Two Bad Ass Pangolins vs. Armour Dio

Good evening, Sports Fans, and a warm welcome to this, the penultimate battle of this year's tournament. This feed is coming to you live from my hastily barricaded office in ZFHQ - the power is out due to some kind of accident at a power station near the Jersey border, but I'm sure it's only temporary. As such, we've only got very intermittent live video feed - other than that, I'm going to have to relay tonight's action to you via slurred descriptions and crude biro scrawling based on what I can see from between the shutters of my office window.

For now, all I can tell you is that the streets are quiet, the moon is up, and Manhattan stinks of ectoplasm. Save for the sombre glow of a lighted blunt in the darkness out front of the old fire station, nothing is.... wait.... is that... the sound of an extraordinarily heavy car revving excessively?


Just got the above in from Ironichide - looks like he's out there somewhere with a polaroid and a portable fax machine...

That great lump of iron the pangolins are driving is headed towards the fire station doors with more urgency than the hip flask headed towards my face - if they carry on at this speed, they're going to slam right through into the building!

and is that.... pump-up music?

Joy Division v Ghostbusters soundtrack, by Ironichide

Even with the power off, some goddamn fool is up on top of a tenement block playing this stuff on a boombox in the dark. At this rate, we're gonna have people out on the streets and getting themselves in harm's way. Just when my legal bills were starting to look surmountable.

And that Armadillo - he's just leaning there, smoking his drugs cigarette like there's not a hurry in the world. This is insane. It's like watching a train play chicken with a boulder. I'm going to see if I can lean out the window and get a snap of this before they hit...


Holy crap I can barely see for tyresmoke - I can't believe that Armadillo just psyched out those bad brothers out there. They braked harder than a geordie driving past a pie shop, and that front bumper can't be ten feet from Dio.

I can still see the glow of that blunt through the clouds and... 

Oh god, that's the sound of a mortar being loaded.

Crap crap crap, out of film and you have to see this. They're going at it hammer and tongs out there. I'm guessing the pink and green lights are ghosts and the big blue pulses are some shit the pangolins brought out to play with, but the night is on fire.

I can see the big old hands of the wrestler tracing all kinds of patterns against the light, and the sound Hammerz' gun is making is like eight men duelling with car aerials inside an industrial microwave. 

I have to convey to you the majesty of this pitting of the other realm against American weapons science - let me just fetch my backup camera...


I am a fucking renaissance man.

Woah, I swear I just saw Drillz hurl a spear with a claymore mine taped to it. Those boys brought some artillery!

The rooftops between my office and the fire station are crowded with people now; black silhouettes on the edges of the riot of lights in the street below. There are Mexican families out here playing tape recordings of narcocorrido songs about their hero, and hooting fratboys with honk-stained Mangolin Pangolins shirts - all sharing beer on the fire escapes and leaning on their defunct satellite dishes. 

Even though the lights are gone it's a regular party atmosphere, and things still seem to be heating up below - 

Goddamn! that thing looked like a crocodile with bat wings! Whatever weapons the pangs have left, seems Dio's got a spiritual aresenal to match!

He's bracing himself with those big scaly legs... something's coming - let me get my sketchbook...


I have never seen an armadillo shoot that many ghosts out of his arms in all my days. 

Looks like Drillz has managed to launch himself into a slow motion dive from the driver's window that has lasted an impressive eight seconds so far, pulling on the trigger of an uzi taped to his pneumatic drill with his ongue. Nevertheless, all of his bullets seem to be going wide of that elusive luchador and burying themselves in concrete.

Meanwhile, poor old Hammerz was fumbling with the lock of his door when Dio's ghost stream started flooding into the vehicle - now he's flapping around like nobody's business, with that homebrew ghostbusting cannon firing randomly into thin air. That there is a tougher pangolin than the one that started this tournament, but even he's got to be phased by being stuck in a car filling up with raging ghosts.

Guess Drillz (he is the leader) figured on getting some hits in when he embarked on that slow motion dive... now he's committed to it, and Armour Dio is thundering towards him with his Luchador's embrace spread wide. 

That Pangolin's twisting in the air, but it's no good - Dio has snatched him up like a handful of churros and is twirling him over his head. 

What a moment - that knobble-shelled bruiser has got one leg up on a fire hydrant, and is posing for his fans. The rooftops are going crazy, and there's a Mariachi band going mental on the roof of the tenement below me.

Lit by the sparking, whizzing lightshow of the ghost-crammed Swedish automobile behind him, those big arms are lifting Drillz, and preparing to hurl him down to the kerb... ... re=related

But what's this new, blinding light on the scene? Headlights?

The faces of the grappler and the graplee swing round in shock, as the Vulva 760 roars out of the street and straight towards them. 

Out of control, the ghost filled car careers wildly forward, surrounded with a corona of angry spirits. Having moved out of the way to let Casper drive, Hammerz leans recklessly out of his window and blasts through the mist of spirits, trying to blow his own tyres before he hits his brother.

It is no use - with a mighty crash of splintering brickwork, the massive car smashes the whole fight through the wall of the fire station and disappears in the rubble cloud of a collapsing floor. The street is consumed by a frenzy of frustrated bellowing, as fans of the Dillo and the Pangolins alike lose site of their heroes.

Luckily, I just got paged by Ironichide - he's been lurking by the fire station, and is heading into the building to report on the action... faxes coming through imminently...





Pager message from Ironichide:





How apt, that the one time his brother should become overwhelmed with fear, Hammerz should be there to rescue him. I should have sent a poet. 

I'm getting the feeling, however, that that level of high-energy discharge around all that leaking, ghost-containing machinery might not be the best long term strategy here. 

Also, did anyone just feel that shaking in the ground. It's happening, like, every ten seconds now. the last thing we need now is an earthquake!

Woah, crikey, got to get to the window - what the hell is that light?


Guess what now this is happening.

Ironichide is paging me some nonsense about a containment overload and total pantshitting catastrophe, but I'm more captivated by this image faxed to me by citizen journalist wheat, who has also somehow managed to get down into the ruined basement and photograph the carnage with a working camera.

Apparently, the pangs are back in the car again, which Dio is making a spirited attempt to suplex into a wall. Lucky he's distracted by trying to maintain control of the ghosts leaking from the containment unit, which Hammerz is having to concentrate his fire on.

It's a true Mexican standoff, with Dio unable to ruin the car because of the burden of the ghosts, and Hammerz unable to fire at the colossus holding his car because of the roiling maelstrom of dead tapirs advancing on him.

It looks like Drillz is opening the door to-



:siren: :siren: GHOSTSPLOSION :siren: :siren:

Ok friends, it's gonna have to be just you and me now - the sky is full of cackling spectres, I'm hidden under my desk with a bottle of bourbon, and I can't even get a pager signal.

(apart from anything else, I seem to have some crippling problem with image upload IRL too, so it seems the gods approve of this course of action.) 

The number of ghosts pouring out of that old firehouse means it is now way too hot with paranormal energy to get any kind of signal out of there, so I'm going to have to play my last trump card - a ghost of my own.

Turns out forums user Jumpropeman is a straight up ghost, and has volunteered to get down there and astrally project an image to me. Meanwhile, I am going to cower and hope that the STRETCH LIZARD-bodied jaguar floating past outside doesn't notice me.

Those thumps are getting louder. They are shaking the whiskey in my glass.

Ghostspeed, jumpropeman, and tell us whether those crazy bastards are still going in that chaos down there...

Jumpropeman may not be Van Gogh, but he's got balls of steel. Before his brainological link to me was severed by a load of static and screaming about uranium mines and koalas, he managed to project this very clear image straight into the middle of the huge migraine I am developing.

Ladies and gentlemen, speaking of balls of steel... it seems the pangolins have been reunited with their brother at last. Although the explosion of the Ghost Containment Cylinder appears to have burnt out Armour Dio's control of the unliving swarm, he has used the last of his spiritual strength to summon one last shade to battle.

Ballz - always the most sombre and taciturn of the four Mangin' Pangolins, and now their judge from beyond the grave. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the conversation that must be happening right now...

Wait, what's this? A seagull appears to have flown in through my window and barfed a rolled up scrap of bar napkin into my lap. Ironichide, you beautiful bastard - you always find a way to get the news through...



:siren: :siren: :siren: A VICTORY FOR FRIENDSHIP
 :siren: :siren: :siren: 

You felt it coming, Sports Fans. You knew it had to end this way. The Pangolins are back with their brother, and bound as per their pre-match wager to serve the engineer of their salvation until his quest is over. 

They fought hard, and they fought smart, but this was a foe unlike the hippos or the rabbit - here was an older, wiser warrior who knew exactly which weapon to pick to bring about his victory: their own failings. 

But there is no time to analyse now - what I have seen was only a fragment of a wordless agreement that no-one but Armour Dio and his three new brothers will ever truly understand.

And in any case, there are buildings collapsing on the southern tip of Manhattan...



The city is swarming with escaped ghosts, a terrible power is approaching from the sea, and we have a tournament to finish.

The game is on, and the date is set (November 12th, for those who didn't know.) Three contenders remain in the running for this year's King of Beasts title, and only one will remain to walk free from New York... or at least what's left of it, if reports of a hill-sized snapping turtle walking across the seabed towards Manhattan are to be believed.

First, let's meet the two warriors that have managed to beast their way up to the final through three victories. Only one can win a fourth match - who will it be?


Hardcore Prawn II: Claws for Concern


Legend has it that only creatures born of the ocean have been able to win Zoofights tournaments in years past - will the same ring true this year?

The Prawn went to ground somewhere highly official on the DC border after parting company with the Snapture campaign trail, and immediately severed contact with his sponsors at the Fish Supercomputer company. Although the only image we have of him was taken by a motion-triggered security camera on the outskirts of the city, we can tell he made good use of the time he spent surrounded by government assets. His exoskeleton is completely rebuilt, fitted with flight-capable liquid fuel rockets and mounted with some kind of futuristic gauss carbine. We figure that is to do with magnets, but they don't teach science at Whiskey U. He also has turbo-boosted mech legs, and razor-tipped chainsaw filaments whirring round the inside of his claws. Finally, he has a genuinely sinister button under a flip-up panel on the inside of his left wrist, that we are proper worried about.


Armour Dio and the Super Barrio Brothers 


You saw what happened in last week's battle - this is the result. The great armadillo-glyptodon luchador Amour Dio has emerged from the basement of the old spookbusters firehouse, with three out of four of the original Manglin' Pangolin team summoned to fight alongside him as his sworn ghost brethren. Along with immense strength, agility and wrestling skill, he has the support of New York's hispanic community and three bad ass ghosts armed with ectosplasmic drills, spiked balls and hammerz. He's ready to suplex, clothesline and triple-fisted hyperchoke his way to victory, whatever the cost to his mind or body. And his new bros are there to back him up every step of the way. 


And when this duel is over, another shall begin. Whichever of these two battle-weary bruisers prevails in the tournament final on the streets of Manhattan will go on to face the king of the loser's league:

Vighneshvara, The Lord of Obstacles


We let Muhammut Kali have some time off for Mega-Diwali, the Festival of Fights (It's like normal Diwali, but with way more fighting). Now, he is poised to return to the battlefield as he left it after the loser's league rumble: armed with his blades, his muscles, and his Godly majesty. Far from the gruff, elephant-headed steelworker who entered the tournament, Vighneshvara is now a legtimate divine force, and he aims to take home the gold. Jai Ganesha, Ganapati Bappa, Moraya Moraya! 

However, he is not without honour. Vig has sent rats bearing parchment notes, promising us that he will not engage either of the regular tournament finalists until they have slain their opponent. Until then, he will focus his considerable energies on slaying the great Testudarch that threatens the city, armed with a piece of formidable and mysterious hardware provided by his onetime sponsors at Patel Heavy Industries. It will be a spectacle.




New York is haunted. Haunted by the fact that a gigantic turtle has begun to rampage through the city limits. Haunted by the fact that the final of Zoofights is being held in the streets, something that has spelled certain doom for many a venue. But more literally, it is haunted by ghosts. The spirits of dead beasts torment the living in the strange hours before dawn, letting none rest while they cannot.





It is in this inauspicious setting that the tournament's ultimate battle begins.

The world holds its breath. Dogs bark in the distance, howling in tune to a cacophany of car alarms, all triggered by the relentless tread of a titanic turtle, making his way inexorably into the city, his mind full of destruction (also probably cocaine). The streets are deserted, save for one heroic figure.


One heroic, armadillo like figure, and his totally radical ghost companions.


As the first rays of light stain the horizon, Armor Dio leaps into action, friendly pangolin spirits trailing in ectoplasmic streamers behind him as he races towards the oncoming titan.


He knows he has to stop him, for the orphans, for the people of this city, for the gigantic wodge of cash and personalised towel set that the King of Beasts will recieve. Besides, that monsterous island turtle just stepped on a Catholic church.

And NOBODY steps on a church in HIS town.


Oh hey, Armor Dio. Did you forget something?



Hardcore Prawn II, however, is far from stupid. Knowing his opponent had a wide streak of heroism that would force him to confront the monster, the crafty crustacean hid his combat unit in an alleyway. Waiting until the Armadillo was fully comitted, he suddenly springs forward on powerful hydraulic limbs slamming into the side of Armadillo like a bus full of drunk lobsters.


Through the augmented senses of his Control Aquarium, Hardcore Prawn savours every grimace of pain on his foe's features, directing his combat unit to slam into him again and again before he can regain his footing.


Drillz, Hammerz and Ballz attempt to psychokinetically disrupt his attack, rubble and trash bouncing off the unit's armored hide, but the prawn's attack has too much momentum. If he had a proper mouth, he'd smile. Instead, he puts on his Grim Amusement Eyebrows.

Armor Dio spins on his back like a top, legs cartwheeling to build the momentum to spring upright, while at the same time delivering a savage kick to the relatively weak knee joints of Harcore Prawn II. He's taken harder punishment in the ring, he's not about to be beaten to death by some dollar-store ED209. His skin glows blue as the Pangolins infuse him with their hate. Fist upraised, he lauches at the mech, and..

Oh hey, Armor Dio. Hardcore Prawn. Did you forget something?




The hulking chelonian lunges at the two tiny figures dancing around its feet. Iron hard ancient jaws are inches away from closing on the fighters when a sound like a school of jellyfish breaking the sound barrier slams through the city. The titan stumbles into the building beside him, giving Armor Dio and Hardcore Prawn II the opening they need to take their fight elsewhere.


The eons-old turtle does not pursue, as the source of the sound has made itself known.


Silhouetted against the rising sun, a gigantic figure slowly strides down the street. Clad in ornate armor, enhanced with weapons and now really, really big. Turns out you can't kill a Biguana just by kicking it. But if you were an elephant with his eyes on divinity, you could tame it and use your power to increase its already phenominal size until it was more, much more than a Biguana. It was a GIGUANA.

And upon its back, eldrich electricity crackling around his head like a noble crown, the lord of all obstacles, Vighneshvara.

The behemoths eye each other, inhuman intelligences seaching each other for any potential weakness, any exploitable flaws.


Well, the turtle and the elephant are doing that. Giguana has no fucking idea what's going on. But in a split second, he's left in NO doubt what's going on. KAIJU BATTLE TIME GO.

Buildings fall. Dust clouds billow. People run screaming. The titans' tread shakes the very earth.

While god beasts clash, a smaller, more personal, and quite possibly more vicious battle surges around and on top of them.


Jump-jets firing white hot, Hardcore Prawn spasms around the sky like a bluebottle who's had a few beers but is still cool to drive, Armor Dio grimly straddling the combat unit's carapace, delivering jackhammer blows to the dark alloy casing, each punch sending bursts of pain through the synaptic links. Unable to bring his ranged weapons to bear, the prawn must dislodge his foe before he can tear him apart. Worst of all, the Pangolins are screaming undead curses directly into the suit's sensitive aural sensors, his vision literally and figuratively ghosting with supernatural feedback.

Vighneshvara leaps from his mount's back, swinging on flag cables and leaping from rooftop to collapsing rooftop, peering into the aether to find a weakness in the godzilla-sized snapping turtle while he's distracted by the incredibly stupid but incredibly strong thrashings of Giguana.


Unfortunately he's not distracted for long. Roaring wordlessly, the walking island slams into Giguana, vicious jaws closing around his neck, tearing the life from his foe. But even in death, Giguana can be more help than he possibly should be. His death spasms in the beak of the beast deploy a iguanadon-style thumb spike that lances into the turtle's throat. 


With a gugling bellow he rocks backwards, the lifeless iguana falling to the street below like a really big iguana that's dead. Seriously, REALLY big. Also, REALLY dead.

Hardcore Prawn II finally manages to get the claw of his combat unit around Amour Dio's arm. Bones crunch in the fearsome pincer as the wrestler is hurled to the street, though his fall is far from fatal, bouncing acrobatically down a fire escape to land on his feet near the gently steaming corpse of Giguana. His mechanised opponent follows down in an attack dive, only to meet the business end of a genetically engineered Glyptodont tail, right in the already abused sensor array.


Rockets fly and ghosts haunt, each fighter evenly matched. In the near distance, the wounded giant turtle crashes into buildings, lurching from side to side as he attempts to not drown in his own blood.


The battle surges back and forth, each fighter unable to get the upper hand on the other. Rockets and hypervelocity rounds are sent spiraling-off course by vengeful sprits, their guidance system severed by ghost drills or battered by ghost hammers and balls. Brutal kicks and surprising clotheslines are blocked and dodged by prawn-powered computers. In the icy waters of his control sphere, the lobstery Hardcore Prawn grows impatient. The fight is in a quick lull. Time for that secret weapon. Time to press that big red button marked "CHEAT TO WIN".


Flipping open a hatch on the combat unit's claw, he reveals The Button. The shiny, candy like button. The button that will activate a tactical thermonuclear weapon. No missile, no warhead, just a package of destruction. Obviously he's got a plan to survive this. An escape pod perhaps, or a hardened inner shell. But still he hesitates, for just a fraction of a second. Cheat to win.. cheat to win...



Perhaps attracted by the chaos, perhaps by the fact that the giant turtle monster just destroyed a whiskey silo and half the city is now awash in spirits of both kinds, the gigantic gypsy bat known as Fists 'O Battahan dives from the sky and pummels Hardcore Prawn with the second-place trophy from Zoofights V. We never did find out who actually won, but 2nd place is good enough.

The synaptic feedback rattling his exoskeleton like a sack full of doorknobs, Hardcore Prawn can only think about how this is complete and utter horse shit. Armour Dio doesn't think at all, because he's seen what no-one else has.

That the prawn managed to press the button anyway.

He might not have seen the button press, but O'Battahan has a nose for danger. Seeing the panicked expression on Armor Dio's face as he sprints towards the stunned mech, the wily bat takes to the sky and speeds away as fast as his leathery wings will carry him. Pangolin Ghosts spiralling around him, the armadillo prepares to attempt to defuse a bomb with only the power of Mexican Wrestling.

And then he skids to a stop and dives in the opposite direction, spirits propelling him far away from...


Huh. I wonder what happens when a gigantic, possibly-fatally injured snapping turtle eats a live nuclear device?



Nothing much, that is, except for one moment of weakness, one nanosecond of lapsed concentration.

And that's all that Vighneshvara needs.

Like a star falling from the heavens comes the lord of all obstacles, finally answering the question that has plagued philosophers for all time. How many elephants can dance on the head of a I-beam glowing with holy energies?


One. Just one.

The sacred piece of construction material slides into the titan's forehead and obliterates his soul in a dizzying 8-dimensional mandala of phenominal cosmic power. There ain't no coming back from that one.

All is afterimages and the taste of tuesdays as the building sized monster hits the ground witha very final thump.


Vighneshvara slides gracefully off his back and lands in a crouch in front of his beak. He makes no move towards the watching Armour Dio and his Pangolin Pals, as he feels the ether stir, knowing a confrontation of a different kind is about to take place...

Through the chaos of spirits and hauntings, there has been one ghost conspicious by his absense. But now, near the fallen Giguana, a glowing blue form coalesces. First a snout, then a totally radical mowhawk, then a set of spectral circular saws.


Yes, Sawz has come back to reunite with his brothers. Drillz (he's the leader) can't quite beleive it. His brother.. back to rejoin the gang for one last battle?


Hey guys.

Fuck you.


Too wrapped up in his hatred for the brothers he still believes betrayed him, Sawz doesn't see the dark spirits that creep up behind him, their talons and rusty hooks piercing his ethereal flesh and dragging him down to a realm of eternal torment.


His brothers just shrug. Man, what a dick

The Hindu ass kicker has politely waited for the ghostly brothers to resolve their issues, but now is the reckoning. Such is his majesty, that any image of him in this pumped up state is beyond the comprehension of the human mind, its glory such that any picture would appear as if the crude scrawlings of a child.


See? SEE?

Reality tears with the sound of an angel that's swallowed a harmonica. Vighneshvara seems to flicker as he brings his axe around faster than the mortal eye can follow, a sweeping arc of deadly color aimed straight for Armour Dio's neck.


Faster than the MORTAL eye can follow. 

Spirits appear from nowhere, bleeding from the spirit realms and catching the head of the axe in a surge of ghostly power. The air crystalises, screaming like talons around a wine glass as the positive and negative charges build up.. and EXPLODE in a riot of color and feedback, grounding themselves through Vighneshvara's chakras, leaving him reeling and disorientated.

Armor Dio knows that he has one chance here. Even stunned, the mighty mammoth is still dangerous. Any second now his second sight will return, and that blast took out most of the spirits in the area, though it wasn't strong enough to destroy the Pangolins, bound as they are to his own soul. He meets the gaze of his ghostly friends, who nod, their glowing blue forms flowing into the wrestler's body, pushing him half way between this world and the next.

With fingers half ethereal and half physical, he reaches out in both worlds, a ghostly switchblade in his hand..


...and stabs Vighneshvara directly in his third eye.


Like a lightswitch flicking off, the mighty mammut loses his connection to the spirit world. Just as suddenly, all the color is gone from his form. He is now a creature of pure material form, his blocked soul raging against the conduit that has just been severed, desperate to open a third eye that is now just a bloody ruin.


And boy is he PISSED. Lurching upright like a famous undead brawler's corpse sitting up in his grave, his body acts on pure muscle memory, grabbing the Luchador and tossing him HARD into a wall.

But anger and muscle memory don't mean shit to ghosts, son. 


With his spiritual defenses down, the Poltergeist Pangolins decide it's Payback time. Chunks of cinderblocks, trash bins, broken pool cues, rubble, shards of glass.. a whirling storm of debris encircles the pugilist pachyderm, who flails wildly at the assualt, unable to stop the bruising, breaking crushing attack. He's helpless without his third eye.



With a roar that shakes the very heavens, a hole opens in Vighneshvara's forehead. Light streams into the void, in colors we have no names for and have to do a lot of quite expensive drugs to even see under normal conditions. Expending the very last of his energies, he takes care of the spiritual menace of his foe once and for all - not by destroying them, for the Pangolins can't be killed while Armour Dio lives. 

But no-one said anything about reincarnation. 

A mandala wavefront surges through the city, all the rogue souls being sent on their way, pushed back onto the wheel, sent to their next life for good or for ill. When the surge clears, Vighneshvara's color has returned, but his aura of mystic power is gone. Covered in bruises and scratches, he grimaces at Armor Dio, who grits his teeth in return. Time to finish this.

This is no longer a battle of ghosts, or magic axes or any of that nonsense. This is a battle of blood and sinew, of grit and violence, of an elephant with four arms punching the shit out of a giant armadillo while said armadillo is kicking him in the nads.


The fighters crash through broken buildings, through cars, pounding and pummelling each other. The ground shakes underfoot, and keeps shaking, as if their struggle is tearing the world apart....




Image if a certain prawn had hidden multiple combat units under the city, all controlled from one Master Aquarium. As if, say, the first one had a Dummy Prawn System, a normal lobster with eyebrows drawn on as a fakeout. As if said prawn was waiting for his opponents to beat the ever loving shit out of each other so he could activate units 02-07 to finish the job.



Yes, pretty much EXACTLY like that.

Armour Dio is dead. 

What, did you want a KO? You should have learned not to trust those two letters by now. But take my word for it, he's dead. Torn into so many pieces of scorched flesh, his soul back on the wheel thanks to the reincarnation wave.


Vighneshvara barely clings to life. He raises a hand to the ring of steel, his palm faintly glowing. One final spiritual attack? A benediction? A plea for mercy?



With complete contempt for his opponent, Hardcore Prawn climbs out of Unit 07, and puts two bullets through Vighneshvara's forehead, killing him and earning him the title...

:frogsiren: KING OF BEASTS :frogsiren:



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