By C. L. Werner
Frankenstein Has Risen From the Grave
Chapter 1 - [Chapter 2] -
Chapter 3 -
The Beast Must Die!
Interpol agent Murakoshi watched as the CCI operatives and Japanese special police scrambled about the damaged laboratory. Truly, there was no real reason why Interpol should be concerned with this break-in. There was no hint of international crime, this could just as easily be a strictly Japanese problem. Still, one word had drawn Murakoshi from a stakeout of a suspected Chinese Triad opium-smuggling operation to the ravaged lab. That word was the name of a dead man.
Following the terrible rampage of the cyborg monster Gigan, there had been a serious, multi-national effort to destroy the notorious terrorist group Red Bamboo. Several of the Japanese communists had been aprehended. A few had a very interesting story to tell. Years earlier, Red Bamboo had found the wanted Nazi war criminal Dr. Heinrich von Frankenstein hiding in the darkest jungle of Africa. They had formed an alliance with Frankenstein, and brought both the Nazi and his horrific creation, a brutish amalgim of giant animals called the Ginko, to a hidden base in the Kuri Islands. The mad scientist had thought to lure Godzilla to the island, intending to have his Ginko kill the reptile and then harvest Godzilla's body to make his own abomination even more powerful.
It was a fantastic story, but one which had been verified. The remains of both a secret facility and the immense carcass of the Ginko had indeed been found. The pieces of the Ginko had been destroyed. The Red Bamboo men had insisted that Dr. Frankenstein had been killed by Godzilla, blasted by the monster's atomic fire. That seemed to put an end to the matter.
Now, the name of Frankenstein had again appeared in connection to crime in Japan. Murakoshi wondered if perhaps the Red Bamboo was again at work, pursuing its vision of a communist Japan.
'I still fail to see how this break-in is of any concern to Interpol,' stated Katagiri, his voice oily and smooth.
'As you know, there is some reason to believe that, prior to their seizure of Gigan, the Red Bamboo had recruited escaped Nazi war criminal Dr. Heinrich von Frankenstein for the express purpose of creating giant monsters for them,' Murakoshi responded. He did not much care for the CCI official, and made no pretense of hiding that distaste. 'The Red bamboo leadership has never been apprehended and they may still have access to Frankenstein's knowledge. Can you safely assure me that they would not be able to find some terrible use for the heart of the original Frankenstein monster? A purpose that would put not only Japan but the entire region in jeopardy?'
Katagiri laughed. 'Don't be absurd. The idea that anyone could use the heart as the first stepping stone in creating a giant monster is ridiculous! There is no one living who could do such a thing.'
'Don't be so sure,' interrupted Dr. Reisendorf. The old German scientist had been notified of the break-in, but had only arrived a few short moments ago. He had listened quietly to the exchange between Murakoshi and Katagiri.
'You think that your missing colleague, Dr. Gildor, might have the knowledge to do such a thing?' asked Murakoshi. 'Perhaps he was not abducted, perhaps he was actually in league with the Red Bamboo.'
'No, Dr. Gildor is the pre-eminent Frankenstein researcher, but even he knows only a small fraction of what that madman had discovered. To do what you suggest would be far beyond him, if he was taken for such a purpose, then his kidnappers are going to be gravely disappointed.' Dr. Reisendorf shook his head. 'There is only one man who could put the heart to any use.'
'Who would that be?' asked Katagiri, before his Interpol antagonist could.
'Frankenstein himself,' the German replied matter-of-factly. Both Japanese men stared at the scientist with open mouths.
'But he is dead,' protested Murakoshi. 'The Red Bamboo terrorists we captured have stated time and again that Godzilla killed Frankenstein with his atomic breath.'
'Did you see a body?' Dr. Reisendorf said, a gleam behind his eye-glasses. 'Did anyone?'
'Nobody could survive such a thing,' Katagiri declared.
'No normal man, surely,' agreed Dr. Reisendorf. 'But Heinrich von Frankenstein was no normal human being.'
'What do you mean?' Murakoshi asked, a strange and terrible feeling growing within him.
'I worked in close contact with Frankenstein at Aushwitz,' Dr. Reisendorf began, his voice low and confidential. 'He made a few mistakes, let a few things slip while I was with him. Used expressions that were out-of-date, mannerisms that were unusual for a twentieth century man, even a Nazi.' Dr. Reisendorf took a deep breath. 'Gentlemen, I am convinced that Dr. Heinrich von Frankenstein was not a descendent of Baron Victor von Frankenstein. He is Baron Victor von Frankenstein!'
'A very satisfactory surgery, Dr. Gildor,' Heinrich von Frankenstein said, staring at the image in the full-length mirror. The face and body that stared back at him were those of his younger self, recreated by pain-staking surgery and bone manipulation. It was as if the long years hiding in the jungles of Africa had been stripped away. The sunken cheeks and long, hawk-like nose, the slender hands, all were exact replicas of Frankenstein's long discarded natural body. Twice before, first in 1847 and later after World War I, Frankenstein had been called upon to discard a body that had become too injured or elderly to serve him. Someday he would find a way to prevent his bodies from aging. Then he would truly become immortal, and be removed from the necessary evil of temporarily taking on assistants and undergoing the always dangerous transfer of his brain from one body to another.
'You should rest,' Dr. Gildor protested, taking hold of Frankenstein's arm and leading him back towards his bed. The Nazi pulled away.
'I am quite fine, I assure you, though your concern is most touching,' sneered Frankenstein. 'But we have much to do before I can feel whole once more.' Frankenstein walked across the dimly lit room, past the freezers and tables. He placed his hands against the cool glass of the over-sized aquarium, his pale eyes focused upon the mound of pulsing flesh floating within.
'I understand why you brought me here, but why did you steal the heart?' Dr. Gildor asked. Frankenstein turned and faced his new assistant.
'You have healed my body, Dr. Gildor,' the mad scientist stated. 'Now it is time to heal my soul. Godzilla came very close to killing me. I do not appreciate that.'
'But that creature is dead, it is his offspring …' Dr. Gildor began. Frankenstein cut him off.
'The sins of the father pass down to the son,' Frankenstein stated. 'I will have my vengeance, and if the recipient of choice is not to be had, then I shall strike upon what I can.' Frankenstein looked over at the lurking figure of Goke, the hunchback's eyes gleaming with excitement.
'Yes, and you shall have your vengeance as well, my friend.' Frankenstein returned his attention to the disembodied heart. 'Goke was a perfectly normal man, once. The radioactive legacy of Godzilla made him what you see now. He has helped me because I can give him the power to destroy the creature that made him what he is.' Frankenstein walked over to a large shrouded tank, identical to that which had housed his new body.
The Nazi withdrew the veil, revealing a huge, hulking body, its skin the greenish hue of a rotting corpse, its face twisted and scarred. The head was almost square, its lantern-jaw jutting forward almost like an ape's. Like Frankenstein's body, this too had been built from murdered Germans.
'Of course, the choice parts were used to recreate my own image, but I think the leftovers proved quite useful,' Frankenstein gloated, showing off his creation. Dr. Gildor stared at the horrible monstrosity. 'I assure you that I have enough of the Red Bamboo's so called elixir to make a very interesting creation. The heart of my original creature will provide this creature with more power than I could have hoped for. As for the brain, Goke is more than willing to trade his broken shape for this one. All in the name of vengeance.'
The sound of heavy weapons fire shattered the night. Tracer rounds fired from rail guns streamed across the darkness, impacting harmlessly against the bulk that slithered into the Navy base. Strike jets dived towards the hideous Devil Fish, but even their missiles were without apparent effect. The radioactivity surging through the beast's body disrupted the onboard guidance systems, causing the deadly projectiles to veer in a chaotic fashion, impacting sometimes hundreds of yards from their original target.
The Devil Fish paid little notice to the bullets and bombs crashing against its glistening mollusk hide. The poisonous radiation surging through its body was repairing any damage almost the instant it was caused. No, the giant octopus was more concerned with its imagined hunger. Tentacles dozens of meters long whipped about the military base, catching fleeing trucks and screaming sailors, anything that moved. The Devil Fish pulled its catch back to its body, the tentacles slithering beneath its bulk and the beaked maw hidden at the center of the ring of tentacles.
Suddenly, a tremendous roar drowned out the continuing barrage of weapons fire. The Devil Fish did not react, its body incapable of hearing any sound, its ability to sense radioactivity overwhelmed by the wasteland of San Francisco. Blueish flame shot across the waters of San Francisco Bay, impacting against the mollusk's body in a spray of sparks. The Devil Fish turned towards the source of the attack, its tentacles releasing those victims it had yet to consume. A mammoth shape waded forward, emerging from the darkness. Godzilla's reptilian eyes focused upon the rampaging Devil Fish and a low growl emerged from his scaly mouth.
The Devil Fish slithered forward even as a second blast of atomic fire shot from Godzilla's mouth and struck the beast's body. The giant octopus paused on the very lip of the Navy shipyard, remaining unmoving as Godzilla's flame bathed its moist form. The Devil Fish waited until the attack abated, absorbing the radioactive energy of Godzilla's attack, feeding off the very power meant to destroy the mollusk. Then, as Godzilla let his fiery assault die away, the huge octopus dropped into the water.
Godzilla's eyes scanned the dark surface of the Bay for any sign of his foe. Long moments passed and the weapons fire from the shore died off as the order to stand down was issued. Silence reigned as Godzilla searched for any sign of the Devil Fish.
All at once, the huge reptile was aware of a vice-like grip surrounding his legs. Godzilla roared as he was pulled beneath the water. The Devil Fish's tentacles were wrapped about Godzilla's lower limbs, their razor-sharp suckers digging into the reptile's scaly flesh. The giant octopus' cold, human-like eyes glared at Godzilla hungrily and the monster forced its body closer towards Godzilla, its beak-like maw snapping in anticipation.
Godzilla struggled, trying to rip the beast from his body. The tentacles were dug in too well and each effort to remove them brought waves of incredible pain surging through Godzilla's body. Then, the Devil Fish's main mass pulled itself against Godzilla's chest and the beak made contact with Godzilla's flesh. The snapping maw closed about Godzilla, ripping a huge chunk of meat from the reptile monster.
A scream of incredible pain tore apart the night as Godzilla broke the surface. Pain, such pain as he could only dimly remember from his battle with the aggregate Destoroyah, now surged through Godzilla's every nerve. And for Godzilla, pain was power. The reptile's hands closed about the Devil Fish's body and with a swift, tearing motion, the reptile pulled the mollusk from his body, hurling the giant octopus far into the bay. A huge, weeping wound seeped blood from a hole in Godzilla's chest while hundreds of sucker-shaped injuries added to the monster's distress. Godzilla roared his fury at this thing that had tried to devour him, a stream of golden fire steaming the area of bay that had received the hurtling form of the Devil Fish.
But the radioactive octopus was not there. Already, the torpedo-like shape of the monster was jetting away from San Francisco and Godzilla. The Devil Fish's primitive mind was in chaos, its digestive system in turmoil as it absorbed the meat it had taken from Godzilla. The mutated flesh was having a metamorphic effect on the mollusk, and the Devil Fish's every cell was in agony as the change consumed them. With its animal instincts, the octopus tried to escape the pain ravaging its form, but it could not escape from the corruption it had allowed into its own form. So, the giant octopus continued to hurtle through the midnight sea, its body twisting and changing with every league it travelled.
Godzilla waited for a time for any sign that his enemy would reappear. When it did not, the mammoth dinosaur mutation waded back towards the deep water, swimming away from the desolated city, beginning his pursuit of the beast that had injured him, determined to have its life as compensation for the pain it had dealt him.
'What shall we do with his body?' Dr. Gildor asked. Frankenstein wiped his bloodied hands against the stained lapels of his lab coat and glanced over at his new assistant.
'We'll take Goke's old form upstairs later,' the Nazi scientist told the young German. 'I have found the rats here to be very efficient at disposing of rubbish.' Dr. Frankenstein returned his gaze to the sickly sight of the disembodied brain lying in a pan on the table. The scientist studied the organ for a moment and then picked up a glistening scalpel.
'What are you doing?' Dr. Gildor gasped as Frankenstein put the scalpel against the brain and began to cut away at the frontal lobe.
'Performing a lobotomy,' replied the Nazi, almost casually. 'Much easier this way, I assure you. You don't have the skull getting in the way.'
'But why?' demanded Dr. Gildor, horrified by what he was seeing.
'What?' asked Frankenstein, momentarily absorbed by his surgery. 'Well, we don't really want a fifty-meter tall Goke running around, do we? It would be much better to have a less intelligent but far more manageable creature than one that has its own complex thinking process. I will just cut away Goke's personality before we put him in his new home.'
'It's monstrous!' exclaimed Dr. Gildor. Frankenstein focused a withering glare on his assistant.
'I find your morality becoming most tedious, Dr. Gildor,' the mad scientist stated. 'There is no room in science for compassion. The end result justifies the measures employed to achieve it.' Frankenstein let his gaze stray to the discarded, butchered body of the hunchback. 'Besides, what is one Japanese, more or less?'
Dr. Gildor ignored the Nazi's remark and instead looked at the huge form that loomed before the scene of the surgery. They had started the growth process of the massive cadaver the night before, a steady drip of the Red Bamboo elixir into the body's veins. Already, it had quadrupeled in size. Soon, Frankenstein assured him, it would be time to install the heart that still throbbed away within its tank. Goke's brain would also receive a steady infusion of the elixir until it too was large enough to be housed within the massive body. Then, the completed beast would be given life.
'I shall call him Prometheus,' Frankenstein had declared. 'For he shall bring to my enemies the fires of destruction!'