wipe them from the galaxy, along with all the other races of sentient beings that would die under his wings. King Ghidorah would have smiled if he could as he lifted into the air and reluctantly followed the ship into the depths of space.

[INTERLUDE] A Visit to Sagamihara

In the small town of Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture, everyone was buzzing with excitement over the discovery of a seemingly ancient statue that had been unearthed during the preparation of a section of land for the future site of a new shopping mall. It was hoped that the ambitious development would help stimulate the depressed local economy.

News spread quickly of the miraculous find, garnering the attention of a wealthy industrialist and artifact collector from New York City, Richard Cromley. He flew in within 24 hours of the discovery aboard his private Lear jet and requested a meeting with Isao Ogawa, the Mayor of Sagamihara. Prior to his arrival, one of his assistants voiced concern over the situation.

"Sir, do you think this is wise?"

"Is what wise, Kasuke?"

"Meeting with this American, this Mister Cromley..."

"Why would it not be? He has offered a staggering amount of money for the artifact. Our local schools, our hospital and fire department are all in dire need of funds at this time. Mister Cromley's money will be a blessing to us, Kasuke. Besides, this has already been decided upon by the municipal assembly of which you are a member yourself. Why the sudden doubt now?"

"Well, it has come to my attention, sir, that many of the townsfolk are not happy with this decision."

"What? Why wouldn't they be? This is for the town's and their own good."

"They feel that the statue should be either left where it is and declared a landmark or moved to an institute or museum where all could behold and appreciate it."

"I can see and understand their point of view but do they not understand the economic situation that we are in?"

"They do, sir, but they still wish the statue to remain in Japan, regardless."

"It is not my wish to anger or upset the people. This will help them and the town. My decision is made."

"Even if it costs you the next election?"

"What? Surely you can't be serious, Kasuke!"

"There has been talk, sir. This situation could either make or break you in the public eye." Just then, another of the Mayor's advisers entered the office with a quick bow.

"Sir, Mister Cromley has arrived," he informed them. Mayor Ogawa seemed hesitant but ordered he be shown in. A tall dark-haired American in an expensive-looking Armani suit stepped into the room, bowed and extended his hand. Directly behind him was another American who carried a large briefcase.

"A pleasure to meet you at last, Mister Mayor."

"The pleasure is all mine, Mister Cromley. Please sit." Ogawa smiled as he shook his hand and motioned for his visitors to be seated.

"If you don't mind, I'd like to get right down to business. Are you ready to close the deal?" Ogawa remained silent as if unsure of what he should say. "Is something wrong, Mayor Ogawa?"

"Well, there have been concerns expressed by the townsfolk over the decision I have made, Mister Cromley. It could apparently adversely affect whether or not I am Mayor for a second term."

"Ah, I see. Well, I came prepared for some possible bumps in the road, sir." Cromley gestured for the man who accompanied him to approach the Mayor's desk. He placed the briefcase down and opened it. "Double what I originally offered you before. What do you think of that?" Cromley asked with a sly grin as Ogawa stared in disbelief.

"But that would make it over four million yen!" he exclaimed.

"What? Is it not enough? Fine. I can triple it if need be," Cromley replied nonchalantly, leaning back in his chair as the Mayor's eyes got as big as saucers. "Trust me, Mister Mayor. Whatever the concerns of the common folk, the things that you could do for them and this town with this money will more than make up for it. And more to the point: you simply don't have any other options available."

"How do you know that?"

"I have my sources. I know that you recently proposed a merger with the town of Yokosuka to try and help stabilize your city's economy, a plan that failed, from what I was told. Your city's budget has been stretched hopelessly thin. So much so, in fact, that you're going to run out of money before you can even get the roads and utilities run to this new mall you are building." After long moments of silence, Ogawa finally made his decision.

"We have a deal."

"Sir?" Kasuke hoped to say something first.

"No arguments, Kasuke. My decision is final."

"Excellent!" Mr. Cromley beamed.

The Godzilla Tower

After many months, the necessary preparations were complete although The Children's Land would not be ready for the public until after Godzilla had been disposed of and the powerful laser weapon located in the Godzilla Tower decommissioned. G-FORCE would store it at its most secure facility to prevent it falling into the hands of militants or terrorists who might wish to use it for dubious purposes. Should another Godzilla appear, it could always be quickly returned to service.

Fumio Subo, General Takaki Aso and members of the Japanese Parliament's Defense Council were on hand for its unveiling with their respective assistants. The mastermind behind the ambitious plan quickly conferred with his technicians and with everything in order, directed that the sonic signal be activated that would bring Godzilla to their location. The response was as expected and the great saurian soon rose out of Tokyo Bay with a thunderous roar. To everyone's surprise, a second kaiju lifted itself out of the water, none other than Anguirus.

"Summon King Ghidorah!" Fumio quickly ordered the technician who was manning the communications equipment. General Aso immediately rushed over and placed his big hand on the man's shoulder while keeping a wary eye on Fumio.

"What do you mean, calling King Ghidorah here?!" the General roared, his greater size and stature appearing to tower over the calm and confident businessman who did not so much as flinch.

"Do not be concerned, General. King Ghidorah is under our direction, along with the cybernetic creature, Gigan." The Japanese officials were dumbstruck, be it from fear or mere speechlessness at these new developments. Ever the self-assured and confident host, Fumio quickly directed them to a viewing booth separate from the control room.

"From here you may watch the end of Godzilla's reign of terror on Earth in safety. My associates are standing by to provide any refreshments you may desire." He raised his hand to indicate three young ladies who bowed in unison and then picked up sumptuous trays of elegantly prepared snacks. "If you will excuse me, I must see to deploying the laser weapon." Fumio bowed and left his guests to settle in before a giant electronic wall screen which was revealed from behind smoothly parting drapes.

Godzilla approached the source of the signal with Anguirus at his side, ever alert and on edge. The Monster King felt a strange presence that surprised him. He hadn't felt such a thing since... He turned his great reptilian head and saw something that startled even the King of the Monsters. It was HIM but as he looked at it, he realized that it was a structure and not a biological copy. It didn't seem to be a human building either. That only caused him more anger.

The thing, as if noticing him, seemed to flash from its 'mouth'. Godzilla cocked his head, wondering what was about to happen and was soon glad he had. A beam of energy blasted from the Godzilla Tower and barely missed his head. It was still strong enough to shave off a layer of flesh from the side of his face, causing Godzilla to throw up his head and bellow in agony. The pain only served to make him madder as he began to advance on the building, growling angrily.

Suddenly, a shaking in the ground nearby caught his attention. Two craters were opening before him. From one rose two gigantic blades that sliced the air and clanged loudly against one another. The creature they belonged to soon followed and stared at Godzilla with a single red eye that took up most of its face. It opened its metallic insect-like mandibles and let out a shrill shriek. The monstrosity rose to its full height, standing as tall as Godzilla himself.

Gigan flexed his blood-red wings and gave the chainsaw implanted in his chest a test spin. Godzilla growled, clenching his claws as Anguirus stood at attention, never taking his eyes from the bladed alien.

From the second pit rose three majestic serpentine necks. Godzilla took an involuntary step backwards as he felt confusion and hatred flow through him. Hadn't he killed this abomination? His one sworn enemy had, it seemed, risen from the dead, and more menacing than ever before.

King Ghidorah cackled and lifted himself from the holding pen. He eyed Godzilla warily but felt a great sense of glee wash over him. Today he would finally overcome this atrocity of Earth. Gigan let out a shrill metallic chirp that hurt Ghidorah's internal ears. He growled but knew better than to strike out against an ally, at least until the greater threat was overcome.

Anguirus, having barely been able to contain his anger, charged the bladed cyborg on all fours. Gigan sidestepped the attack, turned and caught the spiky kaiju under the chin with one of his hooks in a single fluid motion. Anguirus shrieked in pain as he was gaffed like a fish. Godzilla bellowed and charged to help his ally. Ghidorah used this to his advantage, slipping into the sky to fly around Godzilla while he wrestled Gigan's arm blade from Anguirus' jaws. Ghidorah slammed feet first into Godzilla's back, knocking him down on top of his spiny ally. The ankylosaur's spikes painfully tore into his chest and belly.

Gigan whirred his chest saw to life and leaned down, causing Godzilla's back plates to spark and flare wildly. His tail suddenly whipped around, knocking Gigan's feet out from under him. The creature squawked loudly as he slammed into the ground. Godzilla pushed himself up and grabbed the alien by his stubby wings. The King of the Monsters lifted Gigan and threw him straight at King Ghidorah. Gigan's blades drove into his chest as he was knocked over by the surprise move. Ghidorah used his three heads to toss the confused cyborg away from him and charged Godzilla and the still-recovering Anguirus.

Godzilla found himself being lifted into the air and shaken like a rag doll as Ghidorah vented his full fury on him, sending electrical charges from his mouths. Anguirus tried to get up and help his Monsterland ally but was met with a blast of electricity from Ghidorah's wings, falling backwards into one of the pits. Another beam of red energy blasted from the Godzilla Tower and tore a hole in Godzilla's side, almost gutting him. Shrieking and bellowing in pain and anger, Godzilla convulsed and began to foam at the mouth.

Ghidorah felt Anguirus' spined carapace drive itself into his back and bellowed in pain. He released Godzilla, fell forwards, tripped over his body and dropped into the other hole. Godzilla looked up gratefully at his ally but his face changed to an expression of anger and... fear? Anguirus didn't think he had ever seen that emotion in the King of the Monsters. Godzilla charged and fired a beam of blue-white energy directly above his spiky head.

It was too little too late as Gigan had landed directly next to him. The last thing the prehistoric beast saw were the spinning blades on Gigan's chest. He managed to let out a half roar of surprise before the bladed space creature sawed his head off in one quick, sickening motion. Godzilla fell silent in horror as Gigan threw back his head in mechanical laughter.

Gigan kicked Anguirus' corpse out of the way and approached the fallen Godzilla. He shoved a blade into his right shoulder, catching him under the bone. Godzilla bellowed in pain, causing Gigan to laugh again as he drove the other one under the opposite shoulder blade. Gigan lifted Godzilla off the ground and revved up his still-bloody chest saw. Godzilla kicked futilely at the cyborg as he drew him in closer.

King Ghidorah landed behind Godzilla and tortured him from the back with endless gravity beams. Godzilla's chest sparked as Gigan's blades hit his rock-hard skin before giving way in a flurry of blood as the space titanium bit in. Godzilla, nearly dead, growled one last time and charged a final beam. He fired wildly, missing Gigan's head but managing to sheer the top off one of his wings. Surprised by the sudden pain, Gigan dropped Godzilla and kicked him in the face with his bladed foot. His saw powered down but he stayed ready.

The King of the Monsters did not rise and silence fell over The Children's Land. Ghidorah sneered and kicked Godzilla over towards his dead comrade. The two victors' roars soon filled the air as King Ghidorah gazed down at the inert bodies of Godzilla and Anguirus, both monsters appearing to be dead. He felt something wash over him, flowing through his veins and electrifying his very bones; something that he hadn't felt in years. It was the feeling of freedom! He suddenly realized the meaning of this victory. Godzilla, quite possibly the most powerful creature on this planet, was down for the count. He kicked the behemoth in glee. The dethroned King of the Monsters rolled onto his side, his tongue flopping out of his mouth and his eyes blank. King Ghidorah threw back all three heads in a cacophony of demonic laughter until his chorus was interrupted by the shrill metallic call of Gigan, the creature he had been allied with by his Kilaak 'masters.'

Ghidorah's laughter ceased. The time had finally come. The cosmic terror turned towards the Godzilla Tower, standing tall and proud near by. It had also assisted in the battle with its destructive ray. Ghidorah opened one of his mouths and blasted the base with a beam of gravitic distortion. The structure shuddered and with a shriek of tearing metal, collapsed onto its side, the head and weapons system exploding in a gigantic ball of fire.

The Destroyer of Worlds had an energy within him he hadn't felt since the Xians dragged him to this god forsaken solar system. He would destroy them also for their error, along with the Kilaaks for pitting his weaker form against a force they knew he could not beat. He would destroy the Nebulans for their stupid cyborg creation, even if it did give him the chance to finally kill his most hated enemy. He would destroy the Earth for defying him so many times in the past! And he would destroy every alien race that showed itself just because he felt like it.

Ghidorah sneered and turned towards Gigan. The creature let out another ear-splitting shriek, this time one of question, if not confusion. The King of Terror bellowed, eyeing the first being to suffer under his newfound reign. Gigan didn't have time to defend himself as the behemoth's entire weight smashed into him. He fell on his back and dug his hooks into the ground, attempting to lift himself back up as King Ghidorah approached. The titan blasted his arms out from under him and flipped him onto his belly. Gigan lifted his head in time to see a clawed foot coming down. The blades atop his head shattered against Ghidorah's hard scales.

*****

High above the Earth, King Karkaru slammed his fists into the control panel of the Flaming Fury, causing the housing to split apart. On the wall screen before him, he watched King Ghidorah attacking Gigan.

"What is happening down there?!" he demanded. The technician sitting in front of him jumped out of his seat in fright.

"We have lost control of King Ghidorah, sir," the ignorant Kilaak stammered. Karkaru screamed in anger and was on top of the inexperienced fool before he could react. He held the terrified young soldier up off his feet, glaring with all the fury of their homeworld in his eyes.

"Get him back to us," he ordered as calmly as he could before throwing the alien to the deck. He quickly got to his feet and into his seat, playing his fingers across the controls furiously.

"Incoming call from the Nebulans, sir," the communications officer announced. Karkaru punched it up on his command screen. The furious, distorted face of a Nebulan fighting to maintain control of his holographic 'human' guise appeared, replacing the image of a cackling King Ghidorah.

"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?!" Fumio shrieked, his hideous cockroach-like head bursting through his hologram briefly.

"This is not our doing. We have lost control of King Ghidorah for unknown reasons," Karkaru replied as calmy as he could.

"Why is that? Because of your filthy ignorance? Maybe we should destroy your pathetic race as well?" the Nebulan screamed. Karkaru resisted the urge to declare war on the stupid, repulsive insect and crush him under the feet of the grand Kilaak army.

"We will try to regain control of the creature," Karkaru advised, his voice betraying his anger at the Nebulan's outburst. The Chairman fumed in rage for several moments before he replied.

"Very well. Get control of your monster. We will fight alongside you to take over the Earth but no relations between our species will take place afterwards." Fumio's image disappeared, replaced once more with that of King Ghidorah literally destroying the cyborg known as Gigan.

*****

Gigan tried to scream through the rubble he was being ground into as King Ghidorah leaned down and latched all three of his mouths onto his wings. A terrible ripping noise was heard as they were torn from his back while Ghidorah held the cyborg's head under his foot for leverage. The space demon tossed the bloody appendages away like so much trash. Gigan's body shook violently and his bladed limbs flailed in agony. Ghidorah lifted his foot from his bloody head and Gigan slowly staggered to his feet, trembling with pain and anger.

His single crimson eye glared at the Destroyer of Worlds before a beam of red light blasted forth, spreading harmlessly across his light reflecting scales. King Ghidorah just cackled, enjoying this little fit. Gigan shrieked in hatred and charged but the space dragon opened his three mouths and grabbed his arms and neck, preventing the blades from ever touching his golden hide. The battered creature was lifted into the air to struggle helplessly for a moment before Ghidorah channeled electricity through his body. There was a long, horrible metallic scream of agony as the cyborg jerked violently, circuits outside his body exploding in showers of sparks. Suddenly, his foot shot forward, its hardened blade digging into Ghidorah's flesh and causing a flow of crimson from his belly. Ghidorah threw Gigan to the ground violently, creating an impact crater and destroying most of the remaining structures of The Children's Land. A blood-curdling scream echoed from his three mouths.

Ghidorah was tired of playing games and spun around at a speed that defied his massive size. One of his club-like tails smashed into Gigan's face, denting his metallic beak. The other quickly followed, knocking it off altogether. Gigan lay broken on the remains of the Godzilla Tower but Ghidorah did not care if the creature was dead or alive. He opened fire with all 12 of his electric wing beams. Gigan thrashed violently as muscle and electronics alike were ripped apart by the burning energy.

King Ghidorah finally ended the barrage and stared down at the results. Gigan didn't move except for an occasional spasm. He picked him up in his three mouths and tossed the cyborg atop the carcasses of Godzilla and Anguirus. Ghidorah then lifted into the air and landed on the pile of vanquished enemies before throwing back his three heads in yet another horrifying song of victory.

A blast of energy suddenly splayed against his back. Angered that anything would dare disturb his moment of glory, Ghidorah turned to gaze upon a fleet of Nebulan fighter craft. He would have smiled if he could but cackled angrily at the formation arrayed before him. A single gravity beam shot out from one of his three heads and the other two soon followed suit.

The two nearest ships exploded in massive balls of fire. The monster shrieked and lifted into the air, clearing the devastation to get a better shot at his attackers. They had scattered by the time he got aloft but his body was suddenly pelted with missiles, lasers and blasts of flame from all sides. The lasers bounced harmlessly off his shield but the fire and missiles went right through it.

The Nebulan missiles were designed to drill into their point of impact before exploding. Ghidorah found 18 of them lodged in his hide, trying to dig through his tough scales. The drills' supporting arms bent and the payloads exploded externally rather than within his flesh. He was still knocked backwards by the force of the simultaneous blasts and fell onto the remains of a building. A cloud of dust rose up around him as the fighter craft cautiously approached.

A serpentine head shot out of the rubble and snatched a fast-approaching Kilaak ship as they also joined the fray. The dying screams of its crew were cut short when Ghidorah's mouth clamped shut. The combined fleet opened fire on the golden terror as he bellowed in rage.

Ghidorah's crimson eyes spotted a Nebulan ship approaching from the left but pretended not to as it closed in to get a clear shot at the space demon's heads. Two missiles were fired but all three heads ducked so quickly that the onboard targeting systems couldn't track them. Instead, the missiles locked on two of their own craft. The crew watched helplessly as their weapons blew their squad mates up from the inside out.

King Ghidorah swung around, doing a complete 180 degree turn in mid-air and grabbed the other craft before it had time to react. It was smashed apart against his golden hide. A gravity beam shot out at another Kilaak ship. It banked sharply to the left, barely avoiding getting ripped apart by the terrible force. The crew never saw the Nebulan fighter coming in from the side and both exploded in a fiery mid-air collision.

Two Nebulan and one Kilaak ship were caught in the devastation, catching fire and falling to the ground. King Ghidorah laughed until the Kilaak craft rose up, encased in flames of its own making. He snarled and snapped his jaws as it began spinning around madly, creating a firestorm that surrounded the King of Terror and burned his shiny golden hide an ugly shade of greenish black. It then shot around and attached itself to the space monster's back. King Ghidorah felt its flames scorching his skin once more. The monster flapped his enormous wings and stumbled around, trying to rid himself of this nuisance. His left neck suddenly reached around backwards and stared hatefully at the flaming vessel that represented the beings who thought of him as nothing more than a tool for their own selfish goals. He knew that these very same beings had created him so long ago.

Ghidorah sneered in a horrible mockery of a smile. Soon, he would have enough power to teach the Iron Empire a lesson about how to handle their 'property' and would start with this one. Ghidorah flashed brilliantly and every ship within a half-mile radius fell to the ground like so many rocks. The 'fire dragon' on his back suffered a power overload and erupted in a fiery mushroom cloud as he stood cackling madly before its remains.

The electric pulse ceased, not extending nearly as far as it would have in water where Ghidorah preferred to use it. He stared at the wreckage around him and cackled menacingly before stomping on the grounded ships, crushing them with his feet while laughing hysterically.

*****

Karkaru's clenching fists crushed the metal bars that served as armrests on his command seat. "Withdraw our ships from Ghidorah's range of fire," he ordered coldly. "Then proceed with the destruction of the human base on the planet's moon."

"But, sir! We agreed to wait for the assistance of -"

"SILENCE! DO AS I TELL YOU!" With that, Karkaru stormed off the bridge, leaving his crew stunned.

*****

Other ships approached the golden dragon from behind but suddenly, the Kilaak contingent turned and fled, leaving their Nebulan counterparts confused and disoriented. King Ghidorah spun around and spread his wings wide. Before they could possibly react, he slammed into ten Nebulan ships and destroyed them. A lone fighter approached from behind and a rapid-fire blast of lasers and missiles struck his middle neck. The monster turned his head and bellowed. The back of his head suddenly disappeared in a massive ball of fire. When the flames died, he shrieked in rage, his center head blackened but its eyes glowing a demonic crimson red. The space dragon whacked the ship with one of his spiny, clubbed tails, causing it to spin violently before crashing into the ground. Ghidorah flapped his mighty wings and the force of a nuclear blast struck the few remaining craft which had been firing at his wings and heads. They were all blown away from him but Ghidorah was not content with letting them off so easily.

He turned and found the Nebulan ship that had initially defied him lying on its side on the ground. Using a careful gravity beam to pick it up and bring it to him, Ghidorah secured the vessel in his jaws and held it. None of the others dared fire for risk of killing the attack force's commander. Ghidorah thrust his head outwards, using the vessel to slice through another one. The burning halves of the second ship fell to the ground.

Ghidorah never saw the unusually large Nebulan warship descend from the clouds as he threw his prize into the air and blasted it with a gravity beam, tearing the craft apart from the inside out, its crew vaporizing as they were sucked through the interior. Suddenly, a massive beam struck the space monster, penetrating his shield and tearing a ragged hole in his right wing. King Ghidorah screamed in surprise and pain. His attacker carried a much stronger beam device than the one used in the Godzilla Tower. King Ghidorah lifted into the air but it fired at him again, this time striking his right head, knocking it backwards and slamming it into his back. The appendage flopped against his wing and hung down uselessly as he flew away.

King Ghidorah was not stupid and knew when he was outclassed. It was better to flee and fight another day than to remain here and die. With a single resentful bellow, the Destroyer of Worlds turned and ascended towards the comforting cold emptiness of space.

The golden destroyer was wounded badly, his right head mangled horribly and hanging uselessly off his body. A large hole had been blasted clean through one of his immense leathery wings. The creature used his anti-gravity abilities to carry him into the void, not caring to use them. The only purpose his wings served was to collect solar energy so he could stay on any planet as long as there was sunlight. He could battle in darkness but only for several hours. However, with starlight shining on his back, he could function indefinitely so long as he didn't suffer any severe injuries, such as he had now.

The space monster let out painful cackles that were lost in the vacuum of space as he rose to orbiting altitude and began the process of drawing in micro-meteoroids to cover his body. It wasn't long before he was completely encased in a meteor of his own. However, rather than slink away from the planet as he had usually done from the worlds he attacked, he remained as a satellite in a geosynchronic orbit that carried him directly over both poles. The meteor began to glow a strange, sickening shade of green as the triple-domed titan called upon an ancient secret power he had only recently discovered within himself.

King Ghidorah had ravaged countless planets in his lifetime under orders of the Iron Empire but even after he had been released from their control, he carried out his programming on still more hapless worlds. Death and devastation were not just a pleasure for the space monster, they were an instinctive need. He needed to destroy as much as any normal creature needs to breathe or eat. Deprived of this lust for destruction, King Ghidorah would eventually slip into a coma and die.

This is the reason he stopped completely eliminating all life on the various planets he visited. He left enough life force remaining so that they would eventually come back from the brink of extinction and thrive once more. He knew that he would eventually wipe out all life in the universe and be left with nothing. Little did the worlds he had left behind know that the King of Terror kept a close eye on them and when the time was right and they were once more ripe with life, he would come back to their healing soils to wreak havoc once more.

The universe was nothing more than a feeding ground for the Destroyer of Worlds. Every planet he had visited was labeled and branded like cattle because they were nothing more than that to him. But Earth was different. Unlike the countless worlds that fell before it, the Earth fought back. It did so with such ferocity that its inhabitants had caused King Ghidorah, for the first time in his long life, to retreat. However, in doing so, its creatures did little more than damn themselves further.

Like his brother, Death Ghidorah, King Ghidorah was endowed with the power to literally suck the energy from living beings. He didn't do this often because he rarely needed to. However, when retreating from the Earth monsters such as Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan, he had stumbled upon a massive supply of life-giving energy that no other alien race or creature before him could possibly have been aware of. He hadn't noticed it on other planets because by the time he was done with them, there was little left of it to be of any notice or use.

King Ghidorah had discovered the Earth's Mana. Unlike its atmosphere or magnetic field which he could only bend to his will in an area directly around him, he found that he could consume Mana in gigantic amounts and empower himself, healing his wounds and giving him great strength.

Death Ghidorah dared not use Mana to such a degree. He depended on leeching the planet out until he grew a set of wings and was able to escape. Drained of all its Mana, Death Ghidorah would quickly starve. However, King Ghidorah did not need to worry about such an inconvenience. The energy quenched the golden space monster's thirst for death as well because he knew it would have adverse effects on the planet. Slowly but surely, he began to suck the energy from all living beings that inhabited it. The space dragon did this every time he retreated into the depths of space.

Humanity blamed pollution, industrial waste and nuclear materials for things such as global warming and the hole in the ozone layer. The Earth had survived the impact of massive asteroids and comets in its lifetime and more often than not, life became even more abundant afterwards. The actions of the little bipedal creatures scampering about with their technologies had little or nothing to do with these conditions. King Ghidorah himself had caused them. The space monster was the bane of Planet Earth and all life on it, using its Mana to bestow power into himself and heal his wounds. King Ghidorah was the worst possible enemy the planet had ever faced and now, Gaia, the very spirit of the Earth itself, was beginning to decay.

The Kilaaks knew this and had observed his actions. Unlike any other alien race, they understood what he was doing because they were connected to the beast. A large part of their plan in 1999 had been to have King Ghidorah come to Earth and be so horribly wounded that he would retreat into space and consume massive amounts of Mana to heal himself, thus weakening the planet's defenses and making it all the more easy to destroy and transform into a boiling, lifeless volcanic hell hole.

However, in resurrecting their mascot, the Kilaaks didn't realize that the beast reborn was twice as deadly to the planet than it had been before. Earth was now in immense danger and the monsters of the world, being of such large stature and thus more quickly affected by the loss of Mana, realized this more acutely than the other life forms that cohabited the planet.

*****

Directly over the North Pole, a meteor began to expand and contract until it suddenly burst in a fiery explosion that was witnessed only by the few satellites tracking its path around the planet. The flames twisted, distorted and swirled in on themselves, seeming to come alive; breathing, convulsing and thrashing about violently. The fire took on the form of the Grand King of all Terror. The fire shone a brilliant shade of gold and then dissipated as King Ghidorah appeared once more, fully healed from his wounds and energized with a new sense of purpose. And hatred.

His shield had been empowered to allow him to deflect the Nebulan's massive beam weapons, as well as all the others he had so easily waded through before. The space dragon screamed his evil laughter, the unearthly noise once more lost in the vacuum of space, leaving an unsettling, horrifying image of the most terrifying creature to ever live in the freezing, absolute silence. The death-dealing monstrosity slowly descended into Earth's atmosphere once again. The true destroyer of worlds was not content to allow his defeat to slow him down. He would be more careful this time but his mission was assured.

A deadly plan began to form in the space monster's collective minds. He would have his revenge! He would take it and deal it out equally to each and every living being he came across, whether it be man or monster. Nothing would any longer stand in his way as he lay claim to destroying the planet Earth.

*****

On the island of Ishikagi in the Okinawan Island chain, something terrible stirred deep within the bowels of the Earth, a remnant of an ancient and timeless primordial force. As Earth's Mana was suddenly weakened, it reached a new level of consciousness within its earthly confines. It wanted out and if the Mana was weakened, it would indeed rise again and may the Gods have mercy on whatever got in its way.

[INTERLUDE] Destruction of the Moon Base

Toshima Yamagata stepped down onto the ladder of the Starlight EIR-2 (Extraterrestrial Intelligence Rover), affectionately nicknamed the 'Ear'. This was one of two brand new space vehicles used on the Moon Base. Ever since 1999, the human colony had grown steadily and greatly.

A network of underground tunnels were being blasted beneath the lunar surface, creating a habitable living and working space that was naturally protected from meteors and solar radiation. The advanced Moon Lander and living quarters from the old days had become museum pieces somewhere back on Earth, as had the Moonlight SY-3. The ship had served its purpose well and proven itself worthy against the likes of the Kilaaks. However, it was not built for war.

The new Moonlight SY-5, built with twice the budget and twice the time and effort, was a different ship entirely. While the Starlight was designed to take the old role of the SY-3 in exploration and shuttling back and forth from Earth, the SY-5 was fitted with the most modern weapons money could buy, and then some. Advanced 'freezer' weapons, rumored to have been built with research being conducted for the new Gotengo, were incorporated due to the Kilaak ships' ability to encase themselves in flames. While mankind seriously doubted another Kilaak invasion would occur, space had proven itself too hostile to be fully trusted. The Moon was the perfect place to conduct war against any alien race that set its sights on Earth.

For Yamagata, however, such things did not matter. He was a scientist, an exobiologist noted for his research on the Kilaaks after the destruction of their Mount Fuji base in '99. However, he never expected to be on the Moon and he certainly wasn't expecting what he would soon find.

The EIR-2 set down inside the crater which Toshima knew that somewhere underneath it, a treasure trove of knowledge and discovery awaited. Mankind had been able to decipher some alien technology from past failed invasions, most notably the Mysterians. They had used this appropriated resource to increase their own understanding of the universe. Newer and much more efficient space ships were being built as early as the mid-60s. While conventional weapons stayed the same for the most part, Simeon 'blasters' were creeping into the black market, as were other new and deadly alien devices. But whatever the case may be, the Kilaaks were a different kind of alien.

Despite old theories that they were slow developers, the beings of living metal had more advanced technology than anyone could have ever imagined. They could have very well won their war against the Earth if they had had more manpower and a bigger fleet available. Something told Toshima that it was a simple case of underestimation on their part. Almost every alien race before them had suffered defeat for the same exact reason.

The scientist clicked on his helmet's built-in camera, taking in his surroundings as he walked through the site where the crew of the SY-3 broke into the former Kilaak base. Strange shapes and machinery filled the ruined area. A massive explosion had occurred shortly after the control device was taken several years ago and had left much of the already broken construct in disarray.

Toshima came across a slight pit in the ground and looked down into it. Several rocks lay in a pool of silver liquid which had a strange mist coming off it. He stepped into the pit and picked up one of the rocks. Holding a flashlight to its side, he peered into a small hole in the bottom. A silvery, slimy-looking creature cowered in the light and sank deeper into its hiding spot. Yamagata pulled out a pair of tongs from his pack and managed to pull the little creature out. It squirmed slightly but eventually gave up its struggle.

"Pathetic," Toshima said, laughing to himself slightly as he pulled out a chilled metal container from his pack and placed the Kilaak in it. This was the first live specimen collected since 1999 and it would prove to be a great resource for the Moon Base to study. After collecting several more Kilaaks and a few pieces of equipment, Toshima went back to the ship to drop off his findings and help lower the 'Moon Mole' from within the EIR. After the tunneling machine was readied, he went back and grabbed one of the containers with the metal slugs inside. Toshima wasn't much of a believer in luck but he figured there was no harm in trying it out.

The crew mounted up and used the machine to dig through the rubble into the wider sections of the base. Toshima was awed by a massive space port that lay before him, frozen in time. Gigantic machines littered the corners of the hangar and on the opposite side was a tunnel that tilted upward, leading back to the surface. The ceiling must have been a kilometer overhead, with dimly glowing yellow lights illuminating the chamber and filling it with ghostly shadows. Several scattered rocks marked the location of the Kilaaks who had once manned this place. It was then that Toshima noted there were thousands of them. They were everywhere, hiding in anything that they could fit in to regulate their temperatures. He was stunned to see a massive vessel sitting in the center of the room. As the rest of the crewmen went their separate ways to explore, Toshima approached the Warship.

He quickly entered the imposing solitary Kilaak space craft. It was easily 80 meters long, much larger than the fighters that were salvaged near Mount Fuji. It became abundantly clear to him that this vessel was intact. The scientist approached what appeared to be the bridge of the ship. A chrome chair sat in the center of a large raised platform, with smaller seats along the curved edge facing computer consoles. Toshima spotted a control panel next to the raised chair and sat in the uncomfortable rest to inspect it. Several switches and gauges, all still looking brand new, adorned the panel, some glowing green and red. Curious, Toshima flipped one of the red ones.

Suddenly, the forward domed wall was replaced with a holographic image of the Earth, taken from this location on the Moon. It rotated slowly in space, a beauty that Yamagata had grown used to seeing from so far away. So real was the picture that he was tempted to reach out and touch it. However, the image was no longer the blue and white world he knew. It was a ball of flames. Toshima's heart skipped a beat and he gripped the edges of the chair as the graphic plunged towards the planet, showcasing a world that was now unrecognizable. Vast magma fields covered continents while volcanos erupted constantly, pushing great clouds of ash into the sky, creating fluctuating temperatures that cooled the outer surface of the magma enough for it to become solid ground but the eruptions still kept the planet incredibly hot. On this solidified lava were cities consisting of structures that caused Toshima to inwardly cower. The nightmare shapes twisted and pierced the hellish sky as armies of Kilaaks dressed in black and bronze medieval armor roamed the planet, seeking out and destroying any remaining life. Over all the chaos lingered one creature, a monster that Toshima had come to fear with a passion his entire life. King Ghidorah stood proudly over the alien city, not destroying it but protecting it from any who dared to attack.

The Kilaak equivalent of a special effects show was over and the wall screen once more became the blank curving dome of the space ship. Toshima slumped back in the chair, not aware that he had been on the edge of the seat and holding his breath. He felt a chill run down his spine as the realization set in. The Kilaaks had never intended to co-exist at all! They had been planning to wipe out the human race. They had wanted to completely destroy the Earth altogether. If it weren't for Moon Base... After a moment of processing what he had just witnessed, the scientist keyed his mike.

"Everyone, come to the Kilaak ship... I need to show you something." There was no answer. Toshima repeated the transmission, using a higher frequency. Only static came over his radio. Grumbling to himself, he left the ship and began to walk back to the Mole, attempting to contact his team as he went. He stopped dead in his tracks when he felt static electricity run through him. The energy shocked him slightly as it entered and left his space suit. He turned around and noticed that the Warship was glowing an angry shade of orange. With a strange whistling noise, the vessel seemed to burst into flames. Toshima was knocked backwards by the blast. Suddenly, the tunnel that presumably led back to the surface came to life, as did much of the machinery along the walls. A wave of horror ran through Yamagata as an equally large Kilaak ship entered the chamber via the glowing tunnel.

Confused and in shock, the scientist turned to see that the Mole had gone back through the opening it had made. His crew had abandoned him! Toshima ran after them but the excavation suddenly caved in, blocking his exit. He turned and looked back at the Kilaak ships. They were both in flames and if the sweat running down his back was any indicator, they were turning up the heat. Suddenly, the rocks around him began to move and crumble. The metallic slugs came out of their holes and began to grow. They mutated and shifted as distinguishable body parts began to form. Toshima felt something pop in his backpack and it suddenly became very heavy. He dropped the bag and ran back to the rubble pile that had been his exit, digging furiously and praying to every god he could think of to help him get out of this alive. He suddenly felt a shadow standing over him. When he turned, a woman dressed in white chain-mail armor was staring down at him.

"Pathetic," she said, grinning devilishly as she grabbed the helmet of his space suit. Toshima saw an army of Kilaaks rising from the dead and walking calmy towards their ships, crushing Toshima's spirit even as his faceplate exploded outwards, the incredible heat melting his skin and ending his life.

*****

The crew of the EIR-2 had arrived back at their ship and didn't bother to load the Moon Mole back in place. Climbing into the vessel, the hatches were quickly shut and the engines flared to life, propelling the rocket through the opening above and out into the comforting black openness of space. But instead of freedom, all they saw was a fleet of black ships, each glowing with fiery energy. Before they could do anything, the lead ship, a 60-meter abomination, fired two spinning discs that sliced the Starlight in two. All radio contact was lost, the report on the oncoming attack with it. Unknown to those back on Earth, no man, woman or child on the planet or otherwise was safe.

Nebulans Amongst Us

Safely aboard a shuttle craft that reminded General Aso of one he had seen in an American television series about alien lizards who disguised themselves as humans, he tried to control his rapid breathing so that he might properly interrogate Fumio. The man had just put him and members of Parliament at great risk, whether he realized it or not. Swearing to exercise more and follow his doctor's orders about eating less, the career soldier refused to secure his safety belt and towered over the comfortably seated Children's Land proprietor.

"Mister Subo, you have a lot of explaining to do to my colleagues and myself, and the sooner the better!" he growled in a deep, low voice, glancing at his party and then back at Fumio. The others nodded as vigorously as their recent panic allowed. Still standing as the craft smoothly took to the skies, Aso prepared to rip into the civilian as if he were a buck private. "First of all, there was nothing in our agreement about another kaiju... this Gigan... being involved in the operation, much less King Ghidorah," he rumbled.

"And neither was Anguirus," Fumio calmly reminded him.

"You seem to know much about strange spacecraft, including identifying some of the ships that arrived as 'Kilaak'. What, or who, may I ask, are Kilaaks?" When space craft suddenly appeared and attacked the triple-domed terror, the government officials had no intention of just sitting back and watching the battle unfold. They had returned to the Tower's control room just as the Kilaaks fled the battlefield.

"They are not beings that even you would wish to meet, General." Fumio bowed his head and seemed rather nervous considering the subject but quickly regained his composure. "I do not know if you recall an incident in 1999 when they came to Earth and attempted to take control of the monsters at the Ogasawara facility. They were not destroyed by Godzilla as originally thought. When their secret facility was breached, the artificial atmosphere escaped and they simply went into a dormant state. Now, they are once again alive and not to be trusted. That earlier mission was merely a scouting party." Everyone stared at Fumio in disbelief.

"And how do you know this?" Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi asked pointedly.

"The recent monster rampages can no doubt be linked to them, including Godzilla's yearly visits to Tokyo." He paused and looked each of the party in the eye. "First of all, I assure you that my people's intentions are only to help defend the Earth against the kaiju and the Kilaaks. We have succeeded with our first promise and wish to continue our association with the Japanese government, although we are not of this land ourselves."

"And where are you from, Mr. Subo?" the Chairman of the Defense Council asked.

"Space Hunter M Nebula." Everyone was awestruck by this revelation, even if they did not know where he might be referring to.

"Do not feel threatened by our presence on your planet as there are others who only have this world's best interests at heart. Space Hunter was a dying world, no longer able to sustain life. A very few of us managed to build a star ship and come to Earth where we have lived in harmony. We know that it is not a perfect world of peace and ecological balance but with the combined efforts of others we have aligned with, it can be done." Had Fumio been running for office, no doubt everyone present would have supported his platform. The Prime Minister asked who else the refugees had met with besides Japanese government officials.

"King Antonio of Seatopia." There was another shocked silence, only this time the reference was somewhat more familiar. Legends spoke of a great earthquake and flood that supposedly destroyed the continent of Mu but Seatopia might have managed to survive. Sensing that he had once more secured safe ground, Fumio confidently pressed on, as if reading their minds.

"The Seatopians did indeed survive, as we Nebulans have. We found that our ideals of a better world were quite similar, although they chose to remain in their underground realm rather than contend with the strife of modern times. Their technology continued to advance over the eons and it was with their assistance that the Godzilla Tower was able to defeat Godzilla once and for all. Mu was also rebuilt, but under the sea.

"We have kept our origin secret from the Seatopians as they would no doubt have rejected our presence and assistance if they knew our true identity. If you would favor us with not revealing our nature to our allies, it would be much appreciated and to Earth's benefit," Fumio humbly requested.

This was considered a reasonable request in light of what Fumio and his associates had accomplished. The advanced craft they were flying in had been virtually ignored as the Earthlings only thought of King Ghidorah behind them as they made their narrow escape. Although Fumio Subo may not be exactly what he appeared to be, Godzilla had indeed been subdued. The 'rediscovery' of the 'lost' kingdoms was a bonus the officials never expected from the personable fellow who had sold them on a most amazing plan to once and for all rid them of such a destructive beast. Having processed all this information, General Aso remembered the question he had when they first boarded the shuttle.

"By the way, where are we going?"

"To Seatopia," Fumio replied. "Now that the surface world is safe from Godzilla, this would be an excellent time for ALL peoples of Earth to once again reunite in peace and harmony. Should any country wish to war with its neighbors, Gigan may be the answer to the United Nations' efforts to finally encourage a perfect peace. There is no need for expending great amounts of manpower and resources on military forces or creating weapons of mass destruction. This is particularly an ideal of the citizens of Seatopia."

The Prime Minister undid his seat belt and approached Fumio with a deep bow, requesting he be excused to confer with his associates. As graciously, the alien also rose and retreated to the flight deck, confident that more than one crisis had been avoided this day.

Chapter Two: WHEN MONSTERS ATTACK

Seatopia

In the main courtyard of the Grand Palace, Emperor Antonio was on hand to personally receive his visitors.

"King Antonio, my old friend! So good to see you again!" Fumio had walked directly up to him with outstretched hand before quickly remembering royal etiquette and his manners. Taking a moment to bow to Antonio and his heir, Prince Hector, the smiling monarch extended his hand to his longtime associate.

"Good to see you as well, my friend!" He then turned to address the Japanese officials who had lined up behind Fumio, not exactly sure how to take in the splendor of their surroundings, much less the fact that they were indeed in Seatopia. "I take it your presence here means the mission was a success and that you are pleased with the project?" the King smiled.

"In a matter of speaking, I suppose." Fumio was having a hard time containing his anger and frustration.

"Fumio? What is wrong? You should be pleased with your great accomplishments..." Antonio had known him long enough to realize that his usual energy had quickly faded after their initial greetings.

"King Ghidorah has turned on us, your majesty."

"What? Were the Kilaaks responsible for this?"

"No, he attacked them as well. He has gone rogue and went totally berserk..."

"What was the result?"

"Several Kilaak ships were destroyed, along with the Godzilla Tower. I'm afraid that Gigan was badly mauled as well. Ghidorah laid waste to anything and everything that he laid eyes on."

"Contemptible beast! But obviously, you escaped unscathed..."

"Yes. Myself, Kabota and the Tower's staff managed to board shuttles before Ghidorah leveled the Children's Land site. A counter-strike was made by Nebulan and Kilaak ships but Ghidorah survived the assault and escaped into space. In the meanwhile, we have relocated to a secondary base in Kyoto. But despite all of this, Godzilla has indeed fallen."

"So you actually managed to kill Godzilla? It was amazing to observe on our monitors here in Seatopia," Antonio assured Fumio as they led the way into the royal palace side by side. Shortly, they were all seated in the main banquet hall with goblets of wine at hand.

"First of all, Godzilla isn't dead," his ally admitted as he carefully positioned the golden vessel before him.

"But the success of your project depended on his death, did it not?" the King frowned.

"Rest assured, your highness. Godzilla is being dealt with and that our original plans can proceed as scheduled," Fumio assured him.

"But how... Surely you will explain?"

"Of course. The lasers we built into our Godzilla Tower are the most destructive in the universe. We created them for the sole purpose of bringing the seemingly unstoppable Godzilla down. The damage they did put him in a coma rather than killing him. Anyone in the known galaxies would be hard-pressed to match what we have done."

"Where is he now?"

"In a secret underground facility under 24 hour surveillance with enough sedative running through him to kill a hundred blue whales, just in case he does wake up. We do not plan on keeping him around long anyway."

"Oh? What do you have in mind?"

"Remember back in 1965, when Gamera first appeared? The devastation he caused and how the Earth dealt with him?"

"Why, yes. They... You're going to send Godzilla into space?!"

"Quite correct. Your memory serves you well, oh honorable King. My associates are modifying a rocket as we speak. Even if he does wake up, he will be in deep space and of no concern to us."

"Brilliant! But what of Anguirus? He joined Godzilla in this battle..."

"Anguirus is dead. He kept trying to reach Godzilla but Gigan's bio-mech chest saw cut his head off. Victory is ours, albeit bittersweet."

"Then this is cause for celebration, yes! Thanks to you and the wisdom of your world's leaders." He raised his goblet to the still somewhat awestruck Japanese delegation.

"I am glad that we have managed to lift this burden," Fumio beamed at the Prime Minister before turning to address Antonio. "But..." he started to say before glancing away.

"But what?" Antonio queried, concerned that his friend might not be able to fully enjoy the fruits of his latest success.

"We have it through very reliable sources in our spy network that the Simeons may be planning an offensive against the planet. They are building something as well."

"What, another Mechagodzilla? Surely you don't think that they would attack the Earth with the great weapon you provided for its defense?" the King wondered. General Aso also was rather surprised that yet another alien race apparently was taking an interest in their world.

"I don't know. The Simeons can be rather rash and brazen in their way of thinking, and in their methods. I think it best that we keep a watchful eye on them. As well, the Godzilla Tower was destroyed by King Ghidorah. If word reaches other races of his treachery and the fact that we do not have kaiju at our disposal anymore, along with our current weakened state..."

"Is this what is worrying you?" Antonio realized by his expression that Fumio was not at peace with himself.

"There is more. I am afraid we have intercepted a transmission from deep space that is some kind of an invasion plan, as best we can tell."

"From who?"

"The Kilaaks, the Zigrans, the Virans and more," Fumio finally replied after a long pause and a heavy sigh. "If push comes to shove... we humbly ask for your assistance."

"They must know that Godzilla is out of the way..." the General suddenly realized.

"Gods help us..." Antonio muttered with a frown.

"That brings me to another reason that I have come to you, my most trusted ally. If we do find ourselves being assailed, will you send your champion, Megalon, to our aid?" Fumio asked with a hint of desperation. The Emperor seemed taken aback at first, as if not sure how to respond to the request. "Surely, they will all come. Please think about it, your highness..." Fumio softly beseeched him. "But against our combined forces, and with the aid of Gigan and Megalon, nothing can stand against the Earth!" After a few moments' deliberation, a proud smile of confidence came across the old King's face that caused Fumio to do likewise.

"Of course, my old friend! We will give you all the support we can and we will beat these invaders back!"

"I knew we could count on you, your majesty!" Fumio declared as he raised his goblet into the air. "We have moved Gigan's body to another location and are working frantically to rebuild and repair both his organic and synthetic components that were damaged. Hopefully, we can revive him so that he may stand at Megalon's side in this coming battle, should it occur. My guess is that not all of the other interstellar races will join forces as we have. Their squabbles with one another may be used to our advantage."

"Let us hope so, my friend. The Earth is our home as well. We will not give it up easily and not without a fight! I will also contact our brethren of the Mu Empire for assistance. But whatever may happen, we will stand together in this! A toast, my compatriot. To the unity of all people of Earth. May we prevail together!" the King proclaimed as everyone raised their goblets.

*****

After parting company with Emperor Antonio and the Japanese delegation, Fumio hastened to the Nebulan's secret base in a forested area outside Kyoto. The entrance to the facility had been made to look like part of a tree-covered hillside.

"All rise!" Viceroy Kabota commanded as he and about a dozen other Nebulans stood when the Chairman entered the main conference room.

"You may be seated," Fumio directed as they all sat down.

"Are you ready to hear the reconnaissance reports, sir?"

"Yes. Where is King Ghidorah now?"

"After he retreated, he took off into space faster than either our ships nor the Kilaaks' could follow."

"I see."

"Is it possible that he has left this solar system?" Kabota asked.

"Yes, but I do not expect him to stay gone forever."

"After the injuries he sustained, it would be foolish to return and force another confrontation, would it not?"

"True, but I do not believe that we have seen the last of him. I am sure he wanted to cause far more destruction and havoc than he did. And speaking of damage, what is Gigan's status?" Fumio was particularly concerned about the cyborg. He had pledged its services to the Earthlings, should they require assistance against any of the other alien races which had been observed in the vicinity of Earth. He would have to 'keep up appearances' a bit longer before the Nebulans' plans to take over the planet were in place.

"Not good, sir. But we think we may be able to salvage him, though it will take time."

"Time... a commodity we may not have," Fumio admitted forlornly. Just then, a page came over the communications system.

"Viceroy Kabota?" the operator finally spoke.

"Strict instructions were given for this meeting not to be disturbed or interrupted," he replied gruffly.

"My apologies, sir, but we have found something that you and the Chairman may want to have a look at." Kabota glanced at Fumio who nodded in resignation.

"This meeting is adjourned." Fumio and Kabota stood to leave, followed by the other Nebulan officials. Moments later, they were in the main control room.

"Sir?" a subordinate beckoned from behind his radar panel.

"Yes, what is it?" Kabota asked.

"Look at this, sir." He brought into focus an image on the monitor in front of them. What appeared to be the remains of a crashed alien fleet had been located in a rural part of Okinawa. Closer inspection revealed the ships to be Garogan in design. The Nebulans had advanced, self-propelled miniature spy drones whose onboard cameras enabled them to survey anything from a safe distance and altitude not possible by any kind of human radar. They had been deployed all over Japan to monitor any and all other alien and kaiju activity.

"A Garogan fleet?" Fumio asked.

"Yes, sir."

"What caused this? What could have attacked them?" Kabota wondered.

"Unknown, sir. They entered Earth's orbit spiraling out of control and crashed shortly after."

"Was it another alien race that did this? Or a space kaiju perhaps?" Kabota asked.

"Again, sir, unknown. Other than the damage caused to the ships by the crash, there appears to be no other structural compromise." A look of confusion replaced the curiosity on Fumio and Kabota's faces. The mere idea of any machine failing for any reason other than outside attack was almost obscene to them. But then again, the Garogans always were an inferior race as far as the Nebulans were concerned.

"I've found something, sir!" the subordinate advised as he zoomed in on one of the crashed ships, closely scrutinizing its hull. What appeared to be a strange green ooze of some sort was evident. All of the ships were covered with it. "Could this be what caused the crash, sir?" he asked.

"Intriguing," Kabota said, almost to himself as Fumio continued to gaze at the monitor which had switched to another image showing the mangled and dismembered bodies of close to two dozen Garogans. Fumio and Kabota gazed at the screen in utter shock, wondering what could have done this.

"Chairman, with your permission, I would like to take an investigative team to Okinawa," Kabota offered.

"Yes, I agree, Kabota. We should know what happened there firsthand and if it poses any threat to us. The bunker in which we are keeping Anguirus' body is in the same area. Permission granted."

*****

When the surface dwellers had departed with plans to announce the underground and undersea kingdoms' desire to assist the world against alien invasion, Emperor Antonio retired to his private chambers to prepare his address to the United Nations. The elegantly furnished retreat echoed with the soothing sounds of classical Seatopian music, the beautiful instrumentals relaxing to the aged monarch's mind as he reviewed the memoirs of his reign. He paused for a moment to sigh and scratch his gray beard which had begun to thicken. The King lay back, feeling more like dozing off than dealing with affairs of state when the massive doors crashed open, the sound crackling through his once-calm brain.

Prince Hector, his only son, jogged across the massive expanse of his father's anteroom. Fully decked out in popular Seatopian fashion, a silver button that symbolized his princehood pinned his toga at the shoulder. Antonio, his head still laid back, sighed deeply and shook his head. Oh, how I love my son but he surely needs to learn how to knock!

"Father," Hector began, continuing his quick pace towards his sire who stared ahead with a tired expression on his aged face. "We have reports of a possible attack on Earth by several alien species!" He looked at the King with great urgency while his response seemed one of boredom.

"The surface dwellers are handling it. Hector, you must learn that they can take care of themselves."

"But, father! A combined effort from who knows how many races is surely more than those primitives can handle! We must prepare our army..." He was cut off by his father's upraised hand.

"Hector, you, of all people should know that land forces are no longer used and inferior to the great titans that grace modern battlefields," he reminded his son in a stern voice. "Even the surface dwellers have learned that lesson, my boy, " he chuckled lightly to himself.

"Then unleash Megalon," Hector replied grimly, trying feebly to stare down his wise father. Antonio continued to smile to himself.

"Hector, our Knight is older than I myself. He has no will to fight unless it is absolutely necessary and would rather continue resting peacefully in his sanctuary."

"But you could connect to him! You could project the will of every Seatopian into his heart and make him act on our needs..." Hector was almost in the Emperor's face and yelling.

"'Make' him? You think I can control Megalon?" Antonio seemed very offended by his son's words as he stood up proudly, staring down at him like a god. "I could make him do nothing! Megalon knows our people's needs and will act on them. He could choose not to but he will fight most valiantly, I assure you!" Antonio stared his son down with a fury unmatched by lesser rulers. Hector began to cower from his unexpected aggression.

"Hector, as my successor, it is your duty to be able to connect with the Great Defender and do as I did in our direst hours. How has your progress been? Has he responded to your calls? Or does he simply ignore your hot-headed demands?" Antonio looked at him with his wise old eyes and nodded when Hector slumped his head in shame, looking at his feet.

"He has ignored me," he admitted with terrible guilt. "But, father... Wouldn't it be a more fitting end for Megalon to die in battle than in a mound of dirt at our kingdom's doorstep? Wouldn't that be a more fitting end for the Knight of Seatopia?" He looked back up with slightly watery eyes. Antonio, now calm, pondered before giving his reply.

"Yes, I suppose it would. A fine end to Megalon's long knighthood. But you will have to ask him. If this is to occur, then he will have to choose to fight, not you choose for him." Hector bowed in respect and quickly left his presence.

*****

Hector stood in Megalon's sanctuary, looking up in awe at the massive mountain that held the sleeping hero. The room itself was long and covered with white kneeling mats for the daily prayers that took place here. Near the middle of the chamber's wall was the gigantic gem that reflected his mood and indicated if Megalon was even listening to the person who was attempting to awaken him. Glowing a dull light blue, it signified peace within the guardian's mind and that he was sleeping.

The young prince took his position on a stage about a foot higher than the prayer area. In front of him was the chilling silver statue of the priest who first found Megalon in a fiery ball that fell from the sky. The great warrior went on to destroy their long ago enemies, the Atlanteans. He was named a hero and god who resided here ever since.

Hector grabbed the headband off the statue with shaking, nervous hands and placed it around his forehead. He could almost feel the connection between him and the sleeping titan above him. Kneeling down slowly, his throat went dry as his whole body seemed to shake uncontrollably. The gem brightened as Megalon began to wake from his slumber. Hector's throat was so parched he couldn't speak but he knew he had to act quickly or Megalon would drift back to sleep. He remembered his father's first words to him during the Surface War.

"Megalon! Rise up, Megalon!" Hector stuck out his arms in a plea, just as his father had. The massive gem became a brighter blue as Megalon came to attention. "Megalon! It is I, Prince Hector, heir to Emperor Antonio. Please! Hear my words." The almost-blinding blue became less intense. Hector's throat became dry again as he struggled to speak. "There is news that a massive assault on Earth will take place. Several races have stopped warring with each other and have turned their weapons toward Earth." Megalon's attention was regained and the blue gem shimmered more brightly. "I fear that Earth may not survive such an attack. Megalon, the fate of the planet may lie within your mighty lances." Hector bowed his head and hoped for a response but it was a surprising one.

"Prince Hector, why would I bother to get involved with matters that only concern the surface dwellers and not Seatopia?" the deep, booming voice echoed in the huge chamber.

"Our kingdom resides on Earth as well, Megalon," he responded humbly, trying not to show any signs of excitement. Never before had Megalon addressed him by name.

"Seatopia resides under the Earth's surface, Hector. We are of no concern to the invaders." The gem began to dim. "If the invaders dare attack our borders, then I will defend them with all the might of Atlas. Now, please. I would rather rest in peace than go to the surface," Megalon said tiredly as the gem took on its dull blue sign of repose. Hector became angry with Megalon's ignorance and his shaking hands clenched. He literally yelled at Megalon as he began to drift back to sleep.

"Would you rather die honorably on the field of battle or would you rot in your temple while you sleep? Which end to a great warrior would you prefer?" Hector knew his actions were disrespectful and could be punished but he wasn't worried about that at the moment. The gem dimmed to nothingness and in a flash, lit up a bright ruby red that made Hector shield his eyes. The mountain shook and rumbled violently. Tons of rock rolled down as Megalon stirred within his temple. He had finally done it! Hector had summoned the defender of Seatopia, the Great Knight Megalon.

The Prince stood up excitedly as Megalon's frame burst from the mountain but his appearance had changed since his first awakening. The once bight, shimmering black helmet had become dull and worn with scars and a few dents. The bulging, fiery orange eyes lit with the fury of a warrior were faded, the left one having a massive, thick scar running across it. His shining, sharp horn had become tarnished. Overall, his entire body had lost its color and was laced with scars of varying sizes. His mighty drills had dulled with wear and a few of the sharp knobs had broken off. But despite his aged and battle-worn frame, Megalon still had the ferocity of Ares. Hector, in awe, fell to his knees. Megalon raised his massive drills over his head and gave a long, mighty shriek that echoed across Seatopia. Megalon had awakened.

*****

King Antonio stood before the huge stone monument in a most sacred room within the palace. It was a shrine of great importance to the Seatopians, and especially to Antonio as it had been built in memory of his beloved wife, Queen Valeeria.

"As always, our son is impatient and brash but you would be so proud of how he has grown and how strong and courageous he is becoming! I only pray that he will have the wisdom to temper his emotions when his time comes to rule in my place," the old King explained, addressing the monument as if his wife were standing there before him.

He had always done this, from the first day that the monolith was erected. In Seatopia, there were no burials, tombs or cemeteries. Those who passed on were cremated in a manner similar to the rituals of the ancient Vikings or Sumerians. Although his wife was not present in any way, Antonio always came here to be closer to his dearly departed. He would take a break from his duties as Seatopia's ruler and frequently visit with her. As he stood there now, it all came rushing back to him. It was a time in his life that he would never forget as long as he lived.

It was 15 years ago when a mysterious plague suddenly infected everyone in Seatopia. There was no known way for the Seatopian physicians and scientists to combat the disease. Some of those who had it for various lengths of time began dying. Antonio watched in despair as his people began to perish one by one and was helpless to stop it.

This was when he met Fumio Subo for the first time. The surface dweller made radio contact with Seatopia and requested to speak with the King and told him that he could cure his people of this strange disease. Antonio was wary of trusting anyone from the surface world or outsiders of any kind but he was desperate to save his people who were surely doomed. Reluctantly, he agreed to allow Fumio and his associates passage into their long-hidden kingdom to administer their miracle inoculant.

In the end, it had been a wise decision and resulted in the salvation of his people and their civilization. But there were some who died, the cure arriving too late to save them. Among these unfortunates was Antonio's wife. Her loss shook Seatopia to its very core and was traumatic beyond words for the King and 17 year-old Prince Hector. But nonetheless, they persevered and a great friendship developed between Antonio and Fumio Subo. His scientific and technical skills were almost on a par with Seatopia's so it wasn't long before he and his associates began working together on many projects of benefit to the underground kingdom while Fumio pursued his Earthside enterprises.

Realizing that he had lost track of time during his reminiscing, the old King said his goodbyes and slowly departed the room.

United World Powers

"And so, once again our world will be united. After thousands of years, we shall be one nation; one people!" The huge crowd gathered at the United Nations Building in New York City roared their approval. The applause was thunderous as Emperor Antonio of Seatopia stood behind the podium in front of the great edifice with his son and officials of state by his side.

He had just finished addressing the people of Earth who had finally been able to resolve their differences and work together as one for a world of perfect peace. The King, Fumio and members of the United Nations were still shaking hands with one another when the ground began to rumble. The earth shook violently, causing Antonio and those beside him to lose their balance. Buildings began to shake and shift and people started screaming. Then it stopped, just as quickly as it had begun.

The crowd and U.N. members tried to regain their composure. One ambassador helped Antonio to his feet as everyone looked about for the cause of the strange occurrence. The ground before them burst open with explosive force, breaking apart the nearby streets. People, cars and rubble were thrown everywhere. A tremendous roar echoed from the crater as a gigantic head rose out of the ground. Those who were still alive looked up at a giant monster: Baragon.

*****

In Berlin, a gray-haired man was drinking tea and reading the newspaper. It was full of disturbing news about a hurricane already threatening several cities in Florida. Thank God, he thought. No such things happen here Then the sirens went off. People stopped dead in their tracks and looked up.

The old man rose from his seat and walked into the street. Suddenly, a high-pitched noise, faint at first but steadily growing louder, was heard. He figured it was coming from the north and turned his head. A huge bird flew overhead and then it was gone. A split second later, the shockwave hit. The tremendous power of the sonic boom blasted through the surrounding buildings, blowing the glass out of windows which showered down upon the screaming crowds that ran in every direction. The shockwave hit, sending everything - people, buses, chairs - flying across the street.

Rodan turned and swooped over another portion of the city, blowing its structures to ruins.

*****

Hordes of screaming citizens fled in panic across London Bridge. Beside them, a giant sea snake wormed its way to the surface of the river below. He then made his way through the streets and between the buildings until coming to the foot of Big Ben.

Looking up at the great clock, it slithered upward and with lightning speed, wrapped its constricting coils around the tower. With its body spread along the structure's full height, the beast tightened its grip like a python and proceeded to crush the famous landmark.

*****

At their base, the Nebulans watched as one monitor after another came to life with images of destruction and ruin. Monsters were everywhere!

"What is going on out there?!" the commanding officer shouted. "Stop them at once! This is outrageous!"

"Sir, we have no control over the monsters," a subordinate reminded him.

"What? Are they doing this on their own?" their supervisor wondered in disbelief.

"No, sir. It appears as if they are being given orders." He sat back in his chair with a look of astonishment on his face as the holographic view screen now showed Varan destroying parts of Paris. Little did they realize that far away on Planet X, Ken'trus was smiling an evil grin as he watched his plan unfolding with great delight. Soon, his army would make its move.

*****

The so-called 'lost' kingdoms of Mu and Seatopia having now joined the United Nations, a military branch was created: the United World Powers (UWP). Okinawa would also be represented because of its heritage with the ancient peoples of Mu.

In a conference room at the U.N. Building, delegates were seated around a large oval table. A feeling of urgency and uncertainty filled the air as Earth Ambassador Yun Rees stood to begin discussion of counteractions against this latest threat to the planet itself.

"We know from past experience that conventional weapons are likely all but useless against alien invaders. Nevertheless, the Global Defense Force is at our disposal."

"Have you no appropriate weapons?" asked Emperor Antonio. His arm was in a sling and bruises covered his face from the recent Baragon attack.

"We have plans to build a 'super' weapon we call the Super X. Its technology is based on what we recovered from a downed Xian flying saucer back in the '60s. Other than that, we have no real weapons to speak of, save for Maser cannons and such," General Aso admitted.

"Well, there is always -" began a tall young man with light brown hair who was standing in the back corner of the room. He quickly second-guessed himself and stopped.

"There is always what?" asked the Emperor of Mu.

"My apologies. I didn't want to offend the Emperor," A. Johnson of the GDF admitted, stepping forward to properly address the dignitaries present. "But what if we used the Gotengo? After all, it did single-handedly bring the Mu invasion to an end..." He looked worriedly over at the undersea ruler.

"He is right," replied the Emperor. "Putting our differences aside, I think the Gotengo would make an excellent flagship for the GDF."

"Hardly," frowned the Ambassador. "It's in the Smithsonian. Besides, the Gotengo that defeated the Mu invasion would certainly be outdated by now. Especially compared to whatever the aliens might throw at us."

"Build a new one," suggested Johnson. There was another short silence as everyone thought this idea over. The Mu Emperor, looking very dominant despite his advanced age and long white beard, glanced at his Queen. Dressed in her exotic wardrobe and bright red hair, she nodded in agreement.

"Our people will help you build the ship. We have great knowledge in the area of submersibles and will gladly offer our assistance."

"Thank you," replied General Aso. "We'll begin the project immediately. Johnson, you will be in charge."

"Let us also not forget that our new enemies are smart ones. They chose to send monsters to do their dirty work rather than risking the destruction of their space ships, which will likely be reserved for the invasion itself. We too should act in a like manner. Let monsters deal with monsters. We will save our military might for the intruders themselves." Emperor Antonio completed his remarks and gingerly sat back down.

"With the elimination of Godzilla, we have no adequate monsters," admitted the Earth representative. General Aso turned to Fumio, who had his back to him, looking out the window. Across the table, bright sunlight streamed into the room and reflected off the dancing dust motes in the air. Fumio finally turned back around.

"Gigan and Ghidorah are at your service," he offered.

"Good. As will be Megalon," declared Antonio.

"And Manda as well," added the Mu Emperor. "As may Gamera."

"King Seesar can also be awakened to help us," Princess Azumi of Okinawa assured everyone.

"Thank you, one and all." Ambassador Rees sat down with a sigh. "But I don't know if they will be enough." Suddenly, two faint female voices spoke in unison all around them. The representatives and world leaders sat up in surprise except Fumio who merely turned his head.

"We want to help, too," spoke the voices. Everyone looked about when seemingly out of nowhere, two tiny twin women walked onto the table. The Earth people gasped but Fumio seemed a bit disappointed.

"The Elias!" exclaimed someone at the back of the room. The twins curtsied and delivered their message.

"Our people have always wanted peace for everyone. And now that you are all getting along, it makes us most pleased. But we must work together if we are to beat the space invaders. Only then can we win."

"But... how could you two... help us against an alien invasion?" stammered a military official, staring at them in amazement.

"Mothra will assist you. And Battra also."

"Battra? What's that?" asked an aide.

"A guardian of the Earth. It was created thousands of years ago but now it sleeps. If our enemies become too strong, Battra will help us," the twins explained.

"Well, that's wonderful!" declared the Ambassador. Fumio frowned and the Elias turned to face him. Lora and Moll had a hard look on their faces and it unnerved him. It was as if they were about to reveal something hidden about him and he turned away.

"This is wonderful news, isn't it, Mister Subo?" asked Antonio.

"Yes, of course," muttered the disguised Nebulan.

"Then we shall return to Infant Island. Remember, as a people of peace, we will not help start this war but we will help end it. Good bye." And with that, they morphed into a beautiful glowing moth which took flight and quickly disappeared.

Once outside the conference room and down the hallway, Fumio activated a miniature communications device and softly spoke to the Nebulan left in charge back at their base.

"I understand, sir," replied a voice through the tiny speaker. "Abort Mission Alpha. There has been a change in plans."

Angelique

Only moments after King Antonio had returned to his palace in Seatopia, Prince Hector rushed through the main courtyard as ecstatic as a child on Christmas morning. His enthusiasm quickly turned to grave concern when he got a proper look at him.

"Father! You're hurt!" Hector exclaimed as he noticed the bruises and sling.

"It is nothing, Hector. I am fine," the monarch replied with a nonchalant wave of his free hand.

"News came to us quickly of Baragon's attack but no mention was made of you sustaining injuries..."

"Do not worry about it, my son. Explain to me instead the expression of jubilation that you had upon your face when I first arrived. Is there something that you wanted to tell me?"

"Yes, father. Megalon has awakened. He finally responded to my call."

"Excellent, my son! Where is he now?"

"Heading for the surface as we speak."

"Superb! Now do you see what a show of respect garnered you in our protector's eyes? Do you see what happened when you stopped being brash and insolent?" Antonio asked with a knowing grin.

"Yes, father. I am sorry that I acted inappropriately before," Hector replied with a slight blush.

"There is no need to be too hard on yourself. I was young once, too, after all," the King reminded him with an almost mischievous grin that made his son wonder just what exactly his father had gotten into in his youth.

"Now that he has awakened, he will be a part of our new alliance as well. We will stand strong against whatever threats come to this world."

"Father?" Hector suddenly stopped as they walked together through the palace. He carefully prepared to address a matter that had been worrying him for some time now. "I don't know what it is but there is just something that I find... dubious about Fumio Subo..."

"Fumio? How could that be? He is one of, if not our greatest ally! What would prompt you to even think such a thing?" the old King wondered with a look of shock on his face.

"It's just a feeling that I have," Hector admitted lamely.

"Trust me, my son. You are worrying over nothing," Antonio assured him as he placed his arm on his shoulder.

"I hope you are right, Father. But in any case, I must go now." Seatopia's heir bowed before he was about to rush off again.

"Go? And where are you off to?" Hector stopped abruptly upon hearing his father's question, acting as if he really didn't want to answer.

"If I told you, father, you would only become upset," the young prince admitted regretfully.

"You're going to see her again, aren't you?" the aging ruler figured with a sigh.

"Must we go through this again, father? I really don't want to discuss it," Hector replied, finally turning around.

"Hector, please try to understand how I feel on this subject."

"Why can't you try to understand how I feel, father? I love Angelique with all of my heart."

"I don't doubt that for an instant, my son. But she isn't of royal blood..."

"You keep speaking of that as if it is supposed to matter."

"And you think that it doesn't?" Antonio asked in surprise.

"Is that what decides the worth of my future bride? Is that what decides the worth of all our people?" Hector asked in an almost angry tone.

"Of course not! I am sure that she is a fine and strong woman. I would expect no less of a female of Seatopian birth. But there are many such women within the royal court, born of the highest nobility. Grand Duke Archaos has a wonderful daughter and then, of course, there is Shayira, the sister of Ramon, my most trusted aide. And many, many more that I could mention. Surely, you could court one of them?"

"I love whom I love, father, despite your reservations."

"But what about tradition, my son? For thousands of years, the royal bloodline has never been broken. We are the descendants of kings and queens born, you and I. It is because of the strong rulers of our past that our kingdom has flourished for so long. To go against tradition would be a great dishonor and disrespect to our rulers of the past. Can't you understand that?"

"Father, I do not mean to nor desire to disrespect our forefathers or tradition. But I simply cannot help what I feel! And I do not wish to discuss this any further!" Hector declared and stormed off.

King Antonio watched him leave and hung his head, rubbing his forehead with his free hand. With an agitated sigh, he wished there was some way he could reason with his headstrong offspring.

*****

In one of Seatopia's many beautiful gardens at the edge of the city, a young woman was pruning the lush floral growth when Prince Hector appeared. She bowed as she gracefully went to her knees before him.

"Please don't do that. You know how it makes me feel..." Hector said disapprovingly but extending his hands to her.

"Is it not customary for any citizen of Seatopia when royalty is present?" she asked, at the same time making a statement.

"Perhaps it is, but I do not want you to bow to me. You are not some lowly peasant. You are the woman I love."

"True, but it is still tradition," Angelique insisted from her kneeling position.

"Tradition!" Hector grunted angrily as he turned away. "You sound like my father."

"Have I angered you, my Prince?" she asked, rising at last.

"No, it is not you. And I shouldn't have grown angry," he apologized, turning towards her. "Tradition is my father's reason for not supporting our union," the Prince explained.

"Your father only wants what is best for you," she assured him as they embraced.

"I know what is best for me without him having to tell me. I know he means well but he just doesn't understand," the young noble insisted.

"I know that you are what is best for me, my love," Angelique cooed with a warm smile as they shared a passionate kiss.

"And I can easily say the same of you," he smiled.

"Tell me, Hector. Is it true? Has our god awakened? I heard a great roar echo across the city," she asked as they walked along, holding hands.

"Yes, it is true! Megalon has risen and will help defend our home and the Earth from the threats it now faces."

"There have been rumors of alien invasions and kaiju. Will Megalon be able to fight against it all?" Angelique asked worriedly.

"Our deity and protector is strong and we now have the alliance of Mu, as well as the surface dwellers to augment our great strength. You must have faith, my love."

"I have faith in you, my Prince. You give me strength just by being near me," she confessed breathlessly as she once again wraps her arms around him and leans her head against his chest. He held her close, resting his chin upon her head.

"Can you promise me one thing, Angelique?"

"Anything for you, my Prince," she replied, her eyes full of love.

"Never bow to me again. You are to be my future queen, to stand and rule by my side as an equal. Do you understand?"

"A commoner will never be allowed to sit as Queen upon Seatopia's throne," she murmured sadly.

"But you are anything but common to me, my beautiful Angelique," he proclaimed as they shared another kiss.

Discovery

The cold wind blew hard and snow almost blinded the five men as they scaled the great peak on Iwato Island but slowly, they struggled up the side of the icy fortress of rock. With each peck at the ice-covered stone with their picks, the Russian expedition came one step closer to its destination.

Atop a plateau, they finally reached solid ground where they could make camp. They took off their heavy packs and knelt in the deep snow to line out supplies and put up tents. It was tiresome work which often seemed futile against the thunderous winds that threatened to blow their shelters over, if not destroy them. In the midst of their struggles, one team member noticed that the winds had blown the snow from a circular object that definitely was not rock. The explorer stood knee-deep in the drift and stared in wonder at what was half buried against the outstretched peak of the mountain.

He called to his companions who were struggling with the tents but they failed to hear so he yelled again. This time, they took note of his absence and the urgency in his voice, following the sound to where he was. Then they saw it and hurried toward the enormous object.

It was about a man's size in every direction and light gray in color with gray-blue spots covering the curved surface. The team leader wiped away the snow with his gloved hand. He felt it again and realized that something was wrong. It was warm! He looked at his comrades in wonderment and confusion. Removing his goggles, the mountaineer peered further at the uncanny object, amazed to find it here.

Over the course of several hours, the team completely uncovered the giant egg from the snow and built a tent around it with a heating unit. A helicopter was called to pick them and their cargo up and fly them back to the mother country where the egg could be put in an incubator and properly studied and examined. This was no ordinary find, even for a dinosaur egg. Kenji Kamaiya, one of the top Kaijuologists even at his young age of 37, was contacted and flown to Moscow where the egg would be kept.

Over the next few weeks, Doctor Kamaiya and his staff would learn all they could about this wonderful discovery. On day seventeen, the not-so unexpected happened. As he was sitting at his desk, there was a sudden cracking noise. For a second, he thought one of the pottery vases that decorated the main entrance to his office had fallen and broken. He turned around quickly but they were all intact. As he looked about the room in confusion, one of his assistants came in to make sure all was well.

"I heard something break..." said the researcher.

"As did I," replied the professor, taking off his glasses as he stood to better search the room. Panning across the lab and over to the incubator, he noticed a crack along the side of the egg and a smile came to his face. It's time he thought. The two scientists walked cautiously toward the metal and glass container and peered inside. Another small crack suddenly appeared on its side, then another and it began to shake. Kamaiya went to the computers which had been hooked up to monitor the egg and glanced at all the readings. Indeed, it was time.

The egg shook again as a much larger crack broke across the top and ran downward in all directions. Kenji turned around and watched, his assistant stepping backwards several paces. With each passing second, the egg began to break and shake more violently. Then it stopped. He looked at his associate and then the egg. He was certain it was time for the hatching.

"What happened, Doctor? Why did it stop?"

"I don't know. Perhaps this was only one of several phases the egg goes through as it hatches. Many animals take hours to hatch. This one may not hatch until tomorrow." They both walked up to the container and peered inside, examining the various cracks that now dotted the once solid-looking shell. "I want video cameras for around-the-clock observation on this from all angles. The ones in the corners of the room aren't sufficient. I need to have more sophisticated equipment up here! Also, have the video feedback patched through to my lap top. I want to keep a constant eye on our egg."

"Yes, Doctor." The assistant ran off to do his bidding.

The steel and glass walls of the incubator were removed and a soft blue spongy material laid around the egg. When the creature hatched, several additional video cameras would record every second of the historic event. Each was positioned seven feet from one another all around it.

This was a very exciting day for science as only one kaiju had ever been born in captivity before, although several such births had been witnessed in the wild. In 1967 on Sollgel Island, a baby Godzillasaurus hatched from an enormous egg that had been buried under a mound of rock and dirt. It had slowly grown from a small herbivorous dinosaur into a 40-meter tall kaiju, now much more closely resembling its adopted father, Godzilla. Though now at Monsterland, the world's foremost facility of kaiju observation, study and captivity, Godzilla Junior was never raised by humans, much less contained.

In addition, baby Rodans had been observed in the past by eyewitnesses, as well as the hatching of Mothra larvae and Barugon. However, none of these had been scientifically studied. This new egg gave scientists and kaijuologists alike the rare opportunity to see and observe the hatching of a kaiju in a controlled environment.

Doctor Kamaiya was thrilled and could barely contain his excitement. Several of his Russian assistants and staff, as well as his own apprentice, an Irish-American named Cillian Bakker, were busying themselves with last-minute checks. Kenji just stood staring at the cracked egg in the middle of the brightly lit laboratory with a large grin on his face, allowing everyone else to do all the work. Cillian walked up to him with a form to sign.

"Doctor Kamaiya?" Bakker spoke but Kenji paid no attention, not out of rudeness but because he was practically oblivious to anything around him. "Doctor Kamaiya!" Bakker yelled over the background noise. His mentor stuttered with a start and spun around.

"Don't yell! You almost gave me a heart attack! Couldn't you see I was busy?" Cillian looked about him, at the egg and back at his professor, grinning.

"Ah, well, no -"

"Don't interrupt. I'm thinking!"

"Sorry, sir."

"Now. What is it, Cillian?" Actually, the boy seemed to be the one who was slacking. Kamaiya eyed him from head to toe as if he had never seen him before. Cillian Bakker was a tall young man of 22, with short brown hair, green eyes, the occasional silver glasses and dressed in a long white lab coat. Truly a brilliant person who had been fascinated with kaiju in history books, television programs and Hollywood rip-offs as a boy. Still awestruck, he went on to college to take up kaijuology and ended up a straight A student, thus being privileged to go into the field alongside one of the world's top kaijuologists.

To say he failed to share his professor's enthusiasm about the egg would be as far from the truth as saying Einstein's Theory of Relativity was a sleeping pill. Cillian realized that much work had to be accomplished in order to insure everything went well with the hatching before he could stop and enjoy his surroundings.

"These are the forms you requested, sir. I need your signature on them before sending them off to Ogasawara."

"Oh, yes. Of course." The good doctor took the clipboard and quickly scribbled his name. After handing it back, Kenji resumed peering at the cracked egg shell.

Two hours later, after further tests had been completed, the egg began to break apart. Everyone huddled around it, about twenty feet away, close while still trying not to be too near it. Their feet dug into the floor and legs stiffened as they tried to keep from getting any closer while at the same time, their eyes, filled with excitement, pulled their heads and torsos further toward the cracked shell, restrained only by their determined feet. Surely, their heads would have popped off had they not been attached so well to their bodies. But as awestruck as they were, the moment was soon upon them.

The pre-formed cracks started to widen and split as new ones appeared all over the shell. The egg began to shake back and forth with a loud crackling noise. Yoke bubbled forth from the top where the largest opening had formed. Slowly, it turned to a slight oozing as the crack widened and split further down one side. When it stopped, everyone fell silent when the egg didn't budge. The scientists looked on for a few seconds but when nothing happened, they turned to one another in confusion. Cillian felt a sick feeling in his stomach as he hoped that the infant had not died. Doctor Kamaiya, standing beside him, wet his lips with anticipation as his hands began to sweat.

Suddenly, the side of the egg burst open with tremendous and unexpected force. The loud cracking sound took everyone by surprise as yoke and eggshell splattered across the room and onto the cameras, computers and scientists. Rolling out of the egg in a spiky ball, the quadrupedal baby kaiju fell onto the blue spongy matting and unraveled itself. Everyone gasped in astonishment. Just a few feet away was a baby kaiju, almost directly in front of Kamaiya and his student. The creature squirmed into the foam padding, waving its huge slime-covered feet in the air and opened its giant brown eyes. Doctors, professors and scientists alike uttered low exclamations of awe. Kenji's eyes were so big it was a wonder they didn't pop out of his head but despite his unnerved state, he managed to pull a pair of plastic gloves over his hands. He stepped forward when suddenly, the giant let out a loud cry. He quickly jumped back.

"It's an Anguirusaurus!" whispered Cillian. Everyone gasped again. Kenji took a few steps forward until he was in arm's reach of the creature.

"That's it, nice boy," he said softly. The baby Anguirus allowed him to come nearer. The doctor squatted next to the Ankylosaurus-like animal and slowly put his hand on its foreleg which was raised in the air. He ran his palm on the thick, rough hide and nearly cried with joy and pleasure. But he did not and approached the matter from a scientific point of view, restraining his emotions which already ran high. Carefully, Kenji removed the slimy yellow gunk as he stroked the leg. If anything, the little Anguirus seemed to enjoy the attention but the scientists weren't fooled. This was a wild animal and a kaiju, at that. As cute and harmless as it seemed, they knew full well that if this infant had been born with the ability to walk and the will to destroy, it could easily kill them all.

But this was not the case so they were able to release some of the stress and tension they all felt. Slowly, the staff started to close in around the hatchling as its eyes moved back and forth, looking at each individual as they made their way nearer.

*****

The news spread around the world like wildfire. Every channel was airing coverage about the new baby Anguirus that had hatched in Moscow. A press conference was held and media people from every country and news station surrrounded the small podium behind which Doctor Kenji Kamaiya stood. Lights flashed continuously as photographers took pictures. Other journalists held tape recorders to catch every word while others jotted information on note pads. Doctor Kamaiya nervously spoke into the bouquet of microphones stretching out in front of him.

"The egg was found by a Japanese-Russian sponsored survey team on Iwato Island. The egg, as you all know, recently hatched a baby Anguirusaurus. It is now being contained at a special facility where it will be studied and cared for until it is transported to Monsterland in the Ogasawara Island chain.

"It is theorized that this egg belonged to the original Anguirus discovered on Iwato Island fifty years ago. That Anguirus, the remains of which have been identified as female, may well have been the mother and the one that was recently killed, the father. We suspect that the original Anguirus was in fact defending its territory and nest from the second Godzilla which it was found in battle with. Therefore, we can estimate the baby's adult size, space requirements, behavior and destructiveness based on data collected regarding its parents."

*****

Fumio watched the live news broadcast with contempt, his hands locked together in front of his mouth as he sat back in his chair, contemplating the situation.

"This is bad. We must change our plans considerably. Contact the Kilaaks as we will require their help once again," he said to the sub-commander standing behind him. He nodded and went off to the communications section of the Nebulan base.

Inter-planetary Relations

The Hall of Discussion stood against the blackness of space as the giant swirling globe of Jupiter slowly passed behind it. Constructed on Ganymede, one of Jupiter's sixteen moons in 1990, it was where initial peace talks with Planet X had been conducted.

The first Earth representative was Ambassador Glenn whose twelve-foot statue gleamed in front of the building's main entrance. However, he had since died and been replaced by Yun Rees. Dressed in his finest suit and tie, he walked along the brightly-lit passageway into the great building. He was a thin man - almost gangly looking at 5'-9" tall with light brown hair and eyes. With briefcase in hand and several assistants, Rees walked nervously toward the Council of Peace. He was always nervous about meeting with the Xians as he did not take well to the idea of extraterrestrial life to begin with. Now, there was no turning back as the eight-foot sliding doors opened before him.

The room was large and wide, brightly lit and painted white with few decorations anywhere. In its center stood a large round table with seats all around. To one side, across from the entrance, hung a large blue and white flag. Below, a picture of the solar system was surrounded by a wreath of laurels and the words United Planets.

Rees noted that the Xians had already arrived and taken their seats underneath the banner so he extended his own chair, put his briefcase atop the table and opened it. He pulled out several papers which he was about to read aloud. As custom was for the Council of Peace, each interstellar ambassador would open the meeting reports from their home world. These usually consisted of the social, economic and political details which were relevant to their planetary neighbors. Ken'trus raised his hand to signal the Ambassador to not bother reading his report.

"Oh?" Rees asked as he put his papers aside.

"We have far more crucial news to speak of than our reports. Our intelligence has discovered a most unfortunate scheme against you. Our spies have recovered evidence of suspicious activity on the planet Kilaak."

"Kilaak?" the Ambassador asked worriedly. "How can that be? The Kilaaks were destroyed several years ago."

"So it seemed. You Earthlings have the horrible habit of assuming that an entire race is eliminated after you have stopped an invasion force. The Kilaaks that attacked you in the year 1999 - according to your Earth calendar - were merely a small garrison, nothing more. Sources indicate that they are now at work producing a giant monster of your acquaintance: the Skyllan known as Monster Zero."

"Another King Ghidorah?" Rees' mouth hung open as he stood in surprise. "But he was vanquished at Mount Fuji..." The Ambassador quickly caught himself.

"And who said that would stop the Kilaaks from creating a new one? Surely your Earth radar and other instruments detected the strange bursts of energy near Mount Fuji within the 48 hours of his appearance over Tokyo..."

"Yes, as a matter of fact. It was part of my report."

"The Kilaaks are a cold-hearted race, Ambassador, and have no regard for human life. They are a selfish race that will destroy anyone they see fit. They are harsh creatures, not to be trusted nor reasoned with. Thanks to the resourcefulness of your people, you were able to drive them away but do not think that will forever hold them back. We have proof of a Kilaak invasion army readying for attack at any moment. Though your people are clever, I would not put my faith in your scientists and politicians to save you this time. I also would not trust the Nebulans either. Their alliances with the ancient kingdoms of your planet seem all too suspicious. You are in need of real friends, real allies, whom you can depend upon to help you. We fear for your lives, Ambassador." Yun Rees blinked. He didn't know quite what to say. So much dire news, all so suddenly!

"Well, uh, that's certainly not good news. I'll have to notify the United Nations about this immediately." He staggered to his feet and hastily put the Earth's report into his briefcase and closed it. "Thank you for the information... Er... I should go contact Earth." Rees quickly walked out the door.

"Yes, you should do that," said Ken'trus, almost to himself. He gave the Xian hand sign to the rapidly departing Ambassador and smiled. After Rees and his party had left, he chuckled to himself. A Xian who had been standing in the shadows in the corner of the room walked up to him. "I trust the Kilaaks did not suspect your true identity."

"No, sir," Henat assured him. "The Mysterian disguise worked perfectly. And the virus to cancel out the control device was successfully introduced into the Skyllan DNA. It won't be long before Monster Zero turns against the Kilaaks altogether."

"Excellent. We will begin readying our invasion immediately. Our discovery of light-speed travel will greatly assist us in our mission." Ken'trus stood up from his chair and turned around. Walking over to the United Planets flag, he lit a small flame with a hand-held device. The banner began to burn upward, slowly at first but faster as the fire spread from the bottom corners.

"We won't be needing that anymore," smirked the Xian as he walked off.

*****

When Ken'trus had returned to Planet X, he threw his feet up on the desk and leaned back in the chair, ready to review the electronic schedule. Whether he was scanning through the daily reports or admiring himself in its reflection was not entirely clear. What was more important was that his ultimate weapon, Project X, was coming along very well and that pleased him greatly. As usual, the room in which he sat was dark, cold and mostly empty. It was lit by luminaries around the wall that were set on LOW and the starlight coming through the large window looking out into space. The doors slid open to reveal the presence of a Xian sub-commander.

"The Controller."

"Yes, I am. What of it?" replied Ken'trus. The officer looked at his superior, baffled for a moment before correcting him.

"You mistake me, sir. I meant the Controller." Ken'trus looked up and saw Sar'rious, the Controller of Planet X. He stood in the doorway, tall, bald and wearing the uniform of a superior with blue lining his robe and black metal on his shoulder and chest plates.

"You take your temporary title too seriously, Ken'trus," spoke the wise Xian. The Controller walked over to the desk as the sub-commander departed, the doors closing behind him. "I leave you in charge for one day and already you forge the vanguard of an invasion force against Earth."

"Sir, in order to conquer Earth, we must attack with full power! There are several other species wanting to take over the planet and we must be prepared," stated his second-in-command as he rose from Sar'rious' seat.

"You feel that power is the only way to victory. Have I not taught you anything? History has shown time and again that those who rule only with power and live by it will be undone because of it."

"We are one of the strongest races in the galaxy and our power is matched by few. However, it is strategy that will win us this war which is certain to ensue. Power is an addition, nothing more." Ken'trus looked away in disappointment for he knew his thinking was correct. The Xians had the resources and by all means, they should use them! He was certain that they could wipe out their enemies in one swift stroke. "But nonetheless, we need all the resources we can acquire. I was merely ensuring our supply," he smiled at his superior.

"By putting the entire fleet on standby? And what is this 'Project X' you have been constructing behind my back? I just read a public schedule that a 'Project X' was nearing completion. Care to explain?"

"Project X is our new bio-weapon. We have stolen Monster Zero DNA from the Kilaaks and begun creating our own. It will be completely controllable. No Earth invention will thwart our plans this time."

"You are creating a Skyllan?" The Controller walked over to the large window and looked out at the stars. He did not like the idea of trying to control another Monster Zero. They were too unpredictable and could easily fall into enemy hands. As well, they were one of the most dangerous creatures ever to appear in the solar system. But to create one here... He would never have agreed to such a project.

Sar'rious knew that was exactly why Ken'trus had waited until he had left the planet. He should put a stop to the project now but it was too far along to be discontinued. There was no way the Controller could justify the massive waste of resources.

"Very well. You may have your Monster Zero. But if anything should go astray, I am holding you fully responsible. Is that understood? I will not have any more monsters lost to the ingenuity of the humans." Ken'trus smiled but smirked inwardly as he stepped closer to the Controller.

"Sir, the only reason we lost forty years ago was because of internal sabotage. If it weren't for Namikawa and her emotions -"

"Namikawa was a great warrior and citizen of Planet X. I will not stand for anyone to speak otherwise about her! She was deceived by those worthless cattle, nothing more!"

"That may have been before my time, sir, but I know what she was and so do you. If I didn't know better, I would think that your defense of her has an emotional attachment to it." Sar'rious sighed.

"She was the most desirable of the clones. I won't deny it. Her unique personality would have given much to our civilization."

"If you consider anarchy a positive thing," Ken'trus replied sarcastically. "I still think that old rumor about you and Namikawa is interesting. Were you really planning on overthrowing the Controller after Earth had been conquered to set up a perfect society and rule over it as King and Queen?"

"You talk too much."

"Tell me... Was that before or after you lost your hair?" Sar'rious turned around in a blaze of anger and grabbed Ken'trus by the neck.

"If you ever question my right as Controller again, I will see to it that you suffer as never before." His grip tightened around the cocky Xian's throat but Ken'trus just smiled.

"You realize that I can overpower you in an instant. Do you forget that I am a Kaiser?"

"And do you forget that I am the one who taught you everything you know? Don't ever forget that I am Number One and you..." Ken'trus frowned down at his superior and sighed.

"Are you trying to rule with power, Sar'rious?" The Controller's face changed from anger to irritation and disgust. He let go of his second-in-command who stepped back. After taking a deep breath, Ken'trus started laughing quietly to himself as if this moment signified his triumph. The Controller, no longer wishing to speak, turned toward the window and lost himself in thought. Number Two, having regained his breath, stomped out of the office and went to check on his ultimate plan.




Chapter Three: UNEARTHLY POWERS

Gudis

"Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Intruder alert!" a computerized voice blared over the loudspeakers throughout the secret base at the foot of Mount Tokachi in Hokkaido. A security detail of fully-armed Simeons spread out in search of who or what might have managed to infiltrate their hidden lair. As two of the soldiers turned a corner, they spotted their quarry and opened fire. The black-clad trespasser looked human but with sudden and unexpected speed and agility, he dodged their laser fire and was on top of them a split second later. One Simeon's neck was quickly broken and the other got a hole punched clean through him. As the assailant turned around, he received blaster fire to his face and chest from six more Simeons who had arrived on the gruesome scene. As they advanced on the body, the infiltrator suddenly sprang up and charged them head on.

"What?! Fire! Fire!" a Simeon yelled in surprise as they have to put him down once more. Only inches separated them when the intruder finally was stopped for good.

"That shouldn't have happened! The first blasts should have killed him. How did he get back up?" another ape asked, looking down at the body with so many holes there seemed to only be inches of it not damaged in some way.

"It would be interesting to know how he did this," Argon, the Chief of Security pondered aloud, looking at the hole punched through one of the fallen guards.

"Chief! Over here!" another of his detail called out. When Argon came over, he found that the infiltrator was still alive. He grabbed him by the front of his shirt to get some answers. The Simeons' second-in-command behind Mugar was tough as nails and knew how to get about any job done.

"Hey, you. You are still alive. Can you hear me?"

"...Yes," he whispered with a gasp.

"You no longer have a left shoulder, half your face is blown off and you have literally been skewered by laser fire. So explain to me who you are, what you are and why you are still alive." The badly mangled humanoid's only response was a laugh that started out human and then changed to something that sounded almost demonic.

"What are you?!" Argon roared, shaking him violently.

"I am eternal... I am immortal... I am that which cannot be stopped," it said in an eerie tone.

"You speak in riddles. Are you going to tell us anything we actually want to know?"

"I am death! That is all you need to know, worm!" it scowled as angrily as the remains of its face would permit.

"Care to elaborate before I blow the rest of your head off, Mister Scary Voice?" The Chief was not amused, nor afraid of the ominous situation he appeared to find himself in.

"I will sweep over this planet like a plague of locusts. Dead bodies floating in rivers of blood is all that will be left in my wake. You, the humans or any other race that gets in my way, it matters not. This planet's greatest protector is gone and I will seize the day."

"Protector? You are referring to Godzilla, are you not?"

"Nothing can stop me now. None of you possess the power."

"I am asking you one last time, hamburger face. WHO ARE YOU?!"

"I... am GUDIS!!!" Everyone aside from the Chief had looks of utter horror on their faces. "Become a part of the genetic chain of the most powerful being in the universe or die at my feet. Either way, I win! The universe shall learn to live with me... or perish."

"By the gods..." one of the Simeons muttered.

"I am God," Gudis replied with an evil grin. A moment later, the body no longer had a head as Argon made good on his threat.

"I need to see the Commander," Argon grunted.

"Why? You just killed that thing. What does it matter?" a rookie soldier named Bordu asked. The Security Chief looked at him with a glare that made him gulp nervously as Argon slowly walked toward him.

"That thing is one of the most terrible forces of destruction in all the known universes. What I just killed was a useless human drone, one of probably thousands it possesses to speak through. That thing feeds on hatred, fear and misery. It thrives on war, bloodshed and death. It has sucked entire planets dry and wiped whole galaxies clean of life. That... is why it matters," he explained sternly. The Chief made his point clear and left the young rookie shaking in his boots.

*****

After Chief Argon finished speaking with Commander Mugar, he exited the office and found Private Bordu anxiously waiting outside.

"Well?"

"Well what?" The veteran was somewhat surprised to find the young Simeon so expectantly watching his section chief.

"What are the Commander's orders?"

"To wait for further orders," Argon automatically replied with the standard military brush-off.

"What?" Argon was surprised, yet beginning to get a bit annoyed with Bordu's persistence.

"You heard me, rookie."

"But if this Gudis thing is as dangerous as you say it is, then shouldn't we do something about it?"

"The Commander needs time to plan our next move," he sighed. "The arrival of Gudis has changed everything."

"Time? Time for what? That thing to march in here and kill us all?" The Private was clearly verging on insubordination with his many questions.

"No! Plans must be made to somehow deal with the Gudis. Patience is a virtue." Argon hoped his last remark would put an end to the conversation.

"Is cowardice supposed to be a virtue as well?" the rookie hissed, his voice dripping with venom. A stiff, solid backhand punctuated the Chief's response.

"The Commander may be many things but a coward is not one of them, boy! DO YOU UNDERSTAND!?" Argon roared angrily.

"Y-yes, sir," Bordu muttered.

"Gudis isn't the kind of thing that you take lightly. Nor do you rush off to fight it half-cocked without a plan of action. Come with me."

"Where?"

"Just do as I say, Private! That's an order!" the Chief growled, reminding the youngster very quickly of his status and who his commanding officer was. He marched toward his own office where he punched something up on the computer console.

"Time for a history lesson, rookie. The Gudis has existed for countless eons, moving through the wide expanse of the universe, literally pillaging, if you will, seemingly endless planets and solar systems of their life and energy.

"The first race of beings to dare stand against it were the Ultras from Nebula M78. They were a peaceful race before the arrival of Gudis. For centuries, a war raged between them that crossed one galaxy after another as the Ultras were bound and determined to destroy Gudis for the sake of all innocent life in the universe as well as their own kind.

"During one of the many battles that was waged, Gudis fled through a particular solar system, trying to evade an army of no less than close to a hundred Ultras. It was weak and in dire need of sustenance so it fed off a small star to rejuvenate itself. When it had finished, it moved on and the star collapsed in on itself, creating a black hole."

"But what does that have to do with -" Bordu stopped in mid-sentence as the realization hit him. Argon turned the screen around, showing the coordinates of the black hole in question. Bordu suddenly felt nauseous when his suspicion as to what his superior might be leading up to was confirmed. "No, no! It can't be..."

"But it is, soldier." The Private's jaw dropped as he fell to his knees in disbelief. "The arrival of Gudis was the death knell of our civilization as we knew it," Argon assured him, his voice softer than Bordu thought was possible from the burly officer.

"Wh-why has nothing ever been done? Why haven't we sought vengeance?" the young Simeon scowled.

"Because, at the time, saving our race and our very way of life was the top priority. Also, because only select military personnel in high-ranking positions know the truth. And until now, we thought the Gudis was dead, destroyed by Ultraman Great in Australia in the year 1990. Obviously, that is not the case. But this time, we will find a way," the Chief assured him. "And you will tell no one about what we have discussed here. Do you understand, boy?" Argon glared at him.

"Ye-yes, sir."

*****

[INTERLUDE] Kagoshima Island

*****

Later, eleven Simeons were in the Mess Hall, enjoying the first full meal they had had in nearly two days. In preparation for their attempt at conquering the Earth, creature comforts and even the most basic of needs were often sacrificed in the name of duty and a very tight schedule. They were quietly conversing and eating until the young rookie, Bordu, posed a question.

"Why are we doing this?" The others seated around him were somewhat startled by his unusual query.

"What do you mean?" one of them asked.

"I mean, why are we trying to take over the Earth again after having failed in the past?"

"Because we have been ordered to by Commander Mugar, we no longer have a world to go back to and because we have no other options," a Simeon called Nargas explained with much venom in his voice.

"And what is going to make this time any different?"

"No Godzilla," a third grinned.

"Yeah, no Godzilla," Bordu proclaimed sarcastically. "Instead, we have other monsters and other alien races to deal with now. Not to mention the Gudis." He wanted to blurt out what the Security Chief had told him so badly it hurt but he had made a promise and he intended to keep it.

"The Commander and our superiors have everything well in hand, I am sure," another added.

"How, may I ask? As it already has been said, we no longer have a home world to go back to which means no back-up personnel, resources or supplies, a luxury that the other races we are going to be dealing with have in spades."

"You talk an awful lot for a rookie. Maybe you should just keep your mouth shut and follow orders," one more chimed in.

"Why? Am I the only one who thinks this is suicide?"

"I think that you are starting to get on our nerves!" Nargas declared with an even more irritated sound to his voice.

"I'm just trying to make sense of all this. We are here because we are looking for a new home, right? We have tried force and been beaten twice, right? And now, the humans are also facing a terrible dilemma because of Gudis and the possibility of a mass invasion, correct?"

"Just what is it that you are getting at, boy?" one of the other apes growled ominously.

"Well, as crazy as it sounds, has anyone ever considered... trying to make peace with the humans?" Bordu asked nervously. Everyone at the table abruptly stopped eating and looked directly at the young soldier in utter shock. It was as if he had lobsters crawling out of his ears.

"Please! Just hear me out! If we make peace with the humans, they may let us settle what remain of our people here. We can offer help and assistance to them against the threats they now face. We may believe the humans to be inferior but weak they certainly are not. Just look at what their race has weathered in the past!" As Bordu continued speaking, the looks of shock on his comrades' faces were quickly being replaced by menacing anger. "I know I sound crazy to all of you but I really think this could work."

"You are crazy, boy! The humans have been and always will be our sworn enemies. And more importantly, you're talking treason! If word of what you're suggesting gets back to the Commander, he'll have you shot!"

"Has anyone tried to reason with the Commander? Doesn't anyone else see the possible benefits of this?"

"I think if you know what is good for you, you will drop this entire insane idea of yours before it gets you killed."

"So we just barge in and try the same old pathetic plans all over again? If we are supposed to be such an advanced race, why don't we prove it by using our heads rather than our weapons?"

"I think we've heard just about enough out of you!" Nargas yelled, getting up from his chair.

"What are we, a bunch of murdering pirates? We used to be peaceful! We used to be explorers! What has happened to us?" Bordu begged of his comrades-in-arms.

"Desperate times call for desperate measures, boy! Now shut up before we shut you up!"

"Perhaps if we had simply tried to make peaceful contact in the past, we wouldn't be in this predicament now," Bordu stated bluntly.

"Are you questioning the orders and logic of our Commander?"

"Maybe I am." A stunned silence followed his statement but it ddid not last long.

"DIE, TRAITOR!" Nargas roared as he drew his pistol and fired. The rookie dove under the table and yanked Nargas' legs out from under him. The Simeon dropped his blaster but the others scattered out of the way as the fight ensued.

"What are you, crazy? I don't want to fight you! We are Simeon brothers!"

"A spineless worm like you is no brother to me!" Nargas snarled as he pulled out a jagged, serrated dagger and lunged at Bordu who drew his own knife to defend himself. The enraged ape made several swipes as his target dodged and parried. Nargas managed to disarm Bordu with a slash to his right hand as he tackled him, trying to force his knife into Bordu's throat. He was slightly bigger and stronger and soon began to overpower the rookie as his dagger inched dangerously close to his jugular vein.

"Maybe I should thank you, boy. When I tell the Commander that I slit the throat of a worthless traitor, perhaps he'll promote me," Nargas grinned viciously. Suddenly, a laser bolt illuminated the room, getting everyone's attention. They looked over to see Security Chief Argon standing in the door, holding a rifle in his hands.

"Is there a problem here, my fellow apes?" he growled. Immediately, every Simeon in the room snapped to attention and lined up next to one another, including Nargas and Bordu. "Does anyone have anything to say?" Argon asked, looking from one ape to the next.

"Permission to speak, sir?" Nargas asked.

"By all means."

"Rookie Private Bordu spoke of treason, sir, so I took it upon myself to remedy the situation."

"Indeed. Is this true, boy?" Argon asked, turning to the accused.

"Only in the opinion of some, sir."

"And what exactly did you say?"

"I spoke of a possible alliance between us and the humans to help us colonize here on Earth and face the threat of Gudis and anything else that comes along. We are few in number and no longer possess the power and resources we once did, sir."

"I see... The rest of you will finish your meal and then return to work immediately. As for you, Bordu, you will come with me. I will deal with you personally. Is that understood?"

"Sir! Yes sir!" all the Simeons shouted loudly in unison. Argon stared long and hard at Bordu before he spoke again.

"Come with me, rookie." Bordu followed without question, trying to be strong but he was terrified. A few moments later, they were in the Chief's office. Bordu gulped nervously as Argon focused an intense stare on him.

"Well, rookie, I guess the question before us is a simple one. What do I do with you? According to our laws, what you have done is considered an act of treason and is punishable by death."

"W-with a-all due respect, sir..." Bordu stammered. "Those are Commander Mugar's laws. They were not created until he became Supreme Commander of all our forces. Before that time, a Simeon could speak freely without worry of repercussions, sir." Argon agreed that he was correct. "Sir, before you make your decision, can I at least request that you hear me out? I have already broken Simeon law in which case there can only be one result so what I say from this point on will change nothing, correct?"

"Very well then. Speak."

"We are but one of many races that will be vying for the Earth now that Godzilla has been defeated and with all due respect, sir, in my humble opinion, we are in no position to take on the challenges that lie before us."

"Your statements could be easily dismissed as cowardice, rookie."

"And when I was foolish enough to make the same assumption involving Gudis, was it not you who set me straight, sir?" The Chief allowed himself a silent chuckle. The apeling had him there, he couldn't deny that. "Sir? Can you tell me that you have never disagreed with any of Commander Mugar's decisions? In light of our previous attempts to take the Earth and the results, can you say that it would not have been possible to approach the Earthlings peacefully with our dire situation if someone besides Commander Mugar had been in charge? And while on that subject, is peace really so impossible, sir? Sure, the humans may be brash, primitive and inferior but that does not mean we cannot co-exist. You don't have to like someone to be civil with them. Is that not true? Sir, aside from being a battle-hardened veteran, you are also wise beyond your years.

"If I were to ask you what you thought our chances were in this precarious situation, what would your answer be? Just between you and me, off the record. No laws, no regulations... no stubborn Simeon pride or delusions of grandeur... and no Commander Mugar breathing down your neck." Finally releasing a heavy sigh, Argon seemed to stare off into space as he thought over Bordu's words. They were up against a variety of other races far more prepared and better equipped than the Simeons were. They were also greatly outnumbered and would still be facing some of the most powerful kaiju in the universe. Then there was the Gudis, the ravager of their world and of their very way of life. He looked at Bordu who was nervously awaiting his commanding officer's response.

"Wise beyond my years, you said. Perhaps the same could be said of you... rookie," Argon replied with a slight grin tugging at the corner of his mouth and causing Bordu to respond likewise. "Very well. You will not be executed. I will find an alternate means of punishment at a later date. But for the sake of your own welfare, you had best keep your wild ideas to yourself around the other apes. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir." Bordu was greatly relieved and finally exhaled.

"I'll be honest with you, boy. I don't like the humans and don't suppose that I ever will but that doesn't mean that there is not logic in your words. You're very idealistic but history has not been kind to those Simeons who believed as you do."

"Yes, sir. And thank you."

"Come with me, rookie." The Chief led him out of the office and to an area that Bordu did not have security clearance to enter. He stopped abruptly and Argon took notice of this, turning around.

"It's all right. I grant you access to this part of the installation. Just follow me." They continued along until they came to a long corridor that led to a pair of double-reinforced doors. Argon moved toward a DNA scanner and placed his right hand inside.

"DNA confirmed. Welcome Security Chief Argon," a computerized voice said. As a second precautionary measure, a password was spoken. The doors opened and what Bordu saw literally took his breath away.

Before them were two monstrous forms. One was Mechagodzilla, now rebuilt and ready for action. The other was an even bigger shock. Next to the mech was Titanosaurus, only with cybernetic attachments on his body. Part of his face, right arm, left leg and chest had been altered to accommodate these new attributes. Bordu looked at them in awe, only able to guess what they might be capable of.

"We may be the underdogs but that doesn't mean we won't give our enemies a fight they won't soon forget, including Gudis," Argon stated proudly, looking up at their recently completed gladiators. The Simeon race would not go down without a fight. Bordu was mesmerized by the incredible behemoths standing before him.

"How is this possible, sir?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, we are down here in a rundown base with inadequate operating systems and limited ape power eating decades-old rations, yet we have a reconstructed Mechagodzilla and a modified Titanosaurus. Where did the finances and resources come from to build these?"

"That can be easily explained, rookie. As you know, the elders of the once proud Simeon Homeworlds Council were the most powerful and wealthy members of our race. They pooled their fabulous wealth together for the sole purpose of conquering the Earth. It took every cent they had. They bankrupted themselves by taking on this mission. When the last of our home worlds was pulled into the black hole, they refused to leave, choosing to die with the planet they loved so much that they could not stand to be away from it. Thus, all their incredible wealth no longer served them any purpose. They gave it and their lives up with the hope that our kind could forge a new life somewhere else. What was spent on these two could easily build ten of the old Mechagodzillas."

"I see. Amazing! What can they do?"

"Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus both now have full shielding systems that they can activate instantly. It covers every square inch of their bodies and they can still fire all of their weapons, engage in hand-to-hand combat and move freely while it is activated. As a result, whenever they are on the battlefield, they will be on. And that's just the beginning, kid. Mechagodzilla's missiles, aside from packing the same explosive power they always have, are now plasma based as well."

"Plasma based? That means they will burn through practically any substance imaginable!"

"Indeed. Especially the impaler missiles. Even a kaiju with regeneration will have a difficult time dealing with them."

"What else?" Bordu was sounding like a kid at Christmas time.

"It may interest you to know that both Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus have built-in gravitational nullifiers. The system expands an energy field around their bodies that negates the Earth's gravitational force on them by three-quarters of their body weight. As a result, their speed and agility are unmatched. Even natural kaiju sprinters and leapers like King Seesar and Baragon would be hard-pressed keeping up with them."

"Can it be engaged along with their other force field?"

"No. The two energy fields cancel each other out. The gravitational nullifier will be a back-up plan in case something manages to breach their initial force fields. If their defense shields hold up, there will be no need for enhanced speed."

"What about Titanosaurus?"

"On his cyber-arm, there is a forearm cannon that acts like a cutting torch. In the side of his bionic leg is a rapid-fire six missile turret. His eyepiece has a photon discharger capable of firing a pure energy torpedo that splits apart into a cluster of five shots, covering a wide area. Also, Titanosaurus' cybernetic limbs have twice the strength of his flesh and blood counterparts. A punch or kick from those will pack even more of a wallop. And then, of course there is this..." Argon walked over to a control panel and remotely opened a compartment in Titanosaurus' chest, revealing a large dish of some kind. "This is a reflective repulser mirror. Any energy attack or beam that hits it will be absorbed and reflected back at five times its initial strength."

"They are fantastic!" Bordu exclaimed.

"Indeed they are. And if the opposing races and their kaiju want a piece of us, they're going to get it!" the Chief stated with grim determination.

"Unbelievable! It seems like we may actually have a chance now."

"I very much agree, rookie."

"It's a shame that it has to come to this. We weren't always enemies with the other races of the galaxy. If there were other planets out there like Earth that could sustain life, perhaps things would be different."

"Perhaps. But things are the way they are nonetheless."

"And if we do win, what then?"

"I assume you're referring to the humans?"

"Yes."

"With the magnitude that this battle may reach with all the various aliens, warships, weaponry and kaiju that could be involved, the entire surface of the planet may be blasted clean of all life by just being in the crossfire. The humans may not survive."

"I see. But if there are survivors?"

"The Commander will want them either enslaved or executed."

"Can you try talking to him? Reasoning with him?"

"For what? This peace you keep dreaming of? After two attempts to wipe them out, I don't think extending the olive branch now will do us much good, rookie. That, plus as you well know, the Commander utterly despises the humans with every fiber of his being. What you are wishing for seems to be nothing more than an optimistic pipe dream, I'm afraid." Bordu hung his head in a gesture of defeat so the Chief felt he had to say something more. "You have a respect for sentient life, no matter what its form. That much is obvious and I can respect that. Listen. If it makes you feel any better, I won't put you on any kill missions, okay? I figure that's the least I can do." After a long pause, Bordu finally lifted his head.

"Thank you, sir."

"I'll escort you back to your work station so the other officers don't question your presence in this restricted area." They departed the massive chamber and headed back down the long corridor together. Chief Argon briefly looked back over his shoulder. Everything rested on those two monstrous mechanized terrors. If they failed, the Simeon race would have no future.

*****

Later, in the main control room of the base, Chief Argon reported to Commander Mugar after making a security sweep. Mugar was standing with his arms crossed behind his back at the main console.

"Commander..." Argon addressed him, giving the forearm salute as he walked up. Mugar halfheartedly looked over his shoulder at him. On his face was his metallic mask resembling the visage of an ape which completely hid his features. The truth was that he had none since his face had been blown off in 1975 when his and several other Simeon's ships were trying to flee after their second Earth invasion attempt.

While Godzilla was battling Titanosaurus, he spotted them flying overhead and fired his beam. All of the craft were obliterated, with the exception of Mugar's which was blown in half. As the flaming wreckage came down, he was thrown clear. When Mugar hit the ground, several of the vertebrate in his spine were shattered, completely paralyzing him. He had also broken several bones and lost his right arm. Only through the miracle of Simeon medical technology was his spine artificially repaired, his arm re-attached and his other injuries healed. He chose to keep the scars, including the loss of his face, as a reminder of the events of that day and his hatred for Godzilla and humanity. The long decades since had only intensified it. To hide his disfigurement, Mugar wore the full uniform of his office with all the various emblems, insignia and trappings of his rank as Supreme Commander.

"Report," Mugar finally ordered.

"Security sweep has been completed, sir. No signs of anything out of the ordinary."

"And what of our instruments of destruction?"

"Both Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus are armed, ready and fully operational, sir."

"Excellent. You may go, Argon."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir." He started to leave but stopped for a moment.

"Something else you have to say, Argon?" Mugar asked, knowing that he had paused without having to look at him.

"Permission to speak freely, sir?"

"Granted."

"Is it our mission to wipe out the remaining humans if we are victorious, sir?"

"When we are victorious," Mugar corrected him sternly.

"Yes. Of course, sir."

"And as to your question, the answer is yes. The humans that survive will be completely annihilated," he said coldly. A long pause followed as Argon took a deep breath.

"Why, sir?" Mugar said nothing, simply turning around and staring at him. The fact that Argon could not see whatever expression was on what remained of his face under the mask only made the moment all the more unnerving.

"What?" Mugar hissed as if Argon's comment had somehow insulted him.

"Sir, the humans are beneath our notice. They are useless insects to pay no mind who pose no threat to us. Godzilla had been the only reason that they have ever won against us, sir." Argon couldn't believe what he was saying. He was standing there, actually trying to argue that rookie Bordu's case but in a manner that he hoped would appeal to the Commander's cruel sense of logic.

"True, Argon, very true. But as insects, they will be crushed as such under our collective heel. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir. But what, for the sake of argument, if we were to take the surviving humans into custody?"

"For what purpose?" Mugar asked suspiciously.

"To see if we can learn anything from them, sir. Information that may help us to adapt to this world in a way we have not done before."

"And what could we hope to learn from any worthless human?"

"I... I don't know, sir. Perhaps they could be kept as pets?" The Chief realized how ridiculous that sounded as he tried to stifle a cringe.

"Argon? What has come over you? Why are you speaking in such a manner?" A long uncomfortable silence stretched for what seemed like an eternity. "This wouldn't happen to be... compassion, would it?" Mugar grumbled disapprovingly.

"... No, sir. Of course not, sir."

"Are you sure? Mercy is a delusion of the weak. Have you not learned that serving under me? I do not like the direction that this line of questioning is taking, Argon. I do not like it at all!" Mugar seethed, the anger and volume of his voice steadily rising as he spoke.

"It was merely a point of scientific conjecture, sir. I apologize profusely if I have somehow offended you, sir. I also therefore withdraw the line of questioning," Argon added desperately, trying to salvage the verbal exchange that was dangerously close to unraveling. The Commander stared at him for what seemed like an eternity as he carefully weighed the statements of his second-in-command. Argon tried hard to retain his composure, knowing Mugar could have him executed for whatever reason he saw fit, regardless of his rank.

"Apology... excepted, Argon. You are dismissed to resume your duties," Mugar said with a slightly calmer tone of voice. Argon waited until he had begun to walk away before releasing a deep sigh of relief. Mugar continued to stare after him until he had departed the control room. Something wasn't right and the Commander could feel it in his bones.

Mothra Virgo

In the bleak blackness of the night, Belvera's lair was filled with cold darkness. She was in a deep slumber, attempting to relieve the stress she had been under recently. As sleep embraced her, she began to see images in her mind - of fires, destroyed buildings and screaming humans scurrying around in terror. The final one was of Infant Island, the once beautiful landscape transformed into a blazing inferno.

It faded and she was back in the darkness she had previously been enveloped by. She could hear whispers of an unknown terror bouncing around in her mind, almost overwhelming her. Suddenly, she heard a single voice, a low, horrific, blood-chilling sound that caused her to tremble with fear.

Belvera... stop this pretense the mysterious voice rumbled. The courageous fairy tried to block the vile sound from her mind but was unable to and had to endure its torment.

We know of your weakness. Above all else, you desire power. Give in to your desires the voice growled. Your true destiny is not to protect those pathetic humans. You yourself said that humans were not to be trusted so stop allowing your pitiful sisters to contaminate your mind with goodness and purity Belvera twitched nervously, sweat forming on her brow as she continued to struggle against the creature conversing with her.

Not only are humans to be distrusted but your sisters as well. And your goddess, Mothra. Resist them. Show them what power you really possess. Join the Gudis and we will defeat the humans and the Elias together. You will not regret it

The voice diminished and Belvera woke up slowly. The dream was so vivid she could see and hear it over and over again. She considered Gudis' request and it tempted her so greatly that she could barely hold her stronger emotions back, the ones that had caused her to be so evil and treacherous before. Darkness took her and she could not bear the tremendous burden of her gluttony. Only her sisters and Mothra could save her now.

*****

The diminutive women, Moll and Lora, sat and waited for the arrival of their sister at Infant Island. Lora puttered with the tiny flowers that populated the gardens beneath Mothra's shrine as she lacked patience and didn't want to just sit around and do nothing. Moll sat confidently upon her moth-like steed, Fairy, simply waiting.

"Where could she be?" Moll finally inquired. Mothra sat upon her stone pedestal nearby, allowing the gentle moonlight to shine down upon her through the aperture in the cavern's ceiling. "Lora, we have to go find her. Come on!" she ordered as Fairy glided down to pick up the Fairy of Love. Lora climbed aboard and the priestesses took off through the opening. They glanced back down at their goddess in awe as the beautiful hues on her body and wings seemed to cast a light up into the sky. Finally, they departed and headed for Belvera's lair.

When they reached the mysterious place their sister called home, they searched frantically but nothing physical was found, yet there was something present. The fairies could sense what had happened from some kind of telepathic field remaining in the room that was easily detected by both women. Moll gasped in fear and anger. Evil lurked in the air and she knew that their civilizations' ancient enemy had returned and somehow targeted Belvera. Lora cringed and Moll clutched her hand, trying to reassure her with hope and confidence but those feelings seemed to diminish quickly.

Belvera had been taken by the Gudis and they could only hope that their sister would choose the pure and tranquil emotions in her mind. If not, not only would the Elias and Mothra be at risk but humanity would be facing its doom.

They made their way back to Infant Island where they sought solace in Mothra's temple, trying to figure out a way to rectify the terrible situation with Belvera but no ideas came. Even Moll's intuitive thinking could not bring any assurance.

Mothra Leo was surprised at what had happened and felt empty. Belvera's presence was no longer with her and one of her fairies might be lost forever. Lora sat against Mothra's stone shrine and wept for the sake of her sister but hope further dwindled as she gazed up at Mothra Leo.

The divine insect had aged rapidly after giving so much energy to produce her egg. Since then, it had decreased exponentially and now she was dying. Luckily, the egg was about to hatch and the Elias eyed it intently. It began to twitch slightly and soon, a crack formed on its surface. Mothra Leo felt intense relief as it started to open. As her child was coming into the light of the world, she was leaving, darkness and feebleness overtaking her. The egg completely shattered. Only pieces of the shell remained, strewn beneath the insect. A large brown caterpillar sat underneath the wings of its mother, gazing at the weary goddess with gem-like eyes. The young deity had hatched just in time to witness her mother's final breath of life.

Mothra Leo chirped feebly, proud of her daughter's powerful will to come into the world. She used what strength she had left and patted the worm's soft skin with her wing, assuring her daughter that she could indeed save the world from the evil that was rising. Finally, after a saddening moment as the larva nudged its mother with its nose-like mandibles, Mothra Leo's eyes dimmed until no beautiful light shined within them. Her once glamorous white feathery antennae drooped and withered. Mothra Leo, the savior of the Earth, had passed on, leaving her daughter and two fairies to confront the world on their own.

However, Mothra Leo didn't depart without aiding the world once more. Suddenly, her barren body began to glow. Energy particles floated from her and merged with the larva. Mothra Leo gave her daughter her powers to carry on the line of Mothras and defend the Earth from evil. Lora sobbed softly as she watched Mothra Leo's body diminish as her energy was bestowed to the larva. Moll was teary-eyed but didn't cry, trying to remain wise and logical.

"Do not weep, my sister. Look upon this new Mothra. She has the power of her mother. There is still hope left and we must believe in her," Moll murmured as her eyes became even more watery. The fairies held hands and kneeled in respect to their goddess.

"Mothra Virgo, the daughter of Mothra Leo, has entered the world and will protect its inhabitants from the forces of evil and malice. We also must do the same," both fairies said in unison as Mothra Virgo raised her head and screeched with all her divine might.

Amalgamation

"Sing... or I shoot the old man... again," the angry Nebulan operative snarled, his voice muffled with hatred and impatience. Princess Azumi rubbed her hand across her lips, wiping away the spill of blood that seeped from the broken skin where she had been hit several times. She knew this day was coming but also realized that there was no way she could ever have prepared for it. The alien invasion had begun and it was too late to turn back the tide now. She thought that it was better to leave King Seesar, the protector of the Azumi Royal Family, hidden to keep him away from the hands of evil. Who could he protect if the Royal Family was dead?

"I lied!" The words were tested by the cracking of the bullet as it pumped through her shoulder. Parting blood speckled his face.

"Could this be the taste of resistance? Sing or both of you die!" His dark eyes gazed upon the huddled Princess as she hugged her weeping shoulder. There was a terrible presence that resided within the alien's body, for it had been possessed by something truly evil with its own agenda. The Nebulans had spies all over Japan and the one in Okinawa had easily been taken control of.

Her shivering eye crept to her left where flashes of red and yellow melted together as she watched her grandfather struggling in a widening pool of his own blood. Her head bowed to the sand she kneeled in, the same ground that her ancestors stood upon, singing the prayer that would awaken their protector. With a cold bitterness, the words came out that would give life to King Seesar. The previous generation had endured an alien invasion and lived to tell the tale but it seemed that this time, the Azumi Royal Family would not be so fortunate.

"You finally realize you cannot oppose me. King Seesar will be ours!" A slight chuckle gave way to the dark tone that surrounded him in an even darker inhuman voice. Azumi's prayer was weak and soft but it would get to King Seesar. She could still end it and stop her god from being disgraced by the hands of evil.

A release of frustration and anger bonded into a grinding bellow that rang like a swinging bell across the island. A few hundred yards away from the holy grounds, a cloud of cherry mist matured into a horse-like form. Characterless eyes dismayed with life appeared as its over-extended outline ribbed and filled out with muscle. An oversized banana-bent head hoisted between its two flabby sails that wormed with unmoving winds. The forming creature found lakes of trauma as its four feet lodged into the riddled sands. Its network of lanky teeth parted, standing condensed against the mammoth, pasty tusks that roofed the sides of its opening mouth. It was the monster Barrangas, one of the Gudis' many aberrations of nature.

"Yes, Barrangas. Go my pet," the former Nebulan muttered softly. The last of the prayer was released from Azumi's quivering lips, her ears awaiting the sound of life that she had given. The rocky face of the lone mountain misplaced in the open field crumbled apart in a mist of stinging light. Draining the radiance away, it became a lofty silhouette that now rested where the hill once stood.

Shaggy ears drooped beside a square face. The top of its head was crowned with four emerald gems and a central one formed a small protruding horn. Under the crown, thick glossy ruby-laced eyes peered with the reflection of the sun. A broad mouth stacked with a mixture of sharp and flat teeth laid under the creature's large nose. A cape of shaggy pelts of orangish-brown fur draped over the being's neck, chest and shoulders. Underneath reddish-brown scales dressed the monster's skin. Its arms were nearly bare of the swarming fur, only garbed with scales. The beast's hands were armed with three blade-like white claws. Its stomach was also bare of fur. Most of its bulk swayed on its muscular legs. A thin cord of springy flesh outlined the creature's tail, the end tufted with a swiping ball of fluffy fur. It was the guardian of Okinawa, King Seesar.

"Thank you, my dear, but I am afraid you are not needed anymore." The gun cracked with another piercing bullet, this time bounding into the skull of the young Princess. She gave no struggle as it was something she wanted since she was at fault for the disgrace of her god.

A rush of fury gritted through its oversized teeth as its legs charged across the sacred land that it now dishonored. A butting skull creased into King Seesar's rocky abdomen as Barrangas slammed into the lion god. Anchoring feet bore the impacting force as Seesar stood his ground against the hammering monster. Snapping claws bent across Barrangas' craning skull, pointing into the creature's spongy black eyes, squeezing out the gooey gray matter that leaked from the pockets. Blinding fury forced the creature into a panicked spasm as its mouth snapped at anything and everything. Curving teeth slid through the lapping scales that made up the Okinawan guardian's right hand.

King Seesar heaved Barrangas off the ground, letting the creature loft into the air. His eyes dwelt on the creature's neck as his claws arced into the frail collar of the monster. Slipping flesh gave away as his sharp talons scissored through the monster's stretching neck. Lumping masses of blood flitted to the ground as Barrangas' headless body pulled away from the still-locked jaws.

The Nebulan silently looked on as King Seesar stared into the vacant eyes of the dead head that still held onto his hand. A hiss of voices fizzled from it as the flesh dissolved into a swarm of roaming green Gudis cells. King Seesar's ears straightened with surprise but it was already too late as the virus made its way through their openings. Soon, the voices were much louder.

"Yes, come to your new master," the Gudis whispered as he also spoke through the possessed Nebulan. A rising foot shadowed over the alien standing frozen in the sand. A sickening smile came across the drone's face before he was crushed underfoot.

*****

At the Nebulans' secret underground bunker near Okinawa where Anguirus' corpse was being studied, something huge suddenly smashed its way inside, sending its staff fleeing for their lives. The massive Lion God, King Seesar reached in, grabbed the body and slung it over his shoulder, backing out the way he came. A frantic call was made to headquarters and Kabota soon joined Chairman Fumio in the central control room.

"We have just received word that King Seesar has taken Anguirus' body and are currently tracking the beast now, sir."

"Get me a visual immediately!" the Chairman ordered. A view screen flickered on, showing King Seesar moving across the countryside with his lifeless cargo in tow.

"Did the Okinawans awaken him?" Fumio asked.

"They must have but as to why and its reason for taking Anguirus' body is yet unknown," Kabota informed him as they watched King Seesar moving along at quite a rapid pace, despite the burden he was carrying.

"But that is impossible! Only a direct descendant of the Azumi Royal Family can awaken him, and that's only if his tomb is opened externally."

"I know. But nonetheless, it has happened," Kabota assured him. Suddenly, something interrupted King Seesar's progress. "Look!" the Nebulan stammered, pointing at the screen as a massive form erupted from beneath the ground. Rising up and covered in soil and roots was the behemoth Yongary, standing directly in Seesar's path. The towering beast walked up to him, roaring and bellowing in anger. "Yongary?"

"Yes. And it appears that he is going to take care of our thief for us," Fumio surmised as they continued watching. Yongary was now directly in front of King Seesar, dwarfing him horribly as the 500 foot monstrosity raised his gigantic right arm to presumably pound Seesar into oblivion. But as he looked down and locked eyes with Seesar, he suddenly stopped. The two kaiju stared at each other for what seemed an eternity until, finally, one of them moved. Yongary began shaking and quivering uncontrollably. Fumio looked closer at the screen, seeing in his eyes an unmistakable emotion: unbridled terror. Yongary spun around and ran away as fast as he could, literally screaming, and kept going until he disappeared from sight. King Seesar started moving again as Fumio and Kabota looked at each other.

"Sir," a subordinate reported. "We have finished the examinations of the Garogan crash site and the bodies."

"And what did you find?" Kabota asked.

"A strange form of DNA, sir. Almost virus-like in structure. It was in the green ooze that covered the Garogan ships and traces of it were found on the crew members as well."

"Intriguing..." Fumio declared.

"There's more, sir. The DNA also gives off a radiation signature. The same radiation that is coming off of King Seesar."

"Run the scan through our database. See if it comes up with a match," the Chairman ordered. The technician did so and after a few moments, the strand appeared on the screen before them.

"Sho-should w-we call an emergency meeting, sir?" Kabota stuttered.

"Yes, immediately!"

"What do I tell everyone?"

"The only thing we can tell them, Kabota, is the truth. Gudis is here."

*****

King Seesar traveled for miles with Anguirus' body until he reached his destination: the base of the Torishima volcano where Gudis lay within its crater, enveloped in magma as he consumed and absorbed vast amounts of energy to create a body for himself.

He had arrived on Earth in spore form and needed more energy to take on a physical form so he irradiated, killed and absorbed energy from the Garogan fleet to accomplish this. The resulting tiny slug-like form that was Gudis then made its way to the volcano. Sensing that Seesar had arrived, the Gudis decided that he had lain dormant long enough. With a mighty shriek, he lurched up from the sea of lava, smashing and blasting away at the inside of the crater until he breached the surface, exploding out of the side of the volcano with pools of magma pouring out around him.

Seesar took a few steps back, giving the monstrosity room as it slithered forward. Gudis had recreated the form he had 15 years ago when he faced Ultraman Great in Australia, the large bulbous head with red, glowing eyes, massive trunk and a sea of writhing tentacles. In this body, Gudis had tremendous power but needed more to face what awaited him. Through a subconscious command, he ordered King Seesar to put Anguirus' body down. In his head, a voice was heard.

Very good, little one. You have served me well the Gudis hissed in a dark demonic tone. He turned toward Anguirus, focusing intently as he projected a violet energy sphere around the body to pull it to him and shrink it down to be absorbed. He then turned and encased the entranced Seesar, pulling him in as well.

Within Gudis' body, violent changes took place and with one more terrible roar, an incredible shockwave of energy reeled off him, signifying a horrific transformation. When the smoke cleared, a new abomination stood where the Gudis' previous form was. It looked like a beefed-up version of King Seesar, only far larger and covered on the back, arms and legs with spikes similar to those on Anguirus' carapace. Swinging behind him was a huge tail that was a mixture of Anguirus' and his own.

The head of this new beast looked similar to Seesar's, only with reptilian skin and elongated jaws that resembled Anguirus' face. Protruding all around the torso were dozens of the Gudis' tentacles. It had Anguirus' nearly unbreakable carapace and from Seesar, his ability to absorb and channel laser energy attacks.

But Gudis had augmented these elements with his own DNA, making his armored body almost impenetrable and having Seesar's power to absorb and reflect any energy attack that struck him. It was a combination of all three of them in one.

"Now... I am ready. Alien... kaiju... human... or otherwise, it makes no difference. Let them come," he said as he lifted his head to the sky with a chilling and earthshaking laugh. The landscape around him was engulfed in flames from the flowing lava, creating what would almost pass for Hell on Earth. Gudis was now prepared... for war.

*****

The Okinawan volcano was of great interest to others besides the Gudis. The Kilaaks had picked up its eruption on their monitoring equipment and soon came to investigate.

If you're trying to sneak up on me, you're doing a piss poor job. Your ship emits a low frequency hum that kinda kills stealth if you know what I mean. An autistic marching band of ferrets would have a better chance of ambushing me Gudis spoke telepathically without turning around or breaking stride as a Kilaak ship approached him from behind.

"So the mighty Kilaaks have arrived. To what do I owe the honor?" Gudis asked with a hint of sarcasm as the Flaming Fury came into range where they could communicate vocally.

"I am King Karkaru of the Kilaaks and have come to discuss something with you," the alien announced over his ship's external speaker.

"So you've come to talk? Meh, talking is no fun. You know what I think would be fun? Ripping into your little ship like a sardine can and gobbling you up like hors d'oevres," Gudis replied with a sickening grin. Aboard the ship, some Kilaaks had looks of utter terror on their faces but Karkaru remained calm in the presence of this fearsome monster.

"An amusing notion but I don't think you will find any nutrition in trying to infect and eat our metallic bodies," the Kilaak leader informed him.

"Eh, probably not. But it would still be a lot of fun trying," Gudis snickered. Slightly annoyed but not deterred, Karkaru continued the formalities.

"You could try to consume us but then we, of course, would have no choice but to defend ourselves." Karkaru signalled a Kilaak with a slight hand gesture. The ship's primary weapon activated, charged up and blasted the nearby volcano, causing it to surge to life more violently than before. Gudis became transfixed as he stared at the now raging eruption.

"Ooooh! Do it again!!!" Gudis hooted, jumping up and down like a hyperactive child.

"You liked that, did you?"

"Most certainly!"

"You pretty much eat up that kind of energy like candy, don't you? Imagine a land from one horizon to the other on every single continent. A massive molten slag heap that could sustain you indefinitely."

"I'm listening."

"There is just one thing standing in our way, however..."

"You want King Ghidorah's head on a platter," Gudis finished, having read Karkaru's thoughts.

"Yes." Gudis stood for a moment with his right hand up to his chin in an exaggerated thinking man's pose as he deliberated. Aboard his ship, Karkaru waited patiently for his reply.

"One... or all three?" Gudis replied with a devilish grin that Karkaru shared.

The Elias Triangle

The room was dark and dusty, the only light peeking in through an opening in the ceiling, shining down on a platform that bore a triangular figure with Mothra's symbol engraved at the center of it. Moll had to check on something of grave importance. Now that Belvera was being controlled by the Gudis or persuaded to join it, she and Lora had to make sure that their sister didn't start meddling with the ancient powers harnessed within Infant Island itself.

One of the most potent and important of them all was the Elias Triangle. The diminutive fairies searched everywhere until Lora came across a case that fell to the floor from a high shelf.

"Moll, I think I found it!" she shouted. Her twin hurried over to peer at the mysterious box.

"We need a key. There is a keyhole on it. See if you can find it up there, Lora," Moll noted as she continued to examine it.

"I found it!" Lora yelled and pushed the key off the shelf. Moll tried it and the box burst open, revealing a circular platform in the center with two triangular pendants resting inside a circle. Moll noticed that a third was missing and instantly knew that Belvera had taken it. While searching through old legends and myths, she had discovered that she bore the power of 'wisdom', Lora the power of 'love' and Belvera, 'courage'. That made up the Elias Triangle.

"Lora, we are not in a very good situation. The Elias Triangle protects us from disaster. If she uses her talisman for the purpose of evil, then we are all in trouble!" Moll gasped as they picked up the remaining two.

"We have to stop her!" Lora cried.

"No, we won't be able to stop her. She is possessed by the Gudis. It is pretty much beyond our power but not beyond that of Mothra," Moll assured her with great wisdom.

"What shall we do?"

"We must aid Mothra in her growing process. I feel that we are going to need her protection soon. In fact, the whole world will need it. Great evil stirs both on Earth and in the cosmos," Moll declared. The fairies climbed onto the insect-steed, Fairy, and flew off into the night, fearful of what might come to pass.



See also: Kagoshima Island


Chapter Four: THIRD PARTIES

The Return of King Ghidorah

It was nightfall in Yokohama as King Ghidorah stomped through the city, laying waste to all that stood before him. His power and hatred were unparalleled and all that lived would feel his wrath as he loosed a series of beams from his three maws, obliterating everything in sight.

But as he walked through the city streets, something caught his attention. It looked as if something had already caused major devastation. To his right about a thousand meters away, sitting in part of a smashed building like it was an easy chair was Gudis. He held the ripped-off top of another building in his hand which contained dozens of people, some alive, some dead. He was grabbing handfuls of them and popping them into his mouth as if he were eating popcorn. The hapless humans screamed in terror as they were scooped up. Taking notice of Ghidorah, he lifted his head up and stopped chewing long enough to wave at the three-headed menace slowly walking toward him.

Gotta admit, you put on one heck of a show he spoke telepathically as Ghidorah heard a deep booming voice inside his heads.

You look like you're enjoying yourself Ghidorah grunted in kaiju speak.

"And why wouldn't I be? I'm kicking back, enjoying a little snack, watching you wreak death, chaos and destruction. What's not to like? All I need now is a beer and I'm good to go. Oh, wait a minute... Is that a brewery over there?" Gudis asked as he looked over Ghidorah's right wing. "Listen. If you can just leave that standing, it would be just swell, you know?" Gudis quipped as Ghidorah turned one of his heads toward the brewery and then back at the Gudis with a cocked eyebrow.

Is this creature insane or what? he thought to himself.

"Yes, very much so. You should try it sometime. It's a lot of fun!" the Gudis spoke out as Ghidorah realized that he must have read his thoughts.

You really find yourself amusing, don't you? Ghidorah hissed.

"Well, if you're going to be a party pooper, I suppose we should get the obligatory threats and posturing out of the way," Gudis grumbled with a sigh as he rose up, tossing the building chunk aside. The scant few human survivors still inside screamed as it crashed to the ground.

King Ghidorah seemed to recognize parts of the Gudis' make-up: the protruding spikes and oddly familiar head that was an amalgam of Anguirus and King Seesar. Gudis was huge at a towering 100 meters but still dwarfed by the immense 200-meter space dragon who sensed great power and great evil, despite Gudis' smaller stature. The two juggernauts eyed each other cautiously.

"We meet at last, King of Terror. I must admit, I am actually an aficionado of yours. All that glorious death and destruction that you have caused. It brings a tear of joy to my eye just thinking about it," Gudis said in his natural demonic tone. Ghidorah remained wary, wondering if this beast came to fight or flatter him.

"It's also good to see that you have finally grown a backbone and become a free agent again. You, as the lap dog of the Kilaaks, was downright disgraceful and insulting," Gudis snapped, referring to Ghidorah's battle with the Kilaaks and the Nebulans. If Ghidorah was not angry before, he was now.

Who was this wretch who dared to speak to him in such a manner!?

"Under different circumstances, I could have seen us as allies, but alas, that cannot be, for the Earth is mine to do with as I please. I'm afraid that you would just be in the way; a loose cannon that I cannot afford to allow roaming unchecked. I had eventually planned on wiping out all the other alien races but I suddenly realized that the Kilaaks' plans for Earth suit me perfectly. I don't even have to try to control or infect any of them. The molten volcanic mass that they will turn this planet into is perfect for me to feed upon. I'll simply stand back and let them do all the work and move in when the time is right. Of course, that cannot happen if you kill them first," Gudis snarled.

Ghidorah had heard enough and with a shrill cackle, he blasted Gudis with beams from all three of his head. He went flying backwards, plowing through several buildings and hit the ground, rolling before finally coming to a stop.

The space dragon moved in quickly. Gudis got up just in time to be kicked in the face by one of his massive feet, putting him down once more. Ghidorah then reached down, slamming all three of his heads upwards into Gudis' body, sending him flying again. He landed on and smashed down through the top of a tall skyscraper, reducing it to rubble.

Dazed, Gudis dug himself out of the debris as Ghidorah blasted him but this time, he punched his fists into the concrete in an attempt to slow the backward push of Ghidorah's beams. When he finally stopped firing, Gudis, still in a kneeling position, let loose his own eye rays at the triple-domed destroyer, amalgamated with the energy Ghidorah had just hit him with. As expected, Ghidorah's crimson shield appeared, deflecting the attack. Gudis quickly realized that a beam exchange between them would be pointless so he got physical and leapt high into the air, dodging another volley.

In mid-air, Gudis began to twist and coil as he got his body as compact as possible to use Anguirus' carapace slam. Ghidorah broke off the beam barrage and looked up as the flying wrecking ball landed right on top of him. He staggered back slightly from the impact and Gudis quickly capitalized on his brief loss of balance and charged, punching and kicking with all the strength he could muster. With Ghidorah teetering, Gudis was able to pull off a scissor kick as he literally ran up onto Ghidorah's torso to connect on his center head. One backflip uppercut kick and a second lunge later, Gudis managed to land a missile drop-kick as well but Ghidorah refused to fall.

He tried a point-blank eye beam blast but Ghidorah just absorbed the energy and fired it back as he finally regained his footing, reaching down towards the Gudis with his jaws snapping. Retaliating quickly, Gudis put a solid right hook to Ghidorah's right head directly between the eyes while blasting the face of the center one. He wasn't quick enough to stop the left head as it opened its jaws wide and clamped down directly onto his head. Ghidorah then picked him up and slammed him down hard, face first into the ground.

As Gudis tried to rise, Ghidorah used his electricity wing attack, sending him into the base of a huge building at least three times his size. Gudis sprang up quickly and blasted the ground where Ghidorah stood, tripping him up for a brief moment. When he finally steadied himself, he discovered that Gudis had uprooted the 300-meter structure with his freakish strength and launched it like a javelin.

Ghidorah went down hard as Gudis bounded into the air, attempting to land on top of him but at the last second, one of Ghidorah's heads lashed out, striking him in mid-air with an uppercut directly to his chin. Gudis landed head first almost half a mile away with crippling force. Ghidorah took to the air, raining down one beam barrage after another as Gudis was forced to one knee but still drank in the energy. As Ghidorah drew closer, he began condensing and collecting the gathered power between his hands. When he was practically on top of him, Gudis hurled a massive energy ball directly into his chest, It did no damage but the impact was enough to bring the winged destroyer crashing down. While still on the ground, Ghidorah raised one of his heads up, only to have it hit with an electrical tower that Gudis had ripped up and was brandishing like a club. When he tried to swing it again, two of the heads latched onto it and began pumping out massive amounts of energy.

"What? You're trying to overload me? Two can play that game," Gudis growled as he started an energy feed of his own through his hands on the other end. The tower began to super heat and turned red-hot. The two forces continued to build and push against one another until they became unstable, resulting in an explosion that obliterated the now white-hot tower and sent both kaiju flying in opposite directions. As Gudis groggily pulled himself up, he got slammed into head on by Ghidorah who had gone airborne. The King of Terror took Gudis high into the sky, then abruptly changed direction as they both shot back down towards the Earth below. Ghidorah drilled Gudis into the center of the city with earthquake force, making a huge impact crater.

Suddenly, tentacles sprouted from Gudis' sides and began to wrap around and entangle Ghidorah in their constricting coils. As he rose back up, he heaved with all his might and judo-tossed Ghidorah through the air. The space dragon crashed down and leveled several city blocks in the process. Ghidorah pushed himself up off the ground using his anti-gravity powers but Gudis landed on his back, unleashing his tentacles as both monsters spiraled and spun through the air. Ghidorah tried to gain altitude but lost control and they both crashed to the ground, their bodies digging a massive furrow through the city as they went down through the street, sewer system and into the bedrock itself.

Deep within the enormous trench their bodies had dug, Gudis was on top of Ghidorah who was buried and wrapped in a writhing sea of tentacles, completely immobilizing him. Ghidorah could feel the invading presence of the Gudis as it began to infest and taint his DNA. Gudis focused his eye beams on Ghidorah's right wing like a cutting torch until he managed to sheer it completely off. He then repeatedly punched and pummeled Ghidorah's heads until one was pounded to a bloody pulp. Gudis grabbed another and twisted with all his might until he heard a vertebrae snap. It fell down lifelessly to the ground as the center head stared up at him hatefully.

"And you thought you could best me? I have existed since the dawn of time! I was already a god before you were even conceived and I am supposed to cower before the likes of YOU?! I am GUDIS! I am eternal! The alpha! The omega! My power is supreme!!! And you now belong... to me."

Gudis' last comment sent Ghidorah into a rage as he erupted forth with an ear-splitting shriek. The ravager of worlds had not freed himself from slavery to one race just to become the pawn of another. It would be a cold day in Hell before this abomination would have dominion over him! Ghidorah summoned deep reserves of strength and ripped free of Gudis' tentacles, practically tearing them out of his sides as he howled in agony. A massive energy shockwave literally burned and forced the Gudis infection out of his body. Catching Gudis by surprise, Ghidorah clamped the jaws of his two still-mobile heads around his throat and right arm and picked him up, only to repeatedly slam him down into the ground again and again. He stopped just long enough to crush the Gudis' throat as the center head applied the necessary pressure to crush larynx, pharynx and trachea in his powerful jaws as Gudis vomited up a disgusting mixture of blood and bile.

Ghidorah released the Gudis and a split second later, blasted him with a combination of his gravity beams and electric attack from his remaining wing. Gudis was sent flying all the way to the outskirts of the city where he hit the side of a mountain, leaving a gigantic indentation from the force of his impact. He may have been capable of absorbing the energy but the sheer force of the beams were still brutal. As he struggled back to his feet clutching his throat, he didn't see Ghidorah until he landed right on top of him, smashing him down into ground. Ghidorah then repeatedly stomped on the back of his head, grinding his face into the earth. The enraged kaiju wrapped one of his tails around the Gudis' neck, jerking him back up and swinging him into the mountain head first. He hit with such force that he bounced off and landed in a heap nearby. As Ghidorah looked on, the Gudis slowly and painfully rose. He could hear that voice inside his head once again.

You will be mine! You cannot stop me! Gudis lunged but Ghidorah brought forth a terrible amount of power from deep within as the crimson force field appeared. Normally, it only stopped energy attacks while things of a physical nature were capable of getting through but as Gudis started to penetrate it, Ghidorah pulsed a massive energy surge that for a brief instant augmented the field's strength, resulting in the Gudis' arms being sliced off above his elbows. With a horrific shriek, he fell backwards, waving the cauterized stumps. Only now was he hit with the realization that he had been beaten but this would not be the end. Not by a long shot!

As Ghidorah advanced, Gudis blasted the mountainside above him with his eye beams. The space dragon turned just in time to get buried under tons of rock. A few minutes passed before Ghidorah finally exploded forth from the stone tomb but Gudis was nowhere to be seen. He cackled insanely to the heavens in anger and frustration and vowed they would meet again. He had suffered some terrible injuries but he would heal in time and ravage the world anew.

Gudis may have retreated but he had almost toppled King Ghidorah. He now realized that he still did not have the power he needed, a mistake he planned to soon rectify.

*****

Six hundred miles above the Earth's surface, a brilliant golden light glistened, seeming to ascend from the teeming world below. Once more, the planet's uppermost reaches of the atmosphere bore witness to an injured tyrant. King Ghidorah staggered into the blackness of space, liquid crimson gushing from the horribly mutilated stump that was once his right wing. His left neck had been snapped in two and was now hanging at a sickening angle in comparison to the rest of his body. His right head and neck were a bloody mess but still capable of moving about and firing his trademark twisted gravitic energy. His glistening golden hide was marked with scratches, burns and tears from the relentless assault of the entity known as Gudis.

King Ghidorah had once visited a world devastated by the virus-like being and was impressed with the amount of death and destruction he had wrought. He had hoped to one day meet the creature to see who would truly dominate the universe. Ghidorah was now glad that he hadn't met Gudis before his resurrection at the hands of the Kilaaks, the very same beings who had sentenced him to death in the first place.

It had been hard enough defeating the beast after such a surge of energy. Without his shield and wing lightning, he surely would have been slain or worse, assimilated into the Gudis' own organism, allowing it to become the ultimate killing machine.

King Ghidorah allowed his restless mind to slip into a coma as his body began to glow, his powers over electro-magnetic fields and gravity allowing him to attract masses of micro-meteoroids and space debris to his body, encasing his golden scales in an asteroid-like structure that slowly began to orbit the Earth. The leviathan awaited his revival, unaware of the burning saucer-shaped vessel that followed him at a safe distance.

Frankenstein

At a top secret government laboratory somewhere in Japan, security alarms suddenly blared in the night as something very large smashed into the moderately guarded complex. Gudis barreled in, crushing countless personnel until he reached what appeared to be a large holding cell of some kind with reinforced titanium bars. Even without his arms, the Gudis could still use his strength and body weight to smash through just about anything.

"At last I have found you," he growled.

Inside the cell was Frankenstein. After being dragged down to his watery death off the coast of Hiroshima by the Devilfish in 1966, scientists had recovered his remains and placed them in this lab for study. Over time, the creature's body regenerated and Frankenstein lived anew but this time, precautions were taken to insure that he would not escape again.

Frankenstein had aged some but the radioactivity connected to his ability to regenerate had apparently slowed the process. He looked up at the Gudis, roaring defiantly as he shook his fists at the towering behemoth in front of him.

"How very amusing," the Gudis said, trying to stifle a laugh as he ripped the cell door off its hinges with his jaws. Frankenstein backed into a corner of his cell, snarling like a cornered animal. Gudis brought forth one of his violet spheres, enveloping and trapping Frankenstein who held his arms out as it surrounded him. Once it did, he was frozen in place in a sort of suspended animation. Gudis absorbed it back into himself and Frankenstein and the abilities that he possessed became a part of him. It became evident as he almost instantly regrew his severed arms and regenerated all the damage done to him by King Ghidorah. His own power magnified Frankenstein's regenerative abilities a hundred times over.

"Thank you, Frankenstein," Gudis said with a devilish grin.

*****

On Obelisk Island in the South Seas off the coast of Japan, several thousand tons of saurian flesh hit the ground hard as the monster Gappa was floored by a crippling punch. It looked up at the nightmarish form of the Gudis standing over it, spreading its jaws in a sadistic smile. This Gappa was the same one that had been kidnapped from its island home as a hatchling in 1967, now fully grown and with a mate of its own. He had produced an offspring as well. As he attempted to fight off the attacker, it was becoming painfully obvious that he was outmatched and looked back at his mate who was standing several hundred meters behind, protectively guarding their child.

Gudis had come to absorb one of the Gappas in order to gain the ability of flight. With Anguirus' DNA now a part of him, he discovered that he was a superb swimmer, having made the trip from the mainland in record time. The Gappa lunged up with a roar as he charged but got backhanded aside easily, going down in a heap once again. Rolling over on his side, he fired his heat ray but Gudis just stood there, laughing at this attempt to harm him. The Gappa turned back towards his mate with pleading eyes and shrieked to her in their own language.

Get out of here now! Go! Fly away!

No! I won't leave you!

You must! You must save yourself and our son! the male pleaded as the Gudis wrapped his right hand around the back of his neck. The Gappa was picked up off the ground and given a painful back-breaking maneuver as Gudis brought him down over his right knee. The Triphibian bellowed in pain but still tried to fight on as he agonizingly pushed himself up off the ground and swiped at the Gudis with his claws from a kneeling position. The Gudis kicked him in the face, putting him down yet again. Before he could get back up, Gudis blasted him with his eye beams, sending him flying and crashing back down with a terrible impact.

NO! the female wailed in anguish.

Daddy! the youngling cried with tears in its eyes. The Gudis casually walked over to the quivering body of his prey and grabbed hold of him yet again. He picked him up into a power bomb, slamming him down hard on his back, resulting in reverberating impact tremors. The Gappa went numb all over, not realizing that several of the vertebrae in its spine had just been obliterated as the kaiju began to go into shock. The Gudis looked down at the creature, his eyes full of contempt and malice as he reached down to bring him up to a kneeling position in front of him, facing his mate and son. Gudis stared at them. He could feel their sadness and despair and see it in their eyes. It was delicious!

The female Gappa heard a voice inside her head. Do you love him? the Gudis hissed in disgust.

Please stop this! Don't hurt him anymore. Please! she begged.

"Answer the question!!!" Gudis roared.

Why are you doing this? We haven't done anything to you!

"SAY IT, WRETCH!" Gudis grabbed and twisted her mate's left arm, shattering the bones into splinters.

Yes! Yes, I love him! she sobbed, breaking down in tears.

"Does it make you strong?"

Wha-what?

"Your love. Is it supposed to give you strength?"

...Yes...

"Was it supposed to make him strong, too?"

Please! Just leave us alone! she screamed.

"Answer the question or I'll snap his neck!"

YES! YES, DAMN YOU!!!

"Then tell me, worm... Why did I slaughter him so easily? Where is this strength you speak of? I have heard some claim that love is the most powerful force in the universe, yet I see no proof here. Is it even real?" The female Gappa fell to her knees, overcome by the misery that had overtaken her as her son clinged to her desperately. "You are a fool and so is he! The only reality is power. Those who have it survive and those that don't..." the Gudis abruptly broke the male Gappa's neck with a twist of his head.

NOOOOO! The female exploded in horrified grief as she watched her mate die before her eyes. The Gudis let his body fall lifelessly to the ground. The young Gappa began to cry and shriek uncontrollably as he turned away, burying his face in his mother's embrace. But as they knelt there on the ground, the female's pain was replaced by anger and she rose to a standing position. Go, son... now she told her offspring as the Gudis looked on.

What? he asked her between sobs.

Go! Run!

But, momma...

Do as I say. Now! she bellowed as he staggered back from her sudden outburst. NOW! she roared in a tone he had never heard her use before. ... Please... she begged. After a few moments, the young Gappa finally did as he was told and began to run away. His mother flews straight at the Gudis in a rage as she uttered an earsplitting screech. The Gudis simply thrust out his right hand, stopping her dead in her tracks and grabbed hold of her throat. As he slowly suffocated and lifted her off the ground, she blasted him directly in the face with her oral ray but it was useless.

"Pathetic," Gudis snarled, nonchalantly snapping her neck. The sound of her ruptured bones almost seemed to echo as the little Gappa stopped suddenly and spun around to see what had happened.

... Mo-mo-momma? the youngling whimpered as tears started to stream down his face once more. The Gudis threw her body aside like so much garbage and looked over at the last surviving Triphibian of what had once been a family. Filled with terror, he took off running and unfolded his wings, trying desperately to take off. He strained with everything he had and flapped his tiny wings as fast as he could. After a few moments, he could finally feel himself starting to lift off the ground. I'm going to make it! I'm going to -

KA-BLAM!!! As the juvenile Gappa managed to lift off into the air, his tiny body was evicerated by a blast from the Gudis' eye beams. He never knew what hit him. Gudis then turned back towards the body of the male and encased it in one of his spheres to absorb it. A massive pair of Gappa-like wings grew and unfolded out of his back but adding his own power to the transformation, they grew far larger than normal as the Gudis started to hover above the ground like an unholy angel.

"Excellent!" he exclaimed before taking off into the sky at breakneck speed, leaving behind the broken and tattered remains of the Triphibian family whose blood now stained his hands.

Rematch: Ultraman Great vs Gudis Gudis, in his new form, was traveling across Okinawa when something suddenly appeared in front of him with a blinding flash. Standing before him was his former arch nemesis, Ultraman Great. His appearance, for the most part, was the same, other than it looked like he had bulked up considerably since their last encounter.

"Well, well, well! What have we here? You showed up a lot quicker than I expected. How are you, my old friend?" Gudis snarled, his demonic voice dripping with venom and hatred.

"It has been a long time, Gudis, but do we really need to waste time talking? When it came to me and you, it was never about words," Ultraman proclaimed as he studied Gudis closely.

"Indeed... it never was," the monster hissed, suddenly firing a volley of spiral red eye beams at the silver defender who barely managed to leap over them in time. Ultraman landed directly behind Gudis and heaved back as a large blue sphere of energy appeared between his palms. When Gudis turned around, he let him have it hard in the chest, pushing him back as his feet skidded across the ground, digging huge furrows in the earth. When he finally came to a stop, he looked up at Ultraman and curled his fierce jaws in what for him passed as a smile.

"Thank you," he said calmly as his eyes began to glow the same color as the attack that just hit him. Ultraman crossed his arms in front of him, throwing up a force field as Gudis fired a pair of blue energy beams. They struck and eventually dissipated as the hero brought his arms back down to fire a volley of blasts from his hands in rapid succession. Gudis walked towards Ultraman, taking in shot after shot. Again, his eyes glowed with the absorbed energy. The Ultra sidestepped the beams and rushed in to engage in a physical exchange.

The two titans tried to land punches but kept blocking each other's swings. It was Ultraman who finally connected with an uppercut that sent Gudis flying backwards and landing hard on the back of his head and neck, flipping all the way over and ending up face first on the ground. He slowly got back up with a genuine look of surprise on his face.

"Fifteen years is a long time, Gudis, and I have grown far stronger since the last time we faced one another."

"As have I," Gudis growled as he charged forward with an angry roar. This time, Gudis attacked with his fists and a swarming mass of tentacles. Ultraman moved with incredible speed and reflexes but had to back away from the furious assault. Realizing that he was overpowered, Ultraman ducked low and used a sweep kick to take out Gudis' legs. The mutation hit the ground, sending tremors through the earth. Ultraman tried to pounce on Gudis but his tentacles shot forth to wrap around him. Using the distraction to his advantage, Gudis fired his crimson eye beams which Ultraman blocked with his shield. But as he did so, some of Gudis' tentacles reached around from behind and encircled his legs. By the time he realized what was happening, it was too late.

Gudis jerked Ultraman up off the ground by his legs, lifting him high in the air and violently slammed him back down as if he were cracking a whip. He then quickly reached down, grabbed him by his face, picked him up and drilled him back into the ground head first. If not for Ultraman's highly developed muscles and physiology, the attack would have broken his neck. He then gave him a stiff kick to his rib cage, sending him flying and crashing back down with a heavy thud.

Ultraman fought the pain wracking his body as he struggled to his feet in time to see Gudis charging again. He sidestepped and then cartwheeled behind him, wrapping his arms around the monster's waist as he threw him backwards with an earth-shaking release suplex. The monster landed on the back of his head and neck. As he got back up, Ultraman went into a spin, hitting his ancient enemy with a series of roundhouse punches, backhands and tornado kicks, backing him up with the sheer force of his blows. He focused on Gudis' head, seeing as the rest of his new form was covered in armor and spikes and seemed quite impervious to physical damage.

Ultraman capped this incredible offensive by unleashing his ultimate finisher, the Burning Plasma blast. The devastating energy reeled off his forearms, nailing Gudis at point blank range. The wily creature hit the ground and rolled until coming to a stop in a heap. Ultraman walked over, preparing to hit him again. Suddenly, Gudis jumped up, giving him a straight jab to his metallic face and putting him flat on his back.

"Thanks for the pick-me-up," Gudis said as he returned the attack. Ultraman threw up his force field but still got thrown hard into the side of a mountain by the sheer force of the blast. The timer on his chest began to blink as Gudis advanced once more, firing his eye beams against the field that had already been weakened by the returned Burning Plasma. He finally breached it, resulting in a mighty explosion. The dazed and disoriented Ultra didn't have enough time to react as Gudis launched himself through the air and turned in mid-leap to let his spiked carapace smash hard into Ultraman's face and chest.

After that attack, Ultraman was groggy and on the ground. Gudis reached down, grabbing hold of his chest. One hand held him up as Gudis repeatedly pummeled his head with his other fist.

"Insect! Do you not know what you face? Do you not know who you face!?" Gudis scowled, slamming his fist into Ultraman's head with such power and ferocity that he dented it. He then hit him with a point-blank blast of his eye beams, putting him down again. As Ultraman attempted to rise, Gudis doubled him back over with a kick to the gut. He casually flipped overhead, turned his back, hunkered down and wrapped his arms around the wobbly Ultra's waist. With a powerful heave, Gudis spiked the silver hero's head violently into the earth. His entire body bounced and recoiled from the impact of the pile driver. Ultraman was practically comatose as his limp form crashed to the ground. Gudis nonchalantly walked up and grabbed him by the throat. A blue ooze was seeping from a crack that had formed in the crushed part of Ultraman's skull. Several of his biological and synthetic internal organs were damaged and failing, not to mention countless broken bones he had suffered.

"The mighty Ultraman Great... beaten at last. Ignorant fool! The only reason you defeated me 15 years ago was because of the distraction caused by your human host when I absorbed you. Otherwise, you would have died then! Did you really think you could stand against me now with my newfound power?!" Gudis' eyes began to glow a bright red as he prepared to fire his eye beams once more which would surely finish Ultraman off in his present condition.

Ultraman Great's timer reached zero, resulting in his physical body dematerializing and vanishing before Gudis could blast him. The brief time limit that is normally an Ultra's bane in battle had saved his life. Gudis howled in fury at the missed opportunity to finish off his old adversary but soon decided that it did not matter. After the damage and injuries he had sustained, it was unlikely that Ultraman Great would ever fight again. Gudis composed himself as he turned to begin his trek across the Okinawan countryside once more with but one evil and sadistically gleeful thought running through his mind:

"Who's next?"

The Death of Osaka

It was 3:37 P.M. as Takuro Kitadei walked nervously down the crowded street. He could feel the tension rolling off the people walking past him, see it in their faces, smell it as they feared something horrible. Something wasn't right.

The Nebulans had driven off King Ghidorah who appeared to have gone mad but it troubled Takuro. Did they have control of him? He had always believed the creature to be the very essence of evil. Mankind had been assured that the creature could be a great power for good. Meanwhile, two other monsters, while menacing and frightening in their own right, had always seemed to come and save mankind from calamity in the past. Anguirus had been slain and Godzilla was gone, his body being mysteriously transported away, along with Gigan's. Despite all the property damage and loss of lives caused by the leviathan, he was the driving force behind stopping the rampages of other kaiju and had helped, along with Anguirus and many other monsters, to put an end to the attacks of King Ghidorah.

It may have sounded crazy but Godzilla's demise seemed to make the Earth a much more dangerous place. Takuro didn't trust any alien beings. Oh well, he thought bitterly as he entered the large office building where he worked. Nothing I can do about it...

The tension seemed to escalate inside the unusually cramped and crowded hallways as he made himself a cup of coffee. Takuro finally got to his office and shut the door behind him, letting out a long sigh before dropping his briefcase on his chair and taking a sip of his coffee. He turned and stared out the window at the grand city of Osaka. Smoke rose like a tombstone from the east. Osaka Castle was burning! He shuddered, feeling a chill run down his spine. A huge explosion suddenly rocked the city, engulfing the castle completely. When the smoke cleared, a series of fireballs were revealed. Takuro suppressed a horrified scream when he recognized them as Kilaak ships in their 'Fire Dragon' mode.

A beam shot out from a larger ship near the middle of the formation and a building collapsed into the street below. Just then, the cities' sirens came to life, their mournful requiem filling the downtown area and igniting a massive panic. Flames suddenly burst from all of the ships and engulfed many buildings in fiery explosions. Takuro instinctively turned and ran for his life, striking his office wall and collapsing in a heap on the floor, unconscious.

*****

The Kilaak ships cleared two city blocks of all structures before landing, their fires dwindling and leaving a series of bright red and orange discs. A port opened on the bottom of each and a ramp lowered to the ground. Thousands of Kilaaks wearing shimmering chain mail and body armor marched out, looking for all the world like a medieval army of unimaginable proportions and power. Several smaller land cruising vehicles were lowered and ten Kilaaks boarded each one. These were mobile pulse cannons and transports. An American who had been watching the whole ordeal suddenly ran from his hiding spot with a pump shotgun, blasting at the soldiers.

"Die, you alien bastards!" he shrieked, unloading his weapon at them. The Kilaaks were surprised but smiled as the steel pellets bounced harmlessly off their metallic armor. A single warrior ran at the foolish man who screamed and began running away but the Kilaak was quickly on top of him. He crushed his skull with his bare hands and wiped the blood and gore on the would-be hero's clothing, laughing the entire time.

At that moment, the city's automated defense systems began to rise from several strategic buildings and clearings. They had been built around the mid-80s, designed to ward off the attacks of monsters until the military could get to the scene. Missiles and tank shells suddenly filled the air, streaking across the landscape to bounce off of or crumple harmlessly against the Kilaak's advanced shielding systems. The Kilaaks continued their advance on the remaining structures, expanding their shields to protect them from any further resistance. They fired at the buildings and a jet of intense flame melted the steel support girders until they collapsed in on themselves. The aliens began to spread out, creating a semi-circle of devastation but the real hell had yet to begin.

A Kilaak ship rose into the sky and turned suddenly, facing toward the sea as a booming cackle echoed through the steel canyons of the city like the cry of an avenging god. Rodan had arrived.

Aboard the Flaming Fury, nestled safely amongst his invasion fleet, King Karkaru smiled. He knew their presence would arouse at least one of the monsters that had fought against them six years ago. The pursuit craft prepared for an aerial duel as Rodan came into view, moving too fast to spot accurately but it gave chase to the flying reptile a full mile above it, moving as fast as it could.

Suddenly, something no one had counted on hit them with the fury of twenty hurricanes. A sonic boom leveled everything in the area: Kilaaks, ships, buildings. Human or alien, it did not matter. Every Kilaak out in the open fell flat on his face. The grounded ships were knocked down flat, their 'legs' collapsing underneath them. The Kilaaks did not allow such an attack to deter them, however.

A fighter craft in the sky banked sharply and got directly behind the great flying creature, slipping slightly below its flight path to avoid the slipstream. Rodan made a lazy turn to the right as it began to fire on his leathery hide, then suddenly flew straight up into the air. The Kilaak ship struggled to follow as the pterosaur completed a 180 degree turn and flew down at it. The pilot steered hard to the left, spinning out of control as Rodan zoomed past, only to fly back up and snatch his craft out of the sky with his talons. The vessel encased itself in flame, causing a shriek of pain. Rodan dropped the ship and it began to spin around furiously, creating a firestorm that surrounded the winged reptile, scorching the creature's flesh. But to one who had survived the might of Godzilla's beam, this was nothing.

Rodan began to fly in circles and the firestorm became a tornado of flames in the sky. The Kilaak ship was caught in the immense winds, losing control and tossing about violently. Rodan dived straight for it, slamming into the ship. It exploded against his massive body, the remains of the vessel falling from the sky and onto a skyscraper, bringing the structure down with it. Rodan circled several times, inspecting the damage as he began to slow and descend, approaching the Kilaak army with anger in his soul and fire in his heart.

When he spotted the formation a good mile below him, he began to speed up. He closed his wings around his body and dived, ready to flare them out at the last minute to capture his prey in his talons. The creature approached at a speed that dwarfed his previous records.

Rodan never saw the force shield surrounding the Kilaak troops and slammed into it with the impact of a speeding missile. His neck snapped instantly and the great winged samurai of the skies was vanquished by his own incredible abilities. The pterosaur's body fell, broken and battered, to the ground. The Kilaaks, ever unforgiving and unsympathetic, burned the carcass away with their advanced heat weaponry before resuming their merciless attack on the once-proud metropolis.

*****

Takuro awoke on his office floor with a start. He regretted it, feeling the pain shoot like daggers up his leg. Blinking several times, his eyes came into focus and he saw that a wall had partially collapsed on him. He pushed at the debris and surprisingly, lifted it away. Takuro soon rose on his good leg, using his guest chair for support. He rubbed his eyes and looked out the window. Then he screamed. Osaka wasn't just in ruins, it was annihilated. And what was worse, the eastern portion of the city seemed to be covered in boiling hot lava which slowly but inescapably inched its way towards the industrial district.

He looked upwards and saw that the skies were flashing with static lightning. Every once in a while, the lava would roll over a gas main and another explosion would rock the building. He began to sob. His parents lived in the part of the city that seemed to be covered by the cooling rock. He had no home.

Takuro looked at his watch. It was only around 4 P.M. but the skies were black as night. Finding his battery-powered television, he turned it on and stared at the tiny screen. The sound was off but he saw the ominous cloud rising over Osaka. It resembled a black mountain, looming over the city of Man.

Mount Aso

A Kilaak ship slowly approached the crater of the immense mountain before it. It was the volcano known as Mount Aso and the birthplace of the creatures called Rodan. The original two mutant Pteranodons had first raised their ugly heads from this mountain and caused worldwide panic before laying waste to Tokyo two years after it had initially been devastated by the first Godzilla to appear.

A military strike had caused the already active volcano to erupt. Both of the pterosaurs perished in the incredibly hot lava, their bodies not able to withstand such intense heat. However, several years later, the creatures' son who was seen hatching by one of the humans back in 1956, emerged from the crater. It had appeared in response to the arrival of King Ghidorah, a being that upset the lives of every creature its evil presence was felt by.

Since then, the mountain had stood silent, a mere shell of its former self. The volcano was no longer active and was well on its way to becoming extinct. The magma chamber deep beneath it was still there but it would soon sink back into the mantle due to natural forces.

The ship circled the area several times before hovering above the mountain. An immense beam powered up and shot from underneath it, striking deep inside the volcano's crater, setting off a chain reaction of sub-atomic explosions within the magma chamber and creating an immense increase in pressure. However, the beam did much more than just revive a dying volcano.

Its mission completed, the space ship shot away to continue its trek across Japan. The mountain was quiet for a moment but then the entire area began to rumble. A vent opened in its side, releasing a plume of molten rock. Another exploded out of the opposite side, relieving some of the pressure. Suddenly, from the main caldera, an immense blast of lava and rock shot into the night sky, lighting up the area for miles in every direction. The eruption poured enormous amounts of ash and dust into the sky, creating a massive black cloud which drifted south with the wind. The choking material added to that coming from Mount Fuji and several other volcanos the Kilaaks had activated. The skies of southern Japan would be dark for weeks beneath the oppressive snowy clouds of death.

From the caldera of the erupting volcano, a strange ghostly cackle was heard above the rumbling of the angry mountain. A careful observer might have noticed a red form rise with the lava. From the ashes of its ancestors like the fiery phoenix of old, a creature that was aglow with unearthly energy came forth. Just as quickly as the winged samurai appeared, it dove into the molten rock and ash pouring forth from the now beating heart of the Earth.

[INTERLUDE] Fire Rodan vs Megaguirus

From the caldera of the immense volcano, a strange, unearthly cackle was heard. Suddenly, an explosion of rock occurred and a large red form rose from the mountain. Energy was coursing through the being, pulsating through every vein in his body. The animal was at least 100 meters from head to toe and any citizen of Japan would instantly realize the heritage of such a beast. It was Rodan, only different somehow, as if mutated.

A third horn sprouted from the back of its head, larger than the other two. Its beak was longer and much sharper. Huge wings stretched out to more resemble those of a pterosaur's. Its tail was thinner and longer but despite these changes, a winged samurai of the sky had once again been born out of the mighty Mount Aso.

It was the brother of the flying fighter that had only recently been killed by the very same creatures that had revived him. The kaiju opened its mighty beak and let out another haunting roar that resonated inside the deep crater of the volcano... and was answered. Another explosion of rock and dust occurred and rising into the night sky alongside her ancient foe was an immense purple-hued insect with mighty claws and a gigantic tail and stinger. It let out a high-pitched shriek at her opponent. It also had been revived by the Kilaak energy wave.

For many millions of years, the Rodan family had been feeding on the Meganula, a species of large insect that had been around since before there were dinosaurs. When the first Rodan evolved, a battle for dominance in the skies began but was cut short with the arrival of Death Ghidorah and the extinction of the dinosaurs. The few remaining Rodans sought shelter in volcanos such as Mount Aso. Looking for energy to feed on, the Meganurons also found themselves drawn to the thermal chambers; and prisons where their species would be trapped for the next sixty-five million years.

This creature, Megaguirus, was the queen of the Meganurons. It had long ago been confined in the mountain where all it could do was lay eggs. These hatched into the Meganurons that fed the Rodans for so long. Now free from her prison and charged with enough energy to fly like her ancestors, Megaguirus was ready to resume the age-old war for aerial domination.

Rodan cackled furiously at his foe and knew that his first battle would not be an easy one. Megaguirus had disappeared, flying at incredible speed but Rodan had evolved natural defenses to this tactic. He almost just as quickly relocated the gargantuan dragonfly. Megaguirus let out a high-pitched wail and flew circles around the stationary pterosaur. Rodan suddenly thrust out his talons, snatching Megaguirus' right wing in his claws. The two flying titans spun out of control to the ground, slamming into the mountainside. Rodan lifted his head and thrust it down again. Megaguirus zipped away just in time as his beak blasted a hole in the dirt and rock. Rodan flapped his wings and rose into the sky, chasing his foe in gigantic circles. Megaguirus banked sharply to the left and Rodan swung wide to catch up with her. She then suddenly stopped dead in the air and thrust her huge stinger forward. The appendage drove into Rodan's shoulder, sending spasms of pain through the pterosaur. He felt his life energy flowing through it and into the terrible insect.

Rodan brought his talons up and latched onto Megaguirus' tail. The insect shrieked as he shoved away from the marauding killer. Megaguirus dived at her opponent, latching onto both of his wings with her claws. Her teeth drove into Rodan's neck as the winged reptile brought his talons up once more, this time grabbing onto Megaguirus' sides, locking the two in a deadly embrace. Megaguirus struggled to hold both of them in the air but finally gave up, letting go but Rodan did not fall. His talons had dug into Megaguirus' sides and he was a much stronger flyer. He carried the struggling insect queen for several hundred meters before dropping her, tiring under her immense bulk. Megaguirus rose back up to battle but met the sharp end of his beak. Her left eye was a gushing mess as Rodan lapped at the insect's blood, feasting on its primal delights.

Provoked by the promise of a meal, Rodan went ballistic. He pecked furiously at his opponent, most of his attempts sparking uselessly off Megaguirus' armored hide. She flew away at supersonic speed away from her mortal enemy to reconsider her attack plan, knowing Rodan could not catch up. Megaguirus flew a wide circle around the battlefield before zooming back. He was not prepared for the sudden attack and knocked out of the sky. Rodan struggled to his feet, using his wing claws to support himself. Megaguirus was quickly on top of him, her stinger stabbing into his back.

Rodan let out a cry of anguish as Megaguirus used her weight to keep him down while draining his energy. The battle seemed all but won in favor of the colossal prehistoric dragonfly when Rodan suddenly thrust his head backwards, driving his elongated center horn into the exposed underside of Megaguirus' tail. She shrieked in surprise as he thrust his head forward, pulling the stinger out of his back and over his head. He snatched the appendage in his beak and crushed it into a thousand pieces. Megaguirus shrieked in agony as Rodan rose into the air underneath her, soaring higher into the night sky. Megaguirus snapped futilely at his head with her claws as the pterosaur went into a roll, causing the insect to fall away.

Rodan snatched the creature in his talons and cackled in victory as it flapped its wings, doing little more than propelling the two creatures forward. He leaned down and seized one of Megaguirus' squirming arms in his beak, pulling it free to drop into the forest below as the one-eyed Megaguirus wailed in pain. Rodan then pecked brutally at the underside of creature's head, creating a hole into its jaws. Megaguirus tried to shriek but only blasted blood out of her throat.

Rodan cackled and poked another hole in Megaguirus' exoskeleton in the center of her belly before tearing off one of the creature's wings. He circled the volcano several times with his dying prey before diving into the crater. He flew down into the heart of the earthen beast, where temperatures were hot enough to instantly kill most living beings but Rodan was minimally affected by the heat. Megaguirus, on the other hand, was in hell. The creature was being cooked alive, smoke and steam pouring off its body. Rodan could smell the aroma of the burning flesh and felt his mouth water. He finally lifted out of the magma chamber, flying into the cool night air and dropping the charred remains of Megaguirus on the ground below. Rodan alighted next to the carcass and let out a mighty triumphant cackling roar before diving his head into Megaguirus' belly, feasting on the creature's cooked flesh.

Breach of Contract

Fumio paced the bridge of the Nebulan flagship Re'lic. He was alone, having ordered the crew to stand-by so that he could think in peace. Even with no major military activity in space occurring, his mind was in tumult and his nerves shot. The peace he sought in the blackness of space did not come to him as he thought about the Kilaaks recent actions in Japan. It seemed in his mind - and rightly so - that their decision to activate the Pacific volcanos went against their agreement under the alliance they had formed.

As he recalled their deal, the Nebulans and Kilaaks would share the planet together and live in harmony. The Nebulans, with their sad history, were desperate to live on Earth the way they were meant to, not subjected to a 'superior' species, nor try to make ends meet on a dying planet. Their dream was to flourish in a world of peace, unity and pacifism.

The Kilaaks were also in need of a new home and had reasoned that if they gave the Nebulans the necessary help and technology they required to create such a world of peace, all the metal beings asked in return was to live peacefully amongst the volcanos and hot springs of the planet. Their terms were acceptable and an alliance was forged but this act of theirs was outrageous! Activating volcanos was uncalled for! Fumio had said they could have the volcanos but nothing about activating each and every one of them! As far as he knew, they hadn't established a permanent base in any of them. If the Kilaaks kept this up, the planet would soon become an inhospitable boiling pot of lava. The Kilaaks knew his people couldn't survive in such conditions!

Fumio was determined to speak with King Karkaru but every time he tried, he was put off. The nerve of the creature! He was becoming more worried by the minute. What were they planning behind his back? Why had they not consulted him about the volcanos? Why were they seemingly reluctant to answer his pleas for communication? He hadn't spoken to Karkaru since the Moon Base had been destroyed, another act done without Nebulan consultation. With a chill realization, Fumio suddenly wondered if his outburst when King Ghidorah went rogue had anything to do with that seemingly treasonous act.

Even so, this was most irregular. Their initial plan was that Fumio would work the inside job, using politics, lies and trickery to break up the world governments. In order to achieve this, he had to make a fictitious alliance with mankind and the undersea kingdoms. Surely a man trying to unite the entire planet would have nothing to do with world domination! Of course, everyone would be suspicious at first. That was to be expected but after seeing Fumio in action, ridding humanity of Godzilla, reuniting the supposedly 'lost' nations with those above the surface, they would accept him and his associates as friendly comrades. He insisted on his species wearing their human disguises as mankind would take a warmer approach to aliens that appeared as they did. That aside, it was almost necessary that the Nebulans inhabit human 'hosts' - usually deceased ones - as humanoids proved most useful in their physical structure and opposable digits.

On the other hand, it was decided that the Kilaaks would go on the offensive, outright attacking the Earth and weakening man's newly-united forces while the Nebulans slowly broke the whole system down from the inside out. With both races working against Earth's inhabitants and with two different strategies of doing so, humanity was sure to fall under their mighty hand.

Fumio was about to give up on his latest attempt to contact the Kilaaks when a holographic image appeared in front of the Nebulan Chairman. It was Karkaru, dressed in his signature golden armor.

"You requested my attention and now you have it. What do you want, Fumio?" Karkaru's voice was unusually sinister.

"I want to know why you have gone against our treaty... Why you have attacked the humans before you said you would. I needed more time to work with them but you are ruining everything! And these volcanos... You are erupting them on purpose! You said you would simply -"

"I don't have time to listen to your complaining, Fumio! If you remember, we agreed that I would be handling the military side of things. The loss of King Ghidorah has forced me to change my initial plans. He will still aid us in destroying humankind as well as the other aliens but I am afraid he will attack us as well.

"The actions I took were of great importance to our course of action. You may not yet understand this but I assure you that we are not acting against you in any way." Karkaru's voice trailed off as he said something inaudible to one of his crewmen.

"But the volcanos... They -"

"They are only a demonstration of our power," the Kilaak continued before Fumio could object. "We both agreed that we must first scare the humans from their ideas of bravery and hope. And we also strongly agreed that Japan must die so I have made provisions for it to be wiped from the face of the Earth. The volcanos we have activated will do so but not negatively effect the planet otherwise. The Earth has survived much worse in its ancient past than what we are doing to it now." The Kilaak King's eyes flashed, something Fumio had only seen several times in his negotiations with Karkaru. All instances had dealt with the conquering of Earth and it always happened when the King made a deal that benefited the Nebulans. The effect caused an air of suspicion to settle in Fumio's mind.

"If you do not trust me then so be it," Karkaru said, as if reading Fumio's thoughts. "We need to work together to take this planet so I suggest that we keep this feud between the two of us. If you will excuse me, I have a matter to attend to." With that, the Kilaak ended the exchange and left Fumio even more confused than when the conversation had begun.

The Virans

Near the planet Jupiter, a star ship curiously shaped like a group of beehives stuck together spun a slow course through space. It could accelerate to great speeds with a whim but the beings inhabiting it were content with taking their time. The ship was known as a Modular Stat Transport to its creators and this particular one was called the Azag-Thoth.

Within the command module, its crew had gathered for an important meeting. They were close to the dreaded planet Earth, a world the creatures of Viras held in their deepest desires.

Mordant Zerrulus swept his tentacles across the floor, making a loud SHUWPing noise. His body closely resembled a silver tree trunk, topped with a series of peels almost in mockery of leaves. The Viran had six thrashing tentacles and a triangular face on the trunk's front side. Having finally gotten the attention of his brethren, Zerrulus spoke.

"Quiet, gathered fools! Allow the Master to speak!" That having been said, the Mordant (or Counselor, in their native tongue) looked up at the cage in which the Master (what the Virans considered a Captain) was suspended. This particular Viran had been one of many who underwent genetic modification on Viras, appearing different from the usual cephalopod. Instead of having silver scales like most of the others, the Master had a blue-green color. Its tentacles, of which there were twice the usual number, were tipped with barbs on the end. Its head was more rounded, like an octopus rather than a squid.

"Thank you, Mordant. Now, I am quite positive we all know the reason we were sent from our mother star. Since the development of our terraformation procedures, colonization of other planets has been most appealing. Yet, the bioweapon called Qu'thulos, possibly our most potent creation, disappeared into deep space. We have now located Qu'thulos under the surface of the planet Earth." Master C'seris stopped speaking, allowing the cyborg Viran, Iodrakas, to grate out the rest of his presentation.

"The Qu'thulos organism is theorized to be buried underneath that world's rocky exterior. Know that this world's inhabitants are formidable. The thrice-damned enemy, Gamera -" A hissing cacophony of sound filled the air for a moment. "- originates from this planet. It may or may not be alive. Master C'seris, continue."

"Our plan is to establish an alliance with another species, one native to this solar system. We will have agents placed inside bodies and infiltrate the control centers of our enemies. Once they are out of the way, we will be free to move in, extract Qu'thulos and warp back to Viras." Of course, most of the Virans in command positions, including Iodrakas and Zerrulus, knew that C'seris had failed to mention the Earth's monsters. He settled back in his command cage, tentacles spread out in a reclining position as he activated the auto-comfort system. If the Virans had been humans, the Azag-Thoth would be a battle cruiser and C'seris would be settling back with his arms behind his head in a captain's chair. He turned to look at his attendant, Iodrakas, who was more machine than Viran. The Commander gestured and Iodrakas spoke in his metallic, artificial voice.

"Master C'seris. Full reports of this system's native species are complete. Shall I proceed?" C'seris looked into the blue optics serving as Iodrakas' eyes. The cyborg appeared to be made of a striking red metal, with tentacles replaced by robotic limbs. Each held a series of multi-purpose tools. At first glance, Iodrakas would appear to be a machine but underneath the metal was the scarred remains of an organic Viran who had been caught in an explosion. Heavy cyborging now kept him alive but C'seris didn't care about any of that at the moment.

"Proceed."

"There are at least four major sentient races in this solar system:

  1. The people of Earth, which we are already aware of. They appear to be allied with an insectoid race but surveillance may have been inaccurate in that matter.
  2. There are two more races. One is a species of sentient mineral using hot temperatures to maintain a form like that of the Earth people.
  3. And one last race, of the same physical appearance in the most part as the Earth people. This race appears to be divided in two, each inhabiting a different planetoid. The first race I mention is deformed by radiation, or so it appears.
  4. The other race appears normal, with a cold planet and technology similar to our own.

"My recommendation would be an alliance with this species as its planet is most comparable to our own." C'seris scraped a claw against his cage.

"Are they worthy of our trust?"

"Negative. But alliance can be maintained on a mutual understanding. Also, one of our surveillance satellites was destroyed by a giant draconian creature. The wreckage was totally immolated, leaving but spare molecules behind." C'seris pointed a clawed tentacle at the exit to the room.

"Inform the rest of them... Oh, do our future allies have nanite technology?"

"Negative."

"Excellent..." Iodrakas left through the artificial gravity tunnel, leaving C'seris alone. The Viran Commander tightened his beak in an imitation of a smile.

The Mysterians

Central City had just passed out of the rays of the sun for the day. Outside the domed Martian city, it was unimaginably cold, even for the Mysterians. There were no single houses in Central City and everyone lived in apartment structures. At the center of the metropolis was a huge, gleaming tower designated for the political authorities.

At the very top was the home of the leader of the Mysterians, Koban, who was the son of the former King who had led the attack on Earth several years ago in hopes of getting women to rectify the problems of his radiation-ridden subjects. However, when that plan failed, the remaining Mysterians retreated, only to have several of their number shot out of the sky. Koban's father's ship was one of them.

King Koban remembered all those years before his rise to power. One of his hands was a testament of the horrible effects of Strontium-90. He began to hate that hand and everything it stood for. Koban realized he was a freak. Many lonely nights he would lay awake and stare at that hand, disgraced at what it made him. Eventually, it would lead him to put a knife to his own throat when he could no longer handle being a Mysterian. But fate stepped in just as death was about to close her arms around him. He received a call that his father was dead, making young Koban the new ruler.

A few days later, he accepted the revered red helmet, uniform and cape in a ceremony in front of his entire race. Koban looked out over the masses and fully realized that he was their master. This King's reign would be different from that of his father. He wasn't as lenient as his predecessor and demanded respect, to be honored - to be a god among the Mysterians. Statues and monuments were torn down and replaced by his. The prior administrators were killed and he brought in ones who were loyal to him and him only. The King was now a dictator.

Now Koban could look upon his hand with pride. It no longer laughed at him but gave him power - power to smite anyone who dared cross him. The universe would bow to him, begging for mercy.

That ruler now sat in front of the large window in his home overlooking Central City. The lights were off, the only source of illumination being the artificial starlight inside the dome. A knock came at the door.

"Enter," said the King. The door eased open and one of his staff came in. They were on call night and day to take any orders Koban might issue. The girl reached for the light switch. "Leave it off," he said without budging. She then walked over to him with a tray of food. This female was not only a staff member but one of the King's wives. He had chosen her for her unusual beauty amidst his deformed species.

"Will there be anything else, sir?" she asked, putting down the tray. Koban said nothing and began eating. She dared not move before receiving a reply from her husband. In mid-chew, Koban's eyes squinted in rage and he threw the tray to the floor, spit out the food and stood up from his chair.

"The meat is not cooked well enough!" he roared.

"Oh, please, my Lord! I assure you! I had the settings perfect for it. I swear!"

"You lying wench!" Koban backhanded her across the cheek and she fell to the floor. He quickly leaned down and grabbed her hair, pulling it until her head was crooked back. "If you weren't my wife, I would liquidate you right now! You are nothing but trouble, woman! One more slip-up and I will rip your head off myself! Do you understand?" She nodded between sobs of fear. "Now, then..." His voice had changed to a more soothing tone as he let go of her hair and held her head close to his chest, stroking it. "Why do you hate me so, Tara? I've shown you nothing but love and all I get is a slap in the face."

"I'm so very sorry, Lord Koban," she whined. "It will never happen again."

"I know it won't," he assured her. Koban put his hand behind her head and locked her in a kiss. The gigantic screen behind him hummed to life as Commander Darius Kugo's face came into focus. Koban pushed the girl in the direction of the door. When the Chief of Security at the Mysterian's North Pole Base saw that he had the King's full attention, he bowed.

"I am terribly sorry to have disturbed you at such a late hour, my Lord," apologized the officer. "But you will be glad to know that our Earth forces at the North Pole have completed assembly of the new line of MOGERAs." A smile spread across the King's face. "And we also have a new weapon we are testing. On a recent expedition, we captured a monster known as Kong. It is a giant ape that is able to generate electricity with its body. We are creating an alloy that will make these energy fields even stronger!"

"Absolutely amazing! Splendid! When can we be ready to attack, Kugo?" he asked.

"I am afraid there is a problem, sire. We may not be the only ones preparing to take over the Earth."

"What do you mean?" Koban was most surprised by this news.

"Kaiju suddenly appeared and attacked the world's major cities. Our historians tell us that such an occurance from so many kaiju is highly unlikely. They are obviously being controlled."

"And who would be this controller?"

"There are three races that we believe would most likely be responsible. This is either the work of the Nebulans, the Xians or the Kilaak. Also, throughout this whole event, Godzilla is nowhere to be found. Our satellites have searched all over the globe but could not locate him. But the most startling news of all is this." A picture of the newly-formed Gudis appeared on the screen. "Our scientists have found that this is none other than the deadly Gudis strain." Koban sank into his chair. This was just swell! They were ready to take over the Earth and everybody else decided to interfere.

"And one more thing," Kugo continued. "Even if we do attack, we will still have to contend with the combined might of the humans, Seatopians, Nebulans and Mu who are now all allied." Koban was at a loss for words. A few seconds went by in complete silence but the King of the Mysterians didn't wish to show fear in front of another of his race.

He held his head up high and finally replied, "Good work, Kugo. Make sure my MOGERAs are ready for action and proceed with your Kong plan. I will oversee our other technology here on Mars. Thank you, Commander."

"One moment, my Lord, one moment," added Kugo before fading out. "There is a message coming in from the Virans. They say they want to talk to you about a possible alliance."

*****

Aboard the Azag-Thoth, C'seris raised his command cage higher, his many tentacles clicking together. There was an incoming transmission from the planet Mars. The Viran Commander tapped one of the controls, slightly slouching down his bulbous head. The screen before him and Iodrakas formed the image of a humanoid being clad in a red helmet, elaborate suit and apparently, a cape. Its head jolted back slightly, perhaps in a gesture of revulsion.

"I am Iodrakas. I speak for the Virans. Identify yourself." The being quickly regained its composure.

"I am Lord Koban, King of the Mysterians. You said you wanted to talk to me?" Iodrakas' blue optics glowed more brightly.

"We Virans desire to know whether or not you Mysterians would proceed against the races currently controlling Earth. Have you confronted this planet before?" The being, Lord Koban, bowed its head for a moment in silent reverie. Perhaps it was meditating on a previous encounter.

"We have. We... lost. But even now, we mobilize operations against the planet. We warn you not to interfere."

"Interfere? We will not interfere. We will aid you in these efforts. Granted, that you will aid us. We possess advanced nanotechnology to enhance our efforts."

Lord Koban was not in the mood for talk. "All right. We will send over files listing our technology in exchange for yours. Then we will talk again at a later time."

"As you wish," Iodrakas replied in his characteristic monotone as King Koban broke the connection. In a matter of minutes, files were exchanged and both alien races began to research the other's technology. C'seris immediately took command of the project.

"Analyze the files that were sent. If they contain any sort of virus, respond in kind. Summon the Mordant as you leave. I must confer with Zerrulus."

*****

The documents came through as Lord Koban watched over the transmission. "Wait," the King ordered before the Mysterian scientist could open them. "Scan it thoroughly for viruses, listening devices - anything that isn't supposed to be there."

"Yes, my Lord." He and his staff went into a room with many machines. A faint humming sound was heard as they placed the recorded disks in a scanning device and secured it. The head of the unit entered his access code and the necessary commands. The noise got louder and lights blinked all over the machine. When the tests were completed, the results showed up on a screen. The scientist then returned to Koban who had not budged from his seat. "They are benign, your highness. Shall we go over the files now, sir?"

"Of course." The scientist quickly scheduled a meeting with the other department heads.

Koban was napping when the intercom crackled to life. Normally, somebody would have been hung upside down and whipped for such insolence but the Viran technology results were more urgent so he decided to forego such measures and hurried off to the conference rooms. When the sliding door opened, everyone present was standing beside their chairs. Koban took his seat at the head of the table. He always found it amusing to watch others stand awkwardly at attention until he gave them permission to sit down.

"Lord Koban," began a middle-aged Mysterian. "The results are by all means amazing. The Virans have made leaps and bounds in the field of nanotechnology where we are still struggling with the concept."

"So what they say is true?" asked the King.

"It all makes sense, yes. These equations are true down to the very last variable."

"Then you all agree that we should form an alliance with the Virans?" asked Koban. Every Mysterian nodded. "Very well, then. Tell them they are welcome to tour the North Pole base as well. But remember one thing: if the Virans turn on us, I will personally see to it that you are all blasted into the far reaches of space."

"Understood," they replied as one.

"Now, I understand that our Earth forces have started more in-depth research on our enemies. Tell me what was discovered." The Mysterian seated to Koban's immediate right pulled out a folder and passed some photographs to him.

"This creature is Death Ghidorah," he began. "Imprisoned many thousands of years ago by the Mothra. However, it was released by accident several years ago. It killed the only Mothra left and nearly did likewise to its child. However, the infant Mothra cocooned itself near an ancient magical tree, turning into Mothra Leo. Leo defeated Death Ghidorah by imprisoning it in its tomb."

"And what has become of Mothra Leo?" asked one of the younger Mysterians at the table.

"It fought more battles and then died recently. But not too long ago, this was discovered." More pictures were passed around that showed the newly-hatched Mothra Virgo. "This is Leo's child." One kaiju expert tapped the picture with his stylus and raised his head.

"The creature is very weak at this stage," he stated. "If we plan on destroying the Earth's defenses, this is clearly a good time to do so."

"Why not let Death Ghidorah defeat it?" piped up another scientist.

"There are two options we are looking at here," stated the kaiju expert. "One is that it is going to cocoon itself now and change into the adult Mothra. The other is that it will battle Ghidorah, hope for the possibility of surviving and then cocoon itself. Either way, it will transform and then we will be in an entirely different situation."

"General Wato," ordered Lord Koban. "I want a MOGERA and some of our men to seek out and destroy Mothra. Now."

The Chief of Biology stood up. "Sire, such a creature would be marvelous to science. I would love to examine it. After you've killed it, of course," he quickly added.

"Very well," agreed Koban. "And bring back its carcass for study, General."

"Might I request something?" asked the kaiju expert. "We get rid of them as well." He pointed to the picture of the giant caterpillar. Hovering in the air on Fairy Mothra were the Elias.

Soon, two gigantic bay doors opened in the side of a glacier concealing the Mysterian North Pole base. Three ships flew out, followed by a MOGERA. When the doors had closed again, they headed off in the direction of Infant Island.



See also: Rematch: Ultraman Great vs. Gudis

Fire Rodan vs Megaguirus


Chapter Five: UNION

The Space Force Directive

King Koban walked into his office which, thanks to its large window, overlooked Central City. The room was rather dark and extremely quiet. He had just come from an important meeting concerning the Mysterian invasion of Earth. His base at the North Pole was progressing smoothly and efficiently. Indeed, everything was going according to plan.

Regardless, Koban was very tired and wanted nothing more than to sit in the deep armchair behind his desk. He took off his helmet and laid it down on the small table beside him. Placing his hand on the desk for support, he turned eighty degrees and fell into the padded chair. Ohhh he thought. Finally... His back had been bothering him all day - every day, in fact. It was the unfortunate side effect of a drug he had been taking for his badly deformed hand. The doctor had promised that over the course of time, it would return to normal but he had yet to see any difference. All that had changed was that he was now taking a pain killer for his backaches as a result of the medication. Now, finally settled deep in his comfortable chair, the tyrannical dictator let out a sigh of relief.

"Long day?" asked a mysterious voice. King Koban jumped to his feet, quickly alert as he looked about the room frantically but it was too dark to see anything. In fact, if someone wished to pass through amongst the shadows in the corners, they could most easily do so. And it would seem that just such an occurrence had taken place.

"Who's there?!" he shouted in a rage. How dare anyone intrude upon his private quarters! He would have the imbecile executed for this, if he didn't kill him first! Koban continued to look left and right. "Who is in here?!" he yelled again.

"I'll take that as a 'yes'," spoke the anonymous figure slowly emerging from the corner beside the doors that had opened only minutes before. Koban remained unsettled as he warily followed the tall man's movements. He could hear the sound of his leather clothing rustling as he came closer. From the intruder's point of view, the room was fairly well lit, despite the silhouette cast by the Mysterian's body in front of the window. "How is your back?" he asked.

Sensing that he had held the suspense along enough, Ken'trus stepped into the faint light in front of him. The act created a dramatic tension, the Xian thought, and an impressive introduction. Koban, however, was not one for dramatics and his rage only gave way to mixed feelings of irritation, uncertainty, confusion and more rage.

"How did you get in here?" he growled.

"You must forget that we perfected the technology of teleportation years ago. I simply 'beamed' in," he smirked.

"If you ever do that again..." Koban spoke in anger. "I will have you killed."

"Right..." mocked the Xian. Koban again fell into his seat but he was no longer able to enjoy its comfort as he was too annoyed at this point.

"What do you want?" Ken'trus avoided the question and began making small talk.

"I see you Mysterians still practice marriage. What a waste of time. Women are only good for breeding. And you still insist on kidnapping other people's females? Bah! Why not clone them? At least that way, you can always be assured that they are beautiful." Ken'trus smiled as he walked across the floor. Koban's anger toward the cocky Xian reached new heights.

"Enough with your games! What do you have to say?" The sub-Controller of Planet X suddenly became more serious and spoke in an emotionless tone.

"We have problems. We seem to have underestimated the Kilaaks. Their new ships are twice as powerful as the last time we faced them and they have scheduled their attack plans sooner than we would have thought."

"It seems that for once, you didn't get everything right, huh?" Koban smiled to himself.

"You don't seem to be taking this seriously."

"Of course I'm taking it seriously! Do you have any idea of the numerous alterations to our plans that will have to be made?" Koban's tone of voice had suddenly changed from semi-humorous back to angry again. "We can't let the Kilaaks start their attack. They must be stopped! Otherwise, our plans for conquering the northern hemisphere will be severely delayed as we'll have to send multiple counter-actions against them and drive them away." A confused expression came over Ken'trus' face as he listened to the Mysterian King rant.

"Do you Mysterians know nothing? The Kilaaks have already begun their attack. We learned of it when they killed Rodan who had been scouting around Osaka. They've turned southern Honshu into a lava pit! And what's worse, we observed the Okinawan god, King Seesar, merge with the dead body of Anguirus near one of the Kilaaks' new volcanos. We can only assume greater forces are at work here, for we have no data concerning King Seesar having such an ability. In addition, we just learned of weapons tests being conducted by the Simeons. Just what they are testing, we are not sure. We lost contact with our spies before we could find out. And besides all that, who knows what the Nebulans are up to? I personally don't think the Seatopians' 'perfect peace' speech has any truth to it. In fact, I've been trying to lay blame on these other aliens for the recent monster rampages but I fear our plans are being undermined." Koban's face alternately changed from disappointment to fury.

"Then you can tell that to the Virans when they get here. We'll see what they plan to do about it." The King sat back in his chair and crossed his arms.

"The Virans are coming here?" asked Ken'trus, unaware of the previous arrangements. After about a minute of silence, Koban turned his head to stare at him. "And what, may I ask, have you learned from the Reptilicus leg? We had an agreement, remember?" The King was unable to control his fury any longer.

"I'm telling you this only once - and off the record - that if our alliance did not depend so much upon us giving you the cure - when we find one, mind you - I would watch you Xian scum die off from your own deformity," he hissed with utter contempt. "Brethren or not, the past cannot be changed and you know that is why this treaty between our people is secret."

"You think I could forget so easily? You almost daily express your disgust with anything not Mysterian." Ken'trus folded his arms as well and turned to face the wall. Another moment of quiet thought ensued before Koban finally spoke.

"We have yet to create an actual cure for our people. We are still in the testing stage."

"I told you before. The job could be done twice as fast if only you let my people go to work on it -"

"That will not be necessary!" Koban snapped. "You know I do not trust your scientists one bit."

"Yes, I know..." Silence again blanketed the room as the two rulers considered their relationship.

*****

Outside the royal offices was a large hallway, twenty feet high and about the same measure in length, though it narrowed considerably as one left the area back into the Main Hall of the King's Central Tower. Directly outside the large navy-colored doors to Koban's office were beautiful silver paneled walls within the 'rib cage' of golden inward-curving rafters which went up to the ceiling's edge. The ceiling itself was a wonder of architecture as millions of tiny shimmering diamond 'stars' flickered against a deep blue background, reflecting the various bright illuminations along the huge corridor.

It was into this area that the Virans entered. Commander C'seris and his attendants slithered across the marble floor, trying to adjust to the chill of the building but at the same time, not appearing to be bothered by it. Must these Mysterians always keep things so cold? C'seris thought to himself. It was completely unreasonable. Given, his species had long ago adapted to such temperatures but this was ridiculous! It is like a meat locker! Iodrakas moaned in his mind.

They reached the Secretariat of Information and Scheduling desk located to the left, just outside Koban's offices. It was long and curved and plated in gold with dark blue tile on its work surface. Any impression the Virans may have gotten about King Koban's haughtiness as they had moved along the hall was probably correct. It was certainly no secret that this proud dictator enjoyed showing off materially. Iodrakas approached the blue-uniformed Mysterian behind the desk who was occupied with a computer.

"C'seris of the Virans has an appointment with King Koban." The Mysterian looked up in surprise at the squid-like creature that was speaking to him. It was fortunate for the humanoid that his helmet's shade was down so that the Virans did not see the look of disgust in his eyes. Pulling himself together, he quickly ran through several computer sequences and finally pulled up the reservation for the Virans.

"Oh, yes... Here it is. King Koban is busy at the moment, relaxing. If you would be so kind as to wait over there..." the Mysterian gestured toward the opposite wall which had a long built-in bronze bench. The Virans turned and slithered to it and seated themselves half-heartedly onto the uncomfortable rest. Each of the octopus-like creatures squirmed, trying to settle comfortably - if such a thing was possible. Iodrakas, observing the difficulty his comrades were having, chose to stand against the wall instead.

About three minutes passed since the Virans had arrived, though it seemed far longer. The cybernetic Viran suddenly realized something was amiss. His computer-enhanced senses had picked up another life form in Koban's office. It was strange he had not noticed it before. He began to electronically eavesdrop on the conversation and hoped the Mysterians could not track his signal. What he learned in that short amount of time was surprising and his Commander would certainly want to know about it. Iodrakas crawled up to C'seris, tapping him on the side.

"Another species has made clandestine arrival in Koban's office. A Xian," whispered Iodrakas. "Almost identical to the Mysterians in physical appearance, but with a differing energy pattern." C'seris turned toward the doorway which concealed the Mysterian ruler.

"Turn up your sensors. Record their conversation. I have no doubt these... Xians know of us. Almost identical, Iodrakas? Perhaps their species are connected in some way. We need to know more about them."

In Koban's office, the Mysterian noted that Ken'trus had been carrying a metal cylinder under his arm. "What's that you're holding?" he inquired. Ken'trus looked at him and then down at the cylinder.

"I almost forgot." He opened it, slid out a rolled-up cloth and laid it out on the desk. Koban saw that it was a small flag. It almost had a metal-like texture, white-gray in color with a red center which no doubt represented the sun. From it, three bent lines extended. Koban looked at the bold red letters printed across the flag's bottom.

"The Space Force Directive?"

"Mysterian, Xian, Viran - all working together for the mutual propose of ensuring our species' survival. This is a holy war, Koban, the end of what started so long ago when we were one people. The disputes end here! From now on, it is all about us, not ourselves. Together we can defeat the Kilaaks, subdue the Simeons, enslave mankind and control the Earth. After that, the possibilities are endless!" A new air of excitement suddenly came into the room as the mood had quickly shifted in another direction. Koban looked up at Ken'trus.

"You really want reunification, don't you?" he muttered almost sympathetically.

"More than anything," Ken'trus assured him, placing his hand over his heart.

Koban sighed. "I never saw it this way before. Is it really possible?" he wondered, looking off into space through his great window.

"Yes, it is." Koban stared back down at the flag. Thoughts rushed through his mind by the thousands.

"But the Virans..."

"Forget about the Virans. After we conquer the Earth, we can destroy them! Then it will be us - our people as one once again, as it should be."

Time quickly passed as C'seris pretended to make idle conversation with the Mordant Zerrulus while it would appear to any bystanders that Iodrakas had powered down. Nonetheless, C'seris felt they had waited long enough. With an air of authority, he rose from his seat and glided to the Mysterian behind the desk.

"Tell King Koban we will see him now." He watched the Mysterian nod and scamper toward the office doors. Inside, Koban sat back in his chair. There was also a Xian present whose appearance in the room initially puzzled him but he announced that the Virans were here.

"Wonderful. Show them in." The Mysterian quickly closed the doors and departed. Koban and Ken'trus smirked.

"The King is expecting you, sir." C'seris pretended to activate Iodrakas who was faking sleep and beckoned him and the Mordant.

"We have an audience to attend." C'seris entered first, followed by his underlings. He was somewhat worried about the Xian present but nothing to be concerned about. Iodrakas was more than met the eye, which could prove fatal if the alien chose to attack.

"I am C'seris, Master of the Azag-Thoth star cruiser. Greetings." Koban extended his hand to the cephalopod who stared at the appendage in puzzlement, then dropped an edible puff into his hand. "You want food?" Koban sighed and shook his head. "We are here, Koban," C'seris said, the hint of a smile at the corners of his beak. His gaze went to the black-clad and caped figure. The Xian's leader, apparently. His face was blank, giving no hint of emotion.

"These are the Xians, our relatives. This is Ken'trus, sub-Controller of Planet X." Iodrakas regarded the two with his photoreceptors. Both were conspiring to wipe out the Virans and thought themselves secretive. King Koban was a fool and a raging psychopath, in no way fit for command. It was also apparent he found the Virans revolting, though he tried to disguise it. There was no hint of cunning in Koban but Ken'trus, the Xian, was the exact opposite: cold and calculating, with that strange energy about him their operatives had detected. It was quite obvious to Iodrakas that Ken'trus had no intention of following up on his promise to Koban. When the time came, he would destroy the Mysterians as well as the Virans. Ken'trus was dangerous. Further analysis needed to be conducted. The cyborg silently noted that Mordant Zerrulus had begun to speak.

C'seris hoped that Elarkus would not stutter out every last detail of their plans. The Mordant was able to get a grasp of the situation quickly and his calm, controlled statements had won him many admirers. Iodrakas calculated a 20% chance that Ken'trus would hold some respect for the wise Viran but only 6% for Koban.

Something registered in the back of his mind but Iodrakas gave no indication that he slowly began to realize that if Ken'trus possessed this strange energy, certainly more of his kind must as well. Perhaps it would be suitable to find and draw out Qu'tholos...

"Let us get down to business," declared Ken'trus in his cold, calm voice. "Would any of you have any idea as to how we should begin?"

"I have a plan of action," spoke up Koban quickly, as if he had been waiting for the Xian to ask. "In fact, I've been thinking of it for some time." He walked over to the wall opposite the giant window and pressed a button. A streak of blue light shot out of the wall. It reached to the middle of the room, then expanded to form a three-dimensional image of the Earth which began to rotate slowly. Koban walked over to the hologram and gestured toward the northern hemisphere, lightly tapping the representation of North America with his fingertips. The continent immediately filled the hologram and the image stopped rotating.

"In each of our prior attacks against Earth, we began our assault in Japan. While that country is a very large entity in terms of world economics, it doesn't hold a candle to this one..." He gazed upon the graphic before them. "...The United States of America. Ever since their rise as a nation over two hundred years ago, they have been a force to reckon with. Whether it was war, policy or technology, the United States has continued to be the most powerful country on the face of the globe. My friends, if we can take this nation, the rest of the world will topple before us."

Koban paused to review the expressions of his colleagues. However, unlike his subjects who feared him, the Virans and Xian present didn't offer praise or any other sign that would make Koban feel he had authority over the situation. It was something he had become accustomed to over his many years as King to feed his gluttonous craving for power. No, these two species had long since abandoned emotions and were focused entirely on the plan being proposed to them rather than giving unneeded admiration to the Mysterian.

"Excellent. Now, how do you suggest that we go about taking this powerful country over?" asked the Mordant. "Or have you not gotten around to thinking of that yet?" As with the other two Virans, Zerrulus saw Koban as an unprepared creature who would jump into any situation head first. To some extent, he was right. Koban raised a hateful eyebrow at the question but continued.

"We have devised a crude, yet, in my opinion, effective way to show our power. We start here," Koban touched California and pointed to its coast. "In the city of San Francisco. Then we march." He touched the image, bringing it back to the full view of the U.S. "Across the country, destroying everything in our path. We will not stop until we reach the nation's capital." Koban pointed to its location on the map. "If they don't get the message by then, we will blow their political center to smithereens."

"A cunning idea," agreed Ken'trus. "Our vanguard will start on a different path from the Mysterians, so as to cover more ground but we will meet up with you at the capital in the end."

"Indeed," spoke C'seris. "We, the Virans, will break into two groups: one following Koban's forces and the other with Ken'trus' army. As we have no kaiju at our disposal, the only thing that we can offer is our technology."

"That should be sufficient," figured Koban. Although Ken'trus felt the same way, he didn't like the idea that Koban hadn't bothered to let him speak his mind. He knew more about him than the tyrant realized and while this was a relatively insignificant event, he knew he would have to watch the Mysterian more carefully. If Koban thought he could be the kind of leader of him and the rest of his people like he was toward his own, he was in for a tremendous disappointment.

"So be it," said Ken'trus. The three leaders nodded their approval as Koban looked at his new allies. Look at them he thought to himself as he eyed the Virans. Totally unaware of what is to befall them. Utter imbeciles! It is almost hilarious to watch their pathetic forms scurry across my floor. No matter, they will be destroyed in the end

Koban also held contempt for Ken'trus. In reality, this was a shallow jealousy of the Xian. In all his years, he had never known a person as undeterred or who could stand there and wouldn't let you know a shred about what he was thinking or how he felt. What in the world could be going on in that mind? Whatever it was, it mocked him and made him feel inferior. This could only be rewarded with a slow, painful death. But in his total vanity and faith in himself and his kind, King Koban failed to see the undeniable truth that the Virans and Xians had the same exact plans as he did.

Death Ghidorah

The night was dark over Hokkaido and the forest seemed to cringe in fear at the presence of evil. Belvera's demented smirk pierced the darkness. As she held a shield-like pendant above her head, it began to glow, setting off an explosion in the heart of the forest near a large hill. Gigantic flares of flame burst into the chilling air and rock shot up just as high.

"Rise from your tomb and destroy anything in your path!" the dark fairy shouted. Suddenly, a huge explosion occurred and light shined forth from the hill. An evil voice was heard that sounded like low elephant howls and grew stronger. When the intense light had dissipated, a terrible monster stood in its place: the ancient demon of destruction, Death Ghidorah.

*****

In Sapporo, doom lurked on the horizon. To the east, flames sprang into the air as Death Ghidorah continued to absorb the power contained within the forests.

Up in the sky, the two fairies of Mothra gazed upon the terror that was unfolding. Both knew that Death Ghidorah had to be stopped at any cost or everything would eventually be destroyed. Unfortunately, the odds were against them. The last time Death Ghidorah had appeared, Mothra Leo's mother and herself had battled him together. Sadly, Mothra Leo was gone now and only the larva, Mothra Virgo, remained. She would surely be defeated by the three-headed demon so Moll and Lora continued to debate the situation.

"We can't call Mothra. She is too young right now and if she dies, we won't have any protection," Lora muttered.

"Lora, we have to try! If we don't, we will be abandoning this city to its destruction. It is our duty to protect humanity and the Earth," Moll replied with great confidence.

"I will not ask Mothra to go to her death!" Lora shouted. Moll glanced back at her sister and smiled gently.

"I can't do it without you and we can't let innocent people die," she whispered. Lora considered her words for a moment, then nodded. The fairies gazed up toward the sky and lifted their voices in song.

The Mothra Song
MOSURA! MOSURA!
Mosura ya Mosura
Doungan kasakuyan
Indou muu
Rusuto Wiraado a
Hamuba hamubaamuya
Randa banuradan
Tounju kanraa
Kasakuyaanmu!

The Elias performed beautiful gestures as they began to sing the tune again. Their voices seemed to echo across the sky and diminish far off over each horizon. They could only hope that the power within Mothra Virgo could stop the rampage of Death Ghidorah, or at least halt him for the time being.

*****

Back on Infant Island, the brown Mothra larva raised her body as the Shobijin's voices echoed across the wind. She knew that she was being summoned and could sense the terrible evil that infested the world.

She let out a loud screech and crawled down from her stone shrine with great confidence. As she left the island, a trail of hope seemed to follow her. Mothra Virgo would indeed try her hardest to save the people and the world she loved so much.

*****

In Sapporo, sirens sounded as Death Ghidorah entered the city. As the mammoth quadruped trampled through buildings and other edifices, massive fires rose into the cool night sky. The three-headed menace trumpeted his horrific roar, informing every living creature that he had risen and would be wielding terrible amounts of devastation. He blasted buildings with his lava rays and shattered them into millions of pieces. Death Ghidorah was convinced that he was the most powerful being prowling the planet's surface but he was soon to be proven wrong.

The ground shook beneath the dragon's four feet and it became difficult for him to remain standing. Seconds later, a mountain of dirt and rock exploded into the air right in front of the monster. When the dust settled, an armored creature revealed itself to the world. The larval insect Battra had appeared and roared furiously at the demonic space fiend.

Moll and Lora were surprised at the monster's appearance. They knew that it was a weapon of the males of their species but it was very rare and unusual for Battra to aid the Earth.

"Moll, why is he going to try and help fight off Death Ghidorah?" Lora wondered as she stood watching the approaching battle.

"I really don't know but Mothra is going to need help if she is going to defeat this monster. She'll be here soon," Moll replied. They continued to watch and could only hope that Battra would prevail against this powerful nemesis as he released another roar and reared up on his backside. Two devastating blasts of prismatic energy seared out of his crimson eyes and lanced into Death Ghidorah's body. He stood up on his back legs and roared in agony.

Battra savored his enemy's painful cries and continued to attack with his prism beams. Death Ghidorah grew angry and released a potent flame from his center mouth which caused the ground beneath Battra to give way. The caterpillar fell into the gaping hole and Hell's Flame burst up from the depths.

It didn't seem to harm Battra as his armor proved to be quite resistant. The larva hopped out of the great crack and slammed into Death Ghidorah's side, causing him to lose his balance and stagger. Ghidorah soon regained his momentum and turned around to snarl at his insectile foe sadistically. He showed great hatred toward this opponent and was convinced he would make it suffer unceasing pain and torment until it begged for death.

Battra was not fazed by the demon's cry and as Death Ghidorah roared, he lunged forward, piercing the dragon's side with his gigantic cranial horn, forcing him to wail in terrible agony. Dark red blood spewed from the wound. Again, the larva released his prism beams but this time, they were aimed at the tender spot which caused even more irritation.

Death Ghidorah's anger erupted. He was fed up with this creature's constant annoyance. In a blaze of fury, he bombarded the larva with his lava rays. This did not injure the caterpillar because his armor provided protection against the heat.

As the battle continued, Mothra Virgo crawled up out of the bay, her body drenched with the cool water. She took a moment to shake it off but her attention was on the battle. Her ancient nemesis was beating on another old foe. She charged to battle her ultimate enemy, Death Ghidorah, who posed a greater threat to the planet. The space demon was distracted with Battra so the brown worm cautiously got behind the quadruped. Rearing up on her back side and using her body like spring, she jumped up onto Ghidorah's back. He immediately reacted and flung himself around, attempting to knock the caterpillar off but she remained in place, biting the dragon's flesh with her strong mandibles and tearing some of the skin away.

Suddenly, energy began to streak through Death Ghidorah's colossal body. He released a huge shock that flung the larva high into the night sky. As she came plummeting down, Death Ghidorah smote her with his lava beams, causing her to crash into the tower at the center of the city. It shattered, burying the larva under tons of debris.

The Elias gasped in fear. Lora turned her head away and bit her lip nervously. However, something in the sky had caught Moll's attention. She noticed that the clouds had increased and that lightning streaked through them.

"Death Ghidorah is going to kill Mothra and Battra! We are all doomed!" Lora complained.

"Lora, will you please be quiet?! Look up into the sky. Something is happening!" Moll replied. The fairies observed unusual glowing spore-like particles raining down from the clouds and disappear when they came in contact with the ground. Death Ghidorah snarled malevolently as he watched a bunch of roses sprout up and surround him. They were quite beautiful but just something else that he desired to eliminate. To his surprise, the ground burst open a couple hundred meters in front of him and a larger mass emerged. A colossal rose stood before him. Death Ghidorah hissed furiously as he gazed upon this new foe who had come from the planet itself: Biollante.

It became deathly silent as they gazed upon each other. Both monsters were mortal enemies; Biollante representing life and Death Ghidorah, death. The three-headed menace snarled as he backed away. Biollante was not intimidated by his evil and released her beautiful cry of peace. He retorted with an angry roar which signalled that the terrible demon was not going to stand down.

A minute or two elapsed when suddenly, the ground shattered underneath Death Ghidorah and a massive veil of vines and tendrils enveloped him. The demon roared hatefully at his foe as she constricted his body. Ever more tendrils emerged, this time wrapping around the demon's four legs and causing him to collapse into the sandy hole they had created. Death Ghidorah struggled to maintain his stability but was unsuccessful.

He soon grew fed up with this new creature and in a blaze of hatred, blasted several streams of lava spit which caused the vines constricting him to break up into a sappy mess. However, Biollante did not give up so easily and sent ones with sharp-toothed mouths snaking toward him. Ghidorah managed to destroy a few until one rose up into the demon's faces and spat a glob of caustic fluid. The acid got into his eyes and he writhed in agony. The dragon reared up on his back legs and blasted his three lava beams into Biollante's main body, causing explosions to erupt from within. The Earth's spirit released a horrific cry of pain as her foliage seemed to writhe in spasms.

Just when Death Ghidorah assumed the battle was finished, he felt a terrible burning sensation on his backside. He turned a head around and found Mothra Virgo spitting her silk at him. Electrical shocks seemed to lance into his body as the metamorphic string touched his skin. The young Goddess knew that Biollante was the Earth's spirit and it was her duty to aid her. When the dragon's faces were covered in the silky mess, she jumped up like a spring and thrust her tail spike into Death Ghidorah's flesh.

In a matter of seconds, Death Ghidorah blasted the silken web from his faces and was biting viciously at the larva. He grasped her body and hoisted it into the air. Bright green blood dribbled from Mothra as he slammed her carapace onto the ground repeatedly. The Elias could do nothing but watch in horror as their goddess was being mutilated by the demon.

"Mothra, you can not die!" Lora whimpered as she buried her head in Moll's shoulder.

"Lora, show confidence in Mothra. She can do it," Moll assured her. Just when all hope for Mothra's survival seemed to dwindle, Battra squirmed up between the two battling kaiju and showered Death Ghidorah's body with his prism beams. Battra battled furiously against the demon, slamming his horn into the dragon's necks and poking at him. However, it was not enough. Death Ghidorah grasped onto the insect's exoskeleton and threw him into several buildings.

As Battra went to get up, Ghidorah's two forefeet came slamming down on him. Again and again, Death Ghidorah crashed his weight onto his body, savoring his enemy's painful cries but not for long. Mothra again entered the fray and released a large energy blast from between her six forelegs. The beam lanced into Death Ghidorah's body and knocked him onto his side, causing a mighty earthquake. He quickly recovered from the blast and threw the caterpillar around even more until she seemed to be unconscious.

Fortunately, while Death Ghidorah was busy contending with Mothra and Battra, Biollante had spent the valuable time consuming additional energy and soon sent more mouthed tendrils slithering toward the fiend. They bit into his flesh, which gave Biollante the chance to send electrical pulses searing into his body. The demon sent out his own electrical pulse and vaporized them. Another volley of lava blasts caused more sappy blood to splatter onto the ground.

Biollante's life force was soon weakening and she had to use her final weapon. Raising her remaining tendrils, she sent them searing towards Death Ghidorah at unbelievable speed. Instead of wrapping or biting onto him, they pierced his skin. Ghidorah squealed in awful, tormenting agony as he gathered his energy. He released a fiery blast that seared into Biollante's body, causing it to catch on fire and incinerate. Several minutes passed and Biollante was reduced to a pile of smoldering foliage. Her golden spores rose from the ground and departed back into the clouds.

However, a terrible cry of revenge was left behind as her mutant form appeared in the smoke and fire. Eventually, it diminished as well, only to be replaced by Death Ghidorah's triumphant roar. Mothra and Battra were too injured to stand against the terrible demon and could only watch as he continued to destroy the city of Sapporo.

Fairy Mothra flew down to the battered larvae with the Elias. They hopped off their mini-moth and walked over to Mothra. Lora put her hand on the caterpillar's fleshy head.

"Poor Mothra," she muttered, about to cry. "Now who will save the Earth from Death Ghidorah?" Mothra Virgo let out a weak shriek, along with Battra.

Prisoners of War

Earth Operations Commander Darius Kugo was very strong and imposing for one of his age of 70. No other Mysterian would dare challenge the six foot, 250 pound giant. Of course, his days as a line officer were long over but he carried the scars of war. In his prime, he had led the first attack on humanity. In that battle, Kugo lost his right eye jumping in front of Lord Koban's father and taking a piece of shrapnel. The organ had been replaced with a gleaming, golden bionic counterpart.

He had been a good friend of the previous King of the Mysterians and was devastated to learn that his ruler and comrade had been shot down by the human scum. His lust to see humanity's destruction now filled his every waking moment.

Lord Koban, on the other hand, didn't seem very concerned by his father's death. All he cared about was that their people were now his to control. Kugo hated him with all his heart. What a mockery of everything his father was! To suggest that this waste of flesh was in the same bloodline as his proud predecessor was revolting. The Mysterians were no longer a democratic society but under a cruel, oppressive government. However, Kugo stayed on the King's good side, which paid off in his current position.

The last few weeks were a living hell with the takeover plans but Kugo never lost his resolve to overcome the opposition. He watched the kaiju battle on the screen before him end. Mothra was the first concern in the Mysterian siege. It no doubt would play a vital part in the planet's defense and having it out of the way would make this operation go much smoother. Now was a better time than ever to make their move on the titanic insect. Gudis had already absorbed the monsters King Seesar and Anguirus. The Moon Base had been destroyed as well.

Kugo rose and walked over to the communications screen. He pressed a button and a blue-clad Mysterian appeared. He saluted and Kugo did likewise.

"General, I'm ordering the MOGERA back to the base. It will not be needed," said the Leader of Earth Operations.

"Yes, sir. But might I ask, how are we to defeat the monster and haul its carcass back with us?" asked the officer.

"You will be in no conflict with the Mothra. It is already very weakened."

"Then why don't we kill it and bring it back?"

"If you would shut your mouth long enough, I could finish! You will be capturing these little girls instead of fighting." Kugo pressed a button and a picture of the Elias riding on Fairy appeared on General Wato's screen. "Capture them and their moth and bring them back here immediately. But be careful. They are very small and fast so when you find them, retrieve them instantly. Understood?" The General looked at him with a quizzical expression and then asked why they should concern themselves with such small creatures. Kugo was beginning to wonder about the Mysterian who had replaced him and finally spoke.

"These little girls, called Elias, will lead Mothra to the base. When it gets here, we will kill it and not have to worry about making a scene in front of the Earthlings."

"How -"

"No further questions, please! Just do it!" Kugo felt he had said enough and didn't bother telling the confused officer about the Elias' role in the scheme of things, despite the General's obvious ignorance. They exchanged salutes and their screens went blank.

*****

As they lay amid the ruins of Sapporo, Mothra and Battra's gaze was suddenly diverted behind the Elias. Being lost in thought, the fairies didn't notice the swift arrival of three Mysterian ships. Everything went black until they heard Mothra shriek in surprise and anger before rolling over to its many tiny feet to race after them. But it was to no avail. Moll and Lora were being rocketed away by jet pack-equipped Mysterians. Mothra could only watch their ship shudder for a second, then blast off toward the North Pole.

*****

The lights temporarily blinded the Elias as the cover of their tiny prison was removed. When their sight returned, they saw a golden-suited being before them. They were in a white room with the only furnishings being a chair in which their captor sat and the table they had been placed on. The humanoid wore a helmet and goggles, totally hiding any expression it might have but they still felt its stare centered on them. When it began to speak, its voice startled the fairies.

"Greetings, my tiny friends. My name is Darius Kugo, Leader of Earth Operations."

"Fairy, now!" the Elias yelled in unison. Kugo merely chuckled.

"Your moth is not here but fear not. It is having the honor of being dissected by our top scientists." Moll and Lora's mouths hung open in shock.

"Who are you people?" spat Moll.

"We are the Mysterians. The race that will be conquering your Earth."

"Mysterians?" asked Lora. "You tried to take the Earth before!"

"I am flattered that you remember us. However, the outcome will be different. We have a better knowledge of you and the rest of the pathetic creatures that roam this planet. Defeat is not an option this time."

"You can't get away with this!" the fairies said in unison. "Mothra will come and destroy you." Kugo just laughed.

"That is exactly what I am hoping for. Your guardian is already very weak. There is no chance of it surviving an assault when it gets here. So call, call to Mothra! You will only bring it to a swifter demise!" Kugo stood up and approached the wall where he pressed a button and a view screen appeared, revealing a barren wasteland of snow and ice. "As an extra bonus, you two will have the treat of watching said demise!" On the screen, three openings in the ground each brought a MOGERA into view. Kugo walked toward the wall and a door slid open. Before he departed, he looked back at the Elias.

"Consider yourselves prisoners of war." He grinned beneath his helmet and walked out the door.

Professor Erickson

The huge auditorium in Nagoya was full of anxious people waiting for the featured speaker to make his appearance. It was rather chaotic but they seemed to quiet down when the Japanese Scientific Foundation's Chairman entered the room in his blue tuxedo. Top scientists from around the world sat uneasily as Chairman Masahiro Masaki began to speak.

"I would like to introduce our guest speaker tonight," he began. "He is a professor at one of the largest colleges in the United States and has come very far to be with us tonight." Masaki pointed toward the right side of the stage and he emerged. "I now introduce to you Professor Dale Erickson, the leading expert on the creature Mothra and the ancient Cosmos civilization!" The audience was ecstatic when he stepped behind the podium. The applause was so long that he had to raise his hands to quiet the crowd.

"Good evening, fellow scientists and news reporters from across the world," he began. "By now, you all know of the sudden monster appearances. Death Ghidorah in Hokkaido; Battra, who is now undetectable and Gudis. However, I am here tonight to discuss Mothra, who had just appeared and is now gone from our radars. Are there any specific questions that you would like me to answer?" One of the scientists in the nearest row raised her hand.

"Do you suppose Mothra will attack a major city?" she asked. Professor Erickson smiled at the idea.

"No, Mothra is a monster of peace. It is very unlikely that she will raid a metropolis. In fact, she is most likely here to aid us against our enemies," he replied.

"Do you have any idea where Mothra might be?" another scientist queried from far back in the crammed auditorium.

"No, I have no idea. Mothra is a mystic monster and has often disappeared from our monitoring efforts. However, we do know that she is not on Infant Island," the Professor explained.

Many hours passed as the meeting went on. At about 11:30 P.M., the gathering finally broke up and Professor Erickson returned to his hotel to prepare for bed. He was known as the world's leading expert on Mothra yet he did not know what she was up to. He knew that she was on humanity's side, though, and that gave him hope.

MOGERA

Mothra slowly crawled up onto land. A blizzard had kicked up, making the freezing water dripping off her fatigued body feel like it was on fire. Who could possibly live in this no man's land? She could feel that the Elias were still alive as she crawled across the snow-covered ground and would try to find them, guided by their psychic connection.

Suddenly, powerful floodlights came on and the area lit up bright as day. Mothra stopped and realized that she was not alone. She raised her head and looked into the lifeless eyes of a huge, gleaming creature. It stood absolutely still, staring ahead. Glancing to her left, she saw another of these behemoths and to her right, another. The sentinels didn't acknowledge her at all. Their diamond-shaped eyes were completely lifeless. Mothra continued towards the Elias. A loud, mechanical voice broke through the chilly night air.

"MOGERA!" roared one of the titanic metal creatures. She turned to see the first one staring straight at her, its once lifeless eyes now shining. Another of the behemoth's eyes then lit up.

"MOGERA!" A battle cry came from the third. All three gazed at her and lurched forward, their huge feet heaving up mounds of snow and ice as they approached the tiny caterpillar. Mothra knew this was a challenge she was going to have to overcome to save her priestesses. She chirped and shot a strand of webbing at the lead creature and coated its chest plate. When finished, electricity surged across the metal. The construct stopped for a second to assess the attack, then continued its charge. Mothra fired her webbing full force in all directions. The other two followed the same procedure. The giants felt no pain from the sparks that skirted across their but fired their eye beams. The impact hurled her through the air, squealing in pain before slamming into the side of a mountain and bringing down huge sheets of ice.

The caterpillar quickly regained its footing and darted out of the way of more beams. Without warning, she disappeared from view. The MOGERAs scanned the area for any sign of the creature but it was nowhere to be seen. Mothra had cloaked herself with invisibility. The maneuver couldn't be held forever as every ounce of energy would be needed. Mothra snuck behind the confused mechs but knocked over a boulder. The MOGERAs snapped around at the noise, their eyes turning crimson as they switched to infrared. Her body heat was easily detectable.

Mothra knew she had been discovered and darted across the ice, beams following her progress. One of the robots radioed a message to its counterparts and they diverted their attention to some overhanging ice above her. They focused their rays on the shelf which collapsed. The thundering noise of the avalanche blocked out Mothra's chirps of shock and pain as she was buried alive.

A MOGERA approached the icy tomb and shoved its giant pincher hand downward, gripping Mothra's tail and dragging her out. When it gained a better grasp on her, the robot slammed her into the mountain like a baseball bat. Mothra felt as if her exoskeleton was being ripped from her body. Unconsciousness was like a warm bath whose waters the guardian was slowly slipping into as she thought of the Elias and the planet she had vowed to protect. Dear Mother Earth, I am so sorry I have failed you... Now, she would join her ancestors in eternal rest. But she was wrong.

The icy ground shook violently and cracked as a huge black creature dug itself out. The MOGERA holding her dropped its captive and turned with its counterparts to face this new target. Mothra fell with a thud and spotted Battra.

Seeing his fellow guardian hurry after the Elias, he knew he had to help her. The MOGERAs' computers quickly received information about their foe from the Mysterian's database before their eyes brightened and fired blasts of energy at Battra. While his hard exoskeleton dulled the effects of the charges, they still left dents in his hide. The titanic black worm shot purple prism beams wildly in every direction from its horn, knocking over two MOGERAs and blowing a hole through the shoulder of one of them.

With renewed confidence, Mothra raised her body up and fired a chest beam at the back of the MOGERA that was still standing. Caught completely off guard, the mech toppled over. Caring not for their companion, the other two drilled into the ground and disappeared. Mothra and Battra continued to hit the downed one with their beams.

Battra received a rude awakening as the others shot upward. They hung in the air above him for a few seconds before letting gravity bring them crashing down on top of the horned creature. When they landed, they began to drill into his flesh with their nose drills. Green blood started trickling out of the wounds. Battra couldn't get an opportunity to spring up as every time he tried, he was shoved down by the two mechs. At such a close range, the prism beams couldn't reach them. He tried once more to stand and was treated to a pop in the mouth but before the offending arm got out of range, he latched his mandibles onto it. The unthinking MOGERA pulled back and ripped its entire pincher off. Electricity sizzled and popped from the stump.

Battra spat the arm at its owner and head-butted the mech to the ground. With only one opponent holding him back, Battra raised his head up and fired. At point-blank range, the MOGERA had no chance. Its body came alive with sparks and explosions. When it fell, eruptions kept heaving its body up off the icy ground as spasms wracked its failing circuitry. Finally, its heat generators went into a meltdown and the war machine blew apart in a blinding flash of light.

The MOGERA with a hole through its shoulder focused its attention on Mothra with many eye beams aimed around the larva, shooting it into the air. She mustered up enough energy to fire a strand of electrically charged webbing at its eyes. When it hit, the fragile beam ports burst open. The MOGERA was now blind and without its main weapon. Its computer brain overlooked the uselessness of its eyes and went in for another attack based on heat emissions. Within seconds, its feet changed into wheeled treads. Mothra fired more strands across her foe, knowing not that this was what it wanted as the mech rocketed toward the source of the attack. It scooped up the caterpillar in its pincher arms and wrestled her into a bear hug as it fired up its heat emitters. In no time, Mothra's broken and bruised flesh was seared with pain as the temperature quickly reached over one hundred degrees Celsius. No matter how much she struggled, the mech wouldn't let go. Mothra wriggled harder, trying to topple her mechanical adversary. At every attempt at unbalancing it, the MOGERA countered with more heat. However, she was slowly turning her captor around in the direction of the other one.

With her underside facing away from the mech's body, she turned the MOGERA into a perfect aiming device. A beam of blue energy fired from Mothra's chest at the other MOGERA. It sped through the dorsal fins of the robot and ripped up its back, exposing much circuitry. Seeing this, Battra rammed into the targetted area. With his horn in the mechanical monster, he charged it up. The MOGERA's body shook violently as the prism beams began to rip it apart from the inside out and its various systems shut down.

"MOGERA! MOGERA! MOGERA! MOGERA! MOG -" There was a tremendous explosion and when the sparks and smoke cleared, Battra's horn was clear of the mech but pieces of metal began to rain down from the sky.

While the remaining MOGERA gripping Mothra couldn't see the destruction of its brother, it no longer felt contact in its computer brain. The heat against her back was now sizzling her flesh but in her struggles, she had managed to slowly slip her body out of its grasp and her chest was completely covered by the two huge pinchers. She blasted her chest beam at full force and fell to the ground, rolling in the snow.

Her back was steaming! When she turned right side up, a huge burn was visible. Now the MOGERA was blind and with no hands. It was all alone, or so it thought. Two giant doors opened in the side of the mountain. Inside, it was pitch black. A hideous roar sounded from within and footsteps approached the cave's entrance. Out into the floodlights came the hulking form of King Kong.

*****

"Master, are you sure about this?" C'seris looked at his subordinate.

"Fear not, Elarkus. The Mysterians' technology, in most respects, is inferior to our own. I believe they may actually fear us. But there are other races in this system and they need all the help they can get." Elarkus was still nervous. C'seris turned to see Iodrakas loom out of the shadows and the cyborg advised that they were close to the surface. Elarkus' nervousness was not easing any, which was not to be tolerated. The Mysterians wouldn't get a good image of a Viran with his beak chattering. C'seris went over to the capsule's computer and tapped a few buttons. A small door opened and he pulled out something that looked like a soft ball, made of a spongy material. "Elarkus!" The Viran's head snapped toward him quickly.

"Y-yes?" The Commander's gaze, to his surprise, was warm and friendly.

"Eat this. For your nerves." Elarkus popped the object into his mouth and almost instantly, a wave of calm washed over him.

"Thank you, Master." C'seris nodded.

The ship's capsule went into landing position. A large hatch opened up and Viran Servant Machines (VSMs) rushed out. The opening quickly closed, leaving total silence for a few minutes. Then a terminal flashed to life, indicating that the Mysterians had made contact with them and were opening their Arctic facility. Iodrakas re-opened the hatch and activated a transporter beam. Every Viran in the cabin was enshrouded by it and a wave of heat washed over them. They were lifted off the floor and slowly lowered down into a waiting portal. C'seris, quite used to this, kept his eyes open. As he was at the front of the party, he saw a group of Mysterians, apparently led by Koban, waiting for them. The Virans descended into the well-heated building. The transporter beam slowly dissipated as the aliens touched down and the doorway closed. C'seris had ordered the capsule to remain in position and wait for their return. The Virans gripped the floor with their tentacles, slowly striding forward.

"Welcome to our North Pole facility," Lord Koban said. "Would you like a tour of our base?"

"Certainly. I hope our alliance will be fruitful." The doors to the receiving area closed when the Mysterians and Virans entered the 'lobby' where a huge portrait of Koban greeted them. "A tad vain, aren't you, my friend?" asked C'seris.

"Only if you aren't me," joked Koban.

"That makes a lot of sense." Both leaders chuckled and continued toward one of the many hallways leading to different parts of the gigantic base where they met up with General Kugo.

"Allow me to introduce the Leader of Earth Operations, ex-General Darius Kugo." He put extra emphasis on the 'ex'. "Kugo was in charge of our first assault against the Earth but as you no doubt know, things didn't go too well so we decided he was better suited for his present position. I'm quite happy to say that he hasn't screwed this mission up... yet." Koban delighted in embarrassing the officer whenever he could, just to get the rush of commanding such a gigantic creature. How dare he talk of me in such a way! thought Kugo. I didn't see that degenerate losing his eye for his father! But Kugo remained calm and bowed to the visitors. "Now, my friends, I must leave you for I have pressing matters to attend to back on Mars."

"Oh?" asked C'seris. "I thought we could discuss the takeover..."

"Don't worry. We will be able to have much discussion later. For now, I will leave you to Kugo." Koban hurried off toward the hangar bay with most of the other Mysterians in the party. Seeing as he now had the floor, Kugo took over.

"Virans, if you would please follow me, we will begin the tour." He marched ahead down a hallway. The white walls offered nothing appealing to the eye except for a door here and there marked with different signs. However, in one break in the hall was a rather large window with a door beside it. Through it, blue-suited Mysterians could be seen working on five different MOGERAs. Kugo approached the door and entered his code. The computer blinked and clicked as it assessed its files before the door swung open. Inside, the warehouse had a strong smell of different metals and many loud noises of work in progress. Just enough lights were on so that the crews could work.

One Mysterian was working with the computer components at the top of a mech's head when it experienced an electrical surge that turned the machine on. A deafening MOGERA! echoed throughout the warehouse, making both species grab their ears in pain. The technician fell off its head to the warehouse floor with a sickening crunch. A voice came over the intercom requesting a medic and within moments, the door swung open again and attendants carried the injured Mysterian away on a stretcher. Kugo was feeling rather awkward but started the presentation anyway.

"Here is where we assemble our war machines, the MOGERA."

"Is this all of them?" asked C'seris in a disgusted voice.

"Why, of course not," replied Kugo. He took a device that resembled a walkie-talkie from his belt and pressed a button. "Turn on the lights," he said into it. One by one, banks of lights came on and flooded the building which wasn't so small after all. It was MASSIVE. Behind where the repairmen were working stood hundreds of MOGERAs. The Virans were taken aback at the sheer number of them. "We have made them stronger, faster and smarter than the robots that originally aided us. Now, we don't have to guide their every move by remote control. We've given them a level of artifical intelligence that can determine what battle tactics to use. Basically, we give them the directive and they do the job. Once that is programmed into it, it is impossible for the MOGERAs to not carry out their mission unless told otherwise. They can be fed data through our central computer, such as weak spots in structures, information on opponents and so forth. Also, if more than one MOGERA is attacking and one thinks it has a plan that would assist them, it communicates it to its companions. From there, they will decide if the course of action would be effective and continue with or without changing their tactics. It seems like a long process but the 'conversation' barely takes seconds. Plus, they are ideal for terraforming."

"Most impressive," stated C'seris, coming out of his moment of awe. "But what if your robots decided to turn on you?"

"Impossible. They have no intelligence besides accomplishing the mission that is set forth for them. Unless someone gave the order for them to go on the offensive against us, the idea would never present itself."

"I see. Let's just hope nobody gains control of your computers."

"I highly doubt that will happen. Now, let's move on to our research facility." They proceeded down the hall and took a left toward one of many doors. The one marked RESEARCH was a huge two-story room with computers lining the walls. On their screens were different locations on Earth, pictures and details of kaiju and some just filled with numbers. Blue- and yellow-clad Mysterians worked at them, wrote down information on clipboards or performed various experiments.

"After our first plan to defeat Earth failed, we decided to find out more about the planet. Over the years, we have compiled information on many of the human's activities and our biggest concern, kaiju. Every monster on Earth is in these computers with a file of its history, data and abilities. Think of one and I will show it to you."

"Gamera," piped up Elarkus. C'seris gave him a cold stare that sent a chill down his spine. Kugo seemed to have nothing to hide and entered a few codes in a terminal to bring up the file on Gamera.

"It's all here." He scrolled down the page to show the Virans what he meant when something caught his eye. He stopped for a fraction of a second and scanned over the part where it told of the Virans' defeat by the kaiju. He would have loved to get revenge for his previous embarrassment but thought about the alliance and closed the file to continue with the tour.

They soon walked up to two steel doors that read AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY. Kugo punched his entrance code into the wall panel, followed by voice recognition. With a hiss, the doors opened and a rush of cool air hit the Virans. When everyone was inside, the doors sealed shut. The room was circular and mostly blue, interrupted by the blinking of yellow and red lights on the different computers and machines along the walls. In the center of the room was a huge clear cylinder containing a leg with a clawed foot.

"Allow me to introduce you to the last existing piece of the Reptilicus species," said Kugo.

"What is a Reptilicus?" asked C'seris.

"The Reptilicus were a wonder of nature. They were a species of dinosaur-like creatures that had gained the amazing ability to completely regenerate any and all parts of their body that had been injured. In fact, this regeneration was so powerful that mere pieces severed from one would grow into a complete, new Reptilicus. However, the last of the species was killed in Denmark many years ago. But during its attack, this leg was severed from its body and fell into the ocean. We accidentally learned about it from stolen human records."

"Why didn't the leg grow into a new beast?" asked C'seris.

"It was under water and therefore, the regeneration could not occur. In fact, we didn't actually find it ourselves."

"Then who found it?"

"The Kilaaks. We exchanged something they wanted for it."

"So now we are allied with them as well?"

"No. That was a one-time arrangement."

"I see. So tell me. Why don't you unleash this monster under your control?"

"That would be very complicated. While we do have the capability of controlling a Reptilicus, it is a relatively stupid animal. We don't want to run the risk of it losing pieces of itself and creating a whole new progeny to overrun the Earth. A sufficient portion of this animal can reach full growth in less than twenty-four hours. No, we would only allow it to grow as a very last resort. Plus, we are using it for experiments on how to cure our people. Worry not, though. We have a flesh and blood fighter that is far better than any Reptilicus. But that is a little later in the tour."

They exited back into the hallway and Kugo escorted his guests around much of the base, leading the Virans through the labyrinth of hallways. He showed them the hangar bay with their many space ships, the housing for the Mysterian workers and scientists, the weaponry, etc. They made a full loop of the place before ending up back at the hangar bay.

"Now I have a real treat for you Virans. You decided to tour our base at a most opportune time. We have just captured very important prisoners of war. Come. We shall go to the POW Camp." They boarded two shuttles and the doors in the ceiling opened so the could fly out.

*****

The five-story POW Camp, for safety reasons, was three miles away from the base. It was the most heavily guarded of any Earth Operations facility, hidden in the side of a mountain and staffed by three hundred Mysterian guards. Two MOGERAs were positioned underground and could be called upon at a moment's notice. To enter the facility, one had to go through two checkpoints with DNA and retinal scans. The walls of the dome were reinforced with iron and nickel gathered from the purest meteors. There were thirty guards assigned to every prisoner.

Each cell was completely white and had no seams whatsoever. They were equipped with a toilet, bedding and two surveillance cameras. The door slid up from the floor to the ceiling and when anybody entered a cell, three guards accompanied them. Each prisoner followed a strict schedule and the only time they were allowed out of their cells was for exercise. If a prisoner was not where he was supposed to be, he would be shot - with no exceptions. The cell doors could also become transparent so the guards could check on their charges. Atop the dome covering the structure was a precision laser that could pinpoint any target within two miles. It made Alcatraz look like a petting zoo.

The shuttles bypassed the checkpoints for it was known that the Virans would be touring the facility, nor did they have to be subjected to intrusive searches when they arrived. The party was led directly to the fifth level and Cell 531. A guard pressed the appropriate buttons and the door became transparent. Inside were the Elias. Thinking that they had a pathway to freedom, Moll and Lora made a dash for the door, only to run into solid matter. At this, Kugo and the Mysterians roared with laughter.

"Virans, Elias. Elias, Virans," said Kugo. "These two fairies are priestesses of the beast, Mothra, who I understand is locked in combat with some MOGERAs."

"We're tired of your games. Let us out!" the Elias screamed.

"Aren't they cute? Like little pets." Both parties howled with laughter. A guard came down the hallway towards the group with a tray and saluted Kugo.

"Chief Kugo. What shall I do with this?" he asked. On the tray was Fairy.

"Fool! That should have been sent to the Research Facility hours ago! Get it there immediately!"

"Yes, sir!" He saluted and ran off. Kugo sighed and continued.

"Well, my friends. We have one last stop to make before the tour ends. Let us head back to the base."

*****

The central computer was a mammoth piece of technology that was hundreds of years ahead of any human equivalent, operated by voice command and with five screens. The center display was the largest, the flanking ones smaller and the end ones moreso. It was the most important piece of equipment Earth Operations had.

The three innermost screens all showed the final MOGERA in battle with Mothra and Battra get its arms blasted off by her chest beam. The worm crawled away and then turned and faced it. The mech didn't have a chance of winning.

"I'm glad to see that your robots can take down these creatures so easily," said C'seris with a snort.

"We didn't expect to fight Mothra and Battra at the same time," replied Kugo. "Or we would have sent out more MOGERAs. It is time we release our champion."

"And who would this champion be?" asked the Master of the Azag-Thoth.

"Kong." The computer had opened the doors to Kong's mountainside cave. A few moments passed and the ape wandered out onto the ice. Kugo snapped his fingers and blue-uniformed Mysterians brought the Virans appropriate seats to watch as the ape began his first test.

The name King Kong brings many thoughts to mind. It makes one think of the first creature to take down the mighty Godzilla; a strong, proud ape whose resolve was never broken in battle against man or beast. But that was the Kong of the past. The new Kong was not the king he once was. He had been taken from his home and subjected to horrible tortures no creature should ever be allowed to endure. His mind was driven to the brink of near insanity. His spirit was broken.

When the Mysterians had finally made Kong their slave, he was nothing but a cowering chimpanzee until they showed him true power. They would guide him on how to dominate the world itself but only if he obeyed them. The creatures from beyond the Moon had fitted him with sleeves of an alloy which let him not only control lightning and harness its powers but gave him the ability to create it. Now, the King stood with his head high. He roared into the chilly air at the adversaries that stood in the way of his dominion.

A jolt of electricity shot through his body. The voices in his head told him to release it. Kong extended his arm and a blast of bluish-white fire raced across the landscape and blasted a hole in the ice. More electricity was supplied to him. He held up his arms and let the energy flow back and forth between his steel-covered hands in an arc.

Kong looked at the tiny brown worm. This disgusting creature thought it could stand in the way of his reign? The mere thought of it was ludicrous, asinine! Kong's fingers danced with electricity as he put his hands together and blasted a ray of energy at Mothra who took it head on. Her body wriggled around on the ground in pain as Kong roared in laughter and noticed his other foe. This creature looked like an actual challenge.

He charged Battra with amazing speed and tackled him to the ground. Placing his palms on the black caterpillar, he shot out electricity but it only skidded and bounced off the hard carapace. Battra felt a twinge of pain and slammed his tail into Kong's head to topple the ape onto a fallen MOGERA. Enraged, Kong ripped the mech to pieces.

A beam of blue energy scorched across his chest from Mothra. Kong roared and sent another bolt of lightning at her. Once again, Mothra squealed in pain and shot through the air. Battra caught Kong off guard with prism beams that knocked him to the ground and leaped on top of him, pushing his face into the snow.

Run! he yelled to Mothra in kaiju speak.

I'm not abandoning you! she called back, even as a prism beam blasted the ice in front of her.

DO AS I SAY OR I WILL KILL YOU MYSELF!

Battra...

LEAVE US! He is too much for you to handle. Find the Elias. I will take care of this beast Mothra reluctantly headed toward the ocean. She took one final look at Battra as Kong jumped from the ground, throwing him off his back. Then she re-entered the cold waters.

Battra was quick to get right side up and blast the ape with beams from his horn but Kong was ready. He held up his massive alloyed arms and shielded himself. Battra charged but he dodged the Black Moth and leapt on his back. He bucked violently as Kong tried to wrestle him into submission. Battra reared forward and snapped his tail. Kong wrapped his arms around his head and squeezed. It felt as if his head was going to burst open and he began to black out. Battra kicked and screeched and with only a few moments before unconsciousness overtook him, he leaped up and smashed the ape with his head. Kong let go and Battra fell to the ground, gasping for air. Kong leaped up as if nothing had happened.

Doesn't he ever stay down? Battra thought to himself. Kong made another lunge for the larva but it jumped out of the way and slammed him with its tail. The titanic humanoid flew through the air and was treated to prism beams before impacting the ice and creating a small crater. His eyes turned blood red as adrenaline flowed through his body. Kong punched the ground in frustration, then put his arms parallel from his body and ran at Battra like a locomotive.

Battra knew he couldn't let his foe wrestle him to the ground for he might not get up again because of the ape's strength. He concentrated his energy and blasted purple beams out of his horn with all the force he could muster. They hit the muscular arms and started pushing the beast back until Kong stopped altogether and pushed against the rays. The two were locked in position, trying to force the other off his feet. Kong took a shaky step forward and advanced. Battra squinted his eyes and forced the energy out of himself. It was actually hurting him to keep the beast from advancing.

The great ape boosted the electrical surges through his body. Gathering more strength, he took a step forward, then another and another. He gained momentum and was soon walking, then running. Battra saw him coming and lost his will to keep firing. Seeing the beams stop, Kong charged. Battra braced himself as the ape tackled him and wrestled him into a headlock. Then he had an idea. This creature was nothing without those purple beams...

Kong grabbed Battra's yellow horn and began to squeeze with his viselike grip. Battra sent prism beams shooting everywhere but because Kong's hands were covered with the alloy, he wasn't the least bit deterred. He pulled the great black head back and his grip tightened even more. Finally, Kong tugged and ripped away Battra's horn from its roots. Strands of flesh still hung to the yellow monstrosity. Battra's eyes turned bright red in shock, pain and fear all at once. He went crazy and slung his head around like a madman, turning the ice green with his blood as Kong beat his chest in triumph. He held the horn like a javelin and aimed for the caterpillar. It flew through the air, impaling him. Battra fell to the ground and erupted in spasms as pain engulfed his entire being. The ape approached, seemingly unfazed by the battle and grabbed the horn, slicing it along the red- and black-colored back. The hard carapace split like a lobster's shell and green blood coated Battra like paint. Kong pulled out the horn and put his hand in the wound, sending electricity surging through raw flesh. Battra screamed in pain as Kong brought his face to the side of the insect's head.

Leave your horn, beast. I now own it. I will let you live, for you will be my messenger. Never forget where the scars of this battle came from. The injuries inflicted upon you will be paradise compared to what I will do to this world. Go back to where you came from and spread the word. King Kong is alive and he has this pathetic planet in the palm of his hand. Now leave my sight, vermin! You're sickening me Battra stumbled to his feet, coughing up blood and looked at the beast standing before him. An attack against Kong now would prove fatal.

Slowly, Battra trekked toward the dark waters of the Arctic Ocean. The water was so cold on his wounds that it burned. He cared not where he swam to as long as it was far away from Kong. On the shore, Kong reared his head back and shook the very ground with his roars. The King was back.



Chapter Six: TURNING POINT

Rescue

The dark obsidian clouds thickened over the island of Hokkaido. It seemed as though all light from the outside world was cut off from the place. The demon responsible for this was Death Ghidorah, who still trampled through the remaining forests of the mountainous terrain.

By now, he had managed to obtain enough energy from the Earth to sprout a pair of giant, dragon-like wings. At last, he could wreak havoc on the Earth and conquer it faster than ever before. This time, he didn't have Mothra, Battra or Biollante to stand in his way and was determined to fulfill his intent. The dark creature trumpeted his low growling roars, then flew southward toward the center of Japan and the great island of Honshu.

The dark fairy Belvera sat upon her steed, Garu Garu, staring off into the distance as her demon puppet flew off toward the cloudy horizon. Suddenly, her moment of triumph transformed into one of sheer horror. She felt a sharp, unbearable pain in her head. Belvera clutched the Seal of Elias close to her until the pain went away. Looking around, she seemed to be back to normal. However, she could barely remember what had just happened. Her memory was restored when she gazed upon the landscape below which was nothing but charred, fiery hills and forests. Belvera gasped at the sight and felt ashamed of herself for letting her mind become vulnerable to Gudis, the demon that had possessed her.

She knew that Gudis had tried to kill her after he was finished with her but the Seal of Elias had protected her as it had the ability to harness 'Universal Energy'. She had used it as a shield against him. However, she was haunted by his last words that echoed in her mind.

You are not worth destroying! After I am done with this planet, you and your pathetic Mothra will beg for death before the end comes! Gudis had said telepathically. Belvera shuddered and closed her eyes nervously. However, her courage soon took over and she knew that she had more important things to do, like saving her captured sisters. Since the trio was bound through the Elias Triangle, she could sense their location and condition. Time was of the essence and she could not let them be killed or tortured. She had no idea what the Mysterians might have in store for them.

"Garugaru!" she shouted as she kicked the mechanical beast's side, commanding him to fly. Foresight was among her mental abilities but she did not wish to see the outcome of things. Was she flying to her doom or to the rescue of her sisters?

*****

At long last, Belvera reached the North Pole. It had been miserable flying through the frigid temperatures but saving her sisters was her top priority and she was not going to let a little cold weather stop her. She could not help but notice a dark figure down below. It appeared to be a large ape-like monster she had never seen before. There were green bloodstains on the snow near the monster's feet and a large yellow mass beside it. Belvera focused her vision and noticed that it was Battra's horn. She instantly knew that the two monsters had battled here and the ape had obviously prevailed. Belvera decided to find her sisters immediately.

*****

At the POW Camp, everything seemed quiet. The guards were re-watching Kong's battle with Battra, obviously amused by the torture the ape had wrought upon the insect. Up on the fifth level, Commander Kugo and a couple Mysterian guards stood in front of the cell which held the Elias. Kugo had ordered them to tie the two fairies up so they would not be able to escape. They also had on anti-psy helmets to prevent them from using their mental powers. Lora was so upset she was nearly in tears. However, Moll tried to think of a way out of their situation.

"Moll, they are keeping us from contacting Mothra and I can't sense her!" Lora frantically mumbled. It was very rare for the Elias to be telepathically separated from Mothra. In fact, the mere thought of it was overwhelming. "These dumb Mysterians! They are even going to kill Fairy!" the priestess hollered.

"Lora, calm down. We need to think of a way out of here," Moll reminded her. Suddenly, one of the small air duct covers in the ceiling fell to the floor, startling them. To their surprise, Belvera and Garu Garu appeared in the opening.

"Belvera! What are you doing here? It is too dangerous!" Moll whispered. Garu Garu flew down to the twins with his master perched on his back. Landing next to them, Belvera climbed down and used her sword to cut their restraints.

"The world is in grave danger," she announced. "Gudis abandoned his control over me and now that he has direct control over Death Ghidorah, the Seal of Elias won't work."

"Where's Mothra and Battra?" Lora asked as she removed her helmet. Belvera sighed and stared down at her feet.

"Battra, I think, was mortally wounded by an ape monster. As for Mothra, she is near but out in the ocean," Belvera explained as she helped her sisters. Unfortunately, as the trio of fairies went to climb onto Garu Garu, the cell door opened and Commander Kugo stepped inside.

"Ahh, another fairy. This is our lucky day," he grinned.

"You stupid idiot! Let us out of here now or else!" Lora hollered. Kugo just laughed at the little lady.

"My, my. Aren't you a rowdy little thing. Perhaps we should put you in a cell of your own." He signaled two guards to apprehend her but before they could do so, a wave of energy slammed into them from behind, causing the trio to fall to the floor. The Elias stared at the open doorway but nothing was there. Suddenly, Moll felt something touching her shoulder and swung around. To her surprise, a male about her height was standing behind her. She was astonished to see two more male fairies standing behind Lora and Belvera.

"Are you...?" Moll began to ask. The trio had a little smirk on their faces and nodded.

"Yes, we are the Doubijin. We are the male version of the Shobijin," they all said in unison.

"Why have you returned? We have not seen any Doubijin for thousands of years..." Lora wondered with a bit of anger in her voice since the Elias distrusted their male counterparts.

"We have no time to sit and converse. We saved your Fairy Mothra so now you have the opportunity to escape," the one behind Moll explained. The tiny insect flew into the cell and landed beside her dear companions. Lora happily petted her which caused much chirping and purring. She then allowed the twins to climb upon her back so that they could leave.

"Thank you," Moll said kindly as she gazed upon their male counterparts who disappeared as mysteriously as they had arrived. Fairy then flew up into the air duct with Garu Garu following close behind. The Elias could only wonder about their brothers whom they had not seen for many, many years. Their path grew lighter as they neared the vent that led outside. Quickly, they were away from the POW Camp and flew off into the cold night sky above the North Pole.

The Elias were reunited and safe. Now they had the task of finding their Goddess, Mothra, and helping her heal her wounds.

*****

Mothra Virgo's brown body floated in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean. Her vision was blurred and she did not have the strength to continue. Her heart was at rest once she could sense the Elias again so she knew that they were safe. She really wanted to return to the battle and aid Battra if he had survived but could not sense his life signs very well as they were extremely faint.

Bravely, the larva straightened out and tried to swim back toward the north but her wounds were so severe that she barely covered several meters. Darkness was taking the innocent creature and she was near death.

*****

The Elias flew high above the North Pole Base, trying to stay out of harm's way. All three fairies were still confused about their encounter with the Doubijin and could not figure out why they had suddenly appeared and then vanished after aiding them. Even with many years of distrust between them, could they finally be reuniting?

"I wonder why they saved us?" Moll whispered as she gazed toward the dark horizon.

"Don't know, don't care. I never really liked them," muttered Belvera as she twiddled her thumbs.

"Maybe they wish to embrace reunification," Lora thought. Moll nodded at the logic of this.

"Or they recognize that the Earth is in danger and sent Battra. However, they never cared for us after we separated thousands of years ago. I doubt after spending that long a time away from us that they would wish for reunion," Moll figured as she massaged her cold skin. Suddenly, she brightened but was somewhat saddened as well. She could sense Mothra's cry for help. "Lora! Mothra is calling out to us. She's dying," she whispered, concentrating her gaze into the dark night. Belvera shrugged her shoulders and sighed.

"Well, I guess you are going to sing some tune or something," the dark fairy muttered as she plugged her ears.

"Belvera, shut up. At least we CAN sing!" retorted Lora.

"What makes you think *I* can't sing?" Belvera asked sarcastically as she sat up straight and stared at her. Lora remained silent and just sat back with a sigh. Belvera was just kidding. In fact, she rather enjoyed listening to her sisters sing. She always thought that she couldn't sing in front of them because it might be seen as a sign of weakness on her part. However, that was expected from a fairy who bore the trait of courage. Moll really was the only one taking the situation seriously, which was normally the case.

"Will you two stop this petty bickering and whining? Look what is going on around you! We need to heal Mothra so that she may be able to stop all this!" Moll hollered as she turned around and stared at her sisters. "Lora, I need your help. We must heal Mothra," she demanded. Lora nodded. However, she doubted Mothra's powers, especially in her larval form. She stood up on Fairy while Moll remained sitting. They then began to sing The Song of Prayer.

Ala alaya waransara Mosura
Iba hati hatinnbaya
Kama ya kumo garansaya manitu
Duma chupa churin ga gamo
Waku wakumo ganyan kita Mosura
Tiika sama sayanncha ri
Wara kai tu kasa hayan dariko
Iba dua dua suntiri

After the song finished, Moll and Lora smiled as they could sense Mothra's power level rising.

*****

The beautiful melody echoed in Mothra's mind and she could feel strength building within her body. Her wounds began to heal and soon she was back to normal. She raised her body in the water and screeched, thanking her dear priestesses for saving her.

Battra, if you can hear me, I'm coming to help you the insect muttered as she began to swim confidently toward the North Pole.

*****

At the North Pole Base, the Mysterians grew uneasy at the approach of Mothra. She was angry and now that the Elias had escaped, they had the ability to heal the insect.

"Commander, Mothra will reach Kong's location in about three minutes," one of the officers advised.

"Order Kong to attack her as soon as she reaches land," Kugo ordered as he watched the screen that displayed his position. He sat back in his chair and snickered, looking forward to seeing Mothra's final destruction.

*****

King Kong carefully scanned the ocean beyond the ice shelf but could not see any sign of Mothra. However, that all changed when the caterpillar appeared about three hundred meters in front of him. She had used her camouflaging ability to conceal her approach but now she was back and willing to battle. Kong was not intimidated by the insect's confidence and thought that her arrogance would lead her to destruction. He leaned forward and gazed at the deity.

Back for more, Princess Pipsqueak?

What did you do to Battra? Where is he? Mothra screeched when she noticed the green bloodstains on the snow around the ape and caught a glimpse of his horn.

Your little friend is probably already dead. He now knows not to mess with me. I have a feeling, Mothra, that you are going to make the same mistake that he did Kong replied sarcastically.

Think what you want but I am not going to let you commit this sort of act again the insect muttered in her fluent kaiju speak. She used her body as a spring and leaped forward. Kong was expecting an attack and swatted the caterpillar away. Mothra fell onto the ice like a rock but immediately recovered and stood up on her lower body, releasing a sizzling blast of blue energy from her chest. The crackling essence lanced into Kong's body and tossed him backwards into the snow.

The ape's eyes widened with surprise. It seemed as though Mothra's beam had grown stronger since their last battle. However, it did not frighten him. He knew that this kaiju wasn't the best at hand-to-hand battling and would use that to his advantage. Kong rose and held out his hands. Sheets of electricity danced from his fingers and seared into the larva's body. The intense force from the attack flung her high into the air. When Mothra hit the ground, she rolled up into a ball as Kong stared at her, thinking she was frightened or something. However, that was not the case as she rolled across the snow towards him. Kong easily dodged her first pass but the more she rolled, the more speed she gained and on her return, scored a direct hit to his side, causing the ape to stagger backwards.

Kong regained his footing and glanced at the larva who was coming for yet another pass. This time, he caught the rolled up worm in mid-air and sent charges of electricity surging through his hands and into her body. As the insect squealed in pain, Kong grasped onto her tail and smote her body against the ground several times. After that, he threw her away from him and waited for the insect to get up.

"Mothra!" Lora whimpered as she watched the battle alongside her sisters. The loving priestess could not bear to watch Mothra suffering.

"Lora, don't worry. Mothra knows what she is doing," Moll assured her.

"At least we hope she does," Belvera interjected. Moll glanced at her with an irritated look on her face, then concentrated her attention back on the battle.

"Mothra, I know you can do it," she whispered under her breath.

As Kong approached, Mothra did not move or twitch. It was as if she were dead. Kong moved in closer but when he was close enough, she swung her body around like a bat and slammed her tail into his legs, causing him to topple over like a giant tree. She then regained her stance and screeched over the small triumph.

Again, Kong rose to his feet and roared malevolently at his nemesis who seemed to be toying with him. He could not figure how this pathetic worm could be standing up against him this well. His bewilderment was broken when Mothra leaped towards him. He made a fist and punched the larva out of the air, knocking her back onto the ground where he began punching and kicking her. Mothra could feel terrible spasms of pain erupting in her body as Kong continued the viscious punishment.

Out of ideas, Mothra lifted her head up and spat several strands of silk from her mandibles directly into Kong's eyes. He staggered around and tried to hit her with his metallic fists but Mothra had backed away. Putting his hands together, he released a large blast of lightning directly at the larva. Fortunately, when he released it, Mothra engaged her chest beam and both forms of energy locked with each other.

Both kaiju tried their hardest to release more and more energy into their rays until a colossal explosion erupted between them. Mothra was tossed all the way out into the ocean from the powerful blast and Kong was flung back into a large mountain, causing a great avalanche. He was in such terrible pain from the explosion and buried under so much snow that he could not move.

Out in the water, Mothra surfaced slowly and chirped painfully. She was severely injured but used what strength she had left to swim off into the darkness. She knew that Kong was not defeated and she had to get away as fast as she could before he dug himself out of his snowy resting place.

The Elias cheered excitedly and followed their goddess. Now all that was on their minds was Mothra's next destination.

"Where is Mothra going, to Infant Island?" Lora asked as she sighed with relief.

"No, she is going to southern Japan. To Yaku Island in Kagoshima Prefecture," Moll explained with a smile on her face.

"You mean she's going to change into her adult stage?" Lora also smiled in anticipation.

"For heaven sake, girl! Use your mind. Of course she is!" Belvera hollered. Moll smiled at her sister's bickering.

"We are not done yet, my sisters. The journey is just beginning," the wise fairy assured them as they continued to follow Mothra.

*****

As Mothra Virgo swam farther from the North Pole, she looked up at the beautiful Northern Lights that blazed across the sky. The shimmering aurora formed into the image of her mother, Mothra Leo, who spoke to her.

Well done, my daughter. The world rests in your hands now Mothra Virgo's sapphire eyes glistened with tears as her mother's words echoed in her mind. A great new confidence grew within her heart as she began to swim as fast as she could toward the island that would provide her own metamorphosis.

King Koban

Lord Koban had just finished his second meeting of the day, having traveled to the North Pole Base and then back to Mars. In some respects, he wished that he had been a part of the Viran tour. On the other hand, Kugo knew more about the base than he did. While the subject of his ex-General was on his mind, he remembered him being brought up in the meeting and was about to call him when the intercom chimed.

"Lord Koban. Commander Kugo wishes to speak with you," said a female secretary.

"Send him in." He was a little surprised as the door panel slid upwards, revealing the huge form of the Mysterian. Kugo's head nearly hit the top of the door frame as he entered.

"Ah, Darius. How did the tour go?" he asked.

"Well, sire. The Virans seemed very pleased with our preparations. Their leader wishes to speak with you again later today."

"I will be sure to contact him. Now on to other matters.."

"Just a moment, my Lord. If I may, I would like to bring up one question before you speak."

"Fine," sighed Koban at the thought of more questions he had to answer. He looked at the clock, noticed the time and pressed the intercom. "TARA! It is four o'clock and I am still without my evening meal!" For a few seconds, there was complete silence, followed by a clatter of footsteps and dishes in the hall. The secretary knew what time it was and let her in. The door panel slid up and Tara, out of breath, walked over to the head of the meeting table and sat a tray down in front of Koban. He turned to hurl a string of insults at her when his hand accidentally knocked over his glass and plate, sending them crashing to the floor. His teeth clenched and his fists balled in rage. He raised a hand to slam it down on the table when in mid-air, he stopped. It was as if he told himself to calm down and his expression changed to a more passive one when he lowered his hands.

"Tara," Koban asked smoothly. "Do you delight in making a fool of me?"

"Of course not, my Lord," she replied in a trembling voice. She knew a physical attack was coming and his appearance could not deceive her. Over the years, she had grown to accept it as punishment for her misdeeds. She thought herself a bumbling fool, not fit for the Mysterian King to call his wife. Tara was so blinded by the years of constant abuse that she had no idea that the madman she called a husband - the man she tried her hardest to please and keep satisfied - in reality was keeping her around just to say he had the best-looking wife. Koban raised his hand to strike her when Kugo spoke up.

"My Lord. Don't you think you're acting a bit rash? After all, I'm sure she will clean it up..."

"You stay out of this! It doesn't concern you!" roared Koban. Tara hadn't moved from her rigid pose, her eyes squinting as Koban smacked her with enough force to bring her to her knees. Once down, he grabbed her by the hair and shoved her face in the spilled food.

"Clean it up," he seethed. Then he walked her to the door with her hair still in hand and opened it. Tears flooded out of Tara's tightly-closed eyes. Don't scream she thought to herself. It will be over soon The door slid open and Koban slung her into the opposite wall. "NOW GET IT RIGHT!" he roared at her. Although the door slid shut at its normal speed, Tara felt as if it was slamming with the force of her husband's anger. The secretary was wide-eyed with shock. She glanced at Tara and then pretended to be doing some paperwork. Using the wall for support, Tara went down the hall to fix Koban's dinner.

"My Lord! She didn't even do anything! She's your wife, Koban, not some slave..."

"That's right! She is my wife and I will treat her as I please! Don't forget that I am the King!" Koban shoved his finger in the direction of his red helmet lying on the table.

"But she's the mother of your son!"

"Correction. She was the mother of my son." Kugo's eyes widened and his mouth hung open for a second.

"What do you mean?" The question was nearly a whisper.

"My son was killed yesterday. He was too deformed so he had to go. You know the rules."

"Bu-bu-but THAT WAS YOUR SON! Have you no compassion?!"

"I can not and will not have my perfect society ruined just because that thing had my blood running through it."

"Perfect society? PERFECT SOCIETY?! When your father was alive, THAT was a perfect society. People live in fear of you, Koban! I know your ways. I learned them as I watched you growing up. As I trained you. You hated yourself, remember? You hated all our kind and if it weren't for your father dying, you would have killed yourself out of utter disgust for your own people! You only seek power, Koban, and nothing more. Don't think you can hide it from me!"

"Don't mention that fool in my presence ever again! Look at where trying to cope with the humans got him! He was sent running back into space with his tail between his legs before being blasted out of the sky! The imbecile was unprepared and stupid and that's what cost him his life! We will not back down while I am alive! We will fight and obliterate every one of them! What's happened to you, Darius? Have you grown soft on them?"

"You know I want nothing more than for them to suffer. But I don't want our people to go through the same treatment!"

"And if I don't relent? What will you do then? Are you challenging me?" Suddenly, Tara came through the door with a new tray of food, her face red after having to recall the order and get the cooks to prepare it. "GET OUT OF HERE!" yelled Koban. She dropped the tray in fright and ran out the door just as a glass smashed against the wall.

Kugo's rage couldn't be contained any longer. He raced to the end of the board room table and tackled Koban to the floor. He wrestled the Mysterian King into submission and raised his fist but before he followed through, he felt something poking him in the side. It was the barrel of Koban's blaster.

"Get off or I will kill you right now." The words were firm but had a hint of fear in them. Kugo came to his senses and looked down at the face that mere seconds ago could have had every bone in it broken. What was he doing? Surely, this would warrant a shooting. Maybe he could get away in time... "One last chance for you to get off of me," said Koban. Slowly, Kugo stood up and backed toward the door. "Don't think of fleeing, Darius, or I will shoot you where you stand. Now, then. You're probably wondering why you weren't shot a thousand times over already. General Wato was killed when a meteor smashed through the hull of his ship. Seeing as time is of the essence and I have no other qualified replacement, I'm offering you back the position of General." The words were said as if he was spitting out sour milk. How he wished he could have pulled the trigger! Koban thought as he reached beneath the table and grabbed a yellow-hilted sword and threw it at Kugo with enough force to make the giant Mysterian stagger. "Now get out before I change my mind."

Kugo was stunned for a few seconds. He stared at the gun and then the sword. Quickly and quietly, he marched out the door. He was about to head back down the hall when he heard crying behind him. He turned and saw Tara sitting on a bench with her face buried in her hands. Kugo went over and sat down beside her, looking over at the secretary.

"Would you mind?" he asked in a stern tone. As if she had just noticed the girl, the secretary gathered some papers and disappeared down the hall.

"Commander Kugo?" asked Tara, looking up at him in surprise. Her eyes were red with tears and she really didn't know what else to say. Neither did Kugo. He opened his mouth but quickly shut it. Thousands of ideas were racing through his mind but he couldn't find a way to express them.

"Hello, Tara," he finally said.

"What did Lord Koban want?"

"He's being the angry tyrant he always is. I tried to set him straight but he pointed a blaster at me and that was that. I did get promoted to General so I should stay alive until he plans to kill me." He handed Tara the sword which she pulled out and watched the light glint off its edges. It was a magnificent piece of weaponry and a great symbol of a most prestigious rank.

"I hope I didn't start your fight."

"You were the reason we got into it but don't worry. I don't hold you accountable for anything. I just hate to see him treat you that way. You're a very special person, Tara. Don't let him make you feel any different."

"But he'll kill me!" She began sobbing again so Kugo wrapped his arm around her and let her cry into his shoulder. She was telling the truth he realized. Koban would kill ANYBODY at any time. Why did he feel so much for her then? Why did he care at all? Could it be that he actually loved her? It sure seemed that way...

"Listen, Tara. I'm sure I could work something out." He knew that was near impossible but he had to comfort her. "Come by my office some time and we can have lunch or just talk, whichever you prefer." She looked up from her wet yellow shirt.

"I would like that," she said, smiling.

"Now that's what I like to see. A smile."

"Well, I better get back to work, General. I'll talk to you later."

"One more thing," he said. "Call me Darius."

"All right then, Darius. Goodbye." She got up and began to walk down the hall but stopped and rushed back to the bench. She tried to say something but couldn't. Instead, she leaned down and locked Kugo in a kiss. Shocked by her own actions, she stood up and ran down the hall.

Transformation

It was very early in the morning in Nagoya when Professor Erickson was awakened by the ringing telephone on his night stand. It startled him but he jumped out of bed and picked up quickly.

"Professor, sir. Urgent news!" the woman frantically shouted on the other end.

"Well, what is it?" he mumbled as he leaned against the headboard.

"It is Mothra. She has been sighted just outside Tokyo Bay."

"Where is she headed?" Erickson quickly came fully awake.

"She's heading south-southwest, toward Kagoshima Bay."

"Fetch me a helicopter immediately! I shall be waiting here," he yelped as he slammed the phone down and scurried across his hotel room to get ready. In all his life, he still hadn't seen Mothra and here he was, an expert on her. Even though he was still in his early thirties, Erickson believed he was very good at his work. He thought of this opportunity as a gift for doing so well - a chance to finally see the guardian deity himself.

About a half hour later, he found himself airborne, awaiting the wonderful moment of seeing Mothra with his own eyes. The young professor could barely keep his excitement from getting the best of him.

*****

The beautiful western sky was still painted by moonlight as the day began to awaken. Mothra Virgo was swimming toward Yaku Island. The memories that were passed down to her from her mother told her that there was something on there that would make her more powerful. The larva would go to the Tree of Life to receive the energy to aid the planet at this terrible time. The Elias followed closely behind and watched proudly as she swam below them, admiring their goddess' strength and confidence.

"This one is going to be as strong as her mother," Lora exclaimed excitedly.

"I hope you are right. The Earth needs her very badly," replied Moll. Suddenly, the Elias' thoughts were disturbed when they heard the loud voice of Belvera announcing something.

"There's Yaku Island!" Moll and Lora looked toward the southern horizon. It was as beautiful as they remembered it and one of the oldest places on Earth, almost as old as Infant Island itself.

For some odd reason, the fairies felt at home when they landed. Mothra immediately made her way deep into the forest as she was determined to succeed in her mission. When the trio was fully surrounded by the foliage and trees, they could hear the very voice of the Earth itself singing to them. It was very mystic and beautiful as a gentle westerly breeze blew in and rustled the leaves, releasing a fragrant flowery scent into the air. Eventually, Mothra and the Elias came to a small clearing at the very center of the forest where the towering Tree of Life stood rustling in the morning wind.

Mothra chirped as her eyes glistened at the beauty of the surrounding landscape which was an even larger incentive to save the planet from its would-be destroyers. She crawled up near the base of the tree which was about the same size as herself. The larva gently rested her body on its bark and waited for the right moment to begin her metamorphosis.

The Elias stepped off from their steeds and stood a ways back. Flower petals and leaves blew around them mystically and the Earth's voice could be heard once again. The moment was ruined by Belvera when she released a horrific scream of terror.

"Belvera, what's the matter?" Lora fumed as she turned around. To the Elias' surprise, the Doubijin were standing directly behind them. They smiled slightly before gazing upon Mothra's resting body.

"What are you doing here?" Belvera demanded.

"Belvera, mind your manners! They are our brothers," Moll reminded her as she walked up to them. "My name is Moll. This is Lora and Belvera," the wise priestess introduced them in turn. The Doubijin paused for a moment and looked at each other as if they did not know what to say.

"You do have names, don't you?" Lora asked as she folded her arms. The males nodded. It had been a long time since they had used them but they did have them.

"Um... my name is Terius. I am the Doubijin of Valor," the farthest one announced. The other two came forward and introduced themselves.

"My name is Zirkon. I am the Doubijin of Brotherhood."

"And I am Oberon, the Doubijin of Knowledge," the final one who stood closest to Moll said. The Elias smiled at their brothers as it had been a long time since they actually conversed with each other. Now they had a sense of family. However, the Doubijin seemed a bit rude but the Elias could live with that.

"That is fascinating! The Doubijin have a triangle of traits the same as we do," Moll murmured as she shook Oberon's hand. Suddenly, the six fairies were startled by the loud cry of Mothra who raised herself up off the trunk of the tree to stare at the sky. The Elias immediately knew that it was time to assist in her transformation.

"I suppose you two are going to sing... again," Belvera moaned. Moll and Lora snickered.

"Feel free to join us any millennia," Lora chuckled sarcastically as both her and Moll climbed onto a rock to sing to their goddess.

As this was taking place, Professor Erickson and his two assistants stood nearby, watching Mothra prepare for her metamorphosis and absolutely enamored by the sight. They were recording the event, in their minds as well as on film. Erickson had a feeling of relief as he watched for he was finally getting what he had desired all his life: a chance to see Mothra transform.

Moll and Lora gazed upon Mothra and smiled. They knew that the insect was going to be a lot more powerful after she hatched from her cocoon so they began to sing the song that Mothra Leo had heard nearly ten years before.

MothraLeo
Sora to mizu no aida ni Anata wa umareru
Sora no ao sau tsusu hoshi no
Midori no daichi ni

Mosura Virgo...
A ra wa rei de yo sekai

Sora to mizu no aida de
Anata wa madoromu
Ikuoku ikusenmanen no
Yume o tsu mu ide...
They stopped briefly to watch Mothra spraying a webbing of silk up into the canopy of the great tree. As she did, a mystic green dust floated down and was absorbed by the insect. Belvera smiled and hummed the tune that her sisters sang, as did the Doubijin. This was a surprise since they despised singing. Obviously, the voices of the Elias had a strange impact on everyone who heard them.

They began to sing the final verse of their beautiful song.

Ma yo naka no taiyou ga
Mori o terasu
Ma hiru no tsuki no shizuku ga
Inochi o nurasu...

Mosura Virgo...
Ha ba ta kii de yo inochi

Sora to mizu no aida de
Anata wa mezameru
Kaseki no sakana no mure no
Nemuri yabutte...
When Moll and Lora had finished, the final note echoed off into the forest. Belvera and the Doubijin gazed upon the colossal cocoon against the tree which caused it to lean a bit but the fairies were not the only ones observing the great moment. All of the animals on the island had flocked toward the Tree of Life to watch the metamorphosis of Mothra. They knew that she protected the planet and respected that as much as humanity did.

The Elias turned and smiled excitedly at the Doubijin. Waving their hands in the air, they kneeled to show respect for their Queen. At last, the cocoon began to shine; tiny holes in its surface revealing intense rays of light emanating from within. Suddenly, it was incinerated by the energy it held inside. The force danced up into the sky as small rainbow-hued butterflies and merged into one great mass above the Tree of Life.

In a great flash of light, two gigantic wings spread out over the forest and as the light dimmed, Mothra Virgo's face and body could be seen. Her beautiful fuzzy body seemed to glow divinely and her wings were painted with stunning colors of blue, black, yellow, green, purple, orange and red. In appearance, she was quite similar to her mother. Her antennae were slanted backwards and the three gems on her forehead reflected the sun's rays.

The Elias were in awe as they gazed upon Mothra Virgo's mighty form. She was about three times as large as the Tree of Life now and absolutely dwarfed her mother's size.

"Mothra..." The Elias, including Belvera, rejoiced as they folded their hands and bowed their heads. Tears of joy ran from their eyes and dropped onto the forest floor. The Doubijin were absolutely astonished by the metamorphosis. Such power and majesty had never been observed by their aged eyes. They, too, celebrated her rebirth.

Mothra raised her head and released a powerful, majestic screech that echoed across the island. With one great flap of her wings, she flew high into the air and took off, leaving a trail of sparkling energy particles behind. Mothra, the Queen of the Monsters, had returned and was determined to save the planet and the people she loved so dearly.

Battra Returns

The darkness of evil blew in from the north as Death Ghidorah made his way down the northern part of Honshu. His terrible roars echoed off the mountains and distant hillsides.

Sirens sounded in the small city of Akita as people scurried through the streets, attempting to escape the monster's approach. The three-headed dragon landed, his massive, newly-developed wings spread out to their full width and flapping, sending vehicles and small buildings flying through the air. The horrific cries of people being crushed or incinerated seemed to give the demonic dragon pleasure so he continued to decimate the town. However, he could sense the approach of an enemy. He brushed off the thought and savored the thrill of slowly destroying the planet.

*****

As Mothra Virgo streaked through the clouded skies, she seemed to bring the glory of sunshine with her. She screeched and chirped, flying ever faster with the Elias and the Doubijin close behind. Zirkon and Terius sat behind Belvera on Garu Garu and Oberon with Moll and Lora on Fairy since they had no other means of transportation. The Doubijin did have the ability of teleportation but it drained their energy when they used it. Everyone seemed content and joyous at Mothra's new glory except Moll.

"What's wrong?" asked Lora. Moll stared up into the sky as she could sense an unusual disturbance growing in intensity minute by minute.

"We have more problems than Death Ghidorah. The Earth is in danger. There are more threats than just the Millennians so we must be quick in our work," she replied.

"Oh, do not worry. Mothra isn't in this alone. Battra has healed and gone through his metamorphosis," Oberon announced as he held onto Lora's waist so he wouldn't fall off Fairy.

As Mothra flew across the Kanto Plain, people in the towns and cities below rejoiced and cried out her name for she was a symbol of hope and safety to the Japanese people. In response, the insect released her own cry of confidence. However, she did know that the future would be hard for her with so many things threatening the world. But with Battra on her side and possibly Biollante as well, she was relieved.

*****

"Hurry! Quick, get the camera running!" Professor Erickson hollered as the helicopter followed Mothra Virgo.

"Where is she going?" one of his assistants asked.

"She is going off to fight one of the creatures threatening the planet. Most likely Death Ghidorah since he is nearest at the moment."

"What about the experiment?"

"Do not worry. When the time is right, we shall proceed with it. In fact, I don't really consider it an experiment anymore. That is all I am going to tell you," Erickson replied sternly. He didn't want to reveal his plans to even his assistants. The project meant a lot to him and he had worked for years until, finally, it was a success. He had managed to extract a carbon copy of his and his wife's memory synapses and injected them into a small sphere that wasn't any larger than his pinky fingernail. The result was brilliant. In fact, it was genius for he thought that possibly his and his wife's memories could prove useful to future generations.

*****

Death Ghidorah continued his rampage through Akita as fires and great explosions erupted into the dark sky. He soon had reduced the entire city to ashes and missed the cries of the people he destroyed because now everything was quiet and irritating to him. However, his attention was distracted when he saw light flashing through the clouds above. Suddenly, they seemed to part and yellow energy particles floated down from the intense glare, dissipating as they reached the ground near him. After the brightness dimmed, a great earthquake trembled below his mighty feet. To escape the intense shaking, with one great flap of his wings, Death Ghidorah hoisted himself high in the air. Seconds later, the ground where he had stood gave way and shattered.

Screeching plant-like tendrils burst forth, followed by the main mass of a creature sounding its mighty roar. Death Ghidorah screeched defiantly as Biollante, the spirit of the Earth returned, more powerful than before.

Death Ghidorah sent a cascade of lava bolts toward her. When they hit the mammoth mutant plant, her tendrils shattered and exploded, causing a green sappy substance to splatter the ground. The force of the blast didn't seem to cause Biollante any severe pain as she sent a multitude of vines shooting up toward her enemy. The three-headed beast managed to destroy a few but others grasped his legs, forcing him to fall back down on the dusty landscape. Biollante's giant mouth opened and released another monstrous roar that echoed off the mountains as she sent another bunch of tendrils to entrap Death Ghidorah.

The demonic monster was wrapped up tight and coughing up dark red blood as they constricted his body even harder. He writhed in pain and agony, attempting to loosen the Earth spirit's grip which just got stronger, almost to the point that his bones shattered. Luckily, he managed to save himself by sending a pulse of energy through his body which surged up Biollante's vines and shocked her main mass. She threw her head back and roared angrily as Death Ghidorah took the opportunity to release more of his lava blasts, destroying all the vines entrapping him. Both monsters stared each other down and prepared for the ultimate battle.

*****

Moll gasped as she sensed what was taking place in Akita. She did not want to see Mothra battle this demon alone.

"Biollante... she's here," the wise woman murmured. Oberon glanced over at Zirkon and Terius and nodded. The male fairy closed his eyes and began reciting words from ancient texts his people had created many thousands of years ago:

"Protector of peace, bringer of retribution
Rise to our defense, fight for self-determination!

God of Power, bringer of justice
Rise again, defeat the ongoing malice!"

Great guardian, please rise again
Battra, Prince of the Doubijin!"

After Oberon recited the tenet, the Elias could sense his presence.

"The battle is only beginning," Moll assured them as she glanced back up at Mothra who could sense the rallying of her allies.

*****

In Akita, the earth trembled violently as Biollante wrapped her tendrils around Death Ghidorah's body and slammed him onto the ground. She did this several times until he reached down and bit one of them in half. This greatly angered her and she began to send more and more toward the dragon. Before the vines caught him, Death Ghidorah flew into the air and dodged quickly which angered her even more. He doused her in a cascade of lava bolts, causing explosions to erupt and disassemble more vines. The Earth's spirit roared out in pain and agony as he violently slammed into her side. This physical attack did not knock over the plant because her roots were deep in the ground. Death Ghidorah tried again but was unsuccessful. As he attempted a final attack, Biollante turned her head to the side and opened her mouth as wide as it could go.

Death Ghidorah was too slow to react and one of his wings was caught. Biollante began to tug furiously and tore the edge off. The dragon fell to the ground at her massive base. She opened wide and reached down toward him but received a mouthful of lava blasts which seared into her jaws and burst through her back, flinging chunks of her body into the air, behind and above her. The great guardian reared up and roared in anguish as Death Ghidorah took to the air once again.

As he circled the decimated battlefield waiting for his enemy to recover, a large object flew by at unbelievable speed. The dragon stopped in mid-air and looked around. It swooped down from above, violently slamming into his back and sending the beast hurdling toward the ground. He landed in the remains of the city and was shrouded within a large cloud of ash and dust.

Biollante slouched down and attempted to heal herself from Death Ghidorah's sadistic assault but something caught her attention. A peculiar cloud of green-hued powder floated down from above and a second later, there was a great fuzzy face staring back at her. She blinked with surprise. Mothra had come to her rescue and chirped at her fellow monster before releasing green scales from her wings which landed on Biollante's carapace. She could feel life and strength building within her. Mothra Virgo, like her mother, Leo, had the ability to restore the life of plants. Biollante raised her head confidently and gazed into the eyes of her savior.

Thank you, my sister Mothra seemed to nod her head and reassure her.

You are welcome. Together we must fight to protect the planet Their 'conversation' was cut short when Death Ghidorah blasted forth several lava gouts which caused the ground under Mothra to explode. The insect deity turned around and flew down in front of the beast, casting her great shadow upon him. Death Ghidorah's eyes widened for he could not believe the size of this Mothra. He recalled Mothra Leo being much smaller. Virgo was obviously larger and bulkier. Her massive wings even dwarfed Biollante's great mass.

Death Ghidorah snarled hatefully at his aerial nemesis and challenged her to battle. Mothra flew past the demon and slammed into his side, knocking him to the ground. Unlike Biollante, this foe was fast and agile which made it more difficult for him to attack her.

Mothra soared high into the air, followed closely by the three-headed menace. Both kaiju slammed into each other violently, their impacts sounding like thunder. The insect goddess streaked behind the demon and smacked at him with her enormous wings as Death Ghidorah brought his heads around to bite her. However, Mothra was quickly got out of range. Energy crackled in the three gems that decorated her forehead and a trio of rainbow-hued prismatic blasts seared forth. Before Death Ghidorah knew it, the beams had lanced into his body, knocking him back to the ground. Now Biollante was able to release her anger upon the beast and sent forth a multitude of snapping tendrils. When they bit into him, steam rose from the wounds as the acid in their mouths corroded his flesh.

*****

The Elias and Doubijin watched the battle anxiously, cringing from the terrible horror ensuing below. They could not fully understand how everything had started to go wrong. Unusual attacks by monsters and aliens just seemed apocalyptic. However, they had faith in Mothra and Biollante. Soon, another monster was added to that list when they spotted it on the horizon.

"Battra!" Oberon cried as he stood excitedly on the back of Fairy, holding on to Lora so he wouldn't fall. Everyone's faces lit up with joy as they gazed upon the dark-winged insect rapidly approaching to aid his two allies.

"Humph! Now Death Ghidorah will pay!" Zirkon shouted.

"We must not be over-confident. Death Ghidorah is still a terrible force to be reckoned with. He could still prevail," Moll reminded him.

"Well, he is in for a beating..." Belvera muttered, only to have Terius elbow her in the back. All the fairies could do was watch as the great battle continued.

*****

Biollante raised her enormous toothed mouth and roared out in agony as Death Ghidorah sent lava rays dancing into her abdomen, causing bloody green sap to explode into the air. Before he could injure the Earth spirit too severely, Mothra flew in and grasped onto the demon's necks with her six clawed feet. Electrical shocks seared from her body and sizzled into him, forcing the vile beast to squeal in agony. The deity continued to release this damaging assault upon the three-headed leviathan until her attack was cut short when he sent a wave of energy through his body. The great surge slammed into Mothra's abdomen, flinging her away and causing her to hit a half-destroyed building. As the insect writhed in pain, Death Ghidorah smote her body with multiple blasts of his lava rays. Explosions erupted, hiding the insect in a great cloud of sparks and smoke.

All of a sudden, Death Ghidorah felt a draft of wind blow up against his body. As he looked up, two purple-hued beams lanced into his body. Battra was determined to get retribution upon this enemy who had defeated him once before.

Mothra heard the valiant roar of Battra and raised her head out of the rubble to see if the sound was actually real. Battra had returned, and in his adult moth form. Anxious to help her brother, she courageously flew out of the wreckage and from high in the air, doused Death Ghidorah with her prismatic beams, causing the three-headed demon to take to the sky to battle these flying foes. The moths were relentless in their tactics and slammed into him, slashing his flesh with their claws. However, even that proved to be not enough to defeat such a creature.

As Mothra flew behind him to attack, Death Ghidorah whipped his tail up and smote the insect's body, causing her to plummet toward the ground like a stone. To defend his fellow insect, Battra battled viciously with the dragon, beating his wings as fast as he could which caused a huge gust of wind with enough power to blow him backwards. When he had pushed the vile fiend close enough, Biollante rose beneath him and bit onto his tail with her mighty jaws, dragging the beast to the ground.

The mammoth plant mauled Death Ghidorah, tearing at his flesh. A dark-hued liquid soon oozed from multiple gaping wounds. She opened her mouth and released a glowing jet of radioactive sap. His body was bathed with the corrosive matter which stung his ravaged body. Battra then attacked, grasping one of his wings and tearing through the scaly material. Seeing what he was doing, Mothra flew in and began ripping at his wings also. The three monstrous kaiju brutally injured Death Ghidorah who was crying out in agony when suddenly, something seemed to erupt within his body; some sort of hidden evil that was never seen before.

A wave of pure energy burst forth and knocked his attackers away. He then released a huge flame from his center head. When it hit the ground, it began to split up. Violent explosions erupted in a chain reaction all the way up Biollante's main body mass, tattering and tearing her abdominal flesh. Flames and rocks burst into the air and battered Mothra and Battra. Death Ghidorah then released a monstrous roar of malice and retribution. His red eyes shone brightly, giving him a demonic appearance but that was not all.

Mothra flew high above the terrible hell being released, fanning her wings and releasing a cloud of shimmering yellow scales that blanketed Death Ghidorah. They seemed to keep the dragon in place, allowing Biollante and Battra to get clear of the attack. She released ever larger amounts of the dust. Death Ghidorah grew annoyed and fired several blasts of crackling molten energy. Fortunately, the scales provided Mothra protection and reacted with the intense heat, causing several large explosions to detonate over her assailant. They had such a great kinetic force behind them that it brutally knocked the dragon to the ground. Again he arose, attempting to show his adversaries that he never gave up. He blasted the Hell's Flame from his center head up at Mothra and this time, an even larger explosion detonated, nearly equaling the force of an atomic bomb. The scales amplified the energy so greatly that it enveloped Mothra and sent her falling to the ground.

*****

"Mothra!" Lora cried out as she covered her eyes. The entire battlefield was aflame. It was not known if Battra, Biollante or Mothra survived as the evil and turmoil the planet was undergoing seemed to cloud their senses. However, Moll seemed to be clear-minded as usual.

"Wait! I can feel something. I do not believe that they are dead," she gasped with a hint of hope sparkling in her eyes. As the smoke and fire cleared, Biollante and Battra could be seen sitting next to each other at a safe distance. However, Mothra was not visible.

"No..." Lora whispered. Moll and Belvera also felt her anguish. The Doubijin were relieved that Battra survived the terrible battle but they felt the Elias' pain for Mothra.

Suddenly, a faint aura of light shone in the fire that covered the remains of the destroyed city. This attracted the attention of the Elias and as they continued to observe the unusual phenomenon, a great mass emerged from the flames. It was none other than Mothra. Her body was injured and parts of her wings were burning. Her fur was singed but the Elias did not worry.

Battra found the mortally wounded body of Death Ghidorah and carried him to the ocean where he dumped him. The insect shuddered as a dim crimson light lingered in the water where he slowly sank beneath the waves.

Mothra fell to the ground in agony. Terrible wounds from the explosion covered her body and wings but something caught her attention as a shadow loomed over her. Her sapphire eyes looked up to see Biollante standing nearby. The plant seemed to take pity on the insect and luckily, hadn't endured the impact that Mothra had but imagined what it felt like.

You saved my life and healed me. Now I must do the same the Earth's spirit said gently. Biollante raised her head and roared up at the sky. Clouds began to gather and it gently rained upon the devastated land. When the water touched Mothra's body, it caused her wounds to glow and heal. Soon, she was partially revived. Biollante, seeing that her job was done, formed into tiny particles of energy and ascended toward the heavens. She disappeared but would return to protect her planet.

Mothra managed to raise herself off the ground and take to the air where she met Battra. Battra! I am glad you are not severely injured she chirped.

I am fine and glad you are now well. I knew you would not listen to me! You went off and battled King Kong after I told you to get away he softly roared.

I managed to stop him long enough so that the Elias could be saved and I could get away

We must go our separate ways now Battra insisted.

You are right. There are far more evil things that must be stopped Battra gave the insect a nod and ascended higher into the sky before flying eastward, eventually diminishing on the horizon. Mothra also departed as she knew that she had to stand up to greater forces endangering the planet and she would most definitely do so, even if it meant risking her life.

*****

On the ocean floor, the injured body of Death Ghidorah slowly healed itself. The demonic monster knew he was not defeated yet and that he would get revenge on the three creatures that put him in this awful position, even if it took all eternity to do so.

*****

It was a dark night full of terror when the Elias and Doubijin retreated to Infant Island to catch up with each other's experiences after so many years apart. The six fairies also debated on a plan of action to help the world but were stumped.

"We must do something!" Belvera hollered as she slumped back against Garu Garu. Moll reluctantly looked up at Mothra's shrine, which she usually sat upon. She felt empty and sentimental for the insect deity. The wise woman knew she had to do something to aid the planet.

"What do you three propose we do?" Oberon asked, turning to Lora who was staring blankly at Zirkon. "Lora, are you all right?" She blushed and snapped out of her little mental lapse.

"Oh, yes, I'm fine." she giggled. Zirkon glanced down at her and gave a little nervous smile. He was the youngest of the Doubijin while Lora was likewise with respect to the Elias. It appeared to Belvera, Moll, Oberon and Terius that Lora had feelings for him. Moll suddenly changed the subject back to what was being discussed.

"Oberon, you must have something to present."

"No, I don't!" he retorted. "I can't do everything, you know. Besides, you three were the ones a long time ago who decided to be friendly with humanity and protect them so it is your decision."

"Wow, how ironic!" Belvera smirked. "I actually thought for a moment that you Doubijin had changed but I guess I was wrong. The males... so arrogant and selfish..." Suddenly, Terius shot an angered glance at the Fairy of Courage. This caught her attention and she gave him a malignant leer.

"Want to say something, Terius?" she muttered sarcastically.

"Yes, I do. It is hard to hear that coming from you, Belvera. You were the one who released Death Ghidorah nine years ago in order to gain ultimate power for yourself and you are calling us arrogant? Ha!" Terius snickered as he threw his head back and laughed even louder. Lora and Zirkon listened to their bickering but seemed to simply ignore it. They showed great affection towards each other, even though it had been years since they had been together. Zirkon was still handsome and young and the same could be said for Lora. They conversed telepathically as they occasionally glanced at one another.

Shouldn't we stop them from fighting? Lora inquired.

I don't know... But I really don't care at the moment. All they can do is bicker and it is obvious that they don't approve of us loving each other, Lora he responded. She gave him a sad glance as she did not wish to see the Elias and the Doubijin fight. She knew it would drive them away from each other again for another few thousand years.

Lora's love for Zirkon was an ancient one she really had never revealed to Moll or Belvera. Zirkon also showed shared this affection. Terius and Oberon had practically ripped the information out of him and ever since, he had been looked down upon by his brothers.

At least your sisters love you, Lora. Look at Oberon and Terius! They could care less if I died right now

Don't say that! They love you deep down. It is impossible for them not to since you three were created to serve as avatars for Battra Lora resplied.

Well, you are probably right. Nevertheless, they disapprove of you and me

And it is our job to bring our brothers and sisters together. If we all unite, we would be a powerful force to be reckoned with she figured. Zirkon then glanced down at the ground sentimentally. He remembered the past and his other brother who had died. There was another Doubijin? asked Lora. Zirkon looked back at her, curiously gazing at him.

Yes. He perished a long time ago in a rock slide

We had another sister also. Her name was Miranda. She was the Elias of Truth but she died as well. I cannot recall from what, though. Belvera and her were very close. Ever since Miranda died, Belvera has changed a lot. I feel sorry for her Lora explained.

That is what happened with me. Aritus, my brother, was very close to me. When he died, I secluded myself a lot from Terius and Oberon Zirkon replied. Suddenly, their telepathic conversation was cut short when the two lovers heard their families once again bickering and hollering at each other, nearly scratching at each other's throats. Lora suddenly exploded in anger.

"STOP IT! NOW!" she hollered at the top of her lungs as she jumped up. Moll, Belvera, Terius and Oberon glanced at the young one in surprise. "We should not be fighting. We should be helping one another," Lora insisted. "Good heavens! Even I can realize that! You four are acting like little children! It was never intended for us to be split apart like this so stop!" Zirkon looked at Lora in amazement. The courage and love she possessed made him love her even more.

"She's right. If the Elias and Doubijin join forces, we will be a powerful force. Both of our peoples are threatened by the recent events that have been happening. It is time we set aside our differences and be one with each other," Zirkon declared. His words nearly brought Moll to tears. She glanced at Lora and closed her eyes. She knew that her sister possessed that certain wisdom, courage and love that urged her to bring the two peoples together. Moll then looked over at Oberon who was equally stunned by what had just happened.

"Oberon, they are right. We must set aside our differences. It has been far too long and now we must protect this planet side by side," she said, extending her hand to shake his. Both of them apologized to each other and decided to agree with their younger siblings. They then glanced at Terius and Belvera who seemed a bit surprised, yet still hateful toward one another. Moll winked at the Fairy of Courage.

"Belvera, it is for the best." Oberon nodded at these words of wisdom and glanced at Terius. The two then gave in and shook hands. "It is indubitably time for us to take action. Let us devise a plan," he said as he sat down with Moll. Lora beamed at Zirkon who was looking affectionately at her. They felt as though they had accomplished something that would be with them forever.

Kaiser

Standing beside his desk in his quarters, Ken'trus tapped his fingers on the glass top. An emotionless expression painted his face, yet at the same time, an almost sinister cast could be found; the genius gloating in thought of his plan.

Today was the day which would determine the fate of the galaxy and he knew it all too well. He had eagerly anticipated this hour and now that it was upon him, he could do little more than stare into space and await the report from Ren'tis. Whether he was even self-conscious that he was drumming his fingers in anticipation was unknown. In fact, he had been inactive for days, refusing to eat, to sleep even if he could do both in his excitement. Oh, the thoughts that clouded his mind! Then Ren'tis' voice came over the intercom.

"Sir, it is finished." The four words Ken'trus had desperately been waiting to hear. Even so, he didn't flinch nor respond to the announcement but continued his blank stare into the full emptiness of his mind. There was a short pause before Ren'tis spoke again. He knew Ken'trus all too well to bombard him repeatedly with news of Project X. His commander would reply in his own time. However, considering the urgency of the information, after a small wait in silence, he repeated his call.

"Sir," he said. "The project is completed. Do you wish to see it?"

Yes, of course he wished to see it! It was, without a doubt, his greatest achievement ever; his ultimate undertaking, his most powerful weapon and so much more. It was his creation. When it was trained and ready, together with his new masterpiece, nothing would, or could, stand in his way.

The Xian empire was sure to cover the expanses of the galaxy unopposed. Nothing would stop him from laying eyes upon its grace. He lifted his index finger and laid it atop the communications button on his desk.

"I will be right there," he replied solemnly.

Walking down the dark, cold soundproof corridors whose walls almost seemed organic in appearance, Ken'trus proudly marched toward his prize. In just a few moments, he would know the final condition of his ingenious plan and whether his efforts were for naught. The sleek silver and black doors opened to his mental command and he entered a room not much larger than the corridor itself. Inside stood a Xian with his back to him. Ren'tis turned around with a look of glee and enthusiasm.

"Sir, it is complete," he said, stepping closer to his master.

"What is its condition?" asked Ken'trus.

"It came out beautifully and with a few minor genetic alterations to its DNA, it is 100% Kaiser." Ken'trus gave an evil smile of approval.

"Show me." Ren'tis pressed the flat red button on the small console on the wall to his right. The doors slid open and a female clone stepped through. She was beautiful and looked much different in comparison to the previous line such as Miss Namikawa. In fact, it was because of Namikawa that the Xians decided to destroy all their female clones after the first Xian-Earth war, fearful that they also were 'defective' and would turn on them. Since then, new and 'improved' designs had been created and used successfully.

Unit 369 walked toward her Controller, holding a cylinder opened half way near the top end. She gave it to Ken'trus. Inside was a humanoid-like creature, gray-black in color with blue and green highlights. Its skin was shiny and smooth. Under the semi-large and pointed forehead, enormous reflecting eyes beamed up at him, its tiny hands clutched into fists. There was no mistaking its identity.

"My son!" boasted Ken'trus. "My Kaiser!"



Chapter Seven: MUGAR

"Are we ready to proceed with the combat test?" Commander Mugar asked.

"Yes, sir. We have the Garogan capsules in position," Argon replied.

"Is there evidence of any human or other alien craft nearby?"

"No, sir. The area is clear."

"Well, then let's give the Garogan creations a real workout, shall we? Prepare to launch Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus." A few moments later, a large pair of massive doors opened directly above the two cyborgs whose internal control systems surged to life. The terrifying duo's eyes lit up a bright amber yellow. Several other doors above the main hangar began to part as well. The Simeon constructs uttered their characteristic roars as they brought their arms to their chests in a salute. Titanosaurus then leaped up and out of the hangar and to the surface. Mechagodzilla activated his jet propulsion and lifted skyward as well. The huge bay quickly closed and concealed itself.

Above was a sparse plain perfect for a serious brawl. A few moments later, the Garogan kaiju spotted the new arrivals and charged them head on. They had come into the possession of the Simeons after a confrontation decades ago between them and the Garogans. After a brief battle that resulted in defeat for the Garogans, the Simeons had snatched them. To the victor went the spoils.

"Initiate the battle program! Attack!" Mugar ordered. The Garogan kaiju charged in, some attacking with tooth and claw, others with flame and beam weapons. Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus marched into the horde nonchalantly, like a couple of battle-hardened gladiators with their defense shields and armaments at the ready. Mechagodzilla punched his right hand through the skull of the first kaiju and then turned, bisecting three more with his chest cutter beam. Another dinosaurian kaiju took a round of impaler missiles that remotely detonated, blowing their unfortunate victim to pieces while another had its face blown off by the mech's eye beams.

Meanwhile, Titanosaurus brought his new weaponry to bear as he sliced a bear-like kaiju in half up the middle with his right forearm cutting laser and then dismembered another with the missile turret on his left leg. A charging mob of five or more kaiju got a taste of his photon cluster blast as the energy torpedo shot forth out of his left eye, splitting into five separate projectiles and blasting clean through their quarry. As more rushed in, Titanosaurus switched to hand-to-hand combat, beating anything within arm's reach senseless.

Mechagodzilla took to the air, raining painful and explosive death from above, firing both his eye beams and atomic breath ray onto indiscriminate targets as well as picking off airborne kaiju resembling various Earthly fliers like birds, bats and insects.

Titanosaurus broke the neck of an ape-like kaiju and then punched his cybernetic right arm into another monster, ripping out its heart. Mechagodzilla came down and cut loose with his berserker arsenal barrage, firing everything he had at once. Aiming had been recalibrated and fine-tuned for more accurate targeting, evident by the amount of kaiju body parts flying through the air.

A monster at least twice the size of the others that looked like a cross between Gamera and Yongary advanced on Mechagodzilla. The robot turned his barrage in its direction but the creature's heavily armored shell withstood the attack and it kept on coming, charging like an enraged bull. Mechagodzilla tested his new plasma missiles as they loaded from a chamber in his arms and locked into his hands. Just as the mammoth kaiju reached him, they fired, some detonating on the outside of the monster while others used the impaling property, dumping their burning plasma payload inside its body. The kaiju staggered backwards, shrieking in shock and pain as the highly volatile plasma burned into and literally melted it from the inside out. The beast began to fall apart into a revolting and nausea-inducing pile of bloody, steaming gore; a horrible way for any living thing to die.

Mugar couldn't have been more pleased as he watched with a sick and sadistic smile. Remaining kaiju with beam weapons grouped together and fired a tight pattern from their eyes or mouths in the destructive duo's direction. Titanosaurus saw it coming and quickly jumped into the line of fire, dropping his shield and opening his reflector mirror. The concentrated beam blasts struck the dish and were absorbed.

Mechagodzilla, using his jet propulsion, hovered directly over his comrade, picking off other kaiju as they tried to attack Titanosaurus from all sides. They finally broke off, waiting for the cyborg to either explode or fall but they got neither as he fired their concentrated beam attack back at five times its initial strength, literally atomizing the monsters.

The battlefield was soon littered with the bloody, battered and mutilated corpses of countless alien kaiju. There was not even enough left of some to be able to tell what they once were. A scant few remained that tried to flee but Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus gave chase, planning to wipe out every last one of them.

Mechagodzilla grabbed hold of one straggler and proceeded to beat and pummel what appeared to be an amphibious kaiju literally to death, shattering bones and rupturing internal organs before tearing it limb from limb. Titanosaurus tortured another that was bird-like in appearance, slicing off miscellaneous body parts with his laser cutter as it tried to run away. First it lost its feet and fell down, then its wings. Next came its tail and then parts of its face. To say that this fight had been an one-sided slaughter would be an insulting understatement.

"Well, Commander?" Chief Argon asked, looking over at Mugar.

"Excellent," he replied, finally voicing his approval.

"Though it may be true that Garogan kaiju might not be nearly as durable as some of the powerhouses that we have here on Earth, I still believe that this was a successful and worthy test of Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus' abilities, sir," Argon said proudly.

"Indeed. I must agree -" Mugar stopped abruptly to watch Titanosaurus grab hold of one of the last remaining Garogan kaiju and move his thumb across his own neck in the gesture that usually meant death. He then picked it up, turned it upside-down and leapt into the air, bringing the creature back down with him in a pile-driver. It connected with so much force that the monster's skull shattered like an over-ripe grapefruit. "Argon? What was that?!" Mugar exclaimed in utter shock.

"Ah, yes... Well, sir, it seems that our lead programmer who uploaded the combat data into our warriors is somewhat addicted to American pro wrestling shows," Argon admitted, slightly embarrassed.

"Really, now... Is that a fact?" It was more a statement than a question. "When Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus have finished, bring them in for whatever maintenance or repairs might be needed, if any."

"Yes, sir."

*****

While seeing to the retrieval of their very successful weapons platforms, the Simeons failed to notice two kaiju which had managed to escape the slaughter. They were not Garogan in origin, one being a Z-Ton alien and the other, a Gomora. They managed to slink away from the dark and once more quiet battleground.

*****

Later, Chief Argon proudly strode into the main control room of the hangar where Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus had been redocked and inspected. He spotted the lead programmer, Toru, who also happened to be his lifelong friend.

"Toru, my old comrade!" Argon ran up to him with hand outstretched and a smile on his face.

"Chief Argon!" They clasped hands in an excited and frantic handshake.

"Oh, to hell with formalities! Toru, you know that you can just call me by just my name any time you choose! But that's not what is important right now anyway. I have fantastic news!" The Chief finally broke off the handshake.

"The Commander...?" Toru started to ask nervously.

"Couldn't be more thrilled with Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus' performance!" Argon finished for him. Toru let out a deep sigh of relief. "You see? I told you that you had nothing to worry about and here you were, lamenting over every little detail, almost on the verge of panic!" Argon laughed.

"The last thing that any Simeon wants to do is upset the Commander..."

"You can relax, my friend, for all is well."

"That is certainly good to know!"

"Ah, Toru! Just look at you! Remember all those years ago when you were majoring in Robotics and Cybernetics back on the Simeon home world, absolutely terrified that you weren't even going to have enough credits to graduate?" Argon asked.

"Yes, I do. You told me to quit worrying over nothing," Toru smiled.

"That's right. And look at you now. The Lead Programmer and the ape who, along with our home world elders, spearheaded the plan to reconstruct Mechagodzilla and salvage the body of Titanosaurus. You should be proud of yourself!"

"It was only because of your faith in me, old friend, that I found the courage to keep going."

"Perhaps... But you always had the knowledge, the skill and the talent inside of you," Argon reminded him, putting his hand on Toru's shoulder.

"Thank you, Argon."

"Oh. There is one thing I want to bring up, though."

"Oh? And what is that?"

"On the battlefield, Titanosaurus used some kind of move that I know you had to have picked up from one of those human wrestling shows that you watch," Argon explained with an amused smirk on his face.

"Tombstone pile-driver!" Toru exclaimed excitedly, pointing at a poster he had of a WWE wrestler called 'The Undertaker' on the inside of the control room door. Argon looked at it for a moment. "Is there a problem?"

"Well, the Commander didn't quite know what to make of it and I'm not really sure what he thought about it, to be honest..." Argon admitted.

"Oh no... oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, no no no no no!" Toru started to fret, bringing his hands up to the sides of his head.

"Now wait a minute! Just calm down. I didn't say he was upset, did I, or that he disapproved?" Argon tried to assure him.

"But he didn't say he liked it either! I guess it's just a good thing that Mechagodzilla didn't do a Stone Cold Stunner while he was out there. Oh, I am sooo dead!"

"A stone cold what? Oh, never mind that! Anyway, you're fretting over nothing again. Just remove that little piece of the program and maybe that poster to be on the safe side and everything will be just fine."

"Are you sure?"

"Of course. You are a genius after all!"

"Indeed he is," a voice suddenly exclaimed from behind them. Argon and Toru turned to see Commander Mugar standing in the doorway, watching them as they snapped to attention and gave the Simeon salute. "At ease, my fellow apes," Mugar told them, walking into the room.

"Good evening, sir. I was just congratulating Lead Programmer Toru on Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus' spectacular performance."

"And it is well deserved. I was very impressed with what I saw today," Mugar addressed Toru as Argon stepped aside.

"Tha-thank you, sir. I am glad they are to your liking."

"I have just one question, Toru. About the bizarre move that Titanosaurus used on the battlefield. Where did you get that again, may I ask?"

"Uh... fro-from a human television program, sir," he replied, even more unnerved now.

"Indeed. The same can be said for this strange decoration on the door behind me, I assume..." Mugar turned away for a moment with his arms crossed behind his back. "Tell me, Toru. Do you take enjoyment in this human program?" He seemed hesitant to answer at first, worried about what the Commander's response might be. He dared not lie as Mugar could always tell when he was being deceived, no matter who it was. Chief Argon looked on, not sure of where Mugar's questioning was leading. "I asked you a question!" Mugar yelled, turning back around and getting right in Toru's face.

"Y-yes, sir," he finally answered.

"I see... Tell me, Toru. Do you have any idea how much it disgusts me that you take enjoyment in this human filth?!" Mugar seethed.

"No-no, sir."

"It is disgraceful and abhorable in ways that I cannot even begin to describe!!!" Toru broke out in a cold sweat as waves of terror swept over him. Argon tried to diffuse the situation by offering his own counsel.

"Commander, sir. I was just suggesting to Toru that he remove the -"

"When I want your opinion, Chief Argon, I will ask for it! Do you understand?! Until then, you will remain silent!" Mugar bellowed with an angry glare that took Argon aback.

"S-si-sir, I, I meant no disrespect. If I have in any way offended, upset or angered you at all, I am most sorry and humbly beg your forgiveness," Toru stuttered as Mugar's stare bored deep into him. Argon watched closely as Mugar turned away from Toru who looked as if he were going to pass out. Long moments of silence passed.

"Apology... accepted," Mugar finally said as Toru and Argon let out a collective sigh of relief.

"I-it was like I was just saying to Chief Argon, sir. The last thing any Simeon wants to do is upset the Commander -"

BLAM! Toru stopped in mid-sentence as Argon looked at him. His head snapped in the Commander's direction. He had turned around and drawn his pistol. As a feeling of shock and dismay came over Argon, he looked back at Toru who had just enough time to see the hole in his chest before falling to the floor, dead. Toru's Assistant Science Officer had just entered the room to see what happened as Mugar turned around to leave.

"Congratulations. You've just been promoted," he said coldly as he walked by him. On his way out, he ripped the poster off the door and crumpled it before tossing it aside. Argon stood transfixed by the body of the Simeon who had been his lifelong friend. A rush of memories came over him as he knelt down next to Toru. They had known each other since they were apelings, grew up together and entered the military academy together. Even though they went down very different paths, their friendship had always remained strong.

As he knelt there, Argon felt tears welling up in the corners of his eyes. What was he doing? He couldn't cry, he mustn't. It would be a sign of weakness but suddenly, Argon didn't care anymore. All that mattered was that a Simeon who he may not have been related to by blood but loved like a brother was dead on the floor in front of him.

"Leave! Now!" Argon ordered Toru's assistant who quickly rushed out of the room. He pulled Toru's body to him and wept.

*****

Chief Argon stood outside Commander Mugar's office, trying very hard to get his emotions under control. He had planned on confronting him about his actions regarding Lead Programmer Toru but he would have to do so delicately. It was difficult for him to understand Mugar killing Toru over something that seemed so petty. He gave himself a moment to calm down before taking a deep breath and announcing his presence.

"Permission to enter, Commander?"

"Granted."

"My apologies for disturbing you, sir, but I wished to speak to you about something," Argon explained as he walked through the door.

"I assume this is about Toru," Mugar said without looking up from some paperwork he is reading.

"Well, yes, sir. How did you know?"

"I saw the look on your face when I shot him. It told me all I needed to know," Mugar stated bluntly.

"I see. Well, then, sir. Let me get right to the point. Was killing the most brilliant mind that we had brought with us from the no longer existing Simeon home world prudent?"

"He committed what was in my eyes an unforgivable, unsalvageable act that warranted termination. Nothing more, nothing less, Argon."

"And now we no longer have him as a valuable resource amongst our ranks."

"His Assistant Science Officer can and will take over his duties."

"To some degree perhaps, but he is no replacement for Toru. What if a major malfunction occurs with Mechagodzilla or Titanosaurus that no one else is capable of repairing? Then what?"

"Then if Toru were still alive, I would have him shot anyway for incompetence in allowing such an oversight to happen in the first place." Again, Chief Argon was taken aback by Mugar's words but rather than dwell on them, he resumed his original questioning.

"You did not answer my question, sir." Finally, Mugar looked up from his desk. Argon could only guess that the expression hidden behind his mask was none too pleasant.

"According to you yourself, Argon, this shouldn't even be a question to begin with, seeing as how you endlessly sang the praises of Toru's abilities. Therefore, malfunctions of any kind shouldn't be an issue. And another thing. This is not the first time I have performed an execution of an insubordinate, yet you have never taken exception until now," Mugar stated suspiciously as he got up out of his chair and walked over to him.

"Insubordination, sir? With all due respect, I know how you feel about the humans and their culture but what Toru did to our constructs may have actually been an improvement to their battle programming rather than a detraction."

"What?" Mugar shouted with disgust that was quite similar to how he sounded right before he shot Toru. "Please tell me, Argon, that you are not serious. Please tell me that you are not condoning what he did. Any Simeon who does anything remotely similar to what Toru did will receive the same punishment!" Mugar stated bluntly.

"A simple deletion of the programming would have sufficed and Toru would still be among us to offer his skill and expertise, sir."

"And I am beginning to wonder if you are letting your personal feelings get in the way of your duty, Chief. Should I charge you with insubordination as well for challenging my orders?" Mugar hissed sternly. A long moment of silence passed with the building anger of both Simeons quite evident.

"... No, sir," Argon growled softly.

"For your sake, I hope you are correct, Argon," Mugar snarled.

"In case you have forgotten, sir, there are some Simeons who have indeed taken a liking to certain human staples. What is your answer to that? Slaughter all of them?"

"YES!" Mugar exploded with fury as the Chief looked on in horror, wondering if the Commander was beginning to lose his grip on sanity itself, let alone their mission.

"Why? How does such a course of action help us? We need all the ape power we can muster! We are horribly outnumbered by the other races and cannot spare one Simeon, sir! Not to mention that your obsession with the humans seems to overshadow the greater threat posed by the other races which we know have come to Earth, including the Gudis!"

"Any Simeon who crosses me for any reason will be dealt with as I see fit!"

"Indeed. Then perhaps I should remind you of certain Earthly comforts that you yourself once enjoyed? I believe I recall that you at one time were quite fond of a human alcohol called brandy. Along with cigars as well."

"Indeed I was! And this is what it got me!" Mugar roared, ripping the metallic mask off his face. Argon stared unflinchingly at the badly mutilated and scarred face of his commanding officer who fumed with rage before him. "I allowed myself... to grow weak... and this was the result," Mugar stated, somewhat calming down.

"You are not weak, sir. There is an old human proverb that says, 'Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger'. And despite your revulsion and hatred of the human race, that is one fact that you, of all Simeons, should be able to understand."

"You are quite correct, Argon. I am not weak anymore. And I never will be again. That is why we are going to exterminate the entire human race and wipe any evidence that they ever existed from the face of this planet. And any Simeon who challenges my orders or authority for any reason will suffer the same fate. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good... This discussion is over and you are dismissed," Mugar grumbled. Chief Argon turned away and walked out of the office.

*****

Back in his quarters, Mugar tossed and turned restlessly, his dreams tormented by memories he wished he could forget. Suddenly, he woke up screaming and jerked upright on his bed. The Commander quickly composed himself when he realized where he was and got his bearings. Wiping beads of sweat from his forehead, he thought back to the events of that fateful day back in 1975 when his life changed forever.

He remembered all too well Godzilla's radioactive fire tearing through his ship's hull, scorching his flesh as if summoned up from Hell itself somehow. He remembered screaming like a helpless child as he was thrown from the ruined craft and fell, plummeting towards what he thought would be his death. In the briefest of moments, he had shown weakness and felt fear. In seconds, all his pride, courage and dignity had been swept away from him. He had literally prayed for death to come and take him as his burnt, broken and mutilated form lay upon the ground, not because of the physical pain but the psychological anguish. He had not only failed his mission and his people but himself as well.

The shame he felt since that terrible day festered in him like a cancer that ate away at his very soul. It had transformed him from the Simeon he once was into the embittered shell of an ape that he was now. Back in the day, things were different. He was different.

He thought of Toru, the Lead Programmer he had killed. Once, long ago, he too had partaken of certain Earthly comforts. But now, Earth or anything connected to it reminded him of the events of that tragic day which he would be destined to live over and over again in his nightmares until he died. All that remained now was rage and he would use the burning maelstrom of his agonized fury to sear the Earth, its people and everything that existed on it.

"Kill them all... I WILL KILL THEM ALL!!!!" he bellowed savagely, letting his anger overtake him as his body shook violently. A few moments later, he had calmed down and tried to go back to sleep, laying his head back on his pillow but he knew that the peace he sought would not come. No, there were only more nightmares awaiting him and demons from the past.

*****

Several Simeon scientists in protective bio-suits had examined the body of the Gudis drone that had infiltrated the compound earlier, going over it with a fine tooth comb. With their analysis complete, the corpse was taken from Quarantine to a destabilizer chamber to be disposed of and ensure that any remnants of the Gudis virus or spore were destroyed. It would be tossed in with any other hazardous materials that the various biolabs produced and brought there when no longer needed. They used to incinerate such materials but learned the hard way that certain elements and organisms actually thrived on extreme heat so the atomizing energy fields of the destabilizer chamber were created. This was especially fortunate, considering that the Gudis was one of those life forms that fed on heat and other related energies so the destabilizer was a must in this case.

The carcass was pushed into the empty compartment and the scientists turned to leave. The doors on the chamber would then close, followed by three more barriers with extreme amounts of ray shielding. Similar armor plating lined the walls of the room also. It was then that rays consisting of molecule splitting anti-protons blanketed the room and the body inside until it was completely disintegrated. When their task was finished, the scientists departed. What one of them didn't realize was that an almost microscopic tear was present in his bio-suit.

*****

At the back of the mess hall, young Bordu sat peeling homeworld vegetables with an awkward cutting tool. This was Chief Argon's punishment for the disturbance he had caused earlier. Although his boss had obviously chosen to go easy on him, he still hated it. Some of the vegetables smelled terrible and his hands were starting to break out in a rash as if he was having an allergic reaction.

"Maybe getting executed would've been better..." he muttered to himself jokingly.

*****

Beyond the main base of operations were the family living quarters. Wives, children and other relatives of the soldiers and scientists resided there. Jogal, a middle-aged scientist, had just gotten off a grueling 20 hour shift and stepped through the door of his home to the warm greetings of his wife and son.

"Daddy!" a five year old apeling named Sado exclaimed, rushing up and hugging his father who looked as if he was going to topple over when the boy threw his arms around his legs.

"Easy on your father, Sado. He's had a rough day," Tanea chided him as she peeked around the corner. The female Simeon embraced her husband but it was almost as if he was using her for support.

"Rough isn't the word for it," he said, pulling away and collapsing into an odd-shaped piece of furniture that was the Simeon version of a couch.

"They had you working on that terrible Gudis thing again, didn't they?" she asked with a mixture of fear and anger as she knelt down next to him. "I thought you requested a transfer?"

"I did, but they said no," he groaned, stretching out as several bones popped and cracked.

"You know how I feel about you working with that... that thing."

"I'm not any happier about it than you are, Tanea. But that is the price I pay for being a successful biochemist," Jogal grumbled. Trying to change the subject and cheer her husband up, she smiled.

"I made your favorite dish tonight."

"Did you now?" Jogal beamed with a big grin. She leaned over and kissed him on the forehead.

"It'll be ready in a few minutes." She headed into the kitchen as Jogal watched her with love and pride in his eyes. He couldn't have married a better woman, he thought, looking at his son who was playing on the floor nearby with a bunch of kaiju toys.

"And just what are you doing? Reinacting the Kilaak invasion of '99?"

"No, daddy. See? This is Godzilla and this one is King Ghidorah and this one is that nasty old Gudis!" Sado explained excitedly, caught up in his own imagination. Some of the toys were of their actual namesakes while others were merely stand-ins. "And these two are Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus! And they're going to beat them all!" he finished, banging the toys together and making monster noises.

Jogal smiled at him as he thought about the kaiju in question. Godzilla had already been dealt with apparently but King Ghidorah and the Gudis were both still at large and more powerful than ever before. He decided to push such thoughts from his mind now that he was home and only wanted to spend time with his family. Jogal looked back into the kitchen at his beautiful wife who smiled at him. Aside from his recent unsavory work, his life could not have been more blessed.

Later that evening when everyone had turned in for the night, something evil stirred. The Gudis had been patient and now the time had come. It had been easy to get inside Jogal's bio-suit. Through Jogal's eyes and from his subconscious, he had observed everything around him in the Simeon base. The Gudis had originally planned on taking over Jogal but a far more cruel and sadistic option had presented itself.

Inside Sado's bed chamber, the apeling's eyes slowly fluttered open. The moment the youngster had hugged his father, Gudis made his decision and transferred from Jogal to his son. Sado was no more. Now, there was only Gudis. Sado's body slowly got out of bed and made its way to the parents' bedroom. As the automated door slid open, they woke to see what was the matter.

"Sado, is that you?" Jogal asked, trying to rub the sleep from his eyes as he and his wife slowly sat up.

"Honey, what's wrong?" Tanea asked as what they thought was Sado stood at the foot of their bed. Gudis' eyes began to glow a bright crimson red and a sickening smile came across the boy's face. No one heard the screams of the parents within their soundproof home as they were torn asunder by the Gudis' eye beams.

*****

Bordu got up with a yawn, having finally finished the arduous task Argon had stuck him with. He left the mess hall and started towards his quarters when an alarm went off, scaring him half to death before taking off running.

The cause of the disturbance was obvious as the Gudis-possessed ape child moved through the base. It had left the residential section and headed toward the main part of the underground base. The bodies of slaughtered Simeons lay everywhere as Gudis killed anyone who crossed his path with his eye beams. One Simeon had managed to sound the alarm before being gutted on the spot. Others, unaware of what the child really was, had tried to physically subdue him but the Gudis dismembered them limb from limb.

Other soldiers poured into a hallway in front of the Gudis, armed but hesitant to fire upon what appeared to be a Simeon child. They paid with their lives as the Gudis blasted them to pieces. Every locked door that the Gudis encountered was breached as he headed for the main control room. Off to his left was a corridor that led to the hangar bay where Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus were. A devilish smile came across his face once more. Just then, Bordu arrived on the scene and spotted the small child.

"What the -" was all he managed to get out before the Gudis' head snapped around in his direction, firing off more eye beams as Bordu dove for cover, rolling behind some computer equipment. A security detail led by Chief Argon entered the room. He looked at the little Simeon very closely. Its eyes gave it away.

"Open fire!" he ordered.

"But, sir! It's only a child," one of the soldiers stuttered.

"No, it's not! That thing is the Gudis now. I said fi -" KA-SHOOM! Before any of them could respond, the Gudis had unleashed his eye beams once more, cutting a gory swath through the entire group. Only a few managed to dodge out of the way, the ones not obliterated receiving grievous injuries, including Argon who took a glancing shot to his left leg, trying to leap sideways. As he went down, he fired several rounds from his blaster. One connected, completely blowing off the Gudis drone's right arm but it acted as if it couldn't care less.

Bordu drew his own weapon and darted out of his hiding place. The Gudis had already started down the long hall towards the hangar bay where it blasted the guards at the far end. Bordu stood at the other end with his blaster pointed at the Gudis' back as it got closer to the doors.

"Shoot it, Bordu! Kill it before it reaches the hangar!" Argon bellowed, trying to stabilize himself on his injured leg and push himself up. Bordu started to pull the trigger but hesitated. "Do it now!" Argon ordered. His trigger finger shook uncontrollably as he stared at the creature making its way down the corridor. Bordu knew that thing wasn't a Simeon child, he knew it was the Gudis but he couldn't bring himself to fire. It still looked like an innocent child! "Fire the blaster!!!"

"I-I can't!"

"You have to or we're all dead!"

"But it's a -"

"That thing is not a child! Not anymore! That thing is the Gudis and you must shoot it!"

"But, but I... I..." Bordu murmured as he broke out in a nervous sweat, his entire arm shaking violently.

"Listen to me! If you don't shoot that thing now, it will take control of Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus and kill us all! Every man, woman and child. Do you understand!?!" Argon roared as he tried to hobble over to where Bordu was standing. By now, the Gudis had reached the hangar doors and its eyes began to glow once more. "Bordu!"

"I can't!!!" BLAM!!! Out of nowhere, a bolt from a laser rifle flashed past Bordu and blew the Gudis drone's head off. Bordu and Argon looked back to see Mugar standing not too far behind them with a rifle in his hand.

"I hope there is a good excuse for such an unforgivable blunder!" Mugar snarled. Looking at the now headless corpse of what was once a Simeon child, an irrational rage suddenly filled Bordu who rushed toward Mugar with his blaster raised. Argon darted in at the last moment, connecting with a nasty left hook to the jaw and putting him down. Mugar turned around, curious as to what the disturbance was. "Is there a problem, Argon?"

"No sir. This rookie just went hysterical for a moment so I subdued him. The horror and shock of watching what appeared to be a Simeon child die in such a manner was apparently too much for him."

"Yes. A horrible tragedy," Mugar said coldly with no hint of any real remorse or emotion whatsoever. "Have this thing disposed of immediately and make sure that all necessary precautions that obviously were not taken the first time are followed to the letter or I will have your heads. Is that clear?!" Mugar berated him.

"Ye-yes sir," the Chief stuttered.

*****

Bordu and five other Simeons had been placed in a holding cell for failure to fire upon the Gudis-possessed child. They just couldn't bring themselves to pull the trigger but their mercy and compassion was viewed as an unforgivable weakness by Mugar's standards. Argon entered the detention block and approached their cell. Bordu, who was sitting on the floor, slowly lifted his head.

"Well, sir, what jolly news have you for us this fine hour?" he groaned sarcastically. The look on Argon's face was grim and unpleasant, to say the least. "Or perhaps I shouldn't even ask." Bordu was suddenly feeling very sheepish.

"I just figured that you had a right to know... Mugar is going to execute all of you," the Chief said forlornly. Bordu let out a long sigh.

"I knew I shoulda went AWOL when I had the chance..."

"Where would you have gone?"

"Anywhere that would've taken me away from here!"

"And what would you have done? Try and blend in? Do you really think that would've worked? And if you were discovered, then what? You would be imprisoned immediately, based on the previous crimes of our people as judged by human law. What then?"

"I don't know... It's just that Mugar has turned our race and our way of life into something that I'm not proud of anymore and don't want any part of."

"You do realize that what you're suggesting is treason, right? Then again, you nearly committed that once already by trying to kill Mugar."

"You should've let me."

"He would've killed you, boy! And even if you had succeeded, you would've been cut down by any number of his lieutenants in a heartbeat."

"Then why didn't you kill me? Or have me executed? After you hit me, I never expected to wake up again." There was a long pause as if Argon was unsure how to respond.

"Perhaps I pitied you. Perhaps a small part of me understood how you felt. Or maybe you just caught me on a good day."

"Or maybe you have finally begun to realize what I have been trying to say all along. That Mugar is unfit for command." There was another silence as Argon looked off to the side. "I heard about what happened to Lead Programmer Toru and why he was killed. I also know that he was a friend of yours..." Argon still said nothing. "Take command."

"What?"

"You heard me. Relieve Mugar from command based on grounds that he is mentally unfit to lead our people."

"You're insane!"

"Am I? Are you sure that's not what you should be asking Mugar?" Argon was starting to look outright flustered.

"Even if I could, there is no guarantee that the soldiers would follow me."

"Yes, there is! Do you even realize how many of our brothers only serve Mugar out of fear? The other Simeons respect you. They look up to you! Who better to take command than you? And if you can't prove him unfit, then... then..."

"Then what, boy? Kill him? So now you're wanting me to commit treason, too? I thought being a rebel was your expertise."

"You know I'm right and that there's no other way. If Mugar continues to lead us, there will be nothing left of our heritage or our people. And I for one have had enough. If you want to continue being his lap dog like everyone else, you go right ahead."

"That's no way to speak to your superior officer, boy!"

"Then give me a reason to speak to you otherwise!" Bordu snapped back without hesitation. "If you want to reprimand me for being insubordinate toward you, go right ahead! A good stiff backhand perhaps. Or maybe a kick to the face? Or maybe you should just adopt Mugar's philosophy and shoot me dead, right here and now, just like he did Toru." Argon suddenly looked more angry and furious than Bordu had ever seen him and knew that if he could reach through the cell and strangle him, he probably would. But deep down, Argon knew that Bordu was right.

"Please, sir. If you care about our people and our future, do what must be done before it's too late..." Long moments of silence passed before Argon finally could respond.

"For what it's worth, rookie, I am sorry," he whispered as he turned and slowly walked away. Bordu hung his head, knowing that all hope was lost and that his future, along with his people's, held nothing for them but death.

*****

Mugar jolted out of his bed with a horrified scream. Again, the nightmares had returned to torment him. , Visibly shaken, he staggered into the lavatory and threw some water on his face. He placed his hands on the basin for support and leaned against it with his head down. Then he heard the voice.

"Pathetic..."

"Quiet."

"Useless..."

"I said, be silent."

"Look at me when I'm talking to you, fool!"

"I said, shut up!" Mugar bellowed as his head snapped up, staring into the mirror in front of him. He saw himself but as a younger, unscarred ape.

"Look at you... old... weak... frail. A decrepit waste of a Simeon!"

"I am the Supreme Commander! No one speaks to me in such a manner! I will have you -"

"Have me what? Killed? Moron! I am you! But then again, you've been as good as dead since 1975, haven't you? Maybe you should put a bullet in your skull and save yourself this pretentious act of pretending you still have any courage or dignity left." With an enraged roar, Mugar punched the mirror, shattering it to pieces but the voice in his mind didn't go away.

"And now. Here you are, pretending to give a damn about this mission. About our people, about anything at all for that matter. Tell me... Do they know what you have planned for them?"

"Shut up!"

"They're all going to die and it's going to be by your hand."

"Get out of my head!"

"Just think... One push of a button and it's all over. You, our people... The entire planet for that matter."

"It must be done! There is no other way!"

"Who are you trying to convince? Admit it. You're a coward!"

"NO!"

"Yes, you are. And you know it!"

"Enough!"

"Oh, no. It'll never be enough. If you had any backbone, you would never have brought that thing with you in the first place."

"I am the Supreme Commander and leader of our race! I can and will do what I wish when I wish!"

"You command nothing! You... are... worthless." Mugar let out a horrific howl as he repeatedly punched the wall where the mirror once was until his fists were bleeding. He stormed out of his quarters without even grabbing his mask and headed toward the hangar where Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus were.

Mugar walked up to what looked to be nothing more than a featureless wall on the far side of the hangar but when he pushed on a specific panel, a secret door opened and he stepped through. A short hallway led to a single door where he stopped for a moment as if unsure whether or not he wanted to enter. Grunting angrily, he punched the control panel next to it and it slid open. Mugar slowly walked to a control console with a series of monitors. Above this area was a single window looking into another massive chamber which concealed a missile. He slowly placed a shaky hand on the glass in a gesture almost like a caress.

"Soon it will all be over. Soon... very soon," he mumbled with a wild look in his eyes.

*****

As Argon walked away from the detention block, he was plagued by self-doubt and confusion. He could understand the Simeons being reprimanded for their failure to act but executed? It almost seemed... insane. That was the word Bordu had used to describe Mugar. Was the rookie on to something? Was it really him and the rest of the soldiers who were in the dark as to what was really happening? Argon ground his teeth in frustration and wished he knew what to do.

What was the fate of their people going to be? He thought back to the day he was promoted to Security Chief and became second-in-command, back on Setei, the last of the Simeon homeworlds. Five years ago, they were in the capital city of Tarin ...

*****

"Hold the line! Hold the line!" Security Chief Doras bellowed to his squad as an angry swarm of Simeons rushed toward them. The estimated time of Setei's destruction was only a few short weeks away. The massive transport ship that would double as a base of operations on Earth was filled to capacity. Once all essential personnel and equipment had been loaded, a lottery was held to determine which Simeons amongst the general population would get passage as well. The drawings were completed, much to the dismay of many not selected.

"Keep them back! Protect the ship by any means necessary, even if you have to open fire on them!" Doras commanded as he and the rest of the security detail raised their weapons. Gas grenades had already been used but had not deterred them. Another Simeon in riot gear shouted into a megaphone-like device, warning the mob to stay back but they did not listen and started to break down the barricades around the ship.

"Open fire!" Doras ordered. Blaster bolts sizzled into the out-of-control crowd as they rushed into a mine field that had been laid for just such a possibility. Horrendous explosions sent mutilated and dismembered bodies flying in all directions but still they kept coming.

"May the gods forgive us..." Doras muttered as he and his soldiers started using weapons that mirrored the Earthling Gatling gun. Entire ranks of Simeons were mowed down and cut in half.

"I see the circumstances have not changed," Mugar observed, watching the deteriorating situation on the launch pad from aboard the ship.

"Truthfully, sir, there is still a little more room for -"

"Ignite the booster engines," Mugar cut off the lieutenant. The giant transport's rockets roared to life as Doras and his squad rushed toward the ramp with desperate and hysterical apes chasing after them. As they reached it, the mob caught up and someone tripped Doras. His Captain turned around and grabbed his wrist as the ship began to lift off. Over a dozen Simeons were clinging to Doras and the boarding ramp as other officers opened fire on them.

"Don't worry, sir. I've got you!" the unusually large ape shouted as he started to pull him up.

BLAM! A blaster bolt completely obliterated Doras' head, spraying blood all over the soldier trying to hoist him aboard and knocking him back as Doras' now headless body and the Simeons who had been clinging to him fell back to the launch pad below. The mortified officer spun around to see Mugar standing in the doorway, holding a blaster in his hand. The ship's door began to close as the last of the squad quickly rushed inside.

"Who was Doras' second-in-command?" Mugar called out once they are underway.

"Me, sir," the Simeon who had tried to help him said woefully, still covered in his blood.

"What's your name?"

"Argon, sir. Captain Argon," the shaken ape replied, still in a state of shock.

"Congratulations. You've just been promoted. You are now the new Chief of Security and my second-in-command. Is that understood?" Argon looked at him in disbelief at the callousness of his actions. He had just lost his right-hand ape and it was as if it meant absolutely nothing. "I said, is that understood?" Mugar hissed.

"Ye-yes sir," Argon stuttered. Mugar simply turned and walked away.

*****

In the main control room of the base, the sentenced Simeons had been chained to a wall with their arms and legs manacled and spread to prevent any movement. Mugar slowly paced back and forth in front of them before addressing the officers he had assembled for the execution.

"My comrades, we are gathered here so that the importance of success and what truly being a Simeon means can be fully understood. These soldiers failed to act when duty and circumstances demanded them to do so. The penalty for such weakness... is death. They showed mercy when there should have been none. They showed compassion in a scenario where it was unacceptable. They showed that they were incompetent in the performance of their duties as sworn members of the Simeon Empire and its proud army. This cannot and will not be tolerated! Action must be taken and an example made so that all of you will learn the true cost of failure and cowardice." Mugar pulled out his knife and stepped up to one of the prisoners. The ape was obviously terrified.

"Fear is also unacceptable," he snarled, noticing the soldier's expression. He then swiped the blade across his face. The wounded ape let out a painful cry as dark green blood flowed from the gash. "You brought this on yourself and there is no one else to blame. You should accept your death with dignity!" Mugar hissed as he buried the blade so deep in his right forearm that it hit bone. The ape shrieked as Mugar dragged the blade upward until it reached the shoulder. He then tore the sleeve off to expose the other arm. Carefully, he used the knife's finely honed edge to peel and slice strips of fur and skin off the extremity. Everyone looked on in horror as Mugar ripped open the ape's vest, exposing his chest and belly. He slowly began to push the knife to the hilt into the tortured ape's abdomen where he twisted it. Bordu looked away, unable to watch anymore but this attracted Mugar's attention and he flew into a rage.

"NO! You will watch or you will be next!" he ordered, lunging over to Bordu. The Commander grabbed hold of his face and forced him to look at the mangled body. "And anyone else who looks away for even the briefest of moments will also be executed! Is that understood?" he bellowed insanely, eyeing the officers in the control room. He then resumed tormenting his victim as he carved and sliced chunks off the ape's body as if he was cutting up a roast.

The Simeon had been gritting his teeth, trying to cope with the pain until it became so intense that his teeth shattered from the force he was exerting. Blood splattered all over Mugar's mask when he screamed but he paid it no heed, almost entranced by the misery he was causing. He ripped out the knife and stabbed it directly into the ape's left eye to elicit another horrible scream. Mugar pulled out a second knife, leaving the first in his head. The pitiful creature was unmoving, looking as if he was about to pass out from the pain until Mugar got his attention by stabbing him directly in the groin, resulting in another mournful howl.

"I am not finished with you yet, vermin! You will not pass out until I say you can! Is that understood?!" he roared like a maniac.

"Murderer! You really are insane!" Bordu exploded but Mugar ignored him and stabbed the tortured ape's belly. Giving the knife a sharp jerk, he sliced him open and intestines spilled out on the floor. Mugar reached down and grabbed a handful to rub in the dying soldier's face.

There were those present who could not believe what they were seeing and others who looked as if they were going to throw up. Mugar sliced the blade across the Simeon's throat and blood and bile erupted in a nausea-inducing flood. The ape finally went limp and slumped with only the chains holding up his lifeless body. There were looks of utter horror from everyone who had just been forced to watch the slaughter.

"Look at it! Look at the blood, the way it pools on the floor. What a wonderful, beautiful picture it makes as it seeps out of the body! A breathtaking tapestry signifying the true and ultimate finality of death. Indeed, pain and death are the only absolutes in life. And how wonderful a feeling it is to see it taken in such a manner! To possess that power, to wield it as if you were a god!" Mugar rambled on and began to laugh hysterically. One brutally obvious fact was starting to make itself painfully clear to anyone watching: Mugar was nuts! The Commander then calmly turned to the other prisoners.

"Him I showed mercy. The rest of you will die far slower," he threatened in a menacing tone. "And you are next!" He walked over to Bordu, holding the bloody knife up in front of him as the young ape stared at his Commander in a mixture of fear and anger. Just then, Argon strode into the room, hoping to persuade Mugar to cancel the execution. He pulled up short when he saw what had transpired, shocked and mortified as it was not scheduled to take place for another hour as far as he knew.

"Commander? What is going on..." he started to say when he noticed the dead ape hanging from his chains.

"Glad you could join us, Argon," Mugar said coldly, his eyes still fixed on Bordu.

"Sir, what is the meaning of this?" Argon asked in disbelief.

"What does it look like? It is an execution."

"This isn't an execution! This is a sick and abhorrent exhibition of cruelty! We do not execute prisoners in such a manner and not publicly either!"

"If you know your place, Argon, and what is good for you, you will stand back and quietly observe like everyone else. Is that clear?" A slow and steady rage built up within Argon as he stared a hole through the Commander.

"No."

"... What?"

"No, sir! It is not clear." Mugar turned from Bordu and looked directly at Argon. Behind the mask, he seethed with unbridled fury.

"How dare you speak to me in such a manner! I could have you shot for insubordination!"

"Which would just be one more irrational decisions you have made recently, Commander!" Argon snapped angrily. Taken aback by his words and reaching the mental breaking point, Mugar tightened his grip on his knife.

"And what if I decide to gut you where you stand right now?" he growled as alarms began blaring, startling everyone.

"Commander! Proximity alert, sir!" an ensign yelled as he picked up something on the base's external scanners. Everyone turned to a large monitor as it flickered on, revealing the nightmarish form of the Gudis coming down for a landing just outside the base. There was terror and confusion as everyone in the room kept looking back and forth between the monitor and the stand-off between the Commander and Argon. Just then, a voice came over the speaker.

"As much as I hate to break up this little heart-to-heart you're having, I have important business to discuss with you," the Gudis said, his telepathic voice also entering the minds of everyone in the control room. Both Mugar and Argon turned to the screen.

"Gudis? Quickly! Launch Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus!" Argon stammered.

"If you really want to send your little tinker toys out here for me to play with, by all means, go right ahead. But you might want to hear what I have to say first."

"There is nothing that needs to be said, monster!" Argon grunted. Seeing the Gudis in all its nightmarish glory was chilling, to say the least, but he stood his ground, refusing to be intimidated.

"You're not wondering why I'm even bothering to converse with you apes when I could have just obliterated your pathetic little base from a mile away?" Gudis asked casually. He got Argon's attention but the Simeon was still wary.

"What could you possibly have to say that would be of any interest to us?" he finally asked.

"I'll keep this short and sweet and use small words so your little monkey brains will be able to understand me. Within your compound is a powerful weapon capable of cracking this planet like an egg. Hand it over... now."

"What? What are you talking about?" Argon shouted in confusion as Mugar's face went pale underneath his mask.

"Oh... Of course your proud Commander didn't see fit to share that little tidbit of information with you, did he? You are correct. He is quite insane. And what's sitting behind your hangar bay is proof of it."

"This is preposterous! Why are we even having a conversation with this thing?! Launch our weapons immediately!" Mugar commanded.

"Belay that order, Ensign!" Argon countermanded him.

"What?" the System Technician questioned the Chief in surprise as Argon turned to the Commander.

"It may sound crazy but there has to be some reason why the Gudis isn't just smashing his way in here and slaughtering all of us on the spot. Commander... is there any truth to what he is saying?"

"What?! You would take this freak's word over mine? The Gudis is insane!"

"As I am beginning to believe you are as well. Ensign, run an internal scan of the base for any abnormal or out of place energy readings."

"Touch that console and I'll have you killed where you sit!" Mugar raged but didn't move with Argon standing so close to him.

"Ignore him, soldier! Run the scan. Now!" Mugar went for his pistol but quickly felt the barrel of another one pushing against the back of his head. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Argon holding the gun. The ape at the Security Control Console stared at them, not sure what to do.

"Run that scan now, Ensign," Argon directed him.

"Running scan now, sir. I am picking up a potent radiation signature..."

"From where?"

"From... behind the hangar bay. Just like the Gudis said." A Captain confirmed the read-outs in surprise.

"What kind of radiation, Ensign?"

"Vasnium artesorate, sir. The kind used in anti-matter hyper nukes."

"Pa-pay load?" Argon stuttered.

"10,000 gigatons, sir," the specialist informed him as his face went pale. A look of shocked disbelief swept over everyone present.

"Why would you bring such a weapon here? Why did we not detect it before now?" Argon demanded, quickly turning to Mugar as rage was about to overtake him.

"Because it was just recently completed, fool!"

"By whom?"

"Apes I blackmailed into constructing it with components brought here with the last evacuation from the Simeon homeworlds before the planet was pulled into the black hole. I threatened to kill their families if they did not co-operate."

"Where are these workers now?"

"Why, they're dead, of course. Along with their families. I couldn't take the risk of any of them revealing what had been done so I pumped the chamber full of poison gas upon completion of the project while they were still inside and then had their families rounded up and executed." Argon was on the verge of madness himself as he tried to resist the temptation to just pull the trigger of his gun.

"You never gave a damn about this mission in the first place, did you?"

"You are finally catching on. I guess you're not as stupid as I believed you to be. You still don't get it, do you? None of this matters, none of it! All that matters is what was done to me! My pride, my dignity, my very life was stripped away by Godzilla and those damned humans! I will make them pay for what they have done to me!"

"You would jeopardize our entire race and way of life just to satisfy your petty plan for vengeance?"

"I would massacre a million of our brethren a thousand times over to make this world suffer!" Long moments of silence passed as Argon slowly lowered his gun and turned away from Mugar for a brief moment. He then spun back around, giving him a roundhouse right to the temple, knocking the Commander to the floor.

"Commander Mugar, I hereby relieve you of command under Code 4J6K12 of the Simeon Military Regulations and Command Directives Guide. Under that code, I hereby state that I find you mentally unfit for command of this or any other force in the Simeon Army and you are to be detained immediately. Is that understood?" Mugar's only response was a low chuckle that could barely be heard within his mask as he rolled over on the floor and looked up at Argon.

"Is that so? And what if I refuse to step down?"

"Then I am authorized to detain you... by whatever means necessary."

"You don't have the guts."

"Try me," Argon challenged him with a steely glare as his right index finger hovered over the trigger of his pistol, now pointed directly at Mugar's face. Every ape present wondered what was going to happen next.

"Very well," Mugar muttered as he slowly got off the floor and was grabbed by two ranking officers on each side. They removed his side arm and knife to hand over to Argon.

"Take him to the detention block. I'll deal with him later."

"Yes, sir!" they responded proudly before marching their prisoner out.

"And release those apes," Argon ordered, pointing to the wall where the accused were chained. Bordu smiled in admiration and relief as Gudis patiently watched the scenario in the control room wind down.

"Well, well... I guess you fur balls aren't complete morons. Good job, Bonzo! Do you want a banana? Now, then. If you are done with your little soap opera, hand over the warhead," he snarled over the speaker.

"Why? As long as we have it, you can't, or more precisely, won't do a thing to us. That sounds like a good insurance plan to me," Argon replied rather smugly.

"I am not one to be trifled with, Simeon! If you do as I ask now, I will make your deaths quick and painless. But if you defy me..."

"You are in no position to make demands!" Argon exploded. "We will never bend or bow to your will. You destroyed our home and our way of life! You created the black hole that wiped out our entire solar system! All of this has happened because of you!" The other apes looked at him in disbelief. Argon then realized that he had just divulged the most dreaded secret of his people and their history.

"Really? I wiped out an entire solar system without even knowing it? Well, you know how it is. Ten galaxies, twenty, a hundred, a thousand over countless eons. It really all starts to run together eventually," the Gudis figured with a vile grin.

"You monster! You murdering bastard!" Bordu roared.

"Are you all done crying yet? Do you need a box of tissues?" the Gudis grunted sarcastically. "What is it that you want? An apology? Do you honestly expect me to care about your useless, insignificant little star system and the scurrying rabble you called a civilization? Just how stupid are you?!" he shouted, the words full of contempt.

*****

As Mugar was being taken to the detention block, they passed the hall leading to the hangar bay. Suddenly, he slammed his shackled fists into the face of the guard to his right and kicked the other in the groin before lunging for the hallway. They recovered quickly but as the detail drew their weapons, Mugar hit a control panel, bringing a pair of blast doors together and cutting them off from him.

"Chief Argon, sir!" one of them radioed the main control room.

"Yes, what's wrong?" he asked, hitting a mike button on a panel in front of him.

"Mugar has escaped from us, sir! He's heading for the missile chamber!"

"Interesting..." the Gudis grinned.

"What? I'm on my way!" Argon dashed out of the control room as fast as his injured leg would allow and reached the hallway a few moments later. The guards had been able to get through the blast doors by hot-wiring the control panel. There were screams coming from up ahead so Argon quickly but cautiously made his way down the corridor with blaster drawn and at the ready. When he reached the hangar, he discovered the bodies of the two other guards who had been shot dead. He figured that Mugar had managed to grab one of their weapons. Looking around, he spotted an entrance on the far wall of the hangar bay that he had never seen before.

"That's got to be it," he muttered as he rushed to it. Charging into the room, he spotted Mugar in front of the missile silo.

"Mugar! Stop!" he yelled and opened fire. Mugar ducked and shot back as Argon dove to the floor and into a roll, his second shot striking Mugar's pistol and disarming him.

"What now? Are you going to shoot me?" he growled sarcastically. After a few moments, Argon slowly lowered his weapon and put it back into his holster.

"Actually, I kind of like the idea of pounding you senseless," he replied, advancing toward him.

"You wouldn't dare strike a superior officer, would you?" Argon hit him with a solid roundhouse right. As Mugar fell backward, he pressed his advantage but got a stiff kick to his injured leg. As Argon fell, Mugar kicked him squarely in the face, sending him rolling across the floor. He got to a kneeling position but Mugar tackled him hard and into the wall next to the entrance where they both went down in a heap. Argon got Mugar off of him by unloading a nasty uppercut to the insane ape's jaw. As he stumbled back from the vicious blow, Argon lunged but Mugar grabbed him in mid-air and with a judo throw, sent him flying toward the far side of the room. Before he could get back up, Mugar landed several kicks into Argon's rib cage and kidneys, knocking the wind out of him. As he tried to get up, a punch directly to the temple put him down again.

"And you thought you were going to stop me? Hah! You're just as useless as Toru was," Mugar sneered as he threw another punch. Argon reared up in time to catch the fist in his right palm. If he wasn't angry before, he was now, closing his hand around his adversary's until he could hear bones being crushed. Mugar slowly fell to one knee, trying to resist the pain but failing as Argon regained a fully upright stance.

"The only one who is useless here is you!" Argon snarled before grabbing Mugar and throwing him across the room. Hi's body crashed into a computer panel, causing sparks to fly. As Mugar started to rise, he kicked him in the face. "You would have killed us all!" Argon roared as he nailed him with another right to the face. "Slaughtered every male, female and child!" he exploded, connecting with a swinging left that put him down again. "Well, I've had it with you!" Argon growled as he landed a third punch. "Actually, we ALL have had it with you!" he raged as he hit him a fourth time.

"You are not..." POW! "our..." WHAM! "Commander..." SMACK! "anymore!!!" Argon roared, hitting Mugar with one fist, then the other to the head repeatedly. He then grabbed the staggering ape, jerking him up off the floor by his vest collar. "You're finished!" he proclaimed, giving him another furious uppercut that knocked the mask off his face.

As Mugar fell, he landed next to his pistol which he quickly grabbed and sprang back up. Argon lunged and the two apes wrestled for the gun between them. Mugar gave Argon a brutal head butt as his second-in-command retaliated with a knee to the gut while they continued to struggle for the weapon. Suddenly, the pistol went off and both apes froze. Argon slumped down to his knees as Mugar stumbled backwards, holding the gun in his right hand.

"Now who's finished?" he laughed sadistically. But his laughter stopped when he looked down at a trickle of blood on the floor and realized that it was coming from him. Mugar roared angrily as he lifted the gun towards Argon who was dazed but still able to draw his own blaster and fire. The first shot went through Mugar's left shoulder, the second into his abdomen and the third into his heart. As Mugar staggered back against the missile controls, he dropped his gun.

"Let it burn... LET IT... ALL... BURN..." Mugar trailed off with his dying breath as he fell, slapping his right hand on the launch button.

"NO!" Argon screamed but it was too late. With a deafening roar, the engines of the missile came to life and began to lift the projectile off as he looked on hopelessly. The compartment opened to the sky and it rose up and away.

"Fools!" the Gudis shrieked as he watched the missile take off and quickly unfolding his wings. He followed the doomsday device, trailing behind as it entered the upper stratosphere and into space to begin an orbiting arc before breaking apart into its smaller components and re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

"Here I am, fighting with humanoid monkeys and a super nuke and I'm not even a member of the NRA," Gudis joked. He finally caught up with it and began to push against the main warhead with all his strength as the booster disconnected and fell off behind. Slowly but surely, Gudis could feel the momentum of the missile beginning to shift as he strained against the Earth's gravitational pull. He was finally able to shove the super-nuke away from the Earth. Gudis stayed with it, pushing it farther and farther into space, not wanting it going off anywhere near the planet. Suddenly, there was an internal malfunction and he sensed a chain reaction beginning within the warhead.

*****

Argon rushed back to the control room where the other Simeons had managed to catch a glimpse of Gudis taking off after the missile. A bright explosion of light flashed amongst the stars.

"Sir, the warhead has been somehow detonated!" an ensign exclaimed excitedly.

"What? Are you sure?"

"Yes, sir. The readings are unmistakable!" The entire control room began cheering as Argon breathed a sigh of relief.

"What about the Gudis? Any DNA signatures or life signs?" he asked.

"Too much radiation interference to tell, sir. But nothing within range of that thing when it went off could've survived. I'd say the Gudis is history."

At the other end of the room, a lone Simeon huddled down behind some computer equipment and softly spoke into a microphone hidden in his vest lapel.

"Captain, this is Nanbara."

"We are receiving you, son. Go ahead," a voice replied in the communications headset he was wearing, appearing no different than the kind the other Simeons used for maintaining contact by radio.

"The missile was launched but the Gudis went after it. It has been destroyed. Over."

"Excellent! What about Mugar? Over."

"I don't know, sir. Argon rushed back to the missile chamber when the guards radioed he had escaped from them. Obviously, he launched the missile but what happened to him afterward is unknown at this time, sir. Argon is here in the main control room now so I assume the former Commander has been dealt with. Over."

"So if ever there was a good time..."

"It is now, sir."

"Acknowledged. Over and out." The Simeon slowly peaked out from his hiding place to make sure no one had spotted him and cautiously stood back up.

"It looks like we've managed to avert a major disaster, sir," the Ensign declared.

"You mean like the end of the world? And actually, boy, as hard as it is to believe, the credit for this save goes to the Gudis," Argon admitted.

"Sir, is what you said about the Gudis being responsible for the destruction of our home world true?"

"Unfortunately, yes, Ensign. I will hold a meeting for all personnel to give you a better explanation of the events in question at a later date," Argon assured everyone. He was in a state of shock that the murdering demon who had wiped out their home had inadvertently saved the last remnants of the Simeon race from extinction. The irony of it all baffled him to no end. It was then that the proximity alarms went off yet again.

"What now?" Argon yelled, turning back to the view screen. The base was rocked by a series of powerful explosions. "What was that?!" he exclaimed as he and several other apes picked themselves up off the floor.

"On screen now, sir!" As the large monitor flickered back to life, a huge flying ship could be seen coming into view. It was the Gotengo. Another salvo of missiles fired from it, striking the base again, only to be followed by a third brutal impact. A freeze maser in its drill-tipped prow activated, encasing the hangar doors in tons of ice.

"How did they know where to shoot?" Argon stammered in frustration. The great ship then engaged its boring drill and went deep into the ground, lining itself up directly in front of the compound. More missile barrages resulted in extensive damage to the outer perimeter buildings and caused electrical systems to go haywire throughout the base.

"We have several breaches, sir. Another salvo will blow us wide open!" the tactical officer cried out.

"Several internal systems are off line, Chief. We're sitting ducks!" a third technician declared.

"What about the civilian quarters?" Argon asked.

"Completely untouched, sir. It's as if they are taking special care not to damage any of the billeting areas," a surprised soldier informed him.

"Sir, we are receiving a transmission from the attacking ship," the Ensign cut in. Argon looked at him in a mixture of confusion and shock.

"Patch it in," he grumbled breathlessly. A visual of the command bridge, as well as the Captain of the Gotengo, came on the screen.

"This is Captain Douglas Gordon of the air battleship Gotengo. You will stand down and surrender without resistance immediately."

"I am Second-in-Command and Chief of Security Argon. I'm guessing you had a spy infiltrate our base?" Argon addressed his adversary.

"Yes, we did. How else would we know where to fire our weapons?" the Captain replied.

"I see. You do realize, of course, that we are far from defenseless. We still have weapons."

"Yes, that you do and we know all about their new armaments and that Mechagodzilla's new missiles could probably go right through the frozen hangar doors. If that is the decision you make, so be it. But maybe, just maybe... you might want to consider an alternative?"

"Oh, you mean like execution at a military prison, perhaps?"

"It doesn't have to be that way if you don't want it to be, Commander," Gordon informed Argon.

"Commander? I already stated that I am only the second-in-command."

"Not anymore. You relieved Mugar, correct?"

"Yes... In a manner of speaking..."

"So that makes you the new Commander. You don't mind me calling you that, do you? I'm sure your subordinates won't mind."

"I... I guess I am after all..." Argon turned to look at the grinning and nodding apes all around him. "Just how much do you know about what has been transpiring here?" he then asked Captain Gordon.

"Everything, Commander. We know about Mugar's insanity, the missile, the Gudis attacks, the desperate plight of your people - you name it. That is why we are willing to negotiate with you."

"I see. What about your superiors? I think they may disagree."

"Yeah, they no doubt will. But it won't be the first time that I have pushed for something that my commanding officers haven't been too thrilled with. And I have a habit of getting my way, one way or another." Argon lowered his head for a moment, deep in thought. "It is entirely up to you, Commander. Do you really want another war with this planet after everything you have already endured?"

"... No."

"And we can also guarantee you that your civilians will come to no harm."

"Thank you," Argon assured him.

"Listen. I know that there are those of us on both sides who think the other are barbaric killers and such. We are both guilty as races of having individuals like that amongst our ranks. But just this once, perhaps... we can try a different path."

"Can I have a moment to converse with my troops in private, please?" Gordon wanted to trust the Commander. From everything that had been relayed to him by their spy, it seemed that this particular Simeon was an honorable one. But Gordon was hesitant. Maybe it was a trick of some kind...

"All right. But if you try anything or do anything suspicious..." he said sternly.

"I understand."

"We'll kill the audio link but the visual will remain on," the Captain informed him.

"Thank you." After some serious deliberation on Argon's part, he turned to his soldiers.

"I'm not going to lie to you about our situation, my brothers. We are in no position to even try to negotiate. For all we know, they may march all of us into a room and just have us shot. Maybe the Captain is sincere, maybe he's not. All I do know is that it seems like this entire operation was doomed from the start. There are so few of us left now it hardly matters. Even if we used our great weapons to retaliate, between the humans, the Gudis and the other aliens, would any of us survive long enough to celebrate any kind of victory... if we win at all?

"I can't make this decision for you. As your commanding officer, I am supposed to but I have seen too much of that kind of irrational logic to know that it will lead nowhere good. I also know that some of you didn't even want to be part of another offensive but saying 'no' to Mugar or disobeying any order that he gave would end in death.

"But things are different now and I will let each of you make your own decision. I wish I could offer some kind of comfort or say something to ease the worry that I am sure many of you are feeling, both for yourselves and your loved ones. I... I really don't know what else to say to you..." Argon admitted.

"Trust him," a voice whispered to his right. The new Commander turned to see Bordu standing next to him. "I know it sounds crazy but... I just feel something coming from him. Something that tells me this might actually work out." Argon started to say something but stopped as he realized that if he had listened to Bordu's instincts long before now, a lot of the misery their race had endured at Mugar's hands could have been avoided. Argon looked at his brethren. They nodded in agreement with Bordu's assessment.

"So be it. Whatever our fate may be, we will face it together... to the end," the Commander proclaimed proudly. He went back to the view screen and turned the audio back on. "Captain Gordon?"

"Yes, Commander?"

"We surrender ourselves into your custody."

"Excellent, Commander. I'm glad that we could reach an agreement. And I promise you that no harm will befall you even if I have to break a few rules myself," Captain Gordon assured them smugly.

"Yes, you do strike me as the kind of human who would do that," Argon replied with a sly grin of his own.

"Gotengo over and out," Gordon signed off with a genuine sense of pride as he broke the connection. Argon then turned to Bordu.

"Not bad, rookie."

"What?"

"Everything. I just wish I had started listening to you a lot sooner, my boy. Can you forgive a rickety old soldier for being blind and naive?" Argon asked in an almost sheepish voice.

"Absolutely, sir."

"You know, rookie, I smell a promotion in your future," he added with a grin.




Chapter Eight: POWER PLAYS

[INTERLUDE] Kagoshima Island

Off the southwest coast of Japan on one of the many tiny islands in the Ryuku chain, a massive army of Baltan seijin were preparing for an invasion. When they didn't hear back from their scouting party, they assumed the worst and were now arriving in force. Hundreds teleported down to the Earth's surface but unbeknownst to them, they had an observer.

Oh, I'm sorry. Is this a bad time? a telepathic voice suddenly inquired. The Baltans spun around to see the Gudis standing a few meters behind them. He had wiped out the initial landing party and looked forward to doing the same to these new arrivals.

The Baltans opened fire but despite the countless blasts from their claws, the Gudis just stood there and laughed as he absorbed the energy from their attacks. He then fired it back out of his eyes with his own beams. Several of the Baltans threw up their forcefields to shield themselves but others who did not react quickly enough were blown to bits. The Gudis then charged in, engaging in hand-to-hand combat to brutalize the entire lot of them.

One Baltan was torn in half while another got its head crushed down into its torso. A third lost its arms while a fourth had a fist punched clean through its chest and out the back. Other Baltans had formed a firing squad line, trying to fell the Gudis with their claw blasts, even if they had to take down some of their brethren in the process. Some tried to fend off the Gudis with their forcefields but were obliterated by the Gudis' supercharged arm beams which blew right through and eviscerated them. Using a combination of his eye beams, breath ray and arm blasts, the Gudis sent Baltan body parts flying in all directions.

Realizing that they were quickly being taken apart, the Baltans employed a new strategy. Close to two dozen of them split off from the rest of the group and merged together as one. The ability to form a physical and mental symbiosis is an ancient and legendary ability of the Baltan seijin that augments their strength greatly. When the transformation was complete, the newly empowered and far more imposing Baltan attacked. It slammed into the Gudis from behind, sending him skidding across the ground into several other Baltans in front of him. The Gudis turned around just in time to catch a focused beam blast to the chest from the combined Baltans' left claw. His body dug a trench through the earth as he was pushed back by the force of it.

"Well, well, well. What have we here? An upgrade?" the Gudis pondered aloud as he got out of the furrow he had dug. The Gudis then fired the energy he was just hit with back out of his eyes, along with his own but the Baltan brought up a forcefield to deflected the attack. It then went on the offensive and darted in, tackling the Gudis hard as they smashed into the side of a mountain and deep into it. The entire peak shook as the alien brutes battled within. For miles, animals and birds fled in all directions as the landscape rocked from the force of the blows being exchanged. It was quiet for a moment until the Baltan suddenly exploded out of the side of the mountain from a particularly nasty Gudis punch. The insectoid space creature went rolling across the ground as the Gudis walked out of the side of the mountain, clenching his fists and staring down at the amalgamated alien.

"C'mon! Is that all you've got?!" Gudis challenged with a hiss. The Baltan stood up and seemingly splitting into several copies of itself, surrounded the Gudis which wondered what new trick the Baltan was going to pull out of its hat now. The clones opened fire and dozens of beams slammed into the Gudis from all sides. The Gudis sent out a massive energy shockwave from his body as he crossed his arms in front of himself and then thrust them outward. The wave wiped out all the false clones, leaving only the single Baltan remaining. Gudis laid into the seijin with a devastating punch combination. The Baltan staggered backwards from the assault but retaliated by shoving both of its open claws into the Gudis' face and unleashing a point-blank dual beam blast that briefly stunned its opponent. It then followed up and hammered the Gudis with its club-like claws. The Baltan went for another beam shot but the Gudis quickly grabbed its wrist and twisted the huge claw back towards the alien's own face as it fired. The Gudis shot one of his own arms blasts and the concentrated beam from his right fist but the Baltan managed to bring up its forcefield.

Angered by this, the Gudis unloaded both of the powerful beams from his arms which hit the Baltan hard but still failed to connect. The Baltan then used its ability to teleport and suddenly disappeared. Nearby, it reappeared and absorbed more of its comrades into itself to further strengthen and mutate its form. The seijin's eyes and face slanted almost into a devilish expression as armor plating suddenly sprouted all over its body. The Gudis turned to see the climax of this metamorphosis as the Baltan looked over in his direction, clasping its open claws together into an interlocking design that almost looked like a bizarre organic cannon of some kind.

"Finally, a real chall--" KABLAM!!! The Gudis was hit by a beam that sent him flying and smashing clean through three mountains in a row. As he tried to clear the cobwebs, the Uber-Baltan advanced quickly. The Gudis fired both of his power beams from his fists but they simply bounced off the Baltan's armor and the alien crashed down directly on top of him.

As they both plummeted into the bowels of the Earth, the ground shook as if it were being afflicted by an earthquake. The Gudis suddenly was blasted up out of the ground, only to land on his head with a sickening splat. The Uber-Baltan hovered above the hole the Gudis' body had made.

"Not bad for a bug," the Gudis snickered as he rose to his feet. He had absorbed the energy of both blasts used against him and now fired it back out of his right fist, sending the Baltan smashing into the mountain they had been fighting in earlier. The entire peak came down on top of the extraterrestrial insect. It blasted its way clear a few moments later and looked up to see the Gudis coming down out of the sky with a huge boulder in his grasp. The Baltan barely side-stepped in time as the massive rock hit the ground and was pulverized into gravel. As the Gudis landed, he was hit by a claw slam that sent him back into another mountain. He roared back out and shoulder tackled his adversary through the rubble of the mountain that had been leveled and pushed him into another with terrible force.

At the base, the Gudis stood over the Baltan, laying in one punch after another until he was hit with a backhand claw that knocked him away. The Baltan utilized his terrible uber beam and struck the Gudis dead on once again but this time, the Gudis fought against the torrent of energy and dug both his arms, legs and dozens of rapidly-sprouting tentacles into the earth to anchor himself. The Gudis was pushed back by the beam but when it finally stopped, he was still within firing range and quickly returned the blast out of his fists. The Baltan was hit hard but started walking towards the Gudis. despite the beam being focused on it.

"Now let's see how much you can really take!" the Gudis roared as he fired both his eye beams and breath beam, along with the reflected energy. The armor plating on the Baltan started to crack and chip from the onslaught.

Desperately, the Baltan summoned its force field, hoping that between it and the armor, it could withstand the barrage but the Gudis kicked it up another notch. On top of the energy he was already blasting forth, the Gudis unleashed even more of his own power to augment the force of his beams. The Baltan was finally overpowered, resulting in a horrendous explosion. When the smoke cleared, only a few charred remains could be seen strewn across the ground. The few surviving Baltans teleported in a hurry, aborting their invasion and returned to deep space.

New Allegiance

At G-FORCE headquarters in Tokyo, General Aso exploded in anger when he found out what Captain Gordon had done. The commander of the Gotengo simply rolled his eyes, knowing this was going to happen. Now he faced the uphill battle of trying to reason with the shrewd army veteran. When Aso asked to meet with him privately, Gordon knew he was going to be in for an ear full.

"We made no such promises to the Simeon race!" he went on, looking like he was seconds away from an aneurism.

"Yes, I know that, sir. But look where it got us! The Simeons surrendered without a fight. They could've retaliated with their cyborg and robot if they wanted to but we diffused the situation." Aso took a moment to try and calm down and compose himself before he continued.

"I am glad for that, Captain, but the truth is, you made promises and decisions that you were not authorized to make."

"And you act like I've never done that before," Gordon replied with a smirk.

"I'm glad you find this amusing, Captain, because I do not! Have they at least been incarcerated?"

"Of course, they have. But I did have a crazy idea, sir."

"Coming from you, I am quite sure it is! Do I even want to know?"

"General, look at our current situation. We are facing possible alien and kaiju invasions on an unprecedented scale. We have already secured help and alliance with other races to face whatever may be ahead."

"I'm not sure I like where I think this is going, Captain," the General frowned.

"Sir, just imagine these new and improved versions of Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus... fighting for the Earth instead of against it."

"Hmmm... I can see the logic and value of that. We can force the Simeons to show us how to operate these weapons systems."

"Well, sir, there is still no guarantee that we will be able to do so or that any human will be able to comprehend the technology. Maybe we could persuade them to help us of their own free will?"

"Please don't say what I think you are thinking..."

"Why not? The Simeons would make good allies, wouldn't they?"

"Ugh! You said it! I think I feel another migraine coming on. Did I ever tell you that I have a lot of those when I'm around you, Captain?" Aso was once again very agitated and started rubbing his forehead.

"General, you know what happened at the Simeon base just like I do! Mugar going quackers, the Gudis attacks, the general confusion and unrest their entire operation was under during the whole ordeal."

"And your point is?"

"Look at them, sir. They are tired, homeless, desperate and out of options."

"Desperate men, or whatever the hell those things are, sometimes do dangerous things."

"Not if negotiated with properly."

"There will be no negotiation! Twice now these invaders have tried to conquer Japan, along with the world, and wipe us out! And you expect me to just sweep all that under the rug and forget about it?!"

"Mugar was the driving force of those invasions, sir. He's dead now. And I, for one, think we can trust their new commander."

"You are, of course, referring to this Argon character, I assume?"

"Yes, sir. He was the one who killed Mugar, after all. And in truth, he also seemed to be in doubt about this third operation of theirs."

"I don't share your enthusiasm, Captain."

"And what would you do, sir? Have them all executed? If you want to get technical about it, these Simeons haven't really done anything yet."

"No, but they planned to."

"No, sir. Mugar planned to and he's gone now."

"And you expect us to be able to trust the Simeons?!"

"We can offer them what they've always wanted... a home. And one I am sure they will fight for against whatever comes here to threaten us. We can keep them under constant surveillance, with regular reports and updates directly to you, sir. Personally, I think they will go for it."

"And what if not all the Simeons share the mentality of this Commander Argon?"

"We've already seen him deal with things like that firsthand and we'll be there to deal with it also... IF something should happen with them. If we play our cards right, sir, we could pull off a major coup for the defense of our planet," Captain Gordon stated confidently. General Aso ran his hand through his hair in a frustrated manner as he pondered the idea. Gordon waited for his response patiently but with baited breath.

*****

At their base, the Simeon leaders had been locked up in small groups while the civilians were kept in their quarters under Japanese military occupation. Argon paced uncomfortably back and forth in a cell, plagued by doubt that he had made the wrong decision. What if Captain Gordon cannot make good on the promises he made? What if by doing this, I have sentenced my entire race to death?

"Do you think we broke some kind of record?" Bordu asked, standing nearby.

"Uh, what, rookie?" Argon stuttered, temporarily losing his train of thought.

"Three invasion attempts, three defeats..."

"No one can ever accuse us of being inconsistent," Argon replied with a slight chuckle that Bordu shared, although the Commander was far from seeing any humor in their situation.

"What do you think is going to happen to us?" the younger ape continued.

"I just don't know, kid," Argon answered truthfully, bringing his arms up from his sides in the human gesture. Their thoughts on the matter were interrupted when the main entrance to the confinement area opened and footsteps could be heard coming closer. Soon, Captain Gordon appeared.

"Well, folks, I have news." All the apes within earshot in the adjoining cells stood up and came to the doors to listen intently as the Captain began to speak. "The government has decided to offer you amnesty."

"What?!" Bordu blurted out in total shock as Argon, along with several other Simeons' jaws literally hit the floor.

"Here's the deal. You fight alongside us against whoever else is wanting a piece of this planet and you are free to go," Gordon explained. Argon, like the others, could not believe what he was hearing. In his mind, the best they could have hoped for would be life-long imprisonment but this was more than any of them could have ever imagined. "You will, of course, be under our constant supervision. My superiors are still wary of this whole set-up, you understand..."

"Of course," Argon agreed, finally able to speak after the initial shock of the announcement.

"The only question that remains, Commander, is will you fight alongside us to defend the Earth?" After a long moment of silence, the Commander finally spoke.

"Yes, we will!" he declared proudly as his brethren raised their hands in the air and started yelling and cheering.

"Fantastic! Also, I figured you might like to know that when all this is over, after whatever threats out there have been dealt with, a meeting will be held with the U.N. to discuss immigration rights and settling of your people here on Earth," Gordon continued as the entire cell block once again exploded in a chorus of even louder shouts and cheers.

"We will be proud to defend... our home," Argon stated dramatically with a grin as he stretched out his right hand which Captain Gordon was more than proud to grab and shake with a smile of his own.

"All we need now is something to put a little icing on this cake for the peace of mind of the rest of the world," Gordon informed him.

"What exactly do you have in mind, Captain?"

"I was thinking of... a goodwill gesture of some kind perhaps? Something that will make the entire world sit up and take notice?" Argon brought his hand up to his chin as he gave the idea some thought.

*****

Sometime later in the Middle East, several members of the terrorist Taliban organization ran screaming for their lives. When they reached a network of elaborate caves, one of them ran up to their leader, Osama Bin Laden, who looked none too pleased.

"Useless coward! How dare you show fear! You will fight against all infidels to the end!"

"We cannot fight demons, sir!"

"Demons? What demons?"

"The demons who have come to punish us!" the terrified soldier screamed as he pointed up towards a massive hillside.

"What insanity is this? I see nothing! There are not any demons, just despicable American devils!"

"No, sir! This is not the Americans!"

"It matters not, fool! Allah will give us the strength to com... bat... any... force?" Osama trailed off in mid-sentence as the things that had the Taliban running scared came into view. Tromping over the hill were Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus. "Allah preserve us!" he shrieked.

As the two constructs advanced, not all of the Taliban warriors were afraid to fight and brought various tactics into play. Traps, artillery fire and land mines were tried but meant less than nothing to the two juggernauts. One soldier with enough explosives strapped to him to level a football stadium rushed up, screaming the Taliban war cry as he ran up to Titanosaurus' ankle before exploding into a million pieces. When the smoke cleared, Titanosaurus stopped briefly to look down at the little stain on his foot and then back up at Mechagodzilla. The two looked down and then at each other as if that had been the dumbest thing either of their memory banks had ever attempted to process.

Osama and his highest ranking militants hid in one of the countless caves within the catacombs that dotted the countryside.

"Here we are safe and if the demons do find us, we will fight them together!" he proclaimed. Seconds later, a monstrous hand came crashing into the cave, ripping it wide open. "Die well, my brothers!" Osama squealed as he turned tail and ran. The hand grabbed onto the terrorist before he could get far. Titanosaurus then shifted his grip to where Osama was dangling by his vest, now hooked by one of the kaiju's claws. He dangled and squirmed uselessly with his arms and legs flailing in a most embarrassing fashion. Special DNA specific sensors had allowed the two constructs to track him without any difficulty no matter where he tried to hide. The kind of tactics that normally spelled doom for American soldiers would be useless against the two behemoths.

Titanosaurus stared at the bizarre human with a bemused expression as he tilted his head sideways. Osama was screaming obscenities in his native tongue as Mechagodzilla looked on, slowly swiveling his head side to side. Cameras on board recorded everything, as well as sending a live feed to the United Nations Building in New York and G-FORCE headquarters in Japan.

In the main conference room at G-FORCE, General Aso, his subordinates, Prime Minister Koizumi, Captain Gordon, Commander Argon and a number of Simeons, including Bordu, watched what was transpiring. Argon turned with a sly grin on his face to everyone present.

"Will this do?"

Into the Breach

At the Ashu Enshurin Forest Reserve in Kyoto, Megalon quickly dove off to one side as the monster Z-Ton fired his dreaded heat blast, practically melting a rocky crag into a puddle of goo. Megalon had learned early on that the 5,000 degree Celsius fireballs were to be avoided at all cost.

He didn't know where this thing had come from but he was determined to stop it. After the Z-Ton and the Gomora had slipped away from the Simeon base, they had gone off in different directions, letting their curiosity and bloodlust guide them. The surrounding forest had been set ablaze and walls of flame rose all around them. Megalon tucked and rolled to get right in Z-Ton's face for a physical exchange and clubbed him with a right drill to the side of his head. As Z-Ton went down, he brought his right foot up in a roundhouse kick, letting the momentum of Megalon's swing put his foot into the side of his head.

Both monsters were quickly up again and Megalon took to the air, raining his horn beam and napalm pods down on his adversary. Z-Ton engaged his force field, deflecting the assault and firing back with his hand lasers. Megalon dodged as he came back down, burrowing into the earth. Z-Ton looked all about him, cautiously waiting as he prepared to use another fireball but what he didn't expect was for Megalon to suddenly explode forth right underneath him, unleashing his horn beam and napalm pods yet again. This time, he was too quick for Z-Ton to dodge or deflect the attacks and took some serious damage as he staggered back.

Z-Ton looked up from assessing his wounds to see Megalon charging in with his right arm drill spinning. He tried to sidestep it but didn't completely succeed and it bit into his left shoulder. Trying to retaliate with his right hand laser, the proud knight of Seatopia ducked and came back with an uppercut, stunning the alien powerhouse.

In anger and desperation, Z-Ton threw up his force field right in Megalon's face, sending him flying backwards and landing with a THUMP! Megalon looked up to see another fireball coming at him and rolled out of harm's way at the last possible second. As he got back up, a right punch to the face, followed by a low sweep-kick directly into the back of his legs put him down once again.

Z-Ton leaned down for a point-blank fire blast but Megalon swung his left drill up, smashing off Z-Ton's right antenna. The alien stumbled backward, clutching at the wound. Megalon flew straight for Z-Ton who could no longer use his forcefield without both of his antennae. The ancient deity drove his horn directly into his enemy's belly. Vast amounts of energy from it were forced into Z-Ton's body which shook and convulsed violently. He eventually managed to pull the horn free and tossed Megalon through the air and away from him. Heaving back, Z-Ton brought forth a massive focused surge of fiery energy of his own, directly at his opponent.

As Z-Ton unloaded the concentrated beam from his face, Megalon crossed his drill blades together in front of him to block the ray. They began to super-heat and started to glow red hot but Megalon held his ground, even managing to walk towards the alien as he pushed against the onslaught. When he got closer, Z-Ton blasted other parts of Megalon's body with his hand lasers, cutting deep wounds into the Seatopian kaiju's exoskeleton but Megalon fought through the pain and kept coming.

The guardian was almost within arm's reach when he suddenly pulled off an amazing maneuver and somersaulted toward Z-Ton while simultaneously uncrossing his blades in an outward sweeping motion that deflected the beam in two different directions beneath him. As he came back down, he slashed his right drill like a sword across Z-Ton's face, cleaving a massive chunk of it off. The alien staggered back in shock and pain. Before he could react, Megalon charged forward with his blazing hot drills spinning and plunged both deep into his chest, curling them upward as he buried his arms up to the elbows within the seijin's torso. Megalon then wrenched both of his arms outward in a double backhanded slashing motion. Z-Ton was torn in half from the waist up for a grisly finish. The alien slowly fell over backwards onto the ground in a gory, disgusting heap.

Megalon looked down at his drills that were now white-hot from a combination of the beam and Z-Ton's 5,000 degree blood. As he held them out, they actually sagged when they reached their melting point. He gazed at them in disbelief but as they started to cool down, he got an idea and looked over at the literally burning remains of Z-Ton. The god of Seatopia lumbered over to his enemy's corpse and plunged his drills into the blood-soaked entrails that exceeded the temperature of molten lava. Megalon held them there for a few moments before pulling them back out. The blades had once again become pliable. He slammed and clanged them together as a blacksmith would shape and temper a sword.

Throughout the countryside, the echo of colliding metal could be heard as Megalon reshaped and reforged his aged and worn drills anew. When he was finished and they had cooled, they were an amazing sight to behold. Anyone nearby would have been blinded by the sunlight reflecting off his gleaming weapons. They looked as they did when Megalon was young; before age, wear and tear had taken their toll on them. His drills were now stronger and sharper than ever before.

Megalon held them high as he uttered a roar of triumph to the heavens above. His ancient and most trusted weapons had been given a new lease on life in a baptism of blood and fire. If there was ever a time that Megalon was ready to challenge his enemies, it was now.

*****

The burrowing kaiju known as Gomora crashed into the subterranean city, coming across it by accident but now that he had found it, he was going on a rampage. Seatopians fled for their lives as the monster stomped through the city, trampling many underfoot and knocking over statues and structures left and right.

Among those attempting to escape the creature's wrath was Angelique who barely avoided being crushed by a falling statue that came down on someone running right behind her. Suddenly, she heard the scream of a child and looked over to see a young girl kneeling next to her mother who had been killed by the flying debris. A pillar with a damaged foundation started to give way and fall towards the little one.

With no regard for her own safety, Angelique bolted over a fallen column and tackled the girl out of the way at the last possible second as the pillar came down. As she did so, her left foot became pinned beneath some fallen chunks of stone. She yelled for the girl to flee as more pillars and structures began to fall all around them. Angelique struggled desperately to get free as three more columns began to tumble over in a domino effect and the one closest leaned in her direction.

Suddenly, a pair of strong arms reached around her and she looked up to see her beloved Prince pulling with all his might as the last pillar began to fall toward them. With no time to spare, Hector managed to wrench her free as it crashed down right next to them.

Plowing through the bedrock and into the city itself was Megalon who shrieked in anger at the beast that dared violate the sanctity of his kingdom and its people. His arrival got Gomora's attention and he ran towards the Seatopian god with an angry roar. The mighty knight stood before him, unmoving. Prince Hector wondered why their savior was not attacking or responding to the kaiju as it quickly closed in. Gomora then leapt into the air as Megalon did likewise and lashed out with a backhand swing. They passed each other in mid-air. Both monsters landed in kneeling positions from which Gomora rose first, roaring as he turned and looked at Megalon who still had his back to him. The Seatopians looked on and wondered what was going to happen next but a hair-line circle of red could be seen around Gomora's neck. A few seconds later, his head fell off of his body. Soon, the trunk toppled over as a gusher of blood poured out of the neck stump.

The people of Seatopia cheered their protector as he slowly rose up and turned, looking over at the corpse. It was then that Prince Hector got a close look at Megalon's drills that shone with a luster he had never seen before. He remembered watching the battle with Z-Ton on the surveillance monitors and his reforging of his blades but had no idea just how imposing they were until now.

"Our god has saved us! All hail Megalon!" Angelique proclaimed as she, Prince Hector and anyone within sight of their monstrous defender bowed down in gratitude and prayer.

*****

"What were you thinking? Or perhaps I should ask if you were in the first place!" King Antonio berated his son in disbelief.

"I had to do it, father!"

"You had to do nothing! What if you had gotten killed? Then what? What about the future of our kingdom? Our people? Did you even consider that?"

"She needed me! If I hadn't gone to her, she would be dead now!"

"You don't know that. We have men specifically trained to aid our people in an emergency like that."

"Yes, I do know it and none of the rescue personnel were where Angelique was! When the kaiju knocked over a pillar, no one else was around who could have saved her. She would have been crushed! Can't you understand that?" Hector pleaded and lowered his head for a moment.

"I understand that you nearly threw away your life and your sacred duty to this country! That's what I understand. You have responsibilities as the Prince and heir to Seatopia's throne that you cannot forsake for any reason... or anyone." The King's last comment made Hector's head snap back up with an angry scowl.

"Are you suggesting that I should have let her die?" he exploded.

"The needs of the many out weigh the -"

"Don't even say it, father!"

"It is the way things are, my son..."

"No! It is the way you want them to be!"

"Why can't you see reason? Your love for this girl has blinded you to the things that are the most important!"

"To me, she is the most important!"

"You would turn your back on your people and your birthright for this woman?"

"Why is it that I cannot love whom I want to love and still be your heir?"

"Because your love almost took you from me this night! Then there would be no heir! And I... I would have lost the only son I have, the only person left who gives my life meaning, that I love with all my heart," Antonio admitted, his voice trailing off into almost a whisper as he turned away, not wanting Hector to see the obvious emotion that was about to overcome him. Having a moment to calm down, the young Prince slowly walked over to his father and placed his hand on the old King's shoulder.

"But you didn't lose me and you never will. It is because of her that I have an entirely new reason to live as I have never lived before. And that is something that I will never throw away or take lightly as long as I live, father." After a few moments of silence, King Antonio turned around to face his son. In his eyes were the remnants of the tears he had tried to wipe away.

"You have to understand, my son, that I worry about you..."

"I know, father."

"I want you to be safe and to live a long and happy life as my successor. I want you to bear an heir of your own who will grow strong as you have and carry on in your footsteps as you will carry on in mine."

"That is what I want as well, father."

"But with this Angelique, of course."

"Yes, father."

"There is absolutely nothing that I can do to change your mind about this?"

"No, father. I am sorry but she is the woman I love before any and all others. And she will be my Queen," Hector declared gently, trying not to upset him.

"I see."

"I am sorry that you do not approve but my choice has been made, father."

"Then I guess that I will simply have to accept it," the King replied.

"She is a good woman, father. She will make you proud despite her bloodline. That I promise you."

"I guess that I will see for myself soon enough," Antonio said with a smile as he and Hector stared into each other's eyes for a moment. "You are just as stubborn as your mother ever was." Now, Hector could also share his smile.

*****

Later, in Megalon's citadel, Antonio was praying for the success of the alliance and the defeat of their enemies but there were also other things on the weary King's mind of which Megalon took notice.

"Penny for your thoughts, old friend?" Megalon asked, sitting upon his high perch where he normally slept in his crystallized form. He was taking a brief respite before returning to the surface world.

"Nothing worth troubling you with, my Lord," Antonio replied, even though he was wearing the telepathic head band that enabled him to converse with their proud knight.

"Perhaps she is the best thing that ever happened to your son?" The King let out a sigh, having forgotten that when it was in place, there were no thoughts that remained hidden from Megalon.

"It is certainly what Hector believes," the worried ruler admitted.

"Has she given you reason to believe otherwise?"

"It is not that."

"Then what is it?"

"It is a matter of tradition, of nobility."

"Because she is not of royal blood." Megalon was once more probing the King's thoughts.

"I tried to reason with him."

"But he will hear none of it."

"Exactly."

"I sense that you have already consented to his wishes."

"I have. I'm just not pleased with it."

"You wanted him to learn to think for himself, to make important decisions some day. Perhaps this is the catalyst?"

"I just don't know. I wish I did. Is this meant to be or is my son making a terrible mistake?" Just then, a noise from behind caught the King's attention. He turned to see Angelique standing a few feet behind him as she bowed in his presence.

"I do not mean to disturb you, your majesty," she apologized.

"Have you come to pray?"

"Among other things, your highness."

"What other things?"

"I wanted to thank our lord and savior for showing me something that will stay with me for the rest of my life, my King."

"Indeed... And what might this be?" Antonio asked, motioning for her to rise.

"I know that there are other races like ours, both of Earth and celestial that have gods or defenders as we have. But on this day, I witnessed something that will forever separate Megalon from all the others. After the invading monster was killed and his body disposed of, our great protector returned to the city and meticulously began searching through the rubble and devastation for survivors. And when that task was completed, I watched him help rebuild the damaged parts of the city with his own hands, for lack of a better term.

"I want him to understand that on this day, he showed the true reason why we love and worship him. It is not because of his incredible power, nor because we are taught to practically from the time we are born but because he nurtures us. He truly protects and cares for us in a way I never would have thought possible. I want him to know that now I respect and worship him as never before. Not because it is expected but because he has earned it. He has earned our admiration and our love. Of all the gods and beasts and would-be rulers in history, some were petty and cruel and ruled with an iron fist but Megalon stands out as one who rules with compassion and kindness. For that and so much more, I offer my thanks and my servitude." As she finished her speech, the King was noticeably moved by her words as she gazed up at the stoic defender standing upon the peak of his slumber chamber looking down at them.

"I will detain you no longer, your majesty," she said as she bowed once more before respectfully backing out of the citadel.

"I think your son has made an excellent choice," Megalon said softly, snapping the King out of the trance her words had temporarily put him in.

"Did you understand what she said?" he asked as she had not been using the head band.

"No, but as she spoke, her words entered your mind and became known to me."

"Not that what she said was not beautiful and sincere but please tell me, my Lord. You are not going to condone this union between her and my son simply because she payed you lip service?"

"No. Because she is a good woman with a good heart. I can sense it."

"But what about tradition, my Lord?"

"Nobility is the word I believe you used, my old friend. Was it not?"

"Yes."

"Then with that in mind, please allow me to offer you some advice. Nobility is defined by one's actions, not by blood. I understand that she saved the life of a small child while nearly losing her own in the process. Is that not true?"

"It is."

"How many members of your royal court would have been willing to make the same sacrifice?" Megalon's words hit the aged King like a ton of bricks as he suddenly realized how foolish he had been. Megalon read the flood of regret that entered his mind as the King confronted this epiphany. "Do not be too hard on yourself, my old friend. You only wanted what you thought was best for your son. You love and cherish him. These are good things. You simply became a little misguided along the way."

"I am a foolish old man! Why did I not realize this before?"

"You want a woman who is strong, who will carry on the proud tradition and legacy of this kingdom. Is that not so? There is no other woman more befitting of that than the one who just left this citadel."

"Thank you, my old friend, for showing me the way."

"It wasn't me, wise King Antonio. It was Angelique. You simply needed to open your eyes and ears so that you could hear it for yourself."

"You call me wise, oh mighty Megalon, but I think we know where true wisdom lies."

"But wisdom can also be when you can acknowledge that you are wrong and learn from it, my proud King."

"Again, my friend, I thank you," Antonio said with a bow.

*****

"You wanted to see me, Father?" Prince Hector asked when Antonio summoned him. The young royal worried that he had changed his mind about his choice for the future Queen of Seatopia.

"Yes, Hector. It is about Angelique."

"Father, we have already been through this and I thought you..."

"Just give me a chance to say what I have to say."

"I love her, Father, and nothing you say will -"

"And I couldn't be happier for you both!" the old King cut in, much to Hector's amazement. "I have had a long talk with an old friend on this matter and after doing so, I realize what an old crotchety fool I have been. I spent so much time obsessing over the royal bloodline that I never stopped to consider what really gives a person nobility. This isn't easy for me to say but I know that it must be said... I was wrong. Can you forgive me?" Prince Hector was utterly speechless as his father showed the obvious signs of someone who was waiting through a very uncomfortable silence. "I don't suppose you could manage to say something to me before I die of old age, could you?" he smiled slightly.

"Father, I don't know what to say..."

"Just say that you forgive me."

"Oh, gee... I don't know..." the young Prince finally replied, having a little fun now. "I mean, you did nag me on and on about it..."

"Hector..."

"You never really gave me a moment's peace... Royal blood this, royal blood that... blah blah blah."

"All right! I get the point." Antonio grinned rather sheepishly, chuckling to himself as his son smiled at him mischievously.

"Yes, Father. Of course, I forgive you!" he laughed happily as they placed their hands on each other's shoulders.

"Thank you, my son."

"And I promise you, Father. Angelique will make you proud."

"She already has, Hector. She already has."

*****

"Run! Quickly!!" a terrified father yelled to his wife and two children as they fled for their lives in the countryside near Mount Fuji. From out of the sky, a Giant Condor was bearing down on them. The huge predator judged them to be easy prey, out in the open as they were. The family had been enjoying a picnic before the hungry monster spotted them and now was rapidly closing in on them. In seconds, he would snatch them up when WHAM!, the huge bird was knocked out of the sky by a flying boulder and crashed to the ground. Hearing the commotion behind them, they stopped running to look back as the dazed creature flopped around. The massive bird looked up to see a bipedal insectoid kaiju standing in front of him: Megalon.

Angry at the interruption of what should have been its lunch, the Condor took off with a shriek and a flap of its wings straight towards Megalon who just stood there, unmoving. When it reached him, the Seatopian guardian swatted it aside with his drill, sending it crashing down once more. This time, he didn't give his feathered foe an opportunity to recover and unloaded a combination of his crest beam and explosive pods, sending the big bird back up into the sky and away. Megalon then turned towards the family huddled together in terror nearby.

"Daddy? Is that Megalon?" the little girl asked.

"Yeah! It is! He saved us!" her hyperactive older brother hooted excitedly.

"Thank you!" the girl shouted as she attempted to wriggle out of her mother's tight embrace, only to be quickly pulled back.

"Don't go near that thing! Do you hear me?" she scolded her.

"But, mommy! He saved us," she pleaded.

"No, that thing is a killer! Nothing more, nothing less!" their father insisted.

"But the sea people are supposed to be our friends now, Daddy! Remember?" his son explained.

"I don't care! That doesn't mean that... THING is our friend! If the Seatopians had any sense, they would put it down like a rabid dog and be done with it!"

Megalon started to move toward them but the father picked up a rock and chucked it at him. "Stay away! Get away from us!" he roared angrily before grabbing his family and running away with them. Megalon watched them flee and shook his head, thinking that humans had a very strange way of showing their gratitude.

Don't let it get to you a feminine voice behind him suddenly said in monster talk. Megalon spun around to see Mothra Virgo sitting on the ground just a few meters away. The old Seatopian warrior was familiar with the Mothras and the ancient race of fairies who worshipped them. The two kaiju began to converse with one another in a language only their kind can understand.

Mothra, I presume? Megalon was somewhat confused as he was not familiar with this new imago.

Yes, I am Mothra Virgo. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you she apologized.

It is of no consequence. What are you doing here? Megalon asked.

Watching you

Watching me? Watching me do what?

Be a hero she explained with what for her passed as a smile on her mandibles.

Oh, that. It was going to eat them. I had to do something he muttered with a slight blush. The surface dwellers are supposed to be our allies now, is that not so? But, please... Just answer one question for me. Do the humans always react so strangely? His mind could not comprehend the response he got from the man after he saved them. Mothra saw the sadness in his big eyes.

You're used to being praised and worshipped. Humans, I'm afraid, have a slightly more jaded view of beings like us.

Is that your attempt at modesty or humor, goddess?

A little of both, I would say. But you really can't blame the humans for feeling the way they do, can you?

No, I suppose not. Most of the kaiju who walk upon the surface are irrational killers.

Give it time. Look at me! I'm supposed to be one of this planet's guardians and am even recognized as such. But there are still those who hate me for simply being what I am, which in their eyes is a big scary monster

Indeed. It would seem that ignorance is a flaw that many humans share

If you need to hear it from someone, I'll be more than glad to say it

Say what?

That I am glad that you and your people are now our friends and allies. Who knows? Perhaps humanity can learn something from the Seatopians

Perhaps... But don't you think that you're being rather hopeful about all this?

I always believe there is hope she replied and started to lift off the ground with a waft of her great wings. Fare thee well, champion of Seatopia she called out as she took off into the sky with a happy chirp. Megalon watched her go and then slowly burrowed down into the ground, disappearing from sight.

Affairs of State

At the White House, a dinner was held by the President of the United States to celebrate the joining of the Simeon race with the United World Powers, as well as the capture of one of the world's most dreaded terrorists.

In attendance were Commander Argon, Bordu, General Aso, Captain Gordon, Fumio Subo, King Antonio, the Empress of Mu and the Prime Minister of Japan. The Simeons were in their human guises so as not to upset anyone with their true appearance. The State Dining Room was lavishly decorated in honor of this most auspicious occasion but it was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln that Argon was looking at before addressing the President.

"We thank you for having us and for being such a most gracious host, Mister President."

"Not necessary, Commander! It is this country that thanks you for the great service you have done us," he replied.

"A toast, my friends! To our new friends and allies!" the Prime Minister of Japan announced with pride as he stood up, holding his wine glass high. Everyone else did likewise, although some individuals present seemed slightly less enthusiastic about recent developments. General Aso was still somewhat wary of trusting the Simeons. Fumio Subo couldn't help but wonder if their addition to the alliance would cause any disruptions or problems, albeit for reasons no one else would even begin to suspect.

"Tonight we celebrate the joining of yet another race to our cause and the capture of one of the most vile terrorists in this planet's history! Though we and the entire world are in a tumultuous time right now, this is a moment that should be treasured and observed!" the Prime Minister continued. Commander Argon then stood to address the rest of the guests.

"My friends, tonight is the culmination of a dream that our race never thought it would see come true. After many long years of unrest, disillusionment and turmoil, the Simeons finally have a place that we can call... home. And after all the fighting, all the pain and all the death, it was the understanding of people who had no reason to forgive us for the past that made this possible. I refuse to pretend that the horrid events of 30 years ago did not happen! We wish to answer for those crimes by offering our aid and if need be, our very lives in defense of our new home. That is a solemn promise that I make to the Prime Minister, the people of Japan and the world itself." The entire room erupted in thunderous applause. Fumio looked at Argon and clapped his hands slowly in a somewhat disgruntled manner as he frowned.

"A wonderful speech, Commander Argon! You do your people proud and are a credit to them," King Antonio congratulated him with a smile.

"No, your highness. It is those who provide me wise counsel and work with me that do us all proud and are a credit to my people," Argon replied, looking over at his newly-promoted Lieutenant and Adjutant, Bordu, who returned his smile with a slight bow.

"Yes, indeed. Unity is the source of true strength and enables a nation as a whole to accomplish more than any one individual could ever hope to," the Mu Empress proclaimed. It was then that the President stood up.

"And the people of the United States thank you as well, Commander. The capture of Osama Bin Laden will go down as one of the greatest triumphs in history and it will also be remembered as the means by which the Simeons and humanity came together at long last. Again, Commander Argon, I thank you, those who suffered through 9-11 thank you and America thanks you. We will always be in your debt."

"And, of course, we mustn't forget about the superb negotiating skills of one Captain Gordon, yes?" the Prime Minister added with an almost sly smile as everyone in the room began to applaud again.

"Well, after knowing what all happened there, I just figured, why not? Maybe some of you know of the situation at the Simeon base by now and some don't. But what I knew is that I had faith in this proud soldier and decided to try to maybe achieve a different outcome. And I am glad I did! Here's to you, Commander," Captain Gordon said, holding up his glass as Argon returned the salute with a nod.

"Mister Subo? Mister Subo, are you all right?" the Prime Minister inquired, taking notice of Fumio being lost in thought and looking none too pleased in the process.

"What? Oh, yes, of course. I am fine, Mister Prime Minister," Fumio replied, his cool demeanor and a big smile returning to his face.

"This is truly a remarkable achievement, is it not?" the official continued.

"Yes... wonderful," Fumio assured him.

"And what about you, General Aso? You haven't said a word all evening," he further prodded.

"I guess I do not have anything to add, Mister Prime Minister. I'm just glad that our forces have made it through another day. And for our illustrious guests, of course," Aso replied with a bow. He didn't want to break the festive mood or upset the Prime Minister but it was going to take him time to adjust to having one of the most murderous alien races in Japan's history as an ally. The General was also still trying to shake off doubts concerning Fumio as well. Now he had more things to worry about that kept him up at night, as if he needed that.

Meanwhile, Argon's gaze had shifted to Fumio. When he had spoken, his voice tripped an old memory. He knew that voice! Several decades ago, he had heard it when he was but a rookie himself, serving as part of a security detail.

It was 1973. The Simeons and the Nebulans were meeting to discuss plans they each had for conquering the Earth but things went sour fast. It resulted in a battle between their newly built Mechagodzilla and Gigan. Mechagodzilla won in the end.
Argon couldn't help but wonder if the UWP realized that at one time, the Nebulans had designs on the Earth as well. For that matter, he wondered if they still did and if he should voice his concerns to certain parties present.

[INTERLUDE] Attack on Beijing

"My apologies for interrupting, Mr. President, but a massive object has just moved into the Earth's orbit. You said to notify you immediately if anything suspicious occurred," the Vice President informed the Commander-in-Chief.

"Indeed, that is correct. Ladies and gentlemen, if you will please excuse me?" the President addressed his guests as he got up to leave.

"If something is happening that is a threat to this planet, then we humbly ask that you allow us to accompany you, Mister President," King Antonio offered.

"As will we all," the Mu Empress added, rising with her King.

"Where is this object now?" Argon asked.

"It is hovering in an orbit over Asia," the Vice President replied.

"If I can get a line of communication to our base, I can have Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus launched and on their way in minutes," Argon suggested. The others present agreed to his proposal.

"Very well, then. Follow me." The President quickly led the procession out of the great hall.

*****

Over the Asian continent, an immense star ship called the Dagron had entered Earth's orbit. Inside, the alien race known as the Zanons were preparing to begin their own conquest of the planet. Twenty-five years ago, the flagship Zanon had come here for the same purpose but was destroyed by Gamera. Now, they had returned and did not plan on failing a second time.

"Teleport the monster Garasharp to the proper coordinates immediately!" the Captain bellowed.

The Forbidden City part of Beijing had remained as it was since the time of the Ming and Qing dynasties centuries ago. It was eight kilometers in length and close to five in width. Without warning, the gigantic creature suddenly appeared in the heart of this ancient area, smashing its way into the Imperial Palace. The structure had stood for over 500 years and served as the home of no less than 24 of China's Emperors. Now, it was being demolished in mere seconds.

The moment Garasharp touched down, two quickly approaching cyborgs changed course to intercept him as their internal scanners zeroed in on the kaiju's life signs. As civilians fled in terror in all directions, Garasharp curled into the devastated remains of the once majestic Palace as if it were some sort of nest. He then unleashed a terrible fog-like mist from his jaws that blanketed the Forbidden City. Immediately, people started to drop dead as the lethal gas overtook them.

"Eventually, Garasharp will move to other parts of the city and spread his toxic fumes across all of Beijing. Then we will let him gorge himself on the carcasses that are left behind while we begin our colonization," the Zanon captain proclaimed to his officers.

"Sir, we have an unidentified flying object moving into Beijing and closing in on the Forbidden City!" a Zanon tactician blurted out.

"Identify, now!" the Captain ordered.

"On screen, sir!" A visual of Mechagodzilla with Titanosaurus on his back came up as the cybernetic duo reached the outskirts of the Forbidden City.

"Order Garasharp to attack! At once!"

*****

In the President's top secret War Room in Washington, the members of the United World Powers, the President, his Chief of Staff and several other subordinates watched as Mechagodzilla's and Titanosaurus' surveillance cameras activated.

"Hmmm... Zanons. Haven't seen hide nor hair of them in quite a long time," Argon remarked, taking note of their ship's design as it was shown via an orbiting satellite.

"You know who they are?" General Aso asked.

"We try to learn as much as we can about all the other various races that exist in the universe if we can. It is part of our military training on the... Simeon homeworlds," Bordu explained with a catch in his voice.

As Mechagodzilla entered the ancient city, Titanosaurus jumped off his back and landed hard on the age-old brick pavement. He quickly moved in, firing his missile turret, arm laser and cluster blasts while Mechagodzilla remained airborne, unloading with his eye beams for a combined assault on the serpentine kaiju's body. Garasharp was easily thousands of meters in length and dwarfed both mechs in size as it reared its cobra-like head up that by itself is was large as its assailants.

"Look at the size of that thing!" Bordu exclaimed. The kaiju's size added to its resiliency as the firepower it was being hit with sent chunks of flesh and blood splattering in all directions but it was only damaging the outer epidermal layers of the beast's skin. The weaponry wasn't penetrating deep enough to hit anything vital. Suddenly, Garasharp lashed out with its massive tail and slammed Mechagodzilla hard, knocking him out of the sky. The cyborg went flying into the Hall of Supreme Harmony which was rather ironic, considering the violent circumstances. Garasharp reached down, snapping its huge jaws at Titanosaurus who rolled out of the way as it turned its glowing eyes at the cyborg. A pair of powerful eye beams plowed into him like a Mack truck. Even with his force field up, the sheer power of the beams pushed Titanosaurus all the way to the eastern corner of the Forbidden City, destroying countless pavilions along the way. If not for their protective force fields, the beams that Garasharp was using would soon reduce him and Mechagodzilla to scrap in seconds.

"Will the force fields hold against that magnitude of firepower?" the President asked.

"I guess we will find out," Argon replied. Mechagodzilla rejoined the fray and landed directly in front of Garasharp, unloading everything he had at into the monster's hide but still there was no real penetration. The devilish serpent quickly brought its tail around as it fired a sonic blast from its tip that hit Mechagodzilla so hard that he flew even farther and smashed through the Five Phoenix Gate at the entrance to the Forbidden City. His metallic frame tore a trench through the center of Tianimen Square.

"I'm guessing now would be a bad time to ask if it would be at all possible to fight this thing without wrecking too much of China's most valued and ancient architecture?" Aso wondered.

"I wish I could say yes, General, but they are fighting machines, after all. And with highly destructive firepower. We didn't necessarily have them programmed with a lot of finesse," Argon admitted regrettably. All the while, Fumio quietly observed everything that was transpiring.

*****

Titanosaurus was moving around to the creature's rear, taking advantage of the brief distraction Mechagodzilla had provided as it moved its massive form amid the moderate cover. Garasharp kept moving slowly, bobbing its head, as if looking at where Mechagodzilla had landed.

The mammoth snake beast brought its head down to almost street level and Titanosaurus leaped onto the back of his head. He hung on for dear life as the the kaiju flung its head in all directions, trying to get the cyborg off. Titanosaurus brought his laser cutter to bear on top of Garasharp's head, hoping that if he could hang on long enough and concentrate the beam, he would be able to breach the monster's skull. Garasharp threw his head straight back, pile-driving Titanosaurus into the ground like a jack hammer. He then hit his stunned opponent with a sonic blast that sent him flying backwards and crashing into the Imperial Gardens at the far rear of the ancient city.

Garasharp turned back around, only to see Mechagodzilla coming at him at full speed. He kamikazeed right into the serpent's face like a battering ram, letting his speed, weight and momentum work for him as the dazed Garasharp fell off to one side, crashing into three of the nearby provincial temples and smashing them to splinters. Reeling from the initial impact himself, Mechagodzilla crashed down not too far away in the main courtyard of the Palace but quickly sprang back up again.

Now angry, Garasharp rose up also, shrieking as he fired his eye beams once again. Mechagodzilla started a low level flight pattern with the destructive blasts following as the serpent moved its head. Mechagodzilla circled around as Titanosaurus waited. As Garasharp brought the beams around, Titanosaurus threw the end of the creature's own tail into the blast. Garasharp roared in pain and anger as it got sheared off, leaving a blood-spewing severed stump. Moving with a sudden burst of speed, he pounced on Mechagodzilla, wrapping him up in his constricting coils as pressure was applied. His force field kept the mech safe from being crushed but he was immobilized and being bathed in a point-blank blast of eye beams. The field was pushed to its limit as Titanosaurus moved in, unloading with his forearm laser which managed to obliterate Garasharp's right eye. In a howl of pain, Garasharp threw his head back, breaking off his attack so that Mechagodzilla could struggle free. Flying up into the air, he brought his ultimate weapons to bear as plasma missiles loaded into his hands for firing. He hit Garasharp with a full salvo, causing the beast to bellow once more. Mechagodzilla followed up with some impaler missiles also loaded with plasma which stuck like darts in the open wounds that the previous salvo had made. With this two step process, the kaiju's thick skin was finally been pierced.

The kaiju swayed and smashed everything in sight as the burning plasma ate away at him from inside and out. Like any wounded animal, Garasharp lashed out, firing a beam from his remaining eye, only to have Titanosaurus leap into the path of it with his reflector dish engaged. The singular ray by itself still had tremendous power and started to push Titanosaurus back, even with Mechagodzilla behind him and pushing against his back with his feet digging into the brick and dirt of the courtyard. When he finally came to a stop, Titanosaurus fired back the augmented beam and blew half of Garasharp's head and face off. With one final roar of misery, the titanic serpent crashed down into what remained of the Palace with a tremorous impact and moved no more.

Observing everything from aboard the star ship, the Zanon Captain angrily ordered its long range laser cannon be prepared for firing. Back on Earth, a look of worry came across Argon's face Mechagodzilla's scanner readout appeared on screen. The construct had picked up a power surge in the planet's orbit and took off like a rocket up into the sky.

"This doesn't look good," Argon advised worriedly.

"What? What's going on?" King Antonio asked.

"Mechagodzilla's scanners are picking up a slow power build-up coming from the exact same coordinates as the Zanon ship."

"Meaning?" Captain Gordon asked.

"Meaning that the ship is either restarting its engines for departure or they are preparing to fire some kind of weapon," Argon explained as everyone in the room watched intently.

"Well, do something!" Aso blurted out frantically.

"Actually, General, Mechagodzilla is already on top of the situation, I do believe." The primary weapon of the Zanon star ships had been greatly improved since those used decades ago. When this beam hit, it would turn the entire city of Beijing into a crater. But as the cannon built up for its discharge, something was picked up on the ship's sensors. The view screen came on and the Zanons found Mechagodzilla hovering directly in front of the cannon. He wrapped his arms around it and pulled with all his mechanical might until the barrel was bent and crushed back into itself.

"Hold fire! Hold fire! That's an order!" the Zanon Captain screamed.

"It's too late, sir. The cannon is already discharging!" Mechagodzilla sped away from the ship as the built-up energy within the cannon backfired into the craft itself and it exploded in a massive plume of laser energy and fire, completely incinerating, gutting and destroying the craft. The Zanon threat had been neutralized and Commander Argon cracked a smile as did Bordu. Everyone else breathed a labored sigh of relief.

"You can all rest easy now. The Zanons have been dealt with," Argon proclaimed as Gordon walked up and slapped the Simeon on the shoulder with a big grin.

"Masterfully done, Commander!" the Mu Empress complimented him.

"Thank you, your highness."

*****

Back in Beijing, Mechagodzilla had touched down and the devastating duo prepared to depart when suddenly, Garasharp lunged up with a roar. Apparently, the kaiju was not as dead as everyone had been led to believe. In one swift movement, he struck out like a cobra, snatching Titanosaurus up in its jaws and swallowing the cyborg whole.

"Titanosaurus!" Bordu yelled, believing that he had just watched one of their defenders get eaten. But as Garasharp turned towards Mechagodzilla, there was a sudden rumbling from within the beast as missiles, cluster blasts and lasers tore through its hide from the inside out and the kaiju shrieked in agony. A few moments later, its entire head exploded into a million pieces as Titanosaurus fell to the ground with a thud and Garasharp's mutilated, headless body landed behind him. The cyborg got up, covered in blood and guts and shook himself off almost like a wet dog.

"Now... it is over," Argon declared, looking back at the others in the room.

"That is good to hear. I don't think my heart could've taken much more of that," the Prime Minister confessed with a laugh.

"Yes, indeed. That was most difficult to watch," Fumio added in a tone that meant something else entirely as Argon eyed him cautiously. A few moments later, Mechagodzilla ignited his jet propulsion and took off back into the sky with Titanosaurus in tow.

Of Simeons and Nebulans

All seemed well with the new co-operation between the Simeons and humanity but there were those who saw things differently. Behind closed doors in a cargo bay, the new arrangement did not sit well with one group of Simeons, twenty-four to be exact, led by Nargas, the soldier who had tried to kill Bordu.

"All right! Is everyone here?" he shouted. "Very well. I'll make this short and sweet. Even if Mugar was insane, when he was a competent leader, a situation like this would have never come to pass. Peace is unacceptable! The humans are vermin to be crushed underfoot. Nothing more, nothing less. Are we in agreement?"

"You know we are, Nargas! That goes without saying but just what exactly do you suggest we do about it?" one of his cohorts asked.

"Yes, what would you have us do? Take on the entire planet by ourselves? That would be suicide!" another blurted out.

"And who here wouldn't prefer death to the horrid and disgraceful existence that we have all been condemned to by our new so-called Commander, Argon?" Nargas asked with a hiss. Silence was the only answer he got. "We will take the ships in the hangar bay and attack the city of Otaru, not five miles from here." Their response ranged from evil glee to outright shock.

"You're just as crazy as Mugar was, Nargas! What can we hope to accomplish?"

"A true warrior's death, my brothers. It is what we rightfully deserve as proud members of the Simeon Army. And we will die with pride and dignity! Have you forgotten why we came here? What our destiny is? I haven't! What say the rest of you?"

"I've heard enough!" one ape declared, turning to leave. A second later, he was shot through the back and on the floor, dead.

"Participation in this mission is not optional," Nargas growled as he put his pistol back in its holster. "You either die in battle with me or by my hand here and now. Is that understood?" The others remained unmoving as they stared at him. "Now we will attack... and spare no one, be it human... or Simeon," he threatened.

*****

The insurrectionists casually made their way to the hangar. When they were inside, the doors were locked behind them as Nargas punched in the necessary key code. A mixed security detail of Simeons and humans was present for a routine inspection of Titanosaurus but Mechagodzilla was not there. After returning to Japan and receiving a once-over by the engineering staff, he was sent into space to check the quadrant where the super nuke had gone off for any sign of Gudis. If nothing was found, he had been programmed to go to Mars in case the alien monster had survived and decided to use the dead planet as a fall-back base of operations.

Nargas nodded to his accomplices who quickly donned gas masks and threw gas grenades in all directions. They also drew their weapons and opened fire. Within seconds, the security personnel were dead and the rebels were boarding the Simeon attack ships. The engineers in the hangar's control room were in no position to intervene as they were unarmed. One of the guards who had been shot crawled over to a control panel and triggered the emergency alarm before Nargas quickly finished him off from across the bay.

"Now what?" one of the apes yelled from his cockpit.

"It doesn't matter now. We'll be long gone before they can even get in here," Nargas replied as he activated his ship, turned its hover jets on and remotely opened the hangar doors.

*****

At a temporary holding facility nearby, First Officer Nanbara scrambled the Gotengo's crew to reboard the massive warship and respond to an emergency at the Simeon base. General Aso had ordered the ship to remain in the area instead of returning to Tokyo in case something went wrong with the surrender and realignment of the military forces. With Captain Gordon in Washington, Nanbara assumed command. The great ship's engines quickly roared to life and lifted out of its berth, plotting an intercept course with the Simeon craft.

*****

On the outskirts of Otaru was the Midorimachi district, home to several schools and libraries. One of the several grade schools had emptied out for a fire drill on this particularly clear and sunny day. The children standing out in the street noticed what appeared to be space ships of some kind flying towards them.

"What's that?" one young boy asked.

"Looks like UFOs or something," a little girl piped up.

"They are! They're Simeon ships!" another child hooted excitedly as all the children began jumping, cheering and waving at the aliens the government had told them were now their friends.

"Kill them all! Leave no survivors!" Nargas howled into the communications system to the rest of the fleet following in close formation behind him. They bore down on the school, firing laser cannons. Surprised and horrified, the teachers and children scattered, running and screaming in terror. Anyone hit was either dismembered or incinerated in the unexpected attack.

One teacher tried to shield a child as a laser bolt obliterated her top half and took the child's head off. The carnage sent bodies flying in all directions and in some cases, not intact. As another teacher went flying through the air from the concussion of one of the blasts, she looked over at a little boy whose hand she had been clutching, only to see just an arm where the child had been. The school itself exploded, with flying debris crushing several others trying to escape the devastation.

"Open fire, damn it!" Nanbara screamed when the Gotengo arrived and he saw the blood-soaked torment unfolding below.

"Sir! Teachers and children are still out in the open!" the Tactical Officer noted.

"I said fire! We have to get those ships to come after us instead of the civilians." When a round of homing missiles took out three of the Simeon craft, Nargas and the other apes took notice.

"Attack! For the glory of the Simeon Empire!" he roared as the remaining ships zeroed in on the massive battleship which was flying towards the open countryside and away from the city. They swarmed the Gotengo like a colony of angry bees, unloading their laser cannons in a massive assault.

"Damage report?" Nanbara yelled.

"We're taking a lot of hits but it doesn't look like their armament is powerful enough to breach our hull, sir."

"Good. Take them out," the First Officer ordered. A relentless torrent of missiles and beams were fired in all directions. The Simeon ships dodged skillfully but were slowly but surely destroyed one by one.

"We'll get picked off like flies, Nargas!" one Simeon radioed in panic.

"We don't have the firepower to compete with that thing!" another reminded him.

"Then I guess we just need something that will make a bigger bang," Nargas growled to himself as he accessed his control console. Using his uncanny skill as a pilot, he patched into the command modules of the other ships. Three pilots suddenly lost all control from their cockpits.

"What is happening?!" one hapless Simeon stammered as he twisted and jerked futilely on his control stick. Nargas had total command of the ships and veered one directly toward the Gotengo. The pilot tried to eject but got no response whatsoever from his craft. He screamed in terror as his craft dove right into the main engine with a massive explosion.

"Nargas, what happened?!" another shouted over the radio.

"Vokan kamikazeed the Gotengo. He died a true warrior's death!"

"It sounded more like he was screaming in terror to me," a pilot remarked.

"Enough chatter! Continue the assault!" Nargas ordered.

"We've lost the main engine, sir! We're losing stabilization!" the Gotengo's Chief Engineer warned.

"Switch to hover jets." Just then, Nargas crashed a second Simeon craft directly into their starboard side. There was another huge explosion and the jets went offline.

"Starboard hover jets gone, sir!" the engineer shouted, looking like he was ready to throw a tantrum.

"Brace for a crash landing!" Nanbara ordered as the Gotengo spun wildly out of control before running aground.

"Nargas, are you accessing our ships' command codes?!" one of his remaining wing mates demanded. The misguided ape smiled sadistically, ignoring the accusation as he sent a third ship spiraling directly towards the command bridge.

"Take out that ship!" Nanbara ordered as the Gotengo opened fire with its bow-mounted laser cannons. At the last possible second, the alien craft was blown to bits with only charred pieces of its hull bouncing off their bow.

"He is! He's gone nuts!" one Simeon cried out as they watched the latest disaster. Of the 23 Simeon craft that had begun the attack, only 11 remained and another volley of laser fire took down four as they tried to retreat.

"Cowards! You will stay and fight!" Nargas ordered.

"It's hopeless, Nargas! Even grounded, that ship can still fire its weapons in any direction!" one of the remaining pilots tried to explain.

"This is suicide!" another added.

"There are no cowards in my army!!!" Nargas screamed as he opened fire and blew away two of the fleeing ships. The rest of the rebels were on the verge of panic.

"What is he doing?!"

"He's even crazier than Mugar was!"

"Die, traitors!!!" Nargas roared as he continued firing but just then, a homing missile from the Gotengo scored a glancing blow to his ship. It started to wobble and veer off course, obviously out of control. The remaining Simeons tried to get away but other missiles closed in to blow them out of the sky.

"Is that all of them?" Nanbara asked.

"Only one ship remaining, sir, and it looks like it's headed for a crash landing." Nargas ejected before his damaged craft went down nearby, leaving behind a plume of fire and smoke. When he reached the ground, he fled into the forest, incase anyone tried to come after him. After running for a couple of miles, he relaxed a little and leaned against a tree to catch his breath.

"Useless cowards! They deserved to die!" he grumbled to himself.

I couldn't agree more! a voice suddenly said inside his head. He flinched, drew his pistol and looked all around.

"I'm afraid you'll have to aim a little higher than that, monkey boy," the voice now spoke from above him. Nargas spun around, only to realize that he was looking at a massive pair of feet. He slowly followed them upward to see the Gudis. Nargas screamed, firing his pistol at the gigantic super beast but the monster just stood there, appearing almost bored as Nargas futilely emptied his weapon.

"Are you finished yet? You know, you should really switch to decaf," Gudis joked, shaking his head. Nargas dropped his gun, shaking in terror as he stared at him. "Alright. Now that you've had your little conniption, how's about we have a little talk, hmmm?" Gudis asked as he knelt down.

"Wha-what?" Nargas stuttered, frozen with fear.

"You know, have a little chit chat. Hang out. Talk about girls. Maybe later, we can do some cow tipping? Well, in my case, it would be skinning them while they're still alive and then eating them raw but hey, why nitpick over details, huh?" Nargas stood there in disbelief before he finally managed to utter a slight squeak. "You're such a stimulating conversationalist, you know that? Oh, who am I kidding! I've had discussions with algae that had more depth than this," Gudis groaned sarcastically.

"Yo-yo-you're supposed to be dead," Nargas finally managed to whimper.

"Yes, yes, I know. Big bad missile go boom. But nonetheless, here I am. The truth is, I managed to escape the initial explosion but got a nice little power boost from the shockwave when it hit me. But it didn't come without a measure of pain, mind you. Let's just say I now have a new appreciation for how Wile E. Coyote feels a lot of times."

"You were going to kill us all!"

"Who says I still won't? But anyway... Of course, you nimrod! Your former Commander made Charles Manson look like Mother Teresa. Not that I didn't find that entertaining but I couldn't allow Captain Skitzo to blow up the entire planet. That would've been most disconcerting as I have plans for this world, after all," he explained with an evil grin. "Would you like to be a part of it?"

"Wh-what?"

"Of the plan. Of me."

"Huh?"

"Is any of this sinking in? Do you understand the words that are comin' outta my mouth?" Gudis hollered, doing an impression of the human actor, Chris Tucker, and making talking gestures with his hands.

"A part of it?"

"Yes, Nargas. Join me and you will have power that you have only dreamed of! I watched your attack on the school. It was beautiful to behold! The blood, the flames, the body parts. It brought a tear of joy to my eye. Do you want to kill all the humans? Do you want to see them suffer and die as they deserve to?"

"...yes."

"Very well. So shall it be!" The Gudis stretched out his right hand, letting loose a waft of spores which swept over and covered Nargas. He suddenly hit the ground, writhing in pain and screaming as they started to transform and mutate his body. His body grew and changed, ripping out of his uniform. Another set of arms and an extra set of eyes appeared as he swelled to nearly the size of Gudis. His face became a contorted demonic visage of the Simeon he once was as its four eyes glowed a bright red.

"Go, my child! Kill and destroy everything you see," the Gudis commanded. The creature that was once Nargas bowed and bounded back towards the city at amazing speed. Gudis laughed maniacally as he unfolded his wings and took off into the sky. He knew that Nargas would eventually be killed and truthfully, he couldn't care less about the moronic ape. His only reason for doing this was to test his newfound strength after absorbing the energy from the Simeon bomb detonation's shockwave. Normally, his ability to mutate other life forms occurred at a far slower rate. That obviously wasn't the case anymore.

Gudis pointed his right hand at a nearby mountain and fired a concentrated energy beam of terrible power, completely decimating the top of it. Needless to say, he was quite pleased with the results.

*****

In the aftermath of the carnage caused by the alien attack in Otaru, the survivors were trying to look after the injured, as well as dealing with the many bodies of those who had not been as lucky. They were soon interrupted by the horrifying roar of the quickly-approaching Nargas mutation. Outside the city, the grounded Gotengo picked up the monster on its scanners.

"What on Earth is that?" Nanbara exclaimed.

"No idea, sir. But whatever it is, it's making a beeline for the city!" the Tactical Officer advised.

"Launch homing missiles now! Lock on to that thing and blow it apart!"

"No good, sir. We're out of range!"

Once again, the screaming started as everyone fled in terror from the monster. One shrieking teenage girl was quickly snatched up by Nargas who lifted her up to drop in his mouth. A laser fired from behind, slicing the arm that was holding her off at the forearm. It fell to the ground as Nargas howled in pain. He spun around to see Titanosaurus charging directly at him before he was tackled hard.

After Nargas and his followers hijacked the Simeon ships, it was decided that Titanosaurus be sent to Otaru as a safety precaution and assist with rescue operations. It turned out to be a life-saving decision. As the two kaiju went down, people scattered. Titanosaurus threw Nargas through the air, sending him crashing into a library that had been cleared. After the first attack, most of the people had been evacuated from the city. The ones who remained had been searching for loved ones and survivors but were now imperiled.

As Titanosaurus moved forward, Nargas demonstrated his freakish strength, using his three remaining arms to rip up an entire building and hurl it at his attacker. Titanosaurus was hit hard and Nargas took advantage of this, leaping through the air. The ape monster landed on top of him and proceeded to pummel the cyborg with his appendages, even the cauterized stump of his upper left arm. The construct pushed him off and dished out a beating of his own, connecting with punches and head butts that sent the creature reeling back. It then grabbed the monster by the throat, lifting it up and bringing it back down with a choke slam. Titanosaurus tried to use his left leg missile turret but Nargas bounded out of the line of fire, taking advantage of his extreme agility in this new form. He also displayed a new ability and fired beams out of all four eyes but they could not penetrate Titanosaurus' force field.

One of the beams did take out part of the foundation of a college building nearby and it started to topple over towards some people. Titanosaurus had to quickly rush over and stop it from falling as others were trying to get out of the structure. Nargas rushed up and started beating on its back. The cyborg gave him a backhand that sent the monster staggering off to one side as he held the building up with his other arm. When it was finally empty, he heaved the building up over his head toward Nargas. The mutation looked up just in time to see it come smashing down directly on top of him. As the dazed mutant lifted himself out of the rubble, he received the full brunt of Titanosaurus' cluster weapon. The energy torpedo shot forth from the photon discharger in his cybernetic left eye and disbursed into five blasts which detonated all over his body, resulting in a rain of bloody monkey chunks. Survivors peeked from their hiding places and started cheering the mechanized kaiju standing before them.

"The creature has been neutralized, sir," the Tactical Officer informed Nanbara.

"Excellent!" The First Officer leaned back in the Captain's chair and breathed a sigh of relief. "Now, lets get this heap up and running again!" he ordered.

*****

In Washington at the White House, Argon asked to speak with Captain Gordon in private.

"I was wondering, Captain... Just how long has Fumio Subo been a part of this Alliance?"

"Actually, Commander, General Aso would know a lot more about that than me, I'm afraid."

"It seems that he is in very good standing with everyone."

"It certainly looks that way." Argon exhaled deeply before continuing with what he really wanted to say. "Commander... do you trust me?"

"Trust you? Of course I do! We wouldn't be allies now if I didn't." Without the slightest hesitation, Gordon had placed his right hand on the Simeon's shoulder.

"If I told you something that sounded incredible - even unbelievable - would you believe me?"

"Yes. Yes, I would. What is it that you want to tell me?" the human assured him in all seriousness.

"Mister Subo is not what he seems, Captain. He came here under the pretense of friendship and wanting this so-called 'perfect peace' but 33 years ago, that was not the case at all."

"What do you mean?"

"At an abandoned Natalan base in 1973, my people met with his for an important discussion... over who would lay claim to the Earth."

"What?!"

"It is true, Captain Gordon. Long ago, the Nebulans had plans to conquer this planet and make it their own as we did."

"Then how come it never happened?"

"The talks degenerated into violence which resulted in a battle between our then new Mechagodzilla and their kaiju, Gigan. Mechagodzilla won the fight and the Nebulan's plans for the invasion of Earth were put on hold because of the damage done to Gigan, which they would have used as their main attack weapon."

"My God! Does anyone else know about this?"

"No one on Earth, apparently."

"We have to talk to General Aso, the Prime Minister and the rest of the Alliance right away!"

"No... Subo has the General's ear, along with the support of the Prime Minister and the rest of the Alliance. That, plus the General and perhaps others do not fully trust me or my people yet."

"So what do we do?"

"Keep it quiet for now. Or until we can figure out if Mister Subo has truly changed his stripes. If he hasn't, he'll slip up sooner or later. I can already tell that he isn't happy about our inclusion into the Alliance."

"I'll keep an eye on him, I promise you that," Captain Gordon promised gruffly.

"Thank you, Captain. I am glad that you are with me on this."

*****

A few hours remained until the flight back to Japan was scheduled to take off. In the meantime, Bordu was curious about this great American city he found himself in and had asked if he could do a little sightseeing. The President arranged a tour, coimplete with a guide, security detail and limousine.

They were walking through the busy streets as Bordu took in all the unique sights, sounds and smells around him. In some ways, it was similar to Japan but in others, very different. As they passed an electronics store with a television display, he stopped to observe what appeared to be a very bizarre program. A human wearing next to nothing was in a tank full of something that looked rather disgusting and was actually ingesting whatever it was as a timer counted down in a corner of the screen.

"Uh... what is that?" Bordu asked, somewhat shocked and stupified.

"It's a television show called FEAR FACTOR, Mister Bordu. It is quite popular," his guide informed him with an enthusiasm that worried him a little.

"Are a lot of human forms of entertainment like this?"

"Not all. This is a recent trend that appeared a few short years ago called 'reality' television."

"Reality television?"

"Yes, sir. There are other programs also. Like SURVIVOR, for instance."

"Survivor?"

"Yes. The premise is that a group of individuals are placed on an island and forced to live in a very primitive manner without any modern comforts."

"What do they have to survive?"

"Just the rough conditions. Some are forced to eat things that most people wouldn't dare ingest because there is no food."

"But you said there was. That they were eating something."

"Well, I guess that is true. It's just something that humans wouldn't prefer to eat if they had a choice."

"If you really were trapped on an island with no standard food items, you would make do with whatever you could find rather than complain."

"Well, if the going gets too tough, they can be taken off the island."

"Huh?"

"Yes. It is part of the rules."

"Are these humans even in any kind of real danger or peril?"

"Well, uh... I, I guess not. Not really."

"Then why do they call it 'Survivor'?" Bordu asked with a cocked eyebrow. The guide stood there, dumbfounded and with a sheepish grin as if he didn't quite know what to say.

"Uh... um, if you'll just walk this way, Mister Bordu, there is some beautiful architecture that I think you will find most interesting." The guide blabbered on, trying to change the subject as he hurried ahead. Bordu cracked a slight smirk and shook his head.

"And I thought Mugar was crazy!" he laughed to himself, following after him.

Just then, a scream nearby got everyone's attention as an out-of-control car sped down the street. Behind the wheel, an 80 year-old man had suffered a heart attack and lost control of his vehicle. It was about to run down a man on crutches who wouldn't be able to get out of its way in time. Seconds before the car would have hit him, Bordu tackled the human out of harm's way and they both hit the sidewalk as the runaway car slammed into another parked nearby, finally stopping it.

"Sorry about that but I figured taking a nasty fall was probably better than getting run down," Bordu apologized as he helped the disabled man to his feet.

"It's okay. I definitely agree with you. Thank you for -" He looked his savior in the face and froze.

"Are you all right, sir?" Bordu asked as the man's visage reflected sheer fright. "What's wrong?"

"Get away from me!" the pedestrian shouted as he tried to stagger away, only to fall down once more. Bordu reached down to help him up again but the man flinched and pulled away. "You're one of them!" he hissed, trying to crawl away.

"What? What are you talking about?" Bordu asked in confusion as he tried to reach for him again.

"No! Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" the human cursed as he held up one of his crutches to protect himself. Bordu froze. When he reached up to touch his face, he could feel the dangling latex and realized that part of his human disguise had ripped when he hit the pavement after tackling the man.

"I, I'm sorry. I don't mean to frighten you..." Bordu said sincerely.

"Just get away from me!" he yelled. A large crowd had gathered to applaud Bordu's heroism but stopped when they saw his true appearance. Bordu started to slowly back away, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable.

"I think we need to go now," his guide suggested as the security detail moved between Bordu and the humans. They made their way back to the limo and piled in, departing in short order.

*****

Aboard the plane back to Japan, Bordu was staring out the window blankly, as if lost in thought.

"Sir? Is there anything that you need?" a stewardess asked but he did not respond. "Sir?"

"Huh? What? I, I'm sorry. I didn't hear you the first time, ma'am."

"Is there anything that I can get you?" she asked again with a warm smile.

"No, but thanks anyway," he replied, trying to smile but it was a weak attempt at best. She nodded politely and walked away. Argon was sitting across the aisle, watching him.

"Something wrong, Lieutenant?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Bordu sighed.

"Still thinking about what happened in D.C., aren't you?" Bordu hung his head, knowing that Argon had hit the nail on the head. "You can't let it bother you, Bordu."

"I didn't mean to frighten anyone..."

"Of course, you didn't. You saved someone's life, in fact. Which, by the way, was just one more thing to add to the steadily growing list of amazing accomplishments you have managed to pull off recently. Among other things, may I add."

"Amazing, yeah... Amazing that I didn't start a panic," Bordu groaned sarcastically.

"Don't you think you're being a little over dramatic, as well as hard on yourself?"

"I guess I just wasn't ready for the response I got," the young Simeon admitted with regret.

"Obviously, it was an uncomfortable experience. No one can blame you for feeling dejected."

"Hummpf! You know what? I had almost gone out without my disguise. I guess it's a good thing I didn't go through with that hair-brained idea..."

"Bordu, there is something that you need to take into consideration. The human race has yet to resolve racial tensions that exist within their own species. Just 40 years ago, there were riots and chaos that resulted from racial discrimination and there are still traces of it today. And it's not just in the U.S., it's all over the world. Little things like race, skin color and religious faith still cause much unrest. With that in mind, you can imagine how some humans are going to react to aliens from another planet."

"Yeah, I guess you're right..."

"This is something we will simply have to learn to deal with, wherever we finally settle down."

"This may sound terrible but I almost partially understand why Mugar wanted to exterminate the humans."

"Well, when Mugar was young and still stable, the irrationality and stupidity that some humans are capable of was one of many things that disgusted him about all of them. But there was something that he never attempted to do."

"What was that?"

"See if there were any humans who were not like the rest."

"Like Captain Gordon..."

"Correct."

"I guess I have no right to complain. Members of our own kind have done some truly atrocious things also."

"It's all relative. There is good and bad in every race and in every nation, no matter who or what they are."

"Do you think we'll ever be fully accepted?"

"No, not completely. But that is simply the opinion that some will have. What is important are the friends we make, like Captain Gordon because there will be more of them."

"I hope you're right, sir."

Behind them, General Aso was speaking on his cell phone with a subordinate who was relaying the news about Otaru. He was suddenly overcome with sorrow and rage. As he finished the call, he looked at the Simeons with eyes full of anger and contempt. He rose from his seat.

"What we must remember first and foremost is that the human race, be it good or bad, are our allies and countrymen now," Argon was telling Bordu as the General slowly reached for his side arm.

"Traitors! Liars! Murderers! I knew we couldn't trust you!" Aso roared as he pointed his gun at Argon. The outburst got everyone's attention and they turned to see what was happening.

"What the -?!" Bordu blurted as he and Argon quickly stood up with looks of shock and surprise on their faces.

"I should kill you both where you stand! How did you do it? Did you contact them from here or did you just leave your soldiers orders to carry out after we departed?"

"Perhaps if we knew what you were talking about, it would help, General Aso," Argon said calmly.

"Don't play dumb with me, damn it, or I will shoot you right here and now!"

"What is the meaning of this? What has come over you, General?" King Antonio asked, standing up from his seat.

"That's what I'd like to know as well," the Commander demanded.

"They attacked! They killed and slaughtered civilians!" Aso exploded.

"Who?" Captain Gordon asked, walking up to the General.

"The Simeons, damn it! Their ships attacked a school! Dozens of staff and children are dead!"

"What?! How do you know this?" Argon insisted.

"I just got a call from my adjutant. He told me what happened!"

"General, I assure you! If such a thing has indeed happened, neither myself or Bordu were part of it," Argon declared.

"NO! No more lies!"

"General, I swear to you on my very soul that I have perpetrated no such act!" Argon pleaded.

"Soul? What soul?! You do not have one any more than you do a heart! You're barbarians without honor or conscience!"

"Okay, uhhh. How about we just calm down and try to settle this in a civil and logical manner?" Bordu asked nervously, trying to diffuse the volatile situation.

"My daughter goes to school there. I-I don't..." the General started to say but was overwhelmed with emotion. "...I don't even know if she's dead or alive," he trailed off as tears started to appear at the corners of his eyes.

"If the Simeons have committed this heinous act, then they should answer for it," Fumio declared, standing nearby.

"Now wait just a minute! We don't have all the facts yet. We should wait until we get back to Japan and sort out all the details!" Captain Gordon shouted.

"The General is doing what he feels he must, Captain," Fumio insisted.

"And is there a particular reason that you would want to see Commander Argon and Lieutenant Bordu shot, Mister Subo? Or perhaps there is something that you're neglecting to share with the rest of us?" Gordon gave him an icy stare. Fumio was taken aback by the Captain's comments and began to wonder what exactly the human knew.

"General, you cannot know how sorry I truly am for what has happened. And if members of our race have committed this outrage, then I promise you that I will execute them myself!" Argon stated.

"It doesn't matter. They're already dead. First Officer Nanbara led the Gotengo into battle and destroyed them all. And you will be next!" the General hissed. Captain Gordon stepped directly in front of the General's gun. "Get out of my way, Captain, if you know what's good for you!" he ordered.

"General, I understand what you are feeling right now but -"

"You understand?! Do you have any children, Captain? No, you don't! You understand nothing!!!" Aso screamed.

"Alright, maybe I don't. But we went into this knowing that some of the Simeons could possibly revolt. Is that not so?"

"I said, get out of my way! That's an order!!" Gordon didn't budge.

"General, if you want to shoot someone... then shoot me," he told him as everyone looked on with eyes as big as saucers. "I was the one who suggested peaceful relations with the Simeons. My orders were to blow their base off the map and I didn't do that. Perhaps, if I had followed orders, none of this would have happened. So, in the end, General, the blame lies with me, not them. The deaths of innocent people in the attack are on my head and their blood is on my hands so if you still want to fire that gun... go ahead and do it. I won't try to stop you," the Captain said sincerely, much to the shock and bewilderment of all.

Long moments of silence passed as the General fumed with silent rage. As he stood there, his right arm began to shake violently, as if he was being pushed to his breaking point. Everyone waited with bated breath for his next move. Finally, he slowly lowered his weapon and sank to his knees, sobbing. The Captain knelt down with him and placed his hand upon Aso's shoulder. With the crisis averted, everyone present gave a sigh of relief.

"We'll be back in Japan within the hour. Then we will get to the bottom of this," Gordon promised.

*****

When the members of the Alliance arrived at G-FORCE headquarters in Tokyo, General Aso breathed a sigh of relief to hear that his daughter had survived the attack on Otaru with only minor injuries. Captain Gordon's First Officer, Nanbara, had already initiated an investigation of the events surrounding the massacre and dug up some interesting information.

"We found this in the forest outside of the city," he explained, showing them a picture of a torn and tattered Simeon uniform being held up by someone in a bio-hazard suit within a sealed-off containment chamber.

"Do you recognize it?" Nanbara asked Commander Argon.

"Yes, I do, unfortunately. It belonged to a Simeon pilot named Nargas. He always hated the concept of peace with the human race..."

"We believe that he led the attack. He and other Simeons allied with him killed several Simeon and human guards at their base and then took off with the ships. When the fight between them and the Gotengo ended, one pilot managed to eject. We found the uniform nearby in the forest. It looked as if whoever had been inside it suddenly became too big to fit anymore," Nanbara explained.

"Is this somehow connected to the ape mutant that attacked shortly after?" General Aso asked.

"We think it is. After a DNA scan, we discovered that this uniform contained spores from the Gudis."

"What? That's impossible! The Gudis is dead!" Bordu exclaimed.

"The scan provides concrete proof, I'm afraid. And how else can we explain the mutation, which is something that we know the Gudis has the ability to do?" Nanbara asked. Bordu hung his head in a gesture of defeat. He wanted so hard to believe that the Gudis was gone forever after the explosion of the Simeon nuclear bomb but that was obviously not the case. General Aso slowly turned to Commander Argon. What he was about to do required a lot of courage and humility.

"On top of all this, it turns out that my subordinate failed to inform me that Titanosaurus had been sent to assist the survivors and fought the mutant. A young teenage girl was nearly eaten by the beast when your cyborg intervened. That girl was my daughter..." the General admitted with a heavy heart as he lowered his head. "Can you... forgive me?" he asked with an almost pleading look in his eyes. Commander Argon took a few steps forward and placed his hand on his shoulder.

"There is nothing to forgive, General. We are allies now. Looking out for one another is now our sacred duty," Argon told him softly as General Aso nodded with a slight grin.

"I want to apologize to you as well, Captain Gordon. My conduct on board the plane was most unbecoming an officer," the General added, turning to him.

"Think nothing of it, General. It's not like you didn't have a reason for feeling the way you did." Behind them, Fumio had an angry scowl. He had hoped that this situation would grow volatile enough to get the Simeons either executed or at least imprisoned again.

"Truer words have never been spoken. Would you not agree?" the Mu empress asked King Antonio.

"Indeed I do! The return of the Gudis is a dire realization but our alliance is stronger than ever. We shall find a way to persevere." Captain Gordon walked up, smacking Nanbara on the back with a laugh.

"Not bad, not bad at all, Nanbara!" he congratulated his First Officer who grinned back at him.

"Nanbara? That name sounds familiar to me for some reason," Argon confessed as he turned to look at him closely, and then the Captain.

"I can understand why, Commander. Allow me to formally introduce you to Koji Nanbara, the younger brother of the legendary Interpol Agent, Shin Nanbara," Gordon offered.

"One of the agents who helped stop the first Simeon invasion back in 1974... Of course! It all makes sense now!" Bordu chimed in as he made the connection.

"I see that you are doing your family name proud," Argon assured Nanbara.

"I do try, Commander. My big brother was always a huge inspiration to me."

"I can see that you have followed in his footsteps well," Argon added with a grin.

"Take it from me, Commander. Nanbara is the best!" Gordon gloated, placing a hand on his shoulder as everyone smiled broadly, except for Fumio who quickly slipped out of the room.



Chapter Nine:

Media Play

Miss Hiromi Osada was a slim 23 year-old Japanese with almond-colored hair. The reporter for Ni-Ichi News stepped onto the escalator at the G-FORCE Building, a large multi-story structure. The ground floor slowly disappeared behind her as she stood motionless during her ride upward which passed several levels. White walls on either side of her were far apart and she felt like she was in a giant super shopping mall due to the immense size of the place.

Her reason for coming here was far from a mere leisure activity. True to her occupation, Hiromi was on her way to interview kaijuology student Cillian Bakker because his professor, the renowned Kenji Kamaiya, was not available. He was too busy with the baby Anguirusaurus that had recently been brought to Monsterland. His prize student had stopped off in Tokyo on his way from Moscow and was temporarily residing at G-FORCE HQ while awaiting transfer to the Ogasawara Islands.

Hiromi had made prior arrangements for the interview two days ago over the phone but hadn't heard a word from with Mister Bakker since. He was in Moscow at the time and no definite appointment had been set. Always the determined reporter, Hiromi chased him down until she found his whereabouts. Now she was on her way to his apartment, whether he knew it or not because if it was an interview she wanted, it is an interview she would get. This kind of determination had received much praise from her employer who knew they could count on her for the latest news on about anything, which they did.

Stepping off the escalator on the fifth floor, she found herself in the middle of a large walkway with modest traffic. Two or three scientists, journalists, professors, students, government officials and others were moving about the former Godzilla counter-measures bureau. Straight ahead was a series of doors, each marked with a number, name and classification. Hiromi took out a small piece of paper from her purse on which she had written her 'victim's' (as she liked to call them) address: 1604, Cillian Bakker, Kaijuologist, Apartment C-3, Level Five

It was almost directly in front of her and a grin crossed her face. This was too easy! Approaching the door and knocking, there was no answer. She pressed the call button and a small light flashed. A soft buzzing noise sounded but still no response from within. Annoyed but not discouraged, the spunky reporter wasn't about to let that detour her from getting a story.

Having gotten an authorization card from the guard at the entry desk with a little persuasion, Hiromi slid it through the reader and opened the door. Being careful to close it behind her, she quietly stepped inside. What she saw was nothing out of the ordinary for a scientist at G-FORCE. A short hallway with a tiny closet to her left led into a small living room and office. The area, with its two red chairs and sofa, was cluttered with models of Godzilla and dinosaurs; books and essays on both to maps of Monsterland and the once-prominent Mu Empire on the walls. Boxes were stuffed with papers, pens and pencils galore.

The office directly across from her consisted of a desk and chair, computer and more books. Hiromi stepped forward, peering around each corner as she advanced. Beyond the two rooms was a kitchen which was as messy and a bedroom with the door closed. She could probably spend hours going through the papers laying around and easily dig up something newsworthy. In the room before her, she would no doubt find even more valuable information. Turning the doorknob slowly so as not to make a sound, Hiromi peered inside. What she saw was rather unexpected. The room was neat and tidy, literally spotless from top to bottom. How interesting she thought.

Walking into the bedroom, she noticed a desk at one end, next to a bed and bookcase. Hiromi began to go through the desk drawers and searched through piles of papers. There was enough top secret kaiju-related information here to last the rest of her career as a reporter.

Suddenly, she heard a noise. Startled, Hiromi stood up in a hurry and remained quiet, listening. Nothing Was she simply hearing things? There was the sound of a toilet flushing. No, it was real. The bathroom! she thought. I forgot to make sure no one was in there! Now faced with a bizarre situation, she could either run for it or hide and wait for him to leave. She looked around but there was no place to hide. She would have to make a run for it. Jumping to her feet, Hiromi ran out of the bedroom in hopes of dashing to the living room before - BANG! They collided in the hallway, landing on their backs. Cillian struggled to his feet in a hurry.

"Who are you?" he demanded. "What do you want?" Hiromi began to pick herself up.

"I'm Miss Hiromi Osada of Ni-Ichi News," she began in her most dignified manner possible, given such bizarre circumstances. "We spoke two days ago over the phone, regarding an interview."

"What? Oh, yes. But we never agreed on a date or time. And it's certainly no excuse for you breaking into my apartment! How did you get in here anyway?" He suddenly remembered all the top secret documents that were laying about. "You didn't see any of this stuff, did you? You didn't read anything?"

"I didn't read it, though I was hoping-"

"Good. Now get out."

"Hey, you can't talk to me like that!" Hiromi barked. "I'm here for an interview and I'm not leaving until I get one."

"You broke into my apartment. That's a crime, don't you know? If it's an interview you want, you could have just called."

"I did. Five times. No one answers their phones around here." She stood with her arms akimbo and gave him an almost taunting look.

"Whatever. Not now."

"Yes, now. I'm hard pressed to get information one way or the other before our competitors do. We go to press tomorrow and I need an interview." Her face became sterner. He could tell that she was dead serious.

"I'll call security," Cillian declared, raising his head a bit more proudly as if he had pulled a trick from his sleeve.

"Go ahead. It won't do you a bit of good. I already took care of the guards." Bakker's smirk disappeared.

"Fine," he finally said with a wave of his hand. "What do you want to know?" Hiromi smiled politely and walked very dignified in her triumph to the living room, shoving a sack of papers off one of the chairs and sitting down. Cillian sat down on the sofa as she pulled out a small tape recorder and set it up on the cluttered table between them. Hiromi studied her victim for a second, deciphering what kind of a man he was. A trick of the trade was to know your prey and ask the right questions so as to get the most out of them.

Physically, he was attractive but she cared not about such things. Green eyes, wavy brown hair and contemporary wire-framed glasses which she discerned he really didn't need. Reading glasses, perhaps. Dressed in blue jeans and an off-white button-down shirt under which was a T-shirt. She figured she was in the presence of a young man aspiring to be more than he realistically could be, with high hopes and eager to please. Perhaps he had an almost obsessive passion for his work which meant that he knew his stuff. The latter was all she cared to know about.

"First, it is customary to get to know the interviewee before getting to the actual exchange of information. Do you mind if I ask you a few personal questions?" Cillian sat up a bit and placed his hands together on the table.

"Yes, that will be fine." Hiromi pressed the RECORD button and sat back in her chair.

"For the record, would you please state your full name, date and place of birth."

Bakker sighed and answered the question. "Cillian Ethan Bakker, born March 17, 1983 in Ireland."

"Have you always lived there?"

"No. My immediate family moved to the United States. Philadelphia, precisely, in 1989. I just moved to Tokyo within the past three years because of my schooling in kaijuology."

"So. Getting right into the discussion, what new information can you tell us about the baby Anguirusaurus?"

"Well, I'm not sure what all you've heard about him but he was flown down to Monsterland a few days ago where he's being kept in a quarantined section of the island until he has grown large enough to live safely with the other monsters. Right now, our scientists are simply trying to get the little fellow settled in so that they may conduct further observations." Our scientists? thought Hiromi. Getting a little high and mighty, aren't we?

"So. Are you planning on visiting the kaiju in the near future?"

"Oh, yes. I should be heading over there in about a day or two."

"Are there any special plans for the young monster after it's grown?"

"Not especially. However, that's not to say that it isn't valuable. This new Anguirus gives us the opportunity to study the species more closely and pick up where we left off with the original creature before it was killed recently."

"The egg was found at the monster's home, Iwato Island. How long do you think it was there before it was discovered?"

"I'm not too sure. We tried dating the egg shell but the results were inconclusive. We theorize that the first Anguirus, observed back in 1955, was the mother. As is common among female animals, it was likely defending its territory and nest from the second Godzilla. The male Anguirus was away at the time. Where, exactly, is unknown. However, it's reasonable to assume that after the female's death in Osaka, the male returned to guard the egg until we captured him for confinement at Monsterland. The egg likely didn't hatch until now because of its frozen condition. Once brought to Moscow, however, it quickly regained viability in the incubator."

"So this monster, though just born, is maybe fifty years old? Fascinating. And what is your take on the destruction of the male Anguirus?" Cillian felt a bit uncomfortable with the question, not knowing quite how to answer it.

"Well, eh.... it was an unfortunate loss for the scientific community. Luckily, we now have the baby to make up for it." He tried to smile and lighten the tone of his voice but it proved unconvincing. "They did what they felt was necessary to protect mankind and one can't argue over their logic." He should have added something further but could not think of what else to say. Cillian was actually a little embarrassed. Sensing this, Hiromi tried to change the subject.

"So what are your thoughts on an alien alliance with Earth?" Her attempt failed.

"What? Oh, er... I'm not good with politics." Cillian put his head in his hands after realizing how stupid his answer sounded. "Perhaps that's enough questions for now?" he suggested.

"Yes, I suppose so." Hiromi put the tape recorder away.

"I hope that was enough information for your article."

"I'm sure it is," she said half-heartedly.

"Wonderful." Cillian stood up and walked toward the closet next to the front door to get his shoes. Hiromi also began to get ready to leave. God, what a waste! she thought. Next time, she'd settle for nothing less than the real McCoy. She would go to Ogasawara if that's what took. 'I'm not good with politics' - what kind of an idiotic answer was that? Now she would have to spend the next half a day trying to scrape together little bits of information here and there to fill out her report in time. She did have Kenji Kamaiya's cell phone number so perhaps she would give him a call.

Hiromi picked up her purse and headed for the door, passing Cillian in the tight hallway and opening the door. While tying his shoes, he felt bad for wasting her time. She had broken into his apartment and normally he would have sent her packing but nonetheless, he knew what it meant to have a paper done on time. Given the amount of trouble it likely took her to track him down, he felt guilty for not making it worth her while. Curse my sensitivity! He turned around just as Hiromi was walking out the door.

"Hey, wait a sec," he called after her. Confused, she stopped and glared at him. "Uh... I was just about to get some coffee... and wondered if you'd care to join me."

"What?" she asked bluntly.

"I just feel bad for wasting your time. Can I make it up to you?" Hiromi thought over his proposal. Well, I might get more information out of him With a roll of her eyes, she agreed.

PLAN G: GODZILLA INTO SPACE

King Karkaru stood on the bridge of the Kilaak star cruiser Flaming Fury as it hovered over Hokkaido. He stared in wonder at the large wall screen before him. Being displayed in all its glory was a colossal rocket, now going through last-minute checks before blasting off. He knew that inside its cargo hold was quite possibly the most powerful monster on Earth, Godzilla.

He remembered how King Ghidorah had helped defeat the great beast and laughed to himself. His second-in-command, an older Kilaak, approached from behind. Tuket was a rarity if there ever was one. Karkaru acknowledged his presence, still staring at the screen as various human and Nebulan engineers scampered around the great ship like the insects they were.

"Everything is working out relatively well, my friend. Godzilla is about to be shot away from the Earth, Anguirus is dead and most of the other Earth monsters are in the hands of the Xians. That may cause some problems later on but I don't believe the Xians' primary concerns at the moment involve us so they shouldn't be a problem, at least for a little while. The loss of King Ghidorah has taken its toll but the creature will do our work for us, whether we control him or not. He hates the planet Earth. All we have to do is steer clear of him for the time being and he will kill everything off while we activate the planet's volcanos."

"How many volcanos have been brought to life?" the old Kilaak asked in a voice that resembled two metal shards scraping against each other. Karkaru turned to gaze into his ancient eyes.

"Mount Fuji was the first, when we brought King Ghidorah back to life. Then, one in Okinawa. We were looking to destroy King Seesar but Gudis got to him first."

"This Gudis... Do you think he will be a problem for us?"

"I don't believe so, at least not for a while. He seems to want to destroy this planet as utterly as we do. He feeds off energy and he will most likely fade into the background once the Earth has been transformed. If not, then we can simply take him back to Kilaak. By the time the Earth is ready, only the poor and weak will be left there anyway. We also found volcanic activity beneath Osaka and Kobe and some of our troops are crossing the sea to start up the volcanos in the Pacific islands. At the moment, we are currently monitoring six controlled volcanos, with 18 potential candidates for the future. We will probably activate the magma chamber deep underneath Osaka again now that we have wrecked the place with our armies."

"Have you found the so-called 'super volcano' yet?"

"No, unfortunately. If we could find that, our job would become much easier."

"Indeed." The old Kilaak looked up at the wall screen. Karkaru turned as well. The workers surrounding the rocket were moving away as the power-up sequence began. "How long do you think it will last?" Karkaru was puzzled.

"What do you mean?"

"That," the elder pointed at the image displayed. "You know as well as I that blasting Godzilla into space is like throwing a Mysterian child to a hungry pride of Earth lions. At some point, one of the various sentient races gathering around Earth will seize the rocket and try to use Godzilla to their advantage. They may try to get genetic information from him to use on other creatures, or possibly even try to control him. Can you imagine what a race like the Xians or Simeons would do if they had control over Godzilla, quite possibly the most powerful monster ever?" Karkaru thought this over. He then ordered one of the technicians to bring up a thermal imaging scan of the area where the rocket would travel in space. There were at least fourteen alien ships of various sizes and shapes present.

"What races do these ships represent?" The technician tried to hack into their computer systems and became frustrated as their defenses blocked him out.

"Too many to make an accurate guess, sir. I see a few that are unidentifiable, as well as a possible Xian ship but it could also be Mysterian or even one of our own for all I can tell." Karkaru's face grew red with anger. He swiveled his seat around to face his second-in-command.

"Commander Tuket, you will go in your personal escort ship and guard the rocket as it rises from Earth's atmosphere. Take a few fighter craft with you for support. Get in touch with the Nebulans and inform them of what you are doing if you have to."

"Aye, sir." Tuket turned to depart, trying to control the devilish smile that threatened to split his face.

*****

Aboard the Kilaak Escort Ship Tikolten, orbiting above the launch site at Kyushu, Tuket stared down at the glowing blue world. A beautiful orb, it was, but he knew his species would make it even more appealing. He also knew that this would allow the great ones to find a new place to call home.

He smiled as something glinted in the sunlight far below. The gigantic structure ascending toward him was more like a flying skyscraper than a rocket. It had the general shape of a human cigar, the only feature opposing this design being the rather conspicuous booster system at the back of the ship. Tuket knew that near the center was the most valuable and powerful creature to ever grace the planet below. It was then that he noticed a fleet of Mysterian ships approach from the left. Somebody called out from the bridge behind him.

"Sir, the Mysterians are turning their weapons on us. I think they plan to take the rocket by force." Tuket just sneered.

"Send our fighters after them," he ordered. Tuket watched with growing interest as they accelerated past his own craft to meet the challenge. "Fire at will." The order was repeated to the crews and all hell broke loose.

The largest of the Mysterian space ships suddenly seemed to melt and vaporize, leaving only about a quarter of it recognizable. This was caused by a massive plume of flames emanating from the Tikolten's primary cannon. The Mysterians opened fire on the Kilaaks, pouring streams of laser energy into the swarm of saucer-shaped fighters, all of which bounced harmlessly off their advanced shields.

A large Nebulan transport rose ominously from the Earth's atmosphere, releasing a fleet of axe-shaped fighters into the fray. A Mysterian fighter was suddenly ripped in half by a stream of intensely hot concentrated flames that blasted forth from a Kilaak war ship. The two burning halves of the vessel descended towards the Earth, being pulled down by the planet's gravity. One of the Nebulan fighters turned sharply and thrust itself straight through one of the halves, bursting it into fiery shards. The pilot whooped with the excitement of battle.

The Mysterians, realizing that fighting against the Kilaak's shields only served to create more casualties, turned half of their fleet towards the Nebulans. A massive beam exchange took place between the two opposing races before the Nebulans began firing their trademark auto lasers. Large numbers of Mysterian ships were seared apart by the intense beams. Their commander decided it was time for PLAN B.

A single Mysterian warship opened its undercarriage, revealing a silver missile. Most of the others dropped similar ordnance as well, then shot away in unison as the nuclear weapons exploded simultaneously, creating a shockwave that obliterated Kilaak and Nebulan craft alike. The Tikolten was blown sideways by the force but sustained only minor damage.

"Sir! The rocket has taken the blast wave well but it has decreased in speed. Right now, it is on a very unstable course. Another blast that close will certainly bring it down," a helmsman called out. Tuket stared at the raging battle.

"Take me to the rocket. I need to inspect it personally." Captain Parsus stared at his superior incredulously but decided not to question his orders.

"Bring us around and dock with the Nebulan rocket," the officer finally ordered.

"Aye sir!"

Tuket felt a deep reverberation run through his body as his ship connected to the Nebulan rocket. He entered the airlock and pressed a glowing orange button. It hissed open and he boarded the massive vessel, followed closely by a platoon of armed and ready Kilaak soldiers. The lights flickered threateningly and the ship shook as another explosion from the massive battle caused them to grip the walls to remain upright. Tuket continued down the hallway until he reached a doorway marked in several different human as well as the Nebulan language.

G-Containment was the mark on the door. Tuket smiled and tore the handle and locking mechanism off and shoved it open. He found himself standing in a windowless room filled with automated computers controlling the ship's life support and stasis systems. Tuket approached a door near the other end and unholstered his flame gun. Using it, he blasted the door with so much heat that it actually melted, glowing pools of molten metal burning through the floor. He stepped through the twisted frame and found he was on the backside of a gargantuan, sloping structure, more like a hill than an artificial construct. He looked around, seeing nothing but walls and panels, momentarily confused before looking up. He stared in wonder and awe. To his men, it almost seemed like he was in a trance but they found themselves likewise before the massive being that stood on top of the platform above them.

The beast was held in place by reinforced steel bars, chains and cuffs that wrapped around his neck, arms, legs and tail. Godzilla, the most feared creature on Earth, breathed in a labored breath, a noise that echoed throughout the chamber. The creature was in a near comatose state, strangely serene and unharmful. It was a humble site to behold. The being exhaled, nearly knocking Tuket and his men off the walkway. They climbed up a set of stairs and found a massive machine that seemed to have a life of its own. The elephant-sized structure was what pumped the drugs into the leviathan to keep him asleep. Every ten minutes, blood would be drawn from the creature and tested, making sure that he was kept in a stable condition. In case of an emergency, the machine would temporarily shut down to prevent contaminants from entering Godzilla's bloodstream.

The blood was pumped into a tire-sized capsule to be tested. Tuket tore its lid off and took out a football-sized canister that had been given to him to collect the sample. He unscrewed the lid, placed it on a nearby table and carefully set the container beneath the tube that led to the blood storage unit. After several minutes, it was filled. Tuket quickly removed the precious object, allowing the blood to flow freely back into the tester. He put the lid on and torched it shut.

The first part of his job complete, Tuket left the massive chamber and headed back to his ship, his prize slipped into a metal holster on his side. Both airlocks were still open to one another and a soldier stopped to program them to close after the platoon had departed. When Tuket re-entered the Tikolten, he smiled grimly at the confused faces of his soldiers.

"Sorry, boys, but your ride ends here." He overrode the computer systems on both ships and shut the airlock on the escort ship. The soldiers tried desperately to close the airlock on the rocket to save themselves but the Tikolten suddenly shifted and they felt an immediate drop in pressure. Their screams were stifled as the Kilaak ship shot away and they were sucked into the vacuum of space. Even with their implanted body warmers, they could not stand the absolute cold of the dead of space in the shadow of the rocket. Their bodies twisted and contorted; limbs shrinking as their eyes turned to pools of silver. They seemed to collapse in on themselves, finally becoming only a tiny, twitching silver slug-like creature that would, in the end, burn up in Earth's atmosphere, never to be seen again.

Inside the rocket, a programmed message appeared on one of the computer screens in the control center of the ship.

System analysis in progress . . .
Anomaly detected
- Blood temperature increased
- Containment facilities exposed to unsuitable temperatures
- Increased radiation levels
- Contaminants found in blood-storage unit
Stasis unable to support conditions
Automatic Reboot in progress . . .
Temporary Stasis shutdown initiated
Awaiting orders_
Several systems on the ship shut down as the reboot began. The behemoth in containment stopped receiving the drugs that kept him nearly comatose. With a long, eerie moan, the King of the Monsters began to wake up.

A lone Kilaak soldier remained aboard the ship, holding out inside the control center. A large table had sealed the room from the extreme cold and vacuum of space. Bewildered and stunned at what had just happened, he looked around and saw the flashing computer screen. He walked over to it and saw the flashing "awaiting orders," written in Nebulan. He sat at the console and pulled up a holographic map of the Earth. The ship was represented as a green flashing dot orbiting around the planet. Currently, the vessel was over the North American continent, near the western side of it. The soldier noted massive numbers of Mysterian transport ships entering and leaving Earth's atmosphere over the capital of the human nation known as 'USA'. Deranged and angry at the Mysterians for using nuclear weapons to kill so many of his comrades, he altered the ship's direction. He hoped he could cause its fusion reactor to explode and take out the Mysterian invasion force altogether. Suddenly, the table sealing off the room shattered and the Kilaak was sucked from the ship, along with everything else that wasn't bolted down.

*****

Tuket looked out at the battle that was still going strong high above the Earth. While he watched, a strange bow-shaped star craft fired a nuclear missile at the heart of the melee. Several Kilaak and Mysterian ships vanished in the resulting explosion. These, along with other unidentifiable craft, had joined the fray while he was retrieving the DNA samples from the rocket. They now seemed to be quickly losing interest in the space war, however.

"Sir, are you sure this is necessary?" Captain Parsus asked. Tuket turned to glare into his eyes and pointed an unrelenting steel finger at the coordinates on the right side of the wall screen.

"What did I tell you? I am the highest ranking Kilaak aboard this vessel and that means your commands are subordinate to mine! That rocket is unstable. The computers inside indicate the propulsion systems were made from nuclear materials. Now, considering all of the nuclear explosions that are going on out there, have you not thought about what it all means? If a stray nuke lands on the rocket, it will trigger a chain reaction that will create an explosion big enough to wipe out the Earth altogether. These coordinates I gave you will bring us to the outer edge of this solar system and considering all the debris that will be flying around, it's not a bad place to be." Parsus sighed. He didn't know if Tuket was lying or not, considering the Kilaaks had never had any nuclear arsenals to speak of, or even nuclear energy for that matter. They never needed it.

"Fine," he finally said, following the Commander's orders. Tuket resisted the urge to laugh hysterically. The Tikolten turned away from the Earth and the now-dwindling battle. Three large valves opened on its flat back end and massive white-hot flames burst forth. The ship was quickly engulfed by the hellish display which burned for several seconds and then simply seemed to wink out. The Tikolten was gone.

*****

Somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy, a gigantic fireball floated in space. The orb is a red giant star, a powerhouse if there ever was one. The star will one day meet its end but that time is still some million years in the future. For a few select beings, however, that expanse of time might as well be a week.

A brilliant flash seemed to come from the surface of the star and a gigantic half-sphere shaped object nearly half the size of Saturn emerged from the churning, boiling, incredibly hot ball of nuclear fusion. The object was unscathed by the immense heat generated by the constant explosions of energy taking place on and within the star. The anomaly left the general vicinity of the star and entered an orbit that would take it around the dying sun every 15 Earth hours.

Suddenly, a white dot shone amidst the many stars overlooking the eerie scene and a much smaller but still rather large object appeared. On the side of the ship, written in an unknown tongue was the word Tikolten. The Kilaak vessel approached the tremendous anomaly orbiting the red giant.

"Amazing, isn't it?" Tuket said to Captain Parsus, more in admiration than as a question.

"Is that... the Empire Ship? I've heard about it. My father used to tell me stories about how this ship sent our race to our home system. I would have never imagined it was real..." he stammered, dumbfounded by the sheer size of the object built by his ancestors.

"Indeed," Tuket replied. He had seen this monolith several times before but he didn't admit that to his men, at least not yet. "Guide us to that red beacon on the hull."

"Yes, sir." The Captain repeated the order and the Tikolten made the turn that headed them toward the signal. After what seemed to take hours, they entered the tractor beam and a blinding flash of crimson red temporarily blinded them all. When the light died down, they found their 300-meter ship inside a massive hangar, suspended by four large clamps.

"Come with me," Tuket directed his crew, lowering the ramp onto the strange metal floor. They walked through the massive hangar bay which was large enough to comfortably hold the huge Nebulan Mothership and have room for at least two more. After walking for what seemed like a mile, the group came to a lone panel sticking conspicuously out of the floor. It contained a keypad with the characters of the language used by the Kilaaks. Tuket entered a four-digit code and the sound of shrieking metal filled the bay, causing them to shiver.

The floor beneath them seemed to give way and they found themselves being brought down slowly by an electro-magnetic field which reacted with the metallic properties of their bodies and allowed them to hover in the air. The field of energy suddenly shot down a massive tube and they found themselves descending the magnetic elevator so fast that all passing rooms and hangars were a mere blur. A menagerie of strange creatures zipped by. They had to be other forms that his ancestors had taken on Parsus thought.

Slowly, the magnetic elevator came to a halt. The group found themselves standing inside a chamber that dwarfed the hangar where their ship had been docked. The ceiling was so high above them that it was all but impossible to see and the room stretched out from every point until it disappeared over an artificial horizon. The wall closest to them was a gigantic window structure from which a breath-taking view of the red giant was visible. The Captain was again awed by the sheer grandeur of it all until he noticed what was sitting in the very center of the room.

For all intensive purposes, it appeared to be a statue made of iron and gold. It sat on a throne that was nearly twice its own massive size. With a start, Captain Parsus suddenly realized the significance of the biological structure of King and Death Ghidorah. Why so many alien cultures fear or revere their form is not because of the creatures themselves but because of their creators.

The dragon had an elongated neck ending in a reptilian-like head with eyes of fire and surrounded by a crown of horns. Two long, muscular arms that ended in fingers with blade-like talons were before the Emperor's huge body. On his back, two mighty wings sprouted that seemed to be able to serve a more practical function than his arms. He looked more like a natural quadruped than a biped. His voice caused the Captain's knees to shake.

"Tuket," the entity said in a booming voice. "Do you bring me grief or do you bring me good news for once?" Even Tuket seemed terrified by the piercing eyes of the creature.

"G-Good news, sir. The invasion of Earth has begun anew. We have already activated several volcanos on the planet. Right now, our forces are attempting to control..." he trailed off.

"...Control what?"

"Control King Ghidorah." The Emperor did not move or speak but it suddenly became much hotter in the room than it was before.

"What happened to it?"

"We revived it, just like you suggested. But something went wrong. The creature became uncontrollable and turned on us the day our invasion had been planned. We suspect there may have been foul play, but-"

"Foul play? Did you seek assistance from another race of beings?" Tuket suddenly realized his mistake.

"Sir... I- I couldn't help it. Karkaru, he-he insisted that we receive biological samples from another race. We didn't have the necessary supplies to-" The Emperor suddenly stood on his taloned feet. Tuket nearly turned around to run but knew that it was useless.

"Tuket, you fool!" he seethed. "I should kill you where you stand for your insolence!" The Emperor's voice reverberated throughout the chamber, causing the floor under their feet to tremble. He approached the group with a speed that belied his large stature. Before Tuket could react, a clawed hand had wrapped itself around his mid-body and pulled him into the air. The Emperor stared into his eyes with a fiery rage that nearly caused him to scream in terror. Finally, the Emperor released him and the hapless Kilaak fell ten feet to the floor, landing head first on the hard surface of the hull. The Emperor was walking towards the window when Tuket caught up to him.

"I will not kill you. I made a promise to your father that I would never harm you. However, I'm afraid I cannot let you go unpunished." The Emperor glanced over at the other Kilaaks. Tuket understood what he was implying and nodded grimly. He knew there was no point in arguing. The Emperor looked up and suddenly brought his head down, charging Tuket's crew. They were too petrified to move until the Emperor stopped a mere inch away from them. He threw his head up and opened his triple jaw structure before bringing it down and picking them up in his mouth-like appendage, crushing them with his jaws until their screams went silent. A strange silver goo began to drip from his mouth, falling to the floor and joining with it. When all of the liquid had melded with the floor, the Emperor spoke once more.

"They will go on to serve our cause in their death. No ship can ever be too strong. The metallic blood of our ancestors is what made this ship in the first place. All of our dead are converted into the very thing that they have sworn to protect. Nobody ever goes to waste." The Emperor then returned to the topic at hand. "King Ghidorah was a great being. Death Ghidorah was also. But now, it seems that they have both been permanently lost. Did you bring the samples from the Earth monster called Godzilla?"

"Yes, in fact..." Tuket pulled the canister from its holster on his chain mail uniform and presented it. The Emperor took the capsule and scrutinized it with his fiery eyes before handing it back. He then turned, walking back towards his throne.

"Give it to my officials when they approach you as you leave."

"Don't you want to handle this yourself? How do you know that one of your 'officials' may not be trustworthy? I have learned that almost any race can suffer the penalties of treason..." The Emperor stopped in his tracks and turned to stare at him.

"Let me show you something," he said, walking to his throne. Tuket followed cautiously. The Emperor sat down and pressed a button on a keypad that rose before him. A force field suddenly shot down from the ceiling and completely encircled them. The temperature dropped outside the protective shield and a trap door in the floor yawned open. A steel box rose and when it completely filled the opening, its roof and sides fell away, revealing a creature that was similar to the Emperor but somehow inferior.

"What you see here is one who attempted the idea that you would call 'treason.' He tried to drain the heat from this room and then open the emergency escape portal, which would suck me into space and kill me instantly. He was too stupid to realize that I have direct control over the systems in this room. He did not think about his plan well enough. If he had truly hoped for an honorable and intelligent assassination of myself, he would have figured out a way to breach that giant window and then say it was a meteor that must have slipped past our defense systems or better yet, an attacking alien race. But no, he chose the way of a fool. I have been searching for an opportunity to make use of him and think that now he can serve my purpose well."

As Tuket watched, another steel box was raised from the floor. When it opened up, it revealed a strange-looking beast covered in fur and with two huge horns on its head. Its eyes were large and multi-faceted like an insect's. The being only had three legs but its most noticeable aspect was its jaws. They were gigantic, obviously with powerful muscles. Its mouth seemed to be able to swallow a Mysterian whole or snap one in two. The over-sized maw opened and closed ravenously as it looked around the room for nourishment. The traitor had been surrounded in a force field himself, Tuket realized. Yet another steel box rose from the floor. This one contained a human which had been stripped of its clothing and whose rib cage and other bones were clearly showing. The man was obviously starving to death. As Tuket watched the unfolding drama, the Emperor provided commentary.

"The beast you see is a creature from a planet in this very solar system. His world is a very violent and primitive place, even moreso than the one from which the human comes. He was a warrior for one side of his race, which is currently involved in a civil war. No matter the victor, they will all fall under our weapons. We are merely watching to see if the victors impress us with some kind of new battle tactics, though that is looking grim. Their world will provide a nice new base for us to study the effects of super novae when this star goes critical.

"At any rate, this one was injured horribly during the war. He once had four legs but one was blown off by enemy fire. His fur coat was rich and silky but now is dirty and gruff. We captured him after his wounds prevented him from keeping up with his troop. He is quite a ferocious creature, as you can see." The force fields surrounding the human and the creature were lowered. The beast snapped its head in the direction of the human who screamed and turned to run but was too weak. The creature leaped across the room and drove the man to the floor. With its remaining arm, it tore him apart. Limbs, bones and organs went flying in a horribly bloody mess.

"Notice how the beast tears apart his prey before feeding. He likes to get the bones and any useless organs out of the way before feasting on the muscle and fat. And look how the blood is reacting to the floor. The ship's hull is rejecting it. The organic blood has no use to this vessel. Organic components are always inherently weak." When the beast had fed, the force field surrounding the traitor was lowered. The creature slowly raised its head and turned to look at the strange being. He could tell it was not food but it had life in it, life and warmth. It was good enough as far as the beast was concerned. It charged the traitor who stood ready. The beast's long, scythe-like claws sparked uselessly and seemed to harm itsel more than the traitor. With a single, swooping motion, the traitor struck it down off its one leg and prone to attack. The traitor brought his head up and struck his fallen enemy, sending it smashing against the force field surrounding Tuket and the Emperor. The beast slid down the impenetrable shield, leaving a trail of orange-hued blood.

"Do what you wish to me, Emperor, but please refrain from sending these pathetic creatures to be slaughtered by my hand." The Emperor smiled and pressed another button on the console. The gigantic window slid open as the traitor shrieked and instinctively grabbed at the floor. His claws sparked uselessly against the metal as the vacuum sucked him into its relentless eternal cold. The Imperial distorted and shrank into a slug-like creature that was forever trapped in orbit around the red star, too far away to benefit from its heat. Tuket turned to look back at the Emperor.

"Understand?" The mighty being asked. He simply nodded. "Very well. You should be on your way, then. Your ship has been... prepared so there will be no suspicion. I hope you don't mind being the only survivor." Before Tuket could answer, he felt a door open underneath him and he was once more encased in the magnetic elevator, only now he was alone.

When he reached the Tikolten, he found it in extreme disrepair and looked like it had been through a war. Two tall creatures, nearly half the size of the Emperor but appearing more mammalian, approached.

"We will take the biological samples now." Tuket did not bother to argue or question them, or staying in this place any longer. As he turned to go to his ship, a strange-looking frog-like creature approached. He knew it was just another form for his brothers but it was one of the lowest possible.

"Your ship has been prepared for take-off. We have demolished most of the vessel. Everyone will believe that it suffered a close-range nuclear blast. You only have a few moments' primary burn, just enough to get out of range. Then you will have to resort to your hyper-booster systems. I hope you have a good sense of direction or else you will be no more than space junk once you return to normal speed." Tuket nodded silently and entered his ship. He knew how to pilot the vessel by himself but it still felt odd not having anybody to help him or an automatic computer system to take over during the hyper-boost stage. With a silent, nearly sad effort, he powered up the aging warship, lifted off of the hangar floor and backed out of the massive Empire Ship. He engaged the main boosters but they quickly gave out. Tuket checked to make sure that he was far enough away, not for the other ship's safety but his own. Hyper-drives were sometimes unpredictable and one wrong move could send the Tikolten crashing into it.

Tuket felt strange. He never thought he would ever feel compassion for his men but he had been through much with them. Some might be sacrificed but he didn't realize that he would be the only survivor. It was one qualm of being a member of the most populous race in the universe. With a final shake of his head, he activated the hyper-drive. Slowly, the massive High Council ship of the Iron Empire sank back into the red giant. Soon, a new war horse for the Empire would be born and then, they would be unstoppable.

*****

Aboard the Avenger, the last remaining Mysterian vessel, the dwindling crew of the warship felt a massive jolt as a wave of intense electro-magnetic energy wiped out its propulsion systems. The nuclear blast was from one of the other alien ships but their sensors were too damaged to identify whose or which one.

The Captain of the ship, an elderly Mysterian and a veteran of the great Human-Mysterian war, stared out through the view port before him. The once proud 13th Mysterian Fleet, the most powerful force of their entire space armada, had been wiped out. Chonsho looked down at his display screen. The Nebulan fleet, for the most part, had also been obliterated. The unidentified ships had disappeared. Even the Kilaaks had taken major losses, their shields not immune to the effects of a nuclear assault and now, the larger part of their fleet, including the escort ship, had either been destroyed or vanished completely.

He stared at the lifeless corpse at his feet. The unfortunate Mysterian had struck his head against his console while the ship rode out a shockwave and surging electricity had fried him. Chonsho wanted to weep over the deaths of his comrades but he knew that such a thing would have him go down in history as a weakling. He hated the idea of this whole invasion. Earth seemed to have become a metropolis of aliens seeking new homes or territory. He wished that his race had never become a part of this war.

Chonsho snorted with contempt and stared at the Nebulan rocket as it traveled away from the Earth. The cause for all this bloodshed was contained on that very vessel. He ordered his ship's two remaining nuclear warheads be deployed against it. Questioning looks from what little crew he had left were met with a stone-hard glare. They nodded, understanding what he intended to do.

The missiles were fired simultaneously and quickly crossed the void between the two intruders in Earth's field of influence. They struck the rocket's propulsion system, resulting in a titanic blast that knocked the Mysterian ship backwards with such force that it was sucked into the Earth's atmosphere. The enormous heat and pressure of re-entry seeped into the holes in its hull, causing it and its crew to vaporize completely.

The Nebulan rocket's failing systems became useless as the planet below snatched it from the sky and into an unstable orbit above the teeming surface.

Monsterland

Cillian Bakker kneeled before the large animal in front of him with a friendly smile. The Anguirus lowered its head and placed it against the young man's bosom and sat down. He petted the dinosaur, stroking its head and neck as he rested his head against the creature.

He is so warm he thought. It was a pleasure to touch it for that sensation alone. The moment seemed to last forever and neither of them wished it to end. They seemed to have an inner connection; an understanding of life. Both of them were far away from home and secretly desired to be loved. Cillian looked into the kaiju's glossy brown eyes and smiled again.

This was more than a good pet, more than a loyal dog. It was as a close friend would be, a brother. He fed the monster by hand whenever he could and helped take charge of its care. On cold nights, he even came from his quarters to the laboratory to bring the Anguirusaurus a thick comforter or a blanket, often sitting beside the beast and watching it for hours as the youngling slept. Many times he fell asleep beside it. The staff rarely interfered with this bonding that was taking place, mostly to see whether a kaiju and a human could actually co-exist but this newfound relationship was much more than a mere science experiment for Bakker; it was the beginning of something special.

Moved by his obsessive love for kaiju, he was instinctively drawn to the creature but that was only the first step. From the moment the two had set eyes on each other when the baby dinosaur hatched in Moscow, Cillian sensed a connection between them and from then on, he rarely let it out of his sight. He oversaw every step of its transfer to Monsterland, the readying of its temporary indoor habitat and introduction to it. Cillian undertook the scheduled feedings and cleaning, even when he was not assigned to those tasks. Doctor Kamaiya understood and though he also would have given anything to share this special friendship with a kaiju, he was happy that Cillian had finally found a friend of his own who permitted him to tag along in most everything involving the hatchling.

And now, as the rapidly-growing Anguirus basked in the South Seas sun, Cillian leaned beside him, laying his head against its belly as it stretched out on its side in the grass. Looking up at the sky, he watched as a Giant Condor flew overhead. He used to sit outside and watch Rodan swoop past on his way to the coast to fetch dolphins to eat and admired the majesty of Gorosaurus walking across the beach. Baragon would prowl about the rock mass on which the facility was located. And, every once in a great while, Godzilla himself would rise from the sea, so powerful and graceful in his appearance, to check on his adopted son whom Cillian also had taken to.

But those times were gone now. No more would he rest upon the beaches of Monsterland and gaze at and study the awesome creatures as they lived out their daily lives. Ever since the aliens appeared, nothing had been the same and he feared they might never be again. But this - this calming moment with Anguirus, was like a nostalgic trip back to the past, to a time when things seemed so much simpler. Even now, as he rested upon his dear friend, he could sense an emptiness in his surroundings. The lack of kaiju roaming about in the distance was all too evident and this distressed Cillian.

He turned his head to look upon the face of his companion. So peacefully he slept in the sun, breathing gently and unmoving that tears welled up the man's eyes. That he was able to enjoy a peaceful siesta while the world around him seemed to be collapsing into confusion gave the feeling that he was on another planet.

Although Cillian worried about the outcome of mankind's dealings with the aliens, this was a world he did not wish to leave. This was his moment. Out of an entire planet full of people, this was his turn to be at peace. With a deep sigh, he continued to enjoy it as much as he could.

Biollante

The ocean churned violently and a great maelstrom of water burst into the air, causing a colossal wave to slam upon the shoreline of what remained of Akita. A red glow seemed to emanate from it which gave the scene an eerie feeling. Suddenly, a dark, horrific roar trumpeted across the frigid air. It echoed out from the coast and frightened animals screamed in fear. Finally, the giant water spout subsided and the mangled body of Death Ghidorah stood in the deep harbor.

His wings were literally shredded from the battle that had taken place, his carapace singed and mauled as well. The archaic demon grew so angry, he wanted to make his foes suffer for the torment they had brought upon him. He waded ashore and shook the water off his body. No more than a minute passed before something burst forth from the sandy beach and wrapped around his legs. Death Ghidorah roared defiantly as he tried to stomp on the mysterious rope-like thing. Suddenly, a massive form rose up and stood looking down upon the demon. It was Biollante, who had been waiting for the perfect moment to strike against her weakened enemy once again. Death Ghidorah, however, was now under the control of Gudis, which undoubtedly made him a lot more powerful than he originally was.

Death Ghidorah angrily bit onto the tendril and ripped it in two, causing a green sappy blood to flow. Biollante roared in anger, sending more of her menacing toothed vines at him. Viciously, Death Ghidorah swatted each away or bit into them, shredding them into a pulpy mess. She soon grew sick of this celestial beast and reached forward, biting into his chest and sinking her long piercing teeth into his flesh. The more Death Ghidorah flailed around, the tighter her grip became. The mystic plant monster began to glow brightly and Death Ghidorah could feel an intense shock of energy searing through his body as sparks and smoke exploded into the air.

Finally, Biollante released the fiend. His body was so weakened from the shock that he collapsed onto the moist ground near the planet spirit's roots. She threw her head back and roared as if chuckling at the demon who imagined he could ravage the planet which she guarded. Biollante opened her mouth and spat a blob of radioactive sap at his body. The three-headed terror writhed in agony as the acid ate away at his flesh. However, he rose as quickly as he had fallen, forcing Biollante to rear back in surprise.

Death Ghidorah mauled Biollante's neck as she reared her head back and roared in agony. He tore away vines and clumps of flesh, smearing a sappy mess all over his mouths. All this did was irritate Biollante who flung spear-like vines into his body. For a moment, Death Ghidorah writhed from the pain but soon blasted them to pieces.

The Spirit of the Earth grew very angry at her defiant nemesis and backed away, raising her head into the air and roaring. Her eyes began to glow a bright red as the Moon disappeared under a thick blanket of opaque clouds. Biollante concentrated her attention until out of the sky came a crackling bolt of lightning which slammed into Death Ghidorah's back, tossing him to the ground. She roared once again as if laughing at the torment she was inflicting upon her arch enemy. More arcs lanced at the ancient dragon's carapace, forcing him to cry out in agony.

This did not stop him as Death Ghidorah's master would find a way to subdue this enemy. An order came to the demon's mind. He rose up and blasted a colossal flame from his center mouth that enveloped Biollante's entire face. Explosions erupted across her body, causing pieces of flesh-like plant material to fly everywhere and smearing a mess on the ground below. A terrible bellow issued forth as more of her body was destroyed by Death Ghidorah's attack.

The faint beating of wings could be heard as Mothra glided through the clouds. Her antennae twitched as she sensed a terrible disturbance and the terrible cries of Biollante who was in immense pain. As Death Ghidorah tormented his enemy, the planet itself seemed to cringe. A huge thunderstorm hung over the ruins of Akita which was but a few kilometers away. Mothra's furious cry swept across the planet as she flew overhead. She shouted angered words in her ancient dialect which her enemy would most likely recognize. However, this wasn't directed at Death Ghidorah but another creature that prowled the planet, the one responsible for the release of the demon.

Your raid will not last here, Gudis! Like my ancestors, I shall drive you away. Your defeat is inevitable! Mothra shouted as she headed toward Akita to aid her ally. Death Ghidorah snarled hatefully as he continued to tear at Biollante's chest. Luckily, she managed to reach forward and bite into one of his slithering necks. The demon struggled in her grasp but she continued pulling. A piece of the appendage gave way and before Death Ghidorah knew it, she had ripped a sickening wound that bled terribly. Biollante spat acid into the irritation, causing it to sizzle from the caustic liquid. With pain and anger searing his blood, Death Ghidorah released a blast of lava from his three mouths simultaneously and again, Biollante's flesh exploded where the terrible blasts struck.

Suddenly, three rainbow-hued beams lanced out of the sky and slammed into his side, pushing him away from Biollante. To the dragon's surprise, Mothra Virgo glided through the air. None of her previous wounds were evident, due to Biollante's healing powers which she had used on her.

Death Ghidorah hissed malevolently at the deity as her presence seemed to cast a ray of purity about her. Defiantly, the dragon released blasts of lava gout beams which Mothra easily dodged. Her aerial abilities were very accurate, as well as being one of the fastest kaiju. Quicker than Death Ghidorah could follow, she streaked through the air and body-slammed him, forcing the terror to collapse onto the wet sand. Again he managed to raise up, so angry that he seemed to glow red with his seething fury.

Mothra did not show any fear as she flew high over the battlefield. Energy streaked through her wings and gathered into a glowing ball amid her six legs. Suddenly, she released a very potent sapphire beam from her chest region. When the blast hit Death Ghidorah, the intense kinetic and explosive force flung him backwards onto a plateau, causing it to collapse and send intense tremors through the ground.

Death Ghidorah was dazed by the attack which allowed Mothra to swoop in for another. She zoomed past the demon, slashing his side with her wing and then flew high into the air. He lifted his body out of the rubble and trumpeted low snarling roars. Mothra responded with a screech of her own and flew down to grab onto his heads and slash them with her claws. Electrical discharges danced from her wings which also battered the monster's body. Shimmering scales floated down as she continued to briskly flap her wings. Before Ghidorah knew it, he was smothered in them.

Biollante opened her eyes weakly and could see Mothra defending her. This was so amazing as the Earth spirit did not know how much Mothra actually loved the planet. Quickly, she regenerated her wounds in order to assist her as Mothra continued to blanket Death Ghidorah in a cloud of scales. The demon roared in agony as they got into his wounds, stinging severely. In a tremendous blaze of hatred, he released all three of his lava blasts.

The scales reacted with their heat and the explosion was so great that it enveloped both kaiju, slamming them to the ground. Mothra writhed in agony as she fluttered in the rubble. Death Ghidorah got back to his feet and galloped toward the fallen insect. Constant blasts of lava rays bombarded her body, sending smoke and explosions streaking into the darkened air. Her squeal of anguish seemed to fuel Death Ghidorah's malice as he yearned to destroy this enemy he had had to deal with for millions of years. Mothra tried to evade his attacks by flying but he caught her, biting onto her wings and body. He sadistically tore pieces away and spat them out as he watched the insect collapse onto the ground. Mothra could feel her life dwindling. No matter what happens she thought, Gudis must be prevented from doing any more damage with his puppet

*****

On Infant Island, Moll gasped as she sensed Mothra's dwindling life signs. She could not believe that this terror was coming to pass. It was overwhelming to the tiny avatars.

"Damn that Gudis!" hollered Belvera.

"There is only one way we can defeat Death Ghidorah," explained Moll. "Battra and Mothra must combine their powers. Battra is already weak from his last confrontation and Mothra is getting weaker as we speak." Lora gazed fearfully at Zirkon who was equally stunned by what was happening. Her fear could be felt by him.

Do not worry, Lora he assured her telepathically. I trust Moll's wisdom and you must do likewise. If Mothra and Battra fuse, then they would be a powerful force to be reckoned with Lora smiled and glanced up at the one who loved her so. Moll and Belvera stood by one another and were discussing what to do with Terius and Oberon who reluctantly agreed to allow Mothra and Battra to fuse.

"Alas, we do not know how to bring their powers together," Oberon admitted.

"We'll use the Elias Triangle. It will supply enough power in order for us to do so."

"So you have a plan?" Terius arrogantly wondered.

"Yes, we do!" Belvera snickered as she smiled sarcastically. Lora and Zirkon listened briefly to their conversation, a gleam of hope painting their faces. Moll's plan just might work. However, it would take time and patience to do so. Also, it could be very dangerous for them all.

The six small fairies climbed onto the Elias' steeds and took off, leaving Mothra's Temple which was now haunted by the quiet, lurking evil that plagued the planet.




Chapter Ten: ON THE HOME FRONT

San Francisco

"This is David Mann, reporting live from downtown San Francisco," spoke the image on the television screen. Mann worked for a small news station, KPX Channel 35. Were it not for Mann and his unique charisma, their few viewers would have tuned out years ago.

The mustachioed thirty-five year old, with his trademark sunglasses, held on to those precious viewers who tuned in every night from 7 to 8 P.M. to see how he managed to turn small-time events around The City by the Bay into a comical routine. However, today was not one of those days as he was doing a remote special news bulletin. David Mann, along with hundreds of others, was also running for his life.

The cameraman turned to face down the street where the huge form of Oodako filled his lens. Twice already, a giant octopus had besieged San Francisco. More ironic was the fact that Oodako was the unknowing brother of the previous beast from beneath the sea.

The huge cephalopod latched onto two buildings with two colossal tentacles, then dragged itself along the street. The screams of hundreds were silenced instantly as the giant mass of flesh crushed anyone who happened to be in front of it. Oodako reached out with another tentacle and lifted ten people off the ground, eyed them for a second and raised itself slightly to shove them into its gaping beak. Of course, this did not appease the creature's hunger so it slid forward.

"Ladies and gentlemen," continued Mann. "This creature appeared mere minutes ago and now, hundreds are dead. Oh - oh my God! The giant octopus has just lifted an entire tanker truck off the ground and it seems - oh Jesus, ladies and gentlemen! It's scavenging around in the truck as if trying to pull out an anchovy. Oh, now it's found the driver and, like so many others, this monstrosity is devouring him! Now, as if it were a toy, the octopus has flung the tanker into the side of a building!" The sound of an explosion followed and the already shaky video signal from the camera vanished for a few seconds. When the picture came back on, Mann wasn't reporting but running, not caring in the slightest about getting the story. A hideous roar came from the direction of the bay.

At first, the panicking crowds didn't notice as a hairy, wet King Kong emerged from the water. He reared back his mighty head and roared, his mighty bellows echoing for miles. Then the screams returned as two separate groups of running pedestrians formed up. One ran from Kong and the other from Oodako.

The octopus had its back to the ape as he continued eating people and didn't notice him until electricity surged through its body. It jerked its head in the direction of Kong and saw food, a gigantic source of food! This creature could sustain its ravenous appetite for months. Oodako didn't remember Kong, nor the terrible wounds he had inflicted upon him. All the octopus cared about was food.

Using the same technique it had earlier, it latched its tentacles on two buildings and launched itself forward. Like a child running toward a candy store, Oodako slithered across the city toward its prize. Kong stood where he was as this appeared very amusing to him. He knew he would have no problem tackling this weakling but watching it wallow in complete self-confidence made the ape nearly laugh.

I'll let you have first shot Kong taunted in kaiju-speak. The octopus couldn't possibly understand him but he didn't care. With a mighty exertion, Oodako leaped from the street at the giant ape, spreading its tentacles out like a gargantuan quilt of death. Kong raised a metallic arm and the octopus smacked into it. Instantly, the tentacles wrapped around it and the beak went to work, trying to bite through the metal to the warm flesh beneath. Kong lifted his arm up to eye level and marveled at the stupidity of the creature before smashing it into a building. Surprised that it was still hanging on, Kong began back-handing everything within reach until the octopus fell off.

Oodako gradually pulled itself out of the rubble and with its suckered appendages, began climbing the side of a building. Kong grabbed onto its massive stomach and tugged but the octopus was determined to not let go of its anchorage. He shoved his hands into the beast's air holes and sealed off its only means of breathing. At once, its body shrank as it struggled for air.

Seizing the opportunity, Kong jerked Oodako from the building. The tentacles still gripped pieces of it. He brought the creature closer and sent electricity surging through it. A horrifying scream was all Oodako could manage before it exploded. Chunks flew everywhere as a sticky, light orange goo coated streets, sidewalks and structures. Kong bellowed a victory yell and slung the mass of tentacles into the air. Then, like a target shooter, he hurled a ball of lightning at the heap of flesh, exploding the last remaining vestiges of his enemy.

At first, the people didn't know what to make of their savior. He didn't seem like a threat to them. After all, he had just killed the giant octopus and was just standing there. They stayed quiet behind buildings and cars while mothers held their children back. Every time the ape made a small grunt or turned his head, they would jump in surprise. Then came the few brave souls who approached him. The first was a little girl who couldn't have been more than seven years old. She wore a red dress, had her hair in two blonde ponytails and carried a stuffed bear which she affectionately called William. Her mother ran after her, thinking that Kong was a threat but the ape didn't harm the girl at all. In fact, he didn't even notice her until he felt the slightest of tugs as she hugged the fur on the side of his gargantuan leg. That was when the others followed. They crowded around the giant with words of praise and thanks. They didn't care that he couldn't hear them, nor understand what they were saying for that matter.

Kong looked down at the people of San Francisco. They were so humble, so thankful and it was as if they were treating him like a god. They would be like all the others to come, although they would be bowing down before him for salvation from his vicious wrath. Kong's kind, friendly look quickly disappeared. He snarled and slammed his fist through a building. The last thing his praisers saw was tons of debris crashing down upon them. That was when the American siege began.

For a brief instant, the citizens of San Francisco were speechless. Then reality smacked every last one of them in the face like a ton of bricks. Their screams drowned out the battle cry of Kong as they scattered anywhere they could get to. It was impossible to tell how many were trampled to death by the fleeing mobs. Kong felt like a fat kid in a candy shop. Looking down one street, he aimed at a group of people. He placed his hands so that they formed a triangle, then blasted forth a stream of electricity. Instantly, they were incinerated.

To make matters worse, the call of the MOGERA rang out from the Bay. The clanking of their metal bodies announced six of the metal leviathans walking out of the water in a pyramid formation. With a precision that couldn't be matched, they snapped their arms in front of them. In three steps, they formed a semi-circle with each MOGERA facing a different part of the city. Simultaneously, their pincher hands opened to reveal a gigantic missile stored in each arm. Twelve missiles shot forth, leaving a vapor trail behind them. When they hit, a massive shockwave wracked the city to its very core.

Meanwhile, Kong made his way to the Golden Gate Bridge where vehicles were frantically trying to reach one side or the other. There had already been several collisions and some people had even driven off the great span. Kong grabbed a side of the bridge and began to push it back and forth as if he were rocking a cradle. Tires squealed as drivers tried to accelerate up the steep incline that was being created. The water below was quickly turning into a graveyard of sinking cars and dead bodies. With all his might, Kong gave a shove, sending the bridge swinging to a near ninety degree angle. When it swung back to him, he smashed his two metal fists through it. The beams and suspension couldn't hold the mighty landmark anymore and it collapsed, sending any remaining traffic to the murky depths.

Next to fall was the Transamerica Pyramid. Like penguins diving into the water, each MOGERA boosted itself into the air with its jet propulsion, then dove at the ground and drilled into the earth. Beneath the city, they raced toward their target. Still in formation, they went even farther down and then made a sharp turn north. The ground rumbled as they came closer and closer, finally surfacing underneath and exactly in the middle of the Pyramid. At the very tip of the point of the building was where the first MOGERA's nose drill broke through. Once it was free, its companions followed. When all six machines were in the air, the Transamerica Pyramid resembled a peeled banana.

Three dropped to the ground on their treaded feet and began rolling through the Financial District, blowing up everything in sight with their lasers. The other trio flew through the air like gigantic birds of terror, raining down death from above. They dove through skyscrapers without the least bit of harm to themselves. Lasers from their diamond eyes ripped the pavement from the streets.

Kong was having a field day as well. He would climb a building and when he reached the top, he would punch his fists through the roof. Then he would release huge amounts of electricity into the structure to set it afire. However, there was much of the beautiful city left to be devastated and what had been destroyed was only a demonstration. The Mysterians, Kilaaks and Virans only wanted to give the world a taste of what was in store for it. Now was the time to claim the land in the name of the three great races that made up the Space Force Directive.

Underneath the City by the Bay, the epitome of Mysterian/Xian technology made itself known. At the center of the city, two giant walls burst forth from the ground, not the least bit deterred by cars, buildings or people they crushed as they reached for the sky, expanding outward and then forming two monstrous domes over the center of San Francisco. Four more popped up at other locations.

By 12:33 P.M., San Francisco, California became completely cut off from the rest of the world. No radio or television signal could reach above or beneath the mammoth domes. The American siege had just made itself known in a very big way.

Los Angeles

At 12:43 P.M., there was noise. A constant barrage of sound was all that could be heard throughout the City of Angels. This wasn't the normal city-associated sounds either. The second most populous city in the United States was in a state of emergency.

Television screens across America showed the horror of the attack on San Francisco. They had no choice, really; the alien invaders had somehow hacked into every television and radio broadcast and forced their message on their astonished audience.

As the great domes closed over the city, the scene switched to a seated, red-hooded figure. Behind him stood another humanoid and an odd tentacled creature. The one in red spoke into the cameras and microphones arranged for his convenience.

"Greetings, people of America. What you have just witnessed was indeed our work and certainly not the achievement of any of your pathetic human enemies.

"I am Lord Koban, ruler of the Mysterians. To my left is Ken'trus of the Xians and to my right, Master C'seris, the Viran Commander and Captain of the Azag-Thoth. It was our combined might that you just saw demonstrated and it is our combined might that will take over the United States of America. Resist us and you will die. Bow before us and you will be saved. There is no alternative. We will slaughter our way across the land until we reach your nation's capital. There, we hope your President will have a nice little talk with us about giving over your country for our needs.

"If any negotiations are to be offered before we reach our intended destination, I suggest you let us know. All hostility against us will be destroyed in the same manner as we have just demonstrated. The Space Force Directive is in control now."

Television screens and radios would broadcast this message for the next twelve hours. And when the feed was discontinued, every single channel and frequency devoted itself to reporting on it, despite the fact that everyone knew its source and content.

*****

In Washington, the President was in a state of utter shock. Immediately, fighter planes were sent to California to combat the Directive. They were never heard from again. Any place the mighty army and air force went, no news came out of that area, either from the military or the local media. All that could be determined was information on their headings and even that was often sketchy due to security concerns.

Finally, it was noticed that the Directive was moving south from San Francisco. The President ordered everyone in southern California evacuated. It was a long shot but what else could he do, just stand by and watch people die? In the fear and panic of the moment, nobody noticed the Directive's true plans until it was far too late. They were simply going to take over Los Angeles anyway.

*****

The news spread like wildfire across the state. National Guard troops were immediately sent to areas that had not been invaded yet. Some made the fatal mistake of venturing into ones that had already been captured. There was no telling how many soldiers were rushing people out of Los Angeles but it certainly wasn't enough to help the million-plus citizens.

In some areas of the city, there were riots, pillaging, carnage and death. The police stopped trying to preserve order after a while and some even joined in on the destruction. Cars and vehicular traffic was almost immediately brought to a complete halt by its sheer volume. The luckiest ones were those who decided to get out on foot.

Entire families, most carrying just the clothes on their backs, fled the city as fast as possible. Cruise ships and commercial airlines offered free transportation away from the metropolis. However, all these efforts were not fast enough, not by a long shot. These attempts to save people were actually trapping masses of humanity. Whatever plans that were conceived didn't matter when, atop the Hollywood Hills, a war cry echoed over the City of Los Angeles, signaling that the Space Force Directive had arrived.

The hulking monstrosity that was King Kong stood above the Hollywood sign, eyeing Los Angeles below as if it were a gold mine. He raised his arms toward the sky and bellowed into the air as Mysterian ships and MOGERAs flew by high above him. With one swipe, he destroyed the HOLLYWOOD letters and headed for the heart of Los Angeles. The troops stationed there were overwhelmed as total chaos erupted amongst the thousands of panicking people. Cars crashed, property was trashed and somebody was dying every second from being caught under the fleeing multitude of feet. It was truly Hell on Earth.

Electricity crackled across Kong's fingers. From each one shot a constant flow of energy that destroyed property as if it were cardboard. People caught in these electric tendrils could only let out a scream before their bodies exploded into millions of pieces.

Sing, my children! Kong bellowed. SING FOR ME! He drove a hard punch straight into the ground that sent out a shockwave, uplifting the pavement, cars on the roadway and crumbling the foundations of buildings. Finding pleasure in his little trick, he leaped into the air and brought both of his great fists crashing into the ground.

In the air above, a squadron of F-18s raced toward the oncoming forces.

"All units fire at will. I repeat, FIRE AT WILL!" ordered the commanding officer over the radio. The jets flew down below the clouds and toward a group of MOGERAs, firing their missiles at the titanic mechs. The most the projectiles did was leave a blast mark on their metal hides and alert them of their presence. The MOGERAs' heads snapped in the direction of their attackers and each computer brain assessed the F-18s before igniting their jet boosters and chasing after them. Some pilots fled while others stayed behind and fired off their entire weapons payloads. They were treated to a stream of eye lasers that exploded the aircraft on contact.

But the MOGERAs weren't finished yet. Kicking their jet boosters into high gear, they followed the fleeing jets and in no time, they were on their tails. Half the pilots veered higher into the sky while the others went lower toward the ground. They headed straight for the skyscrapers, dodging among them by mere inches. The MOGERAs were undeterred and crashed right through the structures in pursuit of them. Some jets couldn't turn in time and flew into the sides of buildings. A few made it out of the maze, only to have a MOGERA come up under them and blow the aircraft up against their metal bodies.

The remaining planes that had fled into the sky suddenly found themselves alone. Sensing no danger, they headed back toward the city. However, they had underestimated their adversaries who came from their hiding places in the clouds and blasted them out of the sky.

*****

In the city, Mysterian space ships shot their lasers at the running pedestrians and buildings. Kong stomped down the Sunset Strip, incinerating everything in sight. He created a whip of electricity and slashed it across the area in front of him, sending dirt and debris flying into the air above the explosions. MOGERAs methodically laid waste to downtown L.A.

At the docks, people were frantically trying to get aboard departing boats. Suddenly, a MOGERA rose up out of the water in front of one ship. The captain ordered a hard left turn before the vessel crashed into the robot. It lifted the huge vessel out of the water and flipped it over.

Kong tore his way through one tall building after another. He would rip pieces off, raise them above his head and then throw them down on the fleeing, panicked citizens. Before he could demolish another one, a shot came out of the air and blew his chunk of metal to pieces. Kong's attention instantly turned to the direction of the blast. Hovering in the air behind him loomed Battra.

Ah, good! Kong declared with delight. A fight

I've come to destroy you once and for all! Battra roared.

Wait a minute... I know that voice. Yes, it is you, the worm that I beat to a bloody pulp! I must admit, I am surprised you're still alive. My, how you've changed, worm! Tell me - how is that scar of yours? Battra glanced behind him at the deep mark left from Kong slicing his exoskeleton apart. Even though he had gone through his metamorphosis, the scar still remained.

It's still there. And I expect to repay you for it

Oh, come now, worm! Revenge isn't a trait associated with heroism

Who said I was fighting you to be a hero?

You seem confident in yourself, worm. I'm going to enjoy taking you down a notch Kong cocked his hand and fired a ball of electricity at Battra. The Black Mothra leaped out of the way as it blasted through a building. He then rammed Kong and latching his feet onto his head, Battra proceeded to drag the mighty ape across the ground. He sped up faster and faster until he became airborne. Battra then made a sharp turn upwards, heading straight for the sky. Higher and higher he climbed until oxygen was becoming dangerously scarce. Then he did a hard right and went into a dive, right for the ground. An ear-piercing sonic whir announced their return to the lower atmosphere. Two thousand feet above the surface of the Earth, Battra slung the giant beast with all his might and veered off. Head first, Kong hit the ground like a ton of bricks. A massive impact crater nearly a mile wide caved the ground in on itself. The shockwave was felt across the entirety of Los Angeles.

Having noticed that Battra was indeed a threat, the MOGERAs went on the offensive. Like with the fighter planes, they chased the insect across the sky. Battra tried numerous aerial tricks to dodge their laser fire but none were working too well. Once again, he went plummeting for the ground. He swerved and missed by mere feet. With amazing velocity, he turned and launched himself away as the pursuing MOGERAs crashed into the ground. Nevertheless, the robots had not left this move uncalculated. The ones that hit drilled deep into the earth. The others followed their predetermined course after the Black Moth. To their surprise, it was nowhere to be found. Baffled, they scanned the area in different modes.

I'm sorry... Were you looking for me? came a kaiju voice from behind them. The robots turned their heads as Battra blasted his ionic prism beam right through them. In spite of this, his moment of triumph was short-lived as the drilling MOGERAs burst forth from the ground and crashed right into the hovering insect. One after the other, they landed painful blows. The battering was sending him higher and higher into the air and so fast that Battra had no idea what was happening until he felt gravity pull him back to Earth. The MOGERAs weren't going to let him leave without a final present. Each pincher hand opened and sent forth a missile. Battra opened his eyes and saw them coming.

Sweet Mother of Gaia... he muttered just before the projectiles detonated across his black hide. Battra shrieked in anguish as he became a living fireball. Beneath the flames, the insect painfully turned his head and saw the target he was heading for. Standing in his crater with the biggest of smiles upon his face was King Kong. NO! PLEASE NO! The electricity went through his mighty arms and released a whip-like beam straight at Battra. Upon impact, the mammoth insect spiraled off into the harbor. A tidal wave raised the remaining ships out of the water and flooded the immediate area.

The MOGERAs and even Mysterian ships crowded on the shore and in the air where Battra had sunk beneath the waves. Kong pushed his way through to get his own look. The bubbles signaling Battra's breathing had now all but diminished. He faced Los Angeles and pointed in the direction of the dying bubbles.

DO YOU SEE, MY CHILDREN? DO YOU SEE MY POWER? NOTHING CAN DEFEAT MY POWER. NOTHING! NOW YOU KNOW WHO YOUR TRUE GOD -

SLAM!!! The sound of ionic prism beams bursting from the water and hitting the air blasted across the waves. They took out numerous MOGERAs and space ships as they sought their target on Kong's back. The impact from the blast was tremendous and sent the ape head over heels across the city. Kong stopped rolling at the foot of a massive tower that collapsed right on top of him. At once, MOGERAs and Mysterian battle craft fired their lasers at where the beams had come from. The commanding officer ordered a cease fire and silence prevailed.

Not a single trace of the titanic insect surfaced as they watched but out of nowhere, a MOGERA's head was blown completely off and its body fell into the water in a shower of sparks. All of the mechs' heads were directed skyward as Battra loomed over them against the sun. He had managed to fly out of the water as his point of impact was being attacked. Across his body were massive burns and the beautiful red and yellow coloring of his hide was now nearly black.

Laser and missile fire trailed him as he sped through the sky. There was no way he could destroy the entire Mysterian army nor did he care to. All Battra wanted was Kong. As if in answer his challenge, bolts of electricity shot forth from the pile of debris the giant ape was buried in. Battra swooped past him as the artillery that was trailing him blasted their ally. Kong punished a few who fired upon him with a blast of electricity. With his hand, he motioned for the army to stop shooting. This was one enemy whose death he wished to accomplish himself.

Battra came in for another attack, firing ionic prism beams down on Kong like hail. He was lucky to deflect the few he did but the insect was relentless in its attack. Getting his timing more precise, Kong unleashed a horde of electric rays on the underbelly of his foe as Battra flew over him. Doing a complete front flip in the air, Battra launched himself at Kong while upside down and ran smack into him. His horns dug deep into the ape's side as he plowed Kong through buildings as if he were a battering ram. With a mighty roar filled with pain and rage, Kong dug his feet into the ground hard. Slowly but surely, Battra was losing speed under the great ape's strength. When he had gotten to a slow enough pace, Kong grabbed a hold of the moth and ripped him out of his side and then threw him over his shoulder. With Battra's head in his arms, both crashed down on a massive freeway interchange. Pieces of the roadways and dust went up in the air in a giant shower of debris. Beneath the cloud, Kong slowly rose to his feet, electricity shining brightly across his hands. Battra tried to turn so as to face Kong to shoot him with a prism beam when a shock went through his body.

It seems you do have some fight left in you after all. Oh, well... Looks like I will have to shock it out of you... Another wave of electricity surged through Battra. I must admit that flying enemies are always the toughest to beat He hit the Black Moth with another blast. But compared to me, you'll always be a pathetic, BLAST! insignificant BLAST!! little BLAST!!! WORM!

Slowlyy, Battra had eased his way over the top of a very long, sharp piece of debris. Before Kong released his death blow, the insect leaped into the air and jabbed the great beam clean through Kong lower shoulder.

So sorry to interrupt your speech, oh great one, but I'm not finished yet he hissed in the ape's ear. Battra swatted Kong to the side with his wing and circled around in the air for another attack. Suddenly, he halted in mid-air. In his mind, he sensed something. Something that meant danger.

Mothra! She was in terrible peril. She was in Japan and she needed his help immediately. The insect looked down at Kong who was easing the shard from his shoulder. Cursing in kaiju speak, Battra turned to fly across the Pacific.

Hear me! he roared to Kong. This is far from over! We shall meet again soon. Wherever you go, I will find and destroy you. You may slay hundreds or even thousands but never forget that I, Battra, will always be there to lay the final blow upon you! Kong snapped around just as Battra took off into the sky. He fired two bolts of electricity but the moth dodged them as he soared off into the clouds and out of sight.

COWARD! Kong roared. I WILL BE WAITING ON THE DAY YOU DECIDE TO CHALLENGE MY POWER AGAIN! He let out a grunt of frustration and turned toward the objective that lay before the Space Force Directive. Los Angeles was a complete wreck. Any more damage would be taken care of by the dome units. The MOGERAs and space ships rose into the air as massive domes once again enshrouded the dead, dying and wounded of a once great American city.

Nebulan Reaction

At the Nebulan's base, Fumio stood with one arm crossed in front of himself and the other propped upon it as the thumb and index finger of his right hand cupped his chin. The expression he was wearing was grim as he watched footage of the invasion force moving through Los Angeles, laying waste to whatever stood before them. Kabota soon stepped over beside him.

"So the Mysterians have finally shown their hand," Fumio muttered in a disgruntled tone.

"Indeed. And along with the Xians and the Virans, no less," Kabota added. "Am I to assume that our plans will have to change again, Chairman?"

"Possibly, but I want to see what the response is by the United World Powers first. I am sure that their assistance will be sought in this matter, seeing how the American humans are now ill-equipped to deal with things such as this. I find it interesting that they have not learned from their own human history that a strong defense is the best offense."

"They also seem to believe they are the best and strongest nation of their species, not wishing to accept the fact that there are others in the universe much better versed in the ways of survival," Kabota remarked with an evil grin.

"Indeed," Fumio smiled.

"Are you pondering something, sir?"

"Yes."

"What did you have in mind?"

"Why deplete our own manpower and resources when we can let our so-called allies bear the brunt of this attack? Let the rest of the Earth alliance fight this battle themselves and allow the warring factions to batter and weaken one another."

"Shall we lay low and let everyone else combat one another?"

"It is one option, or if nothing else, we can always wipe out the UWP ourselves and then use what we salvage from them, along with our own technology, to deal with the Directive and anyone else that stands in our way. But for now, let us take one step at a time and just bear witness to what unfolds."

"Then we'll move in on whoever the survivors may be," Kabota chimed in with an inquisitive grin.

"Precisely."

"And if our assistance is requested?"

"Nothing that a communications blackout can't fix," Fumio grinned.

"What of the planned UWP offensive against the Gudis?"

"I am hoping that will proceed without any undue complications. We will implement our plans for our so-called allies afterward."

"What about the Kilaaks?"

"I am not concerned with them. They have enough to worry about with King Ghidorah rebelling as it is. Their own warhorse will more than likely be the end of them."

"Very good. So our plans will go forward as scheduled then, Chairman?"

"Perhaps an acceleration of Plan Number 7 is in order, simply to prepare ourselves if nothing else."

"You mean Seatopia?"

"Yes, Kabota. Make the necessary adjustments."

"Yes, Chairman."

Spirit Mothra

At the ruins of Akita, the sky was covered with a thick blanket of clouds, smoke and dust. Despite the fact that it was now daytime, it appeared to be as dark as night. Mothra Virgo panted from her intense brawling with Death Ghidorah who was also exhausted from their violent fight. His necks slithered around, awaiting his enemy's next move.

Mothra managed to muster enough strength to fly into the air, despite her injuries from being smote against the ground. Showing no mercy, Death Ghidorah released a barrage of fiery gout, some of which managed to hit her, burning through her once-beautiful wings. The insect squealed in agony as she flopped back to the ground. Smoke rose from her body as Death Ghidorah advanced toward her.

The Elias witnessed this and gasped nervously as they watched the demonic dragon. Doom was painted across their faces and even Belvera grew rigid at the sight.

"Mothra, get up and fly away!" cried Lora, gripping Moll's shoulder nervously.

"Death Ghidorah, stay away from her!" Moll shouted as she stood upon Fairy. The other Elias and the Doubijin turned toward her with surprise filling their eyes.

"Your evil reign here has ended! Take yourself away from this planet at once, Death Ghidorah," she muttered. "Or perhaps I should address Gudis, the creature who is actually Death Ghidorah's master. I now address you! You think you can take over this planet? How arrogant of you! Arrogance will bring your demise quicker than you believe, for you underestimate the power of this planet and its life forms. True, you are powerful but every power has its limits and you are no doubt in that category!" Lora stared at Moll in amazement. She had wisdom that was so powerful that it gave her insight into what actions to take and how to take them. The wise woman also possessed the love to protect her planet and the courage to stand up against evil and address it face to face. Moll closed her eyes and waited for an answer from the terrible infestation. She heard an eerie, evil voice echoing in her head.

You are brave, tiny Earth creature, but that will not allow you to defeat me! Humanity, the Elias and Mothra will fall to my power. Your untimely destruction is inevitable! Moll clenched her fists angrily at Gudis' response.

"We will resist you with every last ounce of strength we possess! We will prevail against you as we did so many millions of years ago. Do you grow old and forgetful, Gudis? Or do you ignore the fact that you can not absorb Mothra or her energy? Mothra and the Elias will stand against you! Even if we lose, we will make your victory taste as bitter as defeat!" Moll focused her concentration, attempting to listen for a response from Gudis but she didn't receive any. She must have stricken curiosity and doubt within the terrible mutation's heart of stone and death.

"Coward! He uses puppets and his mind control abilities to do his dirty work," muttered Moll sarcastically. Suddenly, everyone's attention was attracted toward the battlefield by the quaking cry of Biollante who was re-entering the confrontation. Her giant body lifted its roots and bulldozed its way toward Death Ghidorah who was turning around to watch the Earth Spirit. Out of nowhere, several tendrils gripped his legs and pulled with great strength, causing him to topple over onto his side. The three-headed dragon quickly amputated the vines with his mouths and tossed their remains back at Biollante.

While this was taking place, Mothra managed to get up and grasp onto Death Ghidorah's tail. With all her might, the insect fanned her wings at amazing speed and managed to hoist him off the ground, swing around and throw his bulk into a mountainside. Soil and rock tumbled down and enveloped Death Ghidorah's entire body. Unfortunately, that merely bruised and scratched him, for he burst from the debris and jumped back into the battle.

To prevent Biollante from intervening, he sent out a powerful shockwave that slammed into her. Since her roots were not embedded, it knocked her over, causing a great thud to echo across the area. Immediately, multiple blasts of energy tore into Death Ghidorah's back, causing explosions and smoke to shimmer in the air. He swung around and found Mothra diving down towards him. Instead of crashing into him, she confronted the dragon and slashed at his faces with her claws.

This surprised Death Ghidorah. He had no idea that this much strength and violence could come from an insect. He didn't take too much time to think about it and bit into one of Mothra's writhing legs and viciously tugged on the appendage to tear it from her body. Mothra squealed in immense agony as greenish blood spurted from the wound. The deity could feel her body weakening exponentially, however this did not halt her determination. She persisted in her attack and dug her claws deep into Death Ghidorah's center face, managing to completely claw both of the eyes out and forcing him to wail in intense pain and hatred while backing away.

Mothra raised her bloody claws and screeched angrily. She immediately flew at Death Ghidorah who tried to retreat but could not as she placed her mandibles around one of his cranial horns and tugged at it violently. The bone gave way and shattered. More blood spouted from the demon's body as the wound from his missing horn widened. Suddenly, in one quick surge of energy, both monsters released blasts at each other simultaneously. Mothra's triple forehead beams and Death Ghidorah's trio of lava gout rays interlocked in mid-air. A great explosion erupted in the crisp air with such force that it threw both monsters backward several hundred meters. Even Biollante, who was behind Death Ghidorah, felt the destructive effects. The Elias and Doubijin screamed fearfully as the great shockwave hit the air. They struggled to hold onto their steeds until the turbulence finally subsided.

"Where's Mothra? Is she okay?" hollered Lora as she re-seated herself on Fairy.

"Yes, she's still alive but just barely. Biollante's in pretty bad condition as well," Moll assured her.

"Death Ghidorah looks quite famished. That is a good thing, though," noted Belvera with a hint of courage in her voice. As the Elias exchanged notes about how the battle was proceeding, Zirkon turned to concentrate his gaze upon the far eastern horizon. He could feel a familiar presence coming to assist Mothra and Biollante. It was no doubt Battra.

"Battra!" he cried with relief resonating in his voice.

"He has flown all the way from America! Mothra must have called to him telepathically," Oberon added as he put his hand on Terius' shoulder with great hope in his eyes. The winged avenger slowly flew by them and hovered over Death Ghidorah's resting place. He then swooped down and bombarded the dragon with his prism rays. Explosions erupted and Death Ghidorah barely managed to gather enough strength to roar out in pain. Quickly, Battra slammed his body into the dragons'. As he continued to crash on top of him, Battra panted as he was very weak from his battles and speedy journey to Japan. This was just enough to allow Death Ghidorah to subdue him.

The demon threw the Black Moth away from him and before Battra could retaliate, Death Ghidorah concentrated all of his lava beams into one great energy blast aimed at the insect. Its power was so great that Battra was completely incinerated by the intense fire and explosion. As the smoke cleared, all that remained of him were tiny particles of bright crimson energy. The lepidopteron's angry roar of retribution could be heard echoing out of existence. Despite the fact that Battra's body was decimated, his spirit remained as powerful as ever.

"Battra..." the Doubijin muttered in horror as they watched Death Ghidorah gloat over his victory.

"This is not the end! Did you three forget our plan?" Moll reminded them. Their faces brightened in recollection. "We have only one last resort. If this does not work, then the world is doomed." Moll and Lora stood upon Fairy and glanced at Belvera who remained as grouchy as ever and remained sitting. "Belvera, we need you. I know that you hate singing but frankly, I don't care at the moment. You are part of the Elias Triangle and Mothra requires your support." Belvera groaned that she had never really sang before in her life and only hoped that it would help Mothra.

As the Elias prepared to sing Mothra's song, the Doubijin joined hands and chanted Battra's name in their ancient dialect. The Elias took their hands and joined them, forming a triangle amongst themselves as they began to sing.

Mahara Mothra
MOSURA... MOSURA...

Mosura ya Mosura
Doungan kasakuyan
Indou muu
Rusuto uiraadoa
Hamba hambamuyan
Randa banunradan
Tounjukanraa
Kasaku yaanmu!
Moll and Lora turned and smiled at Belvera who very beautifully harmonized with their voices. She smiled and glanced down at the battlefield. The Elias and Doubijin were glowing so brightly that a ray of incandescence was cast upon the entire area, like a great star shining in the heavens. Belvera courageously prepared to sing the second chorus of the song.

Mothra's theme echoed across the sky and resonated around the world, giving hope to all who heard it. Somehow, the mysterious powers of the Elias Triangle allowed this, informing everyone that Mothra was not defeated and that she was going to once again stand against evil.

After the song had faded away, Mothra rose into the air. Both her and Battra's spirits flew at each other and merged. A bright light shimmered across the area, blinding Death Ghidorah's dark evil eyes. When the luminescence diminished, an entirely new Mothra stood in Mothra Virgo's place. This Mothra had both the features of Battra and Virgo. Her wings and body had darkened to a grayish-charcoal color and Mothra's usual markings, as well as some of Battra's, painted her wings. Her beautiful sapphire eyes had transformed into a peculiar purple hue. The insect's even larger body hovered above Death Ghidorah and a bright yellow energy field shimmered around her as she released a low guttural screech.

"Spirit Mothra..." muttered Moll as this new Mothra's beauty glistened in her eyes when she turned to smile at Lora who was confused but then realized that this was the new Mothra's sub-name. Hope thrilled the tiny fairies and they were confident that Death Ghidorah could now be overcome.

Mothra flew high into the darkened clouds and then jolted back downward. She slammed into Death Ghidorah's body at Mach 17, which was so forceful that it flung him onto the ground. This Mothra was so fast that his remaining eyes could not keep up with her. He then used the mental powers that Gudis had granted him to remain calm and sensed Mothra's presence lurking nearby. Death Ghidorah quickly swung around and bit into her neck and tore at her flesh. This surprised the insect as she had no idea that Death Ghidorah still had this much resistance in him.

Ever more viciously he ripped at her. Blood squirted out of her wounds and Mothra released a screech that sounded like a combination of Virgo's voice and Battra's. Instantly, energy crackled within her wings. Two electrical forms of energy streaked down and gathered into a sizzling ball in front of her face. Suddenly, a spiraling surge known as the Spirit Blast burst forth. The beam slammed into Death Ghidorah's chest with such force that it penetrated his body and came out his back. Chunks of his body and innards exploded as it sliced through his body. A blood-chilling squeal came from the demon as he collapsed to the ground. A great spasm of pain erupted in his body as all his organs instantly shut down. At long last, the terrible beast that threatened the world was dead.

*****

Professor Erickson flew over the battlefield in a helicopter, monitoring the closure of the historic battle. He was in absolute awe, despite his intense study of Mothra. He did not realize that she could possess this much power.

"Erickson to Japanese Defense Force Headquarters. Mothra is victorious. Death Ghidorah is dead," he reported.

"What is the state of Akita?" the radio operator inquired. He glanced out the window at the smoldering remains of the city.

"Akita is completely destroyed. The city is unsalvageable," he replied and signed off. "Take me back to my lab. I have work to do. I must complete my experiment," he directed.

*****

Mothra flew down and hovered above Biollante who was still lying on the ground, pretty much in a lifeless state. Her eyes opened and she faintly saw the insect's new version.

Well done, my sister. You have defeated him Biollante faintly congratulated her. I see you are okay. What has happened to Battra? I managed to see him fly in. Is he dead?

No Mothra replied with assurance. Battra lives within me. He has fused with me

Leave me. I am wasting your time, my friend. Go and protect the world. My assistance is now complete, for I am dying choked Biollante as she turned her head away from the insect goddess' gaze.

Nonsense! You will live on within me. I am giving you the choice. You can either go back to the Earth as a whole or intrust part of your spirit to live on in me Biollante pondered for a moment and then gave Mothra a slight smile.

If it will be of assistance to you, then I shall enstore some of my spirit within you Mothra nodded and landed on top of Biollante's battered body. Both kaiju began to glow and soon, one monster remained within the luminescence. Biollante's spores floated around Mothra and entered her body. An even brighter light flashed, her wings extended and her antennae became longer and more feathery. When the light diminished, Mothra's body was altered even more. Now she resembled more of Biollante's green color, mixed in with Battra and Mothra Virgo's characteristics. As promised, part of Biollante's spirit went back into the Earth and the other half was kept within the new Mothra.

"Queen Mothra," Moll whispered as she bowed her head respectfully. One by one, the Doubijin and Elias did likewise. Their guardians were fused as one, finally reuniting the Elias and Doubijin. It was complete. Suddenly, Belvera fell over and collapsed into Oberon's arms. She was out cold and lifeless.

"Belvera!" cried Lora as both Fairy and Garu Garu landed, allowing Moll and her sister to help her. As Moll went to check her pulse, the mysterious dark woman rose from Oberon's lap and gazed into her eyes. Belvera wore a demonic smile on her face and her pupils were dilated and red.

"Belvera, are you okay?" Suddenly, she jumped off Garu Garu and preformed several flips in mid-air, landing behind Moll. She pulled out her sword and inserted her Pendant of Courage into the handle. A purple aura formed around it and Belvera assumed an attack position.

"Everyone stand back! She is possessed by the Gudis once again. I can feel it!" hollered Moll. The Fairy of Wisdom pulled her own sword and inserted her triangular pendant. Both women engaged in combat, their weapons striking one another violently, releasing a loud clang of metal. Moll did a back flip and landed on a rock above Belvera and jumped down swiftly, slamming into her sister's side and tossing her backward into the dirt. Belvera quickly recovered and charged at Moll with her sword. Luckily, before being pierced, Moll used her blade to block the thrust.

"Foolish fairy! You will not stand a chance against me..." said Gudis through Belvera.

"Release her!" demanded Moll as she threw her sword to the ground. "I will not kill my own sister!"

"Very well... We can play this game, pathetic one." Belvera then threw her sword aside as well. She stood up and laughed malignantly, which seemed to contain a bit of Gudis' evil cackle. "Now you will feel my true power!" Belvera's eyes shined brightly and suddenly, energy blasts burst forth. Moll was slow to react and the two kinetic blasts slammed into her abdomen, smiting her into a rock behind her.

"Moll!" cried Lora as she prepared her sword to battle Belvera. The demonic woman turned around at the sound of her younger sister's fearful cry.

"You will no doubt be a pushover, young one..." chuckled Gudis.

"I'll show you 'pushover'!" shouted Lora as she jumped at Belvera and slammed her boot into her face. Belvera tumbled across the dusty landscape and hit a piece of broken concrete. Zirkon nervously glanced over at Oberon and Terius.

"Are we going to help them?" he angrily asked.

"This is a problem having to do with the Elias. It is not of our concern," Terius mumbled as he walked away from the battle. Zirkon rolled his eyes and went to help his lover. Lora looked aside and noticed him.

"Zirkon, don't fight! I don't want to lose you!" she cried.

"Does it look like I want to lose you either?" he asked, kissing her face. In their affectionate distraction, Belvera managed to rip the sword out of Lora's hand and toss it away. She was now defenseless as Belvera jumped into the air and slammed her foot into her side. Lora screamed in pain and collapsed onto the ground. Zirkon was quick to come to her aid and punched the dark woman in the back and tripped her. However, Belvera easily used her enhanced telekinesis to throw the male fairy into Lora.

"You fairies are pathetic! Now all of you will die!" Belvera again released two energy blasts from her eyes toward Lora and Zirkon. Luckily, Moll jumped in the way and threw out her hands, the beams slamming into her palms and pushing her backwards. She managed to stand her ground and held the energy in place with her telekinesis so it wouldn't injure the young lovers.

"Well, well, well... I see some strength in you, Moll. But it will not last long," Gudis cackled through Belvera. Moll wore a small smirk as she began to gather Belvera's energy within a sphere. This caused both fairies to experience pain until it gave way and exploded, tossing both of them backward onto the ground. Belvera managed to recover rather quickly with her new strength and advanced toward Moll. Lora tried to intervene but was easily knocked aside.

"It is time for you to die, Lora. I must rid myself of your annoyance," muttered Gudis as Belvera snatched her sword with her mental powers. As she went to stab her, Zirkon suddenly jumped in the way, the blade going deep into his chest. Belvera gave a small smirk and shoved it deeper. Her moment of sadism was cut short when Lora jumped up, crying out his name. The loving fairy slammed her foot into Belvera's abdomen, tossing her backwards and causing her to hit her head on a rock. With Belvera down, Lora ran over to Zirkon with tears glistening in her eyes.

"Zirkon!" she cried as she removed the blade from his body. He had lost a lot of blood and was gasping for air. "Hold on! Don't die!" Lora whimpered as she hugged him.

"L... Lora...," he whispered as he put his hand on her soft pale face. "You must... help your sisters defeat this evil plaguing the planet. Help Belvera come back to her senses. I am gone and worthless to protect you now..." Tears streaked down Lora's cheeks as she collapsed over his dwindling body.

"I... love you!" she muttered, crying sporadically.

"I love you as well..." He gave Lora one final kiss, seconds before his eyes closed and his hand became cold to her touch. Zirkon, the Doubijin of Brotherhood, was dead. Lora remained beside his lifeless body, sobbing uncontrollably and hoping that some miracle would occur and he would come back to her.

The night seemed to wear on bleakly as darkness engulfed the tiny priestess who sat by the crystallizing form of her lover. Lora tried to use her powers to keep the hardening effect of a fairy's death away but it eventually overtook the tiny male. She broke out in a mournful sob that echoed across the wasted land. Suddenly, she felt a reassuring hand on her shoulder and her teary eyes glanced up to see Moll's bright and kind face staring back at her. Lora turned away and buried her face on Zirkon's chest.

"Lora, I'm going to need you. You can't be sentimental forever, my sister..."

"Yes, I can!" she retorted. "How could this happen? Zirkon is dead! My world is as bleak as I have ever imagined. How can I come back to normality?"

"Be happy that it isn't you who is dead. He loved you and risked his life for you." Lora bit her lip at Moll's words and continued to stare at Zirkon's face. She felt the tears trickling down her cheeks even moreso now. "Did you not hear what Zirkon asked of you?" Moll reminded her. Lora gave her a blank look as she did not know what she was talking about. "'You must help your sisters defeat this evil plaguing the planet and help Belvera come back to her senses,'" Moll quoted. Lora nodded but sank back down as if she still had no will to live. Moll knelt and wrapped her arms around her, holding back the tears that nagged at her own eyes.

"We all go through these times but we can not let it bring us down. We are still the Elias of Mothra and we have a job to do. Protecting the planet alongside Mothra is our solemn duty. Would you give up that duty and let the entire planet fall to ruin under the control of the Mysterians, Xians, Kilaaks, or even Gudis himself? We can not, we will not, not while I'm still alive. That is why I need you, Lora," explained Moll with such fluency that it seemed to wipe away her sadness. Suddenly, a ray danced across the air and plastered Moll in the side, throwing her onto the ground. Lora saw Belvera with her evil Gudian smile coming toward them. The Fairy of Love stood up in defense of her sister.

"Stay away, Gudis! I'm warning you! You'll see a side of me that no one ever has!" screamed Lora as she held out her fist.

"My, my! Do I sense anger within this priestess? Completely unusual for the Elias of Mothra, wouldn't you say?" Gudis cackled sarcastically as Belvera twiddled her finger in Lora's face.

"Listen! You better stay away from me or I'll give you a fight you'll remember!" Lora hollered, grabbing her sword off the ground. Belvera jumped closer and their weapons clashed. The loving fairy swung her foot around and tripped Belvera. As the dark one fell, she raised her hands and threw them outward, releasing a wave of telekinetic energy that tossed Belvera back onto the dusty landscape.

"That was for Moll!" Lora then took Belvera in the grip of her telekinesis and threw her up against a rock, head first. Belvera fell to the sand. "That was for Zirkon!" she screamed as her voice choked up with sadness. Yet again, Belvera rose to her feet and jumped toward Lora and pinned her down. The dark fairy then put her hands around her neck and began to squeeze the life out of her.

"Bad temper, I see. Well, we won't have to deal with that any longer when you're dead!" roared Gudis, his voice seeming to crackle through Belvera's. Lora struggled and tried to fight her away but she was too strong. Moll, still dazed, got up and stumbled over to a stone to support herself. She noticed Belvera trying to kill Lora so she tried to think of something before it was too late. Suddenly, she spotted the Seal of Elias on the ground by the dormant Garu Garu. She couldn't get to it without Belvera attacking her but seconds later, a small insect flew through the air. It was Fairy Mothra who could sense Moll's need.

"Fairy!" hollered Moll as she pointed at Belvera. Fairy dove through the air and slammed directly into Belvera's backside, causing her to tumble over.

"Garu Garu!" yelled Belvera. Immediately, he flew up and engaged Fairy in a violent aerial brawl. Beams danced everywhere as the two steeds clashed. While Garu Garu kept Fairy away, Belvera went back to strangling Lora who was now weakened and helpless. This gave Moll the chance to grab the Seal of Elias. She closed her eyes and pointed it toward Belvera, unsure whether its power would kill or injure her but she had to do it. Moll opened her mind and activated the Seal which began to glow. A destructive yellow ray burst forth and lanced into the fairy's body, throwing her into Garu Garu and knocking them both out. Moll immediately ran to Lora who was gasping for air and stricken with fear.

"Shh, Shh! It is okay, Lora. She's gone," muttered Moll as she put her hand on Lora's forehead, attempting to relieve her pain and terror. Suddenly, a shadow covered the entire area. It was Queen Mothra who was fluttering above them. The sky seemed to clear in her path. Moll helped Lora to her feet. Unfortunately, Belvera rose again, malice and evil shooting through her eyes as she glanced up at Mothra who gave her a slight glance with her gem-like eyes.

"Well, Mothra... I bet you are satisfied that you have defeated Death Ghidorah and managed to subdue this Elian puppet of mine, aren't you?" Gudis sarcastically sneered through Belvera's voice.

Leave my daughter at once, you foul creature! I will not allow your control over her to last much longer

"What makes you think that you can get me away from her, Mothra? Are you going to use your 'wonder powers' to get me away? Well, I warn you. I am a force to be reckoned with! You may have defeated Death Ghidorah but I am a whole different story, my dear!"

You underestimate me as well, Gudis. Remember that Spirit Mothra defeated Death Ghidorah, not Queen Mothra. Also, you were defeated by a Mothra who was considerably less powerful than the Mothras of today she rumbled.

"We shall see..."

Indeed we will. It is time you stopped being a coward. You and your puppets, Death Ghidorah, Belvera... What will you come up with next? Or are you actually going to fight a foe face to face this time? Mothra's eyes gleamed in anger.

"You flatter yourself, Mothra. True, I do use my puppets but I have also been fighting other creatures as well. You will be no different!"

Will I? As I recall through my timeless memory of the Mothra Heritage, you could not absorb or even withstand the energy of previous Mothras like you can most other creatures. Meaning that I will be quite different from any of your past opponents

"So be it, deity of purity. I shall prove to you my true power!" hollered Gudis.

And now, a brief demonstration Mothra raised one of her claws, pinning Belvera to a rock with her telekinetic powers. Leave my child at once, Gudis!

"Belvera's mine! If I leave her, she will die!" Gudis stammered as Mothra's power pinned his actual body to a mountainside. What was happening to Belvera was also happening to Gudis.

Leave and go back to the abyss! growled Mothra as she made the field on Belvera even stronger. Gudis was feeling her pain as Mothra's words echoed in his mind, making him angrier. LEAVE HER AT ONCE, GUDIS! Mothra blared as she slammed Belvera against the rock. At that very moment, Gudis went through the mountain he was pinned against, burying him amid tons of rocky debris. Belvera's face seemed to brighten as Gudis left her mind. In order to protect the priestess from any more mental occupations, Mothra sealed her mind from outside forces. Moll ran over to her and Lora walked over hesitantly, angry at her sister for killing her lover.

"Belvera, are you okay?" Moll frantically asked as she felt her forehead. The dark fairy's eyes opened dimly and glanced up at Moll who smiled at her. She gave a little smile.

"What... what happened?" she stammered as she stood up with Moll's assistance.

"You are okay. That's good..." muttered Lora as she cast a dirty look at her.

"What's her problem?" Moll pointed to the crystallized body of Zirkon.

"While under the control of Gudis, you killed him," she explained, bowing her head. Belvera lowered hers also, feeling pity and guilt for what she had done. Suddenly, Mothra's telepathy resonated in the cool Hokkaidan air.

Do not fret about your lost friend. Battra's spirit within me tells me that there is a way to revitalize him. It must wait, though, for we have a world to rescue. Once that is done, we can revive Zirkon Mothra swooped up into the clouds and disappeared. As the Elias prepared to leave, Lora walked past Oberon and Terius who were whispering with each other next to a rock.

"Well, I imagine that you two are proud?" Lora sarcastically questioned them.

"About what?" Terius retorted.

"About Zirkon. And his death." Her words caught them by surprise. They bit their tongues and didn't reply. "Yes, I know. Zirkon told me you two believed him to be inferior for showing friendship with us. Now that he's dead, that relieves you. The barbaric ignorance within the Doubijin hasn't waned, I see!" she screamed, grabbing Oberon's robe. Lora left them as the Elias and Doubijin got ready to depart on Fairy and Garu Garu. Moll glanced over at her sitting next to Zirkon's body, mourning for him. The Fairy of Wisdom decided to let Lora have another moment of sorrow before leaving.

"I will come back for you. Your brothers are sadistic children at heart. They are worthless! I will find a way to bring you back. Good bye..." Lora muttered as she kissed his crystallized forehead. The tiny fairy took one last glance at her lover and climbed onto Fairy. Soon, the Elias and Doubijin disappeared into the sky, leaving a dark silence to envelope the area surrounding Zirkon.

Preserving the Past

Professor Erickson felt uneasy as he walked into his dimly lit laboratory in Mikasa City. Two of his three assistants had accompanied him to Hokkaido this night to help him with the final preparations. This latest experiment had greatly fatigued him and stressed him out.

After studying Mothra for nearly 20 years, he knew that he had to do something to preserve humanity, or at least one person. Months before, he had discovered a way to replicate the cells in the human brain that permitted the storage of memories. He thought that if he could take these cells and transfer them to something more durable than the human body, memories that people had could be collected.

One thing he wondered about was what Mothra's impression of the idea might be. Erickson was aware that she did not like humanity messing with things they shouldn't be. He worried that this experiment was classified among those 'not to do' subjects. The middle-aged Professor tried to forget about these second thoughts but they kept popping back into his mind every time he glanced up at the walls which were covered with pictures of the insect goddess, the Elias and Infant Island.

"Professor, shall we begin?" asked Aki, one of his trusted assistants. Nervously, the Professor paused in his thoughts, then glanced up at the largest picture of Mothra that hung prominently over his desk.

"Do you think this experiment would anger Mothra, Aki?" Erickson asked as he turned to his colleague.

"Professor, you have wanted this experiment to be completed for at least twelve years now. Are you going to stop now?" questioned his associate in surprise.

"Very well. Bring the phial containing the cells of my wife." Erickson began get nervous at the mere mention of the experiment, feeling kind of awkward that he was using his wife's replicated memory cells as a means to conduct his work.

"Bring me the neural solvent container," he ordered. Aki handed him a special container that was shiny and purplish in color which he had sstored in a secluded room. It was very beautiful somehow and had been constructed by combining different elements, mainly platinum and titanium. This was why he called it the Platanium Phial. He had then formed the material into a type of glass for the specific purpose of holding the solvent that contained the memory cells. Slowly, Erickson poured the cells and the solvent they now floated in into the special purple phial.

"There," he muttered. "The platinum and titanium will amplify the cells' regenerative abilities, meaning that the memory that is in them will remain intact."

"Can the cells be transferred into another person?" asked the other assistant.

"Yes, I do believe so. However, we do not have the time to test it out. The world is in an uproar as it is," Erickson stated.

"What shall we do with the Platanium Phial?" Aki asked.

"I shall keep it with me. I can't risk it being destroyed or abused in anyone else's possession," he explained as he began to walk out of his laboratory. He turned to take one last look at this Mothra-cluttered work room and with a heavy heart, departed with his assistants quickly following.

Mana

On the bridge of the Kilaak ship Hellraiser, General Kulkan stared at the massive asteroid in orbit above the Earth. King Ghidorah would make two complete orbits around the globe before he broke free above the Arctic Circle and re-entered the atmosphere through the planet's magnetic North Pole which further endowed him with energies that only the creatures capable of handling them dared embrace. Kulkan nodded to one of the weapons operators who pressed a button on the console before him.

A single 'burner' probe was launched from the underside of the warship, shooting towards the meteor to drive itself into the cocoon, using the intense heat radiating off it to melt through the layers of rock and space debris. It sent back data as it collected it and quickly entered a massive hollow chamber. Shooting straight through the center of it, the instruments detected no signs of life. The probe plunged out the other side of the satellite with only minor scrapes from the rocky material. Kulkan felt an unnerving sensation as the information appeared on the wall screen.

"What happened?" he demanded to know from nobody in particular. The Kilaak monitoring the probe had a baffled expression on his face.

"Sir... There is nothing in that meteor," he finally said. Kulkan felt the horrible, unnatural chill of fear tingle down his metallic spine.

"What are you talking about?" his voice quavered slightly.

"The probe... It only detected a slight magnetic and gravitic disturbance inside but besides that, no biological contact was ever made." Kulkan stared out at the meteor as the holes created by the drilling seemed to heal over with a crimson glow. The tomb of rock that should contain the most magnificent creature to ever live began to emanate a strange shade of green as it absorbed Mana into it.

"Just what have we gotten ourselves into?" Kulkan asked in amazement and terror as he watched the probe, its booster systems failing, jerk sideways, twist in half, shrink in on itself and burst into a billion shards of debris that were instantly assimilated onto the meteor.

A red sliver of energy slipped from a small crevice in the space rock. It twisted in on itself until it formed what appeared to be a talon that streaked through space at incredible speed, blazing past the Hellraiser so fast that even its advanced energy sensors failed to notice it. On the face of the Moon, guided by the will of its owner, the scribe burned massive, demonic characters into its surface. They were words in a language only a gifted few could possibly hope to comprehend. It was one of great power and commanded great respect. The most powerful civilization to yet exist had itself created this language long ago in their own prehistory. Only the Kilaaks and a few others could understand what the words said and how they served as the harbinger of death to all who stood in the way of the King of Terror.

*****

On Infant Island, Mothra Virgo rested atop her extinct volcanic chamber and let out a long, tired chirp into the peaceful night sky, something which she managed to find comfort in during these turbulent times. Her great rainbow-hued wings brushed against either side of the mountain as slumber began to finally overtake her.

A foreboding sense of terror registered itself at the edge of her subconscious. A horrible tingling sensation suddenly seemed to break out along her antennae and wings. She turned her head, looking around her island sanctuary and the sea beyond. Mothra could sense that something was terribly wrong and chirped loudly, trying to flush out any hidden enemies but she did not see nor hear anything out of the ordinary. Suddenly, the entire area - sky, sea and land alike - became noticeably darker.

Sounds of pain and death overwhelmed the giant insect, causing her to spasm violently and nearly fall off of her perch. A sickening shade of red light seemed to envelope the pale luminescence of the Moon. Through her haze of mental anguish, Mothra looked up and saw that it had become a ball of boiling blood in the night sky. A cry of horror escaped her mandibles as she watched the swirling energy finish burning a symbol onto the surface. She suddenly realized what was happening as the ancient message slowly began to take shape.

*****

As Ghidorah took in more of the Earth's vital and precious Mana, a timeless fiend from the past had lain dormant below Ishikagi, Okinawa. Now, it came fully into consciousness, fueled by a rage to kill and destroy as the shroud of energy that once kept it in check was ripped away at last. It began to move up through the Earth's crust, making its way to the surface.

*****

Darkness. Terror. Both words seemed to go hand-in-hand within the Marianas Trench under the Pacific Ocean, the deepest abyss on the planet. The undersea canyon, created by the subduction of the Pacific plate underneath the Asian plate, is host to thousands of strange, unknown animal species and undiscovered ecosystems. Most of them are quite small but others are truly gigantic. A series of undersea volcanos create a thick layer of soot and dust that insulates the bottom of the gorge, creating a heated habitat that hosts many strange creatures, all living, killing and breeding in the same manner as those high above them.

In an environment as hostile and unforgiving as this one, nobody would guess the trench to be what it truly was: a mass graveyard filled with the remains of ages-gone-by kings and other ancient royalty from the long lost civilization of Atlantis. At one end, what would appear to be small hills or sunken boats aligned in perfect rows manifests itself. The identity of these hills would remain a mystery until one got close enough to realize the rather disturbing truth. The series of bumps running parallel to each other and the canyon walls at the bottom of the world were actually the remains of hundreds of Gameras. They, save for one, had all died long ago during the Atlantean Gyaos wars, an event of civil unrest that would eventually lead to the fall of the many empires of Mu.

Near the end of the rows of worn-down shells, a single, untouched hill rested. It was different from the others in that it did not seem to be skeletonized. Hordes of sea creatures covered its true identity, making it indeterminable whether the being was alive or not. Suddenly, a glowing orb rose from the tombs near the front of the graveyard. It joined with others, all rising from the graves of the many kings and guardians of the Atlantean Empire. They converged on one another and struck down into the idle shell. Finally, with a brilliant flash of white light, darkness once more reclaimed the abyss, throwing the world into a pit of pure black.

Two amber eyes opened and a haunting, high pitched wail traveled through the canyon. It was the cry of Gamera. The gargantuan turtle began to sense a serious drop in the levels of Mana around the tortured planet. The huge eyes blinked between two tusks that seemed to glisten with the light of goodness in the creature's eyes. The armored plates on Gamera's back that made up his shell began to clank against one another as the great beast rose from his eons-long slumber. The terrapin opened his maw and let out a mighty yawn before finally rising to both of his hind feet, finally filling his full 80-meter stature. Gamera stretched his bones and long-inactive muscles.

Suddenly, he sensed a chill run down his spine and no longer felt safe in the confines of the massive undersea canyon. Two brilliant flashes of light erupted from the back leg compartments of his shell. Gamera rose from the depths quickly, plunging through the insulating layer of soot and dust and entered the colder upper regions of the ocean. He struggled to adjust to the sudden change of temperature and the quickly declining pressure after the constant conditions far below.

Gamera finally reached the warmer waters closer to the surface. His reptilian head burst from the sea and using his back leg jets to hold him steady, gazed up into the night sky which seemed to have been painted in dark, horrible shades of red. He stared in awe and terror at the Moon which now held a message, a prophecy that only a few could hope to comprehend. It was message from an ancient evil that would refuse to ever die.

He had never had the displeasure of facing its composer but Gamera well knew of his reputation. He opened his jaws and let out a howl of sorrow for the world that now stood in the grasp of one of the deadliest creatures to ever exist, whose signature blazed upon the surface of the Moon for the entire Earth to tremble before.

The cold winds of space carry me
Driven by the silent screams of horror from those who see
Civilizations crumble under my feet
The people fall in a bloody sheet
Their death gives me life
Their bravery gives them strife
The last thing they hear is my call
The words I say ensure their fall
I am the King of Terror
I am the Destroyer of Worlds
I am the Abomination of those still living
I become the god of those who discover my true path
I am King Ghidorah, may the universe suffer my wrath
The symbols of the ancient language of the Empire began to glow once more. Blood-red flames rose from cracks in the Moon's surface. The flames twisted and contorted in on themselves, forming the deathly shape of the Destroyer of Worlds. King Ghidorah was rising from the dead once more. The triple-domed titan shone so brilliantly as to make Gamera and Mothra aware that their battles against evil had been for naught.

Chapter 11:

Caltiki

Off the coast of Ishigaki, a Muuvian sub technician picked up some bizarre energy readings and called the Captain over to take a closer look.

"Where are they coming from?"

"The island, sir," he explained. The Captain went over to the ship's periscope and grasped its side handles to bring it up. Gazing through it at maximum magnification, he saw something moving across the landscape that sent a chill through the normally unshakable and fearless officer.

"What is it, Captain? What's wrong, sir?" another officer asked, taking notice of the his suddenly grave and pale expression. But the Captain did not hear their words, or anything else for that matter. He was lost in thought, reminiscing about the ancient tales of Muuvian lore from his childhood.

One of the ancient legends spoke of a terrible force of nature that existed centuries ago when there lived a now extinct offshoot race of the Muuvians known as the Lemurians. The creature in question bore the name Caltiki and the Lemurians worshipped it during their time on Earth.

Legend said it would awaken and consume anything that lived if the natural balance or order of the planet's life force was disturbed or damaged in any way. It was also said that 65 million years ago, a terrible force of evil referred to only as The King of Terror arrived on Earth, initiating Caltiki's revival. The evil from beyond eventually wiped the planet clean of substantial life, after which Caltiki went dormant again.

The description of Caltiki was what the Captain remembered above all else: a shapeless moving blob that glowed a luminescent green color, which was exactly what he was looking at now.

"Notify G-FORCE immediately and get me a direct line to General Aso at once!" the Captain ordered.

*****

People ran screaming in terror as the carnivorous alien organism moved through the city's streets, devouring everything in its path or anyone unfortunate enough to come upon it. The monster seemed unstoppable but there was hope on the horizon as the huge warship Gotengo appeared, having been sent to deal with the menace.

"Alright, men! We've been briefed on this thing and we know that its weakness is fire but since the Gotengo doesn't have flame throwers, we're going to use the Freeze Maser instead. It also managed to knock over a water tower, absorbing the water to add to its mass, along with all the people it's consumed," Captain Gordon explained.

"I'll say! The thing is measuring 300 meters in diameter! Will the freeze maser work?" Nanbara asked.

"It should still be capable of being frozen, regardless of its size so let's nail this thing with one clean shot and get outta here," Gordon ordered as the maser was charged and prepared for firing.

Suddenly, Caltiki sent a massive balled-up tendril shooting forth, smacking it into the Gotengo like a giant club and knocking the airship out of the sky to crash down in the street below. The direction it was facing had the nose pointing away from its intended target.

"Get us up and ready to fire immediately!" Gordon yelled as Caltiki quickly advanced on them.

"Need a few moments, Captain!" Nanbara yelled back.

"We don't have a few moments! Open fire with all artillery! Now!" Gordon ordered as the downed ship unloaded countless missiles and beams into the gelatinous mass. The weaponry was having no effect other than the explosive impact of the beams and projectiles somewhat slowing its advance. At any moment, it would be on top of them.

"Engines on line, sir!" Nanbara announced as the ship surged back to life and into the air.

"Hard turn, 360 degrees! Now!" Gordon commanded. The Gotengo practically spun around in mid-air, unloading the Freeze Maser. It hit its target but Caltiki was far from finished as it broke apart from its mass that was frozen and moved quickly towards their position.

"Acquire new target and fire again!" Gordon ordered as the great ship aimed for the quickly approaching abomination and fired once more. Caltiki stopped dead in its tracks and separated the front portion of itself and the maser hit nothing but pavement. It then darted off to the left and lurched up the side of a small hotel to launch itself at the Gotengo.

"Evasive maneuvers!" the Captain yelled as the ship's starboard engines ignited, pushing them hard to the left, barely dodging Caltiki's lunge as it crashed back down to the street below. As the great ship turned to fire again, Caltiki was already on the attack, ripping up houses and massive chunks of the street with countless tentacles to smash its foe, sandwiching the battleship between the colliding debris. It was rocked by the impact but remained steady.

"Fire again!" Gordon ordered but the monster was prepared and held up a huge slab of concrete as a shield which got frozen instead. Caltiki tossed it aside and quickly zipped down into one of the massive holes it had torn in the pavement, disappearing from sight.

"Stay sharp, everyone. That thing could come at us from anywhere," he advised as the Gotengo went into a low search pattern across the decimated landscape. Several moments passed with no sign of their target. "Steady... steady as you go. Stay alert, people," Gordon urged them. It was then that Caltiki suddenly erupted from behind as a towering column-like mass to slam down on the ship like a giant sledgehammer with so much force that the giant craft was driven down through the pavement and into the sewer system, crushing it as well.

"Get us outta here! Fire engines immediately!" Gordon ordered as the Gotengo tried to break free. But just then, more tendrils shot forth, wrapping around it to prevent their escape.

"It's got a grip on us, sir!" Nanbara advised.

"Fire homing missiles. Now!" the Captain ordered. The bonds were bombarded by one cluster after another but with no effect.

"It's no good, sir. The thing is all but invincible!"

"Engines full throttle and fire our laser cannons in conjunction with the homing missiles!" The combined assault detonated upon the massive blob but it was all for naught as the Gotengo slowly but surely started to get pulled in and its engines overpowered. Within seconds, the ship was completely enveloped within the amorphous eating machine and being crushed by the pressure.

"It's attempting to compress the hull, sir!"

"Is the freeze maser still charged?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then fire it now!" Gordon ordered. It discharged from the drill tip, freezing a massive chunk of Caltiki from the inside out.

"Maser deployed, sir."

"Activate the drill and fire main engines. Now!" Seconds later, the drill and engines roared to life as theGotengo exploded forth from within its organic prison and into the open sky. "Bring us around and prepare to fire again."

"Yes, sir!" The ship circled back around and charged up the maser yet again as Caltiki sent more of its tendrils lurching forward but the maser obliterated the strands before they could reach them.

"Eliminate any and all escape routes. I want this thing contained!" Gordon insisted. The Gotengo's standard energy maser obliterated the buildings and streets surrounding Caltiki's position, creating walls of flame. "Fire the Freeze Maser again. Now!" he ordered. Once more, the beam struck Caltiki dead on. The creature actually recoiled from the terrible weapon.

"Don't let up until that thing is completely frozen! Do I make myself clear?" Captain Gordon ordered sternly. Caltiki tried to flee in a number of different directions but was unable to get past the raging fires all around it. The Freeze Maser finally completely overtook it, creating a giant block of ice.

"Alright, men. Let's radio for a clean-up crew to scoop this thing up before it thaws," Gordon ordered as he leaned back in his command chair.

Gamera vs. King Ghidorah

Gamera flew high above the Earth. Somewhere below him lurked the greatest threat he had ever known. The Gyaos had long since been put in hibernation but this beast could singlehandedly wake them from their slumber. It was something Gamera would rather die preventing than allow it to happen. He suddenly had a terrible feeling course through him and knew that this was the spot. The guardian descended, sending out a mental plea for assistance. He knew this battle would not be an easy one.
*****

King Ghidorah fired a beam at the annoying Kilaak ship that had been following him for nearly an hour, apparently piloted by some fool who believed he could control him. It quickly flew off and he shook one of his heads, loosing fragments of the probe that had lodged in his scales. He then turned his attention back to the coastal city he was destroying when a flaming ball of energy struck him in the back of his necks. The blast knocked him flat on his faces, a position from which he almost immediately recovered to bellow at this new contestant.

This one was different from all the others he had conquered but reminded him somewhat of Anguirus, but not as spiky. If it was possible, the beast seemed even more determined than the deceased Earth creature ever was. Gamera let out a shrieking bellow, challenging the King of Terror and daring him to do more harm to his planet. Ghidorah would have smiled if he could as he sensed Gamera's hatred for him and his vigor to protect the Earth. He wondered why the beast hadn't come after him when he first came to this planet but cackled with evil laughter. The terrapin might have actually had a chance back then.

Gamera threw up his head, roared and fired off three simultaneous fireballs. They splashed violently against Ghidorah's shield, their explosions pushing through and knocking him backwards, nearly causing him to fall out of the sky. The space demon lowered himself underneath his aggressor and charged. Gamera wasn't expecting this but reacted by bringing both elbow blades out and slicing them downward, locking with Ghidorah's right and left heads' crown of horns. His arms straining to hold down both heads, Gamera quickly grabbed the center neck, barely stopping it from locking around his own throat. He felt the raw power flowing through Ghidorah's veins and it took every ounce of strength he had to hold onto him.

Ghidorah hissed and flicked his forked tongue out, licking Gamera's neck and tasting his Earthly flesh. The mighty terrapin recoiled at the putrid breath; bits of flesh and bone still hanging off his teeth from the last unfortunate beast that stood in his way. A point-blank blast with a gravity beam from his middle head struck Gamera's neck and tore a small hole through the side of it. The gigantic turtle threw his head up and bellowed in pain as Ghidorah freed himself from the guardian's grip.

Having gained the upper hand, Ghidorah kicked Gamera in the knee, knocking him down and further increasing the already large size difference between them. Gamera powered up his arm rockets, suddenly blasting backwards before Ghidorah could get a grip on him. He felt their white-hot jet flames sear his golden skin and snarled. Lifting into the air, the fiend gave chase to this flying enemy who had retracted all his limbs and was now spinning like a burning Frisbee. Ghidorah barely managed to keep up with the beast. Suddenly, Gamera made an impossible turn and flew straight back towards him. The Destroyer of Worlds bellowed in surprise as Gamera's full weight slammed into him, sending both creatures flying at seven times the speed of sound. Ghidorah fell from the sky and into the sea.

Gamera dove into the water after him, a mistake he would learn to regret later. Underneath the Pacific surface, Gamera had the advantage, or so it seemed until King Ghidorah hissed and flashed brilliantly. Gamera didn't stand a chance. Everything in contact with the water within several miles was instantly electrocuted, Gamera being the only creature strong enough to withstand the immense blast of energy. However, after the deadly attack, he was as good as dead and floated belly-up to the surface as Ghidorah rose from the depths beside him, laughing hysterically.

It seemed that the guardians of Earth weren't as strong-willed as they claimed to be but Ghidorah's conclusion was a flawed one. He could sense another creature flying toward the scene of battle on wings of rainbow hues and strong-willed love for the planet she was fighting to protect. Ghidorah hissed and lowered his heads, knowing he was about to fight the kaiju that had delivered the death blow to him several years ago, or at least a relative of that being: Mothra.

Mothra released a loud echoing chirp as she descended from the clouds, her once-injured body fully revitalized and ready to fight this three-headed demon. Ghidorah's evil eyes flashed as he glanced at the insect that now floated in front of him. Mothra couldn't help but notice Gamera's body floating on the ocean's surface, his carapace motionless and paralyzed. She knew that King Ghidorah had been busy with the monster.

Another creature to defeat... Is there a never-ending supply of you pitiful Earth vermin? Ghidorah hissed as his three heads writhed like serpents.

A bit arrogant, aren't we? You failed to destroy this planet before and you will again! Even if I'm defeated, the other monsters and humans will fight with their last ounce of strength! Mothra retorted, her sapphire eyes flashing. Ghidorah roared angrily and flew at the insect but she quickly maneuvered out of his way. As Mothra came around, energy crackled within the trio of gems on her forehead. Three powerful blasts danced through the air and struck King Ghidorah's body. Minimal damage was done as her beams merely streaked across the surface of his shield.

Ghidorah cackled as he noticed the deity's surprise. This did not stop her determination as Mothra flapped her wings at unbelievable speed and slammed into his abdomen, tossing him backwards into the ocean. King Ghidorah wasn't under the surface long, quickly recovering from the blow and bolting into the air. Both kaiju slammed into each other high above the water so quickly that only flashes of light glinted in the sky. After a few seconds of smashing into each other, both monsters halted their assaults. King Ghidorah was surprised at his adversary's strength. He enjoyed a challenge such as this one presented.

Mothra's eyes flashed brightly as she moved her two front claws. Ghidorah cackled even more and thought this creature a fool for thinking she could threaten him. Suddenly, two snake-like vines burst from the waters beneath the behemoth and wrapped around his legs, dragging him downward. Several more tendrils encircled him, nearly enshrouding his entire writhing body. He roared in pain as they constricted around his body with unbelievable strength. Unfortunately, the vines couldn't contain him for long as he mustered enough power to completely vaporize the writhing life forms surrounding him.

Hatred blazed in Ghidorah's eyes as he threw his heads back and released three sizzling gravity beams from his mouths. At the same time, Mothra fired her three forehead rays. Both forms of energy met between them and crackled violently. The monsters fed enormous amounts of power into their long range weapons but it didn't budge them. Eventually, the forces were so great that the beam lock literally exploded. A great shockwave was released, knocking both creatures into the sea.

After a few minutes spent recuperating, King Ghidorah raised himself out of the Earthly liquid and waited for his nemesis to continue the battle. Mothra also emerged from the water, flying slowly as her wings were completely drenched. King Ghidorah released a high screeching roar and flew toward her to violently bite onto her wings and abdomen, tearing at the insect's body. The mystic lepidopteron squealed painfully as the demon tore small pieces of her wings off. His tongues licked her wounds evilly, savoring the taste of his near triumph. This did not deter Mothra. As Ghidorah continued to bite her body, she reached down and grasped onto the center neck that was mauling her abdomen. Her claws tore deep into his scaly flesh and blood seeped from the wounds. Furious, Ghidorah released her and Mothra managed to regain her stability. Three gravity beams danced through the air and pelted across her body, knocking the moth backwards into the water.

King Ghidorah bellowed at his two fallen opponents, both floating belly-up like dead fish. He failed to notice a slight tingling sensation across his back and didn't stop his mad cackling until he felt as if all the blood had been drained from his body. Ghidorah gasped and took in several wheezy breaths, becoming disoriented and falling back into the sea. As he sank into the water, he felt powerful claws wrap around his left neck.

Impossible! he thought as Gamera applied pressure on the appendage and then dragged the King of Terror further into the sea. Gamera bit and clawed furiously at the disoriented space dragon. Ghidorah was helpless to react as all his power had been drained from him by the very beast that was now attempting to kill him. He suddenly realized his mistake: Mana! Gamera must feed on it as well and was able to drain it from his body This revelation enraged him beyond his normal hatred for Earth-born beings. How dare this pathetic waste of flesh steal his very own life force that he had rightfully earned!? Ghidorah laughed angrily, even through his pain. The Atlantean sentinel halted momentarily, confused at this sudden display of humor in such a seemingly dire situation.

You fool! Ghidorah's slithering, prodding, evil voice said in kaiju speak. Do you think taking my energy away would stop me? I've annihilated better fighters than you with half as much strength as I now possess! You shouldn't have given me as much purpose. I might have allowed this 'Gaia' to live a little longer than it will now.

You do not intimidate me, demon! Gamera responded firmly.

Intimidation? That should be the least of your worries King Ghidorah began to glow a sickening shade of green. Gamera was mesmerized by the disturbing beauty of his appearance in the near pitch-black conditions deep below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The terror from beyond flashed brilliantly and threw his heads up in laughter, revealing a desolate landscape filled with the corpses of whales and other creatures that hadn't been as strong as Gamera against his electrical attack. When the light dimmed, Ghidorah was gone. Gamera looked all around but he didn't see anything, not even with his enhanced vision. However, he could still feel the abomination's presence nearby.

Ghidorah's satanic laughter suddenly rang through the terrapin's head like the sound of bones scraping against one another and of innocent people letting loose their cries of terror and death. Gamera swung around in every direction but did not see anything. Rather, he felt a strange sensation - a terrible one. The laughter echoed through his head, causing it to pound. Suddenly, there was a red and yellow explosion beneath him. Gamera hadn't realized that the battle had brought him this close to the sea bed. Magma and bubbles of trapped gas created a fissure that cracked the ocean floor like a pie crust. Several balls of magma rose up and seemed to combine into one, twisting and convulsing in on themselves, forming a pulsating, terrifying shape of the being that Gamera so hated. The area where the triple-domed titan's eyes should be began to glow a contrasting shade of blood red and the magma seemed to cool into the creature's golden scales.

King Ghidorah suddenly shrieked and slammed into Gamera at blinding speed. The guardian had no time to react and found himself being pushed through the water toward the surface. The two behemoths blasted from the depths and rose high into the noon sky, Gamera screaming in pain as Ghidorah drove his horns into his soft underbelly. They were all the way into the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere when Ghidorah could sense that Mothra was coming to rejoin the battle. He let out a distorted cackle, carried away by the near-vacuum conditions. Gamera glared into his evil eyes as he was thrown away but regained his sense of balance. He would not give up the planet he so loved without a fight.

Mothra flew with all the power that her wings could muster. She saw Gamera and Ghidorah battling furiously high in the atmosphere. Bright explosions flared, as if lightning was flickering from an oncoming storm. She screeched, attempting to distract Ghidorah's attention away from Gamera but he ignored her.

Gamera flew back toward the space demon who was waiting for him to attack. Several fireballs exploded from the guardian's open mouth and danced across the dragon's shield. After being reminded that his energy attacks were ineffective against it, he threw himself at his opponent, crashing head first into Ghidorah's abdomen, causing both kaiju to fall back down toward the Earth's surface. The three-headed menace quickly regained his aerial posture and began to cackle deviously at the flying turtle.

You are a persistent one! Too bad you won't succeed! the demon cackled as he sent barrages of gravity bolts searing toward the perplexed guardian. Gamera braced himself but was knocked out of the sky by the kinetic force of the beams. All that could be seen of him was a plume of smoke, blowing on the westerly breeze as he continued to plummet towards the Earth's surface. Ghidorah continued to cackle until he found himself being jerked backwards by some unknown force. He turned around to find Mothra pulling his tails. The tri-headed beast roared maliciously and spat gravity bolts toward the insect's face but Mothra was prepared for the attack. She used the tails as a shield, allowing the beams to hit them instead of her. They pulsed across the appendages, ripping one off completely and leaving a bloody stub. Mothra screeched triumphantly and bolted over her nemesis as the demon coddled his gory wound, glancing back towards her with evil flaming in his eyes.

You will regret that! he roared.

Go back into the celestial abyss from whence you have come! she responded, flapping her wings in agitation.

What are you going to do if I don't? Zap me with your beams and fry me? the beast sarcastically spat. Mothra glanced at him and screeched angrily.

You are not wrought with the authority to destroy or conquer this planet. Now be gone! Ghidorah threw his heads back and laughed fiendishly. He found it amusing that this pathetic insect was ordering him to leave, especially when he had so much power at his disposal. Suddenly, he could hear female voices resonating in his mind and Mothra's melody eerily echoing in his heads.

Make those fairies of yours keep their tongues silent before I ease their passing. Wait! Or shall I make them suffer? I will get a thrill out of that! Ghidorah gibed as he stared around, looking for her tiny priestesses. Mothra moved closer toward her enemy, attempting to attract his attention away from the Elias.

You are as arrogant as Gudis! You will be destroyed by your over-concentration of pride and self-satisfaction. I have seen many opponents fall due to their arrogance. You will be yet another enemy who dies due to his own failings rumbled Mothra as she recalled the memories of her previous forms.

I am not intimidated by your foolish words, insect! I shall make sure that you die a slow, painful, bloody death before I do what I want with this pitiful planet replied Ghidorah. You think you are wise, don't you? You may be but wisdom is not going to save your planet nor yourself from its impending doom. Give up! These pathetic creatures and this tiny cosmic speck that you guard isn't even worth protecting!

If it is such a minimal, irrelevant planet, why do you want to conquer it? Ghidorah remained silent and could not think of a response. Instead, he cast an evil glance in the insect's direction. I see. You can't figure out why you want to attack a menial planet such as this one. You yourself consider it to be not worth savoring so why do it? Have you nothing better in the heavens to occupy yourself? Mothra chuckled.

Silence, you pathetic symbol of purity! This planet is mine and the reason I want it is not for you to be concerned with! Ghidorah blared as he prepared to attack. He lunged forward and gripped one of his blood-dripping mouths around Mothra's neck, tearing her furry flesh. She screeched in agony and coughed up blood from her mandibles. The mighty insect slashed her clawed feet across his face, eventually hitting one of his blood-shot eyes. Dark, steaming ichor seeped from the wound and King Ghidorah recoiled. As the menace lifted his heads and roared, Mothra was close enough to blast him with her three forehead beams, pelting the monster's center head. She tried the attack again but his shield began to reflect it.

Look where arrogance gets you! she spat as she gazed upon her writhing enemy, trying to keep her own pain from getting to her.

Arrogance? Ghidorah asked contemptuously. I wouldn't be the one to talk. I've seen your miserable defeats before, running home with your tail between your legs. Your kind has done it too many times to count! Your great- grandmother attacked me when she was a larva. A larva! If that isn't arrogance, then I don't know what is

In the end, she did defeat you Mothra stated matter-of-factly. Ghidorah just sneered.

You talk too much! The King of Terror promptly fired all twelve of his wing electricity beams. Mothra found herself unable to move as millions of volts tore through her, starting to cause internal damage, as well as burning her fur and charring her wings. What's this that we have here? Ghidorah asked, moving closer as he suddenly felt the presence of Gaia in Mothra.

NO! Mothra managed to scream as his scales began to let off a ghostly green light. The spirit of the Earth that empowered her began to fade. Suddenly, King Ghidorah was knocked backwards into the air by an explosive force. He had failed to notice Gamera returning to the battle. The space dragon twisted and shrieked in the flames forming around his body due to the intense heat of his passage. Using all his strength, he threw up a gravity field which managed to catch him like a spider's web. Ghidorah turned and hissed hatefully as he regained his balance, influencing the field to push him away from the Earth's pull.

Mothra slinked up behind her savior, barely able to move, let alone fight. Gamera watched her with one eye while keeping the other focused on the golden demon before him. Ghidorah laughed, amused by Gamera's protection of the weakened guardian.

Fool! A weak ally is a dead ally. You, of all creatures on this planet, should know that Gamera thought of his fellow Atlantean guardians, all of whom had fallen to the Gyaos. Anger flooded his veins but he refused to let Ghidorah get to him.

Allies fallen are better than not being worthy of anyone's trust!

Trust? Ghidorah replied indignantly. Who needs trust when you are the king? Gamera blasted the space dragon with a trio of intense fireballs. They splashed like waves against his shield but the kinetic force punched through it and the accompanying gravity field, knocking him backwards further into space. Ghidorah's golden hide stuck out like a sore thumb in the sunlight, brilliantly visible for hundreds of miles in every direction; a new star in the Earth's sky. Gamera's greenish-black tone was much less noticeable but Ghidorah did not rely on sight to locate his enemies, as Gamera soon found out. A beam of gravitic energy splayed across his shell, loosening one of the plates and causing him to shriek in pain.

Ghidorah was quickly upon the terrapin, biting eagerly into his flesh to draw his Mana-rich blood. Ghidorah's right neck was met by Gamera's elbow blade which slit its throat. He swung his other elbow at the center neck but missed as Ghidorah recoiled from the previous attack. Bright crimson blood flowed freely from the convulsing head, forming balls of the sickening alien material in the zero gravity.

The demon responded angrily to the strike by delivering a point-blank blast of his gravity beams directly into Gamera's face, blasting a huge gash down the side of his head and cracking one of his tusks. Gamera was stunned by the attack which allowed his opponent to wrap his center neck around his own and drag him further into space. The guardian bellowed as the distance between him and Gaia grew greater and greater. He attempted to power up his leg jets but they were useless against Ghidorah's gravity control. The Mana energy reserves which kept him sustained and capable of protecting the planet were drawing away from him. He would not last long against Ghidorah out here. The Destroyer of Worlds finally released his hold, watching him spin off into space and bellowing soundlessly after him, the noise lost in the vacuum. Gamera began to form a plan, one that could save the Earth from King Ghidorah's wrath. If it meant his own sacrifice in the process, that was something he had to risk. When Mothra's brightly colored beams suddenly rained down on Ghidorah's unsuspecting hide, he knew that the Earth just might stand a fighting chance.

King Ghidorah glanced towards the planet and a bright, luminescent object jolted from the atmosphere. Seconds later, Mothra slammed into his abdomen, forcing him farther away from Planet Earth. Before her enemy revived from the blow, she flew over to the severely injured Gamera who floated in space on his back and placed one of her clawed feet upon his bleeding hand.

Fellow guardian, I give you this token of life for aiding me through this terrible time she muttered as she began to glow intensely. Scales floated from her wings and her song echoed across the emptiness of space as she gave the great reptile some of her Mana.

Mothra, you need the energy to fight Ghidorah. I am of no use any longer he gasped as he tried to pull his hand away but couldn't muster the strength to do so.

Do not say such things! As guardians of the Earth, we must work together to defeat this evil

Ghidorah is coming! Gamera warned as he glanced into the blackness of space. Mothra quickly swung around and extended her wings to their full length, releasing enormous clouds of green, glowing scales. Ghidorah blasted several gravity bolts toward her but they were deflected by the discharge. As the three-headed terror entered the cloud, he again loosed his gravity bolts. This time, the energy reacted with the scales and caused several enormous explosions that enveloped the demon, tossing him far out into space. Seeing that he was gone, Mothra turned back around to her comrade.

You need not give me this energy. You are just depriving yourself of much-needed power Gamera pleaded as Mothra continued to give him Mana.

That may be but I will still fight with every last ounce of strength I possess. You must do the same. We owe that much to our planet

What's left of your planet... brayed Ghidorah as he flew behind the insect.

Be gone! she shouted. Leave this place at once!

Oh, more demands from the Queen Moth. You are powerless against me, the King of Terror! You will die if it is the last thing I do!

Your arrogance will cause your own demise. Your evil has prowled this planet for long enough! Mothra proclaimed as she looked him in his eyes. Gamera weakly glanced at her in astonishment.

The protector of Earth she indeed is he thought, admiring the insect's bravery. King Ghidorah lunged forward, tired of her incessant babble. He bit onto one of her wings and tore at it, ripping a fragment completely off and causing Mothra to cry out in agony. He then threw his clawed foot outward, slamming her directly in the abdomen and knocking her backwards. After getting Mothra out of the way, Ghidorah attacked Gamera. The giant turtle fearfully recoiled as his menacing shadow covered him. Suddenly, he noticed two great multi-colored wings that extended behind the ominous form. Mothra's gentle face could be seen ascending above the demon.

She quickly plunged downward and grasped Ghidorah's three heads, causing him to roar maliciously. Again, scales floated down from the deity's wings, completely covering the dragon's body. Soon, Ghidorah felt a terrible burning sensation as their acidity ate through his golden hide. He attempted to break free of Mothra's strong hold but was prevented from doing so by a sharp shock of energy that surged through his body.

As Mothra restrained King Ghidorah, Gamera managed to muster enough energy to float upright. He leapt toward the two struggling kaiju and braced his powerful jaws around one of Ghidorah's necks, tugging at it relentlessly and ripping out chunks of flesh. Mothra began slashing with her claws, causing gaping wounds to spill the demon's steamy blood. To the guardians' surprise, Ghidorah swung his body around, knocking them both off. They quickly recovered and watched as he growled angrily at his newest wounds.

King Ghidorah withdrew from his enemies and began to glide away, heading towards the Moon. He could tell that a mental conversation on this sudden turn of events was taking place between Mothra and Gamera. He could listen to their chatter but decided it did not matter. As he drew closer to his destination, his foes became two tiny dots against the gem-like form of the Earth. Ghidorah turned one of his serpentine necks to inspect the pale, dead surface before him. The space beast landed in the middle of a blackened pit on the Moon's surface. He knew what this pit was as he himself had created it. And as his feet touched the surface, the entire face of the Moon began to glow a deadly shade of red.

Look at him run! Gamera spat. Once a coward, forever a coward

Something is different Mothra warned, feeling a familiar sense of dread crawl down her back as the Moon turned red. Gamera growled and began to weakly boost himself towards the Earth's only natural satellite. Mothra followed more cautiously.

King Ghidorah felt the familiar invading presence of Gamera's consciousness inside his own. You should not have come this far! Gamera roared confidently. You may have actually stood a chance if you had stayed back on Earth Ghidorah chose not to respond but let out a silent cackling laugh in mock defiance.

You may drive me from your precious planet but I will not be defeated so easily. I will be back, whatever way you choose to look at it

If you insist Gamera snarled, throwing up his head towards the stars and letting out a bellow which was forever lost in the vacuum. King Ghidorah felt a tingling sensation along his spine and began to laugh hysterically, even as all the Mana was violently drained from his body. Mothra also contributed some of her force as Gamera powered up his ultimate weapon. His chest plates suddenly shot open and a beam of such brilliance and intensity came forth as to force her to turn away. King Ghidorah was struck with the full force of the discharge, still laughing as it tore through his upper body like tissue paper. The creature was completely immersed in the Mana Beam's fiery wrath. The ungodly stream of energy struck the surface of the Moon, carving out a gigantic blackened crater in the pale surface, adding a period to Ghidorah's epigraph.

When the Mana Beam finally died down, the King of Terror was gone. There was a moment of dumbstruck silence before both Gamera and Mothra began to call out in victory. Both kaiju were too exhausted to speak further. With effort, they helped one another turn around and begin the journey back to Earth.

*****

Fools! the serpentine heads shrieked in mockery. You call me arrogant when you ignore your own arrogance. Look where it has gotten you! Ghidorah chuckled as he twisted Mothra's words around. You should have known your final attack in the name of Gaia would only serve to empower me. You have failed your planet, you worthless vermin!

King Ghidorah's eyes flashed, the equivalent of a smile. And now I will teach you a lesson in arrogance! He became a blinding beacon of golden light as he fired all sixteen of his beams and combined them into one incredible stream of gravitic and electrical distortion. Mothra flapped her wings frantically, creating a shield of reflective scales but the blast cut through the defensive screen like an axe through butter and struck both monsters at once, creating an explosion amplified twofold by her desperate act.

The massive concussion rocked the surface of the Moon and knocked King Ghidorah flat on his back. The beast cackled with maniacal laughter, unable to rise in his own hysteria. The two guardians were blown in opposite directions. Mothra was forced further out into space as Gamera rocketed back towards the Earth. King Ghidorah finally stood up and looked off toward where Mothra had gone. He heard her fairies crying out in anguish at seeing their goddess in such a helpless state.

King Ghidorah filled every area within his field of vision with his deadly gravity beams, blasting new scars on the surface of the Moon and striking and knocking around Mothra's limp body several times, seeking to wipe out her priestesses who had apparently fled in terror. But when he finished the seemingly endless bombardment, their song echoed even stronger in all three of his heads. He growled in frustration. Maybe some other time he would find them and put them out of their misery For now, he had a much greater goal to accomplish.

Ghidorah set his sights on Earth once more. It was a beautiful world but beauty was something that his twisted mind no longer accepted as natural. He realized he hadn't really looked at the planet from this far out since back when he was controlled by the Xians. He shuddered with hatred as he thought of the various races that had attempted to manipulate him.

Nobody controls the King! Ghidorah declared as he flew confidently back towards the planet he had vowed to destroy so long ago.

The Sword of the Elias

Mothra feared for the safety of her dear fairies as King Ghidorah vented his rage across the battleground near the Moon. Now would be a good time for them to take care of a task that had been on their minds since the confrontation with Gudis.

Moll and Lora rode on Fairy as they left the battle between Mothra, Gamera and King Ghidorah to return to the ruins of Akita. Lora could not stop thinking of Zirkon's death. Along with that, she could also feel the very heart of the Earth itself quaking. Gaia was in pain and the evil that plagued the planet was the cause.

"Moll, do you think Zirkon can be saved?" she asked, glancing at her sister mournfully. Moll fell silent for a moment, trying to find the right words. The pain of the planet was weighing on her as well. She bore the brunt of it, mainly because she tried not to express her emotions. It was her solemn duty as the bearer of wisdom to be both wise and knowledgeable and not let her feelings get in the way of her judgment.

"It is hard to say... It depends on how much energy Mothra can provide to make the Elias Triangle function. I read in the ancient texts that it takes the power of the guardian and her avatars for it to function. That is Mothra and us. I am sorry, Lora, but I do not really have an answer to that question," replied Moll somberly. This threw Lora into an even deeper chasm of doubt, grief and depression. Moll could feel her sister's pain but chose not to possibly add to it. It is time that Lora gets a hold of herself on her own she thought.

"I don't see why we are going back for that wimp! He's dead and there's nothing we can do about it," declared Terius arrogantly, as if he had no remorse whatsoever for his brother's passing. His attitude angered Lora who glared at him with hatred in her eyes. Belvera managed to catch a glimpse of her sister and was shocked to see such a look of malice and evil from an innocent fairy of Mothra.

"Listen to yourself! You filthy Doubijin!" spat Lora as she nearly leapt off Fairy toward Terius who was on Garu Garu. He nervously recoiled, surprised by Lora's rage. "You take that back, you pig! Say that again and you won't have a voice to say anything with!" she shouted. Suddenly, a hand slapped Lora across the face, leaving a red welt on her cheek.

"Get hold of yourself!" Moll hollered.

"Yeah..." Oberon muttered.

"Don't you say anything, you hypocrite!" Belvera warned him in no uncertain terms.

"I know this chaos is effecting all of us but we must remain strong. If we do, then the Earth has hope of survival. Oberon, Terius, you must respect Zirkon. If you would have listened to him, he would have had some great advice to present," explained Moll as she stared at their embarrassed faces.

With no further exchanges, the five fairies somberly came upon the place where the trio of brave Earth monsters had battled Death Ghidorah. As they descended toward Zirkon's dead body, Lora quickly jumped off Fairy, even though she was still about seven feet off the ground. She ran toward her lover's body and knelt close to him. His face was completely cold and crystallized, yet it still retained his charming features. Lora took the triangular blue pendant from her necklace and placed it in the hilt of her sword. Immediately, it became luminescent and glowed with a beautiful radiance. She glanced up at her two sisters who stood before her.

"Please..." she begged as she gazed at them with a loving look in her eyes that nearly brought tears to Moll and Belvera.

"Why are we wasting our time? It is useless..." Terius grumbled.

"Shut up. Just watch and learn," Lora replied calmly, still looking at her sisters.

"I know I want Zirkon healed but it is also true that with more of us, we are more powerful. Shobijin and Doubijin alike. Let us use the Elias Triangle. It is the only way!" she pleaded. Moll put her hand on Lora's shoulder and knelt down beside her.

"Yes, but is it wise for Mothra to use so much needed energy to bring him back to life? I know he is important to you but Earth is in the hands of a given few. Mothra is one of them. If she dies, we all die."

"Moll does have a point, Lora," Belvera said softly. "Mothra needs this strength to succeed." Lora bit her lip. Her sisters did not agree with her and her heart sank even deeper than before. She could feel the Earth slipping the way each moment, which made her even more hopeless.

"Mothra has never let us down..." she muttered as tears ran down her cheeks. The two remaining Doubijin looked upon Lora, sneered and turned away as if completely disregarding her. Belvera could not help but feel a bit sorry for her sister. She could sense Lora's troubled mind and it also affected her as well. The Elias had experienced terrible trials ever since the troubles began. Lora and her loss, her own mind being invaded by Gudis and Moll's burden of trying to keep things moderated and functioning amongst the tiny women.

"Moll, Belvera, I am begging you..." Lora beseeched them as she collapsed to the ground as if the darkness of death was taking her also. Her sadness was so deep that she seemed to just whither away. Belvera finally broke down and took her triangular pendant from her necklace, attaching it to her sword. Moll soon did the same.

"I never thought I would end up saying this, Lora, but you never give up. It is a very good characteristic, in my opinion," Belvera said as she smiled warmly upon her sister. Lora smiled at her as all three fairies touched their swords together. In a blazing flash of light, one large sword with all three of the pendants, representing courage, wisdom and love, merged together. This attracted the Doubijin's attention and they uneasily turned around to see what the Elias were doing.

Lora breathed a sigh of relief and gently placed the sword upon Zirkon's open hand. The blade dissipated and Zirkon's remaining essence shot into the air, spreading into a multitude of beautiful sparkles across the sky. The five fairies gazed upward in awe. Mothra's face formed amongst the glowing energy and looked down upon her world. It wasn't the face of Queen Mothra though, but that of Mothra Leo. This astonished the Elias who remained speechless. Eventually, Mothra Leo's face disappeared and blended back into the background of stars in the heavens above them. Slowly, the energy merged with Zirkon again and the crystalization vanished. As the male fairy opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was Lora's sparkling eyes and he smiled.

"Lora! What happened?" he whispered. The loving fairy instantly wrapped her arms around him and wept. The Doubijin could not believe what they had just seen but were joyful to see their brother alive. Not as much as Lora, but they, too, were happy. It had to be the best thing to happen since Queen Mothra came into being. They quickly walked over to their brother and picked him up off from the ground.

After making it to his feet, Zirkon glanced at Lora and kissed her gently upon the lips. It was a moment that hadn't been seen by the Earth for thousands of years. A male and female fairy in love brought even more tears to Moll and Belvera's eyes. Belvera walked up to Zirkon and patted him on the shoulder.

"Sorry I killed you..." What she said made the congregation giggle a bit, the way she said it was rather humorous as she smiled at him.

"Your mind was in the possession of Gudis' powers. It wasn't your fault and I do forgive you," Zirkon assured her. As Belvera glanced back at Moll, she noticed that her sister was staring up toward the sky. She then bowed her head and mumbled something to herself.

"What is it, Moll?" Her sister smiled warmly. "It... was Mothra Leo. I thought she had died but her spirit still remains across the Earth. Seeing her again just gives me so much hope and confidence."

"She was a magnificent generation of Mothra. Her spirit had one last task to perform that benefited the Earth - the resurrection of Zirkon. With the Elias and Doubijin united, we are a powerful force," Belvera explained as she wrapped her arm around her.

"It is amazing that such terrible events can unite that which was once impossible to bring together. We must thank Mothra Leo, for she has played a major role in this. In fact, I believe that she is inside all three of us in some way. We must never forget that," whispered Moll as she continued to gaze skyward.

After experiencing this moment of joy, the Elias and Doubijin mounted their steeds and departed from the place that was once only the scene of death and destruction but now gloriously transformed into one of life and rebirth. Instead of allowing Queen Mothra to expend her much-needed energy, the spirit of her mother, Mothra Leo, granted one more wish to her priestesses and to the world in which she once thrived: the unification of the Elias and the Doubijin through the resurrection of Zirkon.

Allies in Combat

Gudis flew through the night sky over the Kanto Plain where King Kong first encountered Godzilla over 32 years ago. Death Ghidorah had been slain but in the end, he was nothing but a tool, and one that could easily be replaced if he chose to. Now that Gudis had the power he possessed, he decided that the time for pawns had ended. Soon, all that lived would feel his wrath. Perhaps, if he had not been so lost in thought, he would have noticed a large winged form descending out of the clouds above him.

KABOOM! Gudis was hit by a massive surge of energy and plummeted to the ground head first, tearing a fissure in the earth as he crashed downward. He ripped himself up out of the soil and looked up to see Queen Mothra as she kamikazeed straight towards him, hitting him with incredible force. As he went flying backwards, she fired a combination of her prism and forehead beams. His body was driven through the dirt and bedrock by the sheer force of the attack. He didn't stop until he slammed into the base of a mountain, indenting it with his impact.

You are not welcome here, monster! Queen Mothra's voice boomed inside the Gudis' head.

"Welcome? I didn't know that I needed an invitation..." he responded groggily as he tried to rise. Mothra fired again and he was pushed into the mountain, disappearing from sight. Watching from a safe distance, the Elias and the Doubijin looked on as she slowly inched towards the opening he had left. It was too quiet but suddenly, the Gudis erupted forth, directly behind her and blasting away with a combination of his eye and mouth beams. Mothra was plastered hard against the side of the uplift, directly above the hole that the Gudis' body had made. As she tried to turn, he grabbed her and slammed her head first to the ground, leaping on top and grinding her face into the earth with his hand.

The fairies watched with their hearts filled with dread as they had never actually seen the Gudis before, only conversing with it telepathically. The nightmarish creature that stood before them chilled them to the core. Lora fumed with hatred, knowing that it was wrong to feel as she did but she could not help it. The Gudis had taken the one she loved with all of her heart from her.

"So you finally summoned the courage to face me, eh bug?" Gudis quipped as Mothra tried to lift her head up, only to get it driven back down as he kept her pinned. "Oh, how I have waited for this moment!" he snarled as his left arm pulsated with energy. Just then, Mothra sent a powerful energy surge through her body and the Gudis was blown off of her. He could hear Moll's voice in his mind.

Mothra now has the strength to vanquish you, Gudis! Once and for all!

"We shall see," he hissed as he fired an arm beam which Mothra barely managed to dodge as another mountain off in the distance was leveled by the blast. She looked behind her in disbelief as did the fairies.

"How did he do that?!" Lora cried out.

"I don't know..." Moll replied, just as shocked. The Gudis then slammed into the distracted diety head on and tackled her to the ground on her back, pummeling her relentlessly. He grabbed one of her wings and attempted to rip it from her body. Mothra summoned one of her previous form's powers and hit him with a chest beam that knocked the Gudis off again. As he staggered back, she sprang up, flying straight towards him and grabbing his head with her legs. Gudis was lifted off the ground as she swung around in the air and practically threw him back down to land on his head once again. As he got up, he caught a huge boulder right in the face that Mothra had thrown. As he fell, he fired off an arm beam that struck a glancing blow off her left wing. She spiraled out of control and crashed down awkwardly.

Gudis strode toward her, preparing to fire again on the dazed insect. But as he unleashed his eye and breath beams, Mothra wafted into the air with a quick wing flap, using her reflective powder to send an augmented version of the attack right back at him, resulting in an explosion that sent the Gudis rolling. He took to the air and the two powerhouses engaged in an aerial dogfight, exchanging beams back and forth. Gudis got in close and connected with a spinning uppercut kick in mid-air, sending the insect spiraling off into the distance. Mothra retaliated when she flew back into the battle, slamming into the Gudis and pushing him into the upper stratosphere, using her Energy Touch attack at the same time.

But the Gudis was far from helpless and brought his tentacles forth. They pounded and battered Mothra endlessly. He then used a point-blank shot of his eye beams on Mothra's right wing, tearing a nasty rip in it. She began to lose altitude. The two kaiju separated as they veered back around and crashed into each other head on, sending both falling to the ground.

Gudis got up first and prepared to fire one of his arm beams as Mothra lifted off the ground, using her reflective powder to catch and channel the beam. The power from it was almost too much and she could barely control it. She managed to send it back but it was like the recoil of firing an elephant gun and she went flying backwards. The Gudis' eyes got big as saucers as his blast, amplified with Mothra's own power, plowed into him like a freight train. He flew a good mile before crashing into the same mountain that he had been put into earlier, totally obliterating it this time.

"She did it!" Lora screamed excitedly.

"Don't be so sure yet," Belvera warned as Moll looked on with a defiant sneer. Queen Mothra managed to glide towards the pile of rubble where the Gudis rose with a defiant roar.

"How can that thing still live after that?" Oberon cried out in disbelief.

"Gaia preserve us!" Terius muttered in shock. The Gudis, to the horror of all, completely regenerated all the damage that had just been done to him.

"My, my... What a minor inconvenience," he snarled as he stepped out of the ruined mountain and strode towards Mothra.

"Moll, how is this possible? The Gudis cannot absorb Mothra's attacks or anything that is connected to Gaia so how is it doing this?" Lora asked in bewilderment.

"It's something that I can sense within the Gudis. One of the creatures he has assimilated has given him the power to regenerate practically any injury and even bring him back from the brink of death. The Gudis that Mothra Taros faced didn't have a fraction of the power that it possesses now. I didn't anticipate this..." she explained regretfully.

Mothra fired her prism beam but Gudis lunged over it, rolling up into his dreaded carapace ball-slam attack to crash down right on top of her. As she lay quivering from the impact, he wrapped his long tail around her neck and swung her in the air, then drilled her back down head first into the ground with tremendous force. Gudis blasted her with his eye beams and breath ray once more as she went skidding across the landscape.

"The time has come, champion of Gaia! Your death is at hand!" the Gudis proclaimed as he walked towards her with both of his arm beams at the ready. The prone Mothra summoned one of her last abilities and a glowing flutter of spores suddenly emanated from her body and drifted over to where the Gudis was. A green vine also sprang forth, wrapping around the Gudis' right leg.

"What is this?" he pondered aloud, ripping free. As he tried to advance, another wrapped around his left arm. The Gudis angrily tore loose and tried to keep moving. More appeared in seconds; hundreds of roots, vines and other manner of vegetation rising up from the soil all around him. The vile monster swiped, clawed and fired his beams but there were too many to fend off all at once and he quickly became overwhelmed. The Gudis brought forth his own tentacles to try and retaliate but for each of his, there were at least five or six vines to hold it down. Soon, he was completely entangled and unable to move as he shrieked and roared angrily. It was then that close to a dozen vines with sharp pointed edges rose up directly in front of him, moving almost like snakes as they bobbed and weaved back and forth. They impaled the Gudis and came out his back as he howled in pain and rage.

Now you will know Gaia's true power, Gudis! Mothra said telepathically. It was then that he felt something happening within himself. The vines lodged in his body began to sprout and grow as they twisted, tore and crushed his insides. Vines caked in his blood burst out from every part of his body. His eyes were gouged out from the inside by two protruding branches as his body began to contort and swell beyond its physical means. The Gudis brought forth great reserves of strength as he concentrated intensely. He would not be felled so easily.

Suddenly, an incredible shockwave of energy emanated from his body, completely incinerating the vegetation that was penetrating and shrouding him. Mothra was also hit by it and went flying, crashing down nearby. The Gudis sat down, regenerating his insides and sealing up his wounds. He soon rose and lifted both arms to fire his uber-beams at Mothra. She managed to spring up and open her wings as she tried to use her reflective power again but this time, the force was far too much. A terrible explosion resulted, sending her flying back and landing with a thud.

The Gudis walked up to the badly injured imago and looked down at her with contempt. Her once beautiful wings had massive pieces torn from them, along with large, gaping holes. The rest of her body was badly burned with severe bleeding in several places. He gave Mothra a stiff kick as she managed to utter a tiny squeal of misery.

"Get up! After all your pompous self-righteous platitudes, this surely can't be all you can do to challenge me?" the Gudis snarled. But there was no response. Mothra was beaten. "This is it? This is the incredible force of goodness that was supposed to vanquish me? Pathetic!!!" he roared. He then turned towards where the Elias and Doubijin were standing and addressed Moll telepathically.

This is it? This is your great champion? I expected a battle like no other I have ever had in the ten billion years that I have existed and I get this?! Tell me, foolish fairy... Where are your threats, where are your promises, where is your courage and defiance now? he snarled. Moll had no answer to offer him. She was in a state of complete and utter shock as they had truly underestimated the Gudis' power.

"It can't end this way!" Lora screamed. "You were supposed to die, you monster!" The Gudis laughed as he tilted his head back before continuing his tirade.

"I have experienced your kind of death a hundred times over and yet, here I stand. Tell me, insects... How does your defeat taste? Where is your arrogance and stubborn pride now, fools?" he howled as tears started to stream down Lora's face. "Say goodbye to your so-called goddess, vermin!" he hissed as he lifted his right arm to fire a beam at Mothra. The fairies looked on in horror. At this range, she could not possibly survive the attack.

Suddenly, a laser shot in from the Gudis' right and his outstretched arm was sliced off at the elbow. With a gasp of surprise, the fairies quickly looked over, as did the Gudis, in the direction the shot came from. Standing nearby were Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus. A series of explosions detonated upon the Gudis' back and the alien looked over to see Gamera behind him. Beams rained down from above and he saw the newly-rebuilt and revamped Gigan coming in for a landing. Nearby, a raspy hiss signified Manda's presence as he sat coiled up like a cobra, ready to strike.

"Hi, there," a voice suddenly said over a loudspeaker. Gudis turned to see a large drill punch directly into his face as he staggered backwards. Overhead, the Gotengo could be seen as well. It was official. The Alliance had arrived.

"Well, well, well. What have we here? So you've all come to challenge me, eh? I must admit I am quite flattered," the Gudis stated, regenerating his damage but surrounded on all sides.

Your reign of terror ends here, loathsome devil! Manda hissed.

In layman's terms, that means we're here to kick your butt Gamera growled.

Hey, looks like this is going to be a fun party but where's the booze? Gigan joked.

After we kill him Megalon retorted.

"What is this?" Lora asked in astonishment.

"Beings who obviously know the threat that the Gudis represents and have come to stop him," Belvera surmised.

*****

At G-FORCE headquarters, the United World Powers leaders had gathered to bear witness to what they hoped would be the final destruction of Gudis.

"So this is what it comes down to," Argon said softly as he beheld the incredible combined group of kaiju and constructs that stood on the battlefield.

"The time has come for this blasphemous entity to pay for its crimes!" King Antonio proclaimed. General Aso looked worried and hoped they would be enough to stop the Gudis once and for all. Someone else who shared the General's concern was Fumio Subo who, despite secretly despising the mere notion of uniting with the others this way, realized that the Gudis possibly posed the greatest threat to the Nebulans' plans for the Earth and must be dealt with.

*****

The UWP were not the only ones watching. From their respective command centers and bases, the Kilaaks and the Space Force Directive bore witness to this titanic battle unfolding as well. They knew that in order for their plans to come to fruition, the Gudis would have to be stopped. All eyes, both human and extraterrestrial, were on Japan as the epic confrontation like no other ever witnessed was about to take place.

*****

Megalon initiated the attack, charging in and swinging away with his drills but Gudis ducked, dodged and sidestepped as he hit the over-sized beetle with a nasty uppercut, sending him flying backwards. Gamera fired off a volley of point-blank plasma fireballs as he closed the gap between them. At arm's reach, he unsheathed his elbow spurs for a flurry of jabs but the Gudis blocked the strikes with his armored forearms and absorbed the energy before hitting the Atlantean guardian with a massive energy ball, made up of the plasma fire, along with his own energy as well. Gamera went soaring through the air and landed hard, practically comatose from the power of the blast.

Suddenly, a clawed grappling hook wrapped around the Gudis' neck as Gigan wrenched him off the ground and through the air. He slammed him back down onto the ground head first. But as Gudis got back up, he gave a solid jerk on the chain that brought Gigan hurtling towards him. He held his arm out, clotheslining the cyborg hard and flipping him head over heels.

Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus attacked simultaneously with a preprogrammed tandem offense. They hit the Gudis with a series of perfectly-timed punches, kicks and chops as they slowly forced the monstrosity back. Gudis fired both of his arm beams, sending them flying for at least two miles.

Manda struck next, lunging forward and latching his jaws around the Gudis' throat while wrapping him up in his constricting coils. Even with his freakish strength, Gudis could not break the guardian's grip and started to cough up blood from the damage being done by the Muuvian serpent. The alien virus fired off his arm beams but with his limbs firmly constricted against his sides, a massive explosion blew a gaping hole in the earth beneath them which the combatants fell into.

"Captain, shouldn't we be joining the attack?" one of the bridge officers aboard the Gotengo asked.

"It's all about timing, rookie. I'll give the word when the time is right," Gordon assured him. A few moments later, a stunned Manda came flying out of the ground and landed in a heap nearby as the Gudis flew back into the fray. Megalon was ready and spear-tackled the monstrosity in mid-air. The Gudis flipped the Seatopian protector over the top of him and sprang back up, firing his eye, breath and arm blasts in all directions, scattering his antagonists.

The kaiju tried to attack in unison and converged on the alien menace. Gigan went for a claw swipe but the Gudis sidestepped and planted an elbow into the back of his head. Gamera charged in again but his target leaped over him while dodging a swing from Megalon. At this exact moment, Manda sprang forward, barely missing the Gudis' face with his snapping jaws but as his long, snake-like body soared by, Gudis grabbed it by the tail and swung him around, wrapping the serpent around Gamera's neck and swinging them both into Gigan.

Megalon tried to gore the Gudis with his now-spinning drills but got side-stepped, grabbed and judo-thrown into the onrushing Titanosaurus as he and Mechagodzilla rejoined the battle. Mechagodzilla touched down, unloading a round of plasma missiles directly into the Gudis who retaliated with both his arm beams. The robot's force field was overloaded by the nightmarish power. As it exploded, the titanium terror went flying back once again. His plasma missiles detonated and the Gudis shrieked in agony as his regeneration fought against the highly corrosive compound affecting his body.

Titanosaurus swung his tail into the Gudis' legs from behind, causing him to fall. Gigan tried to come down on top of him with his chest saw engaged but the Gudis managed to roll out of the way at the last second and backhanded him, throwing the cyborg into Titanosaurus before dodging a simultaneous swing from either side by Megalon and Gamera. He leaped over Gamera's attack and came back down, bending over backwards to avoid Megalon's charge. Gudis grabbed the beetle-like kaiju and release-suplexed him into Gamera. As both guardians went rolling, he caught Mechagodzilla in a mid-air lunge and power-slammed him down. Getting up, Gudis spun around and jumped, simultaneously tornado-kicking an incoming Gigan, backhanding Manda and tail-sweeping Titanosaurus in one fluid, flawless motion.

The Elias and Doubijin watched with a looming sense of dread. Was there nothing that could stop this demon?

"This is insane! How can he be fighting them all off at once like this?" Nanbara bellowed in disbelief.

"Perhaps if we had taken notice sooner and attacked him before he became this powerful, we wouldn't be in this situation now," the Captain mused. Just then, the kaiju tried a different kind of combined attack and encircled the Gudis, opening fire with all their projectile weaponry at once. Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus unloaded everything they had while Gigan fired his eye beam, Megalon used his horn beam and napalm pods and Gamera let loose with one plasma fireball volley after another.

"Open fire. Now!" Gordon ordered as the Gotengo fired its drill beam, laser cannons and homing missiles in conjunction with the kaijus' arsenal. As the combined assault struck the Gudis, he was forced to his knees. Was it actually going to work? The answer became painfully obvious as the Gudis surged up with a terrible roar and sent another incredible energy shockwave off his body, grounding everyone on the battlefield. The only thing unaffected was the Gotengo, which had been out of range.

"Fire freeze maser now!" Gordon ordered frantically as the ice beam shot forth from the drill tip, striking the Gudis dead on and freezing him solid. "Alright! Now finish him off!" he commanded as they zeroed in with the drill engaged. Mere seconds before the ship reached him, the Gudis suddenly exploded free of his icy prison.

"Keep going!" Gordon ordered. The Gotengo drilled straight into the Gudis before he had time to react. The towering behemoth bellowed in pain as the ship gored his torso and powered into him, pieces of muscles, organs and spinal column exploding out of his back as the monster fell to his knees with the great ship lodged in his body.

"Fire missiles now!"

"But sir! At this range, it could destroy us!"

"I said fire, damn it!" Gordon bellowed. The soldier did as he was ordered. The missiles fired upward, then arched back down. They impacted on the Gudis with a series of explosions that caused damage to the ship as well as the monster. Angrily, the Gudis got a firm grip on the Gotengo and strained against its engines that were pushing him back. He then pointed his head down, blasting it with his eye beams. The destructive energy detonated across the hull, causing even more damage as several explosions and fires erupted within.

"Taking heavy damage, sir!" Nanbara reported before a control panel explosion knocked him out cold. The Gudis then heaved the vessel out of himself, hoisting it up above his head before throwing it through the air.

"We're going down, sir!" the Tactical Officer screamed.

"Brace for impact!" Gordon shouted to his crew as the Gotengo crashed down and skidded to a halt. The Gudis leaned forward in his kneeling position and waited for his regeneration to close the gaping hole in his body as bone, sinew, organs and muscles reconstituted.

"Infinitesimal, detestable, insignificant microbes! Do you not know death when you see it?!" he seethed with rage as he stood up.

*****

At G-FORCE headquarters, everyone watched the scene unfolding before them in utter mortification. Was there no hope? At least the other combatants were starting to stir again. Mechagodzilla lunged at the Gudis, hitting him with a series of punches. Having learned of the Kong/MOGERA threat, both Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus' anti-gravity generators had been given non-conductive armor shielding to protect them against power surges and overloads. Mechagodzilla moved like a mech possessed as it laid into the viral behemoth like a Muay Tai kick-boxer.

The Gudis tried to connect with physical strikes of his own but couldn't lay a finger on the fast moving, agile war machine. Mechagodzilla somersaulted and unloaded another round of plasma missiles as he passed overhead. He then hit Gudis with a second salvo after landing behind him. When the abomination spun around, he got a third round, this time of impaler missiles that stabbed into his body on impact. The Gudis grew angry and used the mastery of his body to actually force the impalers out. They shot off in all directions like shrapnel as Mechagodzilla leaped over the Gudis again.

Gudis went on the attack and unloaded a devastating punch and kick combination while at the same time, lashing out with his tentacles, pushing the mech back as it blocked and deflected each strike with amazing speed. But what Mechagodzilla didn't notice amidst the writhing flurry of limbs was the Gudis' tail as it snaked around behind him. He didn't realize it was there until it had wrapped around his left foot. The Gudis proceeded to slam the robot repeatedly onto the ground again and again before bringing him down right in front of him. As Mechagodzilla got up, trying to re-stabilize its internal gyroscopes, the Gudis connected with a punch that caved in the side of its head, affecting the internal circuitry. Without his force field, Mechagodzilla was helpless against the Gudis' brutal assault. Another punch dented his chest and sent him flying backwards. Gudis compounded the damage with a blast of his eye beams as the robot went down, off line and out of the fight.

"Oohhh, that's a shame... Hope it has a good warranty," Gudis joked sadistically as he turned to face off against the quick-charging Gamera. "Oh, yay! Everyone's favorite turtle with an under-bite!" he jibed.

Do not underestimate me, demon! the Atlantean construct shouted angrily.

"So which Ninja Turtle are you? Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello or Raphael?" Gudis went on as the two began to spar. As they battled, Gudis hummed the theme music from the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES cartoon. Gamera unloaded a flurry of spur jabs and some point-blank fireballs but the alien virus absorbed the energy and hit him with a massive energy ball consisting of the plasma fire and his own power as well. Gamera went soaring through the air and landed hard, practically comatose. As the Gudis turned around, he was ambushed by Gigan who darted in from the side. He flew by, slicing the Gudis' right arm off at the shoulder with his chest saw before making a roundhouse swing with his right arm which the Gudis stopped with his left.

"I didn't need that arm anyway," he snarled as he ripped Gigan's off. "How about you?" He then stabbed it into the side of Gigan's neck as the cyborg plummeted back down. When the Gudis landed to regenerate his arm, Gigan fired his eye beam. The ray spider-webbed apart and exploded onto the mutant's body but the Gudis absorbed this attack and sent it back through his own eye beams. Gigan's other arm was blown off but he bum-rushed the Gudis, activating his chest saw again. It bit deep into the monster's torso as the juggernaut shrieked in pain and fury.

In angry retaliation, the Gudis hit him with a point-blank shot of his eye beams, backing Gigan up before backhanding his head off his body. The now headless and armless cyborg finally fell over.

Manda tried to lunge from behind but Gudis spun around, catching him in mid-air and proceeded to crack his body like a giant whip across the ground, knocking the serpent out cold.

Recovering, Titanosaurus unloaded with his weaponry. His laser cutter sliced off Gudis' legs at the knees which put the freakish beast down. The cyborg then deployed his cluster torpedo which spread out and detonated, obscuring the Gudis' body in smoke. Long moments passed as Titanosaurus waited for any signs of movement. Suddenly, one of the Gudis' arm beams shot forth. Titanosaurus tried to engage his forcefield, only to realize that it no longer worked, having been knocked off line by the Gudis' earlier shockwave. He quickly switched to his reflector dish but realized all too late that the amount of power was far too great. It literally melted the dish and sent a feedback power surge that shut him down. Titanosaurus toppled over as Megalon slowly regained his senses and realized that he now was the only functioning fighter left on the battlefield.

"And then there was one..." the Gudis said menacingly as he slowly moved towards his quarry. In the meantime, the crew of the Gotengo had managed to get their view screens and scanners working again but the image that came up wasn't a promising one.

"My god..." Gordon exclaimed with a shudder as he realized that all the other kaiju had been beaten and Megalon was the only one left standing. The Seatopian guardian blasted Gudis with both his horn beam and explosive pods but the alien just walked through the barrage as if it were nothing. Megalon got both of his drills going as the Gudis drew closer. When Gudis opened fire, the guardian took to the air and then dove back down, burrowing into the earth. As the Gudis walked around, surveying his surroundings, Megalon listened intently, being able to pick up the slightest surface vibrations.

As the Gudis came by a large rock formation, Megalon suddenly exploded from within, driving his right drill into the side of the Gudis' face. Not giving him any time to react, he slapped his drills together as one and burrowed into his chest below the sternum. Arcing upward and drilling into the demon's torso, it was similar to a tactic he had used on Z-Ton but unlike Gudis, Z-Ton didn't have the luxury of regeneration. Reacting in pain and frustration, the Gudis sent his tentacles forth. They engaged and wrapped around the beetle kaiju as the Gudis fired his breath ray, badly burning Megalon's face. He was far from finished and spit out a napalm pod right into the open part of the Gudis' skull which hadn't fully regenerated yet. It blew his head apart. Both kaiju fell over and the Gudis' tentacles went limp as Megalon pulled his blood-soaked and entrail-covered drills free and untangled himself. He crawled a few meters away, trying to clear his hazy vision while the Gudis quickly regenerated. Megalon got back up and turned around just in time to catch a solid right fist directly between the eyes that sent him flying back, slamming into another rock formation as the back of his head hit hard, putting him in a daze as he fell. The Gudis strode forward, his face and chest still sealing back up. Megalon was grabbed by the throat and lifted up off the ground.

"Get us up and moving. Now!" Gordon ordered desperately.

"It's no good, sir! The damage is too extensive to repair in such a short time frame."

"And the Seatopians worship you as a god? Please! Don't make me laugh!" Gudis ridiculed his captive.

And what do you expect me to do? Beg for mercy? Megalon grunted as he was being strangled but still trying to fight against the Gudis' death grip.

"That would be good for starters," the Gudis grinned.

Pitiful parasite! I'll give you no such satisfaction! It doesn't matter how powerful you are, even if you can crush me in an instant. I do not fear you and I never will! Megalon gurgled, choking on his own blood.

"Blah, blah, blah, blah! You're putting me to sleep over here! I should make your death extra slow just for being so annoying!" the Gudis sneered. Just then, something caught the Gudis' attention as he looked over to where Mothra lay. She was glowing. While the Gudis had been battling the other defenders, she was given precious time to heal and now rose up with renewed strength and looking seriously pissed.

Put... him... down! she ordered in a commanding tone.

"So, you've gotten a second wind, eh? Good. I was hoping you wouldn't be such a push-over. But you do realize that this is still going to end the same way? Alone, you do not have the power to stop me," the Gudis gloated, choking Megalon all the while.

Perhaps I don't but what you fail to realize is that I am not alone she proclaimed proudly as a strange energy began to rise up from her body and take on the shape of Battra and Biollante. Gudis finally threw Megalon aside and ventured closer. It was their spirits - their primal life forces manifesting themselves for all to see. Their characteristic roars could be heard echoing across the landscape as Mothra's chirps joined their chorus.

"Moll! Look! Do you see it?" Lora stammered.

"Yes, I do! I can feel them!"

"Unbelievable..." Belvera muttered.

"Aren't they supposed to be dead?" the Gudis asked Mothra with annoyance.

Hope never dies! she stated boldly as her own energy combined with that of her brother and sister. It began to coalesce and swirl together as they formed an immense energy ball augmenting the combined strength of Biollante, Battra and Mothra. It then shot forth like a raging maelstrom, hitting the Gudis with unimaginable force and power. The resulting explosion sent his flaming body flying into the upper stratosphere until he finally crashed down somewhere on the eastern coast of Russia above North Korea, over 500 miles away where his body plummeted deep into the ground.

The Elias and Doubijin fell to their knees. Lora, Moll and even Belvera were shedding tears of joy as the Doubijin were left speechless by what they had just seen.

"Incredible," Gordon murmured in awe. "Status report?" he finally asked, snapping back to reality after beholding the unbelievable spectacle.

"Engines are still off line, sir."

"And the Gudis?"

"Out of range, Captain."

"And the kaiju... What about them?"

"The mechs are all off line. Don't know the extent of their damage but all the monsters are still alive, sir."

"Good. Hopefully, with time they will all be able to heal their wounds," Captain Gordon said optimistically.

*****

Back at Headquarters, everyone was in a state of shock, as if not sure what to say or how to feel. Was this a victory? Was the Gudis finally dead? What were the conditions of everyone's respective kaiju and cyborgs?

Fumio cursed silently under his breath at the crippling damage Gigan had sustained. It had by far fared worse than anyone else in the brutal battle.

"Is that it? Is the Gudis finally gone now?" Bordu asked.

"I don't know. I wouldn't think that anything living could survive such an attack but I just don't know," Argon replied.

King Antonio and the Mu Empress sighed in relief that their people's protectors had survived the terrible ordeal.

"I'll tell you one thing. If he isn't dead, we're all in a world of hurt," General Aso warned.

*****

In the country once known as the U.S.S.R., miles deep within the planet, the charred, mutilated and dismembered remains of the Gudis lay, unmoving. The attack that Queen Mothra had used was unlike anything he had ever been hit with before. It made the damage he sustained at the hands of King Ghidorah look like a Sunday tea party by comparison.

But as the morbid ravager sat in his new tomb, tiny spores began to slowly stir upon its being. The injuries the Gudis had endured were beyond comprehension but he was not dead. There was no way of knowing exactly how long it would take, but eventually, one way or another, the Gudis would rise again.



Chapter 12: UNDER ATTACK

Gigan's Return

Within the secret Nebulan base, Viceroy Kabota was attempting to get Chairman Fumio Subo's attention, despite his foul mood.

"Whatever it is, Kabota, it will have to wait."

"But I assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised, Chairman. If you will simply allow me but a moment to explain, I think we can improve your disposition, sir."

"Improve my disposition? Our ultimate weapon just got reduced to scrap by the Gudis and you think that you're going to improve my disposition!?"

"Yes, I do," Kabota boldly stated as he stepped aside, stretching out his arm to encourage Fumio to proceed him. The still-flustered and angry Nebulan tromped down the hallway the Viceroy directed him towards and soon realized where they were heading.

"Why are we going to the Construction Bay? If you're going to show me the damage report for Gigan, you don't have to bother as I've already seen it," Fumio fussed as he stopped and turned towards Kabota.

"I know that, sir. I have something else in mind," he informed him as he motioned the Chairman to keep going. With a frustrated huff and a roll of his eyes, Fumio proceeded on. He entered the bay with Kabota right behind him. The doors had opened to reveal Gigan back in his dock mounts with several crews working on him.

"You're going to rebuild him again? Just so some other uber-juggernaut can tear him apart?" Fumio asked sarcastically.

"We knew going into this project that Gigan was going to be overpowered by a lot of the beings he would be facing so logic dictated that if you don't have a weapon as powerful as everyone else's..." Kabota trailed off as he walked up behind Fumio and placed his hands on his shoulders, turning him towards another part of the bay. "...You make sure that you have plenty of spare parts," he finished in his ear as the Chairman's jaw dropped at what he saw.

Sitting in their own dock were a brand new pair of arms for Gigan but these were not just replacements. These were equipped with twin chainsaws. In another dock was a new tail with a large robotic claw that was being prepared for installation as well.

"This is amazing, Kabota!"

"It gets better, sir. We are also installing other new weapons, like giving him a far stronger focused singular eye beam and placing mechanisms in his shoulders that will launch razor-sharp homing disks to seek out any target they are fired at and then return. Gigan will be up and running again in no time and more powerful than ever before."

"Excellent!" Fumio declared with an almost devilish smile as he rubbed his hands together.

[INTERLUDE] Guiron

In downtown Kyoto, the monster Guiron rampaged through the streets, crushing everything in its path as people ran screaming for their lives. This Guiron, however, was not the original as it had been regrown and genetically engineered through cultivated DNA from the original kaiju who shared the same namesake.

It had been augmented with a new weapon also: a cybernetic tail that had a massive gripping claw on the end and was made of the same metal as the blade upon the kaiju's head. This new appliance also helped to better distribute the monster's weight when it was standing upright and trying to support the heavy blade that had kept the previous kaiju on all fours most of the time.

Things looked grim for the city and its inhabitants as the beast made its way through the small metropolis, undaunted in its carnage until a laser fired from above, dispersing and spreading into a cluster of rays that struck the kaiju's back. Coming in for a landing was the new and improved Gigan. With his incredible flying speed of Mach 3, the cyborg made the twenty mile flight from the Nebulan base to the city quickly and came down about 600 meters in front of the bladed alien kaiju. He clanged his own blades together, uttering his characteristic metallic cry.

Guiron responded by lunging with a roar, attempting to spear Gigan head on but the cyborg dodged. Guiron went through a building behind where Gigan had been standing. Gigan then blasted him again with his eye beam as the creature turned to lunge again, this time cleaving another structure in half. Gigan took to the air but as he circled around, Guiron crouched low once again, coiling his powerful leg muscles as he hid amongst the buildings.

As Gigan realized that his prey had disappeared, Guiron suddenly lunged into the air, catching him by surprise as his massive blade slammed into him dead on, putting a huge dent in his left sternum. The cyborg fell out of the sky and crashed down below. As he got back up, Guiron was already on top of him, diving forward as Gigan crossed his own blades together. Guiron collided with them, resulting in a metallic clanging echo that could be heard from one end of the city to the other. The two kaiju pushed against each other with their locked blades as each jockeyed for position. Suddenly, something clasped onto the back of Gigan's head. It was Guiron's tail, with a large claw on the end with incredible strength and gripping power that hurled him through the air and crashing through several buildings. Guiron then sent forth his psychically controlled shuriken but soon discovered to his dismay that they could not penetrate Gigan's armor but returned to him

Guiron uprooted an electrical tower with his tail and threw it at his adversary like a javelin but Gigan managed to dart out of the way as Guiron bolted again. Gigan side-stepped him and hacked away with his own blades as Guiron roared out in defiance. It was becoming apparent that Guiron's hide was extremely resilient so Gigan decided it was time to use his big saw. Guiron stood up, taking a series of swings at Gigan with his blade. The cyborg managed to dodge and his chest saw roared to life. He then charged right at Guiron and dug it into his collarbone. At first, it didn't seem to penetrate, as if he was trying to cut into solid stone but after a few seconds, the tough skin finally gave way and a spray of blood spurted through the air.

Reacting in anger and the unfamiliar sensation of pain, Guiron went berserk and lashed out with his metallic tail. The claw stabbed at Gigan again and again who used his own blades to parry and block in an odd parody of a sword fight. Intermittently, Gigan would have to dodge or block Guiron's head blade as well. The amount of control the kaiju had over his cybernetic tail was impressive. It was almost as if it operated independently from the rest of his body.

Gigan tried a point-blank shot with his beam but Guiron angled his head so that his blade deflected the ray. Off in the distance, a structure got leveled. Gigan ended the exchange, clanging his right blade against Guiron's head and his left against the dangerous tail. He also blasted the gaping wound his saw had made with his eye beam, compounding the damage even more as Guiron let out another bellow of pain. The tail came down at Gigan again but he went into a spin, deflecting it with his left blade as he buried the right in Guiron's left eye. As the kaiju staggered back from the injury, Gigan quickly shot forth one of his grappling hooks. It wrapped around Gurion's neck before he swung him through the air to go crashing down on the other side of him.

When Guiron got back up, he charged at Gigan who did the same. They leaped into the air at one another but Gigan turned his body in mid-air, dodging Guiron's blade and at the same time, bringing his chest saw across his neck. Gigan went down as did Guiron's body but his head was elsewhere. Gigan walked up to the beheaded kaiju for a final look when suddenly, Guiron's tail thrust forward and punched him in the face. As Gigan went flying back, its claw ripped up a building and hurled it at him. Gigan then realized that the tail was robotic and did indeed operate independently.

The building came down on Gigan who had to use his beam to blast his way clear, only to get smacked in the face by a huge chunk of pavement that the tail had ripped up. Reacting quickly, Gigan fired his beam but discovered that like Guiron's blade, it too deflected laser fire. The cyborg took to the air and circled around the city.

Gigan soared in at amazing speed to rush up on the tail with his chest saw and grabbed it, grating against the blade as sparks flew. The tail actually lifted Gigan off the ground, preparing to throw him off. Gigan fired both of his grappling hooks, anchoring himself to the ground as his saw cut through the robotic appendage. It went flying through the air but managed to twitch and snap a couple of times before finally going dead. With the threat finally over, Gigan ignited his jets and headed back to the Nebulan base.

*****

"That went even better than I could have possibly expected, Kabota! Some excellent work, if I do say so myself," Fumio commended his associate.

"I am glad that you approve, Chairman," he replied with a satisfied grin.

*****

Elsewhere at a secret location, a small group of Terran aliens were in the midst of a violent temper tantrum.

Revelations

In the G-FORCE hangar bay, a work crew departed from the Gotengo after performing extensive repairs to the ship after its brutal encounter with the Gudis. The Muuvians had been assigned by the Empress for maintenance of the ship as needed. Captain Gordon offered his thanks and a handshake to each of them as they descended the gangplank, something he always did when repairs to the ship were completed.

As he came aboard to give the work a once-over, he spotted one lone Muuvian still on the bridge, bent over the helm controls. He was a technician he had never seen before.

"Is there something wrong?"

"No, Captain. Just performing some last-minute diagnostics, that's all," the mechanic replied. Gordon looked on as he punched a few buttons and then closed his tool box. "There. All done, sir," he said nonchalantly as stepped past the Captain and headed for the exit. As he departed, Gordon watched him for a moment before also leaving the ship, not giving him any more thought.

*****

Queen Mothra was flying off the coast of Honshu when she spotted something out of the corner of her eye and moved in to investigate. As she drew closer, she could see that it was the Gotengo hovering nearby. It flashed a bright beacon at her as some form of signal and then turned, igniting its engines and taking off at full speed.

She was confused as to what exactly was going on but figured that the ship wanted her to follow it for some reason. Had the Gudis returned? Was it another threat, perhaps? Whatever the problem was, she decided to follow the airship.

*****

At G-FORCE headquarters in the main conference room, King Antonio stared out one of the many panoramic windows, lost in thought. A few moments later, Commander Argon entered the room.

"Am I disturbing you, your majesty?" he asked.

"What? Oh, no. Not at all," the King assured him.

"I just wanted to let you know that we are due to depart for a tour of the cryo-stasis facility in a few minutes."

"Ah, yes. I remember. Thank you, Commander. I will join the rest of the group shortly," Antonio assured him. Argon nodded and was about to leave. "Commander?"

"Yes, your highness?"

"How did it feel?"

"How did what feel?"

"The realization that your home was doomed. Back when you still lived upon it." Argon paused for a moment as if unsure how to answer. "I am sorry. I should not have brought up such a painful subject. I apologize for asking and retract my question immediately," Antonio said with remorse and a hint of embarrassment as he lowered his head.

"No, it's all right. I don't mind talking about it. I was simply trying to find the proper words to use, your majesty. The truth is, 'surreal' would be how it initially felt. You wake up in the morning and look out at the beautiful sunshine and don't want to believe that the end is coming. You wish that it wasn't, that it is all just some terrible nightmare that you're going to wake up from at any moment."

"But it's not," the King figured, lifting his head back up

"No, your highness."

"I can't help but wonder... if that's what we are facing?"

"You're referring to the Gudis, aren't you?"

"What else? The combined forces of our mightiest kaiju and machines challenged him and he nearly destroyed us all. If it had not been for that miraculous attack that Mothra summoned..."

"We'd probably all be dead right now."

"...yes."

"What if the Gudis did survive? What if it returns? What then? Is Earth facing the same fate that befell your home world?" the aged Seatopian ruler pressed on.

"I wish I knew, King Antonio. But whatever our fate may be, we will face it with courage and determination. If we do fall, it will not be because we surrendered. Better to die on our feet than live on our knees," Argon asserted.

"Indeed, Commander. I couldn't agree more," the King stated with pride.

*****

The United World Powers representatives made their way towards a massive chamber sealed off by a huge set of double doors with two armed guards standing before them.

"Where is Fumio?" King Antonio asked suddenly.

"Mister Subo regrets to inform us that for reasons of a personal nature, he will not be able to join us for the tour, ladies and gentlemen," the Prime Minister advised.

"Indeed..." Commander Argon muttered under his breath.

"And Captain Gordon?" the Mu Empress asked.

"He is currently on standby with the Gotengo but asked me to accompany the alliance on this tour in his stead, your highness," First Officer Nanbara explained.

"As you can see, the life form known as Caltiki has been contained here in the facility's cryo chamber until the proper disposal methods can be arranged," General Aso began the presentation.

"And what are the plans for this dangerous organism?" the Mu Empress asked.

"As you may or may not know, fire is the primary weakness of this creature. Eventually, there are plans to dump it into an active volcano."

"And you are sure that it is safe to keep it here while these arrangements are being made?" Commander Argon questioned.

"Completely. I assure you, we have nothing whatsoever to fear. Now, if you will just follow me over in this direction, I will show you the central control room," the General gestured as they headed down a long corridor and through another pair of double doors.

In another part of the installation, an alarm was triggered and blared throughout the complex, startling everyone present. The two guards quickly began to look around, wondering what was happening.

"This is Station 4. We have a fire alarm sounding. Is this a drill? Over," one of them asked over his radio.

"No drill was scheduled. We're checking out the premises in our sector now. Over," a voice replied.

"Understood. Emergency sweep being initiated. Report back when completed. Over and out," the guard replied before returning the radio to his belt. He and his partner made a mad dash for the doors as a patient and hidden observer made his move.

"What is going on?" the Mu Empress asked.

"It's nothing. Just a drill or a minor malfunction of some kind, I'm sure," Aso reassured the congregation. The guards finished their sweep and returned to their post, only to discover that the cryo chamber's temperature controls had been tampered with.

"What the hell?!" one of them blurted as he quickly punched in the access code to open the doors. As they opened, a tentacle shot forth, ensnaring the unfortunate man and jerking him inside, kicking and screaming. Panicking, his partner opened fire with his side arm which only managed to crack and splinter more of the ice that had been encasing Caltiki. A few moments later, a second strand came forth, grabbing the other guard as well. When they were both consumed, Caltiki began to expand its mass to break free of its icy prison. The sound of rending and tearing metal could be heard echoing throughout the facility.

"What the devil is happening?" King Antonio asked. General Aso was at a loss for words.

"I'm really not liking this," Argon muttered, more to himself than anyone else. A group of heavily armed soldiers with flame throwers jogged by the visitors. Nanbara grabbed one of them by the shoulder.

"What is going on?!" he demanded.

"Containment breach. Caltiki has escaped somehow!" the man answered frantically as he pulled free and rushed to catch up to the rest of the containment squad. But just as they reached the end of the corridor, the monstrosity exploded through the doors with tentacles flying in all directions. Many of the men were caught by surprise and several were entangled and consumed within moments. Others who managed to stay out of reach unloaded with their flame throwers as they backed away from the steadily advancing abomination. But as parts of the organism caught fire, eruptions of water surged forth from within Caltiki's mass to extinguish the flames.

"What is happening? Why aren't the flame throwers working?!" the Prime Minister demanded.

"The ice from the cryo chamber! Caltiki must have consumed some of it and melted it down as water to add to its mass. It's using it to defend itself against the flame throwers!" Nanbara shouted worriedly.

"Everyone needs to be evacuated. Now!" Argon decided.

"Ladies and gentlemen. Please follow me to the nearest emergency exit!" the General yelled, leading the way. They prepared to leave but Commander Argon bolted in the direction the containment squad had taken, grabbing a flame thrower that had been in the possession of a now dead and absorbed lab worker.

"Commander Argon! What are you doing?" the Prime Minister shouted after him.

"Get everyone out of here. Now!" he called back as he dodged a tentacle.

"Commander! You must come with us!" King Antonio yelled desperately.

"I said, get out of here! Unless this damned thing is kept at bay, it will catch up and kill all of you before you can make it out!" Argon roared. Just then, Nanbara rushed over to assist him, grabbing a flame thrower as well and cutting loose on Caltiki whose appendages recoiled as the fiery gel hit them.

"Nanbara!? This is insane! We can't leave you both behind!" the Prime Minister insisted.

"Then we'll make it easy for you!" Nanbara replied as he spun around and fired his weapon in their general direction. The group quickly took off running.

"You should've left with the others!" Argon informed him.

"What? And let you have all the fun?" he yelled back as a tentacle suddenly wrapped around his ankle and pulled him down. He hit the floor and lost his flame thrower as he was pulled towards Caltiki's writhing mass. Suddenly, a jet of fire from Argon reduced the tendril to ash and he scurried back to reclaim his weapon.

"If we survive this, remind me to have a serious discussion with you about what your definition of fun is," Argon shouted over the roar of the fiery blasts they were laying down. They had to rely on their agility and highly-trained reflexes to avoid Caltiki's grasp but it was a losing battle as the creature was still advancing and they were starting to get dangerously low on fuel. Realizing this, Nanbara made a fateful decision and slammed the nozzle of his flame thrower against Argon's head, knocking him backwards and across the floor.

"What are you doing!?!" he roared.

"Saving your sorry butt, Commander!" Nanbara replied with a sly grin as he quickly moved towards a console on the wall and slammed a button on it, bringing down a set of blast doors that separated him from the Simeon.

"Nanbara, no!" he screamed as he sprang back up and charged at the door, pounding away on it. "Nanbara, open the doors!"

"Can't do that, Commander. If one of us has to get out of this alive, it has to be you."

"Unacceptable! Open these doors now! That's an order!"

"You may be a Commander in the Simeon Army, Argon, but you're not my commanding officer. And even if you were, I still wouldn't open those doors! I'm just another soldier, Commander. Your people need you. I'm expendable. You're not."

"Expendable, my ass! Now open these damned doors!" But there was no answer as Nanbara was now fighting off Caltiki with everything he had, but to no avail. A few moments later, his fuel tank was dry and a mass of tentacles rushed towards him. On the other side of the blast doors, Argon suddenly heard his screams.

"Nanbara! NO!" he yelled but he knew it was too late. An extreme amount of pressure began to push against the blast doors and Argon took off running. He managed to make it outside just as Caltiki literally caused the entire compound to explode from the inside out. Just then, a military jeep rushed over to pick him up.

"They told us that you and First Officer Nanbara were still inside. Where is he?" the driver asked.

"He... he didn't make it," Argon admitted forlornly as he climbed in. They quickly took off, with one of Caltiki's tentacles missing them by inches.

*****

"What do you mean, it's off line?! The repair crew just finished with it!" Gordon exploded.

"There's some kind of virus that has been fed into the Gotengo's CPU. It's causing all kinds of havoc!"

"Well, fix the damn thing! We just got word that Caltiki has escaped from the cryo-stasis facility in Fukuoka. We've gotta get out there and stop it!"

"Sir, this isn't a five minute fixer-upper! It's going to take me hours to purge this thing from the system!"

"We don't have hours! Who in the hell is responsible for this?!" the Captain shrieked. Then it hit him. He thought back to the lone repairman he had not recognized from before. One could swear that a blood vessel was about to burst in Gordon's face as it turned beet red with anger. "Where is Caltiki now?" he asked.

"About three miles from Kitakyushu, sir."

"Quick! What other options do we have?"

"A napalm drop has been called in but they won't get here soon enough to stop Caltiki from reaching the city."

"What about Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus?"

"Still under repair after battling the Gudis but even if they were ready, they're still too far away to get here in time."

"Damn it! Well, if anyone has any other ideas on how to deal with this thing, now is the time to speak up."

*****

Caltiki moved ever closer to Kitakyushu as the UWP leaders watched from a safe distance. All hope seemed lost when the ground began to rumble and shake.

"What is going on now?" the Prime Minister wondered, his nerves already having been pushed to their limit. Just then, Megalon rose up from beneath the earth, standing between the city and the advancing green mass.

"That, ladies and gentlemen, is our salvation!" King Antonio declared with pride. Caltiki attacked immediately as several tendrils shot forth, wrapping around Megalon who responded by firing off both his horn beam and napalm pods. The beam did nothing but when the pods made contact and exploded, it recoiled and the tendrils pulled away from the Seatopian defender.

Megalon fired again but this time, the blob launched itself into the air and over the attack, crashing down on top of its quarry. A few seconds later, Megalon surged forth from beneath the earth a few hundred feet away and unloaded more of his projectiles. As they detonated on the writhing nightmare's mass, it dispersed its water deposits to put out the flames.

Megalon fired another pod volley but Caltiki parted his body where they would have hit. The napalm exploded harmlessly on the ground. A massive balled-up tentacle nearly half Megalon's size sprang forward and punched into him like a battering ram. The kaiju went flying through the air and crashed to the ground.

As Megalon got back up, Caltiki was on him in a flash. Another massive mound of the organism wrapped itself around the entire top half of his body. Megalon tried to use his spinning drills but they didn't have any affect on the gelatinous creature. By chance, he managed to spit up a pod that detonated on the ground in front of him. Megalon forced himself down on the flames, making Caltiki let go. As more tentacles shot forth, he took to the air, raining down one barrage after another as Caltiki tried to back away from the relentless assault.

The living protoplasm retaliated by ripping up a huge boulder and hurling it. Megalon barely dodged but as he veered around it, his foot was snagged by a high-reaching tentacle that jerked him out of the sky and brought him crashing down hard. Winded, Megalon got thrown into a rock formation and then wrenched back up and slammed down a third time. More tendrils moved towards him as he used his drills to fend them off but one wrapped around his left leg from behind and yanked him up, then hurled him directly into the center of Caltiki's mass. He was sucked in almost instantly.

Moments passed until suddenly, a bright yellow glow could be seen emanating and growing within the blob. There was an incredible explosion as Caltiki was completely engulfed in flames. Megalon erupted from the burning monstrosity which twisted and writhed amidst the fiery maelstrom. The guardian had used his solar blast attack to practically incinerate Caltiki from the inside out. He fell to his knees as he watched the horrid abomination burn to ash before him.

Megalon suffered terrible burns from the digestive acidic compounds within the creature but his exoskeleton protected him to some extent. After resting for a few more moments, the great Seatopian guardian turned and burrowed out of sight.

*****

At the Nebulan base, everything seemed to be in order.

"So... The Muuvian we paid to sabotage the Gotengo was successful?"

"Yes, Chairman," Kabota assured him.

"Has he already been dealt with?"

"Yes, sir. Dead men tell no tales."

"Excellent. And our agent at the cryo-stasis compound?"

"Caltiki has been released, sir."

"Splendid. And what of Mothra?"

"She has just now reached the pre-specified coordinates, sir."

"Good. Tell our team to pull out immediately."

"Very good, sir." Kabota sent out a radio signal from the panel in front of him.

*****

Mothra had followed the Gotengo over the open sea until they reached an uncharted and uninhabited island where it came to a dead stop in the air. Several miles above her position, a Nebulan shuttle shut down its holographic generator and took off at top speed. Down below, the false image of the Gotengo suddenly vanished. Mothra tilted her head sideways in bewilderment.

"Now!" Fumio ordered. Kabota pressed a button that set off a nuclear explosion right under where Mothra was hovering. She didn't even have time to realize what was happening. The incredible blast laid waste to the island and an ominous mushroom cloud rose into the sky above.

*****

In another part of Japan, the Elias could sense that something horrible had befallen Gaia's champion.

"Moll!" Lora cried out, suddenly overcome by a wave of nausea.

"I know, Lora. I can feel it, too."

"Something has happened to Mothra!" Lora exclaimed.

"What? What is happening?" Oberon asked frantically as his brother, Terius, looked on.

"Something terrible," Belvera explained calmly but with obvious worry in her voice.

"We must go now!" Moll decided.

*****

"Well done, Kabota! Mothra was one of the few kaiju that I didn't fancy Gigan having to go up against one-on-one but that isn't an issue anymore. Finally, things are starting to fall into place. Once we wrap affairs up here, we can proceed to address the threats posed by other possible alien arrivals elsewhere on the planet."

"What if there are survivors among the alliance after Caltiki's rampage, Chairman?"

"Then we will implement back-up plans - after I express my deep and heartfelt condolences for those who did not survive, of course," Fumio said with a wicked grin that Kabota also shared.

*****

At a nearby hospital, Captain Gordon ran as fast as he could, practically mowing down anyone unfortunate enough to step into his path. When he arrived at his destination, he found the rest of the UWP leaders present who immediately let him into the room. He slowly stepped towards the bed where the badly mutilated Nanbara laid. He had survived being enveloped by Caltiki as had a few others but obviously, he did not have long to live. Gordon leaned down by his bedside and carefully wrapped his right hand around what little remained of Nanbara's.

"I - Is everyone sa - safe?" he rasped, barely able to speak.

"Yes. You did yourself, me and your country proud, Nanbara," Gordon told him, trying very hard not to be overwhelmed by his emotions.

"G - good. I - I wa - want you to know tha - that it was... my... choice," Nanbara whispered as he tried to talk through the obvious agony he was in. Gordon simply nodded as he struggled to say what he had to. "I wa - want yo - you to know, Ca - Captain. I have n - no... regrets. A - and tha - that I... I wou - would do - it all over again if... I, ha - had the choice."

"I know, soldier. I know. You are, without a shadow of a doubt, the best damned First Officer I have ever served with or ever will," the Captain assured him. Nanbara struggled to form a smile on his face which was mostly melted down to the bone with hardly any flesh left. A few seconds later, his hand went limp and slipped out of Gordon's grasp. The alliance members hung their heads in mourning for their fallen comrade. Fumio had just arrived and stood in the doorway.

"Captain Gordon. Please allow me to offer my condolences for the passing of one of the bravest soldiers I have ever met," the Chairman offered but Gordon's only response was to slowly turn in his direction with a look of utter hatred and rage upon his face. He suddenly lunged, decking Fumio with a right hook directly to his temple.

"You son of a bitch! I know you had something to do with this! You weren't there when it happened!" Gordon seethed as he reached down for him but several orderlies and security personnel quickly mobbed the Captain, trying to restrain him.

"Have you gone mad, you detestable moron!?" Fumio snarled, holding his hand up to where Gordon's punch had connected as everyone in the room looked on in a state of shock.

"Captain! What is the meaning of this?!" General Aso demanded.

"As God is my witness, I swear I will kill you! Do you hear me?!" Gordon roared.

"Get him out of here and detain him immediately!" General Aso ordered as the Captain was dragged away, kicking and screaming.

*****

Later, at the Simeon base, Argon checked on Bordu's progress.

"Anything yet?"

"No, Commander. Not yet. Every time we try to trail Fumio, he manages to lose us before he even gets out of the city."

"We've got to dig up something sooner or later! Things are starting to get scary."

"So you believe that the Nebulans are responsible for the series of events that have taken place?"

"Absolutely! The Gotengo, Caltiki, the nuke detonation out in the Pacific - you name it! But I can't bring this to the attention of the rest of the alliance without proof. Captain Gordon assaulted Mister Subo and got relieved of duty and thrown in the brig. In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have told him about what I knew about the Nebulans. Maybe he wouldn't be where he is right now otherwise..."

"None of us can predict the future, sir. How could you have known that this would happen?"

"Well, there is no reason to believe that the same thing won't happen to us if we try to bring the Nebulans down without something concrete."

"Don't worry, sir! We'll nail them eventually. It's only a matter of time."

"Time may be one thing that we don't have. Who knows what brazen stunt they will pull next?" Argon fretted. "Have the UWP leaders figured out what we are doing yet?"

"No, sir. They're still in the dark thus far."

"Good. Inform me immediately if that changes."

"Yes, sir." A few moments of silence passed before Argon spoke again.

"It should have been me..."

"What, sir?"

"I said, it should've been me."

"What do you mean, Commander?"

"What happened to Nanbara."

"Actually, sir, it would've been and could've been both of you."

"He made a sacrifice that few soldiers are willing to make. He was truly an honorable human and an unneeded casualty. And unless we figure out what the Nebulans are up to and stop them... he won't be the last."

*****

In the hangar bay where Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus were being repaired, more treachery was afoot. A Simeon soldier, or someone who appeared to be one, slipped a specially designed transceiver onto Mechagodzilla's head. His weapons systems were still off line but his internal gyroscopes, along with motor control and flight systems, had been repaired.

"Agent Number 5 to Base. Transceiver is in place. Over," he whispered into a hidden comm link he carried.

"Agent 5, this is Base. We are receiving you. Transmission acknowledged and understood," Viceroy Kabota responded.

"Now, Chairman?"

"It is as good a time as any. Proceed," he replied. Kabota activated a control panel which suddenly brought Mechagodzilla roaring to life, much to the surprise of the Simeons in the hangar bay. The robot's jet propulsion system ignited and like a rocket, it smashed through the roof and up into the sky.

"Shall we proceed with Phase Two of the plan, sir?" Kabota asked Fumio.

"By all means, Kabota." An opening appeared at the top of the Nebulan base and a missile shot off toward Otaru, which was still in the process of cleaning up after Nargas' attack. When it reached the city, it detonated in the sky above, releasing an electro-magnetic pulse that shut down and fried any and all nearby electronic equipment. A few moments later, Mechagodzilla arrived and touched down on the outskirts of town.

"Commence the attack!" Fumio ordered. Mechagodzilla began to smash and trample its way through the city, yet another shock for the local populace.

*****

Back at the Simeon base, Argon stormed into the main control room, wondering what was going on with their weapons system.

"We don't know, sir! An outside force of some kind apparently has taken control of Mechagodzilla and now has him attacking Otaru!"

"Well, get him back under control!"

"We've already tried, Commander. It's no good. We've been completely cut off from him somehow."

*****

In Otaru, Phase 3 was under way as Mechagodzilla crushed everything in sight. Suddenly, a powerful concentrated beam struck him from behind, sending him crashing forward. The mech turned to see the newly-augmented Gigan coming in for a landing. He charged forward, tackling Mechagodzilla down and activating his twin chainsaws. He pinned the robot and began to slash away at him again and again.

"Let's not make it look too easy, Kabota. Give them a good show," Fumio directed as the Viceroy sent additional signals to Mechagodzilla who had knocked Gigan off of him. The mech hit Gigan with a series of punches that backed him up before clotheslining him and bringing him down hard. While still on the ground, Gigan used his new claw tail to reach around and grab hold of Mechagodzilla by his head. He was then thrown through the air before crashing down. As the robot tried to get up, he took the full brunt of Gigan's eye beam and plowed through several buildings due to its force.

"All right, Kabota. Send the shutdown signal." Gigan fired its eye beam yet again to make it look as if he had managed to defeat Mechagodzilla whose internal systems had lost power, resulting in the robot falling over and going completely dead. Gigan let out his shrill metallic chirp in celebration of the mock victory and raised his buzzing chainsaws up in the air.

"Well done, Kabota. Now, send Gigan to check the aftermath of the nuclear detonation and make sure that Mothra is dead."

"Yes, Chairman."

*****

Argon looked on with disgust. The base had special shielding that protected it from the effects of the electro-magnetic pulse so they were able to see everything that was transpiring on their monitors.

"We've been set up!" he exploded with rage.

"What will happen now, Commander?" Bordu asked.

"Nothing good, I'm afraid," he replied with a sigh.

*****

At G-FORCE headquarters, Prime Minister Koizumi was also not pleased.

"I have nothing more to say to you. The only thing saving your life right now is the law," he hissed angrily at Argon.

"I know how this looks, Mister Prime Minister. All I ask is the opportunity to explain."

"Explain what? Your attempt to murder innocent people?!"

"Before, there were insinuating circumstances. Why can you not believe that to be the case now?"

"Because I know the truth," a voice suddenly announced behind Argon. He turned to see Fumio entering the room.

"Do you now? And what truth is that, Mister Subo?" Argon asked.

"This." After inserting a tape, he pressed PLAY on a video monitor which showed what appeared to be an EMP missile being fired from the Simeon base as the Commander looked on in horror.

"Aside from that, Mister Subo has also informed me that his agents infiltrated your base due to the previous incidents and have confirmed this attack of yours. They also told us that the assault by Nargas was a clever ruse you orchestrated to earn our trust to later deceive us. For that, you will pay dearly, Commander!"

"Your Excellency! Surely you don't believe any of this... this fabrication..." The Simeon was at a loss as to how such a situation like this could even be remotely possible.

"Of course I do! The Nebulans have been a boon to us since day one while the same cannot be said for your race! I have seen all that I need to see. You and your entire company will be put under arrest immediately!"

"If this were true, why would I have come here voluntarily, of my own free will, knowing that I would be taken into custody?"

"Simply more deception, that's all. I have heard all that I need to. Take him away!" the Prime Minister ordered. Armed guards escorted Argon from the room as Fumio gave him a smug sneer. The Commander had the powerful urge to tear into Fumio like a rabid dog but he knew that in order to prove his innocence, he would have to not do anything rash.

"Mister Subo, I would like to thank you again for your invaluable help in this dreadful matter," Koizumi said, turning to him.

"Not at all, your Excellency," Fumio replied with a slight bow. "We are allies, after all. It was the least I could do. Now, if you will please excuse me?"

"Of course." The official acknowledged the gesture of respect, greatly appreciating what the departing Nebulan had done for his troubled country.

*****

"This is really starting to get old," Bordu grumbled, sitting once again in the Simeon detention center where Mugar had placed them previously. His mind worked feverishly, trying to figure out a way to clear their names but even if he could come up with something, it wouldn't do them any good while locked up. Bordu then heard what sounded like one of the other apes in his cell talking to himself.

"Agent 5 to base. Agent 5 to base. Over. Is anyone reading me?" the soldier whispered as a shadow loomed over him. He slowly turned his head.

"Hey! Who are you talking to?" Bordu asked him.

"Uh, nobody," he replied nervously.

"So what are you then, a skitzo?"

"Uh, yeah! Yeah, that's it!"

"What are you trying to hide behind your back?"

"Uh, nothing."

"Really... Let's have a look see, shall we?"

"No! You can't!" he yelled, getting the attention of the other Simeons in the cell.

"And why is that?"

"Uh, I uh... well, um..." he started to stutter, on the verge of a nervous breakdown when another ape snatched what he was hiding behind his back. "No!" he squealed but got pinned against a wall by two others.

"It looks like a comm link but why would you smuggle that in here? Who could you possibly be talking to..." Bordu started to say but then it hit him. "You! You sabotaged Mechagodzilla!" he seethed.

"No! It wasn't me! I swear!"

"Oh, really... How about your name, rank and serial number then?"

"No, no! I haven't done anything!"

"Does anyone in this cell know or recognize this ape? I sure haven't seen him before!"

"No! Please don't hurt me!" Bordu leaned in really close for what he had to say next.

"We're going to play a little game now. And for every correct answer you give us, you get to breathe just a few seconds longer but if you don't know the answer..." Bordu said with a sly grin as the other apes began clenching their fists and cracking their knuckles. The Nebulan spy looked as if he were about to experience a loss of bladder control.

*****

"Well, sir?"

"All is well, Kabota. They fell for the fabricated missile footage hook, line and sinker. And now, both Captain Gordon and the Simeons are out of the way. Gigan can deal with Titanosaurus one-on-one and will do the same with the other kaiju as well. When he has finished inspecting the island, send him directly to Tokyo to start leveling everything. The UWP will never know what hit them," Fumio gloated with a sickening sense of satisfaction as he walked up to the Viceroy.

"Finally, our plans are coming to fruition and we will at last have the perfect peace we have long desired, my old friend," he went on as he placed his hand on the his shoulder. Fumio then began to laugh and Kabota joined in until a gun shot rang out. The laughter stopped as Fumio looked down to see a bloody hole in the left side of his abdomen. He stared up at the pistol-wielding Kabota in disbelief.

"Kabota? Wha - what is the meaning of this?" he stuttered as he staggered backwards, placing a hand over the bleeding wound.

"I'm afraid it's not Kabota. Not anymore. And it hasn't been for quite some time," the Viceroy explained as his voice degenerated into a deep and sinister tone.

"Gudis?!"

"Quite correct, Chairman," the even sneakier alien informed him as his one-time associate's eyes began to glow a bright red.

"But that's impossible! Our Nebulan genetic make-up and physiology is immune to any and all bacteria, viruses or illness!" Fumio squealed.

"Indeed, now. Under most circumstances, this is true but my power is beyond what your pitiful little minds can even begin to comprehend. And your arrogance has cost you dearly this day, Mister Subo," Gudis explained.

"Soldiers! Destroy this filth immediately!" Fumio ordered but soon realized that everyone else in the room was also wearing horrid smiles and had glowing red eyes. They were all infected by the Gudis. "For how long?" Fumio asked with anger and contempt.

"Ever since Kabota went to investigate the crashed Garogan fleet that I grounded on my way to Earth."

"But you're supposed to be dead!"

"You know, I keep hearing that an awful lot. Yet, hey! Here I am."

"But why? Why did you wait until now to reveal yourself?"

"Knowledge is power, roach. And as your right hand bug, Kabota possessed much of it."

"But you helped with the reconstruction of Gigan..."

"Of course. I needed something to do. Do you have any idea how boring it got around here? Besides, you gotta admit, the chainsaws are just plain cool. You can't go wrong with chainsaws!" Gudis laughed like a hyperactive child.

"And everything else?"

"Oh, you mean all the other carnage I helped you cause? That was actually a lot of fun. Pain, suffering and misery always are, though. And now that Mothra is out of the way, I don't have to worry about her going all Super Saiyan on me again and pulling some other magic attack out of her butt. As long as it served my purposes and I was having a good time, I went with the flow, so to speak. But the time for that is over. You are no longer of any use to me." He then turned around and started punching a series of buttons on the console to his right.

"What are you doing?"

"Why, programming the self-destruct sequence, of course."

"You can't do that!" Fumio yelled as he started to move toward Gudis who raised his pistol and opened fire as the Nebulan dove for cover. The gunfire chased him out of the room. The Chairman made a desperate escape attempt by rounding up what few Nebulans who had not been infected. They hastily piled into a shuttle while the Gudis-infected soldiers just stood around, waiting for the end to come. Their lives meant less than nothing now, to Gudis or anyone else.

As the shuttle sped away, the Gudis drone that was once Kabota tilted its head back and began to laugh like a maniac as the self-destruct sequence finally reached zero, resulting in a massive explosion. The entire base and the hillside it had been concealed in went up in a plume of flame and smoke.

Aboard the shuttle, Fumio tended to his wound as best he could. He had been fortunate. For a human, where he had been shot would have been fatal but his Nebulan biology was a different matter altogether and thus, it was a survivable injury.

*****

King Antonio entered his throne room to find his son and Angelique in each other's arms, sharing a kiss when they suddenly took notice of his presence.

"Sorry, Father. I know that the throne room isn't the place for such things," Hector apologized with a red-faced smile and somewhat embarrassed tone.

"Well, considering that your mother and I were caught many a time in the same situation, I can hardly fault you for that," he informed them as Angelique quickly bowed before the King.

"Please rise, Angelique. If you are to be a member of the royal family and of this family, there will be no need for that anymore. You will become my daughter as Hector is my son," he said with a warm smile as he took her hands.

"How can we ever thank you for giving us your blessing, your majesty?"

"It is I who should be thanking YOU for opening my eyes, my dear," he admitted as she walked over to embrace him and kiss his cheek. Hector looked on with a smile of his own but soon, the old King's cheer faded as matters of a more dire nature re-entered his weary mind.

"What is wrong, Father?" Hector asked him.

"The Simeons. It seems they have betrayed us," he told them with much regret. "Their war machine, Mechagodzilla, went on a rampage in Otaru, as if that town hasn't suffered enough. But they have been found out and dealt with."

"They have been incarcerated again?" Prince Hector asked in surprise.

"Why, yes... Aside from Mechagodzilla's rampage, it was also revealed that they were responsible for Nargas' attack, and several other tragedies that have threatened our alliance as of late."

"I didn't think it would be possible... Who was responsible for discovering the truth, Father?"

"Our good friend and ally, Mister Fumio Subo." A look of surprise came across Hector's face and he was not sure how to react. "What is wrong, my son?"

"Father, I know that Fumio is your friend but are you sure that the information he possesses is... reliable?"

"What? Surely you jest, Hector! Fumio has proven to be one of the alliance's greatest strengths and a precious friend and ally of our people. How could you even suggest such a thing? Have you forgotten how he saved our people all those years ago? Where would we be without him?"

"But not soon enough to save our Queen... my mother..." Hector muttered under his own breath which drew another depressed sigh from the King.

"What is done is done, my son. The past cannot be changed, no matter how badly either you or I may wish it could be," Antonio reminded him as he placed his hand on his son's shoulder. "But in any case, you surely cannot blame Fumio for your mother's death."

"Indeed... That would be rather disconcerting, if I do say so myself," a voice came from behind them. The King, his son and Angelique turned to see Fumio standing in the entrance to the throne room with about a dozen Nebulan soldiers.

"Fumio? What are you doing? By the gods, you've been shot!" Antonio blurted out.

"Bah, merely a flesh wound."

"What has happened? We must get you medical attention immediately!"

"There's no time for that now, your majesty. I was just wondering... Could you please take me to Megalon's Citadel?"

"Megalon's Citadel? But why?"

"Father, there's something wrong... I don't like this..." Hector warned, distrusting the man and eyeing the armed men with him.

"Silence, whelp!" Fumio snapped, much to the King's surprise.

"Fumio, why would you speak to my son in such a manner? I do not approve!"

"Do you always allow him to speak out of turn?"

"He speaks when he feels there is something important that needs to be said."

"Then I apologize, my old friend, but could we perhaps discuss this in private?"

"But why?"

"There is a theory that I have been wanting to test out."

"Theory? What kind of theory? In all the time that I have known you, you have never asked this before. This seems highly irregular, Fumio. An odd request to say the least... Are you sure that you do not want me to call the royal medic?" With that, Fumio and the other Nebulans suddenly pulled their guns.

"I've been about as subtle and as patient as I can honestly stand. Now take me to the Citadel or I'll kill you where you stand!"

"Fumio, what is the meaning of this?!"

"Are you as deaf as you are old and senile? I'm afraid that I have fallen upon some rather deconstructive circumstances as of late. Now take me to the Citadel!" Fumio roared as he fired off a warning shot.

"What about them, sir?" one of the other Nebulans asked, gesturing towards Hector and Angelique.

"Bring them. And if they make any sudden moves or draw any attention to us in any way as we go to the Citadel, it shall be your son who pays the price!" Fumio warned the old King as he grabbed him by his arm and jerked him along.

As they left the Palace, they saw the bodies of the royal guards scattered about with fatal knife wounds. The trip to the Citadel was uneventful and they finally reached the entrance to the sacred temple. Once inside, Fumio had his cohorts kill the guards and then watch over their captives with their guns trained on them as the Chairman stepped towards the pedestal that held the telepathic headband.

"Just tell me one thing... why?" King Antonio asked him.

"Why? Because it was so easy, you old fool! You were never more than a means to an end. You will be wiped out, along with the rest of your allies and anyone else who stands in my way! After which, the Nebulans will reign supreme over this entire planet and your beautiful city will serve as our supreme capital once we have taken over."

"You despicable, vile dog!"

"What did you honestly expect, you imbecile? Think back to when we first met, and the terrible virus that had afflicted your people. Where do you think it came from?" Fumio sneered.

"What?"

"We created it, you old fool! We pumped it through the ventilation shafts and the emergency vents as well. The ones you use to expel the sometimes harmful gases that seep into your kingdom through underground fissures in the Earth. After that, we conveniently whisked in with our miraculous vaccine. We knew that once we saved you all from the scourge, you would roll right over for us. There was no better way to infiltrate and learn all about our enemy. It was far more effective and easier than trying to plant spies in your little kingdom." As the realization sank in, King Antonio was filled with rage at the betrayal of his trust.

"You bastard! You murdering bastard!"

"Mo-mother... He killed Mother..." Hector stuttered, overcome with emotion.

"Bah! One Seatopian is as useless as another, dead or alive. You all are nothing but savages, the whole lot of you! Along with the other undersea kingdoms. There was a time when you would have readily ripped one another's throats out without hesitation. Now you have what you and your kind call 'peace'. Peace, indeed! What would you ignorant barbarians know of peace?" Fumio growled as he picked up a sword from the limp hand of one of the slain temple guards and then threw it back down as if he somehow felt dirty just touching the archaic weapon.

"You know nothing of peace, not perfect peace like we will bring to the entire world!" he ranted as the three Seatopians looked on.

"You will pay a heavy toll for your unspeakable crimes, invader!" Angelique scowled.

"This is the instrument that you use to speak to Megalon?" Fumio asked Antonio, paying no heed to their defiance. He would soon be done with the lot of them. The proud monarch did not answer. "Answer me or I'll shoot your son right where he stands! Do you understand?" Fumio threatened as he raised his gun towards the young Prince's head.

"...yes..." Antonio finally replied with disgust.

"And it works regardless of range, correct?"

"Yes."

"Excellent. With Megalon under my control, along with Gigan, the Nebulans will truly be unstoppable!"

"What?! No, wait! It doesn't work like that! You mustn't!" Hector tried to warn him.

"Does that insufferable brat of yours ever shut up?" Fumio growled as he put on the headband. Up on the surface, Megalon suddenly felt an unwelcome presence attempting to connect with him as Fumio tried to give him commands. "Now, Megalon, you will serve me!"

"Arrogant insect! You have the audacity to believe that you can control me?" Megalon snarled as his deep, booming voice caught the startled Nebulan off guard.

"You will do as I say or the King and his son will die!"

"I think not, wretch," Megalon rumbled as the kaiju exerted its own force of will upon Fumio, taking control of him instead. He lifted his gun and fired away, shooting his own soldiers who didn't know how to react as they were picked off one by one with bullets to their heads.

"No!" Fumio yelled, unable to stop himself. In the confusion, the King, his son and Angelique lunged at the remaining Nebulans and held them until Megalon had Fumio shoot them as well.

"Be gone, worm!" the guardian proclaimed as a psionic backlash hit Fumio like a Mack truck. He screamed as his hands clutched his head and his knees hit the floor. Toppling over face first, the headband came off and rolled away from him. All became quiet in the sanctuary once again.

"Father, are you all right?" Hector asked as he and Angelique rushed over to him.

"Yes, my son. And you?"

"Fine, Father."

"What happened to him?" Angelique asked, looking down at Fumio's unmoving body.

"Megalon has taught him a painful lesson that he will not soon forget for daring to defile him and his temple," King Antonio proclaimed proudly.

"We must tell the other members of the alliance what has occurred here!" Prince Hector insisted.

"And indeed we shall! We must depart for the surface at once!" Antonio decided and they prepared to leave. Suddenly, with an inhuman shriek, Fumio lunged up. His human disguise practically shredded and fell off of him, revealing his true form. Angelique screamed in terror as the large insectoid back-handed Hector aside and grabbed hold of the King, lifting him off the ground. Fumio then impaled Antonio through his chest and out his back with one of his arms as Hector looked on in horror.

"Father!!" he screamed as he scooped up a spear from one of the felled temple guards and charged. Fumio tossed the King aside and engaged the young Prince with his sharp appendages. Hector wielded the weapon with unparalleled skill as he deflected strikes from all four of Fumio's flailing arms which lashed out at him again and again.

Hector managed to stab Fumio in the shoulder joint of his upper left arm but the angry insect wrenched the spear from his grasp and smacked him in the face with it, putting him on his back. As Fumio heaved back to impale the Prince, he was stabbed from behind by Angelique with another one. Angrily, the insect turned his attention to her, knocking the weapon from her hands and lifting her up off the ground as well. She began to scream as Fumio leaned in to shear her head off with his hideous mandibles.

"Angelique! No!" Hector cried out but a split second later, a third spear entered the right side of Fumio's head, getting lodged halfway through and stopping him dead in his tracks. He dropped Angelique and fell to the floor. This time, he was truly dead. Hector looked over in the direction that the weapon had come from and saw his Father who had fallen back onto the floor.

"Father!" Hector exclaimed as he and Angelique rushed to his side. The injury that he had received was a critical one. "Father, we have to get you to the royal medic immediately!" Hector pleaded as they knelt in the steadily growing puddle of blood around him.

"No, it is too late. You must carry on in my place, as I have raised you to do all of these years," he said with waning breath.

"No, Father, no! I can't lose you! You must live!" Hector bellowed as he began to sob.

"I know that you will make me proud, Hector..." he whispered as he took hold of his son's hand and clasped it together with Angelique's whose face was also stained with tears. "...be happy together and remember... I will always love you... both." A moment later, he breathed his last and the noble King Antonio of Seatopia was no more.

"Father?! Father, no!" Hector cried as he held his lifeless body in his arms. Angelique wrapped her arms around him as their tears of sorrow mixed together in the ancient Citadel.

*****

As Queen Mothra glided along, she spotted Fairy Mothra with the Elias and Doubijin approaching quickly.

"Thank Gaia she's still alive!" Moll said with relief as Lora smiled breathlessly.

"But she's obviously been through an ordeal of some kind," Belvera added as they noticed her battered condition.

"She is regenerating, though. Biollante's gifts are serving her well," Moll declared with gratitude.

"I'm guessing there is a story of some kind behind this?" Terius asked.

Indeed there is, and I will explain Mothra spoke telepathically to them.

*****

At G-FORCE headquarters, General Aso was sitting in his office going over reports of what was happening in America when Prince Hector and Angelique suddenly stormed in. The now useless skin that Fumio used as a human disguise was tossed on his desk.

"What in the name of - ?"

"We need to talk, General. Now!" Hector demanded.

*****

"It's good to be free... again," Argon said almost jokingly as both he and Captain Gordon shared a hearty laugh. Prince Hector had spelled it all out for the General. Before he departed for the surface, he had communicated with Megalon and gotten the entire story on Fumio and the Nebulans. Bordu also had the Nebulan spy singing like a canary. Thus, the Simeons and Gordon were freed.

The Nebulan menace may have been removed but the threats to the Earth were still going to be many. The war was far from over.

*****

In orbit on the dark side of Venus, the Nebulan flagship had been monitoring the situation on Earth. Learning of the fate of Fumio, Gigan and their base, the dire turn of events left the aliens no choice but to regroup and formulate a new plan of conquest and colonization. Their only hope is that after the fighting between the various races is over, there won't be sufficient forces remaining to oppose them, making their take-over that much easier.

The last Nebulan craft ignited its engines and departed the solar system. Earth could still be theirs when they returned.

Renewed Resolve

Prince Hector immediately called an emergency meeting of the United World Powers at G-FORCE headquarters to inform everyone of what had occurred in Seatopia, as well as the deceit perpetuated by Fumio Subo.

"My friends and allies, my beloved father, the noble King of Seatopia... is dead," be began, trying to fight back the obvious emotion those words brought with them. He regained his composure to continue speaking as looks of horror and gasps of shock spread over the assembled leaders. The young Prince had further revelations as well.

"We have all been deceived by one who masqueraded as an ally to us. Mister Fumio Subo!"

"What?" exclaimed the Japanese Prime Minister in disbelief.

"What brings you to this conclusion? What proof do you have of this?" the Mu Empress asked. Hector waved to several attendants who had accompanied him from Seatopia. They dragged the insectoid carcass of Fumio into the room and laid it out on the floor for all to see which resulted in more startled gasps.

"What in Neptune's name is that?!" the Mu Empress blurted out as she recoiled from the mere sight of the loathsome creature.

"This is Fumio Subo's true form. He is a being known as a Nebulan," Hector explained.

"Are you trying to tell us that this... THING is Fumio?" the Prime Minister shrieked.

"If you don't believe me, run an analysis on his DNA with this!" Hector snapped as he tossed the skin that Fumio wore as a disguise on the conference table.

"It has already been done," General Aso advised as he entered the room. "It is a perfect match," he admitted regretfully as he cursed himself for having been deceived all this time.

"It is the same with all of Fumio's compatriots as well," Prince Hector added. "None of them are remotely human. We examined the bodies of his escorts who accompanied him to Seatopia and reached the same conclusion with them."

"Did you know of this, Commander Argon? There are mixed rumors circulating at the moment," the Prime Minister asked the Simeon leader suspiciously.

"We knew that they were extraterrestrial but outside of that, we knew nothing of their true form or physiology. We had our own reasons for distrusting them but had no proof to offer the alliance to plead our case, unfortunately."

"We tried to spy on Fumio and tail him but were never able to turn up anything concrete," Bordu admitted.

"And your outburst and assault on Fumio, Captain Gordon?" the General asked the Commander of the Gotengo.

"The Simeons shared with me what little they knew about them so when the incident involving Caltiki unraveled, I drew my own conclusions," Gordon replied.

"The Nebulans were responsible for that and much more. The framing of the Simeons, the nuke attack on Mothra and the Gotengo's sabotage. Another terrible truth is now revealed along with this as well. The Gudis still lives," Hector added, much to the mortification of all. "The Gudis infiltrated and overran the Nebulan base, destroying it and forcing Fumio and a few uninfected Nebulans to flee. It was then that they came to Seatopia in desperation and tried to take control of Megalon. Their plans were thwarted but at a terrible price..." Hector trailed off as he hung his head. Angelique, who had been standing behind his seat since her formal introduction to the UWP, placed her left hand upon his right shoulder in an attempt to comfort the distraught Prince. He gently took her hand and stood up, his head held high.

"But now is not the time for mourning. Now, more than ever, we must have unity and solidarity. Our alliance must stand strong in defiance of everything that now threatens this world. The Nebulans are gone but there is still the Gudis, the invasion of America and possibly other unknown threats that yet await us. I say that we learn from this tragedy and repel the invaders with everything we have!" Hector declared, wiping a tear from his cheek. He then stepped forward, stretching out his and Angelique's right arms with their open palms down. "What say you all?"

The answer was obvious as everyone stepped forward, placing their own hands on top of Hector's until they had formed a circle with their outstretched arms within the center.

"With our own strength we shall either stand or fall. But whatever becomes of us, none will be able to say that we did not fight valiantly or that we cowered before our enemies. It is better to die on our feet than live on our knees!" Hector declared, repeating the phrase that his father had often used.

It could not have been more befitting of their current situation. Whatever fate awaited the alliance, they would face it together.

The Death of Megalon

Mothra soared through the night sky. A full moon hung above her this clear evening, its great light making the ocean below a wonderful display of shimmering reflections. Too bad she couldn't properly enjoy it with so much to think about, too much to fret about.

She gave a mental sigh and continued her long trek, banking to one side to steer toward her destination. Her rapid passage kicked up a shower of sparkling water behind her. Suddenly, the sound of other beating wings echoed across the ocean, a rapid buzzing sound. Megalon shot across the ocean like a rocket, throwing up a trail of mist as he went.

"Megalon!" Mothra cried out to get his attention. The great beetle skidded to a stop, the trail of water catching up with him and showering them both in moisture. Mothra hovered dumbfounded at the sight.

"Yes? What is it?" Mothra shook herself out of her surprise and to rid her fur of its moisture.

"Gamera will need help fighting the Gyaos swarm. You should head in that direction," he pointed toward the south.

"Righ-" Their conversation was cut short as a swarm of crimson explosive particles surrounded the duo, filling their views with red dots. Mothra was momentarily stunned as Megalon was hit with another blast of the shotgun ray.

"Prepare to taste my steel, pretty one!" Gigan swooped down at Mothra, his chainsaw arced back and ready for a swing. Mothra, still stunned, couldn't see the cyborg demon charging towards her.

Suddenly, a mighty war cry rang out, causing the ocean to vibrate from the sound. Megalon rushed up at Gigan from below, blocking his strike at the disabled goddess.

"I never knew you could go low enough to hit a girl, Gigan." Anger flared in Megalon's bulbous eyes. Gigan cackled in his recent ally's face as the duo pushed off from each other. They hovered in place, Gigan's blood-red visor glowing in the night and reflecting off the water's surface below. Whatever eyes it concealed glared at Megalon, his massive orange optic organs staring back with the fiery hatred of the god he was. Gigan shifted his position.

"It's always been all work and no play with you, Megalon. There is never any time for... fun with you, is there?" Megalon did likewise, his eyes never leaving his counterpart's. Behind Gigan was an island a few miles away.

"I suppose not but it is Friday night..." Megalon stated.

"Then lets dance!" An aerial game of cat and mouse began. Gigan swooped down, close to the water and headed for the island. Megalon gave chase, staying on Gigan's hooked tail during every move he made. A tidal wave of mist erupted below them as the several-thousand-ton titans moved at Mach speed over the water.

Gigan suddenly whipped around, flying backwards. Megalon came to a halt. Gigan roared and fired off his dual chest disks. The great knight tried to dodge but a blade slashed through Megalon's helm, leaving a deep wound.

"Did I do that?" Gigan cackled maniacally. He whipped back around and flew straight to the island. Megalon let loose a shrill cry of rage and put on a burst of speed that left the ocean's surface in an explosion of water. The dog-fighting duo flew upward at an angle, gradually getting closer to the Island. Megalon tried to close in and grab hold of him but Gigan was too quick, easily avoiding his pursuer.

Megalon fired off a volley of napalm balls which exploded around Gigan but his course was not broken. Suddenly, a plan sprang into Megalon's head. He fell back a few hundred meters and fired off a volley of napalm balls. The extremely explosion orbs whipped passed Gigan.

"Come on... turn around," he muttered to himself, staring intently at his enemy.

"Looks like you missed again, Mega -" The spheres fell back down and struck Gigan in the back. He fell from the sky screaming, a fireball several times larger than himself latched to his finned back. Megalon leapt forward, flying straight at the fiery demon for all he was worth. Megalon stuck out his arm, clothes-lining Gigan in the stomach. Gigan gasped for air as they continued on, locked together, climbing higher and higher.

Gigan took his free arm and swatted Megalon in the face, breaking off his relentless attack. They broke apart and took separate paths. Megalon jumped down to the sandy shore of the beach and skidded in the loose dirt. Gigan did likewise and fired off his Shotgun Ray. Megalon dodged the attack and aimed napalm balls at Gigan's sliding feet. The leathery demon leapt into the air and flew straight for him.

Megalon skidded to a halt and ducked Gigan's tackle but the wily cyborg's tail latched onto the beetle's horn. Gigan tried to drag Megalon down but was stopped dead in his tracks. Megalon flung all of his weight forward, straining against Gigan. With one last jerk of his neck, he flung him over his head and onto the ground in front of him.

"You pathetic, wretched demon!" Megalon dashed towards Gigan, his battle-tested lance held high above his head. "It will be a pleasure to tear your head from your body!" Megalon brought the drill down but Gigan whipped upward in a fury of crimson and black, catching the drill with his dual chainsaw weapon. "Did they have to play 'Frankenstein' on your body again, Gigan?" Megalon taunted. Gigan swung his free arm upward but Megalon caught it and held it down.

"Foolish knight! You dare mock the Reaper?" Gigan started up the revolving blades. Razor teeth smashed against the metal drills, creating a cascade of sparks that encircled the two locked opponents. Megalon lifted himself up off the ground, using Gigan's strength against him and slammed his heel into the side of his head repeatedly. Gigan reeled back, open for another strike from Megalon. The insectoid god rushed forward and upper-cut Gigan in his toothed beak, sending him high over Megalon's head and landing in a heap. The leather-clad space demon's breath was hoarse and pained. Blood trickled out of the corner of his visor and his mouth. Megalon fell back, giving his enemy an opportunity to get himself back to his feet. Looking down at Gigan, he watched him struggle.

"You think... you are some great hero, Megalon?" Gigan gasped for breath. "But guess what, roach boy! News flash!" Gigan began to stumble towards him. "You were just like me... You slaughtered just as many things as I did, Megalon." Gigan's bloody beak had a toothy grin. Megalon boiled with anger.

"...And you know what? I think you enjoyed it just as much as I did..." Gigan gave a loud mechanical cackle.

"No... I was being controlled then. It wasn't my fault," Megalon pleaded his case.

"Don't mock my intelligence, you stupid insect! You enjoyed it! You loved the screams of creatures in burning torment as we tore through their buildings! You LOVED it." Gigan had regained his posture and was grinning at Megalon. "You always were a gelded little puppy."

"...No!" Megalon dashed forward, burning with anger at his enemy. He wasn't thinking. Gigan leapt to the side, clotheslining Megalon and bringing his knee out to land on the back of Megalon's head. Gigan went to work, raking the deadly saws along Megalon's chest and face. The revolving teeth ripped chunks out in a violent shower of ichor. Megalon didn't scream. He would not give Gigan that satisfaction.

"Scream, damn you!" Gigan became infuriated and swung a saw across Megalon's chest, ripping up chunks of his armour. Gigan continued to tear into the silent guardian more, sticking his saw into an open wound. "I want to hear you... SCREAM!" Gigan lifted a saw high above his head and slammed it down into Megalon's side, straight down and held it there. The chainsaw roared as did its sadistic master. Chunks of flesh, armour and bone flew about, soaking Gigan in crimson. Megalon gasped for air, his eyes wide from the pain. He felt cold and his vision began to get fuzzy. He didn't want to die like this ...not like this. Gigan was panting also.

"Now let's go to work on that pretty little face of yours..." A loud woosh of air and a shadow fell over Megalon's body. He turned and saw Gigan's face get planted in the sand.

"Come to your feet and face me!" Mothra roared her challenge, glaring at the demon. Sparkles of light swirled around her.

"I am tired of this charade. It ends NOW!" Before Gigan could react, he was caught. Megalon's drilled hand was under Gigan's jaw, pushing it up at a painful angle. He held Gigan's other arm back and put his weight into his spine, immobilizing his other arm.

"Do it..." Megalon looked deep into Mothra.s eyes. She was shocked. Megalon was soaked in his own blood but he fought on with as much courage as he did when he had first entered this war. "Do it!" he roared again, pulling Gigan's arm. Satisfied as the limb cracked, Mothra silently began to hover over the locked combatants. Golden bolts of energy flashed about as sparkling energy danced into being. The ancient Seal of the Elias began to form like a spotlight above them.

Gigan gasped and a loud maniacal cackle erupted from his maw. "Is this your grand final moment? Your encore, old friend? Well, I am glad to be a part of it."

"I will see you in hell!"

"...And it will hold no surprises for us." And with that, they were gone. The Seal had intensified, releasing more energy and light. Gigan and Megalon began to dematerialize and with a small pop, they were gone. The dust of their remains floated about in the night sky.

Mothra was alone once again. There was no cheer for the hero, nor would there be. Only the silent night applauded Megalon's valiant effort. Mothra dropped her head. She was so weak and tired of this whole thing. Never had she been in such a conflict that caused the death of the ones she held dear. Bronze particles began to float around her, shimmering with an unnatural light. She didn't feel alone anymore. It felt like Megalon was here with her again. His essence floated gently down onto her wings and she felt renewed with his strength.

Mothra lifted off with renewed vitality. Her strength regained, she tore across the ocean once again toward her destination. She had to win this war for Megalon's sake so that his death would not be in vain.

A Time to Mourn

Throughout the Kingdom of Seatopia, a gong could be heard tolling, echoing across the wide expanse of the underground nation. This was the saddest and darkest day that had ever befallen the ancient people in the countless millennia of their great history. Seatopia was a country in mourning.

In almost one fell swoop, they had lost both their King whom his subjects adored and the god they worshipped. In the long legacy of the Earth and its countless and vast civilizations, there were times when legendary individuals of high renown and great stature, beloved by all were laid to rest. But none of the gatherings for their final honor could compare to what history bore witness to this day. An entire nation gathered en masse to weep together at the terrible losses it had suffered in a display of unbridled love and unity that made anything that had come before pale in comparison.

Before the towering royal palace they all stood with Seatopia's new King, the former Prince Hector and his beloved Queen, Angelique. They stood hand in hand with the entire population behind them, dressed in the regal garb customary of a ceremony such as this. With a torch in hand, Hector stepped away from his bride to set ablaze the funeral pyre that his father, the former King, now rested upon. The rest of the royal court looked on forlornly as everyone present bowed their heads in respect for the passing nobleman. As the flames reached skyward, Hector stepped back to rejoin Angelique, fighting back the tears that threatened to reveal themselves. Angelique took notice of his great sorrow and placed her hand upon his face.

"This is not a time to hold back your feelings, my King," she assured him.

"I cannot let my sorrow rule me, Angelique. Seatopia is in my care now. I must remain strong," he whispered with a shaky voice.

"Tomorrow you can be strong, my love. But today... we grieve," she implored as she wiped away a fallen tear from his cheek with her thumb. King Hector thought back to what he had once said to his father.

Wouldn't it be a more fitting end for Megalon to die in battle than in a mound of dirt at our kingdom's doorstep? Wouldn't that be a more fitting end for the knight of Seatopia? And indeed, that is how both Megalon and his father had died, fighting against evil and oppression, boldly sacrificing themselves to end the threat of the Nebulans once and for all. Their selflessness had saved them all and for that and so many other reasons beyond count or measure, they would never be forgotten. Not in this lifetime, not even a hundred lifetimes from now. Despite this terrible tragedy, despite the sadness and despair, Seatopia would live on. Both Megalon and King Antonio may have died but their spirits and their memories would exist for all eternity.




See also: Guiron

The Invasion of Tokyo



Chapter 13: AMERICA, S.F.D.: Southern Tier

San Diego

"Sir, another dozen robots have been sighted in Washington state." A soldier handed a slip of paper to the Secretary of Defense.

"MOGERAs?"

"It seems so, sir."

"Thank you, soldier." The young man saluted and walked out of the Oval Office. The Secretary gave an uneasy glance at the President who was seated behind his desk. "Sounds like the Mysterians are back, sir."

"It can't be!" the President sprang out of his chair, his face changing from shock to confusion and back again. "First, it was the Kilaaks in Japan. Then the Simeons. And now this? What is happening to us? Is this even possible?" He looked down at his desk, trying to contain his emotions. Looking back up, he took a deep breath and tried to collect himself. "George, do we have any chance of defending ourselves against the Mysterians?

The Secretary smiled. "We sure as hell can try."

"Do it then."

"Yes, sir!" The Secretary of Defense left for the Pentagon to rejoin the Joint Chiefs of Staff and muster the nation's remaining military defenses. The Vice President turned up the volume on the television at the other side of the room and the two head executive officers of the United States watched a news bulletin. A woman, perhaps Korean, was standing on the outskirts of San Diego with a large Xian space craft hovering over the city.

" - everyone is fleeing in panic, though nothing has happened yet. There is worry that San Diego will fall victim to the Xians like San Francisco did to other aliens. City officials are trying to reassure the people about our treaty with the Xians but the panic persists. We are still awaiting the federal government's response to all of this. Will America fight off this new enemy alone? Will the United Nations agree to help? Can we expect any relief from the Simeons or is everyone too concerned with Japan?" Her train of thought was interrupted as a humming sound filled the air and a blinding flash of twisting light shot down from the nose of the space ship, materializing into a giant monster.

"Look there! The Xians have just beamed down an Anguirus! What their intent is, we can only guess but at this point, it doesn't seem too good. Its roar is deafening! Ah! Now it is running down the street and heading right for us! My God! It has coiled itself into an armored ball! It's coming right for -" The picture on the television screen turned to static until a news anchorman appeared.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we seem to have lost contact with San Diego. We will try to update you as the situation develops there. In other news, the Kilaaks have activated several South Pacific volcanos and the United World Powers is said to be assembling a counter-action at this time..."

The Vice President looked up with a long face toward the President who was now standing behind his desk. "We won't survive this."

*****

The gigantic armored ball of spikes bounced and rolled across the city of San Diego, laying waste to everything in its path. Finally, Anguirus Junior uncurled himself and skidded to a stop in a cloud of dust. Looking at his feet, the kaiju saw a bus jammed amongst dozens of automobiles in the middle of the street. Had he skidded another few meters, all of these vehicles would have been crushed. The people within them screamed and quivered, looking out their windows, trying to see the massive size of the creature. Anguirus pulled back his head while inhaling and let out an ear-splitting roar.

The windows of the surrounding apartments, cars, trucks and the bus shattered. He then lifted his left foreleg and brushed the bus aside, flinging it across and through the traffic before marching onward. With a swing of his tail, the beast levelled an entire city block of apartments. Houses, office buildings, stores - they all gave way beneath the giant quadruped's body as its mighty feet smashed through brick and steel. His tail knocked over tall buildings, crushing hundreds of people within.

Anguirus marched onward, smoke and fire ascending wherever he went. In his mind-controlled state, he didn't even acknowledge Ebirah across the city. The huge red crustacean even dwarfed the Ankylosaurus, as well as its surroundings, save for perhaps the skyscrapers but even such majestic structures were no match for the monsters or the firepower of the Xian ships. The city was quickly being reduced to rubble, with only crumbling buildings spewing smoke and flame left decorating the landscape.

A squad of small Xian fighter craft hovered over the kaiju, raining laser beams down onto the structures below. The panicking populace scattered every which way, trying to avoid the laser fire and falling debris. The crowds of citizens ran toward the East Side, only to encounter an enormous lobster ripping through a hotel like a model building. On the West Side, the small ships zoomed past on their course of destruction. To the north, there was a building collapsing and to the south, a larger Xian ship blasted apart all highways and main roads. They were trapped.

From the primary spacecraft, a troop of armed Xian soldiers beamed down and arranged themselves to march toward the crowd of fear-stricken humans. In cold, emotionless voices, they ordered them to remain where they were. The majority were too frightened to run but a few brave souls dared it and were quickly shot down.

"Remain perfectly still and you will live longer than you may anticipate," ordered their commanding officer. Their faces in shock, the people watched the aliens' every move intently, which was very little. Suddenly, they felt lighter, as if their bodies were dematerializing. In a flash of light, they vanished. The Xian had telepathically commanded the computer on board his ship to engage the transporter beam and within a second, the soldiers also disappeared.

This scenario was replayed over and over again throughout the city until everyone not shot, smashed, blown apart or stepped on was captured and brought aboard the Xian vessel and placed in soundproof cells. The ship began to move away and the small fighters regrouped. The monsters dematerialized, leaving San Diego in a fiery ruin.

United Nations

The President of the United States stepped out of his limousine in front of the United Nations Building. He was the final representative to arrive but both sides of the path that had been cleared for him and his party were lined with hundreds of shouting people being held back by a barricade of armed officers.

Besides the locals who had turned out for his hastily announced appearance in the Big Apple, reporters were out in force, snapping pictures and talking into video cameras. As the President rushed by, everyone screamed questions at him. He didn't need his Secret Service agents to remind him to ignore them all and press forward. Interviews and signing autographs would have to wait until after he saved his country.

Ten minutes later, he was standing in front of the entire United Nations Security Council. Every President, Prime Minister, head of state or ambassador from all the countries of the world were there. The President took a sip of water from the glass on the podium and wiped his forehead with a handkerchief he pulled from his pocket. The bags under his eyes reflected the lack of sleep he had suffered since the invasion began. With a deep breath, he spoke into the microphone.

"Nations of the world, I thank you deeply for attending this special meeting on such short notice to discuss how to deal with this terrible disaster that has befallen our planet. As we all know, a few days ago an alliance of extraterrestrials made themselves known after an attack on San Francisco, California." Behind him, a still photograph of the three alien leaders appeared on a background projector.

"They are unrelenting in their pursuit of world domination. So far, our military tactics have had little or no effect on their forces. My colleagues, I will not beat around the bush with you... My country needs your help." At this, an uproar came from the august assembly.

"Order! ORDER!" yelled the Chairman, slamming his gavel down. "We will have order! Continue, Mister President."

"Thank you, Mister Chairman. I know this request is a somewhat unreasonable one in light of other events that are occurring around the world as I speak. This attack on our nation happened so fast we're lucky we could respond with what forces we do have. Our military bases are being destroyed left and right, as well as our major cities. Whatever we do, it is not enough. The Space Force Directive is moving too swiftly. My people are being pushed into the Atlantic Ocean. They need refuge and they need your help. Any resources you can spare will be repaid and greatly appreciated."

"Yes, Mister Ambassador?" the Chairman recognized the French representative who rose from his seat.

"Mister President, I think I speak for all of us when I say that we sympathize with your situation. But our countries need protection as well. Think of if these invaders should reach our shores. We will need to conserve what resources we have to protect our own countries."

"I understand your concern, Mister Ambassador. I promise our fellow delegates this: the Directive WILL come to your countries and you will have to fight them, one way or another. What I'm offering you is a chance to fight this inevitable battle you all will have to face on American soil." The Chinese Ambassador stood up from his seat.

"But what of the other disturbances that are affecting our countries? The multiple kaiju attacks, and not to mention the presence of other aliens and natural disasters. If I remember correctly, Honshu, Japan, was turned into a city of lava! I say we muster our armies and face this menace when it reaches our land."

"Once they reach Europe, they will have a bigger playing field," the President tried to explain. "They'll be far more spread out. In the U.S., they have broken off into two lines of attack. The Xians are attacking the northern half of the country as the Mysterians pursue a southern route with the Virans assisting on both fronts. My prediction is that their destination will indeed be our capital, Washington D.C." Next to speak was the British Prime Minister.

"Mister President. I would like to recall the threat the leader of the Mysterians issued when he addressed the entire world shortly after the first attack on the United States: 'All hostility against us will be destroyed'. Mister President, I believe we all should at least try to reason with them. In the same address, they offered to negotiate. I believe any military action against them would result in defeat and destruction. If we stay neutral, at least we can try to talk to them."

"Reason with them?" the President shouted in surprise and disbelief at what he was hearing. "They wish to conquer our planet! When they say 'negotiate', they mean all or nothing! There is no reasoning! They will stop at nothing!"

"Mister President!" ordered the Chairman. "I must suggest that you calm yourself down. Shouting will get us nowhere."

"My apologies, Mister Chairman."

"Well, then... I think we've heard both sides of this issue presented. Is there anybody else who would like to speak before we vote on what to do?" The French Ambassador stood again.

"I would like to say that we pity the United States in light of these recent attacks. But we must think of our own people. If we are to leave the United States to its own devices, then I say we do so completely. I say we cut off all imports to the United States and not except any exports from them... or refugees." The assembled representatives burst into a hum of discussion with their neighbors which caused the French delegate to raise his voice to be heard.

"If these aliens don't want us helping, then I say we don't at all! They may take the excepting of refugees or any imports into a country as a sign of abetting the enemy and retaliate! It's not an easy matter to dwell on but we must make absolutely sure the Space Force Directive knows we offer no help to the United States." The commotion only increased.

"Order!" roared the Chairman. "We will now vote. You have your electronic pads activated that allow you to cast your vote. Please do so now." The President of the United States remained completely still behind the podium, unable to breathe. Sweat was pouring down the sides of his face. Maybe, just maybe they will change their minds... he prayed. It seemed like hours had passed when in reality, it was but a few minutes. A clerk walked up to the Chairman with the results of the balloting. He was supposed to exhibit a neutral position when dealing with these type of issues but the decision just didn't seem right. All the same, he had to announce the results.

"A 90% majority votes that no help be given to the United States of America. Furthermore, no imports should be sent to the United States and all exports and refugees will not be accepted. Until this crisis is resolved... the United States of America will no longer have a voice at this United Nations." The Chairman brought his gavel down to adjourn the meeting but it felt like he was handing down a death sentence. The President nearly fainted except he was gripping the sides of the podium so tightly. A tumultuous racket of voices rose before him.

This is it he thought to himself. We are all alone on this. They can't possibly expect us to make it through this alive The Chairman walked over and put his hand on the President's shoulder.

"I'm sorry, my old friend, but you had best leave as quickly as possible. Go before the crowds outside get word of this." The President could have spit in his face but he wasn't going to disrespect the United Nations in such a way. He silently walked out of the great hall and up to a helicopter on the roof, escorted by his Secret Service agents. The chopper lifted away about the time the reporters on the ground got word of the outcome. Groups of angry people started to riot and storm the U.N. Building. The police quickly became overwhelmed and called for reinforcements.

The President watched the surging tide of despair below as he thought about the future of his country. A tear rolled down his cheek as the helicopter banked in front of the Statue of Liberty.

*****

He had no choice but prepare to make the most frightening address to the nation a leader of the United States had ever undertaken. He hoped that in some way, his words would give the millions of Americans still safe from the Directive's rapidly spreading advance a ray of optimism; a reason to believe that maybe the U.S. could single-handedly defeat these invaders. They were scared and frankly, so was he.

When he arrived at the White House, his hair and make-up experts took over while he tried to calm down as they attempted to cover up the despair that was rapidly becoming a permanent part of his features. If the President looked nervous in front of the nation, his words would be meaningless. Five minutes later, America's leader was standing behind a podium in front of a camera. He had ordered that the teleprompter be removed since he was going to speak directly from his heart. The cameraman counted down with his fingers. 5-4-3-2-1. Then the President went live to his nation.

"Good evening, my fellow Americans. As you have no doubt heard from various news sources, the United Nations has rejected our plea for help in fighting off the Space Force Directive. Furthermore, American refugees will not be accepted into those countries until this crisis is over, if it will ever be over.

"In our desire for isolationism and to remain neutral to the affairs of other countries, we now find ourselves cut off completely, even if human lives are at stake. My friends, I am aware that our situation is bleak. But believe me when I tell you that I and the other officials of this country will not rest until we have used every possible weapon and resource available to stop these invaders. I ask you to have faith in us and if the battle reaches your doorstep to face it head on!

"We are united in our struggle against the Directive. I stand before you now not as your President but as a human being seeking to preserve the one thing we all hold dearest: life itself. I hope I will be able to fulfill my duties of protecting you, the people of the United States. Good night and may God help and watch over us in this, our time of national crisis."

*****

The President concluded his address to the nation and retreated to the Oval Office without a word to anyone. There was nothing more he could say. As he slumped down in his chair, the self-confidence and commanding presence he normally displayed during times of crisis was gone. It was as if the will to fight had been literally drained out of him. He watched the country he loved and had sworn to govern and protect get torn apart before his very eyes and was powerless to stop it. What weapons did humanity have that could stand up to these invaders?

"Mister President?" The Secretary of Defense had gotten word of what had happened in New York and hoped to discuss it with him before the press corps started demanding an official statement.

"Yes?" the Commander-in-Chief answered in a weary tone as brought his head up from his desk.

"When the UN makes the announcement that we are now diplomatically isolated from the rest of the world, I don't think that's going to go over too well for morale, sir." The President hung his head as he allowed the words to sink in. They kept reminding him of just how bad their situation was, no matter how much he didn't want to believe it.

"Do we have any other options available?" he asked.

"None, sir."

"What is the current death toll?"

"We don't have any official numbers yet, Mister President, but we have reason to believe that it is in the millions... and climbing." An eerie silence settled over the room after the Secretary's chilling assessment.

"Then we have but one hope," the President declared as he lifted his head to look his advisor in the eye. "Contact the United World Powers. Only their might can save us now, despite what the rest of the world might think."

*****

At G-FORCE headquarters which had become the UWP meeting place because of its facilities for planning and tracking military operations, Commander Argon had been on hand to personally receive the President's request for assistance. He immediately called the rest of the members together for an emergency session.

"So the United States has simply been abandoned to their fate?" the Mu Empress asked, still shocked at how one of the most successful surface nations had basically been evicted from human society. The countries that supported assisting the U.S. were treated similarly, namely Japan, Okinawa, Mu and Seatopia. "As far as I'm concerned, the United Nations no longer desires our alliance to be a part of it either."

"Yes, the U.N. has completely left them at the Directive's mercy, it seems," Argon assured her. "Along with anyone else who is willing to stand against this invasion."

"And the U.S. has asked for our help," General Aso reminded everyone.

"That's about the size of it," the Commander stated. "And why I have called you here this day."

"Then we will meet these marauders head on!" Prince Hector proclaimed fearlessly.

"With the permission of the alliance, I am prepared to dispatch Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus to intercept the invaders in the United States," Argon offered.

"We are in agreement then?" General Aso asked. They all were.

And so it begins Commander Argon thought to himself.

*****

It didn't take long for word to get out about the UWP's decision to assist the United States against the Space Force Directive. Needless to say, the United Nations was not pleased. Ambassador Rees soon called G-FORCE for confirmation and possibly finding a way around this awkward situation.

It was decided that the U.N. representatives might as well address the UWP directly via teleconference. The equipment at G-FORCE headquarters and the United Nations could easily handle the checkerboard display of so many delegates who would want a voice on the massive view screens connecting Japan and New York via satellite.

Seeing how the UWP planned to dispatch Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus to combat the Directive, Commander Argon was more than willing to address any questions or concerns the U.N. might have. The Simeon was rather surprised at the direction the exchange took as soon as Ambassador Rees had completed his opening remarks.

"The UN made its decision on this matter, Commander, and according to the joint rules of the United World Powers and the United Nations, you and the rest of UWP have to abide by our ruling!" the French Ambassador hissed angrily.

"By making the choice you have made, Commander, you are in direct violation of the very rules of mutual benefit that the United World Powers was established to provide," the British Prime Minister insisted sternly.

"This course of action could have dire repercussions for us all! Have you not considered that, Commander?" the Chinese representative shouted.

"Compared to what, Mister Ambassador? The repercussions of doing nothing? Of simply waiting to be slaughtered like pigs? No, gentlemen. There is no option of surrender, not now or ever!" Argon replied.

"This is an act of treason!" scowled the French Ambassador.

"You know, I've heard that accusation before," the Simeon smiled but his expression was not one of levity. "The funny thing is, I didn't care then and I still don't now."

"You're insane! You are going to doom us all! Can't you see that?" the President of Mexico himself insisted.

"You must abandon this mission!" the Australian President blurted out, any attempts by the moderators to conduct an orderly exchange being ignored.

"You have no right to decide our fates!" the Canadian Prime Minister squealed. Argon keyed his microphone and charged in.

"No! If we stand by and take no action, it will be the Directive who decides whether you live or die. That I can assure you! They will cover the globe from one corner to the other, laying waste to everything and everyone that they come in contact with. If you thought that what Hitler and the Axis had planned and was capable of had they won World War II was scary, I can guarantee you that compared to what the Directive will do, he was about as dangerous as a grade school bully!" the Commander growled.

"We shall not stand for this, Commander! We will use whatever means are available to stop you!" the French Prime Minister threatened as he was joined by a chorus of others who agreed with him.

"So this is what it comes down to? You are so terrified of what is going to happen that you are willing to start a civil war amidst the so-called United Nations in some hopelessly futile attempt to avert the inevitable?"

"You, Commander, are the warmonger, plain and simple! As are the rest of your people. You obviously have no concept of diplomacy whatsoever! All that matters to you is that you have someone or something to fight so that you can go out in a blaze of glory!" the British Prime Minister screamed.

"That is correct, Mister Prime Minister. We Simeons are a militant race but do you know why? It is because we chose not to roll over for those who once tried to enslave us! We rose up and fought back in order to regain our freedom and that is exactly what we did! We became cold, unfeeling and ruthless so that we could develop the ability to wipe out our oppressors and take our home and our lives back!"

"I warn you, Commander. Do not oppose us or -"

"Or you'll do what?" Argon hissed contemptuously, cutting off the Roliscican representative. "You're all cowards! Worthless, sniveling cowards! You are unworthy of the life and power that you have been granted as the leaders of your countries. How do you intend to oppose us when you cannot even stand up to the Space Force Directive? What if I decided to wipe you all out myself?" Commander Argon watched the expressions of utter shock and horror come across the faces of the delegates, silent for the first time since the teleconference began.

"As the new leader of my race, I promised to rule with compassion and morality but this is a time of war and difficult decisions must be made. I am going to say this only once and every damn one of you had better listen up because I don't plan on repeating myself. If any of you attack us for any reason or do anything that assists these invaders in their conquest, I will see to it that you all pay dearly! You will be viewed as the enemy and I will have no problem falling back on the ruthless tactics that served my people so well in the past!" Argon calmly stated as images of Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus at the Simeon base suddenly appeared on the view screens at the U.N. Representatives who were not terrified by Argon's promise now had good reason to reconsider.

"This is no longer a time for diplomacy. It is time to stand and fight for your freedom and your right to live! If you are not with us, then you are against us and if any of you oppose us for any reason, Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus will trample your countries into the dirt! And you know damn well they can do it and that you're powerless to stop them." The constructs turned to look directly into the cameras. Mechagodzilla brought his right arm up to his chest in the Simeon salute while Titanosaurus raised his hand and moved his thumb across his neck in the classic gesture that meant death.

"You were the ones who summarily evicted the United States from the United Nations when they most needed your support and declared that they no longer had a voice in the affairs of this planet. Effective immediately and by order of the United World Powers... the United Nations no longer is the voice of Planet Earth. You... have no voice at all. This meeting... is adjourned!" Argon seethed in fury as he abruptly terminated the satellite feed from G-FORCE headquarters.

Bordu had been sitting nearby and off camera, trying very hard to contain his building resentment of the so-called world leaders. When his Commander had finished giving them a much-needed ear full, he suddenly jumped up, literally screaming with excitement, a trait the Simeons had suppressed during Mugar's reign of fear and terror. The rest of the UWP members quickly joined in with vigorous clapping and congratulations as well.

"Commander, you rule!!!" his adjutant hooted in elation.

"Indeed! Well spoken, Commander. You are a credit to your race and the UWP!" King Hector declared with a broad smile and a bow which Argon returned, surprised at the enthusiastic support of his allies.

"I couldn't agree more!" the Mu Empress added.

Even General Aso was caught up in the moment and did a quick right arm jab with his fist in the air, grinning from ear to ear. When the others took notice of his booming "YES!!!", he blushed and quickly crossed his arms behind his back, hoping to regain his outward display of composure.

"It looks like the die has been cast and it is time to end this... one way or another," Commander Argon proclaimed proudly, yet fully realizing the path he was about to undertake.

Phoenix

"Look, Mommy! A spaceship!" a little boy exclaimed joyfully, tugging at his mother's hand. The woman turned to gaze behind her into the clear blue sky. Sure enough, moving silently toward the center of town was a large, slender, claw-shaped craft. She had no idea what it was or who it belonged to but her parental instincts told her to run.

"Come on, honey. We need to get home."

"But, Mommy! I want to stay and look!" whined the youngster as he was pulled off his feet. Their retreat was futile, however. The ship had teleported two giant creatures into the heart of Phoenix.

A loud roar grabbed their attention as a huge lizard-like monster rose to its full height, its tail dragging the ground, a row of pointed spikes running down its head, neck, back and tail. A thin, floppy layer of loose skin hung from its sides between its fore- and hind legs. The monster turned its head about, scoping out the area, opened its mouth and roared again. This second sound sent everyone previously frozen in surprise running through the streets. Varan started moving toward the panicking crowd, smashing cars and pedestrians, toppling over buildings and destroying the entire area.

As he moved through a shopping district and away from the Xian ship, a gargantuan spider could be seen rousing itself from the ground. With a screech and chomping of its mandibles, Kumonga put his eight legs into motion and crept toward the center of the city. Coming upon a twenty-story office complex, the monster lifted its foremost right appendage and pierced it through the building, crumbling it to dust. Kumonga continued destroying the high rises and corporate structures, causing fire and smoke to rise from much of what little remained of them.

On the ground below, what seemed like ants but were people rushed frantically out of their offices and into the streets and parking lots. Kumonga stopped his urban renewal efforts and sprayed a wide layer of silk into the air which fell over them like a huge sticky net. No one was able to struggle free as it was as if they had been welded to the trap. Suddenly, a squad of Xian fighter craft swooped down toward the trapped citizens, unleashing a wave of firepower that turned the jammed up tangle of cars and people into a sea of flame.

The kaiju crawled along a main street packed with traffic, headed toward another busy section of the city. Thousands of people tried desperately to leave Phoenix for Scottsdale in an early beginning of rush hour.

Aboard the large spaceship Alpha that was hovering motionless over the tallest skyscraper, the commanding officer leaned over the shoulder of the Xian who sat at a computer console controlling the spider.

"Those humans can be easily trapped. Leave some alive for capture." The soldier nodded and adjusted his equipment.

Kumonga stopped suddenly, sensing a grand opportunity to trap more people. The humans tried everything in their power to get off the street, some driving their cars onto the sidewalks and running over pedestrians who were also fleeing in terror. Others got out of their vehicles and tried running away but were either hit by oncoming traffic or pushed aside by the chaotic crowds on either side of the road.

One middle-aged woman got out of her car, slammed the door and began to run but couldn't. She turned around and discovered that her dress was caught in the door. She tried pulling it loose, tugging frantically but it wouldn't give. In terror, she looked up, screaming as the giant spider crept ever closer. With another spray of silk, Kumonga sealed the fleeing masses in place. Unable to move, others began to scream as they awaited their fate.

Albuquerque

By 4:30 A.M. the next morning, the Mysterian contingent of the Space Force Directive had long since passed through the city and, as they had done to every other concentration of humanity, left it in ruins. However, their job wasn't finished just yet. Two Mysterian saucers flew through the air at top speed. One carried a hydrogen bomb. Their mission: release the last known specimens of Black Scorpion from their resting place deep within the Earth.

"Captain," radioed the alien manning the controls that would deliver the bomb. "Coordinates are set and launch time will be in three minutes."

"Excellent," replied the Captain. "Are we at a speed fast enough to escape the blast?"

"Yes, sir. It should miss us by ten miles. We'll be releasing the bomb after we pass the target zone as you ordered."

"Good. I just hope this doesn't turn out to be a fossil dig."

"Oh, no sir!" piped up a Mysterian at the main computer. "The digging probes that were sent down there last month confirm the creatures are still alive. They've been hibernating in those underground caves since they were sealed up millions of years ago. A group of the creatures were released accidentally on the southern end of the tunnel strip decades ago in Mexico. Luckily, it didn't affect the creatures on the northern strip."

"Two minutes to launch time," the bombardier advised.

"Maintain speed and drop the nuke on the mark," the Captain ordered. "Also, go ahead and send the Xians a map of the area we've left for the creatures to destroy. Make sure you tell them it's a restricted zone for their army."

The saucers flew over their target in the blink of an eye. A few seconds later, the faint sound of their passage followed. Miles away, one of the ships fired a computer-guided rocket behind them. When the bomb hit, it created an incredible shockwave that shook the ground for seventy miles in all directions. Dirt and rock on the immediate surface disappeared in the intense explosion. What was left of Albuquerque was obliterated from the face of the Earth. When the dust and smoke finally cleared, it resembled the Sahara Desert. In the middle of this now desolate landscape was a gigantic crater, 300 feet wide and so deep that the bottom was shrouded in darkness.

A cacophony of scuttling and rustling could be heard in the bowels of the hole, growing louder and louder as the now awakened creatures raced toward the surface. A hideous roar came from the mouth of the first Black Scorpion to breathe in the night air. It snapped its claws in the first moonlight it had seen for millions of years as its brethren raced out over the land by the hundreds.

Houston

Houston was hot and humid as usual so most of the populace stayed within its air conditioned confines, whether offices, stores, restaurants or at home in apartments and suburban houses. Most were simply watching the news concerning the destruction of San Diego the day before. Now, there was new information coming in about Phoenix being attacked. Few realized that a Xian ship was flying overhead. When it got into position, there was a brilliant flash of light.

Inside one apartment building fifteen floors up, a couple sat on their living room couch watching television. When their eyes had adjusted, they discovered that the light had disappeared. Looking out their balcony doors, two large brown eyes stared back at them. Too frightened to scream, they watched in horror as the pug-nosed beast cocked its head in interest, flopped its ears forward and growled. It then turned away and bent down out of sight. The man and woman were breathless with fright and had no idea where such an enormous thing could have gone.

The room violently shifted to one side and then back again, sending everything not bolted down sliding and crashing into the walls, including the couple. Now lying on the floor, the man could see from the balcony that the building was tipping over and rushing toward the neighboring residential center. The earth beneath it having been dug out, it collapsed onto the other structures, creating mass destruction. The ground began to shift again and the street burst upward, knocking surrounding buildings off their foundations and cars toppling onto one another. A hill quickly appeared and then gave way to the monster underneath it. With a roar, Baragon emerged and started his rampage.

*****

"What in the name of -?" an old butcher exclaimed as he stepped outside his small shop to investigate what felt like an earthquake. At the far end of the city, he caught a glimpse of Baragon's rear end slowly passing behind a wall of buildings. The man's face turned white and his jaw dropped in utter shock and fear. Suddenly, a crash from behind nearly threw him off his feet. A few hundred meters away stood a huge dinosaur about fifty meters in height, with gray-green skin and a row of small plates protruding the length of its back.

Before the man could even get words out of his mouth, his eyes followed the series of blue flashes among the bony ridges. The monster turned its head directly toward him, opened its mouth and fired a stream of blazing hot radioactive energy. The entire street went up in a wall of flame as Godzilla Junior roared dominantly over his victory.

*****

Baragon blew a stream of fire from his maw along an entire block, blastng several buildings apart while in another area, Godzilla Junior ripped through a hotel and brought his giant feet down on the parking lot, crushing most of the cars. Rearing his head back with a roar, he let loose another atomic blast which danced its way across the cityscape, turning everything in its path into fiery rubble.

*****

The Xian commander of the spaceship Gamma telepathically signaled for one of his officers.

"Sir?"

"Relay a message to the Mysterians. Inform them that they may begin placing their domes at will."

"Yes, sir." The soldier walked off through the sliding doors as his commander turned back to the computer readings flashing on the wall. Everything was going as planned.

*****

"Mister President, they've attacked Houston!" shouted a military officer as he entered the Pentagon War Room. A four-star General turned a stern face to his Commander-in-Chief.

"Sir. We have two-thirds of our nation's forces trying to hold these guys off in San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City and God knows where else. I don't think we will be able to muster a respectable front to protect the east coast if we sacrifice any more troops. We're losing as it is! It would be suicide to continue to fight for what has already been lost."

"General Goodwin, you're the last person I would have expected to hear that from," the President replied solemnly.

"I'm just being realistic! Without the help of our allies or the U.N., we can only hope to win this thing with a secure capital and sufficient military force. We must try and save what we still have." Several other military and political officials slowly nodded in agreement. "We've lost the West Coast and are quickly losing other states. If they push us any further toward the Atlantic, we're doomed." The President lowered his head with a deep sigh. He wanted nothing more than to nuke these aliens.

"No, Mister President. We can't afford to do that, not in a population center," the Vice President said quickly, reading his face. The Chief looked up at him knowingly. Next time I won't suggest that my best friend run for Vice President he thought to himself. He lowered his head again. If there is a next time...

"Then all we can hope to do is evacuate everyone in the remaining cities," he decided. The Secretary of Homeland Security shrugged his shoulders.

"If we can evacuate them quickly enough. It could take as much as a week to clear out one city. And at the rate these aliens are moving, any efforts will likely be futile. We're probably best off saving our resources for the big fight."

"And let all those people die? People who I swore to protect? We've done almost nothing for them so far!"

"We haven't been able to, sir. You know that! We're shot down before we can even enter a city. We're helpless, Mister President," the Chief of Staff reminded him. "The most we can hope to do now is protect those areas still under our control. The rest will be considered regrettable casualties." The President fell back into his seat with another sigh.

The Secretary of Defense realized that the Commander-in-Chief would definitely bear watching. The country had already wasted a great deal of military resources with his insistence that troops be diverted from the front lines to overseeing civilian evacuations.

As the Homeland Security chief had mentioned when they were alone, "And what are we supposed to do with them if we do get them out of there?" there was no regret involved in either his or any of the other Adocates' assessment of the situation. This was war, pure and simple. How many of those 'regrettable casualties' had been standing on rooftops in California actually WELCOMING the aliens when they first appeared? There had no doubt been more than one National Guardsman who shot a long-haired hippy type during such demonstrations.

The President's address to the nation had done little to boost American morale. People had little faith that the military could defeat the Directive after seeing what had happened in California. Ignoring the U.N.'s decree on immigration and asylum, many desperate, frightened people tried to cross the borders into Mexico and Canada. Initially, some got through but both nations quickly tightened security along their extensive perimeters.

When the Xians had captured the states bordering Mexico, refugees fled toward Canada. The once-friendly and welcoming northern neighbor strengthened patrol of the continent-spanning line that separated the two nations as never before. To travel west was suicide, be it by land or air. Flying over the central United States where the Black Scorpions were corralled invited ground fire from the electrodes that made up the giant fence containing the Scorpions. Their built-in lasers automatically targetted any non-Directive aircraft that came within their range. The only option was to remain where they were or head toward the east.

Airlines and shipping companies no longer asked for payment to board their craft as they also headed out of the country. All they asked was that those who risked passage not panic and stay calm. Most people greatly appreciated the offer while some who didn't secure passage tried to prevent their departure. Passengers could only bring themselves aboard and a single small carry-on bag at most.

Many vehicles loaded down with refugees fleeing into Mexico and Canada initially succeeded in 'crashing' the border and fleeing toward the interior as the two countries scrambled to bring out tanks and artillery to stem the rolling tide. Those hoping to reach overseas destinations weren't so lucky. Within hours of the United Nations decision, a blockade of military forces assembled along the eastern shores of the Atlantic from Norway to South Africa. Battleships and submarines patrolled the seas while fighter jets watched the skies. On land, an armada of tanks and missile carriers maintained around-the-clock surveillance. Many citizens were appalled at these extreme measures their countries were taking but their screams of outrage fell on deaf ears. Their governments were resolute when they said they would repel the refugees at any cost. It wasn't unusual for border defense forces also having to contend with their own countrymen.

*****
The U.S.S. Whitaker, carrying 446 passengers and accompanied by five other ships, had fled out of Boston, Massachusetts prior to the U.N. making its now infamous declaration. They were en route to Shannon Foynes in Ireland and only had sufficient fuel and supplies to make their destination. Three hundred miles from port, an Irish Naval Service ship hailed the Whitaker over the radio.

"Attention United States vessels. Under mandate of the United Nations and the Republic of Ireland, you are ordered to change course or be fired upon."

"We are aware of this development," the Captain acknowledged. "But we're nearly out of fuel and won't be able to make it to another port."

"U.S. vessels, your lack of oil does not change the ruling of the U.N. Turn back now or you will be fired upon."

"Radio your President. If we turn back now, our engines will stop in the middle of the Atlantic. We have women and children aboard!"

"U.S. vessels, this is your last warning. Turn back now or you will be fired upon."

"I can't do that! Listen to me! There are entire families aboard this ship whose homes have been destroyed. They have nowhere else to go. Even if we could make it back to America, we would be killed the instant we docked. You don't have to like our country or us but don't deny us our right to live! Please, I'm begging you! Permit us safe passage to your port." The radio was silent for many seconds. Possibly, the naval officer on the other end was having an internal war with himself or was contacting the Supreme Commander. The Captains and their crews stood tense, waiting to see if their plight had struck a chord with the Irish Commander or President. The tension was excruciating intil they received the answer.

"All U.S. vessels will be fired upon."

"DAMMIT! DON'T KILL US! STOP AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING! PLEASE! DON'T KILL ALL THESE INNOCENT PEOPLE! WE'VE DONE NOTHING TO YOU!" The Captain's pleas were useless. From a battleship three miles away, six missiles shot into the air. The passengers and crew of the six American vessels watched as the weapons came into view, shining against the sky and fire streaming from their engines. They curved downward toward them for a direct hit. On impact, they exploded, blowing the ships apart. What little remained of them sank into the murky depths of the ocean.

*****

The destruction of the U.S.S. Whitaker and its fellow passenger and cargo ships was not unique. Several other American craft met this same fate at the hands of the other countries. Many of these incidents of destruction were watched with glee on a video screen in the private quarters of Lord Koban at the North Pole Base. He would switch to different locations with the remote control, intently watching the humans massacring one another. He sat in the dark without uttering a word or moving.

"Dance, puppets," he whispered. "Dance for your new master."

The Invasion of Tokyo

In Akiruno on the western outskirts of Tokyo, people fled screaming in terror as a massive fleet of Natalan space craft swept in from the west, firing their ray beams as buildings and people alike were decimated in short order. The aliens had decided to claim Tokyo for themselves, despite knowing that there were other races present on Earth who no doubt also had plans for it.

The beams could super-freeze whatever they hit in seconds, causing the target to shatter like glass from the sudden and violent temperature change. It mattered not to them as the Natals planned on completely level and rebuild Tokyo to their liking and specifications. The near 80,000 residents of Akiruno faced certain death at the hands of these invaders but as they were about to discover, someone else had different plans in mind.

A group of about five ships were suddenly blown out of the sky as the rest of the fleet veered off to see what the disruption to their plans was. Much to their shock, Megalon was flying right at them, blasting away with his horn beam. The fleet scattered as he tore through the formation, downing even more ships in the process. Several gave chase as they fired their lasers at Seatopia's guardian but Megalon went into evasive maneuvers, pulling off a back-flip in mid-air that put him directly behind the once-trailing space craft. They were soon obliterated by his beam. He was hit on both sides as two groups of ships flanked him with their freeze rays. The beams partially froze his wings and he soon lost altitude.

As Megalon landed, the Natalan ships dove in, believing that they had their prey right where they wanted him. What they didn't expect was for Megalon to start jumping up into the air and smashing them with his drills. He then unleashed a combination of his horn beam and napalm pods, picking the craft off left and right. Other ships that had kept their distance opened fire once more. Megalon's right arm was quickly frozen and encased in ice. A second later, his left leg was immobilized as well.

More annoyed than anything, Megalon quickly remedied the situation as he forced his right arm drill to start spinning within its icy glove to shatter the ice and free it. He then slammed his left drill against the ice on his leg with similar results. As the Natalan ships came around for another pass and fired, Megalon ducked and rolled before burrowing underground and out of sight. The ships continued to search the area but there was no sign of him.

Megalon exploded forth from underground, having finally broken the ice off his wings. He shot up into the sky to kamikaze into the fleet while firing his horn beam and explosive pods at the same time. The Natalan armada had help on the way as a massive mothership descended out of the cloud cover. Megalon was blasted by a powerful force beam that sent him plummeting out of the sky and crashing down into the city below.

Megalon hit hard, cutting a swath of destruction through the heart of the city with his titanic frame, leveling buildings and killing many innocent people. As he groggily got up, he was hit with an even more powerful freeze beam from the mothership. He crossed his arms in front in an attempt to shield himself from the blast but the ancient deity was quickly encased in a massive block of ice. Believing him to be immobilized, the rest of the fleet proceeded with their attack as the mothership stood by.

Within his cold and icy tomb, Megalon's horn began to glow a bright yellow that quickly turned to a burning red as the ice started to melt. Megalon could discharge a beam of powerful solar energy but he was allowing it to build within himself for the heat to intensify. In conjunction with this, he tried to rotate both of his drills as the ice encasing him slowly began to crack. Moments later, he exploded out of his prison and fell forward, plunging his drills deep into the ground to help his body sustain the tremendous force of the built-up energy within his horn. It blasted forth and clean through the Natalan mothership with an incredible explosion. The space craft erupted in a ball of fire that came crashing down in the distance. Megalon turned his attention to the remaining ships of the fleet which, upon seeing this display of power, quickly ceased their attack and retreated back into space.

The Advocates

When the alien's invasion of the United States first began, there were others besides the White House staff who keenly studied the Directive's actions and movements across the country. From the very beginning, it appeared that America would be unable to stand up to their vast military forces and weapons.

As far back as the '60s with the advent of President Lyndon Johnson's 'Great Society' programs, some Americans began worrying that the U.S. was becoming a more socialistic country with its many welfare programs, at the expense of increased taxes to support them. They were taking from the rich to give to the poor, undermining free enterprise and a lot of other things the country had come to stand for. Mainly, they took away from military expenditures and now everyone would pay the price. Since 1965, the federal government had provided more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in college loans alone, with nearly 60 percent of undergraduate students now receiving financial aid. 79 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid serves over 200 million more. Food stamps help feed more than 20 million and the school breakfast program serves nearly 100 million when classes are in session.

Taken together, America's profile was drastically altered, particularly among the less advantaged. Representatives in the House and Senate, as well as in various state legislatures, voted against increased social programs when they would take funding away from the country's infrastructure or further weaken the nation in any way. Since people with like ideas tend to come together, a secret group formed to fret over these developments but it went beyond the 'talk' stage as very few could ever imagine. These 'Advocates', as they called themselves, figured they had better be ready to do something about it if the country truly went in the 'wrong direction'.

There were a number of more public main stream groups, such as the Minutemen and their fence-building out west to stem the tide of illegal immigrants from Mexico. The Advocates were highly successful individuals in positions of power, from businessmen who funded arms and technology to military leaders who could bring the armed forces into play if need be. They also happened to be the 'cream of the crop' so they often were elected to leadership positions. Since many were politicians, they could present their points of view in well-couched turns of phrase, often moderating the more socialistic leanings of their colleagues.

Things didn't seem really bad until the so-called 'lost' civilizations and the Simeons formed the United World Powers and aliens invaded the United States in force. It was almost like opening the border to Mexico, another sore spot with the Advocates and the country being 'soft' on illegal immigration. There also seemed to be something 'elitist' about Mu and Seatopia since they had chosen not to associate with the rest of the world for so long, being 'foreign' or 'alien' in that respect. As well, their culture was quite different, no doubt socialistic, as well as being monarchies.

Although the U.S. appeared to be out-gunned, judging from what happened in California, the President did send in the military but the welfare of the average citizen was as much a priority as slowing the Directive's advance. He also seemed quite capable of accepting the likes of the Simeons as allies and equals. At least the Secretary of Defense had the best interests of the country in mind and would try to steer things in a better direction.

Death Rattles

All over the world, chaos ensued as the draining of the Earth's Mana by King Ghidorah and Death Ghidorah wreaked havoc on the planet itself. This would be yet another ongoing concern for the United World Powers leaders to consider.
*****

In Pompeii, Italy, Mount Vesuvius was on the verge of erupting but Titanosaurus had been dispatched in a desperate attempt to mitigate the cataclysm. The eruption itself was inevitable but it was hoped that the damage it would cause could be lessened. The city had already been evacuated, aside from a few stragglers.

Titanosaurus had dug and blasted massive trenches all around the base of the unstable mountain to catch the lava flows and now, he stood facing the side of the volcano away from the city. Using careful aim and diagnostic scans, he used his cutter beam to blast and pierce specific targets, hoping that when it finally blew, the lava would explode out of this side and away from the city. He had to fire with precision and extreme caution so as to not cause a premature eruption.

Having just barely finished his preparations, Mount Vesuvius let go with an incredible paraclastic cloud surging forth from the volcano. It hit Titanosaurus but even with his shields on at full strength, he was sent flying by the blast. When he regained his footing, he saw that the strategy had worked. The city suffered no major damage, other than the intense falls of ash that preceded the eruption.

*****

Off the coast of Japan, massive tsunamis hundreds of meters in height threatened the coastline but the Gotengo was there, freezing each incoming wave with its Freeze Maser and creating a makeshift dam of ice from the massive amounts of water. Out at sea and deep below the surface on the ocean's floor, a small fleet of Muuvian submarines capable of withstanding the incredible pressure of those depths was attempting to contain and control undersea eruptions that were in turn causing earthquakes and the resulting tsunamis threatening the mainland. They blasted precise pressure points in the rupturing sea bed.

As another quake began, a huge undersea rock formation dislodged itself, falling towards one of the subs which would surely be crushed. Just then, Manda darted in, smashing the mass out of the way. Their guardian patrolled the area as the Muuvians worked, keeping a stern eye on their surroundings and protecting the subs.

Near Amarillo, Texas, the epicenter of a potential Magnitude 8 earthquake was detected that would cause untold devastation to the Mid-west. Megalon burrowed deep beneath the earth, trying to relieve the stress upon the shifting tectonic plates in the planet's crust. Only time would tell if he would succeed.

*****

An immense F5 tornado made its way towards Moscow as Mechagodzilla stood directly in the path of the rapidly approaching super funnel. The great city was still in a state of chaotic evacuation and many lives would be lost if the twister managed to reach them.

Under normal circumstances, there would be nothing that he could do in the face of such an unstoppable force of nature but this time, he was prepared and armed accordingly. As the tornado drew ever closer, Mechagodzilla fired round after round of specially loaded cadmium missiles, set to remotely detonate. The basic science of a tornado's dissipation is that when the cold air streams overpower the colliding hot air from which the initial tornado was created, the storm cell will slow and break apart.

Mechagodzilla was hoping to cause that to occur prematurely with the missile barrage. Salvo after salvo was fired at blinding speed but he was quickly depleting his cadmium inventory. The funnel cloud still advanced. With only a few hundred meters remaining between him and the towering maelstrom of wind, hail and debris it had picked up, his ammunition was depleted and the unbelievable winds wrenched him from the ground, throwing him aside to come crashing down nearby. Springing back up, he ran a quick scan of the tornado and saw that a reaction was beginning to take place. The whirling vortex finally dissipated just outside the city limits and not a moment too soon. Right in front of it would have been a massive skyscraper in which people had sought shelter from the raging storm that had created the monster twister.

*****

Bordu was nervously watching CNN coverage of the sudden rebellion of nature itself and the resulting catastrophes as the United World Powers meeting dragged on.

"The desert landscape known as the Great Basin in the western United States is reporting hail stones the size of basketballs. There is a freak heat wave in Alaska which is causing flash flooding. A foot of snow has fallen in South Africa and people throughout different parts of the world are suffering near instant and in some cases, fatal sunburns as sudden new gaps are appearing in the Earth's ozone layer. It is as if the entire world has gone totally mad."

"That's putting it mildly," Bordu sighed with great concern as he changed the channel.

"As you can see, this footage shows the titanic battle that took place between the Gudis virus and several other monsters and mechs in Japan. The camera was found intact near the charred and almost unrecognizable body of a reporter for an underground news network known as BS Digital. It can only be assumed at this time that the unfortunate reporter got too close and was killed." *click*

"Reporters are even crazier than those nutty storm chasers," he muttered.

"In other news, a man attempted to hijack a space shuttle at gun point at NASA headquarters in Houston. He was gunned down before he got anywhere near the launch pad. Reports from eyewitnesses say he kept yelling about the 'end of the world' and needing to escape.

"On a side note, mass ritualistic suicides are being reported in various Middle Eastern countries in response to what many are calling the 'End Times' due to the recent disasters that have befallen the planet from both Nature and kaiju." *click*

"Love affairs with invading aliens! Today on Jerry Springer!" *click*

"Hi! I'm your host, John Burnell and this is 'When Giant Monsters Attack!'" *click*

"In the aftermath of the Los Angeles invasion, rioting and looting is rampant. Even the combined efforts of the police, SWAT teams and the National Guard are unable to control or contain the mayhem. L.A. has become a war zone." *click*

What appeared to be an old minister of some kind came on the screen. His face was badly scarred on its right side, as if it had been burned by acid of some kind.

"Geological upheaval, alien invasions, monsters and demons abound. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is a sign that the end is near! The Creator has passed his divine judgment upon us all and only the chosen few shall be saved. Who will be saved, you may ask? None but the faithful, brothers and sisters... none... but... the... faithful!" *click*

"Yep. We're screwed," Bordu said to himself nonchalantly as he switched the TV off and tried to focus on what Doctor Kenji Kamaiya was saying.

"It has been calculated that one million cubic kilometers of molten rock lie beneath a plateau the size of California at the Siberian Traps alone. This would be enough to cover the entire surface of the Earth to a depth of ten feet. Tremendous amounts of rock and ash would be ejected into the air, blocking the sun for six months.

"Sulfur dioxide fog would cause darkness and acid rain for over a decade. Temperatures around the globe would plummet and mankind would be pushed to the brink of extinction. The eruption of a super volcano would indeed make the planet uninhabitable.

"One alternative is usually relocation when such a volcano starts to erupt, possibly having a few days or week's warning," the scientist explained. Commander Argon rose from his seat and solemnly looked around the huge conference table.

"That may basically sound like a good idea with a hurricane or typhoon which do provide sufficient warning for people to make somewhat logical decisions. With this, we would probably have no more than a few hours' alert at best, if any. But consider this: millions would panic and pile in their automobiles for the worst kind of chaos, probably running into further danger in the process. A disaster often becomes more severe because of... people's actions prior to, during or after the event itself, does it not?" he asked, thinking of what had happened with the destruction of his own home world.

General Aso jumped to his feet to speak before the sheer enormity of such an undertaking could overwhelm him. "Commander, do not sell humanity short in times of crisis. I believe it would be in everyone's best interest if we at least consider this... ONLY alternative."

Doctor Kamaiya contacted his counterpart in Washington to advise him of the impending natural disasters that were sure to befall the planet and that the United World Powers would continue discussing various possibilities. The U.S. had also been monitoring conditions around the world and as this particular scientist also happened to be an Advocate, the Secretary of Defense and the rest of the group would be kept updated on developments.

"Do you have The List at hand, George?" he asked General Goodwin.

"Yes. We might as well proceed with the plans we've discussed over the years and get everyone on stand-by." Across the country, Advocates prepared to assume their roles in a scenario which had been no more than a table top exercise but now could very well be all that could save the United States of America.




Chapter 14: OF KILAAKS AND GYAOS

Hawaii

At Ewa Beach, paradise beckoned. For Charlie Kappu, Hawaii was the last place on Earth where there were no worries. The islands had never suffered an alien or kaiju attack. There had been several sightings but the beasts had never bothered with the island chain. And that was just fine with Charlie.

He had been stationed on the U.S.S. Arizona when Pearl Harbor was bombed and he well remembered how many of his friends had died that day and how his invincible pride was scarred forever. It had been more than 60 years since Pearl Harbor but the memory would never fade from the old man's mind. Neither would the countless number of Japanese soldiers he had killed during the rest of the war. He had even sat and cheered on the various monsters from the Land of the Rising Sun that laid waste to Japan, fueling his pride and feeling that the monsters had also been harmed in some way by the Japs.

As he looked out across the beautiful Hawaiian beach, a long sigh escaped his mouth. It was filled with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the men with whom he had once served. He wouldn't be running or surfing with them ever again but at least he wasn't confined to a wheelchair or bed like most of his friends of similar age.

Charlie leaned back in his beach chair. The perfect sun beat down on the beach, not too hot but just warm enough to make for a perfect temperature. A slight breeze came in from the west. Years of experience told him that it brought the smell of a storm with it. Time to go Charlie thought as he sat up. A young Japanese couple came up while he packed his things.

"How do you get back to, ah, Pearl Harbor?" the man asked in heavily-accented English.

"Get away from me, you goddamn Japs!" Charlie replied instinctively but he regretted it the moment it left his mouth. "I'm sorry. Please, I didn't mean anything by it." Years after the war, Charlie's hatred had withered to a mild racism but that was enough. The Japanese man was already leading his wife away, shaking his head angrily. The old man sighed once again, throwing his pack around his shoulders and reaching for his cane. He used the walking stick to help him get to his pick-up and begin the drive back to Honolulu.

*****

Thunder struck somewhere in the city, causing a booming sound that rattled Charlie's teeth. The storm was the worst one recorded in centuries. Rain and golf ball-sized hail pelted the streets and suburbs of Honolulu without remorse. For Charlie, it was especially terrifying. After Pearl Harbor, anything that seemed unnatural was worrisome to him. As he stared out the window, lightning struck the house across the street. It burst into flames as its occupants ran out, collapsing not a moment after. Charlie stared with confusion as the couple stopped dead in their tracks and looked into the sky above his house and towards the city. A look of terror came across their faces, a look that Charlie himself wore on that fateful day of infamy so long ago.

Charlie Kappu rose from his chair with great effort and walked to a back window. The rain and hail had stopped but a tornado was pushing through the city behind him. It suddenly dispersed as lighting blasted through it and struck a high rise. The lightning did not flash and stop like it should have. Instead, it kept burning like a sign from Satan himself until the structure collapsed under its might. The typhoon burned blood-red as two more blasts struck the city. The smell of ozone reached Charlie who hadn't realized he had stepped outside to watch the spectacle. With it came the familiar stench of death and destruction.

Charlie gripped his chest as he watched the clouds disperse in one area of the city. A brilliant golden entity seemed to come down from the bloodied sky. The creature concealed by the light screamed its banshee cry of war as Charlie's heart pounded in his ears and he suddenly found it hard to breathe. It couldn't be...

As King Ghidorah dropped his facade and began to lay waste to Honolulu, Charlie's failing heart struck its final blow against his aged body. His last thought was of the Japanese couple he had discriminated against. Perhaps it was karma that after all the Japanese he had killed, it was his turn to be destroyed by one of the monsters he had cheered on. Charlie Kappu, veteran of the bloodiest war in history until now fell, never to rise again. Maybe, after all, it was for the better...

*****

Relentlessly, King Ghidorah blasted every human-made structure in his path to splinters, concrete chunks or molten metal. The creature attacked Honolulu, not letting a single construct escape his deadly attention as the storm around him continued. Lightning struck the King of Terror, as if Earth itself was fighting against the abomination from space. Ghidorah threw up his heads in a cacophony of demonic cackling shrieks. The electricity that had struck him came out of his wings as 12 beams of destruction which he used to wipe out the beachfront hotels and resorts.

When the last buildings had fallen, Ghidorah saw a flaming shape approaching him at high speed. He cocked his middle head to one side and watched the aberration approach him. It was then that he recognized it. It seemed being humiliated once was not enough for these pathetic descendants of his creators. The Kilaak ship Flaming Fury came forward until it was within firing range. Suddenly, a voice called out in Ghidorah's head.

"Great Ghidorah, why do you continue to deny our pleas for reason?" it said in a dialect only he would understand.

Deny you? I thought that we had nothing to discuss he telepathically replied but with a sneer.

"Our civilization could well use your help. We both know what our masters want..."

Our masters? Hah! I govern myself, Karkaru. Yes, I know your name. No empire is great enough to stand in my way

"Even if that empire was the very one that created you?"

Created me? Ghidorah laughed. Fool! It was I who created them!

"What are you talking about?"

Have you not been told the truth of my origin? If it wasn't for me, there would be no Iron Empire Karkaru was silent, which made Ghidorah laugh even more. I thought so. To think that the Empire was once weak and pathetic is to think treason. The Emperor would have your head if you found out Ghidorah's eyes flashed. So maybe I should tell you

"I am not in the mood for fairy tales, beast." Ghidorah laughed again.

So be it... Ghidorah fired a beam of gravitic distortion from his middle head at the Kilaak ship but the vessel nimbly banked to the right and avoided the blast. Ghidorah sneered. I don't remember your pilots being so intelligent This time, it was Karkaru who laughed.

"Your arrogance is what brought you to your demise in the past. It shall prove to do so again."

So I hear Ghidorah smirked as he rose into the stormy sky. The Kilaak ship fired a stream of molten flame which blasted through his shield and burned his skin a color somewhere between a bruise and gangrene. Ghidorah sneered in contempt. Don't test me, vermin!

He blasted the ship with all three of his gravity beams. The flames encasing it took the brunt of the attack, dispersing it and sending it right back. Ghidorah was knocked flat on his back by the surprise counterattack but rose just as quickly. He shook his mighty heads and threw them towards the sky. Lighting struck his center head as he did so and he channeled the energy, added to it and blasted it all at the Kilaak ship. The craft was knocked from the air, falling backwards into the Pacific. He headed toward it, laughing as he watched it sinking slowly beneath the waves.

Suddenly, the ship burst from the water and slammed into his lower necks. His laughter became a wheezing rattle as three claw-like appendages burst forth and wrapped around each neck. Thick hypodermic needles thrust straight into Ghidorah's throats. The beast shook violently, attempting to rid himself of the ship but to no avail. It was too close to his heads to turn and fire upon and whatever the material the cuffs were made of, they could not be broken by any means he possessed.

The Destroyer of Worlds fell to his knees as the needles pumped a thick toxin into his throats. The deadly material poured into his body and when there was no more room, it rose up his throats and burst from his mouths, mixed with blood in a sickly spray of orange and red. The toxin worked through his bloodstream, causing Ghidorah to spasm and convulse like a thing possessed. His eyes rolled up into his head as fluid continued to flow from his gaping jaws. Slowly, the monstrosity fell.

You have not... You will not prevail, Karkaru. If you think that defeating me will end your problems, you are mistaken. I hope you are aware. I... I am not what you think I am With that message, the creature landed hard on his back, causing an earthquake throughout the region. Silence prevailed for a moment but the storm soon raged anew.

"Status?" Karkaru asked.

"Ghidorah is down for the count, sir. We have him." Karkaru smiled for the first time in a long while.

"Good. Insert the new control devices." The Kilaak operating the three mechanical arms pressed a red button on all three control sticks. Ghidorah's necks stiffened as a metallic orb the size of a car was rammed into each one, latching on to his spinal columns and sending wires throughout his body. Ghidorah attempted to scream but found that he could not move. A familiar invading presence entered his mind and pushed his consciousness aside, laughing as he tried to regain control of himself.

For the first time since being killed more than six years ago, King Ghidorah felt fear as a terrible feeling washed over him. He could not control any of his body functions. The unsympathetic intelligence within him tested his body against his will. Ghidorah cried for freedom, for mercy - for anything but his pleas went unanswered. Once more, the Grand King of Terror was nothing but a slave to the Kilaaks.

*****

Tuket flew over the devastation of Honolulu in his new personal command ship. After seemingly returning unscathed from the battle above the Earth, he was greeted as a hero by the entire Kilaak race and Karkaru placed almost full command of the invasion in his hands. On his wall screen, the golden visage of King Ghidorah appeared. The sight of the beast brought a slight chill to Tuket's 'skin' but a quick inspection of the beast gave away his current disposition. Ghidorah's normally red eyes had glossed over completely. They were now ivory white. Blood, drool and the last bits of the orange toxin dripped from his mouths. The creature had a subdued nature about him when he turned his heads as one to watch Tuket's ship pass overhead before mindlessly resuming the destruction of Pearl Harbor. Karkaru appeared on the screen opposite the image of Ghidorah. The King was actually laughing.

"It worked, Tuket! We have him where he belongs."

"I thought it would," Tuket replied. "The Mysterians and the rest of their disgusting spawn on this planet have nothing that can stop us now." Karkaru laughed once more.

"Indeed my, brother. It is a good thing that I turned this invasion over to you." Tuket nodded. The King seemed to be trying to think of something else to say. "Well," he said finally. "Go ahead and prepare to activate the volcano. Let us withdraw Ghidorah first, however. I don't think his shields are going to work as well as we would wish them to under our control." Tuket nodded again. Frustrated with his silence but unwilling to admit as much, Karkaru disappeared from the screen, allowing Ghidorah to once more fill it. Tuket smiled.

"Take us to Kilauea," he ordered.

"But, sir... Karkaru told us to -"

"Do it," Tuket growled, forming his right hand into a blade, an action that only a high-ranking Kilaak was ever allowed to perform. The subordinate turned and did not question his commander again.

The ship was soon encased in flame and sped towards the mountain, arriving just a few minutes later. The fiery facade was dropped and a red beam blasted from its bottom. Slamming into the side of the volcano, its energy went through the rocks and into the magma deep beneath the mountain. As it did so, it super-heated the already extremely hot caldera. The energy reached the vent that came directly from the mantle, up the core and struck a device placed there nearly twenty years ago. The sealed fusion bomb activated and exploded from the immense energy being poured into it. The blast, several hundred times more powerful than any Mysterian-made nuclear weapon, caused the entire area to shake as if an extremely powerful earthquake had just occurred, causing portions of several seaside mountains and volcanos in the island chain to collapse into the sea, each of which spawned massive tidal waves that began to spread across the Pacific. The volcano began to bulge from the tremendous energy being stored within.

"Status?" Tuket asked.

"The volcano is -"

BBBBOOOOOOMMMMM! The Kilaak smiled.

"Ready enough."

The upper half of Kilauea blew away as a fiery cloud of molten rock and ash rose from a volcano not built to sustain such massive eruptions. The titanic amounts of debris thrown into the atmosphere were just a prelude to an even more deadly monster. Two, in fact. The first took several minutes to appear and he was a violent one. The portion of the mountain that had withstood the violent eruption disappeared as the pyroclastic flow exploded outward from the volcanic shaft, so huge that the entire island was absorbed in its fiery wrath.

King Ghidorah walked thoughtlessly through the burning streets of Honolulu. He had been assigned to seek out and kill any remaining humans left in the city to test his abilities before being sent to North America. He turned and looked to the horizon as the fiery cloud of super-heated gas and ash appeared, consuming everything in sight. A thought process that had been squelched by the Kilaak intelligence controlling him told him to run away but it was too little and far too late. King Ghidorah was completely and instantly engulfed in the lava flow, literally petrified where he stood. His physical body evaporated underneath the molten rock and suddenly, Ghidorah's spirit saw freedom once more.

Fire and ash twisted and came into the eerie statue that had been King Ghidorah, literally slowing down the speed of the pyroclastic flow. Its energy and matter crushed Ghidorah's tomb and from the flames, the creature appeared once more, throwing up his heads and roaring in defiance. The King of Terror rose triumphantly above the cloud of death that hung low over what was left of Hawaii.

*****

Tuket smiled. "Be free, my King," he said to the beast that most Kilaaks considered a disgrace - a failure. But he knew Ghidorah better than any living being alive. His metallic blood was forever bound with the hybrid.

*****

Ghidorah searched the sky for Tuket's ship but it had already sped away. The creature slowly rose even higher above the ruined island. Instead of Tuket, he saw Karkaru's ship, the Flaming Fury, and the rest of the Kilaak fleet behind him. The Kilaak King stared at the screen with Ghidorah's golden visage staring defiantly back at him.

He sneered but before he could issue a command, Ghidorah was on top of his craft. The creature wrapped his middle neck around the edges of the disc-shaped vessel and then violently threw it like a Frisbee. He blasted the command ship with his gravity beams, blowing it apart over the Pacific while he cackled his victory. Ghidorah didn't see the escape pod as it shot away from the burning wreckage, falling into the water below.

The King of Terror turned to attack the rest of the Kilaak fleet but they had retreated to the other side of the island. The eruption continued to pour ash and dust on what was once a tropical paradise. The sun was blocked out by the debris in the sky but King Ghidorah threw his heads up and bellowed as static electricity formed lightning and struck his golden hide. His eyes flashed red and his body glowed green as the creature rose into the fiery cloud of death hanging like a tombstone above the remains of the lava flow and Honolulu. For its few remaining survivors, there would never again be peace or tranquility in the Hawaiian Islands. For them, hell awaited.

Mexico City

As Tuket's command ship approached Mexico City, Karkaru came on the bridge and approached him from behind. The second-in-command of the Kilaaks turned in his seat to look up into the angered eyes of his apprentice.

"Why did you do it?" Karkaru asked simply. Tuket continued to stare at him but did not answer. "Why. Did. You. Do. It." Karkaru repeated menacingly, barely able to contain his rage and confusion. "Do you even know what you did?! You not only disobeyed a direct order from me but you also freed King Ghidorah from our control! We had him! Our victory over this planet was finally at hand and you purposefully halted it. Why?"

"I thought I was the one who had control over how our invasion was planned now," Tuket replied. Karkaru clenched his fists as if to punch Tuket's face in but he restrained himself.

"Do not tempt me, Tuket! You may be a hero and my elder but I am still the King." Tuket sneered.

"I thought it said any former ruling power commanded authority just as much as the present ruling class under Article 7 of -"

"Don't throw politics at me! I trusted you and I still have a great respect for you but what you have done to harm our invasion is irresponsible and disgusting, if I do say so myself." Tuket suddenly rose from his seat.

"Do you believe that I care what you have to say? I made you who you are and I well know that your record isn't all glory as you make it out to be. You seem to forget that if it wasn't for me, there would not be a Kilaak civilization."

"And yet you have decided to turn against that which you have fought so long and hard to create?"

"Sometimes, I don't think your decisions are the wisest course of action for Kilaak. You are still very young compared to me, Karkaru. You still have a naive sense about you and sometimes, it is proper and just for me to correct that."

"Again, you fail to explain to me why you released King Ghidorah from our captivity."

"My reasons are not of your concern. I will explain them to you if you will explain to me why a quarter of our fleet is still guarding Mount Fuji, a volcano which is already activated and does not need to be guarded." Karkaru was silent. "You should be grateful that I picked up your escape pod. I could have left you to the Earth's sea and taken over the Kingdom myself but I didn't." Karkaru hung his head, defeated.

"What has this war done to us, Tuket?" he asked. "Nobody can be trusted anymore. Sometimes, I wish I had never let my wife take our first invasion force to Earth. We might not have ever gotten so entrenched in this pointless conflict had we just left Earth alone. The Venus and Mercury colonies have plenty of room to give our race a new home. We do not even need Earth, or to be involved with any of the biological civilizations that so desire it."

"Those biological civilizations destroyed my King a long time ago, Karkaru. They, of all intelligences, cannot be trusted. Their ideals and alliances shift even faster than they themselves evolve. Our race is the pinnacle of perfection. Despite our occasional differences with one another, we have stuck together through thick and thin since our foundations so long ago." Tuket placed a reassuring hand on Karkaru's armored shoulder. "We must not give up now. We have to get rid of these beasts once and for all. Once they are gone, then we can all finally live in peace for the rest of eternity."

Karkaru stared at the wall screen. The human colony of Mexico City, one of the most populated regions on Earth, loomed big and proud on it, beckoning to be destroyed.

*****

Juan Reyes awoke with a start. The dusty old Ford he was driving had come to a stop in the middle of the intersection and several horns were blaring. People shook their fists out of their open car windows at him. A knock sounded on the glass behind him, making him jump.

"You okay. man?" Miguel asked his friend. Juan nodded, momentarily confused until the memory snapped back to him. He must have fallen asleep at the stop light He hadn't realized he was so tired. Making sure he still had enough gas, he shook the disorientation away and stepped on the gas pedal, taking them out of the traffic jam he was causing. He ignored the one-fingered salutes several annoyed drivers offered as he drove away.

The run back from the States had left him exhausted. He had been transporting illegal immigrants who had gone to America back to Mexico all week and hadn't slept in days but he mustn't lose it now. Those who were sitting in the back of his truck were the last. They all had family in the capital which was why he had traveled all the way to the city. But more than that, they were members of the Black Legion; VIP guests in almost any part of the country. After several failed rebellions, the Legion had, for the most part, moved to the United States but after the Space Force Directive started taking over the country to the north, most of its members had returned to Mexico. So far, contact with the aliens hadn't been made but the Legion strongly believed that the second coming had finally arrived.

The Black Legion was a highly organized religious sect which traced its roots back to the Mysterian invasion nearly fifty years ago. It claimed to have origins far older than that but it was well known as the last and most powerful of the fanatic religious groups that had formed around the time mankind first discovered he was not alone in the universe. The Legion had been headed by the richest and most powerful former Christian and Muslim men in Mexico at the time. They believed that the aliens were gods who had created Man and thus, he should obey their demands and respect them for what they were.

The group had held massive protests whenever an alien race was thwarted by mankind and his monsters. The Kilaak invasion of '99 marked the end of the highly organized group when U.N. security forces broke it up and arrested its leaders, along with many members and forcing the remnants into hiding. They had formed smaller and less successful cult-gangs but for the most part had been pressed into drug trafficking and illegal weapons smuggling to and from the United States, Cuba and Colombia. Now, with the conquest of the U.S., the Black Legion had re-organized and was about to have a celebratory ceremony led by Don Rafelo, a former Mayan priest. He had grown rich and sheltered many members of the group since '99 when they were forced to hide from the police. Rafelo was rumored to have direct ties to the former Soviet Union and many terrorist cells around the world but nobody had enough evidence to make a move on him. He was the most feared man in Mexico and it was believed that he held more power over the city than many could even imagine.

Juan pulled the truck onto the freeway that would take them to Rafelo's mansion which overlooked the Valley of Mexico. The area was surrounded by mountains and volcanos which provided some beautiful scenery if one was looking for that kind of thing. Juan had grown up there and the heights comforted him. The Ford managed to gasp into Rafelo's mile-long driveway before its overworked transmission finally gave out and the vehicle stalled by the security post. Juan and his men had to push the truck into a parking space nearby before they could enter the gates and begin their walk to the mansion.

"You should get some sleep after this, Juan. You've never fallen asleep at the wheel before," Miguel said with a concerned look on his face.

"My friend, I don't think I'll be getting any sleep soon. My entire family has come to pay their last respects to my grandfather. The old man died just last week. I never got to know him well but he was a good man and nobody in my family will sleep until he is buried. My mother will see to that," Juan replied, running a hand over his face and suddenly realizing that he hadn't shaved in nearly three days.

"I'm just sayin', man. You've been too worked up over stuff a lot lately. When you picked us up back in Texas, I thought you were gonna kill us before we hit the border, the way you were drivin..."

"Stress, my friend. Stress and too much work. Maybe Rafelo will finally have some good news for us." When they reached the mansion, they noticed the hundreds of cars and trucks around the area. Juan walked through an open gate that lead to the massive courtyard where Rafelo himself stood at a podium overlooking a crowd of excited, if not a bit morbid, faces.

"The time has finally come, my brothers!" he was saying. "It is time for us to rise up and overcome our oppressors! The government is in a panic over our lord's righteous attack on the United States! They have become so frightened that they have devoted almost all of their police and military might to guarding the borders against alien and American entry to our country!" Though they don't seem to mind former Mexican citizens running back to their homeland Juan thought.

"The holy ones will soon take over the United States and place the rest of the world under their mighty reign. The beginning of a new age is here, my friends! The holy ones are only attacking the people of the United States because they know that foolish nation will fight them for its misled ideas about freedom. Soon, they will settle their resistance and peace will bring an end to all violence here on Earth. We must do our part in their grand plans for us! We must overcome as many of these stubborn human governments as we can before they send their militaries against the holy ones, sparking more pointless deaths on both sides. We must -" Don's motivational speech was suddenly cut short as a sonic boom struck the mansion, shattering windows and shaking everyone present to their very bones.

"What the hell..." Don muttered as he gathered his fallen papers. A man dressed in black ran up to whisper something in his ear and his eyes widened. He looked in disbelief at the guard who shrugged and left the podium, running back around to the front. Don composed himself and spoke into the microphone, his voice a bit shaky.

"It seems that the holy ones have arrived! They are right now hovering over the center of this city, no doubt awaiting our proposal of alliance!" There were soon a hundred conversations going on at once. Not hearing what he expected, Don continued.

"Do we not want to show them all the love and respect they want to show for us? Do we not want to give them their glory in this, our most precious hour?" The crowd erupted in applause and whooped. Rafelo's lips curved into a sinister smile. "Then let us show them our appreciation..."

*****

Several miles away on a mountainside obscured by homes and small warehouses, a long-hidden hangar bay slowly lurched open. All was silent for several uncomfortable minutes until a single golden rocket blasted forth on its computer-guided mission. Don and most of his crowd had made their way to the front of the compound, watching the spectacle that emerged from the mountainside.

"Watch now as our hopes and dreams meet their most glorious expectations." Don's voice trailed off as he watched the missile blast from its base. Juan just stared, dumbfounded at what he was seeing. Did he intend to bomb the aliens?

"With all due respect, Father Rafelo, but what is attacking the holy ones going to do to help us?" Don looked at the middle-aged Mexican in contempt and let out a sinister laugh.

"My boy, do you really think it is them I am bombing?" Juan recoiled as the realization suddenly struck him. The crazed man continued laughing hysterically as Mexico City vanished in a massive ball of light.

*****

Tuket and Karkaru suddenly felt their ship shake violently.

"What was that?" Karkaru demanded.

"Sir, a nuclear explosion just wiped out half of the city!" The King sneered.

"Who was it?" He hated the idea of the Mysterian or Xian forces stealing a kill from him.

"It was... a human missile, sir." The response made him look at the Kilaak who had spoken.

"So afraid of us that they decided to blow themselves up rather than let us finish the job?" Karkaru shook his head in amazement. "This is getting easier by the minute."

"We are picking up a high-energy transmission from one of the nearby mountains," the communications officer stated. "It is an encrypted human message. We are translating now." Karkaru looked on with mild interest as Kilaak characters appeared on the wall screen.

"Welcome to Earth our most Holy saviors! We offer to you this now-leaderless nation as an offering of peace and gratitude. - The Black Legion." The Kilaak king snorted.

"Where did this come from?"

"That volcano, directly east of us, sir. Just out of the blast radius of the bomb." Karkaru smiled.

"Let us now show them our appreciation." The entire command staff smiled to themselves as the ship approached Rafelo's mansion.

*****

Juan stood there in disbelief and sorrow. Millions of people had just died right before his very eyes, vanishing into a gigantic mushroom cloud. His entire family was among them, as were most of his friends. He looked at Rafelo who still laughed in glee.

"A nation fallen is a nation easily conquered, my boy. Some sacrifice is required to bring peace and order to the world. One day you will understand that." Juan felt an overwhelming sense of hatred course through him as he tackled Rafelo before the security guards could stop him. Pinning the insane man to the ground, he began to simultaneously hit and choke him while the guards tried their best to pry him off their boss. Finally, Don was pulled free of the enraged Mexican. Juan was held by three armed men who started to beat him until a brilliant glint of light caught everyone's attention. From the sky came a massive spacecraft. Rafelo seemed revitalized as he spread his arms and shouted at the top of his lungs.

"You see? All has been set right! Our future will belong to the gods and they will guide us to eternal salvation!" As if in response, a beam of fiery red light shot from the bottom of the vessel, crashing into the mountainside above the mansion. The Kilaak ship then blasted another nearby mountain with a similar beam.

"Wha... What?" Rafelo stammered. "They... they must not have received our transmission... They -" His words were interrupted as the ground beneath his feet began to shake violently.

"Earthquake!" somebody yelled. Juan freed himself from the grasp of the security guards and bull-rushed Don Rafelo. Screaming at the top of his lungs, he drove both of them over the edge of the cliff, sending them plummeting to the Earth far below. Don managed to get a glimpse of his mountain home before he hit the ground. Fire and ash blew up from it as the volcano it was built upon came to life.

*****

"Do you see what I mean, Karkaru?" Tuket inquired, quite bemused by the whole affair. "These stupid apes are so violent and unpredictable that they are a danger to not only us but themselves. And the other races gathering here are no better. Warmongers, the lot of them! They all deserve to die." Karkaru nodded solemnly. He still had his doubts about this invasion but if anything, the destruction of Mexico City made him realize that there was no way the Kilaaks could co-exist with these creatures. That missile could have very well killed him and his crew if it had exploded in the sky.

"Sir, King Ghidorah is closing quickly. I think the explosion attracted his attention," a bridge officer advised.

"It is time for me to go," Tuket said before Karkaru could object. The King looked at him, momentarily confused. "I will draw Ghidorah away, then take my fleet up the eastern coast of this continent and follow the land until I reach the area the humans call 'Europe'. By then, we will try to lose Ghidorah somehow. No doubt his hard feelings against the Xians will halt his pursuit of us. You, on the other hand, must continue to activate the Pacific Ring of Fire volcanos. There are still hundreds of them." Karkaru nodded. "It will all be over soon, my friend," Tuket sighed. He placed a hand on the King's shoulder before walking off the bridge and toward the shuttle that would take him to his own command ship.

"Be careful, Tuket," Karkaru finally said. The ancient Kilaak turned to look at his King.

"You as well... old friend." Little did either of them realize that they would never see each other again.

Rise of the Gyaos

Marshall Coolidge was a renowned archaeologist. He considered himself an expert on ancient cultures and the scientific community would probably agree whole-heartedly. Even so, what he now gazed upon baffled him beyond reason.

The ancient sculpture was buried deep beneath the Kukulcan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, one of the greatest Meso-American cities ever created. Marshall respected this place, as well anyone should. He had often come here as a child on expeditions with his father. This ancient city was what had gotten him into archaeology in the first place.

Chichen Itza was located near the Yucatan Peninsula, a site that 65 million years ago bore direct witness to the second most destructive event in Earth's history: the arrival of Death Ghidorah. But millions of years later and little known to Marshall, it was still haunted by the memories of another tragic event, one that, up until now, had remained a secret but would seem all too familiar as the day wore on. Most of the documents containing the ancient prophecies of doom had been destroyed by the Spanish Conquistadors several centuries ago. No doubt they must have been terrified at what they described. The foolish Anglos went on to devastate the once powerful empires which had dominated this land since before Christ.

In fact, the ancient history of the Meso-American empires dated back to the Ice Age when their founders became separated from their sacred continent of Mu, thus cutting them off from the technology that kept the advanced civilization running. These ancient Atlanteans were forced to create a new life for themselves from the soil, becoming savages and losing touch with the Cosmos' prowess.

They knew, however, that a great war had been fought over them long ago and that great beasts had met in fantastic battles to decide the fate of the planet itself. These conflicts were what plunged the planet into the Ice Age in the first place. The fear of the creatures responsible had never left the Atlanteans and when they uncovered remains and still-surviving eggs of the most terrifying of them all, they erected massive structures over them in hopes that they could lock them in the Earth forever. Fortunately for them, the creatures continued to slumber. Conditions were not right for the terrors to rise again but today would be a much different story...

Marshall ran his hand over the carvings on the ancient stone tablet before him. It would seem that the author of its message had died while writing his prophecy. A long-dead skeleton lay in the corner, chisel and hammer still in hand, attesting to that. Marshall strained his eyes as he carefully brushed the dust off the tablet, holding his flashlight next to it. He wished he had a translator with him but he knew enough Mayan to understand the meaning of what he read. And it confused him and sent chills down his spine:

The King of Terror shall awaken them.
A warrior of good shall oppose them but the Shadow of Evil will overcome the light of purity.
A dark day shall descend on humanity as the sky turns to blood and the fires of the gods consume them all
As he tried to find meaning in the words, Marshall suddenly felt something warm land on his neck. He reached around and felt a thick, warm liquid. When he shone his light on his hand, he realized that it was blood. Surprised, he jumped back and pointed his light at the low ceiling. A crack had formed along the roof of the cavern he was in and blood was flowing from it.

Feeling a strange sense of terror - some subliminal instinct that had been hard-wired into mankind long before they could understand what instincts were - Marshall ran. He heard the chamber collapsing behind him as his feet touched the stone steps leading back up to the surface. Reaching the open air, he heard a shriek below him that caused him to jump and run in horror from the pyramid. He stopped by the Great Mayan Ball Court, another massive religious structure in the ancient city. Turning, he saw a red, wedge-shaped reptilian head emerge from the ground. Backing up against the stone wall, he froze, hoping the beast wouldn't see him. The abomination pulled itself free and let out its high-pitched call once more.

It was then that Marshall recognized the creature. He saw it - or one like it - on the news back when he was a kid. It was fighting some turtle-like monster named Gamera. Gyaos, they had called it. But this monster wasn't huge like that one. It was much smaller, not much larger than Marshall himself. When it spread its devil's wings, however, it suddenly seemed much bigger than it was. This caused Marshall's adrenaline to take his body hostage once more and he ran with all his might. He had never run so fast in all his life but it wasn't enough.

As the deadly blood-red talons wrapped around his arms, Marshall knew his life was over. Like a hawk with a captured mouse, the winged demon carried its prey to the top of the Kukulcan Pyramid. The Gyaos let Marshall fall to the roof, breaking both of his legs on impact. The human made strange noises of pain as the Gyaos settled down next to him. Marshall screamed in terror as it studied him, almost seeming to enjoy his absolute primal fear before it dove at him, driving its shovel-like nose into his warm belly. As the bird began to eat him alive, Marshall's eyes rolled back into his head. The last thing he saw before the sweet relief of death finally overtook him was a swarm of the creatures emerging from the tomb