Chapter 3: The Battle of the Philippines
The Battleships had managed to stop the monster, but not kill it. Wildcat fighter-planes continued to monitor its movement as it exited back out the channel that lead into Mamala bay. It was too far under the water for the fighters to effectively attack it, but by that time, dive bombers had been launched off the carriers in Pearl. They harassed the creature until it disappeared into the deep waters of the open ocean.
Over the next 48 hrs, aircraft continued to patrol the waters around the Hawaiian islands non stop just in case there was a second attack. Thankfully, another attack never came.
In the harbor, we struggled to pick ourselves up. The base was left in shambles. Roughly half of the buildings had been flattened. Hangers, warehouses, barracks, factories, half of the oil storage, and perhaps most notably, Naval Headquarters. Most of the top brass wasn't there at the time, but we still lost a lot of officers when it fell.
We lost some good ships too, but the fleet in general fared much better than the base had. The creature had sunk five destroyers, two heavy cruisers, an oil tanker, a troop transport, and two cargo ships. Also, a hospital ship was crippled and a third cruiser was damaged.
There was a silver lining though. No battleships or carriers had even been touched. All our capitol ships were intact, which meant we still had the main punch of our fleet. Still, the outcome of the attack could hardly be described as a victory. The monster had done all that damage to us and we were not certain we had even managed to wound it in return. It was still moving quite well when it had elected to retreat.
In the aftermath of the attack, I fished out several more boat-loads of sailors from the oil soaked waters of the harbor and took the wounded to the hospital. For the most part I was calm, but fear crept into the back of my mind as we approached the mouth of the channel where the creature had just vanished. I had a feeling of dread, imaging its jaws snapping around our tiny vessel as we passed over the spot where it first appeared. My hands felt numb on the wheel and I felt dizzy. I wished I could go around that spot, but there was no way to get to the hospital by water faster and it would take too long to go on foot.
I swallowed my fear and pressed on. We passed through and got the wounded to the beach nearby the hospital. The boat slid to a stop as the keel pressed into the wet sand. I jumped out and helped a sailor who was too hurt to walk on his own up the long walkway towards the hospital. I got him inside and was shocked at the scene I found. There were bodies lined up in all of the corridors. Each one was covered with a white sheets and I felt utter horror in my depths knowing what that meant. I felt sick, but was able to keep a handle on myself.
Coming out of my stupor, I realized that were were only a handful of actual wounded. They could be seen here and there. Some had burns, some broken bones or crush injuries, and a few had been hit by friendly fire. I was bitter at the thought that we had only manage to hurt ourselves more by trying to fight off the creature.
I sat the wounded sailor in a nearby chair and a nurse immediately spotted us and came to examine him. Seeing her working on the man made me realize that I had not seen Shauna among the hospital staff. I felt a hollowness in my stomach and my skin chilled with cold sweat. I went from room to room, dodging people in the hallways as I looked for her. On the fourth room I tried, I finally found her bandaging up a sailor.
Upon seeing her, I felt a weight lift off my chest I had not realized was there. My anxiety melted away and I felt the urge to rush over and hug her. I realized however that it might be improper. After all, I had literally only known her for a few short hours. What would she think to have a random sailor sneaking up on her from behind and grab her? It would serve me right to have a foot stamped on... or worse.
In any case, I could see that she was very busy with her work and thought it would be best if I just left. After all, the key thing was she was safe and I knew it. It was better to stay out of her way while she worked. I thought to leave, but just then she turned and saw me standing there staring at her. I looked down not knowing what you say.
"Mark...?" She asked with a little crack in her voice.
"I just thought I outta make sure that, you know, that you were ok..." She didn't say anything back, but a second later I felt the force of something hit my chest. Before I knew what was what, her arms were around me and squeezing me tightly.
"Oh Mark, I'm glad that you are alright. This is all so horrible!" I felt a tear hit my hand. "They've been bringing in the dead for the last forty-five minutes. I've been doing my best, but I'm not ready for all this."
"We lost many good men today." I replied. "I don't think any of us were ready."
"Why did this happen?" She asked, sinking her head into my chest.
"I... I do not know." I lied. In my heart, I knew that it was our fault. That thing had followed us back from our mission. We had made it angry and it came to lash out at us. "What is important is what we do now." She looked up at me. "Just do what you can for whoever you can." She smiled at me with tears still in her eye and nodded. My reassurance seemed to have reinvigorated her resolve.
Not knowing what else to do with myself, I stayed helped her the best I could with the wounded. I wasn't much good on the medical side of things, but I seemed to bolster Shauna's efforts and on occasion my strength helped to hold a patient down or lift them up. I certainly didn't save any lives that day, but I did manage to be useful and it felt good to lend a hand. I would like to say I did this simply out of sheer duty and moral obligation, but the truth of it was I wanted to stay close to Shauna. Just as I made her feel better, she was making me feel more secure too. Security was worth its weight in gold just then. That, and my conscious demanded that I try to atone.
An hour passed, and before long, I had blood on my hands. I felt a little sick again, but kept it together. I rushed over to a sink and washed my hands, but I could still see some red under my fingernails. After a minute of scrubbing, I still couldn't seem to get it out, so I left it be. I thought maybe it was fitting that it should be there. I tried to tell myself that I had not been in control of the situation and that it had not been my fault. Though that did give me some solace at the time, in the back of my mind, I still harbored guilt.
As I stared down at my hands, wrestling with my feelings, a sailor entered the hospital and caught my attention. It was Joe. I had given him up for dead when the Houston was ripped open and sank, but there he stood, alive and well. He saw me too and started for me. I met him halfway and gave him a brawny hug.
"I thought you were a goner for sure, you bastard." I pulled back. "Were you on the Houston? How did you get away from that thing?"
"No, I wasn't aboard. I didn't make it back last night." He replied. I spotted a rather obvious hickey on his neck and immediately understood.
"Well, I'm glad you're alright. Have you seen any of the other guys?"
"No." He hesitated. "I hate to be the one to tell you, but it looks like almost everyone went down with the ship, including the Captain."
I felt yet another harsh sting of guilt. Good men, better men than me and Joe, had died in the line of duty. He and I had only escaped due to our recklessness while responsible men had perished. The injustice of it was inescapable and painful. We deserved to be punished for our actions, but with the skipper gone, it seemed unlikely that he'd be reporting our transgression anyone higher in the chain of command. If we choose to, we could walk away Scott-free, but my conscious could not tolerate the thought of that.
"Who do we report to now?" I asked Joe.
"I don't even know." He answered. "HQ is in pieces, the barracks is smashed, and all the officers I've seen are scrambling around with their own problems right now. I think for tonight at least we're on our own."
"There are empty cots in the basement." Shauna cut in. She had been listening in and had understood our most immediate problem. There really wasn't anywhere else for us to go.
"What? We couldn't do that, you might still need them." I began to protest.
"If we do, we can always bump you guys, but the stream of wounded has slowed to a trickle and the cots down there aren't meant for patients anyway. That's where the medical staff go when they need rest."
"We really don't have much of a choice Mark." Joe pointed out.
"Ok, very well." I surrendered. "Thank you Shauna."
A short while later, Joe and I were laying in cots on opposite sides of the small room in the basement. There was not much to the place, it felt like a utility room. Not that I was going to complain. It was a quiet place and that's just what I needed.
Though both of us were exhausted, we sat there awake staring up at the ceiling. I was still on edge, stirring from the day's events. I had been playing them back in my mind, trying to make sense of them. I looked over and could tell Joe was doing the same. My guilt had been bothering me for hours and I needed to get it off my chest. I knew I would not be able to sleep until I talked about it and Joe was the only person I could talk to about it.
"Listen Joe, what happened today... I think that thing followed us back from the mission." I started.
"How do you figure...?" He asked, almost defensively. I think he suspected the same thing I did, but didn't want to admit it to himself.
"You remember the damage the Houston took from the depth charge on the mission?" I continued undeterred. "It caused oil to leak, right? I think the monster followed the trail of leaked oil."
"Well how could it do that?" Joe countered. "The amount of oil would have been so minuscule that there would not be a enough for anything to actually see."
"No, but maybe the creature can smell things in the water like a shark." I reasoned. "Did you see how it behaved when it first attacked?"
"I was not there to see the first few minutes." He replied.
"Yeah, well I was." I continued. "It bypassed other ships along the way and went straight for the Houston." I looked over at Joe. He seemed pale. I think my argument had finally persuaded him. He sat there silently. "Listen Joe, I'm planning to turn myself in tomorrow for going AWOL. I can't hold on to this much guilt." He was quiet for a moment.
"I understand, I'll go with you." He replied.
"I didn't mean that you should too." I sat up.
"I know, but we are men, aren't we?" He smirked. "We need to own up to what we did and take our lashes. I wouldn't let you go it alone."
"Thanks Joe." I lay back into the cot and rested until I fell asleep.
The next morning, I woke up and found that Shauna had crawled into the cot with me. I was a little shocked that she had been able to do so without having woke me up. Either she was a ninety-pound ninja or I had just been that tired. Either way, it was nice to have her there. She was warm and comforting. I didn't want to move and disturb her, but there was little way around it. The cot was pressed up against the wall on one side and she was blocking my escape from the other. For a time I stared at her. Her hand was on my chest as if it were trying to feel for my heartbeat. Her red hair had been taken out from her nursing bun, it stretched further down her shoulders that I would have guess possible. Despite the long hours she had worked, she still smelled nice.
As thought she could hear my thoughts, she started to stir.
"Good morning." She looked at with me with smile. "Thanks for sharing your cot with me. That felt like it was the longest shift ever." She got out of the cot and walked over to the nearby sink. She splashed some water on her face and wiped off the water with a towel. I only watched as she neatly put her hair back up again. "Hey, come over here." She looked back to me in the mirror. I obeyed, joining her at the sink. "This has been driving me crazy since last night." She grabbed my hands and put them under the facet. "I would have done this earlier, but you looked like you needed the rest." She took a brush and proceeded to scrub under my nails to get the particles of blood out from underneath them. Her hands were gentile, but the brush was a bit abrasive. I did not complain though, it was clearly necessary. As she cleaned my hands, I almost felt absolved, though in the end it wouldn't be that easy. "There, all finished."
"Have to go back up and check on a few things upstairs." She began to leave. "I suspect you have business of your own to attend to."
"Hey, thanks for everything. I don't know how to repay you."
"Dinner sometime this week would be a great start." She said from the doorway. "You'll find my number hidden in your hat. Reach out to me once you've gotten all your business all sorted out."
She had gotten halfway down the hallway before I could even sort out a reply. Upon inspection, she had indeed left a note in my hat with a number and address to find her.
"Way to go buddy, there is hope for you yet." Joe commented, his eyes still close from pretending to be asleep.
"Don't read too much into it." I blushed.
"Relax, I was still awake when she came in. I know nothing happened." He smirked. "Still, I'd say she's taken quite the liking to you. You must have done something special to earn her affection."
"I suppose so." I smiled.
Joe and I wasted little time from there. We learned that command had put down temporary roots in the recruitment administration building in light of HQ being crushed into kindling. We reported in and were referred to the makeshift office of Commander Franklin for our orders. There we waited outside for an hour while a steam of other sailors entered and exited rapidly.
When our turn finally came, we entered the office to find the Commander waiting for us. He invited us to sit, which we did. Meanwhile, he sat behind his desk flipping through our personnel files. Commander Franklin seemed like the standard career navy man. He was stern and proper, but it was clear that the events of the last twenty-four hours had taken a toll on him. He had bags under his eyes, which indicated that he had not sleep since the attack. While he read, I attempted to take the initiative to report myself for going AWOL.
"Sir, I need to tell you something important." I began. "I..."
"We." Joe chimed in.
"We." I quickly corrected. "Were not at our posts when the attack began Sir and are prepared to accept whatever punishment you deem fitting."
"You are mistaken." The Commander replied. "You were
at your posts and managed to abandon ship in time."
"But sir, we were not..." I began to protest.
." He said, cutting me off. "That's exactly what my report is going to say." It was clear the commander was not in the mood to hear my confession. He just dismissed it outright. It surprised me at the time, but in the scheme of things, I guess I understand it. The Commander had much bigger things going on. He had a long list of names on his clip board, hundreds of them. I guessed it was a list of all the sailors who had been displaced by the attack. It was his job to find new homes for all of them.
Before I knew it, Commander Franklin had transferred both Joe and I to a new post. He made it clear he had no time for common sailor malarkey. His only priority was to reorganize the ranks back into fighting units as quickly as possible. He informed us that the carrier USS Enterprise had lost some of its crew, who were on shore-leave during he attack. Since we didn't have a ship of our own to return, and because we could preform the same duties, we were being reassigned to replace them. He stamped the transfer orders and that as that.
Franklin then informed us that the carrier would be leaving port by the evening. Orders had come down from the top and command wanted any ships capable of leaving Pearl out as soon as possible, so they wouldn't be sitting ducks. As such, we were to report to the Enterprise immediately. Joe and I began to collect ourselves to leave.
"One last thing Seaman Ryan." Commander Franklin said to me while I stood up. "I received a report of your actions during and after the attack. That's what saved your bacon today. I'll being putting you in for a commendation for that. I'm going to give you two one last piece of advice. If you want to make up for your past mistakes gentlemen, do so by serving your country well from here on out." With that, we were dismissed from of his office. My head was spinning was we left. In the space of three minutes, everything had changed. I had been expecting to be escorted to the brig, but instead we were being transferred to flagship of the Pacific fleet. Funny how life works out sometimes.
There was a downside to my transfer though. Such as it was, I didn't have enough to visit the hospital to see Shauna. I did have enough time to write a brief note to her. I explained my reassignment, and let her know just how much I regretted that I wouldn't be able to take her up on her dinner offer. At that point, I would have gladly spent a few days in the brig if I could have stayed to explain it to her in person, but Franklin's words were still echoing in my head. Serving my country had to come first. I did promise, however, that I would take her out as so as I returned to port and that I would write her frequently in the meantime.
As I put in the letter into the post, I just hoped it would be enough and that she'd understand.
Following the attack, it didn't take too long for word to spread. Newspapers all over the world ran headlines declaring the shocking incident and people did not know what to make of the news. Most of the foreign powers dismissed it as some type of ruse. The story seemed too ridiculous to be true. People in the States were also understandably skeptical until photos taken by plane of the monster during the attack were developed and made public. The mood of the nation shifted from disbelief to terror as the realization of such a monster's existence being possible.
On the military side of things, the creature's disappearance was frustrating. He hit us hard and then vanished before we could hit him back. We proved that naval cannons could hurt it, but finding another opportunity to use them was proving fruitless. Weeks had gone by without another sighting and the public started to wonder if we had in fact mortally wounded the beast. I knew better than that though. I had seen what it could do and I knew that it was not done. The enlisted men started to joke that we gave it such a thrashing that it would never again show it's face in our waters.
The hubris of those men didn't last long. Three weeks after the attack at Pearl, the creature reappeared and landed in the Caroline Islands. It wiped out three villages before disappearing back into the Ocean. Our fleet was still closely patrolling the waters near Pearl, so we were far out of position to do anything about it. Within two days, another Japanese cargo ship was destroyed, followed by a British one the next day. The monster was no longer just hitting shipping within its own territorial waters. It was making its presence felt all over the Pacific and becoming a menace to anything afloat or near a coast.
By this time, the Japanese had enough. They sent out a task force of warships to hunt it down. The task force was split into two divisions. The first division was lead by the carriers Kaga, Akagi, and Shokaku. They were supported by the battleships Hiei, Kongo, Nagato, and Fuso. Additionally, they were further supported by four heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and eighteen destroyers.
The second division was lead by the carriers Zuikaku, Hiryu, and Soryu. They were supported by the battleships Kiris, Haruna, and Yamashiro. In addition, there were four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and sixteen destroyers. Together, they were the cream of the Japanese Imperial Fleet and were spoiling for a fight.
On December 22nd, the Japanese fleet descended on the last known location of the monster. They searched for two days and found nothing. On the Decemeber 24th, their prey found them. During the night, the monster who was now dubbed Angirus
sunk the carriers Hiryu and Zuikaku, the battleship Kiris, the Heavy Cruisers Myoko and Nachi, the light crusier Oi, and eight destroyers. It was a was a staggering defeat to the Japanese navy and a huge blow to their national honor as a whole.
The Second carrier division was forced to retreat home by the next morning. Undeterred by their comrades defeat, the First carrier division located and counterattacked Angirus by noon. The battle by daylight went far better for the Japanese, as they were able to coordinate their warplanes and surface ships, but they still lost the cruisers Agano, Haguro, Yahagi, and five more destroyers.
By the end of the day, the Japanese elected to make a strategic withdraw from the area, wishing to avoid being attacked in the dark like the night before. It was unclear if they had managed to inflict any serious damage to the monster, but they had managed to at least make a fight of it to restore some of their damaged pride.
The Japanese fleet regrouped and returned to their home ports, waiting to see if Angirus would dare follow them. They had expected a follow up attack from the monster, similar to how it had followed our fleet back to Pearl, but this was not the case. When it failed to show up, we thought perhaps the Japanese had managed to hurt it, but in retrospect, I think it simply could not track them all the way home.
When Angirus's attacks resumed a week later, it was clear that the Japanese had failed to strike a meaningful blow. This was a terrifying time for anyone living anywhere along the Pacific Rim. No one knew where the next attack would come, or when. It seemed impossible to predict and impossible to stop. The islands of the Dutch East Indies were the next place it hit. Sea trade in the Pacific slowed to a crawl and world economics were on the edge of crisis.
Shortly after that, the "Hunt for Angirus" was on. Any power with an agenda at stake in the Pacific threw in their forces. Ships from British Far East Fleet, the Netherlands, the United States, Japan, France, and even the minor navies of a dozen other regional powers all began to coordinate in an unprecedented effort to track down and kill Angirus.
Unfortunately, the coordinating didn't seem to help all that much. Our ships simply could not arrive in time to catch up to the monster following an attack. The monster seemed to be avoiding taking on large naval forces following its encounter with the Japanese fleet. It was at this point that I decided to go to my C.O. and tell him about the events leading up to the Pearl attack. I suggested that we perhaps could lure the monster to a precise predetermined location to be ambushed if we left a slick of oil for it to follow. And as it could submerge and evade us at will at sea, leading it to shore would be ideal.
My C.O. took the plan to the Captain of the Enterprise, who in turn, relayed it to the Admiral Nimitz who was in command of the fleet. As it turned out, the Admiral thought it was a brilliant idea and ran with it. He was just as frustrated as anyone with the inability of our forces to pin down the monster. He almost immediately began to draw up plans. He looked to his charts and quickly found several possible staging grounds in the U.S. controlled Philippines for the operation.
After contacting Washington and getting their approval, he contacted General MacArthur, who was in command of the army in the Philippines. The General was receptive to the plan and put his troops to work preparing defenses in the selected area on Luzon, the main island in the Philippines. They cleared out trees along the beach, placed obstacles to slow down the monster, built concrete pill boxes, placed shore batteries, moved in mobile artillery pieces, brought in a entire tank division, and laid down a six acre mine field. It took nearly two weeks to get everything in place.
Once the army was ready, the navy enacted the plan. They started by sending a oil tanker escorted by destroyers to Angirus's last know position. The destroyers dropped a barrage of depth charges and the tanker opened up its oil valves allowing a large slick to trail the ships. They wasted no time on getting out of area as fast as possible in case the monster was actually in the immediate area. As they retreated, they carefully watched the waters behind them to see if they had elicited a reaction. Through their binoculars, the sailors saw nothing and wondered if they had just wasted their time and risked all for nothing.
A few days later, the ships had reached the Philippines and the tanker shut off its valves. From the shore, troops pumped out oil. The current connected to the trail to the one in the ocean. With their job complete, the navy ships withdrew.
Admiral Nimitz had the strength of the fleet positioned hiding just west around the the most northern tip of Luzon, nearby the city of Santa Ana. The battle-zone was located just over the other side of the tip in the east. When Angirus made landfall the fleet could easily swing around the coast and prevent it from escaping back into the sea.
The men on the shore were dug in and ready, the air-force had created a makeshift base nearby and was on standby, and the fleet was posed to strike. The only question left was if Angirus would actually show up, and if so, when? The tension was thick thin in the air. There was an uneasiness that grew with every passing hour.
Word went out the next morning that there was an unidentified sonar ping reported by one of the submarines on patrol on the edge of our defense perimeter. All commercial shipping had be advised to avoid the area and all of our vessels were accounted for. The submarine's transmissions went silent ten minutes later and everyone was put on full alert. There was no doubt about it, Angirus was on his way and he was moving directly to the landing zone. The plan was working. Scout planes were launched from the carriers to better track its movements and the fleet got underway. The monster would make landfall just as the fleet was coming around the edge of the island.
An hour passed and the scout planes reported being able to see Angirus' wake in the water near the surface as if approached the island. The planes were ordered to keep their distance and to avoid drawing the attention of the monster. Thirty minutes later, Angirus had arrived in the coastal waters of Luzon, just off of the landing zone. He was close enough that troops from the shore could see a form begin to emerge from the waves. Guns were leveled to their predetermined attack ranges. The plan was to let the monster get just off of the shore before opening up on it with one massive artillery barrage.
When Angirus finally made landfall, the troops realized what they were up against, a living mountain of teeth and spikes. The monster stopped just after stepping off the beach, as if it sensed something was amiss. It eyed the trees that had been cut down around it and looked upward towards the camouflaged gun positions. It opened its mouth and roared a warning that split the sky like thunder. It shook the resolve of many a man entrenched along the defensive line. In the command center beyond the line, the windows rattled and the blood of everyone inside ran cold.
Angirus advanced forward and wandered into the attack zone. The general sent out the order to commence firing, but only half the guns opened up initially. Many of the guns crews were still too stunned by what they were seeing to react. After the first barrage shook them back to reality, the rest joined in squad by squad. The shells arched in and for the most part hit Angirus on his spiked carapace. Some of the shells bounced right off and others detonated immediately on impact.
The monster continued to advance just the same. Before long, it had entered the mine field and began to set off explosion after explosion. It continued through the mine field until it came to the obstacles that were meant to slow it down, and they did, but only for about ten seconds. The monster crushed them like they were made out of thin aluminum and moved onward. Angirus got closer and closer to the defensive line until it was in range of the tanks, which opened up on him. Their shells mostly hit the neck and legs of Angirus, which were less armored, but still had no discernible effect on him.
The monster was getting uncomfortably close to the defense line and men were starting to panic. Angirus was too close for the artillery to effectively target him anymore. The gun crews on the wings of the perimeter were frantically trying to re-position their guns, while the men in the center were abandoning their positions. It was then that the hum of plane engines could be heard as the noise from the artillery fire died down.
The air-force had arrived with its bombers. There were dozens of B-17s and B-25s ready to pounce with their payloads. There was a problem however. No one had anticipated Angirus advancing as quickly as he had. He was meant to still be at the beach obstacles at that point. As it was, he was dangerously close to the army's lines, which put them at risk for friendly fire from the bombs.
The flight commander had to quickly decide if he should press the attack or abort. He chose the former and radioed his planes to proceed. Angirus stopped his advance and looked up at the sky full of noisy planes just in time to see the bombs begin to fall. A few painstakingly long seconds later, the explosions started as 500 lbs and 1000 lbs bombs hit on and around Angirus. The explosions continued in a deadly line behind, on top of, and finally in front the monster until they started falling into the lines of the army positions. Anyone who remained in that section of the right wing was caught up in the explosions that followed.
Dust, smoke, and debris filled the air as the onslaught continued, masking a good portion of the battlefield. The explosions stopped as the planes finished their bombing run, and for a time, things were still. As the dust began to settle, everyone could see that the planes had made some positive impact. Angirus remained largely undamaged, but the force of the bombs had knocked him on his side and he appeared to be having a hard time righting himself. This gave the army units time to regroup.
The reprieve was short lived though. Angirus soon found his footing and shook off the dirt the bombs had covered him in. He set his sights on the field command center and advanced upon it. The command staff evacuated as quickly as they could. With that, any control on the battlefield was shattered.
Angirus smashed the tin building and began to work his way down the line of the right wing, destroying everything in his path as he went. A column of armored cars took off into the mine field to escape and, one by one, blew up. It looked as though the battle was lost until a single tank at the end of the line leveled its barrel and took careful aim at Angirus's head.
The tank fired one shot that landed just to the left of monster's right eye. The shot had an immediate effect and Angirus stopped his tracks. It brought its paw up to its face and swept it around irritated. The tank let off a second round that was just a little more inside of the first shot, but it seemed like it was enough to convince Angirus that he had lost the initiative and it was better off to retiring from the field.
The fleet arrived just in time to see the monster angrily turn towards the shore and begin to retreat. All the remaining army units, primary in the left wing, rallied and shelled the monster relentlessly. The fleet began to deploy in an effort to try to cut Angirus off. The battleships and destroyers moved in close to the shore to get their cannons and torpedoes as close as possible to inflict maximum damage.
As quick as the fleet rushed into position, Angirus managed to move faster. He crashed into the water and began to swim out of the danger zone. It soon became clear the fleet was not going to be able to trap him as planned. However, that didn't mean the warships couldn't get in some good licks. It would be several minutes before Angirus would be able to get into deep enough water to completely submerge and warships would be able to pour in a lot of firepower in that window. Massive shells from the battleships quickly found the range and swarms of torpedoes were ranking Angirus's sides.
Angirus finally managed to get under the reach of the battleship's main cannons, but his ordeal was not over yet. The destroyers dogged him as long as they could with depth charges, and given that he was still in the shallow waters near the shore, he could not dive deep enough to avoid them. Twenty minutes of relentless depth charge attacks finally brought the battle to an end.
Following the immediate battle, the fleet continued to track Angirus for days over hundreds of miles until he reached the Mariana Trench. The monster disappeared down into it and beyond our ability to track him.
The other naval powers in the Pacific helped us patrol the area for months afterwards, but there was no sign of Angirus. It seemed like we had prevailed. After being hit by what the admiral described as an "Orgy of firepower" it was hoped that he had finally been killed. Angirus had certainly taken an insane amount of punishment in the battle of Luzon, and at the very least, we had scored an important victory over him.
Like most things in life though, the victory was short lived. We didn't know it yet, but the next trial for humanity was already beginning in northern China.