Author: Chris Cook
All was peaceful in Tokyo Bay, as a flotilla of barges laden with explosives bobbed in the shallow waves, all prepared to celebrate the anniversary of the discovery of TNT with an elaborate demonstration. The emcee of the ceremony gazed out over the barges, lined up in formation, and then the massive crowds who had gathered on the waterfront. A strange wave passed through the fleet, as if emanating from something gigantic moving underwater.
"Why do I feel apprehensive?" the emcee muttered over his shoulder, not noticing that his deputy, and the crowd, had already begun heading for the hills.
The explosion was so large that they heard it in Italy.
The hastily-constructed new headquarters of the Willzilla And Queen Tarah Combat Task Force was abuzz with activity as scenes of Tokyo's latest misfortune played on the ubiquitous giant video screens. The Task Force's new leader, a weaselly man named Warren-san, grinned conspiratorially, then put on a concerned face as his deputies turned to him for advice.
"We have only one option!" he shouted above the broadcast noise of property destruction. "We must create a monster capable of defeating Willzilla and Queen Tarah!"
"Uh, what?" Buffy-san asked. "Creating monsters is what got us into this situation."
"You don't have any authority here," Warren-san spat petulantly. "Your failure with Queen Tarah disqualifies you from commanding the Task Force ever again."
"That was Drusilla-san," Buffy-san complained. "And-"
"Silence!" Warren-san demanded.
"But mighty Warren-san," deputy Andrew-san meekly asked, "how will we avoid the possibility of a new monster going rogue just as Queen Tarah did?"
"Buffy-san's mistake-" Warren-san began.
"Dru-san's mistake," Buffy-san interrupted.
"-was in having no way to control the monster she created," Warren-san continued, ignoring the blonde. "We will not create a monster whose motivations we have no control over. We will turn someone of proven loyalty into a giant monster."
"But who would be willing to undergo such a transformation?" Andrew-san asked pointlessly.
"Aw geez," Buffy-san groaned.
"Me, of course," Warren-san smiled. "I will undergo atomic nanite DNA rescrambling in combination with our new ZZT-0P hydro-mecha technology."
"Wait," Buffy-san protested, "what on god's earth makes you think that scrambling your DNA and sticking a shower nozzle up your-"
"-will make you a match for those monsters?"
"Hydro-mecha technology will guarantee my success!" Warren-san gloated. "Willzilla and Queen Tarah spend their time in between rampages submerged - therefore, they cannot rampage in the presence of water."
"That doesn't make any sense."
"Xander," Buffy-san said quietly to her token American sidekick, as Warren-san disappeared into the DNA laboratory, "I don't like this."
"Warren-san is definitely up to something," Xander agreed.
"C'mon, let's snoop," Buffy-san decided.
In the laboratory, oblivious to Buffy-san and Xander peering through the keyhole in the main door, Warren-san laughed maniacally and explained his evil scheme to himself for no good reason, while waving around the nozzle of the hydro-mecha gizmo.
"At last, I knew the TNT anniversary celebrations would be irresistible, and draw Willzilla and Queen Tarah out! And now their rampage has given me the excuse to use the Task Force's technology to turn myself into a being of godlike power, who shall rule all of Japan!"
"That was succinct," Buffy-san noted quietly.
"I'd like to shove that shower head down his throat," Xander growled.
"Close to what I was thinking," Buffy-san nodded. "Not quite, but close." The pair ducked out of sight as Andrew-san bustled in.
"Heroic Warren-san, the rescrambler is prepared," he said, bowing obsequiously.
"Excellent," Warren-san gloated. "Let us proceed!"
Willzilla and Queen Tarah, who had been entertaining themselves playing volleyball with Volkswagons, regarded the sudden destruction of the Task Force headquarters with an uneasy sense of déjà vu. However, unlike the previous such blast which had given rise to Queen Tarah herself, this time when the smoke cleared it was to reveal the imposing, armoured form of a half-human half-plumbing creature: Mecha-Warren.
Queen Tarah, possibly remembering the time she had been three small animals in Drusilla-san's lab and Warren had made unkind comments about their edibility, mimed rolling up her sleeves and stomped towards the mecha-monster, while Willzilla looked on proudly as Tarah's three sets of eyes let loose lightning bolts that tore through the once-again-evacuated Tokyo suburbs.
Mecha-Warren saw Tarah approaching, and looked down at the tiny form of Andrew-san, somewhat the worse for wear after having had the building explode around him.
"Plug me in," Mecha-Warren hissed. Andrew-san scrambled through the wreckage, picked up the end of the water hose trailing from Mecha-Warren like a tail, and hastily screwed it to a fire hydrant, opening the flow so that water filled Mecha-Warren's hydro-mecha body with energy.
Willzilla watched in dismay as Queen Tarah's advance was halted by a massive blast from Mecha-Warren's inbuilt water cannons. Giving voice to a monstrous bellow that would in all likelihood translate to "Nobody messes with my girl!" she too advanced, only to find her radiation breath ineffective against Mecha-Warren's hydro-shielding, and herself similarly blasted onto her back by a jet of high-pressure water.
Mecha-Warren cackled diabolically and turned his water jets on the remains of the city where the two monsters had fallen, quickly flooding the area and sending the pair tumbling along the deluged streets.
Buffy-san watched from the relatively safe vantage point of a Task Force helicopter, which Xander was struggling to steer.
"We have to do something!" she shouted. "They can't fight Mecha-Warren! Queen Tarah's being forced down Main Street away from him, and-" there was an emphatic splash from the region of the docks "-and Willzilla's been pushed back into the bay!"
"Fine," Xander complained, "but what are we going to do? We can't fight a giant monster, and I can barely keep us in the air!"
"I thought you said you could fly?"
"My exact words were 'how hard can it be'," Xander reminded her. "Then you ordered me to take off, and... well, here we are." He wrenched the control stick to one side, narrowly missing a building. Buffy-san lurched to one side, and caught sight of the trailing water hose being unwound behind Mecha-Warren as he advanced after Queen Tarah.
"Xander, put us down!" she ordered.
"When you say 'put us down', is a survivable crash okay?"
"Forget it," Buffy-san sighed, strapping on a parachute. "Just... hang around, I'll take care of it."
Willzilla clawed her way back out of Tokyo Bay just in time to see Queen Tarah, propelled by the blast of a hydro-jet, tumbling through the financial district and somersaulting inelegantly into Tokyo University, where she lay exhausted amid the ruins of the science faculty. The giant reptile picked up a warehouse and threw it at Mecha-Warren by way of distraction, then waded through the flooded city to Queen Tarah.
"Rrrrrraaaarrrrgghh?" she asked, concerned.
"Eeeeeaaaahhhh!" Tarah complained, nuzzling Willzilla with two her heads, while the third glared at Mecha-Warren in the distance. Willzilla gave Tarah's middle head a quick kiss on her scaly cheek, then glanced over her shoulder at the mechanical monster, which had shaken off the ruins of the warehouse and was advancing again.
"Rrraaaarrrgghh," she promised darkly, helping Queen Tarah to her feet, the two of them swimming into the side of the university library, and out the other, bringing it down in the process, before Mecha-Warren could aim his water cannons at them again.
"Andrew-san!" Buffy-san yelled, clambering over the wreckage of the headquarters.
"Buffy-san," Andrew-san said, suddenly looking even more worried. "Hi... uh, glad to see you survived the explosion... I mean, of course you did, you've got experience with exploding headquarters... not that I blamed you for the last one! I mean, I backed Warren-san's move to Task Force leader, I know, but I still believe in you-"
"Save it," Buffy-san snapped, belting Andrew-san over the head with a plank of wood. She looked up at the distant mecha-monster, then deliberately turned the hydrant's flow off.
"Ggggrrrrrrrhh!" Mecha-Warren howled, seeing Willzilla and Tarah scurrying through the city ahead of him. He aimed all his available weapons at them, and was visibly surprised when nothing happened.
"Gggrrh?" he wondered, looking behind himself. His giant, beady eyes fixed on Buffy-san, standing by the hydrant, who gave him a one-fingered salute and ran away into the wreckage. Muttering furiously, he turned and started back towards his source of power.
Willzilla noticed Mecha-Warren's sudden retreat, and motioned to Queen Tarah to wait a moment. Tarah gave her monster girlfriend three kisses on her atomic dorsal spines for luck, and watched anxiously as the giant reptile stomped back towards their newfound arch-enemy.
Mecha-Warren looked over his chrome-plated shoulder to see Willzilla advancing on him, and hurried his pace. Reaching the hydrant, and finding Buffy-san nowhere in sight, he hastily tossed the unconscious Andrew-san out of the way and turned the water back on. Turning triumphantly on Willzilla, he was infuriated to find his hydro-weapons still unable to fire.
With a nervous glance at Willzilla, who was deliberately wrenching Tokyo Stadium from the ground and hefting it speculatively onto her shoulder, Mecha-Warren turned the water flow on his hydrant even higher, past the emergency danger level. Still his cannons refused to fire. He even stared down the barrel of one of them in confusion, but the gods of comedy weren't feeling quite that cruel, and nothing happened.
"Hey Warren-san!" he heard, just as Willzilla took sight on him and drew back the stadium to throw discus-style. The mechanical monster peered down among the ruins, to see Buffy-san some distance away, holding his water hose, with a kink in it. Between her and the hydrant, the hose was bulging alarmingly with a massive amount of water under pressure.
"Gruh-oh," Mecha-Warren said, as Buffy-san straightened the kink in his hose. The huge volume of water roared along the conduit, and the giant hydro-monster had just time for one extremely uncomfortable-looking final grimace before he exploded in a gush of water that flooded half the city. A split-second later, Tokyo Stadium landed where he had been, destroying all evidence that he had ever existed. Aside from the flooded city.
"Rrrrraaaarrhhh!" Willzilla roared in triumph, not having noticed that her target had detonated before her throw had landed. Queen Tarah emerged from the ruined city behind her, surveying the scene of the battle, and embraced Willzilla tenderly, nuzzling behind her tiny pointed ear, at the side of her neck, and... lower down... simultaneously. Various lucky citizens who had survived the rampage crawled out of hiding, and some even ventured a tentative round of applause for the giant reptile, who blushed atomic-red from the attention.
"Uh, hello?" Buffy-san said, to no-one in particular. "Girl who actually defeated the bad guy here. Anyone notice that?"
She looked back at the two giant monsters, who were now ignoring the crowd and getting down to celebrating their victory in earnest, in rather graphic style. Buffy-san heaved a weary sigh.
"I hate my job," she muttered, kicking a piece of debris away and wandering back into the ruins of the headquarters.