Godzilla vs. Tiamatodon
By Neil Riebe
Film appearances for the cast of characters:
Miki Saegusa: Godzilla vs. Biollante through Destroyah (1989-1995)
Paleontologist Hironori Mazaki: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
UNGCC Director Takayuki Segawa: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1993)
Major Sho Kuroki: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
Robert Mills dropped anchor a mile or so off the Australian coast. Bondi Beach could be seen on the port side where the sunbathers and beach lovers appeared to be about half the size of his thumb over the distance. His girlfriend Heather Bianchi leaned forward on the railing admiring the undulating sea toward starboard. Her bikini hugged close to her skin.
“Look at it will you?” she said. “They say the reflection of the sun makes the waves look tipped with gold. Really, it looks silver.”
“It’s the middle of the afternoon,” Robert said. “Wait till the sun begins to set.”
He sat back and admired her while she continued to adore the Pacific in her own wistful silence. Heather was twenty-four, half his age. Robert wasn’t bothered by the age gap the way others were. As he saw it, he deserved her. He worked hard, made his money. Age had nothing to do with the ability to care for someone, anyway.
Besides, Heather cavorted herself around acting as though her curvaceous body gave her the right to expect to have things handed to her. That made things even, right?
Robert cocked his head for a moment. It was strange he should feel that way, deserving a soft and smooth dark-haired lass as though she were a reward. His parents certainly didn’t raise him to think that way.
He kicked the thought out of his head, chiding himself for being stupid on a beautiful day, and offered Heather a drink. She accepted. He went into the cabin. While he mixed a couple of Manhattans, he heard a deep sounding thud and felt a disturbing reverberation thrum through the ship. He puzzled at what it could be. Just as he was about to discount it, the thud came again, only softer, as if further away. Heather then called out from the deck. “Robert, come here!”
He rushed up.
Heather pointed out to sea. Panic was wild on her face.
He looked. Immediately he dashed to reel in the anchor. The chain clinked like seconds ticking away to doomsday.
Out at sea, a massive, prehistoric head broke the surface. Anyone who had access to a TV knew that was Godzilla.
But what were those rhythmic vibrations under the boat? It sounded as though it were heading for the shore.
The answer came when Robert revved up the yacht and veered it back toward the coast. A second creature, identical to the first, rose out of the water. Its back fins splitting the sea as it rose to its full height. The water rushed off its craggy back.
“My God!” Heather yelled. “There are two of them!”
Robert saw the swimmers and sunbathers on the beach scramble for safety. His attention was not on them for long when he saw the second titan turn his way. It wasn’t the monster so much as the wave it threw in the boat’s direction as its moving bulk shifted the sea. The wave struck the yacht, sweeping the chairs and fishing gear across the deck. Heather screamed, clinging to the railing for dear life. The beast unleashed a deafening roar. The world flipped upside down, became wet, violent…
“…and then the two mutated godzillasaurs milled about Bondi Beach for the next forty-five minutes,” Miki Saegusa read in the report, “exchanging what some zoologists suggest may have been mating calls before returning to sea, causing no further damage. The capsized yacht was unsalvageable, but the two Americans aboard were rescued, examined for injury, and then released.”
Miki had gained notoriety in her young life for her psychic ability, more importantly, her ability to sense Godzilla’s whereabouts. She spent the last few years acting as a sort “Godzilla radar” for the government. Paging through all the printouts, she scanned through reports similar to the first. Three godzilla-like creatures were sighted in the jungles of New Guinea, one came ashore on Wake Island, and the list went on and on throughout the South Pacific. She set the papers on Segawa’s desk.
Takayuki Segawa was the director of the UNGCC – the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center – headquartered in Tokyo. He was a trim man for his sixty years, his gray hair conservatively cut short and parted to the side.
Also present in Segawa’s office was Professor Hironori Mazaki.
Mazaki was in his forties yet had an affable boyishness about his features. He had risen to preeminence in paleontology after the renowned Dr. Yamane retired. The professor had just returned home from the digs in the Liaoning province, China, when the Director contacted him and Miss Saegusa.
“I read the treatise Dr. Yamane wrote in the 1950s about Godzilla,” Miki said. “He believed Godzilla was one of many creatures like it. That makes sense, obviously. What doesn’t make sense is that they look like him as he does today.”
“Exactly,” Mazaki chimed in. “Godzilla is a theropod. Theropod dinosaurs don’t have bulky bodies, upright postures, and a wild array of back plates. Godzilla’s kinfolk are much smaller, about the size of a large Tyrannosaur. Their bodies are more streamlined and sheathed in a smooth sheen of gray scales.
“The only way his kin can resemble him as he is seen now, they would need to have been exposed to the same nuclear tests. But,” he interjected with an upraised finger, “tests haven’t been conducted in that region of the Pacific since the 50s. If they were exposed to the same radiation we should have seen them over the same period of time as Godzilla. We haven’t, which suggests their mutations are recent. So where does that leave us?” he asked rhetorically, rubbing his hands together.
“You don’t think someone purposely subjected these animals to radiation?” Miki asked Segawa.
The Director gravely nodded. “Over the past few weeks about forty scientists and engineers have been reported missing throughout the world. Biologists, paleo-biologists, nuclear physicists – the type of people needed to crew an operation to mutate the godzillasaurus into the monsters we’ve seen cropping up. Investigations have just gotten underway. There’s not much I can tell you, although in lieu of what we do know I authorized a reconnaissance flight over Lagos Island, where Godzilla had come from. This is what the recon team found.”
Segawa showed them aerial photos of a massive bunker nestled in the lush verdure of the tropical jungle. A large path appeared to have been beaten down on one end of the building.
“I can understand the scientific curiosity,” Mazaki said. “But it blows my mind that someone would be that irresponsible. Where did they get the funding without leaking out their intentions?”
“I’m hoping the answers will be found in this installation,” Segawa replied. “You two are the only ones under the age of fifty who have been to Lagos. You understand best what we’re dealing with. I hope you understand why I am asking you to return there.”
“Don’t worry, Director,” Miki smiled. “I would have been disappointed if you didn’t asked us to go.”
Miki and Mazaki hadn’t just go to Lagos Island. They had gone back in time, arriving on the island in 1944 during the Second World War when their countrymen had a garrison stationed there. Time travelers from the Earth’s future wanted to prevent Godzilla’s mutation by moving him out of the south Pacific before he could wander into the nuclear testing sites of the 1950s. Miki and Mazaki accompanied one of the time travelers, an independent-minded lass named Emmy Kano and her deceptively human android, M-11.
The night they arrived in Emmy’s sleek-looking time traveling aircraft the US Navy pulverized the garrison’s position. Early the next morning, US troops stormed the jungle. The Japanese had little to resist them with other than bayonets and bravery. They counterattacked and fell like wheat in the Americans’ blistering gunfire. When it looked like every last one of them was going to join their brothers in arms who fell at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Tarawa, Godzilla, then an ordinary dinosaur, raised his head through the trees and bellowed over the din.
The machineguns and Garands fell silent, and the open-mouthed faces of the Americans turned skyward. The next instant their guns spat death at the giant archosaur that had lumbered onto the battlefield.
Even then Godzilla showed an uncanny level of resourcefulness. The human invaders were like mice under his feet. Unable to stamp them all out, he toppled the trees upon them with swipes of his tail. He pursued the Americans back to their landing zone on the beach where the battleships scored direct hits to his head and chest.
Only then was he stopped. Dripping blood, he returned to the jungle.
After the battle Miki and Mazaki with Emmy and M-11 approached Godzilla. He lay on his side, in pain. Even though physically he was so different to Miki’s eyes, his soul was the same. She sensed it. To console him she telepathically communicated her feelings. She could only hope his reptilian mind could conceptualize her sympathy.
Emmy was eager to get on with her work. The android M-11 teleported him off of Lagos to the northern Pacific using the teleporter aboard the time ship. However, the mission failed. Godzilla was exposed to radiation and mutated all the same. The time travelers tried to bring change. All they accomplished was fulfill destiny.
As for others of Godzilla’s kind, nothing was seen. What else the fauna of Lagos had in store would have to be discovered first hand.
Miki and Mazaki set sail aboard a Haruna-class destroyer equipped with a helio pad and a pair of helicopters. They saw little of each other as Miki was assigned to the bridge to keep her senses keen for the presence of Godzilla and other creatures like him. The trip proved to be as peaceful as a tropical cruise. When the news circulated among the crew the ship would be arriving at the island the next morning, they shared a collective sigh of relief.
Anticipation made it hard for Miki to fall asleep that night. In time sleep took its course. As she slept she dreamt of two people existing in one body coming toward her out of a glowing red light. The dream did not reveal much in detail of this being. It was black and undulated in a side-to-side motion as a serpent sliding across its belly on the ground. What else was certain in the dream was that those two individuals living in that strange body hated her, and their hate filled her with dread.
Miki struggled to wake up but the dream would not let her go. She felt as though a heavy weight was pressing down upon her chest, forcing her to remain asleep. Her breath restricted, her attempts to cry out failed. Finally, in shear force of will Miki bolted up right in her bunk. As her chest rose and fell taking in much needed air she regained her composure.
Now awake, she should have felt safe from those two phantoms that haunted her sleep. Instead, she could sense their presence outside, coming toward the ship. Throwing aside her sweat-soaked sheets, she looked out the portal. There was nothing to see but the moonlit waves. Grabbing her robe, she ran up to the deck. Clutching the railing, she gazed cross the ocean. Still nothing. Aside from the whir of the engines, all was peaceful.
Then the approaching evil arrived. For a moment Miki blacked out. Within that instant she saw the ship sailing beneath her, and deep down below in the sea a massive creature with a long tapering tail passed beneath the boat. It was so far down, its passing did not disturb the surface.
The vision ended as abruptly as the snap of a person’s fingers and Miki came to, finding that she had collapsed upon the deck. Getting up, she scanned the sea again. Now the presence of the two hate-filled souls were far in the distance heading away from the ship. Then two roars cried out softly from the horizon, one following the other in succession. They were shrill, vicious, and sounded like Godzilla.
By sunup Miki was still certain the ship had a near brush with a sea creature, yet the beast seemed too sophisticated to be an animal. Neither could she figure out why she sensed the presence of two beings and yet only one body. Miki reported the creature to the Captain anyway. It was the responsible thing to do. “It swam under the ship,” she said, “heading south.”
“That’s good,” the Captain replied. “Because when we’re done here, we’ll be heading north for home.”
Late in the morning one of the helicopters dropped Miki and Mazaki off on the beach with a squad of soldiers. The troops were qualified to deal with NBC disasters – Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical – whether it be a meltdown from a civilian power plant or an enemy attack. Colonel Yagato was the team leader, and Sergeant Namura was his assistant.
The enclosed helmets and air ventilator packs made the white, protective NBC gear everyone wore resemble spacesuits. The radios in the helmets were an open mike. What one said, everyone heard.
Mazaki nudged Miki’s arm. “So when was the last time we were here, 1944?” he asked jokingly. His voice sounded tinny over the speakers in the helmet.
“I suppose we should visit more often,” she replied. “Maybe every twenty-five years instead of fifty. The island looks different, doesn’t it?” she added.
“The tides reshape the shore year round,” he explained.
For safety’s sake Miki and Mazaki had also been issued side arms.
Colonel Yagato ordered everyone to check the dosimeters clamped to their wrists. The radiation reading was point-o-eight-six milliroentgens, well within tolerance of their protective suits. Next the Colonel gave a three-minute briefing. “The bunker is two and a half kilometers inland,” he said, stuffing his map back into his pouch. He then pulled out his machete. “Keep in mind it will seem twice that.”
The Colonel led the way into the jungle, hacking a trail. Along their path large flowers stretched their petals in a splash of color. Startled birds flapped from the underbrush, and the wind picked up among the trees.
However, the breeze could not be felt. The helmets muted the cawing of the birds. The sound of one’s breath was more distinct. Even the beauty of the flowers had to be appreciated through an amber filter of the tinted faceplate.
The group stepped out into a clearing and started up a rise. The ground was pitted with long, shallow gullies. Old trenches, no doubt. Then Mazaki tugged Miki’s sleeve and pointed toward a mossy grotto shrouded with undergrowth.
“Isn’t that the cave where M-11 stood with his relay camera?”
“Yes, I think you’re right,” she said after studying the shape of the aperture in the rock wall. “That was where the garrison commander had his command post.”
They split from the line to take a look. Yagato protested over the com. Miki and Mazaki were too engrossed to care, forcing the squad to take five while they investigated.
“The android must have stood about here,” Mazaki positioned himself on the left side of cave, “and then peered in with the camera.”
“I remember,” Miki said, switching on the light on top of her helmet. She shined the beam into the cave. She recalled the radios clustered on tables against the right wall, the lanterns hanging from hooks hammered into the ceiling and frightened infantrymen huddled on the floor while the US Navy bombarded the island. But those moments were gone, and all that was left was the dust floating in the beam of her headlamp.
A little thump from the ground tapped the soles of her boots.
“Did you feel that?” she asked Mazaki.
The thump tapped again.
“That,” she said.
“Saegusa!” Yagato’s voice screamed over the headphones. “Mazaki! Back into the ranks! Now!”
She and Mazaki looked down the slope. The troops were assuming firing positions in the shallow trenches. The Colonel stood waving them to get into cover. He then pointed into the jungle. A series of trees were wavering like tall grass. The thump tapped from the ground once more, this time much sharper.
A lizard-like head wedged through the foliage, rising fifteen feet above the soldiers. It swung back and forth, laying its reptilian eyes on the armed men. Saliva glistened off a battery of teeth. Despite its size, the beast’s movements hinted that it could be dangerously agile on its pair of chicken-toed feet. The small, but muscled arms were poised and ready to rake the meat off a body with ten-inch long talons.
Miki and Mazaki dropped back into the cave.
“It’s an Allosaurus!” Mazaki cried excitedly.
The assault rifles capped off sounding like a staccato string of notes – prrurp-prrurup-pup! The scaly hide of the beast merely flinched irritably along its flanks. The Allosaurus whipped around in a sharp twist and lunged for one of the men on the Sergeant’s left.
Assault rifle at the hip, Namura put his body between the carnivore and his subordinate, firing at the monster’s mouth. Gleaming brass flicked out of the rifle chamber. A hole ripped into the wrinkled skin hanging from the Allosaur’s throat. Another round pierced one nostril, spurting blood. Bits of the gums were pulped. The dinosaur jerked back as if it were sustaining repeated blows from a skilled boxer. It swung its mouth wide letting out a sharp, whistling hiss.
Out of reflex, Miki capped her palms over the sides of her head, even though covering her ears was impossible.
The Allosaurus nimbly spun around, thumping the ground with its weight, then bounded back into the jungle. The Sergeant pursued, reloading his rifle as he went.
Awestruck, Miki wanted another glimpse so much she neglected her own safety and burst from the cave, following after Namura. Mazaki followed after the Sergeant as well. As a paleontologist, his reasons were obvious. When they caught up with the Sergeant, the only sign of the Allosaurus was a broken tree branch dangling in the distance.
Upon their return the Colonel asked, “Can we expect more monsters like that?”
“Count on it,” Mazaki said.
“I sensed the Allosaurus was familiar with us,” Miki warned. “Meaning, it has eaten human flesh.”
As one, the soldiers looked at her.
They then continued up the hillside and down the opposite slope into another patch of thick jungle. Sunshine was visible up ahead, revealing another clearing. One of the trees at the rim of the clearing lurched forward with an adult-sized Stegosaurus clutching the trunk with its forepaws. Guns leveled.
Mazaki rushed forward pushing the rifle barrels down.
“It’s OK. He’s a vegetarian.”
The bent tree strained to remain upright. In a crack of wood tissue it crashed to the ground under the weight of the dinosaur.
Miki followed Mazaki who went on ahead. A whole herd of Stegosaurs populated the clearing. A number of them were pig-sized juveniles. As soon as their mother felled a fresh tree, they trotted over with their mouths open, abandoning the one they were chewing on even though half the branches were still green with tender food.
Mazaki cautioned Miki not to get too close as she approached the first Stegosaurus that plopped into view.
“Don’t worry,” she radioed back. “He doesn’t mind us at all. I can sense it.”
She ran her hand across its side as she walked from one end of the creature to the other. The scaly hide felt pebbly through her gloves. Its back arched high above Miki’s head, brandishing its breathtaking array of diamond-shaped back plates, and then sloped back down to where the head was level with her waist.
With its narrow snout the Stegosaurus fussily pruned the leaves, avoiding the tough branches like a kid who eats his entire sandwich except the crust. Miki knelt down and gently stroked its neck.
“Hello, little fella,” she said softly. He seemed small because his head could be held in both of her hands.
The Stegosaurus blinked, and its expression tensed, reflecting annoyance.
She offered it a branch full of lush leaves.
In response, the Stegosaurus stopped eating and lumbered to another part of the clearing.
“Ornery old thing,” Miki said, standing up, tossing the branch.
Mazaki patted her shoulder. “Nice try. You wouldn’t be too amused either if someone poked at you while you were eating. It’s amazing this pocket of Jurassic wildlife exists.”
“Isn’t it true that so long as an animal’s niche in nature remains it will continue to propagate itself?” Miki asked.
“You don’t understand. The Allosaurus and Stegosaurus died out about one hundred thirty million years. A hundred thirty million years ago this island wasn’t here. This piece of regolith we’re standing on was still a part of the ocean floor before volcanic action pushed it up into the sun light.”
Miki folded her arms. “So how do you explain the dinosaurs being here?”
“I can’t. Although it’s going to be easy raising the money for an expedition to find out.”
After another half hour of hacking through the underbrush they found the trail leading to the bunker. Hundreds of godzillasaurus tracks imprinted the sun-baked dirt along the way. In minutes they stood before the massive concrete edifice. The trail led to a yawning doorway that stood about forty feet high. The group stopped to marvel at the engineering feat to erect such a structure in such unlikely terrain.
Then Sergeant Namura reached up into a tree, using his rifle as a pole to dislodge a ragged piece of clothing. It was hard to tell if the cloth were part of a jacket, shirt, or pants. It was blackened with dirt and stained with dried blood.
“Miss Saegusa wasn’t kidding about dinosaurs eating people,” he said, holding the bloody rag out for the whole squad to see, causing a bit of a stir.
Yagato grabbed the rag and tossed it into the bushes. “Let’s move inside, two by two. Sergeant, hold here with the civilians. Bring them in when you hear my OK.”
The troops switched on their overhead lights and hustled through the large opening. The OK to enter came a minute later.
Within was a chamber enormous enough to house a military cargo jet. Makeshift nests of straw littered the cement floor along with what appeared to be old lumps of feces the size of pineapples.
A door to the left permitted access to the interior of the bunker. It was locked, but that was quickly rectified with the butt of a rifle. Beyond the door was an unlit corridor.
The group filed down the hall. There they found a body, a woman in a white lab coat. She lay curled, seemingly asleep. The Sergeant gripped her shoulder and turned her over. A murmur went through the troops. Miki spun away, gripping her stomach.
The side of the woman’s head that was in contact with the floor had flattened. Her features were contorted as if decomposition was causing the flesh to slowly ooze. The floor was stained black where her skin touched the cement surface.
Yagato pulled out a list of names and photos of the missing persons, comparing the ID tag clipped to the woman’s front pocket to the information in his hand.
“She’s one of the missing scientists,” he remarked. “Dr. Susan Peterson, biologist. The state she’s in, I’d say she must have been lying here for several weeks. Look at her skin. It’s been burned from exposure to radiation.”
Two more bodies, also on the list, were found further down the hall. Another five after they entered a lead-shielded changing room. The switches by the doorways indicated the doors were electrically powered. The fact the doors were opened suggested the power in the complex had gone out.
Beyond the changing room was a service tunnel. A sign hanging from the ceiling read in English, “Caution: Moving Vehicles.” A forklift was parked along the wall with one of the cumbersome godzillasaurus eggs atop its skid. The egg had hatched and the driver lay slumped behind the driving wheel, half eaten. The Colonel stood at an arm’s distance from the grisly corpse and checked the ID tag.
“This man’s not on the roster,” he said. “He was probably just a hired laborer.”
A garage adjoined the service tunnel housing a number of forklifts and small flatbed pickup trucks. A second sign hanging from the ceiling read “Hatchery” with an arrow pointing further down the service tunnel. Following the sign, they located a large room. Entering, they found clusters of metallic spider-like arms mounted to the floor.
“Colonel,” Sergeant Namura aimed his light at the ceiling. “What do you make of those?” Directly over each arm cluster was an energy beam projector.
“Of course,” Mazaki worked one of the clawed arms. “They mounted the eggs on these and then subjected them to radiation from above.”
A window was set in one wall. A door hung half open beside it. Going through, the group discovered a laboratory with a control panel for operating the beam projectors.
Mazaki found a clipboard. “Listen to this.” He read from the pages. “May 15: Professor LaSalle’s radiation application theory, test 8. Higher wavelengths produce larger specimens. Applying too much radiation too fast breaks down cellular structure, in essence dissolves them. Today we are going to – “
“Back up,” the Colonel interrupted. “You said too much radiation too fast dissolves the godzillasaurus? Godzilla was exposed to the A-bomb. It didn’t dissolve him.”
“That depends upon what power source they’ve been using and at what intensity.”
“Do the notes say?”
Mazaki flipped through the pages and shook his head. “No. But we should find what they were working on. According to this they had been irradiating a juvenile godzillasaurus during its first growth spurt. It says here the results were phenomenal, but the specimen died. They have it scheduled for disposal. But the date coincides about when many of these people were first reported missing.”
“If we find the specimen,” the Colonel surmised, “we should find the equipment they were going to use to get rid of it.”
The signs on the walls made the pen easy to find. It rivaled the size of the chamber they first entered. The height was the same, but the width was narrower. A stairwell spiraled up to a landing. Miki scaled it to the top. Below, her light faintly illuminated a baby godzillasaurus bloated to the size of a whale. Its dead eyes were open a crack and shone dry and shrunken in the light. Its sides had bloated and its tongue lolled from its mouth.
“Poor thing,” she murmured.
Over her radio headset she heard the Colonel talking excitedly. The soldiers had found a room further down the landing with another projector. He grumbled, announcing that neither the controls nor the projector gave any indication of the power source.
Reconnoitering in the hall, Colonel Yagato split up the team. A sign by the elevators gave directions to the offices in the upper levels and the reactor below the base. He ordered Sergeant Namura to accompany Miki and Mazaki up to the offices while he would take the troops below to see what happened to the reactor.
With the elevators out of commission, the Sergeant’s half of the team climbed the stairs to the fifth floor. Here the builders of the complex had constructed modern office spaces. However, the offices were in such disarray only incomplete files could be compiled. Most of the filing cabinets were locked, and too sturdy to risk shooting them open. It wouldn’t do to have bullets ricocheting. Mazaki resorted to removing hard drives from the computers. Sergeant Namura collected as many as he could carry in his waterproof satchel.
The Colonel radioed his progress in the lower levels. “We broke through to the control room,” he said. “It’s clear a reactor failure was the source of their trouble. They had an automatic system that sealed this area off from the upper floors in an emergency. However, the system failed to close off the vents. The air was still being circulated through the complex hot with radioactivity. We found a manual release for the next door. We’ll be going down one more level to see what actually happened to their reactor.”
“Be careful,” Namura radioed back.
Making the best use of time, the Sergeant recommended they search for employment records, contracts for constructing the base, and receipts for the equipment. Miki found some notes with a diagram of an egg with two infant godzillasaurs curled inside.
“Mazaki, what’s this?” she asked.
Mazaki took the papers. “This is interesting. According to the notes they logged, they hatched a double-yoked egg.”
“A what?” the Sergeant asked.
“A double-yoked egg. That means the egg is going to hatch twins. Anyway, it says here,” Mazaki traced the words with his gloved finger, “that the radiation they subjected the egg to fused the embryos, forming a Siamese twin.” He scanned ahead on the next page. “Oh,” his voice dropped an octave. “Listen to this: ‘typically the infant godzillasaurus is docile. However, the Siamese twin demonstrated a streak of viciousness and deceptiveness. Our hatchery supervisor, Dr. Cumbermin, was tending to the creature down in the pens. Till then it projected an air of innocence, more so than any of the others of its kind. A number of us felt uncomfortable around the thing. We took a vote and elected to contain it in a separate pen. Our suspicions proved to be all too true. When Cumbermin’s assistant, Dr. Hailey, checked on her, he found her lying on her back. Her sternum had been crushed and the flesh of her face had been ripped from the skull. The Siamese twin sat in the corner projecting that air of naiveté. However, the blood dripping from one of its mouths made its guilt all too obvious.’
“The report,” Mazaki concluded, “wraps up by saying the creature escaped before it could be disposed of. Nothing was seen of it since.”
Miki rubbed the sides of her arms, as though she were cold.
“Something wrong?” Mazaki asked.
“What?” She reacted surprised. “No! I’m fine. That Siamese twin reminded me of a nightmare I had.”
“Dream?” Mazaki said.
“At least I hope it was a dream.” Before Miki could clarify what she meant the Colonel spoke over the radio.
“Sergeant,” he said, “get Ms. Saegusa and the professor to the beach. There’s quite a bit of steam pressure built up. The crane to the control rods is locked. This thing is liable to – “
“Colonel!” one of the soldiers cut in. “Look! The reactor!”
An explosion ripped over the radio speakers. The floor of the office level bucked, knocking Miki, Mazaki, and the Sergeant off their feet.
Stunned, they collected their wits. Miki checked her dosimeter and saw that the reading was well above the tolerance level of her protective suit.
“We have to run!” she called into her mike. But her voice rang about her in her helmet. The radios were knocked out. Sergeant Namura sat on the floor tapping the side of is helmet. His muffled voice cried out from within his suit, “Colonel! Do you hear me?”
Miki showed her dosimeter reading to Mazaki. He scrambled to his feet, and together they grabbed the sergeant.
From then on it was run or die. They doubled back down the stairs and out of the building, crossing over the two kilometers of rough, hilly terrain in suits not meant for running. But one cannot out pace radioactive particles. Mazaki, being the oldest, was worst for wear. He collapsed when they reached the beach, falling into Sergeant Namura. Once down, Namura did not get up. Miki was the last to keep going.
The ship was in sight. She waved her arms at the water’s edge in hope she would be seen, and then fell to her knees and pitched face-forward into the sand. Even if she were rescued, Miki knew her time was up. She was going to die. With nothing else to lose, she popped the seals to her helmet and rolled it off her head. She breathed in fresh air like it was cool water.
But the cruelties of life didn’t seem finished with her.
The ground reverberated from something large coming her way from the direction of the ocean. Because of the radiation exposure, she was too weak to focus her mental faculties to determine what was coming; yet she was determined not to become a dinosaur’s lunch. Drawing the .45, she cocked back the hammer. The creature burst from the sea, washing her in an onrushing wave. Wiping the water from her face, she looked up. Once she saw her target, she let the gun slip from her fingers.
“My day just keeps getting better and better,” she moaned. Resigned to her fate, she lay her head down on the warm sand and closed her eyes, exhausted.
Towering above her was Godzilla. He announced his supremacy to the denizens in the island’s jungles with a bellowing roar. Flocks of birds shot up from the treetops and fled to other parts of the island.
Godzilla looked down and saw her and her two companions sprawled on the shore. Despite her size, his predatory vision was keen on detail. He recognized her. He also recognized Death’s handiwork when he saw it. The energy he drew strength from was killing her. Bending down, he scooped her from the beach, and as the sand drained between his fingers he absorbed the radiation from her body.
Miki stirred, feeling as though she had crawled out of the deepest pit of sleep. Taking in her surroundings, she received a shock that nearly made her faint when she saw whose face it was looming over her. She gasped in fright.
But then… was he harming her?
Miki put her fingers to her temple, concentrating, probing Godzilla’s intentions. This was the closest she had ever been to him. The proximity allowed her to see into his mind with perfect clarity. Sadly, there wasn’t much going on in his mind other than his attention was focused on her, waiting to see what she was going to do.
“I don’t know if gratitude means anything to you,” she spoke, “but thank you. I’m sure you saved me. Who else could have?”
“What?” Miki reacted with surprise. His grunt seemed like a response.
Then she remembered Mazaki and Sergeant Namura. They were still lying on the shore.
“My friends,” she pointed down to the beach. “Help them! Do for them what you did for me.” She jogged his thoughts to repeat the same action he did for her.
He remained inert. Not until she nearly panicked did he lumber forward and scoop the two men into his other hand. Mazaki and Namura did the same double takes when they came to.
“It’s OK!” Miki yelled, waving for their attention. “You can take off your helmets,” she pointed to her head. “Remember, Godzilla can soak radiation.”
Hesitantly Mazaki and Namura removed their helmets.
“Are you controlling him?” Mazaki called over.
“No,” Miki called back. “Why would you think that?”
“Because you’ve been asked so many times to find him with your ESP, it just seems to be the next logical step.”
“How about getting him to put us down,” the Sergeant spoke up. “Gently!”
“I’ll try.” Miki put the image in Godzilla’s mind to bend down and set them on the beach.
He interpreted it as letting them go, as in, dropping them. Turning, he stepped back to the sea to drop them in so they could swim home.
Miki tried to make her self clear as he slowly lowered his arms. They rolled out of his hands and splashed hard.
Once Godzilla proceeded onto the shore one of the helicopters lifted off from the ship and fetched Miki, Mazaki, and the Sergeant out of the water. As the pilot lifted off, Miki and Mazaki gazed out the copter’s port windows. Back on the island Godzilla was wading through the trees toward the bunker. A column of ugly, black smoke rose from the point in the jungle where the bunker was located.
“Just think,” Mazaki reminded her, “we were right in the middle of that.”
Of all the officers in the Japanese Self Defenses Forces there was no one who fought harder than Major Sho Kuroki to defeat Godzilla. Because of his aptitude in leadership and initiative, the government gave Kuroki any amount of authority he needed to protect the country. He ordered evacuations. Shut down airports. Wielded the navy, air force, and army as chess pieces, and exhausted the entire range of his nation’s super weapons.
He deflected Godzilla’s ray back at him with the fire mirror mounted in the forward hold of the remote-controlled Super-X2 aircraft. Infected Godzilla with the ANEB – Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria. Not even lightning bolts generated by the weather-control array, the TC-6000 system, stopped Godzilla. Kuroki was even the one who first utilized Miki Saegusa’s extra-sensory perception to detect Godzilla’s whereabouts. It was his idea to have her stand before Godzilla and try to drive him away with telekinesis. Back then she was barely old enough to hold a driver’s license.
Nothing worked. Just when the mutated archosaur was put down, Godzilla defiantly got back up and returned to the sea.
No one called Kuroki a failure. Many an officer tried and failed. As one scientist put it, Godzilla was beyond human understanding. But then, Kuroki didn’t need anyone to call him a failure. He had himself to do that.
So it was with great interest he received the news of the expedition to Lagos that the missing scientists had developed an energy beam powered by a derivative of Strontium 90 – the radioactive isotope that mutated Godzilla – that could reduce living flesh to bubbling goo – any living flesh, including that of a godzillasaurus.
He met Segawa at his office at the UNGCC, Tokyo. Mazaki and Sergeant Namura were there, giving an account of their story.
“Did the computer hard drives you salvaged have enough data to build one of these beam projectors?” Kuroki inquired.
“Schematics, wavelengths of the beams, everything,” Mazaki assured him.
“Good.” Kuroki’s visage took on a grime aspect. It was time to slay the demon that has been haunting him. “I want the ASTOL-MB93 maser fighter and the Type 92 maser tank refitted with the new energy projectors. I want NT-1 appliqué plates mounted on the turrets and hulls of the tanks. Professor,” he turned to Mazaki, “you said these beams can dispose of a creature the size of a godzillasaurus in under five minutes?”
“That’s the estimate recorded by the missing scientists.”
“Then the NT-1 armor plates should buy the tank crews more than enough time against Godzilla’s flame attacks to do their work. Do I have your permission to proceed,” Kuroki directed his request to Segawa.
“The budget of the UNGCC is not in any shape to take on this project.” Segawa folded his hands on his desk. “I’m prepared to put this under your jurisdiction.”
“I’ll get to work as soon as I receive written authorization,” Kuroki said conditionally.
The UNGCC had “shot its load” so to speak with the Mechagodzilla project. Mechagodzilla was a piloted war machine built in Godzilla’s image. Its armor plating, the NT-1, withstood blast after blast of Godzilla’s atomic breath. Eventually it succumbed as everything else. But, if the projectors worked as hoped for, the refitted maser tanks would have finished their job before the armor failed.
Segawa signed over the consignment of surplus NT-1 sheeting. Soon the maser tanks were rolling off the assembly line with bright, new silver-metallic skin.
Since none of the recent mutated godzillasaurs threatened Japan, Kuroki took the fight to them. Coordinating through Japanese embassies throughout the nations of the Pacific Rim, he secured permission to deploy his new equipment.
The new projectors blasted the mutant beasts with awesome and gruesome spectacle. The rays, now designated the LaSalle laser after the missing scientist who experimented with the energy beams, shined a glimmering purple and cut like a surgeon’s scalpel. Scaly skin evaporated, muscle tissue went soft, and fat bubbled and ran like melted butter. Limbs, tails, and sometimes the sides of heads, depending how the rays hit the godzillas, dropped in the streets. In short order the mutated godzillasaurs were being wiped out. From Manila to Saigon, to Bangkok, people cheered.
As for the major, Kuroki regained total authority from the government. He also became a celebrity. More so when he showed indifference to his fame, rebuffing a promotion to a proper rank of brigadier-general.
“I will not accept a higher rank until I finish the mission I was given five years ago,” he said at the podium before the Diet. “That’s to destroy Godzilla. Neither will I stand down until I know he is counted among the dead.”
He received applause. To the public they were noble words. But he meant them.
Miki’s last connection with the expedition to Lagos was her attendance at the memorial held for Colonel Yagato and the ten soldiers who lost their lives in the explosion in the reactor room of the bunker. Since then she returned to her job as a counselor at the Mind Development Institute in Osaka where she assisted in the study of extra-sensory perception in children.
Of all the counselors, the kids liked her best, because she was one of them, a psychic. She understood what it was like to be different the way they were different. Second, they loved her monster stories. The stories were “kakko ii” – really cool!
They ate up her latest adventure on Lagos, although she left out the bad parts. Dinosaurs then were the coolest things. To sate their enthusiasm she bought two dozen model kits of a Stegosaurus and stayed up all night putting them together so they would be ready for the five to eight year olds to paint during recreation hour.
No sooner had she got them settled down painting their Stegosaurs than one of the other counselors stepped in, whispering in her ear that a soldier was down in reception.
“He said Major Kuroki wants to see you,” the counselor explained. “He’s here to drive you to the Major’s HQ.”
“It seems the Major assumes I’m going to say yes.”
“Well?” the counselor asked, starting to look worried.
“Usually if the government wants to see me they make an appointment. But then, this is the Major. Protocol was never one of his strong suits.”
“It’s getting like it was before when the government put him in charge of everything,” the counselor continued in her hushed voice. “I just hope he doesn’t put the country under martial law.”
Miki patted her hand. “I’ll be sure to talk to him about that. Can you watch the children when I’m away?”
“Of course! Good luck.”
Fetching her jacket, Miki headed downstairs and paused when she saw the soldier dressed in full combat fatigues. Unless there was an actual alert, attachés wore dress uniforms.
Picking up her step she presented the stern-faced trooper a winsome smile.
“I’m Ms. Saegusa,” she introduced herself. “Consider me at the Major’s disposal.”
The soldier was humorless, but polite. He drove her in a military jeep to a high rise overlooking the docks. The police had the roads heading for the coast cordoned off. One of the improved maser tanks was parked in the middle of an emptied street. Its eight-wheeled chassis resembled a silver turtle, watching and waiting.
“What’s going on?” she asked. “If there is an alert, why aren’t the sirens on? Why aren’t there more police out getting people into shelter?”
“Putting the city on alert would clog the streets,” the soldier said. “Major Kuroki needs you at his command post immediately.”
The soldier escorted Miki to the top floor of the high rise. There, the office space had been cleared to set up tables with communications equipment. A number of generals stood by as well as the city’s anxious-looking mayor. Mazaki was even there, dressed in his usual paleontology duds, cotton shirt, denim vest and blue jeans. He greeted her.
“Nice to see a friendly face,” Miki said.
“Kuroki hired me on as his advisor.” Mazaki flipped open the inside of his vest to show off his security tag.
“Ah, you’ve been promoted!”
“Well,” Mazaki spoke out the side of his mouth with an eye on Kuroki, “no one says no to the Major.”
Miki lightly punched him in the side of the arm to stop goofing around.
“You’ll see,” Mazaki warned.
Kuroki stepped over. Indeed, his demeanor had changed since she last saw him. There was something…not particularly pleasant brewing inside him.
“Ms. Saegusa,” Kuroki nodded to her. “Thank you for coming.”
“Well, I couldn’t say no,” she quipped.
Kuroki’s eyes narrowed. He looked to Mazaki, who remained poker-faced, and then to her. “Of course.” The Major extended his hand toward the windows. “If you could come forward, so you can see past the troops.”
Miki obeyed. At the windows she could see that a considerable amount of traffic had been cleared. Waiting like wolves were several of the squat Type-92 maser tanks. Their LaSalle laser guns aimed toward the heart of an empty intersection. Then every soul on the floor gasped bar Kuroki who gazed intently at the bay as Godzilla rose to the surface.
“Is this creature Godzilla?” Kuroki asked Miki. “The original Godzilla we have been fighting?”
“Yes. But you don’t have to worry about him. He’s somewhat attentive to me now. I’m sure I can send him back.”
“A positive identification is all I need.”
“Just let me try,” Miki offered.
“That will not be necessary,” Kuroki said with finality. He nodded to one of his officers.
The soldier took Miki by the arm. “If you could please stay clear of the operational area.” He pulled her to the back of the room.
Outside Godzilla sank his foot through the roof of a warehouse. In short order he made his way down a four-lane highway, approaching the empty intersection. He eyed the tank directly in front of him, and then approached, slowly.
“Tell Unit 2 to hold fire till Godzilla reaches the intersection,” Kuroki said. One of the men seated at the tables relayed the order to the tank.
As ordered, Unit 2, the tank in front of Godzilla, opened fire the instant he stepped into the intersection. Its purplish-silver beam of light speared him in chest. He bellowed, his cry sounding shrill and fierce. Trying to get out of the way of the beam as fast as he could, he stumbled backwards into one of the buildings. The face of the skyscraper crumbled to pieces from the impact of his weight and spilled into the street.
Slamming his tail, Godzilla flared up his fins to fire his atomic ray. A second beam pierced his side, this one from Unit 3 on his left. He whipped his flame down the intersecting street blasting the tops of the buildings on the street corner as he turned. His fire beam hit the tank dead on. Instead of exploding, the tank in its hard skin of NT-1 armor plating glowed. As the plating cooled it shimmered back to its dull, silvery finish.
Bewildered, Godzilla cocked his head, and then leaned forward to examine this unusually resilient opponent.
Unit 3 resumed firing, joined by Units 1 and 2. Roaring, Godzilla started pulling out of the intersection only to be lasered in the back. The fourth tank, Unit 4, rolled in behind him, closing the trap. The crews used their lasers like scalpels, slicing his belly, slashing his flanks. Enraged, Godzilla clubbed his tail through the buildings. The structures toppled as easily as bowling pins, falling apart in palls of smoke.
“You see, Mayor,” Kuroki said as Godzilla’s screams vibrated through the walls. His massive form twisted over in the smoke lit to an eerie glow by the purple rays. “In about ten minutes you can dispatch your street crews to clean up the mess.”
The mayor mopped his brow with a handkerchief. He still looked doubtful.
“He saved my life,” Miki protested. “And Mazaki’s!”
“A couple of lives don’t make up for the hundreds that have died from his rampages,” Kuroki reminded her. “Don’t get me wrong,” he turned toward her, “I’m not trivializing your survival.”
“He isn’t aware of what he is doing,” Miki pleaded. “He’s just an animal!”
“Exactly,” Kuroki reiterated, “just an animal. So why be so upset?” He turned back to the battle.
Miki watched in horror. She could sense the synapses popping in Godzilla’s brain. He could smell his own flesh and bone burn. She pinched her eyes tight, trying not to look, to keep herself from synching with his thoughts. But she could not stop herself. Neither could she stop from envisioning a tactic that would save him: collapse the buildings upon the tanks, crushing the LaSalle laser guns.
Godzilla’s eyes suddenly focused. He aimed and fired at the base of a building alongside Unit 2. Debris exploded into the machine’s side. The structure collapsed, toppling into the building across the street, burying the tank, crew and all, under the rubble.
“What the--?” Kuroki quick-stepped up to the window. A billowing cloud of cinder blocked his view.
Godzilla backed out of the intersection. The tanks to the right and left lost their line of sight. That left the one cutting off his route to the sea.
“Order Unit 4 to withdraw!” Kuroki cried.
“Unit 4, withdraw! Withdraw!” repeated the relay.
The tank was not fast enough. Godzilla cut his fire beam through the base of a bank tower. Its smooth walls broke apart. The tower fell apart in a concrete-crumbling, girder-rending scream on top of the rear tank. Shards of glass glittered in the collapse. The purplish beam it fired winked out. Fresh smoke rolled about the battlefield. The way was now clear to the bay.
“We can’t let him escape.” Kuroki spun around to his radiomen. “Tell the captains to ram him if necessary. Slow him down at all costs until the maser fighters get here.”
Godzilla stormed through the shipyard for the bay. His injuries still burned as if hot knives were stuck in his flesh.
Four destroyers positioned in a blockade formation rotated their turrets on target. They too were armed with the LaSalle laser guns. The destroyers opened fire. One beam struck Godzilla in the shoulder. His back fins flaring up, he cut his atomic ray down the center of the superstructure of one of the ships, killing the command crew on the bridge. Directionless, the ship listed in flames.
Godzilla dropped into the water, going down below the surface on all fours, sinking his hands into the cool, soothing mud.
A laser beam hissed through the water, piercing like a hot needle through one of his fins. Godzilla thrashed. The waves tossed in the bay like water in a tub. Docked boats were ripped from their moorings. The destroyers criss-crossed their beams into the water, trying to get him. He swung his head back and forth, searching for targets. Water screeched into steam when he started firing.
“Lost contact with the Nakamura, Major!” called the radioman in contact with the destroyers. Another ship exploded. “Lost contact with the Seichizawa!”
Kuroki bit into his lip. His fists clenched.
Godzilla fired on everything boat-shaped. One by one the laser beams stopped. Wreckage settled around him. He then aimed his snout toward the open sea and with a thrust of his thick tail he was out of the bay.
“Godzilla is gone,” came the final report.
“We were so close,” the mayor groaned.
Kuroki stood leaning against the window with his forehead pressed against his fist.
Miki twisted her hands together over and over. With one foolish thought, all those soldiers and sailors…gone.
“I want her arrested.”
Miki locked eyes with Kuroki who stood pointing at her.
“What for?” questioned the mayor.
“Godzilla is an animal,” Kuroki stated firmly. “He can’t think. Someone had to think for him. Who else but a psychic could do it?”
Mazaki blocked the soldiers from seizing her. “How do you know, Major,” he challenged Kuroki, “unless you’re a mind reader yourself?”
One of the troopers un-cocked the safety and pulled back the bolt on his assault rifle. With regret marred on his face, Mazaki stepped aside.
“Come with me, miss,” the squad leader said. He gestured toward the door.
Miki cooperated. As she walked through the door, a frank realization came to her: she would not be going home tonight. From here on out, things would never be the same.