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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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Jan
27th
2022

Godzilla 2000: New Era, PART 13 · 1:42am January 27th

PART 12
Proofed by Lance-Omikron
Hina and illustrations by FallenAngel5414
Ami by EvoWizard
Additional illustrations by LordShrekzilla and Zeroviks

==========

When Admiral Taizo Tachibana returned to G-Force’s headquarters after getting an affirmative that Godzilla was en route to Amami Ōshima island, he already had a lot on his mind. The worry risked making the 52-year-old seem older than he really was, putting a few wrinkles around his hardened brow and dark eyes. His cropped hair and buzz-cut, mustache-less short beard; both dark black in color, complimented his dark colored uniform in giving him a hardened expression fit for a man sterner than he actually was. Doubt plagued his mind.

Were the attempted control and countermeasures made by CCI thorough enough to get the job at hand done? How did Crisis Control Intelligence even make so much anti-nuclear bacteria with no Godzilla cells? Did Takaki Aso, one of his oldest friends whom Taizo had served with for years, need him in this critical time? And perhaps, most pressingly… Was this operation even right?

Sure, the new Godzilla had appeared near the coast without warning and he knew full well what a kaiju could unleash. Nobody needed to tell him how devastating it could be, not when he had the image of the original Godzilla burned into his mind since he was a young boy. A demon’s face wreathed in flame and the smoke of burning bodies. He was lucky to escape the falling debris and radiation, Takaki had carried him all the way until they were out of Tokyo… His mother and father weren’t so lucky.

Phantom pains stung at his chest and he took a hand off the control stick to tap at his sternum to ease it. It was no small regret and degree of survivor’s guilt on his part that Yuri never got to meet her grandparents.

That kind of devastation, he worried they’d only provoke if the operation at Amami went south.

-Focus…-

He reminded himself, stopping the old tremors and continuing the controls. He’d been deployed to the coast to defend the people against any possible threats that might come, either as a deterrent or to fight. Aso trusted him to keep things safe at home, and he would be damned if he didn’t; even if part of him wanted to rush off to Amami for a variety of reasons. He would trust in others in kind, there was a difference between blindly following orders and trusting in them. The former, that distasteful ideal that coiled in his gut, was an omnipresent reminder of the uniform he wore and the oath he’d sworn in under.

Blindly following commands was the oath of a force extinguished just before he was born, whose very actions lead to the first Godzilla being awakened in the first place. He had a duty to himself and the men and women under him, whom Aso trusted him with, to do better.

He could only hope the operation truly was the best decision in the end, even if he’d voted against it because this Godzilla hadn’t proved hostile yet and he feared provoking it. To him, CCI was playing with arrogance in one hand and fire in the other, with how hard they and Katagiri had pushed for the operation. In fact, Taizo could suppose it was telling of how trusting Aso was in him that the commander had left him in-charge even with Tachibana’s vote of opposition to the plan.

Still, CCI wasn’t all bad he could suppose. After all, they built what he was driving as opposed to walking… even if personally he’d have preferred a jeep. This seemed a bit much.

The defensive machine could best be described as somewhere between a semi-transforming tank and a small mecha. Rolling forward through the gate to the G-Force headquarters and main hangar, Taizo’s machine shepherded the Tokyo battalion back home. With two long tank-tread tracks sticking out of the front, and two shorter ones in the back, Taizo made a point to flip a switch to shift from travel mode to alert mode. The machine groaned and shifted as it raised up, the treads lifting up at all but their last third in a manner somewhat akin to a four legged spider. The turret of the tank-like machine only vaguely approximated a humanoid shape from the torso-up. Two mechanical arms extended; meant to manipulate objects with grasping, four-digited clamps at the ends. The ‘shoulders’ were mounted with several freeze masers and a missile battery. Between them there wasn’t much of a head if one expected it, more a central mounted gatling cannon turret. It was that last feature which gave the TYPE- 99 GUNHED-507 it’s fitting nickname of “Gunhead”. CCI’s latest and greatest in armaments in matters that frankly worried Taizo a bit more than they maybe should.

If maser technology was strictly meant against kaiju, why did he need a Gatling gun? They CCI suits excused it as operations against smaller threats like the juvenile Destoryah were, but Tachibana couldn’t help but be concerned a bit about who the products of this arms buildup were supposed to be pointed at if they did end up wiping every kaiju off the planet. Almost all of it was exclusively in Japan, and just how much might someone flaunt it if they didn’t have the self restraint he did?

He remembered service in the Self Defense Force and saw how the atmosphere seemed to change with age. Going into it young in the 1960s, the shadow of the Imperial Military and that kind of culture was reviled, especially by people like Takaaki Aso. But, leaving it twenty years later as a senior officer to follow Aso and join G-Force, he could still vividly remember a parting gift some of the newer recruits gave him during a going-away party at a Sushi Slop.

An honest-to-God guntō sword, most thought it a katana. The same exact article an Imperial officer would carry, down the cherry blossom emblem that left no illusion as to the intent. The youth, completely ignorant as to what they’d done, had happily commissioned it for him as a sign of respect to an admired officer. A sword for him to carry in his quest to help slay a literal dragon. Taizo could still remember how cold he felt, the tremors going up his arms. And the long, disapproving stare Takaaki Aso gave him upon seeing it in his hands.

A guntō was not a historic blade wielded by honorable samurai, much as misplaced nostalgia back in the 1930s pushed for that image. It was a modern invention, by then-modern sensibilities. Sensibilities he could never agree to, regardless of whether or not every man wielding one did the sort of things Taizo knew of. But the recruits, new blood, and youth just smiled and applauded, cheering him on to draw it. 

It took frustratingly long for Taizo to find out how little their generation had even been taught about the war. Some were well aware of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and its brother upon Nagasaki, but not what led up to those fated days. Nor how the creature that crushed his father under rubble and irradiated his mother to the point she was still phosphorus in glow when they found her was just as much an echo of the Pacific War as it was the Bikini Atoll test.


That sword was currently buried ten feet beneath the ground somewhere outside of Sendai. Taizo couldn’t even tell anyone where it was, he just walked into the nearest woods in random directions for what felt like hours, found a spot and started digging. It had to be done. There were only two things in life that had ever made him tremble that badly.

The sight of a demon amongst a burning Tokyo when he was a boy, unleashed by a nightmarish war from a decade prior; and the horrid realization so many had forgotten that nightmare ever happened and he’d seen himself grow up to echo it.

And now, he spent the entire drive within GUNHED wondering if it was just CCI giving him an even bigger sword; one that by fate’s bad luck he could never get the chance to bury.

Still, it had the intended effect for morale. GUNHED stood tall, relatively speaking as his 5+ meters was still paltry compared to the mecha of yesteryears, and had a very vague human-like shape. CCI had designed it as a commander unit, something for the head of a maser tank battalion to both give them a protective ride against attackers for officers, heavy armament to cover their troops, and an imposing design to act as a rally point and raise morale. That last part sounded dangerously like posturing to him and he was privately very much not fond of the implications, but publicly he mastered the mini-mech without complaint. The younger recruits and veterans of G-Force alike were very anxious about everything happening recently, so any sign of strength or might in leadership helped them to steel their nerves and fall in line.

Still, it could be a lot worse. He knew his inner circle well and knew them to be the time to trust in orders, but not blindly follow them; even if they came from him driving around in this big ugly thing.

“Communications are still in blackout with outside the base, Admiral,” a voice called across the intercom within GUNHED, and Taizo couldn’t help but smile as they rolled along the roadways inside the base.

“Lieutenant Hayata, see if you can raise Commander Aso on the private channel whilst we get to the hangar so I can park this over-compensation,” Tachibana huffed whilst passively noting how few jeeps and vehicles were moving about besides their column.

The main Tokyo base for G-Force could count as a small city in itself. Several hundreds of permanent staff, easily triple that number of rotating troopers, engineers, technicians, and more; and enough housing to fit them all plus dependents. And yet, even with a good number of the Tokyo forces stretched out helping organize, arm, and rally the other stations; he’d have expected at least a little more going on across the base. Right now between the scant vehicles on the road, only one air team doing engineering checks on the runway, and near radio silence; the place looked inhabited by a skeleton crew.

Taizo piloted GUNHED to the south side of the base, bordering a long runway strip. The hangars for the larger vehicles were dead-ahead and the vault-like doors were all that remained in the way. Tachibana exited the cramped cockpit of the machine, exiting out a dorsal port like he was leaving a tank turret. Finally in some outside air, he stole a moment to look around yet again; shading his brow for a moment before slipping on a pair of aviator sunglasses. The sun was extremely bright today and he wasn’t able to see the jeep pulling up to them until the glasses were on.

-Must be one of the maintenance crew. If they’re young they’ll probably be displeased to hear I didn’t fire a shot today on this thing.-

Taizo absentmindedly patted at GUNHED’s chassis before moving to fish out his access card to open the hangar, so he could finally park this animated pile of guns. They were about twenty meters from the front of the hangar, but loading and unloading needed to be very procedural.

The hangar doors began to open and alarms started to blare, spurring Taizo’s eyes to snap open as he flinched. He certainly hadn’t opened the hangar and those alarms were a scramble command. The hangar bay, several dozen meters tall and several hundred meters deep across its launch platforms and elevators, rumbled from top to bottom. One of the loudest engines Taizo had ever heard roared and there was very little warning before the familiar form of the Super-X3 shot past them with a blinding brilliance of its thrusters forcing anyone who already wasn’t to look away. Admiral Tachibana shielded his eyes and covered his ears as best as he could, continuing to do so whilst staggering off of GUNHED to get on terra firma.

A similarly dazed and disoriented lieutenant hobbled over to him, still cringing from getting deafened and blinded momentarily. Taizo put an arm around Lt. Hayata’s shoulder as he did likewise, both looking up at the rapidly departing form of the most powerful airplane ever created.

“THEY’RE SCRAMBLING THAT?!” Hayata yelled as loud as he could, the echoing sonic booms still rattling the air.

“NO! NO THEY SHOULDN’T BE!” Tachibana grimaced whilst trying to articulate, “THAT’S THING IS A TIER-A ASSET! THERE’D BE SOMETHING VERY SERIOUS IF IT GOT SCRAMBLED!”

“MAYBE THE OPERATION ON AMAMI IS REALLY THAT DIRE?!”

“NO! NO IT COULDN’T BE,” Admiral Tachibana panted and shook his head to try and jostle his ears out of rattling, lowering his voice, “Activation of any Tier-A asset would require informing every member of the senior command. I’d have gotten something!”

Hayata, finally visible in clarity with Taizo’s vision returning, looked beyond baffled. He was a younger man in his late 20s, clean shaven and fresh faced. A simple but kind man, who didn’t let the hype of G-Force and CCI distract him from being so. Maybe that’s one reason why Taizo was so keen to snatch him up into his entourage. Besides communications being a forte of his, as indicated by him pulling out what looked like a very advanced PDA and checking through it.

“Communications are still a mess sir, blacked out more than half the time. I couldn’t read a senior command message but the com-lines themselves are all down for me.”

Taizo furrowed his brow, “Where were they up a moment ago?”

Hayata nodded, “Restricted communications, as Aso ordered to avoid the public knowing what’s going on at Amami and panicking or anyone jumping the gun, but I’m getting nothing now and it wasn’t like that not five minutes ago!”

Tachibana’s eyes trailed to the hangar after taking light of their positioning, “Maybe we just discovered one hell of a deadzone. Go to the hangar and check their equipment, see if we can hail Captain Kuroki in the Super-X3 and find out what is going on.”

Hayata saluted before rushing for the hangar alongside several others he flagged down. Tachibana took the moment alone to just ponder what was happening. Hands in his pockets, he turned and surveyed the contrails the departing Super-X3 left, noting direction. South, southwest. Right in the direction the Amami islands would be. Was the situation truly dire and he was in the dark, or was something else unknown going on to be putting him on edge like this?

The jeep that had been approaching parked near the GUNHED and the attendees scrambled out. Taizo ignored them for a moment to just take a second or two and think. They’d hopefully be about to inform him why Captain Kuroki just broke several regulations about deploying from the hangar with people so close to the doors and what new brand of calamity they were in for this week. Taizo felt his short beard and shrugged.

“Well, if it’s newsworthy it might end up helping Yuri’s career.”

It was the tiniest of perceptions that he caught it. Hayata calmly walking around the corner from the hangar doors with several others right behind him, a very confused look on his face. But as the milliseconds ticked by, Taizo noticed his subordinate’s expressions contort more and more by the moment. Eyes widened, brows perked, and mouths dropped agape. If he was perplexed by that, he was assured when they quickly dropped everything they were holding. Hayata didn’t notice his discarded communications device was stepped on, instead intently focused at his superior whilst drawing his sidearm.

“JESUS CHRIST!” Lt. Hayata screamed as he waved his free arm frantically to his superior to get down, raising his other with a maser pistol in hand to take aim.

Instinct kicked in and Taizo Tachibana hit the deck, diving forward and down. The moment he was, he felt something grab his leg just a split second before Hayata’s shot went overhead. A brief instant of light and heat from the thin heat ray, and the tension around Taizo’s calf went slack. Several more shots went overhead, half second bursts of downscaled versions of the very machines they’d fought monsters for years with. Rolling aside, Admiral Tachibana scrambled to his footing whilst glancing at the weight he felt on his leg. He glimpsed what looked like a hand of a human, albeit one attached to an overly long, lanky tendril of a limb that didn’t even remotely resemble a human arm.

It twitched and he reflexively kicked it off with his free leg.

The hand flopped down, but convulsed and contorted. The skin turned to fur, tissue splitting and recombining to stitch together a skeleton and muscle mass underneath the hairs. Within a few moments right before the bewildered Admiral’s eyes, the severed hand had morphed into a gestalt of a rat and the rocky, frog-like, spiny form of a stonefish. Its back arched and seemed poised to spring, but Taizo wasted little time punting the small attacker away and running to clear some space.

He observed the battle ongoing. Hayata was doing a commendable job coordinating the others in the platoon and Tachibana’s entourage, alternating fire as the maser pistol wasn’t able to sustain the burning beam for long. What they were firing at however twisted and warped Tachibana’s perception. He saw human, animal, and parts he didn’t recognize shifting and recombining. The maser beams were burning off tissue, but not enough to cause lasting harm given the horrific things just stitched themselves back together. They’d been eviscerated so much now it was a miracle their G-Force uniforms were still recognizable.

He knew not the name for them, but he was witness to half a dozen Millennian drones, mostly human size, surviving a barrage by easily twice that many shooters. Several took cover behind the jeep, two more divided into a myriad of small rodents and birds to force Hayata’s platoon to divide their aim, and several even returned fire. Several maser pistols and, given the weapon wasn’t ubiquitous across G-Force’s staff yet, the bark of gunfire sounded off. Two of Hayata’s group fell back, one badly burned and one gagging up blood from a bullet ripping through his lung.

Taizo ran past them and Hayata reorganized the orders.

“Ignore the birds!” He yelped whilst trying to not pay attention to the seagulls that obviously weren’t that soaring overhead and circling with a growing flock of other birds joining up in their formation, “Hit the ones shooting at us!”

Getting behind the limited cover they could, still stuck standing in the middle of a runway, most having to just crouch down and cover their vitals as best they could, the platoon complied as best they could in the impromptu firefight. A bullet grazed the helmet Hayata had been wearing, shattering his visor and forcing him to close his eyes, lest he risk shrapnel flying into them.

Behind the brief veil of his blurry vision, he sighted several of the monsters moving behind a jeep and shifting. There was also a distant roar of something mechanical powering up.

Suddenly movement shot up from behind the jeep, coupled with the scream of metal and snapping glass. The entire jeep was sent airborne and careening end over end towards them. The source of it suddenly getting airtime was a bizarre beast he didn’t recognize. The purple hued, warty beast vaguely resembling a very front-heavy frog with a sword of a horn and short wings on the arms was unknown to him. As expected, Shin Hayata wasn’t from that world from which the jyarumu originated; a realm that had fallen to the Millennians ages before any Adam was young. The jeep flew straight at them, Shin was granted the sight of his own face reflected across the fractured windshield as it bore down.

Several dodged aside, others weren’t fast enough.

But the whirling mechanics and screech of metal indicated something else had been. The jeep groaned and snapped, gushing oil and other fluids whilst four digit mechanical hands crushed down on the front end with the ease someone might crush an empty soda can. Sitting inside the control seat, Tachibana chanced a sign of relief. Clutching the vehicle in its hand, GUNHED swung it down slightly to match and deaccelerate its fall. If Taizo hadn’t, the jeep might have snapped in two after he’d caught it and crushed the men and women he was responsible for anyways. But now with the jeep firmly in hand, he promptly returned it to the sender.

The jyarumu drone, smaller than the GUNHED as it was, showed its might in how it caught the launched jeep with relative ease. But as its talons dug into the broken metal, it caught something else. A full salvo of brilliant maser fire that engulfed it and several of the armed drones in enough firepower to light up a decent sized building. Taizo gripped the trigger on the control stick and grimaced, keeping the onslaught up. Blue masers spewed out of the shoulder mounted cannons on GUNHED’s dorsum, magnitudes stronger than the handheld versions previously loosed at the monsters. The burning wrath seared through flesh and soon melted bone, but Taizo wasn’t given time to focus.

The birds circling above were beginning a descent, a living cloud of beaks and talons that directed single fire would be difficult to meaningfully pierce. Much as Taizo was loathed to the idea of reckless arms build up without purpose, he was glad for it now when he switched weapon systems and directed GUNHED’s namesake skyward. The gatling cannon mounted on the ‘torso’ spun to life and it was telling how many rounds were loosed given the tracer cartridges fired intermittently every few rounds looked like a continuous stream on par with the maser. Spent casings rained down on the ground in a shower of gong crashes. The funnel cloud of birds kept coming even as it was increasingly eviscerated, feathers and gore raining from the sky; with much of it still animate moments later. At this point, Taizo was less trying to kill and more stun so everyone could get back.

“GET INSIDE! GET TO THE BUNKERS INSIDE THE HANGER AND LOCK IT!” he roared over the intercom speakers, which miraculously were audible over the heavy machine gun fire.

Shin Hayata had scrambled to his feet and was harrying the platoon inside, calling out where he could, turning and shooting down a dive bombing drone bird when possible, and trying to sheppard everyone inside. The GUNHED’s cannon slowed down, smoke billowing out of the multiple gatling barrels, and Taizo swore as he swung the control sticks about to try and swat drones too close to shoot at without risking hitting the platoon. One drone, a gestalt of multiple eviscerated birds beginning to approximate a human shape, was grabbed and pulped between the mech’s fingers; like a grotesque parody of a claw crane game picking up a toy. GUNHED’s servos whirled as Taizo swung the torso around 180 degrees and hurled what should have been a corpse into one of the overturned jeeps’ hard enough it flipped over.

The Admiral’s sensory array chimed and he gave it notice, checking the pings on the display before looking out the camera’s. GUNHED’s torso rotated to face the incoming mass.

“Ah hell…”

Multiple jeeps, trucks, and birds were incoming; with two maser tanks even streaming out from one of the other hangers to turn towards them. The incoming force approached at a speed that made it abundantly clear what the intent was even before several of the heavy machine guns in the vehicles opened fire on GUNHED’s armored chassis. Taizo’s hands gripped the controls tightly.

He still didn’t like the vibe CCI’s tech was giving out lately. How it seemed to be less and less defense against monsters and more and more things that could be fielded against other peoples or nations. Too much power in the hands of commanders could have disastrous consequences. The Futurian incursion was a clear as day indicator that in at least one possible future, Japan wound up becoming imperialistic all over again. That bit of information troubled him, as it had Aso. Enough they were almost glad about the economic slowdown in the years since. A single positive for the nightmare that the second Godzilla’s continued existence, with other monsters like it, had put them all through.

But, if it meant protecting his platoon, he’d shoulder that burden of power that sitting in the seat he was in represented. Masers locked on the forward most armored truck, missiles arming on the incoming maser tanks, and GUNHED’s Gatling cannon poised towards the bird formation. He shifted the mecha to its lowered position, spreading out arms as to welcome the incoming bullets. Better they hit him than the platoon he’d ordered away, he could weather the machine guns fine… The maser tanks that would soon be in firing range however were a different story.

Taizo shook his head, passively wondering how many shots would it take to be turned to slag. CCI said ten before GUNHED’s reactive armor failed to dissipate the energy.

“Why didn't I just let Takaki talk me into retiring when Yuri was born?” Taizo grumbled, pulling his hat down snugly to his sweaty brow.

A flash of light flew past his view camera and rocketed towards the armored truck. The front exploded with a high yield grenade, before fragmenting into a cluster charge of smaller explosives. The truck spun out and shrieked, colliding with another of its company and briefly stalling the advance. Follow up rocket-propelled grenades ejected past, trailing smoke before they found their target amongst the birds. The concussive bursts given off by the explosions and the scattering nature of the cluster charges eviscerated much of the flock.

Taizo’s personal communication line buzzed and beeped with a familiar voice, “Admiral! The hangar’s wide open behind you!”

The rear view camera displayed Lt. Hayata, calling into his end of the line whilst still hefting a rocket launcher on his shoulder; in the company of several more aiming or reloading more rockets. Taizo had given them orders and had trusted Hayata to follow them to ensure other’s safety. He wasn’t sure to be pleasantly surprised or not; they'd decided to ignore the part about locking the hangar doors. Then again maybe he shouldn’t have been too caught off guard. Hayata wasn’t a blind follower, but a good man after all.

Taizo rotated GUNHED’s torso around and reversed into the hanger, still firing a few spurs of covering barrages here or there as Hayata and the others fell in alongside. Admiral Tachibana parked the small mecha onto one of the elevator platforms that led into the depths of the underground storage, seeing some of the platoon attempting to reload or arm themselves from the nearby barracks whilst the hangar dores were still closing. He could see the approaching horde, and was privy to the lack of G-Force staffers in the hangar at the moment. That meant most, if not all of the people in this portion of the base were either dead or worse, given the nature of the shapeshifters.

“Bring only what you got on you already!” He called out into the intercom, switching to remote control of the elevator system but finding little success.

Swearing and clambering out of GUNHED’s cockpit, Admiral Tachibana waved down the few dozen able-bodies around with a half dozen others wounded and needing assistance to be moved.

“There’s no time to arm up, we need to fall back to the bunkers at the lowest level! Move it, move it!” he shouted out.

“We have wounded, Sir!” Hayata yelled back, helping to carry a trooper with her arm around his shoulder. Their jacket had been removed and was hastily tied around their limping leg, red staining from a bullet wound still visible alongside the beak and claw wounds inflicted by the birds visible on both her and Hayata.

“The bunkers have an emergency medical bay, we’re going there for that and another reason!”

“Which?!” the wounded trooper cried out.

As if to answer her, the hangar doors very slowly started to creep open. The platoon got the memo, scrambling on the elevator as Taizo set the level manually and all but smashed the ‘go’ button. No one had ever wished for a faster descent down the long elevator shaft.

Cast in the light of the open hangar doors letting in the sun, dozens of figures, human in G-Force attire and otherwise, formed up to ring the perimeter of where the elevator platform had descended from. They stared down at the retreating platoon from the increasing distance. Hayata wasn’t sure what was more unnerving. Getting stared at by those decreasing specks of beings and knowing they were trained upon him and the others like a hawk even from that distance; or wondering if they weren’t jumping to rain down upon the platoon just because they knew it unnerved them so much.

A few minutes later, and they hastily exited the platform with GUNHED’s headlights illuminating the long, dark tunnels lit only by dim emergency lights. The machine carried on as far as it could go, ferrying the wounded and having guns trains both in front and behind them just in case. The vault-like door was just barely big enough to fit the machine inside, and Taizo only did so for fear it could be hijacked without a means of breaking it down prior. They entered the large chamber, several hundred meters below the surface. Conditions were extremely spartan, with a simple bathroom, pantry full of preserved rations and water, a few beds, and an empty space a half dozen by a half dozen meters wide in front of the vault door where GUNHED was parked.

“This was built by the JSDF during the Cold War before we got this base in 1990, after a few too many nuclear scares. Sometimes we did an even more bang-up job of almost killing ourselves as a species than the kaiju did,” Taizo explained to some of the more bewildered looking younger troops.

It was telling to him how many were staying inside the illumination of GUNHED’s lights, versus the much more ample room in the darkness. Especially the younger platoon members. The few who’d managed to keep a hold of their weapons or grab a few others were gripping them tightly. Understandable, given the monsters they’d just witnessed. He made a point to keep calm for their sake.

“Whatever those things are, they’re in G-Force’s remote systems. That’s why coms are down and several systems are acting weird. But this thing,” he punctuated a point by lightly tapping on the vault door with the back of his fist, “All analog, toughest alloys possible and multiple feet thick. Can only be opened easily from the inside, that’s why it was left open.”

Many nerves were not so easily calmed and Tachibana gulped a dry breath. He glanced at the stills dead lights above, and how GUNHED’s lamps were only keeping a fraction of the bunker lit and occupied. With how crammed they were already needing to fit the thing inside, they needed to get these troopers split up.

“How are those lights coming along, Lieutenant?”

Lt. Hayata fiddled with the breaker box, but shut it whilst shaking his head and going for the power lines linked to it.

“No dice! I think those things cut the power….” he growled and tapped at his forehead as if to try and jog the thought out, “We could.. Try and run it off something else. Maaaaybe…”

His eyes trailed to the very thing chewing up half the space in the bunker. Taizo followed his line of sight to GUNHED and nodded. He nodded, steepling his hands behind his back and putting on his poise of authority.

“We’ll park it against the door to brace it. Anyone with engineering experience and not wounded, step forward!”

A low, near silent sound slipped into the quiet of the bunk. It was so faint it was almost impossible to tell what it was at first, but gradually all eyes traveled towards the vault door protecting them from the outside. Something was scraping against it, slowly and deliberately. The realization was very obvious to everyone hiding within.

Those things were right outside…

Taizo Tachibana steeled his nerves and barked louder, almost roaring, “I said! Anyone with engineering experience and who isn’t wounded, step! Forward! Your comrades are wounded and we need power to treat them to the best degree. Now, step forward!”

Sometimes authority and strength of leadership, with moderation, was a godsend. If something like GUNHED could prove useful in patching a hole up on someone as it was at putting holes in them by powering the medical equipment, so could such morals when used beneficially carefully. That was the kind of guidance Aso had taught him, and he’d be damned if he faltered now.

Thankfully, it seemed like his platoon was learning it from him as well.

After a moment or two of realization after exiting the mecha and taking light of where they were, Taizo Tachibana chanced a chuckle in dry, sarcastic humor. It took him a few hours lost in the woods and a shovel to bury that damn guntō sword. Now it took multiple billions of yen and hundreds of meters of infrastructure; but he’d finally found a way to bury GUNHED.



Several drones remained outside the vault doors, attempts with brute force and handheld weapons ineffective at breaching it. The collective assessed the situation and had to make a judgment from it. G-Force was one of the local parties that could potentially prove burdensome, and needed to be neutralized. But not before what use they had could be obtained. The local apex lifeform had proven the greatest threat to the Millennian, and so a group dedicated to killing such a being was bound to have useful information in their armament and databases.

Breaching G-Force was as easy as infiltrating the base in the guise of small birds and mammals, recombining, and assimilating unsuspecting staffers to absorb their memories; along with breaching their primitive computer systems. But getting to the main servers had proven more difficult than scrambling their communications or hacking them. The main terminal for the supercomputers was on its own network, no wireless connection and only physically wired in such a way as to make remote access impossible. No other machine could access the data it stored.

Physically finding the terminal was easy, the supercomputer had a building all to itself. Getting one of the four registered users of the machine was difficult, but required to get past the retinal scanner used to gain entry. Commander Aso, Subcommander Pentecost, and CCI executive Katagiri were out of easy reach; deployed out to sea far too close to where the apex might appear. G-Force Admiral Taizo Tachibana was the only remaining feasible option.

The plan had been to acquire the genome of his offspring, Yuri Tachibana, and use that to set the Admiral or his entourage off-guard. Interference with the entity called Belvera had been unexpected and derailed that strategy too long, especially when Yuri Tachibana did not return to her place of residence where another drone had been waiting. The decision to just brute-force an assimilation attempt was made out of equal parts desperation of time and of means. The window was closing and would shut as soon as the rest of G-Force returned to the Tokyo base.

The window was shut now. A new plan needed to be put into motion.

The collective drew one up in less than a tenth of a second. Several drones remained behind near the vault as the others got to work on the clean-up operations to hide as much evidence of the battle and Admiral Tachibana’s current whereabouts as was possible. All G-force signals in and out of the vault were being jammed, keeping them out of sight and mind to any who might return. Projections put the return of the main G-Force contingent and Commander Aso within 30 hours, and the the biggest asset G-Force had in the Super-X3 was now put to use trying to weaken the biggest threat to the collective.

They would mask what had happened, pull back and begin preparing.




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


The scorch mark on the launchpad outside the hangar darkened with his shadow looming over it.

Commander Takaki Aso grumbled to himself as he continued to survey the base personally. Not a thing was out of place, almost all staff he’d expected to be there were reporting in, and every system appeared to be working perfectly. A few sensors were acting erratic, but that was to be anticipated given not all of G-Force had returned back to the Tokyo base yet and they were working with what could best be described as organized chaos.

Which left him still trying to figure out where the hell did Admiral Tachibana go. CCTV footage from the shore deployment clearly showed him returning to where the base was shortly before the Super-X3 was launched. And yet as soon as they should have arrived, complete with their accompanying vehicles, there was frustratingly nothing. The vehicles couldn’t be found, and while overlooking a few trucks was acceptable, managing to misplace the GUNHED prototype was beyond outlandish. None of the platoon could be found, none of the residences any of the personnel were registered to were occupied, and he couldn’t so much as find a loose tire or bullet casing from the detachment across or near the base. Getting held up in traffic was one thing, but this was ridiculous!

They hadn’t combed the base entirely, there were still many warehouses, bunkers, and more to check to see if they had entered or not. But with the omnipresent UFO hovering just outside the base, it was impossible to set too many of his limited forces in search for something he didn’t even know where to look for.

Takaki fought back a tremor in his arm. Possible alien invasion afoot, reports of some calamity on the roadways, and he couldn’t find one of his most trusted advisors. It wasn’t just that he needed to find those men and women due to needing all hands on deck, he needed someone like Taizo at his side to help keep him stable in times like this.

Right now, the only thing out of place that was detectable, with the limited search capacity he had, was this scorch mark darkening the concrete. It was the only thing out of place, without explanation from what could be quickly surveyed.

Residue from the Super-X3 taking off with haste? A mark simply overlooked from a prior event? Or something that genuinely wasn’t there prior? Aso prided himself on often surveying the grounds of the base on foot, going along every hangar, every warehouse, every roadway. It was both to familiarize himself with the premises but also show those beneath his rank how much he was ‘one of them’, and not some lordship sitting in an office.

He was also an aging man and might have simply had poor memory, getting worried over this minor detail.

He sighed and shook his head, unsure as he could be as a subordinate approached and saluted.

“Sir, Dr. Shinoda is here with urgent news.”

“What kind of news?” Aso didn’t take his eyes off the scorch mark, crouching down to feel if, by chance, it might still be warm.

“The very thing he left to find sir, it’s about the UFO. He says you must come to the edge of the base to hear this, he won’t come in due to the craft.”

Aso’s fingers stopped short of touching the blackened concrete and he frowned. Picking himself up and stealing a glance at the craft ominously hovered on the edge of the base. He turned around and adjusted his suit.

“Let’s have it then.”

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

Comments ( 8 )

Good ominous start-up for Act 3, things are appropriately suspenseful. And the firefight was reasonably intense.

And ngl, when I caught the Gunhed reference, I literally shouted "Motherfucker!" Lmao.

5631513
BWAHAHA! I was considering doing something a bit more off-the-wall like a Patlabor-like mecha, but given GUNHED was Toho and a reused concept for a Godzilla film that got scrapped; went that route.

Plus worked well to tie into the part with Taizo worried about reckless arms build-up.

Well, I will say, I appreciate the focus on a few characters that were just one off. Especially since Io was so close to Junior when they were kids. And while Junior isn't a major character, his presence is felt all throughout the first act. I will admit however that the second act has a bit of an issue balancing all the characters. I think that it gets a little too focused on referencing other Toho properties as well and it can be a little distracting. And Katagiri.....I understand why you're trying to humanize him, but he's still the guy who put a shock collar on a baby. But still, while I have my gripes, I do think that it's a well written special. It works well as an origin story for Junior, it just needs a little more focus.

I'm glad you kept the sword scene, it was great. Tachibana's whole business really feels straight out of GMK, he keeps his tone from it so well

5632049
Thanks for the critique Dive :)
I actually took heed here and added in several more sequences for Junior in later parts to help things along on that front, as the human cast did get a massive chunk of the focus. Add a dose of Gamera the Brave and G2014 storytelling to the mix.

Oooh Boy. That was a lot to unfold. Love POV is Taizo this time and learn bout his history.
Also, (looks up GUNHED) That Is A TANK!!

I like the introspector by Tachibana. Showing both his trauma, but his reasonable and intelligent mentality.

He doesn't blindly follow orders, I appreciate that.

And we get an appearance by another Toho property that many forget exists: Gunhead. Very nice to see that show up.

I do like Tachibana isn't entirely clever. "If maser techology was strictly for kaiju, why did he have a gattling gun?" Love that line. I like the realization that something might not be right about the direction Japan is taking.

I like the scene with him receiving the gunto blade and how it was kind of a 'your approval fills me with shame' way it is.

We also get the mentality that Japan has towards talking about WWII that also inspired the creation of GMK in real life. I also like Tachibana buried it because of what it represented. He knows Godzilla is much Japan's fault for their actions in Pacific War as it is the Americans for the bombs.

I do like Tachibana begins to realize something is very much off, even if it hasn't hit him as to how much.

Until the Super X3 gets launched.

One thing that I do find interesting here is that Super X3, canonically, meant for the same purpose as the original Super X...and yet here it was mentioned earlier that they were planning to use it for a saber rattle.

Also, I like the maser pistol because it reminds me of the original Science Patrol pistols.

The following is terrifying, showing just how dangerous the Millennian drones can be. Especially when the drones form another jyarumu. At least Gunhead comes in handy in this situation. While the Millennian are dangerous and insanely tough, they aren't immortal, and Gunhead's weapons are enough to deal too much damage for them to just shrug off.

Deciding this isn't a fight he can easily win, he does what a leader should do and get his people to safety. Unfortunately, the Millennian drones have access to the rest of their weapons.

I do like that Aso and Tachibana were both unnerved by the Futurian's future showing Japan might become imperialistic again.

Do like that Hayata and company come to help him and cover him so he can escape. Unfortunately, it also shows how much of the people in that part of the base were taken out by Millennian.

Glad that they do manage to escape to safety, Tachibana being a very good leader throughout. For once something good came from Cold War Paranoia.

Speaking of paranoia: the Millennian drones are outside, but fortunately can't seem to get in.

I do like him mentioning how he managed to bury Gunhead. That's fun.

Millennian managed to infilitrate the base, but fortunately Katagiri is correct that their computers are secure.

After learning how that situation happened, Aso is understandably very unhappy with this situation and uncertain, trying to figure out what's going on.

Fortunately, Shinoda is back with the information that might help.

Good chapter, building up the threat and omniousness.

The battle with the drones was fantastic. Makes me want to see you write more troop battles. It was a good display of the commander's quick wit and commanding presence. It was also interesting to see his mindset on Japan and where it is heading. I do think he is a bit pessimistic about it but he at least has a reason to think like that. Great chapter.

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