|Armored Crab Monster|
|Faction||Ryusei Ningen Zone|
|Redesign by||Matt Frank|
Three-Part Saga "We now return to ZONE FIGHTER… already in progress."
Zone Fighter managed to dodge just as Jirass leaped, striking his knee into the monster’s chest. As he moved back, Jirass’ claws swiped across his chest, the superhero shouting in pain as they almost tore through his skin. Jirass turned, its fanged jaws parted…
Right before Godzilla’s tail struck it round the face, knocking the creature away and sending it flailing onto the ground.
Zone Fighter looked up, pushing himself to his feet as Godzilla gave a low rumble. He remembered once hearing something from a teacher about Godzilla’s ability to recognize an enemy by natural instinct. And in all rationality, the alien hero wasn’t about to turn down help of this caliber.
“Um… thanks?” he said awkwardly. Few people probably knew of any correct way to address a giant, mutant saurian.
Jirass leaped forward again, only to be struck first by a roundhouse kick from Zone Fighter, then a head butt from Godzilla that, by the sound of the impact, could have easily leveled Mt. Rushmore. The lizard fell back, snarling and snapping its jaws.
Then, behind them, the water bulged and a dark, red carapace emerged from the waves. A pair of massive claws snapped at the air as the massive lobster’s tail slammed down into the water.
“This is your creation?” Demonicus scoffed, “an overgrown shellfish?”
“Wait,” Zone Angel spoke up, “I’ve seen pictures of that thing… isn’t that Ebirah?”
“There are similarities,” Vorticia replied without looking away from the few still-functioning screens, “indeed; we used Ebirah’s DNA as a basis for Ganimes here… with a few improvements, of course. Now…” she handed what looked like a small communicator to Demonicus. “Doctor, would you care to do the honours?”
“Gladly,” Demonicus said, bristling beneath his armour as he raised it to his mouth. “Jirass, Ganimes… RIP THEM TO PIECES!”
Ganimes charged first, Zone Fighter jumping to the side and slamming his fist down, only for the blow to bounce harmlessly off the thick carapace. “Ow!” he yelled, cradling his hand, “what’s that thing made of?” Ganimes leapt up, ploughing Zone Fighter down to the ground as, nearby, Jirass rushed Godzilla. Even as the Monster King lashed out, Jirass climbed onto his chest, raking at his front with his razor-sharp claws.
Godzilla turned, hurling Jirass away, and swiped at the air as they faced off.
Zone Fighter, meanwhile, was preoccupied with keeping Ganimes’ snapping claws away from his neck, which suddenly felt rather fragile. Managing to position one foot against the crustacean’s underside, he kicked up with all his strength, throwing the creature off of himself. With a yell of "Plasma Capsule!” he sent the glowing projectile flying into Ganimes, only for it to explode uselessly against the carapace.
Dodging another blow from the massive claws, Zone Fighter managed to land a square punch to Ganimes’ face, knocking the lobster back. The lobster snapped its claws, reared back to jump…
And then collapsed as a green-grey blur slammed onto its back. Jirass thrashed furiously as it righted itself, with Godzilla giving a satisfied rumble at his own aim.
Zone Fighter nodded to Godzilla and, doubting whether the animal could understand him, asked “so: which one do you want?”
Zone Angel checked once again, seeing that everyone else in the room was indeed still distracted watching the screen.
“Alright, kiddo,” she whispered, “NOW!!!”
Each of them sent an individual blast flying towards the assembled soldiers, then turned as one towards the window behind them that held a view of the inside of the volcanic crater and the laser-net below. With another blast, Zone Angel shattered the window, and they both leapt out in a blur.
The air whipped around them, everything becoming a whirl of motion, before their hands were against the rock, using it to launch themselves upward even as the sounds of gunfire started below.
Inside, Demonicus raised one hand as the gunshots died down.
“Let them go,” he instructed. “This isn’t the last we’ll encounter them, Vorticia… I promise you.”
Vorticia nodded slowly, watching the two human forms jumping over the edge of the volcano.
“They’ll bear watching,” she said quietly.
Ganimes leapt at Godzilla, receiving a sharp blow that rained down upon its carapace, the monumental force barely registering to the creature inside. Godzilla staggered back, fighting to maintain his footing and bellowing in anger as the massive claws clamped around his arms. He threw the crustacean to the ground, pulled back his head and a stream of blue-white flame erupted, washing over Ganimes’ shell. The creature screeched, wavering before the force and stepping back, but its shell still withstanding the blow.
Ganimes lashed out, Godzilla clamping his jaws shut around the claw and swinging the lobster beast round.
Zone Fighter, at the same time, parried another blow from Jirass, jumping back and allowing his foot to strike the underside of the lizard’s head.
“Alright,” the alien fighter grumbled beneath his mask, “this has gone on long enough…” he moved both hands to his head, charged the attack and, as Jirass charged…
The blast struck Jirass in the stomach, the explosion lighting up the city skyline as the reptile screamed in pain at the burning force that consumed it. When the smoke finally cleared, the lizard mutant’s body fell to the ground.
Zone Fighter leaned down, resting his hands against his knees.
Godzilla, meanwhile, still struggling against Ganimes, pushed one foot back, levered himself and flipped Ganimes over onto its back. The lobster snapped its claws and rocked on the back of its shell, its jointed legs thrashing with its soft underbelly exposed.
Godzilla pulled back his head and, as Ganimes looked up, its vision was filled with burning, brilliant blue-white light. It screamed, its flesh burning as it thrashed and snapped its claws.
Ganimes’ shell may have been its most potent defence, but now, helpless on its back and awash with atomic flame, it would be its tomb. So thick was the bony shield that the heat of the blast could not enter… or leave. Unable to expel the heat, Ganimes could only scream as the fury of the King of the Monsters roasted it alive in its own shell.
“Damn…” Zone Fighter noted as Godzilla reared up next to Ganimes’ charred remains, “break out the garlic butter, huh?”
Even Zone Fighter swallowed a lump in his throat when Godzilla turned to face him. On some instinctive level, he prayed that Godzilla wasn’t going to hold that earlier fight against him.
Godzilla nodded, a quiet rumble escaping his throat. Overtaken with realisation, Zone Fighter nodded back, and Godzilla silently turned and marched toward the sea, leaving the battleground and the exhausted hero behind as if…
…As is nothing even happened,” Hikaru finished. “I mean, we must’ve trashed the whole refinery while we were at it. Ow!” he flinched as the cotton bud dabbed against the cut on his arm.
“Don’t be such a baby,” Tsukioko lectured as she finished attending to the last of her son’s wound.
“You all did well today,” Yoichiro said. “But if that really is Vorticia…”
Raita nodded slowly. “And Demonicus is still alive as well.”
The room fell silent. There was none of the family’s usual joviality after winning a fight like that.
“Is it gonna be bad?” young Akira asked apprehensively.
“Yes,” Raita said levelly.
“We’ll stop them,” Hikaru said. “We’ve beaten Demonicus before, and we can do it again.”
Raita stood up and walked over to him. Then, a rare treatment, he patted his grandson on the shoulder.
“You’ve all done better than I could ever have asked of you today,” he said, “now I suggest all of you get some sleep. We’ve got a lot to deal with in the morning.”
One by one, the youngest three members of the Zone family nodded and left the room. When they were gone, Raita strolled over to the window, looking out to the city with a cold, worried look in his eyes that his family had never seen before.
“Are they ready?” Yoichiro asked in a hushed voice.
“I hope so,” Raita said quietly, “I truly, truly do.”
Thanks For Watching
- - Armored hide
- - Massive claws
- - BUBBLES