Ladies and gentlemen, Zoofights is back on the air. Tonight we have a truly collossal beast-em-up arranged for you, as a result of a mysterious bracket change that occurred during the long and messy night.
I can't say much at this stage, but let it just be said that while Rocky and Rock were duking it out in wrestledome seven, and most of the station was passed out, contender fourteen expressed an extreme preference for a matchup with contender sixteen.
We weren't exactly in a position to refuse, and being forever keen to foster emnity, we have executed a bracket swap with sixteen's erstwhile opponent, contender five.
But enough of such troubles - allow me to introduce the number five beast itself. Gods and monsters, give it up for:
Kriegbehemot is a colossal ice-age rhinoceros, hydraulically augmented and fitted with three tons of steel cladding, reinforcement and gunnery. Frustrated by the tournament's strict "no human crews" rule (put in place after the 'rabble' debacle of 1873), the Prussian military of 1830 were stumped for a way to man the guns on their charging fortress - until we offered them chimp's brains in domes, that is! The three brains are chimpworked and control Kriegbehemot's armament as a team, while the beast itself is free to pursue the equally important work of bellowing, trampling and running at things really, really hard.
Size:One of the biggest bulls in Pleistocene Europe, the beast measures eight metres from nose to tail.
Speed: Slow to turn, and needs a while to build up speed, but can develop a monstrous piston-powered charge given space.
Offense: Aside from its massive momentum and steel-shod horn, the creature can deliver a hail of bullets from its chimpworked twin gatling guns and assault rifles.
Defense: Iron, steel and two inches of hide armour this land battleship of a contender.
Temperament: Extremely limited capacity for higher thought, but bottomless reserves of anger. Also: chimps.
And rising in a wind of swamp gas, from the eternal night of a nightmare jungle:
HEART OF DARKNESS
When a rift valley shaman from prehistoric Kenya contacted our CEO in the depths of an acid binge, we quickly organised a boardroom salvia mashup to sign his tribe up for an entry to the tournament. It turned out the tribesmen were chillingly adept at guiding our technicians through complex work on African megafauna - but only so long as those technicians were mashed off their chops on drugs at the time. And that's how Drug Month happened. And that's how we ended up with Heart Of Darkness, but beyond that we have no fucking clue what we've done here.
Size: A true Titan, this mountain of mammalia tops even Hydrafficus in mass.
Speed: Skittering along on a carpet of Gazelle legs, HOD doesn't so much gallop as flow across the ground, and does so with chilling haste.
Offense: A Rhino's head, a Hippo's head, an Elephant's head... and four ostrich heads. And the ostrich heads appear to shoot slugs of magnetically accelerated lead.
Defense: A moving hill of stitched together animals, and vast levels of resilience, provided by having 7 linked seats of consciousness. Even if four of them are Ostriches.
Temperament: At least it's not swanmass. Whereas this animal was built by men in the depths of a mind-expanding abyss, it has absolutely no supernatural powers beyond the spookily glowing eyes of the central elephant. Neurally unconventional though it may be, this hulking chimera is living, breathing fauna through and through, even if it is completely nightmarish
This mighty confrontation will take place late tonight, in the station's chilling CHUCK D MEMORIAL TERRORDOME.
At the sound of the starting horn, Kriegbehemot thunders out of his gate and out on to the blood-stained sands of the Chuck D Memorial Terrordome, his miniguns spinning up under the stern command of a chimp's mind.
The hulking silhouette of Heart Of Darkness waits like a hill in the arena's centre, unflinching as the armoured rhino charges towards it. Flies buzz lazily in a sudden, eerie quiet.
Then the miniguns let rip. A hail of bullets chews into the megafaunal monster, taking out one ostrich turret and burying a half pound of lead in HOD's rhino arm. The three surviving ostriches return fire, but their shots stray wide of the onrushing war machine.
As the Teutonic Titan draws within metres, the mass of meat before him lunges sideways with surprising speed, nearly clearing the path of the rhino's charge altogether...
But not quite. Kriegbehemot slams into the side of his adversary, blasting off its hippo arm as if it were made of plywood and string. The larger animal reels and staggers on a hundred spindly legs, and tries to bring its railguns to bear, but the rhino is already preparing to attack again.
Cantering round to gain ground for another pass, it leaves a long red arc in the sand as blood pours from the matted hair of its neck and belly...
The two vast warriors circle each other, opening up with a gargantuan exchange of fire more like a naval broadside than a gladiatorial duel. Railgun pellets thump through Prussian steel, while gatling slugs rip flesh and bone to pieces.
Both contenders are taking huge damage, and Kriegbehemot is soon left with only one chimp to control its guns. Knowing that the war of attrition is not one it can win, it breaks the grinding engagement and prepares to charge at the weakened flesh mountain once again...
With its structure weakened drastically by the crippling volleys of ammunition, HOD's chest caves like wet tissue before the freight train momentum of Kriegbehemot.
The beast's surviving heads wail out together in pain, and the rhino comes to a standstill halfway into its colossal thorax. The two surviving ostriches, when they come to their senses, begin slamming railgun pellets into Kriegbehemot from point blank range - but this only seems to aggravate the living tank into even more vigorous thrashing...
And you thought it looked bad on the outside...
In the belly of the beast, the Germanic Giant finds itself smothered in innards and - worse yet - assailed from all angles by the heads of crocodiles and hyenas, which had been stitched into the creature's insides as a precaution against just such an eventuality as this.
Heart of darkness is losing blood by the gallon, but its many heads gnash with renewed vigour as they sense their foe slowing with exhaustion. Is this where it ends for Kriegbehemoth - drowned in guts and chewed to death by hyenas?
Fuck no. Summoning the last of its energy, Kriegbehemot tears away the beast's flank to break out of its abdomen, virtually tearing it in half. Organs, mangled beyond repair, sail in all directions as the victor stomps on the collapsing carcass and rips the elephants head clean off with its horn.
Soon, nothing is left but the rhino, battered and bloodied with railgun fire, standing over the sodden chunks of Heart Of Darkness as the victory band strikes up...