Author: Harley Jameson | Banner: Matthew Freese

Earth’s outer atmosphere, 1991.

The space shuttle Jiraiya glided soundlessly away from Earth on its way to the moon. The blue planet the astronauts called home nothing more than a picturesque landscape of pillow-like clouds and crystal clear blue ocean. If they squinted a little through the viewport, they could just make-out Japan, hundreds of miles below them.

The leader of this brief tour of the globe, Arakaki Jiro smiled over at his comrade as he drifted away from the view port and smiled at him. “Quite a sight, huh Funai? To think we won’t be seeing it up close like this for a few months.” Arakaki was an old veteran of these space missions, and had a relaxed ease about him that spoke of years of experience being up in the dark emptiness of space.

The other astronaut, Funai Sotan, was one of JAXA’s newest passing recruits. A slightly awkward young man, far younger than his superior, his eyes nonetheless shone with wonder as he watched his home from afar. “It’s beautiful,” He whispered quietly in the shuttle.

Arakaki laughed a bit, leaning back in his chair and nodding. “That it is. I never get tired of seeing it, no matter how many times I’ve been up here.” He sighed, closing his eyes for a brief moment before leaning over and stabbing at a few controls and adjusting his headset slightly. Mission control, this is Commander Arakaki, do you copy? We’re just about to leave Earth’s atmosphere for good.”

They waited for a moment, the radio crackling before the sound of JAXA control burst into their ears. “We read you Jiraiya, and we see you on our radar. You’ll be out of range for that in about half an hour, but we’ll track you the old fashioned way from there.” There was a brief mutter of laughter from the men back at home. “Anything else to report?”

Arakaki shook his head, and was about to speak when a small light caught his attention. He frowned, and nudged Funai a little, pointing to the view port. “Did you see that?” Funai nodded, and together they leaned over to try and get a better look. An eerie blue glow seemed to creep around their shuttle, and Arakaki slowly turned his mic back on.

“JAXA control, this is Arakaki, there appears to be a strange glowing light about 10 kilometers away from the shuttle-wait, no. It’s getting closer.” He squinted a little, trying to see through the sudden harsh stab of light. “It’s getting really bright here, I can’t see a damn thing-”

Warning sirens shrieked in the cabin. Immediately Funai and Arakaki were at their stations immediately, frantically assessing the cause of the alarm. Arakaki spoke in a calm, subdued manner that belied his fear. “Control, this is Commander Arakaki, we appear to have suffered a breach in one of the lower areas of the ship. Attempting to close it off before we’re sucked off into space.” Their hands flew over all of the various buttons and dials, JAXA Command relaying their instructions and questions back to them as they tried to close off the damaged areas. “No, I don’t know what’s going wrong. I know for sure we didn’t hit something-” He paused, and stared at the monitor.

He raised his microphone, and glanced over at Funai. He too was staring at his monitor, confirming it wasn’t his imagination. Whatever was happening, there wasn’t any damage to that part of the ship anymore. That part of the ship was gone, completely wiped from any diagnostics scan. There was a faint, pulsing noise at the back of Commander Arakaki’s head as he slowly lowered his microphone. “Control,” He kept his voice low and serious. “I believe we are in grave danger and cannot make it back to Earth.” Sweat was dripping down his brow, and he looked over at the ashen Funai, shaking in his chair. “Whatever is happening here…” He swallowed, now aware of a faint blue light seeping in from behind him. Warning lights and sirens shrieked loudly and bleeped excitedly. “Remember our position and figure out what the hell happened.”

Neither astronaut had enough time to look at what exactly had eaten their ship so thoroughly. By the time the strange creature wormed its unnatural blue tendrils into their cabin, they had already died of asphyxiation.

Half an hour later, the space shuttle Jiraiya was gone without a trace.

 

Former Shirigami Household, Near Lake Ishi, 4:30 AM

Miki Saegusa woke with a start and sweat running down to the back of her head again. She stared up at her ceiling, trying to remember where she was for a brief moment until everything clicked back into focus. She closed her eyes in frustration and rubbed her face with a small groan. She cracked one of her eyes open, and sighed through her nose when she saw the time. Another night interrupted by the night terrors.

Sitting up slowly, she stretched out her arms and shambled off of her ratty bed. She glanced down at it, wondering if she would bother with the effort of making it before shaking her head and shuffling off toward her bathroom. She could do it later. Or not at all, really. There were a lot of things that Miki Saegusa had been neglecting lately.

At least this time, she mused as she ran a shampoo-laiden hand through her hair, it wasn’t the same nightmares as usual. No crooning plant monsters in her dreams, no screeching death machines. This time it was a more natural nightmare. Simply being stuck in space and fearing for her life. That was something she could cope with, or at least something she felt like coping with.

Turning off the water before it got too cold, she stepped out of the shower and quickly robed herself. Brushing aside the fog at the mirror and leaning over to examine her face, she prodded at the growing bags under her eyes from years of haphazard sleeping and getting up at insane hours if G-Force asked her too.

Well, they hadn’t been asking her to do much lately, but she wasn’t so sure that was a good thing. Satisfied with her appearance, Miki shuffled out into her kitchen, eyes glazed slightly as she went through the motions of preparing herself a light breakfast and preparing her lunch for the day.

Miki brushed some of her still wet hair out of her face and spared a glance out toward Lake Ishi. The thick, lead-infused walls blocked all access to the lake and were slapped with nuclear warnings and radioactive symbols all over it while also adorned with colorful graffiti of Godzilla and Biollante. A harsh reminder of what happened what seemed like ages ago. She tore herself away from the now irradiated and desolate lake and returned to her breakfast, grimacing slightly at the thought of eating it.

It would be a waste of food, she reasoned with herself, not to eat it. She had gone through all of the effort to bother and she knew that if she didn’t eat now she’d just be starving later. With a small sigh of defeated acceptance, she began tucking into her meal with quiet graces. Her head throbbed a little as she ate, probably the psychic feedback from the nightmare she had. It was so rare for Miki to dream properly without someone or something else’s thoughts seeping into her head and warping things around.

Cradling a cup of warm tea in her hands, she sat down on her couch and flicked on the television, moving past the late night game shows and reruns of old cartoons from her childhood until she reached the news, the light from the TV drowning the rest of the room in pitch black as she watched glassy eyed in total silence, occasionally sipping on her meal.

Some poor souls had died mysteriously in space. G-Force was investigating but so far they had no leads. Miki wondered briefly if her dream were connected to those poor souls that had passed away, that in the middle of her sleep her subconsciousness reached out to their dying thoughts and latched onto them, projecting their final moments behind her sleeping eyes.

Miki set her tea down, feeling slightly sick as she did so. She closed her eyes and counted up to ten slowly, letting her stomach settle down with a quiet sigh of relief. Once she was a bit more confident, she stood up slowly and wandered back to her room, dumping her dishes into the sink without a second thought. She sat down at her desk and switched the lamp on, flinching from the sudden burst of light as she pulled out the lesson plan for the day, resisting the gnawing at her throat to grab a cigarette for the time being.

The process took her about half an hour, which was mostly because she kept spacing out and staring out of her window and not paying any attention. There was small irony to that, considering she would often chide her students for doing the exact same thing.

Slowly, Miki began to get dressed properly and kept glancing at the clock as each minute agonizingly flicked on the digital clock’s face. She grabbed her bag and made sure she had all of her essentials before heading out toward her car and locking the door behind her. She glanced up at the proud house that once belonged to her former colleague, and wondered not for the first time if G-Force had decided to punish her by giving her the old estate after the professor had died during the events of the beginning of the decade.

No use wondering over it now, she mused. Slipping into her car she drove off toward the school, the quiet night life of Ishi being replaced with the loud blaring colors of the city sparkling in the distance and winking enticingly, arms seemingly open like a lover after a hard day’s work. Almost instinctively, she turned the radio toward the Godzilla Watch, a dedicated program that reported on the monster’s latest location and speculation of where he was going next.

“It’s just the strangest thing,” A weedy, slightly nasal voice said. Miki didn’t recognize who it was, but based on the struggling Japanese he didn’t sound native. “It’s the most peculiar thing, Godzilla seems to be staying away from Japan, almost as if he’s avoiding it. Now, we’re fairly certain that Godzilla considered Japan his territory, so the question I want to ask is: What on earth is having him scared to defend it? If you recall what happened in 1990, a few years ago-”

Miki quickly switched over to another station, not wanting to recall those events again. Even thinking about it was starting to give her a migraine, but she couldn’t help but be curious herself. Godzilla avoiding Japan? She shook her head in disbelief, it was likely just more baseless speculation that the scientific community absolutely adored diving into considering how little information they had of Godzilla or any other monster.

She reached the school earlier than usual, which suited her just fine. Finally giving into the temptation, she pulled out a cigarette and lit one up. Immediately her lungs filled with foul smoke and she coughed harshly at first but after another deep inhale she sighed happily as the nicotine began doing its job and soothed her aching head and her nerves. After enjoying a long smoke for a few more minutes, she let her cigarette drop to the ground and she stamped it out roughly, fishing for her keys in her pocket as she walked toward the front door.

Miki felt content with herself as she shuffled the papers and adjusted the desks. She could push all of her thoughts to the side and focus on what mattered: Teaching the children and helping them with their powers.

It was an hour later after fiddling around the school and preparing for the day when Asuka finally showed up. She gave her friend a small teasing smile, setting her bag down at the table. “You’re here early again Miki. Is everything okay?”

She smiled back at her, and nodded slightly. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just wanted to make sure everything was ready,” Miki paused for a moment, thinking. “Well, as ready as we can be when a bunch of psychic school kids come sprinting in.”

They both laughed a little at that, and passed the time idly chatting with one another. “Honestly Miki, you need to get out of that dreadful house more.” Asuka piped in, taking a bite of her food as she did so and swallowing. “I hardly get to see you anymore, we should go out some time. I heard there was this great dance hall in Osaka that recently opened up and we could-”

The bell rang and Asuka hurriedly put her food away, wiping her mouth and smiling at Miki. “We’ll talk about it later at lunch, deal?”

Nodding her head, Miki blew out a breath and put on a bright smile as the children filed in. “Hello everyone! It’s good to see you all again. Miss Asuka, would you please hand out the crayons and paper, we’re going to be doing dream talks again!”

Mercifully, as the day wound on, nothing major seemed to be happening. No dramatic drawings of Godzilla rising from the volcano or anything of the sort. The only thing Miki noticed was that a few of the drawings had a strange blue jellyfish. She smiled, putting all of the drawings up on the wall where they would stay for the week or were tucked away in their bags to show their parents when they got home.

When lunchtime hit, Miki was on a balcony and taking a drag of another cigarette, tapping the ashes away into the tray she brought with her from home, her lunchbox hanging on the railing next to her, unopened. “That stuff’ll kill you y’know.”

Asuka leaned on the railing next to Miki, watching the children playing below them on the playground as she spoke. “What’s going on Miki? And before you try to play it off, don’t. I know I’m not an empath but even I can tell when something is wrong with my best friend and my best student.” She glanced at the younger woman briefly, before turning her attention back to the kids. “You’re acting weird Miki. Smoking, barely coming out of the house. And don’t think I haven’t noticed those bags under your eyes, you’re clearly not getting enough sleep.” She went quiet for a moment, tapping on the railing before adding softly, “I’m worried about you Miki. Really.”

Miki swallowed uncomfortably, snubbing out her cigarette and going through her lunch for the day, opening it slowly and beginning to eat. She stayed quiet for a moment, not looking at Asuka before sighing. “Come over to the house tonight and I’ll tell you everything. I promise.” She looked over at her friend, and they locked eyes for a moment and their minds briefly touched, a tiny spark as Asuka gauged whether or not Miki was telling the truth before the contact broke and she nodded.

“Alright, after school it is. We’d better get back to class, the kids’ll be back soon.” She stretched out, and gave Miki a pointed look. “And you need to finish your lunch, so don’t worry about coming in a little late okay? Just make sure you’re eating something healthy.”

There was a polite cough behind them, and the two women wheeled around to see a smart looking man dressed in full military uniform. He was an older gentleman, with a graying beard and a warm looking face like that of a grandfather. Instead of the usual military paraphernalia, he wore a darker green uniform with a stylized G patch on his shoulder that signified him as a member of the recently created military organization: G-Force.

He approached the two teachers, smiling politely and nodding his head. “Miss Saegusa? My name is Major Fujin, I apologize for the interruption of your work day but I’m afraid it’s urgent. We’d like your help with something.”

Miki felt her heart seize up in her chest, the world fading away as she stared at the major for a moment, trying to find her words again. “And what does G-Force need my help for Major, if you don’t mind my asking? I was under the impression that Godzilla was avoiding Japan.”

Major Fujin coughed awkwardly, shifting slightly. “I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to tell you right now Miss Saegusa, please understand.” He shot an apologetic look at Asuka. “It’s a matter of extreme confidentiality.”

Asuka waved her hand for a moment, and nudged Miki. “I understand Major. My own powers are fading by the day, Miki’s pretty much the only psychic in Japan now.” Miki was about to interrupt but Asuka cut her off, pushing her forward. “Go with him, Miki. If G-Force came all this way for you it must be pretty important. I can deal with the kids on my own for the rest of the day.”

She hesitated for another moment, both glad for the chance to take her mind off of recent events but also terrified of what she was going to be asked to do. After a moment, Miki nodded slowly. “Alright, I’ll come with you. Let me just get my things. Is that alright?”

Surprisingly, the Major nodded slightly.“Of course, I’ll be waiting outside in the car. You can’t miss it I’m afraid.” He chuckled at that, turning to leave. “We want to make our presence known to the whole nation, so we’ve slapped every single piece of equipment we used with the logo. I’ll see you downstairs.”

It took Miki less than a few minutes before she was racing down the stairs and toward the sleek, shiny car that the Major had arrived in. The G-Force logo was stamped onto one of the doors as a young soldier opened the back for her, which made her feel a bit like a celebrity as she slid into the passenger’s seat next to the Major, who held a couple of documents in his hands. “Now, Miss Saegusa, what I’m about to share with you is under no circumstances to be told to anyone outside of G-Force, do you understand?”

She nodded, it was the same question she had been asked when the events of the Biollante incident were quickly spinning out of everyone’s control. “Of course Major, I understand. Does this have anything to do with Godzilla?”

Fujin shook his head a little, which surprised Miki as he pulled out a couple of photographs. “No, for once Godzilla seems to be making our lives easier for a change and not wanting to show himself. I can’t say why of course, but… well, this is what we’re dealing with.”

Miki held up one of the pictures to the light, frowning in confusion at what she saw. A massive, blue blob that seemed to take up the entire frame. An eerie glow was surrounding the edges, as if someone had edited the pictures to make it seem more ephemeral. The other picture was nearly identical to the first, save for a couple of long blue tendrils that were coming out of the mass. “What exactly am I looking at?” She asked, glancing up from her scrutinization.

The Major took a deep breath, rubbing his face with his forefinger and thumb. “That Miss Saegusa, is an alien life form. We don’t know where it came from, what it wants, or even if it’s intelligent. It suddenly appeared one day after destroying the space shuttle Jiraiya and any attempts the military has made to stop it have ended in total failure. Nothing, nothing seems to phase this creature. The only thing we do know is that it seems to have an affection for carbon and that it has some sort of corrosive touch. And that it’s coming down toward Japan.”

Miki frowned heavily at that, mulling over the Major’s words. “But, most things on Earth are made of carbon, aren’t they?”

The Major’s face looked grave and ashen as he nodded. “Yes, that’s what we’re afraid of. If left unchecked, we could face total extinction. We call it, Dogora.”

Tilting her head, she studied the pictures again. An alien lifeform. She tried to determine where its brain, if it even had one, would be but she couldn’t make anything out in the gelatinous mass. “And what do you want me to do Major?” She asked tentatively.

“We want you to try and make contact with the creature. And if that fails…” He trailed off, and sighed through his nose. “We’re praying it won’t come to that.”

“And where exactly are you taking me to make first contact?” Miki asked, watching as the countryside slowly melted into the industrial steel and shine of the metropolis.

“A secure medical facility, Miss Saegusa.”

She frowned at the Major’s words. “So, a hospital?”

“Simply a precaution. We remember what happened to you when you made contact with Godzilla. We want to make sure you’re still breathing after this.”

Miki felt a chill go through her body at that despite the warmth of the day. She shivered, tugging her jacket on herself a little tighter and forcing herself to smile despite herself. “Thank you, Major. That’s very considerate.”

Falling silent, she studied the pictures of Dogora again and tried to comprehend how she could make mental contact with an alien creature. There were so many questions that were bursting inside of her and yet they all died when they reached her lips and withered away into the air. Miki steeled herself with grim determination as the Major led her into a military hospital, the suffocating smell of medicine and the pristine cleaning supplies made her throat feel swollen as she swallowed thickly and sat down tentatively on the bed. “Do you have a location for Dogora?” She asked quietly, not trusting herself to speak.

She was handed a series of coordinates and a couple newer pictures of the creature. Her heartbeat felt loud in her ears and she got herself comfortable on the bed, closing her eyes and blocking out all other noise. She inhaled slowly, feeling out with her senses up through the rooftop of the hospital. Letting herself detach from the physical plane she pulled her mind up above the clouds, feeling the chill as she broached the inner atmosphere and hovered in front of Dogora.

It was a writhing mass of blue light, pulsating like a heartbeat as it slowly hovered toward Miki. Tendrils snaked out of the being like veins growing into being. Life throbbed in this creature, and with a final breath she made the final push toward the creature and reached deep past the soft fleshy exterior. Past the soft substance of Dogora’s being and touched into its deepest part.

Contact.

Waves of noise and confusion bombarded Miki from all angles, alien colors and sounds she could never pray to identify flashed around her. She shut her eyes tight and cradled her head to try and stave it off. She gasped in pain when her vision seemed to fade away into a cascading blue hue. “Stop, please!” She tried, pushing more of her mental power into communicating with the strange alien, only to be roughly shoved back by another wave of alien colors and burning hunger. Miki was so hungry, she was starving. She was starving and there was food all around her. She needed to eat, she had to ignore the weird fleshy things and eat!

“No!” Miki screamed out, trying to reassert control over herself. She was floating above the Earth, the clouds rolling past her body as she descended toward Japan. There was food here, food! She needed to be bigger. Parts of her were being torn away for some reason, she had no idea why but she needed to eat. She was so hungry, it felt like she would die if she didn’t consume.

She had no other purpose in life but to eat. It was something that gnawed at her soul and stripped away all her inhibitions until she was breaching the surface of the skyline. Her body stretched and warped as she reached down for the glittering sustenance far below her massive being. Concrete and plaster and flesh ripping away and dissolving into nothing as she tore open the bars to the jewelry store and gorged herself on precious life itself. She felt herself swell slightly, but knew it wasn’t enough. If she was to survive, she would need to eat more. She would need to eat everything.

With a start, Miki found herself being shaken violently as she was hauled out of the hospital. The world seemed fuzzy and blurry, the voices screaming around her nothing but distant whispers to her ears. “We need to evacuate now! Dogora has come down!”

Her vision swam. She knew she was being carried away but she wanted to see herself from above. A tiny speck of nothingness in the cosmic game of life, clinging onto the tiny thread that she was provided. She wanted to watch as she dissolved into emptiness.

“Miss Saegusa?!” Major Fujin’s face swam into her view, and suddenly the world slammed back into focus as some freezing cold water was sprayed over her. “Miss Saegusa, I apologize for the shock but I need you to remain with us! We’re initiating the back-up plan! What happened when you tried to make contact?”

“I…” Miki swallowed, trying to cling onto the impressions and memories even as they were slipping away from her mind. “I don’t know. It’s all a blur. Too… too alien to understand. It’s hungry.” Her breathing was labored, and she cradled the glass of water someone handed to her and downed it in a few seconds. “I’m sorry. I… I don’t know what happened. I’m trying to remember but it’s all slipping away, like water running down stone.”

Major Fujin sighed, the loud thumping of the helicopter being drowned out by the roar of artillery fire. “That’s okay, Miss Saegusa. Some of us doubted it would’ve worked anyways. That just means we need to do the back-up plan.”

Miki leaned against the door, watching from the window as explosions ripped through the sky and tore into Dogora, creating massive holes into the creature that were sealed up in minutes, as if the explosives and bullets didn’t even phase it. It probably didn’t even know it was even being fired upon, Miki reflected. “What’s the back-up plan?” She asked, and even though her voice was quiet, she knew she was heard.

Fujin shifted uncomfortably, clearly not enjoying that this was going on. “It’s… it’s a long-shot. More than trying to make contact with Dogora, I mean.” He shifted closer, placing what Miki thought he was thinking was a comforting hand on her own. “You don’t have to do this, Miss Saegusa. We want to try and summon Godzilla to Tokyo to fight the creature, but I know the risks of what it could do to you. I’m giving you the chance now Miss Saegusa, you don’t have-”

“I’ll do it, Major.” He was taken aback at the firm way she said it, and even Miki herself was surprised at how determined she sounded. She cleared her throat, and nodded outward. “Dogora will wipe us all out if it’s not stopped. It…” She swallowed, feeling cold again. “The only way to stop it is to have it be taken out by Godzilla. There’s nothing the JSDF or G-Force has in their arsenal that will deal with the problem.”

The Major looked horrified and he squeezed her hand tightly. “But, but that’s-”

“I know, Major.” Miki said quietly. She squeezed his hand back gently, and closed her eyes. “I know. Just tell me what I need to do when we land.”

Major Fujin swallowed, and the doors whooshed open when they finally landed. “Just… follow me, Miss Saegusa.” He said gravely.

Together, they entered the secure base at G-Force and Miki was led into a pristine but small medical bay. The machinery bleeped loudly in her ears and she held up a hand when a couple of doctors began to enter. “No, I want to be alone for the moment. Your presence will cause interference.” She glanced over at the Major, who looked ashen. “Do you know where Godzilla is resting?”

“Hiding is a more apt phrase.” The Major admitted, but he handed Miki a single, blurry photograph of the King of the Monsters. “Whatever this Dogora is, we believe it scares the daylights out of him. He hasn’t even attempted to come near the creature despite every theory we’ve made about him so far.”

“I don’t blame him,” Miki said, before nodding her head. “Now please leave, I need to concentrate.”

With one last pleading look at Miki, Major Fujin walked slowly out of the room and closed the door behind him. “At the first sign of trouble,” He told the small crowd of people around him. “Your priority is saving that girl’s life, am I understood?”

Miki gazed unblinkingly down at the blurry photograph of Godzilla. Her mind eased into itself, and with a sense of resigned purpose she closed her eyes and cast her mind out of her mortal coil once again, rushing over the calm and sparkling ocean waves before diving underneath. Schools of fish and other sea-life darted around her as she sank deeper and deeper into the ocean, the light fading away into blackness.

She was in front of him now. He was resting, peacefully asleep in his ocean den. When she took that metaphorical step forward, she knew it would be the last step she would ever take in her life.

Miki Saegusa stepped forward, reached her hand out, and made contact with Godzilla.

Violent pain flooded through her mind. A burning agony washed over her entire body and she screamed out as she once again touched the King of the Monster’s mind. A boiling, exploding rage filled her mind and she desperately tried to keep control of herself long enough to urge Godzilla to go to Tokyo.

A sense of apprehension overtook her in a moment and for a brief second she thought she was being pulled out until the rage overcame her again with the searing, never-ending pain. Power surged through her body as she rose slowly from her den, dorsal plates flashing. Hesitating.

Somewhere, in the back of her mind, she could hear shouting again. A door opening. Miki thrust her hand out and slammed the door in the Major’s face, locking it with her mind and slamming a cabinet down in front of it to ensure they couldn’t get in.

Blood was running down her face. She concentrated, pushing past the pain and the agony to urge Godzilla to move toward Tokyo. Her body felt hot, her senses were in overdrive as she focused everything on Godzilla, willing him to move.

Was her heart beating so fast that she couldn’t hear it anymore, or had it given up on her? Miki grit her teeth, eyes rolling up in the back of her head as she kept pulling against Godzilla’s instincts. She felt herself start to move out of the den, toward her territory. Toward Tokyo.

“GO!” Miki screamed out, before keeling over the side of the bed and collapsing in a bloody heap on the floor. The door unlocked and the orderlies immediately burst into the room and began hauling her on the bed, checking her pulse before barking out orders and running around frantically.

Miki’s head lolled to one side, her lifeless and dead eyes staring at Major Fujin. He’s coming. Came the whisper in his mind, seconds before a young soldier sprinted up to him breathlessly, a paper in his hand. “Sir, we have a report that Godzilla is moving toward Tokyo.”

Fujin tore his gaze away from Miki’s corpse and marched toward the command center. “Get every surviving unit to focus on Godzilla, but do not fire until I give the order.” He shook his head sadly, hands behind his back. “And find somewhere proper to keep her body. I want her buried with full honors when this crisis is over.”

Grey-white dorsal plates smashed through the surface of the water near Tokyo Bay. The water swelled up into a gigantic wave and gently rolled down onto the surface as Godzilla rose from the waters quietly, without the usual raw display of power. His eyes narrowed as he hovered near the shores of the water, watching Dogora slowly dissolve a skyscraper into atoms.

The whole city held its breath as Godzillla continued to stare at the rampaging Dogora, who seemed to heed no mind to the King of the Monsters. In fact, Dogora didn’t even seem to register that Godzilla was even present, content with the slow consumption of Japan and her carbon.

“Come on…” The Major urged quietly, wiping some sweat from his forehead as Godzilla continued to stand there, motionless. Then the unthinkable happened.

Godzilla began to turn around and walk away.

“No!” Fujin yelled out, slamming a fist down on a computer terminal in anger. “No you can’t leave! Not after everything!” He brought up his radio, his voice thundering and crackling over the airwaves. “All units, open fire on Godzilla! Draw him into the city! He’s staying in the fucking city if it’s the last thing we all do!”

The buildings trembled as the JSDF fired everything they had at Godzilla to keep him there. The air was alight with explosions and the roar of gunfire, and the monster bellowed angrily, swatting his hands as the jets screamed overhead and dropped their payloads onto Godzilla, bathing him in a giant cloud of smoke.

Dogora still hadn’t noticed the calamity even as it broke out, paying the battle no mind as it kept soaring gently across the skyline toward another jewel deposit, ignoring the shrieking of shattered glass and the groan of steel as Godzilla’s dorsal plates lit up and he fired an atomic ray into one of the jets, sending it crashing into a skyscraper’s upper levels.

Godzilla howled with fury as he stepped further inland, a murderous look in his eyes as he fired his atomic ray at the quickly retreating ground troops, a massive fireball erupting as the beam slammed into a tank and caused it to explode violently.

Another squadron of jets rocketed overhead of Godzilla and headed straight toward Dogora, swerving at just the last moment as another atomic ray roared past and slammed into the space monster. A sizable chunk of the massive creature detonated on impact with the beam, a gigantic hole forming before it quickly closed. Dogora jerked, almost in alarm before the strange mass turned toward its attacker.

Godzilla hesitated for a moment, taking a step back as he realized that he now had Dogora’s full attention.

Dogora kept moving toward his attacker at the same slow, methodical pace. Tendrils began to snake out of the quivering space mass but Godzilla backed up even further and fired another atomic ray, completely cleaving the space monster in half.

Pausing only for a moment, the two halves of Dogora began making a loud squelching sound as they fused back together into one whole creature again, completely ignoring Godzilla’s attack and advancing faster, its whole body pulsating as it suddenly covered the distance at far greater speed than what Godzilla was expecting.

Screeching in alarm and fear, Godzilla stumbled backward and swatted away Dogora’s reaching tendrils as best he could, before bellowing out in pain as his skin began to dissolve away from simply touching the space creature. There was a sharp gasp from Godzilla as one of Dogora’s tendrils slammed into his chest, the space creature’s corrosive touch eating away at his tough hide and burrowing into his body.

Godzilla tried to pull himself away, his dorsal plates lighting up with atomic power before another tendril wrapped itself around his arm and began eating it again. Godzilla screamed in pain, only for another tendril to drill into his throat, blood seeping into Dogora’s being and feeding it more.

Choking, Godzilla swung his body, swinging Dogora with him in a desperate attempt to get the space creature off of him. He could feel his insides slowly being eaten away by the creature, as more tendrils snaked out of Dogora and pierced his hide all over, one slamming through his eye. Godzilla tried to scream again, only for blood and foam to spurt out of the wound in his neck.

His whole body began flashing a brilliant blue as Dogora slowly began engulfing him, the tendril in his eye spreading to cover his face. Godzilla thrashed wildly, backing away and falling over onto his side as Dogora kept pressing down on top of him. Finally, with a desperate burst of energy, an atomic pulse ripped through Godzilla’s body and crashed into Dogora’s. The space creature was thrown off of the downed monster and sent flying into the city, ramming into a skyscraper and quivering as the gigantic building collapsed on top of it.

Godzilla lay there, twitching and gasping for breath. It sent waves of agony through him to do just that, but slowly he pushed himself up shakily onto his feet, realizing with a start that the arm that Dogora had attached itself too was completely missing, the only thing left was the blood running from the hole where it used to be. He also couldn’t see out of one eye, although he wasn’t aware that the flesh on half of his face was completely dissolved as well, showing only the pristine bones of his skull.

A loud crash behind Godzilla made him swing around, and he gave a raspy snarl as he saw Dogora emerge from the rubble of the skyscraper, the building lifted high over the space creature’s head before it moved forward and threw the entire thing at Godzilla, who was too injured to move out of the way as the entire building crashed into him and sent him sprawling onto the ground in a crumpled heap.

Another ripple of atomic power burst through Godzilla and he exploded out of the debris, booming a powerful roar at Dogora as he fired another atomic ray that slammed into the space creature and forced it back into the sky a little, shrinking it down noticeably.

Godzilla’s instincts were screaming at him to get away from the thing as fast as possible, and they were clashing with his other instincts to stand his ground and fight. He shifted uncomfortably, watching Dogora writhe and twist in ways that he couldn’t comprehend or understand before one of the tendrils whipped through the air and forced him to take another step back.

He watched Dogora as it flailed about warily, trying to discern what his opponent was doing until to his shock Dogora sped away from him and began to go back to what it was doing before the fighting began.

Dogora felt small as it ripped apart the obstacles getting in the way of its precious food. It needed to be bigger, it needed to survive as it dove down and globbed up the small jewels and diamonds from the store and absorbed them into its being. It swelled slightly as it engorged itself on all of the carbon it could eat.

Godzilla felt his blood boil at the sight of his opponent abandoning the fight. It clashed hard with his instincts, but in a fit of rage, he screamed angrily and fired another atomic ray, sending Dogora crashing through another skyscraper and deeper into the city. He marched forward, crashing through the debris Dogora left in its wake as he fired another atomic ray, sending the alien creature skidding across the asphalt and slamming into another building. The corrosive touch ate away at the foundations as it careened down onto the flailing space menace.

The creature’s tendrils shot up through the debris and waved wildly, before honing in on Godzilla and lashing out. Cracking through the air like a whip, Godzilla staggered backward as his chest was again lacerated by the corrosive touch. He snarled, powering up another atomic ray and fired at the downed Dogora, only for the creature to surge up and be propelled upward by the explosion as the blast. It seethed, pulsating wildly before expanding itself and flinging itself at Godzilla.

Firing another atomic ray, Godzilla cleaved Dogora in two again and watched as the two halves sailed past him and splattered against the ground. Raising his tail, he slammed it down on the reforming entity and growled in pain as his tail was sucked into the oozing mass. He lifted it up and swung it around, slamming it into another building to try and shake the creature loose.

He grunted in pain as he felt his tail being eaten away by the creature, and slowly he moved his tail so it was in front of him. Taking a deep breath, he blasted the tip of his tail off, immediately howling in agony as Dogora was flung off and onto the streets. The viscous alien seeped into the cracks as Godzilla slammed the remains of his tail down in pain, trying to fight it off.

Fighting through the pain, Godzilla looked around warily for his opponent. He flexed his remaining arm, the stump of his new one wiggling as he tried to focus with just his one good eye. The ground began trembling and with a surprised shriek, Dogora’s tendrils burst from the underground, wriggling intensely and trying to grab at Godzilla.

Godzilla swung with his claw, surging his atomic power. One of the tendrils exploded in a violent shower of nuclear energy as the ground beneath him began cracking and shaking violently. It began splitting open underneath Godzilla, dissolving under his feet. The harsh glow of Dogora’s body poured through, and with a mighty effort Godzilla scrambled to keep himself above ground as his opponent burst up from below him and tried to swallow him whole.

He stumbled, his balance thrown off thanks to his damaged tail and turned around frantically. He discharged his atomic ray wildly as Dogora rose from the ground and curved its body around to avoid the blast, before bouncing back into shape.

Rage and pain overtaking him, Godzilla howled defiantly at his opponent and began moving forward, nuclear energy sparking from his remaining hand. Dogora backed away slightly from him, only for Godzilla to increase his pace into a hulking sprint and ram into the creature arm first. Atomic energy sizzled out and caused Dogora’s form to bubble and quiver like boiling water before a chunk of it exploded outward in a hiss of steam.

Godzilla yanked his hand away, the pain gone as his nerves were completely eaten by Dogora’s body, flexing his skeletal hand briefly.

Dogora felt smaller than ever before. It quivered, unsure how to regain the mass it had lost. It had no idea why this strange creature was attacking it, nor did it know what it was. It backed away from the alien, lashing out with tendrils and quivering harder as it fought through its defenses and slammed it with another blue beam of light, sending it spiralling into the air and splattering onto the ground again.

Slowly, Dogora began to reform itself, having been carved down to a third of its original size thanks to Godzilla’s persistent attacks. It rose up, sending out for a place to find sustenance before a flash of blue light made it burrow into a nearby structure to avoid another direct hit.

Snarling angrily, Godzilla smashed through the building that Dogora drilled through, determined to kill the alien creature now more than ever. He began channeling his atomic power, his dorsal plates flashing blue as Dogora rose up into the air again.

Dogora swayed in the air as Godzilla kept charging his power, before it thrust out and engulfed itself around Godzilla’s head. It pulsated and throbbed, eating away at Godzilla’s outer features as a blue glow shone brightly from its opponent’s dorsal plates.

Godzilla pried his mouth open wide, uncaring as Dogora began to funnel into his mouth and down into his throat. With a final, gurgling scream Godzilla unleashed all of his power into a spiral ray, the powerful blue beam erupting from his throat and blasting Dogora off of his head as the atomic lightning crackled around the beam. He didn’t even notice that Dogora had been thrown off, and simply increased the power to his beam and aimed it at where he thought Dogora was.

He swung his head blindly, carving the beam across the cityscape and cleaving a whole row of buildings in half, creating a chain of explosions that rocked Tokyo to the core. Finally, it died down and Godzilla panted roughly, completely blind thanks to Dogora’s acidic touch. He swiveled his head, trying to sense where his opponent had fallen.

Dogora was smaller than ever now, reduced to the size of a common housecat. It slithered across the ground and its whole shape wobbled as Godzilla gave a booming cry of victory. Dogora didn’t care for the alien creature, it shrunk away from Godzilla and began making its way toward another source of food, unaware that the military were swarming in from all angles to finally eradicate it from life.

Blind, bleeding, and severely wounded, Godzilla tilted his head up slightly and bellowed out another hoarse cry of victory, before coughing violently and growing still for a moment to catch his breath. After a few moments, he pinpointed the sound of the ocean’s waves and turned toward Tokyo Bay. Despite the grave cost, Godzilla limped home victorious.

A few days later, a small funeral was being held in private near Lake Ishi. A gentle wind blew across the waters as two figures in black stood silently that clashed with the military figures that hovered around the procession, heads bowed as the dead were finally laid to rest.

Asuka wiped her eyes again, they were already red from crying and rubbed raw with her constant attempts to stop herself. Her best friend, her protege, was gone. “It’s not fair, a student is supposed to outlive their teacher.” She said in a despondent tone. “I knew something was wrong but…”

Major Fujin put a comforting hand on Asuka’s shoulder, squeezing it gently. “She knew what she was doing. Her efforts saved Japan, perhaps the whole world. We’ll never forget that day as long as we live.”

“No, you’d better not.” Asuka agreed, setting some flowers on Miki’s grave. Together they clapped their hands in prayer and closed their eyes. As they did so, a few of the flower petals were torn off by the wind and sent spiraling outward toward the lake.

The rituals done, Asuka and Major Fujin turned to leave in silence, as G-Force began to honor the dead.

Winner: Godzilla (Heisei)

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