We had breached upon the trade winds south by south-east of Nipan when the storms came to a surge with the Triangle. As the wind whipped and seas roared, a strange manner of light became visible on the starboard. The sun had set and overcast blotted out moon and starlight, so the phosphorescence had come from the depths. The sea broiled and I ordered the men to row the ship forward, fearing the brightness to be from an undersea volcano. A form was spotted and a net was cast, but the fish ensnared was born of The Pit. The greater of their kind came upon us and destroyed the center mast. Harpoons and shot did little but force it overboard. The quartermaster was seized by the leg and we thought him perished when the demon dragged him into the depths from it hence came. It seemed as if a miracle later when he persevered below deck and we continued on towards port. But God in Heaven preserve his soul-
-Journal of António Mota, Portuguese Expedition to Japan, 1543. Remainder of the log censored by order of the Holy Office of Rome and King João III
1986, Odo Island
1986, Odo Island
His name was Yuji Shinoda. A few days ago he’d been the luckiest man in the world with a promising career, friends and colleagues, surviving parents who were proud of him, and a loving wife who was literally out of this world in how she’d opened up his.
Asuka was everything Yuji wasn’t and was. Outgoing, but also intelligent. Astute, but also jovial. Confident, but also casual. They’d both be able to spew out a solid nine minutes of scientific jargon, but he’d do it tripping over his own tongue while she’d have the poise of an idol. What all she found endearing in him besides ‘making her happy and laugh’ was elusive to him, but he could trust he had to be doing something right… They’d survived protest groups still refusing to recognize Mysterians as people. They’d survived him nearly botching his life at every turn trying to be adequate for her and finding out it was vice versa as well. They’d survived him completely blundering their first date at every step from having his tie done wrong to his shoes being on the wrong feet. It was no small miracle he didn’t trip over his toes at the altar and require his groomsmen Shiro Miyasaka or Joe Brody to catch him, he certainly felt weak in the knees seeing his Mysterian bride-to-be in Odo Island bridal garb. They’d even survived Godzilla up close in 1984 in a harrowing incident with the being his parents’ people called an avatar of Destruction, a night that still gave him nightmares to this day.
This was supposed to be a trip of joy. An excursion to visit his parents back on Odo and keep them updated on the latest development with the pregnancy to bear them a grandchild… He was such a damn fool to travel with Asuka so far along, despite her insistence.
Elsie Chapman, an old family friend, had accompanied them to see the sights of his colleague’s homeland. Coming as a tourist, she was forced to put her limited medical knowledge to the best use she could when Asuka went into labor prematurely. They were on Odo Island and the far side at that. The nearest hospital was hours away on a calm night and it was storming to the likes of which some of the old timers seemed certain that Godzilla’s wrathful spirit was reaching out beyond Mount Mihara, his prison.
A few hours later, he was sitting with a form he didn’t know how to fully comprehend. A tiny, premature infant rested in his arms. She was so small, so fragile. He was so petrified because he worried that one wrong move would end up breaking her, his baby girl. She was supposed to be lively, active like her mother. Born in a spotless hospital with the best technology his wife’s race could get to make such unions’ safety assured. Not a dark, creaking, wooden fishing house he grew up in. She was so small, and so still at times...
The door opened and he barely registered it. An exhausted, distraught and barely composed zoologist stepped out. Her typically curly red hair was frayed and soaked with sweat and steamed, sterile water she’d been ordering by the bucketful. Her glasses were crooked on her short nose, and Elise was making no effort to fix them while clearly making an effort to hide the dark stains on the apron she was wearing. He knew from the smell alone it was blood and who it was from, sending Yuji’s already crushed heart to the point of shattering.
“I-I…” Elise gulped, wiping her reddened eye with the back of her wrist, trying to remove some of the crusty tears and mucus from her sobbing, “She had… an undiagnosed radiation-born cyst and scar in the birth canal, maybe from that time back in ‘84 when she was… You two got so close to it... The premature labor and delivery ruptured it too much to patch. I closed it but-... I-I wasn’t quick enough.”
Elise hung her head in shame and grief as her spine froze over, “She lost too much blood… She-”
He didn’t even hear what she said, only rising from his chair and staggering forward with his daughter held in his hands. He moved, almost on autopilot, until he sat in a chair beside an old bed with a single occupant. Even with all the fixtures set up for the operation, the room was still quite dark as some small mercy to him. Fear of agony wanted to keep him ignorant to the true condition of it all.
His face was pathetic, sporting a bad shave and leaking from all orifices while frowning. He didn’t need to see more to cry, he’d been exuding tears the entire time until a frail hand with gray skin that was supposed to be several shades darker wiped the waterworks. Asuka was not who she should be.
She was supposed to be lively, jubilant, confident. The life of the party, soul in the research, and drive for discovery. She wasn’t supposed to be covered in sweat, looking drained of life with gauntness about her darkened sockets and cheeks, and in a bed with red stained sheets; her pale gray hair looking decayed and her beautiful black veins that ringed her eyes appearing constricted to tiny lines. It was such a dissonance he couldn’t help but sob again.
Her hand slowly slid from his face as he was coaxed to lean in, feeling his wife’s hand rest upon his as he held their greatest treasure. Her ring-clad finger crossed over his, touching the Western bands of oath they’d accepted alongside what was traditional.
“Yu...ji…” her once lively tone, now a dry rasp; and yet he listened as if all that mattered in the world depended on every syllable.
Asuka swallowed, the Mysterian woman clearly fighting to hold on just a moment more every second. She probably tore her throat screaming earlier. And yet, she remained as soft as possible as she nestled her daughter close to her. The little premature baby, perhaps desperately needing energy, was sound asleep. Asuka let a tear roll down her face as she cradled her hybrid daughter, putting her forehead to her child’s in an mysterian kiss before adopting the Terran customs she loved so much and lightly putting her lip’s to the little one’s cranium.
“Our… beau-utiful… dreamer…” she cooed, before laying back and taking in a deep breath.
Yuji, much of his mind still not processing, followed her line of sight to what was on the nightstand within arm’s reach. A little wind-up music box, intended as a gift from his mother to her first born grandchild. Yuji held his daughter with his wife in one hand, their fingers knitted together and rings touching, as he reached over and turned the lever around and around.
A soft lullaby began to play. Asuka’s mouth curled into a smile at the start as she closed her eyes. Every time the box started to slow, Yuji wound it up again. And again. And Again. His parents were still off getting help, Elise was no doubt barking at the radio to see where that emergency chopper she called for an hour ago was.
Yuji only stopped repeating the song when his wife’s hand went cold and fell away from his, leaving him alone to hold her last gift to him.
His name was Yuji Shinoda. A few days ago he’d been the luckiest man in the world…
Yuji Shinoda was in a fantastic state, and definitely looked it! Clean shaven, well rested, and for once he’d even managed to get his tie on properly. For the first time in a long, long time since a familial visit to Odo Island, he was truly happy. His job at Kyoto’s Biotechnics institute had been going steadily, he was a head of research for the G-Project studying Godzilla cells, and his work had cleared the legal hurdles and loopholes. Study of Godzilla’s cells had some… interesting framework. Maybe because no one wanted to seriously sign an international law with a name taken from an Odo Island legend, but the UN law banning study of cells from “The Large Scale Aggressor who attacked Tokyo in 1984” didn’t apply to others of his species. Everyone was worried about another Biollante being created, but Yuji wasn’t daring to do something so brazen.
The Godzillasaur species was a potential medical miracle. Some compound in their blood made them all but immune to radiation short of meltdown models of an overdose. Some notes he had from Dr. Shirigami suggested it was genetic and Yuji had all but confirmed it with Io’s playmate. Adona Island, where his egg had been found, should have had enough dirty nuclear material dumped on it to make it glow in the dark for the next decade. The Godzillasaur egg as well as the unknown species of pterosaur Radon hailed from however, had sucked it up like a sponge. That should have turned whatever it was in the egg into a deceased mass of tumors, but nothing happened. A few vials of blood taken with Azusa’s go-ahead during a medical checkup showed no issues with the little guy.
If he could find a way to isolate the compound and make it safe for humans, the possibilities weren’t a short list! Nuclear power plant workers, cities besieged by kaiju, victims of any meltdown incidents at any facility and many, many more could be helped.
He absentmindedly rubbed at the old ring he still bore around his finger as a cold, then warm feeling came over him.
He looked up from his work desk, a busy mess of organized chaotic papers and computer screens, and checked the time. 5:00 P.M.
It was time.
Yuji Shinoda saved all of his progress, putting his work away for the day as his smile grew. Before setting off for the zoological exhibits, he couldn’t help but notice a disgruntled looking soul sulking in the other head of research station. Kyoto Institute didn’t just house G-Force, but Crisis Control Intelligence. After all, one has to keep all their R&D in the same basket and in theory that breeds cooperation. C.C.I. made Mechagodzilla and G-Force staffed the pilots as one example of it in theory.
In practice they were about as united as the UN. Yuji could barely stomach working with C.C.I. elements at the best of times, even when they tried to seem approachable. Too many times he caught signs someone had been trying to access his computers, too many times he’d found them withholding “non-essential” information that was extremely important, and far too many times he’d been left wondering and worrying what they wished for their fantastic creations and research to be used on if “The Large Scale Aggressor who attacked Tokyo in 1984” was finally killed. Developing defenses was fine, but the reckless development of atomic weapons had created Godzilla in the first place. If a nuclear bomb could give rise to such a leviathan, what might a weapon that could kill such a being unleash?
He also didn’t much fancy the observations that their Mechagodzilla was shaped after an image of fear.
Their historic abuse of the Mysterians already put them in rough waters with Yuji, but their associate for this project was downright insufferable. Which was why Yuji was all too happy to see the typically cocky, confident, tall form of Mitsuo Katagiri nursing a black eye. Yuji made his way to the door, but just couldn’t resist passing by his C.C.I “co-head’s” desk.
“Run into a door, Katagiri?” Yuji hummed in faux concern.
“Yuji, Dr. Omae had me run a CT scan,” Katagiri snapped back while intentionally using Shinoda’s given name as a slight.
Typically given names were reserved for two kinds of people. Friends or those you were wishing to not respect with a family name. Yuji held no illusions which category he fit in for Katagiri but was in too much of a good mood as he tilted his head, “Want me to get you some ice? And since when do you work with Omae?”
Katagiri took on a subtle but not subdued glare, “Omae asked for you but you were busy, as was Dr. Gojo.”
Yuji’s brow furrowed slightly. Omae, head of zoological specimens, was clue enough but Azusa was all but confirmation that Katagiri had done something involving “Junior”. And he hadn’t been all that busy in the past few hours.
“Little scaly give you that?” Yuji poised while motioning for Katagiri’s shiner.
“Azusa didn’t approve of my methods,” Katagiri quietly noted with so much reserved spite one could swear he said Dr. Gojo’s given name with the disdain one would give a swear word involving a female dog.
Yuji resisted a passive temptation to make both of his eyes match and rubbed his thumb on his ring finger. It was something Asuka would have been all too happy to indulge in, but he had to stifle it for now. This was supposed to be a happy, calm day.
“How proceeds work on the samples,” Katagiri grunted with his stoicism returning, but Yuji knew all too well that meant he was just as if not more disgruntled than if growling.
“With Dr. Omae’s clearances, legislation regarding the cell cultures of the big Godzilla aren’t going to be a problem,” Yuji noted as he crossed his arms and nodded to himself, “Tedious paperwork, but someone’s gotta do it.”
“I know of a way to reduce that paperwork and have the UN not be breathing down our necks,” Katagiri retorted with a stoic stab in his pitch.
Shinoda deflected it after it cut in and verbally beat it back thanks to having the nerve to, “We are not transferring to the C.C.I. facility.”
“You know as well as I do this research is defended currently by the existence of Dr. Omae’s work and a legal loophole,” Katagiri stood up and looked slightly down at him from his greater height, “How long do you think this facility can keep the former going and keep the latter out of the UN’s spotlight?”
“Asuka and I’s project was born here with G-Force,” Yuji grunted, his verbal sword outwards.
“And I recall it had its genesis, as she herself, was at C.C.I.,” Katagiri parried and shrugged his shoulders.
Shinoda bristled. Genesis, more like coerced R&D work his in-laws were forced into after the Mysterians were defeated. If there was any proof C.C.I. could get away with anything, it was the fact they weren’t shut down when some of the truth came out of how the group tasked with ‘managing’ the refugee aliens was actually ‘managing’ them. Asuka wanted many things for her family, him, and their beautiful dreamer. One of them was to never visit her birthplace where she’d been poked and prodded for hours before her parents even got to hold her.
If he could pick up the whole of the group, Yuji would trust them as far as he could throw them. Which, considering he wasn’t very in-shape and they owned fifteen complexes and a multi-story HQ that towered over Kyoto, was not very far at all.
His fencing verbose came with a cutting slash, “What’s your game this time, Katagiri?”
“Kyoto’s big, but it can’t house a kaiju. Doesn’t matter if this new Godzillasaur grows to 20 or 100 meters tall. Kyoto likes their scaly mascot now but the big one’s killed hundreds, thousands even. How many supporters of the young Godzillasaur had family killed by the big one who might change their tune when they start seeing the youngster growing up,” Katagiri calmly quipped and deflected the spite, “And that’s not to say anything about behavior as it grows. They’re not disciplining it and its diet is changing from herbivore to carnivore.”
“Your point? Dogs and cats are carnivores, what’s the problem if his species is when it ages?”
“Well, it’s not my little girl dangling a foot away from its jaws,” Katagiri verbally stabbed and Yuji flinched.
Katagiri didn’t wait for any retort, and instead took his leave. Yuji took a moment to collect himself, conceding to a draw this time. The scenarios Katagiri posited were impossible. the dinosaur, Junior he kept reminding himself, was gentler with Io, with anyone really, than most sheep were.
But, there was the worry. And other worries. Yuji gazed at all his work, all his team’s work. So much of it, the tests, the data, the DNA sequencing, the programming. It had been born out of his and Asuka’s work, their first collaboration. A joint effort that could have saved her life and led to their relationship and ultimate collaboration. His gaze shifted out the window to the towering, looming structure of C.C.I.’s skyscraper of a headquarters. It seemed to almost strive to cast its shadow over him and his efforts. The cold crept in.
Yuji Shinoda balled a fist, before slowly relaxing it. His tightened fingers touched at his wedding ring. The cold was sucked into his lungs, and let it out with a breath. Today was a happy day. A fact he was reminded of as he stepped out of the building, suitcase with his work in hand and briskly made his way towards the Zoological exhibits. Io should be out of school and helping Azusa right about now, he’d have more than enough time to swing around and pick them up for some dinner. For themselves and Junior. Azusa had agreed to a bit of a sleepover for Io.
A little music box was set down near a scaly form, playing its tune.
“Does he always take his nap to music?”
A little hybrid girl with inky Mysterian veins running from her eyes and ash-powder gray hair set in two twin tails giggled. Still clad in her institute school uniform, the 8-year-old whispered back to her father as she crawled back on her hands and knees and giggled as she sat back in the nest, “Oh yes, this is one of his favorite songs!”
“What’s the name of it?” Yuji Shinoda, the comparatively mundane-looking Japanese man humored with a sigh. With a 5 o’clock shadow, slight bags under his eyes, and still dressed in his G-Force lab attire; he looked content but tired.
Io Shinoda chirped, “Don’t you remember? Grandmother said it was mom’s favorite!.”
Yuji Shinoda paused, a shake going down his spine as he breathed in and held it for a second. For a moment, he felt it all hitch on impulse before kneading his fingers. A thumb moving over a ring on his left hand. He stowed it away as he observed the sleeping dinosaur his daughter was all too eager to pet and stroke the head on in his sleep. The obvious, protruding fangs were very visible. Teeth that weren’t there when he hatched, and certainly not built for eating flowers.
“A Beautiful Dreamer. Yeah, very appropriate,” Yuji chuckled as he patted his daughter’s playmate on the head, noting how the scutes on his dorsum had grown out some.
“I think he’s grown already, don’t you?” Io piped excitedly as she took in her best friend’s form, which even curled up was easily several meters long.
Yuji shrugged and shook his head slowly, “Oh he’ll grow alright… that’s just the worry I have.”
Either psychically sensing his shift in mood or perhaps having that uncanny perception some little children have, Io whipped around and looked to her father pleadingly, “But father, I’m growing bigger too, so shouldn’t Junior?”
Ah yes, and she named him. Or helped him name himself. Really had to take Miki’s word for it on that front but little scamp seemed to respond to it, so it held up. Yuji was beholden to the goldmine of knowledge before them. Here was a creature, a seemingly gentle creature, that had survived the more trying period of development on a heavy irradiated island without a hint of deformity or contamination threat. If they could find out how, why, so many wouldn’t have to suffer deaths or worry about radiation again. This dinosaur, Junior, wasn’t just a key to finding out how to stop Godzilla; he was a medical miracle that could help so many. Could have helped so many…
His ring finger ached again.
Yuji closed his eyes and sighed, listening to ‘A Beautiful Dreamer’ play.
He was a scientist, a realist. Sometimes that meant accepting when things couldn’t be helped. Other times it meant accepting what could happen in the future. Even if Junior continued to prove docile, how big could he grow? Biggest Theropod was 12 or more meters long, and old Pacific War reports of an adult of his species exceeded 20 meters. And he was mutated, just like Godzilla, who was over 200 meters long.
How could they house such a guest? Could they house such a guest? Not if he wanted out, that was for sure. Already that crazy Dr. Malcolm claimed that normal-sized cloned dinosaurs broke out at some zoo in Costa Rica. But by that same token, what if others also wanted in? Humanity accepted the Mysterians, but only after decades. And they could walk, talk, and looked almost exactly like us. Humanity had a bad track record, even against itself. What about with a potentially increasingly radioactive saurian who might be identical to one that had killed tens of thousands? Would Commander Aso continue cheerfully calling their charge G-Force’s new mascot when he wasn’t so small and unthreatening? And if he did, could Aso protect his research asset from others who’d see a future threat looming and want it snuffed out?
So many possibilities, so many ways to end in tragedy… And each of them hurt his little girl. Yuji, unconsciously, picked her up and held her before settling Io into his lap as he sat on the edge of the nest.
“Io, try to understand. I know you’re lonely a lot of times, and he’s your friend. But… things can’t stay like this with your friend forever. One day, he’ll need to move out from here,” the elder Shinoda started, “Listen, when he grows up being around him might be dangerous.”
Io snickered at the ridiculousness of that statement, looking at the silly sleeping saurian who’d rolled on his side and was scratching his stomach in his sleep while dreaming.
“I’m serious, know that seems impossible to you now,” Yuji motioned to the dozing dinosaur, “But that cute…” he was about to say ‘little’ out of habit but stopped when he noticed the size, “ big baby one day will be… maybe the strongest creature in the world! Stronger than a hundred, maybe thousands of men. So strong he might be scary or, even if he stays calm, scare the wrong people. When that time comes, we can’t keep him here any longer… Do you understand?”
Io shook her head defiantly even as her father held her.
She wasn’t an ignorant imbecile like so many might think her to be. Some of the problems she knew her father was fearing were already known to her even before she accidentally, possibly, picked a few up empathically. There was only one she vehemently disagreed with. The worry she knew her father had looking at Junior’s developing teeth and claws, something even a non-psychic could cue in on out of logic and his line of sight.
And at the end of the day, of any day, what mattered most wasn’t what some stupid imbeciles thought or said. What mattered is what she knew and what her best friend knew, regardless of any changes.
“This will always be his home!”
In 1993, a much younger Io confidently piped up as she hugged her sleeping friend’s head, giggling as the little dinosaur was roused from his rest and stood up with her still holding onto his neck and head, dangling off the ground. Junior was keen to keep steady, reaching up and holding her foot to ensure she didn’t fall off him.
The little Shinoda had no doubt, rubbing her cheek against Junior’s as he chirped, “And we’ll always be friends!”
Months later, a chipper, eager pair of twintails raced through the halls from psychic school at a breakneck pace. She was in such a hurry she couldn’t and didn’t pay attention to anything other than a few factors. Firstly, not falling over on her face. Secondly, not dropping the sushi rolls she insisted on having for her birthday in place of cupcakes. Thirdly, how close she was getting to the paddock.
She did however notice the nice Lt. Koji wasn’t guarding the entrance. She did notice how the door was unlocked. She did notice that her mentor, Ms. Gojo, was nowhere to be found. And, she noticed the nest, barren. It was hours later when her father came to collect her from the nest she’d sat herself in the whole time, head in her knees and unresponsive.
Reports later came in on how the UN’s Mechagodzilla was having a deployment later that evening, with the plan being to use Junior as bait to lure the adult Godzilla into a trap. A confrontation that ended with Azusa giving the one she raised over to the monster king to raise in the safety she could no longer give.
She was Io Shinoda. Her birth killed her mother, she’d lost her only friend, and she felt as if she wouldn’t smile for the whole decade.
Yuji Shinoda was not in a good state. His efforts to hide some bags under his eyes and remain clean shaven than a 5 o’clock shadow was all in vain and he frankly looked like a buffoon when he’d quickly made a dash from lab work to get to the Hybrid School in the institute. What a place it was, meant to educate the budding psychic and enhanced population on how to use their gifts responsibly and better integrate them into the human world one of their parents hailed from. And yet, for a unique school it was a remarkably mundane, if very undesirable, reason he was called down. A parent-principal conference because the little girl beside him with her head down had given someone else a black eye.
Io was silent the entire time, having more than a few band-aids put onto her from nicks and bruises due to a fight.
The principal sighed, placing down the papers on his desk.
“This incident was not unexpected,” the aged Mysterian man, an old timer who was already a grown adult by the time of first contact almost half a century ago, sighed while shaking his head. He removed his glasses and rubbed at his pure black eyes.
Yuji Shinoda swallowed a rock in his throat and spoke up as Io stayed silent, “Not.. unexpected? I understood Io’s standing was good at school.”
The principal shrugged, “Academically, yes. Top or near top of the class. But not emotionally. Sadly, the teachers and staff have reported Young Miss Shinoda here has been exhibiting anti-social and stressed behavior for several weeks now. She has shown reluctance to participate in group activities, didn’t report back at all for entry in the field trip, and there had been reports about… negative interactions between her and some of the other children. Including the one she gave a black eye to today.”
Yuji’s face contorted briefly into a mess of confusion, “There was a field trip? When is it?”
“It was yesterday Mr. Shinoda, you didn’t know?”
Yuji wanted to spout out that he hadn’t been told, and pin the blame there. But that couldn’t be further from any truth. Ever since the confrontation between Super Mechagodzilla and his organic namesake, the whole institute had been in a whirlwind of confusion. Project M was trying to rebuild and upgrade what remained of Mechagodzilla’s systems and incorporate some of the old Mysterian mining machine into a new version of Moguera, Project T was trying to find further application for the psychics in ways of maybe even controlling or ‘aiming’ Godzilla. And then there was his own work. A massive, confusing spiral of issues. Back in 1989 after the Biollante incident, the UN had banned any modification or experimentation on the genetic material from the current Godzilla, now dubbed “Senior”. Any loose scales or blood were to be treated as high-threat biohazards; his work on trying to understand his resistance to radiation and healing ability had ground to a halt a few years prior.
The discovery of the second Godzillasaur, Junior, who was also mutated, was a blessing that kept his department running. It was a bit shady as a loophole, but none of the rules applied to Io’s big playmate and with him growing and having medical checks; it was always easy to get a few samples honestly and harmlessly. They couldn’t work with a city destroying monster’s cells, but a placid research subject was fair game. Even with G-Force so recklessly using the poor saurian as bait for the big one, Yuji still could have made sure Junior’s contribution to medicine and Asuka’s life’s work wouldn’t be in vain. He had dozens of blood, skin, and scale samples…. Had.
In the span of a week he’d been hit with order after order to downsize and destroy. As a head of the department, he had to ensure anyone he cut had a promising job waiting for them elsewhere; he owed them that for the hard work. And he had to keep as many samples for as long as he could, even with new rulings wanting to declare all of Godzilla’s species barred research material. He’d been working to keep their research from being destroyed by a paranoid UN, keep it and his coworkers out of C.C.I.’s shady clutches, and get as much work done as possible on a time limit.
He’d lost a few dozen pounds and gained more than a few bags under his eyes from it. That he could live with.
And he’d lost focus on his own daughter coming home late and not speaking as much as she used to. That he couldn’t forgive.
It wasn’t Io’s fault she probably put the field trip form in the shredder without him noticing, it was his fault for being a negligent father and not noticing how wrong things had gotten. He had to resist the urge to lunge to the side and clutch his baby girl to him. Yuji instead took in a deep breath and said plainly.
“No, I didn’t. What was the trip about?”
“It was on the second Saturday of May Mr. Shinoda. I was not born here but I think you should know what comes after that day,” The principal noted sadly, “It was a trip to explore a fair made to prepare for Mother’s Day.”
Yuji’s breath hitched.
-“That’s why she didn’t tell me…”-
He stiffened and glanced towards Io. With her head down, it was hard to tell but one could discern that the veins around her eyes were bulging somewhat with obvious expression of psychic powers. In this case, telepathic imagery cast as she gripped her father’s hand under the table.
In an instant Yuji was no longer in the principal’s office but in a very faded, blurry chamber that was distorted by emotional memory. He could feel the stress and strain brewing, muddying the imagery of the classroom more and more. Io had been sitting at her desk, which he could tell had moved from the front middle to the back corner from where he last knew it to be. Previously alone in class, she was bombarded by noise and stimuli as the other children filed in. Many carrying flowers, gift boxes, even one or two with a kimono for their parent. Previously, Yuji had known Io to be remarkably mature for her age regarding what happened to her mother. She didn’t show discomfort beyond passive knowledge she lacked something others often had, but didn’t angst.
But, seeing the others chatting, giddy, happy… it caused the whole world around him to become clouded with distorting anger and frustration. It got the attention of several children who promptly crowded around Io’s desk, trapping her against the wall. They were all speaking some statements, but he couldn’t easily tell just what. All until, with a present brought forth to boast about, one line struck home so deeply that it had to be memorized.
“Why don’t you get a new mom? My dad did, not like you could kill her like you did Miss Asuka too.”
It was so innocent, so childish, it was impossible to tell if it was intentionally knife-twisting or obliviousness causing calamity. It certainly felt like Yuji had been shot, so striking was the pain he couldn’t fully process just how a child could know such a thing or who told them what his late wife’s name was. Didn’t seem like something Io would just say.
In fact, she didn’t say anything in response. She just stayed and stared as her vision became wet with tears. There was laughter, and that was when Io exploded into motion. Io clawed her way over her desk to get to her tormentor and slugged her in the face, pouncing on her like a rabid panther. She fell on top of the screaming bully as her lackeys tried to get Io off her.
The sound of the door clicking open brought Yuji to awareness for several things. Firstly, that Io had been holding his hand under the desk but had quickly let go and shied away from her own father. Secondly, that the last person he’d ever want to see was stepping in. A tall, clean shaven, professional-looking Japanese man stood beside his chair. Yuji Shinoda looked up into the face of Mitsuo Katagiri.
“So, this is the one who decided to give my daughter Jane a black eye,” Katagiri coldly noted without the typical sniping he would fire at Yuji’s way, no doubt on account of the principal. Katagiri turned to the official.
“You no doubt remember the zero-tolerance rule. I will not have my child attending a place she can be assaulted at,” Katagiri spoke as he crossed his arms behind him.
The principal was unmoved, “Then you should no doubt know the zero-tolerance rule also applies to non-physical altercation. After all, many of the students here are psychic as are the faculty. We have both classmate reports and the teachers implicating young Miss Katagiri as instigating the altercation. And it is Miss Shinoda here that sports more injuries. No doubt the parents of the children your daughter is associated with will like to hear about how they all dogpiled a little girl not even 10 years old.”
Katagiri visibly simmered down but remained calm as he almost glared at the old man, “I’ll accept the punishments required, but whatever some little kid said it’s hardly cause for this one to try and use my child’s face as a punching bag.”
“Punishments will be doled out according to severity I assure,” the old Mysterian grunted, “The children can be put in separate classrooms to reduce chance of confrontation-”
Yuji saw the conversation unfolding as it all started to click for him. How Io’s classmate, Jane, had known about his status as a widower and the cause of his late wife’s death. In truth he didn’t even blame the girl too much. He was still livid and would never let her near his daughter again, but at that age a child wouldn’t know the implications of everything. Not unless they’re personally involved. And he knew someone who would have every reason to want to get to him through Io. The very man standing next to him who wanted him out of Kyoto.
Yuji understood the pitches the principal was making; he really did appreciate the old man being so reasonable. But right now, it was becoming abundantly clear this was just the last catalyst needed to make a big decision. Kyoto had been a great place for them once, but it wasn’t anymore.
With Io being constantly reminded of her lost friend she would never be really happy here, and what with him being so knee-deep in keeping a sinking shift aloft, he couldn’t be a researcher and a father at the same time anymore.
Yuji Shinoda stood up and looked to the principal, “I greatly appreciate everything you and the school have done for us, but I don’t think this is the best atmosphere for me or my daughter anymore.”
The old man’s brow perked but he didn’t express any anger, only veiled understanding, “I never meant to imply your daughter isn’t welcome in the school anymore.”
“A-and I know she is, but… I think for more than a few reasons we’ve been needing to move for some time. Could we possibly have her transferred into homeschooling until we find another institute?” Yuji sighed as he glanced to his daughter, “Unless… she says otherwise. Io?”
Io kept her head down for some time before slowly raising it up, revealing dried tears running down her band-aid covered cheeks. She nodded along.
The principal sighed as he sat back in his chair and contemplated before nodding, “Fair enough. As a parent myself I understand. See the clerk at the front and we can arrange for curriculum and transfer papers.”
Io stood up from her chair and bowed to her principal as well as Katagiri, before taking her father’s hand. Yuji did the same to the principal and to the shock of Katagiri, him as well. When she tried to leave however, Katagiri gently but firmly gripped his arm. Even without speaking, they both knew what the other meant.
If Yuji left Kyoto, nothing stopped Katagiri from taking the Godzilla Junior cell research to CCI.
Katagiri tilted his head and risked a smirk.
Yuji looked back and frowned, patting his rival for a lot of things on the shoulder. First for research, then for Asuka, then for her legacy.
Yuji shook his head slightly and sighed slightly, he disagreed if Mitsuo thought he won.
Yuji would keep some of his projects, just change focus. Maybe get Io involved to have some more time with her. He’d make sure the last of his employees got good jobs and ensure CCI’s takeover wasn’t smooth. But even if Katagiri got anything out of it, he didn’t have Asuka’s legacy.
Walking out to the front of the school with Io’s hand in his, Yuji held that legacy by the palm.
The night after, he tucked his child in for the first time in months. Kissing Io’s forehead, Yuji committed a sight to memory. He wound up his wife’s music box and gazed upon Io smiling in her sleep as ‘A Beautiful Dreamer’ played in the small room.
Yuji stumbled into the small apartment he had been renting out from Dr. Chapman, sirens still blaring outside in a manner not unlike a major storm warning. It didn’t matter they were in Osaka and the major incident was going down in Tokyo. They had half a decade to get used to the idea that what might be a rampage in one city on a certain day might lead to a monster brawl in another later in the week, or vice-versa. So thoroughly their country had been plagued that the moment a major incident escalated on an island in their home country archipelago, every citizen had to prepare. As he made for the kitchen cabinet to gain access to the emergency supplies they might need should they have to evacuate, he was privy to Io’s absence from the table she often did her homeschooling work at. Instead his daughter was transfixed less than a foot away from the television and shaking.
Pausing to gaze upon her, he could see she clearly was hyper focused to an extraordinary degree; facial veins bulging and her otherwise very weak telekinesis causing her hair to move in erratic angles. Yuji looked at the screen and grimaced.
“This is Yuri Tachibana on the scene near Haneda Airport and Tokyo Bay!” the redhead young woman who looked barely old enough to be an intern, evidently named Yuri, cried out as she stood on the rooftop of a short building overhanging sidewalks and roads that were absolutely packed with fleeing pedestrians, “G-Force and the JSDF are mobilizing evacuations of the bay area as fast as possible but the creature has been confirmed to have gone airborne after a failed extermination attempt! I-”
The camera focus and Yuri’s footing shuddered after a noticeably loud explosion off in the distance that shattered several windows. The cause of it was soon revealed when another aircraft came flying out from behind a building in an out-of-control spiral, a purple ray slicing through the air and one of its wings to make the plane nosedive and smash into a street before exploding. People fleeing from the bay area stumbled about or were knocked over from the reverberating shockwaves. As the camera rapidly tried to focus on something Yuri quickly pointed at, Yuji’s eyes widened upon seeing an airborne mass that sailed between several buildings. A shrieking, siren-like wailing that sounded like no known living creature ripped through the air.
“This creature-“ Yuri gasped into her microphone, “G-Force’s Dr. Kensaku Ijuin has officially dubbed this creature the Destroyah- And it has changed course! It’s swooping around now and-“
The Destroyah, a terrifying gestalt of reptilian and crustacean traits, banked through the air with its large wings and came barreling at the main street as it passed over a large park. So many people started to cry out alongside Yuri and her cameraman understandably joining in.
“He’s coming…” Io whispered with widened eyes, her father picking it up but being too transfixed on the oncoming horror to ask what she meant.
The Destroyah roared and the older Shinoda shuddered from the memories he was getting as a cold sweat started to pour down his face. He was almost transported back to that exact same city a decade prior when a blinding light overpowered the screen. For a split-second Yuji feared the worst but he could still hear Yuri and the cameraman simultaneously gasping for breath after falling over. Whoever was holding the camera had definitely earned plenty of hazard pay for their skills because they quickly adjusted the focus back onto the Destroyah just as the behemoth squawked in surprise. A familiar burning blue and white beam smashed into its chest, unleashing downpours of sparks as the monster was catapulted backwards into the park for a crash landing. The bright ray cut off just as the cameraman stumbled over trying to regain his footing. With the focus stuck on the wall, a low reverberating boom was audible as everything stilled.
Then another boom.
No doubt many besides Yuji knew what that noise was. As the sound of walking thunder echoed from the Tokyo Bay area. An even more familiar, if higher pitched than normal, sound cried out as the Destroyah started to pick itself back up whilst shaking off entire trees splashed across its carapace like they were twigs.
Before anything else could happen, Io rapidly changed the channel. She flickered through one after another, passing by emergency evacuation reports, live updates from the aquarium and warehouse districts that supposedly the Destroyah originated from, some live statements by Dr. Ijuin, and more until she found what she was looking for.
The point of view from the camera operator focused in on a large mass standing above several buildings. Destroyah had swapped back to its land-based ‘Aggregate’ form resembling some strange combination of scorpion’s body with a long-necked, crested lizard head with multi-jawed mandibles and an overall head shape resembling the outline of a horseshoe crab. And it was grappling with something. There were subtle differences, such as the more hunched over or horizontal stance, the greenish coloration, and the immature dorsal spines that were more akin to a ridge then massive bony plates; but there was no mistaking what it was. The large fangs, reptilian hide, grasping arms with recurved claws, and blazing eyes of burnt gold surrounded by red. It was a juvenile Godzilla.
Roughly equal in size, the Destroyah charged forward and lowered its head to smash its broad, armored face into the young Godzilla’s gut. Even at the noticeable distance the cameraman was, certain details were still discernible. Such as the mobile masses of people close to the clash of titans and the shimmering of a mobile object atop a small rooftop. There was a small pixelated point of red in the same location and Yuji quickly realized that had to be where the first reporter, Tachibana, was. He didn’t get much more time to look as no sooner had the young Godzilla grabbed the Destroyah’s head, Io flicked the channels back to where they were.
His theory that the action was now right up where Yuri Tachibana had been located was swiftly confirmed when the original channel flipped back and the deafening sound of clashing, gargantuan masses was blotting out everything. The young Godzilla had its back to them, digging its clawed feet into the ground and slicing through concrete in doing so like one might move their hand through sand. The Destroyah hissed and tried to shove its opponent over, pincer-like arms gripping and gouging into the saurian’s thighs. But just as the Godzilla’s tail brushed up against the building behind it, its efforts seemed to double. Bellowing, its dorsal spines briefly flashed before a weaker version of what Yuji recognized as the nuclear pulse attack activated. Blue energy crackled across its form like it was being electrified, and every point of contact with Destroyah was shocked and concussed. The two titans stumbled to the side while still brawling for supremacy, the Destroyah’s head crests and eyes flashing purple before a secondary jaw extended from its mouth like a nozzle and fired. The air shrieked as energized Micro-Oxygen atoms smashed into the young Godzilla’s hide and dissolved parts of it. The saurian recoiled in pain but visibly fought back against it, lowering its torso and stampeding forward while keeping the crowds at its back.
Destroyah had the wind knocked out of its lungs, if it had any, when the young Godzilla slammed into it at a full sprint and lifted it off the ground. With noticeable effort but Herculean strength, the young kaiju hefted and threw its opponent several hundred meters to send it crashing into the side of Tokyo Bay. Now with the two monsters more or less in the same direction, the fleeing crowds knew exactly which way to run away from.
“W-We do have reports the harbor and portside are evacuated! It is still unknown why the smaller Godzilla is here-“
Io rapidly flipped through the channels again, and this time she didn’t seem satisfied until getting a visage of the battle close-up from a particularly bold news chopper encircling the titans from high above.
“It’s him,” she whispered under panting breaths, “It’s Junior…”
Yuji knew she was correct but was nonetheless more than a little concerned how transfixed his daughter was on the battle. It wasn’t a dramatic flurry of blows, nor the sanitized action from most fiction. Destroyah managed to tackle and pin down the dinosaur, grabbing Junior’s wrists with its pincers before plunging its secondary maw into Junior’s collar and injecting a micro-oxygen burst point-blank into the wound. Junior shrieked in pain while foaming at the mouth from the internal injuries.
“Get up…” Io whimpered, “You gotta stop her…”
“Her?” Yuji muttered quietly.
“Destroyah, Junior came to stop her. Kill her maybe.”
“How do you know it’s a she?”
“I do,” Io whispered breathlessly as her facial veins budged again as her pale hair shifted.
The roaring of the dueling monsters echoed through the television as sweat ran down Yuji’s brow at the implications. Be it the hopes of a young girl or her stretching her consciousness in ways he couldn’t fathom to actually tether herself to someone or something kilometers away, he didn’t beg to differ. What he did take heed of was how much his daughter was shaking, be it in fear or strain. He sat down and pulled her closer, the 9-year-old not objecting. She was still shivering in a cold sweat. Yuji never before wanted to turn the television off more than he did then, but he also knew doing so might wound his child more.
“He’ll win, right?” Io’s quivering tone was barely audible as she shook up and down her spine.
Destroyah was brutalizing the saurian who struck and wounded her, thrashing about to deepen the neck bite.
Yuji tried to cover Io’s eyes, “I’m sure of it.”
The way she flinched when Destroyah bashed Junior over the head with an armored limb only worked to confirm to him that there was more than vision linking Io to Tokyo’s events. Little hands pulled his down to free her face.
Junior for his part was not submitting to death, violently wrenching one of his arms out of the pincer’s pin to grab his opponent by the head crest. In a show of strength, he pulled Destroyah’s neck and head back, ripping its secondary jaw out of his neck before firing the very same kind of heat ray his predecessors were so known for point-blank into the micro-oxygen mutation. Destroyah’s carapace sparked and split, the altered arthropod shrieking in pain as the brawl continued with Junior rolling them across the side of the harbor. The two continue to bite and claw at each other even as they rolled through a whole warehouse in an explosion of debris before crashing into Tokyo Bay.
Yuji was troubled. This wasn’t a fight like most people knew of. It wasn’t a spar or organized match-up, it was two creatures mauling each other. And the dissonance between the gentle youth he once knew and the snarling reptilian with a visage so much like his adoptive father, was vast. To the point he frankly scared Yuji as much as Destroyah did.
The logical part of his brain looked to motive and hopefully suggested the young kaiju had arrived specifically to stop Destroyah. He knew it wasn’t invalid, but deep-down Yuji Shinoda knew something else was also true. The beautiful dreamer, his daughter’s best friend; Junior, wasn’t the same. He truly was a young Godzilla now… Tremors went up and down his arm.
That observation troubled him more than most might guess.
He was also troubled at how intensely he knew his little girl was watching the brawl.
Odo Island, Same Night
Odo Island, Same Night
The once much more isolated island was entertaining far more company than it typically would this evening. When news of not only yet another monster attack but also the strange happenings with the blazing form of the current Godzilla became public knowledge, many left Japan in droves even before the showdown at Haneda Airport ensued. Hundreds of evacuees became tourists upon the old rustic island, a happenstance not unappreciated by the locals selling their wares and making their livelihoods; as long as the outsiders maintained their manners. Officially the mayor and unofficially the town leader, Akira Kayuki, had called for their winter festival to commence a few weeks early with the hope of diffusing some tension and lifting spirits. He was a younger mayor, on the cusp of middle-age, but his old styled robe like attire, topknot hairstyle right out of the 1800s, and jovial nature helped win over the anxious refugees and rally the village.
But as uplifting as the decorations, the songs, the dances that many from the main islands of Japan might only witness at a temple, and the foodstuffs prepared over the last few days were, they were no excuse for ignorance of the outside world. Seated at the tavern, Akira listened to both the murmurs of passersby doing everything from complementing one another and the food to reactions derived from the ever-yammering radio set on the central table. Hooked up to an antenna, the device continued to stream frequencies run by G-Force and C.C.I. themselves, who made sure the signal was strong enough to be picked up even far out at sea. Just strong enough to reach the island and tell of another conflict that seemed to belong more in the annals of myth.
The fantastic airport, the crossroads of the sky, was completely leveled and burned between three clashing titans. The radio announcer, not on the scene itself due to the ever-present risk of the current Godzilla undergoing nuclear meltdown and disrupting equipment with the sheer radiation output, related eyewitness reports from the battle itself. A battle which started to lose combatants. The young Godzilla, the heir to the throne, dropped from a kilometer in the air right atop the main airport terminal and repeatedly struck by its killer that rained down the very substance that slew the first Godzilla. The slain prince’s father flew into a grieving rage, mauling the creature that killed his child with such fury that between his blazing heat and the freezing weapons fielded by brave soldiers who went in knowing they were likely to perish, Destroyah met its end from mass thermal shock. But the monster king’s heart could not withstand the strain, his body bursting and melting down while G-Force’s cryogenic weapons worked to try and contain the reaction.
Tokyo might be a radioactive graveyard. So much would change. And yet there was excitement.
“This is a live report once again. Godzilla III confirmed killed, Destroyah confirmed killed, Godzilla II confirmed killed. Tokyo will need to be doused with ANEB, and it might be decades before it is inhabitable again, but C.C.I. is already preparing to cultivate the anti-nuclear bacteria needed. The Emperor and Prime Minister have enacted plans to relocate governmental and administrative offices to Osaka as a provisional capital. We turn our listeners now to a statement we’re to read from Commander Takashi Aso, head of G-Force.”
The speaker’s inflection changed and reeked of bravado, even if he was obviously just trying to sound hopeful, “The country has suffered terribly from this catastrophe, the latest in a decade filled with such tragedies at the hands of monsters. But, those tragedies are finally at an end. With strength of arms and unity of purpose, we have survived every disaster dealt to us and slain the monsters in return. A New Era for mankind is at hand, and humanity’s dominion has been restored!”
Quite a few people started clapping or even crying with joy as the announcements fed through. Akira sighed, observing every last one of the people applauding were outsiders. He enjoyed another shot of sake as the radio continued to yammer on. The fact that Commander Aso wasn’t giving this statement personally either implied the head of G-Force was not nearly so optimistic about the future or prideful in the given situation, but very well was probably putting up a show for the assurance of others. It was working and it wasn’t a bad idea, but it was starting to get many wrapped up in the moment. A man in a business suit, no doubt somebody else who was running away from the conflict on the mainland, stood up on a table and loudly hollered that the next round was on him for all involved in the tavern. Akira would have to politely suggest some of his subordinates keep some people from drinking too much, public disturbance and all that nonsense.
An old voice beside him shrugged, slowly shaking her head.
“Before your time, some people fled here back in 1954 figuring he would not retrace his steps. They celebrated then proudly,” the old woman muttered with a on her wrinkled lips, “Some of those same lively youths perished 30 years later.”
She didn’t appear upset, but this particular old-timer had every bit of Akira’s attention as she continued to treat the radio announcements with ambivalence at best.
“Restored dominion, new era for mankind… Pfft,” she huffed while getting up from her seat, “With pride like that, it will be a miracle if we’re judged well.”
She started to depart and instantly the entire tavern began to quiet down. The refugees still celebrated for a few moments more, but they too were privy to how many of the especially adult and elderly islanders quickly felt the silence as the old matron took her leave. Many started to follow her out.
Hundreds of kilometers away, Yuji Shinoda had pulled over his evacuating van and was seated in the back. The still sobbing form of his daughter clutched tightly against his chest for what felt like hours as he did his best to stroke her back. Even if he insisted on them turning off the radio, the impact was still felt. His daughter was near inconsolable and had been for the better part of an hour, thrashing and screaming at her worst. Part of him holding her was a desperate effort to restrain the girl, fearing that the bruises and cuts that appeared across parts of her skin were from her desperate thrashing born of overpowering grief.
The more pessimistic part of his mind, the one that never left him after the tragedy that cost him his friend and wife, might have speculated Junior had attacked the Destroyah out of anything from predatory intent to territorial manner. The more optimistic and dare he even say scientific side hoped to speculate the same gentle soul he knew from Kyoto years back had been made privy to the situation and came to the defense of his beloved humans. His efforts certainly had aided in the evacuation, which could’ve been a catastrophe if hundreds of thousands were still in a now irradiated city.
Yuji Shinoda could hope for a lot of things. He could hope Io would feel better in time. He could hope that one day they could maybe go back to his home island so that Io could meet his surviving family where he had grown up. He could hope Tokyo might still be restored one day, even if it took decades of cultivating ANEB.
And he could hope that Junior would rest in peace. Maybe the world was just too small for something so big as he might’ve become when fully grown. Maybe it was better that he died a hero instead of suffering from those humans would see him as the villain when he was of age.
Still, an old poem or hymn from his home island replayed in the back of his mind.
Rise from the depths, kami of the sea
Incarnation of destruction from eternity
Pride has reigned so mercilessly
And so the dragon shall ever be!
Incarnation of destruction from eternity
Pride has reigned so mercilessly
And so the dragon shall ever be!
The old matriarch, now clad in a white robe with a red dress, however worn from the sun and decades of use, carried a small rod in her hands. It was a tamagushi, a short wand made from a live sakaki branch with crisp green leaves wrapped in braids of silk, and she approached her destination with it in hand. Behind her was a procession, mostly of old-timers from the villages and towns, some carrying candles and others carrying torches. All of them were ascending an old stony stairwell cut into the side of the hills bordering the sea cliffs so very long ago. The calm night of before had been completely upended, the tide surging in with crashing waves pounding against the cliff faces far below. Winds churned and the night sky was blocked out by storm clouds. Had this been any other situation so many would have stayed inside. But many more were drawn outside and to quietly follow, if only to wonder what kind of ceremony the old Shinto priestess was operating.
After all, there hadn’t been such a ceremony on the main island for almost half a century. There a shrine priestess or maiden, a miko, was an institutionalized and structured task taker. It was only in the more remote regions in Hokkaido or on the outlying islands one might see shades of what they once were in the olden days.
The aged miko paced up to the precipice of the stairwell, bordering the cliffside and roaring seas far below. At this peak she paused and stood before a large eroded boulder that sat in the midst of the pathway, the opening behind it leading to a sheer drop into the seas below. A slab had been hand carved from it in some bygone age, as was the hollow cavity behind the slab. The miko placed the tamagushi, an offering, upon the receiving slab. The storm was brewing high above once again, wind blowing up the stairwell and parting on either side of the boulder before blowing out to see. The miko motioned to the crowd and those up front stepped forth.
It comes with strife, as it did long ago
And wherever its storm may blow
We beg innocent shelter from its revenge
As nature will be avenged
And wherever its storm may blow
We beg innocent shelter from its revenge
As nature will be avenged
More offerings were put within a basket placed upon the slab that stuck out from the boulder. Akira put down some writing scrawled on bamboo cuts, some weatherworn fishermen placed a few of their catch, and others still came for a time. The miko bowed to the crowd before taking a torch offered by Akira. To the shock of anyone who’d seen tamagushi used on the main islands, the Odo Island miko set the offerings to gods or kami ablaze. The fire consumed and crackled in spite of the wind, the dry old basket acting as perfect kindling.
Far away in Tokyo, Captain Sho Kuroki paused as he flew the Super-X3 about in a spiral. The airport area was in utter ruin, the fog of irradiated dust and debris clogging up the streets and paths as the eerie blue of Cherenkov radiation illuminated the dead city. Even if they were sealed inside the cockpit, there was a very high probability they had been radioactively contaminated. The thoughts plagued him even in light of the treatment options. All of the radiation levels, especially those detected at Haneda Airport, were off the charts. Despite only starting now to push into his 30s, the ace was feeling his age and was contemplating what he could get done in the time he might have allotted. He and the men and women of their task force very well might have just saved the world, but that didn’t necessarily mean they’d get to live to enjoy it. It wasn’t a decision he regretted, but Sho couldn’t deny the sadness that might come with understanding he and so many others may not be gifted the time to enjoy that world. Would future decades see himself and others immortalized as heroes? Or would future generations in Aso’s ‘New Era’ understand how mortal he felt right now?
The sensor picking up the alpha, beta, and gamma ray emission started to beep again and in consideration of his crew, Captain Kuroki contemplated turning it off. They already knew the danger levels were being exceeded, they didn’t need a reminder about being slow cooked.
Except when he reached over to at the very least a mute the thing, he noticed the illumination of the panel was showing something different. The readings were going down. Plummeting even. Like the flames of a stove that had just been turned off.
Somewhere on a distant highway, Io Shinoda went totally still. Her eyes, still puffy with tears and grime, opened.
Back on Odo Island, the fires of the burning offering, whipped about by the gales of seabound wind, illuminated the cavity in brief increments. Something the size of a forearm stood within the rock, braced against the back wall; solid but not made of stone. Waves crashed against the sea, silent prayers were carried on the drafts, until lightning split the sky high above. Across the flashes of light and rolling thunder, an ancient claw stood above the burning pyre. The miko continued the chant to the heavens as the mummified claw was wreathed in flame.
Banking the giant aircraft to witness the ruins of Haneda Airport’s main terminal as erratic lightning suddenly stretched across the irradiated sky, Captain Kuroki’s eyes widened as an explosion of movement threw debris skyward. Through the fog and the haze, he glimpsed jagged spines slashing through the roof, as burning golden eyes snapped open dozens of feet into the air. There was a splash of sea being torn asunder from a great mass charging into it, one so swift and obscured he couldn’t see it clearly.
Wild and strong, it can't be contained
Never bound, nor ever chained
Death is not destruction’s end
So Gojira will live again!
Never bound, nor ever chained
Death is not destruction’s end
So Gojira will live again!