Godzilla vs

Godzilla vs. Cthulhu

By C. L. Werner

IX

Godzilla's reptilian eyes stared suspiciously at the black megaliths which surrounded him as the behemoth slowly climbed the muddy shore of R'lyeh. He roared in fury at one of the massive structures which blocked his path, towering above him at an incredible height many times Godzilla's own titanic enormity. When the tower did not move, did not react to Godzilla's challenge, the reptile slowly walked around its alien symmetry, his eyes still glaring in suspicion, ready for the first sign of aggression from the cosmic evil he sensed all about him.

Upon the hill, Great Cthulhu continued to exult in his freedom, an emotion less passionate than a man should have felt, an emotion more resigned than rejoicing. The immense mountain of rubbery green flesh pulsed with an inner light, a blue luminescence which slowly spread across the monster-god's entire shape, transforming Cthulhu's hide into an electric blue colour, an unearthly hue of such beauty as to be incompatible with the hellish form it cloaked. Great Cthulhu took a few awkward, lumbering steps away from the hill, trampling scattered handfuls of cultists into jelly with the oblivious indifference of a man whose path takes him over an anthill.

Then, the sea-god froze, his blue colour rapidly fading back to green, his face tentacles reaching forward, tasting the air.

Godzilla emerged from the labyrinth of R'lyeh's cyclopean streets with the closest his reptilian mind could come to relief. The alien city's colossal towers had oppressed even Godzilla's savage spirit, yet the sense of cosmic evil had grown rather than lessened as the titan had come closer to leaving R'lyeh's vaults behind. Now, there was a great empty space before him. Ahead was a hill and a giant crypt and…

Godzilla was a primal force, an engine of carnage and destruction. Hideous obscenities of science and nature had fought him and he had not wavered; only a primitive rage had filled his reptilian heart. Yet now, as Godzilla's eyes found the ancient horror that stood before him, the monster shrieked in terror and took several steps backwards. Horror crawled across Godzilla's spine, fear gnawed at his brain for the first time in his awful existence. The miasma of timelessness, the stench of the galaxy's unfathomed limits, seemed to exude from Mighty Cthulhu's flesh, filling even Godzilla with a sense of blasphemy and dread.

Great Cthulhu's yellow crescents stared at Godzilla for only a moment. The monster-god was unconcerned at the approach of this reptilian behemoth; merely curious in the most detached of manners. It was not one of Cthulhu's brood nor was it any such creature as had settled upon the dim ages when Cthulhu's empire had ruled the Earth. Only in his dreams could the Great Old One identify the strange creature that trembled in his presence - it was one of the insignificant beasts which had evolved in the aeons since R'lyeh's sinking. Strange that it was so large, almost as large as him, but not a cause for alarm. Unconcerned, Great Cthulhu again stretched his wings and slowly, like a great bloated bat, rose into the silver sky.

Godzilla's instincts screamed for him to flee, to fly in the face of this cosmic malignancy from the pits of time. But something within the monster was awakened by this fear and Godzilla's cold-blooded heart seethed with rage. The plates that marched down the reptile's back crackled with an eerie blue light as his head lifted towards the sky as Mighty Cthulhu rose into the air.

Radioactive fire tore through Cthulhu's left wing blasting a jagged hole through the thick, mudlike flesh. With a howl like the low-pitched whine of a radio signal, the primordial god fell from the sky. When he struck the surface of R'lyeh, it was as though Cthulhu were a titanic ball of clay, his lower body being distorted and flattened by the impact while the rest remained intact and unharmed. Almost as soon as he struck the ground, Great Cthulhu's body began to restore itself to its proper form, like a piece of stretched rubber snapping back into shape. More of the Great Old One's rubbery flesh oozed across the damaged wing to fill and repair the tattered hole.

Cthulhu's hide was rapidly changing from its green hue to a burning red brilliancy, a shade which heralded anger even upon the black star from which Cthulhu's spawn had seeped to the Earth. Before Godzilla could react, Cthulhu's wings rapidly shrank, their substance being redirected to Cthulhu's arms, arms that now shot across hundreds of yards to encircle Godzilla's body in a crushing embrace.

Like mammoth pythons, Cthulhu's thin, powerful limbs constricted about Godzilla's body, crushing the breath from the reptile's lungs. Already their colour was fading back to green and the alien intellect behind them was again unconcerned with the behemoth in his grasp. It was only when Godzilla's fire sundered his tentacle-like arms that Great Cthulhu recalled the strange Earth-creature that had distracted him. The severed arms oozed lifelessly from Godzilla's body even as Cthulhu formed new ones. It was almost without feeling that Cthulhu's eyes looked past Godzilla's own, sending out psychic feelers which probed and poked in the monster's very brain.

Godzilla was less than a hundred yards from Cthulhu when the monstrous alien discovered what he wished within Godzilla's network of nerves and ganglia. Genetic codes, messages and limitations hidden within the atomic dragon's DNA lie before Cthulhu's gaze like an open book. From Cthulhu's form there came a cry which assaulted the very core of Godzilla's nervous system like a high-pitched sound wave. The great beast gave but a single shriek of pain as he toppled upon the blue rocks, stunned by the mental and physical assault.

Cthulhu turned from Godzilla's prostrate form, again deeming the fallen monster unworthy of his attention. But from every crevice, from the alien angles of R'lyeh's black towers, poured a tide of nightmarish shapes very much interested in the fallen giant. Like monstrous Lilliputians, crustacean denizens of earth's forgotten prehistory and the gibbering scum which seeped from the heavens beside Great Cthulhu's spawn scrambled, scuttled, oozed and crawled across the blue rock and the black scales. After aeons of hibernation, centuries of living death, one thought filled the small primitive minds of the horde - hunger. With claws and mandibles, talons and tentacles, teeth and digestive enzymes, the vermin of R'lyeh set about devouring the great beast felled by R'lyeh's master.

Pain filled Godzilla, raced through every nerve, rooting out the echoes of Mighty Cthulhu's sonic assault. Godzilla rose from the blue stone and clay, shaking screaming creatures twice the size of men from him and crushing them beneath his feet in all their legion forms. Godzilla roared his challenge at the bloated, hulking horror that had shown such contempt for him as to leave his destruction in the claws and feelers of such filth.

Great Cthulhu was surprised that the reptile had fought off the Great Old One's attack upon Godzilla's mind. Certainly it should have crippled the beast, there was nothing in its genetic codes to indicate otherwise. The monster was so enraged that he was not employing his flame but striding nearer to rend Cthulhu's flesh with his fangs and claws. The Great Old One easily recognised Godzilla's intent and Cthulhu's facial tentacles began to gyrate in maddening patterns and colours, the mechanics of an act of super science, the solving of a riddle of the physical universe that mankind would call wizardry in his terror.

The blue stone at Godzilla's feet began to ooze between the reptile's toes. A few steps more and it ceased to support Godzilla's mass. Like an elephant in quicksand, Godzilla began to sink into the solid rock whose cohesion Cthulhu's magic had destroyed.

Cthulhu continued about his own affairs and a great malevolent cry rolled across R'lyeh. Within every tower and pyramid, obelisk and ziggurat, that call was answered. Doors closed for countless millennia opened and the first of Cthulhu's mammoth spawn strode forth into the eerie half-light, an army of creatures smaller than their god-priest-emperor but otherwise sharing his fearsome visage. They joined their grim lord in the vast psychic effort which Great Cthulhu was undertaking, the raising of the vast amount of black R'lyeh which lay yet beneath the waves. But the god had again dismissed his adversary too soon.

Godzilla fought against the nearly liquid stone to no avail and continued to swiftly sink. Bestial rage flared up within him as never before. Unable to retaliate upon the morass that held him, Godzilla's gaze fell upon the immense bulk of Mighty Cthulhu. Atomic energy crackled about Godzilla's back as the monster spat golden fire into Cthulhu's obese and bloated body, blowing a great gaping hole through Cthulhu's chest.

Although the wound began to be filled and repaired almost as soon as it had been dealt, the effect of Godzilla's attack had been tremendous. Cthulhu abandoned his followers' efforts to raise R'lyeh further from the deep, causing the island to retreat back into the waves. As Cthulhu's spawn watched the approaching waters nervously, Cthulhu himself looked upon the trapped Godzilla with sudden concern. The reptile's assault had hurt him, even if his alien body was already beginning to repair the damage. With the pain from Godzilla's attack had come the inconceivable realisation that this creature, this insignificant beast, had such power that it had the potential to kill even Great Cthulhu. However remote the possibility, it was not a possibility Cthulhu would allow to be tempted.

The Great Old One threw open his arms even as Godzilla's fire burned through the monster-god's midsection. Great Cthulhu was sending up a cry, an inaudible summons to the very core of the universe. Cthulhu was calling upon a power which even he, perhaps, would be unable to control, a power which would annihilate his foe utterly. But, as the shrouding mists of R'lyeh parted in answer to Great Cthulhu's demands, alien eyes beheld the now revealed and naked night sky.

The spawn of Cthulhu slowly returned to their myriad tombs, their brief freedom at an end while the waters of the Pacific greedily devoured the shore of R'lyeh. Great Cthulhu ceased to call upon the dark power of the Outer Gods but turned and strode back to his crypt upon the hill. He ignored the golden fire that burned his wings as he oozed back into the timeless darkness of his black tomb. And, as Cthulhu retreated, the stone about Godzilla hardened slowly, allowing the monster to emerge from the Great Old One's trap. As the water rose to Godzilla's thighs, the reptile glared at the yellow eyes that considered him from the depths of Cthulhu's crypt before cyclopean doors shut out their gaze.

The stars were not right, Cthulhu and his spawns' time was not now. And so, for an hour or an aeon, R'lyeh sank back into the darkness of the sea and Cthulhu sank back into his black slumber and dreamed.

*****

I alone survived from the crew of the helicopter. When Cthulhu emerged from his crypt, the others were driven mad at the sight of him. The pilots gibbered idiotically at one another while the operators of the sonic transmitter fell upon each other with maniacal ferocity. I leapt from the helicopter to escape her crew of maniacs, seeing the aircraft explode against one of the black towers of R'lyeh only moments after I struck the water.

I was rescued hours later, cold and exhausted, by one of the search planes sent to find us by the Americans. Even had the helicopter not been destroyed, it did not have enough fuel to return after having led Godzilla to fabled R'lyeh.

I did not see their battle, but I can only deduce that Godzilla defeated Cthulhu since mankind's civilization yet thrives. A victory for the new gods of man's own making. But I know that Great Cthulhu still lives, so it was but a temporary victory.

Today I am head of Japan's own investigative program to combat the minions of the Great Old Ones. It is called the Odaka Foundation.

Akira Natanaka has not been seen since R'lyeh's return to the depths. It can only be assumed that he perished beneath his god's feet or drowned with R'lyeh's sinking.

Perhaps it is only coincidence, but Godzilla did not long survive his battle with Mighty Cthulhu. The uranium deposits of Birth Island somehow became unstable, causing the entire island to explode and saturating Godzilla with such vast amounts of radiation as to prove lethal even to him. I wonder if Great Cthulhu's dark dreams had anything to do with it. I do wonder…