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Rash ラシュ

The Gozira Catastrophe

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RE 001: Al Tajine
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An obsidian mountain formation rapidly tore through the desolate pale landscape of Hueco Mundo. Abandoned in its wake was a horrid gash in the desert surface that stretches for miles, creating a chasmic fault that exposed the underbelly of the Hollow World. From deep within the void echoed out the countless terrible cries and roars of countless Menos.

... GOZIRA watched them scatter. The Great Titan Hollow soared just below the surface of the sand, his colossal form propelled ever forwards by the rhythmic undulations of his massive tail. A living terror, even by the standards of his own horrid species, Goriza wrought indiscriminate destruction. His body effortlessly snapped the silvery quartz trees of the Forest of Menos and unleashed the shards in a shimmering hailstorm that bombarded the forest below. The broad sweeps of his tail cast explosive gales of wind that erased entire dunes and stirred the sands into raging whites tempests. But what purpose did this destruction serve? To what end had The Great Titan reshaped whole kilometers of landscapes and disrupted entire ecosystems? The answer was painfully simple; Gozira was hunting. The destruction and the calamity were hardly an afterthought. Truthfully, it wasn't entirely wanton destruction in the end, Gozira found that the devastation and chaos he caused had the added benefit of keeping his prey disoriented and thus easily directed along the path he desired.

Through piercing eyes that gleamed a ghastly cobalt, The Great Titan surveyed the disarray below and observed the dire state of his prey. Small things though they were --comparatively-- they now numbered in the hundreds. "Another sizable feast.", thought Gozira. His massive maw salivated in anticipation. The chase had gone on for hours and the signs of fatigue were beginning to show amongst the stragglers of his prey as they slowed and stumbled. That was unacceptable. Should they be allowed to lag too far behind Gozira would overtake them and they would be lost to the ruin before he could devour their essence. A bellowing cloud of steam ejected from The Great Titan's jaws as he sighed at the mild inconvenience. He hinged his left arm at his enormous shoulder and let it swing from back to front like a pendulum loosed from the heavens. The result was an explosive shock wave of pressure that launched the rear of the fleeing stampede along with all manners of debris forwards through the air; catapulted it all to nearly the lead of the pack. The herd faltered for but a moment as those who fell and stumbled regained their footings and pressed onward.

In terms of sheer speed, most could outrun The Great Titan himself. In fact, without proper preparation and --more importantly-- the element of surprise, Gozira stood virtually no chance of catching his own prey. Even as calamity struck all around them, it was likely most of the herd could escape if they were given enough time and distance to flee. However, unbeknownst to them, the pursuit would not go on for much longer. As the frenzied Menos hordes rushed forwards it would likely never occur to them to observe the inconspicuous changes of their surroundings midst the widespread ruination. This was not the case for The Great Titan. In fact, Gozira had observed such details as closely as he had the prey themselves. He scanned for peculiar landmarks, visual indicators of the herds intended final destination. The first of the signs was an enormous tear in the Hueco Mundo ceiling, which formed a moonlit spotlight through which the entire herd passed through on their path towards assured destruction. Ignorant still, they ran on; next past the clumps of glass riddled throughout the forest sands midst the boulders and crude discs of the same quartz-like material that formed the trees. Gozira peered ahead of the horde and saw their inevitability --their world's end. An expansive black crater on the surface of the Forest of Menos that marred it like a cavity; The Titan's Tajine. A trap of The Great Titan's own design, preemptively set some odd fifty years ago at the time of his last hunting cycle. The tear in the in the sand ceiling was the entry point of the Cero he released to create the crater. Gozira's muscles shuddered beneath his obsidian hide as his black scales and dorsal plates oscillated and grew alight with streams and veins of cobalt Reiatsu. The jagged tips of his dorsal plates pulsated and thrummed with the rhythmic absorption of the surrounding Reishi. With each pulse Gozira glowed brighter and the fleeing Menos saw the light growing at their backs.

As the horde arrived at the crater those who led the pack feverishly dug into the sand with all their might's might. Alas, all manners of claws, talons, hooves, and fangs faltered in that struggle; powerless against the sheer weight of their cascading peers. Backed into this figurative corner, the more brazen of the horde turned and bore their fangs and claws at The Great Titan of calamity encroaching from high above. A few fired Ceros at him and pelted his head and shoulders --the sudden bombardment ultimately served scant more than another mild inconvenience. Those capable of flight took off into the air, they sought to fly over the crater and avoid falling prey to their mountainous predator. Fewer still attempted to fly towards The Great Titan himself. All their efforts were in vain. The colossal Hollow declared as much with but a single titanic roar in conjunction with an abrupt discharge of his immense spiritual pressure. The stampede of fleeing Menos had shook the very ground beneath them.

Gozira's roar made it quake.

The release of his Reiatsu collapsed upon the forest as if it were the bludgeoning thrash of a cosmic mallet. Wings snapped asunder and the Menos of flight were grounded instantly. Collectively the horde were brought down to prostrate and forced to watch hopelessly as The Great Titan descended upon them. Gozira dove downwards like a blue meteor; the perpetuate glow of his Reishi-charged mass super-heated his surroundings and ignited the quartz trees. The heat melted them down like silvery candlesticks. The impact of Gozira's collision suspended all un-anchored matter into the air. Roughly a third his prey were gone already; pulverized under Gozira's monolithic being. Their spiritual essence promptly absorbed through the scales of his underside. The others were violently dragged as the obsidian mountain Hollow lugged across the surface and swept them all into the Tajine crater. Droves of Menos were impaled by the jagged tips of Gozira's dorsal plates as the mountain Hollow himself plunged inwards. Within the crater, Goriza thrashed violently. He splattered more of his prey with slams of his tail. By dragging his agape jaws from side to side he snarled entire swarms of Menos and obliterated them with a solitary chop. The Great Titan fed in this manner for but a brief moment. While the majority of the horde had already been consumed, miraculously some survived and had begun to scatter.

The glowing cobalt energy harnessed within The Great Titan's scales and monolithic dorsal plates pulsated and hummed for a final time. The fleeing survivors once again saw the illumination from their backs. Their own shadows stretched out before them like guiding beacons towards their salvation. Next, came the wave of smoldering heat that vaporized skin and reduced it to spiritual particles just as they felt the "pull". They all felt the pull as one. A spontaneous sensation of being pulled backwards, as if the flow of time-space itself had been inverted. There was an eerie stillness, a silent weightlessness in the moment of the pull. In the next moment there was blue oblivion.

The Great Titan's cataclysmic eruption could be seen hundreds of leagues away. It painted the horizon a haunting shade of blue. Ancient observers on this phenomenon would know it to be the third to occur within the past hundred years. However, there was solace in the knowledge that roughly another fifty years should pass before the next one. Presumably, The Great Titan rested in that time; just long enough for the landscape to partially recover and for the knowledge of the last eruption to become a faded memory.

In the aftermath of the devastating eruption, Gozira laid limp as his body reabsorbed the released spiritual pressure along with the newly acquired essences of his prey. The Great Titan sighed streams of steam as his new scales and dorsal fins stung with the intensity of their molten-hot cobalt glow. More peculiar was Gozira's perception of his own physical being. Strangely, the mountainous Titan felt dramatically less "mountainous". The occurrence itself was not unusual, at the end of each hunting cycle he had grown marginally smaller but never to this extent. Reduced to less than a hundredth of his former height. That said nothing of his vastly decreased weight. Gozira's entire being felt tightly compacted; densely super-compressed on even the spiritual level. He was a vessel filled to its brim and shredding apart at the seams. Yet there was still so much more Reishi to absorb. Gozira could feel even his newly formed scales and fins straining and splitting under the pressure. Reishi burned as fiery orbs in his eyes. Streams of the energy surged throughout his being and glowed beneath his skin like ley-lines. His muscles convulsed and pulsated as Reishi was drawn into them. Gozira felt the energy as it swelled and burned in his core. It ejected upwards through his throat, swelled in his shut jaws, and threatened an escape. The Titan swallowed it down and clamped his mouth tighter still. His tail thrashed waywardly as if it possessed a raging mind of its own. Gozira found the entire ordeal to be mildly excruciating. However, he took some comfort in the knowledge that this was the closet he had ever felt to death. It had taken three hunting cycles to reach this point, but The Titan could finally feel his being self-destructing as he intended. If he could hold it, hold all of it in just a little more his next eruption would surely be his last.

That was The Great Titan's one true desire. To be done with this meaningless and terrifying life. Gozira had been a Hollow for long enough, he had consumed and wandered just as his instincts ordained. He had only resigned himself to this state of being, hoping that its meaning and purpose would eventually cease to elude his comprehension. Instead, he only grew wearier with the passing of lunar cycle after lunar cycle. A constant dread that lingered within The Great Titan no matter how much time passed. A dread he could not even understand.

There were times when he was distracted enough to forget the horrible tragedy of life itself. His mind recalled his time with Snow-Runner. Those days he was mildly entertained by the little Hollow's antics. Although, her existence was one that he did not understand either. At first, Gozira thought her defective. It was the only logical explanation for her ability to live so recklessly and liberated. The way Snow-Runner scuttled about irregardless of all the tragedy ready to strike at any time, it had been mildly fascinating to watch firsthand. But, eventually, its novelty wore off. Gozira could not recall the precise moment that he began to resent Snow-Runner. It just happened, one day she returned from a hunt and her presence mildly infuriated him. He wondered if Snow-Runner noticed it at all, if that change was why she decided to leave? Gozira had not so much as protested when she did. In fact, part of him was mildly pleased she was gone. He hoped that, on her own, Snow-Runner would encounter the absolute worst life had to offer. Furthermore, he hoped that it broke her irreparably. Broke her enough to learn the valuable lesson that life was suffering and that the only way out was death. Gozira waited in place patiently; confident Snow-Runner would come scurrying back soon enough, battered and broken, as terrified as he was. So that, finally, she would beg him to end it all.

Then a year passed... then did five more, and then life struck Gozira with one of its most vicious terrors. A horrible sensation that set inside of The Great Titan like a ghost and tormented him constantly. It was an invisible fiend and even larger than Gozira himself. It coiled itself around him with the greatest intensity, especially whenever he thought of Snow-Runner. For years Gozira lived in constant fear of it and for all those years it made life that much more unbearable. The only option left was for the Great Titan was to end it himself and to take the monster that haunted him down with him. One hundred years and three hunt cycles later, Gozira would finally have blissful nothingness of death eternal. He would have suffered in live and then he would have did. The End.

The rupture of one of his dorsal fins snapped Gozira from his introspection. The silence and settling of the dust around him alerted the Hollow that several hours had passed since the process started. He had absorbed almost all of the discharged spiritual pressure and particles. Even the residual energy in his shed scales and fins had been cannibalized and reconstituted into his new body on the verge of imploding. All that was left was for the Great Titan to do was trap his monster and wait.

Gozira curled up in the sand as he had innumerable times before. He thought of Snow-Runner for the final time and felt the dreadful tightness of his demon ensnare him and then, finally, at long last-

Another year passed.

To Be Continued...
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WC| 2,290
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[2,2900/1,500WC Vasto Lorde Evolution] Evolution Achieved.

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