A city in ruin. A sea of flame. Tokyo had become literal hell on Earth, as pillars of smoke blanketed the night sky and red embers fell to the ground. Terrified citizens, thousands of them, littered the streets as they desperately ran for their lives, pushing and trampling over one another. They were running from a seemingly invisible force, one that only a handful had truly seen, but managed to strike fear in every living being that resided in Tokyo. The unlucky few that had seen this destructive force didn’t live long enough to tell the tale, having either been swiftly executed by the terrible menace, or some having took their own lives from the very sight of it. Everyone had heard its terrible, unearthly cry, of which shook the people of Japan to their very core.
Among those running for the nearest possible safety they could find, was a young man, late teens, perhaps even in his early twenties. He had been running through the city streets for what seemed like hours now, blinded by the sting of his own tears. The boy had just witnessed his parents and older sister be trampled underneath the heel of that living terror, but he somehow managed to escape what seemed like inevitable death, if for just a little while longer. He was severely out of breath and losing his footing with every step he took, but the young man kept running; he knew he couldn’t stop, even with his burning lungs pleading for him to. If he did, his fate would be sealed. As he dashed through the streets, the man laid witness to dozens upon dozens of bodies littering the tarmac, some having been crushed by falling debris, and some burning. The putrid stench of cooked flesh raced through the boy’s nostrils, causing him to gag and nearly throw up on multiple occasions. But he kept on, whilst trying his best to ignore the carnage around him. He couldn’t see but two feet in front of him; the only source of light were the fires that burned all around him. He felt their intense heat rush past his face, of which was drenched in sweat and tears.
As the young man rounded a corner, he soon heard the thunderous sounds of tank engines and treads heading towards him. And, before he knew it, a dozen of the armored vehicles were right on top of him and soon positioned themselves in a way that almost formed a makeshift barricade around him. Without wasting anytime, the tanks unleashed huge chunks of burning lead from their powerful cannons into the smoke clouds before them. The roar from the blasts violently rattled the man’s entire body and pummeled his ear drums. He dove onto the hot concrete and covered his ears as best he could and squeezed his eyes shut. The tanks kept firing into the darkness, with every shell hitting its target dead on. Each hit exploded against the body of the reaper who tore the city aflame, and illuminated the creature in silhouette for just a few, fleeting moments. The details were sparse, but the creature looked to have had a massive head with draconian features such as: Long pointed ears, and a pointed snout. It had large, broad shoulders with massive arms and clawed fingers, and even larger legs and almost dinosaurian feet. Though, even then, those details could have been exaggerated or inaccurate all together. In any case, the brave men whom piloted their metal steeds kept up their assault, while the young man cowered behind them.
Suddenly, the man felt himself be forcefully yanked to his feet, causing him to scream at the top of his lungs and rip his eyes wide open. In front of him, the man found an angry and terrified solider glaring at him. The latter shook the boy violently, “The hell are you doing, son?! GO! NOW!” The soldier screamed and proceeded to shove the man with all his might. The young man slammed against the tarmac, dazed and confused as he watched the soldier hurriedly get back into his personal tank and join his brethren in their continued offense. The man’s words rang through his head repeatedly, and without having to have been told twice, the young man quickly staggered to his feet and raced off away from the ensuing fight. He soon located a nearby alleyway and inadvertently collapsed to his hands and knees, and puked. He did so until he just couldn’t anymore and crawled over to a brick wall and slumped down onto his butt. The young man sat there for God knows how long as he heard the tanks nearby still firing at the Devil. And then, artillery fire was soon replaced with bloodcurdling screams of sheer agony and excruciation. Those screams of death tore through the boy like a sharpened blade, and he found himself unable to move out of fear and exhaustion, but mostly the former. As soon as the screams rang out, they stopped, and aside from the crackling of nearby flames, it was eerily silent.
Boldly, the young man staggered to his feet to peer around the corner from where he hid. To his immediate horror, he found the remains of every single tank burning in the street. Their seemingly impenetrable armor had been reduced to nothing but molten metal. Those men… That one who dared to exit the safety of his vehicle to rescue the boy… They were all dead, just like that. The young man was about to run, knowing that death wasn’t far behind, when… He heard a snarl… One that shook him to his most basic genetic makeup. He started to weep silently and prayed to God to let his demise be a swift and painless one, before he slowly turned around and looked up. That… That is when he saw it, saw him. The one responsible for all this death, destruction and misery… He was there, peering straight down at the boy from behind the building he had just been resting beside. The young man only saw the creature’s enormous head, and even then, he couldn’t make out any real details. But what he did see, and the things that pierced through his very soul… Were its eyes. Those horrible, ghostly white eyes with tiny pupils as black as night. The man stood there frozen in fear, his own eyes stuck on the towering being standing before him. From this close, the man could even hear the creature’s heavy breathing, sounding more like gales of wind.
With nowhere else to run, the man closed his eyes tightly and cried in defeat; he was at the mercy of his killer now. But, as seconds turned into minutes, the young man eventually reopened his eyes and peered up, only to find that the creature had disappeared almost like a ghost. It was nowhere to be found above him, and the boy could do nothing more but collapse to the ground and scream to top of his lungs. And then, he fell unconscious as Tokyo continued to burn around him.
Osaka, Japan, 1966.
Now, a little over a decade later, that same young man is now a respected and decorated member of the Japanese military, and captain to its flagship vessel: The Atragon. This enormous battleship is equipped with the latest in both military hardware and software, from missile launchers, railguns, experimental maser cannons, and even a massive drill up used as a ramming device. It took nearly a quarter of the military’s resources and funds to develop and build this machine, but if it was successful in helping to take down the recent uprising of giant monsters that plague humanity, then it would be well worth the cost. And, the most important aspect of the Atragon was its captain: Hidachi vi Britannia, the same young soul who survived the attack from the reaper and lived to tell about it. That scared and timid young man from all those years ago was no more. Now, Hidachi was a fearless, determined and fiery man with a festering vengeance and vitriol burning in his heart. On that faithful day, all those years ago, Hidachi made a promise that he planned on keeping: Should the Devil ever return, Hidachi would be at the frontlines to make sure that he stayed dead this time, and Britannia would be the one that dug the grave. And now, that time seemed to have finally come.
Britannia sat in the central seat overlooking the tight, circular command center of the Atragon as the ship flew towards Osaka. It had taken a bit longer than expected, because of both the torrential downpour that had begun nearly half an hour ago, and the darkness of night. Worse yet, there was a massive gridlock on the outskirts of Osaka from people desperately trying to escape, but luckily for the most part, the inner level had been evacuated. Even with the exorbitant amounts of rain drenching everything, somehow, they still couldn’t put out the towering walls of fire that swallowed huge sections of the city. Carnage had already started, and whatever defenses against the attack had been destroyed. Hidachi and his crew were merely trying to stop the bleeding now; they were the last line of defense.
“We’re approaching Osaka, sir. ETA is 60 seconds.” A young, red haired recruit affirmed from his tiny workstation overlooking a small computer screen.
Hidachi simply nodded. “G-Squadron, battle stations!”
Immediately as the order was made, the 12 other operatives that accompanied Britannia went to work bring every weapon system online and raising the Atragon’s power to maximum capacity. There were a series of loud hums and whirrs as the artillery came to life, and the large thrusters at the back of the ship increased in their intensity. Just as the young recruit estimated, the members of G-Squadron had arrived in the ruins of Osaka in under a minute. All eyes were watching the main screen in the top center of the command terminal, witnessing as the Atragon flew past various burning and destroyed buildings. With the darkness of night washing over everything, and the buckets of rain being spilled, it was like Hell on Earth. But, oddly enough, it was surprisingly calm and quiet. Osaka was a ghost city. Hidachi ordered for the Atragon to be taken down lower, just to see if they could locate any possible survivors, and if he was hiding.
“No sign of any survivors, captain.” Ryu Yamane, a youthful JSDF lieutenant, and Hidachi’s right hand man, said. Only 26 years old, Ryu rose through the ranks of the JSDF at a monumental rate, surging past his classmates and going onto to become second-in-command on the Japanese military’s flagship vessel. No one handed him any favors; it was through sheer discipline and hard work that got Yamane where he was now.
Hidachi leaned forward in his seat, “Do we have a visual of our target yet?” He inquired.
Ryu shook his head, “Negative, sir, not from what I can determine.”
Britannia swore to himself whilst staring intently at the main screen. He then shifted his gaze over to his pilot: Mitzuki Ozawa, a raven-haired, hazel-eyed air force graduate and natural born flyer, due to her time working on and piloting her family’s personal old plane since she was 8 years old. “Mitzuki, take us back above the city line.” Hidachi said.
“Yes sir.” Mitzuki quickly obliged and began to steer the Atragon upward, when a sudden cry from Ryu made her freeze dead in her tracks.
“Wait, sir! I’m getting a massive radiation spike on my screen!” The man exclaimed.
“Yeah, me too!” The red headed recruit piped up, “It just came out of nowhere… That can’t be possible, can it?!”
In seconds, the entire room was buzzing with new information being passed around by the second, of something that had seemingly popped into existence without warning. “Everyone QUIET.” Britannia boomed, which almost instantly brought the entire room back to complete silence. Hidachi, after making sure that everyone had been settled down, turned to Ryu. “Do we have any idea where this energy spike is originating from?”
Ryu quickly proceeded to type various commands into his computer… And his skin turned white. He slowly turned to Hidachi and gulped, “It’s… It’s apparently right on top of us, s-sir.”
Britannia’s eyes widened in shock and he whipped his head in the direction of the main screen. It was so dark outside, and the rain had severely blinded the exterior cameras; only brief flashes of lightning and the glow of the weakening fires were the two sources of real light. “Mitzuki… Hold her still.” Hidachi calmly ordered.
The girl nodded and kept the Atragon in place. As every soul in the ship kept their eyes glued to the central monitor, a flash of lightning briefly revealed something on the right.
“Wait… What the hell was that?” Ryu asked out loud.
“What is it?” said Hidachi.
“Can we turn on cameras 4 and 5 on the right side, please?” Ryu ordered.
“Cameras 4 and 5 coming online now sir.” An engineer responded.
As they came online, so too did two smaller monitors that swung out and soon showcased what they saw. As far as anyone else inside the ship could tell, nothing was out there. But, Hidachi knew Yamane well enough to know when the man was being serious. He intently watched the two screens intently, and ready to act at a moment’s notice. His palms and brow began to sweat, as Hidachi could swear that he saw something moving ever so slightly to the right of the ship, but he couldn’t say for certain. But, upon a bright but brief flash of lightning, Ryu’s hunch was immediately confirmed. Standing mere feet away from the Atragon, and utterly towering over the large battleship… Was an enormous and black creature, whose silhouette was unmistakable. And worse yet… It was staring right at the ship.
Everyone onboard held their collective breathes as fear began to set into every soul in that room, everyone except Hidachi. He needed to remain calm if he was going to get him and his crew out of this alive.
“Sssir?” The young, red headed recruit stammered as he stared at the screen in horror, “Is… Is that?”
“Yeah, that’s him.” Hidachi solemnly answered as he glared at the titanic creature through the monitor, “…Gojira.”
The creature, now known as, “Gojira”, glared down at the ship through ember eyes that were shadowed by deeply set brows. This one wasn’t as bulky or broad as his distant relative from over a decade back, replacing that sheer mass with a slender and muscular build, considerably longer arms, a slightly smaller head, and slimmer legs and feet. However, no mistakes should be made, for this second Gojira was both larger and gapped his predecessor in power tenfold. The giant monster just stood there as still as a statue, watching the Atragon like a predator does its prey.
“Mitzuki, raise all thrusters to maximum levels.” Hidachi stated. Seconds past, and there had been no response from neither the girl nor the ship. Hidachi glanced at Mitzuki and found her staring at the screen, frozen in fear by the sight before her. Every flash of lightning made her jump as it revealed Gojira’s looming form still standing there. Mitzuki’s hands were on the controls to the Atragon, but she couldn’t move them; they were shaking too much.
“Mitzuki… Mitzuki, listen to me, I know this is a scary situation for you and for all us, but I need you to try and compose yourself and focus on the task at hand, or else we’re all going to die. Understand?” Hidachi attempted to reassure. No response from her still. That is when the captain took a more direct approach, one that always got her attention. He raised a fist up high in the air, and slammed it back down on his armrest, causing a loud “CLUNG!” to echo throughout the room. “Mitzuki!!! Get us the hell out of here, NOW!!!” Hidachi bellowed.
The young pilot was immediately shaken from her trance, her hands stopped shaking and she tightened her grip around the flight controls with authority. “YES SIR!” She shouted engaged the thrusters and made the Atragon blast past the mountainous mass of Gojira, whilst bringing the vessel higher into the air.
Hidachi settled back down in his chair and smirked internally; that never failed. “Turn the ship 180 degrees and lock onto Gojira! Adam, be prepared to fire the railguns when she does!”
The young recruit, now known as Adam, nodded firmly and set the massive guns to hot. When Mitzuki positioned the ship to face the scowling form of Gojira, Hidachi immediately screamed, “Railguns FIRE!”
In seconds, gargantuan slugs of lead were hurled at Gojira at supersonic speeds and forcefully smacked into his hide. The rounds exploded with anger on his skin and left huge pockets of smoke in their wake. The Atragon didn’t let up with its assault, and soon added a barrage of armor piercing missiles into the mix as well. They hit Gojira with enough force to level an entire city block and kept coming as the Atragon unloaded its entire ordinance of both weapons on the radioactive titan. The explosions from both the cannons and the artillery hitting its target could be heard clearly from nearly 10 miles away and cast both Gojira and the heart of Osaka in a harsh orange glow.
Seconds turned into minutes, and when Hidachi finally ceased the assault, a cloud of smoke hundreds of feet tall stretched into the night sky. As he watched the central screen, his eyes widened in shock once the dust had settled. There, standing unmoved in the same spot, was Gojira… And he was completely undamaged. In fact, the entire assault looked to have not laid a single scratch on him! The only effect it had on the creature was his mood; he was thoroughly annoyed now, evident by a low growl that could be felt from every squad member even from their elevated position.
Hidachi bared his teeth in frustration before turning to Ryu. “Get the maser guns online and stat!” He ordered.
“Sir!” Ryu acknowledged and brought the weapons to life, as Mitzuki wordlessly aimed the left side of the Atragon at Gojira. “Maser guns locked and loaded, sir! On your mark!” Ryu affirmed.
Wasting no time, Hidachi sounded the command, “FIRE!”
Like streams of harnessed lightning themselves, the masers erupted with a brutal “CRACK!” from their cannons and surged towards Gojira with amazing swiftness. The volley of electrical beams hit their mark right in the center of the monster’s chest. Gojira’s body ceased up as he found himself actually being forced back by the streams of energy. The currents raced through his body, attacking his nervous system and singeing his hide. Gojira let out a low howl of annoyance and pain and turned away from the maser fire.
“YES, HELL YES! We’re hurting him!” Adam excitedly said.
“Keep the pressure on! Don’t give him any room to breathe!” Hidachi exclaimed.
They were doing it, they were hurting Gojira! At this rate, G-Squad would have him good and buried before sunrise; victory was in the cards for all of Japan tonight. Or, that is what they thought. Slowly, Gojira turned to face down his foolish attackers and began to march towards them.
Adam’s eyes grew as big as dinner plates, “What… No, no no NOOOO, we were hurting him! What the hell happened?!”
Hidachi was silent. He just watched on in disbelief as Gojira stomped closer to them, despite having nearly a dozen masers slamming into his chest. “Ryu, what the hell is going on?! Are the maser guns still operating at full capacity?” He demanded.
Ryu nodded vigorously, “No signs of weakness or anything, sir! They’re still running at 100%!”
The captain clenched his teeth. What the hell was going on?! They were just winning! What changed? Swearing to himself, Hidachi turned to Mitzuki and said, “Fall back and position the Atragon to face a different angle! Maybe that will work!”
But, before Mitzuki could do as she was told, the entire room’s attention was turned to the sudden blinding blue light being cast. Upon quick revelation, they found that the light was resonating from… Gojira. Or more specifically, it was emanating from the dorsal fins on his back. Then, a ball of energy, pure radiation, started to conglomerate within his terrible maw. It grew and grew until it nearly filled Gojira’s entire mouth, and, with a loud snort, he unleashed the blue hell at the Atragon. The massive stream of blue hell raced towards the ship at what had to be supersonic speed, and like a million raging freight trains, it slammed into the side of the ship with enough force to immediately cause it to spin out of control like a giant top. And, that was just from a glancing blow.
Everyone onboard screamed and held on for dear life, some of which having even been ripped from their chairs and were now tumbling and bouncing across the room. Mitzuki tried with all her might to get the Atragon stabilized, but it was no use; the flight controls had been totally fried just from that one hit alone. They were all at the mercy of gravity now.
Hidachi tried to crawl and pull himself towards some of his men, but as he glanced at the one monitor that was still working, he saw that they were swiftly approaching the Earth. He grabbed on to a nearby pole, held on as tightly as he could, and screamed, “Brace for impact!!!”
Without warning, the Atragon crashed into the city streets below, tumbling once before sliding through several buildings and taking whole chunks out of them. It continued to slide for several hundred feet, before finally, coming to a stop upside down in a huge pile of rubble. Minutes turned into several as the battleship laid there unmoved, its hull having been severely damaged from both the sheer heat of the blast, and the monumental amount of force behind it. Inside, the entire command center had been destroyed, glass and metal were everywhere, and ripped wiring sparked and crackled with constant ferocity.
Hidachi rolled over onto his side, coughing up blood and moaning in agony from his newly broken ankle and wrist. He craned his sore neck to check on the rest of his crew and found both Mitzuki and Ryu trying to claw themselves up. Mitzuki had sustained multiple gashes to both of her cheeks, and a broken arm, whilst Ryu had a large cut on his forehead and a dislocated right shoulder. As a few more operatives began to stir, Hidachi breathed a pained sigh of relief.
“Is… Is everyone alright?” He immediately asked. He got some yeses, some still weren’t sure, and a lot of noes. Cursing loudly to himself as he did so, Hidachi managed to pull himself up onto a nearby chair and helped Mitzuki to sit in it.
“Captain, captain, Adam is… He’s not responding, sir! I think he’s unconscious!” A soldier stated as he was desperately shaking the former.
Hidachi hobbled his way over to the boy, knelt and cradled his head in his arms. He put his hear up to Adam’s chest and was relieved to hear that he still had a pulse, albeit a rather faint one. “Ryu, can we send for an immediate evac?” Hidachi inquired.
“Negative, sir, the blast from Gojira must’ve fried the entire logic board to the ship; we’re stuck here for now. And worse yet, the radiation levels are off the charts in here.” Ryu solemnly stated.
Britannia swore under his breath as he lifted Adam in his arms. “Alright, listen up: Whoever is still able to stand and walk, I need you all to help your fellow brothers and sister out by escorting them outside. It’s not safe in here anymore. Let’s move out, and quickly!” He commanded. Those who could walk all did what Hidachi said and helped the wounded outside of the ship through an emergency exit door on the top of it, which was now conveniently the bottom.
Once Hidachi slowly hobbled his way outside with Adam’s limp form still in his arms, he found everyone else staring up at something in horrified awe. He followed their gaze and immediately found the source, which caused his grey eyes to darken in seething anger. Several blocks away, standing in the rain with his back turned to the humans, was Gojira. As the rain poured, lightning began to strike his dorsal fins repeatedly. Gojira raised his head up, threw it back, and screamed to the top of his lungs as he basked in the lightning storm.