Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

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Ashram52
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Ashram52 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:15 am

Notes on buildings, and how they work in game:

For a monster to destroy a building, two conditions need to be met:

First, the monster's Class must be equal to or above the building's.

Second, the monster must physically move into the building's space on the board. In addition to using the necessary amount of action points for the movement, the monster character must also use an addition action point to destroy it. (This represents the monster using its body to smash through it.)

Optional: If a monster has a ranged attack, such as a beam, they may also use that to destroy a building at a distance, but the attack requires the regular amount of action points it typically takes to preform.

If a monster has a lower class level than a building it's attacking, they may also damage a building, but they must use a regular attack to destroy it. In these cases, a buildings class level represents the amount of hit points they have before being destroyed.

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It'll be a while before I get the next post out. Not feeling it lately.

Thanks again Living Corpse for your ongoing support. As a token of my esteem, I'll be PM'ing you a little bonus material.
Last edited by Ashram52 on Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ashram52
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Posts: 199
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Ashram52 » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:54 pm

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Chapter 13: Goddess


In the immediate aftermath following Mothra cocooning herself, no one was quite sure what to do. A few of Paris' residents came back before the French military barred the roads leading into the city.

The French government wanted as few civilians as possible in the city until they decided how to proceed. The military was keen to attack at first, seeing as the creature wouldn't be able to defend itself in its current state, but their plan was quashed by the civilian government when they caught wind of it. Though the powers that be had no issue with the military trying to kill the monster, they were however concerned with the potential collateral damage to the Eiffel Tower, which was a treasured landmark. The tower meanwhile was holding up well under Mothra's weight. It seemed stable for the foreseeable future.

On the second day, it finally occurred to the French generals that there was another possible solution, which would not involve firing artillery at a historic site. Marcus had demonstrated that Mothra's silk could be cut with fire. It seemed reasonable to assume the webbing she used to construct her cocoon could likewise be vulnerable to fire.

The French military did have access to flamethrowers, which had been developed during the prolonged period of trench warfare of The Great War. The generals were keen to employ them again, however, when using the potential weapon was brought up in a strategy meeting, Dr. Jacquier's was quick to ring out against it. He discouraged them, noting that such a strategy would be dangerous.

The doctor explained that he had been running tests on the strange material found within Mothra's eggshell and his findings suggested that it was volatile when exposed to extreme temperatures. Thusly, he suggested that the cocoon might also prove to be combustible if they attempted to set it aflame. He went on to say if the military tried to burn the cocoon, it could possibly trigger an explosion that would not only destroy the Eiffel Tower, but also damage or destroy numerous buildings in the surrounding area. He felt they would risk spreading fires all over the city if they acted rashly.

The Generals at the meeting were skeptical about Dr. Jacquier theories, but the civilian authorities on hand were horrified by the prospect of the tower or any other landmarks being damaged. They didn't want to take any risks, so Dr. Jacquier's argument prevailed and proved to be enough to buy the cocoon at least a few more hours while the French Parliament debated the issue.

---

By the next morning, word came in that there had been an explosion at the secret research facility where the egg shards were being housed. That was enough to convince the majority of the French National Assembly that attacking the cocoon immediately was too risky to undertake. They would have to look into alternative methods of dealing with it.

With fire ruled out, that left the French military with very few practical options to choose from. A more conventional attack with tanks and artillery ran the same risks. As it was, it seemed like their only recourse was to wait and see what happened. It was around the same time that the French received even more bad news. Varan was continuing its trek west through west Germany and appeared to be on course to cross over the French boarder. It was starting to look like the French were on the cusp of having a second monster threat to content with on their home soil and the latter of the two had proven to be extremely hazardous to human life.

Marcus was with Admiral Nimitz in the American Embassy in Paris when they received word. Understanding the seriousness of the situation, Admiral Nimitz was quick to pull out a map of Western Europe and began to mark out Varan's positions in Germany over the last few days. He was looking for a pattern, it didn't take long to see one. Since Mothra had arrived in Paris, Varan had shifted his trajectory from due west to northwest on a near linear course. There was no doubt Varan was on his way to the city.

"Great, now we have to deal with an even more destructive monster?" Williams grumbled. "How will the French army stop it? That thing had no problem stomping the Germans. It'll have a buffet in the countryside with most of the French army up here in the north keeping an eye on Mothra."

"Don't panic, the monster has got to get around one thing before it can do any of that." Admiral Nimitz assured him.

"It has to cross the Maginot line...?" Brock guessed. The Admiral nodded to Brock, confirming he was correct.

"What's that?" Williams asked confused.

"You're joking right?" Brock balked at him, appalled by his ignorance. "It's only the most fortified defensive position in the World. It was built to keep the Germans out of France following The Great War." He turned his attention to Marcus. "I thought you said these things were smart, why is it trying to go through there of all places?"

"First, I said kaiju were intelligent, not smart." Marcus pointed out. "Most animals are intelligent. Think about it in terms of dog breeds, intelligence can vary by wide margins. So, it’s easy to assume some monsters are smarter than others."

"Yeah, my sister has a beagle, that little bastard is as dumb as a post." Brock noted. "It just sits in the backyard and barks at a stump all day."

"Thank you Brock, that was very helpful." Marcus signed. "Anyways, I'd say Varan is coming for the cocoon. Mothra is a sitting duck while encased inside it. Easy pickings if Varan is hungry and tired of paltry human portions. More to your point, there's no way Varan could know about the defensive line between here and there." Marcus noted. "My knowledge of geography is limited, but I'm guessing crossing the Maginot Line is probably the most direct way to get to Paris from where Varan is, right Admiral?"

“That is correct.” The Admiral used a pencil and a protractor to project Varan's course on the map for his men. He connected one final line to the others he had drawn earlier, which all but confirmed the monster's heading was taking him directly towards Paris. This lent weight to Marcus' argument. The admiral went a step further and did a little math on the paper and figured out that if Varan kept up his current pace he'd arrive at Paris in less than forty-eight hours.

"So that is why Mothra was in such a hurry to get here." Brock noted. "It knew Varan was on its way and is trying hatch before he gets here."

"That's what my gut says too." Marcus agreed. Just then, he got a flash of an imagine in his mind and a jolt of fear shot down his spine. It was gone in an instant, but Marcus knew that they needed to ensure Varan was stopped at the Maginot Line to protect the cocoon. If they failed, something terrible would happen.

---

Within the hour, Admiral Nimitz made a call to Washington. It was quickly decided that their team would be dispatched to the Maginot Line to see Varan for themselves. It was an easy sell, the Secretary of Defense felt that getting firsthand information on the monster was a priority. The Germans had not been very open with the Western Powers about what Varan was and what he was capable of.

Up until then, the United States had to rely on what their spies inside Germany were relaying. Mostly what they sent were pictures and articles straight from the German newspapers and the German High Command had kept a pretty tight grip on what they did, and did not, allow them to publish. Not too surprisingly, there was very little information on the total losses the German military had suffered at Varan’s hands or the extent to which the monster had damaged the country's infrastructure. Only some details about the monster itself had leaked. Thanks to the photos in the papers, Marcus and his team would at least be able to identify the monster on sight, but they didn't know how resistant to artillery it was or how the monster would fight when confronted.

After obtaining Washington's approval, Admiral Nimitz phoned General De Gaulle to get his permission to enter the Maginot Forts along the border as observers. Because Marcus had proved instrumental in rescuing French troops just days earlier, they were still in the general's good graces and it didn't take too much convincing to get him to agree. It wasn't all just gratitude though.

General De Gaulle recognized the value of having American servicemen in the line of fire. If things went south in the upcoming battle with Varan, it would read well in American newspapers if some of their own were present for the fight. It would undoubtedly make the American public more sympathetic to the French people’s plight if they could relate to men on the front line. The French might very well need American military resources if they failed to stop Varan at the Maginot Line and capturing the hearts and minds of her people would be a fine first step in ensuring their support.

Arrangements were made and a plane carrying the group of Americans was dispatched to an airfield near the Maginot Line along the projected path of the monster. They offered to bring Dr. Jacquier along as well, but he refused. The doctor was more interested in continuing his research on Mothra's Cocoon in Paris. Marcus suspected he just wanted to ensure the French Government didn't change their mind and try to burn the cocoon while he was away.

---

Off the Libyan coast, an Italian heavy cruiser and a pair of destroyers had arrived to investigate the rash of disappearances at sea. A large Italian supply vessel had been added to the list of missing vessels overnight, which is likely what brought about the rapid turn-around time of the Italian navy's appearance.

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Like Omar, the Italians almost immediately ruled out local pirates as being responsible for the disappearances. The pirates generally only raided the Italian merchant ships they encountered. They would board their target, seize all the supplies they could carry, and then let them go on their way afterwards. Seizing entire ships didn't fit their normal M.O. Everyone seemed to recognize that something very odd was going on.

Omar watched from the docks as the Italian warships swept the area looking for any clues. They didn't seem to be having any luck. The warships soon passed and Omar noticed something strange wash in with the tide. It was floating on top of the water, being knocked back and forth with each passing wave. It turned out to be a fish, at least in a manner of speaking. It was so bizarre looking that it took Omar a second to register it as a fish.

Omar had been a fisherman for close to twenty-years, and in all that time on the water, he'd never seen anything like it before. The creature in question was intact, but no doubt dead. It was about a meter in length and had dark grey scales. The fish had two small eyes on either side of its head, with proportionally large nostrils along with a huge gaping mouth filled with especially long, sharp, nasty, looking teeth. The fish also had an unusual limb protruding from its forehead. At the end of the odd limb was a bulbous orb that was semi-translucent. The function of it was unclear. To Omar, it was easier to describe the thing as a monstrosity rather than a fish. Looking upon it gave him an eerie feeling. He felt like it was an omen.

Storm clouds were forming in the distance.

---


Meanwhile in the Sea of Okhotsk, Akira was continuing to fly into the coastal waters of Russia. Having flown countless missions over China, Akira knew how it felt to enter enemy airspace, but still, this somehow felt different. If he made a mistake on this mission it could kick off a war, something he didn't want to carry the weight of blame for.

Akira tried to stay calm, but it was difficult not to feel the anxiety of the mission as they pressed further and further into Russian airspace. Up until then, he had been spacing out during the flight, allowing his thoughts drift to pass the time. However, he was now keenly alert, continuously scanning sky around him watching for trouble.

As it so happened, trouble seemed to find them. Akira spotted a Russian patrol fighter about one-thousand feet below them at one-o'clock. He instinctively reacted, jerking the stick backward hard and taking the seaplane higher. The seaplane was not a fighter though and the sudden jerk of the stick was not followed by a smooth climb upwards Akira had been expecting. Instead, the plane lurked clumsily and inside the aircraft the crew were jerked from their seats as the plane pitched. Akira could hear canisters of fuel clanging around and at least one yell from behind him.

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Akira had to ignore it though. His priority had to be to get the seaplane out of the line of sight of the fighter as quickly as possible. Luckily, he found a nearby a patch of clouds that he could dive into. Akira flew the seaplane directly into it and disappeared into the safety of the fluff. His plan was to remain inside for a couple of minutes, hoping that the fighter had not spotted them and would move out of the area on its regular patrol route.

However, if the fighter had seen them, they'd be in a real fix. The seaplane was designed to be a transport plane first and foremost. So, they wouldn't be able to outrun, outfly, or outfight the fighter if it was waiting for them when they came out of the clouds. If it chose to engage them, they'd simply be target practice.

To make matters worse, the seaplane was still loaded down with fuel canisters meant to get them back home. Their aircraft would go up like a box of match sticks if the fighter strafed them. Just one stray bullet in the wrong place is all it would take to blow them to bits. Akira could always try to duck into another cloud bank, but that would only postpone their problem. They wouldn't be able to hide forever and if the Soviet pilot called in their position, which he would undoubtedly would do, they'd have a whole squadron of fighters scrambled after them before long.

As Akira flew through the soup of clouds, not being able to see anything around him, he considered their options should the worst come to pass. They could always bail out, but allowing themselves to be captured would risk exposing their mission's true purpose. If he allowed the plane to be shot down it would be an international incident, but at least the Russian's would never know the extent of what they were up to. Either way, it didn't seem like they would escape the situation alive.

Akira leveled out the plane and Major Saito came into the cockpit looking for answers. Akira briefly summarized their predicament. The two agreed that staying in the cloud cover was their best option for the time being. Tense minutes passed as everyone aboard the seaplane knew that when they came out of the cloud cover, whatever they found would decide their fate. Either they'd be in the clear or cooked.

Finally, Akira decided enough time had passed. He brought the seaplane out from the safely of the clouds and back into the open blue sky. Major Saito and the other soldier were glued to their windows in the back, searching for signs of the fighter on either side of the seaplane. Akira was looking straight up as they came out, as he expected the fighter would be waiting for them there if it was planning to ambush them. Meanwhile his co-pilot was looking down, just in case it attacked from where they weren't expecting it.

None of them saw anything but blue skies. No sign of the fighter whatsoever. They breathed a collective sigh of relieve. It seemed as though they had lucked out after-all. Akira's rough maneuver had spared them from being discovered, though it had come with one minor cost. The foot-soldier who accompanied Major Saito had been standing when Akira made his sudden evasion and twisted his ankle. While the injury was far from life-threatening, it did present them with a problem.

The soldier's primary purpose on the mission was to help Major Saito carry the device through the Russian countryside to the rendezvous point with their contact. With a bum leg, he wouldn't be able to fulfill his role. Someone would have to take his place or Major Saito would never be able to make the rendezvous on time lugging the package by himself.

Major Saito was eye-balling Akira's co-pilot for the job. Akira could easily read the fear on the co-pilot's face as he realized the risks that would be involved. The co-pilot was a young and relatively inexperienced airman. He had never taken part in an operation on the ground before and clearly didn't seem ready for it. Because of that, Akira volunteered to go instead.

At first, Major Saito didn't like the idea of his pilot being exposed in the most dangerous part of the mission, but Akira assured him that the co-pilot would be capable of flying them back to base alone if necessary. Akira was both physically larger and stronger than the co-pilot, so he was the better choice for sharing the burden. Hiding from the fighter had cost them valuable minutes already and Major Saito didn't want to lose and more time on the way there, so he agreed with Akira and the matter was closed.

---

Twenty minutes later, they arrived off the coast of Russia. Akira landed the plane and taxied it through the water into a nook that had been pre-selected to hide the plane. The site chosen made the plane hard to spot from the sky, but they also put a camouflaged cover over it to make it even harder to locate just to be safe.

Once they had secured the plane, Akira and Major Saito took off their Japanese uniforms and put on Soviet ones. They wouldn't fool anyone up close, but at least at a distance they wouldn't stand out if they were spotted. One thing they had working in their favor was the close relations the Russians had to the Mongolians. Mongolia was a Soviet satellite and not generally recognized as sovereign nation of its own.

As such, it wasn't usual for Russians of Mongolian descent to serve in the Soviet military. Akira and Major Saito could pass for such men to the untrained eye. Neither of them actually spoke a word of Mongolian though and anyone looking closely would notice some issues. Mongolians tended to have a darker skin tone than the average Japanese man, so the disguise wouldn't hold up under scrutiny.

After their uniforms were on, Major Saito handed Akira a soviet made PPSH41 sub-machine gun. It was known as a Papasha or "daddy" in Russian. It had a large round magazine underneath and Akira thought that made it look like a Tommy-gun that American gangsters were known to use. Major Saito explained that if there were gunned down during the mission they couldn't afford to be found with Japanese equipment on their bodies.

With that last vote of confidence, the pair grabbed a large duffle bag which housed the special eighty-pound radio device inside and became their journey to the rendezvous. Akira and Saito had to walk two miles inland to meet up with their contact. Even with two men, carrying that much weight over that much rough terrain was a fairly taxing ordeal. It didn't seem to bother Major Saito any, but for Akira it was an uphill battle.

At one-point Major Saito stopped and put the bag down. Akira was most grateful for the break, but his relief was short lived. The major had stopped so he could inspect some tire tracks that had mowed down some tall grass ahead of them. They appeared to have been left there by a Russian truck, possibly a patrol.

Akira and Saito were too far away from the rendezvous point for the tracks to have been left by their contact. Major Saito guessed that the tracks had been made a couple hours earlier, so it was unlikely the vehicle that left them was still in the immediate area. Still, it put them on guard to know that Russians had been on the ground in that area.

The pair pressed on for an additional mile until the finally found their contact waiting for them. The man they found was likewise dressed in Soviet garb, but unlike them, he was in an officer's uniform. Their contact was a Russian and it became clear that if they were stopped, he'd be doing all the talking. He introduced himself as Vladimir Vanchaco. He was a survivor from the anti-communist Russian White Army who had fought against the Reds during the Russian civil war.

Vladimir hated the current Soviet regime and supported the Russian people returning to an Imperial power, that wasn't likely to happen though. The Russian he loved was long dead, which is why he chose to align himself with Imperial Japan. He didn't see it as betraying his country, he saw it as his country betraying him. His condition for joining the mission was he'd be allowed to defect afterwards. He wanted to repatriate to Japan and be granted citizenship. He couldn't stand watching his country be overran with communists and it was quickly becoming clear Stalin's idea of communism was even worse than Vladimir had expected. If he didn't get out soon, he'd be purged like so many others before him.

There wasn't too much small talk, both Vladimir and Major Saito were men of few words by nature and both were keen to keep things moving. They loaded the device into the GAZ-64 4x4 jeep that Vladimir had acquired and began driving to the Soviet staging grounds.


---

Marcus, Admiral Nimitz, Brock, and Williams landed at an airstrip located just adjacent to one of the Maginot forts. Marcus was awestruck by the sight of it. The unending line of fortifications stretched beyond the horizon in both directions like it was a mountain range.

In truth, the hillside fortifications were too short to be called mountains, but they were also too tall and imposing be called a hills. They were impressive to say the least. The entire line stretched fifteen-hundred kilometers, all the way from the border with Switzerland in the south to Luxembourg in the north. It had taken the French engineers nine long years and three-billion francs to complete it.

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The forts were built directly into the hills and were impervious to most forms of attack, including aerial bombings and tank fire. Only the heaviest of artillery could hope to put a dent in them. The forts featured retractable turrets, which could pop out of the ground and fire and then retreat down again for protection. It also had underground railways, which could move troops and supplies quickly to anywhere along the line where they were needed most. For the troops garrisoning the forts, there were state of the art living conditions, including air conditioning and an independent water supply. Men could live inside almost indefinitely.

The forts were designed to save manpower for France, which counted just thirty-nine million inhabitants versus Germany's seventy million. The French figured the next major European war would be a war of attrition much like the last one had been and hoped their extensive fortifications would help make up for the shortage in manpower. Their strategy was to outlast the Germans behind their defenses.

A prolonged defensive war would favor the French. It had been calculated that the Germans would eventually run out of resources as the war dragged on. If the French could just hold them off long enough, the Germans would be unable to continue in time. With the appearance of Varan though, it seemed like the defenses of the Maginot Line wouldn't be tested by the Germans anytime soon. The monster had eliminated one threat only to take its place.

Marcus and the others were met at the entrance of the main fort by a French officer who had been expecting them. He brought them inside and offered to show them around. However, the admiral decided they didn't have the time to linger and so they piled into the underground rail system to head north to face the oncoming threat. By that time, Varan was only twenty miles away from the forts and if he stayed on his current projected course, he would hit the line in just over an hour about six miles north of their current position.

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Marcus road the rails through the darkness watching the occasional light flicker by above him on the tunnel ceiling. His group had been in the tunnel for almost a half-hour already and his mind was beginning to wander. He had always heard when people where close to death they would feel like they were traveling through a tunnel of white light, heading for Heaven. The ongoing blackness of the tunnel make him wonder if that was what people bound for hell would see.

The train finally arrived at the proper underground station and Marcus’ group disembarked. As they came up the stairs leading to the main floor of the base they were met by a Brigadier-General who was in command of the forts. He informed them that Varan was still a little ways off yet. Admiral Nimitz commented on how impressed he was with the underground fortress. He had never seen anything like it before, which lead the Brigadier-general to take them on a brief tour of the facility.

The General pointed out the various gun galleries and casemates, the kitchens, the barracks, the power station, the communications room, the command center, the infirmary, the air conditioning plant, and the main magazine, which stored the majority of the forts ammunition behind large steel doors. Though they had only been in the other fort briefly, Marcus could see that the layout was very similar. He imagined that was so men transferring from one station to another rapidly wouldn't have problems adjusting to where things were.

"It sure beats the hell out of the snow forts I made as a child." Brock noted.

"Yeah, me too." Marcus agreed. Both of them were thoroughly impressed, as were Admiral Nimitz and Lt. Commander Williams.

The tour ended with them being brought to the peak of the observation post, which housed the fire control tower. Marcus had to cover his eyes as there was real sunlight pouring in. He had been in the dark tunnels for so long he needed to readjust. After his vision transitioned, the vantage point was breath taking. They could see the green valley landscape outstretched for miles beyond the defenses.

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A little closer in were the base's exterior defenses. There were miles of barbed wire, machine gun nests, mine fields, tank traps and other iron obstacles, anti-aircraft guns, and portable artillery pieces that had been brought in to supplement the bases already impressive firepower. A battalion of tanks had also arrived and were getting into position in some of the gaps between strong points.

Just then, an aid to the Brigadier-General ran in and informed them that Varan was within four miles of the defensive line. With that, Marcus and the others were rushed to an observation bunker, while the rest of the base was called to battle-stations.

Marcus ran through the corridors, dodging French soldiers that were getting into position. When he reached the bunker, he looked out and saw the same green fields and flowers from a position a little closer to the ground. It seemed serene. Anyone who didn't already know what was coming couldn't be blamed for being unable to foreseen the carnage that was imminent.

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It didn't take long for the imagined image peace to be shattered. The rumble of giant footfalls could be felt within the bowels of the base and they were growing stronger and stronger with each passing minute. Finally, Varan appeared over a hillside off in the near distance. The monster steadily moved in closer to the fortifications. As Varan came closer, Marcus got his first good look at him.

As Marcus stared, he felt a twinge of fear hit his stomach. Varan wasn't unlike Baragon in appearance. No, Varan was not so different at all. There was one notable difference Marcus saw, though it was hardly comforting. Varan was slightly bigger than Baragon. Even at a distance, it was clear that Varan was the larger of the two monsters. However, Baragon was quicker. Having seen both in action, Varan was ponderously slow by comparison. Apparently, the extra weight carried some disadvantages too.

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Varan suddenly roared and pulled Marcus away from his inner thoughts. He could swear Varan even sounded a little like Baragon. The small pebble of fear in his stomach grew into a softball-sized rock upon hearing his roar. Marcus’ chest felt tight with anxiety. Where had the calm that he felt around Mothra gone? It seemed to have abandoned him in that moment.

Shortly after Varan made his appearance, the long-range artillery of the fortress began to open up. The force of the big guns shook the fort around them. The thunderclaps of shells echoed all over the valley and against the hillside fort. Varan pressed forward undeterred and the mid-ranged artillery joined in. One by one, every gun within the fort began shelling Varan as he gradually closed the gap. The surrounding fortresses joined in as well and before too long Varan was completely engulfed by the hail of fire.

Through years of preparation and live fire exercises, the artillery was raining down with exceptional accuracy. Every yard of the landscape had been pre-measured by engineers. They had determined and marked out on map the specific elevation and degrees to which the gunners would need to put a shell on a target anywhere within their defensive perimeter. They had done so for each gun emplacement in the fortress.

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The intensity of the barrage did seem to be affecting Varan, however the monster was still somehow able to struggle forward though the torrent of cannon fire. There were so many explosions that it was impossible to tell where one ended and the next began. The once green fields around Varan were quickly being shredded by craters of exploding shells. The scent of burnt soil and gunpowder was heavy in the air.

In an effort to escape the firestorm, Varan changed course. He was no longer heading in a straight predictable line towards the fort Marcus occupied. Instead, the monster dashed left and moved towards the neighboring mound of turrets. The amount of smoke and particulates in the air had rose quickly as the battle progressed. It worked in Varan's favor. His change in direction was not immediately noticed and the guns continued to fire on where they expected Varan to be instead of where he actually was. Even something as big as Varan could be lost in the heavy banks of smoke that polluted the battlefield. The artillery's accuracy was hindered more and more with each shot that was fired.

Varan remained obscured long enough to allow him to advance in close to the outer defensive line. In fact, by the time they reacquired him, he was already close enough to start setting off landmines. The mines weren't very effective though. They were meant to kill regular foot soldiers and had little effect on a monster Varan's size. He barely seemed to notice the series of crackles under his feet as he continued forward.

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Varan next came upon the hedges of barbed wire that were intended to halt infantry assaults. The men manning machine guns nests on the far side of the quagmire of wires opened up on the monster. They proved to be next to useless. Even the thinner armor of Varan's underbelly was too thick for regular bullets to penetrate.

The barbed wire only managed to slow Varan down for a second or two before it overstretched and snapped. Only a little bit of the wire remained tangled on Varan's front paws, but it did not hinder him whatsoever. The barbs were dug into his skin but didn't penetrate deep enough to have any impact. With the monster almost on top of them, the machine gunners retreated down the passageways of their galleries, seeing the futility of their attack.

The tanks dotting the hillside began their attack, which was less accurate and focused than the artillery had been. Varan had made his way under the minimum range of the heaviest artillery within the hillside by that point and the defenders within started to realize that they were in serious trouble. There were still plenty of smaller caliber cannons that were meant for close range fighting against tanks and other intruders within the perimeter, but they had much less stopping power than their larger counterparts. They couldn't do enough to get past Varan's armored hide.

The men in the outer defenses began to abandon their positions as Varan had passed beyond all the remaining obstacles separating them. One of the braver mortar crews stayed behind to carry on the fight and slow the monster down, but were snatched up and eaten by Varan for their trouble.

Varan trampled his way up the hill of the fortress and tore open the first turret he came across. The men inside met a similar fate as the mortar men. One by one, turrets were smashed open and any gun crews who failed to flee in time met with a gruesome end.

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With the defensive line penetrated, French aircraft that had been waiting above rushed down to try to repulse Varan and force him back down the hill. They too had little effect and the fort was torn to bits section by section. Varan dug into the tunnels like an aardvark tearing down an anthill and ate anyone he found. One of the French fighter/bombers came in too low trying to hit Varan in the face and was swatted by the monster's paw.

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The plane veered out of control and crashed into the main entrance of the fort Marcus occupied. He could hear French soldiers shouting though the tunnels as the entrance collapsed from the force of the impact. A second after the crash, the bomb that was still within the aircraft exploded which caused further chaos within the fortress. A small amount of smoke even found its way up to the observation bunker.

Meanwhile, Varan had finished with the adjoining fortress. Marcus could hear the shouts from the surviving French troops running through the tunnel towards them. Sporadic fire was still hitting Varan, but not enough to deter him. In fact, the attacks seemed to enrage the monster, which made him advance on the fortress Marcus occupied.

A few tanks between the two fortresses felt Varan's wraith as he used his front claws to smash them into pieces. Marcus could hear more shouts of French soldiers within the fort abandoning their positions. After what they had just witnessed, he couldn't blame them. In fact, Marcus and the rest of his team took it as their queue to leave as well. They ran from their bunker to join the retreating French men, only to find a disaster waiting for them in the tunnels below.

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Not only had the plane crash collapsed the main tunnel, but the bomb's explosion had also partially collapsed the train tunnel, which was their only other avenue of escape. Men could still get through it, but only one at a time and on their hands and knees. With the added men from the neighboring fort, there were nearly a hundred men all stacked up. No one wanted to go back through the fallen fort's tunnel, and because of that, there was a bottleneck at the only remaining escape route.

They were losing precious time. Varan would attack the fortress at any second. Marcus knew if they didn't do something quick, they would probably all die, buried inside. He needed to buy everyone more time to escape. Marcus had a sudden flash of inspiration and knew exactly what he needed to do. He told Brock that he would need his help, but Brock was hesitant to leave Admiral Nimitz's side.

"Give me your lighter!" Marcus asked. It was more of a demand than a request. Brock handed it over.

Out of nowhere, Williams stepped forward and volunteered to help. There was no time for a discussion, so Marcus nodded and ran back inside the dark corridors of the fort with Williams close in toe. Marcus found his way back to the main magazine they had seen earlier. It was located under one of the main turrets and contained the lion's share of the fort's ammunition. Luckily for them, someone had left the door ajar in their haste to retreat.

"We need to work fast and careful." Marcus said to Williams as calmly as he could, adrenaline was pumping through his system as he tried to think. "Somewhere in this room there are fuses. You need to find them and bring them to me." Williams nodded and took off to look for them. It sounded simple enough, but with everything in the room labeled in French, it made William's task that much more difficult. Marcus and Williams both felt a thud as Varan began to rip into the outer defenses of the fort. The clock was ticking. They didn't have much more time.

While Williams ran up and down the corridors of the room, ripping open any promising looking packages, Marcus was opening a keg of black powder propellant and made a long line of it around the room leading from the main powder stockpile and to the outer doorway. Once the line was complete, Marcus ran back to the powder storage and started opening more of the kegs up with a nearby crowbar. He ensured there was a large line of powder connected directly to the main supply and another line leading to the pile of artillery shells.

"I've got it!" Marcus heard Williams shout from the other side of the room. He ran back to Marcus with his prize in hand. "Here." He handed it over to Marcus who took the fuses and started to tie three of them together end to end. "Wait, what are you planning?" Williams asked.

"A fireworks show for our visitor." Marcus muttered back to him.

"Jesus Marcus!" Williams exclaimed, beginning to understand what he had in mind. "You're going to end up blowing us up right along with that thing!"

"It beats getting eaten by it." Marcus snapped back at him impatiently. "Get going, I can handle the rest of this on my own." If you happen to see anyone still in the fort on your way back to the bottom, tell them to get the hell out." Marcus instructed. Williams just stood there staring at Marcus. "What are you waiting for…? Get going!"

Williams spared just a moment more before bolting out of the room. The fort was still shaking from Varan's assault. It sounded like the defenses were crumbling fast. Marcus did not waste time, he focused on getting the job done as quickly as possible. Finally, he was satisfied with his work and put the fuse into the end of the line of black powder. He pulled out Brock's lighter and in a flash the fuse was ignited.

Marcus ran back out of the room to the steel door and pushed it closed with all his might. The door was heavy and didn't move easily, but he managed to get it shut. Once it was closed, he sealed the hatch, making it nearly airtight. The effort cost him precious seconds, but it was vital that he it get done. Marcus could tell that Varan was very close by, the intense rumbling in the tunnel around him was all he needed to hear to know it.

With his job done, Marcus dashed through the tunnel knowing that at any moment it could come down on him under Varan's weight. Indeed, some bricks were starting to come loose above him. Dirt was failing from the ceiling and raining onto Marcus as he tried to escape. He was racing both the monster and the fuse he had lite. If either of them caught up to him before he escaped the fort, he'd be dead.

Varan must have really been putting his weight into his attacks. The tunnel was quickly deteriorating around Marcus. A brick hit him in the shoulder as he ran. It dropped him to the floor for a moment, but he quickly recovered and got back to his feet. The thought of being buried alive helped keep Marcus' feet moving. He could feel that his time was running out. Any second the powder would ignite the arsenal and he was still one floor away from the bottom.

The moment Marcus reached the stairwell that would take him to the ground floor, the ceiling to the main barracks room behind him gave way and completely collapsed. Marcus lost his footing and nearly fell head first down the stairs. Luckily, he was able grab the guard rail and caught himself. As he staggered to a stop, he could see the dirt and soil piling in behind him. It occurred to him if he had been just a few seconds slower, he would still have been in the room when the ceiling collapsed and never would have left it. Marcus had no time to dwell on it though. He continued on.

Only a few seconds later, the powder magazine finally exploded. In an instant, half of the hillside fort erupted upward, blown away in a horrendous explosion. Between digging up so much of the earth around the defenses and collapsing so many of the tunnels below, Varan insured that the force of the explosion had nowhere to go but up. The fact that Marcus had sealed the steel doors of the magazine also played a role in bringing the force of the explosion right into Varan's face. The monster was blown clean off the hillside and landed hard in the valley below on his back.

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Varan lay there stunned for a few seconds after, having no idea what had just hit him. Dust and debris landed all over the valley for miles around. The explosion had knocked the wind out of Varan, which was a new experience for the monster. As soon as he could get a breath in, he rolled onto his feet and began to beat a retreat back into Germany. Varan had decided he'd taken enough abuse for one day.

Marcus meanwhile was crawling his way towards the rail tunnel on the other side of what remained of the fortress. Aside from some cuts and bruises, he was mostly ok, though covered from head to toe in dirt. The funny thing was Varan had saved his life. Even with the steel doors Marcus put in place, the force of the explosion would have blown right through them and straight through the tunnels behind him if the monster had not collapsed them. In more ways than one, Marcus was lucky to walk away.

---

Back in Russia, Akira, Major Saito, and Vladimir were nearing the Russian's staging ground. Vladimir had scouted it out earlier, so he knew exactly where to go. He stopped the Gaz 4x4 on a cliff out of sight just short of the Russian camp. From there, the three men crept up through the long grass to look down upon it.

Upon seeing the camp, Akira was shocked at just what a mess it was. The camp could best be described as a somewhat organized rabble. It was clear to him that Stalin's purges were having an impact on the Soviet army's organization. There were thousands of tents, but they didn't seem to be put up in any organized fashion. It just looked messy.

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The outskirts of the camp were bustling with activity as supply trucks came and went constantly. There didn't seem to be any guards posted to keep tabs on any of the vehicles as they moved in and out. The trucks were more or less allowed to come and go as the traffic in front of them dictated. There were no ID checks, no paperwork to be examined, and no inspections of the vehicles. Their priority just seemed to get things done as quickly as possible. Everything else was secondary.

Vladimir looked over to the Japanese men and smiled. He knew this was going to be easy. Vladimir already looked and sounded the part if anyone bothered to approach him, and without any ID checks of any kind, it was highly unlikely that he'd be scrutinized.

The plan had been to sneak into the camp during the night if security seemed tight. If Russian security looked particularly bad, they could always activate the device nearby the camp instead and not risk getting caught. Drawing the Rodans to the general area would prove good enough in a pinch, but none of those back up plans were necessary anymore. They were going to be able to place the device right under the Russian's noses.

They returned to the Gaz and Vladimir pulled some gas masks from the back and handed them to Akira and Saito. The Russian's had used gas in their last battle with the Rodans, and even though they should have known better than to try it again, they couldn't be too careful. It was better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

Since Vladimir could hardly risk opening the bag in the middle of the Russian camp, Akira took the radio transmitter out and activated it in the 4x4 and then hid it safely back inside the bag. With that done, Vladimir left the pair of Japanese men in their hiding place on the ledge and drove down towards the camp on his own. He cut his way into the line of trucks as if he were a scout returning and slowly crawled his way through the traffic into the camp. They were at the point of no return. If Vladimir were to be discovered at that moment, they'd be in it deep.

After entering the outskirts of the camp, but before reaching the supply depot, Vladimir pulled away from the line of trucks and found a nice quiet place to deposit the bag. The device was somewhat difficult for him to get out of the jeep on his own, but he was built big and strong, so he managed it. Saito and Akira eagerly watched him through their binoculars. Vladimir was being very careful not to attract attention to himself and was being almost universally ignored by the Russian soldiers around him. With the device in place, Vladimir spared a few more moments to obscure the bag by piling a few other supplies around it. In its new hiding place, it was unlikely that someone would stumble upon the bag by accident.

With the device activated and safely hidden within the Russian camp, Vladimir got back into the Gaz and slowly made his way back out of the camp. It only took him a few minutes to break away from the line of trucks bound for a station of the Trans-Siberian Railway to get more supplies. He returned to the hiding place on the cliff and waited for Major Saito and Akira to join him.

"It is done, we can leave now, yes?" Vladimir said to Major Saito.

"No, we can't." Major Saito replied.

"What do you mean?" Vladimir asked shocked and annoyed. "The longer we stay here the more likely we are to get caught."

"Yes, I am aware of that." Major Saito replied coolly.

"Then why are we staying?" Akira asked anxiously. “Isn’t the point of all this sneaking around that we don’t get caught?”

"Orders." Major Saito replied. Akira just sat there confused. Saito could see that his answer wasn't going to be enough for his two companions, so he elaborated. "We need to wait and see the results of this first hand." He began. "Ensure that the job gets done and that the device isn't found afterwards. There are explosives inside the transmitter's casing. If the Russians find it before the Rodans arrive, I'll blow it up. If the Rodans do arrive as planned, I've been instructed to explode the device during the fight. We can't leave any evidence for the Russians to find in the aftermath." Saito pulled out a radio controller linked to the radio transmitter’s hidden explosives.

"There was a bomb in that thing the whole time we were carrying it?!" Akira exclaimed.

"Yes." Major Saito replied coolly. "What, you thought the thing was so heavy just because of radio parts?" He smirked at Akira for being naive before going on. "Command also wants us to take note of how the Rodans attack during a land battle. We've seen them in the air and on the ocean. They kicked our butts in both cases. Maybe they will prove to be more vulnerable on the ground?" He suggested. "I doubt it though. Anyways, I personally don't mind sticking around to watch some Russians die, I lost an uncle during the Russo-Japanese War. What say you Vladimir?"

"I would prefer to leave, but watching Bolshevik vermin get crushed is tolerable." Vladimir replied. Saito turned to Akira.

"Orders are orders I suppose." Akira agreed. He didn't like it, but he didn't have a choice.

---

Hours passed as the three men waited. Each passing moment increased the chance that they would be discovered by the Russians and each passing moment the tension seemed to rise. Akira tried to ignore the fear he felt in his chest, but even the stone-faced Major Saito was sweating. All of them had expected the Rodans to have appeared a while ago. The thought of having to explode the device and making a run for the coast had crossed each of their minds. It seemed to be the most likely outcome as they continued to wait.

The day had grown progressively more overcast as they waited and by that point, clouds covered every inch of the skyline. With little else to do, Akira just watched the Russians in the camp below. He saw something troubling brewing, several tank crews had started up their T-34s and were moving out of the camp. One of the tank commanders noticed the trail Vladimir had left through the grass and stopped his machine to eye ball it. The officer looked at the lines with suspension. He grabbed his mic from below and then popped back up, appearing to report his findings.

Akira's heart was pounding in his chest from the tension. He was about to nudge Major Saito when something else caught his attention. The clouds above them were moving, and not in the regular way that clouds typically moved. Sections of the clouds were churned in swirling ominous wisps. There was no noise, but Akira knew something was awfully wrong.

In the camp below, the Russians had no idea that anything was happening. They had no real reason to be alert and none of them were watching the skies. Akira watched as the alarming scene continued to develop. Finally, he hit Major Saito, who was laying in the grass next to him, on the shoulder to call his attention to it. Major Saito in turn nudged Vladimir. The three just watched as the clouds continued to move around in a usual manor. A soft breeze began to blow. Slowly and steady, it began to grow stronger.

A Russian soldier finally caught wind of something not seeming right and looked up to see the clouds churning above them. One by one, the soldiers stopped what they were doing looked up until nearly the entire camp was transfixed on the skyline.

It was then that something dipped down from the cloud cover several miles away. At first, it was too far away to tell what it was. The soldiers could only make out a dark blot in the distance, but it was coming at them, and coming fast. Akira could hear men in the camp shouting in Russian as it approached, but he didn't have a clue what any of it meant. Clearly what they were saying was urgent. Soldiers were running in all directions, most of them were scrambling to grab their weapons or piling into vehicles.

Within seconds, it was clear that the object coming at them was one of the Rodans. It was moving at full speed, coming in low to the ground right at the Russian encampment. Time seemed to slow down despite the monster's rapid approach. Second by second, it closed in until it passed directly over the camp. The supply base might as well have been hit by a five second hurricane. Every single tent in the camp was uprooted instantly. Most of the soldiers who had not found their way into a heavily armored vehicle found themselves likewise flying in the air. Those men that were close to armored vehicles at the time, but not inside them, wished they hadn't been. A great many of them were dashed against the hard steel plates of tanks. None survived the impact.

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Men who had made it inside of trucks were only marginally safer. The sudden concentrated micro-burst of wind sent the majority of the trucks flipping and crashing into everything around them, rolling over men and machine like. Some bounced off of the T-34 tanks and a few even exploded, starting fires all around the camp.

Though their position was a fair distance away from the Russian camp, Akira and the others still felt the impact of the attack. The force of wind was so strong that Akira held onto a tree to ensure he didn't catch air. Major Saito and Vladimir meanwhile remained in the tall grass hugging the ground. The grass stocks whipped harshly against their faces as the hurricane level wind pushed through around them.

Above the camp, Rodan made a pinwheel turn and came back around for a second pass. This time the monster was a little higher up and crossed the section of the camp that was further away and hadn't been hit as hard the first time around. This section happened to be where the BM-13 Katyusha rocket trucks were parked, and they didn't fare better than any of the rest of the soviet trucks had before them. They flew into the air and their rockets scattered all over the camp exploding violently.

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The second pass also caused the fires from the first pass to spread quickly in the whirlwinds. Some of the Russians who had been lucky enough to have survived that first attack were caught up in the fire unable to move. Before long, Ammo stockpiles were overrun by the fires and started to explode, causing even more widespread destruction. It was at that point that Major Saito chose to set off the explosives within the radio device. In all of the chaos and confusion, one more explosion would hardly be noticed. Akira didn't much like the timing of it though, it felt like kicking the Russians while they were already down.

One Russian truck had survived in the hellscape and attempted to flee at full speed out of the camp. Rodan was heading the opposite direction and hadn't yet seen it, so it looked as though they were going to make a clean get away until the second Rodan came down from the clouds and pounced on it. To Akira, it looked like a hawk diving down on a mouse. The truck and its occupants were immediately crushed under her talons.

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The first Rodan came back around and landed inside the devastated camp. He went to work crushing the T-34 tanks he found there, as if he was personally offended that they survived his attack in the initial assault. The second Rodan quickly joined him and together they picked apart what remained of the Russian's assault force. Akira looked on in horror as it happened. The smell of burning flesh hung in the air and he saw one of the Rodans tilt its head back and swallow what used to be a man.

"They're eating people!" Akira growled to Major Saito in disgust. He had not witnessed that before. Akira had seen men die in battle and he had fought the Rodans personally before, but never in his previous encounters with them had they done something so blatantly monstrous. He could hear the distant shrieks of soldiers as they faced death. It was terrible, but the worst part about it was knowing that he played a part in making it happen.

Major Saito meanwhile was satisfied with what he had seen. The battle was over and their mission was a success. There may still be Russian tanks firing at the Rodans, but it was already abundantly clear that they would do no good. It was just a matter of time before they too were destroyed. Major Saito decided they needed to clear out while the tanks still held the Rodan's attention.

---

In Libya, Omar was sitting the beach and watched as the Italian warships returned from their sortie down the coast. It was hard to tell, but he got the impression that they hadn't found what they were looking for. Omar could see crewmen walking slowly along the decks and they didn't look enthusiastic.

Omar got up and started walking down the beach. As he did, something washed up in the sand in front of him. It was the bow of a small boat that appeared to have been torn away from the rest of the ship. Splinters of wood still hung off of where it had been attached to the rest of the vessel. A portion of the name could still clearly be read on the side. It was 'Zafar'. Omar recognized it to be from one of the missing fishing ships that had belonged to one of his friends.

The small hope Omar had been clinging onto for his friend's safe return was snuffed out by the sudden appearance of the wreckage. He began to tear up but was interrupted by a noise from the ocean. It was a low rumble or hum, very out of place from the normal sounds of waves and seagulls he was accustomed to. Omar turned his head towards the water just in time to see one of the destroyers that was about two-hundred yards out get snapped in two. Both the bow and the stern of the ship jerked upward out of the water at the same time as the mid-ship section of the destroy sunk under the waves. The ship was sheared in half and the bow and stern fell back into the water.

The two remaining warships rang out their alarm bells and their crews scrambled into general quarters. The second destroyer was the nearest to where the first had been and was the next to fall victim to a lethal attack. A tail rose from the water and came down hard on the aft section of the ship. It was crushed and the destroyer started taking on water at an alarming rate. It too was out of the fight.

The surviving cruiser took evasive action, turning out of the path of the two wrecks in front of it. Only then did the attacker finally decided to reveal itself. An enormous green carapace rose from under the waves, followed closely there after by a head with a beak that was still clutching onto the remains of the midsection of the first destroyer. Ocean water rolled off of the creature, allowing more of its features to become clear.

To Omar, it looked like a mixture of a snapping turtle and a dragon. It had clawed hands and two horns growing out of the back of its head. It had predatory yellow eyes with sharp black pupils. Its tail was short and had what resembled a mace at the end. The mace-like structure was made up of bulbs of armor with spikes jetting out in rows of three on the top, bottom, and each side.

The Italian cruiser was able to fire off several salvos with its main cannons, but the rounds bounced off the armored chest of the monster. Unlike Baragon or Varan, this creature's underbelly was just as well armored as its back. Seeing his vessel's firepower was next to useless, the captain of the cruiser tried to make a run for it.

The ship turned hard to port, attempting to build momentum and make it into the open ocean to escape, but the creature was too close already and was able to get its claws around the ship's hull. The monster's head dipped down and its beaked mouth bit into the ship's superstructure tearing away the bridge and the command crew with it. The creature's jaw power was impressive. The steel armor of what was left of the bridge immediately bent like it was made out of paper under its strength.

What remained of the cruiser was left without its nerve center for orders and floated helplessly. The monster soon fell upon it, using its considerable body weight to force the ship under. The hole the creature had created in the vessel's upper hull quickly filled with salt-water, which sealed the cruiser's fate. When the monster was done with the ship, it turned its attention to the shore. Omar felt like his skin was turning white. It seemed like the monster was looking directly at him. The hair on the back of his neck stood up and he was frozen in terror. An untold amount of time passed while he sat there in a trance of fear.

Finally, Omar came back to his senses when he felt the monster's footfalls getting close. He saw that the monster was only one-hundred yards from the shore by that point and closing quickly. The creature was huge and dominated the mostly flat landscape behind it. Omar did the only sensible thing he could think of, run.

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Omar dashed off the beach as fast as he could. Only moments later, he heard the monster smash through the wooden docks behind him. Omar continued to run, knowing he had to reach the village to warn everyone of what was coming. It turned out that wasn't necessary though. The monster let out a sky shattering roar that announced his present to every living thing within a two miles radius. Every person in the village was alerted to the impending danger. Still, Omar needed to reach the village and get his family out of harm's way. His wife and little girl were no doubt waiting for him there. If he could just reach them, he’d take them into the nearby trees to hide.

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Omar could feel the creature closing in on him with every giant step it took. He knew was losing ground fast. Finally, one its footfalls got so close that it knocked Omar off his feet from the impact. Omar rolled into the sand and looked up as a shadow loomed over him. The last thing he saw was the creature's enormous foot coming down and crushing him.

---

Marcus arrived back in Paris with the others. He had been cleaned up after escaping from the tunnels of the Maginot Forts and given a new uniform. The one he had been wearing was bloodied and soiled beyond saving. Reports had come in saying that Varan was continuing to retreat back into Germany and there was a sense of jubilation in France. A major crisis had been averted with the monster being repulsed at the border.

Paris was still mostly empty due to the presence of Mothra's cocoon and the military blockade, but the citizens who were still in the city gave Marcus a hero's welcome. While they didn't overlook the efforts and sacrifices of the other fighting men, they saw his desperate act of heroism as the linchpin that finally stopped Varan.

Marcus quickly retreated from the crowds, overwhelmed by the attention. He didn't want to be in the spotlight. He only did what he did because it had to be done. Brock pulled him into a jeep, and they drove to the forward command post near the Eiffel tower that was still monitoring the cocoon. Upon arrival, they found Dr. Jacquier waiting inside. He brought them up to speed. As it turned out though, the situation with the cocoon had changed very little in their absence. The doctor had insured the military hadn't taken any aggressive actions. Brock seemed a little disinterested and left to go to the bathroom. Meanwhile Dr. Jacquier brought Marcus a drink.

"A small thank you for saving Mothra, and France." He said to Marcus when he handed it to him.

"Dr. Jacquier, I've been meaning to ask you something." Marcus took the drink, but set it down. "Did you just make up that story about the cocoon being explosive or is it actually true?" The doctor could tell by Marcus' tone that he was very serious. His recent brush with death had done a lot of to sweep away his subtly. He wanted to know and he didn't want to beat around the bush about it.

"Do you prefer a subtle lie, or a blatant lie?" Dr. Jacquier answered, caving into Marcus' pressure.

"That's what I thought." Marcus signed.

"Well, now that you know for sure, what are you going to do about it?" Dr. Jacquier asked. "I imagine you'll want to turn me in?"

"I should..." Marcus began.

"But you know what they'll do if they find out." Dr. Jacquier cut in with a smug smile. "And you're like me, certain that would be wrong."

"I don't know what I think." Marcus countered.

"Not an enviable position to be in." Dr. Jacquier smirked. "I imagine that makes decisions difficult for you. Agree with me or not, I know exactly what I'm doing. I have been certain about all my actions since we found the egg, no regrets."

Just then, a French officer following by four armed soldiers burst into the room. They marched right up to Dr. Jacquier and point their riles at him.

"Dr. Jacquier, you are under arrest for the bombing of the Ambroise Research Center." The officer announced.

"I don't know what you are talking about." Dr. Jacquier replied, unconcerned. "I wasn't even present when the lab exploded. I've been here for days."

"Spare me doctor." The officer spat back at him spitefully. "We have your lab assistant in custody and he's confessed to everything. He planted a bomb in the lab under your orders. Your conspiracy is tantamount to treason. You will come with us now." The officer demanded.

"I suppose the game is up then." Dr. Jacquier stood up, resigning himself to being taken by the soldiers. "No regrets Marcus... no regrets." He looked over as the soldiers seized him and clasped him in cuffs. The soldiers then walked the doctor outside. A moment later Brock returned confused.

"What is going on?" Brock asked. "They have arrested Dr. Jacquier...?"

"They figured out that he fabricated the story about the cocoon. He also arranged for an explosion at the research center." Marcus informed him.

"Well… son of a skreeonk." Brock replied in shock.

---

With Dr. Jacquier exposed, the French leadership called a meeting to discuss what their next steps should be. They decided to proceed with a plan to destroy the cocoon with fire. As it turned out, they were willing to risk damaging the Eiffel Tower. However, they couldn't act immediately. It was going to take one day for them to gather together all the necessary equipment that was required, primarily the flame throwers. The operation was set to take place the following day at noon.

Marcus was against the plan, but didn't have a say in the matter. Even his new hero status didn't give him enough pull to do anything useful. If he protested too much, he might end up arrested like the doctor. He walked out of the command post flustered, needing to blow off some steam. Marcus’ only resort was to walk the perimeter around the Eiffel tower, trying to think of a way to save the defenseless cocoon. As clever as he was, he didn't have to the power to affect the situation. The men in charge had made up their minds and there wasn’t a thing he could do to change their minds. Marcus leaned on the rail of the metal fence and stewed.

"Comment vs tu?" A soft voice spoke to Marcus. He turned to see a young French woman at his side. "Es-tu l'américain de la lignée maginot?" He didn't understand a word she said and had been so taken by surprise that he didn't know what to do. "Tu asun baeu unifrome." She came closer and touched his arm.

Marcus was in a near panic and embarrassed. At that moment, he wished Ling was there to translate for him. Unfortunately, he was not. Marcus must have looked like a deer in the headlights to the young woman. She waited for an answer for a moment, but when Marcus failed to reply, she continued.

"Faire vous parler langue Francaise?" She asked. Marcus felt himself flush and he started to sweat.

"Pardon, il ne fait pas." Brock said as he walked up to them. "Et je crois qu'il est pris, Mais il est flatte." Marcus still didn't understand a word, but whatever Brock said seemed to disappoint her. "Je suis à votre service bien." He continued. Whatever he said didn't seem to land with her because she walked away from the two after rolling her eyes at Brock.

"Brock you speak French?!" Marcus asked flabbergasted by the revelation.

"A little." Brock replied. "When you've been in the service as long as I have, you pick up a few things. It's something you apparently need to work on. Because of your little shortcoming, I think you just missed out on a good thing."

"Well... I..." Marcus began to reply, but before he could finish was tackled by another woman.

"Yesh, why is this little chump so attractive to the locals?" Brock grumbled, somewhat jealous as Marcus went down in a heap with the girl on top of him. "Need some help again or do you got this?" Brock asked sarcastically.

On the ground, Marcus had recovered enough to see that it was not a stranger that had launched themselves at him, but rather a familiar face. It was Shauna. Marcus was more bewildered by the fact that it was her that had tackled him rather than a stranger. She only allowed him a moment to look at her before kissing him.

"These French girls are even more aggressive than I thought." Brock smirked.

"I'm not French!" Shauna laughed, looking up at Brock. "I'm Marcus' sweetheart.

"Oh, well that makes sense, I guess." Brock balked.

"No, it's true Brock, I know her from back home." Marcus confirmed. "Shauna, what in the devil are you doing here? You're the last person I expected to run into. I mean, I'm happy to see you and all, but how did you get here?"

"Well, it wasn't easy. Getting into the city was a bit of a chore." Shauna replied.

"You snuck in?" Marcus asked.

"Heck no, don't be silly." She assured him. Marcus looked relieved. "I just payed off some of the guards at the roadblocks." That statement brought Brock to a full-fledged belly laugh.

"You aren't AWOL, are you?" Marcus followed up.

"No, no." Shauna laughed. "My term of service is up. I know it's a little crazy, but I just needed to see you. When you said you were in a bad place in one of your letters, I knew I needed to come." She explained.

"Wait, so you came all this way just to see me?" Marcus was dumbfounded again. "I don't know what to say."

"The look on your face says it all, that's all I need." She embraced him.

"I just can't believe you are actually here. How did you even find me?" Marcus asked.

"Well, the way you were talking in your letters, I just figured you'd be following the big bug around. Its been parked here for about a week. So, I thought you'd be close by if I came to the city. I decided if I just walked the perimeter long enough, I'd find you eventually."

"I'm blown away by the lengths you went to, you're amazing." Marcus nearly teared up. "You came all this way by yourself?"

"Don't be too impressed." She replied. "My family is pretty wealthy. I've been to Paris before on a trip a couple years back. It was just a matter of purchasing a ticket for a flight and using a little deductive reasoning to find you."

"Jeez Marcus, you best never cross this little lady, she's resourceful." Brock laughed. "Do you have a sister by the way?"

"I do!" Shauna exclaimed. "But... she's engaged." Brock looked legitimately disappointed for a second before recovering.

"How long do you plan to stay?" Marcus changed topics. "I appreciate you coming in all, but it's not safe here."

"Well, I had planned to be here for another two nights, but if you don't want me here..." Shauna teased.

"It's not that, it's just I can't exactly leave and there are giant monsters roaming the countryside." Marcus replied.

"Well the giant cocoon is not going anywhere tonight." Brock cut in. "Let me talk to the Admiral and I'm sure he'll be glad to grant you one day of leave. It would be a shame to make the lady's trip all for nothing. You should wander the city, see the sights."


---

Brock was as good as his word. Marcus indeed go his leave, and with Shauna, he explored Paris. They toured the Louvre and visited the Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sacre Coeur Basilica. The architecture of even the most common buildings in the city were beautiful, but the monuments were unbelievable. As evening set in, they wandered the streets and, in the dark, found out why Paris was called the City of Lights. They came upon a sidewalk cafe that was still open and had a romantic candlelight dinner. Afterwards, they walked along the serene Seine River and sat under the Arc de Triomphe.

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When they were done wandering, the pair returned to the hotel near the command post that they had been put up in. It had a great view of Mothra's cocoon on Eiffel Tower. Upon entering their room, they found a note attached to a case of wine. The note was from Brock who relayed that it came from the French President himself as the thank you for their efforts. Marcus and Shauna spent the rest of the evening in their room with the door locked.

---

At eleven thirty-two, Marcus was just getting out of the shower and turned on the radio while he dried himself off. The radio was tuned into a news station which was rebroadcasting a report from earlier in the day. The host was describing the sudden appearance of yet another monster in North Africa, which was cutting a swath of destruction through Libya. It had been named Kamerus and was moving eastward along the coast, destroying anything it came across.

'Another one?' Marcus thought bitterly and turned off the radio. He walked to the balcony and just stared out. Shauna came out of the bathroom and noticed Marcus wasn't in the room. She found him standing alone in the cool night air and sensed something was wrong. She came up and wrapped her arms around him and he held her hands in return. They just stood there like that for a time.

A flash of light from the tower brought both of attention to the cocoon. Something was happening to it. Splashes of color flickered from within the silk laden bulbs and the edges of it seemed to pulse with movement. Marcus and Shauna held their breath, sensing that they were seeing something special.

The top of the cocoon started to rise as a form of a head began to push its way through gently. The silk started to tear around it and a golden powder poured out of the opening, flooding the area around the tower with it. The head came completely through, revealing two small white antennae and a brilliant pair of sapphire compound eyes. The head also had a light brown stripe down the middle. The creature slowly crawled the rest of the way out of the cocoon. Its thorax was brown with splashes of white and its abdomen was striped white and brown. Once its whole body was out, it turned itself around and clung tightly onto the empty shell of the cocoon.

From there, it sat perched. Its wings were crumpled tightly against its body. Little by little, the wings started to grow. Marcus could see the veins within the wings moving blood throughout their framework, giving them more shape moment by moment.

Within minutes, the wings had extended to full size, revealing all the color within them. The primary colors of the wings were orange, yellow, and black arranged in beautiful pattern. The creature moved the still soft wings ever so slightly to help them harden more quickly.

Once her wings were finally set and ready, Mothra took flight. She was being careful not to flap too hard, she only applied enough force stay in the air. Within seconds, she passed directly over the balcony that Marcus and Shauna were standing on. As she passed, her golden powder trickled down onto them. Marcus and Shauna were both in awe.

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"I'm glad I was here to see this with you." Shauna spoke. She now understood the feelings Marcus had about Mothra. Watching her fly by was a powerful visual. She was Majestic in flight.

The golden particles began to land on Marcus' face. As they did, world seemed to bend around him. He collapsed, falling backwards. Halfway down, Marcus heard a sound that was somewhere between thunder and hitting water. His vision blackened, and before he knew it, was standing on a beach. He didn't recognize where he was. It was a place he had never been before.

It was night and Marcus looked up towards the sky. There he saw red stars. They lit up one by one until there were five of them total, burning hotly against the black canvas around them. His eyes shifted to the moon, and upon the face of it, he saw flashes of yellow all across it. His attention was then drawn to the water in front of him. He saw his reflection in it and below the water there was a pulse of blue. The pulse made a ripple in the water that seemed to extend into the sky.

There was a rumble next, followed by a large statue that rose from the water in front of Marcus. It looks ancient, like it was thousands of years old. Carved into the stone was the face of a man surrounded by runes. The statue began to crumble. Piece by piece, it fell back into the water and blood rose from where the statue had been, but there was more. A pit opened up in the earth below the water and Marcus could see fire and shadows in it. The shadows were creeping towards the surface.

At that point, Marcus could hear something coming from behind him. Before he knew it, he was picked up off the ground and flying through the air. He rose higher and higher until he was above the clouds. He continued to be carried higher yet, until he was far above even the clouds. Below the clouds, there were flashes of what Marcus assumed were lighting, but they were not.

Suddenly, a section of the clouds rose in front of Marcus. It continued to rise in a solid column, but then it began to branch out at the top, once it had grown to a certain height. When it was done, its form resembled that a great tree, but it wasn't a tree and Marcus knew there was something dangerous about it. Under its fluffy outer exterior, there was a burning light that stung his eyes.

At the base of it, there were shadows. Marcus thought he saw wings flapping, but there was dust and debris so he couldn't make out what they were. His attention was drawn back up to the top of the cloud, which was changing shape. The first thing he could recognize was the shape of an open mouth filled with sharp teeth. As it continued to take form, he could see that it was a head. Once it was fully formed it reminded him of Baragon in its shape, except there were no horns or ears. Whatever it was, he knew that it was big and terrible.

The landscape around the center column started to take shape too. It was like a city that was on fire. Marcus saw a bridge overlooking the metropolis in the distance and felt a sense of dread. A moment later, he heard a roar behind him which made his blood curdle. He began to turn to face the source of it, but was shaken awake before he could see it.

Shauna was desperately shaking Marcus, trying to get him to wake up. She was in tears, having no idea what just happened to him.

---



I wanted to let the followers of this topic know a couple of quick things:

I'm going to have to take a few weeks off over the next month. I have a professional license that needs to be renewed and it requires about 20 hours of continuing education before I can do that. It's really going to eat into my free time, which is of course when I write etc, so the next update is probably going to be a little ways off. Maybe a month or even two.

Sorry about that, but there's just no getting around it.

P.S. If you don't know who Kamerus is and want to find out more, check out the Godzilla Wiki. I assure you he is in there.

---
Last edited by Ashram52 on Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Living Corpse » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:58 pm

That Fort sounds amazing.

Never heard of this turtle before.

Nicely handled that Mothra vision was.
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Ashram52 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:34 pm

Living Corpse wrote:That Fort sounds amazing.

Never heard of this turtle before.

Nicely handled that Mothra vision was.


Yeah, the Maginot Forts were pretty cool and I didn’t really exaggerate what they were. They really existed and had turrets that popped out of the ground, AC, a rail system, etc. The only thing that probably doesn’t represent what they were really like were my miniatures, but I made them from scratch out of share parts, so meh, best I could do.

The funny thing is in real life the Germans managed to bypass them altogether and took the French by complete surprise during WWII. All of that preparation for nothing. :?

Yeah, wasn’t sure anyone would remember Kamerus. He was a Character from the Godzilla’s Dark Horse comics series. He was kind of a reoccurring minor character who made several cameos. Never played into the plot a lot. He was basically a low rent stand in for Angirus. I don’t think Dark horse had the rights to any Toho characters aside from Godzilla and so they had a few of their own meant to represent more well known monsters. I can think of of at least two other examples. Soran in place of Rodan and I think a monster called Inagos in place of Mothra.
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Ashram52 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:20 pm

---

Chapter 14: Kraken and Leviathan.


Marcus awoke to find Shauna kneeling over him, near panicked. He was lying on his back in the hotel room where he had fallen. His skin felt clammy and his whole body was covered in a cold sweat. His vision was fuzzy around the edges, but the world seemed like it was going back to normal.

"Jesus, you were out for over a minute." Shauna said frantically. "What happened?"

"I don't know." Marcus replied in a grunt.

"We need to get you to a hospital to be evaluated." She carefully helped him sit up. "I think you had a seizure and you hit your head pretty good when you fell too."

"No, we can't tell anyone about this." Marcus replied, coming back fully to his senses. "They arrested Dr. Jacquier because he was under the influence of Mothra. If they suspect I am too there’s no telling what they’ll do. They will never trust me again for sure and at the very least, I'll be shipped back home before you can blink."

"If you are being affected, would that be so bad?" Shauna reasoned.

"Actually, I think it's for that very reason I need to stay." Marcus countered. "I've had insights I don't think I would have on my own, things that have helped the cause. It might be a stretch to call Mothra an ally, but she certainly isn't our enemy."

"If you persist this way, you'll be putting your health at risk." She frowned at him.

"I understand where you are coming from and I care about how you feel, but this is bigger than you or me Shauna. Bad things are coming, and if I ignore what I know, the consequences will be severe." Flashes of Marcus' vision can back to him, giving him a chill. "I couldn't live with myself if I don't try to do something."

"What is coming?" Shauna asked.

"I don't know for sure." Marcus answered. "I can only remember scraps of things from when I was out, but I saw.... something. I think it was warning of some kind. I don't know what is going to happen, but I know it will happen soon." The visions in his head were fading fast even as he struggled to remember them. He was forgetting them almost instantly, as if his own mind was trying to tell him they were something he wasn’t meant to see.

---

In Russia, Akira bounced up and down in the jeep as it sped away from the soviet camp. The pair of Rodans continued ravage the few remaining Russian forces there. Vladimir was driving fast and wild, the paleness of his face told Akira he wanted no part of what was going on behind them. Akira's pulse was pounding like a jack rabbits on a date. The only one of them who seemed unaffected was Major Saito. He remained cold and focused. He helped direct Vladimir back towards the hiding place where the float plane was waiting for them along the coast.

Only a few minutes later, Vladimir had put miles between them and the massacre. They came over a grassy hill and spotted their ticket out of there. The plane was just ahead, and they were nearly home free, but then disaster struck. A hail of bullets struck the jeep as it was a mire hundred yards away from the plane. Vladimir was hit in the shoulder and nearly lost control of the vehicle. The jeep spun around as he jerked the wheel. He managed to bring it to a stop without flipping over, but the Gaz struck a rock at the last second.

Once they were stopped, they spotted the source of the attack. A squad of soviet soldiers were piling out of a patrol truck. Vladimir tried to put the jeep in reverse only to discover that the rock had bent the axle several inches inward. They weren't going to get anywhere quick in the Gaz anymore, so the three men spilled out of the jeep and ducked behind it and the rocks for safety.

"The tank commander must have alerted their patrols before the Rodans attacked!" Akira shouted to Saito over the sound of soviet gunfire.

Akira, Vladimir, and Saito regrouped and brought their own arms to bare. They were outnumbered, but the soviet soldiers were only using rifles while they possessed the advantage of machine guns. Major Saito was the first to act. He sprang up and mowed down three Russians trying to work their way around the right flank. Vladimir attacked as well but was having a tougher time of it with his wounded shoulder. Even so, he also managed to get a kill on the left flank. Akira collected his courage and brought his weapon up, resting it on the jeep and looked for targets in front of him. He found one Russian boldly charging up the middle and made short work of him.

The sudden burst of fire from the three managed to halt the soviet's advance on their position. The other Russians they didn't kill dropped to the ground for cover. They had surprised the soviet soldiers. It was clear that they hadn't been expecting them to be so well armed, but the advantage of surprise was lost. Now the Russians knew what they were dealing with and would adjust their tactics. From then on out, they respected the amount of firepower Akira and his companions could put out. The soviets wouldn't come charging in so recklessly again.

Although Akira's group had killed five Russians already, they were still outnumbered. Akira figured there were still about ten of them out there. The soviets meanwhile were slowly crawling through the tall grass and re-positioning. They were trying to get to the most ideal firing positions while remaining in cover.

The firefight continued for several minutes. Each side popping up and taking shots at the other. Major Saito gunned down three more and Akira got one more himself during the action. The trouble was, by that point, they were running out of bullets. The soviets on the other hand seemed to be doing just fine on ammo and were slowly gaining the advantage.

The tide turned when one of the Russians managed to hit Major Saito in the leg. Akira knew then things were going against them and unless something changed, they were going to be captured or killed. Major Saito seemed to recognize it too. For the first time, Akira could see him sweating it out in his head, weighing the options.

Their choices were extremely limited. Surrender wasn't an option. Up until a moment ago they could have tried to run for it, but with Saito's fresh leg wound, that was off the table. They were nearly out of ammo, so killing the remaining Russians in the firefight didn't seem likely either. The only thing Saito had left beside his side arm was two grenades. Two grenades against six spread-out Russians was a long shot he couldn't gamble on. The Major finally made his decision and acted. He took out his side arm, put it into Vladimir's back, and pulled the trigger, killing him instantly.

Akira meanwhile had been firing at the Russians. He crouched back down after having spent the rest of his machine gun ammo. He saw what Saito had just done and was bewildered by it. His face demanded why of his commander, but the words didn't come. It wouldn't have mattered; Major Saito pulled the pin on one of his grenades and threw it a few yards in front of the jeep into a pile of dirt. Then he grabbed Akira by the shirt and pulled him in close.

"When it goes off, run for the planes." Saito said sternly to him. Akira nodded and waited.

There was an explosion just a moment later and Akira bolted away from the Jeep, exposing himself to gun fire. He could hear the pops from rifles behind him and felt at least one bullet nearly miss him as it whizzed on by. Behind him, Saito stood up with his pistol and gunned down one of the Russians who was shooting at Akira. When their attention was back on him, Saito began to slump back down behind the jeep for cover, but with his injured leg he wasn't fast enough and he caught a slug in his stomach. It didn't kill him, but it took the fight out of him. Akira was on his own now getting back to the plane.

One of the Russians could see there wasn't anymore resistance coming from the area of the jeep and took off after Akira. The rest of them noted that their comrade was not being fired upon and moved in on the jeep. The first of them on the scene found Vladimir dead and Saito's body face down in a pool of blood. It wasn't clear if he was dead or not.

The soviet soldier kept his rifle trained on Saito's body as he approached, ready to fire at the slightest twitch, but Saito remained motionless. At that point, the Russian officer, along with the remaining soldiers, caught up with him and instructed him to turn over the body while the rest of them covered him. They all closed in with weapons drawn. The soldier noticed Saito was holding something in his hand very close to his face, as if he was trying to protect it. He reached in and grabbed Saito's shoulder to pull him over. As he did, he finally saw what Saito had been grasping onto. It turned out to be the other grenade, with the pin already pulled out. Saito's hand opened when he was turned and the safety lever was un-clutched, making the explosive active.

Saito was still clinging to life and purposefully held the weapon to his head. The panicked Russian soldier turned to warn his comrades, who had come in even closer to see for themselves what he was looking at, but it was already too late to save them. The grenade went off and each man was filled with enough shrapnel to seal their fates.

Akira meanwhile was almost to the plane, but the Russian soldier was hot on his heals. The soldier stopped at the top of the hill and took careful aim. He didn’t get the chance to pull the trigger for a kill shot though. The Japanese soldier that had been left behind with the hurt ankle had heard the firefight going on from the float plane and had been lying in wait with a rifle of his own. He put a bullet into the last soviet soldier's head, dropping him. Once that was done, he limped back to the plane with Akira.

From his hiding spot on the hill, the soldier had seen what befell Major Saito and informed Akira there was no point in trying to go back for him. There was nothing more they could do. They needed to escape before they were discovered again. Seeing no other choice, Akira fired up he engines and took off leaving the carnage behind them. In the hours it took them to fly home back, flashes of the firefight and he Rodan’s attack haunted him.

In the days that followed, the Russians found the remains of the skirmish. They couldn't identify Saito's body. His face and upper torso had been blown to bits by the grenade. Vladimir's body however was recovered, and they had a file on him. Given the limited evidence they had on hand, it was concluded that the firefight was some type of failed infiltration operation perpetrated by a White Russian resistant cell.

The Russians never connected the incident to the Rodan's attack. From the Japanese Government's perspective, the mission the entirely a success, causalities notwithstanding.

---

Above the Maginot line, Mothra was flying over the border between France and Germany. Between the recent barrage of gunfire from the French forts and the presence of Varan just days ago, the border guards were still on very high alert. So, when Mothra entered German airspace, they quickly spotted her and alerted their headquarters. The response from German high command was not unexpected, they immediately scrambled fighters to intercept her.

Less than a half-hour later, a force primarily made up of BF 109 fighter craft were converging on Mothra from all directions. She could see the ones in front of her gathering on the horizon like an angry swarm of hornets. She continued to watch them as they advanced on her, growing larger as they moved in closer. It was clear to Mothra that they meant to challenge her and prevent her from advancing any further into their territory. However, she couldn't allow them to stop her.

As the fighters drew near, they began to fan out around her so she wouldn't keep track of them all. What the pilots didn't know though was that Mothra's compound eyes had thirty-thousand individual facets, which meant she could see in a nearly three-hundred and sixty-degree arc. She could detect and track every single one of them from her front, sides, and even portions of her back simultaneously. Mothra's only blind spot was directly behind her, but considering that her normal cruising speed in flight was just slightly faster than the fighter's maximum speed, they'd have a hard time maintaining any attack from the rear flank for any length of time before she simply outran them.

Mothra had another major thing working to her advantage, and that was her reflexes. Her perception of the world was drastically different than a human’s. Much like a common dragonfly, she was able to process visual information extremely fast. She could react to most things within thirty-milliseconds. Humans on the other hand could only process visual stimuli at about one-hundred and ninety milliseconds. Thus, she could see and react much faster than the pilots around her. From Mothra's point of view the planes looked like they were moving in slow motion.

Despite that, the aircraft were closing in on her from all sides, which limited Mothra's options if she wanted to avoid them. As it was, she simply pressed forward and waited for them to make the first move. Two BF 109s were moving in from her right and attempted to make the first attack.

The Japanese had released some information about their experiences fighting against the Rodans to the Germans on the condition that they did not share the knowledge with anyone else, particularly the Russians. As they were both expanding powers, the Germans saw the Soviets as their political, ideological, and military rivals, so they were more than happy to uphold their part of the bargain and keep the Russians in the dark.

The German government quickly decided to pass on the information to the head of the Luftwaffe. Knowing that his pilots were about to face off with another flying Kaiju, he in turn had them briefed just before getting airborne. He even let the flight leaders have direct access to the reports about the Japanese air attack on the Rodans. Because of that, the German pilots were careful not to approach Mothra from her rear for fear of being caught up in the same unknown force that had sent so many Japanese aircraft out of control who crossed it.

Unfortunately for the German pilots, intelligence reports on the Rodans could hardly be applied to Mothra the same way. That assumption would lead to the disastrous start for the Luftwaffe's assault. Approaching Mothra from her flanks was in fact the worse possible vector of attack, while striking from behind would have been the absolute safest course.

As the two BF 109s got close to Mothra, they got caught up in the massive gusts of air she displaced with the flapping of her wings. Both fighters were sent out of control. One of the planes recovered while the other fell into a tailspin that it didn't recover from. Neither plane had even got a single shot off. Mothra ignored them and continued forward.

Three more fighter planes dove in from the other side and met with even worse results. Two of the fighters collided with each other when met by the force of wind and their wreckage slammed into the third aircraft just as the pilot had manage to wrestle back control of his plane. The impact sheared one of his wings and he was forced to bail out.

With that, the flight leaders instructed their planes to halt their planned attacks and stay on standby until further orders were given. Meanwhile Mothra just flew on past them. The German planes regrouped and attempted to pursue her only to discover that she was easily able to outpace their propeller aircraft. She left them safely behind her, crossing the first German line of defense in the sky.

The battle was far from over though. Another cluster of fighters were forming ahead of Mothra and the airmen of the first attack relayed what they had learned in their assault so their comrades would avoid making the same mistakes. They understood that each fighter would only get one good pass at the monster before she would outpace them and that they needed to avoid her flapping wings.

Mothra looked like a "soft target" to them, so they were certain that if they could just get in a few good shots they could at least slow her down. If they did slow her down, then they’d be able swarm her with numbers. The flight leaders in the second clump of planes began to get their fighters into a narrow string formation ahead of Mothra so they could dive in from above and strafe her exposed back.

The first three planes of the formation dove down on Mothra opened-up with their machine guns. She saw them coming but didn't make any effort to evade them. Rather than change course, she allowed them to attack. The planes hammered down, but there was no visible effect on Mothra. She pressed forward losing no speed, evidently unbothered by their assault. A second and then a third wave of planes all followed suit, getting no better results than the first. Mothra had proven 'not' to be so soft of a target.

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This revelation sent the German squadron leaders into the frenzy. They scrambled to come up with another solution while they still could. Mothra by that point had outpaced the second line of fighters, leaving them to trail behind her losing more and more ground.

There was one final group of fighters ahead of Mothra and they were the last thing standing between her and clear German airspace. As before, the pilots from the second group relayed the knowledge they had gained from their experience. The lead pilot of the third squadron decided they needed to attack Mothra's wings, reasoning they had to be the weakest part of her body. With nothing else working, it seemed like their only hope of stopping her.

The third wave of fighters lined up as the previous flights had and descended on her. Again, Mothra made no effort to avoid the planes and allowed to them to rain down bullets against her wings. To the pilot's horror, they could see their tracer rounds ricocheting off as the hit. What nobody saw were any holes or tears caused by the attack. Mothra's wings had held up strong.


---

Back in Paris, the city was left in relative peace following Mothra's departure. She had beat her wings soft enough upon her exit to ensure that the buildings below her were left intact. On the other hand, the amount of garbage that had been spread in the streets by gusts of wing was profound. One would assume by the look of things that the entire city had been host to a wild party in the streets.

Clean up efforts had already begun, but their greatest challenge would be to remove all Mothra's silk off the Eiffel Tower. The French still had the option to burn it off all at once with their flame throwers, but the speediest solution was hardly the safest one. Instead, they elected to gradually cut the silk down with blow torches. Only after it was all down would they set fire to it.

In the United States Embassy, Marcus had returned to duty following his strange episode in the hotel. By that time, the Japanese had sent an encoded message about the radio test being a complete success, proving Marcus' theory about radio waves correct. They hadn't mentioned a word about the Rodan's attack on the Russians, but they didn't have to. The news had spread on its own through various sources.

Knowledge about the sabotage had been successful kept within select circles of the Japanese Government. Beyond that, only the surviving members of the military who carried out the mission itself knew about it. Most were pleased with the news of the successful test, but at least one marine was underwhelmed by the news. Particularly considering what had happened in Russia in the meantime.

"Ok, sure, we can lure them now, but what good does that do us at this point?" Brock asked. "No offense Marcus, it's a wonderful discovery in all, but the Japanese attacked the Rodans with eight-hundred warplanes in the air and failed. Then they attacked them at sea with what, a hundred warships, and failed. The Russians fought them on the ground with an entire army and failed. What good is it to lure them into a trap if we don't possess a weapon that can effectively fight them? On land, at sea, or in the air they have proven to be deadly. There's no clear weakness."

No one had a good answer for Brock. His point hit home and drained the energy from the room. The only thing anyone could hang their hats on was the fact that the Rodans were a Russian problem for the time being. They could only hope by the time they became someone else's problem that a solution would present itself.

It was at that moment that Lieutenant-Commander Williams asked to talk to Marcus alone for a moment. Marcus agreed, but was nervous. Williams had never gone out of his way to speak with him before. Williams always gave off an air of snootiness around Marcus. Such as it was, he felt like he was about to get a dressing-down for his recklessness in the Maginot Forts. Instead, there was a certain humility in the Commander's voice when he spoke.

"I wanted to personally thank you for what you did back there in the heat of battle sailor." Williams began. "I don't think any of us would have made it out of there if it wasn't for your quick thinking."

"Sir... I, thank you sir." Marcus blurted out. "I mean, you're welcome sir." Williams seemed pleased that Marcus was so discombobulated in his response. He smiled for the first time in Marcus' presence.

"I have two children." Williams went on. "When we were in the thick of it, all I could think is that I was never going to see them again." He paused. "I guess what I'm trying to say is, I see what the Admiral likes about you. If you didn't know it, he speaks very highly of you." With that, Williams saluted Marcus and retreated out of the room. He had said what he wanted to say and that was that as far as he was concerned.

Marcus tried to think of something clever to say in return to Williams, but the whole thing had caught him so off guard that he just saluted in return and then just stood there like an idiot while Williams walked away.

---

In Russia, things were going from bad to worse. The attacks by the Rodans had not stopped at the military staging camp. After they were done with there, the Rodans flew further east and attacked the train station at the eastern-most post of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. They were likely drawn there by radio signals. The Russians were still frightfully unaware their transmissions would bring the flying monsters down on them. A few local villages also fell victim to the Rodans as their rampage continued through the surrounding countryside.

Image

A day later, the Russians attempted to drive back the Rodans with a massive air assault. They were hoping to pull off something similar to what the Japanese had achieved, but the Russians had a few things working against them. First, they didn't realize the number of planes the Japanese had lost in that fight. The Japanese hadn't released their causality information to anyone outside of the Japanese government for obvious national security reasons. The Russians were only aware that the Japanese had won from a strategic standpoint, while losing on a tactical level.

The Russians committed four-hundred Yak-1 warplanes to the operation, but quickly realized that the whole thing was a tactical blunder. The assault was not as well coordinated as it could have been, which lead to individual detachments of planes entering the combat zone alone without the support of other air-groups. The first wave was wiped out before the second wave even arrived. It was pattern that was repeated with the second before the third could arrive. At that point, the commanders at ground control directed the remaining planes to rendezvous in a nearby sector to regroup before proceeding on together.

Image

Again, the Russians suffered for their lack of information. The Rodans were alerted by the mass of radio chattered and were drawn towards the squadrons as they were still in the midst of reorganizing. The monsters tore into the ranks of the soviet planes and downed dozens of them before the pilots even knew what was happening. When it was all over, less than a hundred fighters made it back to base.

The loss of men and material in the East was climbing higher each day. It was so devastating that it started to effect Stalin's war effort in the West. The Rodan's ongoing attacks forced him to divert soldiers and war materials to deal with them that were meant for the campaign in Finland.

The truth of the matter was these reinforcements were inexperienced and ill prepared. Stalin knew they stood little chance against the monsters, but even if his men couldn't stop them, he had to at least be seen making an effort to defend his people for political reasons.

The Rodans meanwhile attacked at will, leveling town after town, but after three days of terror, the Russians were able to concentrate enough firepower together to make a reasonable stand. Tanks and rocket trucks caught up to the Rodans at a town called Revatograd, which was actively under attack by the monsters.

The Soviets had finally managed to catch the Rodans on the ground, but it was double edged sword. They had to make the tough choice to attack while Russian civilians were still present, as the townspeople were trapped. The Rodans would pick off anyone who tried to break cover and run out into the open. The civilians had the unenviable choice of either being potentially killed by the shelling of their own military if they remained indoors or the near certain death of being eaten making a run for it.

The Russian generals at least didn't make them wait long, quickly deciding that they need to attack while they had the advantage. The generals reasoned that the civilians who would be killed in the attack would prefer to die by their hand rather than be consumed by the Rodans.

The rocket trucks moved forward and unleashed all their fury into the sky. Their projectiles arched up and then began to rain back down onto the Rodans and town alike. The buildings that were hit by the rockets got blown to bits. Almost no structure was left unscathed by the assault. The tanks rolled up and added to the barrage, which only added to the carnage.

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The Rodans were less affected by the attack than the town and took to the sky to quickly close the gap on their attackers. Upon reaching them, the Russians lines were once again decimated by the fury of the combined strength of the Rodans. Hardly a machine was left standing when it was over.

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However, there was a silver lining. The fight seemed to at least wear out the monsters. When they were satisfied that the Russian assault had been crushed, they returned to the sky and retreated to their nesting ground in the Kamchatka peninsula.

Over the course of four days, the Russians had lost the majority of three armored divisions fighting the Rodans, which equated to nearly a thousand fighting vehicles of various designs and twenty-five thousand men dead or injured. While the Soviets had plenty of manpower to call upon to replace their losses, they however were not an economic powerhouse. It would cost them about fifty-four million dollars in today's money to replace their armor losses alone.

The loss of over three-hundred warplanes was roughly another fifty-six million dollars stacked on top of an already horrifically costly campaign, which was far from over and would likely to raise the costs even higher.

On the Finish warfront, Soviet casualties were also mounting. Their losses had reached one-hundred thousand soldiers killed in action and an addition two-hundred thousand wounded. They had also lost over a thousand tanks and every day the Finish position was improving. The Fins were receiving more and more international aid in the form of equipment and volunteers.

The British were openly in talks with the Fins about selling them heavier weapons, which they very much needed to push back the Soviets. The British wished to maintain the status-quo in Europe and the escalating war was becoming more and more disruptive. The Russians were one of the few powers who could possibly be seen as a rival the British Empire, so blocking them from gaining more political power and growing stronger was in their best interest.

Stalin was humbled and embarrassed. The Russians had lost thousands of men and expended two-hundred and thirty-five million dollars for no practical gains between their fight with the Fins and Rodans. Worse, neither conflict had an end in sight. Stalin lacked an effective way to combat the Rodans and the Winter War was only growing more difficult as it persisted.

Soviet Russia was politically isolated. As the lone communist power, they couldn't get outside support either militarily or economically. The very idea of Socialism was seen as a threat by the monarchies, empires, democracies, and even by fascist dictators of the world. The Russians had no powerful friends to call upon for aid. In fact, the other forms of government would be happy sit back and watch while their new political system died in its infancy.

Soviet Russia had existed in a near constant state of warfare since the beginning of The Great War. The February and later October Revolutions had begun before that conflict had even concluded, and then the Russian Civil War quickly followed the Revolution. During the civil war, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland were all able to fight their way to independence from Mother Russia, weakening her power and prestige. Many other conflicts followed in turn, each one seeming to spawn another.

The near constant state of warfare and general unrest in the country meant that Russia had failed to keep pace with her competitors in terms of industrialization and modernization and both of those things were key in maintaining costly military endeavors. The Russian economy simply was not capable of keeping pace with the hemorrhaging of rubles both conflicts were causing. Stalin knew if he persisted with both, his country's economy would eventually crash under the pressure.

Stalin couldn't very well negotiate with the Rodans, so he begrudgingly requested peace talks with Finland. In Stalin's mind it was just a temporary setback. He calculated that the Rodans would eventually move on out of Russian territory, either on their own accord or after his generals had devised a way to compel them to leave. Afterwards, he could resume his invasion and concentrate all his available resources to crush the Fins.

---

In North Africa, Kamerus had been raiding the coast of Libya for a couple days. His path of destruction seemed to be leading it eastward towards Egypt. The monster's pattern was to hit a settlement, almost at random, and then retreat back into the water. Not a lot of rhyme or reason to it. Kamerus just seemed to hit some settlements while bypassing others.

While the monster’s goal wasn't too clear, he did seem to be on course for Egypt and that got the attention of the British. Egypt was a protectorate of the British Empire. The Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936 had granted the British the right to station troops in Egypt for the defense of the Suez Canal.

The Suez Canal was a vital link to the British holdings in India and was an important strategic trade route. It provided a more direct route between the North Atlantic and the Indian ocean via the Mediterranean and Red seas. The canal reduced the journey distance from the Arabian Sea to London by five-thousand five-hundred miles. Access to it meant saving a great deal of time, money, and fuel.

It was unclear if the monster was heading to the canal or if it was even capable of doing significant damage to it if it was, but as Suez was invaluable to the British and their Prime Minster felt they had to take every precaution in protecting it. The British would also be facing a political nightmare if they didn't move to protect Egypt. They would be hard pressed to justify Egypt's protectorate status otherwise.

The Egyptian army was pretty limited in what it could do to defend itself and was primarily made up of infantrymen. Such as it was, the British quickly mobilized and landed more troops on Egyptian soil. They also moved in elements of the British fleet to defend the coast. If Kamerus appeared in Egyptian waters, they were ready for a showdown.

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---

In the port of Taranto, the Italian fleet was preparing to deal with Kamerus in their own way. They couldn't allow the destruction of their warships or the raiding of Libya's coast to go unanswered. The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was a man of great ambition and his goal was to recreate the glory of the Roman Empire and dominate the Mediterranean, but that dream could not be realized with a giant monster standing in the way.

Mussolini ordered the recall of all available warships in the Italian fleet to resupply and refit before going back out to hunt for the monster. In particular, several ships were being loaded with the newly developed Neptune depth charges to give them an edge if the monster tried to hide from them below the waves. The only catch was there was a limited number of them. Still, they had enough to be able to effectively utilize them if the situation called for it.

Several cruisers and destroyers had already been outfitted with them, while a select few others were still being loaded. In an ideal situation, every destroyer and cruiser in the fleet would be carrying the powerful depth charges, but the fact of the matter was they simply had not manufactured enough of them to do so yet.

Night was falling and the loading process was still ongoing, but by the next morning all the necessary preparations would be made, and the fleet would depart on its mission. Most of the sailors were already asleep, but an Italian Captain by the name of Francesco Garibaldi was walking along the harbor's walkway on the docks with his First Officer Giovanni. The two men couldn't sleep. Knowing what they would be up against in the coming days gave them a mixture of fear and excitement. They had grown up with tales of sea monsters from storybooks like the Odyssey and now they were to face a real one of their own. To say that they never expected to live to see the day would be an understatement.

Captain Garibaldi was overlooking the fleet, watching the refits get done. The impressive battleships lay at anchor on the black night waters. The moon was full and provided just enough light to get a good look at the gathered fleet. Most of the Regia Marina's battleships were present, including the Littorio, Garibaldi's own ship.

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It was Garibaldi's love for ships that brought him into the naval service. That, and he had a long family lineage of military service. Italy had been a hot bed for conflict for fifty years during the reunification wars, which forged the various Italian states into one united nation. A member of his family had been involved in each conflict one way or another, so battle was in his blood.

That night, Garibaldi was feeling a little agitated. He had known all three captains of the ships recently lost. Two out of three of them had been in his class at the Italian naval academy and he had not taken their deaths lightly. He was hardly alone in that; the entire fleet was in an uproar about the incident and looking for revenge.

"Captain." Commander Giovanni pulled at Garibaldi's sleeve. "What is that?" He called his attention to a light just outside of the harbor. The light was a pale blue color and coming from under the water.

"Huh, I don't know." Garibaldi replied perplexed. "Never seen anything like that before." The two men walked to get a better look. One of the harbor's patrol craft had noticed the strange light as well and was motoring over to investigate.

The patrol boat came to the spot where the light was emanating from and stopped. The crew looked overboard to see if they could see the source below. As it turned out, the source didn't give them a chance to find out. Something struck out and hit the bottom of the boat. The vessel rose from the water slightly as it was impacted from below. Whatever it was, it attached to the ship's keel and then quickly dragged the whole thing under.

Captain Garibaldi and Commander Giovanni watched in shock as the ship vanished under the waves without a trace. The only thing that remained was the ripple of the water that spread out from its last position, a portion of it cascading into the harbor. It was then that the light under the water flickered and whatever was producing it started moving into the harbor.

If it was a submarine, there were nets in place at the mouth of the harbor that would deny it entry. As the mass of light reached the location of the submarine defenses, it slowed ever so slightly, but did not stop. It powered its way through and began to surface as it entered the sallower waters of the harbor.

At that point, Garibaldi finally got a look at it. A creature breached the surface and he could see that the light was being produced by the beast itself. To him it looked like a giant blue squid. Its body was Bio-luminous. The other notable feature was its piercing, blood red, eyes. The cephalopod was squid-like in many respects, but with one striking difference. It appeared to be using most of its tentacled arms like legs. It was walking upright through the shallows of the harbor. As it got closer, Garibaldi could see submarine nets hanging off its head. The creature had ripped right though them.

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The nets fell off as it moved forward. When the creature reached the outskirts of the inner harbor its body stopped glowing. It didn't seem to want to call attention to itself anymore as it got closer to the ships. The initial shock of it wore off and Garibaldi suddenly started to realize the danger to the fleet sitting at anchor. He and commander Giovanni ran for the motorboats that could bring them to their ship to warn everyone.

As they reached the boats, they could hear the general alarm sounding throughout the base. The whole harbor was starting to stir, and sailors began to rush into their battle-stations. The monster had however already reached the sister cruisers Gorizia, Zara, and Fiume before any of their crews were able to ready their weapons.

Captain Garibaldi continued to watch the situation unfold while Giovanni drove the motorboat out towards the Battleship Littorio. The first thing the monster did was tear Fiume's A-turret off with one of its strong-suction tentacled arms. Then it smashed the chunk of metal back down into the powerful Neptune depth charges that were stored on the aft section of the ship.

The depth charges ignited in an explosion that lit up the night sky. The stern portion of the warship was blown clean off and Fiume began to sink. Garibaldi noted that the monster had been careful to shield its flesh from the fire. It occurred to him that it could have simply used its arms to smash the explosives, but instead it took the extra time rip off a part of the ship first. That meant it knew the depth charges where explosive prior to attacking, and whats-more, that the creature's spongy flesh was vulnerable to it.

Garibaldi continued to observe as the motorboat got closer to his waiting battleship. The cruiser Zara was destroyed in the meantime in a similar fashion as the Fiume had been. Again, the creature went after the Neptune charges, which annihilated the ship carrying them. Garibaldi was surprised by the creature’s apparent intelligence. It was essentially an animal that understood the danger of high explosives, and on top of that, it somehow knew before even encountering them for itself firsthand. This troubled him deeply.

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Commander Giovanni finally brought their tiny boat alongside the massive battleship Littorio and the two men began the climb up the rope ladder hung over the side to get to the main deck. A third explosion from behind told them that the creature had succeeded in destroying the Gorizia as well.

Captain Garibaldi wasted no time getting up to the bridge where his crew were already in the midst of making the warship ready for battle. The whole crew had been roused and were in position. The Third Officer had just given the order to load the cannons and below, the gun crews were scrambling to load heavy shells. Garibaldi briefly commended him on doing just the right thing before re-amusing command.

Meanwhile, the monster had made its way to the Battleship Caio Duilio. It was battleship that was older, smaller, and less powerful in comparison to Littorio, but still a potent weapon in her own right. Unfortunately, the Duilio's men weren't ready for the fight that had found them. The ship’s guns had not been loaded or rotated yet and the monster was right on top of them.

The gun crew for Littorio signaled their readiness to Captain Garibaldi. The captain was delighted to hear it. If they acted quickly enough, they might be able to help the crew of the Duilio. The Littorio's nine fifteen-inch naval cannons were all leveled at the monster, who had just taken hold of the Duilio. Garibaldi gave the order to fire and the crew obeyed.

However, the monster seemed to sense the attack coming and pulled the Duilio in front of it, raising it partially out of the water. Most Littorio's shots were on target, but they slammed into Duilio's exposed hull as the monster hid behind it. Several of the fifteen-inch shells punctured the Duilio's hull under the waterline, thereby avoiding her protective armor belt. The shells began exploding inside of the Duilio and one of them must have found its way into a powder keg because the battleship exploded in the monster's arms.

The monster was blown backwards into the water from the force of the blast as the two pieces of the Duilio sank into the bay. The monster quickly recovered, however. It did not appear to be injured in the explosion and continued on its warpath toward the next battleship in line, the Giulio Cesare. The Cesare was just about ready for it. Her main guns were loaded and moving into position. The monster sensed the danger and used its long arms to grab the bottom of Cesare and pulled at the keel of the hull, tilting the starboard deck forty-five degrees upwards.

The main guns of the Cesare fired, but because of the angle of the ship, the shells shot up harmlessly into the night sky. With its first attack spent, the Cesare was helpless. Captain Garibaldi could do nothing but watch. His own men were still reloading, fighting the clock to get back the main cannons back into the fight. The Littorio's smaller guns, however, were ready. The opened-up in a hail of fire at the monster.

The smaller caliber fire did seem to bother the monster but did not stop it. The Cesare was jammed, bow first, into the nearby docks by the monster. The bottom portion of the hull was torn out, which insured the battleship would never sail on the ocean again. Satisfied with the damage it had done, the monster left the Cesare resting half on the shore, half on the water.

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The only remaining Neptune depth charges were sitting on the nearby destroyers and the monster grabbed them off the ships using its tentacles. One by one, it began to lob the explosives at the remaining four battleships. The first couple came at the Littorio and all were a near misses. The force of charges hitting the water was enough to set them off and the top deck of the Littorio was showered by water from the resulting explosions. Water slammed into the windows of the bridge where Captain Garibaldi and his crew were bracing themselves.

The second volley came at the Littorio's sister battleship Vittorio Veneto and one of the charges exploded near the base of her hull at the waterline. The blast tore open a hull breach, allowing water to pour in. The damage wasn't very extensive though and the damage control teams were able to seal off and contain the flooded sections, saving the ship.

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Th Battleship Andrea Doria faced a similar situation when it was hit, though it was a smaller battleship and the hull damage was a little more extensive as the charges landed even closer. Still, the ship was salvageable. The last battleship, Conte di Cavour wasn't so lucky, however. The monster's aim seemed to be getting better with each try and the final shots were right on target. Conte di Cavour was hit with three massive explosions. One hit the bridge and destroyed much of the ship’s superstructure and the second hit just below the armor belt and torn open the bottom of the ship, and the third destroyed the rudder. The battleship began to sink, her surviving crew spilling over the side.

The situation seemed desperate for the Italian fleet, six warships had been destroyed and two more heavily damaged, but there was about to be a turn in fortunes. The monster had expended the available explosives near to it and was now in the shallows with no cover to escape. The Littorio's main guns were also ready to fire again, as were the Vittorio's.

Both battleships unloaded their main armaments at the monster, who was near-helpless against them. It dodged as best it could, but it was hopelessly exposed. In addition to the battleships firing at it, the Cruisers Trento, Boizano, and Trieste were also firing at it from the next bay over. The monster was caught in a crossfire.

Captain Garibaldi saw one of his ship's fifteen-inch rounds directly hit the monster's bulbous head. The monster's entire body shuttered from the impact and the resulting explosion tore out a large hunk of its flesh. The monster was taking more and more significant hits as more ships joined the attack. Finally, the monster decided that it had enough and began to retreat into deeper water. As it did, fire from the remaining warships punished its body, blowing more and more pieces off it. Bloodied and beaten, the monster finally slipped beneath the waves and escaped the onslaught of fire.

---

In Germany, Mothra had long put the planes of the Luftwaffe behind her and was continuing further and further into the Third Reich's airspace. Air-defense flak cannons had tried to take aim at her here and there along the way, but whenever they did, Mothra simply sped up. The guns on the ground could not keep trained on her for long before she was out of their range. They were designed to shoot down slower propeller aircraft. Nothing they tried deterred her.

Mothra had been flying for over an hour when her excellent vision finally picked up on what she was looking for. Below there was a trail of disturbed fields and snapped trees. As soon as Mothra spotted the trail, she changed course and began to follow it. She flew for miles until she was on the outskirts of a city. There were signs of a battle below. The ground was pot-marked with the aftermath of explosions and the wreckage of fighting vehicles.

As it turned out, the city Mothra had arrived at was the German capitol of Berlin and the wreckage she had found was the German army's last-ditch defense line to prevent Varan's advance into the city. They had clearly failed, and the monster was already cutting a path of destruction in the cityscape.

Mothra arrived perhaps twenty minutes after the attack had begun. Most of the city was still intact and the German military was still firing on Varan inside the city. The German's had Varan more or less boxed into one area. German command had the foresight to place heavy cannons at certain intersections in the city so that Varan would have to endure heavy cannon fire to the face if he wanted to get pass them. The blockade of cannons had stopped Varan from advancing any further forward but also forced him towards the Reichstag building in an attempt to get around them.

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As Varan advanced towards the German seat of Government, Mothra passed above him. She flew over a building near his right shoulder. As her shadow loomed over him, Varan stopped dead in his tracks and took notice. Mothra's sudden appearance had caught him off guard. All he could do is watch her from below.

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Mothra meanwhile banked gracefully to her left after passing Varan and then rounded on him coming face to face from the safety of several hundred feet up. As she hovered above, her mouth opened and squeaked down to him. Varan responded by roaring back up at her angrily. He used his tail to smash a building to his left down in an obvious threat display.

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Mothra seemed unimpressed with the move and continued to squeak at him. Varan responded by thrashing his tail a second time and leveling the building to his right. Whatever Mothra's initial aim had been, she appeared to grow impatient and immediately attacked Varan. She began to flap her wings hard and released a yellow/gold powder.

As it floated down towards Varan, he instantly knew he wanted no part of it. He retreated backwards and then ducked behind a building, getting out of the immediate line of fire. Mothra ceased using her powder and advanced to pursue Varan, but when she approached the building he was hiding behind, he suddenly lunged up at her.

Varan didn't achieve enough altitude to tackle Mothra head on, but he did get close enough to allow the spines on his back to graze one of Mothra's wings. Following his attack, Varan crashed back down to the ground, collapsing another building under him. Once he recovered, he looked up to see the damage he had done. To his shock, Mothra was still airborne and stable. He had expected his attack would cleave her left wing right off and that he'd be seeing her tumbling to the ground. Instead, Mothra was right above him and he noted only a scratch where his spikes had made contact.

Panicked by the ineffectiveness of his attack and Mothra's proximity, Varan used his tail to swipe up at her in an effort to gain a little distance. Mothra backed off to avoid the attack, but Varan’s tail never had much of a chance at landing anyway. Varan meanwhile used the time his feint had bought him to come up with a new method of attack. He quickly secreted some of his poison and let a portion of it build up on the tip of his tail. Once he felt like he had enough, he flicked it in Mothra's direction, sending it flying up at her. Varan got lucky and the bead of fluid was heading right for Mothra’s face.

Unfortunately for Varan, Mothra saw it coming and used her quick reflexes to maneuver out of the way. The clump of goo arched up past Mothra and then landed somewhere in the city behind her. Varan tried to follow up my using a building as a springboard to crash into Mothra. If he could just touch her, he could turn the fight around.

Seeming to understand the threat, Mothra used her powerful wings to beat down at Varan as here came up. The force of wind she produced sent Varan crashing back down and rolling through the streets. Mothra then pressed in close and continued to beat her wings aggressively. Varan dug in his claws to maintain his position, but the hurricane level winds Mothra was producing blew anything not made of concrete away. Cars went flying into buildings, park benches took flight, and Varan's defensive toxin peeled right off his skin. Most of it splattered onto the building behind him.

With Varan's slime gone, Mothra eased up on her attack. The hard flapping took a lot of energy and she could see Varan still had a lot of fight in him. In fact, the second the wind died down Varan charged forward and lunged onto a building close to Mothra. He swatted at her with his sharp front claws. Mothra was again able to react just in time to avoid the attack, and in turn, beat Varan with her gigantic wings.

The building Varan had jumped on had barely been able to hold his weight to begin with, but the added pressure of the battle taking place on it was finally too much. It buckled and sent Varan once again to the ground kicking up a heap of dust and debris. People inside were crushed.

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Varan seemed to understand how precarious his situation was becoming. Mothra was able to react to his attacks faster than he had been expecting and she seemed to have an answer for everything he had thrown at her so far. He had one last trick that might just turn the tide of battle in his favor. He found a suitable spot for what he had in mind and then ducked down behind another building, waiting for Mothra to approach. Once she had taken the bait, Varan sprung his trap.

Varan jumped onto another building to gain a little height and then jumped a second time, extending the flaps between his arms and legs. As he became airborne, he tried to steer himself towards Mothra only to find that she was already coming towards him. Mothra had a much greater ability to control her flight and was able to jink out of Varan's flight path. Mothra took the opportunity to maneuver under Varan in midair. Varan was left vulnerable, hanging out in the breeze.

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Mothra came up, using her head to ram into Varan's expose underbelly, knocking the wind out of him. The force of the collision knocked Varan off course and out of the sky like a rock. Varan landed hard on his back, stunned. Mothra gave him no time to recover this time. She was on top of him within seconds. Her poisonous powder drifted down on Varan's body. Varan realized what was happening and began to kick his legs in an attempt to flip himself back over. However, his spines were stuck in the ground where he had landed and prevented him from easily righting himself.

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Trapped and having nowhere to go, the powder clung onto Varan and within seconds his thrashing began to weaken, then it stopped. Varan was paralyzed by Mothra's poison and the fight was over. With her opponent subdued, Mothra came down and latched onto his tail. In an impressive feat of strength, her tiny little legs clung on to Varan's body as she lifted him off the ground and began to carry him out of the city.

Mothra continued to carry Varan north, flying for hours until she had come to the Atlantic Ocean. Once there, she dropped the still unconscious Varan in the water below. Just like that, Varan’s rampage through Germany was over.

---

Akira lay in his bed, staring up at the bottom of the bunk above him. He had just arrived back on the Akagi following his mission to Russia. While the mission had been a success, he did not feel good about it. The memories of it would likely haunt him for the rest of his life. Vladimir had been killed, Saito had been killed, he had almost been killed himself, and for what?

It all seemed unnecessary. The way Akira saw it, the Russians never had the slightest chance of winning against the Rodans. So, in his mind, they didn't need to help it along. The reports coming out of Russia painted a pretty grim picture of what was happening as a result. Villages burning and thousands upon thousands dead. Deaths he was at least in part responsible for.

The worst part of it was Akira wasn't allowed to talk about it. He couldn't vent any the pressure of anger or guilt that was building up in his chest. He could only sit in his bunk and stew about it, replaying the mission over and over again in his mind, fixated on it.

The Japanese fleet was setting back out for open water for exercises. While they had taken a beating during their own fight against the Rodans, they still arguably had the strongest navy in the Pacific. However, that was only because the American fleet was divided up between two oceans, otherwise they would claim that honor. Such as it was, they needed to maintain a state of readiness.

The fleet had been out for two days already. On the first day, the picket ships had run across something very troubling. Something that could not easily be explained. They had found a small Japanese coast guard patrol ship drifting in the open water. Typically, a vessel of its size usually carried a crew of twelve, but there was only one man was found aboard and he was in sorry shape. The man was dead, but it was worse than that, he was also mutilated. His flesh was partially fused to the metal railing he was found clinging onto. The rest of the crew was missing.

The vessel seemed otherwise undamaged, so it wasn't clear why the rest of the crew would choose to abandon a perfectly good ship. Just as puzzling was the mystery of what killed the man left behind. He smelled like he had been cooked right there on the deck and his hand and face were blackened and burnt where they had made contact with the steel. He was so badly burnt that he almost had no features left and yet, the area around him showed no obvious sign of damage from a fire.

The sailor's body was pried off the railing, leaving chunks of flesh behind. Later he was buried at sea. The incident sent a chill through the crews of the fleet as the eerie story spread. Everyone was a little edgy ever since. Most of the men had seen death by this point, but it was the mystery; the fear of not knowing what happened, that made it so hard to dismiss and move on.

One of Akira's bunkmates, Takeo, returned from playing cards with his buddies. Akira didn't know him well and mostly ignored him, but even so, could sense the young sailor was unsettled as he removed his shoes and socks prepared to climb into his bunk to rest for a while.

However, before Takeo could, there was a shuttered throughout the ship. It was enough to get Akira's attention. He sat up and looked over to Takeo who looked around him, clearly not sure what was going on. Next, they heard the metal hull of the ship creaking. Takeo took a step back and Akira noted a bead of sweat rolling down the side of his face. Both of them knew something was awfully wrong.

"What is that?" Takeo asked Akira with fear in his voice.

Akira didn't get a chance to answer. Before he knew it, Takeo's hair was standing on end and only a second later his muscles were seizing up, flexing uncontrollably. The muscle spasms were intense, and Takeo tried to scream, but only made a gurgling sound. Akira could see arch of electricity jump from the top part of Takeo's teeth to the bottom. Takeo's feet were cooking against metal plating on the floor and Akira could smell burnt flesh, which made his stomach turn as he watched.

It was all over in seconds. Takeo fell to the floor and was instantly dead. Akira sat there in shock, processing it. He didn't know what to do. He was shoeless himself and didn't dare stand up on the metal floor after what he had seen. Akira didn't understand what was happening. Before he knew it, the entire ship shook and was tilted off kilter. Akira almost spilled out of his bunk onto the floor but managed to grab a rail. After that, he knew he couldn't very well stay where he was. His shoes were under his bunk and rather than step onto the floor to get them, he hung himself upside-down to retrieve them.

Akira grabbed two pairs of socks and put both of them on just to further insulate himself before lacing up his boots tightly. The noise, rumblings, and rocking throughout the ship continued in the meantime. Akira carefully put one of his boots on the floor. Once it had been there for a second without incident, he began to make his was out of the bunkroom and into the hallway.

Once there, he could hear the shouting of men throughout the corridor. The alarm on the bridge had been triggered as well, adding to the already chaotic situation. As Akira made his way out of the crew quarter section of the ship, he saw other men who had been killed much like Takeo had been. Other sailors were uselessly trying to help them, but any man who had been affected was far beyond help by that point. Akira moved on.

The shipped rocked as he continued, and Akira was careful not to be thrown off balance. If he was forced to reach out with his bare hands and touch either side of the metal walls of the corridor at the wrong moment, it might be the last thing he ever did. He was right to skittish, only a moment later another jolt of electricity shot throughout the whole ship and a few more sailors, who hadn’t figured out what Akira had, were exposed to it. The smell of burning flesh was filling up the entire area, along with the honorific shrieks of men who were seeing the effects play out firsthand. Akira himself was trying his best to ignore it. He needed to stay focused if he was going to get out alive.

Finally, Akira reached the flight deck. Most of the men there were still alive but confused about what was going on. The ship continued to rock, which kept everyone off balance. Worse, the rocking had only increased in intensity, which was causing planes and bombs to move around in their bays in the hanger, putting the men inside at risk.

The shifting around paused for a moment and Akira could finally get his bearings again. But no sooner had the ship come to a stop than something came crashing through the hull, puncturing right into the flight deck. And it wasn't just one thing, there were multiple areas of breaches through steel frame all at once, in what seemed like a well-coordinated assault.

The shock of it took Akira off guard, but it only took him a moment to realize what had happened. The things poking through the breaches were sharp mounds of discolored ivory. Taken as a whole, the pattern was unmistakable. Something huge had bitten into the ship and its teeth had penetrating the armored plating of the hull.

That realization was horrible enough on its own, but it was about to get worse. Some of the teeth had sunk in under the waterline of the ship, and because of that, seawater began to leak in around their edges. Akira had a moment of awful clarity and could see what was going to happen next. His legs started moving on instinct, taking him to a stairwell across the deck that would take him up.

Sure enough, the teeth soon retracted out of the ship and water rapidly poured in through the punctures. It flooded in so quickly that several men closest to it were instantly swept up. The rest tried to retreat to escape as Akira had.

Akira meanwhile, had just reached the stairwell himself. He got up about six steps up before the first cascade of water reached the bottom. Several members of the flight crew reached the stairs a moment later but were already too late. A third shockwave of electricity hit the ship and they were still standing in ankle high water when it surged through them.

Akira ran into a major problem upon reaching the top of the stairwell. As per regulations, the watertight steel bulkhead door had been sealed when the alarm had gone off for general quarters. Akira could easily open it, as the latch was on his side of the door, but he'd have to do so with his bare hands. If there happened to be another electrical attack while he was doing it, he'd be a goner. As he stood there thinking it over, he could hear the buckling of the ship's hull. Water continued to build in the stairwell below him, slowly but surely making its way up to him. He was trapped.

Seeing no other choice left, Akira carefully touched the metal wheel that would release the seal with the tip of his finger. Once he knew the door was not presently electrified, he went to work quickly cranking the wheel until there was a clank indicating the door could be opened. He pushed it open and barreled through until he was clear of it. He went a little too hard though and ended up falling forward on onto wood planking of flight deck. Akira popped up as quickly as he could, scared for his life. In his agitated fight or flight state, he forgot that wood does not conduct electricity very well.

Akira got to his feet to find the flight deck under siege. A huge monster had wrapped itself around the hull of the ship in several loops like a snake trying to strangle a victim. It appeared to be succeeding. The Akagi was tilting and riding low in the water. Between the seawater she had taken on and the added weight of the monster, the ship was going to sink any minute.

'Is this happening because of our sins?' Akira asked himself, only yards away from the massive beast.

From what Akira could see, the monster had dull, greenish-blue scales that ran the entire length of its body. It could be described as snake-like, save but a few notable features. First, it had a yellow strip of what appeared to be hair running along its back. Second, it had tiny arms and legs that it was using to keep a tight hold on the ship. Third, it had a pair of horns on either side of its head, two long whiskers, and a mouth full of teeth in place of simple fangs. In short, it had the look of an Asian dragon.

Akira didn't have time to study it though. It was already clear that the Akagi was doomed. The carrier shifted again as the monster struggled to crush it. The creature roared towards the sky and the atmosphere around Akira seemed to change. Strains of electricity jumped between the hairs on the monster's back as they stood on end. The metal frame of the ship absorbed the jolt, while the wood Akira stood on was relatively safe.

The ship seemed to slip further down and the remaining aircraft on the top deck slide overboard. Akira considered abandoning ship by jumping directly into water but realized all too well he would die in the water just as quickly the next time the monster used an electric attack. It was then that Akira spotted a lifeboat that was being readied by another surviving sailor. He rushed over and helped the man make the final preparations to lower it down. They did have one issue though, ordinarily the lifeboats had to be lowered down by someone who was still on the ship.

As the situation stood, there was only the two of them and neither would want to stay behind to lower the other. But Akira's companion provided a solution. He had foreseen the obstacle some time ago. While Akira had been trying to escape from below decks, he had fetched a sword belonging to one of the officers.

The sailor unsheathed it while Akira grabbed the sides of the boat to hang on for dear life. With one good swing of the exquisite blade, the two men had a wild ride down to the water. Luckily for them, the drop wasn't nearly as far as it should have been. The Akagi was riding low in the water, so the impact didn't break any bones, though it was still rough.

Since Akira's companion was standing when the trip down began, he spilled over the side when they landed. Akira was quick to grab him and pull him back in. The boat tipped a little as he did, threatening to spill both men back into the water, but Akira managed to keep his balance. From there, they grabbed the lifeboat's paddles and got as much distance from the Akagi and the monster as possible. The whole time, they could see their former home sinking foot by foot under the water until it was gone.

After the Carrier's fate had been sealed, the monster released it and surfaced to look for another target. Akira could only hope that he and his new friend were too small to bother with.

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Last edited by Ashram52 on Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Ashram52 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:19 pm

Quick little heads up, if you have gotten this far, it means you must like something about the story. I like feedback.

The best way to ensure I update the story here is to give me some feedback. What you like, what you don't like, things you might want to see, or just a little bit of encouragement if nothing else. I'm even willing to listen to suggests as long as they don't depart too far with my own vision of what I want to do with the story. I have a pretty good idea of where I'm taking things, but someone might inspire me to think about things in a different light.
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Living Corpse » Wed Dec 25, 2019 5:26 pm

Ashram52 wrote:Quick little heads up, if you have gotten this far, it means you must like something about the story. I like feedback.

The best way to ensure I update the story here is to give me some feedback. What you like, what you don't like, things you might want to see, or just a little bit of encouragement if nothing else. I'm even willing to listen to suggests as long as they don't depart too far with my own vision of what I want to do with the story. I have a pretty good idea of where I'm taking things, but someone might inspire me to think about things in a different light.


I have no idea how I missed your Dec 1 update. Sorry.

I love it, we finally got a fight between two monsters. The mystery on how a sailor died burnt and fused to a boat leading up to Manda was creepy, Gezora was an actual credible threat by making up for his lack of durability with brains, and very clever bait and switch with the blue light. I thought for sure it was gonna be Godzilla but it was Gezora. Manda's electricity power is a surprise but a welcomed one.

All around a pretty solid chapter and other than a few grammer mistakes here and there or a misspelled word or two, I can't really find much fault.
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Ashram52 » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:01 pm

Living Corpse wrote:
Ashram52 wrote:Quick little heads up, if you have gotten this far, it means you must like something about the story. I like feedback.

The best way to ensure I update the story here is to give me some feedback. What you like, what you don't like, things you might want to see, or just a little bit of encouragement if nothing else. I'm even willing to listen to suggests as long as they don't depart too far with my own vision of what I want to do with the story. I have a pretty good idea of where I'm taking things, but someone might inspire me to think about things in a different light.


I have no idea how I missed your Dec 1 update. Sorry.

I love it, we finally got a fight between two monsters. The mystery on how a sailor died burnt and fused to a boat leading up to Manda was creepy, Gezora was an actual credible threat by making up for his lack of durability with brains, and very clever bait and switch with the blue light. I thought for sure it was gonna be Godzilla but it was Gezora. Manda's electricity power is a surprise but a welcomed one.

All around a pretty solid chapter and other than a few grammer mistakes here and there or a misspelled word or two, I can't really find much fault.


Thanks for the feedback,

I agree, grammar is one of the greater weakness of my story. That’s a fair bit of criticism. I could use an editor. Trouble is, I’m typing up the story on ‘notepad’ and not something better like ‘Word’. My computer sucks and lacks certain software.

Anyhow, Notepad does not highlight spelling errors and other issues word would. So I have to go through it manually, which sucks... I try to go through everything with a fine tooth comb, but the chapters are generally really long. You don’t know how long until you have to go through them over and over again.

In a perfect world I would have a writing partner who could focus on the nuts and bolts of writing while I worked on the plot. I’m more of an idea guy.

Speaking of which, Squids and octopi are actually known for their intelligence, so I didn’t think it would be too far of a stretch to make Gezora a little more intelligent. He needed something to help him survive a fight since he’s a bullet sponge.

I gave Manda an extra power so he’s not so one-dimensional. Aside from trying to strangle his enemies, what else can he really do, bite? He needed another option for offense and defense. I figured his powers could work along the lines of an electric eel. Not so far fetched since it’s based on something that actually exists in nature, though a little suped-up.

Godzilla still needs something important to happen historically before he can show up. But we’re not too far off at this point.
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Ashram52 » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:10 pm

---

Quick little update:

Yeah, sorry, this isn't a new chapter yet. I've been really busy lately with life. I did go back and edit all the previous chapters. Just trying to clean them up a bit. I have been typing this whole story on a from Notepad, which is a program that doesn't have anything built in that checks for spelling or grammar issues. Found a lot of things to fix, so it took a hot minute.

However, with that done, I'll be going back to work on Chapter 15 pretty soon. I have the outline started, but also still have a lot of typing and miniature work to do.

Anyhow, I wanted to let the folks here on the forum know that if you happen to live in the Heartland, there is going to be a Godzilla Convention in Omaha, NE this summer. I've been invited to it as a Special Guest and Panelist. I'm going to be discussing my miniature work and a few other things. I've only posted a small fraction of what I have done with minis. Lots more buildings and lots more monsters. I wish I could post more now, but that would spoil a lot of the surprises I have planned later down the road for this topic and story. All I can say for now is keep coming back and you'll continue to see new things as the story progresses.

If you happen to live in the area, come to the Con. The people putting it on are quite nice and are putting together something that outta be a great time for Godzilla fans. Check out their website in the image below if you want to know more. Hope to see you there.

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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Ashram52 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:47 pm

Actually, I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to take some time off from the story. I need a break.

I might come back to it in time, but it could be a while.
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Re: Godzilla: Tactical Assault.

Postby Living Corpse » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:04 am

Ashram52 wrote:Actually, I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to take some time off from the story. I need a break.

I might come back to it in time, but it could be a while.


Always break if you feel you need to, don't burn out.
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