Here There Be Monsters
FICTION - by George Thomas
In the jungles of a small volcanic island south of the Japan sea, a spider is hunting. It advances stealthily, step and pause, remaining undetected as it draws nearer to its slumbering prey. An enviable feat for a spider nearly ninety meters long.
The giant arachnid's body seems to shimmer in the moonless night. A spectral aura now echoed by a pulse from its eyes. The shimmer settles there, among those eight black orbs. It is guiding the beast, guiding it toward Godzilla...
War against the Wild Gods
BOOk TWO: Godzilla Versus Yog
Part One: KUMONGA
The Mari-Maru was a good ship, once. But that was a long time ago. These days she got by somehow, as did her captain. His name is Hiroki. He is passed out drunk.
"Excuse me," a voice cut through his stupor. "Sumimassen. Anata wa Hiroki, desu ka?"
"I don't know him. Go away."
"Come on Kenji. The man can barely speak, let alone charter a boat."
"Charter?" The sailor shot upright at the word, his head pounding in protest at the sudden motion. "Ooh, man. Charter where?" He asked, blinking woozily at the couple before him.
"To the mainland."
"Kenji and Kyoko Bradley. That's us. Um, are you gonna be okay?"
"Don't know. Everything's still sorta rocking up and down."
"Could that be because you are on a boat, Mr. Hiroki?" Asked Kyoko.
Hiroki thought a moment, then looked at Ken. "She your wife?" He asked.
"Hei. Married her three weeks ago."
"I don't like her. Don't worry though, I'll get you to Japan okay. No problem!"
"We were hoping to leave tonight, captain."
"Sure, sure. Just give me a minute to pee and we're gone. You can stow your gear down here. And put some tea on, willya? My head feels like the inside of a pickle barrel!" Hiroki shouted as he slipped below deck.
Kenji approached his bride. "See hon, I knew we'd find a ship out of here!"
"Kenji, that is not a ship. It is a garbage scow, and that man down there is drunk!"
"People sober up. Besides, this looks like the only transport left off Kunashirshima. The airport's shut down. The natives' boats are incapable of the journey, and the Defense Forces are far too busy cleaning up after the battle between Godzilla and Varan. I think this is one of those 'Now or Never' deals."
Kyoko considered Kenji's words, then forced a smile. "Okay, Kenji. We'll go. But I'm telling you right now, I've got a bad feeling about this ship...
The storm came out of nowhere, assaulting the tiny ship. Kyoko sat gripping the edge of the bunk. She could feel the wind rising against the hull, as well as the unbroken rhythm of her husband's snoring. Incredible, she thought. The man could sleep through almost anything!
"Hey!!" Ken awoke at Kyoko's scream, as Hiroki burst into the compartment.
"Quick, take these!" The sailor shrieked, hurling a pair of lifejackets at them and racing back out.
Kenji blinked awake to find his wife's expression not at all a happy one. "Aaaahh!" They jumped as the door flew open again.
"And put some clothes on for God's sake! I think we're about to get swamped!" Hiroki screamed and scrambled away.
Kyo looked at the bright orange vest and pondered; "Why do I let myself get talked into these things?"
"Because you love me?" Ken spoke, and kissed her sweetly. "I'm sorry, Kyo."
"I know, my love," she kissed him back. "Come on, let's go."
They were all on deck when the rogue wave hit. Watching as a sixty foot wall of ocean rushed to smash them. It was the last thing they saw before their worlds turned black.
The wind had risen steadily as the spider closed upon its prey. A light rain falling as its shadow cast across the giant saurian's form. The spider reached forth a clawed and knobby forelimb, and Godzilla's eyes snapped open!
The monster roared and grabbed the beast called Kumonga in its massive paws. Instinctively, the spider fired a thick spray of webbing into Godzilla's face, blinding him. Godzilla's grip tightened, dorsals flashing as a blast of intense atomic fire erupted from his jaws to blind Kumonga in turn!
Now, the storm breaks, echoing the fury of the grappling beasts! Again the blue shimmer rose from Kumonga, streaming and sparking along it's form, snaking down its many legs, and onto Godzilla. The monster paused at the contact, as if listening to a whisper. The shimmers began to enter his mind.
"Hey, Captain!" Ken shook Hiroki awake. The man was still clutching an empty bottle of sake. "We're beached, Hiroki. Wake up!"
"Aw, let me sleep will ya? I," a sharp crack punctuated the young sailor's unfinished sentence, courtesy of the back of Ken's open hand. "Hey!" Hiroki yelled, regaining a semblance of consciousness. "Uh, where's my boat?"
"Your boat?" Ken asked angrily. "Your boat is scattered for a mile up and down this coastline. We were run aground in the storm!"
"The storm you drove us straight into! Didn't you check the weather conditions before we left port?"
"Of course I checked! I'm a drunk, not an idiot. That blow came out of nowhere, just like before."
"What do you mean?" Asked Ken.
"Never mind. Hey, where's what's her name, your wife?"
Ken remained silent for a moment, fighting back the panic he felt since he awoke and found her gone. "I don't know. I can't find her anywhere." He shook away the dread, knowing he must stay calm if he hoped to find her.
"Not again," Hiroki whispered through clenched teeth. With the words came awareness. He was sobering, and in a hell of a lot of pain.
"You hurt?" Asked Ken.
"Yeah. How about you?"
Ken had to think about that one. Strange, he could detect no injuries. "No. I mean, I don't think so. Listen, man, I hope you're gonna be okay, because we've got to find my wife!"
Hiroki peeled himself from the sand and looked around. The scattered debris of the Mari-Maru marked the Great Storm's passing. He had managed to reconstruct her once, this time there was little left to salvage. "I'll be fine. But I think we should stick together til we figure out where we are. Don't worry, Bradley. We'll find her."
Ken quickly nodded assent, and together they began to trudge along the beach, searching and calling her name.
Kyoko awoke coughing, the seawater a clog in her chest. She rolled onto her side, and puked over the edge of the bed.
"Please take it slow, Ms. Iso. You'll be alright now." A soft voice spoke her name, snapping her to attention. She lay on a bed of satin in an elaborately decorated suite. An impeccably dressed woman, her expression one of caring and concern, faced her.
"Where am I?" Kyo croaked.
"I am Iako, this is my hotel," the woman began. "My staff found you washed ashore not far from here. You are a very lucky woman."
"My husband Kenji, is he here also?" Kyo asked, an edge of panic in her tone.
"Oh my dear, we found only you. How many in your party were there?"
"Three. Myself, my husband and Captain Hiroki."
"Hiroki? Hm. I will send search parties out immediately," the woman passed the command over a small radio transceiver she wore on her sash. "Do not worry, Ms. Iso, or rather, Mrs..."
"Bradley," Kyo replied.
"An American name? Bladrey..." Iako stumbled intentionally over the 'L's and 'R's, smiling. "Rest now. I want your husband to know you have been well cared for when we bring him to you!"
"Arigato, Iako san. Thank you."
In the weeks spent back on Kunashirashima, Ken and Kyo had made a strange discovery. There was something about the mists of lake Matsuko. Something that affected the Koshida natives, returning them their strength and health. Weather it was the chemical experimentation, or maybe the Gods themselves at work, no one could say for sure.
Ken felt it too. His physical condition was barely affected by the ordeal of the shipwreck. If Kyo was experiencing a similar condition, then their chances of finding her alive were greatly improved, for now. He would have to examine this further.
"Hiroki, look! People!" Ken shouted happily, racing ahead to greet the islanders.
"Oh hell," said Hiro. "I thought this place looked familiar." Grudgingly he joined the group, a few of the natives ran off to begin the search. Unfortunately for Hiroki, the two he was most hoping to avoid remained.
"Captain Hiroki, this is Riko and his wife Saki..." As he spoke the words, Ken realized the pair were glaring at the sailor. Hiroki was glaring back.
"Hello, Mother. Father."
"Got caught out in the Storm again, eh boy?"
"Riko, stop it! Are you alright son?"
"I'll be okay. I seem to have come up a passenger short though."
"We tried to warn you the first time," said Riko. "This time, let us hope we find your passenger still alive."
"Go to hell old man!" Hiroki screamed.
"Wait a minute," cried Ken. "These are your parents?"
"That's right, Bradley. What'd you think I was? Koshida? Japanese maybe? I'm a Selga native," Hiroki spat the words with scorn. "Just think of it as paradise, but without the booze."
Bonfire at the natives village. The Selgans dance to the manic pulse of the drums. The night now black and starless, cut only by the flames and the music. Suddenly, the music stops.
"Oh, brother. Here it comes," thought Hiroki as his father Riko rose to speak.
"My people," he began. "It has been decided. We shall confide in these two men before us; Mr. Kenji Bradley, and Captain Hiroki, my son." The word carried with it an all too obvious scorn. "We must help prepare them in any way we can."
Ken looked at Hiroki questioningly. Hiroki just shrugged.
"Mr. Bradley, please come forward," Riko bade him approach. "I have good news. I believe we have found your wife still among the living."
"You've found her! Oh thank you, sir! Where is she, I must go to her!" Ken cried in relief.
"Not so fast, there is bad news as well. We believe she may be in the hands of monsters."
"Monsters?" Asked Ken.
"Creatures from outer space," Hiroki cut in. "You're not really still going on about that, are you father?"
"You have not learned very much in your time away it seems," Riko retorted. "Listen, and you may learn something now."
From somewhere in the crowd, Hiroki's mother began to speak. "Decades ago, a spacecraft fell into the waters just south of Selga. It brought with it the alien Astro-Quasars. These evil energy creatures took the form of monsters which ravaged across our land. When the beasts were finally defeated, the Quasars began to possess people instead. A man named Obata sacrificed himself to destroy them, or so we once believed." Saki's voice was calm and even, meant to be taken seriously. It was working.
"A few years ago, the developers who had once planned to exploit Selga returned. It was then that we felt the Quasars return as well. The woman is known only as Iako. She is the host-body the aliens use to further their plans. The Selga Island Submarine Resort is their base of operations, that is where you will find your wife."
"There is a resort here?" Ken asked in disbelief.
"Hai, on the shore just south of here," Saki confirmed. "We will guide you there, but you must be on your guard!"
"Please, tell me more about these aliens," said Ken.
"They are... many small brightly glowing balls. They slither and flash, like sparkles. There is pain when they touch you, like ice," said Saki.
"Ice, okay. Anything else?" Ken probed further. "You mentioned a spacecraft?"
"Helio-7," said Riko. "An unmanned probe en route to Jupiter. We believe it was intercepted by the aliens, and brought back to Earth."
"Hm. Do you know its exact location?" Asked Ken.
"I know where to find it," Hiroki stepped up. "Went diving there once when I was little. Got my butt whipped for it too. Look, Bradley, you're not really buying any of this hokey 'Astro-Quasar' jazz, are you? These people are paranoid, superstitious! There are no sparkly little aliens here, none that I've ever seen."
"Insolent whelp!" Riko advanced menacingly, and Ken quickly stepped in.
"Listen fellas, let's not come to blows over this, okay? Hiroki, do us all a favor and quit pissing off your dad. Riko, my thanks for the warning about what's been going on, but could you please take me to Kyoko now?"
"Not quite yet, Mr. Bradley," Riko backed off a pace, but he was not backing down. "If you must enter the monster's lair, you will need more than forewarning to protect you," he gestured for his wife to approach. Ken watched Hiro back away as his mother drew closer. What exactly was the deal with these people anyway, he thought to himself.
Saki held forth a shallow bowl, ornate and ceremonial. An attendant tipped a large clay jug into the bowl, filling it with a strange liquid. "This is the blood of our God, Mikki. A Seaspirit who watches over our island and protects our people," Saki explained. "Drink. It will protect you too."
"Don't do it, Bradley," said Hiroki. "I've seen that brew have some strange effects on non-natives."
"Hiroki, I've been experiencing strange effects ever since I arrived here. I believe I will be alright."
"Don't say I didn't warn you," Hiroki spat, striding off.
Ken held forth his hands to accept the bowl, and raised the vessel high. "I love you, Kyo," he whispered, and brought the container to his lips.
Godzilla rises, hurling the monster Kumonga back to its jungles. The shimmers are all over him now. They whisper things in his head. Things he does not like. Behind him, the spider runs like hell.
Godzilla shakes and claws at his skull as the whispers become orders, commands, screams! Then Godzilla screams as well. The shimmers spark as if in pain, and rise to flow from him. Disrupted, the glowing mass retreats quickly into the sea, leaving Godzilla enraged and alone, save for the strange images still echoing in his reptilian brain.
They had tried to control him, possess him. The spider was but one of the forms of the Astro-Quasars, of the enemy. Their spoor was strong and unmistakable. The aliens would pay for this attack.
It was Godzilla's hunt now.
Part Two: EBIRAH
Kyoko Bradley lay restless in her posh suite. If only Kenji were here to share it! This place was incredible, from what she could see of it from her window. There came a knock at the door. "Come in," she said, and Mistress Iako entered the room. The ageless looking woman seemed subtly different somehow. Kyo could not quite bring herself to trust her.
"Mrs. Bradley, forgive me for imposing on you at such a late hour, but I knew you would want the news right away. We have found your husband!"
The tears came then, and Kyo thanked her ancestors for her good fortune. "Thank God! Tell me now, where is he?"
"The natives found him and your other companion. They were searching the shore for you. The Selgans are caring for them at their village, and will escort him here in the morning," Iako reassured her.
"That's wonderful! Although I had not realized there was any native culture left here. I mean, your resort is very beautiful, but I am an anthropologist..."
"And you don't mind sleeping in huts. I appreciate your honesty, I will leave you now to rest," Iako turned to leave.
"Wait, please. I am quite unable to sleep right now, and I have so many questions! Tell me, how did you know my name?"
Just then, a beeper sounded, and Iako pulled the transceiver from her sash. "Moshi moshi," she paused as the caller relayed the message. Kyoko watched as the woman's face twisted into a grimace. "I understand. Domo arigato." Iako's face shifted again, back to a more congenial demeanor. "I'm afraid I must leave you now, Mrs. Bradley. It seems the storm has caused far more damage than I had thought."
"But Miss Iako..."
"Try to rest, we will speak tomorrow. And I will get to meet your new husband! Oyasumi nasai, Bradley san." Iako quickly left the suite, locking the door behind her.
Kyo was not so sure she liked it here. Kenji was okay, thank God, but what about this strange woman who had come to her aid? There was something wrong in this place. She would get no sleep tonight.
On the shore.
"God damn storm!" Hiroki raged, pacing down the beach, a bottle swiped from a sleeping tourist's patio in his hand. "That's twice now, Mikki. Twice!" He spat, then chugged down the last of the strong rice wine. "I suppose I should be thankful, huh? Nobody died this time..." Hiroki's rage was giving way, to an old familiar pain.
"Why did you take her, Mikki? Why did you take my sister? I accepted the exile, they said it was your will. That my offense was unforgivable. The weather was clear, a beautiful day. Mom and Dad tried to warn me, the Spirit of the Sea was uneasy. I was too much the modern mariner to listen, and Susaki paid the price." The booze and the anguish overcame him, and he fell to his knees. "Now I'm right back where I..."
The words stuck there. Hiroki's throat shut tight at the sight of what now appeared before him. It was a glow, a shimmering trail flowing from the resort's main tower, out into the sea. The sailor dropped the empty bottle, and shook his head to clear it. The glow was still moving, still there. "I'm seeing things, flipping out," he spoke to himself, watching the pulsing spheroids moving purposefully away. "Either that, or those are really the space-thingies dad keeps jawing about."
He concentrated, and could see the glowing mass emanating directly from the penthouse. Iako's room. "Holy shit! Have my folks been right about this all along? I think I'd rather be losing my mind!" He looked at the discarded bottle, empty, then back out to sea. The shimmers were fading farther into the distance. He decided he had to know the truth. He turned, and started toward the resort...
The alien Astro-Quasars stream intently across the sea floor. They know this area well. Nearly devoid of true animal life, it is inhabited instead by strange and unknown varieties of plant and protista.
A monstrous nudibranch, nearly thirty meters long, corkscrews slowly overhead. The giant eel grass sways at its passing. Mammoth anemones cluster and crawl in their time lapse ballet, as the tube snakes dart in and out of their cylindrical shells.
Suddenly, an immense crimson claw shoots from the tangled vegetation to capture the nudibranch! There is the creature the Quasars seek, the giant lobster Ebirah!
"Iako, we have company," said the voice on the transceiver.
"I know," she replied. "Let him come, and stay out of sight." Sounds from the balcony signaled her visitor had arrived. She clicked off the radio and tucked it back into her sash. "Come in, Hiroki san. I have been expecting you."
Slowly, the man stepped out of the shadows. "Have you? Well, let me assure you this was completely unexpected on my part," he slipped into the room. "I saw your little friends, Iako. Now tell me what the hell is going on!"
"You drunken fool. I have no idea what you are talking about," Iako replied grinning.
"It's all true isn't it? The aliens really are here, and they've taken over your mind." Hiro was steadier now. He drew closer to the woman, to look into her eyes.
"No closer, Selgan. I'm warning you."
"No Iako. I'm warning you. You cost me, lady. You cost me my sister, my family, my life!" Hiroki seethed. "It took a long time for you to slip up like that, but slip you did. Now I'm on the case lady. Your case." Slowly, Hiroki backed away. "You have made your own worst enemy tonight," he said, and was gone.
Iako feared he was right. It seemed there would now be two fronts on which she must fight. She would deal with the drunkard later. Right now, Godzilla was coming. The beast had somehow resisted her control. Now it must be destroyed.
Godzilla glides onward through the depths, hunting. Ahead, he spies the island, the nest of the alien enemy. Earth already has a vast abundance of evil, these Quasars would be destroyed!
Intent upon his goal, Godzilla never notices the pressure wave rising from below until it is too late. Suddenly Ebirah attacks!
The beast's giant pincers grab Godzilla's neck and pull, dragging him deeper toward the sea floor. Godzilla rages at the assault, flailing madly against the force of the rapid descent for a claw hold on his opponent. He clutches at the claws clamped tight around his throat, and begins forcing them apart. Gaining some leverage, he can see the mutant lobster now. It is an enemy he has faced before. But within Ebirah's stalk extended eyes, Godzilla can see other things as well. He howls! The aliens pulse within his opponent, the Quasars control the sea monster now!
Dawn at the resort.
Kenji, Riko, and a few of the more fearless natives approach the main gate. Riko wasn't kidding, Ken thought. This place was impressive! A smile of joy came over his face, as running toward him from across the courtyard came his beloved Kyoko!
"Kenji! Kenji!" She races to her husband's arms, and they embrace. The Selgans and resort staffers alike look on happily as the lovers reunite, their tears mixing with their kiss.
"Kyo, I thought I'd lost you," said Ken, holding her tight. "You wouldn't happen to have seen an airstrip around here, would you? I think we should try to avoid sea travel for a while!" He joked, and Kyo broke into laughter.
"I love you, Ken Bradley. Now shut up and kiss me."
"Ahem," one of the staff stepped forward. "Gomenasai, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley. My name is Kodo. Mistress Iako wishes me to welcome you to the Selga Submarine Hotel! After your ordeal, we believe some relaxation is in order. You are welcome to stay with us at no expense until transport can be arranged for you to leave," the man smiled broadly. "Consider it a wedding gift!"
"Oh, Kenji, isn't this wonderful? Wait until you see this place!" Kyoko beemed. "Kodo san, where is Miss Iako? I wish to thank her for her generosity."
"The Mistress regrets her absence, and promises to attend you as soon as her duties allow. Come now, if you would. We have prepared quite a breakfast for you and your friends," Kodo spoke happily.
"Uh, listen Kodo san," Ken began, giving his wife's arm a subtle squeeze. "Thanks for the offer and all, but Kyo and I would prefer to stay at the village. We..."
"Kenji, what are you saying?" Kyoko scolded.
"Kyo, Riko here is Hiroki's father. They have already shown me so many interesting things about their native culture that I..."
"Kenji, I have been at this research for three years without a break. I would much prefer a honeymoon with my new husband before taking on a whole new tribal culture to study."
"But Kyo, you don't understand..."
"Kenji, this time I insist," she stated emphatically.
Mentally, Ken weighed the wrath of his bride against the threat of alien monsters. "Okay, Kyoko. We'll stay." He quickly decided he'd rather face the monsters!
The sea monster's grip was incredible, its claws now piercing Godzilla's hide! Ebirah's true advantage is its maneuverability, twisting its body above its saurian opponent, and slamming him violently to the ocean floor! The tremendous impact rocks the landscape, sending plumes of silt and stone cascading into the vast undersea depths!
The mutant lobster straddles its motionless foe, its claws sweeping clear the clouds to see. The King of Monsters has fallen! The Quasars shimmer and spark as Ebirah screeches its triumph into the sea!
Suddenly, the massive claws are pinned in an irresistible grip! Ebirah lurches back, to gaze down at its foe, and is hit full face with a shattering thermonuclear blast! The aliens writhe in tune with the battered Ebirah. Godzilla is fighting back!
The Honeymoon Suite was the most elaborate and expensive affair on the entire island, and after years of jungle jumping across the Pacific, Kyoko Bradley was in heaven!
Kenji too admired the luxuriant accommodations, but the natives warnings still echoed in the back of his mind. It had been beautiful to share the day here with his love, but he knew it could all be too good to be true. "Kyo, do you feel okay?" He asked.
"Mm, I feel wonderful," she replied, rolling closer to trap him playfully in the satin sheets.
"That may be kind of a problem. Kyo, neither one of us were more than bruised in that shipwreck, were we?"
"You know, you are right," she began. "Ha ta! Why hadn't I thought of that until now?"
"I figured it out 'cause it happened to me once before. On Kunashira, when the mist overtook me on the road to Oneda."
"The Spiritmist. I remember how you healed almost instantly when it touched you."
"You got it," said Ken. "And it touched us both. We may be experiencing some kind of residual effect."
"Do you think its dangerous?" Kyo asked with concern.
"Possibly. But we may have an even more immediate problem..."
"Kenji, no! This is supposed to be our honeymoon!"
"I know, hon. But listen, I got this wild story from the locals about the people who run this resort..." Ken hesitated, unsure where to begin. This was gonna sound silly as hell. "Tell me, have you noticed anything suspicious around here?"
Riko broods solemnly over a ritual fire, adding bits of herb and bone to the tiny blaze. The island priests assist in the ceremony, passing Riko a long thin flask with a strange image graven on it. It is the symbol of the SeaGod.
"Mikki, guide us," he spoke. He put the flask to his lips, drained it, then spat forth the contents in a fine spray, extinguishing the blaze. The priests drew closer, to peer into the embers.
"It is true," Riko spoke in disbelief. "It is Hiroki. Hiroki is the chosen one!"
At that, the priests began to pray!
Dusk. The Resort.
The Bradley's stroll along the shore, their thoughts plagued with strange doubts. What should have been a glorious sunset was dulled by an ever deepening gloom. "Kyo, we have got to be sure before we commit ourselves to a plan of action. It was hard enough just telling you about it, some kind of proof would be nice before we go running to the authorities," Ken exclaimed.
"Kenji, I am afraid! I let the beauty of this place distract me, but the Selgans' story could have some merit. My identification was lost in the shipwreck, yet that woman knew my name. She may have read my mind or something!" Kyoko shook in the chill ocean wind. "What if it is true? What are we going to do?"
"We've got to find Hiroki," said Ken. "I want to examine the Helio-7, and he's probably the only one willing to take us to it."
"Examine the spacecraft?" Asked Kyo.
"Yeah, it might provide some clues to the nature of the creatures. Assuming they exist, that is." Ken turned to his bride and embraced her. "I got us into this one, Kyo. I'll find a way to get us out."
"My silly husband," she kissed him hard. "We will get through this together."
The sea monster twisted frantically to escape the force of Godzilla's blasts, the aliens now shimmering wildly about its form! Godzilla pressed the attack, if only he could slay the beast before the Quasars could escape its body...
Suddenly, Ebirah's struggles ceased. Godzilla cut the beam and watched as the alien enemy streamed swiftly off into the distance. The mutant lobster squeaked pitifully in Godzilla's grip, then the light went out of its scorched and sightless eyes.
Twice now, the aliens had attacked him. Twice, they had managed to escape. Godzilla was determined they would not escape again.
The nest was near. Godzilla could smell it. He dropped the lifeless lobster and glared fixedly after his true prey. The hunt was nearing its end, and Godzilla began it as only he could; with a single, giant step!
Midnight. The village.
Hiroki creeps silently among the darkened huts, unseen. The stone facade of the temple of the SeaGod looms before him, and haltingly, he slips inside.
The altar lights still burn, and upon the obsidian slab Hiroki spies an assemblage of objects. There is a shallow bowl, painted white. A slender flask with the symbol of the SeaGod painted on, and a headband like those worn by the island priests, only finer. He stood there, as still as the stone pillars surrounding him. Self doubt still gnawing at his booze soaked brain.
"Mikki," with a single shaky step, "guide me." Hiroki's journey has begun.
Part Three: GEZORAH
The Resort. By the shore.
"Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, my apologies for intruding, but I must speak with you," said Kodo, shaking the surf out of his Gucci's.
"Something wrong?" Asked Ken, trying not to sound too suspicious.
"The Mistress has requested you attend her in the penthouse. She has become...overtaxed by her duties of late, and bed rest has been prescribed," Kodo explained.
"Is it serious?" Kyo asked with concern.
"Hai, Mrs. Bradley. I suggest you both prepare yourselves for a bit of a shock."
Soon, in the penthouse.
"Iako san," Kyo spoke, approaching the woman's bedside. "I am so sorry to hear you are unwell. Is there anything we can do to help?"
"Yesss," Iako replied, with barely the breath for the word. She turned then, revealing the shrunken, ancient masque her face had become. "You see me as I truly am, Kyoko and Kenji Bradley. The alien presence within me has taken its toll."
Ken looked at his wife, and she nodded in affirmation. The Selgans tale was indeed too incredible to have been simply made up. It was the truth. "Mistress Iako, Kyoko and I both owe you a great deal already," Ken decided on the direct approach. "But we must ask you one thing more. Tell us now, please, how do we stop this thing?"
"I will tell you what I can," Iako began, pushing forth the words with effort. "I was just a girl when I first saw Selga, when I first saw paradise. It was exotic, it was beautiful," her eyes focused far away. "It was heaven. Then the Quasars came.
"I was location manager for Asia Development Corp. They dropped their plans for Selga after the first wave of monsters appeared. A giant crab, a jungle turtle, and the immense squid the natives call Gezorah. There were a number of deaths before the beasts were defeated, and my team was pulled out. The aliens ruined my hopes for this place. They ruined my life.
"More than a decade had passed before I returned, to find the aliens still alive. They remembered me, attacked me, and I succumbed. My once boundless optimism had been shattered long before, and I had not the courage to end my own life..." Iako gasped, and wrung her bony hands in anguish. "I can make no excuse for what I did then. I made peace with the alien monsters."
Iako was struggling to articulate, her voice growing weaker. The Bradleys could tell, she was dying. Kenji poured some water from a pitcher set upon the night stand, and passed it to Kyoko. She held the cup to the old woman's lips. Iako took a tiny sip.
"I gave them use of my body, hoping to keep them from harming anyone else. In return, they used their telepathy to make me a fortune in the Stock Market. I bought this island, and built this resort. And God help me, I enjoyed it!
"I call the creatures Yog. A 'terranization', if you will, of its true nomenclature. It is literally a living super colony of quasi-stellar energy. Its intellect is its weapon, giving it conscious control of its own vibrational frequencies. The ability to attune itself to neural activity of sentient and subsentient brains. It can invade a physical body, and control the host-form completely," Iako explained. "It can take over your mind.
"Yog and I have been together for nearly thirteen years now. Less than a microsecond to one of its kind. I know the creatures, intimately. Imagine a vast and boundless mind, coupled to the basest of natures," Iako was intense now, emphatic. "The Astro-Quasars are truly evil!"
"Iako san," Kyoko took the old woman's hand. Her instincts told her she could trust her words. "Kenji and I too have had some strange experiences of late. We want you to know we believe you, and we want to help."
"Yes, that is why I called for you," Iako forced a grin and continued. "Sound was the weapon that weakened Yog the first time, drove them away. I do not think you can kill them. I do not think they can die," she admonished. "But there may be a way to harm them. Destroy the derelict spacecraft."
"I thought they might still be linked to it somehow," said Kenji. "Any suggestions how?"
"Find Hiroki, he can show you. If he's not still piss drunk."
"Iako, where are the Quasars now?" Asked Kyoko, not entirely sure she wanted to know the answer.
"That is something else I hope will work to our advantage," Iako seemed to brighten a bit at the question. "Yog has gotten a bit restless lately, and gone looking for more monsters to play with. I think they may have already sown the seeds of their own destruction," her face broke into a wide, satisfied grin. "I think they have pissed off Godzilla!"
Godzilla rose from the depths, circling the enemies' nest. The alien spoor had vanished, lost in the encompassing stench of this place. This territory reeked of Quasar, and Man.
Wary of attack, Godzilla slowly advanced. The enemy was here, hiding somewhere. But it could not hide for long. The Monster King strode deliberately onto the beach, making landfall on Selga's northen shore. Its seething glare cut across the landscape, searching for its hated foe. There were no signs of the shimmers anywhere in his field of vision, but there was something else...
The temperature was dropping rapidly. The entire area seemed to be suddenly cooling down, beginning to freeze. Godzilla could see the frost forming across the top of the jungle canopy over which he towered, watched as the tiny crystals began to dot his hide. He roared then, a deafening anguished sound! It was the aliens, he knew, but where were they? Where?!
Then, another roar split the air. An indescribable screech that could freeze the blood on its own! Godzilla turned, to face the source of this strange new cry. Turned, and faced the new form of the enemy. Tentacles flailing, clustered beneath an enormous arrowhead crest, the power of the Quasars dancing in its eyes. This was the scourge of Selga, the nemesis of the SeaGod. This was Gezorah!
"I am sorry, Kenji Bradley. We have already done all we can to aid you," Riko grimly pronounced. "I do not know where Hiroki has gone."
"Why are we getting the cold shoulder here, Riko? We're only trying to help!" Ken still couldn't understand what this guy's problem was. Him or his booze-hound son.
"Godzilla has come. We believe he may have followed the two of you," Saki confessed apologetically. "Mikki has been offended, we can aid you no further." The Selgans slowly dispersed, turning their backs on the Bradleys.
"Godzilla is here? Well, I guess that pretty much confirms the veracity of Iako's story," Kyo observed.
"You seem to be taking this rather well," said Ken.
"I think I am getting used to it."
"Getting used to it?! Good lord I've created a monster!"
"Very funny, Mr. Bradley. Now get moving. We still have work to do, and a promise to keep."
The grotesque Gezorah shambles forth from the jungles, its monstrous eyes pulsing with the power of the Quasars control. It advances on Godzilla, heralding its attack with an ear piercing shriek, and an invisible nimbus of icy, brittle cold!
Godzilla braces against the charge and roars! At last, there is a target for his fury. He grapples with the slimy beast, repelling the assault with a clench clawed fist right between the eyes! Gezorah staggers, overbalancing as the force of the blow is joined by the force of gravity, and finally, Gezorah falls! Again, Godzilla roars his terrible rage to the heavens and bears down upon the giant squid.
Without warning, twin whiplike arms shoot forth and ensnare Godzilla in their suctioned grip! The saurian struggles, but cannot break free! The Quasars delight in the conflict, activating Gezorah's most potent natural weapon. From within the suckers that line the monster's whips emerge rows of sharp, curving claws! Godzilla screams as the bony knives extend, penetrating his hide! Instinctively, he backs away from the attack, allowing Gezorah to regain its footing. Finally, the Quasars sense their triumph at hand. The mutant squid would shred the foul beast limb from limb!
"Kenji, this is not working," Kyoko lamented, hacking her way through the brush.
"Well we've already covered the area from the resort to the village, to where we ran aground. We had to cut inland!"
"But we are getting nowhere. There must be a way to get Hiroki to come to us," said Kyo, contemplating their plight. "Kenji, how good is your eyesight?"
"Twenty twenty," he replied.
"Genki desu. Now, can you climb that tree?" She pointed to an ancient cocoanut palm rising over sixty feet into the canopy.
"Uh, sure," he confirmed with a smile.
Kyo smiled back. "Take this rope. Just throw it around the trunk, grab the ends and walk it up with you," she passed him a length of thick, knotted hemp. "I will cut ahead, to the top of that rise. After that, we try something else." Her katana was one of the few possesions salvaged from the ship's wreckage. It came up in a flash, point under Kenji's nose. "Agreed, darling?"
"Agreed!" Ken mocked terror, and Kyo kissed him. "Wait a minute, how about I blaze ahead and you can climb the tree?" He shouted after her.
"Sorry, Kenji. This sword is Samurai. A Bushido blade," she swept the weapon through the tangled foliage, cleaving it effortlessly. "No one may touch it but me," she waved. "See you soon!" And started off again.
"Sure I says," Ken muttered to himself. "Just walk it up the tree she says..." He arranged the rope hopefully around the trunk's girth. "Nobody touches it but me. Hmph! So it's her great grandfather's Ginsu," he griped. "Probably says 'Made in Japan' on it!" He grabbed the ends of the rope, set a foot upon the tree and pulled. Quickly, he pulled his other foot up, bracing himself stiff legged against the trunk, and completely unable to move. "I'm in trouble again," he sighed.
A cave on Selga's Western coast.
The ocean comes inland here, flowing beneath the rock to form a subterranean sea. This was once a place of great power, Hiroki knew. He could feel it. He had scoured the cavern, searching for something he could not name. Something that found him instead.
"Feeling lost, Hiroki?" A dark cloaked figure was striding closer, from deep within the cave.
"Who's that?!" The sailor yelped in surprise.
"Do not fear. It is I, Iako." The figure came closer, to stand in the dim light filtering in from the entrance. The withered hag had vanished. To Hiroki, she appeared as she had the last time they met.
"If you wish a fight, sorceress..." Hiroki postured, trembling.
Iako laughed at the misplaced bravado. "I wish to talk."
"Talk about what?"
"The Bradleys. Have you found them yet?"
"Found them? No..."
"Do not hesitate, Hiroki san. Godzilla cannot defeat these creatures alone."
"Hei, and you must help him," she paused, stepping closer to the native. "You are sober, that is a relief. The chosen of the SeaGod should not be entirely witless."
"Never mind. Do you remember the old wartime munitions dumps nearby?"
"Yeah, I could find them."
"Find Kenji and Kyoko first. They will know what to do," the woman turned to stride away. "Look to the south. I can tell you no more." With that, she disappeared back into the cavern.
A chill ran through Hiroki at the strange encounter. "Holy shit. I gave up drinking for this?"
Ken had managed to ascend nearly three full steps before landing flat on his butt. From the nearby brush came the sound of soft giggling. Somebody was laughing at him.
"Kyo! Is that you?" He half shouted, embarrassed. Then, he saw her. A little girl, an islander judging by her tanned skin. "Hello, little one," Ken greeted her warmly, trying to sound reassuring. "Sorry, I yelled. I didn't mean to scare you. I guess I must look pretty silly, huh?"
The child nodded affirmation, then giggled again.
"Terrific," he said. "My name is Kenji. Ken Bradley. What's your name?"
The child considered this for a moment, looking as if she might run away. Finally, "Suzy," she said.
"Suzy? Cool name!" Ken was genuinely pleased. "I'm from America, Suzy is a very popular name there. Very nice."
The girl seemed shy and very quiet, but she smiled at Kenji's words. "Thank you, Ken-ji," she said softly.
"You're welcome. By the way..." He began, still a bit embarrassed. "I seem to be having a bit of trouble with this tree," he held the rope's knotted ends in a hopeless gesture. "I don't suppose you'd be able to show me how this works?"
The child smiled widely, holding forth her own length of sturdy rope, presumably for a similar purpose. "Please, tell me about America?" She asked coyly
Now it was Ken's turn to laugh. "Okay Suzy, you talked me into it!" He thankfully agreed.
A surge of radioactive brilliance flashes along the bony dorsal shields that line Godzilla's spine, and he blasts! The beam emerges from his maw, striking Gezorah in the eyes! The Quasars scream, the sound echoing in Godzilla's mind, and he blasts the beast again!
The unnatural cold had become intense now, as if seeping in from the icy depths of outer space. The blood that ran from Godzilla's wounds freezing solid long before it hit the Earth. Only Gezorah itself seemed unaffected by the phenomenon.
Blinded, the mutant squid panicked! It swarmed over Godzilla, coiling him in its many legs. The Saurian snarled fiercely, and loosed another blast at its enemy's head. Gezorah's grip tightened...
The Astro-Quasars had lost control for a moment. It was the intense pain, the injury to its bioform that overrode the command impulse, allowing the creature to react instinctively. This was not good. However, it had seemed to be somewhat effective in this instance. With a roar, Godzilla's legs were pulled from under him, and the King was down! Gezorah sluiced triumphantly over its fallen foe, slowly retracting its now crimson claws, to prepare for an even better grip.
Godzilla was quickly freezing solid, and he knew it.
"Incredible," said Ken, peering out over the canopy. Suzy had led the climb, it was easy as soon as the girl had convinced Ken to remove his boots, his bare feet finding purchase on the rough bark.
"Look," she cried. To the north, they spied a vast cloud of frozen gasses. Strange shapes moved within the nimbus, battling. One of them, Ken realized, was familiar.
"Godzilla is here," he spoke, the dread evident in his voice. He had survived one attack by the monster already. Two, he was sure, would be pushing it.
Suzy tugged Ken's shirt and pointed. "See that little house?" She asked, directing his gaze.
"Yeah. I see it," he confirmed, spotting the roofline of a not too distant shack.
"That is where you must go. Where you will find what you need."
"To destroy the Helio-7," she said matter of factly.
"O-kay," Ken agreed, surprised by her apparent knowledge of his intentions. "What do you say we start down now?" He asked nervously. Suzy nodded agreement, and they began the descent.
" Kenji!" They were nearing the bottom when the shout surprised them, causing the girl to miss a step.
"Easy little lady! That's my wife, Kyoko. C'mon, she'll be thrilled to meet you, and thank you for your help."
"You're welcome, Ken-ji," the native bowed her head, and they continued down.
"It's no good, Kenji. I made the rise, but saw nothing that would aid us," Kyo reported. "We must try something different to locate the illustrious captain."
"I think I've found someone who can help." Ken knew his wife was gonna love this kid. "Kyoko, I'd like you to meet..." Ken shifted against his rope to peer around the trunk. He realized the girl's rope was now missing. "Suzy?" And so was the girl.
"Suzy? Who is Suzy?" Kyoko asked curiously.
Ken's knees were trembling. With about thirty feet to go, where on Earth could the child have gone?!
Part Four: NEMESIS
Godzilla lay frozen, buried beneath a growing layer of ice. The monster Gezorah was slowly freezing the island solid. But the people of Selga had plans of their own this day.
"Now!" Screamed Riko, hurling the first spear. Gezorah felt the sharp pain of the tiny projectile entering his flesh. The weapon burns! Riko had made sure, every speartip, every blade, every weapon in the village, all were soaked in the blood of the SeaGod. The Quasars could feel it too.
Gezorah reeled, screaming! An endless volley of torches and spears from the natives, bullets from the resort staffers, rained upon the mutant squid. Then, it spotted Riko. He was one of the humans the Quasars had allowed to live, after daring to oppose them in the first encounter. Shambling from atop the fallen Godzilla, the Astro-Quasars are determined that Riko shall live no more!
"We are nearly there now, Kenji," Kyo cut a path northward through the brush, heading for the shack Ken had spoken of. "You should have let me get you back to the resort," she scolded him lovingly. "You scared me half to death falling out of that tree!"
"Kyo, I know you don't understand. I don't understand it either, that little girl just disappeared!" Ken exclaimed, still puzziling the experience. "Oh, man. Maybe Hiroki was right. Maybe it was the potion his parents gave me. He said he'd seen it have strange effects on non-natives."
"And yet you took it anyway?" His wife embraced him. "You are all mine now, and I like you all in one piece! Please try to be more careful, Kenji!" She looked him square in the eye and kissed him.
"I can definitely report one effect of that potion," Ken began. "The augmented physical state we experienced seems to be wearing off for me. I hurt!"
"Can't say I didn't warn you, Bradley," Hiroki appeared from the treeline. "I know my drinks." The young salt seemed somehow changed since they last met. It was the first time they had seen him sober.
"Konichi wa, Captain. I hope your voyage was equally as pleasant as mine," Kyoko chided.
"Mrs. Bradley, I can only apologize for our ordeal at sea, as well as for the way I treated you earlier," Hiro bowed low before them. "I am a drunken fool who has only now begun to see things as they truly are. I believe it was fate that brought the three of us here, together.
"You drank the Godblood, didn't you?" Asked Kenji.
"Hai. My parents were right. The aliens are real," he confirmed.
"We know. Iako spilled her guts," Ken explained. "Just before she died. She told us we could hurt them by destroying the Helio-7. She told us you could help."
"Iako has died?" Hiroki was shocked, and unwilling to appear any more the madman by revealing his encounter with her in the sea cave. "Yeah, Bradley. I think maybe I can help."
"Well, there it is," said Ken, looking decidedly pleased with himself. The hut he had spotted from his vantage atop the giant palm had turned out to be an old munitions dump. One of the many dangerous remnants of World War Two left scattered across Selga.
"Is that...thing really going to work, Kenji?" Asked Kyoko, looking doubtfully at the ramshackle device.
"Of course. It's just a standard depth charge. Explosive compartment, watertight naturally. There's the triggering mechanism, and the underwater fuse." Ken couldn't resist the urge to boast. "A little trick I learned from a radical activist back at the Haight. 'Used to blow up cop cars back in the sixties."
"Kenji! I hope you are kidding!" Scolded Kyo. Ken just smiled.
"I gotta hand it to ya Bradley," Hiroki smacked his companion's shoulder. "I could never have gotten these components to work without ya."
"Piece of cake. But you've still got to get us to the spacecraft," Ken said. "And the sooner the better! Kyo, could you help me up?" Ken fealt dizzy, lightheaded. The world spun too quickly, and he fell.
"Kenji! What is wrong?" Kyo held her husband closely.
"I don't think I'm gonna be much more help, hon. I think I'm gonna be sick..." he replied weakly.
From the brush, a group of natives approached. Hiroki could see his mother among them. She was screaming. "Hiroki! Hiroki, it is Gezorah!" Saki shouted, terrified. "The aliens are controlling it again. They are attacking our people. I believe they are after your father!"
"Hi, Ma," Hiroki smiled, and hugged her for a moment. It had been far too long since he had done that. "Listen, I need you to do me a favor. I want you to get the Bradleys here down to the shore. To where you can see the spacecraft."
"My son, we cannot do this. Those two have brought the dragon Godzilla here. The SeaGod has been offended!"
"Mom, I know all about the will of the SeaGod now. Well, at least I'm learning. Anyway," Hiroki did not have the words to convince her. "You've got to trust me on this one."
"What about your father?" Asked Saki.
"I'll just have to go rescue him, won't I?" Hiro replied.
"Are you sure that is wise, captain?" Aked Kyo.
"You're gonna need back up, man. And right now I don't see any around," Ken warned.
"Thanks guys, but somehow I feel this is the right way to go. What you two need to worry about is getting that bomb into position. I'll join you as quickly as I can." Hiroki realised then, he was in the company of people he could call both family, and freinds. "Mr. Bradley is not well, Ma. Please take good care of him."
"Hiroki, I told you. We cannot do this! The SeaGod Mikki has been angered! We..."
Her son cut short her protests. "Mom, It was Mikki who summoned Godzilla here, not the Bradleys. I am here because of Her as well, you know that. Do this for me, Ma," Hiroki took her hand and pleaded. "Please."
Saki looked around at the rest of the villagers. They too could see, her son was right. "All right, Hiroki. I shall trust you," she replied. "We will do as you wish."
The attack on Gezorah had not gone well. The meager Selgan forces had been routed, forced to retreat. Automatically, the mass of human aggressors split up, spreading out into the freezing jungle. It soon became apparent what the monster's true target was; The beast was after Riko!
Realizing it's intent, the warriors began to regroup, to converge on Riko's position. The unnatural cold and exertion of the chase were starting to slow them down. They had to fight on the run. Those who fell behind would soon be dead.
The Selgans had broken through the treeline, to emerge into a wide open valley. Here, they hoped to gain some ground, put some distance between themselves and the advancing monstrosity. Suddenly, a figure appeared, blocking their path. Riko halted as the man approached. "Hiroki!" He called in recognition. "What do you think you are doing?"
Hiroki faced his father, unsure of what to say. The look on his face however, seemed to convey his intentions quite clearly. He smiled at his father, and Riko smiled back. "Get out of here, dad. I've got you covered."
"Be careful, son." The Selgans turned, and bolted away across the clearing.
Hiroki stood his ground as the mutant beast drew closer. "Why didn't I stick to drinking wine?!" He thought.
On the shore.
Ken was shaking badly now. Kyoko held him close, and told him she loves him. "Kenji, I cannot wait here much longer. I must do something!" She seethed with frustration. "I must make the dive."
"Kyo," he whispered. "You don't want to do that. We need an exact coordinate to reach that ship."
"I have an approximate location. I can make it."
"You need an exact location," he protested. "You need Hiroki. Man, I bet Suzy could help, if we could find her."
At that, Ken and Kyo's native companions took note of their conversation. Saki approached them, an incredulous look on her face. "Sumimassen, Bradley san. Did you say 'Suzy'?" She inquired.
"Hai! You see Kyoko, I knew someone had to know of the girl! She showed me where to find the explosives, and helped me climb a tree."
"Suzy is what Hiroki called his little sister, Susaki," Saki said.
"Cute kid," Ken began. "But she took off on me so fast it was like she disappeared."
"My daughter has been dead for nearly eight years now, Bradley san. Killed in a Great Storm much like the one we recently endured." A tear escaped Saki's eye, remembering. She drew herself up, looking scornfully at the jury rigged bomb. "That machine can hurt the aliens?" She asked.
The Bradleys were near speechless. "We, we believe so," said Ken. "Saki, I'm sorry if I upset you. It must have been a made up name the girl gave me. I didn't know..."
"You must rest now, Mr. Bradley. You are not well. Mrs. Bradley, if you are ready, I can show you how to reach the spacecraft," Saki proffered. "I will make the dive with you."
An icy gale whipped past Hiroki as Gezorah appeared, towering high above the canopy. The giant creature shrieked in outrage, and bore down upon the tiny human. "Holy shit." Hiroli exclaimed, pulling the flask of Godblood from his jacket. "This had better work!"
Hiroki unstoppered the flask,and began the chant of the SeaGod. The half remembered words coming slowly back to him from his childhood. Eyes closed, he poured the liquid onto the ground, his hands moving automatically, as if guided by the fluid itself. The cold grew intense as the monster drew nearer...
A wave of blinding heat struck Gezorah, stopping it dead in its tracks. The effect on the aliens was like hitting a brick wall at fifty miles an hour, like being slammed into a windshield! Disrupted, they struggled to regain control, but the creature refused to move. Gazing down at their intended prey, the Quasars could see why.
The human was glowing, burning like a star! The heat blast had somehow come from Hiroki! Through the monstrous squid's eyes, the aliens could see the man's spear hurtling toward it like a comet. Then, Gezorah was burning too.
In the distance, Suzy could see the aliens spark and flash around the monster's fprm, exploding outward in a frantic effort to escape! The Spiritfire had routed the Quasars, but freed now from their control, the monster Gezorah goes wild, and Hiroki stood right in its path!
Quickly, she rope-walked down from her perch in the canopy and approached the massive glacier that covered Godzilla. From her bag, she withdrew a slender flask. She placed it to her lips, and drained it of its contents. The child spat forth the liquid, forcing it into a fine spray. The spray seemed to linger, to hover in the icy air. It coalesced and contorted, becoming a mist, spreading over the glacier, covering it in a thick blanket of fog.
"Mikki," the child spoke, and the fog ignited! "Guide us." An intense electric glare began to flash through the jungle. A heat blast cracking through the brittle foliage and into the glacier as well. The glare seemed to focus, to center on Godzilla. It spread through the beast, warming him, bringing him back to life! Slowly, the creature's great red eyes opened, and he began to rise.
Hiroki screamed as the Quasars flew past him, heading desperately for the shore. "Oh no," he thought. "They're heading back to the spaceship!"
A giant tentacle slammed into the ground beside him, and he flew! Hiroki looked up from his landing in the bushes to see Gezorah gazing back. With the Quasars gone, the monster was free!
A blast of energy struck Gezorah from behind, and it screamed! The flash throwing Hiroki temporarily into darkness. He felt a hand fall upon his shoulder, and screamed as well! He dimly registered a figure wavering before him, pulling him to his feet.
"Run," it spoke, urging him into the forest. "Now! Now!!" Terrified, he bolted, his vision clearing as he ran. The darkness however, was not fading as expected. It was growing. Gezorah was falling, and Hiroki was caught in its shadow.
The natives tended Kenji, now unconscious, and watched as Saki and Kyoko swam ever further into the waves. A chill blew onto the scene, and for a moment, the sun's flashes on the water seemed to move against its motions. Then the strange effect was gone, as if the flickering lights had moved beneath the waves.
"I can see it," Saki cried as she broke the surface, gasping for breath. "But I cannot reach it. It is down too deep."
The woman was incredible, thought Kyo. She must be fifty years old, yet remains as fit as if she were twenty. Kyo prayed she too would be blessed with the same stamina as she grew older. But for right now, she reminded herself, she has it. "Saki, how long would it take to reach the ship? You know, if someone could hold their breath that long."
"Too long! Two minutes hard diving would get you there, but you could not pause long enough to avoid the bends on the way up," Saki gripped Kyoko's arm, trying to make her understand. "No one can hold their breath that long!"
"I think maybe I can," said Kyo, trying to reassure the woman as well as herself. "Kenji and I were recently exposed to some of the ancient magics of the Koshida tribe, among other things. It left us with a vitality we had never before known. The effect left Kenji after he drank the potion your people regard as the blood of Mikki," Kyo strapped the explosive tighter to her waist. "But it has not left me. I am the only one who might have a chance of planting the bomb, and coming out alive."
"Mrs. Bradley! Kyoko, I cannot let you..."
"You cannot stop me," Kyo assured her. "Please, Saki, tell Kenji I love him. That I will always love him."
"Kyoko, no!" Saki screamed, but Kyoko was gone.
Hiroki fairly flew through the trees as Gezorah crashed into the frozen ground beside him! The monster squealed in pain as Godzilla appeared, dorsal plates flashing, signalling another blast. Hiroki decided he had best keep on running!
The beam seemed to bore into the back of the monster squid's carapace, the Spiritfire now mixing with the Atomfire, setting Gezorah ablaze! The ice sheets cracked and vast clouds of steam arose as Godzilla continued to blast at the enemy, his rage renewing as he realized the aliens had escaped him again!
Gezorah flailed wildly, attempting to ward off the attack. It managed to turn itself, to face its tormentor. The spear of the SeaGod still burning in its eye. Godzilla took no pleasure in the kill, the true enemy was still about...
Kyoko swam fiercely for the bottom, a strange combination of hope and dread propelling her. The scale tipped toward hope as the spacecraft came into view. It had taken her just over a minute to reach the craft, way under Saki's estimate. Bends or no, she was going to make it!
She unstrapped the explosive from her waist and checked the settings. The device was primed. She need only squeeze the syringe on top, forcing air into the phosphorous fuse. Once ignited, the chemical would be drawn through a glass tube and into the explosive compartment, Kenji had explained. Taught by a man who blew up police cars, indeed!
Kyo grabbed hold of the sunken craft. It was ice cold! She knew the ocean too was chill, but her augmented state allowed her to resist extreme temperatures. It would be a very bad time for the effect to wear off! She swam down to the ship's hatchway. It was open, and from within came a strange electronic pulse, half audible, half visible in the deep sea twilight. She peered inside, and was met by the source of the pulsing. The wounded creatures Iako called Yog now danced within the probe! Kyo's eyes went wide as the aliens became aware of her presence, and attacked!
Saki floundered on the surface as her companions raced to pull her from the waves. She was exhausted, and wracked with anguish. The salt of her tears mixing with the salt of the sea.
"Mother!" Hiroki came racing from out of the brush, having left the monsters battle far behind. He ran to Saki, and helped bring her ashore. "Ma, what are you doing?!" He scanned the scene. "Where's Mrs. Bradley?"
Saki sobbed a response. "I could not stop her. She took the explosive and dove for the ship."
"Terrific. What about her husband?"
"Very sick," she said. "He sleeps too deeply."
He's in a bloody coma, thought Hiroki. And as for his wife! The woman just proved herself senseless as well as pushy, but they were both in trouble because of him. Now his course was clear. As clear as the sky. "Mom, I've got to help Kyoko. I think the Quasars are down there too." He kissed her cheek, and ran into the surf. "Godzilla may still be after them. I'd clear out of here if I were you!"
"Hiroki," Saki sighed. "I don't want to lose you again. Mikki, guide my son!"
Hiroki tread water, checking his position with landmarks on the shore. Strangely, he realized, he no longer wanted that drink. He filled his lungs and dove.
Hiroki could feel the pressure and the ache in his lungs as the craft came into view. He pushed the pain aside, and focused on his goal. Almost there, as a figure emerged from the probe's open hatch and faced him. It was Kyoko alright, but the light of the Quasars shone in her eyes. She had been possessed!
Godzilla tramped through the jungle, enraged! The corpse of Gezorah lay burning behind him, slowly reversing the icy effects of the aliens freezing touch. Ahead, the shore came into view. The Quasars spoor was leading him there. Leading him back to the sea. Godzilla howled, determined this hunt would end!
Saki and her companions had heeded her son's advice, leaving the scene as quickly as they could. The near lifeless form of Kenji Bradley slowed them as they struggled down the shoreline, heading back to the resort. They did not move quite quickly enough...
A menacing roar that could only have come from the monster Godzilla sounded in the air. The beast was drawing closer. Saki stopped to check on her unconscious charge, shaking him, calling his name. But Kenji was somewhere very far away, and danger was very, very near.
"Everyone, into the trees! Get away from the open shore!" Saki ordered. They dragged Ken into the brush, and propped him in the hollow of an ancient tree. Saki joined him there, and spoke; "Listen now. You must all leave here immediately. Get to the resort if you can. I will stay with Mr. Bradley."
"Saki, we cannot just leave you here!" Cried one of the group.
"I was the one who persuaded him to drink the Blood of the SeaGod. His condition is my fault, my responsibility." She glared at her fellows, the look in her eyes driving the point home. There would be no argument that could sway her decision. "Do not add your deaths to burden my conscience as well, my friends."
"Mikki guide you," they said tearfully, and turned to disappear into the brush. The sounds of foliage being mashed beneath the monster's feet grew louder, and Saki held tight to the motionless American as the figure of Godzilla reared high above the trees!
Below the waves.
Hiroki's body felt like a black hole, aching to suck in air. His life so far had been worth so little, he thought. He had caused his people, his parents, nothing but pain. Now it was payback time.
A sardonic smile grew on the visage of Kyoko Bradley as the Quasars commanded her to attack! She flew at Hiroki, baring teeth and nails, the aliens using her as if she were one of the Daikaiju that were their favorite toys! Instinctively, Hiroki punched, hitting the woman in the face. Kyoko recoiled at the violent contact. The Blood of Mikki now flowed within this man, disrupting the aliens' control with his touch! He dove past her, and into the derelict spacecraft.
The bomb lay within the tiny capsule. Kyoko must have managed to place it there before she was overcome. Hiroki reached for the device, and squeezed the trigger! Suddenly, he was grabbed by his feet, and an irresistable force pulled him roughly from the ship. The ache in his lungs was like a sledgehammer now, as the maddened Quasars forced Kyoko to grab at him, digging her nails into his throat! The world grew dark aroud Hiroki as he realised, neither one of them was going to escape the blast...
Part Five: SON OF YOG
Kenji Lawrence Bradley walked calmly across the landscape of his mind. The place was verdant, almost tropical. A volcano steamed slowly on the horizon, its gasses mixing with the billowing clouds that marred the sky. This was, he realized, one of the primordial chemical laboratories of Creation. He basked in its natural rhythms, joining with its ancient secrets. He was getting more and more lost.
A pebble dropped from the tree above him, and he saw the little girl crouched in the branches. Then he remembered, she was supposed to be dead. "Suzy! Where... where are we?"
"You are lost, Ken-ji," the child pulled a slim flask from her bag and passed it to him. "This will show you the way home."
"Am I gonna die?" He asked bluntly.
Suzy seemed to consider it for a moment. "In time," she smiled, and faded from the scene. Kenji quickly gulped down the flask.
Godzilla paused where the trees met the sand. He could sense the alien spoor here plainly, but there was another, familiar scent. It was accompanied by a tiny spark of brilliance from the ground far below. The beast turned to discover its source.
Kenji became aware of a violent rumbling. He opened his eyes, and saw Saki was with him. Gently, he clasped her hand.
"Mr. Bradley, you've awakened!" She half whispered.
"Saki, where are we?" Ken whispered back.
"In trouble," she replied, the ground trembling with her words.
Ken quickly scrambled from the hollow, and out into the trees. A shadow cast over him, spreading out across the landscape. A low guttural growl rose from somewhere behind and above him. He turned toward the sound, and before him stood Godzilla, the King of the Monsters!
Kenji froze. The immense creature was looking directly at him! From the hollow, Saki signaled for him to get on his knees. With no better ideas in mind, Ken quickly complied!
The surrounding brush rustled as a party of stealthy figures approached. Riko and his spearmen had arrived! Catching Ken's eye, Riko shook his weapon at the looming monster. Kenji shook his head, signaling an emphatic no! Both men turned as Saki emerged from the trees, and began to chant.
Godzilla observed the tiny humans, standing ready to eliminate them at the least provocation. Then he heard the song. The music was familiar, pulsing in time with the glow. It was the same glow which had freed him from the glacier. The glow that disrupted his alien enemy. Godzilla knew, the glow was an ally.
From somewhere offshore came the muffled sound of an explosion. The surface flew into shrapnel and steam as the Helio-7 detonated, blasting forth from beneath the waves! The humans and the monster alike turned toward the sudden eruption to see. The Spiritfire dimmed around Ken as he realized what must have occurred.
"Kyoko?" He asked Saki. fresh tears of horror ran down the woman's cheeks, and she buried her face in her hands, sobbing. Kenji raced from the trees and into the rolling surf. "Kyoko!" He called, over and over.
Godzilla watched as the glow faded, revealing the human within. The tiny creature bolted from the trees, racing toward the source of the explosion. The monster could also see the reason why. Another light, another of its kind burned dimly beneath the waves, caught in the blast. This one now ran to its aid.
Then the beast made the connection. The humans were fighting the aliens as well. They had caused the explosion in the sea. They had destroyed the Quasars!
The echoes and images left by the alien supermind had vanished from Godzilla's brain. The island, however, still reeked of their unnatural essence. The monster considered the tiny creatures clustering in the jungle below. He could see the one who had glowed, the ally, pushing farther out to sea. Godzilla turned away then, to let the humans deal with their own. His own mission here was not yet done.
Kenji swam fiercely against the waves, and into the growing slick of flotsam. Behind him, Godzilla was heading away from the scene, moving east along the shoreline. Moving toward the resort. Riko drove his spear into the sand, and raced to Kenji's aid. They spotted the bodies almost immediately.
Hiroki and Kyoko were ice cold, and niether of them breathed. Kenji pressed his wife's bent legs up and down, forcing water from her lungs. Riko watched, and did the same for Hiroki.
"The potion. They need the Blood of Mikki!" Riko called as he tried to rub the life back into his son. Kenji placed his wife next to the young sailor and prayed. Saki approached, bringing the Selgans sacred elixir. Ken allowed the woman to pour the fluid down Kyoko's throat. A shallow gurgle was her only response.
"C'mon, Kyoko!" Ken pinched close her nose, locked his mouth 'round hers and exhaled, forcing his breath into her lungs. Kyoko's chest expanded, then collapsed, bringing forth the rest of the choking fluid. She drew a deep reflexive breath, and choked again. "She's breathing," Ken cried. "You're okay now, Kyo. I've got you."
Beside them, Hiroki too choked awake, sucking the air back into his body. "My son," Saki gently forced a sip into him as his father continued to massage his limbs. Hiroki smiled at his family, and they held each other tight.
Kyoko smiled also, looking into her beloved's eyes. "Definitely no more ocean travel, Mr. Bradley," she croaked. Kenji kissed her and wordlessly agreed.
Godzilla moved purposefully onward. Inland, the corpse of Gezorah burned slowly on the horizon, filling the air with its smoke and its steam. Behind him lay the mass of rubble once called the Submarine Resort. The place had stunk of Quasar, giving Godzilla a target for his unvented rage. Still ahead lay the monster's final goal.
The trees had given way to hills. The hills soon became cliffs. The cliffs rose, until Godzilla stood before the giant stone facade that marked the cavern of the SeaGod. The mutant saurian's dorsal plates flashed with power as he unleashed the Atomfire, and smashed through the rocky surface of the cave!
Inside, the cavern was aglow with the light of the Spiritfire, the light of the ally. Part of the energy, Godzilla sensed, was human in nature. Part of it was not. The light focused and turned, shooting twin beams of brilliance deep into the cavern's interior. The beams came to rest upon the surface of the underground ocean, illuminating the spot where lay the enemy's spawn!
Corruscating slowly in their creche of magnetic energy, the baby Quasars pulsed and flashed. The Spiritfire also shifted, moving closer to the alien egg. The glowing mass of stellar force seemed to react to their presence, and cautiously, Godzilla approached. He knew then, the nascent life forms were about to hatch!
The natives welcomed the refugees from the resort with open arms. The staffers and guests made themselves as helpful as they could. For once, their mutual animosity was forgotten. They were too busy just surviving to fight.
Kenji watched over his sleeping bride. He had known her primarily as the demure scholar until now. She has turned out to be so much more. She risked her life for these people, and for him. "I love you," he whispered, kissing her smooth cheek.
"Mr. Bradley?" Riko and Saki were approaching, along with a small entourage of islanders. Ken was instantly mortified, they appeared to be bearing gifts. "How is she?" Saki inquired.
"Recovering I believe. Thanks to both of you. And Hiroki?"
"Our son sleeps also. You showed great courage today, Mr. Bradley, as has your wife," Riko began. "We wish to give you our thanks..." The attendants came forward, placing their strange offerings at the foot of Kyoko's resting mat. "Selga has few treasures left to offer. We hope these temple relics will keep you both in the favor of the SeaGod."
Ken studied the objects before him; A runestaff, a length of rope, a pair of slim flasks and a conch. All were decorated with the symbol of Mikki, the Spirit of the Sea. "Thank you," said Ken. "Thank you all. I, I'm afraid I have nothing I can offer in return."
"You have already given us the one thing we most wished for. You have returned to us our son," said Saki, bending to hug him.
"There is a deep faith here, in the magic of these totems," began Riko. "The staff is graven with the song of the SeaGod, as well as the conditions of its use." Riko too bent close now. "We believe you are not among those who would surely abuse these blessings. Do not prove us wrong." A clear yet cheerful warning. Kenji humbly smiled.
A commotion rose at the village's edge. A pair of tribesman yelling something like 'strangers', or 'soldiers', as a line of Defense Force jeeps appeared from the foliage. Instinctively, those who were armed all drew their weapons at once. "I want weapons slung!" Barked Captain Nakano, as the vehicles came screeching to a halt.
"Nakano!" The entire camp turned at Kenji's shout. "It's me, Bradley. Nobody shoot nobody!!"
"Ha ta, Bradley san!" The Captain was wide eyed. "How in the world did you wind up here, Bradley? And what did you do with Godzilla?"
Ken could not supress a laugh. "Do with him? I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but we last saw him heading for the resort. He was mighty pissed, too."
"Why do you say that?"
"Because we managed to take out his enemy ourselves, I suppose. Robbed him of his prey. Don't worry, Nakano, you'll hear the whole story," Ken assured him.
"Listen up!" The Captain barked. "I want all personell deployed to render assistance. There will be no more hostilities here." Slowly, everyone began to relax. The danger was past. Almost.
From the East came a rumble and a great crashing of stone. Then the flash, like lightning. Like fire. A dwarf mushroom cloud began to billow up from the horizon, evidence of what must have been some kind of sub-atomic blast!
"Hey, Nakano," Ken roared. "I think we just found Godzilla!"
The Spiritfire danced in the cavern of the SeaGod, flashing and frantic! The magnetic cradle had finally cracked, and the Yogspawn flowed free!
An evil stench assailed Godzilla's flaring nostrils. This was no offspring emerging from the field. It was a duplicate, a fission clone. Yog, the monster from space had been reborn!
Again, the alien images fill Godzilla's mind as the newborn makes contact. The creature was probing, even a slim foothold could allow Yog to imprint on the beast. It's first contact with a bioform establishing the newborns' base frequency. And first contacts with newborn Quasars always end with the chosen host's death!
"Godzilla, no!" Suzy screamed at the monster. It seemed distracted, interested perhaps, in this new form of Yog. It was losing control of its mind.
Quickly, the child uncoiled her rope, slip knotted a hasty loop, and hurled the line at the alien spawn! The throw made its mark, lassooing the stellar symbiont in a shining circle of Spiritfire! "Fight it, Godzilla. Fight it!" She screamed, pulling desperately on the line.
Godzilla could sense the ally's message. He could see the force of its struggle burning in the air around it. The Spiritfire burned around the enemy too, breaking its contact with his mind! Godzilla tapped into his own vast atomic mass, and focused. The triple dorsals flashed, then burned with a rising glow, generating a defensive plasma field around his giant form. He grabbed for the enemy, and tore it free from his flesh. The aliens screamed, trapped by the creatures claws!
Suzy took the slack and moved, entering the ring of boulder stones that had recently cradled the unborn Yog. The rock here was a unique conglomerate of isotopes and ores, creating a magnetically charged anomaly within the cavern walls. It was a natural force field. With the right power source to strengthen it, it could become the perfect Quasar trap!
"Godzilla!" She cried. "Put them back! Put them back in the egg!"
The ally flashed its meaning clearly, catching the beast's eye. Godzilla gripped the shifting mass in his energy enhanced claws, and plunged the Yog back into the pool from which it came. The monster could feel it now, the energy that danced among the stones. It seemed to intensify as his claws entered it. The Spiritfire flashed wildly around the alien now, speaking to him.
"Godzilla, charge the field!" Suzy screamed. The beast observed the ally's glow, considering its meaning. "You must trap the enemy here, your power can make the field unbreakable!" The monster paused, then responded with a deep and deafening bellow!
The subterranean depths shook with the sound, cracking through the very bedrock of the island! The Quasars surged, then fell still. The sonic force had knocked them out. The field grew weaker as Godzilla withdrew his massive paw and scowled. Holding his claws above the stones, the mutant saurian sparked a minute discharge. Lances of Atomfire arcing out and into the ring of rock. The field glowed brighter.
Suddenly, Yog awoke. The monster from space panicked and thrashed against the barrier. The struggle drawing a countersurge from Godzilla, the field expanding and contracting in a micro-storm of magnetic force! The alien was overwhelmed, its matrixes breaking down, caught in the grip of the elemental force that danced around it. As it died, cursing, it began a chain reaction of its own photonic essence that would blast the cavern, as well as the beast, apart!
The Defense Force convoy arrived at the site of the seacave. The cliff face had been leveled from treeline to shore. Nakano could see the Atomfire still arcing about the smouldering rubble, but where, he wondered, was Godzilla? "Well, Bradley, what do you think?"
"I'd have to say the Helio-7 blast must not have gotten all the creatures, but it looks like Godzilla did!"
Offshore, the ocean seethed and foamed as Godzilla rose triumphant from the sea! The enemy had blown itself to bits to escape him. The island was clean now, the long hunt had come to an end. With an eerie cry, the King of the Monsters proclaimed his dominance to the world. He turned then, and disappeared once more beneath the waves.
"There is a terrible beauty in that creature's voice," said Kyoko.
"The dragon is immortal," Saki professed. "It possesses secrets from beyond antiquity."
"Godzilla is not the only one with secrets here, is he, Mr. Bradley?" Nakano wasn't kidding. Something was nagging him about these two. They knew something they were not letting anyone else in on. Something that might just make the Captain's job a whole lot easier.
"I've given you everything I've got, Nakano. You know that. We're all searching for the same answers here. Honestly," said Ken.
"Believe him, Nakano," Hiroki spoke out. "These are two of the smartest and most honorable people I've ever met. They helped me find something I'd lost sight of long ago."
"Last time I saw you, you were the harbor drunk," Nakano replied cooly. "But something tells me, I can trust you."
"Trust is a wonderful thing, Captain," Kyo began. "But what we truly need is passage to Hokkaido."
"You are in luck, Mrs. Bradley. I just happen to be heading that way. Barring intervention by any more aliens or monsters of course!" Nakano laughed, and drove off down the shore. Those he had addressed agreed, it wasn't very funny.
Beneath the cavern's collapsed walls still stands the ring of stone. At its center lay a tiny sphere of force. The sphere pulses with a sickly alien glow. Dimmed, yet no less eternal, the creatures begin a summoning. A calling out to the minds that dwell around it. Yog knew these creatures, these humans. It knew them intimately. It was only a matter of time before they became unable to resist the call, and time was something Yog had conquered long ago.