|Faction||Ryusei Ningen Zone|
|Created by||Tsuburaya Pro.|
|Redesign by||Riki Q|
|Art by||Matt Frank|
Three-Part Saga "We now return to ZONE FIGHTER… already in progress."
Zone Fighter groaned, rubbing the side of his head. Damn, where had that come from? It hadn’t been so much the force of the blow as its unexpectedness that blindsided him.
Of course, after a blow like that, there tended to be a thought process starting with realising how much it hurt, followed by recognising that Godzilla was considerably too far away to have landed that hit himself. The thing responsible was in fact looming over the youth right now…
“What… the hell is that?”
The creature was at least the same size as Godzilla, and at first glance they even looked similar, but the main difference between them was the wide, yellow-streaked frill that surrounded its neck. All over its body were tiny spikes and thorns, the horns on its head were a dirty yellow and thick clustered pads of spikes sat on its knees and elbows.
“Who’s this, big guy?” Zone Fighter shrugged to the still-snarling Godzilla, “you got an ugly cousin, or-”
Jirass’ tail struck him in the stomach, hurling him back down the street and sending him rolling across the ground. “Ok, should’ve ducked that,” Zone Fighter grumbled as he stood back up, pointing both hands toward Jirass. “;Photon Beam!” The blast shot forth and struck the beast in the chest, forcing it back… then stopped, as the monster screeched in rage.
On the other side of Zone Fighter, Godzilla rose to his feet with a rumbling snarl.
“Ow…” Hotaru said groggily, “what happened…?”
“I see you found me, then,” the voice said in front of her. She looked up, wincing in what felt like painfully bright light, and saw…
“It can’t be…”
There he was, standing right in front of her. The cowl that surrounded him concealed most of the bulky, dark-red body armour emblazoned with the image of a monstrous skull, and a crown of small horns topped the red-and-white face mask. Each of the figure’s gauntlets ended in a small, curved claw.
“Glad you remember me,” the madman chuckled quietly beneath his mask, “even if I didn’t think it’d be the Japanese that found me here. Of course…” he knelt down in front of her, “I keep forgetting: you’re not actually Japs, are you? Peaceland, isn’t it?”
Zone Angel looked up in surprise. That was… it was impossible. “How do you know about that?”
“And what do you have to do with Godzilla?”
Demonicus looked down at her. “Clever girl.” She was sure he was smirking underneath that mask. “Maybe my country’s just better these things, but we have a liking of building our airships with escape pods.”
“And the first thing you thought to do was start this nonsense again?”
“Actually, if you must know,” Demonicus said, turning round to face the computer screen that could now be seen covering the opposite wall, “you and Zone Fighter have left me with no choice but to raise the game. Controlling Godzilla was just the first step…” he pressed something, and a different image entirely appeared on-screen.
Zone Fighter knocked Godzilla away, just in time to duck under another lunge by Jirass. By the time he’d parried that, Godzilla’s claws caught his chest and knocked him away again.
This was too much for him, plain and simple. He could take on Jirass, maybe hold his own against Godzilla, but both of them at once…
And just to make things worse, that power belt of his was in the red.
Godzilla pulled back his head, a stream of blue flame shooting forth. “Hyper Shield!” The shield managed to deflect most of the attack, but splintered in the final seconds, knocking Zone Fighter to the ground again. As Jirass turned, the rest of the deflected blast caught it in the face, bowling it over.
Then the belt started to beep.
“Oh…” Hikaru winced, “that is not fair…”
There was a flash of red light, and where Zone Fighter was standing, there was empty air, and beneath it, the battered figure of Hikaru Sakimori. “Not good,” he gulped, looking up, “so not good…”
Godzilla and Jirass turned, looking around the air, Jirass rumbling irritably to itself. “They don’t recognise me,” Hikaru thought out loud, “that means…”
Then Jirass sniffed at the air, looked down, and narrowed its eyes. It had the scent.
“I dare say Jirass might put my older creations to shame,” Demonicus noted, “I’d been working on him for some time before the ship went down with most of my samples, but this truly is my masterwork. After all, who else could have gathered DNA from Godzilla himself? Once I had that, isolating its mutagenic properties was child’s play.”
“Akira,” Zone Angel whispered, gently nudging her tied-up younger brother.
“Nnnh…” Zone Junior groaned as he stirred into wakefulness, “I dun wanna go to school…”
“Huh?” Akira blinked, “Where are we?”
“No time,” Hotaru whispered, “now, before he shuts up and notices anything: see if you can reach my side pocket.”
“Once that was done, I injected the G-Cells into a thorny devil, and added that combination to a frilled lizard. The result was a reptilian mutation as spectacular as Godzilla himself… his distant cousin, one could say. And with the two of them side-by-side… Zone Fighter stands no chance.”
Hikaru paused for breath, still navigating the maze of the oil refinery in Tokyo Bay. His first thought had been that he needed to run for cover; find some way of keeping away from those two until his energy could recharge.
The communicator in his watch bleeped on. “Hello?”
“It’s me,” Raita said over the airwaves, “I think you should hear this.”
“Now,” Demonicus concluded his rant, “let me introduce you to my… accomplices. I think you’ll be surprised.”
On one side of the room, something activated. It was a round, circular cut-out in the wall, filled with crisscrossed red and purple lines of light.
Hundreds of miles away, in Tokyo, Raika watched intently through the camera Hotaru always carried with her. As he saw the machine, he froze. “Impossible…”
The machine filled with light, which itself began to condense in its centre- and when it faded, there they stood. In the middle was a pale, lanky woman garbed in a silver robe/bodysuit, like a flowing, otherworldly dressed that turned into body armour from the waist up. Fixed onto her head was a thin, tall silver helmet. On each side of her stood two purple-suited guards, their heads covered in vaguely-humanlike masks.
“Queen Vorticia,” Demonicus nodded his head, “so glad you could join us.”
Raita froze at his desk, his hands slack over the controls. “It can’t be…” he whispered fearfully, “no, that- that’s not possible…”
“It’s them…” Yoichiro whispered, “it’s the Vortaak!”
“So there’s more of you now?” Hotaru asked as she looked up at the new arrivals.
”Well, well,” Vorticia, as Demonicus had called her, said as she stepped forward. “So these are the Zone children I’ve heard so much about.”
“Two of them,” Demonicus answered.
“Of course, you two were born after your parents arrived here on Earth, isn’t that right?” Vorticia smiled dryly. “Allow me to introduce myself… I am Vorticia, Empress of the Second Great and Bountiful Vortaak Empire.”
Hotaru froze. “Vortaak?”
Raika shuddered. “The ones who destroyed our home world…” he whispered, “they’re here!”
“No way…” Hikaru breathed, “Ok, that’s just…”
He looked up at the sound of a low rumbling. Jirass was hunched on top of one of the oil supports, its dripping fangs barred as the frill opened around its neck: a predator ready for the kill. It had spent more than long enough chasing this little creature around, and now…
Now, the tiny light on Hikaru’s watch turned green.
Hikaru grinned and adopted his fighting pose. “Zon Faita!” In a flash of light, his form was gone, replaced with Zone Fighter, and with a cry of “Zone! Double! Fight!” he felt like he was shooting up through the air, until he was at last face-to-face with Jirass.
“Bring it on!”
Jirass leapt forward, and Zone Fighter swung to the side, dodging the blow and striking his knee into Jirass’ chest. As the creature reeled, he struck at its face- only for the monster’s jaws to clamp shut around its hand and a powerful tail to sweep his legs out from under him.
“Back off, big guy! Plasma Capsule!” The blast shot from his hand inside Jirass’ mouth, the saurian falling back and screeching, smoke billowing from its jaws. This thing was tough, but if Zone Fighter could just kept this up…
And then Godzilla charged at him.
“Got it,” Zone Junior whispered. Even throughout the shock of the introductions, he’d managed to use Raita’s hidden gadget to cut through the chance.
Zone Angel and Zone Junior both leapt up, each striking one of the nearby soldiers of Demonicus. Even as Vorticia shouted something, Zone Angel sent a blast into one of the Vortaak guards.
“Stop her!” Demonicus howled, sending two of his men forward. Zone Angel ducked under their blows, kicking each of them in the chest. Finally, Vorticia pulled back one hand and sent a swirling, purple bolt into Zone Angel’s midsection.
“Honestly,” she scowled, “did you really think a child could stop us?”
“Wasn’t trying,” Hotaru smiled, “just distracting you.”
On the other side of the room, Zone Junior fired his own weapon into the machine that, if Hotaru’s whispered instructions had been right…
“Am I right in thinking that’s the control device?” Hotaru grinned.
An inch away from smashing into Zone Fighter, Godzilla stopped. Immediately, his muscles seemed to almost relax, loosening, as his eyes widened and looked around.
“Hey,” Zone Fighter noted, not moving his limbs but regarding Godzilla curiously, “what’s with you?”
Not far away, Jirass stalked around behind Zone Fighter. Now was the time to strike…”
“Godzilla’s free!” Demonicus howled, “you little Jap brat!” he swung his fist round, knocking Zone Junior away, for which he received a sharp kick to the lower back from Zone Angel, knocking him across the room.
Vorticia, on the other hand, simply smiled to herself.
“Not to worry,” she smiled, “we can even the odds quite easily. Soldiers… direct Ganimes to Tokyo.”
End of Part 2.
- - Spiked hide
- - Electric Blast from mouth
- - Frill used to conduct energy