Godzilla vs. Tiamatodon
By Neil Riebe
Miki Saegusa thought of herself as a good person. It was an argument that stirred in her head until it ached, while the bunk she sat on in the holding cell and the droning buzz of the fluorescent light above her told her otherwise. Somewhere, forever, in the public record would be a file of a sin for which she could not repent.
Since the cell had no windows, day and night was marked by switching the lights on and off. Some time after the lights were switched back on two officers fetched her and escorted her to a car outside. For now she would undergo a hearing to determine her culpability. She was neither cuffed, nor did the authorities require her to wear the baggy prisoner’s jump suit.
A mob was waiting at the courthouse when they arrived. The angry throng became animated at the sight of the car. Amazingly, her escort parked along the curb and opened the door for her to get out. No other police were present to exercise crowd control. The only friendly face she saw when she climbed out of the car was Professor Mazaki at the top of the steps of the courthouse with the TV cameras.
The two officers stoically pressed into the crowd, bringing her in tow by the arm. The mob pushed and shoved to get in close so they could spit, curse, and shake their fists at her. “My brother died yesterday because of you!” “My husband was assigned to the Seichizawa, one of the ships you sank yesterday!” In their minds it was no longer Godzilla’s fault. It was “you.” “You did it!”
An elderly man wearing dirty, worn out old clothes stood in the way. His gray hair was a tangled mess and his face was unshaven. “I was here,” he pointed at the pavement, “on the street, fifty years ago when Godzilla burned this city to the ground! I lost both of my parents. I fended for myself, a boy of ten, for seven months – seven – on these streets before someone found me and took care of me. You think you’re scared now?” He glared into her eyes. “Try living in a world of ash and cinder!”
“Beat it, you old kook,” one of the officers retorted as he pushed the old man back, “I can smell the alcohol on your breath.”
Enraged, the old man balled his fist, and instead of striking the policeman he bashed Miki dead in the face, snapping her head back. She fell.
That punch became the spark that lit the fire. Overwhelming the two officers with ease, the crowd kicked and stomped the young woman at their feet. Miki curled up and covered her head. She then angled her body toward the largest gap between their bodies and sprang to her feet, trying to run away. Her maneuver succeeded for about half a dozen paces before someone grabbed her by the hair and pulled her back down. It was like being sucked back down into turbulent waters.
Miki’s fright turned into fury. Grabbing the closest pair of ankles, she pulled them to her chest, shifting her assailant’s center of gravity. The man she grabbed fell back, spilling a number of people to the ground.
It was just the gap Mazaki needed. He had been worming his way down the steps toward her all the while. Taking advantage of the moment, he scooped her off the road.
“Hey!” a voice yelled over the din. “That guy’s helping her!” The crowd’s wrath whipped up into a frenzy. “Who’s helping her?” “Where is he?” “Kill him!”
A burly man tried to wrap his big arm around Mazaki’s neck. More agile, the paleontologist slipped from under the man’s grip and with his heel kicked the man from behind, sending him stumbling into the other attackers. No one seemed to know who had picked Miki up off the ground. Many mistook the man Mazaki had just kicked to be the culprit, and attacked him. Taking advantage of the confusion, Mazaki carried Miki out of the surging mob, down a narrow alley leading to a lot where his car was parked. Sirens came rushing toward the rioters from the main roads. Using side streets, Mazaki managed to avoid the incoming police.
“You can stay at my place,” Mazaki said. He glanced at his passenger in the front seat. “Miki?”
Miki winced as she wiped the endless flow of tears from her bruised cheeks. Her thin frame trembled under her disheveled clothes.
“Well?” Mazaki persisted.
“No,” she said. Her voice sounded hoarse. “Just go…” Closing her eyes in concentration, she pointed south. “That way.”
They drove along the coast until early evening. Miki guided Mazaki to a conservancy, to a foot trail going into the woods. Mazaki squeezed down the narrow path through the undergrowth, until it emptied to a beach where he put the car in park.
“What’s out here?” he asked.
Miki exited the car and gazed toward a still-watered bay spread out before them. Filling the bay was an island with a large, roughly pyramid-shaped pinnacle and a wooded shore. Miki knew what, or rather who, was on the island. Not wanting an objection, she left Mazaki’s question unanswered.
“You don’t plan on staying out here,” Mazaki said as he got out of the car.
Miki gave him a look that showed she had every intention of doing so.
Mazaki didn’t argue. He took the flashlight from his glove compartment and a blanket from the back seat and offered them to her. Miki accepted them.
“I’ll come tomorrow morning around seven with something eat.” He gave her his watch. “We’ll meet by the fallen tree down there.” He pointed to a tree trunk laying half buried in the sand on the beach.
Miki nodded her thanks and headed for the island. Mazaki waited at the car in case she would turn back. She did not.
As the sun settled behind the horizon, Miki removed her shoes and socks and waded into the shallow water, wincing from the sharp stones embedded in the cold sand. Once ashore she trekked to the seaward side of the island where she found an immense cave bored into the island’s pinnacle. Within, she switched on the flashlight.
The floor of the cave sank into a wide basin with a ridge along the cave walls that was just wide enough for her to walk on. Her flashlight beam revealed the basin to be filled. There, lying with his back propped up against the far wall was Godzilla. As she scanned the light up his scaly form one eye opened and stared at her. Because of his size his head was at a distance and the light shone faintly on his features.
She bowed to him in apology for the intrusion. The last twenty-four hours had been so dehumanizing to her it did not seem odd to show the creature respect.
Godzilla closed his eye. His chest rose and fell in a raspy sigh as he resumed sleep.
Miki scaled the ridge along the cave wall to get away from the drafty entrance. Wet, cold, and bruised, there was no comfort to be found lying on a stony surface with just a blanket to wrap around the shoulders, until she heard through the stone the rhythmic beat of Godzilla’s heart. It reminded her of when she fell asleep with her ear against her father’s chest when she was a girl. Sleep soon came.
Miki awoke alone the next morning. The sunlight lit the cave walls in a dull gray color. It was debatable if a night’s rest on the cave floor made things worse or better. She tottered along the ridge to the mouth of the cave still feeling as rickety as someone who had been through a street brawl.
Godzilla was nowhere in sight but she sensed his presence. Miki took in the morning air. Mornings always had that distinct smell of newness. It was good. Miki descended to the shore where the waves lazily rippled across the sand. There was a nook along the shore where the water was still. However, before she dipped her hands in to wash her face she paused at the sight of her reflection – the swellings under her right eye and bottom lip, the cuts, what the mob had done to her. She swallowed down hard and then rinsed her face.
Miki journeyed back to the meeting place Mazaki had arranged. It was well past seven. Concealed in the nearby bushes, she found several waterproof bags with a note.
“Miki, if you ration the food and bottled water I left it should last you through the week. I’ll try to return then at the same time, 7 am. I hope the extra clothes you’ll find in the bags will fit. Couldn’t wait for you. Major Kuroki will wonder where I am. Take care, Mazaki.”
She also found a bow saw with extra blades, a cigarette lighter, and some hastily written notes on how to build a campfire. For basic hygiene, Mazaki had left a toothbrush, toothpaste and a cup to rinse her mouth, plus soap. The food stock included canned fruit and vegetables, a box of candy bars, a can opener and a cooking pot, more stuff than she could carry in one trip.
After hauling her stores to the cave and exchanging her wet slacks and underwear for fresh clothes, which did fit, she set off with the bow saw to collect wood for a fire and a candy bar to snack on while she worked. Her first branch was a bear. Moist from sap, it was as resilient as hard rubber. She looked around for a place to put her candy bar, but everywhere she looked was either too dirty or crawling with ants. With a shrug, she put the bar in her mouth and renewed her efforts on the branch. Inadvertently she bit through the bar. It bounced in the weeds getting dirt on the unwrapped portion.
“Well,” she sighed, “this is the first day of the rest of your life. Enjoy!” Miki slipped the wrapper off the candy bar and finished the clean part and threw the rest to nature. “You enjoy, too.”
According to Mazaki’s instructions, once some wood was cut it would need to be stored some place where it can dry. In the mean time, Mazaki’s notes said, she should collect wood that had already dried.
She took a break under the shade of the trees near the shore. Godzilla’s presence hung about the island the entire day, and he was yet to be seen. He was as elusive as Nessie, the Loch Ness monster from Scotland.
With the top of his head sticking out of the water, Godzilla watched Miki as she sat and relaxed. He was aware she felt safe around him. Had she become confused? She was not of his kind. Since the human was not a threat and the island was no more his territory than hers, he decided to let her be. As soon as he healed fully he would swim for the open sea and get away from the dirty taste of coastal water. For now the salt aggravated his wounds too much to remain at sea for long.
Godzilla stretched out his hand to feel the current. It was time to venture out. The big schools of fish would be arriving soon. He braced himself for the stinging salt and dipped the rest of his head below the surface.
Miki heard a big, wet bur-lop in the bay, and then Godzilla’s presence was gone. She stood up straining her neck to spot something, anything. All there was to see were the widening rings of water just beyond a long, rocky peninsula.
In a conference room at Major Kuroki’s HQ in Tokyo the Major, Professor Mazaki, and the head of the UNGCC, Director Segawa, sat across from Akira Nagumo, captain of the fishing seiner Soryu-mura.
“Tell us, Mr. Nagumo, what your crew found in the nets,” Segawa began.
“Our ship was out in the open sea. We found blood as large as an oil slick on the waves with bits and pieces of bodies. After we drew the seine from the water it appeared as if we netted a load of entrails. Sharks were everywhere, even in the nets wriggling in the lumps of flesh.
“My guess the bodies were of Brydes whales. They’re about the only kind of whale swimming in tropical waters this time of year. Sharks are too small to rip a whale apart like that.” The sea captain leaned back in his chair. “What exactly are you chasing? It’s something else now isn’t it? If the new Godzillas had killed those whales, the carcasses wouldn’t be there. Animals eat what they kill.”
Segawa folded his hands on the conference table. “We don’t know what we are after. Once we do we will make the information public.” He glanced toward Kuroki for confirmation.
“Of course,” the Major nodded. He stood from his seat. “Thank you, Captain, for coming.”
“I hope your new laser can kill it, whatever it is,” the fisherman said, remaining in his seat. “It’s hard these days raising a crew willing to sail.”
“You have my word,” Kuroki stated firmly.
The sea captain snorted, and stood up. Kuroki turned him over to a liaison officer in the hall to be escorted outside, and then closed the door.
“After returning from Lagos,” Mazaki said, “Miki told me of an ESP contact she had with a pair of godzillasaurs. She described them as two in one body, a Siamese twin, the same type of creature that killed Dr. Cumbermin. Note, just killed, not eaten, like the whales.”
“Therefore the Siamese godzillasaurus killed the whales,” Kuroki concluded as he sat back down.
“Exactly,” Mazaki confirmed.
“If this Siamese twin proves to be particularly dangerous we should give it a name for quick identification,” Segawa advised. “That’ll be your department, Professor,” he nodded toward Mazaki. “You’re the paleontologist. What should we call it?”
“Off the top of my head I’d call it ‘Trouble.’ But if you want a special name,” Mazaki rubbed his hands together, “let’s name it after Tiamat, the Babylonian goddess of chaos and destruction. Tiamatodon – does that work for you, Director?”
“It’s as good a name as any,” Segawa said. “By the way, Major,” he then pulled out a memo from the inside of the his suit jacket and gave it to Kuroki, “you’ll be interested to know the Russian embassy has issued a complaint from Moscow. The Russians say we have been fishing in their waters around the Kuriles again. The thing is, our fishermen couldn’t be responsible for the number fish the Russians claim to have been depleted from their territory.”
Kuroki read the memo, and then smiled. “I knew Godzilla couldn’t be far!”
“It might be better to pool our resources to locate Tiamatodon,” Mazaki suggested. “The scientists who died on Lagos believed that thing was deceitful and murderous.”
“That suggests it can make a moral choice,” Kuroki turned to the professor.
“You heard the fisherman. It kills for the sake of killing.”
“All the better,” Kuroki said, bemused. “If it doesn’t eat what it kills it’ll starve, saving us the trouble of having to go after it.”
“Doesn’t the fisherman’s story concern you?” Mazaki asked.
“The brains of that creature are probably malformed,” Kuroki replied. “It doesn’t know enough to swallow its food. Godzilla is what worries me. If you want to discuss an animal that is cognizant of what it is doing, this is the one.”
“Six days ago you accused Ms. Saegusa for helping Godzilla escape,” Segawa reminded the Major.
“Cognizant doesn’t mean intelligent, Director,” Kuroki rebutted. “I know what happened and if you can’t accept how I handled it that’s your problem.”
“You’re a bitter man, Major,” Mazaki said folding his arms.
Kuroki had nothing to add.
The insects chirped a cheery note outside during the night. Miki stoked her small fire pit in the cave and then sat back facing Godzilla while he lounged on his back in the basin of the cave floor. The firelight created flickering shadows among his craggy scales, although it was not bright enough for her to see his face, only enough to reflect off his eyes, making them glisten like black glass.
“It’s been almost a week and I’m already used to being around you.” Miki pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulders. “I…” She paused to detect if he was listening. It was difficult to tell. Most of the time he seemed to be just staring. “I always wondered why you spared me.”
Godzilla looked down at her.
“Here, I’ll see if I can jog your memory.” She concentrated, recalling the time she was on the construction platform in Osaka Bay. It was five years ago. She was seventeen. Major Kuroki had sent her out there to force Godzilla to return to the ocean with telekinesis. She remembered everything Godzilla might recall about the event – the weather, the battle of wills – and projected them to his mind. When she came to the part where he won he stirred, making a rumbling sound in his throat.
“Sure, that you remember. You knocked me unconscious you big goof!” Taking a breath, she calmed her annoyance. “You spared me when anyone who opposes you, you kill. Why?” She used telepathy to let him know the fear she had while facing him and the relief that followed when she came to in a hospital bed, alive. She revealed how much she pondered the reason why he walked away from the platform.
He had a simple answer for her. She was alive because he let her live.
“Yes! But why?” How can I convey the meaning of ‘why’ to you?” Miki stopped probing his mind and dropped her head.
Godzilla sighed a raspy sound of relief and stared back outside.
Then it occurred to Miki. “Of course he doesn’t understand,” she said to herself. “Godzilla doesn’t ask why.” She was approaching him too much in human terms.
The following day she met Mazaki at the appointed time and place.
“Colleagues of mine are preparing for another dig in Liaoning, China,” Mazaki informed her. “I can’t go, but I think I can arrange to have you smuggled over in my place. The village you would be going to in Liaoning is not as modern as what you are used to, but it’s better than out here. I know the people in Liaoning. They are good people.”
Miki shook her head. “I’m happy here.”
“You don’t expect me to keep bringing you supplies forever, do you? Besides,” he spread his hand to the wide open wilderness around them, “you’re alone out here.”
“That’s just it,” she smiled, “I’m not alone.”
Mazaki studied her. Then he noticed the size of the pinnacle on the island. A look of realization came over him when he caught her meaning. “Is he--?”
“Yes,” she answered before he could finish. “He’s here. After what those people did to me,” she ran her hand across the scars on her face that had not completely healed, “I wanted to be with someone whom I know would no hurt me.”
Mazaki looked on her with concern.
“Don’t worry!” she said. “I’ve learned so much about him. His thinking is so singularly focused. For example, when we watch the sun rise we may ask: Is the sun really moving or are we moving? Or, if the sun is rising for us, is it setting for someone else? To him,” she looked forward as though she were Godzilla, “the sun is rising.” She then dropped her pose and shrugged. “Simple.”
“Oh, and also,” she went on, becoming animated with her hands, “his kind is sort of social except he doesn’t need to, you know, like us, talk. For us we would feel uncomfortable if someone didn’t say something. Think of a bunch of iguanas lying on the rocks together. Each other’s presence is good enough. That’s what Godzilla is like.” Miki broke into a giggles. “I probably annoy him with all my chatter!”
“You’re drifting from us, Miki,” Mazaki said.
“Huh?” Miki for the first time gave him eye contact.
“The way you keep talking about Godzilla it sounds like you have a boyfriend tucked away up there,” he nodded toward the island.
“Maybe I do!”
Mazaki reacted, getting ready to argue with her.
She slapped his knee. “Come on, I’m just teasing. Besides, it’d be odd if I didn’t get excited about this. You would, if you could see into a dinosaur’s soul, Mr. Paleontologist.”
“I suppose.” He looked at his replacement watch for the one he gave to Miki. “I have to go. If you need anything and I don’t see you leave a list.”
Mazaki became withdrawn. Miki lost some of her cheerfulness. She gripped his arm as he stood up from the fallen tree.
“You’re right,” she said. “It’s unfair of me to expect you to keep coming out here at your expense. I’ll go to Liaoning. But not now. Give me a little more time here.”
“All right.” Mazaki brightened a bit. “But I think you will be better off among people.” He patted her hand, and left.
In the Ohkstok Sea Godzilla felt the friction of a sonar wave go through the water. He looked up. The Russian anti-sub vessel Kulakov and two Hatsuyuki class Japanese destroyers re-armed with the LaSalle laser guns in their turrets slid above him on the surface. He recognized the slender hulls of the destroyers. If it could harm him, he recognized it. Godzilla settled to the bottom, and remained still.
Meanwhile, the schools of fish he had so carefully tracked swam away. The LaSalle laser taught him a hard lesson and he resented it. Once the ships passed over he slipped out of the area before more ships arrived. He searched for fresh feeding grounds without success and returned to the island with an empty stomach. No sooner than he had come ashore, his mind was being poked and prodded by the girl. The sound of her soft voice irritated him as much as the salt water that had seeped into his unhealed wounds. Humans, everywhere!
Godzilla hissed as he passed her on the beach.
“Bad day?” Miki asked from her reposed spot under a palm tree.
Godzilla spun on her and roared. His fins flared in warning, flashing blue light as bright as lightning.
Miki jumped to her feet and got back in the trees. She realized she had been insolent.
Godzilla climbed into the cave.
Her pillow and blankets were in there. As angry as he was she didn’t dare go get them. Just like a spouse, she was forced to sleep on the couch, so to speak. In this case, the couch was the outside with the weeds for her bed and the treetops to serve as the roof over her head.
“He didn’t have to take it out on me,” she muttered, glaring scornfully at the cave.
She curled up at the base of a tree with the mosquitoes, pillowing her head on her arm. At least it was summer. In Japan, even the evenings were balmy. She did not have to worry about getting cold.
Still, she thought about how much better off her friends were at this moment. Most of them were either engaged or very happily dating someone, meaning they were in a warm bed with clean sheets and a guy they loved. As for her, look where she was.
Miki had lost touch with many of them. It did not bother her too much. Her ESP had set her apart. The adults told her while she was growing up that was what made her special. So perhaps she was meant for something more meaningful. Her path crossed with Godzilla’s so often it seemed he had a role to play in it.
Then she became ill in a way that gripped the heart first before the illness spread to the body. Mazaki was right. She had drifted away from people. She had thrown her life away for Godzilla, and he didn’t care. He didn’t have the capacity to care. Miki would have been better off if she had let him die. And now it was too late to go back. She wept, laughing at herself, and as the truth sank deeper her sobbing turned bitter.
Miki marked time until her next meeting with Mazaki. She was ready to accept his offer to be smuggled to China and hoped he wouldn’t say it was too late.
Godzilla came ashore from one of his long sojourns at sea fully sated and in good temper. His wounds were nearly healed.
Miki noticed Godzilla was watching her idly draw in the sand with a twig. Lowering the twig, she looked up at him. He was in a playful mood. He wanted to tussle in another battle of wills with her psycho-kinesis. Tentatively she probed his thoughts and saw he was recollecting their confrontation from five years ago. Back then, when she faced him, the weight of her country’s security was on her shoulders. To him their confrontation was a game.
“You never did have anything against us, did you?” Miki said.
Lagos was too small for him once he was mutated. If it hadn’t been for the nuclear tests he would have had no reason to search for new territory, and with Japan being much larger than Lagos…
Miki tossed the twig across the beach.
Godzilla grunted to get her attention back on him.
“No,” she shook her head. “It hurts too much to use psycho-kinesis against you.”
Godzilla tilted his head imploringly.
Miki felt bad, and then realized what was happening. “You devil! You’re trying to manipulate me. How did you know how to put on that puppy face, unless you’ve been looking into my head and saw how I used to get my way?”
Godzilla assumed a straight face, looking forward, acting as though he was not doing anything of the sort.
“All right,” she said. “But be gentle!”
Godzilla tossed his tail excitedly into the air. It hit the beach with a thunderous wump with the far end of it splashing the water.
Miki stood up from the ground and dusted the sand off the seat of her pants. She took a deep breath and when she felt ready she exhaled. Closing her eyes, she focused her concentration and pressed her will against the will of her giant opponent. Then she felt a blow within her skull as if a cat batted her brain like a toy. She fell back a couple of steps gripping her forehead. A tingling sensation coursed through her scalp.
Godzilla grunted in disapproval.
“I’m just warming up,” she grinned, looking none too confident.
Miki summoned her strength. This time she let him have it. His eyes popped wide and he stood up straight. However, he relished a good fight. Their wills locked like rams’ horns. In her mind’s eye she could see a semi-tangible figure of what must have been his soul pushing against hers. She could sense that he was not all-powerful. He could be beaten if she utilized the right leverage of mental pressure. Yet the frailty of her body could take no more. She feared she would burst a blood vessel in her head. The pressure was that great. She broke contact, gasping for breath.
“No more,” she pleaded.
Victorious, Godzilla happily plopped his tail across the beach. The impact made her wince.
Miki suffered all night from a pounding migraine. She didn’t get any sleep until dawn and when she awoke she still felt weak. Glancing outside she saw Godzilla sitting back on his tail near the entrance of the cave. Curious, she looked into his mind to see what he thought he was doing.
It turned out he realized she was sick and was guarding her until she was well enough to fend for herself. Touched, she searched further and found uppermost in his mind his first memory of her, back on Lagos before he was mutated. Her sympathy for him soothed his fear of dying and gave him the strength to survive.
That was why he spared her decades later when she confronted him on the platform in Osaka Bay. That was why he saved her life from radiation poisoning. That was why he was watching over her now, because she had compassion for him.
Back at HQ Major Kuroki called Mazaki into his office.
“I think we have been using the wrong approach in finding Godzilla,” Kuroki said, shutting the door after Mazaki entered. “We should be looking for Saegusa. I suspect wherever she is, Godzilla won’t be far.”
“I don’t see where I can help,” Mazaki replied, taking a seat in front of Kuroki’s desk. “You’ve taken the discussion outside of dinosaur behavior. You’ll need a policeman, not a paleontologist.”
“The police have not been of any help.” Kuroki opened a side drawer and took out a folder. “The news footage didn’t give a clear picture of who rescued her from the rioting crowd. They checked on her parents, but her parents are visiting her grandparents who had retired to Australia. Her coworkers haven’t seen her. She has no other relatives or anyone else who would be looking for her. Anyway, I’ve already gotten results with my own investigation. Unlike the police, my intelligence people know whom to follow.”
Kuroki removed a set of photographs from the folder and spread them across the desk for Mazaki’s perusal. The photos showed him entering Miki’s apartment to get some of her things and going to the store to pick up food for her and driving toward the foot trail in the woods. The last photograph showed him talking to Miki at the fallen tree.
Mazaki turned pale. Slowly his frightened look hardened and his complexion reddened with anger.
“So,” Kuroki sat down and leaned back in his leather chair, putting his hands behind his head, “from what I hear you plan on smuggling her out of the country.”
Mazaki glared. He was not going to say anything, not without an attorney present.
“You have not done anything wrong, yet,” Kuroki said, breaking the uneasy silence. “We can keep it that way, if you cooperate, and you know what I mean when I say ‘cooperate.’”
“So that’s where you hide!” Miki said as she gingerly stepped barefoot along the rocky peninsula with a pair of sandals in her hand that Mazaki had fetched for her from her home. She also had on a pair of her denim shorts. Her short-sleeved blouse she had left unbuttoned. There hadn’t been a soul in sight the entire three weeks she had been here and the weather had been so balmy.
The narrow peninsula ended in a broken chain of rocks, and the last object jutting out of the water was the top of Godzilla’s head. He resembled an alligator on watch for prey. His gaze was stern with an “I’m on the prowl” look in his eye.
“There’s nothing for you to hunt here,” Miki giggled. “Don’t be such a slave to your instincts.”
Godzilla dipped his snout and sucked in water.
“I’m only kidding!” Miki held out her hands to protect herself. “Don’t – stop!”
Foosh! Godzilla spouted twin streams of water from his nostrils, drenching the poor girl. He took on a self-satisfied look.
“Very funny!” She wiped off her face and wrung out her hands. Then a crafty grin came across her lips. Godzilla glanced back at her. He is not as untouchable as he thinks, Miki thought to herself. She discarded her blouse on the last rock of the peninsula and slipped into the water.
Godzilla squinted. He took a step back from her as she swam toward him. The vibration of his footfall rippled the surface of the water.
“Don’t worry,” she called to him, “I won’t swim into your eye. Trust me!”
The bottom of the bay was a sheer drop by the peninsula, giving a nice nook for Godzilla to conceal himself. However, it didn’t give him any room to maneuver. Miki came up fast and gripped his scaly hide. She hoisted herself out of the water and climbed on all fours to the top of his head.
Pressing her palms down upon the crown of his head, she checked for motion. On unsteady legs, she stood up. Godzilla remained still. Confident now, Miki stood straight and tall with her arms out spread from her sides. Godzilla was hailed as the King of the Monsters. Miki Saegusa now stood atop the King, and there was nothing he could do about it for he would not harm her. She had conquered him.
Miki dropped down by his ear. “You are Godzilla,” she said as she stroked the outer edge of the tympanic membrane inside the ear opening. “I bet you did not know you had a name. Godzilla,” she said again. “Your name is Godzilla.”
Godzilla listened. The sounds she made were fuzzy. They sounded to him like “Go – zee – wa!” However, he was aware of when the attention was on him.
“And me,” Miki thumped her chest so he could hear and understand she was referring to herself. “I am Miki. Mee-kee!”
He frowned in concentration.
Miki gave it rest. She lay flat on her belly. Stroking his scaly skin, she wondered if he could even feel the palm of her hand.
Henry, a young man who lived in a small town on the New Zealand coast, had heard the stories about pets reacting to things the human owner couldn’t see, ghosts, things like that. Those stories came to mind when he saw his dog, Casey, stop in the middle of playing fetch and turn toward the sea and stare with perked ears and worried eyes.
The night was warm, the moon full and bright, perfect for tossing the Frisbee for Casey to chase and catch. Fun time was now over. The Frisbee lay on the sand, ignored.
“What’s the matter, girl?” Henry called to her.
Casey looked at him momentarily and then turned back to sea. A sound thrummed in the night air. It resembled the muffled noise of thunder in the distance. Br-ummmm. Startled, Casey jumped, and then barked. Henry could hear the panic in her voice.
The thrumming noise continued. It became clear that there was a rhythm to it, like that of footsteps. Henry squinted in the direction that had Casey’s attention. In the moon light the water foamed, and out of the foam rose a shadowy-black form.
“Back to the house!” Henry ordered the dog.
Casey bolted up the beach and between the houses. Henry followed right behind her, rushing through the front door to get his wife out of bed. The sound was becoming louder, vibrating the house. Calling the dog as he hurried his wife to the car, they came out of the house to the driveway. The neighbors were gathered in the street, looking toward the beach, looking up at the sky.
The sounds were becoming further apart, but when one of those thunderous noises did come, it was loud enough to hurt the ears and make the heart skip. The reverberation nearly shook Henry and his wife off of their feet. One woman among the neighbors kept crying out, “Oh my God! Oh my God! Look at that!”
Compulsively Henry turned and looked. There, towering over the rooftops in the ambience of the full moon was one of the mutated godzillasaurs. Except, this one had no arms and its upper body glistened in the lunar light. Its head turned revealing a second one. The beast moved forward one step. The sound of wooden walls being kicked in followed and one of the rooftops burst up into the air. Shingles and trusses were flung about like confetti.
The reverie was broken and the neighbors scattered and ran, screaming and crying.
Henry’s wife withered to the ground, mortified with fear. “Get up!” he yelled. “Get up!”
A bright light lit the houses in sharp relief and flickered like lightning. In the next instant a blast of searing blue light swept across the street, setting fire to everything it shone upon. Henry had a good view of this for a few moments before he too was engulfed in the light.
“Over three thousand deaths,” Segawa repeated in a whisper. The monitors in the Command Center of HQ were alive with news broadcasts about the small town in New Zealand. The footage of the burning buildings was taken from the air by helicopter for there was no place to land.
“It’s obvious which godzillasaurus did this,” Mazaki said, eying Kuroki. “Tiamatodon moved in, left no survivors, and then moved out, just as it did with the whales.”
Segawa turned away from the screens to a large digital map table that filled the center of the room. The map was of the entire Pacific region with a handful of red dots indicating sightings of the mutated godzillasaurs. There were fewer of these dots each day. The green markers of the ships, tanks, and aircraft of Kuroki’s forces were withdrawing toward Japan and closing in on the southern coast of Honshu, the location of Godzilla that Kuroki had pried out of Mazaki. “Do we have a fix on Tiamatodon?” Segawa asked.
“Yes,” one of the technicians seated at the map table replied. She keyed in the location at her console station causing a fresh red dot to appear off the New Zealand coast. The dot showed where the Siamese godzillasaurus came ashore, and a red line branching from the dot indicated the direction it took after its attack on the town.
“It’s heading north into U.S. territorial waters,” Kuroki observed. “Rendezvous three of our destroyers with the U.S. Pacific fleet.”
The technician relayed the order to the Japanese admiralty.
“Happy now?” Kuroki asked Mazaki.
“Sure, provided the navy finds its needle in the haystack. If it doesn’t,” Mazaki pointed to the next landmark on the map that was in line with Tiamatodon’s last known course, “this is going to be the site of the next disaster.” That site was the Hawaiian Islands.
Miki worked on a letter to her parents to explain that she would be leaving the country and why, and when the time is right she would let them know where she went. Pausing from her work, she read the letter to see if there was anything more that should be added, or taken away.
A shadow cast over her. Startled out of her concentration, Miki looked up and gasped at who she saw looming over her.
“Baby!” she cried excitedly. Baby Godzilla quizzically looked at the words penned on the notepad on her lap. When he first hatched he was no taller than she was. Now he was as large as an elephant and stood about as high. His yellow eyes were not as big and cute, but more set inside his head, which had taken on some mature characteristics.
She reached up and grasped one of his wrists and shook his arm. The claws on his fingers were now sharper, more deadly. Yet he was as friendly toward her as ever, and at a time in her life when friends seem few and far between, Miki was so relieved to see him again.
Godzilla watched them play from a distance. Miki signaled for Baby to get down so she could climb up and ride on his back. Being born among the humans, Baby made a better companion. Godzilla understood that. He looked back out to the ocean. His wounds fully healed, he was ready to return to the sea for good. It was only a matter of finding a safe place for himself and Baby Godzilla, which was why he fetched the juvenile godzillasaurus, before it could wander into the line of fire of the new laser weapons. He remained still and took in the scent of the air, the temperature and the direction of the wind, divining from these factors which way to go.
As the U.S. Navy dropped charges, Tiamatodon swam forward on the ocean floor. Once the charges ceased exploding and the sonar sent its waves through the water, it stopped and waited among the craggy rock features. Beyond any person’s ability to believe, the Siamese twin learned quickly what those sonar waves meant and perceived accurately the confidence the tiny creatures up above on the surface had. If those creatures believed it could kill it, the Siamese godzillasaurus concluded they could.
In time it swam behind the fleet. The ships continued plumbing charges into the ocean, heading in a southward direction while the Siamese godzillasaurus continued its journey north. Hawaii now had no defense.