Godzilla vs. Tiamatodon
By Neil Riebe
Tiamatodon envied other animals because, unlike them, it could not mix with its own kind. Prior to hatching, Tiamatodon was originally a pair of unborn theropods, one male and one female. The radiation experiments fused the embryos into one monster. Where Tiamatodon’s intelligence came from, no one would ever know. But the hermaphrodite was aware that its physical state was not normal. Tiamatodon hated its deformity. It hated being a solitary creature. It hated the world for being indifferent to its condition. Since nothing could be done to restore Tiamatodon, it decided to make certain every other living being was worse off. Anything that swam in the sea, crept upon the ground, or flew among the clouds must die…
During the sleepy hours of night, Tiamatodon surfaced off the eastern shore of Oahu in Maunalua Bay. Water dripped from the fins on its back, draining in rivulets down its smooth, black hide, and sprayed in the breeze from its lipless mouths.
An opulent row of resort hotels boxed in the beach. Curious vacationers gathered on the balconies and stared out into the bay, trying to figure out if something was out there. They could see in the pale luminance of the hotel lights that whatever it was, it was big and as black as the darkness. Yet many doubted they saw anything other than a trick of the eyes.
Then the fins of the Siamese monster lit up, back-lighting the beast. Now it was obvious something was out there. It was huge, and it had no arms and two heads. The hermaphrodite spread its twin radiation beams across the face of the hotels. The buildings burst into flames and hundreds of lives were extinguished.
The Siamese godzillasaur roamed upon the beach and broke through the conflagration of hotels. Beyond were the residential neighborhoods of Wilhemina. The lights came on in the houses as the inhabitants stared out their windows and doors, bleary eyed and bewildered. The sight of the fires and the towering twin-headed beast bearing down on them cleared their heads soon enough. But before anyone could do anything, the fins of the creature lit up and both heads jerked back as if taking in a deep breath. In the next moment the radiation beams exhaled from Tiamatodon’s mouths, erupting Wilhemina into an inferno.
The late shift on duty at the civil defense administration building overlooking Wilhemina was always prepared for trouble, but never did they imagine it would explode so fast and furious right on their doorstep. As soon as they positively identified the Siamese godzillasaurus, the head administrator, Carl Davis, radioed the admiral of the U.S. Pacific fleet. The admiral was shocked. “We sounded the bottom of the ocean over a twenty mile wide spread. If it was on its way to Hawaii we would have found it!”
“Nevertheless, Admiral,” Davis retorted in a strained, yet matter-of-fact tone, “it’s here. I can see it from my office window.”
One of the members of the mayoral staff in Honolulu awoke the mayor to give him the news. “It was Davis who called. The monster was spotted ten minutes ago outside the grounds of the civil defense administration building.”
“Did Carl notify the governor?” the mayor asked as he grabbed his robe and hurried out into the hall tightening the belt around his waist.
“Sir,” his aide said, trailing behind him, “the line has since gone dead. We can’t reach civil defense.”
Just then a series of explosions thundered outside. The mayor and his aid jumped. They went to the window in the corridor. All along the horizon toward the east shore an orange glow blazed behind the Honolulu skyline.
The mayor contacted the governor who then notified the National Guard. As the authorities tried to get organized, the Siamese godzillasaurus rounded the Diamond Head crater and lumbered down the packed Lunalilo Freeway, heading for the city’s heart. The Honolulu nightlife was out in full force. Once the monster stopped traffic on the freeway, the motorists on the intersecting streets came to a halt. Fire trucks and ambulances blared their horns, but no amount of noise could make the cars budge when there was no room to get out of the way.
Unimpeded, Tiamatodon crushed the vehicles underfoot and spread a swath of destruction that rapidly cut phone lines. One by one the governor, mayor, and the commissioner of police lost touch with each other, and soon not one of them could be located. Compelled to take matters into their own hands, individual police officers established roadblocks to the affected part of city. However, no civil infrastructure remained intact to dispatch an official bulletin to the airwaves. Tourists and locals alike who were miles away from what was happening were baffled and upset when they found themselves blocked by police officers standing before their cruisers decked in riot gear, directing them to head west out of Honolulu.
Unable to reach anyone in authority, the National Guard wrote off the entire Honolulu and Waikiki districts as a total loss and assumed command over the police department in the neighboring district of Ewa. As far as the National Guard commander, General John Ray, was concerned Oahu was at a state of war. Resources had to be deployed in a practical manner. Save the people who could be saved. With the beast heading west, the commander ordered the citizens of Ewa to be routed north up Highway 99 and the interstate between the Waianae and Koolau mountain ranges. If any stragglers made it out of the Honolulu district, thank God for it, and usher them north with the rest. “A half million people are going to have to be pushed up a narrow valley between the mountain ranges,” Ray said in his briefing to his staff. “It’s going to be like pushing sand up an hourglass.”
Back in the written off areas of Honolulu and Waikiki, Tiamatodon sliced its twin beams like knives through the high rises. In glittering shards of glass and twisted steel the top halves of the buildings collapsed upon the people below in the streets. Those who were not burned, collapsed upon the pavement, asphyxiated by the roaring fires sucking the oxygen out of the air.
Drawn by the runway lights, Tiamatodon left Waikiki to roam down the runways of the Honolulu International Airport. Passengers spilled like bugs out of a jar from the jet liners waiting for clearance for takeoff. Ignoring them, Tiamatodon lashed its punishing rays on the passenger planes in the air. Thousands perished as the jets careened out of the sky in flames and struck like bombs on airport facilities. Tiamatodon proceeded to Hickam Air Force Base where the National Guard fighters were just taxiing onto the runways. The hermaphrodite made short work of fighters. Their ordnance went off like Fourth of July fireworks.
Pearl Harbor had one battleship and two cruisers in dry dock. Witnessing the devastation at Hickam, the base commander ordered the crews to battle stations. The mutant godzillasaurus was an open target on the airfield. The nine and eighteen inch guns thundered into the night. The bridge crew cheered as they saw their target buckle over from the impact of their shells. But impact did not equate with actual injury. The fins on the hermaphrodite flared as it stood up straight and burned its rays into the ships like twin blowtorches. The radioactive beams pierced through the superstructures as though they were made of liquid wax and struck the warehouses storing ammunition on the other side of the docks. The whole harbor jolted from the deafening explosions. Every window within miles shattered from the concussion.
Tiamatodon ravaged Pearl City, and turned north toward the valley between the mountain ranges. General Ray was incredulous when he received radio reports from his troops along one of the evacuation routes, on Highway 99, that the monster was approaching.
“It’s just an animal!” he bellowed to his command staff. He pounded his fist on the map table. “It should have continued in a straight line due west, straight back into the sea. That’s what any of the others would have done!”
Tens of thousands were log-jammed in their cars or trudging on foot along the shoulders of the road, stretching out for miles before Tiamatodon. Humans – these were the same creatures that believed they were given dominion over all the other animals. Tiamatodon sensed that about them when it was young and confined in the pens on Lagos. Now they were abandoning their machines and running for the foothills of the mountains as though Tiamatodon were bringing the end of the world. The hermaphrodite sniffed at the notion. It was not bringing the end of the world. Mankind was just losing his place in it. Tiamatodon shined its atomic rays across the treetops of the woods covering the foothills, bursting them into flame. The screams crying from within the burning foliage were hellish. Like a frightened herd, the fleeing mob changed course and ran across the open field, parallel to the road. Tiamatodon followed leaving many crushed bodies in its tracks.
When the news of what happened in Hawaii reached Tokyo, the Japanese government held an emergency session. As an expert on dinosaurs and a member of Kuroki’s staff, Mazaki gave the Diet a threat analysis of the Siamese godzillasaurus.
He put up a side-by-side comparison of Godzilla’s path through Tokyo in 1954 to Tiamatodon’s route through Oahu. “As you can see,” he indicated on the projection screen with his pointer, “Godzilla entered the city from the bay, making one complete circle before returning to the sea. The red dots along his path indicate where he used his atomic ray. These areas tended to be buildings that obstructed his progress. Compare this to the other mutant.”
Mazaki directed attention with the pointer to the extensive regions marked in red on Oahu. “Tiamatodon was not targeting obstructions, but major population areas. Wherever the U.S. authorities tried to evacuate their people, Tiamatodon followed. In 1954, sixty percent of Tokyo still stood. In Oahu, three major cities have been devastated. The fires are still burning as we speak, and neither has it been possible to mount any sort of search for survivors.”
The representatives of the Japanese Diet began murmuring among themselves.
“I hope by now,” Mazaki raised his voice to be heard, “it is clear which of these two monsters is the greater threat. Before anyone accuses me of siding with the enemy,” Mazaki directed his gaze toward Major Kuroki, “I understand Godzilla is an imminent danger because of his proximity to us, but as the only nation that has the capacity to destroy these creatures it is up to us to stop first and foremost the one that is the greatest menace to the whole world.”
“So what of it, Major,” Segawa said, turning the issue over to Kuroki, “are you going to redeploy your troops to take on Tiamatodon?”
“It won’t be necessary,” the Major replied. “I have been informed by U.S. naval intelligence Tiamatodon has been spotted heading in our direction. We won’t have to go looking for it. It is coming to us.”
The room broke apart in an uproar. Cameras began clicking furiously. Kuroki, appearing confident, raised his hand for silence. “I understand many of you feel we missed our chance to stop Tiamatodon at Oahu and now it’s too late. Even among my own staff I have been told I should not have withdrawn all of our forces to the home islands to deal with Godzilla,” Kuroki smirked, alluding toward Mazaki. “I assure you by the time Tiamatodon arrives Godzilla will be dead. We will be ready.”
Kuroki dispatched every engineer battalion available to the conservancy to clear-cut a three hundred foot wide path through the woods to the shore. He established his rear assembly area by the highway where his troops staked their tents. Two artillery batteries positioned themselves forward of the assembly area, one rocket battery and one self-propelled gun battery with a reserve gun battery left parked back on the highway. The maser tanks rumbled into the clearing to take up their positions while on the beach troops marked fire zones for the tank gunners with orange flags. Destroyers waited outside the bay, spread out as far as the eye could see in a blockade of the coast. It was like the police had arrived with guns drawn. Choppers circled the island, searching for any sign of Godzilla.
Both he and Baby slumbered in the cave all day, seemingly oblivious to the commotion outside. Miki was astounded at the number of troops and equipment brought to bear. She sat atop a knoll working out her nervous tension picking at blades of grass while the army continued to turn their side of the bay into something that resembled the beaches of Normandy. A small boat came over to the island. She recognized Kuroki and Mazaki among the soldiers on board, and went down to meet them.
The Major looked her over. She wasn’t the same since he last saw her – tanned, a little dirty, and her hair had grown past her shoulders.
“Miki,” Mazaki began, his voice heavy with regret, “I’m sorry. They had been watching me. I had no choice but to tell them where you were.”
“You don’t apologize to her,” Kuroki interrupted with an upraised hand. “You’ve done the right thing.”
“What do you want?” Miki glared at Kuroki.
“We’re about ready to go into action,” Kuroki glanced back at his army. “If your friend doesn’t show himself soon we will be coming after him. It would be humane to give you a chance to vacate the operation area.”
“Will I still be under arrest?”
“Then I’d rather be ground under the treads of your tanks than give you the satisfaction of escorting me back into custody.”
Kuroki smiled. He nodded toward the massive rock pinnacle. “Is he in there?” Miki did not answer. “Do you love him?” he then asked.
Miki snorted in contempt, but Kuroki stood his ground. She became uneasy, suspecting he knew more about her than he should.
“Come now,” Kuroki continued, “your social life is no secret, and I’m sure your psychic ability allows you to see an aspect of Godzilla we can’t. It wouldn’t be impossible for that aspect to become a substitute for a companion, eh?”
“Don’t taunt her,” Mazaki admonished the Major.
Kuroki found a raw nerve and had pressed down on it for all it was worth. Miki’s complexion turned red and her eyes became misty as her lean frame tensed in fury. Kuroki then extended his hand.
“Let’s go,” he said to her. “It’s time to come back to the real world.”
Miki looked to Mazaki for support. All he could do was stand by and look upon her with sympathy. He was as much a prisoner of circumstance as she. Miki turned back to Kuroki.
“Let me have my freedom one last night,” she requested. “You have the island surrounded. There’s no way I can escape.”
“To say goodbye?” Kuroki agreed after a moment’s thought. “After that you come when we fetch you. If you don’t, what happens to you will be your responsibility.”
Godzilla remained in the cave, and whenever Baby started nosing out of the entrance he hissed at him to get back inside. Being more adapted to an omnivorous diet, Baby happily accepted Miki’s offer of the last of her food stores. She would not be needing them and it helped keep Baby settled.
“It looks like I won’t be going to China,” Miki lamented, stoking a fresh campfire as the sun waned outside. “And you won’t have a chance to find the fish-filled seas you wanted,” she said to Godzilla. “At least for you the end will be quick. As for me…”
Godzilla grimaced at her in skepticism. Despite the power of the LaSalle laser he did not believe he could be beaten.
Miki smiled at his confidence, and then wiped away a tear. “I don’t care if the rest of the world laughs at me. I will miss you.” The firelight played across her features. She looked tired, as someone who was carrying more than her share of worry. “Even though we’re so different you never made me feel different like people do. I never felt self-conscious around you. I will miss that.”
Baby nudged her with his snout, wanting something more to eat. Godzilla bared his teeth at him to leave her alone. With his head ducked low, Baby returned to his corner of the cave. Godzilla looked back at Miki who sank into a quagmire of dread for tomorrow. Unable to shed tears, Godzilla watched Miki wipe her cheeks, uncertain of what she was doing.
As agreed, Miki came the next day. Mazaki and two soldiers met her on the shore of the island. Without protest she accompanied them to the mainland to the tent where the Major had established his HQ.
Kuroki offered a chair. Before she could acquiesce the soldiers forced her to sit. One of them rolled up her sleeve as a medic in combat fatigues came forward with a syringe. She struggled and swore at them to let her go. Mazaki made a move toward the army doctor, but before he could grab the medic the Major stiff-armed him back. The doctor then drove the needle into Miki’s forearm. Shortly her struggling ceased and her head rolled back as she slumped in the chair.
“Enough’s enough!” Mazaki hollered at Kuroki. “I don’t care what you think she’s done. You don’t treat her like a dog!”
“You do not tell me when enough is enough.” Major Kuroki put his finger to Mazaki’s face. He enunciated each word as though they were statements. Mazaki stumbled back to get some space between them, but the Major kept pace, letting loose what he had been hiding under his aloof demeanor. “For five years I have lived with failure,” the Major stated. “I slept with it. I ate with it. It was with me every step I took. As far as I knew I would never get rid of it until, as if a gift had fallen from the heavens, you found on Lagos the means to exterminate Godzilla. I was this close,” Kuroki held his finger an inch from his thumb, “in wiping the slate clean, and then she screwed it up! I’m not going to let that happen again.”
Mazaki and Kuroki fell silent, but their eyes remained locked. The medic nervously looked from one to the other. “Uh, Sir,” he said meekly to Kuroki, “the girl should be unconscious for an hour.”
“Thank you,” Kuroki acknowledged the medic.
Then Godzilla’s footfalls thundered from the island in the bay. One of the radio operators relayed a message from the blockade. “Captain Akagi from the destroyer Shinitsu reports that Godzilla is heading in our direction. He asks permission to fire.”
“Tell him no,” Kuroki countered. “Let Godzilla come to us. I want all ships to keep watch for Tiamatodon. And scramble the fighters.”
“Flight leader Sasaki,” the forward air controller announced, “replies that his ETA will be twenty-five minutes.”
“Tell him to make it fifteen,” Kuroki returned.
Godzilla came into view from around the pinnacle. Despite the firepower at the army’s disposal tensions were high among the ranks. At a hundred meters tall his size was still more than enough to send a chill through their blood, regardless of the advantage their weapons gave them.
Coming to a halt on the island’s shore, Godzilla sized up the opposition. Five maser tanks were in hull-down positions on a ridge to the right. To the left, three tanks waited atop a hill with two more dug in below. More tanks hunkered down in revetments fortified with freshly cut logs within the clearing cut through the trees.
“Come on,” Kuroki whispered between clenched teeth. “Close in like you always do.” He double-checked Miki. She was still out, so Godzilla should not be receiving any forewarning of what the orange flags on the beach were for.
This time the behemoth did not follow a predictable course. From where he stood Godzilla brewed up, his dorsal plates flashing in lightning-blue light, and spewed his atomic ray across the base of the ridge, blasting the terra firma out from underneath the tanks. The entire platoon tumbled to the shore, their guns bent and ruined. Without let up, Godzilla swung his beam into the hillside blasting the heart out of the hill. The hilltop collapsed and the tanks at the top tumbled down upon the tanks below.
“Damn it!” Kuroki cursed. His first company out of commission, he ordered Second Company in the revetments to open fire even though their line of sight was not good. Godzilla forced himself into the beams. His thick hide blistered and peeled. He held up his hands to shield his torso, but the beams burned through his palms. Yet he did not bellow. It appeared he knew what he was doing, sacrificing less vital areas of his body to buy time.
Crossing to their side of the bay he stopped on the shore. With two swipes of his tail, one slamming into the loosened remains of the ridge and the other into the battered hill, he buried Second Company in their revetments under tons of dirt, silencing their guns.
Kuroki let Godzilla continue to close halfway up the clearing then ordered Third Company into action. The next set of ten tanks emerged from their ambush positions among the trees, surrounding Godzilla. He watched them swivel their turrets. Since he remained still, the tank gunners raised their sights until his head was locked on target. The instant they fired Godzilla ducked. As their beams criss-crossed over the top of him, he dug out the tanks of Second Company with his bloodied hands and threw them at Third Company, smashing them into junk.
Kuroki committed Fourth Company, his last group of ten tanks. Now it was a near even match. They had clear line of sight, yet they were within stomping range. The gunners raked Godzilla’s flesh like electric talons. Enough wounds were opened for the artillery to do some good. Kuroki ordered them to join the assault. For the first time Godzilla was sustaining injuries from conventional high explosives shells. Blood spewed. Godzilla cried out in agony from the onslaught. He in turn brought the full force of his feet down upon the LaSalle laser guns, silencing them one by one with the tanks smashed nose-first into the dirt. He fired his atomic ray across a wide arc over the artillery positions in the rear. The heat of the ray set many a tent on fire and the detonations of the ammunition shredded many more with shrapnel. Red-hot debris ripped through Kuroki’s tent, toppling it and setting it on fire. Mazaki scooped Miki up from the chair and joined Kuroki’s staff as they scrambled for cover.
Only Kuroki remained, refusing to give ground to his giant antagonist. Godzilla scanned the smoking field and made note of Kuroki. Disinterested in the tiny human, he kept looking about, as if searching for someone. Kuroki’s jaw clenched tight in anger. Whipping out his pistol he fired up at Godzilla’s head. The pistol rounds could hardly reach Godzilla’s skull, much less harm him. Yet he knew the sound of the gun well, and the intent behind it. He roared back, drowning out the report of Kuroki’s weapon, and raised his foot to crush the major.
At last the fighters arrived. Godzilla turned to face the new incoming threat, but the planes were on him quicker than he could determine the direction from which they were coming. Sasaki and his pilots strafed Godzilla mercilessly with their LaSalle lasers. Roaring, Godzilla staggered back under the harsh lashing. To protect his nearly exposed vitals, he spun his untouched back toward them. The lasers peeled away skin and fat. Several of his dorsal plates were seared at the roots and twisted off his back.
Once the fighters veered away to regroup, Godzilla stood up and repositioned himself. Kuroki figured out what he was about to do and grabbed the FAC’s radio headset.
“Flight Leader Sasaki,” he cried, “break up your formation! Break it up!”
The command came too late. Godzilla swung his beam across the path of the fighter wing. Thirteen of the fifteen planes burst into balls of fire. Black smoke and falling debris was all that remained. The last three pilots, obviously less experienced, repeated the same mistake, forming up, approaching wingtip to wingtip. Godzilla blasted them.
Kuroki raised the destroyer Shinitsu. “Captain Akagi, do you read me? Do you have line of sight to Godzilla? Wait a minute.”
It appeared naval assistance would not be needed. Dazed, Godzilla took several unsteady steps. He looked about for any further attackers. Seeing none he roared triumphantly. He took several more unsteady steps. His skin hung from him like rags. It was clear blood loss was making him light headed. He made one more attempt to stand steady and then fell with a crash, shaking the ground.
Excitement crossed Kuroki’s face. But instead of letting out a whoop, he collected himself. “We got him, Captain,” he reported in his usual calm tone. “I repeat: we got him.” Tossing the headset aside, he leaned forward on the communications table, regarding his fallen foe. Five years… Finally, the slate was clean. All that was left to do about his bloodied opponent was let nature take its course.
Miki came to in one of the aid station tents by the highway. Mazaki had laid her on one of the cots. He sat in a metal folding chair, waiting for her to wake up.
“Who won?” she asked, sounding groggy.
“No one,” Mazaki replied.
Alarmed, Miki got up and hurried out of the tent. The army was loading the wounded onto trucks. Toward the bay, columns of smoke were marring the sky. She pushed her way through the soldiers searching for Godzilla. She found him just as she saw him on Lagos years ago, lying on his side, mortally wounded. It was like coming full circle.
While the people around her labored to extract the crews from the smashed tanks, the dichotomy was not lost on her that she was the only one who was sad for Godzilla.
Miki looked at her open palm, remembering when Godzilla took her into his palm. I know you came for me, she said to him silently with her thoughts. There was no way they could have flushed you out of the cave. Just as you came for me I will stay with you until… Miki swallowed a hard lump in her throat. Until you go, she continued. Rest now.
With her open palm she made a downward motion for him to close his eyes, and with her will put his mind at ease so he could sleep.
As she stood by a familiar voice spoke to her.
“Miki,” Mazaki said, “I want you to meet a colleague of mine.”
She was overcome by surprise when she saw that it was Dr. Yamane. Yamane’s daughter, Emiko, and son-in-law, Ogata, were helping the old paleontologist over the rough ground. Nearly ninety, Yamane was thin and frail, yet his purposeful manner made him seem indifferent to his age.
“Dr. Yamane,” Miki bowed. She straightened her dusty clothes, trying to look presentable. “I can’t believe you are here.” Up to now she only knew him from his writings and photographs.
“We heard on the news the army was going to have its showdown with Godzilla today,” Ogata explained. He and Emiko were well along in years themselves.
“I read all your research on Godzilla, Doctor,” Miki said. “Everything I know about dinosaurs I learned from you.”
“If that’s the case, child,” Yamane said with a twinkle, “your knowledge is twenty years out of date. I imagine you know more about Godzilla than anyone. When this mess is over I would like you to come visit me and tell me everything you have learned about him.”
“I would,” Miki lowered her gaze. “But I have to stand before a hearing to determine if I helped Godzilla fight the army. If the court believes I did, I’m looking at charges that could range from reckless endangerment of our soldiers to treason. The public hates me and trusts Kuroki. So you know whose side the court will take.”
“I’ll see to it that you have the best representation,” Yamane assured her. “You have too much to contribute to be locked away.”
“Thank you,” Miki bowed. “It’s been awhile since I’ve been appreciated.”
Yamane leaned on his cane, looking upon Godzilla gravely. “So this is how it ends.”
“I remember years ago when we were on Odo Island,” Emiko said, “and he peered down on us from over the hill. We ran and ran. I thought for certain we were going to be killed. I can still hear his roar ringing in my ears. If someone told me back then that someday I would see Godzilla like this, I would never have believed it. It’s such a relief!”
Miki glowered at the old woman. Yet, Emiko’s reaction was only natural.
A gray overcast covered the sun. Miki rubbed the sides of her arms. An unearthly chill was in the air. Oddly, she seemed to be the only one who was feeling it. Her brown eyes went wide and looked out to sea when she realized that she was sensing the presence of the two-headed creature that had haunted her in her sleep.
The destroyer Shinitsu exploded. Everyone jumped at the sharp, booming sound. The ship listed in flames, and spilled over on its side, revealing a massive hole burned into the bottom of the hull. The water foamed and churned as Tiamatodon rose from the depths. Its black scales glistened like polished opals. Quickly Tiamatodon turned its heads in either direction, knocking out ship after ship in the blockade before a single LaSalle laser turret could swivel and return fire.
Major Kuroki was in the midst of supervising the evacuation of the wounded when his promise to protect Japan had gone up in smoke. How quickly absolution slipped through his fingers.
“How did that monster get in close to the ships without being detected?” his adjutant asked.
“It’s quite simple, Lieutenant,” Kuroki replied acidly. “Dinosaurs ruled the earth once before. Who are we to get in their way of ruling it again?”
Godzilla opened his eyes at the sound of Tiamatodon’s double roar. He heard the blood lust in Tiamatodon’s voice. As he stood up from the ground, his sense of balance rocked like the sea until he could get a grip on himself. Out in the wild, it did not matter what shape you were in, so long as you had a spark of life left you fought to hang on to it.
“No!” Miki cried. “Stay down! You’re too weak to fight!”
As Godzilla headed down to the beach the soldiers bolted from the damaged tanks. They hurried Miki and her friends to come along with them, away from the shore. Miki had no choice but to leave Godzilla to his fate. They jumped down into the trenches at the rear of the combat zone.
The two dinosaurian titans threatened each other with their fiercest cries. Tiamatodon’s replies sounded shriller, like the hiss of two devils. Sizing up his opponent, Godzilla noted that Tiamatodon was much younger, streamlined, and no doubt more agile. Yet, waist deep in water, Tiamatodon’s agility would be negated, and Godzilla would have the advantage of his size and arms – for what they were worth. The LaSalle laser beams had severed muscles and nerves. His right hand would not fully close and his left arm was numb and could be barely raised to the level of his shoulder.
The sizing up stage over, Godzilla closed in. Sensing a severe disadvantage about to be levied against it, Tiamatodon blasted Godzilla with both atomic rays before he could step foot into the water, knocking him to the ground, insensible. The reverberations kicked up clouds of dust. The way now clear, Tiamatodon proceeded into the bay. The hermaphrodite came ashore on the island, and when it was about to re-enter the water to close the distance with Godzilla on the mainland, it was beset by a sharp set of teeth and claws digging into its tail. In mid step it found itself being pulled back.
There, behind it was Baby, wrenching its tail back and forth. Tiamatodon yanked its lengthy appendage away in an irritable gesture. Dwarfed under Tiamatodon’s shadow, Baby stepped back baring its teeth, hissing. A cold-blooded expression shrouded the countenances of Tiamatodon. With one mouth opened wide, it grabbed Baby in its jaws and swung him high in the air and slammed him down hard on the ground. Bones snapped. Baby’s form went limp.
But once wasn’t enough. Tiamatodon slammed Baby down once more and then stomped on the juvenile godzillasaurus. One of Baby’s feet twitched for a few moments before he became completely still.
Now Tiamatodon finished the distance toward Godzilla. Rolling Godzilla over with its foot, Tiamatodon inspected all the tender, open wounds on Godzilla’s torso, picking the choicest place to sink in its teeth.
Miki climbed out of the trench in a burst of speed. No one had as much as a heartbeat’s time to restrain her.
“Hey!” She waved her arms to distract hermaphrodite. “Down here! Remember me? I mattered enough to you before when you tried to scare me in my dreams. You want someone to fight, fight me!”
Oh, yes, Tiamatodon remembered her. She was going to use psycho-kinesis against it. Tiamatodon was more than happy to accommodate her in a battle of wills. After all, humans believed their strongest asset was their minds. How fitting it would be to kill one of them on their own turf – so to speak.
Closing her eyes and clasping her hands together, Miki focused her concentration, knowing she was going to be facing two minds, not one. However, she did not anticipate encountering the level of sophistication, the paths and byways of thought possessed by her enemy. Its complexity was before her mind’s eye for a moment before she found herself in a place, the bunker on Lagos Island. Tiamatodon had created some sort of psychic illusion.
Unclasping her hands, she looked around, finding a body dressed in a lab coat lying on the floor. The nametag read “Leslie Cumbermin” and displayed a photo of a smiling woman in her late forties with short, curly gray hair. The photo didn’t match with the body, for the face had been shorn from the skull. This was Tiamatodon’s first victim.
Miki became aware someone was behind her. Spinning around she saw it was Tiamatodon, standing no taller than a six-foot man. Tiamatodon also had arms. Balling a fist, it smacked her across the jaw with a backhanded swing. She crashed among a table and stools.
The blow felt real, the knuckles hard and brutal. Hearing Tiamatodon approach, she scrambled away for the nearest exit, not wasting a moment to look back to see how close it was. Once out of the room, she hit the buttons to the door controls to lock it. Quicker than the door, Tiamatodon grabbed it before it could shut and forced it open. The gears whined, sparked, and leaked acrid smoke.
Miki bolted down the hall. An object hit her square in the back, knocking her to the cement floor. It was one of the stools. Making a metallic twang sound when it struck, it clattered on the floor beside her.
Elbows, knees, her back – bruises stung her in so many places. This creature was going to batter her to death unless she turned the tables. Tiamatodon was at home here. She needed to imagine a place where she would have the upper hand.
Tiamatodon strode down the hall. With its quarry prostrate and seemingly too sore to get up, Tiamatodon merely needed to make her demise complete.
Then the dank, cement corridor switched to a brightly colored women’s clothing section of a department store. The girl seemed to be standing everywhere. Tiamatodon had no idea what a mannequin was, and as far as it was concerned all humans looked alike. Tentatively it touched one of the stiff, human figures, getting no response.
As Tiamatodon roamed the aisles searching for Miki, she emerged from the sporting goods department with an aluminum baseball bat. Without a word she walked up behind it and delivered a series of blows that more than made up for the trouncing she took in the Lagos bunker, striking Tiamatodon across both heads, the knees, arms, stomach. Tiamatodon staggered back, teetering at the edge of the escalator going down to the music and video department. Dropping the bat, Miki grabbed a brace stretched across the ceiling and kicked both feet into Tiamatodon’s chest, sending it tumbling end over end down the moving steps.
Retrieving the bat, Miki pursued. When she came down to the next floor the light switched to a pale luminance. She found that she was standing on the ocean floor. Water poured, swirling around her ankles, quickly rising up to her head. She swam.
Still in its human size, Tiamatodon, as graceful as a porpoise, slid through the cold depths and raked its dorsal plates across Miki’s stomach. She doubled over, gulping cold seawater. Her fingers sinking queasily into the wound, she struggled to regain control of the scene. In desperation, the best she could imagine was the safety of home. The scene deposited her, dripping wet and spitting water out of her lungs, on the steps leading up to her apartment.
She rushed up and slammed the door, locking it. In one blow, Tiamatodon smashed it open. Miki retreated into her kitchen, grabbing a knife from the dishes she had left unwashed from breakfast so many moons ago before her arrest. Again, Tiamatodon showed uncanny speed, knocking the knife away. Grabbing her by the front of her shirt, it threw her onto her unmade futon in the next room. Miki attempted to get up, but Tiamatodon was on her, mashing a pillow over her face. She struggled, trying to pry the talons loose. Her lungs felt ready to burst.
Then Tiamatodon’s weight was suddenly off her. Like a spell broken, Miki came conscious from the psychic battle, coughing for air. While Miki and Tiamatodon fought, Godzilla had found the strength to stand and grab Tiamatodon from behind, severing the psychic link. Tiamatodon in return flung Godzilla off and pounded him with the double-barreled blast of its heat rays.
“We have to give Godzilla a chance,” Kuroki declared to his troops. He ordered the reserve battery to split its twelve guns, six to Tiamatodon’s right flank and six on the other. The tracked guns entered the uncut portions of the woods, emerging enough from the trees at the shore for the crews to aim their weapons. Taking a walkie-talkie, Kuroki hopped into a forward observation trench.
“On my mark,” Kuroki instructed, “Right flank, stand by. Fire at the heads… now!”
Tiamatodon reeled around, bewildered by the sudden fusillade. The shells didn’t inflict much injury, but they were loud and stung.
“Left flank, fire!”
Irritated, Tiamatodon turned toward the left.
“Left flank, stand down. Right flank fire.” So it went, back and forth. The artillery fire gave Mazaki ample opportunity to get Miki back to the trenches. Shaken from her fight, she kept checking her stomach as though she were looking for blood. Godzilla regained his senses. Once he got back up Tiamatodon whipped around firing both beams smacking a one-two punch across his face. The first blast sent him reeling. The second knocked him off his feet. Tiamatodon tossed its tail high in the air in glee.
Godzilla rolled toward the Siamese monster and chomped its ankle. Howling, Tiamatodon hopped on one foot while trying to pull the other free. Godzilla released it, letting Tiamatodon crash to the ground.
Like a sack of bones, it was a struggle for Godzilla to get back up on his feet, while Tiamatodon got back up easily, despite the lack of arms. It spun around and cracked its tail across Godzilla’s exposed belly. As it came full circle, Godzilla vomited in both faces. Without hands, all Tiamatodon could do was swing its heads side to side to get rid of Godzilla’s gooey stomach contents.
Bile dripping from his jaws, Godzilla gave Tiamatodon a helping hand by burning the sticky matter off with his atomic ray. Tiamatodon staggered.
Godzilla then lurched forward in pain. The walls of his stomach were protruding from the wounds inflicted by the LaSalle lasers. The blow from Tiamatodon’s tail only worsened the matter. He squeezed in his entrails, blood oozing through his clawed fingers. Instead of panic his actions were more of a hardened soldier’s when the chips were down.
Amused over Godzilla having to hold his guts in, Tiamatodon uttered a sort of grunting chortle. In essence Godzilla was armless as well.
Head down, Godzilla charged Tiamatodon and flipped the twin-headed beast over his shoulder. The whole conservancy seemed to hold its breath as 60,000 tons of flesh and bone was suspended in the air and then came crashing down.
Godzilla fired into Tiamatodon’s kicking body. Residual energy crackled and popped off of its scaly obsidian-colored hide. Godzilla allowed Tiamatodon to get to its feet while he channeled his atomic energy to regenerate his cells.
Tiamatodon reacted in surprise to what Godzilla had done. Such was the benefit of the older monster’s experience. However, without fresh exposure to radioactive material the most Godzilla could do was form enough muscle tissue to hold in his internal organs.
But his hands were free. Grabbing a pair of empty battle tanks, he threw one. Tiamatodon blasted it. He made a throwing motion with the other. Tiamatodon fired again, hitting nothing. Godzilla had faked his opponent to find out how fast Tiamatodon could fire its rays. Now that he knew, Godzilla threw the second tank. While Tiamatodon blasted it, Godzilla charged in. With quickness as its last defense, Tiamatodon swung its whip-like tail. Godzilla skidded to a stop and grabbed the swinging tail in one motion.
Tiamatodon squawked from being out-maneuvered. The head of the female half of Tiamatodon’s being grabbed Godzilla’s forearm with her jaws, ripping off a flap of loose skin. Defiantly, Tiamatodon swallowed the loose meat.
Incensed, Godzilla collared the female’s throat. That insult did more to give him his second wind than anything. With a sharp wrench on the neck, the vertebrae snapped. Wailing, the male half of Tiamatodon felt the pain. The female head now hung lifeless as an awkward weight. Backing up toward the bay, Tiamatodon wrapped its long tail around the neck, trying to pull the head off to regain proper balance. The sight was gruesome. It appeared as if Tiamatodon was attacking itself.
Summoning the last of his radioactive reserves, Godzilla blasted Tiamatodon off its feet. The concussion on the ground stirred Baby to consciousness. Pushing himself up, Baby limped forward on a broken hip with a score to settle. When the dust settled around Tiamatodon, the first thing the male head saw was a small set of jaws sinking its teeth into his left eye. Baby pulled the visual organ from its socket, prying a fresh cry of pain from his abuser.
Godzilla grunted at Baby to go ahead and eat his prize.
Tiamatodon, with its optical cavity oozing fluid and its one good eye crazed with fear and agony, floundered on its belly, groveling to reach the water. Godzilla pulled it by the tail farther up on the shore. Tiamatodon flipped to its back, firing its heat ray.
Godzilla swung aside. The beam shot harmlessly into the sky. He smacked the male head to the right with his tail, and then smacked it senseless to the left. He then stepped over and slammed his heel down on its head, breaking the jaw. The broken mandible hung loose. A gory hiss gurgled from the male head’s throat. The second blow from Godzilla’s foot crushed the beast’s cranium like a clay pot. Bits of bone lodged into the brain. Tiamatodon was dead.
A struggle of this magnitude of course did not go unnoticed. The media began to arrive in force along with curiosity seekers. The army put up a cordon to restrain them from the beach.
Kuroki refused to speak to the press as he sequestered within the shelter of another tent where he established a temporary command center. Mazaki caused considerable annoyance among the reporters gathered outside when the guards permitted him to go in. The Major had just sealed a hand-written message in an envelope and handed it to a runner to be delivered to Tokyo.
“So,” Mazaki said, “what are your plans for Ms. Saegusa now? You realize Godzilla showed more tactical aptitude today than he did when you accused her of helping him.”
“I am aware of that,” Kuroki replied, tucking his pen into the inside pocket of his leather army jacket. “The soldier you just passed coming in is delivering my recommendation to Tokyo to drop all charges against her.”
Mazaki smiled contentiously. “You admit you were wrong.”
“No.” Kuroki folded his hands on the table. “It’s just that I can’t hold her accountable for jeopardizing the safety of our armed forces and our country for selfish reasons when all this time I have been more guilty than she has. You will give her the news she’s free, won’t you?”
“Why don’t you do it yourself?”
“Because, Professor, I think she would rather hear it from a friend.”
Out on the beach, Godzilla inspected Baby’s stance as the juvenile godzillasaurus tottered on his broken hip. Baby had enough strength to stand, he ought to be able to swim, albeit slowly. Godzilla intended to leave regardless of the discomfort the salty sea would cause his open wounds. He had had enough of this place.
The braver souls among the press managed to get around the cordon and headed down to the shore, but Miki was in no mood to speak to them any more than Kuroki. Dr. Yamane took the pressure off when he consented to answer their questions.
Miki then asked, “Who just called my name?”
No one owned up to speaking to her. Then Dr. Yamane touched her shoulder to draw her attention and then pointed up in the air, toward the beach. She turned and saw Godzilla looking down upon her. He spoke her name again, in thought.
For Godzilla to use her name showed he had the capacity to understand the meaning of being an individual beyond the basics, beyond predator and prey, mate and offspring. She now knew for certain what she needed to know most: that he was as capable of being concerned for her in the same way she had become concerned for him. Her emotional investment in him had not been in vain.
The press, Emiko and Ogata fell silent as they, along with Dr. Yamane, watched Miki approach Godzilla. She spoke to him as one person to another. They could not hear what she said, because she was too far away. “I can’t go” was all they could make out. Miki shook her head when she said those words.
Godzilla then summoned Baby with a grunt to follow him out to the bay. Miki returned and walked past Yamane and the others with her cheeks reddened by emotion. Some would say later they saw Godzilla acknowledge her with a nod. But all agreed that during Miki and Godzilla’s time on the island in the bay something special had happened.
The author loves feedback. Feel free to email your thoughts to email@example.com
You may also be interested in reading some of my older Godzilla stories in back issues of G-FAN:
Attack of the Super Allosaurus: Issues #15 through #17
Battle of Manazura Island: Issue #25
Rodana: Issue #42