Pacific Ocean, 1954 approximately 120 miles from Bonin Island Chain
The Pacific Ocean lies calm and serene. For something that can be so ferocious it was almost unatural to see it at rest. This was the unpredictable reality of Mother Nature. Other than the occasional breeze that descended from the heavens above, nothing disturbed the surface – that is until an object came drifting across the expanse. It cut through the ocean like a knife through butter. Around the object it created waves that would scatter further out across the surface, creating a miniature tidal effect that would venture outward. Across the surface of the object was the stenciled words THE AGUASHURA in bold, dark red lettering.
This was a search and rescue ship.
From the bow of THE AGUASHURA, a set of eyes look through a pair of binoculars. The figure glances out into the expanse of the Pacific looking for any signs of their target. At first nothing was spotted, just the stillness of the ocean. However, that all changed as the tranquility of the sea was interrupted. Over the horizon, debris of varying sizes drifted into view of the vessel. The whole scene left an eerie feeling for whoever gazed upon it.
Quickly, the man lowers his binoculars and reaches inside his pocket; pulling out a radio and speaks hastily into the receiver.
“Captain, we are entering a debris field” yelled the man as he turns to look up at the main cockpit of the ship, “Things don’t look promising!”
Inside the cockpit of the ship, Captain Akiro Shiroma stands in front of the forward-facing window, staring intently out of it. His hands where firmly clasped behind his back as he focused on what lies before him. He had a 180-degree view of the Pacific and had already spotted the incoming debris before it was radioed in. The captain himself was a man that always tried to believe in the positivity of things. Under his belt, Akiro has had over 20 successful rescue operations while in charge of THE AGUASHURA. That was one of the reasons he was charged with this mission.
However, from the very beginning this search and rescue did not sit well with the captain. He feared the whole ‘rescue’ emphasis was going to be futile. What he viewed before him did nothing to relieve that feeling.
For what seemed like an eternity, Captain Shiroma didn’t respond. He just stared until he finally dragged the radio upwards to him, “Copy that Tengshi, but stay alert.” The next few words that he spoke was with trepidation, “There could be survivors among that debris.”
With that, the Captain replaces the radio and returns his hands to behind his back. He knew things were probably bleak, with this amount of debris starting to fade by, the chances of anyone surviving grew considerably lower.
The wreckage that was traversing by THE AGUASHURA belonged to the fishing vessel YUKOMA. The fishing vessel was a small trawler that consisted of only six crew members. The Japan mainland received the distress call from the YUKOMA forty eight hours ago as the small ship was caught in the recent storm. Immediately preceding the storm, the mainland had lost all communications with the vessel. The loss of contact became concerning and Captain Shimora and his crew was quickly dispatched.
Rescue efforts that up until now seemed hopeful.
All of these thoughts weighed heavily on the Captain’s mind when activity on the deck of the ship momentarily broke his concentration. This was followed by the crackle of his coms unit. With the look of some hope dancing across his eyes, Shiroma quickly grabbed the radio.
“Repeat that transmission?” asked the Captain.
For a moment there was static, which caused the Captain to become weary. Then he was greeted with a response.
“In the debris field, we found a survivor!”
Even if it was for a brief moment, the captain smiled. Perhaps there might be some hope after all.
As the crew of THE AGUASHURA prepare to bring aboard the survivor, the only survivor, no one happens to notice that the figure was softly repeating something. Words spoken so quietly that you would have to literally lean right up to the man’s face to make any clarity out of it. They may not know it now what that word was, but they will in due time – as this would prove to be only the beginning.
The word was GOJIRA...which was hauntingly repeated over and over.
Somewhere in Japan
The old, withered form of a man hunches over his desk, lost in thought. Before him, a personal computer hums to life and illuminates the man’s face in a soft hue. While the body may be old, the eyes where sharp and focused. Something was holding his attention, a memory perhaps. A memory that haunts the man to this very day. It was a memory that influenced this man to create a master piece of a story. A work of fiction that has won over audience and critics alike.
A work of fiction that was currently being displayed on the screen.
The bold, crisp words of the title stick out as a calling card. It foreshadowed the awful events that would be depicted in the story.
THE ISLAND OF THE DAMNED
If the title alone did not invoke intrigue and mystery, then perhaps the story would and that was what was haunting this man so late at night. The events in the story are fiction, of course, but it was riddled with some truth. It was the telling of this man’s childhood nightmare. A nightmare that would devastate an island that is very real. Odo Island.
The story itself was simple: A kid discovers a legend on his home island, investigates and discovers the truth. Even if that truth holds more weight to it than any reader or critic might know and probably never will. The 'Island of The Damned' had to be written so the old man could get his voice heard. No one would actually believe the reality. It was full of dire warnings to not mess with what should not be disturbed; do not mess with legends.
Tired but restless, the old man closes his eyes as the memories come pouring back now. In a grand reflection of what plays out on the pages of the novel, the memory begins among the rapid movement of the man’s eye lids.
A young child, running through the night. Terror ravaging his body.
In the book, a young Lee runs through a path that traverses through the island’s Forrest. A mighty shaking sound following him or so that’s how it seemed.
Beneath his feet, the boy feels the ground shake. The terrible legend, that monster, was coming
Lee quickens his approach as he feels his fear rise, the earthquake sized rattling shakes his body. He almost falls. But out of his fear, he maintains balance.
All around him darkness converged. It rattled the young boy to his core. The darkness seemed alive..moving.
As the Lee continued his path, he noticed something in the distance. It was a bright, illuminating flame that was dancing in the wind. Fire was raging across the island. Something was not right. Lee felt his heart pounding in his chest, never relenting.
As the boy grew closer, light was simmering across his path. It waved towards the skies, like a beacon of despair. He felt a presence.
Lee arrived at a clearing and glanced out to his destination. But what he saw was not what he expected. His village, his home was in ruin. Flames licked their way through the destruction, and although he was still ways away, he could hear the faint sound of screams.
Death and destruction greets the boy upon his destination. It was all hopeless, he felt paralyzed. The darkness that he felt was alive, threatening to consume him. Last thing he heard was the awful cry of a beast. A beast that came from a legend.
From his vantage point, Lee could see all the way to the ocean with the help of the moonlight. It was a trail of destruction that ended with a massive shape. Lee could not fully discern the silhouette, but he did hear the sound it made. It was horrible. It was from the legend…
Quickly, the old man reopens his eyes and feels his hands in a death grip on his chair. The memory was frightening. It was the same one he has had over and over again. With his heart threatening to tear through his chest, he tries to take a deep breath but it was difficult. His throat felt parched. He was still in a slight state of shock. Although the event was over, it still was present within him.
For a second, the man wondered if this memory would be the death of him. That would be the ultimate irony. To survive the horrendous events of his home island, only to be struck down by the remnants of that horrific night. Fate could be a cruel complexity.
However, something stirred within him. A gut feeling, something instinctual. Something was not right with the world, and he could feel it. Could it be related to his past or was it just a coincidence? He didn’t know for sure. But he made it a rule to never believe in coincidences. Not after that hellish night on Odo Island.
The withered soul finally regains some composure over himself and takes a breath. Then he felt a wave of exhaustion consume him, and made a strained effort to stand up and go to bed. Whatever was bothering him could wait, the elderly need their rest. As he vanishes into the shadows of his bedroom, the faint illumination of his computer remains active. The title was still presented on the screen and below it was the authors’ name:
Written by Ishiro Serizawa
Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
The drunken figure of a man slowly staggers through the doors that led into Lolo’s Bar. As he exits, he briefly trips over his own feet and veers to the outside wall of the bar in a half attempt to control himself. Fortunately, instead of falling, he manages to slide against the wall with one shoulder, taking the brunt of the impact. A faint laugh emits from the figure as he stumbles forward, spit out from within the belly of the bar. Regaining some form of balance, the man haphazardly turns to look up at the sign – something he always does when he makes his grand departure.
Only to snicker at the sign.
Despite being intoxicated the irony of the name that is illuminated in a bright neon green light before him does not escape the man. In the Hawaiian culture, the phrase “Lolo” is generally a person’s way of saying your “dumb” or “stupid”. So, for a bar to have that as a name is bitter sweet considering its mainly a waterhole to serve the men from the local military base – which was only a mile away.
The man then raises his hand towards the bar in attempt to give it the finger only to have momentarily forgotten about the beer bottle that was attached to his hand. That is, until it slid out from his grasp and falls effortlessly to the ground, shattering everywhere.
“Damnit” quietly slurred the man as he leans toward the ground in an attempt to observe his handy work. However, that proved costly as he once again stumbles.
Quickly, but awkwardly, the man’s hand shoots out to the side in a blind attempt to reach the railing of the bar in order to avoid a face full of concrete and glass. That would have been one meal he would not want to endeavor. Able to regain his balance for what seemed like the millionth time tonight, the man leans against the railing and drags his hands across his face.
Under his hands, he felt his five o'clock shadow grace across his fingers and snickered in the back of his mind. If his superior officer saw him now with his disorderly look, he probably be thrown into the brig.
“skreeonk them,” mumbled the man as he lets his face rest in his hands, finally feeling just how tired he was.
From behind the man, a voice trails after him from inside the doorway of the bar, “Hey Slade!”
Slade moans under his hands but doesn’t make any other form of acknowledgment.
“Slade, you idiot.” the voice continues, “You forgot to pay the bar tender again. I had to cover for your ass.”
A blood shot eye momentarily peaks out from between his fingers and he eyes the figure that approached him. It was none other than Sargeant Steven Bellows, Slade Williams’ best friend and military compadre.
“poop, that bartender doesn’t deserve a tip,” moaned Slade, finally feeling a little bit of soberness wash over him.
Steven plants a hand on his friends' shoulder, “Well I wasn’t referring to the tip, you forgot to actually pay”
Slade only mumbles something incoherently and finally drops his hands to his side, “Damn I'm drunk” and a smile outlines his chiseled chin.
With that, Steven can only chuckle and shakes his head, “Come on, let's get you back to the barracks, we both need the rest.”
As Slade was being dragged away from the bar, he looks over his shoulder at his friend with mischief in his eyes, “Think we can ever get the Captain drunk?”
That question was only answered by a laugh, as the two friends disappear into the darkness down the street.