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Tarbtano


I came, I saw, I got turned into a Brony. Tumblr link http://xeno-the-sharp-tongue.tumblr.com/

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Dec
28th
2021

Godzilla 2000: New Era, PART 8 · 12:14am Dec 28th, 2021

PART 7
Proofed by Lance-Omikron
Hina by FallenAngel5414

Where an old face stood on the bow of a ship moving at sea, the spray of salt and brine thick in the air and lungs; the mind was elsewhere. Back to a time when all sense of reality and the world itself making sense died. His face wasn't always this old, but it hadn't had much of a chance to grow without being subjected to what shouldn't-be.

Hands gripped the railing of the G-Force vessel and eyes closed. The mental journey flung him back, and it was vivid. Many weren't cursed to have to remember what it was like on that night, up close, seeing man's world become an ocean of flames...

Tokyo, 1954

A terrified face was illuminated by the flashing siren blinking off and on above them, as they turned around a corner of the smoking streets. The headlights were just barely illuminating the thick air before them, that burdened the lungs to even breathe with their weight and viscosity. A large mass suddenly rushed into the illumination and the young man in a Self Defense Force uniform for a mere private nearly had his eyes bulge out of his skull in shock. Wrenching the wheel aside, the car rocked and he was hit with a wave of vertigo during the sharp swerve that lifted one side off the ground. The jeep let out a screech and sparks flew out where the twisted hunk of debris and metal scratched across the side panels and ripped out one headlight. Somewhere in the nausea and tremors he glimpsed what remained of the defensive line.

A 60 meter tall mountain of electrified wire and steel. Bent over and sagging whilst still glowing hot from melting earlier, the heat of the warped metal being the sole reason it was still visible through the smog.

Grit and focus on a singular goal was the only thing that kept him going forward and not crashing into anything, even with more risky turns and maneuvers through streets now full of potholes and rubble.

Familiarity with the city layout and his sole remaining headlight indicating his target were his only way of navigating, the main housing district was up ahead. But unfortunately, the tremors that rattled the bone through the ground and up the jeep tires indicated he wasn’t alone.

A wave of noise so loud that it blurred the vision was the only warning before everything was lit up in a sickly, phosphorus white. Even at the distance, the Private could feel the blazing heat as the wave of fiery wrath washed over a large apartment building like napalm. Windows were instantly burst and walls seared, jets of white blaze shooting out through every other doorway and window in the complex before the foundations gave out. Like a horrid parody of a Christmas tree. The building sagged and loudly bellowed, concrete and support pillars grinding and snapping to spur the structure to lean towards the mainstreet.

Private Takaki Aso, barely 18 years old, cried in raw fear and stomped on the accelerator. The jeep’s engine shrieked and the speedometer ramped up with the increasing RPM. The distance between himself and the path just beyond the building got smaller, and the span between the road and the crumbling building got shorter. It was just a matter of which would reach zero first.

Molten glass and bits of faster-falling rubble pinged off his windshield as the whole building slumped closer. It was like a wave composed of civilization itself and all that entailed. Broken rebar, glass fragments, concrete, and more. Takaki tried desperately not to think about the burning, human-sized masses raining out of some burst windows. One fell past and in the millisecond-by-millisecond perception of time he had while flooded with adrenaline, he hated himself for the rest of his life for looking out his window at the face he saw staring back in phosphorous death.

The tunnel formed by the falling building shrank more and more, and the jeep rumbled on faster and faster. The air was distorted by another unworldly siren, totally unlike any living creature could or should make. His vision blurred again and he saw stars from the rattling his brain got inside his skull. The tunnel past the dying home would have been a gateway to the beyond if he’d been a fraction of a second slower.

The jeep screamed down the road, which made it all the more notable that ash and smoke was thrown past the windows beyond the cab and a hunk of metal managed to rip out the side mirror. Aso gasped and fought to keep control, rapidly identifying anything that lay ahead where the headlight could shine it to vision.

An enormity was glimpsed in his surviving side mirror and he somehow registered it. The horrific rattle that burst the air was what followed, and some instinct compelled him to turn sharply to the left. Said instinct was fortunate as a huge mass came crashing through the front of a movie theater and crushed it and the street before it like matchwood. He couldn’t even conceive what it was, barely able to perceive the mass itself due to sheer magnitudes his mind lacked reference to comprehend, and the enormous gout of dust and debris kicked up. The jeep screamed as it rolled onto one side again and yet managed to turn left.

The sole headlight was choked by fog and falling dust but the very edge of it, for the briefest instant, caught the cusp of scaly skin and ragged, keloid scars visible through the dust; before turning onto another street.

Private Aso sobbed, his gumption broken by sheer terror. It took what felt like an eternity, but was in fact a mere twenty seconds for him to get his wits about him. Contrasting hot and cold sweat poured from every pore, and it was only by glimpsing lights on inside several apartments did a strong drive overtake his shaken body due to a horrifying realization.

His commander had been right before he was crushed to nothingness. There were still people in the buildings, trusting the hardened concrete and steel to shield them from the force of nature outside like it was a mere hurricane.

Private Aso scrambled to pick up the loudspeaker’s transponder, squeezing it tightly and screaming into it so loud his throat felt like it was tearing from a mixture of the thick air and volume after a mere few words.

“GET OUT OF THE BUILDINGS! THEY CAN’T STOP IT! GET OUT OF THE BUILDINGS, YOU’LL BE CRUSHED!”

Tears ran down his eyes and yet he still slowed down to scream out the warning multiple times. The ground shook and rattled at a steady pace. Footsteps, getting closer.

Aso kept screaming for people to evacuate, feeling a small sense of joyous bliss when he saw doors open and people, way too many people than he ever wanted to comprehend in a place like this, started scrambling out.

There were dozens, dozens of families and friends. Why were they still here?! Why didn’t they run like they were told to?! Why did they-

A family of four carrying an elderly woman who evidently couldn’t walk spilled out of their front door and looked towards the JSDF jeep; eyes locked upon the logo.

A whimper came from the young Aso’s lips, guilt crushing his chest in realization.

They’d stayed because of them. Maybe they didn’t trust the Self-Defense Force, which had only formed officially a few months prior. Some parties had raised plenty of concern that this JSDF could just be the next permutation of the Imperial Army, whose actions wound up provoking fire and death to be launched at the homeland in retribution. Takaki was no fan of the Imperial Army, the whole reason he’d joined the JSDF was to prove it would never be the legacy of men like Tojo.

But in the frantic state of his mind, Private Aso couldn’t help but entertain a more damning possibility.

That the people hadn’t left not because they lacked faith in those fighting to protect them, but because they had too much faith in them. Faith they’d have slain this dragon the moment it came from the sea. Faith their protectors would help ensure the city was in one piece and trains were on-time tomorrow. Faith that nothing would be wrong the next day; much less that everything would go wrong on that very night.

Another earthquake of a footstep rattled the world and Takaki acted on pure instinct. This was the last populated district and his stunt of driving around screaming had gotten their attention plenty. The door to the jeep flew open and he waved them down to come as fast as they could. A third and then fourth old-timer were loaded into the jeep and another tremor of a stomp shook the ground.

“GO GO GO! Keep driving! Don’t look back!” Private Aso beat on the doorframe and screamed loud enough he really did tear his throat.

His jeep’s engine deafened him and he watched it go, covering his face to avoid inhaling the smoke coming from the busted muffler. The jeep rolled ahead, thankfully avoiding the crowds.

He wanted to run after them, but the presence of a light still on inside a building gripped his consciousness when he locked eyes with it. Something moved across the light, a clear indicator there was someone still inside the building.

Takaki grimaced and looked about to take light of his surroundings. A tremor, a stomp, rattled his vision and shook his joints so bad it felt like his bones scraping together. Looking back down the street, all he could see for a moment was a gout of smoke, dust, and ash from the road clear into the night sky. And then, in a rush of motion multiple meters off the ground, he glimpsed the smog shift from something moving inside of it. Through the dark haze several hundred meters away, contrails formed cutting through the smoke; four in the shape of a quartet of talons. Another footfall rocked the ground and a gust of shifted air underfoot briefly revealed the presence of pale spires of ivory hues beyond the smoke. They were the size of dump trucks and he only glimpsed them for a half second or two before the smoke obscured them again.

It took a moment for his horror to set in that he just glimpsed Godzilla’s foot, reaffirmed when another footstep slowly stepped down ahead of it.

A plane strafed close overhead, throwing about the air and ash therein. Machine guns clattered and sang, tracer rounds glimmering in the dark sky and pinging off a broad surface that had to be the chest or stomach. Private Aso almost yelled out, realizing just how far above the ground not even half the length of Godzilla’s body was. And it was coming down the street, advancing forward like a slow moving, living tidal wave; step over step; growling angrily as the jet distracted it.

He turned back to the evacuation and to the occupied building.

The drive to run was overpowering, so the only thing he could do was redirect it so he instead ran into the building and up a flight of stairs. The tremor from the footfalls almost knocked him off his feet; they were so close.

It was a fantastic scream, both his own and the building’s death cry when part of it was ripped out, that sent him sprawling. He spun and dangled, feet kicking on empty air. Somewhere in the spiral he’d realized he’d grabbed onto the edge of a stair railing that was now on the ceiling that used to be the floor. The world seemed to constantly be moving, shifting. Walls became ceiling, windows into floors. Most of what he could see looked like the building, but distorted like some kind of Lewis Carrol illustration. Other parts were animate, dark as a void and yet detailed as they withdrew. It attacked his mind and any sense of logic to grasp he'd just glimpsed a fragment of a living thing. Takaki swallowed a breath and held it, trying to keep at least one thing stable. One thing constant in his own breath. Spotting a close ledge that used to be the wall, he swung himself to it and nearly fell backwards upon landing on it, grabbing hold of a doorway.

Taizo Tachibana would one day be one of his right-hand men, but the first look at him that Takaki ever got, and he was instead looking at a scared young boy, barely six or seven, dangling out of a now sky-facing window. Blood ran down his hands where he was forced to grasp the shattered window seal and its glass.

“Kid! Kid!” Private Aso yelled out hoarsely, almost coughing up blood as he scrambled over and held his arms up, “We gotta get out of here! Come on jump!”

“Help! I can’t find my mom!” the young boy sobbed as mucus and tears ran down his face.

“We’ll find her! But you gotta jump! I’ll catch you!”

A tremor shook the building and the already broken window Taizo was clinging to broke away further. Through the smoke and haze outside, a large shadow shifted and darkened the room. Takaki couldn’t see it, the boy was in the way; but Taizo did.

It maybe even noticed him then.

Takaki had never heard a more terrorized, primal shriek; it barely sounded human. Taizo let go of the window, releasing his bloody hands from the busted frame. He was limp when Takaki caught him, passed out from shock.

A fantastic burst cried out and echoed through the downed halls, shaking dust. Mere moments after them, deep crashes like bullets striking metal were audible. Private Aso knew the first sound from his unforgettable first field training. That was artillery firing off and hitting something. But the solid rounds of metal and explosive charges that went off after failed to do a damn thing other than provoke a cry of thunder and hellish wailing.

White light flooded the apartments as Takaki stumped foot over foot down the side of a wall, the unconscious boy slung over his shoulders. The moment they got out of the building out the bent side door, something smashed into it. Even whilst he sprinted for the streets, Private Aso couldn’t stop himself from looking at what it was.

It wasn’t it, it was so twisted and mangled it was only recognizable when a shower of sparks from a broken powerline briefly lit it up. A multi-ton train car, pitched into and sticking out of a half-crumbled building like a baseball.

Screaming and shouts were all too audible in a cornucopia of panic, and it was no small miracle he managed to regain his wit to follow the crowds; who were spilling past several advancing heavy tanks. Their guns momentarily lit up the dim, smoky, red night sky. Multiple tons of armored vehicle advanced in a coming wave of mass; and yet none of them could avoid being shouted out by the enraged bellows that were provoked by their harassment.

Private Aso sprinted between their columns, safety long since cast to the wind as he focused upon the crowds of fleeing civilians a few dozen meters ahead. He ran towards it for several long minutes, despite his legs feeling like they’d snapped in multiple places and bile filled with adrenaline being pumped through his body more than blood.

Somewhere in the mass was his jeep, but he could perceive so much more. Especially when a white glow illuminated the world and spurred the first tank to explode far behind him. In the crowd were people in their sleepwear, emergency workers, tattered garbs of the homeless, young, old, weary, sobbing, shouting. And-

His eyes locked upon a sheet of white, pale even before the atomic breath set everything pale.

There was a young woman running, not with the crowds, but through them. Her hair had come undone and was flying everywhere, tears messing her face, and a gash weeping blood down from her forehead. And yet here she was, dressed like this was the 1800s and she was in some aged robe, sprinting in the opposite direction as she tried to get through the crowds.

She was looking up, very high up; yelling something he couldn’t catch.

Takaki unconsciously, as the fractions of seconds ticked by, followed her line of sight and turned his head.

The smoke and ash was as thick as a hurricane of devastation, in a storm that rained fire like the masses that billowed out of slag that used to be fully crewed tanks. The ground shuddered under another tremor, and in tandem with it a set of curved claws poked out of the smoke cloud and tore right through the pavement.

He couldn’t see it, he couldn’t comprehend it. Something that big being alive, an animate mountain. The shape was only briefly fully visible in silhouette when rockets from a passing squadron of jets smashed into its dorsum from behind; backlighting the greatest demon he could have possibly conceived of in a fiery throne. Massive fangs, blank eyes, and limbs that seemed to stretch over the horizon.

Godzilla looked skyward and released another unearthly shriek, one no beast ever should have been able to make in how it forced heaven and earth to quake.

This was Tokyo, in 1954; and the sky was red with human ashes and burning worlds. That abomination of a roar carried through time. Exactly 30 years to the day, it was red with nuclear fires and the smoke of the burning new world. A much older Takaki Aso saw the very same sight. A titan that shouldn’t be standing over the graves of those Aso had been responsible for and sent off to battle with it. He remembered every face the monster cast into Admiral Tojo’s tomb, they flashed before his eyes as vividly now as when the Super-X they piloted was crushed under the Sunshine 60 tower.

He had the same question then as a young man, staring up at that being which shouldn’t exist on ground level; as he did as a grown man seeing the ashes of fallen skyscrapers wreath a towering form.

Why couldn't you just stay in the ocean?

He asked that the night he rescued the now orphaned Tachibana and had to later keep the boy from seeing his mother crushed under rubble. He asked it the same night three decades later when he was the first one inside the ruined Super-X and saw how the craft had become a coffin.

And now, the old man he’d grown into was dreading if he’d be cursed to see such a sight and face such a question again. The unknown UFO hovered ominously above the G-Force column, moving with its escort but refusing any other communication.

Godzilla had yet to resurface as well... and Takaki Aso, not as a young man with the burden of being a Private in the newly formed Self Defense Force, nor as an old man and the head of G-Force, didn't doubt for a second he'd rise again.

For all his lack of credence to the Shinto Priestess' word, for lack of faith in things greater than what man could know, he didn't doubt that such things never stayed in the depths of the sea forever...

============================================

“Idiot! Absolute idiot!” Belvera snapped through her faceplate as she stomped across the desk like she was about to deck him with her tiny fist.

Dr. Yuji Shinoda was still in shock, both from the realization of what he’d done to Junior and at what had just suddenly come storming into his office. He hadn’t gotten into any alcohol and yet, he was seeing a fairy berate him for the last ten minutes. Frankly, he’d spent about five of the ten convinced he’d finally cracked and was seeing things, like a fairy in a suit of plate armor with a Battra motif berating him. He’d just slumped onto the desk, white noise drowning out most of his mental processes beyond just listening.

“Why did you morons fire upon Godzilla practically on sight when you’re far away from anything he could hurt, yet you’re escorting that thing,” Belvera motioned an armored gauntlet outside to the UFO still visible in the window to the makeshift laboratory, “Right back to your city?!”

“Godzilla-... was.. going to attack,” Yuji was still shellshocked and wide eyed, only recalling the apparent rage and threat the kaiju had exuded after roaring and heading right for their position.

“Yeah, he was going to attack that!” Belvera pulled out a small sword to scale with her size and jabbed it at the window, “You still haven’t told me why you overgrown sluggards haven’t blasted it out of the sky!”

“We-” Yuji was still trying to get his mental bearings. Ever since he’d felt the dread of possibly having confirmed the new Godzilla was the same innocent creature he’d seen as a child, then getting his answer and all the horrid implications that might have given what they had done, and now this. It was like trying to get a clock to work with several gears jammed or going the wrong way, his mind wasn’t in its normal state. Frankly he was as much of a mental mess as he looked, ugly redness staining his features and tears rolling down his face. He’d popped a blood vessel in his eye and crimson stained the white; and he’d been about ready to tear a clump of his hair out from grabbing it so tightly before Belvera had jarred him to some semblance of focus.

“-We couldn’t just fire on something sentient. Not without reason, my wife was-”

“A mysterian, I know,” Belvera snapped as she pointed her sword directly at Dr. Shinoda, not caring it was barely larger than a toothpick by comparison, “I know a lot about your daughter. She’s the whole reason I’m even here, for two purposes in fact.”

That focus spurred Yuji to straight up, embers of the oldest of human instincts, parental protectiveness, to spur on his focus. His eyes hardened and Belvera almost smirked. Her plan worked like a charm to snap him to alertness.

“What is wrong with Io? Why have you been focused on us of all people? Can’t you tell then she’s been through enough?!” Yuji huffed as his pulse started to pound.

“I’m not the one who just helped G-Force fire on her tether,” Belvera growled back and yet somehow, despite her tiny size, it was strong enough to get Yuji to simmer down slightly.

“T-Tether?” Yuji stammered, "What sort of nonsense are you on about? Did you do something to her?!"

“I can’t believe we’re related species,” Huffing, the oldest shobijin sheathed her sword and shrugged in exasperation, “Listen. Your daughter’s tied into this. That’s part of the reason I’m trying here and not wasting my breath on the commander.“

“Commander Aso is a reasonable man, I’m sure he’d listen if you had something important,” Yuji noted with a deep frown.

“And I'm in an unreasonable situation, no doubt G-Force remembers my and Lord Battra’s initial awakening and all the costs we racked up. I’ve already gone above and beyond my norm giving your sorry civilization the benefit of the doubt for Mothra Lea’s sake and her wish,” Belvera rolled her eyes, purposefully only referring to the Guardian moth by her mother’s title. With how trigger-happy the humans had proven, she didn’t want an even bigger mess possibly spilling out if they heard she was Lord Battra’s heiress as well.

“Her faith is why I’m entrusting you with this. You’re trusted and now in the worst way possible a proven asset given ‘Junior’ went right where you said he would. Right into your grubby clutches. They’ll trust your word of caution more than they would mine.”

Yuji flinched but perked his brow at the wording, a familiar name almost like a record scratch, “... Why did you call Godzilla that?”

Belvera growled and threw her hands up in the air, “Maybe that’s because it’s his name!”

A name his daughter had helped him pick out at the institute where they grew up together. A name that was one of the biggest early smoking guns that the dinosaur wasn’t just intelligent, but was downright sentient. That name which only he, Dr. Azusa Gojo, Io, and a few others knew. To the larger world, he was just ‘Godzilla III’.

“How could you possibly know that name?..."

“Because it’s what Mothra Lea called him when she entrusted him with safeguarding the planet when she can’t, from threats like the one you’re rolling out the red carpet for,” Belvera leered at Shinoda with a glare and leaned closer, “... That’s right. She can’t come to bail you out like she has before, and like her mother did. And you just let the only one up to bat for you get blasted to the bottom of the ocean…. This situation is way worse than you’d think, I don’t walk around in full armor on a casual day. I fought off some monstrosity that no doubt came from that ship earlier, it was trying to ambush someone.”

Shinoda’s pulse raced and his eyes quivered, trying to take it all in. Even through the cloud of dread and fear however, his instincts as a father once again proved a grounding force.

His voice was controlled as it could be, given circumstances, “... What does Io have to do with any of this? Can't you do anything about this? Fix what's wrong? You have magic, can't you do something?"

A set of footsteps approaching the doorway spurred both of their attention towards it. Belvera moved far faster than one of her stride length would imply, running over towards the radiation-proof canister Yuji was keeping the G-Cells in for his identification tests. Of the three canisters containing blood, skin, or scale samples; she ran right for the closest and the one he’d been most recently examining. A rune appeared across the lid and she didn’t slow down upon making contact. The shobijin dove into the rune and seemed to phase inside of the canister, out of sight with the rune promptly vanishing.

In a blind panic, Yuji grabbed the canister and stared at it in a stupor at what he’d just seen. The door handle clicked, spurring him into action. He threw the canister across the makeshift lab and onto a stack of cardboard, ignoring the high pitched voice shouting curses at him the entire time in a language he didn’t understand. He threw down several towels and blankets atop it for good measure and to muffle Belvera’s swearing before she got the memo to be quiet.

He whirled around to find Mitsuo Katagiri at the doorway, holding a cup of milk tea in his hand clearly not meant for himself. Katagiri glanced up and down to inspect Shinoda, taking note of his sweat, bloodshot eye, and frantic appearance.

CCI’s director cocked an eyebrow, “You look like hell… Are you done?”

He offered the mug holding the milk tea, an old tradition of theirs from their college days. Yuji Shinoda held his breath and swallowed it to try and control his pulse again.

“... I am, thank you,” Yuji whispered, lowering his head and stepping backwards as Katagiri stepped into the room.

Mitsuo took light of his retreat, but kept his face entirely neutral, “I took a big risk getting you these samples, Shinoda… I expect the courtesy of knowing what you found.”

Yuji tried to keep his pulse under control, the crushing weight of how everything so out of his control had been impacting his life lately. This year alone, he nearly lost Io in some freak crossfire between Godzilla and G-Force, gave up much of his work just to try and get with what he thought was the solution, only to wind up creating possibly even more of a problem. And now, a literal magical fairy was telling him something was very wrong with the one person he’d told himself for years he was doing all of this for. G-Force, Godzilla, and now CCI; was he just some plaything to get yanked around by them?!

In his mind’s eye, Yuji threw the tea down and said nothing.

Belvera’s words however, held his rage. He was trusted, he was needed. It was the one bargaining chip he had with CCI and G-Force, and he couldn’t blow it. Not with yet another unknown dread sinking in with the reflecting rays of sunlight bouncing off the UFO and into the window.

“... It’s a perfect match,” he hung his head and looked at his tea, “It’s the exact same individual which hatched at Kyoto, all grown up. His potential radiation output is over twice that of the second Godzilla’s.”

Mitsuo was quiet, standing tall and still like a scarecrow in the doorway. He could track line of sight and beheld the UFO as well for a time, slowly shaking his head.

“And yet, that thing managed to knock it down whereas all of our options failed,” Katagiri shook his head, “Nonlethal ones at least… I’d feel jealous if CCI didn’t have plenty more where that came from.”

He stepped forward, Yuji seeing his shadow moving across the floor. A hand patted his shoulder, firmly but not forcefully. Mitsuo stood directly beside him, shoulders parallel and faces pointing in the opposite directions. Yuji down to earth, Mitsuo with eyes to the sky.

“Thank you for sharing this, Yuji. We’ve gone from one unknown to another. Frankly speaking, I’m glad we’re back on the same team,” Katagiri whispered before collecting the two canisters of G-Cells and turning to leave the room.

Yuji saw his shadow stop and closed his eyes, mixed emotions flooding him.

“Shinoda,” Mitsuo switched back to his surname with a slight edge returned to his voice. CCI’s director held the G-Cell canisters in his grasp with a frown Yuji didn’t see but could still feel.

“-I gave you three canisters. Those are valuable CCI biological containment equipment… I hope you did not misplace one.”

Shinoda was very glad his eyes were closed. He didn’t want them to speak for him. Nor speak about the part of him, perhaps desperate to also bury the past hatchet between him and one of the sole links to his old life left, that wanted to tell the truth to Katagiri. His old life was one of stability, science, sensibility, and colleagues. Mitsuo, Shiro, Asuka, and himself, fresh faced classmates graduating with honors right into promising fields, and ready to take on the world of humanity and uplift it.

Only, that world died over a decade ago, taking two of those names with it.

“I did… You know how clumsy I am. Lost one back on the island,” Yuji Shinoda looked up from his tea and into the eyes of a man who’d once been one of his groomsmen, “I’m told, salvage teams will handle it fine.”

Mitsuo Katagiri just stared back at him, tilting his head at first to the side like some kind of calculating animal judging what was before them, before tilting it backwards, “... So we do. CCI protects its assets, I’ll be sure it’s found, eventually… But we have plenty of other pressing matters at hand, it will likely take time so try not to lose any other equipment you get on loan.”

He knew. Shinoda was sure of it. Mitsuo knew full well he was keeping a sample, even if he perhaps was ignorant of a fairy hiding inside the canister as well.

Mitsuo was letting him off. There was a phantom sensation of his hand on Yuji’s shoulder. Yuji glanced at the two taken canisters.

“Where are those going? I don’t recall a disposal site in the homebase back in Tokyo.”

“These are going to Kyoto,” Katagiri shrugged.

“To be destroyed?” Yuji muttered, brow furrowing. There was probably a disposal site in Kyoto, that’s where CCI Headquarters was after all, but surely there had to be somewhere closer to where they were going?

“We used up a lot of our stock re-engineering the anti-nuclear bacteria based on the 1984 beast. ANEB that likely has and will save countless human lives,” Mitsuo nodded, “I have other operations collecting samples on the beach. This Godzilla hadn’t been present to leave much in the past half decade and it being the one from Kyoto only makes it better. We still have your research from the institute from when it was a juvenile.”

Yuji’s eyes almost bulged out of their sockets, “You’re-…CCI is experimenting with G-Cells?! But the ban, the law-”

“Was to keep the inept out. I told you, CCI protects its assets and its top people,” Katagiri huffed with his brow lowering back down to the typical stoic, statue-like facade he wore, not as Mitsuo; but as the head of Crisis Control Intelligence.

“...” Yuji stared back at the statue wearing his old friend’s skin, “... Does Commander Aso know about this, what CCI is doing?”

“Should he?”

Shinoda hardened his gaze and frowned, “And you’re telling me all of this, why?”

“Because us burning each other wouldn’t help anyone, and you know it,” Katagiri was unmoved and stated it so plainly, “This UFO could be another tech boom like the Mysterians, or we could have something else to worry about. You remember Aso’s speech about a ‘New Era for Humanity’, don’t you?”

Katagiri stepped back into the doorway, staring and unflinching, “I intend to see it happen, and I won’t let anything get in its way.”

Three meters, that was all that separated them physically. And yet, Shinoda couldn’t bury the notion even while playing civil, there was a chasm between them both; one that stretched into the horizons.

Katagiri closed his eyes and sighed, lightening his tone ever so slightly, “You’re a brilliant man, Yuji. And we’re the last two of our group left. I wasn’t lying when I said I was happy we’re on the same team again. I hope… that we can see that new era together.”

Katagiri left, undramatically and simply. Yuji Shinoda’s legs quivered and he nearly toppled back, grabbing a chair and letting it all sink down to the bone.

CCI was given a lot of freedom by G-Force. Aso once called them the armament of humanity, inventing virtually all of the cutting edge technology that had sprung up in the last few decades. And they were doing who knew what with that freedom, with Godzilla cells, with Mysterian technology.

“With my research…” Shinoda whispered, his hand clasping his face.

No wonder Dr. Joanne Johnston recognized him. His development and investigation into Godzilla cellular biology was second to none, not even the late Dr. Shirigami had as much time as he had. And Shirigami had been the one to unleash Biollante into the world.

What would be his own legacy then if something went wrong, possibly catastrophically wrong? He’d loathed violence all of his life, only wanting to strive for the betterment of all mankind.

The seal on the canister returned and Belvera stepped out, perking her brow when the chair Yuji Shinoda had been sitting on was sent flying across the dimly lit room.

“Hey what’s gotten into you?!”

Shinoda whipped around and screamed, “It’s all my fault that’s what! All of it!”

Belvera paused as he spiraled.

“I was the one who didn’t take Godzilla seriously in 1984, despite so many warnings from Odo because I stupidly thought I was smarter than some ancient leaf-waving ceremony! We were in Tokyo because of me!” Shinoda yelled out as he buried his first into the wall with a metallic thud, bruising multiple knuckles, “I didn’t have any faith or I had it in the wrong places, and that Thing took my wife away because of it! Asuka-”

He started to weep even through the spite and burning hatred at himself, something that had been festering for decades but now was breaking the floodgates, “-Io doesn’t have her mother because of ME! Our friend Shiro Miyasaka, Mitsuo, Asuka, and I’s schoolmate, he didn’t even make it through the night, because of ME! We had to see his body staring back at us when the train was cleared!”

“That set Mitsu- KATAGIRI off working with who knows what without any controls! And when I try to pick myself up, try to work for something so nobody has to see their loved one wither away and die right in front of them like I did, I stumble right into the path I’m on right now!”

He struggled and whimpered, gripping his head and thrashing from side to side. Finally the dam fully broke and he fell onto his knees.

“I once snapped at Io that he wasn’t her ‘Junior’ anymore, he was only ‘Godzilla’ now… I- thought she was just being tactless. Godzilla took my wife from me, and I thought it would take my daughter too because her friend was dead,” he slowly shook his head, “I wasted all my life’s work and research ensuring that.”

A long minute passed before Belvera stepped into his point of view. She shrugged and took off her helmet, shaking her hair out and exposing her tattooed face. The expression she bore wasn’t especially sympathetic, but it lacked some of the typical edge her irate voice often carried.

“Look… You screwed up. Maybe you were chasing some ideal and misfired. Trust me, I know that. I know how loss can spur someone to misaim themselves too,” that tone was more self-reflective than perhaps she wanted to reveal, but she shouldered it and kept going, “Trust me, I know. But I got probably a few tens of thousands of years at least to make up for any mistakes I made. You got, maybe, half a century or so. And all that might be decided in a few moments like these….”

She motioned back to the canister, “I called your daughter a tether because somehow, in ways I can’t explain or fully know, she’s tied to Godzilla. Check of the tissue confirmed it, there’s an energy there. Maybe it’s that psychic link of hers, maybe it’s something else. It is beyond me, and that means it is beyond you. There's nothing I can do to change it. What I do know is, I’m going to try and make sure it’s not something tied to these unwelcomed guests out there.”

She paced back towards the window seal, putting her helmet back on. Opening it and glancing about to double check, the fairy waved a hand to flag down her mount. Garu-Garu flew closer from its hiding place, the tiny dragon-like machine dutifully hovering to let her climb atop it. Belvera flew her steed back into the laboratory a few meters off the ground and waited.

It took a moment for Yuji Shinoda to rise up and get on eye level with her.

“You’ve got a crisis of faith, and something tells me you’ve had issues putting it in others or the right things since you lost your wife. Stop overthinking it, and just put it in what is owed it. Io needs to have faith in her father, and your commander needs faith in your council,” Belvera noted as Garu-Garu squawked almost as if in agreement.

Shinoda took a deep breath and focused just on it, his finger subconsciously touching his old wedding ring, “... You said someone was attacked, knowing more would help any advice I try to give. Who was it?”

“You’re lucky I bothered to remember. Yuri Tachibana. Redhead, young reporter. It was trying to corner her and do… Battra knows what.”

The name was familiar to him by more than a few sources. Both as a given name in passing Yuki Ichinose might have mentioned, a protege of hers perhaps; and the surname. Didn’t one of G-Force’s admirals, a subordinate of Aso maybe, have the same surname? If they were related that could carry implications, dire ones at that.

“South Tokyo, yesternight. Talk to Yuri and you’ll get cooperation.”

“I might even know someone who knows her, thank you.”

Belvera shrugged, “Fate might have given you a boon then. Get her with you and the Commander will be more inclined to listen. I’ll be back soon. Not one to care much for humanity, but I’ll be damned if I just let these new sluggards come barging in and cause a mess. But be wary.”

She flew Garu-Garu towards the window, “Whatever it was I fought off was a shapeshifter! Remember, be wary!”

She flew off, and Shinoda was left to ponder a lot of things. He started work on the project while getting the lab back in order.

=====================
Godzilla Prediction Network Headquarters
=====================

Io had spent hours after the incident, totally alone. She didn’t know what was happening, why her body had suddenly exploded with phantom pains that had no source. She’d thrashed, screamed, and shouted out briefly before holding it all in; despite feeling like she was jabbed with needles, flooded with nausea, and then burning herself up.

Everything was distorted, messied, and blurry; in mind and in vision. There was only one thing made clear to her. One thing that cut through the pandemonium and stilled the mind.

A high pitched, shrill shriek that blurred into a booming roar, rattling between her ears. The call she once heard in the Kyoto Institute years ago, ebbing into the outcry heard on the cliffside a few nights ago.

Her eyes snapped open, the black veins surrounding them relaxing gradually and shrinking from their once heavily inflamed and swollen state. The world no longer spinning and her body no longer wracked with pains. She was laying on the floor, the scattered papers that had been her summer homework flapping about across the table when pushed on by the fans. Io Shinoda lay there, her pale white hair spilled out across the floor and sweat sticking to her skin.

She stayed put, breathing gradually in and out to control her nerves… Until a near-imperceptible sense of unease came upon her, like the feeling one gets when they know they are in someone else’s attention or line of sight. Perhaps it was just her mind playing tricks on her, or perhaps it was her mental gifts picking up something they didn’t know how to describe. Like some other sort of consciousness, one getting close.

Footsteps sounded faintly from the stairs leading up from the fisheries and to the front door to the apartment she and her father had jerry-rigged into the GPN headquarters.

Io kept quiet, eyes wide and expression blank as she slowly turned to get on her hands and knees. There was an unease in her nerves even without knowing who it was. One that made those veins chill and tingle like they were being pricked across her body.

Miss Ichinose always tapped off in a rhythm, waiting for Io to whack on a wall twice as a signal it was okay to come in. A bargain they’d made in exchange for Io giving Yuki a key to the apartment, after her father was kept away working with G-Force for the past week.

There was no tapping, and yet the door’s lock clicked open.

A person opened the doorway and stepped through, wearing a G-Force uniform that kept the fishery from asking questions. They wore a thick, dark coat and medical mask to obscure their features, but strode inside without complaint or comment. Tall in frame, with a size hidden by the thick coat, the officer withdrew from the doorway without taking out any key.

The officer looked about the room, eyes moving in different directions than their head. There was a sense they too knew they were being watched and were taking pains to avoid such notice, closing a window shade and shutting a curtain beside the front door.

Io Shinoda tucked herself into a more compact crouch, hiding under her desk and desperately keeping up the mental projection of the wall and floor behind her so a passing glance wouldn’t see her. This was an age-old trick of hers, just about the only psychic power she’d ever developed beyond some empathy that she couldn’t do remotely like others. Her abilities never fully matured and she had been content to think she’d never get anything particularly special.

Until right about now. Touching the mind of this intruder, even just cusping the edge of it to keep the illusion up; her skin and nerves crawled. They looked human, but the horrific sense of wrongness was unshakable from their mind. It wasn't any consciousness, it was something totally alien.

The intruder stepped down near the table and Io had to cover her mouth to hold in a scared whimper, so unnerved by the mind she could feel, even just rudimentarily.

The G-Force officer that obviously wasn’t turned and headed back towards the door. Any fleeting hope the young miss Shinoda had that the monster in human skin was leaving however, was quickly dashed. They drew up a finger, which had a bony protrusion sticking out of the tip. It was stuck inside the door handle and turned, the lock snapping back into place. The bone piece, a key composed of organic material, was snapped off inside the lock without any sign of pain.

Not bleeding from ripping a chunk of their digit out, the thing paced back into the room and back towards the table. A hand snapped around the edge and gripped the hardwood with unnatural strength. The timber groaned and cracked slightly from the indentation of abnormally long digits into the wood. Without showing any effort in doing so, the entire table was lifted from the floor, the Millennian drone surveying where it thought it detected something a moment ago to find nothing there. By the time they’d approached, Io had gotten on her hands and knees and scrambled away as silently as she could into her bedroom whilst keeping her illusion up.

Putting the table back down, the drone’s face seemed to shift and perforate. Several openings appeared across the cheek and throat, varying in size and a few sporting whiskers as a side-effect of generation. Nostrils of various people and animals sucked gluttonously at the air; whilst the drone’s eyes perched upon the computers. It was here for more than just one thing, and it could afford to multitask.

After all, the girl was still here and had no way out now.

The body shuddered and a wet slide was emitted. viscera and other tissue, yet no blood, slopped and slid out of the pant leggings and coat. The Millennian Drone visibly shrunk in height and depth, the large overcoat seemingly deflating. The biomass combined together on the floor, bones stretching out and uncurling from the mass, with tendon and ligament causing them to shift and wave. In a gross parody of a puppet on strings, the body articulated and muscle tissue crept down the sinew, soon followed by skin and fur. The result looked exactly like a dog, but devoid of the typical mannerisms and body language one had. It breathed, it stood, but the posture was stiff, the tail was motionless, and the ears far too erect. The same uncanny ‘offness’ present with the G-Force guard was evident there, even before the hound turned and started sniffing the floor.

As the G-Force trooper started to rummage through the GPN hardware and equipment, the hound sniffed the air and started to meander closer to the bedrooms. 

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Comments ( 10 )

Whew. :twilightoops: That Millennian is FREAKY.

I really felt bad for Shinoda in reading this. Very good job with the whole scene between him and Katagiri, that was quite well done. To say nothing of the poor guy's breakdown after Katagiri leaves. (BTW, you misspelled "cooperation" in one line with regard to Shinoda and Katagiri.)

Also, that opening flashback with the whole sequence of Godzilla's original rampage... damn. That still chills, reading it again. :rainbowderp:

Impressions on Part 2 so far. Pathos is still top notch between the cast, and I especially enjoyed reading Yuji's breakdown. Mysterians are still creepy,Fuck you, Tarb. And the 54 flashback did a good job conveying what even a 50 meter Goji can do on the ground scale.

5621362
I haven't the slightest idea where I got the idea to shoot for pathos here, other than maybe side effect of the tone making it wind up that way. Could be because unlike most of Bridge, the perspective of the characters aren't from the most powerful beings in their setting but very scared people. Good to know I succeeded in making the Millennian grade A creeps as that was a goal. :twilightsmile:

5621342
What would you say is the most unnerving part with them? :pinkiecrazy:

Fixed that typo, somehow things always slip through. I know this piece was a lot of people talking, hence the inclusion of the 1954 scene here, but we'll see the action scenes bump up considerably soon enough. Good to know the dynamics landed between Shinoda, Belvera, and Katagiri. Really was trying to play up the 'we used to be friends' angle between Yuji and Mitsuo.

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Probably that mix of Terminator-like precision/detachment and the sheer "John Carpenter's The Thing" body horror of its shapeshifting. Just makes for a very unsettling, "this should not exist" kind of horror to my eyes. :rainbowderp:

Yeah, I'd definitely say you succeeded on selling the pathos of the distance between Shinoda and Katagiri. And I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing what happens, especially with those action scenes to come XD

Well, that’s a way start part 2. Really dig the 54 flashback of Aso as where he was when all hell broke lose in Tokyo. And Belvera being awesome as usual. And to end it off, a classic horror hide and seek game, with gross out details. :twilightoops:

5623139
Welcome to body horror Central can I take your order? XD

I was approaching this a bit like a TV miniseries so that's why we got this flashback here. Sorta explain Aso's deal. And set up something for another character of who you had a hand in :raritywink:

It's a really surreal thought to me that Belvera is basically the comic relief to help give some relief to the tension. Even if she is metaphorically knocking people's heads together to get them working

We open with a memory of the 54 attack, and like the 84 attack before it's terrifying, showcasing just how terrifying it would be to have been there.

I also do like the detail that Grandpa Goji's atomic breath was white rather than blue, as well as showcasing with the result how, as terrifying at this is, Grandpa Goji is still the weakest Godzilla.

Aso's reaction, a young soldier, is utterly understandable, and certainly details how he ended up having the opinion of kaiju that he has now. Anyone would be after THIS.

Still, despite it he shows why he ended up being leader and hero later: he still pulled himself together enough to try and save lives.

And then we get that realization that helps explain his current moral conflict: realizing that people had too much faith in their military to the point of not even evacuating. And thus feels guilt that they might be responsible for these people being in danger.

Still, he likely saved a lot of lives that night.

And we get to see both the terror of Godzilla, and how pointless fighting it at the time actually was.

I love the description of the disorinating the situation inside the build is. Good descriptions of just how much confusion and panic this would have.

And like that we see how he met Tachibana and saved his life. Reminds me of a few hero origins, a hero inspiring and leading to another hero.

Aso has his regrets, his guilt, but he did do a lot of good that night. At least as much as he could.

And in the middle of the chaos, he sees a woman running the opposite direction, and gets another glimpse of Godzilla. I love the almost eldritch way he's described. Difficult to comprehend something THAT big being alive.

Good description over all.

And still continues to compare himself to Admiral Tojo.

And now in modern day, it is not just Godzilla he worries these things about, but the UFO they're escorting.

Meanwhile, Belvera is having a completely justifable tantrum giving the situation at hand. And Yuji is every bit as confused and perplexed as one would expect her to be at this point.

But yeah, we get confirmation of what Tachibana started figured out last time: Junior wasn't aiming at the humans at all, but at the incoming UFO. I DO like that while that is easy for us to pick up on, as we know who Junior is, it's understandable the humans would come to that conclusion.

Still, hard to blame Yuji for being very messed up mentally given the series of things that happened.

I like that Belvera manages to use Io to snap him out of it and get him to listen...and that Io is somehow tethered to Junior.

I also like that she fully admits that Aso listening to her is somewhat off the table given the past, and that she still has a much more 'fierce' and snarky temperment than her sisters. Reformed, but not tamed.

Hehe, and I do like Belvera knowing Junior's name cuts through everything because only a handful of people know it.

And Belvera phases right into a G-Cell container...and Yuji throws it across the room. Belvera is not going to be happy. Like that it's implied to be a foreign language tirade.

I also like that Katagiri is both somewhat friendly...but has enough of an edge to him to keep you questioning his motives. But Yuji still confirms the truth to Katagiri that Junior is Godzilla III.

I also like Katagiri having both a sense of being impressed with the UFO, but also still showing humanity's hubris and comparing it to CCI's lethal weaponry and implying they could somehow compare to it.

But while he wanted to maybe tell Katagiri, he still hides Belvera's presence and seems to acknowledge things with Katagiri might never be patched up.

I find it interesting just how open and upfront Katagiri is about CCI breaking the law and going behind Aso's back by experimenting with G-Cells behind his back. He doesn't think Yuji would think to fall with him just to take him to task for what he's doing. Kinda shows a mix of things about Katagiri.

I do like Katagiri has a certain...wistfulness about him and Yuji.

And Yuji realizes to his horror his research is being used for this kind of thing and could potentially create a monster. Of course he refers to Biollante, who as we know is pretty much Heroic Neutral.

And Belvera emerges to Yuji having a meltdown...blaming himself for what happened. Because he was the one to decide for them go to Tokyo...and now he realized his attempts to save lives may have sent him down a path he never wanted to be on.

I love that even after this, he feels guilt for snapping at Io earlier. And Belvera is able to at least have sympathy and empathy for him...in part due to losing Battra and what it made her do. But she also recognizes that she has a much longer lifespan than he has, and I really like this scene because it gives Belvera depth and shows Yuji's inner pain.

I also like the 'maybe magic, maybe mundane' implication of Io's link to Junior. Maybe it's due to simple Mysterian Hybrid telepathy, maybe it's something magic. Both are possible...though if the latter, it's a form of magic very different than usual, as being a hybrid, conventional magic isn't something Io should be capable of having.

Over all I really like Belvera here, because we see both her edge and a bit of depth to her.

Meanwhile, Io feels something unusual. Something relating to Junior. Again, liking this because it keeps things ambigious.

Unfortunately, she's jolted back realizing someone has arrived...or something. Which is confirmed when she uses her illusion powers to hide, forcing her to reach into its mind at least a little bit to do it.

As per usual, Millennian is extremely terrifying and monstrous, using its shapeshifting make a key. And the creation of a dog to hunt her is as per usual terrifying and...oh boy. Good job making Millennian a horror movie monster.

Okay stop it. You just like making these guys freaky with their body horror, don't you? XD Well you do a fantastic job. I shivered just thinking of that thing's transformations at the end and Io being in the same room as it.

I absolutely love what you're doing with the characters. Aso having been a private during the time of the first Godzilla. Wanting to be better then the past but seeing horrors he can't comprehend. In a way, it does tie into Yuji. While not hubris, they did think they were 'better' then the 'past'. Aso with the Imperial Army and Yuji with the old superstitions. This cost them in ways that still haunt them to this day, even though they meant well in how they went about things. So I do find this rather clever. Kudos for it.

Also nice to see Belvera giving a pep talk. It does really show her softer side and it was also good to hear her vent.

Another great chapter.

Okay, this is mostly a belated capper on part one, and my thoughts so far with New Era going into part two. One, sweet merciful Tanaka you made the aliens capable of subverting modern communications, and not only, but somehow even worse than when John Carpenter made a movie set in Antarctica. I am both surprised, and yet not surprised that magic is able to affect them. Belvara needs therapy, and I can say she needs an hour for every year spent brooding.

Now, the human cast. You’ve done a fabulous job of expanding the human characters, especially Aso who comes off not just a reasonable authority figure, but also a man who is reacting to the circumstances presented to him in such a way because he’s literally had no experience dealing with a Godzilla in a method other than force. Godzilla-ojii never gave Japan a chance to use non-lethal, and neither did Senior, so in Aso’s experience, force is the only answer.

Yuji finally snaps, and it’s a good proper tear jerker. And Mitsuo… is several words not fit to put on a review.

All in all, things are ramping up, and I continue to read and catch up with bated breath.

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